Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 2: 4 Corners, Blue Water and Albuquerque

Today there was LOTS of time on the road. We probably spent about 7 hours total. We did make a quick stop at 4 Corners and got a fun picture or two.

This is what it will feel like when my kids are grown up and spread out into four different states.

On the way we also stopped at a town called Bluewater (near Albuqurque) where one of Tim's co-workers grew up. As he prepared to take a picture of this friend's house he said "Lets see if we can do this without bringing too much attention to ourselves." Then in the process of trying to get a good angle, he lays on the car horn. Memories.

There is a town near by that is called Anaconda. It was built and then evacuated and taken back down. It turned out there was some bad stuff effecting the people due to government testing near by. The city is completely gone now. Kind of cool.

When we arrived in Albuquerque we checked into our hotel. The La Quinta Inn, Albuqureque North. We were very pleased. Clean, comfortable and thanks to Priceline quite cheap!

Tim and his family lived in Albuquerque when he was in 1st to 5th grade so we did a bit of a trip down memory lane while we were in town. For dinner we ate at Ponchos. This was a favorite of Tim's when he was a kid. Tim says he hopes it has gone down hill since he was there last because otherwise his tastes have changed a lot. First you go through a buffet line, kind of like a cafeteria because they scoop it up for you. You have this flag on your table that you raise if you want more and your waiter brings it to you. Our waiter never saw that flag rise. If cheap (in price but also in quality) Mexican food in an non-airconditioned building in New Mexico is your thing, you might like this place!

We went to a park in Tim's old neighborhood called Chelwood Park (kids played, I slept) and saw the house he lived in.

And the school he attended.

It was a great trip down memory lane for him. It was a get to know Tim/Dad trip for the rest of us.

When we came back to the hotel I made sure all the kids had showers and cherished the running hot water. I didn't know how long it would be until we had another shower. We had camping planned for the next three nights.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Day 1 Arches National Park

We left around 8 am. . about an hour later than planned. Tim and I had about 4 hours of sleep the night before so we began our trip a little sleep deprived. Thankfully we had a short distance to travel this first day.

We made our first stop of our journey at Arches National Park.

The weather was a little overcast the greater part of our day and we had a few rain showers while there. We had two umbrellas which helped a little. Because of the rain we didn't take the longer hike to Delicate Arch that we had hoped to do. We didn't want to get stuck in a storm when it takes about an hour to get there and another to get back.

We did see "Sand Dune Arch" by suggestion of our friends and it was really cool. The kids enjoyed the sand there but we didn't enjoy the sand in our car the rest of the trip. White Sands is partly to blame for that as well though so it can't take all the blame.

We saw Balanced Rock, and the upper and lower viewpoints of Delicate Arch. This arch was dubbed "Cowboy pants" by the kids because it looks like cowboy stirrups.

At this point the clouds broke away and it started to be beautiful and warm.

We walked to Double Arch which was a quick hike to and into the arches. This was my favorite because you got to do a little rock climbing too.

The North and South Windows and Turet Arch path were easy to walk to and had some beautiful panoramic views.

After that we stopped at the museum and went to find a campsite. We found one on BLM land along a stretch of BLM campsites on highway 128. We had one of those overfriendly neighbors, in an RV. He didn't deserve it, but because I was going on 4 hours of sleep and you expect your neighbors in a campsite to remain politely to themselves I was thinking paranoid thoughts all evening. He had a wife and a cute little boy and even offered to lend us his air mattress. Thanks Richard! You were a great neighbor! Even if your first greeting was standing in your door yelling to us with no shirt on and a can of beer in your hand. Sorry for mistrusting you.

The stinky outhouse right next door wasn't so kind. We had to climb down a hill to our tent. I wasn't thrilled by the tricky climb up and down it(especially when we had to brave it in the dark with wind and rain)but it was right next to a river so we heard it gurgling by which was very nice.

