Tag: Family Trip

Roadtrip to New Mexico | Summer 2015

Posted 13 August, 2015 by Trish in Life, Road Trip, Travel / 34 Comments


On the Road


So, I had big plans of sharing our Road Trip pictures with you starting last week, but as I started to work on my pictures my computer crashed. As in I had to get a new one–you may have seen my mention on Sunday that I’m now working with a Mac (yay), but it’s absolutely foreign to me and the process has been a bit frustrating. What the heck is the difference between the folders I imported from my PC and Photo App? And why aren’t my folders in Photo App? And if I’m using individual folders for my pictures (which I like doing), does that mean that all of my pictures are duplicating in Photo?

But, as you can see, I managed to get at least the first leg of our three leg journey completed. I have about 700 pictures from our two week trip, and this was by far the shortest of the trip at two nights, but it’s always a mental battle of how many pictures to share. I did try to compress them using JPEGmini, but I don’t think it worked. Again, learning curve! Hopefully I’ll have it all figured out by the time I get to the second leg of the trip. Bahahahaha. :)

Anyway, not that you probably need to, but you can enlarge any of the pics by clicking on them.

Road Trip to New Mexico (Taos)

Watch for Rattlesnacks


As you can tell from the first picture, there’s no camper involved in this trip. The night before we planned to leave, we discovered electrical problems with the camper and Scott was afraid of lights going out while we were on the road. I don’t know who threw a bigger fit–me internally or Elle externally. It was definitely a BAD start to the trip but we decided to make the most of it. Because of this and that, we didn’t leave until about 10 in the morning the next day (about 5 hours later than I would have liked), but the good news is that these few weeks later I’ve forgotten about the difficulties of traveling with two little ones in the car.

Actually, they were pretty good. Lots of sweet smiles. And jumping and running at the rest stops when we could.
Roadtrip Smiles


We made it to Amarillo, our halfway point in the trip, around dinnertime so we stopped at Cracker Barrel for some dinner. Stopping here has become a bit of a tradition for us (this is our third summer taking a similar roadtrip). We all love the country store and some of us enjoy the food (some of us…me…do not but we don’t complain).

If you’re curious, the drive through Texas is never ending. Because we basically drive along the Texas/Oklahoma border until Amarillo and then drive all the way up the panhandle, we are in Texas for hours. HOURS.

Also, someone please tell Evie to stop growing up. She doesn’t listen to me…

Evie Checkers


Truthfully the girls did do well in the car. It was a rough start for Evie, but she finally realized that she would just have to sit for a bit longer than we all wanted. Sometimes they slept–rarely at the same time–but sometimes we did have magical moments. I’ve been thinking about writing a separate post about car traveling with littles, but we had lots of activities and do not shy away from screen time. Not when we’re in the car for 14 hours a day. Scott does all the driving. I navigate with my gigantic map and am in charge of snacks and keeping the kids happy. Sometimes we all just sit there while someone screams in the back. Because what are you going to do?


Road Trip


Fresh Mountain Air

The Wildflowers


Scott’s family has a little house up in the Taos/Angel Fire area. It’s old and run down and not my favorite place in the world, but the air up there in the mountains…it’s so incredibly fresh. I can’t get enough of it! And Elle LOVED collecting all of the wild flowers that she could.

As you can tell from Evie’s little furrowed brow, she wasn’t too sure about walking through wildflowers that were as tall as she is.

Little Worried Monkey


We went off-roading up in the mountains (Scott’s brother and twin nephews were also with us on dirt bikes), but because of the rain I didn’t snap any shots. They’d basically be repeats of the pictures we took two years ago…except for one extra toddler in the picture (and a slightly smaller pregnant self).


Fishing Gals


We also fished one afternoon. It was lightly raining, so we didn’t get any bites, but the girls still had fun. Until Evie fell into the pond. This child. She is crazy. And all over the place.


Gone Fishing


I mean, I can’t even stand it.


New Mexico Baby


And these girls. They’re actually playing games on my phone, but Evie looks like she’s telling Elle a secret.




After two sleepless nights, we packed up and headed to Durango. Sleepless nights? The first night we got to the house around midnight (1am our time) and couldn’t find the key to the house. The boys got a ladder and tried every single window until they got to the last one which happened to be open. Then the electricity wouldn’t turn on. Then the water. We got both working, but by the time we settled it was too late for a good night sleep…especially as Evie refused the pack n play and then cried and cried until her daddy came and got her (Scott and I didn’t sleep in the same room as the beds are so small and I was already sharing with Evie). The second night Evie did go down with me, but not until late and it was a terrible sleep for both of us (as was the rest of the trip). I won’t mention the part where she fell off the bed lest you start questioning my parenting skills.

