Thursday, August 27, 2015

It's Ok Thursday....

It's OK...

...that we didn't have a What I'm Loving Wednesday link-up yesterday. I was sick in bed Monday and Tuesday, so the link-up didn't happen. Thanks to everyone who links up with us, we will be back next week! 

...that lately I've added more books to my "to read" list than my "read" list on my GoodReads account.  If you are on GoodReads, you can follow me here. I'm so behind in my book challenge this year. And in posting my book reviews. Ug!! One day I will get it together. Lol.

Just a small portion of my "to read" list...
...that I finally canceled my cable (I do still have access to local  Dallas channels). Between Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, I can watch all of my TV shows and a ton of movies. And with my new Fire TV Stick, I can watch them all on my TV instead of my laptop. Yes, I'm sacrificing watching Rangers games from the comfort of my home, but I have friends who have offered to let me watch games with them. As much as I love my Rangers, saving $120 was too tempting to pass up. Once I get some debt paid off, I might go back to cable, maybe. Hopefully by then I won't be forced to deal with the Anti-Christ Time Warner Cable anymore. 

Returned my cable DVRs to Time Warner last week
So far this has been a great purchase!
...that I was excited to sit in the driver's seat of a fire truck (don't judge). My company had a "Bring Your Kid to Work" day and I was one of the volunteers. The local fire department showed up to teach fire safety to the kids. After the kids got a tour of the fire truck, they let the big kids get up there. Okay, they let THIS big kid get up there. Because I asked. Thankfully they humored me. Lol.

Sadly, this was NOTHING like the TV show Chicago Fire
...that I'm over all the political talk in my Facebook feed and Twitter timelines. I'm okay with people voicing their opinions, I respect that, BUT when they start attacking and saying hateful things towards people who disagree with them, I just can't deal with it. I've muted a lot of people right now. 

...that I don't think these sound appetizing. AT ALL.

...that I REALLY want a dog, but I know I can't have one right now. Yesterday was National Dog Day so I made a collage of SOME of my favorite dogs. I even got to spend a little time with one of the dogs after work. Something about a dog makes a bad day so much better. :)

...that I have the worst case of writer's block these days. And it's not just with my blog. It's with my sports writing too. I haven't been able to write anything for months. :( Shameless plug: check out ShutDown Inning for great baseball articles. Okay, mainly Texas Rangers articles, but these are my people, they do good work! I hope to contribute another article soon to the site. Writer's block is also affecting my short story/novel writing. Sigh. I guess all writers go through this. Maybe I will snap out of it.

I know this isn't a link-up anymore, but I wanted to post this week, and this was the only thing I could think of! I hope everyone has a fabulous day! We are almost to the weekend!!


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

We are back for another week of What I'm Loving Wednesday!! Hope you will link up with us. :)

You know, when it's after midnight and you haven't slept well all week, it's hard to find a lot of things that you are loving, but I'm gonna do my best. Lol. 

I'm loving...
That I got to see my friend Erick last week. He moved in just down the road from me last month, and we've only managed to see each other twice. That's crazy. We need to get together more. An Erick hug makes any day better.

I'm loving...
That I was able to make it to my great-nephew C's birthday party last weekend. My sweet boy is already SEVEN!! I can't believe it. He's so fun to be around. He's silly, fun, and insanely smart (pretty sure he's smarter than me). Lol. Love this kid so much!

My little Rangers fan!
I'm loving...
That I got to see my niece Miss K last weekend. I haven't seen her in forever. 

I'm loving...
That I have seen my friend Keva TWICE in a MONTH. We sometimes got a year or longer without seeing each other. Hopefully this is starting a new trend of us hanging out more

I'm loving...
That I got my Always Keep Fighting shirt that I ordered from Supernatural's star Jared Padalecki. If you don't know anything about him or this campaign, click here to read about him. I think this campaign is for a very good cause, one that I can relate to. I'll do a post about that eventually, not today though.

I'm loving...
That I got to hang out with some friends at the Rangers game last night (sadly the outcome of the game wasn't that good), but still, it was a fun night at the Ballpark. Professional golfer Jordan Spieth threw out the first pitch. And thanks to my friend Monica, we got a hook up and were able to move down close to the field. :)

I'm loving...
That it's going to be cooler tomorrow (we have been dealing with triple digit temperatures for weeks now.) Anything in the 80s is considered a cold front. In fact, one of our local stations made fun of it. 

I'm loving...
That football season is around the corner. Don't get me wrong, baseball is still my first love, but I do love football as well. Before you ask, I'm am an unapologetic Tony Romo supporter. And yes, my nails are ready for the Cowboys season. :)

Hope everyone is having a great week!


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Final AVERT2015 Recap! :)

I was trying to not have a super long post, but in order to wrap up AVERT2015, this post is gonna be a little lengthy (BUT, it will FINALLY wrap up the recap). It only took me a month to complete. Lol. Thank you for your patience! :) I hope you enjoy (again, sorry for so much in this post). :)

We stayed in Bowman, ND and the next day, found a cute little museum (of course we did). It was actually kind of interesting. If you find yourself near Bowman, go check out the Pioneer Trails Regional Museum.

