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#BeetleRock view! I don’t recommend bending over to stretch and looking through your legs upside down. I felt like I was falling. Which would have been bad since that rock sheeting slopes downward quite a ways.  #SequoiaNationalPark (#travel #California #roadtrip) (at Sequoia National Park)

#BeetleRock view! I don’t recommend bending over to stretch and looking through your legs upside down. I felt like I was falling. Which would have been bad since that rock sheeting slopes downward quite a ways. #SequoiaNationalPark (#travel #California #roadtrip) (at Sequoia National Park)

Notes

Pretty striations. 60 degree water. Near the #waterfall in #SequoiaNationalPark. (#travel #California) (at Sequoia National Park, CA)

Pretty striations. 60 degree water. Near the #waterfall in #SequoiaNationalPark. (#travel #California) (at Sequoia National Park, CA)

1 Notes

#Waterfall towards the beginning of #SequoiaNationalPark. (#travel #California #roadtrip) (at Sequoia National Park, California)

#Waterfall towards the beginning of #SequoiaNationalPark. (#travel #California #roadtrip) (at Sequoia National Park, California)

1 Notes

At #LakeKaweah before heading into #SequoiaNationalPark. (#travel #California #roadtrip) (at Lake Kaweah Recreation Area)

At #LakeKaweah before heading into #SequoiaNationalPark. (#travel #California #roadtrip) (at Lake Kaweah Recreation Area)

1 Notes

North Carolina - Hanging Out with the SOs Sister

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Day 1 - September 19, 2014
Drove from Orlando, FL to Charlotte, NC

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September 19, 2014 11:01pm on the road heading to Charlotte, NC

What girl is in North Carolina and is going to see waterfalls tomorrow? This girl. Currently we are driving from Charlotte to Hickory. Dani’s sister lives up here in Charlotte. We came to pay a visit to her and to visit the nature stuff too. Win win.

This entry will be short and introductory. This is a mini-trip. I just wanted to note that I slept about half of the total 8.5 hours from Orlando to here. It was great. I also want to note that Dani’s sister, Jen, is so cool. We ate dinner at Mac’s Speed Shop and had drinks at Tin City in Epicentre.

Meeting up with family is always a kind of catch-up on life session. Lots of this and that and talking about yours truly. I could always tell when they were talking about me. I gave them the knowing look and Dani told me they were talking about how much I’m worth. I said, “At least a tank full of chocolate milk.” Priorities. I has them.

The fun part is the saying goodbye. People like to hug for some reason. Sometimes I question this custom. It requires me to awkwardly get intimate with someone. I never initiate the hugs. I let people take them from me as they choose. Jen was not shy. That girl hugged me and started kissing my cheek. O.O My eyes got big and I said, “She’s kissing my cheek!” In my head I’m thinking, “Get her off!” It made me think of an eager puppy. Ha ha. She was like, “I’m sorry. That must have been torture for you.”

"No you’re not."

"Yeah, I’m really not."

*sigh* These hugging people need to be watched. You can’t trust them. :)

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Dani’s dinner from Mac’s Speed Shop. She requested BBQ and got BBQ. Charlotte, NC

Mea’s dinner from Mac’s Speed Shop. Mea’s tummy was all like, I don’t want BBQ. I totally asked the waitress what was on the kids menu and I got chicken tenders. I mean, I still used the sauces. I still kind of partook in the BBQ. Charlotte, NC

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Mea, Dani, and Jen when we arrived at the Epicentre. Charlotte, NC

Our view of the Epicentre from Tin City. Charlotte, NC

Notes

Sweet mother of cupcakes, it’s a Cake Shake! A cupcake blended with vanilla ice cream. A chocolate buttercream cupcake. (#MtDora #Florida #foody) (at Cupcake Delights, Inc.)

Sweet mother of cupcakes, it’s a Cake Shake! A cupcake blended with vanilla ice cream. A chocolate buttercream cupcake. (#MtDora #Florida #foody) (at Cupcake Delights, Inc.)

