Monday, March 22, 2010

Shoshone Falls, Idaho

First let me make sure you all know that this trip took place last summer. I am not currently on a vacation. I am currently on a trip from stock show to stock show that began in January and will finish next week. That is because I still have one rug rat at home that loves to show livestock! So how did we get to Snake River, Idaho in my story? Well because when I started writing this blog, it was Oscars week so I decided to give you the blow by blow of our trip to Hollywood last summer. Once I got you to Hollywood, it was only fitting that we finish the trip. That is where we are now in our story - headed home to Texas. And that is how I ended up in Twin Falls, Idaho. It really was just a place along the road with a Holiday Inn - you know I like those Priority club points! So while checking in I happen to notice this pamphlet about Shoshone Falls. We got up early enough the next morning to get out to the falls by 8 in the morning. This was one of those spur of the moment stops that really was a treasure to happen upon. Here are a couple more pics....
Shoshone Falls empties into Snake River. How many of you remember what Snake River is known for? As I gazed at the beauty of the falls and the river my mind kept wondering to the question, "why the heck would anyone want to jump this river on a motorcycle?" For you young folks reading this, that would be Evil Knievel - Google him if you are too young to remember. Our first reader to name the falls correctly was Sherry, comment #4. Sherry - email us at to collect your prize.
I love doing these "mystery places" contests! Here's your next challenge photo...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Heading for Home...

So we had been gone for over two weeks and that is a loooonng time for me to be away from home. We dropped our family and friends off at the airport - well not really - they flew out at 6 am so they caught the hotel shuttle! Anyway, we all left Seattle headed home for Texas but it was going to take us a little longer of course!

The contest on naming the Sleepless in Seattle house was fun so let's do another. Here are your hints - we went home a different, more direct route. This was not a planned spot - just happened upon it. The first person to tell me where we were will get a special gift in the mail!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Seattle - Round 2

Seattle had beautiful weather when we left for Alaska so I figured when we returned we were doomed for the weather that I always heard Seattle has. Not so. Again, we had three very pleasant days to spend in Seattle. Seattle is a really cool city. It is the founding city of Starbucks and there are like 70 of them within that one town. No kidding. We took the Duck Tour and every time we passed a Starbucks, they rang the bell. That was a fun tour. I know you have seen those big land/water things in other towns where they tour around land and then hit the water. You know they advertise “Ride the Duck” so we rode the Duck! Here are some pics…
Well of course that isn't our Duck, cuz I took the pic! That was a sister Duck, you know like a sister ship?? A sister Duck?

These pigs are stationed around the tourist area and the wharf and you follow the pigs to a famous place. Of course my crew felt they needed to ride the pig rather than follow the pig. And here is where the pigs lead to...
Pikes Place Market literally has everything you can imagine and the best looking produce I have ever seen. It also is the place where the guys throw fish around. My pics of that didn't turn out too well - they throw too fast for me to catch on camera plus there were too many people crowded around and I got too many backs of people's heads. But I did get this picture of a big ole Octupus for sale. Yum Yum how about that for dinner!
Here is another famous place in Seattle...The first one to tell me what house this is will get a special treat in the mail. Also everyone that comments will be entered for the $25 in Glamour Bucks drawing this Sunday night.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Our last stop on our cruise was in Canada. We LOVED, LOVED Canada! Our port was Victoria, British Columbia. It is on the side of the mountains where it stays 70 degrees year round. Our first order of business was to get serious about some whale watching. So we boarded a big boat with lots of other tourists and one sea sick baby. Yuck. Anyway, the whale watching was good!

When we got back into the harbor we still had the afternoon to spend in downtown and sightseeing. To get the most out of our time I decided we needed a guided tour. So my oldest spotted a couple of guys with those bicycles that tote sightseers around. She, being tall and skinny was busy negotiating a deal with them to wheel us around the city. I, on the other hand thought they probably would want to weigh Gary and I before agreeing to peddle us around for the afternoon. They were good sports, comedians and “hot” too boot. You know if you peddle people around all day for a living what your rear end looks like? Well I happened to snap a picture of what it looks like. I am just going to let you enjoy the pictures…
If you can't read it, it says "Nice Asset"The front view wasn't bad either!

Who knew Darth Vader was hanging out in Canada or that he could play the violin!

Apparently every big city has a China Town...who knew there were still phone booths around?
Leave me a comment to enter this week's drawing for $25 in Glamour Bucks! When is the last time you have seen a phone booth?

Monday, March 15, 2010


If you have been following along you know that we took a big trip last summer. Our group that travels together went on an Alaskan Cruise and I am a big chicken about flying so I talked my husband into driving me from Texas to Seattle – but not the short way – we went to San Diego and drove up the west coast. So far I have taken you across New Mexico and Arizona and up the coast to northern California. We have been through deserts, the big zoo, Hollywood, San Fran Bay, through a big tree and finally it’s time to get to Seattle, meet up with our family and friends and board the ship for Alaska.

