where we: are mountain folk

david’s aunt and uncle live in driggs, idaho (just on the other side of the tetons from jackson hole, wyoming). we decided to join david’s parents on a mountain adventure there over labor day weekend. id never been to driggs or jackson hole, so it was all new territory.

on saturday, we hiked the tetons to a place called table rock, that overlooks the tetons from the west side. it was an 11-mile hike with an intense incline in the beginning, but it all paid off once we got to the top. good thing ive got david’s parents to provide me with hiking poles, cliff blocks, and all kinds of stuff i don’t know much about.

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it was pretty magical all and all. we hiked through meadows, past waterfalls and near a itty bitty snow patch (in september!)

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after about our 8th hour on the hike, we were pretty ready to be done. but what a lovely day out in the sun! and i got some horrendous tan lines to prove it. you’ll see that in the pictures to come…

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the next day, we went over to check out jackson hole and grand teton national park. we rode 25 miles, which wasn’t too exhausting compared to the hike the day before, but it WAS a little comical for me to be on that rode bike at first. all kinds of gears and positioning and, once again, things i know nothing about. i was somewhat getting the hang of it by the end of the ride, though, and the scenery couldn’t be beat! we stopped at a lake to eat lunch halfway through, and then headed back into town.

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check out those tan lines. great idea to wear capri-length leggings on the hike!

where: we explore the gardens

also! i forgot to mention one of my other parts of coos bay. we visited the botanical gardens, which i think david anticipated to be pretty laaaaame – but it was so beautiful and mystical and magical all in one. the gardens were build in the early 1900s and stand right on the edge of the coast line, so you can soak in the flowers and hear the sounds of the ocean all in one.

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david and his hyper-sensitive nose got pretty into smelling all of the flowers. in the rose garden, he identified one that smelled like fruity pebbles, one that smelled like pine-sol, one that smelled like trix, etc etc etc.

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cool giant plants! and the beach right below.

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id like to have a botanical garden one day. reminded me of downton abbey.

where: it’s next stop, portland

chris and tessa headed back to their lil babies after our days in seattle, so after dropping them off at the airport, we headed straight to portland. the linford’s flight was at 6 am, so we got to portland just in time for breakfast. we went to tasty n sons, and the place didn’t disappoint.

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i had the homemade biscuit sandwich with cheddar and fried chicken. i never even eat fried chicken, but this thing was daaang good! we also ordered french toast with berries, smoky glazed sweet potatoes and a homemade chocolate donut. portland knows how to do breakfast.

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portland also knows how to do ice cream. we tried salt & straw ice cream at the recommendation of lots of friends, and it held up to its reputation. i had strawberry balsamic ice cream with black pepper and olive oil ice cream. david had melon prosciutto and pear with blue cheese. whaaaa?? crazy flavors. but they manage to pull it off without tasting as crazy as it sounds. please click the link to be entertained by their menu.

we also went to ken’s artisan pizza and the good food luck kept flowin.

believe it or not, we packed in all that food and more into one day. we also napped in a park. because we’d gotten up at 5 am and we were tired and it was vacation! we can do what we want.

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then we went to the coast to check out indian and cannon beach. magical!

 

where we: celebrated one year

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once upon a time david and i celebrated our one-year anniversary (and david’s only break from school, and the end of summer) with a trip to the northwest.

we thought about going to europe, in our original plan, but tickets never seemed to be less than $1,800 for anywhere on that continent, so we decided to explore our own country’s backyard. our first stop was seattle, followed by portland, a jaunt down the oregon coast and then a night of camping at crater lake.

our friends chris and tessa linford joined us for the seattle portion, and we had a grand ol’ time.

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i’d never been to seattle, so we visited all of the typical sites: safeco field for a mariners game, food tasting at public market, seafood on the pier, the gum wall and the seattle art museum. at the art museum, we found some art that (coincidentally) resembled utah.

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i thought salt lake city has a cool library – but seattle’s library blew it out of the water! the architecture, interior decor and general vibe was pretty great. and there weren’t homeless people all over the place.

we explored and took pictures, but if we ever moved to seattle, id be reading books there every week.

