Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I have been to the Grand Canyon but never seen the Grand Canyon

One mile deep, 10 miles wide and 1/4 mile visibility. The only thing to see was a wall of white. Grant and I did have fun walking the South Rim trails (10 feet from the edge, no rail) in a foot of snow. I guess we will try again tomorrow.

Visiting the Tree Dwellers

Today Grant and I started our road trip from Santa Fe to Las Vegas (Nevada, not New Mexico). We stopped along the way at several interesting sites: the San Ildefonso Pueblo Indian reservation, the Bandelier National Monument and an Outlet Mall. At Bandelier we hiked to the home of the cliff dweller Indians (Grant kept calling them tree dwellers by mistake). These Indians built their homes in the natural caves in the side of the cliff. We were able to climb up to several and go inside.

Not surprisingly, Grant noticed a young deer and spent 10 minutes taking pictures and trying to get as close as possible :)

Hacienda Nicholas

I really enjoyed our time in Santa Fe but by far my favorite part was the Bed and Breakfast, Hacienda Nicholas, were we spent the night. All day there were drinks and miniature German chocolate cakes available for snacks. For breakfast this morning I had an Italian frittata with mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, sundried tomatoes and spinach (Grant had cereal). The room and bed were so comfortable that we slept for 12 hours. Right outside our room was a wood fireplace and comfortable sitting area. The courtyard looked charming but since it was covered in snow we didn’t spend a lot of time there. I can’t wait to go back!

I also included pictures from historic Santa Fe.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Blogging at 30,000 feet

We are on our way to Albuquerque for the first leg of our New Year's trip. Grant (spoiling me as always) thought since I am pregnant, I have to sit in first class.

I'm trying my best to look as if I belong in the first class section with my in-flight wifi and bounty of food. I don't know that they buy it but, it is AWESOME anyway! Thanks Grant!!!

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Last Hurrah (but only for a short period of time)

Grant and I have made it one of our family traditions to spend New Year's Eve in a new and unique place every year. This year was more difficult than in the past. I will be almost 8 months pregnant by the time New Year's rolls around, and that seriously limits our options. So for our last hurrah, at least until the baby is old enought to stay with grandparents for an extended period of time, we are going to . . . . . VEGAS!!

TOP 10 - San Diego

10. The City itself

There is a great vibe to the city. I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was.

9. Ocean

So beautiful and blue but the water is COLD! I am spoiled by the Gulf's warm temperatures.

8. Sunset

You could see the sunset over the ocean from Lydia's backyard. Awesome!

7. Kerry's Baptism

We were invited to the Baptism of one of Lydia's roommates while in San Diego. She chose to do this in the ocean. It was a really special experience. Don't forget that I mentioned the frigid temperature of the water.

6. The Food, specifically breakfast

My favorite meal of the day. Lydia picked out some great spots.

5. Personal Chauffeur

Lydia was gracious enough to cart us around the city including the Zoo (a total of 4 times)

4. Wild Animal Park

An off-shoot of the Zoo, this facility concentrated on breeding programs and animal conservation. We were able to ride a large jeep through the animal habitat area.

3. Old Town Candy Shop

An old time candy store in official 'Old Town' San Diego. Lydia, Grant and I had finished off all of the homemade toffee and caramel by the end of the day. We should have gone back for more :)

2. The famous San Diego ZOO

This zoo reminded me a lot of Disney's Animal Kingdom. The fences blended in with the surroundings and the animals were in a natural looking habitat.

1. Grant Feeding the Giraffes

It's a well established fact that Grant loves animals so he was definitely into this activity. He was fun to watch as the long gray giraffe tongue reached for the treat

San Diego

I'm a little behind on my posting and haven't written anything about our awesome trip to San Diego. My sister, Lydia, was there for a 4 month internship and offered (or really we invited ourselves) to put us up for a long weekend. She was a perfect hostess and showed us all around the city. Grant especially loved the zoo, no surprise there. We ended up buying a season pass so he could visit everyday. Xan (our first child, due March 1st) acquired his first toy in the elephant exhibit. It was definitely a trip to remember!! See our pictures below.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Top Ten - Spain

10. Madrid - Rowing and relaxing in the le Retiro (park) lake

I love to row. Didn't know this before Madrid.

