Archive for September, 2010

Durango with Aunt Marilyn & Uncle Curt

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

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From Arches we drove to Durango, CO to visit with Evan’s Great Aunt Marilyn & Great Uncle Curt. The drive was really pretty.  Sunflowers followed us along the roadside from the cabin in Utah all the way to Durango. We loved all of the lush, green mountains surrounding Durango. Marilyn & Curt’s new, gorgeous house is up in the mountains and has fantastic views of the scenery.

Evan had a blast exploring a new house.  He had fun banging on the expensive coffee table, pulling on the window cranks, and swiping the remote controls.  With one remote, he learned how to turn the fire on and off and on and off… They also had a big box of toys their boys used to play with and that kept Evan entertained for hours! His favorite thing to play with was adventure people, Brad & Hawk and their Jeep.  He pushed that Jeep around forever and he put the action figures in their seats. Evan also had a lot of fun playing with Aunt Marilyn’s indoor sandals.  He would take them off her feet, then put them back next to her feet and gesture for her to put them back on, and then lift up his footies so he could try them on, he loved it.

Evan reached a big milestone while we were in Durango.  He decided that he would no longer just walk towards people.  He started taking off wherever he darn well pleased.  He was so excited, he even tried out walking without looking where he was going. See the video here.

We had fun checking out the nearby sites.  We spent a day at Mesa Verde National Park (post to follow).  One day we took a beautiful drive up to Silverton, the destination of the famous train in town.  We also enjoyed walking around Durango.  We had a picnic in a nice park by the river, where Evan had a lot of grass to run on.  We enjoyed visiting some local shops & historic sites and eating a very nice dinner right next to the train station.

Mommy & Daddy enjoyed some relaxing evenings, including a dip in the hot tub under the stars which were incredibly bright up there.  We could see the milky way, hundreds of stars and Venus was amazingly bright. We had a great time.  Thank you very much Marilyn & Curt, I hope we can visit again even after Evan ate all your blueberries, hid your TV remote, tested the durability of almost everything he could reach and threw all sorts of food on your nice clean floors. :)

Mesa Verde National Park

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

We visited Mesa Verde National Park while we were visiting Great Aunt Marilyn and Great Uncle Curt in Durango last month. Uncle Curt, an expert on the park, was nice enough to be our guide. It was incredible to see the cliff dwellings of these ancient people. With Evan in tow, we decided to visit just two of the famous sites.  First, we took a tour of Cliff House.  We had a fun, energetic guide, Ranger Jo, take us down into the cliff dwelling.  Evan had to be in his carrier, since the only way in and out was climbing steep wooden ladders.  In the picture below we were making our way threw a narrow passage and Evan kept sticking his footies straight out against the rocks so that Mommy would get stuck. :)

We also visited Spruce Tree house, which was a bit easier to access, down a nice lush walk.  At Spruce Tree house we were able to go down into a sacred Kiva.  It was interesting to learn about these ancient pueblo people and see these incredible structures amongst the cliffs that they built and left behind.

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Arches National Park

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

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After our visit to the cabin in Utah, we headed to Arches National Park.  The drive from Fayette to Arches was breath-taking and we stopped frequently to check out the view, especially along Castle Valley.

On our first day in Arches, we hiked to Landscape Arch, which is a really long and skinny formation.  We took note of the ominous clouds above, but thought we could make it back to the car before the storm hit.  However, just as we arrived at the arch, we were pelted by the torrential downpour.  The lightning was getting closer and more frequent and new rivers were quickly forming as water gushed over the sides of the rocks.  Daddy was starting to look a little worried.  We were on high enough ground to avoid flash floods, but Daddy just wanted to get to the car to wait out the storm.  Daddy picked up the pace with Evan in tow.  He was having the time of his life getting all wet, waving his arms up and down with excitement.  Mommy kept stopping to try to catch a picture of all the lightning, which was driving Daddy a little crazy :).  However, after only 10 or 15 minutes, the rain subsided, the thunder quieted, and the sun broke through the clouds.  Then an amazing rainbow appeared in the sky. We could almost see the hole half-circle and even a double rainbow for a little while.  It was an incredible adventure and quite a sight!

We checked out a few more arches on the way out of the park and enjoyed the changing landscape at dusk.  It was interesting to see the rocks change shape and formations come alive as silhouettes with the setting of the sun.  We stopped by Moab Brewery for a few burgers to-go, and headed to the hotel for the night.

The next day we checked out the famous Delicate Arch.  Evan threw a bit of a fit on the way up to the 2nd viewpoint, which made for an interesting hike. :)  Next, we did a shorter hike to Sand Dune Arch, which was Evan’s favorite.  He got to walk most of the way since it was pretty flat, and he found tons of sand to play in!  It was neat to be able to get underneath the arches too. After the hike, we checked out some more huge arches, viewable from the car, and headed on our way.  We thoroughly enjoyed all the sites in this fantastically unique park.  There are so many different rock formations and it is mind boggling how so many arches have formed there.

