Pake Lowell

Let’s take a break from Hawaii, shall we?

IMG_3339Back in the stone ages, Ryan was a high school senior. 10 years ago next summer, if you can believe it! Because they were bad-a, hard-core 18 year-olds, Ryan and his buddies liked to switch the first few letters of the names of places, people, random items, etc., just for kicks. For example “Ryan Holt” was Hyan Rolt. “Tony Christensen” was Cony Thristensen. “Sand Hollow” was Hand Sollow. Super mature, huh. But I guess I married the kid partly for his goofy, “keep me young” attitude, so all’s well that ends well. Fortunately, the only name that really stuck was Pake Lowell. To this day Ryan rarely calls that grand old Lake Powell anything else.

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Lake Powell was, and is, one of the places nearest and dearest to Ryan’s big, shiny heart. I think he has a secret plan to retire to a houseboat and live out our eighties clad in neon swimsuits, chugging along the nooks and crannies at 5 MPH. Not a bad idea, really. I mean, have you ever star-gazed from the top of a houseboat? I am convinced you can see right through to heaven.

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IMG_3288 IMG_3383Last week we took a quick trip to Utah to visit Ryan’s family, see a few dear friends and renew our acquaintances with the Lake. We set out pretty early (for us) and made our way from St. George to Kanab and on through the red desert to the prettiest shade of blue you ever did see. Soon the water was set out before us; quite like a never-ending dessert buffet. All you can think about is partaking until you pop.IMG_3365IMG_3417

We spent the first day with Ryan’s sisters, Crystal and Katie, and my awesome in-laws, Norm and Laurene. We buzzed around the Main Channel and spent the afternoon drifting (and wakeboarding) through Last Chance. Unfortunately, all I have are i-phone pics. It made my teeth hurt to think about bringing my camera on board the Cobalt. I’m kind of selfish like that. On the way in for the evening we stopped at Antelope Marina for dinner. If you are smart you will say yes to the pizza and skip the fish tacos. Take my word for it.IMG_3321 IMG_3318Saturday morning we met up with Norm’s daughter, Lindsay, and our niece and nephew A and M. Just when I think I am over the baby bug they pop up out of nowhere. It’s a plot, I tell you.

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We spent the afternoon in my favorite crevice of Lake Powell, Navajo Canyon. The sagebrush dusted cliffs literally seem to grow right out of the warm green water and juxtapose themselves perfectly against the bluest sky you’ve ever met. (See how I did that? I have always wanted to incorporate ‘juxtapose’ into a sentence, and now I have. Big fat dream come true, right there.)

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That man of mine is sure going to make a great papa one day. My heart was a warm melty puddle of hormones hanging out on the floor of the boat watching him with interact with the kiddos. He’s a natural. Basically a kid-whisperer.

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LP, you treated us right. But then again, you always do. I mean we even managed to avoid blistering sunburns for the first time, ever. Thanks for that. In the wise words of yearbook-lingo, “stay awesome” Pake Lowell. We sure do love ya. IMG_3432

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Olé!

If I am being 100% honest, one of the things we miss the very most about Saint George is Café Rio. Call it the fat girl in me, but I get legitimately depressed when I think about all of the tomatillo dressing, sweet pork barbacoa and flour tortillas (oh, the tortillas…they deserve their very own spot in the celestial kingdom) going on several hundred miles away from me. Like straight up slit my wrists and cry to emo music depressed (too far?). For example, my sister sent me a picture of her recent Café Rio visit and I almost considered not talking to her for a week.

IMG_2214IMG_2289IMG_2341In a moment of divine intervention, Ryan and I found a few recipes online that help hold us over in between visits to Heaven (Heaven = pork enchiladas, naturally). However,  it can all be rather time consuming so we only make them ourselves once or twice a year. Thank goodness I’m lazy or my hips and butt would jiggle even more than they already do (try not to picture that…sorry).IMG_2338IMG_2337IMG_2344

In an effort to spread our unadulterated joy, we decided to keep tradition alive and throw the 2nd Annual Cinco de Mayo Food Extravaganza. We invited a few friends and made a feast fit for genuine Luchadores. It featured cilantro-lime rice, sweet pork barbacoa, fresh flour torillas, seasoned black beans, tomatillo ranch dressing and more toppings than I care to admit.

IMG_2244IMG_2302IMG_2303Not to toot my own horn, but I think it all turned out pretty great. I’m already anticipating next year. Now all you Utahn’s don’t let me hear that you are taking your easy access for granted; that’s just despicable. And quite possibly a deal-breaker.

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A Tube-Tastic NYE

New Years Eve is usually pretty un-glamorous in our household. Generally there is a surprising lack of glitter, sequins, bubbly drinks and fancy clothes. This year, we were lucky enough to spend some time with Ryan’s family in southern Utah. Activities for the day included tubing and freezing our bums off.

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Having grown up in Northern Utah, I consider myself something of a Snow Queen (forget the fact that I have never been skiing or snowboarding. Disgraceful, I know.) However, this trip promptly reminded me why I rather enjoy the mellow San Francisco weather. I may or may not have frostbitten toes now. I’ll spare you the details.

Our nephew Hayes was quite the show-stealer. Refusing to brave the slopes with anyone but his stepdad, he quickly found that snowball fights are way more fun when you have slow targets.

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You can’t tell from the photos, but we discovered the Matterhorn of all sledding hills. Dare devil that he is, Ryan braved it first; leaving me to envision my life as a widow or caretaker of a 26 year-old quadriplegic. Nonetheless, I eventually put my big girl pants on and joined the fun.

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Minus the terrifying drive through the snow (let’s just say Ryan might have applied his thrill-seeking attitude to his driving, resulting in a few too many “accidental” doughnuts and a moment where I thought we were going to die), our New Years Eve was pretty great. We finished it off with a quick visit to see a few friends and really upped the ante with going to bed before midnight. Just because we are rebels like that.

Oh, and one more. Norris says hello!

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xoxo,

Liss