Monday, December 31, 2012

The Promise Land.

Another 1700 miles in the can and we have arrived in Whitefish.  The Orange Men (Adam & Pete in their matching orange jackets) have gone off to ski the "side country."  Poor Zana had to go to work today, and her wicked hangover followed her there.  Danger Mutt and I are having some quality quiet girl time - MUCH NEEDED quiet girl time.  She's having awesome running dreams; I am reveling in the fact that I won't be getting in the car for more than 10 minutes today.  On the docket: skate skiing, grocery run and more booze. It will probably take my guts a month to recover from this trip.  Adam has pretty well convinced me that we should stay all week, so I also need to figure out how much vacation time I have and whether or not I'll need to go to the lab Sunday to play catch up.

We left MoFalls late Friday morning.  My brother and dad left a bit earlier than us and headed to Austin in the rental car.  I think my mom was secretly glad everyone was gone so she could have some of her own quiet time.  No quiet time for us, since Gaia was having none of the drive out to Madison.  We went to a golf course we had spotted earlier in the week for some skate skiing in our new gear, then over to Ashley's to introduce Gaia to the babies (Scout & Sully, the mini dachshunds).  Then sushi on the Square (Adam in reference to the Madison food & culture: We are a million miles from Menomonee Falls!), and back over to the shoppe for Friday Tasting.  More friends joined us at the end, including a dachshund named Snack and his partner in crime, a Gaia-sized dog named Dante.  Much wine was consumed.  Then all of us - six humans and five dogs - spent the night sipping whiskey and snuggling up in Ashley & Hills's 800 square foot house.  Cozy!

Saturday morning we made the push west.  Two long days, one overnight in South Dakota's biggest water park resort and we landed here.  We cut across Montana from Billings to Great Falls and through Glacier National Park.  Good driving conditions all the way, other than the 30 knot crosswinds at times and the elk in GNP looking for blood.  Zana & Pete had wine and soup ready for us and shortly after we PTFO'd on the pull out couch.  And for the love, we are not driving beyond town today.

Snow is falling and it's beckoning me outside.  So I shall leave you with some photos to sum up the trip thus far and return sometime in the not too distant future.  It's a quick upload, so the photos are a) out of order and b) not all rotated properly... 

Andrew & Adam making pizza.

Adam's first Butter Burger

And Adam's first Jimmy John's sandwich!

The amazing parking job at REI Madison.

Adam, GF pizza, wine.  Can't remember how I got previous blog photos to not rotate themselves... stand by.

Duck death in the back of the truck.

Gaia PTFO'd in Whitefish.

Gaia & Snack in Madison.

Gaia at the Christmas Dinner table.

Gaia's new favorite driving position.

Gaia in front of the MoFalls tree & booty.

Gaia goes to Wisconsin!

Hills pouring bubbles.

Culver's stop.  You can't leave the midwest without frozen custard.

Gaia & I at the Devil's Tower pit stop.

Driving... Day 3.


South Dakota.

Driving... Day 1.  Looking so fresh and clean!

Sushi at Red.

Wisconsin Capitol Building in the snow.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sioux Falls to MoFalls

Twenty Four hours in to Drool-fest 2012.  So far, so good.  Sort of.  Anxiety levels are high all around.... which I guess doesn't make it drool-fest, but more like panic-fest

We got a few hours of sleep at the sketchy Motel 6 the other night, broken up by people coming and going at all hours, and the need to flip over every so often so the hip side that was on the mattress wouldn't completely fall asleep.  Gaia had no trouble sleeping, of course, and woke well rested and ready to whine all the way across Minnesota.  Adam woke, not forgetting that we were in a sketchy motel, and successfully avoided touching the gross carpet with his bare feet.  That is to say, he resurrected the game of "Carpet is Lava" and threw down pillows from the bed to his shoes.   Then we had to drive an hour before we found a legitimate coffee stop, at which the high school girl pouring espresso saw Adam's Yale vest and said (with astonishment): Woooooah... Did you reeeeeally go to Yale?  Wow.  You must be, like, really smart.

Got in to Madison last night before dark, and had a lovely stay with Ashley & Hills at Square Wine Co, their new baby across from the Capitol building.  Hills sells smaller production stuff and had a pretty awesome selection.  So we stocked up for the week, shared a bottle of Riesling, snacked on some cheesey bits, and got back on the road.  Another hour and a half and we successfully entered Menomonee Falls.

