Wyoming has certainly been giving us a welcome to remember. Friday was cold and windy– so windy in fact that Michael only could work half a day and then had to come back home to Saratoga. Saturday was sunny but cold in the morning. We decided to get out and do some exploring. Just as we got bundled up, it started snowing and the skies turned grey. Ugh! We drove a few miles away to the Saratoga National Fish Hatchery. They give daily tours, but I think we must’ve missed them because it was totally empty! Doors were unlocked and there were signs explaining everything, but not an employee in sight! We gave ourselves a self tour but I really wish there would’ve been someone there to explain everything to us.
Basically this is where female and male fish are spawned and the eggs are fertilized and cared for until they develop eyes, then those fish are sent to state and national rivers, lakes, streams etc to stock them for fishing! It’s an awesome concept and this was one was founded in the early 1900′s. We saw tiny little baby trout, slightly bigger trout but still smaller than minnows… Then HUGE fully grown trout that were in giant troughs. They were born in 2004 and they are spawned every year from 2010-2015. I won’t bore you with any more useless fish facts but it was really interesting to us, and I hope we can go back when we can actually go on a tour and learn more!
After leaving the hatchery, we went to Saratoga Lake and day dreamed of summer Really, we drove around the lake and checked out the little campground there and the beach area (currently covered in snow). It looks like a nice lake with ATV trails all around it. We don’t own an ATV of any sort currently, but my husband is drooling over a Razr… There are certainly trails all over here that we could explore.
On the way back, we saw a huge herd(?) of what I thought were deer, at first but Michael informed me they were in fact antelope. I’m still not totally convinced.
There is no shortage of wildlife here at all! Truly beautiful.
After leaving Saratoga Lake, we spent an hour driving around Saratoga. For a town of less than 2,000 people, there is a lot to see! We drove out past the private airstrip, drove around the neighborhoods and checked out tons of huge houses! I hopped on Zillow.com to check out some houses for sale and WOW. The houses in Saratoga are crazy expensive! We saw houses listed for anywhere from $330,000 to $2,100,000! A lot of them are on huge parcels of property with 7+ bedrooms and are very rustic looking… Log style siding, multiple fireplaces, etc… Definitely my husband’s style and mine, to an extent. We followed the GPS to go get a better look at some of the addresses, but unsurprisingly they were in a gated community (on a golf course, nonetheless) and were only available for sale to golf club members. Michael heard from a safety instructor that yearly memberships to the country club were $50,000. I guess if you can afford that, you can afford one of those houses!
So we drooled over houses we couldn’t afford and pointed out some that we could. It was a nice way to spend the afternoon since it was too cold to be doing much else. Michael got hungry for an early dinner at 4 so we decided to go check out a pizza place we drove past earlier. Unfortunately they are closed between 2-5 so we had to keep looking. There is an old hotel/restaurant downtown called the Hotel Wolf that has amazing reviews online. However they didn’t open until 6! I think this is common for small towns, but we finally found someplace that was open, Del Rio Cafe.
It was a small little restaurant that looked like it was someone’s house, or attached to their house. It was clean and totally empty! We ordered breaded green beans, cream cheese poppers, a chimichanga, and chicken strips. Service was only average even though we were the only ones there) and food was average but affordable (except my breaded green beans which were excellent!)
I think plans for the day include our weekly grocery shopping, which we will probably do in Rawlins. The one grocery store here in Saratoga is very overpriced so I think we will need to go elsewhere to stick to a reasonable budget!
There’s also something exciting in the works that I can’t talk about yet, but hopefully can announce soon!
Happy Sunday everyone
I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last post. Actually yes I can totally believe it- the holidays were exceedingly busy. Once again I fell off the blogging train EVEN THOUGH one of my New Years Resolutions was to write more posts. I really enjoy recording all of our adventures so here I am, at the end of February making another effort to be a better blogger. Let’s see if I can recap the last few months…
1.) We went HOME for the holidays! All four of us flew out of Phoenix airport Dec 22, saw my parents in Indy briefly, drove up north to Michigan to visit Michael’s parents and sister and finally back to Indy later that week. Michael flew back to Phoenix since he didn’t get much time off work, and the kids and I stayed at my moms house for a few more weeks to spend a little more time. The Midwest was hammered with terrible storms during our visit, which hampered our plans a little, but it was amazing getting to see my family and letting them soak up some time with my awesome kiddos. I did find that I missed my husband and our trailer terribly! The trailer truly feels like home and I missed having our own space. It was an awesome visit and the kids did great on the airplane, even when we flew back alone. They’re such travel pros.
