Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day 17: Woodburn, OR

This was the only morning that grandma didn’t make us a breakfast. I kept telling her that we usually just have cold cereal and that she was spoiling us, so that’s what we had! Then Adam and I ran into town to fill gas before we left tomorrow morning, and pick up some milk for grandma.

We played some cards with grandma and grandpa, then Carla showed up, and we had lunch. After lunch, Kim and Kassie showed up and we played dice, cards, and Wii all afternoon. Myron and Kevin came over and Kevin worked in the garden with Kassidy. Carla, Adam, and I ended up talking out on the swing about how every family has their goods and bads, and Carla told us some stories from growing up and when I was a kid, and I told some of my memories, and mentioned some stories Adam had told me about him growing up.

After dinner, Carla had to get going, because she had to work in the morning, and Myron and Kevin had some bees to move. Kim and Kassie stuck around for a little while and played more games, but I was tired. So they left and I packed up some of our stuff, so it would be quicker in the morning, and we went to bed.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 16: Woodburn, OR

Grandma made French toast again for breakfast. Adam read his book and played the Wii, while I talked with grandpa. He shared a book with me that was a 100 year history of Hague, ND, the place where grandpa had grown up. He told me about his family, and how he had left the farm and headed to Bismark to find a job. I found my name (mentioned as a child of one of grandpa’s children) in the book, and found a copy of a contract between the school and a teacher in 1913. She was to be paid less than $45 at the end of each month for teaching several different grades.

Soon Carla came with dinner in hand and started cooking it on the Traeger, and then Kim and Kassidy showed up. We decided to go to Silver Falls State Park and walk the trails. The state park has eleven waterfalls, and we saw four of them (Upper North, North, Twin, and Winter Falls). We walked a little over three miles, and Kassidy (who has club feet) did really well with all the walking.

Before we got all the way home, we stopped at Boschler Hardware to pick up more pellets for our Traeger grill (they’re much cheaper out here then back home, plus there’s no sales tax). When we got back, Carla and Kim helped finish getting dinner ready, and we ate. After dinner, we played some cards, and Carla, Kim and Kassidy left. Myron and Kevin stuck around to watch wrestling with grandma and grandpa, while Adam and I read our books, then went to bed.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 15: Woodburn, OR

Adam & I slept in. I woke up before Adam, but Adam woke up later to the smell of French toast, bacon, & sausage. We ate breakfast, and showered, but before I could do my hair, my aunt Carla showed up. We sat around and chatted, and walked around the yard. Carla showed us where she had done a lot of weeding, but you couldn’t tell anymore, since no one had done it since.

My cousin Jen had said she would come over with her new baby (who is about a month older than Danni), but her fiancé wasn’t feeling well, so Carla (her mom) went to pick her up. While she was gone, Kim and Kassidy came back over, and it wasn’t long until Carla was back with Jen and baby Madison.

Jen gave Madison to me almost right away to hold, and seemed very happy to let me hold her and play with her. I enjoyed every minute of it! Madison, with her big blue eyes, just like her mom and her granny, was perfectly content to sit in my arms and watch all the people at grandma’s house oh-and-ah over her.

Around dinner time, Kevin and Myron came home, and my cousin Kayla, and her boyfriend, Wayne, came over to see us too. Kayla hadn’t met Madison yet, but didn’t hold her (I think I might have been a baby-hog the whole time). We had to use both of grandma’s tables since so many of us were there to enjoy the tenderloin that Carla cooked on the Traeger.

After dinner, I showed some of them pictures of Danni (though Kim, Kayla, and Kassie had already seen just about all of them on facebook). But grandma enjoyed seeing pictures of her great-granddaughter, who she (and grandpa) say a decade of the rosary for everyday. But, Kayla and Wayne had to head out afterwards.

Later, we walked around outside, us girls sat on the swing and played with Madison, and walked over to the garden. Kassidy, who is the best berry-picker, found some berries for us, and Jen fed me some while I kept holding Madison. I think Kassidy was afraid I would bite her fingers off or something if she fed them to me.

