Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mommy's Little Monster

Today, Charlie and I were at Dick's Sporting Goods checking the place out when Bad Romance came on the radio over head. Charlie stopped in his tracks and screamed out, "MAMA!!! IT'S LADY GAGA!!!" I'm not sure why, but somehow, my 3 year old son has become completely enamored with Lady Gaga. Granted, she's got some super catchy songs that even my husband has learned to love the Gaga, but I think it's hilarious that he makes such a big deal whenever one of her songs comes on. He's such a little monster, it's awesome. Anyway, when we were on our road trip out here, Jesse decided that he would like to listen to Lady Gaga on multiple occasions as she was "pick me up" music that helped make the trip go along faster. The funny part were the stories we would tell Charlie to the songs. Like when the songs stopped, he'd ask where Lady Gaga went and I told him she was going to the Monster Ball and she'd be back. Charlie also liked how she sang about monsters because, hey, 3 year old boys love monsters, and what's greater than Lady Gaga singing about them to a catchy beat, right? Anyway, it never gets old.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Pug Dog And The Frog

Last night was raining. We had a storm watch that was supposed to end at 9:00 pm, instead, it kept raining. I took Lulu out to go potty and as we got downstairs in the hall, Lulu started to jet at something I thought was a mouse. When we got down, I realized it wasn't a mouse, but a frog that had got lost inside our hallway. Lulu was chasing it and managed to get it cornered. In an effort to help the lost little amphibian and keep up with my "catch a frog or critter a day" tradition, I scooped him up and took him outside. He was quite a pretty frog. A vibrant sage green with forest green and black stripes and splotchy spots. When we got out, he hopped out of my hands into the grass. Lulu went potty and went back to her frog. The two stared at each other for a while. The frog was either in shock or knew we helped it, because it sat there while Lulu sniffed him. The best part was when the two were nose to nose with each other trying to figure out just what the heck the other one was. What I'd do for a picture of that! Oh well. Anyway, Lulu loved this frog and hopefully she'll see many more like it in the future.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

One Week In Georgia...

First things first, I have noticed since coming to Georgia, I have not had any allergy issues. That is a plus. My horrendous cough is obsolete. I'm assuming the humidity makes it too heavy for pollen to be present or there's less of it, either way, I'm glad to have all of that be done and over with.

I've found myself starting to figure out town, much to the thanks of the grand tour from Jesse's boss last Sunday. If it weren't for that, I'm pretty sure I would have gotten royally lost on more than one occasion while trying to find my way around. On the plus side, I'm starting to get a feel for the streets around here, which ones are the important ones to know, which ones are the ones I don't want to go down, heck, I'm even starting to get the gist of the grid system downtown! And I sure do hate one way streets! But it reminds me very much of the way downtown Reno was, not downtown LA, which was a horrible scary place I never wish to go to unless absolutely necessary.

As for Georgia, everyone out here is really nice. I'm definitely getting that southern hospitality feeling from people. This is probably the only place I've ever lived where I feel comfortable driving. I'm not an aggressive driver. I don't like to make rash split second decisions with transportation, and I definitely hate the LA driving of 90 mph on someone's tail, weaving in and out of lanes. In my mind, that accomplishes nothing other than really horrible accidents. Again, out here, people are all very courteous and it is reflected in their driving. I like it.

