Friday, June 28, 2013

Exotic - or not - Adventures

Welcome to this week's Friday Five. If you are new here, Friday Five is nothing more than a short (hahaha) list of five random(ish) things. They might be favorites, thankfuls, pet peeves, or frankly whatever else strikes me on any given Friday.  Because I have been slacking on my blogging endeavors for a few weeks, I've decided today's list will be a little peak into FIVE EXOTIC - or not so exotic - ADVENTURES I've had in the last five weeks. 

1. Fillmore, Utah -  Yes, you read that right. I said Fillmore, center of the Beehive state, middle of almost nowhere, Utah. Perhaps you've driven the I-15 corridor and zoomed by the Fillmore exits (yes, there are 2 of them!) without blinking an eye. I'm going to admit, I'm guilty of doing just that. And, though I have a rich ancestral connection to this little town, up until a few years ago I had no idea of the treasures and adventures that can be found there. The canyons to the east are covered with beautiful scenery, four-wheeling trails, and even some ancient hieroglyphics. In the desert to the west, we discovered the Tabernacle Hill Lava Tubes. (okay, in fairness, "we" didn't discover them, but thanks to someone else's exploratory adventures we got to experience them.)  The lava tubes were like nothing I've ever seen before. Thousands of years ago a volcano erupted and left behind miles and miles of lava fields, craters, and tubes (ie: caves). They are said to be over 10,000 years old and formed while Lake Bonneville was receding.
Looking down into the opening of a lava tube (cave).  Tabernacle Hill, Meadow , Utah. 
My grandma lived in Fillmore in her youth, yet she had never heard of the the Lava Tubes. Likewise, we met an older lady while we were hiking around who, like my grandma, had grown  up in Fillmore and had only learned of the tubes in the last couple of years. According to her, they stretch all the way from the St. George  area and continue much further north of Fillmore (spanning 100 to maybe even 200 miles).

Inside a lava tube. Tabernacle Hill, Meadow, Utah.
Just to the south of the lava tubes, in the middle of a wide open field, are some natural warm springs, also known as the "Hot Pots." We stopped in the quaint little town of Meadow to ask for directions. Here's what we got, "Go through town and when you see the big tree take a right. Go down the dirt road, over the freeway, and when the road ends you are there."...
Meadow, Utah... Who'd have ever thought there'd be natural hot springs in the middle of this field? 
So, we did just that: found "the big tree" (although we doubted that we would be able to differentiate it from the other big trees that line the road!), and followed the dirt road til it ended. 

This is the largest of the Hot Pots.  Meadow, Utah warm springs. 
And then, along with a few locals and a drifter or two, we swam in the Hot Pots. There are a number of springs, each corralled by a wooden fence. The easiest to access is the warmest and smallest one (a local told us it was 103 degrees F). The funnest to swim in, however, is the bigger, slightly less hot (though still quite warm) one.    

2. The Emergency Room - Little did I know that our little rendezvous to the Hot Pots would land me in the ER. It's a family joke that I'm going to meet my demise as the result of a random head injury, but who'd have ever guessed that it might actually be from a stubbed toe... Yes, a stubbed toe! I'm not exactly known for my grace and, as I climbed out of the small hot pot, I stubbed my toe on its rocky, moss covered edge. Guess what? That awesome mineral water that people love to soak in because they believe it is loaded with good vitamins and minerals for their skin... well, it's also loaded with all kinds of nasty bacteria. At first we thought my toe was broken. It swelled up like a balloon and hurt like nobody's business!! I hobbled around on it for a week - even did a 7 mile temple walk to prep for our upcoming Pioneer Trek - and on day 8, I finally conceded to let my hubby take me in to have it looked at.
An x-ray was in order and when it came back negative the doctor sighed with relief. Not that a broken toe is a big deal on its own, but, based on a visual analysis of the wound, he was worried about infection getting into the bone. He took a culture and immediately started me on what would become my first round of antibiotics. The next morning I got a frantic call that they were changing my antibiotics. And, the morning after that, they had me on a nice cocktail of various antibiotics. I had not one, but two different strains of STAPH growing in my toe! Oh, and strep too!  - Three nasty infections, one little, very sore toe. Yeah, me!! Thanks to modern medicine, it appears that I will be able to keep my toe. Good thing, too, cause I kinda like it.

3. Angels Stadium - We took the whole fam to a Los Angeles Angels game at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, California. It was the first Major League Baseball game I've ever experienced in person. Angels vs. NY Yankees.

Yankees had it 6-0 until the bottom of the ninth when it looked like the Angels might just pull off a miracle. They fought hard and closed the game with a 6-5 loss. But, it was still a good time! They had events for the kids (painting, photobooths, sandbottles, games, prizes, etc..), and in the great maturity of my children (whom are mostly teens) I would venture to guess that the highlight for them came everytime Albert Pujols came up to bat. It took me a couple at-bats to realize what their giggles were all about, but, lo and behold, when I tuned into the announcer, I caught on pretty quick... I'd like to say I was too mature to contribute a chuckle or two, but it'd be a lie. With a name like Pujols (pronounced Poo-hole), who can resist? 

4. Themepark Overload - We spent 10 days in Southern California. Five of those days were spent doing the hurry up and wait shuffle at Disneyland, Universal Studios, and Sea World. It's been about 17 years since I was last at Universal. They've made a few changes and added a few rides, but honestly the shows are my favorite part. We hit Disney every couple of years and for me it never gets old. I've been more times than I can count and every time I discover a little something new. Sea World isn't as exciting to me now as it was when I was a kid. My ten year old, however, loved it. Sharks, dolphins, whales... yah, he absorbed every second!

5. Sand, surf, and sunshine - I often dream of owning a beach house. I don't often consider it a reality, however, so I've never really put much thought into what specific beach such a home would need to be on... until now! While waiting for the Disney train one evening, a kind Hawaiian native who found herself transplanted to San Diego, shared with me her favorite beaches. The next day, we drove to the San Diego area to check one out. I fell in love! Moon Light beach is a cute, quiet community. When I grow up, I'm going to own a vacation home there.

We also did some swimming/sun bathing at Seal Beach and Corona Del Mar.

Did I mention we had a little visitor??? - Nothing to get your heart pounding like a giant fin swimming right towards you....
Or three! Who says you have to go to Sea World to swim with the dolphins? We got them for the price of parking.

So, that's it. Five of my most recent adventures. I hope you enjoyed reading about them, but even more so, I hope you have many adventures of your own. 

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