Tag Archives: #Roadtrip

Mount Rushmore Road Trip Part 16

10 Feb

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 16 Thursday 

9/24/2020  

This morning after breakfast I took one last shot at a visit to the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, which was located only 6 miles from my motel there in Aurora.  Since it had been over two weeks since I started this road trip here, and some things had been opening up (COVID-19), I was in hopes they had opened the museum and their aircraft displays.  No such luck.  The base was still closed to non-military personnel. 

By now it was time to turn in my rental car, at Denver’s International Airport, and make my way to the Southwest Airlines counter to check in.  I took the time to eat my last banana and drink my last bottle of water before I headed for Security.  I got a good seat on my flight to Orlando and was ready to go.  When the flight attentant got us all in and seated, she thanked us for flying with them on their non-stop flight to Philadelphia and on to Orlando.  I said, “WHAT! I though this was a NON-STOP flight!.”  Then some wise guy behind me said, “This is non-stop; to Philadelphia.”  HA, HA.  

The flight attentant explained that the stop in Philadelphia would be just long enough to off-load and on-load passengers, and I didn’t even have to get off the plane if I didn’t want to.  I couldn’t believe what was happening.  I had booked this non-stop Denver to Orlando flight in July, but when COVID-19 restrictions were still keeping a lot of places closed, I had changed my reservation to September.  I had booked, what I thought was the same non-stop flight, and since nothing on my bording pass looked different, and no one at the check-in desk said anything about it, I just assumed it was the same non-stop flight I had originally booked. 

The flight from Denver to Philadelphia was smooth and uneventful. We were served fresh mini-pretsels and small cookies with ice water.  In Philadelphia I stayed on the plane so I wouldn’t loose my favorite seat.  I got to see how Southwest was going the extra mile to clean the plane between each flight.  They disenfected and wiped down each seat, arm rest, and tray table in the entire plane.  I was impressed.  The new passengers were boarded, and the flight to Orlando was a little bumpy as we were flying over the remains of Hurricane Sally part of the way.  I was hungry and asked for two bags of cookies and mini-pretsels this time.  I had to have two glasses of water to wash them down.

DiVoran picked me up at the Orlando International Airport and we headed north on SR-436 to the Panara Bread restaurant for dinner.  I had a “pic-two” of Frontega Chicken Panini & Broccli Cheese soup and DiVoran had the Fugi Apple Chicken Salad.  The food was exellant and we both left with full tummies.  The 45-minute drive from Panara’s to  our home in Titusville was relaxing, and I was really glad to be able to sleep in my own bed, after a different motel bed most every night for over two weeks.  

My next two planned road trips include time spent in parts of Canada, and right now I’m not sure American tourist are welcome there.  We’ll have to just wait and see if the restrictions of this COVID-19 pandemic are lifted in time for a summer trip that far north next year.  In the mean time, we pray that God will keep each of you safe and healthy.  Join me next  time for another exciting “Road Trip” to somewhere you haven’t been before.  It will be fun and something new and exciting every day.

—–The End–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Mount Rushmore Road Trip Part 15

3 Feb

A Slice of Life

Bill LItes

Day 15 Wednesday 

9/23/2020  

After Breakfast this morning I headed northwest 15 miles on US-50 to visit the Rocky Ford Museum located in downtown Rocky Ford, CO.   This museum is located in the former 1908 Rocky Ford Library, and has two floors filled with artifacts and memoribilia related to Rocky Ford and the surrounding Arkansas Valley area, of southeastern Colorado, dating from 1878 to the present.  The museum also has the recorded history of the early Arkansas Valley Fair & Watermelon Day celebrations from 1878 to the present.

As I headed northwest out of Rocy Ford, I came across a detour that took me north 10 miles, out of my way, on CO-207.  At the junction of CO-207 and CO-96, and just south of Crowley, I was finally able to turn west again.  What a waste of time and gas that was!  However, when I mentioned that I had been thru Crowley, DiVoran reminded me that her family  had lived in Crowley for a while, when she was about 5-years old.  Her father had been the maintiance forman for a tomato factory there, and her mother had the job of feeding the factory workers lunch every day.  It was another 30 miles west on CO-96, thru Olney Springs and Boone, to where I could meet back up with west US-50 again.

