Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum

Tuesday, 5/31/11 - Finally, the wind has stopped blowing at 25 miles per hour and it feels very normal here. It's seems like a beautiful day and we are off to see the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. http://www.oklahomacitynationalmemorial.org/ Our wonderful GPS takes us right to it and we are able to park across the street in a parking garage.

They have done a magnificent job on this tragedy that happened April 19, 1995 at 9:02 a.m. The grounds consist of the museum building, (which you enter first) and it creates the experience of the entire story of the bombing. The exhibit starts on the third floor and as you enter that floor it is shortly before 9 am that morning. You then experience, as you walk through, what happened and the incredible horror of that day. The faces and voices of the injured telling their story. The families searching for the children that were in the daycare center - you feel like your there at the time.

The second floor takes you through a gallery of pictures, the funerals and mourning, the impact and then the investigation, the capture of the two men responsible, the trial and then the hope for the future.

As you exit the building you are now at the reflecting pool. There are two magnificent gates at each end, the East gate is marked 9:01 on April 19, and the innocence of the city before the attack. The West gate is marked 9:03, the moment they were changed forever. Behind the pond are the field of 168 empty chairs, symbolizing a life lost, with smaller chairs representing the 19 children killed. Also in this area is The Survivor Tree, a 90+year old American Elm, that witnessed the violence of April 19 and survived. The message at the tree reads: The spirit of this city and this nation will not be defeated; our deeply rooted faith sustains us. A truly magnificent memorial.

After this, we needed to lighten up our spirit so headed to Bricktown, which is located on Mickey Mantle Drive, in the old downtown area that has lot of old brick warehouses that have been turned into restaurants, business and a beautiful triple A baseball park. http://www.redhawks.com/ (You get the feeling that THIS is what Fresno wants to be) We had lunch at Coaches, a restaurant that looks out over the baseball field. Great pictures and memorabilia of Mickey Mantle, Johnny Bench and other athletes from Oklahoma City. My camera was clicking away.

After lunch, we took a ride on the narrated water taxi that runs in a canal through Bricktown (didn't Fresno want to do that at one time?) http://www.bricktownwatertaxi.com/ It was a great ride and tour and when we got out we walked back to see Toby Keith's bar - I Love That Bar. Unfortunately, my camera battery died right at that point so no pictures. Oh well, I'm sure I'll find another one on this trip. It was a great sightseeing day and when we returned home, a giant load of washing was awaiting me, so I just sucked it up and did it. Much love to all our family and friends.

Monday, May 30, 2011

National Cowboy Museum...Will is beside himself!

Monday, 5/31/11 - The wind is still blowing in Oklahoma City and I mean blowing! However, today we are going to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. wlusww.nationalcowboymuseum.org Will didn't seem that excited as he though it was just another museum but little did he know what was in store for him.

The museum is filled with art and sculpture and tells the story of the West and the American Cowboy. The museum has many different sections but of course Wills favorite was the Western Performing Gallery - a tribute to the cowboy movies include his favorite John Wayne. It seemed like we spent hours in this one alone and of course I'm snapping pictures of everything.

They also had in the museum of a replica frontier town, a gallery of Western Art that was unbelievable, an American Rodeo Gallery plus a Native American Gallery. The ground were beautiful with many massive sculptures. If your ever in Oklahoma City, you must put this on your to do list.

After our visit to the museum we made arrangements to visit my "old boss" Roger Williams son and family.....Rob, Sharon, Oscar and Wesley and dog Penelope. They live in Edmond, OK not far from the museum and Sharon gave us great directions that took us to their front door in less than 1/2 hour. It was wonderful spending time with them, taking the tour of their fabulous house with a lake in the back yard and then getting to see their storm shelter out back. Now that was something, especially with all the tornado's they are having in the Midwest this year. Thank you Rob & Sharon for your great southern hospitality and we enjoyed ourselves so much. You must come visit the RV sometime in the future!!!!!

