Sunday, August 15, 2010

Yosemite National Park


Wherever Michael and I have lived, we've tried to take road trips to nearby destinations so that not only can we take vacations but also experience what each part of the country has to offer. Living in LA has been great. We've been to Big Sur for our anniversary this past year, which was amazing, and now we can check Yosemite off of our list.

We had the opportunity to go with some friends from our ward, Rachel and Austin Robinson and we had such a great time!!! We left Wednesday after Michael finished work and after taking the past two days to plan and buy supplies, we headed north for our 5.5 hour car trip up to Yosemite. We arrived at our first campground stop just south of the park entrance at midnight where we set up our tent in close to 20 minutes, changed, brushed our teeth and slept for 5 hours before packing up our belongings to head into the park and hopefully snag a spot in one of the few and always full campgrounds. After getting to Bridalveil campground we were able to get an awesome campsite from some people who were leaving, which was very lucky on our part!

After setting up camp we took a nap for a couple of hours and then headed out for our hike to Vernal and Nevada waterfalls.

It was such a spectacular hike! I was dead tired almost the entire way up (at one point we had to climb some 1,500+ stairs to reach the first waterfall, as well as another 1,500+ to reach the second, and if you look closely in the next pic, you can see the stairs at the bottom) but the scenery was to die for and the waterfalls were so majestic that the hike was beyond worth it.
At one point at the top we decided to go swimming in the FREEZING cold water. It was so refreshing after the difficult hike up, but I was only able to stand it for about 10 minutes before I had to get out. What was so cool about it was that it was at the very top of the waterfall! This next picture is of where we went swimming in the the calm area at the top. So, fun!

This was the edge of the waterfall. Such a gorgeous view!
The hike down was tolerable and we really enjoyed the day.
We all ended it with getting back to camp and cooking in the campfire the hobo dinners that Rachel, Austin and I prepared the day before. Michael did a great job cooking them and they ended up being so yummy, especially since we were so hungry. We really had a great time relaxing around the campfire eating s'mores and drinking hot chocolate, even though Rachel and I were kinda freaked out about the possibility of a bear walking into our camp!! That night we were all so exhausted that we actually slept pretty well, even though it was beyond FREEZING cold outside!

The next morning we decided to take a drive to Glacier point to see Half-dome from a distance as well as the waterfalls that we had hiked the day before.
Afterward we took a leisurely hike to Taft Point and the Fissures which was absolutely beautiful! We were in awe at the sheer cliffs that the trail ended at and we had a great lunch near the edge of one of the cliffs.
Afterward we decided to make a stop to see the Sequoia grove before leaving the park. The trees were amazing and absolutely gigantic!
All in all we had a really amazing trip, even though we got a flat tire about 200 miles from LA and had to drive the rest of the way home on a spare at 55 miles per hour because all of the tire stores were closed. We arrived home Friday night close to midnight, but we really had such a great road trip with the Robinson's and Michael and I can't wait to go back to Yosemite.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Beach, Bonfires and S'mores!


Yeah for the beach! I have really had a great summer and now that it is winding down I am trying to fill it with as many activities as possible before I have to start teaching in about 3 weeks. One great summer activity Michael and I were recently able to attend was a bonfire headed up by our good friends the Robinson's.

Thanks so much, Austin for snagging the fire-pit at 11:30 on a Saturday so that we could all show up at 6pm to roast hotdogs and s'mores!
Everyone standing around waiting to roast some hotdogs!
Michael showing off some mad skills for the Kimballs
What an awesome group of people! I really love our LA friends!

It was really a fun time and there were lots of friends in attendance. I can't wait to enjoy another bonfire, and hopefully we can squeeze one in again soon! Next up, Yosemite this coming weekend!

For me?!


Even though my birthday is about 6 weeks away, I still have to drop hints to my husband wherever I can...
"Don't forget honey, I wear an 8 1/2."

Friday, August 6, 2010

Last night Michael and I, plus a few couples from our ward were able to take advantage of Mormon night at the Dodgers Stadium. Yes, they really had this... unfortunately the Dodger's lost 0-5 to the Padres but we still had fun, nonetheless. Here are a few great shots at Dodger Stadium.
Michael and me, enjoying the game! Thanks Cassie, for the great Dodger's T-Shirt!
Just a few of us girls! Kylie, Keylee, Rachel, me, Cheryl and Hope.

I just had to add this video too, as you can see, Michael was REALLY enjoying the game.
video

Sunday, August 1, 2010

PIONEER DAY!

Our Church Stake throws a really great Pioneer Day Picnic each year and thanks to the Johnsons from our ward who were in charge of it this year, it turned out to be a lot of fun! Other than the fact that I thought someone stole my camera,* Michael and I really enjoyed hanging out with some friends, eating lots of desserts, playing a nice game of tug-o-war, and bingo. It was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL day in LA and we are so happy to be living here with such great people and amazing weather.

*My camera went missing halfway through the night but after many announcements and lots of searching someone told me I should check the trash. Hmmm... well, there it was! In the dumpster of the church.

Yea! For Pioneer Day! I made the banner for the event. Isn't it cute?! And Yes, that is the LA temple in the background. Our Church building is on the same block as the temple with some church owned ball fields in between.
Hope and I waiting to get some yummy grub
Playing some Pioneer Day Bingo!
Can you believe this near blackout win!! I was so bummed that I didn't get Blackout Bingo first!
After the picnic we stayed for a couple of hours to help clean up the field and dismantle the various booths for the event. It was worth the extra work because with the help of one of the grounds keepers we managed to climb all the way up to the top of the church steeple to see this amazing view. It was pretty cool.