Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week - "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind" Dr Seuss

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Gentle Thief by Amanda Dickson

A Gentle Thief
By Amanda Dickson
A Gentle Thief

Maddie Johnson loved Shakespeare. Unlike everybody else she knew growing up, she seemed to understand him, enjoy him, more with every reading. It was partly because of this love that she drove her home in rural Pennsylvania to college to Southern Utah University, home every summer to the Utah Shakespearean Festival. It was partly that, and partly desire to get as far away as possible.
Maddie thought being in Utah would help her forget, that the stark beauty of the scenery and the power of the metaphor would be enough to clear her.
They weren’t.
The novel unfolds in two time periods, 2004 as Sophie Brownlie, attorney-at-law, become obsessed with helping the father of a girl who died 20 years before prove that she didn’t kill herself, and 1983 as a tortured and lonely young Maddie moves closer and closer to the day of her premature death. After considering several possible suspects, you begin to believe that the Utah Medical Examiner may have been right all along.
May have been.

This is a great who-done-it kind of mystery. I love those kind of stories but seem to have a knack at guessing who it was long before the story ends. I don’t always mind that I can do that but prefer if I can’t guess because it keeps me deeply interested and my mind churning away at all of the possibilities of who it is.  Yes I loved Clue when I was growing up!
This story had me from the beginning and although I had my suspicions as to what happened to Maddie I did not figure it out until it was revealed.  So to me that is a great mystery!  Ms. Dickson did a great job at going back and forth between 1983 and 2004. There were a couple of transitions that could have been smoother and I had to go back a page and double check that we moved to the other timeline. I am going to assume I had an ARC copy because of a couple of minor discrepancies that would have been fixed by a good proof-reader and editor. Nothing that detracted from the storyline and plot.
I especially enjoyed the connections to Shakespeare. Every chapter begins with one of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. It was enthralling and so fitting within the context of the storyline.
I hate to give anything away especially in a murder-mystery. This book is so much more than that though. It is the story of two women that lived 20 years apart but are brought together by tragedy. Maddie died too young to figure her life out and move forward to be happy. Will the same fate happen to Sophie?  It may if she doesn’t solve this case.

Thank you so MediaGuests for another great book for me to review.  Please visit their website for more information about all of the great authors they are touring with this year. You will definitely find a great story that you will want to read!

I give this book 4 stars. If you love a murder-mystery that spans over time along with the drama, intrigue, and suspense you will love A Gentle Thief.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Review of Catherine by Sigrid Weidenweber

Inside the Heart & Mind of a Great Monarch
By Sigrid Weidenweber

“You look astonishingly pretty,” admits Johanna when Sophia steps out of her bedroom dressed in Ulrika’s magnificent gown. Sophia is stunned, halting in mid-step. This is rare praise from her cold mother, so she must, indeed, look very good. At Frederick’s side during the elaborate court dinner, Sophia shines and sparkles with youth and wit. The monarch is very pleased with his choice. Indeed, he is so enamored with the girl that he opens his purse to outfit mother and daughter, both woefully deficient in material matters appropriate for court life. So begins the transformation of Princess Sophia of Anhalt-Zerbst into Catherine the Great of Russia. The personal and professional triumphs and tribulations of this remarkable woman are retold by Sigrid Weidenweber, whose research into the life of Catherine reveals a new perspective on Catherine, from the inside out. Sigrid portrays with heartfelt understanding what it was like to have been such a major European political and military, social and cultural figure during the eighteenth century.

I believe I have mentioned before how much I love history. But I LOVE HISTORY!! So whenever someone writes a historical fiction book I can’t wait to get it and devour it! I am rarely disappointed either. Catherine was definitely no different in my expectations. I could hardly wait to get started and delve into this time machine of love, deceit, and intrigue. All of the great things we think of when we think of the great monarchies. I have a fantasy of these time periods from Europe that I put myself in these books as part of the court of each monarch. I know that is crazy since no one really ever survives the ‘Court’ unscathed or quite possibly dead!  But still I picture myself there and try to imagine what it would have been like.  I don’t think I would like to have actually lived in these time periods but poking my head in through a book is the best adventure!