2.) We moved from our lovely town of Duncan, AZ! Due to some … Let’s call it “unrest” at the job site Michael was working at, he made the decision to leave and continue at another location. So we said goodbye to the beautiful Arizona scenery and most importantly, the people we had met! We formed friendships with Lee and Laurie, who we rented our RV spot from. We formed friendships with Terry and his wife Brittany, one of michaels co-workers who started out renting our old trailer from us and became our neighbors at the Rv park. And of course we formed friendships with Amy and her husband Luke. I met Amy on Facebook when we arrived in Duncan, and she quickly became a treasured friend. Our daughters became excellent playmates and I was grateful that she included me in so many local activities. Without her, I would not have met as many people or had nearly as much FUN in Arizona. She really welcomed my family with open arms. It was hard to leave her, but I hope our paths will cross again someday.
3.) En route to the next location, post-Duncan, we once again found ourselves in Honeyville, UT at Crystal Hot Springs Campground. For whatever reason, going to Utah always feels like coming home. Michael worked for 3-4 weeks at the shop in nearby Tremonton. As usual, we had a good time during our stay. We enjoyed the awesome natural hot springs at our campground. We did some shopping in Logan, Salt Lake City, and Murray. We went out to dinner at our favorite local restaurant, The Grille in Tremonton. We checked out lots of RV dealerships in search of our next upgrade We even attended a huge RV show on Valentines Day at South Towne Expo Center. I did some spring cleaning and donated old toys and clothes to the local LDS mission center. Before we knew it, our “time” was up and we received word that we needed to head east to Wyoming!
So here we are, in Saratoga WY! Michaels job is west about 45 minutes, at a refinery outside Rawlins. We could’ve found an rv park closer, but the 45 minutes drive is WELL worth it because this is the best park we have ever stayed at! We are at Deer Haven RV Park and I could not be more impressed.
First of all, at $450/month it is totally affordable priced. Second, there is WIFI! This is definitely a huge deal for us since we do all of our bill pay online. In addition to that, we don’t have satellite tv so using wifi for Netflix is a great alternative. There’s also free cable here at the park, which we haven’t hooked up to yet. Saratoga is known for their certified blue ribbon trout fishing, and there are public access locations all over town. However our park has private fishing access for residents only, which Is totally awesome! We can’t wait to go fishing here.
The town is small but nice! We have already been to the park twice. It’s been a little cold and windy, but nothing we couldn’t handle. We already have a local PO box and are having our mail from Arizona forwarded here…. One of the many things that must be done when moving to a new location
I don’t have many photos on my iPad, where I’m writing this post from, but here are a few recents:
Getting ready to leave Arizona, Michael hooking up to the trailer and me ready to follow with the baby– Norah rode with dad in the truck!
My little guy is growing up fast, no longer a baby… He will be a year in one month…
And of course my handsome husband
Oh yeah did I mention the DEER?! This place truly is called deer haven for a reason. Every day we have seen dozens of deer right next to our trailer. Huge bucks and does just a few feet away. We have walked up next to the fence and they just stare at us or prance away. From inside the trailer, we can get a great look at them through the window without disturbing their activity. Norah is so excited and impressed every time she spots one. It almost feels like we are home in Michigan.
I’m enthusiastic and optimistic about our time here in Wyoming. I can’t wait to settle in.
Let’s not wait 3 months before we get together again, ok?
Hi readers! I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving! I didn’t expect our family to have any plans, but we actually got to have a fairly traditional Thanksgiving! Our friend Lee, who we rent our RV spot from, invited us to accompany him to his family Thanksgiving in Safford at his grandmother’s house. We joined him and we were all welcomed with open arms. There was a little 5 year old girl there, who Norah immediately befriended and played with the entire afternoon. It was strange to spend a holiday basically surrounded by strangers, but they were so friendly and understood that our little family was far from home and they did their best to make us feel included. It was truly special and a Turkey Day we won’t soon forget!
