Wednesday, October 27, 2010


My sister tells me (more nicely than this) that we suck as bloggers.  It’s true, I suppose, but the past couple of weeks have been especially bad for anything other than the most pressing of responsibilities.  Blogging didn’t make the cut; grocery shopping barely did…  So, to any faithful readers we might have, our apologies. 
Why so busy?  I’ll blame Kim, even though it’s not fair to do so.  Mostly I’m envious.  The craziness started when she and the students took off for a 10-day trip through Budapest and the Balkans.  I was jealous at the start – since being a single parent at home is never fun for anyone.  And then, once they were back and I saw the slideshow of their exploits I was even more so.  It looked like a spectacular experience for all.
Back at the homestead, we managed to have some fun.  My single-parenthood was an exaggeration….  Grandma Bud came to town for 10 days to help with the kids, get to know Salzburg, and, since she’s Grandma Bud, clean.  I tried to stop her, at least at the beginning.  Then I just gave it and told her where the cleaning supplies were.  By the end of the visit, she and Claudia (who works with us here and does most of the house cleaning) were managing to communicate despite no common ground language-wise.  The kids adored Grandma, and of course she adored back.  We toured the sites, mostly guided by Teo, and paid particular attention to the Sound of Music sites.  If you know Sue, that’s not a huge surprise.
Kim and the students returned last Saturday night, and we had three days of togetherness before Mom left on Tuesday.  Then Kim left again.  This time for Edinburgh to serve on a Ph.D. committee – all good, but again, I’m totally envious.  We have wonderful friends in Edinburgh that we both miss, and she got to see them!  And this time, I was a single parent.  And this time, the students were here.  Well, for one day, and then they all left on their weekend travels except for those whose parents are in town.  Many many parents, and many are our age, or look it.  Yikes.
In other less whiney news: Teo speaks German now at school, probably half the time.  Amazing, and I want to be five.  Mara is also saying more in German.  “Daddy, fünf is five.”  That sort of thing.  Kim’s German atrophied while she was traveling, but mine has gotten better.  Not proficient, not literate, but I think I’m going in the right direction – being trapped here has its benefits.  We’re settling into the community at the kids’ school as well – making more friends, socializing a bit…  Frankly, it’s all starting to feel a little bit more normal.
Until, that is, we’re confronted with things like registering Teo next month (not sure where, not sure how) for school next fall, or asking for some silly little thing at the store, or calling the exterminator on the phone.  Or the rest of the things that we all do in our normal lives. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Avoiding the Wanzen

Hallo!  We are having trouble keeping this thing current – maybe because our 26 students for the fall are here, maybe because the kids aren’t yet in full-time school, but maybe also just because we’re not very good at this.  With that said….

Our students are here!  We’ve had 10 days together here at the Marketenderschlossl, and we’re happy to report that we have really good group of students.  There have been bumps, of course, and there will probably continue to be.  But overall they are nice, they work hard (and play hard!), and are wonderful with Teo and Mara.  They are also really excited about being here, learning some German, exploring Austria and Europe.  So we’re happy.  The house is full of life.  Sometimes a bit too much life, a bit too noisy a life, but what did we expect, right? 

We escaped for two fun outings this weekend.  The first was to Legoland – the postponed trip from the day of Kim’s diesel accident (see prior post). 
Turns out it is exactly the same as in Carlsbad.  A little spooky, but also exactly like Ikea is the same as elsewhere…. That is globalization for you.  (Not exactly the same, the city models are of European cities and places.  Check out the FC Bayern stadium!)  

Kids were thrilled, and we were too, especially after we both got soaked on the pirate ship adventure by a gang of angry German 12 year olds.  Of course, we got ponchos for the kids, so they were fine.  We thought we would get nailed again at the Lego store on the way out, but Teo is in a character phase, so didn’t even hit us up for a big set.  We were puzzled, but didn’t ask any questions and headed back to the car for the three-hour trip home.

This morning we went for a nice nature walk with our friends Kirstin and Gerhard and their kids, to a small lake (Seewald See – Lake-Forest Lake) just a half-hour from Salzburg.  As you can see, beautiful.

