Brownie Updates

Brownie Updates
this is the life

Monday, August 31, 2015

Back to the real world

 I got back to Utah August 12th, Tuesday afternoon and I was exhausted. There was no time to rest though. My parents were in town and so I went straight from the airport to Katie's and Nancy's to visit family and hang out.
 Wednesday my family came my way and we made a trip to the BYU bookstore. Look at this guy! He is so stinking cute.
 Emerson finally opened his little eyes for me.
 Thursday night I hwent up to Murray again but that evening I had back to school night. Friday was the first day of proffessional development meetings. And just like that summer was gone. Saturday I had to help with a luncheon for a funeral in my ward. Luckily my mom was there to help, I was so grateful. That took a lot longer than I anticipated but was a great experince. That evening was the ward activity where I was in charge of water kickball. It was super fun but it made for an exhausting week.

Sunday Emerson was blessed while all the grandparents were in town. It was really nice and fun to see family.

I was exhausted and not in the best mood on the drive up. But how can you be mad with these crazies in your car....well there are lots of ways but you just laugh and get over it.
My parents had to get out of there as soon as the meeting was over and so they missed pictures.

We headed back to Nancy's and had a nice luncheon, Sunday naps, and games.

That evening we headed to my Mom's brother Gerralds house to visit with her siblings. All the Utah siblings came so that was a real treat.
 It is crazy that these guys used to be my age and I remember those days. They are a great group of people. I am lucky to know them and call them family.

We added the spouses for the last picture.
 It was great to have my parents in town. It made for a crazy start to the school year but I would never not want them to come. I am still recovering a little bit each day but it is getting better. I biked 40 miles on Saturday and thought I was going to die so probably too soon for that. I think my body is just worn down. I usually run 3 miles most mornings with Moki but I have only been able to run about half of it so far. Ia m also trying to bike to work. A pretty easy 7 miles. That seems to be a good distance for now. My body needs a little recovery time. It has also been so hot. I am looking forward to feeling better and cooler weather!

The rest of Kauai

The first night on Kauai it rained the entire night. This would have been fine except we were camping....seriously a downer. Luckily I have a great tent so I stayed dry, but it is super annoying to have a wet tent. We were supposed to to start hiking this first morning but the trail was closed and so we had to come up with a back-up plan.

We let our gear dry out. That was tricky because there was a rain storm every half hour or so.
 Once it was finally dry and put away we grabbed our snorkel gear and walked to Tunnel's beach. We snorkeled with Pierce Brosnan (007) and just enjoyed the morning.
 We looked at the Napali Coast from a distance while hoping we would get the chance to hike it!
 We had no where to stay one night because our permits were cancelled and so we got a hotel. it was great to sleep in a bed, especially before heading out to backpack.

We came off the trail Saturday and spent the day just hanging out at the hotel resort.

Sunday morning we headed to church. The chapel on Kauai is beautiful.

 We got to sit on the stand because there were no other seats available.
 Sunday after church we went on a car ride to Waimea Canyon, the grand canyon of Hawaii.

 It was a long car ride but it was worth it.
We also were able to overlook the Kalalau trail that we had just hiked, that was a fun overlook. The mountains here are so unique.

And we finished up in the canyon overlooking the wettest place on earth. This place gets over 400 inches of rain annually. It you ever have the chance it is better seen from a helicopter ride....just saying.
Then we headed out to to the beach to watch the blow hole.

 Lynzee was so tired she just took a nap on the ground at on of our stops.
 We spent Monday doing the last few fun things we wanted to do before flying home. Lynzee and I started the morning off on a bike ride along the coast. It is one of my favorite things to do in Kauai.

 We relaxed at our hotel and did some last minute shopping.
 I was getting restless and so Lynzee and I decided to ride our bike cruisers up to a waterfall. That was a workout on a single gear bike, but so fun.
 I loved the last day because we didn't spend any time in the car. We swam in the ocean, the pool, and the hot tub and just did the things we each enjoyed. It was great. And then we got to the airport two hours early and still barely made the plane because the lines were CRAZY!
 It was a fun trip.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Bucket List Item

Years ago when I first started teaching at Lakeridge I read an article in Backpackers Magazine about backpacking the Napali Coast on Kauai. I was intrigued because it was beautiful, somewhat dangerous, and different than anything I had ever done before. It was in an article about the best hikes to do in America. I learned after I bought permits and plane tickets that it is also on the list for one of the top 10 most dangerous hikes in America. I will say I never felt in danger, but you are on some pretty big cliffs. If you have a fear of heights you probably want to skip this one.

Luckily for me I have awesome friends who also thought this hike sounded amazing. This was the reason we went to Hawaii! Unfortunately for us there was a tropical storm close to Kauai so we were delayed one day and lost one night on the hike. This meant we had to cover more miles in a shorter time, but it all worked out.
 It started to rain as soon as we started hiking. We had rain on and off the entire first day.
 The views are the best.

The first rest stop is at a beach 2 miles in. You do not need permits to go this far. It is an amazing hike. If you are ever on Kauai it is worth your time.
You aren't supposed to swim because the waves are crazy, but lots of people do.
 Hiking this trail was amazing. We spent a lot of time on cliffs overlooking the mountains and an equal amount of time in overgrown jungles. It was fun to see the contrast. I definitely preferred hiking on the cliffs with the beautiful ocean in view. A look at the jungle.
 We hiked in 6 miles the first night to get to the Hanakoa valley campsite. We got there as the sun was setting. It was raining and there were tons of mosquitoes. We pretty much set up camp and hunkered down in our individual tents. It was hard to sleep because it was so humid.
 We woke up early the next day and had 5 miles to go to get to Kalalau beach where we would camp for the night. The skies were clear which was a very welcome change. Due to the weather the previous days the trail was really muddy in a lot of places which was a little annoying.....just saying.
 The day was gorgeous.
 The terrain of the hike was interesting. You gain and lose a lot of elevation which makes the hike so challenging. In 11 miles you gain 5,000 ft elevation but you lose that as well. A little training is definitely recommended.

 There were signs about all the hazards.

Finally we hiked far enough to see the welcome sign.
 Looking down on the beach we needed to hike to.
We were so tired. It was great to get in to camp, set up, and relax on the beach. It was very humid!!!!
 We had a nice little place to camp. Luckily it was dry because our gear needed a break from all the rain. We showered in the waterfall.
 We watched the sun set.
Such a beautiful place.
 The next morning we hiked 11 miles out. I had hiked a lot this summer so I actually felt great on the way out. All those miles paid off. It was a long day but it wasn't horrible. It was hot though. I finally just rolled my hiking capri's up.
Super cute, I know.

I love all the signs warning people not to swim.
 One last good-bye.
The best thing about finishing a backpacking trip, even a short one, is eating real food. It was so nice to get some food. We were supposed to camp the last two nights but we all vetoed that and got a hotel. Best choice ever!!! Hot showers and a hot tub here we come!


Amber and I decided we needed a weekend away. We debated for awhile on where to go. In the end Moab was a great option for us. I could bring...