Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Memorial Weekend... Day 2...Arizona/Utah Heffelfinger Adventure Cont.

Welcome to day 2 of our Memorial Weekend. Yesterday we left off on the drive to Utah with those wicked awesome socks that I was wearing...jealousy struck you hard when you saw those, I know. 

So here we go:

As we are leaving Arizona and crossing over the Utah boarder, we ran into this beauty...Lotto, Guns, Ammo, and Beer..sounds like a scary combination...but hey, whatever makes you smile huh??

NOTE: In Utah you can only buy liquor, i.e. anything other than beer, in a liquor store, which are hard to come by...not that we needed to find one, but that's why the border towns carry so much. Also, all alcoholic beverages in Utah must have a lower percentage of alcohol in even when you do buy your liquor, the same bottle of whatever it is purchased in Arizona will have a higher alcohol content....Now you know!
And here we are! Welcome to Utah folks! If you want to find us on the map, this is highway 89 driving out of Kanab, Utah.
 Pretty. Can't complain about a drive like this!

Ok, bad blogger that I am, missed taking pictures of an entire town that we stopped in...sorry.... but here is Sam enjoying a vanilla shake from a drive-thru diner in Panguitch, Utah. Cool town! Tiny, but incredibly full of character. We walked down Main St. where it seemed they were having a town-wide garage sale. We picked up two beautiful blue mason jars that will be used at the wedding. Such kind people, full of American pride on this Memorial Weekend! If you ever get the chance, drive through this sleepy little town, grab a shake, and go antiquing!

From Panguitch, we continued driving up highway 89, then took off to the East on highway 62, towards the 24, then the it? At least,  I think it went something like that....Sam will be the first to admit that I'm not the best co-pilot...but anyway, final destination for day 2 was Fishlake. This is one of Sam's favorite family vacationing spots. The following pictures were mostly taken from the car because 

it. was. freezing.

Like 40 degrees in the afternoon and below freezing that night.

It was like an ocean out on Fishlake! Look at those whitecaps! Brrr....
This might be an exaggerated picture of the dark clouds that surrounded us that night due to my poor photography skills, but this picture does depict an excellent example of how I personally felt about the weather.
 Snow!? At the end of May.....not a fan.
View from the campsite the next morning - pretty rays of sun shining on the valley floor.
 The view of Fishlake from the road that we camped off of the next morning.

Fishlake, obviously a beautiful spot, I wish we could have spent more time fishing, letting Kona swim, and enjoying the beauty, but coldness doesn't make me happy, especially not in the early stages of summer, so we made our way down the mountain into Dixie National Forest, stopping along the way in an sheltered area to whip up some pancakes. 

Another side note: We set up the back seat of Sam's truck with blankets for Kona to sleep on - she gets half the back seat all to her self - the other side gets piled up with our bags, clothes, jackets, etc - things we'd rather not have dog fur all over... but where does Kona choose to sleep???? Right on top of all our stuff....of course.
 Kitchen camp box makes some delish pancakes.
As you can see by my happy face - I'm always a happier camper after breakfast.

Alright, I technically shouldn't have posted the pictures of breakfast - that's the beginning of day 3. But please enjoy our drive into Utah, our freezing adventures at Fishlake, our travel conditions, and our pancakes. 

Tomorrow our pictures will take us to some pretty neat places - much warmer places too. So stay tuned.

Happy Wednesday! 

And the last side note --- remember the surprise I mentioned a while back about something periwinkle???? Cross your fingers for some good news about that surprise in the coming 1-2 weeks!!! Yipee!


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

An Arizona/Utah Memorial weekend Heffelfinger Adventure style...Day 1

Happy Monday/Tuesday folks! (Hopefully you had Monday off of your day job like we did) The beauty of having Monday off of work, besides enjoying a glorious 3 day weekend, is that it's now only a 4 day week! WooHoo!

Sam and I might have cheated the system a little bit by taking Friday off of work as well...Hey, we're young, in love, and we don't have any babies only have a cute pooch to take care of. Plus, we're super blessed to live in such an awesome area, the things we saw in a 4 day period, so close to home, truly phenomenal.

So we took off out of Flagstaff Thursday night with some Panda Express, our camping gear, and Kona, and drove all the way to the gate of Grand Canyon National Park. Unfortunately we got there too late to go inside that night, so we found a little campsite for the evening and when we woke up our adventures began!

Enjoy the pictures, there's a lot of them...702 to be exact, though we won't bore you to death with all of those....just the ones that my hair looks good in :)

Ok...that's a joke too. Please excuse our unshoweredness.... we we're camping :)

Above was morning #1. Every morning of our lives includes fetch with fetching = bad day. Then a little coffee in the JetBoil. (You'll be seeing a lot of the JetBoil - if you are an avid camper, YOU NEED THIS. It boils water in .025 seconds....yes that's an exaggeration, but it's really fast, and you can hold it in your hands.) Also please note the wooden box to the right of the truck. That, my friends, is our camping lifesaver. Sam designed and built a camp kitchen box - more pics to come - but holy cow, I won't go camping without it. 

