April 3, 2009

on the road trip: caves, Paul Bunyan and family time...

the road trip, oh-nine.

Well, here I am, finally getting around to posting some photography goodness from our trip. I've already posted photos from the first several days, so I'm going to post some photos from that point on...and, of course, this is just a small fraction of the ones that were actually taken. There's no way I could find the motivation to edit all of them - also, I figured that it would take about two weeks for the page to load, and most of you would want to punch me in the mouth, were I to do that. Having said that, I'm going to split this into two posts - stay tuned for the second one. Hopefully it won't take me two more weeks to put it up. So, here we go:

Jewel Cave Nat'l Monument.

As we were passing through South Dakota, Jay had the wild idea for us to go cave exploring! And I, being the adventurous person I am, decided to totally do it. In order to do the seriously crazy-pants spelunking tour, you had to be able to fit through this tiny little piece of rock. And I'm sure you all can guess how that turned out:

apparently I won't be spelunking anytime soon... from wishcake on Vimeo.

Now, let me just say, I would definitely not be that gleeful, were I to be stuck in an actual cave. I would most likely be screaming bloody murder and ripping through the cave walls with my fingernails. Seriously. Even though Jay mocks me, I am seriously uncomortable in small spaces. Don't judge me. In reality, we weren't actually going to do the spelunking tour - we were really just there for the regular walk-through. It was seriously awesome. I kept wanting to shout out, "THE CAVE OF WUUUN-DUHHHS!" You know, like in Aladdin? No? Okay, nevermind. Moving on.

the cave of won-duhs!

See? Cave of wonders, right?

I asked for scared faces, and this is what I got.

I think Jay misinterpreted my request for "scared faces". I think I took this after the guy turned off all the lights in the cave and gave us a speech on how it was absolute darkeness - something you can't get unless you are, literally, in a cave. It kind of made me naseous, I'm not going to lie. I'm glad I didn't scream. Otherwise, the cave exploring was one of our favorite parts of the trip! Random, yet awesome.

the hubby at Mt. Rushmore.

Then we moved along to one of the most glorious wonders of our country: Mount Rushmore.

the guys.

We got there and were all, "Huh. It looks just like the postcards. Well, okay, then."

Mt. Rushmore - a reflection, anyway.

However, we did enjoy our time there. We took a lot of photos and walked around on a trail at the base of the mountain, and it was a nice afternoon. It's one of those things that everyone needs to see at least once in their lives.


After Mt. Rushmore, we walked around the small town right outside of the monument. Since March isn't exactly "tourist central", many of the shops and restaurants were closed. However, we were able to find a small diner that provided Jay with his very own Bison burger (yeah, I was saying "ew" until I tried one later on in our trip).


Tell me you would walk past this horse without taking a seriously cheesy photo. Nope, I don't believe you.

the sunset.

As we were heading to our last stop before Minnesota, we were able to see a beautiful sunset. I must confess that I told Jay to hold the steering wheel so I could take this photo. (I love that he understands me.) This was the only day that we drove long enough for the sun to actually set, and we spent next two hours on "high alert deer watch". It was fun.


We arrived in Minnesota five days into our trip, and were so incredibly excited to spend sometime with Jay's older brother, his wife and their three children (who are seriously too adorable for words). The kids are four, two and two months old, and I love how they are all at such different stages in life.

awwww, toes.

Feet! Ahhhh!


I keep telling Jay that I'm excited to have kids because he has some seriously good genes. I don't even care if that's weird.


One of the days we took a short drive up to a town called Bemidji (try saying it; it's totally fun) and had lunch and walked around in the snow for a while. Jay threw a snowball at my camera and I almost smacked him in the face, but there were children present and I was able to restrain myself. Also, we got to run around in boots, which is definitely a highlight for any Californian.

the snow.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day.

good old blue.

We stopped by some sort of official Paul Bunyan...statues? Or something to that effect? Yes, I made sure I was wearing my ox-blue hoodie.

