Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Birthday Celebrations: 33

The Weatherman took me to Jazz! A Louisiana Kitchen for lunch. 
It. Was. DELISH!

I had a shrimp po-boy with sweet potato fries & honey mustard for dipping. 
The Weatherman had a catfish po-boy with hushpuppies. Yum!

Oh. My. Gosh. I can still taste the savory goodness! 

Afterwards, we hit that part of town for some low-key thrifting. I'm super lucky to have a hubs who enjoys thrifting almost as much as I do. We had to hunt down {you know how it goes with one way streets} The Reserve, Goodwill in the Market - now this is no ordinary Goodwill y'all. This is a fancy schmancy boutique-type Goodwill. It was planted in the middle of the Old Market part of downtown Omaha & is absolutely 100% 'boutique' in all its glory & fanciness. They take the best donations from local Goodwill stores & send them here. Imagine living in a loft apartment & wanting a piece to add to your loft or a 1950's piece of jewelry or clothing... this is where you would head! 

I actually found a lovely little piece of jewelry that has a wonderful fleur-de-lis pendant and little crown, the epitome of Mardi Gras from back home! *swoon* $6.00 y'all! 

After that we found a cute little vintage/thrift/antique store that we hit.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

2011 Road Trip: Day 3

Our summer roadtrip for 2011 was Rocky Mountain National Park. We stayed at Colorado Cottages in Estes Park, CO. and spent every {seemingly} waking moment in the national park. If you missed the other days of our trip, here is: 

Day One - Bellevue, NE to North Platte, NE 
Day Two - North Platte, NE to Estes Park, NE; first journey into RMNP

On day three, we traveled all day! We took plenty of food, picnic materials, and ice cold water. We started at the Estes Park entrance again & headed up Trail Ridge Road. This road crosses RMNP from east to west (vice versa).

One of the first scenic pit stops along the way

Monday, July 4, 2011

2011 Road Trip: Day 2

The afternoon we arrived in Estes Park, we met up with my folks and hit the road for a brief journey into the Rocky Mountain National Park. Day three was going to be our big day, the long trip through the park, seeing a little bit of it all. But on the day we arrived, I was anxious for my husband (and myself, ahem!) to see some of God's beauty. One of the main eastern entrances to RMNP is in Estes Park, Colorado. This is one of the most charming little tourist towns (that definitely has its quiet times throughout the year {i.e. winter}). This is the gate entry in EP:

I just loved this. She was the epitome of 'ranger'. 

We drove to the Bear Lake area & just circled the parking lot (I was last there in '94 with my folks), then up the Fall River entrance area (as far as we could go without exiting the gate) & everywhere in between! 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Simple Life

This past week, we spent our summer vacation in Estes Park, Colorado and Rocky Mountain National Park. Because I grew up in a traveling family {we went everywhere that every child dreams of}, I am thrilled to have married a man who wants us to see the beauty and excitement that our world has to offer. 

Check out these Mennonites we stumbled upon during our hike to Alberta Falls. They were with a larger group, but each couple/family seemed to go their own way. They each had backpacks with an infant or toddler in them, a bag or picnic basket with lunch, and a cooler filled with water. First of all, Mennonites are 'simple' in their life already. But they certainly epitomized what I can only hope to get across to anyone who ever reads this: your trip does not have to be fancy. Your clothing does not have to be name brand. Your feet do the traveling once you arrive. You eat simple foods and hydrate in simple ways. 

Every park I've ever been to, this was proven to me. Seeing God's work is simple. Seeing the beauty your OWN country has to offer is simple. Breathing it in and staring in awe, that's simple. 

Choosing to get there... that's the hard part. Traveling on a budget IS possible & actually quite realistic. The simple things are the best that our world has to offer...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

2011 Road Trip: Day 2 (part 1)

On Day 2, we woke up at the crack of dawn to some very cool western Nebraska weather. It was so nice! We were out the door & on the road by 7am (errr, that says a LOT for us). Pretty soon we were crossing the state line & playing tourist under the welcome sign...

