My Europe Road Trip: Part IV – The Netherlands

The Netherlands (aka Holland)

I’m going to show my ignorance but before this trip I did not realize The Netherlands = Holland. I learned it right before we left when I was looking over my itinerary and tried to figure out when we were going to be in Holland since it wasn’t listed. Continue reading

My Europe Road Trip: Part II – Germany

Berlin

We arrived in Berlin at 7:00am. Of course, we could not take any time to rest. We already lost one day. Our hotel rooms weren’t ready when we checked in at the hotel so we dropped our luggage in our tour host’s, KG,  room and headed out for the day. I wore the same clothes I wore on all the plane rides so I didn’t feel presentable.  In fact, I felt rather gross and stinky.  The pictures of me on this first day will never see the light of day if I can help it.  Not pretty.  Continue reading

My Europe Road Trip: Part I – The Trip Begins

The invitation

GK and I had been visiting teaching partners for about 10 years. But then we were split up and assigned to other partners. From time to time, we try to do lunch or dinner together to catch up. It was at one of those catch up dinners in January 2017 when she invited me to go to Europe. Continue reading

Birthday Road Trip ’16: Mesa Verde

The idea for this year’s road trip came to me a few months earlier. I saw pictures of the cliff ruins in Mesa Verde and wondered where they were located. After looking them up and discovering they were only in southern Colorado I figured I could do that this year. It looked fun.

The next step involved mapping my road trip out. Initially, I thought of doing more of a loop but after certain stressful events occurred a couple weeks prior to my trip, I changed my plans. I’d leave a day earlier and stay at my sisters’ for a day which meant no loop. But it did mean I’d spend my birthday with family and that sounded a lot better than spending it traveling alone anyway. So I left work Thursday and went to the apartment my sisters share in Utah.

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In the beginning…

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Road Trip in November

Last year I went to Ogden, Utah in November. The roads were a little wintry when I traveled home and I decided never to travel that stretch of road again during winter. And I didn’t. At least, I didn’t again last winter. Imagine my surprise when I realized I planned a trip on the same road at almost the exact time this year.

That’s what you call poor planning.

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For your bucket list consideration…

It was Lyn’s idea to begin with. “We need to take a road trip,” she said in July. “Maybe up to the park or somewhere in September.”

We took a look at our calendars. As luck would have it, I was available for exactly two weekends and so was she. But the opposite weekends. So, we settled for a plan B during Labor Day weekend.

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The last weekend of summer…

Labor Day.  I do not like Labor Day at all.  It is such a depressing day filled with regret of missed opportunities for summer days.  It is the second worst day of the year.

On that lovely note, let me share with you how I spent the last weekend of the summer. I know, I know, according to the calendar summer has a few weeks yet.  Let me just say, calendar makers do not live in Wyoming.  We are threatened and expect to be graced by that awful S word any day now.  It just takes one cold front to move in.

Usually I spend the last hoorah wallowing.  But this year, my niece Lyn invited me to take a trip with her.  I traveled to Uah Friday night and on Saturday Lyn and her mom MZ took me to Salt Lake.  As if in the actual lake – not the city.

I’ve been to Antelope Island once before about 14 years ago and the only thing I remembered about it is it was kind of cold that day.  I tried to be more prepared this time and researched it.  However, here’s a little bit of sage advice for you.  When researching your destination it is most helpful to google the actual name of the place you are going to.  It is less effective to google the name of local destination.  In my defense, they are both islands.  One is just located here in Wyoming.

I confused my coworkers when I told them I was going to Utah to visit the island that is 15 minutes away.  Oh well.  What can I say?  I have my moments.

Saturday morning was overcast as we headed to the Antelope Island.  We arrived 30 minutes after the park opened and couldn’t get over how empty it seemed.  “This is the last weekend of the summer people!” We scolded to the missing visitors.  “You should be out enjoying it!”

This is video taken at the visitor’s center.  I was hoping to film some of the massive flocks of birds (that you can hear) but they were all shy.  They would wait until out of view and then fly off.  Oh and those two clicks you hear?  They are MZ taking pictures.

We looked for the shortest hike that was marked Easy to Moderate and took it (because of time contraints – not because we are lazy.  Well, they aren’t lazy).  Although if you ask our opinion, it was more on the moderate side with a steep incline in the middle.  It did give us a good view of the Great Salt Lake.

After the hike we walked down to the beach and smelled the fine aroma of a dead lake.  Ever smelt a dead lake before?  It stinks.

We then drove down to a ranch house in the middle of the island.  I can’t imagine trying to make a living on the place.  Even in mild weather it did not seem like a formidable location.  I did learn one thing though, old barns creep me out. It’s true.  I couldn’t get out fast enough.

We ate lunch on the island at the only place that offered food.  It was a fun low-key day.