Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga Wyoming. Friday September 11, 2015

Today would be a special day for me as Steve was going to spend the whole day with me! After breakfast we were going to the gun range and then we were going to go to Robber’s Roost on a trail ride.

This was the set up for the rifle shooting. The rifle was placed on the little bean bag for stability.

Here is Steve getting instructions on how to shoot at the fake prairie dogs.

Next it was my turn.

Steve is getting instructions on the shot gun.

Here is Steve shooting at the targets with the shot gun. As my shoulders couldn’t lift the shot gun, only Steve did this.

My turn with the long guns. We didn’t shoot at the closer targets with these long guns. The closer targets were used with the pistols.

Next is was Steve’s turn to shoot the long range rifle.

Here is a better view of the targets. I think they got painted every night.

These are the types of guns that were available, and the corresponding ammunition.

I enjoyed using the pistol. It is much lighter than the other weapons! Our first year the instructor let my use his personal pistol. It had a laser which made it a lot easier for me to aim at the target. I still did very well with the pistol.

Here we are all done with our shooting lessons.

It was nice having lunch with Steve. Usually I am on my own.

Cookies for dessert!

Here I am all saddled up and ready to ride with Steve. Of course you wouldn’t know if this picture was taken after our ride and I was using the fence to hold my self up!

Here is our guide retelling the story of how this lookout got it’s name. I think any high point gets the name of Robber’s Roost out in the west!

The view from the top of Robber’s Roost is tremendous!

Trying to get the horses to poses for a picture can be difficult!

Here are some nice pictures of Steve and I coming down the mountain.

Dinner tonight was Creekside. There was a big barbecue. It was much different than previous nights as the weekend crowd included a lot of families. We had been spoiled with the ranch being mostly adults only the previous days.

Nevertheless we had a fun time. We met a couple from Denver. They had very exotic accents. Hopefully I will find out tomorrow where they are from!

Do you think Steve should grow his beard back?

Do you think I will find out more about the couple we had dinner with?

Do you have a normal accent or an exotic accent?

What do you think makes an accent exotic?

Brush Creek Ranch, Wyoming. Thursday September 10, 2015

No breakfast pictures today. Instead it’s straight to archery. I think this is where I really realized how bad my shoulders are. I couldn’t draw the bow back at all to shoot. I had fun watching though!

Then it was back to the lodge for lunch. Salad, salmon and wagyu sliders.

Dessert was Apple Brown Betty and lemon bars.

Then it was off for a ride with a male wrangler. All comments are kept to myself! Although I might add that he had a nice seat. Ha Ha!

We forded some streams.

Then on the way back we saw the yurts where you can have a massage in the middle of the meadow.

Then it was back to meet Steve for dinner. Steve had a bit of a slow day and only caught 4 fish. None were picture worthy, so no pictures for you!

Caesar salad for a starter.

Then chicken for our entree.

No dessert pictures for you!

Was this blog post too short?

Are some posts too long?

Do you have arthritis in your neck shoulders and hips like I do?

Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga Wyoming. Wednesday September 9, 2015

More from our 6500 cross country road trip in 2015. Enjoy!

Breakfast with a view. The main lodge at the ranch has music going through their sound system every morning. This is my favorite set!

Breakfast. A little of this, and a little of that.

Breakfast is served on the patio outside. The heat lamps are nice in case it gets cold.

I went for fishing lessons with Trey. Steve had fished several times with Trey before and found him to be a great guide. Steve and I agreed that it would be good that instead of his trying to teach me someone else should try to help me with my casting. After I got the hang of it Trey went to another part of the pond to try and catch some fish himself. After noticing that he was getting no action whatsoever I told him that we should go back to the lodge. I figured that if he was not catching anything, then surely I would not also! Nil for the morning. I am hoping that shooting will be easier. Just aim at the target and fire!

Back at the lodge I had lunch by myself.

Meanwhile Steve was out with his guide. He caught one beautiful fish.

He had lunch here.

There are tee-pees for kids to play in when there are group dinners.