The newspaper at the bottom is an actual copy of the paper from when Lincoln was assassinated
I like the fact that Teddy Roosevelt read a book a day his entire adult life. I wish I could do that!
After leaving Bowman, we made a quick stop at a historical marker. We actually read about Fort Dilts at the museum, and decided to take a little detour to see it. 
It was kinda neat that at one of the grave markers, the great-great granddaughter of one of the men killed there had left a note to him.
Yes, we made a random stop to take pictures of sunflowers (my mom loves sunflowers).

We made it to Montana (our 6th state) by lunchtime. Our goal was to make it most of the way across Montana in a day, since we were going to try and squeeze in two days at Yellowstone. We did make a quick (well, hour and a half) stop at Pompeys Pillar. This is where William Clark (of Lewis and Clark) carved his name in the side of a rock back in 1806. This is the last remaining physical evidence of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. 

No, I didn't really step in the boat. BUT, they should know better than to tempt me. :) They also had a replica jacket that Lewis and Clark would have worn. That thing was heavy!
Taking a selfie with William Clark- he wouldn't smile
After A LOT of driving, we finally stopped in Bozeman, MT for the night. We found a cute hotel called C'mon Inn. It was by far the nicest hotel we stayed at while on our trip. If I were to go back and visit Bozeman, I would stay there. I loved that our room had a balcony view over a lobby area (that had 9 hot tubs). 
Not, this wasn't a real goat
The next day we got up and made the drive to Yellowstone National Park. The drive TO Yellowstone was just as pretty as Yellowstone itself. We stopped to take a lot of pictures (no, I won't post them all). :)

I really wanted to put my feet in the water, but I refrained
We realized on our way to Yellowstone we had time for a quick trip to Idaho (state number 7!) It was a little out of our way, but worth it to cross another state off our list.

Our goal was to stop and see something in each state we visited (not counting the state sign). We noticed we were close to the Longest Main Street in America, so we decided to drive down that. It wasn't anything too exciting, but still, it's something historical (have you noticed we are history nerds?) :)

On our way back towards Yellowstone, we noticed a pizza parlor near a place called Mack's Inn Resort, so we stopped there for lunch. We had been searching for a hotel room near Yellowstone (since we planned to go there two days) and the cheapest one was $160 (and that was for a Motel 6). Some advice: If you plan on going to Yellowstone and want to stay the night nearby, book it MONTHS in advance for a good deal, or you will pay the price. Anyways, while we were eating, we noticed the little inn next door. I checked and they had an available room. It was MUCH cheaper than anything else we had seen, so we booked a room for that night. It was only about 30 minutes from the West Yellowstone entrance. We finally got to Yellowstone by early afternoon.

We crossed into our 8th state (Wyoming) while inside Yellowstone. If you have never been to Yellowstone, you do a lot of driving. There are many places to pull over so you can see the scenery and take pictures, but the "main attractions" are about 35-40 minutes apart (unless you have wildlife in the road that delay you). You can only go about 45 miles per hour inside the park. Of course we HAD to see Old Faithful, so we decided to make that our first stop of the day. They can guesstimate when Old Faithful will erupt (usually every 90 minutes or so). After looking for a spot in the Old Faithful parking lot for about 10 minutes, we finally got out of the car and made our way over to it. No joke, we had just managed to get a spot kinda up close when it erupted. We made it just in time (it would have been disheartening to have just missed it and had to wait another hour and a half to see it). I was able to get a video of it. I'm gonna try and upload the video here (not sure it will work or not).

We drove around for several more hours, checking out waterfalls and some of the many geysers. Yellowstone is beautiful. I'm sad we only had two days to visit. They do warn you about the wildlife. We did see some while we were there. We saw several elk and a herd of bison (a park ranger informed us that they were bison and not buffalo). There are no buffaloes in North America. The song "Home on the Range" totally lied to us. My childhood is ruined (not really).

Disclaimer before you look at the pictures of me and the bison. I am NOT as close as I seem. I had several friends message me about my safety when I posted them on social media. I'm not THAT brave (or stupid, I guess) to get that close to wildlife. :) It is ALL about the camera angles. And there were people a lot closer than me (so I figured I could out run them if need be). Lol. Again, I could bore you with MANY Yellowstone pictures, I tried to only pick a few (okay, a little more than a few).

