I made this video a couple weeks ago and already forgot to post it here! We had a great time visiting my parents in Bonita Springs, (Halfway between Fort Myers and Naples on the Gulf Coast). It is so beautiful there and we had nice weather for the five days we were there.
I shot all of these clips on my iPhone while we were out adventuring. We took a harbor cruise down in Naples and saw dolphins and multi-million dollar homes, we went to the beach two different days, took the kids to the splash park, swam in the neighborhood pool and ate a lot of good food! Here is a video that highlights our trip.
Our MN Twinkies were just beginning theirs spring training when we were in Fort Myers back in February. Hammond Stadium is about a 15 min drive from where my parents stay so my Dad took E and I there one morning to see spring training in action…
One of the things we had decided to do while we were in Fort Myers Beach was take a harbor cruise to look for dolphins.
It was a beautiful day…. no sign of a cloud anywhere although it was slightly cool at sea. We got to see the area between Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Island, many different boats, and we were even lucky enough to see several dolphins including a mama with a newborn calf. So cool!! Hopefully my videos captured some of it.
Here is the bridge to Sanibel and Captiva
This is Sanibel Island with its historic lighthouse
This pirate ship is docked near the Fort Myers Princess. Looks pretty authentic!
A fleet of Shrimp Boats. Of course I instantly thought of Forrest Gump, Bubba, and Cap’n Dan.
It was so nice to get out on the water and enjoy the afternoon and our surroundings. So cool to see wild dolphins!! After our cruise we went back to the beach and spent the rest of the afternoon there.
On Sunday, Feb 16, we drove over to Fort Myers Beach which is about 10-15 minutes from my parent’s place. We parked and bought out tickets for the Dolphin Cruise, then shopped our way down to the beach where we had pizza for lunch before setting sail.
Check out this panorama…. I stitched 8 photos together to create it. If you click the photo it will take you to Flickr where you can view the big size
Another view of the beach…
We walked down to the fishing pier.
The birds were waiting for a free meal! lol
It was a little cool late in the day after the dolphin cruise but we still spent some time at the beach. We took Bretton into the ocean for the first time
I tried writing our names in the sand but I think I would’ve had better luck using shells. Oh well.
I wish we had more time to spend at the beach. So much to see, so little time. Hopefully we can spend more time at the beach again next year!
Rather than writing one ginormous post with 8 million photos, I am going to break it down by event/day. On our first full day in Fort Myers, we went to Lakes Park and had a barbeque, walked around the lake, and enjoyed the nice weather and the company of my parents. We saw a variety of wildlife but unfortunately we didn’t cross paths with any gators! lol
I took more video than photos but it might be awhile before I can finish the movie of our trip.
This was just before Bretton threw his new sunglasses in the lake….
Like father like son!
It will be fun to go back to this park when Bretton is a little older. They have a small water park and other things for kids to do, as well as many trails throughout the reserve. Fun place to have a picnic or barbeque. They even have big cooking areas with big barbeque pits… enough to roast a pig if ya wanted!
My brother Jeff and his wife Amanda just got back from a 15 day anniversary trip to the South Pacific. Here is a video blog brought to you from Aitutaki in the Cook Islands. Check it out and check out Jeff’s travel blog, Jeffsetter, where you can get tips for traveling 😉
Yep, I’m blogging about events from over a month ago again 😉
Back in September, on the same weekend as PJ & Allisa’s Wedding and Jeff & Amanda’s Reception, we took advantage of the beautiful, sunny autumn Sunday and headed to Taylor’s Falls for a scenic boat tour aboard the Taylor’s Falls Princess.
My cousin Daniel (born and raised in Tucson, AZ) was in town and had been staying with us all week and this was one of the last things we did together after a long week. You have to visit Taylor’s Falls if you’re ever in Minnesota. It is beautiful!
Dan was fascinated with the paddle wheels and how a boat this big can navigate in waters less than 6 inches deep in some parts. I couldn’t do it! The river was actually so low on this particular day that they had to cut the boat tour short because they couldn’t get as far down the river as usual
It was a very nice little tour, just short of an hour long. After our river excursion we drove home through Osceola, WI and it was a very pretty drive. Later that night we had dinner at Khan’s Mongolian, one of my favorites! Then Adios to Dan. Not a bad send-off, right?
I preface the title of this post with “Summer” because I am till playing blog catch-up! These photos were taken back in August 😉
I pretty much worked all summer… teaching summer school, attending paid science workshops and writing math assessments for my school district. I had a total of maybe 11 days off this summer and four of them weren’t until the week before I had to officially go back to my regular teaching job. My guy and I wanted to do something fun on our last day of summer (August 23rd) and we had a little celebrating to do. We decided to drive up to Taylor’s Falls with the intention of catching a river cruise aboard the Taylor’s Falls Princess. We packed a small cooler of drinks and got up to Taylor’s Falls in time to make the departure time we desired…. only to get there and discover that they had stopped running all but the 1:30 cruise on weekdays. Super lame!!! We certainly weren’t going to let this obstacle spoil our time so we drove over to St Croix Falls instead and hiked around by the river.
