The Complicated Traveler

Travel for me means planning for all of life’s unknown

Tag: Chaz

Our First Week Living In A Hotel

Back Story:

As shocking as it might sound, I want to travel more.  I know, who would have thought that a person who writes about the stress of traveling as a medical freak could wish to travel more.  But I do, thus…in May me and my Husband decided to sell our home to free ourselves up for whatever God might have in store for us.

At the time we had been to Maine for Hubby to go on a job interview.  We figured since they had flown him out and payed a nice chunk of change on him, that he had a pretty good chance at getting it.   Since we haven’t heard back from the company, we are assuming he didn’t get the job.

However, all of that talk about what we would do ‘if’ got us really looking at what we would need to do in order to move.

Other Things To Consider:

I am 12 years younger than my husband. And due to illnesses, freaky medical conditions, and idiopathic anaphylaxis I have only just finished college and started looking at what I could do from home to bring in enough income that my hubby could ‘retire’, something that I would enjoy doing and that would enable us to travel more.

Thus the Blog, and my attempts to get published for stories about the trips we take anyway.  I also am a shutter bug and to help fund my fun I sell photos for stock with several different agencies.

Back To The Story:

We decided to sell our house, as it would be the one thing we would absolutely need to do in order to leave. The housing market was on fire for sellers, so it was a ‘perfect timing’ scenario.  So we contacted a realtor friend of ours, had her do a walk through and give us a punch list of what we needed to do to sell.  Thankfully she knows us well enough to know that we would be working at our own, pain managing, pace.

As of last week, all the paint fume ingesting, paint spattered clothes, and back pain and spasms paid off and we sold the house.

Once that was done we had to figure out where we were going to live, since we weren’t going to buy again.  So we put some balls in motion and hubby made a hotel reservation.

(While I’m going to try and break out the numbers on what we are actually saving by staying in the hotel, I’m slow with numbers so that might not happen.)

Moving In:

Since I have to be careful of the company I keep, we signed the paperwork a day ahead of the buyers and we moved into a hotel.

Another back story:

The closing had been moved at the last minute.  So we were living in our house with a folding table, camp chairs, and sleeping on an air mattress.  Considering we both suffer from nerve and back pain, can you say OWIE!

The hotel was a much needed reprieve.  While Chaz is having to get used to only being outside on a leash. And we are having to get used to taking him outside when he asks, life isn’t all that bad.

When we moved in Hubby spoke to the manager and negotiated a lower price, which will average out once we’ve been here for a month (good tip to know), and we won’t have to change rooms.

The Perks:

After owning a 2800 + sq foot home, with nice grassy front and back lawns, not having to clean or do yard work means a lot of extra time.  There one down side I was dreading about hotel living…the coffee.

We have stayed in many a hotel and the ones that have offered free coffee for their guests fall short on the my scale of good coffee.  When you go to the robust carafe and expect to see a deep umber colored beverage to be filling your cup, only to see a weak brown color (something you would expect to see say when ordering a hot tea) you just know that the coffee is not going to satisfy a coffee snobs tastes buds.

However, I found a way around that little issue.

Can't have bad coffee making for a bad day.

Can’t have bad coffee making for a bad day.

I brought my Keurig from home. (Cue the Cheshire cast grin.)  This way I can choose my coffee, and only drink the best.  This also meant that I could order my k-cups from Keurig and get my favorite Caribou Obsidian coffee to enjoy every morning.

Caribou Obsidian Coffee Keurig K-Cups, 72 Count

The cute little four cup coffee maker that came with the room is tucked away in a cupboard with the offered pre-filtered coffee where it can do no harm. I even brought a favorite mug from home that could handle the amount of coffee I drink in the morning.

You can’t leave anything to chance when your entire day could be derailed by having a bad cup of coffee.

The biggest perk for me is housekeeping.  Everyday the trashes are emptied, and if we wish our towels and bed linens are replaced. All without us doing anything more than holding the dog, or simply taking him with us on an errand so they can work.  They are by far my most appreciated people here.  While we still wash our own clothes, with my allergies I have to be very picky about the soaps I use, not having to worry about the basic cleanliness of the room and linens is a huge relief.

Also they have food (I can only eat the salad, but that’s ok because it means I don’t have to buy the ingredients for salad) Monday-Thursday.  And if Hubby wants breakfast before heading out to work, it’s all right there in the lobby waiting for him.

I’m not gonna lie, I could get used to this.

A Day In The Life: Chaz’s big adventure

Life of late: 

Poor Chaz has had a rather rough time of it, of late.  We’ve sold our house, we lived in our house on an air mattress with a folding table and camp chairs while waiting for our closing date (after it has been changed…I did have it all planned out until…), and now we have moved into a hotel while we wait for the dust to settle and for us to figure out our next move.  More to come about that in a later post.

