day 2

we drove from reno to las vegas, stopping for a peek at lake tahoe. it was another long day in the car - even though we got a late start and stopped a lot to stretch and take pictures. the desert went on FOREVER. we were a little crazed by the time we got to vegas. and then, vegas. oh lordy, vegas. i haven't been in a LONG time. and although there's a lot i recognize on the strip, there's a lot i don't. plus, it was las vegas on a saturday night. and really, how do i usually spend my saturday nights? on the couch, cuddling monkey, watching a movie with shawn and sewing. vegas on a saturday night seemed completely crazy for the first couple hours of our night. and then we wandered into the cosmopolitan, found a comfy couch near a bar with a good vantage point for people watching. suddenly, our saturday night, although entirely not our thing, was fun. possibly a little too much fun. we slept until 1, well past check out. so, we're staying an extra night and leaving for the grand canyon at the crack of stupid tomorrow. 

 

 

 

 

the cosmopolitan is as awesome as those oh so weird commercials would lead you to believe. gorgeous design with a sense of whimsy. luxury without snobbery. we kind of loved it. we could probably wander there, looking at all the art and stuff, for hours and never get bored. plus, there are art-o-mats throughout the hotel. i've been obsessed with art-o-mats forever. there was only one in chicago and it was somewhere we almost never went. so, to see them everywhere i turned was delightful.

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day 3-5

we took it easy in vegas on sunday. wandered around city center a bit, ate some yummy food, and went to bed early. monday morning we got up on the early side, checked out and drove out to the grand canyon. 

its unbelievably vast and beautiful. my heart felt like it was bursting from the beauty of it all. beyond that words fail me.

 

 

 

 

this picture below is my new favorite picture of shawn. on monday, when we arrived, he humored me by sitting on the edge to pose for a picture. it was incredibly windy and a little scary around the rim. but he did it anyway. and the picture didn't come out. i figured this out late monday night when i was looking at the days photos. it looked ok on my screen but once i was looking at it on a computer screen it was blurry. how was i going to tell him that this picture that made his heart race a bit while i was taking it didn't come out. so i didn't. and then tuesday morning, when we getting ready to move on i confessed. and like the trooper he is, he did it again. that's love.

after we left the grand canyon, we drove to new mexico, to visit some old friends. we're staying in albuquerque until thursday, when we leave for austin for the renegade craft fair and to visit more old friends!

there are tons more pictures on flickr if you want to take a looksee!

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come say hi

at the 2nd annual renegade craft fair in austin on saturday + sunday, may 21 + 22 from 11 am to 7 pm at the palmer events center. 

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day 6

we had a lovely, low key day in albuquerque. had a fiery hot breakfast at sophia's, went to an antique store, packed and shipped some orders. but really, the highlight was spending time with dave and susan and their sons, jonah and benny. 

shawn worked with dave at borders 17 years ago. i spent a great deal of time hanging out at that borders with dave and shawn, as well as dave's sister bonnie, who worked in the espresso bar. dave & i had a shared love of bad movies so we hung out a lot. we went on a couple of road trips together to see the grateful dead. dave also introduced us to two of our favorite people in the world - jake and his lovely wife, susan.

in the spring of 1995, shawn & i were on a road trip through the south and stopped in memphis, where dave & friends were checked into a pink hotel across from graceland. they were in town to see the dead and we we on our way back to chicago. we rolled into town around 11:00 and found dave and company in their hotel room, watching the elvis channel. susan was there and had had more than enough elvis. she asked if i wanted to go for a walk. ok. so, susan, her friend and i walked over to graceland. a nice security guard asked us what we were up to and said he thought he should go to the casino. susan thought this was the BEST IDEA EVER because she'd never been to a casino. we went back to the hotel room and she told the guys and away we went, to the casinos in tunica, mississippi. epic weirdness that's still talked about TO THIS DAY.

somehow we'd lost touch with dave and susan over the years. life happened. they had jonah and moved to new mexico. and then they had benny. we decided to uproot our lives and move to portland. but since we've been seeing jake once a year, he's kept us up to date on the happenings in their lives. last summer jake convinced us that we had to go see dave and susan. here we are and we couldn't be happier. 

 

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day 7

back in texas, with its giant sky. i always forget that. and mind you, we've been to some wide open spaces this past week. we've seen big skies. texas' always seems bigger and more welcoming. it was, after all, a place we called home. 

i can't wait to see our friends from austin, and our friends from chicago who are here for renegade. then it will really feel like home.

