Yesterday Joshua and I came home after spending five days at Convict Lake with the family for the annual family vacation.
The last time we were at Convict Lake was four years ago, right before we got engaged, and we stayed in a huge house with Joshua’s entire family. This time we stayed in a two bedroom cabin with his immediate family.
Our first full day we spent at the lake. We took a hike around the entire lake, which was about three miles. About halfway around the lake we took a break in a nice secluded beach area.
The next day we ventured to Mammoth Mountain where we rode the gondola to the top of the mountain.
The views were absolutely stunning!
The next day Joshua and I drove to Tahoe to visit my Uncle Steve and Aunt Patty for a couple of hours. On our way back to Convict Lake, a storm rolled in and we had the most spectacular lighting show all night long.
We had plenty of rain throughout the night and into the next morning.
Yesterday on our way home we stopped at Mono Cone for lunch and then briefly explored the salt flats at Mono Lake.
It was so nice to get away and relax in the mountains for a few days!
In October of last year, we went over our front yard and backyard with our landscaper (aka Joshua’s adopted dad). While we got started with clearing stuff out of the backyard we paused on it to focus on the front yard.
We got our motivation back this summer, of course during the hottest days. I focused on tearing out all the oddly placed planter boxes, tearing out overgrown grapevines, and clearing out the garden beds.
Joshua tore out what we suspect to be some kind of water feature gone glorified plant box.
We also managed to get a fire pit going with the spare stone from disassembling the fountain-thing.
As much as we’ve cleared out and done, it still feels like it’s gotten out of control. We need help, so we’re going to be bringing in Joshua’s dad and brother to help us out with landscaping.
Really what it comes down to is we just want our backyard to be simple, clean, and green. A great example of our ideal backyard is my Uncle Steve and Aunt Patty’s backyard in their Tahoe home.
Just grass, shrubs/trees, and bark. That’s the goal this fall.
Joshua and I have decided to take the plunge and move forward with removing all the carpet in our home and replacing it with laminate. We spent our Labor Day weekend visiting various flooring stores to compare pricing on materials and installation.
We came home with a lot of samples.
Our goal was to keep both the cost of materials and installation under $2 per square foot. Since we have roughly 1600 square feet of carpet to replace, we have to keep it budget friendly.
The winner? Lowe’s (I swear, we always end up going with them).
They had the lowest price for the flooring we wanted (the Tavern Oak seen above), low price for installation, lowest price for installing base board, and no sales tax! No one else could compare.
Since the majority of our house is carpet we’re going to start the process of packing things up that we don’t need. We have a bit of planning to do, so the goal is to get the flooring in by the end of next month.
With four animals, I know my allergies and Roomba are going to be a LOT happier with this change!
This weekend we had our annual Summer LAN party.
As usual, we made our famous dip and had an amazing array of food brought by others.
My sister’s boyfriend came up for the weekend and made tacos. They were SO good!
Because of the drought, heat, and fire ban we couldn’t break in our recently created fire pit.
But we lit a couple citronella candles and placed them in the pit, so we had a “fire” to gather around, hehe.
Mr. Big had a great time socializing, especially around the barbecue.
And everybody slept quite well! People who spent the night left around 1pm, so the rest of the day was spent cleaning and relaxing.
Looking forward to our next LAN party – New Year’s Eve, when we can really break in the fire pit!