New Years Day… in June

01 Jan
January 1, 2009 – Fairbury, NE
(I’m doing a bit of catch-up… pretend it’s January for a minute)

Rick & Darcy Blatny are two of our very most very favorite people… and like very favorite people do – they decided last minute to have a party – to bring in 2009’s New Year!

If you know Jim & I – you know that you do NOT, under any circumstance – offer a ‘courtesy invite’. ‘Cause whether you mean it or not sister, there’s a pretty good chance we’ll show up!

So in the midst of invitation – we hopped in the plane, and headed to Fairbury, Nebraska.

I think Rick & Darcy are getting used to our hap-hazzardness – as always we were welcomed with open arms!

Happy New Years… on this 12th day of June!


Costa Rica – December 8-15, 2008

08 Dec
2008’s Road Trip: Cramer/Small style
Jim & I planned this trip – with the idea that it would be a bit different from our usual beachy/resort/lazy vaca’s… and that it was. We spent two days on mountain bikes, one on surf boards, and SEVERAL days wandering (mostly purposefully) in our 4×4 rental car accross the country-side.

Road- Trippin’ at its’ best…
After 4 hours on the road – I’ll whip out the camera, just to mix things up a bit… and really, I must say – these hours were some of the trips’ best!
Me & my friend. Me & my man.

Costa Ricans celebrate Christmas too!?
Ha! Just kidding… I mean, I’m kidding NOW -because now I know that 90% of Costa Rican’s are catholic – and celebrate Christmas similar to us USAn’s.
But for those of you (like me) who are clueless to many parts of the world… Yes, Costa Ricans celebrate Christmas too.
Ha! Maybe I’m the only one.
You can’t really tell – but this nativity was close to life-size & outside the front doors of our
La Fortuna Hotel. It made me think of my mom. I loved it.
Feliz Navidad.
Donald, Me, & Jimbo. Holy Moly… a little bit of Heaven – a little bit of Hell – THAT was an 8 hour ride! But check out what we saw along the way…

Oh gosh, it’s so painful to pose for a picture. I swear I live with a bunch of babies!
Bo does the same thing! Never-the-less…

We watched a group of monkeys – tree-traveling. Leaping 8-10 feet from one tree to the next. There were two Momma monkeys, each with a baby clinging to their backs… you could see they were more cautious than the others, protecting precious cargo. They’d take 5 steps back from a branch to get a good running start, go full speed ahead – and then stop just before the plunge. After several brave attempts, they both made it accross, babes-in-hand.
Little bit o’ bike trouble. A LOT of rain!
We climbed all morning -to get to a high spot for lunch. The restaurant had an amazing view of the active volcano (Arenal), which stayed relentlessly hidden our entire stay in La Fortuna.
Maybe next time!
The roads in Costa Rica are not like anything in The States (unless you count private farm roads). We traveled 40 miles in 4 hours – through pot-holes, mud, and quiet, barefoot neighborhoods.
Below is a picture of a little Geo Tracker, driven by a friendly local kid who drove up on the same washed-out bridge we did. When we saw the bridge was washed out – Jim & I literally had no idea where to go. But young Costa-boy turns his tracker around, pulls up to the side of our car and says, ‘Sigame este camino’ which basically means – ‘Follow me down this road.’ We followed him through mud to the town of Monteverde. I don’t know how else we would have found it. I love that boy!
Jim’s smarter than me – and brought to life my appreciation for these windmills & their amazing ability to produce energy. Of course, this energy source is not a novel idea at this point – especially for us American’s. But somehow, it was easier to find sincerity in the Costa Rican people. I believe they’re producing energy to support themselves, vs. producing energy to prove their political stance, or to earn their ‘Go Green’ bumper sticker. Simple & Sweet. These people are resourceful.

Check out the grip I have on Jim’s head! One of us likes taking self-portraits… one of us is CRAZY!

More biking…

And then we head to The Beach; Manuel Antonio.
In another life – I’d be a surfer girl, and this would be my very typical Wednesday morning. In this life – I’m just a poser, and this picture lets me pretend.

Headed for Home Sweet Home… we took one last self-portrait from our room in
Manuel Antonio.

The End.


Grammy P. Comes to Town – Nov 21-26, 2008

21 Nov
Grammy P. is here in town, yes. But let us first briefly touch on one thing occupying our home…
Newly developed problem: The boys have both decided they want their hair a certain way. Ayyyyy… oh how I miss the days when they could care less. Ty wants this swooping-to-the-side-skater-do, he picked up from his cousin. And Bo -just wants this weird, old-man, comb-forward thingy. I think the pictures of Bo scream for themselves.

Jim’s Mom (AKA: Grammy P.) is in town this week. Saturday we played some front-yard football while we waited for Ty’s Border Wars game to start.

Grammy P.

This was my contribution to the rough-h0using.
Oh wait – look, I actually participated! I’m really pretty good, it’s just that no one ever wants to play with me!

