Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Creed Takes a Roadtrip to Moab

Larry had the whole weekend off, yes people, SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, in a row, and neither of had to teach in church so we had to take advantage of such a momentous occassion and get out of town!  Too bad we don't know anyone around here with a fabulous vacation home.  After a little debate, we opted to head to Moab, because, well, we'd never been there.

We drove down Friday evening and Creed quickly learned the joys of jumping on hotel beds.  

So what did we seen during our vacation?  Well, se saw some wildlife upclose and personal, like this raven (at least I think it's a raven, but it could just be a HUGE crow) (yep, just call me Naturegirl)

And this bluebird

And this deer
And we saw some petroglyphs
Oh, and did I mention some of the most amazing scenery in the world?

We spent our first day at Canyonlands National Park.  A lot of movies have been filmed there and it was easy to see why.  It was incredible.  We started out with a short hike to its most photographed point, The Mesa Arch.
Then it was on to hiking around the rim of the Grand Overlook.
And another hike up to view the Upheaval Dome
Where Creed found a little dome just his size.Before heading home, we stopped at Dead Horse Point State Park to admire the view.  Creed was sleeping so Larry and I took turns staying with him in the car so here's Larry's self portrait to prove he was there.
We watched the sun set and then we headed back to the hotel, and yes, the roads all over Arches and Canyonlands look like this.  In fact you should click on it to get a closer view of how twisty the road is and that still doesn't do it justice.

So on our second day, we went to Arches National Park.  If you're only in Moab for two days, I recommend viewing Arches second, and if you only have one day, Larry and I both would choose Arches over Canyonlands.  There are three sections of Canyonlands, The Island in The Sky (which was the part we visited), The Needles (which I still would like to see, but you have to leave the park and drive pretty far around to another entrance to get there and we just didn't have the time), and the Maze (which you need a special permit to hike through on a ranger guided tour.  It looked amazing, but it wasn't happening with Creed).  Arches is much smaller and doesn't have the grand views of huge canyons, but it was AMAZING!
Both days we consulted with Rangers to plan our hikes and they were all really helpful and full of information about which sites are the most popular and which hikes are the most family friendly.

We started our day with a short hike to see North Window, South Window, and Turret Arches.

When you see the two windows together, they are nicknamed the spectacles. Most of the time Creed preferred to walk instead of being carried so we were sort of slow hikers.  He walked so much and he learned to go up and down stairs without holding on to anything.  It was so cute to see him toddle around and explore.  Of course there was times when it was too dangerous and he had to be carried, which he did not like one bit.  Here he is climbing the stairs to the Turret Arch

Next we drove to the Sand Dune Arch.  We might have skipped this one if the rangers hadn't suggested it, but it was our favorite.  You hike up to these huge slabs or rock sticking out of the ground and slide between two fins.And inside, you find a sand dune.
and an arch.  It's pretty cold in there so it's probably a great place to take a break in the summer.  Creed brought about a pound of sand back to the car in every nook and cranny, but he had so much fun in the sand that it was worth it.
After that we hiked to the Landscape Arch.  The widest spanning arch in the park.  You used to be able to hike up under it, but in 1991 a huge slab fell down from it and they are not sure when the rest of it will collapse.
Of course we were a little tired after all of that hiking, but you can't come so far without seeing the Delicate Arch.  It's on the license plates here and it's what a lot of people think of when they think about Utah so I really wanted to see it in person.  We heard the hike was sort of scary and difficult, but after some reassurance from a ranger, we decided to attempt it at the end of the day.  They tell you to go in the late afternoon when the light it best, but it's also when we were already tired.  Creed began the journey asleep.
The hike is three miles roundtrip, but it goes up 500 ft in elevation.  Most of the hike is on slick rock like this and it can be a little steep, but there are spots where it levels off and you could rest of you needed to.
The last 200 ft are along a ledge with a really steep drop-off (which I didn't capture in this picture).  It's actually wide enough for two people to easily pass each other, but we still saw a few very scared people.

Then you turn the corner and see this!

The hike wasn't as hard as Larry and I thought it was going to be (and that was with the two of us trading off carrying Creed, who slept quite a bit of the way) so I've you've been wanting to try it, you should!

The best part of the trip was just being together as a family for two whole days with no work to do or errands to run.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Creed Gets A Little Older

Creed really needed a haircut, but he was not too happy about it and his hair ended up being a little shorter than anticipated.  I was a little sad about it because I think he looks so old now (well, when he doesn't have a binky in his mouth anyway).

He always surprises me with how much he remembers.  On Friday he picked up a toy squirrel and waited for me to open the front door.  I had no idea what that was all about, but I opened it and watched him run out to the tree in our front yard and pretend the squirrel was crawling all over it.  This seriously entertained him for about an hour.  He loved to pretend the squirrel was scratching at the tree, running up and down it, and nesting in its branches.  
He hasn't even seen a squirrel since we moved from Ohio.  How did he even know squirrels live in trees?  Then I realized that I read Scaredy Squirrel to friends earlier last week while Creed was running around and playing and I didn't think he was paying attention, but I guess he was.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Etsy Love

I could spend hours on end browsing Etsy. Right now it's tempting me with holiday gift ideas.
Who could resist playing with one of these Teddy Bots?
If I could get Creed to wear a bib, he would absolutely have to have one of these business bibs.
And oh, I wish Creed owned Frank Porter the Hot Dog Eating Champion because he just makes me laugh.
I love these simple flower earrings.
And I can't think of one occassion I would possibly wear this, but I'm in love with this shoulder wrap.
And who doesn't need a Princess and the Pea necklace like this?
Even gifts for Larry abound. You know he would love to have one of these!
And there are so many fun holiday decorations too. Like this Rudolph pillow.
I love the idea of a little paper house banner like this one.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Creed gets his picture taken

These pictures are from a few weeks ago when I was again fiddling around with my camera for Candice's class (for those of you who were wondering, she will be teaching the class again, but it looks like it won't be until the spring). Creed's so full of energy that I can rarely get him to look at the camera and if he does, it's usually on the odd occasion that Larry is around, dancing behind the camera. And thus, we caught these photos.

Seriously, Creed could not get any cuter!

Tis the season to be sewing

I love all things Amy Butler, so I think I'd be interested in buying these new holiday patterns, but they are free! There are several and some of them don't even involve sewing. You can find them here.

I haven't been able to find just the right tree skirt so I was especially happy to see this pattern. And you could have all sorts of fun with this felt stocking pattern
but my favorite by far is this snow mum pillow. I think it would be beautiful year round, and you could adorn so many different things with that mum.