Friday, August 29, 2008

Orcas Island

We just got back from Orcas Island and I didn't get a chance to post other pictures. This photo was taken where we were staying at Smugglers Villa which is just outside of the town of Eastsound. We had beautiful sunsets as the beach faces the Northwest. It was so beautiful.
Of course, although we had all kinds of fun stuff to do there like hiking, kayaking, shopping, etc, all the kids wanted to do was swim at the pool. And, might I add, the mercury rarely hit 70 degrees. I was freezing just watching the kids in the pool and when they finally managed to convince me to get in I nearly had a cornonary episode. Seriously, when does it get warm enough there to need a pool? I spent a lot of time in the hot tub. Luckily, we had beautiful views behind the pool and we could see the beach from there. We couldn't drag Alex from the pool.
One day we dragged the kids to Moran State Park, which is, by the way, is green and amazing. At the top of Mt. Constitution there's this beautiful view of the San Juan's. And there's a huge tower where on clear days you can see Mt. Baker. It wasn't that clear this day, but we could see across the water to Victoria and Anacortes. This was Isaac's favorite part by far. He kept climbing up and down the stairs. The tower was built as a fire look out in the early 1900's.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Orcas Island (long) weekend

Martin's team got a week off of work as a reward for shipping SQl Server and Visual Studio on time so, since the kids are still out of school, we decided to take a long weekend vacation to Orcas Island. We were excited to go whale watching, it's something I have always wanted to do. So we made reservations and boarded the tour boat, hoping we would get lucky and see some whales.

We were really lucky to see the J, K and L pods all at once just southwest of the San Juan Islands. It's pretty rare to see them all at once like that. The guide said it doesn't get much better than that. I have no idea how many we saw. It's pretty impossible to tell since they're going up and down so much. However, if you consider pods stick together there could have been upwards of 50 orca. The guide knew all the different individuals and could tell them apart by their dorsal fins and she was sure she saw members of all 3 different residential pods.

Once they met up it was a huge reunion and they socialized. We saw a lot of fins, tails and even some happy leaps! We heard the breathing and blowing of water and it was both amazing and exciting. I'd say we were about 100 feet from them or closer most of the time until they kind of split up and went their separate ways. You can only approach the orcas so close, but that doesn't necessarily stop them from approaching boats that are just watching. We couldn't see them as well as I'd like. One boat, not too far from us, (a private boat) was lucky enough to have the whales approach and surround them for a few minutes within just feet. I wish I could've been on their boat, they must have had an amazing show. We could hear their excited "Wow's".

On the way back up the chanel we saw some porpoises jumping out of the water. All in all it was a great trip and I will always remember it. My pictures aren't great due to my pathetic little camera but you get the idea.

Monday, August 18, 2008

What the...?

Well, Alex started football last week. I wish I could say I'm happy about it. Actually, I would be more happy except this is how he came home on Wednesday.

Does anyone else see any problems here? I mean, am I just being a freaked out, paranoid mom?

As you can see, Alex doesn't mind. So bruises or not, he plays. Martin and Alex's coach were rather happy about the bruises as well. Happy? Really guys?

What is going on here!?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Here's the Cuteness with my niece Erin. Look how cute she is...she looks so much like her mom.

My Pet Peeves

Okay, so I know some of you are deeply interested in my pet peeves. Well, wait no longer.

1. Gum-I hate it, I hate people who chew it, I hate everything about it. It's disgusting and vile...did I mention I hate it?
2. Texting-I really can't stand all the teenagers constantly doing this. What's worse is when adults do it. Really, adults should know better. I refuse to get my kids cell phones (as long as I can hold it off). It reminds me of passing notes in school.
3. Utah drivers- Okay, okay, technically I could be classified as such. I believe if you move away from Utah for more than 5 years you are no longer considered a"Utah driver." What I hate is all the men (and women) in BIG trucks flying up my bumper. I mean, where's the fire? And, it happens the second I cross the border...serioulsy, I've timed it.
4. I-900-What is the deal with that little stretch of road from Newport Way to Talus? I have never seen people so mean or in such bad moods. People, can't we all just get along?
5. Mean People-You know who I'm talking about. Those people who are always up in arms about something..."There's no cheese on this cheeseburger," "I've been waiting too long in line at this drive thru at Walgreen's," "Your kids are messing up my mulch," whine, whine, whine.

