Friday, August 24, 2012

can you see Nate doing this?

I totally can. Here's a link to the story: LINK Must have been some traffic jam if a kids' bike could get there faster. Good thing for the scrubs, they are easier to ride in than a suit.

Here he is on a past Christmas morning testing out G's new ride. I suppose he really was practicing for a bicycle emergency!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

all you need to know about santa fe

There appears to be a lot of adobe structures in Santa Fe. In reality most structures are faux-dobe, I suppose it keeps them up to code or something important like that. There are LOTS of churches. Some are super cool.

This stair-case is in what was once a church. It is now basically a money-making enterprise, but before that it was a real church. Now it just looks like a church, it certainly doesn't feel like one. The stairs in the Loretto chapel are beautiful and the legend surrounding their creation is mystifyingly miraculous.

Speaking of money-making enterprises, there are wares for sale at every turn of every corner. It was a bit much, and that is coming from a girl who likes to shop!

There were plenty of places to dine and partake of the specialized cuisine of New Mexico. You could sum it up in three words "red or green." They cover everything with chiles. After much sampling we determined a preference for green.

They take their food quite seriously. So when we heard that the best green chile cheeseburger was only 20 miles out of our way, we thought of it as a mere detour. Was it the best green chile cheeseburger we had ever had? NO. Up to that point, the best we had ever had was cooked right in our very own backyard. Thankfully, a few days later we did have the best green chile cheeseburger as part of our last meal in NM. So glad we can check that one off the list.

Only one meal really knocked our socks off. It was at Santacafe (pretty tricky they way they named that place, huh?). We started off with cactus eggrolls. I kid you not. They were delicious. I keep eyeing the cacti out my window. Nate had some tasty sea bass with orange scented Israeli couscous. And what did I have? Only the most amazing stuffed poblano I have ever had. It wasn't your typical chile relleno you may pick up at your favorite Mexican place. This one was stuffed with some Crazy (and I mean that in the most wonderful way). It had quinoa, a smattering of mushrooms, and who knows what else. It was served with some kind of sauce that I would most likely bath in. It was magical.

The evidence of days gone by was everywhere.

It was easy to imagine you were in a completely different country. I suppose that is because not all that long ago it was a different country.

So thanks NM, we had fun.

Monday, August 13, 2012

another western adventure

So guess where we went for our weekend away?

I believe you've guessed it by now.

An interesting place full of history and days gone by.
Here is a high-rise community. No elevators at this place. Its not totally inhabited anymore, just a little inhabited.

Really only these guys, some birds, wild cats, and bears live in the area (even with the absence of our wildlife (aka children) none of these mammals were seen).

And check out how close they lived to their neighbors. Very neighborly, to be sure.

I kind of thought these rocks looked like wizened wizards.

Look, the ancient peoples were into self-portraits too!

I know its hard to distinguish, but the picture above is a self-portrait of an Anasazi couple and the picture below is a self-portrait of a 14-years-of-wedded-bliss-on-a-weekend-away-from-the-children couple.

I'll tell you more about our adventures later.

and then they were gone (for a little while)

The first day of school was fantastic.

5th grade is a much sunnier place than 4th grade was.

1st grade is on track to being excellent.

I'm still getting used to so much quiet! I kind of love it and completely miss them all at the same time.

Fortunately Jimmy has discovered there is still time left over to hang out and play when he gets home (even if his sister has better things to do). Lately he's been playing board games with his friends, Unipac and Cougariga.  Please note the wolf and the cougar each have their own cards. (Sometimes Jimmy wins these games, but sometimes that Unipac just blows him out of the water).

Bonus points for anyone who can tell me how Jimmy mainly names his animal friends...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

towards the end

Okay guys, time to get back into the car...

We only have an very, very, very long drive ahead of us.

We'll see beautiful countryside.

We'll admire an old fort.

We'll smile in front of an old cabin.

We'll be as civil as possible to one another and break out the DVD player for the back seat.

And we'll finally, finally, finally make it through various construction projects and enter Bryce Canyon. Once we're there, feel free to make Strong Man poses, it will make everything better.

Enjoy the insanely beautiful vistas you've only ever seen in books and now can see in real life.

Try not to leap the fence into the canyon itself as your parents enjoy a little photo op.

Its a long way down.

Yes, please, strike another Strong Man pose. It really helps one appreciate the beauty of the scene and the fluffiness of the clouds.

Try not to fall into the creek.

Now just try and smile a few more times.

That's better!

We only have to make it to Kanab (a mere 80 miles down the road). You can sleep on the way. Mom will watch out for wildlife attempting to cross the road while Dad keeps propelling us to our destination.

And that was our second-to-last day of our trip. The following day, our tired-selves made it back home. And we managed to do so in good time with relatively good spirits. It helped we fueled up with serious tastiness. 

If dear reader, you find yourself in need of home-cooking done right while driving through Kanab, you should certainly go to Houston's. And if you decide that you need some battered-and-fried poblano pepper strips while in Sedona, you should get yourself over to Red Rock BBQ. (You can thank me later).

Friday, August 10, 2012

we are real cowboys

The most favorite part of our trip was horseback riding. We picked the "outfit" based on one requirement - the age requirement. Most insist on everyone being at least 8 years old. That is a big bummer for someone who is 6.

 Much care went into horse assignments. 

Here are the horses from left to right:
Clarke, Trinket, Romeo, Chuck (or "Fluffy"), Handsome, and Uno

Here are the riders left to right:
Poppy, Aunt Lindsay, Moi, Jimmy, Grace, Handsome ("Nate")

Jimmy was a little hesitant to start, but after 5 minutes loved it. The funniest part was seeing his little body on top of such a big horse. When he'd kick his legs to go faster, the horse didn't even seem to notice.
Having attended an equestrian day camp (one half-day), Grace was an expert rider.  

But no one in our party was an expert roper!

It was such a fun time, I am certain we'll do it again.

A side note on the horses' names:
My horse, Romeo, had a serious thing for Betty, our guide's horse. This caused some hilarity on our ride. Nate's horse, Uno, used to have a compadre, Dos. Sadly, Dos "didn't work out," so Uno consoles himself in tasty mountain snacks (grass, flowers, and any kind of vegetation he can manage to pull while riding). Jimmy's horse, Chuck, was a great faithful steed. Though part-way through our ride Jimmy informed Jane (our wonderful guide) that he really thought Chuck's name should be Fluffy. She said he might as well go ahead and rename him as he probably wouldn't care and most likely did not notice Jimmy in the first place.

At the end of our ride Jimmy picked a flower and gave it to Jane. I think he likes a girl who can ride.
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