Carlsbad or Bust

Saturday night we rolled in to our drive way at 10:00pm sharp. I wish my feelings were pure relief. There was some, to be back in the comforts of home, but mostly there was the feeling I am not quite done having fun. My kids were getting more irritable and more annoyed with being in the cramped van. . but I wasn't. It is nice not to have to go outside to go to the bathroom or dig in a suitcase to get whatever I want. It is nice not to have to set up a tent and blow up an airmattress before I can go to sleep at night and it is nice to get the heck out of that cramped and not to mention trashed most of the time van. It is also nice to be able to stand while I dress, and have a cozy bed. Air mattresses are much better than the ground but not as good as a good real mattress.
I will miss having my breath taken away by some kind of natural beauty every single day. I will miss the sense of adventure as we have more to see and explore.
From June 20th to June 27th we went on a trip to Southern New Mexico. The main destination was Carlsbad Caverns but we made a bunch of fun stops on the way there and back. It was a lot of fun and everything went according to plan. .except for a 2 hour detour but that is a story for the blogs. I will make a blog a day. I will try to give my rating of the places we stayed and info so if you make a similar trip you can use my links. I will try not to be too boring but no promises. Travel logs ARE travel logs.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt

First I have to brag that I have an aweome 10 year old. Last Friday we went to the library and I told the kids they could each check out one movie each. Joe chose a 4 hour PBS documentary about Franklin D. Roosevelt. He went home that afternoon and watched the whole thing. On a summer afternoon. Since then he has been begging me to watch it with him. Lucky for him and me, I am a history buff too and LOVE biographies so we watched it today. I learned a lot about both him and his very impressive wife. Here are the things I found most interesting.

- The first thing I learned, because it was the only part I saw when he watched it last Friday was that FDR had an affair before he was president. His wife offered a divorce but they chose to stay married to keep appearances for his political career. They were never very close after that. That was a surprise and a disapointment to me.

-FDR was not popular in school. He never fit in at his boarding school as a youth and was rejected from a prestigious club in college as well.
-His mom was very domineering. When her husband died she moved out to be with Franklin. When FDR and his wife were married, and was returning from his honeymoon they recieved a special gift from his mother. A new home, designed, payed for, and decorated by her. It was also next door and joined with her house. She had free reign to go back and forth. At the dinner table Sarah (his mom) sat at one end, and Franklin at the other. Eleanor sat in the middle with the kids. Poor Eleanor.

-Eleanor had little confidence in her ability to be a mother, especially with her infants and since her mother-in-law was so confident and assertive she always let her be in charge of the raising decisions.

-When he contracted Polio Franklin came very close to giving up his political career. His mother wanted him to just come home to his childhood home and live out the rest of his life quietly like his father had. Eleanor knew her husband well enough to know he would not be happy that way and stood up to Franklin's mother for the first time.

-Frannklin restored "Warm Springs" in Georgia and made it a place for people with Polio to recover and recoperate. He was involved with the other patients treatment and was loved by those who came there. I think this was what impressed me most about him. More than anything he did as President.

-Polio changed Franklin a lot. He became far more patient and sympathetic of other peoples suffereing. Before that he was more distant and more of a flirtatious playboy. He was well loved by the people in Georgia because he would often drive in his customized car (so he could drive with paralyzed legss). He would stop to talk to people in the area and really get to know them.

-When he returned to politics he worked really hard to avoid looking disabled. He would lean on someones arm heavily on one side and a cane on the other and use his body to move his legs so it looked like he could walk.
-Eleanore changed a lot over the years. With a domineering mother-in-law, low confidence as a young mother and her husbands affair, these things made her who she became. She certainly allowed trial to refine her instead of brake her.
-Eleanor was horrified to become the First Lady. She had developed a life of her own and had her own political career that she feared had to end as a First lady. Instead of changing herself to fit the role of First lady however, she changed the role of First lady to fit her and changed the job description forever. I want to learn a lot more about her.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Verdict

I finally heard from U of U. I was so excited to see an envelope from them in the mail I couldn't have cared less that it was a rejection. But seriously...of course there is a litttle disapointment but there is even more relief to move on with my life and stop wondering and waiting.
I can tell it is a huge load off of my mind because my eyes are opened to the world around me again instead of my mind being distracted by it's usual (for the last three months) emotional roller coaster ride

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"Just Killing Time, Waiting. . ."

