Friday, July 22, 2011

And we came home

So, the drive back to Utah took so long. We left between 8 and 9 am California time and got to our house around midnight (?) Utah time. Holy moley.

We decided to go through Sacramento rather than redrive Ebbetts Pass, which was probably a mistake. That added some time to our journey. We also had to stop the following times:

1. Around Angel's Camp for gas

2. Before Truckee to breastfeed Simon, etc.

3. Reno/Sparks for lunch (where my phone fell out of the car and proceeded to not revive until getting plugged into a computer at home. Thanks for the suspense, phone) and gas

4. Winnemuca to get some milk for Simon (we're in the process of weaning)

5. Elko for dinner and gas

6. Wells (I think) to breastfeed Simon for "bed"

7. Rest stop (in Utah maybe?) to switch drivers/bathroom break

8. American Fork to get some milk and other groceries for Sunday, etc.

...and home.

It was kind of brutally long, but it was nice to get home and sleep in our own bed!

Day of Birth

I, like baby (not so much baby?) Simon, had a birthday while at the Cabin.
(initially I thought that might be a rendering of me and I was a little concerned, but I was told it is actually Harry Potter, note the scar that I somehow missed at first?)

My mom and nieces babysat Simon while Jamund and I went to lunch at a most delicious (seriously, so delicious) restaurant and favorite of mine in Murphys called Grounds. Oh, how can a chicken sandwich taste so good?!

We then got some candy and I tried on (but didn't buy) some shoes before heading to Angel's Camp to see the final Harry Potter (which came out on my birthday).

We were afraid there would be a long line, but no, it was Angel's Camp after all. We therefore had time to walk around, sit for a few minutes on a bench, go back, get some candy, and then head into the theater. We got lovely seats since the theater was pretty sparse. It was awesome: the theater status and the movie itself.

We picked up some ice cream and then headed back to the cabin for a pasta dinner and my baumtorte. Oh man, the baumtorte. Despite some grievances with hard almond paste/marzipan, it tasted (and still tastes) so good. So time consuming and expensive, but so good (if you check out the recipe link, we left the rum out of the topping and it still worked and tasted lovely).

All in all, a nice day to get a year older.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hanging Out

While in Arnold, we also just hung out and did whatever we wanted.

Like playing tennis.

And going to Giant Burger (sorry for the shadowy photo).

And playing in the driveway with the nieces.

And, of course, just relaxing.


They are Big Trees

After going to Columbia, we drove back to Arnold. Simon fell asleep, and I thought maybe we could keep him sleeping longer if we drove up to Big Trees State Park.


We drove to Beaver Creek (above) and then back to the Stanislaus River. After that, we walked around to the giant tree stump and such. This rather unplanned excursion turned out to be lots of fun.


You know the trees are big when the pine cones are that size.


By the Stanislaus River:



The giant tree stump:


Standing on top:


It isn't called Big Trees for nothing.


I enjoy many things about this photo:



1. Tie jumpsuit ("emergency" clothes that he had to use thanks to the pee incident in Columbia)

2. The legs

3. His evident pride at being on a fallen giant tree. Well, not that he knew what was going on, but he did enjoy himself, regardless!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Columbia, Ghost Town

Despite my feeling ill, we had a relatively good time in Columbia—a ghost town/historic state park. Okay, and we had high expectations for lunch and they were shattered by mediocrity. Oh, and we neglected to change Simon's diaper for a long time and he leaked some pee through and unto the floor in Nelson's Candy Kitchen shop.

Other than that, it was a relatively good time.

We went on the stagecoach and met with a dirty rotten thief (always the highlight of the stagecoach ride).


We fed some chickens.

Here they are. They look kind of like zebra chickens, yes?

We browsed. We ate some lunch and got some candy (as mentioned above). We drank sarsaparilla and cherry sodas. And we left.

I think it will be better when Simon is older, when we remember to change his diaper earlier (maybe it will be best when he doesn't have to wear diapers at all?), when I'm not feeling gross, and when the restaurant doesn't have flies. The candy, though. Oh man, white chocolate almond bark I love you.


Blue Lake Springs (where the Cabin is located) has a nice little lake and a swimming pool. We took advantage of both. Simon seemed pleased as punch most of the time.

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My mom and two of my nieces came up near the end of the week. Mom was loving using my phone to snap photos of us doing various things (posing or not). If you know my mom, this may seem like a shock to you, but she actually did very well with the new fangled technology!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

...and he measures his age in year(s)!

