Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Visiting Family in Idaho

Calum and Auntie Hope

Oliver swimming in the lazy river with Papa

Calum loves the water!

We played in the water hole after some attempted fishing

Oliver is the greatest!

Oliver and Auntie Hope in Papa's truck!

Swimming in the backyard was a daily activity

Grampy and Grammy got to come see us for a day

Grampy and Calum

Grammy and Calum

Papa with Sailor and Calum

Auntie Angie feeding Calum some of her peach

Oliver and Calum

Calum and his beautiful Mimi

These three are gonna be trouble some day! 

Ollie, Ender and Luc were matching at church!

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Florida Keys!

Kim and Jesse. Let me just tell you how lucky we are to have these two. They are adventurous, super fun to hang out with and always flying all around the world exploring new places! Kim and I met at the beginning of our freshman year of college, became friends and roomed together for our sophmore and junior years of college. We went through a lot together were there for each other when we met our husbands! Since being married, graduating from college, moving away, etc. we have managed to stay close. For the last few years we have pretty much done a really cool trip every single year with these guys.

In 2010 we went on a hiking trip to the Subway in the narrows in Zion National Park.
In 2011... hmmm... nothing, I guess?
In 2012 we spent a few days exploring Yellowstone National Park.
In 2013 we all met up in Costa Rica and traveled through that beautiful country as well as Nicaragua.
In 2014 Jesse and Austin did an over landing trip through the Utah Backcountry Discovery Route.
And this summer, 2015, we met in the Florida Keys to have yet another grand adventure!
There may or may not be a really cool international trip in the works for 2016.... ;)

Quick recap of the Keys:

We swam a lot, snorkeled, sailed, hung at the beach, ate lots of delicious Cuban food, seafood, and key lime pie, stayed up way too late most nights talking and playing cards, we explored the Everglades and spotted some gators and hung out on the dock of our house looking for manatees (though we never saw one...).  It was a seriously fun vacation and it is always SO nice to catch up with these guys!

*Thanks for all of these wonderful pictures, Jesse and Kim!

Checking out the gators! This is right after Austin jumped down into the marsh to grab Oliver's toy car that he had dropped. A hidden alligator jumped out of the grass and into the water sending Austin leaping up over the rail faster than I ever thought possible! haha! I think we learned our lesson.... toy cars that get dropped over the boardwalk aren't worth a limb.

Snorkeling with Kim and Jesse! We were surrounded by jellyfish a few times. We also saw some really cool fish and swam with a few sea turtles! It was really cool!


The whole gang out sailing together (Calum was laying down in the cabin during this pic).

This sea turtle let us swim with him for a while! He spotted us from the ocean floor, swam all the way up to us and hung around us for a few minutes. It was crazy! I think he was checking us out! 
Kim and I have been friends for 8 years now!! Wow! 

Me and my Oliver man!

I love this boy and how adventurous he is!

We anchored and got out for a little swim as the sun was beginning to set.

Oliver was teasing Jesse and trying to catch his go pro!

He thought it was hilarious! 
Sunset dinner on the water at Key West

Playing at the beach

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

New Orleans

Austin finished his internship, the next day we packed up everything we brought and began our journey through the SOUTH! Woot!! After all the traveling and fun we had this summer, we were already a bit exhausted. But, we were also really excited to explore all the Southern states that we had never been to. And, we were really glad we did! 

Our first "pit stop" was New Orleans! The city of delicious Creole food, beignets, French style architecture, and lots of live jazz music! It really was a completely different world! We started by exploring the city. Our hotel was in the French Quarter so it was an easy walk to Bourbon St. (which really is insane, as warned! Even on a quiet, Sunday afternoon... it was CRAZY). Oliver kept saying... "What is that smell?!" and "Look! That silly guy is sleeping on the sidewalk!". haha.  

Anyway, we had some really great jambalaya and red beans and rice and alligator tail for dinner. It was all really delicious! Now Oliver says his favorite foods are frog legs and alligator tail. haha!

The next day we spent the morning touring the Destrehan Plantation, an old historic plantation famous for the 1811 Slave Revolt. It was a really interesting and also very sobering tour. I'm really glad we went! That afternoon we went on a swamp tour and we saw a bunch of alligators and also a ton of wild pigs. That was really cool!

That evening we walked back into the French Quarter and had a nice dinner. We walked along the river and then tried Cafe Du Monde's famous Beignets. They were really good. I mean, they are delicious fried donuts covered in powdered sugar. What's not to love? 

The next morning we hit the road again on our way to the Florida Keys to meet some friends! 

About to leave our apartment in Houston

A rest stop in Louisiana had a tiger! 

My happy boy!

Oliver and Calum were thrilled to be out of the car and wrestle around a bit on the bed!

The Destrehan Plantation had some awesome trees! 

Calum fell asleep on the swamp tour boat! The high speeds put him to sleep. 

The swamps in the South are pretty awesome!

Wild pigs!

New Orleans in the evening

Cafe Du Monde- eating beignets

When you need to go #2 in the middle of nowhere..... haha!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Visit from the Wallins!

Right before we left Houston we were visited by our really good friends, the Wallins! Spencer and Rachel have been some of our closest friends for the last few years in Ann Arbor. We have done a lot of cool stuff together including a cross country skiing trip in Northern Michigan, monthly cheese nights, etc. They just moved to Northern Texas this summer for Spencer's Phd. We are really happy for them.... but also really bummed that we don't have them in Ann Arbor anymore. It's just not the same. :(

But, anyway! We had tons of fun when they came to Houston! They were only able to stay for a few days so we crammed in as much as we could! The first day we took them to Brazos Bend so we could hike around and spot a ton of alligators. We had a really good day followed with dinner at our favorite Houston BBQ joint, Virgie's. The next day we spent the whole day sailing and swimming in the ocean and then we ended the day with some of the best fried seafood I have ever had. We seriously had piles of fried seafood to share, mostly fried shrimp and fish, but we also tried some crab and frog legs too! It was super fun!

Rachel reading to Oliver
After an entire day of sailing
Taking a little swim after sailing for a while (That is not our boat in the background, by the way)
The restaurant we ate at was really cool. You ordered all the seafood by the pound and then you choose "fried" or "boiled" and they serve it all with a mound of fries. It was so fresh and delicious!
Some of the best fried seafood I have ever had!
I think we ordered too much.... haha! We had piles of fried shrimp, fish, crab and frog legs. SO SO delicious!

Brazos Bend!
Sweaty, happy little boy!

It's always so cool to see the alligators up close like this in their natural environment!

Guys... we have such a great kid. He will sleep anywhere.

Oliver man.

I think this is the 2nd picture we have of the 4 of us together since Calum was born. How sad is that? Thanks for taking pics of us, Spencer!
Red baby cheeks!