A few weeks ago, when looking through photo albums of my family of origin, I found a letter tucked away. It was from my Dad's dad to my parents. It was written and sent before I was even born. I never got to know my Grandpa Alex because he died when I was 3 so it was so fun to read a letter in his own script, and "hear him talk". He congratulated my parents on the new baby, my older brother David and reminded them
"There is still plenty time yet for a girl. Still Young!"
My favorite quote however was his thoughts on life and getting old,
"Keeping busy cutting grass between showers and fishing but what it amounts to (is) killing time waiting for the time killing you"
My grandpa was a Swede and I understand that Swedes have that matter of fact way of thinking about life and death. I guess my 100% Swedish blood agrees because that just cracks me up. He may have been quoting that from something else but he obviously appreciated it as do I.
Right now, I am just killing time waiting to hear from U of U. I heard through the grapevine, my end of that grapevine being Tim, that someone who applied for the same program I did found out last Thursday that they were accepted. I still have not heard anything. My one comfort right now is I have a friend who had a similar experience applying for another program. His friends were getting their letters like a week before he did and he got in.
I really am OK with not getting in. Worse case scenario: life continues as usual and that isn't bad at all. I really don't have a burning desire to leave my comfort zone right now to be perfectly honest. I will get a chance to get some more experience and some stronger referances for next time is all. I just want to know one way or another. Until I find out though I am just "killing time waiting for the time killing me. . . or at least the suspence.

Pictures: Top: Grandpa Alex fishing
Bottom, Left to Right: Grandma Gert, my brother Eric , unknown relative or friend, Grandpa Alex, my brother David , my Mother and me.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Pictures from Tim's Alien Abduction

Take a look at these pictures of the hotel Tim stayed at in Atlanta. Did he go to another state or another planet? Very cool architecture! I will be sure to keep the syrup away from Tim. . . just in case. . . .

Monday, June 01, 2009

On the Run

Last year I got into running on a treadmill, I was doing great, running 20 minutes straight. . then the rec-center closed for its annual maintanance. I hit the real pavement. . or maybe it hit me. I was humbled to see that tread mill running and outdoor running are not the same. I went back to the treadmill when the Rec-center opened again, but I kind of lost my steam.

Earlier this spring I realized I liked the inside track, it was softer on my joints, but at 5:45 am I often just didn't feel up to running. I discovered that when I did run the stuff that stressed me out about my day was less stressful after I ran. I stopped thinking about it just for a few minutes which gave me a different perspective. I realized that if I was in a bad mood, running was the very thing I needed.

Then exercise went out the window entirely for 1 1/2 months. After a while I started missing running and weight training. But I have yet to miss getting up at 6 am to do it. I decided to try it another time of day. I have discovered afternoon running is awesome. I am already awake, warmed up and I have stress that needs relieving. It is my time of the day.

Tim bought me some trainers, for our anniversary to replace my Wal-mart shoes that I am not even sure are running shoes. I warned him that getting me better quality shoes would not necessarily be a wise gamble. . it may not motivate me to run. Well, I was wrong. Running in those shoes one time converted me. Since then I have started a training program and have been faithfull to it for 4 weeks. I love it and I get anxious waiting for the next run. I am hooked. It is nice to be hooked to something good for me for once.

I am doing a running program in "Running Made Easy" (awesome book by the way ) and it makes it very doable and very fun. My only complaint is it might be too easy. But this way, at the end of my run I feel energized, but want more . . which is AWESOME! The first few weeks you run a minute, then walk two minutes and repeat a few times and each week you add one more 3 minute running/walking session to what your are already doing. In two weeks it will turn to two minutes running two minutes walking. Instead of dreading that I keep looking at the schedule wondering how many more weeks I have to wait.

My favorite part of running is the take off. Those first few seconds of speed increase. As I am getting more in shape, that feeling lasts the whole minute I am running, and I am watching the clock for the whole two minutes of walking, wanting to run again. Currently I am entertaining the idea of running a 5K when I finish the program in 6 weeks. I am not the competitive type though, so I am not sure I would like it very much. The fact I am even thinking about doing it is progress for me though.