Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Chubby Bunny and The Sheamanator Do Mt. Adams

Shea and I on the foggy, wet summit of Mt. Adams.

I asked Shea what he wanted to do for his last free weekend before his mission. I suggested motorcycle riding, or a concert--you know something really fun and memorable. Instead, he and George Parsons opted to climb Mt. Adams. I don't know why I keep going back to Mt. Adams. The south side of Adams is a long miserable slog with very little of interest until the last 1,500 feet. This year, there was so much snow that we couldn't get into Cold Springs. We hiked from Morrison Creek, which adds another 5 miles+ onto the climb. Our suffering was complete. I am still not in dress shoes. I have been wearing slip on sandals for the past week, including to church and court. Fortunately, Derek Parsons joined us and kicked steps on the summit face, otherwise we might not have made it. It was mostly a warm climb, but typically of the Cascade Summits, we "enjoyed" snow, sleet and cold winds, all within a 24 hour window. We camped at about 7,000 feet. We had some decent views, but none from the top. The glisade down was awesome, of course--3,000 vertical feet of "butt-sledding."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Reception

Sheila has observed that I write too much and don't include enough pics when I post. I have tried to remind her that I have a lot to say and don't get enough chances to talk. Just because I talk all day as a lawyer and speak a lot in Church as a member of the Stake Presidency doesn't necessarily satisfy the desire to speak. This is because typically I don't get to choose what to talk about. For example, in a legal case I have to stick to the "issues in the case" (what fun is that?). Or at church I am usually assigned a topic by President Grow. (It's not like you can just launch into totally random things in a Church talk, although we have some in the Church who don't really get this whole concept of an assigned topic.) So, to make Sheila happy, I thought I would mostly just post pictures of Sydney's most excellent garden reception. Destiny Williams did an amazing job with the pics, don't you think?

Sydney with Nick's amazing family--the Jordans

So many pics were of Sydney looking adoringly at Nick. I love these pics.

Even the food was Yellow and Blue.

The flowers

The "Cupcake" Table

The Curtises

My amazingly beautiful wife and my absolutely gorgeous "big sister" Lynne Greene

The Decorations. A big thanks to Laurie Herzog.

She's just too cute.

Lil'D looking pensive and beautiful

Shea entertaining the guests

I loved seeing kids running through the gardens. Seriously. I can't wait for my grandkids to start running around the yard.

Cole testing out the gourmet food.

A frequent site: Grandma Phyl walking with one of the boys in tow.

Cousin Lori and Lil' Eliza

Grandpa and Grandma Hague and the Grows. Note Amanda's beautiful smile.

Are they models or our kids?

The Wedding Crew.

This picture explains why I love Weddings.


Grandma Phyl and the Hansons.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Chaka Khan and Africa

Everyone summer outside of our office building, they have free lunch time concerts of the nations greatest cover bands and musical has beens that attempt to relive the glory days. Did I mention they are free concerts? Past performers include John Secada, Chuck Brown, and the one and only Chaka Khan. While reminiscing to the lost tune of 'I'm Every Women', I was reminded of how grateful I am for my job. One of the best perks is being able to travel--in April I was able to go to Guinea and Tanzania in order to do an evaluation of one of projects. Since it was my first trip to the continent I was pretty excited.

Guinea is a beautiful country but very poor. The capital has no infrastructure appears more like a squatter settlement then a main city. The people are wonderful and extremely patient with my French or lack there of. We spent several days in the interior of the country and saw traditional villages that looked like pictures straight from National Geographic.

Tanzania was definitely more developed. We spent Easter Dinner in Dar Es Saalam eating prawns and salmon overlooking the Indian Ocean. I was able to attend church once while I was there and luckily for me it was in English. One of our projects is located on a tea plantation and we were able to spend several days on the plantation. The tea workers did a special performance of us of traditional African song and dance.

