Saturday, May 22, 2010

5/21/2010 Bermuda...part two

Today we plan to explore the the beautiful island of Bermuda, more specifically the Royal Navy Dock Yard. Serena awoke from her morning nap ready to take on the world and who were we to hold her back. We decided to start off slow and do a little shopping before hitting the beach. Serena was getting very excited about going in the water that she had a hard time sitting still in her stroller. We decided to give Mr. and Mrs. S a break and walk around on our own while they shopped. You may be asking, “How can such a small gnome push such a large stroller?” First of all, I take offense to the statement that I am short. I am rather tall for a gnome, or at least I was. Over the years, like many people, I have shrunk a bit as I aged. Back in my youth I was a star on my high school volleyball team. I used to almost be able to touch the bottom of the net with a good leap. I was heavily recruited for college but after the doctors found a bone spur in my shoulder I decided to hang up my knee pads. So back off with the short jokes or I'll give your shin a good thrashing. To answer your original question, while I can't reach the handles I have adapted the lower basket into a makeshift Gnome control center. I can put my legs through the bottom and drive the stroller with the best of them. And, when I get tired I can hop up and use the basket as a hammock to catch a few Z's while Serena eats. The only bad thing is that on more than one occasion, Mr. S has forgotten I was down there and folded the stroller with me inside. One time I was so soundly asleep that I didn't realize what had happened until I awoke inside the Xray machine. The good news is that I was unharmed. The better news is that I finally found out what had happened to that penny I swallowed as a child.

After strolling around the dock yard for half an hour and feeding Serena some lunch, it was off to the beach. None of us knew how she would react to the sand and the water. She had always like bath time so we had high hopes. We got to the beach, set up a towel, and let her loose. At first she had no idea what to make of the sand. She picked it up, mashed it between her fingers, and tried to eat it (I stopped her just in the nick of time). Finally she stood up on the cool sand, smiled, and she was off to the races! She had no problem walking on the sand at all and loved picking up the small shells and handing them to me. We played in the sand until Serena got a little bold and tried to run to the volleyball court. She tripped and fell on her face scratching her cheek a bit. Of course she came running to me to help console her. I gave her boo-boo a kiss and she was back to her giggling self in no time. Now it was time to play in the ocean! For safety sake I let Mrs. S hold Serena as I tend to get very buoyant in sea water. Mrs. S walked her down to the waters edge...I floated a few feet off short to capture the event. A few tense minutes passed as she tried to figure out what was she was seeing. Suddenly, a big smile signaled it was play time! She splashed and giggled as Mrs. S bounced her in and out of the water. If she had her way she would have stayed all day in the ocean! We kept this up for about 20 minutes until Serena started to get sleepy as we approached nap time. I think Mrs. S was grateful Serena was tiring as her arms were exhausted. Mrs. S took Serena back to the blanket to get cleaned up while Mr. S started packing up the stroller. I, on the other hand, being distracted by the cheerful Serena, started drifting away from the beach. If it not for the kindness of a sea turtle, I may have been another missing gnome with his face on the side of a milk carton!

Friday, May 21, 2010

5/20/2010 Bermuda

We arrived at Bermuda a little before 4 pm with our expected docking around 5 pm. As we pulled near the port there were already two ship docked and thus no room for us. This is not a problem as one of them was scheduled to deport imminently. So we waited...and we waited.....and we waited. Five o'clock came and went and were still waiting to dock. It wasn't until 5:30 pm that the other ship finally departed, allowing us to dock by 6 pm. I'm not sure of the cause of the delay. Mr. and Mrs. S think it was a ship sponsored excursion that was late getting back. Personally, I believe that the captain threw a temper tantrum because he didn't want to leave this beautiful island.

We decided to take it easy the first day on the island since it wouldn't be too long until Serena's bed time. We walked around the Royal Navy Dock Yard letting Serena take in the sights and sounds of her first foreign country. Serena really seems to like it! She was making friends with everyone that passed by and seemed to smile the entire time. Unfortunately we got into port a little late and did not make it to the nearby beach but we were able to play in a fountain. That little girl loves the water!

