Sunday, November 27, 2011

Frenzied, Freak'n & Freez'n

Alas, I am taking a minute to finally update our blog: I have been GOOFING off a great deal. So, here are a flurry of pictures from our Fall, 2011 adventures: The frenzy of DisneyWorld & The Disney Cruise, the Collins' Sleepy Hollow Halloween bash and last but not least the finale of White Trash Camping with friends. Here are the most humorous highlights from each.

1) Ness screaming and sprinkling slightly as the family dove down Splash Mountain.

2) Eric and I, in dress clothes, nibbling on pretzels, gingerale and Dramamine, Disney Magic, Deck 4, under the glow of life-boats and drizzling salt water. Romance at its finest :)

3) Dancing @ the Pirate Ball on Deck 10 with Mickey flying overhead on a zipline.

4) St. Maarten, French side, large brown naked man, I dubbed the walrus. Our snorkeling guide said, and I quote " butt naked, don't mean attractive."
5) Meeting an engaged couple, Scott and Donna, and signing their wedding certificate as witness' following their cermony on Castaway Cay. Awesome.

6) The laughter brought on by Eric and his Baywatch inspired costume during our Halloween party. His costume is not for public consumption but check out our festive friends. Everyone looked great!

7) Observing frost on the INTERIOR of our camper, privy contents that had frozen into a solid mass of waste, and the passing tinge of guilt for not telling our friend the battery/heater was dead before nightfall. :) Felt like the Griswalds'.

8) Watching two guys effortlessly smash down the busted trailer. By the grace of God, may we never have to use that device again.

9) Watching the castle in Magic Kingdom from a vertical adventure ride during the Parks nightly fireworks. Gorgeous.

10) Running & staggering 12 miles up Sierra Blanca Mountain, 2600' elevation gain, with friends to complete my first Ski Run Road Challenge. Lately, I have felt like Forest Gump. Lovin' it.

Thanks to our friends for joining us for Halloween, GodMother for cruising with us and the Flusche's for making Thanksgiving a feast to remember!* Check out more pics on our slideshows by clicking on them to launch the slideshow.

Happy Holidays to all,

Sunday, August 28, 2011

White Trash Camping (WTC) Episode, #2: Langmuir or Bust!

Loyal WTC Followers, here we are again, in the the wilderness tempting fate and challenging or limited scientific expertise! Once our trailer was repaired (?) we headed to 10, 800 feet, to the Magdalena Ranger District and Langmuir Lightning Observatory. I have been anxious to return to this gorgeous, quiet area since we visited there nearly 8 years' ago. The Observatory is open exclusively during monsoons and is entirely designed to attract lightning for the purposes of study. Poor Eric knew he was embarking on another Warren-planned adventure...:)

We left Friday afternoon, determined to re-create our trip to Texas Springs and the abandoned Miners' Cabins previously discovered. After following our map, talking to a local, buying wood from an unknown Mexican at his home and driving down the wrong Forest Service Road, we found ourselves in a perfectly good area for camping: Eric, suggested we stay put as dark was approaching, but I persisted, convincing the crew we could persevere to the intended

We found our "road" and began a 6 mile journey into hell. Unsure of what was worse, Ness throwing boulders out of the way or the eroding and ever-present slope straight down the other side. It was a very quiet and dark trip in with much intestinal anxiety. Nobody in their right mind would have chosen this road while hauling a camper-except a Warren! Plus, there were no turn-outs. Simply a one way ticket into the dark.

We made it into the planned site, slammed a beer and went to bed. Not bothering to jack or level our trailer led to an interesting night of sliding down hill! Nonetheless, we were determined to close this day out and hope for better luck on Saturday. After breakfast at the Miners' cabin, we hiked around South Baldy mountain, eating wild raspberries, and plotting our plans for the remainder of the weekend. We decided our present location was awesome for tent camping and hiking-but was a total bust for a camper. So after lunch we had a family discussion and decided to cut our losses and find a designated campsite. I LOATHE camping in these sites and for many years' we have managed to avoid them: not this time. No matter where you are there is always one village idiot-and really, no peace, because people, kids and mutts are all around. Submitting, we turned in to the most remote site we could find and jacked up the ole trailer one more time in Water Canyon campground.

Quickly, and with no effort, the village idiot was produced. Determined to blare classic rock (at least) through his outside speakers, we did our best to ignore him. We had our first huge campfire of the season, accompanied but equally large adult beverages. Sunday brought an incredible drive and then hike to the Observatory and made the entire trip worth it: both the guys' found it very cool as we clammored up the equipment. Scientists from the night shift were still asleep but we were told would be very accessible by 10 a.m. to answer questions and show us around. A must-do if you have sci-fi kiddos. In our normal cliffhanger ending, we saved the most dramatic moment for the trip conclusion: When we tried to put the tent trailer down and return home it defied gravity; we sat on it, we jumped on it, we yelled at it and finally we tied it with a rope and drove home in real style for the second time this summer! Oh my. Stay tuned for WTC Episode #3!

