Sunday, October 11, 2015

Viva Las Vegas and Washington, Utah

In August I made a trip to Southern Utah to visit my son and his family. I flew down on a Thursday and Andrea and the girls drove to Vegas in the morning to pick me up. We went to the Hershey Store and had lunch in New York, New York hotel.

I remember in the mid 90's flying into Vegas to visit my parents who were living in Southern Utah at the time and I remember having some spare time before flying home. I had gone down to the strip and I remember walking around New York, New York.

After the Hershey Store we went to get burgers in the New York, New York hotel. Then it was off to the Las Vegas Children's Museum for loads of fun. There was dress up, there was climbing, there was inventions, there was water. Something for everyone. As we arrived at the Museum I discovered I had left my credit card at the hotel when we had lunch. I called them and they were holding it for me at security. So after the museum we had to make the trip back to the strip to retrieve my card.

After retrieving my card we made the drive home to St. George. Wayne came home from work and we had a nice evening at home.
On Friday and Saturday we visited Aunt VeLois, got to visit the Superior Threads warehouse store and fabric store, had lunch at Cracker Barrel and had a mega fun shopping trip to Costco. We also had dinner at my daughter in law's parent's home. Wayne and Andrea got to go out to a movie while I watched the girls.

On Sunday Wayne drove us to Vegas where we had lunch at the Rainforest Café inside the MGM Grand Hotel. That was quite a pretty site to see. Vegas was very warm and sunny.

After lunch it was time to go to the airport to head back home. It was a fun, fast weekend visiting the kids.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Catching Up with Life

Excuse my embarrassment for not having blogged for two months. Do you sometimes ever feel that life gets in the way of life? I think we spend so much of our time planning our life, that we don't always recognize life as it unfolds right here and now in front of us.

In September I was able to go to Boise to attend my 40th high school reunion. Gail flew in from North Carolina. We had so much fun. Originally the life I had planned that weekend would have been Wally and I driving to Boise on Thursday and spending a leisure weekend in Boise and then driving home on Sunday.

As life would have it, Wally got a stomach virus and was very sick the first week and a half in September. So I bought an expensive plane ticket two days in advance and I have no regrets. Well, except leaving a recovering Wally home to fend for himself for a little over 48 hours.

Gail picked me up on Friday night for the first activity. It was a casual gathering at The Drink Waterfront Bar and Grill. It was the perfect spot for this gathering. We donned our name tags at the check in desk and then spent the next few hours trying to guess who people were! Some I could recognize, but for most it was hard. High school was so long ago. But the evening was very fun spent visiting and catching up with people.

Saturday morning my brother and sister came over to Sue's house and we met to discuss things about the cabin with Nancy on the phone.

In the afternoon Gail came over and we spent the afternoon floating in the pool in the backyard and visiting. It was a much needed rest for a crazy month.

The Saturday night event was a lot of fun. It was held at the Riverside Hotel.  It was fun getting dressed up to go out for the evening. We had a light dinner, short program and a DJ playing 70's music. And lots of space and time for visiting. They had yearbooks spread out and even some grade school and Jr. high photos. A lot of the kids had gone to school together since grade school.

The evening was a lot of fun. Sunday came very quickly and it was time to fly back home. Wally survived and I was back at work on Monday.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Little Nostalgia

I recently blogged about a trip to Boise to attend a memorial service. It was a quick trip. One morning as I was driving my sister's (manual transmission) car around town, I found myself in a familiar area and realized it was near my grade school, Whittier Elementary. So I took a photo.

The grade school turned out to be really close to the Main Street auction where I spent many a Saturday as a kid with my Dad. So I took two photos.

Walking back to my car, there was a heart shaped oil stain on the road. I saw that as a sweet sign from Brenda. So I took a photo.

And to add to the 70's nostalgia vibe of my trip, this was parked on the street near the auction and grade school. So I took a photo and slugged myself!

Since my Junior High School, Fairmont, was on the way back to my sister's house I figured I might as well stop there too. So I parked in the stall marked "principal" and got out and took a photo.

