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Adventures

Getting Back on the Horse…err, I mean Bike

I love riding my bike. I love that when I’m biking or running the rest of the world just disappears. It’s just me and the road and the wind in my face. I love the feeling of my muscles propelling me down the road. If you haven’t tried them, the Phoenix canals are an awesome place to work out. They’re well-maintained and you can go for miles without having to worry about being hit by cars.

With my leg injuries last year, I was doing all my cardio on my bike. I was riding 13 miles, 3 times a week, and doing an extra long 18-mile ride on the weekend. I was riding so much I was ready to get a pair of padded-butt shorts and starting to look for a 50 or 100-mile charity bike ride to inspire me to up my training.

And then the accident happened.

Day After my Bike Accident - Look Where my Head Crashed into my Helmet

Day After my Bike Accident – Look Where my Head Crashed into my Helmet

I tracked my friend while he was doing his first half Ironman and I felt so lazy in comparison vegging at home. So I suited up and headed out for a 13-mile ride. It was a gorgeous sunny October afternoon. I was still tired from Ignite Phoenix a few days before and a full Saturday of events but it felt good to feel my quad muscles working beneath me. I was about 2 miles from getting back home when I headed through an underpass. A skateboarder was ahead of me, right in the middle of the path so I couldn’t safely pass him. I went to ring my bell to alert him of my presence and somehow my hand slipped over it. I was on the downward ramp and picking up speed so I slammed on my brakes to avoid colliding with him.

The good news is my brakes work great. My bike stopped on a dime.
The bad news is I didn’t.

I went over my handlebars and I slammed into the ground, my legs tangled up in my bike frame. My helmet protected my head, but the fall rattled it pretty hard. The skateboarder heard me crash and came back to see if I was OK. I sat up and did a quick head-to-toe injury check – both knees were scraped up along with both wrists and my left elbow.

Singing at Christmas Service - Check out my Elbow Scars

Singing at Christmas Service – Check out my Elbow Scars

I walked home, threw away my ripped shirt, and took a shower and gently scrubbed the dirt out of my wounds. I wasn’t sure I didn’t have a concussion or a broken elbow so I rested without pain meds until the next day. I slathered my wounds with antibiotic ointment for weeks until they healed, and now I’m left with scars on my wrists and elbows that vary in color from light pink to dark purple depending on how cold I am. I hate my scars.

Since the accident, I’ve barely ridden my bike. I have ridden along the canal but now I slow down on the underpass ramps instead of flying under the streets. I told myself I wasn’t riding because it was cold in the winter, but now that excuse is gone. I think part of me is still really nervous about riding. I’d never had a bad accident like that before. The only thing that comes close is getting hurt in gymnastics but they have you back out working your skills again as soon as it’s safe. With this, there’s no coach telling me have to do it and encouraging me every step of the way.

Last week I shared my list of cool stuff I want to do this spring. I think I need to add “regularly riding my bike” to the list. It will be a nice supplement to my new running regimen. And I still think I’d like to do some type of charity bike ride so if anyone knows of one in the Phoenix area, perhaps in the fall, please let me know!

I’m Having Fun This Spring – Who’s In?

One of the challenges of being a business owner is your days are unstructured except for the structure you impose on them yourself. And since there’s always something that needs to get done in the business, it’s easy to get trapped behind my laptop for hours on end, even on the weekend. I realized that I need to schedule in some fun so I get a much needed re-charge at time and enjoy all that the Phoenix area has to offer.

Photo by Devon Christopher Adams - used with permission

Photo by Devon Christopher Adams – used with permission

I’ve decided that I’m going to have more fun this spring and make an effort to get out to more events. Here’s what’s on my to-do list this spring.

I also want to learn to do some new things this year. I think I’ll sign up for some lessons this spring.

  • Skateboarding – I have a feeling that I might be good at this.
  • Golf – I want to learn how to hit a golf ball so I can go to the driving range without making a fool of myself.
  • Trapeze – Santa got me two trapeze lessons. This is going to be awesome!

There’s one more thing I really want to do this spring – take a day trip to Jerome. I’ve heard it’s a charming place. I think it would be fun to go up there for lunch and to wander around the shops for a few hours.

So that’s what’s on my fun to-do list for the next few months. If there’s anything you want to do with me, let me know!

I Want to be an Amtrak Writer in Residence

Writers all over the U.S. are excited that Amtrak is offering people the opportunity to be a writer in residence. Jessica Gross was the first writer in residence and she rode and wrote from New York to Chicago and back again. What a great 39-hour adventure! I love the idea of getting on the train and going head-down into a project with the gentle rumbling of the train beneath you and the world zipping by out the window.

