Thankful Family Comes in Multiple Forms

My neighbor.. I mean Sasquatch
Farmer’s market crashers

Today, I decided to take the morning for myself. I turned the alarm off, hung out in bed, and enjoyed knowing I am loved. This will be the second holiday season away from home and my family. Thanksgiving at my sister’s house is one of my most favorite days of the year. Last year I was a mess not being with them. Luckily they sent me horn rolls to feel like I was apart of it. This year, I think it was a little easier. Still missed them like crazy, but my sisters sent me some great photos of the day so I again felt like I was apart of the celebration. This year was also easier because I felt like I was with family on Thanksgiving.

I’ve come to learn that even though I have a large, amazing family that “family” is a general word for people who love and claim me as part of themselves. I’ve been working three jobs to catch up from my unemployed time in WA. It leaves very little down time with people or silent reflecting time. However, this morning the world sang to me. Thanksgiving was exactly what I needed. A day of relaxing, great food, and amazing people that are my family. I had invites from other great people in my life who wanted me to feel “at home” this holiday season so I was beyond blessed to feel so connected. This Christmas, I’ve already been invited to join in a new family tradition of some fellow Midwest transplants/friends who are going to teach me how to eat a casino buffet. Not gonna lie… Pretty excited as casinos in general a taboo to me. I also love being an aunt and miss the joys of raising my nieces and nephews. I mean, I’m the “cool aunt” and they are missing out! Luckily I have a few sets of family here who have let me play the role of aunt to their children. Seeing their little faces smile when I walk in melts my heart.

This morning I woke up to a text from my mother who loved her birthday presents and I love the fact I could give her sea shells from my back yard; a Facebook post from my first WA friend who moved away and reminds me daily that we can still be close even if not geographically; and a phone call from my sister-in-law catching up to learn about my life. It’s like the universe knew I was having a reflective morning and filled it with all the things I needed. It’s sometimes hard being away from the traditional family functions and old friend gathers, but when able to take a step back and reflect on how new traditions make room for more family, it’s a great feeling. My heart is full! I’ve had ups and down, and will continue to, but at least I’ve got some family here to help me get through. Bring it 2017!!!

Life’s a rollercoaster – admission paid in Karma 

karma’s backyard!

I’ve been thinking about writing a post for quite awhile now. I couldn’t find the right words to express the ups and downs I went through to get to this point in my journey. There were days where I told my sister “just tell me to come home and I will,” but she’s too good of a person to let me sabotage myself. At that time I hadn’t been home to visit yet and took a job that was horrible. Had to quit for my sanity (and because he was an awful human)! After I got through that mess and kept finding side jobs to pay bills I finally got to visit Nebraska.

I had so many mixed emotions about going home. Was I going to feel completely homesick and move back to The Good Life or find out that I really did love Washington, even though I couldn’t find decent work or made any solid friendships like I had waiting for me back home…? There was only one way to find out and that was to go back home. Turns out that it wasn’t people or a career path that helped me realize where I should be, but the nature of Washington itself that reminded me why I was always drawn to the PNW, even before experiencing it first hand. Nebraska will always be my home (don’t worry Pops, I know where home is!), but Washington is where my soul lives. When I landed in Nebraska I couldn’t wait to get off the plane because I had a friend I needed to hug…then they opened the door and the humidity hit me and I wanted it closed again! HA

I realized in Nebraska I was always running to the next air conditioned building and never getting to enjoy the environment; unless of course I was at the pool or floating down a river. And it would be the same in the winter too, but with heat. Nebraska has a great fall season and I miss the changing of leaves, but the rest of the seasons left me needing more. I came to realize that Washington offers not only more variety of nature, but the weather to enjoy the outdoors. Being able to see mountains in one direction and large amounts of water in another is amazing. I still am amazed at the views around me.