It is a pretty spot to visit.

Here is another large fish that he caught after lunch. Steve ended up catching 18 fish for the day. The two largest fish were 17 inches.

After lunch I went riding.

Later we had cocktails at Falcon Peak. This duo plays at many Brush Creek evenings. They are married and have great voices. Singing together a long time they harmonize well.

Don’t we make a cute couple? The answer is “Yes!”

There were lots of shrimp and crab legs to eat.

A sundown picture.

This one is a little better.

Back at the lodge we had a lovely dinner. Dinner included fried polenta and smoked prime rib. It was served buffet style.

The good-watermelon, the bad-fried bananas, with caramel sauce and whipped cream which looked a little bit ugly.

I scraped my plate clean.

Then it was to the campfire for some s’mores.

If I worked outside the house I could have this picture on my desk!

Perhaps Steve would want this picture on his desk.

Did you recognize the song in the video?

How do you like shrimp, boiled or fried?

Do you think my breasts look deformed?

Rapid City to Spearfish South Dakota. Saturday September 5, 2015

Steve and I found a cute cafe just across the street from the hotel. Unfortunately three young women from Texas parked their SUV just behind Steve. They had four dogs inside that yapped and barked every time that someone walked by! Not to mention the loud key fob of their’s that they used when they had to come out of the restaurant because they forgot something! Steve had a great omelette.

I had the whole wheat oatmeal waffle with fruit.

We stopped by at a grocery store in South Dakota. Remember my goal on every trip is to visit a grocery store if I haven’t been to one in that state or country!

Then it was off to the day’s first adventure. Mount Rushmore. Steve and I must have agreed that morning to wear white ankle socks!

Steve stands still in his pictures. Sometimes I get him to do an active pose. This is my active pose. I am pretending to hitch hike. Why anyone would pick me up with my shirt in my pants and those dorky sock and shoes?

Most people are heading in. Why am I facing the wrong direction? Looks like I still haven’t remembered to untuck my top! Wouldn’t you think that Steve would have mentioned something to me?

Here is the Avenue of Flags. There are 56 flags, one for every state, one district, three territories, and one commonwealth.

Steve and all the Presidents.

That broken rock below the monuments is called scree. If you remembered reading my blog about our trip to Colorado in September 2016 and our visit to Grand Mesa you would know that already!

Steve says “Look, there’s room for more Presidents!” Don’t tell Trump!

After we left Mount Rushmore we drove to see the statue of Crazy Horse.

Crazy Horse, it was started in 1948. Will it ever be finished? It was started by Korczak Ziolkowski.

This is a replica of what they hope Crazy Horse Monument will look like when finished. I don’t expect to live that long.

After we left Crazy Horse Monument we drove to Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Yes, it was named after Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer.

The road through Custer State Park was very sinuous.

The Needles in Custer State Park. Yes, they look like needles!

We read that there was a very scenic wildlife loop road. Come on, let’s see if we can find any wild beasts!

Why was all the traffic slowing down?

OMG! A bison jam!

They have the right of way.

Behind us, all over the place!

Going in all directions!

Talk about a bad hair day!

There are 1500 free roaming bison that live in the park. Every year, several hundred are round up and sold.

After the buffalo we stopped by to see the famous begging burros. They are called this as they go up to cars and beg for food.

We didn’t give them anything, but we did take their picture!

Having dinner in a biker bar. Well, it’s a bicycle bar, not a motorcycle bar! Steve looks like he is dreaming about going fishing doesn’t he?

I am having spaghetti with bison sauce.

Steve had the burger and fries.

Do you think any more President’s should go on Mount Rushmore?

Have you ever been in a bison jam?

Do you beg for food?

Indiana to South Dakota. Thursday September 3, 2015

We left our good friends A and M and were off to further points west.

Hello Iowa grocery store.

Then it was time to check out a vista. As you may recall I hate heights and towers. I was very unhappy here. This is my resting “I’m scared, let me go to the ground!”