AZ Diamondbacks Game, Phoenix AZ - June 2010

AZ Diamondbacks Game, Phoenix AZ – June 2010

If I was chosen to do this, I think I’d want to travel from Tucson to New Orleans and back again. It would be a little over 70 hours total on the train. Because it’s such a long trip, I think I’d like to stay in New Orleans for a day or two to recharge my batteries, evaluate where I am in my writing process, and strategize what I wanted to crank out on the return trip. I’ve never been to New Orleans, so I’d want to find a place to take a handstand picture and maybe visit Storyland or Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop - the oldest bar in the U.S. I don’t drink but it would be fun to visit as I’m sure plenty of other writers have spent many hours there to rest and recharge while working on a project.

I’ve been a writer and a blogger for over four years and I love it. Every so often I find a project that I just can’t work on at home – I’m too easily distracted by chores or anything that’s not my writing. Sometimes when that happens, I banish myself from the house until my work gets done. I’ll go to a coffee shop or a library with the expectation that I’m there to work and I can’t leave until my work gets done. I turn off the internet and put my phone where I can’t see it or hear it and get to work. That’s usually enough to force me to put pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard and crank out what I need to get done – usually faster than I anticipated.

Amtrak 353 by jpmueller99 from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Amtrak 353 by jpmueller99 from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

I’ve been toying with doing some memoir work for years. I have a basic outline of what I’d want to include and the format for each chapter but it’s been a challenge to find the time and creative space to sit down and let the ideas flow. I would need big blocks of time to sit write without distractions, where I can sit in quiet contemplation, where I could lock into my zone and let my fingers fly over my keyboard. I’d love to be an Amtrak writer in residence to work on this project.

So Amtrak, if you’re serious about offering other people the chance to be a writer in residence, I hope you’ll pick me.

Funny Signs at the 2014 Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon

I had to miss running in the 2014 Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona race this year due to leg injuries, but on the flip side, I had an awesome time cheering marathoners on with funny signs during the race.  I teamed up with Jeff and Dannie Moriarty for some serious fun near Mile 13.

We arrived at our spot a bit before the first marathoners would be running by so I gleefully took my sidewalk chalk to the marker at Mile 13 and wrote the following on the street.

Rock n Roll AZ Street ChalkIf You Did…

The Half…

You’d Be Done…

By Now!

Finish Strong

Oh I amuse myself! I chatted with a racer the next day and she said she when she saw my note she thought whoever wrote it was “pure evil.”

Now, I’m someone who actually likes being insulted when I run. Don’t ask me why, I just like it. My shirt from last year’s race said, “Masochist” across the front and “Run Bitch” on the back. I figured I’m not the only one who finds this endearing and helpful so I continued the “Run Bitch” tradition with one of my signs. Some people laughed said they liked it. The best reaction was, “How did you know my name is Bitch?”

Photo by Jeff Moriarty, Used with Permission

Photo by Jeff Moriarty, Used with Permission

I held this sign for most of the race until we started seeing more and more racers who were walking. I didn’t want them to think I thought less of them for not running the full route so I switched to my other sign.

Photo by Jeff Moriarty, Used with Permission

Photo by Jeff Moriarty, Used with Permission

Dannie had an awesome Breaking Bad inspired sign for the race. I told her to hold onto it for next because if I run the full marathon, I’d want to see that.

Dannie Sign

Jeff had the best sign of the race.

Photo by Jeff Moriarty, Used with Permission

Photo by Jeff Moriarty, Used with Permission

The reactions ranged from shock, to laughter, to “holy shit,” to racers and spectators stopping to taking photos – even two police officers took photos. I liked his Zombie sign too, but nothing could top Jeff with his pants around his ankles.

Jeff zombie sign

One thing I learned this year was that if you put your name on your shirt – like the original Mouseketeers – people will cheer for you by name. I thought I was hanging up my running shoes after last year’s race, but now that rehab is going well, I’m thinking I’ll be back on the course next year. I may have to get another custom running shirt for the occasion.

If you thought our signs were funny, you should check out Jeff’s Harassing Marathon Runners Flickr album that includes all his signs from this year’s and last year’s races.

