Sunday, June 29, 2008

Utah Art Festival

Yesterday we went out to the Utah Art Festival in downtown Salt Lake City. First we stopped at Smith's (grocery store) to pick up my old phone. I got a text message from the person who had found my phone saying that she had the flu but was sending her fiance with the phone. Got another one from her saying he was there and had given it to the manager. At least now I can get my numbers and pictures back! YAHOO!!!

I wasn't really sure where the art festival was but I remembered hearing something on TV about it being at Pioneer Park. I entered that into the GPS (PennYE) and headed out. We found the park okay but everybody was closing up their booths. What??!! It was only 1:30!! We decided to go across the street where we saw a sign for a market/deli. It was an Italian grocery store and fish market. They had a really nice deli with tables to have lunch so that's what we did. Looking across the street at the park there was a big sign that said Downtown Farmer's Market. Well, duh. The place we thought was the art festival was the farmer's market which DOES close at 1:00. Rod asked the guy behind the counter where the art festival was and he told us Washington Park right across the street from the Library. We found out later it's also called Library Square. Alrighty then.

We found Washington Park pretty easy since it was only a few blocks away. We found a place to park for $6 and admission to get inside was $10 each. Gheeze, we're not even that into art. It was incredibly hot too. We walked around a little bit and then found Alex and Ryan who were working a crepe stand. They weren't due for a break for another hour or so and said they would make us some crepes then so we went over to the Festival Stage. There was a Celtic band playing called Stonecircle and they were very good. We were just sitting on the grass, nice breeze blowing and listening to music. That alone made the $10 admission worth it.

Alex and Ryan found us and brought crepes with them! Oh my gosh, were they ever good!! Mine was strawberries and nutella and Rod's was strawberries, whipped cream and powdered sugar. They were as big as the plate and really, really yummy! I really wish we hadn't eaten lunch already because the food at the festival all looked so good. By then there was a different band playing called Traveller who was the headliner. Also very good. A bald guy playing an acoustical violin and the guy playing bass guitar had hair down to his knees. They also had a woman belly dancing. Really interesting sounding music.

My camera decided to die while we were there. I took a few pictures and when I tried to turn it off the lens stayed out and wouldn't retract. I pushed the lens in by hand and turned it back on. The lens stayed in. Gheeze. I haven't even had this camera for that long. Looks like another trip to Walmart tomorrow. :)



Friday, June 27, 2008

Phone and Bear Lake

I went out Wednesday to replace my cell phone. First, we went to Applebee's where we had lunch on Friday to check if maybe it had fallen in between the cushions. Nope, not there. We found a T-Mobile store and I found out I couldn't replace my phone with the same one I had. Apparently it's already obsolete. I had the plain old silver razor. I could get a bright neon pink (no), or battleship grey (no). My only other choice was to upgrade to a different one. Oh well, that's what I did. I do like the new one though. The features are easier to use and it's actually smaller. Back when I first got a cell phone I could see everything without glasses and the phones were HUGE. Now that I need glasses to read everything the phones are smaller. Go figure.

We got home from the store and I got on my laptop to check my email. I got one from my brother Art. Somebody had found my phone at the grocery store!! Are you kidding me???!!! Instead of turning it in to Customer Service she took it home. She said she didn't trust leaving it with the people at the store. **SIGH** She called the first name in my phone and found out who's phone it was. Art sent me the email with her phone number so I called her and told her who I was. It's amazing to me that she found it on Wednesday when I lost it on Friday. It was sitting at the checkout counter of the grocery store for five days and nobody noticed it. Anyway she asked if I wanted her to return it to the store tomorrow and I said, "That would be great." I went in to the store last night and of course Customer Service was closed and nobody knew anything about a cell phone. I tried calling the person who found the phone and nobody is answering and there's no way to leave a message. **SIGH**

Yesterday we decided to get out and do something. I KNOW!!!! We actually got out!! Packed up a picnic lunch and bottles of water and took off!! We took a drive to Bear Lake which is up in the northeastern corner of the state. It's one of the scenic byways in Utah (there's LOTS of them). Check out this link We did the Logan Canyon Scenic Byway. It started in Logan, Utah and ended at Garden City, Utah at Bear Lake. I remember before we started fulltiming when we were going somewhere it was just to get from point A to point B with no stops in between. This time we took our time and stopped at ALL the places the guide said to stop at.

