Vacation to Colorado

>> July 29, 2008

We are finally home and unpacked.
We had a GREAT time visiting with family and lots of fun all around.
The drive to Colorado is an 18 hour drive, and with 3 kids we knew we had to take it slowly and provide lots of diversion. So we took 3 days to get there and 3 days to come home.
We brought lots of activities for the road.
We planned a project for each boy to complete that was fun and yet educational, and because it involved using the camera, the boys were pretty excited about their projects. When I actually have a finished product for each of them I will share it with you.
Mason had to take a picture of each letter of the alphabet (each letter from a different place). We managed to get all but 2 or 3 letters on our trip. Once we get the last couple of letters he is going to work with me at putting a road trip alphabet book together.
Here he is taking his E picture...

He did a great job behind the camera and was really proud of himself for it.

Merritt is going to be learning about pioneering this coming year, so we stopped at many of the pioneer sites along the way. He took pictures and is writing a book on what he learned.

Here he is at the Ebenezer Bryce home in Bryce Canyon...

Molly enjoyed every stop we made in her own way.
She did a GREAT job travelling by the way.
At the Bryce Pioneer home, she liked the gravel road.

We drove to our destination on the Northern Route - through Utah and Colorado. The scenery (once out of Las Vegas) is so beautiful. When you take road trips like this you really see what an artist God is - so diverse and each unique thing just as beautiful as the rest.

Bryce Canyon

Along the Colorado river, driving throught the rockies

On Friday evening, around 8:30pm mountain time, we arrived at our destination: Uncle Roger and Aunt Linda's house.

Now the reason we went to Colorado in the first place was for a Gray family reunion. My grandma is turning 90 this year and the last time we gathered like this was to celebrate her 80th birthday. She got ill after we started planning this year's celebration so she wasn't able to be there on Saturday. Nonetheless, it was so GREAT getting to see and visit with my family. AND that didn't stop us from visiting with Grandma. We just took the party to her nursing home on Sunday.

The group picture from Saturday's party
Me and my 2 girl cousins. We were always the 3 musketeers when we'd visit. I have several pictures of the three of us just like this (sometimes with my sister too.) Every time we visit we take one.

Sunday with Grandma

This was actually taken on Tuesday when we went back to see grandma again

My cousin Ryan and my Uncle Roger love to play golf. One of my uncle's birthday gifts (his birthday was the Friday we got to their house) was a pretty cool golf net, so Merritt got some golf lessons. He may have found a new sport. He really enjoyed himself and was learning very quickly.

I know this isn't the best picture. I didn't have a macro lens. But this dragonfly was on the light fixture on my Uncle's back porch - another beautiful display of God's handiwork
We had lots of birthday celebrating while we were in Colorado.
Besides my uncle's birthday (which we officially celebrated on Saturday at our reunion), Merritt had his 8th birthday while we were there and my cousin Ryan's birthday was Friday the 25th so we celebrated his birthday too.

We spent Monday at Pirate's Cove - a water park in Littleton, CO. And then went back to my uncle's house for some ice cream cake.
Merritt was pleased with how he got to spend his special day.
I told him on Monday morning that I brought a 7 year old to Colorado, but was taking an 8 year old back to California. He like that. He repeated it to several people before we left.

Pirate's Cove.
This picture was taken just before the next picture.
The boys were quite unaware of the bucket above their head that was about to reach its capacity.

That was from one of the small buckets. There is also a very large bucket that spills out. When it is about ready to spill a bell rings and a crowd gathers. This was a fun day.

This is another tradition we have - taking a group picture and a picture of all the kids (my uncle's kids and my kids) before we leave.

After that we got back in the car for the three day drive home to California.
We took the southern route home - through New Mexico and Arizona.
I have been through New Mexico many times before because I have family there, but never realized the mountain range in the northern part of the state. Again, another beautiful drive.

Doesn't this look like a postcard?
Garden of the Gods (in Colorado)

New Mexico
I love the clouds of a mid-west sky

The Rio Grande

Can you tell where I took these pictures?

That's right - the Grand Canyon. (I posted more Grand Canyon pictures here)
Again, God outdid himself on this one.
If you ask Mason about his trip he'll probably tell you that he saw the Grand Canyon and that it is "the biggest hole he has ever seen."

I took these pictures on our last day of driving.
I was pretty grateful for a DVD player, coloring pages, books, and Nintendo...

And good old peek-a-boo and itsy bitsy spider

We also visited a very cool museum in Littleton, CO - the Littleton History museum. It has 2 working farms that are hands on - one from the 1890's (a settler's farm) and one from the 1860's (a pioneer farm).
You can see pictures from that here.


Grand Canyon


I can't believe I have lived in the United States for 38 years and have never seen the Grand Canyon.
This is one of the most awe inspiring creations of God that I have ever seen.
The pictures don't do it justice, but here are a few that we took.

Seriously, if you have never been to the Grand Canyon, you should plan to see it.
My only regret is that I didn't have more time there.
I can't wait to go back and have time to venture beyond the rim.


Littleton Historic Museum


This museum was pretty fabulous.
If you have kids and are ever in Littleton, I highly recommend this.
There are 2 hands on working farms -
a settler's farm from the 1890's
and a pioneer's farm from the 1860's

Here are some pictures I took from our visit...

One room school house

inside the 1860's home
1860's home - this is a 2-story home. It is soooo Little House on the Prairie

Sorry I didn't take many pictures of the 1890's home. It was too dark inside and we were focusing on the pioneers not the settlers.


More summer fun

>> July 16, 2008

When I think back on what made for a good and memorable summer vacation when I was in grade school, it was...
1. friends
2. fun
3. traveling
4. and hopefully plenty of swimming

Well, so far this summer...
We've spent lots of time having fun with friends.
(We've even spent time with friends from out of town that we don't get to see much)
We've spent many hours in our bathing suits.

We've been camping at the beach, trading the 112 degree weather for the cooler 65 degree temperatures of the Central California Coast.

And next we will do some traveling.
I'm not sure if I will get any time to post while we are away, but I will have LOTS of pictures when we get back.
I even have a few photo projects planned for the kids.
See you in a couple of weeks!


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