We are cruisers. I have come to the conclusion that cruising with a family is the best value around plus when you have everyone contained on one boat, they can’t get away! The kids have to put up with their parents. We usually cruise from Galveston because it is driving distance for us and you already know how I feel about flying. I am not doing any advertising but we have a favorite cruise line and when they promote their “Fun Ships” – they really are. But some of our group wanted to switch over and try a different cruise line. I was game. We travel in a large pack so I knew we would have a good time no matter what line we cruised on. I wasn’t so sure that the other cruise line was ready for us.

We travel with a very diversified group, all tied together by livestock shows or divorces. Our ages range from my youngest daughter that is 15 to the oldest which is around 80ish. So we had 2 high school kids, 3 college kids, 1 best friend, 4 gay men, 3 senior citizens, 1 husband, 1 ex husband, 1 ex husband’s girlfriend and a partridge in a pear tree. Yep, my ex husband and his girlfriend cruised with us too. We fit very well on the Fun Ships – they are a welcoming group. The new line we tried was a little stuffy. Our group lowered the average age of the passengers. My kids said that they will think about cruising to Alaska again when they are sixty but will actually wait until they turn seventy. So you combine some gay men, one of whom loves to sparkle in everything he wears with some beverage loving college kids and you get the picture – we had a great time – the other passengers either joined in and had a good time with us, stood and stared at us or snubbed us.

We managed to still have a great time in Alaska although the hottest day on my entire trip from the tip of California to Alaska and back was in Skagway, Alaska when it topped 80 degrees. We saw Glaciers, upside down trees, Governor Palin’s House, a fish hatchery but no whales. Well not yet anyway…

This is a glacier. I went to Alaska not really knowing what a glacier was but here it is. Glaciers are huge. Notice the little people in the foreground of the picture. That's the GQ Public. That's how big a glacier is.

This is an upside down tree. Alaska is the only place I have run across one of these. There is actually a whole botanical garden full of them. The owners take the trees that die, plant them upside down and add all the foliage. They lined the walkways and were really pretty and quite a novel idea for dead trees!

This is a flower hanging from one of the upside down trees!

Leave a comment to register for this weeks drawing of $25 in Glamour Bucks.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

$an Franci$co...

We left Hollywood headed to San Francisco after the Warner Brothers tour. I was sad to leave Hollywood but left with a better understanding of how I would spend my time during the future trip that I was already planning!

$an Franci$co was the most expensive place we visited. I accumulate Holiday Inn points so of course we stayed at what else, a Holiday Inn by the wharf. I had enough points to cover the expensive room but it cost $40 per night to park my car in their garage. I didn’t plan a trip to Alcatraz. Gary and I discussed it and since he retired from teaching in a prison he had no desire to go and I didn’t really want to spend my time in a dark, stinky, musty, moldy, run down prison either. However it was the destination of most tourists it seemed. We took a tour of the bay by boat and circled the monster and got a lot of the history from our tour guide. It actually was pretty interesting so if you ever go to San Francisco you might want to take the whole tour.

The most interesting thing about the Golden Gate Bridge was the size of the cable. I guess I never gave it any thought to what size cable it would take for a bridge that size. And then we saw all the other tourists stuff – trolley cars, Ghiradelli chocolate factory, etc. etc.

It was time to keep moving up the coast if we were going to make it to Seattle in time to pick up the rest of the group from the airport and board the boat. Now something I haven’t mentioned is that we started looking for whales off the coast way back in San Diego. I never thought about whales being that far south but they actually have whale watching tours from Catalina Island so I guess they go that far south or at least those tour companies have tourists believing they do. So as we drove up the coast we were constantly checking the waters for whales. I finally spotted one as we were driving along north of San Francisco. Gary immediately threw on the brakes (remember he is one of the zoo lovers) and we found a place to pull over – no easy task when the highway drops off into the Pacific Ocean! Since I did not have the forethought to take along some binoculars, I popped on my big zoom lens and zoomed right in on the black movement in the water that had caught my attention. You can see by the picture what it was – this was almost as disappointing as looking all up and down Hollywood Boulevard for celebrities!

After some time watching these guys playing in the water we headed out in search of the giant redwood trees. I really wasn’t any more excited over the trees than I get over the zoo until I saw them. After stopping shortly we pushed on ahead to Seattle….

Leave me a comment to be entered in the drawing later tonight for $25 in Glamour Bucks. What’s the most you would pay for parking?

