Friday, July 17, 2009

So our blog has suffered due to the amount of hiking we have been doing and all of the camping that has been involved. Since you heard from us last we have been to Grand Junction CO, Arches NP UT, Moab UT, Flaming Gorge WY, Bryce Canyon NP UT, Zion NP UT, Lake Powell AZ, North Rim Grand Canyon AZ, Las Vegas NV, South Rim Grand Canyon AZ, and Phoenix AZ. Yes; we have done quit a bit of zig-zagging. Our trip has turned into a game of how to avoid the heat.
Grand Junction Utah
We had high hopes for this town...
When we arrived at the "campsite" we discovered that the site was actually the community area and would be hosting a party the following day. We all got a case of "stranger danger" and cut our losses on that debacle. We salvaged our time with a wine tasting and chicken fried steak. The following day we went mountain biking where Gina impressed us all with her acrobatics. Flying through the air with rocks as a landing pad and barely a scratch! (although she did acquire quite a few bruises)

Arches NP Utah

According to Jillian, if you've seen one red rock you have seen them all. Arches has a LOT of red rocks.

Moab Utah

Our number one priority was a campground with a pool. Score! Moab is a town known for its extreme sports and we were happy it lived up to the hype. Gina and Nicole went skydiving(AWESOME - high five) Don't know if you realize that Gina brought back the high five. After skydiving we all went white water floating on the colorado river with our new friends Ralph and Harry. Yes, they are as old as they sound. Of course we couldn't leave town without a trip to the local brew pub and a healthy dinner of nachos. Good times! Shortly after our nacho dinner Nicole had a melt down of epic proportions and we had to peace out of the 100 degree Moab for Flaming Gorge, Wyoming.

Flaming Gorge, WY
We had to wear sweatpants and sweatshirts here... instead of just sweating. We went cliff jumping, floating on our River Rat tubes and LOTS of swimming. We tried tanning but mostly Jillian just burned, its her thing. We ate ice cream everyday (aka 2 days in a row) so Gina was thrilled. Unfortunately... we had to go back to the desert

Bryce Canyon, UT
It was hot. It had red rocks. It was a canyon. Nicole made us hike it. It was the beginning of the end in terms of tolerance of hiking.

Zion, UT
We hiked a trail that went entirely up hill before it got cool. We finally got to climb some rocks in Hidden Canyon, happily it was only a couple miles long. When we were done doing that we got to take the shuttle back to our truck ("Bonnie") when Nicole learned that if you marry a park ranger you get to live in the park. Some food for thought. Then it was back to the lake, Lake Powell.

Lake Powell, UT/AZ
Thats right it spans both states so when we went kayaking we got to kayak over the state line and kayaked in 2 states. Turns out... Lake Powell is in the middle of the desert, the hottest freakin' desert anywhere. It was 4:30 pm when we got there and it was over 100 degrees. So of course we head to the beach... where there was a sand storm. We decided we'd only be staying one night instead of two. And where do you go when you're in the west and have some time to kill?

Thats right... Vegas! What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas! We also picked Corey up here.

South Rim Grand Canyon, AZ
We came, We saw, We conquered. Well, the first two are true. Looking into the Grand Canyon can be a bit overwhelming. We checked out the views and did a sunrise hike. With the hiking out of the way we were free to escape the hordes of people and make our way to the only city on the way to San Diego.

Phoenix AZ,
What is there to do in Phoenix? Sit in an air conditioned hotel room and watch tv. Ahhhh, this is the life. Next stop - San Diego!!!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Mesa Verde Colorado

Basically Mesa Verde is everything we could all want in one place. I (Gina, the history buff) was completely enraptured by being surrounded by a place that predates written history in this area of the United States. It was the home of Ancient Puebloians (spelling?) who lived there between 300 AD and 1300 AD when they moved down into Arizona and New Mexico following a 23 year drought....obviously I tend to get caught up in the history....sorry...I got carried away again...

Even Nicole and Jillian were really happy with our time in Mesa Verde. We got to hike down to a cliff dwelling and then do a 3 mile hike beyond it through the park. And then we did a guided tour through Balcony House (Wendy was phenomenal, even Nicole was interested) which allowed us to go through a cliff dwelling that required ladders, crawling through tunnels, and climbing up rock walls. Luckily for was only 85 degrees that day so we were pretty comfortable.