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Scrambled eggs and hotcakes. So simple and so yummy. (#Apopka #Florida #food) (at Robinson’s Restaurant of Apopka)

Scrambled eggs and hotcakes. So simple and so yummy. (#Apopka #Florida #food) (at Robinson’s Restaurant of Apopka)

Notes

They got new cups! I gotta admit it’s kind of cool.  It’s a simple restaurant. My family has been coming here since I was little. (#Apopka #Florida #food) (at Robinson’s Restaurant of Apopka)

They got new cups! I gotta admit it’s kind of cool. It’s a simple restaurant. My family has been coming here since I was little. (#Apopka #Florida #food) (at Robinson’s Restaurant of Apopka)

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#Steampunk #amps used by #Rush on tour. Kinda neat. Saw them while out on a mini-shoot today. (#Orlando #HardRock #music #Florida) (at Hard Rock International Headquarters)

#Steampunk #amps used by #Rush on tour. Kinda neat. Saw them while out on a mini-shoot today. (#Orlando #HardRock #music #Florida) (at Hard Rock International Headquarters)

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Painting at Paint Nite! This is my artwork. Not bad for a daytime accountant! Those watermelon margaritas worked wonders. I laughed so hard tonight. “Painting is fun! I like colors!” @ Bar Louie in Orlando, Florida

Painting at Paint Nite! This is my artwork. Not bad for a daytime accountant! Those watermelon margaritas worked wonders. I laughed so hard tonight. “Painting is fun! I like colors!” @ Bar Louie in Orlando, Florida

1 Notes

Road Trip: Days 13 & 14 - The Home Stretch

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Day 13 - June 26, 2014

Begin: 9:30am in West Memphis, AR

End: 8:00pm in Tifton, GA

Distance: 570 miles

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Day 14 - June 27, 2014

Begin: 8:30am in Tifton, GA

End: 12:30pm in Orlando, FL

Distance: 250 miles

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June 26, 2014 9:05am at Ramada in West Memphis, AR

I woke up this morning thinking, “What is that SOUND?” I rolled over and realized it was my alarm telling me to get up. Ugh. Last night was the first night I passed out before Ricky. I didn’t wake up at all last night. I’m so glad today we will only be driving 8 hours. Who knows, we might see something we want to see and actually stop to see it. That is if the weather cooperates.

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June 26, 2014 4:40pm on I-20 E just past mile marker 5 in Georgia

The sun! We have experienced drizzling rain off and on since we’ve been on the road. I’m thankful for cloudy skies but today I would like to stop and see something or at least be able to grab a geocache somewhere. Sadly we haven’t seen anything today but clouds and rain.

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June 29, 2014 12:42pm at home in Orlando, FL

Hi folks! I made it home safe and sound two days ago (Friday, June 27). I’m sad to say that we never actually got to stop and see anything on the last two days like we had planned. On Day 13, we dealt with rain and clouds all day long. It pretty much killed any chances of us stopping at a park along the way. On Day 14, we just wanted to get home. It was cloudy up until we reached Florida. Let’s face it, I live in Florida. If I want to do something here I can just go back at a later date. We did stop at the TNT Fireworks store in Florida up near the Florida/Georgia border. 

As much as the humidity makes us crazy, we like it. The air through Arizona and New Mexico is so unbelievably dry that I actually had to fend off headaches. It sucked the life out of my eyes, sinuses and my skin. Mind you I didn’t feel gross getting in and out of the car. That’s always nice. Eyes drops are my friend.

Here’s a quote from the movie “Friends With Benefits (2011)” that I thought of a few times on this trip:

"In LA, if it’s 90 degrees, it feels like 90 degrees. But…
If it’s hot in New York, it’s 90 degrees, it’s like 100,000 degrees.”

I can’t agree more with Justin Timberlake’s character’s sentiment. Summertime in Florida is bloody hot. The humidity is great for the skin, but maybe not for your hair.

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June 29, 2014 4:23pm at home in Orlando, FL

Here’s a fun weather comparison between some cities. These are to illustrate the weather variations. Over the last three hours I’ve waited to get the current weather at 12:53pm in all three places for comparison. The time, 53 minutes after the hour, just happens to be the time the National Weather Service refreshes the weather data for these three cities.

I find it a little strange that the humidity between Burbank and Orlando are similar. Check out the Heat Indexes. In Orlando, 95°F feels like 102°F. In Burbank, 84°F feels like 84°F. I hear Justin Timberlake’s character in my head again.

The humidity in Tucumcari is parched with its very low percentage of 10%. It’s so dry there that 97°F feels like 92°F.

