Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 5: What's your Sleep Number?

I can tell you what mine is now.  It is 2, because I slept on the most comfy mattress of my whole life.  I know you are confused because I have told you that we were camping in the travel trailer for this whole vacation (aka almost roughing it, but not really because of the whole we have a toilet, refrigerator and air conditioning thing).  So we found ourselves really close to my cousin's house.  I hadn't seen him or his wife for a long, long time, so we gave them a call.  They dropped everything and came home where we were treated to some SWEET tea (or just tea if you are from the south).  So my cousin's wife pretty much insisted that we stay with them, leave the camper at the end of the drive and pick it up later the next day after touring the area.  At first, I was reluctant to impose, but she was pretty insistent.  And boy am I glad.  The bed I slept on was the most. comfortable. bed. ever.  It was really great to reconnect with them (and go shopping at Target with my cousin's wife without the monkeys).  I hope that when they come to visit their people in my state, we get to return the favor.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 4: Civil War on Thursday

In my family there are two people who love learning everything there is to know about the Civil War.  In case you were trying to guess, it is not me nor the Clover.  As a result, I have now toured Gettysburg, Wilson's Creek, and now Fort Henry/Donnelson.  I do enjoy learning about the Civil War (actually, I enjoy learning about anything which would make me a great Phone-A-Friend if you should ever end up in the Cash Cab).  These were all major battles, and they each have a driving tour through the battleground (which we have done).  I think the thing that bothers me the most is the incredible sadness that I feel when walking around these areas.  So we stayed at the battleground until I had seen the bald eagles that all the signs were posted about (really NPS, "A fed bird is a dead bird"?) and everyone was thirsty/hungry (mostly thirsty), then stopped off at the Dairy Bee for milkshakes for lunch (on vacation, you don't have to play by the rules, unless you are talking about eagles).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 3: Oh No you Didn't

So we decided it would be a fun idea to visit the planetarium at night and see the laser show (This was after a day full of sightseeing.  Which by the way was just a little depressing if you include the Nature Center which should have been nicknamed Rest Haven Nursing Home for Woodland Creatures due to each animals age/infirmities).  The music was slated to be all 80's (who can go wrong with a little Tainted Love?).  Let me tell you who can go wrong.  It was us.  I knew we were in for a treat at the very beginning when we bonded with the family behind us over the terribleness of the music before the show.  The girl on the CD was singing a song apparently titled "Less is More" (at least that's what she kept saying), and the woman behind us said, "She should take her own advice."  I laughed really loud and the guy in charge said all passive-aggressivey, "This side is having just too much fun."  That really didn't stop us from yukking it up until the lights went out.  Then the show started.  The music was your standard mixed tape from middle school (a little Cure, a little Soft Cell, a little Sting and Police).  The lasers were kind of cool at first.  Then someone decided to take pictures, and while they turned off their flash, they did not turn off that little red light that comes on when you take a picture.  So I kind of noticed a little red on the ceiling (where the lasers were projected), but wasn't bothered by it.  However, Mr. Laser Show stopped the whole show and turned on the lights in order to tell the whole audience that he was not amused and taking pictures with any sort of light ruins the show for everyone.  I thought to myself, "Wow.  He takes this seriously." (I was about to find out just how seriously he does indeed take his job).  Then, the show went on.  We weren't very far into the next song when the lights started happening again.  This time, Mr. LS yelled at us, "Seriously?!  You're going to challenge me on this?!  I know who you are and where you are sitting!"  I heard the girls behind us stifle a few giggles, and I was concerned for the safety of whomever was the picture taker.  Needless to say, there was not a big showdown (probably because the picture taker was scared.  I know I was a little).  We finished the hour of synthesizers and lasers, and made our merry way out the door, but not before laughing with the family behind us about never messing with the laser show dude.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 2: City Slickers

After spending one night in a relatively nice state park (no water at the campsite=using public showers, but there was electricity=air conditioning), we made our way to the next stop.  For some unknown reason, we made no reservations for any campsites on this trip (I should have learned the lesson of a lifetime on the Tour America/fight with everyone/sleep in the rest stop because who knew it was Sturgis week and there would be no hotels within a 350 mi. radius trip that my family and I took when I was 15).  So we were on a true adventure.  When we got to the National Recreation Area, we went into the visitors center to ask about campsites, and they told us there were sites available at the Wrangler's Camp.  I asked, "Do you have to have horses, because we don't."  The nice lady told me that of course we did not have to have horses and plenty of people stay there without them.  So, I thanked her for her help and off we went to the Wrangler's Camp. When we pulled in, the lady at the gatehouse checked us in with question marks in her eyes.  At the end of the transaction, she asked me (a little bit condescendingly), "You do realize that this is a horse camp, right?"  I looked at her and said, "Well yes, and we happen to have a horse lover with us.  Plus the lady at the visitor center said that you didn't have to have horses to camp here."  What I was sarcastically thinking though was, "Really?  I never would have guessed that after we drove past eighteen billion horses just now."  She replied, "It is perfectly fine, just some people don't make the connection that there will be horses."  I think she meant that some people don't put it together that the horses stink like a farm.  So we got all checked in and made our way to our site.  It was all the way at the back, so we drove past every camper/horse there.  It was kind of like in a movie because everyone stopped and stared at us sort of confused.  I know they were thinking, "Where are their horses?  Dang city folk."  We were the only ones without horses which leads me to believe the "plenty of people" who camp in Wrangler's Camp without horses means 4 which is coincidentally the same number of people in my family.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 1: Revenge of the Cicadas

Where I live, we don't really have very many of these strange looking insects.  We definitely don't have any of what are called 13 year cicadas (I would have noticed the creepy little red eyes).  But where we were going they were everywhere.  The ranger at the State Historic Site was telling the monkeys about them and said their numbers were of "Biblical proportion."  He also told them about their life cycle (they hatch underground and live/eat there for thirteen years until they emerge to find a mate.  They only have 4 weeks to do it, then they die).  That explanation absolutely fascinated both the Cubscout and Clover (the former Kindergartner joined 4-H).  I wasn't so much fascinated as creeped out because they seriously were all over.  We toured the old mine (there's just not a market for lead like in the days when you got sick from eating paint chips) and the rock museum and made our way back to the truck.  Once inside, the Clover got out her notebook, handed it to the Cubscout and told him, "We need to write that down in our blog."  He asked me for a pen (pencils break, apparently), and as I was digging in my purse I pulled out A CICADA!!! (insert total freakout here).  Everyone was laughing and I heard the monkeys conspiring in the backseat to "definitely write that down, too."  I guess now they will be expecting a guest post spot here.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Vacation...all I ever wanted!

I say that, but getting ready for a trip across this great country of ours is a little bit hectic.  As I have said before, we own a travel trailer, and camp the whole way through our vacations.  For you non-campers, getting ready for a long trip in the camper is much like getting ready for a car trip except instead of just packing your clothes you have to pack your bathroom (towels and all), kitchen (no restaurants here), and fun stuff, too (bikes/sidewalk chalk/bubbles/etc.).  So we pulled out on Monday (yikes), and made our way to Mammoth Cave.  The best thing about it, is I have stories a plenty to share (Wi-Fi doesn't usually come as an amenity in a state park), so I jotted notes in my notebook as we went.  So this week, I will be bringing you Tales from Vacation (try to contain your excitement).