Saturday, September 3, 2016

Bear Lake with the Fam

This past weekend, my parents traded their time share for a condo at Bear Lake.  They invited us to come up and join them.  Clearly we weren't going to turn down a free lake adventure.

My sister, Mellen, and her daughter, Adalyn joined us for the car ride up.  Adalyn wasn't super excited bout riding in the car for three hours, but we discovered that she doesn't cry as long as I'm singing.  I mean, who could do anything but smile when they hear my golden voice?

We got to the condo fairly late on Friday night, so Friday mostly consisted of hanging with the fam in the condo.

Saturday morning, Robyn and I made breakfast for everyone.  We made epic breakfast burritos.  We cooked more sausage than you can possibly imagine.  The deliciousness was off the charts.

After a lazy morning, we all went down to the beach.  Here are some highlights of our adventures.

Dad wore Adalyn's hat.  I don't really know why.  I don't ask questions, I just take pictures.

I really wanted to get a picture of a pokemon under water.  There were no pokemon at the lake.  But at least that gym back there is blue because it has my vaporeon in it.
Mellen and Adalyn hogged all of the preciousness.
Adalyn and I ate our hats to show family unity.
Mom and dad were just eating up the opportunity to be grandparents at the beach.
Meanwhile, Robyn was the only one who could compete with Adalyn in cuteness.

It was a fun weekend.   We headed home after a fun Saturday and got to sleep in our own bed.  All in all, the trip was a success.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Birthday Trip 2016

So I told Robyn that this year I wanted a trip for my birthday.  However, one of the funnest things about a trip is actually planning it.  So I also told her I wanted to plan my trip.

The trip began on my birthday, and I told her that my birthday was up to her to plan.  She did an excellent job.  She told me to get off at 3, and she bought us tickets to see the new X-Men movie.  So I got to hang out with my friends Jean, Cyclops, Wolverine, Mystique, and Professor X.  It was a fantastic way to kick off the trip.  That evening was spent in a hotel in Salt Lake to give us a head start in our travels.

For my trip, I decided that I wanted to see a few of the things in Utah that I had heard about but never actually experienced.

The first of those things was the Golden Spike National Historic Site.  Every child in Utah learned the song about how the transcontinental railroad was completed in Promontory, Utah.  It's a little site in the middle of the desert in the middle of nowhere.  But we drove out there and checked it out.
You have to get a picture next to a sign as proof you were there.
They had a whole reenactment where the train pulled up and people gave speeches and then drove in the final spikes.
Who doesn't love trains?

It was just like in 1869.  I bet back then everybody at their phones out taking pictures.

I made Robyn stand on the railroad for a picture.  She totally didn't get run over by a train.
The next location I took us to was the Spiral Jetty.  It's also in the desert in the middle of nowhere.  It sits on the shore of the Great Salt Lake.  It was made by a sculptor and depending on the level of the lake, sometimes it is below water and sometimes it is not (like right now).

Selfie with the jetty.
I made Robyn walk the whole spiral with me.  She tried to cut across, but I wouldn't let her cheat herself from the full experience.  We got to the center and had to take a precious pic.
Doesn't she make the spiral look precious?
The next event wasn't a place I'd heard about my whole life like the first two, but it was on my Utah bucket list.  We went to the Eccles Dinosaur Park in Ogden.
They had mosquitoes in amber, so I'm not sure what the holdup is.  They should clearly have clones some dinosaurs by now.

There were lots of bones to look at.
They had an indoor museum that was more of the traditional natural history museum, and then outside they had lots of dinosaur statues.  There were little signs that could teach you about the different dinosaurs, so it was fun.
Just hanging with the triceratops.

Look how calm she looks even though she's about to be eaten.

That concluded our Saturday activities, but fear not!  There was more fun to be had on Sunday.

We wanted to have some sort of church experience, and another thing on my Utah bucket list was to attend a taping of Music and the Spoken Word.  They were doing a memorial day special and it was really fun.  There was a TV that was showing the live broadcast, and I liked to watch the cameras move around and see how they achieved the shots that were being shown on the TV.

Before the broadcast they explained to us that it was live and that the acoustics in the tabernacle are very good, so we need to be very quiet.  I was totally reverent.

We didn't take any pictures inside the tabernacle (they weren't allowed during the broadcast and before and after there wasn't much to take a picture of.)  But naturally, we got a selfie in front of the temple on our way out.

