Thursday, July 31, 2008

Out back in Otto!

This last weekend we decided to head up to Otto, Wyoming to participate in Burlington's famous Pioneer Day celebrations! Of course the instant we got there we were greeted with the welcoming committee of Page, Saide, and Wes by pegging us with water balloons while perched in spots surrounding the entrance to the Neves' home. Day one of our adventure we went horsebackriding around the the back parts of the house, I got to ride one of our "darn Morgans" as grandpa Neves likes to call them. Later that afternoon when Whit, Jenna, and Jordan showed up we decided to take the first-timers out to Trapper! For those of you who haven't been, getting TO Trapper is 70% of the fun. 45 min drive in the back of Uncle Jay's pick-up truck and then a treacherous hike down a cliff for a little over a mile, over the raging river, and then warding off rattlesnakes and man-eating grasshoppers. Yes, one grasshopper tried to eat off my hand while I was catching it for bait.

It was in the back of this truck that I chipped my front tooth back when I was a young'in looking for arrowheads.
Taubi and Jordan's plethora of fish.

Our little fish, Ernesto. He did taste really really good.
My not so white gloves that helped save my hands from shredding down the mountain.

Steph vs. Mountain: mountain-1, steph-0 :(
More love in the back of the truck, Ninny and his lovely soon-to-be-wifey, Jenna.
The crew AFTER our Trapper adventure

We rode horses in the Pioneer day Parade! I WAS on the back of Pippi with Brett but after a slight tumble I landed on my feet, no worries, Brett was fine and he saved his ice cream sandwich too. Pig.

I was especially good at Catching rocks while fishing...and the other pic is just another glimpse of what we hiked down...

All in all I'd have to say it was a fun trip! We also participated in the town's local dance, ate sloppy joes at the town picnic, played and got 2nd in the community volleyball tournament, and managed to not die the whole time! Good times always are had with the Neves crew!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Havasupai: water wonderland.

This is a picture of our group that went the first time, a YEAR ago! Julia, Brett, i think we've mastered this trek...

Second trip down. Things that were different from the first one: we're tanner. Julia and Brett didn't acquire as many blisters on their feet. Brett and I were dating 2nd time around (it only took how many years?? :). We hiked both in and out in the dark so we didn't hit the HOT, SWEATY times of the day.

On our way down the hike..

Our favorite falls. Navajo.

Havasu falls is pictured below. This is the first site of water you see when entering into the oasis of lush green trees and gushing waterfalls after hiking approximately 11 miles down some pretty rough terrain. This was the second year I've done this and was able to repeat the trip with Julia and Brett again!

Annie jumping off a perilous fall...the group favorite actually.

Julia braving that same have to climb down the first part of the waterfall to get to the ledge to jump off. I was very impressed with your bravery sister! I think having Brett up there as a coach helped her along the way a little bit...


You'd think we had enough just hiking in the 11 miles into camp from the cars but we decided to hike another 5 down to Beaver falls. It was an interesting hike to the falls, but it was worth it after seeing the beautiful waterfalls. It was a 55 foot jump to go off of, only Brett and one other guy in our group brave enough to jump off it... the rest of us cheered them on and silently wished we had the guts to go off it as well...

A pic Brett took of one of the cooler falls right before it got dark.

Friday, May 30, 2008


We were only in Rome for a day so we had to stop and see the major sites that were available for us!
St. Peter's Basilica is huge!

The Colosseum is huge!

Our muscles are huge!

Another archway for the champions...

Sisters, sisters, such devoted sisters

It's so neat to imagine what this place looked like back in the day. Very cool architecture.

Look, Nellie touched it!

Inside the has a huge dome on top of it.

Nellie got her milkshake if you know what I mean...

Florence, land of my heritage!

We got into Florence in the morning where our Nonno (grandpa) was waiting to pick us up from the train station. He took our arms and brought us back to the hotel he got for us. Hotel is an understatement, he got us an apartment in an old 15th century reconstructed palace which happened to be 20 meters from his place. After dropping off our luggage he took us to his favorite restaurant (Carvaggio's...I'm sure I messed up the spelling of this place) where it has been owned by a family and run for the last 60+ years. Nonno goes there so much with Joycey (my Nonna) almost every day so going in there is like going in to see old extended family. After being greeted with hugs and kisses from ALL of the people working in there we proceeded to eat a HUGE Italian meal. These meals consist of almost 6 different courses. To say the least, I think I gained 15 lbs just in my visit to Florence... But it was all amazing and I'd do it all over again!

After lunch we decided we needed to take a stroll out to help digest the food before round two of dinner (at the same restaurant again) with everyone. We walked up and down the Arno River. It was beautiful! I would wake up in the mornings and jog up and down it and made a couple running buddies while out there...or maybe better said I would try and beat all of them on the trails...and did.

We went window shopping along the famous Pointe Vecchio bridge that goes over the Arno. Of course we all were enamored with the lovely jewelry...Dad, this picture isn't a hint at all from Julia...

In the afternoons we went out for walks with Nonno and Poly (another member of the family) and would get Gelatoes or other tasty snacks.

Joycey is so fun!

Mmmmmm....I miss the gelatto SO cream's just not the same...

Resting in the living room/dining room of our apt.

The floor was quite comfy too.

One thing I realized is that Mary and I have some things in common...we like to take pictures of ourselves.

Nonno LOVES cherries. I think I had a kg of cherries one night when we had a cherry eating contest. I lost. sad.

One night we made artichokes Nonno's special way. It was delicious and SO much fun to get to cook with them and just play around at their place!

They didn't let me have a knife...thanks Julia.

Poly and I just watched and drooled...

Nonno in the background telling us the PERFECT way to cook the artichokes without messing them up, Joycey always smiling.

Love them!

Waiting in line at the Uffizi gallery we decided to do Julia's hair.

She looked like Belle

In the middle of Florence there is the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo), the baptistry, and a huge bell tower. If you climb to the top of the duomo-500+ steps- you can see ALL of Florence and the surrounding mountains. It's beautiful. The climb up is a little congested but way worth the hike!

The clan!

I LOVE Florence

One afternoon we went across the Arno and up on the mountainside of Florence where there are gardens, palaces, and fortresses. The gardens were beautiful to walk through!

A view of Florence from the gardens. The round topped cathedral is the Duomo. To the left a little bit is the Bell Tower.

Yes, we climbed up all those stairs....lots of stairs are in Florence...

Ilaria (our aunt) took us up to the top. It was so nice to get to spend some time with her and get to talk about life. She's an amazing woman.

Talking/taking a breather after climbing up all those steps...

I have no idea what Julia's pointing to...

Sistas! I think I look 5 months pregnant in this pic.

The middle door was open to the cathedral which implies something specials going on over there...

Lovely ladies

We walked from the gardens over to the Pitti Palace in Florence. This was built by the Medici family (very wealthy merchant family) and had it as their home until all of them died out. It was turned into a museum with all of their old collections and original furniture. Very beautiful in there. Just down the street is where Elizabeth Barret Browning and Robert Browning moved after they eloped to get away from her father. AND there's a really good Gelatto place...

Another dinner where I left feeling slightly larger. But it was hard to stop with all this amazing food in front of me!

Winners of the cherry eating contest.

Mary loves Poly