The Undeniable Plans for 2014

I recently asked my readers what they wanted me to write about and someone suggested I share my 2014 plans. That gave me reason to pause, because in 2012 I was focused on getting the law firm off the ground and last year I spent the beginning of 2013 getting ready to speak at SXSW. This year I don’t have a big event or activity taking up all my time. I think I get to just live for year. But of course I have plans for how I’d like to spend my time.

My legs after  a session of ASTYM.

My legs after a session of ASTYM.

1. Get Healthy. Years of gymnastics and running has resulted in a buildup of scar tissue in my lower legs. I finished my last half marathon with so much pain that I thought I had three stress fractures. Instead of training for the 2014 race, I’m in physical therapy. They’re breaking up the scar tissue with ASTYM and dry needling, building up my strength, and working on my running posture. They said I should be good to go to run a 10K in March.

2. Separate Work from my Personal Life.  Carter Law Firm got a brick and mortar office in December 2013. To go along with that, I want to work on keeping work at the office and not work once I’m home for the day. This includes not working on the weekends and getting all my blogs written during the week. (When I was writing books last year I’d work on the books during the week and blogs on the weekend.) I got used to working all the time and it’s time make more time for fun.

More Adventures = More Handstands

More Adventures = More Handstands

3. Go on More Adventures.  Going to law school really got me out of the habit of having a life on the weekend and it’s too easy to fill the weekend with work stuff, so this year I want to make it a point to do more new things during my down time. There are so many wonderful places and events in Arizona I’ve never experienced. I’ll be using Roadside America and community calendars for inspiration but I’ll be starting the year by doing the Polar Plunge in Tempe. And I definitely want to see Bisbee this year and take advantage of the night in Sedona I won during Indie Week.

4. Continue to be a Minimalist.  I made a huge donation run to Goodwill a few weeks ago. My backseat and trunk were packed with stuff I don’t use anymore. Since then, I’ve already started the next pile of stuff to be donated. I will continue to be mindful of what I do and don’t use and periodically do a sweep of the house to get rid of things that don’t add value to my life. Next year will also start with the reversal of all my closet hangers. Every garment will have to earn its right to stay in my wardrobe again.

5. Release my Next Book.  The American Bar Association is publishing my next book – The Legal Side of Blogging for Lawyers. It’s expected to be released in February 2014. I’m excited for it to be released and I hope it will open more doors for me to do more professional speaking.

Those are basically my plans on top my standard events, activities, and goals of having fun and being productive. I hope your 2013 is winding down on a high note and that you have an awesome year in 2014. I’ll keep you in the loop about my adventures.

Undeniable Recap of 2013

It’s been an incredible year. I’ve had so many things happen that I had to start keeping notes months ago to keep up with all the awesome things that were happening – personally and professionally.  It’s really hard to pare the list of top events from the year down to the top five but here goes.

1. Seeing my Gymnastics Family at Rocky’s Memorial.  I had a lot of achievements this year, but by far the best day was hanging out with my teammates and coaches from my gymnastics days. I hadn’t seen some of these people in 20 years and it was like no time had passed. It’s unfortunate that it took the death of my coach and mentor, Rocky Kees, to bring us together again.

REG-Reunion

2. Speaking at SXSW.  I was shocked when I saw that I made the list of people who were invited to speak at South by Southwest this year. Over 4400 applications were submitted for 450 slots. I had a blast in Austin at the conference and just taking in the city. Doing my talk on copyright in digital media was an incredible but so was meeting Improv Everywhere’s founder Charlie Todd (and doing the MP3 Experiment with his crew) and running into/inviting myself to coffee with three of the captains from Deadliest Catch.

3. Book Contracts with the American Bar Association.  It was a very busy year of writing. I signed contracts to write two books for the ABA – Flash Mob Law and The Legal Side of Blogging for Lawyers – so I basically was brainstorming and writing from mid-February until mid-August. And then my publisher asked for a rewrite one of my manuscripts in October so that was another two weeks of whirlwind writing. Flash Mob Law was released in July and The Legal Side of Blogging for Lawyers is due out in February 2014. I’m really pleased with these books.

4. Minimalism Project.  I was inspired to clean out my life this year – to go through everything I own and get rid of the things I don’t use and don’t add value to my life. Since I started this project, I got rid of at least a quarter of my wardrobe, cleaned out my files and memory boxes, and I’m in the process of downsizing my Star Trek collection. I feel much more clear-headed when my surroundings are simple and uncluttered. I plan to maintain my minimalistic perspective when it comes to bringing new things into my life and continue to regularly examine my life to make sure I’m only keeping useful things around me.

