Thermopolis Is Worth The Visit


This last two days were spent driving five hours from Cheyenne, WY to Thermopolis, WY. The trip was sort of spur of the moment and unfortunately smack in the middle of a snow storm.

What happened was Saturday, my husband, Clay, and myself were hanging out at our local watering hole for a quick drink when I off-handedly said, “Hey maybe we should go check out Thermopolis on our days off.”

Our buddy, Jeremy, overheard and yelled out “Shit yeah you should!” Encouraged, I went on a quick Google search and found the Days Inn Thermopolis for $94 night. A friend of mine had actually previously told me that this hotel was ideal as it is almost across the street from The Hot Springs State Park, The Star Plunge, and The Tee Pee Fountain.

Us hitting the road to adventure!

The road from Cheyenne to Casper was slow going. It was snowy and in some spots it was complete white out conditions. We kept passing all these signs that declared No Unnecessary Travel so I started to doubt the sanity of this little adventure. Thankfully once we reached Casper and began to travel West and all of a sudden the roads cleared up and it was great!

I have never been to Shoshoni, or the Wind River Basin, or Thermopolis. So this part of the trip was all new for me and I am so glad the weather chilled out so I could appreciate the beauty of this part of the state.

The Wind River Basin is a sight to behold. It is a truly beautiful mountain range with a massive reservoir, Boysen Resevoir, that is part of Boysen state park. My husband was so excited, we pulled over just to behold the beauty of the spot (and also to plan future fishing expeditions).

The Big Horn river was our winding travel companion.


Just a neat frozen curtain we saw on the side of the road.

There is also a really cool spot called Three Tunnels that is a road that has three mountain side tunnels all in a row.

The road

After this beautiful drive, we hit Thermopolis. We drove around the town a bit. Thermopolis is a cute cozy little space surrounded by Shale and Granite mountians.

As it is winter, quite a lot of the local stores were closed and we noticed many houses were also boarded up and abandoned. I bet the place is cute as hell in the summer time!

So we got to our hotel, the Days Inn. The place was almost empty. There was maybe four other rooms being used while we were there. Which I love. Also…there is a mineral water hot tub and the thing is 20 FT FROM OUR BACKDOOR! Whaaaaat?! How did we get that lucky? Room 102 for future reference!

The hotel’s front desk clerk gave some really great recommendations and also informed me that the town had gotten hit really hard during the oil downturn and many people lost their homes. That explains all the abandoned buildings.

So the hotel is connected to a restaurant, bar, and lounge, called the Safari Club. Oh my god, animal heads EVERYWHERE. While I can see the draw for many, especially kids, I inherently hate trophy hunters. How dare you over compensate for your tiny penis by taking the life of a beautiful animal. So I personally wasn’t feeling the animal heads around me. Rant over.

Okay on to the fun stuff! We dropped our gear and headed over to (literally across a field from the hotel) the Hot Springs State Bath House. We had to hit that place first as it closes at 5:30.

Ok this place was nice! It offers an indoor mineral pool as well as an outdoor one. Even though it was two degrees outside, I ran my swim-suited ass straight outside! Oh the water was so wonderful, especially after running barefoot through the snow to get to it!


The state bathhouse only allows soaking for 20 minutes. While they weren’t out there with a stop watch, they did have a large prominently displayed clock out there so we did our best to self police and followed the 20 minute rule. My husband and I even got to enjoy the outside space alone for about 10 minutes before some guys came out. I’m not even mad though, we were seriously blessed to have had that magical 10 minutes to ourselves. We headed in to check out the indoor pool, which was cool, but not as cool as the outdoor.


Side note: I met a really nice red headed local lady who was in the shower room when I first got there and was still in there when I was done, so I had a nice chat with her, then once out in the lobby, I got chatted up by some locals about their town. People are seriously friendly here. One lady even offered to follow us over to the massive mineral rock to take my husbands and I’s picture after I mentioned we were heading over that way. Yeah just a great.

So, soaking wet in our post soak clothes, we ran over to the mineral rock, called Tee Pee Fountain, to touch and feel and ooh and ahh. It really is huge, impressive, and the colors were just gorgeous, like pastel and black colored curtains.

Tee Pee Rock was formed in 1903 when some ingenious soul stuck an iron pipe into the ground, causing the mineral-rich underground water to escape. Pouring out over the top of the pipe, the water released a calcium carbonate mineral water and deposited it on the area around it.

The water still trickles out and over it, pooling at the bottom and draining into a pipe in the ground. On this visit we were the only ones there so I got some great winter photos of it!

