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OMG. Rough start to Linnea's trip.

It all started a few weeks ago when I wanted to add international access to her phone. So I went -hauled my actual fat ass- to the cell-phone-company-that-starts-with-a-V store. Where I was told that "all you have to do it". They took my phone number, which led me to believe that they checked my plan. I mean, right?

Linnea was supposed to have wi-fi at the hotels she's staying at. NSM, of course. They have free wi-fi but are limited to 30 minutes a day, sigh. But I figured that didn't matter because I was going to add the other plan, which is their $10/day for any day you use it plan. They told me we could add it any time and we figured we'd add it yesterday, ie for the first full day of her trip, because most of what she would be the first partial day was the hotel. Which was supposed to have wi-fi.

So I go to add the plan. And I can't. Because yeah, it's not compatible with our plan. WHY did the guy at the cell-phone-company-that-starts-with-a-V store not freaking NOTICE this? And WHY, in addition, does cell-phone-company-that-starts-with-a-V's website, when I showed the plan to dh, not mention that it's only available if you have "some plans", but "not others". Completely blindsided by this.

So back down to the cell-phone-company-that-starts-with-a-V store. Note that our plan is provided via dh's employer, a large employer in the area, and the store is local, so should freaking know to check this. Sure enough, that is the problem. So I add the crappier expensive international plan that IS available to her. Note that this is for LINNEA'S PHONE. I checked and confirmed the number with the gal at least 3 times. Yes, LINNEA's PHONE.

This morning? Dh gets a text saying his international plan has been activated. WTF? Check online. Sure enough, the plan was added to dh's phone, not Linnea's as requested.

Ugh.

So I call cell-phone-company-that-starts-with-a-V, and this time got a person on the phone to change the plan over to Linnea's phone. I've checked online. It seems to be there.

Now she can contact us. And maybe we can troubleshoot together why her ATM card didn't work. She's used it for purchases, but she says the cash withdrawal part didn't. I expect she panicked when the questions weren't the same as the ones she was expecting, or who knows? She can deal without cash, or if it's ok with the group leader, I should be able to paypal him $50 and have him give her cash, or some such. Anyhow.

Phew. I think she'll be ok. When I talked to her yesterday (one a friend's phone, THEY were able to get the $10/day plan!) she said it was wonderful, she was having a great time, they're weird because they drive on the wrong side of the road (*) and she got to see King George IV IN PERSON IN A STATUE. Heh.

(*) She was told this many times, but being Linnea, she only got it when she actually saw it!

I'm SO excited for her!

ETA in RED because I am so freaking PISSED.

VERIZON ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? There were settings on the phone that needed to be fucking CHANGED before she can use the international plan, and of the THREE people I talked to, none of them bothered to tell me that?
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Very proud of all three of my kids, for different reasons.

From youngest to oldest:

♥ Linnea is on her way for a week in Europe, namely Scotland and Ireland. She did all her packing by herself, and didn't freak out at the last minute. I hope she has a wonderful trip.

♥ I signed Perry up for 3/4 of a session at one of the local boathouses (NOT the one he usually rows with) for land workouts. It's been incredibly hard, if there is something I find fault with his current coach, it's that the kids aren't, imo, in as peak shape as they should be. Perry has been running, lifting, and erging at an intensity he'd never done before. He's doing ok. Last week, they erged a half marathon, 21km. That's about 90 minutes on the erg.

♥ AC. She got herself a internship -granted, unpaid- at Fred Hutch, one of the top cancer research institutions in the world.
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A link to the flickr set of photos of our trip to the Enchantments.

New and Improved! 25 Best of the Enchantments 2014. The best, or whatever photos from the trip. A bit less overwhelming!

And this link should get you a trip report

I'm linking in this photo, and I have to find a way to add some more tags to it. Because when I went looking for photos of the Enchantments, every single person I saw was thin. There were young people and older people, but they were all thin. I guess I want people who look like me to see the photo and realise that they aren't alone. Because I was freaking out and felt absolutely ridiculous, I mean, the though that a fat person could haul their fat ass up to the Enchantments? Ridiculous.

