Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

Busy Run Up to the Road Trip

The run up to this year's road trip was probably busier than any other I've remembered.

Still, we've made it on the rod and are heading west along I-80 and it's been clear sailing since.

The run up included demented_dee and I finally finishing nearly 120,000 words for a novel. It's been a lot of fun, and she's coming in a couple of weeks to do the editing phase on it with me, face-to-face. That will be a blast as well, but it's been a lot of hard work getting here in about two and a half months.

On Saturday John and I threw a Bus Stop Party, where we invited everyone from the bus stop that Jet and the two of us go to every morning for Jet to get to school. Not everyone showed up, but John also invited a number of the core party-goers in our neighborhood, and we had a blast. John smoked two whole racks of spare ribs and I did another mess of beef short ribs and we had just enough meat for everyone. The kids ate hot dogs, and everyone brought some kind of salad or dessert.

The weather was insanely good. It was our first 90 degree day when barely a week and a half ago we'd had three inches of snow on the ground in the morning. So we were able to have the whole thing outside, and the kids went through buckets of water balloons, the parents could sit out and talk, and the water canon and water slide were going full blast. Entertainment for everyone.

We went from 2pm through to midnight. *laughs*

I actually talked with people as well, not just hid over the grill or in the house making iced tea or getting Band-Aids for kids. Mike's mom had come and he had showed me some of her fiber art works in their house, so I had a lot of fun talking with her and showing her a lot of the things that I had in the house. Everything from the sweaters that we'd kept to the fibers I hadn't spun yet to a lot of the yarns that I had already spun or dyed. I got to talk with Mei and bob about the creative process and how I love it when the characters surprise me. I had fun talking various Moms about kids and food and coordinated with Alma and Tonya the carpooling for Sunday night.

butcher block
In prep for the party John got the butcher block counter top put in place on the island. He did a great job, and I helped here and there with the carrying and sitting on it to keep it in place while John screwed it into place on the drawers and cabinets.

*laughs* Just checked and it is 388 miles until our next turn, just to stay on the same freeway, I guess we really are Out West. Hee. I love the distances out here, and it's just fun seeing how the landscape changes.

Sunday morning I had a reading part during church, and I managed to get out of doing the part of God by handing it off to a 20-something, she had fun with it, and I got to be the People. Rick, for some reason was really nervous about it all, and made us practice twice before the service; but all three of us were fairly practiced readers so it seemed a little odd. After church as the church picnic was also the last day of Sunday School and adult education in the morning, and we're moving to the summer schedule with just the service earlier in the day. No choir, either, so everyone ate out on the lawn in the sunshine, and they had a big grill out doing hamburgers and hot dogs.

John got me home by 1, where I wrote like mad with Darkprism, and at 5, Bonnie, Tonya, and Alma came to my house and I drove the four of us into Denver and Cherry Creek, where we went to Canvas and Cocktails, a little business that does one-night-stand painting "lessons" with plenty of alcohol, music, and other inexperienced company. *laughs*

canvas and cocktails
They had 60 spots setup, in a tiny little room, but it was just enough, and the instructor/owner had a good, friendly/bossy attitude and got everyone going at the right time and in the right direction and we did good. It was really fun to see how all the paintings came out differently for different people, and who chose what where. Sometimes it wasn't choice, just what happened with the brush, but that was part of it, too. The instructions were solid enough for everyone to get something that resembled the piece and loose enough that everyone could interpret to their own tastes. And the music was a blast and it was easy and fun when everyone sang to the parts that they knew.

We ended up getting home around 11, and I was up until 1 trying to get a few other things done.

Monday was writing and then getting in a bike ride so I wouldn't go completely insane. Then I planted everything that was still loose in the garden, that included two tomato plants, a bunch of seeds for onions, carrots, and greens. the first batch of greens is up now, but still very small. The odd weather has made some of the tiny spinach plants actually bolt already. I guess that one 90 degree day did weird stuff. Wrote late that night, and then Tuesday we finally finished. that was nice. I had a massage appointment where everything hurt and both my therapist and I were glad that I went in. I finally got the 1000 word story done and managed to beta something for someone as well as contact most of the folks we wanted to visit one way or another.

In between all that we packed all the stuff we thought we might need for the two week trip, and I'm amused to say that I slept like a log. For some reason I no longer have any anxiety before trips anymore. I guess I've finally been traveling enough that it just doesn't seem to matter what I've packed so long as I get my essentials, things that just can't be bought. There are only a very small number of those things, paintings for people, my medications, and my toothguard. That's it. The rest is just comfort.

Today I had to go get my allergy shots for the morning, John had a meeting, and I had a few last things to clean up with regards to the garden and what was going to get watered or not. John asked Tonya to water our house plants, which was a relief, and we got them all into one spot to make that work. The housecleaners came and went and got the whole basement done and will finish the house just before we get back home.

At 11:30 we went to Jet's school with a picnic lunch and found him and ate with him and all his classmates out on the grass. It's the traditional way they end the school year here, and everone just ends up outside and talking and all the kids can play one last time before summer. Mrs. Eisenburg was fun to talk with, and we also got Jet's report card, which was pretty much all good. He's doing well, and could probably use more challenges with regards to reading more than mathematics, though both are pretty strong. It's interesting to see him take to reading more than math, though he has the same problem with spelling that I've always had.

It's been a very nice day, and as we were out eating clouds started gathering, and when we went east a little to I-25, thunderheads had gathered over the plains.

It's feeling more and more like summer. Of course, that's when we went up to Wyoming and there's still snow on the ground all around, and the snow fences are fresh and pretty. I love seeing all the wind farms up here, with cows wandering about grazing. MUCH better use of the land than trying to plow it and do conventional stuff with it. The occasional snow-capped black peak is all the more spectacular against the rolling green hills. We're making good time and the roads are clear if windy, and it's fun having the GPS telling us what the next turn will be to silkeimom's house. I like that it told us we'd arrive there at 5 am if we went straight through, but we're not. We'll do plenty of stops.

Lots of Road
Wyoming is all these rolling hills, cows, lots of grassland, and long valleys where the road just goes all the way to the horizon.  Easy driving on the most part and we made really good time.  John took a lot of the first part and got us north.  I slept a lot of the way up there, and when I was good and rested we pulled over to a rest stop and I took the wheel for the last two hours before Rock Springs, Wyoming. 

It was good to drive again.  Did fair time, and had a good time passing lots and lots of semi-trucks.  There were far more trucks this trip than last trip, but the last trip was during the time diesel was up at ridiculous prices.  This year it's a lot better, so I guess they're just more trucks out on the road.

The green hills turned into more and more bare rock the further west we headed.  We crossed the Continental Divide at least two times, and each time yielded spectacular views below us.  Finally, I think, we're headed downhill.  *laughs* 

We arrived at the Days Inn in Rock Springs at about 6:30.  Jet had a great time with his new DVD setup and I actually had a lot of fun writing in the netbook and just sleeping when I could.  We had dinner at the Santa Fe Cafe, because they had grilled cheese for Jet.  John got a stuffed sopapilla with green chili and I had a stuffed Navajo Fry Bread stuffed with ground beef, onions, cheese, and topped with chili con carne.  None of which were exactly health foods, but we were hungry after just cheese and crackers for lunch.

The hotel was nice, had good wireless connection, so I've been able to upload photos and finish this.  Trying this with "Deepest Sender" instead of my usual LJ editor as this is on the netbook instead of the laptop.  We'll see how well it formats things. *laughs*

So for a first day it's been good and it's good to finally get on the road again and rest a bit on vacation.

Tags: travel

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