beach vacation

During our trip to Cannon Beach this week, Ethan experienced many exciting firsts… exploring tidepools, running barefoot in the sand, throwing rocks into the surf, and the highlight had to have been (well it was for me at least!), building his first sandcastle:

Ethan loved playing in it more than anything, but soon found joy in destroying it… all part of the fun! Watching Noah work to build something special for his little boy was so endearing.

The entire trip was wonderful… not a bad moment the whole time. Ethan seems to be at the perfect traveling age and he played hard and slept hard. I can’t even count all the new words he’s adding to his vocabulary, but during our trip he added bicycle, beach, run, and yes (all said quite emphatically!) to name a few. It was great to get in one more family trip before we have to stick around closer to home with the upcoming arrival of our baby girl! Less than 7 more weeks until July 26th!
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>Arches National Park

>I knew that we wouldn’t have time to spend a full day in Moab as we drove back from Santa Fe. The timing ended up working perfectly however because we left Santa Fe early enough on Wednesday to get into the park by 330 or so and spent a few hours there. We were able to do a small hike (boy was it hot!) and see quite a bit of the park. We saw Balanced Rock, Landscape Arch, Tunnel Arch, and Delicate Arch.
By then, it was time to call it a day and we got dinner in Moab. On Thursday morning we got up early and hit a few of the sights we had missed from Wednesday. Hiking around was much better because it was a good 20 degrees cooler than the evening before. We saw Turret arch, Double arch, and two called the North and South Windows.
Noah is the best at spotting wildlife, and it was no exception while we were at Arches. In addition to the normal lizards and deer that can be found around there, he’d been talking about wanting to find a scorpion all week, and finally, he did!

>Sandia Peak

>Yesterday, we drove from Santa Fe down towards Albuquerque. There is an area that has a tram to the top of some mountains known as the Sandia mountains. We went up with a picnic lunch and enjoyed the views of New Mexico from 10,000 feet. It was only 70 degrees at the top (compared with 95 down at the base) but that sun was sooo strong! There were some great hikes that Noah and I were wishing we could have done, but our schedule was packed and we had to head back down sooner than we would have liked. Here are a few photos:

>Road Trip!

>Noah and I have spent the past two days driving through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, and finally into New Mexico! Our truck is very comfortable to road trip in, but 24 hours of driving in two days feels like quite a lot no matter how good the company or how easy the drive. So, we arrived yesterday afternoon with enough time to check out the beautiful house we are staying in, do some grocery shopping, and enjoy a wonderful dinner with my dad and his wife. After a good night’s sleep, we were ready to celebrate my birthday and Father’s Day by wandering around downtown Santa Fe! I’ll update this post and include some photos when we get home.
Building in downtown Santa Fe
The back patio of my Aunt’s house. The property also has a 270+ degree view of Santa Fe.
Happy 27 to me!

>What I wish I could do…

>My favorite meal we had on vacation was a perfectly prepared white fish called Opah. And it didn’t hurt that it looked good on the plate too. It had a spicy seasoning and it was lightly blackened. Yum!!

I can bake salmon and that’s about it as far as fish is concerned, and it never looks pretty either. Does anyone know some secrets to grilling/preparing fish?

Here’s a couple of other photos from that same night… my friends Heidi and Amy got King crab legs and they were awesome!

>Road Trip

>

Two weekends ago we spent five days or so out of town while we trekked to Hamilton, Montana for a family wedding. Noah’s cousin got married and we caravanned with his parents… making a stop in Spokane the first night to say hello to my mom and step-dad. The trip included a detour at my favorite chinese place in Spokane for some take-out, many, many pit-stops and gas-ups (we took 2 trucks… isn’t that economical? 🙂 It was comfortable though so we didn’t mind spending a bit more on gas). The whole trip was fun and I was really able to relax and take a breath after presenting my master’s project the week before. I did get a little sleep deprived… even owing apologies for some uncharacteristic fits of crankiness… so I was definitely ready to snuggle up at home by the end of our trip. Regardless, it was so exciting to visit a new place and take in the sights along the way. Here are a few shots from our trip plus a look at the natural beauty of “Big Sky Country”