Location: San Antonio, USA
We are home! Our car has officially logged 5400 miles! That is a lot of together time in the car! The trip was amazing and we made memories we will never forget... however, it was just a wonderful feeling driving into San Antonio and pulling up to our house! Lola went crazy when she saw us, as did Nancy! (our dogs) Now it is laundry, chores, cleaning etc.. and so the fun ends! Thanks to everyone who checked our blog! It was a blast doing the blog and getting messages!
Love you all!
Location: Las Vegas, USA
Wow! Yesterday was a pretty good day! My mother-in-law gave me some gambling hints! She said to find the penny slots that are closest to the door of the casino and to put in $10 and hit "bet max". Well, I laughed and she said "No, and make sure it is a machine that makes a lot of noise... they put those next to the door to bring people in". Ok... whatever... right? I mean this is Vegas and nobody goes home a winner. But, last night I decided to try her little hint. Well, I put in my ten dollars, hit "bet max" and won $20. Ok... so coincidence I decided. Then, I "cashed out" and gave ten dollars to David while I put five dollars back in the same machine. Within 3 turns on that 5 dollars I hit the Jackpot and won $1502 dollars! Can you believe??? I had to call the casino people over... other "spectators" were watching... it was crazy! So, now I guess we have the gas money we needed! That's a lot of pennies! Ha... of course I will have to pay 30% to the tax man but they gave it all to me in crisp 100 dollar bills! Yippie! Ok... so that is it for now! I am off to my presentation this morning.
Location: Las Vegas, USA
Day 2 of Vegas and we are already broke! No.. not from gambling as most would think .. but from eating. My word... the price of food here is ridiculous! What happened to the good ol days when a hotel room and food was cheap because of all the gambling everyone did. Apparently, in booting out the mob and "cleaning" up the city they found out that they could charge for everything as families were coming! Tonight is David and my reception for the College Board consultants so we have to get ready and dressed up for a change. (That hasn't happened for 3 weeks... I actually have to put make-up on!) The kids and I took pictures of our new "body art" so make sure you click on the pictures and look! Tomorrow is my presentation of "15 lessons and labs for use in the AP Environmental Science classroom" and then we will be ready for our journey home! We went to Harry Potter yesterday and that was fun! Go figure... opening day and the first show and hardly anyone was there... come on Vegas... Harry Potter... get with it!
Location: Las Vegas!, USA
Did we tell you that we loved the Tetons? Its true. But I (David) am pretty much done camping. I have hijacked the blog and the trip. Today in the middle of nowhere Utah, I suggested we blow off Bryce Canyon and just drive straight to Vegas. Instead of moans and objections the entire family heartily agreed with my suggestion. As a matter of fact, as soon as I suggested it, Caty exclaimed that Jesus answers prayers quicker than she thought, and that she now has a testimony. So, we booked a couple of extra nights at the Flamingo where you will find me camped at the pool with drink in my hand while Courtney will probably be roughing it over at the nickel slots. The kids? Well probably let them just wander the Strip. On a serious note, after our decision to bail on camping at Bryce we discovered that southern Utah is experiencing widespread wildfires and as we drove through the thick smoke administering albuterol puffs to Colin we realized that there would be no way we could of camped there anyway so it was a good choice. So Zion and Bryce will have to wait for another trip. We still plan to visit the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam while staying in Vegas. Until next time, VIVA LAS VEGAS
Location: Grand Tetons, USA
We LOVE the Grand Tetons! It is so beautiful here! We never saw them but apparently there was a bear that went through the camp at 11pm last night and a mother bear and cubs that went through at 7am this morning! Wow
so glad I decided to stay in a cabin in Yellowstone to stay safe from the bears!!!! We are exhausted! We decided to take the hike around Jenny Lake this morning rather than the boat across the lake and up to Inspiration Point. The boat would of cost $56 for all of us and that just seemed crazy! However, after the 6 mile round trip with the last ½ mile being straight uphill the kids were wishing their parents werent so cheap! I loved it and it was a beautiful view from the top. Deb
you would be happy to know that I have hiked the entire trip in my Crocks! They are awesome and actually make very good hiking shoes! The kids had fun swimming in Jenny Lake though it is cold water! I was only able to get in to my waist before my entire body was numb! David did the jump and dive really quickly trick and got out just as fast. Last night was fettuccine alfredo at camp so tonight we are heading into Jackson Hole to get dinner! There are a lot of rules because of the bears and cooking is a big pain. For example, you have to add water to your pots, then scrub in the pot and then walk to the bathroom and throw the dirty water into the toilet. Then, start all over until the pot is clean. And, you cant wash the dishes in the bathroom
only at your campsite. Forget about it! Dinner tonight is in town and they can wash the dishes themselves! Tomorrow will be up early and off for another 9 hour drive down to Bryce Canyon in southern Utah. I will let you know how that goes afterwards!