I just think it's so wonderful that Simon and I both celebrated our first birthdays at the same place, perhaps even on the same deck! (I don't think it's been redone yet, maybe?). Epic.


I made this cake from a cookbook that Jamund's sister gave us called "Feeding the Whole Family." The frosting for Simon's cake also came from the book. We would've frosted the entire grown up cake with it too, but I ran out and had to improvise. Anyway, Simon's cake/frosting didn't have any sugar in it (our improvised frosting did, however) and was full of lots of "good stuff" that I didn't mind Simon eating.

He was excited.


I also wanted to make an American Flag cake (found via Young House Love blog), so Jamund recommended I combine the birthday cake with the flag cake. The way the cake was constructed actually lent itself nicely to having a "baby" cake for Simon.

Here's what I mean by American Flag Cake:


Ours didn't quite have vibrant American flag colors. This could be because I didn't use enough food coloring or because millet was a prominent ingredient in the batter. Each slice did, luckily, sort of look like a flag. Regardless, Simon got to demolish/throw it on the floor.


He also semi-enjoyed opening-presents-slash-eating-the-wrapping-paper-and-or-gifts.




Happy birthday, Simon!

Journey to Arnold

We went on a vacation! To the Cabin!

It was lovely to be around big trees, peace and quiet, etc. We didn't have cell phone service at the Cabin and only had Internet at the lodge or other places offering wireless connection. It was actually really great.

I read books. We went swimming. We played tennis. We went on walks. We ate good foods. We watched movies and played games. We celebrated birthdays. I miss it.

Since we have a great many photos, I will split up the trip pictures into multiple posts.

Today will document the journey there.

We began with dinner at Jake's Brookside in Springville: slow slow slow service, but pretty good fries.

We drove to someplace near the edge of Utah to feed Simon for "bed" (we left on a Thursday afternoon):

We got to Elko and spent the night. It was not fun, and we did not sleep well (look at those lips!).

The next day we drove I-80 to Reno and continued on to California via Ebbetts Pass... which is a difficult drive on a curvy, mountainous (and lovely), not very wide (but still open for two way traffic) road. Add that to the fact that it was the Markleeville Death Race (bicycling) the next day (so there were bikers on the road too), and we had one stressful drive.

But we made it!

The view from the Cabin deck:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fake walking

Sometimes baby Simon will agree to walk with us, meaning he holds one or both of our hands or we hold him under the arm pits and walk around slowly with him.

It's almost more tedious than it's worth, but it's kind of cute.



I guess sometime soon he'll be walking on his own, and heaven help us when that happens!


Monday, July 4, 2011

Hurt and sad

One last one for today. I'm going to try to "schedule" a post to come out tomorrow or Wednesday... we'll see how that goes.

On Friday, I had a traumatic experience involving an inexpensive (cheap) kitchen table chair.

Sparing the details, it decided not to perform its proper purpose, leaving me on the floor, shocked and surprised. And hurt.

I cried, not only because it hurt and I was shocked and surprised but also to see what Simon would do. Is that a horrible experiment? But really, I did hurt my bum, so I think crying was in order.

Here is what happened, mascara tears and all.

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Yes, Simon had a break down as well. He was crying and sounding like he was choking on his food at times (it was during lunch), and I couldn't really help him because I was still on the floor. It was rough.

Jamund came home from work shortly thereafter to take care of us. I spent most of the afternoon on the bed watching shows on hulu with an ice pack or two before we ventured out to do some errands and get dinner (Mountain West Burrito). While eating, we saw the guy who cuts my hair (and I was wearing the same shirt that he commented on when he cut my hair a few days previous... I had washed it since that point, but I still felt lame wearing the same shirt).

Anyway, it was kind of embarrassing (since I, of course, brought up the fact that it was the same shirt), and then Simon spilled water all over the table and floor while he was talking to us. It was not a very good day.

But at least I got to be embarrassed and hurt in a good shirt, I guess.

Summer foods

We got kind of excited about carrot pesto last week or so (this week I also made it, but it's just not as exciting for some reason).


This meal in particular was exciting and tasty:


Simon looking at it? Or just at the table in general?



This was also awesome, although Simon didn't fully appreciate the goodness of a corn pizza.


p.s. Sorry for the cut off photos... it's blogger.