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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Just one observation:

this world is amazing!Trev, Stacey and I hiked the Observation Point trail in Zion National Park on Monday. There really aren't words to describe it. The 8 mile-round trip trail is absolutely worth it and a must do for Zion park. You cannot beat the view at the top. The geology of the place is incredible, and anytime we go to Zion's I find myself wishing that I had paid more attention in my college geology class...or, alternatively, that Landen and Kylie were with us so that Landen could explain about all of the amazing rock patterns and formations. I really do think the desert is the loveliest of places. We made a new goal this weekend to hike something, somehwere each weekend while Stacey is with us. We are so close to so many beautiful places it should be hard to do - so expect to see many more hiking posts in the future. If you have a moment you should look at more incredible pictures from this hike on Stacey's blog.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tarry and sit thee down...

Trev and I spent the weekend working at and enjoying the local Renaissance Fair. It was the first Renaissance fair ever held in Saint George and the first fair Trev and I have ever atteneded. After two intense days of running entertainment groups and sound boards and being dressed up midieval style we are officially fans. Since the official vote on the playlist question is tied I am switching up the song list for some music to get you in the mood while you read this post.

We have some dear friends who are members of the group that put together the Ren fair. They asked us for some help and we readily agreed. I sewed many costumes. I was pretty proud of myself - though I was a little bit of a cheater and rather than starting from scratch since i only had two days to make my costumes I started at the DI., picked out some peices and then hacked them up and remade them into what I thought looked reasonably Renaissance-y. I think I did pretty well. I made all of my cosutmes and sewed the tunics on the two handsome men in the flollwing photos too. I made soome other cosutems, but didn't get pictures of them.
And then we worked with all of the preformers and the sound equipment. It was really fun. The food and the vendors and the preformers were great. But what I found the be the most exciting and fascinating was meeting all of the hard-core Ren fair folk.

There are some people who are seriously into this. I mean way into it. So far into it you really cannot comprehend how large a part of their life it is until you speak with them. There were different groups that are called guilds who worked the Ren fair. These are folks who dress in authtic costumes, speak the authentic language and just generally act and live as if it really were the Renaissance for the weekend. There are a host of different characters. Gypsies, Pirates, Belly dancers, Peasents, Wenches, Knights, Fools, Jesters, Lords, Ladies, Fairies and more. And they really are the alter egos of these people. Many of these people travel all over the country from fair to fair just working the corwd and creating a more authentic expereince. They were some of the most interesting people I have sopken to. I like what they do. And many of them are proficiant at things that are really lost arts. Rope making, sword fighting, sword making, belly-dancing, fire-eating, mideival archery etc. They were kind and funny and interesting. Working at the fair gave us the unique opportunity to interact with these folks more. The fools and jesters and goofy flirts, the knights are so very chivlerous and the vikings are a little intense. The first thing the leader of the Viking guild said to me was "You know you are not in authentic dress...unless you are trying to be a fairy of something." Oops. I guess next year I will have to go for a more authetic look.

One of the very cool things was the live jousting. There are very few folks who do "full-contact jousting" anymore. And the group that preformed at the fair is one of the best. The knights all have competed in world jousting competitions and done qute well. I talked to a few of them who described how intense it is to actually get hit. They have huges bruises on the their chests. It is crazy. I didn't get any video of someone going off their horse - but we did see one fellow get knocked off and we also saw a whole lot of broken lances. One other very cool thing about these guys - the horse they use are rescue horses that they adopt and work extensively with.

This is my first video attempt. Obviously I didn't realize the camera was still on. I stuck it on here 'cause I thought it was funny. The second video is the cool one.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Your opinion counts...

So while I was taking FOR-EVER to put up my last post I decided to pop a playlist on my blog in between the pic. uploading screen. Now I have mixed feelings about blog playlists. Sometimes they annoy me (no offense to anyone who rocks one, I think it just depends on my mood) and other times I really like to hear what music y'all listen to. I think tunes can reveal much about personality and mood. I know the four songs that I uploaded right now capture just how I feel the last few days. Happy. I was kind of thinking that I would maybe try to change out my song list each time I posted according to what songs I felt represented me and where I am at in the moment. But, always thinking of you, my dear readers, I don't want my musical particulars to drive anyone nuts or drive you away - tell me what you think on the side poll...and if you are interested, scroll down and read the good post - not the short, quick one about music. :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Five days and ten pounds later....

Well, we are home from our cruise. It was the first Cruise Trev and I have ever been on, and I have to say our reviews of the whole experience are pretty positive. We will look forward to going on our real Mexican Riviera Cruise sometime hopefully in December.

In some ways, it was actually a good thing that we spent four of our five day cruise on the boat since the Mexican ports are closed to international cruise ship travel. There is so much to do on the boat itself that it was simply nice to soak up that experience.
Cruise ships really are incredible. They are luxurious and over-the-top in so many ways. The cruise lines really seem to stress that you are supposed to relax and forget everything back on the land you left. Some of the highlights of our ship included a miniature golf course and walking track on the top deck, table tennis, the swimming pools, hot tubs and water slides, the sushi bar, the dance floors and live bands and the entertainment shows that were scheduled throughout the day and evening. Trev and I with the Ship's captain on the formal dinner night. I don't think the captain really does much...

