2017-10-16 Sometimes the Fates Decide

Late on Saturday my mom decided she wanted to drive home on Sunday instead of Monday so once Sunday breakfast was over we loaded up all of our stuff into the Jeep to get on the road out of town. However, the fates had different plans for us and decided we should stick around until Monday like we had originally planned.

We left my brothers house and did what people do when they are getting on the highway in that we stopped for gas. I insisted we make a second stop so I could get a latte. When we got back in the vehicle and turned it on, it started to idle heavily and when she tried to drive it, it went a couple of blocks in the parking lot and then just refused to go when she pushed on the gas. Then the check engine light started to flash.

So we had a very un-fun afternoon on the phone with emergency roadside assistance, getting tows, and discovering that she put diesel fuel in her tank by accident. So we had to get a second tow to a nearby Jeep dealership where the vehicle would stay until someone could take a look at it when they opened on Monday morning.

We went back to my brothers house and unloaded all of our stuff. I guess we were meant to stay in Colorado and should not have tried to change the plan. It was a beautiful afternoon and I walked from the first car place back to my brother’s house. After the dust on all that excitement settled, Lance came to take me to his place in downtown Denver where we walked some more on 6th street looking for a place to eat. We settled on Blue Sushi, which is one of my favorites.

After that he and I went back to his place and talked more and watched TV. I took an Uber back home to my brothers as Lance and I had both been drinking all evening. I came home to a mostly quiet house and proceeded to settle back into my spot on the couch in the basement. I’m really looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, hopefully tonight.

The service department at the Jeep dealership has confirmed there was minimal damage to the vehicle (very lucky) and they should be able to flush it out and get us back on the road by about 2PM today. At this point my mom and I are both super anxious to get home even though we were not originally going to be leaving until today anyway.

It’s another beautiful day out right now (sunny and 60 degrees) and I’m going to take a walk and enjoy that to pass the time while I wait. I wish I had my bike here. Next time, I will totally bring that so I can ride the trails.

Happy Monday,
~Miss SugarCookie

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2017-10-14 Waking Up in Colorado

Yesterday my mom and I made the drive along I-80 across Nebraska and into Colorado. We’re visiting my brother and his family in Broomfield which is a thing I like to do about once a year. I love certain parts of Colorado and could really see myself living here someday. My brother has lived here for over 16 years.

We arrived around 5PM but I haven’t actually had a conversation with him yet because Lance came and picked me up and took me out to his friends for a nice evening at their place. It was a lovely evening with good food and wine and conversation. I think it was just past midnight when I got back “home” and the only person still up was my brother’s wife who I chatted with for a quick minute before crashing on the couch in the basement.

I woke up around 6AM (which is 7 Omaha time), and so I didn’t have much of a sleep but I’m ready to get after the day. I’ve already been upstairs and had breakfast and now am back down in the basement waiting for others to stir. We are going on a hike today which is pretty routine for our visits here. It typically means a pretty drive through some mountainous areas to get to some trail we have not been on before.

My brother is an avid hiker and goes a lot, but we stick to the “easy” stuff. Our mom calls them “grandma” hikes. She declared yesterday that she wanted to do something a little more challenging this time. We’ll see where that lands us.

I’m hearing other human beings up and moving around above my head now so I should go say hi.

Happy Saturday,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-21 What I Would Do for Totality.. Apparently

Be up over 36 hours straight.
Suffer through a migraine.
Suffer through a terrible hotel stay.
Have the worst “free” hotel breakfast ever.
Hours of waiting (this part wasn’t so bad before the eclipse because we were with friends).
Stupid paper glasses (ok, now I’m just being a whiny bitch).
Lack of proper nutrition (my fault for not being more prepared).
Cramps and bleeding (sorry, now I’m going all TMI).
AND.. A one and a half hour drive home that took THREE hours.

But we were there, at the fairgrounds by Beatrice Nebraska right on the line of totality for 2 minutes of a total eclipse of the sun. I’m not going to lie, it was pretty freaking awesome. I was cheering and jumping up and down. It was also cool to watch the moon as it passed in front of the sun for an hour before, with the glasses of course.

We had off and on thick clouds so it was never a guarantee we were going to get to see anything. Just seeing the partial was really cool. When we all got to take the glasses off and the sky was mostly dark except for a 360 degree of “sunset” on the horizon, that was amazing. We even saw stars in the sky. What a sight. Despite all my hardships, I am glad that I went.

Despite all my anxiety and indecision leading up to it, I am glad I went. I’m glad I got to take the kids and that they got to experience this once, maybe twice in a lifetime event.

