Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas Everyone! Today was an exciting news. Lots of things to share with the family and lots of exciting things going on around here. First of all, Alison and I are having a baby. She is due on the 25th of July. She will be 10 weeks tomorrow. We are very excited. We shared the news with our families - which I will tell about later. Below are photos of an ultrasound that Alison had last week.

Ultrasound at 9 weeks and 2 days

Ultrasound at 9 weeks and 2 days (2)

What good news for Christmas right?

Our Christmas and Christmas Eve celebrations went very well. We were home most of the morning on Christmas Eve making jello and funeral potatoes that we had to take to our families houses for dinner. Before we went to our parties we went to visit Grandma Lisonbee at St. Mark's Hospital. She is having some breathing difficulties which they are possibly attributing to pneumonia. It was nice to see her, but we were sad that she will be in the hospital over Christmas.

After visiting Grandma in the hospital we went to Grandma and Grandpa Dickson's for dinner. It was fun to see family. Grandma Dickson gave us a book Granny's Silly Little Garden Songs. It is a collection of garden songs that she wrote as well as garden stories, garden drawings and a CD with grandma singing the garden songs. She put a ton of thought and work into this project. It's fun to have.

After dinner at the Dickson's we went to mom and dad's for dinner (#2). It was our traditional candlelight dinner. It was fun with all of the little girls there. After dinner we played the traditional dice game (roll 7, 11 or doubles - pick a gift). During the first round (pick a gift from the middle) Alison and I did pretty well. During the second round (steal a gift from somebody else - the important round) Alison and I didn't do quite as well. We still ended up with all sorts of good gifts. We got a $10 gift card to Restoration Harware, a small reading light, a box of chocolates, gift certificates to McDonald's, Farr's Ice Cream, Wendy's, an uncut sheet of 16 $1 bills, and some other good stuff. It was a fun game.

After the game the siblings exchanged gifts. Kevin and Alysia drew our names and they gave us an electric fondue set. We are really excited. They also gave us all sorts dips and things to dip.

I had Cheryce and was supposed to give her a gift that Mom had. Mom couldn't find it so hopefully it will turn up soon. Alison gave Rachelle an American Eagle hoodie.

Alison and I slept in Rachelle's old room. We weren't in any rush to get up early so we slept in a little bit. When we did get up we opened our presents from each other. I gave Alison some shoes and she gave me a pair of pants and some velcro shoes. Between the two of us we spent $40 (Our budget is a little tighter with the news mentioned above).

We went to Mom and Dad's sacrament meeting. They had a choir Christmas program. After church we waited until everybody was there and then we gave our gifts to mom and dad. We gave mom a small bottle of ham baby food to announce our pregnancy. Everybody was really excited and we were excited to tell everybody. It's quite a load off of our chests.

Jordan called not long after that. We had told him about Alison's pregnancy last week in an e-mail. It was good to talk to him. He seems to be doing well. Morgan was there to talk with him as well. He talked for about 40 minutes.

Alison and I left for her parents house after that. Alison was really antsy to tell everybody the news, but we had to wait for everyone to get there first. We weren't able to break it until after Christmas dinner. Once we did break the news, everybody was so excited. Her sisters all jumped up to hug her as did her mom. We are excited to be able to talk openly about this now.

Alison's parents gave us some gift cards to the Olive Garden, Applebee's and the movie theater as well as some money (very generous). Korrin had me and gave me a Utah blanket that she sewed an edge onto and a screenprinted t-shirt with The Muss and Brent Mussberger on it. It's pretty funny. Alison got a KU t-shirt from Neal as well as a gift card to Michael's for scrapbook stuff. I gave Abby Sense and Sensibility on DVD and some bath stuff, Alison gave Emily some earrings and a calendar.

All in all it was a wonderful Christmas. On the drive down to Alison's parents we read Luke 2 and about the wise men in Matthew. I actually quite enjoyed the Sunday Christmas. The last Sunday Christmas was in 1994 so its been a while. We are grateful for everyone's generosity. We can learn a little about that.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa

This editorial is one of the most famous ever written. It first appeared in The New York Sun in 1897. I thought that it was just fabulous.

We take pleasure in answering at once thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor--
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?
-- Virginia O'Hanlon, 115 West Ninety-fifth street.

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias.

There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

3 Days Before Christmas...

It's so nice to have a few days off of school. It's nice to have some of the associated stress taken off of my back and it's been nice to just "hang out" a little bit. I've been working a little, watching some of the first bowl games and playing a little Playstation 2 (It's my neightbors).