Okay so after we checked out the big mineral mound, we headed over to Star Plunge! I have been hearing about this place since I first moved to Cheyenne 20 years ago and I finally got to go!

Ok so its $12.50 a person, cash or check only. The shower rooms are very nice and private. There is a giant indoor pool and slide (which I didn’t go on, it seemed just a touch rickety for my fat ass) and a large outdoor mineral pool, deep enough for a diving board. That’s where I hung out. Swimming in the foggy waves of sulfur smoke. Delicious.

After a nice soak, we headed in and checked out the Vapor room, aka sauna. I preferred the pools to the vapor cave. It was to small and smelly for me, but again I’m glad I checked it out!

The big indoor one had a small kiddie pool too. Nice and spacious.


This was the outdoor pool. It is way bigger than this pic is showing, but I wanted to put my phone down!

The fountain in the Vapor Cave. A cool little smell hole. My husband liked it better than I did. I like the pools. My camera couldn’t handle the steam.

The cave hallway, leading back to the pools. Fuzzy from the steam.

So after all that wetness and cold and soaking, we went back to our hotel to enjoy some alone time. We bellied up at the bar for a couple of hours. We enjoyed some really tasty appetizers (spinach artichoke dip and chicken quesadillas) and some tastier drinks.

After chatting up the bartender a bit, we headed back to the room and then the hot tub. Again we got the whole thing to ourselves!! No way was I getting out! We spent an hour and a half in that thing! I was wrinkly and happy by the time we got out.

We left the hotel super early, 545 am. My husband grabbed us some huge breakfast burritos and we pulled off to the side of the road, right up against the Big Horn River, maybe 5 minutes outside of Thermopolis to eat our breakfast and savor the beauty for just a bit longer.

All in all we had an amazing little get away. These days are so special and they serve to remind me of why I love this man so much. Truly I am grateful for our relationship. ❤

Thank you for reading and if you made it this far please heed my advice: If your are planning to visit Wyoming’s Hot Springs, do it in February and March!! Avoid the higher costs and the crowds.


Something Of A Hiatus

I am taking a year off from booking any major trips.  While this is dampening to my roaming spirit I, unfortunately, have to go back to being a grown up for awhile. I went just a bit nuts with my credit card in 2017.  I was going on trip, after trip, after trip.  It was a great year, but now its time to pay the piper…to the tune of $11,000 in Venture card debt.


This was the big trip.  Universal was the one I should have paid off before doing anything else.

Sooooo that’s where I’m at financially.  It is depressing. It is nerve wracking. It is frustrating.  But, I have a plan.  I work 3 nights a week at a restaurant.  In the upcoming week I return to my seasonal golf course job.  At the golf course, I work 2 nights a week and one weekend day.

The plan is to put 90% of my golf course earnings and 60% of my restaurant earnings on my credit card payments.

Going off of last years earnings at the golf course (I only worked Saturday lunches and Sunday dinners).  I made between $40-$120 in tips on a 5 hr shift, plus minimum wage.  My checks were only $120, though.

So, 4 weeks in a month, going off the lower end in tips (I am being very conservative on my estimation), that is $160 from tips and $240 in checks.  That’s about $400 from the golf course, which to be fair, it will be more, as this year I am doing at least 3 shifts a week there, if not more, but we’ll say $400 for this conversation.

Then I have my other restaurant job, where I make from $80-$200 a night on a five hour shift.  I’m gonna average it out and say $135. I work 3 nights a week, so that’s $405 a week, around $750 a paycheck.  I should easily be able to take $800 a month from that job.

If I make $1200 payments I should have that bitch paid off in 9 months!  Nine. Months. That’s October 2018.  That’s amazing.


Not my picture, but my sentiment!

I was feeling defeated and overwhelmed by the strain of this debt.  My credit rating went from a 796 to a 600, which was devastating as I worked so hard to get it straight in the first place.  When I finally sat down and did my budget, I realized I can do this.

Did I mess up? Yes.  Hell yes.  Will I make it right? Yes.  Hell yes.  As soon as it is paid off, I mean, THE SECOND, I am buying my RV.

I don’t care if I don’t have a truck yet (this was the reason I kept booking trips, I convinced myself that lack of a truck was holding me back from getting my RV).  I can’t put off my dream any longer.  I want so badly to wander the continent from the comfort of my own travel palace.

I want to spend winter nights out at Curt Gowdy, owning the park while the summer campers have all vacated.  My soul is at peace when I camp, and we have such beauty so close to us that I can take all kinds of mini trips through out Wyoming and northern Colorado while I work to pay off the trailer and truck.  After that I want to hit the road for longer, more elaborate trips.