WP_20140813_13_18_31_Pro

Also, Perry and I were standing on a sloped slab of granite! He is NOT NOT NOT that much taller than me!

This trip was my birthday present to myself, and I'm so very thrilled about how things worked out. It was spectacular.
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We just got back from Yosemite, a two-ish day drive for us, and listened to two audiobooks, one of which I highly recommend with no caveats for anyone over 12 or so. We listened to:

Neil Shubin's Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body. It's very well written (and, also importantly, read!) and very engaging. The science was understandable with some pauses for the 12 year old (going into 8th grade). The book brings great clarity to the scientific method and how you make predictions, using science, and look! as we predicted! It was quite interesting. While Linnea -age 10- didn't get much of it, she listened on and off and did some good drawings of fish with limbs. The other two (almost 16 and 12) have their book motto "One bone, two bone, lots of blobs, digits!" and seem to delight in it.

BTW, the explanation on what we get dizzy when we get drunk and later as we sober up was beautiful in its simplicity. Heh.

The other book was... well. I listened to the first CD of Mary Roache's Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal and found it hilarious. I stopped, and we all listened to the book while driving.

It was good. She does go into lengthy, often off topic asides, but they're interesting. A lot of facts, a lot of laughs, a lot of totally irrelevant information, but oh so grossly fascinating.

One -very important- false note.

Now I knew she'd written a whole book on sex, which is supposed to be excellent, but this was supposed to be about poop, ya know? And it was mostly, and mostly the book was great. However, a whole chapter devoted to anal play, anal toys, anal sex, homosexuality and anal play etc was... I have to admit, unexpected. I knew there would be anal/rectal talk because I'd read that she talked about rectal smuggling in prisons etc, but I wasn't expecting it to be quite so detailed on the sexuality side of things in a book that was about the alimentary canal. Linnea, age 10, was asleep during the chapter, but the 12 year old was listening, though we paused often to ask him if he was ok with this, etc. It was honestly a bit beyond what he should probably have listened to, though he most certainly enjoyed the book as a whole. The odd thing is that... at least to me, the rectal smuggling thing felt more matter of fact than the titillating tone of the anal playtoys section. And the more I think about it, it's more the way it was talked about that bugged me: it was almost mocking. Ha ha, look at those gay guys, they'll shove anything up their butts! Not enough to be a clear cut case of "this is homophobic, I'm turning it off," but enough to ping slightly wrong.

Perry is not a poop-and-farts are funny kind of kid (that would be his younger sister, and to be honest, the rest of us aren't really toilet humour people), but he did find much of the book grossly hilarious, we all did. There was LOTS of fart/poop/etc jokes, the humour was quite juvenile, but hey, the subject matter rather invites that!

It could have used more science, and less anecdotes, and certainly, PLEASE, less physical descriptions of the various scientists she talked to!, but it was a good listen anyhow. The reader, btw, is flat out excellent, aside from her mimicry of French/German etc accents (why do they do that?) and attempting men's voices. Why, again? Just read it.

The almost 16 year old really liked both books.

And dh and I marvelled that anyone survived the doctors/medicine of the 18th, 19th, and even early 20th centuries!

So a recommend with the caveat that you might want to preview the section about what people put up their asses for fun to make sure you feel it's ok for your kid in the level of detail she goes into. I honestly wish she'd have skipped that aspect, because aside from that, I think it's a fabulous book for any 10-12 year old, even if they don't quite get it all... or perhaps BECAUSE they won't quite get it all!
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There is going to have to be a longer update later, but we're home.

What a fabulous vacation! Yosemite is incredible. We mostly stayed in the uplands, and the Sierra high country is as gorgeous as I was told it would be.