We had rain a little while ago. We’ve had our daily afternoon shower. See how the humidity shot up to 72%. Well duh. Of course the humidity will rise. Before too long the humidity will be super high all the time, not just after a good rain.

It may be safe to say that later I can go for a walk. Goodness knows I need it!

Thanks for following along with me on my trip. Traveling is way more fun when you have others to share with!

2 Notes

Road Trip: Day 12 - I Want More Geocaching!

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Start time: 6:30am in Tucumcari, NM

End time: 9:00pm in West Memphis, AR

Distance: 830 miles

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June 25, 2014 6:35am - I wore sunscreen for this. I’m not going to complain too much because that means my eyes can relax. I-40 E just outside of Tucumcari, NM.

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8:47am on I-40 E at mile marker 52 near Wildorado, TX

61°F

Remember that cramped cattle ranch we passed heading west last week? Omg. We decided that since the air is moist and cool that we’d ride with the windows open. As soon as we passed that ranch the air smelled terrible! I know cows are cows but I can’t imagine they enjoy the stench of poo. That can’t be healthy. I know livestock stinks but damn. The open field cattle ranches didn’t smell quite like that one. *coughs and hacks*

Good morning! Ha ha.

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June 25, 2014 9:21am - See what Geocaching can teach you. I was looking for Earthcaches in the area to see if there was anything I could look at out the window. I found this.

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June 25, 2014 9:21am - Gypsum Earthcache part 2.

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June 25, 2014 9:22am - Gypsum Earthcache Part 3. In case you want to find this cache, here is the information.

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10:17am at a Rest Area in N 35° 10.747 W 100° 49.732

I found another geocache! When we stopped at this rest area I just had to see if I’d find a quick grab. I had next to no signal. I was trying to download at 1x speed. Once I finally loaded what I needed, I followed the compass arrow and nabbed it. Yey! This is a nice rest area. This one and the one on I-40 W are actually newer and are tornado shelters.

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12:38pm on I-40 E past mile marker 108 near Hydro, OK

I’m hungry. We have more sandwich stuff to make. I’m waiting on a picnic area. I don’t want to make sandwiches in the car in a parking lot again.

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June 25, 2014 12:49pm - Lunch time! We actually got to stop and eat at a picnic area instead of in the car this time. Though I must say, it didn’t smell pleasant. I-40E in Oklahoma.

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June 25, 2014 4:46pm - Hello rain, I see you. I-40 E in Arkansas.

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6:37pm on I-40 E past mile marker 122 near Conway, AR

We just drove into a wall of rain. Ricky said, “Do you see what that rain is doing up there?” Meaning up ahead. He said, “3. 2. 1.” One second after that we entered rainy space. On the hazard lights went. And up to the Oh-S**t-Handle my right hand went. I’ve been in rain before but still.

By this point in the entry the rain has subsided a bit. The windshield is mighty clean again.

Ricky is none too pleased with Arkansas - it rains and has a lot of road construction on I-40. We are from Florida. This rain and construction are between us and home. Curse you both! We want to stop before 9:30pm tonight. You know, so that we can get up early and do it again tomorrow. So that we can get home faster and curse at our own rain.

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June 25, 2014 9:23pm - Our room at the Ramada. Not too shabby for $80 bucks. West Memphis, AR.

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11:30pm at Ramada in West Memphis, AR

This hotel has an interesting layout. When I was looking for hotels with inward facing rooms I came across the Ramada. It has good reviews and the pictures of the outside of the building show only windows. If you look at the pictures of the rooms it shows the window next to the door, which is very much a motel thing and usually means outward facing doors. I booked a room anyway. When we got here we discovered that there is an indoor hallway. It almost looks like this building was at one point a motel but later enclosed its outdoor walkways.

What was real funny was Ricky’s expression when he saw the TV in the room. “Whaaa? Is that a TUBE tv?” He turned it on. “There’s a sound I haven’t heard in a while…ugh the picture quality is terrible.” I had a good laugh. Being gamers, picture quality is important to us. Also, the sound that TVs give off really bother me. I was sooooooo happy the Christmas I got my first LCD monitor for my computer. My headaches were gone!

Back to the present TV - it’s fine. It allows us to watch cartoons for a couple of hours. We’ve watched Cartoon Network every night we’ve been away except tonight. He can’t figure out which channel it is here. We were watching Adventure Time, American Dad and Family Guy. Comedy Central was the only channel offering cartoons so South Park it would have to be. There’s a show I hadn’t watched in forever.