And now, I’m glad that it is over and I am back home in my own room in my own bed. It’s only 7PM, but I daresay I will not be able to stay up very much longer.

Totality Wiped Out,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-08-12 Looking Forward

It’s good to have a plan. It’s good to have things to look forward to. An event or a meet up or a vacation in the future that you can think about and be excited about. I’m a planner by nature and I love having things to look forward to. That’s probably why I am always planning to meet people for lunches or daydreaming and scheming about my next road trip or vacation. From the moment Hawaii was a done deal, it has been a topic of discussion with people and a wonderful thing to be excited about. That happens in November and I bought those tickets last spring, so I will have enjoyed looking forward to that for like 6 months.

One thing that was great about my job was that it paid enough to support my travel habit. There are so many places I want to see and so many things that I want to do that as soon as I get back from one, I’m almost immediately thinking about what is next. The downside to the job thing is, well, only three weeks of paid vacation a year. Bummer. I’m also a fan of the long weekend, you know take a Friday and maybe even Monday too and take off for a road trip. I think my PTO balance at work was often hovering around zero. Whatever job I elect to have next, I would like more time off. Four weeks is not unheard of but five would be the bomb. That’s probably stretching it some.

I originally planned to take three months off of work. Well, three months where I was just going to get some serious R and R and not think about work at all and then potentially another three months looking for the “right” job. For the most part being off work has been great, but now that I am almost halfway through my first three and about a month past my big Pacific Northwest adventure, I am really starting to want to plan some more things with the time I have left.

I’m supposed to do a quick trip with my friend Denise to Beatrice to witness the Solar Eclipse on the 21st, but that will likely be a one day trip. The one day trip I took to that crappy water park in Grand Island was more of a spur of the moment thing and not super awesome. I need something more substantial. Yesterday I had texts with both my friend Rebecca in Austin and my Mom about potential trips.

It looks like we (my mom, the kids, and I) will be going to visit my brother in Colorado in October over the four day Columbus day weekend. That’s so far away still. I may be going to Austin mid September too. That will probably be decided here in the next couple of days. Rebecca also wants to plan a girls trip sometime in October or November so that will likely be awesome too. Then we are leading right into that first week of November when I will be on the island of Maui. So that’s all very excellent.

I’ve also been thinking I would like to get back to the Badlands this year. I love that place so much. That is one of the benefits of being in a relationship .. you have someone to experience things with. I don’t much mind traveling solo, but when you get to where you are going, eating all your meals and seeing cool things by yourself is just not the same. You see the most amazing sunrise and you look to your left and your right and don’t have anyone to say “wow, how cool is that” to. That’s a bummer. Still, it would be nice to get back there before my time runs out.

For the next few weeks I need to focus on getting the kids back to school and potentially doing a little soul searching about my future. That’s another kind of “looking forward” that I’ve intended for this time in my life. I should capitalize on that opportunity while I’m at home and waking up each and every wonderful day with the luxury of doing whatever it is I feel like.

I guess it’s time to do that now. I wonder what this day will bring.

Always Looking,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-05-31 Decisions, Decisions

Good Decision – Going to Denver for the holiday weekend.
Bad Decision – Not checking the weather and packing the wrong clothes.
Good Decision – Walking everywhere downtown.
Bad Decision – Buying at $10 salad and a fancy salad place.
Good Decision – Bringing the bike with me.
Bad Decision – Not riding it. 😔
Good Decision – Going to Red Rocks for a concert, meeting some new people, and tailgating for the first time. (Tom Petty was awesome by the way.)
Bad Decision – Drinking way too much AND doing so the night before driving home across Colorado and Nebraska for 8 hours. I’ve never had to drive with a hangover before, and hopefully I never will again.

It was a quick trip, but a good one. I am glad to be back home and getting to sleep in my own bed tonight. I’ve got laundry to do and the kids are being dropped off in a little bit. I have to go into the office tomorrow morning and have a full day of meetings and work. I would say it is back to business as usual, but it probably will be nothing like that for the next four weeks.

This trip has been a good preamble for all the awesomeness to come. I’m sure I will have many more good and bad decisions in my near future.

Jury is Always Out,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-05-29 I’m so in Denver Right Now

I occurred to me when I woke up this morning that it’s been a few days since I wrote anything. Well, in truth, it occurred to me yesterday when I was driving across Nebraska, but I was driving, so I could not really do anything about it at the time.