But look at the smiles!! And ALL of us looking in the same direction! It’s like a Christmas miracle. Actually, maybe I’ll just use this for our Christmas card this year. Stress over.


New Mexico Smiles


Until next time, New Mexico!




A Summer Wanderlust Wishlist

Posted 25 June, 2015 by Trish in Road Trip, Travel / 20 Comments


Summer Wanderlust

Summer!!! Vacation! Trips! Roadtrips!

You guys–I have the worst case of wanderlust. We are heading on our big trip of the summer at the end of July and it feels like it might as well be in 2016 for how far away it feels. We will be camping in Durango, Colorado (this will be our third year as we love it so much!) and then heading to Bear Lake on the Utah/Idaho border for a family reunion. We’ve talked about maybe heading up to Pennsylvania again this summer, but I don’t know if it will happen. Last year we traveled quite a bit and I’m dying to add more to our agenda.

One of my favorite things about travel is just imagining the places that we could go. I love coming up with itineraries and seeking out the fun local things to do while we’re there. I’m guessing it’ll come to no surprise that many of the items on my list are national parks or outdoorsy type places. While I personally would love to lie on the beach, a beach isn’t a very relaxing vacation with kids and I was blessed with one of those husbands who doesn’t really know how to just sit and relax.

Where would we go? Oh, I’m so glad you asked. Here are 10 of my stateside dream trips.

Fall Creek Falls State Park

Fall Creek Falls, TNFlickr Creative Commons

I’m pushing heavily for a trip to Tennessee this fall–I’ve only quickly driven through the state and mostly at nighttime, but I’ve heard it’s absolutely gorgeous and I have a feeling that the girls would love Chattanooga. May as well add a State Park to the list. Have you explored Tennessee? I’ve got an open ear for recommendations!!


Lake of the Woods, Minnesota

Minnesota LakesFlickr Creative Commons

Minnesota is one of the few states that I have never visited at all. I’ve heard the flies and mosquitoes are vicious, but I would love to canoe or kayak on one of the many thousands of lakes way up north. And you know, if we just happen to venture into Canadian waters, that’s alright with me, eh.


Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon - UtahFlickr Creative Commons

I’m still bummed that we didn’t get a chance to make it to Bryce Canyon last summer on our roadtrip extravaganza, but in a way I’m glad we didn’t go as our trip would have been too rushed. I think our family could spend weeks exploring all that Utah has to offer!


Hwy 101, Oregon

Hwy 101 - OregonFlickr Creative Commons

In a dream world, Highway 101 is a trip I would love to take without kiddos so that I can ride on the back of a motorcycle. Obviously this won’t happen this summer…or possibly the next 15, but one day I’ll cross this trip off the bucket list!


Zion National Park, Utah

Zion NP - UtahFlickr Creative Commons

Again with the Utah parks, but look! And this is just across the riverbend (by a few hundred miles) from Bryce, which is just down the proverbial road from Moab. Utah truly is amazing. And if you need further convincing that these parks need to be on your list, check out Jillian’s posts (from Random Bookish Ramblings) of her recent trips to Zion and Bryce Canyon.


Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite NP - CaliforniaFlickr Creative Commons

Scott and I drove through Yosemite once. It was pitch dark outside. True story. We were driving from Tahoe down to Las Vegas and messed up our timing. One day I’d love to take the girls and explore this natural wonderland!


Smoky Mountains National Park

Smokey Mountains, TennesseeFlickr Creative Commons

Perhaps a bit gentler than the Western mountain ranges, but still beautiful. I also really want to drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway through North Carolina and Virginia (preferably on the back of the bike, but I won’t be picky for this one). And while I’m at it, may as well hike a few miles or more on the Appalachian Trail…another bucket list item.


Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Havasu Falls - ArizonaFlickr Creative Commons

Every couple of years my uncle hikes to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and stays a few nights in Havasupai. I’ve heard this experience is amazing (yes, it’s on the bucket list), but the last time that they went I was due to have Evie the same weekend. One of these days!


Outer Banks, North Carolina

Outer Banks - North CarolinaFlickr Creative Commons

Oh I had to have something beachy on the list! Really you could substitute anything on the Atlantic coast for this one–where are the good beaches? LOL! I’ve heard the Outer Banks are fantastic and we all need some sand in our toes now and then, right?


Somewhere on the coast of Maine

Portland Maine Bug Light LighthouseFlickr Creative Commons

As youngsters living in Toronto, our parents used to take us to Maine to vacation in the summer. My dad tells me that the water was freezing cold but that didn’t stop us from getting in and swimming to our hearts’ content. I’ve only been to Maine once since those summer vacations–and it was in the chilly fall–but I look forward to going back again. Summer at a cottage seems like the epitome of Summer Vacation.


