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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Photos From The Cruise

Last week the family went on a cruise.  This was supposed to be my dad’s retirement “party” gift but a few months back we learned that he wasn’t retiring until later in the year.  Nevertheless, it was still a fabulous week long vacation with 5 days on a cruise ship.  Mom and Dad both enjoyed it and even wanted to know how much it would cost to live on a ship for the rest of their retirement life.

CRUISE0272CRUISE0265Sunset on our first day on the cruise.

CRUISE0257I tried escargot (snails) on our first dinner.  It wasn’t bad.

CRUISE0414On a different night, I tried frog legs.  It was pretty good.

CRUISE0289After dinner we headed back to our cabin before going out again and they had surprised us with a bunk bed for the girls.  It was pretty cool.

The next day, we landed in Nassau, Bahamas.  Originally we were supposed to go to Grand Turk first but due to a serious storm out there, plans were changed, and Grand Turk was out of the picture.

CRUISE0332We also had a tour in Nassau but that was canceled so we took a taxi to a rum cake factory and the beach.

CRUISE0344The rum cakes were so good that husband and I bought 4 cakes.  We ate 3 of them there and brought one home.

On the 3rd day of the cruise, we went to a private island called, Half Moon Cay.  The beach was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.  The water was crystal clear and the sand was so soft and fine.

CRUISE00034CRUISE00037CRUISE00125CRUISE00136I learned here that Mom can swim!  It was really amazing to watch her go in the water and do some freestylin’.

On the 4th day, we docked in Freeport.  It was a pretty quiet place.  There wasn’t really anyone on the beach we went to, plus, due to the storm that came through, there were just tons of seaweed floating on the beach so most of us didn’t go into the water much.

CRUISE0225Just before heading back to the ship, husband accidentally scraped his foot on some coral while snorkeling.  It looked pretty serious but after cleaning the mess up, it was just some pretty large scratches.

On the last day on the cruise we were out at sea so there wasn’t much excitement, except for maybe the coast guard coming in for an emergency pick-up of a passenger.  There wasn’t anywhere the helicopter could land so they did everything off the side.

CRUISE0443CRUISE0444These guys were pretty amazing to watch.

Later that evening, we watched our last sunset on the ship.

CRUISE0361CRUISE0329CRUISE120332…and toasted to a wonderful cruise.

Mesa Verde National Park

The family went on a one day and two nights trip to Mesa Verde National Park this week.  We drove 7 hours to Durango, where we stayed,  then drove another 45 min to Mesa Verde through amazing beauty for a full day of viewing and touring.

Mesa Verde was extremely beautiful and took my breath away.  It was fascinating to learn about the Indians that lived there over 1400 years ago (from 550 A.D. to 1300), and seeing their dwelling places left behind like ghost towns, was awe.

Here are photos from that trip:

  ^ This is the view from our first hotel.  It was tucked off the side of the main road and was surrounded by this gorgeous golf course and cliff.

^ Kida just waking up.  She didn’t want to be in the photo.

^ The furniture was a bit outdated but the view made up for it.

^ Kylie jumping around and took a second to pose for this shot.

^Another view from the hotel.

^ Getting sunscreen on before heading out into the heat for the tours.

^ View before heading to the tour sites.

^ Everything was not all beautiful.  There was a stretch of land that looked like this.  It was a quiet, sad, and almost ominous drive through this area.  We learned from the tour guides that this was the result of a fire caused by lightning in 2002.  It will take at least 300 years to grow back to the what it originally looked like.

^ We visited the museum where we saw dioramas, displays, and watched a short video on the history of the Indians in Mesa Verde.  Kida had seen the video already at school so she rolled her eyes and complained for the 20 minutes I was watching with my mouth opened…LOL.

^ This was the first dwelling we saw called, Spruce Tree House.  It was a self-guided tour.

^ We went inside a Kiva, a large circular underground area made out of rock walls and clay and is used for ceremonial rituals/daily living.  In the photo, Kylie is climbing out.