After we returned for the day, Mr. and Mrs. had a nice romantic dinner on their balcony as I baby sat Serena in the cabin. Serena and I had a great time together. We played a marathon session of “Peek-a-boo” which of course I let her win. It was hard throwing the game. Not many people know but I placed third in the “34th annual 'Peek-a-boo' and 'I've got your nose' games” in 1984. It was a tough year. The Soviets fielded an excellent team but the surprise of the games was the strong showing by the Jamaicans. They went on to dominate for the next few years until the doping scandal of 1989. When we were done playing I read her a few bedtime stories and then rocked her to sleep. She used to be a lot easier for me to rock to sleep in my arms. She has gotten big over the past 11 months!

Tomorrow we shall explore Bermuda!

5/19/2010 At sea

Today was our first day at sea on our way to Bermuda. This was the first opportunity for all of us to explore the ship. I really enjoy the layout of this ship! It's not as big as some of the other vessels we have sailed on but everything is nicely laid out and looks beautiful. We found a toddler play area for Serena on one of the upper decks and she is having a ball. There are so many great toys and she got to play with another baby only one month older than her named Jax. They both played together for about a half an hour and had a great time.

One thing I failed to mention earlier was that Serena did find one thing she did not like on the ship... the elevators. She doesn't like them not for the reason that I dislike them (no day of the week on the floor), but because of the motion. She had been on elevators before but I guess they have never accelerated as quickly as this one. Mr. and Mrs. S have been working with her all week and she is getting better. The down side to this is that Mr. and Mrs. S have been carrying her up and down the stairs to get to their destinations. Seeing how tired they were getting I volunteered to give her a Gnomi-back ride. Not fully appreciating her current size she proceeded to topple me over and face plant me into the carpet. She thought it was hysterical...I thought it was painful. Not wanting to lose face, other than what I just lost to carpet burn, I forced myself to pick her up and give her a ride down the stairs. It was the longest four flights of stairs in my life! When we got to the bottom of the last flight I passed off Serena to Mr. S and collapsed on the floor exhausted. Serena, sensing how tired I was, bent down and gave me a big hug. That made it all worth it.

5/18/2010 Everybody knows my name

Today we stopped in Boston and decided to walk around the city. Stopping here was like coming home for me. I spent about six months in Boston when I was a foreign exchange student in college. It's an amazing town and has always been one of my favorite places to visit. Since I had some experience navigating the town I volunteered to be Mr. and Mrs. S's tour guide. After leaving the ship we caught a bus to the market where we indulged ourselves in some of the local delicacies. After our nice lunch, we decided to grab a beer at my favorite local bar. I was very excited as I wanted to take Mr. and Mrs. S to my favorite watering hole in the city. I spent many a night there regaling my fellow patrons with stories of my homeland and of my travels. I remember all the locals fondly. The owner of the establishment was a very friendly man who was quite a hit with the ladies. He did seem to have a very unnatural fascination with his hair though. Then there were two of the long time regulars, I wish I could remember their names. One was a portly fellow who was always complaining about his wife. The other was a delivery man, I believe for UPS, who would always tell the most amazing stories and seemed to be an expert on everything. There was one bartender who was a simple country boy and never really got the hang of the big city. One waitress there frightened me to no end. She was roughly my size but was very gruff and often threatened the UPS driver's life! I made sure to always tip her very well.

As we walked into the establishment, I was amazed that not only did they remember me but they greeted me the way they used to. As I entered, the entire bar yelled “NITTANY!” Mr. S later recalled the rest of the conversation

The bartender: “How's the world been treating you, Mr. Nittany?”
Nittany: “Like it's a dog and I'm wearing milk-bone underwear.”

We always used to kid around like that. We stayed at the bar for a few hours while I caught up with my old friends. It seems like a lot has changed since I left. One of the usual customers, a psychiatrist, moved out to Seattle to live with his father. I hear he has his own radio call in show now!

Well I finally had to say goodbye to my old friends and get back to the ship. It was great to see them and I promised to visit more often.

5/17/2010 Island of Rhode....I think not

I feel betrayed.... I feel angry....I feel, well, very embarrassed. As you may have read from my past posting, I had deduced from my vast cruising experience that the Island of Rhode would be a tropic paradise complete with warm beaches and fruity drinks. I was very, very wrong. First of all, the name of the state is not the “Island of Rhode”--it is Rhode Island. I was wondering why everyone was chuckling and when I said that. Second of all, this place is nothing like a tropic paradise. While beautiful in its own way, it is not what I expected at all. Thankfully I discovered this before I embarrassed myself further. I packed away the snorkel gear, hung up my flip flops, and put my speedo back in the drawer for another day.

