Another Day, Another Adventure

Another day, another adventure. Such has been our trip here in Utah. I love it here. Every day we spend time exploring the surrounding national forests, canyons, and mountains. Each trail gives us a special gift. Whether its a realization about life, a pretty view, or shared memories. Regardless of the adventure, everyone has taught me something or given me something in return. For example, our first hike here taught me that you should save the hard hikes for after your body acclimates to the altitude. Meanwhile, the hike to Donut Falls showed me the beauty and vastness of God’s creation.

Yesterday was no exception. We got a late start to the morning, which was fine because the temperatures have cooled down a bit since the 100s over the weekend. Also I knew the trial we were headed to had a lot of shaded areas. Lastly, we all needed to get some rest as Tuesday was a very busy day. My day started with an early trip into Salt Lake City to drop Melody at the airport. Fortunately, the drive was super easy and I got another hour of sleep once back to our AirBnB. Yesterday’s adventures included the Green Pond Trail near Snow Basin and the Hill Aerospace Museum. Both of these stops on our adventure tour were well worth the time and effort.

The Green Pond Trail is an easy to moderate trail near at the base of Mount Ogden. You do gain about 400 ft in altitude throughout the path, but it is a gradual ascent. The trail itself starts at an elevation near 6,000 feet. Honestly, this probably would have been the best trail for our first hike. Indeed, it is an excellent trail for mountain biking and for kids just starting to hike. Throughout the trek, the meadows and forest surround you. You can see the mountains through the canopy of the trees throughout, which makes for a beautiful vista. Overall, the hike took about an hour and burned nearly 600 calories.

Afterward we headed to the Hug-Hes Cafe in north Ogden. Since we’ve been here, I’ve been trying to take them to local spots. This one reminded me of Perkins as it had a bakery and a simliar lunch and dinner menu. Overall, the food was very tasty and inexpensive. This restaurant is also famous for its giant sugar cookies, so naturally I picked up three for the boys. Post lunch, we headed to Target to pick up some more snacks and a lot of water. We’ve already gone through more than 40 bottles of water throughout our hikes. Thankfully, they recycle here. I wish they had refill stations at or near the hikes as that would be much more efficient.

Once we had our supplies in hand, we headed to the Hill Aerospace Museum. It was awesome! We got there later in the day, so we didn’t have enough time to take in all of the exhibits. Consequently, I’m hoping to go back there today or tomorrow. Also the fighter wing was closed and the boys really want to peruse that exhibit. One thing that I loved about the museum is that it is staffed by retirees, who served in the Air Force and really have a passion for the history of aviation. Naturally, we also stopped in to the gift shop where I bought a rosewood model B-24 that will be displayed in our family room. They did have some wonderful sketches of the planes, but none featuring the B-24 on which my grandfather was a flight engineer.

As for our evening, we went back to the dealership to finish up the paperwork for Jake’s new car. That took way longer than it needed to, but this is always the case. For dinner, we headed back to In-N-Out burger so Jake could try it at last. After enjoying their burgers two nights in a row, we have all decided they need to come to Florida. Their burgers are phenomenal! We spent the rest of the night chilling at the AirBnB and were all in bed early. Today promises to bring more great adventures in the great outdoors.

Places we visited yesterday:

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read North & South by Elisabeth Gaskells.

*We are going back to visit the Hill Aerospace Museum.

*Another day, another adventure is in the cards.

*We are off to hike more magical places.

*There are some homeless folks here, but they seem to have shelters and programs in place for them. You see very little panhandling here.

*We’ll be grabbing dinner with Jake.

*The Mayor continues to be this trips Jester.

*Today my hubby sent me the best picture of my sweet Anakin.

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Magical Places

Utah is full of magical places. Yesterday we hiked to Donut Falls, which is located in Big Cottonwood Canyon. The entire canyon, the national forest it contains, and it’s majestic peaks make it a truly magical place. Since we got late starts to our weekend hikes, we made a concerted effort to start this hike earlier in the morning. This way, we would avoid the heat of midday. Fortunately, the canyon is at over 7,000 ft above sea level, and the temperature was in the mid-70s for the entire hike. The drive through the canyon was spectacular. It is an absolute dream!

