Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

We have had such a special Christmas this year.  I don't know if it is because we have been gone most of this past year, and the heart grows fonder, or if it is just a sweet celebration, or both, but I have really enjoyed this Christmas season!  :)


My family always has a great time when we get together.


Sweet cousins!  :)


My SWEET Mema!  Doesn't she look AWESOME to be in her 90's!!!!


My Dad, aunts and uncles and my Mema.  I love you!!!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Blessings,
Steph

Sunday, December 25, 2011

2011 Travel Review & Video!!

We have been home a week, already, and it has been so great to see family and friends!  Everyone is so encouraging and asking about our travels, ya know, 'where did you go?' or 'what was your favorite state?' but it is honestly ridiculously, difficult to sum up our travels in one year, to ONE favorite!  :)

Each state, each town, each place had something worth while, special or exciting!  Really!

We left on March 19th, 2011 and landed safely back home on December 9th.

Here is a quick view of the last 9 month adventure!

*35 National Parks

*10 State Parks

*4 Zoos & Aquariums

*35 Museums

*3 Amusement Parks

*5 Factory Tours

Countless hiking, swimming, town fairs, rodeos, beaches, lighthouses, white-water rafting, flying planes and jumping out of planes!

All I can say is, "WOW!"  "I am truly, truly grateful.
  I put together a video of our journey on the road, and hope it stirs your heart to something exciting, maybe for the coming year!  2012 is just around the corner!! :)  Enjoy!

It is has been a 'Great Adventure!' :)

video


Blessings,
Steph

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Favorite Season of the Year!!

Even though we live in an RV, does not mean we can not get in the Christmas spirit, right?!

We have been home 4 days, and I've started the decorating process!  Yeah!
Another great thing about living in a small space, is you don't need a whole lot to fill the home.  :)



A little garland, bows and balls, and it's starting to look a lot like Christmas!  :)



Stockings hung with care!  ;)


I love Christmas time!

Blessings,
Steph

Lady Bird Municipal Park, Campground Review

Our stay in Fredericksburg, TX was really nice at this local RV Park.
It is right off the main street and very close to everything.  :)  It is next to an airport, but we rarely heard any planes, so it was not a big deal.

Price- $30/n for full hook ups

Amenities- during the warmer months, there is a pool, playground, golf course next door and not much else.

I did laundry down the road and it was huge and clean. :)

There is SO much to do in Fredericksburg, and we definitely want to go back again some time.  I would gladly stay here again.  It is also one of the most affordable parks in the area.

Blessings,
Steph

Carlsbad RV Park Campground Review

While we were in Carlsbad, NM., we stayed at this RV Park for a couple of days.

It was o.k.  ;)

There is no way I would stay any longer than we did.  It was a little deceiving.  Their website says they have an indoor pool and gameroom.  They DO, BUT, the pool is not open (management switch-paperwork-stuff), and the gameroom was filled with games that were 'out of order' which was frustrating.  That was the main reason we picked this campground.

Now, their bathrooms were old, but clean and has code locks.  This campground is the closest one to Carlsbad Caverns, which was convenient.

Price- $30/n for full hook ups

Amenities- Laundry room was small, but worked well and we had fun playing Pac-Man in the gameroom.

I think I would stay somewhere else next time we were in the area, or just make sure their 'extras' are REALLY functioning before I commit.  :)

Blessings,
Steph

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Capitol of Texas & State Museum

 Austin, TX., the capitol of Texas!  It is a grand building that was paid for with land given up in the pan handle.  The original building burned down one, cold February day, probably because they were heating the area with wood-burning stoves.  :)

 Like other capitol buildings, it is beautiful and reverent.  Each, have their own 'dome' and special architecture that make them stand out among the other sky-scrapers.

I love the paintings through out the capitol.  Here is Davy Crockett.


The Texas Senate was furnished with the original desks from the 1800's.  Center stage, above the podium is 'In God We Trust.'



The chandeliers' light bulbs spell out T-E-X-A-S.  Too cool!


