Friday, August 29, 2014

Home Sweet Home

Idaho and Friends

Idaho Falls, Idaho

While visiting friends in Rexburg, we stayed in downtown Idaho Falls on the 4th of July. Our hotel was just minuets away from the Idaho Falls Temple.
The view from across the river at night was beautiful. And apparently sitting on either side of the river was a popular place to watch the fireworks.
Since this would probably be the only time in our lives we would be within walking distance to a fireworks show, we just had to go.

Not knowing exactly where the fireworks would be fired off, we just followed everyone else, and plopped ourselves down on an open piece of grass. Brad and Breck could hardly contain their excitement... 

so Merinda and I decided to pose in front of the picturesque lighted Temple.
Merinda too, could hardly contain her excitement.

But I was having a blast taking a million pictures of the Temple.
By the time the fireworks finally started we couldn't even see them because of all the trees in the way. We jumped up with the rest of the crowd to try and get a better view, but it was too late.  
We ended up sitting on the street curb while everyone walked in front of us. But it was okay because the reflection of the illuminated Temple on the water was more beautiful than any firework display. 
The next day I just had to see if the Temple was as beautiful in the day as it was at night.
And it did not disappoint!

Rexburg, Idaho

Even though we didn't actually have kids attending BYU-I at the time we drove through Rexburg, we had a wonderful time visiting old friends.
And sometimes it's kind of nice to go to a place 'where everybody know your name'. This is not a picture of our uncle Blake but Brad and Breck had fun trying to pose like him anyway.
We had a great time catching up with Brad Massey (our good friend from Saint Louis, MO) at Kiwi Loco, one of our favorite frozen yogurt places. If this picture were taken in Saint Louis, we would all be standing outside of Ted Drewes!
It was fun to see the Barrus family again. We wish they would come back to KY, but then our college kids would starve, have no place to keep their mountains of stuff, and we would of been unable to salvage Aubrey's clothes and bed linens.  
Here, we are eating lunch at the yummiest little restaurant called The Hickory.
Our next quick stop was to the Ross family. Diane and I went to nursing school together, and without her I may not have survived it!
It was also good to see Chet again, and their adorable kids (yes, even older kids can be adorable), and if they lived next to ours', I have a feeling they would all get along just great.

Shelly, Idaho

The Ackermans made us a delicious breakfast, and were just as nice as could be. It was good to see Darrell again, who is usually out of town when we visit.
 Pam and I have been life-long friends, and were college roommates.
 Pam helped us survive college by being our provider of food (little Caesar's Pizza!), mother, and entertainer.
 Her kids are just as spunky, talented, and real as she is.
 And of course I will be forever honored that she named her daughter after me. It's good to know there are two Alicent's in the world.
 Ali was showing us some of her tricks on the trampoline. The Ackerman's live in a cute little farm house where the wind always blows.
 Merinda is a year younger than Alicent and they both share my name (Merinda's middle name is Alicent).
 Breck and Justin are just about the same age, and if we lived closer, would probably be good friends too.

We had so much fun seeing all of our friends in and around Rexburg. We want to thank you all for fitting us in, and spending time with us even though it was 4th of July week, and you were busy with your own families. We consider you our family, and will always remember these brief but cherished memories. Thank You! 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Home Sweet Home

Idaho and the Manwarings

Blake & Josie, Island Park, Idaho

Our next adventure was at Island Park with uncle Blake, aunt Josie, and their kids. We just couldn't pass up Josie's cooking or Blake's wings barbecued to perfection on the Tregor.
You are never too old to sit at the kid's table. Breck enjoying his meal with Jack and Sam.
We even got a cabin all to ourselves.
Beautiful Mesa Falls
I hear it's a popular site to get engaged if you're a BYU-I student. 
In fact, I think Blake and Josie did get engaged here.
Uncle Blake probably giving Breck a hard time about something.

West Yellowstone, Montana

This is the second time we have taken the kids to see a play at the Play Mill Theater because they loved it so much the first time. This go around we saw "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat". Breck's favorite part was talking to the actors afterwards, and hearing about their lives. One was fresh off a Mission, and most of the other actors and actresses were BYU-I students or alumni.

Ashton, Idaho and view of Grand Tetons 

The next day we decided to go to Jackson Hole, Wyoming since Brad nor the kids have ever been there (and I haven't been since I was teenager and went there for Youth Conference).
I had forgotten how beautiful the drive to Jackson Hole was through Ashton, Idaho, and all the little picturesque towns with majestic views of the Tetons.
If you look really closely you can see the para-glider. There were three of them gliding around the top of the mountain.

Rendezvous Mountain, Wyoming 

One of the things we wanted to do during our stay with Blake and Josie is go hiking (because they always know where the best trails are).
So before arriving at Jackson Hole we took a tram up Rendezvous Mountain,
and did some hiking at the top.
Didn't I say they knew where the best hikes were?!!!
It was so beautiful it took my breath away!
It took Merinda's breath away for another reason...
 high altitude (I guess that's what I get for raising my kids at sea-level).
More adorable Manwaring cousins: Emily, Sam, and Jack.
Breck enjoyed being a kid again and exploring every large rock,
and side trail along the way. 
I guess I have lived at sea-level too long as well. I wasn't really thinking that we might be hiking through snow in July!
All Merinda had to hike in were old Converse without traction. She might as well of been hiking in skies!
That did not deter Breck from taking every opportunity to throw snowballs at us.
We hiked down to a beautiful meadow and glacier pond. There were so many moments (like this one) when I felt like I was hiking up the backside of Timpanogos.
Breck coming down from another big rock.
I could of stayed there forever exploring and taking in the views, but the weather was not on our side.
Plus the kids were starting to get a little chilled (there was about a 25 degree drop in temperature from the base of the mountain).
It was now a race against time.
The dark clouds were moving in fast, and we didn't want to be caught up on the mountain when the storm hit.
We made it back to the ski lodge just as it began to lightening, thunder, and rain.
But the tram was temporarily closed down due to lightening and strong winds. I didn't mind waiting the storm out at the top of the mountain, because it was so awesome to watch.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

I enjoyed visiting Jackson Hole as a kid, and thought my kids would get a kick out of it too.
But it was a little too crowded and touristy for them (of course it was 4th of July week).
Blake, Josie, Sam, Emily, and Jack.
Other than Rendezvous Mtn., the thing the kids enjoyed the most about Jackson Hole was eating at Bubba's BBQ. It was a little different from Southern BBQ, but still very good.

Island Park, Idaho

The next day the guys got up early to go shooting,
and then we all went four-wheeling before leaving Island Park. We spent a great couple of days with Blake, Josie, and their kids, and want to thank them for the wonderful food, accommodations, and entertainment. We had the best time ever!