Sunday, October 23, 2011


(August 23, 2011)

Did you know that your eyelids can sweat?

They can.

Parts of me sweat today that I didn't know could sweat.

Today was a good and bad day.

Lets start with the good...

This morning Random and I went for an awesome breakfast at The Ruby Slipper. It was the best breakfast we have had since we left Victoria (except for the truck stop we went to that was so dirty we thought we would catch a disease, but that's a story for another time...). Next up, The Zoo! We took the bus to The Zoo and back, it stops right out front of the Hotel and right out front of The Zoo. Perfect!

Random waiting for the bus to go to the Zoo.
Random practicing his 'friendly' look, on the bus.

They have so many cool exhibits...

This picture is for Mama Peggy.
We took a train ride through the Zoo so we wouldn't have to walk the whole thing.
Giant Leaf Frog.
Spanish Moss on Oak Trees in the center of the Zoo. It looks shady and cool. It's hot.
I don't know what this guy is, but he sure looks good!
White Rhino. They aren't really white.
This guy looks cool climbing down the glass.
Green Dart Poison Frog
I managed to catch this Jaguar yawn! I know how she feels...
This guy's face says it all. 'Someone, please turn down the thermostat!?'
I love Giraffes.
Silverbacks. We got to watch a feeding.

After The Zoo we took the bus back near our Hotel and walked down to The Aquarium.

Random had a SnowBall (similar to a SnowCone) while we were waiting for the bus. The blue teeth and tounge are lovely.
Lionfish. He is having a good hair day today.
Penguins. They are awesome to watch.

We had a good wander through there and then decided it was time to head back to the Hotel. We were sweaty and tired, and realized that we hadn't had lunch yet. It was 4pm! The Insectarium can wait till tomorrow. Once we got back, Random got to chill out, drink Gatorade, and play his 3DS while I drank Gartorade and went for a nap before dinner.

We had arranged to meet at the room at 6pm to go for dinner. Once Mom and Dad got back, I and woke up, we got ready to head out for dinner.

Before dinner came the bad part of the day. I got a message from a family friend back home while we were at the Zoo earlier today. A golf buddy / friend of Dad's passed away on the weekend of a massive heart attack. He was a super awesome guy and we are all shocked and saddened.

After a few minutes of collecting ourselves and recovering from the shock of this news we had to carry on for dinner.

We ended up at The Crecent City Brewhouse tonight. They serve a BLT that they can take the bacon out of and add a Portobello Mushroom and Avocado. It has crispy basil, mozzarella and lettuce and tomato of course. I wanted to eat 2 of them because they tasted so good. But I couldn't, not enough room in the tummy. And really, I don't need 2 dinners. Who does? Mom, Dad and Random all had big steaks and enjoyed every bite. Then it was time for dessert. I had Key Lime Pie, which I have never had before. Dad had Creme Brulee and Random had Chocolate Pecan Pie. We all tried a bite of each other's and they were all really, really good!

Once we were got back, it was time for showers all around, and pretty soon it will be bedtime.

Gators, Gators, Gators! And a yummy dinner.

(August 22, 2011)

This morning we were up bright and early for a swamp tour. We had to be there by 9:15 at the latest.

We climbed on the boat and headed out to find some Alligators.

The area we were in is all privatly owned by Cajun Pride Swamp Tours. The tour was about 2 hours and was awesome. We saw Alligators, Heron, Frogs, Egrets and a little lizard running around on our boat.

We also heard about what Katrina did to the swamp, some history of the area including the graveyards on the property and alot about the alligators.

We were being watched.

Cutie Patooties...

They will climb on top of each other for food from the boat.

Our lizard friend hanging out on my purse.

After our Swamp Tour we went shopping. Random needed school clothes and I wnated to pick up a few things. We found Clearview Mall, which had a Target. Random was pretty happy with his finds, all in black of course. Actually, I think he got one blue pair of pants! He is branching out!

We were driving down the road and did a 'lets pull in there' for lunch. We ended up at a restaurant in a hotel, we can't remember the name of either. We all had awesome meals.

At the end of our lunch we were chatting with our server. She stayed in New Orleans during Katrina and told us about her experiences, both good and bad. She had some amazing stories. She told us about how she had 22 members of her family living in her 2 bedroom condo for months. And it didn't matter. They were fine to share beds, baths, food, space, everything. Because they were all alive. That was all that mattered. It didn't matter that some had lost everything. They were alive. She was also telling us that she will never, ever set foot in the Superdome again. It doesn't matter what is going on there, she will not go. Fortunately she didn't end up in the Superdome, but she knows people who did, and what happened there. She feels there are too many souls left there. It was an amazing conversation. She was truely an amazing woman, we had our first clue when we asked her how she was when we sat down and she said she was 'blessed'.

