Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Full Day

One of the privileges of having visitors is that you have an excuse to visit your favorite places.  Malik's sisters are visiting and I was able to take them out today.

 I took them to the mountains first up to Silver Lake to enjoy a little bit of light hiking.  It was a little chilly for them though!

The weather was nice, a little overcast and for me the temperature was perfect.  The clouds were lower which lent an air of mystic to the mountains.

It was so green, and as it had rained the night before everything was giving off a clean smell.  It was really incredible.

The leaves on the canyon flora was edging into it's fall splendor.  I love the contrast of the green with the reds, oranges, yellows and golds.  Fall is truly one of my favorite times of the year.

Afterwards we went to a neighbor's for a pool party.  The kids had so much fun playing with us in the water.  I started to show Mirna how to float on her back.

Malik said that the girls are usually very timid when it comes to going into the pool.  Marina said that it was partly thanks to me being in the pool and playing with them and showing them how to enjoy the water.

Mirna seemed to really love it.  We had fun with Sabine and the neighbors with the kids as well.

The rest of the crew soaked up the sun and enjoyed the water with their feet.

 It has been a fun and full day.  I'm glad I made it home in time, just before the rain to enjoy a nice blueberry tea!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pioneer Extravaganza

Today was Rio Tinto's annual family night.  This year they chose This Is The Place Heritage Park as their venue.  There was everything from demonstrations, to Native American dancing, to re-enactments of daily life, to activities, entertainment and food.  It was a blast!

The girls got to try their hands at carding wool and even panning for gold.  Mirna was so proud that she found enough for the family with a few pellets to spare.

We all had to have our faces painted.  The artists were very professional, and each piece was unique.

We tried our hand at loom bead work at the Navajo hogan and tried out a traditional hair brush made of straw!  We visited the weavers and saw how the printing press was loaded and news papers were originally made.

There was a pony ride, a petting zoo, and the shaggiest cow any of us had seen.  The girls were afraid of that cow because it lowed so loudly and frequently.  It made me giggle.  Mirna even tried to catch a chicken.

There were two trains, and roasted corn to munch on along the way.  We even enjoyed a pulled pork meal at the end of our journey around the park.

We were sad that we weren't able to visit any of the other buildings or see any of the other demonstrations.  I think the girls would have loved trying out more of the pioneer crafts too.  The park is just too big to see in one go.  Maybe we can visit again and make the rounds again when it isn't so busy.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Teeing Off

I never got the chance to add the details of our last day in Kentucky, due to our preparations to go back home to Utah.  My husband thought it would still be pertinent to add it in now so that we have a complete log of our vacation. 

The Friday before we left we did a lot of filming.  Mostly stories about Grandpa when he was younger, and going through photos.  However the highlight of our day was tee-ing off at the mini-golf course near the airport.  It was decorated with jockeys and horses in various racing poses. 

You've never been mini-golfing until you've played with two veteran pros.  Grammy and Grandpa even had they're own special putters in the back of their car since they go so often.  We had a fun time trying to figure out not just how to get the balls into the hole, but with these professionals it was all about efficiency, and skill.  It was serious stuff!

We all ended up getting at least one hole-in-one.  Grammy made a particularly spectacular move on one hole by getting her ball to go into the river at just the right spot so that it would snag on a grate and roll onto the lower green right next to the hole. 

Grandpa was always observing the curve of the green and the lay of the land from the start to the hole.  He even spotted that one of the holes was misleading.  It had a row of giant horse shoes lined up to appear that it lead directly to the hole.  He pointed out that the way it was setup at the end, the ball would more likely ricochet off a shoe or a pole and go veering off in the green or the flower bed next to it.  I had never played a more fun but serious game of mini-golf.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Providence Steps In

On the suggestion of Uncle Rick, Grammy and Grandpa decided to take us to a look out point at the top of Devou Park.  What a show we must have put on trying to find it!  At one point Josh said that in the car there were, "too many chiefs and not enough indians."

