Posts Tagged ‘travel’

New Adventures

May 21, 2015

It has been so long since I posted an update, I had to relearn my blogging software a bit. I have been trying to decide how to best utilize my long-term blog since my photography business has slowed a bit and our travel life has increased. My plan is to update more about that and our family adventures, for now.

This past week I was very interested in the Galena Triathlon that has been running for the past 20 years. Last Saturday the athletes began with their swim at Nixon Beach. We were really interested since our daughter, Dawn, has been training for an upcoming triathlon in Davenport next month.
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Last Monday, Molly, Jason and four of his friends came to Freeport hoping to get in the lake, ride the trails and hang out together before they started their summer jobs. Jim and I are so proud of our oldest grandson who just completed his freshman year at Fordham University. He brought friends that he has know since early grade school and despite awful weather, they managed to have fun. Tuesday was the best weather day so we headed to the lake, built a fire and they rode around the entire lake on our souped-up golf cart. Then, we headed down to the lake for a little fishing only to discover the marina closed and we were without bait. A few minutes later I secured wax worms from a veteran fisherman and we were in business. The sunshine felt so good that afternoon. Wednesday was terribly cold and rainy so Molly drove the group to Monroe – one of his friends has done very little travelling and Wisconsin was added to his newly extended list of states. We said goodbye to the group this morning around 8 am.

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On Tuesday, my Highland friend, Jeanne and her husband, left for an extended trip to Canada and Oregon. I love to follow their trips on her retirement blog.

Today, we also got ready for a very brief visit from Dawn’s family who is flying to Germany tonight. They packed their suitcases into the Highlander so Jim could drive them to O’Hare and after a quick lunch, we said goodbye. Time for a little relaxation, knitting and dog walking. And, some camping this weekend at Apple Canyon Lake. Who says retirement is boring??

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Thelma & Louise We Are Not – But We are going on a Road Trip! Betty & Nancy, my sister and I, are leaving this week for a huge road trip of about 5,000 miles. There will be no guns involved (or Brad Pitt) but it will be an adventure for both of us!

We have talked about it for a long time and finally started doing some serious planning last year. Our plan is to see lots of family from our newest great-great-nephew Micah in Des Moines to our older sister and brother-in-law in the Phoenix, AZ area. Our farthest destination is Scotts Valley, CA, to see our niece and her family. She has lived in CA forever but neither of us have been out there for a visit.

My planning included losing weight before the trip. I was worried about my back with all the car sitting and my energy level so last September I re-joined Weight Watchers. My goal was to lose 40 lbs before the trip or an average of 5 lb/month. I’m thrilled to say I will meet that goal before we leave.

Am I nervous about this trip –yes! There will be so much driving to get to these destinations and it’s hard to know how that will affect us. I’m still worried about my aching back so, have had regular massages during the last several months. We will be sharing a hotel room on several nights and there may be some sleeping issues?? I’ll be gone from Jim for over two weeks and that will be hard but, thank goodness, for Face Time! Andrew will help care for our dogs and for his Dad! Thank goodness for that! Since Jim is haphazard about putting away dishes I’m worried about finding my stuff when I get back.

Jim has a few concerns of his own about “me leaving him”. He has never, ever learned to use the “Tower of Terror.”

I”m uncharacteristically picky about the laundry and never, ever give him that chore to do. We will have a brief lesson before I leave and hope for the best.

Another planning aspect for me has been the technical equipment I’ll be toting – iPhone, notebook computer, video camera, all my SLR camera equipment and lenses and then there’s this little gem which is my latest geeky acquisition. It’s a mini stand for my iPhone so I can capture images and video of us along our route without seeing a wide angle, closeup version of my face – yikes!!
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My travelling companion, Betty, is really looking for some respite time and that will be great for me, too. We will not be cleaning our houses, washing clothes, unloading the dishwasher OR working on client photography. Betty and I are best friends and we never run out of things to talk about.

ITINERARY
Iowa City – watch Erin play softball
Des Moines – meet baby Micah and Mommy
Kansas City – visit niece, Debbie and her family AND see Jersey Boys
Norman, OK – rent a bike if there’s time and sleep
Santa Fe New Mexico – visit Georgia O’Keefe Museum
Laveen, AZ – drive Route 66 and stop in Sedona on the way to my sister, Diane’s house, in the Phoenix area
San Diego, CA – visit the ocean and dine oceanside
Scotts Valley, CA – stay with niece Denine and see great nephews and great-great nephews and possibly other cousins
DRIVE BACK HOME –

Other hopes for the trip: visit new National Parks, eat at least one restaurant recommended by Guy Fieri on Diners, Dives and Drive-Ins, drive the Pacific Coast Highway, Exercise and lose weight. Relax in the hot tub. Listen to multiple audio books.

I’ve been thinking back to 1955 when the five of us took a similar road trip to California (my oldest sister was already gone by then). Then, we drove a 1948 Ford with no air conditioning cross country, through the Mojave Desert and were gone for a month. We visited Disney Land the year it opened! My mother was an avid vacation planner. We didn’t have much money but somehow she squeezed money out of their tight budget for this vacation. I wonder what the gas prices were then? Our wonderful Dad would have turned 100 years old this September. We often wonder how they stood travelling with three kids in a tight back seat like that.

This time we drive a super comfy Toyota Highlander and have excellent interstates to get us to our destinations fast. Let the adventure begin!