Thursday, July 30, 2009

Crater Lake

Our fifth and final stop on our way to Corvallis, Oregon was Crater Lake. I'd already seen Crater Lake a couple of times, but this was Dane's first. The lake is an unsually deep blue.

Dane was so kind to drive the entire time on this trip. I did volunteer to drive, but he never took me up on it. Thanks to his kindness, I managed to start and finish Stephanie Myer's The Host....which for those fellow Twilight fans, is another great novel of hers that I'd recommend.
Aria has really been a great little companion on this trip. I was worried that she would scream and fret in the car, or have difficulty sleeping, but luckily, due to her sleeping and our driving schedule, she mostly slept in the car, and then when she awoke we watched some Sesame Street shows staring Elmo and she was happy.

Lake Tahoe and Reno

Our fourth stop was Lake Tahoe for the afternoon and then onto Reno for the evening. We spent the night at Circus Circus again (since it's so cheap due to all those people throwing away their money at the casinos). I was so excited to wash my hair after camping. That night I completely overate at the buffet and then felt sick the rest of the evening.

Lake Tahoe was like being at the ocean. It had a lovely sandy beach, and the water wasn't too cold, once you got over the inital dive. If I could have a cabin somewhere, I think this would be the place.

Yosemite National Park

Our third stop, after a brief night stay in the small town of Tonopah, was Yosemite National Park. We awoke at 5:30AM and hit the road from Tonoopah to Yosemite so that we could arrive in time to secure a campsite. Since most campsites in Yosemite are first-come-first-serve, we didn't want to take any chances.

By the second evening of camping, I was feeling rather dirty so I talked Dane into going to a nearby lake. He told me I shoudn't wash my hair in the lake, so I settled for shaving without any soap.

We hiked to a lookout called Sentinel Dome which offered a 360 degree view of Yosemite.
It was breathtaking. We also befriended a couple of chipmunks who were so forward that Dane felt forced to offer a cracker for fear of being bitten.

Our campsite had a lovely little creek at the back with wildflowers.
Unfortnately, the campsite didn't have running water, so we had to boil water from the creek.

There's nothing like a hot breakfast in the morning when you wake up nearly frozen to death. The only challenge is waiting in the cold while the food cooks. We didn't expect the temperature to drop so drastically during the night. Aria woke up cold in the middle of the night, so I took her into my sleeping bag, but I had to partly unzip it, which made me cold, so I then passed her on to Dane about an hour later. In the end, Dane was up most the night freezing, but at least the baby slept well. Nothing like parental sacrifice. :)

Aria enjoys munching on apples. It kept her entertained during the boredome of having to sit in a hiking pack. Aria didn't particularly like sitting in the pack, but she would be content if she could eat something, or hold momma's hand. Dane liked to repeatedly make the comment that he was a pack mule.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Our second stop on our road trip was Las Vegas, Nevada. We stayed at the Circus Circus Hotel, which was so crowded that it really felt like a circus.

One of my favorite hotels is the Belagio. We loved to watch the shooting fountains outside the hotel and to look at the exotic interior design.

We ate at the fabulous all-you-can-eat buffet at the Planet Hollywood Hotel. Aria's favorite foods were spaghetti and watermelon.

Dane and I have the tradition of buying a magnet to represent every place we've traveled together. Dane loves going on the "perfect magnet" quest at each new place. If we haven't found one, and it's almost time to leave, he starts to get anxious. :) We love to see our fridge slowly being covered with our family adventures.

Sedona, Arizona

Our first stop on our trip, after visiting the Mesa Arizona Temple, was Sedona, four hours north of Tucson. We ended up camping wherever hotels were too expensive. It was quite a feat packing our small Ford Focus with enough camping gear, food and baby gear to last the seven day drive. Dane didn't think we would make it, but amazingly, we squeezed everything in, us included.

Aria was so tired on our hike that she completely collapsed in the hiking pack. It's a good thing baby's necks are made of rubber. :)

Dane, who is not one to freely give enthusiastic compliments, thought Sedona was amazing. We both loved the beautiful contrast of red rock and pine.

This was our first attempt at camping with Aria. After the actual falling asleep part, she did really well. Sedona's temperature remained warm at night and Aria loved jumping and rolling on the air mattress.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Money money money

Aria loves getting into her mom's purse, and has developed a taste for the greenback. Not a good sign. :) (Most of the pics we have are blurry, because she's always on the run. )


We'd been living in a house in Oregon before we moved here, and have been quite cramped in the smaller space. This week we moved out of our apartment and into a house that we're now renting. It's so nice to have a garage again.

As for the move, Aria was out of control (as usual), so Tara decided to tie Aria to her, so she could help with the move. Once Aria was given a big piece of licorice, she bought into the idea. :) It was over 100 degrees most of the day, and only half the people who volunteered to help with the move actually showed up, but by 9:20pm all the boxes were in the house. As anyone who knows me can imagine, I probably sweated several gallons of water in the process, but at least it's now done. Tara was trying to assure me that life would get less busy soon by saying "just remember, all these things will pass." I couldn't help but retort "yeah, like a kidney stone." :)

Anyway, the place is a great blessing, and we signed 3 year lease, so we won't be moving any time soon. And we can't beat the price. We're renting the place at roughly 54 cents per square foot, which is quite a deal compared to most places in the country. So there are some blessings that come because of the recession.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


We showed Aria an the YouTube video "Elmo has 4 ducks", and ever since she has been wandering around yelling out "quack" at random times. Here's an excerpt from her bath tonight. The video starts with Tara mimicing what Aria had been doing. (That was our way of keeping Aria doing it until we could get the camera.) Enjoy.

To see the Elmo video, check out this link:

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Old McDonald had a farm...

I snuck up on Tara while she was feeding Aria her nightly meal of oatmeal. Aria has to be entertained/distracted or she won't eat anything, so Tara has gotten creative.

Hide and Seek

Aria is now a big fan of Hide and Seek. Usually she's tearing through the house, trying to find her dad. This time though, we got some footage of her looking for mom.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

4th of July, 2009

After going with the Kenchingtons up to Mt. Lemon for a picnic, we went over to the Hawkins house to celebrate the 4th of July. They have a nice view of the valley from their backyard, where we were able to watch the fireworks. Here's a pic of Tara and Jenn with their little cherubs. Aria had fun playing in the pool in their backyard, along with gathering up golf balls on their little putting green.