Category Archives: Travel

Post Vacation Blues

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Disneyland!!

Disneyland!! Yay!

So! We finally got to take our daughter to Disneyland! It was a fantastic trip… we spent a week in Southern California, 3 of those days at Disneyland. I actually was born and raised in SoCal, and haven’t been back in over 25 years, so it was fun to drive around seeing the “old stomping grounds”.  Kiki even (mostly) pretended to be interested, lol. The home I grew up in, the schools I attended, places I hung out… And she adored Disneyland, even though she’s already 15   🙂

I can’t believe my feet and legs held out through 3 days of Disney. At my age and weight I was really concerned… in fact, I had been kinda paranoid about the whole “will I fit on the rides?” scenario, but after doing some online research, I realized I am on the thin side of people who go to Disney (holy crap on a cracker!!) so there were no problems at all… in fact, I think I could’ve walked around another day or two!

Crazy stuff? We spent over $10.00 on a caramel apple for Kiki… but I would’ve spent this much on one for each of us if I’d known how amazing it tasted!!  Wow. And of course, Monte Cristo sandwiches at the Blue Bayou… yummmmmm!!

We were able to basically stay in Cali for free; thru a “friend of a friend” kind of deal we stayed in the home of a couple who was out of town on their own vacation. That in itself was so great – since we live with my parents we have very little time of just the three of us being “our little family.”

But I want to go back!!  Now!! You know how vacation isn’t reality, and I don’t really love my current reality, and of course DISNEYLAND!! and we ate whatever and I didn’t even worry about my diet (and FYI I didn’t gain one single pound on vacation! must’ve been all that walking?) so, I just want to be there and not here… maybe I can live behind “Small World” in the shrubbery or something… lol

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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No freakin’ way!!  I just wrote a whole post… including a cute little pic… and when I posted it, it was blank!!  crud….
Well, it’s too late now… I have to get to bed as it is just past 11pm and we are getting up at dark:thirty to catch a flight to Seattle to spend Thanksgiving week with Alan’s side of the family.  So, I am not going to post the whole story again – just going to say

Happy Thanksgiving!!    Warm Holiday Wishes to you and yours!!

Because I may not get on the internet again until we get home… ya never know!

Traveling ~ moving ~ with cats and dogs

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If you’ve read my blog for awhile, you know that in the past two years, we moved across the country – and back again.  Yeah, we’re dumb like that.  Hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time!  That is, the first move.  The second move was more in the line of desperation – “Dear Lord get us out of here!!” 

I thought I’d post some pics from our cross-country move;  today, featuring our cat and our dog.  To be honest, it wasn’t all that difficult traveling with them.  The dog loves car trips, long or short.  The cat, well, not so much, but give him a couple traquilizers and let him hide under the seat and he does okay.  The hardest part was probably finding hotel rooms that will accept 1) a big dog.  Most hotels these days seem to take little dogs, even though in my experience they are more destructive (or annoying) than big dogs.  But I don’t get to make the rules. 2) cats.  Finding a room that will take a cat is even harder than one that will take big dogs!  Thank the Lord and AAA, we did fine.  A shout out here to La Quinta!!  We used them all the way across the country – they were absolutely awesome!

One of the difficulties of pet-travel is that there doesn’t seem to be enough room in the car for everything.  I mean, geez, we have a 7 passenger vehicle with only 3 human beings in it, and yet with the animals in the car and all the paraphanelia that goes along with that, you end up with this:

Yeah.  All that interior space, and our luggage had to be on the outside.  Since the East seems to get ridiculous amounts of rain even in the middle of the summer (ick!) we had to make sure it was as water-tight as possible.  Alan and I got really good at packing this up every day!

The interior looked kinda like this:

Huh.  Can’t find the really messy interior shots… which is cool.  See, we had to take this giant crate for the dog (they have to be crated in the hotel room) and also her ramp because we have to be careful getting her into and out of the car since she had her knee surgery. 

So then we have them in the room with us.  Really, we have well-behaved pets.  (I wouldn’t tolerate any other kind!) They didn’t cause any trouble, except on the very last day.  I guess the dog had just plain had enough, and when we left to go have our hotel breakfast that morning she started barking as soon as we left the room and would not stop for anything… which is not like her at all.  We ended up having to take her to breakfast with us – thank goodness the weather was wonderful and the hotel had a patio area, so it ended up alright.

 

 You really need to be prepared when you travel with pets!

The room was nice and big so the crate fit fine.

The cat, of course, was curious.

They both seemed to enjoy the view.

These pictures were all taken on our last night, which we spent in Denver, Colorado.  I will try to post pictures of the entire trip, maybe one day at a time.  All of our moving has been a big pain in the haunches, and yet I am not sorry for the experiences we have had.  I’d be pretty happy to never move again, though.  Well, after we move out of my parents’ home and into one of our own!  Sheesh, I’m not ready to stay here forever!!  God forbid it!  Lol.

I hate mean people… and being broke… and not having my own home…. and….