The hike to Donut Falls is considered an easy hike, which is true. There are some difficult spots where you have to safely traverse up and down wet rocks, but that wasn’t too bad. At the end of the trail, is a beautiful waterfall. However, I was unable to see the donut. In order to see the legendary donut falls, you have to scale the rocky waterfall. Admittedly, I was not sure I was up to the task. It looked like a steep, wet, and scary climb. We made our way up the path to take a picture overlooking the falls. During this ascent, I decided I could handle the ascent up the waterfall to Donut Falls.

Thus the four of us began our ascent to Donut Falls. We traversed the creek via rocks and logs so that we could get to the climb. Unfortunately, we chose to ascend to the falls on the side, which was a much harder climb. Consequently, Melody and the Mayor decided to go back to shore. Goalielocks and I braved the slippery rocks and made our way up the waterfall. It was tough as the stones were smooth and slick in many places. However, the climb was worth the effort. The views of the canyon and the waterfall from Donut Falls were majestic and beautiful. It is definitely a hike that will satisfy your expectations. After our descent, we spent some time taking in all of the natural beauty of the falls before heading back to civilization.

After our hike, we headed to downtown Salt Lake City to explore and grab lunch. We shopped Trolley Square, the Gateway and 9&9. I wouldn’t go back to 9&9, but did like the antique store at Trolley Square and the Gateway has some fun activities for families. We also made our way to Temple Square. It was hard to get a good picture of the Temple as its undergoing construction to make the roof earthquake proof. Nevertheless, the Temple is gorgeous even when surrounded by construction equipment. The grounds were also a magical place that contained many buildings, such as the Tabernacle where the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs. All in all, we liked Salt Lake as it was easy to navigate, but we enjoyed our hike and Big Cottonwood Canyon more.

We had a full day, so after our last shopping stop, we headed back to our Airbnb. For dinner, the boys and I had In-N-Out. The burgers lived up to the hype. Meanwhile, Jake and Mel enjoyed a date night back at his dorm. On Monday, we went to the dealership so that Jake could buy a car. He needs a car to drive to his job and get around his base, which is vast. Tonight we will go back to the dealership and finish up the paperwork for his car.

Monday, we had more of a low key day. The kids all slept in late, which was not surprising given how busy we were over the weekend. When they woke up, we visited the Pineview Reservoir, which afforded incredible views of the mountains and the Wasatch National Forest. The water was cold and refreshing, but we none of us remembered our bathing suits. We grabbed a quick lunch at Subway before heading into Ogden to explore the botanical gardens and historic 25th Street. We didn’t love the botanical gardens, so we weren’t there long. Unfortunately, when we went to the historic 25th street, all of the shops we wanted to visit were closed.

Places we visited Monday and Tuesday:

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read North & South by Elisabeth Gaskells.

*We are going to visit the Hill Aerospace Museum.

*We are off to hike more magical places.

*I’m going with Jake to finish the paperwork for his new car..

*There is no rain here, so no need for an umbrella.

*Today my hubby sent me the best picture of my sweet Anakin.

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Snow Basin Resort

Yesterday our adventures took us to the Snow Basin Resort, which is on Mt. Ogden. After a busy day Saturday, we all overslept. Consequently, we got a reasonably late start to our day. I was a bit worried that the heat and altitude would again be too much for us. Fortunately, I was wrong. We took the gondola up to the ski lodge, where the hiking trail to the summit of Mt. Ogden begins. Technically, you could hike up the entire mountain, but we were not about that life yesterday.

The scenery on the way up Mount Ogden was beautiful with mountains, valleys, and even a lake in the distance. It was a bit hot on the way up as the gondolas are fully enclosed. Once we reached the top of the ride, however, the temperature was significantly cooler, and there was a gentle breeze. The ski lodge was beautiful, with beautiful amenities and A/C. We took a brief respite in the lodge before heading up to the summit. Admittedly, I was quite nervous that this hike would be as challenging as Saturday’s. I think we were all pretty nervous.