Last night Adam and I shared the end of the potato/squash/turkey hash and a bottle of wine, each got a much needed shower, chit chatted a bit and pretty much PTFO'd.  Ten hours later everyone finally started to stir.

Today was cookie munching, last minute present shopping, liquor & beer buying, doggie belly rubbing and internet surfing.  Andrew and I each snuck in a little kettlebell workout between cookie servings.  Adam and I (but mostly Adam) made dinner.  I guess I've gotten re-calibrated to how long cooking with Adam takes.  And I'm totally ok with snacking and sipping wine while cooking, but it was tension-creating for every other adult in this household when dinner wasn't ready before 8:00.  (Other than Andrew, who has been completely preoccupied with video games and root beer & vodka.)  Throw in a busted meat thermometer, which kept the beef in the oven longer than it really needed to be and things got uncomfortable.  Classic first full day at the Potter household, and everyone should be fine in the morning.

Cribbage & movie watching time now.  And water drinking.  Must increase water intake...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Bozeman to Sioux Falls

No blood drawn yet from any of the three of us.

Currently drinking box wine at a Motel 6. Gaia gets her own bed tonight and is enamored with the way it smells and tastes.

Adam says we must go to sleep now so that we can get this stay over with and get back on the road.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Seattle to Bozeman

Here we (me & Gaia) sit on our king sized bed in a hotel in Bozeman.  Adam is washing the last 675 miles off.  Actually, no, now he's opening a beer and eating popcorn while walking around in a towel and marveling at the number of TV's in this "suite."

The morning should have been uneventful - just packing, loading the car, and going.  All going to plan until the second load down to the truck, in which we arrived at the truck and realized we had zero keys on our collective person.  So I went around knocking on every unit that had an outside door, but with no luck.  Adam pretty much stayed and guarded the laptop bags and skis.  I was able to follow some neighbors into the next building over, then had to sort my way through the labyrinth to get back to where Adam was waiting.  Then we had to break into the apartment door, which was disturbingly easy.  Only set us back 45 minutes and we were still over Snoqualmie Pass by  noon - which is about the time we realized we forgot the dog food & bowls.  A Trader Joe's stop in Spokane, a walk over to Petco, and Gaia was back in business.  We picked up a squeaky duck that lasted about a hundred miles until the next pee stop, at which point we found its guts all over the back of the truck.

Gaia's Thundershirt (an early Christmas present from Jo) has proven quite useful in the last 10 hours. She's still not EXCITED about being in the car, but she's not whining and barking ALL the time, which is a huge improvement.  If I had been able to locate the doggie sedatives last night, it may have been totally silent.

And, Adam just found the apartment keys that have been missing since September, when he originally got them.  He had to copy my keys when we first moved in, because he put his in his "every day" laptop bag - every day in UNDERGRAD.  It would have been wholly ironic if that bag had been outside with us this morning, but we're pretty sure it wasn't.  (Pretty sure.)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Another Road Trip

Tomorrow morning we start road trip, part deux.  I know, I know, I haven't even posted about the original road trip in October.  But I've got 2000 miles to Wisconsin to get it done... so maybe.

Adam, Gaia and I are driving from Seattle to Milwaukee, WI to Madison, WI to Whitefish, MT and back to Seattle.  Christmas with my family, wine drinking with Ashley, Hills and the new shoppe in Madison, New Years and skiing with Zana & Pete in Montana before heading back to work on (or around) the 3rd.  Adventures are sure to be had; possibly even blogged about in a semi-live fashion.

Adam has spent all damn day organizing music so we won't get bored.  He may or may not start packing before the hour in which I would like to hit the road in the morning (t-minus 11 hours).  Gaia will be snuggled in her new Thundershirt, and probably given a dose of doggie tramadol and we might make it to Missoula tomorrow in one piece.  Here's the plan:

Look out, Montana.

As you can see, we're covering a good portion of the US; across on I-90, back on I-94.  The midwest is in the midst of Winter Storm Draco, which is dumping plenty of snow.  (White Christmas!)  Gaia loves her some snow angels, so she is STOKED.  I am too.  Adam probably still needs some convincing...

Wish us luck!

P.S.  There's a new tab: Road Trip Tracker.  You can watch us cruise along the north central US.  Is there a more exciting way to spend your weekend than glued to the internet??