Road Trip planning requires Coffee

20130614-095306.jpg
After almost a year of short trips close to home, we’re going to do it! We’re hitching Silvia up and taking a trip back to the Midwest to see family and explore the country. We’ll leave at the end of June and return just before school starts at the end of August. Last time we did this trip was on our move out West. Having not explored much of the US, the changing terrain was amazing. I can’t wait to do it again now that we’ll have time to actually stop and explore. As a type A personality, I am fighting the urge to over plan. We have a few definite must stops: Kansas City, MO for our eldest daughter’s gymnastic competition, Cincinnati/ Cleveland to visit family, the Airstream Jackson Center, Chicago, Duluth, MN to see more family and Yellowstone. As far as all the places in between, I’m keep a list so that we have them handy for impromptu stopovers.

Looking forward to the trip with nervous anticipation 🙂 4 kids, hubs and I plus 3 little ‘keets along for the ride! Peanut our BCC (Black Capped Conure) won’t make this trip this time, she already saw the countryside on the first ride out. Instead she’ll have a wonderful resort stay at her favorite “birdie hotel”. With about 5000 miles of open road I’m sure we’ll engage in some entertaining adventures, interesting food finds and learn quite a bit along the way! Cheers to Summer!

20130614-095456.jpg

20130614-095514.jpg

Advertisements

Treasures of Tombstone

20130607-232206.jpgTombstone? What’s in Tombstone? Groans can be heard from the kids… doesn’t sound really exciting. Our response, “we moved to the Southwest, so we’re going to see what the Wild West is all about!”.

Famously known for the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and the BirdCage Theatre, we discovered that it was AZ most prosperous silver mining town and home to the famous outlaw characters of Doc Holliday, his brothers, Big Nose Kate and so on.

This town is a step back in time to horse drawn carriages and wagons, men in western wear and women in long dresses and corsets. The kids were delighted as it seems as though nearly everyone in this town is always in character. You could ask anyone a question about the town and they wouldn’t hesitate to go on in full historical detail to answer your question. It was like a live history lesson! The best part is that kids remember nearly every detail of it! But then again who could forget a saloon nicknamed Bucket of Blood or that ghosts reside in the Bird Cage Theatre!

We stayed the weekend at the Stampede RV Park. It is one of two RV parks we found within walking distance of the main street. Nothing fancy, but hospitable and a bit quirky. It was surprising to us at first to see cowboys and cowgirls walking through the park, but then we realized the whole town pretty much lived and dressed this way. In the two days we were there we saw gunfights, witnessed a bank robbery, ate homemade fudge, toured the famous silver mines and took a trolley ride around town. You can find more information about Tombstone here. It’s an interesting place, a gem filled with rich history about the outlawing days of the Wild West. They weren’t just stories from that Hollywood movie,Tombstone, starring Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer and Sam Elliott. While there is certainly embellishment, the basic inspiration comes from this old world town in the desert that is just “too tough to die”.

20130606-233643.jpg

20130606-233805.jpg

20130606-233834.jpg

20130606-233914.jpg

20130606-233925.jpg

20130606-233935.jpg

20130606-233951.jpg

20130606-234009.jpg

20130606-234023.jpg

Picture Joy with Pajamas & Pancakes

For kids, birthdays are filled with fantastic JOY and oodles of enthusiastic anticipation. Days and days before the momentous occasion harks the question “Is today my birthday?” Well, FINALLY! The day is here! Our youngest daughter turned 6. It was a day of pajamas and pancakes; cereal and donuts; yogurt parfaits and sugar-ladened cupcakes. 20 or so little kids, dressed in their pjs, playing on our outdoor playset and jumping in the bouncy house.

20130228-180754.jpg
Never mind the late nights sculpting pancake shaped cupcake toppers, or the frantic frenzy of frying up 8 pounds of bacon the morning of the party. Or, the panicked feeling that the bouncy house may not arrive in time for the party. What would we do with all these kids?!  I always think I have these things all planned out… then the night before, I begin to freak out. But just like past festive gatherings… it all turns out just fine. I mean, in the words from my husband, “Come on, these are 6 year olds. They just want to run around, laugh and scream”. We’ve got that covered!

20130228-180859.jpg

Much to my amazement, we had representation from several food groups:  carbs – pancakes, cereal and donuts; dairy – milk, yogurt; fruit – orange juice, berry fruit salad;  protein – LOTS of bacon (which disappeared VERY quickly) and of course for the grown ups… strong pots of coffee. Not sure that counts as a food group… but it’s a must in my book.  Everyone was happy, caffeinated and sufficiently full. We were left with many smiling, tired children. Success!

20130228-180920.jpg
Note: I simply could not take credit for this wonderful theme. It was easy, fun and who doesn’t want to spend their day in pajamas? You can check out the many great ideas here.

Garlic: Best cooked Outdoors

…Especially if you have some sort if outdoor kitchen. As much as I love garlic: sautéed, roasted, freshly chopped, I confess, I recommend cooking outdoors if you are confined to a small space. Otherwise everything you own smells of garlic. Not entirely a bad thing if you love it that much! At the very least it’ll keep any vampires away, lol. 🙂

20130112-102619.jpg