Tag Archive for United States

An Unexpected Lunch Date

parental pictureMy parents are travelling across the country this week to visit my grandparents in Illinois.  Travel Man is working in Sioux Falls, South Dakota this week.  Ironically,  my parents happened to be driving right through Sioux Falls today, and were able to hook up with Travel Man for a quick-lunch.  What are the chances that the stars would align, and this would happen.  It’s a kismet, karma kind of thing.

I think it was all meant to be.  You see my siblings and I, and Travel Man were worried about our parentals taking this driving trip.  And to Mom and Dad, when you read this blog post, you have to know we were worrying about you.

 If you have been following my blog for any length of time you know that my Dad is winning his battle with Stage 4 lung cancer!!  He’s been doing some alternative chemotherapy since last June, and he’s winning the fight.  His strength and endurance are not yet 100%, but his will and his attitude are at 150%  plus.

Never the less being the good kids that we are we were worried about them taking this drive.  We put our minds at ease knowing that if they had any trouble while they were on the road we were just a plane ride and a car drive away.  There was also this little thing of thinking that we could tell our Dad what to do. Ha!  That would definitely not be happening.

So, as of this writing they have already been on the road for ten days.  They visited my sister and her husband in Montana,  and stopped in South Dakota for a day of rest, and driver’s license renewals.  Next, they are on their way to Illinois to see the grandparents.  All in all a good trip for them so far.  Any worries that we all had we are just tucking under our chairs, and wishing them safe travels.  For me, my parents adventure is  a great lesson in perseverance.  Doing what you want to do, when you want to, and not letting anything stop you in your tracks.

Top Ten Reasons It’s Great to Travel with a Road Warrior


As I told you all last week I had occasion to take a working road trip with my Travel Guy.  It occurred to me on the way home that there are quite a few perks to having an experienced, seasoned traveller by your side.

10) He’s the ultimate suitcase packer.  He knows how to fit EVERYTHING he (or should I say I) want to take into one suitcase.  This is especially important for me because I ALWAYS like to travel with an extra outfit, just in case.  I have gotten so much better at packing a suitcase over the years, but he remains the expert.

9) He always gets to the airport in plenty of time.  He always leaves himself enough time so there’s no frantic rushing through the security check point or through the airport, ever.

8) He travels a lot.  He accumulates tons and tons of reward points and perks for various airlines, hotels, and car rental venues.  We are especially lucky in this regard.  Nothing makes my Road Warrior happier than being able to share the reward points with a family member who needs to take a flight somewhere, or get a hotel room for a weekend trip.

7) All of the points he accumulates on a regular basis allow this gal to travel with him for mere pennies.  I am one lucky, lucky gal.

6) Check-in at the airport is an event, possibly even close to a marathon.  We always have bags to check, no dealing with carry-ons for these travelers.  Since the Road Warrior is a frequent traveler we most often avoid the long line for baggage check-in,  with the A-lister’s line (a Southwest Airlines perk).  People definitely give us dirty looks for going to the head of the line.  I just think to myself (a little selfishly), “That’s right people, I’m with this guy, and yep we got to go the head of the line”.  And then I think to myself, if other people travelled as many air miles as my Road Warrior does they would want to go to the front of the A-list line too!

5) Getting through the security line is our second event of the day. We have by-passed the baggage check-in line, and if it’s available we take the by-pass line for the security line.  Once again, exasperated stares from the “normal” passengers waiting in the “normal” line.  The Road Warrior does a little personal cheer on the inside when he gets to do this.  Oh,  and just a side note from the Road Warrior’s wife.  He carries a copy of the U.S. Constitution in his pocket.  It’s his way of protecting his rights while travelling through the security check point.

4) He’s so familiar with most of the airports in the U.S., he can recommend places to eat, places to plug-in your electronics, the best bathrooms, and the most comfortable seats to park in while you are waiting.

3) He loves to people watch,  and so do I.  We’ll try to guess people’s back stories, or the reasons they are travelling through the airport.  Sometimes, we just simply make up stories about the people we see.  It’s a good way to pass the time.

