Page Arizona… or If Mars Had A Lake

Posted on July 17th, 2014 by Jean
Lake Powell

Lake Powell in Page, Arizona


Can you believe this beautiful blue? And the red sand? How about the white mountains in the background?

Last week, we were fortunate enough to visit Lake Powell in Page, Arizona near the Utah border.

Tom was hired to film two depositions, one in Kingman which is only 45 minutes from our home. The other in Page which was a six hour drive for us. Tom towed the boat behind his truck to the local deposition while the girls and I packed suitcases and coolers for the trip. We waited for Tom’s call that the job was done, and we headed to join him in Kingman. I was glad to leave my car there at the Marriott since it was pouring rain. We transferred ourselves, our luggage and such to Tom’s truck, and began the long drive to Page around 7pm. We arrived at the hotel at 1am. Surprisingly the girls stayed awake the whole time, enjoying what we could see of the scenery and towns along the way, and listening to Tom and I talk. We have a way of making conversations funny, each trying our best to make the other laugh.

Tom requested a wake-up call since my phone couldn’t decide which time zone it liked… Arizona’s or Utah’s. When the phone rang at 7am, Tom answered it then promptly fell back to sleep still clutching the phone. I should have taken a photo. It would have been priceless.

Marriott Pool Page AZ

Marriott Swimming Pool

The girls and I slept in a bit, then headed down to breakfast. It was an unusual arrangement, a cook-it-yourself buffet. Teenagers loitered around the waffle maker blocking access to buffet plates. We were finally able to grab plates and waited our turn to toast our bread. There were a few scrambled eggs in heating trays, and two frying pans pre-heating for your eggs of choice. We scooped up what we could find, sliced watermelons, biscuits, gravy, bacon, cereal and milk, then headed to our table. Tom came in and grabbed a few pieces of bacon from my plate, then left again as his recording job was about to begin.  The girls and I cleaned our plates… not literally… paid our bill, threw a tip on there for good measure, and went back to our room to change for the pool. Almost had the pool to ourselves. The water and air were both warm, and the girls swam for nearly an hour. Tom took a break to join us before returning to the conference room.

It wasn’t long before Tom texted that he was done. While he packed up his video equipment, we got ready for the lake. Just 2 miles from our hotel was Glen Canyon Dam. We crossed the Dam, then pulled into the Visitor’s Center to take a few photos.

Glen Canyon Dam

Glen Canyon Dam

We continued on to the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and the Wahweap Marina boat launch. Tom launched the boat and tied it to the dock while he parked the truck. He thinks he parked in Utah. That was quite the marina!

“Where do you want to go, guys?!”, asked Tom.

“Let’s go see the dam!”, we replied.

It was a short cruise to the dam, and we got as close as we could. We posed for pics. We cannon-balled into the water. We had fun!

“Now what do you want to do?”, asked Tom.

“Let’s visit an island!”, said Pearl.

We were able to drop anchor near our own private island which had a built in, nature-made hot tub. It was glorious!

Lake Powell Glen Canyon Dam

Swimming @ Lake Powell / Glen Canyon Dam


Private island with hot tub

Private Island with hot tub


“Now what do you want to do?”, asked Tom.

“Let’s see if we can get around that white mountain.”, we said.

But passage was not possible as the water was too low. We turned our boat around and headed off to find a beach. The goal, to make a red sand castle.

We anchored near a beautiful sandy beach, the one pictured at the start of this post. We quickly found out we should wear shoes on this beach as there are mean pickers everywhere! But there are also gorgeous rocks and wind-swept sand undisturbed by man, insect or animal.

thorns rocks sand

Thorns, Rocks, Sand


The girls and I explored the area, but the pickers soon forced us to return to the beach. Tom started the sand castle project, and Pearl added the finishing touches.

red sand castle

Red Sand Castle


The waves from a passing tour boat leveled our castle and nearly beached our boat, but we all managed to push it back into the water, climb in, and return to the marina. We drove to the hotel, changed for dinner, and scouted out a pizzaria we had seen earlier. The Canyon King Pizzaria to be exact. Dinner was delicious! We had spicy meatballs, hot wings, pepperoni pizza and lasagna with cold sodas and beer.

We all slept well that evening, then awoke early the next day to visit the Powell Museum before heading home. We saw Navajo artifacts and dinosaur casts.

Lake Powell Museum

Lake Powell Museum


It was fun, educational, and relaxing. Couldn’t have asked for more from a working vacation.

• Have you ever built a red sand castle?

• Do you stick your head (or other body parts) in museum dinosaur exhibits?

• What was your best impromptu summer vacation?

Thanks for reading!

Wedding Highlights

Posted on May 17th, 2014 by Jean

Last weekend we attended our friends’ wedding, and had a wonderful time. Our gift to the newlyweds was a 22″ x 28″ framed poster we created with photos taken for the cover of our magazine. We think the collage turned out great, and we hope they love it. Aren’t they a gorgeous couple?

Wedding Poster

I “Rented the Runway” again with a vibrant Rachel Roy dress to compliment my daughters’ outfits. Tom wore an equally vibrant blue dress shirt with pale khakis.

wedding guest collage

The wedding was held at a local Golf Club, a scenic venue (albeit a “tad” windy).  The bride was escorted down the rose petal-strewn, grassy aisle by her father. The ceremony was brief (“I do.” “Me too.”), and soon we were following the wedding party to the clubhouse.

bride and groom

Mr. and Mrs. wasted no time getting to the dance floor for their first dance.  We all cut the rug before the night was over, and I have to say our 11 year old daughter was a star working her Wii Fit 2 (her admission) dance moves.

I lightened the video since it was so dark in there. Here she dances with our friend, Mike. They are both superstars!

