Monday, August 25, 2014

Eye on the Girls

Redding, CA
July 2014

After a few days in Lassen Volcanic National Park, we headed towards Redwoods National Park. I needed to pick up a prescription for Kellisa at a Walgreens in Redding, CA. There was a delay in getting the prescription, so we spent a day swimming at a hotel and running errands. Laurel wanted to help Kellisa in the pool and they had a great time together.
I needed to get a few items from Walgreens, so we went into the store to pick up the prescription. Laurel wanted to look at some little girl make-up that was on an end cap. I was looking at something with Kellisa just around the corner from Laurel. We were less than five feet away, but Laurel was out of my eyesight.
I heard security paged over the speaker in the store to conduct a sweep of the store. I immediately looked around the corner to check on Laurel and she was standing there looking at the make-up.  I was disturbed to also see a man less than three feet away from Laurel just looking at her. When we made eye contact, he turned to fumble on a shelf like he was looking at something other than Laurel.
Laurel was not happy when I grabbed her without a reason and made her leave the aisle. I don't know what a molester looks like, but if I had to describe would be this guy exactly. I kept both girls close the rest of the time in the store and I noticed this guy always hanging somewhat close to us and it never seemed like he had a purpose. I let Laurel get some lip gloss to make up for me grabbing her and we paid for everything at the pharmacy.
As we were leaving the store, we saw the man in the checkout line and he was only purchasing four of the largest containers of Vaseline. With the disabled card, we were parked right by the door and I quickly loaded the kids and we were off before the man left the Walgreens.
I'll never know if he was up to something or if it was just a series of coincidences. From then on, I made sure to keep both girls in my sights. It wasn't always easy since Kellisa likes to wheel off on her own and Laurel likes to assert more and more independence every day.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Kellisa's 1st Day of School

Mandarin Oaks Elementary School
Jacksonville, FL
August 7, 2002

Kellisa was able to start at the elementary school when she was 3 years old. Here's two pictures from her very first day.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Junior Rangers

Lassen Volcanic National Park
July 2014
The girls became Junior Rangers at Lassen Volcanic National Park. Laurel worked very hard to complete the 7-9 year old program with minimal help. She also helped Kellisa complete her book.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Lassen Volcanic National Park

July 2014
We enjoyed two days in Lassen Volcanic National Park. Our days were filled with mountain views, lakeside rambles, gazing into boiling mud pools and even a snowball fight in the middle of July!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Southwest Walk-in

Lassen Volcanic National Park
July 2014
We spent two nights camping at the Southwest Walk-in campground in Lassen Volcanic National Park. The campground is a short walk from the visitor center parking lot with water and restrooms close by. It's almost backcountry camping and a perfect way for us to camp.

Monday, August 11, 2014

States Visited- Laurel

With Arizona and Oregon added in July 2014, Laurel has now visited 26 United States.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Denver Zoo

Denver, CO
June 2014
We had a couple of hours before our flight home and a quick search revealed that the Denver Zoo had Laurel's favorite animal on exhibit...the polar bear. We only had time to see the polar bears and the snake house (Kellisa's favorite) along with a few animals that were between the exhibits.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Estes Park Aerial Tramway

Estes Park, CO
June 2014
We saw a tram (Estes Park Aerial Tramway). Both girls love tram rides.We rode the tram to the top of a mountain to enjoy the views and a quick snack. It turned cold and rainy. We rode the tram back down. Kind of uneventful by our usual standards.

I would like to add that the tram ride and the mountain top were very accessible. The staff was pleasant and accommodating. However, we found the parking lot to the ticket counter and then back to the parking lot to the disabled entrance to the tram a doable struggle.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Lily Lake Trail

Rocky Mountain National Park
June 2012

Our last hike of the trip was the nicely accessible Lily Lake Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park.