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Showing posts from December, 2012

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Home for the Holidays!

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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

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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…

Wild West Road Trip: Norris Geyser Basin (Yellowstone)

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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?


We walked all around the area, for a total of 2 and a quarter miles.  It was a fairly easy walk, much less stairs than Mammoth Hot Springs.  I would walk the whole area if I were you, but I did hear a man look out over the above scene and tell his wife,"Come on, lets go.  You've seen one geyser, you've seen them all!"  I have to disagree with him.  I was really glad we walked around the entire area.  If you have kids, stop off at the restrooms in the parking lot BEFORE you head out.  That is the only restroom and also the only place to get a drink.  There are no water fountains or anything except for by the restrooms where you can purchase drinks.

The Porcelain Basin area had some of those awesomely placed boardwalks.  Look at these pictur…

Wild West Road Trip: Mammoth Hot Springs (Yellowstone)

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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!





Just to help you get your bearings, I've included a map of Yellowstone.  We are starting at the tippy top and planning to make it to Old Faithful by dinner time.  Our first stop was the Mammoth Hot Springs visitor center.  It is a good one, one of the better ones, I think.  We even saw a moose there.  Oh wait, that's just me! ;)  

After the Visitor Center, we stopped at the actual Mammoth Hot Springs. I say that because everything is called Mammoth Hot Springs in this area (hotel, visitor center, etc).  We started our walk at the Liberty Cap and managed to hit all the orange trails that you see above.  There were A LOT of stairs!  My thighs were burning!  I was sad to see that several of the springs were dried u…

Louie: Not so Crazy anymore

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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!

Seriously, I think I might be obsessed.  I think Louie is the cutest, smartest, funniest, most adorable dog in the world.  It really reminds me of when the kids were little. Most moms th…

Wild West Road Trip: Yellowstone Animals

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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. 



We also saw a bear enjoying a walk along the Yellowstone River.  We could only see him with the binoculars that I packed for our trip. (good tip, by the way)  So if my camera couldn't capture the elk right on the side of the road well, you can im…
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