So we were living with the bare basics, really it was a glorified dorm room.  All we were missing were the cinder block and bare wood ‘book cases’ and posters on the wall.  Honestly a dorm room probably was a step up as we were on an air mattress instead of a futon.

In an effort to keep to a routine, we did our best to have dinner around the same time each night and I even did my best to cook every now and again.  This leads to our latest vet visits with Chaz.

Remember the folding table?

When you combine a folding table and camp chairs with short people and food, you get a great comedy sketch set up.  Add into that mix trying to eat tacos and you get a recipe for disaster when you have small dog with a sensitive stomach.

Yep, meat was spilled.  It bounced off the dog, and never had the chance to hit the floor.  Chaz’s reflexes are just too strong.

While we expected the after effects, we didn’t expect them to last for almost two weeks.

The day we vacated the house we took him to the vet for his tummy issues.  They did some tests said he was OK and sent us home with instructions to keep him on a rice and boiled chicken diet, and to keep him as calm as possible.  So we had a friend over for dinner on Friday and then the Kids as usual on Sunday.  We dealt with the one accident at 2 am, and carried on as normal.  And then…

Today the vomiting started.  Now I’m ok with humans when they have physical ailments.  Blood, vomit, doesn’t matter I’m good, but when it’s an animal…all bets are off.  So there is our poor five pound multepoo being sick on the kitchen floor of the hotel, and I’m sitting across the room gagging.  Hubby couldn’t help but laugh.  And I really couldn’t blame him. I’m sure I was a sight to behold holding my breath, and nose and gaging all at the same time.

Several times today we have been faced with this dilemma, and I finally had to call the vet (again) to see what we should do.  Aside from hoping he’d eat and drink some water, giving him another tummy pill and waiting until they could see us tomorrow.  There really wasn’t much we could do.

Just when you think you’re going to have to go to the ER…

Then suddenly at around 6pm, the dog started eating and drinking his diluted chicken broth. By 9pm he’d eaten all of his food, and was ready to play.  And now I’m faced with the dilemma of going to be on time, or staying up incase we need to get him outside in a hurry.

I got him some probiotics, for dogs, from the health food store and he got his first dose in when he finished his bowl of food tonight.  So I have that to factor into the equation.

I always thought having pets were easy, until Chaz.  When a dog, and I assume a cat, has tummy issues all bets are off.  But you can’t help but love them even more.

Chaz has decided that we are going to bed.  Otherwise his whining will keep hubby awake.  Sigh!  Here’s hoping for the best, and a good nights sleep.

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Buffalo, Wyoming: A Winter Wonderland

What’s a girl to do when big crowds and hot temperatures send her running for the hills?  

Why she visits the iconic summer destinations in the winter, of course!

Living with severe environmental (sun and heat) and food (soy and yeast) allergies travel can be a real pain. In December 2015 my husband came to me with an idea.  We needed to travel six hours north of Colorado Springs…Why?… Because, he explained, “we have been six hours or more in every other direction”. Makes total sense. Hubby did some research and we decided on our destination.

We went to Buffalo, Wyoming.

A place where old and new meld beautifully into a winter wonderland, rich in history yet hip and modern. No matter when you visit, there is history to be reveled in around every corner of the town.

From the Occidental hotel, to historic down town, everywhere you look you can catch a glimpse of the glory days for this small town.

Not the best lighting, but a wonderful historic building with literary ties.

Not the best lighting, but a wonderful historic building with literary ties.

A better view of the Occidental Hotel. Yes, you can still stay in this hotel. http://www.occidentalwyoming.com

A better view of the Occidental Hotel. Yes, you can still stay in this hotel. http://www.occidentalwyoming.com

For the literary buffs out there, you will know this gem as the place where, the Virginian got his man. While the historians will know it for the role it played in infamous story of Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, and the Wild Bunch.  For those who love the story lines of Craig Johnson in his Longmire series, especially if you have watched the show on A&E/Netflix you will recognize the scenery when you walk the paths in Buffalo Wyoming, as the fictional Longmire country.

And if you are in doubt that you’re in the right place, the “Longmire for Sheriff” signs all over town will confirm my description.

In summer time, locals and tourists a like, fill the streets to over flowing.  Whether they are stopping over on their way to Mount Rushmore or Yellowstone the town more than doubles in size in the summer months, making a stay in Buffalo more expensive – and for me more stressful – than it is in the off season.

In the winter, however, the small town feel returns to Buffalo.

Hotels can take time to deep clean their rooms, as the Hampton Inn we stayed at were in the process of doing.

Also no matter where you decide to eat you can almost guarantee a seat without a wait.   They have a variety of restaurants that would appeal to almost any pallet.  They have steakhouses that can, not only work around food allergies, but will serve you a steak and potato meal worthy of a cowboy who had spent a long hard day in the saddle.

