Day Trip to Flagstaff

Have you ever tried to keep a two-year-old still? If not, I’m sure you can imagine what fun it is.

Before our overnight to the hospital with Auggie, we had been planning a day trip to Flagstaff. I wanted to see the leaves changing and we wanted to get out in the cool air to hike. We decided that the cool air and forced rest (strapped in car seat, strapped in hiking pack, back to car seat) might be just what the Auggie boy needed.

Saturday morning we threw some stuff in the car and took off. That’s the best part about a day trip – light packing. We didn’t need as much which made getting out the door so much easier!

Excited to get there.

IMG_7937

 

Perfect hiking weather.IMG_7950

Ready to go!

IMG_7947The destination: Red Mountain. The trail was 3 miles round trip and B walked the whole thing!

IMG_7954

Counting tree rings

IMG_7959The trees changed from Pinons to Ponderosa Pines

IMG_7957

B was really into the light layers. Notice she has two sweatshirts and a hat tied around her waist.

IMG_7958

How could he pick just ONE stick?!
IMG_7963

The trail winds through the a volcanic cinder cone. The gravel they are walking through was volcanic rock.IMG_7966 Can you see them way up in the middle?IMG_7968This might be the best picture I’ve ever taken

IMG_7970

This worked just fine on the way up. We didn’t think about how to get down….

IMG_7972

We made it!

IMG_7975IMG_7978Exploring the Hoodoos

IMG_7986

IMG_7988

IMG_7982

The hazards of baby wearingIMG_7990

Little different picture on the way home

IMG_8011We took the long way home through Sedona to catch a few more changing leaves. Totally worth the detour! Especially when a skeptical Peter declared “Slap a bumper sticker on the truck because I am a Leaf Peeper and I don’t care who knows it!”. Which was a hilarious way of saying that he was enjoying himself. I snort laughed for the next 2 miles.

IMG_8001 IMG_8008 IMG_8007

As we pulled into Phoenix, we were welcomed home with one of the most amazing sunsets. A perfect end to a great day!

IMG_8013

If you want to check it out, see the link below for directions. This was a fantastic hikes for kids – flat and lots of interesting things to keep them moving and exploring!

Red Mountain Trail #159

Advertisements

Row Row Row Your Boat

This summer in Montana, we decided to try rafting down the Yellowstone River. Peter, was so completely opposed to going, it was laughable. He said that the rafters screw up the fishing for any anglers on the river and he did not want to participate in ruining someone’s day fishing. There was also the big question if it was safe enough for Baylor and for her buddy M to go. Wild West Rafting Company assured us that the girls would have a blast. And did they deliver – for everyone! We had such a great time, we went back for two more white water trips and each time we had a ball.

The ONE thing about the rafting that killed me is that you can’t (or shouldn’t) take your camera or even phone. You get soaked while rafting and there’s a chance you could fall in – or jump in and go for a swim in the calm sections. Thankfully, Wild West thought of that and they snap group pictures before your float and then hike down and snap action pictures down the river. Love. Love. Love.

The girls were a little freaked out…

IMG_5420[1]And ten seconds later, they were both up front, begging to “ride the bull” which is sitting on the front of the boat, legs over the bow, holding onto a strap.

IMG_5446[1]

B was also the second over the side of the boat for a (voluntary) swim!

IMG_1979 (1)

Our last trip included our niece and nephew, my sister Ali and her mother in law, Vicki. Who was terrified but thankfully was loving it by the first rapid!

_MG_9861

She was so pumped to have an oar

_MG_9857 (1)

Don’t let the fact that B was covering her face fool you – she just didn’t want her face wet
_MG_9901 _MG_9908 _MG_9917

Big Sky July

In a moment of stressing about packing lists, I realized how far we’ve come and how much we’ve done in a short time to make a dream of ours come true.

Let me back up to last summer. After a long flight and drive to the ranch, Peter and  were sitting in rocking chairs on the deck waiting for Auggie to doze off. It was after 10pm and the sun was almost down. It was cool and quiet and…perfect. We started seriously thinking about how we could make a transition that would allow us to spend more time in Montana. After a lot of conversations, we came up with a plan.

