Monday, June 30, 2014

Scuba Diving in Roatan

The first port on our recent cruise was Roatan, Honduras.

I already wrote about the crazy lady that accosted me in Honduras.  But, I didn't write about the main event while we were there.

Since we were recently Scuba certified, we had taken this cruise specifically so that we would have the chance to use our certification.  We had heard that Roatan, Honduras was one of the coolest places to do Scuba, so we made it happen.

When we got off the ship, there were billions of different people holding signs for different excursions.  It was like when you land in the airport and there are all those people holding signs, and you always wish you were important enough to be on a sign.  We weren't important enough to be on a sign this time either, but we were looking for the sign that said "Scuba 2 tank dive".  We found the guy holding the proper sign and he asked to see our certification cards.  We showed him and then we got on a little ghetto fabulous bus.

I had been nervous about Scuba diving without our instructor to take care of us.  He promised us that even if we died underwater, he would bring us up alive.  (He's that good.)  The real world doesn't have that kind of guarantee.  However, what I didn't realize was that I didn't need to worry about the Scuba part.  I needed to worry about the bus part.  The bus was winding through the thin streets of Roatan at a speed that seemed much faster than what I would consider safe in those conditions.  There were children, dogs, goats, other cars and various other obstacle that came way too close to the bus for my comfort.  The bus driver would just honk loudly and hope that everyone would move.  At one point, I heard a little girl scream but I looked out the window and we did not hit her, so I think all was well.  I think the bus was just a little close for her comfort.  (She was experiencing the same discomfort I was.)

The bus dropped us off at a little resort.  (Or at least what passes for a resort in Roatan.)  It wasn't fancy or anything, but they had boats and Scuba gear.  That's all we needed.  We had to fill out paper work saying that we promise we know what we're doing and we won't sue if we die.  Then they asked us how much weight we needed.  I didn't need any weight in fresh water, because I sink like a rock.  But I had no idea what I needed in the ocean.  We explained that we're newbs, and we have no idea.  He gave me 16 pounds.  It turns out, 16 pounds is more than I need, even in the ocean.  But we'll get to that in a second.

The boat took us out to a little place called Green Outhouse Wall.  It's a really awkward name, and I thought I heard it incorrectly, but I googled it when I got home.  Maybe an outhouse is something different in Honduras.  Because I probably wouldn't name a dive location after a bathroom, but that's just me.

I jumped in the water with my BCD (Buoyancy Control Device, that's the vest you wear while diving) fully inflated like I'm supposed to.  In my class, I always just dumped all the air out of it so that I could sink.  It turns out when you have 16 pounds of weight, you probably want to leave some air in it.  I emptied it out and sank like a rock.  Luckily, we were only in 15 feet of water at that point.  I hit the bottom, and realized I wasn't supposed to sink that fast.  So I decided to put more air in.  I probably should have been more careful about how much air I put back in, because I then shot straight to the top.  Robyn was descending slowly and reached out her hand in somewhat of a panic as I shot past her on the way back up.

It took me a while, but I did eventually get the hang of buoyancy.  I've heard even experienced divers say that buoyancy is the hardest part of diving.  Getting to the point where you can control your ascent and descent or just staying at one point in the water is hard.   So I'm not ashamed that I didn't do it perfectly on the first dive.

I had a fantastic experience.  We saw crabs, turtles, lobster, tons of fish, lots of different kinds of coral, and even a shipwreck.  I wore my GoPro and took video the whole time.  The video isn't great for 2 reasons.  One is that I apparently move my head around a lot which makes for somewhat nauseating video.  The other is that it was an overcast day, and though I could see just fine, the video turned out very green and it's hard to make out very many things.

Nonetheless, I pulled out a few stills from the video for your enjoyment.

I took this selfie accidentally when I was trying to make sure the camera was on.

We saw lots of coral and sea fans.

We were constantly surrounded by fish.

Can you see the turtle?
 The first dive was about 45 minutes.  Then they took us back to the resort, let us take bathroom breaks and visit the gift shops while they got more air tanks on the boat.  We took the opportunity to show how cute we were.

Our second dive was to a place called Deep Eel Garden.  We never saw any eels but we did see a shipwreck which was super cool.
Approaching the shipwreck

Getting a little closer to the wreck
 The wreck itself sat at 110 feet in depth.  We're only supposed to go to 60 feet.  But I really wanted to check out the cool nest sitting on the mast.
You can't see super well but there are cool little furry worms on and in the nest.  
 After looking at the nest, I checked my depth gauge and I was at 75 feet deep.  I looked up at Robyn and she made a gesture to show that she was very cranky and that I needed to ascend to 60 feet.
Robyn never made that kind of mistake, because she was looking at her gauge 100% of the time.

