Friday, July 25, 2008

Pioneer Day, It's Done!!!!

Here in Utah, the 24th of July is a big deal. Pioneer Day. I live in a small town and for some reason our church puts on the big town celebration. There is breakfast, a 5K, a parade, lunch, cotton candy, snow cones, desserts, carnival games, blow-up slides, etc. So every other year our ward gets an assignment. This year we were in charge of lunch and cotton candy and snow cones. This was a hugh assignment requiring lots of volunteers and I was lucky enough to be in charge of it. Yeah for me. We had about 70 people volunteer to help, which was awesome. (This is a non-profit event, you just try to make up your overall expenses.) We had the youth helping with cotton candy and snowcones and the adults helping with the lunch Thanks to the Holmes Family and Amara who helped supervise the areas, because as much as I would have liked to, I cannot be in 2 places at once. Overall, I think it was a success.
We sold about 2600 cotton candies and snow cones, not sure on exact numbers on each. (It was 90 some degrees so we definetly sold more snow cones.) The cotton candy machines require lots of power and as a result we kept blowing fuses and many of the machines kept breaking down, but other then that things went well, it was a messy job, very sticky.
For lunch we sold 420 BBQ Beef sandwiches, 267 slices of cheese pizza, 388 slices of pepperoni pizza, 85 whole pizzas, 561 bags of chips, and 1923 drinks. We start serving lunch at 10:00 (yes I know that is early), and ended at 2:00. The last hour was very slow. We had a smooth little system going, so even during the busy time, no one had to wait in line for more then a few minutes.
At any rate, it's done and for another 2 years, I do not have to worry about it.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

Yellowstone

Warning: this is the detailed description, it is for me as a journal of our trip, if you are planning a trip yourself, you may get some suggestions out of it.
Day 1
We left home at 6am and met up with the Kunz's (my sis and her fam) in SLC and then drove to Rexburg, ID. My sis and I both went to school here and we wanted to check out a few of the hot spots.
The Sand Dunes: We got there at about 11 and the sand was starting to get real hot and it was burning our feet, so we did not stay long. The kids had a great time playing in the sand and sledding down the hills.


Craigo's Pizza: It is in a new location and completely different style and menu, but it was heavenly. (3 days later Kevin says to me, "I will be thinking up reasons to go back to Rexburg to have that pizza again.") On the way from the sand dunes Isaac started feeling sick and he "lost his lunch" in the Craigo's parking lot.
Rexburg Temple: This was not here while I was at school, but still fun to go by and see it.


Royal Crest 313: This was were I lived my sophomore year.


Taco Time: I worked here my sophomore year.


After reminiscing we headed off to Yellowstone.
Gibbon Falls: This was a quick pullover on the side of the road. I would recommend stopping here because it is beautiful, but also quick.

Norris Geyser Basin: Here we did a small 1/2 mile hike to see some geysers (the biggest of which was Steamboat). Unfortunately no geyser eruptions there. I would also recommend this. There are also longer hiking loops, but because of the kids we settled for the shortest.

Canyon Campground: This is were we stayed. It was a pretty nice place to stay with running water and flush toilets. You could also pay $3.25 for a hot shower (which we did). The one downer was there was not hot water (except in the showers), which meant washing up in ice cold water.

Day 2
We were up early and on our way by 6:30 am. As we were driving we passed a few big heards of Buffalo in the roads.

7am Animal Watch: This was in the Hayden Valley and was lead by a park ranger. Unfortunatly we did not see many animals and this is something I would not recommend to families with kids. Althought the ranger had many interesting things to say, it could not keep our kids entertained for long.
Sulpher Caldron: This was another quick side of the road stop and I would definetly recommend it.

Mud Volcano: This was about a 1/2 mile hike around a boardwalk. We saw lots of fun things here including Black Dragons Caldron, Mud Volcano, and Dragon Springs.

Storm Point Hike: This was a 2 mile hike through the forrest and along Yellowstone Lake. It was a beautiful hike and easy for the kids. When we were hiking along the beach, there were swarms of gnat-like bugs which were a bit annoying, but the rest of hike was real pleasant.

West Thumb Geyser Basin: This was not my favorite geyser location, but there were some cool geysers poking out of of the lake.

Scenic Lake Boat Tour: This was out of the Bridge Bay Marina. Kevin, Tanner and Isaac really enjoyed this, but Noah was whinning or crying the entire time so the hour long cruise was torture for me. It was interesting, but you can see the beauty of the lake without it.
Back to Camp: We made chicken and pineapple tin foil dinners that were delicious. Thanks Andrea for the yummy suggestion.
Uncle Toms Overlook: Kevin stayed back at camp and put the baby down while the rest of us headed out for more sight seeing. From here you have a beautiful view of Upper Falls. There is a 1/2 mile treacherous hike down lots of steep stairs, because of the kids we opted out of this, but it takes you to the base of the falls and I'm sure it would have been spectacular.