Instead of docking at the port the ship was going to tender us into the town of Newport. Serena wasn't wild about the tenders but she undertook the short boat ride without summoning schools of wild porpoises. I think our fellow passengers appreciated this a great deal. We spent the morning walking around the cute little seaside town which used to be the playground of the very, very rich. I seem to remember hearing stories of a Gnomistani robber baron, the Gnomdervilts, having a small getaway “cottage” here of 85 rooms, or so. We also saw the church where the famous president JFK was married to his bride Jackie.

5/16/2010 I'm sailing away....

We have left port and are sailing to the Island of Rhode. For the first time we are traveling on the Celebrity Cruise line instead of our normal Royal Caribbean. I must say this ship is nice. The crew is fantastic, the ship is very well laid out, and our cabin is roomy. So far, I am very happy. Serena is also adapting extremely well to her new environment. The gentle rocking of the ship has not affected her in the slightest. She has also been a perfect angel at dinner, sitting though the entire meal on her best behavior. I see that the full month of etiquette training I have been subjecting her to has paid off! She is also very excited about the food. Mr. and Mrs. S, always the diligent parents, brought with them a large bag of her normal food for the trip. It looks like most of it will not be needed. On the first night Serena sampled pasta carbonara, caprese salad, and fresh fruit. She is a very good eater!

Serena is also in her glory around all her fellow passengers. Walking around the ship she smiles at everyone, waves to them hello and good bye, and when she is feeling adventurous, the occasional high five. I think she might have a career as a cruise director some day!

I do have one small gripe with this ship. Unlike the other vessels I have sailed on in the past, this ship does not display the day of the week in the elevators. How am I to know what day it is? I don't wear a watch that displays the date and my irrational fear of calenders precludes me from that simple solution. Without knowing the day of the week how ma I to know what underwear to put on in the morning. Could you imagine the social shunning I would receive if I wore Sundays underwear on a Friday. Oh the Gnomanity of it all! I guess I will have to ask our room attendant every time I wake up. Ahhhh, small sacrifices.

5/16/2010 And so it begins again.

Once again my fine readers I am off on a cruise adventure with Mr. and Mrs. S, although, this cruise will be special. Not only am I visiting two ports of call that my Gnomish legs have never set foot on but I also have have the special pleasure of accompanying Serena on her first ever cruise! No one knows what to expect of this adventure. Will Serena enjoy her sea voyage? Will she be oblivious to what she is experiencing? Will she act like a Gnomistani tree cat where the mere sight of water throws them into a uncontrollable terror that the only thing that calms them down is the soothing melodies of the Gnomistani pan flute? Only time will tell.

Our first port is the city of Newporton the Island of Rhode. Mr. S tells me this was one of the original 13 colonies of the United States. This is very fascinating to me as I sort of an amateur history buff. Sadly, because of a very busy schedule the past two weeks, I have not been able to do my normal research on our upcoming ports of call. I am going to have to use my vast knowledge of cruising and a bit of Gnomish intuition to plan my adventure.

Based on what I have learned from all of my cruise adventures to date, all cruise ports that mention the word “Island” have been warm tropical paradises with beautiful beaches, warm sand, and tasty fruity drinks with small umbrellas. I can't see why the “Island of Rhode” would be any different. Based on this, I am packing my normal Caribbean attire: Hawaiian shirt, snorkel gear, beach umbrella, speedo, SPF 185 sunblock (gnomes have very fare skin. On more than one occasion we have burst into flames on sunny days) and finally, my three piece steel drum set.