I’d love to set up camp just footsteps away from this spot.  I saw so many beach side RV spots while in Galveston, TX.

Camping by a lake is ideal.   One day soon, camping by the OCEAN will be a real possibility in my life.  Water has always revived me.  I draw strength, inspiration, and inner tranquility from the ocean waves.

I can’t wait to decorate it how I see fit.  I even want to repaint the outside.  I don’t want it to scream single lady camping here, but I can make it cute! I’m going to make it my true oasis from the world.  I want it done in predominantly greys so I can change out the accents as I see fit.  Currently I am in absolute love with teal, dark reds, and lime greens. I have already started purchasing some items to decorate it all up.

As I can’t plan any exotic locations for at least 10 months, I’m looking to scout out some local things to check out.  We live close enough to a few cool hot springs and waterfall spots so hopefully I will still have things to post about.

This is going to be the best.  I am excited for my future.

PS…there absolutely will be travel this year though.  In 2017 I paid for a trip to New Orleans for October 2018.  I also booked our Denver Comic Con hotel last year.  So I do have those things to look forward to in the upcoming year.

2016-06-02 09.51.20

My Happy Place.  River Spruce Cabins, Estes Park, Colorado.

Las Vegas Dec ’17

So far this trip has been a blast! I am here with my husband. We picked the unfortunate hour of 7 pm to fly out so we had all day to wait in absolute torture as the clock ticked by painfully slow. FINALLY we got here on a Thursday night. We were supposed to meet our friends, but they had been here all day and were drunk and tired by the time we got here, so my husband and I checked out our hotel room, 23024 on the 23rd floor (out of 29). We are high up and the view is INSANE! Just beautiful at night! Unfortunately my fear of heights prevents me from really enjoying it.

I just love that the moon is peaking out! This is at the Luxor Tram

We got settled then set to exploring. My husband is the funnest to travel with. He never complains and he gets as excited as me to be there. Some couples are at their worst when they travel together, not Clay and me. I always say I love Vacation Clay the most lol.

We ate at Tequilas and Taco, just a quick Carne Asada fry and a couple of delicious Mango Ginger Margaritas.

I didn’t stay up much longer than that.

The next morning we met up with our friends hit the Luxor Buffet then rode the tram (one loop too many) to the MGM to play at Top Golf. We had some good eats and a great time!

After leaving the buffet we headed over to Maddam Toussads Wax Museum, which was a very cool, very touristy attraction. The really cool part is as we are all 6 walking down the strip, I say to my husband, “I wish we could have stopped by the dispensary and grabbed some weed while we’re here.” No joke a young guy, maybe 23, who was handing out flyers steps up and says “I got you.” He calls his friend over and right there in the middle of a crowd he hands me a gram for twenty.  He just reaches into his own container and hands me 3 nice size bowls, no bag, no weighing. I’m looking around all nervous like us this ok and he kept saying, “It’s fine, it’s fine. it’s legal here!” I just laughed and trusted him. Either way, I got to get stoned with my friend Rusty that night, by the pharaohs that line the street at the Luxor. What a memory, seeing the Vegas lights through a marijuana haze. Great time.

It was below this jester that I scored some random contraband. How fitting!

This was my smoke spot for 3 mornings.

Another view of the smoke spot.

Quick side story: while at Madam Toussad’s, I had my camera hanging around my neck and my husband went to grab it to take a picture of me and he accidentally bumped my eyebrow with my big ol’ Cannon, causing my eyebrow to bleed embarrassingly for a few minutes.  Poor guy felt so bad!

After the Wax Museum we all separated, I took a nap, Clay gambled.

At 700 pm we met up again for the Blue Man Group, which was a super entertaining show, just more kid oriented then I expected. Great none the less.

Ate again at Tequilas and Tacos because our friends wanted to try it too. This time I had the #1 Taco in Vegas the Filet Mignon Taco……OH MY GOD!!! Lives up to the hype.

After dinner is when Rusty and I stepped away to the pharaoh smoke spot (my name for it) smoke and then I went to bed!

On Saturday Clay and I separated from the group and explored the strip together.  Clay gambled in every casino e stopped in.  MGM Grand, Excalibur, Tropicana, and the New York New York.

Sometime in the evening we went to meet up with the group had drinks and laughs.  We went to Fremont Street and this is where my memory starts getting hazy.  I don’t remember shit else after Fremont, but apparently we went on to have some fun.

My snapchats during that time were both hilarious and gross….alcohol is the great equalizer lol.

The next day I ended up being so hung over that I had to lay in bed the whole goddamn Sunday.  Did you hear me? I LOST A DAY! No Tournament of Kings, no Conservatory at the Bellagio, nothing!