Thankfully, this hike got off to a much better and more leisurely start. It wasn’t until the mid-point of our ascent to the summit that it became challenging. First of all, there were a lot of loose rocks on the trail, which makes it hard to find your footing sometimes. This was particularly true on the fringes of the path. Second of all, we were at an elevation of about 8,000 feet, which is a challenging environment for people not accustomed to the altitude. Nevertheless, I still felt much better throughout this hike than our first hike Saturday. The scenery throughout the entire hike was impressive. Moreover, while there were plenty of people and dogs on the hike, it remained quiet and serene. There was an incredible sense of peace on the mountain.

This time we all made it to the end of the hike. The summit of Mount Ogden did not disappoint. As you looked east, you saw the Great Salt Lake and Ogden. We even saw where we had hiked the day before. As we looked to the West, we saw the lake, national forest and several mountains. A top the summit, it was breezy and comfortable. Goalielocks found the perfect place to soak in the majesty of the mountain, while we finished the hike. Naturally, we all felt a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in completing the hike. While this hike had some difficult points, it was well worth the views afforded at the top of the summit. We will be going back.

Afterward we headed back to the AirBnB to change, so we could head to the mall and grab some lunch. Comparatively speaking, the mall was rather lackluster to our malls in South Florida. Nonetheless, it provided a good indoor activity when the heat of the day was at its peak. We also explored several cool stores and boutiques that we’ve never seen before, which was fun. For dinner, we headed East to Taggerts, which has been an institution in the Morgan Canyon for over a century. The service was quick, my soup was delicious and the burger didn’t disappoint.

We ended our day by dropping Jake back off at base, so he could be ready for work today. Our night ended comparatively early last night because we were all utterly exhausted. In fact, two of the three kids traveling with me are still sleeping. It’s almost 11:00 am here, so I’ll probably wake them up in a few minutes. However, after all of our activities over the last two days, I’m glad they’re sleeping in and catching up on some rest.

Places we visited yesterday

*Snow Basin Resort

*Taggart’s Grill

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I finished The Song of the Lark, by Willa Cather last night. Tonight I’m starting North & South by Elisabeth Gaskells.

*We are headed to Pineview Reservoir for some new adventures

*I’m going with Jake to buy a car tonight.

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*The truth is I’m looking forward to another day of adventure.

*We’re heading back to 25th Street for dinner at a cool burger place.

*Today my hubby sent me the best picture of my sweet Anakin.

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Day of Adventure

Yesterday was a day of adventure from the very beginning to the end. We started the day visiting Jake’s dorm and getting his laundry out of the dryer. As he finished his washing, we watched the fighter jets in complete awe of their magnificence. The mighty roar of their engines reverberating off of the mountains never gets old. Honestly, we could have sat and watched them all day. We also stopped by the BX to get some Air Force merch and supplies. As a mom, it gave me great satisfaction to see that where he is living is beautiful, neat, and safe.

Afterward, we headed back to the Airbnb to get ready for hiking. We decided to hike Waterfall Canyon. Unfortunately, our GPS couldn’t find it without taking us the wrong way. Consequently, we started our hike to the waterfall from the 29th Street trailhead. Admittedly, it was a grueling hike between the heat and the altitude. Goalielocks and Jake had no problem making it to the top, but the rest of us struggled. The weather was oppressive, but thankfully there was a mountain brook with cold water. We used the stones from the creek bottom to cool us off. This little hiking hack worked remarkably well, and we felt better, almost instantaneously.

We were on the trail for nearly two hours over the course of which I burned 800 calories. Hiking here is a great workout with an added bonus of incredible scenery. The rest of the afternoon took us back to the AirBnB to eat leftover and get ready for dinner. Our plan was to eat on 25th Street, which the Ogden equivalent to Delray Beach’s Atlantic Avenue. For dinner, we opted to try a highly rated Italian place called Rovalis. It did not disappoint! Everyone that worked there from the owner to our server was so nice and professional. Importantly, the food was even better than the service. I was so excited to see that they had several gluten free pasta options. Our meal at Rovalis definitely hit the mark after a day of arduous hiking

After dinner, we headed to Antelope Island State Park to watch the sunset and see some bison. What an incredible place! If you are ever in Utah, this is a must-see. It is incredibly beautiful and serene. Excitedly, we did see several wild bison on our drive up to the Buffalo Point trailhead. We hiked the trailhead to get the best views of the sunset. It was much more comfortable than our daytime hike, although we were still in our dinner attire.

