Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I am so excited!

Even though the area of England we are going to has been getting horrible rain over the last few weeks, nothing can 'dampen' my sprints. I've done quite a bit of research on The Cotswolds, and they are as picturesque as a story book. Violet is also convinced she will meet Harry Potter when we are over there, because we are going to visit some castles. Violet even has a blog (link is to the right). I know, I'm a major dork, maybe it is because I am wanting a daughter of my own.

Anyway, back to England, I am so darn excited. Here are some photos of the places I want to see (note, I did not take any of these photos, my photos will be uploaded to this blog shortly after I return on August 18th).

Monday, July 30, 2007

Hot summer weekend

This weekend was our last weekend in Utah before our huge summer trip, and it was a hot one! Each day was over 90 degrees. On Saturday we said goodbye to Ben as he left to Washington DC, he will be missed very much.

Friday night E and I headed up to Deer Valley for a Symphony. I gave E tickets to this symphony and picnic for our anniversary on July 9th. The drive was beautiful and easy, and parking was a snap. E and I found a place on the lawn easily, and laid out our blankets and sat down and enjoyed cheese, fruit, peas, bread, crackers and wine as the Utah Symphony warmed up. Soon the sun started to fall behind a nearby mountain, and the show started.

We climbed under the blankets and watched a fantastic classical symphony while sipping wine, watching the sky turn dark, eating strawberries, and snuggling. The music was fantastic, we listened to Respighi’s “Fountains” and “Pines” in the perfect setting. All in all it was a great night.

And yesterday E and I joined E's family at Raging Waters. Our local water park that has slides, a wave pool, a lazy river, and so on. It was a fantastic day to enjoy the water part because it was so very hot. I guess everyone else in Salt Lake felt the same way, because it was very crowded.

So now it is Monday, I am back to work, and counting down the hours before our trip abroad. Only a few more days!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Love in the summer

I love my husband so much. For some reason I've been feeling extra surges of love lately for the man I married. I am so lucky to have E as my partner.

On another note, it is hot in Utah. Really hot. Yesterday the heat finally broke and it rained, but today should be back in the upper 90s and this weekend should be over 100 again.

So, I want to share a photo I took a few years ago that speaks to being cool and being in love. I like that you can see the snow glittering under the winter sun in this photo.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Harry Potter 7 review

Please please don't read on if you have not finished the last book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. There are major spoilers ahead, you've been warned!

So, onto my review, I loved it. I really did. However, in the middle of the book I was really disappointed. I felt like everything I loved from the previous six books was missing, I missed Hogwarts, Snape, the Weasly's and so on. I felt like I was reading 100 pages of Harry getting more and more angry, and as it happened, I got more and more disappointed. I wanted to learn more about Dumbledore, more about Snape, more about Ginny, and everything was just wrong. Then, things started moving again once Harry saw the doe in the forest. I was so happy that Ron came back, saved Harry and we finally saw how much he loved Hermione. It was wonderful when Harry told him he didn't love Hermione, because obviously Ron always had doubts.

I thought the Gringots Bank chapter was a little over the top, but all in all it was good. I loved the Malfoy Manor chapter, talk about intense!!! I was so scared and sad for Hermione, all because she was Muggle born (good job, by the way, Jo for showing us just how horrific things like Nazism really was). I loved learning more about Snape, I think that The Prince's Tale was my favorite chapter in the entire book. Snape always has been by far my favorite character, he is fascinating. I loved when Ron and Hermione finally kissed once Ron mentioned the elfs. That is so sweet!

When we found out that Harry was actually a horcrux I was horrified but not surprised. I did not skip to the end of the book, so I really didn't know if Harry would live or die. I cried when he walked into the woods and he finally figured out what the snitch did. Lily standing next to him was so very sad.

It is fun that Ron and Hermione and Ginny and Harry had children around the same time, after all, their children are cousins! (Also, wouldn't it be fun to have George as an uncle??)

And some questions,
Where there eight horcruxes because Harry ended up being one?
I missed where the sword came back into play, how did Nevil get it?
Why didn't Harry and Ginny name one of their children Fred? Ginny lost a family member to Voldormot, but they don't name a child after him.

And some things I wish got answered,
What is the room in the Ministry that is locked (remember from the 5th book, a room the gang can't get into).
I wanted to learn more about the veil that Sirus fell through.
Just how has Dumbledore been keeping such a close eye on Harry? He was the transfiguration teacher for years, doesn't it make sense that he is an animangi?
Where did Fawks go after Dumbledore's death?