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everywhere we went in seattle, there was water, water, all around. we visited the pier, green lake park (where we rented a paddle boat), gas works park and took a ferry to bainbridge island.

seattle is much bigger and a little dirtier than i imagined – it reminded me of san francisco with the water, seafood, islands, etc. i dont know if it’s my next dream homeland but id loved visiting and seein what the place had to offer. and compared to SLC, it was sooo breeeezy and pleasant!

stay tuned for posts on our other trip adventures.

 

where: we have a truly american fourth of july

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we spent our fourth of july in the magical land of huntsville, ut, where david’s family has a “cabin” a.k.a nice house in the wild west. we invited about 12 people to come with us and they all backed out or had other plans, but we wouldn’t let that stop the fun! we like each other best anyways! pshh. so we decided to make it our “11 month anniversary” trip. ha

since we were itching for a campout and the cabin was packed with family anyway, we decided to take our sleeping bags out to the “family campground” in the back of the property, which is really the epitome of glamping (glamorous camping). We had a wood pile all ready for us, a fire pit, freshly-cut grass and just a few minutes walk up to the bathrooms in the house. Nature at it’s finest.

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when we arrived on wednesday night before the fourth of july, we “set up camp” for a little bit, visited the new baby horse named scout, took pictures and wandered the property. magical! all pure magic.

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then when it got dark we made the best smores you’ll ever have: trader joe’s dark chocolate sea salt bar, trader joe’s homestyle cinnamon graham crackers and good ol’ fashion marshmallows. that’s the recipe to perfection. they were so good, david ate about 10. i had 2 and felt sick, because i’d already eat some of the chocolate bar and grahams on the way the drive up. couldn’t resist.

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thursday morning we went with the family to the fourth of july hometown parade. full of kids squirting us with water guns and throwing saltwater taffy at our faces as the drove by in their cars. but there were goats! so i liked that.

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next we headed up to causey reservoir, where david was pumped to jump off cliffs and row around in our canoe. too bad we couldn’t figure out how to blow up the canoe (david said it was missing a part). and when some guy got knocked unconscious and had to had an ambulance come to the lake, i was feelin pretty nervous about all that cliff jumping.

but it was a beautiful place with perfect water temps, so we swam around. (a rare occurrence for me!) and then picnicked on more trader joe’s goodies: whole wheat bread, natural PB and fig butter. so good!

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david thought it was funny when i told him the fourth of july is one of my top favorite holidays, right after thanksgiving. okay i like christmas too of course, but everybody likes that. but every year i stand by my statement: the fourth of july is the beeeest!

where we: embrace the sun

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we wanted to go to zion’s or bryce canyon to celebrate our birthday weekend (david’s birthday is may 10th and mine is may 12 — presh, isn’t it?), but we couldn’t get away for more than one night, so we decided to hit up our own backyard for some quality time with our pal mother nature.

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the beauty of living in salt lake city is that we really could drive 20-30 minutes in any direction and be setting up camp. but for this trip we headed north to the trails around snowbasin. we “backpacked in” — all of 3/4 of a mile — and then we scoped out a nice ‘lil spot with a view of the mountain sunset, baked some sweet potatoes and feasted on smores until we got sleepy.

after breakfast in the morn’ we took off on a three-hour hike with a beautiful view of pineview reservoir. we took our sweet time and it was oh so lovely.

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where we: say, “fare thee well!”

Sister Laura is off! This past weekend we drove up to Sun Valley to say our final goodbyes to David’s sister Laura before she left on her mission to Malaga, Spain. On Saturday we went as a Kunz fam (minus Michael!) to have lunch at Galena Lodge. We at super fancy grilled cheese and veggie burgers on picnic tables out in the snow, since it was such a sunshiney warm(ish) day.

 
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Yep, me and mom-in-law have matching coats. Thanks to her! In Sun Valley we only wear Patagonia.

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Then on Sunday, Laura spoke in church and we had an open house lunch for family and friends to say goodbye. David and I left to head back home soon after, so this was it. Goodbyyyyye Laura! She should be landing in Spain in just a few hours now!

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