Nevertheless, it was well worth the walk and the views did not disappoint. Honestly, they left us utterly breathless. Consequently, this place is an absolute must on any trip to Utah. It is well worth the $15 price of admission for the day. Hopefully, we can go back and rent bicycles so that we can explore the island more in-depth.

We ended our evening with a beautiful treat. Our friends, the Seefeldts, happen to be driving through Utah on their way back home from Vegas. We were able to meet up for a while and get caught up, which was an absolute treat. Truly, yesterday was an action pack day with so much beauty, happiness, and love. I’m looking forward to where our adventures will take us today. Naturally, we all slept in this morning after a hectic day. This morning, we’ll be heading to Snow Basin Mountain to ride gondola and hike to the top. It should be another fantastic day!

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Song of the Lark, by Willa Cather

*We are having scrambled eggs and toast in our AirBnB for breakfast

*We are headed to Snow Basin Mountain for a hike and gondola ride

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*I’m looking forward to another day of adventure.

*We’re heading back to 25th Street for lunch at a cool burger place.

*We’re going to stop at the mall and do some shopping.

*Today I wonder if anyone ever watched the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

*Today my hubby sent me the best picture of my sweet Anakin.

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One Happy Mama

I’m one happy mama this morning. Yesterday I finally got to see my son for the first time since BMT graduation in February. Our flights were uneventful and quick. Needless to say, they couldn’t end quickly enough. The anticipation of seeing my boys reunited was killing me.

The reunion took place at Target since we don’t have security passes. It was an amazing and happy as I had envisioned. My boy looks great albeit quite grown up. Seeing them together made we one happy mama. Also, it was mighty convenient since we could pick up some supplies before heading to our AirBnB.

The weather was super hot with an ambient air temperature of 103 degrees. Fortunately, there is no humidity here at all. Consequently, it does not feel as miserable as South Florida. In fact, we got out of dodge just as a hurricane is bearing down on our coast.

Our AirBnB is on the Eastern side of the mountains in a small neighborhood. It’s a basement apartment in a single family home. The place is gorgeous and super nice, however, it was a bit hot last night. Nonetheless, it will serve as a perfect jumping off point for our Utah adventure.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Song of the Lark, by Willa Cather

*We went to Scrambled for breakfast near the AFB. It was super yummy.

*We visited the AFB and shopped the BX before heading back to his dorm to hang pictures.

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*We’re going to go hiking this afternoon

*Today I wonder if anyone ever watched the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

*Today my hubby sent me the best picture of my sweet Anakin.

*We are watching the hurricane from a distance.

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I’m Going West

I’m going West to see my boy!!!! Finally, the day has arrived. I’m all packed up, and so is the Mayor. Per usual, Goalielocks is dragging his feet but should finish packing within the hour. I took a brief hiatus from the blogosphere for the last few days as we were on vacation in the Keys. Initially, I had intended to blog throughout the trip. However, the lack of reliable wifi and data service nipped that plan in the bud. I was a bit annoyed at the lack of connection, but honestly, it was great to disconnect for a few days. So now, after a few days in the islands, I’m going West. C’est la belle vie!

I’ll probably put up a vacation recap tomorrow as I’ll have plenty of time to write while flying. This will. naturally include a review of our stay at Hawk’s Cay. Today I worked most of the day while making sure everything was ready for tomorrow. Work continues to be engaging as I am meeting great people everyday. Sales is such a grind, but it is rewarding meeting great people. Nonetheless, it was hard to focus knowing that I was less than twenty four hours away from flying to see my oldest.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Song of the Lark, by Willa Cather

*Yin Yoga with Jennifer from Open Heart Yoga Studio

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*I’m switching gears from sand castles to hiking boots

*Today I wonder if anyone ever watched the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

*Tonight I’m watching nature shows with my sweet Anakin.

*Tomorrow I’m going west! Before the hurricane can make its way to Florida!

