July 2009 - We enjoyed a roadtrip to Angel Fire, NM in Mandy's Volkswagen beetle convertible she received for the summer for being the district's Teacher of the Year. We had a condo, but still camped out some because the weather was perfect. We also enjoyed hiking, campfires, and fly-fishing.
June 2009 - We enjoyed four nights in Williamsburg, VA. Here we visited Busch Gardens, Water Country USA, and Colonial Williamsburg. We loved this area, and the amusement parks were the cleanest and most shady we have ever been to. We will definitely be returning!
June 2009 - We enjoyed eight nights in Orlando, FL. It was an action-packed trip where we visited Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Sea World, Aquatica, and Busch Gardens-Tampa. We stayed in a condo at Reunion Resort which had a fabulous water park, and also drove to Cape Canaveral.
May 2009 - We moved into our new brand new home! This home is double the size in square footage and lot size, in a smaller community, and has many more upgrades. We miss our first home together but love our new home!
March 2009 - We enjoyed an anniversary cruise - Southern Caribbean (San Juan -- St Maarten -- Dominica -- Grenada -- Bonaire -- Aruba) with a pre-cruise stay in Orlando. Only Curt and Mandy went on this cruise, and Sarah stayed at our "old house" which was being put on the market the week following the cruise. (More pics)
November 2008 - We enjoyed pre-Thanksgiving in Sedona. We stayed at a condo and got lots of hiking in, outdoor grilling, Pink Jeep tour, and Christmas light viewing on a horse-pulled wagon.
November 2008 - We enjoyed a quick daytrip with Rhonda, Nusrat and Zain to Sea World San Antonio. The kids had a blast, and we made a full day of it flying there and back.
November 2008 - We enjoyed watching history in the making - Guiness World Record (World's Largest Beach Ball). This was in downtown Dallas sponsored by Carnival Cruise Lines.
October 2008 - We enjoyed Sarah being a witch for Halloween. She had a party at school and we went trick-or-treating around the neighborhood.
October 2008 - We enjoyed a trip to a pumpkin patch- Flower Mound (only about 30 minutes from home). Although we didn't purchase a pumpkin here, we enjoyed the afternoon!
June 2008 - We enjoyed twelve nights in Barbados and Bequia (St Vincent & the Grenadines). Bequia could be described as "St John of 30 years ago" and was absolutely lovely! Barbados was more of the resort atmosphere with swim-up pool bars. We enjoyed snorkeling, watching sunsets, and enjoying time as a family.
June 2008 - We enjoyed four nights in Zion National Park (Utah). With a backpack, we were able to easily do several day hikes to see beautiful scenery and wildlife. We spent one night in Zion in the cabins, a couple nights outside the park in Springdale (such as Desert Pearl), and the last night in Vegas before flying home. It was an awesome trip!
March 2008: We had a night away in Denton following Chris and Cary's wedding. They gave us a great gift for standing up for them ... a wonderful room (#13) at the B&B where they married. We didn't make it down for breakfast the following morning, but did have a yummy late breakfast at Mimi's on our way back home. Mandy has found her new favorite stuffed french toast...
Chris & Cary's Wedding ~ 2008
We spent some time in Vegas (alone) and stayed at the Palms in a junior suite overlooking the strip. At night we enjoyed seeing O and Fantasy, and had a wonderful meal at Casa di Amore... and of course In-N-Out Burger!
View from Suite
Flying DFW to Honolulu
Garden of Eden
Black Sand Beach
Big Island Crater
Maui Tropical Plantation
Maui Sunset 6/22
Kauai Beach House
Na Pali Coast
Kauai's Waimea Canyon
Kokee State Park
Sunrise - Kauai
Pearl Harbor Entrance
Dog the Bounty Hunter
April 2007: We flew to Tulsa to visit Paul, Donna, and little Luke! While there we spent the day at the Tulsa Zoo where Sarah enjoyed watching the animals as well as the people from her stroller. As always, Sarah did fantastic on the short flights and had a blast playing with all of Luke's cool toys.