On the iffy side, our router died last Sunday. Grrr... Remember, we run our own email server, so a dead router means dropped emails (sorry, C, I assume at least one of my subbed addresses is bouncing...) We didn't find out I checked my email while we were in Reno yesterday and noticed this. Of course we had a lot of important email outstanding.

The Rim Fire, aside from spawning an obsession with AC and major fear in Linnea didn't affect us much beyond visually stunning sunsets and cloud formations while we were in the park. It started hours after we drove through the area, I guess, last Saturday. We decided to drive back via the East route because the other way was close... and ended up driving for miles in a sepia toned cloud. It was... quite eerie. I had hoped to be able to take a short side trip to see Lake Tahoe, but considering the colour of the sky, we didn't bother. All that personal whining aside, the Rim Fire is going to be bad.

We listened to two non-fic books while driving. Will review later, one at least is awesome for the 12 + set.

AC is a very competent and helpful assistant camp master (I was demoted to lead minion a while back), and she was so very good about tend set up and tear down, getting water started for breakfast that I almost forgive her the griping about being stuck with us on a family vacation.

On our second morning camping, our first morning at our second campsite (a dry campground), we heard CRACK! CRUNCH! SMASH! THUD! and started in utter amazement at the hillside just above us as a gigantic tree broke off, tipped over, smashed against a boulder, and landed on the ground. It was... impressive. As soon as the tipping part started it was pretty clear that we were not in the fall line, though the tent was, so it wasn't even too panic inspiring. The majority of the tree landed about 70 ft or so from us. Linnea, btw, ran to hide behind Perry, who complained later of being the "human meat shield". I'm 99 % sure the reason she hid behind sitting Perry rather than standing me or AC, or sitting dh? She could hide behind him and still stare at what was happening!

Linnea, the second we were in the park, reverted to her anorexic like camping behaviour, refusing to eat more than a few bites each day, leaving me the choice of letting her eat less than 400 calories a day or pester/browbeat her into eating more. Considering the hiking we were doing, I pestered. It is really quite stressful.

In good news? I'm pretty sure my eyes are fine, despite some bad air conditions (from campfires mainly). I look like a dork with my floppy sunhat, but between that, sunglasses, and moisturizing eye drops, my eyes barely got irritated, and I"m pretty sure I don't have an infection. So yay!

Some glorious hikes. OMG. That high country is beautiful.

And here is the ABSOLUTE PISSER WORSE THING GRRRR! ARGH! THINGS ever: dh's Windoze phone? Takes better photos than my digital SLR. It's an absolutely phenomenal camera. Can I say GRRR! again? All my fiddling with exposure and aperture and I even brought my polarising lens, and his damn cell phone camera takes a better photo.

OK, I need to get to bed. My own bed, ah!
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Tonight, I took a shower. Tomorrow morning I may take another. That will bring the number of showers I will have taken this week to three.

In Susanville, CA.
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We didn't sleep too badly the night before the ride. I think much of our anxiety had been used up the day before for our "can we get up and actually bike at dawn?" trial ride, and we got to bed early, slept well enough that we didn't hear dh's aunt G getting in at about 11.

Up, shower, and breakfast. My usual Greek yogurt, blueberries, and Kashi GoLean Crunch cereal.

And miracle of miracles, Perry is coherent.

They closed the 520 bridge into Seattle that weekend, so we had to drive down to I-90, adding extra time to the drive in. We'd left the house at about exactly the time we'd hoped. It was still dark, and dawn came nicely as we were driving in, peeking in over the Cascades behind us, but the morning was misty, very misty.

The traffic to get to the parking lot at the start line was pretty bad. We crawled along, my stress levels mounting. Though to be honest? One of my biggest fears for the ride was getting up on Saturday morning, the sick feeling of OMG I need more sleep, and that didn't happen, and I felt good and strong to start.

Perry was chirpy and chattering away. Perry is not a morning person. This was different. He does chatter when he's nervous though, and he definitely was. Not bad nervous, I think, anticipation nervous.