For Lisa’s sake, I’ll add in Strugis, South Dakota to the list because we love riding in the Black Hills, but as I’m pregnant I won’t be getting on a bike anytime this year. Plus she said the little town’s population will swell to over 1 million this year for the 70th anniversary. But if you’re looking for somewhere to put on your travel bucket list, Black Hills is a must! And since it’s “close” I’d throw in Yellowstone, too.

What is on your Summer Wanderlust Wishlist? I’d love to hear where you dream of going.



Gone Camping!

Posted 17 March, 2014 by Trish in Life, Road Trip / 26 Comments

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Well, the title should actually be “Went Camping” as we’re already done, but that doesn’t have quite the same ring, does it.

For years Scott and I have talked about getting a camper. Talk talk talk. We both enjoy being outdoors and there is such a short window of camping time in Texas because of the extreme summer heat, so tent camping only takes us so far. Plus, you know, the kids. I know we could camp in tents with kids, but we’re kind of wimpy that way.

Finally, after enough talk, we got a small camper a few weeks ago. We took our first trip this past weekend to Beavers Bend State Park in southeastern Oklahoma, about three hours from home. Sunshine was in the forecast when we planned the trip, but unfortunately the rain sent us home a night early. We took advantage of the dry time that we did have and had a blast. I can’t wait until we can go on our next trip. I’m hoping there are many adventures and memories ahead for our little family.

Beavers Bend is a gorgeous park but the RV sites are first come, first serve with very few reserved spots (which are reserved out for weeks). What we are finding is that our “fly by the seat” travel philosophy doesn’t fit well with camping as spots go quickly. We are having this trouble with Yellowstone for this summer as people have been reserving for a year! I think the weather thwarted many campers’ plans this weekend, though, and we got lucky with a lovely riverside campsite.

The girls did great camping. Elle loved it and we “hiked” out to the different playgrounds and a little stream down the way. Elle loves exploring and has no qualms with getting a little (or a lot) dirty. The fresh air did us all amazing good. Our one oversight was not bringing a baby carrier other than the hefty hiking pack or bringing anywhere to set her down outside. She hung out in the hiking pack much of the time but it wasn’t ideal.

Both girls slept well in the camper–Evie was so tired that she ended up sleeping until 10:30 the next morning after one early morning nursing. I wondered how she would sleep in the pack and play but she didn’t make a single peep after I put her down for sleep. On Saturday we cooked breakfast (outdoor cooking might just be my favorite part of camping), played outside, and then drove around the park exploring while it rained. We ate pizza at a local restaurant before deciding to pack up and head back to Dallas as a huge storm was headed our way. I’m sad our trip got caught a little short but it was a wonderful time together.


New Mexico/Colorado July 2013 Roadtrip

Posted 30 July, 2013 by Trish in Life, Road Trip, Travel / 31 Comments


Holy Smokes! I tell you what–I’m shocked that I’m getting up this post just days after returning from the trip. Must be a Trish record.  Last week we took our first major roadtrip as a family. We drove to New Mexico (in the mountains between Taos and Angel Fire) and spent the night then headed to Durango, Colorado for a few days before returning back to New Mexico and finally back home.  The mileage each way is around 850 but overall we drove well over 2,000 miles (our longest stretch in the car was about 12.5 hours).
Instead of giving y’all 30 pictures, I figured I’d be nice and make collages. You can still click on them to enlarge. 
We left home at 5:30 in the morning. The plan was for Elle to fall back asleep but hahahaha. In all honesty, I was really nervous about how she’d do in the car but she was such a trooper. I asked for advice on FB for traveling with toddlers and the number one tip I received was to have small little toys and things for her to discover during the trip. We packed a big bin of toys (new and forgotten) but the only thing we pulled out was her big coloring pad. She didn’t nap well in the car, especially as I had to stop every two hours to stretch my legs, but she was so so good. So good. She did watch several movies but we also had some non-movie time as well. Unfortunately we did not get audiobook time as she never napped long enough. I did get quite a bit of hexies done, though!

Above Left-Right: Scott pretending to sleep. Flat land in the Texas Panhandle. Elle coloring, too cool for school. Finally some landscape in New Mexico.

Below Left-Right: On the drive to Colorado. We take the best family pictures. *snort*  And for the record–that tum is 34 weeks.

