I will probably be offline for about a week, as we are heading off to North Dakota to visit relatives. I am looking forward to seeing Montana and to spending a week road tripping with the dogs. I looked up some good restaurants in Billings, MT, where we'll be staying a few nights. I love Tripadvisor, and if you aren't already using it, you should check it out. You can find user reviews of hotels, restaurants, and even cities. It's great for both international and domestic travel, and between the reviews and the chats you can usually get a sense of what places locals like.
I review hotels and places I stay when I travel on Tripadvisor as DAEsmae. Whenever I've stayed somewhere I didn't research on TripAdvisor that turned out to be a dive, I've later laughed at how accurate the reviews were and all the trouble I could have saved myself had I just looked! It's my favorite travel review site, and I can usually get input even about such remote locations as Gabon. You can contact other users for more information and I have gotten some great feedback in response to questions I have asked other users.
So, off we go, and I shall miss my internet access *terribly.* Hopefully when I get back I'll have at least a few decent photos to share with you - though I'm not sure how the dislocated shoulder will affect my ability to use the camera yet.
I'm pleased to report that Callie seems to have made a full recovery. One of the best things about road trips is taking her and Simon to hotels. Callie guards the door and barks if someone passes by, unless we create a barricade in front of it - then she guards the barricade and people can be outside the door just not in the barricade area. Smart little dog.