Parked, and got gear on the bikes, and G, who'd be driving our car home and then later with AC down to Portland, via camping in Winlock, dh, and Perry waited by the mush of a start area while I went to the porta-potties.

Waiting in line for potties is a fact of life of STP. Some rest stops are well organised when it comes to potties and potty lines. Others less so.

Anyhow, that done, I got back to the others just in time to catch a departure wave, they let people leave every 10 minutes. Perry and I clipped in, we cleared the bike computer, started the tracking program on my cell and...

We were off!

The beginning of the ride is through Seattle, some nice areas too, through the Arboretum, around the lake. The first unofficial rest stop is 10 miles in. You can take it, or you can take a right. Right before that right there are is a BIG sign spray painted on the road: GEAR DOWN.

It's the first hill! It's teeny and short, but OMG, straight up. That done, there is a long upslope and we continue on towards points south.

We had our first incident at a stop light. Perry was still getting used to his clip shoes, I think and didn't unclip fast enough. He went down, he was fine, and we were alone, so no danger. I picked him up, bike and all, he and dh grabbed their first snack of the morning and we went on, hitting, it seemed, every single light red.

Before we knew it we were 25 miles in, at the first official rest stop, at REI headquarters. The theme was 80s, the volunteers were wearing head bands and leg warmers, and Juice Newton, really? On the loud speakers. It was fun, full of energy, we got to the bathrooms, Perry started eating and eating and filling his jersey pockets with more food, and we refilled waters.

We were making good time. We felt like we had to hurry, but not terribly so. See, to do STP in two days, we needed to average about 12mph, including stops, and I wasn't sure we could it. We planned a long first day, 120 miles, and I didn't want to get into camping too late. Yet here we were at the REI stop, in the thick of the crowd.

I'll say this now. We averaged much better than I'd expected, much better than last time, and as a result, instead of being in the lagging group, we were in the thick part of the python! There were always lots of people around us, and it made for a very different ride.

More points south. The next planned stop was Spanaway for lunch.

Perry was doing fine. He was cheerful, riding well, and safely. I was very proud of him!

And you know what? I need to start more last minute stuff for Yellowstone. Dh and I were up until 2:30 am, and the cat woke me up at 6, so I've gotten quite a bit done. Still more to do, and the kids have lost their DS car charger. OF course, like the library (see yesterday's whine), they knew they were supposed to get their DS stuff together days ago, but chose to sit on their butts in front of Sonic (crap) Shawn the sheep (double crap), Gloomy Ruby (I think) and bad anime. They can't use the DSs in the park at all, but they'd have liked to have them to and from, but no dice. Because they never listen to anything I have to say!

Anyhow!
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Attempting to reserve campgrounds on the OR coast for Memorial Day weekend, ie next week.

First was looking for campgrounds at Oregon state parks. Not a campsite to be found.

Then I looked for hotels. Found plenty, though of course expensive.

Then I noticed the Siuslaw National Forest,and looked for FS campgrounds.

Found some, and some nice ones.

So we attempted to book them. Depending on how you word your enquiry (tent vs tent only) you get sites or not at some of the places.

Anyhow, we decided to book one north of the areas we wanted to visit and one south.

Attempt to book.

Um, no.

If you are booking for Memorial Day weekend, you have to book Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in one site. No hopping.

Grrr... Why didn't they tell me this as soon as I put my dates in?

Anyhow, we found a campground in the middle, Alder Dune, and booked it for the three nights. At $22/night, buying an extra night that we're not going to use is cheaper than hotels by far.

We can't get there until Saturday, however. It's a 6 hour drive from here, and much too long to do on Friday evening after work/school at the same time everyone else is leaving for the weekend too.

There is a little note on the registration page that says "All sites not occupied within 24 hours of reservation time will be released". Hum. Not good.

We called.

They said it wouldn't be a problem. Fingers crossed that it isn't!

