Monday, August 7, 2017

Old Home Week

Let me start out this post by saying I didn't make it to about 1/3 of the activities planned. My sister Kira was in town, and she is just BRUTAL with the fun schedule! Hahaha. I did my best. We had Kira, Meesha, and Deja in town, and of course my brother Gavin and his family came to play most days, which was heroic of them to drive down from Woods Cross each time. My Aunt Dawn and Uncle Charlie, who moved here recently were also players --with my parents. I love how so many of my family members are moving close by!
I got into town from Mexico late late Friday night, and spent Saturday trying to pull ourselves together. Sunday the schedule started with a vengeance. We went to church of course, then drove up to temple square in Salt Lake. 

We played around up there for a while, and then Meesha and I rushed back to cook a big carne asada meal for everyone. Scott did the grilling, but we had a big Mexican vegetable stir fry, seasoned black beans, chicken, and all of the burrito fixings you could imagine. Everyone hung out at my house until almost 10:00. We didn't realize we hadn't written our letters to Tia until we were lying in bed. I felt just sick thinking of her going to the little internet cafe and seeing no letters for her, so I set my alarm extra early the next day and got up to write first thing. 
After recovering from the early morning wake up and a Y-mountain hike workout, I took the boys to the Grotto off the Nebo loop. This is the shortest hike imaginable, but it has a cool waterfall at the end. 
We stopped at some of Payson's little shops to look around, and even caught a group of Dungeons and Dragons players in the middle of a game in a back room of the game shop. I felt like I had seen dinosaurs. I didn't know people still played that!
That night was our Hansen family reunion at Bartholemew park. Just a few weeks ago, Springville decided to charge for parking at this reservoir. We were a little bugged since it went into effect AFTER we had booked it. Not cool Springville. On the plus side, the kids had a blast in the water. We had family bring a giant paddle board, and a floating island mat thing, and some little rafts. 
We ate and played and had a great time. 

The next day, we headed over to the BYU art museum. There were two great exhibits there, along with the resident collections --which are great in their own right. Heck --I think there were two other temporary ones too that I missed. Anyway I stayed downstairs looking at 19th century photographs until I thoroughly bugged my family --most of which were upstairs. I realized though that I needed to get glasses from this experience. I couldn't see the details of those pictures like I wanted to. Great. Glasses. 
That night the siblings all went out for dinner at Maria Bonita's in Orem. Oh my goodness this was great food and great service! See the pineapple coconut drink above? It really was enough for three people. I got the molcahete to share with Jeff. Wow. grilled fresh nopales, spring onions, shrimp, beef, chicken.... it went on and on.
The next day we took my mom out for her birthday at Art City trolley. Can you see a theme here of eating too much? Yeah me too. Everyone went to Provo rec center that afternoon, but I just dropped Ari off and hurried home to get in a quick bike ride. Kai was pooping out on this one too. That night we went to my Aunt Dawn's house for another dinner. Many of us had never seen her new house so that was fun. 
The next day we went up to Tibble Fork, but Ari and Jeff had already left for ward youth conference in St. George. Me and Kai went though and we had a good time. My sister had rented a two person kayak that we paddled around the lake, and there was a rope swing into the water. 

I walked around the lake to the far side, and it was lined with big mature pines. my favorite. It smelled so good over there! There was also a little chipmunk on the side of the trail that must have been fed before by a number of people. He came right to my feet and looked up at me expecting food I guess, and then when I didn't oblige, he scurried up a tree right next to me until he was about level with my face and turned his head around to look at me. That actually made me a little nervous...

 That night we went to the Springville world folk fest. This is a neat event that Springville has hosted for 30 years or more. Dance teams from around the world travel to dance here in 3-4 performances at the Arts park. 

 I loved the casual atmosphere being outside brought to the event. The kids could play around without really bugging anyone. We could talk and chat about the performances too --which I did a ton of. I am a big talker in movies too. You probably don't want to sit next to me in a movie theater. 

This was my favorite group --which happened to be Native American dancers. The hoop dancing was just spectacular. 
Friday was moving day for Meesh. They were able to housesit for us while we were in Mexico, and stuck around this last week while we played, but their closing was on Friday, and they were able to move in right away. This was a big job and it isn't finished yet, but we got the kitchen functional and beds made at least. I slept on her couch (ironic change of places for us!) because we had another event up in Woods Cross the next day.
Bubby's baptism! This was such a nice event. Everyone came for this, even my Sister in law's family came from Arizona.However I was the only one from my family. Jeff and Ari were still at youth conference, and Kai was on a scout campout. 
We ate (again! oh my goodness I overate this week!) and talked and hung out at my brother's house, until I decided I had better hurry home to get things in order a bit after our week of playing. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Paddleboarding to Los Arcos

Thusrday morning Jeff and I wanted to take the kids up to zipline at El Eden, but they refused to hike up there to do it. Well, forget it we said. We went down to the cove to get a paddle-boarding lesson. I was really nervous about it. My kids had tried it in San Diego and kept falling off --making it look really hard! It wasn't difficult at all. I didn't fall off even once. We had a good teacher, and ten foot boards which I hear are a little easier to balance. We decided that for the price we were paying we weren't going to try to talk the kids into it. We just did a thing for us :) 

After the lesson on Thursday, we got up at 5:00 am on Friday our last day to do a dawn tour (with our instructor) of Los Arcos --islands just about a mile from the cove entrance. It was supposed to be great snorkeling there too, so our guide took our snorkel stuff on his board for us. He also took all of these pictures. Some of them are just fantastic! I highly recommend using him: Paddle Zone if you are in Mismaloya --or if you decide you want to see Los Arcos. His name is Santiago.

 These are the arches that Los Arcos is named after. There are 5 islands, and I think 3 have arches.

 Bats in here!

 The water was just crystal. So clear. We saw these little bio-luminescent algae critters in the water. They were big for plankton --like half a grain of rice --and bright blue! They flashed on and off. We were enchanted.

 We were there in time for the sunrise, and rested a bit.

 Our guide.

 We snorkeled for a while, and were really impressed with the number and variety of fish we saw. We also saw sea turtles from our boards and when we were in the water. This spot is worth an expedition to get to. I am biased and think we had the best way to get there. I felt sorry for the big boats crowded full of people disembarking just as we were ready to leave. 

 It was a great finale to a great vacation.