Quick update

Day 4 and we have seen lots and the weather has been crazy.

We stayed outside of Henderson Nevada last night at a small KOA campground. I love camping and my little tent is quick to set up.

Last night was terrible though. Almost 100 degrees at 1am. I don’t think I have ever tried to sleep outside in that kind of heat.

I jumped up early and started packing. I was anxious to get on Route 66 and go to Oatman Arizona. A tiny town where the donkeys wander the streets. I will write about Oatman in another post soon. This one is more about trying to sleep and the weather we have seen.

When leaving Oatman it poured rain. Huge drops. Lighting, wind, you name it. By the time we got back on I40 we were good and the temperature started to rise again.

So our next destination was Williams, Arizona. I made a special reservation at a much larger KOA. More to come on this place too.

Here is where we are staying tonight! And the weather is more like home. 60’s.

I am ready to get some sleep. It’s a little chilly but guess what? Our tee pee has a space heater and a fridge!

Good night! šŸ’¤

4th Annual Shotgun Rider Road Trip

Well the planning is as far as it’s going to get. Less than 48 hours and we will be on the road.

I am sure I am forgetting something but I’m not worrying about it. I keep thinking about the line from the movie Coal Miners Daughter when Patsy Cline tells Loretta Lynn to not worry about not having the things she needs.

Patsy Cline: [to Loretta] “I’ll call you on Monday and we’ll go shopping. Anything we can’t buy, we’ll make. Anything we can’t make, we’ll steal!”

With that philosophy I suppose we are ready to go.

No real plans for the first 3 days. I want to hit as much of Route 66 as possible because it’s Route 66. Who wouldn’t want to travel on Route 66 given the chance.

We have reservations for Wednesday night outside of Sedona Az. That location has a little twist I will share with you when we arrive. Then 2 nights at Grand Canyon and 2 nights near Bryce Canyon. We are hoping to hit Devils Tower in Wyoming if our trip takes us in that direction.

For now I will finish the little bit of prep needed at home and just start my slow down and relax mindset.

Ahhhhhh, it’s almost time to kick my shoes off and travel shotgun style again.

Prep work for a Disneyland Halloween time road trip

Getting ready for an October Disneyland road trip that includes Mickey’s trick-or-treat party. That means we need costumes. 

Disneyland has some specific limis on the costumes adults wear.  No masks and capes must not be longer than their waist. As you may know, Disney properties have really upped their everyday security measures. Your bags and strollers are checked pretty thoroughly at a security checkpoint. If capable, you must go through a metal detector. As well as you may be check with a detector wand.

They have a no weapons with your costume policy. Nothing spiky that could actually  poke another guest. They request that you don’t take pictures with other guests in costumes. If you go Disney trick or treaing, you’ll see costumes that look exactly like Disney’s professional costumes. You would suspect that the guest is the actual princess or character from the park. I’m not quite sure of the reasoning for no pictures. FYI, Any other day adults or kids 14 & over cannot wear a costume in the park.

I do like to dressup in a way called Disney Bounding. It’s when you wear regular clothes but the coloring and the set up of the clothes resembles a Disney character. For instance,  I wore a long, green skirt with a purple top and my hair happens red. The little mermaid, ARIEL. 

This time I wore a yellow dress with a little blue sweater over the top and I have a red bow in my hair. 


Me in Sniw Whites grotto

I’ve heard people say they were sent away at the security checkpoint for bounding. I think it would be hard to prove that you specifically were trying to trick guests into believing that you were the character with bounding. Honestly when you go look around. You will see people with Mickey and Minnie ears and gloves on, as well as Goofy hats, Donald hats and so much more. They are encouraging you to celebrate the characters with clothing. I have not never been questioned for my attire. 

Going back to prep for our Disney trip. I’ll admit it I totally overpack for myself. I never know what mood I’ll be in just like other trips but Disney is pretty bad when it comes to packing. My boys pack very minimally. I guess that’s one of the differences between boys and girls. 

Obviously one of the essentials is having your tickets. You can buy them there and sometimes at your hotel but I suggest you get your tickets early. The lines at the Disneyland ticket booths can be very long. Plus you have to go through the security checkpoint first which in itself can be a long line. Maybe it’s just an introduction to the right lines you’re gonna have to wait in later. 

