2022 · Beautiful Colors of Autumn · Connecticut · My Travel Journal · USA

Pumpkin Patch Trains 🎃🚂 Railroad Museum of New England, Thomaston, Connecticut 2022

🍃🍂🍁🍃🍂🍁🍃🍂🍁🍃🍂🍁🍃🍂🍁🍃🍂🍁🍃🍂🍁🍃🍂🍁🍃🍂🍁🍃🍂🍁🍃🍂🍁🍃🍂🍁

Today we drove to the Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston. From there Kevin, Sara, and I took the train to the Campville Summit, about four miles north of Thomaston along the Naugatuck River. Meanwhile, we had cold apple cider on this beautiful Autumn afternoon. Once we reached the summit, we rode back through Thomaston and made our way down to Watertown, just past Echo Lake Road. Kevin jokingly said: “If we jump off the train, we have to walk only a mile to be home.” Back towards Thomaston, we made a stop at a small pumpkin patch. Kids and adults could take pictures and bring a small pumpkin on the train. After 15 minutes the train loaded up again. And we rode back to the train station. The excursion took about 1 hour and 20 minutes. It was a nice little ride through the Litchfield Hills. We also had the chance to see the Thomaston Dam and look down into the Naugatuck River Valley. Sadly, the peak season of leaf peeping is over. Most trees are almost bare.

🍃🍂🍁🍃🍂🍁🍃🍂🍁🍃🍂🍁🍃🍂🍁🍃🍂🍁🍃🍂🍁🍃🍂🍁🍃🍂🍁🍃🍂🍁🍃🍂🍁🍃🍂🍁

2022 · Days of The Week · Florida · My Travel Journal · Travel Tuesday · USA

Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival & Akershus Royal Banquet Hall ~ Walt Disney World, Florida 2011

The following day, we made a trip to EPCOT to enjoy lunch with the Disney Princesses in Norway. There I wanted to see if Sara likes some fish. She dug into the fish and vegetables like her life depends on them. When the Disney Princesses came to our table, Katelynn and Rylee were ready for photos. Sara on the other hand rather enjoyed her meal.

After lunch, we walked around in the park. At that time of the year, Disney has the Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival. A lot of Disney characters with wonderful flowers are on Display. Sara was tired; Katelynn and Rylee wanted to go into the Resort’s pool. So, we made our way back to the room to rest and change into bathing suites. The girls had a blast at the pool.

… to be continued …

2022 · Halloween Season

And So, It Begins …. Halloween Season 2022

🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻

My favorite season has begun. And now it is time to get out the Halloween decorations. Since we have pallets from the greenhouse floor, cinder blocks, and soil delivery, Kevin and I wanted to make a pirate ship out of them. Unfortunately, that takes more time and planning than just slapping it together. It also needs to look good. So, we decided we would let the pirate ship go and make an old charred-looking fence out of some of the pallets. Meanwhile, I might get some more ideas about what I could do with the rest of them. The idea of the graveyard came to mind when I pulled my 5-foot skeleton out of the box and I sat it on the tree stump. Kevin still has to run the electric line up the hill and get the lights installed in the graveyard. But this has to wait.

🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻🎃👻

2022 · Canada · My Travel Journal · New York · Ontario · USA

Travel Journal, Day 2 (Part I): Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara Falls, New York (1)

September 10, 2022

On Day Two, Kevin, Sara, and I went to Niagara Falls State Park in the morning. Five years ago, we were at Niagara Falls. But we never made it to Goat Island on that trip back then. This time, we planned to stay in the United States and go see the falls from the American side. On Goat Island, we’ve got a wonderful different view of the Horseshoe Falls. While we were standing at the rim, we saw Maid-of-the-Mist boats inching as close to the falls as possible. They wanted to give these tourists the experience of a lifetime. All the tourists wore ponchos. But some still came drenched out of the boats. Since we had a beautiful day and warm weather, their clothes dried up quickly. Due to the mist, Kevin, Sara, and I saw a very colorful rainbow that stretched from the Horseshoe Falls to the Bridal Veil Falls and American Falls in the Niagara Gorge.

