Sunday, October 20, 2013

Oh where has the summer gone

It seems like we blinked, and it's October.... We've had a lot going on in a very short few months. Our biggest project has been the house. We are working on various updates so that we can get it on the market. We've added a new roof, new paint -- inside and out, new flooring, etc.

And if that's not enough, my mom bought a house when she was here in June. Took her 45 days to close (seriously.... and that's a whole other irritating story), but when she closed on the house in early August we moved in. So June and July were spent packing up rooms, and painting, and painting, and painting.

And then came August.....

Kayleigh got a job teaching 5th grade in Lincoln City -- before she even graduated !!! (yay Kayleigh) So the 1st weekend of August, we moved her and Chris out of their house and into..... well, most of their stuff went into their friends' garage, and some of it got moved in my mom's new house. The plan is that she has an apartment in Lincoln City (on the coast, about 2 hours from Portland), to live there full time. Since Chris works 48 hours on and then several days off, he'll stay at his friends' house when he's working, and he'll go stay at the beach when he's not. Dream come true, right?? They're young....

So, until she could finish her current job, and rent an apartment at the coast, they stayed with us --- about a week. And then the next weekend, it was our turn....

We moved in/out the 2nd weekend of August. We had enough advanced notice that we had almost everything boxed and loaded into a POD. And then it was just one large truck load of furniture. We spent the next week trying to get everything organized, and the kitchen and bedroom unpacked. And trudging back and forth between houses, packing and moving what was left.

Then the next weekend we began our annual trip to the dunes to play in the sand! Before we decided to buy a new house, we had originally planned to buy an RV -- so we planned for a full week, something we hadn't been able to do for a few years. It was great!!! A whole week of relaxing and riding, and mostly great weather.

Ahhhh.......... we LOVE our time at the Dunes <3 p="">
And then we came back, and continued work on the house. We even managed to squeeze in a little Fun (a concert on the lawn at Edgefield -- a great distraction.)

And then it was labor day, which led to a mini-vacation to Banff, Alberta. Jaime flew to Calgary on Tuesday to attend a work-related conference in Banff, which is about2 hours drive from Calgary. Knowing it wasn't likely we'd ever again have the chance to visit Banff (and have someone else pay for 1/2 of it!!!), we decided I couldn't pass up the opportunity to tag along. So I flew up Tuesday afternoon, and we spent the remainder of the week in Banff.

As part of the conference, the accommodations included a room in a beautiful castle!!!

On our agenda -- a gondola ride with a stunning view of the city of Banff,
 a peak at Lake Louise,
shopping in downtown Banff,
great food, and a stop by the Calgary temple on our way to the airport.
The city of Banff is literally tucked down in a valley, nestled in the Canadian Rockies. It was so beautiful, I can only imagine it in its' winter glory.

We stayed in what can only be described as a castle. In fact, Jaime described it as stepping into Hogwarts!! It was absolutely enchanting....

We also treated ourselves to a gondola ride to get these great views of the city.

Jaime was treated to great weather during the conference, and then unfortunately the clouds and rain moved in. So, our views from the top of the mountain were a little limited, but magnificent nonetheless. For me, the best part was sing the turquoise river winding through the valley floor. We were even treated to an up close look at some of the natives.....

And we kept seeing these piles of rocks on the path to the very top observation area. Jaime's theory -- chipmunks :-)

The next day, when the weather was worse, we set out in search of Lake Louise. Again, stunning...... I just couldn't get over the clear, turquoise color. The lake is fed from the mountain glaciers, and apparently they contain some type of turquoise material that produces a type of glacier flour or silt that gives the river its' color. We managed to stick around long enough for the clouds to move so we could get a glimpse of the glacier. It's kinda hard to see, but we could actually see the turquoise color in the bottom layers of the glacier. And I don't know how long the river is that runs from the lake, but it managed to maintain the turquoise color.

There were signs all up and down the roads warning about the wildlife.... elk, moose, bears, oh my!!! And we actually got a peek at more of the natives.... a very large female elk in town as we were coming from the airport, and 2 more large female elks on the edge of town on our way out to the airport. We couldn't get over how big they were. And they say the elk are the most dangerous -- obviously due partly to their size.

And now it's October.......... seriously. And October brought Jaime's 50th birthday. Seriously !!! He got to pick where he wanted to go, and he picked Reno.

We visited the capitol (Carson City), and toured mining country in Virginia City

and, of course, if you're in Reno you HAVE to visit Lake Tahoe -- only 30-45 minutes away.

Again, we were treated to such magnificent beauty..........

And, as is our tradition, we made a stop at the Reno temple.

So I think we're staying in town for awhile. At least until next April....... And, if I have my way, our house will be on the market before then end of the month (yipee). And that's our next adventure ;-)

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