Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Puerto Rico

Man we are so lucky, never in my current dreams did I think we would travel. Let alone two trips in one year. I am one lucky lady. In October Eldon's bests friend was married, everyone asks if it was a destination wedding, and well I guess it kind of was. His wife is from PR, and with El being the best man we made the trip!! 

I had only been on a plane once and it was 15 years ago, things are a little different now. I was more than a little nervous for the flight, especially with Little Miss.
We took the red eye it was a 5 hour flight to NYC, Z was bouncing off the walls.  I have never seen her like that. Luckaly I was able to get her to sleep half way though the flight. The nice people around us commented that she was "very well behaved" and that  "they didn't hear her at all" I think that since she is mine I just worried about every little peep. The 3 1/2 hour flight to PR was much better, Z was exhausted and slept the whole way.

Day 1: 
The first thing I noticed flying into PR, there isn't much room, everything looked kind of squishy. Next I noticed the color. Utah is not colorful at all. Everywhere you looked there was pink, green, blue even the cement barricades on the freeway were painted.

We couldn't check into our hotel for a few hours, so we dropped of our bags and started exploring. Not too far into it we were picked up so El could go make sure the tux fit correctly. Oh man the roads/drivers down there are INSANE!!! I have never seen people drive down the middle of the roads, in between the lanes, motorcycles weaving in and out of traffic. 
Once the tux was squared away there was a wedding rehearsal, then Denny's, and finally our hotel to sleep.

Day 2:
We had breakfast at the Wendy's they have a sandwich there that is called a Mallorca. It is a ham, cheese, and egg sandwich grilled and then sprinkled with powdered sugar. 
It was really good.
*As we sat and ate our breakfast there was a homeless man that wandered into the Wendy's. He was obviously not in the best mental state. A family on the other side of the room from us saw him as well, when the manager came to tell this man to leave, because they had already called the police. One of the young men in the family went and bought food, for this man. It was such a beautiful thing to see charity in works. Good people are out there working mighty miracles, what a testimony builder that was for me. 

Walking along we came across a beautiful stretch of beach that had this darling little tide pool.

I was afraid that Z would hate the water (since she hated the ocean in OR, and the pool) but this water was A-MAZ-ING!!
She loved it!! how could you not love it? it was so warm, it was just perfect.
we also saw a few of these little guys wandering on the rocks. 

Then we met up with the wedding party at the "fancy" hotel (we are poor, so we stayed about a half a mile down the road) where they have a private beach and pool. to actually go swimming. Here is the view from the 5th floor

Swimming was SO fun
This is her cheese face, I just LOVE IT!!

 best photo bomb ever....
Little Miss got a little pruney!

Then it was time to head back to get ready for the wedding. Man my Hubby looks GOOD in a tux, I seriously am one lucky girl. I have the HOTTEST husband ever.
The wedding was absolutely beautiful!! The waves were crashing into the rocks, the ocean was 5 feet away, it was just gorgeous. Watching Rob as he watched his bride walk down the isle, the look on his face and the tears in his eyes, made me cry a little. The ceremony was tender and full of the Spirit of our Heavenly Father. It was just perfect for them.

The reception was beautiful, there was dinner and dancing. El gave a toast. I didn't get to hear it, by that time Z was over tired and wouldn't sleep. It was just an amazing party and we had a blast.

Day 3:
Our plan was to catch the bus and go down into Old San Juan, as we headed out it stared to rain. It was just a sprinkle, but as soon as we crossed the street it was a DOWN POUR. I have never seen rain like this.
the street was a river after 5 minutes, so we headed back and waited out the rain in our room. It only lasted an hour or so. We were on our way in no time.....ish. Our plan was to take the bus down and save some money. Well PR buses do not HAVE a schedule, when they come they come, if they don't well then they don't. It was by far the most frustrating part of our trip. After about 45 min. at the bus stop we were on our way. There was a Chemistry festival going on, and it was a Sunday and all the cruise ships has docked so it was seriously packed. It was a parking lot. But the cobble stone streets and the colorful buildings were just so beautiful.
here is some of the beauty we found

We went on the boardwalk type thing, it is called the Princess Walk, it goes on the shore around the wall that was put up in the 1500's to protect the port. On the walk there are many beautiful and interesting things

 this is looking up into a tree
This is/was the main gate into the city
Here is the watch out right in front of the gate

 This is Castillo de Morro (i think) :)
 On the Princess Walk, there was a sign saying there were no cats allowed. Apparently this is a hot spot for runaway cats. Here is one that wanted to eat Z's dinner. While sitting feeding her, I counted 10 cats. Then I took notice and on the way back we counted 31 homeless cats.
 we are cute :)
 I am not sure why this man had all of these birds
 It is not everyday you seen a neon biker
While waiting for the bus that would never leave, we chatted with a few others that were waiting for the same bus as us, in a hot stinky bus station, that I am sure people die in because i don't think the buses ever really leave. After what seemed like a lifetime we, with about 10 of our "bus stop" friends piled into a taxi and finally made it out of hell. 
After getting back to our neighborhood we went and had dinner at Yuerba Buena (? I think I spelled it right?) and had the best meal of our trip. El had a stuffed pork loin, with rice. I had a skirt steak with chimichurri, and mofungo, oh man I will dream of this meal for years to come.