We like these friends a great deal – and not just because they have repeatedly taken us to nice places known mostly to locals.  The kids can’t communicate with each other (yet), but Florian seems to always have airplanes nearby, so he and Teo manage… quietly.  We’re also getting used to relaxing nature walks that are followed by wursts of various sorts and a weissbier.  There are worse routines.  Get the pun?  Sorry.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The man on the cross

You know.  Jesus.  There's a particularly vivid and gory statue of Jesus on the cross down by the Salzach River.  Its just across the pedestrian bridge, in front of a spa.  Mara inquired about the hurt man as we passed him, suggested we bring Mr. Bump (our ice pack) down for him because he clearly had some injuries.  When I suggested that it was a statue, she got mad.  She was definately coming with Mr. Bump tomorrow morning!  Then Teo got into the picture.  Who was injured, who needed Mr. Bump?  Oh, just this statue, I replied.  Why, what were the injuries from?  In the olden days, they used to kill people by hanging them on wooden poles/crosses, but we don't do that anymore.  I don't see rope to hang him.  Well, no, actually they used nails.  Is that why he's bleeding?  Yes.  It goes on like this....  Why.  Why.  Why.   Finally I say, that these statues are everywhere and we see them a lot.  No.  Yes.  No.  Yes, you know who that is, that's the baby Jesus when he's an adult.

Dumb Girls and Cars

So the good news is that I didn't ruin our new car, but the bad news is that I tried to.  I managed to get 14 liters of regular gas in the diesel tank before I realized that I was not putting diesel in.  Alas, we were on our way to Legoland for the day -- the promised nirvana trip before the students arrive -- but needed fuel for the drive to Munich.

It could be a lot worse ... we could have filled the tank and been driving and runied the engine while on the way to Munich.  Instead it just needs to be drained and cleaned, and its only 200Euro instead of 34,000Euro for a new car.  I feel like an imbecile of course, and we can't go to Legoland today as we wait for the tow truck and the cleaning, and I have to tell everyone. Plus, we were dropping off IKEA items at the kid's new school (I had done a run to IKEA for them to help get appliances/lights for the new school building) on the way out of town, and so someone from the school had to come to the gas station to transfer the lights from our car into another. Also, have to tell our staff as they will wonder why we didn't go to Legoland afterall.  Had to tell Brooke, our new friend, because she became plan B. Now I figure that I might as well confess to everyone! I think we'll go to the Salzburg Zoo in an attempt to salvage the day!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Some happenings

Phil Doolittle from the UOR campus was here this week to help the transition process along.  Great to have him here, and we think we’re positioned for a productive but probably a little crazy final week of transition work with Jim and Eva.  We have to-do lists, our assistant Kevin has one, and they should have them too.  So this week will be spent checking things off lists in the hopes of giving us what we need to make it through the term with minimal bumps.  Bumps will come, we know, but we’d like smaller ones.

While we’ve been learning, Teo and Mara have gone feral.  We have a new babysitter, Anjieska, who was a German classmate of ours.  She’s very nice, but speaks no English.  So, we and the kids communicate with her in German.  That doesn’t always work.  Dictionaries are located in each room now, and it turns out that Teo is already translating for Mara and occasionally correcting my German.  Impressive, and insulting, but whatever… we’ll get over it.  Soon we’ll have him negotiating with our employees on our behalf.  Anyway, Anjieska doesn’t play by the same disciplinary handbook we do, so the kids aren’t cleaning up after their activities, aren’t always listening, etc.  And they seem to get really dirty, but we’re not sure how.  We are anxious for Montessori in Salzburg to begin in September, and can only hope that evenings and weekends with us can make up for the mornings with her.  We’d like Kasia back, but she selfishly says that her law school future is more important.    

We’re having a wonderful time getting to know the instructors for the program, Kevin, our program assistant, and also the friends we’ve met here in Salzburg.  Today we went with Brooke/Nathan and family on a beautiful walk in a forest/to a waterfall about a half-hour from Salzburg.  Picnic lunches, a beer break before a pit stop (into a toilet that emptied directly into the river), a park with a great zipcord nearby.  What more could we ask for?  It looks like I’ll be doing a bike ride to Linz with Nathan and some of his friends for a couple of days later this month.  Great!  And a good reason to finally go and buy that bike!  

That was today.  Yesterday, just the family went to explore the Festung, the beautiful fortress on the photo of our blog.  It looks over al Salzburg, and we and the kids had wonderful time seeing the whole areas from on high (our second time this week, since Father Schwarzfischer had invited us over to the monastery while Phil was here).  There were also cannons, instruments of torture, ancient toilets, princess furniture, and everything else a child or adult could want.    

