Monday, June 15, 2015

Feels Like Summer

While it may not technically be summer, it sure feels like it!  It has been hot and so very humid.  I love summer weekends.  This one started with lunch on Friday with my friend Kelly and her sweetheart of a little girl.
 Saturday, David mowed and I went to the Y and planted the last of the flowers.  I'm pretty sure a nap was had (at least by me) before we went to the square to see what was going on at the River Jam.  We set up our chairs to watch the people and listen to a band called Deep Fried Squirrel.  Yes, that really was their name. :)  I knew I'd like them when I saw a banjo and a fiddle.  Had to go wrong from there, and they were very good.  We weren't really close enough to see much of them, but it wouldn't have mattered, as the crowd provided plenty of entertainment!
 David might disagree on Sunday being a nice day, as he worked most of the day with an uncooperative dump trailer.  I wouldn't be much help with that, so I spent some time in the back yard enjoying the view from the hammock before the rain started.
 When the rain took a breather, I pulled up most of the little evil seedlings from our mulch.
 This is not a great picture, but we had delicious grilled steak with baked potatoes and cucumber salad for dinner.  I added fresh dill to my salad - straight from our little herb garden. :)
Looking forward to more summer weekends!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Long May She Wave

I love summer decorating - almost as much as I love fall and Christmas decorating.  I usually put up the flags and such around Memorial Day and leave them up through the summer.  Why limit that fun just to July?
I have lots of flags in the kitchen and living room, but that didn't stop me from buying a few more tea-stained looking flags when we were in St. Charles last weekend.  Another new addition is this sweet little pillow above from my favorite Etsy shop - Valley Primitives.
The new Olde Glory sign is also an Etsy find from Rusticpiks.  I think the 1776 looks neat in our bicentennial-inspired house, and it's the perfect fit for the space between the stove and the vent.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Meet Me in St. Louis

Rather than just go to the concert then go home, we decided we'd make a weekend of it.  The day after the concert, we headed to the St. Louis Zoo.
 There were a lot of people there, but it was still a great day at the zoo.
 Here are some of my favorite animals.  What?  I meant the elephants.  What did you think I meant? ;)
 The butterfly dome was especially cool.  The bright blue butterflies were so pretty, but rarely landed long enough for a picture.
 The zebras were pretending not to notice us, but the giraffe was a bit friendlier. :)

I didn't get a lot of other pictures, but we also enjoyed Tucker's Place for a delicious steak dinner.  We went to St. Charles to do a little shopping and to Pappy's Smokehouse for another dinner.  It was a great weekend!  It's good to be home, but by next weekend, I'll wish we could do it again!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Wastin' Away Again

We went to see Jimmy Buffett in St. Louis!  We usually have to drive much farther, so it was a treat to see him this close to home! 
 We didn't know it then, but this would be the last picture taken with my selfie stick. :(  Apparently those are banned from the concert venue.  The lady checking bags seemed to feel genuinely bad about delivering the news.  So long, selfie stick!

 It's hard to get six seats together, but David managed so we were all sitting together.  I think it made the concert extra fun.
We all agreed that the concert was one of our favorites.  There were a few songs that we hadn't heard in concert before, and Jimmy just always puts on a great show.
For those counting at home, we are fairly sure this was my 9th and David's 13th Jimmy Buffett concert.  I don't think we'll ever get tired of his music!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Edward The Rabbit

I'm a little behind, but wanted to share this bunny who was a new spring addition this year.  I ordered him from Cold Creek Primitives on Etsy. He took a little while to arrive, but was well worth the wait!  

Friday, June 5, 2015

Arches National Park

We were at Arches on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend...with a whole bunch of other people!  We waited in line for about an hour to get in, and learned that they had later had to close the park for a while, not letting anyone else in.  Crazy!
 It was cloudy and cool, but still a great day.
 Many places were very crowded, but we got out in this narrows area to look around and there weren't many people at all.

Arches was the last big stop of our trip.  From here, it was on to eastern Colorado to spend the night, then Hays, KS for fried chicken at Al's Chickenette, then home to these guys.
It was another great trip!  Thank you, David for planning it and for driving 3,899 miles!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Canyonlands National Park

Due to limited time the last time we were in Moab, we didn't go to Canyonlands NP.  This time, we were able to spend a day at the Needles district at Canyonlands.  The pictures aren't in a particular order, but they are all from this area.  We'd love to go back and spend some more time looking.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Death Valley National Park

From the lights and noise of Las Vegas, we headed to the silence and darkness of Death Valley National Park. 
 This is the view from Dante's View - very worth the 13 mile drive.  This picture doesn't do it justice.
 The salt flats seen in the picture above are more than 200 feet below sea level and are one of the hottest places on earth in the summer.
From Dante's View at 5,475 feet (windy and in the 60's), we headed to the Visitor Center then to Badwater Basin.  It was 98 and blissfully dry at the visitor center.  I thought it felt great!

We headed on down from there to Badwater Basin, which is -282 feet below sea level (the GPS is either confused, or the parking area was higher).  In the summer, it's too hot to go out on the Salt Flats, but the clouds made an appearance while we were there,

 The clouds broke up as we headed back to our room at the Furnace Creek Ranch.

 We grilled steaks for our dinner, then after dark went to look at the stars.  The clouds had disappeared and it was a beautiful night.  It's so quiet there that I could hear nothing but my ears ringing, not even a bird singing.  As we sat in the silent dark, David heard something's toenails tapping on the pavement near us.  He turned his flashlight to see a coyote about 25 feet from us.  It watched us and we watched it.  We didn't even try to get a picture, but it was one of the coolest things we saw on our trip!

The next day, we looked around at the outdoor Borax museum at Furnace Creek Ranch, and made a few more stops around the park.  The Scotty's Castle area had gone to summer hours and was closed while we were there, so we'll have to do that next time.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Las Vegas, Day 2

After our visit to the Hoover Dam, we were ready to tackle the Strip again.  On our first day, we took the monorail and spotted this crazy sculpture of kayaks, canoes, and boats.  It's not visible from the Strip, we we took off in search of it and found it outside the Aria Hotel and Casino.
 We both took a ton of pictures of it, but had a hard time getting it just right.
 It was really cool!
 We didn't miss many meals on our trip, and we ate at some really good places.
 We had dinner at Double Barrel, but was not only delicious, but as we were seated right along the sidewalk, it was some of the best people watching!
 I love the lights of Las Vegas.  There's always something going on, something to see, and something to do.  It's exhausting, but it's certainly not boring!

 These are a little out of order, but these are origami birds in the Aria.  It was fascinating - my best estimate is that there were about 10,000 total.
 This water feature is outside Aria - I think we could have watched it for hours.