Wednesday, September 21, 2011

From Beaches to Bryce

Hard to believe, but this was Zach and I's first time going to an ocean beach together, and we LOVED it (in case you can't tell from the plethora of pictures).  Our first stop was Monterrey, where after some so-so sushi we opted to skip the aquarium (we've both been before) to spend more time on the beach.

The Monterrey boardwalk

Precious.

I'm not sure what Zach is doing here, but he looks happy, so I like it.  Maybe
pretending he's leaving his famous handprints?
After this incident, the only thing that was going through my mind was "Take a
jelly, take a fish, make a sandwich, delish.  Jellyfish."  Thanks, Isaac, for showing
me that intellectually stimulating video.
Please forgive me if you're offended by the sight of Zach's flourescent thighs.
 We weren't exactly dressed for the water because we figured it would be freezing, but after what started as a game of Who Can Go Out the Farthest While Staying the Driest turned into a sopping wet splashing competition, we may as well have been our swimming suits anyway. 

On the 3 hour drive to Paso Robles we learned that salt water does not dry comfortably and that what smells so good in the open air is less appealing in an enclosed car.  This overstimulation of our senses didn't stop us from visiting the beach AGAIN when we got to our hotel and learned that Cambria was only a half hour drive away.

This is Cambria, my new favorite vacation spot.  It had the small town, vintage feel of Estes Park, but with a beautiful beach instead of Rocky Mountain National Park. It even had tide pools, which I don't have a lot of experience with.  Zach was quick to educate me on anemone finger-sucking, crab finding, starfish poking, and seal spotting.

 
We are definitely going back.  Soon.
 The next day was full of driving (and no, we're not going to talk about the speeding ticket because that still makes Zach's blood boil) through California's less-than-beautiful landscape.  We were on our way to St. George to stay with my Grandparents for a few days and to see Grease at the Tuacahn theater.  Sadly, none of the pictures from the play are bloggable, but trust me when I say it was awesome.
We love hanging out with hanging out with these fantastic people.  We always arrive to a comfy bed and delicious food and while we're there we get the scoop on the latest sales, happenings of the Elderhostel, and my favorite stories about my dad and uncles when they were young...er.

On the way back to Provo we decided to swing by Panguitch to check on my parents because they're at that stage in their lives where us children worry about them- you never know what those thrill-seeking empty-nesters will do next!  In this case I was right to worry- we found them in the middle of a 200 mile bike race going up lots of hills in rural Utah.  Crazy kids.  At least they were wearing their helmets.
Because we just couldn't get enough of this vacation thing, we took one last detour to Bryce Canyon because Zach had never been.  Utah is so cool.

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, concludes the Great Judkins California Adventure Series.  We hope you enjoyed the show.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

FROM TAHOE TO THE REDWOODS

Because we ended our internships a week earlier than planned to be there for Arianne’s wedding, Zach and I suddenly found ourselves with a whole week where we didn’t have work, school, and we couldn’t move into our new apartment yet.  Being kidless and carefree like we are and feeling flush with our internship earnings, we decided to take off to California for another one of our epic adventures; thereby completing our goal to drive coast to coast in one year.

We packed up the cooler with all essential snacks and then armed with a Jeffrey Deaver mystery on CD we started the long drive through Nevada, which basically feels like driving on a treadmill with the same 45 minutes worth of scenery repeating over and over. 

We made good time on that treadmill, so when we saw a sign for Lake Tahoe we decided to take a detour and I’m so glad we did.  Most gorgeous, most bluest place ever.  Family reunion location?  Anyone?

Zach: I agree with Clarissa.  It was the most bluest.
From Tahoe it was a short drive to Zach’s great-aunt Joy’s house, which has to be in the BEST location I can imagine.  It’s right on the shore of Lake Folsom, a fact we exploited greatly as we swam around in the fool’s gold water and built the most impressive sand castle you’ve ever seen.  Because we didn’t take pictures you’ll have to take my word on this one.

Aunt Joy and Laura were the greatest hostesses anyone could ask for.  We went on towards San Francisco full of delicious food and family stories.  I even got the dirt on Grandma Haight! 

Before San Francisco, we planned a side trip to the Jelly Belly factory because who doesn’t love Jelly Bellies? 
Attack of the giant pouncing Jelly Belly chef. 
The tour of the factory was very interesting and informative, and made me appreciate the free bag of Jelly Bellies we received at the end even more.  We left with approximately 3 lbs of Jelly Bellies, none of which survived the trip.

Diaper wipes and centipedes.  Who thinks of these things and
how do I get their job?
Moldy cheese and skunk spray.  Charmed, I'm sure.
Next stop: San Francisco!  After accidently driving over the Golden Gate bridge and paying AGAIN to get back into the city, we enjoyed the foggy view from the bridge.

