Tag Archives: road trip

Back Home!!

Haha alright, that title is slightly misleading. We’ve been back since Sunday night, but I haven’t had a chance to write a blog post because on Sunday we were EXHAUSTED and very happy to be back home, then yesterday I was busy catching up on chores and absolutely enjoying the wonderful weather we’ve been having. πŸ˜„

On our drive back home to Kansas from Illinois the temperature started hardcore dropping. In Illinois we were somewhere in the low 50’s, about half way through Missouri it got down to the low 40’s and started raining pretty bad, and then of course it kept raining all through the rest of Missouri and into Kansas. By the time we got home it was in the high 30’s and still drizzling. Not gonna lie, I loved it! Haha although we really do need things to dry off here. We’ve gotten waaay yo much rain lately.

So yesterday was chilly, sunny, and absolutely gorgeous!!! It felt like 26 degrees when I went out for my run, so I was actually able to break out my winter running gear! Haha I was a little bit too stoked about that. πŸ˜‚ Yesterday’s Run was supposed to be an easy one, since I am still getting over a cold, but my legs felt speedy and I just kinda went with it. Oh man, it was probably one of the most fun runs I’ve done in a long while. If this is the kind of weather I get for my half marathons (although a little cloud cover would be nice for those) I’ll be the worlds happiest camper!!

It was actually colder this morning than it was yesterday! Woke up to the high 20’s and there was frost on the ground! I honestly cannot tell you the last time we got frost in October! The last several years have brought some really warm falls, so I’m crazy excited that so far this one has been pretty chilly!

While it was colder this morning it did warm up a little bit faster than yesterday and I got out for my run a little bit later. That’s not a big deal though and one of the reasons I love this weather! I can run comfortably at any time of day and not feel like I’m having a heat stroke. πŸ˜‚ Seriously, summer running is crazy hard for me and something I really struggle with. I’m so glad that it’s over! 😊😊😊

Anyway, today’s run wasn’t as glorious as yesterday’s. I was feeling a little bit sluggish and had to take a snack break about halfway through. πŸ˜‚ The weather was still really nice though!

So yeah, I’m currently a very happy camper! It’s looking like the weather is going to stay this way for a while which is great! I’ve got another big long run on Saturday and the nice weather will make it just a little bit more enjoyable. πŸ˜‚

Anyways, that’s all for now! Luke and I are about to go get us some groceries!

Happy Tuesday!

~Ashley

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Yet Another Trip To Illinois

We finally got a chance to make another trip to Illinois!! We were originally going to go two weekends ago, but this weekend ended up working out a lot better for several reasons. One reason being that Luke got today off from work. He gets every other Friday off which is pretty spiffy! And it always works out really well to travel to places after Luke gets off from work on Thursday, so that’s what we did yesterday! But before we did that, of course I had to run! πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜‰

It was absolutely gorgeous on Thursday morning! The sun was finally out after almost 3 days of basically non stop rain (that was pretty awful… and you know it’s bad when I’m saying that, because I love raining weather. πŸ˜‚), it was a cool and crips 41 degrees, the trees are starting to change colors, it was great!

It was so perfect and I loved it!!

So earlier this week I had actually planned on doing my long run on Thursday morning, since I knew we’d be heading to Illinois this weekend, but Luke brought home a bug from work. And of course he didn’t get sick, but I definitely started to come down with it… So since I wasn’t feeling so great I just went out to see what I could do on Thursday. I made it 3 miles before I knew it was time to be done. So it kinda sucks that I didn’t get in my long run like I wanted to, but at least I got something done. πŸ™‚

It’s actually a good thing I didn’t go any longer than that though. Luke ended up leaving work earlier than he’d originally planned, so by the time he got home I had actually gotten everything I needed to done before we left. So that did end up working pretty well! I was showered, dressed, had all of the animals taken care of, and everything packed and ready to go by the time he got home. Go me! 😁

So once Luke got home he changed, and then we were able to pack up the truck and hit the road! This time around we only brought Whiskey with us. My brother-in-law is taking care of the rest of our critters for us.