Another great day on our trip across the USA....much love to all our family and friends.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

We've been BLOWN into Oklahoma City, OK

Sunday, 5/29/11 - It's moving day for us, we leave Amarillo, TX for Oklahoma City, OK. We got on the road about 9:30 am and after gassing up "the gas hog" and buying a Sunday paper for me, we are off to Oklahoma City.

As we head down I-40 we notice that the wind is really starting to pick up and as we crossed the border into OK it is a full blow wind storm. We stopped at the Oklahoma Visitor's Center/rest stop for brochures and to have lunch. We find lots of neat things to do in Oklahoma City, such as the National Cowboy Museum, the National Memorial Museum, and their Museum of Art has my favorite guy......Dale Chihuly, renowned glass artist. Lot to see and do so we may have to stay here several days before moving on.

The lady at the Visitor's Center did tell of of the National Route 66 Museum Complex in Elk City, OK which was not to far from where we were. So when we hit exit 32 we took off on Route 66 for the museum. www.elkcity.com Unfortunately, the museum was closed and didn't open till afternoon on Sunday. It would have been fun to see, as it takes visitors to all 8 states along the "Mother Road" from Illinois to California. However, we were able to stroll through the Old Town Museum which was designed as a early Oklahoma pioneer town located around the Route 66 Museum. I got lots of pictures, once again, in spite of the 40 mile an hour winds.

Poor Will, it was a complete fight in the motor home, with the winds, trying to keep it on the road. As we approached El Reno, OK (one of the towns were the tornado touched down last week) we saw evidence of lots of tree damage along I-40. Complete trees, just uprooted and laying on their side. Road crews have already started working on sawing up the damaged trees. I can't imagine the damage in Joplin, MO.

Finally, about 4:30 pm we arrived at Rockwell RV Park, a nice Good Sam park and Will couldn't wait to hook up and go lay down on the bed and rest. www.rockwellrvpark.com Maybe tomorrow will be better, much love to family and friends.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A day in Lubbock, TX at the Buddy Holly Center

Saturday, 5/28/11 After looking at the choices of things to do in Amarillo, TX ...The American Quarter Horse Museum, Cadillac Ranch, that would be 10 Cadillacs (1949-1963) buried nose down in a cornfield, another Air & Space Museum, we decided to drive to Lubbock, TX, approx 130 miles, each way, south of Amarillo and see the Buddy Holly Center.

The Buddy Holly Center is located on Crickets Ave (as in Buddy Holly & the Crickets singing Peggy Sue) www.buddyhollycenter.org The Center is housed in the Old Fort Worth and Denver Railroad Depot and the B.H. Gallery is shaped like a guitar. It features a permanent exhibit on his life and music. It follows his life from Lubbock, TX to his last concert in Clear Lake, Iowa on 2/2/59. It features many artifacts from his youth and early career. Sadly, his professional musical career only lasted 18 months. There were wonderful displays, his bedroom set from his home was set up, and his famous black horn rim glasses that were recovered in that fatal airplane crash. We loved all the music playing and the wonderful history of rock and roll.

Across the street was a newly installed 7' statue of Buddy Holly in front of the West Texas Walk of Fame. This wall honored West Texas music legends including Rob Orbison, Tanya Tucker, Waylon Jennings and more. Of course I was running like crazy lady taking pictures of everything including the street signs of the Crickets & Buddy Holley Ave. There are lots of clubs and places for outdoor concerts around the B.H. Center but because of Memorial Day Weekend, everything was closed. Even though it was a long drive it was a very fun day and I'm so glad we went.

When we returned we couldn't resist going by The Big Texan Steak House on I-40. This is the place where if you can eat the 72 oz steak in one hour - you get it free. Of course NO where did it tell you what it would cost if you didn't eat it in one hour and we wanted to know. Yep, the price is $72.00 if you don't finish in the one hour. I asked if you could order the steak & split with others. The cost of the steak if you want to split it with family is $200 and they serve 10 side dishes with it. So there you go.............now you know and of course after that we went and had dinner at the Golden Corral, all you can eat for $9.95 and it was deeeeeeeeeeeelicious.