All in all this was a great trip.  We want to meet up with those guys again next year!!

Hot Springs Mania!!

So last month,  October, I went on a solo vacation to stay at the Saratoga Hot Springs and Resort.  I wrote a whole review of it, here.

Since then I have become almost obsessed with visiting all of the hot springs that I can!  The other day, feeling the vibe, I talked my husband into taking a quick (2.5) hr drive back up to Saratoga so I could check out the Hobo Hot Springs, as I had missed it on my first visit.

Once there, I found I didn’t care for the Hobo Spring as much as the Saratoga Resort Spring. It was just a bit too small to be public.   I was underwhelmed.  The other visitors, though not numerous, were very unfriendly and often could be seen staring at my husband or myself, as opposed to the people they were soaking with.  It was very strange.

The steps were way slippery.  Dangerously slippery, yes there were warning signs, no they still didn’t prepare you for the amount of algae on them.  My husband almost biffed it fairly seriously, but he is still young and spry so he was able to catch himself, but later on during the visit we saw an elderly lady fall twice on the stairs.  It was sad.


Not me, not my pic. I love the sentiment though.

Also, I threw up in the restroom as soon as I emerged from the water.  Just an all in all bad time. We did have a really good meal at a pub before the drive home.

Anyway the whole point of this post is that I just booked a trip to go to another hot spring!! This time we are going to Steamboat Springs!!  I am staying at the Wyndham Vacation Resort

This place looks really nice! It is 10 miles away from Strawberry Park hot springs.  It has a spa and massage treatments.  Looks like its about $15 for a three hour visit.  we are going in February  I am highly excited for this!  I cannot wait to explore the town of Steamboat Springs with my amazing hubbs!


This is the funnest solo vacation I have ever taken!! The Saratoga Hot Springs & Resort is a REALLY fabulous splurge!  This post is mainly a love letter to Saratoga and myself.

I like the layout of the resort. The poolside rooms are ideal, but even booking rooms inside the  resort wouldn’t suck.

Day #1, I drove the 2.5 hr drive through Laramie Wyoming into Saratoga.   This is a suuuuuper small town.  I tried asking a few locals what was the main economy here and they informed me that is was mainly an agricultural community, with the hot springs bringing in tourists.  The town mainly consists of a few streets. I checked out the small “Old Town” section and I heard that there was a grocery/liquor store down some other road, but I never actually went looking for it.

There is a river that runs down the length of the whole small town, it seemed that everywhere I went was picturesque with fall colors and sparkling water.

I stopped at Firewater for some grub.  Wasn’t too hungry, but I didn’t really have anywhere else to hang out until check in. The server gave me an amazing tip about the resort.  She said most people don’t think about this, but you can order as many drinks as you like to go from the resorts bar, for when you want to imbibe while you soak.

A bit after 3 pm I finally went to check in to the resort.  It was a very cute, rustic, and wholly unpretentious.  The entire outside pool area (consisting of 1 large pool, 1 smaller pool, and 5 private tee pees) is fenced in and you need a gate code to enter. The hostess was lovely and informed me that while the pool closes at 11, if your quiet, you can stay in it as long as you like.  Very cool.

First thing I did was toss my stuff into my ultra cute room and hit that Hotspring!  I went straight to the first empty tee pee I encountered and I tell you, the water was heavenly!! So hot and soul restoring.  I never thought I would have thought such a cheesy thought, but I genuinely feel like the minerals in the water were a bit of magic.


That’s “My Private Tee Pee” according to its plaque, it was named Red Cloud.

Today was special. Today was day #2 and I couldn’t have spent it in a more special way.

I woke up around 730 and laid around and read. I am reading Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris….same chick who wrote the True Blood novels. Decent so far.

I decided to leave my room around 130. I went and had a delicious brunch.  I had a three cheese omelette with artichokes and hash, and of course, a couple of Bloody Mary’s. Then I got the big pool and my special tee pee all to myself all day!  Literally NOBODY was hanging out in the water when I was.

I ,unabashed, dropped my robe and flip-flops at my private tee pee to hold it (which I NEVER would have done had it been busy season) and hit the “big pool.”  Then after a few minutes, I switched back to my private tee pee.


The Big Pool

The view from my room.

On the second night I went and had a few beers and socialized with the brewery bartenders.  I was waiting for midnight.  I thought to myself, when am I going to have the opportunity to soak in my own hot spring, under the moon and stars, at midnight.


