Our Spectacular Summer Vacation!!!


We started out in Calgary with two families and two identical tent trailers pulled by two vans and headed south to the USA!!



We visited the sights in South Dakota like Mt. Rushmore and went caving...


And made our way down to Colorado where the epic fun began!!!


I didn't risk taking my camera into the water park (see video bar if you can't figure out why I'm still nervous with my camera around water!) but snagged some memories off their website so we never forget Elitch Gardens!!  

BTW... the two ridiculous rides for me were the "Mind Eraser" one where we were dangling from the rollercoaster track (kept my eyes closed the entire time except for one brief second) and the yellow "Boomerang" coaster that sent me to my "happy place" where I had to envision myself on a speed boat in the Caribbean instead of comprehending where I really was!!!!


The Casa Bonita restaurant was it's own wild experience!!  You'd never know by this picture that it is located in a fairly run-down strip mall in Denver and this is what it looks like on the inside...


While eating your dinner (note: the food is NOT what you go here for!) you get to enjoy variety shows throughout the evening including cliff divers!!!  All indoors!!!  Wild :)


Next came an almost unbearable experience... climbing Pike's Peak Mountain...


Stairs that went on FOREVER... in melting heat (took off as many layers as was decent)... so steep at times and at such a high altitude, it felt like my lungs were giving birth!! Don't let this photo fool you!!  I was sooooo posing so you wouldn't see the pain!!!


So here's our BEFORE...


and AFTER shots!


It really was an amazing experience and the view from on top (which wasn't even the very top!!) was awesome!!  And I can't imagine doing this with any other family then my own and brother (who owns Fifth Avenue Fitness Club) and my sister-in-law (who is my "Jillian" or personal trainer who opens her basement to our work out group!) and my beautiful nieces who are not afraid of a physical challenge!!


And just to add beautiful insult to injury, we got slurpees and proceeded to go walking though the Garden of the Gods... two amazing places in one day!!


Although tired, I never tire of capturing some fun photos!  Loved the reflection in Lindsey's sunglasses!!!


 Then Lindsey borrowed my camera to take some fun shots of Brad and I!  First showing off our muscles...



and then just some fun portraits!!  She is getting really good with the camera!!!!  I absolutely LOVE LOVE the last one of "Brad Videographer Extraordinaire"!!!



Our furthest south destination was Colorado Springs where we were completely stoked to get to visit one of our favourite in the world organizations... Focus On The Family!!!


Both our families LOVE LOVE Focus on the Family... their radio broadcasts are ALWAYS inspiring and my kids listen voraciously to the Adventures In Odyssey cds!!  So at their headquarters, we got to sit in on a taping of a radio show...



It was an interview with Steven Curtis Chapman (musician) and his wife who have a heart wrenching story about their adopted daughter being killed by their biological son who accidentally drove over her on their driveway.  


Only by the grace of God have they come through this, but it is obvious that the pain of losing a child never goes away.  Another real heart part of the story is that he is famous for his "Cinderella" song he wrote about his daughters and how "some day they'll be gone" just years before this happened.  Here is the song and an explanation of how it came to be at the end...


The rest of the visit was filled with seeing the sights of Chronicles of Narnia (the wardrobe!!)...


and the most fun part was the kids getting to tape their very own Adventures In Odyssey recording in the studio and getting a copy of the CD!!!



All in all, another most spectacular camping vacation with my family and extended family!!  Am just so blessed to be able to create such amazing memories that will last a lifetime (especially if I actually scrapbook them!!!!!!)

5 comments:

Shannon said...

Looks like an amazing time. Glad you got the chance to do so many great things. Lindsey is a natural with the camera. Now get scrapping!

jill said...

sooooo happy you shared your fabulous vacation with all of us. missing U even more now......cuz you're all so darn cute in all the photos.......{sigh}. give hugs from me. :)

Cari said...

Oh wow!!! That sounds like the most awesome time!!! How fun for the kids to a copy of the "odyssey" CD too.
Love all your pictures girl! They're amazing!!

Jennifer Reynard said...

Wow, all I can say is Wow!!
I don't need to go on a vacation,
I'll just read about yours. LOL
(Much cheaper on my bank account
and muscles I would think! :) )
How neat to go to Focus on the Family and have the kids record
their own CD. You always have
such great ideas. Well done!

Lee-Anne said...

I absolutely love the program "Focus On The Family". Looks like a great time and what awesome photos.