Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Summer vacations

Colorado and LA 
One of our close friends got married this past August in Colorado. Dan was a part of the wedding party so we made the sacrafice of taking a little trip to one of our favorite places (the mountains) to support them! Did I mention we left the kids here with family?!
It was a much needed trip for the just the 2 of us.
We ended up driving to Colorado and it worked out really well. We dropped the kids off after dinner adn drove to Amarillo, where we had a small scare becuase the first 4 hotels I called were all full! The next morning we made the rest of the trek to Keystone. The whole drive from our house to there was 12ish hours. It was great for us just to have that time to talk and we did have my laptop to watch some movies. The drive up the mountains was beautiful. I actually think I preferred driving to flying this time around. We were able to load all our stuff (hiking and fishing gear) without worrying about weight limits and checked bags.
We stayed in a ski resort condo where the Jelly Belly cycling team was staying! I bumped into one of the riders twice, each time in the morning while I was going out for a run!
 We were able to go for a nice hike the day of the wedding. It was straight up for awhile then we tried to take a short cut back and ended up hiking down some ski run. That part was'nt very fun b/c we were not in the woods anymore and we were having to avoid all the mountain bikers on the trail.
 We had a spectacular view from on our hike. I seriously have no idea why I live in hot, flat Texas (Oh yea, our specialized jobs and family) I mean, look at that view and the weather was amazing. It was 45 degrees in the morning and about 72 degrees in the afternoon...that is my perfect weather dream!
 That evening we took the gondola to the wedding site. IT was beautifully decorated and we were able to enjoy the sunset from the mountain top.
 The next morning, Dan got up at 5am to go fishing and I went for a nice run in the cool weather. I was running alongside a road and noticed a car stopped. It made me stop, I run so much alone adn at varying times of day I get a little wary if something seems unusual to me. Anyways, when I stopped all of a sudden a moose ran in front of me! He was probably only 50 feet or so away from me. At least I know why the car had pulled over! I tried to get a little closer to him and I proceeded until he gave me a warning snort, then I knew it was time for me to be on my way!! I lvoe being able to experience God's creation like that!
 After we both returned from our seperate activites we decided to go on another hike together. We had a little trouble finding the trail head to this particular hike, but it was worth the extra time spent trying to find it. It was a wonderful hike. the first hour up was in the wooded area, much like one for our Alaska hikes, then it opened up. We went for several miles until my dumb hiking boot rubbed my heel to a bleeding blister...booo. I have never have had issues with those boots, not sure why I did this time around. Nevertheless, we had a great hike!
 We had to leave very early the next morning as we planned to drive straight through to home. The drive home was not as exciting as the drive up.

A few weeks later my mom and I took the kids to LA to visit my brother and his family. We wanted to fly one more time before Amber turned 2 so she could still be a lap infant. It will be a smidge more expensive now that we have to pay for both kids to fly!
 Nathan was so excited to see his cousin and to ride in the back of Uncle Joseph's care (he talks about that all the time).
 Our first day was Friday and my brother had some work to do so he dropped my mom, 3 of the kids and myself off at the park. We were planning on playing for a few hours until he could come pick us up. Well, we did not anticipate it being blazing hot by 10:30am (it was in the high 90's the whole weekend we were there, go figure) and we drained all the water we had brought by that time. We were in trouble. So we decided to take the kids and try and walk to the zoo or Autry Museum, which some bystanders told us was less than a mile away. Needless to say it did not go smoothly. First, we had no stroller with us and we had 3 kids under 3 1/2years old who were hot, tired and hungry. We took turns carrying them and at one point I was carrying both girls while my mom had Nathan.
It was rough. We did make it to the zoo, but it was going to cost us over $50 to get in and it was almost 11:30, so we decided to walk over to the museum and eat lunch in a little cafe. That was a very smart decsion. THe kids were much better after getting hydrated and fed!
 That evening we ordered pizza and the kids played on the slip-n-slide in the backyard.

 On Saturday we went to Griffith park to ride the horses and trains as is becoming tradition for when we visit.
 Amber was brave and rode a horse with Gram-E walking next to her.
 After naptime the kids had some popscicles to help wake up and to cool off! I love the cousin popscicle picture, I feel like most people have a picture, as kids, with their cousins, while eating ice cream or popscicles!
On Sunday we went to the beach. I was not able to take any pictures as I was with Nathan in the ocean the whole time. The boy loves water but can't be trusted in it alone! He and I had so much fun jumping in the waves and running down the beach into the water! The 2 girls, my mom and Joseph all played in the sand. Amber sure loves sand!
   I will say that being in a house with 4 kids all under 3 1/2 years old is chaotic. Truly chaotic. It helps reinforce that 2 kids is a good number for us!!
As always, it was so good to see them and let the cousins spend time together.

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