So I drank and I waited. Can I tell you, it was worth sitting up, tired and buzzed, waiting for midnight.  The night air was cool and the moon was low, the heat from the pool caused all of the area to be ensconced in a thick fog.  At midnight, I went straight to my tee pee and soaked.  As soon as I got in, I heard footsteps approaching my location. I got super scared thinking security was coming to kick me out.  Nope, it was just another adventurous, nocturnal soul who sought the solitude of the midnight hot spring.  After a good 20 minute soak in the 104 degree water, I made a point to stop in at the “medium big” pool, aptly name Sitting bull, then I went to the big pool and back stroked languorously.

All my life I’ve seen the little and big Dippers and Orion’s belt, overhead. Never before have I seen them in the haze of mist from a hot spring. The moon was bright and huge and unencumbered that night.

While floating around on my back in the dark, a fresh mist rolling over me, a pack of coyotes howled in the near distance.

I did about five slow laps on my back, back and forth from shallow to deep end.  Eventually the stranger decided he’d like to be in the big pool too.

Of course a he has to get into the pool talk, thus shattering the beauty of the moment. Like, I knew he was there lurking in the back ground. He came across my private tee pee at midnight. Then around 1 am he walked past me floating in the big pool and he made a joke about dropping his stuff.  He them quietly entered the big pool at the opposite end as me.

Around two am, I forgot he was there and around 210 am, I floated to the deep end of the pool. Out of no where he says, in a daytime classroom speaking voice, not a quiet mystical foggy moment voice, “I’m wondering when they will kick us out of here.” I say I think we can hang all night if we are quiet. He then proceeds to go into a long drawn out story about how he’s building a house and the client is a douche….wait what… It’s 2 am…..SHAAAAD UUUUUP!! I came to float amongst the moon stars and mists from the earth…not hear your shit. Jesus.

I got out of there. I went back to my tee pee and hung out until 2:14. Then I bounced, passed dude and said have a good night. Asshole.

I have loved every single part of this mini vacation and I cannot wait to book it again soon!

A Quick Run To Colorado Springs

So I have this awesome and life long friend, Jennifer.  We have been concert buddies for almost two decades.  I live in Cheyenne and she lives in Colorado Springs so we meet up yearly to see shows in Denver.

This year we were unable to meet up as none of our bands were touring (turns out getting old means your favorite bands just go away). So I decided to run down to her home town and get my sight see on.

I just got back two days ago and  it was a great three day trip!  I ended up having to rent a car because mine decided to fake a broken alternator, but now I know a Kia Rio is a fun time.

I stayed at their home so I was able to bring my pup, Juno with. I loved getting to spend time with Jenn and her lovely family (including her four dogs and a massive chunk of a cat). Unfortunately the weather was nothing but beautiful ick when I was there. Foggy, misty, damp, and grey.  Great for pics, garbage for hikes.

We went to Manitou Springs, Garden of the Gods, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and a few local eateries.

Here’s a few of my favorite pics:







A Nice Chill Summer

A pretty trail. Made me stop and appreciate it’s beauty.

So my summer of ’17 plans are all officially over.  No joke, Boo.  It’s only mid-end July and I am just done.  The boys and myself went to Denver Comic Con ’17 in early July and I had a really fun solo camp out at Curt Gowdy in early June.  I’m kind of sad about this, I’m not gonna lie.
I set a goal to save money this summer so I could get an RV by Oct.  and because I have absolutely no will power I have save $0.  I also have not managed to make a dent in my credit card bill.

Had a great Con ’17 with these two!!

What I have done is work a bunch, hike a bunch, ate at a bunch of new restaurants (gained 10 lbs), drank a bunch of beers, and hang out with a bunch of pretty cool people.  So I mean, I’m living and generally have a pretty good time, but I want some “elsewhere” activities.

Went paddle boating with my main squeeze the other day. So yeah that’s something!

I just need to buckle down and seriously toss both cards and pay them off.  I can’t believe I got myself $11,000 in debt AND gained 10 lbs!!! I’m just so mad at myself.  I feel like I’m losing control, but I’m at my happiest that I can remember being in a long time….So what the problem is??

I guess I’ll spend the rest of my summer pondering this.

I sincerely hope everyone ellse is having a great summer 2017!

The trees in the theater district we’re blue. It was very cool and very unexpected.

Camp Out!!!!

This weekend I am doing my first ever solo camp out.  I’m at Curt Gowdy State Park.  It is close to home and usually full of camping families so there is a definite element of safety.

I made reservation for a fairly decent spot, SC-95.  It has a direct view of the lake with other camp sites fairly close, but hidden from view by bushy hills.  The only drawback to this spot is that is directly off the road, so all of the F-150’s hauling their water and land toys over the gravel make for a less than serene experience.  As it is my only Con, I’m letting it slide.

