Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Alright I know I'm super late on this but I'm finally getting around to putting pictures of our December trip up.  I had some serious technical difficulties getting the pictures onto my computer (I have picture issues - don't ask) but YAY I finally got them.  Jeremy and I had a wonderful time and Eliza did great with Grandma (though I think she was a little sad to see us come back!)

Iceland was an absolutely amazing country and while it wasn't in the cards to see the Northern Lights, we were pleasantly surprised at all of the other amazing sights and felt a kinship with their culture.  There are so many amazing things I could rave about this country but I will try to keep it to a minimum.
Paris was of course amazing and I will get to that soon I promise!

We landed in Iceland early in the morning and took a shuttle to the Blue Lagoon.  We arrived just as the sun started coming up (10am ha!)  It was cold enough that even Jeremy enjoyed a soak in the mineral rich water.  It was a perfect way to wake us up and warm us to the core.  The water was a striking pale blue and was surrounded by snow-covered lava.  The pictures don't do it justice (as do most of our Iceland pictures thanks to low light.)

After the Blue Lagoon, we took a shuttle into Reykjavik.  We stayed at the Marina and I've never been so cold in my entire life.  Even living in Gunnison didn't prepare me for it.  The combination of low temperatures, icy wind and extreme humidity was insane.  Our hotel was right next to CCP Games, so Jeremy took a tour while I wandered the streets a bit.  We had an amazing Fish and Chips dinner, the seafood there was so fresh!  Then we headed out on our Northern Lights tour.  We spent five frigid jetlagged hours searching for the lights and were rewarded with one faint white band that I wouldn't have known from a cloud if it weren't for our guide.  We got back around 2am, exhausted and disappointed and tempted to cancel our 9am tour the next morning.  I am SO glad we didn't because it was absolutely amazing.  No one else had booked so we ended up having a private tour of the island.  Our guide was fantastic and took us all around the island.  We saw geysers, greenhouses, Parliament, the Continental Divide, Gulfoss - an amazing double waterfall, volcanoes and we drove onto a glacier.  Throughout the day our guide told us all about the culture and history of the island and took us out for the most amazing lamb stew I'm pretty sure in the world.

Geothermic pools



Monster truck to get us on the glacier

Ok Ok I know this is just pretty much a white picture.  But it was a glacier I swear!

After our tour I had a bowl of the creamiest, most flavorful Lobster Bisque I've ever had and Jeremy ate whale!  Seriously!  Whale!!  Crazy man.  At least he didn't eat horse, which is a staple of the Icelandic diet.  Or rotten shark.

Sadly we had to leave the next morning but I am chomping at the bit to go back some summer.  Definitely summer.

I will be back with Paris pictures soon now that I finally got access to them!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spring in Austin

We are back from our semi-annual trip to Austin and once again we had too much fun.  Every time we go I struggle with our decision to leave the city that we love.  Ultimately it comes back to one simple fact - we need to win the lottery so we can have a house in both places!

Eliza is completely infatuated with Izzy and it really is a treat staying with them.  Eliza still isn't really talking, but she does say "Sssssssss" for Izzy and when we are at the house it pretty much sounds like there's a constant air-leak somewhere because Eliza just follows Izzy around "Sssssss"ing like crazy.  Anyway, here are some of my favorite shots from the trip :-)

p.s. I am going to have a two-year-old in 15 days!! WHAT???

Right after we arrived - Eliza didn't want Izzy to put her down

I think this was the highlight of the trip for Eliza - a train ride up in Cedar Park

Chandra risking the wrath of the conductor just to get out of the danged picture

Eliza's love of Izzy doesn't necessarily extend to all Basharas.... :-p

Enjoying the sun

Silly girl

Bubble time with her other "big girl" friend Asha

Izzy channeling Einstein!

Friday, March 8, 2013


I just sent Eliza packing up to Grandma's house for the night, so I have some time to sit down and get caught up.

We just got home last weekend from a trip to Florida.  Jeremy had to go to Jacksonville for work and has been wanting to get Eliza out there to meet his grandma and brother, so once again we tagged along for the ride.  Sadly, in a month Eliza will be two and will no longer fly free, so this was probably her last flight for awhile.

