Sunday, August 31, 2008

When Mom is in Town, We Shop

One of Heather's favorite things to do is shop for clothes and when I am with her, that's usually what we do. Since we don't know whether the baby is a boy or a girl, it's too early to shop for him or her. One thing we did know, was that Heather was going to need some maternity clothes, at least eventually.
We had fun picking out some outfits but Heather has a hard time picturing herself filling out huge shirts.

Not everything she tried on was a winner. She didn't like this one at all.

In order to get the full effect, she modeled this one for Brooks with a pillow stuffed under her shirt.

Without the pillow, Heather doesn't show at all yet, but at barely 5 ft tall and not much room to put a baby, we suspect it won't be long before she fills out the new clothes we bought.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

More from Arizona

I wanted to share a few more photos from our recent trip to Arizona.

Arizona is a hot place year round, but it was really hot in August. It was 112 after sunset one night.

Of course the main reason we went to Arizona was to visit Bob's mom.

Even though she will be 85 years old in November, she manages to stay active and looks great.

Uncle Jack Lutz is Bob's father's brother. He is an avid golfer and still plays nearly every day. We always love hearing Jack's stories. Notice the family resemblence?

We had to plan very carefully to be hungry enough to eat in all of the restaurants we had planned. Garduno's was one of our favorite New Mexico cuisine places when we lived there. We learned that there was one in Chandler and that was our first stop.

We got to enjoy the Fajita Express buffet, something we fondly remember from years ago, and for the first time in years we had sopapillas and real New Mexico cooking. Yummy! We post a lot of food stuff, don't we?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Getting Into the Olympic Spirit - Our Own Way

We continue having a great time hanging out with the kids in Utah. Today we spent time with Jason and his friend Brianna while Heather and Brooks both had to work. Neither Bob or I had ever been to Park City and since Heather and Brooks just had a fun few days there, we decided to make a day of it.

The weather could not have been more perfect, in the low 80's I'm guessing, and the drive from Provo is beautiful. It took us less than an hour to get there. We parked near Main Street and walked up and down.

With all of the little boutique shops and restaurants in Park City, it was interesting to see what the church does to mix right in with the spirit of the town. They have a Family Tree Center right in the middle of Main Street with old time photos and props that I'm sure draw the crowds.

Jason's first Olympic event was "Wall Jumping" although his score was not even enough to qualify for the finals and the Chinese team easily beat his score.

Bob wasn't sure what to make of the costumed moose, but in Park City the Moose sculptures are similar to the pigs in downtown Seattle. They are dressed by local artists.

Main Street is just below the ski slopes and at there is a ski lift that runs right to the street. Skiers can cross a bridge to be taken right to the restaurants in town.

After we walked up and down Main Street, we drove several miles to the Utah Olympic Park, where many of the Olympic events were held in 2002.

The picture below is of a training facility but we believe that a lot of what we saw was just how rich kids spend their summer vacation. They wear wet suits and climb on the ramps. Each has a different height or curve at the end of the slope. They twist and contort before entering the water. There are plenty of coaches telling them just what they should do. Just before they hit the water, the water bubbles like Jacuzzi jets to break the surface tension making the entry to the water more gentle. We watched kids as young as 5 or 6 all the way up to adults. Some were very good.

After watching other athletes training for a while, it was our turn to get in on some action. The Olympic Park has an Alpine Slide, which is a summer luge. Jason and Brianna had a choice between that and the zip line, which actually looked a little slow. They opted for the luge and I decided to take the chair lift to the top of the mountain along with them. Bob is not a big fan of heights and he decided to hand out at the bottom and wait for us to get back.

At the top of the mountain was the ski jumping area that was used in the 2002 Olympics, and is still one of the top training facilities in the US. We walked right in to the building and to the top of the ski jumps. Believe me, it's a very long way down. Bob is sitting there on the third from the right flagpole stand at the bottom. The facility was really impressive.

Heather and Brooks have been talking for days about how much fun they had doing an Alpine Slide. They did it in a different area of town but Jason and Brianna had a blast getting to the bottom of the mountain the fast way.

This picture of Brianna doesn't do a good job of showing how fast you really come down the mountain.

I cam back down the mountain the same way I went up, because that was the ticket I bought originally. I would have loved the luge course though and next time I go to Park City, that's what I'm going to do.

Hanging With the Kids in Utah

We have been in Utah for the past couple of days and are having a great time hanging out with the kids. I just wanted to share some pictures of the past couple of days.

When we are all together, even a dinner at IHOP can be a fun adventure. By the way, Jason shaved off that goatee the next day.

Last night we were looking for something different for dinner. We were about to drive 40 miles to a barbeque place when Jason told us about a place called Lon's Cookin Shack about 4 blocks from Heather and Brooks' condo. The food was fabulous and we had a great time.

