Winter Park, Colorado

Happy New Year!

It’s been 11 years since I first started blogging with WordPress. I can’t believe it’s been over a decade. I remember when I first found WordPress and wasn’t sure if this would be a good platform to move my blog to. Initially, I was paying another hosting site for a website and blog but I didn’t need the website anymore. I just wanted to blog. I’ve been happy with WordPress all these years.

Last Saturday, the family took the train to a town in the mountains called Winter Park. The train we took only goes to Winter Park in January, February, and March. Winter Park is known for their skiing and snowboarding. We didn’t ski or snowboard because the only person who really knows how to ski and snowboard is my husband. I’ve tried skiing and snowboarding when I was younger but just never got into it. We didn’t want to do any strenous activities because our oldest daughter has national competitions next week and can’t do anything that could cause an injury. We thought we’d walk around, check out some shops, try a couple of restaurants, and then return home.

Things changed when our oldest daughter saw the tubing slides when we took the lift to the side where the tubing was. The lift went over the slides and we could see people coming down. It looked really fun. I was nervous for her because I was afraid she’d injure herself and then we’d be in big trouble for nationals. But, all went well. The slides were monitored very well. There were four lanes and they went from fastest to slowest. We spent an hour tubing, then went to have lunch in the town of Winter Park (the skiing/snowboard, tubing, ice skating, etc. were in the Resort). We wanted to go to Fraser which is the town just north but mistakenly got off early. It was all good though. We had a good lunch. It started to snow and looked beautiful.

Here are some photos from the trip.

We got up at 4:30am to give us enough time to get everything together. The train station is downtown in the heart of the city so we wanted to make sure we got a parking space and also we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss the train, which left the station at exactly 7am.

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The girls fell asleep most the way and missed the sunrise (above). The train was a two hour ride and went through about 30 mountains. I tried to count the tunnels but lost track. The final mountain took 10 minutes to get through.

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Here’s a view of the cars behind us. We sat on the second level of car number three. There were seven cars total, not including the engine.

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Arriving in Winter Park Resort. It was very cold.

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We ate breakfast and watched people go down the hills. There were lots of people skiing and snowboarding.

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We took the lift to the other side where the tubing was. We wanted to see if there were other activites to do besides tubing on the tubing side.

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On the right, you could see two of the tubing lanes and someone coming down the first lane.

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Skiiers and snowboarders from the parking area making their way to the lift to take them to the side we came from. But, check out that mountainside with the low hanging clouds.

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Me with our two girls waiting in line to go down the fastest lane.

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Our youngest pulling the tube up the conveyor belt. That tube is heavy! We eventually switched to single ones when she felt confident enough to go without me. She was scared at first so we went on the second slowest lane, then made our way to the fastest lane.

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Here she is getting ready to go alone and in the fastest lane too!

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It was so much fun tubing. We enjoyed our short day in Winter Park and hope to do it again next year.

Digital Scrapbook Layout: Day at the Beach

I couldn’t resist making another layout.  This one is very plane but I love it.

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Paper and element from Bermuda Triangle by the gals at Pixels & Co.  Word art by Digital Design Essentials.

Indian Beach Edited in VSCOCam + Texturized

Original from husband’s Galaxy S2.

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Edited on my iPhone 5s using the VSCO Cam app.

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Texturized in Photoshop CS6 using a texture from an old digital scrapbooking kit I made.

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Vacation Photos

I took a ton of photos with my iPhone and I’m still struggling as to how to organize the photos to put into a vacation book.  I did some looking for an app that could put my photos into frames to save me from creating my own framed photos and found Insta Booth.  My trial is almost over but I really like the possibilities with this app so I’m considering buying it for $5.99 when my trial is over.  It’s only available for iPhones but I’m sure android phones have similar apps.  I also like using VSCO Cam to edit my photos.  It’s free.  I edited the photos half with VSCO cam and half with Insta Booth and have noted in the photo descriptions.  VSCO cam is more flexible in that the filters can be adjusted so their’s room for creativity.  Insta Booth has lots of set filters, including, HDR, but they can’t be adjusted.  Okay…there’s my mini review I slipped in there.  Wasn’t planning for that but I really enjoy using these two apps so thought I’d share it just in case anyone hasn’t heard of them.

The family vacation was fun.  My 12-year-old had national dance competition in Seaside, OR, so the family decided to make it a one week road trip vacation.  This trip was one of those where we weren’t exactly sure where else we were heading after the competition so we brought our passports along just in case.  The competition was one full week but daughter’s dance group only competed one day.  The thing was if they ranked high enough they would then have to compete three days later at the finally event.  It turned that daughter’s dance group didn’t make it into the finally so that meant we had the rest of the week to kill.  With the extra time we decided to take a ferry up to Victoria, British Columbia (Canada).