This book is superbly written and the research impeccably done.  It is hard enough to piece together a life of someone from 200+ years ago when records are not the most accurate or complete. But to also piece together a full life of personalities and drama is quite another. Ms.Weidenweber has combined these together to create a story wrapped in so much excitement and mystery that I could hardly put it down each day. She made Catherine so easy to love and to watch her grow into her status as Empress was filled with answers as to why she was the person she became in the end. I don’t think I would have liked Catherine any other way. If I just looked at the facts I would see a harsh, spoiled Queen and not cared who she was. The author truly made Catherine into a real person that had real struggles in life.

I give this book 5 stars! If you love historical fiction then you must read this book. It leaves you trying to keep your eyes open in the middle of the night because you just can’t bear to put it down. You finish the book fully satisfied of an adventure into the past.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Review of The Crystal Prince

The Crystal Prince
 by Jeanette Clinger Hurley

The Crystal Prince
 The Crystal Prince

Love is the only way. Escape into a world of spellbinding adventure, a world where kindness is king, a world where faith and imagination separate life from death, a world where love is the key that unlocks both mystery and magic…Escape into the world of
 The Crystal Prince.

Jeanette Clinger Hurley transports you to a land where darkness and light are in constant battle, a place where good & evil equally wage war on the heart…challenging both faith and destiny.

Come along and join the charmed prince Xabian and the beautiful Jenevieve on their enchanted and courageous journey, as they discover…The heart is mightier than the sword, that faith conquers fear and that the true magical and transformational miracle of life is simple and pure…That love is the way, love is the only way.

First of all, thanks to Media Guests for another great book to review.  This is a book that I wouldn’t have generally picked up – children’s age level.  It is a very fast, easy read at just 70 pages and some of them have illustrations. It was fun to sit down for a couple of hours and just pretend I was a kid in a fairy tale. This is a fantastic fairy tale with all of the good and bad things you find there- kings, queens, castles, princes and princesses, the evil creature, and the one who saves them all, and of course a sweet love story.

This book has a beautiful, simple message to us all. We have choices to make each day and because of those choices we have consequences – both good and bad.  We can choose to treat people with love and respect even when we don’t get that in return. If we treat people as the type of person we know they can be then they will become that person.  This story is the epitome of pure love of others more than oneself.

It reminds me of a favorite quote that I keep in my office:

I have come to the frightening conclusion
 that I am the decisive element.
It is my personal approach that creates the climate.
It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
I possess tremendous power to make life
miserable or joyous.
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration,
I can humiliate or humor, or hurt or heal.
I all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is
escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized.
If we treat people as they are, we make them worse,
If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they
are capable of becoming.
~ Johann Wolgang von Goethe

Never discount a book by its cover. Heard that one before? Remember that phrase is an analogy for more than just a book!

I give this book 4 stars. Need to just get away to a happy fairy tale for a couple of hours? Then pick up this great story with a perfect message for us all!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Review of Velwythe by Bonn Turkington

Resurrection of the Mind Vol. One
Velwythe: Resurrection of the...
By Bonn Turkington

            His mother vanished. His father killed himself. Vaan, now 21, has no friends, no money, no family, and no hope. All his dreams have vanished. Unable to escape the horror of his own memories, his life has been in stasis.
            But with a bit of luck and a bit of effort Vaan manages to make his first real friend since childhood. Duncan, a man who has watched the growing railline destroy his entire home city, was disowned after denying his birthright.
            Vaan and Duncan become fast friends with troubled pasts. Now, with Duncan’s help and the ‘encouragement’ of a local priest, Vaan decides his life ahs remained in a quagmire too long. Only by selling his house and everything he owns will he have a chance to become a wandering scholar.
            Every year around the FreePort Solstice Festival (and his birthday) Vaan has terrible nightmares of his father’s chronic pain. But the night before the festival Vaan has a dream un like any before. He wakes up thinking he has gone blind – but it isn’t just that, he can feel something, something cold pawing at his head as though it is absorbing his very thoughts.
            After the horrible dream, leaving FreePort isn’t just about getting an education. Ellred, a local priest, tells Vaan there could be more to his non-dream than he could ever imagine. But the only way to figure any of it out is if Duncan agrees to travel with Vaan to the very place Duncan can never return. And on their way to Alpine, Vaan’s encounter with a small militia forces him to question his understanding of humanity and the very reality he thought to be true for so many years.

First of all I want to thank Media Guests for giving me the opportunity to read and review this fantastic book.  I had originally passed up on doing so but had it in the back of my mind that I thought I needed to give it a try. I was not disappointed either!

