Block Adventures

Idaho Trail ‘n Meet

Starting last summer/fall, we (Thor, Sparkee, Jack, Maximus Rex and myself) decided we were out to discover all the parks/trails/places we can walk a stroller on and see their beauty.  Recently we went to visit Mama Tina and Chuck and found a gem in the Hyatt Hidden Lakes Reserve which is part of the Idaho (Boise) parks system.  Although it was causual get to the park visit, we’ll definitely be back for a more thorough visit when I remember to wear more suitable clothing.  The reserve has nice trails and great animal viewing (ducks, other bird life, possible otter sighing and big fish).  However, there are no dogs allowed, fishing, or swimming.  I do understand why this is the case, but I’ve always wanted to see Sparkee chase a few birds.  I know, it’s not fair to the birds but it would make a great video.  🙂  Here’s to more new discoveries in the future.





This bird would have possibly let me ruffle a feather or two.




Southern Winter Retreat

Utah the second time around continues to amaze me with its diversity, geographically at least.  The above snapshot is of a walking trail in Washington, Utah (St. George area) and I find it totally gorgeous.  However, it’s even more appealing because this is what I have been living in (like everyone else in the Wasatch front) for the past week…


You can barely make out a mountain back there because of the inversion (hot/cold weather fronts trap pollution in our valley) has been SO awful.  As we traveled from our house to the St. George area it didn’t clear totally up for a good 150 miles; seriously.  Here are some more shots as the journey progresses and the air starts to clear…



After we passed Filmore it finally was pretty clear.  I don’t really think people understand what it’s like living in a constant fog/smog like environment until they’ve experienced it.  Of course, being the silver lining type of person I am, when it gets this bad in Utah I think of a much more polluted place like parts of China and think we’re doing alright.  BUT I know we’re not doing alright especially if it’s not safe to take my 9-month old out for a walk.  I started to think of the movie, “The Mist”, and wondered if things were hiding in the smog.  (True confession – I’ve never seen “The Mist”, but wonder if things are hiding in the mist waiting to gobble you up.)

Back to the beauty at hand this past weekend.  We took walks and enjoyed as outside air we could get our hands on, and spent some time with Grandpa and Grandma Call as well.






This was our last walk and if I lived in this beauty daily it would take quite a bit to stop me from enjoying every aspect of it.  End scene.

Park & Grub – Liberty Park Meets Johanna’s Restaurant

Thor & I quite often say to ourselves on Friday night, “Let’s go walk Liberty Park in the morning.”  More times than not I take too long to wake up & he ends up taking Sparkee & Jack to the parkway by himself.  Well, not this morning!


The whole crew made it to Liberty Park this morning and going there always reminds me that it would be very nice to live by a park like this or have a home that accesses the Jordan River Parkway system.  I do love our home with it’s great layout and movie room basement, however, I would take some walking trail access and a little more grass in our backyard for when Maximus Rex grows up.

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During our outside time today I proposed we should try and walk all the parks in Salt Lake County in 2016.  Yes, it’s probably way too many parks, but I’ll do some research and go from there.  We kept walking and I started brainstorming out loud all the breakfast places we could visit after our walk; I was getting very hungry.  Eventually we risked visiting ‘The Original Pancake House’ on a Saturday morning.  45 minute to an hour wait – NOPE!  So, we went to Johanna’s Restaurant and got right in and seated.  Is the menu what it used to be?  No.  Was the food delivered fast and tasted decent?  Yes!  Thor & I tried to remember when the last time was that we actually went out for breakfast just because at the spur of the moment…hmmm, I don’t think we could.


This was one of the best Saturday mornings I’ve had in some time and look forward to some more.  Sometimes all you need is your family, some recreation and spontenaity. WOOT!

P.S.  On a more disappointing note, I don’t understand large families that eat at restaurants who leave their table (and floor below) a hot mess and let their kiddos run around like it’s a jungle gym.  I realize I only have a 3-month old and might find myself in a situation like the one I witnessed at breakfast this morning, but I would hope not.  I watched the bus boy go up to the table to clean it up after the family left and the look on his face was one of ‘WTF!’  I just wanted to telepathically say to him, “I feel ya, bro.”

More and more I’m really big on proper etiquette/manners in any situation.  Maybe it’s from being in education for 15 years (mostly teaching junior high) or it’s from living in southern culture for a good chunk of my life, I truly believe in being polite, saying hi to strangers, and living the golden rule.  I do have moments in my head that I say some choice words to some people, but it’s in my head.  Alright, I’ve officially stepped off one of my many soapboxes.  End scene.