Sunday, October 28, 2007

Today, Sea World!

Shamu and friends...
...watching from under the sea...
...completely drenched and loving the tide pools! We also went on the river rapids ride and I got the worst of it! I, niavely, thought that I wouldn't get THAT wet, boy was I wrong! : ) I had to buy a new pair of pants to wear for the rest of the day! : ) (from the water on the ride! It wasn't that scary!!!) : )
Posted by Picasa


Our nephew Andrew and Ari's cousin's from Greece; Christos and Lefteri...
...Getting soaked and loving it!!!
Posted by Picasa

Universal Studios

We made it, we finally made it!!!
And we made some stinky friends! : ) Beatle Juice plopped right down next to me and then he started spouting off silly puns. Well, little did he know, he'd met his match in me!!! Certainly, my Dad could have punned him under the table, I just held my own. I as - "salted" him with a pack of table salt, he told me to "fork off," brandishing a plastic fork; then I grabbed a few ice cubes and told him "I only had "ice" for him. He walked away laughing his head off! Lame, I know, but most of you know the "Upson Curse." What could I do? : )
Posted by Picasa

Universal Studios

Whoa! That's one big fish! (Yes, we know Ari's a cheese ball, and we love him for it!)
Top 'O the Mornin' to Yeh!
Ari and his Mom...look at her makin' "eyes" at my man!!! (I suppose it's o.k., he was "her man" long before I ever met him! She sure thinks the World of him, as she should.)
Posted by Picasa

Universal Studios

Awwwh, ain't we cute!?!

Ari's personal hero! (Sponge Bob, that is!)
Oh My Gosh!!! Run! That green guy looks ticked!!! : )
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Increadible Journey to L.A.

So, we left on Monday morning and drove through Moab, UT to drop off Lou lou, our guinea pig at my Sister's for the week. We then drove the 70 to the 15 N and we made it all of the way into CA on the 15 before being stopped about an hour away from Ari's Mom's by the monstrous California fires! They really are soooooper bad, it's been kinda scary.

The freeway was shut down, all of the freeways were shut down. It was 10 p.m. west coast time, all of the hotels, etc...were full and we were completely stranded. We had to park on the side of the road between two semi-trucks and sleep it out, hoping that the roads would be re-opened at some point the next morning. I made a nest in the back of our trusty Pilot and Ari sat watch in the front seat, reclining enough to sleep a few hours at a time. The roads finally opened around 6 a.m. and Ari resumed the drive. In the night the fires had come extremely close to us, AND there had been hurricane-force winds that had gusted up to 100 miles an hour! I feel like we were in a flipping wagon train back in the olden days or something! Sheesh! : ) In the morning we could see several burnt out cars and trees, as well as about six semi-trucks that had been tipped over on their sides by the hurricane winds, it was crazy! Ari said that it literally looked like a war zone.

Thankfully, we are here now and having a great time. Today before the Tar Pits we even stopped by the tattoo shop that they film "L.A. Ink" at on TLC...they were filming at the time and politely asked us to go away. : ) I didn't want a tattoo or anything, I just have this weird fascination with seeing famous people.

I will post more later...Universal Studios tomorrow! : )

P.S. It's been between 90 and 100 degrees out here! There's a giant climate change for ya! We had to dig our car out of eight to ten inches of snow before we left, and it was still coming down!

Lunch in Venice Beach

Sunset through a palm tree, just the way I like 'em!

Ari with his Mom, Alice and his Brother, Amar...I love how happy they look in their eyes.
O.k., I swear just after I took this picture we saw three dolphins frolicing in the sunlight on the water! Alice and I watched them playing for about 15 minutes, it was completely awesome! This was the first time I have ever really seen wild dolphins, I was giddy with glee! : )
Posted by Picasa

Mmmmmm, yummy! The La Brea Tar Pits

Poor little Elephants stuck in the tar! : )
And here we have The Tar! I guess it just bubbles away like that all the time, actually, it was pretty cool.

Beatiful sunlight reflected in the tar...Yum.
Posted by Picasa

La Brea Tar PIts

Here I am with a bear? I am guessing that he's some sort of prehistoric bear, or something...
Here I am with Ari's brother, Amar...and the bear! : )
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Our First Snow of the Season...

...well, at least at our elevation. It's snowed on the Mt.s across from us a few times, but this is the first time it's falling and sticking on our terrafirma.
I hear that we are expecting an accumulation of 10 to 16 inches tonight!!! I can hardly believe it's snowing already...we're not even half way through the month of October! Isn't there something a little bit wrong about that!?! : ) Actally, to be honest, I love snow and I am completely geeked that it's here already. Wasn't it technically just summer like two weeks ago? Oh well, I say bring it on!

And here we have our lonely little candle you can see, it's definitely been "blown out." It's funny because all of the surrounding trees still have most of their leaves. (Just is case you are wondering what in the world I am talking about with the whole "candle tree," just scroll down a few entries and you'll see what I mean.) : )
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Third Wedding Anniversary & Disneyland, here we come!!!

Our third wedding anniversary is on October the 16th, which unfortunately this year, will be spent in Grand Junction, CO at a police training class...However, we will soon take about two and a half weeks off and drive through Vegas to L.A., Disneyland and the beach! Yippee!!!

