Saturday, July 17, 2010

4th of july

The days leading up to the 4th of July were insane. I had two buyers in from out of town and was rushing around like crazy with them. I met one on Friday at 9 and was with her till 3, then on Saturday I met her again at 8am and was with her till about 2, then I had to swing by a clients house in Gilbert and then from there I headed up to Scottsdale to pick up another buyer who I was with till just about 8pm. On the morning of the 4th I even met up with one of them again till about 12:30. But, it was totally worth it, both were so cool to drive around with and both of them made offers on homes, one is in escrow, the other we will hopefully know by Monday.

By 1:30 I was with the boys at the pool enjoying the warm weather and taking it easy. Chan and his lady came by for a while and kept us company till about 4. I was exhausted so we napped for ever and didn't leave the house to see fireworks till 8:30, they started at 9!

Traffic down Scottsdale road towards the 202 was blocked off so we took the detour west bound on Curry, definitely the right choice. The streets were lined with cars and we thought for sure we'd miss the show. I even downloaded a Fireworks app for my phone for Espen, ha!!

We headed south on Priest and right around Rio Salado we saw a ton of cars pulling into a dirt lot turned rogue parking lot. We parked our car and hoofed it for 15 minutes till we reached another barrier nearing the Tempe Town Lake. But seriously, right as we got there the fireworks started, directly in front of us. Perfect! We left during the finale and made it back to the lot right as the last car was pulling out so we had next to no traffic to deal with. It could not have worked out better. Although, I think the best part of the night was when we hit up Super Burrito so we could stuff our faces with enchiladas, tacos and quesadillas! hah!

Happy belated 4th of July!

{sun bathing self portrait}

{jeremy making a splash}

{jeremy, chan, espen & the 'dorka' whale}

{chicken fighters}

{starting to get tired}


{super burrito, super tired}

Friday, July 16, 2010

camping-part two

Our first day of camping was a success, the night on the other hand got a little weird. After taking a nap once the weather cooled off, we all woke up in time to have dinner, camping style. Jalapeno/pablano burgers covered in chili. Although it didn't look that great it was delicious!

Soon after we ate, Espen headed to the tent to go to sleep. He wanted me to cuddle with him for a bit and once he was asleep I unzipped the tent and saw Jeremy walking off into the dark towards one of the two entries into our camp site. I yelled to him and heard his muffled voice in the distance. I stood there, staring off into the dark for a few minutes when he finally came out from the shadows.

We camp just minutes away from a Boy Scout camp so we typically see cars driving to and from the camp and it's no big deal.  We can't seem to figure out the schedule there, cars drive by day and night. Jeremy saw a car drive down the road from the Boy Scout camp and watched it back into the campsite right next to ours. They backed in, turned off the engine and just sat there. All we could see was their headlights and tail lights. The lights would be on...and then they'd go off. They'd turn their engine on...and then turn it off. It was so dark that we couldn't see anything but these stupid lights but from where they were they could most likely see our site and our set up since we were lit up from our lantern. There are moments when you're camping that you realize just how exposed you are and you have no idea what is out beyond the light of a lantern and this is how we felt the entire time the car was there. Exposed. So needless to say, Jeremy sat on a chair for an hour and a half with his rifle between his legs ready to protect us. He said he wasn't going to sleep till that car left. About an hour after sitting there I became really tired so I went to the tent, zipped it shut but couldn't sleep. Every few minutes I'd hear something and ask Jeremy "Is the car still there?". Finally around 11:30 we heard the engine start, the car pulled out of the site and headed back to the Boy Scout camp. Then it dawned on me. Those were counselors and they were smoking weed. This is how I imagined the conversation. "Hi Boss, Suzy got her period and needs tampons, can we run to town?" "Sure, as long as you go together" "Will do boss, we'll be back in an hour and a half"...and then down the street they went so they could park, smoke a joint and then head back up. Although it is a Boy Scout camp so I'm not sure if there are any girls up there, but that's the story I told myself so I could sleep that night.

