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The Great Outdoors

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S: Carlson's Adventures 2011 - Yosemite, Six Flags

BC: So many wonderful memories, though I can't fit them all into the pages of this book, know girls how much we loved taking you on this trip and sharing the adventure, from primative camping and breath-taking granite peaks to rollercoasters and family dinners this trip was jam-packed with love and laughter.... we have so much fun playing with you and watching you explore this beautiful world we live in.

FC: Carlson's Adventures 2011 | Road Trip to Yosemite, Sacramento, and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom July 2011

1: EMBARKING ON A ONCE IN A LIFETIME

2: Dad ready to go and mom's taking pictures... | Awaited day arrives | So excited! | July 16th, 2011 0730 am

3: Almost awake mommy | CHEESE!! | With the car packed and kids awake we were ready to head out. I had just worked the night before, so dad was in charge of all the last minute packing. Audrey couldn't wait to go camping and Abby was super excited to use her brand new sleeping bag! | The plan was to drive as far as we were able today, sleep and get to Yosemite early in the morning to find a campsite. Luckily I had a few tricks up my sleeve to at least attempt keeping a one and three year old entertained...

4: Oh it's been a long day... running out of tricks, though the dollar aliens have been our saving grace. Though after awhile even their appeal runs out... note Abby screaming with alien still hanging in the window. By this point the kids CD has repeated more than a few times and we are ready to get out of the car.

5: We make it to California with only one short stop to get a drink and walk around for a couple of minutes. We didn't even stop to take a picture by the sign (see next page for picture driving past ~60 MPH), because both you girls were sleeping after a major cry-fest and dad and I didn't want to chance anyone waking up. I'm pretty sure this was about the time we decided that we either needed to invest in a portable DVD player or drive home in the middle of the night :) | Audrey singing her kid songs, we all know all the lyrics....

6: Spending an evening on Old Sac and enjoying being out of the car! We made it here in 10 hours!

7: If we weren't so far from home we may have headed back after this nihgt. After leaving Sacramento we drove another couple of hours, got to this hotel about 9pm, tried to get us all to sleep... except you girls were not tired. We all ended up in one bed, that Audrey fell out of twice... needless to say we got very little sleep this night... and back on the road by 7 am. The picture of Abby "asleep" in the pack and play was all pretend, she thught it was really funny to pretend to sleep.... the picture of me the next morning is proof of our lack of sleep.

8: After long narrow, winding roads we made it to the park and even thought we were going to get a great spot... then we were told we might have to pack up and move nightly, so we took the kind rangers advice and headed up, 6300" feet up, to snow, isolation and our campsite! Free of everything, including running water and electricity and it was PERFECT! | July 17th... WE MADE IT!

9: Taking in some sights befre we got to our camp site | You girls were so excited; you got right to exploring the grounds, collecting sticks to roast marshmallows and awaiting the tent set up! | Dad getting ready to set it all up!

10: Exploring the valley, such amazing sights on the drive in.

11: The history museum and the village, the tree bark tee-pees was our lunch destination

13: A hike to lower Yosemite Falls, with a quick cool dip in the river... amazing!

14: Note above... the reason we like to take the less popular hikes, though this one was simple and fun, dad even went boulding on the rocks, the snowpack this winter was so heavy the waterfalls are massive this year, we enjoyed the spray from the falls

15: A yummy snack while daddy plays on the rocks

16: Back to the campsite after a busy day. It was so nice to come back and relax, it was nice being off the main road via a 3 mile dirt road, we got to play, laugh and even cry without having to worry about neighbors. The campfire was a hit, the s'mores even better. Now if I could just get Abby to wear her shoes....

17: CAMPING

18: The first camping morning, July 18th Somehow food just tastes better camping! A yummy camp stove meal got us ready for the day. | ---> Audrey trying her hand at bouldering.

21: We decided to bike around the valley today, stopped for lunch at a park on the river and finished the ride with cold ice cream | At lunch you girls begged us to go swimming, while we went prepared today, it's now on our must do list in Yosemite!

22: Yosemite Falls ~~~~~~ The best part of biking was getting to stop whenever we wanted without having to find parking or wait for the tram. We found the perfect spot to get our picture in front of the falls, and then you girls scoped out your own spot and insisted on a picture of the two of you, too cute!