Here is the House of Representatives, with 150 seats and a gorgeous tree.  :)


While we were visiting the capitol, we also went into Rick Perry's office, but unfortunately, he did not have time in his busy schedule to see us.  Ho-hum.....  I wonder what he might be doing?  :)


Outside of the Texas State Museum is this enormous star.  We were not aloud to take pics on the inside, which is always a bummer, but we learned some interesting facts about our state. :)
Did you know that Austin was not the original capitol of Texas?  It was Houston, named after Sam Houston, who lead our army to win the Battle at San Jacinto, where we became the Republic of Texas.
Yee- Haw!  It was later, that Austin was our new capitol.  :)

Glad to be in Texas, where everything is BIG!
Blessings,
Steph

Thursday, December 8, 2011

LBJ National Park!

 It is one thing to READ about one of our former Presidents, but it is entirely a different learning experience when you actually visit his neighborhood, learn about the time period's way of life, and walk through the halls of his home!


Not too far from Fredericksburg, TX., (about 15 minutes) is LBJ's property that he gifted to the National Park Service.
The property is just gorgeous, with tons of deer, antelope, farm animals and buildings preserved almost perfectly.


The Beckmann family lived at this farm first, and then the Sauer family later.  The Beckmann family started with a very small stone home, and then added on after they had 10 children.  :)


We saw HUGE pigs, cows, deer, chickens, mules, and turkeys.


The National Park keeps this as a working, functional farm, still today!  Every day, they are either smoking meat, butchering, canning, feeding livestock or working the grounds.  It was awesome.  :)


All the furniture in the home was authentic, and we learned about all kinds of contraptions that are pretty much extinct today.  The farmer showed us an old meat grinder and sausage dispenser, and even a machine that separated the whey from the cream.  (no electricity needed :)


This 'handy' object is actually the bladder from a pig!  A 'pig-skin' or football was a common toy back then for the children.  :)  Ha!



Here, Parker is getting ready to carry buckets of water.


 I LOVE all the quilts and simplicity of this period.

The ladies were putting on the candles of this Christmas tree, draped with popcorn streamers.

Parker was SO proud to get the egg!  :)


Here is President Johnson's old school house.


 This is his childhood home.



Here is the family cemetery on the property.  LBJ, Lady Bird and all the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are here.



This is the grandparents' home, just about half a mile down from his childhood home.


While you travel on the Park property, they give you a CD to listen to as you travel and visit each location. It was informative, even if the kids kept making fun of the speaker's voice.  :)

This is the President's home.  The Texas White House.  He spent 25% of his time here when he was President of the United States.


They would not let me take pictures on the inside, but it was just too cool.  Everything is as it was, even the leftover cigarettes left in the 'Reading' room.  There are over 70 phones and dozens of tv's in the house.


This oak tree is over 400 years old!


LBJ also had a private jet, Airforce One & a Half, that he would fly when he came to Texas.  :)


He also had a press room on the property.  Too cool!


The kids did their LAST Jr. Ranger program for the year, 2011.  This is number 34!!!  They earned 34 badges in 8 months!


Awesome job Golden Gang!  :)


Blessings,
Steph

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Home Sweet Home! Visiting Admiral Nimitz!!

 A few days ago, we crossed over the state line, back home to Texas!  :)

It is FREEZING!!!


While we are spending some time in Fredericksburg, we are celebrating the 70th Anniversary of WWII.
We visited the Admiral Nimitz Museum; the National Museum of the Pacific War, and learned so much.



Here is the President's Plaza.  It is a monument of the 10 consecutive Presidents that served in office and fought in WWII.




The museum is jam-packed full of weapons, artillery, clothing and other artifacts during the war.


The bulk of the museum is indoors, which was REALLY nice since it was freezing outside.  ;)




The museum is organized so well, by each country, that was involved in WWII.  I had no idea how many countries all over the world were involved with this war.


This section of the museum just broke my heart.  It is about the Sullivan family, who lost 5 sons.  They served in the Navy and requested to serve together.  Unfortunately, they all died.  Since that time, the military will not allow siblings to fight together.

 When a mother lost a child in the war, they would hang a framed star for each child in their window.


Emily trying to find the enemy in the ocean.  ;)



George Bush had an amazing experience.  His plane was attacked and shot down.  He ejected safely and was rescued!  He endured so much, which also contributed to his successful presidency.



Here is an actual plane that was found, after being shot down.


The Atomic Bomb!


If you get a chance to visit Fredericksburg, TX., please go visit Nimitz Museum.  It is totally worth your time and money.  It is a great way to learn about a time in US history that changed our way of life, even today.
The more I learn about our history, and what we have fought for, makes me more and more proud to be an American.

Blessings,
Steph