Things I learned this vacation

Vacations for us are all about spending time together and fun. There are times though when we learn some things too. This one, I learned A LOT!!

LIKE:

1. You DO NOT have to pack everything you are gonna need for the whole trip. There are stores along the way.

2. Post cards are totally AWESOME! I mailed a few throughout the week. And don’t we all need a little more snail mail in our lives?

3. Take lots and lots of pictures! 20 pictures of one mountain is not enough. You need at least 40 to remember what it looks like.

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4. Being Facebook free is not all that bad! It freed up so much time to just stop and really enjoy the things and people around me.

5. Take pictures with your kids! All you Mommas out there who hate having pictures of you floating around, just do it! I am always behind the camera, mostly because I would prefer not to see that I still have a bunch of baby weight left to lose. It doesn’t matter, the kiddos still love you, no matter how you look. And it really should look like you were on vacation too!

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6. Stop whenever you can and just take in what’s around you.

7. You don’t have to gain 20 pounds on vacation! Yes, it is hard but, you can still kinda stick to your diet.

8. Have as much fun as possible! It really is just about relaxing and being together. Let the kids do things you normally wouldn’t. Like eating brownies and cheesecake for breakfast.DSCF6502

9. It doesn’t matter if it has been 3 years or 25 years, true friendship is easy to fall back into!

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10. Throw out the schedule! Who needs it on vacation? Sleep in, go with the flow, and still see has much as possible.

This was one of our best vacations! Not just because we saw a ton of stuff and we did see a ton of stuff. But, we got to spend a ton of quality time together!

Vacation Day 11: Mexico, border patrol, cop a squat and finally home!

Thankfully the day started with a happy baby and on time!

We skipped breakfast (I know, so bad) and opted for an early lunch. We stopped at just the right time too, towns in New Mexico are few and far between.

Some fast food and  sombrero wearing. They all look so happy.

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We really should have bought some of these.

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El Paso came with a view of Mexico, right over that fence right there. And a quick stop through a border patrol check point.

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East Texas is a lot of open space. My advice to any one driving through, is to stop at every place you get a chance and go to the bathroom. Especially if you have a 4-year-old with a ‘I can’t hold it’ bladder. The next place to stop is a long ways away.

This trip did bring her first cop a squat on the side of the road. Kinda a proud Momma moment for me.

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There were some pretty wildflowers near by also.

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Not too much excitement the rest of the way home. We did make it around 10 p.m.

We did figure out that the baby is much calmer if Momma sits in the back.

With all the good and bad, way more good than bad, we had an AMAZING trip. Seen a ton of new places, learned lots of new things, reconnected with the past, and started a new adventure.

Like most vacations, it is wonderful to be home. Yes, we are going to miss the vacation excitement but, this Momma is happy to be back to her normal schedule.

Vacation Day 10: Late start, headed home, and whiny kids

I wonder, is the trip home still actually considered part of the vacation?

This is the day we head home, feeling sad that we have to leave and excited to get home.

We have two days and an almost 20 hour drive.

Of course we wouldn’t be us if we didn’t get a late start.

Very late!

Check is at 11, we checked out at 10:55 and still had to eat. It was probably around 12:30 before we were all in the Tahoe, ready to go.

I used to never be late for anything, always at least 15 minutes early. Then I had a bunch of kids. With every kid I just get later and later. I have hopes it gets better once they get older. Until then, I make all my appointments as late as possible.

Saying Good Bye to Nevada!

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The trip home just so happens to be a completely different way then the trip there. Exciting cause we get to see new things and places, right?

Well this sign in the middle of no where says it all!

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That is exactly what we saw! A lot of cacti!

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And rocks!

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The kids, completely fussy. The baby is so tired of the car already and we have barely been in it 4 hours.

It would be so easy to take the Los Angeles exit. That’s another trip!

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Our plan was to do half the drive today and the other tomorrow. A screaming baby and a very tired 4-year-old mixed with very stressed out Momma and Daddy had us stopping earlier then planned.

Somewhere between Tucson and El Paso, we found a place for the night at 8 p.m.

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Got some dinner and early to bed.

Except we still had a crying baby with a tummy ache. Very thankful we decided to stop, cleaning up baby throw up out of the car would not have been my idea of a good time.

Surprisingly, less than 5 minutes later she was completely out for the whole night.