Eliza loved the airplanes and did a fantastic job, especially considering out travel days.  On the way out there, there was a blizzard in Denver and we had to fly through it.  Frontier cancelled all flights, but luckily we were on United who just delayed everything.  It was an incredibly long day consisting mostly of waiting around airports and sitting on planes and we arrived in Orlando with a 1 hour drive ahead of us, putting us into our hotel at 4am.  Eliza was so pumped about being on an airplane that it made it all a lot easier.  Her enthusiasm is contagious.

Since we were going to be in the area anyway and we all know how Jeremy feels about Legos, we decided to go out a day early and hit Legoland, which opened in Orlando a couple of years ago.  It's basically like Disneyland but Lego-themed instead.  Eliza was about half an inch too short for almost all of the rides and they were total sticklers so that was a bummer, but she loved the few that she could ride  and got a kick out of the Lego sculptures everywhere.  February is definitely the time of year to go.  There were no lines at all so we could ride the carousel over and over again with no wait.  Of course everything couldn't be perfect, so the weather got us by creeping the temps up over 90.  It was a good reminder of why we moved out of Texas though :-p

After Legoland, we drove to Jacksonville where Jeremy worked for two days.  We then headed back to the Orlando area where we stayed with Jeremy's grandma, brother and mom for a couple of days.  Mostly we just visited and let Eliza get acquainted with that side of the family, it was very relaxing.  Now we're home for two whole weeks, and then head off again for Austin.  After a week there I think Eliza and I will be settling down here for awhile, with no trips planned in the immediate future.  Jeremy is still traveling 50-75% of the time.

Eliza is doing great, growing like crazy.  The girl wakes up, immediately asks for food and it feels like she just eats her way through the day.  It's amazing how much food she can put down!  She has a mind of her own and is very good at letting everyone around her know exactly what she wants and when she wants it.  Her favorite things right now are her baby doll, dinosaurs, trucks, Grandma's chickens and her Legos.  She is also starting to get into helping me out in the kitchen, which is alternately fun and grueling.  We started swimming lessons again this week and will do those once a week, which she's really excited about.  And!

Just a comparison shot of E 9 months ago vs. now.  She has stretched out!

Helping out in the kitchen

This cracked me up when I came to wake her up the other day

Finally fell asleep at the airport

Airplane AND tv??  Awesome!

Look at that!  NO lines!

I had to, sorry

Jacksonville Beach

Running is her new thing.  I love how her arms flap around!

Snuck in to get some doll-playing action

Monday, February 11, 2013

ABQ/Santa Fe

Our last day in Albuquerque, Eliza and I hit up two more museums - the Children's Museum and the Rattlesnake Museum.  I know - rattlesnakes - yuck!!  But Eliza loves 'em and my only memory from visiting Albuquerque as a kid is of my dad scaring the crap out of me there so I sucked it up.

The Children's Museum was amazing and made me wish we lived in a city that had one.  It's nice to go somewhere where around every corner is something that makes Eliza light up.  Of course as soon as any younger kids would approach whatever station she was at, Eliza would freak out and we'd have to move on, but there was a high school field trip going on and she loved having the bigger kids to play with.  

The Rattlesnake Museum was much smaller and dingier than I remembered but it definitely delivered the promised hundreds of nasty nasty snakes.  One rattled at me when I leaned in to look and I swear my heart practically exploded.  Every logical thought of a thick pane of glass between us flew out the window.  Eliza enjoyed it though and we followed it up with a walk around Old Town.  
Rattly little bastard

On our way out of town, we all stopped at the Hot Air Balloon Museum where I would have loved to linger, but there wasn't much to entertain little miss so we moved along.  I would love to go to their Hot Air Balloon Festival someday though - the pictures looked amazing.

We drove to Santa Fe and stayed one night and one day before heading home.  I forget how much I love that city until I get there and then I don't want to leave!  I was bummed to only have one day, but we made the most of it, hitting our favorite restaurants and shops and (of course), swinging by Trader Joe's on the way out for a last grab at some TJ staples.  

Walking around Old Town Santa Fe, we came across these amazing fish that Eliza fell in love with.  We could have stayed for hours!

Jeremy was home for a week before three weeks in a row of travel kicked in.  Blech.  Looks like Eliza and I will be accompanying him to Florida at the end of the month so Eliza can meet more of Jeremy's family...I may even see LegoLand in our future!