We leave tomorrow for Oklahoma City and more adventures. Much love to all family and friends.

Friday, May 27, 2011

We arrived in Amarillo, Texas...finally!

Friday, 5/27/11 We got off to a great early morning start in leaving ABQ, NM we both were ready to move on. The distance was 297 miles and let me tell you it is miles and miles of absolutely NOTHING. I hesitated to even write anything because trust me there is nothing to comment about along the way but very flat & dry. But we are in Texas and the Amarillo Ranch RV Park is a very nice Passport American (1/2 price park.) www.amarillorvranch.com

We briefly considered going out to dinner to The Big Texan Steak Ranch, home of the world famous FREE 72 oz steak, IF eaten in 1 hour. www.bigtexan.com The restaurant even offers a free limo service to & from the restaurant from your motel or RV park. We saw the limo in our park and it has large horns on the front, pure Texas style. However, they are having a heat wave of 95 degrees here (were lovin it) and decided to stay home & eat our own food, especially me being a vegetarian.

Saturday we will be a day of fun and sightseeing and we will leave Amarillo for Oklahoma City on Sunday. Much love to family and friends.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Free at Last" - We are heading for Amarillo, TX

Thursday, 5/26/11 Well today is the day Camping World is suppose to receive the part so the RV refrigerator can be repaired. As luck would have it, Will was out taking his walk when he saw a UPS truck pull into our RV park. He went over and asked the driver if he had delivered anything to the Camping World next door and the driver replied, "Yes, an overnight package from C.W. in Oklahoma City." Bingo!!! that must be our part. We didn't wait for them to call us, we unhooked at our campsite and just drove over there and said, here we are. They said, they were very busy and probably wouldn't get to it until late in the afternoon. Our reply, whenever, we will just wait. Less than 45 minutes later they said they were ready to repair it and we went out to lunch to celebrate.....McDonald's, if you can call that a celebration.

After lunch, Will wanted to see if he could find the old gas station on Route 66, now Central Ave where his van & RV broke down......two separate times, years in between and repaired at the same gas station each time. He remembered it had a small motel next door where he stayed overnight while they sent the part from where ever by Greyhound. So we started at the end of Central Ave located closes to our RV exit 149. Can you believe less than 3 miles from where we started we found the place. Of course the gas station has been converted into a tire shop that also happens to sell "adult movies." WOW what a side line. They also had a "roach coach" parked in front serving lunch, unfortunately or maybe fortunately, we had already eaten. The motel was still in operation next door so I took my trusty camera out and took some pictures to remember this old corner. There are NO websites for these establishments, use your imagination.

Finally, around 1:30 pm Camping World called to say the RV work was done & we could come & take it "home" which we did. Of course this means we are.....free at last, Albq is a great city but 12 days is enough, so early tomorrow we finally head for Amarillo, TX. Will says this is definitely his LAST time going through Albuquerque.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

11 days in Albuquerque, NM & counting!

Tuesday, 5/24/11 Woke up today to really bad winds in Albq, NM & only ventured out to go shopping at WalMart and then we each got a pedicure & a manicure for me. (Will draws the line at manicures) Actually, most of the day was spent watching the Weather Channel and following the tornado's. How's that for a job....storm chaser! No thanks.

We cancelled our reservations in Amarillo as it is apparent we are NOT going anywhere until the weather is more stable. We contacted the Camping World, located right next to us, and they are having our refrigerator part transfer to Albq from Oklahoma City and we will stay to have the work done here. They are shipping it overnight today so it should be in Albq on Wednesday, where we can finally get it fixed & be on our way.

Wednesday, 5/24/11 Well the good news, is the wind is GONE in Albq and it beautiful outside. The bad news is Camping World in Oklahoma City closed early because of the tornado & didn't ship the refrigerator part out.......oh well, another day in Albq.

But at least we can get out so today and we are going to Sandi Peak, the world's longest aerial tramway. www.sandiapeak.com It has an elevation of 10,378 feet and a spectacular view. It's a great ride up to the top and they had a full car going up. We walked around, taking pictures and then had lunch up there in the High Finance restaurant. No need to explain the name of the restaurant..... After about an hour an a half we took the ride back down the tram and considered the experience....terrific. It really was a perfect day to go up there.

