Let's just face it - We love vacations! They are awesome because you have something to look forward to, and then you get time off of work, and time to rest, relax, and party! Cortney and I had the fantastic opportunity of taking a sweet road trip! We were able to go to St. George, Catalina Island, and Danville, California. It was so awesome! (I apologize this is so long!)
First stop: St. George, Utah
It was great to be able to spend some time with Jeff and his family. The first day we were there we just chilled with the fam and rested up from our long trip (and from a graveyard shift). It was good to spend time with the kids. They are so cute! On thursday (July 30th), we headed to the St. George temple. Cortney had never been there before and it was a great experience! It is such a beautiful temple!
Later that day, we went to Jeff's office to show Cortney around and to pick Jeff up. Then we went to Zion's National Park! I thought it was cool to go there with Cortney because he had never been there before and I knew he would love it! My nephew M also went with us. We didn't have a ton of time in the park, so we decided to do one of the coolest hikes there - Angel's Landing. It was amazingly beautiful! It was quite a hike too! I consider Cortney and I pretty fast hikers, but my brother Jeff and his son, M sure gave us a run for our money keeping a pace that was just short of running up the whole trail! Here are some awesome photos:
The shuttle bus that saves on gas and helps with the emissions in the park
The treacherous and risky trail we climbed up
Cortney, Jeff, and M
After the hike......ahhhhhh:)
It was so fun to be able to go up there and to be with Jeff and M (and of course Cortney). Here's just some random pictures of my niece, S. She's so funny and the biggest flirt! It's funny to hear her say Cortney's name and her cute little mannerisms.
Second Stop: Catalina Island, California!!!!
We were SOOOO excited to go back to Catalina. It's such an awesome island and will forever hold a special place in our hearts:)
Us at the terminal excited to board the ferry!
On the ferry! Even more excited!
The island! YAY!
We stayed in Cherry Cove at Camp Cherry Valley where we worked last year. Here's us in our scout uniforms! Awwww, fer cute!
Our crazy friend Sam.....
We spent saturday swimming in the ocean and basking in the warm California sun. It was so great to be back! Saturday night we went to Two Harbors to people watch........:) Sunday was a very relaxing day of church and reading. It was great to spend the whole day with each other! Monday we took off on a backpacking adventure to a beach called Ben Weston on the west side of the island.
It was quite the hike to get there and we forgot about all the wonderful Catalina dust.....
It was the best feeling to finally get to the beach and feel the hot sand between our toes (not to mention the partaking of our deluxe gourmet squished PB&J sandwiches)! Ben Weston is our favorite beach on the island and holds many happy memories for both of us. It was so nice to be able to relax all afternoon after the strenuous 12 mile hike.
Cortney teases me that I take a million sunset pictures. And I do. But they are awesome! The sunset's at Ben Weston are so beautiful, especially if there isn't a marine layer to hide them. Here's a taste.....
Here's Cortney skipping some rocks.....
The hike back the next day was great, but really hot!
BUFFALO!!!! (not so hot)
Two Harbors was a welcome site after the long, hot hike. We stopped there and ate lunches of chicken strips and a cheeseburger - twas a delicious lunch! It was a very fun and rewarding backpacking trip! On Wednesday it was time for us to leave the island. It was so good to be able to visit there and we felt that the time there was well spent.
We love Catalina!
Third stop: Danville, California and surrounding areas
To top off the awesome road trip, we drove north to Danville, California to visit Cortney's brother Cameron. Cameron's wife Kandis was visiting her parents, so it was just us and Cameron. And his cat Claire...who seems to like boxes and suitcases.....
It was good to see the area and eat at the good places around there. Our second day there we also were able to visit the Oakland temple. Isn't it beautiful?
After being spiritually fed at the temple, we were physically fed lunch at Pixar studios with Cameron! It was the coolest place ever!
They give name tags to all the visitors - the blurred part says "a stranger from the outside!"
Pixar was awesome to visit. We were able to see the process it takes to animate a movie - wow! It takes so long, but the finished movies they make are amazing! We even met some movie stars from the Pixar movies Cars and Monster's Inc. (Okay, they're fake, but awesome!)
This picture is a reenactment of a picture taken in Disneyland with Cortney and Cameron. Cortney is supposed to look fat.....
On Saturday, we were able to visit a really cool Egyptian Museum. It's has the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts in the whole western United States! It was pretty awesome. Afterwards, we had some most amazing pizza from a delicious pizza place in Danville. Yummy. On Sunday we went to church and afterwards had a wonderful relaxing afternoon. At night we played a few games. Our favorite to play was Rummikub. It's such an addicting and awesome game. Even the cat joined in.....
We also played a silly game and were supposed to guess if the card on our forehead (which we couldn't see) was the highest card out of all three of us. Yeah.... that game was exhilarating!
It was so great to be able to spend some time with Cameron and also visit Pixar and other places around Danville. Monday was the day we headed home - an 11 hour drive. It was intense! We thought it would never end! A stop in the middle, though, was very helpful to get us through the drive. Plus, no trip to California is complete without eating at IN-n-OUT at least once. Ahhhhh, delicious!
Overall the trip was a huge success and a lot of wonderful memories were made! It was great to be able to spend so much time with Cortney! That was the best part of the whole vacation!
Total Mileage for the trip : roughly 2100 miles