My campout will be for 3 nights and the final night I will be jumping over to the Hynd’s Lodge to see my friend get married.

Storms behind me as I head outta dodge!

So I drove up yesterday at 3 pm.  I had packed up my car and just as I was pulling away from my house, the sky opened up and the waters all came down and brought the effing wind and just a touch of hail to keep it interesting…but nevertheless I persisted.

Curt Gowdy is about a 25 minute drive from Cheyenne.  I could tell as soon as I got out of town (the land is almost perfectly flat for miles around outside of Cheyenne so you can easily see up to 50 miles in the distance) that the rain had not yet hit the camp grounds.  I hauled balls over there and made it to my destination full of excitement, adventure, and mostly, CAMP readiness.

Ok, firstly.  The lake was unexpectedly empty.  It was almost late fall empty.  The sky was incredibly overcast, but no rain was here yet so I was pumped to get started setting up Base Camp One.  Tent duty is numero  uno priority.  I had previously been assured by my oldest son, Chase, and my husband, Clay, that I would be perfectly capable of putting this tent up alone.  I would be just fine.  It’s the easiest tent ever. YeahYeahYeah…if there is a way to complicate things, I WILL FIND IT.   s

So I jumped out of my car and tossed the tent bag to the ground and rifled through its contents.  I read the step 1 and step 2’s and I verified the parts and I put the long bendy sticks in the loop holes of the canvas and then I got to step 3 and its like, “You and a friend/lover/distant relative/whomever, stand at diagonal ends from each other and lift the tent and its limp poles up into an arch and then secure a tight tent with stakes.”  Okay so I am 4′ 11.  No matter how I tried to Jerry rig it, no matter how much I pleaded to God to help me get the fucking tent up, I could not do it.  It was a two man tent.  I did the only reasonable and helpful thing to do in moments of crisis: I cried. I stamped my foot, I whoa is me’d, and I had a right good tantrum for about 4 minutes.  Then…and only then, will a good idea come to me.  This is my process.

I realized I needed help so I waited for the first unsuspecting person to drive or bike or hike past.  Strangely it took a few minutes before another soul passed me by, which again is so odd because as I am writing this, every 20 seconds a human is passing me either on foot or boat or bike or whatever.  So yeah finally a woman with her window down was driving slowly passed and made the mistake of smiling at me.  I seized my moment.  I called out “Excuse me could you help me!” and you could literally see the change in her face as I started calling out and wailing towards her vehicle.  You could see the “oh fuck I should have just stared straight ahead!  Why did I smile at this woman?!” cross her face, but I explained I needed assistance to just get my tent arches standing up and in the stupid silver rings.  Thank god her husband was there because I don’t think she was going to help me lol.

Anyway it was also kind of embarrassing because as he was helping me, he saw that I had been using a can of Bush’s baked beans to hammer my stakes into the ground.  He seemed sort of friendly/annoyed when he asked me if I needed to use his hammer too. The wife meanwhile had driven off, I don’t know why she didn’t just wait the 3 minutes it took, but like I said she was seriously annoyed about me needing help, but in all honesty, I could give a shit.  It was about to rain and I had gotten assistance.

So not wanting to keep this reluctantly friendly dude any longer than necessary, I only ask him to help me do the arch thing. I decided I could handle the stakes and the rain cover on my own and off he walked into the sunset, presumably to find his wife.

Base Camp One

Ok so now I’m on my own again and I have the main body formed, now I need to secure it to the ground.  So sans hammer or mallet I tried the can of beans, rocks, logs, and shoes.  Nothing could pound those crappy stakes into the ground.  The suckers just kept bending.  So just then the rain is here. I unload every item from my car into the tent, just to weigh it down.  Originally I had no intentions of taking EVERYTHING out to save on the repacking, but no I needed to hold the tent down because Wyoming Weather. I have 2 coolers, 2 sleeping bags, a gym bag full of clothes, a bag of tech toys, and other essentials, holding down my tent.  The storm comes, myself and my husky wait it out in the tent pretty comfortably, all things considered.

After the storm passes, maybe 30 minutes later, I take stock of the tent.  My rain cover is hanging limply and I have an extra bendy pole that I don’t know what is for and it just looks…off, like limp and sloppy, but useable.  I tried the stakes again but I couldn’t get them in so I started to use my heavy stuff and tie the tent to it…like I used my log pile as a weight for one stake tie and my 20 gallon water jug as another.  One stake was tied around a heavy rock.  So yeah, it was a mess, but I moved on to drinking beers anyway.

Throughout all of this my husband had been texting me to see how everything was going.  He wasn’t able to join me because of work.  I’m not gonna lie I was bummed, but I also thought the idea of camping alone was sort of cool.

