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. 

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. 

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!

Work phones and sexting

Featured photo: a text I woke up to

Yesterday was the 5th of May. Every year I pull out the quesadilla maker I got for free from my Best friend’s-ex boyfriend’s-roommate who moved out and left it behind. Yup. Free quesadilla maker. 

I had quite a spread of veggies, beans, peppers and tons of cheese. Friends brought ice cream, salsa, chips, re fried beans. My vegan friend brought his fake cheese. 

We ate, we drank, I swore a lot when talking about our one mutual friend who has chosen to ignore us all, and it was fun.  This morning I got a text message. It was more spicy than the jalapeños I had chopped up from last night. 

This text was from a cute boy, he’s got an old dog that’s adorable, he brings him to work with him. We walked through the camp ground, which isn’t opened yet, talking and walking with his dog. 

But. 

This cute guy is a potential sub contractor. That walk… that was for work and the talking was about quotes for work I’d like him to do for a project, and not a personal contract. He texted at 7 am on a Saturday. I guarantee this text wasn’t for me. 

I’ve gotten texts that weren’t meant for me before. My only phone is a work phone that I can use for personal because I pay a small monthly fee for it. It is dangerous having it on me at all times, butt dialing my boss while drinking, worrying I shared my personal social media with business contacts, etc. Also, I work in Construction. I’m a female manager working, usually, with all men. Balancing what is legally sexual harassment and just un-PC jokes is a daily part of my job. But I handle it all with a touch of, ‘this is construction’ and ‘am I actually offended?’

I’ve gotten a text saying, “I love you” or “I’ll see you soon” but never something so sexual. Every time I’ve replied, ‘haha this isn’t for me’ but this was still different. Most times the text came from someone I knew was married, that I had been working with for a while and we had a working relationship that we could laugh it off. This one is from someone I’ve met twice, googled and realized is single and a similar age. I think he’s really cute. So part of me wouldn’t mind if it was actually meant for me but…

It wasn’t sent drunkenly, it was sent at 7am. There was no sort of context to make it make sense. Being that he’s cute and I’d wish it was meant for me… I still haven’t responded. I didn’t say , hey this wasn’t meant for me. I thought he’d speak up but nothing. 

I think I have to respond, maybe on Monday? Maybe just ignore it? I just don’t know what to do. 

I feel like I’m making it more awkward for myself. I’m not offended by it, honestly it makes me more attracted to him. But how do you separate work and personal? How do you coexist when one wrong documented text can be held against you and your career? I haven’t figured that out. 

May 4

Featured photo: the lone flower I didn’t transplant to the new flower bed last fall. 

I’m stressed. Work is piling up and for some reason I’m exhausted. Beyond that I realized I promised a good friend I’d come back to Chicago to see a concert in a month. 2 weeks later I’m supposed to be at my parents for their 50th wedding anniversary and 1 week after that I start my 2 week vacation. I also just got tickets to see John Mayer again in September, back in Chicago. 

Besides all the travel and eating out, I pay for a dog/house sitter. It adds up fast. 

Yesterday I went on a hike with good friends. It was incredibly short but my dog came with and he got to run leash free. He loved it. Then we went out to eat. My day was done and I was so tired I immediately went to bed. Sleep was solid and blissful. Unfortunately tho, my house isn’t clean and people are coming over at 6 pm tomorrow. I’ve got walk throughs and paper work. House cleaning and cooking all before 6 pm. 

Sigh. 

I went shopping. I looked at labels, food labels. One small slice of Key lime pie is 65-85% of your daily value of saturated fat. I didn’t buy it. Instead I made chocolate chip cookies and potato chips for dinner.

And I wonder why I’m exhausted all the time….

Excitement 

Featured photo: the start of my landscaping work. 

Yesterday was a sunny 60+ degree day. I woke up late. I even had alarms set to begin my day but I couldn’t pull the motivation together. 

Finally I got to the store, stacked 297.5 lbs of pavers in my car along with 200lbs of sand, 300 lbs of topsoil and a baby chainsaw. I got home and started working, for 2 hours before showering, caking on some makeup and changing my outfit to a final; jeans, Misfits concert tee and pink converse with a maroon hoodie. Haha 37 be damned, I’ll dress like a teenager for life. 

My friends and I walked down to the brewery close by. It was a festival announcing spring with music and food-truck delights. After 2 hours I turned to my friend and said, it’s time you find me a man. As I said it I locked eyes with a cute boy. He turned around, realizing he actually knew my friend! They were old coworkers. Quick small talk and he quickly had his arm around my shoulders. It was a whirlwind conversation and I was completely smitten. He defended anything I said, talked up about any of my interests, and put his arm around me several times. 