April 2007: Mandy and Curt flew to St Louis with Cary and Chris to visit the Missouri wine country. We stayed in a bed and breakfast in Augusta, but made it a quick trip (just one night) since we had left Sarah at home with her Mimi and Pepaw.
March 2007: We went to Austin where we spent time at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Sarah posed great in the wildflowers until the rain made us leave for the day. We were in Austin to attend the state MathCounts meet with one of Mandy's students she coached.
March 2007: We vacationed in Phoenix where we attended a Cubs baseball game, visited the Desert Botanical Garden, and of course had In-N-Out Burger. Sarah was content with her milk though since she has not started formula or solids yet. Most importanly we all went swimming at the hotel's pool!
June 2006: We vacationed in Ruidoso, New Mexico for some relaxation and cooler weather. We stayed at Inn of the Mountain Gods overlooking the lake, enjoyed a round of golf, visited the Smokey Bear Historical Park, and got to have lunch at one of Curt's hometown favorites... K-Bob's. On the way back to El Paso coming down from the mountains we had a great view of White Sands. This was to be our last trip of the pregnancy (except for Mandy presenting at a state math conference in July).
Only YOU can...
June 2006: We attended a Dave Matthews Band concert in Columbus, Ohio at the start of Mandy's third trimester of pregnancy. We visited the Columbus Zoo and arrived at the concert early to listen to sound check outside the gate. Then the rain came... but at least after we were finally let in to our seats where we had covered pavillion seats!
Christmas 2005: We spent several nights in Las Vegas. We enjoyed flying and touring the south rim of the Grand Canyon, watching Jubilee, and a terrific dinner at Olives at Bellagio. Mandy also enjoyed some time at the Spa Bellagio. As always, it was hard to pry ourselves away when it was time to go, but little did we know we were bringing home an extra souvenir...
October 2005: We finally made it back to Stillwater for an OSU home game with Paul and Donna. It was perfect football weather and terrific seeing the changes in the campus. The "new" Bullet was fun to watch, and of course we made the trek over to Eskimo Joe's after the game for some awesome cheese fries and more cups. Go Pokes!
July 2005: We attended the EAA AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Over 10,000 planes fly in for this yearly event, representing every state and many countries around the world. The highlight of Oshkosh happened to be dinner one evening, where Curt had the opportunity to visit with Bob Hoover, Dick Rutan, and Pat Epps. Many thanks to Jeff from Shell for inviting us to the dinner! Curt will be adding more pictures below - this is just a small sampling!
July 2005: We attended an amazingDave Matthews Band concert at Alpine Valley in East Troy, Wisconsin. The Elliott House was our chosen B&B for this trip, where we enjoyed simply relaxing and saving our energy for the concert. Local establishments we visited include the Elegant Farmer and the Smoke House (local store specializing in Wisconsin wines). After the concert and breakfast the following morning, we headed north towards Oshkosh for the airshow. We took time to stop at the Milwaukee Zoo to see the polar bears, Cedarburg to visit a winery and pick up some Syrah, and a cheese factory in Theresa, WI.
May 2005: We took a quick trip to Phoenix for the Luv Classic benefitting the Ronald McDonald House. Curt enjoyed a great game of golf while Mandy spent the day at the resort's spa. The outdoor party that evening was very enjoyable and we also spent some time at the Phoenician the next day. As always, we visited two of our favorite places: In-N-Out Burger and later Z Tejas for yummy mushroom enchiladas. We were disappointed to be leaving our favorite city so soon...
April 2005: We took a day-trip to Denver to see the new polar bear cubs. Flying on Frontier that morning, we visited the zoo and returned that evening. The polar bear cubs were born Thanksgiving 2004 and had only started venturing out of the den two weeks earlier. Their big sister, Cranbeary, was in the exhibit nextdoor.
Do you see me?