One of my favorite things about Georgia so far, however, is the nature! Everything is so green no matter where you look. I can't quite find the right words to describe the trees, but there are places where we live that look completely wooded. Like the western side of the park is full of pine trees clustered together and when you walk under them, you are completely shaded during even the sunniest time of the day. It's crazy! I absolutely love the birds out here. We have cardinals that are so vibrantly red with little crests on the tops of their heads, there's no mistaking what they are. Our woodpeckers are the same. Black and white with bright red heads. There's some really cool geese we call Dinosaur Ducks because they have these feathers that rise on their heads to look like some weird dinosaur crest, but their faces and parts of their necks are covered with fleshy boil looking skin (like turkey faces). The best we can describe them, since we have no idea what they're really called, hence, are Dinosaur Ducks. And actually, Charlie is credited for that name, one we are all rather fond of. Finally, we have a bunch of really cool cranes that fly around our place to the lake. Other fascinating wildlife include the frogs, which I like to catch whenever I see them, and release to the lake. On any given day you can find a dozen turtles or so sunning themselves down by the lake. We have yet to see them, but deer are rumored to come around our place in the very early evenings and mornings. Even the bugs are interesting out here. I don't like them, but I appreciate them. This morning I saw a bug that looked like a walnut and sounded like a buzz saw, charge at our apartment, crash into the roof and fly off in another direction. I have yet to see them, but we have a bunch of snakes out here. Where, I'm not sure, but included in our over 30 something species are 6 venomous species, which, hopefully, I'll get to see one because I am a super lover of herps (and I'm excited to hopefully see a corn or king in the wild like my old pets The Herp and Beetlejuice.)

Anyway, I'm still learning a lot about this town and love it. I mean, what's not to love? It's green, people are nice, they drive nice, there's lots of cool animals, and it's so much cheaper out here than everywhere else I've lived, not to mention the economy is booming because of Ft. Benning and soon to be transfers from Ft. Knox (because that just closed down.) It's just nice to live somewhere that people aren't all stressing out over companies closing, losing jobs, etc. like back in Nevada.

Oh, and before I forget, one last cool thing: the storms! Really intense thunderstorms with lightning and dumping down rain, even a crazy air raid alert system when it gets super bad. Although, that freaks me out a tad bit and I'll need to adjust to that one. I'm getting there thanks to the weekly Saturday noon testing they do.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Big Move

It seemed as if everything with the move has been going too smoothly and I had been anticipating disaster. But, much to our luck, we got anything but that. We got purple mountains majesty. We got deer and antelope playing. We got cheesy roadside stops and an awesome lightning show. Details? Sure, we got those too!

We were supposed to leave Monday morning, but that turned into leaving Monday at 4:30. The truck was packed and loaded and we were good to go. Jesse wanted to wait a day, but I strongly suggested that we had to leave because we had a timeline to stick to. So I took one for the team and after waking up at 5:30 and working with Jesse to move that day, and drove us out.

 

Highlights of Nevada included seeing a big horn sheep on a mountainside near Battle Mountain, a crazy indian historic ground, also near Battle Mountain, and a man we wanted to call Repo Man, because we were certain he was going UFO hunting due to the excessive amount of radio antennas and tin foil he had on his car.


At 7:30 am, I got us into Salt Lake City, UT. We were now back on schedule. I also had to pee really bad and found that I am not a fan of Utah for multiple reasons: including the fact they assume people don't have to pee before 6:00 am, Mormons don't approve of booze or caffeine, and apparently, I discovered the hard way that cloud reflections on salt lakes give me motion sickness. Not cool. Oh, and the freeway offramps downtown only give you the weird alpha-numeric streets you get off on and don't have any of those handy-dandy "gas", "food", "lodging" blue signs every other state we drove through had. Utah... a world of it's own, to which I say, not going back and glad we never moved there. I would have have gone bat shit crazy if I had to live there, I'm sure.

Next up was Wyoming. All I know of Wyoming is that is where Brokeback Mountain is from. So I could only think of gay cowboys and how I'm still traumatized at the fact Jen from Dawson's Creek and The Princess Diaries showed their boobs. Aaaah! OK, I also know that not once, but on multiple occasions, several different people have asked me if I was either from Wyoming or mentioned something along the likes of that I would fit in well there. Let me tell you what! I loved Wyoming! It was so gorgeous out there. The biggest disappointment was that Jesse didn't stop to let me take a picture with the giant bronze Davy Crockett or go to the Davy Crockett historical site/park area. We saw herds upon herds of antelope (lope lope as I call them.) Wyoming was nothing but beautiful. From the rolling green hills with ginormous wind turbines, to the grazing antelope and cattle. It was probably the most beautiful place I've ever seen. The lyrics to Home on the Range and My Country Tis of Thee make sense now that I have been to Wyoming. I can truly say I understand...


