You'd think by this point Rosie and I would be burnt out from so much intergalactic travel. And really, we would have been. If we had landed anywhere but here:
With amazing all-star auntie Katie!
It was absolutely nourishing to spend a couple of days with her. And it wasn't just the astounding home-slaughtered buffalo we managed to have for every meal. (Katie documented this meal better than I did. Here is Her Take.)
Or home made blueberry ice cream...Or the 2 ton bulls we faced down. (hehe, our gentle afternoon walk turned into an arduous adventure, including tresspassing, enormous testicl---- um, tests of endurance, wading through grass up to our armpits, climbing over electric fence, passing a baby over barbed wire and crawling on our bellies under the same.)
It was just wonderful to have some sisterly time to reminisce and reconnect and cry and bond. Oh yeah, and we got to sing "animals on the bus" for HOURS at a time while driving Rosie around. Katie is huh-larious. Each verse was a full-body, top-decibel enactment of the true nature of each creature. Cheetahs, (CHEEEEAAAAAW!!!!), Monkeys, (heeeheeeeeheee HEEEEEEEEE, HEEEEEEEEEE, HEEEEEEEEEE!!!), octopuses (squelch, squelch). And this is while she is driving! I thought I was going to pee my pants and then die in a ball of canyon fire. It was great. And seriously, it went on for hours. Haaaaah, so fun.
Rosie loved their downstairs neighbors, too.
One afternoon we met the brilliant and beautiful and warm and insightful and level and magical KJ in Salt Lake for lunch at the groovy and idealistic and oddly snooty One World Cafe, where you decide how much you're willing to pay, but everybody eats. She showed Rosie how to take pictures...
See that camera? Kj is an arTISTE. I heart her so. Here are some delectable photos she took of RJ and our adventures together.
After lunch we couldn't find the zoo so instead we lolled around at a lovely park in the avenues, and KJ taught RJ how to kiss trees.
I can't adequately explain how happy it made me to hang out with these girls, and then go back up to Kate's place and have a SPECtacular dinner together, with fancy muddled mocktails. Andi drove up from Orem for the occasion, and it was wonderful to connect with her and witness the alchemy she works with her GINOURMOUS wild-yeast bread. (Hey, I'm talking about Utah, I can say "Ginourmous" and "Oh My HECK????" and " 'preciate" all I want. :)
Rosie was star-struck with all these exciting, engaging, creative and beautiful Aunties. It really was a love-glut. I feel sorry for her, now she's stuck with just me all day!
But all good things must end, so I headed south to Orem so Kate could study for the LSAT. On the way down I got to stop in with my mission companion Ruth and meet her delicious children, Hugo and Ruby. LOOK at these kids!! Those ruddy cheeks! Thanks Ruth-- it was great to see you and your babes. You are a kind good friend.
Rosie has an auntie and an uncle who are just about sibling-size. They are a very cute team
Here's their beautiful new kitchen (looks like a high-end magazine but was all magicked together from the scratch and dent piles) with a typical Pa and Andi "whatever's in the fridge can be delicious" meal.
All that sibling-like love was sometimes a teensy bit overwhelming. :)
Andi got out her fancy photo stuff and clicked some shots of Rosie in hyperspeed and poofy pink.
To see the amazing products of this photoshoot, go here!
Zina was not too happy with the attention drain. :)
So our stay in Utah was very healing-- a good lilipad to rest on for a second and regroup before heading home to Hawaii. I love those mountains-- that crisp air and big sky, the Utah Summer smell of grass and weeds and heat... It's a lulling place to be. We always scoff and say we'd never live there, but when I go in summer and it's just so beautiful and so many people I love are there.... and it's easy and cheap (again, I went shopping with Kate and choked and spluttered my way through all the isles) it sure seems like a dreamy place to be.
But oh well. We'll just have to suffer away, biking to the beach and sipping frozen drinks under our palm tree and watching the surfers, and dream of picnics on the back porch and hot hikes up through the aspens, and cold glacial lakes.