July in New Orleans


July is never anyone's preferred time to visit Louisiana and Mississippi, but that is when we seem to go. One of the few negative to the teacher travel calendar. But despite the heat we love to go spend time with Nathan's family. This year our highlights included: Pokemon Go in City Park, our first swamp tour (such beauty!), and a stand up paddle board for Sylvie's birthday and some super fun swimming in Margaret's back pond in Mississippi. Oh, and of course way too many dogs.  

More good things about summer


Time to finally (attempt to) learn Spanish. I feel like it's going pretty well although it still feels like Spanish words will never naturally congregate when open my mouth.
My morning routine taking the dogs to Walnut Creek. I am not feeling much like a runner these days, but moving outside is something I'll always love.
Finding again Monday night bluegrass. Worth the drive down south to Radio Coffee and Beer. Love this city.
My new bike! I've been trying to use July as a time to focus on feeling healthy again and biking daily to yoga and the Y has been a big part of it. So fun!


The crown jewel of our summer was a week spent in Glacier National Park. I had originally planned on bringing the girls, but as plans started to solidify and I probed their interest level more and found begrudging tolerance rather than outright enthusiasm so Nathan and I opted to go alone. I am never sure if I am missing out on making family memories by traveling more without them, but at least in the short term, I am quite sure I am missing out on endless small scale squabbles and truncated excursions due to stamina shortfalls. Who knows if the trade off is a good one? Anyway, Nathan and I had a small cabin just outside of Polebridge and made that our home base for a great week exploring the park. A few days were rainy, a few days were lazy, and many days were unscripted and lovely. It was a quiet and relaxing trip in arguably some of the most beautiful land in this nation full of beautiful lands. No way could I capture it all in words or pictures. Here are a few of my favorite pictures to spark my future memories.


After L.A., we flew to SLC to drop the girls off to see their grandpa and enjoy a few days in my Wasatch mountains before Nathan and I headed out for our last leg of our trip in Glacier National Park. We only had a few days for me to dissuade Nathan of his wrongheaded idea that I grew up in the country so I was strategic with our activities. The mountains were first priority, followed closely by opportunities to seek out fry sauce and shakes. A few surprising things happened during our stay. First, I was uncharacteristically nostalgic and reached out to some old friends to reconnect. I am usually not interested in revisiting the person I was in high school but it was really nice to see friends and talk about our idiotic youth. Also, it felt comfortingly familiar to drive around Salt Lake, something I haven't done in many, many years. The roomy expanse of perfectly square and numbered streets with those familiar mountains marking the East felt so much like home. It is the exact opposite of driving in New Orleans - something I fear I will never be comfortable doing.

We spent Monday afternoon at Red Butte Gardens, one of my favorite spots in all of SLC, with dinner with friends on Ogden's revitalized 25th Street. I was too daft to take a pic with friends, but I did stop by my childhood home and got a grainy shot there. Hasn't changed hardly at all.

Tuesday we hiked in the breathtaking Millcreek Canyon and had dinner with another old friend near the U. Man, I love these mountains.

Wednesday we hiked a ways up the back of Timpanogos, one of the most beautiful places on God's green earth. Our morning start was too slow to have enough time to make it all the way up, but we made it to the snow fields and considered that good enough.

Los Angeles 2016


My brother and his love Katelyn got married in Thousand Oaks on June 18th. We decided to extend out trip by a few days and make a little family vacation out of it. I had intended on more hiking and ended up with more lazing around, but I suppose in this case the trip took the shape it needed to. We stayed in Topanga Canyon, in a quirky "art cabin" I found on Airbnb. The location, although about a half an hour away from the wedding festivities, was perfection.

We flew in Tuesday night and went immediately out for a delicious Malaysian meal as well as an opportunity to catch up with one of Nathan's college friends. It was late enough that that was it for Tuesday other than a quick contraband toe in the night ocean by Nathan and Tessa.

Wednesday we went to Santa Monica beach and it was a delightful day. My favorite was our ride on the Ferris wheel, but the tiny but well curated aquarium was great too. The weather held in the mid 70s which was more than I could have asked for, but no way was I getting in that cold water.

Thursday we hung tight in Topanga. Meandering around the hills but mostly just reading in bed. We had dinner with Katelyn's family and then that evening my sister Anna and her beautiful babe came to stay with us and we stayed up late into the night chatting.

Friday was spent on wedding prep all day. The wedding was in Katelyn's parent's back yard - a gorgeous and intimate venue. It was fun helping out and I was amazed at how calm Katelyn and her parents were.

Saturday was the big day of course. The ceremony of the wedding as well as the preparations and location were beautiful.

Sunday was our last day in California and we spend it at the Getty Museum, one of my favorite places ever. The heat finally showed up to L.A. and that made the day a little heavier, but still great. We got some more time to hang out with family and also got to meet up with another old friend of Nathan's for some art and dinner.