US-50 intersected with I-25, 15 miles later, at the Fountain Creek Corridor, where I headed north toward Colorado Springs, CO.  I had seen an ad for The Airplane Restaurant in a tourist magazine and wanted to have lunch there on my way north.  Greta (my Garmin) took me right to the restaurant, located adjacent to the Colorado Springs Airport.  The restaurant has been built around the entire airplane in a very creative way.  The upper fuselage of this retired U.S. Air Force KC-97 Tanker (#30283) has been converted into a dining area with 2 & 4-person tables.  If one doesn’t want to climb the stairs to the upper deck, there are pleanty of tables and a bar downstairs.  My ‘Piper Cub’ (BLT) sandwich and French Onion soup was very good, and I loved being able to view the cockpit and the boom operators position from the upper level.  If you are ever in the Colorado Springs area, I can highly recommend this restaurant.  Check out their website for their menu of delicious ‘airborne’ goodies.

After that delicious lunch experience, I continued north on I-25, thru Larkspur and Castle Rock (and miles of road construction), around Denver, all the way to Globeville, CO.  Then I went west on I-70 to Arvada, wheree I wanted to see if, by chance, the Cussler Museum was open today.  It was still closed, so I headed back east, skirting Denver on I-70, to visit the Aurora History Museum located in Aurora, CO.  This museum has a large number of historic displays and antique artifacts related to the history of Aurora, Arapahoe county, and the central Colorado area.  The main attraction among their artifacts is a restored 1913 Colfax Ave. Trolley (# 610).

It was that time that comes at the end of all of my road trips; time to give up the hunt for another museum before the day ends.  So, I called it a day and head for my motel located there in Aurora.  After I got checked in and got my things in the room, I heated up last night’s left-over Chili Rellenos from the El Azteca Mexican Restaurant.  The meal was wonderful.  Yummm!  Then with a full tummy, I recorded today’s activities and tried to watch some TV.  But of course, that only put me to sleep.  So I turned it off and slipped under the covers for a good night’s sleep.

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Mount Rushmore Road Trip Part 14B

27 Jan

A Slice of Life

Bill LItes

Day 14 Tuesday – Continued 

9/22/2020  

Continuing north another 25 miles on KS-25 I next visited the Kearny County Museum located in Lakin, KS.  This museum consists of the main museum building filled with artifacts and memorabilai related to the history of Lakin and the southern High Plains area of Kansas from as early as the late 18th century.

Outside there is an annex which has an 1831 Conestoga wagon, as part of their Stnta Fe Trail exhibit.  Also outdoors you will find the original Great White House built in 1875 by Alonzo Boylan, and filled with period fernishings.  Another outdoor exhibit is a restored old 1882 Santa Fe Railroad Depot that served Lakin for 100 years.  There is also an 1893 one-room school house, a 1909 12-sided (round) barn, and the 1923 Deerfield Texaco Service Station, all of which have been moved to this location over the years.  The separate Machinery Building  houses examples of early farm equipment, a vintage fire truck, a grain wagon, and several antique tractors.

After that informative experience, I headed west 75 miles on US-50, across the border into Colorado, to visit the Big Timbers Museum located in Lamar, CO.  This small museum is housed in the old 1929 AT&T equipment building, and  is loaded with local artifacts and memorabilia about Lamar and the southeastern area of Colorado from the mid-1800s.

Now, continuing west another 55 miles on US-50, and skirting the Arkansas River, I stopped to visit the Koshare Indian Museum & Kiva, located on the Otero Junior College campus in La Junta, CO.  The museum was closed, but their website tells me that the museum tells the history of the Native American culture, with artifacts from early southwestern Colorado.  Guests can visit the Koshare Kiva that is a representation of the kivas used by Native American Indians, over the centuries, for many of their ancient spirtual rituals. 

