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adayinmyworldsite

Navy wife, mom, and all around chaos

Month

August 2016

Arrival 

(Image is of my husband going through paperwork while the movers sort through one small bit of our billion boxes)

Our things came from the movers finally. We have our things, all of the junk, the random and the crazy that makes a place a home. 

It’s amazing how much you miss the weird things when your in transition like the pretty stuff I had on the dining room table, or the sign my mom made me for my wedding. Even though it’s hot as balls here, I’ve been missing my jeans. Weird right? But I do! 

For the first time in my life I want it to be fall and not just for Halloween (which is my favorite holiday by far!) but for the weather and the season change. The fall leaves changing, the fall festivals, and ok really I love Halloween! 

Now off to unpack the what seems like a thousand boxes! 

Our trip as a whole


(Image is of the Smithsonian Castle in Washington DC) 

Our trip began way to early on a Saturday morning, the sun hadn’t risen and the sky was dark. We had said goodbye to our friends and family the night before so there wasn’t much left to do but pack our bedding and ourselves and go. But I found myself wanting to linger in the closest thing I had left to normal, the last part of the life I had known for 2 years, the home we had come to know and love. Despite my sluggish attitude and slow movements we left Washington. We drove from sunrise well past sun down. We adventure through the mountains passes of Washington and Idaho, through the fields and deserts of Montana, until we got into Yellowstone. That park for the two days we were there was wonderful. It was awe inspiring, beauty that can only be found in that one spot. The joys it brought my daughter and all of us really was the best part.

From there we ventured to my sister in laws house in Salt Lake City. That was found days of fun and sunshine. For me I got to meet my husbands family (the ones I hadn’t met or only briefly met at our wedding). We got to spend time and enjoy each other’s company. We explored the city, we did an indoor rock climbing course, a children’s museum, and rode the river on a raft. All with family, all surprisingly fun for a girl with anxiety who does not do change well. 

Our next stop was my wonderful mother in laws house (my husbands step mom, his mother passed away before I came into the picture). She was fantastic. I love her as if she was my other parent. With her we toured the casinos and wandered the Vegas Strip, we watched street shows, and water shows. My husband got pulled into a street show on his birthday, making the day just that much better. We watched a movie and ate wonderful food. It was a great stop along our journey. 

The next place we adventured too was a 18 hour road trip to Texas. On this day everything that could go wrong did, can’t have too many perfect road trip days. Anyways we left Las Vegas later than expected meaning we got to Fort Worth later than expected. We drove straight through the night and we took turns sleeping in the car. It was long and hellish but we are it the entire 17 hours on pure determination and red bull. By the time we got to Fort Worth I was so exhausted I was close to dead (or I felt like it). And the husband wanted to run errands and get lunch, he wanted to people. I’m not great at that in the first place mix it in with two hours of crappy sleep in the car and a tired child and it’s a rough combo. Anyways our days there were great! I attempted to male plans with my friends from when I lived there none of them had time (that’s OK life happens), and that was rough because I miss them. But we relaxed in the heat of Texas, we played at the lake on boats and jet skis, we road roller coasters at Six Flags Over Texas and we recharged from the previous places we visited. We had a week in texas of fun, sunshine, and swimming. Even Jax went swimming a time or two. 

From there we moved on to Florida to my brother in laws house, that was two days of chaos and crazy. We went shooting at a range, I realized how much I miss shooting. It made me realize I need to buy a new gun and re-register for my concealed carry. We also went and ate on the water at a beautiful restaurant. We had fried pickles and alligator, fish and shrimp tacos. All of that great southern food, that I missed while living up north. 

From there we went to Georgia to a weekend of really terrible planning and failed attempts to go to the beach (they don’t allow dogs at the beach and we had no one to watch Jax). We stayed at Law Quinta in Savanah  (they have a fairly good pet policy) however Jax freaked out about the hotel room and truly didn’t like it, so we didn’t get to do many things.