9. Monastery of Montserrat hike or maybe just the view from the top

The hike was quite a challenge but the view from the top was worth it!

8. Hotel in Cordoba

The San Miguel hotel was located on a pedestrian street in the old city of Cordoba. Our flowered filled balcony overlooked an old church square and all the rooms surrounded a courtyard. It was a beautiful place.

7. Sneaking into the Alhambra in Granada

Never put anything past Grant. If he wants something, he will figure out a way :)

6. High speed trains (and the 1st class couchette)

5. My birthday, I'm 30!

I spent a wonderful day in Granada and had a traditional Spanish dinner in old town Cordoba

4. Bullfight (Go Bulls!!)

A unique but barbaric experience. We cheered for the Bull!

3. Grant's attempt to learn Spanish

I have to say I was impressed with the amount of Spanish Grant picked up. He was testing his new found skill on everyone: waiters, people walking down the street, the animals he encountered, etc.

2. Costa de Sol

The beautiful Mediterranean coast!

1. Spanish lifestyle

Late to rise, Late to bed and that was the norm

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Supercalifragilous Expialidocious

You know how I LOVE Broadway, so Grant took me to one last play during our overnight layover in NYC. We saw Mary Poppins.

Even in my jet lagged state it kept me entertained. Bert was VERY, VERY good. Honestly, I enjoyed his performace more than anyone else (even Mary). I won't tell you everything he did. It might ruin the surprise.

Friday, June 05, 2009

The Rain in Spain

Our last night in Spain and we had dinner at. . . . a Chinese restaurant. Typical of us. We did order completely in Spanish. Grant was even able to answer all of the waitress’ questions. I was impressed. (He has really been studying the phrase book).

The weather has been beautiful. Today was the only the only day I have even seen clouds and it waited until my siesta to actually rain. I guess it’s true what they say. The rain in Spain does stay mainly in the plain.

Zoo de Grant

Grant is attracted to animals or maybe they are attracted to him. Regardless, I have to laugh at the way he is distracted from an object of great historical significance by the appearance of a bird, cat, etc. I have included a collection (from the numerous) animal pictures that he has taken on this trip. I hope you enjoy and appreciate the affection from which they came, as I do.

Does this one count?

Early Morning in Cordoba

Grant woke me up at 9am this morning. What was he thinking? So we got an early start in Cordoba. It did work out for the best. We toured the city in the cool of the day and by the time everything closed for the afternoon siesta we were finished. I was able to have a little siesta of my own!

The cathedral in this city has a very different look than most European churches. It was a Christian church, then a mosque and then a church again. Because the same building has been converted several times the design is very unique.

BTW, I had my birthday dinner last night in a cute little plaza in the old city of Cordoba. Grant ordered fried sardines and liked them! How about that? I was shocked!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Check past posts for additions

I finally have access to a computer for longer than 30 minutes at a time so I am adding LOTS of pictures. Check back to the first trip post 'Yankees vs Shrek' to catch them all.

Scaling the Walls of Alhambra

One day to see everything in Granada. We were kind of on a schedule, so the timed entry ticket for the Alhambra (palace built by Moorish kings) was not working for us. Grant, ever the problem solver, said, “Let’s sneak in”. After 8 years I should not have doubted his ability to find a way and 5 minutes later we were in. To be clear, we did purchase tickets; we just didn’t have the time to wait for our appointed entry.

If you notice in the pictures I am wearing a dress and my 3” heels. Yes, I scaled the fence in that get-up. After the “break-in” we really enjoyed the palace. It was beautiful in its simplicity. The whole complex is constructed of wood, plaster and stone. What was created out of those common materials was a work of art.