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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.

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