Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Tyler and I took a trip to Jamaica in November! It was probably the most relaxing vacation I've ever been on. That being said, I would go to Hawaii a million times before going back to Jamaica. It was beautiful, but it is a poor country and you can't go anywhere without people asking you to buy their stuff or their 'ganja'. We couldn't even sit on the beach at our private resort without people rowing up in canoes and pestering us. I felt bad for the people and that took away from the enjoyment of our vacation a bit.

We reserved a rental car because we wanted to explore part of the island while we were there. At the car counter, they told us that a reservation doesn't guarantee you'll get a car. Luckily we got there on the earlier flight because we got the last car. There was a huge stack of reservations still and those people were just simply out of luck! They drive on the left side of the road in Jamaica, so Tyler had an interesting time getting used to that! Tyler exchanged some money for Jamaican dollars, but we later found out that the Jamaicans prefer American dollars. Oops.

We stayed at the Riu all-inclusive resort in Montego Bay. It was decent. It was nice and pretty, but the food was just okay to me. We went out to eat and then relaxed the rest of the day since we had flown overnight.

The next day we drove over to Ocho Rios so we could go to Dunn's River Falls. We did not come very prepared! Tyler grabbed some money and left the rest in the safe at our hotel. We got suckered into buying some carved wooden figures and we barely had enough money to get into the park and buy water shoes (which we didn't realize we'd have to do).We didn't have enough money for lockers to store our stuff in, but one guy was kind enough to let us leave it near the office. We went down to the beach and then had a great time hiking up the falls and immersing ourselves in the water at times. We had an awesome tour guide who filmed us all. Everyone in the group would stand single file and hold hands while we hiked up. It was lots of fun. Unfortunately, we didn't have a waterproof camera so we didn't get any pictures. Because of that we really wanted to buy the overpriced $40 DVD that our guide made, but we were out of money! Fail on our part!

The next day we drove in the opposite direction to Negril, which is supposed to have some of the best beaches in the world. When we arrived in the town, we couldn't find anywhere to park and get to the beach. Eventually a dude on a motorcycle started following us and we stopped to talk to him. After turning down his offer of ganja, he led us to an area where we could pay $10 to park and use his beach. The water was so warm and lovely. We hung out on the beach, walked around, and ate lunch at a restaurant on the beach. Unlucky for us, there was an older couple at the section of beach next to ours who were sunbathing and swimming in the nude! Yikes! We ended up staying longer than we originally planned so we could see the sun start to set. Tyler decided to take a different way back to the resort. Unfortunately we got lost and what was supposed to be about a one hour drive turned into about three hours! The streets are not really marked and we only had a map to follow. Somewhere along the way we took a wrong turn and had no idea how to find our way back! Not only was it dark by this time, but it started pouring rain! The roads were terrible. They were mostly dirt roads with a ton of potholes. We were driving through many villages with people walking around everywhere, and Jamaicans blend in very well with the dark! There are no sidewalks, so we had a few close calls with either people, dogs, or goats. It was rather frightening! After a long while, the trunk of our car kept popping open and a car stopped us to let us know. We asked them how to get to Montego Bay and we were totally going the wrong way. He kindly went way out of his way to let us follow him to the road that would lead us there. Phew!

The next day was Sunday and we went to church before returning our rental car. It was a small branch and besides a few missionaries, we were the only non-locals there. I ended up playing the keyboard since there was no one to accompany the music. Four young men spoke and they did a great job.

We pretty much spent the rest of the trip relaxing at the resort. We drank lots of free pina coladas and strawberry daiquiris, and I read a 600-page book in its entirety. One day we had fun riding a paddle boat around the ocean. It was so nice to relax and get lots of sleep with no worries in the world! Tyler's parents were so great to watch our kids while we were there.

I regret to say that we didn't get a ton of pictures. Here is what we did get:

The guy at the rental car place recommended this restaurant to us. The inside reminded me of an old Village Inn or something similar. The food was pretty gross, especially the ketchup! It is considered a nice restaurant there, though

Hanging out at the beach at night

$1000 big ones!

Enjoying some dessert at our resort

This is the life!

Deep into my book at sunset

Chillin' at Negril


There were these trees in the middle of all the buildings at the resort and they were full of some type of creature (that we couldn't see) that made constant, loud chirping noises

Beautiful pool

The beach again

Another sunset

The main cafeteria

Right outside our resort

Pool again

Volleyball court on the beach

November 2013

Ada and her cousin Ella were the same thing for Halloween

We went to a Jazz game

Tyler participated in Movember

I straightened Lyla's hair for the first time

Silly girl

Look at her pinky


We went to Frozen on Thanksgiving


Friday, August 22, 2014

Utah Museum of Natural History

We took advantage of the free day at the UMNH. This was our second time going; Tyler helped design the lighting for the building so we got to go for free (and eat free food) when they had their grand opening. The girls love this place!

Halloween 2013

More pumpkin carving pics

One pumpkin was so thick they had to bust out the power tools to cut it!

We had a good time at the Squire Halloween party, as usual

Wait, haven't we already seen those costumes? Awkward...


Ada wanted to dress up as Merida. Her hair is already red, so we didn't have to get a wig. I saw a tutorial online on how to get the corkscrew curls using straws.



When I took the straws out the curls were SO tight and didn't look at all how Ada thought they would. She threw a fit and didn't want to go to school. Luckily she bucked up and after time they calmed down a little bit

Kate was Rapunzel. We had fun going to their school Halloween parade

I made a jack-o-lantern pizza for dinner

Ready to trick-or-treat!

Plumb tuckered out little cheetah