*Week 10 BBG 2.0 day 4 yoga.

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Seven Glorious Days

Only seven glorious days until I get to see my oldest son! Fortunately, I have a great weekend planned in the Keys to help these last seven days pass by. It’s been a hot minute since we’ve been to the keys, so we’re all quite excited. Additionally, it’s the first time we’ve taken a trip since March. In fact, this trip is our rescheduled spring break trip. Honestly, the next two weeks are going to be a lot of fun!

Since I’m going to be out of pocket early next week, I pounded the pavement today for work. When I get back, I should have several meetings set to go and presentations ready for delivery. Naturally, I’ll be checking in while I’m away. As I’m new to the role, I don’t want to abdicate my responsibilities at all. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean I’ll spend the entire time running smoothly. Today I spent time setting up my outreach campaign, which will run without any intervention from me. Unfortunately, this also meant I had to skip my yoga class today. Thankfully, I’m going to go take the class as soon as I finish this blog.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Song of the Lark, by Willa Cather

*Gentle Flow with Jennifer from Open Heart Yoga Studio

*I completed a morning and afternoon meditation.

*I completed my work project this morning, so there will be no need for manual intervention from me needed next week.

*Obedience training Anakin

*I learned a new word today. Smicker, which means to ogle and smile amorously.

*Week 9 BBG 2.0 day 5 abs and yoga.

*Countdown: Seven glorious days

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Eight Days

Eight days until I see my airmen!!!!! The title reminds me of our favorite songs, “Eight Days a Week” by the Beatles. This trip will be our first one after the epidemic started, so I’m pretty excited. Needless to say, we’ll be taking plenty of precautions as we travel. Also, we will spend the bulk of our journey outside in wide-open spaces. Fortunately, there is a multitude of outdoor opportunities to fill our time. I cannot wait to explore the Rockies and its surrounding area with my boys!

Today is also my dad’s sixty-seventh birthday. Unfortunately, this year is the first year the boys haven’t been able to celebrate with him since 2009. Undoubtedly, we will have to celebrate all the missed milestones of 2020 once this pandemic is over. Hopefully, we can do celebrate these during the holidays when my son is home on leave. That would be the best Christmas gift ever! I cannot wait to be able to see my family again.

Before I leave you for the night, I need to ask for prayers for Cole. He’s Goalielocks’ teammate, who was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in February. Unfortunately, he suffered a setback this week and is dealing with a nasty eye infection. The first combination of antibiotics proved problematic causing an allergic reaction and the main antibiotic ultimately failed. He is feeling somewhat better today, but has no immune system to fight infection. Please pray that the new antibiotic regiment will take care of the infection, so he can restart chemo next week. Please pray for his continued strength and for his family.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Song of the Lark, by Willa Cather

*Yin Yoga with Jennifer from Open Heart Yoga Studio

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*There has been an insane amount of rain this week. My yard was almost as full of water as Facebook is full of bad information.

*Tonight I’m watching nature shows with my sweet Anakin.

*Week 10 BBG 2.0 day 4 yoga.

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Does Anyone Know What Day It Is?

Does anyone know what day it is? Like seriously, for a millisecond or maybe more, I was convinced that it was Tuesday. In fact, it almost made its way into the blog as the title. Clearly, there are advantages to working at home and never having to leave. However, it has a Ground Hogs’ Day sort of feeling that leaves you wondering what day it is. Honestly, if it wasn’t for my different yoga classes, I don’t think I’d be able to determine the day of the week truly.

Regardless of my difficulty determining the day of the week, I crushed the day professionally. I had two very productive sales meetings with clients. Moreover, I sent out three presentations for clients to review. Today was awesome! When I initially took the position, one of the main draws with the flexibility of the position. However, I have found, over the course of the last few weeks, that meeting and connecting with interesting and successful people is the best part of the job. In fact, I can see how much I am going to learn in this position through my professional interactions. It’s truly exciting.