Washington DC was our next stop, and this time we had a plan before we went thankfully. We stayed in a extremely pet friendly hotel called the Kimpton Madrea near Dupont Circle (I am not affiliated with this company I just really appreciated the service and treatment we got while having a dog in the hotel). They provided a dog bed (that Jax loved), pet dishes (since ours vanished in the car), a list of services to use for doggy daycare, and just all out friendliness while we had a dog there which was a wonderful change. Since we had a pet sitter we were able to tour part of the National Mall. We went to the Smithsonian, we saw the Washington Monument, Mini-Me got to see her favorite presidents (Lincoln) memorial. We walked for around 8 or 9 miles depending on the fitbit you ask. We saw the World War I I monument  (maybe it was a memorial, not sure), we also saw the Vietnam War wall. Both of those were awe inspiring as a veteran myself, it makes me wonder if we will ever a have monument for the war in trained for. I doubt it. We ate great food, we got cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes, it was a great two day stop.

Our final stretch was the drive from DC to Connecticut and that was long and arduous. It was hard and exhausting, some how that last 6 hour drive seemed longer than the 17 hours it took to drive to Texas. I personally fell apart around New York and had a panic attack while the husband drove through the Bronx.We got to our hotel the day before we were able to go home and I fell on the bed exhausted. 

Our trip was amazing and beautiful, crazy and chaotic, lazy and busy, it was everything you could want from 27 days driving across the country, coast to coast. It was an adventure that I’m glad I don’t have to repeat.

24 days

(Image is of the South Carolina welcomes you sign that was at our first stop. The one we took because Mini-Me forgot to take a potty breaks before we left our hotel.)

We have been on the road, living out of our car for 24 days. We have argued, driving through the night, and adventures in the last three plus weeks. We have seen family and adventured solo. We have stepped into 15 states as of this very moment, and will get to be in 23 total by the time we are done in three more days. 

We have felt the differences in temperature, humidity, and elevation. We have viewed different landscapes: desert, forest, mountains, swamps, and red dirt roads. Of course there was the farm country of Northern Texas, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico. 

We have experienced the sights of Las Vegas, Yellowstone National Park, Salt Lake city, Dallas Texas, Florida swamps and water views, and Georgia’s Sandy beaches. I am overly grateful for this trip and the fact the my daughter got to see this very pretty countryside. 

However 23 days down on this road trip, 23 nights sleeping in strange places, 23 days without the comfort of home and I am completely and utterly done! I’m ready to go build a new home and start our three years in a state on the opposite side of the country than I’m accustomed too. Not that I’m complaining (much) but I’m done. 

Just two more stops, is the mantra I am taking on for the next three days. 

Florida days

We had a two day driving break in Florida with more of the husbands family before we went back into vacation mode in Georgia. 

The break was much needed and family is always good to see (for mini me and myself it was a first meeting). Hearing about the hubby’s childhood from a little less rose colored glasses was by far the most interesting part. Learning that he wasn’t as sweet and innocent with the picture perfect childhood was a little reassuring! His stories made him sound angelic whereas big brother tells it a little more real. 

Anyways we were only there for two full days and now we are off to Georgia! I’m very excited for the remainder of this trip. We have Georgia, Washington DC, and Philadelphia left then it’s home. Five more travel days! Five more vacation days. 

Facebook!

(Image is of the Rangers game we went to last night! It was a lot of fun!)

I made a Facebook page! I’m still not totally sure how to make that more popular but I will have fun with it anyways! 

Texas was amazing! Mini me who was formerly terrified of the water is now swimming like a fish! She dives under to get things off the bottom, she swims across the entire pool even where it over her head! She is finally comfortable and confident in the water! Always wonderful! The pup is also way more comfortable in the water! Which is hilarious!

More later I’m tired and we’re driving through the pouring rain! 

10 Quick Tips About Traveling

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(image is of a Texas sunrise while we were driving, so its blurry and through a windshield so be nice)

So as a military family we have been on the road for 15 days, and I have learned quite a lot about what not to do!