… to be continued …

2022 · Days of The Week · Florida · My Travel Journal · Travel Tuesday · USA

Breakfast @ Chef Mickey’s In Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Walt Disney World, Florida 2011

The following morning, we took the bus to Disney’s Contemporary Resort near Disney’s Magic Kingdom. There we went to Chef Mickey’s to have breakfast. First Sous Chef Goofy came to our table. He told us there was a little accident in the kitchen. And he might have had a part in it. Head Chef Mickey came over and asked if we enjoy our breakfast. Minnie makes sure all the guests have food and drinks at their tables. Donald baked breakfast rolls since 3 am. And Sara had to watch Pluto closely, not eating her breakfast from the plate. “No Pluto, those fruits will give you a tummy ache. And you will stay outside all day.”

… to be continued …

2022 · Days of The Week · Florida · My Travel Journal · Travel Tuesday · USA

Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Florida 2011 (1)

After meeting with our family and having breakfast in Ocala, we drove toward Orlando to get to Walt Disney World in Buena Vista. We had rooms next to each other in the Pop Century Resort. Once settled in, we spent the afternoon in Disney’s Animal Kingdom to meet several Disney characters, take photos with them, and get their autographs, before we watched “Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade”. We went on the Kali River Rapids ride, where I got completely soaked. Therefore, I had to get some clothes to change. It was March. And the evenings were cool. I didn’t want to catch a cold while we were on vacation. In the evening, we’ve noticed the ibises getting a spot on the trees to spend the night there. That was the sign that it was time to leave the park.

… to be continued …

2022 · Days of The Week · My Travel Journal · Travel Tuesday · USA · Wyoming

Midway Geyser Basin In Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 2010

Midway Geyser Basin: Exelsior Geyser Crater – Grand Prismatic Spring

The next stop was Midway Geyser Basin at the Firehole River. The Midway Geyser Basin is very famous for being the home of the Grand Prismatic Spring. The Grand Prismatic Spring is famous for its size and colors. With being deeper than a 10-story building and larger than a football field, it is the thrid largest hot spring in the world. The Grand Prismatic Spring gets its rainbow colors from the bacteria that lives in progressively cooler water. And the water scatters the blue wavelenght of light, and therefore the center reflects blue back to our eyes.

The Excelsior Geyser Crater is a dormant geyser, but a steamy blue spring. It is so hot, that the runoff water is still boiling, when it hits the surface of the Firehole River. The last time the geyser erupted about 80 feet (25 meters) high for two days was in 1985. Back in the 1800s it could reach a height up to 300 feet (90 meters).

When we visited, we also could see wildlife and wildflowers across the river. We’ve seen a big male bison grassing in the meadow, a relaxing female elk, a couple of ravens, and a big Flame Skimmer dragonfly. There were also wild roses and beautiful pine trees in the area. After the Midway Geyser basin visit, Kevin and I called it a day. We all were hungry and tired for walking around. Sara needed a small nap, before we had dinner at the camp ground. That night, we went to bed early to have an early start the following morning.

… to be continued …

2022 · California · My Travel Journal · Texas · USA

Father’s Day 2022

If I could find the perfect words
I’d write them ‘cross the sky
In lots of shiny colors
With letters ten feet high.
Then everyone could read about
The man that I call dad
And how he’s always there for me
In good times or in bad.
I need to let you know dad
Cause sometimes it’s hard to say
But I have always loved you
And in my heart, you’ll always stay.
Thank you for just being you
I’m so proud you are my dad
You truly are my hero
And the best friend I’ll ever have.
Author: Unknown
2022 · Days of The Week · Throwback Thursday

Luis, The (?) Mix, aka. “Sir Fartsalot”

When Ranger passed, we were all very devastated. I shed a lot of tears. And especially Lexi didn’t want to eat. Due to mourning, she ate a couple of milk bones each day. And that was it. After two weeks, I’ve seen enough. We decided to adopt another dog from the shelter, to make our family complete again. Lexi needed a buddy of her kind. The cats did a good job. But it is not the same without another dog. And I needed someone to help me with my grief.

Katelynn, Sara and I went to the shelter. We looked at some dogs, which were playing in a huge fenced area outside. I spoke with a lady, who volunteers at the shelter on a bi-daily basis. After I told her that we just lost a pet, she pointed out “Bill”. The girls and I looked at Bill closer, walked him around in the shelter area, and asked for more information at the front desk. Since he was the “Pet of the Week”, we got him vetted and for a good adoption price. The papers said, he is a pug/boxer. But when I looked at him closer, there was no way that this dog was a partial pug. I looked up pictures of all kinds of boxer mixes. And we came to the conclusion, he is a pit/boxer mix. We are still not 100 percent sure. Only a DNA test could give more information. But I’m pretty confident there is a pit in this dog.