Bo would throw it back & forth with me – and then 3 minutes later he’d say, ‘Ummm, Dad? We should just play pass me & you.’
That would be code for, ‘Ummm, Dad? Can we play withOUT Em for a while?’ Ha! Punk.

Ty’s Border Wars Game @ The new Real Soccer Stadium.


‘Travel Related’ – October 9th, 2008

09 Oct
This is a picture I took tonight – when I looked out my living room window…

The thought? Though it lacks brilliancy – is startling, and clear every time it hits me… Why do I spend all my time leaving this place – when I LOVE it so much?… I even have a blog about leaving it!?
I like to think – that no matter what the view is like from home, the feeling is Universal. I have similar feelings attached to a picture taken 3 years ago… It’s me, painting my apartment walls orange (despite the rules), and wishing that the cigarette-smoking neighbor from accross the way would PLEASE move out. Same feeling. It’s Home.
When I was little – It seems like I was constantly home-sick. Sleep-overs? Forget it! From Misty Moore’s trampoline I could see my house accross the vacant lot. But still – I’d end up in tears, and Misty’s Mom (flash-light in hand) would walk me (one-house) home.
I still get homesick and call my Mom at 3am… Almost 30 years-old, and still miss ‘home’.
My point (sigh) awww, I don’t know…
Home is Home. And at the end of all our travels, as great as they might be… Home is where we all wanna be.

Omaha, NE – Denver, CO – October 1-6, 2008

01 Oct
Trains, Planes, & Automobiles

So WAY back in March 2008 – I stewed up my yearly attempt to surprise Jim with SOMEthing for his June Birthday – anything! I nailed down 4 Broncos Tickets, and roped-in R. Blatny & his wife, Darcy to conspire. However, Rick (ex-college football star) had his contingencies. Back in the day Rick played for The Nebraska Huskers. And since then, has remained an Allstar Fan! The deal was… if we could come to The Huskers’ Saturday Night game in Lincoln – He and Darcy would tag with us to the Sunday Afternoon game in Denver. Hmmmm… and how might that happen Ricky Bobby? Try… a private flight to Lincoln; A midnight train after the Husker game – to Denver (AKA Hell); A commercial flight back to Omaha; a drive to Lincoln, and back on the private plane to SLC. Holy Moly.

Phase 1: Chuck Liddell
Much to our surprise, Darcy & I found ourselves at Chuck Liddells’ private party… who is Chuck Liddell you ask? I still don’t know. Sweet picture guys – now you’re famous!

Phase 2: Go Huskers!
Who looks better in the corn-head?
Does anyone look good in the corn-head??

Rick is a Doctor by trade… but based on his photo-ops, I’m thinking most of the world would mistake him for a frat-boy-clown. And THAT, my friends – is what is extraordinary about Rick Blatny… He’s sincere, super smart, and an exceptional MD – but he also knows how to play!

Phase 3: Here comes the train.
The delay from midnight – to 2AM started the night (or should we say morning) off with a kicker.
The nap from 12-2 sent us racing to catch the departure; and once aboard, I realized I was missing my purse. There was a FURIOUS passenger aboard who wanted to fight Jim & Rick for waking her, and our ‘suites’ turned out to be closets. Mmmmmm… the train is awesome!

Phase 4: Denver Broncos
There was Sunshine – and OH, there was rain. Broncos win!

We stayed at a great downtown-hotel in Denver – and went for sushi after the game. Rick & Darcy are hillarious and fun, AND – they love eachother – that’s why we love them!

Reno, NV – Sept 20-22, 2008

20 Sep
Reno Anyone?

I’m still playing catch-up on the travel documentation – and I’ve just plain given up on trying to post them in order!
This September trip to Reno was a whim… and also a direct effect of having a man who refuses to sit still. AND, well… you know what they say about Reno… wait – i don’t think anybody says anything about Reno. But I’d never been – so why not!

In hindsight, we really just flew in to town to watch a football game in our hotel room! While Jim conducted business via cell phone, I snuck down to the sports-betting room and donated $100. I don’t remember who I bet to win – but we were glad I didn’t bet the farm!