This same day was also the day the Minnesota State Fair started (August 23rd) and we decided on the way back home that we were going to go to the Fair that night. It was a long and adventurous day!!
We eventually DID make it back to Taylor’s Falls a month later and took a cruise on the Taylor’s Falls Princess. I’ll probably be blogging about that sometime in December at the rate I’ve been going! haha
I’m going to try to make an effort to catch up on my blogging over the next few weeks. Bare with me, I might be blogging about things that happened months ago. I always say better late than never 😉
Another adventure that Mr L and I took this past summer was a day trip to Red Wing, MN. We were there once before on Memorial Day 2012 but this time we had an entire day to explore. We happened upon the Red Wing Trolley and were fortunate to be the only customers on that particular shuttle so we got our very own private tour! It was a great way to see the city and hear some history. We also scoped out places we want to visit in the future…
This is the last post about California… I promise! I wasn’t there long but I sure packed a lot into what I did. On my last day, my parents and I visited Muir Woods and Muir Beach (which is about 30 min drive into the mountain kind of near Golden Gate Bridge)
It was gorgeous! Here is a shot to give you some idea of how big these redwoods were in relation to us.
These trees were hundreds of feet tall! These photos just couldn’t capture the hugeness….
After we visited the trees, we traveled down to Muir Beach. So peaceful!
This was my first visit to the Pacific Ocean since 1999
I was really there!
Okay, all done blogging about California now! lol
Yep, I’m still blogging about the trip I took to California over two months ago! I guess since I haven’t blogged about anything else all summer, it is important to me that I get these posts out now before they end up like last year’s trip to Chicago, which never got blogged about at all.
My parents and I visited the GGB on our way back into San Francisco from Sonoma Co. on the very last day of my trip (the rest of the family stayed in CA while I had to go back to work. Boo!). It was a beautiful, sunny day and I got some pretty sweet photos 😉
Like usual, I took a series of photos and then stitched them together in Photoshop to create a high-res panorama. This image is huge if you want to view it bigger at Flickr
These next two shots were both stitched into my panorama above. Would you ever guess just by looking at them that the rocks are facing the Golden Gate Bridge?! Nope, looks like unchartered territory to me 😉
Awhile later the limo brought us all back down to the base of the mountain where we were able to enter the Wine Caves.
(Photo above by Sherman Chu Photographer)
The kids were as adorable as ever as they waited just outside the wine cave…
Inside row after row looks like this…
We made our way back to a special little area
(Photo above by Sherman Chu Photographer)
The room was lit (and heated) by candle-light
Do you see this gorgeous centerpiece? This lovely creation was an idea Amanda had seen somewhere. The morning of the wedding, several of us women (Amanda, Me, my mom, LaShara, Cristina, and Mandy) helped Amanda put it together with flowers she ordered online. It looked gorgeous!
(Photo above by Sherman Chu Photographer)
The five-course dinner was lovely….
Summer Melon Gazpacho
Layered Heirloom Tomato Salad
Roasted Red Pepper Ravioli (to die for!)
Roasted Karobata Pork Chop with Smoked Apples
Ice cream sandwiches
We heard a couple of great speeches and thoroughly enjoyed the evening.
It was a wonderful day and I feel blessed to have been able to join them.
The celebration of Jefanda’s union continues….. I look forward to their big reception this September at Metropolitan Club at Target Field!
If you’d like to read about the rest of my trip to California, here ya go!
Now I am going to show you a few photos of Greystone Estate, the gorgeous place that Amanda’s parents rented for most of the guests to stay at while in wine country. (Jefanda had their own house, as did my parents and I. Brian, Michelle and the kids stayed at the Hilton in Santa Rosa. Everyone else stayed at Greystone).
I only took a few photos of Greystone, so this post is not giving you the Big Picture of how awesome this place really was.
Behind these gardens are the vineyards
There was also a gorgeous pool that the kids swam in while the rest of us were on the Wine Tour. Hot tub and tennis courts too!
So after we spent the day touring wine country, the limo dropped us off at Greystone where we went through a quick rehearsal of the ceremony…..
Here is a group shot of us girls… (this group includes very little variety as far as names go…. two Amandas, Shelli & Michelle, Kristi & Cristina and then LaShara 😉
Amanda and LaShara
After the rehearsal we ate and drank more wine. My parents had the dinner catered by a local caterer, it was great! There was so much food we could have fed twice as many people as we had. lol
After dinner we drank more wine and hung out by the hot tub.
