Monday, June 30, 2014

June 28 and 29, Day 20 and 21, Saturday and Sunday

Saturday morning we left sister Dee's home and drove down the westside of the Sacramento Valley.  It was clear and beautiful. The landscape is a golden brown and very dry. But also beautiful in it's own way. The rolling hills look like velvet. These hills are Lon's old stomping grounds. We drove by the cemetery where all of his Luce family is buried. Then on past his old homeplace.
We stopped in Elk Creek where he went to school and lived part of the time. We had lunch at the Elkhorn Restaurant - and old hang out for him and his friends. We met his sister Dee, his mom, his cousin Juanita and her husband, and some old school mates. Was a super lunch and a wonderful time for Lon to catch up on the "gossip" of the small town of Elk Creek. He had 7 in his graduating class!!


The above picture is Lon's mother amused watching his cousin Juanita try to control her club sandwich!! They were very large - and good. :-)
We left Elk Creek after visiting for awhile and drove down the road to another small town for a short visit with his cousin Bud. They grew up together and who knows what trouble they got into!!
We drove more country roads to get back to the valley and to my sister's home where we had dinner with her and family.

Jack rotisseried ?sp a fresh ham. It was very good. Jackie's home and yard are always so beautiful. We finally got to Woodland about 9pm to check in to the motel - Shadow Inn Best Western for 2 nights.
This morning (Sunday) we slept in. It was dark in the room and quiet and the bed was comfortable.  We got up and went shopping and then to Jackie's for some much needed visting and another wonderful dinner. We sewed, and did computer/picture stuff while Lon watched baseball and napped. When he got up and sat in the recliner their dog, Carley, had to get in his lap!!  She's such a great dog.

I have taken a lot of pictures of the area that I could share, but I don't want to overload this.

We came back to the motel full as ticks, and tired. Ready to hit the sack. In fact, Lon is sleeping already.  What a good day it was!! Tomorrow it's supposed to be 108 here so we are headed for the coast - Ft. Bragg. Will be there 2 days. It's in the low 60's so hope we have warm enough clothes! Might have to go shopping again :-) The car is going to be even more loaded when we head home than when we started out.  More later. Take care.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Late addition June 27

Happy birthday to son in law Brandon and our grandson Salem AKA Bubba !!! Hated to miss their birthdays. Also, happy birthday to Brandon's mom tomorrow.. Ready to call it a day. 

June 26 & 27, Day 18 and 19, Thursday and Friday

Thursday was a busy day. We left Orland  to  go to Chico about 1130. Lon needed a haircut so he went to his old barber that he used to see before we moved to TN 12 years ago. They had a nice visit.

We had lunch at a favorite restaurant from the past - Italian Cottage. Lon had a pastrami & cheese. I had a meatball sandwich. Just a good as we remembered. Still have sawdust on the floor.
We had made plans to visit with my brother and his family. Was good to see them. Sit on their back patio, view their beautiful yard, have a cool drink and visit.

The car needed a bath badly. Had bugs on there from Wyoming and Utah, etc. it looked so pretty when they finished.
We had intended to go back to Orland but were able to connect with some old friends and ended up having dinner at another favorite restaurant, La Hacienda. They have the BEST dressing for their salads. It's a "secret recipe" but they do sell it now. Was afraid it wouldn't be good by the time we get back to TN so refrained from buying some!!

We had left Lon's mom to fend for herself so got back to Orland just in time for her to go to bed. She is pretty independent for 95!! Was a good day.
Today, Friday, we are sitting in the lounge at Chuck Patterson Toyota in Chico having the car serviced - 5000 mile check up. It had about 150 miles on it when we bought it in April on Good Friday! We got a card for a free car wash at the place we used yesterday!! May need to use it before we leave for home. :-)
We drove to Lake Oroville and Oroville Dam. Took pictures of the low water!!

Then we drove to Durham where I grew up. Took lots of pictures of old familiar sites. Many places were not there any more. And many places were hard to recognize because of the trees getting so big. The high school where I went is gone - replaced by a new building. Also the elementary school (was Grammar School when I went there). Here is a picture of the remains of my old Grammar School. 

A good day.  Lon came home and took a nap!  Now getting ready to fix dinner - pork chops!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

June 24 and 25, Day 16 and 17, Tuesday and Wednesday

Wednesday am. We have 3000+ miles on the car so far this trip! Time to get the car serviced!! We are staying at Lon's sister's home in Orland, California.  Yesterday (Tuesday) we went to Chico (our home town) and visited with Lon's step daughter and her family. Had lunch and got to see all the kids and grandkids. While Lon visited with Lisa, I went shopping!! Found a quilt store that I hadn't been to before - can you believe it?? The Rabbit Hole.  They have lots of beautiful fabric, and all the other things a quilter could wish for.

The weather has been nice.  Hot and dry (85 today, next week 105!)  but I'm glad to see the sunshine!! Here's a view from Dee's front porch of her street. 

I had a couple of hours to shop so I went to the Chico Mall, Raley's grocery store, and Costco to get lamb chops for dinner tonight. Can't wait to have them!!
We are being lazy today. Visiting with Lon's mom who came back home yesterday. Haven't made any further plans. Just short little trips around the area this week. Then next week may go to the coast.
That's all for now.  <3


Monday, June 23, 2014

June 22 and 23, Day 14 & 15 Sunday and Monday

Sunday morning we awoke to clear blue skies, a gentle breeze through the pine trees and the clean scent of pine in  Chester, CA.  We kind of slept in so had to hurry a little to get showered and packed up and out by 11:00.  We went out to North Shore Campground by Lake Almanor for a short visit with my sister, Jackie. We sat on the deck and enjoyed to view of the lake.
We drove around the campground to check out the space where we had a trailer for several years on Skunk Road! From "our" side of the campground Mt. Lassen is visible. There isn't much snow on the mountain but at least there is some. The lake is low but not as low as we have seen it in the past. There is a major drought going on in California so there is concern with the forests being dry and the humidity very low. Was 8% in Chester over the weekend. Compared to Tennessee ---  that's dry!!