Scott and his brothers wanted to go off-roading in Colorado so we stayed a few nights at Purgatory ski resort outside of Durango. The mountains were absolutely stunning and Elle and I had a good time cavorting around while the boys were driving around. I was feeling pretty exhausted from two days in the car so tried to take it easy, though Elle wanted a bit more go-go-go. Luckily there was a heated pool and we went swimming several times. In the evening we “played” some mini-golf and had too much ice cream. The trip to Durango was much much too short but there is a ton to do in the area and so I suspect we’ll be back.
I adore the picture of Elle and Scott in the grass. She loves her daddy.
Once we were back in New Mexico, our vacation turned into a family affair. The purpose of the trip was to take Scott’s dad’s remains to the mountains that he loved so much. It was so great to spend some time with family that we don’t get to see often enough while taking in the beauty around us. The weather was delicious–60s and 70s during the day and cool enough for a jacket at night.
We hiked and fished, we road trails in the mountain, we stayed up way too late and ate all kinds of goodies. We visited Red River and drove up twisty curvy roads and saw more trains than we could count (tuh-tuh-tuh-tuh-choo choo said Elle). While we learned that naps are a good and necessary thing (there were a few fits during the week), it was a wonderful trip and we all had a great time. 

Above Left-Right: Fishing pond, view from the deck, cows on a mountain trail in Red River, leaving the mountains in the early dawn.

And guess who caught her first fish! On a snoopy pole! I was able to reel one in as well.

Way too much cuteness. And, ahem, I cut her bangs the night before the trip and I may have cut them a leeeettle too short. They grow back, right? Notice the foot over her carseat. A common sitting position for her.

And another attempt of a family picture in front of the Beaver Dam. One day…one day we’ll get one with all three of us smiling.

Not much else to report. I’m already longing for the cooler weather and the mountain air. Hopefully we’ll be able to head back next summer!


Memorial Day Fun in the Sun

Memorial Day Fun in the Sun

Scott and I took every advantage of the sun over Memorial Day weekend to head down to my dad’s lakehouse for a few days. I’ve been itching to get out of the house for more than two hours and it was wonderful to have so many extra hands with Elle over the weekend. Plus the view was pretty darn sweet. Elle did fairly well. The first night was a bit rough, and I think it […]

Posted 2 June, 2011 by Trish in Life, Travel / 36 Comments

Toronto – August 2008

Toronto – August 2008

It has been four years since we made our last family trek up to Toronto, so I was thrilled when Dad and Beth mentioned last Christmas that they wanted to take us up there. I was thrilled because I love visiting my grandparents–especially in Toronto where I grew up, but also because Scott has never traveled up that way and I really wanted him to see the city. NIAGARA!!! A trip to Toronto would be […]

Posted 27 August, 2008 by Trish in Travel / 6 Comments

Buenos Aires Day 4 – Palermo and Home

Buenos Aires Day 4 – Palermo and Home

ADIOS BUENOS AIRES!!! Since we had to leave for the airport in the early afternoon, our last day in Buenos Aires wasn’t quite as full as the others. We had to pick up Kim’s friend’s luggage to take back to the States, so we went to her flat in Palermo. While in Palermo (seems far from where our apartment was, but Kim insists it is the same barrio), we walked around a street market and […]

Posted 9 July, 2008 by Trish in Travel / 9 Comments

Buenos Aires Day 3 – Florida, Plaza de Mayo, La Boca, Tango!

Buenos Aires Day 3 – Florida, Plaza de Mayo, La Boca, Tango!

The Day When We Tour the City as Only a Tourist Can (on a bus) I have to admit. I was a big fat grump at the beginning of Day 3. A late start again. And I’m starving. Not a good combination for me. I didn’t want to take any pictures until I got some food in my tummy–but of course we had to stop at every freakin’ statue and building along the way. :) […]

Posted 8 July, 2008 by Trish in Travel / 4 Comments

Buenos Aires Day 2 – Recoleta, Santa Fe, Puerto Madero

Buenos Aires Day 2 – Recoleta, Santa Fe, Puerto Madero

Don’t Cry For Me Argentina!! Since Kim is nocturnal and we didn’t get to bed until late the night before, we had kind of late start to our second day in Buenos Aires (chill out Trish!!). Our day began, of course, with food. Jessica met the three of us at a little pizza restaurant around the corner from our apartment and we quickly devoured two pizzas–one with pineapple and ham (yes, we Americans call that […]

Posted 7 July, 2008 by Trish in Travel / 5 Comments

Buenos Aires Day 1 – San Telmo and Palermo

Buenos Aires Day 1 – San Telmo and Palermo

BIENVENIDOS!!When Mom told me she was going to visit Kim in Argentina, I said in my most whiny voice “I wanna go!!” She said, “Well come with me.” I didn’t think I was going to be able to get the time off work, but I mustered up the courage and things were set into place. There was no way I could pass up this once in a lifetime opportunity–even if it meant I would have […]

Posted 7 July, 2008 by Trish in Travel / 3 Comments