Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Visiting History

There are a lot of great experiences that we now have the ability to enjoy since we are in the South. One of the coolest things we have been able to do so far is visit Atlanta on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Not just Atlanta but specifically the MLK National Historic Site. Within about a four block space you will find the house where MLK was born and grew-up, the church where he and his father preached, the King Center and museum, and his tomb. On King Day there were a lot of people visiting the site and they even had a march taking place there later in the day that we did not stay around to see, but people were really nice and we got to see quite a bit. I must say that the kids had a hard time with the museum because the subject matter made them feel uncomfortable, but they have respect for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and it was great for all of us to be there on that special day.
Emma and Thom waiting to go into the MLK childhood home.
The very nice family home of the Kings.
After our tour, reading about the architecture.
Thom and one of our heroes, Mahatma Gandi.
Leona decided to "walk in the light" as challenged by Dr. King in this museum display.
The kids in front of the eternal flame symbolizing the continuing effort to realize Dr. King's ideals.
It was awesome see so much of our history and be there with Luke, Leona, and Emma-Lee knowing that great kids like them are our future.

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Blog

Welcome to my new blog. I thought this would be a fun way to share photos and stories of what we experience here in the south. For those of you who do not know the whole story of why we are in Georgia, let me give you a little background. Thom joined the National Guard in Nov '09 and right after basic training he went through Officer Candidate School. It took a year and a half for him to complete that training and is now an official Second Lieutenant. However, he still needs more training on how to be specifically an infantry officer. So, he has been sent back to Ft. Benning, Georgia (where he went to basic training) to complete this new training. It should be about 4 months long and he will have weekends off so we thought it would be a neat adventure to all come with him. We have a nice apartment in the city of Columbus with a lot of amenities. Luke has started school here already and loves it. We are exploring this very different part of the country and finding fun things to do. So, we want to share with you what we find and think this will be a good way to show and tell you all what we are up to.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Our Trip to Georgia

Our long road trip took us from California through six states to Georgia. It lasted five days and over 2,500 miles. It was crazy, but we saw a lot of cool places and the kids did really great!
Our first stop was the Grand Canyon!
We got to our hotel late at night so we didn't get to see anything until the next morning, but boy was it worth the wait. It is so beautiful, I wish we could have had time to do something more than just look!

After our little look at the Grand Canyon, we hopped in the car and took off through Arizona into New Mexico.
We spent the night in Roswell and ran into a new friend we knick-named Carl.
Roswell didn't have as much UFO and alien stuff as I was thinking it would (or should), but our hotel did have a UFO in the parking lot at least.
After Roswell it was off to Carlsbad Caverns!

Luke and Leona became official Junior Rangers learning all about bats and the super cool caverns.
Even little Emma thought the cave was awesome and made "ooh" and "awe" sounds as we walked around. It was totally worth the extra time to walk down the natural entrance and then take the elevator back up. Luke was looking for bats the entire time and we were all so amazed at its size that we really want to go back to spend some more time there.
Next stop: The Alamo...
Baby, Baby Crockett, king of the wild frontier!
Emma wasn't too happy about the coon-skin cap, but she liked the rifle.
Leona, however, didn't like it while Luke reenacted the Mexican takeover of the Alamo!
Carl had a good time visiting Texas too, but was really excited about what was coming next.
Now, on thru Baton Rouge to New Orleans!
Can you say Beignets?
We ate a ton of them and got covered in powdered sugar in the process - totally yummy!
The Mississippi River!
Leona got a beautiful butterfly mask and Luke got a crazy Voodoo doll (which he quickly figured out what how to use) - only in New Orleans!
Carl knows how it's done in the crescent city and totally fit in.
It was a great trip with no major mishaps and lots of fun memories!
That night we ended in Columbus, Georgia five days after we left Big Bear.
We are living in a nice appartment complex. Thom stays on base during the week but we all get to be together on the weekends!
I hope to explore more of what the south has to offer before we take the long road trip back home to Big Bear. So far I can say that everyone is really nice down here and they really like Burger King (more on that another time). We love you all and miss you!