This is Jason with his friend Brianna. We enjoyed having her along with us.

The "Smokin Hot" sauce lived up to the expectation and I think between us, we used up half a bottle.

This one is funny because Bob spilled a tiny bit of sauce on his shirt. He grabbed a napkin to wipe it off and the napkin was full of sauce, which made a huge mess. Notice the hand motion.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Turns Out There is More Than One Sirrine Who Can Cook!

Yesterday Bob and I spent the day in the Phoenix area. We are flying out to Utah this morning but wanted to spend a day with just the 2 of us. We have always wanted to try Mike Sirrine's brother's restaurant Rancho de Tia Rosa, in Mesa, AZ. We love Mexican food and we have been told it is very good so of course we wanted to try it. We were not expecting a huge parking lot packed with cars at 11:30 on a Tuesday morning.
The funniest thing was that as we walked from our car to the door of the restaurant, we were greeted in the parking lot by Nola Sirrine, Mike's mother. She had a startled look on her face and asked what we were doing there. She was there to deliver some sort of grocery they had run out of. She looked exactly like she did last time I saw her including perfect hair, make up, and matching pink jewelry to go with her outfit. Strange that we should meet her of all people walking through a huge parking lot. She introduced us to her grandchildren Julia and Clay who were the host and hostess. Oh Christopher, better call your grandmother to let her know about the birth of your son. Anyway, we were waited on by another Sirrine, Nick.
The place was huge and we couldn't believe how many people were there so early on a Tuesday. It was well worth the visit.
Pam, it turns out there are other Sirrines who can cook almost as good as you!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Politics, Religion and "Wi-Fly" Access

Bob and I spent the last few days in Green Valley, Arizona, visiting his 85 year old mother. Green Valley is a retirement community that among other things, is about a decade behind in technology. We needed to access the internet to check a few things so we went out to look for a place with wi-fi access. We heard the local McDonalds would be a good place to try. We were in luck, they had it for about $3. Oh sure, it's not Marymoor dog park where wi-fi is free, but we were willing to pay for it.

We went in, ordered a Diet Coke and fries and sat down to check the internet. A nice older man sitting at the table next to us decided to make conversation by asking us what we were doing and where we were from. He was having dinner with his wife. When we said we were from Washington, she turned around with her big Barack Obama button and told us how much she "liked our politics". Bob welcomed the opportunity to get into a heated political discussion that drew in lots of old folks in the McDonalds Lobby. If that wasn't enough, there were flies everywhere. I thought a horse had wandered into the dining room but it turned out to just be filthy. I didn't have a camera handy to take my picture, but this is close to what I, along with anyone else who braved the dining room looked like.

I don't know what was worse, the heated (but civil) discussion on policy, ethics, war and drilling in Anwar, or feeling like I was in Ethiopia. All the while I was begging Bob to stop but he just smiled and said he was having fun.

Finally the political discussion wound down to my own relief and I'm sure the relief of others swatting their own share of flies. The nice old man asked us why we were in town. We told them we were visiting Bob's mother and that our next stop would be Utah to see the kids. Of course the next question was "Oh, are you LDS"? (Oh swell, here we go again!) It turned out they had joined the church at one point but they retired from church along with work. Now we got to look back on everything we said and hope we said the right things. They shared all of their reasons that they just couldn't bring themselves to get up on Sunday and go to church themselves, but Their son had served a mission in Rochester, NY several years ago. He had been hit by a bus and badly injured while on his mission, but chose to remain until the end. He now serves actively in his ward and has 6 kids. Fortunately they both had positive feelings about the church. At the end of the discussion we all agreed that we had a lot in common and that we had just been to the filthiest McDonalds we had ever seen. We went back the next day with our camera in hand. We hoped to photograph the flies. We had to laugh when the first thing we saw was a man sitting outside (where there were less flies) with a fly swatter in hand.

Looking over my shoulder in the photo below, you will see that they were also smart enough to bring bug spray.

I don't know about you but if I have to bring the fly killing gear to lunch, I think I'll go someplace else.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Why I Live in Washington

Those of us who brave the 9 months out of the year that it rains in Western Washington know how beautiful the summers can be. Every once in a while, the hot air balloons that fly out of the Woodinville winery area in the evenings come right over our house and land at Marymoor Park. Tonight we thought they might be coming because the dogs let us know about 15 minutes before they flew over. We even went out to the deck to look for the balloons but they were nowhere to be seen. Then, Imola threw a fit and a balloon flew right bast our house.
It was sunny and 88 degrees here today. The rest of the week promises to be about the same. There is no place where the summers are more beautiful. I love living here.