Whiskey did really well on her first road trip! Haha she actually slept for almost all 5 hours of it, so that was good. We stopped at a rest area about 3 hours in so that she could pee. She did really well with that! She didn’t have any accidents in the truck, but went right away when we stopped. So far this dog has been the easiest dog I’ve EVER potty trained. It’s crazy!

Anyway, since we ended up leaving home earlier that planned we ended up getting caught in good ‘ol St. Louis rush hour traffic . It was stop and go for quite a while and it was pretty obnoxious haha. It got better once we got across the Mississippi River though.

We finally got to my grandma’s house right around 7 pm. Just in time for my mom’s birthday dinner! Yesterday was her birthday, so it was pretty nice that I got to be there for that! Obviously she was super stoked about that! πŸ˜„ Haha and her little dog Bella was very happy to see me too. πŸ˜‰

Luke hung around for a little bit so that my grandma and mom could meet Whiskey. My uncle’s dog Luther was making her kinda nervous, but she did enjoy meeting some new people! Luke wanted her to meet his dad and brothers too, so he took her to his dad’s house last night and that’s where they stayed the night.

(Sorry that these photos aren’t in a nice little collage. I did this all on my phone. πŸ˜‰)

Haha not gonna lie though, it was kinda nice getting a break from the new puppy. I was able to eat my dinner without having a little puppy trying to steal all of my food! πŸ˜‚And it’s not like I could be too lonely, Luther really likes me and cuddled with slept with me last night.

So this morning Luke and his dad went fishing. They took his dad’s boat out to a lake and Whiskey got to go with them. Last night Luke bought her a little sweater so she wouldn’t get too cold out on the water. It was another chilly day in the Midwest. It was 40 this morning. But apparently she did really well on the boat, so that’s good. Haha she’s just been experiencing all sorts of new stuff in the week we’ve had her.

So while they were out fishing, I was hanging out with my mom and grandma. Not super exciting stuff, but still nice. I made THE BEST oatmeal for breakfast haha. It wasn’t super healthy, but I couldn’t resist adding some chocolate chips and sprinkles to my breakfast. πŸ˜‚

Later this afternoon my mom had to go babysit her friend’s daughter, so Luke and I went to his grandma’s house to visit. She got to meet the puppy for the first time and she was thrilled! So we actually ended up staying there for a while and she made us chilli for dinner. It was perfect for the cold/drizzly day we’re experiencing here in Illinois. 😊

Haha so I’ve had two really big “grandma meals” since we’ve been here. Luke was joking that I’m going to gain weight if I keep going to grandma’s houses. And I mean, he’s probably right! πŸ˜‚ But how do you turn down grandma’s cooking?!? You just can’t!

Anyway after that Luke brought me back to my grandma’s, and of course the first thing she did when I got home was offer me food. πŸ˜‚ I politely decline. I’m stuffed!

So Whiskey is staying with us tonight and she’s really been enjoying playing with my uncle’s dog. Unfortunately he’s super loud, likes to bark, and was driving us all crazy. But at least they’re all having fun.

Alrighty, that’s all for today!

Tomorrow Luke and I are going to be going to his other grandma’s birthday party so that should be fun!

Happy Friday!!

~Ashley

Home, Sweet Home!

Oh man is it good to be back home!!! Obviously we had a lot of fun while we were in Branson, but I was very ready to get back home and see my puppies! All of which we did. πŸ˜‰

We packed up the truck, said our goodbyes, and were on the road by about 1:30 pm yesterday. So we got home around 4:30, which wasn’t bad! But we ha d a lot to do when we got home! First we had to put the chickens outside (they were staying in our spare bedroom since it was so hot and I wasn’t going to be here all day to take care of them while we were gone) and start cleaning up the mess they made. That’s been a super long process that involved having to buy an air filter because all of the dust they created was really bothering my asthma.