That's it for now. I'll let you know when I think of something new...lucky you.


This is my sweet niece Valerie. She is Olivia's best friend and cousin. She looks pretty banged up here because she was riding a bike when she flew over the handlebars and landed on her head. Val's usually one to wear her helmet (she keeps it on the handlebars on her bike at home) but a neighbor came over with a cool bike she wanted to ride. She wasn't used to the brakes on the bike and was going down a hill when she stopped way too fast. She was bleeding a bit from the back of her head and the front was really bruised and swollen. She went into the house where my sister and brother in law tried to assess how bad the damage was. They knew it was serious when she went unconscious twice and they called an ambulance. From a CT the doctors could see the skull was fractured almost like a crack on an egg, but luckily, not completely cracked open like a melon (not my analogy). Had it been more serious she'd have had to have surgery to repair the fracture probably with metal screws or attachments. She had to stay in the hospital for 24 hours. I think this is a great reminder for me to make sure my kids always wear helmets. My sister says Val has become the poster child for the entire neighborhood and all the kids are now wearing helmets again. Valerie will be fine. She cannot run, jump, ride her bike or play hard for two months! Poor thing, she's 10 so that will not be an easy sentence. I'm glad she's okay.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Pool It!

When we're visiting my family in Utah we usually go to the pool several hundred times. My kids love it and I like it too because I get to read my book while the kids have lots of fun. Here's some pictures of our last trip to the pool. There aren't any photos of Alex because truthfully, he was long gone with Maddi and Carson (my niece and nephew) and I didn't see him again until we went home.

This picture is Isaac and Dallon (my other nephew).

Isaac had a lot of fun. He was excited to learn that he could go on the slides and liked it. He also loved to jump in without his mom catching him. That was a new one for him as he doesn't like to get his face wet usually. But the life jacket gave him his new found confidence (not to mention his cousin). Dallon swims like a fish.

Bryce Canyon Blues

While we were in Cedar City we had a day when we were able to go to Bryce Canyon. No one else wanted to go with us, sadly. But Martin and I decided to go anyway. Isaac came with us because he had no choice. It's about a 1 or 2 hour drive from Cedar City to Bryce but the ride was beautiful (at least the parts that I stayed awake), epecially, when we got to the Red Rock Canyon. When we got to Bryce Canyon I was so excited to see how amazing it was. I was thinking how cool it would have been to be the first person or persons to ever see it. Of course, I wouldn't have had that nice road to drive right up to it and that paved path that we could take up to the top, so maybe not. I could not believe how hard it was to walk up to Inspiration Point. It wasn't far but the elevation allows 75% less oxygen into your lungs. Let's just say I could really tell the difference. I wanted to hike around the rim, but Isaac was with us and the word "hike" has inspired some pretty interesting behavior from him (think whining, crying, kicking, and yes, screaming). So we were only able to see the canyon from one vantage point. You can kind of see Isaac's hiking attitude on his face in this picture. He's too big for me to carry anymore, but at Zion's, the day before, I did carry him on my back and so I was too sore to do that again. Look at my hot husband in this picture. Ain't he cute?

I really wanted to go see Thor's Hammer, but it started to pour rain when we were driving there. Martin couldn't resist so he went out there and got soaked. He said it was worth it, though. I was so sad because the rest of the day was rained out, so we headed home. I stayed awake this time and enjoyed the ride home. I really want to buy a cabin somewhere up there.