When we came home, “Bill” made friends with Joshua immediately. We were very surprised. Joshua is usually the last pet to warm up with a new fur-friend. But that should change a few days later. Joshua is no friend of hustle and bustle and started to enjoy the “slice’n’dice” moments. He does it only when Luis comes way too close to him. Luis learned quickly that a cat has claws. And those claws aren’t pretty. Katelynn didn’t like “Bill” so much, and wanted to name the dog differently. She said, she likes “Luis” so much better. After some thoughts and how we were going to spell his name, we agreed to “Luis”.

Luis is such a stinker. He came a long way, since he didn’t know any commands when we first adopted him. Now, he is pretty good at it. Sometimes he is still focused on something. And it is harder to get his attention. But we work on it. He loves to chase and protect us from the “evil rabbit”. But then again, when Luis stops to take a leak, the rabbit sits next to him and waits patiently until Luis is done with his business. I think they are more friends than enemies. And I believe Luis chases the rabbit to get some workout. Yes, Luis loves daddy so much that he chewed up a pair of Kevin’s jeans, a pair of shorts, one of his dress shoes, and a pair of old tennis shoes. I guess Luis gets bored with all his chewy and squeaky toys sometimes. But on a good note: Since Chewbacca has a friend, who he can play and rough house with, he hasn’t chewed a cord lately.

Luis does a good job to help me with grieving for Ranger. Ranger was an awesome, laid-back dog. Luis, on the other hand, is soooo hyper. But that is exactly what we all needed: a dog with a different character. That way, we won’t compare them too much. And we accept each pet as an individual. We are very happy; Luis became a member of our family. 

(February 2017)

2022 · Arizona · Days of The Week · My Travel Journal · Travel Tuesday · USA

Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona 2008

The following day, we looked at some interesting stone formations and petrified tree stomps. The Blue Maze and the Painted Desert just look stunning. After we purchased a couple more souvenirs, we were on our way back home.

On this trip, we had a very young child with us. So, we had to plan age-appropriate tours for her. Katelynn didn’t get bored. And Kevin and I could still see what we wanted to see on this trip. When the girls are both in their teens, we still can consider if we want to plan a bigger trip to the Grand Canyon to do a hike into the canyon or do a wild water raft on the Colorado River. Meanwhile they both look at photos and chat about that huge gap in the Earth divided by a “tiny” river. “It’s biiiig!” Sara said to her dad, when she was sitting on a bench near the Desert View Tower in December 2017.

~ THE END ~

2022 · Arizona · Days of The Week · My Travel Journal · Travel Tuesday · USA

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona 2008 (Part II)

Tuesday morning, I brushed my hair while stepping out of our tent. A lady from the neighboring camping lot approached me slowly and said: “Look to your left and move slowly away”. First, I thought, she was talking about a venomous snake or a bobcat or something really frightening. It was White-tailed Deer. But that young deer was so close, if I had stretched my arm out, I could have touched its nose. Not a good idea! The annual reports show that accidents happen more with “cute little bambies & bunnies” than with any other “dangerous” wildlife. Because some stupid tourists think, oh look at that sweet little deer, take photos while hugging them and wonder why they get kicked in the groin. On the other hand, there have been “only” three bobcat attacks in the last Century. And usually the cats only attacked, because they were cornered … by tourists. Do you get the point? (I could tell some interesting stories; I’ve witnessed on my two-day trip in Yellowstone N.P. in 2010. But that’s material worth writing in another blog.) Back to the white-tailed deer buck: Kevin and Katelynn came back to our campground from getting cleaned up. I told them to be very quiet. Kevin picked up the camera and filmed the three deer on our lot. One thought it owns the place, while the other two were licking stones to get minerals. Katelynn and I sat on a boulder and watched them from a safer place. We also invited more camp neighbors to capture photos of the deer. Sharing is caring!

After the deer adventure, we packed up and drove to the Tusayan Ruins & Museum. It was very interesting to see how ancient people lived at the edge of the Grand Canyon. The rest of Tuesday, we traveled east on I-40 to get to a motel close by the Petrified Forest National Park. We wanted to be well rested, before we visited the park and travelled back home to Texas.

