Grand Canyon – Part III

Finally, I have a moment to write a brief post about the final leg of our trip – 4 months later.  I will also do an update at the end of this post about what has been happening the last 4 months.

The final leg of our trip was a lot of driving and quick site seeing.

We spent the last 2 days exploring the South Rim and are really glad we took the time to do so.  There were several visitors centers, shops, and hikes to do.  We even saw a California Condor (bird) that was near extinction but has been reintroduced into the Grand Canyon area.

One of the highlights of our time on the south Rim was dinner at El Tovar.  It was amazing, even if we were slightly under dressed!  We left early the next morning and took a shuttle to the North Rim where we were re-acquainted with our car.  Woohoo!

P1030082 P1030096 Viva Las Vegas!  IMG_1004 Death Valley en route to Yosemite.  We had hoped to drive from Las Vegas to Yosemite but ended up staying the night in Monmouth, CA instead.  I would love to go back there.  It was an adorable little ski town and reminded me a lot of Bozeman.IMG_1011 IMG_1019Finally, Yosemite!  We spent 2 nights here.  I was a little burnt out on camping and absolutely terrified of bears?  It was so absurd but I couldn’t help myself.  I would love to go back sometime when I can enjoy it a little bit more. IMG_1026 Our final stop was Arcata, CA where we stayed in a wonderful bed and breakfast and took day trips to the Redwoods.  It was wonderful and relaxing and the perfect end to our trip.IMG_2226 P1030160 P1030163 IMG_1035What we have been up to lately:

  • We spent Thanksgiving in Sisters and had a blast. From there every weekend was spent celebrating the holidays – work parties, family parties, friends parties.
  • We hosted our first Christmas and I loved it.  We served prime rib, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetable salad, green beans and had cakes for dessert (we were celebrating 2 birthdays that day as well)
  • I wrapped up my first semester teaching at University of Portland.  It was a whirlwind but something I really enjoyed.  Spring semester has been going much more smoothly and I hope it continues that way.
  • We have had several free weekends since the holiday, which has been so relaxing.  Since we are both working about 50 hours per week (or more) it is nice to have free weekends to prepare for the week (meals, laundry, etc.)
  • Because of the free weekends, Jake and I have got back to painting the house.  We have painted 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom (not quite done yet) since the beginning of January and it has made such a difference (photos below)
  • We celebrated Jake’s 30th birthday.  We had about 20 friends over for a Fiesta.  The Margaritas were flowing and I made about 60 homemade flour tortillas for our taco bar.  We finished the night with several rounds of Cards Against Humanity and good laughs.
  • I have been playing with my pressure cooker I received for Christmas most weekends (chicken stock, chicken noodle soup, hummus, and “refried beans” are a few of the things I have made so far).  Looking forward to many more adventures with the pressure cooker.  It amazes me that chicken can cook in about 10 minutes!

Here are a few photos to commemorate the last 2 months:

Christmas Tree hunting.IMG_1079I cooked my first turkey(not for the Holidays – just for fun!).

IMG_1076 Jake’s work party for Christmas! IMG_1088 Lot’s of walks in the park.  It was so cold at the beginning of January that we saw lots of pretty ice in the park.IMG_1107The mess post birthday party bash!IMG_1114New paint, bedroom 1 IMG_1116New paint bedroom 2 IMG_1115 Early morning run.IMG_1118Hope your holidays were fabulous and 2015 is off to a great start!

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