But she still loved me, even when I went too deep.

She was easily the cutest thing I saw on the dive.

One of the things that we had to do in our dive class was that you are supposed to ascend to about 20 feet of depth and do a safety stop, where you stay at that depth for at least 5 minutes before continuing to ascend.  In our class, we just played paper rock scissors because there was nothing else to do.  The divemaster on this dive did a good job of leading us to a place where it was only 20 feet deep but there were still things to see.  So that made it a nice way to end the dive.

Finally we had to come up and finish off our diving experience.

These fish were all around the boat.  They hung out right at the surface.

Once we got back on the boat, they had people that took our air tanks off and broke down all our equipment.  We had learned how to do all of that in our class, but it was so nice to have someone do it for us.

This is how cute we were on the boat.

So that was my diving experience!  It was sooooo amazing!  The best part is that Robyn really enjoyed it which means we'll be doing it a lot more.  Woot!  I hope to share many more diving experiences.  And maybe in the future I'll have better pictures to share.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Exploring the Navigator of the Seas

On our recent cruise, the first two days were spent at sea.  The ship (christened the Navigator of the Seas, hence the title of this post) had to make its way from Texas to Honduras.  The other ports were further north so we could make our way back as we visited the different places.

Those two days at sea were very relaxing.  We spent them exploring every nook and cranny of the ship (at least when I wasn't reading a book, since  I did a lot of that.)

Here are a few of the fun things we did in those first two days.

We discovered the wind.

I became the king of the world.

Robyn did her impression of a helicopter on the helicopter pad.  (You thought that was a real helicopter didn't you.)

I ate ice cream.  Lots and lots of ice cream.
We watched people surfing on the Flowrider.

We watched people wipe out on the Flowrider.
We did some golfing
During dinner they did a parade of servers.  It was important to wave our napkins in celebration.
This was my view for a good portion of the cruise.  My Kindle, my feet, and the ocean: most relaxing thing ever.
The days at sea were not particularly adventurous, but they were just what I needed to rejuvenate. But don't worry, I'll write about the adventurous parts soon.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Crazy Honduran Lady

I just got back from a cruise in the Western Caribbean.  I had so many fantastic experiences.  I haven't yet organized my thoughts on the whole thing, but I wanted to start writing.

Most people would find some cohesive, organized way to write, but do I look like most people to you?  I don't know how many posts there will be about the cruise, or if there will be any sort of organization to the subject matter of each post.  All I know is that the first one will be about the lady that creeped me out in Honduras, because I think it's a funny story.

Our cruise ship was docked in Roatan, Honduras.  When we came ashore, there was a group of Hondurans playing drums and dancing.  We spent the day Scuba diving.  (I'm sure I'll write about that later.) and on the way back to the ship, I thought it would be fun to get a picture with them.  There was a bucket that said, "donations" on it.  I knew the drill.  I put a few dollars in the bucket, making sure that at least a few of them saw me do so.  After putting in the money, I asked if I could get a picture with them.

I first got a picture of them drumming and dancing.

Then I got a picture with a few of them.
Aren't we so precious with the the drummers and the cruise ship behind us?   Pay special attention to the lady in the blue dress.  She seems like a nice lady, doesn't she?  We totally look like we're friends.  That's all about to change.

After taking the picture, I said, "thanks" and began to walk away.  Blue Dress Lady grabbed my arm and started yelling in Spanish.   My eyes got big and full of fright.  The other two individuals with the cool masks quickly came to my rescue.  They started saying, "no" and trying to pull her back, but she held on tight and would not let go of me.

She began gesticulating toward the donation bucket.  I said, "I already did."  But she hadn't seen me, and was very determined to detain me.  I was pretty sure I could force this lady to let go of me, but I didn't think that would turn out well.

My two masked friends began saying what I believe to be the Spanish version of "He already paid." but she would not be deterred.  They had a bit of a Spanish argument while she stayed firmly latched onto my arm.

Eventually they convinced her that I should be permitted to live, and to depart in peace.  She released me and I quickly fled back to the ship where I had a history of not being accosted.

Now I will always have the memory of the lady that creeped me out by screaming at me in Spanish and holding me with her iron grip.  At least she let me get a picture of her first.  I feel that everyone that does something creepy should let you take their picture first.  That would make the world a better place.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Funny emails I get: To an provide QUICKLY

Do you ever read your junk mail?  I usually don't, but every once in a while it becomes necessary to do so.  Here is a little gem I recently received.

