Birthday at Grand Teton

What a lucky girl I was!  I got to visit Grand Teton National Park for my birthday!   We started the day out at a small but very cute local restaurant where I could get French Toast for breakfast and hubby could get whatever his heart desired also – including live World Cup games.  It was divine!! If you are ever in Victor, Idaho – eat at “Scratch”.  Really, really yummy.

After breakfast it was over the “Teton Pass” and down towards Jackson Wyoming and Grand Teton Park.  It was a cloudy morning as the picture shows.  But, as I may have said before, the weather in this neck of the woods literally changes minute by minute.  The Tetons are simply magnificent, sunny or cloudy.

In the photo above, about the middle of the picture on the left side (very hard to see without enlarging) is a herd of Elk, roaming near Jackson Lake.  Here’s the zoomed in shot – but you’ll need to enlarge it as well. The sun came out a bit later, and the “birthday girl” made an appearance near Jackson Lake Dam 🙂Another sighting of the “birthday girl” in a bit of a windstorm near Jenny Lake.  Wow, the weather got rather wicked really quickly! Literally 10 minutes down the road, the sun broke through the clouds again – and we were glad it did!Then it was on down the road, quickly while the sun still shone, to the Episcopal Chapel of the Transfiguration.  A very popular photo spot in Grand Teton.  Luck was with us, they had just finished a wedding at the chapel as we arrived.This stained glass window was inside the Chapel, not far from the entrance.  I thought it was quite fitting.The altar inside the chapel… What a view!  It reminds me of a church we saw when we were in Juneau, Alaska.From there we trekked to the old barn on “Mormon Row” – the most photographed spot in Grand Teton.  I think it would be particularly stunning in autumn.  Believe it or not, the wedding party were out by the barn as well!  We couldn’t believe it when we saw the limo in the same general vicinity.  I think they were there snapping more wedding photos on this sunny afternoon.From there it was on to Jackson Hole.  What a CUTE and very “Western” town it is.  Here’s hubby in one of the four Elk Arches which lead into the town green or square or whatever they call it!I am so thankful that John has recovered enough from his hip replacement surgery to make this journey.  What a blessing!  Here is a sign that explains the Elk Arches. Not to be outdone, the “birthday girl” was also seen under the Elk Antler Arches!!We did wander into a few of the MANY shops.  Here’s a t-shirt that caught hubby’s eye….Soon it was time for the birthday dinner – and people, it was extra delicious!! 🙂 Well, there you have it.  The birth-day in Grand Teton and Jackson Hole.  It was a fabulous day!!

On June 26th, we spent the entire L-O-N-G day driving 380 miles from Victor Idaho to Missoula Montana.  I took no photos along the way since a lot of it was backtracking.

Tomorrow, another post showing some of our drive from Missoula to Walla Walla, Washington.  And maybe a few shots of the wine tasting we hope to do here in Walla Walla.

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Ten years and counting

happy anniversaryToday is a special day.  Not only is it my dear hubby’s birthday, but it is also our ten-year wedding anniversary!  Ten years of glorious wedded bliss 🙂  I know that sounds like it could be a cliche` but for us, it’s the real thing.  Glorious wedded bliss.  I can count the arguments we’ve had on one hand — honestly.  I am one lucky woman, to be spending her “later years” with such a kind and understanding man… someone who is so thoughtful and loving and willing to give.  It’s actually a great cycle of happiness we have — he is loving and caring and thoughtful, I want to be the same to him, and he’s pleased that I am loving and caring and thoughtful, and he continues on being loving and caring and thoughtful…..  You get the picture.

Way-back-when I knew I had a “winner” when a very simple event happened.  We were on a weekend getaway and leaving the hotel to do some sightseeing.  About a mile away from the hotel I realized I’d forgotten an essential – my camera.  For a few blocks I pondered if I should even mention my oversight, fearing how he might react.  Finally I decided that I wanted the camera bad enough to face an outburst (this was unfortunately what I was used to in my ‘former life’).  I gently said… “you know sweetie, I’ve forgotten the camera back at the hotel….”  and his reply was, “Okay, no problem, we’ll just pop back there and grab it”!  I was seriously stunned. I’d made a silly oversight by forgetting the camera, and HE wasn’t ticked off!  To me, that said volumes about his personality – and it was all good.   I thank God for my wonderful husband and feel like we are as well suited as any two people can be.  I pray for many more years with this special guy, before we all head up to Heaven.