Skyline Drive in Utah

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

One day while we were staying at the cabin, we decided to take a drive up on the skyline above Fayette. We went up Ephraim canyon and dropped back down into Mayfield. It was incredible up there. Coming up from close to desert conditions, you don’t expect the vast array of colors from all the wildflowers, fantastic views of green rolling hills and groves of aspen. We saw a few deer and some happy grazing cows. A patrolling park ranger kept running into us, he wanted to make sure the shady looking Californians weren’t collecting seed. We had a great day enjoying the scenery and taking pictures.

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Picnic Party in Utah

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

On Saturday, the 28th, we had a family picnic in the Gunnison park.  With just a couple of invites to cousins, our family picnic grew into a small family reunion. :o)  Uncle Jim, Justen, Shawnalee, Clay & Kenzlee, Deanne, and Roger Mellor and his family were able to join us.  We chowed on hotdogs, baked beans, macaroni salad & Green River watermelon.  Evan loved walking in the grass and playing on the old war guns with Grandpa.  He slid down the slides a few times too.  Thank you Grandma & Grandpa for putting the little shindig together.

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Swimming in Utah

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

We made a couple of trips to the indoor pool in Gunnison while we where there a few weeks ago. The first time we went on a weekday and we had the whole place to ourselves! Evan had a ton of fun! They had water basketball hoops setup, so we played basketball. Evan loved holding the big ball, but he was passing it to all of us too. It was very cute. He also became a fantastic dunker when Daddy or Grandpa held him up to the basket. But, after he mastered that, he didn’t think it was worth letting the ball go anymore. He was such a happy boy and we all had a great time. The second time we went on a weekend, so there were a lot of kids, so Evan spent a lot more time checking out what everyone was doing, but we still had a good time splashing and playing more basketball.

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Utah Sarah B. Cabin

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

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Evan had a great first trip to the Sarah B. Cabin in Utah a few weeks ago!  There were so many new things to play with and explore in the cabin.  He enjoyed climbing the stairs to the loft to sit in the tiny rocking chair, and to play with the chess pieces.  He made good friends with the bear statue and said good night to him every night.  He also got a big kick out of trying on all the hats at the cabin, and seemed to prefer the big cowboy hat.  Outside, he loved practicing his walking in the front yard grass where it was nice and soft if he fell, which he did, a lot. He got really good at walking in Utah, and would stop and just stand for awhile, and then start going again. Check out the video here. He had fun going up and down the porch steps over and over again too, even though he got really dirty.

Evan approved of Grandpa’s new 4 wheeler and made sure everything was working by pressing all the buttons and gripping the handle bar.  Maybe next trip he’ll be ready for his first ride. :o)  One morning, Grandma & Grandpa hung out with Evan while Mommy and Daddy took the 4 wheelers into the back country. It was gorgeous up in the hills; we came across a big field of wild sunflowers.  See pictures here.  On the way back, Mommy almost got attacked by this huge owl she unknowingly scared out of a tree as she rode by. It almost flapped her in the head it was so close to her.

Great Uncle Jim taught Evan how to give a high five, and Evan enthusiastically gave him one whenever he came over. :o)  Evan also met cousin Kenzlee, who is a couple months younger than him.  He did pretty well sharing his toys with her, although he took a couple things back when she started playing with them.  Oh well, they were very cute together.

We had a lot of fun with Grandma & Grandpa, Uncle Jim and the family in Utah.  …More posts to come of a side trip to the skyline, swimming and a little picnic party with family.

Bing + Hidi’s Wedding

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Evan helped celebrate the marriage of Bing and Hidi at a beautiful wedding at the Beaulieu gardens in Napa the other weekend. Aunt Kristy was nice enough to watch Evan during the ceremony so that we didn’t have to wisk him away if he decided to scream.  But, Evan joined us for the reception and was happy to find green beans to munch on and lots of people to watch. When it came to dinner time, Evan made friends with all of the wait staff, and before we knew it he had them bringing out extra bread and all the fresh peaches he could eat!

Evan had a great time dancing the night away too. He was even lucky enough to dance with the bride for a little while! He was such a trooper, he partied until 10pm and he was the most tired we had ever seen him when we got to the hotel. He had never fallen asleep on one of our shoulders after being taken out of his car seat before.

It was a fantastic wedding, a lot of fun and an elated bride and groom! Thanks for letting us share in your special day Bing and Hidi!

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Family Visit in Placerville

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

We drove to Placerville a few weeks ago to visit with Evan’s Great Uncle Rich and Great Aunt Sally, who came for a visit from their new home in Texas.  Evan was just starting to walk more than a few steps, which was fun for everyone to watch.  We really enjoyed our visit, only wish it hadn’t been so short, and that Sally hadn’t hurt her knee just a few days before. :o(  It was fun playing in the yard with the dogs, and testing out the new swing.  The Bissells also drove up to visit, which was a lot of fun.  It was great getting the family together!

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Standing By Myself

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

The Climber

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

Oh boy!

Downward Facing Dog

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

This is Evan’s favorite yoga pose.