Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Every night at 5pm, they bring out a whole host of desserts and put them on display in the lobby. I’ve walked by on my way from dinner too full to indulge, but truly wanting to. So I decided, tonight why not start there? After my late afternoon nap, I headed to the gym to get in some good cardio to help offset my upcoming indulgence (well at least offset a bite or two).

I walked into the lobby around 7 and there it was this plethora of delicious delicacies. I was excited to see the brownies I’d been eying the last couple of days were available. I billed the brownie to my room and then headed to the bar, brownie in tow, to enjoy it with a nice glass of wine. Aahhhh, what a treat. I think I’m finally starting to relax.

Rediscovering Me?

Oh how nice it was to sleep in and then get up and head to the gym on my time, no schedule. I decided to forgo some pool time and head to the movies to avoid the afternoon heat. There’s a great theater called iPic, where you can order food and eat at your seats. The theater is really nice. It looks and feels like a fancy hotel bar but I was disappointed in the food options (primarily pre-packaged salads) and it was $17 for a 1:30pm movie!

As I was getting ready to pay at the concession stand, I was thinking this movie better be good since it’s costing me over $30 for the movie ticket and a caprese salad. Suddenly my drink was all over the counter and all over me. The girl behind the concession stand actually knocked it over as she sat it down on the counter. She felt so bad for the mess, she didn’t charge me for the food. So the movie only cost me $17 and it included a light lunch. Plus the movie was laugh out loud funny! I opted to see Horrible Bosses and was very pleasantly surprised by how funny it was. All nine of us in the theater laughed throughout the film.

Back to the hotel for a couple laps around the lazy river and then lounging poolside with my book.

All in all a good day, but still don’t feel like I’ve reconnected with my adventurous spirit yet. However tomorrow is another day.

Maybe yoga at 8am...

Grimaldi’s Pizza

I stumbled upon a great pizza place for dinner, Grimaldi’s Pizza. It’s a NY style pizza place in this shopping center just a couple of blocks from the hotel. I ordered a small to take back to the hotel. It was rather expensive; at least that’s what I thought until they brought it out. The pizza was huge! I couldn’t believe it was a small. It could feed a small family! I got it with pepperoni, mushrooms and grilled red peppers and it was also delicious! For any fellow pizza lovers out there, the Traveling Hillbilly recommends.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Storm’s a Coming!

After a beautiful sunny day, noticed some menacing dark clouds off in the distance. Was it possible it was going to storm? Y’all know how the Traveling Hillbilly loves a good thunderstorm. I doubted it truly was going to storm though because the other half of the sky was totally clear.

However, about an hour later I took the dogs out for a walk and was surprised to see it was raining. Not only was it raining, but there was lightening, and lots of it. Suddenly, there was a big crash of thunder. I was so excited. I totally expected Lucy Grace to run for cover and scurry back to the room. Loud noises tend to terrify her, but she stayed a brave little pup. We watched the lightening for a bit and then headed back to the room, a little damp from the rain. We then just listened to the great thunderstorm during the night. What an amazing sound, the crash of thunder and there’s something to be said for the smell of a fresh rain. Oh how I miss the occasional thunderstorm!

We've Arrived

We finally arrived at the Westin Kierland resort! Of course, the room is not ready when we arrive. What better time then to go to the store to pick up some supplies, and by supplies I of course mean wine!

We get back from the store and I have to carry Chadwick across the parking lot to avoid him burning his paws on the hot pavement! I'm about ready to pass out by the time we finally make it into the air conditioned lobby. And boy did the hounds make an entrance! Everyone had to come over and pet them and give them the attention and adoration they so often seek. I think they were actually disappointed when our room was finally ready.

We got unpacked and then I left the hounds to nap in their heavenly pet beds, while I made a loop around the lazy river.

The Traveling Hillbilly, 2 hounds and a Prius

I loaded up the car the night before so we'd be ready to head out early in the morning. Of course, we wound up leaving a little later than planned but got on the road shortly after 8am. We decided to take the Prius vs. the Jeep this time. It was a tough decision, because a road trip in the Jeep just makes the Traveling Hillbilly feel alive but The Prius has a nav system, a CD player and most importantly, air conditioning!

Chadwick of course, culled up on the floor in the back right away and started to nod off. Lucy Grace on the other, paced back and forth on the back seat for hours, occasionally sticking her snout in the front by leaning on the center consul, back paws balancing on the back seat. After 5 hours of this, I pulled my bag off the front sit and let her move up front. She immediately curled up and finally relaxed!

The highest outside temperature we got was 105 degrees, but I think that might be understated. It was quite toasty outside. We made a couple of stops along the way, so the dogs could stretch their legs, do their business and drink some water. Chadwick decided he didn't really care for the heat and would just plant himself in the dirt, refusing to budge. Of course my attention loving hounds did their best to get the most attention possible at every stop.

The most difficult challenge traveling with hounds is that every stop takes about 30 minutes! When you're in the car, for the most part they're fine. At least they can't ask, "are we there yet?"

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hitting the Road

I've asked myself recently what happened to that person who would throw the hounds in the back of the Jeep for a spontaneous road trip? Where oh where did that person go? Well someone kindly reminded me, that person is still there just waiting to burst out. So I decided to take a week off work and head off on a last minute trip. The Traveling Hillbilly is heading out tomorrow morning, hounds in tow, in the hopes of rediscovering the sheer joy of an old fashioned road trip. I hope you follow along.