Thursday, July 31, 2008

Saint Louis Zoo

I went to the Zoo earlier this week with Janette and little A. A had a fun time at the children's Zoo, the park within the park.
You can pet and brush the goats in the children's zoo. "A" would sort of touch the goat once, then retreat a little bit.

She wanted to play with the polar bear. Janette told her, "No. They eat babies."
I was also reminded why a don't really like zoos all that much. We saw meerkats that were trying to dig, but they can't because their enclosure is concrete. The grizzly bear was just walking in a small circle, no where to go. And the penguins, as cute as they are, have a very smelly enclosure. There was some dry heaving involved. We went at 8:00 in the morning and were done at 10:00. It just gets too hot to stay out later. During this time of year, it can be hard to convince yourself to leave the house during daylight hours.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Seriously So Spoofed

Deseret News featured a blog in their insert Mormon Times. is a satirical blog which pokes fun (lovingly) at the young Mormon bride's blog. It's funny because it is so close to reality. I see aspects of myself and other bloggers I know in her entries. Honestly, how can I NOT go on and on about how wonderful Nick is. I too am guilty of thinking that no one has ever been as perfect for each other as Nick and I are or that we're the only ones who have so much fun being married. I'm not guilty of presenting only perfect children and craft projects, but only because I don't have children or craft projects. Many of those who leave comments get the satire and add another layer of humor to the site. The current "memories of me" blog entry includes comments from visitors about their fictional girls' camp and high school experiences. Pretty awesome. I hope you enjoy it.

P.S. Her enthusiasm for Twilight seems less like satire and more like my reality.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Missouri Botanical Garden Photos

We went to the Missouri Botanical Garden today with fellow garden member Janette and her daughter, Miss A. Although is was horribly muggy and rather hot, we had a wonderful time. I saw two different and exciting bugs on our walk. (I saw lots of bugs, but only two that interest me.) The first is pictured below. The second wouldn't hold still, so you'll have to look up the Cicada-killer wasp.

These two pictures are the lotus plant. They're magnificent plants. They had really just finished blooming, so I'm going to remember to go next year a week earlier.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Butterfly House

STL Sarah, her two smallish children and I went to the Botanical Garden's Butterfly house last week. Unfortunately, it isn't by the Botanical Gardens. It's a little drive away which is why this was my first visit there. The butterfly house is the perfect climate for butterflies, about 90 degrees and 90% humidity. As beautiful as it is, you don't want to hang out there for too long.

Mr. J was far more fascinated by the water features than he was by the butterflies. Miss G just wanted the butterflies to land on her. Desperately. She stood still with her finger out like a perch, and they still didn't come. In St. Louis magazine, a butterfly house volunteer said that the butterflies tended to land on really calm, quiet people. That did not describe our group.
The blue morpho was my favorite butterfly.
We played on the wonderful playground next to the butterfly house for a while. Then we went to lunch. A pretty great day.

Morning Schedule

My Morning Today:

7:00 AM Wake up, reluctantly

7:15-7:40 Read your blogs while I eat breakfast

then some more boring stuff happens . . . . .

9:00 Find giant bug attempting to crawl out of my bathtub.

9:02 Take pictures of giant bug.

9:04 Wash bug down drain with hot water.

9:05 Decide a shower can wait for a bit. Let's make sure the bug stays down there.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hurray for Nick!

Nick just called from clinic. He found out he passed his board examination. He did well enough that he can reasonably apply for any specialty. All that hard work paid off. Congratulations!

Monday, July 14, 2008

It Happens Sometimes

I've had an exciting day. It began with a trip to Costco, one of my very favorite places. As Jeanette and I were unloading my car at my apartment, I got a call from St. Louis Sarah (to differentiate between Puerto Rico/Bountiful Sarah and Tooele Sara). STL Sarah was stranded at a nearby park with two smallish, hungry children and a non-starting Ford. She called AAA, but that wouldn't take care of the smallish children or their hunger. I grabbed some snacks (including some delicious grapes) and headed for the park. We played with the kids until AAA man arrived. He didn't immediately tow the car. Instead, he played with the wires and things for about 15 or 20 minutes and tricked the car into starting one last time.

We'd already moved the car seats into my car, so with the two smallish children in my back seat, I followed Sarah to her usual mechanics shop just a few miles away. During the ride, the kids were virtually silent as they read their Pixar books. At the shop Sarah jumped into the car and we headed for home.

It was now nearly 2:00 PM, and these children were overdue for lunch. There was a McDonald's just a few blocks away and so we decided today was a great day for the convenience of a Happy Meal. As we turned into the Golden Arches, we heard a strange gurgling noise. I turned around to see the second wave of projectile vomiting from little Mr. J. He was still holding his book, but looked so surprised as to why and how this was happening to him. We pondered quickly how best to take care of this situation. Our plan became to simply get home as quickly as possible and clean J and his car seat there.

But what about the Happy Meal? I think there is a law that you can never promise a kid a Happy Meal and then not deliver.

In the five minute ride home, J fell very deeply asleep. We took J out of the car, and fortunately most of the mess was contained within the car seat and book. (I believe the book was immediately thrown away and the car seat hosed down.) Then Miss G and I went to the nearest McD's to get the promised Happy Meal. By the time we returned, Sarah had J cleaned and dried and sleeping soundly in his crib. I'm sure he'll feel better tomorrow.

Side note: J had only eaten apple juice and bread today, so the car never even really smelled.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Such Luxury! or So Strange

I know this may resemble a dining room chair your Grandma had. Guess again. This is actually the ladies' room at the exclusive Club 33 in Disneyland. For the sake of clarity, I've included a picture of the toilet seat with the lid up. One significant drawback of this tiny wonder is that it is not for short people. The chair itself is tall and one must sit rather far back on the seat.

