Monday, June 30, 2014

Post #59 - vacation photos

We plan our vacation time at the beginning of Winter each year. No, not because we are super organized and anal, but because hubs work requires it. So each November we grab a calendar for the upcoming year, plan which days to take for vacation, and hope for the best. And God has blessed us time after time.

So this year we decided to go on a big adventure by hauling the camper out-of-state.  Our target destination: Niagara Falls, New York.  It would be just the three of us: hubs, me, and the youngest because the two oldest children have grown into responsible adults with jobs.  Usually when we camp nearby they join us for a night or two or maybe just visit and usually bring friends and we have a full, happy camper.  But that wouldn't be an option when camping 6 hours from home.

THEN IT HAPPENED. The youngest joined the work force by getting a summer job of his own. 

And then there were two.

That's okay. Back at the beginning there were just the two of us....waaaay back before we had youngsters.  So now we have an opportunity to return to that time. And try not to get on each others nerves.  Okay, maybe we'll try just a little--enough to keep the other one on their toes.  But the big question was: could we manage setting up/putting down that massive camper on our own.  The answer: of course we can...we're scrappy.  We're much older, but we're scrappy just the same.

We arrived on Saturday.  The long ride, the stress of the drive and the excitement of the day had us worn out.  We rested on Sunday and I made a crockpot Cheesecake so it could chill overnight and be ready for my beloved's birthday.  On Monday we packed a lunch and went to the Falls.  I highly recommend it. It really is something that you have to experience in person--photographs and videos just don't do it service.  And the people we met! Lots of different nationalities, lots of different languages. 

 We walked around for a while and snapped some pics.
This is the American Falls. (Later you will see it from the opposite angle.)

Then we decided to go out on the Observation Deck (circled in red)...

...where on one side we got a better view of the Rainbow Bridge that connects the USA and Canadian cities of Niagara Falls...

...and on the other side a great view of the Falls.  In the foreground on the left is the American and Bridal Veil Falls. In the center towards the back of the photo is Horseshoe Falls. 

And did you notice this walkway beside the Falls?
 This is what it looks like at ground level.
You're gonna get wet if you walk up there.

 We went on the boat ride that took us right beside the American Falls and right up into the Horseshoe Falls. It was intense.

Beside the American Falls is a smaller waterfall called the Bridal Veil Falls. There is an island separating the two and you can walk out onto it. And there is a walkway below it, too. Because you might miss it, I put arrows pointing to the people in those two areas.
 You can see them better in this close up of the American Falls.
The people on the walkway got very wet.

This is Bridal Veil Falls from the top.

This is the water being fed to the Bridal Veil Falls.  I like this photo because it reminds me of some of the rivers at Smoky Mountains. It looks so peaceful compared to the raging waterfalls that I have my back to.

This is the American Falls from another angle.  See those dots of color on the sidewalk in the middle? That's where I took the first picture. Now I'm on the other side of the Falls. And at the upper left you can see the walkway to the Observation Tower. A school group came through and they were all wearing orange shirts. The grey structure beyond it is the Rainbow bridge where traffic is waiting to cross the border into Canada.

And this is Horseshoe Falls. This is about as good a view as you can get from the American side. Because of all the mist that rises up I slightly over-processed this photo so the falls could show through some of that mist.
The Falls extend on around to the right out of the picture frame, but all you could see was a plume of mist.

I have HUNDREDS more pictures. And hubs took some great pics, too. He captured the permanent rainbow that is beside the American Falls.

We spent most of the day walking around and enjoying the Park. We also enjoyed the trolly ride--they give tourist-y information as you ride along.
We didn't stay until dark to see the colored lights projected onto the Falls. We had cheesecake waiting for us back at the camper. :-)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Post #58 - Kitten cuteness

We've been trying to play with the kittens as much as possible so they will be ready to re-home soon.  It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it. 

There are two yellow/orange kittens, both males; one brown/grey tabby, a female; and two black tabbies, both females.

The cast of characters:

Orange tabby #1, AKA Mr. Personality.  "I ain't afraid of nuthin'."

 Brown tabby female, AKA Pretty Princess.  "I'm kind of a big deal."

Black female #1, who apparently doesn't like her picture taken

 Orange tabby #2, Mr. Scaredy Pants.  "I only come outside to eat and watch the others play."

 Black female #2 on the left.  "I'm afraid of my own shadow."

 The two males. #1 is on the right. He's fuzzier and has a rounder face. There is an "M" above his eyes.  #2 is on the left. His face is thinner. He always looks worried.

 Mr. Personality is always dashing up and down the driveway exploring.

 Until he wants a belly rub.

 "Rub my belly!"

 Black female #1 will play with a stick while in her comfort zone.

 "I said rub my belly!"

Oh, I just can't get enough of these little guys.
More pictures to come.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Post #57 - catching up Part 2

During my hiatus from the blog, I've been doing other things besides visiting the land of the swaying palm trees and pretending to be a beach bum.  Not very many exciting things, but things all the same. 

I finished embroidering the States map and sewed up a pillow.  Kate asked if I was going to put a zipper in it. The thought had never occurred to me, mainly because I had put a zipper in only one of her homemade dresses so I'm not exactly a zipper pro.  But I liked the idea, so I did it. And I'm tickled pink that it turned out perfect.  
Mainly because I'm a perfectionist. 
But I digress.  
The main body of the pillow is green because it will go in the camper and the camper d├ęcor is green and neutrals. I put a bright green border around it because reasons.

I planted flowers.

I missed embroidering, so I stitched this ducky.

We got a load of firewood so we can enjoy campfires this summer.

I planted a garden.
 Actually, this picture shows the day I looked out the back door and saw a man and a backhoe in the backyard. He said we had a gas leak. 

I went fishing.

I went camping and stitched up another ducky.

And then we had Vacation Bible School at our church. Kate was the music teacher and I taught a class for preteens. Seven children were saved during VBS this year.  Praise the Lord!  A couple of VBS kids showed up in my Sunday School class. Even though Sunday School isn't as exciting as VBS, I hope they keep coming back.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Post #56 - catching up Part 1, the lotsa picture edition

So...it's been a little while since I've shared with you guys.  Since we last blogged together, I went on vacation to see my sister at Hilton Head.  We had a great time. It's always great to see her now that we aren't still living at home and sharing a room together.

 Hubs and I went to the beach,
 where I discovered that I hadn't put the memory card back into my good camera.
 But it's all good because, as it turns out, my phone takes pictures, too.

 We saw lots of these little jellyfish on the shore line.
And lots of horseshoe crab...
 ...and their parts. 
I sent this leg picture to my sister and told her we'd found lunch and would be eating out. :-)

We went back later that evening with my good camera, it's memory card and my sister and saw this dog enjoying the beach.
 I'd forgotten to change the settings on my good camera and the colors were off, so I won't be sharing any more of those pics.

My sister snapped this picture as we left.

Back at my sister's we, of course, looked for alligators in the little ponds behind and beside her house. We found them.
 But I've shared pics of them before, so we won't go there again.

We went shopping at the outlets and swimming in the pool. We took a walk one morning and hubs took a bike ride another day. But mostly we relaxed.

Even though it's a long ride to get there, I always enjoy the scenery along the way.


 I mean, REALLY, what's not to love?

I've seen your pictures of the flat lands, my friends. While they have a beauty of their own, this gal loves the mountains.