There is a sinister side to being an empty nester...when the kids fly the coop...you have to purchase tickets and go see them! The last week in October, Tim and I did just that! We had saved up some air miles and used them to fly out to visit Tim and Sarah in Texas!
Marc and Jes got up long before the sun was up (4:30 am) to take us to the airport (no ferry at that hour). We were a little bit late getting out the door and by the time we got through security we were being paged at the gate! Never had that happen before! Ours was not a direct flight. We got to sit on the ground in Tulsa Oklahoma for two hours while we waited for Dallas weather to clear. Tim and Sarah spent the two hours in Chili's in the airport watching the game while they waited for our plane to land!
Tim and Sarah live about 40 minutes from the airport in Keller so we got a chance to see some of the country side. After a yummy sandwich at one of their favorite places, they showed us their home. This cute elephant greeted us on the bed in our room up stairs. Sarah learned to make it on their cruise to the Carribean. I felt like I was on a cruise! We even had a bowl full of yummy chocolates to eat! Such luxury!
Next day the kids took us to Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth. I love the mix of old and new buildings in town. We found another mural to add to our collection! Chishom Trail...makes me want to watch a John Wayne movie!
Tim Sr. walked out into the street to get this shot. There was a mocking bird in the tree above on the corner making a racket the whole time we were there. It was kind of cool -- I have never heard one before. Tim and Sarah called it a pest...probably like the crows we get here!
Me, Tim and Sarah out on the side walk. The side walks were brick and tree lined in this part of town.
I want to say this is a cowboy concert hall...it looked familiar, but I am thinking of Austin City Limits I think. Cool street front though...
If I remember correctly, this is the opera house. I love the angels with trumpets. Very cool three D.
Old Catholic Church squeezed between a hotel and an office building... Then Tim Jr. took us to the water gardens that he had discovered when he was in town at the convention center doing a lawn and garden show:
This wall had a tiny river around the top, one side lower than the other so the water would slide down the side. I thought it was beautiful. There is a pool of water in the middle, cyprus trees between. The roots came up above the cement, they looked like little wooden termite houses sort of...cyprus roots like to be above ground.
Sarah and Tim catching a pose. The moving water cooled the air and the sound made the area peaceful feeling. But we are not done yet..
Tim showed us the canyon. Here is a shot of him at the platform at the top. All of the water came down the tiered sides making a roar. No hand rails, nothing. To the left you can see the platform steps that lead down to the pool below. No handrail, no wheel chair access. Couldn't build that thing today!
Sarah and Tim posing near the pool at the bottom. Don't they look great! You can see the steps that you take to come down to the pool at the bottom. It was all right in the middle of Fort Worth! I would go there to eat my bagged lunch everyday if I worked in town. There were banana plants in pots at the top too. So many pictures, so I am editing a bit!
Then we drove to the other side of town to the Forth Worth Stock Yards. Lots of fun shops like this in the area. Cowboy hats, leather furniture and cowboy stuff everywhere.
Here's the entrance to the area. Wild Bill was wondering around entertaining the Japanese tourists and the bar on the right was full of motorcycle folks. Pretty cool atmosphere!
Tim and I with our Sonic slushy to beat the heat! Twice a day they drive the long-horn cattle down the street. We missed the morning drive, and we didn't stay until the evening one. You can see the brick street to the side. The shops are all in what used to be cattle pens.
They were having a cowboy gathering while we were there. These are the chuck-wagons that were parked on the grass for the dutch oven cook off.
I took a picture of this just for the amazing race fans in the family. Season 6 (?) they had to run this maze...used to be a cattle shoot.
I know everyone wants to see Tim and Sarah's place so I took just a few pictures so you could see. As you enter the back door from the garage you enter their dining area. Big glass window on one end. I really like their table... Laundry room is just off to the left.
Kitchen in "Sarah" red. It is a perfect sized space with a cut-out above the sink so you can visit with people in the living room and watch TV while you are cleaning or cooking...
View from the living room to the front door. They have a new couch which I didn't take a very good picture of, but really nice L shaped sectional. Just to the right are the stairs to the 2 bedrooms, 2 baths and a bonus room that is a craft/office space right now. There is another bathroom downstairs tucked under the stair too.
