Saturday, July 21, 2012

Road Trip Recap

I thought since we are now back home, I should give a recap of all the places we were over the last nine weeks.  7,900 miles and many places visited!  Fortunately for you all (or not so fortunately if pictures aren't your thing), I love Instagram and took plenty of photos to document our travels (if you don't know what Instagram is, it's a photo sharing site that has cool filters).  So, from the top - here we go!

We left on Saturday, May 19th from Prosser and drove through


and Idaho...

and finally ended up in Utah where we stayed the night in Salt Lake City!

Saturday we got up and visited

Arches National Park!

With all this driving, we needed some entertainment.  Before we left we ordered Focus on Family's Radio Theater of the Chronicles of Narnia.  It made those 10 hour days feel a lot shorter!

 and then...

Colorado!  A little hard to only get once chance to snap the state welcome signs.

We stayed in Colorado for about five weeks and made lots of new friends.  Several of our adventures in Colorado consisted of trips to

Pikes Peak!  14,110 feet of fun. 

At the top of Pikes Peak

We visited Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park, CO

The views were gorgeous!

Also in Colorado we celebrated my birthday.  I love birthdays (and any reason to celebrate).  I got a new pair of TOMS and the ESV journaling Bible.  So exciting!

We then celebrated with friends.  I have a great hubby. :-)

One of our last stops in Colorado was a trip to the Denver Botanic Gardens.  So beautiful! 

After Colorado it was on to...

Nebraska!  Where we got to visit some very special friends (to which, I regret I do not have a picture).

Have some s'mores...

And see the official car of Miss Nebraska!  Parked just a few houses down the street from our friends.  Exciting, right?

And then, we hit high temperatures on our way to Texas.

113F in Kansas!!  Are you kidding...the worst is that it actually hit 117F at one point.  Crazy.  

We stayed the night in Wichita and then drove through Oklahoma to get to Texas!

We had so much fun in Texas. 

We went to the zoo!

With David! (Below - not the gator, I don't know his name)

We bought true Texan snacks...the Peach tea was amazing!

And we spent a few days in Houston with Steven's brother and his wife.  They just got a new puppy, the cutest little puppy.

Meet Harlow!

After Texas (and the scorpion sting which can be read in this post), we took to the road again and made our way through...

New Mexico

We're getting road weary here...

All the way to


We took a day and visited the Grand Canyon.  It really is beyond description.  You should go there.  Even in 90 degree heat it was worth it. 

What a view!

After the Grand Canyon we headed north!  After a detour through Nevada...

We entered the Sunshine state.  You know, California should really work on their sign placement. 

Sad thing is, I googled it to see if I could steal someone else's - yeah, everyone had the same picture!  

We stopped in Oregon (no state line picture, see the first one above!) and visited family and met up with some friends in Salem before heading home.  

And finally...


It has been so great to be back in the Northwest and with family.   We have a long list of things to do before we move to China, it's kind of overwhelming!  There's packing to do, goodbyes to say and loose ends to tie up with our condo in Richland.  But we are ready to take an even longer trip across the Pacific! :-)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

24 hours in Austin or how the Hubby got stung by a scorpion

Have you ever been stung by a scorpion?  No?  Neither have I.  Unfortunately, the Hubby can't say that anymore and we have the story to prove it.  I really wish we had the picture to prove it, but unlike one might think would happen with a scorpion sting his toe did not swell up to enormous proportions.  Let's just get to the story...

We are currently in Houston, Texas at the Hubby's brother's house.  In our travels we stopped here for the Fourth of July (which was great by the way).  Since our hosts wee both working on the 5th & 6th, we took a day and went to see some really good friends of ours in Austin.  We met up with them for a late lunch & then headed back to their place to hang out for the evening.  They put their 20 month-old son down around 8:00 and we all stayed up playing games.  About 11:00pm we started getting ready for bed...this is where the story gets good.

Our friends had already went to bed and I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth.  Their son woke up crying and I could hear him being soothed back to sleep by our friend.  The Hubby was in our room getting ready for bed.  What I heard next I can only describe through the following play by play: a loud bang followed by a swear word, much scuffling, a door flying open and hitting the wall followed by more swearing, someone hitting the floor and lots of angry growling noises.  I opened the bathroom door into the hallway to find my Hubby in his boxers, sitting, holding his foot and growling through his teeth, "I just got stung by scorpion."  I had several thoughts flash through my mind at once, "Is he serious?  What does that mean?  Aren't scorpions poisonous?  What should we do?  Go to the hospital?  But that will take all night!  We are going to be in the ER all night long (and I just took off all my makeup)."  