I was ready to head back and be in my little town filled with water and views of mountains, but it’s hard living in a place where no one knows “the real you.” I’ve had 30 years of life and Washington has only known me for a handful of months. I started to realize that I was chasing after people trying to gather anyone who would be my friend, as if I was back in grade school, and trying to prove I was an amazing friend and person. It’s funny how it’s harder to make friends as an adult than it is as a child. Being home and visiting all my friends and family gave me my spark back! I remembered that I didn’t need to prove myself to anyone or work to make someone else’s life happy. I’ve had some great friendships in my life: some have been long term, some I’ve had to let go, and other’s had to grow apart before being united and whole again. Everyone has their own journey and I’m not here to pave other people’s paths. I lead mine and welcome fellow travelers.  

Through days and nights of feeling like I was losing my mind with the lack of career options and sketchy friendships, I stuck it out and finally have started to find my true life path. It’s like it was always within my reach, but I wasn’t able to walk it until I had found myself again. I’ve work so hard in my life to figure out how to take care of myself, what I need to be happy and fulfilled, and that I cannot put other people’s happiness before my own. I had some amazing support backing me when I took off on this journey, but I also had some friendships fail when I was needing them the most. Moving across the country, away from everything I ever knew, was the hardest thing I have ever done. Starting my journey with failed friendships left me desperate to find new ones. However, my trip to Nebraska made me realize that I will always have amazing friends and family backing me, even if a few people cannot. When I came back to Washington, I was able to start down my new life path.

I now have some of the most amazing friends anyone could ever have! People who want to know the real me; where I’ve been, what I’ve done, who I call family, and no judgement on how silly or crazy I can get sometimes. They truly accept all of me and I all of them. It’s hard to say goodbye, but it’s so much sweeter to say hello! Once I had a solid foundation of support, everything else came together. The career I was interested in was able to accommodate to what I needed and now I work from home helping people quit tobacco. I have to be in a career where I know I’m helping people gain control of their lives again because it brings satisfaction knowing I helped just one person feel better about themselves today, without having to sacrifice my own happiness.

After the career started, I was able to find my own place to call “home.” This is where my year of struggling and wanting to give up paid off because I didn’t give up. I pushed through all the pain, anger, guilt, resentment, and any other horrible feeling to finally reach the upward incline of life’s rollercoaster. I believe fully in karma; in that we get out what we put in. It may have taken me almost a year to finally get settles into great friendships, steady-honest paycheck, and my own living space, but I got here! I found this amazing studio overlocking a bay full of water, surrounded by trees and great neighbors. My property-owner is amazing! They revamped the deck to where there will never be concern of nails or splinters, they helped furnish my place because I was having to pay to fix my car, and allowed me in early for free because they were still working on getting things ready for me. I get to wake up to this little chunk of serenity every day. I have friends who want to come help me celebrate my accomplishments and I connect with my community through working at the farmer’s market. Karma came through big time! There’s no doubt in my mind that I am exactly where I need to be at this moment. I will always miss my friends and family, but even those who (not so secretly) wished I would hate it and move back, are happy for me.  

And to all those who have and continue to support me on this crazy life rollercoaster, good karma is coming to you as well! Hold on and breath deep-there’s always an incline after a descent.

 

Namaste

First Half of 2016

acting as a tourist
So I have officially made it over six months living away from “The Good Life”.  I would be lying if I said it was easy.  There were days when I almost drove to the airport and ran home or just got in my car and had the feeling to keep driving until reaching corn fields and flat land.  That is until I started to feel like Kingston was home.  I have finally made some real connections!

I was thinking of my time here all wrong.  Worrying about not finding a job/career, feeling like I was failing because I wasn’t using my newly obtained master’s degree, and overall feeling like I was not making my mark in Washington.  So I took a job that seemed like it might be rewarding and help fill my time while looking for “real” work.  Ultimately I had to decide no job was better than working for someone who did not respect other people unless it benefited them.  While going through all of my own mental struggles, my sister was in Nebraska trying to maintain her sanity as her husband was going through health problems.  This was probably the hardest part of not living within driving distance of family…I was only able to be with my sister through a phone and couldn’t sit with her in the hospital.

