Archive for the 'Family' Category


My dad is turning the big 60 in a couple of months, so my Mom came up with the idea that Ken and I should show up in Carson City, Nevada to surprise him while they were on vacation visiting friends during Mom’s spring break a couple of weeks ago. So we did!

The plan was that we would arrive in the middle of the night, which was not really optimal, but those were the affordable flights by time we decided everything. However, our flight was delayed and we ended up spending the night in Phoenix instead, and didn’t get into Reno until like noon on Friday. Mom let me know that they were hiking at a waterfall, so we showed up at the waterfall and hiked, expecting a short, half mile hike to find them. Well, a mile or so up a pretty significant hill in the hot sun I got a call from Mom,

“Where are you guys?!” We had seen them on the trail above us, so I was fairly sure that we were on the right trail. And we were, I could see her on the next little ridge on the phone with me. Turned out Dad had voluntarily sat down under a tree and taken his shoes off, so we were actually able to catch up to Sir Hikes Alot. He was extremely surprised! Actually, when we were about 20 feet away on the trail, he looked over directly at us, then looked away. He said he thought that guy looked a lot like Ken, but that Ken didn’t belong on a trail in Nevada.

After a lot of giggling, explanations, and triumphal declarations of successful surprising despite missed flights and our friends and hosts who Mom was sure were going to spill the beans, we headed down the (much shorter) trail back to the car to find us some food, since we hadn’t had lunch and it was nearing 2:00. Mom and Dad took us to a very cool restaurant in Carson City, Red’s Old 395 Grill, where we ate some lunch. We then went on another hike up another canyon where Ken spotted this little guy.
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That evening our old friends from our hometown who were wonderful hosts to us all fed us a delicious meal and we played games for a while. The next day we went skiing on the penultimate day of the ski season at Diamond Peak resort. This is what it looks like under the lift when you ski the penultimate day of the season. Not particularly encouraging.
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However, there was enough snow to make it off the lift and down the mountain, and the view was totally worth it.
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Gorgeous. Lake Tahoe is very beautiful, and I think the guy’s pretty good looking too!
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Company was good too.
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Because the three runs that were open weren’t actually that entertaining and were frankly getting rather bare and treacherous by 2:30, we called it quits early and went down to a park in a town just inside the CA border, where we noted that the water was at least 8 ft lower than the docks. Evidently there really is a drought.

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On the way back over the mountains to Carson City we had a good view of the ski area and the one run down from the top. Yes, that thin ribbon of snow is what we were skiing on. It definitely got thinner throughout the day.
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That night our hosts again cooked us a fantastic meal and had a little birthday party for Dad. We spent the evening again playing cards, then all left for our respective homes early the next morning. It was a short visit, but tons of fun. Special thanks to our Carson City hosts for enabling all of this, you guys are great!


Visitors from the west

Last weekend, my sister in law and brother in law came to visit whilst on their way to the East Coast for a new job. Yes, last weekend, not last month, not last year. I am so caught up on blogging my life. This is because it’s currently 30 degrees and 30 mph winds outside with no snow, so what else am I going to do?

Car trouble delayed them by about 16 hours, but happily they got their car fixed and did eventually make it here on Valentine’s day. We ate a traditional Valentine’s dinner of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing gravy, cranberry sauce, and yams. Maybe that’s not traditional, but we did have a frozen turkey that needed to be eaten before it got too hot to turn on the oven and we thought their visit would be a good occasion. We are still eating turkey today, and it is still tasty.

We spent our time playing games and taking them shooting. Hence the shooting pictures.

Look, sun flare! How artistic.
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Receiving instruction in the shooting of clay pigeons. The gun is a bit big for her…
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Ken said something shocking during his instruction, apparently.
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They headed eastward on Monday morning, and have since made it to their destination and found a place to live. I believe my sister in law starts her new job tomorrow. We pray all goes well for them in the foreign land of the East Coast.

Christmas vacation part 2: in which we play inside, mostly games.

These four extremely blurry people are my four sisters. We were the oldest people playing at this indoor jump park by like… a lot. But we had a lot of fun!
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It was extremely obvious which ones of us had been 1. good at gymnastics and 2. on the dive team in high school. NOT ME. These two, actually.

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Some pictures from the inside of the cabin.
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Charming happy fellow in the back row there.
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Some people have no respect for a man’s mustache.
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Here are Ken’s siblings, we did see them too, although they weren’t all in town for all that long and most of our activities were more of the inside variety, during which I am less inclined to take pictures.
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My grandpa and step-grandma visited for the end of the week. I don’t know when the last time I saw them was.
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My brother-in-law organized a bonfire at my parents’ house and invited a bunch of friends from way back when. And then we went home to regular life, which is much less exciting than being on vacation.
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Christmas vacation part 1: in which we play outside in the snow

We went to Washington for Christmas and New Years, since our families are both there. We were able to see all our immediate family members, and looking at my pictures I can divide our time there into two segments: The part where we were outside in the snow, and the part where we were inside playing games. Not a bad way to spend a winter vacation.

