Saturday, June 13, 2009

Long time no blog

Well, hello there happy blog fans!! Sorry it's been a while. I have actually logged on to finish this several times before today, but I get interrupted every time. Dang kids. I'm kidding!

We've been back from vacation now for almost a week and some of us, who shall remain nameless (Vince) are still getting dressed out of a suitcase. That's how little we've accomplished since we got back. My house is still in a shambles, but when is it not really? My in-loves are coming tomorrow to stay for about a week. I really should clean up for them. They are only staying here for a couple of nights and the rest of the time they are taking the girls and staying in the hotel with the huge Watiki indoor water park. They are also bringing with them our niece, Bryanna and our nephew, Alex. I'm sure the kids will have lots of fun and G'ma and G'pa will be completely exhausted! It was G'ma's idea. She's nuts. Once again, I'm kidding. She's not really nuts. Just insane.

We had a blast on our vacation to Yellowstone and Glacier. Most of you are aware, I'm sure, that we rented a pop-up camper and took the kids and the dogs for 10 days through Wyoming and Montana. We probably saw more of Montana than most people who live there. We stayed in Wyoming the first couple of days and traveled through the Bighorn mountains, over to Cody, up through the Beartooth range via the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway, which has to be one of the prettiest drives in America, up through Cooke City, MT (home of the gold-plated camper tires) and back down into Yellowstone. At Yellowstone we saw a black bear, elk, pronghorn, bald eagles, lots of buffalo, tons of ground squirrels (which the girls loved) and some of the most beautiful scenery we've ever seen. We even got stuck in a buffalo jam one day. They were stampeding across the road. I think one of the prettiest things was Yellowstone Lake. We picnicked there one day. We got "geysered on" as Vince says. One of the geysers was going off (think it was Fountainhead? or something like that) and we walked through all the steam to get across the boardwalk. As we were walking, it sprayed us. The water was so warm! Katie and Sam were NOT fans. We saw another geyser that some rangers told us they had never seen go off before. That was cool. And we saw Old Faithful twice. The first time it was very cold out and we were standing right in front of it. When it went off, the wind changed and all we could see was steam. It was a let-down. We went over to the Old Faithful Inn for breakfast (I highly recommend the breakfast buffet, it was delicious) and by the time we were done Old Faithful was ready to go off again. This time we were standing on the side and got great views of the water shooting into the air. We spent lots of money on souvenirs there. We were really happy that we had the camper since it was cold and rained most of the time that we were there. From there, we went north, through the arch that Roosevelt built and into Montana. That night we stayed in a private campground with showers and laundry. I have never been so thankful for a hot shower in my life! We were getting a little ripe after 4 days without one. Then we visited a ghost town at Garnet, MT. It was neat because a lot of the stuff was still there. It's maintained by the BLM and another group like "Save Garnet Assoc." or something. Most of the buildings are standing and in pretty good shape and some of them still have furnishings in them. The old hotel still had the beds and some wallpaper and stuff. It was pretty cool. From there we headed toward Missoula and saw the old state penitentary. I think I spelled that wrong. Anyway, it's the old prison. That was cool too and a little creepy I thought. The kids fell asleep after so we kept driving on up to Flathead Lake. Along the way we stayed at a couple of Montana State Parks and they were really nice. Some had showers and really nice facilities. We enjoyed Flathead Lake a lot. It was actually warmer and sunny that day so the kids wanted to get in the water. It was waaaay too cold for me. Audrey flopped around a little bit and Katie got in to her knees, but Sam thought his feet were just fine, thank you, after getting them a little wet. They say that even in the summer, the water there usually hovers around 60 degrees. We were actually able to build a fire that night and spent a nice time roasting chicken, hot dogs, brats, and marshmallows. Then when the kids went to bed, V and I broke open a bottle of wine and sat around the fire. It was so nice to just sit and relax. Camping is hard work, especially when you break camp and move every night. The next day we left there and went to Glacier. It was even more beautiful than Yellowstone I thought. We stopped at Lake McDonald (I could talk forever about the green water and rainbow colored rocks) and had lunch. I picked up some purple rocks--so cool, but don't tell the park rangers! Then we spent lots more money on souvenirs and headed East to the other side of Glacier because at this time of year, the pass over is still not open. They were still plowing all the snow off the roads. Ridiculous. It's June! On the way we stopped at Goatlick to see the mountain goats. They go there to lick the minerals off the rocks. We were looking at the ones that were way up on the side of the mountain resting when Vince goes, "Hey look right there." There was one just across the gorge from us! I've seen mountain goats at Mt. Rushmore before, but they are so tame that they come into the parking lot to eat the bushes and have tags in their ears. We really wanted to see a grizzly, from a distance of course, and everywhere we went we had to take all the precautions with our food and such because they come into the campgrounds all the time supposedly. By the end of the trip I was ready to smear myself with honey and sleep in the middle of the campgrounds because we never even got a whiff of one. Dangit. So, that night we were expecting some snowy stuff to blow in. We camped on the East side of Glacier so that we could plug in and have heat all night. And boy did we need it! It snowed like crazy that night. We had planned on staying 2 nights there, but it was supposed to snow all day and into the next night and you couldn't see anything because of all the clouds, so we left after driving around the area for a bit. We did see Jackson Glacier. A little. It was all white with the snow and because of the fog we could only see the outline of it and couldn't get any pictures of it. That's okay. I saw a glacier! Then we headed in a southerly direction and stayed near Billings in a really nice KOA Kampground. We stayed for 2 nights because we were tired. After that we headed for home, but stopped for a little bit at Little Bighorn Battlefield Nat'l Memorial. That's a mouthful. It was nice to be home.

We all had a great time. Audrey really liked roasting marshmallows. Katie just ate hers raw. She kept asking to go home. She's my little homebody. Audrey didn't want to go home. She's got her Daddy's adventurous spirit I think. Sam was our little alarm clock. He had a hard time sleeping on this trip. I'm sure it was just that we were all in the camper and there was too much going on. He slept with V and I. So, every morning somewhere around 5:30, he was up with the sun. Therefore, we were up with the sun. Then he would get to sleep in the car while we drove around. I think he was happy to be back in his bed too. He slept forever that night. I did take my running shoes with me on this trip. They stayed packed away. Getting all sweaty and then waiting 4 days for the next shower didn't really appeal to me or anyone else. Plus, it rained and rained and rained. I'm not opposed to running in a little rain, but not pouring rain. I'm pretty sure I gained a considerable amount of weight on this trip. I'm afraid to get on the scale, but my pants are a wee bit tight! We ate a lot. So, when I got back I headed for the gym. I am sooo sore!! It's amazing to me how quickly you lose strength and endurance and how long it takes to gain it back. I have been out the past couple of days on runs. That first day I thought I was gonna die! I had to take a nap later to get rid of the pounding head after those 2 miles. I pushed myself too hard. This morning I ran/walked 3 miles and feel better than I did yesterday. Never put off running for a month. It sucks. Here's another tip for ya. Don't eat bunches of fried pies in the same week that you decide to start running again. It's no good for your jiggly bits.

I need to go do something more useful, like help my daughters make their lunch. One is currently standing on the counter trying to reach the PB while the other is standing with the fridge door open looking for the jelly that is right in front of her face. Sam's in his bed yelling at me to be let out too. Back to work! Let's see if can stand on these wobbly, sore legs. Bye!

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