We are annual pass holders to Disneyland and take several trips a year. In most cases I t’s not worth the price if the annual pass if you don’t go at least twice. The additional discounts in the park and downtown disney relieve so of that monthly fee. 

There are a ton of hotels near the entrance gates and more are being built. Google maps is your easiest way to seethe location of each hotel. I’ve stayed close for a short walk. I’ve stayed a bit farther for a long walk. I’ve stayed at enough away to drive. My favorite but most expensive hotel is Disney Resort hotels. Specifically the grand Californian. The newest and the most expensive. It’s a treat when we stay on the resort property in more ways than just being close. That’s all for another blog though. 

Clothes, tickets, hotel and money. All of the essentials right? Best advice of all for a trip? Enjoy the Disney magic. Relax, don’t stress and look around. It’s not all about running to the next ride. Just being in the park can be a thrill if you let it. Let yourself soak it all in. 

Day 2, I’m a survivorĀ 

Ok, let me start with Kristine Dugger is a machine. She is kicking my booty. Her energy is definitely motivating me. I can only hope to get my rear moving and start a real workout program at the gym. Maybe next week. Monday sounds like a great goal. Someone make a point of reminding me. Even better lots of you push because the competitor in me needs it. 

Planning on getting my before pictures and stats ready tonight. I may or may not show them until the end. In my head I’ve made this a 30 challenge but hope to make it a lifetime change. 

My friends Michele and Valentina have also jumped on board. I expect to see and hear from you two regularly, ya hear? Just keep moving šŸ˜

Who wants to throw down a small and obtainable goal for us? Go hiking, run your personal best, then try to beat it. Anyone want to send us some motivation? New gear to try? Healthy snacks and shakes? I have an address if you want us to give your products a try, I’ve said it before, this blog is for me but heck free stuff for me and my friends = free advertising for you makes for a win:win in my books. Just throwing the idea out there. If you don’t ask the answer is definitely no. 

Stay tuned for our continuing adventure towards weight loss and getting fit! 

Get FITBIT CHALLANGE SHOTGUNRIDER VS KRISTINE-AUTHOR

I’m a shotgun rider. I sit in the passenger seat while my husband drives. However I’m finding that my weight is slowly inching its way up and I worked very hard to lose over 100 pounds in the past five years. I did have weight-loss surgery which made a huge difference in my life but it’s so easy for the weight to come back on slowly inch by inch pound by pound.  This last trip I didn’t want to take any real hikes. I was very lazy. 

I first noticed those pounds coming back on in my thighs. Jeans just tend to fit a little bit tighter. I’m not gonna lie it’s what I’ve put in my mouth. I haven’t always made best choices  And I’m not as active as I used to be but all of that is about to change. 

Some of you may know my obsession with romance books and the authors. I devour books 3 to 6 per week. Thanks to Facebook I’ve gotten to be friends per se with some indie authors and it’s really a close community. It’s also expanded an online friendship with many fellow book lovers. 

Would you believe that I ran across an Indy author who loves softball and she has actually written a romance book that includes softball. 


It’s on my to be read list I actually have a signed copy and softball ball from her. I won it during an online auction for a fellow authors charity. The only reason I haven’t gotten to it yet is because I generally read off my iPad and only read paperbacks when I’m sitting at the pool. 


So back to the weight-loss story so much can do more on my road trips. I was on Facebook a few days ago and this author Facebook page Kristine Dugger mentions wanting to get back into shape. I messaged her with an online challenge request. Being a competitor it’s really hard to do this by myself. 

She responded and believe it or not is writing a blog about her progress too! Now we can blog compete too! Challenge each other in some unique ways with some help from our fans. Even better get our friends ad fans on board to compete and give us challenge ideas! 


We both have a Fitbit so we’ve decided to do the simple challenges even though neither of us really know what we are doing. She started today, I started around 2:00 today. Ok so my excuses are starting already. Pretty sure Kristine is gonna kick my ass today. I’m ok with that. 


You’ve got my blog page, keep following and referring to other friends please. I’m begging for followers. I’m not too proud to beg.

Check out and follow my Challengers blog.  Kristines Blog DAY 1

She’s so brave and posted pictures. I’m jealous. I plan to get some good measurements and ….. so scarey, pictures so we can hopefully see the progress. 
I keep telling myself…it’s a marathon, not a sprint! Wish us luck and let me know if you want to join our Fitbit group.  

Come join me on my new adventure!!!

