Tuesday, September 4, 2018
You see, I fell behind about 7 years ago when life got really heavy, and a few years ago I finally felt ready to pick up where I left off. It took me around 18 months to catch up to today (hooray!) and we now have 49 - can you believe that? - albums full of our stories and memories.
Answers in reverse order: No. Well, I do. And, yes, I do think there's a bit of a compulsion going on. But I genuinely like doing it - I print out these blog posts, buy set of assorted Sharpies, arrange the photos on pretty paper (no stickers or cut outs or crap, that's way too much work), get to use fun adhesive runners to stick the photos to the pages, and it gives me something to do when we watch TV.
But the main reason that I spend all those hours chronicling our history is that the kids really enjoy having something physical, tangible to look through. The literal story of them.
They get to laugh at the silly stories and pictures, marvel that they were ever that small, and relive the happenings that have disappeared from their memories.
It's a precious thing seeing your daughter lug album after album upstairs day after day to read while she's falling asleep.
So bring on the next 49 albums! This story is just getting started.
Sunday, September 2, 2018
Hike 1: Catherine's PassCatherine's is the pass that separates Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons. If you climb up from the Alta side, you look out over Brighton Ski Resort. It's crazy to realize how interconnected our mountains are from above when you're not limited by travel by vehicle - it would take 45+ minutes to drive between Alta and Brighton in the best of weather, and we made the hike in that or less. It's also crazy that I love this little turn in the path so much that I've photographed it for 10 years!
|Ben, Cody, Sam 2010|
|The Cases, Jamie, WanYing (in baby carrier!) 2012|
|Sam leads the way, 2011|
|Sasha and Dad walk into the sunset, 2018|
When you get up to the Catherine's saddle, you can see right into Millie lake on the Brighton side. It's a lovely place for a snack and a photo.
|2011, WanYing not so sure about this whole thing|
|Apparently apples were the theme in 2012|
|WanYing, Sam, Apples 2012|
|Steve and Jamie (in case you didn't recognize us) 2012|
Hike 2: Cecret LakeReportedly named by miners with poor spelling skills, this "secret" lake is a favorite in Little Cottonwood Canyon. When you're not up for a big hike, you're always up for a stroll to Cecret. And, yes, all photos must be taken on this particular rock.
|I'm pretty sure this was our 2005 Christmas card photo|
|The boys sporting some sweet hair, 2007|
|Morningstars and Powells (Sasha in carrier), 2010|
|Sasha and Dad, 2018|
Hike 3: Snowbird to AltaOur very favorite hike is a big one. We drive down to Snowbird, take the tram up, and then hike across and down to Alta. It's the best!
|Look at all of those little babies! 2005|
|Ben and Zack are still friends... although they don't hold hands anymore, 2007|
|Still great friends! 2018|
|We all had a good chuckle at the "no swimming" sign in April|
|And here we are in August!|
The second blog-worthy story came on our final evening of camping at Albion. Our friend Josh came up for the evening and remarked that he could go for a pizza. Keep in mind that the closest pizza was several miles down the mountain at Snowbird, so we were joking around about needing a delivery service. Eventually Josh said something about paying $100 for a pizza delivered to this remote campground.
A few minutes later, Ben says, "Were you serious about that $100 thing?"
Long story short, Ben embarked upon a 3 hour, 10 mile, $70 profit unicycle ride to Snowbird and back. At sundown we started to get a little worried about him and Josh drove down to make sure he was doing ok (there's no cell coverage at Albion). The kid has grit.
Monday, August 13, 2018
Steve's answer is simple: paella. We had talked about paella for the whole trip but it wasn't until we got to Barcelona (the final stop) that we did a little research, found a well-recommended paella place (Tavern Glop... great paella, terrible name) and dug in. And it everything we had hoped it would be! Candidly, my rabbit-and-snails rice dish was a little bland. Next time, we'll keep it simple and just order 2 paellas.
Now, we all know that Steve will laugh out loud when he reads this post because our definitions of "just hanging out" are still pretty different. When I say "no real plans" what I really mean is "a mere one structured outing or reservation per day". I mean, we had to make sure we saw the main sights, right?!?
Of course, the no-pressure approach to table vacancy did mean we had to wait or wander a while to find the perfect cozy nook to hang out in, but it was well worth the search. Plus, we were the crazy Americans eating at the ungodly early hour of 8 pm, so the restaurants were still pretty empty.
We spent hours and days walking the beaches, stopping at random beach bars to fortify ourselves, taking a nap, and then doing it all over again. Heaven.
And our final stop was Barcelona - completely different from the other two cities we visited, and also completely wonderful. Touring the Sagrada Familia and other Gaudi homes, hitting the Picasso museum, and just wandering the streets of such a beautiful, artistic, historical-yet-modern city was an excellent end to our amazing adventure.
By far, the best part of the trip was doing it together. We're pretty darn good adventure buddies and it's a blessing to have time away to remember just how much we enjoy being just about anywhere as long as we're doing it together.