The drive home was harder. We were worn out and trying to make it a quicker trip home by driving longer days. We didn't have to make the detour to the town in Wyoming on the way home, so we were able to drive north through Denver, saving a little bit of time. Plus, the friend in Billings wanted us to stop by on our way home and go to dinner and we wanted to take him and his wife to dinner, to thank him for fixing our a/c (he wouldn't let us pay him). So, first day we drove 10 1/2 hours, back to that nicer hotel in Colorado we stayed at coming down. Only, it didn't feel as nice the 2nd time, LOL. We were just in the room next door, but it just didn't feel the same. The check in guy wasn't as nice or professional. The room had a weird smell. The walls were scuffed and looked dingy. The pillows were awful and dh said his bed (we had 2 queens) was saggy in the middle. The food from their little "lounge" was bad the 2nd time.
The second day we drove from there to Billings. Another 10 1/2 hours. DH had called his friend the day before to see if they still wanted to meet up for dinner. They kindly offered us to stay at their house for the night, which we took them up on. We got there right at 6, which was when he closes his business for the day. But, by the time we got to eat at a restaurant nearby their house, it was after 7pm again and we didn't get back to their house until like 9pm. We were up and left at 7am, about a 5 1/2 hour drive home.
Both going down and coming home dh was having some weird issue with his transmission. Very intermittent. It started about 2 hours before we got to the motel in Texas that 3rd night. Then worked fine all the way until 2 hours before home. Just didn't want to go into overdrive or something and then the gauge for the transmission would heat up some, compared to what it did before. Thankfully it wasn't anything too bad and we made it home fine, but something dh will definitely have to figure out what is causing it.
We got home at 1pm on Friday and our gate opened fine. Dh got laundry started and relaxed on his computer. I took a nap. Saturday morning we had to leave at 7:45 for a 3 1/4 hour drive to meet up halfway with DD to pick up our dog. And the gate wouldn't open again. Not sure what is causing that, but it's in the mornings it won't open all the way. Driving again was the last thing we both felt like doing, but had to get done. At least it was in our car and not his pickup. Pup was sure happy to see us. We chatted with dd about 15-20 minutes and headed home. At least 6 1/2 or so hours felt easy compared to 10 1/2, LOL.
Sunday morning dh got up and started mowing the lawn. We have an automatic sprinkler system, so I have no idea why dh had thought it would be all brown when we got home. It was totally fine, though overgrown, of course.
It's just so nice to be home. I really love my house and it's setting. While it's much cheaper to live in Texas, it's just not for us. We like trees and mountains around us. And less people. Wyoming was ok (and only half a million people live in that state) but for the most part it's pretty desolate and windy, at least where we went through. I wasn't a fan of Colorado much, but I'm sure the western side of the state is prettier. We got to go through a corner of Nebraska and through the Oklahoma panhandle to get into Texas.
Saturday, with the party and going out to dinner and all I asked dd to call my mom and check in on her. She told dd she was missing her credit card and thought someone might be charging on it. Oh good grief. She wasn't sure if it was her credit card or her debit card, so, while we are waiting to be seated I'm on my phone trying to log into both to see if anything is amiss. Thank goodness for dd's idea to take a picture of all my logins and passwords, so I had them handy. Everything was fine with her accounts. I called her the next day and she didn't mention the credit card at all, so I just didn't bring it up. I'll check on it when I go visit her next. I really don't think she remembered we were on vacation any of the times I called her. I didn't call her every day, just every other day or so. Maybe if I had been calling her daily and reminding her we were on vacation she would have remembered eventually.
I feel like I need a stomach cleanse LOL. Too much food. I have a feeling friends eat out most of their meals, from the sounds of it. Other than the food at the birthday party (lunch time), we ate out every lunch and dinner for 4 days. Even dh said, after I made dinner on Saturday night, let's just eat light dinners of sandwiches or cereal or something the next several days.
I'm glad I brought my own pillow to sleep on. Only one hotel bed was uncomfortable (first night) and the beds at both friends we stayed at were really comfortable, but I always sleep better with my own pillow. Dh can sleep with any pillow, haha.
Being a house guest gave me ideas for what I need to have/do when I have guest(s). Most of it, I already have in place. Like a night stand on both sides of the bed - somewhere to set your glasses and phone, etc. I have night stands on both sides. Both friends guest rooms only had them on one side. Tissues, which I do have in each room (so did friend). More wash cloths and towels. A luggage stand or somewhere to set your suitcase, other than on the floor. One of my bedrooms has a "table" at the end of the bed (the log table with eagle scene burned into it), but I have a feeling people would think they shouldn't set something on top of it, LOL. The other room has a long dresser with nothing on it, that a suitcase could be set on, but if there are 2 people staying, it would be nice to have something for both suitcases, so I'm going to look for a folding suitcase stand to have on hand. Shower wash gel is nice, rather than a bar of soap in the shower, so I'm going to exchange that. I have a bottle of shampoo, but I'm also going to get some conditioner for my guest shower.
I think my friend is still planning to come at the end of Sept for about 4 days. Before we left on our trip she said she put in for her days off and once approved she'd look for flights. I messaged her while we were on our trip to ask if she got her time off approved and she said yes, but she hadn't looked at flights yet. I haven't heard anymore from her about it.
At least, now that I've seen friends house we stayed at, I know more what her style and likes are. We usually exchange Christmas gifts with them and I never have known what to get them as I had never seen inside or pictures. She doesn't do Facebook and our friend/her hubby doesn't post inside pics, LOL. I wouldn't say she has a certain style of decor in her house, other than her kitchen is pretty farmhouse. And while we were shopping we passed some windchimes and she said she likes them but they are so expensive.....so now I know exactly what to send them for Christmas - the nice Corinthian Bells wind chimes :)
I'm back to work today. Endless emails to go through, of course. I got up a little early to get started on it all. I tried to check my emails from my phone every so often, while on the trip, just to delete out all the junk emails or ones that didn't require any action on my part. My boss is on vacation this week, so at least there won't be things coming from her right off the bat, haha. I didn't realize she was also gone most of the time I was off! I thought she had said she would just be gone 2 days, but she was gone 4 of the days.