Christmas 2004: We spent several nights in Las Vegas. With our car rental, we explored Red Rock Canyon, had our favorite In-N-Out Burger, and also visited the cactus garden at the Ethel M Chocolate Factory. Of course we also had a Cheeseburger in Paradise just across the street! The fountains of Bellagio were impressive from the Strip, and even more impressive from our room! Our favorite was "O Holy Night". It was enjoyable seeing the variety of Christmas songs this time of year.
Red Rock Canyon
In N Out Burger
July 2004: We flew to Phoenix to purchase Mandy's dream car... a blue Volkswagen Passat GLX with the exact interior she wanted. We visited our most favorite hamburger place- In N Out Burger. Driving through Arizona's Salt River and White Mountains areas was absolutely breathtaking! After spending the night in Albuquerque, we finished the drive back home.
July 2004: We spent time exploring Philadelphia (one day had over 4 inches of rain!). While staying at Hyatt Penn's Landing in a room overlooking the Delaware River, we visited the Liberty Bell (and other Independence attractions), took a trolley tour, had lunch at Reading Terminal, climbed the same steps Rocky did, and sampled cheesesteaks so we could compare. We spent one evening strolling South street, enjoying a drink at Fat Tuesdays and sampling a cheesesteak in that area (Jim's).
July 2004: We visited Valley Forge for an afternoon, learning about some of the history firsthand. We also had the opportunity to walk through Washington's Headquarters and take our time driving around the area. It was amazing to know we were walking up the same staircase he once did! Over 80% of the structure is original.
July 4th: We spent an awesome weekend at Granny and Bobby's relaxing and enjoying the fireworks show at the lake. Mom and Dad brought out their barge and waverunners so we could have fun on the water, and we spent one day taking the barge to Caddo Lake to see the swamp areas.
June 2004: We spent an enjoyable week visiting Scotland and London. Highlights of the trip were a tour of the highlands of Scotland, with the end of the week in London getting to view the changing of the guard firsthand.
Church on High Street (Edinburgh)
Hammish the Bull
Fort William area
Memorial to Soldiers
Vaults under Edinburgh
Changing of the Guard
Buckingham Palace (Changing of the Guard)
Royal Air Force Museum (Hendon)
Tower of London
Original Hard Rock Cafe
Her Royal Majesty's Theatre
March 2004: We enjoyed a great day-trip to Fossil Rimand Dinosaur Valley State Park. At Fossil Rim, we spent about 90 minutes driving through the area with Cary. We mostly enjoyed the giraffes and zebras coming up to the car. At Dinosaur Valley State Park, we crossed the river and hiked a few miles in the north primitive area (Kipper loved the hike!). Later, we observed the dinosaur tracks on the other side of the park.
December 2003: Los Angeles, California. Mandy accompanied Curt on a business trip to LA, and extended it through the weekend so they could sightsee. We got to see a taping of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno after obtaining tickets and waiting in line for several hours. Curt even got to shake Jay's hand! We also did a full tour of the area, including the Hollywood sign, Rodeo drive, Sunset Blvd, stars homes, downtown LA, and the beach area. We stayed at the LAX Westin, and thoroughly enjoyed the hotel. However, the traffic in LA is a whole other story...
Waiting in Line
Cowboys vs Redskins
November 2, 2003: With thanks to a terrific student, we enjoyed awesome tickets to a Cowboys game. Fortunately, the Cowboys won that game!! We had a great time at the game.
October 25, 2003: OSU versus Texas A&M We attended a terrific game at Kyle Field with Paul & Donna where OSU obliterated A&M. We enjoyed attending the Friday night Yell Practice, watching the corps march in, and the game! Afterwards, we ate at Cafe Capri. Shortly after being seated, the former President and Mrs. George Bush were seated at the booth right next to us!! Instead of bothering them for pictures or autographs (like some other patrons), we chose to let them eat in peace.
