Saturday, August 30, 2008

The first couple days

A little about our first couple days of vacation...

We left early in the morning, so we had travelled well into Utah by the time it was time to stop for the day. We wanted to travel as far as possible that first day, because traveling through the deserts of California isn't fun when the AC doesn't work well. When driving through Las Vegas, we saw a large homeless tent city alongside the freeway. After seeing that, we stopped complaining about how warm it was in the RV.

Our favorite billboard in Nevada

The first night, we stayed in a campground that was filled with ATV's and dirtbikes. We didn't bring ours along this time, so it was just a tease. There was a nice little pool for the kiddos, and they enjoyed it after the sweaty ride through the desert. I warmed chili over the campfire and sat at the picnic table. Walking by the table, my ankles became entangled with the dog leashes. I was like a calf roped and tied at the rodeo. My feet came to a halt, but my upper body continued... I fell straight down onto the side of the picnic table, hitting E2's head with my head as I fell. Her face slammed against the table top and I saw that her mouth was full of blood. I thought that I had surely knocked out some teeth. I grabbed her and ran into the RV for ice and a towel, limping as I went because I had hit HARD. Thankfully, all her teeth were still in place, but she had bitten her tongue in two places. An otter pop relieved the pain, and she was fine the next day. The giant bruises on my thigh and knee are still healing. I didn't wear shorts most of the trip because it looked as if I had been beaten with a baseball bat. I was afraid that this was a bad sign of what was to come during the trip, luckily, that was not the case.

The next morning we were on the road again. We stopped for gas in Filmore, UT and saw that gas was cheaper across the street, plus, they had this sign:
So, we drove across the street and gave them our business.

We decided to drive to the Grand Tetons for our second night. We took a wrong turn along the way, but we enjoyed the drive. We took the "road less travelled" and only saw 15 cars in several hours, but countless cows.

We pulled into the RV park in Grand Teton National Park well after dark. It was straight to bed, but up early for a beautiful morning in the woods. Because of bear warnings we took turns walking to the lake with the kids. Dogs needed to stay near the campers and off the trails because we were told that they tend to attract bears. great.

The kids practiced skipping rocks into the lake. E1 and E2 were able to skip rocks, and E3 was happy as can be tossing rock after rock into the water.

Later that morning, we headed north to Yellowstone.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

By the numbers

2 adults, 3 kids, 2 dogs
24-foot long class C
4840 miles
12 states
13 days
10,000+ bugs squished on the front of the RV, and 1 pheasant
4 national parks
5 campfires
1 bag of marshmallows
581 photos
1 hubcap lost
1000+ cows seen
1 dead moose
16 rides on the golf cart
1 ride in a race car
42 fish caught
25 fish cleaned
25 fish eaten
87 relatives seen
12 Wal-Mart’s
1 Wall Drug
14 mini monster trucks
3 miner helmets
1 Sturgis t-shirt
1 stream filled with fool’s gold
3 horses
4 newborn kittens
0 trips to the ER
Countless memories
1 wonderful vacation

Friday, August 15, 2008

On the road

Since I will be away from my computer for a couple weeks, I have temporarily changed my comment settings. Comments will appear after I approve them. Sorry for the inconvenience.

See you soon!

*update Tuesday 8/19*
We're having a great time. So far so good, just one more state until we hit MN.
We're taking a break and staying in an AWESOME RV park in the Black Hills for a couple day break before we hit the road again.
I've only felt like hitchhiking home a few times, but those feelings have passed.
I thought that we were crowded in here with 2 adults, 3 kids and 2 dogs, until a neighboring pickup camper in Grand Teton's park emptied out 3 adults and 4 big dogs.
I will have MANY photos of our travels when I return home... or maybe before if I find the camera connector hidden somewhere in this overstuffed RV.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I'll need a vacation

Posting has been light because my life is pretty boring.
I have been preparing for our trip. Gas prices continue to drop, yippie! ($3.99/gal yesterday) That brings down the cost of driving an RV over 4000 miles, which is good, since there are always other ways for us to spend our money.

I've done all of the shopping (I think), and washed all of the bedding. Today, I cooked spaghetti sauce and chili to put in the freezer for meals along the way.
I have activities for the kids, and I printed information and games for each state that we will be seeing.

I know that I will forget something, but that's why WalMart Supercenters were invented, and why they are marked on our map.

My neighbor will be keeping an eye on the place, feeding the fish, and watering the garden. It's great to have wonderful neighbors here. I would feel comfortable giving my key to any one of them.

OK... off to do cleaning and laundry, I want the house spotless when I leave. I can't stand returning to a messy house.

We don't even leave for a few days, which is necessary since I have a stack of work on my desk that needs to be complete before we go.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lions, Tigers and Bears

It was hot; we had a short trip to the zoo and didn’t see all of the animals. Not a lot of photos today either… but it was fun, and E3 fell asleep on the way home.
The LA Zoo has really improved since my first visit. They recently opened a new gorilla exhibit that enables great views of the gorillas, unlike the previous exhibit that allowed the gorillas to throw poo if you watched too closely. Someone near us got hit once, but they deserved it; they were heckling the gorilla.

Another favorite is the orangutan exhibit, Red Ape Forest. I was able to snap one photo of a sleeping orangutan… funny, sleeps just like Emma.

The male lion was sleeping in the same position, airing out his nether region, but I didn’t snap a photo. No need for odd links here.
I think the E’s favorite animals today were the giraffes. They were more active, walking around and eating. A family of VIP’s was inside the exhibit feeding the giraffes, and of course my kids asked how to get in there. I told them it was a special pass, didn’t need to say what I wanted to… “we’re not rich, nor famous, so no special pass for us”.

I can’t wait for all of the construction to be complete at the zoo. A new elephant exhibit is in the works and looks like it is nearing completion. It’s a great zoo, close by, and is a terrific workout. I don’t think there is one area that is flat. Constant walking up and down hills. Not really a place for a leisurely stroll, but fun.

Friday, August 8, 2008

26 days

I’ve been hearing about this show for months now. Sons of Anarchy
premieres in less than a month. I’ve heard it described as “Sopranos on Harleys”. I hope so, Stuntman and I been looking for a good drama to watch together.
When we watched Sopranos, it was fun to see the New Jersey locations. We both spent a lot of time in NJ for work and would occasionally recognize places in the show.
I know that we will recognize locations while we watch SOA, because we have already witnessed filming of the show. I believe they say the show is located in a Northern California town that is run by a biker gang, but it looks like it is being filmed in SoCal.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Fingers Crossed

The story changes daily… and the suspense is killing me!

from the Mpls Star-Tribune :

The Green Bay Packers welcomed back quarterback Brett Favre from the reserve-retired list Sunday knowing full well that they've already taken the first step toward trading him to the Minnesota Vikings.

*update 8/6*

Friday, August 1, 2008

A dog's life

Emma must be the most tolerant dog on earth.
E2 placed a sleeping mask on Emma when she was napping.
The dog is still napping...
rough life.

and yes, she always sleeps belly-up like that.