Lubbuck, Houston, Dallas, Santa Fe – Sept 3-7, 2008

03 Sep
Road-Tripping in The Sky

This was our first, and not last – road-trip… only we took Vector-ways instead of Highways. Jim flew us from Salt Lake City – to Lubbuck, TX – to Houston, TX – to Dallas, TX – to Santa Fe, NM – back to SLC. Whew!
There was nothing in Lubbuck… we just had to stop for fuel and lunch. The FBO’s (private airports) typically have what they call a Courtesy Car. It’s a car they’ll let pilots borrow for an afternoon – or sometimes overnight. Check out how courteous they are when designating a car for the job…

Stylin’Jim swore this suburban smelled like one of the trucks on his Dad’s ranch. Dust, anti-freeze, sun-stroked vinyl. I swore it smelled like the carpool-car I rode in on the way to orchestra practice in 6th grade. Maybe the 80’s had a smell!?
Next stop – Southern Shred… Jim’s Houston shred-biz. We spent two nights here. Jim worked, and I played – big surprise. I did a kickboxing class with Carolyn (Jim’s partner’s wife), and explored the city with my friend, TomTom.
After Houston we headed to Dallas to see Jim’s friend Mark. Mark is the CEO of a pharmecutical company – and Jim has recently invested some time & money into its’ success. So again – Jim worked and I played. Gosh, I sound like a loser! Me & Tom.
Jim & Marcus

When we left Dallas – I had this huge heart-set on Santa Fe. Weather permitted… so we headed that way! We visited The Georgia O’keefe/Ansel Adams Museum and watched a very ‘interesting’ parade. Ate great food from a rooftop deck, spent the night at an authentic boutique hotel, and took a stinky cab back to the airport in the morning.
Georgia O’Keefe
Two Bloomers

The Parade

The End


Jackson, WY – Aug 30-Sept 2, 2008

30 Aug
Jackson with The Boys
So, this shouldn’t really qualify as ‘travel’, because we are in fact Wyoming residents. But since Ty started football, we’ve been spending most of our boy-time at the Salt Lake house. So this time felt like a vacation!

We’re regulars at the The Jackson Hole Rodeo – and I think we might be the only locals redneck enough to go. It’s every Wednesday & Saturday during the Summer – and is just down the block from where we live.
This is a very typical smile from Bo.

The Cow Scramble.
This is a hundred kids chasing a calf with a ribbon on its’ tail. Afterward – we had two defeated boys explaining over & over how it was NOT fair – that the BABY who got the ribbon was being held by an adult! Ha! I thought it was crap too – but we tried not to be sore-losers!

Granite Falls picnic.

After the falls we went to a private hotspring – the size of a lap-pool. It was just like a giant jacuzzi. We swam in the rain until the rain turned into marble-sized hail!

Salmon River, Idaho – August 1-6, 2008

01 Aug
We weren’t lying when we said there’d be a 2nd…
Hughes River Trip 2008

This was the crew… I think there were 30 of us, including the guides. Strangers in the beginning, friends in the end. A phenominal way to meet some phenominal people.

These are the rafts lined up for the evening. Float Boats (the lazy boats), Paddle Boat (you’ve actually got to work all day on this boat), The Swamp Boat (the one that hauls all our gear), and a couple kayaks.

It’s official… Greg & Eileen are pregnant! Have we lost our travel-buddies for good? Only time will tell. What’s so great about babies anyway!? Just kidding. We’re very anxious to meet Baby Prugh!

I fished the entire trip. Something about fishing… it simulates gambling – and I admit it, I’m addicted.

Here, Greg is hiding a Bud-Light. This picture succeeded a picture of him WITH the beer, and me saying, ‘Can we please have some pictures without Bud-Light!?’ The truth is, I’m just as guilty as the rest of them – I’m just more of a nag. Here, Greg humors me.

This is ‘Barker’ and the boys. Barker was a guide, who spends his life guiding rafts through rivers from Idaho to Costa Rica. He wears river-logged Chuck Taylor High-Tops, and steers a mad raft. He’s a GOOD guy.

This is ‘California Bob’. Bob runs the river for Hughes in the Summer, and spends his Winters as an Island Boy – in the British Virgin Islands, ‘Captain-ing’ a yacht/sailboat. He’s rugged and woodsy – but also genuine and soft. He’s kind of like a real-live Indiana Jones. Dreamy.

Seriously, toGETHER – these two are a constant comedy show… my gut-laughs are ENDless. They easily become senseless & asinine, and I’ll admit – from time-to-time Gregs’ comedic insults will make me cry. But for the most part, I must say – Eileen & I are lucky broads!

This day, when the guides were one man short – Jim & I volunteered to float down on The Swamp Boat (the gear boat). We set up 9 tents in under an hour… when you’re with Jim, beware – you’re always up for hire!

The End


Los Cabos San Lucas, MX – July 16-20th, 2008

16 Jul
Okay, so for those of you with kids – you know… there’s a difference between the ‘kid-vacation’ and the ‘adult-vacation’. Jim & I (probably more than one ought) understand that to its’ fullest… and – we indulge in both, appreciate both, and live each version to its’ max.
Hence, the trip back to Mexico a week after returning from the trip with the boys. Go figure. One of these days, we’ll get creative and go somewhere else… but for now, Mexico is easy – and seems to do the trick!

So, I kind of get scared when I see this picture – because I think I look like a crazy person… if you take out the other tourists behind me, I’m pretty sure I look like a cross between a government-disease control unit worker (is there such a thing?), a Mexican robber, and a terrorist. It just gives me the creeps.