Travel

Alaska Road Trip

Alaska Road Trip

My wife and I helped my sister move from the lower forty eight to Anchorage, Alaska. Departing Salt Lake City and meeting in Yellowstone, we took a scenic drive through Glacier National Park, Banff and Jasper National Parks, Grand Prairie, Muncho Provincial Park, and Whitehorse before finally making it to Anchorage on Day nine.  After sticking around for three days, we flew home late on Day Twelve marking the end to a whirlwind journey.

This was a phenomenal journey that took months of planning, particularly in securing camping reservations at the wildly popular Yellowstone and Banff National Parks. We learned a lot and while we are absolutely glad that we helped this move and took part in seeing some of the most popular nature reserves in the world, we had a lot of lessons and mistakes that warranted sharing.

A Complete Guide to a Utahn Spring Break for Non-Skiiers

A Complete Guide to a Utahn Spring Break for Non-Skiiers

While vacationing in Utah is typically associated with skiing, snowboarding, or mountain biking, the state has numerous tourist hotspots worth exploring, especially in the spring. At the tail end of the skiing season, there is usually still enough snow in the mountains to get a solid day or two in the snow, and the heat of summer hasn't taken hold over the arid desert areas of the state.  The compromise of a spring visit ensures that a seven day trip to the state will have plenty for everyone.

When my sister visited us in Las Vegas, we made sure that she got the best that Nevada - and California - had to offer her within that one week, and we wanted to make her trip to Utah just as amazing.  Flying in Friday night, and leaving the following Saturday evening gave us roughly seven days to explore as much of the state as possible without completely losing the relaxation that should accompany every vacation.  Our itinerary focused a little more heavily on the domestic and cultural aspects of the state than the rugged outdoors, but can serve as a starting point for anyone unsure of what they want to do when they visit.

Planning your (Military) Disney Wedding

Planning your (Military) Disney Wedding

Making the decision to get married is absolutely exciting, but the process of actually going through the ceremony of committing to your betrothed can be a logistics nightmare.  If you live in a rural area and have a large extended family, you might be able to pull-off a do-it-yourself (DIY) wedding, but for many of us that just isn't an option.

Which leaves one of two options:  Renting a venue, handling vendors, and orchestrating the wedding with a very hands-on approach; or hiring a "turn key" venue or wedding planner that handles all of the details for you. The idea of negotiating with about eight different companies and trying to make sure that we avoided unnecessary hidden fees or bloated packaged options was a nightmare, and we simply couldn't afford to pay someone to take care of it for us.

Luckily, Disney came to the rescue.  Well, more specifically, the US Department of Defense resort, Shades of Green, came to our rescue.

Going to Disney, arguably one of the more magical places on the planet, is somewhere in the middle.  A destination wedding may seem like a good way to waste money, but compared to the Arkansas average ($14,000) or the U.S. average of $25,000, the $12,000 wedding at Shades of Green was a steal.  The wedding packages offered by Disney are fairly expensive, but if you or your fiance are  veterans, then you may be eligible for a wedding at Shades of Green, the military resort at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Just being eligible doesn't mean that a Shades of Green wedding is right for you, however.  To help you make that decision, I took some pretty good notes while planning our $4,000 wedding and $4,800 honeymoon (for you math wizards: $8,800 for both the wedding and honeymoon is well average in Arkansas for the wedding alone) to help you understand what's involved with a Shades of Green wedding.

Moving to Las Vegas: Life After The Strip

Moving to Las Vegas:  Life After The Strip

The allure of the Strip faded, hasn't it?  It took, what, two months?  Maybe you were pretty persistent and the allure held on for four or five months, but the end result is the same:  You're a local now, and fuck neon lights.  So, what now?

My advice?  Travel.

The best thing about Las Vegas isn't Las Vegas Boulevard, but it's the centrality of the the entire Midwest, and cheap nonstop airfare to almost anywhere you could want to go in the United States, makes it a perfect place to live for those of us with the travel bug, which after a few weeks into the summer, will be all of us.

So, here are ten must-do items for every new Las Vegas resident.

#VegasBound

#VegasBound

In mid-January, a former boss of mine contacted me about an immediate opening in Las Vegas, Nevada for a Senior UNIX Systems Administrator position with a small company/start-up where she was working and, after a week of discussion, I accepted the position and set about to move my entire life, my fiance, and my possessions the 1,500 miles from Little Rock to Las Vegas within two weeks.

To say that the process was a logistics nightmare would be an understatement but, in large part to very helpful friends, I was able to resign from Jacobs on the 30th of January to begin working for Criterion-Systems on the 1st of February. It was a hectic road-trip, but we managed to stop along the way to see some of the historic landmarks and take a few scenic detours on Route 66.