Monday, July 30, 2012

We Love Alaska & Old Friends

 We love Alaska because this is where Emily joined our family...
 The kids went to an awesome grade school called Ravenwood...
We say our lives really began here because Mark was finally finished 
with medical school and long hours of residency and single parenting was a thing 
of the past.  We had a "real job" and we were finally able to buy a home for our  family!
So much family time!
 Life was so good.

Mark finally had time to do some fishing, tie flies, get a good nights rest and enjoy family. We had some really amazing friends that helped our home sick family through holidays and enjoy season after season in one of the most beautiful places on our planet!

The kids could skate at recess...we waved to the Iditarod sled team as they raced along the trail, we enjoyed cross country skiing all over the valley!

 Family enjoyed ANNUAL "Once in a Lifetime" trips to play 
with us and get their fill of fishing!

We enjoyed the most amazing state fair in the world! 196 lb pumpkins and 9 lb radishes were taking home the blue ribbons.  We had potato sack races, ate cotton candy and entered quilts. (That's a cabbage next to 3 year old Camber)
 We met the Harrell's at Travis AFB in about 1991. We became fast friends and were so excited when we were both assigned to Elmendorf AFB.  Of course we needed to be neighbors.  Our kids grew up together...just like cousins.

 Cathy and I looked after each others kids like they were our own.
People at church were always confusing our husbands with each other
(they even had some color in their hair at this point!)
We laughed, cried, played and learned so much together!
Most of their kids call Utah home now and they are still living the dream in AK :)

We had the chance to get a bunch of us together last night and it was heavenly!
Friendship just gets richer by the year.
Our families are growing and it wonderful to watch them!
We love you and are so grateful to have been blessed with so many wonderful friends!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pasadena - Not Just for little old ladies!

We were able to take a long weekend trip to go visit Davis in Pasadena. So nice to spend some time with Davis and what a great place to visit! Below you can see a summary of our trip in photos.  We saw a lot in our short time there and look forward to returning to do some more exploring! 

First stop was Santa Monica Pier and beach.  What crowd of people! We had a good time watching Davis body surf and walking along the warm sandy beach.

The Gamble House was built by Greene and Greene for the famed Proctor & Gamble folks.  It was such a treat to tour this beautiful home.  The wood work was exquisite and loved soaking up all the craftsman-like details.  Such beautiful attention to detail and fine artistry.  He hopes to one day take a master class on craftsman style furniture building.  So inspiring ... and photos can not do it justice.

We enjoyed exploring the area, viewing the beautiful architecture, people watching and making nighttime freeway graffiti with our camera. Mark navigated his was to a memorial for Jackie Robinson.  Old Pasadena is such a delightful area to walk around.  So many shops and unique restaurants mixed in with all the new stuff.
 Davis skated one night at the awesome North Hollywood Skate Park.

The three of us really enjoyed the Norton Simon Museum.  What a great collection of ART!
The special exhibit of Significant Objects: The Spell of Still Life was magnificent!

Sat morning we happened upon the expo for the gran fondo giro d'italia 2012 Pasadena at the Pasadena City Hall. (Beautiful building!) Francesco Moser was there meeting people. Born on June 19, 1951, Francesco Moser was one of the dominant riders from the mid-1970’s till the mid-1980’s. He won one Grand Tour title, one World Championship Road Race title, and six victories in cycling’s five monuments, including three consecutive victories in the Paris-Roubaix Classic. He retired from professional riding in 1987. Mark was thrilled to get to meet him and was able to have him sign a pretty nifty poster. We have learned that he is more decorated than Lance Armstrong.  He retired from professional riding in 1987.

Just for reference we loved dining at:
 The Kitchen ~ Old Town Pasadena. The Pizza was amazing!
Heirloom Bakery & Cafe ~ Couldn't find a link
807 Meridian Ave, Ste C
South Pasadena, CA 91030
The Cuban Sandwich was great the Heirloom Tomato Salad was divine.  There is something about those freshly picked avocados!! You can try out one of their recipes adapted for the home cook here.  They vary the ingredients daily - chocolate chips, raspberries, etc.