Finally, I started to find my place and be comfortable with the situation I am in, place I am living, and the life I am leading.  I accepted that Kitsap County is home.  I started attending a weekly meditation group and even found myself going to a “Kirtan and Dharma Sound” group which was an amazing experience.  Nothing like bringing a group of like-minded people to sing/chant and let the gong, drums, and guitar resonate through you.  The leader also had this fun little pump organ called a harmonium. She was right in the fact that the words and rhythm stay with you for days after the group get together.

Another very important part of why I feel like Washington is closer and closer to feeling like home is because I’ve made some really great friends.  I was feeling disconnected to the town, but then right when I needed it the most a truly awesome person came into my life.  (Doesn’t hurt she’s a wine rep either, HA.)  When we hang out she pours me a glass out of a $50 bottle of wine because she has to use up the rest of it before it goes bad….I truly am spoiled to be able to learning so much more about the grapes and process of making wine without having to pay for that experience.

Sunday nights have become routine and glorious.  A group of us locals get together and play trivia at Downpour Brewing, a tasting room in Kingston.  The bartender makes up the questions and we all take turns “hosting” trivia by reading the questions and tallying the scores.  Collectively my team members and I have racked up over 20 free drinks.  There will be a big day of celebration happening!  One day I counted them all as I am “the bank” for drink tickets.  The owner joked and said “those expire after three days”. I promised him we wouldn’t use them all in one day.

Another obvious (if you have seen my pictures or visited) reason why I am loving Washington is that the weather, natural scenery, and daily views are amazing!  Every day I look up and see a mountain range peaking through or I’m walking along The Puget Sound filled with boats and ferries.  It truly is easy to become more connected with your surrounding when the weather is always perfect.  No more humidity keeping you sitting close to your air conditioner or 110 degree weather keeping you from enjoying a patio.  There are so many more wonderful things to see in WA and the PNW and I cannot wait to share them with everyone.  Next week I get to visit home for the first time since moving.  There are so many people I want to see that I feel like a week isn’t long enough, but any longer and I’d start missing WA too.  It’s a new feeling that I’ve never had before…having two homes.  It’s a great feeling to feel loved enough to have people in many walks of life wishing you to “come home.”  Be sure to check out the pictures as they come through as I plan on continuing my exploring adventures!

 

Spring Time!

  

  
Spring is in the air which means LESS RAIN! This has been the rainiest winter in Washington history and I’m not mad about it because no snow ever accumulated on my car! While friends and family back in Nebraska have been having large snow falls and tornado watches during the same day.   With Spring comes more outdoor events and adventures. Climbing Multnomah Falls was just the beginning of all the great adventures ahead. Easter weekend was a great weekend of personal firsts!

Friday I finished up two weeks of babysitting friends’ daughter and went back home to Kingston to participate in an adult Easter egg hunt! I assumed it was going to be mini bottles of alcohol hidden in trees and bushes but instead it was a baseball field filled with plastic eggs; hidden much like you would find at a toddler egg hunt.  They had a start line taped off and about 50 adults eager to grab all the eggs they can. So my strategy…. Hold my pants up and run far out into left field passed the mass of people. Don’t be fooled by the first egg you see! Run to the plethora that people haven’t touched yet. My strategy paid off! 

I heard one lady going around asking her friends how many eggs they got. Most would say 6 or 7, then she exclaimed in disappointment “I only got one”! At this point I’m still looking at the ground and found one more egg hidden in a patch of tall grass. I looked in my bag and I had at least a dozen eggs! The organizers taped all the eggs shut so my excitement is even higher when I don’t hear candy rattling because then that mean I won a prize of some kind. My competitive side must have come out because I easily got over $100 in prizes. I won sandwiches at restaurants, $25 in produce at a local farm, pint glass with candy and (losing) scratch ticket, and a “cut and foil” from local hair stylist. I definitely never lost the child in me! My Pops used to set up scavenger hunts for us kids and we would be running all around the “country  neighborhood” looking for our prizes. Sunday someone reminded me that as a kid we’d go to my grandparents’ house and hunt real eggs decorated for Easter with cousins and nieces. However, the part I remember the most was the dog finding the eggs and eating the egg, leaving only the colorful shell as evidence. After the excitement of scoring at the egg hunt a friend and I went to Bremerton to watch her boyfriend and his band. To me they were a mix of David Bowie meets The Black Keys and it was great! However, it was the first time I felt old! Lol. In college I would spend a lot of time listening to local bands and supporting friends, but now I’m 30 and the majority of people in the bar are an average of 24. But I don’t let that stop me from having a good time. Much like the egg hunt, I fight my way to the front. I’m always up close to the stage to be sure I can see what’s going on. I spent my night bopping to the music, otherwise known as dancing. 🙂