On Tuesday I went with Mom, Kevin, Alysia and Ellie shopping at the Outlet Stores in Park City. I didn't buy anything, but I was looking for stuff to buy for just about everybody :). Tuesday night I got 1/2 of my home teaching done. I visited the Adams' with Ryan Garlick.

Yesterday (Wednesday) I had a dentist appointment. I went to get some fillings and sealants replaced. I didn't have any new cavities last time I went, but they still had to drill out my old fillings and sealants and put some new ones in. At least the new ones are "tooth" colored - whereas my old ones were silver. After that Alison and I went to Cottonwood Mall to do a little shopping. We were able to buy for Rachelle and Emily.

Today I ran errands most of the morning. Lurp (The Geo Prizm) hasn't been starting. I think that the battery is dead (i.e. unrechargeable) and so I bought a new one and put it in. I got the new battery for $40 at Wal-Mart and the similar battery was $60 at Pep Boys. I read a couple of months ago that Wal-Mart's batteries were actually rated higher than any others. It was a surprise even to the editors if I recall. Tonight, BYU played Cal in the Las Vegas Bowl. It looked many times as if BYU was going to get killed but they were able to always stick in there and they only lost by 7. I don't normally cheer for BYU but I would like to see the Mountain West win all of their bowl games. It would be nice for the conference. While the game was going on I made nutty buddies (the peanut butter, chocolate and powdered sugar coated Chex snacks) to give out to our friends and neighbors. They seemed to turn out well. We'll probably give them out tomorrow.

As far as Christmas goes, I getting closer. I still haven't made any purchases for Mom and Dad, but I think that I've got everyone else covered. Other than that, everything is going well. Looks like it's time to go feed my frog.

Monday, December 19, 2005

One week to Christmas...

So it was a pretty busy weekend.

On Saturday we were supposed to have a ward service project (provided by the Elders) but it was cancelled. I was then really looking forward to sleeping in. Alas, that wasn't to be because by 6:00 Saturday morning, I was done sleeping. I guess my body had acclimated itself to arising early because of Finals Week. At 10:00 we had the ward Christmas party at the Union building. We had the bowling alley rented out for 2 hours and had pizza. Bowling - went ok. I bowled an 85, 137 and 105. If only I were consistent.

After bowling we had a little bit of time before we went to watch the Utes play Arizona at the Huntsman Center. They pretty much got killed. The Utes are just too "soft" of a team this year. Within a year or two they will be pretty good (at least better than they are now). The AP article of the game is here.

Mom and Dad came over to our apartment afterwards to wrap some presents. They gave us a ride to Chuck-a-Rama where the Squire Christmas party was held this year. Alysia, Kevin and Ellie were there. This was the first time that we got to see them since they arrived. After dinner we sang a few Christmas songs before Alison and I had to leave to get to the U2 concert at the Delta Center.

I bought tickets to watch U2 on ebay last week with some leftover birthday money. It was an awesome concert with an amazing stage and sound. Our original tickets were "rear view" but when we got to our seats somebody was already sititng in them and they offered to trade us tickets. We traded and the new seats were loads better than our originals. There were more than 26,000 people at the concert (the D.C. seats 19,911 for Jazz games) and it sold out in under 2 hours. Well worth the money. Here is a website with lots of good photos of this tour (unfortunately no photos of Salt Lake City, but they're all the same). Here are a few photos of the show in Salt Lake by the Deseret News from the article here.

After the concert I had to write a talk for sacrament meeting. It was on Christmas and the Savior (not a tough topic). It was part of the choir program, but I was the concluding speaker and it's always hard to know how long to prepare for.

On Sunday morning at 7:30 there was a Stake General Priesthood meeting. It wasn't too bad. It was followed immediately by Ward Council and then by choir practice. The choir program in sacrament was ok. It didn't turn out quite as well as we hoped (the singing that is). My talk went well. I had to give the short version because there were only a couple of minutes left when it was my turn to speak. It was my first day conductin in Elders Quorum. I am still the executive secretary as well because a replacement hasn't been called yet. I am looking farward to when they do.

After church I had a PPI with President Hunter and the rest of my presidency. It was the first time that we have met together and it went well. We have a lot to do. Bishop Moffat also had an open house for the ward today. He invited everybody over for farewell style food. He is a great bishop and we will miss him when he is released. (He an his wife announced last week in sacrament that they have been called to serve as mission presidents).