More Hollywood

When I left off with my story a whole week ago, I was in the middle of telling you about last summer’s trip to Hollywood. I got side tracked for a few days going to the Houston Livestock Show to watch my youngest show her lamb and goat and then on to the George Strait Roping in Boerne. We had a great livestock show – she got both the lamb and the goat into the sale and in fact both the lamb and the goat in the sales, placing 4th with each one. Congratulations go out to our lamb breeder, Adam Lira of Double L Club Lambs on their Grand Champion Southdown, shown by the Kaplan Family. In the goat ring, the Grand Champion Market Goat was shown by one of our show team members, McKenna Bergman. It was bred by Pfeiffer Farms and came to Texas via our team leader, Glen Martin. We are taking orders now for the fall shows so give us a shout if you need a lamb or a goat.

Now back to my Hollywood story. To catch you up to date, Gary, Abby and I took off driving to Seattle last May to meet up with our other family and friends for an Alaskan cruise. The rest of the group flew to Seattle but since I am not a fan of flying, I talked my husband into a cross country trip. So far I have taken you across New Mexico and Arizona and now made our way to Hollywood.

After my close encounter with Elton John, my trip was made. I was happy – I had finally seen a celebrity – well really two because of Randy Jackson. But I still knew of some spots I wanted to check out. The next day we made the 30 mile trip to the coast and specifically Malibu. I was just sure that if all the paparazzi could find Matthew McConaughey hanging around his travel trailer and throwing a frisbee on the beach that surely I could find him too. I am not too sure where Matthew was on that particular day but my travel partners were tired of looking so we headed back towards the city via Calabasas. We had to go through Calabasas to visit the Kardashian sister’s boutique, DASH. We finally located it tucked away in a little strip center and to our dismay it was closed on Sundays. This star sighting business was proving to be harder than I thought!

We decided to stay long enough on Monday to visit one studio and after asking around it seemed that Warner Brothers was the tourist favorite. The tour of Warner Brothers studio probably was my second favorite event of Hollywood after seeing Elton. The sets and costumes were all really cool. We saw some vintage costumes worn by major stars. There was a movie filming at the time. Happens to be opening in a week or so and is the new movie with Jennifer Lopez. We didn’t get to see Jennifer but we did see her twins with their nannies. The sound stages are really cool and when we go back I want to get audience tickets for one of their shows. We visited the sound stage for Two and a Half Men and saw the set of a little show that turned big, called Friends. After three hours of touring Warner Brothers that went by way too quick, it was on to San Francisco.

Leave a comment for tonight’s drawing of $25 in Glamour Bucks.

Each sound stage has one of these plaques that lists the movies and television programs that have been filmed on that particular sound stage. Stage 7, built in 1927, was home to filming of such greats as 42nd Street in 1933, Casablanca in 1943, the original Ocean's Eleven in 1960 and television shows such as the Jimmy Stewart Show in 1971 and currently is the sound stage for Without a Trace.

Who recognizes the famous couch?

Monday, March 8, 2010

And the Academy Award goes to...I mean the Glamour Bucks go to...

Amber Jeffrey. You won big time tonight lady! Woo Hoo! Glamour Bucks to spend. Thanks to everyone who commented this week. But heck we are stuck in Hollywood and have to get back to Texas and you know I don't fly, so keep following our trip. We will give another $25 in Glamour Bucks next Sunday night.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


The buzzing around Grauman’s Chinese Theater definitely caught my attention. But something else was nagging at me – my feet! I insisted that we go back to the hotel, let me change my shoes and we could hoof it back down to Grauman’s to see the stars arrive at the premiere. Well I didn’t check into the premiere deal quite enough! It really didn’t take that long to go to the hotel and come back – we were only a long block away. Lots can happen in an hour on Hollywood Boulevard. By the time we arrived back at Grauman’s, the street was lined with black SUV’s – seems to be the vehicle of choice to be delivered to a premiere. There were Suburbans, Explorers, Tahoes – all in black. It did look pretty impressive with all black vehicles lining the curb. But much to my surprise, the stars had already been dumped out in front of the theater, the movie had started and all the SUVs were just lined up waiting on their passengers to finish their little movie get together. I had one 14 year old daughter that was not happy with me! But then I explained that if they went in, they had to come out so we clicked into full on movie star spotting mode. And we were not alone, there was quite a crowd just hanging out waiting to see whoever might appear. Most got bored waiting so we were able to edge our way up closer to the front of the line – persistence was paying off. I had my huge zoom lens on my Canon and I was ready! All I needed was a star!

Well another misconception that I had about movie premieres was that every star went to every premiere! Now where was the logic in that thinking? I also hadn’t thought about asking what movie premiere was taking place. I didn’t think it mattered. Wrong again. There are about five or six major theaters around the Hollywood area. Movie premieres can take place at any one of these theaters depending on the studio that produces the movie and where they want to hold their “red carpet” event. If you look back at the picture of Brian the Haunted Hollywood Limo Driver, you will notice across the street a Hooter’s and next to it is the El Capitan Theater. Most Disney movies premiere at that theater. A couple of doors down from Grauman’s is the Kodak Theater. That is where the Oscars will be later tonight but it also has a movie theater for hosting premieres and a big nightclub on the top floor for parties. Those three are all right there in close proximity to each other plus there are two or three others in other locations in Los Angeles.