Jeff, It is possible to Promote the house These days.We need property throughout !
View the provide
Most of us acquire homes RAPID!You want to allow you to an provide QUICKLY.
Notice in this article
Receive an provide coming from a PRIMARY purchaser.
Abby Derrick 

(Note:  the blue text was originally linked.  I removed the links because I didn't want to give Google juice to our good friend Abby Derrick.)

Dear Abby,

I have no idea what you just said.  But, I'm glad that you're able to acquire homes RAPID!  I suggest if you want me to click your links, or if you want to allow you to an provide quickly, than perhaps you should learn English.

Your Friend,

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Asimov Shelf

I love books.

I own a lot of them.

I own more books than I do shelves.  This is a big problem.

We've lived in our house about 3 years.  Our old house had built-in bookshelves so that I had plenty of places to put all of my books.  They were organized by genre, and then within genres, they were organized by author.  The highly structured organization was pleasing to my brain.  Not to mention, it was super easy to find what I was looking for if I ever wanted to refer to something I had read, or just to go back and read a favorite passage.

Then we moved.  I love our new house, but one thing it lacks is the built-in bookshelves.  While we do own shelves, we do not own enough to make up for our lack of built-ins.  When we moved, things went into boxes not by genre, or by author, but by size.  If we had room for one more paperback in a box, it went in that box.  It didn't matter if it was a zombie novel next to a historical fiction, they just went in together.

When we unpacked, we just unpacked what we could, and things went on the shelf next to what they had been packed next to.

It was chaos.  Books on finance next to space operas.  Fantasy next to religious books.  Economics books hiding among zombies.  I know you're understanding the horror.  It's not pretty.

I tried to organize, but since half of our books were in boxes, it seemed that to have everything organized would require to take some things out of boxes while putting other things in boxes.  They wouldn't be on shelves but at least they'd be together.  It seemed like too much work, since the end result would still leave it difficult to find a particular book inside a box.  I never made the effort.  The horror continued.

I'd been bothering Robyn to authorize a bookshelf purchase for quite some time.  I just wanted some place to put books.  She wanted something that was beautiful and glorious that would change our lives forever.  I have nothing against beautiful, glorious, life changing items, but it's just hard to find them.  So 3 years went by and the horror of my book collection only grew.

Then a friend had a bookshelf for sale for $10.  I asked Robyn, expecting her to say that it wasn't life changing.  But she approved!

This means I now have room to start putting books in an organized fashion.  It's sort of like the game Freecell.  You need those extra free cells to organize all the cards.

So the great change has begun.  I figured I'd start with my favorite author.  I went through all our boxes and all our shelves.  (I still haven't found them all, there are some hiding elsewhere, but I've made progress).  I now have a shelf dedicated to Isaac Asimov!

It's only 1 shelf, but it's the beginning of the organization that will spread throughout my house.  Very soon, I will be able to tell you where any book I own resides.

Because of that, this new book shelf really will be life changing.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Miss Robison and the Dread Pirate Roberts

My mind is a strange place, it seems.  This is something I already know, because I have the opportunity to live in my mind 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  My wife can also attest to this.  There have been enough times that she has asked, "What are you thinking?" and received an honest answer, that she knows full well how strange my mind can be.

However, none of that can prepare a person for realizing how strange a place my mind is when I'm asleep.

I don't remember my dreams very often, but when I do, they're usually pretty good.  I thought this one was a particular gem.


You know how in dreams you know certain things, even though it doesn't really make sense?  Well, in this dream we were staying with a good friend of mine.  The house didn't look anything like their house, but I just knew that it was their house.

Also, even though this is not true of this individual's home in real life, in the dream it only had one bathroom.  That is important, because in the opening scene of this dream I am getting in the shower.

Another fact that you may want to know is that when I was growing up, we only had one bathroom in our house.  With 7 people and 1 bathroom, you learn to tolerate slightly less privacy then you would otherwise be comfortable with.  It was not uncommon for someone to use the toilet while someone else was in the shower.  You just both agree to not look beyond the curtain, and all is well.  (Now Robyn and I live in a house with 2 people and 2 bathrooms.  Child Jeff would marvel at my ability to choose between multiple bathrooms.  Yes, child Jeff, dreams do come true.)

