A friend from church invited us to join them at the "cement slides". I can't tell you how far an invite goes when you're the new kid on the block. It has made us feel so welcomed. The kids had a blast and we easily spent our morning there. I now call them "the poor man's alpine slide". They were free, we used cardboard or wax paper as our sled and we got to run back up the hill to go again. We loved them.
These two stuck together for most of the time.
When they tired of the slide, they headed over to the park and continued to have their own fun.
We went up by the ski resorts to hike through a few train tunnels. These tunnels are no longer in use, that was a requirement of mine before I agreed to make this a family activity. These tunnels were part of the Transcontinental Railroad. They were built in 1868 by the Central Pacific Railroad. It was all constructed by hand-crazy! There are modifications (i.e. cement) done to the tunnels today, but a lot of the original tunnels are still in tact. It was close to an hour and twenty minutes drive, so I was crossing my fingers that it was going to be worth the travel time. It was definitely worth it-we all loved the adventure.
This was the first tunnel we went through. It was about 1700 ft long (Bryan is the trivia guy).
I may have done a pretty good, "Choo-Choo" once inside the tunnel. Luke did not appreciate my sense of humor. Once I reassured him the train tracks weren't even in the tunnel so there is no way a train would be coming, we continued along our way. I'm horrible, but it still makes me chuckle when I type this.
Apparently, there are some that choose to beautify these tunnels with creative and colorful artwork.
These are the best "thug" pics we snapped of these two-I'm not too convinced they were the artists.
Emma was quite affectionate on our hike-it was nice to feel so genuinely loved.
This is nicknamed "The Chinese Wall" because it was built entirely by hand, no mortar by the Chinese. The Railroad was built right on top of this wall.
Creating "magic" with dirt…lots and lots of dirt.
Those dirty faces are the biggest sign that a great time was had. :)
We took a quick overnight trip up to Lake Tahoe. Depending on which part of the lake you go to, it is roughly 2 to 2.5 hours from our doorstep. Not too shabby. We got there a little before dinner time and right as we checked in, Tahoe lost power…and it stayed off for about 5 hours! Luckily, we had plenty of food and no one went hungry. :) It was pretty rainy and cool so we decided to save our exploring for the next day. Tahoe did not disappoint us.
"So this is what it looks like!"
Emma was clearly more interested in checking out the scenery than looking at the camera.
The morning time was perfect to hike a little bit around the lake and wrestle these two kiddos.
Luke found lots of lizards. This lizard played quite the trick on Luke and gave us all a really good laugh.
Climbed to the top of these rocks to capture is "amazing" picture of the three of us.
It is the most beautiful lake.
The morning was still too cold to play at the beach so headed to Carson City (about 25 minutes away) to check out the railroad museum. We were impressed!
One of the kids' favorite part of the museum, the train table consisting of Thomas the Train and all of his friends. :)
The only bummer was they do train rides on weekends and we happened to be there on a weekday. However, they let us try out one of the "push carts." Luke didn't appear to be disappointed once we were cruising down the tracks on our cart and Emma was good about holding on for dear life!
On our way back to Tahoe, we stopped at In-N-Out. Delicious.
We had a blast at the beach. The lake stays shallow for a long ways out. The water is very clear, so much so that Luke took his torpedo diving toy out there and could easily spot it and dive for it.
Emma was content to mostly stay on the beach and make sand castles.
We will definitely return to Tahoe. All of us loved it and needed at least another day…or week!
We celebrated Emma's 2nd birthday on July 9th. Where has the time gone?!? We love this spunky, silly, sassy and smart girlie.
She is her brother's biggest fan and tormenter.
She loves being in the middle of any action and trying to keep up with the big kids.
Her favorite meal would be pizza, chicken nuggets or mac and cheese.
She loves to play "kitchen".
She wants to pet any, any dog that we come across.
Has the most contagious laugh and smile-love those dimples.
Surprises me daily with her vocabulary and her ability to correct mine.
LOVES her blanky and binki (I know, I know, it's time for it to go, but all of us are just so happy with the relationship!)
Emma felt very spoiled and in a sharing mood with her fun birthday presents from family members and friends.
She was now outfitted to help me in the kitchen-especially with making the birthday cupcakes and frosting.
After birthday dinner, we busted out the piñata. Lesson learned: explain to the 2-year-old ahead of time what a piñata is. When Emma saw it, she only wanted to love it and hug it. Okay, now that the hugs are out of the way-give her something to hit it really hard with until that perfect, pink pony busts open! For some crazy reason, she didn't take to the idea and couldn't grasp why we were letting others beat the tar out of her pony…and laughing! Poor girl.
Charlotte is ready for any sudden movements.
Hana is ready for softball.
…and Luke is ready for anger management.
Emma did find forgiveness in each piece of candy she picked up.
Next, it was on to birthday cupcakes!
(love that helpful older brother in the top right)