And here folks, is why you marry a man that carries an Whatever. Ok, it was a little tree, but we did our good deed for the day, and spent 10 min chopping and moving the tree out of the road. What a stud! He looks good with an ax...axe. 

That road led us to this hill top - known as the BallPark by the Forest Service men and women - it's a field that sits atop of a cliff overlooking the beginning of the Grand Canyon. In the middle picture, the one with all 3 of us, you can faintly see a crack in the ground to the right of us, and that, is no small hole - that's the Colorado River.

Oh, the things that you see once you make it into the Park. Deer, desert rose, and Sam...and binoculars attached to his face. He really likes to look far away. So this picture really does him justice.

 And finally the moments you have all been waiting for: the actual Grand Canyon as viewed from the North Rim. If you decide to vacation at the Grand Canyon, please, skip the tourist attractions and only go to the North Rim. the views are 100X better, and there are no tour buses full of people. There is also a hotel, and cabins, and a wonderful restaurant that served awesome french toast.

FYI: this picture of the Canyon looks hazy...almost smoky....but that's not smog, or's dust - it was WINDY as POO the entire weekend - which caused the sky to look hazy and yucky, not the typical clear blue that it is. 

So, here's a funny story. We spent the afternoon going to point to point, looking out over the Canyon. It was beginning to get cooler, and the evening was coming so we decided to drive outside of the National Park boundaries to camp. On our way to our destination, Sam SLAMMED on the brakes and proceeded to burst my eardrums by YELLING "BADGER!" and pointing out the window. So we jumped out of the car and chased the little devil until we cornered him in this log, where he looked at us like, neener neener neener, you can't get me! hah!! (Note: it's not recommended to chase badgers, but when you want to take a picture of something that runs away from you, it's second nature to chase it.) But in the end, we got this sweet picture.

 Ahh, the famed kitchen camp box!!

And the products of said kitchen camp box.

Camp for the night. Check out the party lights! These are solar light bulbs that Sam picked up at the Overland Expo that I talked about in the last few posts.  

And our favorite game - SkipBo! Don't know what it is?? Go to WalMart and get it, you won't be sorry. Horribly addicting. (Right, Mom?)

On the road again! Heading into Utah. Don't diss the socks - it was cold, and I had shorts on. 

Stay tuned for more pics tomorrow. I don't want to drown you all in pictures! Hope you enjoyed! 

And Happy Memorial Day - God bless our troops and everyone that has or is serving for our country.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Our busy weekend

Our weekend started Thursday night. (Love it when that happens!) Ok, it started then for Sam, but not for me :(

Sam has partnered with his best friend, Jimmy, with his company Flatline Maps. And on top of making maps, they are also dealers for a company called Canyon Coolers. (These are fancy-schmancy ice chests that can keep your beer cold for 7-14 days without buying more ice)So anyway, Sam took this business of theirs to the Overland Expo this weekend, setting up Thursday night, and camping there Friday - Sunday.

We saw the COOLEST camping gear here...I mean, beyond camping this was Glamping! (Glamourous Camping!)I'm talking RV's that could get you to the backwoods of Africa, out in the boonies of Russia, down the entire length of South America. These things were made and designed by people whose lives revolve around traveling across the globe. We met people from Canada, Mexico, Russia, all over Europe, Australia, New Zealand...all with this incredible zest for life and a desire to see the world. Truly incredible people. 

And not only were these people traveling continent to continent in RV's, but they were doing it on motorcycles too! Packing their lives into only what could fit onto paniers. Sleeping in tents, and cooking under the stars every night for months on end while seeing remote beaches, mountain ranges, and deserts, that most of us only see on National Geographic. 

Talk about inspiring. You hear about people doing these kinds of trips by reading about them in magazines, or watching a special on TV. But we met them! And they were real, and incredibly alive. And so grateful for all that God has put on this Earth for us to see. 

Unfortunately I was not a good blogger and did not take near as many photos as I should have, but here's what I did take. 

The boys, Chad and Sam, running the Flatline Maps/Canyon Coolers booth.

How cute is this!? He rides in the side car all the time, and wears his safety goggles with no complaints!

A sweet bike that's been around the world.
Kona and Sam....see the giant RV in the back? That thing will take you anywhere you want to go. Awesome.

 Sam was also a super help to my Dad by bringing some of Dad's MotoGizmo products to show to the motorcycle riders. They were a hit!!! We even met a guy that wants to do a radio interview with Dad about his products and inspiration. Dad and I were so bummed that he couldn't make it out here to run his own booth. Next year - he's going to dominate!

@Leah Powell - pretty dresses! Gorg.

 And for some wedding updates. Here's some of my inspiration for the bridesmaids dresses. I don't want to give away what they actually look like, but Ashley, Bethany and I had an excellent Sunday at the Scottsdale Fashion Square shopping for the perfect dresses. And we had success too! We really missed Steffi and Emily, but we'll see them soon!

