Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A lengthier post

Okay. So here's how the past few days have gone down:

Friday: Momlie drove Taylor and Rebecca out to meet us and the camper - this way she could say hello to the camper too. We got out of town around 3 and were happily at the coast and set up around 5ish. Good thing too cause it was C-R-O-W-D-E-D at the coast last weekend. It was the first week all of the Oregon kiddos were out of school. So we set up camp and then decided to do a few quick geocaches! We found 2 out of the 3 we searched for - the other was in a forested area and we couldn't get a good signal. The clue was something about a fern, which was quite helpful considering there were about 80962 ferns in the area. Oh well! We found the other two. Then we bought wood from the hosts (the retired-type camper folk who volunteer at the state parks in exchange for free campsites). Then we came back to the camper and got out the awning, put out the lights, and made some dinner. We had tacos - yum! It got to be around 9:30 and I was like "Let's have a fire!" Geoff was all "ohhh, but it's so late... you really want a fire tonight?" PREMATURELY OLD! Luckily the three of us convinced him fires are fun! We had a Marshmallow Throwdown (aka competition to see who could roast the *perfect* marshmallow). Rebecca won - Taylor and I were both DQed because we had some burnage. Geoff doesn't eat marshmallows. Taylor and Rebecca confessed to me that my previous marshmallow toasting perfection (a couple of years ago in the firepit at Geoff's parent's house) was one of the reasons they liked me - they were still deciding if I was "okay" or not and then I roasted the *perfect* marshmallow and that's when they knew I was alright! And even though Rebecca won this little duel, I am still the all time world champion marshmallow roaster!

Saturday: Saturday we slept in until 10 or so, then Geoff and I made our world-famous Camper Breakfast. I would tell you what it consists of but I will just have to surprise you when you come camping with us. And you should! :) It was invented by my mom approximately 20 years ago. Okay, maybe before that, but that's the first time I remember it. Then we sat inside and took turns showering and getting ready and stuff. Around 1ish, we did some geocaching - we did 3 quick caches and found each of them! After that we met up with my coworker Cindy and her family - she has two daughters that are within 1 year each of Taylor and Rebecca, so it worked out quite nicely. The 8 of us set off for 4 more geocaches. Fort Stevens is SUCH a cool place - it's an old military fort that was built to defend the mouth of the Columbia River, and was actually the only military installation in the continental US that received hostile fire during WWII (and the 66th anniversary of that was this past Saturday, when we were there). One of the cool caches we did took us to a couple of underground bunkers that you would have NEVER known were there if you weren't geocaching - very scary, they were so dark and we had no flashlight... creepy, even Geoff was scared. But that is one of the great things about geocaching, it takes you such cool places. As we were looking for our third cache in Battery Russell, we saw another dude with a GPS who seemed to be looking for something with a small group... and then ANOTHER dude with a GPS who was also looking for something. Soon enough everyone that was at Battery Russell was looking for this geocache - there were about 20 of us in all, all running around the place trying to be the first one to find it. FINALLY we hear a commotion, and someone has found the cache! We all pass around the signing log and one of the other cachers was nice enough to take this group photo of all 3 groups that were there during the find. That was by far the most fun cache I have ever found. Yaaay for geocaching! After the five hours we spent geocaching, we headed back home and had chicken caesar salad for dinner. I had barely pulled the chicken off the grill when it started drizzling - no fire for us, sad. We just stayed in and watched The Terminal (well, they did... I more puffed around and organized the camper and stuff). Then we played a couple of lively rounds of Mexican Train. I love that game. It's so fun! After that it was off to bed again.

Sunday: Geoff and I got up around 9 and went to Costco for gas. Then we quitely watched Friends so the girls could sleep... then didn't get up until about noon! Ahh, to be a teenager again. :) It was too late by that point for Camper Breakfast, so they had bagels and then we packed up and headed out. We got home by about 3:30 and took them back to our house for a while. We all showered and relaxed, then went to the 6 PM service at church. I used to always go to the evening service, but I really do prefer the morning service now. I'm getting old. But that's okay, I am thankful they have this evening service because it allows me to go even when we travel. After that we took the girls back to Geoff's parent's house - it's about 5 minutes from church (about 25 minutes from our house), so it worked out perfectly that they wanted to go to church with us. They LOVED the church by the way - we knew they would but we were really happy they liked it as much as they did! We chatted with the parental folks for a while and then went home. We watched The Next Food Network Star and then went to bed.

Monday: I woke up at 4 and woke Geoff up about 4:45 so he could take me to the airport. I slept through most of my flight to Phoenix which was very nice - that flight can be long and painful if you're not sleeping. Sky Harbor was PACKED so I had to just go straight to my gate (no time for lunch, grabbed some Cheez-Its... boo). My flight to Albuquerque was relatively uneventful - there is a lot of turbulence landing in these hot desert climates in the summer and my pilot had some sort of a problem so he had to swoop around and make a second approach before we landed, but all was fine. I grabbed my rental car (which you already know about!) and headed to my grandparent's house. I hadn't seen my grandfather since Christmas 2004 and have only seen my grandmother once since then (at our wedding last year). So it was REALLY great to see them. My grandfather has Parkinson's so I was prepared for him to be really bad when I saw him, but compared to what I was expecting he was much better (this is in no way to say that he was in good shape, but I was pleased to see he was at least making an effort to talk when he could and went to dinner with us, etc.). He was Col. in the Air Force so he has been mostly deaf for years - but again, I was surprised with how well he could hear. I was expecting to have to be yelling at him from about 6 inches away, but from 2 or 3 feet away he could hear if you raised your voice loudly and spoke towards his right ear, which is the stronger one. It was really good to see him. I also enjoyed my time with my grandmother and aunt who lives with them to help them out (bless her heart - I know that's such a Southern expression, but it just fits here. She helps them in more ways than imaginable and I just think it's a really good thing that she's there). My cousin is pregnant with her second baby and she and her husband just bought their first house. We went out for Chinese food at a really fun place and just had a great time visiting. After that I took my big truck to my hotel and enjoyed an evening all alone!

Tuesday: Tuesday was a great day at work. We got a lot done and I was pleased that I came down - this was a pretty effective session, much better than I had anticipated. After that we went to dinner at Sadie's per a coworker's suggestion - HOT!!!! Much hotter than even Los Dos in Arizona, where I always like to go with Patrick, Hart, and Becky when I'm down there visiting him. It was great. I'm really glad I have spent the last couple of years trying to work up my ability to eat spicier foods, it comes in quite handily on occasions such as this one. Very flavorful though, and a very tasty margarita helped reduce some of the heat! After that I talked to Geoff for a bit and then went to bed.

Wednesday (today): Wrapped up with work this morning - went really well again. Got some Chick-Fil-A for lunch - YUMMY!!!!!! I love Chick-Fil-A! :) Then I returned my rental car and am at the airport again. Happily, no problems with security coming or going. My flight to Phoenix leaves in 45 minutes and then on to Portland from there. National Weather Service has issued a dust storm warning in Phoenix - that should be fun!

I think that's about it peeps - it's been a busy week, looking forward to a low key couple of days (*ALLEGEDLY* the dishwasher man is going to come tomorrow - gotta blog about that one too) and then a nice relaxing weekend. Geoff will be at his motorcycle training class so I'm just going to sleep the weekend away. Okay, we all know that won't happen, but I do plan on getting some rest! :)

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