Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spring Break Part 2: Indian Wells

Chris and I are big tennis fans (duh). 
We have been planning to attend the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA (Palm Springs area) for almost two years. We were unable to attend last year because our friend Ashley gave birth one week early to the lovely Asha Scout. We stuck around to celebrate the birth and be there for her as she placed her baby with our dear friends Emily and Jon. This year nothing was going to stop us!

We stopped in Las Vegas first and visited my brother Craig who works at MGM. My other brother Chad and his/our friends Erik and Portia met up with us to tour the town. Portia is also pregnant. 
It was nice to be with someone who needs to pee as much as I do.

We all saw the Cirque Du Soleil show Ka, 
which Chris described as "the most expensive nap I've ever taken."
After we walked over the the Belagio to watch the fountain.

Chad is a duct tape artist. He created this Vegas skyline in Craig's living room.

Then on to Indian Wells....the best vacation ever.

Rafa Nadal played a doubles match our first day at the tournament. It was really fun to see him and all the other players live. Their speed and accuracy is amazing.

Our first day was also the birthday of a very special little lady! 
Happy Birthday Asha Scout Wade. The T-shirt is a little big but may you always be a Rafa fan!

Our second day, we saw Rafa Nadal play and win his quarterfinal singles match. 
We sat behind this hilarious British woman who swore throughout the match. Afterwords she apologized for dropping the 'F' bomb and said, "That Rafa...he just gets my heart racing."

Our second day I also bought this amazing blue hat to keep the sun (and then the rain) out of my eyes. I felt like Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady and got a lot of compliments.

About a month before the match I was told that it wouldn't be necessary to purchase tickets in advance because it never sells out. This turned out to be very bad advice. We bought the last two tickets available at the box office for the finals match, but the semis were totally sold out. Chris spent the first two hours of our time at Indian Wells running around trying to secure tickets. He finally got in contact with some hotel concierge who only had two box tickets for sale. They were about as twice as much as we were planning to pay, but they were box seats and came with a salmon lunch and all the free beer/wine we could drink. When Chris explained that he was a non-drinking vegetarian, she said "You are kidding me!" Apparently she had never heard of this combination.

The box seats ended up being amazing. We watched John Isner beat Djokovic (with his 141mph serve) and then read books/watched basketball/ate brownies in the indoor salon during the 2 hr rain delay. After the skies cleared it was Federer vs. Nadal! I didn't even mind that Federer won ... I was just so happy to be able to watch these two legends play each other. Their rivalry has been described as one of the best of all time.

We spent one night in San Diego visiting my family. My niece Aly is super excited
 that I am having a girl. She suggested we name our baby "Sparkle Flower". 

The very last match on the last day of the tournament was the men's double's final that we we watched from the nose bleed section. Rafa was in this final, and he won!

Towards the end of the match we snuck down to the lower bowl. It was great to see it all up close.
Here he is receiving his trophy. 

Afterwards, Rafa and the other players of the match signed autographs. Chris got so very close to getting an autograph and probably would have if he had had something for him to sign. I gave him my Hunger Games book but it was a little to late and he couldn't get back in the front. 
It was still great to see him up close (here he is to the right of my lovely blue hat).

Our only souvenir from the trip (besides my amazing blue hat) was a nasty case of Influenza B that Chris came down with on the way home. It was so bad that he allowed me to take him to Insta-care:

After four days of high fever (103.3 temp), bedrest, and Tamiflu he got better!
(here he is with baby bananas on his head -- about all he could eat for a while)
We had an amazing trip and are definitely planning to go back next year -- but this time with flu shots and advance tickets!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring Break Part 1: Capitol Reef

Spring Break 2012!!!

The first half of Chris's spring break we went down to Capitol Reef National Park with a few of his students from his Science and Nature class. We stayed at the UVU field station just inside the park. 

On the way down we passed this cop car several times outside of a small town (we forgot a gas receipt and had to go back to get it). About the second time passing it Chris noticed something a little strange...

the driver of the car was just a dummy. What a great ruse.

When I first heard 'field station', I pictured something like out the TV show Lost. 
This was much nicer.

Our view from the field station. What a beautiful place. 

During the day we hiked, and at night we looked at the stars and watched Planet Earth.
Chris nearly died trying to scale a rock face.

 We explored some slot canyons. Having a bit of a belly made it a little harder for me to fit through some of the tighter spots.

The boys climbed up the slot canyon...

while the girls stayed down below.

One of Chris's students taught a short wilderness survival class. 
We learned how to make a fire with a bow.

We were rewarded with this amazing view at the end of the one of the hikes.

Chris was so enamored with the field station that he wrote a song for them.

Before we left we drove through Escalante National Park and hiked to a beautiful waterfall just 
outside of the park (Calf Creek Falls). 

We really loved Capitol Reef and had a great time.

A (fun.) weekend!

Chris and I had a wonderful weekend (except for the me working on Sunday morning part).

Friday afternoon I stopped by the Provo Tabernacle. BYU archaeologists were spending their last day excavating the foundation of the original Provo Tabernacle which was built in 1850. This tabernacle was built before the one that currently stands today, and the two buildings stood side by side for many years. The first tabernacle was eventually torn down, and it wasn't until this fall that it was even known that the foundation remained. The LDS church donated some of the foundation to Provo City to be used in various city projects honoring the pioneers. 
The Daily Herald wrote an interesting article about the project.

In addition to the foundation, excavators found several artifacts like beads, bullets, slate pencils, and small toys that remained in the basement or slipped through the floorboards. 

On Saturday we started working in the yard. As you can tell our backyard is a mess. It looks like a tornado swept through the area. We cut down three trees last summer and ran out of time to clean everything up.

We also planted a bunch of trees in the fall and are super happy that all of them survived the winter, however mild it was. We have popcorn popping on our apricot tree!

Saturday night Kansas played Ohio State in the Final Four and won! Chris is a KU alum and was super happy. The final is Monday night (I work again-sad).

As Chris was watching the BB game at a sports bar in downtown SLC, I was waiting to see one of my favorite bands. However, they were late taking the stage because their keyboardist is also a KU alumnus, and the band was watching the end of the game! Chris joined me about thirty minutes later and we had a great time dancing to the music of fun. I have been a fan of fun. and their lead singer's previous band The Format for about a decade now and am happy that they have recently begun to receive the success they deserve.

The best news from this weekend is that Chris had a paper accepted for presentation at a very prestigious Logic conference in the Czech Republic this summer. We celebrated with dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory (his choice). He even got a balloon flower!

I love you Chris and am so proud of you!