What a  handsome hunk of a man.



Zach: this picture is worth an accidental 10 bucks to get back across the bridge, right?
Because I am female, I was drawn to Ghiradelli square.  I was determined to actually consume chocolate there and so we cued up in the nearest delicious-smelling store.  As we were waiting, an employee came down the line with a basket of free chocolate squares.  Need to purchase chocolate: negated.  We ducked out of line with our squares and high-tailed it back to the car.
We're suckers for tourist traps.  Especially chocolate ones.
Fisherman’s Wharf was an essential stop: I believe there is some California law stating that you can NOT pass San Francisco without getting clam chowder in a sour dough bread bowl.  Zach even got brave and tried his first calamari.

There would be a picture of me here, but all the ones that Zach took of me on the wharf were of me attempting to keep my blustery hair from becoming part of my lunch.  I somehow always manage to forget just how windy and cold San Francisco gets, even in August.

We had planned to visit China Town, but panicked while attempting to find parking with our manual transmission on the nearby vertical hills.  Imitation fashion will have to wait for another, bolder, visit.  It took all my courage just to survive the knuckle-clutching-the-steering-wheel-transmission-burning-I’m-so-glad-Zach-is-driving-not-me drive through town until we made it to the freeway and on to our next stop: the Redwoods.

We got to our campsite in a park just outside of San Jose in time to set up all that camping equipment we’d been longing to use all summer, and even started a fire (take THAT Colorado!). 

We love our little extra-long-for-you-weird-tall-people-tent with
our double sleeping bag.  MUCH more comfortable than two
mummy bags.
The place was gorgeous.  We found a 1200 year-old grove and spent hours hiking around the HUGE trees. 


You know you just went "awwww..."

This is my "You've taken 6 pictures of me in front of this same spot" smile.
Zach was smitten with the forest.  As he put it, it made understanding fairytales possible.
This is the amazing banana slug.  If you're ever bored, go here
and be grateful that your man is not a banana slug.
 We decided that we were going to build a tree house and live there forever, but then we realized that we would miss out on the beach part of our trip, so we went on.  Barely.  But that story will have to wait for another post.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

BACK IN P-TOWN (WHOOT WHOOT!)

Ok, it’s not like it’s news that we’re back.  We’ve been back for a month now.  It’s just been one of those crazy months that combines moving with weddings with moving again with vacations with school starting with more vacation.  Sometimes there’s just too much life going on to pause to write about it.  Or at least, that’s what I tell myself whenever I happen to glance at my long-neglected journal.

But, as evident by Zach’s recent manly post, we are attempting to catch up so bear with us.

First of all, we miss Boulder.  While we were there, we felt like we were modern pioneers, bravely going places and eating at restaurants that no Judkins or Magleby had gone before.  Places like...

ESTES PARK
Estes Park is like a mini Park City.  Quaint, classy, and with multiple shops hawking the same cute porcelain bear climbing a tree to be featured as your toilet paper holder.

This was the neatest thing we found in Estes Park.
This baby is actually made by weaving hot glass
together.  So cool.  So expensive.

Zach: I was trying to see what he was screaming about.
It was pretty bad...

THE BUFF
Because hosting Man Vs. Food is our ideal job, we try to emulate it as much as possible as we travel and hit up all the restaurants that are featured.  So... we ate breakfast in the Buff.
The Saddlebags: Huge buttermilk pancakes with bacon cooked directly into
the batter and topped with a fried egg. 

Zach: No, the food was pure amazing.  This is southwestern egg benedict,
with a side of herbed potatoes.  The face is due to Clarissa using
the flash in the middle of a restaurant. 
Not to mention while I'm in "The Buff".
 BOULDER COUNTRY FAIR
This is the "highest" fair in the country.  Not that Zach participates in that kind of pharmacy.



Deep fried candy bars!!!!  Heart disease... WHAT.
Zach took this opportunity to show his lady how it's done
with the hammer, and I must say, it was pretty dang impressive.
I didn't hit the bell, but at least I got to spend the rest of the
evening whacking Zach with the inflatable hammer.
This is a prime example of how we plan to control our kids.
Notice how none of the kids are standing up.
PEARL STREET PERFORMERS
You never know what you're going to come across on Pearl Street- this place is the life of Boulder.  We highly recommend it if you're ever there.  Just watch out for the half naked people.  Seriously.

This particular performer entertained us all with stories of his injuries as he
performed his various acts.  Who knew what could happen when juggling fire
while balancing atop a giant unicycle?

This man fit himself through a 17" tube and into a 2'x2' box.  Stay in school kids.