The scenery was absolutely beautiful!! We haven't even made it to Logan yet!

First stop was the Visitor Center in Logan. We picked up a map of the canyon and another guide of what is a "must see". It was pretty much the same things that I had printed out from the website. The lady at the Visitor Center wasn't exactly friendly. She just sat at her desk and pointed out where the brochures were. No additional information or any of the small talk you usually hear at most Visitor Centers. Didn't even ask me to sign the guest book.

At the Visitor Center in Logan

Next stop was the Nature Center. We had to park across the street and cross the busy two lane highway and then walk a quarter of a mile to get to it. We kept walking and walking on this trail and never did see it. It was so hot we decided to just go back to the truck and continue on.

Next stop was a dam called Second Dam. Don't know where First Dam is. LOL. We thought that would be a great place to stop and have our lunch. Nope. The guide said either stop at the lower dam or continue a little further and park at the upper dam. We wanted to stop at the upper dam but never did see the parking area. Hmmmm, this isn't turning out so good. We continued on and did end up finding a "day use" area to have our lunch. It was right on the Logan River which is running incredibly fast right now due to the snow melt. There were only two picnic tables there. One was filthy dirty and the other one was sitting in the water. Gheeze. We ended up just sitting on the steps and eating our lunch. At least it was shaded and we did have the background noises of birds and the river. The nice thing about the "day use" places in this National Forest (there are a lot of them) is that every one of them has picnic tables and bathrooms. Nice touch.

Logan River

Fortified from our lunch we continued on. Across the road we could see way up on the mountainside our next stop. I don't think so. It was a 1.8 mile hike straight up the side of the mountain to the wind caves. Years of wind and water have worn a triple arch and natural cave into the limestone rock. We thought it would be a lot cooler up in the mountains but it was just to hot to be climbing up there.

Can you see the arches and the cave? Click on any of the pics for a better view

Next stop was the Wood Camp Campground. The wood from this place used to be used for railroad ties, telegraph poles and firewood used in the lime kilns that processed the limestone and mortar used to build the Mormon Temple in Logan. It also used to be a campground for loggers who needed rest and food and water. Not much of anything was left here. There was a trail here that led to what is called the Jardine Juniper. It is said that it's thought to be 1500 years old and one of the oldest living juniper trees on earth! The trail to see it was 5.8 miles one way. Good Grief! That's way more than I want to do.

Next stop was Ricks Spring Cavern. That was for you, Rick. LOL. Had to get a picture of that! It got it's name for the guy who discovered it and also because they thought it was a spring. It's actually a diversion of the Logan River. They found this out when they put dye in the river and it came up there.

From there we went to Tony Grove Lake. There was hardly any writeup about it in the guide at all. It was a seven mile DRIVE off the main highway. This was our favorite spot on the whole trip, I think. There was a level one mile hike around the lake and it was absolutely beautiful up there. Can you believe all the snow on the ground??

Finally, we made it to the Bear Lake Overlook and Visitor Center at 4:30. The Visitor Center was closed. That's okay, we were really only there to take pictures of the lake and pick up some brochures of campgrounds at the lake. They also had a soda machine and we had finished our water long, long ago. Rod got a coke and I got a water.

The area was really hazy for some reason. Some people are saying it's from the fires in Northern California that's causing it. Whatever the reason, the pictures didn't come out very good. Trust me, it's a beautiful lake and HUGE! The pretty blue color comes from the limestone particles in the lake.

