Friday, March 03, 2006

Easily Amused

This morning, I heard the holy grail of 80s songs on the XM radio. "Pac Man Fever" came on as I was stuck in Wilson Bridge traffic. I screamed so loud I scared the dog. -S.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The DeForests

Tom DeForest is Mark's best friend from middle school and high school. They became Eagle Scouts together. Tom and his wife Hannah flew all the way from Utah for our wedding, but Shannon had never met their three gorgeous girls (Lili, Kate, and Grace,) and Mark had only met Lili when she was a baby.

We were very excited to be able to drive to Utah to visit with them after the conference in Las Vegas. Sadly, Tom's dad died a few days before. Tom and Hannah were wonderful hosts, even at such a bad time, and we enjoyed their three girls and Tom's extended family immensely.

At left, Lili and Kate play dress-up. They have a wide repertoire, from ballet dancer, to princess, to ballet princess. Grace learned to pull herself to standing lierally a minute before we arrived.

Left: Shannon and Mark outside the DeForests house.

Right: After Tom trounced us at Scrabble, we posed for a picture with Tom's brother Jay, Tom, and Hannah. Hannah and Shannon demonstrate the Disney princess pose favored by Lili and Grace. Tom caught the girls copying it from the sticker on a box of diaper wipes!

Signs, signs...

Fizzy drinks and rifles are not allowed at Hoover Dam.

The dangers at Zion are many. You could slip on ice. You could fall off cliffs.
And then there's just plain "danger."

You also can't feed wildlife or roll rocks. I think the signs are clear. We've become a litigious society with zero common sense.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Zion National Park

After the Hoover Dam, we drove to Springdale, Utah, just outside Zion National Park. We watched the sun set behind the mountain range, then had a great dinner at the Spotted Dog Cafe. We chose it based on name, of course, but it was our favorite kind of restaurant- elegant food, but you can wear jeans to dinner. That is, as long as you go before 8 pm; they roll up the sidewalks around that time. We found a room at a great hotel just outside the park, and enjoyed a hot tub under the starry sky. In the morning, we headed into Zion. There are numerous trails, and the more adventurous can go canyoneering in the narrow canyons between the sandstone ridges. We did several 1-3 mile trails. The picture at top left is the view from the Canyon Overlook.

The River Walk took us along the river, in a canyon. With snow melts and sudden rainstorms upriver, the canyons are subject to flash floods. This trail was the closest we came to canyoneering, but we're eager to return in warmer weather with the right gear and a guide.

The next trail we did was a short, steep one up to Weeping Rock. Water comes through channels in the sandstone, creating not a waterfall, but a rock surface that "weeps." We also spotted this beautiful plant, thriving in a very rocky place.

The Emerald Pools trail was the final one we did. It started at the canyon level, and went up to three sets of pools.

We encountered these mule deer high on the trail. They reminded us of Sandy.