Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Road Trip to Denver: Epic Stuff That Rocked

I am five days back from an 11 day road trip to Denver. If I don't get this written, it will be lost. As it is, I'm on to the next thing already. Perhaps I'll just leave you with a few takeaways from this epic road trip.GIRLS ROCK There was a time in my life when I would not have even entertained the idea of driving the number of miles (2,200) we did on this trip. When my friend from high school said she'd go on the trip with me, I was all in. We're doin' it, I said. We've been on four other trips together and discovered we are the best of traveling friends, despite my snoring. While renting the car, the sales guy offered us a reasonable answer to the possibility that we'd need a tire changed or a tow for a total of $24.99 and we grabbed it. That alone was the biggest relief for me. I can change a tire but it has been a long time since I had to, and I am not confident I wouldn't screw it up. Luckily, this trip we had no flats. Girls rock because we don't worry about how many times we stop to pee. We just do it. Stretch the legs and air out a bit. When we wanna stop to eat, we don't worry that it will add time to our trip. We're not trying to beat the clock.  SALT LAKE CITY ROCKS A quick stop for lunch with my friend's financial advisor was delightful. We had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory as we sat outside. SLC is one of my favorite cities are far as aesthetics go. It's great for people watching. A nice memory from that day was driving around an underground parking lot at least 10 times looking for a spot to park. On that last go around, we found a spot. My friend was a little anxious (she may have had to pee) but I think it helped her see that I have a lot of patience when it comes to such matters as finding a parking space. I'm like a dog on a bone that way. TWIN FALLS (Idaho) Shoshone Falls are worth seeing. It was not far from the AirBnB we rented. My friend found several marmots to talk to and photograph. We talked to a nice young couple with two kids who are on a one year road trip in lieu of public schooling. How great would be that be? They took a picture for us. GRAND JUNCTION  (Colorado) is high desert country. We didn't have time to see the national historic park there but I sure did love the weather. Warm and dry. DENVER ROCKS We had a little trouble with the maps on the phone and overshot our exit driving into the mile high city but a quick, verbal phone call to my kids gave us good old fashioned directions to their place. Once there, we walked everywhere except to the Denver Botanic Gardens. Denver is made up of neighborhoods and everything we needed was right in the 'hood where the kids currently live. It's a beautiful city and alive with millenials who love great food and dogs. So many dogs. YELLOWSTONE ROCKS My friend and I were happy to be able to check this off our bucket lists but I don't think either one of us will ever go again. The traffic made it a less fun experience. I had been warned about the traffic and it's no joke. No, thank you. PEOPLE ROCK I enjoyed everyone and everything about this adventure. The details are not important. What I want to remember when I read this again is that we had no set agenda about how things were going to go down except for where we were going to sleep next. I love it when people are at ease and don't worry about having to entertain me. We laughed a lot between us. Kathy Crenshaw, if you're reading this, I love you to pieces!
In looking back, this road adventure is just what I needed to ease into my retirement life. I had a couple of sleepless nights after my last day of work. I hadn't expected that. This trip was a pattern interruption that I needed for the transition. I have a feeling I'll go back to work sometime ... part-time. But for now, I am enjoying having time to pull weeds, walk my dogs, and enjoy a nap.
Life is just one big road trip with lots of stops, if you really think about it.
Do you love road trips? Tell me your favorite thing about road driving.
love, susan
At Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls, Idaho

Susan and Brenda Lanza in Florence, MT (cold that day!)

Grand Tetons in Wyoming

Pinedale, Wyoming (my favorite stay)

Lori Leyba, Kathy Crenshaw, and me.

51 Things About Me

I've been doing a little blog hopping the last couple of weeks, enjoying other people's writing. Just found a new one I think I'm going to love called Kwizgiver.  I'm going to try to write a 100 Things list inspired by Kwizgiver.  Not sure if I can think of 100 things but we'll see. Here goes. Very random. If you make it through all 100  51, you'll know a little bit more about me ... probably more than you want to know.

  1. I got my blog name by combining my self-given nickname (Suddenly Susan) and my ever current mood (freezerburned).
  2. Freezerburned because I lived in Alaska until I was age 42.
  3. Dying by freezing to death is one of my greatest fears. I hate being cold.
  4. SuddenlySusan because I went through a major life change at age 42. A memoir someday.
  5. Won 5th place in the salmon derby in my little hometown of Haines, Alaska when I was a teenager. My salmon was just ounces shy of 40 lbs. if my memory serves me right (which is doesn't most times).
  6. I came to hate fishing later on in life. That's a whole chapter for my memoir.
  7. There are 3 dogs and 1 husband at my house.
  8. Gardening is not a skill I have but I like to grow a few things.
  9. Photography is a weekend hobby I have enjoyed for a long time and always looking to improve.
  10. I retired recently. Not sure how long that will last. Maybe I'm just in between jobs?
  11. My typing speed is 75 wpm. I love to type.
  12. I also love to handwrite anything.
  13. I love to journal but sometimes get stuck in a funk and that's the first thing I quit doing.
  14. My journals are kept in a box in my closet. I'm not sure anyone will enjoy reading them when I am gone but I can't imagine burning them. Spoiler alert: my biggest secrets are not there. I told them to one trusted, closed-mouth friend who will go to her grave with them.
  15. My favorite dog is the worst behaved one.
  16. Insomnia has been cropping up a lot this year. Changes are coming and I seem to think about them most when I'm trying to sleep.
  17. I am a minimalist wanna be.
  18. Writing 100 things about yourself is not easy. You should try it.
  19. Fonts are another thing I love along with typing. This particular BlogSpot is limited to only a few. A downside, me thinks.
  20. Did I tell you I am adopted?
  21. California is where I entered this world, which may explain why I hate being cold. I was in foster care until age 18 months.
  22. My half-sister is a little older than me and I have met her a few times.
  23. Seasonal affective disorder is something I've suffered with all my adult life. I need sunshine more than most people.
  24. Road traveling is my preferred way to go.
  25. Pet peeve: being late.
  26. I don't love cats. I like friendly felines though.
  27. Pollyanna has nothing on me.
  28. Coffee is my beverage of choice.
  29. Everyone is allotted a certain amount of alcohol in their lifetime, and I drank mine up by age 42.
  30. Sugar is my kryptonite.
  31. Cooking shows are my favorite to binge on.
  32. Some people call me grandma.
  33. Arizona has been home to me.
  34. Napping is a guilty pleasure of mine.
  35. Oh. My. God. This is hard.
  36. I swear a lot.
  37. I'm trying to quit swearing so much.
  38. If the gas tank is half empty, I think it needs filled.
  39. When I'm overly hungry, I am a horrible person.
  40. Reading is a favorite pastime but I find myself terribly distracted and struggle to finish books.
  41. Future tripping is not my deal.
  42. I am always looking for new ideas.
  43. My dark side loves true crime.
  44. It's not easy to talk about myself ... I don't think I have 100 things.
  45. So, it's my post and I can cut it short if I want to.
  46. Oh, I have a very heavy foot when I drive.
  47. Are we there yet?
  48. Almost.
  49. I use a Rolodex for all my passwords. Some young people don't even know what a Rolodex is.
  50. Yeah, I can't do 100.
  51. I try.
I changed the title for this blog post to 51 Things. Kind of sick of talking about me.

love, susan

You Made My Day, Dude!

A couple weeks ago while I was driving back to Portland after spending the night on the Oregon coast, we came up on some road construction ...