I spent the night at my friends’ house in Silverdale because I was starting to house and dog sit that next morning. I remember having a conversation with her at 3am, but definitely passed out on her and didn’t finish our conversation. They had to leave at 4am to get to their flight. I gave her a long hug because this is the start of having to say “goodbye” as they are being relocated with the Navy to SC.  It’s hard to be an adult sometimes. It takes time finding people you really connect with and each person has to keep on living their own lives; often times this leave you not within driving distance of each other. Luckily we live in the age of technology where we can video call each other instead of relying on only postage mail and phone calls. The weekend was only starting so I was able to keep busy and not think about how my friends are house hunting in a new state across the continent. 

Kingston neighbors and friends came out to caucus for the 2016 Presidential election. We had a great turn out!! Wasn’t even seats left in the gym and had more volunteers than spots for delegates and backup delegates! After the caucus friends and I went to have lunch at Borrowed Kitchen and were able to sit outside and eat lunch. It was so sunny and amazing outside! One friend even got a little too much sun ;). It was also a friend’s birthday that day so it was just the beginning of many first for me. Later that evening we went to the local casino for drinks and watch birthday girl find some luck at the slots. Unfortunately, casinos don’t really pay out that much, but I did walk away with $2 profit off my $3 I played at a slot machine.  So I took my $5 and cashed out! My friend and her partner were able to walk away with a $14 profit so overall a good night! One friend did put some money down on the craps table so we could all experience that game. I won some and then magically lost it all again. Ha! However, fun didn’t stop there!

We went back to friends’ house who made homemade spaghetti with vodka sauce. She even made the Caesar dressing which was delicious. She had extra anchovies so I, saying I am not going to pass up adventures, ate a whole piece with shiny skin and all. It was actually not horrible, just salty. Reminded me of how stinky the house would be in high school when I came home and could tell when my Pops had canned sardines and saltines for lunch. After the eating, drinking, and great convos came the best ice cream ever! Or at least in that moment it was the best because I love ice cream!

But, if you think the night ended with ice cream you are o so wrong! I told birthday girl and partner I would drive them home since they had been drinking. One thing you should know about Kitsap County is that there are no street lights to light the streets at night. Which makes for pretty natural land, but hard to drive at night.  The house we were at had a long drive way and one side was slightly washed out and dipped into a “ditch” like surface. My friends had to move their car so the friends who lived there could get to work in the morning. Well let’s just say from my view it was the funniest and scariest site! Her car definitely hit the little ditch area! All we could see was the back right side, in slow motion, fly up into the air so her trunk and right wheel are hanging in the air. Her partner was on the right path and then all of a sudden he was down in the ditch…well just the left front tire! Everything is soaking wet and we can’t hold onto anything to push and rock the car-because ya know it’s pouring rain too at the moment. Finally, we get some wood and planks and wedge them under the front wheel but the wet surfaces just kept slipping and spinning. I did get to use my “Ms. Thumper” metal bat and flashlight combo I got from my cousin for safety during my road trip.  Luckily I haven’t had to use it in self defense, but now I can say I used the flashlight feature to save a car!

