Saturday, August 1, 2015

Family visit and a Louisiana swamp tour

We went home to Louisiana to visit family recently and guess what??? It was ridiculously suffocatingly humid and hot there so Papaw decided to break out the inflatable pool and grab a hose to cool the kiddos down.  Libby is the only girl out of all of her cousins but as you can see, she runs the show:

Attacking the boys 
Better run for cover!

"What hose?"

So we moved from Shreveport down to the swamps of Breaux Bridge.

The lillies were the size of a small umbrella.

Again it was SUPER hot since the only tour time left open was mid day and Libby had had enough.  

I love my home state and I still think it's one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.

Day tripping

This summer we've tried to take the kids on little mini trips when both Michael and I have a day off together (which is very infrequent unfortunately).  We decided to check our our first Rangers game.  Of course we were ill prepared never having been before.  We got tickets to a 1pm game and got seats in the blazing sun.  It was SO HOT that Michael bought us an umbrella but didn't realize that half of it was clear!  The seats were like molten lava and we went through water like camels in the desert which cost a small fortune.  It was still a great experience.  The Rangers lost but at least that's something we can check off of our to-do list.

Another day we decided to take the kids for a hike at Mineral Wells State Park.  I love it there though I've never done any climbing/repelling Michael did quite a bit when he was in high school.  

Libby is always ready to strike a pose when you point a camera at her.

These smiling photos were all taken before she fell onto a cactus and got 100s of little hair like needles in her hands and shoulder.  What a helpless moment to be stuck on a hike with no idea what to do or how to help her.  Now every time we see cactus on the side of the road she points them out, "Momma look at the casts (her word for cactus)"!

Last weekend I was looking for something for us to do and I remembered that we'd never taken the kids to see the cattle drive down in the Fort Worth Stockyards so we decided to make a day of it.  We went to the drive at 11:30 (really hot!) then went to lunch at H3 (yummy) then walked around for a while and explored the stockyards a bit (death by heat stroke) before we had tickets to see the Wild Bill Hickok show (never made it there because Libby was terrified by the fake gun slingers).  It was SO HOT that I just ache thinking about it.  Luckily we made up for some of the heat issues by visiting a petting zoo there which the kiddos loved.

I didn't get any photos of the other cool stuff we did because I think my phone was melded to my back side from being in the pocket of my sweat soaked jeans.  It was not something I'd do again during the summer months.

Aloha Hawaii

Because I'm a total slacker I haven't posted any photos in forever, plus w/o my old computer I have no photoshop or digital files to create any fun images/party stuff so I haven't made myself sit down to actually blog but here goes: Libby had her first gymnastics meet this spring. It. was. adorable!!! I have high hopes for that girl.

In early June we went to Hawaii with my parents and my brother.  We went to the big island and stayed on the Kona side of the island.
This is the view from our condo:

We visited the Hilton Waikoloa Resort lagoon where you can snorkel with fish and sea turtles among the many other water sports. 

We were there for Ezra's 7th birthday so my mom got him a cake from a local store and they wrote Happy Birthday in the native language.

We ate at one of my parents' favorite restaurants Lava Lava where Libby was totally enamored with the polynesian dancing.

We drove to the Hilo side of the island to explore the rainforest and the waterfalls there.

My brother and I decided to explore "off the beaten path".

We also visited Volcano National Park which was surprisingly chilly because of the elevation.  Driving around the island would cause your ears to pop because it was so high and the pressure would change.  The volcano had erupted 2 weeks prior to our trip but the steam vents are active all the time and we got to walk over a few and let me tell you that it was HOT!

There is a trail that is about a mile long that you can take down to the floor of the valley where the lava flow collects.

The Kona side of the island is very bleak.  There are mainly just lava flows that are very craggy and rocky but the best beaches are also on that side.  You just may have to drive off road to get to them.

Libby is just not bothered by sand.  She likes to cover herself in it.  I don't know how she stands it.  She hates the waves so she doesn't like to get into the water.

Ezra on the other hand loved it!  

There are these "smiling spiders" that you see around this area because it looks like they have a smiley face on them.  Here is Libby pretending to be one of them.

If you do rent a 4WD vehicle there are some really cool tide pool type areas that you can get to if you're okay with off roading.

Overall it was a fantastic trip and I absolutely would go back because the beaches were beautiful and there's so much to do to explore and it's not crazy to fight traffic like you would have in Destin or the typical areas around us here.  I still love the Caribbean beaches best but Hawaii is a close second.