Tag Archives: Travel

Vacation Dilemmas

I have a dilemma.  It’s a dichotomy.  I have a dichotomical dilemma.

When I’m in charge of a vacation, I spend it stressed something will go wrong.

If I’m not in charge of a vacation, I spend it stressed because I don’t know what’s going on.

See?  A dichotomical dilemma.

I did go to Spain with my über planning niece Jenny.  I enjoyed that.  So I guess that’s my solution.  I can vacation with over-the-top-detail-oriented people.  They’re the only people I can truly relax with.

Maybe because they’re most like me.

Being in Southern Utah does help...

Being in Southern Utah does help…

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It’s Not a Coffee Shop, but I Do What I Can

So my goal has been to write but summer is… summer.  I find myself taking my kids all over the place just so I don’t have to hear them say: “I’m bored.”  (And when they do say it I can then rattle off all the places I’ve taken them and then talk about what an amazing mother I am for at least 5 minutes while they have to sit there.)

A few weeks ago I went to Utah to do some school shopping. (A total bust for the boys.  They still only had short sleeve shirts in the stores I visited.  And my 6 year old is still deciding if he’s a size 7 or 8.  I’m hoping he grows the extra half inch, BEFORE I buy pants.)  And we went to Chuckie Cheese and a water park and the new Percy Jackson movie.  I couldn’t do much writing in the movie theater, but I did pretty good at Chuckie Cheese and the water park.

I recommend writing at Chuckie Cheese.  It has unlimited Diet Pepsi.

This would be better proof if the notebook were actually open.

This would be better proof if the notebook were actually open.

 

Vocabulary Lessons

We are going backpacking as a family.  I’m not sure what has come over us but I guess we’re trying to force nature on our children.  It makes me feel better about letting small electronic devices occupy their time when I want a nap.

And to be honest, Kevin originally asked me if I wanted to go HIKING as a family.  Then he told his friend we were going BACKPACKING.  He didn’t think his change in vocabulary was that big a deal until I said I was going to buy a 2k cubic zirconia but was actually going to buy a 2k diamond.

I’m nervous about the backpack I’ll be wearing.  Kevin has said it’s a horrible bag but now that we need me to wear it, he is now saying it’s horrible because it’s too small not because it’s a horrible bag.  I’m usually not as picky on vocabulary as I have been recently.  But if I have to carry all of my possessions on my back, I need an amazing backpack and I think that’s why the story has changed.  Amazing backpacks come with an amazing price.

And we can’t afford it anymore.  Not after my previous vocabulary lesson.

(Dear prospective thieves: I didn’t REALLY buy a 2k diamond.  But it made for a better ending.  If you look through my jewelry box, you will find the cubic zirconia.  What if I just leave you a $20 on the front door?)

The Hiawatha Trail

We took our kids on the Hiawatha Trail. It used to be part of the Milwaukee Railroad.

“It was called one of the most scenic stretches of railroad in the country. When the Milwaukee Railroad was operating, the trains traversed through 11 tunnels and over 9 high trestles, covering a 46 mile route that crossed the rugged Bitterroot Mountains between Idaho and Montana. The “Route of the Hiawatha” is most famous for the long St. Paul Pass, or Taft Tunnel which burrows for 8771 ft. (1.66 miles) under the Bitterroot Mountains at the state line.”

Now they’ve covered the tracks with dirt and you mountain bike over it.  It’s a beautiful path.  We put tag-a-longs on the back of my bike and Kevin’s so that the two youngest road with us and our oldest road his own bike.

The first 1.6 miles are in a completely black tunnel.  You have to wear headlamps or a bike light to make it.  On both sides of the tunnel there are 18 inch ditches for water runoff.

(I highly recommend learning to ride with a tag-a-long and kid before entering a slightly sloped, completely black tunnel with water dripping from the ceiling.  It throws balancing off just a wee bit.)

It took us 3ish hours to get down the path.  It was mostly downhill.  We paused occasionally to read the historic signs along the way and to eat unhealthy snacks.  We thought of riding back up but the shuttle was right there waiting for us.  It was a sign.  And we didn’t realize how tired we were until we sat down.  And closed our eyes.

They drop you off at the end of the tunnel so you have to bike through it again.  Seeing as we were experts at riding our bikes in the dark, it went much faster the second time.
I recommend riding bikes in a dark tunnel.  It makes you feel like you’ve done something incredibly cool and dangerous without actually doing anything cool or dangerous.

We're waiting for endorsement deals.

We’re waiting for endorsement deals.

Travel Advice

I recently went on a trip.  All by myself.  I didn’t even need an adult chaperone.  And I didn’t have to wear an underage badge pinned to my shirt.

I’ve realized this year that I tend to travel a lot.  I thought I’d pass on some of the immense amount of knowledge I’ve acquired.

Tip #1

Airplanes are chilly.  Socks are a wonderful idea when you are wearing sandals.  I generally wear subtle ones so as not to draw attention to myself.

You may have to look closely.  I swear I'm wearing socks.

You may have to look closely. I swear I’m wearing socks.

Tip #2

Make yourself comfortable.

A wall is technically not furniture so obviously it's ok to put your foot on it.

A wall is technically not furniture so  it’s ok to put your foot on it.

Tip #3

Only rent cars from people who check for dents with the largest possible flashlights available.  But make sure they don’t swing around too fast and dent your rental with the largest available flashlights possible.

(Feel free to caption this yourself)

They don’t sell them.  I asked.

 

 

 

The Universe and Manilow

I’m worried about Barry Manilow.  I think karma may get him.  I’m waiting to hear.

Last time I mentioned a writing retreat I went to.  It was Thursday to Saturday.  I was pretty much in a class or discussing writing.  My friend called me and told me she had 2 free tickets to Barry Manilow.  I had an appointment I was able to switch so I could make it to the concert.  So I just happened to be in the state on the night Barry would be performing; I had free tickets and I was able to go.

I WAS MEANT TO GO.

So I got in my car and started driving.  It was about an hour drive to the stadium.  I was ten minutes away.  I was making good time.  I was pretending my name was Mandy when my friend texted:

Manilow cancelled.

HE CANCELLED. Five minutes before the doors were to open and he cancelled.

The universe had symbiotically come together to allow me to go to Barry. THE UNIVERSE wanted me to go to Barry Manilow.

And he cancelled.  I’m worried what the universe might do.

I own this but I don't have a matching boa and now I never will.

I own this but I don’t have a matching boa and now I never will.

Consistency

I just went to a writing retreat.  One of the presenters, Ann Cannon, is a columnist and blogger.  She says that consistency is the key.  I thought I’d try it for a while.  It will be scientific research.
And then I’ll publish it as a thesis
And get an honorary doctorate
And I’ll make everyone call me Doctor Marianne
Or maybe Your Excellency
And I’ll get an endorsement from the Nordstrom Shoe department
And take my family on a Disney Adventure.
Twice.

This has nothing to do with this post.  But it's really hot right now and this picture is so cool.  I wish I was writing this in a pool.

This has nothing to do with this post. But it’s really hot right now and this picture isn’t. I wish I was writing this in a pool.

And all of this can be mine if I’m consistent.
I guess it would help if I were consistent with blogging…