Monday, July 23, 2007

My husband is a gourmet chef

My husband has turned into a gourmet chef. I guess E has always been an amazing grill master, and baker, but now he has another specialty, dutch ovens. We experimented with dutch oven cooking a few weeks ago at my cabin, and E enjoyed it so much he asked for his own dutch oven for his birthday. Well he got one, and now he's on a roll. He's researched recipes, and how to care for a dutch oven, and even gone as far as buying a special carrying case.

So, we went down to the farmhouse this weekend with Ben and E's family. E was ready to try his hand at peach cobbler and we were going to make chipotle enchiladas again. Well after about an hour of cooking both turned out fantastically. Plus, I think Ben had a fun time down there, which was important.

On Sunday we did some geocaching (don't know what this is? Check here) and ended up finding four, which was quite fun. The last geocache of the day was up in the mountains near a beautiful lake. And at one geocache E and I found a travel bug, a little dog toy that wanted to go to England. So, I guess on the way to England we'll have a travel doll, a travel bug, a travel Chuckanucka and us. Boy, that is a lot of travelers.

Oh, and review on Harry Potter so far, it is good, but I was bummed out with about 100 pages near the middle. However, the chapter called Malfoy's Manor made up for it, that was a page turner!

Ben, E and Chelsea find the last geocache near a mountain lake.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Will Mecklenburg

Why am I up at 4:00 am might you ask? I've been reading Harry Potter. I got to chapter five and stopped about an hour ago. So why am I still up? My mind keeps churning, I found out tonight right before going to the Harry Potter party that a boy I grew up with has died, Will Mecklenburg.

He was younger than me, about my brother's age, but we always still played together. I remember putting on plays (Peter Pan and Jack and the Bean Stock) with he and his sister Katie. Katie and I were best friends for about five years, and Will was never too far away. Most of the time Katie and I were happy to play with our younger brothers, but they soon grew tired of our constant talk of dolls and all things girly.

So today, at 4:00 am I remember Will. I remember Katie. I remember my teen years with such fondness, and I hope they are doing well.

I signed his guest book on his obituary, and this is what I had to say:

It is the middle of the night and I can't sleep. I found out about Will only hours ago. I am so sorry. My heart hurts for you.

I have such found memories of Will, when he was a kid he would run up to our house (two doors up) with no shoes on in the middle of the winter. Then when summer would roll around he always wore his winter boots! Also, remember convincing him to help pay for Parker, because he was the boy doll, and therefore should help pay? I think he did end up giving you ten dollars towards Parker.

I greatly miss your friendship, and have tried to get in touch again and again over the last couple of years. When and if you ever feel like talking, please please email me. We could maybe meet for lunch.

Lots of Love, Jessica

Friday, July 20, 2007

Ben got the job,

he will be moving next Saturday to Washington DC.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Harry, England, and Ben

What have I been thinking about lately? Harry, England and Ben. In that order.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows comes out Saturday, so tomorrow at midnight I'll have in my possession the last and final installment of Harry Potter. It is exciting and depressing at the same time. Finally we will learn if Snape is good or evil, we will learn more about Dumbeldore's past, and we Harry will kill Voldormort! Who will die? Where are the last three horcruxes? Who is R.A.B.? Will Ron and Hermione finally get together? We will see, we will see!

My plan is to go home tomorrow after work, have a quick dinner, and go right to bed. Then at 10:30 I'll wake up, go to my local Barnes and Nobel and join the last book release party I will ever attend for Harry Potter. I'll be well rested, so I hope to read late into the night.

One of my favorite Harry Potter memories is when the fifth book came out. E and I were living at his family's house. At about 10:00 pm I was about 2/3 the way through the book. This book captures you at this point, needless to say I stayed up all night reading. I finished the book at 5:45 am, took a bath and got ready to go to school. Why is this a favorite memory? Because everyone should stay up all night reading a good book at least once in their life.

I've also been getting really really excited about our HUGE trip to England. We leave in just a couple of weeks, and will be spending sixteen days vacationing. E has been quite worried about the trip, he really doesn't like to fly. Me, however, can't wait to get on the plane, and I keep thinking of boarding the Queen Mary 2 for six days at sea. Our time in England will be wonderful also, the Cotswolds and London are calling to me. I can't wait. In the next few days I want to come up some sort of itinerary, so I can make sure we get to see everything we want to while there. I really really can't wait!

