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Monthly Archives: June 2013


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Grand (trip to the) Canyon

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Last weekend we had a fabulous trip to the Grand Canyon . The trip was a surprise ¬†get-away to celebrate Father’s Day for Elaine’s dad. The canyon was a perfect place to celebrate and a lot of fun to vacation with the Arkin’s, Martinez’s, and Gutierrez’s.

We left after work on Thursday evening and drove to Laughlin, NV. Elaine and I had pre-booked a $25 hotel room at the Golden Nugget Casino. We got in really late but had a fun time splashing in the pool the following morning. Believe it or not it was over 90 degrees at 10am when we were in the pool…It gets really hot in the middle of no-where.

From Laughlin we drove a couple hours and met the entire family in the cool (definitely not temperature) town of Williams, AZ, which falls on the old Route 66 Highway. We didn’t spend a lot of time in the town, but spent a couple hours looking in shops and eating a giant piece of pie.

The following day we embarked on our journey to the Canyon on a two hour train ride. The train ride was a great part of the trip and a fun way to travel to the canyon. When we arrived we took a bus tour of the South Rim of the canyon and stared off into the depths of the almost surreal landscape. It truly is a beautiful and breathtaking place. We took a million pictures and these are some that are on my phone…IMG_5873 IMG_5778 IMG_5845 IMG_5773

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We left for Santa Barbara the following day. We knew it was going to be a long trip back and decided to have a two hour layover in Kingsman, AZ. For most people it is a drive through town, but we spent a majority of our time in a Route 66 Museum. It was pretty cool but most importantly it met our break criteria 1) air conditioning 2) space for Mason to run around.

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The next stop in our driving tour of towns that I never want to live in was Barstow, CA. We stopped there to get gas, pizza, and to watch a beautiful sunset. The sky was pinkish-red for a long period and it made the 104 degree Mojave desert glow.

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As you can see from the photos the trip was a huge success! Fun vacation, great company, and beautiful scenary!


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The best part of Barstow, CA



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Parks parks parks

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We’re wrapping up our last night in Portland and I was looking through the photos on my phone. Low and behold most of them are of food and parks.

On this trip we went into four neighborhoods and found a number of pretty cool parks- even one on top of a dormant volcano! I’d be willing to bet that this was Mason’s highlight of the trip. He gotten much more adventurous on the playground equipment and loves watching the big kids, babies, and adults.

Here are a couple park photos from the last two days.






Training in Seattle

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I’ve been fortunate to have a number of work trainings recently. Most have been in the Santa Barbara area with a normal 8-5 timeframe, but right now I’m writing to you from the beautiful town of Seattle, WA.

No out of town training would be complete without my unofficial training buddies Elaine and Mason.

Unfortunately My schedule is booked for the next few days but we were able to fly in a little early and I was able to join in the fun too.

Seattle has been good to us so far. Yesterday we had a picnic at Volunteer
Park, walked around the downtown area, and carried Mason up and down the hills. Out of necessity we bought a little umbrella stroller and thankfully Mason enjoys getting pushed around in it.

Here are some photos of our fun day in the park in the sun.

On a final side note Seattle is a much better town when your hotel isn’t haunted. Look back in the blog for our creepy hotel… or you can google image “haunted Seattle MarQueen” A great, yet creepy photo of Mason crawling down the hallway is one of the top images.





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Tamales for breakfast