Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Friday, August 23, 2013

Recently seen on Jer's Instagram feed

One  big happy family at our Bear Lake Reunion with Grandma Susan.  OK, Tait doesn't like taking pictures, but we really had the most wonderful time with the family at Bear Lake.  Thanks, Grandma Susan, for another amazing reunion!

Happening outside Jer's office.

The life of a neighborhood firework.

The guy who likes to drop by Jer's office.

Father's & Sons fun at the Back of the Moon Cabin.

Enjoying the Deer Valley summer concert series with the Utah Symphony and Arturo Sandoval.

M'lady tries lipstick.

 The new art installation along Jer's bike commute.

Tenny lost his second tooth.

Our kids LOVE corn on the cob, especially when it comes from the Enterprise garden that was grown by Grandma Julie and Uncle Jason.

Julie loves mornings.  It's in her blood.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ruth Lake - Uintah Mountains

The Grovers and Ye Stewart Clan are, almost certainly, blood relatives through the Loll line, and even if that's just folk lore, we've been best friends for decades.  And as long as Ye Stewarts have known the Grovers, we've heard tales of the famed Ruth Lake in the Uintah Mountains, and we've talked of one day going there together.  And finally, one day arrived.

And it was everything the Grovers had described it to be.  Gorgeous mountains freckled with glistening lakes, spectacular sunrises and sunsets, and high-wilderness solitude, all within an easy, family-friendly, one-mile hike from the parking lot.  Here are some of the highlights:

Tennyson doing his best "Blue Steel" pose in front of alpenglow-bathed Hayden Peak.

Jacob and Amelia sauntering through the wildflowers.

Ye Stewart Clan by one of the lakes along the trail to Ruth Lake.

Uncle Thomas with Jacob and Eleanor

Sunset over Ruth Lake

Julie, who insisted on walking the entire trail back to the car, despite not sleeping the night before. 

Tennyson, who insisted on jumping from rock to rock -- until he plunged into the icy waters.

Tait, who insisted on hiking backward, in his pajamas.  And Suzy, who insisted (to no avail) that Tait turn around before he tripped and got hurt.

And the Grovers, who insisted on being awesome (by, among other things, taking us to Ruth Lake and bringing an enormous amount of delicious treats to eat around the campfire).

I sense a tradition coming on!  Thanks, Grovers!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Lake Powell 2013

If you can keep them alive and uninjured, Lake Powell has to be the absolute best vacation spot on earth for kids.  Sandy beaches to rival any on earth, but fresh water (not sticky salt water), two-inch waves (so no chance of getting knocked over or sucked away), and endless outdoor activities from swimming, diving, hiking, climbing, fishing, lizard hunting, etc., etc.  And then you get to finish your day by sleeping under the stars and seeing who can spot the most shooting stars.  It's really dreamy.  Tait has been asking us several times a day since we returned, "Can we go back to Lake Powa for a minute?"  If only.  Here are some of the highlights from this year's Hurst Family Reunion aboard the Rebel.
Last swim of the evening with cousins.

Splashing around while simultaneously trying to breath in the monstrosity-vests mommy insisted Julie wear.

Jumping off the houseboat, nearby cliffs, or anything else that could induce that thrill factor that inevitably leads to pain.

Cousin Clo-Clo perfecting the beauty float.

Twilight photo-walks with uncle Pat (my kids' uncle, not mine).

Ah, the beauty.

Crazy cousins.  No, really. 

Fishing in a J Crew catalogue.

Cousin Hairy (aka Henry).

Eating Apples-to-Apples, and playing it too.

I love the below panoramic picture -- even though the quality is mediocre -- because it shows just how awesome Lake Powell really is.  In that 180-degree view (click to enlarge), you can see (from left to right) a rainbow, a cloud burst, a sunburst, a silver lining, and a thunderstorm approaching the mountains.  And if you look really carefully, you can see a beautiful, beautiful flamingo flying by carrying a beautiful, beautiful painting in its beak.  That part I made up, but seriously, Lake Powell is amazing.

Sunrise from the fishing boat (because, as all good fishermen know, you have to start fishing before anyone wakes up in Portugal).

Tenny landed a monster Striper and then tried his hardest to look like it was no big deal.

Taiter fishing, which is a special brand of fishing that requires no hook and involves a lot of high-pitched squealing followed by parents pretending to be so impressed that -- believe it or not -- Taiter still has a "fish" (aka metal washer) on the end of his line.

And this girl.  Well, she jumped off the back of the houseboat so many times each day that she would just zonk out in the middle of the houseboat as if there weren't 25+ family members partying all around her.

But all good things come to an end.  Until next summer.

If there's one good thing about leaving Lake Powell it is this:  We get to drive home through Utah, the most beautiful state in the nation.  The below picture, for example, is from random spot Utah (near Scipio), and I did not use any filters or otherwise alter/enhance this picture in any way.  That's just Utah.

Amazing trip from start to finish.  (Thanks, Grandma Julie!)