For note, we had Popeyes for dinner tonight. Oooooh boy. Popeyes is a favorite of mine. We wanted it last night but the town only had KFC. We are to the point where we want yummy familiar food. Mmm mmm.

2 Notes

Road Trip: Day 11 - On the Road Again

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Start time: 6:30am in Barstow, CA

End time: 8:30pm in Tucumcari, NM

Distance: 850 miles

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5:48am at Sleep Inn in Barstow, CA

Getting up at 5:00am might just be the cruelest hour we’ve waken up thus far. We want to make good headway on our first day going west. The hotel serves breakfast beginning at 5:30am, so we figure the earlier the better. We’ll be losing one hour of time today. Hurray.

On a fun note, my upper arms/shoulders are so burnt that I couldn’t even turn on to my side last night…at all. *whimper*

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9:04am on I-40 E just past mile marker 15 in Arizona

We crossed over the Colorado River as we passed over into Arizona and I noticed that the water is green. I got to thinking about the blue-green water in the Havasu Canyon. One day I’ll see that pretty water in person. On my phone I looked up pictures of where the Havasu Creek feeds into the Colorado River. It’s pretty cool, you should look it up.

Earlier we were driving past the Mojave National Preserve. Ricky was like, “Why would anyone want to go there. It’s all desert.” I took it upon myself to look it up since, from the road, it doesn’t seem like a likely destination. Apparently there is a ghost town called Kelso inside that used to be centered around mining and the railroad. How cool is that! I want to go! I’ll add it to my travel bucket list.

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June 24, 2014 10:32am - Next to Roadkill Cafe. I found out as we were leaving that there was a geocache somewhere in that area. But but but. *sigh* Fiiiiiine. We had to keep moving. Seligman, AZ.

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June 24, 2014 10:33am - Roadkill Cafe. Ricky had heard about it somewhere before. Once he saw the sign for it on the interstate he had to stop and check it out. Seligman, AZ.

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10:38am on I-40 E just past mile marker 122 in Arizona

Ricky saw a sign for the Roadkill Cafe on Route 66 so he got off the interstate to check it out. It’s a fun place to stop and see. It has a rusty beat up car and some other stuff. Omg there was a geocache right where we parked and I didn’t have time to look for it. *whimpers* I get sad when I’m where a geocache is and can’t look for it. I get sad when I can’t find a geocache period. Do Not Finds are no fun.

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June 24, 2014 11:59am - Say hello to my lunch. A basic and very inexpensive food choice: white bread, turkey, and sliced cheese. Ricky had the cracker version. We brought a small cooler with us to save money on food - at least on one meal a day. Gas station in Flagstaff, AZ.

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June 24, 2014 2:41pm - Say hello to the evil carrots. I got hungry later in the day. I begrudgingly ate some. I know they are good for me but carrots taste gross uncooked. Somewhere on I-40 E.

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11:30pm at Best Western in Tucumcari, NM

Today was a pretty straightforward day - literally. We have been heading east all day on I-40 E. We saw blue skies and lots of sun. We saw a truck get pulled over by a cop. We were on the road a looooooong time. Thirteen hours to be exact.

I came by an Earthcache at a rest stop on I-40 E. These don’t have logs you sign. They are meant to get you thinking about the earth and its makeup. The question you had to answer on this one was, “Provide a piece of evidence that suggests this is a FLOODPLAIN (IN a Rift) instead of a mesa.” I had to look up so many words. I had a hard time answering it. The Earthcache worked as it got me thinking about the geology of the immediate area that I otherwise wouldn’t have given a second thought. I took pictures of the area in question and spent an hour in the car looking up stuff on my phone. I want proper credit for this one! Plus it’ll be my only cache found in New Mexico.

On to the hotel we went! I made a reservation online so that we HAD to make it all the way there. I found a really nice Best Western for 100 bucks including tax and AAA discount. I’m impressed. They called our room about two hours after check-in to see if everything was satisfactory and to see if we needed anything. The doors are outward facing and Ricky didn’t seem concerned. Yey.

For note we had KFC for dinner. We were supposed to eat sandwiches but Ricky wanted a kind of reward for driving all that way. That and he was craving chicken.

