Click here for a printer friendly version of these pictures. is back up and we thought we'd reacquaint you with Mormanistan via this beautiful backyard shot.

For Spring Break we flew home to California. Here we badgered one of Jordy's students (who had tracked him to the airport looking for her paper -- true!) into taking our picture.

With seat backs and tray tables in their full upright positions, we were ready for flight. Anna's smiling because no one tried to sit in our row!

John and Lisa graciously picked us up from Oakland and off we went to the Elephant Bar.

Lisa and John enjoy libations.

Happy to be back in the bay area, Jordy and Anna enjoy a drink at the Elephant bar. For Jordy, it's the first Guinness back.

The next morning, Lana and Gary made a delicious breakfast for all of us. Fresh roasted (Gary's now roasting his own coffee beans!) coffee, tangerine Odwalla, egg puff, strawberries, and croissants. What a welcome home!

While Jordy went to play guitar with Owen and Company, Anna and John went to Sunnyside Gardens to visit Baba and Deda.

Anna and Baba.

The following day we went to Santa Cruz where we met up with Rachel and, later, Stephanie.

At Natural Bridges Anna and Rachel demonstrate that they are dangerous women.

Jordy and Rachel, again at Natural Bridges.

Remind us again why we left the ocean?

After visiting various yarn and fabric stores, we lunched at the Saturn Cafe. My God how we've missed that place.

Guinness number 2: The Return of Guinness.

"This ain't no 3.2 beer!"

We met up with Stephanie at UCSC. This shot was taken on the bridge that connects McHenry library to Hahn Student Fortress.

Before we left for Utah, we decided that Stephanie and Rachel could become Wife #2 and #3 respectively. So here's Jordy with his other wives. :)


Owen and Sce took us to the California Cafe for dinner one night. It was quite wonderful!

Here Jordy imbibes in Guinness Number 3: The Wrath of Guinness.

Here we have Sce and Owen at the California Cafe. Sce looks lovely as always, and Owen is sporting his Chemotherapy haircut. Dapper!

For the Russian Orthodox equivalent of Fat Tuesday, Lana, Gary, and John all pitched in to make a decadent blini feast. Here, with all three pans a-blazin', Momthra begins the first batch.


Gary pours the whiskey for the 7&7's needed to sustain the blini effort.

Enjoying a wonderful 7&7, Jordy stays in the most useful place possible -- out of the way!

Momthra has a firm command of the kitchen.

Anna brings the blini condiments to the table: smoked salmon, black and red caviar, green onions, hard boiled eggs, and sour cream.

With the table set, the vodkas come out. We had a varied selection of flavored vodkas: tangerine, vanilla bean, buffalo grass, and lemon. Now it's time to eat (and drink).

Must....Keep....Eating. There's an old Polynesian phrase that says, "Don't eat until you're full, eat until you're tired." We ate until we were tired. But it was so damn good.

Misha and Anna demonstrate (with vodka) their afrotwin powers.

"He doesn't have my hair, but he's got the vodka!"

Midweek both Jordy's and Anna's families gathered to have what was dubbed "Thanksgiving II." Here, before dinner we chatted.

...And chatted...

... And chatted some more.

For dinner it was all the Thanksgiving fare you could eat.

After dinner, we lit a candle to belatedly celebrate Stephanie's 21st birthday. Currently she's in Italy, so we're all jealous.

In what may be a first for, we have Anna posing with a cake that is not hers. No, Momthra made this lovely cheesecake. But, in a moment, Anna will reduce it to slices.

Stephanie and Anna pose for a farewell picture before Stephanie's study abroad trip.

The following night, Jan, Lenny, and Jill took us out to Chevy's for much-missed Mexican food.

Jordy and Jan pose beneath a beautiful blooming tree outside LAUMC.

The amazingly beautiful weather we enjoyed in the bay area held until the night before we left when a storm blew in with heavy winds. Here Gary secures the bamboo patio cover so it doesn't fly away.

Jordy lends a hand.

"Uh, Anna, you're not really going to take that picture, are you?"

Back in Utah, we had a week to get things in order before Rachel flew out to visit for her spring break. Here she poses before Mount Mormonia.

Rachel taught Jordy to knit while out here, and here we see the two of them knitting away. Knitters Rule!

Anna takes a break from her cross-stitching to enjoy the newly finished hat that Rachel made for her.

This also gives us an opportunity to showcase the fabulously comfy guest bed (air mattress). We had to move Anna's sewing table out to the patio to make room, but it worked out fine. Did we mention it was fabulously comfy? Well, then we'll mention it again.

We took Rachel for a tour of downtown SLC and Temple Square. Doesn't she look thrilled?

To be fair, though the sun was out and everything was just about in bloom, the temperature was hovering around freezing, and it caught Rachel a bit off guard. Here she poses in front of the sea gull memorial fountain.

It's hard to get a good idea of the size of the Temple. Here's a shot of the Temple from the edge of Temple Square.

If you look closely, you can see a bride and groom standing in the door of the church.

Mary, Rachel, and Jordy pale in comparison to the giant Mormon Tabernacle organ.

We met up with Mary's mom, Sandy, who is a docent at the LDS church office building -- the biggest skyscraper in SLC. She gave us a tour, and took us up to the 27th floor observation deck.

From the observation deck we had a spectacular view of SLC. To the north we see the state capitol building.

To the west we have the reflecting pond, Temple, and the dome behind -- the tabernacle (where the MoTab and organ are housed).

This is the LDS Conference Center. Again, it's difficult to gauge the size of this place, but it take up four city blocks and holds 35,000 people. On top there is a beautiful park.

After the office building, Mary's mom took us into the Joseph Smith building, formerly the Hotel Utah. Notice the beautiful green stained glass ceiling. Also, the pillars are actually made of wood painted to look like marble. Fooled us.

Anna relaxes in one of the REALLY BIG CHAIRS in the Joseph Smith Building.

After touring SLC, we went to the Red Iguana for lunch. We had heard stories of their incredible Mexican food, but we decided to find out if those stories were true. They were. It was amazing.

Here Jordy and Rachel pose, but they both feel a strong presence of Anna...

Rachel, in stunned silence, looks on at the passing of what we christened the "Holy Mole" that the Red Iguana serves. Divine, truly divine!

As if SLC weren't enough, Rachel also got to experience her first Mormon baby shower.

Clearly, the experience was too much.

The shower was held at Emma's house for our friend Jaime who gave birth to a baby boy just a week before.

Here, in order, are Anna, then (behind) Ronna, Tiffani, Leslie and her husband (one of the two token men -- the other being Jordy).

After a light brunch, we watched Jaime open her presents. From left, Mary, Melissa, Emma (on Melissa's lap), and Jaime.

Jaime and Darcy take a moment to share a laugh.

We'll leave you with a shot of us in front of the SLC Temple.

We're almost done with another roll of film which contains the last part of Rachel's visit, and other things. We'll have it up as soon as we can.

Happy Spring, everyone!