We also discovered that the famous Unser Racing family are from New Mexico and have a museum here. They just happened to have an article in the local newspaper, Albuquerque Journal so after the tram ride we headed over to the museum (which is actually very close to our RV park) www.unserracingmuseum.com

The museum is wonderful, it shows 4 generations of race cars, tells the history of the Unser family Al Sr, brother, Bobby and Al Jr, including mom & pop. Lots of videos with the Unser family talking, and tremendous history of the Pike's Peak & Indianapolis 500 races. The place is laid out beautiful (designed like a wheel with side rooms representing spokes) and we spent several hours touring the main museum and another one out back that had old restored cars, art work and all the trophies they have probably ever won. It was very quiet there so Vince, a docent, gave us a personal tour and we loved the experience. If it hadn't been for the article in the newspaper we would have never know it was here.

Another great day sightseeing and let's hope the refrigerator part comes in tomorrow so we can get this traveling show back on the road. Much love to all family and friends.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tornado Warnings, stuck in Albuquerque, NM

Sunday, 5/22/11 Will returned to ABQ (the hip abbreviation for Albuquerque) at 5:30 pm today via US Airway and was real glad to be back in "his house." He said the funeral service for his brother, JR was very nice and the family was very appreciated to all. JR would have been 87 years old this summer and had a very nice long life, especially the last 20 years with his wonderful companion, Helen. An many thanks to Kim & Bill for their wonderful hospitality to dad, Will & uncle Gene but a special thanks to Kim for sending him home w/clean clothes!

My morning was spent wandering through a beautiful shopping center, (name unknown) but had a Trader Joe's & Sports Authority, the two stores I was looking for. Another beautiful day, weather wise, in ABQ.

Monday, 5/23/11 Well today is Wills rest day but also one for preparing to get ready to leave Tuesday morning for Amarillo, TX. I plan to spend the day cleaning up the inside (I have been to busy sightseeing to worry about chores) However, this morning our friend Bob Finnegan called to talk about the tornado's in Joplin, MO, knowing that we were headed that way to Springfield, MO. We were shocked, to say the least. We had not watched TV or listened to any news so had no idea how bad it was. Of course, we immediately turned on the Weather Channel & were devastated by what we saw.

Will called his cousin, Dixie who we were going to stay with in Springfield, MO and she said the weather was horrible and they were trapped in their house. I-44, the highway we were to take there was shut down & she told us.....don't come here! There was so much lightning & thunder she didn't even want to talk on the phone.

After checking Amarillo, TX, where we were headed tomorrow they show winds up to 34 miles per hour and tornado warning abound in Oklahoma City, where we would be on Wednesday. So we made the decision to STAY PUT IN ABQ. We then went over to Camping World, that is located next to the RV park we are currently staying in & had them transfer the refrigerator part we were suppose to have installed in Oklahoma City to ABQ. Then paid for 2 more days at our park. This RV park has been filling up all day w/folks heading East on I-40 & want to wait out the storm, so we decided to join them.

The irony of all this, had it NOT been for the funeral and the original delay in ABQ we could have been right in the middle of the tornado area. So there is no bad or good about what happens, it just is. Thank you Jesus for keeping us safe. Much love to all family and friends.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lunch w/Daniel at the Flying Saucer Diner, Abq, NM

Saturday, 5/21/11 Daniel is an old friend and roommate of Nancy's in their Santa Cruz, CA days...way back in the mid 80's. He is a high school teacher in Albuquerque and Nancy insisted (which of course I wanted to) see him while I was here. It worked out perfect, being in ABQ these extra days.

We talked on the phone & he directed me to the Flying Saucer Dinner off Rio Grande past Old Town. What a great place, big inside dining as well as a huge patio. It seems like a real "local" place to hang out and I think he said there were several more here. I picked a table in the sun (of course) on the patio and we had a great lunch & conversation for a couple hours. Thanks a lot Daniel for lunch and congratulations again on receiving your masters degree this May. I look forward to "crashing" the next S.C. roommate reunion.