So as my evening progresses, I go on a hike, I eat lunch, I read some, I start a fire. It’s starting to be about 7:30 and I decided I would try to get a buzz before bed because I’m worried that sleeping in the tent alone will be scary and I’ll freak out, so I proceed to down five 20 oz Budlight Clamatos.  I have a nice fire going and I have decided I’m going to let it die down so that way once it is truly starting to get dark, around 9, I can head into the tent and maybe watch a movie until I fall asleep.

Reading by a fire with a body of water in the background is my idea of a good time!

Trucks and cars have been intermittently driving past on the dirt road so I have sort of blocked out the noise at this point.  I am seated with my back to oncoming traffic and facing my fire. All of a sudden I hear “Hey lady!” I turn around and its my husband!  I didn’t realize I was sort of lonely until he showed up. That right there is the beauty of my husband.  I don’t give him enough credit for being there.  He made a deal with his boss so he could come camp with his wife for one night.  He right away sets to fixing my tent.  Turns out he just drives around with the necessary tent fixing equipment just all the time.  He brought me Wendy’s and a fifth of Absolut…I asked why Absolut and he said, because they didn’t have Titos.  Love him.  (Titos is my JAM).

We proceeded to get nice and drunk.  We hung out by the fire and kissed a lot.  It was a perfect night.  We woke up and we had coffee together and he half -assed a fishing line.  We took Juno for a small morning hike and then he had to go.

I woke up with such joy in my heart for that moment.  For that man.  He went out of his way to drive 25 minutes out of town after a 14 hour work day, just to make sure I was set up right and spend some alone time with me.  Also noteworthy.  This is our first ever child free camp out.  I didn’t even realize until Clay pointed it out.

It made me realize how much I love this man.  I always hesitate to believe that he loves me, it’s literally the hardest thing to imagine and a total product of my childhood.  I try to keep him, and most others, at arm’s length and I feel like I am always waiting for him to realize what a total jerk he has married and get the hell out of there.  But , no he never does. He is always there.  He’s always my rock and my champion and I don’t know why I don’t recognize this on the day-to-day.

So now it is night 2 and it has been just Juno and myself all day.  We have gone on 4 small walks and had a nap.  I was reading book one of The Outlander series, but it just wasn’t holding my attention (no fault of the book, I just am not in a medevial frame of mind), so I switched to Lagoon.

Today the park is beautiful and sunny and just as packed as it should be.  There is a kayak rental and a wake boarding rental set up.  I had a lot of fun watching the families enjoy the park.  I didn’t stand there like a weirdo or anything and watch them…I was walking my dog and stealthy like a weirdo watching them.

Camp out breakfast!

Camp out Dinner!

I have taken great pains as to not appear alone.  I have changed my hair, my seating and my clothes three times today.  I can’t change who I am.

Gotta love those snapchat filters!

Back home now and I had a great time. Looking forward to another camp out soon!

Letting Someone Else Lead The Way

Welp…I am trying something new today.  I am going on a small somewhat spontaneous vacation to a destination not of my choosing,  for reasons not of my choosing.  I never do this. I usually have almost every aspect of my trips planned all the way down to the restaurants I want to eat at while I’m there.  I don’t know my travel companions very well either, its a couple of friends from work, one of which is my boss (ohgod).  This whole thing is taking me out of my comfort zone.

I have a friend (boss),  Sarah, who is about 8 months pregnant.  She desperately wanted to go on a beach vacation before she had her baby.  She just sort of yelled out one day at work, “Hey Tiffany do you want to go to the beach with me?”…I said sure…she said “ about Galveston Texas?” and that fast she booked a house on the beach and now here I am, about a  month later…sitting at Denver international Airport.  I’m about 3 hours early, drinking Bloody Marys’ and researching Galveston.

and of course there is snapchatting going on!

I didn’t even rent the car…I am in no way in any sort of control and it feels pretty fantastic! (scary too, but fantastic).  If your thinking to yourself, “What’s the big deal?” Maybe I’m not making myself clear: I DON’T DO STUFF LIKE THIS!  I don’t like being out of control, but this feels pretty awesome.  Hopefully it ends up being the best time!

While I am not going with any set plan in mind, I do have 2 places I would like to visit. The Galveston Pleasure Pier and Moody Gardens.  As far as I can tell these are the 2 best touristy places to check out, besides the beach, of course!  Also…IT WILL BE MY FIRST TIME IN THE GULF OF MEXICO!

Update to follow!

Universal is in the Bag!

