Vacation day 8

Part of me can’t believe it’s only been 8 days with what we’ve seen and done. Part of me knows it’s flying by. Part of me what’s to shout, Get Up Get Up! To my friend and conquer the world. Part of me wishes my internal clock didn’t wake up so early!

I know I’ve done a poor job at keeping up to date with my travels but I’ve got a good excuse. I had no internet or reception throughout South Dakota. As in the entire state. Yellowstone only had reception on top of one Mountain. The past 3 nights we’ve been in hotels but I’ve been exhausted. So here I am. Finally getting a moment. 

I don’t know what I’ve said before so let me try to piece it together. 

We started 1/2 day late. Saturday we made it to the Field of Dreams movie site, then a random campsite in Minnesota. Tuesday we made it to the Badlands and got a campsite at an ok place just outside the park. Wednesday we camped directly below Devils Tower at a KOA. Talk about pricey and posh camping. Thursday we took a detour North to get to the Paradise Valley area. John Mayer lives near here and his snapchats were crazy beautiful of the area around his house. We found a random wildlife/fishing rustic campsite. It was so remote and amazing. All the other campsites were full and we were considering a cabin for nearly $80 at KOA until we found this gem. See featured photo for our scenery. This site was only $18. Nice. 

We drove an hour south into the North gate of Yellowstone. We drove 35 miles to the West Gate, which is midway down the park, in hopes of finding a campsite. By a miracle someone in the back said, we just got one site for 1 small tent, as we pleaded for anything in the park that might be open. We never actually expected to be able to camp in Yellowstone but we weren’t sure where to go if we didn’t. The site was small but perfect. We spent 1/2 day driving around the north loop and taking quick .25 – 1.5 mile paths to see the sites. Desert atmosphere with boiling water and mud pots to Mt. Washburn where we grabbed some snow! We saw wild Buffalo, Elk, Deer, and the top of one Black Bear. We didn’t get mauled by bears in our sleep as I feared and it was wonderful. The park is truly beautiful and a wonder. Thursday morning we headed to Old Faithful and arrived perfectly on time to see it shoot off! Ridiculously lucky, it only goes off every 2 hours! We saw a few more sites but needed to head south to the Grand Tetons. 

Now I thought Yellowstone was beautiful, the Grand Tetons were the most beautiful. I feel like the park is left in Yellowstones shadow but the views are awe inspiring. I must return and camp in this park. There is a section with swimming and the mountains are right there. We stuck our warm swollen bug bitten feet in the cold water and suddenly all was right with the world. If we hadn’t needed to get closer to Denver, if the time crunch wasn’t so big, we would have stayed and swam and slept and experienced more of the Grand Tetons. 

Jackson Hole Wy is a cute touristy BUSY town. A little too much for tired campers to deal with. The rest of Wy was natural gas fields. Uh what? I still haven’t researched it. I’ve been meaning to. The section was boring. Night fell, it was dark and we thought it would be best to drive further and get a motel if need be just to be closer to Denver. The motel was fine, we had BK for breakfast and hit the road by 7 am. We drove straight to our hotel in Denver. Checked in, got our concert tickets and VIP passes, then chilled in the hotel room until we boarded a shuttle to Red Rocks! Part of the VIP trip packaged included a pre-party dinner, first night taco bar, second night Pulled pork and BBQ beef sandwich bar, and I’m excited to see what’s in store this afternoon. 

The food is delish, the venue is incredible and I really enjoy the Avett Brothers, they are a really good band! And yea, if you hadn’t been following along… I didn’t know their music. My friend bought these tickets ages ago and I wanted to go on a vacation. So I said I’d go with IF we took a road trip to Yellowstone, and the rest happened. 

Now, today is the last night in Denver. We meant to explore more but the shuttle leaves at 4 pm and gets back at midnight. A long day at a concert and it makes a late morning. 

We still haven’t planned what to do after we leave the hotel tomorrow, or for the rest of the week for that matter. It’s like the trip is over but we could still do so much. 