After missing that unique experience, I headed the short drive out CO-194, northeast of downtown La Junta, to check out Bent’s Old Fort. The fort was built in 1833 by William & Charles Bent amd served as a trading post for fur traders and the southern Cheyenne & Arapaho Plains  Indian tribes.  The museum displays many artifacts and memorabila related to the early pioneer days in the High Plains area of eastern Colorado.  It served as one of the many  stopping  points, between Missouri and New Mexico, for Army and pioneer travelers heading west on the Santa Fe Trail.

I was ready to head for the motel, there in La Junta and get something to eat.  After I got checked in I ask the motel clerk for his restaurant recommdations in town.  He said he liked the El Azteca Mexican Restaurant just down the street a few blocks.  I had their Chili Rellieno Plate with Pinto beans and Spanish rice.  The meal was exellent and I had enough left over for my evening meal tomorrow.  Back at the motel I recorded the day’s activities, watched a little TV, and headed for the “Land of Nod.”

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Mount Rushmore Road Trip Part 14

20 Jan

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 14 Tuesday 

9/22/2020  

This morning I headed southwest 30 miles on US-56 to visit the Stauth Memorial Museum located in Montezuma, KS.  This museum tells the story of the world travels of Claude & Donnie Stauth with photos, videos, and artifacts.  The museum also houses the extensive Ralph Fry Wildlife Collection of North American & exotic game animals, and the Howard Wall Western Bronze Collection consisting of Frederic Remington and other famous western bronze artists’ reproductions.

Now I headed south 30 miles on KS-23 to visit the Dalton Gang Hideout and Museum located in Meade, KS.  This house and property, owned by then store owner John Whipple and his wife Eva, sister of the Dalton brothers, is reported to be where the Dalton Gang were hidden from the law in 1890.  There is also a tunnel under the house, said to have been used by the Daulton Gang, if they needed to escape into the woods to elude persuers in case of an emergency. 

After that informative experience, I headed southwest on US-160 & US-54 to visit the Mid-America Air Museum located adjacent to the Liberal Regional Airport in Liberal, KS.  This large museum  displays 100+ beautifully restored static aircraft, of all types, dating  from 1913 to the present.  I found it interesting to learn that the airport served as the Liberal Army Air Field, a B-24 Liberator training base, during WW II.

Next I headed northwest some 60 miles on KS-51 & KS-25, thru Moscow and Hickok, to visit the Historic Adobe Museum located in Ulysses, KS.  This small museum was built intirely of adobe blocks in the 1930s and tells the story of early life on the High Plains reagion of southwestern Kansas with a riverside Indian incampment scene, a sod house scene, and gold rush town scene and artifacts.  I found the story the tour guide told me, about the original town of Ulysses, to be as interesting as the museum displays.

Named for General Ulysses S. Grant, the High Plains town of Ulysses was originally founded in 1873, mostly by the efforts of George W. Earp (first cousin to Wyatt Earp).  By 1888 the  town was booming and it boasted a population of 2000.  But then the gold in the area began to run out.  Then came the crop failures, drought, and the financial crisis of the 1890s, and most of the residents began to leave for richer areas.  Finally, by 1909 only 40 people were left in town.  Due to increased county property taxes, over the years, and the lack of business in the area, the remaining families were about to be evicted from their homes and businesses.  So, they came up with an original idea.  They moved the entire town three miles (out of their local tax area) to its present location!  Problem solved.  How about that for American ingenuity?

      The Edwards Hotel was cut into (3) sections and moved on skids

—–To Be Coninued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Mount Rushmore Road Trip Part 2

28 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 2 Thursday 

9/10/2020

I started today’s activities by visiting the “Cars Remember When” restoration center located in Littleton, CO.  The center consists of a relatively small working shop with lots of active restoration projects in progress.  There is a display room where some 30+ beautifully restored cars are rotated.   There were Mini cars, Muscle cars, Sport cars, and family cars.  I especially enjoyed seeing a beautiful 1955 Buick Roadmaster hardtop just like the one our family had when I was a teenager (except ours was red & white).

