::home:: birthday weekend continuation

As a continuation of the birthday weekend, we went to the Friday movie in the park, Solo.
Totally 80s movie, and I'll be honest, it was a bit more lame than we'd anticipated.

But Saturday made up for it.
We headed out to Zion at about 10 am with Will, Jordan, and Amanda. Remember last year when I went
canyoneering with Chad for his birthday? Well, he chose that again. So we suited up and headed out to Pine Creek...
I think I had even more nerves this time than last time, weirdly enough. This time there wasn't quite as much water,
so a little less swimming, and no wetsuits. We've got to go again this summer so there's not so much time in between.
I felt like it was my first time. Again.
But I made it.
We finished up our hike out with a stop at the swimming hole and then had a delicious dinner
at Oscars - another favorite.

Jordan had this cool little waterproof sports camera, so we got some pretty decent pics from our trip.
Click on the picture to view it larger:: left to right::
Jordan and Amanda:: me, getting ready to start the first rappel, very tense:: Amanda and me,
peeking out from behind a rock:: Chad coming down the last rappel::
Chad and Will are setting up the ropes, not doing what it looks like they're doing::
Amanda and Jordan making a splash in the swim hole, Will looking in amazment!

Thanks, everyone for a great time!


::home:: dude's birthday night

Chad's birthday this year was on Thursday, a weekday (bummer).
We celebrated by going out to a new-to-us restaurant, Anasazi, with Will.
We didn't realize until afterward that last year we went to an unfamiliar restaurant for his birthday, too.
A new tradition? We'll see... we might run out of restaurants too quickly.
But this place was good. Coming to see us soon? It'd be a good excuse to go again...
You just let us know if you're interested.
Their "novelty" is that food is cooked "on the rock" - meaning you cook it to your preference
on a hot rock that's brought out to your table. Three thumbs up.

my choice: avocado salad with skewered shrimp - i chose the dish i wouldn't have to cook

will's choice: the skewered shrimps and scallops with mashed potatoes

birthday boy's choice: steak with sauteed mushrooms

Just thinking about it is making me hungry again. It really was delicious.
We wanted to get fondue but were too full to even think about it.
Another excuse we have to return soon!

Hope you had a happy birthday day, dude - we're trying to cram in a
whole lotta fun this weekend to make up for having to work on a birthday...
Doing pretty good so far...



Once we were back in the heat, we decided
it was time to hit the water. I had another
'first' this weekend, at Sand Hollow. I've been
there before, for the Ironman, but haven't
actually been in the water. Very fun - we took
some tubes and cruised out to the big red rock island -
and had an impromptu swim lesson.
(I know, I know, I know.)

Lots of other folks had the same idea, so I was
worried it would be too crowded when we saw the
parking lot, but we didn't really bump
elbows with anyone! Great way to spend
a couple of hours during our
weekend o' relaxation!


::wandering:: close to home

This weekend was a 3-dayer for us...
We took advantage of the extra time to get out of the heat and headed up to Pine Valley (in
the Dixie National Forest) for a little camping, a little hiking, and some great relaxing.
I had never been before, but it was gorgeous. The weather was perfectly warm
without being hot at all - it was nice and cool in the evenings. No bugs, brand new
campgrounds, and food cooked by husband.
*pretty much perfect*
Saturday morning, chad got up early for his 8 mile run (training for another half)
while I slept in. i picked him up an hour and 11 minutes later and we returned
to our campsite for a breakfast of champions - peanut butter cream cheese brownies
leftover from the night before. We jumped right back in our hammocks with our sleeping
bags and read and catnapped until we were ready to go.
Would def, def, def recommend a couple of nights up there.


do you know why i love this picture?
click on it to enlarge and look closely...
this reminds me of one of those pictures in pre-school
where each member of the household is doing a different task.
i love it.
brendan is so funny peeking over the top.


Thanks for the postcard, Junebug!
(& Company)
It's joined our little collection...!


::wandering home:: walnut

Husband didn't really care to have his picture taken in front of all these places in his hometown.
I explained to him that I'm taking them for the future. In twenty or thirty years, I think it'll be
fun to look back on the town where he grew up - and how young he looks now!
I only wish I had pictures of him as a leetle boy in these same places...

::wandering:: illinois

::wandering:: wisconsin

These were the first faces we got to see ... {{sadly, not a single picture of Racer!}}
We already miss you guys!


::wandering home:: back to the midwest

That's right - we just got back from a trip out to Illinois and
Wisconsin - we went for a wedding, to see family, and for a
stroll down memory lane (translation:: we walked through husband's
hometown of walnut, illinois - and i LOVED it!).

We saw nephews we'd only met once before, attended a
puppet show, a kindergarten graduation, a family birthday dinner,
and an elementary school lunch. We played at the park, at the pool,
and had a sleepover. We drove through a crazy rainstorm, watched
clouds rolling in from the porch, and outran the Streator tornado
by about fifteen minutes. We remembered how green other parts
of the country are and wondered why we live where we do. Then we
remembered how humid other parts of the country are, and knew the answer.
We walked the lakefront in Chicago, took a boat tour
of the buildings, and ate at Harry Caray's. Thinking back, it
seems like we squeezed a lot into our five days in town.

Now we just wish we lived closer
to more family, and had more rainstorms like they do out there.
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