Dinner tonite at Mom and Dads was nice. It's always fun to see the nieces. I e-mailed Jordan today for permission to post his letters to a blog and it was granted. If you are interested, visit

Saturday, December 17, 2005

School's Out!

Hooray! 8 semesters down and now only 3 to go! It's sure nice to have finals over with. Unfortunately, everything starts again in 3 weeks. I'm barely starting to enjoy the break by that time. Oh well....

Let's see. It was a busy couple of days and I will try to relate anything of interest that happened. On Thursday morning I had my ECE 3110 (Microelectronics) Final Exam. The test was tough but I think that I was able to get a pretty decent grade out of it. I'm avaraging a 90.5 on the tests in that class so it wasn't quite as critical that I aced the test, but I still wanted and needed to do well to get a good grade. After the test I came home and began studying for my next final. On Thursday, as well, I spent time posting Jordan's e-mails to a new weblog that I have created for him. I won't disclose the address to that blog at this time because I want to get permission from him for creating it before I really make it public. Thursday night Alison and I stopped by Wal-mart to buy children's book for a sub-for-santa that we are helping with. It's for Alison's work and we thought that we could help somehow.

Friday I had my ECE 3300 (electromagnetics and transmission lines) Final Exam. It started at 6:00 AM and went until 10:00. I used most of the time and I was only taking 2 out of 3 sections of the exam. The class is set up with 3 midterms. There is a corresponding section of each midterm on the final exam. If you do well on all three midterms then you don't have to take the final at all. If, like me, you do really well on one midterm (98) but not as well on the other midterms, then you can take the two parts of the final and skip the part that you did well on. Most (if not all) students were there because the tests have been really tough. I think that I will get a better grade on the final than I did on the midterms, but we'll have to see. Either way the best grade out of the two is taken.

After my last final I had an interview for an internship at Pacificorp. The interview went really well, the only problem for me is my lack of experience with AutoCAD and some other programs that they were looking for. There were three interviewees in the room and they all took turns asking various questions. I can't remember most of them. Some were to test my techinical knowledge, others were to see how I respond to problems and challenges. I would love to get an offer to work there, but as I mentioned, I am lacking in some of the areas of qualification.

I wasn't feeling very well today so after the interview I came home and lied down for a little while before I had to go to work. It was a good day at work though. I had 6 appointments and after about the 3rd, I was actually feeling a little bit better. I think that I've caught a sore throat that Alison had and now my allergies are kicking in as well as an achy body.

Friday night we ate at Arctic Circle and then stopped by Mcdonald's to rent Cinderella Man. It's a boxing movie with Russell Crowe. It was a really good film. It's set during the depression and the acting, filming and cinematography were done very well. Many think that Russell Crowe should be nominated for an Oscar for the film - after watching it, I would say that I agree with them.

All in all Finals week went pretty well. All of my tests except for my first one (see Mondays post) went as well as I expected. It's sure nice to have them over with, now I need to relax, do some Christmas shopping and get feeling a little better!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

What is an assist?

In my research tonite I have found that the NBA RuleBook makes no mention of what an assist is. The NBA’s official statistician manual does though. From what I read, it defines an assist as:

" assist is credited to the player tossing the last pass leading directly to a field goal, if and only if the player scoring the goal responds by demonstrating immediate reaction toward the basket...."

From a post on Yahoo!Sports groups one guy explained:

“The statistician manual describes a number of examples as to what is and what is not an assist, with the key point being that if "...continuity.." is not broken then an assist should be credited to the passer. It uses examples like in the case when a pass is made to a player who in the flow of the play then dribbles once, shoots, and scores, then the passer should be credited with an assist. but if the player receiving the pass dribbles more than once, stops, fakes, then shoots and scores, no assist should be credited "...because continuity was broken by the receiver's action to get position on the opponent"....

“Other examples stress if the pass leads directly to a score, then credit an assist, like a pass on a fast break that gets the ball to a player ahead of the pack who then scores, regardless of how many dribbles he takes...

“The key point is if the pass in and by itself puts the receiving player in a position to score, and he then does so in the flow of the play, an assist should be credited. I've sat courtside with statisticians and have been told it’s easily the toughest stat to account for correctly and that many who do so have their "own ways" of crediting an assist...”

What's in a name?

I was just browsing Sandy's blog and I came across this interesting post (from August 2005). The post included the following pictures of the Lisonbee Family.