Happy Monday to everyone! Hope it's a good week. Sam and I are looking forward to a 3 day weekend, we're traveling up to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to see this:

Toroweap Photo 

I know. You're jealous. Move to AZ and come join in on some Heffelfinger Adventures with us! 

Become a follower! Join this site  or add your email to the bottom of the page to become our BFF. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Places to stay and visit in Paso Robles/Creston

Reality is sinking in. There are 87 more wonderful days to enjoy of our engagement until we move into the newlywed period. 

Wedding planning has proven to be one of the most fun and creative things I've ever poured my heart into. There have only been a few bumps along the way, but hey, it's my first and only wedding and I'm not perfect (despite what you all may think)

To aid you all in having a wonderful wedding weekend in the Paso Robles area, Sam and I have compiled a list of hotels and activities in the area:

PS - we want to thank all of you in advance if you are traveling from out of state or from a far away place to come enjoy this special day with us. Even if you can't make it, everyone who reads this holds a special place in our hearts and we are so grateful to call you a friend or family.

Ok, first things first, if you're traveling from out of town, you'll probably want a place with a comfy bed to rest your head for the night. Here is a list of hotels that have availability for the weekend of  August 11th. There are other places to stay other than this list, but these are the one's that I've called and checked with.

  1. Holiday Inn Express - 805.238.6500
Hotel Near San Luis Obispo Location

 2. Courtyard Marriot - 805.239.9700


 3. La Quinta Inn and Suites - 805.239.3004

La Quinta Inns and La Quinta Inn & Suites

 4. Hampton Inn and Suites - 805.226.9988
 Hampton Inn & Suites Paso Robles Hotel, CA - Two Queen Beds

 5. Best Western Plus Black Oak - 805.238.4740

Full Service Hotel in Paso Robles Near San Luis Obispo

Most of us these days are pretty computer savvy - so check , , or any other site that searches for the best deal around. 

Here's a crappy map - but you can see approximately how close everything is - Creston (the location of the wedding) is about where the 229 is marked - towards the right side of the map. It's about 45 - 60 minutes to the coast, but staying in Templeton or Atascadero will be about 15 - 20 minutes from Creston (the same as Paso Robles) and about 10 - 15 minutes from Paso Robles.... I hope that makes me if you need help finding a place. 

Ok, here comes the fun stuff - some of you have mentioned making this a fun family vacation, so Sam and I have also compiled a list of all our favorite things to do while on the Central Coast. 

1. Wine Tasting - duh. The wedding party is going wine tasting on Friday, August 10 at 1:00pm. Anyone is welcome to join us, I even have a driver service that we can hire to drive your car around - WAY FUN! Totally recommend this. Or, hop on one of the many wine tasting tours - just Google "wine tasting tours Paso Robles". Done.

2. BEACHES! If you read the Central Coast news, you'll probably have heard about the kayaker that was just attacked by the great white shark....not to worry, this only happens if you smell really good... kidding. But there are tons of awesome beaches to hit up - San Simeon, Pismo, Avila, Cayucas, Morro Bay....a quick Google search will show you how to get there. 

     San Simeon - Family favorite - a great spot to stop if you are going to hit up Hearst Castle (which you should definitely do if you are new to the area) 

     Pismo - great place to rent horses, or ATV's and ride along the dunes.Can be crowded - but good people watching ;)

      Avila - one of my favorites, it's got that Southern California feel, but most of the time, it's not near as crowded as Pismo.This is where I had my Junior Prom - little bit of history for ya!

     Cayucas - A sweet little central coast town, sleepy and awesome. Good tide pools on the north end, good fresh salt water taffy at the candy store - rent wet suits, because the water is FaRidged. (That's freaking fridged) and boogie boards, and have an awesome afternoon.  

     And lastly, Morro Bay - another family favorite - go to Tognazzini's for some wicked good fish tacos (dog friendly dockside eating). Rent kayaks and paddle through the bay - a must see, I think. 

 3. Downtown Paso Robles - wine bar hope downtown, shop, or relax in the Park. It's an awesome city, and the downtown is really the heart of it.

4. Lake Nacimiento - another family favorite, we've spent soooo many days on this lake, it's fantastic. Fish from the shore, or bring your boat and go wake boarding, fun times! And only about 30 minutes from Paso Robles.

Ok, that's a lot of info for one post. But most important thing - get a hotel room ASAP - Paso Robles is a destination city for lots of folks in the summer time, so rooms will go fast. And again, feel free to contact me,or Sam, or our parents anytime. Cause again, we LOVE YOU ALL and want you to come and have a great weekend with us!

Don't forget to become a follower of this blog - it will help you stay instantly updated with changes in the game plan for the wedding day weekend, and makes us feel cool to know that you're following us :) Enter your email at the bottom of the page, or click JOIN THIS SITE at the top right. Easy Peasy.