So, no I don’t think the trip home is part of the vacation. I dreaded the even longer drive we have tomorrow and so can not wait to get home. Here’s hoping for an early morning.

Vacation Day 9: Old friends, drive thrus, and even more circus acts

Day 9 of vacation…one of the absolute GREATEST days of my whole life!!

We skipped breakfast and ate lunch at the McDonald’s.

Caught a show! Skating…I could never skate like that, that’s for sure!

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This one got to be in a show! Her first performance…very exciting! She is definitely the dreamer in this house and  will do amazing things, if she just uses her powers for good!

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Some games!

Because everyone needs a huge fluffy unicorn! I am reminded of that insurance commercial with the dad with the unicorn on the roof of the car. Funny, every time it comes on, I always tell the mechanic that is him!

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I got to see my BFF from 5th grade! We have not seen each other in 25 years! Somehow the old friend gods came together and put us both in Vegas at the exact same time. I still LOVE her after all these years. I guess true friendship is like riding a bike, you never forget.

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We had some down time in the afternoon. We really needed to just rest.

And play with the big fluffy unicorn!

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In true Vegas fashion, we rented a limo to see the strip at night all in lights!

This shall be how he rolls one day when he is a super famous wrestler.

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The girls are super excited!

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And it just wouldn’t be right if we went to Vegas and didn’t go visit a wedding chapel.

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And totally get MARRIED!!!

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Yep, that’s right! It took 5 years but we did it!

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Our wedding boots!

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Our little ring holder/flower girl!

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Because if you get married in Vegas, it should be at a drive thru after 10 p.m. Big THANKS to my Momma for letting us keep our heads in this pic.

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A we got married selfie!

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I am absolutely, totally, and completely in LOVE with this man! Even though the only thing getting married changed was my last name (we have ALWAYS been married in our hearts) I love the fact that I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. Loving him forever! And not just because our vows said so!

At some point Gran decided she needed to teach all the kids to raise the roof.

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Some of the strip in lights!

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Today was absolutely perfect! Our last night, kinda sad, but I can not wait to get home!

And yes, today I broke my no Facebook streak.

Hey, I got married! You can’t keep something like that a secret.

Vacation Day 8: ELVIS!

Today was pretty much like every other one so far. Breakfast and ok, who am I kidding? Today is the day we get to see ELVIS!

Elvis, one of the reasons for our adventure to Vegas. The 4 year olds recent obsession with him came out of no where. I am not even really sure where she even heard of him but she had to see him and he is only in Vegas!

We had brunch about 11 or so. Powdered donuts were a MUST!

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These two are really excited about the show this evening!

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Yes, we had brownies with breakfast. It’s vacation!

Our plan was to leave the hotel early, get to Planet Hollywood, park, do some exploring, and an early dinner before the show at 6.

It was a great thing that we left early. Have you ever had to park in a parking garage that wasn’t tall enough for your car? Vegas parking, well there is only one word for it…it SUCKS!! After driving around for over an hour and a half, we finally found someone to help us get in the over sized parking lot. Thank goodness we left early.

The mall the theater was in, totally awesome! The ceiling…incredible! Almost like we were in another place.

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A light show in the fountain.

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Dinner was super good! I am pretty sure we all filled up on the carbs.

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Of course, when you see Adam Levine you must take a pic!

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We got back to the theater just in time for the most amazingly show! This man was AWESOME! Voted the best Elvis impersonator for 2015!

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I completely forgot just how much I enjoyed his music until tonight! It was the most fun! If you are ever in Vegas, I strongly recommend seeing this show.

And meeting him to get a pic! He was super nice!

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After the show we did just a little night-time site seeing of the strip in lights.

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Today, the best so far!

Over 7 days, yes, one week…Facebook FREE!!

Vacation Day 7: Amusement park and an early night.

Today was saved for the amusement park in the hotel!

See, I told ya we never had to leave the hotel.

The kids were so excited, they didn’t even sleep in.

But first, some breakfast. I am completely amazed at how much these two bonded while we were gone. She still doesn’t want the baby to touch her LPS but, they are laughing together.

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Something is definitely very interesting in the seat of the highchair! They were up to no good, I’m sure.

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After breakfast we are off to ride some rides!

Pictures with the one and only Spongebob Squarepants! This guy has been a big part of our family for years.

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Thank you for pretending, very badly, to be afraid for your Momma!

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Finally, some rides! This is her first one without Momma. She was so scared at the beginning. She caught on fast though and rode this one at least 12 more times.

