This is a page dedicated to our many adventures and travels! Scroll on my friends! (Slowly, but surely, pictures will be uploaded and the blue headers on this page will link you to the Picasa albums. It’s easier than uploading hundreds of pictures.)
We were just beginning to date this year, so we didn’t go on any vacations, but we had a lot of fun adventures together! This is the beginning of our journey to forever.
Jeff had been in Phoenix for a few months and we decided we really, really missed each other. We weren’t “dating” but we were keeping in touch through Skype at least once a week. It was confusing and frustrating, so when my family got invited to Lake Powell with my Uncle Dave and Aunt Robin, I jumped on the opportunity (it’s Jeff’s favorite place, it’s in the middle, we’d get to see each other, etc) and begged my parents to let me invite him. My family is incredibly supportive and understanding and agreed to let him meet us there. It was happy! We were inseparable and my aunt united as Bobbie-Jeff. I had a hard time when we left and went out separate ways again, but it was refreshing to be together! It was good bonding for our relationship that wasn’t a “relationship.”
We decided on a whim to meet in St. George to go camping (seriously…Thursday night we decided to go andf Friday afternoon we were together). I guess Lake Powell just wasn’t enough for us! We met at Walmart in Hurricane (I was so excited I might have jumped on him and hugged him for a LONG time) and set up camp at Quail Creek State Park. It was HOT. Camping in St. George in July was probably not our smartest idea. We spent a lot of time in the water, at city parks (shade!) on Dixie’s campus (they had air conditioning and comfy places to sit), and at the Temple Visitor’s Center. We slept under the stars, cooked over a fire/camp stove, watched movies on the iPhone, and talked the night away on the little pier over the water. The pictures of this wonderful, WONDERFUL adventure are lost, but it happened and I am grateful. It was hard being in long distant “non-relationship,” and I needed this.
Jeff finally decided to come home! YAY! I flew down to Phoenix and we stayed for a few days while he packed up his car and said goodbye to Mark, Kelley, and Logan. I am grateful he has such a wonderful, supportive, family. I know they were really bummed to see him leave, but it was time for him to come back to Utah. From Phoenix, we drove to Riverside (ish), California and played for a day or two before picking up my little brother from whichever base he was staying on (I can’t remember). It was on this trip we both had the impression of “This is what it would be like to be married to you…I like it.” Anyway, after attending the single’s branch with Ryan and bumming on the beach, the three of us then drove home to Utah where we celebrated Christmas with our families.
We did it! This was why Jeff needed to come home from Phoenix…so we could get married and go on another adventure. Cancun was beautiful and we thoroughly enjoyed our first vacation as a married couple. Unfortunately, I think these pictures were on the VM Jeff set up for me and then lost when he sold our old laptops. Boo. I’ll keep digging.
We drove to Colorado for Marjie’s wedding! It was quite an adventure. We got lost several times and didn’t pull in to the hotel until 2 am or so. It was awesome. The wedding was beautiful, and we enjoyed seeing Marjie and Steve so happy together! We drove home with Chelsi and enjoyed great conversation with great people!
Camping in the Uintahs–July
Our first camping trip as a married couple! We started setting up camp in a little campsite since there was no pay box or any signs and we assumed it was free! We had the tent up and were gathering firewood when the ranger came and asked us if we’d paid. After explaining the lack of any signs or pay boxes at the entrance, he made us take down our tent and move out when we said we didn’t have enough cash to pay the fee (It was like $17 for the night!). We drove around and found a little clearing off the side of the rode with a fire pit someone else had dug. So we stayed off the beaten path, in the forest, near a little lake, and it was free…as nature should be. The only downside was the lack of bathrooms (not a problem for Jeff, it’s easy as a boy). After the first night, I made Jeff drive me to a nearby campsite to use the bathroom at night. It’s really uncomfortable having mosquito bites on your bum. Anyway we played in the Provo River Falls and hiked and just enjoyed!
