Spot the Scotts: The Alamo

The Scotts Visit The Alamo

The Scotts Visit The Alamo

While in San Antonio celebrating our one year wedding anniversary, we decided to visit The Alamo. We’ve both been there when we were younger, but it’s funny how much you don’t remember (I thought it was MUCH bigger!) and how much more you enjoy the history as an adult. If you’re interested in reading some of the history, I really like this synopsis on the History Channel’s website.

We are bad travel photographers who completely forgot to take a picture of the front of the building. It was under construction anyway, and really didn’t look pretty. We did mean to take a picture on the way out but it slipped out minds.

We briefly wandered through the shrine portion of the Alamo (which is the iconic building we all think of) but sorry, no photos are allowed to be taken inside.

We also went through the museum exhibits in the Long Barrack which was really interesting.

I think what we both enjoyed most was the courtyard area. Beautiful architecture and lush greenery. We had fun playing with our new camera accessory and trying out some wide angle shots and some macro shots in the courtyard.

The Alamo's Courtyard

The Alamo’s Courtyard

 

Christie at The Alamo

Christie at The Alamo

 

Brian at The Alamo

Brian at The Alamo

 

Beautiful Courtyard Fountain

Beautiful Courtyard Fountain

 

I particularly enjoyed coming across these bright purple berries, which I later discovered are called Beauty Berries. I’ve never seen bright purple berries before and they are my FAVORITE shade of purple. I also loved the purple flowers I found, as well.

Beauty Berries Seen in Alamo Courtyard

Beauty Berries Seen in Alamo Courtyard

 

Purple Flowers Seen in Alamo Courtyard

Purple Flowers Seen in Alamo Courtyard

We can get beautiful macro shots now that we haven’t been able to get with our iPhones before. It was a shutterbug’s paradise.

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We loves seeing all the canons and reading the various plaques around the property.

Canon Seen in Alamo Courtyard

Canon Seen in Alamo Courtyard

 

Plaque in Alamo Courtyard

Plaque in Alamo Courtyard

Everywhere you turn in the courtyard area, there is another beautiful view… something to appreciate.

Alamo Courtyard

Alamo Courtyard

 

Alamo Courtyard

Alamo Courtyard

 

Alamo Courtyard

Alamo Courtyard

Of course, there is a lot more to The Alamo than the courtyard and the foliage. That just happened to be the most enjoyable part for us 🙂  Plus you can’t take pictures inside, lol.

We highly recommend a visit, especially if you enjoy history.  Bonus, for those who collect National Parks stamps – it is a National Historic Site and they do offer a passport stamp. You just have to ask at the desk inside the Shrine (not the gift shop which is where we thought it would be), and it does not have a date on it unfortunately.

Did I mention, visiting the Alamo is completely free? We recommend it as a very family friendly place to visit – great for all ages.

 

Trip to Estes Park Cabin

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A much needed trip to our cabin in Estes Park! Pretty much our favorite place. We thought you might have forgotten about us so we made sure to make some updates 🙂

Once we got to the cabin we thought, hey, this would be a good time to do a little video walkthrough so you guys can SEE this place we love so much!

Plus what’s not to love about this view?

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We decided to go snowshoeing while we were here. One of the perks of going to the cabin in the wintertime – snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park!! This was my first time snowshoeing since my foot surgeries so I wasn’t sure how it would go, but I did ok! On our first day we headed up to Dream Lake, which is absolutely beautiful.

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The second day we were a bit tired from the big trek the day before, but we still wanted to get out there so we took the short, easy loop around Bear Lake. It snowed… that perfect, quiet, softly falling snow that is OH so pretty.

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And finally, we spent some time walking around town and gave you guys another update on what we have been up do and our plans toward full-timing 🙂

National Parks Passport Book

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I’m sure a lot of people are aware of these great little books, but I just love them and want to share in case anybody hasn’t heard of them! The National Parks Passport Book is available at many National Park Visitors Centers for $8.95 US or you can purchase it online. It’s a small spiral-bound book that looks similar to a US passport although has a lot more pages. Its purpose – for you to collect stamp cancellations at all the National Parks you visit in the US, making a record of which ones you have been to and when. Many State Parks, Recreation Areas and Wildlife Refuges may have them too. Most places that would take a National Parks annual pass will have these stamps.

Many cancellation stamps are the basic circular stamp with the location and the date, like this:

Olympic National Park Cancellation Stamp (Passport Book)

Sometimes though, you get a really cool shape. I have gotten some fun ones in Alaska in the past. We recently got this one in Yaquina Head State Park in Oregon:

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They also put out a sheet of stickers annually which includes a sticker for each region. We bought the current year’s sheet of stickers ($3.95) and put them in our book. There is enough room in the book for you to have six years’ worth of these annual stickers, if you so desire. Many parks still have older years for sale and they can also be purchased online. Each year a different park of each region is featured.

Olympic National Park Cancellation Stamp

You can learn more about this program and get a complete list of cancellation stations here!

The best part is the cancellation stamps are free! They will be turned to the current date when you enter a park so just look for it and stamp your book. I’ve also been told by staff members that if you forget your book they are more than happy to stamp something else for you, and if people write to them they will even set the date back, stamp something and mail it to the person if they forgot to get a stamp when they visited! How’s that for service!

So $8.95 initial investment in the book and you can enjoy all the collecting for free. This was great for us as we didn’t really want to collect pins, postcards, hats, shot glasses or anything of the like because we don’t have room nor do we want to spend money on one of those items at every stop. Also, kids would really enjoy collecting these (and FYI – the book also comes in a kids version!!)

We only have two so far that we have collected together, but we look forward to adding many more! I hope you found this helpful and that you will grab one the next time you visit a park, if you haven’t already 🙂

 

Cobblestone Beach and Newport

We headed out in the morning to visit Cobblestone Beach and Yaquina Head Lighthouse. We stopped at the local chain Dutch Bros coffee on a recommendation from a friend and we were NOT disappointed! We took our coffees and went to check out the beach.

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Unfortunately we couldn’t see the lighthouse. It was all covered with like a plastic sheeting material – they said something about working on it, and the wind – I honestly don’t remember, but we will have to go back and see the lighthouse another time. At least we got a stamp for our National Parks passport 🙂

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The Cobblestone Beach was just AWESOME! I have never seen, or felt, or HEARD anything like it!

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Black, smooth stones of various sizes make up the beach. Very strange to walk on. The water makes the most incredible sound when it filters through the rocks! Check out our video for more.

We also got to see a bunch of seals hanging around in the water and they creeped closer and closer. So much fun.

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We also spent a long time talking to a park ranger who told us a ton of stories about the local sealife. Super entertaining. We loved the cobblestone beach!

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After the beach we headed into Newport to look around and have some lunch. We heard sea lions as soon as we got out of the car so we headed down to the dock to check it out. TONS of them!!

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It brought back fond memories for me of visiting the Wharf in San Francisco with my grandmother. I always loved seeing the sea lions there.

We also checked out Mo’s for lunch, which is supposed to be very good… but we didn’t like it that much. The food was just ok, and we had a terrible server who was quite rude. Not on our list to return to… but at least Brian enjoyed his beer!!

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A quick stop at yet another BEAUTIFUL section of Oregon coast, too.

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Just a beautiful state. Can’t wait to go back!