… to be continued …

2022 · Connecticut · My Travel Journal · USA

Echo Lake Park In Late April 2022

Yesterday evening Kevin, Zoey and I took a little stroll in Echo Lake Park. Because there is a sign to walk in twos or bigger groups due to wildlife activity, I’ve never been on the backside of the lake. The weather was beautiful and we had to stretch our legs from driving back and forth to New York City. The Echo Lake Park Trail is approximately half a mile one way. While on the trail, we saw a turkey hiking up the hill, trying to get away from our curious dog. There are several benches to sit and relax by the water’s edge. On the backside of a boulder there are a couple of artwork drawings. A beaver left its own work close by the lake. Kevin wondered how long it would take a beaver to chew through a tree that size in the photo above. Since it gets warmer, more Canada Geese come back to Echo Lake, again. Zoey really wanted to chase them. But Kevin had a good grip on her, even when she jumped right off the bench. This girl is crazy, when it involves chasing wildlife. After all, she’s part Labrador and part Pity.

2022 · Days of The Week · Throwback Thursday

Joshua, The Tabby Maine Coon

It was December, and for days I was following a post about a certain cat on the internet, which was stuck in our local shelter. The local Animal Advocates also posted on their page to let the neighborhood know that the shelter is overflown with pets. They also let us know when the dogs and cats were ready for adoption. When I saw this one cat in a photo, it was like “Love at first sight”. Now, my job was to persuade my husband that Finley needs another playmate other than two middle-aged dogs. “Hell! That cat even thinks he’s a dog! The only thing, what makes him not being a dog: He’s not barking!” I insisted. It took me two hours to get Kevin to ask: ”When are we going to the shelter and take a look at that cat?”

We drove to the shelter; with the hope the cat was still there. When we arrived there, the friendly staff at the shelter showed us the cat room (which brought back memories of when we were looking for Sammy, and adopted Finley years earlier). I looked at the cages and said to Katelynn: “That’s him! Just look at him. He is even more handsome and adorable than in the photo. After getting introduced and observing the cat, we realized he had sniffles. Katelynn and Sara were a little bit concerned about it. But I ensured, the cat probably has the ‘shelter-cold’, what is common in some pets, when they have to stay in a cage for days and wait for a family to adopt them. Katelynn was satisfied with my answer and said: “Mom, are we adopting him? I’ve already got a name for him.” “What would his name be, if we take him home?” I asked. She replied: “I’d name him Joshua!” A little bit later, Kevin and I agreed to adopt the cat. And Joshua came home with us.

At home the dogs sniffed the new family member. We called Finley (Remember Finley thinks, he’s a dog. Yep, he also listens like a dog. LOL) to introduce him to his new playmate. Finley came around the corner, looked at Joshua. And Joshua’s reaction was a big hiss. Finley walked away with the look in his face: “What the …?! Since when do we allow cats in our house?” Ranger’s and Lexi’s conversation must have been like this: “Are you going to tell him, or do you want me to tell him?” — “Naw, let him figure it out himself!”

It took about two days, until the cats were not hissing back and forth anymore. They started to tumble and play fight with one another. It took Joshua about a week to get rid of his cold. We wrapped him in a blanket, where he napped for most of the days. But at 3 a.m. the night was over. Because Mr. Joshua was meowing until the whole house was awake. Unfortunately, that went on until we got another cat. I’ll post about that member next week.

(April 2015)

2022 · Arizona · Days of The Week · My Travel Journal · Travel Tuesday · USA

Colorado River Discovery – River Rafting In The Glen Canyon, Arizona 2008

In the afternoon, we went with the raft from the Glen Canyon Dam to Lee’s Ferry. It was a 4½ hour tour on the Colorado River in the Glen Canyon. Chuck, our tour guide and rafter, told us interesting stories and read us poems about the canyon. At the NE corner of the Horseshoe Bend, we stopped and looked at the Ancient Anasazi Petroglyphs. Some of these petroglyphs symbolize that these native people found a herd of pronghorns close by. A more hidden one shows what we believe to be an eagle. Back on the raft and further down the river, we saw some very interesting stone formations. My favorite one is Finger Arch. The afternoon trip on the river was fun and definitely not boring. We were surprised, Katelynn lasted that long. But she crashed in my arms on the tour bus, when we were on our way back to Page. It was a long day for her. She was sleeping in the car all the way back to the Grand Canyon Village. And she was very happy to snuggle with her little lamb “Mimi” in her sleeping bag that night.

