Hello All! I loved my vacation SO much! I just came back yesterday evening. When we started off, we only had to drive about three and a half hours from Evanston to Indianapolis. We stayed in a hotel for one night. I loved the hotel a whole lot.
Mommy and I went swimming there and had a fun time. I used rings, swam, and Mommy and I played games in the pool. Rings are medium size hoops that you throw in the water, wait for them to sink to the bottom, then go swim under water and bring them back up.
Then the next day we drove to Nashville (Tennessee). It took about four and a half hours to get there. We also stayed in a hotel for one night. Mommy and I also swam there too! There were a lot of cute little shops and interesting things in Nashville. Tennessee was probably my favorite state on the trip. I got mints and a souvenir coin from a shop.
When we were done in Tennessee we went to Atlanta. (Georgia). To Georgia, it took about four hours. We stayed there for two nights. Atlanta’s weather was not bad. Mommy, Daddy, and I stayed with my great aunt Joan and uncle Dan. We went to a Martin Luther King, Jr. museum, and we saw the house that he lived in. I got a souvenir coin and purse, and a t-shirt about non-violence. I also did some work there and received a junior ranger badge. I’m supposed to get a patch in the mail, because they were out of patches. On the second night two boys came over and played and ate dinner with us. Their names are Ryan and Riley.
Next we went to Boynton Beach, Florida. We stayed with my grandpa, (Dad’s dad) for 4 nights. It took us… TEN WHOLE HOURS TO GET THERE! I got to swim, drive a Mini actual wheel and brakes car, and play with my cousin Jake at Aunt Cathie’s parents house! We also went to a drive-through SAFARI where we saw a lot of animals including LIONS! The lions were in a cage so it wasn’t dangerous. I also got to feed a giraffe. We also went to the beach with aunt Cathy, uncle Jory and Jake. It was a lot of fun.
After four nights we went to the train station in Lorton Virginia! THE TRAIN WAS ABSOLUTELY AWESOME! IT WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF MY TRIP! It took us about three and a half hours to get to it. THE TRAIN RIDE WAS OVERNIGHT. IT WAS SO COMFORTABLE. I LOVED IT!
Then we went to D.C. to look around and BOY WAS THERE TRAFFIC! My dad even GOT LOST! My mom and I had to get soaking wet. The Lincoln memorial was pretty nice. It took about half an hour to get to D.C.
Next we drove to Richmond VA. I saw Jill, Carolyn, Tom, Judy, Jim, and Jill’s friend Ella. We stayed there for three nights. I had so much fun. We got to see some animals at a nature center (including a very cute owl) and we talked a lot and played a lot of games. Plus we had Thanksgiving dinner.
Then the most exciting…I VISITED MY FRIEND HARPER IN PENNSYLVANIA!!! WE HAD SO MUCH FUN! (six hours to get there)
I don’t want to leave out two things… Coming home was nice. But a long drive. We listened to a Harry Potter audio book along the way home, and we’re still not done with it! I really like it! And second of all… I forgot to mention Kentucky. In Kentucky we went to a cave! I got some souvenirs too. We went on a boat in the cave! We also got to sift through crushed limestone to find gems. IT WAS FUN!
Clearly we have lost our bloggin’ mojo. I think it has something to do with coming to terms with the pieces of my child I no longer should share so freely as she claims ownership of herself and her experiences, and maybe also something to do with my willingness to share certain areas of myself.
Am pondering a revamp/refocus that will reinspire us, but so much to do, so little time.
In the meanwhile, just arrived back from a brief Cinci/Columbus jaunt and have some pics to share:
Sorry for the lack of posting — I think I’m still trying to get both of my feet firmly planted back on the ground. Coming back from vacation is always a challenge for me, as is the entire month of August, for a multitude of reasons. Anyhoo, it was a great trip; Alli did amazingly well with all of the driving (about 3,000 miles total), as did our trusty Subaru with all of the miles and mountains. We found a few good, kitschy stopoffs to break up the drive out; crossing the state of Nebraska on the way back was a bit more arid until Omaha, which was nicer than I’d expected. Photographically speaking, while I didn’t have the kind of time or energy I’d envisioned in my head to sit for hours and carefully compose shots, playing around and taking full advantage of my camera and a few different lenses, I guess I did ok with quicker, touristy shots. Most importantly, I finally got all of my pics offloaded and uploaded. For those with a spare 20 minutes, here’s the slideshow I threw together (those with more limited time might just do a quick glance at the full photoset on Flickr):
Spent Monday in the Black Hills, visiting Mt. Rushmore and Custer State Park. The landscapes (and variety) were stunning. Pics follow:
After a long day’s drive yesterday through the final portion of South Dakota and part of Wyoming, we are happily ensconced in our cabin in Estes Park, just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. Alli has declared Colorado her favorite state, and our cabin “way more awesome than our house and she’d like to live here if she could have her cats come with”. Will surely post pics as we travel this area for the next few days.
We left Evanston Friday afternoon, and have traveled through Wisconsin, Minnesota and most of South Dakota. Staying one more day in South Dakota, then on to the Rockies in Colorado. It’s been a nice trip — lots of driving but punctuated by some great, kitschy/funky stopovers and mainly good weather excluding one of the worst rainpours we’ve ever attempted to keep driving through. Last night we went to a rodeo (my first ever), and Andrew and I were both struck by how different and also maybe how (over-?) complicated our lives feel relative to folks in a small town in South Dakota. Toured the badlands today, which were really stunning. Alli’s done great in the car thus far, is immersed in collecting “states” from license plates, and seems to be having a blast.
So yesterday was our laid-back “let’s stay around Lansing” and make time for hanging out and swimming at the hotel day. And Lansing, well, let’s just say it’s been explored and we’re not making reservations for a return trip. It just seems to be one of those towns that hasn’t fared all that well against the decline of the auto industry and recession.
Still, we managed to engage Alli at the small but only mildly depressing local zoo. One of the advantages of low crowds, few animals and small enclosures is taking it slow and getting some serious one-on-one creature face time.
Oh, and I hesitated to include this one, but I can’t resist. It reminded me so fondly of our encounter with the Indiana Highway Patrol on Tuesday:
In desperate need for an inexpensive respite, we decided to Say Yes to Michigan for the latter part of Alli’s spring break. After a mildly crappy start on Tuesday where we fell victim to Indiana’s Move Over Month Initiative (will surely write more about this later), we had an uplifting day yesterday in Grand Rapids visiting the Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. Far exceeded our expectations, and highly recommend the visit. Also got to take my macro lens out for another practice round…