25 Inspiring Photos of America the Beautiful for July 4th

25 Inspiring Photos of America the Beautiful for July 4th

White House made of Lego bricks, Legoland, California

Happy 4th of July, friends!

There’s this one DIY/home decorating blog that I love, even though this blogger’s home looks the polar opposite of mine. Seriously. She has 4 kids, and yet she decorates in white.

And yet it looks beautiful. Her blog is Tidbits-Cam.com,  and if you want to be inspired by photos of sheer beauty (who doesn’t?), give her a visit.

Today on her blog, she is showcasing inspiring patriotic images, and I liked it so much I decided to do my own version of that post.

So I give you 25 photos of America the Beautiful.

Since we’ve lived all over the U.S. of A., we have seen first hand just how gorgeous our country is, and I wanted to share that here today.

All photos are my own, except for a few that Aunt Janet provided.

 

25 Inspiring Photos of America the Beautiful for July 4th

Lego Mount Rushmore, Legoland, California

Go ahead and get that song in your head. “Oh beautiful, for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain. For purple mountains majesties…”

 

25 Inspiring Photos of America the Beautiful for July 4th

near Yosemite, California

 

25 Inspiring Photos of America the Beautiful for July 4th

Half Dome, Yosemite, California

25 Inspiring Photos of America the Beautiful for July 4th

Yosemite, California

25 Inspiring Photos of America the Beautiful for July 4th

a day at the ballpark

25 Inspiring Photos of America the Beautiful for July 4th

White House, 2012

25 Inspiring Photos of America the Beautiful for July 4th

Alabama

25 Inspiring Photos of America the Beautiful for July 4th

Sea to shining sea…I don’t actually remember which ocean this is.

25 Inspiring Photos of America the Beautiful for July 4th

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA

25 Inspiring Photos of America the Beautiful for July 4th

Look closely. Many of those rocks are actually sea lions laying on rocks. Monterey Bay, California

25 Inspiring Photos of America the Beautiful for July 4th

Alexandria, Virginia

25 Inspiring Photos of America the Beautiful for July 4th

Alexandria, Virginia

25 Inspiring Photos of America the Beautiful for July 4th

One of my all time favorites. Not only was he making snow angels, but you can see all the places he’d already walked, just like the way the Family Circus comics show foot-paths traveled by Billy. So cute!

Climbing trees are a bonafide part of childhood.

Poppies!

Carmel Valley, California, photo by Janet

Carmel Valley, California, photo by Janet

Monterey, California, photo by Janet

youth, photo by Amy Driscoll

on the road again

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Cliff Dwellers, Colorado

Disney World, Florida

Alabama

Billy Graham’s “The Cove” in North Carolina, photo credit The Cove

I count it one of my greatest blessing to have lived in so many different parts of this country. It truly is America, the beautiful.

Happy 4th of July to you all!

 

Can we go to Chima now: the 2nd Day of Legoland

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We have now been back from vacation for three days. I suppose one would expect us to be fully unpacked and ready to go back to school tomorrow.

Alas, that isn’t exactly the case. We have made great strides in that direction; however, Daniel and J.D.’s suitcases remain stuffed. Plus, there is one great complicating factor. The neighborhood kids are STILL on Spring Break. They get TWO weeks. I can’t do that! Then the boys would be in school until June. I want to get this year over and finished with.  So I have to teach these boys this week without the neighborhood kids beckoning my home schooled children out of their books. *groan*

But that’s not what we’re here to discuss is it? Let’s talk about Legoland!

Day 2 of Legoland was even more successful than day one.

1. We didn’t lose any children.

2. We did rides, the water park, this giant playground thing, and Seascape (Legoland aquarium).

3. Water rides are the way to children’s hearts; I have decided. For men, you need good cooking. For children, you need water. 😉

Brief Recap of Day One:

Miniland

Miniland

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Coastal Cruise

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Dan entertained us with his monkey impersonation.

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Two more pics from Day One. I found them on Alan’s camera, and thought they were perfect:

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Lego shopping. They did even more of this on day 2.

Day Two

We headed straight for the back of the park. We were hoping to hit the rides that we’d missed on day one. The first thing we did was send Daniel to “driving school.” It’s just a ride where kids ages 3-5 drive Lego cars that are just their size.

Bizarreness!

We ran into our neighbors. Our actual neighbors! As in, they live across the street, two houses over! How weird is that!!??  We ran into them THREE times that day. I have been meaning to get to know them better, so this was a good first step.

Even more bizarre: they have a one year old boy, a three-year old boy, and a seven-year old boy. You can’t make this stuff up!

No, I failed as a blogger. I did not get a picture of us, with them. tututut

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Day Two!!! Daniel is holding his driver’s license, which he earned at “driving school.”

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Bigger kid driving school

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my favorite picture of the year!!!

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The big boys and Alan rode this fire truck thing while JD and I listened to the Lego Mariachi band over and over and over and over. JD loved it.