(Click on the link below or the title of this post to go to her post)

2 finals down, 2 to go

Well, I'm halfway done. Today I had my math (Partial Differential Equations) final exam. It was about the same as my other 2 tests in that class. Long and hard but as long as the grader is as lenient as usual then I will have no problems. This may be the first math class that I have gotten an A in. That will be nice for a change. After the test I was able to sell my book back to the bookstore for $53.25. I bought it off a friend for ~$25 or so. I hope that he didn't want it back...

Yesterday I went to the dentist. I actually enjoy going to the dentist for the most part. My dental attendence has waned lately - this was the first time that I have been since Alison and I were married (29+ months ago). Good news: no cavities, bad news: I've got to get a couple of fillings replaced.

Yesterday I also went and did service for Deseret Transportation. They are the shipping arm of the church. They move all of the humanitarian products coast to coast. They are located out by the main distribution center on 17th south. I went there and washed a semi-trailor. They have a big garage that they pull the trailor into and then I used a couple of high pressure washers and brushes to scrub the whole outside of the trailor. It wasn't too bad. Our Elder's Quorum gets to do this 3 or 4 times every 3 months or so. I felt that if I was going to recruit other elders to do this each week in Elder's Quorum then I needed to know what I was talking about.

Well, everything seems to be going well around here. It's probably time for me to get back to my studying. Only 11 days until Christmas (I haven't even started my shopping yet - that comes after finals). ~ciao!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Jazz beat Pistons?!

Today I had my first Final. It was in ECE 3500 Signals and Systems. I'll be honest. It was probably the worst test that I have ever taken. I knew how to do about half of the test and the rest... well it was a dropping curveball and I only hit fastballs. I'm praying that the curve will bend in my favor, but somebody's got to be at the bottom and it may as well be me, right? Interested in this class? Check out the class website

We got a letter from Jordan today. It sounds like he is doing well. I think that I might make a blog of his mission for people to view and access. We'll see. I don't have too much time to spare so if I do, it needs to be low maintenance. I think that I can make it so that it will only need a few minutes of attention each week.

I've enjoyed learning how to create and maintain this blog. I see that there is a lot that can be done so I have a lot to learn.

Yesterday (Sunday Dec. 11) I was sustained and set apart as the new Elder's Quorum President. I have 2 wonderful counselors in Adam Jensen and Matt Chandler. I think that we will be able to get the things done that need to be gotten done and hopefully, we can keep things running as smoothly as they have been. I don't know either of the lads too well but I look forward to working more with them.

Tonite I went with Dude (Alison's brother), George (father-in-law) and Hyrum (brother-in-law) to the Jazz game. The Jazz have been horrible at home this year and we expected them to get creamed by the Detroit Pistons (15-2), 10-1 on the road. The Jazz were done by 13 at half and we expected the game to be over, but the Pistons only scored 27 points in the second half and the Jazz won by 14. It was an awesome game. Read about it (with video highlights as well).

Looks like it's about time to feed the fish.

This is me!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Ahh. December.

Christmas is quickly approaching. This only means a few things. First off, Finals are coming quickly. For me, they actually start on Monday and run through next Friday. Today was my “reading day.” What did I do today? Hmm. Not read much unfortunately.

My first final is on Monday and will actually be the most difficult for me. It’s in ECE 3500 (Signals and Systems). I’ve actually found the class to be very interesting. It’s been tough for me to answer questions the way that they are asked by the teacher on the quizzes and exams. I’ve got to get a pretty good grade on the final if I want a decent grade in the class. On the final exam we are allowed one sheet of notes but no calculator. Now, if only I knew how to integrate….

My next final is on Wednesday. It is for my math class (PDE’s or Partial Differential Equations). This exam could very easily be the hardest one material wise but the teacher has proven to only test moderately difficult. We are allowed to use our notes, books, calculators, etc. That makes it easier to be able to take the exam when time is short. I should have an A out of the class – unless I bomb the final.

On Thursday I have a final in ECE 3110. This class is Engineer Electronics II. It has mainly focused on microelectronics and circuit design. I’ve enjoyed the class but it’s been a lot of work (they all have). Right now I have an A- in the class. If I do well on the final I should be fine, especially after the curve is put in place.

My last final is in ECE 3300 Electromagnetics and Transmission Lines. This class has probably required the most time overall. The final exam will be 4 hours (from 6-10 AM). I should be able to do quite well on it if I study hard. I will sure be glad when this test is over.

I know that what I’ve written so far today isn’t exactly the most interesting stuff, but it’s what consumes my life right now. Some days it seems that all day every day is engineering. That’s not really a bad thing because it’s what I’ll be doing for the rest of my life but, when I’ve got homework, tests or quizzes that I should be studying for or doing on the back of my mind it takes the fun out of relaxing.

