Monday, February 28, 2011

And A View From The Ground

Since we're on a bit of a temple mode, here's picture of the American Fork Temple that I took on the way home from my nephew's wedding reception last week. This is one of my favorite temples- I love the design of it's stained glass windows.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bird's Eye Temple View

One of my favorite bloggers, the Pioneer Woman, sometimes takes picture out of airplane windows during her travels. In January, I had the chance to take what would have been amazing views from the air of Sonoma and the Grand Canyon. Missed opportunity! So, on our latest flight home, I kept my camera with me to see what I could capture through 2 pieces of thick plastic airplane window. And since it's Sunday, I'll show you 2 temples from several thousand feet in the air.

Here's the Costa Mesa Temple, near Newport Beach, Ca. Please excuse the tilt- we were still climbing. It's quite close to the John Wayne Airport.
Here is the Oguirrh Mountain Temple, on approach to the SL airport. Love the symmetry of that Daybreak development.
I'll think I'll be keeping my camera nearby on future flights!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Our Tea Cup Tradition

 My kids have come up with a crazy Disneyland tradition that I'd like to tell you about. The last ride they want to be on, at the end of a long Disneyland day, in the dark, at midnight, is the Tea Cups. We never ride the Tea Cups during the day. It has to be dark. And late. They spin their cup as fast as possible for the entire duration of the ride. Some like to throw their heads back to get the full effect of the multicolored lanterns hanging overhead. They urge each other on, "Faster! Faster!", while spectators stare in admiration. The whole experience is made much more enjoyable with the "Very Merry Un-Birthday" music blaring at it's loudest volume, including the fart-sounding parts. Afterward, they all stumble out of the ride and have to hang on to a fence or each other for a few minutes to get their equilibrium back. Believe me, it's much better to be a spectator than a participant.

It's tough to take pictures when I'm spinning and the kids are spinning. :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

An Upgrade.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

1 Year Gone, 1 Left To Go!

Today, Peter is halfway through his mission! Hard to believe, right? Seems like a million years, but seems really fast, too. I'm so glad that he's doing good things, like teaching about prayer with pictures of burgers. And chasing sheep. And building his testimony. And testing Heavenly Father's promises. And staying safely out of earthquake zones. We're on the downhill now...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Telapas, Mexico and It's Iguanas

Welcome to Telapas, Mexico! It's the quaint little town where we were dropped off after our snorkeling/kayaking adventure. We're sure that many cousins, brothers, aunts and uncles of the snorkeling boat operators live in this town. That's ok, because Telapas gave us a chance to see a beautiful waterfall and to appreciate the basic necessities of life that we take for granted. To get to the waterfall, we walked up some narrow, steep streets through the village. There are no cars in Telapas, just a few ponies to climb the hills. Rocko has no idea how spoiled he is.
 Most of the homes looked something like this:
One creative shop owner decorated his store with this mural of Winnie the Pooh:
Villagers made handicrafts to sell to the tourists:
Laundry facilities were primitive, to say the least.
The waterfall was well worth the little hike through town. It was beautiful, and I'm sure it is the only source of fresh water for Telapas.
After enjoying the waterfall, we made our way back through the town to the beach, where we got to sit in the "approved" area- a beach-side bar owned by a relative of the boat company. Here we were given the opportunity to purchase more handicrafts. Many opportunities.
We met a very friendly beach cat. He didn't try to sell us anything.
This man was wanting tourists to pay to have their pictures taken with his iguana. I'll admit, I turned the tables on him and asked to a picture of him holding his own iguana. Not looking too happy, is he?
This little girl was a ball of fire. She had a little puppy that she was putting under a plastic crate, then taking him out, putting him back in and jabbering the whole time. I was lucky to get her to stay still long enough to get this picture. I used one of the few Spanish words I know, "Sonrisa", which means "Smile". Thank you, Bell Photographers, for send me to so many multi-cultural West Valley City schools!
After a while, it was time to wander back to the dock and make our way back to Puerto Vallarta and the cruise ship. I was glad we all got a chance to see Telapas and the people (and iguanas) there.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Ocean In Mexico Is Not As Warm As You Might Think.

 Funny thing about shore excursions when you travel by cruise ship. By booking with the excursion company ourselves and not through Disney, we saved a ton of pesos. Example: This snorkeling/kayaking/hike to a waterfall and see the picturesque town of Yalapas tour we took in Puerto Vallarta. Some of the same people from our same Disney ship were on our boat and paid mucho more pesos for the same experience. Let this be a lesson to you. Anyway, here is the boat we went on:
 Technically, it was not a booze cruise, but we saw one nice old man in his 70's put away at least 7 beers (that we counted), then do a pole dance for the entertainment of the upper deck. That's all I'm saying about that. We cruise down the coast for about 45 minutes to a quiet cove where we could swim, snorkel and kayak. The water was 66 degrees. I kayaking with Bruce, but I try to never get in water that is less than 86 degrees, which is where our pool temperature simmers in the summertime. Other brave souls tried snorkeling:
The kayaking was great- smooth, calm seas and no 66 degree water!
Coming soon, an informative tour of the primitive town of Yalapas, Mexico, complete with waterfall, iguanas and sellers of all trades.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Quiet Side of Cabo

 Cabo San Lucas is a crazy place. There is every kind of watercraft in the bay going full speed, all at the same time- jet skis, fishing boats, 3 huge cruise ships, the tenders that ferry cruise ship passengers back and forth, booze cruise catamarans, gazillion dollar yachts with their own helicopters on board, people paddling around while standing on surfboards and even pirate ships full of passengers working hard to get drunk.
 Getting drunk seems to be a major sport/pastime/hobby/goal in Cabo.
We were pretty much bombarded by the locals when we got off the tender- they were more than willing to provide us with a day of sun, fun and booze. 
But we had a plan of our own already. No Cabo Wabo for us! We were renting a van. A Mexican van. And we were going to drive ourselves up the coast to a little town called San Jose Del Cabo. All by ourselves.
The nice Mexican man even gave us maps, which were also phone books. In case we wanted to call someone. In Mexico.
The kids might have felt a little anxiety about our adventure.
But we set off and in no time we were in San Jose Del Cabo, where were checked out the local Catholic church. It was built in honor of a priest who had been dragged off and killed by the local Lamanites. I mean, Indians.
We walked around the little town and did a bit of shopping. We found an awesome Nacho Libre luchador mask with cape to send to Peter, Shannon bought some Mexican tiles and Lindsey found a purse made from candy wrappers. Some of us were more interested in shopping than others.
We had heard that there was a glass factory nearby, so we made Brian get out and ask a security guard for directions. The guard had no idea where any glass factory was, but it's always entertaining to watch Brian speak his Venezuelan Spanish with the locals.
In the end, we had a good day, without being kidnapped or held for ransom. And going back to the Wonder felt like going home...