Thursday, February 18, 2010

I "heart" Arizona

I got to escape the snowy cold weather in Utah for a sunny weekend in Arizona! It was so much fun! Alicia wanted some help making the drive down to visit her family with her two boys and I was more than happy to be the second driver/minivan maid in exchange for so much fun.
Never has such a long drive seemed so short. We got to drive over the Hoover Dam, eat a lifetimes worth of gummy bears, and somehow the stars aligned and everyone's bathroom breaks coordinated with gas and meal breaks...except once. I did take a hilarious picture of that but at the risk of ruining my friendship with Alicia I'm not going to post it on my blog.After spending a day swimming there was a surprise baby shower for Alicia. It was so fun! Good people, good food, good times, and lots and lots of loot for baby Zoe. I like the snow and all but I must say I wouldn't mind being able to blow bubbles and read my book on a lawn chair in the backyard year round. We had a Valentine's Day party and did some other fun stuff I didn't take pictures of.
My last day there Alicia's parents took me out to see the Superstition Wilderness. They must have known how much I would love it. I wish Alicia and the boys could have come along but while I was out there all I really wanted to do was look out the window so it was fine. It was hard enough to stay in the car and not run off down the first trail I saw but maybe I'll get to go back some day.
They took me out to lunch at Tortilla Flat. (Arizona in the winter is really full of old people as you can see from all the flip up sunglasses in the picture above.) In the restaurant we ate at the bar to avoid a wait. The saddle bar stools got kinda uncomfortable after awhile but it wasn't something you do everyday. We got sasparillas so it looked like we belonged at the bar. The entire place is wallpapered with dollar bills so we made one to get hung up somewhere. After lunch we took an awesome dirt road out to see Apache Lake. It was gorgeous. The road and the lake.
Alicia's mom was telling me that this is called a cowboy cactus because cowboys would fall on it and get impaled and die. I didn't listen too good because I impaled my arm 2 seconds before taking this picture. It was the third cactus that got me that day. Hopefully if I ever do come back here again to go hiking I'll be more careful around the vegetation.
I couldn't get enough of this landscape! I was taking so many pictures out of the car window I almost made myself sick. Look at those clouds! It couldn't have been more picturesque. Someone got her shadow in this one...Alicia's parents were so nice and such great hosts while I was there. I couldn't thank them enough for the awesome day and the super fun weekend. My last night Alicia and I went with her boys to a cool restaurant where you can eat outside and make smores at your table. It was nice to be outside, especially at night. It was also really sticky.
I think I like Arizona. (Or as Quinn says it Arizoooooona) I was sad to fly back home to Utah and back into winter. I wouldn't mind going back again. Thanks for inviting me along Alicia. I know you think I was technically doing you a favor but it was more than worth the drive.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Adventures at lunchtime

Much like the kids who say recess is their favorite part of school, one of the things I like best about my job is taking breaks to walk on the trails behind our building. The Bonneville Shoreline Trail runs just above us and I can walk from Red Butte Canyon to Emigration Canyon when I can get away for long enough...and when the weather is nice. Today however I found that it's not just the weather that needs to be nice, but the trail conditions as well. This isn't the first time I've returned to work from an afternoon walk covered in mud (or soaked from falling in the snow, or sweat from running back, or even just really jittery from barely missing stepping on a snake) I've yet to learn my lesson that when the trailhead looks like a waterfall or an ice skating rink at the beginnning, it's not going to get any better the further I go up.
The ice covered trail above is the entrance and the one below is a waterfall as the entrance trail hits the Shoreline trail. This was as good as it got along the Shoreline trail today...not good. Things get tricky at this spot due to the construction of the new Natural History Museum. This sign was new since the last time I came this way....does it seriously say "habitat restoration" and "building construction" in the same sentence??? I'll spare you any jokes about how BYU people are smarter than U of U people's not my style, but come on...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Close calls at the climbing gym

This little worn down carabiner with the super sharp edge turned an everyday fall at the climbing gym into a close call for me. As someone else said when I told them about it, "That would've broke you into pieces only the kings men could manage to get back together." I'm glad I was just at the gym and I'm glad I climb with such experienced people. RIP blue rope, better you than me.