Driving in Automatic

2 Sep

Today after lunch (which consisted of devouring yet another book on my nook, a bagel and 2 cigarettes)  I was in my car, driving back to my office looking out the window.  This in itself is not unusual and really neither is what I am about to tell you. I was motoring along at about 40 and the truck gave me it’s usual signal to shift. I shifted gears from what my brain thought was 2nd to 3rd (yes i know i was going 40, wait for it) but what I really did was shift from 4th to 5th gears. I realized at that moment a few things. One – I didn’t need to shift into 5th gear because at 40, I was already speeding, and Two – I do this all the time.

Not shifting blindly, although I suppose you do shift a manual transmission without thinking, but the actual act of doing something in life without even realizing it. How many hours, days, years of our lives are spent doing things automatically and not really experiencing what is going on? How often do you drive to work half asleep or think back to an event and have no recollection of the majority of it? How much of life and love do we take for granted?

I know there is the occasional wake up and I probably will go right back to who I was yesterday without even realizing it but for the above reasons, I am going to attempt to APPRECIATE SOMETHING every day of my life. Even if it is just one thing. The way a breeze brushes your hair, or the sun on your face. I feel like it is super important to EXPERIENCE it. Maybe one day it will all be gone. Since I haven’t the slightest idea or inclination what lies beyond this particular existence, I don’t want to take it for granted at all, cuz its the shit yo 😉


My My My How Things Change.

30 Aug


So in one of my other posts a honking what, 4 weeks ago? I mentioned that I was no longer smoking (and um fat). Well after 2 1/2 years of being a non smoker, and doing quite well at it… I fell off the wagon. (well I didn’t fall off the wagon, I jumped after my husband in an effort to save him– must blame others when possible.) I officially purchased a pack of smokes, and not just grabbed other people’s on the first day of the road trip. I am disappointed but the good news is… I lost 5 pounds.


I know… bad bad bad.

To hold you over until I get on the plane later.

2 Aug

IMG_1709 DSCN1789

DSCN1821 DSCN1841 IMG_1705

Please Get Off the Nuclear Weapon!

31 Jul

Colorado is such an amazing place, well at least the little corner of the state that we got to view.


We stayed in a 2 room cabin with a kitchenette and a deck that overlooked… a camper, but beyond the camper the rocky mountains majestic peaks shined. This trip has been a whirlwind, and I have to say that if given the choice, I may have stayed in the RMNP longer. We hiked, we ate, and we laughed alot. Yesterday morning we started our day (6am) with a breakfast ride on horseback to a breakfast in the mountain. Although I am far too out of shape to sit on a horse for 2 straight hours, the trip was perfect otherwise.

IMG_1552 IMG_1600

Then we came back to our room and got our hiking gear and headed into the park (here is where the national park pass really has paid off) and took a small hike at 8,000 feet, to Alberta Falls and Bear Lake.

IMG_1625 IMG_1614

We then showered and headed to the highest peak that the road travels and viewed MANY elk and marmot. On the road out of the park this morning we got to see Longhorn grazing on the weeds alongside of the road. Then… we headed to Nebraska. Driving by the many (many many many) missile silo’s for the minute men nukes was interesting. Admittedly it took me a few silo sites to realize what I was seeing. After all, we are in the southwestern corner of the state where from what I understand the majority of Nebraska’s silo sites are located. Other than that, Nebraska has been very anticlimactic. I would never recommend coming here AFTER such an amazing place as Colorado. Tomorrow Devil’s Tower~


2011-07-30_18-44-50_621 2011-07-30_12-07-19_352

A Special Kind of Hell…

29 Jul


The last 2 days have been such a blur. To start with, we got up super early yesterday morning and headed on the road for our 5 hour trek across the state of wyoming with the goal of getting to Rock springs which was just about half way to Estes Park Colorado. We were halfway there and I decided that I just could not do another bed bug motel so I called and cancelled our room and got us a great room at the cutest/cheesiest hotel ever. The Little America hotel in none other than Little America was like a oasis to us with its spotlessly clean pool, meticulously manicured lot and the very clean rooms. Sounds wonderful doesn’t it? It’s kitschy because the room was originally decorated circa 1975.  I think actually the entire state of Wyoming is stuck in the 70’s judging by the style of just about every place we have been in.  Honestly though, it has been the nicest stay we’ve had thus far so if you find yourself in the middle of the high desert Wyoming, seek it out.