Here is the front of their place. Timmie did a really nice job on the rock work. Their roses were blooming while we were there and smelled good in the warm air. Next day Tim and Sarah both took the day off from work. The two Tims went for a hike around Eagle Mountain Lake, which was full of turtles and Sarah and I did some shopping...Hobby Lobby, Sam Moon, a nice furniture store. If I hadn't been traveling by plane I could have done some serious damage! I bought a watch and some knobs for my cupboard. Next time I come I will have to bring extra baggage I guess! We had fun with Tim and Sarah and really enjoyed our visit. They needed to go back to work so...
Next morning we were off again, this time headed for Denver via Houston. We had a slight delay in the air due to high winds so when we landed we were late for our plane again! Wow!
In Denver we rented a car and drove the 3-4 hours to Lamar to visit with Heather, Ethan and the kids. They have been busy decorating their house so I took some pictures for you to see their home too...
Here's the front of their 104+ year old home all ready for fall.
I probably should have taken a long shot of the back porch but I didn't. As you come in from the garage there is a bank of windows on the right that looks in to their completely fenced in back yard. This coat rack and shoe bench is on the left. Stairs to the storm cellar at the other end. Heather and I made the coat rack when I was out there in July.
Heather broke out here cricut and made this cute vinyl sign on the wall. You guys with a machine can ask her how she did it...some program that she has... Next to the laundry is a full bath that attaches to a bedroom. Sorry no pictures...my bad...but it is all cute.
Then there is the kitchen, dining and living room. Their table is new, chairs are old.
Across from the couch is their new entertainment armoir. Right of that is the bedroom that attaches to the bath that I mentioned and also the stairs that take you up to kid's room, a bathroom and Heather/Ethan's bedroom. No pictures, I kept getting distracted!
Left of the armoir is the office which is really Heather's craft room. Here's her side with some of the items she has been making for the craft fairs she sells at. The other wall has the computer and lots of frames that she made to sell. You get the idea.
Can't go visit the grandkids without taking a couple of pictures. Here's sweet Afton. Look at all of those teeth and her blue eyes! She loves the camera!
This picture is for Marc. Liam with his vending machine mustache that grampa got for him on one of their daily adventures. No Marc, this is not a green bean...
One adventure that Grampa and Liam took was over into Kansas to a WWII internment camp for the Japanese Americans (Camp Amache). We couldn't tell if people from Bainbridge Island were sent here or not. Only foundations remain, as shown below.
Dad and Liam also visited a nearby dam and state park. Ethan was still working and Eliza was in school all day, so the boys had the run of the place every afternoon that Liam wasn't at preschool.
We got to be there for the ward Trunk or Treat. Eliza decided to go as Dorothy from the Wizard of OZ, very appropriate I think considering...Liam was Batman and Afton was a Lion. I can hear you all now saying, why wasn't Liam the Tin Man?...frankly he was bent on being Batman....so that's how things went!
Earlier on Saturday, the Bratts took us to a place called Picture Canyon. This part of Colorado (almost Oklahoma) is pretty flat, for miles and miles. But never-the-less there is an area with about 30 foot high red rock walls about an hour and 20 minutes from Lamar. We didn't hike into where the dinosaur tracks were but we did go far enough to see the petroglyphs!
Pretty cool. I have always wanted to see something like this. There were lots of calendar markings and stuff carved into the rocks too.
Out near the homestead there was a cave with bats in it that we did not go into, however, there was this cool rock outcropping that I did escape from the sun for a while. It had a petroglyph of a buffalo on the wall and some other cool stuff there. You can get a feel of what the area we were in looked like.
This picture also gives a feeling of the lay of the land. There's a pool of water below those trees. We are about 3 miles from Oklahoma at this point in our trip.
The girls were done. A sweet moment back at the picnic area before we got in the car and headed for:
Liam watered a bush in Colorado and then we crossed over the border into Oklahoma (state #4) then back to Colorado. Our time was up, so next morning we drove back into Denver via Colorado Springs for a little different view of the state.
There are the mountains! Those are the Rocky Mountains off in the distance, we are about 10 hours from Rexburg at this point but we were out of time. Sorry Katie! Time to go home!
Seattle Sounders were having a game in the stadium that night. Lots of fans on the new train that we took from the airport to the ferry. Light rail worked pretty slick right down to the bus tunnel, then we walked down to the ferry.
One last shot of the city before heading home! Thank you Tim, Sarah, Ethan, Heather, Eliza, Liam and Afton for the fun visit. We appreciate that you took time out of your busy lives to let us come and spend some time with you! This empty nester thing isn't too bad with great people like you to visit!