Thursday, August 30, 2012

Day Ten: Our Journey Home

Catching up after a week of FUN!!

After a very fun and exciting week for all of us we packed up our car and headed home. This picture of Joseph shows what him and I did most of the ride home. Poor dad had to drive, but he was a good sport about it. Thank you to all of our wonderful family and friends who let us stay with them and got to spend some time with. We love you all so very much and look forward to seeing you all very soon!!

Since I have now caught up on our trip, I will move on to our next adventure and try to catch up on July and August.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Day Nine: Hanging with Hessing's, Mom, Anne and Joseph!!

On our last day of vacation we spent it in Elko with our family. Ben and Zach went shooting first thing in the morning, so Dixie and I decided to do a little photo shoot with the kids. They were great sports about the whole thing until we ran out of snacks. :) The guys got back just as we were finishing up and had just enough time to grab lunch before heading to the Bask festival. Dixie and I had a blast hanging out and playing with the kids and just as they were getting up from nap time Nana arrived with Anne and Joseph. I was so excited to see Joseph, I had missed him so much!! We spent the rest of the day enjoying each other's company, getting the car ready for the trip home and eating yummy food. After dinner Dixie and Anne were kind enough to put on a concert for all of us. They are both so talented and it was such a treat to be able to hear them play. It was a great way to wrap up a terrific vacation. We love the Hessing's so much and are so grateful to them for opening up their house to us and being such wonderful hosts. We will definitely come back very soon.

Chatting with Uncle Ben

Calvin and Hobbes

My sweet niece Melanie

Strong man Calvin

Love this face!!

Melanie and Joseph relaxing

My awesome kiddo!!

Cousin swinging time

The greatest Nana holding Calvin.

Dixie and Anne

One last smile before bedtime.

Melanie playing her flute.

Ben and Dixie

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Day Eight: Hanging with the Hessing's

On Friday we hit the road early so that we could get to Elko as soon as possible. We drove this crazy twisty winding mountain road that Ben loved but I was not so sure about. As we were just over halfway down this road our gas light came on and there was not a gas station in sight, so I said a little prayer and tried very hard not to worry. I am so thankful for the power of prayer and for knowing that Heavenly Father heard my prayer because we were able to drive much further then we had the gas for and make it into a small town to fill up. We arrived at Zach and Dixie's early in the afternoon and had lots of time to play with Melanie, snuggle with Calvin and talk with Zach and Dixie.

Driving to Elko.

Melanie excited about her present!

Open it Mom!!

Calvin!! Love that sweet, sweet face!!

Hanging out with Uncle Ben.

Snuggling with Aunt Lynsey

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Day Seven: Yosemite

On Thursday morning we said our goodbye's to Laren, Sheilla and Keiko and hit the road for Yosemite. We arrived at the park around early afternoon and had plenty of time to see some of the beauty surrounding us. It was so incredible to see all these rock formations, waterfalls and GIANT trees up close. The largest tree we saw was the Grizzly Giant and one of the arms was over 7ft in circumference. That arm was bigger then all the other non Redwood trees in the area. We ended up spending the entire day in the park and still didn't see everything we wanted to, so we will definitely be going back to camp and see the rest of the sights. When we left the park we started our drive toward Dixie's house.
We made it!

Ben loving that we are in the mountains.

The Half Dome is the one in the middle.

El Capitan

A neat waterfall.

Ben next to the roots of a fallen Redwood tree.

The Grizzly Giant

In front of the Grizzly Giant.

Standing in the walk through tree.

Ben and the Grizzly Giant. He was about 30ft away and it is HUGE!!

The length of the tree that had fallen.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Day Six: San Francisco & 4th of July!!

We got up early on the 4th and drove into San Francisco to spend a fantastic day with Laren and Sheilla. We started our day with a trip to the beach with Keiko and Sheilla and I waded in the water to refresh ourselves before climbing back up the mountain of sand. Since we had worked up an appetite we had  lunch at this incredible Filipino/American BBQ where we waited for almost an hour to eat and it was so worth the wait. From there we headed over to Golden Gate Park where we went to the top of the Observatory for a 360 degree view of the city, the Japanese Gardens and many other sights. When we left there we drove down Lombard street after waiting in insane traffic and watching general silliness. Since we had subjected Sheilla to the unpleasant experience of driving Lombard street. She does not like heights on rolling backwards on steep hills so we made it up to her by going to Mitchell's for ice cream. It was out of this world yummy!! We still had time to kill before the fireworks so we stopped by the mall and then took a bus down to Pier 39 since we didn't want to park down there and it was a much better idea in theory. When we got to Fisherman's Wharf we saw the Sea Lions, Ghirardelli Square, Alcatraz from a distance and stopped for dinner at this little place on the pier that had yummy fresh crab meat sandwiches. Then we picked out a good spot to watch the fireworks out over the Bay. It was so cool because they did two simultaneous shows, so you could see fireworks from any direction. Once the show was over we just figured we would hop on a bus and head home, but we were so wrong. The buses were so full there was no room so we ended up walking the 30 blocks back to our car, but on the bright side we found a Chinese bakery that was still open so we stopped and had some cake. It helped give us the extra boost we needed to get back to the car. It was a jammed pack day of fun between our driving and walking tour of the city with Laren and Sheilla. It was so much fun getting to see our friends and they were wonderful hosts and tour guides.

Hello San Francisco!!

Me and Sheilla

Sheilla, Ben and Me

Ben, Sheilla and Laren

Me and My Honey on the beach.

Ben and I in front of the Japanese Gardens in Golden Gate Park.

Waiting in traffic to drive down Lombard street.

Here we go!!

Hanging at Pier 39.

A must stop after a long day of walking.

The boys!

Hanging out before the fireworks.

Waiting for fresh crab sandwiches. They were worth the wait.

Alcatraz at Sunset

Happy 4th of July!!

Spectacular show over the water!!

Moon over the Bay bridge.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Day Five Oregon: Newport, Light house, Oregon Aquarium and Bandon

So on Tuesday we had another long day of driving but we took our time and stopped to see some fun things along the way. Our first stop was the Lighthouse in Newport, OR and it was so old and cool. We were lucky to get there when we did because they closed it on the 4th of July. As we were leaving town we stopped at the Oregon Coast Aquarium and I am so glad we did since it is the best aquarium I have ever been to. They divide their exhibits up between inside and outside so you don't feel so crammed in and it flows more like a zoo. They have some really neat Starfish that you can touch and boy do they feel weird, some have really hard shells and others really soft. The also have this really HUGE Octopus and I bummed I wasn't able to get a decent picture of him. My favorite were the Sea Otters, they just crack me up! After the aquarium we didn't stop until Bandon and what a cool little beach town it was. I got a little nervous standing on the boardwalk though because there were Seagulls flying everywhere over my head. We spent the rest of the day and night driving until we finally stopped at a small town a few hours outside of San Francisco. The bummer of the day was that we got to the Giant Redwood tree that you could drive through just after it closed. :( Oh well I guess we will have to just go again.

Me at the lighthouse.

Newport Lighthouse

I took these for my mom since she loves lighthouses.

Spider crab. Ben put his hand up there so we could show how big these things are. They are creepy!


Starfish tank.


Getting closer to California

This bird tried to eat my crackers! So I took his picture.

Bandon, OR

California Coast!