Ethan’s One-on-One Trip

E and Mike headed to Texas for his yearly one-on-one adventure. The aim was to do some great birding in the southern part of Texas whenever lots of the birds would be there and to enjoy time together. They had a lot of success, despite the many bugs (see photos below of trails that were literally covered in spiders) and high humidity. I’ll try to get him to send me a few of his favorite pictures to include in the next post. For now, here are some shots Mike took.

They had a great time together and got home right in time to start the school year on Monday. =D

Celebrations in Pittsburgh

A couple days (or maybe 24 hours?) after we got home from Brainard (enough time to do a little laundry and put away sleeping bags…), we boarded a plane (along with cousins, auntie, and uncle) to Pittsburgh for my cousin, Isaac’s, wedding. Isaac was a baby when I first moved out to Colorado to go to college. I guess some time has passed…

Anyway, the wedding fell over Ivan’s birthday and my own, so we got to do some celebrating with family for both. We spent the day before the wedding exploring Pittsburgh – going to a children’s museum, lunch, parks, doing the incline, having delicious milkshakes and then enjoying the Point State Park.

Saturday was filled with the wedding (a beautiful morning wedding):

My favorite part was probably hearing cousin Matthew sing while Mel and Isaac danced the mother-son dance. That kid is so talented.

And that evening there was an after-party of pizza and games at a hotel lobby for all of those who had traveled from afar to be there:

Sunday was my birthday and the day everyone headed home. We opted to have brunch at a famous Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives diner (HUGE thank you to Lauren for saving our place in line in the heat!) and then went our separate ways. We spent some time at the aviary and at the botanic gardens and then enjoyed a delicious taco dinner before heading to the airport. Much drama ensued at the airport, but we did eventually get home sometime after midnight.

Alaska Adventures, Pt. 2

We were only in Valdez for a quick evening before getting on the ferry to Seward. Our crew ate at “The Fat Mermaid” and loved watching bald eagles and baby bunnies all evening. I’m hopeful I can show some of Ethan’s pictures from that spot because they were pretty remarkable.

On Ethan’s special outing, he enjoyed another boat ride. He, Mike and Grandpa enjoyed birding from this boat for seven hours on Father’s Day.

We spent most of this trip out and about, but I did snap a few pictures at various homes we stayed in.

Other highlights included walking part of the first mile of the Iditarod trail, checking out the salmon run, exploring the wildlife sanctuary (and finally seeing bear!), playing at parks, going for a few different hikes, and (on our final day) taking a trolley ride. Our crew also especially liked breakfast out at a place we heard about from Diners, Dives and Drive-ins.