Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Meanwhile

Will: "I weighed myself today. I gained more weight!"
Ech: "I love you, but I really don't care."
Will: "We measured our arms and..."
Ech: "Now I really don't care."
[15 minutes and several topics later]
Will: "So like I was saying, we measured our arms..."

I can't escape it. I now have one of those husbands who wants to talk about the gym, his shake regimen, how much weight he has gained, what vitamins he's taking...blah, blah, blah. I like hearing how his gym time is going, but I really won't remember or care if he gained a pound or that he figured out that he needs to drink his pre-work out "X" amount of minutes before he leaves his room.

I'm not heartless or completely uninterested in something that clearly interests my husband.

I care if his right shoulder still hurts from the day it locked up and made him drop his weight.
I care that he's starting to gain confidence in his body.
I care that he's forgoing precious hours of sleep for a longer workout.
I care that he has spilled his shake on his PT shirt two days in a row and today he's shirtless to avoid another laundry run.
I care when he runs low on shake mix and I will immediately order a new carton.

I definitely like the endless giggles and laughter that comes along with my more confident man. Ever since I told him I noticed his gym time he has been throwing in random corny poses to show off his new muscles. If I ask him how his six pack is coming along, instead of answering, he'll move his iPad to the desk and whip off his shirt to show me. [Normally I'd have a picture here, but he's too shy to let me post his abs. But trust me, he's looking good!]

Monday, July 29, 2013

Stout Grove

Mama and I hiked (aka walked) Stout Grove. It's a short little trail through the redwoods. When the kids were screaming wildly, it was so peaceful and still. The trail goes under fallen trees and right up next to huge stumps. We had a blast getting up close to them. Too bad there were tons of spiders and crawlies living in the bark. I really wanted a picture of me hugging a tree. But we still got some cool pictures.

Stout Grove
Stout Grove
Stout Grove
Stout Grove
Stout Grove
Stout Grove
Stout Grove
Stout Grove

Friday, July 26, 2013

California Redwoods

After we left Ashland, we drove into California for the first time. Normally when I go to Cali I fly down to the south parts. Obviously I made Mama pull over to take a picture for me.

California border

The goal for our California trip was to visit Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park near Crescent City. We drove on a teeny road through the forest for our first look at the huge trees. I'm only 5 feet tall so I normally feel small. But these trees made me feel like a little fairy. Unfortunately the huge slugs and all the crawlies ruined the illusion, but it was still really fun to look up and pretend.

Redwood Forest
Redwood Forest
Redwood Forest
Redwood Forest

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ashland and The Oregon Shakespeare Festival

The main reason for our mama-daughter road trip was to go to Ashland for The Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I've never been and Mama really enjoyed it when she went. I've also heard from lots of people that Ashland is a super cute town to visit.

The town and the play lived up to the hype. The temperature was hitting triple digits so it didn't take long for us to get overheated while walking through Lithia Park. There were lots of families dipping into the stream so we climbed down and followed suit. We went a little upstream to get away from all the kids.

Ashland Oregon
Ashland Oregon

After we cooled off, we started walking again. Two seconds down the path, Mama spotted a deer...across the stream...past the parking area...and across the street. I don't know how she managed that one, but of course we had to go over to say hello. What confused/surprised/flabbergasted me was that it was right there and people were driving and walking right past it without even blinking. We were the only people to go over to take pictures. It hung out in the open with us for a few minutes before retreating into the trees.

Ashland Oregon
Ashland Oregon
Ashland Oregon

We did a little walking and shopping around town. I saw a sign for frozen hot chocolate and had to try it. It's such an oxymoron to me. It makes no sense! It was pretty good though. Probably not something I'd get again though.

frozen hot chocolate

We went the box office at OSF to get our tickets and we found the doors to the Elizabethan Stage open. (It's their outdoor stage.) We were originally hoping to get tickets to a play in this theater, but I'm glad we didn't because it would have been uncomfortable to sit through a play in that heat. Maybe another time.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Oregon Shakespeare Festival Elizabethan Stage
We went back to our hotel to eat and rest before the show. OSF hosts a free Green Show on their front lawn so we headed back early to catch it. There were dancers and musicians performing. They had to have been melting in their costumes. But they all looked like they were having a good time up there stomping around and hamming it up for the audience.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival green Show

We went to see The Taming of the Shrew in the Angus Bowmer Theatre. Luckily Mama looked up reviews and saw that there was a twist on the original play. I think it was supposed to be set in the 60's but they made references to Jay-Z and Lady Gaga. It was hilarious and even though I knew the story I was captivated the whole time. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I'm glad I was finally able to experience the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I'll definitely be attending more plays in the future when I'm in Oregon again.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Natural Bridge

One of the trails from the Rogue Gorge stop lead to the natural bridge downriver. Mama had seen it before and said it was worth seeing so we made another pit stop to check it out. In my mind, I was thinking of a bridge. Like the kind you walk over. Like this one that we had to walk over to get to the view point for the natural bridge.