So, we headed to the OR coast next weekend. The plan is visit beaches, walk on beaches, camp, maybe visit a lighthouse, go to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, we're members, camp, and probably -gasp!- pay the ridiculous sum and say 'eff the environmental consequences, and visit -Warning: site makes noise!- the SeaLion Caves . We'd initially thought about bringing bikes and getting a ride in, but that means leaving the girls (eta while we rode, not for the whole trip!) so we decided against that.

Looking forward to the break. I'm sure the next thing I'll find out is that AC can't take time off. And Perry has a Rube Goldberg machine video due on Friday, with automatically granted extension for Tuesday. And that... and that...
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There are many lakes called Blue Lake. I've been to two of them already in WA state, iirc, and this was the third, and... OMG. It is actually really blue!

Seriously, this was perhaps the hike with the best ease-to-reward ratio we've ever been on.

And camping was wonderful. Chilly, but so nice to be out.

Blue Lake
Distance: 4.4 miles
Elevation gain: 1050 ft

Cut because there will be photos.... )
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Perry should be home in a few more hours! His flight is 26 minutes late, gah!

It's been... hard. We've missed him a lot. OTOH, he appears to have had a wonderful time. His host mom, Christine, kept in close email contact, and sent me loads of photos. She invited Perry back, saying they'd love to have him whenever and that they'd pick him up in Paris, spend a few days there with her parents, and that they really enjoyed his visit. I'm so happy.

Anyhow, I just wanted to share a few photos the teachers took! The place is the château de Fort-la-Latte, near Cap Fréhel, for those who might want more details.


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Perry should be home in a few more hours! His flight is 26 minutes late, gah!

It's been... hard. We've missed him a lot. OTOH, he appears to have had a wonderful time. His host mom, Christine, kept in close email contact, and sent me loads of photos. She invited Perry back, saying they'd love to have him whenever and that they'd pick him up in Paris, spend a few days there with her parents, and that they really enjoyed his visit. I'm so happy.

Anyhow, I just wanted to share a few photos the teachers took! The place is the château de Fort-la-Latte, near Cap Fréhel, for those who might want more details.


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AC is still very sick. Her fever is above what I consider ok to let work, so we've been pushing Motrin and Tylenol, and it's not coming down much. She's coughing and miserable.

Plan is to take her in tomorrow to get a flu test. If it is positive, I'll push for preventative Tamiflu for Perry. He's leaving for France in a bit over a week. Cannot have him get sick now.

We're all washing hands etc, but still. The good thing is that D, the next door kid, had the flu last week, when AC was hanging out with her (now I know why she had to go over there and D wasn't allowed outside. Sigh...). Anyhow, nobody else in her family caught it. Also, half of Perry's class was out earlier this month, and he didn't get sick then either. Fingers crossed.

In an hour or so, I have to go to the gym for volunteer work. I'll be there until 8 or 9 tonight. I'm leaving the kids alone, I think AC is ok enough to call 911 in case of total emergency, and I told Perry and Linnea they could sit in front of the TV all day, with either video games or on demand from Netflix. Fingers crossed there too...

Was surfing jobs on craigslist. One looked... ok. Part time, a meager $10/hour, no benefits, labware maintenance, basic chem prep (I can do all that), as well as assisting in experiments. OK, this is pretty much what I'd want to do, wet lab stuff. Then the killer. You also have to be the janitor. WTF? They really know they have people fucked, don't they? Anyhow, I won't be applying.

It's rather like the ad I saw a few weeks back, for a lab tech position.

EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE
1. Bachelors in Chemistry, Physics, Engineering.
2. Educational and/or laboratory experience in surface chemistry, micro-fabrication, nanotechnology, genomics, biochemistry, and/or molecular biology.

It's a temp position, and you have to be available to work the hours they decide, 8 hours shifts, some of them ending at 8 p.m. There will be "extended hours", whatever that ends up meaning.

