Fall Dodgers Trip

My brother Matt lives in sunny Long Beach. He managed to talk me and Dad into coming down to watch a Dodgers game. Dad and I found flights for about $160 and headed out on Sunday, Sep 24.

The flight was a piece of cake and Matt met us at the Long Beach airport and took us to his house.

We had considered going to see an LA Rams game that day, but Dad was opposed to supporting anything related to the NFL due to the recent trend of protesting by kneeling during the National Anthem. So we hung out at Matt’s that morning.

As we headed out to lunch, Dad took his pills and apparently mixed them up because when we got to Seal Beach he wasn’t doing so great. When he started eating the chips and salsa and then the paper from the basket that it came in, we knew we were in trouble. He’d taken an Ambien by mistake. So we headed back to Matt’s to sleep it off.

Later that evening after Dad had somewhat recovered, we went out to dinner at a cool place called Tantalum, right on the water in Long Beach.

Uncle Steve had booked us a hotel in downtown LA, just to be nice. Matt decided to stay behind at his home in Long Beach, so Dad and I set off to the hotel. That turned out to be a great misadventure for several reasons. First we went to the wrong hotel. Once we got to the right hotel our room keys didn’t unlock our door. Security couldn’t get in either. So they gave us another room. The problem with that room was that it wasn’t very accessible. But, we were too tired to fight it. So we crashed there for the night and decided to check out a day early and head back to Matt’s and crash there.

So Monday morning we got up, ate breakfast and then cruised around downtown LA for just a bit before heading back to Long Beach for the rest of the day.

Dad and Matt watched a movie and then Dad wanted to stay behind and take a little nap. Matt and I headed out to go fishing off the pier, but then decided to go kayaking around Naples Island instead. It was cool cruising around the canals and looking at all the beautiful homes and boats. I got a pretty good thumb blister from having to paddle into a headwind all the way back while Matt allegedly “took a customer call” but it was worth it.

We collected Dad and headed to grab some pizza at one of Matt’s favorite places. I couldn’t help but be reminded of my grandpa Elwyn Johnson who was also known as “Big E”.

Then it was time to finally get to the entire reason for the trip, going to watch a Dodgers game. The Dodgers had already clinched their division and this was one of their final games of a great regular season. It was also a great night for a ball game, so we were in good spirits.

We had good, wheelchair-accessible seats out in the right field bleachers.

The Dodgers played well, jumping out to an early lead over the San Diego Padres. We left the game early because neither Matt nor Dad could sit in the same place for very long. But we had a good time and the Dodgers ended up winning handily.

Before flying on on Tuesday morning, we decided to try a breakfast place that Matt had never been to, but was fairly close to his house. It was a great way to end the trip.

Family Uinta Hike

We’ve traditionally gone on a hike over Labor Day weekend. Last year we did the Lofty Lake loop and had a good time.

This time we’d be bringing along our new dog, Finley. So, we didn’t feel like we could make it a very long trek. We decided to hike to Watson lake, which is a short 3-mile (round trip) hike with little elevation gain that passes along several beautiful lakes.

We took our sweet time, watching for fish, taking lots of pictures, skipping rocks, and enjoying the beautiful day in the mountains. Even though the parking lot at the trailhead was full, we didn’t see too many people thanks to this lesser-known trail.

We did have one slight mishap. We stopped for a long lunch at the north side of Cliff lake. I was trying to teach the kids the finer points of skipping rocks into the lake and showing off my skills. Poor Claire decided she could get a better angle if she threw from the rock about a foot off shore. She made a good throw, but almost too good, because it unbalanced her enough to cause her to fall into the lake, soaking nearly every part of her. Thankfully, it was a warm day and she was able to change into a dry spare sweatshirt and hike the last mile back to the car.

It was a great day in the Uintas.

Finley Joined our Family

Okay, this decision was not an easy one. Our kids have been begging for a dog for years and years, at least five, possibly more. I started to sway about a year or two ago, but Seth was pretty firm on his decision that we were not a dog family. He likes dogs, but just didn’t think we had enough leftover time to give to any animal.

After starting the research process to see what kind of dog we could and would want to get IF we convinced Seth it was a good idea, we came up with a mini F1 Goldendoodle puppy (Golden Retriever mom mated with a toy poodle dad). We knew we wanted a smaller dog, but still a dog that would run, jump and be able to play hard with the kids, but small enough that he could be indoors. We also knew that we couldn’t handle shedding. Several of us have mild allergies and it just wouldn’t work for us. Plus, we needed a puppy that would be good with kids and well tempered. The very over-priced Goldendoodle fit the bill.

The process began as we starting going out to meet the puppies. The kids immediately fell in love with nearly every puppy they met. We tried to find a puppy that fit our family just right. Finally we convinced Seth to come and meet some of the puppies. He agreed. After meeting all the puppies we were interested in, we started to see Seth break a little. Finally after a little begging he agreed to purchase one and we put down a deposit. We had to wait until they got a little older to take him home.

On July 30 we went to pick up our pup, but decided to play with all of the ones that were left. Strangely, one puppy in particular kept sticking out to us and the one we originally wanted didn’t seem to notice we were even there. So we made a last minute decision and we switched and took home the cutest, sweetest little pup we have ever known. Finley, our blonde headed warrior, had joined our family.

Everyone loves him, I mean everyone. Some kids are more attentive and can’t wait to spend time with him, but everyone loves him and none of us can imagine our family before he joined it. He is a smart little stinker and is already potty trained. He can sit, shake, lay and rollover (thanks to Katelyn). He has already brought so much love into our home. We are loving this sweet little guy and are so grateful we finally took the plunge!

Finley’s first night at our home.
Ahhh, isn’t he cute? And that name tag…
Most days you can find Fin hanging by my side.
He even made it into the “back-to-school” photos!
I am pretty sure Katelyn loves him as much as her siblings!
Ellie getting in play time with Fin.

Solo Summit of Mount Nebo

I thought I had a free pass for the day, so I took off to hike Mount Nebo all by myself on Saturday.

It was a beautiful day for a hike. The weather was awesome, but the trail wasn’t super busy. I passed a few groups here and there, but I walked for miles without seeing another soul. Nebo apparently gets much less traffic than Timpanogos. Maybe because Nebo is significantly steeper.

When I reached the summit, I ate one of my sandwiches, snapped a quick photo, and began the descent. Not much reason to hang out for too long at almost 12,000 ft.

I took two liters of water, a couple PB&J sandwiches and a couple snacks figuring it would take me about 4 hours. I was wrong. I definitely could have used another liter of water. I drank my last drop with more than a mile to go and was quite thirsty by the time I got back to civilization.

I recorded the hike using a new cool tool called GaiaGPS, which is a great backcountry mapping app I used on my iPhone to make sure I didn’t have a misadventure like when the family attempted Ding & Dang.

Nebo has been on my list since a few of my college roommates did it without me one Saturday many years ago. It was nice to check that one off and spend a beautiful day in the Utah backcountry.

Trek 2017

Both Megan and Jake were able to go on Trek this year. They went to Muddy Creek, Wyoming with our stake. They left on Thursday morning and returned Saturday evening. Although I was unable to attend with them I was able to see them off, pick them up and enjoy all their fun stories.

Neither of them went into super excited, but when I picked them up they both admitted that it was a really wonderful experience for them.

Jake, Meg, Kynli and Gigi