Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Second Honeymoon

Since Hannah and I would be spending the summer away from Hyrum, we thought a trip to California would be in order. We also thought it would be great if it were just Hyrum and I, considering that September will add yet another dimension to our lives with the new baby. After this trip we decided that spending a few days together without kids when we're expecting a new one isn't a bad idea at all.

We spent the first night in Monterey at a neat place called Asilomar. It was just a quiet place right on the beach. It was cold and foggy that night so walking on the beach held no appeal however the next morning we did enjoy a little walk after breakfast.

The next day we spent at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. That was really neat. They have a wonderful jellyfish exhibit. And of course a lot of fish. We even got to touch starfish and other sea creatures. When we left the aquarium we had about an hour of sun and then the fog rolled back in. We drove down to Carmel by way of the 17-Mile Drive.

In Carmel we saw an old Spanish mission, Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo. It was an interesting experience. We ate lunch then headed up the coast to Half Moon Bay. The drive was filled with fog but we did stop for a moment to see a lighthouse at Pigeon Point. The lighthouse is in disrepair so we couldn't go in it but we did take some neat pictures.

We moved north up the coast and pulled into Half Moon Bay at about 3:00 that afternoon. It is a pretty sleepy town from what we could see. We stayed at a quaint little bed and breakfast called the Mill Rose Inn. We highly recommend it if your looking for a quiet and romantic place to spend a night. The next morning we enjoyed a gourmet breakfast and then we were off.

We decided to spend Saturday in San Fransisco. We began our tour of the city with what else but the majestic Golden Gate Bridge. It was a bit chilly and windy as we walked out onto the bridge. Hyrum was sure to stay between me and the edge of the bridge. It was quite the sight. Heather and Hyrum at the Golden Gate BridgeThen we went down below the bridge to tour Fort Point, a National Historic Site. From there we made our way through the street of San Fransisco to park just a couple blocks from Ghirardelli Square. We enjoyed lunch at a diner there and then decided to walk down to Fisherman's Wharf. We didn't find anything too interesting there, unless you are going to eat fish, and we weren't. We made our way up to Coit Tower. It really was up too. We stopped a lot to give me a chance to breath. From there we made our way down to China Town.

China Town was quite an experience for me. It was a long street that was filled with vendors of Chinese paraphernalia. There were some fine jewelry stores, restaurants, and shops selling spices, but mostly it was clothing and cheap toys. It was amazing how many people were there. It was great. Thanks, Hyrum, for humoring me.

Next we walked to the Cable Car Museum. Hyrum really enjoyed this. We got to see the actual cables that pull the cable cars through the city. It is amazing to think that these four cables pull the working cable cars up and down the streets of San Fransisco especially considering that they are extremely hilly streets. Then we caught a ride back down to Ghirardelli Square on a cable car. Going down the hill was crazy especially since Hyrum and I were hanging on the outside of the car. At one point of our ride the car stopped at the top of the famous Lombard Street, the curviest street in the world. Apparently there were some people skateboarding down it. Insanity at its best.

After four hours of walking through the city we were bushed. Hyrum wanted to check out Muir Woods National Park , which isn't too far north of San Fransisco so we drove out there and after we couldn't find a parking space close to the Visitors Center we decided that our aching feet would be alright if we just turned around. On the way back to the city we stopped at 7-Eleven for some needed refreshment. The slurpies made the trip worth it.

With our tour of the city nearing its close, we had one more sight to see on our way to Hyrum's Apartment in Palo Alto. You may have guessed it, Lombard Street, the curviest road in the world, (for a block at least) was waiting to be driven. We drove from the Golden Gate Bridge to about four blocks west of the famous street at 5:00 pm with no problem, then we came to a stand still. It took us about half an hour to get up to Lombard Street. This apparently was something to see. One of the best parts of this wait though was the grade. The cars parked along the streets have to park perpendicular to the sidewalk otherwise they will roll down the hill. We were really glad we weren't driving our manual. I definitely don't recommend driving a manual in San Fransisco. We finally got to the top of Lombard Street and then carefully made our way down it's curves. It was fun and really quite pretty with the view over the city and the landscaping they've done along the road.

We then made the drive to Palo Alto and got ourselves a quick bite to eat than settled down for the evening. Sunday brought church and an opportunity to hang out with old friends. Bruce, who graciously left us the apartment for the weekend, and our friend Samantha joined us for dinner and a couple hours of looking at pictures of our family. We love to show off Hannah and her antics and Bruce and Sam were good enough to let us. We took a drive around Palo Alto including the Old Honda road which Hyrum informs me he rides up on occasion to give himself a good workout. Just as long as he doesn't try to ride down it, I'm ok.

