Thursday, September 19, 2013

First Day of School: 2013

 Our kids are getting too big, too soon! We officially have a 2nd grader (Riley), a 1st grader (Tyson), and a second year pre-schooler (Cooper), and I couldn't be more proud of them! Fortunately, they are all still in the "I love school" phase.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Mother of All Vacations

30 days,
28 states,
8,184 miles,
over 4,000 photos and video clips,
and more memories than we can count!

From June 15 to July 14th, our family went on the road trip of a lifetime. Many of our friends and family followed our journey on Instagram and Facebook, but I wanted to make sure and document it on our blog as well... even if it is 2 months late! (If you're on Instagram and missed our trip, you can look up all the photos I posted on there under #thamesfamroadtrip2013)

First stop was a visit to the Tri-Cities to see family and do a little swimming.

Setting off on our big adventure

We made a quick stop in downtown Spokane for Zips (yum!) and to let the kids stretch their legs. It was a beautiful day on the river.

 Our next big stop was simply amazing... a Bucket List item for sure!

 After Mt. Rushmore we stopped at a Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells. The kids had a blast!

Next stop: Chicago! Complete with authentic Chicago pizza, a room with a view, the Navy Pier, and a great run along Lake Michigan.

We couldn't drive to New York without visiting Niagara Falls... simply breathtaking! One of the highlights of a trip FILLED with amazing experiences. We got soaked on the Maid of the Mist and took a ton of pictures.

Our ultimate goal in this whole road trip was to get to Paradox Lake in the Adirondacks. A full week of relaxation with some great friends and an incredible view. Lots of swimming, games, fishing, naps, and laughter.

After New York we made our way south to Washington D.C., Williamsburg, and Jamestown. It was hot, humid, and we got rained on A LOT... but, we had fun seeing some historic landmarks. I even got a chance to run around D.C. early one morning before the kids woke up.
 (Soaked after getting caught in a downpour walking to the White House. We took a detour to the American History Museum.)

Williamsburg and Jamestown

Last major stop on our tour of the United States... DISNEY WORLD! What?!? So much fun!

We stopped by Daytona Beach on our way to Orlando.
 We parked the van right on the beach- how fun!

 Disney World!!
 Getting wet on Splash Mountain.

Our trip home was scenic. We enjoyed the trip, but we were also very happy to see the beautiful Columbia River Gorge and our house! 

 Mother Nature gave us quite a show with thunderstorms on our drive.
 More hotel swimming... the kids became quite the confident swimmers throughout our trip!
 The kids and I even got stuck in an elevator when the power went out at the hotel. It wasn't for very long, but it was still scary! (And dark... that light was from the camera flash.)
 The Snake River at Twin Falls.

I know this was a picture heavy update, but that is just a fraction of the photos we took in those 30 days! I can't even think about trying to put together a photo book (or 5!) of our adventure. Give me another couple of months. :)