As for my fitness goals, I wrote a bit about my shoulder being off last night. Unfortunately, it continues to be a bit unstable and a bit painful. Originally, I planned to do the BBG arm workout today. However, when I saw the exercises, I realized I needed to skip it today. Sadly, I think copious amounts of burpees and other plyometrics are not what my shoulder needs right now. Fortunately, I was able to go to my yoga class and that was fantastic. I modified poses where I needed to for my foot and shoulder, but overall I felt pretty good in class. In truth, I am so grateful that my new job allows me the flexibility to take a yoga break whenever I want.

My yoga studio, Open Heart Yoga Studio, has been a sanctuary for me since I started in late October of 2019. When I first restarted my practice, my entire body was tight. In fact, my shoulders were nearly frozen and were a significant source of pain. I started slowly with the gentle classes at least five times a week. Eventually, I was taking classes six days a week and increasing my intensity. This studio, its owner Jennifer and all her teachers, has been crucial to rebuilding my fitness and healing my body. For those of us with autoimmune disease, yoga is a fantastic way to decrease stress and inflammation.

Unfortunately, the pandemic has not been kind to small businesses and my wonderful yoga studio is no exception. For those of you in the South Florida area, I urge you to give your local studio a try. If you’re in Palm Beach County, come check out Open Heart. These small business owners need our love and support more than ever! Here’s the GoFundMe that was started to assist my favorite yoga studio: www.gofundme.com. Where ever you live, check in on your local business owners and see what you can to help them. If you happen to follow my blog and are a small business, please let me know so I can feature you here.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Song of the Lark, by Willa Cather

*Slow Flow with Ava from Open Heart Yoga Studio. I enjoyed the sound of the storms as I melted on my mat.

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*Perhaps is the nefelibata in me that things people show grace to their fellow man when disagreeing on Facebook.

*Obedience training Anakin

*Week 10 BBG 2.0 day 4 yoga

*I was determined to hit all my professional today and I did! I love Wednesdays!

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Ten Days

Ten days until I see my oldest! I can’t wait. I know you’re wondering what happened to day eleven on the countdown. Well, let me tell you. First of all, I am happy to report that it has nothing to do with tequila. Instead, I spent the evening with my friends Terri and PJ catching up. Fortunately, I even got to talk to my airmen on FaceTime as he called Mel while I was at their house. Mel and I had some planning to do as she’ll be heading West with me next week. Naturally, I stayed out later than I had planned and ended up going to bed as soon as I got home.

I had a great time hanging out with Terri, Mel, and PJ. We watched one of Jake’s favorite new shows, The IT Crowd. Upon Jake’s numerous recommendations, I finally started watching the show over the weekend. It’s fabulously British and super topical for my boy. Anyway, last night we watched his favorite episode, “The Outing.” Honestly, I have never laughed so hard in my life. That episode was a sheer comedic genius from beginning to end. Moreover, it was great to watch it with my boy and friends. We were all doubled over in laughter throughout the show.

Today was super productive for me professionally. I finished a couple of proposals and set a couple more meetings. Thus far, the role seems to be a good fit. Additionally, I love the flexibility that comes with the position. The fact that I can work anytime from anywhere is fantastic. In case you missed it in previous blogs, I’m now in the promotional/branding marketing industry. If you need branded gear for your employees, your offices, and your clients, I’m the woman for the job!

I skipped my run today. Mostly because I did leg day yesterday with added weights, and I can barely walk. Kayla Itsines really kicked my butt yesterday. In fact, my legs were so weak today; they couldn’t support me in wheel pose. In yoga today, my right shoulder started to stick out for all the wrong reasons. It was unstable in crow, tri-pod headstand, and in wheel pose. After I left, it struck me that it was my right shoulder that gave out in crow and handstand on Saturday. Clearly, I need to do some work strengthening and rehabilitating that shoulder

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Song of the Lark, by Willa Cather

*Vinyasa with Monica from Open Heart Yoga Studio

*Worked! I’m meeting a lot of quality people.

*It seems like our school board is united in their decision to postpone the start of school. This is great news!

*I enjoyed a morning and afternoon meditation

*Took obligatory picture of Anakin! It turned out super cute!

*Obedience training Anakin.

*Week 10 BBG 2.0 day 2 yoga

*We went to team meetings for both of the boys.

*Countdown: 10 days! It is dreamy just to think about being reunited with my oldest.

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