This book is not an easy read. There is so much dimension and depth to the writing that you really need to pay attention to understand what is going on during the story. This is based on a fantastical new world that you need to figure out what Vaan is trying to tell you. It is not a skimming kind of story. Don’t be frightened about that because it is well worth your time.  I loved how I could not ever guess what was going to happen next or really figure out all of the characters presented. I really want the next book so I can start to piece more of this together.

The prologue is very interesting and hooks you from the first sentence. However, don’t think that the questions it raises will be answered in this book. By the time you get done and read the epilogue you are just more intrigued with more questions.

I give this book 4 stars and will sit patiently for the next book to come out sometime next summer!!! In the meantime though you can go to www.velwythe.com and check out the interactive site the author has created to immerse you into Vaan’s world.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Review of Diary of a Teenage Girl by Melody Carlson

Diary of a Teenage Girl
Becoming Me
Becoming Me (Diary of a Teenage Girl: Caitlin, #1)
By Melody Carlson

January 1, 2000 10 p.m. – “I used to think that being fifteen was bad…well, let me tell you, being sixteen isn’t exactly a walk through the mall either. And so far, I think today’s been about the worst day of my entire life…”

Follow Caitlin O’Conner, a girl much like yourself, as she makes her way from New Year’s to the first day of summer – surviving a challenging home life, changing friends, school pressures, an identity crisis, and the uncertainties of “true love.”

You’ll cry with Caitlin as she experiences heartaches, and cheer for her as she encounters a new reality in her life: God. See how rejection by one group can – incredibly – sometimes lead you to discover who you really are…

I have read Melody Carlson before so when I had the opportunity to read this book I immediately said yes. This was originally published in 2000, so it is not a new book and there are several Diary of a Teenage Girl books out – Caitlin, Chloe, Kim, & Mya. They each have about four in their series. I have to say that I wasn’t sure what to expect since it is written by an adult playing a teenager. Sometimes adults can really miss the mark on the realities of teenage life even though we have already lived those years. Why authors cannot get it right is strange to me. They either go overboard or just stop shy of hitting it right on.

Well Ms. Carlson is the exception and hit it right on the mark! I have a 17 year old daughter right now so I live these realities everyday at home. Caitlin, Beanie, Jenny, Josh, or Zach could easily be one of my daughter’s friends or my daughter herself. The things they discuss as friends and with the diary is exactly what happens to every teenager. Maybe being a mom of a teenager right now is one of the reasons I really loved this book. I couldn’t help but picture my daughter and her friends as these characters. I could actually replace their names with those in the book. It really hit home with me. It made me glad I had to never live those years again myself but also more aware of the teenagers I have in my home daily.

I will give this book 4 stars. It is a great read about a young girl that struggles with life and all of the issues that come her way. She works to find herself in the midst of the pressures of family, school, and growing up.

Thank you to Glass Road Public Relations to re-introducing us to this great series.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Review of Marysvale by Jared Southwick

By Jared Southwick

John Casey was ten years old when his mother was murdered…and ten when his father hid the truth from him. Without that knowledge, he has no idea of the enemies that lie in wait.
Now grown up, John lives a solitary life, in a world enslaved by ignorance and superstition, when anyone unusual is treated with distrust and even killed…and John has some very unusual gifts. When he is accused of witchcraft, John does the only thing he’s ever done – Run! That is, until he meets Jane, who lives in the bleak, imprisoned town of Marysvale. Life outside the safety of the town walls means certain death from the brutal monsters that hunt there. However, life inside, under the rule of a tyrannical leader, means no life at all.
As the love between John and Jane grows, the dangers of Marysvale unfold; and for the first time in his life, John discovers that there is something worth dying for.

This is a book from a local Utah author. I love that we have so much talent out here and it is getting showcased so well. This is a fantastic book. There are unusual creatures that lurk in the woods outside of Marysvale and a few other towns in the forest. John is tied to these animals but can’t remember how. John just happens upon Marysvale after fleeing from the current town he is residing. He is a drifter and often moves on when those around him start to recognize his unusual talents. You will have to read the book to find out what those talents are – I don’t like giving anything away.

I give this book 4 stars. It is a fun, easy read but has lots of action and drama. The love story is great to watch develop but it not over the top so it doesn’t interfere with the story at all. This is part of a series and I will definitely be reading the next one that comes out this Fall! This is definitely a romantic, action-packed story filled with monsters and tyrants, heroes and heroines.

