Tag Archives: vacation

I Volunteer; I’m just that Selfless

It’s 6:51 am.    I just worked out at Crossfit, made lunch and breakfast smoothies for everyone and made Kevin an omelet.  In the next half hour, I will make pancakes for the kids as well.  And Tuesday is the day I volunteer at the school and bestow my knowledge upon Littles and basically change lives within half an hour.

I feel like that should be enough for the day.

Isn’t it kind of greedy for my family to want more?

Isn’t it the time of year to be nice and kind to all?

Wouldn’t that mean letting me stay in bed for a few days?

Aren’t I part of ALL?

If EVERYONE is supposed to be nice and do good to all species during this time of year, then who gets to sit back and enjoy all this niceness and goodness?

I volunteer.

It should be me in sweats, in bed, with a tv, and this cake.

It should be me in sweats, in bed, with a tv, and this cake.

California. 

The title should be sung like the OC theme song by Phantom Planet. It makes it better. 

I escaped Montana for the CA. (I’m not in Orange County and this blog post obviously has a theme)

My friend Kelli and I are staying off of Venice Beach. I was supposed to spend my time alone writing. But I may have slept 12 hours. Hard to know. I was unconscious. 

My husband is coming for the weekend when Kelli leaves (this isn’t a literal episode of The OC where she would’ve stayed) so I was looking for a place that would be easy to switch occupents. Two large beds in other words. 

I couldn’t find any close to the beach and not lots and lots of money. Until I found a vacation rental. 

It ended up not quite looking like the photos online.

  
It’s a nice entrance. At least it’s nice and safe. 

But I do wish I’d known there wouldn’t be any soap. 

I guess I should pretend I’m on the episode where the group goes to Mexico. But then Marissa sees her boyfriend cheat and OD’s and Ryan steals her from the hospital and her parents hate him and don’t like him until Marissa dies and Ryan offers to kill the guy responsible. 

Maybe I should choose a new series to compare my life to. 

Suggestions?

A Joke I Heard from a Hungarian Dissident

Kevin and I are touring Budapest and we went in a walking tour. Our tour guide was a dissident in Hungary during the Soviet Occupation. He knew the organizers for the 1956 revolution (he has a piece of the Stalin statue they brought down) and he was there for the liberation in 1989.

I’ve been asking him all sorts of questions about his life and his political opinions.

He was forced out of his job as a professor at a university and he worked as a taxi driver and window washer.

I asked if he was scared and he said no. The Hungarian Secret police would follow him constantly. He knew they’d always be there and tapping his phone.
Here is the joke he told me:

A Swedish man was visiting his friend in Hungary. His friend told him how in the middle of the night, a bunch of men wearing black jumped out of a black car and broke into his house.
The Swedish man said, “Did you call the police?”

My Seattle Vacation

We just got back from Seattle.  I thought I’d share our weekend in pictures.  (I apologize to those of you who have already seen the pictures.  But I think they’re worth seeing again.)  I thought you’d like to see the view from our room and the international cuisine choices.

With a view like this, I didn't ever feel like leaving the room.  Because of fear.

With a view like this, I didn’t ever feel like leaving the room. Because of fear.

We went to Chinatown.  And had a burger.  At Joe's.

We went to Chinatown. And had a burger. At Joe’s.

Here Fishy Fishy Fishy

I just got the receipt for a fish my husband is having stuffed and mounted onto a plaque. I’m not sure if these are the correct terms, but my knowledge in this field is limited. And I wish it was more limited.

Because this is expensive.

I could buy 10 pairs of shoes. Or at least one.

I think he’s giving it to his mom for Christmas. I’m unsure if she reads my blog, but even if she does, I think one should be prepared if one is going to receive a large, dead fish as a gift.

If we are keeping it, it may end up at the lake. In a closet. In the garage.
Except that it cost so much to have it modge podged that we would have to hang it where people could see it.

Like at his office.

He scares kids there already, after all.

Welcome To Our Home

Welcome To Our Home

(Disclaimer: it is a huge fish and I may have asked if he was getting it mounted because it was so big and I would actually hang it up at the lake but how fun is that?)

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…

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.