We went to Boise for Thanksgiving and to visit Jeff’s sister Lisa and her sweet little family. No pictures…not that I have anyway, but it was nice to see them. They are a great family and their kids are adorable! We love them!
I convinced Jeff, my sister Kat, and her boyfriend Ben to buy tickets to Wicked at ASU. Jeff’s mom and Larry tagged along too! It was the first time any of them had seen it and they LOVED it! Ticket prices are ridiculous, so we felt really lucky to have family (both Jeff and Ben) in Arizona. It made the trip affordable!
We went back to Idaho to deliver my keyboard to Sam and Lisa. Since Jeff got me a new one for Christmas, we gave them the one I’ve had for years. It still works and is in great condition. I think their family will enjoy it! We spent the drive watching Psych on the laptop, propped up on the dash by my legs and Jeff’s shoes. That was fun.
Jeff struggled with his semester of school. He was up until 2 and 3 AM almost every night programming something for work or school. He got sicker than I’ve ever seen him, so we decided for Easter (and to take a break before finals) we would run to Goblin Valley to hike and rock climb. Well…we don’t plan ahead and since it was Spring Break time, the closest hotel we could find was in Capitol Reef. It was so beautiful there, we skipped the drive to Goblin Valley and explored the canyons nearby. It was raining, but it was the perfect temperature! There are some really pretty canyon roads (watch out for flash flooding though!) we drove on and several nice hikes! Happy Easter!
Las Vegas–June ONE YEAR!
Jeff surprised me with a trip to see Phantom of the Opera! This trip was full of adventure. On the way down, we lost the bumper on the Prius. It fell off in one of those windy canyons where there is no place to pull over on either side (cement wall vs canyon wall), so we just left it and kept going until we could pull over. A few passersby tried to wave us down and tell us…as if we hadn’t noticed. Anyway, Vegas is not my favorite place. It’s dirty…in all senses of the word. I didn’t like the way Jeff had to keep his eyes closed every time we rode the elevator or walked down the street. He didn’t like it either, so we may not be back for a while. BUT the package Jeff booked was complete with tickets to the Wax Museum, to Phantom of the Opera, dinner at a fancy restaurant, and a gondola ride through the Venetian! We had a great time wandering around during the day, hanging out at the top of the Stratosphere, relaxing by the pool kinda (girls liked to “lay out” topless, so Jeff was really glad he couldn’t see without his glasses), and celebrating a year of marriage!
Once again, Dave and Robin invited us to Lake Powell. This time, I didn’t have to beg to let Jeff come. 😉 Being married rocks! I was brave and jumped off a high cliff, Jeff and Ben enjoyed wakeboarding, were dangerous and explored the natural waterslide after hiking around a thin, slippery ledge, and we hiked Hole in the Rock, and explored the many beauties Lake Powell has to offer!
We spent Thanksgiving with the Hicken family in Arizona this year. It was a long drive, but it was totally worth it! We played baseball, made paper boats and threw them in the decorative pond at the park, hiked at the scout camp, and ate a lot of food. Good times for all!
We hit a rough patch here, and needed a break. So Jeff surprised me on Valentine’s day with a trip to San Diego. We didn’t leave until the next weekend, but it was definitely a necessary trip. We met up with Ryan and Anna for a bit and Jeff tried surfing. He did alright! He looks great in a wet suit too! Haha! We climbed to the end of this rocky pier, and I made it to the end and back in flip flops, with no problems! Then…as we were about to walk away, I saw a family of sea lions! I got so excited I stepped off the beach into a hole, lined with rocks. My shin was damaged and bleeding and we had NOTHING to clean it with. Awesome. That ended the day for us. I was just SO excited to see the cute little creatures! I swear I am not clumsy…I just get REALLY excited. We also spent a day exploring Old Town San Diego, which is a very cool little place!