We spent my birthday (my 30th, if anyone’s counting. I have no angsty words of wisdom or philosophizing on that subject. I’m excited to be 30.) cross country skiing with a portion of my family.
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The sledding hill provoked some apprehension.
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You would think that having my picture taken against a white background such as snow would make me look as though my skin has color to it. Evidently not.
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Somebody has a boyfriend.
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Sunset on the way home.
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We drove further north up to a cabin and spent some more time in the snow with my family, missing only one brother-in-law. This was the view. Mom wanted to come stay for a month, which is sorta weird, if you’ve seen the view from HER living room. Guess there’s not usually snow outside of her living room.
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We did some downhill skiing, cross country skiing, floundering through downed trees on an un-cleared trail trying to cross-country ski, ice skating, game playing, hot tub sitting, and laughing uproariously. Twas a good time.

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Somebody brought this green face goo up to the cabin. It triggered quite a bit of the aforementioned uproarious laughter.
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Thanksgiving trip to Texas, which evidently mostly includes Galveston if you believe the pictures

We drove to Lubbock after work the Tuesday of Thanksgiving (5 hours). We drove slightly east of Austin the day before Thanksgiving (6 hours). Texas is thrilling to drive through. I spent about an hour trying to get a picture of a cotton field, an oil well, and a windmill all in one picture. Clearly I failed, but that was one of the most entertaining hours out of the 11.

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We drove to Houston on Thanksgiving with Ken’s dad and aunt (2 hours). Ken’s Houston aunt has a shiba inu. Much cute. I want one.
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We drove to Galveston and spent the day there on the day after Thanksgiving (1 hour).

And in Galveston, we saw: a tall ship!
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And dolphins.
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We ate seafood. Unrelated to the birds, except that we ate outdoors and little birds were trying to eat all the food.
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We watched a giant drilling rig thing dock.
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We stuck our toes in the ocean. He’s tickling me.
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We drove back to Houston (1 hour).

The next day we drove back to the location east of Austin (2 hours), then into Austin for dinner (2 hours round trip). Somewhere in there Ken worked on his aunt’s faucet, but couldn’t fix it. There was a need for parts that weren’t available.
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The next day we drove all the way home (11 hours). Here’s the windmills. In this area the ranches advertise wind, beef, and something else I can’t remember. Natural gas, maybe?

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Total that’s 30 hours of driving. The good thing is that we only spent a total of like 2 hours fixing the vehicle we were driving, and we weren’t even on the side of the road, we were in relatives’ driveways.

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Moral of the story: Don’t promise to visit relatives in Texas, expecting that you will fix your broken truck and be able to tow stuff back, then not fix your truck and decide maybe you should fly, then check ticket prices and realize that three weeks before Thanksgiving is not a good time to buy tickets, and decide that driving sounds better after all unless you want to get burned out on road trips for several months. The effects still haven’t worn off. Still, got to meet one more of Ken’s cousins and see almost all of his dad’s side of the family.

Still catching up from October: Bandelier National Monument

They’re so happy!
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It’s so cool that you can climb into the little caves.
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What a cute couple!
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Yes, my husband does hike in slacks and a polo. He’s awesome and always ready for some engineering.
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View out the window. Not bad.
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This was a big ladder. The pictures doesn’t really do it justice.
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See that ladder there in the middle? That’s the one that my sister and brother-in-law were on two pictures up.
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Very cool. I’d recommend Bandelier, although maybe not in the summer. Not much shade. It was delightful in October though!

Happy New Year+25 days

Hope the first month of 2015 has gone well for everybody. Looking through my pictures, I’m still catching up from October while my sister and brother-in-law were here.

We took them mountain biking, as we are wont to do.
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I love mountain biking. I’m hoping we do more of it this year. I think there’s a good chance, because a friend from grad school is talking about a trip to Moab, and if we’re going to be even close to being able to ride in Moab with him we need some practice.

We also spent the day in Santa Fe, which is quite pretty in the fall with the trees turning color.

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This statue has been in NM off and on for a looong time. I guess the Spaniards actually took her with them when they got kicked out by the natives for a few years, then brought her back when they came back.

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This is the face of a man unconvinced that the train to Santa Fe constitutes a time-savings. It took forever. But, we didn’t have to try to park in Santa Fe, so I guess that’s a plus.
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May 2018
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