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  Wanderlust Home and Pet Care


2013 USA Road Trip

Oct 9:  Loaded the car and we were on our way to Pueblo to visit Grandma 2.  A little History - Gary was transferred to Pueblo while working for Caterpillar Inc. when I was pregnant with Michael. Rosemary Eickelman became Grandma 2 to Michael . The Eickelman daughters were my babysitters.


We stopped to spend the afternoon with Rosemary and catch up with the latest Eickelman news. The lady is still going strong and we had a great visit.


Oct 10:  We drove through a terrible wind storm on our way to Albuquerque. I had to have both hands on the wheel to keep from going into the shoulder. The weather was much better in Albuquerque. I hope the weather will continue to be great as we have tickets for the Balloon Fiesta.


Oct 11: Up early but didn’t make it to the Park & Ride in time so had to drive to the Balloon Park. Worked out just fine as we were able to park real close to the field. The sun had not come up over the mountain but the balloons were already lifting off. I felt like a kid. There were so many balloon but the really fun thing were the different shapes. Ooooh, there’s the clock from Beauty and the Beast, Darth Vader’s head, The Little Ole Woman that Lived in a Shoe, a Pumpkin, Elvis, Pepe Le Pew (maybe only the older folks will remember him) and it goes on and on.

I was practically jumping up and down with excitement.




Almost 600 balloons would fly and 30 countries were represented. We stayed for a contest with the racing balloons. This was almost boring as there was little wind for racing. It was still grand to see more colorful balloons getting closer and closer to the “X” on the field. Policemen on horseback were keeping the attendees from getting into the racing zones. The horses were draft horses and were huge but beautiful.


The afternoon was spent at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Gary was bored stiff but I enjoyed it.







Oct 12:  We arrived at the Park & Ride with tons of other people. It was very well organized at both ends of the bus ride but being a Saturday there were more people than yesterday. I was disappointed with this mornings Mass Ascension and finally found out it was due to the wind.  At ground level we had a stiff breeze, not so great for landing. 300 feet up there was no breeze so great for the balloons. There were many balloon that took a chance as we continued to wait for the sun to get above the mountain. Shortly after 8 am we took the bus back to the Park & Ride. We were on the road to Rio Verde by

9 am.


Lorraine looked great and we had a nice evening catching up. She said the realtors were rather vocal about too much clutter on their walk through. Hopefully we can help her get organized.





Oct 13:  We were able to get a few things put away before our luncheon with my cousin Sherry Jackson and her husband David.  We had lunch on the patio of Grassroots- the food was great and so was the company.





Oct 14:  I’m afraid I was too forceful in trying to unclutter the house. There were times when I just had to walk away. Gary was much more patient - can you believe that. I left to get an FM IPOD transmitter so she could listen to books on CD while driving to Payson.  I also had the car’s oil changed. WalMart is 23 miles from the house so I’m glad she is moving to Payson where everything will be more convenient.







Oct 15:  I think it was almost 10 am when we left Rio Verde. We checked into the Quad (formerly known as the Imperial Palace) and changed for dinner. Shared a cab to Mandalay Bay. I was hoping we could get into Alain Ducasse’s miX for dinner without any reservations on a Tuesday night. Hooray, we were seated next to the window on the 64th floor. We missed sunset but we had the tasting dinner and the wine pairing and called it our 40th anniversary dinner. It was delicious but we had to walk back as I felt like a stuffed turkey for Thanksgiving. It’s just under a 2 mile walk as the bird flies but we know  you can’t always walk on the sidewalks.


Oct 16:  While Gary was reviewing the stocks in our IRAs, I stood in line at Tix4Tonight. I bought reduced price tickets for Terry Fator the ventriloquist.


We then walked to Paris for the traditional lunch at Mon Ami Gabi - a great way to start the day. Our goal today was to visit City Center. This area is new  to us. There is a tram from Bellagio to Monte Carlo which has a stop at Aria. I wanted to eat at the Sage Restaurant but too early and I was still full from Brunch. Instead we opted for a drink in the Tea Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. I had the best Singapore Sling ever with maraschino cherries soaked in Cherry Herring. Wonderful!!!  I blew $20 on the Star Wars slot. We had a light dinner at Gordon Ramsey’s Grill & Pub at Caesars.






Oct 17:  Gary wanted Thai food for lunch. We found a restaurant at Aria, City Center. The Lemon grass restaurant was excellent. They had a green papaya salad which is very common in Thailand. The Tom Yam chicken soup was very spicy but good.


Gary grabbed a quick bite at the Mirage. This evening we attended the Terry Fator Show at the Mirage. It was very fun and would recommend it to anyone.  









Oct 18:  Long drive to Yosemite National Park. Arrived after dark. We had reserved a studio in Yosemite West.


Oct 19:  Headed for the Yosemite Valley. The Park is beautiful. We took a meadows trail and then attended a Park Ranger’s talk.  There was a haze in the air even though we had blue skies, must be humidity. The end of the day was a drive to Glacier Point. It was a jaw dropping view.


Oct 20:  Drove to Mariposa Grove to see the Redwoods. The Grizzly reminded me of the Ents in Lord of the Rings. Even the pine trees were huge.




A fire had destroyed some of the forest so was rather bleak. There weren’t as many redwoods as I would have thought. Guess we will need to go to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.


















Oct 21:  We exit Yosemite National Park and drove to Mono Lake.