Apparently, the weatherman did NOT have his V-8!

We saw some absolutely breathtaking countryside. In more ways than one. My lap pillow became a face pillow for awhile there. If you've never driven through eastern Colorado & southwestern Nebraska, let's just say it will give you a reason to cover your nostrils...

Check out these rolling hills and wildflowers in eastern Colorado:

Anywho, we stopped off in Loveland for some last minute Walmart supplies before heading into Estes Park. We enjoyed some Chick-fil-A for brunch (we don't have CFA here in NE) & stopped off at this lovely little roadside lake/park. My mom later told me to look up the history of the statues, but I haven't yet. 

And finally, FINALLY, we arrived...

We found our cottage, turned around & headed for my parents campground. (our cabin was not ready yet) We briefly celebrated some exciting things & occassions that had occurred since we last saw one another, then we headed into RMNP (part two - so as to not be too picture heavy) :) The drive on Day 2 was BEAUTIFUL. I had never been through that part of Nebraska or Colorado & it was breathtaking. Even the simplicity of the rolling hills and lovely wildflowers... every ounce of it was to be breathed in & savored. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

2011 Road Trip: Day 1

We left at an odd time to leave for a vacation... 4:00pm. But this is the way things happen when you live the life of shift work, as we often do in the Air Force. The Weatherman got off at 6:30am, got home around 7:15 & hit the sack by 8am. He got a good 7 hours of sleep, hopped up, hit the showers & we were off....

This is his "when you said you were going to document everything, 
I didn't think you meant everything" face

I, on the other hand, was EXHAUSTED. And that's putting it lightly. I have this insane, neurotic (I think those two are the same) ;) need to have my house exceptionally perfect by the time I walk out the door for any extended period of time. Maybe on some subconscious level I think I'll never return? My reasoning is that "I want to come home to a clean house...", but I'm beginning to think there's a lot more to it than meets the eye. 

I got off work on Friday evening at 6pm & began doing it ALL. That means cleaning, straightening, washing,  ironing, organizing, & everything else you can think of-ing. I {honest to God} went to bed at 5am & was up on Saturday by 10. I hit the floor running & did not stop until 4am Sunday morning, fell into bed (was asleep in moments) & was up with my alarm for 9:30am. It was then nonstop (car wash, vacuum, oil change, packing the car, packing a lunch, etc) until we left. 

*SIGH* deep breath. I was asleep almost as soon as the wheels started turning..... 

{will NOT insert lovely pic The Weatherman took on his cell phone}

So. We saw parts of Nebraska we'd yet to see. We made it halfway to our destination. We had THE BEST Culver's for dinner. We went to a Walmart where everyone likes to stare. And we smelled cows. Lots and lots of cows. 

A gorgeous western Nebraska sunset complimented our delish bacon cheeseburgers from the aforementioned Culver's....

But the night ended in the best way possible... THE cutest little roadside {okay, inner 'city'} motel with actual room keys and a hail storm. Alright, so the hail storm wasn't necessarily a good thing - especially since it did damage my car - but the way it sounded on the tin roof of the motel & the way everyone came out onto the breezeways in their pj's to watch... *sigh* it was like the 1970's.... society was at peace for a few moments & everyone was happy! Seriously, everyone was smiling & laughing & taking pictures... of a hail storm. that damaged our cars. {must've been the giddy travel bug}

Check that out folks, that there is real live motel key. 
Last seen in the 1980's, you can find yerself one in North Platte, Nebrasky.

My poor pockmarked baby :(

Let me also mention that along the way we had the most amazing clouds crop up {that were attached to a horrible storm north of us, but we didn't know it when we were jubilantly taking pictures} This is a true testament to a Weatherman's wife... clouds. Lots of clouds.

Hope you enjoyed day one of our Rocky Mountain National Park road trip... Day 2 soon to follow!

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