Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ella's First Rides

I gave up on uploading video a long time ago when it took forever to load and never ended up working. Suddenly, it works! Maybe that's because these videos are less than 30 seconds long. Whatever the case may be, I'm happy these worked! Here's Ella on her first carnival rides at the Mid Valley Fair in Paso Robles . . .



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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Some Final Pictures from the Roadtrip . . .

I wanted to put up one final "catch-all" post for all the pictures that didn't make it in before.

This was our third day on the road when we went from Casper, WY to Wall, SD, and in between we visited Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore.


Waiting for the adults to use the restrooms at the visitor's center at Custer State Park . . . so patient :)


The view out the right side of the van in Custer . . .


The view out the left side of the van . . .


The view behind us . . .




We got lucky because everybody behind us and everyone on the other side of the road got stuck in this buffalo traffic jam . . . we got all the pictures and we got to ride off when we were done. I don't know how long everybody had to sit there, but those buffalo did not look like they were interested in moving anytime soon!


Rushmore from a distance . . . driving in from the south.


Coming through the entrance and walking up the path to the viewing area . . .






So patient again . . .


We decided to have dinner at their restaurant. The adults had bison burgers and the kids had hot dogs.


This was our view for our little patio dinner . . .


Kurt, the girls, and I walked the path beneath the monument.





One for the Christmas card . . .



There was a huge storm coming closer and closer during our visit . . . we had thunder and lightning during dinner, and after our walk, we decided we'd better head to the van.



Literally five minutes after this picture was taken, the sky open up and poured on us! Luckily we made it into the van with seconds to spare.


Grandma let Ella play with the disposable cameras that were all used up and waiting to be developed . . . Ella loved pretending to take pictures.


This was at a rest stop right after we crossed the Missouri river on our way to Rochester, MN . . .


Crazy camera Grandma . . . this was at the rest stop too. They had a great display about Lewis and Clark.


Grace swimming at the Madison Concourse pool two nights later . . .




This was the bingo/dining area on the SS Badger, the car ferry we took across Lake Michigan. We had fun playing trivia and bingo, and the kids had a play room with a large mural on the wall they could color. Grandma also got us our own room, so Ella took a nap for part of the time. The trip took about 4 hours and saved us from driving from Madison, WI around the lake to Bear Lake, MI.


Ella got an eyeball sticker from Kurt's optometrist in Traverse City . . .



Grace on Grandma's chair . . . we were watching our new Wiggly Safari video we got resale shopping.



This was looking out the window of the Crown Plaza in Indy . . . I missed a better picture a few seconds earlier, but I still love this Daddy-daughter moment.


Kurt outside of the house he lived in during law school at IU, Bloomington. It was condemned when he left, but they apparently fixed it up.



Grace at one of our rest stop lunches . . .






This was at a hotel in Topeka, KS . . . dinner on the floor!


The girls danced around a mall in Wyoming to get some much needed exercise after being in the van for so long.


This playground was near a gas station/truck stop complex in western Wyoming.


Another mall stop for stretching . . . we drove from Cheyenne, WY to Elko, NV in one day, so we had to make a few stops for the kids. Overall they were great little travelers!





Sunday, July 10, 2011

Visiting Family

On our way home from Michigan, we got to visit a lot of family. Our first stop was in Hope, IN to see Aunt Lorene and Uncle Larry. Here is the gang sitting on a little cement bridge that spans Chicken Creek in their front yard.



Ella had fun throwing rocks into the creek . . . Grace was trying to eat the rocks!



This is a view of the house from the bridge . . . Kurt has Grace on his shoulders as he and Larry walk back to the house.


Ella got some help blowing her dandelion seeds . . .


We match . . . in more ways than just clothing :)




When we left Indiana, we drove to Belleville, IL to see cousin Maria and Blake and their girls Hannah, Lydia, and Abby. Ella had a blast on the exercise trampoline!


Aunt Debbie was there visiting, so she gave Ella a tour of the backyard play set.


Abby and Ella did some more jumping on the outdoor trampoline . . .




Aunt Debbie and Maria packed us a yummy lunch to go . . . here is Kurt making his sandwich at a rest stop in Missouri.







Our next stop was in Thorton, CO to see Uncle Ed and Aunt Mary. Unfortunately, I got sick that night, spent the rest of the visit in bed, and didn't get any pictures of the family together :( Kurt had a great time playing pool with Uncle Ed and Ella and Grace had a blast playing with Aunt Mary and her animals, both the stuffed ones and the real doggies.



The next time we take a road trip, we are going to build in more time to stay with family!