Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mount Rushmore

(This was the last view we saw of the presidents as we were leaving this morning. That moon was perfectly placed!)

(All the state flags are here in this walkway...I took Mom's photo in front of Kansas and the kids' photos in front of Colorado.)
(I only took this photo because I SO want to move to Montana. *sigh* Maybe someday.)

The kids and I dragged Mom on a 10 hour drive up to Mount Rushmore and it was worth every second in the car! I was stunned at how incredibly stellar the views were on the drive itself and the monument was a worthy goal. As you can see by some of these photos, the kids had a great time and so did Mom and I. Now it is painfully clear to me that you can't have a road trip without someone (Kiki) puking in the car and a nasty buffet breakfast. But, again, totally worth it. The kids and I already decided that next summer we're renting an RV and going up to the Badlands and then maybe back up to Rushmore. There was so much to do there that really we could've stayed a week. What do I most regret? Not going to Bear Country USA...I am NOT missing that next summer!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mountain Sky Ride at the Zoo

We are seriously hardcore: no ropes, no beaners, no rappelling! And it was a ball!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Democrat Lincoln Cameron and Bross

House of Oranje

Friday, January 08, 2010

The Last Day in Cali


Wine Country...and gorgeous!

Well, what I really wanted to do on my way home was drive through Vegas just so I could say I saw it but I had some car issues. Scratching my road trip home hurt my feelings more than anything but I was amazingly calm and serene about the whole affair. Hmmmm. Must've been due to a weeks vacation! But, if you must leave California, then an airplane is one way to go. In the end, I flew out of Burbank and I missed seeing my friend and her new twins. That might be my biggest regret. I really didn't want to drive LA at night (I know, I'm a wuss) and I was truly exhausted from the week's activities.

But I can tell you that I am so glad I went and even more glad I went alone. Okay all you mommies out there....go vacationing alone! Trust me! You all know what a social butterfly I am (and I did meet some great people) and I was still completely happy alone. I also have to say that I only watched 1 hour of TV in the entire week, and that is a lot for me! I am now home, refreshed, and much more patient with my kiddos. I even feel like cooking and cleaning again! Life is good.

Maybe my next trip will be to Mexico and include a stop in Vegas. I would really love to see it but you'll have to hold my credit card for me. ;)

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Day 5: The Monterey Bay Aquarium

Sea Dragons--how cool is that?

If you hadn't already figured it out, I am a nerd. I go on, and get really excited about, nature hikes with strangers and take tons of photos of mushrooms (be glad you were spared most of them). I also go to zoos and aquariums no matter if I have my kids with me or not. There is nothing like seeing all of God's creation in the wild and in humane zoos. The MBA was one of the most incredible aquariums I've ever been to (Dallas' was better only because of the tunnel). I spent hours there looking at the incredible creatures. To be totally honest, I sat down in front of the deep sea tank and called my kids because they would've loved it. My favorite marine creatures? The bat rays and the jelly fish. The jelly fish hypnotized me and the bat rays ate out of my hands. What could've been better than that?

Mommy: do you know what I'm looking at right now?
Karis: no, mama, what?
Mommy: I'm looking at a hammerhead shark and schools of small fish.
Karis: I'm looking at a HUGE penny. You won't believe the size of this penny, Mama.

My kids were at the Denver Mint while I was at the Aquarium. Somehow it seemed very fitting.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Monday, January 04, 2010

Day 3: Fisherman's Wharf and Mount Tamalpais

These are photos from Mount Tamalpais. I have to first tell you that I took so many photos of this area, most of them hazy, but all lovely. These are a few of my favorites but so many were amazing. I could've sat in that area and just read books all day long. That tree represents one of my favorite places of all time.

So I knocked out the obligatory Bay tour by boat. I have to say that while I really didn't want to get back into town--the country suits me so much better--I was so thankful I didn't blow off my tour of the Bay. It was a hazy day in San Francisco so I didn't get the photos I really wanted but I was incredibly impressed nonetheless. The Golden Gate bridge is an incredible sight to behold. The first drive across it I wanted to jump out and just walk the span. Here is the problem: fisherman's wharf was MUCH better the next day and if I'd known that I might've skipped my boat ride...but it's all unpredictable when I go on adventures alone.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Day 2: Point Reyes Lighthouse

After church on Sunday I drove all the way around the little bay I was in and landed at Point Reyes Lighthouse. One of the few things I regret on this little excursion was not getting an earlier start to my trip. I should have stopped at North Beach and South Beach also but it was getting dark by the time I was done with my excellent tour and I didn't want to drive "home" after dark.

That said, however, the lighthouse was an incredible thing to behold. Or rather, the views from the lighthouse were incredible to behold. I am embarrassed to say, however, that after doing the incline all summer long and climbing the 14ers, I *still* had to stop and rest in the middle of the huge staircase leading to the lighthouse itself. Of course, I blamed it on all the amazing photo opportunities.

A last little factoid: I sat next to Ken Patrick's wife on the plane ride from DIA to California. She was such an interesting and amazing woman that I almost just went home with her and spent the week at her house. In retrospect I am glad I didn't but on the other hand, she would've been amazing company for me.