Thanks to Media Guests for the opportunity to review this book!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Review of Homeward by Melody Carlson

By Melody Carlson

From bestselling author Melody Carlson comes this award-winning story of three generations of Lancaster women. For twenty years Meg Lancaster has avoided Briar Hedge, the Lancaster family estate. Now she has been drawn back to her grandmother’s home to uncover secrets that have been hidden for decades and to try to regain the family she long ago abandoned.

This is a powerful story about one girl’s struggle with abandonment from her family. Meg had always been the fat, ugly daughter and was always trying to fit into her family. The only person she ever connected with was her beloved grandfather. The day of his funeral ended up changing Meg and her family’s lives forever. Meg packed up and left her family for good – or so she thought. She was 17 and a high school drop out. She left her only home in Oregon and headed off to California to make it on her own cutting all ties. She puts herself through college and becomes a highly paid marketing executive. But when her live takes an unexpected turn the only place she wants to go is home. Nearly twenty years after walking out she arrives back in Crandale to face her sister, mother, and grandmother.

Meg unexpectedly finds the solace and healing that she is looking for after so many years away. She also finds that she can love again and not just those in her family. I would give this 3 stars. It is an easy read and has a great underlying message.

Thanks to Glass Road PR for the opportunity to review this great book!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Review of River's Song by Melody Carlson

River’s Song
By Melody Carlson
River's Song (Inn at Shining Waters, #1)

Following her mother’s funeral, and on the verge of her own midlife crisis, widow Anna Larson returns to the home of her youth to sort out her parents’ belongings, as well as her own turbulent life. For the first time since childhood, Anna embraces her native heritage, despite the disdain of her vicious mother-in-law. By transforming her old family home on the banks of Oregon’s Siuslaw River into The Inn at Shining Waters, Anna hopes to create a place of healing – a place where guests experience peace, grace, and new beginnings. Starting with her own family…

The story begins with Anna returning home after her mother’s funeral in 1959. She hasn’t been home in nearly 20 years. She left and eloped when she was just 19 with her first love; however, her fairy tale marriage went down hill fast. Her mother-in-law hates her because she is part Indian and calls her ‘squaw’ for most of her life. Her husband went off to war and was severely injured. He came home alive but had to be taken care of around the clock by Anna. After nursing him for 12 years he finally succumbs to his injuries and dies. By then Anna is living in her in-laws home with her daughter Lauren. Anna is turned into virtually a live in slave to her mother-in-law and is even being treated that way by her teenage daughter. The story details Anna’s life from when she was a little girl to the present. She finds the peace she is looking for in her life back at her parent’s home and finds a way through various friends and opportunities to stay on the river. 

This story is full of emotion – fear, sadness, anger, bigotry, and of course love. It is heart-wrenching in some parts but over all it is a story about coming home. Coming home to that place of peace within yourself.  This is a great read and will leave you wanting more. And there is more coming – this is a series book and the next one will be out soon. I can’t wait because this definitely leaves it with a cliffhanger.  I give this book 4 stars.

Thanks to Glass Road PR for the opportunity to review this book!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Review of To My Senses by Alexandrea Weis

To My Senses
By Alexandrea Weis
To My Senses

Amid the prying eyes of spicy New Orleans society, one woman just choose between embracing her passion or heeding practicality in this finely-tuned Southern love story. Haunting and heartfelt, this debut novel is steeped in wit, charm and sizzling moments of desire.  It shares one woman’s journey through love, betrayal and the ultimate tragedy that eventually leads her to discover her true purpose in life.

This is the first book in the Nicci Beauvoir series. I received the second one Recovery a couple of months ago from the author and loved it so much I asked for the first one. The take of Nicci and David starts here. You don’t have to read To My Senses to understand Recovery but I would suggest it very highly. It does make everything add up better and you get all of the back story to all of the characters in Recovery.

This is a great dramatic love story based in New Orleans high society. It is fun to see how Nicci fits into her eccentric family and society groups. I say fun because she is not a traditional society girl and loves to do things to show she is independent of their ways. Nicci’s character starts to develop in this book as she finds out who she really is and where she wants to go in her life.

I gave Recovery 4 stars but I will give this one 3 stars. Not because it is not worth the read but to emphasis that this series gets better with each book. Sacrifice, the 3rd in the series, will be out sometime next year. I will definitely be getting that book and letting you know how everything with Nicci ends up.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summer 2011

Hello to all my blog friends! I have so missed you all!  What a crazy summer this has been for me. Not only have I been out of work for the last four months but I still have the rest of my life going on!