The view was supposed to be awesome, but I don’t care. This is the Missouri Valley, looking at the Missouri River and Nebraska. It is flat out there.

Steve was very relaxed. Heights don’t bother him.

Then we were in Sioux City, Nebraska and it was time for another grocery store visit. Steve’s brother and sister in law lived in Illinois for years. As such, we think I had visited a grocery store when we visited them, so no grocery store stop today in Illinois was required.

The speed limit here is 80, which is wonderful as we were in the car for a long time. We had a lot of country to cover today! In fact, we drove for ten hours today!

Mushroom flat bread and my blueberry Pomtini. Good thing I took a picture before it was all gone!

Grilled salmon and salad.

Steve had the pecan crusted wall-eye.

The dinner was great except for the fact that we didn’t get bread and butter until after our entree.

We stayed overnight in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Was today’s post too short?

Are you afraid of heights?

Do you like your bread and butter before your entree?

Cleveland Ohio to Merrillville Indiana. Wednesday September 2, 2015

Our cross country trip continued…

Thanks to my posting on Facebook about our visit to Cleveland our old Optometrist (not that he was old, but that he used to be our Optometrist!) contacted me to find out “how long would we be in Cleveland and could we get together?” Lenny G was busy last night but he could meet us this morning for breakfast. We hadn’t seen him in 11 years, he looked a little bit older and wiser, and Steve had grown a beard. I looked as attractive as ever! Which doesn’t quite mean anything as if you didn’t think I looked attractive before I still don’t look attractive!

We had a great time reminiscing about what had gone on in our lives since we last saw each other. I was devastated when he retired and moved South. He had been our optometrist since we had moved to Poughkeepsie in 1980. L always believed that Steve’s career success was due to the new glasses that Steve got over the years. He always remarked to me that I never changed since we first met. L told me that several patients of his had gotten airs as their husbands careers flourished. I had never changed at all. That can also be interpreted as “Once a schlub, always a schlub”!

L always delighted in winding our kids up during their eye exams, and leaving me to try to calm them down the rest of the day. I think the Lant family contributed vast sums to his retirement. With four family members all needing glasses we kept L’s office busy!

All too soon, it was time for us to depart. We were going to meet M and A who we had met at Brush Creek Ranch our very first visit in September of 2011. We had stayed in contact with them over the years, and I asked if we could meet for dinner on our trip out west. They cordially asked us to stay at their house overnight.

We left Cleveland and drove across the state of Ohio and then into Indiana. We had looked at the map earlier in the day and said, “Let’s go to Notre Dame!” I had always heard about Touchdown Jesus and the Golden Dome. Now we would see them!

That was a little bit harder. We had to find a visitor parking lot first.

Then we marched around the big and beautiful campus in the 91 degree weather. As I wasn’t wearing a hat, I tried to stay in the shade. If you are a brunette like me, you head heats up quickly. We saw the Golden Dome in the distance and headed closer.

There it was! The Golden Dome!

Next up was Touchdown Jesus! This is a mural on the outside of the library. It’s called Touchdown Jesus, as Jesus is standing with his arms up as if signaling a touchdown.

There it was, and here is proof that I was there!

Here is Steve in front of the Golden Dome. The Golden Dome is atop the main administration building. Atop the Dome is a stature of Mary, considered to be the Mother of God by Christians. Notre Dame means Mother of God.

Afterwards we went to a grocery store in Indiana before we found the house of A and M.

We had much difficulty finding the house of M and A as they lived in a gated community. We couldn’t figure out the pass code or what turns we needed to make once in the development. M had given us the wrong pass code. We ended up following a car ahead of us at one of the community entrance gates. It was a good thing that Indiana was not on Summer Eastern Time Zone. Otherwise we would have been late!

After meeting A and M’s beautiful children and nanny we went out to dinner at Gamba Ristorante. That was some decanter for the red wine!

We had tomatoes with mozzarella.

Grilled Caesar Salad. No, your eyes are not out of focus, my hand was shaking.

Gnocchi.

