Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Carlsbad Dandies, Pt. 1

I don't know what it is with me, but lately I have been craving being in the mountains! I think Enoch must have worn off on me during his stay at our house or something. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy the perks of living in a large city, particularly the excellent libraries and museums, but I miss the serenity of having mountains nearby, with ample opportunity to escape the hub bub of everyday life. (Does this mean I am getting old?!) I guess what I seek could be summed up in the phrase "simple abundance."

We returned Monday last week from a most amazing and rejuvenating vacation to the Sequoia National Forest. It was the epitomy of simple abundance--the meals were simple (I didn't have to cook them or clean up!) and the food was abundant! (I gained 5 lbs. in a week!) Also in great abundance were hiking trails through breathtaking scenery, large, VERY large trees, and lovely memories that were created with my sweet family. We were fortunate to have my parents-in-law join us, which made it that much more wonderful.

Following are some of the photos from our trip. I will apologize right now for the sheer amount--I know no one but our family cares that much about them, but, as I believe I have mentioned previously, this is eventually going to be printed for our family scrapbook, so without further ado, Enjoy!

Bob was kind enough to take some family photos for us.
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This is the lodge we stayed at.

We were pretty secluded off on the far side of the lake in Dandy's Cabin. (Did they put us there for a reason?!) All the other lodgings were across the lake from where we were.

Here is a photo of the cabin we stayed in. It was very picturesque, and had a wonderful view.

Here are our wonderful grandparents.

We were so excited to see several bears throughout our stay!


The lodge had lots of fun things to do, including a rifle range (which I loved!), archery, horseshoes, canoeing, a pool and hot tub, a trampoline and playground area for kids, and horses. Because we went in the off season, we pretty much had the run of the place. All the staff were really chill and pretty much let us do what we wanted. In the evenings they would have a big fire and roast marshmallows for s'mores.

The following are two of my favorite landscape photos. The first is of the lake in the morning, with the mist rising off of it, and the second is a view from atop Moro Rock, which we hiked our last day there. Talk about a spectacular vista!



Here is a photo of Bob and Arden, walking through one of the sequoia trees which had fallen across the path.

Me and Maile by some gnarly tree roots...

Me clearing boulders out of the way so people could pass by to see Tokopah Falls.

Carlsbad Dandies, Pt. 2

Many of our evenings were spent curled up on the couch in our cabin in front of the fire listening to Bob and Curtis tell stories. They are quite the storytellers! The kids loved getting to stay up late, too!

Here is Arden outside the lodge where we had all our meals.

They had a kids' program which Arden and Maile participated in the first day we were there and enjoyed very much. "Whammy" was in charge of it and took the kids canoeing on the lake, played on the tramp with them, and a few other things.

Here is a photo of Leila in the kid's area.

Here are the kids playing on the tramp with Whammy.

Here we are walking straight down the middle of a hollowed out, overturned Sequoia. Very cool! It was like walking through a little cave!

Family photo op by the roots of aforementioned tree.

We spent some time in the lodge in the later afternoons and evening playing games, ping pong, fooseball, and putting together puzzles.


Grandma suggested the kids work on becoming Junior Rangers, which they did! They were very proud to receive their badges from a park ranger.



Again, atop Moro rock...

Maile got a little nervous being so high up with minimal railings!

Another photo of our cabin. It was so fun, because there were a little family of deer--a momma and two little ones, who must have lived right near the cabin, as we saw them several times.


Here are Grandma Gay and Grandpa Bob with little Leila in the canoe.


Here is Dad, king of the kid stuff!


Family canoeing on the lake. Arden really loved canoeing, which I am so glad about! He is going to be my canoeing and hiking buddy when he gets a few years older!

Here are a few of the horses they still had at the lodge. The other ones were done for the season. We didn't actually get to ride them, but they were fun to look at!

Just about everything of importance one needs to know can be learned from nature!

Here is the General Sherman Tree trailhead. (Bet you couldn't have figured that one out!) The General Sherman tree we learned, is the largest tree by volume in the world. This tree, and the other huge sequoias are truly an awe inspiring sight. Arden remarked that he felt "eensy" next to the trees.


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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Of Sushi Smells

Overheard from the kitchen while making some sushi rolls:

Arden: Maile, I dare you to go in the kitchen--it smells so bad.
Maile: Ewwwwww!
Arden: You have to plug your nose when you go in there.

(enter Maile with plugged nose)

Maile: Mom, what is that stuff?

Me: This is sushi. Want some?
Maile: No way! You should feed that to the ducks!

(Apparently this is the ultimate insult for my cooking, which, in my humble opinion, while clearly unappreciated by my kids, is generally not all that bad!)

After wandering around the house with their noses plugged for some time, the kids both decided to sequester themselves in their rooms and take their rests early today.

More sushi for me!