Archive for the 'Holidays' Category

May trip to Chicago

At the beginning of May, we headed up to Chicago so that Zach could go to a work conference. We went early in order to visit his sister and her family over the border in Indiana for a few days. Here are some photos of our adventures.

Our first visit to Lake Michigan. The Boogedy couldn’t believe that water got that cold without being ice.

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Zach and The Boogedy and Cousin J jumped all over the giant dunes at Indiana Dunes State Park.

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We went for a short hike at Coffee Creek, where we found an earthworm and offered Zach’s sister Sarah $50 to eat it. She declined on the grounds of being vegetarian. Later, though, she confessed that worms just give her the heebie-jeebies and it was all she could do not to gag at the mere thought.

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I picked dandelions during a walk through the neighborhood and braided them into a sticky crown for Prince Charming.

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The next evening we went back to the lake with the whole family and searched the pebble zone for perfect “skipping stones.”

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I can do it:

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But Zach has better…style:

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After Zach left for the Windy City, that left me and the Boogedy with a few days to spend with the cousins.  We went to iCream, where you can design your own ice cream. You choose your base (ice cream, non-fat, soy, yogurts), your favorite flavor, your favorite color (it’s very popular to choose the “wrong” color for a familiar flavor), and toppings. Here is the Boogedy, and cousins S and J, waiting for their treats. The little boys are thrilled. Anyone with a teenager knows that the big kid is playing video games.

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Here the worker is adding the custom mixture to the Kitchenaid. On the left you can see the vapor from the addition of Liquid Nitrogen (!), which freezes the ice cream fast.

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I chose Key Lime with graham crumbs on top, dyed purple. You know, because that’s just not right. I got the serious jitters from this snack. And I mean bad. I wonder how much sugar or chemicals this had! Aside from the fun-factor, I wasn’t impressed at the deliciousness.

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After the treats, Sarah and I took the boys to the Lincoln Park Zoo, which was very nice. I loved taking a spring vacation. Before I moved to the tropics, spring was always my favorite season. Nowadays, I don’t get to see tulips, daffodils, and chartreuse willow trees. It was lovely!

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Sarah drove us home via the scenic route, along Lakeshore Drive. She used to have an apartment in the John Hancock building, the one with the two antennae.

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These boys are the giggly-est, and did great on all car trips.

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Sarah, Todd, and I hung around drinking Lattes (from Todd’s super-fancy espresso machine) and Greyhounds (fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice and vodka) and letting the kids play. We’ve known each other for about 18 years, and it’s always fun to catch up.

On our last day of vacation, we all headed back into town to meet up with Zach and walk through Chicago. We loved The Bean, though I kept losing track of my kid. It was very disorienting.

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Then, we walked along the Magnificent Mile to the John Hancock building, where we rode the elevator to the 96th floor for drinks! I look relaxed in this photo but I was WRECK. I don’t care for heights and the view was, literally, breathtaking.

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I love visiting family. Thanks for hosting us Sarah and Todd! I am looking forward to a big family reunion in scenic Southern Utah later this month, and short jaunt afterward to Texas to visit my sweet mom and sisters.

January visit to Disney World

In mid-January, we rented a car and drove up to Orlando so that Zach could attend the National Tour Association conference for work. My plan was to entertain the Boogedy for a few days and after the conference, the family would head to Disney World. Our RAINY drive up made me feel a little hopeless about our plan to visit the theme park:

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However, the rain cleared up and left it merely cold and cloudy. The boy and I killed two days by ourselves. We spent a few hours each morning hanging out at the McDonalsds playland, killed some time at the mall, found an arcade with several bouncy castles, and ate at a buffet (which the kid thought was an Amazing Experience).

We putted 36 holes at the Pirate-themed mini-golf course (which was too many holes, by the way). This kid is pleased about his hole-in-one, but not about having to get another picture taken:

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When the conference finished, we changed hotels and stayed at a Disney resort. They gave the Boogedy his own room key-card, and he was so proud of it. Here we are on Day 1 at DW, on the monorail to go to Magic Kingdom. It was a COLD day (like 58 degrees), so we were all bundled up.