Then this morning, with much grog, we hoisted our expanding and exhausted asses out of bed and back on the road at about 8am. We were on the road until about 3pm. At around 12:30, we entered Colorado and our spirits lifted with the landscape. I think there is a certain beauty about the desert but after so many hours of the same sagebrush, it was a welcome change to finally start seeing mountains in the distance.


As a side note let’s discuss gassing up shall we? We rented a very reasonable Nissan Sentra that gets outstanding gas mileage compared to my FJ Cruiser (I love that frigging truck so hush). The problem I seem to be having is this: EVERY freaking time I try to fill the tank, whether it be top off the tank because who knows how long it will take for us to get to another gas station, or filling from almost empty, EVERY TIME I do this the fuel doesn’t just automatically stop when the tank fills up. It actually OVERFRIGGING FLOWS all over the side of the car and on a few occasions, my flip-flopped clad foot. This is not okay.

Let me just say that our stay in Estes Park so far has been a outstanding pleasure. We rented a KOA Deluxe Kabin and we are very happy with it so far! The town is full of shopping and reasonably priced food. We headed into the park for a quick drive too, at about 12,000 feet, when I thought I was going to die of a heart attack from lack of oxygen, we turned around and headed to town for some high elevation noshing. Seriously folks, don’t try to light a cigarette at 12,000 feet because you told someone you would smoke one for them up on the highest drivable peak. It’s just not going to happen.

IMG_1533  IMG_1513 IMG_1507


Tomorrow I surprised Number One with a breakfast horseback ride for 2 hours in the park. I am sure once she stops being pissed off that I had to wake her before 7am, she will

be thrilled at riding in the morning hours. After that, we will eat and then take a short EASY hike in the park. I am sure there will be many pictures and stories for me to tell then. Now, I rest. Oh and besides Miami Ink is on in a few minutes. A girl has her priorities!

What? I Can’t Hear You, There’s A Banana In My Ear!

27 Jul

Today we were still in Driggs Idaho. I don’t know if you are familiar with the area. Let me just put it out there if you are not, there’s nothing here but scenery. Really this is why we came though, to see the things we would not normally see, the rolling fields, the grand Tetons and the farms. It is beautiful country here. I think one night would have sufficed though and for that, well I will be sorry. We really should have made our way closer to Estes Park instead of being here because now we have 200 miles to cover tomorrow and 270 the day after. I was afraid if we spent all our time driving, we would not SEE and well we ended up driving today anyway.

Driving to go see Yellowstone Bear World. This is a zoo and really goes against most everything I believe in but after talking to the people there, they tell me the bears were once rehab bears that could not go back to the wild and they just bred them to make more bears and well here we are, with bears. There are also other random animals, elk for example, and a pair of bison. I guess they are hoping to breed the bison too? slightly off topic but has anyone ever seen a baby bison?

Anyway, so here we are.

Last night as I laid in my bed, a bug literally crawled into my ear. Yeah that’s right, a bug. I joke about bed bugs but now I wonder… so we stripped the mattresses and no sign of bugs in the bed. I also have the piece of mind (ha get it?) knowing that I could hear it buzzing, quite well actually, so i think it was a gnat or some bitey little beast. It went on for about 30 seconds of pure hell, maybe a minute and then I put water in my ear and it stopped. I put water in my ear a few times and now I feel like I have a water full of ear. I am not sure if my ear feels weird because I have put water in it several times, because I stuck a q-tip in it last night or because now I have a psychosis about there being a bug in my ear.

Tomorrow’s long trip prevents me from staying up late and worrying about it. I couldn’t do anything about it at this point anyway.

IMG_1440 IMG_1444 IMG_1456 IMG_1451

Get Me Off this Big Volcano! (day 2 and 3)

26 Jul

Sunday morning, bright and shiny early Number One and I jumped into the rental car and enthusiastically headed towards Wyoming for the second day of our very busy itinerary. We rented a budget cabin at Old Faithful in Yellowstone for 1 night and one night only and we wanted to take in as much as the park as we could. We stopped when we felt like it and we saw whatever our hearts desired. Complete with Bison, Elk, Deer and some other stuff too.

The budget cabins were great and nestled in between old faithful and some other boiling sulfur spraying earth gas hole. Other than the elevation making us unable to catch our breath, the stay was quite lovely. The stars are amazing out here! Its the people that make the stay unbearable (PUN!) with pulling over and literally chasing down elk to get the better picture. Hey ahole thanks for scaring the wildlife, next time I hope she turns around and tramples your behind. I also had a really hard time with the amount of people there were. It was actually shocking. You literally had to share space with hundreds of people to see Old Faithful go off. Since I have had a hell of a time adjusting to the time zone, I actually got up at zero dark thirty and watched the eruption with 2 other people. Now THAT was neat.

