Tuesday, June 4, 2013

2013 Summer Vaction - Part 1

We just got back from a wonderful 10 nights out in our RV!!  We headed SW Texas to Davis Mountains and Big Bend National Park!!  We had my mother and father-in-law with us (even though my father-in-law had to come back home for half the trip to work :-( )!!  We were pleased though at how well we fit 7 people in the camper for 11 days!!!  :-)!!  You know - if you organize well and use every little bit of space you can find, you can do it!!

Of course we took TONS of pictures as always!!  I got a new camera for Mother's Day :-) so I was playing alot with mine!!

I tried to pull out the best of the best pictures for the blog!  There were so many to choose from and since this will be made into a photo book eventually I didn't want to leave anything out - so I will do several posts for this vacation so you are not bombarded with 150 pictures in one post! LOL!!!

So this first part are highlights from the first leg of our trip - Davis Mountains!  I FELL IN LOVE with Davis Mountains!  It was such a beautiful area!!!  We spent 5 nights here and loved every second of it!!  I am actually going to split it into two posts!  :-)

First I want to highlight our trip to McDonald Observatory!!  This was the COOLEST place!  In fact Seth says this was his favorite part of all of vacation (probably mine too).   We went up there during the day and took the day tour.  We got to see the sun through a telescope - it was really neat seeing the solar bursts and sun spots!  We then took a tour of the telescopes, which was spectacular!  That night we went back to the star gazing party!  Unfortunately storms coming into the area prevented them from pointing out some constellations and deep space objects like they wanted to.  But they did have telescopes pointed at Saturn and the moon that we got to view!  This was my first time to see Saturn in a telescope and it was AMAZING!!  We then went inside and they showed us some recorded views from the telescopes and took us on a virtual tour of the night sky!

Needless to say we ended up purchasing a pretty cool telescope from there!!  We had fun the rest of the trip looking in our telescope and were ecstatic when we were able to see Saturn just as clear as we did in their telescopes!!  We have started a new hobby!!  :-)

Here are the picture highlights.

 A view of the Harlan J Smith telescope from Davis Mountains State Park
 A view of the Hobby-Eberly telescope from Davis Mountains State Park

 This was at parking lot for first telescope

 A view of a smaller telescope below where we were

These next pictures are inside the Harlan J Smith Telescope

 Aaron got to work the controls to move the telescope from left to right.

 Alyssa got to use the controls to move the telescope up and down.

 Seth got to use the controls to move the dome around!  It was a weird feeling watching the top half of the building turn around.

We didn't get any pictures really from the Star Gazing party...except for waiting for it to start!  Alyssa was really being a pill and Daddy got some funny pictures of her. 

The next night we were anxious to play with our new telescope and thought we would do some s'mores as well.  So we went up Skyline Drive (in the state park) and found an exotic s'mores location!  This one is going to be really tough to beat!!  It had the most spectacular view!

Granny was being silly!

And here is our new toy all set up!  (funny thing is that clouds came in this night so we didn't get to really use it!  But we did the next night - just didn't get pictures of that night LOL!) 

And this was Aaron's spot!!  This was a really neat picnic table and grill set up on a cliff!!  But it would have been pretty difficult to get everything down the steps leading to this place (and then getting it all back up the steps after dark)...but I did get some pictures of Aaron at his really COOL spot!

We saw some STUNNING sunsets from the top of Davis Mountains!

We also had fun figuring out how to photograph the moon!

Well that is part 1 of our trip!  I still have many many pictures to share!!  But I am going to take a break for now. :-) 

Until next time,

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