Category: Trips

Lots have gone on within the last week but only enough time to blog about what went on this very day. We had a jam packed day starting our all day tour at 9am and ending at 8pm–yep, 11 hours! We visited Windsor Castle, City of Bath and Stonehenge. Since most of the day consisted of traveling from one location to the next, we were able to rest our feet and eyes in between tours. We were even able to leave a lot of our belongings on the bus so it was less cargo to lug around at the various sites which helped a lot with our actual tour experience. When we visited places in the other cities we had to lug around everything all the time. It would quickly drain our energy and made for the actual experience less enjoyable. You can’t imagine the amount of things we need to bring along for a child let alone for ourselves for an all day out. Thank goodness for this last day of touring to be a lot less painful.

Windsor Castle is actually actively in use by Queen Elizabeth and is probably the largest inhabited castle in the world. She visits mostly on weekends and hosts large events there. We were able to experience the castle setting up for an event and even got up close to one of the famous guards.

48 week old baby boy windsor castle

City of Bath was quite interesting with its well preserved Roman Baths. I’m actually impressed with their water pumping advancements so early on over 2,000 years ago.

11 month old baby boy city of bath england

Noly and his daddy, videotaping from above.
city of bath

Nolan encountered a lady bug and was not scared at all. He was more intrigued than anything.
city of bath

city of bathroom

Stonehenge was a bit eerie, but great to see and mark off my bucket list. It’s in such a rural area and so daunting of a task to create that it makes you wonder its true purpose. During our 45 minutes there the weather changed drastically from overcast, windy and cold to warm + sunny the next.

This would have been a great photo if Nolan wasn’t so cranky about it.
stonehenge baby boy 11 months

This one also would have been great if the old lady wasn’t in it.
stonehenge baby boy 11 months

You can see that it was overcast in this image versus the previous 3 which were nice and sunny.
stonehenge baby boy 11 months

Nolan’s showing off his 2 front buck teeth.
stonehenge baby boy 11 months

You can see from this barrier that we were not allowed to get up close. Over the years people would vandalize or chip away at the stones so now it’s off limits.
stonehenge baby boy 11 months

Isn’t it an awesome site to see??
stonehenge

This was our very last day in Europe and we were glad to be heading home. I was starting to get really stressed, frustrated and near a nervous breakdown with all that we had to go thru to have Nolan along on the trip. Every night I would have to pre-plan what to pack for the day (# of diapers, meals, snacks, water, etc), what he’d wear, what I’d wear, admission tickets, how to get there, what time to get up, what’s for breakfast, etc. My mind was running at such an alarming speed every day trying to plan everything that I was really in for the breakdown at the end. It was hard at times to slow down and enjoy the moment. I relinquished a lot of photographing during our site seeing just because I was so drained from everything. For future trips they will be a lot less than 3 weeks–I’m thinking no more than 7/8 days, closer destinations to home and possibly a helping hand to come along. This momma wants to enjoy trips too so it will need to be planned a lot better.

All of our belongings (5 of us) before heading to Heathrow for our final flight home.
11 month old baby boy with luggage

Events Trips

I did not have time to blog on the go while in Paris/London on this day. I had just photographed a wedding the day before so we were tired and rushed to pack up our things to move onto our next destination. We celebrated my very 1st Mother’s Day, 17 years of dating and Nolan turning 11 months all in 1 day. Here are a few photos taken that day when we traveled from Paris to London.

paris london king's cross station platform 9 3/4

london king's cross station harry potter platform 9 3/4

If you’re wondering, we took a high speed train on the EuroStar that took us about 2 hrs and 20 minutes to get from Paris to London. The train traveled at a max speed of 183mph (fast!!) and even went under water at the English Channel. It was quite a smooth ride. Some pix taken from the train ride via my cell phone are below.

eurostar high speed train

eurostar high speed train to london

Events Trips

Sorry for the unplanned hiatus from blogging but I am back up and running again. Woohoo!

Continuing our Memorial Day weekend adventure to the Grand Canyon. This is the first time Rob and I have ever been so it is all pretty exciting. Before I jump all in to share the images from the Grand Canyon, I’ll have to share a few images from the RV itself which I failed to do in the last post.

You’ll see our fridge/freezer on the left with a larger view of the kitchen, dining, and seating area. This is the widest part of the trailer when it is expanded all the way.

The couch turns into a fold-away bed which was where Rob and I slept on all 3 nights of the trip. The kitchen is quite extensive with plenty of cupboard space. Felt almost like home with the amenities we are used to.

On Saturday evening right before sunset we arrived at the Grand Canyon. We stopped over at a random pull-out to snap some quick pix.

As you can tell by Elise’s crazy hair, it was crazy windy!

Poor Chloe was scared of the wind and was crying to please head back into the RV.
That night we stayed at the Trailer Village made for RV’s in the Grand Canyon Village where there was hook-ups for everything (water, electricity, bathrooms).

Sunday morning after breakfast we rode along the 30+ mile stretch of the Grand Canyon to stop at a few of the look-out points.
This look-out tower is at Desert View Point, located near the East Entrance of the park.

So purdy. I could really sit here for hours just staring out into all this beautiful creation.