Not to mention the food. I am a Sutton girl, and you can ask anyone who comes from that family, we can put away a serious amount of food. Especially for the smaller frames most of us have. In fact, one of the first things Trev ever told me he liked about me was that I "could eat." I certainly probably reminded him of that fact on this trip. I ate so much food that our waiter gave me a hard time for ordering two deserts and two entrees on some nights. Even though the food was fabulous and never ending I only came home two pounds heavier than I left. Two pounds that I think I have hiked and biked off by now. Trevor, on the other hand weighed in at a grand total of ten pounds more! That is some serious poundage in four days. Crazy huh? I am sure he will lose it again quickly as he has already been hitting the weight room and exercising.

We went to many fabulous shows, we danced and danced, we ate and ate, and then we laid around in the sun a lot. I am actually even tan for one of the few times in my life. I did great with my sun screening and didn't get sunburned at all. However, I am not really all that good at sitting around. I tend to get bored and I like to be busy. Sometimes Trev speculates that I have a high-functioning case of ADD. We both realized this might be a problem before we actually left Longbeach, California and he asked me if I wanted to take anything besides books with me on the boat. I decided it was a good idea and we hit up a craft store where I bought knitting needles, some yarn and a book that claimed you could teach yourself to knit in 20 minutes. I used to knit - but only ever really made dish clothes, and it has been about 7 years since I tried. But I was happy with how quickly I figured it out. So while we all lounged in the sun I knit baby toys (side note- no matter what you all think...uhm Michelle, Blake, Stacey... - I do not actually want a baby, but I am into making baby toys because they are so cute and I already have many dishrags) First I made a Hippopotamus. He turned out a little lumpy, but is still cute. I was learning. My second toy was a turtle and I did much better. I want to make an ant next. I loved hanging out in the sun and knitting, even though Trev pointed out that everyone on the ship was staring like I was a HUGE nerd. Which I kinda am, so I guess I have to be okay with that.
Here are my finished knit toys

One of the other things we did that I loved was kayak around Catalina island and snorkel along the kelp forests. The kelp is amazing! I am thinking about how cold the water is gonna be in that kayak

I was absolutely mesmerized by the way that the Kelp can look so slimy and brown and blah from above the surface of the water, and then underneath of the water they were so vibrant and beautiful. There were so many colors and the rhythm of the ocean moves the strands of sea plants in the most lovely way. I could have stared all day if the boat had not threatened to leave me and my body had not begun to shiver in the cold water. Really incredible. I always thought that fish were where it was at when snorkeling, like the snorkeling we have done in Hawaii and other places, but this trip really instilled an appreciation for the ocean's plant life in me. What an amazing world lies beneath the water.

To cut my rambling details short, we really did have a wonderful time. As much as I enjoyed everything, my favorite thing was to just be with Trevor. He was so fun and romantic the entire time. He made me feel absolutely loved and beautiful every night. It was timeless.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Where have I been...and where am I going?

The last week or so has constituted one of my longest absences in Blogging history. Life has been busy the past few weeks. Our biggest events are:
  • Finishing Spring Semester! Yea! Trev starts again May 17 & I teach again on June 1
  • Stacey Moved in! Trev's little sister, Stacey, will be living with us for the Summer
  • One of our dearest friends, Ammon, was married!

  • I planted my summer garden - it is mostly peppers.

This is where we have been...and in between all of this, we have been getting ready to go again on a cruise! Which we leave for in approximately two hours. I wanted to jump on and leave a quick note, so as not to leave those of your completely enthralled with my life hanging (slightly egotistical eh?).

Anyway - our cruise is a long story. For the last year we have planned a cruise to Mexico for this week. And then, you guessed it, SWINE FLU. This was not a happy thing for me. Sometimes I do not adjust to change well. Which, is unfortunate, as Trevor keeps explaining to me because change is the only thing to count on. After mourning for a week or so at the cancellation of the cruise, fighting with Carnival on the phone so much about getting a refund that they eventually told me they would now only speak to my Travel agent, and just lots of general whining and complaining we made a new plan. We are traveling with Trev's parents and our friends the Witbecks. They all still wanted to go on another cruise, but we did not want to pay anymore money and wanted to try again for Mexico in December after the general, ridiculous hysteria over a FLU decreased. We ended up compromising by the following:

Because we received a refund for the land excursions we had planned in Mexico we used that money to book a super cheap 5 day cruise out in the ocean that stops off in Catalina for a few days. We will still try to go to Mexico in December. Overall, I am pretty happy with this. I am really looking forward to the time with Trev. We leave from LA and came down to CA a day early to spend Mother's Day with Trev's grandma. Her Mother's day present was one of the best ones I did this year. She loves Chicken noodle soup, but has arthritis in her hands. I made her a HUGE batch of home-made egg noodles. We dried them all day yesterday and now she can use them whenever. It was a perfect gift because it cost nothing but time and will be useful.

Here we are in our first-day-of-cruisin' outfits. My big floppy hat is my latest strategy to keep the sun off of this fair, fair skin.