Adventures living as expats.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

America 2014

The longer we live outside of America, the more we appreciate just how lucky we are.  Until we tried living without, we were guilty of taking for granted the clean air, blue skies, drinkable tap water, parks, sidewalks, safe food, fresh berries, great health care, functioning free-way systems, and the fantastic beer and wine. During a 3 week trip its easy to notice only the wonderful things, and to us it absolutely felt like we were honeymooning with America.  Arriving back in Jakarta left us both with a lump in our throat after facing the reality that our next trip home would be another 12 months away.  Before I send myself into tears, I'll move on to the fantastic trip summary!

Our adventure started with a week in Carson City to spend some quality time with the family and enjoy the fantastic summer weather.  As always, we were amazed by how much our niece and nephew have changed.  Morgan is such a grown up girl - learning how to swim, starting 2nd grade this year, and taking care of her little brother.  The highlight of the trip was spending 2 days camping at Fallen Leaf Lake where we used to camp with all the neighborhood families when I was a kid.  Tropical beaches are beautiful, but for me they can never beat a pristine mountain lake.

Gorgeous views, just before Jeff dunked his head in the chilly water
Best pals
Next up, we headed to Oregon for a short stay in Portland.  When we lived in Portland, we would count down the days until July rolled around every year.  What a special treat to be there during the summer without having to brave the rain for 9 months.  Our 4 days were filled with catching up with friends, seeing a concert with Jeff's family, an epic day of wine tasting, and generally eating and drinking to excess.
Best day of wine tasting EVER!
Concert on the lawn Mcmenamins with Dalena and Ivan
We were a bit nostalgic leaving Portland after such a short visit, but were soon in awe as we arrived in Yellowstone.  We spent 6 days campervanning around the park and soaking in as much fresh air and nature as possible.  We spotted amazing wildlife including a mama black bear and 2 cubs, 100's of buffalo, elk, and a big horn sheep.  There were a few times we felt like we were on another planet while viewing the bright, multicolored pools and geysers in the park.

Our first stop in Yellowstone - Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces 
This buffalo walked right through our campsite.  They are HUGE up close.
First elk
Grand Canyon of Yellowstone 
Our awesome campervan and best picnic spot around 
Mystic Pool - truly felt like we were on Mars
Our favorite geyser, you can see the car to the right
Jeff's first try at grilling buffalo steaks
We continued our camping trip and headed south to the Grand Tetons for four more days.  The views we jaw dropping and the crowds were thankfully much smaller.   After pestering Jeff for most of the trip, he finally caved in and agreed to go horseback riding.  Once he got over his initial nervousness, he couldn't refrain from yelling giddyup every few minutes and bouncing along at a trot.  He claimed that his horse was slower and he needed to catch up, but I peaked back a few times and witnessed his victorious expression as he sped up.

Stress free and loving the scenery
Frame worthy shot!
Beaver spotting
Whoopie ti yi yo, git along little dogies!
We searched for a bull moose for days and finally spotted one our last night
Views from our dinner cruise
Although we love the opportunities living in Jakarta has given us, there truly is no place like America and we're counting down the months until our next visit!


  1. WOWOWOW these pics are amazing!!

  2. Thanks Les, so sad we missed you by a week. Next time we must hang out! :-)