Sunday, August 22, 2010

Summer Retrospective

(Our Family at the Campsite)

So I'm just now sitting down and looking over some of the photos from our family vacation from a few weeks ago.  Our family is a bit of an outdoorsy lot, partly because it's awesome outdoors, but also because it's a good way to have great fun with little cost.  We hadn't realized it in our busyness, but we hadn't taken a "just our family" vacation this summer and it was almost over.  So we packed up our little car and took off on a quick trip up north.

(Some Really Tall Trees)

Our first stop was Big Basin State Park, in the hills above Santa Cruz, California.  We had never been here as a family before.  What a delightful surprise.  A quaint little park nestled in the redwoods.  Nice facilities and a friendly staff.  We camped here for two nights.  The highlight of the camp was a short 10.5 mile loop we hiked where we got to see three nifty waterfalls.

(Berry Creek Falls)

Jonathan's goal was to spot a banana slug, a rather unusual creature, I would say - about the size of an adult male foot.  I thought we wouldn't see too many as it was dry out, but Johnny found 47 by his count.

(Banana Slug - Can you believe this is the official mascot of University California, Santa Cruz?)

He wasn't quite counting on the copious amounts of slime left on his hands after picking them up, but he didn't seem to mind.

What a beautiful park, being a history teacher, I'm ashamed to admit, I was wholly unaware that it was California's first state park, started back in 1902!

(Scene Along the Trail)

Anyone else have summer trip highlights they'd like to share?


Unknown said...

Nice pictures. I had never seen a banana slug before (the only yellow slugs I know are made from marzipan). Every year I try to make a city trip. After visiting Istanbul, Athens, Rome, Madrid, Berlin and Moscow I am going to Vienna for a week in September this year.

Judi in Wyo said...

Great pictures, Nate. Thanks. We are just now on our way home from a trip down the coast of Oregon. What an enchanting, interesting, diverse, educational & awesome journey.

Anonymous said...

Wow, those really ARE tall trees! :)

(No family vacation around here this year, just did not fit into our recession-era budget.)

Nate Maas said...

Rob, you leave me just a little jealous to hear of all your travels. I've never been to any of the cities you mentioned, but I think every one would be on my dream list of places to go. Although regarding Russia, I've always wanted to go to St. Petersburg over Moscow. Throw in Prague and I think you've pretty much got them all.

Unknown said...

Prague is on my wish list, together with Jerusalem and New York (a former Dutch colony). After a few days in Moscow (which turned out to be a surprising modern western city) I took the night train to St. Petersburg. Except for the Hermitage (where I spent a whole day), I think Moscow made I bigger impression on me.

Astrocrabpuff said...

Thanks for sharing your summer trip with us.

I went to Vegas for 3 days this summer. I spent a great deal of time soaking in the dry heat and staring at all of the fantastic hotels on the strip. In certain ways it reminded me of Midtown Manhattan, New York City, but the architecture was far more bizarre and the general atmosphere was far seedier. I'd love to have more time to really explore the city and try to see it from the eyes of those who live there.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Great looking young men! Family trips are important..that was one way cool slug..we don't have them in Minnesota. We have not done any overnight trips..we have a very spoiled Border Collie..he would be too lonely..we stick close to home or places that are dog friendly! :)