Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Vacation Cut Short

Monday August 7-Soffee got us up early this morning. Her tags a jingling. Got up and took both of them out. I went back to bed for a bit. We had to leave early this morning to go get Ashton and deliver him to hockey camp. It started at 10 but Seth wanted him there by 9. His friends would be there. We dropped him off and Jeff, Hailey and I went for breakfast. We got back in time to watch his first ice time of the day. They worked on drills. I was tired just watching them.

You could tell Ashton was happy to be back on the ice. We stayed around until ice time was over. We came back to the campground and I got started with my packing list. We are going on a vacation. We are not used to vacationing. When we travel we have everything with us. I didn't want to forget anything. We were taking the dogs so I wanted to have all they would need too. Well I got a good start on that. Fixed lunch for Hailey and before I knew it, it was time to get Hailey to gymnastics. When we got there all the girls were talking about moving up to Silver. They were asking Hailey if she made it....she didn't know. She just said I hope I did. Then I looked at my phone and Katie had just texted me saying that Hailey moved up to silver. I showed her the text and she was excited for sure. It was also picture day. That means instead of taking pictures through the glass we got to go in and get some shots.

The time went faster today because I got to see a lot better and take some pictures. I would go out every once in a while. So Hailey could focus a bit better. I took her home and dropped her off.

Tuesday August 8- Busy day. We had to have the dogs at the vet at 8 a.m. Time for there annual shots. Came home, I grabbed our laundry and went to Justin's house. While doing my laundry I packed up there kitchen stuff for there move. We and his brother are going to be gone for there big move. I felt I should help them some. I stayed and got all the dishes and kitchen stuff. Hope they don't plan on any cooking because everything is packed. I left there and headed toward home to do some packing for ourselves. We are hitting the road tomorrow and I want everything to be ready to go. I think we are ready.

Wednesday August 9- Up early and ready to go. I took my big plant up to Wanda's, she is a camp host at the second loop. She will be babysitting my plant and refilling my hummingbird feeders. We loaded up and off we went.

We took off with the top down. It was chilly but with the sun it was nice. At one of the stops we put the top up, good thing because we ran into and out of some rain. We stopped at Lake Okoboji. It had cooled off quite a bit. We needed to get out and walk around. Would have spent more time there if the weather was better. I'm sure it would have been better with the sun shining.

We got back in the car and continued our trip landing tonight in Sioux Falls, SD. Jeff had made reservations at the Red Roof. We settled the dogs and went to get some supper. We found an Outback and had a nice dinner. We hurried back to the hotel because the dogs aren't usually too good in a hotel.Tomorrow we tackle renewing our drivers license.

Thursday August 10- I got online to see what time DMV opened. I also read on there that to renew your drivers license you needed 2 pieces of mail to prove residency. Oh great...we don't have any mail with us. We don't even get much mail anymore. So the hunt begins to see if we can find something to get this done. I remembered our insurance cards. So we checked out of the hotel and headed over to see if we could get our licenses. Jeff went in to check. He came back out saying they will except our paperwork but need a receipt from the hotel to prove an overnight stay. Well Jeff always gets receipts but this morning there printer was down. So back in the car and back to the hotel. He came out with a receipt this time. Back to the DVM. Went to the desk, Jeff got his paperwork to fill out. I step up next and the lady asked for my hotel receipt....I said your kidding right? She said no, I said well we are married and always stay in the same room. She says my name isn't on the receipt...really?  Well she said Jeff could sign something to state that I was with him. Can you believe that. Well we got our new license and couldn't wait to get out of there. Now off to the Badlands. First we stopped at Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. Jeff took a quick look inside, I took the dogs out of the car to stretch there legs.

Before heading to The Badlands National Park we put the top down to enjoy not just the park but also the blue sky and sunshine.

We have visited the badlands before but this time we had a unique view. We couldn't have ordered better weather. It wasn't to hot or cold. The sky was a pretty shade of blue, dotted with white puffy clouds. We took our time stopping many times to enjoy the view.

I thought I spotted a couple brave folk on top of one of the formations. I zoomed in and couldn't believe they climbed up there. That is one thing that we were surprised by, that you were allowed to climb around.

After making our way through the park we drove on to Wall Drug. Well with Sturgis going on this week it was a bit crowded here. It was warming up so with the dogs, Jeff stayed out on a bench with them.  I went inside for a quick lookie. We have been here before as well. Just too many people for me today.

We got back in the car and headed towards Hot Springs S.D. Jeff had a hard time finding a hotel because of Sturgis. We didn't want to drive too much more because we had a pretty full day of driving already. Jeff managed to find us one that was pet friendly and a reservation was made before we left home. He checked in and we walked in with the dogs. The guy at the desk said oh no no no. You have pet? Jeff told him online it said pet friendly. He said you need to tell us when you get here that you have a pet. Well it's not like we were trying to sneak them, we walked right by the desk. So he had to see if they had any pet rooms left? Well they had one and we went to see it. When I walked in it smelled like an old bar....smoking room. Well even on a bad day my dogs don't smell that bad. Did I tell you we paid $140.00 for this room. Well I told him I couldn't take that room. We were on our way out and he caught us in the parking lot, which was totally empty and said he found a room. It was fine but after the hassle we weren't to happy.