I drove them home after safely parking the undamaged car along the road. I went back to Silverdale to check on the pups. As much as I wanted to sleep in that Easter Sunday I got up and went to breakfast at The Oak Table with friends.  It was a great breakfast and going early paid off because we didn’t have to wait for a table (one of the best breakfast places in county so always busy). Plus I had nothing that afternoon expect take care of puppies so I got my nap in! They also hid Easter eggs for customers to take home! I went back to those friends’ house in the evening for a great dinner. Overall, it was a great Easter weekend and the best way to kick off Spring.  I’m excited to see what the PNW has in store for me the rest of the next two seasons. Maybe it will even grant me with a job to help get me through financially, but also be enjoyable so I can continue to have this great opportunity called life! This journey hasn’t been easy, but so glad I took a chance! 

2:30 pm update… Just won a prize from radio station Power 93.3fm. It includes wireless gaming chair, wireless sound system, wireless video glasses, and a $500 gift card to game store! Going to buy a lotto ticket now!

First Third of PNW Journey

 
I cannot believe I’ve been living on the West side of the continent for four months now! It’s been harder to be away from family and friends than I planned. However, life seems to introduce me to what I need when missing home. Just when I thought I wasn’t connecting to my current town of Kingston, in comes a person who is becoming a great friend. And for the friends I’ve made on the peninsula, I love spending time with them. I am already having to say “until next time” to a great friend who’s family is being restationed to the East Coast with the Navy. Life is always changing and even though I’m “losing” a great friend due to physical location, I know a new addition to my life is just around the corner. 

So as I’m starting to acclamate to my surrounding and becoming a PNWerner, I’m also connecting to activities I’ve always wanted to try. For example, I decided to connect with my community by going to a paint night where everything was provided and a group of people paint together. It was a great time and Because of the painting, but even more because it left me feeling connected to the city again. I found a feeling of being powerful because I created beauty from nothing. Now I’m chasing that feeling. My roommate and I decided we needed more storage and discussed what a cabinet would look like if cut into the wall over breakfast. Next thing to happen is him cutting a hole in the wall! We went to the store for all the supplies, started to build (and demolish), and had a great time working on a house project. He built a box out of planks of wood and I stained the box and frame pieces. Jason’s electric tool supply has grown quite a bit this week.  Now we are almost ready to secure it to the wall and get more counter and cabinet space!

I’ve also got a lot of ideas stirring around for the small garden in the front of the house. Last year nothing grew because too much rain and not enough drainage. So what am I planning…. To build a green house! I have an image in my head of a tall, removeable green house cover so I can get some fresh tomatoes this summer! Although if the garden at home doesn’t take, luckily there are farmer’s markets all over and available every day. Unlike in Nebraska where they are only open once a week.

Farmer’s markets are only the beginning to the joy of Spring and Summer in PNW! With each day there is less and less rain and more sun. It’s going to be a beautiful second third of a year! 

2015 Holidays

  
First Holiday season away from home was a lot harder than I anticipated. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving so I had to recreate the giant meal we would have had at my sister’s house to make if feel more like home. I definitely over cooked but all the food was delicious and I had left overs for two weeks! First time I made a big turkey and I must say it was perfect! 

But the best part of Thanksgiving was having a package delivered with homemade horn rolls from my family. They made it aware that they were definitely thinking and missing me, just as I was them! Luckily I had a group of people in my life to share the holidays with and make the best of it. 

Christmas Eve was spent having dinner at friends’ house and sharing the time with a group of great people. Christmas Day I celebrated in the morning with my friend as we exchanged stocking. Stockings are always my favorite part of Christmas. Then I went into Seattle with a couple neighbors for some Italian food and a calm drive through parts of the city since no one was on the roads.  There are beautiful views everywhere!  We attempted to go see the 7,000 Christmas lights at the zoo, but it ended up costing money and wasn’t open for 30 minutes, so what do we do…. Get in the car and find a place open for dessert and a drink. I got a Khalua and cream to represent my sister. 

I didn’t get to see any of my (human) family, but slowly building a friend family here. I did get to FaceTime my niece and two of her kids. Seems like they are all growing up too fast! However, I was lucky enough to have Dug, my brother’s Golden Doodle, stay with me during Christmas. The first day without Dug was extremely hard. It already felt like a presence was missing from the house. But, I FaceTimed my brother and his family which gave me a chance to see Dug all settled into the family. O, and I got to see my human family members too as the family just moved to Portland. 

