Summer Updates

So to start, I few weeks ago I hiked Mount Timpanogos. It was hard and I smelled bad afterwards but it was totally worth it.

I went with a friend of mine and a group from his ward there in Provo. We hiked up from the Aspen Grove side. The weather was looking rather unfavorable but as soon as it cleared we headed up leaving the trail head parking lot about 7pm. We hiked about 6 miles that evening and camped at a glacial lake that night arriving there about 10:30pm as I recall. After a very cold and rocky night we got up early to be on the summit before sunrise. We were back at the car by 11am.

It was a great experience.

In other news scorpion season is apparently open. The other day I came down stairs to find this on top of my washer.

I'm not sure how he got up there, but if these things start dropping from the ceiling I will be freaking out. Yes, this one is quite small, but I'm sure his crusty compadres are lurking around somewhere.

By now you may or may not have heard that I am the Reserve Grand Champion of the White Pine County Fair.

Myself, my cousin who teaches culinary arts at the high school, and my grandmother entered some baked goods in the county fair and we did quite well if I do say so. The lemon poppy seed cake on the far left is the one I made and received the reserve grand champion ribbon.  The chocolate chip cookies I also made and they received a 1st place ribbon. The chocolate bunt cake my cousin made and it also received a 1st place ribbon (we all think it actually should have one, I mean it's chocolate after all). The loaf of wheat bread on the right my grandma put in and she received the grand champion ribbon. When confronted regarding the win my grandmother's response was, "well, how could it not have won." We're already gearing up for next year!

Now to some car updates:

I'm not sure if this has been brought up yet, but most of you have probably seen it.

This ended up in my garage this last spring and it has been a blast this summer. It was purchased from the original owner, and had been sitting for a number of years unused. I did the minimum amount of work to get it back on the road for the summer, but this winter it will get a more thorough going through.

I don't know how many of you knew that I purchased this 1980 Chevy LUV about a year ago. It was a great idea when I purchased it, but after several months of just not being able to get excited about working on it I decided to donate it to the high school auto shop. Hopefully it will serve better as a tax write-off.

You may remember the silver bug. Yesterday I got the bug out of its barn. (I actually had to remove a good deal of foliage from in front of the door to get it open). With the help of my car commiserator and his son we got the engine removed last night in only about 2 hours start to finish. It was a productive Saturday.  


Croissants and Pay Toilets (Part 2)

So where did we leave off? The Arc de Triomphe and going to church in Paris.

After church we hit the road for the Netherlands. I had no feelings one way or the other on the Netherlands and I had no preconceived ideas about what we would see there. That being the case though, let me say that it was awesome! Our first stop traveling that day was in Rotterdam.

Rotterdam was pretty much leveled by Allied bombers during WWII and so the city looks very modern. The food was amazing the people were great. We walked around enjoying the street scene and cool architecture. Then we got back in the car and headed to our hotel outside of Amsterdam.

The hotel was great and it was situated in the probably the quaintest little dutch suburb that you'd ever see. In the morning we got up and stopped by a bakery next to our hotel where I absentmindedly, but fortunately, grabbed a croissant. I began eating as we were walking to the train station to go into Amsterdam and it suddenly dawned on me that this was, in fact, the most amazing croissant that I had ever put between my lips. So I went back and got another one. In hind sight I should have bought them all.

We walked through the neighbor hood to the train station with all of the parents taking their kids to school on bikes. Arriving in Amsterdam was quite impressive as you come into their gigantic and impressive train station.

We wandered around, ate food, took a canal ride (where we mostly napped), and

we also went to the Anne Frank house. I initially had no feelings one way or the other on going to that, but it was a really well set-up museum and a very marking experience. I was glad we went. The flower market was selling a fair amount of pot (in truth the city smelled of marijuana quite heavily in places). The cheese shops were delicious and the cool air was nice. After the Netherlands it was on to WOLFSBURG, GERMANY!!!!!

I believe the above picture pretty much sums up my joy of visiting the capital of the Volkswagen universe. This is me crawling out from under the first 4x4 bus prototype. At the VW museum I touched EVERYTHING! It was early in the morning and we pretty much had the place to ourselves. It was fantastic. After that we went to wandered around Autostadt (VW's car theme park dedicated to all of its brands) and then we got to take the factory tour. Touring VW's first factory was really great. They build their Tiguan model there now, but being able to experience some of that history was very cool.

 Stay tuned for part 3!