There was another grade school that I spent 3rd grade at but I didn't get that photo. I decided to round it off by driving by my High School, Capital High, home of the Capital Eagles. Given the fact that this year is my 40th reunion I found it appropriate to visit. I took lots of photos.

I'm not 16 anymore! 40th reunion in September!

I then drove by our old house on Cory Lane. I didn't recognize it. I had to identify it by the house number. Of course trees have been taken down and the surrounding property has homes built on it. It was fun to see it though. And I snuck a picture (of some stranger's home because it used to be mine).

My bedroom was the dormer on the top right side. I shared it with my sister Nancy for many years. It was big and had green linoleum on the floor! Lots of fun memories from my 10 years living in that house.

Saying Good Bye

When I was eight years old my family moved to Boise, Idaho. We bought a big five bedroom house on Cory Lane. We had a pasture on the side and back of the property that connected to the Amidon's home. Dorothy became a close friend of my Mom's. Dorothy and her husband had five kids. The oldest, Brenda was one year older than me. I was the youngest of five and she was the oldest.

We spent much time together playing in the field, riding bikes, taking the bus to grade school, going to girls camp at Pine Top, Saturday night dances at the church, the drive in movies, and just pretty much enjoying the 1970s. Through grade school, junior high, and high school we were friends. She graduated a year before me and the next year she married Dan. This year in May they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.

I had moved away from home to attend college. We saw each other off and on when I made trips home to visit my parents. Then later when my parents had retired to St. George I would occasionally visit with her on our way to the cabin in Idaho.

The older I get the more it feels like time passes quicker. Before I knew it, it had been many years since we had seen each other. With Facebook we had reconnected, able to share family pictures of kids and grand kids.

In May this year Brenda spent three weeks in Seattle with her son and daughter in law while her son was having some medical procedures done. I was able to visit her on multiple occasions and we had a wonderful time sitting and talking.

Then on Saturday morning, July 4th I received a phone call from her daughter in law telling me that she had passed away that morning. She had lupus and health problems related to that, but it was still unexpected. How grateful I was for the gift of being able to see her in May and spend time with her. And how sad I was for the loss. She was only 58 years old.

I was able to go to Boise to attend her memorial service. It was nice to see her husband Dan and her son's families, two of her brothers, her father, and to be able to meet her sister's son. I still find it hard to believe that it's been nearly 50 years ago that my family moved into that house near hers.

At the memorial her daughter in law shared this picture with me that she found on Brenda's cell phone. Brenda must have found it recently and taken a photo of it but hadn't sent it to me. I'm guessing we were probably in high school at the time of the photo.

I regret that we never took a photo together during the visits we shared when she was here in May. But perhaps this is the way I'm meant to remember her. She will be greatly missed by many. Be at peace Brenda, united with your Mom and sister Ruth.

Family Time at the Cabin

Sometimes I'm amazed at how many years we've been going to the cabin for our annual family vacation. This year neither of my kids were able to be there. But as always my sister's are great at sharing their grand children.

Wally and I drove Saturday morning stopping frequently. Our favorite lunch spot for many years has been The Smokehouse Restaurant in La Grande, Oregon. Funny thing is though, we usually order breakfast for lunch. Wally discovered their giant hotcakes one year. But this year he passed on the hotcakes.

We then continued on to spend the night in Boise at my sister Sue's house. Before dinner I usually get a quick dip in the pool which always feels great after our 500 mile drive.

This time on Sunday morning, instead of heading directly to the cabin we were able to meet my niece Serene and her family for breakfast. It also happened to be Father's Day. She lives in Sacramento and her and her husband Scott have two children whom I had never met before. Seneca just recently turned 2 and Levi at the time was about 5 months old. They brought along some in-laws and we had a very fun visit. They were on their way to Canada for vacation. We had breakfast in Meridian at The Griddle. It was very good.

Sunday we drove to the cabin stopping in Rexburg to drop some items off to a young couple from her Mom her in Kent. We arrived at the cabin after Sue and Dennis. Later that evening we were joined by John, Sarah, Ethan and Austin.