For those who prefer an organic option for their meals, take heart… they have that also.  Organic BBQ is a thing, and it is better than one might think. Regardless of which you choose, prepare for the locals to give you a cursory once over, in the friendly small town way, and welcome you to town.

Buffalo Wyoming is a quintessential small town in winter.  So out of towers stick out just as much in winter – if not more – than in the summer when out of towners are expected.

With my food allergies, the steakhouse and organic BBQ were a welcome sight.  As I have come to realize the more hippy (a family term of endearment for food I can eat) the place is, the more choices I would have, and the Winchester Steakhouse and Up In Smoke, two places that were willing to work with me where my food allergies were concerned, were a breath of fresh air in the small town setting.

They also boast The Fix. The all import coffee house, where even the pickiest of coffee drinkers – me being among them – can find a worthy caffeinated beverage when one is needed.  A very important part for any trip I am on, otherwise I am not my normal bubbly self.

They outsource their coffee and syrups so you know you aren’t getting a cup of Folgers for the price of a Starbucks coffee.  Beans and syrups from Italy, the attention to detail was a wonderful addition to our trip.

The town is very pet friendly, over all.

We were traveling with our 9 month old 5 pound Multipoo, and other than eating establishments, which we expected, we were able to carry our small dog around while we reveled in the historic atmosphere.

Taking a short stroll around historic downtown.

Taking a short stroll around historic downtown.

The employees at the Hampton Inn fell in love with our little fluff ball, and did their best to spoil him with attention, as did most locals we happened upon in our exploring.

While we were not headed to another location we did drive through the Big Horn National Park. 

We reveled in the clear blue sky, the white mountain peaks, and the wind – which Wyoming is known for – as it whipped the freshly fallen snow into puffy clouds before our very eyes.

Those clouds are actually snow being carried by the wind.

Those clouds are actually snow being carried by the wind.

More snow being whipped into a cloud frenzy by the famous Wyoming winds.

More snow being whipped into a cloud frenzy by the famous Wyoming winds.

Driving through Big Horn National Park, and Chaz is in his favorite (warm-up) spot. Sun is bright, but don't let that fool you, it's cold out there.

Driving through Big Horn National Park, and Chaz is in his favorite (warm-up) spot. Sun is bright, but don’t let that fool you, it’s cold out there.

We also walked Clear Creek path for a bit.

I enjoyed the opportunity afforded by cold cloudy day to get out and walk a bit. Clear Creek runs through the town of Buffalo, and is filled with picturesque scenery. The locals call out a friendly hello as you pass one another on the path. While the Big Horn Mountains seem to suddenly appear out of nothing in the distance.  It is easy to see how in the spring and summer this path would be a tranquil walk, filled with areas to stop and take a moment to enjoy the scenery and quiet the creek provides.

Crossing the creek afforded an amazing view of the semi-frozen creek.

Crossing the creek afforded an amazing view of the semi-frozen creek.

A view often seen near Longmire's home in the Television series.

A view often seen near Longmire’s home in the Television series.

Chaz enjoying walking where there wasn't snow.

Chaz enjoying walking where there wasn’t snow.

A path leading to the Big Horn mountain range.

A path leading to the Big Horn mountain range.

We left our home in Colorado hoping to find an allergy friendly locale where I could relax and enjoy my time away from home, and we hit gold with Buffalo, Wyoming.

A cold, often overcast, place where hippy restaurants abounded so I could eat my meals without fear of reaction. To place icing on this already fabulous cake, it was also affordable. Something I had on good authority was not the case in the summer months.

If you are looking for an affordable winter get-a-way, think of heading west. Just keep in mind that winters in Wyoming are harsh. Which puts into perspective just what it took for settlers of this glorious state to survive each winter, let alone their first winter here.

 

 

A Day In The Life: Houdini

What do you do with a little dog who has a sensitive stomach when you need to shampoo the carpets?  Why you use the baby gate and coral him upstairs!

While this isn't the leap he took to get out from behind the gate, it still shows how easily he can fit through the railings.

While this isn’t the leap he took to get out from behind the gate, it still shows how easily he can fit through the railings.

Until he realizes he small enough to fit though the railings of the banister, and squeezes through to the stairs to come see what all the racket is about.  The shampoo, while harmless after it dries, is not something  I want on his feet for him to lick off and make him sick.

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So I gathered all of his toys, and placed them in his bed at the foot of our bed, and locked him in our bedroom.  Houdini hasn’t figured out how to escape from the gate when placed against a solid wall, yet.  I dread the day that happens.

Here he is with all of his toys, in his dog bed and he looks upset that they are there.

Here he is with all of his toys, in his dog bed and he looks upset that they are there.