Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Train Ride-400 E 200 N in Lindon
















Wednesday night, we had all the kids come over for pizza and then we piled into cars and drove to Lindon. Our friend from the Bishop's Storehouse has a train on his property and every year decorates his place for the holidays and you can ride the train through all of it. (It's a two-mile track around the whole block...which is his and his childrens')...it was unbelievable. It was freezing cold...because Winter has decided to come early!...but that just made it more holidayish. We bundled up and went through various tents with special effects until it was time to go into the barn to watch "Nightmare Before Christmas". It was warm inside...aaaahhhh...and then we were dismissed to go into another area for the train. We sat down and were entertained with a high-tech talking pumpkin with blinking lights in the dark. What a lightshow! Then we went outside to the train. This was a miniature train (like we used to have in Newcastle)and was a little tricky getting in. There were 21 of us in the family. I straddled the train and then "poured" my feet into the train and prayed I wouldn't fall out. Poor Dan was behind me and was sitting on the back of the car instead of the seat! We started our journey through the dark with "things" jumping out at us throughout the evening and at every corner of the track. There are 75 neighbors that help him put this event on ...and these kids are goooooood! We went through tunnels that were decked out with creatures and eerie music and lights. It was unbelievable. Chuck jumped, I jumped and screamed like a little girl...and it was fantastic. They do an unbelievable job and they do it for fun, no admission fee, for the neighbors to enjoy. The only downside was Paige ended up being the last seat on the train and the "things" came up behind her and scared the jeebies out of her. She cried. The sweet thing was a lot of the kids afterwards took off their masks and showed her they were kids just like her. They were so sweet...she still cried. I felt badly (didn't know she was on the end). Little James stayed in the car with John. He does better in the daytime. There are nice people in this world who are very unselfish. They need to be focused on....not all the negativity we hear in the news.

We have a party tonight, one tomorrow night and get to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters...Happy Halloween everyone and Happy Birthday Blain (born on Halloween)!

SURPRISE!!!




Last Wednesday, as my Visiting Teachers were going out the door, I went downstairs only to hear the doorbell ring and I had to run back up the stairs. I opened the door and saw two little trick-or-treaters with their costumes on (covering most of their faces) standing there. I was confused and then thought maybe they weren't going to be around for Halloween so they were starting early. I couldn't place them (only seeing part of their faces), but they looked familiar. Then I looked up at their parents (who were wearing hoodies)and it dawned on me.....Rob and Natalie and the kids!

I guess Chuck and our kids up here knew they were coming up as a surprise. I was thrilled! They started laughing and we hugged and they commented on our "snow". They will be here until Wednesday, then we leave Thursday to go to their place for Kamryn's baptism. CRAZY!!! Little Evelyn is walking all over the place and is such a cutie. Owen just runs around the place taking out every toy he can find. He's having a ball.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Aloha!!!

We're back! We just had two wonderful weeks in Kauai and Maui, celebrating our 40th anniversary. We went with Bill and Linda who were also celebrating their 40th (we married one week apart).

The islands are soooo green and lush. I couldn't get over how huge the leaves on everything were and the colors of the foliage, water and skies were unbelievable. The islands are definitely paradise!

We started in Oahu, island hopped to Kauai, where we stayed in Bill's timeshare at Poipu. While unpacking, my heart sank when I realized I had brought my hot curlers but no clips! Not only did it take up a lot of room in the suitcase...but was totally unusable!! Can I say bad hair week!!! Oh well, that wasn't going to stop me!

We got up early in the morning to see the turtles romp in the cove and watch the sunrise. My neighbor, who I visit teach, was on the same island at the same time, but I had left her number at home. Did you know they have black crabs on black rocks? I didn't until the "rocks" started moving after a wave hit them! Chuck told me they were tarantulas and I believed him...that was our 2nd day. We went to Fern Grotto and saw this little gray cat that's 17 years old and has lived there her whole life. She's the only cat there now since the hurricane. You can't get close to the ferns because of the hurricane damage. Luckily, we went 10 years ago and got to go up to them. We also went on a catamaran to tour the cliffs at Na'Pali. That was a 6-hr. tour. Chuck, Bill and Linda went snorkling...I took pics. We saw dolphins. One night, they had a "Dive-In" movie at the pool. We watched on our lounge chairs, Bill watched while in the water and Chuck went upstairs. We had to eat at Duke's and have Hula Pie...tradition. We went to Hilo Hattie's (of course), went to ABC stores (of course), went to Bubba's for Chuck's birthday, saw Waimea Canyon (breathtaking), went to the Lighthouse, Anini Beach and had lunch in the gentle rain, went to a beach where we could stand and have unbelievable fish swim right around us like we weren't there...wow. We were all standing watching schools of brightly colored fish all around us. It was a fantastic experience! We saw everything you could possible see and do while there and played in the pool at night...true paradise.

We then island hopped to Maui to our timeshare. We were 1/2 block from a fantastic beach and could walk to shops and restaurants (yahoo!). We did the "Road to Hana", saw an unbelievable Warren and Annabelle's Magic show, musical of the islands "'Ulalena", shopped, ate at Ruth Chris' Steakhouse, shopped, went on the Pineapple Plantation tour on a tram, ate at Moose McGuillacuddy's, shopped, went snorkling at a out of the way spot with tons of fish, sightseeing, beach. We went through an undergroud lava tube on a self-guided tour...pretty cool. The luau was saved for our last night...not impressed with the food. I would have to say, we could easily spend more time on Maui and still not see everything. The only downside we had, was the island hopper we were on from Kauai lost Bill's suitcase. They finally found it and he got it the next morning.

We ran into 4 missionaries while there at different locations. One of the elder's was from Utah and one of the sister's was from Ogden. They were happy to see us. The ward building in Hana is newer and nestled in a lush tropical setting.

As lovely as our trip was...I'm glad to be home. We left Maui at 1:00 p.m., got to Oahu at 3:20 p.m., flew out at 8:30 p.m., landed in L.A. at 5 a.m., left L.A. at 7:30a.m. and landed in SLC at 10:23 a.m. I will never island hop again...too expensive.

Milk was $4.75 a gallon, gas ran about $3.63 a gallon, restaurants were a couple dollars above "our normal", Costco was about the same and Safeway was a little higher than normal.

We kept up with what was going on at home and appreciate our kids jumping in to help. Mahalo to all of you!