Saturday, August 6, 2011

Visiting Parents

My parents were supposed to go on a trip to Alaska this summer, but unfortunately it had to be postponed.  To make up for that, I invited them to come up and visit me during Pioneer Days.  For those people not from Utah (I had to learn this 3 years ago when I moved here), its a state-specific holiday celebrating the settlement of the Salt Lake Valley.  I'm sure there's a more correct definition, but that's good enough.  Terri and Tina talk about it on their blog (just look at the July posts from past years).  Anyway, I live right on Historic 25th Street in Ogden, so a lot of the activities take place either within a block or 2 of my house.  My dad always seems to find endless things to amuse himself with, and he and Annie (their dog) have fun exploring the old trains across the street at Union Station.  That is, when Annie isn't claiming her spot on the sofa.  She's very proud to be a cocker-poodle mix, 100% spoiled princess, and her current favorite toy is "rat."
On Sunday we went up to Park City for brunch at the Waldorf Astoria and to experience Park Silly Days.  I thought it would be a farmers market with a few crafts vendors.  Its actually the opposite, along with a lot of food and drink stands, and entertainment throughout the day.  In Utah its rare to find "happenings" on a Sunday, so this is a huge bonus.  I'll have to go back again.

The Horse and Hitch Parade (back up in Ogden) was interesting.  I think this was on the Tuesday night.  We just ambled out of my house and up 2 blocks to claim a nice shady spot under a tree.

I guess by the photos I took I was much more impressed with the wagons and carts than by the riders on horseback.

I also found some time to indulge in culinary adventures since I had guests.  Since its usually just myself, I don't do gourmet cooking every day.  Actually, its a lot of leftovers since when I do cook, I make sure to fix extras.  The day they arrived I'd been cooking pulled pork all day long (this was after to pork sat in the fridge with a dry rub for 24 hours).  This was something I'd been wanting to try for a long time.  True BBQ people will cringe since I didn't smoke my boston butt, but I don't have a smoker.  This just sat in the crock pot for 8 hours on low, and made its own sauce with the meat juices, spices, and some beer.  We also had some cedar planked salmon, with a bourbon-chipotle-maple glaze.

And I made a lemon-blueberry tart.
Of course a visit during Pioneer Days wouldn't be complete without a night at the rodeo.  I'm not a huge rodeo fan, but a night every few years won't hurt me.  Two years ago I actually volunteered at the rodeo and had fun, despite the heat wave we had (it was over 100 every day).  The last rodeo I went to as an actual observer was Cheyenne Frontier Days, when I lived there over 10 years ago.  This is just a tiny bit smaller than that, but very scenic.  My photos of the actual events didn't turn out so great.
On Friday we went back up to Park City to experience some summertime alpine fun.  I've done the zipline, toboggan and alpine slide at Olympic Park, so this time I wanted to try the rides at Park City Resort.  Mom just had full knee replacement surgery less than 2 months ago, so she didn't join us.  Dad and I had a blast, and we both agreed that the roller coaster was the best.  The zipline was a bit disappointing, I'd suggest you just go to Olympic Park if you want a zipline, or skip them and just spend all day on the roller coaster!  The ride up the mountain on the coaster was almost as good as the ride down.  Very relaxing, and time to take some pictures.

One thing I have to say is they make you work for your rides!  Or at least for the slide.  You have to haul your own cart from the chair lift down to the slide start.  The look of shock and disgust on my dad's face below is because I somehow managed to beat him (we were racing on side-by-side tracks).

On Saturday, after the Ogden Farmer's market, mom and I went down to the gardens at Thanksgiving Point.  I'll save those pictures for another post, since there's a lot of them.

I managed to get some stitching done, and even a finish or 2.  With Thy Needle and Thread's Mystery Sampler was my first finish, but I don't have a picture of it.  I was so anxious to get it out of my mom's hot hands (she's been known to abscond with my stitching) that I rushed it over to Jill's for framing.  Yes, I'm incredibly lucky to not only live 2 blocks from Shepherd's Bush, but 3 blocks from Jill Rensel.  I've also been working on the 2008 Loose Feathers bonus patterns from Blackbird Designs.  I have the first 2 (of 5) completed.
I'll be doing each part on its own piece of fabric, then joining them together for framing.  I'm not sure if I'm allowed to count each part as its own finish, or if I have to wait until I have all 5 done.Technically I should probably wait until I have all 5 pieces done before I count the project as a finish, but I like the sense of accomplishment, so I'll have 5 "finishes" with this.

Just to add some more stitching content to this post, I also dusted off my design software and started playing around with it.  Hopefully in the future I'll start adding some "freebie" charts to my posts.

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