Madison started getting fussy though, and so Carla brought Jen back home, and then headed home herself. Kim and Kassidy didn’t stay around too much longer, and neither had Myron and Kevin. So we headed to bed.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 14: Woodburn, OR

Adam and I got up early around 5am, though we hadn’t slept very well, and hit the road hoping to beat traffic on the 405. We did, and got to I-5 just fine, heading for Mt. Angel, OR to stay with my grandparents. We listened to some CD’s that Jacque had borrowed us called “Stephen Colbert: I Am America (And So Can You).”

We ended up getting to my grandparent’s about 7pm, and my aunt Kim and cousin Kassidy had just gotten there. Shortly later, my uncles Myron and Kevin came over too. Kevin had picked up kabobs to grill on the Trager grill. Kassidy brought me back to the garden and we picked some berries. We watched Kevin feed the kitties. Myron and Kevin didn’t stick around too long, but Kim and Kassidy stuck around for a while.

Adam and I had made Mii’s on grandma & grandpa’s Wii. Grandma & grandpa love playing bowling and others games on it. Grandma is very proud of her star ball when she bowls. We played a few games, then Kim and Kassidy left, and Adam & I went to bed.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 13: Los Angles, CA - PODS Day!

PODS day! They day we had been waiting for! Adam and I weren’t really comfortable packing the rest of the stuff in the house, so while Jacque and Corey were packing the last of the boxes, Adam carried boxes from their condo down to the sidewalk, and I sat in one of their antigravity chairs reading a book, making sure no one stole their stuff. I know, I really did have the hardest job! Then Corey, thinking that I had an easy job or something, gave me his cell phone for when the PODS people called to say they were on their way.

The PODS pod finally got there around 11am. It was super cool to watch then drop it off. The lady had a remote control for this pod mover that had an engine on the back and for posts with wheels that can turn on a dime. And the thing lifts the pod up off the truck, then she steers it with her remote control and pulled it into the parking space, and lowered it. Then unhooked the thing and used her remote control to steer the mover back onto her truck. Super cool.

Then the hard work began (for me anyway!). We started moving stuff actually into the pod. Jacque and Corey wanted certain things that they would need right away towards the front. So we made a pile off to the side, then started throwing the rest of the stuff in the pod, using the mattress, box spring, and some furniture to hold boxes in and help with tying things in place. Kelly came again, about half way through packing the pod, and helped.

To my surprise, we finished about 3pm, and at that point we all needed showers. Kelly invited us over after we had showered, and headed home. While Jacque and I showered, Adam and Corey bubbled wrapped Corey’s most precious belong (his flat screen tv), and packed it in our car (he worried about it in the pod).

Once they had showered, we picked up Addy from daycare and headed to Kelly’s, where we waited around for some of their friends to show up. Once most everyone was there, we headed to In-and-Out burger for dinner, as Corey had to eat there one last time before they left Cali. Jacque and Corey wanted to spend time talking with their friends for probably the last time, so Adam and I hung out at the end of the tables. But I ended up talking to one of their friends, Lance for a while. Nice guy. Before we left though, we all stood in front of the In-and-Out sign and one of the employees took a picture of all of us. Jacque and Corey, of course, donning their In-and-Out burger hats.

Then we headed back to Kelly’s house and hung out for a little while, until people started leaving (and Addy started getting tired). When we got home, Corey put Addy straight to bed, and she was out without fussing. We talked for a couple minutes, got ready for bed, and said our goodbyes, which really didn’t seem like good-bye, but more of a ta-ta-for-now. Since pretty much everything was in the pod, Addy slept in Jacque & Corey’s room in her play pen, Jacque and Corey slept in Addy’s room on the Murphy bed, and Adam and I slept on the pull-out bed (which wasn’t theirs, but was getting donated to the Salvation Army) in the living room.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 12: Los Angles, CA

On Monday, the cable internet & tv were shut off. So it was down to work. Corey & Adam went to Best Buy to get rid of a couple of computers that didn’t work. Jacque’s Mac book stopped working, and since I am going to be getting a Mac book at my new job, I got the extra charger.