2) He travels with all of the necessities;  Kleenex, Tums, Clorox wipes,  for those sometimes yucky airline trays (he stays healthy this way!), aspirin, free drink coupons, a good movie to watch, and magazines.  The backpack he takes on the plane with him holds a ton of stuff (that’s a story for another day).

1)  For me the most important reason that it is so great to travel with my Road Warrior is it means that we are together.  We spend lots of time apart, so our time together is quite precious.  I would not want to travel with anyone else.

This post linked to the GRAND Social

Our bags are packed and we're ready to go.

Our bags are packed and we’re ready to go.

Our Pets and Their Hierarchy

It’s a new day for the animals at The Party House.  If you have animals like we do, and you have both cats and dogs like we do,  you will understand what I am talking about here.  The animals have a pecking order, a hierarchy about them.  They have a certain way of treating each other, or in our case, ignoring each other, and a certain way they interact.  It can be incredibly entertaining.

Let me introduce our cast of characters.  First, and foremost is Tiger, the cat.  The Queen.  She is the queen of the roost, and always, always lets everyone know she is the Boss!  No question about her place in the mix.

tiger pic

Then we have Clyde, our terrier mix doggie.  Clyde is, how shall I say this, an introvert, a follower.  He does not like his routine disrupted, or messed with.  It makes him very nervous.  His legs get shaky when he’s nervous or in an uncomfortable situation.  When we’re having a Party Day he’s a Nervous Nellie the entire time the crowd is in the house.  He likes lots of love and hugs, or belly scratching.  Clyde is a good guard dog though.  He takes good care of me when I am home by myself, and protects his domain.

clydee boy

Next is our new arrival.  We adopted our daughter’s cat, Storm.  He’s a raucous and rambling guy, and likes to stir up the routine of the other animal residents in the house.  He’s the teenager in the house.  He’s a big guy, and is like the annoying little brother for Tiger.  He’s also the most mellow cat I have ever known.  Nothing really phases him, unless he’s super hungry.  Storm and Clyde have some kind of bonding thing going on too.  Maybe it’s a guy thing?  They like to pal around the yard together, and go on little hunting expeditions together.


Photo credit: B.Juedes

The most entertaining part of the day is when the animals get fed their dinner.  If you have animals you know they like a routine.  They like things to happen on a schedule.  At our house, I don’t feed everyone until 5pm.  They start milling around me in the house at about 4pm, just to see if I will give into Tiger’s meowing demands.  Tiger is the spokesperson for the group.  The other two just follow in her footsteps where food is concerned.  I usually stick to my guns and don’t feed the animals a minute before 5pm, because you know they are not the boss of me.  Once they are all fed they go on their merry ways for the evening.  That usually involves little drinks of water, and lots of napping.  Oh the life of a domesticated animal.

The 5pm Standoff!!

The 5pm Standoff!!

Storm also loves to annoy Tiger when she least expects it. He will jump up on a chair while Tiger is laying on the floor, and peer down at her, very intently,  until she hisses and scowls at him.  Once Storm gets a rise out of Tiger, he jumps off of the chair and very nonchalantly walks right past Tiger.  She can’t stand this of course, and hisses at Storm until he leaves the room.

The other entertaining thing about the animals is I have them all trained to know what the phrase, “Go to Bed” means.  I close the animals off in one part of the house at night so they cannot roam all over.  And actually now that it’s warmer Clyde and Storm sleep outside at night.  Tiger stays in and gets mad at me when I tell her it’s time to “go to bed”.  She hisses and scowls at me, and gives me her dirty looks, but she is still not the boss of me.  Travel Man cracked up at this,  the first time he saw me sending Tiger to bed at night.  He could not believe she actually listened, and went out to her little corner in the game room.

Oh what a tangled web we weave.  First it’s keeping the kids from arguing, and terrorizing each other, and now it’s the animals.  We are glad to have Storm as an addition to our little family of pets.  He has brought some new life into the mix of things, and keeps us quite entertained.  Welcome to the family Storm!

This post has been linked to the Grand Social linky at Grandma’s Briefs.

10 Things I Loved About Visiting Montana

View of the backyard.