All this for.... $8.50/hour.

Nice, eh? And btw, $8.50/hour is less than my state's minimum wage, so the ad was edited a few days later to offer the much more generous $8.67/hour that the state mandates, and the job description changed from lab "tech" to lab "intern". Nice. But yeah, rock, meet hard place.

I Can Haz Cheezburger and failblog (no, I'm not giving links) used to be on my daily reads, and I was a very early visitor, having been a fan of what were called lolcats before Cheezburger. So, daily read. And then I found an ad on craigslist from them, which prompted this post of mine, Disappointed. Now? I despise them and don't read any longer, though I'll click it someone sends me a link. They are funny, and I don't prevent the kids from going there, but my contempt for Ben Huh and the whole outfit knows no bounds. They found a way to make zillions off of other people's creativity -good for them- but then advertise from a skilled position at minimum wage. That, to me, turns them into scum. Share the wealth, folks! You can say a lot of nasty things about Microsoft and Bill Gates, but he did do right by his employees, as did Jeff Bezos, and a few others.

Thinking about Japan makes me want to cry. And I'm very afraid that we're rather lost sight of the tsunami devastation because of the nuclear issues. Sigh. I don't like the way the trend is going, and btw? Seems like Japanese corporations are filled with same kind of lying asses as our own.

I had a couple links to share, but I appear to have lost them. Sigh.

About AC's beam routine yesterday. I don't think I've ever been as proud of her as after she got back on that damn beam after her third fall.

This week, I think I'm going to start posting some original fic of mine. Don't know how I'll divy it up, or if I'll post a bit each day or what. I'll figure it out.

And now off to the gym. It'll be ok. I must keep telling myself that.
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AC is still very sick. Her fever is above what I consider ok to let work, so we've been pushing Motrin and Tylenol, and it's not coming down much. She's coughing and miserable.

Plan is to take her in tomorrow to get a flu test. If it is positive, I'll push for preventative Tamiflu for Perry. He's leaving for France in a bit over a week. Cannot have him get sick now.

We're all washing hands etc, but still. The good thing is that D, the next door kid, had the flu last week, when AC was hanging out with her (now I know why she had to go over there and D wasn't allowed outside. Sigh...). Anyhow, nobody else in her family caught it. Also, half of Perry's class was out earlier this month, and he didn't get sick then either. Fingers crossed.

In an hour or so, I have to go to the gym for volunteer work. I'll be there until 8 or 9 tonight. I'm leaving the kids alone, I think AC is ok enough to call 911 in case of total emergency, and I told Perry and Linnea they could sit in front of the TV all day, with either video games or on demand from Netflix. Fingers crossed there too...

Was surfing jobs on craigslist. One looked... ok. Part time, a meager $10/hour, no benefits, labware maintenance, basic chem prep (I can do all that), as well as assisting in experiments. OK, this is pretty much what I'd want to do, wet lab stuff. Then the killer. You also have to be the janitor. WTF? They really know they have people fucked, don't they? Anyhow, I won't be applying.

It's rather like the ad I saw a few weeks back, for a lab tech position.

EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE
1. Bachelors in Chemistry, Physics, Engineering.
2. Educational and/or laboratory experience in surface chemistry, micro-fabrication, nanotechnology, genomics, biochemistry, and/or molecular biology.

It's a temp position, and you have to be available to work the hours they decide, 8 hours shifts, some of them ending at 8 p.m. There will be "extended hours", whatever that ends up meaning.

All this for.... $8.50/hour.

Nice, eh? And btw, $8.50/hour is less than my state's minimum wage, so the ad was edited a few days later to offer the much more generous $8.67/hour that the state mandates, and the job description changed from lab "tech" to lab "intern". Nice. But yeah, rock, meet hard place.