Later Jacque, Corey, and Addy ran to Verizon to add Jacque to Corey’s plan, and run some other errands. While they were gone, Adam and I went to two different CVS’s to try to find SoBe lifewaters (which we had gotten a rain check for from the CVS back home when they were on sale buy one, get one – and I had buy one, get one coupons, so they would have been free!). But we had no luck. So we ended up picking some up at Target with my bogo coupons, but I had forgotten that in California you have to pay a five cent deposit on any cans and bottles you purchase. Kind of made me miss home and the good deals I know how to get there, everything is more expensive out here.

When we got home, Kelly was already over cleaning up a little. And shortly after we got back, Jacque & Corey came home too. We did some more packing, and Corey made tritip steak kabobs on the grill, and Jacque made a vinaigrette salad with blue cheese crumbled on it. (When mom makes salads at home, she always puts the stuff on the sides – kind of a make your own – and I always though blue cheese was gross, but I tried it and liked it! Look at me, expanding my taste pallet!) :)

Later, Kelly left, and Addy was in bed, so Jacque, Corey, Adam, and I all squished on the couch and watched a movie called “The Gamer.” It was about how this one guy created a video game, similar to the Sims, but players were actually controlling real people. These people got paid to “be” the game, and had no control, what-so-ever, over their bodies while they were “at work.” But then he created a new game called “Slayers” same concept as before, but this time like Call of Duty. And people actually died. But the creator said it was all okay, because these people were in jail on death row anyway… of course I won’t spoil the whole movie for you! Decent movie, but not really my type of movie.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 11: Los Angles, CA

Today we had a lot of errands to run. Jacque had to go to Verizon to get a cell phone (she had to turn in her work cell on her last day of work). So while Adam and Jacque were in the store, I walked up and down the strip mall with Addy trying to keep her entertained. She loved the carts outside one store and the plants outside the Verizon store. (She is much easier to keep up with than my nephew, Miles).

Then we went to an indoor mall that had a play area for Addy, but first we stopped at Old Navy. They were having a sale where you got 25% off if you showed your student or teacher ID. So Adam used his ID to get Jacque a discount, then Addy took the card from him before he could use it for his discount (the cashier still gave it to him). :) After we had done our shopping, Jacque let Addy play at the little play yard.

On our way home, even though it wasn’t dinner time, we stopped at Five Guys and picked up some burgers. Of course we weren’t hungry come dinner time, but when it got close to bed time, we started to get hungry. But, nobody wanted to eat right before bed, so we all went to bed hungry.

I thought we would stay up until Corey (Jacque’s fiancé) got home from a bachelor party in Ohio. But I think we were all (except Addy, of course) still awake. Adam and I could hear him come in the front door, as the Addy’s room (where we were staying) had a window looking out to the front door. And we heard Jacque get up to help him.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day 10: Los Angles, CA

Today I packed up a good chuck of Jacque & Corey’s kitchen. I tried to keep out what we would still be using, but I didn’t know what Jacque would be making for dinners and what-not. (I still ended up packing away stuff that we needed, but we improvised!)

We ended up using all the boxes that they had gotten from the Home Depot, so we went back and got more. When we were checking out, I was holding Addy while Jacque was paying. The cashier-lady asked Adam a question, and Adam said he wasn’t in charge and pointed to Jacque. The cashier figured we were all related somehow (and she was right), but she was so totally way off when she guessed as to how we were related. She pegged Jacque as the mom (correct, to a point), and Adam and I as her children, and Addy as Jacque’s granddaughter (my daughter). On the way out, I made sure to ask ‘granny’ if she had her keys.

Kelly came over for dinner and brought some green beans and potato salad, and Jacque made chicken with a homemade barbeque sauce. ‘Twas delicious! Then we all pretty much say in front of the tv and vegged. After Addy had gone to bed, Adam ended up on the computer while us girls watched a documentary show about Justin Bieber. Yeah, um, no comments please!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 9: Los Angles & Hollywood, CA

Jacque had to work today, so she took Addy to daycare in the morning. Adam and I hung out at her place for a little while, waiting for rush hour. Then we headed out to Hollywood. We parked in a “parking structure” at a mall on Highland and Hollywood. Jacque said that if we went in there and just bought a bottle of water or something, that they would validate our parking, so it would only be $2. We walked around the mall a little bit, and on the third floor, we had a decent view of the Hollywood sign. It was an overcast day, so it wasn’t the greatest, but it was better than driving around trying to catch a glimpse between buildings.