Alison has been a little sick the last couple of days. A fever mainly, so not really anything too bad. Still it’s not fun for her and I hate it when she's feeling bad. It’s sure been hard to study the last two days because she has been home sick from work. It’s been tough to force myself to focus. I will sure need to tomorrow because it’s my last day to study for my Monday test (the most important one). At there won’t be any college football on TV to take me away from my studying. That’s always a struggle during the fall.

Tonite we won the 400 court door-decorating contest. I hung a couple of strands outside our apartment. I think it looks great. From what I can tell, we have more lights than anyone in the village. I’m sure when I grow up and have a real house, I’ll be one of those guys that just totally over does it with the Christmas lights. That kind of scares me. J

I’ve obviously got nothing too exciting to report. The Jazz got killed tonite, at home, by the Seattle Supersonics. They’re only 3-8 at home so far this year. Ouch. At least they’re playing a little better on the road.

Tonite we were supposed to go to Temple Square to see the lights with our ward. We didn’t go because Alison wasn’t feeling well. I hope that it was well attended. On that note, I will leave with a photo of Temple Square at Christmas time and I will go to feed my fish.

Good night.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Boston Massachusetts & Maine

As is extremely obvious from the time lapse from my last post (June 2004) to this one (August 2005), I haven't exactly caught the bloggers bug yet. To be honest, I've only read a handful of blogs anyway. I thought that I would make a post that documents my (and my wife Alison's) trip to New England.

We left on Tuesday August 9th. We arrived in Boston very late. The T wasn't running anymore so we had to grab a cab that took us to Ben and Jen Iverson's apartment - where we were staying. They were very kind to allow us to camp out with them in Cambridge while we went around touring the city.

On Wednesday August 10th, we slept in a bit to try and get used to the time change before heading out to walk the Freedom Trail. We also went to lunch with Ben and Jen before returning back to the Freedom Trail. After passing all of the old churches and historical sites, I wanted to see the movie National Treasure because I think that some of it actually takes place in Boston. We went to the Boston Museum of Fine Art this afternoon and spent most of our time browsing the Renaissance collection of paintings. My favorites were (as always) the Monets and the Van Goghs. After the art museum, we went to the Prudential Center and went up to the 50th floor to get an awesome view of the city. They have an audio tour that accompanies you and I found it to be quite enjoyable. We had purchased a city pass at the BMFA and most of the attractions that we ended up visiting were actually on it. We met Ben and Jen for dinner at the Cheesecake factory - Alison and I shared a four cheese pasta bowl that was delicious. After dinner we walked over to Fenway Park, found our seats down the right field line and enjoyed the game. The Red Sox were playing the Texas Rangers and beat them 17-6. It was a great game. Kenny Rogers pitched for the Rangers and Arroyo pitched for the Red Sox. We walked home to Cambridge after the game.

On Thursday, Alison and I spent more time doing the touristy things in Boston. We went first to the Boston Museum of Science. Here we watched an electricity show that I found to be quite interesting (I don't know if Alison would say the same or not). We just browsed the exhibits and got to see a movie of a natural birth as well as a cesarean section. Interesting to say the least. We left the Museum of Science and went down to the JFK library and museum. Neither Alison nor I had ever been there and it turned out to be one of our favorite things that we went to in Boston. The museum starts out with a video of JFK's early years and then the museum is set up to mimic the democratic convention and the white house. It was really cool. After the museum, we rode back into downtown and watched a few street performers in front of Fanieul Hall and I made some calls for work while sitting outside Quincy Market. We were planning on eating at Durgin Park (Classic Boston experience) but, there had been some manhole explosions in the North End and as a result, the power was out and they weren't serving people. We found a small Chinese (Panda Express like) joint that we ate at instead. After that, we went home and chilled with Ben and Jen, playing the guitar and just talking.

Friday was another exciting day. We first went to the New England Aquarium and saw the penguins and all of the other amazing sea creatures. We weren't there too long before we took off to pick up our rental car. I had scheduled to pick up our car from the Alamo in Cambridge, near Harvard Square, so as to avoid any airport taxes. Once we got our car (a gray, sporty Pontiac G6, with under 10,000 miles), we drove out to Walden Pond. I was amazed at how many people were there at the Pond swimming. Alison and I just walked over to Thoreau's cabin site and waded a little bit in the water. If I had brought my suit, you can bet I would have been in the water to escape the humidity and heat. From Walden, we drove over to the North Bridge in Concord and then down to the Minuteman Visitors Center outside of Lexington. We didn't spend too much time at either of these places because we were trying to hurry back to town. We drove back to Cambridge (getting a little lost on the way) and then went with Ben and Jen to an amazing Pizza restaurant in the North End. If I could remember the name of it I would tell you but, alas, I cannot (later note: Pizza Regina). After dinner, we came back to the apartment changed, grabbed the car and drove out to the temple with Ben and Jen. The Boston Temple is a majestic building both inside and out. We really enjoyed the session there.