We drove down the hill into the city of Garden City and the last stop on our "tour". We headed north to see what RV Parks or campgrounds they had and after just a few miles we saw a sign on the side of the road that said "Welcome to Idaho". Oops, didn't know we were that close. We turned around and headed back south. We found a State Park at the southern end of the lake. It's exactly the kind of place we've been looking for. They have some GREAT pull through spots with a view of the lake right outside our windows. Perfect!! Full hookups for $25 a night. When we got there it was pretty much empty. Could be because it was a Thursday because when we got home I looked it up online and nothing was available on the weekends but several spots were available during the week. Darn. We still don't know where we're going when we leave here in two weeks.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Nice & Hot Here in Utah

Temps all week have been in the 90's here. I'm REALLY liking it.

Boy, I'll tell ya, it's almost like living back in a regular house around here. We've just been doing regular stuff like laundry, Rod's been washing the rig and the grandkids have been regular visitors. We ran a bunch of errands on Friday. I was looking for a new laundry hamper, some more insulated cups and various other things. I was having a barbecue on Saturday so I sent an email to Betty to invite them as well. When I got home from my errands I had a reply to my email so I went to get my cell phone to call her but it was gone! Oh brother!! I checked out in the truck and called my number with Rod's phone. No phone. I called every place we had been to and nobody had turned in a phone. They took Rod's number and said they would call if anyone turned it in. I checked online to see if it was being used and it wasn't. The weird thing about it is that when I try to call my number it goes straight to voicemail. It's supposed to ring a few times before that. Oh well, this morning I called and suspended service. It still has not been used at all. Weird. The bad thing is that now I have to get a new phone and all my phone numbers and pictures are in the old phone. That's right, PennYE, I will no longer have your picture in my phone. :( I really don't have numbers stored anywhere else so if everybody could email me with your phone numbers that would be great. Or you could just call me. :) Rod's got some but not all the ones I had.

Friday night Ashton & Reilly spent the night again on Nana & Papa Rod's "transformer couch". That's what Ashton calls the sofa bed. At 1:30 in the morning Reilly woke us up when she started throwing up. Ughhhhh. I got up and cleaned everything up and laid out a towel for her to lay on. I'll clean up the rest in the morning. About 15 minutes later she was at it again with dry heaves. Ughhhhh. Got up again. About 15 minutes after that, well, you get the idea. I got up and put her in bed with us. At least I wouldn't have to keep getting up. This went on for the rest of the night. By morning she was only doing it every hour or so and then by 10:30 she was done and you'd never know there was anything wrong. It's amazing how fast kids recover from illness. Ashton never woke up during the whole thing.

We went ahead and had our barbecue on Saturday. It took until Sunday for the rest of us to get what little Miss Reilly was sharing. Rod and I took turns sharing the bathroom. Boy, it's really hard to be sick when you only have one bathroom. Monday Ashton & Reilly were supposed to come over and spend the day with us because they're going to Colorado on Tuesday for the weekend so we won't see them until they get back. Rod called to tell them not to bring the kids over and we found out that wouldn't be a problem because they were all sick too. All except Miss Reilly, of course.

Todd called this morning and asked how everybody was. "We're fine here, how's everybody there?" LOL. He had some errands to run in preparation for their drive to Colorado and asked if we could watch the kids for a few hours. No problem now. We're feeling much better and I slept like a rock last night. They're not leaving until late afternoon. Todd didn't want Reilly to take a nap because they figured it would be better for her to sleep in the car. Hmmmmmm, wonder why. :) Oh well, they were watching TV and it got really quiet so I went in the bedroom to check and this is what I found. Sorry, Todd :) She never even asked for her "binky"!!

Oh yeah, Ashton & Reilly each got a haircut today before they came over. Reilly's hair looks really short in that picture but it's not really. Here's their new "do's"

They're such goons sometimes

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Birthday & Happy Father's Day!!