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Alright, this post is going to be a total whine party, so if you don’t like that sort of thing, you should probably read elsewhere…. ’cause I am totally upset and I feel a need to spew….

I may or may not have written here how we moved “back home” from Virginia because we were miserable there, and my husband decided to quit his job and start his own business.  He has been in this industry for ages, and loves the actual work, but he’s tired of the corporate BS…..  We had moved to VA because he’d been laid off – twice – and we HAD to go elsewhere to find work.  Well, so we thought.  Had we been slightly more intelligent, we’d have thought of starting our own business before we moved everything we owned 2,500 miles across country… just to move it 2,500 miles back…. duh.  Maybe at that rate we could’ve kept our home, instead of having to short-sale it and still owe $25,000. on a house we no longer own…. sigh…..

Anyway, one day while in Virginia I was whining (not really, just complaining... there is a difference!) and my parents lovingly suggested we get the heck out of the East and could stay with them while we got back on our feet.  Totally gracious of them.  So here we are.  And I’m grateful.  Honestly.  But I really, really want to move out and have my own place!!  I am faaaar too old to live with mom and dad.  I mean, I have a kid of my own.  And that husband guy….

So… we’ve been working getting the business up and running.  We’ve seen the attorney, gotten all our paperwork and registrations and licensing and blah-di-blah-di-blah.  Dotting the “i’s” and crossing the “t’s”.  Printing up forms, decals on the truck, getting a uniform embroidered.  The whole 9 yards.

Before all this could happen, we had to choose a name (obviously).  We put a lot of thought into it, and after we decided what we wanted we did some research, just to be sure no one else had that same name locally.  Only 1 guy had a very similar name, and as far as we could tell was no longer in business – he had no phone book listing, no ads, no web site, nothing.  Only the name registered with the state… and there are thousands of businesses who have gotten a business license with the state but who are no longer in business.  So, we ran with it.  Later, we had a guy my husband knows tell us that yeah, this guy is still in business.. but, he doesn’t really do the same stuff we are going to do… same industry, different work, if you follow that.  Like, we both are in the apparel business, but I only sell dresses and he only sells shoes…. got it?  We wouldn’t be stealing each other’s customers.  (and, no.  we aren’t in the clothing business…. :-)…)

All of a sudden, this guy has a web page.  (not nearly as nice or as professional as ours I might add!).  And, he called my husband and is threatening to sue us!  Seriously.  I don’t think he has any grounds, honestly…. but I’m no legal whiz.  We are going to call our attorney and figure out what the heck… but, in the meantime, we are sort of “grounded”… when I got the call today, I was in the process of lacing up my shoes to go out and put out flyers advertising the business, hoping  for some customers.  No customers, no getting my own home, you know? 

I was already depressed and uptight when I got up this morning.  Now I am depressed, uptight, and pissed off.  Nice combo.

Now I really want a cookie.

Living in fly-over country (Home is where the Heart is)

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I live in Idaho.  Ever heard of it?  Do you know where it is?  Trust me when I tell you, it is one of the 50 states… but it seems to me that a whole lot of people don’t know that. I remember when my husband and I decided to move here from Southern California… our co-workers kept asking things like “Where are you moving again?  Ohio?” “Illinois?”  Really?  Really. 

 It was even worse last year while living in Virginia!  At least out there, you could think …well, Ohio is close to here, so that makes sense…. sort of…. except not really, because I’m not talking recent immigrants…. I mean, sure, if you told me you were from Zambia, not Zimbabwe, I might not know which one was more north and which more south… but I am pretty sure all of us Americans took US Geography at some point, learned that ‘States song’… you know the one?  Yeah, so I think you ought to know where Idaho is.  Yet on more than one occasion I found myself saying “No, not Ohio.  I-da-ho.  You know, it’s between Montana and Oregon.”  Because everyone knows where Montana and Oregon are, but not Idaho!  Urgh.  The good thing, I suppose, is the the less people know about Idaho, the less likely it will get full-up and ruined.  (After all, that’s why we left SoCal… too many people moving there!)  One of Kiki’s friends in Virginia, when she found out we had moved from Idaho, was like “Ooooh!  Do you like french fries?!”  So, I guess she at least knew a little bit about Idaho.  Yes, potatoes grow here. 

My dad calls Idaho ‘fly-over’ country… as in, no one comes here on purpose, they just fly over.  That’s pretty true.  There are alot of things we don’t have here….. shopping is sparse at best. 

 No Ikea, no Trader Joes.  We don’t have In-and-Out Burger.  Or Nordstrom. We don’t have the ocean, and that’s the worst part, really.  We have what you need; maybe not everything you want.  Most of what Idaho is known for is outdoor living… skiing, snowmobiling, white water rafting, horsesback riding, hiking, hunting; that sort of thing.  We have gorgeous mountains, fantastic lakes, tons and tons of wilderness areas. We have all four seasons, and they are all beautiful.  And about four malls in the entire state.  So it depends on what you’re into, huh?  It can be frustrating… a few days ago, my hubby and I and another couple wanted to go out for espresso.  We went to the one really cool place – which was closed for a private party.  Then we hit two other spots – one a local spot and one a nationwide chain (Tully’s) – both of which were closed (it was only 8pm!!) before we ended up at SBUX.  Not my fave coffee place – but, they were open. Meh…stuff happens.