So back to us waiting around Grauman’s to see a star – our movie premiere was Will Ferrell’s Land Of The Lost. Other than Will Ferrell, who was in that movie? It was a matinee premiere. Can you see the strikes lining up for me here? I had moved my way up to the front of the velvet ropes that was being guarded by one of those guys in the black. I decided he might be a wealth of information. They are not friendly types but I was persistent. My little rug rat had missed the red carpet entrance of the stars because I wanted to change shoes and by golly she needed to see a star. Here’s what I got from him: He really didn’t know who all was in the theater that might be coming out soon. He really didn’t know what time the movie actually started to gauge what time they would come out. He really didn’t know who would come out the front door versus going out the back door to a premiere party. Big Guy was not tourist friendly. But again, I was persistent and we weren’t giving up our spots at the front of the red velvet rope. I figured they were keeping him there on the payroll for a reason.

Sure enough – a star soon appeared. Randy Jackson accompanied by his daughter. Either the movie was boring and they left early or Randy couldn’t go to the after party because he brought the baggage (minor child) with him. I quickly zoomed in and got some good close up shots of Randy. So if Randy went to the premiere, maybe Simon and Paula too? And if one star left surely more were to follow? We were really caught up in the excitement and anticipation of more stars to come and I had my camera all ready to zoom right in on them.

From the corner of my eye I happened to catch a glance of something really pink. If you haven’t figured out by now, I like pink. I have three girls and from the time they were born, I dressed them like a walking commercial for Pepto-Bismol. This was enough pink to draw my attention away from the red carpet in front of me. It was a pink cap and a matching pink blazer. Oh my, that was a lot of pink. Then my brain kicked in to actually look and see who was wearing it. It was one of those moments that you look and then you think and then you look again. Was that really ELTON JOHN standing next to me? I am a huge Elton John fan. He was right there next to me. No one in the crowd facing the red carpet had registered yet that he was among us. He had parked down the street and walked up from the back of us while we were all facing the opposite direction. How sneaky was that! He was trying to make his way through the crowd, past Big Guy to get to his star on the sidewalk which happens to be right in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Don’t worry, he had his own Big Guy to move my Big Guy out of the way and go past the velvet ropes. But there was that moment while the two Big Guys were negotiating this deal that Elton was standing right by me. I couldn’t speak! I was frozen for a moment in time. Finally I thought to grab my camera. The stupid thing had the zoom on it and it was sucked up so tight that it looked like Elton was 2 inches from my face. I jerked off the zoom and put the regular lens on in time to get a couple of decent shots.
If I didn’t see another celeb at all, this had made my day!

Leave me a comment to register for the $25 in Glamour Bucks to be given later tonight at the end of the Oscars. What are your star sightings?

Hollywood, Day Two

The next morning we scheduled a tour around the city in one of those big Grayline buses. I am not much of a morning person and this tour started early and lasted until mid afternoon. They even picked us up at the hotel and took us down to their ticket office. Much to my surprise their ticket office was right across the street from Grauman’s Chinese Theater. As I sat waiting on our bus tour to leave I noticed that all the Marilyn Monroes, Spidermen, Sponge Bobs and Darths were not morning people either. In fact Hollywood Boulevard didn’t have much going on at 7:30 a.m. I never explained about all those characters. The sidewalk in front of Grauman’s seems to be a gathering place of sort. Of course it draws all the tourists because it has been there forever. And I have learned in my traveling that where there are tourists, there are opportunists. That’s what we’ll call them – opportunists! There are folks that make their living by showing up on Hollywood Boulevard, specifically in front of Grauman’s, to pose for pictures with tourists. They make their living from tips. I forgot to add that Barney was there and so was Gene Simmons from KISS – although you know that might not have been an opportunist, it might really have been Gene – how would we really know?

The Walk of Fame is another big tourist attraction. I had formulated in my mind what I thought all this was going to be like and I was really wrong. I don’t know why I had in mind that the Walk was a specific spot. The Walk stretches all up and down Hollywood Boulevard and some of the intersecting streets as well – for eighteen blocks! I also didn’t realize that these stars in the sidewalk have to be purchased. That’s right – the ole Hollywood Chamber of Commerce sells them for $25,000. I couldn’t imagine anyone vain enough to purchase their own star and then showing up for the big publicity when it is unveiled. A tour guide explained that most of the time a star’s fan club or studio they work for purchases the star for them. I also learned that there are five categories to be eligible for a star and each has their own symbol on the star – movie camera, record, microphone, television and theater mask. They unveil 20 stars per year and you can even find a schedule of unveilings on the internet and center your vacation around it.