OK as I am typing this, I am currently sitting at Gate E33 in the Dallas/Ft Worth airport. My family and I have about 2 hrs left of a 3 hr layover on our way to Denver. We have just completed our 2017 Spring Break Orlando vacation and I would most definitely categorize it a success! I loved spending the time with my boys. My husband and I both work full time and my children are pretty involved at school so we don’t get a whole lot of family time. This was nice.

I have no intention of writing this in any particular order of events.  I just really wanna get it all down while it’s fresh.

Clay won about 16,000 tickets off this claw machine until an attendant came by and said it was broken. At least they let us keep the tickets!!

I learned a few things on this trip. Firstly chemical free sunscreen is garbage. Seriously it doesn’t rub on and it smells bad. We ended up just using coconut oil and nothing. Second, I always pack a shit load of clothes, shoes, and toiletries that I have no intention of using… ever….I really just want my material possessions to see the world too. Third…I am a lot less afraid of flying when my husband is around.  Who knew?

Also, Universal was worth every penny. I probably won’t ever go again, but I’m glad we went at least once!

Just a cool installation on Marvel’s Super Hero Island

This guy is the reason I have wanted to visit Universal since I was 16!

We had early park admission as a perk for staying at a Universal resort. We made use of it all 4 days we were there. We hit Harry Potters Wizarding World first…the Dragon Challenge was the first ride we all went on.  This stupid ride had me hugging a trash can first thing!

Hogsmeade…this is the entrance to the Harry Potter Quiddich 3D ride.

One of the carts where we purchased our Butterbeer.

The first day we spent on Islands of Adventure and CityWalk. The second day we explored Diagon Alley and rode the Hogworts Express both ways. We rode all of the rides at Universal Studios. My favorite was hands down the Transformers 3D battle ride.

I think this is my favorite picture from the whole trip!

By the end of day 2 Isaac and I were getting kind of tired and cranky, but Chase and Clay were full of energy. At the end of the night those two went back to CityWalk to play some night rounds of mini golf while Isaac and I hung out back at the room.

The morning of the 3rd day was super dramatic because Clay lost his debut card, thankfully it turned out the bartender from the hotel bar, the Atomic Tonic, had kept it safe for him!

The second to last night Clay and I ditched the kids and went swimming in the lazy pool and drinking. The hotel had 3 bars, 2 were poolside so we spent the evening getting buzzed and getting acquainted with our bartenders! Al, Eric, Taylor, and David took real good care of us!

This local beer, Caribe, was EXCELLENT. The Hideaway served Pineapple and the Atomic Tonic sold Blood Orange. SO GOOD!

We ate at the Hard Rock Cafe Orlando two times while we were there. Also we stopped at Margaritaville for a few margaritas and some crab cakes sliders.

Hard Rock is always a good time. I could wander that place for hours checking out the memorabilia. It’s a zen place for me.

More wall stuff. I took so many pictures these are just some highlights.

Another pretty cool part of the park was the Jurassic Park river adventure ride. What a wet, fun experience!

I’m sure I’ll remember more I want to include about the park experience later.

Our hotel, Cabana Bay Beach Resort was awesome. 10/10 would book again if I am ever in Orlando.

The sign looked so pretty at night!

This was close to where we caught the shuttle every morning to the park.

Despite the awesome accommodations , at the end of the 7 days we were ready to get back to our dogs! I could barely sleep I was so excited to come home.

Unfortunately we ended up leaving a BUNCH of stuff in the hotel. No room. We left 4 rain ponchos, a box of wine, a six pack of Budlight, 4 inflated pool floaties, 4 souvenir cups, and a Catan Seafarers expansion pack board game….
When we got MCO airport 4 hours early we walked into a massive 300 person line at Spirit Air.  Apparently 3 flights had been cancelled due to a fire breaking out at a local hotel so the flight crew were unable to sleep for 8 hrs. Anyway, those poor people were missing connections and standing clueless with their children all scared and upset and I was just grateful we had gotten there so early and didn’t have to panic worrying about missing our flights. I felt for those people truly, I did.

Well that’s all for now on 2017 Spring Break Adventure. Here’s a few random photos for the road:

A cool Xmas shop at the beginning of the park. I bought the obligatory 2017 ornament for my collection of travel ornaments.

This place sold chocolate that could have been art. Apparently there was a restaurant in there as well.

Some of the sweet offerings. We didn’t buy any as it was 90 degrees and I didn’t think the chocolate would last too long in that heat.

Some cool steam punk art that the chocolate factory was also selling.

All over Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade there were these awesome statues. Here are just a few.

Our first glimpse of the park!

First morning. So excited just to see CityWalk!

Taking a water taxi back to our hotel that first day!