After, leaving Daniel, I got the filthy Saturn car washed as I promised Will I would have it cleaned before he got back. After, I headed over to the ABQ Biopark www.cabq.gov/biopark which consists of an Aquarium & Botanic Garden....plus a zoo and Tingley Beach. I was only interested in the gardens and the aquarium. I'm telling you this place is a deal, they charged me a senior price of only $3.00 for admittance into the aquarium & gardens with free parking. The weather is beautiful here today, a light breeze and 80 degrees....just perfect for strolling. I walked through the gardens and they were beautiful, many roses were in full bloom along with lilac that smelled out of this world and I spent several hours there taking pictures and seeing the entire grounds.

After the gardens, the aquarium is right next door, on the same property so I went in there. Now of course I realize I have made a grave error, what was I thinking showing up on a Saturday afternoon on a beautiful day. Every kid, his parents and their STROLLERS were in the aquarium. Yikes, you definitely want to go there during the week. Oh yes, and my camera battery died so I was able to see all the fish in record time. It really was a great day however and I headed home about 4 pm.

My whole evening, after dinner is getting caught up on the blog and yes Cheryl I do read the comments that you and Rita, my two faithful blogger's write and I appreciate it. Much love to all family and friends.........and Will heads home tomorrow, Sunday and we can get this travelling show, "On the Road Again."

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I'm still in Albuquerque, NM

5/19/11 Thursday - It is a very cold, windy & some rain today in Albq but I want to go and see the Petroglyph National Monument, which is just a couple freeway exits from me! I bundle up, actually look like I'm ready for a ski trip but I am determined to hike the trails and see some of these Petroglyphs. When I arrive at the trail head there are only a few adults hiking but then I discover an entire classroom of 5th graders and chaperone's (most kids are dressed in tee shirts) on the same trail. Do you think they send out my advanced schedule as they ALWAYS show up when I do. Oh well, I will not be deterred and I start out. I discover quite a few of the drawings although I must admit my first thought was they looked like graffiti but the sign at the entrance said there are an estimated 20,000 carved images of animals, people & crosses. I didn't stay to long as it was so cold but did get pictures of some and was happy with what I saw. It sure felt good to get back in the car w/the heater going & and wave goodbye to the school kids who were eating their lunch at the picnic tables outside! www.nps.gov/petr

I then took a ride down to the Rail Runner train station to get a schedule for my planned trip tomorrow to Santa Fe NM. It cost $6.00 for a senior, round trip. I can park across the street in their parking lot for $8.00 a day. I'm excited and can't wait.

Late that afternoon at the RV park I saw a couple walking around our RV and looking at it very seriously. I opened the door & invited them to see the inside. It turns out they have the exact same Bounder only theirs is a 2010 and Will's is a 2008. They came in and looked around & then invited me to see theirs and the changes that have been made. It turns out they are pretty similar but they have a wonder pantry in the kitchen that would be so nice to have. It turns out, Stoney & Claudia are from Miami Beach, FL and do not tow a car but use bicycles for transportation. I told them I was going to Santa Fe tomorrow and if they like they could join me and I would be leaving at 6:30 am. They said they would and they did!

5/20/11 Friday - We are off to Santa Fe! I have good directions & make it to the parking lot in great time and find others waiting for the Rail Runner that departs at 7:23 am and arrives in Santa Fe at 8:53 am. We get on the train & find seats on the top level, purchasing our tickets from the conductor that comes around, they couldn't make it any easier. The ride is pleasant and a lot of "high desert" scenery.....nothing! However, Stoney, Claudia and I get to visit most of the way. PS to my friend Judy, I told them about beautiful Canyon de Chelly and make them promise to go see it on their way to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. I tell them, they won't be disappointed.

