Tag Archives: #Roadtrip

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.

Life During Covid 19-Part 21

3 Sep

Road Trip West Day 2

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Our perfect ending of day 1, rapidly slid into a nightmare once we returned to our hotel. My husband had been experiencing intermittent pain during our day one drive but it blossomed into full agony as evening approached. Our first thought was his chronic back pain was flaring and we tried the usual remedies, tens unit and medicated patches. By evening we were sure he was experiencing a kidney stone on the move. He had a stone once before and ironically it was during a vacation. 

I spent a large portion of the night praying over my husband and thanking my Lord that in Him, we were not alone in this distant city. Just as I prayed in the months before the trip, I prayed now and thanked God for the peace and the provision He would make for us.

By mid-morning day 2 the pain deescalated to a manageable level. We knew we would need to stay put an extra day and thankfully the hotel was able to give us the room for another night and we settled in to heal.

Mid afternoon my husband’s pain spiked again. He had experienced nausea and vomiting during the night and was barely drinking. We made the decision an emergency room visit at the local hospital was indicated. I am so thankful if this had to happen, that it happened in Georegtown, Kentucky. Unlike other hospitals, at Georgetown Community Hospital, I was allowed to be with my husband in the Emergency room.

The ER doctor was certain my husband was experiencing a kidney stone and ordered labs as well as a CT scan. After the scan, he came to the room with the results. He said there is bad news and worse news and unfortunately you have the worse news. My husband not only had a kidney stone, but multiple stones and each kidney was partially obstructed . We were not expecting that. He was admitted and would be having stents put in the following day.

By now we were both hungry. I tried ordering delivery from Panera but was informed I was five minutes past their last delivery time. I asked the staff for directions to nearby fast food. I was terrified to drive my husband’s large truck and the idea of trying to find food and drive sent shivers through me.

Photo credit Pixabay

With trepidation I took possession of my husband’s keys and walked to the parking lot. “Lord, I prayed, I am scared. You know I don’t drive this truck but with you I can be confident and skillful.”

I backed the truck without incident or crash. To my delight, directly across the street from the entrance was a Bojangles Fried Chicken. My husband loves fried chicken, so the choice of food was made.

Photo credit Bing.com

I made it through the drive-through, albeit the poor cashier had to lean way out to take my money. All good…except I became confused about where the hospital was and managed to get totally turned around. Thank you Lord for phone GPS.

The chicken wasn’t fresh but it came with two biscuits and I kicked low carb to the curb and ate both of them.

Photo credit Bing.com

The pain medicine the ER had given my husband had taken effect. He was ready to settle down for the night and it was time for me to leave before darkness fell. Except, when I walked outside, it already had. The hotel was less than 5 miles from the hospital, but in the dark, it was daunting. At one point, I had the GPS so confused it was instructing, turn right, turn left, turn right. I had turned at the wrong traffic signal and was turning around in a parking lot.

Back at the hotel ( I parked the truck in a space I am sure my husband would not have approved of, but at least I parked it without hitting anything.) Stephanie at the front desk asked how my husband was. I had told her about my husband being unwell when I asked for another night. After a stressful day, feeling a little lost and alone, her concern comforted me.

Alone in our room, I felt the emptiness as I prepared for sleep. Our five week road trip had definitely hit a pause and possibly come to a sudden stop.

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.

Planning a Road Trip

6 Feb

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

This week has been exciting. I love road trips and we have begun planning and plotting a long trip to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. Technically it will be a forty-nine and one half anniversary if one wants to quibble.

We will be traveling from our home in North Carolina to Montana, then spend a week exploring the Canadian Rockies before moving west.

Since the first time I watched the movie O’Canada at EPCOT, I have longed to visit Victoria, British Columbia. We have made two trips to the Canadian Rockies but always ran out of time and money before we could get there. We won’t have a lot of time to spend there this trip, (I’m sure I could spends days there exploring all the small islands) but I am going to be joyful and thankful for the time we have!

Speaking of being joyful and thankful, I wouldn’t be able to see Victoria on this trip without the generosity of a precious friend sharing her vacation treasures, time share and hotel points. To make it even better she and our daughter will fly in to join us for part of the trip. We are so blessed.

I love camping. On our first trip to the Canadian Rockies with the family we tent camped. It was quite an adventure. Our second trip we transitioned to an RV. I felt nostalgic for the tent experience but my husband’s back simply wasn’t compatible with a bed on the floor of a tent.

Image by Brahmsee from Pixabay 

As I began searching VRBO for places to stay, I came across a 22 foot 5th wheel trailer in a campground for rent. It is beautiful and has two bedrooms! I am already savoring a campfire.

To make this trip more delightful, the timeshare home in the Canadian Rockies is located in a campground! I get my camping fix and husband gets a comfortable bed. Win-Win.

I haven’t mapped our route west to Montana or the return but I will definitely be looking for camping opportunities! I am trying hard to not create a road trip snowball. As my husband gently reminded me, you have to draw a line, we can’t see everything!

If you have tips on places you recommend please share! I found that AAA TripTiks allow me to customize the suggested route by dragging the line. I look forward to dragging a lot!

<!– /wp:paragraph I'm a winnerAfter 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.–>

I'm a winnerAfter 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.

