Thursday, August 25, 2011

Back to school....

Well, summertime has officially ended and we are back in school mode.  The kids are both in great classes with wonderful teachers.  They are also in class with their buddies.  One of Rman's best friends moved away this year so that has been a little bit of an adjustment but his other best friend is in his class so that's a big help!  Princess got all her buddies in class so all is well there.

First day of second grade

First day of 4th grade

I started a new job as well.  I'm the speech pathologist at Fort Supply schools and I'm loving it!  I was off for 10 years staying home with my babies but it's like riding a bike--you just hop back on and take off. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Livin' the Life

Ahhh, vacation.  I love to travel and can hardly get back from one trip before I am planning and scoping out our next destination.  Back in February we decided we wanted to go to Colorado for our summer vacation.  Steven's parents stay in Buena Vista for July and August and his mom is always begging us to come visit them so we made that a target destination.  We found a cabin in nearby Alpine and reserved it for August.

Steven loves to camp and would spend our whole vacation backpacking in the wilderness if I would agree.  I do not agree.  But since marriage is supposed to be about compromise, I agreed to camp four nights.  We were going to camp near Buena Vista but found out they had a burn ban on, meaning no campfires.  So instead, we headed to Platoro, Colorado for the adventure.  Never heard of it you say?  That's because it has a population of 300 and is closed in the winter.  Seriously---the forest service makes everyone leave unless you apply for a special permit to stay.

We left early in the morning.  It took all day to get to Platoro and was raining when we arrived.  Because we didn't know where we were camping, we spent several hours driving around.  As the sun continued to set, I decided that we were getting a cabin for the evening.  It was too late to try to set up.  We found a vacancy at some hunting cabins that were decorated circa 1963.  When Steven laid in our bed, it made a HUGE crater and I had to sleep on the very edge to keep from rolling into him all night.  However, it did have running water and a toilet so I wasn't going to complain.....too much.

 The next day we found a campsite and got everything set up. We spent the next few days fishing, Jeeping, and hiking.  Steven took us on what he said was a very beginners hike.  Seemed pretty extreme to me.  Lots of uphill.  We started at around 10,000 ft and hiked to 12,500.  It was all above treeline, which isn't my favorite but Steven liked it.  I was proud of the kids and I for making it.  I was trucking it because I was so afraid we were going to be rained on.  It was a beautiful day though. 

The next day we packed up the camp.  It took us 3 hours.  I don't know about you but that is NOT my idea of a vacation!  I told him it sure seemed like a lot of work for a vacation.  He said if we didn't have to bring the kitchen sink it wouldn't take so long.  Smart aleck!    I had agreed to camp 4 nights but was so glad we had to get a cabin the first night.  Three nights was just about all I could take of that!

We drove to our cabin in Alpine and I immediately hit the shower!  We spent one day touring Mt. Princeton and one day in Breckenridge at the Summer Fun Park.  We had a great time riding the roller coaster and the mountain slide--probably my two favorite things we did at the Fun Park.  It did give me skiing fever though!              

  The last day was spent just hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa.  The kids played in the Arkansas River, built dams, and looked for cool rocks.  A very laid-back enjoyable day!

It was a great vacation but might just be my last camping excursion.  We'll see.  The kids love it so maybe I'll do it again but it will be a couple of years.  By then I might be too old!

Plug:  I wanted to take one camera lens that would let me shoot close-up and far away without having to change.  I priced that lens at $600.  Whoa!  Luckily I found an awesome place to rent the lens for the bargain price of around $80 including all shipping charges and insurance called ATS rentals.  They even sent a lens hood for the camera.  The lens arrived the day before we left, complete with a return shipping label.  I used it our entire vacation and shipped it back the day after we returned.  So easy!   If you're ever in the market to rent camera or video equipment, I highly recommend them!  I will certainly use them again.