Sunday, August 21, 2005

Family Day!

We went to Seattle for the Christiansen "Family Day" picnic. It was at this picnic in the Cascade mountains that Ron & I got engaged a year ago! We start the day with donuts, sustain ourselves with hamburgers and chips, then finish it off with homemade desserts. Fortunately, there is some exercise involved - swimming in the Skykomish river and...the games. The highlight of the day was one of the games (each family brings a game) that involved my dad and two uncles being clothed with black garbage sacks and having their faces coated with Cool Whip. Their respective families took turns throwing Cheetos at them. The person with the most Cheetos stuck to their face when the buzzer dinged, won! My dad and our family won. We were VERY proud of ourselves =). You've got to hand it to this Christiansen family crowd - they know how to have fun!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


The next morning (if you can call 1pm morning) was filled with unpacking, washing clothes, cleaning out our bookshelves and a short run. Falling asleep nine hours after getting up was a little difficult. Now comes the challenge of getting settled back into work, excercise and weaning ourselves off our Twix/KitKat/Licorice diet.

Upcoming highlights will be Phillip & Em moving back to Portland for the new school year, 4 friends' weddings in the next two months and the return of Ron's best friend Aaron from 27 months of service in Bolivia (Peace Corps).

Monday, August 15, 2005

Drive, Drive, Drive

The greatest challenge still lay ahead. The 16 hour drive from Loma Linda to Portland. Ahead of time, we decided we’d rather push ourselves through one long day, then have a day at home to recover before going back to work.

16 hours of fun began a little later than expected at 11am. The late night talking necessitated a little extra sleep. Trina drove through LA and the Grapevine. Ron took over after lunch at IN-N-OUT BURGER (so good!) and drove for the next 11 hours. His driving was punctuated by a 30 min wait at Taco Bell for one burrito. Frustration can be a great asset when trying to stay alert. To everyone’s great surprise, it was Trina who was awake and ready to take the wheel in Eugene at 1:45am! Thank you Diet Dr. Pepper. We pulled in at 3:30am, grateful for the safe conclusion of a fun trip. For the record, Ron & Trina actually talked the entire 16 hour journey.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Desperado & Loma Linda

Next stop, Desperado roller coaster. Fortunately, the legendary roller coaster is on the way to Loma Linda, California where we visited Kristiane (maid of honor in our wedding and star medical student). The roller coaster really was as intense as it was predicted – 3 minutes long and very fast. The 100+ degree heat of Las Vegas was accentuated by the 90 mph speed of the coaster, which hits a high point 16 stories above the ground. Unfortunately, that was the end of speeding. The drive to Loma Linda averaged about 30mph, thanks to Sunday afternoon traffic and a freak hailstorm. It is really bizarre to see hail in 100 degree weather. A warm welcome by Kristiane ended the rough drive. We headed to Aaron, Jessi & Ryan’s apartment for dinner & games. To no one’s great surprise, Kristiane & I then talked late into the night.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

A Dam, Wedding

Saturday morning the Davis' and the Davis' made a trip to Hoover Dam. Rick, Ann, Ron & Trina made the 30 min drive to see the massive concrete structure. Since Ron gets excited about big parking garages, you can imagine his feelings about Hoover Dam! We returned in time to get cleaned up for Joan’s wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony held outdoors and followed by a cocktail hour, then seated dinner & dancing. After a lot of dancing, we did a midnight dip in the outdoor hottub and enjoyed the warm evening. We were so sad at the thought of leaving Sunday morning – we loved the Ranch and time with the family.

PS - I think my title is very clever =).

Friday, August 12, 2005

Viva Las Vegas!

