AAA: From Sand to Absolutely Nothing

The third day of the road trip back to Nashville started out with a visit to Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. It was about a 45 minute drive from the hotel. We managed to get there before the visitor center even opened, so we just drove down the road. Tara and I saw the sign that said DUNES. Away we went. IMG_4702

Obviously we expected to see sand, but not mounds of it. We started our walk out to the dunes and soon realized it was a little longer than we thought. Thankfully it was a cool morning. In the distance we saw people hiking up the dunes. No thank you, my dog was not up for that.  We did however climb the closest one to us.

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We looked around. It was crazy to see sand dunes one one side and trees and mountains on the other side. We hiked back down and headed over to a teepee made out of wood. It just happened to be hanging out. We also saw some deer tracks, and probably rabbits of sorts. Abbie’s nose was going crazy. We even think we saw bear tracks, but we thought it would be best not to find out. We got back in the car, still before the visitor center opened and drove around. We soon discovered another dirt road, and figured why the heck not. We drove for a little bit until we saw this sign.

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We turned around, went to the visitor center and started the ever so wonderful drive to Kansas.

Horrible. We came across some cowboys doing what they do.

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Just getting cows across the road. No big deal. Our plan was to go to Dodge City, but we somehow missed the sign for that, so we headed on to the Santa Fe Trail Center, but it happened to be closed. We arrived in El Dorado hours later and tired.

Abbie agreed that Kansas was miserable.

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Two days left at this point, and we could not wait to get to St. Louis.

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AAA: Monument Valley

Tara and I left the Grand Canyon the following day and witnessed a gorgeous sunrise. IMG_4669

We drove down the canyon and saw some elk hanging out to eat some breakfast. Once we reached normal elevation for that area we began our drive to Monument Valley, Utah. Before we even entered Utah we encountered a crazy Subaru driver almost the whole way there. He finally left and went someplace, not that I really care because my road rage came out. We entered Utah and the scenery completely changed. It was gorgeous. Abbie decided it would be fun to sit on top of the luggage on this day. Of course there is a picture.

IMG_4683Strange dog. Monument Valley is part of the Navajo National Tribal Parks. The roads are not paved and there is dirt all over the place. However, out of this clay colored dirt comes the monuments. So impressive. It was probably my favorite place.

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We didn’t really feel like hiking around the place so we took the car for an adventure down the dirt road. Steep, windy and not really made for a luxury car, but I was determined if a minivan could make it, my crossover could. The ride down the road was bumpy. The ride back up…. nerve-racking. Dirt going all over the place, cars coming down the switchbacks, crazy Native Americans speeding past you in pick up trucks, but we made it back to the top and went on our little way.

We finally entered Colorado and headed toward Durango because I have heard great things. It was awesome. We found a brewery to grab a bite to eat at and also grab a drink. Great beer in Durango. Leave it to me to find a fly fishing shop. I managed to get a few things. IMG_4695

We kept on driving. I think this was the longest day. More excitement as we drove up a mountain, a huge mountain that had two tunnels! It was just a hairy day for driving.  We finally reached the town where we were going to stay and luckily it also had a hot tub!

The next day involves a lot of sand….

Adventure Across America: Round Two

Last week I left sunny San Diego and started the road trip back to Nashville. One of my good friends, Tara flew out for the adventure back and boy did we have some fun. We left on a Thursday and our first stop would be the Grand Canyon. Both of us had never been so we were very excited. It was about an 8 hour drive there. Not a lot happened on the drive, besides hitting traffic all along California. Abbie behaved herself for the day and slept a lot. She also snored. We passed an exit for Oatman, Arizona. I had a flashback to my younger days of driving up an crazy curvy road with my family and my grandpa to go to this old ghost town. At one point in time it was a thriving mining community. They have fake gun fights and touristy places there along with random donkeys that roam the streets. I should really go back.

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Abbie snoozing in the car.

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Looks very comfy.

We arrived at in Grand Canyon Village a little too early to check in so we went on to the canyon. Amazing. Incredible. Awesome. That is all I really know how to describe it. Everyone needs to see this. Everyone. I also recommend spending more than one day there. 563495_10200455640902757_475671757_n

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Abbie enjoyed the canyon. She also tried running into people and enjoyed looking over the edge. Not so fast. She also saw squirrels for the first time since we moved to San Diego. Such a happy beagle. We

We came back to the hotel and had our meal at the hotel steakhouse. In the village, there are steakhouses all over the place, this one just happened to be inside the hotel. There was a guy playing the banjo. It was cool. The food, not so yummy. The best part of the whole night was the hot tub.

Day two gets more adventurous. Luxury off roading.

Surfs Up

Today I crossed number  51 off the 101 in 1001 list, and that happens to be learning how to surf. I should not really say I learned, I attempted. Two hours of drinking the Pacific Ocean is really want occurred. They had me learn on a massive surfboard that I could not even sit on without falling over. I have short legs and it is hard for me to do that, in the instructors words. Well, he said something different, but I will not repeat that. The water as cold. The wetsuit was too big and other surfers did not like the idiot beginner. I did however stand once and apparently I caught a gnarly wave. It felt like it was 10 feet tall, but it was a baby. I think I walked through bigger ones to get out of the surf zone with diving.

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In other news of the day, I went on a date last night with a nice guy. Why do you ask if I am moving on Thursday? He likes sushi and he also made me try salmon eggs. Disgusting.

After my surf lesson, I took Abbie to the pet store to get a new tag made for the place in Nashville, There happened to be a a bunch of bunnies waited to be adopted when we walked in. The hunting instincts kicked in, nose to the ground. After getting everything we needed, Abbie kept pulling me over there. If you know my dog, you know that she is strong. So she sniffed, fine.

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Then all craziness happened. She jerked and knocked over that little fence. Five bunnies went hooping and as I started yelling she yanked and went flying. She caught up with one little bunny and well, she made a meal of it. Yes, my dog ended the life of a bunny at the pet store. She was a very happy dog. The staff at the store, well we are banned from ever coming back. Good thing I am moving.

Oh, Mexico

My last week in San Diego started today. Nothing too exciting happened, except for the protests around San Diego about Syria. I also woke up to two homeless people fighting around 4am. Fun night. I finished chapter one for my educational law class. Let me tell you, real exciting stuff there.

After spending some time in he dog park, and no dogs running because there is a heat wave, I ventured down to the outlet mall. It happens to be 2 miles, if even that, from the border of Mexico. Adventure. I picked up a couple things from J.Crew.

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Charley sweater

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Lace front sweater

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Blazer

I also got a few more things that I could not find on the website. The outlet mall was really interesting. Lot’s of Mexicans. There was also a huge fence behind it, and border patrol roaming around. I also took pictures. No, I did not cross into the boarder because one, I did not have my passport and Dad somehow thought I was in Mexico at a mall. Oh, Dad.

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That is as close as I will get to Mexico.

101 in 1001 Update

I have crossed a few more things off my 101 on 1001 list since the last time I posted about this joinery.

40. Read 50 new books.
27. Saltwater Buddha cover128. The Things They Carried9780547391175_custom-a63f5207e6ab89d045cd86a4f72cf9de309383d7-s6-c3029. Mason & Dixon200px-Mason_n_dixon30. Death by Living 084992009431. Reflections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee roland-reflections

66. Eat fruit everyday for one month
Completed during the month of August,

70. Picnic in the park
8/27/13. My dog and I had lunch in the park

87. Leave a note in a random book
8/27/13. On the last day of my internship, I left a note thanking the person who checked the book out, and for also sharing a love of history with me.

95. Learn how to braid my hair
July 2013.

Until next time.