A big part of owning a Jeep is accessorizing the snot out of it. I did the wheels and tires swap (as in the previous post), but I kept everything else pretty minimal because the one thing I REALLY wanted was a nice dog crate. The space behind the back seats can hold my huge 42" soft crate, but I wanted something lockable and more secure (read: safe) with the way the new vehicle was.
Behold! My new TransK9 USA crate!
I had a quick break in my day so I ran over to say hey to Jade before heading back to work. Since I haven't been doing anything horse related, I figured I'd post some less than flattering pictures of Jade. Online, she has a rather decent following of people that call her "Sexy Black Horse" or "SBH" for short so I end up taking lots of goobery pictures to prove how silly and comical she really is.
So far no one's buying it.
Hence this photo shoot which started out simple but got hilarious as Jade decided she needed to be in charge of the phone operations.
Another week, another downpour that soaks the ground and makes it impossible to ride. Oh well, here's some fun in our driveway (dafuque!) with the new Jeep!
Lately the horses have been on break as our winter seems insistent on raining, then not, then raining, then not. It makes the ground too funky and I hate riding one day then off two weeks then one day... it's just like nature's tease. So to that I say GOODBYE and have been working on dog things.
OK, the truth is, the dog things have been pretty full throttle lately. Since I started the year with "no more training" and ending it with something 50% of my normal paycheck, it makes sense to throw myself into the investment that actually gives me money back. I'm looking at you horses... :D
So another goal of mine for 2015 was to become a Barn Hunt judge. I'd worked throughout the year on getting my requirements and all that was left in December was to earn my Open title on Eos. Well, let's just say never leave chance up to a 20 month old German Shepherd. While she's an ace searcher, she was a goober at the trials and it took us way more tries than one would have thought possible to get that elusive last leg. But we DID it on Dec 13 just before the Dec 31 deadline before the new judging rules kicked in.
Because this weekend marked 10 days out of 14 that I'd stayed in hotels (Vegas + this), when the minivan started clicking on Sunday night, I assumed it was my brain losing it's grasp on reality. The next day was a ridiculously complicated day at work which started at 2AM (after I got to bed around midnight) and ended by 10AM. I was exhausted, stinky, and just all around done. I decided to grab lunch and pick up my possible Christmas present from the gun store but they were out of what I wanted. I grabbed what hubby wanted instead and decided to show it off to him at his work on the way home to nap. He was excited about the gun but then went "when did this start clicking?" I stared at him and smiled (I wasn't the only one that could hear it!) but then he sent me to the mechanic ASAP. Mind you, I still had two dogs plus all my gear from the weekend in the van. It was one of those weeks :)
At the mechanic's, they tried a bunch of easy fixes and teh van loled at them each time. Final diagnosis was a lifter or two or three were going out and it would be $3-5K to diagnose and then $10-15K to fix.
Sorry van. Time to part ways!
I headed directly to the dealer and wanted to check out the new Town and Country minivans and also the Jeep Wranglers. It was really to just check out the crate space (since I had all my crates with me still) but as we walked the lot and turned a corner, a brand new dealer trade Jeep Wrangler Unlimited in Hydroblue was sitting there and I had to check it out. It was nice but I wasn't sold. Walking around to the new arrivals (where the porters are), I found a really nice minivan in this deep emerald green color and it was SO PLUSH inside! Once I sat in it it was heaven but then I realized this was missing some of the things that mine had (no DVD? whaat?) and the charm wore off when the next closest van was +$10K.
We test drove the Jeep and I shoved crates in it. Deciding to just bail on our dying van, I made the deal and we now own a Blue Gecko Jeep!
So we went on vacation. No pets, not even our child came and we headed to Vegas. If you know anything about us, that whole first line seems blasphemous. But we did it and we did ALL THE THINGS!
We're not really Vegasy people so I was a bit dubious when I decided to meet up with my childhood BFF for her 10 year wedding vow renewal in the city. I was looking for a December trip though so I jumped on the chance. After having a great time in Philadelphia earlier in the year, I was game that we'd scrounge up some fun.
After researching EVERYTHING, I opted to just settle on sky diving the day after we flew in and play it by ear. We got in at midnight to the BIGGEST SEA OF COWBOY HATS I've ever seen (and I've lived most of my life in Texas!). It was the National Finals Rodeo (and honestly what most people thought we were going for) and man were there "cowboys" everywhere. Our skydive got bumped up to 7am due to some late morning high wind issues so we napped for about 4 hours and then headed out to jump out of another plane.
The skydiving was awesome. I picked out the most reviewed and reputable group in the city and logicked that they take drunks and unconscious people up and back down without issue - obviously a willing and helpful participant like myself would be easy. The freefall was fine but I REALLY liked the floating part. Very peaceful and reminded me of SCUBA.
After that, we walked the Strip some and quickly realized that being more mobile was where it was at (for us). We dashed back to the airport and got yet another Tahoe. If you're keeping track, that's my third Yukon/Tahoe rental this year. Now that we were mobile we picked up Joe's suit, went to eat, explored the city some, and then returned to the hotel. Next day was Hoover Dam and Boulder City with some shooting at the Gun Club. There was more driving to be had and more Strip walking to be had but it was mostly about being up and DOING things. Great trip and if I had to live in another city, Las Vegas would be something I'd consider!