Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A little catching up!

Due to a great discovery (finding a cord for Mike's camera) I can now get back to full, multi-media coverage of our lives. Several exciting events have happened over the last couple of months, which we will explore below!

Decker Reunion at Half Moon Bay, CA

In July, Michael experienced his first Decker Family Reunion (the image above is a classic moment from a previous reunion) when we traveled to California's bay area with the Tyler's (my family). It was an interesting experience for us in many ways. We took the train because neither flying or driving seemed like good options. It was our first time on the train and it was quite an experience! We got to spend a lot of time playing games on the train in the observation car.

That was the best picture I could find to represent that. :) Michael also read an entire book (The Kite Runner) during our trip. It was pretty cute!

The train also had a dining car and we got to eat a few meals there.

Probably what I will remember most about the train is the very unique people you will find riding. On our way back I met a French man who has been traveling around the country filming people from different regions for a road documentary. I listened to him interview a girl traveling from Sacramento to SLC to try out for American Idol. She had a very interesting life story, to say the least. Maybe I will see her on TV!

Unfortunately, another thing I will remember most about the train is the delays. We arrived 6 hours late in San Franciso! We were supposed to arrive at 6, but we didn't get to our hotel until after 1 am.
However, the next morning made it all worth it when we got to meet up with the rest of the family. It was great to see all of my cute cousins after so much time apart. We met for lunch at a lighthouse near my uncle's home in Half Moon Bay.

It was beautiful but much colder than we expected!

After the lighthouse, we traveled further down the road to Santa Cruz to play at the Boardwalk. Much of the time was spent building sand castles, burying people alive, boogey boarding and just wading in the waves.

Some of us were a little too afraid to brave the chill of the water, so we just stayed and relaxed on the beach.

Later in the evening we went to boardwalk for some rides. Unfortunately, the rides cost more than we were led to believe, so we only got to do a couple. Caleb really had his heart set on two rides, so I went with him on the roller coaster, and Mike went with him on the crazy spin-all-over ride, the Fireball! Here Mike is in line to face his doom!

The next day we went to the Redwood Forest. We went for hikes and explored nature. We also ran into the filming of a Ferrari commercial! That definitely added some excitement.
Mike really wanted to see the tallest tree in the forest, and luckily for him he got to fulfill his wish!

However, the true highlight came from a hollow tree made into a tunnel. In the middle of this tunnel, there was a small hole you could peek your head out of.

Some of my little cousins then discovered that they could fit their whole bodies through the hole. Here is a video of my brother Caleb going through the hole to demonstrate its size.

Of course, Mike then decided that he wanted to try. I was a little nervous that he would get stuck, but he was determined to do it.

After Mike went through, it made sense that I should try. I wasn't too sure I could make it due to the rather large size of my hips! However, to my amazement I got through as well.

After that my uncles also wanted to go through the tree hole. My uncle Lee made it through, but all the others who tried didn't quite make it! So, Mike and Lee were basically proven to be the skinniest adult males in the family.
Also at this time, Mike got to get a little more acquainted with some of my cousins. We took a brief hike with some of the younger girls, and my darling teenage cousins Nikole and Chelsey shared their wonderful tales of adolescence with him. Basically, it was a crash course in Decker craziness!

The next day we went to a couple local beaches in Half Moon Bay to see various marine life in the area. These beaches were rockier than the ones in Santa Cruz and fun for different kinds of adventures.

One beach was full of seals coming to spend some time on land. The other had watery passages perfect for exploring.

We spent some time looking for crabs and other creatures on the rocks.

Mike and I walked from the beach to the LDS chapel for our final festivities. Along the way we found a couple interesting sites. One was a yard containing a collection of VW vehicles. Pretty sweet!

Next we saw a home for sale and speculated how much it might cost in such a prime location (right next to these lovely beaches). We figured it would be a lot more than a normal house you would find in Utah, although it was pretty old and not very big. We read the flyer and found that it was selling for nearly a million dollars! Mike mentioned that the bay area is a good location for graphic designers, but we would have to save up quite a bit more money before we could move there!

Once we got to the chapel we had some fun playing games and socializing while other members of the family went to a park to play softball. When they returned we had a fabulous dinner catered by Half Moon Bay's own "taco man." It was delicious and many family members (especially my mom) commented that they had never seen Mike eat so much food.
After dinner we had our traditional family talent show. There were many excellent acts. Our family performed a rendition of "peel, peel, peel the banana" and we were also individually represented by my brothers Caleb and Ben. Caleb sang a tongue-twist song that he learned at camp, and Ben shared a story about his experience running cross country his sophomore year. One of his ambitions is to become a stand-up comedian, and our family now agrees that this is an attainable goal.
My grandparents talent consisted of my grandpa spitting sunflower seeds at us, and then my grandma giving us a kiss with her outrageous lipstick (this is also a tradition). We then took pictures with our grandma kisses.

I am nervous because Mike has a kiss from another woman! (Just/Kidding) This picture with all of the grandchildren shows how much our family has grown (I am the oldest of 29 grandkids!).

Also at this time, I got my first chance to hold the current littlest member of the family, Jordan.

My earlier attempts had been thwarted by her brother Davin, who yelled "she's our baby!" when I tried to pick her up in the Redwood Forest. I asked if I could borrow her just for a little while, but he said, "no!" Here he is with his dad.

Although there were a couple of grumpy moments on our trip,

everyone had a good time overall.

For the final night a group of us got together in the hotel lobby for a few final rounds of "werewolf" (aka Mafia.) We had some good laughs and some good treats. The hotel served breakfast in the morning and they would leave a few things throughout the day (i.e. juice, fruit, cereal, packets of hot chocolate.) One of the cereals ran out and we asked the receptionist if we could get some more from the kitchen. She led us to the door and said, "sure, help yourselves." Oh boy, those were the magic words! It was all you can eat cereal, pastries, and drinks! :) Finally, the time came that we had to say goodnight and even goodbye :( Hopefully we will see them all again soon!
The next morning we arrived in SLC around 6 am. That was just enough time to take a quick nap before heading off to a day of work. It was back to reality for us!

Goodbye, Wymount!

At the beginning of June, Michael and I bid farewell to our first married apartment. Here is a tribute to it's memory, and a brief tour for those who never got a chance to see it. We also took pictures, but I don't feel like adding all of them right now, so hopefully the video works :)