Some fun photos and video from the family trip/work trip to Palm Springs in Dec 2019


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Walter was pretty excited to be able to pull along his own Paw Patrol suitcase on this trip.


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He also discovered one of the Pre-Board Pals after we cleared security.


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Both blue babies made the trip to Palm Springs and rode with Henry and Walter in their matching sweaters
on the airport.


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The boys were excited to see the big Christmas decorations at our hotel as we arrived.


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We took a boat ride which they quite enjoyed as well.


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Decent view from our balcony at the JW.


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Walter, Henry, and Mommy at the pool which they enjoyed most days.


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Walter and Grandma G playing with cups. Solid veteran move by Natalia in packing some small
(and stackable) water cups for Walter to play with.


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Henry loved his water wings on this trip, although still doesn't like sticking his face in the water.


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Walter and his cups.


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Full speed Walter in his Speedo.


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Walter playing with his cups.


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Walter and Henry playing with stackable cups in the pool.


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Walter quite enjoyed the mini golf course at the JW Marriott Palm Desert, which is an exact replica of their
actual course around the resort.


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Henry putting out for the win.


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Henry got an orange ball.


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Walter got in on the action too.

Joshua Tree National Park


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A highlight for me (since most of the week I was in training rooms) was to take the family to Joshua Tree
National Park, a desolate, but super interesting place. Here's Henry with one of the local shrubs.


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A barrel cactus, one of the 15 varieties of cactus in the park. This is at the Cottonwood Visitor's Centre.


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Walking to the cholla (pronounced 'choy ya') Cactus Garden with Grandma G.


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Information about the Cholla Cactus Garden. It's pretty stunning since this part of the park transitions
between the Mojave and the Colorado deserts.


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Walking along the hiking trails.


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These cacti are called 'jumping cholla' since when you get close, you often wind up with cacuts needles
stuck in your body. So much so that there was a first aid kit at the entrance to the short hiking trail.


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Note that this cactus garden basically sits as a little oasis with almost NOTHING out in the distance
towards the Pinto Mountains. Just desolation.


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Our family at the Cholla Cactus Garden at Joshua Tree National Park.


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Grandma G, Henry, Walter, and I. I love Henry's face here.


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We pulled in at the Belle campground since the boys wanted to see some of the rocks and crawl around on them.


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Our family at the Belle campground up on a hunk of gneiss. A bit more on the geology is HERE .


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These little monsters LOVED running around on the grippy rock, but they were always a millisecond away from a concussion
or a shattered skull, so I was pretty close on them.


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Henry and his first Joshua Tree.


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Pretty amazing trees that can not just survive temps of 130 deg F, but actually thrive here.


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One of the highlights of the trip was a wander around Hidden Valley, an outcropping of rocks and a tiny
ecosystem that supports more varied plant life as it blocks the crazy sandstorms from ripping the soil out
of the ground.


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This was one of my favourite cacti, a pricklypear that actually looks purple.


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Henry inside the plateau within Hidden Valley.


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I think I just told Henry to 'smile' and this is what he came up with.


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We liked this sign and wished there were more of them in the Canadian Rockies.


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Natalia and Henry at Hidden Valley looking up to the San Bernardino mountains that separate this area
from Palm Springs.


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Henry quite liked exploring the rock areas and the multiple caves everywhere.

Video of the boys in a cave



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Henry and I at Hidden Valley.


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Close up of Henry and I.



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After a driving and hiking tour through Joshua Tree, the minivan decided that ice cream was in order and
so we stopped at a Sonic Drive-in, which I think was a first for most of the team. Natalia, Henry, and Walter
got a sundae with nerds in it and ate in the minivan and killed it.


Hanging around the hotel


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Grandma G, Henry, and Walter with the big Christmas tree at the hotel.


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Walter with a excessively-sized present.


Children's Discovery Museum


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Playing with magnets at the Children's Museum. The boys and Grandma G and Natalia went back to the museum
4 times on this trip, easily making a season pass worthwhile.


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Making pizzas.


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Playing with the electric driving race track.

Walter LOVING the pop bottle rockets



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Henry driving his race car. The kids build them with plastic connex and then race them (and Natalia fixes them).


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Henry building and trying out his car.


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Walter 'working' on his car too.


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Walter playing at the Children's Discovery Museum, a huge hit with our kids. Here, he's running the
check out for the grocery store.


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Henry running the check-out.


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Walter making a pizza.


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This hat is the cutest thing ever.


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Henry standing with his rocket that he made.


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Riding tricycles at the Children's Museum.


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Henry with his new car design.


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Walter playing with characters.


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The boys and Natalia saw these oranges on trees near the museum and asked if they could pick them.
After jumping and flailing, Natalia shook the tree and oranges fell out!


The Living Desert


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Henry, Walter, and Natalia at the Living Desert.


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They boys love to ride statues almost as much as I do.


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I think this is my favourite since it looks similar to one I rode in Barcelona. See that one HERE .


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The highlight of the Living Desert definitely wasn't the animals - it was this train.

Video of the model train



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Apparently, the boys sat mesmerized for almost 2 hours watching the trains go around.


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Grandma G and the boys at the Living Desert.


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Exploring the Living Desert.



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On Henry's birthday (he turned 6), I took the boys for a morning tour and we wound up with birthday cake pops.


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Our family outside the resort looking at flamingos on Henry's birthday.


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With Grandma G as well.


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Grandma G with the boys on the resort golf course.


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Henry on his 6th birthday with flamingos. "Daddy, where am I going for my 7th birthday??" Tough
life for this one.


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The boys pretending to be like the flamingoes at the hotel.


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I love this photo of Walter. You can see the confident, happy little boy that he is here.


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Henry playing at a playground enroute to the airport. The flight was delayed so I thought it was better time spent
playing than waiting at the airport. Interesting note is that all playgrounds need to be covered to keep the temperatures
of the playground equipment from melting human skin.


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Grandma G reading to the boys at night, something the boys LOVED.


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The boys were super excited to get Chewy masks from Wendy's. They were 'scaring' the dorks in the
elevator at my work conference, who of course knew who Chewy is.


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The family was pretty excited about having found Sonic, where there was extensive eating of hot dogs.


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Holding Blue Baby as we fly home from Palm Springs.


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On the way home from the airport, we celebrated Henry's birthday with a trip to le Jardin d'Olivier, where
they treated him really well.

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