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Vaca 08 SW USA - Clark W. Griswold
Hey, guys…I’m back!!!

What’s been going on since we last chatted?  A TON.  Lots of family-stuff, church-stuff, running-stuff, reading-stuff, etc.  In good time, I’ll give updates on all…

Let’s take on the family vacation first…

My family now has a chunk of fun memories that will last a lifetime.  And they should get an award for the hardcore driving & activities.  They were ANIMALS!

  • Drove to Cathy’s family reunion in San Diego & back…I am Clark W. Griswold.  🙂
  • Vaca 08 SW USA - Camp Coffee
    Vaca 08 SW USA - Camp Tent
    Vaca 08 SW USA - Camp Fishing
    Vaca 08 SW USA - Camp Rainbow
    Camped a ton & LOVED it.  My kids caught Brook Trout in an alpine lake in Colorado & I devoured them.  Mmmmm….  (The fish didn’t bite on the worms until after it was PITCH BLACK & my kids were sitting in complete darkness!)
  • Hiked a ton, too.  Sometimes, we’d hike up to 7 or 8 miles a day with our 2nd & 4th grader!  Incredible sights, too.
  • Vaca 08 SW USA - Hiking Desert
    Vaca 08 SW USA - Hiking Canyon
    Visited some national parks I didn’t even know existed in southern Utah (Arches, Bryce, & Zion).  DEFINITELY worth the time.  (How come I’ve never heard of them???)
  • Did some climbing in Arches in 100 degree weather with $2 flip-flops from Wal-Mart.  I kept calling them my “High Adventure, High Traction, Flip-Flops.”  They’re now falling apart.
  • Drove down the Las Vegas Strip with the intention of eating lunch somewhere.  Decided not to give them 1 dime.  Drove on & ate PBJ sandwiches in 100 degree heat.  🙂
  • Temperature guage hit 117 degrees in the Mohave Desert.  Wow.
  • Vaca 08 SW USA - Disney Shrek Vaca 08 SW USA - Disney Princess
    Vaca 08 SW USA - Disney Mtn
    Did the Disney thing for the first time.  Kids LOVED it.  One night, around 9:15p, right before the nightly fireworks display, I saw frustrated parent barking at their exhausted, crying kids.  Turned to my wife & said, “This is truly the happiest place on earth!”  🙂
  • I fell in love with Disney’s FastPass.  For me, passing by all the people in line was better than ANY ride.  🙂
  • Read The Kite Runner(loaned to me by my friend Debbie).  Only book I had time for.  Some heavy topics, but an excellent read I’d highly recommend.
  • Vaca 08 SW USA - 'Hey Kyle!'
    At every souvenir stand, I kept finding my son’s name on souvenirs, but not my daughters.  So I kept turning the video camera on & chasing my daughter around saying, “Hey, sweetie?  This [insert cheap trinket here] has the name, ‘Kyle,’ which is close enough to yours, isn’t it?  I’ll buy it for you!”  She would shout, “No!”, laugh hysterically, & run away.  (Check out the pictures below to see my son getting into the act.
  • Kept up with the marathon training
    during vacation.  A lot of times I was up an hour or two before the
    rest of the family to do it.  But I didn’t want to take away “together
    time.”
  • Vaca 08 SW USA - Reunion Pool
    Vaca 08 SW USA - Reunion Family
    Had probably our BEST family reunion yet on my wife’s side.  Relaxing.  Great conversation.  Kids fell in love anew with their extended family.  Fun activities together.  Beautiful setting.
  • Did some body surfing in the ocean.  That’s the only thing my wife really misses living in the Midwest (after growing up on the East coast & going to college on the West coast).
  • Ate at the nastiest restaurant (a Dairy Queen in Ludlow, California).  They were slow, rude, & got our orders totally messed up.  Bathrooms should have been quarantined.  Pulled a 6 inch black hair out of my chicken sandwich.  Made 1 Timothy 4:4-5 come alive.  No other restaurant existed for miles, so their monopoly allowed their food & service to stink while staying in business.
  • Vaca 08 SW USA - Son Adventure
    Our family vacations are typically not for “rest.”  We live for the
    laughter, experiences, sights, & fun.  Pack it all in!  We were, “Go, go,
    go!!!”  (Needed to get home to rest.)

It was a trip I’ll never, ever forget & always treasure.

Vaca 08 SW USA - Little Mama
Vaca 08 SW USA - Son Crazy