Pictured here is the lobby of the ladies room. Rather fancy. I stopped here and touched up my make-up. I don't know why I bothered since it was sweated off again three minutes later.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 7, 2008

We've Been in the Club

After years of plotting and scheming, we have now lunched at Club 33. For the uninitiated, there's a private dining club above the the Blue Bayou restaurant. It's entrance is a benign looking door with its house number, 33, posted next to it. Liz was chosen as the lucky one to push the doorbell. Over the intercom, we told them we were here for lunch. A hostess then confirmed our reservation and let us in.

This is the Club 33 china, manufactured in England exclusively for the club. No food ever got on this plate. We sat down, put the origami napkins on our laps, and then got up to go to the appetizer buffet line. At the buffet, you get a new plate, and when we came back they had cleared these charger plates away. It was quite fancy and very fun. I was going to describe our waiter's accent as eccentric gay Canadian, but then we found out he was from Scotland originally. So, I will describe it as eccentric gay Scottish. We dined in the hunting room of the club, which was built to be Walt Disney's private dining room for entertaining his guests.

Another highlight of the club experience was the totally decedent dessert buffet. We're grateful that one of Kate's strongest talents is networking. She goes to school with someone who's father has a membership. Kate had her classmate book us a table and hooked the classmate's mom up with a new windshield as a thank you. Everybody wins. Not only is it a ridiculously expensive venture to belong to Club 33, there's a ten year wait to get a membership. It's a lot faster and cheaper to make friends with a member.

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Too Many People!

We didn't go in to Disneyland today, but we went outside to see the fireworks. The whole plaza between DL and California adventure was full, completely full of people waiting to get into the park. I don't know if I'll be able to handle the crowd tomorrow. Ah, but hoi polloi can't get into Club 33.

Friday, July 4, 2008

I Saw the Matterhorn!

We left Bountiful yesterday about 1:00 pm in the minivan. Kate drove, I rode shotgun and my mom took a nap in the back. We saw Cyrano de Bergerac, starring the great Brian Vaughn, at the Addam's theater at the Utah Shakespearean Festival. It was wonderful. We spent the night at the Cedar City Ashworth's, and Steve cooked breakfast for us in the morning. I think that's the only time I've seen actual potatoes turned into hash browns.
We spent just a few moments in Vegas at the Bellagio Conservatory (the pictures will have to wait until I get home.) Grabbed lunch at Subway and hit the road again. We're now in our lovely Suite at a budget motel. We were pretty lucky to get this as everything is booked with it being a Holiday and AND a weekend. It includes continental breakfast, two queens, which, most importantly are in separate rooms so Linette can keep the TV on all night. As a bonus, we're able to get wireless Internet from the adjacent Ramada Inn. Score!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Summer Vacation IV

Certainly one of the highlights of our trip was visiting Nick's Grandma Preston in Sunnyside, UT. We stopped in to spend the afternoon with her, and ended up taking her to North Ogden to stay with her daughter. We had a wonderful time with her, and were able to find out so much about her and her growing up. The best story is how she met and became engaged to her husband.

This kite is probably the best dollar I've ever spent. It was very easy to get flying, and tolerate of crashing back down to earth. I flew it up at the Lanier hunting lodge, again in front of Grandpa Johnson's house. Here you can see Sean flying it in Sunnyside.
With Nick's grandma, we had dinner in Sunnyside with Nick's Uncle Larry and his family. It was nice to get caught up with everybody, and we met their area missionaries. We didn't get home until after midnight, be we certainly had a wonderful day getting there.
Posted by Picasa

Summer Vacation III

As our trip continued, we visited the rural cemetery where Nick's Grandma Georgia, who died in 2006 is buried.

At Mesa Verde National Park we took a tour of the ancestral pueblo ruins of "The Balcony House." This tour requires a short hike, then a steep climb up a forty foot ladder. Later, you must crawl through an 18 inch wide tunnel.

We had a great time at the Bar D Chuck wagon dinner. After the dinner, there's cowboy music, which is the real reason you go. Sean got a picture with three of the five skilled musicians after the show.

On the way home, we hiked up to Wilson's Arch. It's just off the highway south of Moab. While not quite as spectacular as Delicate Arch, it's more accessible and a lot faster to see. Nick and Sean can be seen doing their "Rocky" pose as they reached the summit.
Posted by Picasa

Summer Vacation Continued

This is Nick eating the Rainbow Trout Sean caught.

Sean at the Anasazi Heritage Center.

Nick and Sean on Grandpa's Four wheeler. We rode around the Lanier Family hunting lodge.
Nick said no one would believe that I drove the four wheeler, so he took photographic evidence. Unfortunately, I can hardly be identified by the back of my helmet. I think you can see a tiny lock of brown hair at the bottom though.
Posted by Picasa

Our Summer Vaction

Since Nick took his test on June 14th, we've been on the go.

We went to North Ogden, where Nick got a flat top haircut from his uncle Ron.

We went to Shelley, Idaho for Darla's Parents' 60th Wedding Anniversary and Family Reunion.

While we were in Shelley, Nick took Sean swimming. Sean loves the diving board.

After our trip to Shelly, the next day we went to Dolores, Colorado to see Grandpa Johnson. Nick took Sean fishing. Sean caught his only fish within about ten minutes of starting. He was very concerned about hurting the fish when Nick was trying to get the hook out. You do know you put a worm on the hook, right? The fish had fully swallowed to hook, so catch and release was no longer an option. Nick ate the fish.
Posted by Picasa