So we boarded our bus and took off for a tour of Los Angeles and Hollywood Highlights. I must say that this really was the best bang for the buck. After covering the Hollywood area, we also went as far west as Muscle beach, the Santa Monica Pier and back into Los Angeles to pass some star’s homes, see the Hollywood sign (privately owned by the way). I really like taking these tours because there is no way you could figure out your way around a city and be able to see the tourist sites as well. If it were my family, Gary would drive, I would read the map and the other passengers would be the only ones getting to see anything. And Gary and I would be in the front seat arguing over where to turn. One of my pet peeves is for him to ask me to navigate and then he questions my directions! My thought is that if you aren’t going to follow the map directions I give you – when I am the one holding the map – then pull over, study the map and do it yourself! I must add that I am a good map reader – remember I like to study maps! Anyway, the bus tours are really the best deal for our family.

We arrived back at the tour office about 3 p.m. and immediately noticed that things had really changed over at Grauman’s since I left at 7:30 that morning. All kinds of barriers had gone up, a red carpet had been stretched out, big guys wearing black suits and sun glasses were hanging around. The tourist crowd had really picked up too. I questioned around enough to find out that there was a movie premiere that was going to take place. Things were buzzing over at Grauman’s. Hmmmm, sounded like a place to spot some stars.

Leave me a comment to register for the $25 drawing tonight. Which “opportunist” would you tip to have your picture taken with?

And the picture – this is Grauman’s in full swing preparation for a movie premiere. Normally this area is full of opportunists, tourists, pick pockets, and weirdos. Notice the concrete blocks in the fore court of the theater – those are the ones with hand prints and signatures of Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, John Wayne, Shirley Temple – that’s another story.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Hollywood Here I Am - At Last!

San Diego was great but I was ready to take off up the Pacific Coast Highway to Los Angeles. The PCH was great for a while. It was pretty driving from one little beach town to the next with the Pacific sparkling on our left side. I have a fascination with maps so I actually study them a lot. Well I should clarify. I don’t actually sit around the house or in the bathroom with an atlas but when we are traveling and I get bored I study the map. So in that long stretch across New Mexico and Arizona, I had spent some time studying on the California map. Something that I really didn’t pay attention to was how mountainous California actually is. So when I say we are driving along with the Pacific sparkling on our left, I should explain that yeah, it was sparkling but much of the time it was off a cliff looking down hundreds of feet! And you wind around to the left and then back to right and so forth and so on. So after the novelty wore off the PCH, Abby and I took a little nap. Our chauffeur was not amused. After waking up and we were still winding around that road at 40 and 50 miles an hour, we decided it was time to hit the freeway.

We arrived in Los Angeles right during 5 o’clock traffic but I didn’t care – I was close to being smack dab in the middle of Hollywood and besides, sitting in traffic was the perfect opportunity to look in all the cars around us because after all, there was a star in every vehicle, right? It looks that way in People Magazine and I will admit, I am a People Magazine junkie. My favorite pictures are the ones in the front of the magazine where some paparazzi have snapped a picture of a star walking down the street in Hollywood - always with coffee in their hands if you hadn’t noticed. Sometimes they are driving their fancy car with the roof down on Hollywood Boulevard or sitting around one of those open air restaurants along the sidewalks in Hollywood. So I figured they all had to get to Hollywood Boulevard somehow so they must be on the freeway somewhere. Nah, the people around us looked just like the people stuck in traffic in Houston, Texas.

We finally arrived at our hotel via directions from the TomTom – how did we ever get anywhere without a TomTom? The one thing I wanted to do was stay close to Hollywood Boulevard – closer to all those stars right? Thank goodness I had been saving all my Holiday Inn points because I needed them to stay a block off of Hollywood and Vine, walking distance to Grauman’s Chinese, the Walk of Fame and the Kodak Theatre where the Oscars will be held this Sunday night. We got in early enough to make a trip to the Boulevard. I was very aware that we looked like classic tourists but I didn’t care – I was headed to find some stars! Well I found some all right – you saw that picture of Marilyn a couple of posts back? Yep, in fact there were a couple of Marilyn type gals wandering around the Boulevard. They each had their own version of a little portable platform to stand on and they had rigged them with slats so they could put a fan underneath to blow their dresses – I bet these gals excelled in the science fair competition in junior high! Along with Marilyn was Darth Vader, several Spidermen, one of which could scale a light post, Sponge Bob was out that evening, and I even saw some Ninja Turtles. Did I see Brittney, Paris, or Miley? Nope. It didn’t appear that any of these gals were out and about or really any of the stars I see in People magazine. So I decided we were going to have to go looking for the stars. This was my first night in Hollywood and by golly I had driven across the desert and the mountains and up the PCH and I was there to see some stars. And guess what? There was a line of guys parked along the curb all hawking at tourists to hop into their van for a night tour of Hollywood. Did I want to share a van with a load of people? Heck no. I wanted my own private car. Enter a vintage white Cadillac limo with a driver named Brian who promises the best tour ever of Hollywood. So the three of us pile into this low riding Cadillac and proceed with Brian at the wheel. First stop of the night – to drop off Brian’s kid at his apartment around the corner. That should have been my first clue of how this tour was going to proceed. I think Brian hit the brake as we passed the Menendez house, he pointed up a driveway where the Sharon Tate murder took place, and we passed a sign for the neighborhood where O. J. Simpson used to live. As we passed the haunted Roosevelt Hotel, he motioned in that direction as well. Not part of the Haunted Tour but a point of interest was the wall surrounding Hef’s Playboy Mansion. And before we knew it, we were back in front of Grauman’s Chinese and still no star sighting. But that was about to all change….

