Beautiful Oban on New Years Day

It’s 2019! The rain has stopped and although it is cold the sun has been out and we can see the islands across the water. Oban is beautiful and we have taken a lot of pictures. Mum got up and went for a run…

Then we all went for a walk on Ganavan Sands. Some people went for a swim in the sea, the grown ups thought they were crazy but I wanted to go in with them.

We relaxed after lunch and my little sister got her telescope out. We could see a lot of things across the water and it was fun to try and find things.

Everyone felt quite tired so we went for another walk to wake ourselves up before dinner. We still haven’t seen any otters but the sky was a really bright red and looked amazing!

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Hogmanay

We have arrived in Oban ready for Hogmanay. Hogmanay is the Scottish word for the last day of the year which is what we call New Year’s Eve in England. I’ve been told that in Scotland people celebrate Hogmanay more than Christmas and that there will be lots of fireworks at midnight. I’m going to try and stay awake but Mum says if I fall asleep she’ll wake me up so I can walk into town and see them. We are staying in an apartment right on the waterfront so I have already been on the beach looking for what’s been washed up by the tide. It’s a pebble beach here so there are lots of rock pools and seaweed. I’ve been told people sometimes see otters but we have only seen birds so far. It’s still raining but hopefully that will stop before midnight. I almost stayed awake, I kept myself busy by playing with the neighbours 2 kittens and pulling funny faces on snapchat. Mum woke me and my little sister up and we walked into town so we could see the fireworks that are set off from the McCaigs tower. I thought they were brilliant but I think my little sister would have preferred to stay asleep but she is only 4.

 

Kelpies, mountains, lochs and lots of rain!

Our latest adventure is a trip up the motorway heading to Scotland ready for Hogmanay in Oban. We called in to visit family on the way, had a visit to Beecraigs country park and to see the Kelpies. We stayed with my cousins and because they have Scottish accents when they told me where we were going I repeated it how they say it which was really funny. We called in on the kelpies but it was raining (it’s been raining since we got here) and we read a bit about them in the visitors centre http://www.thehelix.co.uk/things-to-do/the-kelpies/kelpies-tour/#.XCuz74qnzxw

We were on our way again heading over the mountains to Oban. It’s still raining. A few nice things to see through the rain and mist and they reminded me of Harry Potter.

A pocketful of pine cones

I reach into my pocket to warm my hands and without fail I stumble upon a collection of pine cones, dutifully collected by my eldest.  I notice that I’m smiling to myself and realise that these pine cones are bringing as much joy to me as they do to her.  I’m walking a few steps behind my children as they explore a National Trust property.  Every couple of steps they’ll drop to the floor or reach to the sky at the next snippet of nature they’ve discovered.   Today we’re using the zoom on the camera to look at things up close, it’s a little like a pocket microscope for the field and they are in awe; a leaf, some bracket fungus an old piece of wood all look so different under the zoom.  It’s only today that I’ve realised that my eldest has always loved the outdoors and adventure (the nature argument), however it’s coming to the youngest and it’s clear that a love of the outdoors can be nurtured very easily when there is so much to discover.

 

 

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Enjoying the time in between

Ok… so we travelled for 3 weeks almost a year ago.  It was a fantastic experience, we saw some ‘once in a lifetime’ things and and my two children still talk about it constantly! I would love to take them out of school and travel forever but if i’m honest this isn’t a realistic option right now… but perhaps one day.  The thing is I keep getting  asked when we are going back to Yellowstone, when we can go on Safari to Africa or by my Crocdile mad 3 year old when we can visit Australia Zoo. I’ve been telling myself the blog was just for the amazing holidays we might be able to afford once every couple of years then I remembered the essence of the blog is to get kids outside, exploring and enjoying a little bit of adventure.  We have been incredibly lucky to do what we have been able to so far but we have also had some amazing adventures in our back garden too.  I’m going to start looking at some of the amazing things we’ve done and write about them retrospectively but also hope to put a few bits in that help others do the same things too.  I’m going to start with this little video of us climbing a local hill.  The video was really easy to put together on my phone and my daughter helped me to do it.  She loved designing the video, choosing the design, text and music and was absolutely made up when with the finished product.  Although there is a lot of negativity around screen time with children its another way to let their creative minds loose and what a brilliant way to capture their memories!

