The Third Day of Christmas – 2012 In Pictures and Memories

Adventure

7922567066_e7ae975e5c_zI love this picture so much that I’ve used it for the site header since I took it. And yes, I have to admit that I was driving at the time. But it was Utah, and not many people were around, and well…But seriously, I’ve never seen so much of nature’s diverse beauty in my lifetime. And this picture just seems to capture so much of it for me.

 

There’s part of me that’s pretty certain that we’ll only do one big family vacation before the kids head off in their own directions. And if that’s the case, I’m thrilled that this was the trip we’ll all have to share.

 

Our two-week driving tour to San Francisco and back was amazing, tiring, enlightening, frustrating, and a whole lot of fun almost all at the same time. We’ve got pictures and memories to last a lifetime, and stories that we’ll be able to share and laugh at for as long as we want: I mean, just mention Casper, Wyoming around here and you get a whole range of laughably negative responses.

 

But you can mention things like the Grand Canyon, the Golden Gate Bridge, the tunnel–er, hole in the mountain (inside joke)–, and even Paxton, Nebraska and get a pretty fun reaction.

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Oh hell. That picture just makes me all kinds of happy.

 

I have regrets about the trip, but most of the regrets would have meant making the trip about a week longer, and three weeks away would have simply been too long. So a few hours spent at the Grand Canyon was better than nothing, and in the grand scheme of things, better than an entire day.

 

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Taking the kids up and down the strip in Vegas was totally worth it.

 

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Seeing them react in amazement at the grandeur of Mount Rushmore is just icing on the cake.

 

And all of us were just completely amazed by Utah. Oh, and southwestern Colorado. Wow.

 

And yes, as much as I really didn’t think I’d enjoy Alcatraz, that was definitely one of the high points. The three hours spent on that trip could have been the only thing we did in San Francisco, and I wouldn’t have felt shortchanged.

 

I’ll be honest. When we started talking about the trip and making some of the plans, I wasn’t positive we could do it successfully. But we all made it happen, and we all had a great time doing it. And it’s something that was easily the highlight of the year.

 

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Besides, I couldn’t have gotten great pictures like this one without this trip. And the great part is that with almost every single one of the 1200+ pictures we took over two weeks, I can tell a story that goes with it. And so can the kids.

 

And that’s what being a family is all about.

 

More to come tomorrow.