Saturday was my birthday so Michele & Todd took Rod and I out to dinner to celebrate that and Father's Day. We went to a Brazilian restaurant called Rodizio's. Oh my gosh, can you say MEAT???!!! They brought around these huge skewers (I called them swords) of different kinds of meat. They would cut off a little piece and then you would grab it with your little tongs and they would cut off the rest. They did bring some grilled pineapple out every now and then and one skewer of mahi mahi but it was dry and a little over cooked. We had a little wooden block on our table that was painted green on one end and red on the other end. When you wanted them to bring more meat you put the green side up and when you wanted a break you put the red side up. It was a lot of fun and a lot of MEAT!! We really stuffed ourselves and had to waddle out of the restaurant. They do have a complete salad bar with sides like potatoes and rice and other stuff like that but nobody wanted to fill up on that stuff. :) I thought I had escaped the obligatory singing but alas, it wasn't to be. Michele had sneaked away and told our waitress it was my birthday so of course they came to our table to sing the Brazilian version of Happy Birthday. Thank you so much Todd & Michele for a FANTASTIC night of food and fun!!

Can you believe I actually forgot my camera and so did Todd & Michele??? These pictures were taken with my cell phone. I guess they're better than nothing to remember this great night.

Playing around with our server

Happy birthday to me.......

Sunday we went down to Dave & Betty's house for a Father's Day celebration. As usual the food was fantastic. Dave and Ryan (Todd's brother) smoked some salmon and orange roughy and then Todd barbecued ribs. We also had corn on the cob, potato salad, beans, rolls and fruit. After we ate we had a spirited competition of croquet. The guys cheated every chance they got so they won but it was fun anyway. We stopped the game to enjoy some key lime pie for dessert. I spent most of the day with my foot elevated with ice on my ankle because I twisted it on what I have since named the "devil chair". It's a rocking chair and the rockers stick out and grab you when you try to walk by. Still swollen today but feeling much better. I think I'll just sit in my recliner for a few days till I can walk again. :)

Michele taking a shot

Alex (Ryan's girlfriend from Costa Rica) receiving instruction from Ryan

Dave taking his shot

Betty taking her shot under the watchful eye of Ashton

Here we all are.

I know he really does love her but sometimes it's hard to tell

Thursday, June 12, 2008

North Salt Lake

Well, here it is the 12th of June (Happy B-day, Cathy!) and nothing going on this whole week. Tonight is a potluck dinner here at the Pony Express. I'm making a pan of layered brownies. It has chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut and pecans. Sounds yummy, huh? I made sure to take the calories out before I baked it though :) Oh yeah, and to balance it out I'm also making a broccoli casserole with pasta.

It's been so cold here in Utah. Yesterday's temps barely made it to 60 degrees. Today is supposed to be mid 60's and gradually warming up by early next week to 90. WOOHOO!! Now, I know all my Florida friends are saying, UUGGGGHHHH, 90 degrees??? Well, remember what people say about, "it's a dry heat?" It's true! 90 degrees here is not at all like 90 degrees in that Florida humidity.

We paid for another month here because there really is nothing else in the area that is as nice and as clean as this one so we'll be here until July 14th. We hope to be really busy with the grandkids for the next month. This Sunday we're going over to Dave & Betty's for another barbecue. We sure like going over there. I really miss the family get togethers we used to have when we and all the kids lived in Washington. Dave & Betty are family too because they're Todd's parents. We've never got to spend a lot of time with them and it's been really nice getting to know them better while we've been here in Utah.

We're already planning our trek to Salt Creek County Park in Pt Angeles for our workamping job. We don't have to be there until the 1st of Sept so we get to play for a month and a half after we leave here. We're looking at the Oregon State Parks and have read some reviews (thanks Jo, for that site). Everybody on the reviews rave about the Oregon parks. I'm so excited to be able to be going back to the woods. The main activity that we want to do is crabbing. We both LOVE crab so it'll be exciting to catch our own. The only bad thing is that it's summer season so it might be hard to get into a state park. We may end up in a RV park again. I sure hope not. We'll keep looking.

