family pic

family pic

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sending 2011 out with a Texas size bang! {day 1}

2011 was an epic year for my family, {though we haven't had a mild year for nearly a decade} this year brought a plethora of challenging but exquisite adventures and exciting new chapters in our book. Like many other people, at the end of a year and the beginning of a new one contemplation arises. As I reflected on what has made my year special, what makes my family strong, and how to represent something more for Christmas I came up with an idea. Not many things I could gift my kids would last a lifetime and I wanted to give them something that would, AH HA! a memory!

Then I got to thinking about how often I have thought about time over the last year and how fast it goes by, I seem to have a constant realization upon me that I am indeed running out of time to create precious childhood nuggets of laughs. So my idea expanded into a trip, a vacation of sorts but more a memory making endeavor. So I Put my planning and organizational skills to the test and began to create a secret trip full of clues, surprises, and experiences hoping that on the other side of the trip little phrases of comical speakings would become part of our lives, laughs would be had for years to come, and smiles of glee would emerge when this trip was thought of. Crazy right? Perhaps even lofty! I do have a new baby {not easy to travel with} and Saylor is still not 100% stable and good to go from surgery, Storie is exhibiting new teenage behaviors we have not adjusted to, and Stock tends to act like a 2 year old still when he is too tired! But something inside me whispered it would all work out, I trusted my spirit and went for it. Truth be told I knew there would be some bad moments, there was bound to be a little ornery-ness here and there but hey, all part of the memories right?!

Christmas morning my family got an envelope that said something to the effect of "Merry Christmas we leave tomorrow on a trip!" And detailed out the clue based affair and how it would go down along with a few rules. We left the next morning and started with this clue...

"we are headed to a place made of entrada rock, a geological wonder filled with formations shaped by eons of weather."

Because we left at about 4:30 in the morning we arrived at one of the two best times in the day to be at arches, sunrise! My kids have never been to arches and this gem of a place right close to home holds some of the most extravagant natural beauty on earth. I was excited for them to visualize in wonder. I knew this adventure would not take us much further then the road and a few look outs with a new babe and Saylor in tow, but it somehow felt like enough.

My personal fav spot ... the 3 gossips overlooking the courthouse towers, more appropriately renamed by a friend the "3 judges".

I was thrilled with the fascination and entrapment these natural wonders held in my kids eyes. I know that the modern day kid might find things such as this boring or assess little value, though I would hope for more in my parenting skills. This was a bit of a pay off. I knew then that the next destination would also be a hit!

On our way to destination #2 we took a little detour just a block or so off the main road ..

A modern day temple leading us to an ancient one!

MESA VERDE - a gem I myself have never visited {at least that I can remember, sorry 'rents}. We just couldn't get enough of this place. We ended up here several more hours then I had planned or anticipated but it felt so right so we just enjoyed. Many of the actual hikes to the dwellings were closed for the winter but the drivable loop and look outs were all open as well as the main dwelling behind the museum and visitor center. Even though it was paved its quiet steep and a bit of a long walk. Saylor trooped through it like a champ!

The mystery and intrigue of the genius of this ancient culture is so extraordinarily captivating. Its hard to describe in words.

This particular ruin has no doors to take one in or out and appears to be some kind of a place to worship, a temple so to speak. A fascination of symbolism and engineering.

The remainder of day 1 was spent driving to Albuquerque to rest our little buzzed with excitement brains. Thank you priceline for a 5 star hotel for $45!


Hailey Randall said...

Oh man that sounds so fun! And Mesa Verde is one of my favorite! :)

THE O'BRIENS said...

Yay! So fun to read and see. Love you guys!