It’s not all mountains and meadows… where we live, it’s actually sort of high-desert…. fields and sagebrush.  Well, where there isn’t a housing tract.

And some rivers.

Of all the places we’ve lived, Idaho isn’t my #1 fave. Part of it is probably due to the fact we haven’t taken full advantage of all there is to do here.  We really need to go camping this summer!  All things being equal (as in, if I could move my family, friends, church, and Kiki’s homeschool co-op with us) we’d probably live in the Seattle area.  We love, love it there.  However – all things are not equal!  We have chosen family and friends, and we are very happy to be living here. 

P.S.  I did not personally take these photos.  I gathered them from around the internet, but none of them said I couldn’t…. so there.

Tuesday Travelogue ~ Places I’ve gone

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Matt the cat does not enjoy traveling.  I wouldn’t take him under normal circumstances… but we were moving, so he kind of had to come for the ride.

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I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately; blogs written by people who seem to have far more exciting lives than I do.   You know the ones ~ they pack up their lives in Boringville, USA and move to France, or Africa, or the South Pacific…. interesting, cool places.  Or at least they get to travel to exotic places.  Me; not so much.  But then, I was thinking… I have moved across the country; I have lived in 5 states…. I have seen alot of the United States, even if a lot of it was only a view from a car!  

So… I was thinking – I enjoy seeing pictures from all over the country and around the world.  Maybe those pictures are just a place in your own back yard, so to speak, but they are probably somewhere I’ve never been, and I like seeing them.  So maybe there is one of you out there that might enjoy seeing some of the places I’ve been, even if they are in my own back yard!

 Today’s offering:  Multnomah Falls, Oregon.  This is one of our must-stops whenever we go “over the river and thru the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go…”  This particular trip was in the winter, so the falls were all iced over… it was absolutely gorgeous!  We ate in the Lodge, which is old and really cool.  Plus they have really yummy food!  (I thought I had pics of the interior, but those must be on my old computer… darn new laptop….)  You can hike all the way to the top… but not when it’s icy, so I lucked out and didn’t have to.  🙂

Are people stupid, or just ignorant?

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Tell me what you think…

I am sort of a nazi when it comes to car safety.  I think my car should be in good working order.  I don’t have alot of money, but I make sure I have tires that aren’t bald, good brake pads, seat belts…. pretty much the basics.  I believe in seat belts, and in using them correctly.  When my daughter was born, I read the booklets that came with my carseats, and put them in the car properly.  In fact, with all 3 seats from infant to toddler, I went to one of those free safety inspections the police sponsor, and each time was told I was the only person who had come through whose child seat was actually in correctly!  Really?? Sheezz.  I will not start the car when driving my daughter’s class on field trip until everyone is buckled up.  Correctly.  That means you may not have the shoulder strap under your arm! No one seems to comprehend the fact that shoulder belts don’t work that way!!  Morons?

So… here is the dilemma, and the question…..

Just over the last couple weeks,  there have been 3 separate occasions where my daughter has been riding in unsafe conditions (I didn’t know 2 of them until after the fact….)  One:  my sister’s car doesn’t have brakes, (okay, it must have some, but barely… I guess it takes for-ev-er to stop) but her husband seems to think it’s okay to drive it still.  As long as he goes slow, and stays far back.   Cause, hey, it will be expensive to fix!  More costly than the lives you will lose the day you can’t stop in time to avoid an accident??!  So, one day I found out my daughter had been driven in that car…. hey, risk your own necks if you want, but leave my family out of it!  Two:  my sister-in-law picked up my daughter for a sleepover.  Suddenly I am hearing “Oh, you two will have to double-buckle because that middle belt is broken.”  Who thinks this is okay??! Against my better judgement I let her go because – a) I was tired, I’d fought with her all the way over, this particular s-i-l is a total pain and I was not in the mood to hear the crap she’d pile on me if didn’t let my daughter ride with them – b) they only had a few blocks to go.  Total crap excuses, I know, and I prayed the whole way that they’d be safe.  Three:  My daughter went home with a friend after school.  She texts me on the way “mom, you’d be so unhappy if you knew what was happening”.  Great.  What?  Seems the mom has a 7 passenger van, and when she picked up her daughter and mine,  there were already 8 people in the car!   So two kids are double-buckled (again-really?!) one adult is on the seat without a belt, and one girl is sitting on the floor.  Yeah, my daughter was in a belt, but other unbuckled passengers can become missiles in the event of a crash.

Is it really that hard to understand?  Is it really that difficult to leave the excess people at home if you don’t have room in your car?  Is it really okay for you to endanger my child? Are you stupid, or just ignorant??!

Oh, that wasn’t really the question I wanted to ask…. I wonder, what would you do?  Do you let your kids roll around free in a car and hope for the best, or would you decline and always drive your kids yourself?