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.

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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!

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Counting tree rings

IMG_7959The trees changed from Pinons to Ponderosa Pines

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

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How could he pick just ONE stick?!
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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

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

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We made it!

IMG_7975IMG_7978Exploring the Hoodoos

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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.

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

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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

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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.

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

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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!

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She was so pumped to have an oar

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

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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

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Such a pretty day

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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

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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…

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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

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The only place this guy looks small

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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.

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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…

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

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Auntie Ali, Uncle Gary and Mason looking crabby

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The Noni

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

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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!

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The Del at night

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Spying on the spectacular beach wedding

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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:

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