Friday August 11- Well at least the hotel had a comfy bed. After the free breakfast, we loaded up and got on the road. Next stop....Copper Mountain Colorado. We haven't been out here for 5 years. Before we started traveling full time we visited this place annually. I was excited to be going. We are meeting Seth, Katie and the kids. We were on track for arriving about 2...but we ran into traffic. There was an accident so we crawled up the mountain.

The good thing was we had a wonderful view to enjoy while we crawled. We made a quick stop in Dillon at the store and headed the rest of the way up. Final destination was The Greens at Copper. We purchased this time share 29 years ago and have since passed it on to our kids. Seth and Katie were already there when we arrived. After bringing everything in and putting it away we walked to Center Village. They are having a festival this weekend called Guitar Town. They have lots of entertainment...and it's free. As we approached we heard some music, it sounded like a drum solo. When we got closer it was a guy on an acoustic guitar. Wished we would have came earlier because we just caught the end of his show. He was really good. Got a quick bite to eat. Then we went to watch the main show tonight. It was an all girl Led Zeppelin tribute band, Zepparella. They weren't our favorite. Different strokes for different folks. We headed back to the condo and called it a day.

Saturday August 12- When we got up Jeff got busy making coffee. It only took about 1/2 hour to figure it out. I wasn't any help, but after looking online he figured it out. It was a chilly morning with temperatures in the 40's. We took the kids, jumped in the car, put the top down and headed to center village. There we found the Starbucks and the mini doughnut shop. We got everyone a beverage and brought Katie one back. It was a bit chilly but with the heater blasting it was great.

When we got back everyone went down to Dillon. The kids rode down the mountain with us. Hailey and I sat in the back and Ashton was up front with Papa. It was a bit windy in the back and Hailey was getting blown around pretty good. First doing some school shopping for Ashton. He hates to shop so that was fun to watch. Before going back up the mountain we had lunch at Smash Burger. That was pretty good. Then back up to the condo. It can be pretty cool but with the sun shining it makes it wonderful.

Wh hung around the condo for a while. We have a small deck and it was in the sunshine. Soffee loved going out there and soaking up the sunshine. We also enjoyed the deck as well.

We made our way back up to center village. The kids have purchased summer season passes. This gives you access to many of the activities here. They have a zip line, bumper boats, rock climbing wall, trampolines, chair lifts, go karts and a new thing called The Wreck Tangle. It is a ninja warrior obstacle course. The kids got in line for the ninja course. We watched them make there way through that. It started sprinkling on and off. They finished the course before they closed it for awhile.

Next they made there way to the trampolines. We watched them slingshot there way up and down there doing plenty of tricks. It was a blast to watch them, they were having so much fun.

We on the other hand found pleasure in just watching them and the musicians.

 Went back to the condo for awhile and made some supper. Then we walked back to the village. We are putting in plenty of steps. Then we have the altitude working against us too. We watched more music and hung around the fire pits as the night air cooled off. Then at 9 o'clock there was a firework display. It was fairly small but pretty. While we were waiting we got to watch a lot of different people jam by the fire. It got pretty chilly so we were glad the fire pits where working. When we got back to the condo we all needed to warm up and get ready for bed.

Sunday August 13- When we got up this morning Ashton said his back hurt. He almost acted like he had a back spasm. That's not good because they are suppose to go to Woodward today. It's an indoor trampoline park. Ashton took a pretty good fall yesterday skate boarding. I gave him an ibuprofen, and his dad took him to the athletic club to soak in the hot tub. It seemed to do the trick. After lunch Jeff and I went up to listen to some music. The kids all went to Woodward. We went and saw the last part of there session.

Back to the condo for awhile. It was a beautiful day outside. We sat on the deck and enjoyed the view outside, it's quite nice. The dogs are even enjoying the outside and each other.



Noodles, the kids dog

Well it was a nice afternoon, but we had weather coming in. There is the big finale of Guitar Town tonight. Zakk Wylde is playing at 4:50 but it ran late. Good thing because by then the weather had passed. We walked up to the front and had a great view. Seth our son is a big fan of his, we appreciate his guitar skills. He really gave a good show. He played to the crowd for sure. Leaving the stage many times walking down through the crowd. He didn't waste time talking or changing guitars, he just played.

They finished off the festival with an allstar band. It was a good show. A full day indeed.

Monday August 14- Well we had quite a terrible night. Everyone was in bed and I could hear Soffee breathing. It sounded different, not in a good way. I watched her for awhile. She seemed to settle a bit. Then at 1 a.m. she sounded worse. She wouldn't lay down. I got up and held her trying to comfort her. She sounded really bad. Jeff was up with me. Both of us didn't think she would make it to morning. It was a very long night. We decided to pack up and take off. Thought maybe it was the altitude. She has been to the mountains before but that was 5 years ago. Soffee is 15 1/2 so she is older. We were on the road by 9a.m. At first she seemed to settle a bit and close her eyes for some sleep. As we drove on we knew she wasn't getting any better. We got into our hotel and we kept her wrapped up and snuggled in our arms or her bed. We placed her between us in the bed and watched her and loved on her. She passed away just before 9. We are both heart broken. She was just a little thing, but a huge part of our family. She is going to be missed. Poor Belle is missing her sister as well. It will be a big adjustment for us all.

One of our first pictures of Soffee
The last picture of our girl

Rest in peace Soffee, you gave us so much joy in the time we had you. What a special pup you were. We will miss you much.