A Travellerspoint blog

Denver

Seattle and Elko in Denver

My arrival night in Denver was welcomed with a great Washington wine...just as I had earlier predicted. Teresa was quick to open up the stash ;o)

Our first day was spent chatting and catching up on the past couple of months of happenings since we last saw each other. I got to meet Teresa's sister, Lisa and she has been a gracious hostess. Thanks to Lisa!! I truly appreciate you allowing me to come and stay in your home.... Aco made herself right at home and I think she likes Lisa!

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I was pretty beat having been on the road for three consecutive days now, so the day was spent leisurely. We enjoyed home-made spaghetti for dinner and then lounged in front of a toasty fire with wine while we chatted the night away.

My second day it SNOWED!! Yes, I woke up with at least 2 inches of snow on the ground. It was really quite pretty (sorry I didn't get any pictures), although a little cold for my blood!! This was a 'task' day. Teresa completed some paperwork at the local per-diem office and then we went to REI to exchange my backpack. I got a brand new exchanged backpack for a mere $7.42 !! I LOVE it =) It is much lighter than my previous pack and although it's a little smaller, (ok, it's really a LOT smaller; about half the size), I think it is going to be functional for my needs. I just need to keep packing light and keep from buying souvenirs. I can even fit Aco's food and dishes into it with all my clothes....Aco is pretty happy about this, and she doesn't even know about the special 'bone' that I have hidden in the bottom.

We had some awesome beef and veggie skewers with Spinach salad for dinner and another roaring fire. Can you believe that Teresa actually took to the grill !! Lovin' it ;o)

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Day 3 in Denver was mostly spent in my pj's!! And....I LOVED it! Another bottle of wine and some great company....we broke open a super sweet wine and downed the bottle in about an hour. The evening looks like it's going to consist of more wine, cheese and crackers, and cuddling with the pups.

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Tomorrow I will hit the road and head towards Portland. I'm planning to get as far as possible tomorrow because I've heard that there is a storm blowing in from WA to CO that I am going to run into and I would like to get as far as I can in case I have to hunker down for a day from the storm....wish me luck!

Posted by Khandilee 21:54 Archived in USA Tagged travelling_with_pets Comments (2)

Germany Update

New Travel Dates

I thought I would update everyone on the status of Germany. I received an email update from CPAC a couple of days ago. My travel date has been moved to on/around December 1st. YEAH!!! I'll be home for Thanksgiving for the first time in 5 years. Mary....better make me some buckeyes!! Oh, and some corn (haha) Mama, your not off the hook here either ;o) Maybe you can get out of volunteering this year and we can have a proper family Thanksgiving dinner, and yes, I'll help!!

In light of the above information and the fact that I am attempting to put a 3-day strike work into the Road Trip plans....I may be away from home a little longer than originally anticipated. I will certainly be home by Thanksgiving but I am simply not going to rush anything. I am going to enjoy my time on the road, without rushing and spend some quality time with my friends.

I am thrilled that things are working out this way and am having a great time.

More to come soon...

Posted by Khandilee 02:05 Archived in USA Tagged business_travel Comments (1)

Indiana to Denver

Last minute friends along the way...

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View Pre-Germany Road Trip & Europe 2010 on Khandilee's travel map.

Elko, NV in Ottumwa, NE
McAllen, TX in Kearney, NE
Seattle, WA in Denver, CO

Wow! We travelers really do move around a lot.....

I headed out on Sunday afternoon, with Aco in the passenger seat. She makes great road-trip company but isn't very good with the navigation. Actually, most of the time she sleeps while I drive. Oh well, at least she doesn't bark or whine.

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I made it to Ottumwa, Iowa to visit a travel friend from Elko, NV. We had a nice time catching up and I slept like a bear in the winter. Before we left in the morning, Aco and I headed to the dog park! There wasn't anyone else there but it was nice to let Aco out and play a little before being cooped up in the truck. It's a good thing we did too, the next part of the trip was a long one for her.

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From Ottumwa we headed to Fremont, NE and I enjoyed a late lunch with Jason (Best Recruiter in the World...yeah, ok I'm sucking up). We ate at a place called J's. It's an old original building in the town that has been refurbished. It's a beautiful building with the old tin ceiling and exposed brick walls, cherry wood dots the interior. The food was top notch and I had the best cream of broccoli soup of my life! Jason gave me a short tour of the town and showed me how to get to the local dog park. After we ate, Aco and I washed the truck and headed to the park. We spent about an hour playing with the other dogs at the park then hit the road again.

