Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Thanksgiving in Austin, TX & Filmore, CA Christmas Tree Train

Posted by: Frances

December 6th, 2011 >> Holidays, Outdoor Activities, Travel

Matt and I went to Austin, TX to spend Thanksgiving with my family.  We had a fantastic time with everyone and I must say, man can my sister cook!!!  I miss them dearly.

Matt, Steve Pearson’s family, and I drove out to Filmore, CA to ride the Train and cut down our Christmas tree.  This train had a Steam Engine from 1913 and train cars from the 1920s and 1930s.  I loved it!  The water fountains on the train were really neat too.  We had a 45 minute train ride to the Christmas tree farm.  Then we roamed the farm and found our perfect tree to cut down.  I felt like Clark Griswald in Christmas vacation.  All of us had such a great time.  Here are some pictures below:


The train!



Our Christmas tree being cut down…


And off to load onto the train!


And the final result!!!

Bridge to NoWhere Hike for the 2nd time

Posted by: Frances

December 6th, 2011 >> Outdoor Activities, Travel

Matt and I took Jack on the Hike to the Bridge to NoWhere.  We only hiked about 3 miles in and 3 miles back because the trail is rough on his paws.  We had a great time and loved the hike.  The weather was perfect and Jack loved swimming in the water.  We had a lot of laughs and good moments on this hike.  I can’t wait to do it again.


water crossing!


Disneyland California Adventure

Posted by: Frances

December 6th, 2011 >> Outdoor Activities, Travel

I went to Disneyland California Adventure with the Caudill Family.  It was my first time to go to this park.  I had a great time, but I like the other park much better because there is more to do.  They had my favorite Disney show there called It’s a bug’s life.  I absolutely love this show!  I went on the Ferris Wheel with swinging carts and did not like it very much.  I loved the view, but not the so much the swing.



Posted by: Frances

August 23rd, 2011 >> Outdoor Activities, Travel

During my time off, I was able to make it out to Disneyland again.  I have one more day pass to use before October so hopefully I will make it out before it expires.  I went with my friend Amber and we actually went to a few rides neither of us had done or done in a really long time.  We enjoyed climbing through the tight spaces to the top of Tom Sawyer’s island and the fun adventure Roger Rabbit ride in Toon Town.  We took pictures with Minnie Mouse last time and this time we actually got to take pictures with Mickey Mouse.  This place always puts a smile on my face.  We enjoyed an extremely delicious lunch at the French Quarter, New Orleans Restaurant.  We had an amazing salad and a Monte Cristo that melted in your mouth.  Then we ended the afternoon with a delicious cup of ice cream while watching the parade.  There were some very different costume that I just loved.  I am thinking about making one up for Halloween.  Across from where we were sitting there was this adorable little girl dressed up as Minnie Mouse.  She had a huge red lollipop and then her mom showed up with a pickle.  She went straight for the pickle and said forget the lollipop.  She was very entertaining to watch as the parade went on.


Bridge to NoWhere: Hiking Trail

Posted by: Frances

July 18th, 2011 >> Outdoor Activities, Travel

Matt and I went over too San Gabriel Mountains to hike to the Bridge to NoWhere.  It was 5 miles to the bridge and 5 miles back of sand, rock, and water crossings to hike.  It was really beautiful and the weather was perfect.  It wasn’t too hot and the breeze was just right.  This was a well needed hiking trip for the both of us.  We had a picnic a little bit passed the bridge while listening to the wind, water, and the birds.  We also watched a few people bungee jump off the bridge.  I love taking pictures of different bridges and this one was pretty neat.  I will going hiking here again, this place is fantastic!!!  Here are some pictures below.


Matt making some drinking water


The Bridge to NoWhere


The Sign


Our feet off the bridge


Me climbing up and up on the trail


Us having a great time!

Colorado Springs, CO May 19 – May 22, 2011

Posted by: Frances

May 23rd, 2011 >> Travel

Don’t forget you can click on the images to make them larger.

On Thursday, Matt and I flew to Colorado Springs, CO.  I have never been there before and Matt has been going there since he was a kid.  His grandfather owns a cabin up there that we were fortunate enough to stay in while we were there.  Upon arriving we went straight over to visit with his Grandfather.  After our visit with him, we then had dinner at the Olive Garden.  It was delicious as always and the manager gave us some suggestions of where else to go.  Then, we headed up to the cabin in Green Mountain Falls to get settled in before heading out again to Bristol Brewing and the Blue Star Restaurant.  Bristol Brewing is a local brewery and Matt loved there Compass IPA beer.  Next, we headed to the liquor store for a nice bottle of wine from Priorat, Spain and a pack of beer.  We also ended up at Walmart to get food for the next few days and some movies.  After arriving back at the cabin, we poured some wine, opened a beer and popped in the movie Love and Other Drugs.  We stayed up all night and had a blast.  The movie was excellent!!!


Arriving in Colorado Springs, CO

Pikes Peak


Frances, Art (Granddad), Matt


Bristol Brewing Co. Compass IPA

On Friday, we went to visit with his Grandfather again, then headed to Garden of the Gods.  This was a really neat place.  I told Matt it looked like the Earth just decided to spit out some red splinters.  We hiked along the trail and took some fun rock climbing pictures.


Garden of the Gods


Holding up the rock


More Garden of the Gods

Then, we headed to Manitou Springs for some lunch and a stroll downtown.  This was really nice and relaxing.  I just loved this little town.  It is at surrounded by mountains almost in the valley with lots of foothills.

