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Thursday, 6 September 2012

One of our Favourite Holiday Haunts

For three years now we have visited "OUR STREAM" up in the hills.

There is never anyone else there and we just sit and read while the children paddle and build dams.
They sometimes take their bikes and ride around on the quiet country road.
We always take a picnic and we always stay longer than we planned!

Its just perfect.

Anniversary Break

Well here I am at last, the summer holidays are over and we are all back to work.  

On a lighter note....we now have a working computer from which I can upload photos to show you what we have been up to.

So here is post 1 of hopefully a few snippets of our summer.

We celebrated our 20th Anniversary in July and our parents gave us some funds to pay for a short break.  We decided on Symonds Yat, near to Ross-on-Wye.

We stayed in a lovely Inn called The Saracens Head from which you could call the chain ferry across the river.  We had a great, relaxing time and the weather was really quite sunny!!

Here are just a couple of photos of us two love birds!

This is the view from Yat Rock which was a half mile, up hill walk, through the forrest from our hotel.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Not long now

I have been waiting patiently to blog for weeks now but our computer situation is not conducive to blogging.  I love my iPad but I cannot seem to find out how to upload photos from it, even if I could they would be old photos because I can't get any new ones off the camera because of the computer issue! I have stated to my family that when the issue is resolved I will be blogging for a good few hours!

See you soon.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Please Take Some Time

Please take a moment or two to read the post on The Hansen's blog today called The Brave Little Soul. Even if you haven't followed their story you will be touched by this. This family have touched me recently in the way they have coped with their reality. Thank you Atticus for being a brave little soul and teaching me some important lessons.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Hidden Treasures

I needed to clear the card in my camera so that Gareth could have it for his holiday.
It still had all the holiday pictures on it so it was a long import. 
(625 pictures!!!)

Amongst all the shots of the fantastic scenery were some great shots of us just having fun and being us.

So here are just a few for you to enjoy.

We were just playing around with the camera and this is what we got.

Ross and Calvin returning from their adventure to the edge of the canyon.

I'm not sure what these two are up to but they were giggling alot!

This is Gareth squirrel spotting with his little sister.

So many things just lately have made me realize just how important these times are.  
Making the most of the little things and the happy moments can get you through the difficult bits of everyday life.

Also lately lots of my thinking time has been taken up with thoughts of other families that I am aware of that are going through the toughest of trials.  
Some of those families have faith in their Saviour and the knowledge that his atonement is for our sorrows and pains as well as our sins. Their strength and faith has strengthened me. 
I am really grateful for the lessons I have learnt through reading and listening to their journey's.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Dad gets his own way in the end!

Dad decide there was no way he was leaving without seeing Lombard street so we all got up early, packed our things and headed out onto the street to hail a cab.

The driver took us to Lombard Street but not only that........He drove us down it!!

And this is it

We got out to take photos and then got another Taxi back to the hotel to collect our bags and car.

One last job for the Sat-Nav as we drove to the airport to return the car and fly home.

After a slight rearrangement of luggage to balance the weight we were away.

What a fantastic adventure we had.  We were treated like royalty, we relaxed with friends, we were kept safe, we saw all that we set out to see.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Thanks for joining us on our travels we can now resume normal blogging service!


We had a great time on pier 29, we ate at the Hard Rock cafe and watch the sealions in the bay.

We decided to take a ride on the trams.  The queue was quite long....well one hour long to be precise. After queuing for one hour Calvin informed us that we only needed to go two stops because he wanted to see Lombard Street.
(I'll show you that later)

There was no way the kids were going to allow this to happen, they were not waiting for one hour to ride 3 minutes down the road.

They won this debate and Dad sacrificed his visit to Lombard Street, we told him it would look exactly like the picture in the guide book and that would have to do.

It was a really fun ride and we got off at Union Square where we ate ice cream and cheesecake before walking back to our hotel.

We really enjoyed our day in an San Francisco and got back to our room before the nightlife hit the streets. 

Junior Ranger

Here is Martha being sworn in as a Junior Ranger after completing her booklet whilst on Alcatraz.

The over excited tour guide who took our photos had tried to insist on the boys participating in this activity with very little success!

Escape From Alcatraz

So here we are walking back down to the ferry.........reading Martha's Junior Ranger Book

Next thing I know...........Faceplant onto the concrete.

Feeling somewhat faint and very bruised and a bit embarrassed I lay still while the Ranger's fearing a law suit radio for the ambulance and first aiders!!!!!

This is well documented as Gareth, who was too embarrassed to associate with me, decided to take as many pictures as possible.

If we were trying to escape with minimum fuss.......we failed!


With some trepidation we hailed a taxi for the wharf area of the San Francisco.  We had a piece of paper and a credit card receipt for the boat ride over to Alcatraz and the tour but it had no time on it and we couldn't contact the tour company.

Once at the desk the man man processed our booking and all was well, the 10 o'clock ferry was about to board and we were booked on it. 

Here is the island of Alcatraz, it was a beautiful sunny morning but very windy!
It was really interesting to realize that whilst there was a prison on the island the warder's families lived on the island too, with the children taking the ferry across to the mainland for school every day.

The tour guide was very excited to welcome us all onto the island and insisted on taking 
several photos of us.  
Martha is holding the prison keys

We took the audio tour which was fascinating. It explained all of the areas and what went on and gave a detailed account of the escape attempts and riots.

  I wasn't sure what to expect or whether Martha would enjoy this but it was very well done and we all went at our own speed and controlled our own tours.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Two different worlds

After leaving the Jernigan's and Yosemite after a bit of shopping, 
we headed off to San Francisco for the final part of our trip.

Before hitting the city we made a stop at the Oakland Temple and had a stroll around the rooftop walkway.  It gives a great view of the city and once again that feeling of peace and calm. 