Let the adventure begin!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

4-04-2010 Peep Cup Challenge

Mr. and Mrs. S invited me to come along with them on a journey to New Jersey to visit Mr. S's family for Easter. I was very excited as I not only love to see Mr. S's family but I also love long car rides. The longer, the better. They remind me of the car rides I used to take with my family on the country roads. We used to pile into the car, load up the back seat with snacks, and head off to the horizon. I would take it upon myself to entertain the family by singing the traditional travel song “1000 pouches of peeps.” I'm sure you have heard it before...if not here it goes: “1000 pouches of peeps on the wall, 1000 pouches of peeps. When no one's around, you gobble one down. 999 pouches of peeps on the wall.” I would sing and sing at the top of my voice, making sure that everyone could hear. I sang so well that one day, many hundreds of miles from my home, my parents suggested that I get out of the car at the rest stop and entertain the locals. I was thrilled to be able to share my gift with strangers. I climbed up on the highest rock and called the crowd closer. I then proceeded to belt out the most beautiful rendition you have ever heard. In fact, I saw several people weeping as I reached the three hour mark of the song. After it was over, I went back toward my family's car but was unable to find it. I assumed that this was yet another one of our marathon Hide-and-Go-Seek games that we sometimes play. These games have lasted for weeks in the past. Well, nine days later I found my family at home. Boy were they surprised when I found them. I heard they exclaim, through tearful sobs, “How does he keep finding us!”

I refrained from singing on this trip because I didn't want to wake up Serena. Mr. and Mrs. S seemed very happy with my decision.

This year I felt honored to witness a family tradition in Mr. S's family. Every year, at the Easter gathering, the family brings out their best Easter peeps and stage elaborate competitions. The first year they engaged the peeps against each other in a jousting tournament. Two years ago it was peep auto racing. Last year the peeps raced on rubber band powered airplanes. This year...we don't know yet. The competition is being kept a secret. Each year's competition is planned out by the “Peep Master” whom is selected at the previous Easter. The Peep Master is in charge of deciding the next year's competition which remains secret until competition time. Each year the competition becomes more and more elaborate.

I must admit, I am a little scared. I have no idea what to expect but one thing is for sure...Mr. S's family + excessive amounts of sugar = lots of fun!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

3-28-2010 I thought this was outlawed

Today I witnessed something that I had thought had been abolished decades ago. I am normally a very stoic gnome but this caused me break into a rage unseen since....since....I don't know when.

Let me provide you with some background. Many centuries ago, the gnomes in my homeland were enslaved by a ruthless warlord named Vlad the Sneaky. Vlad took control of Gnomistan not through an invasion but more through trickery. One day, Vlad arrived at the capital and told the capital security that there was a cat stuck in a tree. Knowing that all Gnomes had a weakness for felines in distress, all of the building security rushed to the cats aid. While distracted, Vlad sneaked into the capital, found the original Gnomistani constitution, and wrote “Vlad is the boss”. When the guards came back into the building, Vlad pointed to the constitution and declared himself the ruler. Without knowing enough about constitutional law to disprove it, the guards had to go along.

One of Vlad's passions was his love of bowling. Before his ascension to the throne, Vlad was a finalist on the hit TV show “Bowling with the Stars” and nearly went pro. Once in power he soon became bored with traditional Gnomistani bowling. To spice things up, he began forcing his gardeners to stand in for the pins and instead of using a normal bowling ball he now used a surplus wrecking ball. Because the ball was so heavy, Vlad changed the game again so that instead of a flat lane with gutters on each side it was now a sloped hillside with motes filled with piranha. The gardeners had no where to go. In front of them was a speeding wrecking ball and to each side was a mote filled with piranhas. The goal of the game became to crushing as many Gnomes as possible. Many, many Gnomes were killed to entertain the king. This barbaric sport continued for another 45 years until the then current king, Igor the Stubby (Vlad's son) was ousted in a coup set in motion by his order to suspend Saturday mail delivery.

I had always thought this horrible chapter of our history was behind us, but, alas, I was wrong. This past weekend Mr. and Mrs. S brought out a new “game” that had been given to them over the holidays. Always ready to show off my keen mind and catlike reflexes, I happily agreed to play. To my horror I witnessed Mr. S arrange six of my fellow countrymen in a triangle and Mrs. S hurl a large ball at them, knocking five of them about the room. I cried out for them to stop but it was too late. Mrs. S, with her second throw, toppled the last brave Gnome. I have never felt so saddened and enraged. Even my normally stoic friend Steely-Eyed had a tear in his eye. He said it was just a brain leak, but I know better. As soon as the balls stopped rolling, I sprinted to my fallen brothers to see if I could be of some assistance. To my surprise they were made of plastic! Imagine that, life sized Gnomes made out of plastic. I called Mr. and Mrs. S over and explained the historical significance of this game and why they must stop playing immediately. They agreed right away.