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day 8

more texas. more driving. and possibly my favorite photo op ever. 

that donkey, i'm pretty sure he wanted to be our friend.

there are more pictures on flickr, in case you're curious.

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day 9 - 11

saturday and sunday were a bit of a whirlwind. there was the show and tacos. and many hugs from our friends - nancy, andy, and donovan. i hugged oliver, who smiled a lot but didn't really hug back - he's 7 months, what more can i ask for?

the show was great. we met a lot of nice people, saw many of our crafty friends from all over, and met some new ones. it was fun hearing that people had been following our little adventure on flickr and twitter. it was also nice to talk to people who wanted to talk about our move to portland and how that's been working out for us. sometimes its easy to forget (like when i'm elbow deep in yellow silk yoyos) that we are part of a large community, that's really supportive and wants to see others in the community do well. i think i can speak for both shamptons when i say we felt very loved this weekend. 

we also couldn't be happier to be with our old friends caroline and greg, who we've known since we lived in austin in 1995-96. they weren't a couple when we first met, like dave and susan in albuquerque, and its wonderful to see the life they've made together. also, they have a new kitty and ohmygodshe'ssocute!

last night, we all went to guero's for tacos and margaritas. i bonded with oliver and we laughed A LOT. this morning we all met at magnolia cafe for breakfast and goodbyes. 

i was lucky enough to get a couple of extra hours with donovan. we went to an antique store and for amy's ice cream, of course.

all in all, a near perfect few days. perfection would have been made possible by the presence of kateri and kathy. i understand why they didn't come but i missed them anyway.

there is a longer blog post percolating in my head about a conversation we had with kim & matt, (frantic meerkat & mincing mockingbird) but that will have to wait until its not so late and i'm not so sleepy.

more austin tomorrow. its nice to be in one place for a few days!

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day 12

another great day. slept in a bit, went to guero's, again, for lunch. shawn did some work and i wandered over to uncommon objects and tesoros, two of my favorite shops in austin. then we went to the alamo drafthouse, found a HUGE arcade and then went for dinner at kerby lane, another austin favorite.

 

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day 13-14

 

 

a lot of hanging out, eating, taking pictures and catching up with friends. i'm more than a little sad to wish austin farewell.
i guess i should just take comfort in knowing that portland is a lot like austin. only in place of the rain, there's the blistering hot sun and honestly, i'd have a hard time deciding which i prefer.

however, i can say, withour any reservation whatsoever, that this is my favorite new picture of myself. i took it in the bathroom at flipnotics cafe.  i think its swell.

    

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day 15

drove all day. took LOTS of pictures. and someday soon i'll be well rested enough to write a proper blog post. right now all i want is a bean and potato taco and bed.

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day 16

we got an early start today and drove and drove. and then drove some more.

View Larger Map

we actually ended up driving far longer than we'd planned. we kind of forgot that it was memorial day weekend and that hotel rooms would be scarce. the first open room near where we'd wanted to end up was in del norte, colorado, 100 or so miles farther than we'd planned on driving.

but, we saw so many incredible things and took many, many pictures. 

 

 

there were two completely amazing things we saw that i didn't even attempt pictures of:

#1 - a large-ish buck, standing a top a pile of boulders. it looked completely unreal and 100% regal. it was beautiful.

#2 - we were driving along side a large cow pasture. we could see that the cows looked unsettled and then we saw something large and black, running. at first we thought it was a calf who'd gotten away from the group. after a few seconds i realized that no, in fact it was A BABY BEAR. a baby bear was running away from the cows. it was AWESOME.

pictures couldn't even touch these two moments. i'm certain that when i close my eyes to go to sleep i can conjure the memory of either of these moments. i'm sure i'll be able to do that for the rest of my life. sometimes you just don't need the picture. and sometimes, you need the picture so that you know you aren't completely losing your mind.

      

and there's even more pictures here.

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day 17

the trip is winding down. we're starting to make our way home. today was our last planned stop - in grand junction, colorado. we stopped to visit a friend of shawn's dad. we called him after we'd taken a nap and he picked us up at our hotel and whisked us off to colorado monument national park. we drove around the entire park, stopping to take in the the views and snap a few pictures along the way. we talked a lot about shawn's dad and laughed a great deal. it was pretty perfect. 

tomorrow we are continuing on to moab and then maybe salt lake city, then boise, then home... 

and then i get to pack up and leave again, but that's a story for another day.

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