Day 1 starting weight eeeek.  140lbs,  I was at 125lbs at my lowest 5 years ago. There I womanned up and spilled the beans. Goal is to lose at least 15 would like to hit 115 lbs. 

Like how I hid it all the way at the bottom just for those for those who don’t read the entire article. I surprised ya, huh? 

Halloween at Disneyland

18 days and counting until our annual October trip to the Happiest Place on Earth. AKA Disneyland.  I’ve started packing already. I have to conjure up some Halloween costumes too. Thinking we could all go as the Guardians of the Galaxy. Hmmm……maybe.

Disneyland during the Halloween celebration is magical. I think maybe even more so than during Christmas. Pumpkins everywhere. To make our experience even better we pay the extra fees to attend Mickeys Trick or Treat Party. The special event tickets always sell out. We buy ours in August, shortly after they become available for purchase. 


This special event ticket gives you the right to stay in the park after it closes for everyone without a ticket. They put a wristband on you when you check in and hand you a small bag for truck or treating. It is really tiny so if you attend be sure to bring a backpack. 

Trick or Treat paths are set up throughout the park and they never run out of treats. If you like a certain treat, just keep going back through that path. They don’t care. Occasionally the Treat is sliced apples or bag of carrots. Be sure you separate them from you other candy and snacks as soon as possible. Those fresh items make for a great pick me up snack while walking the park too. 

Another advantage is a special parade, fireworks and …… the villains are out and about for pictures and autographs. We buy a Disney Halloween shirt for the characters to sign with a laundry pen. The lines for the rides are short and sometimes nonexistent. We walked right on to Pirates of the Caribbean and Nightmare Before X-Mas themed Haunted Mansion. One time my youngest son and I ride the Storybook boat ride all by ourselves. That was a very special night. 

This year not only will Disneyland be decorated for Halloween but California Adventure will join into the Halloween spirit. Mater is dressed as a vampire. I’m so excited to see everything. I think that’s one of the great parts of Disney Magic. Finding new things each time you visit. I have an annual pass so I go several times a year always finding something new to me. 

I won’t give away all of the special sites and magic because it really is something you must to see to believe. 

Disney magic is real if you open up and let it in. 

I will report back with updates soon. 

Sharing feedback and comment cards

I spent a few hours after we returned answering emails and completing feedback requests frim hotels, camping sites, restaurants and sightseeing locations from our trip. When you’re staying away from home for 17 days that’s a lot of places to rate. 

Most places were rated as excellent. Some were just ok. A few were completely bad. There is no way I could recommend them. I will go into more details about the individual locations another time. 


Like I said most stays were excellent. I try to complete all of my opinions and experiences. Not just the negative ones. Plus within a negative experience there may have been a bright side. An employee who did everything right but wasn’t able to correct the problem. That employee deserves the recognition for their positive effort. 

I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to an overnight stay. A hotel needs to be clean with clean bedding and have a working toilet, shower and mainly bathtub. I enjoy soaking in a tub after sitting in the truck for so long and especially after hiking around hills or downtown for hours. One day we walked over 15 miles. Yep, I was looking forward to a bubble bath that night. Unfortunately that was the night in Victoria at the lighthouse, no shower or tub available until the following day. 
If I’m camping out then I want flushable,  non-smelly toilets, a clean shower and hopefully quiet time. It’s camping after all so you can’t expect too much. I do my best to not camp near killer beasts like bears. The less bugs the better but that ines hard to control. The location dictates the bug problem. I never needs my Shoo-Fly device so I have no idea if it works or not. I’ll have to try it on our next trip. 

I filled out a few from restaurants after completing our meal as well. 


In my other part time job, these surveys are highly coveted by the corporate offices. Proudly I will say I have a very large number of highly satisfied customers who have completed the feedback email. My employer does offer a discount on the customers next purchase if they complete the survey, but still they are completing it with a positive experience and those positives ones are hard to get. Most customers only write about the negative parts. 

So I ask you:

  • Do you fill out feedback forms? 
  • Do you only fill them out if you get a freebie or discount by providing your experience?
  • Do you only fill them out for negative experiences? 
  • How important do you think these feedback requests are and do you think they make a difference? 

Ironically while writing this blog I just received another hotel Etsy feedback request. Off to complete that one while it’s fresh in my mind. Incidentally it was a positive experience. 

I’ll let you know if I get any responses from my recent road trip.