After Wyoming was Nebraska. The only thing that pops into my head when I think of Nebraska is this creepy detective cartoon from my old job for a Nebraska client, which I happened to see so much of over the course of my time there as I was bogged down with the Nebraska stuff. I just remembered all these odd sounding towns for various programs and I was now driving through them thinking, "Yeah, I remember their logo..." Nebraska is one of those places, though, that I have never been to, and after going I think I want to go back. Who says that? Who says, "I want to visit Nebraska!" Me, I guess. We stayed at a Motel 6 in Big Spring and it felt like staying at a resort. They had HBO, a pool, and a steak house right next door. All I can say is Motel 6 is really steppin' it up. We got dinner at the steak house and it was good stuff, but the decor was what made the place. It was basically my gun theme restaurant idea I always wanted to do. Guns were everywhere. The chandeliers were made of antlers. And they had the best bread and butter I ever had. True story.


Our stay in Nebraska had set us back severely on our time line. Now we had to make up another 8 hours. The next day, we had breakfast and watched the Weather Channel and talked about how it was a good idea we went the way we did since the southwest was on fire and there was some huge flood in Hamburg, Iowa. We got back on the road and drove some more, stopping at Fort Cody, NE and doing cheesy tourist photos and things of the sort. Then, it was back on the road and we made it through to Iowa. Iowa pretty much looked what we were expecting Nebraska to look like. Funny how that happens. Well, wouldn't you know it, just as we were getting close to HWY 59, we saw the sign: HWY 59 CLOSED FROM FLOODING, USE ALTERNATE ROUTE. Fanfreakintastic. So we kept driving along the 2 till we got to the 71. At one point, the alternate route was nothing more than a single freeway lane as the other lane was submerged in water. The drive on the 71 seemed like forever and we were almost certain we were lost, but in the end, we were able to get back on course. We saw some coyotes in corn fields as well as deer, one of which was a buck with fresh antlers, still covered in fur! Neato. Finally, we wound up in Missouri which was OK until we hit Kansas City. That was supposed to be our destination stop for the second night. Instead, we passed it up as the city reminded Jesse and myself too much of the really bad parts of downtown LA and we were on the road far too long and agitated from poorly marked freeway signs and bad drivers. But, we got past Kansas City and spent the night in Springfield, MO.



Our final day of driving was out of Missouri, into Arkansas, which was another place I had never been to and all I think of when I think of Arkansas is Bill Clinton, specifically of him playing a saxaphone. Again, I'd like to add Mammoth Spring, AK to my list of places I'd like to visit. We bought a watermelon from some kids at a gas station and I tore that thing apart last night and it was fabulous. Anyway, after Arkansas, the trip gets dull and tiresome. I was looking forward to going through Tennessee, but it was kinda a drag. Maybe it was the weather, who knows? Mississippi was the next state and the only interesting thing there was the river of the same name, which is massive. Alabama was the last state we had to travel through and it was dull. I fell asleep the last part until we were nearly to Phenix City and close to our destination.

On Friday, at 4:30 am eastern time, we made it to Columbus, GA. We checked into a motel for the night and crashed till just about close to check out. We were lucky to even get a room as there was a graduation at Fort Benning and half the motels in town were completely booked.

Long story short, it was a very long drive. If I had to do it all over again, I probably wouldn't want to simply because moving is a lot of work, especially in the heat, and driving a moving truck towing another truck up steep mountain passes sucks, especially when you're floorin' it and only going 20 mph and the engine sounds like it's gonna die. Heh. Good times. Anyway, while I have no desire to drive cross country again, I do still have the desire to see more of our beautiful country. It is truly amazing and there are so many wonderful places that aren't large metropolitan cities that deserve to be seen and could only be discovered through a great American road trip. One of my dreams was to go on a cross country road trip and I am happy to say I did just that! Only, this time, I won't be coming back. We're here to stay and it's a pretty interesting place.

The End.

Oh, and more pics from the trip are on my facebook.