Everyone else arrived on Tuesday, or was it Wednesday? This year we had Becky, David, Joe, Nikki, Tristan, Kali, Taylor, Nancy, Emily, Scott, Sue, Dennis, John, Sarah, Ethan, Austin, Wally and me. The big focus for the week was building a deck on the lake side of the condo. It was fun watching the progress and so many people helping out. We got to take family pictures on the deck before everyone headed home.

It was the first time in a long time we had all five of us kids together. And as always we ate well with everyone pitching in. I have to say breakfast is probably my favorite meal at the cabin. It's cooked on the grill, bacon, eggs, pancakes, fish, potatoes. It was always delicious, cooked mostly by John and Sue. Dave even made us sourdough crepes with berries one morning. Delicious. And of course we had caramel corn one evening.

We adjusted to the fact the younger generation enjoys their electronic games. And it was cute to see them sitting together so focuses. We had fun playing Rummikub which always makes me think of my Mom playing that with the grandkids.

The weather was very hot this year. There were mosquitos and there were bug bites. There were some fish caught. Most of us went home on Saturday morning. I missed seeing the moose across the water that morning. Sue and Dennis stayed another week and enjoyed the 4th of July fireworks from the deck.

Wally and I decided to drive home on I-90. We went to Ennis and had a great breakfast including Indian fry bread with honey butter. It was a very hot drive home. Each time we stopped to take a break or get gas we were blasted with heat. It was actually 112 degrees in Wallace, Idaho where we stopped for a late lunch of burgers.

When we got to Spokane and it was only 5 pm we decided to just keep driving to get home. I can't believe I drove 750 miles in one day. It was a long stretched out day with lots of stops and walking around. It was another great family vacation at the cabin.

Oh, and I won a quilt and Natalie won the other quilt!

Found a food truck at the laundry mat that sells Indian Fry Bread Tacos!

Emily and her fish!

Taco Bar Night

Grandma Becky with Taylor
Ethan and Tristan

Friday, June 19, 2015


Five. The number of pairs of shoes I feel the need to take with me on vacation. There are the tan sandals I'm wearing on the road trip, the flip flops for around the cabin, my grounding flip flops to walk around outside, my old, comfortable black Lands End slip on shoes and my gym shoes. To be exact I'm packing a 6th pair, which is a cute pair of blue sandals that I never wear that I'm hoping to give away to someone.

Normally I could get out of town with 4 pairs of shoes, but I'm splurging this time. That's the advantage to driving and having plenty of room.

Tomorrow we head to Boise on our annual trip to the cabin at Henry's Lake. Wally and I have been going since we moved to Washington State in 1988. We always go the last week in June which was when my kids got out of school. Everyone else was out of school weeks earlier. School would end on Wednesday or Thursday and we'd leave town on Saturday.

The first day we drive to Boise and spend the night at my sister's home. There we load more items in the back of the truck to help haul over to the cabin.

This year Sunday is Father's Day. I'm luck enough to get to meet up with my niece who is in Idaho on her way to Canada on vacation. She has a 5 month old and almost two year old that I'll be meeting for the first time. Needless to say I'm very excited.

This has been a busy couple of months. I'm happy to report for the most part we are packed and ready to go in the morning. The only thing I haven't been able to find is Wally's National Park Pass. That let's the car he's in get into the park for free. We last used it in December and I looked in my old purses and have no idea where it is. We generally don't go into the park much anymore, but it would be nice to have it.

I watered my orchids tonight and set the blinds just so in their room. I can only hope the house doesn't get overly warm being closed up tight.

Pictures and stories upon my return.

Here is a photo from last year.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sister's Trip April 2015

Flowers at Temple Square
April 22nd, I flew into Salt Lake City. Natalie picked me up at the airport. We had lunch outside on the patio at The Oasis Café. Natalie then dropped me off near City Center where I walked around downtown, took pictures, visited Temple Square, bought a Subway sandwich for a disabled vet and enjoyed the sunshine.

