Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tombstone, Arizona

For Thanksgiving, Dave and I went to Tombstone, Arizona.  The movie Tombstone is pretty historically accurate.  Tombstone was a boom town in the 1880s because of silver mining.  Now, it is a small town with  many tourist.  We arrived on Thanksgiving Day and the entire town was closed except for one museum at the courthouse, a gunfight, two bars, and a gas station.  At least we were able to get good pictures of the town without any people in them.  We really felt like we stepped back into the 1880s!  Friday, all the shops, museums, and gunfights were open and the town was very busy.  If you enjoy the movie, you would love visiting Tombstone.  If you ever find me missing from home, I might be hiding in Tombstone waiting tables!

The main street in Tombstone that was rebuilt to look like life in the 1880s.
We watched a funny, cheesy gunfight in Helldorado Town!

One of the highlights of our trip was going in the Bird Cage Theatre!  It is one of four buildings that are orginal from the 19th century, the other buildings burned.  The doors were shut in 1889 and and reopened in 1934.  Everything inside was untouched and we saw the actual tables that Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday gambled on!  142 bullet holes are still showing throughout the theatre.  Imagine life in these times! 
the original Bird Cage Theatre

Friday, we saw a second gunfight reenacting the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral.  
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
Dave at the O.K. Corral

Several stagecoaches are available to drive you around town.

On Friday, the restarants were open again so we had lunch and dinner at two different saloons.  The servers and bartenders dress in 1880s attire.  "Wyatt Earp" sat at the table behind us at dinner while we enjoyed a live band!
Big Nose Kate Saloon
The characters also walk around town in costume!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Red Ribbon Week and My Classroom

I'm a little behind, but last week was Red Ribbon Week at Anson Elementary!  I think the teachers had more than the kids did dressing up!  On Friday, the first grade teachers dressed as marathon runners!  During our conference, we ran through all the classrooms so everyone knew what we were.  At the end of the day, we had our annual Halloween Parade to say "Boo to Drugs!" 
First Grade teachers ready to run!

Here we are worn out from all our running!

Mrs. Cook trying to sting us!  We are such dorks!

Hippie Day
  This year, our school had our first Open House.  This is what my room looked like when the kids and their familes came in to see our classroom.  The kids had fun drawing themselves!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Victoria Falls

The last week of our trip in Africa, we traveled to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.  We stayed at The Kingdom Hotel four nights and went on six excursions.  It was relaxing to end the trip in a nice hotel without any long, dusty roadtrips.  Upon arriving the first night, we went on a river cruise.  We watched the sunset while enjoying snacks and drinks, and looking out for hippos.  The next day, we took a walking tour of Victoria Falls. The falls are not the widest or tallest falls in the world, but it claims to be the largest waterfalls.  Because the falls are SO large, it was difficult to see the falls from the walking tour.  You also get very wet from the mist.  The following day, we took a helicopter ride to see the falls and we were amazed by it's beauty!
Victoria Falls from the helicopter

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls

Helicopter ride over the falls

The  gorge is a popular area for bungee jumping, swinging, and ziplining.  We were not stupid brave enough for any of these activities!
Victoria Falls Bridge where we watched bungee jumping...just watching made me sick!

Victoria Falls Bridge and Gorge, here people (not me!) swing over the gorge

We went on one last safari before leaving Africa.  The highlight was seeing this momma elephant and her baby.  This baby was the smallest we saw throughout the entire trip. 
Momma elephant

Baby cute!

I tried to get a picture of the baby elephant, but it ran really fast while the momma stood guard.
  Early one morning, we went waking with lions!  They were cubs (one male and one female), but you can see they were still large!  They were one and a half years old.  When they were born, they were taken into captivity and are being raised to return to the wild.  The lion population has been decreasing in Africa, so this program was created to make sure more cubs survive through the first few years.

Petting the lioness

Walking with the lions

Walking with the lions

Our last evening in Africa, we enjoyed a traditional dinner and dance.  Actually, we didn't enjoy the food that much, but the overall experience was great!  You can see they gave us a wrap to wear, painted our face, and passed out drums.   

Face painting

Worms to eat! Yuck!  Don't worry, we didn't try them.

I will have to make another post about our fun, but SCARY whitewater rafting trip!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Gameday Dress

Some of you won't believe it, but I spent the afternoon making a gameday dress with a RED RAIDER!  My friend, Ashton, invited me over to make these dresses that she found on Pinterest.  They were fairly easy to make, but there are a few things I would like to change about mine.  Ashton's turned out really cute!  
Check out this blog for the tutorials.  Thanks Ashton for the invite!  Can't wait for our next project!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hadza People in Africa

For the last few weeks, my life has been consumed with the beginning of a new school year. Therefore, my Africa trip blogging has been put on hold. I hope to make a few more post about our adventure in Africa. So back to Africa...While in Tanzania, we traveled well off the beaten path to visit the Hadza people. They hunt and gather all their food just like their ancestors did thousands of years ago. They are called bushmen because they truly live in the bush. The tribe we visited traveled quiet often and did not have a shelter except for branches that they bundled together to help block the wind. We joined their tribe early in the morning and it was cold. After greeting the tribe, Dave and I set out with three men and our guide to find food for the day. Remember, it was Africa's winter. We didn't see any animals except for a few birds. After a few hours of walking around trying to kill an animal with their bow and arrow, the men decided to head back. Since they didn't return with food, the women had to go gather fruit and berries. Imagine gathering fruit and berries in the winter. We did try a few berries while we were hunting. It amazed me to see people living so primitive.

Dave realized it is very difficult to start a fire with sticks.
He also shot the bow and arrow a few times.
Before we left, the tribe sang and danced for us. They grabbed my hand, danced me around the circle, and made me feel like I was apart of the family.
We had a great time visiting the tribe.  Our international trips constantly remind me how fortunate I am to live in America. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Okavango Delta, Botswana

After leaving Zanzibar, we flew to South Africa for one night and then onto the Okavango Delta in Bostwana. We arrived at Odd Balls Camp in this small plane. The camp is only accessible by boat or plane. This was one of three flights that we took on a small plane throughout our trip.
The plane provided a great view of the delta and we could see animals as well.
Odd Balls Camp was the most primitive camp we stayed at, but it was also one of our favorites. We spent a lot of time visiting with the other guests and the managers of the camp. The great company and peaceful setting made for a wonderful stay.
Our tent...
I thought our shower was a lot of fun! First, you would fill up the bucket using the sink faucet. Then use a pulley system to lift the bucket up higher than the shower head. A hose was connected to the bottom of the bucket and to the shower head. The water was heated by solar power. It worked great!

One afternoon, we had a visitor in the camp. I know this picture is small, but you can see an elephant in the camp while I'll putting on sunscreen. He stayed in the camp for a few hours. We had to wait for him to get off the pathway before we could go to our tent after lunch. Elephants come in the camp often to shake the palm trees for fruit.
Here he is eating leaves right above the kitchen. Soon after this picture was taken he stepped on a water line.

Several times a day, we would go out in the makoro (canoe) with our guide, Poison. That was his nickname, because he is deadly on the soccer field! He would pole us through the small channels (created by the hippos) to take us to an island. Then we would walk around looking for animals.
We mainly stayed in the shallow water, but every once in awhile we had to cross the deep water where the hippos live! This provided some excitement to the otherwise relaxing ride.
Dave tried to drive the makoro...he did pretty good!

From Odd Balls Camp we flew to another area of Botswana. I'll save that for my next post! Thanks for reading about our African adventure!