Mrs. S about to bring the pain

My brother Gnomes stand their ground

I survey the carnage. It wasn't pretty

Gnomes of the world unite!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

3-25-2010 Mea culpa

My good readers, I am here with my head held low in shame. It seems that in the excitement of the moment I may have divulged more information than I should have. Several days ago I told a “story” about a “fictional” car ride across the Peak to Peak highway in Colorado. Several readers were concerned that Mr. S's sister Kim may have been speeding and gotten pulled over by the local law enforcement. Well readers, I forgot to include a very important disclaimer at the beginning of the story. Thanks to my many years of watching Law and Order, and one brief cameo in 1996, I should have known to include the following:

"Although inspired in part by a true incident, the following story is fictional and does not depict any actual person or event."

To sum up, I did not mean to imply that Kim was pulled over for speeding. The story was fictional....yeah, that's it....fictional.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

3-22-2010 All good things must come to an end.

Well, my good readers, my four day adventure in Colorado is coming to an end. As I write this, I am somewhere over the heartland of America. Thanks to a bit of quick thinking, my rugged good looks, and a few well-timed compliments, I was able to talk myself into a first class upgrade for the flight home. Poor Mr. S, I almost feel bad for him sitting back in coach. I'm sure the free champagne and fresh baked cookies will get me over it.

3-22-2010 Running afoul of the law

Today is my last day in the beautiful state of Colorado. We had a planned a relatively low key day of sightseeing across the Peak to Peak Highway and then down to to the concert arena at Red Rocks.

Somewhere on the Peak to Peak Highway we ran into a little trouble. I was peacefully sleeping in Mr. S's backpack as I had a long night of partying with two lawn gnomes I met outside Kim's apartment. Word of caution, unless you are used to the lack of oxygen in Colorado, do NOT attempt to go shot for shot with the locals. It will only end badly. I woke up this morning, upside down, in an empty Jagermeister bottle. As I was saying, I was sleeping soundly when out of nowhere we saw flashing lights behind us and a police siren. Kim and Mr. S were calm but I froze like a statue in fear. Remember how I mentioned that I had a bench warrant out for me in Omaha (no, I will not get into any details)? Well, in my Jager-induced haze, I thought that the Federalies were after me! I quickly dropped down into the backpack and hid myself under Mr S's camera. I feared I was doomed! I could see out of a small hole in the bag as the Federalies approached the car. I couldn't hear what was being said but my keen lip reading skills helped me process the situation. This is what I could make out:

Federalies: “Are you transporting any fugitive gnomes in this vehicle ma'am?”
Kim: “No, officer, it is just the two of us humans.”
Federalies: “Are you sure? Harboring a fugitive Gnome is punishable by five years in prison and revocation of all privileges in the Gnomistani Jelly of the Month Club.”
Kim: “Is this fugitive Gnome dangerous?
Federalies: “ Yes ma'am, he is accused of **** Censored ***** in the city of Omaha.”
Kim: “ Oh my, I will be sure to call the police if I spot him.”
Federalies: “ Very good, Ma'am. Have a good day.”

This is how I remember the situation. Of course, it could have just been that Kim was speeding...I can't be sure. The lesson is...don't drink Jager at high altitudes unless you bring an oxygen tank with you.

Our big stop of the day was at Red Rocks amphitheater. This place was amazing! It was built into the side of a hill and has hosted some of the biggest musical acts from the Beatles to Ozzy Ozborne. I can't even begin to imagine how this place must sound when it is fully packed. I talked to one of the event organizers about the possibility of getting the Gnomistani National Ukulele Orchestra to play here but he said the schedule was full for years to come. I think they might still have reservations about allowing any Gnomistani group to play at the theater after the 1976 incident. To this day I still contend that the rock slide wasn't the fault of the 500 member Gnomistani yodeling team.

Anyway, here are a few photos from today's adventure.

Hello Cleveland!

3-21-2010 The gang goes to the zoo

After leaving the Garden of the Gods and grabbing a quick lunch, we decided to find another activity nearby. Kim suggested that we visit the Air Force Academy and Mr. S seemed interested as well. I, on the other hand, refused to go. Kim and Mr. S seemed confused so I was forced to explain my reluctance. Ever since an unfortunate childhood incident when I was caught in the middle of the University of Gnomistan's Bluejays Marching Band during the St. Gnomistrick's Day Parade, I have had a fear of large groups of men and women, dressed in blue, marching.