5. Carter Law Firm went Brick and Mortar.  One of the last significant things I did this year was sign the lease for my law firm’s first brick and mortar office. It’s an office space with seven offices – all attorneys – who share a receptionist. Almost everyone is a solo practitioner. I’ve only been there about a month but it’s been great so far. I love that Rosie gets to come to work with me.

International Go Topless Day by Sheila Dee from Flickr (used with permission)

International Go Topless Day by Sheila Dee from Flickr (used with permission)

Firsts in 2013
First trip to Austin
First mission with Improv Everywhere
First time running with a headlamp
First bike ride with my iPod
First Go Topless Day Protest
First road trip with Rosie
First trip to the Google ‘Plex
First bad bike accident – flipped over my bike’s handlebars
First ASU tailgate party
First Arizona State Fair, including a first ride on the Zipper
First trip to Ford Theater
First ASU football game in Sun Devil Stadium
First night parade
First Phoestivus – with airing of grievances
First office space
First ASTYM
First dry needling
Food Firsts: bacon maple bar, hush puppy, brownie in a mug, fish tacos, scrapple, hot pot

Ruth & CharlieCelebrity Sightings in 2013
Best-selling author Gary Vaynerchuk
Captain Keith Colburn from Deadliest Catch
Captain Jonathan Hillstrand from Deadliest Catch
Captain Sig Hansen from Deadliest Catch
Improv Everywhere founder Charlie Todd
Bully Director Lee Hirsch
Dr. Drew Pinsky

In Memoriam
Rev. Charlie Coppinger
Jerry Grucky
Rocky Kees

My Favorite Things 2013

Oprah used to do a “My Favorite Things” show every year so I decided to do the same, but without all the freebies. Sorry.

I reviewed my calendar and Yelp reviews from the past year and here’s my list of my favorite things. Everything on this list is something I use or do and enjoy. I’ve not been compensated in any way for including anyone in this post.

Working Out
2013 half marathon pre raceFavorite Phoenix Area Race: P.F. Chang Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon

Favorite Place to get Running Shoes: Runner’s Den

Favorite Place to Work Out: Arizona Canal

Favorite Device for Sore Muscles: The Stick

Favorite Place to get Fixed when I Break Myself: Endurance Rehab

Food
Favorite Doughnut: Buttermilk bar from BoSa Donuts (open ‘til 10pm)

0702131205Favorite Mexican Food: Jordan’s

Favorite Greek Food: Greektown

Favorite Indian Food: The Dhaba

Favorite Dessert for Lunch: Yogurtland

Favorite Food Truck: Jamburritos

Favorite Dessert Food Truck: Mamma Toledo’s

Favorite Ice Krem (Phoenix): Churn

Favorite Ice Krem (Scottsdale): Sugar Bowl

Favorite Place for Late-Night Eats and Work: Gay Denny’s

Life
0511131339Favorite Dog Park: Margaret T. Hance Dog Park

Favorite Place for Shirts with Custom Verbiage: Brand X Custom T-shirts

Favorite Site for Shirts with Original Artwork: Threadless

Favorite Snuggle Wear: REI Yoga Pants

Favorite Person for Fixing my Sore Body: Thomas Porter

Favorite Shop for Music Geeks: Central Music

Favorite Bookstore: Changing Hands

Favorite TV Show: The Big Bang Theory

Favorite Reality Show: Deadliest Catch

Favorite Place to Go When I Really Need to Escape: Firefly Room at the Phoenix Art Museum

No Pants Ride 2013 - Photo by Joseph Abbruscatto from Flickr (used with permission)

No Pants Ride 2013 – Photo by Joseph Abbruscatto from Flickr (used with permission)

Online
Favorite Webhost: Dreamhost

Favorite Social Media Platform: Twitter

Favorite Podcast: Savage Lovecast

Favorite Online Cartoon: Foamy the Squirrel

Favorite Site for Travel Suggestions: Roadside America

Favorite Site for Everything Else: Reddit

Events and Activities
Favorite Flash Mob: Improv AZ’s No Pants Light Rail Ride

Favorite Community Event: Ignite Phoenix

Favorite Place on a Friday Night: ASU Women’s Gymnastics Meets

Favorite Phoenix Geek Event: Phoenix Ultimate Geek Smackdown (PUGS)

Favorite Place to see Who’s Who in the Local Zoo: Local First Arizona Fall Festival

I hope you’ve enjoyed my list and perhaps it’s inspired you to try some of my favorite things. ;)

Self-Publishing vs Using a Publisher – The Joys and Frustrations

ruthcover smallerI’ve had the privilege of becoming a book author. I self-published my first book The Legal Side of Blogging: How Not to get Sued, Fired, Arrested, or Killed last year (and published a revision of it this past summer). That book led to me getting a book contract with the American Bar Association to write Flash Mob Law: The Legal Side of Planning and Participating in Pillow Fights, No Pants Rides, and Other Shenanigans, which came out this summer and The Legal Side of Blogging for Lawyers, which is due to be published in February 2014.

