Skip to main content

Wyoming at Christmas

We went to Wyoming for Christmas and New Years this year and it was an excellent trip. One might think that going someplace that has below zero temperatures and blizzards for "vacation" is crazy, and I wondered that myself before I went. When I returned to Seattle, however, the 47 degree temperature and rain felt like a tropical mist by comparison to Wyoming. Now I wonder if I should go to Wyoming every winter just to remind myself how easy we have it in Seattle.

There were lots of other differences between Wyoming and Seattle. For example, they have this deal call "sun shine." It isn't gray all of the time. Sunglasses are required for beady-eyed, Seattle people. Amber's parents live out in the country and when you walk outside in the morning on a calm day do you know what you hear? Nothing. Not anything. No freeway, no airplanes, no sirens - nothing. Since it is winter there aren't even bird or insect noises. You just hear this amazing silence. The first time that this happened it was shocking to me as though something was wrong. Then I figured it out and took in all of the quiet.

I do still think that 19 degrees and sunny on a calm day feels warmer than 39 degrees and raining, but maybe that's just me. Wyoming had lots of dry, powdery snow so we did some sledding. Amber's cousin even loaned us her snowmobile (did I mention that everyone is very friendly?) and my son and I puttered around through a few drifts until we were frozen solid. That was very fun.

We meant to go to Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and Devil's Tower - all very close to my wife's parents - but it kind of blizzarded for a few days, and I proposed to Amber (she said yes) so that kicked off a flurry of wedding planning. She and her mom were super efficient and got a lot done, so that's good. We'll hit the national monuments in the summer when it is warmer.

Also, on our trip, we got to meet Amber's dog Dakota. He is a big, lovable dog that has been living with Amber's parents because Amber didn't have room in her apartment. Now that she owns a home, and my home is right next door, we are going to put up some gates and bring Dakota out to live in Seattle. He has a pretty good life in Wyoming - lots of room to run around, rabbits to chase, and he pals around with Amber's Dad a lot. I hope that he won't miss it when he comes out to live with us. He will have a little boy to throw the ball for him and raccoons to chase, so he shouldn't be too bored.

The vacation was the longest that Alex and I have ever taken together. Amber's family and friends are all very nice and spoiled us rotten. I really enjoy living in Seattle, but I sure do enjoy visiting Wyoming.


Popular posts from this blog

Reducing CO2 in your home the nerd way

For Christmas my wife gave me a Netatmo weather station because I am a home weather station nerd. The Netatmo is very cool, but it has an unexpected feature: it measures indoor Carbon Dioxide (CO2) levels. As soon as I set it up, the Netatmo began to alert that our indoor CO2 was at an unsafe level. The notes said that outdoor CO2 is usually around 400 ppm, and numbers above 1500 ppm could be unhealthy. On that first day, my house was at around 1300 ppm. Prior to that, I never gave indoor CO2 levels a thought. I began to do some research and discovered high levels of CO2 can cause symptoms such as fatigue, headache, breathing difficulties, strained eyes and itchy skin.  My family does have all of these issues, especially on the weekends when we are home all day, but I never connected that to indoor air quality. Previously, I installed a Nest thermostat . The Nest is very smart and saves energy by learning your habits and programming itself. Unfortunately, it is so efficient, that t

Rooftop Playgrounds

This week I have had some meetings in a tall building in downtown Seattle, and when I took a moment to look around and enjoy the view I have noticed playgrounds on rooftops. I saw this daycare playground: and this playground on top of a school: I think that this is a really cool use of space. A friend that grew up in NYC said that her school had a rooftop playground, too. The delinquent in me wonders how many toys and balls go over the side, but I bet the teachers are pretty strict about that. Downtown Seattle has always seemed a little unfriendly towards kids and it is neat to see spaces being carved out.

How To Make School Lunches More Nutritious: Re-Define Words

If you are a parent of a child who attends public school in Washington, and if you have even a vague recollection of the food pyramid , you probably will have noticed that the lunches that are served in school cafeterias are frequently at odds with the rules of good nutrition. The school is not wrong, however. They have just re-defined words and you are not keeping up. Pop quiz:  Cheese belongs to what food group? *bzzz* - wrong. You said that cheese was in the diary food group , right? No! Pbth! How boringly accurate of you. Cheese magically transforms into a protein when it is served on pizza or in a bread stick! I know that you may be dubious, but I contacted Wendy Barkley, RD,  who is the Acting Supervisor of School Nutrition Programs in the State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and she assured me that it is so. To quote her email to me: " Pizza remains an option for schools for their menus.  The cheese on pizza is counted as a protein in t