Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cousins, Chili, and a D.C. Tour

Two of my favorite cousins, Stephanie and Amy Lincoln, were in town for just a few days. Last night we (Emily, Skip, Ryan, and Dara) were able to meet them in D.C. and show them just little more of our city. While it was still light, Skip drove around to some of the places he knows so well. Some of the most beautiful embassies are in a circle right off Connecticut Ave. including Israel, Pakistan, Bahrain, China, and United Arab Emirates. We drove by the Washington Cathedral, Georgetown, and a few other sights, ending up at a very unique D.C. spot - Ben's Chili Bowl on U street.

After taking our heartburn pills, we filled up on cheese fries, chili dogs, half-smokes, milkshakes, and more.

It was a fun night catching up with family news, driving around, and enjoying a beautiful August evening in D.C.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Utah Days

On July 23, Skip and I started a road trip to Utah. Natalie had flown to California the day before to visit the Branvold family for a few days, and Kara needed to stay in Virginia to work. So that left the two of us to drive out to Utah to see our kids and grandkids that live out there. We're pretty used to that drive now, and many of the rest stops and gas stations looked very familiar. Skip was able to do some work along the way, and we kept ourselves entertained with movies and Sirius sattelite radio. We arrived in Utah on the evening of the 25th. We stayed with Ryan and Dara in their basement apartment near BYU, and spent a lot of time with Laura, Kart, and kids. Here are some of the highlights of our time in Happy Valley:

We had Sunday dinner with Kart's family in Springville. Skip grilled pork chops.

Laura made apple pie for dessert.

We laughed at Aiden and Emma swinging on Kart's legs.

Beth drove up from Las Vegas to join in the fun for the week. We went shopping together at IKEA.

We went to the pool.

The kids surprised us with a birthday picnic at Kiwanis park. Emma had fun there playing with rocks and water.

I liked watching the kids play outside. One morning I took them to a playground.

Emma loved trying to unlock the door.

I had never hiked to the Y before, so one day I woke up early and decided to try. It was hard for my out of shape body, but I did it.

One afternoon we drove into Salt Lake City. Skip wanted to do some family history research, so the girls and I spent some time in the church history museum and temple square. We rode the train to the Gateway mall and had sushi at Happy Sumo. Beth, Dara, and Laura went back to Provo then, and I caught up with Skip to have dinner with him. Then we went to the airport to pick up Natalie who flew in from California. She was able to spend a day with everyone before she had to fly back to DC for cheer camp that started the next Monday. On Saturday morning, Ryan, Dara, and I dropped Natalie off at the airport (5:30 am), then went to the Salt Lake temple for a session. It was my second time there, and as before, I was awed by the beauty and spirituality of that historic place.

After we got back on Saturday, we continued helping to get Dara and Ryan packed up and ready to move back to Virginia. We got a few more pictures that evening before saying goodbye to the Barnetts.

On Sunday morning, we finished packing our van and Ryan and Dara's car, then drove straight through to Virginia. We are blessed to have Ryan and Dara living close to us now - as close as a room downstairs!