An internet stop at Aurora, NE at the local truck stop, then my intentions were to head to North Platte, NE for the night. About 20 minutes from Kearney, NE my friend Teresa called and wanted to meet up. She lives and works about 45 minutes outside of Kearney. It was quite the unexpected surprise!! Teresa was at work and not able to meet until around 11p (it's about 9:30 now). I stopped at Kearney to wait for her and hopped onto the internet again to work on some paperwork for the upcoming strike job. I ended up at a Caribou coffee shop that was attached to a gas station and was actually closed. The gas station attendant let me hang out in the comfy chairs in the closed coffee shop.

Teresa and I headed to the local Perkin's (the only place open) and reunited over coffee. It was wonderful to see her agian. We met in Texas on contract and I haven't seen her since 2005!!

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It was about 0200 at this time so I hit the road fired up with caffine and made my way as far as North Platte (NP). At NP, I dropped the backseat down spread out the sleeping bag, grabbed my pillows and was nearly instantly asleep (around 0400). Aco took up post on the center console watching for passers by. She was still sitting there when I woke up about 4 hours later. Coffee and a toothbrush were enjoyed at the truck stop with bed-head and we were back on the road again.

We made great time to Denver, CO and were greeted by Teresa (2). I am staying with Teresa (2) and her sister, Lisa just on the outskirts of Denver. I'll update more later....

ps: My plans are ever-changing. Still looking at working the strike in CA Oct 28-30th and my start date in Germany has been pushed back to on or around the 1st December.

Posted by Khandilee 21:30 Archived in USA Tagged travelling_with_pets Comments (0)

Pre-Germany Road Trip

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Yes, it's a little spontaneous. Well, actually spontaneous would have been leaving on Thursday night when I was truly suffering from the travel bug. It really had me in it's grips on Thursday. I was ready to grab the backpack and Aco and start driving. I really didn't care where I went but wanted to go....

Instead, I held out. I have plans with Trinity on Sunday morning and didn't want to cancel. She has been looking forward to it for some time now. Not all hope is lost....

The explorer and I have plans to make a whirlwind trip to the west coast and back over the next 2 weeks. Aco will be joining as I speed across the US in attempt to say my temporary 'good-byes' to my friends throughout the country. It will be le-gen-dary!! haha

Our route will take us to Omaha, Nebraska where I will meet (finally) the recruiter that I've been working with for the past two years. I have some Vietnamese Dong that I promised him a while ago that needs delivered. Wonder if I can have him pay for my room in Omaha/Fremont in exchange for the Dong? Nah, probably not. Although the amount of Dong (btw, that is Vietnamese money) that I am giving up would allow you to live in Vietnam with food and hotel and play for about 3 days!!

Anyway....

Next we are headed to Denver. I plan to spend a couple of days in Denver with Teresa. I'll get to meet her sister that she talks about all the time and she told me that she has a stash of Washington wine to break open when I arrive!! Aco is excited about this because she gets to see Teresa's cat, Autumn again and torment her and she gets to meet a new doggie friend. Teresa's sister has a yellow lab that is looking for a playmate! They are going to have so much fun! Poor Autumn....

After Denver, I will be on my own for about two nights, traveling to Salt Lake City then through Boise Idaho and on to Portland, Oregon. In Portland, where I'll spend another two nights, Kim and Mike are waiting for my arrival. I am really looking forward to seeing them again, it's been too long. They have a new place there and Kim's been hard at work studying so hopefully it will be a nice break and my visit will provide a good distraction from all the hard work. Aco gets to meet another new doggie friend here. Kim and Mike adopted a min-pin named Bentley!! Yeah...more tail waggin' and playing.

It's going to be a long drive to my next destination, San Francisco!! I have missed it here. I am (hopefully) meeting up with Aaron who I will convince to take me to the little cafe (can't remember the name) in his neighborhood for a fan-tabulous lunch!! Knowing Aaron, it's hard to say what else might be in store entertainment wise from him. It's certain to be something totally spontaneous and fun.

I also get to finally meet Kim's friend Peter and his significant other. We have spoken on the phone and emailed back and forth and I am looking forward to meeting them.

Aco is looking forward to a reunion here with all her doggie buddies at Golden Gate Dog park as well as with her dog-walker Kimber! It's going to be great fun.