Lastly I've been thinking about Ben. He went to his interview in DC the other day and said he felt it went well. (Is it weird to think that if they don't hire him they will be really missing out on somebody fantastic, or is that just the pride I have in my friends?). Anyway, there are two positions open, and they are interviewing six people. They would be foolish to not hire Ben. We'll find out tomorrow.

Because Ben is probably moving to DC in a week E and I are trying to spend as much time with him as possible. Unfortunately we had plans this weekend (backpacking in the Tetons with my aunt and uncle), but we decided to cancel so we could hang with Ben. This is too bad, there are only a few times in your life where backpacking in the Tetons is even possible, so I'm a little bummed, but at least now I get to go to the Harry Potter book party tomorrow.

So that's whats been going on, I'll update tomorrow when we hear about Ben's job.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Playmobil Alex

As promised, a post about traveling Alex:

Most of you know I love toys. One of the toys that has always been my favorite is Playmobil. Playmobil is a German made toy that has been in the states for years. I remember saving my money as a kid, and when I finally had enough, Mindy and I would ride our bikes to the junior high school. Once there we would stash our bikes, climb through a fence, run past a donut shop and into Red Balloon, the greatest type of store, a toy store!

Memories of those summer days will always stick with me, ridding your bike and climbing through a broken fence to get to a toy store sounds so classic American to me. But this blog post isn't about that summer with Mindy, it is about Alex! Alex is my all time favorite Playmobil doll. In the old days, Playmobil people were very simple, one color shirt or dress and another color pants. But one day when I was about 10 years old Playmobil came out with a Victorian set that had a little girl in a sailor suit, a white dress and blue collar. I bought the set, and from then on Alex was my favorite. Plus, stamped on the bottom of her foot is the year she was made, 1981, the same year I was born. Today the Playmobil people are quite detailed, none are as simple as they once were.

So when I travel and don't have enough room to carry Violet, or before I even owned Violet, I carry Alex. Alex has joined me on all my backpacking trips, and this summer she will join Violet and I on the Queen Mary 2. I am kicking myself because I didn't take her to Africa.

Anyway, Alex came along to Lake Alexander this last weekend, so I thought I'd share a few photos. I think she is so darn cute, I hope you agree:

Alex on a lily pad. She is small enough that the lily pad doesn't even sink!

Soon she finds a little house in the woods. The moss had grown over some roots and wild flowers surrounded the entrance of a tiny hole under a tree.

Alex loves to explore, just like any girl.

After exploring Alex takes a dip in Lake Alexander. She wanted to know if her name is Alexander, and I told her no, it is Alexandria.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Emotional rollercoaster

The weekends of summer are always flying by like the clocks have been sped up. I love the busy weekends in the summer. Last weekend was no exception, E and I had plans to go camping with my brother and his girlfriend in the Uinta Mountains next to a beautiful alpine lake, Lake Alexander.

The few days before the weekend were somber. E has been feeling sad about quite a few things, and the largest impact happened when Ben said he probably will move. We wanted to spend as much time with Ben as possible before he moved so on Friday night we went to dinner, had some drinks and played poker. The night was wonderful, both E and I didn't want the night to end.

Saturday E and I woke up, we quickly packed up our camping stuff (no easy task, there is a lot of it) and went to meet Brandon. After packing the car, picking up Ashley, and stopping at the super market we were off. On the drive we chatted about geocaching, being outdoors, and such. We found a perfect spot near the lake. We unpacked the car, grilled hot dogs and jumped in the clear mountain water. It was fantastic. I felt a surge of love for the outdoors that I often feel when I am outside. Wildflowers were blooming, there was thick moss on the ground and the lake was full of blooming lily pads. I felt a surge of love for my brother, and my husband, and my good friend Ashley.

We chatted, and took a drive, and read Harry Potter beside the lake, and cooked a fantastic salmon dinner. Both E and I were feeling better. I was so happy to have my brother, to have the outdoors, and to be lucky enough to experience weekends like this.

Around the campfire that night we cooked banana boats and talked. We talked about my mom and my dad. I could tell Brandon was still very angry and upset about the divorce. Some of the sadness and hopelessness that I felt after my parents split bubbled to the surface again. Never again will my family be under one roof for Christmas. Also, this is the first summer of my entire life where we haven't gone on a big family trip (granted last year was tense, but my entire family did go to Yosemite for my wedding). I also am saddened that in the middle of the worst year of my life I got married. I am so happy to have gotten married, I just wish it could have been a happier time for my family.