Roasted veal with pea purée and broccoli.

Here we all are in A and M’s beautiful house. M is the beautiful blonde, and A is the handsome brunette. A is a real fashion plate and there have been spreads on him in Chicago magazines. I was dying to see their closets as they are quite fancy dressers (as you can see from the picture) but they were traveling to Italy in two days and they said their closets were a mess. Maybe next time!

Have you changed over the years?

Would you consider yourself schlubby?

Have you had a fashion spread on you because you are so attractive?

Cleveland, Ohio. Tuesday September 1, 2015

As I explained yesterday this is a trip from years ago. Just like everyone else I hope to be traveling again soon. I would say that that’s the reason I have an unpacked suitcase laying in one of the spare bedrooms. That would be a lie however, it’s just not unpacked from my trip to Belize in January! Now that is lazy! Today our plan was to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was an easy walk from our hotel. But first we needed to have breakfast.

As usual, fried eggs for me.

Steve went on the wild side and had an egg quesadilla.

You already saw my picture in front of the museum. Here is Steve. Plan to see a lot of these outfits!

We enjoyed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, although I liked the Country Music Hall of Fame better. I think it would behoove me to watch the Ken Burns Special to learn more about Rock and Roll. I will have to watch Krush Groove the movie about the founding of rap also, as I know nothing about rap! No pictures inside the museum, you will have to visit so you can see what is inside.

For dinner we ate at Muse, the restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton. I tried the Farmer’s Market Prix Fixe dinner. My dinner had a peach theme to it. It started with grilled peaches, Serrano ham, micro basil and dehydrated vinegar.

Steve went out on a limb and got a Caesar Salad.

My entree was pork tenderloin with peach brine, peach wood smoked jalapeño peach tomato salsa, peach moonshine gastrique memo chives.

Steve had swordfish with white beans and escarole.

Steve had cookies and cream ice cream for dessert. Man this picture should have been cropped better! When we were in Chile years ago we met a famous wildlife photographer who went crazy about my picture taking. He kept telling me to make sure that my pictures of food didn’t have any extraneous items in them. I think I have at least 5 faults in the above picture!

Peach crepes with blueberry mascarpone and cinnamon anglaise.

Sorry the day wasn’t that exciting, but not everyday can be like yesterday and meeting my inebriated gambling girl friend!

Have you ever been to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Have you ever been to the Country music Hall of Fame?

Where have you been then?

On our way west! Cleveland Ohio. Monday August 31, 2015

Due to COVID-19 Steve and I won’t be traveling for awhile. So I have gone back to the far reaches of my pictures (over 29,000!) to bring you another recap of a trip. This is an old adventure, but I still considered it blog worthy. If you don’t care to read about my old trips don’t bother to read this one!

Now that Steve and I are retired we have more time to travel and go on more Excellent Adventures. We decided to drive West and see the country, Steve would do a little fishing, and I hoped to see some beautiful sights and meet some interesting people. We were going to end up at some higher elevations and Steve and I thought that by driving to higher elevations gradually I might not suffer from altitude sickness like I have in the past.

So Steve and I loaded up a the van. I love my Toyota Sienna. It has lots of leg room and comfortable seats with great lumbar support. Although it has three rows of seating, we would only use the two seats in the front as we had a lot of luggage. Steve was bringing lots of fishing equipment and I brought everything that I might possibly want to wear!

The second row seats in the van are really nice as they have full up and down foot rests, and you can tilt the back, although they are definitely not lie flat seats! I have a tendency to get claustrophobia, so the second row seats are ideal for me. Unfortunately Steve doesn’t like me sitting in the second row, so for the whole trip I never sat in the back. Of course, the whole van had lots of luggage in it, I don’t think I would have been able to sit back there anyway!

Our first day of travel would take us out Interstate 84, connect with I-80 and we would end in Cleveland for the night. Plans were to spend two nights there and then travel onward. After a long day of driving we finally made it to the Ritz Carlton in Cleveland.

