Monday, June 27, 2011

Round 3 at Ocean Shores...

We just returned from our annual camping trip to Ocean Shores. This is the third year in a row that we have gone and we had a fabulous time yet again! This year, we were joined by three families from our ward and it was so much fun to share this favorite place of ours with some of our friends. Plus, Lia loved having a multitude of children to play with and I loved having three of the meals prepared for me! We were also blessed with fabulous sunny weather the entire time (and those of you who are familiar with the WA coast know what a rarity this is). Between campfire time, tent time, beach time, and bike riding time, a good time was had by the Hartland fam. Can't wait for next year!

The Hartland fam hanging around the campfire the first night.

The gang around the campfire after dinner.

Another shot of the troop Friday night.

The children enjoyed exploring "the woods" that separated each of our adjoining campsites. Here is Lia with three of her friends: Lauren, big Rachel, and little Rachel.

Lia became interested in bike riding for the first time ever this weekend after seeing a bunch of her buddies cruising around on theirs. A little peer pressure comes in handy from time to time. Here she is trying out little Rachel's fabulous princess 3-wheeler.

The kids discovered a primitive form of sword fighting near the back of Scott and Wendy's campsite on Saturday morning. Here is Andrew defending his turf with Lia "reffing" in the background.

Lia and Rachel having a go at it!

And it's off to the beach! Ron and Lia riding through the sand dunes on the way to the beach Saturday.

Aren't they so cute?

Escorting Lia to the "lazy river" that runs from the dunes down to the ocean.


More frolicking.

A happy family.

The older kids trying out some kites.

Once Andrew and Brian showed up at the beach a little later, Lia went wild with them! She played in the water hole and the river for quite sometime before getting thoroughly chilled to the bone!

Lia and Brian getting filthy!

More filthiness. But look how happy these two are?

Trying to warm up Lia after an entire rub-down and wardrobe change.

No trip to Ocean Shores is complete without taking the cruiser down for a cruise along the shoreline.

Ron, Lia, and the Pacific.

After lunch and nap, we headed into town with the rest of the families to wander amongst the sandcastles that had just been built that day as part of the "Sand and Sawdust Festival" going on that weekend.

One of my favorites: a dragon sleeping inside a castle.

"The Sand Bar."

Lia loves sleeping in a tent as much as I do. I thought that she looked so cute all bundled up in her corner on Saturday night that we had to take some photos.


We enjoyed Sunday morning to ourselves since all of the other families had to get back for church (yes, we're the slackers in the bunch). Here is Lia taking a spin on her tough-girl trike.

Back down to the beach for some more river time!

Walking down to the coast!

Ron supervising Lia's sand activities.

The Hartland fam and the Pacific.

What a glorious weekend!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

U2: A Decade Later...

It was during my sophomore year of high school that I was first introduced to the boys of U2. It was love at first sound. They quickly earned the the title of "my favorite band" and, twenty years later, they still own it. I was able to see them in April 2001 while they were on their "Elevation" tour. It turned out to be a fabulous evening in the Tacoma Dome. However, I had to wait a total of ten years before I would have the chance of seeing them again back in the motherland.
I had been anticipating the announcement of their upcoming concert ever since their 2010 Seattle date was cancelled due to Bono injuring his back. One day, in December, I was flipping through the channels on the radio while driving to Costco to have our Christmas card pictures developed when, all of a sudden, I heard a DJ nonchalantly mention something about winning tickets to the U2 concert. Whaaaaaaaaaaat?! I couldn't believe my ears! I immediately called my friend Mindy and then dashed home to find the details online. Within a matter of hours, two tickets were bought! And, so, after six months of waiting, the day finally arrived yesterday. And wouldn't you know, after weeks and weeks of rain, we were blessed with a stunning day in the 70s! U2 could not have gotten a more perfect spring day in the Pacific Northwest. The Quest Field was able to open her roof and let the evening sun pour in. Mindy and I had the time of our lives listening to U2 perform their music for a solid 2 hours and 15 minutes. Once again, this band did not disappoint. It has been a long time since I have had an evening like this. I felt young again. I simply just danced and sang to my favorite songs and forgot about all of my worries. It truly was a beautiful day. Thank you, U2, for a glorious evening. May it not be another ten years before I see you again...
 Mindy and I gearing up for the big show.
The view of the stunning Seattle skyline from inside the Quest Field.
My beloved band after first appearing on stage!

An up close of Bono and the boys.
Bono and Adam on the big screen.

Is he not the coolest thing on the planet?

The Edge: the second coolest thing on the planet.

A shot of their impressive stage as the digital screen stretched into hundreds of tiny screens and lowered to the bottom of the stage. You can still see Bono's image on it!
Until we meet again, U2.