Monday, September 27, 2010

Wir lieben Oktoberfest

Hasn't the weather been heartrendingly gorgeous the last little while? September is my favorite month (it's so mild, colorful, nostalgic, hazy), but it whizzes by in a nanosecond. Sometimes you have to stop and grab it. On Saturday morning we thought it would be fun to drive up to Snowbird -- quaff some early autumn mountain air and take Emma for a tram ride. Seize September! When we got to the parking lot we saw 50 trillion cars. Oh yeah....Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest!! Well whoop-de-doodley-do, this ought to be fun. And it was -- SO MUCH FUN!

First...behold the stunning vistas.

I mean..really. This is just jaw-droppingly magnificent, worldclass outdoorsiness. And it's only about a half hour away.

So we rode the tram up to the tippy top of whatever mountain it goes to. I'm usually averse to dangling high up in the air in a conveyance. But this tram seems sturdier than most. Plus, I couldn't recall ever hearing about a Snowbird tram plunging accidentally to the ground (and my abject condolences to all those involved if it has), so I rode it (twice!) virtually qualm-free.

I think the last time I rode the Snowbird tram was in 1995, with Joe. We'd been dating about a month. We rode it to the top then thought it might be "fun" to hike down. It took about four hours as I recall...four hours of pleasant chit-chat and increasingly barking dogs. We could hardly move the next day. That's us, 15 years ago this month.

I told Joe (on the second ride up on Saturday) that little did we know in 1995 that in 2010 we'd be riding the tram with our 5-year-old daughter....

After we rode the tram, we went to the big white tent where the Polkatonics were playing and Yo-Yo Man was yo-yo-ing. We stood in line for food. (Mostly Joe stood in line. Emma and I watched a bunch of kids play musical chairs up near the stage, supervised by a no-nonsense fellow in green lederhosen. Emma declined to participate, perhaps freaked out by lederhosen guy.) The food was stick-to-your ribs German fare: Brats (mmmm, with spicy horseradishy mustard), sauerkraut, German potato salad, red cabbage, potato pancakes with sour cream or applesauce, or both. Washed down with Sprite.

After lunch Emma stood in line for a half hour to do bungy trampoline. You had to be at least 30 pounds. I think Emma weighed in at about 38, with clothes.

The nice lady told her that her bungy number was "40" (they round up on the weight) and to be SURE to remember it so she could tell the other nice lady in charge of hooking her up. Don't forget! Your bungy number is 40! So Emma stood and waited and I looked over at her every once in awhile and could see her whispering "Forty....forty....forty" to herself.

Here she is fretting about forgetting "forty."

But then it was her turn and she got strapped in and was on her way.

She even tried a few flips.

Then Emma and Baba decided to ride the Peruvian chair lift, but that particular high-up conveyance is beyond my abilities to enjoy. Call me a fraidy cat. (Emma certainly did..."Fraidy cat! Fraidy cat!") So I sat blissfully in the sun on a bench for half an hour and watched Oktoberfesters go by.

And Baba took a picture of the view from the top:

It was a really really fun day. I want to go to Oktoberfest every year now.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Stuff We Did in August

Ok, this was in September, but still part of summer fun. Here is Emma in the water at the upper Provo River below the falls.

We went camping a couple weekends ago, somewhere round about Payson. A little campground called Maple Bench that we've been to a few times.

This time we discovered a little lake nearby. Maybe it was just a big pond. Whatever it was, we walked all the way around it (and it didn't take long).

On another day Em and I went to the Hogle Zoo with her good pal Cannon and his mom Michelle. Oh, it was a pretty day to be at the zoo. We went to the bird show, saw the baby elephant rolling around in the mud, saw a great big gorilla really up close (it looked like a person in a gorilla suit).

One early evening we drove up to the flight park close by our house and Joe snapped some good photos of the paragliders. There were plenty of them out that night. (Click to enlarge these photos...they're really cool.)

Emma enjoyed scampering on the grass (watch out for landing gliders, young missy).

And the great big August event...Emma started kindergarten. Would have taken the official first-day-of-school picture in the out-of-doors, but it was raining cats and dogs.

But then it cleared up by the time we headed over to the bus stop.

Thar she blows...

And there she goes...

So far so good with kindergarten. Em has 1 week under her belt and is an old hand at it now.

And to wrap things up...Joe's been taking photos of the Draper temple lately. So we'll end with a gloomy shot...
...and a glorious shot.

That's all for now....