Standing over the Hubby was our friend holding his 20 month-old son staring in disbelief.  I was in disbelief.  Pretty soon all four of us are sitting in the living with the Hubby in agony on the couch (he was in a lot of pain) and I was googling scorpion stings.  After taking the internet's advice and talking to poison control, we learned that it really isn't the poison that is the problem, in fact, the poison control lady said that no substance should have been passed on.  Weird.  The pain is really from the stinger and the fact that he got stung on his toe meant major pain.  But let's back up.  We are missing the actual story of how this said scorpion actually stung him.  Here's how the creature of the night impaled his victim...

Picture of a striped bark scorpion.
 Image courtesy of Dave's Garden
The Hubby went into our bedroom after brushing his teeth to get in bed.  As he describes it, he was fixing the pillows on the air mattress and pulling the sheet down and in the process of doing this, his toe just barely went under the edge of the mattress.  Apparently, that's where our little creepy friend was hiding.  The Hubby felt a jolt, like he got electrocuted.  Deciding there couldn't possibly be a live wire under the mattress, he picked it up and simultaneously saw his toe bleeding and a two-inch long striped bark scorpion scurry across the floor.  He says that's when the pain hit.  Pick up at this point when we all found him in the hallway holding his foot in agony.  Honestly, I have never seen him in more pain.  As I called poison control and googled what to do, our friend ventured into the room and found and killed the culprit (cue loud cheering).  The instructions from the internet and the poison control lady were to ice it, elevate it and take some aspirin.  I also gave him an antihistamine just in case.  

Deciding that he wouldn't be able to sleep and someone would need to help get him more ice, the Hubby and I stayed up and watched "The Rise of the Planet of the Apes."  To be honest, I also wasn't totally sure what the poison control lady said about no substance (poison) being transmitted during the sting and wanted to stay up with him to make sure he didn't pass out or fall into a coma or anything else melodramatic I could think of.  About 3/4 into the movie (which is a great movie by the way), he looked over at me with a strange look on his face and said, "my lips and tongue are tingling."  Um, the poison control lady said after an hour he should be the better and the pain almost gone.  It is now over an hour later and his lips and tongue are tingling!  And he said the pain was worse.  Close to freaking out, I called poison control again and this time the gal on the other end was much more helpful.  Basically, the Hubby was stung in the worst spot possible where lots of nerve endings come together.  Therefore, the pain was sure to be pretty bad and could last up to 24 hours.  I'm sure he really wanted to hear that.  She said we could go to the ER but all they would do is give him something for the pain, not to mention a trip to the ER would mean that we definitely wouldn't sleep (if we were going to be up all night, rather be on a couch and not in a waiting room).  So we decided not to go, but instead to continue to ice it and see what happened.  The gal at poison control did say to "track the pain" and continue to rate his pain level on a scale of 1-10.  1 being "I'm totally good" and 10 being "I feel like I'm being eaten by a bear right now" (her words, not mine).  I asked the Hubby what his pain level was.  With the ice, he said it was between a 2 and 3 (like a bad bee sting), but without the ice it was close to a 9.  Yikes!  

The movie ended and finally he fell asleep with a huge, medical-grade ice pack on his foot.  I kept him company in the living room until he started snoring.  At that point I decided if I was to get any sleep I should move to the room where the incident took place.  Cautiously, I checked every nook and cranny (twice!) and finally fell asleep at 3:00am.  Whew, what a night!  

Around 6:30am the next morning I went out to check on him.  Our friends were up with their little one and the Hubby looked much better.  He said his pain level was going down and now without ice it was closer to a 6.  Cue a breakfast of french toast and sausage followed by a nap from 8:00 - 9:30 (for both of us) and he woke up with the pain almost completely gone to the point he didn't need the ice pack anymore.  We left Austin after stopping to visit some other friends and I was a nice wife and drove the three hours back to Houston so he could prop his foot up (it hurt more when not propped up).  By the time we got back to Houston the pain was gone!  I was so happy he felt better.  It was pretty miserable.

So there you have it.  Now you can say you know someone who has been stung by a scorpion!  Pretty crazy story.  I'm so glad that our friends' little boy didn't get stung.  Earlier in the day he had been in the bedroom we stayed in playing around the air mattress.  That would've been awful!  I am also debating a new name for the Hubby on the blog - the Scorpion King!  However, he has so far vetoed said name change.  Thoughts on the new name?  Do you know anyone ever stung by a scorpion?  What's the worst pain you've ever experienced?  

Monday, July 2, 2012

Denver Botanic Gardens

A few weeks ago, we went with some friends to the Denver Botanic Gardens.  It was a little warm, but bearable and there were plenty of awesome flowers & bugs to see (and take pictures of).  The time turned out to be more about macro photography - which was fine with us!  The hubby especially loves macro photography and he enjoyed the (almost) endless hours of snapping some great shots.  With over 700 pictures a few are bound to turn out, right?  He even made friends with a squirrel, luring it in for a close up with a crust of bread.  Besides our friend getting stung it turned out to a fantastic trip.  Enjoy the photo parade which follows...