One would think that after moving into a new home you would want to get settled and learn how things work around your new place, but that's not us. We spent most of our last summer traveling. Here's a small peek into the rest of last summer's travels since this summer is already here. Yikes!After returning home from South Dakota we had a few weeks to get some unpacking done. It's all kind a blur since we really weren't home long enough before we packed up our big van again and headed west. We went just about as far west as one could go, to Seattle. Our families still live in the state of Washington and it had been a few years since we were able to get back there. It was time to catch up with family and old friends and to see all the crazy, new changes around town. Oh, Seattle. Wait. Did I mention there was a small detour in plans when we arrived in Seattle? My lovely Lutheran Stud and I took off for Chicago almost as soon as we arrived in Seattle. That's right we dropped the kids off and headed to the airport. You see, we have dear friends that had recently moved to Naperville. My husband was asked to preach at the installation service. We couldn't resist, so we went. It was a quick trip, but we had a lot of fun catching up, and staying up late like we were teenagers again.
No worries, though! We left our children in good hands and they had a blast hanging out with their cousins and eating ice cream everyday. When we returned we decided to do some touristy things since my children didn't actually grow up in Seattle. When I was young my parents would take us all over the place. It was pretty normal for us to hop on a ferry and explore some part of Washington state. My kids, however, had never been on a ferry boat. Can you believe it? I had to make that happen, so off we went. They thought it was a little strange that an entire car could fit on a boat and then be shuttled around the lake.We landed in Bremerton where we played around until it was time to hop onto another ferry and return to Seattle. The kids has so much fun that we might have to try that again sometime. After Seattle we headed to Yakima to see more family. We spent a lot time with cousins we haven't seen in a long time. Things are a little slower paced on the east side of the Cascade mountains. We did a lot of visiting and relaxing, and the kids ran around and played. The last time we saw our three youngest cousins they were just tiny. They were pretty much babies. It was so fun to see the kids all playing so well together at all their different ages. The older girls were too cool to stick around, so they took off and got their nails done and did fun girly things. After some time in Yakima, we had to make the long trek back to Colorado because we had another trip coming in which we needed to get laundry done and then pack again. Oh my!
It's a rough life when you return from a fun week of visiting family only to be home for a week or two and leave for a few days to the mountains where you get to stay in a fancy condo and go swimming inside and outside in the same pool. Dr. Peter Scaer, from Concordia Theological Seminary was the keynote speaker for the Rocky Mountain District Church Workers' conference. When he wasn't on a tangent he spoke on life issues and marriage. It was a great conference and we really enjoyed what he had to say. During Dr. Scaer's free time in between sessions he could be found in the swimming pool. It was so nice of him to swim with my children so I didn't have to get in. I'm sort of like a cat when it comes to swimming. What could be more fun than swimming in a pool with mountain views? We had a blast in Breckenridge, but we were also ready to come home. After all, when does school get done with all of these vacations? Our children enjoyed quite the break from their schoolwork, so it was only fair that we get home so they could get something done. My Lutheran Stud and I, however, didn't have school work, so we decided to hop and on a plane to meet our new goddaughter, Hope. Isn't she a doll? We spent some time at the Concordia University campus in Irvine and then rode on an itty bitty ferry to get to Balboa Island. Balboa is a beautiful place to visit. I highly recommend vacationing there. There are cute little shops and homes everywhere. There's also not shortage of places to eat and that includes a ton of ice cream shops!
We couldn't visit California without spending a little time at the beach, so my stalker friend, Rachel and her husband Adam were kind enough to hang out with us for the day. The boys went spearfishing while Rachel and I got to hang out in the sand and catch up with each other.
Sometimes I dream about living in California because I love their beaches so much. A girl can dream or have friends that live there and visit often. Hmm. . .
Living in Colorado really makes me miss the ocean and sunsets like this, but I really love the sun and the Colorado mountains too. I guess you can't have it all. All the traveling had to come to an end at some point and Newport Beach seemed like a great place to end our vacation. We loved the little hotel where we stayed. If you visit Newport be sure to look up the Newport Beach Hotel. Their hospitality was wonderful and you just walk outside and you're right on the beach!