On Saturday May 21, the weather was so gorgeous!   Pike’s Peak was very visible and covered in snow.  We made our way over to see Matt’s Grandfather for the last time during our visit.  Then, we drove out to 11-mile canyon.  It was so gorgeous!!!!  It literally is an 11-mile canyon with a river running thru it.  We stopped at the last campsite area and climbed our way up the rocks to the first highest point and enjoyed the view.  Then, we decided to climb our way up to the second highest point.  On our way up there were rocks forming a stairway up to the top that was very neat.  After getting to the top and enjoying the view of miles and miles of land, Matt proposed to me.  It was totally romantic and caught me completely off guard.  We enjoyed them moment and took lots of pictures, then headed back towards the cabin.  We stopped at a Walmart on the way back and sat in the parking lot to call everyone.  We sat there for over an hour and a half calling everyone, it was hilarious.  Finally, we made it dinner in Manitou Springs at the Stage Coach Inn.  The food was EXCELLENT and so was the wine and beer!


11-Mile Canyon


11-Mile Canyon

May 3, 2011 Out with Jackie to Hollywood Blvd & Los Angeles Farmers Market

Posted by: Frances

May 23rd, 2011 >> Outdoor Activities, Travel

Jackie was in town on business and we hung out for a few nights after work while she was here.  We made our way to Hollywood Blvd first thing.  We took a lot of fun pictures with many of the famous Hollywood stars.  It was really neat because as we were walking back to the car we saw a star for Frances and then one for Harriet and two down from that Jackie and one down from that Jerry.  It was almost the whole family right there all together.  Ironic.  Here are just a few of the fun pictures we took:


The Chinese Theater


Mickey Mouse


Jackie & I (Sisters)



The next day we went to the Los Angeles Farmers Market.  It was like no other farmers market I had been to.  It was huge!!! We bought all kinds of food to try and I bought some different teas to try and even a really cool tea cup.  This was a lot of fun and a place I will definitely revisit.

Weekend April 30th Tammy visits (Greenville Neighbor)

Posted by: Frances

May 23rd, 2011 >> Outdoor Activities, Travel

So this weekend, Tammy my neighbor from Greenville, SC came to visit in California.  While she was here she and I went to the Los Angeles Zoo on Saturday.  It was kind of hot outside with a slight breeze and there were a ton of people and kids there.  It took forever to find a parking spot.  Once we finally got inside the zoo, we had a really good time.  There were a couple of exhibits that were under construction and some of them were quite small for the animals.  She really loved the chimps and I really loved the giraffes as always.


Tammy and I at the Los Angeles Zoo


Me and the Giraffes

On Sunday, Matt, Tammy and I met up with my sister and drove up to Zuma Beach.  I have had so many recommendations from people here in California to go to this beach.  It is said to be the most beautiful and least crowded and located north of Malibu.  It was everything everyone said.  We had lunch a restaurant right down the road between Malibu and Zuma overlooking the water.


My sister Jackie and I


On our way to the restaurant for lunch


The beach


Matt and I goofing off

Trip to Austin & then Santa Barbara for Hang Gliding Lessons

Posted by: Frances

April 9th, 2011 >> Educational, Hang Gliding, Outdoor Activities, Travel

I went home to Austin, TX this last weekend.  I had a great time seeing everyone as usual.  I wish I had more time to see the LC Rocks crew, but maybe next time.  On Saturday night when I flew in, I went to Amanda’s Baccalaureate Party, needless to say it was quite eventful for myself.  Then, Sunday I spent the day with great friends and family over breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Monday was a short day, but lunch with mom and dad which was really nice.  I miss everyone so much.

On Tuesday, after being back in California, I drove to Santa Barbara to Elings Park training hill to complete my Hang Gliding Lessons FINALLY with Zac Majors.  His website is: and he is one of the top Hang Glider Pilots in the United States.  He does lessons and tandems.  So we went out to the hill and did about 20 flights off the hill between a 1/4 and 1/2 way up the 200ft hill.  Wednesday we went back out and I did another 20 flights or so off the hill between 1/4 and 1/2 way up the 200ft hill.  Then, to top the day off, I did 3 flights from the top at 200ft.  My first and third flights were pretty good, but my second one was good until the landing.  I wacked and my nose went landed right in the nose of the glider.  I have a nice purple bruise on my nose to show for it.  (Just a little bruise and soar, but no blood THANK GOODNESS!)  I passed my Hang 1 Pilot test and the written part of the Hang 2 Pilot test.  Hopefully next week I will complete the flying part for the Hang 2!  (At least that is the goal!)

See my video on facebook


Elings Park Training Hill: What I get to see as I launch from the hill!  GORGEOUS!


Elings 200ft Training Hill

Newport & Huntington Beach

Posted by: Frances

March 6th, 2011 >> Outdoor Activities, Travel

Matt, Adam, Amber, Stella, and I all went down to Huntington Beach to ride bikes down to Newport Beach.  It was such a beautiful day outside with the perfect weather outside for riding bikes.  We spent the day riding and then had dinner while watching the sunset.  It was a relaxing fun day.  Here are some pictures below:


Me riding in Newport Beach.  BEAUTIFUL!


Sailboats at Newport Beach


Fun with Matt in the sun!


My feet in the sand at Newport Beach.  There are mussels everywhere!  I have a tradition at every beach I travel to and that is a picture of my feet in the sand and taking a small rock.  I write the location on the rock with a glitter pen, spray paint over it with clear spray paint and put it in a very small old milk jug.