Best to All,

Can't seem to easily/conveniently get photos into this blog, but I (Kim) can get them easily into picasa photos

Sunday, August 8, 2010


My friend Diana told me last week that my blog entries did not all have to be masterpieces.  So, I'm going to work from that!  She wants to know about our normal life, and maybe some amusing tidbits.  She said that perhaps not everyone would be endeared by stories of the amazing dinner we had in France two weekends ago....  You can go to the restaurant too, its in Zimmersheim, a non-descript town outside of Basel.  But the food was gorgeous!  I won't tell you about it.

We have been traveling a lot on the weekends: 1.  St. Gilgan am Wolfgangesee (Lake Wolfgang), 2.  Hallstatt, 3.  Basel, Switzerland, 4.  Murnau, Germany, 5.  Strobl am Wolfgangesee.  This will come to an end soon, but its been nice to explore the immediate surroundings some (granted that Basel is not close). 

But, the bigger news, as Steve alluded, is that we are finally into our apartment.  This has helped a lot!  The dorm room with bunk beds got old really really fast, and a whole month nearly pushed us over the edge.  Steve told me the other day that I needed to be happier.  This has helped :-)  It has also helped the kids, who still fight a lot with each other (and more than "normal), but they have a great new room.
Making a 2 bedroom apartment
Kevin and Eva's handiwork
I'll take some pictures of the kid's room tomorrow, and throw in some of the kitchen and living room.  We've spent some time rearranging furniture, and its beginning to feel like somewhere we live.

We went scootering this morning around the hill too.  Normal life.  Tomorrow a new babysitter arrives.  Since she doesn't speak English...

What else structures our quotodian lives -- mosquitos, rain, snack.  We're finding the real supermarkets!  That's been great.  We are better fed again, although still not on Sundays.

Wolves and other such things

We don't have any wolves on the Mönchsberg.  Cattle yes, and slugs galore, to the kids' glee and Kim's dismay.  But no wolves.  That said, we've been hearing a lot about them this week.  
Kim and the kids went to the Salzburg public library this week with our new friend Kirstin and her kids Lena and Florian.  Kirstin has been wonderful in introducing us to the town from a local's perpsective, and also has helped us settle into the community of the kids' new school, Das Kreativ Kind (where Kim did some service work yesterday and met some other parents).  Teo, Mara and Kim came home from the library with viele viele books, a couple of videos, and, very exciting, library cards for everyone!  White Fang was among them - the kids' version, but the establishment of the pecking order of the wolf pack is, well, not terribly sanitized.  It also came with an audio version, which Teo is listening to now as I write.  Just a precursor to video games where he shoots to kill.
Other wolves: Mara is having nightmares.  Last week, several times, she awoke in the night scared of the wolf that was in their bedroom.  As you know, you can't just tell a kid it's not there.  So we did our best to figure out how to help her.  Solution: Mara is now a big bear, a good big bear.  Apparently bear trumps wolf.  Good to know.
We're involved in a wolfpack of our own here, but are managing to learn our new job responsibilities and get along with our staff, meet new friends and colleagues, and speak some Deutsch too.  German class ended yesterday – a great month, and we’re both happy with our progress.  We’re also happy that Anieska, our Slovak university-student classmate, was planning to be in Salzburg in August working, but has time to babysit for us every morning in August! 
At long last, we are moving into our apartment!  It’s not quite photo-ready yet – you’ve all seen apartments with boxes everywhere, piles of luggage, and the like.  Despite all that, we’re thrilled to have our own kitchen, our own refrigerator, and, mostly, to be sleeping and living on a single, lower floor of the Marketenderschossl.  We’ll have to find a way to fit exercise into our schedule now that we’re not trekking up 56 steps every time we need something.
Bikes will help that.  Today we bought new-used bikes for the kids.  A red one for Teo and a little tiger cruiser for Mara.  Photos of bloodied knees also forthcoming…! 
UPDATE: It’s been a day because I didn’t want to post without photos (which Kim has on her computer).  Struggling for a wolf-thing for continuity’s sake….
Today was a long but good day – off to southern Germany to reconnect with Steve’s friend Gretchen Vogel, from Ames, who now lives in Berlin.  A great but quick visit – cold lake, ice cream, park, and buttered pretzels.  Problem was it’s August 1: everyone in Europe is going to Italy and Croatia on holiday, and our road is the road that will take them there.  Traffic was killer.  Made LA look nice.  I’m sure there’s a wolf allusion in there somewhere. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Cross Cultural Experience

I've been to Europe many times, but each time, I'm reminded that cross-cultural experiences never end, even when you "know" the place you're going.  Yesterday we drove to Hallstatt, a pretty town, not too far from Salzburg, but not terribly close either.  Its in the lake district and so we knew we'd have to drive on mountain roads and that it would a while to get there.  We got to drive through a lot of small, charming villages and towns on the way.  We got to drive right through these many towns, not around them, not on an ugly bypass or on the gas station/fast food drag, but straight through the middle of the town center, at 2 miles an hour.  This is charming, and a welcome reminder that roads, towns and villages are organized differently here.  And also that the pace of life here is different.  But, wow, we could have gotten there a lot faster on a highway!

