July 25, 2019

Schaefer Family Adventures: June 2019

Gosh, this summer is just flying by. I think I say that every year but it’s true! Our June was filled with warm sunny days outside and vacation! I’d call that a good June! We started the month off by going to a baseball game in Pittsburgh. Gone are the days where I go to the ballpark and actually WATCH the game! Both kids were not a fan of just sitting so I thoroughly explored all areas of PNC Park! But it was still a very fun day!

We celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary by flying to Denver to start our summer vacation! We spent two days in Denver, which was amazing because I had never been there before! It gave me a taste of this BEAUTIFUL state and I am dying to go back! I absolutely LOVE mountains, there’s something about their majestic gandure and beauty that makes my soul soar to God. And this whole vacation was just FULL of mountains so get ready for an overload of mountain landscape pictures! We went to Red Rocks Amphitheater and hiked up a small hill (I’d love to call it a mountain but let’s be honest, it was a just a large hill. There’s no way I was hiking a mountain with two kids!) We explored a bit of downtown Denver, went to the Cathedral which was beautiful, met up with a friend from highschool and walk around a massive REI! Gosh, that store made me want to be outdoorsy. I suddenly had to urge to climb all the mountains and go camping. The urge to go camping came and went pretty soon as I left the store but I did feel the pull to just be in the great outdoors. We drove up north to Boulder and spent some time at an awesome kids park! John had a blast! Both kids napped on our drive to Rocky Mountain National Park. Huge win! We drove through Estes Park and went to Bear Lake. We walked on a trail around most of the lake, but we couldn’t go all the way due to snow and not wearing the right foot gear. I only brought Birkenstocks on this trip and those were not doing too well in the snow. But this lake is surrounded by beautiful mountains! Even though the trail was pretty flat, we could really feel the elevation! I was quite out of breath! John was elated that he could get so close to all the chipmunks. He even touched one!! We could have spent a week exploring the National Park and we talked on our drive back to Denver about how we want to come back and do just that some day! Actually, I started making a bucket list and one of the things I added was to visit all of the National Parks in the US! Just think of all the beauty!!

After Denver we flew to Seattle. Everyone who had ever lived in or been to the Pacific Northwest just raves about the unique beauty of the PNW. Everything they said was true! This area of the country has such a stunning landscape and we were lucky enough to have 3 beautiful days in and around Seattle! We saw Mt. Rainier every day! We got a city pass that allowed us to really experience the city in just a few days! We went to the Woodland Park Zoo, the Seattle Aquarium, the Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass, and took a Harbour Cruise on the Puget Sound. We ended the day by watching the sunset over the Olympic Mountains and the sound at Carkeek Park. We came to realize during this whole vacation that traveling with kids will involve a lot of zoos/animal related things and parks/playgrounds! But it makes it fun and enjoyable for the kids and they are happy which means we are happy! The next day we drove up north of Seattle and took a ferry to Whidbey Island. This might have been my favorite part of our time in Washington State. We drove to a place called Ebey’s Landing. We spent a good amount of time here, walking the trails and just taking in the spectacular and serene views. I felt like I could stay there for hours, soaking in the peaceful beauty. I sat and nursed Grace and took some time to pray. God made such a beautiful and vast world and I want to see it all and soak it all in with my family. I was a tad worried about being on a cliff was with rambunctious two year old but John was happy to just sit and play in the dirt. Classic little boy!

Our next stop on our trip was Alaska! We landed in Anchorage around 9:30pm and with how sunny and bright it was, it felt like it was the middle of the day! The sun didn’t set until 11:30pm and it rose around 4:20am!! SO. MUCH. DAYLIGHT. Thank goodness for light blocking curtains. We spent a whole week in and around Anchorage and just got a taste of the vastness that is Alaska. It truly is the Last Frontier. Untouched, rugged beauty. Over the week we we drove all around the surrounding areas. In Alyeska we took a tram up a mountain and took in the spectacular views of the ski resort! We went to the Alaska Zoo and Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center! We also saw so many animals just out and about in the wild! My favorite was when we were driving and a baby and mama moose crossed the road! A moose! I know that’s probably pretty common up there but it’s not something I’d ever experienced. We visited Portage Lake and saw a few glaciers! We hiked up to Byron Glacier and took a sightseeing cruise up to Portage Glacier. We even saw some ice calving when we were on the boat in front of Portage Glacier. While we were in Anchorage, we were visiting Matthew’s friend from college and his wife and daughter. Their daughter is just a month older than Grace! We went to Archangel Valley with them and ate lunch looking over the valley where he had proposed to his wife. And then we walked up to Independence Mine which was an old abandoned gold mine. The next day we drove down to Seward, Alaska and went on a 5 hour fjord and wildlife sightseeing cruise. I don’t have any photos from that though because it was POURING rain and blowing winds the entire time! I learned that we were actually in a rainforest so this was typical weather for Seward! We did see lots of whales, both humpback and orca! John loved it! The entire week in Alaska was a blast for the whole family and we definitely want to go back and explore more! There’s just so so SO much to see up there! But you definitely want to go in the summer, the winters are so dark and so cold. I don’t know how people live there but they are a hearty people so they love it!

When we got home, most of June was over, we slowly adjusted back to East Coast time zone, the kids got a cold and we did lots and lots of laundry. On the very last day of June we hosted 7 Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist at our house for our annual summer get together! They are the religious order that my sister is a part of and they come each summer to Steubenville to study at Franciscan University! It feels like family when they are visiting, because when your sister is a religious sister, they really do become your family!

I tried so hard to pare down our June photos but this still is a long post! But I know that at least I will enjoy looking back at it and remembering what a good time we had during the summer of 2019! I hope you enjoy seeing my favorites from our June adventures!




  1. Mary Kate Anthony says:

    I loved all the pictures of your BEAUTIFUL vacation out west!!! Now I want to go visit all those places! And oh my goodness, your kids are really so cute!! Grace does look like the Gerber baby!

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