Halls Across America

Two adults, a twenty-something, two teenagers and two rabbits get into a car… and the rest is one long punchline.

Yellowstone’s okay I guess…

…if you’re into, like, stunning scenery and hiking and wildlife and stuff. Whatever.

The aforementioned scenery. And hiking. And wildlife, kind of.

(If you went nuts for this picture of us with nature, check out our previous post, People laughing with waterfall.)


Apparently you’re not supposed to get this close to enormous wild animals. No one told us (except the park ranger that drove by and yelled at us as we were taking this picture). Although, its vicious demeanor should have tipped us off:

Bison don’t care. Look at that sleepy $*&#.

Plus, what’s the fun in taking pictures from an appropriate distance?

A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are for. Although, to be fair, ships are harder to maul than humans.


And now for something completely different–please enjoy some assorted photos of Yellowstone in all its glory (click a thumbnail to enlarge):


And finally, a complete list of places we’ve visited so far that are more beautiful than Yellowstone:


People laughing with waterfall

See also: Women laughing with salad.








Idaho Potato Museum, part II: Vote for your favorite Hall potato face!

As you may know from reading our earlier post, “Potatoes–they’re just like us!“, we recently took an impromptu detour to soak in the glory of the Idaho Potato Museum.

See? We went there.

Now it’s your turn to do something unexpected.

Readers, we impart upon you a solemn and grave responsibility. It’s up to you to decide:

Whose face looks the most like this disturbing, anthropomorphized potato?

Consider the following entries dispassionately and submit your choice for first and second place in the comments. Votes will be tallied when we touch Massachusetts soil; the winner will receive bragging rights and a potato-based meal of their choice prepared by the losers.

Is it…Kim?




or Bruce?

Cast your vote for first and second place in the comments. Agent Fox Mulder appreciates your input:

Voting is your civic duty. Mulder thinks you are a true patriot for participating.

Idaho Potato Museum, part I: Potatoes–they’re just like us!

If there’s one thing we learned in our <24 hours in Idaho, it’s that Idahoans take their potatoes seriously. Like, really seriously.

So seriously, in fact, that they have erected a completely un-ironic museum dedicated to the ubiquitous tubers.

Or, as Kim called it based on this structure, the Idaho Po-turd-o Museum.

This gem taught us many things, the most important of which is that we have a lot in common with our starchy friends. For example:

They react poorly to being impaled.


They get huge.

Their town is a salad bowl.* (*If you don’t get this reference, look up “My Town is a Salad Bowl” by Tom Chapin and enjoy a little slice of Amanda’s childhood.)

They go wild…

…And get down.

If they’ve got it, they flaunt it.

And finally…

They just want you to hold them.

Note to self: start a “Pretty girls posing with extra large potatoes” Tumblr

Find out our favorite (and most disquieting) feature of the Idaho Potato Museum in the related post, “Vote for your favorite Hall potato face!

Oh, you want me to marvel at the same scenery we’ve been driving past for the last eight hours?


No thanks, I’m pretty busy.


p.s. Shout out to Grandma Hall for the blankie!

Big Yellow Taxi (this post features genuine, un-ironic sentiment; be warned)

I don’t think we realize how closely we are all interconnected until it is time for one of us to leave.  We Halls have come to realize that we have many more close friends in the Bay Area than we ever stopped to think about.  The strong backs, objects of memorabilia, cards, hugs, meals, drinks, and warm wishes for safe travel are all hugely appreciated and are instant treasured memories.

Maybe we can learn from this and treat all our friendships with a little more urgency.  Remember that we are still connected in many forms.  Mark Zuckerberg and others have seen to that.

We have said many times to come visit us in New England.  We mean it!  For Americans it is required viewing.  Our Westborough door is always open and we can also host you at Mount Snow. Best time: leaf season in October; Good time: summer; Character-building time: February.

Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got til it’s gone.  –Joni Mitchell*

* – To those who thought this was from the Counting Crows – go back and listen to the original, you’ll enjoy it!

This picture of a cat dressed like a pig should hopefully fill the hole in your heart left by our absence. We love you all.

Can you guess where we are based on these terrible puns?

Before visiting the National Bowling Stadium, we didn’t (Re)know bowling was a stadium event…or that women used to bowl in pearls:

The house always wins? ReNOPE.

ReNobody dominates the arcade games like we do.

Reno you’re jealous of our fabulous prizes.

Lukewarm prize sticker sentiment is lukewarm

Matching glasses and shooting plastic fists? Oh ReNo we didnt!

How swag do we look? VeRe(no).

Can you guess where we are?!?!?! Answer:

Read the rest of this entry »

First day of travel, by the numbers

  • Miles traveled before a progress-impeding technical difficulty: 23
  • Number of car repair professionals required to get us on the road: 4
  • Miles traveled before stopping for a meal: 38
  • Maximum speed (in mph) traveled in our truck: 70 (speed limit with a trailer in mph: 55)
  • Total miles traveled: 150
  • Percent of hotel rooms we booked that housed rabbits: 50%
  • Percent of our rabbits that got loose in the hotel room: 50%
  • Minutes it took for the rabbit to escape: .0000001
  • Minutes it took to catch the rabbit: 20
  • Number of rabbit abduction professionals required to get the rabbit back in its cage: 4
  • Hours of sleep allotted to recover from the above: 3

Reaction shot:

Amateur packing lesson: How to tell if something is garbage

  • If the question is “What is this?” then the answer is always “garbage.”
  • If it doesn’t have sentimental value, and it’s not an essential document, and you haven’t touched it in the last year, it’s garbage.
  • If it belongs to someone else and that someone isn’t looking, it’s garbage.
  • If you shudder with horror upon making physical contact with it, it’s garbage.
  • If you don’t feel like packing it or hauling it to Goodwill, and no one in your general vicinity wants to adopt it, it’s garbage. [Corollary: if you do haul it to Goodwill and they won’t take it, it’s garbage.]

Needless to say, we had a lot of garbage. Alissa, whom Amanda symbolically dubbed “knight of garbage” with a giant fake sword that Andrew insisted wasn’t garbage, will gladly back up that statement.

6 laws of amateur moving preparation

(Note: They are unwaveringly rigid.)

  1. The 2-3-4 Law: You always have 2x as much stuff as you think; the process will cost 3x as much as you think; and packing will take you 4x as long as you think.
  2. The Helping Hands Law: A select few true American heroes will step up to help, and you will astonish them with your inefficacy and lack of preparedness. You will inevitably and unintentionally overstep the bounds of their kindness due to the aforementioned inefficacy and lack of preparedness.
  3. The Frozen Pizza/Burrito Law: The only thing better than friends showing up with food when you’re hungry? Friends showing up with food before you even realize you’re hungry.
  4. A modified version of Murphy’s Law applies: Everything that can go wrong (and a few things you wouldn’t imagine could possibly go wrong) will. See related post: First day of travel, by the numbers.
  5. Realtors’ Law: The number of prospective renters who are paraded through your rental property while you’re still hauling garbage out of it is directly proportional to the number of extra days you take to pack up your junk. Their main purpose is to bear witness to your shame.
  6. The “F-word” Law: Your new best friend is the “f” word: FFFFFFFFlexibility.