Artist Point: From here you get to see Lower Falls (which are twice as high as Niagra Falls) and beautiful canyon views. It made me wish that I was a photographer with a real talent for taking pictures.

It had been a long day, so we were off to bed.
Day 3
Brink of Upper Falls:
This was amazing. There is a look out point at the top of the falls. Wow. After this we took Kevin to Uncle Toms Overlook and Artist Point. Unfortunatly the North Rim Drive of the canyon area was closed due to construction so we missed out on a little there, maybe next time.

Stage Coach Ride: This was in the Tower-Roosevelt area. This was cool and really fun for the kids, but certainly not necessary.

Petrified Tree: Pretty self explanatory. In my opinion not a necessary stop, but if that is your sort of thing, it is a nice quick stop.

Boiling River Trail: Tanner got a little car sick on the drive here, lots of windy roads. We stopped for luch along the river and the boys had fun throwing rocks in it. After lunch we were off onto our hike. This was a 1 mile roundtrip hike along a river (can't remember the name). At the end Boiling River meets up with the cold river and makes a fun little hot-tub like swimming spot. The currents were fast so we opted to just stick our feet in the water, but there were some swimmers there.

Mammoth Hot Springs: This was the first area that we went to that made us feel like we were there during the busy season. It was hard to find parking and lots of people. Here there is a 2-mile long boardwalk to see some of the attractions. We did not do the hole loop we just hit some of the highlights: Devil's Thumb, Palette Spring, and Minerva Terrace. Then we hopped in the car and headed up to the upper portion here we walked around and saw beatiful Canary Springs.

Junior Park Rangers: Throughout the trip the kids had been filling out papers on what they were seeing and they turned them in to become Junior Park Rangers. They got a little patch for their achievement. As we were leaving I was putting Noah in the car and I stupidly let him play with the keys as I put the stroller away. The next thing I know, he has locked himself in the car and set the alarm off. We were at the window trying to talk him into pushing the buttons on the key and finally after one very long paniced minute he saved himself.
Undine Falls: Yes after seeing Upper and Lower Falls, this was just another water fall, but it was still beautiful and a quick side of the road stop.

Bumpus Butte: This was a short 1/4 mile hike from here you could also see the narrowest part of the canyon. Certainly not a necessary spot, but if you have the time....

Tower Fall: Yes, another water fall. I really like water falls and would never tire of them. We did the short hike to see the falls and then stopped in the general store for ice cream and souvenier t-shirts.

This day we saw fun animals as we were driving: a grizzly bear, black bear and a coyote.
Day 4
We got up early and packed up for the drive home. Before heading home we still had one last major stop to go.
Old Faithful: While we were here we were able to see Old Faithful go off 3 times (and from 3 different spots). We did this mile long (roundtrip) very steep hike that took us to a view point of the geyser area. From here we were able to see a few small geysers go off. Next we headed to Grand Geyser which was schedule to go off. We only had to wait there about 10 minutes before it started its 7 minute long show. This was cool, it is actually 3 geysers that go off together. It was quite spectacular and it was one of the highlights of my trip.


Heading home: We left at 1:15 and got home about 9pm. It was a long drive home (it always seems longer on the drive home). We got stuck in a bit of traffic in Rigby ID.
Overall an extemely fun trip. I would highly recommend it. There are a few thing we did not have time to see while there, but we look forward to catching them on the next trip.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Basement

I have not been posting much lately mostly because nothing new is going on. We are staying busy this summer but with much of the same stuff: Seven Peaks, picnics in the park, yard work, the basement, etc. I am happy to report that we finally finished the basement (after like a year). In the beginning we did a lot ourselves (framing and hanging sheetrock), but in the end it went quickly because we paid someone to mud, tape and texture and to do our finish trim. It is nice to finally get the layer of dust off the entire house. (For some reason I thought that all the dust would stay in the basement, I was wrong.) On the 4th we had Kevin's family over. They stayed for about 7 hours and there was plenty for everyone to do. Kevin's sister has teenagers and even they were entertained, I'm sure they used to dread coming to our house when all there was to play with was match box cars and Mr. Potato Head. We played a lot of Rock Band, which is always fun.
So next on the agenda for us: Camping in Yellowstone. I'm super excited about that. If anyone has been and has any suggestions on things to see or do, please let me know.