Then we walked out onto the street along the walk of fame. There were a lot of names that I recognized, but also a lot that I didn’t. Then we stopped at the Chinese Mann Theater. It was neat to see all the prints from different people. We even saw one that saw Billy Hart (which is the name of one of Adam’s cousins).

Then we continued on and crossed the street to walk back towards the mall where we parked. There were a couple souvenir stores that we stopped in and walked around. Of course, they all have the same stuff that souvenir stores across the country have, but just with a different city/ state name on it. Outside the Disney store, we saw Winnie the Pooh, so I had to take a picture!

After we had enough of seeing stars, we got in the car, and headed down the 101, the PCH, the Pacific Coast Highway. We thought about getting out and walking, but it was cold (I had goose bumps just sitting in the car), and parking was fairly expensive. We saw a lot of surf boarders heading out to catch some waves.

We ended up getting back to Thousand Oaks before Jacque thought she would get off work (and Jacque ended up at work, later than she thought she would be for her last day). Until she got off work and picked up Addy, we hung out at a couple different malls. Then headed back to her house, but she was still at work. So, we walked to a mall right by her house that had mostly restaurants, but they had a “lake” with coy in it.

On our way back to Jacque’s, I saw a store called “It’s a Girl Thing” that was closing. We walked over to it, and they had some good deals on some cute clothes, but we left our cash in the car. But, I figured that Jacque and I could go back there later.

Eventually Jacque got home, and we hung out for a while, and then headed to the Wood Ranch to meet, Abe, one of Adam’s army buddies for dinner. Adam made fun of me for, again, getting a Caesar salad. He tried two of their different barbecue items, and shared a taste with me. It was a delicious dinner.

Since Addy was getting cranky at the restaurant, Jacque took her home early. When we got home Addy was sound asleep, and we all went to bed shortly after we got home.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 8: Los Angles, CA

We got up and packed our bags, and by 10am were on the road to LA. We got to Thousand Oaks before Adam’s sister, Jacque, got off work, so we hung out at a mall near her house. I’d never been to a Cost Plus, so we walked around in there. They had a lot of neat things that kind of reminded me of a Pier One.

Jacque met us at her house, then we got in her car and went to her friend, Kelly’s, house to pick up Addison. (Kelly is a fifth grade teacher, so in the summer she picks up Addy from daycare and hangs out with her in the afternoon.) After visiting with Kelly for a little while, we headed to Target to pick up some diapers and stuff. Then it was back to Jacque’s.

We didn’t really do too much that day, but Jacque had made a pork roast in the crock pot for dinner that was delicious. We slept in Addy’s room on the Murphy bed, and Addy slept in Jacque’s room in her play pen. (Apparently the people that lived here before them had three kids, two slept on the Murphy bed, and the other was in a crib.)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 7: Vegas, NV

Another slow morning, we went to Subway and each got a $9 foot long (almost twice the cost of the $5 foot longs back home!). Even though I knew I would only each half of it, I still got the foot long, figuring Adam would eat it later.

We hung out in our room for a while then went down to the Hooter’s Bar for our free wings. We had 20 free wings, so I figured I would eat those, and Adam wanted a sandwich. I was hungry for teriyaki wings, but they only had mild, medium, or hot. So we got one mild and one medium, the mild were just a butter sauce, and not all that flavorful. The medium were okay. By the time I had eaten two wings, Adam had finished his sandwich, and was starting on some of my wings. I knew that would happen, but I figured I would be able to eat a few more before he got his hands on them.

After our dinner, we stepped out the door to the pool and went to the pool bar to order our free drinks. We sat around the pool and relaxed for a little while, watching people and walking behind the waterfall (it was like it was air conditioned behind it!).