Working hard to find a new spot

My contribution to the potluck

As usual, LOTS and LOTS of food

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Still in Salt Lake City

Michele, Todd, Ashton & Reilly came over to spend the day with us today. It's so good to see them on a regular basis. I have stocked my cupboards with kid stuff that I have wanted to do for so long. Since we've lived so far away from them I never got to do the Nana kind of stuff. Now every time they come over they say, "I'm hungry". I just love it because I now have a variety of things that kids love. Chicken nuggets, string cheese, dried cherries, apple juice, etc, etc.

Today I woke up at 9:45. Yes, 9:45!! I can't believe I slept in that late. Usually the guy next door wakes me up at 6:00 when he starts up his truck and leaves it running for about a half hour. There are a lot of guys here that work at the Refineries in town. Then Rod's snoring wakes me up at about 7:30. By 8:00 I give up and just get up.

I put a pork butt in the crock pot this morning with some salt, pepper, garlic powder and liquid smoke. After about 6 hours I drained all the juice, shredded it and added some barbecue sauce that we bought at Tom's Ribs in Texas and let it cook for another hour. Boy oh boy was it ever good. Since I don't like coleslaw I sauteed some Napa cabbage with garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes and put that on top of the pulled pork on the bun. Yummy!!



I think they like their lunch

Then the Ashton & Reilly went out to ride their scooters. I told Reilly she had to give me her "binky" if she wanted to ride her scooter. This was her reaction

Guess who won?

Want some eggs to go with that ham??

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Layton, Utah

Yesterday we went to lunch at the Asian Buffet in Layton. It's about 20 miles north of us. We were meeting up with Mary from the RV-Dreams chat room. This is the second time we have met someone from the chat room. Mary met us there with her husband and parents. Mary was instrumental in legalizing ferrets in Ogden once the idiot politicians realized they're not wild animals and have been domesticated for thousands of years. Mary knew I had a history with ferrets so she brought the newspaper clippings to show me. Very impressive and her little Einstein is sooooooo cute. Really nice people and the choice of restaurants was awesome. The buffet was HUGE. We'll definitely be going back again sometime before we leave here.

When we left the restaurant we had plans to go look at some other campgrounds in the area. First stop was Cherry Creek. This place is a water park with a RV Campground. When we inquired inside we were told they were booked up every weekend through August. Okay then.

Next stop was Lagoon. It is also a water park with a RV Campground. They even have a Subway Sandwich Shop on site. We went inside to inquire about availability and were told they have a one week limit. Hmmmmm, we're really running out of options. I guess we'll just have to stay here till we're ready to leave in July. Salt Lake City just doesn't have many choices for campgrounds. If this place that we're staying in (Pony Express RV Resort) wasn't here there wouldn't be anywhere we could stay close to the kids.

As we were driving back I said, "Hey, I can see the Great Salt Lake." So we punched in the directions to Antelope Island State Park in the Garmin. We found out the exit was just past where we had lunch. LOL Soooooo, we turned around and headed for the park. We got to the gate and asked if we could have a campground map and if we could go drive through just to see if we would fit. The girl at the gate said she'd have to charge us the $9 entry fee. Uh, I don't think so. Just to drive through the campground? So we didn't get to see it. They have a two week limit anyway.

I looked on the Garmin again for the Great Salt Lake State Park. It's way on the southern end of the lake and another 30 miles or so. Oh well, what else do we have to do? We found it okay after leaving Salt Lake City to the west. The entrance is really out in the middle of nowhere. When we got there the gates were locked because they had closed at 6:00. We didn't check to see if there was a campground but obviously there isn't or they wouldn't lock the gates that early. Later, after looking it up, I found out it's just a marina with a public viewing spot of the lake. They also have a search and rescue operations center there.

By then it was after 8:00 so we headed to the grocery store and the gas station. $4.73 a gallon for diesel. :( After that we headed home and got here around 9:00.

Mary & her husband. Sorry guys, this is the only picture I got

Mary's parents

What a buffet!!

Never did get a good picture of the lake