We pretty much called it a night after the long day of drinking wine so we could all get a good night sleep before Jefanda’s BIG DAY!
With their closest family and friends traveling all the way to California for their special day, Jeff & Amanda ‘Jefanda’ wanted to arrange something fun for the group to do while in wine country. Touring wineries was the obvious choice!
So all of us met at Greystone Estate in the morning where our Limo-Bus was awaiting.
We first went to Artesa in Napa for their Vino con Queso tasting. This was AMAZING!!!
The view from the top of Artesa was beautiful, as were the grounds.
I took this panorama, click on it to view big at Flickr.com
I want to buy every one of these cheeses to have on hand at all times. Delish!
After Artesa we drove over to Domaine Carneros to sample the Sparkling Wine. On the drive over we enjoyed delicious bag-lunches lovingly created by Amanda’s bestie-maid-of-honor, LaShara.
Okay, on to Domaine Carneros. Here is another panorama I stitched together of the vineyards
Jeff had a great HD video cam that can record in slow-mo. Here he and Tom are trying to perfect the slow-mo wine pour.
Next, we drove back toward Sonoma to a great vineyard called Wellington. This was very relaxed and probably the most fun of all the stops. In all, we bought cases and cases of wine here!
The happy couple…
Aamanda’s mom and SIL Cristina
Later, the limo brought us back to Greystone Estate after a very fun day and we then had Jefanda’s wedding rehearsal and dinner. More on that next!
Since this was my first time in San Francisco, there were a few things that I needed to see/do as a tourist.
I had already visited Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39, so why not hop on one of the world-renowned Cable Cars and visit Chinatown? The streets of San Fran are truly as up-and-down as they appear in the movies. We took the Powell-Mason line which crossed over the famous Lombard Street.
We stopped for lunch at a small place called Yuet Lee Chinese Seafood Restaurant where we had three different dishes. I will be reviewing it in the next few weeks and will add the link here when I have it completed.
After we visited Chinatown we walked a couple of miles around town (mostly downhill, thank goodness!) to where our rental car was parked, then we headed out of town towards Sonoma for the next leg of our vacay 😉
In Case you Missed my other posts about California:
A few weeks back I went out to California for my brother Jeff’s wedding and in true Sauer fashion, I took hundreds of photos. I have yet to go through half of them but that doesn’t mean I can’t start sharing what I do have, right?!
I won’t tell you about the flight delay on the way out and the fact that i only got about 4 hours of sleep that first night or that I had a major crick in my neck from the airplane. I’m just going to tell you that San Francisco is beautiful and that I had fun exploring the city with my parents.
I plan to make a video of my entire trip to post at some point (don’t hold your breath, I never even finished the one from Chicago last year) but I am also going to break the trip down into posts based on various sites we saw and special events of the trip. We spent some time at Fisherman’s Wharf and walking down Pier 39. We stopped to share a couple of items to eat at Boudin Sourdough Bakery, Guardino’s and The Crab Station.
Hey ya’ll, it has been a very busy week at work (what else is new, right?!) and I haven’t had a chance to blog as much as I have wanted.
In my absence I would like to direct you to my little brother Jeff’s Blog, where he has recently posted about his trip to Prague at Christmas and about his upcoming honeymoon to Mauritius. Make sure to read it if you’re interested in learning how you can book a series of flights for two normally priced at $$8,698 per ticket for just $500.
I am blog slacker lately!! Would you guess that I have been on vacation for the past two weeks?
I just read a shout-out to bloggers by one of my oldest blogging buddies, Nicole, stating that she misses our old blogging community. I agree! I know most of you are still out there and I am not as good about commenting now as I used to be either. Maybe Facebook is to blame for it all! lol. Anyway, Nicole’s post reminded me that I do indeed have this blog and that I should be posting three times a week. Gonna try to make it happen.
So what is new?
I am heading to Chicago for 5 days where I will spend time with family, tour the city, eat, eat, eat, and then I am going to see Sade in concert at the United Center. Can. Not. Wait. I will be there in less than 24 hrs from now.
I have been reading like crazy. Just finished Shadow of the Wind. Excellent book!
My stargazer lilies are gorgeous and so fragrant! Hoping to post photos of them before October 😉
Thinking of trading in my car again. Had a flat tire and another headlight go out this week. Just more signs that I should get rid of it. One of these days I promise I will blog about how I sued my car dealer in conciliation court and won a case against him and how it took me damn near a year to get the money he owed me. I’ve been meaning to blog about that. The car just serves as bad memories
August is here, can you believe it? I am back to work on Monday already. Glad I got a two week summer vacation!
Last year I was in Austin, Texas during the first week of August.
Two Years ago I was in Colorado during the first week of August.
This year I will be in Chicago the first week of August.
I guess I like to travel in August 😉
I have several other events to blog about so I will try to schedule some posts while I am on vacation