… to be continued …

2022 · My Travel Journal · New York · USA

Travel Journal, Day 2 (Part II): Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum: The Space Shuttle Pavilion, New York City (CityPASS)

April 20, 2022

When Kevin, Sara and I entered the Space Shuttle Pavillion, we were greeted by the rear-end of the Enterprise. However, the twins of the Perseverance “Percy” Mars Rover and the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter captured my interest first. It was very interesting to see both in the original sizes of their counterparts on Mars. Percy has the same dimensions, and is about 300 lb. heavier than its predecessor. The helicopter, Ingenuity, was designed to work for 30 days and five flights. It went on its first flight on April 19, 2021 and on the 26th flight April 20, 2022. It has a flight time of 49 minutes and 10 seconds, and traveled 6.23 Kilometers (3.87 miles) on Mars, so far.

“Greetings Earthlings!”

Meanwhile, Kevin and Sara looked closely at the Enterprise and its history. Later, I went upstairs to get a better view of the Space Shuttle’s front and left side. I had to use my panoramic feature on my cellphone to capture the whole shuttle at once. It is huge. Coming back downstairs, I could take a glimpse inside the Russian Space Capsule, Soyuz TMA-6.

… to be continued …

2022 · My Travel Journal · New York · USA

Travel Journal, Day 2 (Part I): Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum: The Flight Museum 🚁🛩🪂 New York City (CityPASS)

April 20, 2022

I have to break the visit to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum into several parts. The first part is the Flight Museum. When we went on the Intrepid, which is at Pier 86 by the Hudson River, we’ve seen the Submarine USS Growler to the right. Kevin and Sara have Claustrophobia and therefore get anxiety in small spaces. Since I’ve seen the German submarine Wilhelm Bauer (U-2540) in Bremerhaven, I was okay with not going inside the USS Growler in New York City. However, there were some cool displays of planes and helicopters on the top deck of the aircraft carrier.

In my photos are the USS Intrepid (CV-11) – US Navy; USS Growler – US Navy; Grumman F-9 Cougar – US Navy; US Navy Blue Angels Hornet Replica; Grumman A-E6 Intruder – US Navy; Vought F-8 Crusader – US Navy; PZL-Mielec Lim-5 (MiG-17) – Polish Air Force; Sikorsky H-19 – US Coast Guard; Sikorsky HH-52 Seaguard – US Coast Guard

… to be continued …

2022 · My Travel Journal · New York · USA

Travel Journal, Day 1 (Part II): Empire State Building, New York City (CityPASS)

April 18, 2022

When Kevin, Sara and I arrived at the corner of 5th Avenue & 34th Street, I looked left and right to find the Empire State Building. It could nowhere be found. Then I read the sign Empire State Building and looked up. “Holy sh*t! This building is colossal.” Kevin asked: “Did you find it?” While I still looked up and almost got a neck spasm I replied: “I’m looking at it.” The bottom of the building blends in so well, we had no idea, it was right there. LOL

Once, we made it inside the Empire State Building, we had quite a bit to look at. Of course, there was the historical part that can’t be left out. Construction of the building started in March 1930, and finished in April 1931, just in time for the opening on May 1, 1931. There are tons of movies with the Empire State Building, including King Kong. The giant ape poses for pictures. He is actually a very nice fella, who hurts no one. But these airplanes still make him nervous. I guess the pilots didn’t get the memo, the shot of the movie has been done for almost 90 years, now. 😉 On the 86th Floor, we had a perfect view of New York City again. This time, I could get a better photo of the Chrysler Building, because the MetLife Tower was not in its way. We’ve got a better view of the Financial District, especially the One World Trade Center. The wind was chilly up on that floor. So, we looked around for a little bit and made our way back downstairs.

Once we were out of the Empire State Building, we took a break from sightseeing to have lunch at TGI Fridays. We also called it a day. New York was supposed to get a heavy rainstorm with flash floods. And we didn’t want to be stuck in the middle of it. After lunch, we made our way back to the car. But first, we hung out at Times Square for a little bit, since it was on our path to the garage.