It was an amazing experience. Along with Chaka Khan's visit, the trip made me grateful for my job and for the US especially considering this rest stop "toilet" :) Hopefully this summer will bring lots more "famous" peeps to my office!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Good Ol' San Fran

Good Ol' San Fran - I think that might be a song written by Peggy Akin, but I don't think she will mind me stealing the title. 
Finally! I am getting around to posting the adventures of Snick on the blog. It's been way too long. In my defense, our internet is not working. I am currently using the "model apartment's" internet that is two doors down from ours. You gotta do what you gotta do I guess.
Nick and I were able to drive my SoCal to SoWash in between the two receptions after our Honeymoon (I'm hoping to post on Snick's blog about that later) and we decided to make a stop in Good Ol' San Fran because it was on the way. I had never been to San Fran and I've always wanted to go. We only had a day, but I would definitely say we made the most of our quick trip. Nick was a champ....or should I say Clark Griswald and he drove all 30 hours while his sick wife slept or attempted to sleep in the passenger's seat. Unfortunately I got very ill after our Honeymoon and while I will spare most of you the grotesque details, I will say it involved much vomit and flem. I went through an entire box of kleenex in two hours and enjoyed puking my guts out while Nick patiently and lovingly cared for his terminal wife. (Or so it seemed) I'm sure he was wondering what on Earth he had got himself into. While the driving part was quick awful, I was able to enjoy our fun day in San Fran. We tried to do as much as possible with only one small map. 

As you can see we visited Pier 39 where we tried to include a picture of Alcatraz, the Jordans, and a large boat. Luckily for all of you, its a whole lot of Jordans. Unfortunately for the snot in my nose, it got it's center stage debut. We enjoyed the shops around Pier 39 and the overwhelming stench from our friends - seals! What a life. I think when Nick and I create our own world...I will be a seal. Lounging in the sun, eating, and pushing my skinnier friends out of the way. If only their weren't sharks....
We ate sourdough bread bowls with soup and spent about an hour in a candy store. Thank goodness the sweets didn't end there. Nick and I continued to walk all over (parking was just too darn expensive) and we eventually ran into Ghirardelli Square where Nick joyfully ate an entire waffle cone of Chocolaty Chocolate Cocoa Chocolate or something like that. As most of you know, I did not inherit the addictions of my mother and therefore, do not crave chocolate on an hourly basis. However, Ghirardelli likes to accommodate and guess what was right around the corner? Kara's Cupcakes! Yes, my dream is to own a cute little parisian inspired cupcake boutique. I was so overwhelmed with all the decadent choices that I decided to play it safe and go with my staple. LEMON. Give me lemon meringue and I will shut my mouth for days. Lets just say it was a very spiritual experience. 

Eventually we picked up the truck and decided that walking down Lombard street simply wasn't enough. So against all the other tourists suggestions Mr. and Mrs. Jordan took Ken Parson's old Chevy Silverado down Lomard St. If Dale Earnhart Jr. wasn't driving, we would have been toast, so possibly run over one of the 600 boxwoods. Yes Dad - I knew they boxwoods. Thank Goodness for Saturday mornings, Saturday nights, and a headlamp. There happened to be a tour group of Asians at the bottom who excitedly began taking pictures upon our descent. (Chels that was for you) I've never felt more like a celebrity. They probably knew only Snick would attempt such a feat. 

And what would a trip to San Fran be without the Golden Gate Bridge! It is truly an amazing structure. So amazing, that Nick had to take a picture of us from every angle. Luckily for you guys, I only put two on here. No I'm kidding. It really was fun to drive across and enjoy San Fran's most glorious tourist attraction.

I will spare all of you the Full House theme song, but you are not married to me. I begged Nick to take me to find the "Tanner's" house while singing loudly out the window. That was when he threatened to throw me out the window, so I figured I would save my Mary-Kate and Ashley tour for my next trip to San Fran. Overall the trip was so fun and definitely a do-over someday. Thank Goodness for a patient husband who can read a map and navigate - it makes for a great vacation.