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Tag Archives: summer vacation

Out of My Comfort Zone

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My family and I just got back from vacation, where my husband booked a few things that made some of us nervous…

First off, we went on a cave tour. Now, we’ve been in lots of caves before

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Last year we visited Wind Cave and Jewel Cave


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In 2013 we visited Carlsbad Caverns

We’ve been in lava tubes and other caves in different National Parks, so that’s not new. What was new this time was that my husband booked a candlelight tour for us. This sounded cool (albeit possibly spooky depending on whether there would be bats) to me, but my daughters were not too happy about it.

They had many questions. Were they really candles? Were they electric? What if they burned out? What if we were stuck in the dark?

Their fears didn’t disappear when it was time for the tour, and the sky got dark and started to rain and hail.

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the lanterns, before being lit


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heading into the dark cave


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The group heading up stairs with lanterns

Even though it was a little spooky at first, but everyone really enjoyed the experience of seeing the cave in a different light – literally.

The second thing that my husband scheduled that a few of us were worried about was whitewater rafting. I didn’t bring my phone, because I was worried about ruining the phone. It’s too bad, because the scenery was gorgeous. I do, however, have photos that were taken of us at one of the most exciting parts of the trip.

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This smile is me, trying to be excited about something I’m scared of.


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Waiting to get on the river

For the first part of the day, my husband and son kayaked while the girls and I went on the raft with Danny, our guide. We stopped halfway for lunch, then we all got back onto the raft and headed down. We had several grade I and II rapids, and then one big III (felt like 3.5 to me). Here’s us below, heading down the III called “Nugget.”

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All of us, rowing


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Danny told us to hang on


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Woohoo!!


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After rapids high-five

There was one more big one called “Powerhouse” (named partly for the old closed down Power mill nearby and partly because it’s a big one). Our youngest daughter was very nervous (as was I, honestly), so our guide took us on the side of Powerhouse to Mugger’s Alley – which honestly I think was more exciting than just going straight down, as we had to row most of the time to keep in the narrow run, and we ended up turning in circles as we went through it.

All in all, we had a great time. Some of us faced our fears and made it through the other side. My husband felt vindicated that we all enjoyed the activities he planned, despite our worries. I’m not ready to go bungee jumping or anything, but I’d probably go rafting again…

When you plan vacations, do you plan exciting activities, or just relax?

~Genevieve

 

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When I Was a Kid, Summers Were Longer

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I remember having three solid months of summer as a kid. I remember swimming at my grandparents’ house, going to the beach, going to Disneyland and baseball games. Even though they seemed to whiz by in mere days, they were quite languid compared to what kids have these days.

This summer, my kids get 9 1/2 weeks. (Oh dear, is it really just as long as those two people in the sexy movie had together?)

In 9 1/2 weeks, we’re trying both to have as much relaxation and carefree stillness and yet packing in as much fun as we can. We’ve got 3 1/3 weeks left. HOLY CRAP WE HAVE THREE AND A HALF WEEKS LEFT!

What the heck have we done this summer?

We watched the girls perform.

We watched the girls perform.

We helped our school's building get pushed forward.

We helped our school’s building get pushed forward.

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The kids, heading into the Board Meeting to stand in support of all the speakers pleading for our middle school.

We swam.

We swam.

We bowled.

We bowled.

We rode our grandparents' elevator chair.

We rode our grandparents’ elevator chair.

 

We watched Star Trek.

We watched Star Trek.

We saw White Sands.

We saw White Sands.

We hiked in a cave and smelled bat guano.

We hiked in a cave and smelled bat guano.

We looked for alien life.

We looked for alien life.

We saw the Painted Desert.

We saw the Painted Desert.

Played music.

Played music.

We went to the Grand Canyon.

We went to the Grand Canyon.

 

We marched in a 4th of July parade.

We marched in a 4th of July parade.

We danced.

We danced.

We went to the Hollywood Bowl.

We went to the Hollywood Bowl.

 

We went to a Dodger game.

We went to a Dodger game.

We made s'mores in our backyard.

We made s’mores in our backyard.

 

We went on a boat.

We went on a boat.

We went to basketball camp.

We went to basketball camp.

Before the summer is over, we’ll do some more swimming, see a few more shows at the Bowl (wait, they’re at the end of August, so technically the kids will be back to school already), and hopefully go to the beach and maybe Disneyland.

We’ve crammed a lot in so far, and we’ll try to have a bit more fun before our sweet summer is cut short.

What are your summers like? Do you remember having more time as a kid than kids today have? Is there a summer tradition you can’t do without?