He left to go to the bathroom and my friends said they were ready to leave. I said have fun, I’m staying! I found him again and for the next 3 hours we sat and talked and talked and talked. 

We have much more in common than I could imagine. We laughed, we drank, we flirted. He flat out told me he liked me and his confidence put mine to shame. We went back outside to the tent with the music, he ran into co-workers, they stepped away and I didn’t follow- he didn’t say he’d be right back or to come with, I was just … left. 

I was more than drunk, I was wasted by this point. Thinking I wanted to take him home but knowing full well my house was a maze of disorder. I’d be embarrassed to have friends over let alone a love interest! Plus, when you’re that drunk you can’t make good decisions. 

Being slightly sad, why did he seem so into me and then poof! Disapear? But also relieved. Relieved I could leave and no awkward goodbye no nothing. Cut all ties and not worry about what could be or should be. 

It was exciting and terrifying. He was 10 years my junior, he’ll be 28 in August. But oh so adorable. He thought I was his age or younger and that only made it that much more exciting. We did become Facebook friends, and my friends think I should write him my phone number, but I also think he could do the same. 

My thought is to give it a week and see if he reaches out to me. I mean with his confidence, if he was interested, wouldn’t you have thought to ask me for my number? Wouldn’t he have messaged me on FB and wondered where I went?

Regardless it should be good motivation to clean this place up!

Diets make me cranky

Featured photo: the waves on the lake

Tomorrow is a big day. I mentioned to my friends that I’m going to get nearly 100 pavers to edge my flower beds. That’s a lot of work I just talked myself into. Digging and hauling around 100 pavers. 

Well. Good luck to me actually doing it all. 

No Quitting is what I should be saying to myself but I lack the motivation to give myself a pep talk right now. 

I blame the lack of desserts and my dieting mindset currently. 

Push

Featured photo: my now organized pantry

I didn’t take many photos today but I wanted to share something. I organized my pantry. Bought the little shelves and suddenly everything has a place rather than a mountain of stuff. It still might look like a mountain of stuff but I assure you, I’m now no longer fearful of attempting to find anything in there. 

Other than that, I figured out the amount needed of pavers to make/edge some flower beds. I realized it was past 10 pm but decided I should walk my dog. Get in some exercise and give the dog what he wants too. 

The night sky was amazing and I only wish I could capture it exactly the way I see it. The clouds were mostly non existent and even without a full moon the stars are ridiculously bright. The sky was a mix of black and dark green. 

I didn’t go our usual way, I wanted a shorter walk. After a few blocks I thought about turning around. It was cold, 29, and I only had on a spring jacket. Thankfully I had grabbed a hat and gloves tho. 

I forced myself to complete the walk and I’m super happy I did. Two goals and two successes. I also came home and pigged out on mandarins, fresh ones so no guilt!

They were super delicious. 

Time

Featured photo: icy harbor in my town. Taken a few days ago. 

I always make the excuse that I have no time. I’m traveling, I work so much, I spend the weekends out. 

How can I clean or repair my house when I have no time. 

It’s a semi decent excuse but still a lie. I’ve been home for 1.5 weeks. My house, yup, still a mess. I realized how awful at first glance my house looks. A hanging planter , left upside down in the leaf covered flower bed. A electrical wire conduit flopped in the middle of a walkway outside. Broken solar spotlights and an old hose bib left by the front stairs. Bags of pebbles, firewood and random garbage at the end of the driveway. A broken plastic lawn chair in the backyard. What a mess! But I don’t have the time…

Today I bought a book on Audible, Maybe It’s You. It’s a self help book and I slightly listened to it while working. I get the gist that it’s cutting the crap with excuses and manning up to whatever it is that you are doing to prevent yourself from doing what you want or need to do. 

So at 4:30, with headphones in, I raked out all my flower beds that outline my property. Fall happened late this year after leaf pickup by the city. My yard is matted with blankets of wet old leaves. I then picked up a lot of the trash, there is now a big blue bin at the end of my driveway, waiting for the city dump to open. 

It was an hour & 1/2 of labor. Though all the leaves in the backyard are still in the backyard. Just not in the flower beds. Baby steps. 

Regardless, it felt good to get my ass up and accomplish something. Now just to finish the job and every other piece of my life. 

One day. 

But it’s time for me to make the time and get on track with my life. One day is today. 

Ps. 1 full week logging points and staying (very close) to goal. Let’s keep the streak going!