Both types of publishing come with their joys and frustrations. I love the independence of being an indie author but then the responsibility is on me to do everything (or find people to outsource to). On the flip side, I’ve had a mostly great experience working with my publishing teams, but that also means more cooks in the kitchen and having to play by their rules.

In regards to my next book, I turned the first draft in to my publisher in August with the expectation that it would be published before the end of the year. (I turned the first draft of Flash Mob Law in to my publisher in May and it was published in August.) I did not expect to hear in October that they wanted a major re-write. In the big picture, it was the right thing to do, but definitely required me to rearrange my calendar a bit. I busted my ass to get it done by Halloween so they could get it out, or at the very least get me a galley, by December.

I was frustrated as hell when I heard that wasn’t possible, especially after I worked so hard to keep things on schedule. How long does it take to format, copyedit, and print a book? It’s already cleared legal review and I know I can review edits in 24 hours if I have to. My publication date is only delayed by a few months and in the long run everything will be fine but I definitely had a few expressive moments while I was adjusting to that information.

Here’s my compilation of the joys and frustrations that come with being an indie author and having a publisher.

INDIE AUTHOR PUBLISHER
PUBLICATION DATE I pick it. They pick it.
WRITING My work. My way. They can require re-writes.
DEADLINES No one’s holding my feet to the fire but me. Hard deadlines.
COPYEDITTING I’m responsible for hiring a good copyeditor. They take care of it. I have 5 days after receiving a draft to approve edits.
COVER ART I’m responsible for hiring a graphic designer and describing what I think I want. They have a team of artists and I get to pick the final version from the options they provide.
MARKETING That’s my job too. They have a team for that.
EBOOK OPTION Of course! They say they’re going to do it.
PAPER OPTION I got frustrated trying to figure out CreateSpace and gave up. Available on the ABA website.
PRICE I decide ($3.99). They decide ($39.95).
ROYALTIES Monthly. Annually.
SALES I work for every sale. Minimum sales guaranteed.
MY WORK Never ends. Basically done once the final draft is done, except for reviewing galleys.
COPYRIGHT Guaranteed mine. Had to negotiate to keep it.

Created with the HTML Table Generator

There is no one right way to be an author but it’s good to understand what you’re getting into when you decide which path you’re going to take.

Just When I Thought My Book Was Finished . . .

Everyone who knows me or follows me on Twitter knows I’ve been writing up a storm this year. I did a revision of my self-published ebook The Legal Side of Blogging: How Not to get Sued, Fired, Arrested, or Killed and published Flash Mob Law: The Legal Side of Planning and Participating in Pillow Fights, No Pants Rides, and Other Shenanigans through the American Bar Association (ABA). (I’ve got to get shorter subtitles.) I finished the first draft of the manuscript for The Legal Side of Blogging for Lawyers in August and I thought the majority of my book writing obligations were done for the year. I was wrong.

Editing a Paper by Nic McPhee from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Editing a Paper by Nic McPhee from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

My book is being published by the Law Practice (LP) section of the ABA. (For you non-lawyers, this is the section that’s all about how to run a law firm more effectively.) When you write for them, you get a team of people who work on your book. Here’s a glimpse of who I’m working with:

  • Shawn my project manager
  • Evan and Dennis my peer reviewers (who make sure everything I wrote is legally sound)
  • Tom the head of the LP publishing department (who makes himself read everything before it gets published)
  • The copywriter (who will fix all my bad grammar)
  • The marketing team who is charge of my cover and promotions

I got to see a lot of my team at the recent LP fall meeting in Phoenix. When I turned my manuscript over to them, I thought I was basically done except of approving my cover art and proofreading edits. The team loves my book and said it’s a great first draft, but they’ve asked for a re-write which might include a re-arrangement of chapters, a new forward, and changing the forward into an afterword. I appreciated the feedback and I’m all for putting out the best book possible, but it’s going to be a challenge timewise.