It was supposed to rain all day, but it held off until the end of the day. And it stopped after about 30 minutes. But it did bring the temperatures down, I was forced to put on my hoodie!
We got out to take our selfies with the bison and had just made it back to the car when the herd decided to cross the road. As you can tell, they had the right-of-way. Lol. ;)
After staying the night at the inn in Idaho, we went back the next day for what we thought would be a quick day at Yellowstone (we had planned to leave by 1pm, we didn't leave until 5pm). A lot of that was due to road construction (yes, even Yellowstone cannot escape road construction), and also a back up of cars due to people getting out of their vehicles to see a grizzly bear and her cubs eating a bison (hope it wasn't one we met the day before). We caught a glimpse of the grizzly (from the safety of the car), but unfortunately could not get a good picture. But hey- we saw a bear! The only wildlife we didn't see was a moose (I was disappointed). I'll spare you the gory details of how I suffered a little bit of car sickness (which never happens to me). Thankfully there were plenty of places to pull over, so no damage was done to my car. Lol. It also happened as we were leaving, so I didn't miss much of the scenery (I took a Dramamine and slept for a while after that but Mel told me I didn't miss anything exciting as we were leaving). Since we stayed so long at Yellowstone, we had to skip visiting Cody, WY (although we did stop at the Buffalo Bill Dam just outside of it).

We made it all the way to Casper, WY to stay the night. That meant we only had about four hours to drive the next day to make it to Denver, CO (it was actually a little less than that thanks to Wyoming's 85 miles per hour speed limit on the interstate). I was excited about our trip to Denver because we were able to go to a Rockies baseball game, meaning I can cross another ballpark off my bucket list (and I can update #3 on my 101 in 1001 list)! Thanks to Mel for sitting through a baseball game (she had to put up with my sports watching while we were roommates). :) Coors Field was beautiful (they didn't serve Dr Pepper, so I had to remove one star from my review). Lol. But besides that, it was awesome. We found GREAT seats on StubHub. They were normally $60 club level seats but we got them for about half of that cost. They were playing the Braves that night (my second favorite team). Sadly, the Braves didn't win, but that's okay.

A storm hit Denver that night. The rain held off until the last out of the game, but the sky looked really pretty as the storm was rolling in. 

The next morning we were ready to head for home, but first we stopped by the Garden of the Gods. It was breath-taking. Sadly we didn't get to spend as much time as we would have liked (I was possibly ready to get home), but I'm glad we made time to drive through it.

You can see Pike's Peak behind me. Those are the "purple mountains majesties" in the song America the Beautiful
New Mexico was the 10th state of our trip. We were only there for about an hour (we cut across a corner of it to get from Colorado to Texas, but we did make one quick stop (just to say we were there).

I'll admit I was very happy to see the Texas state sign (the 11th and final state of our trip)- it was good to be "home" (although the state sign and MY home were still seven hours apart. It always seems the longest part of any road trip is getting through Texas). Lol. We stopped about 10 pm for dinner in Amarillo (yes, the first place we ate at in Texas was Whataburger, are you surprised?) The whole day I had been determined to get home that night (usually towards the end of a trip, I'm just ready to be home), but Amarillo was still a good five and a half hours from Dallas, so we decided it would be best to stay the night in Amarillo and just get up early the next morning to get home. Yes, I did sing "Amarillo by Morning" when we left the next day. I figured George Strait would appreciate that. Lol.

Yes, I did hug the Texas state sign, don't judge. Lol
I took a picture of my mileage when we left and when we got back. We drove a total of 3,846. Totally worth it!
Thanks for sticking with me during this recap. Sorry today's post was so long. I was ready to just be done with it. :) We are already planning a road trip for next year, so stay tuned for that!
Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

We are back!! Thank you for your patience while we took a break from the link up! Please leave a link to your WILW post below! :)

I'm loving...
That I had a four-day weekend. It was nice to just sit and relax after working so much overtime over the past month. I know, I should have been updating my blog during that time, but I got sucked into a Castle marathon online. I'm now on season 7, I should be caught up before season 8 starts up next month! :)

I'm loving...
That I'm back to going to Rangers (and RoughRiders) baseball games after a month of not going to any. I know, A WHOLE MONTH!! And the best part is that I've seen three wins in the three games I've been to. :) #NeverEverQuit

I've mentioned before I sometimes write for this sports website- (check it out here). We rented a suite at the RoughRider game last week. It was a time for our readers to meet up with the staff and meet other Rangers fans while watching baseball. It was a blast!
Me and Brooks, the future bat dog of the Frisco RoughRiders
I'm loving...
That the voice of the Rangers, Chuck Morgan, stopped by the Shutdown Inning party at the RoughRiders game last week. He is so nice. Anytime I visit another ballpark, it just doesn't feel the same not hearing his voice. He IS the voice of baseball to me.

I'm loving...
That I got to see The Randy Rogers Band with two of my favorite guys a few weeks ago. These jokers are two of my best friends, I love it when we can all hang out. And they just LOVE it when I make them take all these pictures. Lol. :)

I'm loving...
That Mike Napoli is back with the Texas Rangers. Welcome back Nap-o-li!

I'm loving...
That my friends made me get out of my apartment during my long weekend. I originally had plans to do nothing but stay at home (in my PJs), but my friend Rich was in town for his birthday and asked me to go out with him and friends. So, I changed out of my PJs and got all dressed up to go out for his party. It was a blast though, we had a lot of fun singing karaoke (well, I watched the karaoke) and playing pool (I am the worst pool player in the world, by the way). :)

What are YOU loving this week?