Austin, Mark, and I just returned from a much-needed two week vacation.  I chose to unplug during that time–I scheduled a few Facebook posts and blog posts so it didn’t seem like I disappeared.

But in real life, I did.

And it was wonderful. photo 3

We started our 4000 mile road trip by heading to Oklahoma City to spend the weekend with my sister and our son, Kolya.  We met Kolya’s friends that we had heard about, but never met. We also visited the Oklahoma City National Memorial which honors the victims of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

10356699_10202939814109002_6887911926297150264_nWe then spent a day on the road to travel to Colorado Springs. I pulled in just in time to spend the evening with dear friends Tammy Maltby, Lorraine Pintus, Lori Wildenberg, and Yvette Maher who joined Michelle Cushatt and I in celebrating a “we kicked cancer’s butt” evening. (We missed you Juli Slattery and Linda Dillow!)  It was so good to laugh, share, pray together, and have a wonderful time with sweet friends that I don’t get to see often enough!

IMG_0533The next day was spent at Focus on the Family.  It was the only “work” day of our trip. Dr. Kathy Koch and I recorded a 3-day Daily Broadcast on No More Perfect Kids that will air sometime in September. I also recorded a show on my book My Hearts at Home, as well as one about my cancer journey.  When I know the air dates, you’ll be the first to know!

We then spent a day in the Rocky Mountains visiting the gold mine cities of Cripple Creek and Victor. photo 2Austin had been asking to go to the mountains so he could practice his photography skills.

My friend from high school, David Smith, is a landscape photographer who lives in Colorado Springs, so he served as our tour guide for the day!

photo 1The day we were in the Rockies was our 31st wedding anniversary.  We had honeymooned in the Rockies so it was a treat to be able to spend our anniversary there!

We then began to head north towards Yellowstone, stopping along the way to see family in Eaton, Colorado.  We spent one evening in Jackson, WY and then traveled through the Grand Teton National Park to get to Yellowstone.

photo 3 (1)Our second night in the Yellowstone area was spent “glamping,” that’s short for glamour camping.  We slept in a tent, but in real beds at Yellowstone Under Canvas.  It was a beautiful setting in the mountains, but it was COLD! The temperature dropped to 33 degrees that night and we had no heat source, just a ton of blankets.  Some tents had pot belly stoves….we wish we’d gotten one of those tents!

photo 2 (1)Yellowstone was incredible. I’d been as a teenager, but Mark and Austin had never been. We saw a moose, a bear, elk, and bison….just meandering along the side of the road!

photo 4The geological features of Yellowstone are fascinating with geysers, mud pots, and more! The scenery is breath-taking, although I will admit that Austin was the average teenager at times.
photo 1 (1)We’d come around a corner to another breathtaking scene and Mark and I would gasp, “Oh my goodness…that is so beautiful.” Austin, in the back seat, would respond blandly, “It looks just like all the other mountains we’ve seen the past three days.”  Gotta love those teen years!

After three days in Yellowstone, we began our trek home stopping at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota and spending the night in Nebraska along the way.

It was a long road trip, but a wonderful time with friends, family, and God’s beautiful creation!

Some summers we’ve had no vacation, some years we’ve done a staycation, other years we’ve spent a week at my mom and dad’s condo in Ft. Walton Beach, FL, but this was only our second major road-trip vacation since we had kids (we made a trip to California when Anne and Evan were 2 and 4!)

The break was much needed and it refreshed my soul in so many ways!

What about you?  What are you doing to unplug and pursue some rest and recreation this summer? 

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