Road Trip: Grand Canyon National Park, Etc.

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.

Dumplings with Chili Sauce

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.

Foxy Fix Traveler’s Notebook in Spice Latte

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.

 

 

Winter Park, Colorado

Happy New Year!

It’s been 11 years since I first started blogging with WordPress. I can’t believe it’s been over a decade. I remember when I first found WordPress and wasn’t sure if this would be a good platform to move my blog to. Initially, I was paying another hosting site for a website and blog but I didn’t need the website anymore. I just wanted to blog. I’ve been happy with WordPress all these years.

Last Saturday, the family took the train to a town in the mountains called Winter Park. The train we took only goes to Winter Park in January, February, and March. Winter Park is known for their skiing and snowboarding. We didn’t ski or snowboard because the only person who really knows how to ski and snowboard is my husband. I’ve tried skiing and snowboarding when I was younger but just never got into it. We didn’t want to do any strenous activities because our oldest daughter has national competitions next week and can’t do anything that could cause an injury. We thought we’d walk around, check out some shops, try a couple of restaurants, and then return home.

Things changed when our oldest daughter saw the tubing slides when we took the lift to the side where the tubing was. The lift went over the slides and we could see people coming down. It looked really fun. I was nervous for her because I was afraid she’d injure herself and then we’d be in big trouble for nationals. But, all went well. The slides were monitored very well. There were four lanes and they went from fastest to slowest. We spent an hour tubing, then went to have lunch in the town of Winter Park (the skiing/snowboard, tubing, ice skating, etc. were in the Resort). We wanted to go to Fraser which is the town just north but mistakenly got off early. It was all good though. We had a good lunch. It started to snow and looked beautiful.

Here are some photos from the trip.

We got up at 4:30am to give us enough time to get everything together. The train station is downtown in the heart of the city so we wanted to make sure we got a parking space and also we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss the train, which left the station at exactly 7am.

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The girls fell asleep most the way and missed the sunrise (above). The train was a two hour ride and went through about 30 mountains. I tried to count the tunnels but lost track. The final mountain took 10 minutes to get through.

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Here’s a view of the cars behind us. We sat on the second level of car number three. There were seven cars total, not including the engine.

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Arriving in Winter Park Resort. It was very cold.

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We ate breakfast and watched people go down the hills. There were lots of people skiing and snowboarding.

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We took the lift to the other side where the tubing was. We wanted to see if there were other activites to do besides tubing on the tubing side.

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On the right, you could see two of the tubing lanes and someone coming down the first lane.

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Skiiers and snowboarders from the parking area making their way to the lift to take them to the side we came from. But, check out that mountainside with the low hanging clouds.

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Me with our two girls waiting in line to go down the fastest lane.

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Our youngest pulling the tube up the conveyor belt. That tube is heavy! We eventually switched to single ones when she felt confident enough to go without me. She was scared at first so we went on the second slowest lane, then made our way to the fastest lane.

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Here she is getting ready to go alone and in the fastest lane too!

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It was so much fun tubing. We enjoyed our short day in Winter Park and hope to do it again next year.

Blossoms of Light

The family went to the Botanic Garden over the weekend to see the Blossoms of Light for the first time.  I believe the display has been around for awhile.  It was beautiful but there were so many people.  We bought tickets in advance to be on the safe side and I’m glad we did because it was sold out.

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A Day Downtown

The family went to watch a baseball game at the Coors Field in Denver.  The game started out great but the Rockies lost.  We weren’t there to see the end because we left when the second thunderstorm came through.  I took some photos with my phone and did some editing with VSCO.

This first photo was taken when people cleared the seats because the rain was coming down hard.  Everyone moved to the covered seatings or behind the stadium where the food court is.  We waited in our seats for about 20 minutes and then the intercom came on and said everyone had to leave the covered seatings because lightning was coming through.  It was then that we decided to head home.

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Mixed Media Layouts

My kids have been busy with summer activities so I haven’t had much time to do anything really.  Both the girls have left the world of dance.  One moved on to Poms and the other to swim – although swim is only for the summer.  I haven’t decided if I’ll be putting her in anything in the fall and winter.  She isn’t too enthusiastic about physical activities, except for maybe running, but even that I don’t think she takes very seriously.  I’m still looking for a voice coach for her because she’s very passionate about singing but I just can’t seem to find anyone in the area.

With the “no time” I have, I’ve somehow managed to finish four layouts I’ve tried to finish since March.  These layouts are from a year-long course I’ve been taking online by Wilna Furstenberg who is an amazing artist.  I’m actually taking two of her online classes: Art to Heart and Artventure.  Art to Heart focuses on the self following scriptures from the bible and Artventure focuses on family.  I’ve learned so much from these courses.  I’ve learned not to be afraid to mix different types of media and it’s been very fun and stress relieving, except for the journaling part.  I always have a hard time journaling.  I find that strange because I love to write.  The mind is so mysterious.

Here are the latest layouts. As mentioned, they were started in March and I completed them earlier this week.

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Here are close ups.

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On a side note, I purchased a couple of different coloring media: Derwent Watersoluble Pencils and Caran D’ache Neocolor II Watersoluble Pastels.  I’ve been watching YouTube videos on these two products and comparing them to Prima Marketing and a few other brands with similar items.  I chose to go with these two because they’ve been in the market longer and  I wanted to get a feel for them before trying the newer brands.

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