Tuesday, September 30, 2008

vacation day 8 - grand canyon to phoenix

we got up fairly early since the elk kept snorting us awake. our first task of the day was showers and breakfast... which went off without a hitch. next, back at the campsite, nathaniel laid out a mat for kendal and we occupied him with toys while we disassembled the tent and packed up EVERYTHING for the ride home. we consolidated all the "clean" clothes into 1 suitcase, jammed all the dirties into the small one, stuffed the other large one with 2 sleeping bags and 2 pillows, and then also stuffed the 2 army duffle bags (thanks rob and melissa!) with the remaining camping supplies. WHEW that was the hardest thing we've done yet! we were on the road by 10 or 11 and after we got on interstate 17 (?), we found a place to eat and gas the car (sonic gas station combo). probably the worse meal we ate besides the one at garcia's. too greasy. anyway, we stopped at montezuma's castle national park... look at that big belly!!! (again, note me hogging the shade again!) this park had cool, different trees. this is an arizona sycamore. very pretty trees. kendal went to sleep on the drive to phoenix... don't you wish you could have lips like that? i could kiss them on my computer screen right now! (can you tell K is at daycare today? i miss him!) at the hotel, which was remarkably nice for the cheap $78 we paid for it - we got room service (which cost nearly as much as the room but it was REALLY good food!) here is a photo of kendal enjoying the middleof the king size bed! if you can't tell by his skin color and face expression, he is REALLY sleepy! when he gets sleepy, he starts squeezing his eyes together like this: ok, so the next day we got up, ate breakfast, got gas (topped off the tank for $3.39/gal), dropped off the car, rode the shuttle to the airport, checked our bags, then hung out at the airport for 3 hours! it was actually a slow day there aparently! anyway, flight home was great (little bumpy on the last part of it), got home late, slept good, felt great the next day, and then the NEXT day jet lag set in...

vacation day 7 - grand canyon

we spent the whole day 7 at the grand canyon. we got up bright and early to find a herd of elk (1 male, several young ones, and a TON of grown females). he huffed a couple of times when i was in the bathroom, i didn't hear it but nathaniel did and we walked over for a few photos. it may be hard to see in this photo, but click on it and it'll enlarge... you'll see him! when he was sitting down, his rack was taller than me! and no, we didn't get close to him. the camera is zoomed all the way out. next we rode the shuttle bus to a stop along the south rim. from there we walked 3 miles to the head of one of the main trails (where all the lodges, etc. are), stopping to take TONS of photos along the way. funny thing is, though, that all the photos look the same! kendal slept for about half the trail. anyway, we got back on the shuttle and rode back to the campground, got the car, drove to lunch, then we drove out of the park to the IMAX theatre to see the grand canyon movie. i've never seen an imax before, i was quite impressed. kendal liked it too, somewhat, except he was sleepy and hungry. when the movie started, one of the first scenes was a native american walking in the woods, kendal waved at him. how cute was that? anyway, about 10 minutes later, we had to make him a bottle so nathaniel stood up and pushed kendal in the stroller across the back of the room while the movie finished (it was only 30 min long and we sat on the top row). so back to the park, i think we took naps after that, then we had dinner, and got on the shuttle to yet another overlook further east in the park (the other major trail head). we didn't make it in time to watch the sun set (it was already down and getting VERY cold when we arrived there), but we took some pictures and then waited for the shuttle back. then we went to bed. that night, we were serenated by coyotes... they were SO loud that they woke both me and nathaniel up. also, i heard the elk huffing several times. you know those funnel like things that you spin around and around and they make a high pitched noise? that is what he sounded like.

Monday, September 29, 2008

making a man

this morning, i decided today was gonna be kendal's day to get that first haircut. so, i looked online and found out the kids cuts place in wake forest was closed on mondays. so, i called a different salon (that specializes in kids cuts) in briar creek and they did NOT take appointments (which works out great for me). so after lunch, we headed out to west raleigh! here is the photo log of the day. i know it is a lot of pictures, but it is funny how each one is so important! kendal getting his haircut day lunch of mac and cheese: taking his haircut day mid-day nap on the way over: he HATED the chair. he must have thought i was gonna leave him (which i was never more than an armslength away). he cried for about half of the haircut, so that is why his eyes are all red for most of the photos. BEFORE: she wet it with a spray bottle and a comb (he was still crying)... and started snipping away! he is calming down somewhat by this point: i found the bubble blower and that distracted him enough for her to finish. i even gave him the blower (which was a ladybug) and he liked to hold it. something about having that trimmed up neck makes him look like a little man! and don't forget the cut-out ears... BUZZZZZZZ (he actually liked this part, i think. he sat rather still! ok! this is it! here is my little boy! WHEW.. he was glad to be outside again!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