Day 4:
Our last full day in PR we wanted to go to the Rain forest, but when we called to book our tour they wouldn't take us with our baby. Something to put on our list when our children get older. So we headed back to good Ol' San Juan. It was deserted compared to the day before. We were able to see everything. There are trolley's that take you to all the big tourist spots. We saw amazing things, there was a catholic church that was so interesting to me, right when you walk in there was a staircase that took you to a little tomb, there were statues and paintings. Eldon took pictures of everything, I never knew that he was one to take a photo of every nook and cranny of everything we saw. So I will spare you the 600 photos he took that day and give you some of the highlights.
The streets are TINY                       
Here we are heading into our 1st castle of the day. Z really wanted to be in this photo lol
 Here are some ships on the dungeon walls, they were drawn on by a pirate in the late 1500's
inside the castle/fort walls it opened up into this amazing town type thing
it was HUGE and the view was so good
looking over to the second castle
here is a bird we saw on our way
 all of the cemetery's are like this, they are so beautiful

 this little building was my saving grace, my lunch wasn't sitting so great and we were far away from anything. This was the best quarter I ever spent.
she hated the feel of the grass, she wouldn't move lol

 there were these lizards all over the tops of the forts
 El was so excited to see a triangle staircase

We left this fort at 6pm the trolley's were supposed to run until 7, so we waited, and waited and waited. It never came!! So we started walking, we had the trolley map and were on our way. It was getting dark and I was just praying that we could make it to a taxi. * As we were walking a van stops by and asks if they can give us a ride, (all in spanish) El asked if they were a taxi, they said no so we declined the ride. about 5 minutes later the same van comes back and is talking to El, I have no clue what they are saying, but I could tell they wanted to give us a ride. They part of town we were walking into was scary. As El was talking I just was praying and praying that we would be okay. These nice people informed us how scary this area was. I had a good feeling about them, so we hoped into the van. Oh man scariest thing I have ever done. I prayed the whole way, but these amazing people took us straight to our hotel, they were so sweet, and kind and loving. They saved us!! 
Heavenly Father really was watching out for our family as we were on this trip. There were many times where I saw the tender mercies, and my testimony grew and my heart was touched. God knows me personally and loves me and watches out for me, and my loved ones.

Day 5:
Time for us to head back to reality. We didn't have to be to the airport for a few hours. So we spent our last few hours in paradise on the beach!! I wish we had the ocean in Utah, I just love it so much.

We are happy to be home, but man oh man did we have a great trip.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Our trip to Oregon / Anniversary

When we left off there was a lot coming up, Dads heart procedure went perfect. Jill's wedding was beautiful and we went on our first road trip as a family of 3!!

We pulled out of good 'ol Magna at 11 Friday night. I was thinking that we could drive through the night and make it to OR by noonish Saturday. Boy was I wrong!!
We finally got there safely and were so blessed to stay with our friends the Cash's!! They are amazing.

We  were SO excited to go to the beach. Eldon had high hopes of wanting to surf. We got all geared up, we had our swimming suits packed. Water bottles, fruit and chex mix. We were so excited.

On our way to the beach we stopped at Tillamook cheese factory it was SO cool.
 here are Hallie and Ava
 and Zuri and Colbie
 it was cool to see how they cut and package the cheese. It was a clean factory, makes me feel good about buying it :)
 they put 800 pounds of curds in the towers to press down into the 40 pound blocks.
 We of course had to get ice cream. MMM it was so good. We all loved it.
 She was ready to go to the beach!! Looking Fabulous!!

It was amazing to come out of the forest of OR (you are always surrounded with trees) to see the ocean.
We pull up to the beach and the first thing Eldon asks is "why is everyone wearing a hoodie?"
as soon as we got out of the car we knew. IT WAS SO COLD.

I am just glad that I packed sweats for Little Miss. We went to Cannon Beach (where the Goonies was filmed) it was amazing. I could have stayed at the beach and listed to the ocean all day.

Zuri feeling the sand for the first time.

 This is Haystack Rock. it was so cool. we walked down, and all the little rocks that get covered by the tide were covered with mussels, the rocks made clicking noises because of the crustaceans, and star fish. We were stupid and didn't bring the camera with us down there. (biggest regret of the trip) I have never seen so many star fish, there were hundreds attached to the bottom of the rocks and left in the little tide pools.
 The water was freezing, but I couldn't resist.

 we tried to get a good picture of all 3 of our feet in the ocean, but as soon as little miss felt the water she screamed. :(
 it wasn't her favorite thing, but then again on our way to OR is when she started teething :( poor baby.
 she did like eating the sand though.
We had such an amazing time at the beach.

The next day we were able to go and see Portland, There is water everywhere. I have never seen so many bridges in my life.
we went to the grilled cheese bus for lunch. The cold on those swollen gums was so nice.
  mmmm turkey, bre, and roasted peppers!!
 We had to get doughnuts!!
 I loved the tunnels.
after our fun trip into the city we had a doughnut tasting, and was able to hang out.

These two sweet girls are only 6 days apart.
 she was wiped out.
 Multnohmah falls (spelled wrong) but so cool right off the freeway.
 We had such a great trip. It was so nice to get out of our regular routine and spend time with some of our favorite people. The Cash's are so great, and I am so thankful for them. I love that we were able to spend our whole trip with them. I also think it was fitting to spend our anniversary (6 years, woot woot) with them since Claudia is the one that introduces us.

Little Miss sleeping on the way back to UT.

I loved every minute of this trip.