Marston's Restaurant ~ Fantastic Breakfast

Cameron's Seafood Market &  Restaurant ~ Had a really nice lunch here. We shared a Seafood Cobb Salad and Halibut Sandwich.  It's a place all the older locals frequent.  Fun to watch them:)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Gran Fondo

Gran Fondo is Italian and translates approximately to “Big Ride". It means long distance or great endurance (there are running and cross country ski gran fondos too). Gran Fondo rides have their origin in Italy and France, where the general public was invited to ride a single stage of one of the professional grand tours, the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia, after the pro race went through.
Everyone, of any age and ability, was invited to participate. Ex-professionals and elite racers lined up side by side with 80-year-old farmers toting baguettes in the baskets of their 1920’s era commuter bikes. Family members lined the route and handed out food and water bottles. While some choose to ride fast and test their endurance, by definition, a Gran Fondo is not a race, but rather a mass start event designed to draw the community together and give everyone a chance to enjoy the fun of riding a bike on the same course as the pros. It is truly a ride for everyone! 

 Cache Valley hosted it's first Gran Fondo ride and 
Mark made sure that his name was on the registration. 
Because he's cool like that.
 This is the route and and he enjoyed the full course.

 The Sidewalk Sale was going on downtown as well as so many other 
great events...Cache Valley is extra sweet in the summer! 
Lots to do and see.

 You can see by the skies that it was a perfect 
morning to make this ride.

A great finish for papa!
 We were counting up about 11 who rode from our neighborhood! Some did a shorter route and had time to go home and shower up - an elite few like Geno the Great, had a phenomenal ride!(He came across the finish line as the number one rider.)Very, very cool for him.  
He is a very s t r o n g rider. It was a great day for everyone who participated and inspiring for people like me who cheered them all on.

 Mark with Maddy, Brian and Kevin. More great folks from our neighborhood. (Maddy's first 70 miler!)
Mark came home and showered and we went back down to grab lunch - all the riders had a free meal pass.  As we were sitting down to eat the rain buckets!  What a down pour!  And so badly needed.  We were feeling for the people still out on the road but so grateful to get the moisture.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Summertime Is Sweet!

Happy Independence Day!

Tradition...Neighborhood Breakfast at the Park.  The cooks rise early to prepare breakfast for our great neighborhood and everyone enjoys the food and great company.  Mark and I joined Dave and Stacey for a double date on tandem bikes :) That evening we enjoyed an amazing candle lit dinner prepared by Emily.  Tandoori Chicken.  Wow!  Was it ever amazing and beautiful evening.  The night before Emily danced at the Stadium with Inishfre and the sky over Cache Valley lit up with a spectacular fireworks show.

 Some birthdays just need to be stretched over the entire week!  This weekend we celebrated Papa Mark's Birthday with races....GUMBO...Berry Crisp ala Lindsey and enjoying time together as a family. Mark and Jake left early Saturday for a leisurely - HA - 70 mile bike ride around the valley.  It was their first climb up to Porcupine Dam.  We have twin spotted fawns visiting our yard - they are adorable but hard to catch with the camera.  The rest of the family is driving us nuts as they continue to slurp up flowers and tomato plants. grrrrrr.

The girl you may not recognize is Mark's cousin Wendi's daughter, Kaitlin.  She is living with us while she goes to aesthetician school.  More to come about her.  We love the spunk she adds to our family.  She won't take any of Mark's guff -- way to go girl.

Molly thought it would be a great party idea to race Papa on his bike.  She was pretty serious about getting tires all pumped up and including baby Amy in her special trunk seat.  Owen watched like he couldn't wait to be a part of the game.  It's the simple things that mean the world to these little ones.  We remember Liam racing Papa on his scooter at this age.  So fun!

 Cache Valley Cruise-In certainly says and feels like summer! We had the best seats in the sun.
Owen is growing so fast!  He will be six months old next week.  He is a joy!
So full of happiness and wonder.

Last week Mark and I drove out to Avon and he fished the Little Bear on the Evans ranch.

 In closing you can view the fun little video that Emily put together of our trip to Grandpa's Cabin.  We enjoyed four relaxing days there at the end of June.  Thanks for taking time to make the video, Em!

Happy Trails and Sweet Summer Memories to everyone!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy Birthday To You!

Brady was the best birthday present Mark had ever received!  They have had some
pretty great celebrations together over the years. Their Century ride through
Gettysburg last year was one of the best ever! We hope they both have a great
day and know how much we love them and appreciate what a gift they both are in each of
our lives.  
H A P P Y     B I R T H D A Y  T O   Y O U   B O T H !

This photo was taken a few weeks ago at Elements
"We practiced earlier... :) Actually, you can clearly see that Dad's plotting how he can steal my rolls, and I'm laughing at what he'll think after I poke him with my fork when he tries to do so."