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I’m still dealing with a fascia injury, so we rented a wheelchair and Zach pushed me around. I liked Main Street USA.

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I liked this picture of my boys in line for It’s A Small World.

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We enjoyed sitting around inside the circusy Dumbo tent while the kid played with other children and ignored us completely.

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Zach’s first bought of nausea came from his own foul gluttony. He spotted a man eating one of these Meat Shanks from across a bridge in Frontierland and couldn’t rest until he’d bought his own Giant turkey leg. We split it amongst the three of us, but it was Still too much, and we threw a bunch away before hitting Space Mountain (perhaps it is obvious to observers that this was the wrong order to do things).

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We rode Space Mountain three times on this day and five times on Day 3. All of our pictures looked something like this, but I still wished we’d bought them all.

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The most terrifying attraction of all, though, was Zach’s Wheelchair Ride of Terror. This crazy ride involved the operator letting go of the handles whenever on a downward grade, or wildly (and unexpectedly) tipping the wheelchair Way, Way back and running erratically. The operator loved the squealing, I think, and startling the onlookers, and didn’t believe it when the rider said “I hate your guts!!”

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The weather warmed up on Day 2, and we went to Animal Kingdom, where they have Everest, the coolest roller coaster. But at some point I forgot that I own a camera, so you’ll have to settle for this one photo of the boy brushing a goat.

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Zach’s second bout with nausea came on Day 3 from this Buzz Lightyear interactive ride (back at Magic Kingdom today). The Boogedy got to spin our car around in circles while we shot lasers at Emperor Zurg. Poor Zach then wasn’t himself for the last few rides on Space Mountain.

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Yay! Who wants more cotton candy and a funnel cake?!

Xmas Stocking Redux

For Xmas 2010 I knit two stockings, a green/orange one for the Boogedy and a blue/yellow one for Zachary. For Xmas 2011 I made a fuchsia/violet one for myself, but without digging around in the closet for last years’ models. As you can see, I have no grasp of size over time.

When I pulled out all three stockings on Xmas eve several weeks ago, the Boogedy immediately picked the new stocking as his own, citing “it has purple and I like purple” as the reason. Somehow I doubted this excuse for bailing on the awesome orange and green one. I mean, the purple one doesn’t even have a tassel!

Xmas Knitting and Pottery

I started this rainbow scarf when I was in Salt Lake City this summer. My sister Jeaka flipped over it, and asked for it outright. This was supposed to be a lightweight scarf for my occasional Key West chilly days (like today…53 degrees!).

But how could I keep it for myself when she begged for it shamelessly?

All any knitter wants is a properly grateful and gushing person to wear and show off their time-consuming handiwork!

For my mom, I knitted something ghastly. I used a beautiful minty green, super bulky, nubbly, spun-cocoon-looking yarn. It made the most lopsided, lumpy, misshapen “purse” one could ever knit. I struggled with it for weeks before finally chucking it as a failure and buying her this lovely bowl instead.

It was made by my friends Adam and Kelly at Honest Works Pottery here in town. They are famous for their boisterous use of color and their rooster mugs are hugely popular. Roosters always make me think of my mom, who made the mistake of mentioning that she loves them and that they remind her of her own mother. I am not the only person always tempted to give her rooster gifts.

Roosters are Key West’s pests and icons; well photographed by tourists and hated by anyone with a bedroom window. I frequently photograph the prettiest ones when I’m out and about.

I’ve started making Key West christmas gingerbread roosters (becoming an annual tradition).

For knitters: the scarf used three balls of Koigu PPPM (no, I don’t have any clue as to the color numbers) and this Churchmouse linen stitch pattern. This was an excellent exercise in forcing myself to knit continental, because the constant switching between k, p, and yf, yb would have taken even longer if I had “thrown” my yarn the whole time.

