There and Back Again…

Despite lack of activity here on the blog, June has been a very busy month. Lots of travel for me, which always makes staying on track with the healthy habits a challenge. First week of the month, work sent me to Phoenix for a four day class culminating with a certification test. I am now a Jamf Certified Tech, which is pretty cool.

I’ve also taken off the last two weeks of the month for some much needed personal time. The first week was a road trip up to Boise and back, partly with my parents. I have lots of photos, which I will break up into smaller batches to share here. We were in two vehicles, Dad and I doing the driving and Mom switching who she rode with. So any road photos you see here were taken by my mom while I was driving.

First leg of the trip, our goal was to make it to the dinosaur museum in Blanding, Utah. The museum was pretty cool, though I did not take any photos inside. Mom got a lot of great road scenery photos for me, and we made a stop at Wilson Arch on the way to Moab.

From there, it was on to Arches National Park, which was phenomenal. Mind blowing, you might even say. Wouldn’t mind getting back there with actual hiking supplies and check out some of the longer trails.

After that, we made our way to Green River, UT, where we crashed for the night. Ultimate goal the next day was to make it to my parents’ place in Meridian, ID. We made a few stops for interesting dilapidated cabins on the way to the Dinosaur National Monument. Spent a couple of days just hanging out with the folks at their place while they took care of things that needed doing before their next road trip. We did go tour the Old Idaho Penitentiary, which was interesting. The gravestone for Dennis the Cat marks the final resting place of the prison’s cat. He’s the only inmate to be buried in the main yard. I also tried to take a trail run up to Table Rock one morning, only to find that a McMansion development was being built right on top of where part of the trail used to go. I did eventually find my way back to the rest of the trail and got some interesting photos.

Finally, I started the journey home. Mom and Dad had a short road trip they needed to make for work, so we once again caravanned out with a couple of fun detours. First we went to check out the Shoshone Ice Cave, which was pretty cool – both figuratively and literally. (Temperature in the cave is generally 24-32°F year round!) Then we stopped at Mammoth Cave, which along with the on-site museum was pretty neat. After that, we parted ways. Mom and Dad to finish their trip and me to head home. I stopped for the night in Provo where according to Priceline, I got the last room in the Super 8 – the most budget friendly option. That room? Yeah, it was the Brigham Young “suite”, done to the nines in BYU memorabilia. I also got to go for a run at the Provo River Park .

Up early the next morning, I made my way to Vegas where I would spend my final night on the road. I crashed at Circus Circus because the room was only $16. Of course, that’s not including the “hotel fee” of $38 which Priceline didn’t mention until I was actually buying the room. But even still, I’m pretty sure it was the cheapest room in the area. Also, it turns out the room was so cheap because it wasn’t in one of the main hotel towers, which suited me just fine. (They offered to “upgrade” me for an additional $15 but for that much I probably would have just chosen a different hotel.)

My only real goal with stopping in Vegas was getting to Frankie’s Tiki Room for a couple of tasty tiki drinks and a new mug for my collection. I chose to walk there and Uber back because driving didn’t seem like a good choice. Next time, I Uber both directions. That was not a fun walk. Anyway once there, I started with the Surf Dragon along with its souvenir mug, which was quite tasty. Then I had the Lava Letch, which I have to say is now my favorite tiki drink ever. I’ll have to get that mug the next time I’m in town since I limit myself to one souvenir mug per tiki bar visit because those things are NOT cheap. Also, I’ll need to learn to make this tasty, tasty tiki drinki for myself.

I also found a Zoltar machine – y’all remember the movie Big, right? – in the Circus Circus midway and had to make sure it was plugged in. (Okay, I’m pretty sure I saw at least three Zoltar machines, but still.) That night I wandered all the way down to the Bellagio to catch the water show, which ended up being cancelled due to high winds. So that was frustrating. What about winning those fat stacks o’ cash? Yeah…. I’m just not that interested in gambling. Since I no longer smoke, it’s not an inviting excuse to take advantage of the opportunity to smoke indoors. I did blow a few dollars on slot machines, but nowhere near the $20-40 I would’ve had to limit myself to when I would’ve sat there smoking like an industrial chimney. I’d guess maybe $10 at most.

Oh, I also took advantage of the hotel’s water park and did a thing that’s been on my Weight Loss Goal List for a long time. I went shirtless in a public swimming space. I figured if I was going to do it anywhere, Vegas was the place since the chances of me ever seeing any of these people again after leaving the next day were slim to none. And you know what? Nobody stared. Nobody pointed and laughed. I was just another dude having fun on some water slides.

I’ve been back home for several days now and am enjoying being a hermit for my second week of vacation time. Also, I’m pretty proud of myself. I didn’t miss a single workout day while traveling, and only really bounced up a few pounds after going a little overboard on food in Vegas. I’m also already almost back down to my pre-June Travels weight now. I’ve just been getting back into my personal routines, enjoying time with the cats, and not thinking about work until I absolutely have to this coming Monday.

I have really enjoyed just disconnecting and enjoying nature, family, travel, and alone time. It’s good to eat right and exercise and all that, but it’s also good to take care of your brain once in a while.

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