After leaving our safari adventure we next went to see a nearby well-known geyser. I think Jake and Brayden were interested to see it, I'm not sure how it got added to the agenda, but it wasn't far away. This geyser predictably erupts every few minutes, but you have to pay a fee to get into the area to see it. So we did, and we stood in the broiling heat for 3 eruptions, which took all of about 15 minutes, and we'd had more than enough. It wasn't nearly as interesting as the price of the admission might lead you to believe it should be.
Following this we went to a free park to see some big trees and do some hiking. I got a new camera recently as a gift from John and the kids and through the weekend I was playing with all kinds of settings on it. I found the mixed lighting on the forest floor especially hard to compensate for.
But then it looked to me, by the photos I saw on the screen, that I may have hit upon the right setting for the occasion. We started on the more serious part of the hike, climbing up 600 ft as part of a 3-mile loop.
"I don't WANNA hike!" whined Kate and Allison in the car on the way there. But when we started they and Brayden became our leaders for nearly all of the 3 miles, showing endless energy and having a great time.
What's obvious now though is that I did not have the right camera setting, so any movement in my shots blurred. And there were very few shots that didn't have some movement. Oops.
Brayden picked up some sticks and somehow convinced the twins to each take hold of one, and they formed a hiking chain and stayed in this formation for nearly all of the last mile.
The hike and park were great and free while the geyser was a joke and a rip-off. Taken together it was a relatively inexpensive, fun day.
We stayed at the park into the early evening and then we all went out to a big dinner and stayed and yet another hotel nearby. The next morning we enjoyed breakfast and swimming at the hotel pool with the cousins before we headed out on our separate ways at noon.
Our last stop was at a famous landmark, to view the city, walk part of the bridge, and pose with the sailor statue.
"Hi Opa!" says Allison.
I guess instead of winging it I better go through the instructions that came with my new camera so I won't have so many blurry photos to show for some future outing. "RTFM!"* a friend once told me in college when I was first learning to use the internet (in 1990), using UNIX, and had questions. If you don't know what UNIX is, consider yourself fortunate. Actually, I spent about 2 years using it and I still don't really know what it is.
*read the "fudging" manual