Natural Bridge Rogue River

Instead, this is what it looked like:

Natural Bridge Rogue River

The river goes under the rocky area for awhile and pops out on the other side. There were two little blow holes that proved the river was under there. Even though it wasn't what I was expected, it was really cool to see. I'm glad there were railings along the whole path because I can definitely see some idiots trying to walk on it and getting swept away.

Natural Bridge Rogue River
Natural Bridge Rogue River
Natural Bridge Rogue River
Natural Bridge Rogue River
The water swirled into the cave and flowed out again, so cool to watch.
Natural Bridge Rogue River
I'm so strong, I jumped up on this fallen tree and cracked it. My bad!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Rogue Gorge

After Mama and I left Crater Lake, we made a stop at Rogue Gorge. I always love seeing a gorge with a river at the bottom. In my mind, I was comparing it to the one we hiked along in Italy. The walls were so different, but both were so beautiful to look at.

There were trails heading in different directions, some for hiking and I think one for biking. If we had more time and it wasn't so hot out, we would have liked to walk one of the trails along the river. But this time it was just a pit stop to see a pretty sight.

Rogue Gorge
Rogue Gorge
Rogue Gorge
Rogue Gorge
I was fascinated with this living stump. I'm a dork, I know.
Rogue Gorge
Rogue Gorge
Rogue Gorge
Rogue Gorge
Rogue Gorge

Funny story: I was carrying my DSLR, walking around, and taking pictures. Mama was taking in the scenery and looking over the fence down at the river. We weren't talking; we were just taking it all in. At one point, we took turns taking pictures of each other and two men hanging out near us noticed.

One of them asked, "You. Want. Picture?" while using over-exaggerated hand gestures.

It took everything in me not to laugh in his face. I never thought I looked super Asian and I've never had anyone assume I couldn't speak English...mainly because I talk a lot and I obviously I'm not an Asian language speaker. I politely declined and the look of "Oh crap" and the realization on his face was priceless when he heard my perfect American accent.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Crater Lake

Crater Lake was one of the Oregon sights that I never got around to seeing, but always wanted to get to someday. I finally got my wish and it didn't disappoint. Since it's a national park, I got our car in free with my military ID. In fact, they gave me a free annual pass for all national parks. Score!

Mama had been to the lake before so she had the stops planned out. We came in through the north entrance and stopped at the first lookout over the crater. That first view took my breath away.

Crater Lake
Crater Lake

The lake was formed after a volcano collapsed. Snow melt and rainfall filled the crater making it clear of pollutants. Even in triple digit temperatures, the altitude was so high that there were still patches of snow hanging out. Obviously I had to play in it. It was dirty, but I kicked the top layer off and played with the clean snow underneath. Mama thought I was crazy. After dealing with the heat, putting my feet in the cold snow was heaven.

Crater Lake

After the lookout, we drove to the Cleetwood Cove Trail and did the little hike down to the water. I swear I melted into a puddle and slid down to the bottom. The trail was dusty so by the time we got to the bottom I was grimy. There were a lot of people jumping into the water. So I climbed down to the water and put my feet in. Oh holy popsicles! Cold cold cold cold cold!!! Just dipping my feet in cooled me off. After a few minutes my feet were numb so I just sat on a rock and sunned myself for awhile.

Crater Lake
Crater Lake
Crater Lake
Crater Lake

Mama had more hikes planned, but it was too hot. We drove around to Rim Village to check out the gift shop and to eat our lunch in the shade. We left out of the south gate and continued on our road trip. I would love to camp out there and spend more time hiking around and exploring more of the crater.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Lowell Covered Bridge

The day after AK's wedding, Mama and I headed off on a road trip to Southern Oregon, Northern California, and up the Oregon Coast. We're both big fans of stopping to check out random tourist spots. You know those attractions signs along the freeway? Yeah we stop at those. Not all of them, just the ones that sound like they could be interesting.

I don't think there was a sign for Lowell Covered Bridge. I was kind of closing my eyes/napping off a mini hangover from the wedding so I'm not sure if Mama saw a sign. But in my mind we just spotted it in the distance and decided to stop. Originally, we thought we'd be able to drive through it. But it's really right next to the road so you have to stop, park, and walk up to it.

Lowell Covered Bridge
Lowell Covered Bridge
Lowell Covered Bridge
Lowell Covered Bridge

There was a couple of teenagers trying to fish off the bridge. There were tons of fish down there! They were right there! I guess they were well fed though because the fishers didn't have any catches. Or maybe they were using the wrong bait. I don't know anything about fishing so I really shouldn't be speculating.

Lowell Covered Bridge
Lowell Covered Bridge

We walked along the water a bit to stretch our legs. It was a gorgeous pit stop! Dexter Lake was out in all its glory that day.