The Wedding

On May 21, Meghan’s brother got married in Asheville, NC at the Biltmore Estate.  The day was beautiful and the bride and groom had a great time!  We got some photos in front of the house and gardens and then went over to Deer Park, the restaurant where the ceremony and reception were held.  Definitely different to go to Biltmore dressed to the nines rather than the shorts and sneakers from last time Meghan and her mom went.  Everyone loves to see a wedding party, especially there.

from the rehearsal dinner night- held at the Champagne Cellar at the Winery

Wedding party in front of the house

the wedding digs

Sean & Stephanie & crew

Meg & parents

Meg with Aunt Sue & Aunt Dorothy- the "fun aunts"

Many more pics posted on Flick’r.

Blue Ridge in May

…continued journeys in May.  After our day in DC, we headed south on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  This is one of our favorite trips, but Meghan had never been the length of it, so here was our chance.  It starts/ends at the Southern end of Shenandoah and goes to the Smoky Mountains in TN.  We hopped on after a night at the first Bed & Breakfast (a nice bed, a great breakfast!).

Day 4 started with another great breakfast at the Lazy Bear Lodge near Boone, NC.  This place was great- we only wish we had had more time there!  The owner was fun and she posed us in all these different positions in the “lodge.”

one such pose

jeff "got" to hand feed the fish

trip to the top of Grandfather Mountain

 

At the end of Day 4, we were in Asheville, almost ready to transition to wedding activities!

A link to all the Blue Ridge pictures on facebook is here.

(I forgot to give the link for the DC pictures- you can find them here.)

May

May was busy.  Or at least one week of it was busy.  Meghan’s brother got married on May 21 in Asheville, NC so we took the week beforehand to drive through Virginia down through North Carolina on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We also ended up taking a detour through Washington, DC to avoid bad weather on one of our “hiking” days.  It was awesome and unfortunately already seems like a long time ago!

The first day was spent mostly driving, getting to Winchester, VA.  We went to the cute little downtown area, so that was kind of fun!

The next day was supposed to be a trip through Shenandoah Valley but the forecast was for heavy storms so we detoured over to Washington, DC instead.  We figured we could just hit up all the museums if it rained.  It actually turned out to be a pretty nice day in DC, but apparently still rainy in Shenandoah, so good move!  Jeff took some great shots!

OK, my computer and my brain are moving too slow right now so we need to reboot.  More on the May trip to come!

November

I have been waiting for pics to be ready and this and that, but Christmas is coming so I have to get the November blogging out of the way.  I was thinking the other day that I haven’t really blogged about “real” things other than “we did this” “we did that” for awhile now.  But this will unfortunately be a “we did this” kind of post… I’ll work on substance next time.

The most exciting November thing was our vacation to Tucson early in the month for a long weekend.  We found an awesome Bed & Breakfast run by a cute Christian couple (the Jeremiah Inn for anyone headed to Tucson!).  As we often do, we packed a lot (probably too much) into our short stay.  But you never know if you’ll get to Tucson again so you don’t want to miss anything right?  I’ll give a quick run down:

Day 1: walking around downtown.  Disappointing.  I’ll blame it on being Veteran’s Day but didn’t really seem like it would normally be that bustling.  We did see the San Xavier Mission, which was a cool historic mission on the Indian Reservation.

Day 2: Biosphere 2.  I have been dreaming of this since 3rd grade.  Maybe not continuously… but when we started thinking about going to Tucson and I learned that’s where Biosphere was, it became the top of my list.  I don’t know that I could say Jeff caught my dream, but he at least thought it was cool.  We got to tour all of the biomes and see the underneath with all the engineering as well.  The coolest part were the “lungs” that account for the air expansion that takes place in the hot desert.  You just have to see them 🙂

After Biosphere we went to one of the two Saguaro National Parks (the other thing I was uber looking forward to since 3rd grade– apparently I was destined for this vacation sooner or later!)

Day 3: Our big trip.  We drove out to Chiricahua National Monument about 2 hours east of Tucson for some amazing rock formations and mountains to climb.  We were a bit over ambitious and ended up doing a 7 1/2 mile hike in the mountains- below is the pic of our reward.  We made it back by sundown, just barely.  It was one of the coolest places we have ever been!

Day 4: Tried to make it a light day to recover but still ended up walking all over the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.  It was really more like a zoo and it was decent.  Saw some animals and some gems and minerals and I guess a few other things.  And found a few other Colts fans in the desert!  After the museum, we saw sunset in the other Saguaro Park.

 

Day 5: Finally a little more recovered, we put our hiking shoes back on and headed to Sabino Canyon before our flight left.  We loved this day as well and can say we really loved Tucson.  Yet another place I could see myself ending up!

End of November brought Thanksgiving.  I had to work on Thanksgiving day but we headed up to Kokomo that Saturday for what has become our traditional Kelly-Miller Christmas with my and Jeff’s parents.  It was a great meal to kick off the holiday eating!

 

Panama Canal

Our day of journey and last day in Panama brought us to the canal.  We flew into Panama City pretty early in the morning and had about 5 hours of layover and had to switch airports anyway so we had our taxi take us to the canal.  The Miraflores Locks are really close to the city and we made it just in time to see the last two ships going through.  It is quite a long process for each one, so I don’t think we would’ve wanted to see any more than that anyway.  We started off on the top deck watching the ships go through.  After they were on the way to the middle of the country, we went back inside and watched a somewhat cheesy movie about the history and future of the canal.  They are building two new bigger locks, one on the south and one on the north, so that bigger ships can come through and they can get more traffic.  Should be done in 2012 I think.  Not necessarily something I would travel to Panama to see, but something to check off the life list!

Ship coming in, being pulled/guided by some high-tech locomotives on the sides

The gates are opening!

Heading out to Panama

Last pic of us in Panama!