Enough background story, back to the dream.  As I was showering, the knowledge came to me that not only did this house have only 1 bathroom, but they were following the cultural norms about less privacy that I did as a child.

It seemed that hundreds of people kept coming to use the bathroom, one after another.  However, unlike my childhood, there was not a shower curtain to hide behind.  I was in one of those showers that are just surrounded by glass.  It was super awkward.  None of the people seemed concerned with the fact that I could see whatever they were doing, but I was very concerned with my own lack of privacy.

Eventually, I just couldn't handle it anymore.  I wrapped a towel around myself and marched out of the bathroom.  (I know that marching out in my towel doesn't exactly help my privacy situation, but these are the wise choices that dream Jeff makes.)  Once I was out of the bathroom and surrounded by the dozens of people that were also staying at this house, I realized that they did, in fact, have a second bathroom and it was currently unused.  (Don't ask me why the number of bathrooms changed so quickly.  Maybe they had a general contractor come over when they realized how many people they had over.)  I quickly ran to that bathroom to finish my shower.

I finished showering and emerged into the house, fresh and clean.

That's when I discovered that this house was expanding at a rapid rate. In addition to growing a second bathroom the house had expanded to gargantuan size.  It was a massive mansion.  I began to explore the structure (because I was no longer surrounded by throngs of people and I wished to discover where they had gone) and I found that there was a whole dance studio where everyone had gathered to watch a competitive dance show.

It was basically Dancing With the Stars, only a lot stranger.

The first couple to come out and dance consisted of Westley from The Princess Bride (naturally dressed as the Dread Pirate Roberts) and his partner was my 6th grade teacher, Miss Robison.

Remember how I mentioned that in dreams you just know things?  Well, as soon as I saw the Dread Pirate and my beloved teacher, I knew that they had fallen in love during the long time since I had been in sixth grade.  I also knew that they had been married, and were making many precious little dread pirates.
Don't they look so in love?

They danced their hearts out and I was so happy for them, both for their dancing prowess and their clear love for each other.

And we all lived happily (and awkwardly) ever after.

How weird is that?

As always, I welcome your dream interpretations.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Biking With Deer

Have I mentioned I'm a biker?  It's true.  I'm a biker.  I bike.

On my bike commute to work there is a stretch about 2.5 miles long where I take a bike trail along the shore of Utah Lake.  It's my favorite part of my ride each morning.  It's a super active area when it comes to wildlife.  I've seen ducks, pelicans, cranes, and dozens of other kinds of birds that I can't identify.  I've also seen squirrels, chipmunks, deer, feral cats, and more bugs than I care to mention.

Most of the time the wildlife keeps itself at a pretty good distance.  However, recently  I came upon two deer who got a little closer to me than I think they intended.

You see, I was coming along the bike trail when I noticed that there were two deer standing in the trail, right in front of me.  The interesting thing about this bike trail is that there are only certain areas where you can get on or off it easily.  It has big cement rail on one side, separating it from the highway, and the other side has a fence protecting you from the drop off into the lake.

Without room to make evasive maneuvers, the deer used a pretty basic strategy of just running away from me.  I'm sure they normally have no problem outrunning humans.
"This dude will never catch up to us!"

"We're so fast!"

"Ummm...  I think he's catching us."

"Ya, he's pretty close, we better bail."
 Not pictured:  The first deer managed to crawl under the fence.
"Hey!  Wait for me!"

"How am I supposed to fit under here?"

I was pretty impressed at their ingenuity in their mode of escape.  I actually slowed down as I started getting closer because I didn't want to give them a heart attack.

The moral of the story:  nature is cool.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Goodbye to the Lake House

I've written a number of times about our various trips to Bear Lake.  It's been an oft visited place made possible by some good friends of ours.  These friends own a house there and have been gracious enough to let us take a number of fantastic trips where we've stayed there.  (Even as recent as just a few weeks ago.)

Recently, they made the decision to sell the Lake House.  Of course, since it makes sense for them to sell it, then obviously I wanted it to sell for their sake.  However, there was a small part of me that secretly hoped that it would stay on the market forever.

About a week ago we received word that the selfish part of me was going to have to be disappointed because the house had sold.  However, we did get the chance to have one last hurrah this past weekend with a few other couples.

We had a great time, even if I had to cry inside as we said goodbye to a house filled with happy memories.

But here are some of the fun things we did.

We flitted and floated in tubes.  Of course, naturally we didn't get any pictures of us floating in the tubes.

But we did get one of me on the shore with it stuck on my belly.