Other News!

Eric was very involved in implementing the new Eagle Bridge and really enjoyed watching the sequential application of each bridge piece-very cool. Papa, my Dad, would have loved it since he spent years' working on bridges himself. Soon we can drive over it...

Eric's brother Gary bought his own home following his recovery from a stroke. Gary and Geri threw a house-warming and my boys' headed up to ABQ to spend the weekend and celebrate. Gavin had fun at the zoo and at the party with two GrandMa's and Uncle present. He is still talking about the train ride to the zoo and water balloon fights at the park!

We are all healthy, life is good and both our jobs are keeping us busy. Gavin loves, loves Kindergarten, but is ready for bed at 7:30 p.m. each night. He is wiped! First day of school, pictured below.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

White Trash Invades Red River & San Diego

We headed to Red River with a perfectly decent tent trailer. Then I had to make things interesting by neglecting to unlatch the hardtop. Thanks to a few foul words, beer and a 2x4 we were able to prop up the busted end and spend the weekend in the ghetto trailer you see before you. White Trash 100%. Eric, the innovator, rigged it for use and really enjoyed having the interior ceiling roughly 6 inches from his face. We laughed so hard, particularly when observers' passed by our remote site...whispering. Alas, all is well that ends well...more on this down the page. We had fresh trout for dinner following Gavin's dismay at my cleaning of the catch.

The remainder of the weekend was a total blast with the catching of fresh brook trout caught not only by my pole but by another Eric innovation; a butterfly net with a fishing knife fastened to the end. In my entire life, I have never seen someone so determined to catch a fish. Frustrated at all the trout we could see but not catch, Eric chose to spear fish! Oh my, what a sight. Between the screwed up camper, the ghetto spear fish apparatus and the two mangy dogs, we were the epitome of white trash.

Getting the trailer home (this is the more later part) was far more entertaining, requiring a hacksaw, which we gladly used, along the highway, at the dismay of the hacksaw and upscale RV Park Owner. He was scared, very scared, and happy to see us roll on home. Red River is lush, quiet and filled with hiking and fishing opps. We can also tell you where to find a hacksaw-should it be required. :)

Our second white trash invasion landed us in San Diego for 7 days of 4th of July fun in the sun, LegoLand, the San Diego Zoo and amazing local neighborhood food we found thanks to TripAdvisor. Oh my gosh. We saw the most enormous fireworks display involving three ships dispersed around Mission Bay for all to see. We laid on the beach and watched them go off in sequential order for nearly an hour. We porked on fish tacos, homemade Italian and lotza cold beverages. Gavin, the Fish, swam constantly. He can dive down to 5 ft and is swimming underwater like a pro. Alas, more time for us to sit on our !@# and relax while he met new friends each day. Eric's Surveying conference went well and the business was happy to provide this all expense paid adventure!

On other fronts, we have at least two more camping trips planned, thanks to the opening of the National Forest and the handy welding skills of a local mechanic who is fixing the tent trailer as I write! Big news...we have decided to move into town and ditch the endless trips back and forth each day. The house hit the market last week as did our mixed emotions; we love the peace here and we have a gorgeous house (that we built). Alas, it is to big for us to maintain and to far out of town for an active family. Wish us luck!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Surprising Eric & Zipping With Gavin

Summer, thus far, has been a blast! Look at these pictures and they tell the story of a wildly successful 40Th Surprise Party for Eric-yep, he was totally shocked and cried like a baby. (The older photos' were part and parcel of a hilarious slide show focusing upon Eric's mullet affliction!We had 35 adults, 15 kids, 3 babysitters and a very busy bar and D.J. People came from all over the Southwest and it felt like a big reunion. Although we had not seen many of them for quite sometime, we really had not missed a beat with one another (until the karaoke started!) What a wild and entertaining evening. The kids jumped & slided themselves to exhaustion, we sang some old 80's tunes and laughed until we hit the bars at 10:00 to close. (Good thing, 'cause we almost had a rustle between some brothers' and bull riders-they would have kicked our ass!) Festivities continued through Sunday with the pool, golf and trip to the local park. We were wiped out by Sunday night and yet, wanting to do it all again! Our friends made this event spectacular by personality and we are so grateful they traveled, sang and celebrated this occasion with us. Who knew that our local chiropractor could sing Vanilla Ice like a pro? And, Eric, he really pulled out all the stops with his rendition of Whip It...we have video as evidence.

Gavin and a very close pal spent the day with us at home, swimming, play room'n it and having a ball. Poor Gavin, he just follows her around like a little puppy-he is dumbstruck with Natasha's adorable face, incredible poise and brains.

We finished the school year with a field trip and family day to a local Fort-who knew there was so much to do, 30 minutes away? Obstacle course, zip line, rock wall climbing and swim/slide all placed in a huge enclosed Fort with cabins and Western ambiance. Gavin zipped three times, Eric twice and Mom-once. It was so much fun we all just kept clamoring for more.