Tonight’s show was a late one, it started at 10pm. Hooters had given us complimentary tickets to one of their shows, and Adam picked the only one that sounded half-way decent: The Dirty Joke Show. It was three comedians sitting in a back alley telling jokes between shows, but they had a guest there for the night. I don’t remember his name, but apparently he had another show in Vegas that he was there for.

Our show tickets had a free drink ticket for after the show, but since we were both tired, and we were leaving in the morning, we decided to go back to our room and go to bed.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 6: Vegas, NV

It was a fairly relaxing, uneventful day. We ate our cold pizza from the night before for breakfast/ lunch. We tried to get tickets again at the Coke bottle for the Tournament of Kings. They were sold out, but I asked an old man working there if that meant that they were sold out at the hotel as well. He said no, just that they were sold out of the tickets they were given for a discount.

Adam had kept seeing people walking around with yard long margaritas and had been bugging me to get one since he saw them. We saw them for the cheapest we’d seen right next to the Coke bottle. We ordered a raspberry one and shared it. It was delicious in the heat of the day!
Then we walked back towards our hotel, but stopped across the street at the Excalibur to see if they had tickets for tonight’s show. They did! We bought the tickets and headed back to our hotel. We decided to kill a little time and to play our $100 promotional slots at Hooters. Other than a couple extra spins, we didn’t win anything.

Then we headed back upstairs, but since it was an earlier show, with dinner, we didn’t hang out at our hotel for too long. We were in the front row, in the Spain section. Adam said we had the cool king, because he did a back flip off the side. I thought we had the cute king. Dinner was very good: Cornish game hen, potatoes, broccoli, and a roll, topped off with dessert of an apple fritter. It was a neat show, different than most I’ve seen. The show was shorter, so we had more time afterward too.

So we went back to our room and I used more of my honeymoon coupons. I used one that said “an evening with champagne and intimate conversation,” but we skipped the champagne since we didn’t have any and Adam doesn’t like it anyway. Then I used “go to a movie of my choice,” but we stayed in our room and watched Sweet Home Alabama on my laptop.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 5: Birthday in Vegas, NV

We slept in until about 9am, got up and showered. While Adam was showering, I called the 800 number to order tickets to Mystére using Adam’s military discount. We weren’t sure if they would take it when we got there, as his ID is expired, but we thought we’d give it a shot.

Adam kept asking me what I wanted to do since it was my birthday. I hadn’t been to Vegas before, but he had, so I wanted him to give me suggestions as to what we could do. We ended up going to McDonalds at the MGM Grand for lunch, then the Coke bottle to see if we could get tickets to tomorrow night’s Tournament of Kings at the Excalibur. They didn’t have tickets except for that night. So we figured we’d stop tomorrow to see if they had them then.

Later that evening, we drove to Papa John’s to pick up a pizza for dinner. We got two larges and a two-liter, so that we would have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. We watched dinner and ate our pizza, and chilled (since it was 111º outside) in our room until it was time to go pick up our tickets for the show.

We ended up leaving late, the show was at 9:30pm, doors opened at 9pm, and we were supposed to pick up our tickets at 8:30pm. We got there about ten to eight, and there was quite the line. I was worried that they would resell our tickets if we didn’t get there in time, but they said we just might miss the beginning of the show (which we didn’t!).

We got in line for our will-call tickets. When we got up to the desk, we told the lady our name and she pulled up our order. She asked for my license and military ID. Adam figured when she took it that she would see it was expired and make us pay another $106 for another ticket. But she didn’t. She just recorded his name and social number on the back. Though, she did tell us that we had a $2 balance. I told her that I had paid in full over the phone and I didn’t bring anything else with me. She said that the lady on the phone had rung it up wrong, and I still owed $2, because there was a fee for will-call tickets. I told that that was too bad, but it was not my fault that someone miss-quoted it and charged me the wrong amount. She managed to change the order somehow so that we didn’t owe more money.

Then we got in line to get into the theater. It was quite a long line, but seats are all reserved, so it didn’t matter how quickly we got in. It didn’t seem to take too long. The start of the show had an old fellow walking around and seating people in the wrong places and entertaining the crowd while we waited for the real show to start. I really enjoyed the show and all the amazing acrobatics. They did some cool stuff with a teeter-totter, and Adam asked me if that’s how me and the neighbor boys broke our teeter-totter. I told him no, but that we should try it out sometime.