Location: Grand Tetons, USA
Hey again! Sorry.. but we have been out of pocket and out of Internet for a few days! Now we are in the Tetons and came into town, Jackson, for lunch and to restock on groceries. The last few days in Yellowstone were exciting... we saw Old Faithful, be sure to look at David's video, a pack of wolves that were eating a deer head and more bears! See the new pictures! Oh yeah. and a moose! The cabin was nice but we were ready to camp again... crazy! The Tetons are going to be cold ( the low tonight is in the 40's). Today ends our 2nd full week and we have now driven over 3000 miles. Feel free to contribute to the gas fund! Ha! Not much to say! Please keep the messages coming ... it is fun to hear from everyone! Love you all!
Location: Yellowstone, USA
Today we got to see Old Faithful! Very cool and we shot video that David is going to edit tonight and hopefully we can post that soon. The Internet speed around here is extremely slow and it takes about 30 minutes to upload 12 pictures! Lets see
what is new
we got to watch a Grizzly Bear and her two cubs frolic around in the wildflowers last night and again this morning. That was too cute! The cubs kept chasing each other and tackling one another. We also ran across a young black bear eating flowers right on the side of the road which we were able to get some great pictures of. Colin keeps having bad nosebleeds because of the altitude and David has decided to grow out a full beard
gross! I told him he HAS to shave when we get to Las Vegas before the College Board reception for consultants! As neat as Yellowstone is, and as glad I am that I got to see it, the kids and I still like Rocky Mountain better! David isnt sure which his favorite one is yet! We have seen most of the park
which is huge
2.2 million acres. I had no idea it was that big! I also had no idea of the amount of geysers that were here. They are everywhere. We came into town today and had pizza and bought rechargeable batteries for my new camera because it is eating them up! We have two more nights here and then will take the tent out again for two nights in the Tetons and one night in Bryce Canyon. I hear all it is doing at home is raining so Im not too sad to be away! We still have not seen any wolves or moose but hopefully will in the next couple of days! The bison and elk are like cockroaches
they are everywhere! Hopefully we will have Internet again soon
Location: Yellowstone, USA
Yellowstone- WOW! Like nothing I have ever seen in my life before! Yesterday, as we drove into the park and showed our National Park Pass we heard that there was a grizzly bear right there! So, we jumped out of the car and sure enough he was a big one! I got the best picture I could, which was of his back end! But, I think when you look at the picture you will get the idea of how big he was! (or maybe it was a she!) We continued on towards our cabin and saw an entire herd of buffalo! Then, as we drove farther a buffalo was walking along the road with traffic! I got a great picture of him! Next, we passed another coyote on the road and got a pretty amazing picture of her. She was eating road kill off the road and then she peed on it when she was done! Weird. We finally made it to our cabin, which was so adorable, and we were starving! So, we ate at the Roosevelt Lodge for dinner. The service was horrible but the food was awesome! We retired early after the all day drive and let the kids sleep in this morning while David and I drank coffee on the beautiful porch and read our books! Very peaceful! We then woke the kids up and got on the road to see more unheard of things. We had a picnic lunch under the forest and then saw three amazing waterfalls. (Tower Falls, Upper Falls and Lower Falls) Next, we went to Norris Geyser Basin and saw the strangest pools of sulfur (SMELLY!) and bubbling, boiling water I have ever seen. We took pictures and videos so dont forget to take a look. We are now on our way to one of the towns outside of the park to get dinner and more bottled water. Tonight we plan on parking it at this one meadow where the wolves are supposed to play. We will let you know what adventures come out of that!
Location: Wyoming, USA
Today is a driving day. We woke up at 5:30, took down camp, got really good coffee in Estes Park, CO and are now en route to Yellowstone in Wyoming. A little known fact
Wyoming has 2/3 of the worlds pronghorn antelope and they are everywhere we look. The kids have entertained themselves by watching the DVDs after having not had a working DVD player for the whole trip. We had to replace a fuse on the dvd. It took the better part of last night to find it. The children have suffered these past couple of weeks without their in car entertainment. It sure is nice to have peace and quiet for a change. Wow! Wyoming is barren. Dinner last night with our neighbors at Rocky Mountain was delicious. We had stew and amazingly enough a pineapple upside down cake prepared in a dutch oven over coals. It was amazing and was much better than the smores that I have been preparing night after night. The girls exchanged email addresses and want to become e-pen pals. We are looking forward to four nights in a cabin and have decided that we love camping but will definitely invest in a pop up trailer before our next big trip. If anyone knows of a used one for sale, let us know. Im sure well have much to say after seeing Yellowstone. Keep checking in!!