We were invited to brunch today at Brooke's house.  Brooke and her family are from Michigan and have lived here two years.  We got put in touch with her via someone who works at Teo and Mara's new school.  I, like any good invited guest, asked what I could bring.  Fruit salad.  Awesome.  But only if you remember that the grocery store is not going to be stocked particularly well, the fruit may not be ripe, and, of course, that you aren't going to get a second chance at another store in the morning because the stores are closed Sundays. 

Teo and I had a long discussion about how nice it was that everyone had the same day to relax as everyone else….  We brought orange juice and champagne. 

Why do I happen to have champagne you might ask.  Leftovers from the 50th anniversary.  We had about 27 bottles left over, and we are slowly, quite slowly, working our way through them!  I think we're down to 24.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


My turn for authorship - first timer, here.
Another day littered with great moments and, well, others. Teo and Mara went to bed last night having decided that today would be Mother’s Day, and that Kim should sleep while the three of us went running. A fine plan. We woke up, they had a bite to eat, I made some unreasonably strong coffee, and we were good to go. Until Teo went for a pre-run pit stop (like a good runner), and then biffed it on the stairs between floors on the way back down. He says he did two cartwheels before skidding on his back. I can’t confirm the cartwheels, but his back is pretty scraped up, he’ll have a shiner tomorrow on the left side of his face, and a bump on his knee. Throughout the course of the day, as the kids continued to not understand why we are careful on stairs, tempers flared repeatedly. Even mine, which is saying something.

Once the physical and emotional recoveries were underway, we went with Kasia to Wolfgangsee – a lake town about 45 minutes from here (if you can find your way out of Salzburg on the first try, which was not our experience this morning….). Still, we go there, we had a nice lunch, we strolled, watched para-gliders from the mountains above, Teo bought an Austria cap (not an Österreich cap, which tells you something about the audience and the price), we went for two swims (one free, one not), had some ice cream, and played in a playground. A grand time, topped off by an Austrian wedding parade down the streets of town. Teo and Mara marched along with them. Silliness and such. 

Since getting home, there have been four more discussions about being careful, preceded by four not-careful incidents. This is getting tiring. I thought they were supposed to learn from their experiences. Is that not true? Kasia made a great quinoa/broccoli/tomato dinner, we had a nice iChat with the Coles clan in California, and now, at last, the kids are asleep. I’m guessing Kim and I will be out within five minutes of posting. Tomorrow: a percussion concert with some of the Montessori parents and kids here. And another early-morning attempt at a run with the kids. Here’s hoping we get out the door this time!

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Montessori Moment

We visited the kids school today, where they'll be attending come September. Mara dove right into the outdoor equipment and Teo -- who had been telling us he was nervous on the walk to the school -- was clingy and eventually warmed up. Once they were inside, they looked around. Mara came back quickly and said that Montessori School (in Redlands) had the same tower (pink). Now, I didn't know she'd ever done it at MIR, but apparently she had. We got out a mat, she set it up horizontally and then vertically, and she asked me, and then the teachers, where the cards were. The cards that go with the tower. She wanted to do ALL of that work!
(picture not her's)
She then proceeded to knock the tower over, but regardless, the teachers were very impressed with them/Mara. All I could think was, if they're impressed with Mara's work habits, they'll be over the moon with Teo.

They also have a work room -- awls, saws, hammers. Teo is very excited. Naturally, by the time the visit was over (an hour), they did not want to go home and we had to pull them away in tears and tantrums.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pictures, unedited.

First Impressions (on Google's Picasa site)

Week One

We’ve been here one week now. Phew. Its been a whirlwind. We arrived in time for the 50th anniversary festivities. So, that’s been fun, but it has also meant that we are sharing “our” castle and trying to settle into routines that we can manage and that the kids are comfortable in, while schmoozing with Trustees of the university, alumni who pop in and out, and 12 other people who are also living in the castle during the festivities! It has also meant that we’ve been up until midnight each of the last three night, and then we get up at 545am to do German homework.