A week or so ago Travel man and I had the opportunity to visit my sister and her husband near Missoula, Montana.  The countryside there was breathtaking.  Mountain ranges all around us, and a beautiful valley of rolling hills and farmlands.  It has been way too long since I have been at my sister’s house, and Travel man’s never been there.  We encountered some rain, some snow, and a few rays of sunshine too.  The property where my sister lives is very wooded, and right at the base of the Bitterroot Mountain range.  Gorgeous, gorgeous views.  Unfortunately it was too cloudy for pictures while we were there.


So, in honor of our visit I have put together my top ten list from our  Montana travels.

  1. Sleeping for 8-9 hours at a stretch this is unheard of for me!!  I normally sleep may 6 hours a night?  I was told that this could have been due to the altitude change.  I think it’s because The air was so crisp and cool, and I was so relaxed.
  2. Leaferville – we got to see the changing of the leaves the moment we landed in Spokane.
  3. Crisp, crisp cool weather.  Highs in the 40’s, lows in the 20’s.  It was glorious.
  4. Snow??  Who knew!  We drove through a snow storm on our drive from Spokane to Missoula.  It’s been a long time since I’ve seen snowflakes so big.
  5. My sister’s cooking – Wow!!  Laura is a gourmet cook.  We had a Lentil, Beef Stew, homemade coq au vin, and a delicious Butternut Squash Soup.  Wonderful, warm delicious meals.  Absolutely yummy!
  6. Celebrating the “baby steps” of a major home improvement project.  Laura and her husband are having their roof worked on.  It’s been very stressful for them, and we helped them to celebrate the small victories of the project moving forward.
  7. Wearing blue jeans, and socks and shoes.  Changing up the wardrobe.  Instead of the usual crop pants and tank top wardrobe!  Oh and I did get to wear the scarf my mom made me too!
  8. Sipping hot coffee and lattes on a chilly Montana morning next to the wood stove.  Can you say mega comfort zone?
  9. A couple of gaggles of wild turkeys roaming in the front yard.
  10. Some cute little dear nibbling on some brush,  also in the front yard.

These are just a few of my favorite moments from our trip.  Of course I delighted in the non-top chatting with my sister.  She is definitely a mountain girl, and loves living the country lifestyle.  Maybe I’m just a smidge jealous on that front.  We did have a wonderful time together, and lucky me my sister’s coming to my house for a visit this week.  Just makes me want to jump for joy.  Wishing everyone a great week.

What’s your recent, favorite family moment?

The Baseball Dream List

Travel Man and I have a dream list item in common.  We both want to travel this great US of A and see a baseball game played in every major league stadium.   Our hometown team is the Anaheim Angels, and if we had the opportunity we’d follow the Angels around the country for an entire baseball season.  That would be in our dream cloud of course.

Last month we took a vacation to New York City and got to see the Yankees play the Boston Red Sox.  A great baseball rivalry.  We had a wild taxi ride to the stadium, as we were running a little late.  We had taken a day long tour of the city that day, and then headed straight to the stadium. Of course there was a downpour when we got there, and we purchased some wonderful dollar store ponchos for a price that we will not mention here.

We entered the stadium from gate 4 I believe, and I was completely mesmerized.  There are banners of the former Yankee greats lining one wall of the stadium.  Names like;   Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra and Roger Maris to name a few.  Such rich baseball history just in those pictures alone.

Once we made it to our seats, and got to take in the sights and sounds we could not believe we were actually sitting there watching the Yankees playing the Red Sox.  We had to pinch each other a few times to be sure it was real.  The crowd is always completely engaged in the game.  Great music between batters, lots of chants and cheering.  Plus a Yankees fan a couple of rows in front of us shouting, “Boston sucks”.

The bonus for the night was when Derek Jeter made history with his 250th career home run.  Spectacular.  Yankee Stadium, Derek Jeter makes history, Yankee souvenirs purchased for the grandson.  All in all a great, great experience.  It will be interesting  to see which stadium we end up at next season.  This may become a new summer tradition for Travel Man and I.

Are you a fan of baseball?   What’s your favorite stadium to visit?

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