Before bed, a wayward baby squirrel chased Number One around the parking area for the cabin’s which really was worth it. No, I didn’t try to help her.

This morning we headed down towards the tetons and Jackson Hole WY. Jackson Hole was another touristy ridden hell hole. I mean its beautiful and fun but then someone cuts you off or is rude and it just takes away from the experience for me.

Now we are in Idaho, in the middle of nowhere Idaho. no crowds, the Tetons are outside of my very inexpensive bed bug special and I have wireless and a full belly. I have to say this place is gorgeous but I couldn’t live here. It isn’t that the town is rural, it’s the dryness and the lack of trees that really gets me.  Its a fantastic place to visit, that’s for sure but I wont be writing my husband with a future home suggestion today.


IMG_1425 IMG_1329

Vacation Bingo

23 Jul

As I write this, we are flying over NH finally. I say finally because we actually prepared for this flight over 3 hours ago. In true rockstar fashion though our flight was delayed a few hours. It wasn’t delayed until we were on the plane. Then you know, the rules are that they can keep us sitting on the plane for an hour or so before they have to let us off. Andddd they did.

Now we are headed to Chicago for the first leg of the trip. Sadly we are not sure where or when we will be headed next since we already missed BOTH our connecting flights to Montana. United Air wonderfully pleasant ticketing agent tells me as we reboard the plane- “I dont know if your flights were rebooked. You need to either stay here in NH and I will rebook you within 48 hours or you can just “wing it” and get on the plane”.

I did not appreciate the pun.

Go us!

Well now I write at approximately 4pm Mountain Time as I sit in my billings bed bug hotel of which I will not name. We have a full belly (thank you Applebees) and we are ready to drive around and get to know the local scenary maybe pop in a few stores. I have to tell you, there is alot to see here for someone who has never left the east coast (other than Vegas but c’mon that does not count).  We will only be here overnight. We have to buy towels and some sundries we refused to pay for with large luggage fees. Not to forget the cooler for our road sodas!! Anyway will check in tomorrow.


Incidentally, if I were playing vacation bingo, i would have already won.

The Skinny on Baggage.

18 Jul

There is always so much to do the week before any vacation. I think the week before a vacation where you are flying and then driving everywhere can be even more to do than normal. Not only do I have to consider the flight, hotel etc but I also have to consider driving and then camping.

Borrowed from the Polyvore website: http://www.polyvore.com/

Yesterday while I was double checking our flights (4 of them!!) to Montana, I noticed a separate (and very small) note about extra fees that United charges for baggage. I guess I don’t really mind the additional $30 for extra bags but what got me was the $100-$175 that they want to tack on if your bag is “oversize”. Dude, what? After about 20 minutes of searching I found the definition of what over size is. I actually saw TWO different descriptions. Not only do they slam you for a bag that is larger than normal, but they will slam you for a bag that is too heavy. That means don’t pack any warm clothing because it will put your suitcase over the allotted 40 (or 50 depends on where you look) pounds.

Number two was on and off the scale about 300 times yesterday holding my bags to ensure that I could get on the flight without having to pay up to $300 extra for the baggage weight. Not sure how we are going to get it home butI will have to be super careful with all the gifts I buy.

Stupid Airlines.

5 days to go.


13 Jul

This is really cool. I can update daily (or so) on where we have been, including photographs of our locations! The itinerary is something like this:


Montana —> Wyoming —> Idaho —> Wyoming —> Colorado —> Nebraska —> Wyoming —> South Dakota —> Home

This is something like 1,300 miles over 10 days which is as follows:

Day One: flying no driving MT

Day Two: 155 miles – about 2 hours 59 minutes (uhhh 3 hours) WY!

Day Three: 150 miles- about 3 hours 20 minutes (lets note the fact that its less miles but more time here shall we?) Grand Teton’s! ID

Day Four: Zero Day ID

Day Five: 208 miles – about 4 hours 1 minute (yeah take that minute and add it to day two) WY

Day six: 314 miles – 5 hours 16 minutes (lets also note that this is driving clean across Wyoming CO

Day Seven: Zero Day CO

Day Eight: 184 Miles – About 3 hours 8 minutes NE

Day Nine: 241 miles – 4 hours 17 minutes WY

Day Ten: 108 Miles – 1 hour 52 mins SD

Roughly 16 hours driving.