Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Next trip...

Hi, everyone. I know I haven't been blogging much. I really have lots to share, I've just been making time for other things - like reading and my old hobby, genealogy! Now, that's addictive! (At least to me it is!)

Anyway, we have another trip in the works. In January, Alexandra and I are headed to...

San Diego!!!
So, if you have been there (or even live there) and have any suggestions, please let me know! So far, we're planning on the zoo, whale watching, and going to see the sea lions.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Madison Farmer's Market (end of WI trip)

On Day 8, I actually forgot my camera! (Can you believe it?) Anyway, we were in Madison, WI and spent the day eating out, at a free zoo (very neat little zoo!) and at the University of Wisconsin's Geology Museum. I have never been to such a large university and I found it incredible! (I went to a small school.) Alex even wants to go to college there now!

On Day 9, we drove back to Kansas to catch the plane ride home on Day 10. Our "big" event of the day was the Farmer's Market in Madison, WI. WOW!!! It was huge! And, it was in the square around the capitol buidling, so that was neat, too. So, I'll leave you with some photos from the market...
Capitol Building (Madison, WI)

Cheese Curds for sale - I thought these sounded GROSS - but, we had them fried several nights and they were incredible!!! Kind of like cheese sticks, but even better! Yum!

Some veggies - we actually ended up with quite a lot of fruit and baked goods - oh, they were yummy!!!

I saw a lady taking photos of these and I thought... great idea!!! (I really like this shot)

And, another pepper shot! (I like this photo a lot, too)
And, that's it for our trip to Wisconsin!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Day 7 - from Door County to Madison, WI

Day 7 was our last day in Door County, WI.

I started my day early to get photos of our last sunrise in our cottage on Lake Michigan.

I walked out to get a closer photo of "our" lighthouse - the one we could see from our cottage

We took a ferry to Washington Island which is off the north end of Door County

Alex on the ferry - though it was cold out, I found I had to stay outside or get seasick...

Alex enjoyed feeding this little guy at a petting zoo on the island

We weren't even sure what he was... does anyone know?

When we got off the island, we drove around a little before heading towards Madison for our last few days of vacation. I think my sister-in-law pointed out this bird - a kingfisher!!! I've never seen one before and was thrilled... I just wish he was a little closer! (This photo was with my zoom lens)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Door County, WI (Day 6) - LOTS of photos

I know this is taking a long time for me to post about our trip to Wisconsin. We just did so much! Day 6 was a very full day, so I have lots of photos...

The sunrise from our cottage on Lake Michigan

Wild turkeys! We saw wild turkeys quite a few different times. I've only seen them once before, so this was a thrill for me!

Cattails bursting open

These flowers were solar powered and followed the sun. They were near our turn for our cottage, so we saw them often and liked to see which way they were pointing.

The beautiful state park which was in full fall colors. I think we only saw 2 other cars during our time here and it was so spectacular! One of the highlights of our trip for me.

We saw probably more than a dozen deer in this park and often they would just stand still. I took TONS of photos of them. We also saw deer almost every night as we drove home.

More deer. The deer weren't very close to the road, but I had my zoom lens to help me out.

Alex and I climbed this watch tower

And here was the view from the top

It was cold up there, so Alex went down first. (Plus, I was taking photos and she's younger and quicker!) I liked this shot from the tower looking down.

And, I LOVE this shot of her in the rental car. You can even see the trees reflecting in the top window.

I was trying to get a great show of Alex and her baby cousin

And a shot of just Alex

Another shot of Alex. Too bad it was pretty cold and we weren't able to play at this park very long. (It is in the state park.)

Later, we stopped at a candle factory and watched them making jar candles. And, Alex dipped her own candles. I also bought a few other candles.

There were corn fields EVERYWHERE in both Iowa and Wisconsin. We were surprised that they were still harvesting and most fields were still full of corn. One night, we even saw them harvesting at night using lights on their farm equipment!

We stopped at a dairy and watched them hooking cows up to be milked. Alex and I had fun playing this "milking game."

Alex, Nana and I toured this lighthouse. The tour lasted about an hour and we were the only people on the tour! The lady giving the tour was great and talked directly to Alex most of the tour. Alex asked lots of questions and we all learned a lot about lighthouses!

