Showing posts from February, 2009

Guest Blogger

As you can probably figure out, my earlier blog was written by a guest blogger.  The entry mysteriously appeared while I was out in the car setting it up for a road trip.  We had to put up the back seats for a trip along the Mississppi River and I was helping Tom rearrange the tons of stuff we have in the van.  I wasn't aware of the blog until I got an indignant call from one of the other children asking, "Mom, what about your blog?"  
All I need to add is, "The views of that writer may not represent the views of the management."

Saved the Best (Child) for Last

Even though we've only been in Minneapolis about 16 hours, it's easily been the most fun 16 hours we've had in the past two months.  Spending time with Eric and Jesslyn is such a delight.  Not only are they the smartest of our children, but they are also the two who make us the most proud.
Grandchildren are great, but nothing compares to the joy I feel when I'm around my favorite child Eric!

Where Are We?

Can you tell we're not in Arizona anymore?  We arrived here in Minneapolis this evening-conveniently one day after they were hit hard with 8 - 9 inches of snow.  But it is very cold.  Luckily Kristen sent some clothes home with me that she doesn't need anymore and that included a down jacket, so I dug it out and wore it.  Tom just put layers on and claimed to be warm enough, although they have a wind chill advisory tonight and tomorrow.

If you read my blog yesterday about Greensburg, Kansas, you might be interested in reading more about it.  Anita commented on my blog and said, "Very nice blog. I live in Greensburg,(6 generations of my family have lived here) and wanted to invite you to view the website I work on at We are a non-profit org. helping Greensburg residents and others learn about green building and sustainable living."
I went to the website and read some very interesting items-including that President Obama mentioned Greensbu…

Tucumcari to Emporia

Have you ever heard of either of those towns?  We have now stayed in both of them.  Tucumcari, New Mexico is right off I-40 near the eastern side of New Mexico.  The scenery is still very western and beautiful there.  The name Tucumcari (two-come-carry) is supposed an Indian name that came from a love story gone bad with the chief's daughter.  It sounded a little suspicious to me, but it probably does have something to do with the Native Americans.  This picture is the Tucumcari Mountain which was right by our motel.  The temperature was 65 when we left there this morning.

Shortly after getting on the road this morning, we crossed into Texas and once again began seeing miles and miles of grasslands without much besides a few cattle.  We did pass a huge cattle feedlot which covered acres and acres with thousands of cows.

Texas farms not only cattle but also wind.  We passed a wind farm today that had an old-style windmill right next to the huge new ones.  Interesting to see the old w…

Leaving Arizona

We arrived in Arizona on January 15 and we left today.  It was difficult to leave Kristen but we have so many wonderful memories of our time with her.  She graciously hosted us for the entire time except our two weeks in California and Las Vegas.

We took a new route this time and saw some wonderful sights.  The mountains around Payson, Arizona showed us more mountains and I always thing they are the most beautifiul yet.   The steep up and downs took a toll on our van's transmission and when we arrived at Payson, the transmission was whining, literally, and it didn't sound good.  Tom saw a Chrysler dealership and pulled in.  The service department took us in immediately and they determined that the strain of the mountains was causing the transmission to make the noise because the transmission fluid was a bit low.  It was still in the safe zone but getting close to low.  They refilled the fluid and when Tom asked what we owed, the service man said, "Nothing, just have a good…

Surfing in Arizona

We had a relaxing weekend after such a busy two weeks in California.  Friday we went to bargain day at the movies and saw Slumdog Millionaire.  It was excellent and that made it fun watching the Oscars last night because the movie won 8 awards.  We then went looking for a new computer for me.  My computer has been acting up but we didn't find what we wanted and then I was able to get my computer working well again, so we will see.
  Saturday we went to an Arizona State University baseball game.  They played University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  It wasn't even close-I think Arizona teams have such an advantage over Midwest teams because they can be outside practicing so much of the year.  But the best part of the game was just being able to sit outside without being bundled up.
Yesterday we attended church, went out for breakfast and then relaxed watching the NASCAR race and the Academy Awards.  We also took Kristen out to help us find a laptop for me but once again, computer shopp…

'Home' in Phoenix

Monday was a wonderful day spent with Kathy & Phil at their bike shop, Sprockets.  They have a well-stocked shop and it really gave me the bug to start biking more.  Kathy and Phil left Wednesday for a biking tour of Italy.  This is their second time to explore the southern Mediterranean area.
We were there to watch the bike race, Tour of California.  An added benefit was that many of Kathy and Phil's friends came to see the race there too.  We had fun meeting some interesting people who were friendly and open.   The friends are a very supportive circle for Kathy & Phil.  
We did get to see Lance Armstrong pass in the race.  He is the fifth rider in this picture. Tour of California is still running and wraps up today.