In just under a year, Peter has passed the Montana bar, been admitted and we have booked a rental house for all of July. We can both work from here and he’s working on a Montana client list – ensuring lots of summers in Big Sky country to come – and I’m sure a few “client meetings” during hunting season too…

The logistics of getting here were a little daunting. We settled on having Peter drive the 18ish hours with Mac and all our crap stuff while I flew with the kids. I’ll save you the details…but there was a barf bag involved in my part of the trip. But we made it all in one piece! The house we rented sight unseen has turned out to be great (with a few additional baby proofing measures post Auggie’s minor tumble down the stairs. Hearing Baylor scream “Auggie fell down the stairs!!” was as close as I’d like to come to knowing what a heart attack feels like).

 

We’re unpacked, settling in and awaiting the arrival of our friends/house guests! And this morning, we’re waking up to this:

photo 2 (54)

Eggs-selent Hunt

Trying to get the three of them to A. Look B. Smile and C. Do them at the same time just doesn’t happen!IMG_6290 IMG_6291 IMG_6292

 

Some people take their hunts seriously….very seriously

IMG_6293 IMG_6294 IMG_6300 IMG_6306 IMG_6301Others…not so seriously

IMG_6299 IMG_6298 IMG_6297 IMG_6302 IMG_6304Good thing there’s a Grandma to help!IMG_6308

 

Such a pretty day

IMG_6286

Adrenaline Junkie

We hit Zoo Lights this year on the perfect night – there was no one there! I don’t know if there was something bigger going on around town or it was just too cold – either way, it was fantastic. The only down side was that because there were no lines, we broke the bank on light up necklaces, kettle corn, Polar Slide, etc. Sometimes the lines are a good thing.

We’re into themed hats

photo 2 (35)

FootballFootballFootballFootball!!photo 1 (31)

 

photo 3 (29)

I had on no less than 4 layers. I realized in the car that the temperature was 56 degrees. It’s amazing we lasted in DC as long as we did…

photo 1 (32)

The Polar Slide had no lines so we shuffled on over to check it out. It’s made of some kind of plastic mesh – like the stuff Olympic skiers practice on in the summer. It’s super slick, but not cold. It’s pretty cool – but the initial drop off scared me just to watch. But Baylor decided it looked fun so she and Peter headed up to the start line. I assumed they would have her ride with him – nope. She got her own inner tube and went flying down the hill giving me a coronary. She proceeded to go 4 more times until we ran out of cash…I hope this isn’t the beginning of other death defying feats!

California Love

This past weekend marked our 30th something pilgrimage to Coronado, CA. It was as lovely as ever, always a family affair and always so much fun.

This guy capital L LOVED the ocean. We could not keep him out of it. Wave to the face? No biggie. Freezing cold? Not a problem.

IMG_5632 IMG_5627 IMG_5617Our view from the beach

IMG_5621

The only place this guy looks small

photo 3 (24)

Baylor is equally crazy for the ocean and sand castles. I love the urgency on her face to get the water to her sand castle.

IMG_5534

IMG_5535

photo 1 (23)

Mason looking a little afraid. Rightly so.IMG_5559

We ran into her buddy Tessa – you would have thought they hadn’t seen each other in years…

IMG_5607

IMG_5547

IMG_5546

If this isn’t the perfect “big sister little brother” picture

IMG_5544

Auntie Ali, Uncle Gary and Mason looking crabby

IMG_5584

The Noni

IMG_5575

PW took nap shift one afternoon which left me alone. On the beach. With trashy magazines. And boat drinks. HEAVEN.

photo 2 (26)

The view from our room. Noni goes to great lengths to get joined rooms, beach side, with patios. It is worth every ounce of effort!

photo 4 (17)

The Del at night

IMG_5599

Spying on the spectacular beach wedding

IMG_5593

This wedding was spectacular. They had chandeliers hanging from the structure and table skirts that looked like beautiful seaweed. It was stunning.IMG_5588

Amazing sunsetIMG_5587After a full day running on the beach, playing in the waves THEN hitting the pool, Baylor rolled over and asked what I was looking at on my phone. I turned to answer her and found this:

photo 5 (11)

So here’s to the end of summer, another great vacation and many many more!