  1. Be organized!
    After we “repacked” from Yellowstone going to Salt Lake City it looked like a seven-year old had a party in the back of our car. We needed to get our suitcases out and it was everything I could do not to have a meltdown because of the overwhelming amount of mess! We learned quickly to organized everything so it wasn’t so disastrous back there.
  2. Pack as little as possible!
    For a military move we get paid if we move some of our own things. We took this to the extreme! We packed too much and it made things miserable! We each had a large fully packed suit case (the husband also had a duffel bag full of uniforms), a large cooler, a giant container full of dog food, a bag with pots and pans, an extra bag of dog food, a suit case full of expensive things we didn’t want broken with the movers and ALL of the bathroom stuff that the movers wouldn’t pack. BAD IDEAS! All of it! We needed less clothes, less dog food, get rid of the bathroom stuff, we just needed less!
  3. Do not lose your phone chargers!
    I know this one seems like common sense but I did it, kind of. I had my parents fitbits plugged into my charging ports. Can you guess what happened next? That’s right, they left and took the chargers with them ports and all. So I had my cords but no charging ports. Since we have been traveling so much I keep forgetting to replace them!
  4.  Make sure your child had proper electronic entertainment!
    But screen time limits, the parents are all screaming! No I’m sorry when my kid is in the car for 6 or more hours they need to watch a movie or two. Yes Mini-me has been working in her workbooks, she has been playing her learning games but really as long as she isn’t constantly asking “are we there yet?” I’m happy.
  5. Remember the dog and child don’t have large bladders
    Every two or three hours we need to take a break for both the dog and the kid. Yes that suck, yes we have to plan this into our drive. However I would rather stop 10 extra times that have them both pee in my car or get bladder infections. Can dogs get bladder infections? Well his vet bills are enough I don’t want to risk it!
  6. Small surprises are extremely important
    This one is very important! I got small toys and put them into a paper bag for little one to open every one in a while! It has been amazing because even though it’s all throw away toys that I expect her to lose they make her happy! If she is happy then my drive is easier!
  7. Do not plan to drive more the 8 hours in one day!
    This is one that we just did a 18 hour drive, it was the WORST part of our trip! I wasn’t able to be a human for a full 24 hours after. The husband was cranky, the kid was extra bossy (her version of whiny) they dog was wired when we finally got out of the car it was just a mess! DO NOT DO THIS TO YOURSELF! A cheap hotel is much better than everyone miserable!
  8. Choose your hotels wisely!
    If you have young kids or a dog you don’t want a place that you feel like you have to monitor their every move. You also don’t want a place where you feel like you need to check the hotel for bed bugs and clean sheets. So as I said choose wisely. The husband and I generally go for mid 3 to 4 star hotels. They are nice but not so nice that we feel like we can’t enjoy the place.
  9. Expect bad points in your trip
    It doesn’t matter if you take your kids to Disneyland or to the moon, everyone has a breaking point parents and kids alike. I have drilled into Mini-me’s head that she is able and needs to tell is when she has had enough of anything! She needs to learn her limits and vocalize them. I was extremely proud of her in Yellowstone when she said “Mom, I’m done with this place.” She was still super interested but Yellowstone is a lot of driving and walking and well just a lot. We are talking about a kid who had to find a quiet place in Disneyland because she was overwhelmed and she couldn’t do it anymore she hit her limit but didn’t want to go home. So we have learned as parents that yep we will have to miss things we like but she gets to say when she has had enough. It helps so much with the melt downs! Since she is an only child so far we haven’t had to divide and concur yet. The husband and I also have learned to listen to each other when we say I need a minute!
  10. Enjoy it!
    When our generation goes some where our phones come out to take pictures of every square inch of it. I’m just as guilty of missing the trip by taking pictures of it. Taking pictures is great, but enjoying the trip with your eyes not your screen is so much better! Take a picture or two but put your phone down and dance in the field of flowers with your kid, run into the surf with them, scream on the rides, and wonder at the sites that you only get to truly enjoy if your phone is put away.

Stop three

VEGAS!

(Image is of the water show in front of the Bellagio hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.)

The three of us (well four if you count the pup) spent three full days in the city of lights. We wandered through casinos, we went to exhibits, and we ventured onto the Strip itself. My wonderfully amazing Mother in-law (step mother In-law technically) let us stay at her house with the pup! She’s the true hero of the few days we were there. 

The first full day we got there we went to the Bellagio Resort (we didn’t go into the casino proper, 7 year old mini me and all) they had an entire underwater scene made out of flowers! So fish, mermaids, a whale, and a shipwreck all made completely out of perfectly places flowers! That was a favorite of Mini-Me.