But before we were able to do that we had to run to Tractor Supply to get more chicken feed, dog food, and cat litter. After that we made our way to the kennel to pick up the dogs. Haha for whatever reason the lady who runs it wasn’t there so we had to wait for a few minutes, but I was perfectly fine with that because I got to play with her goats again! But she didn’t take long to get there and get the whole dog situation squared away. Haha the dogs were sure happy to see us and didn’t even give the goats a thought as we were loading them into the truck! Pretty impressive for a group of border collies. πŸ˜‰

After we picked them up we had to run back home, drop them off (but in the backyard because they all smelled terrible), and then we were off to Walmart to get the air filter thing I was talking about and a few groceries since we basically had no food at the house haha. So after we got home from all of that, Luke bathed the dogs while I did more work on the bedroom. I felt like I was in there forever but didn’t get a lot done haha. But it was getting late and I still needed to shower, so I did that and then Luke and I went to bed.

Luckily today though I was able to get that room mostly cleaned out. There is still a bit of a mess in there, but it’s sooo much better than it was yesterday! Today I also had to unpack everything, do a ridiculous amount of laundry and just get the house clean in general. But I got all of that accomplished, and even had some time to dye my hair! Haha it’s been a busy and productive day. πŸ˜‰ But Luckily that means I shouldn’t have a lot to do tomorrow and will finally be able to relax a bit.

So yeah, just wanted to do a quick little update to let you know that we made it home in one piece and the dogs don’t hate us for leaving them in a kennel for almost 5 days haha. I’ve got a lot more to talk about for tomorrow though, so be on the lookout for that! Some exciting stuff is officially kicking off tomorrow. πŸ™‚

But for now, I’ll wish you a very happy Saturday and be on my way, because I’ve still got some stuff I need to get done tonight. Until tomorrow!

~Ashley

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Branson Adventures: Day 4

Today was our last full day here. Tomorrow, probably at some point in the morning we’re going to be heading bark home to Kansas. We’ve had a pretty good time here, but oh man do I miss my puppies! Haha I’m sure they’re doing fine, we haven’t gotten a call from the kennel or anything so that’s a good sign. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, this morning I got to enjoy my breakfast and coffee on our front porch and hang out with Luke’s mom, before it got too crazy hot. We had a heat warning today and I believe it was the hottest day we’ve had while we’ve been here.

While we were hanging out Luke and my brother-in-law went to Walmart to replace the fishing stuff that got stolen yesterday. Honestly no one is too upset about losing the cheap fishing poles, it’s just my leatherman’s tool that literally everyone is upset about. Haha it kinda feels nice to know that everyone cares so much just because that thing meant so much to me. It still really sucks that some asshole stole it…

Anyway, once Luke and my brother-in-law got back from Walmart we got all of our fishing gear ready and then headed down to the river. I didn’t stay out long though. It was crazy hot out and we were under a heat advisory, and you all know how well I do in the heat. πŸ˜‚ So after like, 15 minutes I went back up to the cabin haha.

Pretty much everyone else went off to do their own thing, so I was alone for awhile. I kinda started to get our stuff packed but up and in order so we don’t have to worry about it tomorrow, and then I just kinda chilled by myself and read a book. πŸ™‚

Then this evening we had a big family cookout with like, over 20 people. Every one was grilling and hanging out and having a good time. But then a thunderstorm rolled in. Every one had to rush around to get everything off of the grills, put stuff inside, and round up all of the children. But once that was done a bunch of us just stood out in it and watched it. Hahaha we ended up getting soaking wet, but we stayed out in it the whole time!

Once the storm past we were able finish up our festivities. After everyone ate we went down to the river and swam for a little bit. Now we’re back in the cabin and getting ready to play some board games!

Happy Friday eve!

~Ashley

Branson Adventures: Day 3

Today was more laid back than yesterday. Good thing too, because we were up late last night!! We had a lot of fun though. After we got back to the cabins from the pizza buffet/arcade thing we hung out outside for a little bit and played corn hole in the dark haha.