I love you sweetie – more every day!wedding

A happy birthday

The older I get the less excited I am about birthdays.  In fact I’ve begun to dread them, ignore them for the most part, and simply sweep them under a rug.  This year it seemed like we had a lot of stuff transpiring on and around my “big” day, and as it happens, people in our neighborhood decided that I got one HUGE present on the commemoration of my 54 years of life.  Contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t really a birthday gift.  Here is a snap shot of “it”:

June 2009 036It’s our “new to us” Winnebago Journey motor home.   This thing looks huge, and it sort of is!  We hoped to find one that was 32 to 34 feet long, but ended up with this beauty which is 36.  What an adventure we had… or should I say journey … to get it home from Olympia WA.  We navigated rush hour traffic through Tacoma and Seattle… trucked on through Everett, and then up the narrow, winding roads to home – where it barely fits in our driveway.  We’re not allowed to keep it at home for more than three days (homeowners association rules), so it will be moved to it’s home away from home on Saturday.  We are planning our first outing in July – can’t wait!

One of my goals is to get our cat, Jinx acclimated to the motorhome, so he can become a real RV cat!  The previous owners had two RV cats that went along with them.  One was an indoor/outdoor cat like our Jinx, and we were told that he adapted very well to the RV lifestyle.  I’m still not convinced that Jinx will truly adapt, but we are sure going to give it a try.  Here’s a picture of Jinx getting comfortable with the new RV.  June 2009 032

He actually had a great time exploring every possible nook and cranny!  On the counters, the sofa, the dash, the bed, and everywhere in between.  I do worry a bit the first time he is inside and we start up the big ol’ diesel engine…. he may go WACKO!!  Again, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he will adapt to the sound of the engine, the movement, and also the fact that he will most certainly have to stay INside while we are camping.   That’s a lot for a kitty to have to learn to live with, so we shall see.

June 2009 029What I really got for my birthday was this gorgeous bouquet of flowers from my precious husband – the best husband on earth (well, I think so!!).  Then we went out to dinner at Anthony’s, a popular seafood restaurant here in the Northwest.  I splurged and got the fresh Alaskan King salmon, and ohhh la la, it was delish!

Having a birthday at my age has lost it’s thrill, but there’s still something to be said for just plain happiness and contentment.  I’m lucky because I’ve got them both…. and great kids and step kids, the world’s greatest husband (oops, already mentioned him), fabulous neighbors & friends, a great job….  well, you get the point.  I’m a lucky girl and I really DO know it.

In the good old summer time……………

I’ve done a lot of complaining on this blog about not getting any decent weather…. well, I think all the prayers were heard as we have had some really lovely sunshine the past two weeks.  In fact, while it rained again today, more sun is predicted for next week and I’m thrilled.   I’ve got quite a few pots planted and several hanging baskets as well – and everything seems to be thriving 🙂 

A few days back I celebrated another birthday.  Birthdays are not “big stuff” around here.  Dear hubby suggested we go out for either lunch or dinner and I chose lunch.  Had a super yummy grilled veggie pita sandwich that was very satisfying.  Since we were both off work that day, we did a bit of last minute shopping for our “murder mystery” party we were putting on that weekend.  Then it was home to watch our pitiful Mariners play baseball on TV.  Actually, they are improving leaps and bounds since a bunch of the big wigs, including the coach, were fired!  So… I’m good and well into my 50’s now – my gosh that sounds O-L-D.  Funny.  I remember many years back when I was oh…. about 19.  My dear friend Kathy and I were going to the local drug store where they were having a sale on feminine hygiene products.  We looked at each other and said… “shoot, we are gonna need these for-ever so lets buy LOTS!”  We did.  At 99 cents each box, we must have purchased 20 boxes.  Back then I couldn’t forsee the future of never needing such products again.  Well, the future is now.  Heck, 35 sounded old, let alone 50-something.  Ahhh well, it’s another wonderful phase of life.  I truly believe that each day is a gift and it’s our responsibility to make the best of it!

Last weekend was the fun “Murder on the Grill” mystery party.  With plenty of warm weather, we were able to do the entire party outside.  Here is a picture of the “girls” :

This picture shows “Miss Kansas City 1959”, “Chubby Cheddar”, “Peggy Sue” in front, blonde “Barbi-Q” behind Peggy Sue, and “Bobbi Sox”.  Yes, I was playing the part of a man!  It was really a load of fun, set in 1959.  We had 50’s music playing in the background and even managed to find some old fashioned coke in bottles!!  For the dinner part of “Murder on the Grill”, we had — of course — hamburgers and hot dogs.  For dessert I made my best rendition of Red Velvet Cake, which I thought was a fairly good representation of a 1959 treat.  After making the cake, I reconsidered my dessert plan and thought, “I should have made Jello”.  Wasn’t Jello a dessert in the 50’s?  Hey, theres always room for Jello! 🙂 Oh well, next time. 

When it got dark, we lit up the Tiki Torches and the Hula Hoop contest began!  Followed directly by the LIMBO contest!!  All I dare say is that my back was killing me the next day. 

 

The night ended around the firelight, where the true “murderer” was revealed!  I don’t dare say just who it was in case anyone happens to come across “Murder on the Grill” at a garage sale or something!!   If you’ve never tried a Murder Mystery dinner party – DO!  It’s great fun!!