It was fascinating. The lake is full of brine shrimp. The lake is high in salt and baking soda. It draws the Alkaline Fly and migrating birds. When the lake water mixes with fresh water, tufa towers are constructed. It was eerily beautiful.
















We arrived at our rented house in Gardnerville, NV without drama. I’m looking forward to investigating the area for possible relocation.


Oct 22:  I had to have a hair cut. It was a great way to gather information. My first impression of the homes is that they are all ranch styles - no stairs, that’s a good thing. The mornings are cool but warm up nicely so my gardening season would be much longer. The Smith’s grocery store is a Kroger store and they have a Wells Fargo in town. Gas is much lower $3.31/gal.






Oct 23:  We drove to Lake Tahoe.



I didn’t realize how large the lake is when we were here to ski several years ago. The drive was very quick, it only took about 40 minutes. We drove the north side all the way to Incline Village. It is a beautiful area.  We took Highway 50 back to Carson City and had lunch at Q’s Steak BBQ & Salads. Delicious!


We stopped at Trader Joe’s. Hurray! We bought a case of wine based on the accommodations of the employee. I’m anxious to try the wines.










Oct 24:  We started geocaching in the area.


Many are out in the desert - is that what I call the land? It is very similar to Eagle Colorado. This picture was along a road in the ranching region.  We also stopped at Rancho Vista Apartments. We learned that Section 8 apartments are listed in the paper and yellow-pages.  There are private apartments that work with realtors. Good to know for next time.






Oct 25:  Remember the show Bonanza? The start of the show would have a map with Carson City, Virginia City and the Bonanza acreage's that would begin to burn. Today was a visit to Virginia City, a National Historic Landmark (wonder if the city was closed during the government shutdown). We walked the whole town, visited a few stores.



One was a candy shop that brought back old memories of the candies we had as kids.  When was the last time you had Bit-o-Honey, Sugar Daddy, waxed lips, candy cigarettes, or Dots. We left the store with $25 of candy and nice memories. On our way home we Geocached.  One treasure took us to the local Fish Hatchery. They are raising Lahontan cutthroat trout that is being brought back from near extinction.














Oct 26:  Saturday morning and only one egg left so decided to eat out for breakfast. We selected the Cowboy’s Cafe. More friendly people and good food. Smoked Tri tip and a red sauce for the Huevos Rancheros. We then drove/geocached our way to Genoa (with the accent on the “O”). Cute historical town with the oldest bar in the State.



















Oct 28:  It was very windy last night. This morning we awoke to snow on the ground.















Oct 29:  Stopped at Trader Joe’s to load up on the wines we liked best then drove to Reno and checked into the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino. We visited the Chamber of Commerce for a relocation package and then spent the rest of the afternoon reviewing the relocation info. We discovered there are condo/townhomes for $60K or less. This has changed our minds about not buying a place.




Oct 30:  We selected geocaches in the four corners of the city for fun and also to check out the various neighborhoods. We found that Reno/Sparks have many nice neighborhoods. That’s a good thing. The evening was spent with Dessie and her husband Marshall. She cooked a lovely dinner and we talked about Reno’s neighborhoods. A good time was had by all.





Oct 31:  We spoke with a realtor from Keller Williams. She signed us up for the listingbook (like MLS). Who knows where this will lead us. We then drove to Twin Falls, ID. It’s my first time in Idaho. The Apollo Inn was $64 including dinner (chicken enchilada) and breakfast.









Nov 1:  We kept motoring to Jackson, Wy.  Mike had made a reservation at the Spring Creek Ranch. The front desk said we had the best room because of the view. The 3 of us enjoyed wine in our room and watched the sunset.


The view was stupendous. The reservation included dinner at the Granary. We had Cajun elk medallions which melted in my mouth.









Nov 2: Mike picked us up for a tour of  Teton National Park. We picked an excellent day - sunshine and no clouds.  I think Gary took about 75 pictures which I whittled down to a manageable amount. We all voted that Gary would cook Sunday dinner - Prime Rib Roast while sitting at the Snake River Brewery Pub! Drinking beer after a great day of what Mother Nature had to offer. Could the day get any better?


Yes, after grocery shopping for all of the ingredients we stopped at the Bistro for dinner. They said it was a 45 minute wait so we started back to the car. The Host came running after us and said they had a last minute cancellation. Maybe I should have purchased a lottery ticket as our day had been so lucky.  We all had wonderful food at one of Mike’s favorite restaurants.









Nov 3:  While we watched the Chiefs beat the Patriots, Gary put Mike to work fixing the cream-less butternut squash soup. Gary was making homemade croissant rolls. I assembled the pear/gorgonzolla/candied almond salad with a honey mustard dressing. Everything was delicious and I think Mike was pleased to have us as his guest.














Nov 4:  The roads were slippery as we said goodbye to Jackson. We drove through the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area on our way to Vernal Utah..


Nov 5: Objective today is to revisit the Dinosaur National Monument. Because the park is on winter hours we arrived in time for the caravan to the protected fossil bone beds.  We then drove through the park to see the Jurassic geology, petroglyphs and an old farmstead. We arrive back in Avon without drama to end our 3,000+ mile trip of the USA.



Albuquerque Arizona Las Vegas Yosemite Mono Lake Virginia City   Genoa Lake Tahoe Jackson Reno Utah