Now the last two New Years Eves I ended up hugging some porcelain because I was sick. This year I avoided the sickness and celebrated in lower Queen Anne, which is part of Seattle. I had friends from back home visiting and we watched the fireworks on the Space Needle from an apartment rooftop. It was an unforgettable experience! 

During the day we walked all around Seattle. My calves and gluteus maximus muscles are still feeling the burn! Seattle doesn’t have hills… they have straight inclines! If I was with people I didn’t like, I never would have made it to the top!! I went to a Nordstrom store and MAC counter for the first time. I felt pretty big city! My friends and I even road the carousel and acted like we were six years old again. 

We walked through Pikes Market and ate Beecher’s Mac and cheese. They make the cheese right in the window. My friend loves Starbucks but not enough to stand in a block long line! It may not have been the original one, but we did go to a Starbucks and got her a coffee. 

Another first I had was riding the monorail from Queen Anne to downtown Seattle (and back). Really hope to learn how to use public transport more whole here.  Eating at Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant, was a first and a last for me or at least only eating dessert if go again. My friend organized and arranged everything, but the restaurant did not tell her of the special menu for the night. Lowest dinner price was $56/ person and that was all vegetables! The service was awful, but we ended up getting some free champagne out of it. My friend felt horrible, but I think that situation created more memories than a well organized and priced dinner. 

I started my 2016 year leaving a party where the police came because of drunk people drama. It was awesome! I was sober and could sit back and laugh at the drunks making fools of themselves. I also completed another lifetime first that night… I drove in downtown Seattle!!! It wasn’t as scary as it sounds, but if you ever try driving in downtown, plan on sitting and not moving for at least 5 minutes in different spots. So far ignorant drivers are the worst part of PNW, but the scenic views make up for it. 

It’s been cold to the point where I have to scrape my windows, but the sky’s are clear which leaves room to view the mountains. About everywhere I turn, I can see a sliver of mountains peaking through the trees. I will never get tired of the green views all around for! 

2016 is a year of possibilities! Cannot wait to see what it brings!

Two Weeks or Two Months

  
I’ve been a Washingtonian for two weeks, yet made friends who have said it has to have been two months because of how close we already are. The people in Kitsap County are amazing! 

There’s Downpour Brewery in Kingston owned by a local husband and wife, but feels more like you’re at your neighbor’s house chatting over beers. The people who are there feel like old friends who you’ve known for years.  Peninsula Pies is a wood burning oven pizza company run out of the brewery by a couple who not only care about the quality of the finished product, but they drive to local farmers to obtain their fresh ingredients. 

Then outside Kingston there are still wonderful people! Thanks to the world of internet I “met” people that lived in Kitsap County who are Husker fans. There is a Husker watch site in Bremerton where people from all over Nebraska come together on Saturdays to watch the game.  It’s nice to be surrounded to others who understand “The Good Life”. 

I’ve somehow landed myself in a piece of the world that feels like home. I didn’t feel I had to transition to a new life, but rather my life was already waiting for me in Washington.  I can’t wait to continue to find out what else life has waiting for me!   

Home Away From Home

 

Officially Roommies
 
WE MADE IT!!! 

The day started out great! Monday morning a friend we stayed with made me a fresh ground, hand pressed coffee… This coffee has changed my world! Coffee actually tastes like it smells when done right. I moved to the coffee capital of the US and pretty sure no one can beat her coffee game!

After breakfast Jason and I left Helena, MT and started climbing the mountains to get home. My journey was going too perfect that it was still a dream. After about 30 minutes on the road Daphnie started getting tired! She wasn’t getting any getup and started to smell a little “burned” out. Since the unknown was ahead of us we turned around to check out the transmission just to be safe. 

We met the nicest lady at the car shop who could have taken me for a ride, but was genuine and only charged me $25 for their time to check it out.  Twenty five dollars for piece of mind was probably the best purchase of the trip! Turns out poor girl was loaded down with a small engine and was working very hard to climb those mountain sides. Daphnie the Dolphin is a super trooper!

