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What did you do this summer?

New Zealand
Outside Milford Sound, New
Zealand. Nola says “Peaceful
waters, a perfect walk.”

My family and I took a month-long tour of Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji this summer. A once in a lifetime, dream-come-true vacation! Our family of four was celebrating many things, one of those being our eldest daughter, Briauna, being accepted to the Clark Honors College at University of Oregon. Another being that our youngest daughter is starting high school.

Being gone a month was truly wonderful, and we knew it was a great vacation because none of us could remember what day it was and all of us were experiencing “too-tight” pants syndrome from all the delicious cuisine! New Zealand was our favorite to be sure -- rainforest meets glaciers. We are still in awe of the beauty of nature’s work.

Vicki's tentWe camped in a tent in our backyard for five weeks this summer! We’re undergoing a home remodel (dormer addition). We have a small bungalow so the addition of two bedrooms and a bathroom is very exciting.

We couldn’t be in our existing bedrooms in the beginning of the project so we ended up camping in a tent in our backyard. It worked out well because the tent was big enough to stand up in, so we ran an extension cord from the back of the house and had a lamp in the tent, chairs and suitcases with our clothes. Our dog stayed with our dogwalker during the week, since he was freaked out with all the workers in the backyard (his territory), but we picked him up on the weekends.

What’s funny is that the weekend after we collapsed the tent and moved back inside we went camping in Eastern Oregon. We thought it was pretty hilarious as we were kind of done with the whole tent camping thing. The neat thing is that my husband is an architect and designed the addition. Completion date is hopefully early October.

Beaverton the pigOn a hot, sunny day in mid-June, I volunteered at the Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary in Scio, OR with a group called the Volunteer Vixens. This farm sanctuary currently provides shelter and care to over 100 abused or neglected farm animals, including horses, cows, sheep, goats, donkeys, llamas, chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese. The group was in charge of farm clean up, which was no fun or an easy task, but one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve ever had in my life.

After all the hard work, we got to feed, pet and interact with the animals, all of which welcomed our attention, love and, of course, food. Some of the animals I met included a turkey that was raised by ducks (so he didn’t think he was a turkey), an imprinted goat that grew ecstatic at the site of us walking through the gates, and a pig named Beaverton (shown here) that had escaped a luau in Beaverton where he was going to be roasted as the centerpiece.

We hiked the Ape Caves lava tube located in Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Uriel Frazier with Nathalie Rose
Uriel with Nathalie Rose

My wife Hanna and I had our first child, a baby girl named Nathalie Rose Frazier, born August 12.

This summer I backpacked 40 miles of the Rogue River Trail, visited the Oregon Caves and stayed at the historic lodge there, and participated in the Division/Clinton Street Parade and Street Fair!

I got married this summer.  Bentley and I were married on August 17 in a small family ceremony at my parents’ farm in Eugene and we became a new family.

My husband and I took a road trip to Montana and Wyoming.  We visited Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park within four days!  We hiked in both parks, spending a day at each.  Lots of wildlife to be seen -- mountain goats, elk, moose and some really great birds.  We were also fortunate to witness Old Faithful in Yellowstone!  Fun fact: Yellowstone National Park has the highest concentration of geysers in the world (it’s in the Guinness Book of World Records).  It was a rushed trip, but we had a great time and were able to enjoy beautiful scenery. I recommend both parks highly, but maybe slow down your trip to really enjoy the sites. 

Sherri Hanni in China
Sherri Hanni in China
Notice the Oregon's Health
CO-OP tote bag!

This summer I traveled to Beijing, China for ten days accompanied by a high school friend to stay with another high school friend who has been living there and in Utah for the past 20 years.  Fortunately, she speaks Chinese, so that certainly helped translating!  We walked the Great Wall, took the Alpine Slide down it, biked Beijing through the hutong communities, rickshaw tour, flew to Xian to see the Terra Cotta Warriors and visit the Muslim Quarter, toured the Forbidden City, saw a couple live performances, and did a lot of shopping!  It was an experience of a lifetime that the three of us will treasure forever! 

The highlight of my summer was spending five days on the road with my family (kids, wife, in-laws and their kids).  Our first destination was Spokane, Washington. This was actually my first time driving past Hood River to get up to Spokane and the drive was just great. It definitely also put into perspective the traveling that CareOregon members in the Hermiston area had to do just to get to a provider. 

Our second day was spent at Silverwood Theme Park and Boulder Beach Water Park. My two sons enjoyed the place. We played carnival games, won two Care Bears, ate funnel cake and had a blast.

From there we traveled to Wenatchee and Leavenworth, where we ended our day by having some banana ice cream shakes to cool off from the 90 degree dry heat. It was sunny the whole time we traveled.

Then south to Seattle and the beautiful drive home. We saw the area we would be driving through when we go back to Leavenworth for a Christmas vacation.  This trip was great because I got to spend it with people I love and cherish.

We didn't make it to Hawaii, but we made progress on converting a corner of the yard into our "Maui Garden."