Xmas lights

Our little Island Pine tree is getting weighed down with cool ornaments this year. This abundance of decoration is thanks to presents from my mom and sis; homemade garlands of popcorn and tinfoil and paper chains; late-night shopping at Kmart without Zach; and a few great thrift store finds. Here is one of my favorite spots:

These lit-up bikes made my night

Lights strung between the masts of a beautiful ship in the harbor during the Lighted Boat Parade.

And a really good dad, getting creative on paper-chain-making night:

Pandora in the background, playing the four christmas songs I was able to sit through before turning it to the Arrogant Worms station.

Lamingtons and December Fun

I swear that Lamingtons transcend the sum of their parts. Look, they’re just sponge cake, jam, chocolate, and coconut. But all together they’re amazing. I borrowed a cake pan from Kelly and Adam (super cool owners of Honest Works Island Pottery in Key West). So, when the Lamingtons were done, I took them some cakes and modeled them on one of their lovely turquoise plates.  Recipe Here.

On the way home I saw this big truck parked across the sidewalk and it made me laugh out loud. I can just picture my DVD remote control running out of juice and me calling these guys for some spare Triple A batteries, Pronto!

I strung the advent calendar up in the kitchen. Each day I try to think up some free or cheap activity. Last night was “go pick up dad from the airport and raid his suitcase for presents!”

Saturday’s advent activity was the Key West Holiday Parade. Here’s the haul. We threw most of this away, but kept enough to eat one piece every Monday for a few months. (That was the deal the kid came up with, after I said one piece each day was Too Much Candy.

Sunday’s activity was free locals day at the aquarium. This sweet pigeon ate from our hands!

They have a fish there that looks like a PUPPY. It’s called the dog-faced puffer fish. We couldn’t get a great shot, but I wanted to pet him, he looked just like a beagle.

Here are the finished sugar skulls from my sister-in-law Noemi in SLC! The Boogedy believes he won the contest, for Most Use of Frosting. Zach believes he won for best disco lips.

Key West Headdress Ball 2011

I worked the front desk at the Headdress Ball a couple of weeks ago, part of the annual 10-day Fantasy Fest here in Key West.

My pictures aren’t the greatest, but I wanted to share because some of the headdresses were so amazing!

The theme of this year’s Fantasy Fest was Aquatic Afrolic.

She’s part of a very sparkly dyad of jellyfish!

This whirlygig actually whirled…

This couple was staying in the hotel where the Headdress Ball was taking place, they only entered the contest because we thought they were so fun.

I loved this mermaid’s body paint.

This group wasn’t even competing, they came dressed up to watch.

Same with these guys, only there were, like, TEN of them!! Can you tell that their skirts are made of construction fencing? One guy had fashioned his into a bustle instead of a skirt.

I had a backstage pass so I caught up with these ladies after they hit the runway.

This is Inga, a local celebrity, leading the audience in the Chicken Dance and a naughty number.

This ensemble wore my favorite costumes, 18th century-ish. The queen wore pink frilly pumps, which I coveted, and satin bloomers. The boys are wearing crushed velvet hot pants. Ooh la la.

These gents come from across the pond every year for Fantasy Fest, and I adored their light-up flamingos.

This girl’s headdress is a ship being attacked by a kraken. The ship had an on-board cannon that shot confetti cannonballs.

 

I dig this scaly costume made from paint samples.

I couldn’t get a good shot of these snooty girls from NY. But they had the most amazing headdresses made from real sea sponges and coral fans. They were wrapped in olive green and tan fish nets.

This headdress features a functional water fountain up top.

This guy was sporting a HUGELY heavy headdress and he fell off the stage… onto my husband, who saved him from breaking his neck. Zach’s knee is still hurt from the strain of catching this guy and his getup.

Christopher Peterson sang a number and sounded great.

This fellow had something of a flamingo theme going on.

I absolutely loved this Las Vegas style clownfish costume. She had tailfeathers to match!

This was the coolest Fantasy Fest event I’ve been to so far!

 


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