Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

massive trees and banana slugs

As I'm writing this, the snow is falling outside and the temperature has dropped down into the 20s. It seems so long ago that we were wandering around in the sunshine on the beach or the cool shade of massive trees. It's funny how when you come back from vacation you sometimes wonder if you ever really went on that trip. I guess that's why we take pictures to prove it!

It's been a couple weeks since we were exploring the northern California coast and driving among these massive trees. I would highly recommend northern California for a low key, relaxing family vacation. Our favorite part was going on daily hikes to check out these giants. It's about as different as Colorado forests as possible.

Banana slug!!

A little note about the picture below. You might notice that both girls are happily sucking on suckers. We call this Sucker Power. About halfway through this hike, in which we still had to go down half the mountain, they both started crying and whining. Whelp, that's why I pack some suckers in the bottom of my bag to give them a little extra motivation and energy to finish the hike. In all honesty, this pregnant lady could have used some sucker power, but we all made it down in one, happy piece.

Have a great weekend!

a travel vlog of a family of 12 visiting Europe

WAY back in 2017, our family went on a trip together to Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Bruges, Brussels, and London. We had a great time together sightseeing and enjoying each others company. I made a little video to remember our time in Europe. I hope you all enjoy it too!

Also, here are a few links to some of the sites we visited.






Open Air Museum

Aspen and Maroon Bells

Sometimes real life gets away from you and it takes four extra months to get away for a ten year anniversary. Or more appropriately, it takes four months for your babysitter to show up. :)

Last weekend we had Chris's mom in town and she offered to watch the girls for a couple nights for us. After exploring a few options, we decided to drive a few hours west and spend some time in Aspen, Colorado. Truthfully, most of my Aspen knowledge comes from watching various Housewives film and cat fight there. I had also heard and seen many pictures of Maroon Bells and Crystal Mill and we were excited to see both. 

Sunday morning we hiked to Crater Lake beneath the stunningly beautiful Maroon Bells mountains. We had missed the pretty fall colors by a couple weeks, but we did get to park close to the trail head and were not bothered with many other visitors. Going in the 'mud season' is really the best time to visit the more popular places in the mountains. No shuttles to the trail head and more peace and quiet on the trail.

We stayed at the Limelight Hotel and I really can't recommend it more highly. It was centrally located downtown and they can make a mean mac & cheese. We ended up ordering in our last night in Aspen because I was coming down with something. Though we were sad we weren't able to eat somewhere fancy, our meal was still delicious.

Aspen was truly a great place to celebrate our anniversary and we loved that it was so close to some admirable views. 

Have you ever been? What were your favorite things to do there?

Happy to spend the last 10 years with this guy!

A shot from Independence Pass on our drive back home.

Netherlands Open Air Museum

One of the coolest day trips we took while we were in the Netherlands this summer was an open air museum in Arnhem (Openlucht Museum). This museum has many acres of authentic historical buildings, windmills, and exhibits.

I was obsessed with all things windmill when I came to the Netherlands, and this place really helped scratch that itch.

Brussels and the Grote Markt

When I had imagined Brussels, I really could only picture one place. The most famous square in all of Europe, the Grand Place. Let me tell you, it's pretty darn awe inspiring.

Whenever I go to a place that is this old (think 14th century), I always imagine what it was like back then. What were people doing? What were they wearing? What were they worried about as they wandered through this square. How did they build such amazingly intricate structures with basic tools?

Today this square is full of tourists taking selfies. Tourists getting a Starbucks (there is one in the square and it made me like Starbucks a little less).  A gypsy woman was trying to beg money from tourists with a fake baby, which I found fascinating. It was quite obvious the bundle she was carrying around was not real. 

While we only got to spend a day there, it was still one of the coolest places we visited. I will say it's a pretty gritty city. There is plenty of graffiti and guards walking around with machine guns in the train station. About a month prior to our visit they had a terrorist attack in the underground train station. The beauty of the city definitely comes with it's fair share of ugliness.