As the sky grew dark and the air finally cooled down I wandered to the water's edge and was met with the most beautiful view of my life: the entire lake was glassy, smooth and still. The sky was full of stars and because it was a new moon, everything was dark. The black lake reflected the stars so it almost looked like you were in outer space. Everything around me was velvety black with bright white starts piercing the darkness.

I climbed into bed and fell asleep in the quite outdoors. After a good night of sleep with some very random dreams (who knew Lord Voldomort would want to take me to ice cream before trying to kill me?) I woke up with the feelings of sadness gone. Again I was just happy to be outside, and the overwhelming love I have for nature took over.

The drive home was quite, all of us tired and hot. Once we returned to Brandon's we unloaded the car and drove by Ben's to say hello. Ben's room was empty. He had already begun to pack.

Later that evening E and I relaxed and read. Both of us wanted to finish Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince before Friday when the next book comes out. We read and slept and the feeling of dread crept back. I finished the book bawling (anybody that has read this book know why). I put the book aside and held E. Somehow my sadness for the death of a wonderful Harry Potter character turned into something much more. I cried for my grandpa (who reminds me so much of Dumbledore), I cried for my family, I cried for parents, and I cried for my best friend who is moving across the country. Finally I couldn't cry anymore and I feel asleep.

This morning I'm not really sure why I cried. I really don't cry very often (maybe only a handful of times a year). I've always known things in life will change, but in the last two years there have been a few too many changes for my liking.

On a positive note, Alex (my Playmobil travel doll) joined us at Lake Alexander, so tomorrow I'll post a few of her photos!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sad news

The Harry Potter movie was fantastic, it really was, however the excitement I felt after the movie was short lived because my best bud Ben called E and I to tell us he has an interview in Washington DC next week, and the possibility of him getting this job is high. I am happy for him, so happy for him, but at the same time I feel very sad, our best friend will be moving across the country.

I do have other friends, but Ben is the nucleolus with a lot of the friendships, I worry that he will go, and lots of the friendships will fizzle. Also, Ben's girlfriend Jo is a great friend (who happens to live in Washington DC), and I was hoping Ben would get a job here and Jo would come back. It sounds like that is not going to happen.

So long mountain biking and poker nights with him. So long telling dirty jokes and sushi parties. So long Ben.

I think I'll go cry now :(

Harry Potter Mania!

Today, right after work I am seeing the 5th installment of Harry Potter! The movies are quite exciting, but nothing compared to the books. The books are fantastic, the movies are fun if you are into the books.

Here is a review I wrote for the Harry Potter books on another website the other day:
Harry Potter was something I resisted for a long time, I don't like fads. Boy was I mistaken. These books are fun to read, easy to get through and addictive. If you've thought "I don't like fantasy" or "it sounds too much like Lord of the Rings" you might be right. This is what I thought too. However these books have turned out to be my favorites of all time, and I re-read them again and again. Enjoy!

So, in preparation for the movie tonight I give you some of my favorite scenes from the books that will now be shown on the sliver screen (isn't it fun to see how different people imagined the scenes you've always loved?)

Harry and Arthur visit the ministry for Harry's hearing:

Harry suffers through detention with evil evil Umbridge:

And then the DA is formed! The Room of Requirement looks kick ass!

Monday, July 09, 2007

One year with my honey bug

Today E and I celebrate our one year wedding anniversary. Although we've only been married for one year, we've been together for eight and a half years. That is quite awhile!

To celebrate we are doing all the traditional things newlyweds do on their first year, like eat wedding cake that has freezer burn, indulge by going out to eat and give each other fun gifts.

So, yesterday E and I went up to Alta Lodge for brunch to celebrate this first year together. Alta brunch was my parent's tradition, so it was nice to use the same thing (however E and I don't want to follow their tradition of divorce). We had the yummiest food imaginable. All you could eat from a cold salad bar where they had seafood salad, Italian bread salad, crab and pineapple salad, and about 20 other choices. Then you could get goodies fresh from the kitchen including my two favorites, Eggs Benedict and fresh scones! Also there was the hot food bar where there was curry, bacon, eggs, and E's favorite, cheese blintzes.

