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Hawaii and Portland 2018

Christmas 2017 – the girls had a scavenger hunt and had to put together the pieces of a puzzle that showed the entire Pacific Ocean; each puzzle piece had a limerick that took them to their next stop; the map had two stars with the letters KOA and PDX. They did not understand what it meant, rightfully so, so we had to give them hints and the finally figured it out.

2013 was the last time we went to Hawaii with the girls, so was extra fun this time because both of them know how to swim and we spent a lot of time snorkeling, which was really lovely. Days were as they usually are in Hawaii: up with the sun, beach, home for lunch, pool, then some nights were for exploring. Overall it was very peaceful.  We had really odd weather every evening – wind howled through Waikaloa so strongly that our curtains were flopping around. We had never seen weather like that before and didn’t really enjoy the evening whistling winds that kept us up for parts of the night.

Jon and I had both started Weight Watchers FreeStyle program right when it came out in December, so being in Hawaii with tree-ripened fruits and fresh veggies was really great and made it so much easier to stay on track. I had a papaya every single day I was there, so when I saw them in the store back in Anchorage, I excited bought one remembering how amazing and juicy there were in Hawaii. Sadly, it tasted like cardboard. I won’t be spending $6-8 per papaya in Alaska again. Yuck.

We took them to Kona and Portland January 1st – 10th, 2018. It was a lovely trip. Portland was really the highlight because there was just so much fun to be had, art to be seen and good food to eat.

Sometimes the girls and I try to figure out where we have taken them, so I’m going to attempt to keep track here, as neither of them keeps track for themselves.

  1. 2006: Tulip Festival in Washington
  2. 2006: Hawaii, Oahu specifically, with Ken & Sue and the girls
  3. 2008: Oahu where we caught up with Tom after visiting from Japan, then headed over to and the Big Island with Swanson’s – Kris was there, too.
  4. 2009: Seattle with everybody
  5. 2010: California to Mexico Carnival Cruise
  6. 2011: Galveston Cruise to Mexico, Cayman Cayman, and Jamaica
  7. 2012: ?
  8. 2013: Hawaii, Big Island
  9. 2014: Thanksgiving in Washington; Bobbie was here in the summer so we spent a few day in Seward
  10. 2015: Florida / November 2015 is the year we started Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and only do cash transactions, paid off everything except our house, and do not use credit cards unless we pay them off right away because we do want the miles.
  11. 2016: Idaho
  12. 2017: Florida and their first time flying across the country and all alone!
  13. 2018: Hawaii and Portland

 

 

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Polaroid Emulsion Transfer Lifts

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It started out as film in the SX-70 and now it has ended with a photography show of emulsion lifts. I’ve created my own monster – and it’s more work than sitting at my computer editing. Now to find a DayLab so I can reverse engineer the images I take on my camera or phone, and move then to a Polaroid, then to an emulsion lift.

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Eklutna Lake – TO THE END!

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I was finally able to make it the whole way to the end of Eklutna Lake on our fat tire bikes . It was so gorgeous. Jon ended up with a flat tire at mile five on the way back, so we walked the last five miles. It was a great ride otherwise. It looks like we could have gone a lot further, but there were about 5+ trees down across the road and over huge puddles of water. I was ready to turn around at mile 11 and we did. I’m glad we did because Jon’s flat might have had us walking longer than five miles. Fun times for sure! I love biking!

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See Ya, Boise!

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My last few hours in Boise: lunch with Paula and Val at Cafe Zupas, a quick hike in the foothills and geocache fail, then drinks with Monica at the airport. I didn’t cry this time because the trip was so good for me, so deeply connected, and I know these friendships are life-long and never ending.

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Simplot / Quinn’s Pond, Pizzas on the smoker, beers

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My final day in Boise was comprised of a lovely walk around Simplot / Quinn’s pond, coffee downtown, a teeny bit of shopping and general relaxation. Simplot / Quinn’s Pond is all about loving your girlfriends, which I found very fitting after this trip! We chilled with pizzas, beers and laughs on the patio in the evening and went to bed early. I am still so touched by the having the most amazing friends in my life. I never thought I’d be so lucky.

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Banbury Overnight then back to Boise

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Eating out: nope. We didn’t do it until the very very end when we gassed up Jeff’s truck! We had planned and prepared enough for the entire trip.