Leave me a comment – are you a People Magazine junkie too?
Everyone commenting between now and Sunday night when the Oscars end will be entered in the random drawing for $25 in Glamour Bucks!

P. S. That's Brian in front of his white limo - notice the kid in the front seat! Also notice the big smiles on my loved one's faces - that's before we took off on this venture.

Over the River and Through the Mountains

“Over the river and through the woods” took on a whole new meaning for me except it was over the mountains and through the desert, to San Diego we go. You know that excitement as you take off on a trip except this was a marathon to make the miles we had to cover and get to Seattle on the appropriate day and still leave us time to stop in the key places we wanted to along the way.

The first night we stopped in El Paso. I had never been to that side of Texas and surprisingly it was prettier than I had imagined. I had big plans of showing my youngest child what old Mexico was like by going over the border. I inquired at the front desk about going over and the gentleman there looked at me like I was crazy. He quickly explained that was no place for Americans to be going. I mentioned a brochure I had about a bus service that left from the Chamber of Commerce that would take you over the border and back. He explained that this service no longer operated that bus run. Of course, I needed to know why. Too many American tourists killed. Well that was enough info for me. Time to move along!

As we entered New Mexico and then Arizona, the temperature on my rear view mirror starting climbing up and up. All the while the possible number of bathroom stops grew less and less. I mean we would drive for miles needing to go to the bathroom. Finally we spotted this one little Mom and Pop store and there was literally nothing else around – where do these people live? Who else frequents this little store? I will tell you who. As we pulled in from the Texas/New Mexico side there was this cute little two-seater Mercedes with California plates that wheeled in from the Arizona side with two California looking young men who has been drinking chilled long necks for a while. I quickly bailed out and headed for the rickety screen door that squeaked loudly as I pushed it open. I noticed the old, rusty metal advertisement on the push bar of the door. California boys were right behind me. They needed the restroom as badly as I did. Now you know where that little store was located, literally in the middle of nowhere, that we weren’t the first people that stopped in there needing to use the restroom. But guess what they said. You got it – those three little words that raise hairs on the back of my neck. No Public Restroom. Come on, who in this day and time doesn’t have a restroom! We left dust as we pulled out headed further west and the Cali boys left dust as they headed east, all of us still needing a restroom.

Anyway, back to the temperature. As we made our way through the last stretch of the mountain pass before crossing over into California, the temperature reached 108 degrees and it wasn’t even June yet. This was an incredible thing to see. There were rough, jagged, rocky mountains high on either side of us and in a couple of stretches, the highway was divided with mountain in between us and the oncoming traffic – you couldn’t even see the other drivers that were headed eastbound. The GPS had no signal, the satellite radio had no service and the cell phone...forget it. That is a little freaky. As we made our way over the pass and we headed down into the valley that was the outskirts of San Diego, the temperature immediately dropped to 68 degrees. Literally 108 to 68 in a matter of minutes. We were high up in the mountains as we topped the last hill and headed down. The lights of civilization never looked so good! We were finally in California.

Guess what? San Diego is 70 degrees, give or take, year around. It has moved high up on my list of places to go when it is unbearable in Texas during July and August! And guess what else San Diego has – a honking big zoo. We have a split family. Half of our family LOVES the zoo and the other half isn’t crazy about it. I figure we spend enough time at the barn that who wants to walk around eating popcorn looking at more animals – so guess which half I am! Actually since there are five of us, it isn’t an even split. Gary and Mallory are the zoo lovers. Katie and I are good for the first hour or so and then I would rather sit on a bench and people watch. And my youngest? Well during the marathon drive through Arizona, she informed me she had never been to a zoo. I hadn’t even thought of it. She actually was wrong. We spent a perfectly miserable, 150 degree day in July, 1996 or 1997 at the Memphis Zoo. The following year we went to the Denver Zoo. I was actually excited about it. It was Colorado. It would be nice and cool with no stinky animal smells. Wrong. It gets hot in Denver during July as well! Anyway, since my youngest had no real memories of going to the zoo, it was officially decided that we would spend our first day at the San Diego Zoo. I think now I am out numbered. Abby joined the zoo lover side of the family. After a full day at the zoo we had just enough time the next morning for a bus tour around San Diego to see an overview of the city before heading north up the California Coast. Hollywood, I am on my way….

