Howling Frog travels (and not much else)

I feel like I've done almost nothing for the past few weeks but travel, or pack for traveling, or recover from traveling.  I've hardly had time to read, much less to blog, but I've done a bit of reading and I've missed the blogging!  Here's a quick rundown:

Early in the summer my kids and I made a sort of bucket list of things we wanted to do.  I promised faithfully that this summer, I really and truly would take them to Six Flags, a realio, trulio amusement park.  My poor children are so deprived that they've never been to anything besides the county fair (and the terrifyingly rickety rides it has).  In mid-July I realized that if I didn't take them within a week, it wouldn't happen at I did it, in a super-human feat of driving endurance (three hours each way; I am a rotten long-distance driver, because I get sleepy).  We had a great time and I rode a roller coaster for the first time in years.

My brother got married!  We drove to Portland under a haze of wildfire smoke -- happily for me, my husband drove most of the way while I dozed a lot.  My entire extended family squished into a giant, but weirdly designed, AirBnB house.  The wedding was lovely and everything went great.  We also had a big picnic party to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary this year.  And Maphead, my fellow Eastern-European-history-reader, came over to say hi, which was great.

My folks, siblings, and assorted relations

Maphead and me at a Portland park

Got home and realized that I'd promised the older kid that we'd go down to Sacramento to take a look at kid's chosen college program, and if it didn't happen this week, it wouldn't happen.  So I spent four hours driving and one hour sitting in a nice air-conditioned college library while kid had a great time talking with students and instructors.  Otherwise the week is a haze of exhaustion and laundry.

Then I took the younger kid to Utah for a week!  Well, I was just a lucky passenger again; my sister-in-law always does the driving because she gets sick otherwise, and also she is a much better distance driver than I am anyway.  Our kids enjoyed a week living in a dorm and having Fun Teen Activities at a college, and I stayed with my close friend who moved away a year ago.  I can tell you from personal knowledge that the entire West is covered in smoke.  California, Nevada, Utah (and a good deal of Oregon): all suffocating under a thick blanket of smoke.  But I saw several good friends and I did some touristing and it was a great trip.

I'm partway through a lot of books...but I can't seem to finish...

I've been recovering since, and preparing for the school year.  The younger kid is at band camp every day; the older one is working and about to start college.  There is a ton to do, and then my fridge decided to start leaking water.  I think I'm looking forward to the start of work, so I can relax a bit...


  1. Once things settle down for you, you know you will be able to look back on the great memories. Vacation is always exhausting -- summer is always exhausting -- but at least you and your kids will have the experiences to look back on.

    I was wondering if you were close to those northern fires; noCal has it a lot worse, it seems, although for awhile, we were downwind from all the smoke, even as far as Oregon, I was told. But this week we got the Holy Fire, and now we are east of the smoke, which has been absolutely terrible; we literally cannot go outside or open our windows or use our swamp coolers. But, man, those firefighters are doing such amazing work, saving properties. They are so awesome.

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to school, too. Yay! Enjoy your upcoming school year. : )

  2. Oh, I know you're right Ruth, and that Holy Fire is a scary one. I hope it's contained soon. We are getting smoke from all 3 of the big fires, and although Redding is an hour away, that counts as near neighbors in NorCal and I have several friends who live there/are from there. It's all just terrible.

  3. Yay! We finally get to meet. It was a pleasure to meet you and your relatives. Glad you were able to enjoy my city!


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