We arrive in Santa Fe and take the shuttle bus into the town plaza. Of course the first thing we see is the native Indians selling their beautiful wares outside the Palace of the Governors, the oldest continuously occupied public building in the U.S. Now it is COLD this morning, thank God I have dressed for it. With my "to do list" in my hand we head over to the Loretto Chapel http://www.lorettochapel.com/ a small church best know for its "miraculous staircase." Pls check out this website as this place is beautiful.

After this, we split up and I head over to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. I have always wanted to see this museum, all her paintings, her comments but alas a big disappointment. Just this day, 5/20....after being closed for several days, the museum has a new showing: Shared Intelligence: American Painting and the Photograph. "The highly productive relationship of painting to photography in 20th Century American Art".......say what? I saw more Georgia O'Keeffe paintings in the calendar I bought than I saw in the museum. They best one was a Norman Rockwell painting, remember the soda jerk staring into the eyes of the young girls at the soda fountain? Well they had the photographs that he took prior to painting to show how he put the painting together. It was interesting, but I was really disappointed it wasn't all Georgia. http://www.okeeffemuseum.org/ I met another couple there from New Jersey (they started talking Yankees as I was wearing my Yankee hat) and they were also disappointed.

I must say the town of Santa Fe is beautiful and so interesting. A tourist town but not offensive. The architecture is beautiful and boy did my camera get a work out, I just kept shooting pictures like they were paying me for each one. I went in and out of galleries that ranged from terrific to outrageous and all of the prices were in "I must win the lottery to afford these." My favorite artist was Bruce Cody at http://www.manitougalleries.com%20the/ see if they show some of his work on their web site, great stuff. After the museum and galleries I met up with Claudia & Stoney and we had lunch in a recommended Mexican food restaurant, The Shed. www.sfshed.com The food was great and we all enjoyed the meal and atmosphere. Today, was high school graduation & they had lots of seniors and families celebrating graduations.

We then headed over to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. It had been closed that morning as the graduation ceremonies were held there. An absolutely beautiful church, the beauty you just cannot describe. Took lots of pictures but see for yourself. www.cbsfa.org

Stoney had enough of churches and headed off on his own, while Claudia & I went to the see the New Mexico State Capitol, the Roundhouse. http://www.santafe.org/ What beautiful art work and a gorgeous rotunda. We went up to the top floor and worked our way down, taking pictures all the way. Time was growing short before our train to return to Albq and we wanted to see the San Miguel Mission billed as the country's oldest church, built somewhere between 1600 and 1646.

We then try heading for the train station but looking like lost tourists, a very nice retired gentlemen starts to give us directions and then decides to walk with us and show us exactly where we need to go. God Bless him. We made it back with only about 5 minutes to spare and caught the 4:10 pm train back.....Stoney was already there. www.railyardsantafe.com On the train ride back I met 91 year old Florence from Iowa who was out visiting her son and discovered it was her first train ride ever!

We arrived back at the train station in Albq at 5:38 pm, thoroughly tired after a very long and fun filled day. Retrieved the car from the parking lot and I decided to take them home down Central Ave, the original Route 66 only to discover I had gone the complete opposite way from our campground. Now we were all dead tired and didn't need any additional sightseeing as we all just wanted to be home. Finally I found I-40 going West and before you know it...there was our Enchanted Trails Park. Thank you to Claudia & Stoney for going along with me today, I so enjoyed the company and look forward to seeing you again in Miami Beach next winter. Much love to all family and friends.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Will flies to Fresno - Wednesday, 5/18/11

Wednesday - 5/18/11 The big day, sending Will back to Fresno. We got up (if you ask Will, in the middle of the night) actually it was just 5:45 am. Gosh, on my GB3 gym days, I've already worked out for 2 hours by that time. Anyway, we had made a practice run to the airport the day before so felt pretty confident about the trip. And it went off without a hitch, that is until we got to the ticket desk of US Air. They asked for Will's I.D. and as he reached in his pocket he discovered he didn't have his wallet with his drivers license. To say my heart almost stopped as I looked at him in disbelief. The very nice agent told us to go back to the house & get it (a 30 minute plus drive, one way) and if we didn't make his current flight, they would put him on the next one. As we got out of line, he said, "lets check in the suitcase and see if the wallet is in my Levis" so I throw the suitcase down on the floor, unzip it and God Bless him, yes the wallet in his back pocket of his Levis. We run back to the agent who helped us and he's so happy for us (I'm sure he was really happy for Will) and he was able to complete the check in process.