Four days ago I quit my job. That’s pretty big news, and it is maybe going to take some time to sink in. I’ve told a few people, but not many. My sister knows but I have not told my parents yet and probably that will be best served in a face to face. Really, I’m still kind of getting used to the idea myself and I’ve got four weeks left of work, so taking my time on all of it.

Four days ago I quit my job and this morning I’m waking up in Denver. I’m staying with a friend of mine for a few days. He lives on the 9th floor of an apartment building on 16th and Larimer. It was kind of a spur of the moment trip, but he just broke up with a girl and had an extra ticket to a concert at Red Rocks and so I jumped at the invite. I’ve only been to a concert there once before, but it’s one of the best venues I’ve ever been to. It should be pretty cool.

It’s a long holiday weekend and I’m going to end up working from here for a day or so before driving back home. It’s a long (boring) drive across Nebraska just to go to a concert, so I wanted to stay for a few days and live the downtown life.

The drive yesterday was long indeed, and that much time in the car alone gave me a some serious time to think. I thought about my job and the people that I work with that I’m no longer going to be working with and it made me emotional. I thought about what I might do with my time off and that made me feel free and happy.

I thought about Matt and the road trips we have been on before, both good and bad, and that made me emotional too. One minute I was getting teary thinking about something and the next minute smiling about something else. I found it very strange how up and down I was the entire time.

I stopped in Ogallala Nebraska to buy a lottery ticket (as is my custom), but after going to two places and finding they no longer sell them, I figured it was not going to be my lucky day and gave up and got back on I-80. It took me a fairly long time to make the trip because I did stop several times along the way, but I arrived last night around 7:30.

Today is the actual holiday, so no work and I really don’t know what the plan will be for the day. It’s only 7AM here and I woke up with a slight headache so I may drink some water and lay back down for a bit. We’ll see where the day goes from there.

Mile High,
~Miss SugarCookie

2017-03-03 When the Universe Smiles at You.. 4

There was no set plan for the day yesterday, but everything seemed to happen exactly as it was meant to… and it could not have worked out better.

I worked most of the morning from a standing desk in Ademir’s basement and had a very intense set of calls. I faced issue after issue, and fielded question after question, so by early afternoon, I felt like I had earned my keep and a pass to venture out for food and a little exploring.

On this trip, I’m the driver and Josh is the navigator. This is his home away from home so I just have to say what it is I am in the mood for and whatever that is, he’ll get us there. For our first meal in the city, though, I opted to leave it to him to suggest a place. He decided it was some breakfast/lunch place that was fairly close to our home base that serves baller french toast and so we set out in that direction.

When we got to the general area, though, he could not remember the name of the place and it wasn’t coming up on the map. We parked in a parking lot next to a grill and pub called “Weber’s Front Row” and started walking the main strip. I’m not sure what the name of that area of town is called, but Webster University, where his friend Crystal works, was close by.

After walking up and down a couple of blocks, we didn’t find it so we got back in the car to do more google searching. Before too long, my hunger took over and I suggested we just eat at this place we were parked at. “It’s a grill and pub, and they have Cheeseburgers.” What more could a girl ask for?

When they set that plate in front of me, I could not help but think, “Everything works out the way it is supposed to”. There I was, first day in a city I had never been to before and the universe was handing me the most delicious Cheeseburger. And it really was so, so good.

It was a thick, juicy beef patty topped with a generous portion of melted real cheddar cheese, grilled onions, and dill pickle slices. And all of that was contained within an toasted onion kaiser bun. It was amazeballs. The burger was cooked medium to perfection and served with an accompaniment of golden french fries which were also cooked very much to my liking – crispy on the outside and soft and steamy hot on the inside. It was a total thumbs up. I’m a pretty tough critic so when I say it gets 4 stars out of 5, that’s something.

Josh opted to order “The Lumberjack”, which was also a cheeseburger but instead of a regular bun, they put it inside two grilled cheese sandwiches. On the menu it also came with fried egg, but he elected to get those on the side. It was still a ridiculous mouthful for sure and also delicious (as he let me try a bite). He likes his burger rare, which is not my cup of tea, but he seemed to enjoy it quite a bit. It was too much food for us, but that’s part of the fun of being “on vacation”. We left that place completely satisfied and happy that things worked out the way they did.

Was it fate that led Josh to want to go to that area of town? Was it coincidence that the restaurant we were looking for was not coming up in our google map searches? Was it luck that the parking lot we elected to park in was next to a pub? In my life right now, I need to do a little more letting go on questioning why and just be grateful for what’s been given. When the universe smiles at you.. you say thank you and smile back.

Thanks Universe, 😃
Miss SugarCookie