Ryan and Anna got married…again. This time in the temple! It makes THREE weddings for them. As Anna said “one for the government, one for us, and one for the Big Guy upstairs.” The first wedding was in my parents’ living room in December, not too long after my brother got back from Afghanistan. The second was in June of 2011, where they did a ceremony and reception “their way,” and will be considered their anniversary, and finally…the temple. We were so happy for them and so excited to see them receive their individual endowments, followed immediately by their sealing. It was a GREAT day in the temple!
San Francisco–June TWO YEARS!
Jeff interviewed with LinkedIn (located on Google’s campus…dream come true for him) and they paid for his flight, a rental car, and a hotel. Since it was just a week or two after our anniversary, I flew out to meet him and we had a wonderful time driving around the city and across the Golden Gate Bridge, getting lost and accidentally driving back to the city before we were done exploring, and then walking across the bridge to avoid paying the fees for a third time. We really enjoyed San Francisco and will definitely be back since we basically only had a day to play. I enjoyed the cool breeze, the beautiful parks, the architecture of the buildings, the side street shops and restaurants, and being with Jeff.
THRILLER! I’ve never seen it, Jeff’s never seen it, so we went and saw it. We don’t like scary movies or creepy things much, so the show wasn’t that great for us, BUT the dances were fabulous and they had zombies crawling all over the seats and getting in your face. That was fun. We also hiked a bit and explored some caves. It was very nostalgic for Jeff because caving was a passion of his dad’s and something he grew up around. I love the free, rebellious spirit Jeff has, and I have a deep appreciation for his quiet sensitivity. He loves and misses his dad, even if he doesn’t show it.
After a long start to the year, we (mostly I) needed a vacation. I just had to run away. So I booked us a trip to Jamaica. We decided to do another All Inclusive, and while they are fun, this one was more like a club…dancing, drinking, people trying to hook up, etc. It was NOT our scene, and not as family friendly as we’d have liked. We also felt confined and didn’t get out to explore the cities and villages as much as we’d have liked. We had a wonderful time though! Jamaica is beautiful and there is a lot more exploring to be done. We didn’t even hike or bike the Blue Mountain! But we did hike the Dunn’s River Falls, held and snorkeled with stingrays, pet and kissed a dolphin, and kayaked. The water was wonderfully warm, the breezes were warm, the little bit of rain we got was refreshing, and the beaches are inviting. I think I am meant to be a beach bum.
We also went to the local craft market. YIKES. They create some amazing things out of wood and have very creative homemade musical instruments. We LOVED exploring their artwork. But the people don’t love it when you explore and compliment them. They love it when you BUY their stuff. Every second we were there we were being pulled (literally) into someone’s shop. People would watch you and as soon as you walked out of one, they were on you like vultures saying “Come see my shop. My turn next.” They all said the same thing “Start my day off. Buy something.” “Buy it here. All these shops, they sell the same thing. Just buy it from me. I make you a good deal.” They put things in your hand and try to engrave your name on things to force you to buy it, they dress you up in jewelry hoping to convince you, and it doesn’t matter what you say! I ended up with two bracelets I didn’t want because I couldn’t say no anymore. Jeff was good at just walking away, but I’m not and they kept grabbing me and pulling me back…and then Jeff left me alone! So I blame the extra purchases on him. Anyway, the people really are very nice, very chill, and very friendly. We got a lot of “yah mahn”, “No stress, no worries in Jamaica,” No problems in Jamaica,” and it’s true…unless they want to sell you something. It’s all smiles and joy until you say no thank you, then it’s dirty looks and swears. So if you go to Jamaica….you’ll be stress free, until you go shopping.
All in all, the vacation was spectacular. I honestly have not felt that care free in YEARS. My brain turned off and it stayed off for seven days (except the day we went to the craft market…that stressed me out as much as being evaluated for JPAS does). It was wonderful to be with Jeff with no distractions (no phone service, no internet most places, and no programming)! We really enjoyed being together and on our way home he said “I think this trip has made me love you even more!” It’s amazing what happens when you unplug your life and really focus on people.