Many people will tell you that Paris is their favorite city to visit. It’s splendor and magnificence are evidenced in the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Champs-Élysées as well as the incredible artwork, language, and pastries. And while all this is true, I’ve found Paris’ appeal to not come from the obvious, touristy attractions, but rather from the quaint, beautiful, everyday aspects of the city.
That is where this picture comes into play.
(Abi and I searching for bears)
(Photo taken by Ashley Samuelson)
Today was a sad day. It was the day we left Yellowstone National Park.
We did add a few more stops to our trip before leaving, though, hitting the Mud Volcanoes, the Lower and Upper Falls, and Tower Fall. We also saw tons of bison before leaving the park, as well as pronghorns.
And then there’s the questionable bear sighting. Continue reading
A Snowstorm in June
(A park ranger trying to secure the American flag in the middle of a snowstorm)
The theme for today was bear-searching! Above all other types of wildlife, we really wanted to see a bear. They’re supposed to be abounding here in Yellowstone; everywhere we go, there are signs telling us how to “Be Bear Aware” and what to do if you meet a bear, and how to act when you’re on your hikes to prevent a run-in with a bear. All of these led my sisters and me to believe these amazing, furry, terrifying creatures were everywhere!
In the morning, we went on a hike called “Elephant Back Hike,” which is, according to one of the park guides, a local favorite – traipsing up a mountain peak in the woods until you finally arrive at the pinnacle, where there’s a stunning view of Yellowstone Lake with the Absaroka Mountain Range in the background. However, we did not see a bear, let alone any wildlife! (We did see snow, though… Weren’t we just in the desert a few days ago?!)
We arrived back to the RV only to find out that my grandma and the dogs had seen a huge bison right in front of the RV! After bemoaning our bad luck for a bit, we made lunch and saw… Continue reading
Roasting Marshmallows over a “Fire”
(I’m ashamed to even call that a fire)
(Mom and Ashley are the two in the photo here)
Yellowstone National Park. A favorite in the country, as the oldest national park in the United States.
This is where we arrived today. As with previous posts, I’ll post a separate one just on our main adventures in Yellowstone, leaving this post with everything extra that happened during the day today. Continue reading
Driving Towards “Oasis”
“Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain…” ~Oklahoma! (Yes, that is Hugh Jackman in the video!)
Last night we spent the night at Village Creek State Park in Arkansas. Our time in Arkansas was brief but interesting, to say the least!
First of all, there was a toad in one of the stalls of the women’s restroom (if you ever visit this park, avoid the first stall! The toad was still there this morning!)
Second, we had to work out sleeping arrangements. I ended up literally sleeping on top of the kitchen table. Continue reading
“Fly Killer” Practicing on Each Other
My blog is about to take on a slightly different style. It will be transitioning into a travel blog as I spend the next 2.5 weeks in an RV with my family, driving around the US. Yes, that’s right. My entire family, plus my grandma and our two dogs, in a confined space for an extended period of time. This should make for some great experiences! I’m hoping this blog takes on a journal-type feel mixed with inspiration from “The Everywhereist” (I highly recommend Geraldine’s blog, if you have not read it) as I document our adventure from landscapes and sights to personal stories and memories for all of us to reference in years to come.
I burst out laughing as my family pulled up to gather me from the Nashville, Tennessee airport in a huge RV, and all I could see what this tiny little white head peeking out the window in front with it’s ears perked up. My family had arrived and, as usual, Bella (our dalmatian puppy) felt it was her job to lead the way. I hopped into the RV and off we went, with barely time to say hello before our dogs pounced! Bella and Abi (our black lab mix) covered me with kisses, and I almost instantly remembered that I had forgotten to take Claritin (darn those dog allergies of mine).
Finally I had a chance to breathe and reconnect with my family, as I haven’t seen them in months. And suddenly, we’re RV-ing! (If that isn’t a verb, it is now!)
Let me tell you, spending your day in an RV is literally only as fun as you make it. Continue reading
A Cute Mess
It’s that time of year: BBQ season! This is Memorial Day weekend, and as the weather increasingly warms, so does our desire to spend time outside. Throughout the spring and summer, barbecues are prevalent and people want to gather together, have a good time outdoors, and eat great food on the grill.
I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, surrounded by kind neighbors who were raising families. This meant lots of kids, and lots of great memories. Whether we had gathered for Memorial Day, Labor Day, or any day in between, there were sure to be laughter, chatting, and children running around the backyards. Sometimes we’d have planned activities, but usually it was just mayhem.
When I was young, I loved these gatherings. However, as I grew older (you know, being the mature age of sixteen), I found the newer generation of young kids to be crazy and the parents to be boring. Continue reading
Posted in Events, People
Tagged appreciation, backyards, barbecues, bbq, children, cute, memorial day, military, neighbors, soldiers
A Monkey-ish Moment
I’ve always wanted to climb a tree. This desire began when I was a little girl and saw the scene in The Sound of Music where Captain Von Trapp, Max Detweiler, and the Baroness are driving to the Von Trapp house for the first time. They drive past Maria and the children all laughing in the trees, and it looked like so much fun! What freedom there would be from climbing a tree, being up high in the sky – removed from the world – and just enjoying life! To unleash the child within me!
I was walking through Burns Park when I heard what sounded like chatting above me. My initial thought was, “Have I gone crazy or do birds now know how to talk?!” Continue reading
Posted in Nature, People
Tagged adulthood, aging, childhood, children, girls, growing older, innocence, invincibility, joie de vivre, joy, magpie, maturity, tree, tree climbing
(My youngest sister, Ashley, with one of our dogs, Abigail)
Man’s best friend. They’re soft and furry, sometimes love to cuddle, and usually provide entertainment. Whether you’re a cat person, a dog person, a bird person, or any other type of pet person, there’s no question that pets provide some very real therapeutic benefits.
But then there are those of us who are allergic to pets. Like me. I used to suffer from horrible cat allergies and then discovered with my family’s two new dogs that, instead of outgrowing my cat allergies, I suddenly became allergic to dogs as well! (Apparently doctors still don’t know why people develop allergies, so we have yet to figure out how to outgrow them… we just know it’s possible! There’s hope!) However, the realization that my puppies made me sneeze constantly, my eyes water, and my lungs start to wheeze made me despair just a little… Continue reading