Thursday, November 29, 2007

Grand Canyon

Well, I'm a little behind on posting about vacation. But, better late than never huh? We decided to take a trip to the Grand Canyon and New Mexico over fall break. It was a much needed vacation and I loved it!!!

Saturday morning we got up early and headed out. We got to the Grand Canyon about 3pm. This is the entrance gate to the Grand Canyon.
As we were driving into the park we saw a deer eating grass along side of the road.

Then we got our first view of the canyon, which was an amazing sight.

We took a ton of pictures of the canyon during the 3 days we spent there. Sunday we got up early and decided to go to church a small Catholic chapel on park grounds. As we were driving around looking for the chapel we saw4-5 large elk walking across a parking lot as if it was the most normal thing in the world. A little farther down the road we saw 2 more walkng through another parking lot. I had never seen an elk up close in the wild. They are rather amazing creatures.

After church we went for a short hike on the rim trail near our hotel. We were looking for fossils, because one of the rangers had told us that just off the trail there was a rock ledge with a lot of fossils. We didn't find the fossils because I was leary about getting too far off trail. We ended up walking to a shuttle stop and caught the shuttle up to a few more overlooks, and then back down to near our hotel. We ate an early supper and went to bed around 8p.

Monday we got up about 6am and headed out to tackle the Bright Angel Trail. This is one of the most popular trails in the park, and is the one that leads all the way down to the Colorado river. It is also the one that the mule trains use to take people to the bottom of the canyon. We decided that we were going to do a short portion of the trail and only go to the "mile and a half" rest house. (That means 3 miles round trip). I was very nervous about this hike because I am terrifed of heights and there are no guardrails along the trail. I kept dreaming about falling down the side of the canyon while I was sleeping Sunday night.

These two pictures show the view from the trail, and the second one shows part of the trail itself. I am really glad that I went on the hike because there were some amazing views and great geology. Having said that, I don't desire to ever hike this trail again...don't think my heart could take another hike like about facing your fears!!!

On our way back up from the rest house we were taking a rest and looked up the trail and saw a mule train coming down.

We ended up seeing several of these mule groups on the way up, which was nice because it gave us a chance to take a break. Going up was MUCH rougher than going down. When we were just about back up to the top...about a half mile away or so...we saw a bunch of people standing on the trail and wondered what they were up to. As we got nearer we heard them saying that there was big horn sheep up ahead. I looked up and saw one on the hill. That got me moving faster because I wanted to get close enough to get a picture before people scared it away. When we got closer I saw that there were actually several big horn sheep on the cliff above the trail. They blended in really well so they were hard to see from a distance. Here's a good picture of one of them:

After taking pictures for a while, we headed up the rest of the trail and finished our hike in a little under 4 hours. Don't we look happy.

We went back to the hotel and took a short nap and then went back to the rim trail to find the fossils again, but it was getting dark so again we had no luck!!! We ate supper and were in bed by 7:30p.

On Tuesday we were all a little sore from our hike so we decided to drive to one of the gift shops to look for a tshirt for me. I wanted one that said "I hiked the Grand Canyon!" I ended up getting one that said "Bright Angel Trail" on the front and had a map of the trail on the back. When we were driving around we saw more deer. One by the side of the road, and a whole family of deer crossing the road in front of us.

On Wednesday we got up early and headed to New Mexico for a visit with Ben's brother Michael. I'll do another post about our sightseeing on the way to New Mexico.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Well, this is it...the last week of football practice. The final game is Saturday, but Peter will not be there because we are headed to the Grand Canyon for a family vacation. Originally we planned to attend the game and then head out on our road trip, but since the game isn't until 4pm we figure that we don't want to get THAT late of a start. It will take us between 9 and 10 hours to reach the Grand Canyon. We are going to stay there until Wednesday and then head to New Mexico to spend Thanksgiving with Ben's brother Michael. The boys sure are looking forward to seeing their uncle. We will head back to Poway on Saturday morning early. I am really looking forward to our week away. It will give us a chance to relax and have some real family time.
Peter is really enjoying school. He is doing really well too. He got his report card on Friday and had excellent grades. We are really proud of how he does in school.
Liam hasn't gotten his "report card" from preschool, but I will be anxious to see that. I feel like he has really learned a lot already in preschool. His teacher always raves about what a polite child he is....boy does he have her fooled!!! HA!! Really, he is a great kid.
I am a lucky mom to have such great kids.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Today I am thankful for a slow pace day. I only have a few things on my "have to do" list and those things won't take too much of my time. I got to spend time playing a game with Liam this morning and I think that we both enjoyed the game.
Tomorrow Ben and Liam are heading out to the cub scout campout in the desert. Peter and I are going to attend Peter's football game on Saturday and then head out to the desert to join Ben and Liam. Liam is really excited about getting some one on one time with daddy. He has been talking about it almost nonstop all week. This morning he asked if he could pack yet. I will miss him tomorrow night, but I know that he will be having a great time. And besides, it's only one night.
Not too much else going on in my life right now, which is something else to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Day after the fire pics

This is the sunset on Tuesday night after the fires.
No, it's not's smoke from the wildfires. The hill in the background is Mt. Woodson. Mt. Woodson was still burning when this picture was taken.
Another picture of the sunset.
This is ash and soot in our apartment complex swimming pool. It actually doesn't look too bad in this picture, but it was really gross.

Random pictures

This is a picture of Peter and Liam's design they made with all their matchbox cars.
Peter is sitting on a hay bale in front of the pumpkins at the cub scout pumpkin patch trip.
Liam is taking a pony ride. He loves riding horses.
Aren't they adorable boys?????
This is a picture of the sunset the night we returned from evacuation from the fires. I will post better pics of the sunset later.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


As of yesterday the wilderfire that ravaged our area of southern CA was 100% contained with full control expected by Nov. 5th. What this means is that there is no active out of control fire anymore, but that there are still smoldering embers in some spots. So things around here are pretty much back to normal. Although, we have been hearing the weather report that we may be having Santa Ana winds starting tomorrow throughout the weekend. So, pretty much everyone here is a little on edge. Santa Ana winds by themselves aren't such a big deal, but the fact that they also signal high temps, low humidity and strong winds. Those three things are bad news in our drought sticken area.
Yesterday I really knew that life was back to normal. I took Peter to school in the morning then went home for about 30 minutes. Liam and I then went back to Peter's school for a halloween party. I was in charge of helping the kids in the class make rice krispie monsters. I mixed up a batch of rice krispies and then plopped some on waxed paper and the kids molded them into monsters. It was messy, but fun. Then I took Liam to his preschool and dropped him off, then back to Peter's school to help out with the afternoon activites. Then back to Liam's school to pick him up. We went home for 30 minutes and gathered our halloween costumes and headed to football practice. After football practice the kids changed into their costumes and we went trick or treating. Then we came home and off to bed.
Today Liam has speech therapy and tonight we are going to watch a football game.
I love my life and am so thankful for my family and friends.
I'll post some halloween pics soon.