AND THEN CAME THE PACKING...
We snapped this lovely shot in the Denver airport.
It's actually in the check-in area, which I didn't find
very encouraging.  Open that luggage with caution.
 Oh the packing.  Followed by the cleaning.  While I tried to scrub months’ worth of various concoctions off the side of the oven Zach became the Tetris master with the Honda.  Once it all fit we barely managed to survive the ride back to Provo with Isaac and his mass-produced flatulence.  That kid is never allowed in our vehicle for more than 15 minutes again.  Ever.

We made it home just in time for Arianne and Carter’s wedding, to whom we gladly handed over the prestige of being the latest and greatest couple in the family.  They were certainly cute enough to earn it!  We haven’t seen them much since they got hitched, and we do see them, they seem eager to go back to being alone together.  We assume things are going well.


The man and woman of the hour.  Go Mixs!  Mixes?  Mixen?  Whatev. 
Go Arianne and Carter!


Weddings look good on us.  If we do say so ourselves.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

THE LONG WALK

Hey guys, this is a brief post to commemorate the extreme man deeds preformed atop Longs Peak by my brother Isaac and me, both personifications of manliness* in our own right.

*note: Manliness, in this case is defined as the reason men have an 5.3 year lower life expectancy than woman. A roaring Norse Viking charging forward to enjoy paradise after losing his life in battle...

Colorado's Longs peak, at 14,259 ft peak, is the highest peak in the Rocky Mountain National Park and even the easiest route, the Key Hole route, is tough enough to average one death every year during the few summer months it is climbable without special equipment. The recent asylum escapee chuckled after recommending this climb to me during one of my pharmacy classes.

As neither Isaac nor I had ever climbed a peak of this magnitude, we figured we had better play it safe and give ourselves a whole day of rest between climbing Longs Peak and hiking Colorado's highest peak, Mt. Elbert with Clarissa. Sometimes wisdom is the better part of valor.

That said, I'll walk you through the climb with the pictures below. 

 Sunrise view and me, only moderately winded.

Weather changes rapidly on Longs peak, with thunderstorms coming in every afternoon.  Because you become the tallest and most conductable object above the treeline, it is typically recommended one gets to the trail by about 3:00 A.M. in order to get off the mountain by noon.  Thus came forth the roaring viking in both me and Isaac as we got up (which Clarissa classily ignored).  Much of the early hiking was done under the stars and by the time the sun came up, we were already well above most of the surrounding peaks and got a great sunrise view.


Keyhole pass is seen in the distance

Isaac knows were making good time



Record winds at longs are 201 mph


 As can be seen by the beautiful pictures above, we made awesome time, reaching the keyhole pass in just hours.  We sprinted up the mountainside, leaving behind a lot of those slow pokes in their professional gear along the way.  However, more and more snow appeared as we went up, and alas, even young and fit, breathing became more difficult and we became colder.
Keyhole pass
As we went around the keyhole pass, the wind blasted over glaciers, froze our lungs and hands, and then things got manly.  Unfortunately, we mostly just got oxygen deprived and dizzy.  But we pressed on, and took some pictures at some of the cool places that almost destroyed our numb limbs and minds. 

The pegs are part of the trail


This is a downshot of the peg


As we continued, we realized that the "trail" could go up, sideways, or even upside down.

The bullseye is the trail

We trekked our frigid way through the narrows inch by inch, foot by foot, being blasted by cold wind and seeing many of our old friends whom we passed on the way up. But we did get some spectacular views.  I avoided taking pictures of some of the hairier parts for fear of children reading the blog.


Finally, after a near vertical last dash, we sat on the top, remarkably cold and completely worn out, but also triumphant.
Isaac shows his excitement in reaching the top of the peak.

This picture is just to show what others were wearing, compared to us.
Temperatures were merely near death by freezing.

Isaac is once again roused, and ready to head down.

Yeah, I'm ready to head down too.  Thats the altitude smiling. 
I guess you could say I have the right "altitude", yuk yuk.

So we managed to make it completely unprepared, freezing, sunburnt, worn out and sore, to the bottom.  I think I managed to single handedly entice Isaac to never climb a mountain again.  Needless to say, we never did try Mt. Elbert with Clarissa.

Clarissa: I came home from my last day of work to find Isaac passed out on the air mattress and Zach not far behind him on the bed.  For the next two days I listened to their complaints of aches and pains as they did nothing but watch episode after episode of "Firefly".  Normally I would be disapointed that I'd missed out on such an epic hike, but after listening to all the stories and whining, I couldn't feel luckier that I had work that day.  After all, SOMEONE had to look after these manly men after their manly feats.