Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Laid Back and Lazy

Quiet night for us tonight. We are part of the big Trick or Treat extravaganza and so instead of being in the house, Aldwyn and I ran up to the little gazebo area on the other side of the bridge to set up camp for the evening.

Laid Back And Lazy

We are going trick or treating tomorrow night with the family, I believe. We only had one little group show up tonight, but with so many houses on the list, and a lot of them have bigger Halloween setups, I don't doubt that people are taking their time and exploring. I know we will be!

I've been yawning in Al's ear for the past hour, so it's bedtime for me!

Señora, she's a sensation!

After a whole day of not seeing each other, most of the family went out last night for a little Halloween fun! First we hit up Halloween Town. It's pretty cute, although there is not tons to do there if you're not shopping. But we did hit up the haunted house and the place had several rooms that were dedicated to different scary movies, like Paranormal Activity, The Shining, The Blair Witch Project, and... Beetlejuice!

Jump In the Line

Payton has actually never seen the movie! So we're definitely putting that on our list for movies to watch with the family.

Before we left Halloween Town, we wanted to get a picture in front of the sign. But for some reason, when it became apparent that we were getting into photo position, this girl decided she needed to be in the photo, too. And also this guy was flying around on a flaming broom. But hey, the more the merrier, right? Just know that the girl hanging from the balloon [which is a freebie there at Halloween Town] and the guy on fire are NOT part of the family.

At Halloween Town

We went to another place afterwards, but for the life of me, I can't remember the name of it. It was SUPER ridiculously laggy, too. So we decided to head on over to the Linden Halloween tour. I have done it before, but it's definitely worth a few ridethroughs because there is much to see and it's all SO well done.

Spooky House

I don't know when they are going to take it down, if they take it down, but you HAVE to go to it. Just make sure that you do everything the notecard tells you to do, like putting on advanced lighting and using the region light setting, so that you get the best experience. I have not gone through it without doing that so I can't tell you if it sucks if you don't. I really should go through just using my normal settings to see what it looks like.

In fact... okay, hang on.


Nope. You need advanced lighting on. The place uses materials and without them on, it doesn't look as good. If you can't run advanced lighting, just make sure you use the region's light setting because in a bright light without materials, you just don't get the total spooky experience.

Today, I have to finish up our front porch because tomorrow, the trick or treating starts! There are 40 or so homes that have signed up to do it and pretty sure most of them will be way more haunted and stuff than ours. *laughs* But that's okay, I'm not competing. I just want the kids to get some candy. Speaking of which...I better go get some candy to give out!

Monday, October 27, 2014

I Believe We'll Be Okay

Heading back home today. :( I am going to miss starting my SL day out at the coffee shop.

One more coffee

This really has been just the best week I've had in SL in a long time. Just being here has helped in so many ways. How could I possibly be down or out of sorts when I could just hang out here in such a beautiful place?

Grand Canyon -1

Grand Canyon -2

I definitely think that this trip has bonded us more as a family. Not that we're not close as it is, but this was definitely a chance for us to be more of a family.

Grand Canyon - 5

Grand Canyon - 4

Grand Canyon - 6

If you're in the family community, I really urge you to do things like this with your family. In fact, you can even rent out this location! [Contact my sis, Lolita Oleander, by notecard if you're interested in making a reservation. You can read and see some pics here for more info.] But there are other places you can go for vacations in SL, too. Cruises, beaches, winter places, etc. These experiences make your family stronger.

I know for me, lately I'd been feeling very disconnected from ... well, my SL self. Believe me, I love my kids and I love my husband and I love our family and the SLife we have. But sometimes the pressures of owning the island and dealing with rents and everything gets to me. Sometimes, blogging gets to me. Feeling like I'm not particularly good at anything that I do in SL gets to me. And I know how "Poor little rich girl" that sounds. Believe me, I know. But doing this refreshed my eyes and my heart. It was lovely to get to spend time with the kids and play games and all of that. Aldwyn and I even were able to have a fantastic alone night that wasn't just us standing in the house while we do other things. That was really nice, so I definitely think we need to make "date nights" more of a priority, at least a couple of times a month. And having my family middle name me definitely was the cherry on my vacation cake!

So I've packed up our bags. I took down the photos in our room. The only thing left to do now is take another look around and then head home.

Well... as soon as they kick me out. :)

No No No No No

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Last Dance

The last day of our amazing vacation. :(

We had formal family dance tonight. It was fun, but also just a little sad because we all knew what it signified.

Family Dance - Group

Family Dance - Aldwyn and me

Family Dance - Group Side

A couple of months ago, I started to think that I wanted a middle name. In the family community, the kids are usually middle named by their parents. They might have already chosen one for themselves while they didn't have family, but it means something to have your parents do it. I wanted a middle name, but we don't have parents, so I thought asking the family to do it for me would be the best thing. But I wanted to do it at the right time, you know? Then this past week I thought, you know what, the dance would be the BEST time because we'd pretty much all be together and it would definitely end the vacation [for me] on a great note. So I asked.