Michael had a nice little break for the holiday, but has been hard at work ever since. The last week has been fairly stressful for him and he comes home from work exhausted and sometimes discouraged. He’s recently taken on a huge leadership promotion and I know it is physically and mentally taxing. On top of that, he’s been battling a sinus infection, which he caught from Norah. They both saw a doctor and are on amoxicillin. They’re slowly but surely improving.
We are getting closer and closer to Christmas. I have to be a little tight lipped about our plans, but I do know that this weekend, the 16th, we are all taking off for PHOENIX because Michael is going to “Crane School”! Aka, national commission certification for crane operaters (NCCCO). This is a BIG deal! His wonderful company is funding the training and test taking, and will be a huge asset for him.
So we will take the RV to Phoenix for the 16-20th and stay at an RV park there while he goes to classes. I can’t wait. I’ve never been to Phoenix– although the kids and I will be flying out of Phoenix airport when we go home for Christmas.
The kids and I have been spending lots of time lately with our new neighbor, Brittany and her baby Zayden. Since her husband is gone at work all day with mine, we do a lot together like laundry and shopping or just hanging out at my trailer. In addition, the kids and I have been hanging out with Amy (the first friend I made in Duncan). Aside from our weekly storytime/craft.snack , we go to her house for playdates. She has 4 girls and babysits other children, so Norah is always THRILLED to have playmates. I really enjoy Amy’s company; I respect her a lot and get along with her so well. In fact, we are going over there tomorrow to do some canning! She is going to show me how to can chicken! I can’t wait!
Here are some photos of my precious kiddos, and Brittany’s cutie pie Zayden over the past week as we enjoy friendship with co-workers and neighbors!
Zeke and Norah
Zeke and Zayden in our trailer
Bored at the laundromat!
Zeke – 8 months!
OH and how could I forget to mention?! While we didn’t do any crazy Black Friday shopping in department stores, my dear husband did some secretive BF shopping of his own… He traded my 2004 Pontiac Aztek with over 110k miles on it… for a brand spankin’ new 2014 Ford Escape Titanium! It was a huge surprise for me and I couldn’t be more thrilled! It’s fully loaded, twin turbo, and 4wd. I’ve never ever had a brand new vehicle and it’s so gorgeous and a BLAST to drive. I love the features like voice activated climate control, back up camera, heated seats, push button start, and automatic rear hatch. I’m in LOVE and so grateful for me sweet husband’s thoughtfulness. Here are a few gratuitous car photos!:
Thanks for reading everyone! I’ll try to keep updating, but as you can see, we have lots of excitement coming up as the holidays near. Be safe and kind!
Who knew it SNOWED in Arizona? Not me! I expected a mild and vacation-like winter as we were posted in Arizona this winter but I was dead wrong!
Beginning Friday, the temperatures dropped and the precipitation started! Michael was immediately snowed out Friday morning after being at work for an hour. Same story Saturday…and Sunday…. SO his weekend of overtime was quickly demolished! It was cold and sleeting so much that the kids and I barely left the trailer while he was working.
By Sunday morning, after the THIRD snow day, we were all a little stir crazy so Michael called me on his drive home from work to inform me he had been snowed out again, but to get myself and the kids ready because we were taking a road trip.
We all drove to Tucson for the day and had an excellent time.
Michael and his co-worker Terry went to the Casino Del Sol in Tucson, and his wife Brittney and their son Zayden joined me and my kids for a day of shopping. Tucson seems like a very nice place! Of course we didn’t see all of it, and didn’t do anything touristy, but it seemed clean and pretty and everyone was friendly.
We did our shopping at Target, Old Navy, JCPenney, etc… instead of tackling a mall. Sometimes mall + small children is a little overwhelming, especially on the Sunday before Black Friday But I was content to shop PERIOD! I realllllly wanted to make it to the Goodwill OUTLET (yes, OUTLET!) in Tucson, but we ran out of time. Next time…
All in all, Brittney and the kids and I had such a fun time shopping. We scored some awesome deals, which always is good! The guys enjoyed their “guy time” playing poker and watching football at the casino.
