Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Best Trips are Unplanned

Whew! Our summer kicked off with a bang. We went on a weeklong camping trip (I survived!) and we were back two days before we took off again for an unplanned trip to Wyoming.

It was the best kind of unplanned trip though because nobody died in order for us to be spontaneous. I was at the gym, huffing and puffing on the elliptical, determined to start my summer off right by reacquainting myself with regular exercise, when my Dad called me. He was heading to Greybull, Wyoming, to visit his brother and he wanted to know if we wanted to meet up. We had hoped to meet up on our camping trip, and since that didn't happen this was the perfect opportunity to do that and see some cousins that I haven't seen in probably 35 years. Crazy that it's been that long.

And mathematically impossible since I'm not that old.

Anyway, my Dad drove to Greybull from Boulder, Colorado, and we drove in from Idaho. We stopped for a late lunch at Buffalo Bill's Irma Hotel in Cody, Wyoming.

What a cool place, let me tell you. It was built in 1902 and it is just amazing. This is a picture of the bar which we were told is made out of Cherry wood and was commissioned by Queen Victoria. The detail is exquisite. Now that is a fancy word that I seldom get the opportunity to use. Okay, never. I can't even imagine how I could work it into a conversation in my life with its abundance of chicken poop.

Check out the stamped tin ceiling. I want it.

Here is a sampling of the menu. Okay, not a sampling. I want you to focus on this one thing. It made me giggle and I had to inquire if it was for real.

Our waitress, I'm going to call her Velma to put you at ease for this uncomfortable topic. Anyway, Velma stepped up to our table and I inquired, "Okay, for real. Do people really order these things?"

"Oh yes!" Velma exclaimed. "In fact, Kids, cover your ears, Tuesday nights the ladies gather here for Testical Tuesday and they devour them. The gentlemen, not so much. They're a little squeamish about the whole thing, but the ladies love them."

Hmmm. Good to know.

No, I did not order them. I'm a little squeamish. 

After lunch, we had a little less than an hour's drive to Greybull, Wyoming, population 1,800 and something. Love, love that town. I could live there if Peanut Head and I could get our jobs to move.

Anyway, our first stop was my cousin Dede's house because horses.

Dede has horses and she is the girls' new hero. Super Hero, Horse Girl Goddess. In fact, Dede is a barrel racer. So much cooler than myself. I drive a mini van and my house is not zoned for horses. I suck.

The horse is Popcorn and that's my Uncle Gary sticking his finger in Popcorn's mouth.

In order to make her smile. And she has such a pretty, horsey smile.

Dede offered the girls a chance to ride Popcorn bare back. Gasp!

Apparently sitting on Popcorn's back is like sitting on a couch on account of she's so wide, so anyone that falls off Popcorn has more serious problems than being able to stay on a horse.

Stinkerbell had to mention that Zoe once fell off the couch. She's such a sister.

Dede demonstrated for us how to get atop a horse without stirrups. It was most impressive.

Stinkerbell does not possess the finesse required to get atop a horse without stirrups. 

Nor does Zoe. Nevertheless, they did make it with some help. Popcorn was forcing herself to stay awake for the whole ordeal. She has to be the sleepiest horse I've ever met.

And I know so many horses.

Dede has a day job wherein she is a Physician Assistant and runs this clinic. That's her on the right. I'm so proud.

Like if I were her parent and actually had a right to be proud.

But I don't.

But I still am.

These two clowns are my Dad and his brother, Fred and Gary Anders.

Dede calls them the Creepy Twins, although they're not twins. 

After visiting Dede, we went to the Rodeo, whoo ha! Dede met up with us here, and it took her 20 minutes to wrangle herself past her public, those wanting free medical advice. People accost her wherever she goes, pulling up their shirts and sharing way too personal information in hopes of extracting a diagnosis in public.

Sigh. A not so good part about living in a small town where everyone knows you and all about your fabulous skillz.

This is my cousin, Danny, and his wife, Gretchen. Also, super awesome people. Danny hasn't changed a bit and is just a big kid who is super fun to be around. I didn't get to talk to Gretchen a lot because she is a veterinarian and was pretty busy saving the Animal Kingdom during our short visit. 

This is their veterinary clinic in Greybull. We were given the grand tour and I was doubly impressed.

We were able to visit them at their home and we got to see a couple of the strays that Gretchen has saved. They have two three-legged cats! I wanted to bring one of them home with us, but Peanut Head wouldn't let me.

Check it out.

It's a horse.

Not a zebra.

That's Jess you see up there with the horse. She's the Groomer Extraordinaire at the clinic.

I'm not sure if Zebra Horse here is as impressed as I am.

Jess spent an entire day on this horse.

She is amazing.

Before the parade, Popcorn gave the girls another ride. Dede's boyfriend, Warren, is driving. He's a super nice guy.

The girls fell in love with Danny's donkey, Molly. She's so fluffy!

I think she's the cutest donkey I've ever seen. Now Stinkerbell says that I can get her a donkey if I can't swing the horse.

Maybe a donkey would fit a little better in my minivan?

I could go on and on about our short trip to Wyoming, but I think I'll stop here. Before you fall asleep.

After all that traveling, it's good to be home. I went to school Monday to find my paint waiting for me. Over the past two days I banged out three walls and I love it.

I'm going to leave you with this little peek for now. In August Glitter Man is going to do another photo shoot for me for my classroom tour. I'm making some changes that I'm pretty excited about. 

I'd say I can't wait, but I don't want to wish my summer away. I still can barely believe that I survived this school year and that it's SUMMER right now. Sweet, sweet summertime. 


  1. Greybull is a great place to live and raise a family.

    1. That's what it looked like to me, Nancy. Do you live there?

  2. Your unplanned trip looks like it was tons of fun. You have a wonderful principal to let you paint your classroom. Most principals wouldn't. You picked a beautiful shade of blue, my favorite color. So glad you're enjoying your summer and can't wait to read more about it!

    1. No lie. When I asked my principal if I could paint, I really expected him to say no. I was super surprised when he replied, "Only if you'll let me buy the paint." I guess it just goes to show you that it doesn't hurt to ask.