… to be continued …

2022 · My Travel Journal · New York · USA

Travel Journal, Day 1 (Part I): Top of The Rock Observation Deck, New York City (CityPASS)

April 18, 2022
Lunch atop a Skyscraper (New York Construction Workers Lunching on a Crossbeam)

For our 20th Wedding Anniversary, Kevin, Sara and I went to New York City yesterday. Last week I purchased the CityPASS, which saved us 40% admission at the entrance of five sights. Our first location was Top of The Rock at the Rockefeller Center. The elevator lifted us to the 67th floor, where we could see Manhattan through the glass. From there we went to the 69th Floor, where we still had the glass barrier. When we walked upstairs to reach the 70th floor, we finally had clear sight of the surrounding area. From there Kevin, Sara and I got a good look over the Empire State Building, Lower Manhattan, Financial District, Williamsburg Bridge, Central Park, Hudson River, and East River. Sara mentioned: “People look like ants on the streets.” We enjoyed the view for at least an hour, before it was time for us to walk over to the Empire State Building, 16 blocks south from the Rockefeller Center.

… to be continued…

2022 · My Travel Journal · Rhode Island · USA

Travel Journal: Newport, Rhode Island (Part II)

April 15, 2022

Kevin, Sara and I had a late lunch at the Brick Oven Pizzeria on Thames Street, before we made our way to Goat Island. We saw the famous Bannister’s and Bowen’s Wharves. A lot of people enjoyed sitting outside, eating, drinking and being social. The glass walls protected them from the wind. And the sun was warm. My face got sunburned a little bit. Sara got herself one of those Amethyst crystals, I talked about in Part I. As we kept walking, we’ve got a good look at the Oliver Hazard Perry sailboat in Newport Harbor. Almost halfway up on the bridge to Goat Island, I could capture some photos, I usually see on the frontpage of Newport tourist magazines: The Goat Island Lighthouse and the Claiborne Pell/Newport Bridge in the background. We didn’t make it all across the Goat End Connector, the bridge that connects Goat Island with Aquidneck Island. It was too darn windy. However, Kevin, Sara and I had a good time in Newport. We’ve got to see some places. Now, we know the size of Newport and Aquidneck Island. Next time, we can plan the trip better and know what to expect.

~ THE END ~

2022 · My Travel Journal · Rhode Island · Texas · USA

Spring Break 2022

The girls are on Spring Break for Easter and the following week. Katelynn planned a trip to Texas for quite a while. She will spend a week with her boyfriend in Dallas. I wish I could go too. But this is her trip. She planned and paid for it. She will enjoy a week away from her parents and her little sister as well. 😄

Meanwhile, Kevin, Sara and I planned some small trips to Rhode Island and New York City as well. The weather is supposed to be okay. A little bit of rain in the forecast won’t keep us away from doing any sightseeing. We will dress accordingly. Sara wants to see the smallest state of the USA. So, we will make a trip to Newport, Rhode Island. And if we are not too tired, we might make a stop in Mystic, Connecticut on our way back home. For Newport we picked several points of interest. We might not even do half of it. But there is a plan to tackle some of them. 😉

2022 · Arizona · Days of The Week · My Travel Journal · Travel Tuesday · USA

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona 2008 (Part I)

Kevin, Katelynn and I spent three nights at the Grand Canyon. On the day of arrival, we put up the tent, checked out the Village and looked in the canyon from the South Rim. I remember very well how I reacted when I was standing at the rim for the first time. First, I looked all the way down. I have fear of heights, and for some reason it comforted me looking down. And as I went up with my head looking at this vast Grand Canyon, my jaw stayed in place wide open. My eyes began to water. And I must have been standing there like this for a while. Because Kevin asked me: “When are you going to shoot some photos?” Let me say something to you: If you ever need a reality check and you need to come back down to the carpet, go to the Grand Canyon. This is one of the most sacred places, which will definitely put you in your place as a human being on this beautiful planet. We are literally only a speck of dust.

The following day, we did some more hiking at the canyon. Katelynn got a Junior Ranger Patch for doing some research, with the help of her parents of course. Kevin and I learned a lot of fun facts about the canyon and its surrounding area as well. Sometimes it doesn’t need to be explained in adult words. It is nice, when it is as simple that even a 4-year-old can understand it. And we did a little tour with a Park Ranger. We really enjoyed it. And we look at the desert in a whole new way. Before the tour, I thought the desert was a dry, dead place. But the Park Ranger advised us that the desert is very alive.

… to be continued …