We decided to drive a few more miles south to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. I am a big fan of zoos. Many a day in my teen years back in Gnomistan, I would wander the local zoo observing the animals' behavior. I learned a lot about Gnomistan's native wildlife by simply observing these animals. For example, did you know that the jungle pig of the central rain forest can sprint at over 30 mph but for some strange quirk of evolution, cannot turn left? No matter where they are going they must get there in a series of right turns. (Fun fact: the CEO of the United Parcel Service observed the jungle pigs on a safari and revolutionized the shipping industry by copying their right-turn only philosophy.)

The zoo was a lot of fun. I was able to see lots of interesting animals, meet some nice people, and best of all, none of the animals tried to eat me! I can't stress how important that is to me. The three of us had such a great time that we closed the zoo. Mr. S and Kim were ready to leave but I wanted to stay. I put up such a fight that they had to call zoo security. I tried to hide behind stork but for some reason the guards were able to easily find me. I'm used to Gnomistani storks... they have much thicker legs.

Are you a Nittany Lion?

Gooood kitty. Stay. Staaaaay.

Now where did I put that picnic basket?

Kim makes a friend

3-21-2010 It's harvest time

After the fun we had yesterday up in the mountains, I was on pins and needles to find out today's adventure. Mr. S said we were heading south past Denver to the Garden of the Gods. This intrigued me as I had never heard of this place. Mr. S wouldn't tell me anything else, he said it would be a surprise. Naturally my mind began to concoct all kinds of different ideas of what this place might be. I dreamed of rows and rows of religious statues sticking out of the ground ready to be harvested. I could even envision in my mind one farmer saying to the other “This year's crop of Buddhas are coming in nicely. Looks like the Easter Island statues are ready to harvest.” I know, I have a vivid imagination.

The Garden of the Gods turned out to be a beautiful park filled with massive red outcroppings that seemed to come out of nowhere. They were hundreds of feet tall, some nearly vertical, and simply breathtaking. They reminded me of some of the mountains back in my homeland. The mountains in one particular region of southern Gnomistan seemed normal by day but at night they seemed to glow a ghostly blue. For hundreds of years they were thought to posses magical properties allowing visitors to have visions of their futures. They were so revered that they were made a Gnomistani national landmark. It wasn't until two years ago that the secret of the mountains was revealed. The blue glow and visions were not magical. They were actually caused by a large deposit of natural gas under the mountains that would leak out of the ground at night causing the hallucinations. At least some good came from the discovery: the mountains now power Gnomistan's third largest city.

Look at me, I'm almost as tall as this mountain.

Pikes Peak doesn't look THAT tall.

The rocks....there everywhere.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

3-20-2010 Let the fun begin!

We decided that Friday we would stay in and relay. Partly our decision was dictated by the snow that fell all morning and afternoon and partly by my inability to adapt to not having air to breathe. Kim said that it takes several days for a normal person to adapt to the altitude. My friends, I am not a person....and for that matter, not normal. I realized that the symptoms of hypoxia are very similar to a hangover. I figured it was worth a try to use the tried and true Gnomistani hangover remedy. This remedy has been handed down from my father and from his fathers father and from his fathers, fathers, father. He got it from someone named Chuck Finley. I must warn you, this is not for the faint of heart. Try it at your own risk.

1.Drink 36oz. of water within 7 minutes
2.Take 1000mg of vitamin C
3.Find the hottest jalapeno pepper you can find and place it up your right nostril. Breathe deeply.
4.While standing on your left foot, sing the title song from “The Pirates of Penzance “
5.Vomit until you see god
6.Lather, rinse, repeat.

After a few rounds of treatment and a good night sleep I was cured! I woke up Saturday bubbling with energy and I was ready to attack the day. The weather was beautiful and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Our journeys tool us to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. Enjoy my photos.

On the road again. I can't wait to get on the road again.

Me outside the entrance to Estes Park

9240 feet!!! No wonder my ears feel like they are going to explode! I only wish Gnomes had the ability to yawn to pop their ears.

It might be the hypoxia talking, but this place is beautiful.

Me and Mr. S. at Bear Lake

Ummm, Hello? There is a Gnome stuck in the snow over here.

Oh yeah, we walked around the entire lake.

Mr. S., what's an avalanche? It's what! Get me the hell out of here!