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    Colombia! Colombia!

    Colombia!

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Colombia!

I know, I know. I skipped the whole 6th grade year! I didn’t feel much like blogging this year. We were busy with our move to Florida and were spending a lot of time making new friends and developing new routines. I struggled with this move. Florida hasn’t been my favorite place. But I did find one thing I love- cheap airfare! Being close to the Ft. Lauderdale airport means cheap flights to central and South America. We are currently in Colombia with Grandma band Grandpa. They have a house here and have been coming for several years. My dear friend gave the girls several Spanish lessons before we left and they are enjoying being able to practice. We spent three days in Cartagena before coming to Bucaramanga. Cartagena was beautiful and historic. We took a walking tour and we ate and ate and ate. It’s a touristy town, so while they have great restaurants, it’s also fairly expensive. We spent a few hours each afternoon back at the apartment because it was so incredibly hot. The heat really wiped us out. We stayed in a perfect little two bedroom place in the walled city. It is a VRBO owned […]

By |May 29th, 2014|Colombia|Comments Off
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    Great Falls, MT Great Falls, MT

    Great Falls, MT

Great Falls, MT

From Glacier we headed to Great Falls, MT. If you only have time to hit one Lewis and Clark museum, make it the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls. It was a beautiful museum with interactive exhibits arranged along a timeline of the journey. The girls’ favorite exhibit was the model of the failed iron boats. They also enjoyed trying to pull the keelboats and dressing up at the end. The museum is located along the Missouri River with gorgeous views from each floor. We had already done a lot of Lewis and Clark activities, yet we learned so much at this museum because of the layout and informative exhibits. I highly recommend it! 

By |November 9th, 2013|Cross Country Road Trip|Comments Off
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    Glacier National Park Glacier National Park

    Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

We stayed at Fish Creek Campground because it was one of the few campgrounds in the park that was pet friendly and accepted reservations. A lot of the campgrounds are first come-first served and were full every night. I’m not really sure what people do who show up and don’t have a place to sleep for the night. The campsites were way too close together, the bathrooms were a bit of a hike, and we had to drive to the showers (which didn’t seem to get much use). But, the campground sits right on Lake McDonald, which was breathtakingly beautiful and COLD. So, so cold. It was nice to come back from a day of hiking and be able to relax and swim. There seemed to be a lot of locals who use Fish Creek Campground as a party area. We camped next to two different parties like this. They rarely left their campsite and stayed up making noise until all hours. Such a contrast from most of the other sites filled with hard core hikers we rarely saw. My best advice would be to make sure you are near very small campsites. We were in Loop C, the no-generator […]

By |October 26th, 2013|Cross Country Road Trip|Comments Off
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    Montana Montana

    Montana

Montana

We spent one night in Missoula before heading into Glacier National Park. I’d love to go to Missoula again and spend more time seeing the town. It was my husband’s birthday, so we enjoyed a nice dinner at the Riverside Cafe. They were nice enough to let us have the dog on the porch and the food was delicious, and mostly local and sustainable. As we drove toward the park the next morning, we saw a sign for fresh jerky and we had to stop. Little did we know it was an actual slaughterhouse- yeah, that fresh! We had to go IN the “kitchen” (think operating table with chunks on the floor) to make a purchase. While it was a new and slightly awkward experience for us, it was really neat to see the six year old grandson in there talking with grandma as she packed meat. We got some jerky and even got the dog a huge, sinewy bone (I know, I know, it was only once). On our way out, we passed the building where the actual deed is done, right there by the basketball hoop.   Hey, it’s important to know where your food comes from.   […]

By |September 25th, 2013|Cross Country Road Trip|Comments Off
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    Nez Perce National Historical Park Nez Perce National Historical Park

    Nez Perce National Historical Park

Nez Perce National Historical Park

From Walla Walla, WA, we took the scenic 12 and headed toward Lewiston, ID. Just outside of Lewiston is the Nez Perce National Historical Park, situated on the beautiful Clearwater River. We enjoyed lunch at the picnic tables, then headed inside the small visitor’s center. They have an amazing assortment of artifacts for such a small facility. They also had several activities for children, a bookstore, and a theater.       We were just in time to listen to a Nez Perce ranger give a presentation on cradle boards. It was incredibly interesting, as I had no idea how significant they were or that they were still in use today. The girls enjoyed learning how to wrap up the baby and were very excited the next time they saw a model of Sacajawea’s cradle board for Pompey. This woman spoke about the richness of Native American life along the Columbian River and the impact that western expansion had on the people over the years.