Friday's destination was Las Vegas. We were told it would take us anywhere from four to nine hours to make the 400+ mile trip. Seven hours was our lucky number and we pulled into the Green Valley Ranch & Resort just in time to take a real shower and hop in the Hummer limo that would take us to Joan's rehearsal dinner! The resort was beautiful, and the company was fantastic. It was my (Trina) first time meeting Ron's aunt Joan and we hit it off right away. Dinner was at an Irish pub in the New York New York casino on the strip. Great dinner, fun ride home. A stroll (or powerwalk, depending on definition) down the strip filled the rest of the evening. Sights of Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, New York New York, Paris, Aladdin, Bellagio, Venetian, Mirage filled our night.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


This photo couldn't be resisted - Lisa & Trina trying to catch during the Ultimate Pancake competition at Black Butte. Sun, swimming, stargazing in the meadow, walks & talks filled the rest of our Black Butte week. We left early Thursday morning rejuvenated and spoiled. After eight hours of driving through Oregon and Northern California, we arrived in Reno. We passed through many towns, most notably Susansville, which convinced us we're probably not cut out for smalltown life. Reno was...about what we expected. We stayed at Fitzgerald's (a hotel attached to the Reno arch!) for a mere $32/night. Ron got his first glimpse of his potentially compulsive gambling wife when I won big on the penny slots! (Big being $1.00...but, hey, when you're betting 1 cent, that's a big deal!). After an evening of touring the Reno strip, we arrived back at the room, eager to shower away the daylong drive and smoky casinos. Just as we stepped into the shower, we remembered - all water will be turned off from 11:30 until 4:30 for repairs - it was 11:29pm! I don't think I've ever seen Ron move so quickly.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

What a trip!

Our adventure began on Friday evening, August 5th with a drive to Black Butte. We arrived to our excited, screaming family and quickly settled into eating BBQed hamburgers, S'mores and enjoying the company of 13 of our favorite people. The next morning we all arose and spent the day on two rented boats on Lake Billy Chinook. 95 degrees inspired even my mom to jump in the lake! Sunday morning marked the 20th anniversary of Pancakes from the Sky - a hallowed Black Butte tradition that has involved early morning wakeups by video camera, fully choreographed, costumed dance numbers and my uncle pouring pancake batter off of balconies (usually "accidentally" onto my dad's head). Needless to say, it is a sight to behold. Thus, the 20th year was something to be marked! The morning concluded with commemorative T-shirts for all. See the photo of Ron, Trina, Phillip and Emily (Phillip's fiancee for those who don't know Em yet) for a glimpse.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Black Butte and beyond...

As of this Friday, we are off on a road-tripping adventure. For the record, this is my first official "roadtrip" pointed out multiple times by my kind husband. We're heading to Black Butte to join the Christiansens & Scansens for 5 days. Then, we head to the biggest little city in the world (staying in a hotel adjacent to the Reno arch) on our way to Las Vegas. We'll be in Las Vegas with the Davis' for the wedding of Ron's aunt Joan. From Vegas, we'll stop at the Desperado roller coaster (Photo) to relive the 225 foot drop Ron first experienced on the Davis family roller coaster vacation. Next stop, Kristiane in Loma Linda, California. We'll then make the long trek home from Loma Linda (15 hour drive!) in time for two of our best friends to move back into town. Aaron Gapasin and Andrea Cook. More on them later. For now, here's a photo of Lisa, Jossie & I at Lisa's wedding. We'll all be reunited at Black Butte in just a few days!

Monday, August 01, 2005


Poor Ron has been under the weather for over a week now. It all started with a bug bite during his 18 mile run last Sunday. He had an allergic reaction that caused his throat to swell. Contrary to his sensations, I did not have a noose around his neck. Turns out he has an infection. For those of you who aren't as interested in biology, skip down to the red HI. A peritonsillar abscess to be exact. Apparently the swelling in his lymph nodes caused the area near his tonsils to become infected. The strange part is that this is usually caused by complications from strep or a tonsil infection. He's had neither one. Thank goodness for antibiotics - they'll kill one infection or another!

HI. He's on antibiotics now and we're hoping he'll be well in time for our big trip! To inject some humor into this sickly week, I thought I'd offer an awful photo of the two of us. This was one of the bloopers from our engagement photoshoot.

Yes, that was taken the day after I hurled and Ron hadn't had any coffee! This is really a photo worth clicking on to expand - you gotta see it in all its glory!