Monday, August 26, 2013

Winner of the Giveaway and Back to Work!!

The kids are back in School (YIPPEE!) so I need to get back to work!
But one last fun thing, the winner is:
I used and the Rusty Snowman goes to 
Pamela of It's Just Krazy Kute Productions.

 On our vacation we drove through Green River, Utah and they have the best watermelon and cantaloupe and every other type of melon. 
I am not sure how many stands along the way we stopped at and had a taste of all of it. 
 They were so GOOD!!
So in memory of the delicious watermelon I decided to giveaway a Watermelon Magnet too!
The winner of this is Diane of Lavender Dreams.
Thank you to all who follow along with my blog and took the time to comment.
Enjoy your day,

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Nearing the End of my Giveaway

Kids will be back in school on Monday and I am a bit happy and sad all at once.
Great to get back into a routine but this summer went by way to fast!
Click HERE to enter my latest giveaway celebrating Christmas in my heart all year and kids back in school!  
Sorry, just the last of the photos from our trip.  We decided to go through Zion's National Park on the way home.  More beautiful country but it was so hot and crowded! 
I have always loved going through this tunnel--old with window holes carved out of the mountain for light along the way.  As a kid we stopped to take photos out of the windows but with so much traffic that does not happen anymore. 
The Great White Throne 
This is looking out from Weeping Rock.  We hiked up to it and it was so much more cool with water dripping off the ledge.   
We decided to head home and come back to Zions another time because there were so many people there.
One of the rangers said that they are now averaging 3 million people in the 3 month summer period.
We met many people from France, Germany, and Holland.  It made me wonder if any one was left in their home countries!?! 
Almost home and what was in the distance....a huge fire behind the mountain.
Not exactly the welcome home I wanted.
Thanks again for letting me share my vacation with you.
I guess it is time to get to work.  
I cannot remember the last time I picked up a paint brush...but it was a productive summer between Eagle Scout paperwork and project, the bucket list the kids had and a FUN family vacation!
Life is good!
Enjoy your day,

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hard to get into the Swing of things after Vacationing!

It has been a bit difficult to get back in the swing of things since our vacation.
Plus trying to get kids ready for school!
I think I need more time off.
So I will continue to relive our vacation with anyone willing to look at the photos!
We took a tour of the Glen Canyon Dam in Page, Arizona. 
I cannot remember Lake Powell being this low---this was a bit of a shocker to me since the last time I was there. 
It was well worth the tour to the bottom of the dam. 
My husband had never been to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon so this was the reason for the vacation in reality.   
We had been lucky not to see any wild fires until we go to the Kaibab National Forest on the way to the Grand Canyon. 
A bit disturbing to see this on the side of the road. 
Made it to the North Rim!

It is a wonder of nature!!  
Off in the distance you can see the South Rim and the buildings there but due to not only the fires on the north side there was a huge fire at the South Rim so visibility was not as great as I had hoped. 
Angel Window on one of our hikes through the North Rim. 
On the closest peak were two hikers that we could see at the very top with the binoculars.
They had climbed up the back side and left a note at the spot we were at to send any photos to them if people happened to catch them with a photo.  
Needless to say my poor beat up camera could not perform. 
We were lucky enough to see a wolf, a coyote and a huge herd of bison.
It was hard too leave and think of coming home.  
I am not sure if any of you are like me but once I get out I can only think about my next trip for quite awhile which means difficult to settle back into the routine!
But to the routine I must go....
Just a reminder about my giveaway click HERE to take you to the page to sign up.
Thanks for taking the time to view my photos.  

Saturday, August 17, 2013

More Vacation Photos and a Giveaway!!

Windy and cool day at the Four Corners.
This place has really changed since I was a kid and my parents took us to see a plaque on the ground! 
My kids have been getting into Archery so my Daughter was able to purchase this hand crafted arrow from a local artist.  On the arrow it tells the story of what all the little dots and artwork means.
She was thrilled. 
Off to Hovenweep National Monument!  More of the early Native ruins.
It was so quiet and peaceful there.  I think we were four of probably the ten people there.
We did more hiking and it was a beautiful place! 