After the show, we asked the bartender for a glass of ice water (which we started doing anytime we went outside to carry along our way), and we walked all the way back down to our end of the strip.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Day 4: Grand Canyon & Vegas

We wanted to get on the road early, so we could spend time at the Grand Canyon, and then get into Vegas at a reasonable time. Turns out getting up early saved us $25! When we got to the entrance, where you pay for your car pass, there was no one in line, no one in the booth or anything. We drove up, and there was a sign that said “Closed, please continue through.” So that’s what we did.

We drove through and stopped at Desert View, Moran View, and Grandview (which really wasn’t all that grand, surprisingly Moran View was better). Then we headed towards the Visitor Center, and jumped on the free tour bus. From the Blue Route which took us to the Red Route, also called “Hermits Rest Route”. From there, we stopped at Powell then walked to Hopi, and jumped back on the bus to head to The Abyss, and back on to Pima, where we got onto the Eastbound Red Route bus that took us back to the Blue Route, and back to the Visitor Center.

There were so many people speaking so many different languages. I didn’t realize that the Grand Canyon was a tourist attraction for foreigners also! I was amazed that Adam could tell me what language many of them were speaking (of course, he could have been making it all up, and I would believe him). I asked him how he knew what they were speaking, and he told me that when he would get on the bus at DLI (Defense Language Institute, where he learned Korean for the Army), that he would hear people talking in different languages, and watch what college they got off at (French, German, Chinese, etc.) I guess I’ll believe him, besides, it sounded pretty accurate from the little I know.

From there we were on the road to Vegas, baby! Adam continued driving, of course. We were on a highway that was one lane each way, Adam had the cruise set, I was chillin’ in the passenger seat. We would pass people once in a while when there was a passing zone. But we finally got to a stretch where there were no cars in front of us, so we were good to go. Until (you know there’s going to be an ‘until’) we passed a cop heading the opposite direction. We saw him slow down, pull off to the side of the road (only for a moment), then flick on his lights. Well, crap. So Adam pulled over, and unfortunately so did the cop, right behind us.

He came up to my window, and asked for a license and registration. Adam had already pulled out his license, and I had already pulled out our expired proof of insurance, but no registration. We were looking good already! We dug through the glove box, wondering what registration we were looking for, so Adam finally asked the cop what it was. His response: “a piece of paper,” no joke. Finally, he said don’t worry about it, and told us he’d be right back, then turned back and said, “I pulled you over because you were doing 77 in a 65.”

While we waited, Adam said he always got pulled over at least once on a road trip (he’d only once gotten a ticket – in Idaho, because apparently, by law, if they pull you over, they have to give you a ticket). I asked him if he’d be able to talk his way out of this one. He said no. When the cop came back, he had a clip board in his hand, and asked Adam to sign by the ‘X.’ He just gave him a warning, telling him to keep it to 65. Thank God! :)

We kept on driving, and a short while later, near the Hoover Dam, traffic came to an almost complete stop. I could see orange cones ahead, so we were figuring it was road construction traffic. But as we got closer, we realized we were wrong. There was a sign that said “Security Check Point.” When we got there, we had our window down, and the officer said, “Minnesota huh?” “Yep,” Adam replied. “Where?” he asked. “St. Paul,” Adam said. “Oh, I have a cousin there. Stay to the left,” he pointed us onward. Adam wondered if he said that he had a cousin from wherever, to everyone.

Traffic didn’t improve any when we got through the check point. We winded our way back and forth through the switchbacks down to the Hoover Dam, slowly creeping along. We contemplated getting out at one of the overlooks, but Adam didn’t want to have to try to get back into the creeping line of traffic. When we got to the entrance of the Dam, we found out why we were still creeping along. There was one stop sign for a crosswalk. Each car took its turn stopping, some letting walkers though, and continued, at a more normal speed, winding back up to the other side of the Hoover Dam. We had lost about a half hour sitting through the traffic for the check point and the crosswalk, and we wondered why we couldn’t travel across the bridge that we saw up above. But at least we saw the Hoover Dam.