I Can Haz Cheezburger and failblog (no, I'm not giving links) used to be on my daily reads, and I was a very early visitor, having been a fan of what were called lolcats before Cheezburger. So, daily read. And then I found an ad on craigslist from them, which prompted this post of mine, Disappointed. Now? I despise them and don't read any longer, though I'll click it someone sends me a link. They are funny, and I don't prevent the kids from going there, but my contempt for Ben Huh and the whole outfit knows no bounds. They found a way to make zillions off of other people's creativity -good for them- but then advertise from a skilled position at minimum wage. That, to me, turns them into scum. Share the wealth, folks! You can say a lot of nasty things about Microsoft and Bill Gates, but he did do right by his employees, as did Jeff Bezos, and a few others.

Thinking about Japan makes me want to cry. And I'm very afraid that we're rather lost sight of the tsunami devastation because of the nuclear issues. Sigh. I don't like the way the trend is going, and btw? Seems like Japanese corporations are filled with same kind of lying asses as our own.

I had a couple links to share, but I appear to have lost them. Sigh.

About AC's beam routine yesterday. I don't think I've ever been as proud of her as after she got back on that damn beam after her third fall.

This week, I think I'm going to start posting some original fic of mine. Don't know how I'll divy it up, or if I'll post a bit each day or what. I'll figure it out.

And now off to the gym. It'll be ok. I must keep telling myself that.
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I never got around to doing a full trip report, but last summer we went to the Sinkyone Wilderness on California's Lost Coast.

It was one of the most incredible places I've ever been.

Cut for photos )
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I never got around to doing a full trip report, but last summer we went to the Sinkyone Wilderness on California's Lost Coast.

It was one of the most incredible places I've ever been.

Cut for photos )
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You get up early, camping. It's not sunny, though: we're in the midst of coastal fog, and it's magical.

And yeah, that's the freaking campground! Heh.

Cut because I'm going to add photos... )
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You get up early, camping. It's not sunny, though: we're in the midst of coastal fog, and it's magical.

And yeah, that's the freaking campground! Heh.

Cut because I'm going to add photos... )
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Yes, we were supposed to leave on Friday... but what with dh having to work full time and then some all that week, and bits and pieces here and there, we weren't ready to actually leave until about 9 p.m. We've done that before, left that late, but dh thought that I'd called his aunt to see if we could stay with her, I thought he'd called, and we just decided to leave early the next morning.

Early the next morning.

Early.

Which is when we got up. Early. Ugh for early.

Last minute stuff, toast for breakfast and..... the house alarm goes off.

Fuck.

Linnea dives under the covers, and wails, we determine that, for some reason, the toaster decided to overtoast a thin end of bread (because, hey, we're headed on vacation and all that's left are bread ends).

Deal with alarm company. Thank heaven they manage to call the firetrucks back on time.

Finish packing. Dh and kids in Pilot, I'm going to lock up but first I must give the kitties their goodbye treats and cuddles.

"Treat!"

Chloe shows up. Gus does not.

A quick search of the house does not turn up Gus. I go to get dh from the car so he can help search. We opened all doors and windows to vent smoke earlier, could he have escaped, even though both of us were careful to lock the cats up? (The kids are always a random factor. They know but they don't always think).

Panic starts to set it, dh is searching and calling outside when.... Gus ambles to the middle of the room. Where he was? Dunno. I'd guess under the bed, though dh said he'd checked.

Finally. We're off!

Our Pilot has custom plates. We re-newed the registration in July and they mailed us the tags. Problem: for some reason WA state decided that everyone needed new plates, and new plates take time. Which means.. we didn't get them before leaving, but the state, rather intelligently, had sent us a temporary tag for the window. Which we forgot to affix, of course. We realised this about 20 miles from home. Luckily we had thought in advance and it was in the car with us. We attached it using a bandaid. Yeah, well.

It's not even 10 a.m. and we've already had our three minor crisises/panic attacks, but hopefully we're good for the day.

And we were, really. Lunch in Eugene, which everyone says is such a nice town, but I always feel is rather icky myself.

