Monday, March 8, 2010

Time with the Torosians

As Marc and Sara prepared for their deployment to Jordan, they traveled cross country to visit family and friends.  We were thrilled to make the list, and we had a great time visiting with them!  It rained all weekend, which was a bummer, but we managed to barbecue and fit in lots of Guitar Hero time.  We will definitely miss them while they are overseas, but we loved seeing them and hugging Paul and Kat!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hawaiian Holiday

Is there any place lovlier than Hawaii?  Good luck convincing me.  We had an incredible time visiting Oahu and Maui, and visiting with our good friend Scott Evens.  We flew into Oahu on a Saturday, and we were able to spend the weekend at Scott's place in Waikiki.  Saturday we spent time out in the sun and headed out to a fabulous dinner at Duke's (which we loved so much that we ended up eating there 2 more times!) We visited Pearl Harbor on Sunday morning, which was an amazing and powerful experience. It was so quiet and peaceful there in the morning, that it made all three of us mindful of what it must have been like to have the SUnday morning peace disrupted almost 70 years ago. We followed the Pearl Harbor memorial with a tour of the USS Missouri, where the treaty ending World War II was signed, and we were amazed by the tiny living spaces. Later, we headed to the Dole Pineapple Plantation and ran through the world's biggest maze.  Finally we drove up to the North Shore, and Jason even got me to eat fish at Jameson's ;)
On Monday we headed out to Maui for a few days on Kaanapaali at the gorgeous Hyatt resort.  We spent lazy days by the pool, wandered up to shop at Whaler's Village, and explored the resort.  We also went for an awesome snorkeling/whale watching trip on the Gemini, a beautiful catamaran. We saw tons of Humpback whales and, while we were snorkeling, we swam with over 17 sea turtles and even saw a Monk seal! Thursday morning, before we headed back to Oahu, we went on a submarine ride.  There were huge schools of fish, and a shipwreck over 120 ft down. It was really amazing!

Thursday we headed back to Oahu for a few more days of bliss on the beach. We ended our trip with a visit Saturday to the Polynesian Culture Center, BYU-Hawaii, and the LDS temple. We were able to learn about the culture of Hawaii, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, and more, we chowed down at the luau, and we loved the performance of "Ha, Breath of Life." Heading to the airport to go home was so hard, but we are definitely looking forward to our next visit!
 Our arrival in Honolulu
Dinner at Duke's!
Big guns on the Might Mo!
Should we be concerned if these two are in charge?
The view from our hotel room--the waterfall lulled us to sleep at night ;)
The fireworks from the balcony at Scott's place

Friday, January 22, 2010

Good Times with Ali and the Girls!

We were treated to more wonderful visitors when Ali Lund and her darling girls, Ella, Sophie, and Faith came for the weekend. We had a great time shopping, lunching, and visiting the zoo.  The best thing about good friends is that time can pass and you pick up right where you left off.  Here's hoping they move closer!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Year's and New Fun with the Stremels

Mom and Dad Stremel came out to visit us after Christmas, and we had such a great visit with them! We took them out for Cafe Rio upon their arrival in Phoenix--a must for any visit! We headed back down to Tucson and spent the next day or so relaxing, cooking, and just enjoying all being together. The first day after they arrived, Jason, Sue and Amanda spent most of the day in the kitchen, doing prep work for some of the yummy meals that were planned for the next few days. Mom and Dad Dillon joined us for a New Year's Eve dinner that we had planned using lots of recipes from Jason's new cookbook.  We had a fabulous time and ate until we were all stuffed! On New Year's Day, Jason's cousin Kevin and his wife Sherry, who have recently moved to Phoenix, joined us, and we all headed out to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. We had a great time and hope to see more of them now that we live so close. The next day we ran a few errands and saw Sherlock Holmes at the theatre, which we all enjoyed. We had hoped to head down to Tombstone this trip, but we couldn't quite make the drive work, so we went up to Mount Lemmon instead!  We walked through the snow, took in the beautiful views and had a lovely lunch on top of the mountain.  We closed out the trip with a fun dinner at PF Changs with the Millars, some great family friends of the Stremels. We loved having the Stremels here and thoroughly enjoyed their visit. We can't wait to see everyone again at Ryan and Erin's wedding in April!