We headed out after lunch to get the rest of our shopping done. Random still needed more school clothes and I was still looking for waterproof bike boots. We went to the Harley Store, again nothing. They just don't carry the stuff I need down there. They don't use waterproof pants or boots I guess.

After lunch we stopped in at Best Buy since the TomTom had stopped working and Dad bought a new one. I figured since I was there, I might as well have a look at a new camera, mine had started acting weird and making unpleasant noises. So I bought one! It's a Samsung, 14.5 Megapixel with a WiFi feature.

Next, we stopped at Lakeside Shopping Centre, they have a Macy's, Dillard's and JC Penny. We learned really quickly that we don't want to shop at Dillard's. It's way too expensive. Stupid expensive. So off we headed to Macy's. Mom and I found some great clothes. I ended up with 3 pair of jeans, one was on clearance for $6.99, and the other 2 for $19.99. (I have since been told that they sell the same brand at the Bay, and you sure can't get them for $20!) I also found a bunch of shirts. Mom made out pretty well too. I also noticed that there was an Apple Store in the mall. So in we went, my iPod was acting up too. this hasn't been a good trip for electonics... We were getting tired of listening to the same group of songs over and over in the, I got a new iPod. It was a good shopping day for everyone!

We headed back to the hotel to get our new clothes ready for the wash, and then off we went for dinner.

Dinner turned out to be weird. We went to Mother's, which is a well known restaurant just a few blocks from out hotel. I took one look at the menu and gave Mom 'that look'. The only thing I could eat was a salad. So guess what I ordered... While everyone was waiting the manager came over and let me know that the salad cooler had just broke and they coudln't serve anything in it, so I was out of luck. Everyone else's meals were in progress... I was just going to grab something on the way back to the hotel, but then Mom had a moment of brilliance! She said 'Why don't you go back to Emeril's?' I grabbed my purse and ran out the door! Emeril's was just a few blocks away and I had wanted an excuse to go back there.

My meal was awesome. Again. Here it is...

I want this for dinner EVERY night!

I enjoyed every bite. This time I couldn't have dessert, there was no way. So I took a piece of Banana Cream Pie back to the hotel to share with Random. There was no sharing... I didn't even get one bite!

Once we were all stuffed and back at the hotel we decided to get our new laundry into the wash. It was the most frustrating laundry experience! We threw our stuff in the wash and when we came back later, one of the washers had got 'stuck' at the beginning of the cycle! And, it was the heavy load of jeans! So one load made it into the dryer and I had to sit there and hold the door 'just right' to get the wash to finish. Then it was dryer time! We came back an hour later and everything was dry, except for that darned jeans load. They were not even close. We divided that load again and it got another round. By the time we finally got our laundry done, it was really, really late and we were exhausted!

The only thing left to do was go to bed. I think we were all asleep before our heads hit our pillows.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Rest-ish Day

(August 21, 2011)

At 8 o'clock this morning I gave Random the choice of getting up and spending the day at the Zoo, the Aquarium and the Insectarium, or sleeping in and having a quiet day.

He finally crawled out of bed at 10-ish. We haven't had a rest day yet, so today will be good for all of us.

We got some laundry done and managed to wander up the street for lunch. Random had a Muffaleta and half of Mom's Po-Boy, he is wasting away to a shadow... Then we came back to the Hotel and Mom, Dad and I had a meeting while Random got to play his new 3DS. This afternoon Random and I wet for a walk down to the RiverWalk.

While we were there we tried Beignets. There is no way I could have one for breakfast! Not with all that sugar!

They were goooood.

Tonight we had dinner at Leonardo Trattoria and then came back to the hotel for showers and bed.

We have to be up early to head out for a Swamp Tour bright and early in the morning.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Almost There!

(August 18, 2011)

Today was another hot, hot, hot, driving, driving, driving day.

We left Tulsa, Oklahoma at about 9:30am and drove to Shreveport, Louisiana. We made it to the hotel at about 5:30pm.

It was so hot today. So. Hot. It hit 39 degrees on the way here. The heat would be ok, but it is so humid! It felt like 72,026 degrees! We are all sweaty and sticky and tired from the heat.

On our way down the highway we stopped at a Game Stop as Random wanted to take care of some of his spending money. It turned out, so did Nana. Random came out to the truck with the new Nintendo 3DS. He had the biggest smile on his face and was quiet for the next hour or two in the truck.

Random loved the buffet for dinner tonight! We are staying at Sam's Town Hotel and Casino tonight and the buffet is huge!

Now that we are done dinner, it's time for showers and bed for Random and I, and Casino time for Mom and Dad. Tomorrow is our last travelling day and we are all looking forward to not spending more days in the truck! I think I have underwear lines permanently etched into my butt from spending so many hours driving.