The rest of the day was... easy. The plan was to get to a campground in the Del Norte Redwood State Park where we'd reserved a campsite. The drive wasn't too bad, and we were listening to The Fellowship of the Ring and both AC and Perry were enjoying it greatly, which if course made for a pleasant time.

Towards evening we got our first glimpse of the coastal redwoods.

Wow.

Even the kids were in awe. Not speechless awe, alas.

We had dinner in Crescent City, then off to the campground. While dh and I set up camp, the kids walked down to the campfire program, all by themselves. It felt... safe, and good to allow them that little bit of freedom. They did well.

We all went to sleep early.

A few notes about packing the Pilot. Dh is an incredible packer. I mean... we had loads of gear (camping, clothes for a week, since we'd not be able to wash them, food, water since we weren't sure if the streams in the Sinkyone Wilderness were intermittent or not, hiking boots etc etc etc), and he managed to get it all in, neatly, but wow was it ever tight. Still, it was a masterful job.
nwhiker: (Default)
Yes, we were supposed to leave on Friday... but what with dh having to work full time and then some all that week, and bits and pieces here and there, we weren't ready to actually leave until about 9 p.m. We've done that before, left that late, but dh thought that I'd called his aunt to see if we could stay with her, I thought he'd called, and we just decided to leave early the next morning.

Early the next morning.

Early.

Which is when we got up. Early. Ugh for early.

Last minute stuff, toast for breakfast and..... the house alarm goes off.

Fuck.

Linnea dives under the covers, and wails, we determine that, for some reason, the toaster decided to overtoast a thin end of bread (because, hey, we're headed on vacation and all that's left are bread ends).

Deal with alarm company. Thank heaven they manage to call the firetrucks back on time.

Finish packing. Dh and kids in Pilot, I'm going to lock up but first I must give the kitties their goodbye treats and cuddles.

"Treat!"

Chloe shows up. Gus does not.

A quick search of the house does not turn up Gus. I go to get dh from the car so he can help search. We opened all doors and windows to vent smoke earlier, could he have escaped, even though both of us were careful to lock the cats up? (The kids are always a random factor. They know but they don't always think).

Panic starts to set it, dh is searching and calling outside when.... Gus ambles to the middle of the room. Where he was? Dunno. I'd guess under the bed, though dh said he'd checked.

Finally. We're off!

Our Pilot has custom plates. We re-newed the registration in July and they mailed us the tags. Problem: for some reason WA state decided that everyone needed new plates, and new plates take time. Which means.. we didn't get them before leaving, but the state, rather intelligently, had sent us a temporary tag for the window. Which we forgot to affix, of course. We realised this about 20 miles from home. Luckily we had thought in advance and it was in the car with us. We attached it using a bandaid. Yeah, well.

It's not even 10 a.m. and we've already had our three minor crisises/panic attacks, but hopefully we're good for the day.

And we were, really. Lunch in Eugene, which everyone says is such a nice town, but I always feel is rather icky myself.

The rest of the day was... easy. The plan was to get to a campground in the Del Norte Redwood State Park where we'd reserved a campsite. The drive wasn't too bad, and we were listening to The Fellowship of the Ring and both AC and Perry were enjoying it greatly, which if course made for a pleasant time.

Towards evening we got our first glimpse of the coastal redwoods.

Wow.

Even the kids were in awe. Not speechless awe, alas.

We had dinner in Crescent City, then off to the campground. While dh and I set up camp, the kids walked down to the campfire program, all by themselves. It felt... safe, and good to allow them that little bit of freedom. They did well.

We all went to sleep early.

A few notes about packing the Pilot. Dh is an incredible packer. I mean... we had loads of gear (camping, clothes for a week, since we'd not be able to wash them, food, water since we weren't sure if the streams in the Sinkyone Wilderness were intermittent or not, hiking boots etc etc etc), and he managed to get it all in, neatly, but wow was it ever tight. Still, it was a masterful job.

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