The next Sunday event was to visit Gilgal garden.  It's a little garden tucked away in a residential neighborhood.  I had seen pictures of the Joseph Smith Sphinx and had wanted to check out the whole garden for a long time.

Pictures of signs: very important.

When I saw it I just started grinning and laughing.  I think Robyn was embarrassed to be with me.

I told Robyn I needed a picture of her in front of something.  She chose this arch and those giant books behind her.
At this point, it was about lunch time and Robyn wanted to be home.  I only had one more stop on my list and it was the Summum Pyramid.  It's a pyramid that actually performs mummifications.  (Who knew that was still a thing?)
Robyn didn't even get out of the car, so I had to take my selfie with the pyramid.  After seeing X-Men: Apocalypse, I was pretty sure Apocalypse was hiding inside and probably acquiring new powers he would use for world domination.  But I didn't see him.

Finally, we could head home and take a good afternoon nap in our own beds.  I'd say it was a successful birthday trip.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Pi/e Day observed!

As you know, today (Side Note: Jeff actually wrote this on the actual Pie Day 3/14, I was just lame and posted today, oops!-Robyn) is Pi Day.  If you don't know that, you can begin by feeling ashamed.  You should probably do that for at least ten minute.  Please proceed to feel shame.

After seeing last year's extremely successful celebration on a Saturday, we decided that it would be better to have a Pi Day observed, so that we could celebrate on Saturday.  So while today is the real deal, we celebrated on Saturday, and it went very well.

As we always do, we offered prizes for the most delicious pies brought by our guests.  We had 10 homemade pies, and all of them were delicious.

Look at all that goodness.
I've been celebrating Pi Day for longer than I have been married.  But, Pi Day has become much more fancy since Robyn became involved.  Look at these fancy decorations.

I think we had about 25 people in attendance.  I didn't actually count, but we definitely had our little house filled to the brim.

The kitchen and main room were full of people.

We had another room with toys for kids and more room for enjoying pie.

Our panel of judges consisted of my friend Dave and my friend Jason.  They were both highly qualified due to their math knowledge.  They know all about pi, which naturally means they know all about pie.

The winner was my friend Deanna with an apple pie.  It was quite delish.
It's important to get a picture with the winner.  If you can't tell, we're signing 3.14.
All in all, it was a successful evening.  Did you celebrate?  If you did, tell me about your experience.  If you didn't, feel free to be ashamed.

The Escape Room

Have you heard of escape rooms?  It's a new trend that I only heard of 5 or 6 months ago.  My sister suggested that we should try one as a family.  We selected one in American Fork, and it turned out to be a lot of fun.
I made Robyn stand next to the sign before we went in.

So here's how it works.  They lock you in a room.  (In this particular one, the room happened to actually be a trailer in the parking lot of the One Man Band restaurant.)  They set a timer, and you have a limited amount of time to get out.  In this case, the timer was 45 minutes.  I imagine that's fairly standard, but I'm sure it could vary.  When the time runs out, if you haven't gotten out, they let you out and you lose.  But, I preferred to pretend that if you don't make it out, you die.  I felt like that was a little bit more motivating.  Spoiler: We survived.

As we initially looked around the room, there were lots of things to explore.  There were a number of boxes with combination locks, there was an exercise bike, there were locked cupboards and various other mysterious objects.

As you explore, you discover that there are different puzzles that, when solved, reveal clues to solving other puzzles.  Many of the puzzles, when solved, reveal a combination for a lock, then you have to find the lock that it goes with.

 It was super fun to work as a family and solve the puzzles together.  Here are a few pictures from our adventure as a family.
Mom solved a maze puzzle to acquire this key.

It took us a while to figure out what the books were trying to reveal.

Robyn is having things revealed to her in the box.

Those pesky books.

Padre may have broken off a piece of the cupboard while he was trying to figure out a clue.  Don't tell anyone.

This particular box had a locked box inside of it, so it was extra tricky.
 We cut it a little close.  We got out of the room with 3:22 left.  When you open the door, the time stops, so naturally Robyn and I had to take a selfie with the clock.

And here's the whole team.  We totally got out alive.
I totally recommend it.  The puzzles are challenging enough that you get to feel smart when you solve them, but it's all very doable for a group to achieve together.  It also allows you to work as a team and have fun together.

You totally need to give it a try.  And let me know how you do.

Next time we need to try one where a bomb explodes and you die if you don't solve it.  I bet we could do it even faster with proper motivation.