Monday, we enjoyed breakfast at a diner in Palo Alto and walked down Main Street, of course none of the shops were opened but it was neat. It was like a small town you'd see on TV except the shops were selling Persian rugs, high end beauty supplies and there were all sorts of eclectic eateries. It was fun. Then Hyrum showed me his office and the VMWare campus. I know it's strange but a small part of me is a little jealous. I use to dream of working in such an environment, but I do love being at home with Hannah and taking care of our little family and home.

All in all it was a great trip. It was nice to have a little pampering and some good quality time together. It also gave us a chance to realize how much we missed Hannah. She is really a great part of our lives. It was a great experience and really helped me feel better about maybe living there someday if that's where Hyrum's work takes us.

My Side of the Story

The title of this blog is H Squared and I realized I have a long way to go to make sure that title is true. Hyrum has done a wonderful job of chronicling our adventure but without him here for the summer I thought I probably ought to add a few words from Austin.

Hannah and I spent the first six weeks of our family separation at Hyrum's parent's house in Allen. We broke it up a bit for a trip to Provo and my weekend in California--more on that later. My youngest brother entered the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo, Utah so my mom invited Hannah and I out to see him off. He's headed to Denver Colorado to serve a two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He'll spend about 9 weeks in the MTC learning Spanish. All my sibling were with us except my second brother who is in Mexico serving a mission. It was fun to hang out with my family and see them. They're a little further away than Hyrum's parents so we don't get to see them nearly as often. We spent time with Nathan and Emily and of course Adam. We spent one day in Salt Lake with my Aunt Julye and her family. The Saturday we were there the adults went to the temple and enjoyed an endowment session. It was pretty special to be there with my parents and siblings.

While in Allen, Hannah had a great time playing with all of Grandma and Grandpa Wright's toys. Here is Hannah with one of her favorites, the Tent.

We spent a lot of time swimming and I spent a lot of time sewing. Since Hyrum and I got married I told him I would make him a Texas Flag quilt. Well I had been working on it and shortly before we left for Utah I realized that I could have it done before I went to California and give it to him for Father's Day. I spent every moment I could working on it. We spent Memorial Day weekend with the family and Nate, Margaret, and Josh joined us. It was great to see them. Mostly we just hung out. I helped with what Mom would let me, which generally meant washing dishes and making dinner once a week.

It was great to have family around and a little break from Hannah. She and Rachel are best buds. Hannah had a great time bonding with her cousins, Samantha and Josh, since she saw both of them over the course of the six weeks.

Then Father's Day weekend, I flew to "sunny" California, only to find out that that means southern California to spent the weekend with Hyrum. Hannah hung out with Grandma and Grandpa Wright. Hyrum loved his quilt. We spent another week with the Wrights and then it was homebound while they had their vacations. We went to Allen again for a week July 12-18. We had to come home because Hyrum joined us in Austin, for which we were so happy. While he was coming home for school work we had a great time seeing him. It was so fun to hear Hannah's giggles while her dad played with her on the floor. I'm not so good at that right now. Monday afternoon we spent some time at the pool. It was nice to share that with Hyrum.

Tuesday we put Hyrum on a plane to Portland to present a paper at OSCON. We loved having him home and look forward to this weekend when we get to see him again, even if it is brief. Then we'll have just four more weeks without him. At this point we're counting the weeks for so many reasons. About 7 weeks until the new baby is due and four until Hyrum is home for good. The summer has gone by fast and we're glad for that.

There have been some hard moments but we sure have learned a lot. I've figured out I can do this but that I'm really glad I have Hyrum to help me. We're also really glad that we have family around to help out too. We're grateful for good friends and neighbors that have helped get Hannah and I out of the house even though the weather is miserable. One of the best things is that Hannah and I get to enjoy some good time together before little brother arrives. There are blessings in trials, that's for sure.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Welcome to our world!

Friends and family,

I am going to give this a go. I was reading in the Ensign the other day and realized that this was something I could do help educate people on our faith. That isn't only reason I'm doing this and I promise it won't be all churchy stuff but seeing as that is a huge part of our lives there may be a little. I figure this is also a good opportunity to practice my writing skills. One of my many dreams is to publish a novel. Considering that the closest I am to that is three chapters into one manuscript it may be a while. So in the mean time I will thrill you all with the stories of my life and family. Ocassionally if I get brave I may even through some really writing out there for you to comment on and help me out with. If you want to learn more about Hyrum's musings you can check out his blog at hyrumwright.org