[21:53] Second Life: Alicia Chenaux-Zanzibar is now known as Alicia Noelle Zanzibar.

Of course, I had to fight to not be Alicia Felicia, but in the end, they chose well. :)

Tomorrow we pack our bags and head back to Bluebonnet. I am going to miss this vacation so much!! It was such an incredible experience, and I am going to miss logging in and the family just being right there. I miss home, but... wahhhh. *laughs* I will have my end of vacation thoughts and pics tomorrow. Goodnight!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

In my life I've loved them all

Vacation is winding down [nooooooo!!!!!!!!!] and we finally got [most] of the family on last night to take a picture in front of the Grand Canyon sign.

The Family At The Grand Canyon

Pretty good looking family, huh? :) And yes, I am having to stand on a rock because I'm really short!

We don't get to do big family pictures a lot because it's almost impossible to get everyone in world at the same time. We're not a huge family, but even just getting 11 of us there at the same time was something else.

By the time we finished our photo, it was getting late so we settled in to watch a movie, but I didn't get to finish it because I had to go to bed. Having to get up early on a Saturday should be a CRIME!!

I don't know what we're doing tonight, but tomorrow night is our big family dance! I really can't wait!!

Friday, October 24, 2014

I'd get a thousand hugs from ten thousand lightning bugs

So last night we headed up into one of the little areas near the canyon where we were sure to catch a lot of fireflies!

Catching fireflies

It was absolutely beautiful and led to many interesting facts about fireflies. Like, did you know that fireflies have butts? Of course they do! Everything has a butt!

Did you know fireflies have butts

We caught all our new firefly friends in our jars that Payton got for us. Well...Sophie might have smeared some on her shirt and Abby might have worn one as a ring, but MOSTLY we caught them in our jars.

My own jar of fireflies

Oh, and Payton might have fallen into the canyon.


So after a trip to the coffee shop for treats, we got dressed and headed to the yoga area because Riley was going to lead us through a session.

Nighttime Yoga With Yogi Riley

It was actually quite relaxing! Riley did a great job even though she probably thought about kicking us out on more than one occasion. *laughs* I don't always remember to breathe deeply and it was exactly what I needed last night.

The end of yoga

We're hoping to have the whole family here tonight so we can take our big family picture, but we'll see how that goes because it's almost impossible to get all of us online at the same time. But whoever is around will be in the pic! Woo!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

She probably should have gotten a pre-nup.

I really hate thinking that our vacation will be over soon. It makes me sad! I want to live at the Grand Canyon forever!

Last night, we had a camp out and told stories.

Camp Out Night

Poor Abby didn't get to come to the camp out because she's got the 'bola, so she stayed in bed. But the rest of us settled in around the fire to make smores and listen to stories. My sis told us the story of Rumpelstiltskin.

Camp Out - Lolita, Payton, Takeo

That's always been one of my favorites, but listening to it now as an adult had me wondering about something. So the girl basically lied to the king by saying that she spun all the straw into gold. Not just once, but on 3 occasions. Then he marries her [I ain't sayin' he's a gold digger...] pretty much based on the fact that she was able to do that. So she's queen and then almost has her baby snatched and then they supposedly live happily ever after. Okay but... Isn't their whole marriage based on a LIE? I know he said she'd never have to spin it into gold again, but what if??? Y'all, times are tough. What if the kingdom needed more money later? The economy being what it is and all, sometimes the gold just runs out. What's she supposed to do the day he's like "Look, baby. We need some gold. How's about you go do a little spin magic?" Is she supposed to claim that she forgot how? Yell at him for being careless with the last gold she spun for him? Claim it's that time of the month and she can't do it? I HAVE QUESTIONS.

Okay, maybe I got too involved there.

And then Takeo told us a story about some bees and how if you're a jerk, you end up getting stuck in some human's bee farm. Birdy and I didn't have stories to tell because we're more of the listening type.

Camp Out - Birdy and me

Then Livvy told us the best story ever. It had suspense, magic, romance, twists and turns... and she got a discount at Modcloth! Woo! *laughs*

Camp Out - Bella, Tess, Livvy

Tonight is fireflies night! We'll be catching fireflies in jars so that we can keep them as nightlights. Can't wait!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Can't Stop The Beat!

You know, I think I have enjoyed this vacation more than our Bahamas vacation. Not that I didn't LOVE going to the Bahamas with the family, but I think that tropical living isn't really for me. I'm okay with it for a bit but then I need trees and grass and stuff like that.

Today, I started off the day with a little morning yoga.