Lessons: Go to Mesa Verde

Monday, July 6, 2009

Albuquerque, NM


Albuquerque is a waste of time. It's good only for getting your oil changed, doing laundry, and eating the deliciousness of Sonic. It also challenged some of us to get rid of some of our inhibitions concerning things like bugs and going to the bathroom with the door open (because there is no door) The saving grace of Albuquerque was the luck of them having Gloriana performing there on the 2nd night we were there...oh and Sonic was as good as the commercials make it out to be. Cherry limeade can save the world.

1) Don't sign up for segway tours in the middle of the night and expect to go on it the next day
2) People in ALB are very nice, even when you aren't
3) The brunette in Gloriana is one drink away from a pole dance
4) Everyone in Albuquerque can country dance...and do it well
5) Hostels are cheap for a reason (they save $ by leaving the doors of the bathrooms)
6) Its totally normal for someone to hand you a very good CD when you're not paying attention (thank you 92.3 you saved our musical dilemma, for a day)
7) Latino markets are fascinating and the BEST, they're also busy and fruit is SUPER cheap

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Road between Nashville TN & Albuquerque NM

Lessons: 19 hour drive...don't do it

Nashville, TN

Nashville Tennessee

Arrived in Nashville at 4:00 pm (local time) on Monday June 29th....Just in time to shower and go out. Our first stop was to the Wildhorse Saloon, eat dinner and listen to the house band, Les Richardson, our buddy. The food was okay but the beer was GREAT! A little too great.

Our first night was a blowout. Kicked off when Nicole stage stalked Les, Gina gave him a thumbs up to which he responded with a "toodley-doo" wave, and Jillian experienced wardrobe malfunctions. The next stop was Tootsie's where we met up with the Striped Shirt Mafia and the Miller Lite guys. Which equalled free beer and plenty of entertainment all around.

Day 2: We drove around Nashville looking for the Parthenon... seriously. We went to the Country Music Hall of Fame and learned all about the Williams family (Hank Williams & Hank Jr) We then enjoyed a low key night at Tootsie's where we tried to make sure that no one recognized us from the night before. They had a really great girl band downstairs, she sounded like Sarah Buxton. We had one beer each.

1) There is such a thing as too much free beer, then again maybe not
2) When the strap on your tank top breaks, rip the other one off and make a halter top
3) Telling someone you're going on a segway tour ruins all your street cred
4) When you're the only people listening to a band in a bar on a monday night, its probably time to go home (We're sorry we didn't know)
5) Fast Food in the south isn't actually fast (Checkers)
6) Your home is where you throw your stuff (not really where you live)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Virginia Beach!

Virginia Beach

Because of our safari shenanigans we didn't get to Virginia Beach until 3:00 pm on saturday. We also left Virginia Beach at 6:00 am on monday. So we had to pack everything into one full (long) sunday!

1) Getting up at 5:15 to see the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean is absolutely worth it
2) Nicole wakes up slowly while Gina and Jillian and raring to go.
3) You can go to the beach for 6 hours and still leave before noon
4) Michelob Ultra Amber is VERY tasty
5) Sleeping in a tiny tent without pillows isn't recommended
6) Letting Nicole pick out the tent you use is to be avoided
7) Not smothering Nicole with the pillow she packed but told you you couldn't pack was a wasted opportunity.
8) Gina has learned how to skip 3rd and 4th gear to go directly to 5th
9) Jillian has quiet melt downs in a corner

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Safari in VA

Meet our friend Bongo, the tick carrier

As brilliant minds often do we all think alike. So when we saw a sign on the highway for a SAFARI we were all totally for it. This was our first mistake and our first lesson.

1) Don't go to a Virginian Safari
2) Be suspicious when they push the feed on you
3) DON'T buy the feed
4) If you can't help yourself at least THROW it out the window
5) You can run over Llamas, they're fine
6) Don't feed the Llamas (They're vicious and scary)
7) Keep your windows up, they will stick their whole heads in to attempt escape from the safari
8) Animals in a WELL KEPT safari shouldn't have mange
9) Mangey animals have ticks
10) Ticks enjoy Jillian best, Jillian melts down when ticks are found on her

And so concludes our stay in Roanoke Virginia, on to Virginia Beach...