I promise to update with some photos but the shower and breakfast are calling my name. 

Night 3

Featured photo: the Badlands

My phone didn’t work for almost all of South Dakota. We’re now in Wyoming at a KOA campground below Devils Tower. 

I haven’t had more than 7 hours of sleep in the last 2-3 weeks. Usually teetering between 4-5 hours per night and vacation has done nothing more for me. My internal clock goes off at 7 am EAstern time zone, but we’re now 2 hours earlier so I’m awake by 5 am while my road trip friend snores on beside me. 

Last night a storm came in. The wind almost blew the tent down. Like it actually bent the tent down and a corner pole hit me in the head a few times. Miracously the tent stakes held true and the rain fly never flew off. We stayed up for a few hours in the middle of the night. Me holding one corner of the tent up while watching the rain puddle inside of the tent. It was dramatic and the worst I’d ever experienced in a tent, but sogginess and all we slept for another few hours once the storm passed. 

Wall Drug is my least favorite place on earth… for touristy stuff. 

My travel buddy has decided to ignore lunch and instead “snack”. While on the road she refuses to stop to buy food but thus far I’m the only one cooking. Annoying to say the least. But last night I fell ill, and she did give me ice to put on my blazing hot head and allowed me to nap for an hour while my head tried to crack my skull open from the inside out. 

That’s about it for now. I’m still exhausted. But we’re one days worth of driving from Yellowstone. That’s exciting!

Vacation, finally

Featured photo: the 55′ Green Giant Statue in Blue Earth MN. 

Well. Last week was insane. We spent 69 hours in the office working on our proposal. Our longest day was 18 hours and the shortest was 12.  I don’t even want to talk about it except to say, Thank God that’s over… for me at least. 

I left, after 12 hours on Friday and drove 6.5 hours to my friends house. After a week of no sleep, then 4 hours of sleep we got on the road finally Saturday AM. 1/2 a day later than we wanted. We finally stopped randomly in Blue Earth MN. After stopping to see the Field of Dreams movie set in Iowa. Our camping site was odd, small 9 site spot in a fairground, but cozy. We reek like campfire smoke since we barely could get a fire going. It was so humid here condensation set on everything and the wood was damp. 

So far lots of laughs. Today we’re heading for the Bad Lands National Park then Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone. Super excited for all of it!

Especially after how insane work has been. 

Follow along for more pictures and details. 

Almost the work week: day 2/22

Featured photo: a bridge and sky

Today two of my brothers and their wives, my aunt and uncle, and three nephews came over for breakfast. In typical fashion my Dad kept the TV on as we all ate in their small apartment. There was no talking or enjoying each other’s company. Just watching TV in silence. 

Family can be awkward. 

I stayed until 2 pm then began the drive across the State to the office where we will be working on the proposal. I’m here 5 nights total. 

So far the hotel looks really nice. I’m actually tempted to use the pool. Usually traveling for work there are workers around. Being the only female and the boss I prefer not to be anywhere in my swim suit. But here there are only coworkers from the same company. All are married and not interested in staring at my breasts or (hopefully) not making inappropriate comments about my anatomy or brain or lifestyle. 

In my typical fashion I got to the hotel at 5. Decided to nap and woke up at 9:30 to take out my contacts. I then woke myself up, browsed online, started a text convo with a friend for 1 hour and now it’s 1 am. I’m still sleepy, I haven’t gotten any work done and my alarm will go off in 4 hours. Awesome. 

Good luck to me and the next 4 days. Vacation is hopefully starting in 5 days. 

Out of town: Day 1 of 22 

Featured photo: sunset from my parents town

I meant to leave town yesterday. I thought I’d be here for my parents 50th wedding anniversary surprise party. Yup. Fail bus. 

I’ve been exhausted. I’ve been trying to veg out, be a touch social and still get all my work done. I’ve been working 14 hour days. Working on the weekends and I’m still not prepared for this coming week. 