Kathy & Phil made it fun for the spectators with popcorn and lots of bike people enjoying the race.

Link, Kathy & Phil's dog enjoyed the day too.  He goes to work every day with them.

After a great lunch with Kathy and Phil, we hit the road and made it…

Santa Cruz & Las Vegas

We have been somewhat out-of-touch with the blog since Monday. There seems to be no such thing as 'free' in Las Vegas and that includes wireless in our hotel. It is $12 a day so we found North Las Vegas Public Library this morning and now I'm on line for 15 minutes.

We watched the Tour of California Bike Race on Monday and got to see Lance Armstrong speeding by. The whole experience was fun and I learned lots about bicycle racing. We have great pictures which I will be able to post later. Kathy & Phil took us out to a good-bye lunch after the race. We went to a Thai restaurant. We have never eaten at one before and I was glad Kathy & Phil knew the 'ropes' and told me that yellow curry isn't hot. The yellow curry chicken was delicious.

We set out for Las Vegas and kept checking on weather conditions because the mountain passes were experiencing a snow storm. Jen called later and told us that I-15 had been closed at the Nevada state line but we got…

Breathtaking Beauty

Our trip the last two days has covered some of the most beautiful sights we have ever seen.  We spent Saturday morning exploring Morro Bay.  The Morro Rock sits out in the Pacific.  We hiked around the area and down to the beach.  I had hoped to see surfers while here and there were many of them venturing into the water this morning.  What surprised me was that all the surfers I saw were old.  About my age.  Not the picture I had of California surfers.

  We have been traveling up the California Pacific Coast on Highway 1 that winds up and down through mountains and running right next to the Pacific Ocean.  Yesterday's travel was through most areas with very little commercial development but many turn-outs to watch the ocean.
We also stopped at Hearst Castle which was the home of William Randolph Hearst and is now a California State Park.  We spent several hours there and there is no way to adequately describe the beauty of the place.  This picture is taken from the road that approac…

California is More than I Expected

When we planned our trip to California, the purpose was to see friends and loved ones.  We have done that and are having a great time.  But we are also seeing the sights of California, so it is much more than I expected.

On our trip from Shafter to Temecula, we stopped by Pasadena and saw the Rose Bowl.
Temecula is about an hour from San Diego and is a rapidly growing community.  Because it had its roots in the late 1800's, it was a wild West town.  Here Tom and I are exploring Old Town Temecula.

Dave and Jan Moorhead took us down to San Diego.  Here I am putting my feet into the Pacific Ocean on Coronado Island.

We toured the aircraft carrier, Midway and learned a great deal about life on board ship.  Jan and Dave are great fun and up for any adventure we could think up.
On Thursday we took a trip across the mountains to San Juan Capistrano.  I had always heard about the shallows that return there every spring but I learned it is much more than that.  There is a series of 21 missions …

Temecula, California

We traveled from Shafter to Temecula in California-from one Moorhead household to another. We are at Dave & Jan Moorhead, Senior. Temecula is wonderful and a beauitful drive down through the mountains. We stopped in Pasadena to see the Rose Bowl facility. We are having a great evening watching the Michigan State-Michigan basketball game while looking out at the mountains in the distance.

What's It Like in Shafter?

We have been in Shafter, California the past three days visiting Dave & Mia Moorhead.  Shafter is near Bakersfield which is in the San Joaquin Valley.  This valley is an extremely fertile area with a desert climate.  The desert has been irrigated and huge farms abound.  The valley is rimmed by mountains on all sides.  There was a snow fall yesterday in the southern mountains and we could see them far in the distance.  Dave says they are about 60 miles away.
Ben, Dave & Mia's son, works on an almond farm.  It is owned by a family from New Hope Community Church.  We had a tour of the area today and got to tour the facility where Ben works.  This time of year Ben is involved in sorting almonds by size.  You can see him moving huge pallets of almonds.  The operation is huge and  it was fascinating.

The San Joaquin Valley produces 100% of the US almond crop and 80% of the world's almonds.  The valley also grows other kinds of nuts,  fruit and vegetables.

Each of these containe…