Morning Yoga

It was a such a peaceful way to start off my SL day! And who wouldn't feel relaxed with that view, am I right?

Yesterday, Abby and I took a boat ride down the river. My poor little one isn't feeling too hot right now, so I did all the rowing.

We're in a boat

Last night, we had our fun family street dance! It was awesome!

Family Street Dance

Street Dance 1

Street Dance 2

My sis DJed the party using all of our songs that she had us list for her last week.

Lolita at the street dance

It was super fun guessing who picked what song. Of course, we knew if the song was fairly current, it was probably Tess or Payton, and if the song was old, it was probably Aldwyn's pick. Takeo tried to make us shush during the guitar solo of one of his picks, but we can't stop and won't stop our mouths. No one tells us what to do!

The kids, of course, looked ADORABLE dancing in sync!

The kids at the dance

It was a really really awesome time and I'm glad that we did it! We have another dance coming up at the end of our vacation, but that one is more fancy.

Tonight, we're camping out under the stars and telling stories! I can't wait! But until then, I think I'm going to hike up to the coffee shop and grab a latte and a muffin. ♥

Monday, October 20, 2014

We go together like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong!

Tonight was a quieter vacation night for us. Our girls opted for an early bedtime, so the rest of us headed to the movie area to watch Grease, since Payton has neverrrr seen it.

Vacation movie night

If there is ever a chance for me to sit on my favorite seat, I always take it. What? He's totally comfortable and I'm too cute to sit just anywhere.

He's my favorite seat

Takeo and Lolita are sooooo cute, right? :) Well, of course they are. We don't let unphotogenic people in the family!

Lolita and Takeo on movie night

Payton and Riley were mostly listening to the movie, I think. Payton wasn't feeling so well [I think she got the 'bola], so she had to go to bed early.

Payton and Riley on movie night

Tomorrow night, we have our family street dance! I can't wait! We have our more formal "end of vacation" dance coming up, but this one is a casual fun dance for the family. Woot!!

Oh, the movie is almost over. Goodnight!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

All Together Now!

Day 2 of our Grand Canyon vacation! I started out my day with a short hike up to the coffee shop for coffee and a view.

A great way to start my SL day

This afternoon we had lunch together that my sister prepared. She's a really a much better cook than I am!

Sis makes a delicious lunch

The burgers were SO good! We have some non-face eaters in the family, so this was our time to chow down on cow and pig while they were not available for lunch. Payton said her burger was bigger than her head. I think she was right!

Lunch with the family

We also went on duck rides down the river! The scenery was so gorgeous, sometimes I forgot to paddle! But we managed to make it all the way around the canyon before I had to get to the airport.

Duckin' Down The River

Aldwyn's flight got in late this evening, and I jetted off to the airport to get him. Since it was our family plane and we have special privileges, they let me run out there to meet him as soon as he got off the plane. No waiting by the luggage terminal for this girl!

Well hi there!

The girls were really happy to see their dad! And Bella, Livvy, and Tess had arrived just a little while before we got back to the lodge, so we set off to explore and show everyone around.

With our girls

By the time we made it all around, the sun had set, so we all settled into the lodge to just chat and hang out as a family.

Family time in the lodge

It's wonderful now that all the family is together again, safe and sound on our vacation. But I'm so tired, so it's time to get into bed so I can be fresh faced for another day at the Grand Canyon tomorrow!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

We made it!

We made it to the Grand Canyon!!

The plane ride was LOADS of fun! We had to charter a plane just for us because of all the luggage. But that's okay, because we like it better when it's just us!

About to get on the airplane

But it was a good flight, and no one wet their pants! That's pretty much the marker for a successful trip, am I right?

When we got to our destination... well, it was BREATHTAKING.

It's amazing!!!!!!!!

But of course, you have to be careful with kids when you're at a place like the Grand Canyon. And if they're our kids? You have to be chasing them constantly!

Birdy, get down from there!

It's just so amazing! We explored around a bit before the sun went down, and there are so many things for us! Including a coffee shop!! [Birdy and I were thrilled!]

Our own coffee shop!!!

Since it was a long flight, we all were happy to get to the lodge and just chill out and relax. Or get comfy-cozy, as my sister says!

Just chillin'.

Abby, Payton and Me

Takeo sitting on my sister!

Even at night, the sights were lovely. I cannot wait to really have time to explore.

Nighttime at the lodge

Moon rising at the Grand Canyon

I am so so happy that we made it there! Riley came in on a later flight, and tomorrow, Bella and I think Tess and Livvy show up, and Aldwyn will probably be the last to arrive so I'll have to pick him up from the airport. Then the whole family will be together and that's when the fun will really begin!

Until then, goodnight from the Grand Canyon!

Relaxing in the lodge before bed