Cadillac Ranch

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Yesterday my phone told me it was completely out of storage. So I decided it was finally time to transfer over the 11,000+ photos (no joke!) to my computer. But then when I did that my computer told me it was also completely out of storage haha, so I was transferring over photos to my external hard drive when I came across many many dates of photos that I never edited! So that means I get to have a little #throwbackthursday and share some oldies but goodies 🙂

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Two summers ago was our epic road trip from here in Texas up to Colorado! This was one of my favorite trips we’ve ever taken, we all still talk about how much we loved Colorado quite often. Since Texas is gigantic and takes forever to get out of, we decided to stop in Amarillo for the night before making our way into Colorado. While in Amarillo we got to see Palo Duro Canyon and Cadillac Ranch! This place is awesome. There are a handful of old Cadillac’s, nose first in the ground that have layers and layers of spray paint on them. So cool!

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The kids had a blast and loved getting to write their names on the cars. Definitely a cool experience and something worth doing if you happen to be on a road trip through Texas 🙂

Writing our last name!

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Q rocks!

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I’m so glad I stumbled across these photos, I love looking back at old photos and seeing how much the kids have grown 🙂

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Boone Hall Plantation

These last few weeks of summer vacation have been crazy busy! I have a ton of pictures to post but for now I’m posting a bit more from my Surprise Birthday trip for Brian to Charleston, South Carolina with some of our long time Marine Corps friends. One morning we decided to head over to Boone Hall Plantation – the one that they used while filming The Notebook!! It was beautiful!

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Even just the drive down these line of oak trees was gorgeous! I’m absolutely in love with them and there were all over the plantation.

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There was lots to do and see at the plantation, we took a tractor ride around the many acres of the property and toured the home. We also just walked around and explored the garden, old slave quarters, and walked near the water. If you’re ever in Charleston I definitely recommend checking it out!

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Surprise Birthday Trip to South Carolina!

So way back in January it dawned on me that Brian would be turning 35 this year!! Our favorite thing to do is travel so I immediately started thinking about planning a surprise trip for him. I asked our best friends if they would want to come along with us and we started thinking of places we’d like to visit. We’ve vacationed a good amount of places in the US over the years (San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Rhode Island, Vegas, Colorado, NYC, Seattle, to name a few) and we wanted somewhere convenientish for us and our friends who are currently stationed in VA. My friend, who happens to be a travel agent at Heather Christopher Travel,  had just went on a vacation to Charleston, SC and it looked amazing! So we decided to plan a vacation to SC a bit before his birthday and before school started. But now I had to come up with some reason for Brian to take a whole week’s worth of leave AND not tell him why. I came up with an excuse (so we can hang out with the kids all week and then go to the lake) and causally mentioned if such and such week would be a good time for him to take leave. He confirmed at work that yes, that would be fine (wahoo!) so we started planning and booked our hotels! Fast forward to a couple months before the trip when it was finally time for him to submit for leave. I again, mentioned – hey, remember that you need to put in for leave soon so we can go to the lake in July (wink, wink) and finally a couple days later I get a text from him that says – “I don’t think I’m going to be able to take leave that week. Too many people will be gone at work.” Insert panic mode!! I really really, didn’t want to have to tell him about the trip, I wanted to just tell him the day before to pack his bags because we’re going on vacation! But that’s just how life is in the Marine Corps. He kept saying, well it’ll be fine, I’ll just take Friday-Sunday off so we can go to the lake… arghhhh!! I called him and yelled something like – #$%@# Brian! haha Ended up telling him that I had already planned a surprise birthday trip for him and that I REALLY needed him to be off that week. Thankfully his work was awesome and let him take leave. AND he at least didn’t know WHERE we were going OR that our BFF’s were coming out with us. The morning of our flight, when we got to the airport and saw where our tickets said we’d be going he was pumped. And then when we landed in Charleston and our BFF’s were there waiting for us at the airport we was so excited! I’m so so glad it all worked out. We had such an amazing vacation! We walked all over the city, went to the beach, ate food without having to worry about our collective 8 children arguing/yelling/telling us they don’t like the food, went to a baseball, the movies – we just had such a great time. Time to start planning the next vacation 🙂

Huge amount of real camera and phone pictures below!

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I’m officially obsessed with the area and hope we get to visit again sometime!

Palo Duro Canyon

A year ago today we started our week long road trip from Texas to Colorado! Our first stop was Amarillo, Texas which is home to Palo Duro Canyon, the second largest canyon in the United States. IMG_0957

This was one of our first hiking trips in Texas and we learned quickly that we were ill prepared for walking around a canyon in 100+ degree weather with 4 kids! We had no water, no snacks and as soon as started hiking we knew this hike won’t be lasting very long. It was a beautiful place though and I wish we had been a bit more prepared to spend more time in the park! Next time 😉

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Dallas Heritage Village – Blue Star Museum

This weekend we visited the Dallas Heritage Museum!

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I grew up in Dallas and had never even heard of this museum but it was one of the museums that military families can visit for free thanks to the Blue Star Museums program, so we figured we’d check it out. It shows what life would have been like here in Dallas back in the late 1800’s. Pretty cool really!

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I just love this little girls spirit!

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We were able to go into many of the buildings and see how they would have lived and man does it make you grateful to be born during a time when A/C is widely available!

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I’m pretty sure the kids favorite part was this old school building!

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We went on probably the hottest day we’ve had so far this summer. And the humidity was out of control! We could have spent a bit longer here but I was a sweaty mess and ready to get out of the heat. But I’m glad we checked it out!

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Check out the other Blue Star Museums we’ve visited here – Bush Presidential Library and here – Cavanaugh Flight Museum!

 

Cavanaugh Flight Museum

IMG_0178-EditWe visited another Blue Star Museum today! Today I took my mom and the kids to the Cavanaugh Flight Museum down in Addison. I’ve heard of this museum but had never been before. I was excited to see it on the list of free museums that we could visit this summer!

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It’s filled with so many cool old airplanes and helicopters! The kids absolutely loved it. Quinn read as many of the displays as Cal would allow and let us know all the cool facts about each plane.

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Many of the planes are still able to fly and you can even carter a flight! How cool would that be?!

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A fun way to spend our morning hanging out with Mimi! We hope to hit a few more of the Blue Star Museums while we can. With 4 kids and being a military family, we’ll take all the FREE we can get!

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Great Sand Dune National Park

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Does it take anyone else a really long time to edit personal photos?! Just me… oh ok lol. Years ago when I was a portrait photographer, I was editing all the time and stayed pretty up to date editing our personal photos. But as more kids added into the mix, it just was one of those things that I let slip. That’s actually a huge reason why I started this blog, so that I’d get back into the habit of taking photos! Anyways, long story short we went on an – absolutely amazing, I wish I could go back instantly – road trip last year up to Colorado and I haven’t even edited half of the photos. So today I tackled a few from our first stop in Colorado, Great Sand Dune National Park!

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This place was so amazing to see in person. It is the tallest dunes in North America! Funny story, when we arrived we passed a sign that I breifly read mentioning how hot the sand can get and that they recommend closed toed shoes. Being the smart person that I am, I totally blew the sign off and thought – Ehh, I’m sure it’s not that bad. Boy was I wrong lol. The sand was incredibly, incredibly hot and we absolutely should have had better shoes on! We started to climb up the sand dunes, after already torching our feet to get there and I had to turn around! So don’t be like us when you visit, read the signs and adhere to them 😉

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Colorado completely stole our hearts and is probably one of my absolute favorite places that we’ve visited so far!