(Image is of the shipwreck make partially from flowers inside the Bellagio)

 Our first day happened to be the husbands birthday (not a coincidence I’m just an awesome wife lol). After our walk through the resort the husband decided to go in search for a Slushie  (a definite adult type beverage containing at least 4 shots of vodka). We let him wander off and we stopped to watch a street show of hilarious hip-hop dancers. I’m a firm believer in if a street performer makes you stop and watch him you owe him at least a dollar right. Well these five or six guys not only made us all stop the pulled my husband into their show to be jumped over! Which of course earned them a $10 from my MIL and another $5 from me because I didn’t bring anything else with me. They were amazing! 

(Image above is of the performers lining us the husband and four other guys to get jumped over. Yes there’s a random pretty boy on the left and I don’t know who he is.)

The second day we went to the Luxor Hotel and Casino to see the Bodies Exhibition. That is something that I have been talking about for roughly two years and anytime we are some where near it we forget to go. Well this time I made sure we went. It was one of the most intriguing exhibits I have ever seen. Let me back track a bit, this exhibit is of real actual human bodies (where they come from is up  for debate). So probably not ethically obtained but extremely interesting. If this is an exhibition that you want to see despite the ethical concerns (like me) I suggest not going with a full stomach, some of the displays are quite graphic of course. So basically if you interested in seeing the human body from the inside out then I definitely suggest going to see it. Some of the bodies are not in cases or roped off so you need a strong stomach to handle every part of it. There is also a portion of fetuses that you can skip if you want to but they are fasinating. No pictures of this part of our trip due to not being allowed to take pictures of anything inside. 

Finally we had to repack the car and prepare to leave for our next stop. We are officially Texas bound! 

Stop two

UTAH!

In Utah we stayed at the husbands sister’s house with her family. They have extra bedrooms and are amazing enough to enjoy sharing a house. The one downfall their youngest son was afraid of dogs and of course we have a giant Boxer dog who thinks that jumping is a great way to show love no matter who it is. Anyways we had a blast, with my in-laws! I know its crazy to say that I really get along with my nine brothers and sisters in-laws, my mother in-law and my father in-law but I really do. I got lucky! (To clarify my husband has six sisters and three brothers, or something along those lines there’s 10 of them!)

We took all the kids to the children’s museum (panic attack waiting to happen there). They had everything a kid could want from a giant multi-level play area, a kid town, water fun, outdoor play areas and everything in between. After two or three hours we didn’t even make it through the entire place but we were all exhausted!

We went rock climbing at an indoor free climb place, that was a ton of fun. Even the kids could climb the walls and they did! There were tons of skill levels, tons different tracks I guess you would call it to find your way up to the top. The husband had a blast climbing everywhere. It was great!

The last thing we did the morning before we left the Salt Lake City area was river rafting! It was one of the best things we could have done! I got knocked almost out of the boat a time or two, the kids got splashed and we all laughed the entire way down the river. We almost ran over a guy that was floating down the river, we lost the other half of our group because we were lighter. After the rafting but before the leaving I conspired with one of my many sister in-law to bring the husbands favorite cake to the family picnic!

Then the picnic was over and it was back onto the road for more adventures in Las Vegas.

Yellowstone both days

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We are in Yellowstone as I’ve said before. My Fitbit has been happy with me for a few days, I have been over 10,000 steps every single day. On to the trip details – Our two days were so wonderful it will be hard describing it, but I will give it my best shot.

DAY ONE

We started the first day at the Lower Geyser Basin & Fountain Paint Pots (click on there to visit the Yellowstone website). Those two trails are spectacular, it was an easy walk it took us about a half hour. The smells are mostly contained to the individual springs, the steam coming off the springs however that floated wherever the wind went and it was overpowering. The geysers there are pretty amazing, one named the Clepsydra geyser goes off almost constantly. However, since we didn’t know any better we missed one of the “most fun” geysers in the park. The Fountain Geyser is one that I now know goes off every half hour and can go in every direction that sounds great to me especially since we went in the summer. We also found the Great Fountain Geyser it was a geyser that sits in the middle of some fantastic pools, we heard that when it erupts it is better than Old Faithful. We missed the Midway Geyser Basin & Grand Prismatic Springs so we will try to get there on day two.