Aside from that late night annoyance, the whole day was rad. We trekked in the creek, had scrumptious dinner, roasted 'shmarshmallows' on the Coleman stove (no fires allowed in the summer) and ended up having a great night sleep with the bugs and all.



{dinner didn't look good, so i figured i'd dress up this picture with a lovely border, hahaha}

{i just don't photograph well in the woods}



{just because we're roughing it doesn't mean our teeth have to}

{gross, daddy long leg family moved in between our tent and the rain fly}

{saturday morning, rained on us all night}

{i love bacon & eggs in the morning, the perfect camping breakfast}

{i look thrilled, right?}

{cool kid, on our way to hike the nearby trail}

{this is about a mile and a half up the mountain, just before espen and i called it quits}

The trail we were on is about a 3 mile hike up, it's a fairly easy hike for adults, but not so much for a 4 year old. It was really hot and Espen & I just couldn't hang. So onto Jeremy's shoulders went Espen and down the hill we all went to cool off in the creek.


Espen was running around with dirt all over his face for about an hour before I looked at him and said 'you have no idea what you look like right now, let me take a picture so you can see'. He almost fell over laughing when he saw this picture.


I had to run to town to grab hot dogs and water and while I was there I stopped by the local Habitat for Humanity store to purchase 2 milk crates for a whopping 80 cents, which was all I had in my wallet. They were supposed to be tables/foot rests but I ended up bungee cording one to a tree to make Espen a basket ball 'hoop'. I totally kicked his butt in HORSE.

{photo by: espen  sasquatch: jeremy}

{roasting hot dogs on a stick}

While Espen and I took a nap Jeremy went out and found two perfect sticks for cooking hot dogs. He whittled  the ends to perfect points and was pretty stoked about them. So, Jeremy and I were sitting around, munching on chips when we decided to get things set up for dinner. Out came the ice chest and the Coleman stove, everything was ready. But where did the sticks go? Seriously, he just had them and then they were gone. We looked everywhere around where we were sitting, under the crates, around the ice chest but really, the entire ground is covered in sticks, pine needles and leaves. So we gave up. That's when I saw something, on the milk crate, under a bag of chips. The freakin' sticks. Right where he had left them. What the hell is wrong with us, we were cracking up. Stupid sticks! It's a good thing we found them, they ended up not being stupid at all, they were the perfect sticks for warming hot dogs on a fire.

{hooray for the sticks and for the hot dogs with cheese in them, the best!}

{espen's been working on his smile, this is an interesting version}

{i love you hot dog}

{again, why do i look so angry}

I asked Espen to hold still so I could get a picture of him, this is what I got.





After two days of camping we were ready to head home. We did things a bit different this time. We packed up the tent and all of our gear before we made breakfast. This worked out perfect! We realized what a bummer it is to wake up, stuff your face with bacon and eggs and THEN pack up. This was we were able to eat and relax for a while...then hop in the car and go. We'll be doing it that way from no on, for sure.

On the way out of the campsite we decided to drive around and explore the area. We drove for about 30 minutes on winding dirt roads till we camp across Washington Park. There are amazing homes out there, tucked away in the forest, off of the creeks. I couldn't imagine living that deep in the woods, it's gotta get a little creepy out there sometimes. But maybe that's why these people have a house like this...


How creepy can life be when you live in a little colorful replica of a house in the Swiss Alps.

Thanks to Jeremy for being such a good camper, you always take such good care of us and make the trips that much more fun for me.

Monday, July 12, 2010

camping-part one


When Jeremy asked if I wanted to go camping this weekend I think I yelled "YES!" before he even got the '...end' out.

Something about my busy 4th of July weekend made we want to escape for a bit. So on Friday morning we packed up big fancy and headed off to Camp Geronimo north-east of Payson. With a couple of pit stops on the way out we were on the road by 9am, which was an amazingly early start for us.