Posing with Paul.

We were bundled up beyond belief. And still, I was trembling.

family time.

Having that time to spend with their family was absolutely priceless. I could go on and on about how much I adore all of them, and how I was borderline going to beg Jay to buy a home across the street from them so we wouldn't have to leave. I especially loved having a lot of time to get to know my sister-in-law better. We had so many long talks that left me feeling so encouraged and inspired. She is truly a gem. And she's absolutely amazing with the kids - she's one of those parents who creates such a perfect balance in the home. I really, really hope I can be that type of a parent someday. She and her husband definitely make me look forward to the time Jay and I have little ones running around the house someday.

It was tough to leave - we had such a great time with them. It was relaxing to say the least, and we made so many incredible memories. On the morning we were leaving, Lucia (she's the four-year-old) came up to me and hugged my legs. She started crying, and told me that she was so sad we were leaving. I hugged her back (unsure of how I was able to hold back my own tears - I don't do well with crying children, seriously) and told her that maybe next time she could come visit us in California. She looked up at me with panic in her eyes, and said, "But I don't know where your HOUSE is!" She is seriously the most adorable child ever. I wanted to put her in my pocket and take her with me. I wanted to take all of them, in fact.

probably one of my favorite photos ever.

And, seriously, who can look at this photo without wanting a wee child of their own strapped to their chest?


  1. Your pictures are fabulous! Looks like you had just a wonderful time! Can't wait to see more!

  2. Great photos. I especially love the sunset in the review mirror one. It's a very creative way to showcase something so "road trip like."

    Also, random fact--I have a good friend who grew up in Bemidji, MN.

  3. Beautiful pictures!! Looks like an awesome (freezing cold) time! :)

    Aw, those kids are so cute! Hurry up and have children, will ya?

  4. Beautiful photos. I especially love the ones where you're in the side mirror. Very artistic & creative!

    No, I take that back. My favorite is the last one. I think it's also so neat (okay, & a little attractive, I'm not going to lie) to see a studly man with tats, holding a baby. It's rugged & precious at the same time. :] So cute.

  5. it's so weird to see someone write about the strange things in the midwest when it's totally normal for me since i grew up here. it's interesting to read how someone else views things. glad you had a good trip!

  6. Your sunset in the mirror picture is maybe the coolest thing ever. And don't worry, I don't think I could go spelunking either.

  7. Your pictures are gorgeous. You take pictures so well and I love all your captions. Seriously beautiful. Sounds like you had such a great time. I know the feeling of wanting to buy a house down the road and never leave. Family makes my heart melt especially if they are great. Looking forward to more.

  8. You are SO CUTE in the rock video ... hahaha! Great pics like always. :)

  9. A) The kiddies! The family! So completely adorable.

    B) My BFF lives in Bemidji! No! Really! I also have pictures of me hugging Paul Bunyon's legs around here somewhere... no kidding. I was already jealous that you were up in Minnesota but now I'm just green with Envy. ENVY.

  10. Bison burgers are awesome. :)

    I love the pictures!

  11. I love all your pictures!! That trip looks like it was so much fun!!! :)

  12. I loved seeing your pictures. I really love the one of the sunset in the side view mirror.

    And I must say, I felt claustrophobic justing watching your video of the rock! I guess spelunking isn't for me either! Haha :)

  13. OMG I want a wee baby now. Too cute!

  14. You're pictures are always so amazing. Do you think that maybe someday you can do a post about how you got into photography and some tips for us who have no clue?

  15. This post makes me crave a road trip so badly. It looks like so much fun!

  16. okay i love that sunset picture, it's amazing. seriously your picture taking skills are incredible, i love it.

    and second i love this post, looks like such a fun road trip. and hanging out with family and bebes is always a good time :)

  17. I am so glad that you enjoyed MN. And I know how to say Bemidiji because I am from MN. Great pictures it looked like an awesome trip.