At Nancy's suggestion and prior arrangement, a wheelchair was requested & I was able to accompany him all the way through security and to the gate. It was great, an airline employee pushed him the entire way, they boarded him on the airline first and I was able to leave knowing he was safe and on his way home to be with his family.

Latter that morning I took the car and headed back into Old Town to see the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History . However, they are also having a special display of A New Light on Tiffany. Correspondence by Clara Driscoll, head of the Women's Glass Cutting Department of Tiffany Studios and a designer of lamps and other Tiffany Goods. It was surprising to learn that Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls (as they were called) were responsible for designing most of the firms leaded glass shades. It was a wonderful display and lots of New York maps and pictures of the late 1800 and early 1900's. A wonderful morning for the senior price of $2.00! www.cabq.gov/museum

After the museum I boarded a trolley for a 1 1/2 hour tour around the city of Albuquerque. The two young men that started and run this trolley, one drives & one gives the talk were wonderful. It was a great time and I got lots of pictures, actually the camera told me that the chip was FULL, I guess I have really taken a lot of pictures so far. Oh well, I'm having fun. www.ABQTROLLEY.com

After the trolley ride I headed down to the Amtrak railroad because I found out I can take the train to Santa Fe, NM for senior price of $6.00 round trip. I picked up a schedule & think I will go this Friday. After that I headed back to the RV, dead tired, had some soup and got started on the blog. I sure hope someone out there is reading it!!!! Much love to family and friends.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Petrified Forest & Painted Desert, Holbrook, AZ

Saturday, 5/14/11 Our last day in AZ we drove to see the Petrified Forest/Painted Desert, of course after seeing Canyon de Chelly the day before we didn't know how this could top it and it didn't. The Painted Desert was pretty however the old Painted Desert Inn, an old restaurant & inn, was the most interesting in this section. www.nps.gov/pefo

Forest was great to see all the old petrified logs of many colors and crystal formations. We saw a partially preserved pueblo and hundred of petroglyphs etched into stones. Will and I actually took several short hikes on trails thru out the forest to see them up close. It was two great days but we are ready to leave Root 66 RV park on Route 66 in AZ.

Sunday, 5/15/11 We arrived in Albuquerque, NM and are staying at Enchanted Trails RV www.enchantedtrails.com a pretty nice park located just outside Albq. It's been a long day of driving for Will and we are both pretty tired. This evening we had our first dinner out at Marisco, a seafood & Mexican restaurant which was excellent. We even had a husband & wife couple sing & play Mexican music at our table and Will really enjoyed it.

Unfortunately, Will received some very bad news tonight that his oldest brother, JR had passed away this evening after suffering a heart attack in his home. Will has lost 2 brothers this year so it was pretty devastating news.

I'm having my travel agent, daughter Nancy, make plane reservations for Will to fly home on Wed, 5/18 as the funeral is 5/20 and he will return to Albq on Sunday, 5/22. I will remain in Albq with the RV. The amazing part of this story is Will has been twice to Albq in the last 30 years and on each time they had car or RV trouble and were stuck here for repairs....at the same repair shop. When we were entering Albq, Will commented, "I wonder what will happen in Albq THIS TIME." Is that a scary story or what!!!! I'm sure this will be the LAST time we past thru Albq.

