I counted 12 mosquito bites by the time I got home from my two-week road trip, which included six states, five National parks, a friend’s lake cabin, lots of hiking, one European in a pair of Speedos and a beetle that looked like a baby dinosaur.

I survived, rather I thrived. For a person who never was, but always wanted to be a girl scout, I feel like I have earned some patches.

First on the list I should get a patch for best backseat driver; the space I created for myself in the truck sitting behind my friend Amy and her husband Christian was one that allowed enough space to make an on-the-road-Toby-Keith- music video. There is nothing like driving on a highway sandwiched by rolling hills and cattle while blasting “Made in America” to make one feel like they should have a shotgun in the rear window and an American flag hanging out the back. Yee haw!

Next on the list I earned a patch for hiking. Although I wont get into each hike because that would be super egotistical and boring, I will brag that despite my fear heights and tears streaming down my face, I climbed to the top of Angles Landing in Zion National Park. Unfortunately, the picture I have of me on top of the landing looks like my arms have blow up water wings on so needless to say that one didn’t make the Facebook cut. Next on the list, I earned a patch for sleeping in a tent. Maybe I didn’t sleep as soundly as my road trip partners did but I also didn’t opt to sleep in the car when I had convinced myself that both the dinosaur beetle I had seen roaming outside of the tent and the Speedo-wearing-European were going to kidnap me and I would be the next story source for Dateline.

Next, I get a patch for eating a lot of food. It’s not easy for a South Bay girl, to throw caution to the wind and eat things like a deep-fried pork chop sandwich or a Buffalo burger and fries or even the worlds best apple pie. I even earned myself a spot on the wall of fame at Angie’s Diner in Utah for eating a desert that is typically designed for a party of 12 (I’m also on their Facebook page if ya want to check it out.)

I also earn a patch for finding the cheapest hotel in Vegas because if I had to set up and sleep in a tent one more time I would have drowned myself in the two inches of melted ice left over in the cooler we hauled around for two weeks. So instead of taking my own life, our crew spent the last night at Palace Station for $21. What I don’t get a patch for is gambling, otherwise I would have probably used my winnings to buy some patches, but instead I used my winnings to buy free ice at the ice machine so that we could drain the cooler which only carried some left over hot dogs and a six-pack of Montana brewed beer that I picked up for the boy I like.

Finally, I get a patch for being lucky. Lucky to have friends who I can travel with for two weeks, share a tent, a car a cabin and a run-down hotel with and love even more at the end of the trip than I did at the beginning. I’ll get two patches if they feel the same about me.

Now the only question is, I wonder if the European finally put on some pants and if he did, did he invite dinosaur beetle over from some hot dogs and S’mores?