Yellowstone as Empty Nesters... We don’t know if we will ever get used to that term. And, thankfully our kids and their families all live close so we see each other a lot still. : : Where have we been recently? After nearly a week without much cell service, or at least without a strong enough signal to share any photos, it’s time to start sharing some of our fun photos of Yellowstone. : : Yellowstone is a lot of fun in the fall. First of all, there are less crowds. Second, the wildlife is on the move a little more. Many animals are getting ready to mate. I know, that sounds weird. We aren’t wanting to watch that! But the way their pair up, for example, the sound of bugling elk is eerie, powerful, yet majestic. The Bison heard together more, etc... it’s just fun. And finally, the weather is just cool enough to require warm clothes in the mornings and evenings, yet you can be in shorts and short sleeve shirts in the day. It’s perfect. : : Over the next couple of days we will share some new things we learned and saw even though we have visited Yellowstone close to half a dozen times in our married life. Stay tuned!
We spent the day exploring the area around Island Park. : : Throughout the years we have enjoyed geocaching... if you don’t know what it is, go to geocaching.com. Probably the most fun thing about geocaching is that it often takes you to fun places you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise, like the bridge in the first photo, or the little cabin in the last photo. The cabin was built in the early 1900’s near Big Springs. It was made to produce electricity for the main cabin or house. The second picture is of an actual geocache we found today. It is an ammo box with nuts and bolts welded to it to make it look like a bear.
And just like that, she’s off to college! : She is so happy, so involved, so excited for her new chapter in life. : We are proud parents! Each of our 4 girls have been incredibly successful, they know how to find happiness in life, and they make their dreams come to life! Today we enter a new chapter in life called, “Empty Nesters”. For just over 30 years now we have had a child in our home... We have been married for almost 32 years, so nearly our entire married life has been spent raising our girls. They’ve been and continue to be an absolute blessing in our lives. It’s going to be fun to spend more time together as a couple and travel more😉....
The clearest and most blue water I remember ever snorkeling in. : : As we prepare for our next adventure in a couple of days, which will be in the mountains, I scrolled past these pictures and had to post 1 more time. : : This is at Molokini Crater just off the island of Maui, Hawaii. We’ve seen prettier coral and more fish than we saw at this location, but I don’t remember ever being in clearer water, and the blue color was so amazing. : These pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago.
Ok, let’s just get this out there now... I’m a plant geek. I know edible plants, medicinal plants, plants with unique smells, and plants that just look cool. I especially love flowers and trees. This is a Rainbow Eucalyptus tree trunk, or Eucalyptus deglupta if you want to get all scientific - which honestly, I love. (See, I’m going all plant geek on you now.). We spotted them as we drove the Road to Hana and had to do a quick u-turn so we could walk back for a photo.
When your daughter wants to go on one last Daddy Daughter Date before she heads off to college, you GO!!! : : We had a great time fishing, hiking, playing in waterfalls, and geocaching. : : I did out fish her😎....
This is a post my daughter did today of her daughter, our granddaughter, heading off to kindergarten. I loved all the pictures. The first one of her toys from Toy Story lined up watching her leave makes anyone who has grown up reflect back on those growing up years and the toys they loved and used to play with. It also makes me think of that lump you get in your throat as you watch your kids grow and move on to new adventures. I also really liked the third picture where it says, “When I Grow Up, I Want to Be.... A Disney Worker.” I hope her dreams come true!
I have been diving with my youngest daughter Gabie since she was 12. After a little coaxing and a really great instructor, Susan finally joined us after 6 years and she absolutely loved it. She dove twice! We especially enjoyed diving around an old broken down pier that was lying on the ocean floor. The coral and interesting topography, the amount of fish, turtles, and even sharks made for an exciting dive for her. She loved it. I said that already, but it’s true!😎👍🏼👍🏼 : : Have you dove before? : : Where is your favorite place to dive?
Driving the Road to Hana is quite an experience. You drive a very windy road, much of which is only 1 lane wide, around the north and east side of the island of Maui, Hawaii. The south side of the island is much more desert like; whereas the Road to Hana literally leads you through a rain forest and passing by dozens of waterfalls. : We couldn’t resist the opportunity to swim at the base of a waterfall and feel that cold water splashing down on us. : Random fact, we might be masters of changing clothes in public restrooms, or in the car, or just along the side of the road with someone holding up a towel. : Sometimes one outfit is not enough to explore everything you want to see. : : By the way, the most important part of our drive was to leave early and listen to an app called GyPSy Guide ‘Road to Hana’. The narration on the app tells you exactly where you are at as you drive the road using your gps location. The app costs about $5, but it’s worth every bit of that. It’s informative and fun. Our entire family enjoyed listening and learning as we rounded each bend. Our day lasted for about 15 hours, but the drive without stops is about 3 hours each way. The app narrates you the entire time in both directions. It’s a MUST have if you take this drive.
We had a great time hiking the Pīpīwai Trail. It’s a 4 mile round trip trail that takes you past a giant Banyan Tree, through a Bamboo Forest, and then ends at the Makahiku Falls which is a waterfall over that is 400 feet high. Have you driven the Road to Hana? It’s amazing! We left Kihei at 6:00 AM and we didn’t return until 9:30 PM. It made for a long day, but we loved the day.
Gabie had a great time learning to surf. The waves were perfect for a beginner. First time ever and she looks like a professional - at least to me😉.
Cute Gabie writing her name in the sand.
Photographing fish or other creatures under water is difficult. Fish don’t just smile and pose for you. And as the photographer, you’re moving around a lot too with the constantly moving water. : : What kind of camera do you use for underwater photography? : : I take most of my underwater pictures with a Canon G7X and it goes in a hard case housing making it waterproof. : : Taking pictures underwater makes snorkeling even more fun than it already is! 😎🐡🐠🐟🐬🦀🐳
My dive buddy @gabie.labrum.8 doing a shore dive off the coast of Maui. We dove with @banyantreedivers and had a fantastic time. We love having our face in the ocean. It is incredibly relaxing. Snorkeling is our typical way of exploring the ocean, but we try to dive at least once or twice each time we go someplace new. Diving gets you out of the ocean currents and the waves and is far less strenuous. It also brings you up close to the coral and the fish which makes the clarity even better. This was one of our best dives ever and certainly the very best company we have ever been with. In the second picture, Gabie is doing a skills test where she is removing her mask underwater and putting it back on again. This little girl leaves for college in a couple of weeks. It’s going to weird without her. We are going to miss her.
What a great morning we had snorkeling. Vacationing with the people you love most is the best.
Have you ever gone geocaching? It seemed like the perfect thing to do tonight before dinner. The best thing about geocaching is that it often leads you to fun places that you wouldn’t have otherwise known about or explored. Tonight we found a geocache near these crashing waves. The setting was perfect for some fun photos.
Another great day under the sea! By the way, if you like to snorkel, then you know the mask can make your face look a little funny. If you’re not a snorkel loving person, you should try it out. We love it.
We love snorkeling in the ocean. We typically leave very early to get the most calm water and clearest conditions. This morning was no different. We were out the door by 6:00 AM. We also do a decent amount of research on where to enter, exit, and which way to swim once we are in the water so we see the most fun things, stay safe, and just have a great time. Snorkeling is certainly one of the most mentally relaxing activities we do. Thanks to @simplythesimons for a great suggestion this morning.