Friday, August 12, 2011

Fun in Wyoming!

Sorry for the long delay in posting. Ella and I just returned from an 11 day trip to wonderful Wyoming. We had a great time hanging out with GiGi and Paw Paw, Uncle Curby, Aunt Gina, Sam and Nate. The only thing missing was daddy, and Ella was not happy about it. Several times she asked if we were going to pick up daddy, or if he would be there when she woke up in the morning. And if I would say that we were going home, meaning GiGi and Paw Paw’s house, she would say, “We’re going home to see daddy?” She missed him a lot!

We left way too early on Friday June 29th. We flew out of Baltimore, so we had to be up around 4 am and leave the house around 5 to get there in time. Ella was not happy about waking up when it was still dark. All she knows of dark is that she has to go to bed, so she didn’t want to go back to bed right after she woke up. Luckily the sun came up soon and we were on a plane headed to the Wild West.

Here, of course, is where things got sticky. Let me preface this by saying that I obviously have terrible flying luck. I could count on one hand the number of times my flight to or from Wyoming has actually left on time. And keep in mind that I grew up in Casper, so I have taken that flight A LOT! And after the several issues we dealt with on this trip, a certain airline that flies into Casper (I won’t mention any names but it starts with the same word that USA starts with) and I are not on very good terms. The last 4 times we’ve flown with them has resulted in a strongly worded letter from me. Yes, I keep getting flying discounts for our troubles, but I’d rather pay full price and have a problem free flight.

All that said, our flight from BWI arrived in Denver at 9:30 am and our flight to Casper was supposed to leave at 11:15 am. After several delays, our flight was officially canceled around 1:30. The earliest flight they could get us on was 3:40 pm the next day, and there was no chance of standby since everyone else was also going to be on standby. After talking it over with Joe and my parents, I decided just to rent a car and drive the 4 hours to Casper. I’ve driven it many times before and the weather was beautiful, so it wasn’t going to be that big of a deal.

At the time I decided to drive, this young mom traveling alone with her daughter sat next to me and burst into tears. She was also on my flight going to see her mom and had had a rough day. Come to find out this was the first time she had ever flown in her life, and she had been up since 3 am with her 15 month old daughter, and neither of them had eaten anything all day. My heart went out to her, so I did what anyone in my shoes would do and offered to drive her to Casper. She was thrilled! We rented a minivan and 2 car seats, hopped in the car and off we went (of course we stopped at Chick-fil-a on the way). Her poor daughter was overly tired and cried most of the drive (which Ella was NOT happy about…she kept her hands over her ears for most of the trip), but we finally made it…and it wasn’t even dark yet!

GiGi and Paw Paw were at their musical show (more on that later) so Ella and I had dinner with the Burb’s (my brother and his family) and waited for GiGi and Paw Paw to arrive.

Saturday morning we woke up and spent the morning relaxing, then Sat night we headed out to see first hand what the entire city of Casper was talking about in their RAVE REVIEWS of Titanic, The Musical. Ok, so maybe the entire city wasn’t talking about it, but everyone in our world was talking about it, and the Casper Journal even did an article on my parents.

Yes, GiGi and Paw Paw played Ida and Isidor Straus, a German couple who were returning to America on Titanic. They were owners of Macy’s and Isidor had even served in the US House of Representatives (yes, they were a real couple). Long story short, they had been visiting Germany and were coming back to the US on Titanic. Of course you know the story of Titanic, and if you’ve seen the movie (which I’m sure you have) then you would recognize the Straus’ as the older couple lying in their bed as their stateroom flooded. When the ship was going down Ida told Isidor that she wasn’t leaving without him and how did he think that after 41 years of marriage that she would leave him now (coincidentally, GiGi and Paw Paw have also been married 41 years). Needless to say, they went down with the ship…but not before a stunning musical number that left much of the audience, and their 2 children and daughter-in-law, in tears. Unfortunately, the time difference caught up with Ella an hour into the show, and she fell fast asleep in my arms. The truth is, this was much better than the alternatives of her crying throughout the whole thing, or her getting too antsy and us sitting in the lobby for the duration of the musical. The next day they had a matinee, so we all returned and this time we took Ella and the twins inside the theatre just to hear GiGi and Paw Paw sing. We were all so proud!

It was a wonderful trip with too many things to mention in this post, so I’ll just hit some of the highlights.

· Ella caught a fish. Paw Paw had picked out a very special Princess fishing pole and attached a “practice fish” to it so she could get an idea of what she’s supposed to do. Well, she soon decided that she wanted a fish that moved (since practice fish aren’t real after all), so Paw Paw threw in his line and caught a fish, and Ella got to reel it in. She was so proud of herself.

· We got to go see Barney Live! Yes, I realize that this sounds annoying to most of you, but I assure you it was a good time. It was about 10 seconds into Barney’s first song, then Ella hopped off her chair and started dancing. She danced through the entire show!

· Sam and Nate have now been introduced to the world of Princessess. They watched Tangled, The Princess and the Frog, Snow White and Beauty and the Beast. Ella even let them play with her little Princess dolls. In fact, by the end of the week Sam had declared that he wants to be Prince Charming for Halloween.

· We got to participate in 4 very fancy tea parties. I think these may have been the highlight of Ella’s vacation.

· We visited 2 consignment stores, one for kids and one for adults. Ella got 2 new “no-legs” dresses and a Snow White dress (because apparently she needs more princess dresses). I also got some clothes.

· We went up on the mountain and had dinner at GiGi and Paw Paw’s cabin. We cooked hot dogs and smores on an open fire. Ella wouldn’t get close enough, so her hot dogs were raw and her marshmallows were white, but she had fun anyway.

· GiGi and Paw Paw have TWO antelopes on their wall, one upstairs and one downstairs. This was big news for Ella and she couldn’t wait to tell daddy all about it.

It’s kind of late and that’s all I can remember right now, but if something else spectacular comes to mind I’ll be sure and post it. We had so much fun with the family, of course it wasn’t nearly as fun as it would have been if Joe had gone with us. I’ll also get some pictures up soon. There is too much to catch up on after being away for 11 days.

Of course our trip wouldn’t be complete if our flight home wasn’t delayed. Instead of getting home at 10, we arrived at 11:30…then had to drive from Baltimore to Alexandria (about 45 minutes). At least there wasn’t any traffic.

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