Traveling

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.

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

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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.

Farm Getaway

The Ladybug Lady and I took a 24-hour road trip to her childhood home in Idaho this weekend.  We figured out that I hadn’t been there for 15 years and that I remembered very little.  When we arrived Friday evening I was blown away by the beauty (which I hadn’t remembered) and realized at that very moment I needed a break from my life bubble.

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With almost 4,000 acres of wheat being farmed the location was really the epitome of isolation.  There are times when we need that break from our world to experience a different perspective.  I kept looking around wondering how many places like this still existed and wished it was only an hour away.

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I truly understand her need to go out there often and was glad I could accompany her before baby time.  I know another 15 years will not pass before I visit again.

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Vegas, baby!

Day #1 in Vegas was a nice, relaxing day. We slept in, browsed Costco, people watched & shopped the strip, dined @ Planet Hollywood, & caught a movie. The 60-degree weather has played a nice role as well.

Very Soon

I was surprised a few days ago when a lunch conversation turned into an unexpected trip out of winter to a warmer environment this weekend.  I’m over winter and probably have been for about a month.  I realize I live in Utah and that’s just how it goes.  I know I need to suck it up.  But I will be an opportunist and travel to warmer weather & enjoy the hell out of it.  More to come…

P.S.  Where I’m going, the weather on Saturday calls for 68 degrees & sunny.  I think I see Margaritaville in my future.  🙂

Holiday Journey

(Snapping the newly remodeled backyard @ Mama Tina & Chuck’s.  From my viewpoint and the snow on the ground you really don’t get the full picture.  I thought their yard looked great before; however, they wanted a different look.)

I’m here in The Potato State chillaxin’ with the family for Christmas.  We arrived last night and were treated to many hugs, smiles, and stories.  It’s been sometime since my brother and his family and the rest of us were together.  I wish I would have planned to be here for Christmas Eve, but that will happen next time for sure.

I believe if my brother and I lived closer together we would hang out more.  Having four children has changed him to a point, but the same brother I grew up with is very present.  I woke up this morning and he was very chipper; this is not something I remember at all.  Mama Tina says being a parent does it to you.  I would being a teacher might do it to you too, but I haven’t converted yet.  🙂

It was a very, Merry Christmas yesterday.  All year long I feel very fortunate for the life I live, the best husband that truly exists on this planet, the very loving dogs that we adopted, my family, my friends, the house that I get to live in, the clean food I can afford and so many other things.  This feeling will persist daily and soon I will develop the goals I will work on for 2013.

Fish Festival!

This past weekend Thor & I traveled to Mama Tina & Chuck’s to visit and hang out with some of our nieces & a nephew.  Good times were had by all, and as you can see we ate pretty well too!  I realize this is no big surprise to those of you who know my Mom, but I must share it with everyone else.

The kiddos had been asking for seafood night for the past three weeks & finally on this evening they were rewarded in kind.  🙂  Mental note:  make steamed clams, because they are so delicious!

Shrimp Scampi with Tomatoes & Basil

Steamed Clams in Wine Sauce

Grilled Salmon

One More Time – Fog Harbor Fish House

Greetings everyone!

I’m back from California & attempted to share with all of you a restaurant recommendation earlier, but it didn’t go through.  Don’t worry, you’ll get it tonight.  🙂

Restaurant Recommendation – FOG HARBOR FISH HOUSE

Mixed Grill – Swordfish, salmon, & shrimp with garlic mashed potatoes & broccoli.

Lobster Special.

There are many reasons I recommend this restaurant on Pier 39 in San Francisco, California:

  1. Service – Great!  Everything came in a timely manner including drinks, break, food orders & refilling of drinks.
  2. Food quality – Superb!  The first picture was my order and everything was delicious.  Like a grilled dish should be it wasn’t dripping in any butter and it was flavored well.
  3. Price – Reasonable.  My whole order was $22 which I consider reasonable for fish and I received three different types.
If fish is your thing, and you want done right at a reasonable price this place is for you.  
Fog Harbor Fish House, The Embarcadero, PIER 39, San Francisco, CA, 94133 
MASTIDON
~ Food – my love, my hobby, my way of life ~


Merry Christmas!

Coming to you from Eagle, Idaho this fine holiday season!  Christmas morning was spent with Thor’s folks and later we drove up to Idaho & are spending a few days with Mama Tina & Chuck.  We also take this time to relax & do very little because we can.  🙂  Last night we were spoiled with pasta & clams and tonight is the traditional Christmas dinner of prime rib, garlic mashed potatoes, and green beans.  (Of course, Mama Tina had to fix tiramisu to finish the meal.  I’m sure we’ll hate indulging ourselves, right???)

As always we eat in style and because my mother had me trained in setting a table since about age 8.  🙂  Thor helped with the green beans and I thought I would include a picture of the prime rib.

I should now be back to regularly blogging, but have enjoyed a little break!!  Until next time – Ciao!!

Happy Birthday, Thor!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABE!!  
(This picture is from our trip to Las Vegas at the Cirque de Soleil Store.)