Random Road Trip Stuff

Somehow in the midst of writing all of the blog posts, a handful of photos didn’t make it into posts… still not sure how, but now that means I get to drag it out even more!

The highlight is always getting to see family that we don’t see very often.

I’m just going to say it… I really don’t enjoy having to climb up ladders and whatnot to follow the kids on these.  I prefer to be within a foot of the ground!

Wish we had had more time in Colorado!

So tired…

“What are those, Mom?”

“Oh, just some shrunken heads…”

Some nice people let the kids borrow some toys at the park!

South Dakota…

Drank this bottle of wine (with Josh’s help).


Now where to? I’m ready for more vacation!  Haha!

Road Trip Part 7 – Wall Drug and Home!

After our visit to the Reptile Garden, we spent the rest of the day at the hotel in the pool and in the room.  We were all fairly tired and since we knew the next day was going to be long as well, we figured we might as well be well rested.  We left as early as we could the next morning and it was long until we started to see the many signs leading to Wall Drug.  Honestly, I didn’t really know what to expect, but I think I was expecting a little more. Haha!  It was really just a bunch of touristy shops all in one big location with a bunch of cheesy touristy things to look at.  We did get some donuts and 5 cent coffee for sure, though.  It wasn’t a bad way to stretch our legs either and the kids decided to kill some time in an arcade.

There are so many signs advertising Wall Drug… SO MANY.

Phoebe thought Annie Oakley was a witch. Haha!

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Week in Review – Do the Things!

Happy Monday!

Linking up with Meghan from Clean Eats, Fast Feets for another Week in Review!

As usual most of my week is spent working during the day, but I did manage to fit in a lot of down-time and fun as well.  The weather was nice, which is always helpful and it turned out perfectly for our weekend, so it could not have been better!

Tuesday evening, Phoebe came home exhausted from preschool and crashed at 5:30pm.  I have a feeling she got a bit overheated, poor girl.

The highlight of the week is always the weekend and while I may not get to sleep in (ever), I don’t mind too much being woken up by cute kiddos or cats.

On Saturday Enzo, Phoebe and I went to the Landscape Arboretum.  There was a Groupon for a discounted yearly membership and we decided it would be a good investment.  There is so much to explore, and the kids love nature walks, but I’m also always looking for a good place that I can go on my own for some “me” time and I’m looking forward to solitary walks along the many paths and trails.

We also managed to get there just in time for some crafts, which the kids were excited about at first, but then not… haha.

Unfortunately, Phoebe smashed Enzo’s finger in a little door about halfway through our day and it got a bit skinned, but we had to take a bit of break while I tried to comfort, but also shush him because you would have thought I was murdering him from his screams.  Then of course came the dramatic cries of, “I’ll never be able to use my hand again,” “This is why I wish I didn’t have a sister,” and “It was NOT an accident.”  Still trying to explain to Enzo that everyone is not purposely trying to hurt him or ruin his life.

We gave the hedge maze a try until there were more screams due to spiders and hornets and it was at that time I suggested we get out of the heat, get some ice cream and go home.

Sunday was thankfully a bit less eventful. I even got some cleaning done, no thanks to Vega who thinks I can’t make a bed by myself.

We also gave Bowser a little bath while tidying up his cage.  He’s been really active, however, and harder to hold onto and I absolutely do not trust Vega not to try and eat him if he got loose.

So there you have it!  Happy Monday everyone!

Book Tag!

A few other Book Bloggers (Brona’s Books, Howling Frog Books) are doing a fun questionnaire, so I thought I’d join in as well since I haven’t done any book blogging in a while and what better way to get to know someone than through the books they read?

  1. What book has been on your shelf the longest? 

I have a lot of books from childhood including some old classic favorites like the Little House on the Prairie series and the Anne of Green Gables series as well.


  1. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next? 

Current Read:  The Fellowship of the Ring, In a Dark, Dark Wood

Last Read: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Clasp

Next Read: The Two Towers

  1. What book did everyone like, but you hated?

I thought the Twilight books were awful – same with the first 50 Shades of Grey.  The dialogue wasn’t good and the writing in general I didn’t think was very well done.

  1. What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

I actually can’t think of any… most books I keep telling myself I’ll read, I really do intend on getting to one day.