During our HUGE brunch we exchanged gifts. I thought it would be fun to follow traditional wedding anniversary gift traditions (as can be seen here), so this year was paper. This made the gift giving fun because both of us had to be creative and think of something special that was paper. So what did we give each other? I gave E tickets to a outdoor Symphony in Deer Valley for later this summer. I knew this would be a huge hit because E is crazy about classical music, and watching the Utah Symphony under the stars sounds wonderful. But it gets better, because it is an outdoor symphony we can bring blankets, wine and dinner to the show. So E's gift also includes wine, cheese, fruit, crackers, and other goodies that we can snack on. Needless to say, E was happy with the gift.

And E got me something even more wonderful, a gift certificate to a traditional Japanese Spa here in Utah! Even typing this makes me smile. E went all out and got me the traditional Ofuro bath where I can taste Japanese tea while I sit in "infused bath waters". After the bath I will be pampered some more and receive an hour long signature massage. Even thinking about it makes my shoulders relax, I can't wait!

So, next year's tradition is cotton, any ideas?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Long day's hike, and I've been working like a dog

Saturday E and I were feeling energetic, so we decided take a long day long hike with friends. Luckily Ben and David were both up for it, even though Salt Lake Valley was experiencing record breaking heat. We started out fairly early and started powering up the trail head towards Lake Mary. The reason for this insanity? E and I decided (after some fretting) that we were going to join my aunt and uncle and two cousins on a serious backpacking trip in the Tetons later this month.

After reaching the lake is pretty good time we continued, we were hoping to make it to Sunrise Peak before lunch time. Everyone was happy to keep a steady pace up the mountain, E and I were trying to get in shape for the Tetons, and Ben and David were just trying to get in shape.

After a few breaks, some photos, and very tired legs we made it to our destination: Sunrise Peak. I love the feeling you get when you stand on top of a mountain you just climbed. Everyone should get that experience once in their life.

So we sat down, had some lunch, and chatted while looking at four alpine lakes below us and beautiful views all around.

On the way back we spotted a male moose cooling off in Lake Cathrine. I was eager to get closer, and the trail winded his way, so I approached slowly. E was furious with me, feeling I was, again, taking unnecessary risks (remember this post?). I felt there was not much risk, I was still 50 yards away from the moose, and he seemed content to hang out in the lake.

Well after a small disagreement where we decided I should be more careful, and he should not worry so much we continued down the trail.

By the end we had very sore feet and tired legs. E and I went home and did our favorite thing, take a long nap!

After we woke from our nap we met Logan, Ben and Yoko for dinner and a movie. We decided to go see Micheal Moore's new film, Sicko. It was fantastic. We all agreed that Moore presented only one side of the debate (which he is prone to do), however, I have felt the US has needed Socialized heath care for ages.

We we stayed up at Ben's way too late discussing Bush, heath care, moving to France, and the corruption of the US government.

I urge everyone to see Sicko, even if you are on the other side of the debate. It is quite interesting.

Today was also a great day, but I will post about it tomorrow, which is my one year anniversary with my sweet hubby!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

4th of July

I've been working on my blog most of the day, I wanted to organize all of my posts by topics, you'll see the link at the bottom of each post, so if you want to see all of my posts related to outdoors, or the farmhouse, or weekends you can.

Because I did this, now I'm sick of being on my blog, so instead of an entire entry, I'll just post some photos of my 4th of July. Sorry I'm such a party pooper.

'Our' lake that we hike to at my cabin. I floated on a log with my mom for a half hour, great cool down. I like 'our' lake.

E and I were in charge of dinner on the 4th, we made Chipotle Enchiladas in the dutch oven (very tasty!).

Sparklers are fun!

Have a happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Two years ago today

Two years ago today E proposed. It is my favorite memory of all time. We were in Tanzania at our tent, watching the sunset. It had been a long wonderful day, and E popped the question. I, of course, said yes. I feel so lucky that someone as kind, and thoughtful, and intelligent fell in love with me.

The time spent in Tanzania with my entire family will always be one of my most treasured memories. I've been thinking about Africa lately because it was only two years ago, but so many things have changed. As I read through my journal last week one entry stuck out, it was no different, per se, than any of the other days, but I decided to type it up for my blog. This is unedited, straight from the travel journal I wrote while on the Serengeti.

Day 14 - We've all decided that we love the wake up calls on this trip. The men come to the tents and say "Hello, hello, good morning" until you say hello back. We all love it!