By |September 24th, 2013|Cross Country Road Trip|Comments Off
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    Along the Columbia River Gorge Along the Columbia River Gorge

    Along the Columbia River Gorge

Along the Columbia River Gorge

We drove from Astoira to Walla Walla in one day. In hindsight, I wish we would have had just one more day to spend in Portland, but we found ourselves wishing for one more day many times and all those days would have added up to too much time and money! The drive along the gorge was beautiful. We stopped at Multnomah Falls and walked up to the bridge. Gorgeous.   Hood River was my favorite stop, but unfortunately it was too hot to leave the dog in the car so we could do much of anything. Again, another day would have been nice!      

By |September 23rd, 2013|Cross Country Road Trip|Comments Off
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    GOONIES! GOONIES!

    GOONIES!

GOONIES!

Knowing we were headed to Astoria this summer, we introduced the girls to one of our favorite movies, The Goonies. It’s a childhood staple for this of us who grew up in the 80’s and my husband and I couldn’t wait to see “The Goonies house.” We were also able to see the car, the jail (now a movie museum), and the beach where the car race was filmed. So cool.                

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    Fort Stevens State Park Fort Stevens State Park

    Fort Stevens State Park

Fort Stevens State Park

  We stayed for three nights at Fort Stevens, just outside of Astoria, Oregon. My husband ended up needing an emergency root canal and spent much of his time in the tent. We were so grateful that the local endodontist could get him right in. We chose to camp at Fort Stevens because it is close to several Lewis and Clark sites. The campground is huge and only about a mile from the beach, complete with the remains of a shipwreck. This is mostly an RV campground where families spend a week or more at a time. I was surprised at the sheer number of unsupervised children bike riding and attending evening ranger programs alone. It was a different culture than the other campgrounds we had visited. I’m not sure I would tent camp there again. The beach was gorgeous though and there is even a freshwater lake nearby, as well. Fort Clatsop was a highlight for the girls. This was where the Lewis and Clark expedition spent the winter of 1805-1806. The Jr. Ranger program was great and the museum was small, but informative. We watched a gun demonstration and took a walk along the river. We also ventured […]

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    Cape Perpetua, Oregon Cape Perpetua, Oregon

    Cape Perpetua, Oregon

Cape Perpetua, Oregon

Cape Perpetua was one of our favorite stops. We stayed at a forest service campground, so there was no shower, but it was a small, quiet campground and our site was right on a creek! It was incredibly private. However, some of the sites are right on the road, so be careful when you make a reservation. I am SO mad that I don’t have a picture of this campsite. It was so wet that we didn’t have the camera out much. One nice thing about the cooler weather was that we were able to leave the dog in the car while we went into the visitor’s center. She was allowed, however, on a ranger hike, which was great!     The ranger, Michelle, was so cute with my girls. She led our hike, then awarded the girls their Jr. Ranger badges. She was a hoot and spent most of the afternoon with us. The rangers then put on a cute puppet show about the tides.      

By |September 18th, 2013|Cross Country Road Trip|Comments Off
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    Redwoods to Cape Perpetua Redwoods to Cape Perpetua

    Redwoods to Cape Perpetua

Redwoods to Cape Perpetua

The above picture was the last one we took of Humboldt County. Seriously- IN LOVE!!! Soon, we were in Oregon.   We stopped for the BEST lunch at the Superfly Distillery and Martini Bar. Nope, it doesn’t sound like somewhere you’d eat lunch, and it doesn’t look like it either! But thanks to Yelp, we stopped. It was delicious. The best thing was the steamed mussels. Most of their entrees are around $10 and the cute waitress spent a lot of time talking to us about the Oregon coast. This was definitely a favorite meal!   We of course had to tour a lighthouse while we were in Oregon and we were lucky enough to stop at Cape Blanco. It has two claims to fame. First, it is the oldest continually operating lighthouse in Oregon and second, it is the furthest point west in Oregon. The volunteers were incredibly gracious and hospitable and spent a lot of time talking with us. The girls (and I!) learned a lot about how lighthouses operate and have a new appreciation for how hard the work must have been 150 years ago.

By |September 17th, 2013|Cross Country Road Trip|Comments Off