That feeling would soon leave us as we met with the rush hour traffic.  
Some good friend's back home had lent us the much needed "satnav" and it really came into play here and took us straight to our hotel.

Calvin had researched this place. 
The Whitcomb Hotel
This is the foyer!

It was a homely room and a haven away from the busy city streets.  
This was the first time we had been away from friends on this trip and in such a foreign environment to us we needed that place to come back to.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

We Made It (with a lot of help from our friends)

We went back to town after the train to get dry socks, eat some of last nights left over pizza and buy SNOW CHAINS!

By the time we got back to the park it had stopped snowing and the roads were clear!

Martha and the Gruffalo took the opportunity to make a snowman. 

Can you believe this is us just a couple of hours after the train ride?

The views were every bit as spectacular as we were lead to believe.  
I especially liked the waterfalls.

The break in the weather allowed us to see all of the keys sights that we set out to see.


The roads started to get worse and worse and we pulled over for our Hero, Dave ably supported by Amy, to put the chains on and drive.  

We made it back to the entrance gate and then the roads were much clearer.
But it had taken us over 2 hours to do the normal 40 minute journey back down to the town.

We really did rely on our friends for this whole day, they are much more used to this kind of weather.
I don't think that without them we would have had such a good time in Yosemite.
Thank you so much Dave and Amy.

Christmassy Adventure

It was raining as we left the hotel and we were worried that we wouldn't get the great views that we were hoping for.
Then the Rangers turned us away before we got to the entrance because we had no snow chains!
It was beginning to look like we wouldn't see any of the park at all.

We decided to take a ride on this train so that we had at least done something for the day.

It was so cold but so magical.  It was truly a winter wonderland, it felt like something from a film set.
Thanks to the Dave and Amy who supplied extra coats as we had only packed for the desert heat.

It is hard to believe that this is the same holiday!

Yosemite Here We Come

We left the Jernigan's beautiful cabin home to travel to Yosemite National Park.

We checked in to our hotel and then headed straight out to see the giant Sequoia trees.
They really are something else.

This is the tunnel tree.

We really loved the hotel in Oakhurst (Best Western)  It had a pool which Martha and Ross used that first night.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Mixed Monday

We started the day by waving Spencer off, back to school for his last term.

Dave then set up the archery which Ross really enjoyed. 

Calvin assumed his role of BBQ chef.

We didn't leave the house until at least 2 o'clock and we headed to the mountain park for a walk, and a sit down!  Ross found a great tree to climb too.

 We were planning on driving to Bakersfield to shop but in the end no one wanted the long drive and we decided that Tehachapi had all that we needed.  

(Especially if you were to need giant camping chairs)

We took Dave and Amy out to eat and they chose their favorite Mexican Restaurant.
The food was so good! 

(sorry about the blurriness--my camera prefers to be outside)

Although this was a rest day we crammed lots in and were exhausted by the end of it.

Get ready for the start of holiday number 3 tomorrow

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Easter Sunday

We woke to a beautiful Sunday morning and ate breakfast on the decking before heading off to Sacrament meeting.  I forgot to say yesterday that Spencer had come home for the weekend to spend time with us.

After church we drove to red rock canyon.  It was really hot but Ross and Spencer decided to climb to the top.  The rest of us explored the lower levels and found a little shade.

We had a hot dog picnic which was really fun.

We then drove out to this mining ghost town, Randsburg.  It was fascinating if a little eerie. 

Shooting, Fishing, Paddling and the Most amazing Views

So now we are in California with our friends the Jernigan Family.  Their son Spencer served the first part of his LDS mission in our little branch in Milford Haven and spent his first Christmas away from home with us.
This is the view that we woke up to!

And this is the magical cabin that Dave and Amy live in.  It is so peaceful and was the perfect place to relax after our long journey.

They had lots of boys stuff planned for our first day.  They live in a gated valley and the shooting range and lake are part of that community.  

This was the best kayak in the world

Amy, Martha and I went into town while the guys did their thins and in the evening we just chilled out with a movie.  This place is different from the first part of our trip, it felt like a completely different holiday. 

Friday, 27 April 2012

Goodbye and Hello

It was time to leave Arizona and our great hosts, Rex and Linda (and Grandpa)
We were sad to leave them.  They and their family and friends were so welcoming to us and went out of their way to make sure we had a fantastic time.
We had a few tears as we said goodbye.

Here we are in Joshua tree National park and this is a Joshua tree.  Not quite what some of us expected.....ok so it was me, I thought that there was only one Joshua tree in the world, hence he U2 album title, THE Joshua Tree.  There are however millions of them.

Here is our attempt at the afore mentioned album cover.

The making of this photo was very amusing as the wind was blowing very hard, there should be a hat in the picture but it blew away!

These roads seemed to go on forever.

We passed through 29 Palms (Robert Plant song playing as we drove into the very strange town)

Also we made our second tiny trip on Route 66 in Barstow.

Eventually we rolled up at our friends, the Jernigans, in Tehachapi in the dark at about 8pm.  Can't wait to show you the view that we woke to on Saturday morning

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Family Day

We spent Thursday with my Grandmothers cousin, Phylis, and her son Tracy.  We had such a great day.  They showed us around their complex on the golf buggy.  We were fascinated with all the facilities they have access to.  They made us feel so welcome.  I have met Phylis before when she has been over to visit and it was like we were never apart, she and Tracy made us so welcome and we got on really well.  You can really see the family resemblance in her to my Granny.

Later that day we were able to take Phylis to the Easter Pageant at the Mesa Temple.  450 church members take part in this portrayal of the Saviour's life.  It was marvellous and I was so glad that Phylis could be with us a bit longer.