That night, we went to a fish boil - a Wisconsin tradition. They put the fish (and potatoes and onions) in the kettle, prop boards around it and add some kerosene and the flames shoot high in the sky. Then, they serve us dinner. I didn't much care for the fish - I guess I just prefer mine fried or grilled, but I'm really glad I tried this!

Later that night, Alex was playing her Nintendo DS and her cousin thought it looked like fun. :-)

Tugboat (Day 5 - Door County, WI)

On day 5, Alex and I also toured a tugboat in Door County.

They've been refurbishing the tug for 5 and a half years and it just opened for tours a few months ago! Isn't it beautiful?

Here's our tourguide, Bob. He was terrific. And, did you notice the name of the tug was the John Purves? Will, John Purves was Bob's dad!!! John didn't own the tug, but was a great friend and worked for the man who did own it. Bob told great stories about the owner.

For example, the owner got rich by doing salvage operations. And, he always repaid those who helped him. If I'm remembering correctly, he made a million dollar profit on his first salvage job... and this was a LONG time ago. After that, he bought a man a house and a new car because he'd saved the day. One of the air hoses that was under the ship trying to lift it was actually tilting the ship too much - so, the man whipped out his gun and shot through the hose! No one knows why he was carrying a gun in the first place. And, Bob says his dad took him in the backyard and the man couldn't shoot through a hose even with many shots. But, that day, one had done the trick.

I didn't know there was actually a "full speed ahead" marking!

Alex was the only child on this tour. I was glad one of the other people took several photos of the 2 of us. This is in the kitchen area. It was neat to see everything was "tied" down. The stove even had bars around each burner so the pots couldn't slide around.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

More Photos from Our Cabin (Day 6)

Nana and all of her grandkids. Yes, we're a very small family. Nana is an only child and has 2 children and now 2 grandchildren.

Walking down the road by our cabin. It was so beautiful!

Above are a few more photos near our cabin. And below, apples!!! I've never even seen apples growing on a tree! I wanted to pick some, but the season was about over and we couldn't find a place. But, we did get some fresh apples at a farmer's market at the end of the week.

Our Cottage on Lake Michigan (Day 4)

Sorry it's taking so long to post all of our Wisconsin vacation photos!

On the 4th day, we drove from the Dells to Door County, WI. On the way, we saw a flock of these large birds. They are at least several feet high. I haven't been able to identify them, though I think they might be a type of heron. Does anyone know what they are?
Thanks for the help, Tiffany B! They are sandhill cranes and they stand 47 inches, which is just barely shorter than Alex!

We also saw dozens of these enormous wind turbines. We never got very close to them, but we could tell they were huge! I see the blades of these things on trucks headed north from Houston all the time, and I didn't know what they were - but now I do!

And, here's our beautiful cottage on the lake!!! Isn't it cute? We LOVED this place. It was so homey. And, it was RIGHT on the lake. We crossed the little dirt road and...

...we were at this beach. Too bad it was so cold or we would have spent some time at the beach. But, it was COLD!!! And, even from our living room window we could see...

this lighthouse. Isn't that amazing!!! I was so happy my sister-in-law found this great place for us to stay! It was wonderful! They even had games to play and Alex enjoyed playing Door County Monopoly.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Riding the Duck & Photography Museum (Day 3)

At the end of Day 2 we drove to the Dells in Wisconsin to stay at a resort water park. Alex LOVED the water parks! Our place had 3 indoor waterparks that were HUGE! We went 4 times over the 2 days. I enjoyed the water slides and my sister-in-law was great to just get in the water and play with Alex.

We also went on a Duck ride while in the Wisconsin Dells. If you aren't familiar with them, they are a vehicle that travels both on the land like a bus and in the water like a boat. Here's a photo of Alex with her aunt. It was COLD on the Duck - especially when we were going fast and when we were out on the river.

Here's our "crazy" driver who went way too fast for me - but Alex LOVED it.
Some of our view from the river - spectacular cliffs!
I love how the elements have washed away a lot of this cliff and made a beautiful formation.

The wave pool at just one of our indoor water parks.

My nephew at the waterpark. Ain't he a cutie???

We also went to the "old town" district and everyone else shopped while I went to the H.H. Bennett Photography museum. "Photography historians consider Bennett one of the best landscape photographers of the 19th century, considered the "Golden Age of Landscape Photography." Of course, I loved spending time there! It was amazing looking at the old photos and reading about how photographers used to work.