The Ongoing Adventures of Naked Girl

The story of my quest to look good naked -- really good.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Home, Safe & Sound

So glad to be home! I really love going out to California and seeing my family, but the drive is a grind and long. We got home on Friday around 8:30 PM local time -- just in time for a huge thunderstorm to hit. We unpacked and vegged out for a bit before going to bed. On Saturday, it was all about laundry, getting groceries, running errands, going through 2 weeks worth of mail, paying bills. On Sunday, we eased into the morning. I took a yoga class -- my first in awhile -- and then we went to see Wall-E.

I've gotten back into the swing of things at work pretty quickly. It's tough getting back on schedule, plus the whole wearing clothes thing is a pain, after several weeks of wearing nothing but shorts, flip flops and tank tops. Now, I'm back in bras, skirts and high heels....

The drive back was uneventful -- exactly what we want on a 2000+ mile drive. The first day was 18 hours and the second day was close to 13 hours. Anyone could get cranky in those conditions, and both Don and I had our moments. For the most part, we enjoy each other's company, and we find a lot to talk about and even enjoy the silence. The dogs did great, even in the hotels. We have a routine with our stops -- Don gets the dogs out for a walk, I go in for a potty break, I come out and load up the dogs and start to gas up while Don has a potty break and we're back on the road within 15 minutes. What made this trip easier than the two before is that the CRV has a mileage range showing how many more miles we have before we run out of gas. In the end, we made fewer stops saving us time.

It's still a tough trip, especially because we want to do each overnight on the other side of the Rockies -- Grand Junction on the way west and Denver on the way east. There is nothing like ending an 18-hour day winding through pitch black mountain roads.

I do have to say we live in a very beautiful country. Even the flat, green, plains of Iowa and Nebraska are wonderful, although little holds a candle to the Rockies and the desert mountains of Utah. Of course, there is the south Pacific coast of California. We took the coast road between Santa Barbara and West Hollywood, down Highway 1. My favorite place will always be Santa Barbara -- the coast, the mountains...

We had a lovely dinner at the Wine Cask, the restaurant that catered our wedding 9 years ago. Since we went on a Tuesday evening, we were the only ones out on the patio for almost the entire meal. I got to eat a lot of good Mexican food (like, 5 times!) and realize how much I miss it. We also stopped at In-N-Out Burger in Las Vegas on the was home for lunch. Yum!

Now it's all about getting into a schedule here. I feel like if I can get back to "normal" this week, I'll have the weekend to recover and then be ready to take on the world next Monday!


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Lizards, Coyotes and Hummingbirds, Oh My!te

Despite living in Minnesota and having a ton of wildlife around us, there is something about being up here that brings out the Mutual Life of Omaha in all of us...

Jager had been stalking a planter out by the pool for two days. Both Don and I had moved it, rattled it, lifted it up to show her there was nothing there. Yesterday morning, she was back at it -- pawing at the planter, licking the side, snuffing under it -- and I went to move it so she would relax. I tilted it up so she could get a good sniff, and lo-and-behold, there was a small lizard. I didn't know this until I turned around and she is there with a lizard tail hanging out of her mouth and Baja trying to get at it!

I was calling at her to drop it, trying to get Baja away from her when Don came out to help. Between the two of us, we got Baja inside and Jager to release the poor lizard and got them both inside the house. We figured the lizard was dead and I went to go get a bag, but much to our surprise, he was alive. We started to nudge it off the stairs, down the deck to the field behind the house. Of course, nothing could be THAT easy since it had to scamper by the pool... Yes, he fell in... I had to go into the pool with a plastic grocery bag and fish him out so Don could continue nudging him into the field.

Once that ordeal was over, I called my dad to tell him the story. While I was on the phone, I saw a coyote crossing across the field. The dogs did too, and raise holy hell. It's a good thing I knew that coyotes were around, otherwise I might have thought it was a stray dog.

Anyway, we had a uneventful rest of the day with a walk on the beach and some pool time with our anniversary dinner last night. I thought the drama was over... Oh, so wrong...

This morning, Don went to get a newspaper and I took the dogs outside for a morning patrol. My dad has a bunch of flowers in his garden up here that attract various birds. There was a hummingbird hovering around one of the planters. Jager was waling by and the bird's movement caught her eye -- she pounced and CAUGHT the hummingbird!! She released it immediately -- I think more out of shock than anything else -- before she did any harm.

Needless to say, it's been an adventure up here... We hit the road tomorrow before 7:00 AM so we can get to Denver by midnight. I am not looking forward to the long haul but I will be happy to get home. At least Jager won't be bringing down a deer or duck....


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Santa Barbara!

We arrived as expected on Sunday and spent a few great days here before heading to LA, where we had another several wonderful days. The best part of the trip so far was that my mom and her new partner, Elaine, surprised us on Wednesday at a local SB Mexican eatery. Don said he hadn't seen me so happy in a long time...

There is the Goleta (aka The Gap) fire burning nearby, but it's 25 miles to the north of us and other than increased air traffic, you'd never know.

While in LA, we did visit our old haunt, the Baja Cantina (whom after our Baja is named) although we did not partake of Jager's namesake. What a great place to people-watch -- especially on the 4th of July. A bunch of land-lubbers heading toward surf and sand only to return sunburned. And the outfits!!! I was very snarky, but funny (at least to me) about what people were wearing. Trust me, white men should not wear baseball caps sideways or over-sized sunglasses. And "diamond grills" don't work any anyone other than rap stars.

Now my main goal is to try and read as many books as possible while getting a bit of vitamin D. Oh, and trying to eat as much good Mexican food as possible, even if that means El Pollo Loco!.