Just up the street a short way I visited the Littleton Museum.  This 40-acre museum site consists of artifacts and memorabilia representing local farm life from the 1860s to the 19890s.  There is also a living farm with a 1880s cabin, farm implements, and farm animals including cattle, sheep, pigs, and turkeys.   Museum staff, dressed in period costumes, are available to help guests re-live mid-1800s farm life in Littleton and the South Platte Valley of Colorado.

Next I visited the Vehicle Vault Auto Gallery located in Parker, CO.  This unique building houses a museum that displays some 40+ beautifully restored rare and exotic automobiles from all over the world.  New finds are continually being restored and the inventory is rotated periodically to give guests a fresh view of the history of the auto industry.  The building is also available and used for special events and conferences.

On my way to visit the Mining Museum I stopped in Monument, CO to check-out the Greater European Missions (GEM) facility.  I have relatives that work for GEM as missionary training counselors and wanted to see where the facility was located.  My nephew, Brian, and his wife Karen are based in the Chicago area, but travel to Monument periodically during the year for training sessions.  They were not there today, but were scheduled to arrive there later in the week and we had made plans to get together for dinner then.

A few miles south on I-25 I visited the Western Museum of Mining & Industry located in Colorado Springs, CO.  This museum displays antique drilling and mining equipment, such as pneumatic machines, and steam engines used for mining gold and silver in central Colorado in the mid-1800s.  The museum also has a recreation of an old miners assay office inside, with examples of a stamp mill and steam shovel outside.

The USAF Academy was just a few miles on south on I-25 and I was looking forward to visiting the famous Academy grounds and their aviation museum.  However, when I got to the gate, the guard told me the museum (located on the base) was closed to the public until after the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were lifted.  What a Bumber!  So, I headed south on I-25 a few miles to visit the Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum located just east of the interstate.  This museum has a great collection of vintage motorcycles of all types, and I enjoyed the thrill of revisiting my teenage motorcycle past.

Now I took a couple of back-roads over to visit the Garden of the Gods Park located on US-24.  This is an amazing place!  It is said that the mysterious red rock formations were formed as a result of a geological upheaval that took place along a natural fault line millions of years ago.  The resulting rock formations had many different shapes; some toppled, there were some that got overturned, while some were pushed upright and others were pushed around and ended up slanted.  

While I was in the area I drove on over to check out the Miramont Castle Museum located in Manitou Springs, CO.    The 14,000 sq. ft. Victorian-era castle that houses the museum was built in 1895 as the private home for the French-born Catholic priest Father Jean Baptist Francolon.  Around that same time the Sisters of Mercy were allowed to use a part of the castle, for the private Montcalm Sanitarium that they operated, with the blessing of Father Francolon.  Museum visitors can tour some 42 of the castle’s lavishly furnished rooms when the museum is open.

On the way to the motel, in Colorado Springs, I picked up a three-piece chicken dinner from KFC and enjoyed a delicious meal with the Colonel in my motel room.  Then I recorded the day’s activities and finally put my tired and aching body to bed for the night.

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Mount Rushmore Road Trip Part 1

21 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 1 Wednesday

9/09/2020

I packed a wool vest and a lined jacket and headed for the Orlando airport.  The Southwest flight to Denver was uneventful as it was cloud cover the whole way.  But the passengers were rewarded with fresh mini-pretzels, small cinnamon cookies and ice-cold water.  It was 39 degrees in Denver when I arrived with snow on the surrounding mountains.  I was witness to an unusual sight after picking up my rental car.  As I headed for the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum I noticed that all the houses in the sub-divisions were covered with snow, but there was no snow on the driveways or on the streets.  I guess the sun baked road surfaces had melted the snow as soon as it hit the pavement.  

The Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum is located within the former Lowry AFB, and displays some 40+ beautifully restored aircraft and lots of aviation related memorabilia.  I am always glad to see the history of aviation restored and displayed in this manner.  I believe it helps to preserve the evolvelution of aviation in our country for future generations

Next I headed a few miles west to visit the Denver Firefighters Museum.  The Volunteer Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 was formed in 1866 and was the first in the Colorado Territory.  This museum is located in the former Fire Station No. 1 built in 1909.  The four-gallery museum displays over 30,000 artifacts and memorabilia.  Beautifully restored displays include fire fighting apparatus such as early 1800s hand-pulled & pumped fire fighting equipment as well as modern day fire engines and trucks, covering the history of Denver firefighters dating from mid-1800s.