What better way to start off a road trip than a trip to McDonald's & Starbucks...but seriously, how many drinks did we need?

One of the many reasons why I love this man, he can camp, and I mean camp. If it weren't for me and Espen he'd be out there with just his MRE's, his tent and his guns. But, since we were with him he cooked us yummy breakfasts and dinners, made me tons of coffee and did most if not all of the heavy duty camping 'work'. By the way, note his 'smile'...looks a bit like someone else I know.

While Jeremy got the site set up for us Espen and I went out on one of what ended up to be our MANY trips to the creek. The camp site backs right up to it so a quick little hop down a hill you go and voila, running water, craw dads, bugs, bugs and more bugs. It was a bit warm during the afternoon up there so if ever I felt a bit warm I'd run down to the creek and dip my little towell in the water then use it around my neck, on my arms and legs...but kept it away from my mouth. Who the heck knows what kind of organisms live in that river. Oh wait, I think Jeremy knows. 
I suggested to him on one of our walks along the creek that he should dip his shirt in the water, it had been a day and a half of me dunking my towel in and I was fine. So, Jeremy takes his shirt off and does one quick swipe with it in the water, pulls it out and then says something like 'oh shit' or something to that effect. All over his white t-shirt were teeny tiny little worm type things, no bigger than little pieces of dirt, except the only difference was, these little specks were moving, crawling all over his shirt. It was SO disgusting. What the heck were they! One would stand up and kind of crawl backwards, like an inchworm and we couldn't help but think what would it do in your stomach if you drank that water. We headed up creek to where we usually start our walks, which is also where I dunk my towel so that Jeremy could rinse those little buggers off. Needless to say, that white shirt hung on a tree for the next day and night, far away from Jeremy's skin.


How awesome is our Eureka, all seasons Assault! tent. It has a front and back door, it's super ventilated and really roomy. Jeremy took his time setting it up and properly covering it with the rain fly, all the while I was telling him 'Really? You think it's going to rain? Seriously?'

A view down the creek, we had tons of fun hopping from rock to rock, trying to keep our feet dry (which Espen wasn't very good at, which was pretty entertaining). The terrain is pretty crazy, rocks, logs, name it, we hopped across it.

The creek is loaded with Craw Dads. We're thinking about catching some next time to eat, although neither one of us wants to be the one to actually prepare them, haha. But they are all over the place, big ones, little ones, dead one that have been half eaten by other animals.

While on a walk, Jeremy presented me with 'Paysonvise', who lived with us all weekend in our tent, pretty little flower.

{happy campers}

Ah, my wet shammy towel. How you made my days so nice and cool. I will always remember how clean you kept me and how helpful you were when it came time for Espen to enter the tent, you were right there to dust him off. Thank you shammy towel for not getting little tiny worms on you. I can't thank you enough.


{on his way to 'fish'}

{fishing time}

Reason No. 538 why I love my car. Big Fancy, you really are a great camping buddy.


Can we just talk about the forest and bugs for a minute. I know the bugs are there. I know they love to come out at night, but this time, it was something else. There were bugs all over the place. It must have had something to do with the rain. Oh ya, did I mention it rained on us. All night long, while we were in our tent, you know, the tent that Jeremy put the rain fly on while I was making fun of him, ya, that one. Well yes, it rained and with the rain came this creepy guy among others.  The photo above is what Espen saw from inside the tent. I should have put my finger next to it so you could see how big it was, it was about the size of my pinky...not to big, but big enough for a creepy crawly with even bigger antennae.

I shoved the camera outside the tent where Jeremy was so he could snap a pick of the bug and then give the camera back to Espen and I so we could see what was on the other side of the shadow that we saw from inside.  So gross. And that was just one of the strange bugs we saw this weekend. Egh, shivers.

There is more camping fun to come...