 

Steamboat Springs to Denver

Today we left Steamboat Springs and headed for our hotel near the airport in Denver.  It was a long time in the car so Eliza and I watched some films on the iPad.  First we watched Balerina and then Swallows and Amazons and then Inside Out.  Swallows and Amazons was great.  We stopped for a picnic at lunch time but there were lots of insects so we ate it in the car.  The view over the lake was cool and there was a little boat on it.  The road was really high up in the mountains and there was a lot of snow.  (Daddy said the highest point was at Berthoud pass at 11300 feet).

We’re at our hotel now Eliza said she has missed everybody but I want to go back to our hotel in Steamboat Springs and the log cabin in Yellowtone to see some more bears.  I miss everyone too and can’t wait to see Toby and my hamster again.

The best bit of my holiday was seeing the Mummy Grizzly bear with her two cubs.

Steamboat Springs

So we slowed down a little and spent two nights in the beautiful Steamboat Springs.  Unfortunately Martha bumped her head so we needed to take it easy for a while.  A little walk along the river, a visit to a Toy shop where Martha chose a joke kit and Eliza some Tattoos (Not sure what insight that’s gives me to the teenage years!) and a visit to a fabulous library.

I’ve just asked Martha what she wanted to write about Steamboat Springs and she said she loved it and would like to live here.

 

Slush Puppy River

Today we had a lot of driving to do.  There was lots to look at but I went on my iPad a lot too.  It took 7 hours and we didn’t leave until late so we could go for a swim in the pool first.

On our way we saw a really red river and I said it looked like a slush puppy when you mix blue and red slush.  After a little while we saw the slush river (Hoback River) meet a normal one (Granite Creek) and the rivers were 2 different colours next to each other.  I got out of the car with Mummy to have a better look and to take some pictures.  The slush looked epic!

We saw three really long trains.  We couldn’t see the end or the start of 2 of them but we were going next to one and Mummy counted how many carriages there were.  She counted 191 carriages! I’ve never seen a train like that before.

We crossed into Colorado again and all took some funny pictures by the sign.  We are now in a hotel and even though Daddy did all the driving he has gone to get us a Chinese takeaway 🙂

We are now in Steamboat Springs. It’s late so we will explore tomorrow.  Mummy has just read the hotel information and it says there are a lot of bears around the hotel at the moment so we’ll keep our eyes open for them.

Chocolate Moose!

Today we went to explore the Tetons. We took a road through the woods and saw a bear and a moose.  It was amazing!

We went to Jenny Lake but we couldn’t get a canoe because the water is still too cold so we went on a boat trip.  I made a new friend on the boat and she gave me some of her Grizzly bear biscuit.  The boat was cool and I liked it when we went fast.

Then we went to Jackson and had a drink in the Cowboy cafe.  We had a look around and went in some of the shops.  In the middle there are 4 big arches made from real antlers.  Mummy bought me some flip-flops because I’ve been pestering for some for ages and they are really nice.

We had a Chinese for dinner and I used chopsticks.  I ate all of Mummy’s prawns (they call them shrimp here) and lots of Daddy’s beef.  At the end we all got a fortune cookie.

On the way home we went to look for more animals and we found a bald eagle.

 

Tesco

Yellowstone to Tetons

Today we headed off through Yellowstone and out of the south entrance. We stopped at Grand Prismatic Spring as we haven’t seen that yet. It was amazing. There were lots of colours, reds, oranges, browns, blues and lots of steam. The colours are made from different coloured bacteria called thermophiles. You are not allowed to throw anything in because it will block the geysers and spoil it for everyone else.

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On our way we saw a frozen lake. We looked on the map and it was called Lewis lake. We stopped to take a photo and I threw a snowball at daddy and put one up his t-shirt.

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Into the Tetons and Jackson lake

We stopped at Jackson lake for a picnic lunch. It was beautiful. I threw some stones in the lake.

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We got to the hotel in Driggs which is in a new state, Idaho and it has a pool so we all went swimming. We went to a pub for dinner and I made two new friends.