Monday, 5/16/11 To get out of the RV we took a drive down to Albq Historic Old Town which is hundreds of jewelry stores, art galleries, restaurants and a beautiful town square park across from the church San Felipe de Neri www.AlbuquerqueOldTown.com We had lunch on the patio of the restaurant, Hacienda overlooking the town square. On our return trip home we drove back on the old Route 66 which has many cool signs along the way. Much love to our family and friends and a special prayer for Helen.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Beautiful Canyon de Chelly, Chinte, AZ

5/11/11 - Well our long awaited return trip to Williams, AZ to see the John Wayne museum was a bust! I finally have a digital camera for this trip(thanks Nancy) and couldn't wait to take pictures of all the J.W. stuff that we didn't get on our first trip here in 2008. Guess what, the guy sold out and took ALL his John Wayne stuff with him, just an empty store front. Oh well, we still had a great day going in & out of shops on Route 66, lots of fun 50's stuff to see. We had a wonderful & cheap lunch at the Brown Bag diner & met a very nice couple from Chillicothe, MO. It's still cold here but NO snow.

5/12/11 - About 35 miles past Flagstaff on I-40 we saw an advertisement's to see a Meteor Crater and we can't past that up. So off we go and it turned out to be very interesting. It's billed as the "Best Preserved Meteorite Impact Site on Earth" formed 50,000 years ago by a giant meteor weighing several hundred tons. It's 550 ft deep, 2.4 miles around and 1 mile across. Now that's a pretty serious hole. After that we found our RV park.....Root 66 located right on Route 66. It's got 22 spaces and sits RIGHT on I-40. I slept w/cotton in my ears but I did sleep. www.meteorcrater.com

We met a very nice couple parked next to us, Judy & Mike, full time RVers. A lucky break for us as they told us about Canyon de Chelly (pronounced Shay, not Chili as Will calls it) They said it was much better than the Grand Canyon and so worth the 1 1/2 drive to get there, located right in the heart of Navajo Nation, Chinte, AZ.

They were soooo right as it is beautiful and fabulous to see. We stopped at the Visitor's Center first (a must) to get information and chose to drive the South Rim that had 7 amazing look out points to view (37 miles round trip.) Everyone was more gorgeous than the last one. I was nervous about Will but he did just fine and loved every minute of it. I must have taken 500 pictures of rocks, each scene was breathtaking. If you every get a chance, this is a MUST SEE for EVERYONE! We are already planning our next trip back in the RV so we can take a tour of the canyon floor. Thank you Judy & Mike! Boy, will we sleep tonight and I bet I don't even need the cotton! Much love to family & friends. www.nps.gov/cach

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day 5/8/2011

After a Mother's Day breakfast w/Will's kids, Kim, Bill and Eric we are off again in the RV. We will attend Will's granddaughter's wedding in Dayton, Ohio meet Nancy & Howard in Cleveland, Ohio seeing a Yankees game July 4th. Our must see sights are Churchill Downs, The Corvette Factory/Museum, Painted Desert & Petrified Forest, Oklahoma City Memorial, Shawshank Redemption Prison tour and so much more. Of course if you folks have any suggestions out there, please let us know.

Lots of sights & people to see along the way with a destination of Maine. Will has always wanted to visit Maine and the New England states and we didn't on our first cross country trip 2004/05.

The plan at this time is to head down to New Jersey around Sept 10th and visit with Nancy & Howard for a couple of weeks. Afterwards we will drive down to Florida to spend the winter watching the Grapefruit League play baseball, actually that would be in Tampa, home of the New York Yankees. Well that's an overview of our next year and hopefully I will be able to keep up the blog and keep you informed of where we are and what we are doing.

Sunday, our first night out we stayed at our old familiar RV park and believe me I use that term very lightly. Newberry Springs, CA, I'm sure we are the only ones that have ever been there. It is in the middle of the Mojave Desert where that night the sand/winds were blowing at least 30 miles per hour, we had to pull in both slides and I smashed my finger in the door trying to get inside. Day 2 has to be better.

And day 2 was better, we spent the night in Bullhead City, AZ, sun was out and I got to lay by the pool (that always makes it a better day for me.) It was relaxing & we slept like we were dead!

Today, 5/10 we are in Williams, AZ and it's snowing....how weird is that! Williams is the town where you catch the train to take you to the Grand Canyon. We will be here 2 days and this is a great cowboy town and you know how Will likes his cowboys. Much love to all our family & friends.