25: Our favorite hike of the trip, Sentinel Dome The longest 1 mile hike I've ever been on

26: We stopped here, because it looked too steep with kids,,, turns out the extra work was more than worth it... and we impressed many hikers with our precious cargo! Audrey was a little worried, but both girls did an awesome job! | Audrey said it best "We are on top of the world" It was breathtaking

30: The hike down, hunting for hiking sticks and being sweet sisters Next page: Another great night camping and of course more s'mores. We are all getting a bit dirty now, at best our hands are clean at meal times

33: A morning in Mariposa Grove, left us feeling a bit small! These trees were HUGE!

36: An afternoon the girls have been begging us for... SWIMMING! | Dad and I had so much fun watching the two of you play and splash in the very cool water!!

38: Our last night camping, so much fun, s'mores one last time. girls falling asleep watching the campfire, dad and I got to watch the stars and relax!

39: Some seriouly dirty kids... WOW, this morning: showers and laundry... Now off to see our cousins and play!!

40: The backyard, sandbox and kid table were a big hit, we spent the afternoon playing, having pizza and relaxing... it was wonderful! | Cousin Playtime! We arrived to greetings from Jeff, Melissa, Olivia and Evan soon joined in the fun. Though you all have only seen each other about once a year, you played so well, like old friends... fairies and dinosaurs!

41: Evan insisted on keeping the door open!

42: An early morning, a couple hour drive led us to... SIX FLAGS! Kiddo's and adults are excited!Dad and I were looking forward to some big coasters, fun kid rides and seeing all the animals.

43: July 21st, 2011 A day of adventure!

44: I'm not sure who was the bigger kid, dad or Jeff... as soon as we got into the park they headed off for the first coaster of the day, while Melissa and I braved the hot air balloon ride with all kids in tow... terrifying Abby and Olivia, getting Audrey and Evan hooked on coasters for the remaining day! | Once again Melissa and I waited in line... sure we were headed for an air conditioned playroom... just to find it was dark, but still hot! You kids enjoyed the stairs, slides, and balls!

45: Anyone who knows our Disney trip will be glad to hear Carousels are still as hot as ever! Parents loved this ride because we didn't have to wait in line!

46: Watching the Penguins play in the nice cool water while we waited in the hot sun for the Sea Lion Show! Even ran into some characters today!

47: The sea lion show was full of swimming, jumping, playing and laughing. It's pretty incredible to watch these animals!

49: On the giant fair swings, the breeze felt nice after being drenched in the water park... that Evan loved! It's been really fun watching you kids run around and play together today, makes us all wish it could happen more often!

50: Loving the rocking boat

51: Playing in the neat splash water fountain... Evan has to be on at least outfit change number three. Think us adults could have gone, had lunch and when we came back you still would have been playing in the water, but what else are California vacation days for?!

52: BFF! | Waiting... | Abby wishing she was a bit taller!

53: Loving the Dumbo-like ride... Olivia sat out the first round and joined in after seeing how much fun it was... with one request... no flying!

54: And everyone aboard for the neck-breaking paced Jeep tour... around the tortoise! | <-- Girls waiting our turn so we can all fit on one train! Beep, Beep

56: The shark exhibit was a hit, this was our second time through and sadly our last stop of the day. Saying good-bye was sad, you girls can't wait for November to be here so you can play with your cousins some more!

57: Though tired, you girls somehow found the energy to play and jump on the bed for awhile after getting to our hotel. Mom and dad were exhausted, though dad hit the town to find something to eat | TWO LITTLE MONKEY'S JUMPING ON THE BED!

58: Top:Think you both slept well last night?!!! We got to the park bright and early for some adult rollercoaster fun. Though Audrey was sad after hearing that Olivia wouldn't be there to play today.

61: Audrey talked Dad into the scrambler. Abby check her height and was a bit sad to find herself too short, though enjoying the animals sounded much better to me than retasting breakfast!

62: Ahhh... an afternoon full of animal watching, a pretty awesome tiger show, though the Killer whale show was the top... watching these huge animals move so gracefully through the water was astonishing. I liked this park because the animal shows really showcased the talents of the Animals, and more of their natural behavior, rather than a circus type show with goofy acts.

65: Super Girls! See silly daddy, you don't need boys!

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  • By: Ashley
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  • Title: The Great Outdoors
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  • Started: over 5 years ago
  • Updated: over 5 years ago

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