September 20, 2003: Six-month anniversary trip to the Missouri Wine Country. Spending the night in St Louis, we took a day trip to the Missouri Wine Country and visited seven wineries: Hermannhof, Stone Hill, Oak Glenn, Blumenhof, Balducci, Augusta, and Montelle.
We brought home several bottles of wine to share at a later time. The views in this part of Missouri were beautiful, and listening to live music at some of the wineries added that special touch. We also returned to this area Easter 2004 and Thanksgiving 2005 to stock up - only to find out two months later Mandy was pregnant! We now have a "few" bottles awaiting us...
July 11-13, 2003: The Great Texas Balloon Race was held in east Texas. We had a terrific time staying with Granny, watching the sport balloons race (trying to drop a ring around pole on the ground), the beautiful special shapes balloons, and especially the Night Glow held each evening!
July 4th, 2003: Kipper kept a watchful eye on us as we shot bottle rockets at Granny's. Smoke bombs really intrigued Kipper, but the sound of the bottle rockets racing in the air seemed to cause Kipper to voice his concern... One little puppy dog slept very well that evening after being exhausted from running around and talking so much!!
June 2003: In Mystic, Connecticut, we ate the "house special" at Mystic Pizza. The centerpoint of the town was the drawbridge, which would open once an hour. Although we visited Mystic Seaport, we did not pay the admission fee to view the seaport and instead walked along the main street.
June 2003: In Newport, Rhode Island, we toured the Breakers. This summer home was occupied by the Vanderbilt family about two months of each year. The details were immaculate!! We stayed at the Inn at ShadowLawn and also visited the mansion, Rosecliff. A delicious clam chowder was found at the Black Pearl restaurant. Evenings were spent window-shopping as well as walking along the CliffWalk. Also, we toured Newport Vineyards and purchased a couple wines after sampling quite a few!
June 2003: Indian Falls in Norwich, Connecticut. The story says that one Indian tribe (the Mohegans) chased another Indian tribe (the Narragansett) that ended at Yantic Falls in nowday Norwich. The Narragansett faced either jumping into the falls or facing the hands/arrows of the Mohegans.
June 2003: Niagara Falls. We stayed at Niagara Inn on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls and took advantage of almost all of the attractions the Falls had to offer. We thoroughly enjoyed Maid of the Mist and Journey Behind the Falls, as well as a fantastic Dave Matthews Band concert at Darien Lake, NY.
We attended the Buffett concert in Vegas!! 4/26/2003 (and also in Dallas 4/22)
Thanksgiving 2002: We spent an incredible week on St John (USVI) with a day trip to Jost van Dyke (BVI). The sound of the waves crashing rocked us to sleep each night, and welcomed us each morning. Enjoying sunrise on the balcony was spectacular. We also enjoyed counting the zillions of stars each night, looking for the dim lights of St Croix in the distance, and watching cruise ships go by. The natural breeze of the tradewinds cooled us at night as we slept in paradise. St John... truly paradise.
Jost Van Dyke
November 2002: Attended the OSU homecoming in Stillwater with Paul and Donna. OSU beat Texas A&M in an excellent game, and we enjoyed driving around Curt's old campus.
July 2002: We enjoyed an extended weekend in the Hershey, Pennsylvania area. While staying at a Bed and Breakfast on a farm in Lancaster County, we visited the Amish country and searched for the bridges from the movie "Bridges of Madison County". After visiting Nissley Vineyard, we purchased a couple bottles of wine to bring home. We visited Gettysburg and saw the many memorials. Mandy also enjoyed a cocoabean scrub and chocolate fondue wrap at The Spa at Hotel Hershey one morning. Our favorite ride at Hersheypark was the dual racing wooden roller coaster, and of course we enjoyed the free chocolate samples at Hershey's Chocolate World. The weekend was topped off by a Dave Matthews concert at Hershey Stadium.
