May 15, 2010

Vacation and International postcard swap fun.

It's been quiet on our blog so far this month because we ran off to play in Yosemite Valley for a few days :) It was a lovely break that for once didn't involve the insane amounts of jet lag that the usual trip to the land of our fathers does. Like our trips to Wales though, we still got a great big healthy dose of natural beauty.
Here's me and the girls on Mother's Day at a motel outside Jamestown, on the way to Yosemite. I'm looking sheepishly happy about how much I am enjoying shelling pistachios with the kids whilst watching Superman II :) Notice that the Dollar Store dishtowel skirts of yore are still going strong, but due to rapid kid growth are more like miniskirts these days!
Yosemite was so much fun! Rainy with no coats, snowstormy in an unheated tent-cabin, but adventuretastic with all sorts of new experiences, like licking snow off the car, and building the world's most diminutive snowman.
Also the kids got to pee in a trash can so that we wouldn't have to take them out in the night into a snowstorm. Don't worry, I didn't take a picture of that. We found giant pine cones in the snow, and marvelled at the enormous and stunning landscape around us.
While we were out there we posted our five cards to our five allocated families as part of the International Postcard Swap organized by Zoe over at "Playing by the book". Because we were out and about the whole time, I ended up writing the cards myself, and then my five year old drew a rainbow on each (a rainbow from next to the waterfall). The kids clambered all over a fallen tree in a meadow on the floor of the valley while this was going on. You can see the top half of Yosemite falls in the background. This was our final day in the Valley and thankfully the sun came out to make it a toasty warm one!
We made it to the Yosemite Valley post office five minutes before it shut on the last day for mailing our cards (not that we were rushing to get there or anything, we just got lucky because we had no idea it closed early). Both of the girls want to send drawings to the other kids too, so I'll probably help them to send a letter too now that we're back home.

The last day of our five day vacation was spent down at Portola State Park, where the kids created a magnificent castle with a bridge over to it in the river. They really are fanatical little outdoor builders!

How big do you think they have to get before their dad can no longer do this without some kind of horrific stretch armstrong disaster? I've just noticed...there's the other dish towel skirt! I guess my littlest lass chooses to wear them quite often.

When we got back to our home we found four lovely pastcards from other families in the swap waiting for us. From Canada, Texas, Japan and Australia. Thank you to Rai, Deb and Simone, Ella and Agatha, and Cooper for the exciting postcard swappageness below.

We also had a really exciting package from Cleo and Miguel (not part of the postcard swap, just some lovely people we've been chatting and mailing thanks to blogland). They live in South Africa and among the lovely gifts in the parcel they sent were two gorgeous Zulu bangles, made from tiny seed beads, and the material that everything is on top of, which we are told is called "Shwe-shwe" because of the noise that skirts made from it create when you walk. How cool is that! Thank you Cleo and Miguel!
Thank you Zoe for setting up the postcard swap for us all. It must have taken a lot of organisation to pull it off, and it's very much appreciated :)


Play for Life said...

Wow what a beautiful place to visit, beautiful photos you snapped , beautiful story you told and beautiful family you are. Donna :) :)

Unknown said...

I've been reading your blog for a long time. You are amazing and such a great mother. The pictures are beautiful. It was fun to see a picture of you. You look younger than I thought you were. Thanks for all the inspiring ideas.

Playing by the book said...

I'm so glad you've had fun with the swap! Yes, it was some work to organise, but that's fading in the memory now that I'm reading about everyone's cards and what they did with them. Yosemite looks amazing - breathtaking. I love the river castle.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

stunning stunning photos. I love the one of the girls swinging.

Michele @ The Hills are Alive said...

Beautiful photos of a beautiful place - lots of memories created and fun times for your kids too

Elle Sees said...

So lovely! I've been there before and this makes me miss it so!

Becca said...

I love those hats the girls are wearing! Where did you get them?

Lindsey said...

They are from Old Navy Becca. We don't buy a lot of stuff new, but these we actually bought only a couple of weeks ago, so they are probably still in store. They are on the large size, so the girls will likely get two or three years of wear out of them :)Both of the kids LOVE them. I wish they had one that would fit me!

Kami said...

Mmmmm... such a dreamy place! Glad y'all got to go have so much fun.

max said...

so adorable! you are so cute! (and young like kami said!) i love your blog so much! thanks for all the great ideas!