5,000 miles, 11 states and 3 cars

In light of my previous post, I think some family photos are needed.  My family and I recently returned from a cross-country road trip that took us from our home in the Washington, D.C. area to visit my parents in Tucson, Arizona.  Along the way we visited several national parks, slept in many motels, and drove three different cars in an effort to assist family members in a move. (We are thinking of starting our own auto-transport business as this was a more enjoyable part of the trip than we anticipated.)  While at times we felt like the Griswolds from National Lampoon’s Family Vacation, no serious high jinx occurred! And I am no Chevy Chase.

Will and Ben enjoyed sleeping in the motels and playing.

Will enjoyed the free continental breakfasts, as did my wallet.

In Vandalia, IL we MADE the boys visit the historic state capitol where Lincoln served time as a legislator.  You can tell the boys were thrilled. 😉

Ben demonstrates how he and Will kept amused during the long days in the car:

In Arizona we visited the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert.

Will was not happy about hiking on this trail with a posted rattlesnake warning.  Perhaps children do have better judgement than their parents!

While visiting this National Park, Will and Ben earned their Junior Ranger Badge and certificate. Here they are being sworn in:

Before visiting the North Rim of the Grand Canyon we stayed at Jacobs Lake Inn.  I recommend both the inn and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon highly.

Jenny and I had previously visited the South Rim and found the North Rim as beautiful and more serene.

On the only road to the North Rim, we passed eerie evidence of recent forest fires.

We were all excited to finally arrive in Tucson, so we could swim and spend time with family.

While we were visiting Tucson the monsoon rains began and we were treated to some beautiful sunsets and a few rainbows!  That was our reward for enduring 105 degree temperatures.  (Though it is a dry heat. 🙂 )

In all it was a wonderful vacation and we are happy to be home!

 

 

 

Peaceful Dawn

I recently spent some time with my god-daughter, Jane.  Her given Chinese name translates to “peaceful dawn.”  Her name suits perfectly her delightful, sparkling personality.

Scenes From Spring Vacation

As spring vacation draws to an end, I wanted to share some photographs.  For his birthday Ben got his own Nintendo DS so he and Will could both play Pokemon for hours at a time.  

I managed to pry the boys away from their games to take a hike at Carderock with some friends.   

When not hiking, playing outside, or playing on the nintendo, the boys were busy looking after their webkinz.  

Christmas in Tucson

Over Christmas and New Year my wife, two sons and I travelled to Tucson, Arizona to visit my parents, sister, and brother and his family.  My two sons point to their holiday destination in this photograph we used for our holiday card.

My parents house was nicely decorated for the holidays.

This family photo was made the night we arrived; my dad took the picture.  I especially like the fact that my mother is visible in the background on the left side.

Ben holds one of his favorite presents: a penguin stuffed animal

In this photograph Will is opening his Nintendo DS; a gift he has been asking for all year! 

 

My parents:

My niece Emily:

My parents with three of their grandchildren:

Jenny helps Ben play with his Leapster:

My nephew Selby enjoying his train set.  To me this is a timeless Christmas moment:

Selby also enjoyed his chocolate fondu:

One of the many highlights of the trip was making smores:

 

We also travelled to Mount Lemon where the boys played in the snow after a lunch with Grammy and their Aunt Elisabeth.

Overall it was a great trip and wonderful holiday spent with family: