It's hard to believe I have taken a month off from blogging. I intended to take a break while we were in Wyoming, but I didn't realize it would continue for another two weeks. Of course, the reason I have not been posting to the blog is because my time has been consumed with other activities like course planning, meetings, etc. Trivial stuff, I know, but I do like to think I do my part in helping pay the bills. :)
Another reason I have been reluctant to post is that we took so many pictures that it would take me forever to decide which ones to include in the slide show. As you may have noticed, I have started creating these little Flash slideshows to put in each post rather than filling up the page with pictures. Well, that isn't a big deal when we take 20 or so photos from an event. Even 100 photos isn't bad, but we took almost 500 pictures in Wyoming. That is way too many to sort through, so I will just give you the link to the whole album, and you can look through them yourself.
Now, about the trip. It was awesome! What isn't there to like about spending all day with GiGi and PaPa, Ella and Katie? What can be bad about days where the high temperature is 82 degrees? Or where the low temperature is in the low 50's? This trip was definitely a nice break from the hot weather we've been having in Texas.
We started our vacation by visiting the Peterson family in Denver, some friends of mine from Casper. I have known them since I was a little kid, and they are pretty much like family to me. Sam and Nate loved playing in the basement with Courtney and Kylie, Matt and Shana's daughters. They had all kinds of toys the boys had never seen, and most importantly, they had cars to play with. Cars are a must. Matt's parents, Wayne and Kathy, came over for dinner that evening, and we had a great time visiting and enjoying the cool night air. Sam and Nate also tried their hand at volleyball, but they still have a bit to learn before they can participate in an actual game. After a restful night, we headed off to Casper to see GiGi and PaPa.
About an hour north of Denver, we got a call from my mom saying Katie and Ella's flight had been cancelled and they were renting a car to drive to Casper. So, we were all on the road at the same time (though separated by about 3 hours). When we arrived in Casper, the boys went through their ritual of finding the toys and began to take inventory. We ate a nice dinner, then my parents had to leave to get ready for Titanic, the summer musical they did this summer. Katie arrived a few hours later, and we had fun catching up with she and Ella. They were both pretty road weary from the day they had. You can read her account of the vacation here. The next couple of days were all about Titanic. Katie, Ella, Gina and I went to see it on Saturday night, then we all went back for the closing matinee with Sam and Nate to watch GiGi and PaPa sing, as well as the finale. I had seen the traveling Broadway cast do this show before, and it was quite the stage spectacle, but I have to say this little show held its own. The singing and acting were both pretty good, and my parents stole the show. My mom does quite a mean German accent, I must say.
The next week was all about having fun. You can actually see from the pictures some of the things we did. We stayed at the cabin one night and had all kinds of adventures, we went fishing, spent a day at Alcova lake, the ladies went shopping and had tea parties, and most of all we got to spend a lot of quality time together. GiGi even took the grandkids to see Barney's Birthday Bash at the Casper Events Center. I wasn't there, but the rumor is that Ella was best dancer in the joint. For one of the last nights in Casper, we met some of my high school soccer buddies at a park and played and visited until the sun went down. Each of these families has girls between the ages of 8 and 12, and one pattern I am starting to notice is that Nate really likes the attention he gets from older girls. :-) He started his vacation with Courtney and Kylie, and he ended it by entertaining Mackenzie, Emma and Marin. This should prove to be very interesting as he gets older.
The trip home had its own set of misadventures, but we made it home safely and in one piece. As all trips do, it ended way too soon, and I have found myself pining for the cool temps and familiar faces on more than one occasion. We are already looking forward to our next trip to Casper.