November 29, 2011

Lucky ...

We picked up a hitchhiker in California.  Ironically we didn’t know it until we got home.  While unloading the enclosed trailer Dwight found a plastic bag that was not empty.  Inside the bag was …

Apparently the Lizard we found at Nan’s house was not alone.   Oh yes … I am now the proud caretaker of a REPTILE!!! 

After 3 trips to the pet store and $80 later we have a proper house for Lucky

After debating over names we settled on “Lucky”.  Not sure which lizard was lucky … the one that got away or the one living in an aquarium basking under a heat lamp being hand feed.   After doing some research we learned that “Lucky” is a Western Fence Lizard and based on his tummy markings we believe he is a male.  They are really low maintenance and never in a million years did I ever think I would say this but … he is actually a really cool pet!

November 24, 2011

Heading Home ...

We left California and headed towards home. Next stop LAS VEGAS!! The kids were super excited to get the chance to see Las Vegas. I'm not sure it was as excited as they expected it to be. We were so exhausted that we didn’t do much but walk around Caesars Palace, ate dinner at The Cheesecake Factory and walk through the casino. Las Vegas with kids is a great way to keep the gambling to a minimum.
~ Outside Caesars Palace ~
~ Daddies Little Girl ~
~ Justin all smiles about standing in a casino ~
The next morning we were up early and headed EAST … Colorado was on the horizon.  We stopped at a Scenic Overlook in Utah and took some photos!  It was beautiful.

 ~ Dwight, Justin and Makenna ~
 ~ The Truck and Trailer ~

 ~ On top of the world with my babies ~

~ Inside a rock ~
 ~ Looking out from inside the rock ~

We made it to Grand Junction before we stopped for our last night in a hotel.  After 11 nights in hotels we were all more than ready to get home and sleep in our own beds!  2750 miles, 13 days, 6 different hotels, and lots of memories … we made it … home sweet home!!

November 22, 2011

Go West ... Part 3

On Thursday November 10th we took the day to get away from the Disneyland magic and spent the day in Long Beach.  Sight seeing, shopping, lunch and a little beach fun!

~ Queen Mary at the Long Beach Harbor ~

 ~ Justin at the Long Beach Harbor ~

~ 1st few steps in the Pacific Ocean ... just a little on the cool side ~ 

 ~ Didn't take long before the kids were playing in the water ~

~ Free to run and play ... they were loving the ocean! ~ 

The kids played in the ocean, collected lots of seashells and were covered in sand by the time we were ready to leave.  For those of you who know Dwight it was a miracle he let them in his truck with all the sand on them.  Must have been because we were on vacation :) ... just for the record he took his truck to get detailed as soon as we got back to the hotel!

Our favorite restaurant in Anaheim was Joe’s Crab Shack … we ate there twice!  Can’t beat fabulous seafood and great atmosphere for the kids when dining out!   Dwight challenged the balloon guy and he performed … yep BALLOON Elmo!  Justin got a bow and arrow set … both of them were thrilled.

~ Makenna with Mr. Magic the Balloon Guy and her new Balloon Elmo ~ 

~ Introducing Balloon Elmo to Elmo our 3rd Child ~ 

 ~ Justin with his Bow and Arrow Set that really worked ~

We left Anaheim early Saturday morning and made a quick stop for breakfast at Dwight’s Aunt Nan’s house in Norco, California. 
 ~ The Surprise in the Enclosed Trailer when we opened the door ... it was cold, hungry and not moving from being locked inside the trailer for 6 days ~

~ Justin playing with the lizard before it warmed up enough to RUN AWAY from him ~

November 19, 2011

Go West ... Part 2

Our stop in Lompoc was quick. We arrived early evening; loaded the tractor in the morning and off we went.  Next stop Anaheim!!   Makenna go her first glimpse of the ocean and we were even lucky enough to see several dolphins jumping. 

Once in Anaheim we settled in for 5 nights at the beautiful Sheraton Hotel.  We spent 3 days visiting Mickey and all his friends at Disneyland and California Adventures and 1 day shopping and hanging out in Long Beach. 

On November 9th our little princess Makenna turned 5 years old.  We celebrated with an extra special “Character Breakfast” at Minnie’s Plaza Inn.    It was worth every penny watching her glow all morning with excitement.  The kids meet a ton of characters, we took lots of pictures and they filled their Disney books with autographs. 

Disneyland truly is the Happiest Place on Earth.  There is just something magical about Mickey Mouse and all his friends.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

November 9, 2011

Go West ... Part 1

On Thursday November 3rd we set out for what is to be the biggest Michael Family Adventure yet.  We left Fort Collins around 2 pm for a 12 day road trip to California.  A little bit of business and a little bit of fun.

~ Justin all smiles as we pull out of the drive-way for Vacation!! ~

~ Makenna with our 3rd child Elmo ... ready for a LONG ride ~ 

~ Dwight's look says it all ... what the heck are we about to do??? ~

Our first stop was in Green River, Wyoming.  We had planned to drive closer to Salt Lake City.  But Wyoming held true to what everyone says. The weather BLOWS in Wyoming.  High winds and black ice was not a great way to start our journey.  Thankfully Dwight was driving when we were traveling 60 mh down the interstate pulling a 28 ft enclosed trailer and the truck and trailer starts to fishtail  I panicked and Dwight was calm.  We called it a day and decided to stay the night.  We awoke to better weather and continued our drive west.

~ Since we will be celebrating Makenna's 5th birthday while on vacation we are giving her one present for 5 days ~

~ Present #1 ... At the top of her wish list, something educational and fun to play with while we are traveling ~

~ We didn't leave Justin out ... we had 5 small surprises for him as well ... as you can see he was thrilled when I pulled out cousin Brandon's Nintendo DS to play with while traveling ~ 

~ Utah Moutains ~

Day #2 was a long drive for us.  With a storm predicted to hit Lake Tahoe we decided to make it all the way over the pass and into Sacramento, California. 
Our trip planning started when Dwight purchased a tractor located in Lompoc, California … then when he located another tractor outside of Sacramento we decided it was a GO and the plans began to fall into place.

~ Mommy hanging out with Justin and Makenna in the hotel ~ 

One of my dear friends Metza that I met over 18 years ago while I was a nanny in L.A, now lives in Sacramento.  Once we arrived in Sacramento, Dwight loaded Tractor #1 and we spent 2 days visiting and hanging out with Metza and her family at their beautiful house.  We had such a great time together that we are already making plans for another get together next summer.

~ Ronnie, Metza, me and Dwight ~

~ Just like old times ... except we were all in bed before midnight ~

We left Sacramento Sunday afternoon and headed down the coast to Lompoc, California to pick up tractor #2.