Summer 2015

Gabby had a pretty great summer. After having her tonsils and adenoids removed, she was actually able to breathe again out of her nose and sleep without snoring. That was a major plus for her, but also for her brother who spent a few nights sleeping in the same bed on our summer vacations. We spent 10 days in Oregon, four days of which was with the Westerman famly, and one week in Perdido, Florida with Pop and Madi. Gabby attended three different camps (Mirabelli gymnastics camp, Kim Bavington’s downtown art camp and Johnny Lane’s tennis camp) and spent several days in L.A. with Grandma and Grandpa, which included her very first visit to the American Girl Store. Last, but not least, she got to swim in her new backyard pool. I’d say 2015 has been good to us so far!

We spent one night at Crater Lake before heading on to Bend. As soon as we set up camp, we went to the bottom of the lake to do a boat tour. This picture was taken on the hike down.

I thought a 2-hour boat tour was going to be too long, but I was wrong. We saw lots of wildlife - deer, turtles, squirrels, osprey and bald eagles - in addition to hearing lots of info on the lake.

On the one-mile hike back up to the top, Gabby insisted I take a picture of this. I’m guessing she thought it’d look like she was in jail?

The color of the water is almost too good to be true.

Our tour guide from the day before told us you could stack the Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower and the Washington Monument on top of each other, and you would still be 100 feet short of the lake’s surface. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the country.

The beauty of Facebook is that it has often resulted in us meeting up with folks while we are on vacation that we would have never seen otherwise. A week before we left Vegas, I saw that Parker Moore, our college buddy from Sewanee, was in Sunriver, just a few miles south of Bend. We unpacked the car and headed straight there to meet up with Parker, Ryland and their families. Meanwhile, Gabby kicked butt on the climbing wall.

Our next stop was a high end grocery store, Newport Avenue Market. I have no doubt that Gabby is a “customer in training!”

We did a short hike in Smith Rock State Park, and I underestimated how hot it was going to be. Coleman wore jeans, so our hike was a short two miles. Overall, we didn’t hike as much on this trip as I would have liked.

Everyone was thrilled when the Westerman family arrived. I feel like an idiot for not getting a photo of all of us. Regardless, we did get a good one of Gabby with beautiful Baby Nicolina.

Gabby attended her fourth Phish show, but it will be the first one she remembers. The first three at Festival 8 happened when she was six months old. I couldn’t be away from her for four nights because I was nursing. Gabby had fun at the Bend Phish show because we let her have a little independence and go to the mister area without us. Towards the end of the first set, she got lost. She was probably 20 feet away from us but couldn’t find us. Someone saw her in distress and took her to lost and found. Coleman was playing on Brian’s cell phone during the set break and saw that Brian got a text from a stranger saying that Gabby was at the First Aid Tent, which was about 100 feet away. She decided she didn’t want to go back the second night. Her loss!

We had breakfast at Chow where the restaurant staff was completely overwhelmed. We waited an hour for a table. I guess this is what you do when you have nothing else to do.

We had breakfast at Victorian Café where Gabby accidentally spilled a whole glass of water in my lap. I’m just glad it wasn’t my Bloody Mary.

Gabby walking to the car after breakfast.

We also had breakfast and yummy hot chocolate at McKay Cottage Restaurant.

We rode bikes around Sunriver and then spent a few hours at the community pool ($25 per person). I made sure the kids knew that the pool activity was “their” pick since kids and parents each got to pick one activity per day.

We froze our butts off when we went to the top of Mt Bachelor.

It was the coldest I’d been in a long time.

Bend was a blast, and now we know we need to spend more time in Oregon.

Our pool was finished a few weeks after we returned from our trip. Coleman and Gabby ran around in the pool as it was filling up and left footprints in the plaster. We were grateful they didn’t do more damage.

While Coleman and I had the pool to ourselves, Gabby was in L.A. spending time with Richard and Wendy. The highlight was when Wendy took Gabby to the American Girl Store. Her doll Emily got a new outfit and a beautiful braid shaped in a heart. Gabby took the $20 hairdo out a few days later, and said “Grandma, are you mad at me?” Wendy said “I’m not mad. Just a little disappointed.” Then Gabby said “That’s the same as being mad!” and pouted.

We traveled to Perdido, Florida, for a vacation with Pop and Madi. This was our fourth and likely last time on the 18th floor of the Palacio condo tower. Even though we had issues with our condo (roaches in the kitchen!!!), the beach was spectacular. It was full of jellyfish the first few days, but by the last day, the water was completely clear. We actually saw dolphins about 50 feet from where we were standing in the water.

The condo has great views.

Gabby loves her Pop!

We visited the Naval Aviation Museum while we were in Florida. Gabby likes to take Emily wherever she goes.

Future profession? I hope not.

We went outside to watch the Blue Angels air show. The kids were complaining about how hot it was until one of the planes flew low right over our heads. Then they realized that the show was going to be more interesting that they had thought.

Gabby did seek out what little shade there was.

Brian chickened out once the flight simulator started, so I had to endure the torture of being in there with Gabby. At one point, I asked her to quit touching the controls in the hope that we’d quit doing 360 degree spins, but it didn’t work. Neither of us had any idea how to fly that thing. I’m lucky I didn’t puke. When it was Coleman’s turn, we found a nice airman to do it with him. Thank goodness for small favors.

We took a sunset sail on the Wildheart. The most memorable part for me was seeing thousands of jellyfish in the water.

Gabby would probably say the most memorable part for her was driving the boat and the captain allowing her to shoot him with water guns.

We always take group photos right before we leave. It was a beautiful day, and we were all tan.

Madi’s pre-planning is the primary reason why our beach trips are perfect. She brings everything we need so we don’t have to worry with packing.

We got back from the beach on a Saturday, and school started on Monday. I didn’t get to see the kids off to school because of my workout schedule, but my friend Mickey Norton, took a picture for me.

Gabby decided she wanted to play flag football on Coleman’s team this year. She is great at pulling flags and really hustles. I’m sad to say this is not like me at all. I was on an all boy soccer team when I was about her age, and I was intimidated by the aggressive nature of the boys. Gabby isn’t intimidated at all.

So far she has scored one touchdown that Coleman threw to her. She didn’t realize it was a touchdown until Coleman told her.

We celebrated Nicolina’s first birthday at her house. This is Sophia, Ava and Gabby.

Nicolina ate her first real cake the way all mothers hope their one-year olds will on their birthdays. Nicolina is wearing a dress that Aunt Jillian gave Roma.

Gabby and Coleman were both thrilled that Ava spent two nights at our house. We plan to get them together more often.

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