I’ve been hearing about so many vacations that people are planning for the summer and It’s made me go through my photo albums to look at places I’ve gone throughout the years. It’s not feasible for me to go on vacation now, but a girl can dream, right?

So, I thought in the spirit of people taking amazing vacations, I’d share some places that I have been and my experiences.

San Antonio, Texas


A number of years ago, I took a trip to San Antonio and we had a great time. I went with my family and my best friend. The first stop was the Aquarium. Now, the aquarium was alright, but I felt it was more for kids. There were no large animals and focused more on the kids being eye level with fish and sting rays and such. There is an aviation room where you can feed the birds. The kids seemed to enjoy watching the fish plop and swim around.

Dining with Shamu private show
Arielle during dining with Shamu
Sea World Penguin exhibit

Yes, I went to Sea World. The kids loved the penguins the most. We went and did the whole dining with Shamu event. It was fairly prices and we got a private show. Then, we went to the big show and the kids had a lot of fun. We got a Caricature Picture drawn of them too. (I know it’s not the best place to go and spend money on, but I wanted to see an Orca in person for most of my life, sue me for living my dream. If you are boycotting Sea World, I’m sorry. I lived out a dream I had and I dare say I don’t regret that experience.)


I especially enjoyed the San Antonio Zoo. The kids were to young to enjoy it so, we didn’t end up staying all that long. But, it is a nice place to visit and there are family areas, a playground, a butterfly garden, and plenty of places to grab drinks or food. The weather was wonderful during our vacation. We went in April.

Towers of Americas
Towers of Americas

The Tower of America’s Restaurant is a really amazing place to eat. You get a view of the entire city and you get a delicious meal and great atmosphere.

Towers of Americas
The Alamo

The Alamo is a great place to go and learn about the historical site. I quite enjoyed the tour and the entire setting. The gift shop was neat to look at.

The Alamo

I plan to take my kids to plenty of places where they can learn about history and what was done in the past. It’s a huge thing on my bucket list. I want my kids to be educated and to get a view of the world and it’s different ways.


My father’s side of the family lives in Wisconsin and I’ve had the pleasure of visiting few times now. Each experience was different but I really enjoy it up there. It’s a great place to visit if you go to the Dells. The first time I went, my grandmother, aunt, and uncle took me and I had a blast. It was really awesome to go the the circus, a magic show, the Tommy Bartlett Show (water skiing), The Ducks (Look it up, it’s really neat), and the Witches Gulch.

My Aunt Doreen, Uncle Jim, Grandmother Myra, and Mike
My grandma Myra and I
The Witches Gulch
The Tommy Bartlett Show
The Witches Gulch
We went camping sort of and stayed at John and Nancy’s who were super sweet people.
Magic Show

The second visit, I went up to visit my sister and stayed with her for a summer. I got to meet and hang out with my nephew, Wade, and I got to visit the ranch my sister, Amanda, worked on at the time. It was such a nice place to spend the summer surrounded by corn fields and the weather was pretty great. Although, I disliked the mosquitoes, I won’t lie. They were HUGE!

Wade and I
My sister’s House at the time
Holy Hill Church

Another visit was for my sister’s Wedding and during that trip, I rode with my parents and my siblings all through the country and stopped at a few places along the way. It was fun to see certain things and a different landscape than I’m used to. I quite enjoyed visiting Nebraska and Kansas, even just for stops. Though, a pending tornado wasn’t good on my nerves. It scared me a little, but I managed to be okay.

Nebraska Rest Stop
Erika, Dad, and I
Weather in Kansas that scared me. I really thought there would be a tornado. I was told I was being dramatic. You decide. There were high winds, rain, and it looked like the clouds were circling.

The last trip was just last year for my 30th birthday. My sister, Amanda, hosted me for a few days where we went to a water park. It was the first time in 4 years that I actually got to go swimming. Thanks, Amanda! It was so fun. Walking around the Dells was fun and taking cool pictures in Belle dresses was pretty awesome. More than that, I got to see the family and that was great for me.

My Sister’s Beautiful view from her kitchen
We sat in this little area and I thought this building looked really cool.
Julian, Alex, and Wade
I liked dressing up in a Belle outfit.

North Dakota

I spent a summer working as an Intern for the Natural Resource Conservation Service in Park River, North Dakota. I had never been away from home and I admit, I struggled outside of work. It was a small town, really quiet, but I learned a lot and I learned a lot about myself during and after that summer. I did enjoy it up there and I lived with an amazing woman, Hattie Strand. She was so sweet and baked amazing sweets. It was gorgeous there too.

The very first day I walked around the area and came across this area. It was so pretty and I used to sit here when I had the time. It was so peaceful.
The other side of the calm waters.
Homme Dam
Entering Park River
The Strand’s house where I stayed in their downstairs basement apartment. It was set up just like another house underground.
Every weekend I would go to this movie theater. I watched tons of movies.
The Strands
Hot Stuff
NRCS Office where I was an Intern
My walk home every day. It was gorgeous.

Lago Vista, Texas

My parents had a timeshare in Lago Vista and the house was really nice. It was a little ways from Austin. We drove right into the city to explore and have fun. The area was on the water and pretty as a picture. Deer loved to come right up to the door and would stay for hours grazing. It was a relaxing vacation.

Grace and I having an afternoon rest.
The kids went out on the boat.
Amanda and Damian
Grammy with all the grandbabies
Austin Zoo
Austin Zoo


I spent 2 summers in the Upward Bound Math and Science Program in High School. I got to stay in a dorm, take classes during the week, participate in a presentation for my education, and spend many weekends going on amazing trips. I had the best time going and still to this day have fond memories of those summers.

The view was so pretty.
Group shot of us in town.
Colorado Rapids Game
The Renaissance Festival was super cool to go to.
Capture the Flag
Family Group
Group Shot
Family Group
Group Shot
White Water River Rafting
Cabin fun in Salida, CO.
Senior Group Shot
Forensic Science
Choir Group Shot
Hot Springs
Six Flags

These are some of the vacations that I’ve been on and seeing all these photos has given me the itch to go somewhere else. I’ve never had a ton of money to go out of the country like I dream of doing, but I still have fun when I can. Next month, we are going camping and that will be enough for now. However, soon I plan to be able to take my kids somewhere fun.

Where have you been and what was your experience?

5 thoughts on “Vacations

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  1. I love this post! Your photos are amazing and your descriptions are wonderful. It’s nice seeing Wade grow up too! I went on my first vacation when I was 17. Some of my sisters rented a house in co. cork for a week and my dog and I went along. We went horse riding and it was really cool. We went on vacation here the next three years. My next vacation was about ten years later. In the space of a couple of years I went from never leaving the country to going on trips to Rome, Venice, Madeira, Barcelona, southern France and a month in New Zealand! I got my life time of vacations all done at once, I think! Lol.

    1. Wow, that’s amazing. I have a bucket list of destinations I’d love to visit. Some are where my family descended from and some are history and desire. I love horseback riding btw.

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