We made it to Old Faithful, let me start by saying this place is amazing! But I think a better time to go is early on in the day at least during the end of July or beginning of August! It was hot and sunburned us all despite our sunscreen. Now the trails around Old Faithful are just as good as the main event. My suggestion is to go there right when it is close to erupting or just after it erupts (click here for predictions). The trail around Old Faithful is called the Upper Geyser Basin. That trail was roughly 2 miles and it takes about an hour and a half to walk and enjoy it. There were many things that stood out, Mini-Me says that one called Sponge Geyser was the best. It was pretty cool to see it erupt, even if Mini-Me says “my parents weren’t paying attention. We were paying attention, but she’s was right it was one of the coolest parts in the upper trails that we walked at least. On the Upper Geyser Basin trail we followed behind a group, and at first we didn’t realize what they were doing. If you’ve ever been to Disneyland or Yellowstone or really any place with crowds and people all jostling to see one or two things on a somewhat narrow trail then you know how I could miss what they were saying. Now at one point the crowd moved on at it was just us and this group (three or four adults and a handful of kids). I could finally hear what they were saying. This awesome science type group had a thermometer to measure the temperatures of the hot springs and geysers. In my eyes this was an awesome chance for my science minded Mini-Me to learn about her favorite stuff without boring mom teaching her. So I told her to listen to them, now once the adults noticed that she was interested the explained everything to her in detail (using science words but words kids could understand), they even let her test out the thermometer on the geyser in front of us. That geyser was over 180 degrees and Mini-Me’s skin read at only 80 degrees. She talked about that for quite a while, how hot the water was and wondering what it would do if you touched it (other than burning you of course). It was a great opportunity and I was super grateful to these people who took the few minutes to teach my kiddo about the temperatures of the geyser and hot springs.

At the end of our day as I finally laid down completely and utterly drained I realized how grateful I am to be able to enjoy a trip like this with my family. Yes, leaving home with my family and friends sucks but I’m a military wife and if my husband’s job says go we go. I still get to be upset and sad when we leave friends or friends leave us. On the other hand, every few years we get 30 days to adventure between one duty station to the next and sometimes that does mean a cross country adventure and new places to see and visit.

DAY TWO

Oh the awesome adventures of sunburns, hiking, and 80-degree weather. I can’t forget the people how had comments about my sunburns, god so many people with comments. One of them actually went after my ability to parent since I was so sunburnt. Well Mini-Me is right here and does not have a single sunburn anywhere, thank you very fucking much. Anyways I digress from the adventures of the day.

So we started our day by deciding since it was not hot out that we would bring Jax with us, it was either that or leave him in his kennel in the hotel room, bringing him with us seemed like a much better option. Our first stop at the park was the Grand Prismatic Spring, now that place is worth the hype. It is beautiful! There were several angles along the boardwalk that I just wanted to stay and watch it for the rest of the day. In spite of this, my rumbling tummy had other plans (I skipped breakfast oops). We had driven through a heard of bison (buffalo whichever one you prefer) also before we got to the Springs. That “traffic jam” was the totally worth it. For lunch we bypassed the crazy of Old Faithful and ate lunch ate West Thumb an area of Yellowstone Lake. Inside the Grant Village General Store is quick service food called Village Grill. Now that place can make a cheeseburger. It wasn’t cheap but it was definitely tasty, Mini-Me had a grilled cheese that she claimed was to die for, husband had a sandwich which he proceeded to lick the container clean and of course I had a bacon cheese burger what I inhaled naturally.

Throughout our day we visited the Mud Volcano with the Dragon’s Mouth Spring, Mini-Me was convinced that it had a real dragon in the cave and of course like all good parents we laughed! After leaving the Mud Volcano area we once again got into a Yellowstone Traffic Jam because of bison. We pulled over to watch one group play in the dirt and wander the beautiful meadows eating grass. The last hike/walk we took was a quick trip to Artist Point to see the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. That right there was one of the prettiest things I have ever seen. I’ve been to the real Grand Canyon and honestly I think the one in Yellowstone with the waterfall and the colors top it!

Soon we will be off to Salt Lake City and visiting family.

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