We began German lessons on Monday. Ich bin Kimberley Coles. Ich heisse Kimberley Coles. Meine name est Kimberley Coles. Ich komme aus Californien. Blah Blah. But its fun, and the other students are fun. There are four of us now: Steve and I, Inguna from Latvia and Aneska from Slovakia. Karen from Los Angeles was also in class, but she was bumped up to a more advance level. We had a small world moment with her… do you speak English? Yes, I’m from the US. Oh, us too. Where? LA. Oh, us too, we’re outside of LA in a small town … called Redlands. She looks at us funny and says, I went to Redlands as an undergrad. We look at her as if she’s a stalker. And so it went, and then we invited her to some of the 50th anniversary activities!

Mara and Teo are becoming more comfortable in the building, and Mara has taken to costume play each day around 5pm. This involves going up and down the stairs in various states of undress as she moves through various costumes, past everyone and anyone milling about in the house as they make their dinner plans. I, on the other hand, am getting tired of the building all ready. Although, I think its really that I’m tired of bunkbeds, of working on a table that’s 2ft square, and of having a room on the 3rd floor, a (partial) kitchen on the ground floor, and living/common space on the 4the floor, and a washingmachine in the basement! We are anxiously awaiting our ability to move into the Director’s flat (which will happen the first week of August). Then, we will live on the 1st floor. Period. We will work on the other floors of course. I guess I don’t want to move into a brownstone when we return.
The kids are getting to be good walkers though, according to Kasia. They went out today and yesterday down the hill. Teo reports that he walked for 2 ½ hours all by himself. They’ve been walking down the hill and finding new trails. Steve and I walk to the Modern Art museum and take the elevator down to the Old Town, which is where our language lessons are. Without problem we managed to get a monthly residence elevator pass, 10 euro! Things are more expensive here. However, we assume they’ll be cheaper once we get out of the Old Town. We explored the dark side of the Monchsberg two days ago, and found an asian market where we promptly bought garam masala and tandoori, and then a Turkish market when we got corn masa. Here come the tortillas!

The last highlight from Week One has been the recognition (in a sort of In Your Face way) that Salz means Salt. Everyone is so bloated that not a single woman in the house seems to be able to get their rings off, and one, Debbie, has been pressing kiwi fruit on us. She heard it sucked up the salt. Lots of salt in everything. Absolutely everything. We might be having some words with the chef soon (the new chef-to-be who is currently the souse-chef).

Metro only takes Bankomat

And it helps if you bring your membership card and you know some German. Metro is a mega store – Costco like. Not really Costco like if you’re a Costco fan, but it does certainly have bulk items (as well as non-bulk) and you must be a member. Perhaps it’s more like a super Walmart? Of course, being who I am… I haven’t been in the SWM.

Kasia and I took the car! It took some doing as we had to actively search for the keys. One of the small, eensy weensy problems about arriving for the 50th anniversary alumni celebrations is that we aren’t receiving a lot (any) information about the house or how to manage our new jobs. Much of that will come in August when we have a “transition” time scheduled, but for now I still need to know where the car keys are (new car – only 130km on it!), when trash day is, be given some house keys, get access to the bank accounts, etc.! We’ve been hanging back for most of the week, but Jim and Eva go on holiday right after the celebrations end, so we’re moving into active mode. This included searching rooms for small keys. Found it! Off we went, with Steve’s cry of – don’t scratch the car” in the background. Don’t forget we live on the top of a large hill with small windy roads and the drivers are European.

We got to Metro without problem, although we didn’t go the way … we planned it with the map. However, they wouldn’t let us in. No membership card. Alas, I had seen a metro card near the car key, but I had thought it was like a special debit card or something. So… back to the house via a different way, also not the map way. Through tunnels, old towns. 20 minutes. Got membership card. Back. Shopped to hearts content, a bit more. It takes a long time to shop in a foreign place. You have to figure out what everything is, you wonder why you can’t find the items you desire, etc., etc. We get to the checkout. Can’t pay because we don’t have Bankomat card. Can’t communicate effectively. Big sighs and hand gestures from everyone. End result: we get in our car, find bank. But, the problems don’t end. Although it was easy to get money from the ATM, we couldn’t get out of the parkinglot. You need a token for the gate to get OUT, but everyone gets IN without token. Where do you get a token? From the florist who you turn to in despair, and who takes pity on you ad gives you the needed token. Then back to Metro, back to our groceries, and back to the cashier. The good part of the story is that I am getting much more familiar with the streets between my home and Metro.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


