Thursday, July 28, 2011
Coffee and Friends...the perfect blend indeed!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
The post-vacation blues is setting in: yesterday I had to deal with the DMV and the receptionist at the orthodontist. Both women were being 'rigid' and I wasn't having any part of it.
After a good night's sleep, I woke up this morning and am ready to carve out a new mood for the day. What better way to start the day than with a ride....since the sidecar is still sidelined, it'll have to be a virtual ride.
Hope you enjoy the view! I know I did!
Saturday, July 23, 2011
The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom. I read this for my neighborhood book club meeting in June. It was fascinating! When I finished, I remarked that a book can be good even if it sad. The story, set in the late 1700s on a plantation in Virginia (with some of the story taking place in Williamsburg), follows the lives of two women living on the plantation. One was a black slave and the other was a white woman who arrived in America as an indentured servant. Through other books/films, I had a pretty good appreciation for the challenges that slaves faced during this time in history, but hadn't really given much thought to the indentured servant experience. The author did a great job of creating characters both primary and secondary that were credible and engaging. At times I wished for happier story line but let's face it, this time in history was not happy. Overall, I would encourage others to check out this book...however, have a happy book ready to dive into next.
That being said, I jumped right into this book by Lisa See. Shanghai Girls. It had been on my nook for months and I just never got around to reading it. Figured I was on a roll with historical fiction. Um, uh...probably not a great idea to go from one emotionally draining story to another...set in a different location and time in history but still a story filled with hardships and sadness. This story starts in Shanghai in the 1930s and follows the lives of two young girls sent to America for arranged marriages. Perhaps because of the culture I married into, I found it fascinating to learn more about the immigration process during this era. Also, I am not a "serious reader", so I need to have my history served up to me in a fictional fashion. This book delivered that and more. I will say I HATED the ending...until I discovered that the author has already written a sequel. Good, because she sort of left you hanging at the end of this book. Ok, I like my books to end with things all wrapped up. I'll let it slide knowing that this was more of a "cliff hanger" than an ending.
Next up, I found myself setting the nook down and picking up a traditional book. I received this book last year for my birthday. From my aunt I believe. She said she it reminded her of the "coffee club" I so often speak of. Yes, for the past 4 years, a group of us have met at the local coffee shop every Wednesday morning. Ok, not every Wednesday, but the group meets on Wednesdays and when schedules permit, we all try to drop by for a quick chat and cup of coffee.
And finally, these last three titles. No, I didn't read them, we listened to them on our big vacation adventure. I'm not sure I've whined on my blog about the 'car' side of our vacation, but I really was a bit worried about driving that many miles. I used to love the adventures of a road trip, but then I became a mom and got old. Driving across town is an effort for me. If I can't get there in 15 minutes, I don't want to-or- need to go. So knowing that about myself, I decided I had better be prepared. I went to the library and scoped out what I hoped would be ok books to listen to in the car. The boys would be zoned out on their gadgets, but I had to make sure what I was listening to was "ok" in case they tuned in. And, I hadn't really planned in advance, so I had to go with what the library had in stock vs. requesting books in advance.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
See guys, told you we were just passing through Yellowstone....
Now we're headed to another national park
cue more moans-groans and a cry..."but this is the THIRD one this vacation".
Yep, you can count son! I am so proud of you
More mountain pictures for my sister Laura...
Oh, you mean this does not apply to my kids?
Here, have some cheetos boys...we need to keep moving
We've got miles to cover, mountains to see, and apparently continents to divide
(having just passed another divide sign, we would cross it at least 5 times that day)
Clouds cleared, looks like the storm is not going to follow us home...
The restaurant with the tasty sandwiches had this cool playground...
You'd think after sitting next to each other for over 2,000miles they wouldn't want to sit next to each other on the swings. Nope...they are still liking each other...
No need to seek alternative means of transport home...Schnitzel continues to perform as if she is on the Autobahn in Germany. *and I have yet to receive a performance award, which is good...have I mentioned she just floats at 80mph?
And here we are with one of my dearest college pals...Jen.
On our way to see Jen and her family, Thing One said "Does she have any hot chicks for daughters?"I didn't know how to answer that....so I didn't.But, here is Jen, her hubby and 3 of her 5 kids (the little girl was the neighbor girl...the teen aged boys were not around for the photo op).
Thing One begged to stay longer at their house....I am guessing he found the scenery here more pleasing to the eye than all the mountains, glaciers and geysers I'd exposed him to over the past 11 days.
And now...I am home. 2600 miles, 11 days, 3 national parks.
Happy trails to you!
Sunday, July 17, 2011
We started at the far north end, near Mammoth Hot Springs.
Lunch was a trip down memory lane....I took the boys over to the General Store where I worked as a soda fountain girl some 27 years ago...
Thing One was feeling a bit grumpy as we waited for the "show" and I pointed out that watching Old Faithful is Americana at its best...his sassy-14 year old self replied with a "Yeah, we could just stay home and watch it on You-Tube". * Yeah, at that moment I said a little prayer of apology to my own parents....as I too probably didn't appreciate the efforts that went into all the family adventures we took when I was his ageThe Old Faithful Lodge remains unchanged....
We reach the half way point of our adventure and check out the Falls.
Taking advantage of the "twin connection"...a family with young twins approached me and asked if I wanted them to take a picture of me and my twins. Who was I to correct them when they managed to capture Thing One smiling AND looking at the camera (a rare occurence).
Saturday, July 16, 2011
We sent Grandpa out with Thing Two for some western Adventure. I heard tales of horesback riding and white water rafting. Pictures to follow: my heart is still racing as I hear more about the white water trip. One of those cases of "tis better to ask for forgiveness than request permission". Protective Hover Mom would probably have balked at the water adventures (the snow melt is still causing the river to flow really high and fast).
Here we are: enjoying the sweet life...
Grandpa (a.k.a my dad) would be celebrating his birthday in the days to come. Forget cake when you can have a giant slice of Huckleberry Pie!
Dinner is done, and while the sun is far from setting (it would't even think about getting dark until well past 1030, and even then, it never got really dark), there was a chill in the air. Let's put Thing Two to work in the wood shed. From the grin on his face, you can easily see he did not consider this to be work at all!
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
The historic red buses were filled to capacity.
*Tonight's disclaimer: while I am not sitting outside on the steps of the property owners, I am sitting in a pie shop using their free wi-fi. Free but not very fast. In the interest of time, I went with small size photos. Sorry for the small pictures.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Some of Hubby's motorcycle buddies are joining us.
Until yesterday, we only knew of them through their online blogs.
Now? I feel like we have friends who live in Oregon and Vancouver, BC!
Mickey was the Russian immigrant who immigrated to the Valley in the late 1890s and set up a homestead (MT word for Ranch). His descendents continue to live here and a couple decades ago left the ranching life and now use their assorted cabins as vacation rentals.
but as you can see from the smiles, rustic works for us!
*Disclaimer: internet options are limited. I am submitting this while sitting outside on the porch of the owner's...with their permission using their wi-fi. I've never blogged in the bright sunshine with a weak signal so I don't feel like spending a lot of time fiddling with the format. I want to get back to enjoy the quiet life!