June 2002: Surprise Birthday trip to Palo Duro Canyon outside Amarillo. Curt surprised Mandy by purchasing tickets to the musical "Texas" and reserving a room at Hudspeth Inn Bed and Breakfast for her birthday. Waiting in the Dallas airport for the flight to Amarillo gave Mandy a little clue as to where they were headed, but she didn't know for sure what they would be doing in Amarillo until Curt told her! "Texas" is definitely worth seeing!!
April 2002: Weekend trip to Pedernales Falls and the Austin area. Curt had his first visit inside the State Capitol in Austin, where we toured the underground area. We took a day trip to Fredericksburg and the Pedernales Falls area, where the river was running well. We enjoyed the scene on Sixth Street, where we visited the dueling piano bar.
March 2002: Engagement weekend in the Phoenix area. Unknown to Mandy, Curt packed an engagement ring in his bag as they flew out of Dallas on March 22. After attending a Cubs game on that Friday, an Air Show Saturday morning at Luke AFB, and another Cubs game Saturday afternoon, Curt proposed.
December 21-24, 2001: Christiansted, St Croix (US Virgin Islands) We enjoyed three nights in St Croix, getting to see a Christmas boat parade (sailboats with lights), relaxing in the evenings overlooking the Christiansted harbor, and a terrific day sail to Buck Island on the Diva.
October 2001: Durango, Colorado We spent an extended weekend relaxing in Durango. Our Bed and Breakfast (Logwood) was just north of Durango, and remains one of our favorites. We spent time driving the San Juan Scenic Highway, hiking, and exploring Telluride, Silverton, and Ouray. The aspens were gorgeous that time of year!
Labor Day Weekend 2001: We attended Curt's ten-year high school reunion in Liberal, Kansas where Curt was named "Most Changed Male". (He's still not sure what has changed!) While in Liberal, we visited Dorothy's house (from "The Wizard of Oz") and found the brick with Curt's name on it along The Yellow Brick Road.
August 18, 2001: Gateway Arch in St Louis. While spending the weekend with Curt's parents in Kansas City, Curt and Mandy took a day trip to St Louis. After a brief trip to Six Flags St Louis, we ascended to the top of the arch!
July 2001: Myrtle Beach. We enjoyed a long weekend to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with Brian and Jenny. Laying on the beach, playing miniature golf, and just having fun exploring the area made for a perfect weekend!
June 2001: Mandy's 27th Birthday at Fiesta Texas in San Antonio. We had our first experience with a Bed and Breakfast in New Braunfels, and enjoyed visiting Fiesta Texas on a hot June day!
May 2001: Catching an Orioles game in Baltimore! We had a great weekend exploring Baltimore's Inner Harbor and attending a baseball game where we had great seats! It was neat seeing the vendors set up prior to the game and watching batting practice!
April 2001: We got 3rd Place in the SWA Chili Cookoff! The Chili Dawgs had a good time that day, and Kipper enjoyed all the action! (No, he didn't get to do much sampling.)
March 2001: Spring Training in Phoenix. We spent the weekend in Phoenix attending a couple of Spring Training baseball games. Both games were Seattle, where we got to see Ichiro make his appearance.
March 2001: We attended Steph's Wedding in Houston where Mandy played the flute. Taking our time driving back to Dallas, we stopped in Brenham and toured a winery.
Spring 2001: Our first camping trip to Oklahoma! We had an exciting weekend in Oklahoma near Broken Bow when we camped beside a lake. Kipper joined us for the weekend, where we also rented a canoe to do some exploring!
October 2000: We celebrated Mandy's new job offer for Sprint by going to San Diego for a quick weekend. Flying in Friday night, we really only had Saturday in San Diego so that we could fly back Sunday morning. However, we spent a great day at the zoo and having dinner beside the water.
August 2000: Sea World San Antonio. We took a group trip to Sea World in San Antonio and had dinner with Shamu. Staying at Marriott Rivercenter, we got to spend Friday night walking along the Riverwalk and sampling fine Mexican food and margaritas!