Once we arrive in New Orleans tomorrow, we will be having a quiet night, getting laundry done and getting ready to see everything we have planned.

Today we drove 578 km and I have updated the map here.

We didn't take any pictures today.

To Infinity, and Beyond!

(August 16, 2011)

That's how far I drove today.


We made it from Jackson Hole, Wyoming to Goodland, Kansas. It's a 12 hour drive. That's just driving, not stopping for lunch, or the loo, or stretching. We made it in 16 hours including driving through a super-duper downpour and arrived at the hotel at 10pm.

One thing we wanted to do was go to Sam's No. 3 Restaraunt. Unfortunatly we didn't make it. Because of timing, rush hour, the storm, and a guy at a gas station that didn't know North from South. It would have added 2-3 more hours to our trip, and we all agreed that the day was long enough. We will have to come back to Denver for the BBQ-Ranch-Onion-Ring-Chicken-Fried-Chicken Salad, with Bacon, another time.

We have done some laundry, had showers and are heading off to bed. Here are some pics we took during the drive...

Here is Denver as we skirted the City after dinner.

Random catching some Zzzz. With his blanket on his head...

Oh, and it was a long day, with many pit stops. As well as three unauthorized stops, called by guess who...

In this heat you can't skimp on the water.

Tour Day!

(August 15, 2011)

5:30 am is early. Really early.

But we managed. We were up and out of the hotel by 6 and off we went to the Cafe we were told would be open. It wasn't. We were starting to panic a bit since we were being picked up at 7:30am and really needed to have breakfast first.

We asked a lady walking down the road and she told us about another place that was open. Breakfast was great, and we were back in time for the bus to pick us up. The hotel let us leave the truck there even though we had checked out already. They were awesome!

At 7:30am our bus arrived. We headed up to Mammoth, which is the town/resort within the park at the north end. We had time for coffee/tea to wake up a bit, then the tour started. Our guide was Tamarack, her knowledge of the park, the animals and the plants is amazing! She told us stories, and provided so much information that we were all blown away. Especially since she told us all this while driving, so she didn't look up the facts she gave us, she KNEW them! She made our tour.

Here are just a few highlights...

Random, being Random at Gibbon Falls.

Paint Pots bubbling away

Clepsydra Gyser

Black Sand Basin

Old Faithful

When Buffalo/Bison want to cross the road, they get the right of way.

Bigger than that grey car!

We were dropped back off at the hotel to pick up the truck at about 6pm. We then went down to a little place called Corall's to order dinner to take with us on the road. We all enjoyed our food, Dad even tried an Elk Burger.

Then we were off. We had a 4 1/2 hour drive to get to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We arrived just before 11pm. The drive was intense. Dark as dark can be, animals, traffic and tired-ness creeping in. Here's the map. We arrived to a big room, and pretty much all crawled into bed to be up bright and early for another busy day tomorrow.

Yellowstone Park

(August 14, 2011)

Tonight the odometer has 1823 km on it, so today we did 551 km.  About 200 km of that was getting us from Butte, which Random likes to call Butt, to Gardiner, Montana. Updated map here.

Once we checked in, we made reservations for a tour of Yellowstone Park tomorrow. We will be picked up at our hotel at 7:30am and they will drop us back off at 6:30 tomorrow night. It will mean an early morning, but it will be worth it!

The remaining 350-ish km were put on the truck in Yellowstone Park. We went for a drive and decided to do the figure 8 route, it took us about 6 hours, and was totally worth it! We saw lots of amazing things.

First we stopped at the Sulpher Springs to finish our ice cream. Maybe not a good combo, sulpher and ice cream... But the springs looked cool.

Sulpher Springs (don't mix with ice cream).

Random loved this sign. Something about molesting the animals...

This Mule Deer came so close to the truck that he could have turned his head and kissed Mom.

Nice helmets guys! There is no helmet law in Montana. Also Wyoming and Colorado.

Forest Fire damage, fairly recent.

These Pronghorn Deer were hanging out just before the North Enterance to the park.

The Roosevelt Arch.
Buffalo or Bison, depending which side of the Canada/US Border you are on. Seriously huge.

We also saw a Grizzley mama and her cub, Eagles, Hawks, Chipmunks and other assorted creatures. We weren't able to get decent pictures of everything...

Once we did the look in the park we went for dinner and then to the hotel for bed. It was a long day and our alarms were set for 5:30am. Our hotel was great, it would have been a nice place to stay for a few days. Here is the view from our deck...

Oh! Also today we had no unscheduled bathroom breaks! It's a benifit of having a short drive with a couple stops.