We made it to the Midwest. Many lovely things about the Midwest: first among them, Steve staring into (and tearing up at) the endless straight road of I-80 in Nebraska looking at farm fields and corn stalks as far as the horizon past the one you can actually see -- al fondo fondo fondo -- and admitting, "I love the Midwest." Second: fireflies. Third: water parks. Being a coastal elite, I'd never heard of water parks before I learned that Iowa was below Minnesota. But, I like water parks and I LOVE the city pools of Ames and I ADORE the newest addition, the Don and Ruth Furman Aquatic Center. It is not a city pool, but an aquatic center. And, its so cool that I don't even mind not being able to call it a pool.

We actually swam a few times in motels en route to Ames. The Lamplighter in Vernon, Utah, near Dinosaur National Monument -- got to touch a dinosaur fossil! and the something-er-other in North Platte, Nebraska. Alas, Teo threw up at 4am in the latter (in the bed, not the pool). Being ill or having an ill child in a hotel room is one of my least favorite activities. But, at least I'm not the room cleaner!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Don't Get Your Fingers Caught in a Winch

The one thing that makes leaving worthwhile is getting out from under all those leaving tasks! In our case, the feelings of community and associated parties/get togethers were fantastic.

The stacking of things into 4 piles -- going shipping, going in car/plane, staying, and goodwill -- was enough to put us over the edge. The absolute last thing we packed was our printer. We were to leave on Tuesday. On Monday night, we finally narrowed our "going shipping" pile to 36 boxes. I ordered. And waited. And called. And waited. Shipping changed to expedited from cargo because of bureaucratic redtape (whose I do not know). Delayed departure 1 day. House now empty. Kids frazzled. Next morning, I wait. I make friends with Amy and Stacie at International Parcel Shipping. My credit card is rejected twice, caught up in fraud alerts. Not everyone makes $1000s of shipping orders.... Finally, the labels arrive via email. I print them out. The UPS driver comes, and 30 minutes later we are headed to ... CIRCUS CIRCUS.

Yes, Edelwuhs begins with Las Vegas. There is not much there, besides 1/4th of the European population and 1/8th of the American, and one freezing pool. Like most of the pools in Redlands, Circus Circus does not heat their pool. But at $25.60/room, perhaps they can't afford to? In Vegas, Leah from UPS calls. They cannot accept personal belongings. Where is our invoice? She does not know what will happen to our boxes, but she suspects they will linger at Ontario airport. We begin to envision a number of phone calls to our friends, or 4 hours back to Redlands from Las Vegas.

Instead I wrote an email to Amy and Stacie, of IPS, who contracts with UPS, and went to bed. Stacies resolved it (!!), and as of today -- from Vernal, Utah -- our 36 boxes have arrived in Koln, Germany!

We departed for Bryce National Park with lighter hearts, and began to shed stress and anxiety. The deadlines we missed and tasks still lingering (to be done in Ames, Iowa) momentarily disappeared. Instead we enjoyed the hoodoos!
Steve and I did, at least. We tried to Dr. Seuss it up, but mostly we lured the kids with chocolate chip cookies. They did walk over 3 miles though :-)

Lessons Learned:
1. Sometimes the National Park Campsites are full. A 4pm arrival is not early enough to get a first-come first-served spot.

2. Get over the princess phobia (Kim).

3. Batman has a lot of arch-enemies (Kim).

4. The backroads are lovely, but slow. (We learned this years ago, in full honesty.) On UT 10 today we were treated to cattle rustling. After a while, one rider came by to ask if we were in a hurry. They were going to peel off in about 1/4 mile or so. We weren't in a hurry. We liked watching the dogs and horse herd the cows down UT 10 from one pasture to another! Later on, as we went by fantastic scenery on UT 191 ... we wondered about our backroads. But here in Vernal, safe and sound in the Lamplighter Inn, after BBQ and good beer, it was a great day.

View Larger Map

5. Last, on the day we left Redlands, the last email I read before the UPS driver came was from my sister Victoria who has been at sea for 6 weeks in the Atlantic (between the Amazon and Barbados area). One of the zooplankton scientists got his fingers mangled in and torn off by a winch, and had to have them sewn back on. Although he got a cool ride from the French airforce, who the ship had managed to contact, and who sent a plane and then a helicopter, I doubt he'll think it was worth it. Keep your fingers out of the way of winches.