December 30, 2015

Notes from the Road …

 Best Christmas gift: a quickie roadtrip to the snow in Bryce & Zion.
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First day spanned three Costcos across four states.  Why three Costcos?  1. Cheap gas.  2. Cheap food.  3. Hunt for cheap winter outerwear (because, duh - our local Costco doesn't really sell such attire).

Two older teens dismissed the "need" to buy cheap coats ($20!! You'll see me stylishly sporting mine all thru these pictures).  Pro: two older teens don't flippantly spend our money.  Con: two older teens WERE cold both outdoor days.  Pro: two older teens NEVER complained. Not once. Nada. Zip.

Snow is so cool and fun and other-worldly and awesome to visit.  Snow is also Cold.  And near white-out conditions at night on mountain passes are not amusing.  Glad we don't live in the snow.

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Bryce is stunning.

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Let's talk restaurant and fast food inflation.  Ugh.  We mistakenly thought a sandwich shop in a gas station would be a relatively economical choice.  Nearly $50 (and that was only 4 sandwiches) and mediocre food later, I was all, like, bah.  And then breakfast at the Best Western - not the Ritz, the Best Western - cafe - again, totally mediocre food, and only three of us ordering a full meal - $65.  The rest of our travel meals were procured at the grocery store.  We will be rethinking how we do travel food in the future.

Unfortunately, on this trip, 40% of the Keller clan (who shall remain nameless) were SICK.  Sick enough to cough and blow noses all through the looooong sleepless nights.  True story: we drove home a day early because Big Dude couldn't handle even one more night of being kept awake with our sniffling and coughing and blowing of noses.  We won't enter into the discussion [here and now] of my twenty years of sleeplessness due to a certain individual's wall-rattling snoring...

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Snowballs will never not be fun for boys.

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Common scenario:  Me, exiting potty-stop specific restroom, to four dudes waiting.  Their expressions saying, "What took You so long?"  My response: "Well, *I* did wash my hands."  Their response: shrug, wry grin.

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Dog Dude likes snow.  But he quickly discovered that he cannot eat it, as he did in his youth, without vomiting.  He demonstrated his new knowledge, at our feet, right while a nice man was taking our family's picture in front of the canyon.  You're welcome.

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Zion is stunning.

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On our way home, leaving Zion, the skies opened up and pelted down hail, and then further down the road, pouring rain.  We stopped at a cute cafe that promised yummy cider and coffee and crepe goodies.  We braved the rain, running to the entrance, were seated, ordered, waited, and waited, and were told our drinks were being made, and waited, and then the electricity blacked out. We left. :-(  We eventually stopped at an In n Out another hour down the road.  No coffee or crepe goodies, but at least there was electricity and food.

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Worth repeating:  Snowballs are The Best.

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More pics to come.  I took a BUNCH.  Surprise, right?

December 26, 2015

Landscapes Thru the Window…

A quickie roadtrip just before Christmas – to chase down the snow at Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park.  We found snow and rain and hail.  ‘Twas fun.  Here’s the teaser version of our trip, all landscapes taken thru the window along the road…
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December 19, 2015

December Days

Some elements unexpected (caterpillars and chrysalids), some elements delightful (lots of citrus fruit, lots of drawing & puzzling & reading), some elements seemingly detestable (pre-calculus).
By the way, and totally off topic, for fellow blogger + windows live writer users … WLW has been essentially killed off for use with blogger.  Good news, though, is that it is now open sourced.  The new platform is called Open Live Writer and can be downloaded here.  I experienced a glitch trying to get everything to work and found the fix on this blog post.  Many thanks to the volunteers who are working on the new software and making it compatible with Blogger!!