After we made it up to the highest point at Dee's Pavillion.  We  were trying to find the way down through the park to get out.  It is a huge park and very confusing, I think Grandpa said that part of the park even contains a golf course.  In our travels through the park we ran across the historical Behringer-Crawford Museum.  Now, this was the very museum that I had asked Grandpa if we could visit when we got here on Saturday night.  Grandpa had replied that he had always wanted to visit it.  Though later when he tried to find it Grandpa said he couldn't figure out where it was. 

It covered the history of Northern Kentucky, as well as the history of the Ohio River.  We had a good time looking at how the area had changed over time.  Josh liked looking at the different examples of cannon ball and shot as well as the other relics of various wars and military presence.  Grammy got a kick out of an interactive section highlighting the steamboat era on the Ohio river.  There were various sounds that you could play and she told us what it had been like to hear those sounds over the river when she was younger.  She said she missed the days of the Ohio Queen and the sounds of her calliope drifting up and down the river.

Lastly we went to a hole in the wall seafood joint called the Bayou.  Grammy was really edgy about eating there.  It wasn't very large, nor especially classy.  The menu consisted of three kinds of fried fish and shrimp plus the catch of the day.  There were sides like coleslaw and gumbo (which was really good, but spicy).  It was a suggestion by Uncle Rick since he found out I like fish and seafood.  It was really yummy.  I think the fish won Grammy over even if she wasn't especially in love with the location of the eatery or the caliber of it's decor.  I definitely want to come here again.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

In the Navy

Yesterday wore Grammy out, and I'm still sick so we decided to take it easy today.  It was pretty hot too, and I think Grammy would have had a hard time playing miniature golf out there today.  We hope that we'll be able to go tomorrow, we'll see there's a storm warning in effect and Grammy doesn't want to drive in the rain.

We stayed in and did more recording.  We got to hear about Grandpa's story how he joined the Navy during World War II when he was 16 years old.  He was pretty sly about it, and snuck in without his mother realizing it.  Apparently he really wanted to join since his brothers had been in the service, one of which snuck in 15 years old.  He also said that as a 16 year old he was a part of the Sea Scouts, whose uniforms looked just like the navy minus one stripe and an anchor instead of a star on the back.  He said he took his uniform with him up when he was visiting San Francisco with his mom and then he would put it on at night after dinner and go out pretending to be a member of another Allied Naval force on leave.  He would go to bars and be included by other service men.

We got to hear how Grandpa and Grammy met, and the story of her two left shoes on their wedding day.  Grammy gets so excited about showing me all of her mementos of her life and other people she's loved.  I'm very touched that she has truly accepted me as her grand-daughter.  She keeps asking if she can send this or that knick-knack home with us.  We have to keep telling her that we don't have any spare room in our little carry on bags to spare and that we didn't bring a  large bag either.  She keeps telling us that we'll need to drive a truck next time to take some of Grandpa's mother's things with us back to Utah.  They call her Mama Hog.  Due to a funny incident in which Josh festooned his great-grandmother Fishburn with a Harley Davidson cap Grandpa had in the car.  They had been driving somewhere together and she had complained of the sun being in her eyes.  Josh said she looked like a biker after putting the cap on her, and she was then named "Mama Hog."

We did go out for linner.  We went to a place called Skyline Chili.  Apparently restaurants based on chili are popular out here.  Grandpa and Grammy told about the different places and how their recipes differed.  We also got some really yummy ice cream from a place called United Dairy Farmers, a store which also doubles as a service station.  We decided to try the flavors English Toffee and Sea Salt Caramel.  They were yummy!!  Since Grammy had never had a sea salt caramel before I told her I would mail some to her.  We enjoyed hearing stories about Grammy's kids and her son Rick who we met yesterday.  They all love to tease and play jokes on each other.  Sounds like my kind of family.  In fact yesterday Rick tried t convince me that his mother had broken her nose five times in her life.  I almost believed it until he started laughing.  Call me GULLIBLE.  I told him I was usually fair game at home too, but that I had far more people ganging up to tease me. I wish I could meet the rest of her side of the family, but there might not be time.