It was a long drive back to Duncan (almost 3 hours!) but it was an enjoyable little getaway. I hope if we return, we are able to see and explore a little more. Whenever we are in an area, we try to see the bigger cities and attractions that are within reasonable distance– Tucson is the closest to tiny old Duncan.
Tomorrow begins Michael’s 3 day vacation for Thanksgiving. We don’t have any special plans, except to eat whatever meal we choose for our “Thanksgiving Dinner” and spend time with one another. But hey, that’s what it is all about, right?
Thank goodness for my sewing machine! If you recall, I picked a used one up when we were living in Winnemucca and I’m so grateful I did. On days when the kids are behaving and I have a few moments to myself, I can sit down and play around and have a really good time. In the last few days, I made an adorable infinity scarf for Norah:
I just need some elastic to finish sewing the waistband. I made a trip to Family Dollar (the closest store to us, within 40 minutes), but they didn’t have any. So I guess I’m stuck waiting until Saturday!
Both the scarf and leggings were sewed from scrap pieces of fabric that I bought at the thrift store for less than a dollar! Amazing!
Yes that’s right– thrift store! I was finally able to take a trip to the thrift store nearest us and browse around. It was so much fun– I plan on going back this weekend and buying more fabric. Michael works all day Saturday and Sunday unfortunately, so it’ll be a boring weekend.
Yesterday was Wednesday, so the kids and I went back to the Virden library for storytime. Again, we had a great time reading and coloring and eating snack. It was fun to socialize with the other kids and mommas. We returned our books from last week and got a couple more. We also checked out the movie Monsters Inc, which is an awesome kids’ movie that Norah hadn’t seen yet!
Tomorrow I think we are going over to Amy’s house in the morning to hang out for a little bit. After that, I want to stop at the bakery and get some treats for the weekend
I’m sure I’ll update again in the next few days– it’s bound to be lonely with my hubby working so much!
Since my last post was sort of whiny, I’m here to tell ya– this one will be better! The rest of this week turned out very well, actually!
On Wednesday morning, my new friend Amy invited my kiddos and I to story time at the library. Little ole’ Duncan does have a public library, but unfortunately no story time or activities for children. So they jot over the border to Virden, NM (about an 8 minute drive) where there’s a small, makeshift, adorable little library in an unused church building.
We joined Amy for storytime with about 5 other mothers. I think there were maybe 13 or 14 kids total. Each week, the moms take turns reading several stories, providing a little craft, and serving a snack. After “Storytime”, everyone kind of sticks around to let the kids play in the gymnasium and for the parents to chit-chat. We had a blast! Norah really loved interacting with the other kids and Zeke just happily crawled around on the floor. It was nice for me to talk to the other mommas, some that I had met, and some new friends.
We even got a “library card” at the library and Norah picked some new books for the week. We really can’t wait to go back next week. I’m hoping that I will get to have a turn at reading the stories/bringing crafts/serving snack.
After storytime Wednesday, we had a little playdate at Amy’s house. She has 4 daughters! And was watching 2 boys at the time. Needless to say, Norah definitely found lots of new friends. I really like Amy and found we have a lot in common!
So, new friendships and playdates have made me feel very much at home in Duncan and not so pessimistic about our living situation.
The rest of the week has gone smoothly, except for the kids and I dealing with some coughs and sniffles. I’m hoping it doesn’t turn into a full-fledged cold. Norah is taking some children’s cough syrup and decongestant and I’ve been using Vicks rub on both kids at night. We have also had some success with Emergen-C, the powdered Vitamin C mix that you drink dissolved in water. It’s definitely helped me with not feeling so groggy and exhausted and I hope it gives my immune system the boost it needs to keep this cold at bay.
Michael is working an 8 hour day today instead of 10, and should be home soon. I think we have plans to head over to Lordsburg, NM to the hotel where his co-worker and family are staying– the same ones we had the picnic at the park in Silver City. We are planning on grilling at their hotel and making use of their pool and hot tub! Yay! I defrosted some cheddar brats and made a big bowl of creamy caesar pasta salad to take with us, as well as a tray of pecan brownies. Looking forward to a fun night with great company and some relaxation in the pool.
Til next time!