Our last overnight away from Boise, at Banbury Hot Springs, we woke up and made breakfast outside the cabin (it wasn’t raining), made smashed bagels, eggs, and just yummy-goodness, warm coffee, yum.  We watched some beautiful sapsuckers were feeding their babies while we ate, and I saw my first cherry tree as an adult. As we headed out, Val showed us where they’ve gone boating and paddle boarding with Kyle, which looks really amazing and fun. We headed back towards Boise, thrifting once and finding the best finds, ate lunch at this adorable riverside cabin area on the snake river, saw the museum where the settlers crossed, saw Bruneau Sand Dunes (AMAZING!) while Val told us great stories about camping there, then headed back home. We stopped at this diner for dinner – first and only food we ate out in five days. We rocked it.  It was such a great trip.

 

 

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Ketchum, Idaho: exploring after the Sawtooth Relay

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We “chased the sun” with hats and tried to avoid the rain after the Sawtooth Relay, but our weather ended up being pretty crappy.  However, our morning-after Sawtooth started out amazing with a hike around Red Fish Lake – we took a boat to the end, then hiked back. It was a blast. I carried “flat sawtooth” with me for photos ops.

After our hike, we headed back to Ketchum thinking we would find a cheap hotel. Um, hell no. Ketchum is outrageously expensive and snooty. We found a cheap place down the road in a cute little city (Hailey, Idaho) that we enjoyed the heck out of and I’d definitely live there. Bowe Bergdahl lived there, too. We forgot to find his house. We also thifted, geocached, explored the cemetary with beers, found Ernest Hemingway’s grave, saw some waterfalls and got the last cabin (only cabin) at Banbury Hot Springs and soaked for hours and acted like children – we had the pool to ourselves so nobody knows what we acted like. There was a tick in the shower house and we made a pretty big deal to avoid letting it get onto us! 🙂

 

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61.9 Miles Completed!

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The relay was wild (so many people!) and took about 12 hours of our day, but weirdly, it went by so fast it was strange. I think that was because we were all sleep deprived and amped up on adrenaline. We had to be up around 2:30 in the morning, started quite early but we were home by about 5pm. Maybe I’m miss remembering the time we got home, but I think it was still light outside, so before 8pm. We all did really well and nobody got injured, despite really pushing ourselves to run faster and harder than normal. For me, it was not the elevation gain that kicked my butt, but lack of sleep and running in the mornings, something I have only done a handful of times. Morning running: it’s just not my thing.

I had leg #3 and leg #9. When I started out at 5:30, it was so freaking cold outside that I was shivering in the pouring rain, and my broken left hand was frozen in it’s split. We figured out that if I used one of Mondana’s head wraps, I could keep my hand from freezing. The 3rd leg pretty much started going uphill and I’ve never felt my leg feel that heavy in all of my running career – it felt like I had ten-pound weights wrapped around the souls of my feet. My quads felt useless.  I’m not sure if that’s an elevation thing or not, but I had no problems breathing – just that my legs felt like bricks. My second leg, leg #9, later in the day, I felt fatigued, but my legs did not feel like leg #3, so I’m not sure what the difference was. I can only think it was from the early morning run.

Afterwards, we all met up at the park, got our t-shirts and goodies, ate dinner (trout was amazing with pineapple jalapeno sauce, and lots of beer. It was such a lovely day and the anti-climax came at the end when I realized I had spent over six-months training for this race, then it was over in 12 hours. 🙂

Running weather: 30’s, rain, sleet, snow, hail, and Val got all the sunshine on both of her legs.

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Sawtooth Relay – Stanley to Ketchum, Idaho

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Probably the biggest trip of my summer was flying down to Idaho to do join Idaho’s most famous relay race – the Sawtooth Relay! WE DID IT in the fastest time this particular team has ever done it – my time was definitely the slowest, but I did all ten miles! The total was 61.9 Miles.

We stayed at Red Shirt Lake https://redfishlake.com/ which was so lovely! Definitely not the type of place I would be able to afford without having multiple other women paying for this house. It was just gorgeous and so much fun.

The ride up was wonderful – Val probably drove over a thousand miles during this trip and is such an amazing woman for not letting Monica or I do any of the driving. I just love that I’m friends with such wonderful people.  I don’t think I’ve laughed so much in my entire life – a weekend of “chasing the sun” and fun and avoiding the rain.  As Val told me before my first trip to Idaho, the morning we woke up to down pour before the wine run  “it never rains in Idaho.” LOL.

So much excitement on our first day out!