Saturday, December 24, 2016

12 December 23, 2016

December began for us on the 3rd. That is the day we met Fun For Less tours at the SLC airport to begin our trip to Ecuador. We met up with the Nebekers whom we have planned this trip for over two years.

From SLC to Atlanta, Georgia then on to Quito, Ecuador, it was a very pleasant trip. Upon arrival we were transported to the JW Marriott hotel in Northern Quito.  We rested up and then began our excursions of the city of Quito. How delightful!
Our next move was to fly Avianca airlines to Balltra Galapagos. The security at the airport was remarkable in preventing any flora or fauna from accessing the islands. We were then tendered to the island of Santa Cruz by ferry.

Our bus ride to Port Auorya  on the other side of the island. We stopped at the Darwin Research Center to see the giant tortoises.  The day ended with a water taxi to Finch Bay resort where we were housed in a beautiful room with a bay view.

The next three days we spent aboard the Queen Kerry and transported to Northern Seymore, Bartolome, and Plaza islands where we hiked, snorkeled and photographed the birds, reptiles and  water fish. Three glorious days and wonderful meals, but most of all we enjoyed seeing firsthand the flora and fauna of the Galapagos as Darwin described it.

Our flight back to Quito was short and we were well cared for as we stayed at the JW Marriott two days before flying to Cocoa, Ecuador to float the Napo River.

Our stay in the Amazon basin was incredible aboard the Anaconda cruise ship. The guides, Avil and Juanito were exceptional. We photographed the wildlife of the jungle, hiked the trails in the jungle, swam in the lake at Dolphin Lodge, climbed the observation tour at Anana. We visited the native villages, went on night hikes and ate incredible food. I even at a palm heart grub (2), it tasted creamy.

After two glorious weeks we were back in the states and waiting for the Mariners to arrive from Arizona. We picked up the Mariner kids in Farmington and drove home after being gone for over a month.

We met Brian and his kids in Idaho Falls. Upon our arrival we were pleased with the finished tiling of the kitchen counters. Brian spent a week putting granite tile on our kitchen counter. It is beautiful.
The Mariners will be here Christmas eve to be with their children.  Brian is taking his family to SLC to fly the kids home for Christmas.

Christmas in Idaho is "The Real Thing" with snow and family close by. 

The last day of December we will be hosting the Sieger family for four days. They are enrolling their son into school at BYU Idaho.

This has been an exciting month!

Top of Pinchicha mountain

On the equator

From the Equator Tower

South Quito

On the cathedral roof

beautiful children of Quito

Roses of Ecuador





To the Galapagos
Darwin Research Center

Marine iguana

Saddleback tortoise 

Frigate  riding on the boat Queen Kerry

Victor and Dawn at Bartoleme Island

Pinnacle rock 

Queen Kerry

Plaza Island

Friendly Marine Iguana

Ferry to Balta

male frigate 

Land Iguana

Blue Footed Boobie

Lunch at the Darwin Center

Off to the Napo River Amazon Basin

On the large river boat to the Anaconda

Kichwa woman on the river

Flora of the Amazon

Dolphin Lodge

Monkey and bananas go together

Giant Parana 

Native living on the Amazon

Sunset aboard the Anaconda

Dinner on the Anaconda

Parrot clay lick

Red Howler Monkey

Kapok tree in the jungle

Walking tower to the top of the canopy 

Anaconda Cruise boat

Back to Idaho

Idaho Falls at temperatures below zero!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

11 November 10, 2016

The eleventh month and it seems like spring. Upon arrival in Idaho, Dawn and I thought for sure we would be facing winter shortly. However, only a few days of November have been remotely cold.
Dawn and Christine Taow (her sister) left for Texas on the 3rd of Texas to attend the wedding of David Hodgson, her nephew.

While they were gone I drove to Layton, Utah to attend the baptism of Boe Steven Russell, my grandson. I arrived on Friday night, the 4th of November. Where would you like to go to dinner, was the question. The family agreed to eat at Golden Corral. Along with the Russells I included Tyson, their neighbor boy, to come with us. The feast was on . Saturday morning Boe was baptized by his brother, Tate Russell. Then I confirmed him a member of the church. Josh, the father spoke at the baptism and compared it to going to school to learn how to behave as a member of the church. Selfless service was the key feature of his remarks.

After the baptism there was an amazing gathering of family and friends at the Russell’s home. The Atkins were invited to the baptism. They are a family close to Josh’s family. Becca, Truman, Fisher, Edith and baby Benjamin came to the baptism and luncheon. Eric the dad came later. This is a remarkable family with great love for each other. They are not members of the church.

Now for the depth and breadth of what we are faced with in moving from 556 East 13th to 815 Linden Dr. in Idaho, WORK, WORK, AND MORE WORK! Dawn and I have been so busy painting and cleaning the new residence along with boxing and sorting and cleaning our old residence getting it ready for sale. There are so many things we have done to both places. On the 9th of November the Manly Movers came and we loaded up a 26’ UHaul to the max and emptied the contents into our condominium. Whew! What a job it was.

We have one more week before we leave for Imperial Beach to be with our family for Thanksgiving. Julia, Dawn and I are meeting up with Josh and his family to drive to Las Vegas then on to Yuma, AZ and finally to Imperial Beach, Ca where we meet up with Ben, Sage, Wayne, Robyn, Indy, Kesler, Jon, Holly, Ella and Brock for 3 days of fun. More to come!

Beya and Santa

Josh and Family at Pine Valley, CA

Imperial Beach

On the Beach

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Visiting Lymansw

Bayside Trail Coronado Bay

Ella at Thanksgiving

Ben and Sage 

Puzzle with Indy