Summer Family Fun

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Last week with my nieces was so. much. fun! We went rollerblading, enjoyed a picnic, and visited a petting zoo.

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We also made some crafts and I have to show off my favorite one. My niece who loves the movie, Up, made this.

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We ended the week by watching the Days of 47 rodeo. My husband, oldest son and my brother all joined us.

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On Sunday, my family drove up Mill Creek Canyon where I took pics with my iPhone 6 while my son took pics with my nice camera. I’m sure his photos turned out better, but I’m so happy he’s enjoying my camera this summer. ūüôā

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There’s something soothing about taking nature photos, even with an iPhone.

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This morning, we watched the Days of 47 parade in downtown Salt Lake City. (The Days of 47 celebrates Utah’s Pioneer Day holiday.) There were a lot of high school bands, floats, horses and police motorcycles. This is our second year attending this parade.

Family Disney Memories

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We just returned from a fun-filled Disney World vacation that we shared not only with each other, but with my youngest brother and his family as well. It was really special because this was my three nieces’ and my nephew’s first Disney visit and it was also their family’s first vacation anywhere. I especially loved getting to know my two-year old nephew better (he warmed up to us which was fun) and watching my baby brother in his role as dad. ūüôā Here are some highlights…

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Little moments. One favorite was when my niece pulled the sword in the stone. Another favorite was our character breakfast with Pooh and friends.

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My favorite pic of my Marissa girl.

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Ha ha! We had no idea what we were acting surprised or shocked about.

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My favorite meet-and-greet was with Merida.

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It was a good break for my oldest son (on the left, next to his brother), who is experiencing¬†some unpleasant side effects from his¬†new¬†medication (for his MS), but is otherwise doing well, considering his life has recently been turned upside down. I’m amazed by his positive attitude. I know it’s not easy for him. He still struggles with his energy and his reading, but his balance has improved.

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Thanks for caring enough to read this post! Now, back to my¬†mounds of laundry! Do you have a fun family vacation planned? I’d love to hear about it.

Weekend Family Fun

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We had a mini family vacation this past weekend, in downtown Salt Lake City. Here are the highlights-

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We stayed at a hotel near City Creek Center. There were lovely fountains there. We did a little shopping, too.

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Early Friday morning, the kids staked us out a spot for the Days of 47 parade. July 24th is a holiday here in Utah. It’s Pioneer Day, a day to celebrate our pioneer ancestors.

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Halfway through the parade, Darcie fell asleep!

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My baby girl.

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Friday night we watched a Bee’s baseball game which ended with an awesome firework show.

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On Saturday, we slept in before enjoying brunch at a local restaurant. Then we met up with friends and did some shopping before driving back home. All of this was an early celebration of Darcie’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Darcie Doll!

Our New York City-Broadway Vacation

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Last week, we (Darcie, Marissa, Marcus and I) were in New York City. Here are the highlights from our first visit to NYC and Broadway.

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We loved Central Park!

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A favorite spot in Central Park was Shakespeare Garden, which features flowers spoken of in Shakespeare plays and poems.

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Another favorite was the bronze Alice in Wonderland statue. If you’re visiting Central Park, I recommend using the Official Central Park app, which includes celebrity commentary for some of Central Park’s features.

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We visited Time Square, took a bus tour around The Empire State Building, enjoyed a cruise around The Statue of Liberty, and the kids learned part of a Cinderella number from an actual Broadway actor. We also visited The Museum of Natural History and Marissa visited The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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But the best part of our trip was seeing five Broadway Shows. We saw Matilda, Finding Neverland (with Kelsey Grammer), Aladdin, Phantom of the Opera, and On the Twentieth Century (starring Kristin Chenoweth and Peter Gallagher). Our top two favorites were Matilda and Finding Neverland.

All in all, it was a very memorable trip.

Our Trip to Cusco and Machu Picchu

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While you were enjoying the Christmas videos I posted, we were on a family trip to Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu. It was an amazing trip, and I’ll be sharing more of what we learned about the Andean-Peruvian culture after Christmas. For now, here are my favorite highlights:

Day 1- We flew from Lima to Cusco, checked into our hotel, and after a couple hours of relaxation to help us adjust to the high altitude, we went on a private tour of the city and surrounding ruins.

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Day 2- We stayed in Cusco another day and went on a private tour that included the salt mines of Maras.

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Day 3- We were picked up from our hotel, and on our way to the Sacred Valley, we stopped at a rescue shelter for native Andean animals such as the llama, alpaca and condor.

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Day 4- We enjoyed a day of leisure at a luxury resort in a town nestled in the Sacred Valley.

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Day 5- We took a train from the Sacred Valley to the town called, Aguas Calientes (Hot Waters), where we hopped onto a bus that drove us up scary switch-back roads until we arrived at the gates of the famous Machu Picchu.

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Days 6 & 7- We spent one night in Aguas Calientes. The following afternoon, we took the train to the Poroy station where a driver picked us up and returned us to the same hotel we had stayed at the first two days in Cusco. We spent one night there, and flew back to Lima the following afternoon, but not before witnessing a peaceful protest that filled Cusco’s main square.

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