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Daddy was a trooper and watched the baby while I got to ride the roller coasters with the kiddos and my Momma. That woman maybe 62 years old but, I am here to tell you, she can still have fun! I really wish I had thought and had the kids, who chickened out on us, take pics of the Inverter ride. This thing goes way up in the air and flips upside down several times.

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Some carousel fun! I have always been a lover of this one.

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Baby’s first carousel! She liked the lights!

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Spongebob 4D mini movie. They didn’t tell us we would be getting wet!

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Bumper cars! It is safe to say, these kids need some major driving lessons.

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Another round or two or three on the carousel. I just LOVE these girls!

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A day of rides had us wore out. We got some dinner and a frozen yogurt and called it an early night chilling in the room.

A little daredevil standing by herself. It won’t be long til this munchkin is running around with the rest of the kiddos.

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Chillin out selfie!

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Over 6 days Facebook FREE!

Vacation Day 6: A car ride, carnival games and more circus acts

It would seem that we are getting up later and later!

Hey, that’s ok, it’s vacation and we have no plans for the day.

Since we didn’t get to see the whole strip yesterday or the Welcome to Vegas sign, this was our after brunch plan. The whole trip was mostly brunch not breakfast. We hardly ever got out of bed before 9:30.

After everyone was ready and feed, we were off for some in the car site seeing!

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And the sign! You know you can only stop at this on the way out of town? Kind of strange to me but ok! 🙂

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And this is our very best sign selfie. That was not easy!

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Some more site seeing in the car!

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We got back to the hotel just in time for a show! Juggling!

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And it seems like we stopped to watch the BMX stunts again.

Then a earlier then normal dinner about 5. The buffet seemed to always be the best choice.

Baby’s first ice cream cone. She had several firsts this trip.

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Of course, big sis needed one too. I think they totally bonded this week.

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After dinner me and the kiddos watched a show. My momma and the mechanic hit some slot machines. After all, we are in Vegas!

Baby in her jammies seems like a great idea. She is happy with it.

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Some trapeze with the Flying Angels!

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And some foot juggling! I am pretty sure it would be AWESOME to be in the circus.

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We ended the day with a few games.

LOVE my guys! Preparing for a Zombie apocalypse.

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I have a new love for air hockey.

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How could you not after watching this? This is one of the reasons I am totally in LOVE with this man. He is an AWESOME daddy!

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A little wore out baby and an early for us bedtime.

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Today was a lot of fun!

Over 5 days Facebook FREE! 🙂

Vacation Day 5: circus acts, the strip, and more circus acts

Vacation should be totally relaxing, and today was.

Sleeping in is a very odd thing.

But, today it happened.

The 4 year old woke up the parents.

She is obsessed with the circus acts and wants to sit and watch them all!

Breakfast was brunch, we slept pretty late!

Of course when you mix apple juice and chocolate milk, you get strawberry juice! The mind of a 4 year old is AWESOME!

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After brunch it was all clowns and balancing acts! Yes, we watched these guys late last night. She had to see them again!

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These guys are GREAT! I have no idea how they do these things. And the fact that they put a huge smile on my 4 year old and the baby’s face is a plus.

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A walk down some of the strip!

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This excited me more then anyone. I really enjoy the feel and excitement of seeing new places.

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Gotta get a little Grandma in the pictures too!

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Escalators in the middle of the sidewalk! How crazy is that?

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For some reason saying ‘Cheese’ or ‘Smile’ doesn’t work on this girl! Now say ‘Dill Pickle’ and you can see that pretty smile!

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Some more sightseeing!

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We got about half way down the strip, ok maybe not that far, before the storm clouds started rolling in.

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It was back to the hotel for a few more shows! I am telling you I can not count how many we saw.

Hey, they are FREE!

And these two were AWESOME!! How do they change so fast?

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Hola hooping!

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Baby selfie! I’m pretty sure she thought she was part of the act. Everytime the people behind us clapped, she stood up, smiled, and spread her arms out as far as they would go.

DSCF6489 Some games for the big kids. I am not really sure who had more fun, the kids or the mechanic.

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There is really no reason for us to ever leave this hotel.

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She was really happy brother won this giraffe!

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Dinner with the LPS! Please tell me we are not the only ones who share meals with plastic animals. Everyone else does, right?

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We ended the night with the big kids playing games. My mom, the 4 year old, baby, and myself watched just one more show!

