A new year

I'm not sure if anyone checks this space anymore after my unplanned hiatus, but if you are still here, thanks for sticking around! I have a lot of catchup posting to do, including a number of projects I've worked on for my design business, so I hope keep the posts rolling for awhile.

We kicked off 2016 with a fun-filled trip to California to see the Rose Bowl Parade, courtesy of Tom's parents. I thought I would ease into blogging again with a few highlights from our trip. 

After a stop in Bozeman for Christmas, we hit the road and spent our first couple of nights back in Utah, catching up with friends and hitting our favorite old spots. We rode the Front Runner train downtown for a day of shopping and a Jazz game.

How do you like our new Bobcat hats? We found them on clearance while shopping in Utah. Guess their aren't too many Cat fans down there! So we did them a favor and cleaned them out.

These girls have been to a number of Jazz games in their lifetime, but now they were old enough to really appreciate it! They had a great time!

Once we arrived in California we spent a day going to the Bowers Museum and Children's Museum. The girls had fun with the green screen:

We braved the cool temperatures and hit our favorite beach at sunset—Corona Del Mar.  

Next on the agenda was a very fun-filled day at Knott's Berry Farm, complete with Mrs. Knott's Chicken dinner and a few queesy stomach flips on my part. :)  Eva overcame her fears and was a kid-ride expert by the end of the day.

After all that fun we still had one major highlight left! On New Year's Day we bundled up in our warm gear and found our spot in the grandstands for the Rose Bowl Parade. We were glad we were prepared Montanans with hats and gloves because it was quite a chilly morning!

The array of marching bands and flower adorned floats did not disappoint. Claude and Cheri had the opportunity the next day to go see the floats up close, and if I ever have the opportunity to do this again I will make sure that is part of the agenda. The detail on these floats is nothing short of incredible. 

As a side note, we won't forget the appearance of sky writers that flew above us halfway through the parade. It was rather distracting to the point of annoyance, but I must say it was a pretty brilliant piece of marketing. 

In case you've never seen this before or missed the news coverage, it is done by a series of 5 planes that fly in formation and release gases to form letters in a dot pattern. They started out with "America is Great" and we all cheered. The guy behind us remarked "I bet this is Trump's doing". Sure enough, the next word was "Trump" and we all laughed. But then it continued to say "Trump is Disgusting" and followed with a number of phrases slamming Trump that I won't repeat. Definitely not Trump's doing! Someone found an effective way to get their message across, anyway.  Adding to that, the Rose Bowl Parade was followed by a large number of Bernie supporters in their own parade of support. Ah yes, it is indeed an election year. 

Sadly, we started off the next day for the long 2-day drive home. All good things come to an end. Thanks for the wonderful trip, Claude and Cheri!