I thought I could go to the chiropractor and see my dentist for a check up then drive to my parents town 7 hours away on Friday. Easy peasey. 

Insert failbus. Like a huge tour bus of fail. You see, in order to leave from the dentist meant my work had to be done. It also meant on Thursday my house would need to be cleaned and I would be packed for a weekend at my parents, a week in the office downstate and 2 weeks of car camping/ possible backpacking in conditions from 40 degree mountains to 100 degree valleys.

Wanna know how I spent my Thursday night? Working until 11 pm at night. Yup. Awesome. 

Friday I was called to research more items, take pictures and measurements, send emails, answer phone calls etc. I decided by 4 pm I needed a nap then I could pack and drive. When I woke up at 6 pm I vetoed driving for fear of falling asleep. Suddenly it was 11 pm and I had time warped into the future somehow just by sitting on the couch. Still not packed, I went to bed.  Geared to wake up in 5 hours. 

Of course I laid in bed longer than I should, I debated on what to pack and how and finally crunch time came and went and in a hurricane action I threw stuff in bags, threw it in my car and without looking back I left. 3 hours later than I should have. 

I arrived 2 hours late to my parents party. So far on night one of 22 nights away from home, I already think I forgot to pack my glasses. MY GLASSSES! I’ve got at least one pair of extra contacts for the next 22 days and i do not have decent vision. I can’t drive, I can barely walk without glasses or contacts. Hopefully I threw them in my other bag and quickly searching in the dark I simply missed them. Otherwise I pray my dog sitter can express mail them to me. Ekk.  Not going to lie, I’m freaking out. 

Also, remember my sexting subcontractor? He texted me at 3 am again. I sent him a follow up text saying it was unfair he only texted after bar close and he needed to invite me out for a drink. He replied a few hours later, You’re right. I’ll make it up. 

We spoke several times on Wednesday and Thursday about work. I could hear him smiling on the other line, I enjoyed how he said Hello & Goodbye with my name. How we started just saying Hey when answering the phone and smiling. I’m smitten. Fully smitten with this boy. Now I have to wait 22 days before we’re even in the same town. 

22 days wondering if he’s sexting someone else at 3 am. If he remembers his promise to make it up to me or that I even exist. 

Arggg. He’s really really adorable. 

Some people say they met someone and instantly knew they were going to marry them. That they were going to pursue them until it happened. Sometimes I think that I think that about everyone. But I want to say that about this guy. He’s the bees knees. 

Sigh. It’s dreamy just thinking about him. 

Two weeks

Featured image: a calm Lake Superior looking innocent as a swimming pool

Oh Boy. Don’t think I’ve given up on you. I’ve thought about posting. I had thoughts to tell you. But I have been pulling 12-14 hour days for work. 

We’re developing a large project and everyone is out of time. I’m still out of time. In the past, well over a month, I’ve only missed 3 days of walking. Today is my 4th though I was active for work. Well, more than normal. 

Things have been exciting and crazy and drunken. I went to Chicago, saw Everclear, went to a German Fest, ran into an old HS friend. I went kayaking. It’s been 85 down to 52 degrees outside. There have been thunder and lighting storms, rain and full sunny days. Whoo, I mean so much!

But I’m still working. It’s 9 pm. I need to take the garbage out cuz I skipped it last week. I also need to do laundry and more work and dishes and pick up the house for the potential new dog sitter tomorrow. 

Oh yea, and more work. 

I have 2 more weeks before I leave for my epic vacation. But 1 more week before I leave my house to strangers for 3 weeks while they pet sit for me. 

Ekk. 

Ok. Back to work. I’ll be sure to try harder to take a minute to post. Especially while on my trip!

So sleepy

Featured image: setting sun from the car. No filter or alterations 

Today was a busy day walking through city buildings. I got to see the inside of two fire houses, be on top of the ice arena roof, and check out the boilers heating our city hall. It was sunny and warm, walking around without a jacket in the high 50 degrees. In 2 days we’re supposed to get a foot of snow. 

Got to enjoy the weather while I can.