But like I said, today was a more chill day. We slept in a little (if you can consider 8 am sleeping in πŸ˜‰) and in the morning Luke and one of his brothers went to Walmart to pick up a few things, so I hung out with their mom, my brother-in-law’s girlfriend and her two kids for a while. We mostly just sat on the porch of one of the cabins and talked. It was nice. 😊

Luke and my brother-in-law ended up being gone for a lot longer than I thought they would be, but once the finally did get back they had a bunch of fishing gear. My brother-in-law went somewhere to do something with his girlfriend since today is their first anniversary, but no one else really had anything planned for today so Luke figured we could do a little bit of fishing. So he got our poles all ready and then we headed down to the river.

Today the water was a little higher and the current was a little faster, so wading across and then walking to the spot we swam at the first day we were here was a bit difficult, but one we got to that spot the water was much more calm.

After we cast out our lines it don’t take us very long to catch a couple of bluegill! I got one first and a few minutes after that Luke’s brother got one too! But the both swallowed the hooks and since we were just planning to catch and release we didn’t want to kill anymore fish like that, so we switched to bigger hooks (haha I know none of this is very technical. Luke’s the big fisher, not me, I prefer deer hunting). After that the bluegill were able to just pull our bait right off the hooks, but eventually Luke ended up catching a few more.

After a while I started to get hungry, so I walked back up the the cabins to eat lunch and kinda cool off in the air conditioning for a little bit. But eventually I did go back out and we all ended up catching a good amount of fish! Luke ended up with 15, his brother got 13, and I had 7. Not bad considering they were out longer than me. πŸ˜‰ I also ended up catching the biggest and smallest bluegill (which was a good majority of what we caught), Luke’s brother caught a catfish, and Luke caught a bass. I’d say we had a good day! But then around 3:30 pm it started to get really hot and the fish stopped biting, so we walked back up to the cabins, changed out of our swimming/fishing gear, and then went to a Nike outlet store because we couldn’t find anything thing else we really wanted to do.

So the Nike outlet store was basically heaven haha. So. Much. Running gear!!! And most of it was half price!! Luke and I are on a super tight budget, but I still got a sweet pair of sweat pants and the absolute BEST pair of Free’s ever! Seriously, I’ve wanted these shoes FOREVER and I finally got them for exactly half off. Pretty sweet deal! πŸ˜„

After I got my absolutely gorgeous new shoes, that I also desperately needed because my other pair of Free’s that I’m currently running in are completely worn out, we beaded back to the cabins with the intent to do some more fishing, bust some asshole stole our fishing poles and tackle box! WTF?!?! They were just shitty, cheap, Walmart fishing poles so they weren’t worth anything, but I had a super old leathermens tool that my now deceased grandpa gave me for my 16th birthday (it was a whole thing and it meant a lot to me) and the case for it that my dad handmade for me. So I’m super bummed out about that. The fishing poles are replaceable, that tool is not. ☹️

So we spent the rest of the evening coming up with crazy ways to try to figure out how to get it back. Unfortunately that’s probably not gonna happened…

Anyway, we’re currently just chilling on the porch talking. I hope you had a good day!!

~Ashley

Branson Adventures: Day 2

I was hoping I was going to be able to run while we were here, but the little town near the cabins we are staying in is super shady, and I don’t have my pistol (we’re in Missouri so I can conceal and carry without a permit anyway), and I forgot my pepper spray. So I’m thinking that’s gonna be a no go.

Not that it matters much anyway. We had a little too much fun in the river yesterday (meaning me, Luke, and on of my brother-in-laws ((the other one who was with us is underage)) had a little too much to drink. πŸ˜‰). It was fun though!! But after all of that and then going to bed super late, I probably wouldn’t have run this morning anyway. πŸ˜‚

More pictures from yesterday:

I finally got to play with my Garmin VIRB! I’ve had it for over a year, but haven’t really had a reason to do much with it. But anyway, sorry that all of the photos are just stacked instead of in a nice little collage. I’m doing this all on my phone so I can’t do that stuff. And honestly even if I could, I don’t have a lot of time to mess around with stuff like that and make these posts pretty. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, woke up this morning to Luke cooking breakfast. That was pretty awesome!! πŸ˜„ Luke, me, and one of his younger brothers ate breakfast, got ready, and then had to wait for everybody else to get ready to go. Luke’s mom had a bunch of stuff planned for today and we wanted to leave the cabins by 8 am. But of course we didn’t. Haha but we were only 20 minutes behind our schedule, so that wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Especially considering all of the small children that our in our group.