Most of you know, Ari and I are big kids and we absolutely LOVE Disneyland and we've gone at least once a year since we met six years ago. We also spent our honeymoon there!!! : ) Hawaii is always our first choice, but financially, Disneyland works out for us every time! We'll make it to Hawaii one of these days, and in the mean time, we are going to keep on having fun at the "Happiest Place on Earth!"

Due to our need to "get out of Dodge," away from work and monotony, we are attempting to "change it up" this year. On the way to L.A. we are going to spend at least one night in Las Vegas so that Ari, (who has a life-long, fascination/obsession with sharks,) will be able to see the Great Hammerhead shark and the aquarium at the Monterey Bay Resort. The Shark viewing has been on our "list" for several years. Apparently the "great" sharks, i.e., great white, great hammerhead, have never been able to survive in captivity, we are excited to get to see a Great that has been thriving in Vegas for several years now.

(Somethings are just strange to have in the desert, for instance; shark aquariums and sea food restaurants. Perhaps it comes from growing up in the NW so near the ocean, perhaps it really IS weird, but either way, Ari and I simply refuse to eat any sea food while living in land-locked Colorado! Other friend's and family see nothing wrong with eating fish, and swear that it is freshly frozen and flown in daily...I still don't care.) : )

Most of Ari's family that lives in the U.S., live in L.A., so naturally family visiting is always part of our Disney holiday's. This year we desperately need a good vacationing for our sanity's sake, so we are going to attempt to do a lot of "touristy" things and spend lots of time at the beach. It's been a REALLY long and difficult year for both of us. I was in recovery from my back surgery, eight months of which, I was very dependant on Ari for most everything, bless him. He handled most of the house chores and had to do all our laundry, and this is all on top of his regular, super-stressful job. We are hoping to go to Medieval Times Restaurant, (which will be my first time) certainly we will go to Disneyland/CA Adventures, we may even try for Universal Studio. We plan to visit Venice Beach, (a crazy little microcosm of rollerskating, break dancing/pop 'n locker's, muscle beach work out pits, and tons of local artisans toting their wares.) Santa Monica Pier would be fun too... it has a year-round carnival; rides, funnel cakes, elephant ears and more! Perhaps we'll swing through Beverly hills/Rodeo Drive and Hollywood; the Walk of Fame/Grauman's Chinese Theater, where they hold the Oscars every year. If we go, we are most definitely going to brave the Hollywood scene at night...which is a unique and slightly frightening experience, but you absolutely CANNOT beat the people-watching! : ) Talk about a strange little microcosm!!! It sure isn't the super-swanky, romantic, glamorous place you've always pictured, or what you see on Oscar night!

Most certainly, we are headed for a fun-filled vacation/anniversary! I hope and pray that we will be able to enjoy each other and ourselves, and that we will not feel stressed by obligation or over-planning. All we really HAVE to do is visit Disneyland and visit the family, every thing else can be left to spontaneity, feasibility and the all-important "fun factor!"

We will stay in-touch with you all via blogland...Ari will be bringing our laptop along with us, so we should be able to post pics and anecdotes along the way! I'm sure that I will post something between this and when we leave for L.A.

Chunks of Love to Ya Bro! : )

(Don't be afraid..."chunks of love" is an old joke between a few of my friends, and it would take WAAAAAY too long to attempt an explanation.) : )

Monday, October 08, 2007

Attention George X. in Greece!!!

Hi back!

I got your messages and I have tried to e-mail you at the hotmail address that you left me and it has been returned several times. Is there a special country code for Greece that I need to enter? It would be so great to be able to communicate with you and your family via e-mail, so I'd really love to hear back from you. Hope that all is well with you and your family. Please tell them that we send our love and that we are planning a return visit with Eliki, Amar and Michlien next summer, God willing! : )

~Ari and Kristen

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sunlight on the Mountains

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Well, as you can see, It Snowed!!!

Here is our candle tree this snowed last night on our mountains!!! Isn't it glorious!?! I wish that all of you could actually come here and see how amazing this place is for your are all always welcome in our home! : )
Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 01, 2007

Autumn in Eddyland!!!

This morning I noticed an old friend was back and I had to take a picture of it's (very) short-lived glory.

We call this our candle tree because it is so tall with absolutely no branches or leaves until the very top, making it look just like a birthday candle. I'd guess it to be around 60 feet tall. It is an aspen tree and this time last fall Ari and I had just come home from my surgery and post surgery stay with my Parent's. It had been nearly six weeks since we'd been home and here, right outside our living room window, this little tree was waiting to welcome us back. My sister Jessica had come up to stay with me and help for that week. She and I called it our candle tree and we fondly watched it turn bright yellows, firey oranges and reds, and suddenly, all in one windy day, it lost all of it's leaves just like some one had blown the candle out. We made sure to make wishes! : )

It is so gorgeous up here this time of year! The aspen leaves are spectacular, these intense splashes of color against the dark grey mountain faces, some of their peaks sprinkled with the stark white of freshly fallen snow. Creation literally takes one's breath away around here. I am forever choking back tears and singing praise and glory to God for the beauty He has given us to enjoy. At times I feel like this particular tree, this flower, or the way the sun is highlighting a certain mountain peak for just a few breif seconds, I feel like God did this one little show of His glory just for me, as if to say, "Hi, I love you and I haven't forgotten."
Posted by Picasa