Whew....are you tired yet? I know I am going to be!! ;o)

I was hoping to make it to San Diego to see another travel nurse friend of mine but the timing isn't going to work out. She is leaving for a trip to Hawaii for her grandchilds birth and not going to be home. =(

I will spend the next two days traveling from San Francisco to Tucson, Arizona. Going to take a jaunt over the border to Nogales Mexico and do some medical supply shopping. New prescription glasses and shades, birth control, and what-ever else I think I need. Looking forward to some margarita's and street taco's, YUM :o}

It will be a little late for Halloween and a little early for Mardi Gras but we will head to New Orleans via Austin, Texas. I am hoping to crash for a night at Aaron's place in Austin on my way through. His mother lives there and she sounds like a doll. It will be wonderful to meet her.

New Orleans always holds a party and I plan to partake. I'll spend two days here. In addition to seeing my friend Stephanie (and her doggies), I will get to meet her son (finally), who is now over a year old.

I can slow down a little now as the next several stops are a lot closer to each other as I work my way back home for the finale'....

New Orleans to Destin, Florida to see Jen and her boys. It's been over 5 years since I saw them. Then onto Panama City to re-connect with another traveler, Pam that I met so long ago while working in Boston. I'll spend 2-4 days total in Florida, hopefully lounging on the beach enjoying the sun and sand and some great company. Aco will be happy to get her feet into the salty ocean water once again.

I am hoping to make a stop in Chattanooga, Tennessee to see a very good friend, Julie. It's been way too long. It's a shame how we disconnect from those that mean so much to us and loose touch.

Last stop before home will be Louisville, Kentucky. Here I will be busy: Teresa (from Denver) will be celebrating her birthday here and visiting another of her friends. I'm lucky to be able to see her twice on this trip. Lisa has offered a bed (thank you) and I'm certain that there will be some sleepless nights with Waffle House on the menu! I'm looking forward to seeing Randall, and picking his brain for all the 'techy' stuff that will help me keep in touch from Germany. Finally, I'll spend some time with the boy--child, Corey.

If I have planned it correctly and all goes according to plans, I will be back home for about 4-6 days before flying out to Germany (have postponed the flight for 1 week from the original plans). Dad and Mary will be escorting me to the airport in Chicago. I've reserved us a cushy hotel (for free with my points) for one night prior to my flight. It will be a busy time before I fly and I'm hoping to talk Mom and Donnie into either a cook-out or an early Thanksgiving dinner before I leave.

Posted by Khandilee 19:54 Comments (6)

The Mystery of the 'Red' Passport

So, I mentioned earlier that I was instructed to apply for my 'official red passport' as soon as possible. With Monday being a federal holiday (Columbus Day), I wasn't able to get any additional information. So my goal for today was to get whatever paperwork needed and get the mystery process started.

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First step was to contact the Transportation department at Ft Knox to find out if they could tell me what paperwork I needed. I was given a name (Barbara) and a number, then they attempted to transfer me. Unfortunately, Barbara was not in. I was told to call back later. It was about lunch time so I figured that I would call again later. In the meantime, I called the local post office and inquired about the mystery 'Red' passport. Neither the lady that answered the phone nor anyone else in the post office knew what I was looking for. Dead end.

Later, I phoned Barbara back and ended up leaving a message as she wasn't in the office. She returned my call shortly thereafter, full of information. It seems that I am in need of a DS11 form that I am instructed that I can obtain at my local post office. Once I have my travel orders (7-10 days), I will make an appointment with Barbara and take the completed DS11, my state issued ID (drivers license), passport and birth certificate to my meeting with her. I am informed though that it will take 6-8 weeks before I obtain the mystery Red passport. Wonder if this is going to be an issue? Easy enough, right? We'll get to that in a minute....

Barbara was very helpful and answered my other questions regarding how to request the salary advance as well as she could although I still have virtually no idea how to go about this. Hopefully, HR in Landstuhl will answer my email today (Wed) and give me a clue.

After I finished with Barbara, I contacted the local post office again full of confidence. 'Hi, I spoke to someone earlier regarding paperwork for a 'red' passport. I have found that I am in need of a DS11 form, can you help me?' I felt empowered, with the Official document number now how could anything stand in my way. I'm placed on hold and after about 3 minutes, the lady returns to the line and tells me that they do not have any that are printed and she is working on getting one printed out for me. Placed on hold again. Another 2-3 minutes and she returns to the line, 'uh....well, we figured out that the form you need is the passport application' Ok? Is it a special passport application? 'no, just the regular passport application' she replied. Oh, ok? Well, thank you miss postal service lady...I'll stop by and pick one up this week....wtf?!!? Why couldn't someone just tell me that I needed the f^(&!ng passport application!! What a hassle.

Mystery of the Red Passport solved!!

How was your Tuesday?

Posted by Khandilee 19:23 Archived in Germany Tagged business_travel Comments (3)

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