Las Vegas-Day 1

Las Vegas is an interesting place. Seems a lot of people need to getaway and forget who they are everyday. The filters fall off and the weird and wild side they’ve pushed deep down emerges with a flash.

We ate dinner at Gordon Ramsey’s Heels Kitchen. Great food, severely over priced, but worth it for the experience. Our waiter was amazing. Our table was up next to the window over looking the strip.

We shared a tomahawk steak and had a fancy dessert with a table side show.

Today will be spent at the pool reading and relaxing.

Road Trips: The Highs and NO’S!! part 1

This years trip has been full of some great things and some not so great things.

We started out with a little hiccup. We made a pitstop that was in the opposite direction from where we really planned on travelling and turned it into a longer stop than we should have. We had to travel back close to home so we actually went home and started again the next day. Why pay for a place to sleep when we were so close to out own beds. Needless to say the kids were shocked to see us return.  So this was somewhere between a high and NO. It was fun to see the kids faces but I dont think it was one of our best thought out plans.

Ok, hiccup out of the way, we started our trip again on 7/9.

Travelling south down through California on I-5 we made it down to Santa Monica Pier. We parked a couple blocks away in a parking structure and to our surprise it was free to park for 4 hours since it was a week day. Free Parking….High! Keep this in mind when you go because we watched tourists sitting in their cars in the heat to park at the pier and pay too! It was bumper to bumper just to avoid a few blocks. That is a huge NO!

We jumped into our truck after a short walk around. I guess when you live so close to Pier 39 in San Francisco this is not that impressive. I am glad we went since it is the end of Route 66. The meant the beginning of our adventure this year.

Continuing south our next stop was….. yes Disneyland! My all time High of every road trip. Remember this is a no kids road trip so getting to leisurely wander around Mickey’s home is completely different. We have annual passes and that changes the atmosphere too. No rushing, no stress, no worrying about getting on every ride.

This Disneyland High was riding Pirates of the Caribbean. They just updated it changing the brides auction to make it more politically correct. The Redhead is now a pirate instead of being auctioned off. The  “rounder” lady is holding a chicken on the platform now and they are selling the chicken eggs. This part was a new NO in my opinion. The redhead is still the beautiful, strong woman but really, selling chicken eggs to the pirates. NO! They made up for it by changing the tunnel to the cannon fire entrance back to the way the ride used to be. Dead Men Tell No Tales. It made me smile. High!

The Next day we went into the part for just a bit and then started off to find Route 66. This is not an easy task since a lot of Route 66 has been destroyed and lost over the years. Finally getting on the historic route we traveled east towards Arizona.

To be continued

 

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! 💤

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.

My Favorite Roadtrip DISNEYLAND

A couple times throughout each year, I make the 7 hour drive from home to Disneyland. Generally it’s to an inexpensive hotel within walking distance to the parks. So that means a little dicey for the girls and they are overpriced for a Motel and gross crowded continental breakfast. Not this trip. 


This trip is to the Disney resort hotel Grand Californian. My husband made the trip over the top extravagant by upgrading our room to the Club Level. This means personalized consierge services, food, drinks and snacks all day (6:30 am to 10:00pm) Beer and wine starting in the afternoon, milk, cookies and desserts at night, DVDs available to borrow (players in each room) and so much more. Yes it’s about $150 more per night on top of the already high priced rooms but if you’re going to do it, go big! 


As an added bonus, resort guests are given 1 hour early park entry each day of their stay. You’ll be amazed at how much you can do in the first 3 hours. You’ll be ready to go back, get some snacks and relax while the crowds grow. 
I’m off to California Adventure this morning. Cars land is calling my name. 

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. 

Do the things you have to do so you can do the things you want to do

Do the things you have to do so you can do the things you want to do. 

I think I heard this for the first time on a tv show when a father was teaching his son a lesson about school. I have repeated this line repeatedly to my boys.  

Last night hubby and I watched Disneys movie, “Up”. The story is important to my blog so stick with me please. If you haven’t seen “UP”, this post is a big huge spoiler. Stop now if you don’t want me to ruin it for you. 

“up” it a love story about a regular couple. No princess, no animals and no catchy songs. Carl and Ellie meet as kids, get married, lose a baby, never have another child, and are happy with the life they share. 

As their love grows they start a fund to live in Paradise Falls someday.  Everyday life keeps draining the money jar.A broken window, a flat tire, and a broken leg were just some of the unexpected events which delayed their trip. Just not enough money. 


Like most Disney movies, a big sad moment and lesson comes when as an older couple Ellie passes away with Carl at her side. Through his mourning and bitterness he remembers the Paradise Falls jar and decides to make their dream of going on the trip a reality. Nothing will stop him. Finally he decided above all else he would complete this trip for the love of his life.

How he does or doesn’t do it isn’t really important. It’s the point that after his wife, his anchor, the one he would put his life down for is gone. They didn’t find the time and now it’s too late to do it together.

As I write today I’m reading about an unexcusable, senseless shooting in Las Vegas. At this time it’s being reported that over 400 have been injured and 50 killed. The numbers keep going up. A shooter cowardly sat in his safe hotel room and took aim on 22,000 people happily watching a country concert. 

I’m sure they were singing, dancing and having a spectacular time. None of the victims could have thought this may be my last moment on earth. 

Let me be clear. In my opinion everyone of  those attending, the working, the first responders and all of their friends and families are victims. They will live with this memory the rest of their life. They should have the fun times of the concert to remember not this horrible event which may not have been able to prevent. Does that really matter right now. It happened and the after effects are horrendous. 

My heart is hurting thinking about the unfulfilled dreams those killed never were able to make happen. Maybe the car broke down so their money had to go to fix it instead of taking the trip cross country/world with their family. Maybe they had a wife or girlfriend at home waiting to have a baby. What about the bachelor and bachlorette parties Vegas is know for. How will the future spouse cope? 

I know life is about the have to. Without it you can’t do the big things you want to do. That’s the responsible thing to do. Maybe you work  a little harder to get a little bit more. Not easy for most I know. Scrimp, save so you can’t fulfill that dream. Life is short is a common saying . How often do you think about your dream then tell yourself it’s impossible? What about the person(s) you were going to fulfill the dream with like Ellie and Carl? Maybe fulfilling dreams is a “have to” as well. 

I am so fortunate. I try to remember to tell my husband daily how much I appreciate his hard word, how much he loves me and our boys. He just got done working 18 days straight to pay for this Disneyland trip. We are driving down I-5 as I type. This trip is important. Memories for all of us are important. We, as a family did what we had to do so we can now do what we want to do. Sometimes it’s leaving the dishes undone to go for a bike ride. Movie and game night is important in our house. 

I want to fulfill my families dreams before the end of my life. Yes we are all going to die. It’s a fact of life. To quote a song by the great Greorge Strait “Life’s not the breaths you take, But the moments that take your breath away”. I want thousands of breath taking moments with my family. It’s up to me to find the things me. Do the things I have to do to have the time. 
This has been hard to type through my tears. It may have a lot of spelling and grammatical errors. I don’t care. I hope just one person reads this and makes some time. Find a way to fulfill your dreams. Big ones, small ones, ones that cost a lot, and especially those that are free that you can do everyday. 

Yes, life is short and full of the unexpected. Live it now. Find that thing that will take your breath away today. 

Make your own adventure, don’t just lfollow mine. XOXO