Category Archives: Vacation

Alabama = Bemis Fun

What an amazing trip to the Gulf Shore. We would definitely go back again. It was the kind of trip you don’t need a vacation from your vacation when you get home, so relaxing! The ocean was so peaceful and spending time with our extended family was just what we needed. Even Josie said her favorite thing was spending time with everyone outside of the holidays.

Highlights:

  • Billy kayaked in the ocean a TON. He took out the kids (especially the boys) and the two of us got out there twice.
  • Josie officially turned 10 in Alabama, how cool is that?
  • Joanne and Ben put on a tap dance to Elvis Presley’s “Teddy Bear”. It may be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
  • We had a fun parents night out while Grandma, Grandpa, and Josie watched the kids.
  • Lots of fun on the beach! We took a sand castle class, we played soccer, raced, walked, and so much more.
  • Uncle Johnny knocked his tooth out when a big wave hit his Stand Up Paddle Board. Luckily, the tooth stuck in the board!
  • The boys had a peanut scare that involved me having to stab them in the thigh with EPI Pens as we drove down the highway to the ER. Will unbuckled his seat belt and later told us he was going to jump in the trunk. I stabbed him about 4 times before realizing I was using the one I already did on Ben. Ben’s entered above his knee cap versus on his thigh (he kept guarding his thigh) so his knee was sore for a day. The check in nurse said, “You’ll hurting anywhere besides where mama stabbed you?!” The doctor said I saved their lives and I cried.

Hawaii 2017

Billy had a work trip to Hawaii the week before our anniversary, which fell on Easter this year. I pretty much assumed this was a sign that I was meant to go on this trip. What spells 12 year anniversary like HAWAII?!

We flew out a few days early and checked out Kauai. It was so green. Chickens were everywhere. We stayed in the northern part of the island and hiked up to Hanakapiai falls. It was worth 9.5 miles of muddy, rocky, “unmaintained” paths for the amazing view. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast at Hemingway’s cafe, pool time, dinner and drinks at the resort, and before our flight left we checked out the southern part of the island. Drinks and lunch at the Beach house and a drive through Waimea Canyon was the perfect way to say goodbye to Kauai.

We went to Oahu for the board meetings and had fun re-creating scenes from our last visit there when the kids were 16months and 3 years. Thanks to Billy’s work we got a private tour of the Bishop Museum and tour the U.S.S. Missouri. We also had two fun nights of Hawaiian cuisine with the board members and co-workers. Billy got a little golf time in and I did lots of reading by the pool and beach, ran 7 miles, and checked out the mall while he was working.

Our final stop was the Big Island. We loved checking out the volcanoes! We landed and immediately drove to Volcano National Park. It was neat to see the rain forrest that grew on top of an un-active lava tube.

My favorite waterfall on this island was the Rainbow falls. It was an easy hike then rock jumping to get to the waterfall, so fun. Billy did NOT like how close I got to the edge of the waterfall, but I seriously think I could have gone a little further!

The black sand beaches at Richardson ocean park were cool to see. We ventured across the hardened lava rocks to enjoy the ocean waves up close. I was inches away from a huge beautiful sea turtle as I crossed the thigh high water…I nearly peed my shorts! It was amazing.

My favorite spot to eat on the Big Island was Hilo Bay Cafe….which was a nice little stroll down from our hotel. We liked it so much, we decided to play a game of stalling as long as we could. They had good music, fun dishes, delicious sushi, and they gave you peppered popcorn in truffle oil while you wait for your food. I may have asked for a refill…a couple of times.

The final day we were on the Big Island, we did a 4:45am boat tour ride out to the active volcanoes. We sat in the second row of seats, which was considered the “hold on to the handle or get a bloody nose from hitting your head” section. The water by the volcano is over 100 degrees warm. The view was something I never will forget. Watching the volcano lava pour into the ocean while the sun rise was surreal. 

House Swap

Grandshe had her Omaha book club come to Des Moines for a slumber party. There were 10 friends that made the road trip. We swapped homes with Grandshe so she could accommodate all her gal pals. We had so much fun vacationing at Grandshe’s place! Josie said, “if anyone asks…tell them we are renting the place for the weekend.” So then we started calling it our VRBO or cottage rental.

It was fun to snuggle in closer corners and watch Saturday morning cartoons. We are in such a habit of watching Netflix or computer time, it was a nice change. And for us all to cozy up on one couch (or around the chair below) made this mama happy!

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End of Sweet Summer 2016

I’m a little behind on blogs, so while it’s officially fall y’all, I’m going to give a few more facts about Sweet Summer 2016:

  • We finished our deck project! Bring on camp fires in the fire pit…more importantly when trees fall we can burn them! We’ve had 27 feet of one tree break off from a bad wind storm. Another tree was split in half after being hit by lightning. After that storm, another storm knocked over what was remaining. Last year was our first fall here, and we bagged 38 bags of leaves… This fire pit will come in handy!

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  • We brought Grandshe with us to our annual trip to Indianola for the hot air balloon festival. We found a keepsake artwork to remind us of this annual expedition…a tin hot air balloon now hangs in our basement bathroom.

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  • Billy and I got a quick trip to Portland in as I tagged along to his August board meeting.
  • Our last few weeks of summer were spent celebrating the boys birthday (in Omaha and in Des Moines), catching up with friends, and getting ready to head back to school.

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The Year of Uncles Part II: Las Vegas

Over Memorial Day weekend, also known as Uncle Johnny’s birthday weekend, we went to Las Vegas for our second uncle trip of the year. It was perfect, well except poor Ben had a stomach bug the first day…but he was a total trooper. And thankfully no one else got it.

We did a ton of swimming in John & Meredith’s pool. We checked out the Container Park, which is this cool outdoor stage with live music, large legos for kids to play, a gigantic slide and playground and it is surrounded by different restaurants and stores. WAY cool.

We also got to spend time with our horse cousin Lilly! The kids got to take turns riding Lilly, brushing her and feeding her as well as Lilly’s horse friends.

We also got to check out our soon to be cousin Jackson’s nursery. It was so fun.

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The Year of the Uncles Part I: Colorado

Billy and I decided 2016 would be the year of the uncles. We love to travel to new places, but realize how important it is to make time for family. So we told the kids that in 2016, we will try our best to make to make a visit to all of our uncles.

First stop: Uncle Richie, Aunt Bre, dog cousin Bailey in Colorado!

We had a great trip. It was quick, but we did a ton in a short amount of time. Highlights include:

  • Going to a Avalanche hockey game
  • Walking the beautiful trails around their neighborhood
  • Taking the train into Denver
  • Hiking around Red Rocks (bucket list item for both Billy and me)
  • eating ALL of the delicious meals Aunt Bre made – The kids requested I get all the recipes!

 

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