Saturday, August 31, 2013

Joshua Peter

Kid #2, Joshua Peter Schmidt, was born Thursday, August 29th at 9:24am!  He weighed 8lbs 14.4oz, 20" in length, with a 15.25cm head!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Road Trip: Day 14

Today we left Rapid City for the boring drive across South Dakota to Sioux Falls.  Except for a stop at the always-tacky Wall Drug, it was pretty uneventful.

When we got to the hotel, we went swimming.  Afterwards, we went up to the room.  We ordered pizza and watched ParaNorman, which might have been a tad scary for Calvin.  Fortunately, I think he's too tired for it to keep him awake!

When we asked Calvin what his favorite part of today was, he said eating pizza in the hotel room!  Tomorrow we head home!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Road Trip: Day 13

After last night's white-out conditions, we woke up to a calm, sunny Cheyenne morning, relatively speaking.  Apparently that area is pretty much always a little windy.  And since it was still around 20 degrees this morning, the first hour and a half of our drive was still pretty treacherous.  By the time we got out of the city into ranch country, the wind was blowing the snow across the road and causing some serious black ice.  Instead of the posted 65 mph, which basically means 70+, I could only go 50 or so.

Finally, by the time we were hitting a rest area around 11am in the middle of nowhere, the temperature had finally warmed up enough to start melting the black ice, speeding our progress.  We had lunch in the relatively large town (by Wyoming standards, population close to 10k) of Torrington, WY.

We followed US-85 a couple more hours north until heading east into South Dakota.  Shortly after, we stopped off at the Crazy Horse Monument.  The price is definitely a little steep for what you get.  It was $20 for us -- they charge $10/person... Calvin was free, which is good since he didn't get too much out of it -- to see a partially finished statue.  In fact, it doesn't really look much more finished than what I recall decades ago.  I appreciate that the scale is much larger than Mt. Rushmore.  But honestly, since you can't get very close to it (unless you shell out more money for a van tour), the scale doesn't really matter.

After that, we headed to Mt. Rushmore.  It was a much better deal at a flat $11, and that got us a pass that's good for the rest of 2013.  And Calvin thought it was pretty cool!

Then it was a short drive to Rapid City.  We had dinner at the Colonial House and then headed to our hotel.  When we asked Calvin what his favorite part of today was, it was "the mountain with the faces on it."

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Road Trip: Day 12

Today didn't quite go according to plan but it all worked out eventually.  This morning, Denise decided she wanted to drive and promptly got pulled over for speeding.  In her defense, she was passing someone and the cop even said he totally understood.  Unfortunately, he came back and told us that Denise's license was coming up as suspended.  We both just laughed and assured him that it had to be a mistake.  But I pulled up the Minnesota DMV site on my phone and, sure enough, her license showed suspended.  Near as we can figure, it was from a speeding ticket Denise got in Iowa about a year and a half ago.  We paid it, but some lines must have gotten crossed somewhere and they must have suspended her license.  Of course this is all without telling us!  We had no idea that Denise has most likely been driving around for the last year and a half on a suspended license!  Hopefully it'll be easy to straighten out... once Denise can actually get a hold of someone!

So obviously I had to resume driving responsibilities and once again, we were off.  From Salida, we took some nice curvy roads through the Rockies.  Or at least they should've been nice if it weren't for the snow.  But we made it through, we just had to drive a little slow in places.  We made it to Denver with a couple of hours left for Calvin to play at the Children's Museum.  He had a lot of fun!

After that, it should have been an easy hour-long drive on the interstate up to Cheyenne.  But as we got close to the Wyoming border, we saw signs that said the interstate was closed!  So we were forced to take a fairly long detour through the middle of nowhere on gravel roads until we hooked up with US 85.  By the time we got there, the snow was blowing pretty good.  We continued north towards Wyoming, not even knowing if that road was going to be closed too and we'd be forced to turn around.

But we managed to make it, but it was full-on blizzard conditions by the time we pulled into the hotel parking lot.  I overheard that the interstates are closed in every direction tonight.  It's supposed to clear up tomorrow morning so hopefully we'll be able to get out of here so we can make it to Rapid City tomorrow!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Road Trip: Day 11

Thanks to Calvin waking up around 7am this morning, we got an early start.  We drove back through Monument Valley into Arizona to Kayenta before heading east towards Four Corners.  All the way through Four Corners into Colorado, there were constantly Navajo trying to hawk cheap crap but they're fairly easy to ignore.  Sadly, Four Corners itself is in the "Navajo Nation" and they stuck us for $6 to spend 5 minutes standing at the monument.

We didn't even touch an interstate today!  We had a really cool drive through the Rockies to Salida, CO.  Thankfully, we got here during daylight hours and had a nice dinner at a Seafood Bar/Restaurant called Currents.  I had some great locally made wine!

Now we need to figure out what our route tomorrow will be!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Road Trip: Day 10

Today we spent the morning with Grandpa and Grandma Schmidt and Uncle Ryan in Phoenix, talking, looking at pictures, etc.  For lunch, by special request of Denise, we had some pizza at Sauce. Then once again we hit the road.

Since we had planned on taking a longer, more leisurely route back home, for the first time on our trip we spent most of the time off an interstate.  After taking I-17 north to Flagstaff, we took mostly U.S. highways northeast through Monument Valley just into Utah.  Tomorrow we'll drive back through Monument Valley so we can see it during daylight, hit the Four Corners, and then take another backroads drive through the Rockies to Salida, CO.