A buffet was presented with fruit, cheese, salad, chicken, potatoes, asparagus and bread rolls. When we returned to our table, the girls had plates of mac & cheese and fried chicken tenders waiting for them. So thoughtful! Everything was delicious.

The wedding couple cut their cake, and fed it tenderly to each other. No cake/face smashing. The white cake had a cherry filling and chewy fondant frosting.

Wedding Cake

The bride tossed her bouquet to a sparse crowd of 5 single ladies, while the groom flung his wife’s garter to a sea of single men and two small children. Not sure how to interpret that. The garter was caught by a classmate of our 11 year old which made the whole room erupt in laughter.

Champagne and sparkling cider were served in flutes, and we all enjoyed the tradition of toasts.

The girls were looking forward to attending this wedding as much as they had looked forward to Knott’s Berry Farm. All the pomp & circumstance were a secret they had yet to experience. I think it was everything they hoped it would be and then some!

Making Memories

What’s your favorite part of a wedding?

Family Fun at Knott’s Berry Farm

Posted on May 3rd, 2014 by Jean

knotts Snoopy and Charlie Brown
We made it to Knott’s and had a wonderful day! The park was practically empty on Monday, which was both good and bad. Good – we could get on any ride. Bad – we couldn’t tell where the lines started!

The Jaguar

Our first ride was The Jaguar, a relatively tame roller coaster. The entrance to this coaster was somewhere inside of this dark Mayan temple. We gave up the first time, taking one of the many exit doors. The kids were frightened just walking through there. After talking with a park employee, we were told to venture to the center of the pyramid to find the coaster. We did and we did! We got on the coaster, and had a wonderful time! So much so that we went on it again.

Mexican Hat Dance

The Mexican Hat Dance was similar to Disney’s Tea Cups, lots of spinning. So much spinning that I refused to ride a 2nd time.

Supreme Scream

Tom needed a little excitement, and went on the Supreme Scream, dropping 252 feet at 50mph. Wow!
Dragon Swing
We had a lot of fun on the Dragon Swing! There was a group of boys opposite us on the far side of the swing who would yell, “Whoooaaaaa!” in deep, manly voices when their boat end was in the air. When it would swing our way, our little girls would yell, “Aahhhhhhh!” in their high-pitched girly voices. It was hilarious, everyone was laughing. At the end of the ride, the boys yelled, “Again! Again!”, and the operator started it up again with out any of us having to debark. Fabulous!
Coast Rider
Time for another kiddie-coaster, the Coast Rider. There are similar rides at Legoland (LEGO® TECHNIC™ Coaster) and California Adventure (Goofy’s Sky School). Good fun! We nicknamed this one “the berry crusher” as it had an unfortunate side-effort on Tom.
Knotts Glider and Scrambler
While Tom tracked down bottled water (and possible an ice pack for his groin), the girls and I went on Surfside Gliders and Pacific Scrambler.
Time to get Tom’s heart racing again with the Boomerang coaster. “This scream machine turns you head-over-heels six times in less than 1 minute! And just when you think it’s safe to breathe, it starts all over again — BACKWARDS!” Okay, sure, there’s that! I do like how there is a nice assortment of kids/family rides and thrill rides.
Johnny Rockets
Is anybody else hungry? It was noon, so we sat down to eat at Johnny Rocket’s. First time for us, and what delicious burgers they have! ::: slurp! ::: It was nice to relax after two hours of non-stop action.
Knotts Sky CabinAfter that big lunch, we needed a low-key ride such as Sky Cabin. We enjoyed the nice leisurely climb into the sky, took a few pics, got a lay of the land, and settled softly back down to earth.
Timber Mountain Log RideFeeling that heatwave? Time to cool off at the Timber Mountain Log Ride. It’s a little dark in there, completely pitch black in parts, a bear growls at you, and you plummet 38′ at the end…. but well worth the cooling splashes on this hot day!
Knotts Shops
Did somebody say, “Shopping”?! Might have been me. LOL. First we posed by these vintage characters on benches (even my Mom has posed with them!) before venturing into the Ghost Town Candy Shop. With a name like Ghost Town, I should have been afraid… of the prices! The candy was about $3.25 per quarter lb, and the two lil’ bags my girls filled cost $26.00. Holy cow! What could I say? “There’s no way I’m paying $26.00 for two tiny bags of candy!” Yes, I could have said that, but I didn’t. The girls, with their own money, bought some stuffed animals and Tom bought them personalized plaques for their room.
knotts parking
As we left the ghost town, we ended up at the front gate! We had been all the way around, but there were still a few hours before closing time. I suggested we return to our truck to get rid of the bags and packages were were carrying before coming back in to ride a thrill coaster.
Ghost Rider. Look at that picture. Need I say more? I was scared senseless. I think we all were! Mega drops on that bumpity wooden coaster! May I add, the next day it was closed for refurbishment. That gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling.
Knotts Sidewinder
Think the Ghost Rider was nuts? Check out the Sidwinder, spinning 360 degrees while on a coaster track! I cannot make this up. My head didn’t know which way was up, and I didn’t opt to ride a 2nd time (although Tom and the girls did).
Crazy Coasters
Two more crazy coasters for Tom to ride: Xcelerator which, yes, it does roll to the outside to complete that loop! And Silver Bullet, a typical “feet dangling” ride. Tom bought the photo of him on the Silver Bullet ride, but we lost it.
The girls rode The Jaguar, The Scrambler and The Glider one more time before we exited the park at 9 minutes ’til closing. What a day!
Mrs Knotts chicken
We stopped at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant and got dinner to go. We dined in our hotel room, and promptly passed out. I vaguely recall hearing the girls say something about wanting to go swimming. Can you imagine? Swimming after 8 hours at an amusement park. I’m getting too old for this.
• Amusement Parks – yeah or nay?