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lego mariachi

Do you see the Lego mariachi band in the background? You just never know what the children will take a liking to.

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my dancing boys. Yes, I do realize how super NOT cute my outfit was. I was going for comfort, ya’ll. *shake my head*

Lego policeman

“Is it strange that I find that Lego policeman attractive?”

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heading into our Egyptian Lego adventure

After we showed the boys the sign to prove that the water park wasn’t open until 12pm, we took a little pyramid mystery adventure.

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That’s Joshua. Or Caleb. Okay. This is a hard one.

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Airplane ride!

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This Medieval style playground was incredible. The boys played in it for 20 minutes, until we pulled them out for lunch.

My favorite thing about that playground was watching the boys play together so sweetly. They stuck together the whole time.

We grabbed lunch, and then it was……… WATER PARK TIME!

First, there is a free splash park area, so we did that.

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Caleb seems oblivious to freezing cold water.

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JD was not so easily convinced. He decided to stay dry.

This is very indicative of his personality. Ya’ll, this boy! He doesn’t like change. He doesn’t like to try new things. He is skeptical of new ideas. He’s very practical for a 21-month-old. “Splash park in 70 degree weather? No, thanks.”

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He walked up close to the sprinklers, but he still managed to stay dry.

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Happy, fun-loving Daniel: not a dry speck on him.

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Can we go?

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Before long, Joshua got out of the Splash castle and informed us that the water was way too cold. He was ready to move on too. We put them in the dryer.

Pretty cool dryer, huh? We didn’t want to lug around a bag full of towels, so this was our answer. Don’t worry. At the end of the day, Alan did purchase a gigantic Legoland beach towel to wipe the kids dry.

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The Lego Land water park has multiple pools. We were very happy with it. This is kiddie pool #1. There are two very similar to this: this one in the front, and then the “Swamp” in the Chima portion of the park.

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Daniel did the little water slide.

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Daniel got a little nervous about this bigger water slide.

This was really sweet. The lifeguard went down the slide with Dan. Then he walked him through the deeper water back to Alan. Where are this kid’s parents anyway, geesh! 😉

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Yep. I got in too.

The Lazy River was WONDERFUL. Of course, there was nothing lazy about the way we ran past everyone in our floats. Those floats were just decorations for us. Boys. They are who they are.

Joshua was so cute. He and Caleb did this by themselves first. Then Joshua came out of the first round, and he told me, “Mom! Go put on your swimsuit while we are going around it again. When you are done, you can go around it again WITH us! It’s great! The water is WARM!”

Sold.

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Meanwhile, at the kiddie pool…..

Daniel was so cold. Alan had him take off his swim shirt and lay down on the hot concrete to warm up. Poor little darling.

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And JD just wanted to do this.

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It took a WHOLE LOT of convincing, but I finally got JD to sit on the very edge of the Swamp.

Yes, my swimsuit has a skirt. Laugh all you want, but I get to walk around freely, not worried at all about jiggling bits, uncovered areas, or cellulite, and that makes me really happy. 🙂 Besides, I like to tell myself that it’s a “cool” LL Bean skirt, not like the ruffled kind. Yeah, I know. I’m reaching.

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Only the big boys were tall enough to play in the Chima wave pool.

Activities that only included part of the family just don’t last long for us. It’s not fun to have to split up the group. By this time, I had JD soundly asleep, under the LegoLand beach towel, in the stroller.

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Caleb and his boat creation.

Outside the wave pool, they had this area where you could race Chima speeders and another area where you could race boats down this little pool. The boys played with that for about 20 minutes.

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all smiles from a successful Chima water park day!

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Our white, blue-eyed tribe has a little trouble with the sun.

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We left the water park area. I found coffee, and they found another Lego store. I found myself a nice bench inside the store while they shopped. After a good, loooong while I noticed that I didn’t hear their voices or see them.

I hopped up and looked around. They were gone!!!!

*moment of realization!* Huuuuuh?? I am the lost one! They lost me??? That’s not…how is that possible??

No worries. I found them rather quickly. They were all standing around, in the middle of the road together, looking confused. “Where is Mom????”

All was forgiven, as I tried to explain to a group full of males that Lego stores are actually not interesting at all to me..

One last ride through Storybook Land before we leave….

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Goofing around:

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We headed over to Legoland’s Seascapes, which is their aquarium.

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Caleb was excited to see the sharks.

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See the shark made of Lego blocks?

There really wasn’t much to the aquarium. Onto dinner! We didn’t stay at Legoland Hotel, but we did eat supper there that night:

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If every kid were as easy to please as Caleb….oh how great life would be!

As we headed out of our 2nd day in Lego land, Caleb ACTUALLY said, “Oh, look, a man made out of Legos!”

I guess some things never get old.

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So we said good-bye to Legoland. On to the San Diego Zoo for Day 4 of our Spring Break adventure! Come back tomorrow to see one of the world’s most famous zoos!

 

Click and done! Thank you!