Monday, July 26, 2010

Grand Canyon Railway Trip

 May 22nd, we headed off for our boys' first real family vacation.
We loaded up the SUV and drove all the way to Williams, AZ.  Only a 2.5 hour drive. We were taking Simon to ride on a real train for the first time! And not just any train, the Grand Canyon Railroad!

I took so many picture I might have to do this in 2 parts, or I'll somehow have to narrow down my favorite pics.

 We had to get them up at the crack o' dawn which made the trip there a trip from you-know-where. But once we got there and saw the trains the boys shook off their grouchness.  This picture was taken in front of the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. (No, we didn't stay there).

Loved this sign posted above the railroad tracks. Funny.

Before we got to board the train we saw a old wild west shootout. We loved this part because my dad (Nolan) is part of a ruff n' tough gang of shootout cowboy gang too!

One of the cowboys reminded me so much of my dear ol' dad. So we got Simon's picture taken with him.  As I was snapping this shot, Ryan was sneaking away, walking behind the horse. If you know anything about horses you know never to walk behind them, or you will end up with a horseshoe shaped bruise and probably a broken bone or two.  The ol' cowboy saw our little guy in the danger zone and jumped up as quick as he could to rescue him. Thanks Mr. Outlaw!

We missed the steam locomotive by a few years. They don't run it anymore because it costs so much more than the deisel locomotive. But we got pictures next to this iron horse beauty. These trains are breathtaking when you see them in real life!

 I thought the kids would be bored on the 1 hour and 45 minute ride from Williams to the Grand Canyon but they had a great time. The train had live entertainment, including an accordian playing cowboy! 
And of course the boys had trains to play with on the train.
 This is my favorite shot from the trip. Simon is looking so intently outside. I can't tell if he is mad or just concentrating really hard. The reflection made for a great picture either way :)
We finally made it to the Big Hole-in-the-Ground. Here are some pictures from our adventures there. We had 3 hours to walk around before our train departed back to Williams. Did I mention it was cold and VERY windy. 
We had planned for a warm trip. Shorts and t-shirts weather. I threw the jackets in at the last minute hoping we wouldn't need them. Holy cow it was cold.  And the wind was threatening to throw us off the edge of the Canyon. It was a little too nerve racking to our kids run around. We held their hands most of the time, or they rode in the stroller, or on us.

This is Simon pretending to be a boulder. lol.
 We hiked about 3 miles with these little munchkins and we completely wore them out.

 See? worn out.

After some ice cream we hiked back to the train.

I was the only one lucky enough to catch this shot that day! I found the engineer and the conductor talking to each other right before the train had to leave. We stopped them just as they were about to board the train and got the ultimate little engineers dream picture!

The ride home was quiet. We were all wind blown, sun burned, and exhausted.
It was good old fashioned family bonding time.
 And of course, our train got robbed on the way to the station. We were at the very back were all the action happened. And one of the cowboys gave Simon a bullet blank that had been shot at the morning shootout. An authentic souvenir.
 As we were leaving we snapped some pictures of our train. Beautiful eh? If you can call a train beautiful.

We took our tired boys to Flagstaff for their first stay in a hotel.
  On the way home we detoured through Sedona. Jeremiah and I had never been there and it lived up to the hype. It was Gorgeous! We took the back way into the city and the canyon behind it was just as beautiful as Sedona. Breathtaking doesn't even begin to describe it!
We walked down the main street, shopped at all the cute little stores, ate lunch, bough the kids some flashy sunglasses, and drove back to Mesa.

Thanks for reading my novel. I can't wait until we go on another trip so I can write another.

The End

Sunday, July 25, 2010

What does heaven smell like?

Today at church, in his primary class, Simon's teacher was teaching a lesson on families. She was explaining to the boys that we get to be with our families forever, even in heaven. Then she asked "What do you think heaven is like?"

Simon replied,  "After I take a bath, my mom says I smell like heaven. So heaven must smell REALLY good!"

ha ha!

Then later in the lesson his teacher asked the kids "How do you know your family loves you?"

Simon's answer was: "My mommy plays trains with me. So she must love me!"

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Vote For Sue!

The next adventure in the Hall household was helping my favorite mother-in-law with her campaign signs.
She is the current Clerk of the Court for Apache County and she is up for re-election this year.
We put my screenprinting knowledge to the test and created screens to print the big 4ft x 4ft signs, as well as a load of 2 x 2 foot signs.

I won't be going into the sign printing business any time soon but it was great to see what a bunch of Halls can do!

Sue is really an amazing, dedicated woman! I couldn't ask for a better mother-in-law. She helped us every step of the way. How many elected officials do you know that helped create thier own signs? This is just the type of person she is. She gets things done!

Ah, the giant HALL screen. We are planning on using this to personalize some of our own property. It's too big to mark our socks or baking sheets. Maybe for bed sheets, or cars?
Posted by Picasa

National Railroad Day, May 8th 2010

 What did you do for National Train Day?
If you have a train fanatic 3 year old in your family, you go to the local train museum, what else?

We spent the day at Simon's favorite local attraction, the Arizona Railway Museum with his cousins, Aunt, and Grandma.  We even got to take a ride on this amazing caboose, pulled by a little diesel powered locomotive.

 It was hot outside, like 95 degrees! (We thought it was hot. Now that the highs are up in the 110 zone, 95 doesn't sound so bad.)

We stayed just long enough to walk once around the park, snap a few pictures, and ride the caboose, then we were out of there.

We practically had to drag Simon out of the museum but the rest of us were ready to find an air conditioned restaraunt, with lots of ice water.

AZ Rattler's Game

Please don't throw rotten tomatoes at me. I haven't updated this darn blog in forever. 
But, that means I have tons of pictures and tons of good stuff to share! 

Starting with a trip to an AZ Rattlers game. This was way back in the beginning of May (yes, I'm way behind.)
 We didn't stay for the whole game because one-year-olds and a 3-year-olds turn in to monsters when the clock strikes 8.

 We enjoyed our view from the nosebleed seats.  It was great!
Simon was ready to leave as soon as we sat down. It was ear splitting a teensy bit loud.

Good times. Looks like we won't be going back until the kids are older and can handle the noise and staying up past sundown.

Si and Ry

Si and Ry