Now I drove another few more miles to visit the Forney Museum of Transportation located in historic downtown Denver.  Established by J. D. Forney in 1964 with a single 1921 Kissel Tourister the museum has expanded, over the years, to cover the history of transportation.  This museum’s collection is absolutely amazing.  It consists of over 600 artifacts which include all types of transportation devices such as bicycles, buggies, wagons, motorcycles, firetrucks, automobiles, steam engines and the Fornair airplane.  

After experiencing that amazing collection, I found the Molly Brown House Museum located in downtown Denver.  The museum was closed, but Wikipedia informs me that the house that now houses the museum was built in 1887 for Isaac and Mary Large.  It was sold to James and Margaret Brown in 1894.  In 1902 it was used by the Governer of Colorado  while the Governer’’s mansion was being remodeled.  Margaret became known as The Unsinkable Molly Brown after surviving the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912.  The house was purchased in 1970 by Historic Denver, Inc and restored to its original Queen Ann style architecture and opened as a museum.  I took a photo and moved on to the visit the Cussler Museum.

The Cussler Museum is located in Arvada, CO and displays some 100+ beautifully restored classic cars collected by the novelest Clive Cussler.  I had the opportunity to talk to the Curator of the museum, and he told me that the Denver collection was only part of the  Cussler collection, as there are more cars in a museum in Arizona near the Cussler home.  I was thrilled to get a chance to see a few of the classic cars mentioned in the Clive Cussler novels I have read over the years.

As I made my way toward the motel, I stopped at a local Walmart for a styrofoam cooler, water,  and morning breakfast supplies.   I also picked up a couple of pre-packaged “Heat & Serve” dinner meals to enjoy in my motel room.  I was tired and hungry from the day’s activities, so I just crashed in the room and recorded the day’s activities.  Then I watched some TV while I enjoyed a good hot ready-made meal.

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Mount Rushmore Road Trip Prolog

14 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Prolog:

As you might have guessed from the title, the main reason for this road trip was to visit the Mount Rushmore Memorial which I had never visited.  During my North Country Road Trip in 2017 I visited various northern museums from Fargo, ND west to Missoula, MT (mostly along the I-94 corridor).  Then after heading south I visited many museums from Idaho Falls, ID to Omaha, NE (mostly along the I-80 corridor).  That was a great trip, but I completely missed a lot of the major points of interest in the middle of South Dakota.  A lot of those points of interest, for me, were located around the Rapid City, SD area, which included Mount Rushmore and much of the Great Plains history in and around the Black Hills National Forest.  That left a big hole in my knowledge of the central South Dakota area, and I wanted to rectify that situation.   For these road trips I try to see as much of our beautiful country as I can while visiting museums of all types along the way, but I can’t see it all in one trip.  So as a result, I plan my trips for a maximum of 14 to 16 days duration.

My wife, DiVoran, has a grade school friend in Pueblo, CO that she keeps in touch with, and she also has cousins in Canon City, CO near where she grew up.  So for this trip, I made plans to start by flying into Denver, CO.  This would put me in the relatively close proximity for a visit with friends and relatives.  Southwest Airlines cooperated with that plan by having roundtrip non-stop flights from Orlando to Denver and return (free) with my Rewards Points.  DiVoran says, “I love it when Bill travels. It is not my passion and I couldn’t withstand the pace of visiting multiple museums in a day and all that daily driving for two weeks. The thing I like best is that Bill sees to it that everything in the house and with my car is in topnotch condition before he departs.  It’s kind of like a deal between us.  I enjoy just drifting along in my everyday routine.  He calls every evening from his motel and we catch up on our days activities and before I know it, he’s home again.“

As I planned this trip, I had been keeping a close eye on the weather.  I was concerned that the temperatures in the higher elevations and northern states would be getting cold anytime now.  Once a route had been established and reservations had been confirmed, I was pretty much committed to the plan.  However, as the day for my trip drew closer, I became a little apprehensive about what the weather was going to be like.  The southwest part of the country had been dealing with record high temperatures, but now there was a freak cold front heading southeast out of Canada.  Then I got the bad news.  The weather in Denver was forecast for 90 degrees on Monday and 35 degrees (with snow) on Tuesday.  And here I was flying into Denver on Wednesday.  How was this Floridian going to handle the cold weather?