Can I just say the economy sucks! The job hunting is not very fun. I do get interviews so I guess that is good but just no solid job offers so that is not so good.  It is funny how you go for an interview and when you ask how soon you are looking to hire they always say right away! or last week! and then all you do is wait for the phone to ring!  I had one place that I had to do three interviews and by the time I got them all done it was 6 weeks after I started with the first one. I guess that is in a hurry? So the process is long and discouraging. Good news is that I had another interview today and it was great. So we'll see what happens over the next couple of weeks to see if it pans out.

But on to the better things about being unemployed. My house is clean, my laundry is always caught up, I cook more often, I read a lot of books, I have re-painted my whole house, I have cleaned out the basement, finished my Mom Cave, I get to exercise whenever I want (wait is that a good thing?), don't forget the Harry Potter movie marathon leading up the last one :( and also re-reading book 7 too, and I get to spend TONS of time with my kids!!! They are not really seeing that as a plus anymore. They seem to be finding more and more things to do away from home lately. I am getting the hint. It probably has something to do with the week of hiking every day that did it to them.

My family is coming up to my house next weekend. So I am trying to find a great hike that the whole family can do together for one of the days they are here. Utah has tons of hiking trails all across the state that are of all different skill levels. So I decided that I should try some out so I can take the fam on the best one out there for all of us. So I subjected my kids to a hike a day for about a week. Every morning at 8am I was ready to leave and take them to the mountains! What a fabulous way to start the day right? Well for the most part it was fabulous. So needless to say we found the perfect hike that ends at an amazing waterfall. If you have ever heard of Sundance - as in the Sundance Film Festival, Sundance Ski Resort - that is pretty close to where we will be hiking at. It is only about a 30 min drive to the trailhead and it is truly some beautiful country there. I will post pics soon.  I have several other hikes I will post about that were great and even one that wasn't so great.

So that is what I have been up to this summer and so that didn't leave me much time for blogging. I have another great review for tomorrow. There are two more coming for next week and then another two the week after that. I am so excited for them.  In between all of that and hopefully some more hiking I will post some details about the hikes we went on and I am still going to post about my Oregon trip. I know, I know that I have been promising that for a while now but I am really going to do it!

I am going to try to spend more time getting on all my fav blogs over the next week. Now that the Mom Cave is actually finished and usable I can get on the computer more often.  So thanks for sticking with me and I will be visiting y'all soon!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Review of Under the Dome by Stephen King

Under The Dome
By Stephen King
Under the Dome

Just down Route 119 in Chester’s Mill, Maine, all hell is about to break loose…

On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day, a small town is suddenly and inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and rain down flaming wreckage. A gardener’s hand is severed as the dome descends. Cars explode on impact. Families are separated and panic mounts. No one can fathom what the barrier is, where it came from, and when – or if – it will go away. Now a few intrepid citizens, led by an Iraq vet turned short-order cook, face down a ruthless politician dead set on seizing the reins of power under the dome. But their main adversary is the dome itself. Because time isn’t just running short. It’s running out.

I absolutely love a good, long book and so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one! It is a whopping 1074 pages and it didn’t disappoint!  I was very intrigued by the synopsis that was written about this book but had heard mixed reviews so wasn’t really sure how much I would enjoy this. I was engaged from page one and if I could have read all 1074 pages in one day I surely would have done so.  This was very much a fast paced book and I would compare it to The Stand, which is one of my top five all time favorite books ever. It has a good mix of the fight between good and evil but on the smaller scale of this little town and those trapped inside. This does not mean it is not as dramatic as the battle in The Stand. I feel that it made it even more so and if you have ever lived in a small town you will totally understand why. Of course in true Stephen King style it has a great sci-fi twist in it that I didn’t see coming at all.

So I will give nothing away and will end on this note cause you know how I HATE spoilers. It is a 5 star book and well worth the length, especially if you are a Stephen King fan!  

PS - I will post more on Thursday about where I have been for the last month and what I have been up to. I have missed my blog and am glad to be back with all of you!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Zions 2011 Girls Trip!!!

