Home for the Holidays!

I am a Southerner born and raised who has lived in the North for many years now.  Being that my husband and I are high school sweethearts, all of our family lives in the same small Southern town.  During the holidays we try our best to get back there, no matter where we are living at the time.  This year it was going to be more of an adventure because we decided to take Louie, our 4 month old Shih Tzu.  We have never traveled with Louie before this trip so I was really concerned.  Turns out, Louie was no trouble at all compared to the rest of our adventure.


Traveling the World for Christmas Ornaments

I love Christmas traditions!  There are some that most everyone does like stockings, the Christmas Tree and presents.  There are some that less people do like the candlelight service, opening one gift on Christmas Eve, dinner out at a fancy restaurant.  Then there are those unique to a small number of people like getting new pj's every year for the whole family, crazy Christmas card family pictures and my favorite...the ornament exchange.  Every year each member of my family gets a new Christmas tree ornament. I get one for each kid and my husband and my husband gets one for me. There are a few rules to the exchange. First, the ornament has to relate to the past year of the person's life.  For example...this year we got Louie for my daughter's birthday, so getting her a dog ornament would be perfect!  (which I did :0) We have everything from cellphones & saxophones to Harry Potter & Cinderella. The second rule is that it must say the year on it.  Even if that means writing it on with a permanent marker.  This way when we get out the ornaments every year, we can reminisce about that year and what it meant to each person.  It makes putting up the Christmas tree so much more fun.  The last rule is that we open them on Christmas Eve and put them on the tree for Christmas.  So why am I telling you about this on my TRAVEL blog?  Well, over the years I have given my husband several ornaments from our travels.  Obviously traveling is something I love to do.  Well, so does my husband.  So our trips can be the highlight of our year. 



Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House: Chicago

If you haven't ever tried Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House you're missing out.  I have eaten there several times and have enjoyed it every time.  Recently I met some friends for dessert.  I just wanted to share my dessert with you.  If this doesn't tempt you enough to go, I don't know what will. :)  It is the chocolate mousse pie for $7.  Enjoy! 

Chocolate dessert from Hugo's Frog Bar


Wild West Road Trip: Norris Geyser Basin (Yellowstone)

Morning at Mammoth Hot Springs, afternoon at the Norris Geyser Basin...only in Yellowstone National Park is something like this possible.  I truly felt like I was visiting another planet.  How else would you describe the scene below?


Wild West Road Trip: Mammoth Hot Springs (Yellowstone)

As we entered Yellowstone the second day from Gardiner, Montana, we were greeted with this awesome monument/entrance.  I love what it says...For the benefit and enjoyment of the people.  Amen to that!  We are the people who will be enjoying it today, thank you very much!


Louie: Not so Crazy anymore

As you know, I got a Shih Tzu puppy at the beginning of October.  His name is Louie and he was a surprise birthday present for my daughter. Well, I had never had a dog before, so all his insanity was new to me.  I was pretty distraught over the whole thing.  Boy have things changed! It is amazing how fast you fall in love with the little fluff balls. :)  But how could you not with a face like that!? We have both figured each other out.  Now he makes me happy and I make him happy.  There is nothing like the love you get from a puppy.  With two teenagers and a (sometimes) cranky husband, that was all Louie needed to do to have my heart.  In fact, I think I might love him too much.  Is that possible?  I think about him all the time and hate to leave him alone. Maybe Louie isn't the crazy one...I am!


Wild West Road Trip: Yellowstone Roadside

I know what I want for Christmas...a new camera!  I was so disappointed with some of my photos from our Wild West Road Trip.  Especially the ones that I had to take from the car.  That happens a lot in Yellowstone.  You will be driving down the road and all of the sudden there are tons of cars slowing down or pulled over to the side.  In the city, this would mean an accident, but in mother nature it usually indicates animals.  This happened to us several times.  While I was sooooo excited to see wild animals, I was sooooo upset that my camera failed me.  My goal is for you to have as close to the same experience as I did in person.  This elk below was amazing! What a gorgeous animal!  But I don't feel like the pictures do him justice. 

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