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Life During Covid-19 Part 24

1 Oct

Road Trip West Day 5

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Heading home.

I am blessed to almost instantly fall back to sleep if I am awakened in the night and I woke often during our final night on the road to check on my husband. He must have been exhausted. He barely moved.

I arose early and went downstairs eager for my usual 2 cups of coffee. While I was there I checked out the breakfast buffet. This morning instead of the eggs being scrambled, they were cooked in round circles with small yellow centers, kind of like an Egg McMuffin gone wrong. I put one on a plate to try in our room. It was not good. As we planned the road trip we were not sure what type of breakfast the hotels would offer due to Covid, so we were prepared for breakfast in our room. In the stress fog, I had forgotten that I had premade pancakes in the room fridge. I popped 2 in the microwave for a minute or so and they were delicious. 

After arising and drinking some tea, hubby had one too. He was a bit shaky but ready to go home. It took us a while to get our stuff organized and repacked in the truck but finally we were on our way. Well, that is except for a stop at the gas station. The station was directly across from the hotel even though I had known the truck was almost on the big E, I had not felt brave enough to try to line up the truck at the pumps.

Surprisingly, Mike felt well enough to drive. In fact driving seemed to take his mind off of his discomfort. I felt a bit anxious as heavy rains were predicted along our route. I prayed and asked God to create a rain free corridor for us to travel in and he did! It rained before and behind us but not not over us.

As on our trip north, we stopped at the Kentucky Cumberland Gap Visitor Center for a comfort break and had the final picnic of our very short road trip. Unlike our tailgate picnic of s few days ago, we ate in the car.

Our drive home was uneventful. Hallelujah! We were glad to be home but sad that our trip ended so soon. We are settling in to wait for the follow up visit with the specialist.

I look wistfully at my Trip-Tik and the travel information I spent weeks putting together. I think I am mourning what could have been but having a healthy husband is more important. On a positive note, all the work for the trip has been done and if we decide to do the trip next year, I simply need to make reservations, pack the truck and hit the road.

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

My 2020 goal is to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

Life During Covid 19-Part 23

24 Sep

Road Trip West Day 4

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

In my previous blog I mentioned my attempts to communicate with the housekeepers. On the final morning of our stay, I was determined to communicate with them about emptying the trash and removing towels. I peeked out my door and spied a housekeeper directly across from our room. I motioned her over and indicated I was ready for her. She propped the door open and I moved the trash cans to the door and then pointed to the bathroom and the soiled towels. This worked well, much better than trying to talk. I had begun to have a suspicion that it wasn’t my poor Spanish that was the problem, it was that she was not a Spanish speaker.

I began thinking I would call the vacation Our Road Trip to Nowhere but the people in Georgetown, Kentucky deeply touched our hearts with their kindness. I think I will call it Our Trip to Compassion in the Midst of the Covid Pandemic.

Day 4 was hospital discharge day and I was feeling at loose ends not knowing when he would call. I spent time trying to tidy up the room to be ready to pack up for our return home trip. How did we get so much stuff in our room?

Image by Jose Aitor Pons Buigues from Pixabay 

After tidying the room, I settled down to clean out my email inbox when I heard a firm knock on my door. I peered through the peep hole and saw the sweet woman from the front desk. She had been an angel, making sure the coffee pot in the breakfast room was full and asking about my husband.   I opened the door to her bright smile as she presented me with this. She remembered we were celebrating our anniversary. So sweet! I would have hugged her but, you know, that Covid thing.

I puttered around the room, waiting on the phone call that my husband was released. Getting bored, I decided to go for more ice and another cup of coffee. When my phone finally did ring, it was the specialist office from North Carolina setting up an appointment for follow up care. Truly a Divine appointment. It turned out that the Kentucky doctor was a life long friend with the North Carolina specialist.

