Sunday, September 28, 2008

My Trip To Jackson Hole

Hello Everyone. It’s so good to be back, home. I like going on trips, but I’m always glad to be back home also. The trip to Jackson Hole was a lot of fun. It took us seven and a half hours to get there by car (that included gas, food, and pit stops). The first half of the trip was fairly boring--just miles and miles of nothing. It was okay though because we took the opportunity to listen to some music and just chat. A. L. is one of my supervisors, who works strictly on days, so those chats with her made me know more about her and she about me.

After we passed Lander, we finally started seeing more trees and could see the mountains over the horizon. For at least another hour or so, we were in the mountains. Tall evergreens and Aspen trees blanket the mountains on both sides of the roads.

As we drove further into the forest we came upon several cars parked along side of the road. People had their telephoto lenses pointed towards the side of the mountain. This usually happens if there is wildlife nearby. Sure enough, there was a small grizzly bear feasting on some wild berries. I got my pocket-sized digital camera out of my handbag and took some pictures.

We learned that the bear is two and half years old. If my memory serves me correctly, that was the first time that I’ve seen a grizzly bear in the wild. I’ve seen a few black bears, but never a grizzly bear until that time, so that was exciting. It was A. L.’s first time ever to see a bear in the wild, and she’s lived in Wyoming all her life! She was telling this to one of the men with a telephoto camera. The man said that he’s from Cleveland, Ohio and that it was his second trip to Wyoming this year, and each time, he saw bears. Another man from Indiana joked to her to make sure she’s not going to be telling that in front of a television camera.

You see, we, in Wyoming, don’t venture out much in our own state, but somehow we take time venturing to other states. Take my kids, for example. They’ve been to many tourist spots in at least ten different states, but have yet to see Jackson Hole, Grand Teton, or Yellowstone Park here in Wyoming. We’ve taken them to those places when they were very little, but they can not remember any of them.

We drove off again. When we were passing the majestic Grand Teton, I took pictures of it while the car was going 70 miles and hour, so, the pictures are not the greatest of quality. A.L. had to be in a meeting at 2:30 pm, so we couldn’t afford to stop again to take pictures.

Our days at Jackson Hole were filled with attending seminars from 8 a.m. to 5 p. m. with an hour of lunch in between. It was exciting to learn new things and review on other things. All of the speakers at the conference have doctorates and are experts in their own fields of specialties. They were very engaging speakers who were able to capture our interest from begining to end. They peppered their speeches with lots of humor, which helped a lot. I was able to stay awake for all of them. At night, we socialized with others (it was expected of us to do so). One night, we were invited to a barbecue dinner and then to an ice cream social after that.

Another time, we had two hours to go downtown to do some shopping before dinner and night social. On nights that we didn’t have any social engagements, I worked on assignments for my professional continuing education.

The night before we left, we attended a banquet where we were entertained by some comedy acts from Utah. After that, we went to the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar in town. Yes, I had myself some mixed drinks. Two other people bought me two shots of something. I still managed to walk straight up, but I’m glad I wasn’t driving. I felt the full effect of the alcohol the minute I hit the bed. I fell asleep without changing clothes, washing my face, or brushing my teeth.

By the time the conference ended four days later, my brain had enough scientific and technical mumbo jumbo it could absorb for a long while. We left Jackson Hole soon after the last class on the last day. I wish we had extra time to spend venturing out to see more of Jackson Hole, to go up to Yellowstone, or to go on a whitewater rafting down the Snake River.

For two days, after I arrived home, I helped my husband butcher an antelope and a deer he harvested from his week-long hunting trip. I expressed to him that I didn’t particularly enjoy doing it. At the same token, I don’t like him taking the animals to a professional butcher because I don’t trust how they clean and pack them. We’ve heard from other people that we may not get our own meat. Some say that some butchers keep the best part of the meat, without us knowing it. It’s a necessary evil task I have to do for my hubby. I know, Heidi in Healthnutwannabee, is perhaps going to gag if she happens to read this post. She’s vegetarian, you see. Sorry Heidi.

Well, I hope I didn’t bore you too much. Thanks for reading.

Friday, September 5, 2008

My Dear Daughter

$300K Nest Egg

         Okay, so I realize that a one million dollar nest egg is impossible for most people to save for, unless you’ve started savi...