Monday, August 31, 2009

How Far Does the Apple Fall From the Tree?

I recently returned from a round robin of family reunions. They were all ... completely different. I will attempt to recreate them here.

Reunion #1
Title: A Redneck Family Reunion
Location: Family Farm, Plymouth, Utah (Just south of idaho and north of nowhere. It's okay, no one else has heard of it either)
Events: Flag raising ceremony, farm fix-up projects, mud pit volleyball, arm pit band contest, pond tubing with 4-wheelers, pond slide (tarp + tires), cardboard box and duct tape pinata
Highlights: Uncle Cory's false teeth and mullet, caravan of aunts' and uncles' outfits to the backyard turned KOA, sudden tornado that blew awning plus various relatives across the lawn and spiraled an air mattress several stories into the air

Mud volleyball

Abe & I after mud volleyball.

Gray hitting redneck pinata.

Matriarch of the clan.

And, of course, the annual Sister Act. Mom, you said no YouTube, but you didn't say anything about blogs...

Reunion #2
Title: Gong Family Reunion 2009
Location: Spring Haven Lodge, Hobblecreek Canyon, Utah. "Spring Haven Lodge, located in the serene mountains east of Springville, is a rustic yet refined retreat for those looking to enjoy classic elegance." (from their website)
Events: Something I'd Like to Share: a presentation followed by Q&A of your life updates (powerpoint available upon advance request), photo sharing and paste up, games in the gymnasium
Highlights: Dinner featuring ingredients such as fresh basil, avocado, or hand-pulled pork; re-creation of the past 20+ years of family reunions from memory; after hours cousins games of improv; fueled by chocolate milk and chips and salsa

Family hike. Surprisingly, I have no photos of the powerpoint presentations.

Reunion #3
Title: Lindsay Reunion
Location: Park City, Utah
Events: eating, sleeping, playing board games, swimming, riding the Alpine Slide,
Highlights: Playing board games, eating, sleeping (in that order)

Said board games.

Real pinata.

With Grandma on ski lift to Alpine Slide.

A reminder that Utah can be beautiful.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Re-routing to Wisconsin

Two weeks ago I took a solo trip to Wisconsin to meet up with my parents and my niece and nephew, who were staying with them for a few weeks. I was a little nervous about staying alert for a 7.5-hour drive on my own, but, armed with Amelia Peabody mysteries on tape, I made it without so much as a nod.

I brought several books with me, to read while relaxing on the sofa or outside on a blanket. Boy, was I mistaken. I don't think they even made it out of my bag. Mornings I woke up to my 7 year old niece standing by my bed, ready to play. We did breakfast, games, Wii Fit, and piano playing until lunch time. Then we went off on one adventure or another. We also did an overnight trip to the Wisconsin Dells and Noah's Ark, America's Largest Waterpark.

The first day in Wisconsin, we visited the New Zoo. I remember taking a field trip here when I was in elementary school. The lion peed on one of my classmates. My niece and nephew have a chicken coop at home, so they were very excited to chase this guy (girl?) down.

My mom and niece in the teeny tiny train car that wound around the zoo. I can still hear the happy music playing in my head...

The whole family!

Of course, no zoo trip is complete without the "human-head-in-place-of-an-animal" board.

At our motel at the Dells. It had 3 pools alone. One of them had a slide in the shape of a giant whale. It seemed to be the thing there. Every motel had a pool with a slide in a horrific rendition of some animal or mystical creature. The strangest one I saw was a prancing pink unicorn.

We went to the Tommy Bartlett show at the Dells. This circular structure rotated around (like the hands of a clock). There was a person in each of the cylinders at the end. They actually stood on the outside of the cylinders as it spun around.

One day we took a ferry to Washington Island, near Door County (basically at the tip of Wisconsin's tiny thumb sticking out into Lake Michigan). I think Dad was meant to be a seaman.

Mom and I in our sunglasses.

Not to be left out, Naomi sporting my glasses.

After the ferry (and riding bikes around the island) we can back for a fish boil. They boil fish on a fire outdoors, and at the very end throw kerosene on the fire to make it boil over, to get excess oils off, or maybe just to look completely awesome.

Mom and dad with the fish dinner. It was delicious!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sketch to the Finish Line

I came across a wonderfully fun web application called Odosketch.

It simulates using a sketch pad, and is really quite realistic. You can choose from a palette of colors, and the speed of your sketching determines how rough/fine the lines come out (took me a while to figure that out...).

I did this sketch using the mouse pad on my laptop (not recommended). It's a rough representation of me (the maroon blob) streaking through the finish line of the 5K race I ran this morning.

Visit this link for a larger image.

Yes, I did say 5K. No, I do not run. I have not run for several years. Abe & I decided to do this race purely because of peer pressure.

We went on a 2-ish mile practice run Monday night. Neither of us was seriously injured (although the next day we both came down with bad colds from which we are still recovering - I blame the run), so we went through with the race today. Again, no injuries, though I am moving quite sluggishly now. In fact, I am not moving at all, right now.

Encouraged by my fellow racers and Abe yelling for me to "Bid! Bid!" at the finish line (bidding is diving in Ultimate), I came in a few seconds over 25 minutes.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thrift Store Find

I randomly stopped by a thrift store on my way to pick up my friend's dying plants. I went straight to the shoe section, which I never do because it's usually a low yield strategy.

But the first thing that caught my eye were these babies.

Not just because they are neon blue. They are also Keens, a great brand for footwear. Thank goodness the store didn't know that, because they were priced at only $3 (list price $85).

Summer-ography continued

We've been disc golfing 3 times since purchasing our set of discs. This is at a local course (24 holes!) about a week and a half ago.

We started off eating delicious grilled vegetable and mozzarella paninis (highly recommend).

This is part of the course. Michigan is beautiful!

This is where my discs often ended up.

Yes, that is the launching pad in the immediate background. Sometimes my throws have quite a slice to the left.

Note the mosquito-infested bog behind me. The bright orange disc is obscured by the mud.