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Today was AWESOME making lots of memories with my babies!

4 days, 3 hours, 39 minutes FaceBook free!

Vacation Day 4: Grand Canyon and backroad adventure

WOW!

The mornings just keep getting earlier, another time change, your third time zone this trip.

And the day was absolutely amazing!!

If you have not seen the Grand Canyon, put it on your bucket list. This place is beyond georguous!

I must say that I was a bit nervous about going. All I could think about was the scene in the movie Guilt Trip where they are at the Grand Canyon and are like ‘Ok, we saw, let’s go’. I could have stayed there all day!

I will seriously try my hardest not to bombard you guys with the hundreds of pics I took at the Grand Canyon. It will be hard!

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The lizards sitting on the rocks. They are everywhere!

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This little guy was really this close. There was a moment I thought he may actually crawl up my leg.

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Is this not beautiful? I was completely amazed!

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We were total selfie queens and kings! Haha…I believe this trip me and the mechanic took more pics together then we have the whole five years we have been together.

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And at some point my oldest daughter, who doesn’t like pictures, became a complete poser!

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Then a little off road riding in the rain to complete our Grand Canyon adventure!

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I love cows!!

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Especially little baby ones.

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And of course, some more of Historic Route 66! We hit this road every chance we had. Vintage seems to be our thing!

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And we have made it to Nevada!

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And still so many amazing views!

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And finally, after three wonderfully adventurous days, we are at our final destination….LAS VEGAS!! That’s it way over there through the dirty windshield.

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Check in and some dinner. We stayed at Circus Circus. Let me tell you, after a little bit of exploring, we realized that we would not ever have to leave this place the whole time we were here.

Don’t worry, we did!

The 4 year old found the Circus acts. She is beyond excited about them and the fact that they show one every 30-45 minutes means we saw a couple the first night!

BMX stunt guy!

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Juggling!

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The clown! She realized it’s ok, clowns aren’t really that scary!

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Hand balancing! How they do this, I will never know!

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It is so late and this Momma is totally wore out! Today was incredible, so many great memories!

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I will leave ya’ll with just a few more pics from today!

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Vacation Day 3: Mountains and postcards

This morning was very strange, all kids up by 6. And ready to go by 7:30!

What happened?

Time change!

And the view outside is pretty amazing! GOOD MORNING SUNSHINE!!

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The morning started off with some breakfast at the hotel, only one cup of coffee. BOO!

A quick stop at a Wal-Mart for a new laptop charger. Even though we are on vacation, the mechanic stills has paperwork to do.

And of course, some New Mexico Littlest Pet Shops, no duplicates!

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And we are on the road again!

So much open space! And there are quite a few trains in New Mexico.

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We are not in any big rush so, why not a stop at the Continual Divide!

How cool is that?

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A family photo! Believe it or not, I think this just might be the first one we have all been in together. And we are missing a kid in this one.

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We also stopped by the post office to mail off a few postcards. I have found an incredible love for postcards this trip. Every time we stop I get a few.

OK, a dozen!

My sisters will love me! 🙂

And we are back in the car once again!

New Mexico is beautiful! I really love these kinds of vacations, the ones where you have time to just get in the car and go and stop whenever, wherever. I sometimes forget just how beautifully awesome the United States is!

Take away the big city and you have this!

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And this!

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And this! I do believe it is a rock castle! Well, at least in my little world it is! I imagine there are some little desert fairies living in it.

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So far, this has been a great vacation. Lots and lots of driving and car time but, we have stopped and seen some pretty cool things.

Arizona, here we come!

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Again, a little detour on Old Route 66 to Winslow, AZ.

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Yes, we were standing on a corner in Winslow, AZ…..such a fine sight to see. A stop for some postcards and bumper stickers!

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Back in the car and some incredible views! As much as I love the ocean, I really love the mountains too. If I had to choose my favorite, I would be completely lost.

This is just beautiful!

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Some lunch in Flagstaff, Arizona!

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DSCF6013A food challenge to see who could eat all these tater tots! Yes, we said ‘Hey, 10 bucks to whoever can eat all of these!’ No one did, by the way!

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This was a pretty great little town!

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Future possible moving spot?

Could be! We will put it on your list.

Our next stop…

The night at the Grand Canyon!

Tomorrow should be loads of fun! I can’t wait!

Still Facebook free….48 hours in!