And we got one of Robyn looking so cute as she stands in the tube in a foot of water.
Despite the lack of photographic evidence, you'll have to trust me that we did do some floating.  Although, I'll admit that it wasn't very long because the water was pretty cold since it's still early in the season.

Due to the cold, we spent a lot longer in the kayaks because they were more up out of the water.  Robyn was possibly the cutest kayaker that ever lived.  (I personally interviewed everyone that has ever sat in a kayak and I have verified Robyn was the cutest of them all.)  Look at this cute kayaking video below.  (You probably didn't even think that kayaking could be cute before, did you?)

Do you want to see her kayaking in an animation?  Of course you do!
She's cute no matter what media you view her in.

I wasn't nearly as cute, so I'll just include a picture of me.

Probably the best part of kayaking was when I tried to take a video of Robyn and got off balance and nearly capsized.  Here is an excellent point of view video of what it's like to fail at kayaking.

It's been a tradition since I was a small child that you always swim, float, or whatever transportation you choose, to get to the buoy.  Naturally, we kayaked out there.  Look how precious Jared and Lindsi were.

Of course, there was excitement back on the shore as well.

Robyn made sure to steal a small child for a while.  An important part of every vacation.
Robyn also found a fellow teacher so she could talk about boring teacher stuff.  
Alas, eventually our day had to come to an end.  We returned to the house, cleaned it up one last time, and said our goodbyes.  I made Robyn give the house a hug so that we could take a goodbye picture.

Look at that sad face.
All in all, it was a great weekend.  We're super glad we got to have a last hurrah there.  I'm sad in my heart that it won't happen again, but I'm glad for the Stevensons that they were able to sell it.

P.S. Have you seen Google stories?  This is a story that Google made for me to illustrate the weekend.  I added the captions, but everything else was all Google.  Not a bad little feature, am I right?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Birthday Trilogy Part 3

Are you ready for the stunning conclusion to my birthday trilogy?

You're not?  Well, could you please get ready?  I'll wait.  One way you could help feel more prepared for this stunning conclusion would be to read part 1 and part 2.

The final chapter in the birthday trilogy took place on my actual date of birth.  That's right.  All of the goodness you're about to read about was on Tuesday, May 27th.  The day I became 33 years of age.

It was a great day.

I woke up, expecting to eat breakfast and ride my bike to work.  I wasn't really expecting anything special since all the celebrating had already happened the previous two days.

It turns out that my legs were a little sore from the hike the day before, so I cancelled the bike ride.  (Every once in a while the reality that I'm still not where I want to be is placed in front of me.  Despite all the progress I've made.)

That was a small disappointment but was quickly overshadowed by my first birthday surprise.  John and Carol (Robyn's parents) had sent me a birthday present, so Robyn let me open a present in bed.  (Apparently, it had arrived long in advance, but Robyn hid it so that I wouldn't get too excited and try to open it.)  It was Elder Bednar's new book which I've been super excited to read.
 But the birthday love, just kept coming.  Foursquare gave me birthday love.
 Scramble with friends gave me birthday love by allowing me to get my highest score ever.

 Google gave me birthday love, by changing the Google page.  (I like to believe that everyone's Google looked like this on my birthday, to celebrate the anniversary of my birth.)

That evening, after work, Robyn told me to meet her at our rental property in Orem for a birthday surprise.  If I'm being honest (which I always am) then I have to admit that I guessed what the surprise would be.  There's a restaurant in Orem called Los Hermanos.  It's one of the most delicious places on planet Earth.  We haven't been there in a super long time since it's not exactly a place that makes it easy to eat healthy.  But the good news is that on your birthday you can eat whatever you want and you won't gain weight.  Ask your doctor.  It's legit.

Robyn had even brought our Los Hermanos T-shirts so that we could get free drinks.
They should put Robyn in Los Hermanos commercials.  Also, they should have Los Hermanos commercials.

That evening when I got home, Robyn had another surprise for me.  Even though we had agreed there would be no presents, she got me a present.
There are 3 presents in the picture.  It turns out 2 of them were books that had happened to come on my birthday.  (People like to send me free books.)  Robyn wrote Happy Birthday on the other packages, to make it look more exciting.  But the big one was from Robyn.
Do you want to know what was inside the ginormous package?  Of course you do!  It contained a magical pillow.  This pillow has some sort of enchantment on it that makes it stay cool all the time.  It's like sleeping on a cool breeze.  It's kind of amazing.
How does it work you ask?  Well, I'm glad you asked!  It's MAGIC!