So when I was told we had a busy day today, I thought that meant we were actually going to do fun stuff. But nope. Our group split for a little bit, and everyone who had small children went to some kids thing, and we went to two army surplus stores and then Bass Pro shop…Not gonna lie, I don’t understand the appeal of going on vacation just to go shopping, but whatever.

Just a fun sign I saw in one of the army surplus stores bathrooms. I had to go through their backroom yo get to the bathroom and it was weird. πŸ˜‚

After we were done shopping and the people with kids were done with their thing, we all ate lunch, met back up, and went to this animal safari thing. For the most part, I wasn’t a fan… The enclosures for the animals at the park thing were just pitifully small and didn’t have much going on. It was really sad. One of the tigers was just pacing around his small little area. Poor thing.

The actual safari part was a little better. All of the animals out there got to roam around in herds and obviously loved getting treats. Our tour guide was telling us that some of the herd animals they had were rescues and being rehabilitated, so I guess that was something. Still though, I wasn’t entirely sold that their whole operation was a good thing. It was kinda fun feeding the animals.

After the slightly depressing animal “safari” we all went to a pizza buffet thing to celebrate one of Luke’s brother’s birthday’s a little bit early. After everyone ate we played in their arcade for a little bit. Now that was a lot of fun! We played a few games, rode go karts, and several people cleaned out the claw machines! Luke won me a blue llama on his very first try which was freaking sweet! I named him Carl. πŸ˜‰ Then he won a pink llama, who still had no name, and the worlds cutest hedgehog, who is apparently named Hans. Haha so obviously I’m the world’s happiest camper!

That place closed at 9 pm, so that’s when he left haha. We’re currently on our way back to the cabins and I think we’re gonna have a bonfire once we get there. That should be fun!

Anyway, that’s all for today! Tomorrow is gonna be a more laid back day because we don’t have anything planned. We’ll probably spend some more time in the river though. πŸ˜‰ Happy Tuesday!

~Ashley

Branson Adventures: Day 1

Welp, we made it safely to Branson!

First thing in the morning we dropped the dogs off at the kennel. They had a bunch of goats and chickens and cats running around in the driveway when we pulled up haha. It was fantastic!! I loved it. 😁 I also really liked the people who run the kennel. We told them we didn’t want to get the dogs out of the car with all of the goats nearby, because obviously all 3 of them are herding dogs. So they moved them and we showed off some of Lily’s heard of skills. We kept her on her leash and the ladies got a huge kick out of that! But now they know that our dogs can and will herd the goats if they aren’t careful haha.

As we were leaving them the lady who runs the place said she knows border collies are all kinda crazy, and that’s what for real sold me on the place! She obviously understands that they aren’t normal dogs and that’s what I was worried about haha. But anyway, they took them and put them in the kennel, and as we were leaving I could hear Lily crying and barking as we walked back to the truck. Poor baby. Obviously they’ll be fine, but I know they’re gonna be freaked out the whole time and that makes me sad.

Anyway, after we dropped them off we went back home, packed up the truck, stopped and got breakfast and then were on our way at around 8:45 this morning!

The drive there was pretty decent! It took us around 3 and a half ish hours to get there, and a lot of it was driving through farmland and by some lakes and stuff, which obviously I enjoyed. 😊

Once we made it to our cabins we looked around a little bit. They’re pretty nice and the views are pretty! We talked to Luke’s brothers and sisters, unloaded the truck, and then headed off to the store to stock up on some groceries for our time here.

After we had our provisions and put them away in the cabin, we went to Luke’s grandma’s cabin and hung out with her, a few of his aunts, and a few other people. It’s his grandma’s birthday so that was nice! She definitely enjoyed hanging out with everyone.

After that a bunch of us went to the river that’s near the cabins and had a little too much fun! πŸ˜‰

But anyway, it’s been a long day and we’ve got another one ahead of us, so I need to get to bed! Happy Monday!!

~Ashley