Friday, March 07, 2008

Sandstone cliffs and crystal clear nights aren't the only things catching the attention of a visitor to Utah, especially one hosted by Aaron and Laurie and their son Ben. Ben himself has the power to command a roomful of otherwise conversant adults -- and not just when he's dancing to Kanye West. He's a scrapper, though, ably compensating for his Lilliputian size with a shock of red hair that I swear responds to barometric pressure. Due to his hair's preternatural comb-over tendencies, he often gets compared to Donald Trump -- but I insist the volume and sheer presence of it makes him more of a Conan O'Brien. Figuring into all these qualities is Ben's predisposition for puking. He does it amiably enough, and just as often as not with a smile on his face. So you can forgive me the smile on mine in this shot (courtesy of MacHarg). You'll have to forgive his parents' med school for the cap.

Other non-outdoorsy highlights included time tonight with Zaf and Tahira and their 2 year old daughter Alina, fresh off a flight from LA.  (The former is shown here holding Ben in front of the Irish pub's fire.)

And speaking of restaurants, Mike and I patronized the Blue Plate Diner -- home of the all-you-care-to-eat daily specials. Mine was the salmon and bay shrimp frittata, complete with avocado and havarti. I paused between the first and second frittata (darn tootin'!) to snap this shot. It was delicious and thoroughly enjoyable -- Mike's pointing out I'd just consumed a half-dozen eggs was not.

Finally, no stay with Aaron and Laurie is complete without some quality dog time. Coltrane and Miles are huge and hammy, but very easy to love -- and surprisingly easy to walk. Inseparable brothers that Aaron and Laurie brought home from their year at Nyumbani (an orphanage for HIV+ kids in Kenya), they seemed perfectly content on a single leash with two leads.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Winter camping.  Southern Utah.  Stunning sights.  Great fun.  More later.