Of course, the day was filled with lots of love through text messages and through Facebook.  But the final crowning act of love on my birthday was when Graham (my brother-in-law) sent me this picture.

Can everyone on Earth please make this face for my birthday every year?
Don't you feel like that Graham face was the crowing achievement of my birthday?  That face is Frodo throwing the ring in Mount Doom.  (Only with way less death and destruction.)

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Birthday Trilogy Part 2

As has been previously stated, my birthday was so spectacular this year, it couldn't be contained within one day.  I've already written about part 1.  So, if you missed it and still want to read it (and why wouldn't you?), you can check it out here.

The second part of a trilogy has a difficult task.  It doesn't get to introduce the characters.  It doesn't get to deliver the exciting conclusion.  But, it has to carry the story forward.  It has to develop the characters.  When done right, the second part can be the best part of the trilogy.  We're talking The Empire Strikes Back.  We're talking The Two Towers.  We're talking Attack of the Clones.

Wait, did I hear you correctly?  Did you just say that Attack of the Clones is not a good example of a solid second part of a trilogy?  Are you saying you didn't find Anakin's super awkward dialogue about the coarseness of sand to be incredibly romantic?  You clearly have no soul.

Regardless of how soulless you may be.  We're not here to talk about Star Wars.  (Okay, let's be honest, we're always here to talk about Star Wars.  But it's not our primary purpose, at least.)  So without further ado, here is part 2 of my birthday trilogy this year.

Day 2 of my birthday trilogy took place on Memorial Day.  Memorial Day is a very special day that comes the Monday of my birthday week every year.  For this reason I call it, "My birthday observed."

Robyn had asked me several weeks earlier what I wanted to do on my birthday observed.  I had told her that I wanted to go on a hike, but I didn't want to plan it and I wanted her to surprise me.  Naturally, she called my BFF Jared William and put him in charge of planning a hike.

I had no idea where we were going.  Robyn just told me that  I needed to be ready to leave by 8 AM.

Once we drove there it became clear where we were going.  Or, at least where we were starting.  We started at Kiwanis park at the mouth of Battle Creek Canyon in Pleasant Grove.  Where our final destination would be was still a mystery.

All I knew was that it was a beautiful day, and I was in beautiful nature with a beautiful girl.
Look at the cuteness of my hiking partner.

Jared was not nearly as cute, but he wore his banana hat which did make him fairly high on the cute meter.

Jared gave me some head ornamentation so I could be cute as well.

Look how strong she is!  I was super impressed with her hiking abilities.  She's gotten in super good shape.

A little bit of bonus preciousness.
 I've hiked Battle Creek Canyon before, back when I was ginormously fat.  But the destination was always Battle Creek Falls.  And Battle Creek Falls was pretty much as high as I could go, because by that point I was panting and crying and approaching death.  This time we got there in about 15 minutes and walked right past.  It turns out it's not that hardcore of a destination when you're not ginormous.
Don't worry, even though we just walked past it, I still took the time to make an animation of it.
 We kept hiking for another hour or so.  We crossed the river a few times, went through some forested areas and then it opened up into a huge meadow.
Our fearless leader taking us into the meadow.
The trail wound through several meadows, until it got high enough that you could look back on the valley and on the lake.  I ride past that lake on my bike several times a week, but it's not until you look at it from far above that you realize how huge it is.
Looking at my kingdom.  Everything that the light touches is Utah Valley.

Another view of the lake.
We reached a super big meadow with rolling hills and a beautiful lake view.  That's when Jared laid out a tarp for our sitting pleasure and Robyn busted out some delicious food.

Of course, my wearable camera made sure to capture the picnicking experience.
Don't you feel like you're there with me?

It's like you're the one eating the apple.
 We made sure to get some cute pictures of us in the meadow.
I'm sweaty.  She's precious.  That's how we roll.
We got a precious picture of Jared in his cape as well.  No birthday would be complete without a superhero in a cape.

It was a super fun hike, and I really enjoyed it.  It totalled about 6 miles with a 2200 foot climb.  Fat Jeff of a year ago would have cried about the idea of doing a hike like that.  New Jeff loved it.

After our return to the valley we got to go to a barbecue at my parent's house.  Since Memorial Day was actually my brother Zack's birthday, it's difficult to make the case that the barbecue was to celebrate my birthday observed.  Nevertheless, I will believe that was the purpose of the barbecue until the day I die.  Much the same way that I believe that all barbecues that occur on that day are in honor of me.

And thus we see that day 2 of my birthday trilogy was a smashing success.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...