On the road trip, we rested in Twin Falls, Idaho.  It was July 4th, Independence Day, when we arrived in Twin Falls and got to watch fireworks from the hotel parking lot.  We arrived in Astoria, Oregon the next day and stayed at a hotel right under the Astoria bridge.  I was surprised at how quiet it was in our hotel. [Photos edited and framed in Insta Booth]

VACOR1_072014_800Astoria bridge at sunset, dance daughter’s silhouette, and other daughter getting dirty in the sand.  [Photos edited in VSCO Cam and framed in Insta Booth]

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Another silhouette and Canon Beach. [Photos edited in VSCO Cam and framed in Insta Booth]

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We drove up to Washington State, left our car, and took the ferry to Victoria.  The ferry ride was about 90 minutes but it felt so much shorter…like maybe 30 minutes.  Victoria was gorgeous but extremely touristy.  When we first arrived, there was a Starbucks staring at us, so we headed there for drinks.  We stayed two nights and two days, walking the city, and riding a carriage horse, in which the tour guide provided us with some really interesting history about the city.  [Photos framed in Insta Booth – no editing]

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The carriage tour guide recommended we try Roger’s chocolate so we went there after the ride.  [Photos edited in VSCO Cam and framed in Insta Booth]

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The family walked the streets a couple of times.  Everything was pretty close so and the historical buildings made the walks enjoyable.  It was fun spending Canadian money.  I didn’t know they don’t use pennies or one dollar bills. [Photos edited and framed in Insta Booth]

VACCA3_072014_800As mentioned in an earlier post, I didn’t bring the DSLR but did bring the waterproof point and shoot.  Didn’t use it much though.  I think we only took five photos with it and then resorted to the camera phones.  They worked out pretty good.

Remembering Moments

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The family vacationed in Seaside and Astoria, Oregon (for daughter’s national dance competition) and Victoria, British Columbia (a mini trip in Canada) last week.  More photos to come but for now these take my breath away.

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I took these with my iPhone then edited in VSCO Cam (also available for android users).  In the silhouette photos I learned that I couldn’t click at the moment my 12-year-old dancer jumped.  When I did that, I ended up missing her jumps since they happened pretty fast.  Instead, I clicked just a second before and that did it!  It’s all about timing.  It would have been easier if I had the DSLR with me but I didn’t bring it.  The family was trying to travel light since this was a road trip in the Camry.

Credit: Word art used in first photo by Karla Dudley.

Made Eggs Benedict + Food Photos From Cruise Vacation

On the cruise, I had Eggs Benedict for breakfast a couple of times and just really loved it.  I’ve never had it before so I had nothing to compare it to.

This is what I had on the cruise (taken with an old Nikon Coolpix).

CRUISEFOOD0429When I got home, I looked for Eggs Benedict and hollandaise sauce recipes.  I found a recipe on the Food Network website for both but didn’t want to try my hands at the hollandaise sauce yet so I went with a powder mix instead.

EBSAUCEMIX0065_640I’ve had bad experiences with powder mixes before so I was already prepared for this sauce to taste nasty.  To my surprise, it was really good.

EGGSBENEDICT0067_640It was the perfect consistency and had a buttery slightly sour-ish taste to it.  It tasted so much better than the sauce on the cruise (which didn’t taste like anything).  Now, I just need to make some from scratch so I can do more comparing.

KIDA0075_600My daughter tried the sauce but didn’t like it.  She said it was too strong.  Husband said the same thing and only used a little bit.

My favorite dish on the cruise was the home style Cuban chicken and rice.  While we were on Half Moon Cay Island, I had three plates of it and still wanted more.  I just found a recipe for it via Pinterest so I’m going to try my hands at it one of these days.

I ate a ton of food on the cruise.  It was almost like a 24 hour all-you-can-eat buffet.  For dinner, sometimes I would order one or two starters.  Once I ordered two main courses!  This was simply to taste the different variety of food and not because I was just stuffing my face because I could.  Here’s a collection of most of the food I ate and/or tasted.  I apologize for the horrible photos.  I used an old Nikon Coolpix that I really shouldn’t be using.

PADTHAI0138{Dinner on our first night in Miami.  This was a couple days before boarding the cruise ship.  The group (excluding 2 members) ate at a Thai restaurant.  I don’t remember the name of the restaurant but the food was beyond delicious!  I fell in love with the Pad Thai and couldn’t get enough of it.  The papaya salad, although not exactly my flavor, was very good in it’s own way.  In the photo, from top clockwise: Pad Thai, rice with yellow curry, sweet and sour beef (?), and papaya salad with shrimp.}

Day 1

CDAY1_0258 CDAY1_0259 CDAY1_0261 CDAY1_0262Day 2

CDAY2_0387 CDAY2_0388 CDAY2_0389Day 3

CDAY3_0395 CDAY3_0396 CDAY3_0399 CDAY3_0401Day 4

CDAY4_0403 CDAY4_0404 CDAY4_0405 CDAY4_0416 CDAY4_0419 CDAY4_0420 CDAY4_110203{Above, eating a bit of fruits before heading out.}

Day 5

CDAY5_0446 CDAY5_0447 CDAY5_0451 CDAY5_0452Day 6 – While during our lay over in Chicago, we caught eye of a Dunkin’ Donuts, and couldn’t resist getting some donuts.  I had a very tasty Boston Cream!

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