From downtown I took the Trax train out to Sandy to visit with my friend Susan. Susan and I met in college. It was either 1975 or 1976. We also shared an apartment for a little while before I married my first husband.
It was a lot of fun visiting with her and Roy. We hadn't seen each other for a couple of years. We had some good laughs about growing up and caring for our older husbands, about doctor appointments and failing eye sight.
In the afternoon she took me over to Natalie's new house. They had just picked up the keys two days earlier. The moving van was in the drive way. We got a tour of the house and kept out of the way of the movers.
Then Natalie and I went to pick up my cousin Russell and the three of us went out to dinner at Mimi's. We had a nice visit. After taking Russell home Natalie and I headed to Nancy's house in Springville. Sue and Becky had driven down from Boise earlier in the day.

Emily marker-painted these great shoes for me. She's so talented.
At Nancy's, Emily gave Natalie a hair cut then Natalie headed back home to Salt Lake.
We spent Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at Nancy's house. Becky and I shared the lovely new queen size air mattress on the living room floor and Sue had the couch. We stayed up every night until about 1 a.m.
I don't remember which movies we watched which nights, but here are the movies I can remember; Larry Crowne (which we referred all weekend to as Russell Crowe), St. Vincent (loved this one), Guardians of the Galaxy, some random Lifetime movie with Kevin Sorbo and maybe one or two others. I'd have to ask Emily.

We did our usual spring cleaning, laundry, visiting, reading, took fun pictures, ate well and just had a really good time together. We stayed really busy but found time to sit and relax and visit. I think we have finally learned to pace ourselves, well almost.

We do have one brother in the family. He is second to the oldest.



We had a visit from an old friend we grew up with in Boise, Judy Hulet Fluckiger. That was so much fun catching up with her and hearing all about her family. I don't think I'd seen her in like 35 years! Russell stopped by with Sherrie, Kent and their daughter that just graduated from BYU.

We were able to get a box of cookies sent to Nathan in the MTC just days before he flew to Poland.

Sunday morning we drove in Sue's car to Natalie's house. They got the tour of the house then they headed home to Boise. Then my friend Loretta came over for a visit. She used to live here in Kent but moved back to Salt Lake a couple of years ago after she retired.

I spent the rest of the day with Natalie and Scott. What fun we had shopping and playing and eating. We had lunch at a burger place called The Habit Burger Grill. It was so good and there are rumors we're getting one in Kent.

Then we went to a sporting goods store called Scheels. Boy was that ever a fun experience. We walked in and there was a Ferris wheel in the center of the store. Or as I kept mistakenly calling it, a roller coaster. Tickets cost 1.00 and soon Natalie and I were in a seat. And then it rocked and we screamed, loudly. Then we had to wait as it moved slowly loading and unloading everyone.

Once the ride got going I remembered that I don't like Ferris wheels. Only every time I talked about it, it came out as roller coaster. That made us laugh, and loudly. So much that the little boy in the seat in front of us kept turning around to look at us. Scott was lucky enough to capture this photo of us.

 And then we captured this selfie as we were laughing.

 And then as the Ferris wheel ride was coming to an end and they were slowly letting the people out, we thought we could sit back and relax. We were wrong. Two cars before our turn to get out our car rocked again and we screamed, again. By the time it was our turn to get out the high school boy had been very entertained. As we stepped out I said, "you did that on purpose, didn't you?" He just smiled and handed us two tokens for another ride saying since he scared us we should get another ride. We almost didn't take the tokens. But I told Natalie I'd keep mine and write on it, "I rode the Ferris Wheel, I can do Anything!"

Here are some other fun pictures from the sporting goods store.

Natalie told me to pick them up! Then we saw how funny that looked.
From the sporting goods store we went to Ikea and Bed, Bath and Beyond looking for things for the new house. We went back to the house before heading out to dinner on the way to the airport. We had dinner in downtown Salt Lake at Maxwell's. It was really, really good. I had pasta and they had a really big pizza. Then I was dropped off at the airport for my flight home.
It was yet another perfect trip to Utah spending time with my daughter and son-in-law, my sisters, niece and nephew and visiting with friends and cousins. I did miss out on not seeing my son's family with the grand baby this trip. Which only means there will be a trip to Southern Utah in my near future.