Here is my view from the Ritz-Carlton. Not a great view, but a view of the river nonetheless.

We were hoping to have a cocktail at a local bar called Speakeasy before dinner but unfortunately it was closed.

There were many cute shops and restaurants in the area. We were near the convention center and also a casino was nearby. More about the casino later!

We had dinner at Lola’s. Although it did look charming outside, we ate inside. I usually prefer to sit inside.

I ordered the Kentucky Gunslinger for my cocktail.

Not surprisingly, the drink looked very much like the picture! There was bourbon and some other stuff in the drink. The drink was very good.

I ordered a green salad with peaches, blue cheese and red pepper flakes. The red pepper added quite a bit of zing to the salad!

My entree. I had the salmon, with leeks, peas and potatoes.

Steve’s entree. He had gnocchi. I have no pictures of Steve’s appetizer. Nor do I remember what it was!

Although we didn’t order dessert, we were given chocolate truffles with peach jam inside.

When we got back to the room we found these chocolates. I felt very welcome. Steve not so much. I guess I should have put Steve’s name on the reservation! I think the hotel wants my repeat business.

The lobby of the hotel.

I think that I should get one of these lights for our house in Lake George!

Our first night on the trip and I got to meet my first interesting person on our way down to our dinner reservation at Lola’s. While waiting for the elevator a woman told the desk clerk she would be back again as she had 23 nights left to stay at the Ritz-Carlton. Now I must start out with the fact that she appeared very inebriated. I think that she must have had one too many sangrias at Happy Hour in the lounge. (Of course she had to be back to the hotel as she did not have her suitcase with her!).

You know by now that I had to befriend her so I could find out why she would be spending another 23 nights at the hotel. Yes, it was nice, but an additional 23 nights?

After we got on the elevator she mentioned that she was on her way to the Casino attached to the hotel.

“How much do you gamble, and have you won anything?” I asked.

Well she had gambled $2000 last time she visited on the slots at the casino. The next day she continued to gamble and she won $500. The casino gave her three round trips to Atlantic City and one to New Orleans. The casinos gave her $500 for each trip to gamble and also a flat screen television. (Back in 2015 a flat screen television was much more expensive than it is today). Every time she went her stay was comped at a Ritz Carlton. She told me that night she was only going to gamble the $35 she had in her wallet.

So after dinner on the way back to the hotel, I told Steve I wanted to look for my new friend at the Casino. As she was drunk to start out, I was worried about her getting back to the hotel okay. After looking at almost every slot machine in the casino I finally found her playing her last dollar at the slot machine.

There was a man next to her on the neighboring slot machine. I asked him if he was her spouse, as he was listening to our conversation. He wasn’t, and high tailed it away from the three of us! It was hysterical! We offered to escort her back to the hotel as by this time she was even more drunk with all the free drinks that the casino had offered. I asked her how much she gambled at a time on the slot machines. She told me $25, $40, or $8.88 at a time. Now wonder I am never comped at casinos! I only bet on the penny slot machines!

We also asked her if her husband gambled. She told us that he stayed in the room while she gambled. He would lock her credit cards in the safe. He didn’t gamble as he considered that marrying her was a gamble in itself!

Should the light stencil for the Lake George floor be “The Lant Shack”?

Do you gamble?

What is the most you have ever bet at a time?

Copal Tree Lodge, Punta Gorda. Thursday January 9, 2020

Today’s excellent adventure will take us to Nim Li Punit. Or big hat. But first big breakfast.

Look who will be joining me for today’s excellent adventure?

Yes, Big Steve had enough fishing and decided to spend the day with me! Good thing I wasn’t planning on having an affair with the pool boy, I would have been caught!

I had fried eggs for breakfast.

Steve had scrambled eggs.

My plate of fruit.

Some decorative Mayan mask artwork at the Lodge.

Sugar cane.

We had about a 45 minute drive to Nim Li Punit. Most of the commentary will be of Nim Li and afterward. The drive there was very uneventful.

