May 14, 2011 Yellow Knolls Hike

Since I am so far behind in my posts, I am just going to post pictures with captions.

Entering the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve.

The trailhead with the yellow knolls and Pine Mountain in the background.

The desert was ablaze with beautiful spring flowers.

Mary rocks

Prickly pear cactus flowers


Hiking John taking a pause on the slickrock.

Looking back along the trail and towards St. George

May 8, 2011 Mother’s Day Hike

Since we are not yet celebrating Mother’s Day with the family due to our being in Utah, John and I go hiking in the Kolob section of Zion NP. We’ve done the Northgate Peaks Trail before, a long time ago. It is not too strenuous which is good because we have not been hiking recently.

John at the trailhead

Hmmm...which way to go?

Due to the high elevation, it is still very early spring here. The ground is covered by beautiful early spring flowers.
Early spring flowers

We cross several small streams made possible by the runoff from the snow. Unfortunately as we approach the rim of the canyon it is getting windier and windier.
Windy Northgate Peaks Trail

We have brought along our peanut butter and jelly lunch and hunker down at the canyon edge for a little relaxation and sustenance. The view is incredible.
John at Northgate peaks

After our hike what better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than a stop at Worthington Gallery to choose a beautiful Mother’s Day present!
Worthington Gallery

May 2, 2011 Trip to Wine Country, new car

So just a couple of things going on this week before we head out to St. George to try to catch the last of the tolerable weather before the intense heat of summer sets in. On Monday, we went up to Sonoma wine country to pick up our order at Jacuzzi Winery with Karen and George. After that we also stopped at Robledo Winery and tasted a bit of their wine.

Karen, George and John at the Robledo wine bar

The tasting was followed by an excellent lunch in downtown Sonoma at LaSalette, a Portuguese restaurant. The food was really good and reminded us of our trip to Spain a few months ago. John had a Portuguese soup and tripe and I had an asparagus salad with fried egg followed by scallops on sweet potatoes. As I said, really good.

I guess the big news, though, is that we traded in John’s old Lincoln for a eco-friendly Hyundai Sonata Hybrid! We are really excited about the new car and in our driving try to keep the gauge in the eco zone. Right now we are averaging about 35 mpg which is quite a difference from the Murano. But you can’t beat the Murano for comfort and we will take the Murano on our cross country trip. The car is black with bright blue tags showing that it is a hybrid. Many thanks to Jonathan who helped us narrow down our choices.

New 2011 Hyundai Sonata hybrid

April 26, 2011 Helene’s funeral, Red Bank, N.J.

Helene died right before Easter. Due to the holiday, her wake and funeral were held Monday and Tuesday after Easter. We flew to JFK and stayed at the Molly Pitcher in Red Bank. We saw all the surviving Stump children along with their children and grandchildren. It makes for a big group. Except for a little confusion as in who was who, it was good to see them and they seemed pleased that Peg, Phyllis and I had come. Pictures of Daddy, us, as well as Jonathan and Sarah were displayed. But the sadness was pretty much reserved for Helene’s own kids. We remember her fondly but do not suffer the same kind of loss.

It was good to see Peg, Ted and Phyllis again. We had a great Easter dinner at Restaurant Nicholas in Middletown, visited the old homestead on Wallace St., had hot dogs at Max’s and pizza over at Sandy and Tom McGee’s. We were all glad when the funeral was over and we could head home.

Peggy, Mary and Phyllis in downtown Red Bank

Phyllis, Peggy and Mary in front of 120 Wallace St.

Max's hot dog