Monday, August 31, 2009

New house, new room

Sorry it's taken me so long to post pics of the new house. We LOVE it and are working our way through getting settled in. It's so nice to have moved into a larger house where there are more places to put things. We're trying to throw away as we unpack which is what we should have done before we packed, oh well I tend to do things backwards!!
There are other rooms finished but I thought I would post pics of the dining room since it is one of the main reasons we moved. The table is from my parents so I grew up with it and love the color. We were lucky enough to find a china cabinet that matches perfectly. We had so much fun putting things up and making it ours. We got to unpack all our nice china finally. It's like we were getting wedding gifts all over again :) We are still trying to decide what color to paint the dining room and are looking for seat fabrics now. You can see another of my favorite house features through the window, white rocking chairs. My sister surprised us on our first day with these perfect chairs and a table. I can't wait for it to cool down so we can enjoy sitting on the porch.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

next up Reno

After Salt Lake we headed west to Reno. We stayed downtown and enjoyed wandering through some casinos, a concert, and Lake Tahoe.

The famous Reno sign
Lake Tahoe, it is BEAUTIFUL!!!!
I cannot tell you how absolutely amazing the blue water is and how fun it was to enjoy a day on the lake.

Another shot of the Lake. We took a paddle wheel boat out on the lake, fabulous.

Not the best shot but... we got to enjoy a concert while in Reno. Heart and Journey, they were both rocking. It was fun to sing along and enjoy some great performances.
Reno was a fun stop on our Western US tour. I made time for a pedicure and Steve got to see some new casinos so it was great for both of us.

Monday, August 24, 2009

a little behind

I'm so behind!! I've gotten sidetracked with a new laptop from school which meant I had to move all my pics which took a 16 gig flash drive. Then I got some kind of severe allergy attack to my eyes. Last week was not good so I'm hoping for a great on this week. I had a different order to all these pics but blogger is not letting me move things around, grrr. Oh well, enjoy a few pics from Salt Lake City.

From our visit to Park City Olympic Park, it was great!

We really enjoyed seeing all the Olympic run (even in the summer without the snow).
One of many torch areas around the city.

Temple Square, very interesting and pretty.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Yellowstone part II

The other side of Yellowstone is all about the animals. Animals are free to roam where they wish in the park and sometimes that was interesting. One reason I wanted a new camera was to be able to get some good shots of animals that weren't too close (I wanted to see a bear but didn't want to get too close). We were very lucky and we got to see most animals that we wanted minus the big horn sheep. We woke up at 5am one morning to see the animals at dawn (when their supposed to be more active) and it was productive in that we saw a grizzly bear and an elk but no sheep. We drove to the north entrance to see the sheep, no sheep. Oh well, we also saw some wolves but they were too fast to get pictures of them. Anyway, enjoy the animals of Yellowstone (and Colorado)!
A moose from Family Camp

Bald Eagle, from our float trip on the Snake River

Some kind of deer, on the side of the road in Wyoming

Pronghorn Antelope, Yellowstone

Can't remember this little guy's name but he was too cute not to take a picture of him!

Mule Deer hanging out by the Snake River in Yellowstone

Chipmunk in Yellowstone

Canadian Geese in a geothermal area, guess they want it warm

An Elk at dawn

I took lots of pictures of bison since we saw them everywhere. Here they are at dusk roaming from one side of the highway to the other. There were lots of calves in this herd.

This is how close those big animals can get, it was a bit nerve racking!

I couldn't really tell what this little guy was but he stared at me a long time.

A young black bear, I was a little nervous wondering where his mama was and not wanting to get too close!
I loved seeing all the animals and getting to experience them in their natural habitat!

Continuing North

Our next stay was Yellowstone National Park. In a word, wondrous! We saw things we had never seen before and things that can be found no place else on earth, too cool. Yellowstone is a huge park and there are so many areas to check out. Each one with something special to see. Besides the geothermal sights there are a lot of animals roaming about.
We stayed close to the middle of the park so we could have good access. I'm so glad we stayed in the park! It wasn't a 5 star hotel (although they do have one) but it was fun to feel like your kinda in the wilderness with some comforts of home. Here are some highlights of the geothermal areas we saw. I'll do the animals in another post. BTW the pictures don't really do justice!
At the south entrance

Old Faithful Geyser

Monday, August 10, 2009

Next Stop: Jackson, WY

After a fun week with the family it was off to enjoy some new sights in Jackson, Wyoming. For us Jackson was the gateway to Yellowstone but I had some friends who went last summer and had a blast so we decided to spend some time in the town. It is such a cool little town with lots of art galleries, great shopping and beautiful sights. I'm sure during the winter with the snow and skiing it's lots of fun but we enjoyed summer with cooler temps and white water rafting!

This is one of the ski resorts that is very popular all year long. Even though I don't ski I'm sure it would be lots of fun in the snow.

There are 4 of these archways around town central.

A new adventure for us was whitewater rafting. We traveled 16 miles down the Snake River. We did a scenic float first which was great and we saw some beautiful sights. We then moved onto the exciting part, white water rafting. It was great fun but very, very COLD!

A fun treat was taking a covered wagon to a chuck wagon dinner. We met people from across the country and had great fun traveling through some more beautiful scenery.

The entertainment at the chuck wagon was lots of fun, cowboy serenade!

Grand Teton Mountains are outside Jackson on the way to Yellowstone. The mountains were beautiful and very majestic.

I'm so glad we were able to spend some time in Jackson! I encourage anyone who wants to get away for a few days to make the trip up that way. It was our favorite town to visit during our time away from home!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Snow Mountain Ranch

The first part of our vacation was with my family in Colorado. My parents treated us to a week in the Colorado mountains at the YMCA Family Camp~ Snow Mountain Ranch. The cool weather and mountain beauty was amazing!!! We participated in lots of fun activities including:
Basket Weaving Class
It was much harder than I ever imagined. We had a great instructor which made the hard work more fun.

Steve enjoyed the zip line. He said the hardest part was climbing up the pole. I chickened out but enjoyed watching those who were brave enough.

One of my favorite activities, Square Dancing! We had so much fun!!

Horseback Riding, Steve had a hungry horse!

Tree Top cabin where we lived for the week.

We loved our time in Colorado. Our last day we took a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park which was fabulous!! We saw lots of animals and enjoyed seeing snow in July. Although I was a little nervous about an outdoor vacation, it was so much fun!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Back Home, FINALLY!

5317.7 miles, 9 states (Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona), and 7 cities (Snow Mountain Ranch, Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, Salt Lake City, Reno, Las Vegas, and Amarillo) in 23 days = a wonderful vacation.

We had tons of fun traveling a part of the country that we hadn't seen before. Of course, leaving 2 days after moving into our house was a bit crazy but we managed. We now have hundreds of boxes to unpack so as much as I want to update on all our fun times it might take a few days. I will leave you will a pic of our family fun in Colorado.