Location: Rocky Mountain, USA
Today is our last full day at Rocky Mountain and we are going to have a hard time saying goodbye. This has been our favorite place, yet everyone tells us that Yellowstone is even better. This morning we stayed around camp and let the kids play with our neighbors (a family of five from Ft. Collins, CO) while we drank coffee and visited with the adults. For lunch we went into Estes Park and had delicious gourmet pizza and purchased some nice t-shirts. The kids had homemade candy from the confectioner. We are now traveling up Trail Ridge Road to play in the snow again and tonight are looking forward to cowboy stew with the neighbors; well provide the smores. So far we have failed in our quest to see the big horn sheep, but we will hopefully have better luck tonight after dinner. We will pack the car tonight except for the sleeping bag and tent, so that we can leave early July 4th for our ten hour long drive to Yellowstone National Park.
Location: Rocky Mountain, USA
Tonight we came into town to do more laundry and take showers... yes, you pay $4 per person to shower at the laundry place in Estes Park.. wow! This morning we did a 2 hour hike up to Bear Lake and to Alberta Falls. We also drove across the highest through road in the country... over 12,000 feet high, Trail Ridge Road. Beautiful! Breakfast was bean and cheese tacos and dinner tonight will be sloppy joes! We are hoping to see Big Horn Sheep on the way back to camp tonight and if we do I will post those pictures tomorrow! Keep checking in!
Location: RockY Mountain National Park, USA
I'm not going to have any new pictures yet, but just a quick update. We are in Rocky Mountain and it is BEAUTIFUL! I was so tired of desert! The kids played in the snow yesterday and we slept under giant pine trees. I also didn't die of heat. The kids have made friends with the neighbors again and this time at least there is a little girl Caty's age. Finally! Today we will hike Bear Lake and Cub Trail and see what else there is to see. Yesterday we saw a herd of elk lying in the snow. Those pictures will be posted soon! Off to deliver ice to the campsite! Love you!
Location: Arches, USA
are you kidding me? I have never been so hot in all my life! The only thing I can image it to be like is going outside in August in San Antonio and lying down on the asphalt! Besides that
Arches was awesome! To think of the power of water and how it can alter the landscape is amazing. We decided to do the driving tour instead of hiking in the heat and just getting out at the overlooks caused me to gulp down 2 bottles of water. Yikes! We were booked to camp there and decided that was nuts! Caty may become a lawyer someday, because she did an excellent job convincing both me and her dad that it would be best if we got on the road to get closer to Rocky Mountain! The coolest it was going to get according to the ranger station would be 70 and that would be in the middle of the night. The kids did earn their Junior Ranger badge and we are now driving to Colorado. We dont know how far we will get tonight but will just cheat again and pull into a hotel along the way. We were going to have a 7-hour drive tomorrow to go from Arches to Rocky Mountain National Park and will now have much less depending on how far we get tonight. I think we will do some research on Bryce Canyon tonight if there is Internet access to see if the heat there will be just as bad
if it is then we may make another change for that part of the trip! Colin has entertained himself today making videos with his sister. His first directing attempt! He started with an action filmed but decided halfway through to make a comedy instead. He wants Mr. Randolph to help him edit it when we get home!!! Have fun with that one Mike! After a brief stop for ice cream at the Shell station we are on our way and hope to have more updates soon! Ta ta for now!
Location: Mesa Verde, USA
Today brought us to the last of our cultural visits to Indian ruins. I must say that we saved the best for last. Bandalier was amazing
Chaco Canyon even better and Mesa Verde is the icing on the cake! I have never seen anything quite so fantastic as the way these ancient people used what they had to create an entire community on the side of a cliff. It was hot and the kids got a little whiney, but both kids said they learned so much they never knew. They got their 3rd Junior Ranger badge and took the pledge once again. They are officially on each others nerves and are driving us nuts! The campsite in Mesa Verde was beautiful and had good amenities. We were able to take hot showers, do laundry, buy needed supplies and have an all you can eat pancake breakfast all at the campsite. The kids made friends (again) with the children at the campsites next to us and Colin is having a very hard time leaving his new friends everyday. He gets teary eyed each time we leave. This morning we are on our way to stand in the four corners and then are going to make it to Arches National Park this afternoon. According to the lady at the laundry mat who had just come from there, it was 105 degrees during the day and never cooled off at night. We shall see how we do! Keep checking our blog and we will update it as often as we can!!