vacation day 6 - chinle to grand canyon

today was our busy day. we left chinle fairly early in the morning and headed south towards I40. our first national park stop was at the hubbell trading post. this is nathaniel's tough guy pose... inside the store, they had signs that CLEARLY said no "flash photography"... which i interpreted to mean no photos. SO, i took a video instead! haha. this place really was cool! (and yes, the floor really was that loud!) out back from the trading post was a chicken coop. this was kendal's first experience with a chicken... and i have to say that he did like watching them. one of the rangers had just fed them. some of the old wagons on display at the trading post... this one was inside the barn. after we left hubbell, we drove all the way to I40 and stopped at the painted desert/painted desert inn/historic route 66/petrified forest visitor center. these 4 parks are all national parks... and we got all 4 stamps! one of the first stops we made in the painted desert was at the puerco pueblo... because there were petroglyphs. nathaniel loves petroglyphs. another stop we made in the park was called newspaper rock. it was really hot and windy that day as you can see in the video. click on the rock photo and maybe when it opens on your computer, it'll blow it up enough for you to see all the petroglyphs. this rock was COVERED with them!!! the more we looked, the more we saw! trying to show kendal how to look through the binocs... he just wanted to play with them. we broke the law a few times (but not by stealing rocks!)... because we were making SO many stops in such a short amount of time, sometimes we let kendal ride up front with us (rather than in the carseat). he loves all the buttons on the door and on the console. fortunately we didn't have an accident nor did we get caught. pretty sky... doesn't look as hot and windy as it was! inside the petrified forest visitor center, there were these dinosaur skeleton things. they were neat, but what was even cooler was outside! here is a close up of the wood: here are a couple of photos of the HUGE petrified logs. after we left petrified forest, we drove back up to I40 and then continued west until we reached flagstaff. there we turned north to try and hit sunset crater (an old volcano... well, not that old) and wupatki national parks. (yea, i still don't know how to say that one). the most interesting thing happened there. after we finished the trail, nathaniel was taking kendal to the car and i was gonna stop one more time in the restroom (yea, holly uses my bladder as a spring board - i'm not sure how it works, but i seem to pee more than i drink). anyway on the walk up, i saw a man and woman walk out of the visitor center (which was closing, it was 5pm). it was one of my college professors (who is also one of katelyn's professors right now) and his wife, who was the camp manager the first time i went to field camp! it was great to see him, but it was really weird! a lizard at wupatki: we were trying SO hard to make it to the grand canyon by dark. that was where we were camping for the night. here is why: we bought a lantern when we got to santa fe that first day. the second night we were at mesa verde (camping), i broke it. so, all we has was my 10 year old head lamp which still contained batteries probably from 1998 when i used it last. (ok, i'm exaggerating quite a bit there, but the batteries were almost dead.) so, we had no light (and the moon didn't rise until near-sunrise! so i drove. i drove hard. i had to pee so bad but i didn't stop. it got dark. and then it got darker. by the time we found a bathroom and checked into the campground, we could hardly see our hands in front of our face. BUT... we did find a store in the park and got some batteries (but... where was the head lamp packed?) nathaniel found it, reloaded the energy, and started unpacking our camping stuff. i am not sure what i was doing all this time, but he pretty much put up the tent by himself (i just helped a little towards the end)... with minimal light. yay for husbands!!! so very quickly we got the inside in order (pumped up kendal and my matress), fed kendal, and put him to bed. he went RIGHT to sleep! you are asking... where did nathaniel sleep if YOU had the matress? well, he borrowed kate's thermorest and used my mummy bag. not the self-inflatable kind of thermorest, the kind that looks like an egg crate that is best for backpacking. i'm not sure how he slept as good as he did, but it worked for him. kendal and i were snuggled in tight on the matress! we bought 2 cheapo sleeping bags at walmart in santa fe and used one as a "sheet" and one as the blanket. here is one great thing about being pregnant: it was 40 degrees at night and i NEVER got cold. as a matter of a fact, my toes had to hang out of the bottom to keep me from getting hot! kendal didn't seem to mind my furnace, either, as he was usually wedged underneath me!


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