Louisville for a Day

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Last fall, we decided to go crazy and drive 10 hours each way to Louisville over a weekend with a 1-year-old and a 5-year-old.

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No, really we wanted to be there because my aunt and uncle had just moved there, and the family was gathering to celebrate my grandpa’s 90th birthday. He is a total inspiration in his life and we wanted to be a part of that celebration.

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We headed out on Thursday, and broke up the trip by staying the night in St. Louis (a 6 hour drive).

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Of course, we didn’t decide this until the last minute, so Wednesday night, there we were, trying to book an Airbnb that would fit all four of us. We stayed the night with an eclectic guy who was renovating his historic brownstone-type building. He was into Renaissance re-enactments, video games and his mandolin. I was petrified the kids were going to break something in his house, but we survived. He even made us breakfast in the morning, which was sweet.

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After that, we stopped briefly at the St. Louise Zoo, which is free, and totally makes it worth popping in to see a tiger or two.

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It was cool and first thing in the morning, so a lot of the animals were out and about, which was really fun. Then we made the rest of the way to my uncle’s house.

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We enjoyed dinner together with the family, and after the kids settled down in the basement, we watched a video my aunt had put together chronicling my grandpa’s life. It started from before he met my grandma when he served in the Foreign Service in Israel and Jordan, to when he met her in Greece, to the little house they settled in in Miami (when my mom was born!), to another house in Miami and the appearance of my uncle and then my aunt, to another move to north Florida where he worked for the state tax commission, then finally through retirement in St. Augustine, and the little Victorian house that he and my grandma built, where he still lives today. It was a meaningful time to celebrate his life and our family.

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And then my uncle showed us Megan Trainor’s “All About the Bass” video.

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The next day we took a picnic to the Ohio River near downtown, where an old railroad bridge is now a pedestrian walkway.

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We walked across to Indiana, enjoying the crisp fall weather. (Well, some of us walked. Until my aunt and uncle rode up on this bike contraption.)

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There was a playground by where we had lunch, so the kids enjoyed that. (And grandma and grandpa, right?)

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We then headed to Churchill Downs, where the Kentucky Derby is held, checked out the museum and toured the grounds.

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After that, it was time to head home for a birthday dinner for Grandpa!

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The next morning, we packed up early and headed back home. It was a long drive, and the baby screamed most of the last hour, but we made it. And while we were there for just one full day, it was well worth it.

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This Little One is Two

   
This little one has a birthday right after Christmas. So we had a small combo celebration at Grandma’s house in December (my sister and niece also have December birthdays), and then once we got home, we had a little hot chocolate and cookies party for her. 

  We had a cookie cake, cookies and a hot chocolate bar.  

And Then I Get All Bossy

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If you go to Uruguay, you must stop at the World Heritage city, La Colonia.

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We arranged our ferry from Buenos Aires to deliver us to Colonia, from which we took a bus to Montevideo.

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It was about a 2 hour bus ride, as I recall.

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Do not forsake La Colonia.

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Just don’t.

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The lunch we found was just so so, but the wandering and exploring was fantastic.

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We were able to store our bags at the bus station and then wander unencumbered throughout the day.

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I think there was also ice cream involved later in the day, before our bus ride.

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Mine was Dulce de Leche flavor, of course.

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And it turns out our spring/their fall is a pretty fantastic time to visit, with beautiful light.

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I kind of want to be those old people when I grow up.

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Repeat after me: Don’t skip La Colonia!

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Monte, I See You!

IMG_4424 They say, “When in Buenos Aires, pop over to Uruguay.” IMG_4450 Actually, no one says that. But when I found out Uruguay was a mere ferry ride across the bay/Rio de la Plata, and that I had friends/relatives living in Montevideo, I was on it. IMG_4444

My dad spent a year living in Uruguay as a kid, and for some reason I felt like I was filling in the details of his childhood by visiting. Untitled

My grandma always told us how her year in Uruguay was one of the loneliest of her life. And then they moved to Brasil to manage a radio station and my dad discovered the Beatles, so I guess it was all worth it. IMG_4436

The truly great thing about this situation is that we got to see a couple that I went to school with, and they got to show us their city. IMG_4426 Technically, we’re kind of related, because he’s my brother-in-law’s brother. IMG_4435

But I knew the wife better back in school. We were in The Sound of Music together.IMG_4431

I loved experiencing the city with a family that lives there, because we go to experience the rhythm of life.

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Kids go to bed late, dinner is late, and the dulce de leche flows. IMG_4418

And you can eat their recommended dishes and visit their recommended restaurants. IMG_4379

Eat this, every time. #churrascolikeitshouldbe Untitled

We walked down from the city center to the dock/open air market place. IMG_4422

We’d elected to eat lunch at the historical Cafe Brasilero, but by the time we hit the docks, I was seriously regretting our choice.
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All the fresh grilled meat you could choose from.

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But it was a fun practice to see every thing and practice my guerrilla photography.

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I love catching people in the moment, enjoying life, but I’m not skilled enough to work my camera quite fast enough. So they usually end up not quite focused or framed right.

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But these turned out pretty well, and I’m so glad we popped over to Uruguay!

Boise Highlights

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The river walk, except, don’t stinking wear cute little cloth slip-on shoes! You will be freezing the entire time and regret your entire life. IMG_4965

Grandma the kindergarten teacher practicing on the cousins.

IMG_4970 Grandpa soaking in the cuddles, before sitting them in front of the TV so he could get some peace and quiet.

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Mom, can I eat this?

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Gingerbread houses and #candyoverload.

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Ye olde snowball fight.

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Sweet E.

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And sweet cousins.

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And it’s a cliche, but Christmas is SO MUCH more fun with kids around. They get so excited!

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And then there’s my grandma, who we never know if we’ll see again each time we leave.

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And the awkward attempt to get a good family photo.

You Can Take a Girl Out of the Jungle, But You Can’t Teach Her to Sled

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My one faithful blog reader (hi, dad!) complained about the lack of posts since Halloween. I have a few things to share – the rest of the Argentina/Uruguay trip, a trip to China and then all the in-between, but let’s wrap up last year with our 10 days in Idaho at my parent’s house.

Originally, it was just to be our family and my parents, but a last minute event allowed my sister’s family to join us from Ecuador.
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It was a little crazy with all the little kids running around, but it was so fun to have the cousins together. IMG_5191

This sledding adventure was near the end of our trip, but I know it was a highlight for J, and definitely memorable.

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We tried sledding a couple of years ago, but the kids got cold, and the hill wasn’t that great.
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This one turned out to be just perfect, and we finally figured out the secret to sledding: WARM CLOTHES.