At last the call came that hubby was being released.  But… there was paperwork to finish and copies of his chart and a disk of his scan to be collected. As 1 pm, the start of visiting hours approached I decided to go to the hospital.

I was not over my fear/dislike of driving the truck, but I was getting better at it. I almost parked within the lines in the hospital parking lot. A big improvement over the previous day.

We made it through the discharge process, stopped to get his medications at the pharmacy and finally arrived back at the hotel. Fortunately the hotel parking lot had a lot of empty spaces making parking a bit less terrifying. Whew! Thank you, Lord. One more night in the hotel, then we would return home.

After getting husband settled into our room I headed back to the truck to unload his stuff.  On the way back to our room, I stopped to thank the woman who delivered the gift and tell her how much I appreciated their care. I told her about my adventures communicating with the housekeeper and that I had begun to suspect it wasn’t my Spanish but that the woman didn’t speak Spanish. She asked if it was the short housekeeper and I said yes. She laughed and informed me the woman was from India! What a hoot. The poor woman must have thought I was crazy and sadly I may have offended her.  I hope not. I can relate to being a little crazy with all that was going on.

Next week will be the drive home. Would I be up to the challenge of driving the truck through the mountains and a long tunnel? (Gasp-I’m claustrophobic!) And what about the roller coaster life I mentioned last week?

Image by Jose Aitor Pons Buigues from Pixabay

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

My 2019 goal is to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

Life During Covid 19-Part 22

17 Sep

Road Trip West Day 3

On the Porch

Onishe Ellis

Wow, I haven’t blogged since September 3rd. Our life has been a roller coaster. I will try to pick up where I left off with our 5 week road trip halting on day 1.

My husband spent the night in the hospital with the plan to have kidney stents placed the following day. This was a temporary fix until we could return home. Hospital visiting hours did not begin until 1 pm so I would be staying in the hotel until visiting hours unless my husband’s surgery was scheduled for the morning. After breakfast in my room and my usual two cups of coffee (with heavy cream-yum)  I spent the morning canceling 5 weeks of lodging reservations. The ones I could do from the hotel chain app were simple but others such as VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner), State parks and campgrounds I had to do individually. We are so blessed that we will be receiving refunds, even some that are outside of the refund period.

I found it hard to concentrate as I made lists of things that needed to be accomplished which included finding a kidney specialist in our home area and getting a referral. I packed a lunch to take to the hospital then forgot to put it in the cooler.

The surgery was not scheduled until 2 pm and I spent most of the afternoon at the hospital. During his surgery, I was given the option to wait in his room or the surgical waiting room.  Hands down, I chose his room No mask required and I could eat the lunch I had packed.

There was a possibility of my husband being discharged after the surgery, but the doctor opted and we agreed, he should stay overnight to make sure his kidney function levels were returning to normal. I made the trip back to our hotel without any wrong turns and felt a bit more confident driving the truck.

The hotel offered free cookies (Individually wrapped) and popcorn each night between 6-8pm. My husband was disappointed I didn’t snag one for him the previous day. We have been living sugar free for two years and he was using his I’m sick card to indulge in treats. I grabbed one for him I must confess that I had a square of our emergency dark chocolate last night after getting him into the hospital. 

A side note about our stay in the hotel.

Before going to the hospital, we chose not to have housekeeping enter our room due to Covid concerns and communicating with the housekeeping staff has been interesting. Yesterday’s housekeeper spoke only Spanish and my bits and pieces of college Spanish haven’t been used in a long time. After several attempts to say the correct words, the housekeeper spread her arms wide over her cart and indicated I take what we needed. She would point to make suggestions. For anyone who has ever been tempted to sneak something from a housekeeping cart, this was like a candy store offering its treats for free.

Just like the infomercials on the television, “but wait, there is more” hoping fulling posting next week. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, our life has been a roller coaster of late. Thankfully, I know God is not surprised by our circumstances and he has made wonderful provisions for us.

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

My 2019 goal is to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

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