Back on the road again and slowly filling with confidence again, Jason and I made it through Montana, sliced through Idaho, to end the journey in Kingston, WA.  Kingston welcomed me with open arms aka margaritas and tacos – the easiest way to my heart!  Jason was trying his best to tell me where things are and what roads lead where. All I can say is “thank you for GPS!”

We set up my traded bed for labor from a wonderful person who lives in the Kitsap County. We had a glass of wine outside and soaked in the peace and serenity of the area. My bedroom window looks into a forest if that helps give you an idea of how awesome my new home will be. 

I’ve been blessed to have amazing people in my life back home and before I even made Washington my home I was blessed with good people to welcome me. The Midwest is very much alive in Washington! I have so many supporters that I am ready to start a new chapter in my life. 

Endless amounts of love and appreciation for all those who have helped me get to this point and to those who will continue to push me forward. 

Much love!

Magestic Memories

 

Jason missed the sign, but I captured it
 
Day two was all about seeing America and what it has to offer from South Dakota into Montana. Being from Nebraska the journeys taken are usually very straight and flat; maybe a rolling hill or two. Today, I weaved and whipped, clumbed and sled. 

The drive was beautiful! So many different rock formations in the mountains and random bodies of very blue lake water. Drove over the Missouri River twice! (It splits 4 ways.) I think I might be more amazed at how blue the lakes were than the manmade carvings of Presidents and Crazy Horse; hopefully that doesn’t make me less of an Anerican!  

I was very impressed at how clean the Mount Rushmore Memorial was and that people respected the property. Also, I’d like to thank Thomas Jefferson for the creation of ice cream. According to “history” he was the first person to write down a recipe for ice cream and of course Jason and I had to get some ice cream which definitely was not referred and is highly recommended!

So not only did we see historical places and amazing scenery through the mountains and reservations, we also ate at Fudrucker’s for the first time.  We assumed you can’t go wrong with a burger, however if you find yourself  in Billings, SD I’d try somewhere else for dinner…

A former Coworker provided the driving fuel of Gummy Bears to get me through the lull of the drive aka when Jason’s sleeping and I’m trying to not sleep. If you need a mini vacation and wanna spend some time in the Mointains, I recommend the Baverjan Inn, in Custer, SD. Very nice, clean, and great location for attractions. 

Well, I’m at a friend’s house and after catching up, it’s much needed sleep time! Goodnight world! 

Jenna

 

Sunburns & Starbursts

 

just one more piece before we peace!
 
Hey loves!

Day one is close to an end. Jason and I are about an hour away from Custer, SD where we will get the chance to sleep a few hours before going to Mount Rushmore in the morning. A friend hooked us up with an “employee rate” room at the Baverian Inn; which is in the Black Hills so pretty excited to see everything in the morning. 

We started the day off with a Husker game at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE. It was Jason’s first game in the stadium so it was fun going with a “Newby”! I opted for the Vneck t-shirt, which if you know me well, is rare as I am usually found in a tank top. So of course I have an uber sweet vneck triangle burn patch, 1200 new freckles on my burnt forehead, and two “farmer sleeve” burn lines. But I ain’t mad! It’s October and I got a sunburn!!

Now for the Starbursts. I took stretch one of the drive to Custer. We stopped in Ogallalla for a quaint dinner at Runza. However, mentally I was prepared for about an hour less than what I drove so my gift of Starbursts from my L-Sizzle came in handy as they served as a pre-dinner “mint” to help me stay awake and focused. 

Jason is now driving……….AWWWW BUFFALO! AWWW ELK, OMG! What was that?!?! Eagle?…Hawk?… Watch out!!!! There’s a buffalo butt in the left lane staring at you, Jason!!! And there are at least three to my right! 

Apparently, right before Pringle, SD it’s wildlife rule the road! We signaled the semi in hopes they understood a flash of lights meant “buffalo in your lane ahead-CAUTION!” and now I can’t take my eyes off road and need to end this because too many wildlife in the road!… DEER!!!