The LP section wants my book done and published by the ABA TechShow in March 2014. I responded that I’m meeting Gary Vaynerchuk in person when he does his book signing for his new book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook in Arizona in December and I promised him a paper copy. (Yes, I’m fully aware and embrace the fact that I have a massive professional hard-on for Gary Vaynerchuk.)

My mug from the Space Age Cafe in Gila Bend

My mug from the Space Age Cafe in Gila Bend

My calendar is pretty full for the rest of October and November that I’m at the point where I have to think hard before agreeing to go to any events or activities that aren’t already on my schedule. And now I need to figure out how I’m going to do a re-write by Halloween on top of all that so it can get through peer-review, copy editing, and get a galley printed and shipped to me by December 5th.

This is going to be fun . . . and by fun, I mean high-caffeinated. ;)

I had a chance to speak with Tom at the LP fall meeting. He said he really liked that my first draft was easy to read and then he asked if I had more books in me. That was a very flattering statement coming from him, but at the same time my first thought was to punch him in the face. After working on three books this year, I’m going to need a break from book writing once this book is done before I start thinking about the next one.

Road Tripping with Rosie

Heading out at 4 a.m. - Rosie with her car seat cover.

Heading out at 4 a.m.

A few weeks ago, Rosie and I went on our first long road trip together to Sonoma, California to attend a friend’s memorial. Rosie regularly goes on errands with me when I go to dog-friendly places (PetSmart, Gangplank, my aunt’s house, etc.) but this was our first multi-hour drive. Since she’s a frequent rider, I got her some nice car gear – a quilted seat cover and a car harness to keep her from going flying if I have to slam on the brakes.

We pulled out of the house at about 4 a.m. and headed north. I don’t know how other drivers sit for 6 hours at a time; my legs get too sore and my bladder is too small for that. Having Rosie in the car made it even easier to make sure I stopped every 2-3 hours to let her stretch her legs, go to the bathroom, and have a drink and a snack.  I learned Rosie doesn’t like hard dog treats while driving. She wasn’t even interested in having some of my apple slices. Her preferred road trip snack is pieces of boiled chicken.

Watching the World

Watching the World

It was also funny to watch her react to the different types of grass at each gas station. We have short dry grass in Phoenix but the farther north we got, the grass was taller and more lush. You could barely see her feet at one place we stopped. We also passed a dairy farm on the drive. You can smell that place miles before you get there. Rosie was immediately standing up with her nose in the air trying to take in the new (and very strong) smells.

In ideal conditions the drive takes about 11.5 hours. Unfortunately, we hit a bit of traffic in L.A. which made us hit rush hour traffic in the Bay Area, so it took us 13.5 hours. She was so tired by the time we arrived at my parents’ house and confused about where she was but she settled in after a good night’s sleep. Rosie loved the cooler climate, especially when I opened the front door and let her watch the world through the screen. (Note to self: get a screen door for the front of the Phoenix house.)

No Rosies Allowed . . . or Fun

No Rosies Allowed . . . or Fun

We definitely knew we were in a small town when we out for our first walk to the plaza. There’s a beautiful park in the town square, but we were greeted by signs that said, “Dogs, Horses, Skateboarding, Bicycling, Climbing Trees or Monuments Prohibited in Park.” A park where you can’t bring your dog and you can’t climb trees? WTF?! (Apparently they’ve had trouble with people’s dogs killing ducks; I’m not sure why they’re anti-tree-climbing.) We walked around the edge and visited with people who were out for their morning coffee.

I hoped to take Rosie to a dog-friendly beach to see how she’d react to sand beneath her feet and the sound, sight, smell, and cold of the ocean waves, but it rained the morning we were planning to go. So we decided to have a mellow morning instead. I made a run to the grocery store and when I got back I saw she had found a Rosie-sized seat for herself on the couch. She knows she’s not supposed to be on the furniture, and she usually respects this rule, but I couldn’t help but say, “Aww…” when I saw this.

Bad Dog . . . But So Cute

Bad Dog . . . But So Cute

Our drive back to Phoenix was faster and uneventful – 12.5 hours total. I thought about breaking the drive up over two days but I was ready to get home so we pushed on. Rosie was very happy to be back in her familiar environment.

Traveling with a dog requires extra time, extra planning, and it limits how much time you can be away from them. I’m glad I had this experience with Rosie, but I’m not sure I’ll do it again. Rosie handled the drives really well, but I think she’d rather go to camp (aka the kennel) instead of road tripping with Mom.