My 2019 Great Lakes Road Trip Part 14B

5 Feb

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 14 – Monday August 5 (Continued)

To continue this day’s activities, and as I mentioned last week, at the Chicago Maritime Museum, I was interested to read, as part of the museum’s information, the story of the two 1900s paddle-wheel passenger steamers that the U.S. Navy converted to the aircraft carriers “USS Sable” and “USS Wolverine” during WWII.  These two carriers were stationed in Lake Michigan and Chicago was their home port.  The two aircraft carriers were used to train U.S. Navy carrier pilots.  Navy records indicate that many aircraft were lost in the lake, due to multiple causes, and the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Florida, where I now volunteer as a tour guide, has one of the restored F4F Wildcat airplanes that was recovered from the lake 1993.  However, that fascinating story is for another time and another blog.  Look for that blog coming soon.

As I was leaving the maritime museum, I ran over something and damaged a tire on my rental car.  I had made plans to have dinner with my niece, Karen, and her husband, Brian, that evening, so I called to tell them I might be late.  Brian is a great communicator, and he set about to locate the closest Avis agency for me.  He found one within 3-miles of where I was stranded.  This car did not have a spare tire (only an Emergency Repair Kit), so we called the Avis Roadside Assistance people for a tow.

The Avis Roadside Assistance wanted to tow my car 20+ miles to trade cars with me.  Brian said, “In Chicago’s rush-hour traffic that will take hours!”  So, we ended up using my personal Roadside Assistance people, who said they would take me to the closest Avis agency.  They said they could have a tow-truck to my location within one hour.  That was great.  But then about 45 minutes later, they called to tell me that the driver had been given the wrong address, and it would be another hour before he could get to my location.  It was a total of three hours before the tow-truck finally dropped me off at the local Avis lot.   The agent said they didn’t have another car of the type I was driving, or even a tire to exchange, and anyway they were getting ready to close.  Did all this upset me?  Nahh!  

Just to show you how good God is.  There just happened to be a Goodyear Tire shop right next door to Avis.  Now is that a coincidence or what?  So I thanked Him for the tire shop, bit the bullet and took the car to Goodyear for a new tire.  They were swamped with work, but were kind enough to work me into their schedule before quitting time.  I considered myself lucky that it only took them another hour to get the tire replaced.

I chalked up the flat tire fiasco and missing the other Chicago area museums on my list today to some kind of Divine Intervention that I would never figure out.  I  headed north about 60 miles on I-90/I-94 to Lake Villa, IL where I hoped my relatives had not gone to bed.  As luck would have it, they were still up and even had some left-over dinner that they warmed-up for me.  After a short visit, I was more than ready to take a relaxing shower and sleep easy tonight in their guest room.

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 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.

 

Bill

 

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

My 2019 Great Lakes Road Trip Part 14A

29 Jan

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 14 – Monday August 5

First thing this morning I headed 25 miles east on I-80 to visit the Grundy County Historical Museum located in Morris, IL. This is a small museum that collects and preserves artifacts, documents, and memorabilia related to the history of Grundy County.  This includes items of a cultural, social, geological and anthropological nature.

Heading northeast on I-80 some 20 miles I visited the Old Joliet Prison located in Joliet, IL.  This Illinois State Penitentiary was opened in 1858 to replace the first, and then aging, 1831 Illinois State Penitentiary located in Alton, IL.   Housing nearly 2000 inmates at its peak of operation, the inmate population continued to grow, and this prison was replaced by a new Illinois State Penitentiary in Crest Hill, IL in 2002.  Now just called the Old Joliet Prison, the museum gives tours of a portion of the site which provides visitors with a historical picture of 19th century prison conditions and methods of incarceration.  This was another one of those “You will have to wait for the next tour, and then the tour takes 1-½ hours.”  I opted to go on to the next museum.

Just a few miles south of the Old Joliet Prison I had planned to visit the Stradale Team, located within the Autobahn Country Club complex.  I had hoped to get to see some radical sports cars in action at their road-racing track.  As it turned out, entry into the shops and track was blocked by a sign on the electric gate that informed me that access to the complex was “For Members Only.”  Rats!!

So, I gave Greta (my Garmin) the address for the Illinois Aviation Museum located about 20 miles north, and we headed out.  The next thing I knew, I was caught up in a huge industrial warehousing complex, with literally hundreds of 16-weelers, of all types, heading in every direction.  That wouldn’t have been so bad, but a lot of them seemed to be heading down the same 2-lane road that Greta had me on, and the backup must have been a mile long.  It took forever to get to the “T” in the road where I thought we could finally make some time.  WRONG!  That 2-lane “T” road was also backed up as bad as the one I just turned off of, IN BOTH DIRECTIONS!  It took me a full hour to finally get to a decent 4-lane road where I could pass some of those trucks and make some time.  Whew!  That was frustrating.

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I finally arrived at the Illinois Aviation Museum located adjacent to the Bolingbrook International Airport in Bolingbrook, IL expecting a large museum with lots of beautifully restored airplanes.  What I found was an F-80 Shooting Star, a Huey helicopter, and several smaller airplanes, all jammed in one small hanger.  There was no one around, even after I called out “Hello” a couple of times.  So, I strolled onto the hanger, took a few photos of the airplanes, and told Greta, Let’s tray the next museum.

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Now I headed northeast about 25 miles on I-55 to visit the Chicago Maritime Museum located in the southern part of Chicago.  This large museum houses exhibits, artifacts and memorabilia related to the history of maritime activities on Lake Michigan, with special interest surrounding the port of Chicago in particular.

As a side note, this museum mentions the two Lake Michigan side-wheeler passenger steam ships that the U.S. Navy converted into aircraft carriers (USS Sable & USS Wolverine) and used to train U.S. Navy carrier pilots during WWII.  As it happens, the museum in Florida, where I volunteer as a tour guide, has on display one of the airplanes that was used to train those pilots on those ships during that time period.

—–This day’s activities will be continued next week—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 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.

 

Bill

 

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

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