  18. The pictures are awesome, especially the one in the cave and the last one. What a daddy dearest moment :).

    They're seriously cute kids by the way. I feel like kidnapping one but then your family would hate me :P

  19. Kerri, I am in complete awe of your photography right now. Seriously. I love every single one!

  20. Oh geez, I've been to Bemidji a BILLION times! It seemed so normal to me until I started telling people that my family vacationed there every summer. Cue the weird looks...

    I think I've only taken pictures by those statues once though. I'll have to make that a goal: my hubby hasn't been there yet.

  21. So I recently found your blog and then coincidentally you write about visiting MN (my home). Anyways, of all the strange city names we have up here, Bemidji wasn't even one that I'd even thought to be hard to pronounce (since I knew how to say it before I could even read). Crazy how it's just normal to me!

    PS. Great pictures! :)

  22. I love love love your pictures! I need to take a roadtrip like this...


  23. these photos a re really amazing :-D
    the video is funny
    see ya

  24. "AARK! Cave of Wonders!" You guys need some synthetic insulation, like Primaloft or Thermic Micro. Not quite as warm as down, but performs better when wet.

  25. 1. I TOTALLY got the Aladdin reference. Those who didn't can just be sad.

    2. Bison burgers are awesome! Glad you took a chance.

    3. If my husband had such cute kids in his genepool I would SERIOUSLY have 10. Good thing I guess.

  26. These photos are all amazing.

    I feel like I went on the trip with you! And Jay's brother's family looks so awesome and fun and down-to-earth.

    As corny as it sounds, these really are worth a thousand words. :) Thank you for sharing, dear!

  27. omg that pic of Jay on the horse made me laugh so loud, i flippin LOVE it LOL!
    and HOW adorable is it that Jay's older brother wears his baby?! Any guys that wears their baby just melts my heart, seriously. ADORABLE.

  28. Your photography is, as always, gorgeous.

    And the postcard thing- I totally get that. It's strange to see something in pictures your whole life and then actually see the real thing.

  29. Seriously, I dunno what you do for a living, but you need to quit your job ASAP and become a full-time photographer!!! You pictures are beyond fabulous!! The one of the sunset in the mirror, could seriously win awards.
    Looks like a fun trip!

  30. GORGEOUS pictures! And yay Minnesota! :) There are all kinds of fun cities to pronounce here...!

  31. K - those pics are gorgeous! And that video, seriously hilarious!
    Looks like you two had a great time!

  32. Truly awesome photos, lady! I especially love the video of you attempting to go "spelunking."

  33. this is soo great! Im happy to hear you guys had so much fun! You got some really great pics! I really LOVE the one with the sunset in the side mirror!

  34. those are really great pictures!!!!

  35. Your pictures are incredible. I went to South Dakota on a family trip when I was kid. It was one of the most memorable vacations.

    Your's looked fantastic too!

  36. I'm loving your road trip. I need to do one! And your pictures are gorgeous. Also, oh my that baby is beautiful. I need one of those too. :)

  37. Um. How the heck did I not add a comment to this post!? Well, better late (uh, 10 months later?) than never!

    I was searching for this post because I've been dreaming about going on a road trip like this as I remembered all the fun you had and that Paul Bunyon statue and all the cute pictures and your hilarious cave video and all that goodness!

    Your trip sounds like it was just amazing and I know you and your boy had such a good time together. I'm so impressed that you posted while on the road! Such a dedicated blogger! And then I loved all of these photos you added afterwards! And I love your blue hoodie. I need a new hoodie! All I want to do is wear hoodies and hybernate at home. Yes! And your navy jacket is quite cute too! love.

    You should totally frame that sunset photo! I love photos in the sideview mirrors like that!

  38. Oh my gosh what a great post. We are thinking of going to South Dakota this summer and I found your blog, now I really want to go! Great photos and great writing!!


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