^ View while waiting for our first tour: Balcony House.

^ On this tour, we climbed a 32 feet ladder to the dwelling.  We also went through doors which were just tiny crack or openings between rocks.  The spaces were so small I almost thought I wouldn’t make it across but there were people who were much bigger and they made it without a problem.  I did put a few scratches on my camera though.

^ An open Kiva.

^ There were quite a few people in this tour group.

On our exit, we climbed two 10-foot ladders and then the side of a 60-foot cliff with stone steps carved in.  It was pretty steep and I was scared for the girls but they enjoyed it.

^ The second tour: Cliff Palace.

^ Down in the dwellings looking up.  The top right corner of the photo is where we had waited for this tour.

^ On our exit from Mesa Verde.

^ This is what it should look like.

^ This view was during our drive back to Durango.  Words cannot describe how breathtaking this area was.

It was a wonderful trip full of history.  It warms my heart to have experienced this.

Glenwood Springs Alpine Coaster

[4.06: Waiting a few minutes before heading to the 2nd cave.]

This post is a continuation from the trip the family took to Glenwood Springs last week.  The cave was fun for husband and I but the girls found their thrill in the Alpine Coaster ride, Laser Tag, and the 4D Motion Theater.  They also loved the small shop that we spent a great deal of time in trying to stay away from the wind.  They each bought a bag of colorful rocks.

The wind was pretty extreme.  That’s me being very serious with husband to be very VERY careful taking Kylie down the Alpine Coaster. I was so scared she’d fly off or pass out.

Kylie and her dad coming back from the ride.  She actually enjoyed it way more than I thought.

Kida riding with her dad.

I went on the ride once with Kida and was scared half to death through the whole thing.  The turns were sharp and steep + the wind and the speed!  I controlled the speed of the coaster but I felt as though I had very little control as to how fast/slow we went.  When it was done, I was relieved.  It was…somewhat exciting but I think my fears got the best of me so I didn’t get to enjoy it as much.  Kida went on it about 4 times, 3 of them with husband and still wanted to go some more.  She begged to go by herself but I didn’t let her.  She stomped, screamed, tried to twist my words, etc., but I still didn’t let her.  I know.  I need to let go just a little more but I think with certain things, I just can’t, and I won’t.

[That road is Interstate 70 and the brownish piece of water is the Colorado River.]

At the end of the day, I was happy to know that both Kida and Kylie enjoyed this vacation.  Kida wants to live in Glenwood Springs when she grows up and Kylie wants to play Laser Tag all day long.

The Cave Tour We Finally Took

[Glenwood Springs from up high : Taken by husband]

I’ve been to Glenwood Springs many times but have never gone to the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.  I’m not sure why it never crossed my mind to go there.  The family finally went there a couple of days ago and it was a lot of fun.  We wanted to take the tram up to the park but it was so windy that they closed the tram ride and instead we took the bus.  The bus ride was an adventure of its own!  The road was all dirt, bumpy, and dusty with the strong wind.  It was also narrow in some areas so looking down as the city got smaller was a bit nerve wrecking.

Kida and I waiting in line for the tram (that we weren’t getting on). ^

The bus that took us up to the Adventure Park. ^

The cave tour was exciting.  There were two caves that we went into with a group.  In the first one, a drip of water fell on my head and right after, the tour guide asked us if anyone got dripped on.  I raised my hand with, “I did!”  She told the group that it meant the fairies in the cave blessed me with luck.  I felt special. 🙂

The stalactites and stalagmites were amazing.  I’ve only seen them in books or on t.v. so seeing them in person was surreal.

Hoover Dam in Black and White

During our stay in Vegas, we drove to Hoover Dam and took a tour of the powerplant.  I’ve visited the Dam before in the couple of times I’ve been to Vegas (years ago) but I’ve never taken the tour (and I’m not sure why).  It was pretty fascinating to learn the history and go underground to see how everything worked.

Photos are of the Dam, bypass bridge, and powerplant.