23 June 2014

Wild and Wonderful West Virginia

We're having some adventures this year now that Kent's schedule allows him to take every other Friday off.  His personal travel agent--me--has been finding fun things to do within driving distance of home. 
 At the end of April we went to West Virginia for a two-overnight trip, Thursday and Friday nights. (we're always home to go to church in our home ward on Sunday.)
 We mostly went to West Virginia to do two things:  tour the underground bunkers that were built in the late 1950's to accommodate the US congress in case of a nuclear attack, and to see the New River Gorge Bridge.
The bomb shelter bunkers were built under a very ritzy, upscale resort in White Sulpher Springs, called the Greenbrier.  
 We took a tour, but photographs weren't allowed in the bunkers.  They did NOT look like the photos below, this is just what the hotel ABOVE the bunkers looked like.  You can read a bit more about the bunkers at this link:  http://www.greenbrier.com/Activities/The-Bunker/Bunker-History.aspx
 We had lunch at one of the hotel restaurants before we went on the bunker tour.
 Then we walked through the hotel oohing and aahing over how nice it was.
 The tour of the bunkers was very fascinating.  They were practical and not at all luxurious.  The walls were made from concrete several feet thick.
The next day (Saturday) we went to see the New River Gorge Bridge.  As the sign says, it's the longest arch bridge in the western hemisphere.  I believe when it was built in the 1970's it was the longest in the world.
We drove across this bridge to get to the visitor's center, since it's a part of the National Park Service.
 On the internet I found out about a tour that allows people to walk on the cat walks UNDER the bridge, so I signed us up to do it.
 Of course we were secured with harnesses for safety, but it seemed pretty safe if you were careful.
 Here's a view down from the bridge to the New River below.
 A better shot of the harnesses, and a view of the cat walk behind us that we'd just crossed over.  Nice that they had harnesses that matched Kent's shirt.
 You can see that the trees didn't have leaves yet, but it was a perfect day weatherwise.
I took a picture of this poster in the tour company office to show the height comparison of the bridge we walked under compared with other world landmarks. 
After we walked under the bridge we drove across the river on a lower bridge to get the shot below.
 We had a good time and we're glad we spent some time in wild and wonderful West Virginia!

18 June 2014

Grandma Time in Colorado

I flew to Colorado to visit Tyler, Rachel and Andrew during Spring break. Tyler had to work some late hours while I was in town, but Rachel graciously entertained me while Tyler was at work.
 At almost nine months old, Andrew didn't have any teeth, but that didn't stop him from feeding himself baby food!!
     We took a walk to the park, where Andrew practiced his standing skills.

 Andrew is mostly a happy and easy-going little guy, who's very photogenic like his mother.
 We did lots of fun outdoor activities, like visiting the site of this mansion built out in the canyon.
 The following two pictures were taken in Manitou Springs, at the foot of Pike's Peak.
 Manitou Springs was a picturesque little town.
Rachel and I went walking with Andrew at the Red Rock Canyon Open Space.
 One morning when Tyler was home we went to a park along a stream, and Andrew had fun on the playground.
 The weather was comfortably warm, but you can see the leaves hadn't come out on the trees yet.

 Andrew loves to ride on his daddy's shoulders.
 Andrew checking out the shoe shelf and trying to look innocent about it!
It's always delightful to visit our children and grandchildren in their homes. I had a lovely visit and enjoyed getting to know Rachel and Andrew better.

06 June 2014

Grandma Time in North Dakota

I posted just a few pictures previously of my trip to Minot to meet baby Adam, but wanted to put in a few more.  I cancelled piano lessons for a week and thus was able to stay in Minot for eleven days.  It was very special for me to spend so much with the Minot grandchildren, especially three-year-old Daniel and 21-month-old Makayla.  Baby Adam needed his mama or was asleep most of the time I was there.
 Every morning I would get up with Daniel and Makayla and try to keep them busy and quiet so their mom could sleep an extra hour.  Below is my attempt at a selfie with the kids in bed with me.
 We ate snacks and played with lights, since Daniel and Makayla usually woke up when it was still dark outside.  Daniel was wearing his shark towel in the photo below.
I know I posted a different take of this one on my earlier blog post, but I thought this was sweet of Makayla reaching for Adam, and Daniel isn't covered up by Makayla in this shot.
 Here are the three Carson men chillin' on the couch.
 I think this precious picture of the family reading their scriptures together should be in the Ensign or something!
 Here we are on a different night after scripture study, with Daniel and Makayla holding their own scriptures.
 We had a very light snowfall, and Garrett made this little snowman for the kids.  We named him Olaf, but he didn't have his own personal flurry and melted a few days later. When he was just a puddle with a carrot and sticks, Makayla went up to him and said, "Wake up, snowman! Wake up!"
 I was in Minot during General Conference weekend, and thought this was also a great picture of the family watching conference.
 I bought shirts for all three siblings with "Big Brother","Little Sister" and "Little Brother" on them, but our photo shoot with the kids didn't work out too well.  We did it again in May when we went for Adam's blessing and it was more successful.
It was such a joy to spend so much time in Minot.  Being a grandparent truly is the best!!