So me and my sisters planned a very, very impromptu girls trip over this last weekend.  Of course my girl Ashley came with to chaperone us:) We planned a quick overnight trip down to Zions National Park on the spur of the moment. It was so worth it and we had a blast!  One sister lives in Nevada and the other two of us live in Lehi/American Fork UT.  One sister only had a 2 hour drive while the others had a 4.5 hr trip! Wish we could have all traveled together.  My older sister Christine is 40, I am 38 (39 in 2wks), and little sister Kim is just a baby at just 35! We all have families and only seem to get together when the families do so we headed out alone into the desert for some much needed girls time!  If you haven't been to Zions National Park you really need to plan a trip because it is breathtaking!  We really need to plan a trip longer than one night next time. We got down there on Friday night and came home after dinner on Saturday night! 

So we found a cutie to hang out with on one of the stops on the way there:
Kim and Ashley always find the keepers:)

They also know how to find the rest areas too:
Good thing we found this map and found out where we are! Well Ashley looks a little confused still - but she looks like that quite a bit so we weren't worried and went on our way!

So we started our day with full intentions that after we hit a store to get some matching shirts to go with our ever so cute matching hats we would head up to a short hike before lunch.  So here is some quick shots of us waiting in line to get into the park: 

Not bad for taking them through the sunroof as we waited in line. So for Kim and Ashley in the back seat they decided to help with the window decorations that we had done that morning before heading out! The other cars in line loved watching them getting in and out to add to their entertainment:

This was great to drive 4.5 hrs home on the freeway in Utah. We had a lot of looks and laughs! We loved it though. So back to the story of our morning. We apparently can't read a map all that well! So we missed the turn off to where we wanted to hike to and ended up driving several miles in the other direction. Beautiful scenery and we went through two tunnels - one was a mile long! Who doesn't love a good tunnel?!? So we finally stopped and took some fun pictures - well Kim and I look like we are having fun:

So I am in the middle with Kim on the left and Christine on the right. I think she had that look a lot on this trip! Don't let her fool you because she had a fabulous time!  Don't you just love the shirts and hats! So we headed back through the tunnels wanting to find our original hike. Well if you have ever driven in canyonlands then you know it is very twisty and windy. Which usually ends up with someone a little green. Well Kim was the lucky winner this time:

So why not take some pictures while we wait for it to pass:

Once she was feeling better we headed back on the right path. But while on this path we noticed we were the only car on it. There were shuttle buses but really no cars. We thought hmmm this is nice! Then we passed a sign that told us if we didn't have a red permit then turn around! Well we thought we have come this far so we kept going to the parking lot. Sure enough there was lots and lots of cars with red permit stickers in their windows! We decided that we shouldn't leave our car there while we hiked for two hours. We may not have a car to come back too. So since it was already 12:30pm we decided it was time for lunch!  Went back into the town of Springdale, UT and found a fabulous little diner called Blondie's! It was amazing and so yummy. Back to the canyon for us and another hike:
Ashley is going to point the way for us! 

So we headed out on the Watchman trail for two hours of fun together!

Me and my baby girl!

The girls on the trail!

There is that look again by Christine! Should Kim and I be concerned?
Also, I am not as short as this picture portrays! None of us are tall by any stretch but really this just makes it worse!

We had several stops along the way because when the map says that this hike is not recommended for early afternoon then you should listen. Man was it hot! We had plenty of water with us and stopped when we could find shade:

Ashley running ahead on the trail that seemed to never end!

I think their looks say it all - it was HOT!

Ashley and Kim finding a great seat to rest.

Kim, Me, and Christine 

Kim, Christine, & Ashley

Cutie pie Ash!

Isn't she just beautiful! Even after sweating and hiking:)

Yeah we climb rocks!

The last stop before we head back to the bottom.

Kim and Ashley

Good thing going down is a lot faster!

Our little friend taking it easy in the shade

Finally the river!

The river was so cold and felt so good after a long day in the sun! We hung out here for a while cooling off before heading into town for a little shopping and some dinner.

Christine, Kim, and Me! 

Ashley and Kim posing on the car before heading home!
Aren't they hotties?!?

Well Kim thinks she is Hottie #1

Ashley is Hottie #2

And they so kindly called Christine Thing #2 and I was Thing #1. Yeah we are all mature.  Not sure where my picture went from the camera but I am sure one of the sisters has it for posterity's sake.

Great weekend with the girls! If you have the chance to run away for a weekend make sure you take along your matching hats, shirts, window markers, food, and your best girls!