This panoramic photo was taken at Moran Point. If you look closely you can see the Colorado River running thru it.

Just the 3 of us headed out to Hopi Point towards the west end of the park to watch the sunset. You cannot drive up here; only the shuttle can take you to it.

Boy was it cold! We did not expect it to be this freezing.

It was a bit of a disappointment b/c it was too cloudy to see much of a sunset. We were lucky to be one of the 1st ones back on the shuttle to get back down to the park. If we waited any longer we would have been stuck waiting outside in the cold for the next shuttle; I would have definitely gotten frostbite if I had to wait.

We were determined to see sunrise so were up very early to head out to a random point on the road to catch it on Monday morning. Here’s dawn.

Here’s Rob recording “breaking dawn”…hehehe, get it? BREAKING DAWN!

Rob doing his thing with taking photos for KC and E.

Glorious Grand Canyon sunrise folks.

You may be wondering where are photos of the kids at?? Well, they were sleeping most of the time when we were out and about or confined to the RV itself for safety reasons due to the inclement weather of crazy winds. I’ll let KimChi post their cuteness in her blog when we hit Grand Canyon Caverns (which I did not take any photos at so I will not have a part 3). For now you can see her perspective of part 2 of this trip here.

 

Trips

For the long Memorial Day weekend I embarked on a short road trip with the hubby and my sister’s family. This was my very first time traveling and living out of an RV (recreational vehicle) for days straight. Everything from sleep, shower, pee, eat, cook, read, hang out, watch movies–all in one 36 foot vehicle. I really didn’t know what to expect since my sissy planned it all but I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable the whole experience was. All 7 of us fit in there quite nicely (4 adults and 3 kids) and I’ve concluded that a future RV road trip is definitely in the books.

Side note: it may not seem “lacking” to you but there is a lack of photos to completely document this trip. Much of my time was engrossed on starting and finishing “The Hunger Games” series. And finish I did! Thanks to Elvis for driving the entire time and to Rob for keeping Elvis company.

Sisterly love!

Twirling like ballerinas.

Chloe was super duper scared of the RV. She had to be comforted by food aka “bread”.
She also needed a ton of time to check things out and warm up to it.

Look at that scared look on her face. Even uncle Robby couldn’t convince her.

Once she realized she wasn’t going to have her way, she marched up those steps like a champ.
For a while there I really thought we would have to leave her behind.
Here’s a video and photos of that monumental moment of relief:

Benji was a great baby, sound asleep ready for the ride.

Elise was super excited like she is with many things.

Cattail Cove State Park in Arizona–a part of Lake Havasu.
Photos are taken near sunset only because we were too scared to venture out into the 100+ degree weather.
We took comfort in the shields of the RV’s air conditioning.

Once again, Chloe was scared; this time of the water.
She hung back and looked pretty in her Hello Kitty swimsuit. Here she is with her special “hello” wave.

The next morning we ventured out for a very short hike up to the look out point.

Pretty nice view, huh? Can you tell how hot it is? I can by the cloudless sky and dry conditions.

We had a pretty quick mini photo session up top.

Here’s our RV spot next to a nice shady tree. Pictured to the right are the 2 benches at the top of the look out point.

There was also a cool amphitheater and a mini cactus garden on site.

Next stop: Grand Canyon!

For a second view in the eyes of my sissy, check out her blog post on part 1 of our trip.

Trips

In early April, Rob and I spent roughly 2 days in Philly with Laura and Thanh in tow for part of the time. We did a ton of site seeing and a bit of some grubbing. The city of Philadelphia ties in so well with our D.C. visit b/c the two have so much connected with the history of our country. We enjoyed our time there very much even though I was sick as a dog. You bromance boys (Dan, Dennis, Jason, Duy, Thanh) should all go here together; the city’s slogan is just too fitting for your “bromances”. =)

First tour stop was none other than the Liberty Bell. This is a must see in Philadelphia.

The four of us in front of Independence Hall. Why is it called that? B/c that’s where our declaration of independence was written and signed into law.

These guys are sitting in the building where the House and Senate used to meet before our capitol was moved from Philly to D.C.

Benjamin Franklin is buried here in Philly. People throw coins on his tomb to make wishes; not sure why really.

Yay to money!! This particular mint makes a lot of our coins. Laura and I are actually holding cash money as we jump.

We visited Betsy Ross’ house who had made our first flag which featured 13 stars for the 13 colonies. Rob and Laura are trying to break an entering.

The four of us outside the Betsy Ross house and a fun picture on our bus ride to the next location.

Sustenance to fuel our tourist legs. Jim’s Steaks was a bit of a wait but yummy!

Rob’s pretty happy about digging into his Philly cheese steak AND enjoying some dessert at Rita’s Ice.

The Philly skyline.

We got to the top of the famous Rocky steps.

Rob declares Thanh the winner over saddened Laura.

This railroad station reminds me of Monopoly.

Us lovebirds at the LOVE park.

Rob trying to lift my heavy butt with a life-size monopoly wheel barrow piece.

Laura wasn’t thinking when she hugged this iron straight on; it’s hot, Laura! And here’s Thanh posing with his sorry piece.

Neat little park with random board game pieces eh? Just right outside our hotel in downtown.

Trips