Somewhere near here is where the zip line adventure that the other couple went on yesterday happens. I won’t be participating in that type of adventure at all. I did it once in Wyoming at Brush Creek Ranch, and that was enough for me. The couple that zip lined yesterday were going horseback riding today, as it was her turn to pick the adventure. I hope they have fun and it doesn’t rain much! I also don’t think they will need liquid courage for the horse back ride.

This was the turn off to Nim Li.

I think this was the only big hat that we would see for the morning!

A little bit of the history of Nim Li Punit.

Even more information from the museum.

Some arrowheads and other tools.

A clay pot.

More artifacts.

Here is Steve standing next to one of the Stela or pillars. You can see how tall it was. As the description states it was well preserved as it was lying in mud.

We never really did see anything that looked like the big hat.

This structure was all rebuilt. The archeologists believe that the rulers lived in this area. The area supported a farming community of about 5-7 thousand people.

Tree of very shiny bark.

Many of the stones were lying in piles like this. The restoration of the site was from piles such as these.

Desmond told us that several churches and municipal buildings in the area were built from materials from archeological sites, before they realized that such historical areas should not be mined for building materials.

More yapping.

This is the ball court. It has been restored. It did not look this good when the area was discovered in 1976.

As I got really hot I told Steve I wanted to go back to the visitor center and I would meet Steve and Desmond there. I left Steve and Desmond discussing the lives of the ancient people.

On my way back the ladies under the canopy called to me, asking me to look at their wares for sale. I didn’t need anything and I hate to bargain, so I just ignored them.

I made it back to the visitor center and was eagerly looking forward to sitting on the bench. Hmm, looks like I need to take a rain check on some bench sitting!

The bathrooms were surprisingly nice.

The lady on the bench finally got off and I could share it with her. She had a big blister on her foot from walking for three hours the previous day. Or was it 3 miles? No matter, she was in bad shape.

We are done now so off we go, downhill to the Land Rover.

Can you find the hornet’s nest in the tree?

I forgot what this tree was, but it had no leaves. The leaves come out after the dry season is over in May.

Now this is an especially bad picture, but I took it to show you that on a clear day you could see the ocean from here.

We were shocked to see a turkey in this yard!

Coconuts waiting in a tree, ready to drop and konk someone on the head. Lucky for me I was safe in the Land Rover.

This is a traditional style house with a door on each side and no windows. Houses with windows did not occur until Europeans arrived. Which reminded me of a funny story from when we were in Africa. James our Masai Guide wore red plaid blankets. He wore them in a toga and skirt style. I asked him why the Masai men did not wear pants. I jokingly asked if they did not get the memo about men wearing pants! I told this story to Desmond. We agreed that the Mayans did not get the memo about windows until the Europeans came to Belize!

I never did see any Mennonites, but there are many who live here. They came in the 1980’s. They are the old style who shun everything modern, and then there is the progressive branch that use electricity, etc.

Follow the signs for lunch!

Lunch was at Coleman’s. Duh!

Mrs. Coleman was the owner. Her husband died last year. They were both from India. I wasn’t sure how the name Coleman came about.

The lunch was a buffet.

The $20 was Belizean dollars. That worked out to $10 US.

My plate, a little of everything.

I finished my plate. There was a sign that said extra charge if you didn’t clean your plate!

All that was left were the bones! I had no desire to be in a Belizian jail!

Many flavors of ice cream to choose from.

I was curious what sweet corn tasted like!

We each chose coffee. It was really good. One of us probably should have gotten chocolate and then we should have mixed it together!

Do you remember Baskin and Robbins? My favorite flavor was Jamocha Almond Fudge!

Good bye Coleman’s! We are off to the waterfall.

There were many half finished houses. When people get enough money they continue construction.

Desmond told us that the reason there was no jungle here was due to the swamp land.

We did see some cows.

This house was interesting. Half was in the style of the local Indian People. Half was a more European style. Notice the Satellite dish!

I spy a gaucho!

Rio Blanco. River white. When the rains come it has a lot of white water! Not now.