Fish That

PW and were able to escape the banshees for the better part of a day and do some fly fishing on the Yellowstone River. The river is really spectacular and we were lucky that it was a great day for fishing. Our guide was none other than Matthew. Yes, the same Matthew that Matthew the deer is named after. He is as good a hunting guide as he is a fishing guide. His home is the wild Montana country so he is an expert at all things outdoors. Not to mention a good friend and very funny.

We started off slowly – the weather turned cold and we waited out a rainstorm for about an hour. The wait paid off as the fish were suddenly very hungry. Matthew said it’s because they know after the rain that the river is going to mud up from the run off so they eat a lot in anticipation of not being able to see their food for a few days. I didn’t care what the reason was, I was just happy that we were actually catching something! We caught so many that we stopped counting – it made the day really fun.

One of Matthew’s signature phrases is “yup, good, fish that”. He would tell me where to cast and then judging where the nymph fell, he would tell me to leave it (“fish that”) or to recast. The beauty of being in a row boat with Matthew at the ores is that he could maneuver the boat to make my cast work – and me feel like I knew what I was doing. I actually didn’t realize that was happening until PW pointed out after. Which is why Matthew gets paid the big bucks.

Point of Rocks

291

First fish of the day – and yes, it was cold enough for a hood!

294

296

298

Did you know that trout talk?? I did not. That fish was squeaking all over the place and freaked me right out.
305

310

Manly fishermen only hold their fish with ONE hand!308

This picture cracks me up. Matthew had on his trademark serious face (and was probably sick of my pictures and or bad fishing skills) and PW is heaven. 316

Patio Living

Nine months of the year, our living space grows by several hundred square feet. We have a huge back patio and almost every room in our house has a door to the outside. This time of year they are rarely closed and life seems to just move outdoors. We eat dinner on the patio, play in the grass, pick lettuce to eat and even watch whatever game is on (I learned long ago that in March, there will be either basketball or baseball on our TV. Trying to change it is futile. So I joined) thanks to PW’s handy work converting an old armoire into an outdoor TV home. It was too pretty not to snap a few pictures this weekend.

In about a week, I’m going to have a whole bush full of these little beauties!

IMG_4815

My new kumquat tree

IMG_4814

I love the way lavender smells – this one under the kumquot looks distinctly Tuscan

IMG_4813

IMG_4811

The ocotillo loved all the rain. It’s finally getting it’s leaves back and it will have blooms in a few weeks

IMG_4821

IMG_4820

The prettiest thing in the yard…he was mid sentence when I snapped this one

IMG_4819

Lettuce and herbs

IMG_4798

Sprinkler time already!?

IMG_4817

Boys of Summer

We are a baseball family. We played baseball, watch baseball and hope that our kiddos like it as much as PW and I do. Peter stocked up on spring training tickets the first day they were available. We’ve been to I think 4 games already and have two more on the calendar. It is a lovely way to play hookie, get a tan and enjoy cold beer.

We decided to take just Baylor to a Rockies v Dodgers game and sit in the grass. We knew we wouldn’t see much of the game, but we wanted to have some big girl time with Bay. We got to Salt River Fields (my second favorite stadium) early, laid out a quilt and proceeded to eat until we were full. She got to get lemon aid from the vendor, hot dogs from the concession stands and Italian Ice in a baseball helmet. She and Peter scoured the stadium looking for Dinger, the Rockie’s mascot, and she had her glove ready to snag any foul ball that came our way. The weather was perfect. She was happy. It was a sun soaked memory in the making.

Dinger. She is in love.

photo 4 (9)

The crowd in the grass

photo 3 (10)

Italian Ice in a batting helmet

photo 2 (10)

photo 1 (7)