Posts Tagged ‘Fall’

Catching Up – 2016

Wow – a year and a half has flown by without updates on here. We’ve continued all the great adventures, with the requisite photo- and video-taking, but we just don’t ever seem to find time to put things up here. More than anything, I hope to maintain these pages to serve as a one-stop archive of sorts, primarily for the girls when they get older, with the added benefit of being able to update the small circle of people that check in on occasion.

Through much of (though not all) of 2016, I endeavored to record a video every week, piece them together, and post them here…but time got away from me.

So with that, I’ll simply post some of the weekly videos of the months that have flown by faster than I ever could have imagined and let them tell the story. In a subsequent post, I’ll include some event videos, like the 2016 Cannonball, Halloween, Christmas, etc…

In the event you want to binge on these videos, it may be easier to do straight through youtube with this Weekends of 2016 playlist rather than clicking on each video below.

August 6, 2016:

August 13, 2016:

August 20, 2016:

August 27, 2016:

September 4, 2016:

September 11, 2016:

September 24, 2016:

September 30, 2016 (Lula’s 5th Birthday!):

October 8, 2016:

October 15, 2016:

October 22, 2016:

October 29, 2016:

November 5, 2016:

November 12, 2016:

Cannonball 2016 in Photos

For the second time in two years, Grandpa G rode in the Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Race (click here for the 2014 event) which took him through the heart of Kansas.  Half way across the country, riders are given a full “rest” day of no riding (the joke was repeated though that little rest was had, given everyone was working on their bikes to maintain the ability to continue riding…) that was timed to take place right here in Kansas.  The rest day was in Junction City last time; this time it was in Dodge City.  We made the easy drive down there to spend a few days together and couldn’t have had a better time.  Auntie Natasha joined us which made it all the more memorable for all of us.

On the way to Dodge City on Saturday, September 17, we stopped at Mushroom Rock State Park, a fantastic little 5-acre state park (the smallest state park in Kansas!).  Here is it seen from above — the park straddles the gravel road with “mushroom” rocks found both north and south of the roadway.


160918 012

160918 020

160918 035

160918 051

160918 055

160918 062

Later in the afternoon, we arrived in Dodge City.  We located the bike – Number 19 – before tracking down Grandpa G.

160918 076

160918 080

160918 085

160918 087

Grandpa had Dodge City Sheriff’s Deputy badges for each of the girls:

160918 091

160918 092

Later that evening, we ventured over to some railroad tracks behind our dinner location (a fantastic Mexican restaurant in Dodge City) to place some pennies on the tracks in the hopes they’d be flattened over the weekend:

160918 105

160918 112

160918 124

Much of Sunday, the bike was receiving repairs, including rebuilding the clutch:

160918 133

160918 141

We ventured to a nearby park for a picnic.  This squirrel participated, retrieving one of our discarded apple cores and racing away with it:

160918 162

160918 163

We returned to find our flattened coins later that day!

160918 164

160918 165

160918 171

160918 176

160918 204

160918 206

160918 217


Sunday morning, Grandpa G, along with all the other riders, departed Dodge City westbound through the fog…

160919 001


…but not before a quick photo op:

160919 020

160919 023

Before leaving town, we again visited the tracks and retrieved a few more coins:

160919 027


A wind farm northeast of Dodge City:

160919 046

On the return drive Sunday, we detoured to spend a few hours at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve north of Strong City, KS.  Wow – what an incredible site!  We only had a short time to spend there, but it was enough (1) to know that we’d return for a longer visit another time, (2) to enjoy a picnic on the lawn of the main house, and (3) for the girls to, for the first time, become Junior Rangers through the National Parks program.  And the girls made a great new friend – Park Ranger Graves.  They couldn’t get enough high-fives from him.

160919 051

160919 059

160919 064

160919 072

The tour of the main barn was fascinating — complete with 18-inch thick limestone walls.  While it was open to the outside, and it was around 90 degrees outdoors around 2pm, it was at least 10 degrees cooler inside.

160919 084

160919 118

Completion of the Junior Ranger booklet; earning their badges:

160919 130

160919 132

Royals World Series Parade

After coming oh-so-close to a World Series championship last season, the Royals were favorites to win this year; and they did!  It was an incredible series to watch and a combination of factors came together to entice us to make the call to attend the celebratory parade in Kansas City today.  Between the novelty of the experience, the fantastic weather, and the price (free!), we just couldn’t pass it up.  We left the house early with a game plan to enter the metro from the west, avoiding all interstates (didn’t want to be trapped) and opted for Shawnee Mission Parkway into Mission where we then zig-zagged to the Northeast, ultimately landing around 34th and Broadway where we parked on the street facing south.  The last thing we wanted was to be trapped 5 or 10 rows deep in the lawn parking at the WWI Memorial or elsewhere.  We then walked in to the grassy lawn in front of Union Station to take in the festivities.

We realized this may be one of the last times we can utilize the Kelty backpack before Mae outgrows it.  She was a little grumpy to start, but that was nothing that a halloween ring pop couldn’t fix.


The migration to the memorial lawn; from the South151103 005 151103 006 151103 007

After passing the memorial, we looked back, looking South, to see the terrace of the memorial dotted with ants — I mean, Royals fans.
151103 013







151103 021

Coordinating a shot with a 2-year old and 4-year-old looking into the camera at the same time (with anything remotely resembling looks of happiness) is something tantamount to being perfectly-positioned a half-mile southeast of an F5 as it churns through a Kansas farm field (i.e., I realize it will likely forever elude my capture).

But that won’t stop me from trying!151103 027 151103 028 151103 031

The back of the lawn was sparsely covered when we first arrived, but quickly filled in.

151103 039 151103 049 151103 058

A reflection of the magnitude of the event: crowds even gathered on the particularly-steep slopes of the hill beneath the Crown Center Westin.

151103 059 151103 062







The trek back to the car was only about a mile and a half or so; but it was just enough time for Mae to make her way to dreamland.



Kel overheard a father in a large family next to us on the lawn share his take late in the day:  “Something to write in the notes for the World Series Parade 2015, probably don’t do this again.”  We couldn’t have said it better.  That doesn’t say we shouldn’t have gone today; but it may simply be one of those “Great event – can cross that one off the list; been there-done that!” items.

Lunar Eclipse of September 28, 2015

The lunar eclipse provided an easy justification for the girls to stay up well past their usual bedtime Sunday evening.  The usual story time routine was postponed in favor of a walk to the park at the end of the street.  PJs were just the ticket, with temps in the low-70s and calm wind.

150928 162 150928 165150928 172 150928 179 150928 186150928 194 150928 224 150928 238 150928 247 150928 249 150928 250 150928 252 150928 263150928 279

1 2