A Journey West – Grand Canyon

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 4.21.49 PM

I had no idea what to expect when we pulled up to the Grand Canyon. I knew my grandmother had visited many times, and LOVED the Grand Canyon, going back many times over the years. I knew that it was supposed to be a phenomenal view. But no picture, no video, no story can prepare you for the sight you actually see.

It. Is. Breathtaking.

We didn’t actually pull into our campground until well into the night, so we had no idea what we were waking up to. Turned out that our camping spot was literally just a concrete extension of the road right in front of the bathrooms. Gross, but convenient.

We all put on way too serious hiking outfits for the concrete trails we would be walking. But hey, we were ready for anything.

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 4.20.39 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 4.20.52 PM









Basically, we just stopped and stared a lot. There was a ledge that peeked out over the edge, and made for some great photo ops. Here’s Danny, snapping some shots of the Jobes. I HAVE NO IDEA WHY WE WERE OKAY WITH THIS.

But we all lived to tell the tale. And of course, the only person to be busted by the ranger, was Andy Jobe. 🙂

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 4.26.23 PMAfter sight-seeing around the South Rim, we took our rickety RV over to the North Rim and up some very rugged not-made-for-an-RV-roads. It was deafening and terrifying and awesome. I’m not sure if we were frightened or entertained or some strange concoction of both, but if you would have told us that wouldn’t be the roughest trail of our trip, I don’t think we would have believed you.

When we finally found a site, it was SO TOTALLY WORTH IT. We happened upon this clearing, surrounded by a half-circle of tall Ponderosa Pines and a smattering of other trees and plants. We were so far out, the stars were incredible. I mean, I have NEVER seen stars like that before. If it wasn’t 25 degrees out, I could have stayed out there all night. And I saw my first shooting star! It was a dream.



(Thanks Danny for the awesome photo!)


We woke up before dawn so we could catch the sunrise over the North Rim. We almost missed it, we couldn’t find our way out of the woods to get to an edge. Eventually, as the sun started to peek, we just pulled over and walked to the nearest overhang.

As the sun rose, more and more of the Grand Canyon became visible. It was like every minute that passed presented a new sight to see. I felt so in awe of the creation that was before me.

RVJourneyWest14_GrandCanyon-26 RVJourneyWest14_GrandCanyon-31 RVJourneyWest14_GrandCanyon-27

Can I just build a cabin and stay here?

We Went to Virginia!

A couple years ago, part of our family moved to this LOVELY little town near Charlottesville, and we finally were able to go and visit. Despite the long drive (which actually didn’t really FEEL like a long drive, but don’t tell my husband I said that), we had a fantastic time! The town is very much like our town, an eclectic college town, except way more historic and way more mountainous.


We visited the apple orchard from which Erin takes all of these amazing, glorious, I-Want-To-Be-There-Right-Now photos, and it was more than I imagined. Even on the cloudy day, the view was breathtaking. Imagine our joy when we went back on a not so cloudy day a few days later! This place was so much fun, and it was even more fun getting to see the places they LIVE.

Geoff and I even snuck off to check out Monticello. I mean, Monticello. I just finished reading “John Adams” by David McCullough, so my interest was peaked. I love most things that help us travel through time, and being able to step foot in Jefferson’s old home had me so excited I nearly skipped to the visitor center.


This is us, at the back door that overlooks the garden.




Years ago, my grandparents gave me a book that they had purchased when THEY visited Monticello. Geoff and I found it! So of course I had to get my picture with it.

But mostly, we just hung out at the house and built legos, momentarily held babies, read books, and just spent time with the people we came to see! Erin might tell you that she frightened us of ever wanting children, but it was the exact opposite. That Oliver, so stinking cute, even if he just wants his Momma right now. But who can blame him, honestly.

Geoff got to hold Oliver for a few minutes, they stared at each other skeptically. It was all very Ranson-esque.




We also went to the Lake, those Johnson’s have the right idea living on a LAKE. We loved visiting them, and seeing the place they now call home. Times are a changin’, people are a movin’, and it’s good to keep up 🙂

Holland Family Visits Michigan

First of all, the HOUSE WAS FULL. And it was great. Lots of people, lots of love, lots of laughing. Even though they were only here for a couple days, it was enough to get that I-feel-full feeling that comes with good company. 

We visited 4 parks, went downtown, ate out A LOT, went to 2|42 for church, and stayed up late watching movies. It was a good time.

We took some quick pictures before they left, and every single group picture was ruined by one person or the other. Some day they might look back and wish they had something to remember things by, pictures that are FOND and not idiotic, but that day is not today. So, we take deep breaths and stick with what we’ve got. Image



(Clearly the only normal ones)




As Carson would say, “embrace the weird”. 

And we do.