1 Notes

Road Trip: Day 10 - Last Day in California

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Begin time: 7:00pm at Mom’s place, Southern CA

End time: 9:00pm at Barstow, CA

Total distance: 135 miles

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June 23, 2014 11:19am - This is a little funny. We stopped to have breakfast turned lunch at Hamburger Hamlet and there is an In-N-Out right across the street. *shakes head* Sherman Oaks, CA

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June 23, 2014 11:40am - The hamburger I ordered, Home town Burger. We went there for breakfast, they gave us a lunch menu, and we later found out that they really do serve breakfast all day. Hamburger Hamlet in Sherman Oaks, CA

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June 23, 2014 11:50am - Side view of my hamburger deliciousness. I only ate half of it. The flavors blended so well. Hamburger Hamlet in Sherman Oaks, CA

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1:18pm at Mom’s place in Southern CA

Today is our last day in the Valley. Tonight we head back to Barstow, where we will begin our trek back to Florida tomorrow.

Today is our mom’s birthday. Later on my brother will be cooking Chicken Diane for dinner. It’s a Cajun dish. Our stepdad used to love making a handful of Cajun dishes. My brother was the one who caught on to it…YEARS ago. I’m barely now just trying to figure out how to cook non-boring regular food. My cooking skills are so unbelievably simple and dwarfed compared to Ricky’s.

Getting back to today… So far we’ve eaten lunch at Hamburger Hamlet in Sherman Oaks, shopped a little at Gelson’s and put clothes in the laundry. I’m catching Mom’s up too so she won’t have mess with them later. Yeah, yeah I know that’s not all that travel related but I like helping where I can. Mom buys me chocolate milk, I do the laundry. That’s how this works.

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1:56pm at Mom’s place in Southern CA

I have a Christmas song stuck in my head because June screams Christmastime. It might be because I’m at my mom’s house or just simply because I’ve been humming simple Xmas tunes my whole life. That and Zelda: Ocarina of Time songs.

"All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth. My two front teeth, see my two front teeth. Gee if only I could have my two front teeth. I could wish a Merry Christmas…"

All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth) by Spike Jones

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June 23, 2014 4:03pm - Felix wants to play. No way kitty, you have to come to me. Why do cats always drop to the floor out of arms reach? Mom’s place, Southern CA

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June 23, 2014 4:39pm - Chicken Diane. Ricky made it for our mom’s birthday. Mom’s place, Southern CA

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June 23, 2014 7:01pm - Safety first! When we left Mom’s place, I buckled my bunny in. Mom got this bunny for me Easter 2002. It’s been my favorite one all of these years. Mom’s place, Southern CA

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7:53pm on CA-210 heading towards Barstow, CA

We have left for Barstow. This will get us out of any possible traffic laden areas. Tomorrow is going to be drive, drive, drive. We’ve decided against going to Montezuma. We figure since we more or less skipped seeing anything on the eastern portion of the drive towards California that we will skip seeing anything on the western portion of the drive towards Florida. We will be staying at the same hotel we stayed at before seeing our mom - Sleep Inn. This time we WILL be partaking in the breakfast. No mommy to make us breakfast this time.

2 Notes

Road Trip: Day 9 - Quiet Day

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Total distance traveled: Not many. 

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8:37am at Courtyard Marriott in Woodland. Hills, CA

Huzzah for waking up feeling this refreshed. I like waking and stretching and feeling like a million bucks. Who doesn’t?

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June 22, 2014 7:09pm - Taco salad! A not so unhealthy dinner that’s delicious. I need to make this more often at home except with ground turkey. Mmm mmm. Mom’s place, Southern CA

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June 22, 2014 10:17pm - Checkout my lovely sunburn! Yeah, it stings just a bit. Courtyard Marriott in Woodland Hills, CA

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11:30pm at Courtyard Marriott in Woodland Hills, CA

Today has been a simple day. I’m afraid there isn’t much to report.

1. Ricky and I went to Balboa Park in Van Nuys to walk on the trail. We really needed some exercise. We had planned to go hiking at Stoney Point but his leg was unhappy from the steep hike in Sequoia. I grabbed two geocaches while we were there. I also got two bad sunburns on my upper arms and shoulders. I remembered sunscreen on my face but not my arms. Go Mea.

2. I visited with some old friends for a few hours. It’s always nice to catch up.

3. Off to mom’s I went to join my brother.

There’s nothing wrong with visiting and hanging out. :)