This morning we were up at 6:30. We ate a traditional breakfast (I love the mangoes here) and left on a drive. E was feeling better, so he joined us. I had Kendra, Brandon, my Dad and Eric in my car today. We left and quickly saw a leopard! This was was in a tree far away and was hard to see, but at least we all got to see him.

Then we headed to the West Corridor (near the boarder with Kenya) to watch the wildebeest migration. It was a long dusty road, but I enjoyed myself.
Soon we began seeing wildebeest, and then more and more. We stopped in a huge field and watched them all running in one direction. It was really interesting.
After watching the huge herd we drove on. It was getting hot and later in the day so we found a shady lunch spot under a tree. The guides pulled out this amazing picnic lunch and we each had chairs! We had pasta salad, chicken salad, corn fritters, cokes, cakes, bread, cheeses, bandannas and apples. Wow. I'm going to gain a billion pounds.
We ate our lunch and got in the cars after a quick family photo.

The road was still dusty, but the sky got a little cloudier, so we were happy about that. Soon Eric stopped the car near all these trees and jumped out. We all followed and found there was a rickety wooden bridge across a river filled with crocodiles and hippos! Holy cow, I felt like I was having an Indiana Joans moment. My entire family walked across thinking it was so cool! The forest on the other side was really interesting too, it looked like it was straight from Tarzan. We walked down to a beach area and looked across to see the crocodiles sunning themselves. We walked back across the bridge and I asked Peter why there were droppings on the bridge, he said that the baboons use this bridge too.
We loaded back into the cars and went to a couple more view points where there were more hippos and crocs. Each was really neat and we even spotted a colobus monkey, something that is really rare in area. We headed back to camp and I stood on the seats with my entire upper body out of the roof the entire time and listened to my iPod.

As we rolled into camp we realized we had seen every animal that day except a cheetah (which we had seen about a week earlier in Ngorongoro Crater). E and I took a shower in our shower stall with a bucket of warm water and relaxed. At dinner we talked about our favorite parts of the trip so far. We ate banana soup and a full menu of traditional African foods all cooked over a fire, there was no electricity in camp.
After saying goodnight to our camp hosts we headed to our tent happy and tired.

I looked up at the most amazing night sky I have ever seen. Then, after getting into bed we fell asleep listening to hyenas in the distance.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Tapas, biking, and birthdays!

Yesterday was E's 26th birthday so we had a very busy weekend. The weekend started with his Birthday Dinner. Our tradition is the birthday person gets to choose anywhere they would like to go for a special birthday dinner. It usually is a nice restaurant where we go all out, getting appetizers, drinks, and dessert.

E chose Cafe Madrid, a traditional Spanish restaurant. Spanish food is nothing like Mexican food, which is an mistake many people make. Spanish food is fantastic, we decided to do an 'untraditional' meal by ordering only one main course and splinting it. Instead we filled up on tapas, traditional Spanish appetizers. The tapas included a platter of Spanish cheese called Manchego, ham and spinach Croquetas, Spanish sausage in a fig sauce, and some fantastic calamari. We had huge glasses of excellent Sangria and a fantastic main course of sea bass in a mushroom sauce. Then to finish off the huge meal we both ordered dessert.

The next day was one we've been looking forward to for quite some time, biking at Deer Valley again. We did this last year and loved it (my blog entry from last year can be seen here). Well this year I had my new bike and it was a beautiful day up in the Utah mountains. After a fairly late start we began biking and had a wonderful time. One problem I had right off the start is I'm too brave, and got going to fast. After a mid air flip (luckily I wasn't hurt at all) I decided to slow my pace. I enjoyed the entire day, and other than a bad bug bite and a slight sunburn, the day was perfect.

Sunday was E's birthday and we started out the day by sleeping in and lazing around. We were both sore after the long day of downhill biking. We made some waffles, bacon, and hash browns for lunch, and lazed around some more that afternoon. I ended up sleeping and reading Harry Potter most of the day.

The weekend finished with a fantastic dinner with E's family downtown and some homemade raspberry pie. We had a wonderful time.

Now, for some photos of or bike ride:

This is probably about what I looked like before I took a face plant in the dirt. Look at those awesome aspen forests, beautiful-

We ate lunch at the bottom of the mountain in a great little outdoor cafe (notice the very tasty mint lemonade)-

E on I on the top of the trail. The best thing about riding Deer Valley? You only ride down, the ski lift takes you back up-

And the guys: Ben, David, E, and Logan.
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