Of course the ever present traveling penguin.  That critter has some miles on him! 
We also were able to go to Gooseneck State Reserve and see this amazing site!
The San Juan River meanders for six miles through this two mile area to meet up with the Colorado River on its way to Lake Powell.  
It is truly a breath taking site.  Again photos do not do it justice.
I am forever trying to keep my daughter on the path.... 

 We finally made it to Monument Valley and what a FABULOUS site!
For those of you who have seen the new Lone Ranger Movie this is not in Texas this is in Utah and Arizona!
This was so confusing to my son..."Are we in Colby, Texas?"
The only hike you can do here with out a Native guide is call the Wildcat Trail.  
We packed up with gallons of water and off we went.  But we ended up with our own native guide this 
Reservation dog. 
She lead us on the trail, showed us were shade was, headed off a heard of cattle so we could pass and kept us on the right trail.  This dog loved my son and when he got off the trail she would steer him back on.
It was amazing to watch.  It was close to a 3.5 mile hike around the West Mitten and HOT!
The red sand is so fine it reminded me of the white sand my husband brought home in everything when he came home from Saudi Arabia.
We have clothes that are now stain Navajo Red! 
Another storm a coming! 
Now if you have made it this far here is the giveaway!!
Keeping Christmas in my heart all year long!
I picked this ornament due to the rust color that totally matches much of the Southwest terrain!
Top it with snow and a bit of sage brush and this is what our vacation looked like! 
Be a follower of my blog and leave a comment on this post.
New followers always welcome.
Leave a way for me to contact you if you do not have a blog.
If you would like to share this giveaway I would appreciate it! 
A winner will be picked on August 25th and announced on the 26th (the day my kids are back in school)!
Might even be an extra little something Summer related for another follower so you have to stay tuned.
Open to all USA and Canadian friends. Good Luck to all!

Thank you for taking the time to go on Vacation with me....hopefully not to boring!
Enjoy your day,

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Vacation time...Warning photo heavy!

We decided to go to the four corners area of the Southwest.
Our trip started at Mesa Verde National Park in south west Colorado.
Having lived here before I was a bit excited for my kids to see this wonderful park. 
On our way to see the Long House on the West plateau of the Mesa. 
Perfect day!  This is a 90 minute tour and the Rangers were wonderful about telling us about the people that once lived here. 

Some of the ruins.  Wonderful to get so close and see these up close. 

The ladders we needed to climb to get to the different levels. 
 It is over 8000 feet here so if you are not use to the elevation it can really drain you fast. 
Of course the traveling penguin has to come with us...better then a ceramic gnome! 
This was the group before us at Cliff Palace.  I think this is the photo that is used the most when referring to Mesa Verde.  

Beautiful day...until we got caught in a monsoon rain down pour.
We had just barely started down the steps to Balcony House when it started to just pour rain!

We were drenched in 2 seconds and it rained a good 20 minutes.
The Ranger had us get under one of the stone alcoves to wait out the storm but a clap of thunder and lighting made her rethink our safety in that location so we had to move down the trail and away from the wall just in case it gave way.
My daughter thought this was the funnest things ever!!
I was standing by a lady from France when something above gave way and next thing I know we are being pelted by mud and rocks.  We were a muddy mess.
This was the most difficult hike in the park due to the elevation, the ladders to climb up to get to the next levels and the little 18 inch tunnel we had to go through.
This gave me a new appreciation for the Native people who called this home. 
It is a beautiful and amazing place. 
But once the rain stopped we were dried out in about 30 minutes just a bit muddy--red mud!
I will never get this out of our clothes! 
This is a new section they are doing some archaeological research in and the hike to this for the people doing the research looked a bit hair raising! 
We were able to spend two plus days here and did all the hikes and were able to see all the sites.
There was so much to see, do and learn here!
One of my most favorite National Parks!!
The after rain then dried out look...I am not sure how the penguin stayed so dry!
Hope you enjoyed this little adventure in photo form!
Thanks for stopping by and seeing some of the vacation photos--20 of 643!