Let me hear from you. Which side are you on? Zoo lover or Not so much? Everyone commenting between now and the end of the Oscars on Sunday night is eligible for our drawing for $25 in Glamour Bucks.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hollywood Here I Come

Where are we on this big ole planet? Huntsville, Texas. Located 30.7°N 95.53°W, if you keep up with that sort of thing. Huntsville is a short drive north of Houston and a little longer drive south of Dallas sitting right on I-45. Ahhhh, Huntsville, my Mother’s birthplace, my birthplace, and my children’s birthplace, is a thriving metropolis with two rise bank buildings, a university, and not one, but twelve prison units. Our main source of jobs in Huntsville centers around Sam Houston State University and Texas Department of Criminal Justice, also known as TDCJ, also known as the prison. And yes our lives too are linked to TDCJ. My husband, Gary, once a public school teacher and coach, recently retired from 20+ years of teaching prison inmates. I have many stories to come about those years.

Growing up we just did not get to travel much – simply could not afford it. My parents were divorced when I was four so most trips were my Mom and I with my grandparents in their ’65 Ford Galaxy. That was one of those land yachts that had that big area over the back seat that was enough space for a little kid to lay up there and look out and daydream while Gramps drove us. My big trip was to the Matagorda Coast to see my cousins and we only did that every couple of years. The summer after my eighth grade year, I got to tag along with two of my grown brothers and their wives to Bozeman, Montana for the College Rodeo Finals because one of my brothers had qualified. I later learned I was the in-house babysitter but that’s okay, I saw country I had never dreamed of being able to see.

Once a parent myself, I had a personal goal to show my children as much of the big wide world that I could possibly figure a way to pay for. I wanted them to know that there is a big world out there and endless opportunities. We are travelers. We fit in a trip whenever we can afford a trip. A trip was the bargaining tool between Gary and me when he was throwing around the “R” word last year. He wanted to retire but I wasn’t really sure I wanted to see him around the house that much. I just threw it out there one day that if he retired then we would be available to go on the Alaskan cruise that our friends were planning. He quickly agreed – man he wanted to quit teaching at the prison really bad! And so an Alaskan cruise was booked.

Another little secret about me is that I cannot stand to fly. I have done it but I hate it. It terrifies me to think that I am suspended in air and at the mercy of a couple of guys I don’t even know at the steering wheel. I even took flight lessons myself so that I could pilot a plane but it is still not my cup of tea. My oldest two girls fly at the drop of a hat and they are well trained to text me when they take off, at any lay over and upon landing. It is a given rule in our house. What they will learn from reading this is that I track their flight on the internet until I know they are safely on the ground. Does this make me airplane OCD?

As I started to think about the upcoming flight to Seattle to board the cruise, my hands would sweat. My stomach tied up in knots. My toenails curled up – well not really – Tony the nail guy keeps them from actually curling. But a trip as great as an Alaskan cruise was really keeping me in turmoil. Then I came up with the perfect solution – we would DRIVE to Seattle. And not only would we drive there but we would drive straight across Texas to San Diego and follow the coast to Seattle. Again, my husband quickly jumped at the idea – man did he ever want to retire. He was willing to drive cross country with me and our teenage daughter closed up in my car, board a boat with us for another week and then drive us home confined to the same vehicle. Of course, my two eldest quickly figured out they needed to fly with the others in our group and meet us in Seattle!

So on May 22nd of last year, we checked Abby out of school early, loaded down the ole Tahoe and headed west. Hollywood Here I Come! More to come....

In them meantime, tell me what you are OCD over.... everyone signing in now through the end of the Oscars Sunday night(broadcast from HOLLYWOOD!)is eligible for random drawing of $25 in Glamour Bucks.

P.S. The brunette in the picture is one of my rug rats. The blonde, well you probably know her.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March 2, 2010
Do you have one of those radio stations in your town that offers bumper stickers for your car and then if they spot you driving around town, they pull you over to win stuff? Well, we don’t have bumper stickers and I can’t drive all over the United States, plus several other countries looking for my fan’s vehicles, but a recent incident happened that reminded me of the radio bumper stickers.