On Saturday, all four of us jumped in the car and we headed out to Cape Cod. We stopped at Plymouth Rock on the way (measly little thing) and then got stuck in a one hour+ delay on a highway, waiting to go around a rotary (roundabout). The designers and planners of this road were obviously not well schooled in road planning. There were huge delays from al directions. We stopped at a glass museum in Sandwich - which we didn't pay to enter but we did eat our sandwiches on a bench outside. We also stopped at the French Cable Museum. It was a small museum about the underwater cables laid across the Atlantic for the telegraph. The drive to the beaches on the cape was a long one and when we finally made it to the National Seashore, there were signs saying the first few beaches were full - so we kept driving. We finally found a beach with some spots to park and it was $15 to park. There weren't even any foot washers, change rooms or showers but they still charged us $15. Unbelievable. I had a blast swimming in the ocean though. The water was cold, we even saw a few seals but the waves were good for riding. We stayed there for a couple of hours and then drove down to Chatham and got a couple of picture in front of the lighthouse. We ate pizza again at a little town on the way back to Boston and I taught everyone how to play Keno (we didn't pay of course). We stopped for some Cape Cod ice cream and then made the drive back home.

On Sunday, we went to church with Ben and Jen. They are in one of two Cambridge wards that meets in an old boiler and ___ building. It was a really cool building. A historical building so they couldn't even put a sign up. The ward had some strange ideas but, the church is still true in Boston. After church we ate dinner that Alison and Jen whipped up and then Al and I went for a walk through Harvard - having to hide under some awnings to wait out some ferocious thunder storms. After our stroll though Cambridge, we said our goodbyes, and drove up to Kennebunk, Maine. We stayed in the Kennebunk Inn a nice little Inn that I would recommend to anyone. I wished we could have stayed longer than one night.

The next morning, we had reservations to go whale watching but when we got to the place, they had been cancelled because of inclement weather and high seas. Instead, Alison and I went out to look at George and Barbara Bushes summer home on Walker Point. While we were looking at it, we saw Barbara Bush get into the passenger side of an SUV and we decided to follow her. It took a few minutes to catch up with her and she took us back through Kennebunkport and then turned down a small lane. To be inconspicuous, we didn't immediately follow but went down a moment later. I was surprised to see both George and Barbara Bush walking up to a small house (with their SS people watching as well). Because our whale watching trip was cancelled, we drove up the coast and stopped at a few lighthouses along the way. Our favorite one was the Portland Head Lighthouse. It was right outside of Portland, Maine. We stopped to shop at some crowded outlet stores in Freeport where they have an L.L. Bean factory outlet the size of Wal-mart and open 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Before stopping at the outlets though, we stopped to see Eartha. She is a 3 story globe built by a crazy map company. After all of this excitement, we continued our drive up to Acadia National Park. We got to Bar Harbor and reserved a couple spots on a whale watching trip the next day and ate at a Chinese Buffet. We stayed in a quaint little cottage just off the island where Bar harbor and Acadia are located.

The next day we went straight to Acadia National Park, paid the $20 entrance fee and went on a couple of hikes. The first one, Ocean View, from Sand Beach to otter Point was just beautiful the whole way. It was a postcard hike about 3 miles round trip. The second hike was a little harder and little longer. It wound around Jordan Pond (of course we bought a postcard to send to Elder Squire). After that hike, we drove up to Cadillac Mountain, the highest point in the park. We then headed into town to get ready for our boat ride. We grabbed an appetizer (spinach artichoke dip) to hold us over and then went down and boarded the Friendship V. This boat hauled. It was huge too. There were 365 seats on board (FYI). We saw all sort of whales: Mincke, Finback and Humpback as well as a basking shark, puffins, tons of porpoises, tuna, a great seal, etc. It was extremely fun and extremely cold. A wonderful finale to a wonderful trip.

We spent Wednesday driving to Boston to catch our flight out and how, here we are home again. I plan to add picture later (once I upload them) so everyone can see all the fun we had.

TS 8/18/2005 7:10 AM