Hello July!

Well, the first half of the year 2018 is done, finished, over, kaput … And now, we get into the second half of this year. Personally, the second half is my favorite. Because it includes all the beautiful late Summer and Autumn festivities.

Now in July, Katelynn and Sara use the Summer break for meeting their friends at the pool. Our own pool broke, before we left for our Utah vacation. And while Kevin and I sat on the porch of the cabin at the resort, we decided we would get the girls seasonal tickets for the public pool. No more build and maintain the pool in the backyard. It was fun, while it lasted. But the girls rather wanna hang out and exchange snacks with their friends at the big pool.

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Sara played in the splash zone, a few years back. Summer break fun in July. πŸ˜‰

Travel Journal, Day 3 (Part I): Zion ~ The Hidden Gem of Utah’s National Parks

June 18, 2018

Zion National Park is only a stone’s throw away from the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. Coming down from Twin Knoll Road and making a right turn on Highway 9, we could see the East Entrance of the park already. Once we entered Zion National Park, we all were in awe. I said to Kevin: “Bryce Canyon N.P. and Arches N.P. might be the famous Utah parks. But Zion N.P. is a hidden gem.” I wish, we would have taken the shuttle bus, since it is free of charge. But we didn’t know that. And of course, we didn’t go to the Visitor Center to ask, if there was a fee to ride on the bus. Now, it’s one of many excuses to come back again. πŸ˜‰

… to be continued …

Packing For Our Vacation In Utah

Our Utah vacation was almost jeopardized by my minor medical setback. But I’m feeling good, now. And I’m ready to go. I wish I had a few extra days to get a couple more things ready for the trip. Kevin and I just have to make a trip to the store and grab a couple more shorts and I need to find a smaller, lighter tripod than the one I have here. When we hike and come across a neat waterfall, I would like to capture it in long exposure. The only way to get a decent shot, I need a tripod for these photos. The lighter the backpack, the easier the hike. πŸ˜‰ I will take a short break from blogging. And when I come back, I will have a whole new story to tell, and hopefully some cool pictures to show y’all.

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Time to pack for our trip to Utah. Katelynn’s plush snake makes me giggle. πŸ˜€ Hopefully, we don’t come too close to a venomous snake. After all, it’s the desert.

Last Day of School 2018

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For the last three years, Katelynn visited this Middle School. Today was her last day. In August, she will begin with High School.

Today is the Last Day of School. Katelynn is done with her Middle School years, and she will start High School after Summer Break. And Sara is done with 2nd grade. It seems like yesterday, when Katelynn started Middle School and Sara had her first day in Kindergarten. Hard to believe, these three years have passed so fast.

R.I.P. “Summer Escape” Pool #1 (2014 – 2017)

Three years ago, I was tired of the operation hours at our local water park. And my girls also love to go swimming, when the sun sets. So after a little bit of talking, I convinced Kevin to purchase a pop-up pool for the backyard. The pools themselves are inexpensive. It’s usually the smaller things around them, which adds up. But it’s not a big deal for us. We knew what we were doing, when we decided to buy this pool.

Once the pool was set up, Katelynn and Sara had a blast in it. I had a hard time to get them back out of the pool. And during the Summer break, the pool was used daily, weather permitting. When school was back in session, Kevin dismantled it and stored it in a plastic box inside the garage.

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Katelynn and Sara had a blast in their new pool, back in Summer 2014.

After we came back from our New York vacation, Kevin set the pool up again this year. The girls enjoyed the pool for a week. Well, life doesn’t come without a little hick-up here and there. And yesterday, the pool broke on it’s seam on the bottom. We didn’t noticed it, until the next morning, when the pool was empty and the lawn was saturated from the water. Kevin and I looked at the break and discussed what would be the best option. He said, “If it was a tear in the middle, we could fix it. But, at the seam …??!” “The pool was less than $90. It might be cheaper to get a new one, instead looking for a new tarp”, I replied. Kevin agreed, looked online and found the same size pool even cheaper. He went to the store and got it for another 20% off. Ha! Now, Kevin has to put the new pool up. And life will be good, again. But first, we go out to see good live music and watch some fireworks.

5K-Runs, Independence Day-Parade and Fireworks

Rain, lightning, thunder … all night long. Kevin, Katelynn, Sara and I had a tough time to sleep. The night was over at 6 am, because we planned to got to the Liberty 5K Run in Stewart Creek Park at Lewisville Lake. The event wasn’t cancelled, and we got out of the house by 7 am.

At the parking lot we met our friends. And we all walked into the park together. We still had plenty of time, before the race started. Kevin and Sara stretched a little bit more. But Katelynn thought, she was fine. Later she said, it was a mistake. Her calves started to cramp, when she was running. Usually, she does the 5K under 40 minutes. This time, it took her almost an hour to reach the finish line. When Katelynn ate her yogurt, she said she should have stretched more. Lesson learned. Kevin came in at 36 minutes. And Sara was crossing the finish line at around 50 minutes. It was all for the fun of running for the girls. For Kevin it is more like an extra run to stay in shape for the Half-Marathon in October.

Once we all ate our snacks and drank some water, we walked back to the car. The Independence Day Parade supposed to begin at 10 am. And we still had 45 minutes to line up. Since it was sprinkling, a lot of people didn’t go to the parade. Kevin could park the van backwarts into the parking space. If the sky had opened more, at least we could have sit in the back of the van to stay try. But a little bit of sprinkling doesn’t keep us from cheering on the parade. This year’s theme was “Superheroes”. It was no surprise, that “Wonder Woman” was the Grand Marshal of the parade. Police vehicles, fire trucks, business trailers, churches, boy scouts, girl scouts, the City Council, and more lined up to greet and wish us a “Happy 4th of July”. Our town’s parades might be not the biggest and longest. But it is always enjoyable to get out and see people preparing for events in our community.

The sky cleared, and it turned out to be a nice evening. After dinner, we went to the “Liberty By The Lake” event, which was also in Stewart Creek Park. The “Tin Man Band” was live on stage, when we arrived and set up for watching the fireworks. The sunset was stunning at the lake. I haven’t watched it at the lake in a while. And it was a refreshing sight. The boats where lined up to see the fireworks on the lake. When it got darker, we could see all the lights from the boats out in the water.

When the fireworks started, I’ve noticed my camera battery was as good as dead. And I forgot to bring my charged battery. Oh well, there are more fireworks in the upcoming few days. Kevin, the girls and I shared a wonderful evening together. And that was much more important. ❀