  1. What book are you saving for retirement?

I’m way too far away from retirement to put off reading a certain book until then.

  1. Last page: read it first, or wait ’til the end?

Absolutely wait until the end. I think I’ve only peeked at the last page once or twice and immediately regretted it because it took away from the whole journey of the story because I already knew what was going to happen.

  1. Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?

Usually a waste, but occasionally I’ll read or skim through them. It all depends on how much I enjoyed the book, the topic, or my mood.

  1. Which book character would you switch places with?

I was going to say Clare from Outlander, but on second thought I don’t think I could handle war and everything else even if I did get to snuggle up with Jamie as reward. 😉  Haha!  Perhaps I’ll go for a slightly easier life and trade places with Elizabeth Bennett… or Darcy, rather.

  1. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Place, time, person?) 

I think there are probably a good handful of these.  Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon will always take me back to my teenage years when I first read it in Junior High over the summer.


  1. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

I can’t say that I have ever procured a book in an interesting way… I’ve been gifted books, and bought most of them, but alas, I have no intriguing tales to regale you with.

  1. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

I have honestly not given away many personal books.  Usually the only time they leave me is if I have not really enjoyed them. Ha!  I have given some paperbacks to my mom that we both read and loved, though, and she wanted to read them again. If I am to give a book to someone from my own collection, however, it will be because it makes me think of that person and that I think they will gain something from the reading of it.

  1. Which book has been with you most places?

I can’t say that there is one in particular that has been with me most places over any other one… I’ve moved many times, and a good majority of my books have traveled with me each time much to the chagrin of everyone who has helped carry my boxes of books.  As much as I hate moving with them, I don’t see my collection ever growing to a manageable amount. Ha!

  1. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

I typically didn’t mind most of my high school reading assignments, though I did learn to appreciate ‘A River Runs through It’ more with age.  One book I read in college that I will most likely never read again was ‘Moby Dick.’ I hated it. There, I said it.

  1. Used or brand new? 

As long as it’s lightly used, I don’t mind.  I do also collect some antique books, so those are obviously used, but I have to “Feel” something when I pick them up for them to come home with me. Otherwise, I really do love a fresh, new book.

  1. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Yes.  Almost all of them.

  1. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

I actually enjoyed the Hunger Game movies more than the books.  At times I felt like the dialogue and some of the story was a bit cheesy and too juvenile when I was reading it.

  1. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included? 

It’s a given that looking at cookbooks will make me hungry.  Put one in front of me and I’ll likely start salivating in minutes. As for fictional books, though… none are coming to mind easily.


  1. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

I’m open to suggestions from just about anyone, though I find the advice is always better when it’s from someone who has similar taste as me. Not very surprising, I know.

  1. Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?

I have recently started reading more YA novels and there have been a handful that I’ve really enjoyed. One of my new favorite series is the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas and I’m also enjoying The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer as well, which is also a YA series. Who’d of thought?

Road Trip Part 6 – South Dakota Reptiles

Not gonna lie, getting hit with a major snowstorm when we arrived in South Dakota was not something I had planned for. I could have sworn I had checked various forecasts and they were all good.  Whoops.  Go figure that it was during my turn to drive that the roads got nasty.  On the plus side, I did see a coyote when it calmed down a bit and a few other critters. The weather did mean that we would need to find some indoor activities, though, because we didn’t bring any cold weather gear with us.

Thankfully, not too far from us was The Reptile Garden.  You really can’t go wrong with reptiles, right?  Plus it’s guaranteed that you won’t need a jacket inside and that always wins for me. I admit I was a little put off by the initial cost, but it ended up being worth it.  They had an enormous collection of critters, some of which I have never seen in person before.  There was also a really neat greenhouse that had some birds, snakes and lizards completely out of cages, which was unique from what we’ve been to before.

There were a few “shows” throughout the day, so we decided to check out the snake show. The kids got a little bored until the trainer (are they called trainers??) started pulling out actual snakes – many of which were venomous and therefore extra cool.  Enzo even got to ask a question after raising his hand (which was possibly even more exciting) and he asked what Rattlesnakes eat.  We got up close and personal with one too when the gal put the rattler on the ground with this 2-3 foot high clear barrier surrounding it.  The kids, especially Enzo, were stoked.

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