Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Michigan trip!

This was a sort of epic trip–I drove to Michigan with the kids by myself, and then Conor flew out to join us a few days later and stayed for a week.

Why did I drive almost 600 miles instead of waiting 3 days, you ask?

Because Cherie and Jenny and their girls were in town, and we wanted to see them as much as we could!

It was a good choice, because the kids had a GREAT time. Mattie and Mary have grown up a lot since they saw each other last, and they hit it off immediately.

Cherie put together a scavenger hunt for them–Mary adored this because it let her show off her reading skills.


Here are the two Wesleys hanging out:


We swam just about every day, sometimes several times. Mary and Wesley worked on their newly-acquired skills from swimming lessons.

Mary was fearless.

We blew bubbles.

And went out for ice cream (some of us twice).


Wesley was fascinated but intimidated by Zuri.

Grandma Cal treated us to a trip to the zoo. The kids love the zoo.

Did you know a Wesley is this big?

Mary fed a giraffe (check out that long tongue!).

She is very hip.


The kids also went on innumerable tractor rides, including a trip to Grandpa’s house to pick up the brush hog. It took Dad and Grandpa a few minutes to get it hooked up.

Mary and Wesley passed the time by making scary faces…

…and looking in windows…

…and generally running amok in the barnyard.


The trip went very well, all things considered, and we saw most of the people/things we had intended to see–there’s never time for all of it, of course. (One thing that somehow never happened: riding Turbo. What has the world come to?) And now we’re home and it’s time to start thinking about getting ready for school. How did that happen?


more forgotten trip pics

Okay, so “tomorrow” was a little optimistic. But here are some more! After the first stint in Denver, we drove to El Paso for Christmas festivities.

Mary lined up her stocking contents and sampled the applesauce from her stocking while we were waiting for Grandma Sandy to arrive.

Then we decorated the table so that it would be ready for Grandma Sandy. Mary made place cards:

Wesley was very ready to get started eating.

We made bread!

Wesley and Grandpa Mike spent a lot of time working on a puzzle.

Mary and Grandma had a snuggle.


So…remaining Denver pictures to follow!

forgotten blog!

I just realized I never posted ANY of the pictures from our Christmas-New Year travels! I’m a bad blogger.

We flew into Denver and stayed a day or so before heading down to El Paso. Here are a few pics from that leg of the journey.

Mary and Molly enjoying Molly’s crazy collection of art supplies:

Wesley used Riley’s bulldozer. Riley provided helpful advice and instruction.


It snowed the night we arrived, so the next day, the kids went out to play. (Snow is fairly novel for my kids: we’ve gotten huge amounts sometimes here, but they weren’t old enough to remember it.)

Cousins in the snow!





Later, Wesley was a “Santa porcupine with a lightsaber.”


I’ll post some more tomorrow. I can’t believe I forgot to put these up!

trip chronicle and birthday musing

The kids and I got back on Saturday night (well, early Sunday morning) from a trip to Michigan. We had a nice trip, although the kids were sick for part of it, and we got to see babies Lola and Ruby–my kids have talked about them incessantly ever since.

On our first day in town, Mary asked Grandma Cal to play Go Fish. Grandma is always up for a round of Go Fish.

Mary was very excited.


Grandma Cal is into it.

A tense moment…

We went down to the pond to explore–we were planning to go fishing the next day, but we got rained out every time we planned it. ha. This photo cracks me up because of Mary’s tick-protection arrangement of pants and socks.

Mary, trying to look like a cool kid (and possibly succeeding):

Wesley waving to the fish:


We checked out the animal tracks.

Wesley pointed out some corn.

They spent a couple of days living on Popsicles, recovering from their malady.

Mary got to ride Turbo (Wesley was still sick, and I was tending to him, so Grandma and Grandpa took her for a ride).

This photo is my favorite:


Mary got a haircut.

…which turned out very cute and makes her look like Tatum O’Neal from “Paper Moon”:

Mary played with bubbles:


And we had a party for Wesley, who turned THREE yesterday! I can’t believe it.


Just before we left town, Linda and Jacob came into town–we got to see them, which was fantastic. On the way home, we stopped and visited Suz. Mary declared her cats, restaurant ice cream, and local park “awesome” (a word that Mary has picked up somewhere). So, despite their illness, it was a good trip!

Soon to follow: Wesley’s birthday picture from yesterday, not yet uploaded.


attempt at a catch-up

So, this whole month has gone basically unblogged because we have been so ridiculously busy.

We went to visit my parents for Thanksgiving (see photos at bottom of post!). Then we came back and I got slammed with end-of-the-semester teaching work and dissertation deadlines…and then my grandmother passed away and we drove BACK to Michigan for another 5 days, which necessitated patching together semester’s-end plans for my final exams and whatnot.

Then we came home and there were my dissertation deadlines, waiting not-so-patiently. I have been writing, writing, writing, and therefore not blogging! I mean, it’s been ridiculous–I wrote all day Christmas Eve, even.

I am sending out a chapter today so I’m taking a short break to post a few Thanksgiving pictures. I’ll save the rest–Christmas pictures, as yet un-uploaded, etc.–for later.

How ridiculously cute is this?

card shark!

Ryan and Jill’s newest baby:

An attempt to get a cute Christmas photo:

Mary, having a droopy moment:

Decorating cookies:

That’s a focused Wesley:

finished product!

And here’s a cute bonus picture of Wesley from when we got back home:

My new favorite picture

This was from the first night we went to the ocean–the first time Mary saw the ocean close-up.

more about Fort Jefferson

This trip to Fort Jefferson, with over 50 Mudd descendants and hangers-on, was for the purpose of visiting the cell where Dr. Sam Mudd was imprisoned. In case you don’t know who he is, he is the doctor who set John Wilkes Booth’s leg, after Booth shot Lincoln. Mudd was arrested as a conspirator in the assassination plot and sent to prison on Fort Jefferson, which is a forbidding hulk of brick in the middle of the ocean. He was there for four years, and then he was pardoned (for his work at the Fort, fighting the yellow fever epidemic).

The fort is, indeed, right smack in the middle of the ocean. It’s 70 miles west of Key West. For someone like me who has only seen an ocean once before (and that at Ocean City, where I was distracted from its majesty by the fact that there was no way at all to avoid being pooped on by gulls), it was a fairly staggering sight.

Here’s the approach to the fort (okay, so this was taken on the way back–but still).

The whole thing is massive–lots of bricks.

Up on the third floor/roof of the fort, there is no railing or anything. I was extremely nervous the whole time we were up there.  No question though that the view is amazing.

It’s unbelievable, isn’t it? Think about it–imprisoned here. You could see the water, but you couldn’t swim in it. And there’s no possibility of escape because–well–where would you go?

Mary really liked it. She wanted to explore everything.

Actually, so did Wesley.