The rest of our journey to Vegas, was pretty uneventful. We arrived around 6pm, and checked into our room at Hooters (yes, Hooters, it’s off the strip by about a block, and was the cheapest deal we could find even without all their promos). We walked around the strip, and ended up at Hard Rock Café for dinner. It was so hot that I wasn’t really hungry (but of course Adam was starving), so I just had a Ceasar salad.

We went back to the hotel after dinner and decided to go swimming. Hooters has a sand area, two pools (one is colder with a waterfall, the other is warmer), and a hot tub. We started in the pool with the waterfall, but I thought it was pretty cold, so didn’t go much past my waist. A lady from the hot tub jumped in and told us that the other pool was warmer. I quickly got out and we went to the other pool, where I got all the way in. Adam decided that we needed to go back to the waterfall in the other cold pool. He said I had to go under the waterfall for at least five seconds. I told him I would jump in right by the waterfall, but of course chickened out when I was standing at the edge of the pool. So he came over and grabbed me and held me under the waterfall. He carried me out, then dragged me right back in. We got back in the warmer pool, but didn’t stay too much longer.

We went back to our room and showered, then decided to go get tickets to tomorrow night’s show at Treasure Island (at the opposite end of the strip). I wanted to see Cirque du Soleil: Mystére for my birthday. We walked all the way there in the 100º+, with my incision getting sore, for pretty much nothing. The ticket office closed at 10pm. So we grabbed a flyer, and decided that we would call the next day, instead of walking all the way back.

By the time we got back, it was after midnight. Adam wished me a happy birthday, and we fell asleep immediately (it was after 2am back home, and Adam would be just getting up for work).

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Day 3: Tuba City

We wanted to leave Denver after rush hour traffic. We walked around the mall 16th Street Mall again, and found a couple places to try breakfast at, but we ended up at Einstein Brother’s Bagels. We ended up leaving Denver by almost 9am, and until we got on the road, we forgot that it was Saturday, and there was no rush hour that we had to wait for.

We spent about 10 hours driving, and Adam drove for most of it. When I’m in the car riding along, I like to watch the scenery, but sometimes I get bored with just that. So I snapped lots of pictures through the window. Of course, many didn’t turn out very well (there’s reflections from the windows or a sign or car in the way), but some turned out pretty well!

Around dinner time, we started searching in the GPS for food near our destination, but it said the nearest places for food was 50+ miles behind us, and we weren’t turning back! We kept on driving, and in Kayateen we saw several places to stop and eat, none of which were listed in the GPS. We figured that Tuba City (where we decided that we would stop for the night) would have food, as it was a pretty big city, but we didn’t want to risk it. So we stopped in this little town.

We stopped at Sonic first, as Adam really likes it, but they didn’t have a bathroom. So we jumped back in the car, and went to the BK Lounge (yes, we listened to Dane Cook in the car). There were three dogs just laying in the grass right outside the door that didn’t appear to have any owners (or none that took very good care of them anyway). And in the back part of the parking lot there were two mules. I snapped a picture of the mule in the parking lot, as it’s something you don’t really see anywhere (except here I suppose).

Around 6:30pm we got into Tuba City (apparently part of the Navajo Nation, who is going to be electing their president soon – vote for Linda Lovejoy). There wasn’t much to do there, and we were pretty tried (yes, sitting on your butt all day in a car makes you tired… strangely enough).

In the morning, we ate breakfast at the restaurant that was next to the hotel with our complimentary breakfast tickets, but had to pay for our orange juice. Then we headed towards the Grand Canyon.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 2: Denver, CO

We got into Denver about 3:30pm and stayed at the Courtyard by Marriot. I had called ahead of time to find rates of hotels, and I was quoted $139. The Comfort Inn had quoted us cheaper, but when we got there, they didn’t have any of the cheaper rooms available, plus you had to pay for Valet parking (they didn’t have a park-yourself option). So we left, and I called Courtyard back, and this time asked about parking as well. The gentleman that I talked to said that it was $10 a night. So it was still cheaper than Comfort Inn.