First some background -
For those of you that don’t show livestock, you are going to gain a new education by ready my blog since much of our life revolves around livestock shows. In Texas we start off in January of each year with the Ft. Worth Livestock Show. It is officially called the Southwestern Livestock Exposition but everyone here just calls it “Ft. worth Stock Show”. We roll out of that one and right into the San Antonio Livestock Show. For my family, we don’t go back home from there but rather leave San Antonio and go straight to San Angelo for their stock show. Right now as I type we are at home for a week or two and getting the livestock ready to go to the Houston Livestock Show next week, which overlaps with Austin’s Livestock show and then we get back home with a few days to spare before our local county show at the end of March. Whew! Makes you tired, huh? You would think that we would rest up a bit after all this but then it’s time to hit the road looking for the next string of show animals and the summer weekend shows will start up followed by the biggest prospect show in Texas, the Belt Buckle Bonanza over July 4th and then before you know it the State Fair rolls around in late September, overlapping with the Heart O Texas show in October, followed closely by the Fall Classic (cooler version of the Bonanza) in November. Then it seems no time until it is time for Ft. Worth again and the cycle goes on and on… and I am pretty sure that is the biggest “run on“sentence ever!

And now to set the scene -
We still have one daughter left at home showing. Abby is a freshman and she loves to show. She shows steers, heifers, lambs, goats and pigs. We tried turkeys for two years and decided that wasn’t for us. As you can imagine, with that many projects it takes lots of help. Abby has enjoyed a lot of success that we owe to a couple of key people in our close circle of livestock family. Anyway, back to the story…. Since we had to get a lamb and a steer to San Antonio in the same day, my husband left at midnight with the lambs and our middle daughter and our Show Cattle Manager, Ryan, left the next day with Abby’s steer. The “line” in San Antonio is an experience all in its own. There you will find everyone lined up with their trucks and trailers waiting to get into the barn with their livestock. When the gates open to get into “line” it is basically every man for himself!

This is where the whole story takes place. Ryan and Mallory pull in to the line with our load of steers and given that there will be several hours left to wait, the visiting among the inhabitants of the vehicles commences. As the two made their way around the parking lot they happened upon a young lady that was wearing some GIDDY UP GLAMOUR. Mallory nonchalantly mentioned that she liked the necklace. This young lady promptly filled her in on GIDDY UP GLAMOUR, where to find us on Facebook, the great deals we offer and that they had to be sure to look in the INSANE ALBUM – for $10 NECKLACES!!!! She was full of compliments of Giddy Up Glamour’s products and customer service! No, she didn’t have a GIDDY UP GLAMOUR bumper sticker, but, she might as well have and we really appreciate all our fans out there. Next time you are at a livestock show, or somewhere in between, you never can tell who you might be talking to – it might be a member of our GLAMOUR TEAM!

A big ole Texas hug and thank you goes to AMBER HUCKABEE, an Ag Science teacher from Dallas, Texas that we just happened upon while waiting in the steer line in San Antonio, Texas. AMBER, we have a goody bag waiting for you! Email us at so we can get it sent out to you!

Monday, March 1, 2010

My Very First Blog....ever....

Welcome to the first blog entry of GIDDY UP GLAMOUR. Thank you so much for visiting our website and reading the first ever blog. I know that sounds hokey, but really THANK YOU! With the millions and millions of sites you can visit every day we feel very privileged and thankful for each and every person that decides to click on our site. In turn, I get up each and every day – Saturday and Sunday too – thinking about what I can do for my customers. We work each and every day to hunt down the best deals to bring to our customers while keeping quality, workmanship and price at the top of our priority list. You can purchase one of our hand strung necklaces knowing that you will get a sturdy made piece of jewelry that, with proper care, will last you forever, and at a reasonable price. You can buy from us knowing that we will not “scrimp” on wire, clasps or findings. What the heck are findings you ask – all the little pieces it takes to finish off a piece of jewelry – not sure who came up with the goofy name – but there you go – findings… Anyway, back to the subject, we don’t scrimp. We want your return business and we want your referrals. While we like to primarily focus on hand beaded pieces and unique pendants that you won’t find on every street corner, we do bring in some carefully chosen “ready-made” pieces if we think they are good quality for the ole buck. Our goal is to get you fully glamorized for the least amount of greenbacks.

We are in a full growing stage at GIDDY UP GLAMOUR thanks to our great fans. We have outgrown my house and will be moving later this spring into a warehouse/showroom setup so we can welcome guests to drop in by appointment when we are in town. We hope to see our many friends and fans here locally but feel free to put us on your vacation route this summer! We are expanding faster than you can shake a stick and loving every minute of it! Once you have fully glamorized yourself, hold on because we are expanding into home d├ęcor next. So once again, thank you for stopping by. We are going to have some fun on this blog too - so check back periodically – we might even have some specials and contests that will only be announced here.

Leave us a comment to let us know you were here. As soon as we get enough folks stopping by, we will be offering some free goodies here!