The family took a one week road trip last week to Grand Canyon National Park. We drove south to New Mexico then headed west to Williams, AZ where we stayed for a couple of nights. We drove an hour out to the Grand Canyons then took the buses along the canyons for the breathtaking scenes.
On the morning of our third day, we headed to Page, Utah where we had hoped to tour Antelope Canyon but they were all booked so we decided to drive across Glen Canyon Dam and check out Lake Powell. We met a friendly French family who were on vacation. We stayed one night in Page then headed out the next morning. Our goal was to go straight to Grand Junction, CO but decided to take a detour to the four corners (where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado meet). The idea came from our youngest. She was napping when we took the detour. We wanted to surprise her but she heard us talking and woke up to help us with directions because husband’s Google Maps was acting up.
At the Four Corners, one of the Navajo’s selling memorabilia explained that the sellers in the New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah corners were all Navajoes while the sellers in the Colorado corner were Utes. I wanted more history from him but I felt guilty because I didn’t buy anything from him. I did thank him for the bit of information.
Grand Junction was our resting place before the drive home. Husband and I wanted to surprise our oldest by going to an alpaca farm. She had no idea and loved it. We also wanted to pick peaches but it was still too early in the year for the public picking. We ended up buying their stock peaches. We did pick cherries though. Husband picked them because all the cherries were at the very top and he needed a ladder to get up there.
I’ve been wanting to try dumplings with a really hot chili sauce for some time now all because of the food pics on Instagram. Earlier this week, I bought frozen veggie and chicken dumplings from the grocery store to try it out with the chili sauce I made following a recipe I Googled. It was pretty easy to make: combine dried crushed hot peppers and non-aromatic oil in a pan over medium heat for a few minutes. Let cool completely and jar. I had the dumplings with the chili oil and a bit of soy sauce (pictured). It was really tasty. Today, I made more and added dried shallots. It was even better. I’d say, this is one of the simplest and quickest tasty food ever.
I shared a few images on my Instagram of the Spice Latte Traveler’s Notebook I purchased but here’s a few more. I’m loving this TN so much. It’s a very soft and pliable leather. It feels so good in my hands. The color is a light taupe but more on the brownish beige side. I opted for a spine design of the moon phase in rose gold. If you didn’t already know, my name in Hmong means moon. I was given the name because my oldest sister kept getting ear infections (based on Hmong superstition, they said because she kept pointing to the moon, the moon lady would cut her ears). So, when I was born, they gave me the name and her ears never got cut again. Not sure how that works but my guess is, it tricked the moon lady to think my sister was also a moon lady because she was close to a moon. Who knows, but I really should study up on these superstitions though.
In April I tried to follow through with an Instragam “draw in your style” type drawing. Draw in your style is where an artist shares a drawing and others follow along by either drawing it in their style or try to draw it the way the artist drew (which is how I did it). I managed to sketch the drawing but it wasn’t until late May that I was able to color it. Originally, I was going to paint in Photoshop but I’m really stiff with digital painting so I decided to just watecolor. Maybe another time.
Here’s mine next to the original piece by the original artist.
I used mainly the Daniel Smith watercolors I added to the Schmincke set.
I hope to do more of these. They really help me practice my drawing and painting.
Last week, the family took a road trip to Ouray, Colorado. It was a six hour drive through winding roads and beautiful mountain views so it didn’t feel very long at all. The photo below shows us at just shy of three hours from our destination.
Here are some views on our way there.
We stayed at an RV and cabin campsite where we rented a tiny home cabin. It was homey and well cared for.
We stayed in the middle cabin. They called these deluxe cabins because there’s enough room to sleep seven people. There were four of us total so we wouldn’t fit in the smaller cabins, which were a few yards down from ours.
Inside our cabin. The kids slept in the loft. Down past the kitchen is the main bedroom.
This is the living room. We watched a couple of movies on our stay. It wasn’t really mountain living, as you can see.
The backside walks out toward the river which was pretty swollen from the snowfall last month. The black cover thingy with the rock on top is a gas grill. We didn’t get a chance to use it but hope to next time. I enjoyed waking up early and sitting on a chair listening to the rush of the river and birds chirping. It was relaxing and peaceful.
When we first arrived, we ate dinner at a restaurant and then went for a walk along the river. Our oldest was too tired so she stayed in the cabin. The rain sprinkled a bit but didn’t last. That’s my husband and youngest in her rain poncho.
We only went for two nights and three days so we didn’t get to do too much. We spent our day mainly at the hot springs pool. The same evening, there was a music festival in the park next to the pool so we hung out there for a couple of hours. Before the pool and the festival, we had breakfast at the Cafe next to the cabins and RVs. We learned that the owner of the cafe, when he was a kid in the 80’s, got to sit with John Wayne for breakfast every morning while they were filming the original True Grit (yes! it was filmed in Ouray). His mother opened the cafe and ran it until she wasn’t able to and he took over. I had ordered a huervos rancheros and had just started eating when he came by and told us this story. He said the huervos rancheros was John Wayne’s favorite. He was a lucky kid. I’m glad he shared this piece of his life with us.