When we pulled up there was a sign that said $22 Valet parking. When I got inside, I asked the lady at the desk about the parking, and she said yes, it’s $22. I told her I had just spoken to a man on the phone that told me it was only $10. She didn’t seem to know what I was talking about, but then the guy that I had talked to, came out. He asked if I had just talked to him on the phone, I said, “Yeah, probably.” And he said that there was a parking package, and he’d take care of me. So he kicked the girl off her computer, and started registering us for the night. Then the girl said, “Well, why don’t you give them the sports package.” She told us that it included parking and a coupon for either 2 beers or an appetizer at their restaurant, and it was the same price. (We never used our coupon!)

We went up to our room and got settled in, but it was still quite early. So we decided to walk around the 16th Street Mall (a lot like the Nicollett Mall). We found a Johnny Rockets malt shop for dinner. The Caesar salad and Adam’s burger were good, but the malt was okay. If you’re a malt shop, you need to have awesome malts, not okay malts. But Adam found a Jamba Juice (one of his favorite treats!) later, and we shared one.

We walked the whole mall (twice actually). There were pianos in the middle of the street that were painted and had random people playing them. More random people were on the sides of the street sitting on the ground, or leaning up against a building playing guitars. One fellow had his daughter with him and she was playing the violin. One restaurant had a band playing outside with outside seating. We talked about sitting down there, but decided against it.

We went back to the hotel, and thought they had a pool, but they didn’t. So we decided to go back to our sixth floor room. For a shower gift from our wedding, I had gotten “honeymoon coupons,” which we had split up before we left home. I decided to redeem my “30 minute massage” coupon. Though I’m not sure it was 30 minutes, as we were both so tired, we went right to sleep.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 1: Omaha, NE

Day one of our ‘we need a vacation-road trip-honeymoon.’

We left our house a little after noon, bound for Union, NE. One of the neighbor boys from growing up lives there, working as a recruiter for the Navy. Adam started driving. I eventually I started up the laptop, but it didn’t start up. So, when we stopped for gas in Des Moines, IA, we switched drivers, and it didn’t take Adam long to fix the computer.

We had Brent’s address in our GPS, but apparently it doesn’t come up right in them. So we were on the other side of the freeway from his place. And of course, when you’re in the country, in the middle of nowhere, and lost, you never have cell phone service (seriously, what did we do before we had these handy little devices?!). We drove back down the road, because we knew we weren’t in the right place, and found service. I called Brent, and we were supposed to go right when the GPS told us to go left. So, we headed back into “town” (don’t blink), where most of the buildings looked boarded up and closed. Brent told us later that only four places (of the maybe fifteen buildings) were still open (of course, one of them was a bar, because what town isn’t complete without a bar?) There also used to be a hotel, the little tiny building amused me as we passed it leaving the next day.

When we got to Brent’s he showed us around his farmhouse that he is renting. It’s a very nice place, old, but nice. We met his new black lab puppy, Cash (named after Johnny Cash). Then Brent started cooking us an excellent dinner: steak, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, and garlic bread. I was impressed with his cooking, and his Fab Grill (It looks like a car engine)! We ate dinner, and then watched “Hot Tub Time Machine,” which Adam and I had just seen last weekend: good movie, cheap budget. We could hear the crickets outside while we watched, though they didn’t sound the same as they do in Minnesota.

When Brent went outside for a smoke at one point, we joined him. There were fireflies everywhere! They would fly right above your head, and all over by the field. Brent said that they were greenish-yellow here, but white back in Minnesota. I hadn’t ever noticed their color before, but I guess if they’re white back home, there’s not much color to notice.

It was getting late (I had been up since Adam left for work at 2:30am, and hadn’t taken a nap like he had). So we said our goodbyes to Brent (in case we didn’t see him in the morning), and went to bed. Brent had a nice air mattress for us to sleep on in the room across the hall from his room.

The next morning, we got up right as Brent was leaving, and said goodbye again. Then we showered and got ready for the day. And got on the road bound for Denver.