After a great visit with Jackie, we stopped in Chester at the Lassen Gift Shop which used to be Lassen Drug Store. Was glad to see they still have the soda fountain! We each had a dish of ice cream. It was a real treat as a kid growing up to go in and have a milkshake at the fountain. They were served with a spoon b/c they were so thick. My kids' grandpa worked at Ayoob's across the street and he would treat my sister and me to a shake (a long time ago!)


We drove down Hwy 32 (Deer Creek Highway) to Chico. It is so beautiful! A curvy road, but so pretty next to the creek. Should have stopped to take pictures.  We got to Dee's house about 4pm.(Lon's sister)  Was good to see her. Was time to relax. Lon and Dee went to bed about 9pm (much too early for me!)
Today is Dee's birthday so a couple of cousins and friends came over at lunch time. Had a "salad lunch" and chili beans. Was fun listening to the cousins reminisce about their "growing up" years. Dee is driving to Fresno tomorrow to pick up their Mom. So Lon will get to see his (95 year old)  mom again. She has been visiting another daughter in southern California.  We weren't sure if we would get to see her.

Lon, his sister Dee (the birthday girl), and cousin Mavis. Was great to see all of them that came.  It's warm and dry today - 94 degrees, 18% humidity. A little windy. Blue skies.
That's all for today folks! Tune in later for more updates. <3

Sunday, June 22, 2014

June 20 and 21 Day 12 and 13 Friday and Saturday

We arrived in Sparks, Nevada on Friday about 3pm. The check in line was getting long then but got much longer after we checked in at the Nugget Hotel.
This is the view of the east tower from our room.  We had a handicapped room on the 18th floor that was a corner room. Beautiful view. Huge room!  We had the best dinners at the Steakhouse in the Casino. I had halibut with limoncello sauce (I think that's spelled right!) It was absolutely delicious.

Lon had a prime rib dinner that also was scrumptious!! We were stuffed after we shared a dessert that the waitress talked us into :-)

There was a big rodeo going on in Reno. It had started on Thursday and will run until the 26th I believe. Saw lots of cowboys and cowboy hats!!! Reno always has something going on.
Today we left Reno about 11 am and arrived in Chester about 3pm - just in time to check into our motel - Rose Quartz Best Western. It's beautiful in Chester. The air is so clean and smells so good with the pine trees. The wind in the trees brings back a lot of memories.  We went out to Lake Almanor to my niece's cabin to have dinner with my sister and her daughter and her family. We were pleasantly surprised to have Jackie's son come up from the valley to surprise us. We had Jackie's "famous tacos" and french fries. It was a delicious dinner sitting on her deck looking at the lake and enjoying the company of family.


Me and my sis.  It was getting a little chilly with the wind blowing off the lake. It's 58 degrees now. Time to turn in. Lon has been in bed for a couple of hours!! What a good day this has been. Take care. More later. <3

Friday, June 20, 2014

June 18 and 19 Days 10 & 11 Wednesday and Thursday

Oh my! The days are starting to run together. As of this afternoon we have travelled 2600+ miles.  Yesterday morning (Wednesday) we were in Denver. Left there and drove to Cheyenne Wyoming on I25 where we connected with I80 (the road that will take us to Reno eventually). Went through Laramie, Rawlins, and on to Evanston. I had no idea that the country was at such a high elevation. 6500 feet to above 8000 feet at a summit. We stayed in Evanston, WY which was 6749 feet. Lon didn't tolerate the high elevation very well. Was short of breath with any walking. So he was glad to get back down to lower elevations in Salt Lake and beyond. We saw some beautiful country tho. Wish I could have gotten more pictures of the rock formations. I saw lots of names of places that I recognized from the past but had no idea where they were. Snowbird, Alta, etc.

 I was pleasantly surprised to find the speed limit in Utah was 80 miles per hour. It has been 75 most of the way except for road construction. We crossed the continental divide (in 2 different places??) and today saw the Great Salt Lake and the salt flats. We stopped in Wendover Utah/Nevada for lunch.
When we got to Elko, Nevada we exited the freeway (much to the dismay of Siri's sister) and drove through town. I lived there when my son was born in 1969 so was fun to see the town and reminisce. It has certainly grown from when I lived there. But much is still the same.  We are in Winnemucca, NV tonight. It's warm here. Was 85 when we arrived. I forgot to mention that in Evanston, WY it was cold and the whole trip across Wyoming was in 50's and upper 40's. A shock after having had 90-100 degree weather in Kansas with high humidity. Evanston was low humidity and 35 degrees this am. Glad I brought a sweat shirt!!
It's been quite windy most of the way the last couple of days. Gas prices are climbing as we get closer to California.
We are now on Pacific time. Takes some adjusting. Lon was in bed at 9:30!! He rested some in the car today, might have slept a few minutes, but didn't really get his good nap in.  We will leave here tomorrow and travel to Sparks, NV and stay at the Nugget Hotel. Then on to Chester for a night and a visit with my sis and niece. Can't wait to see them.
I'm ready to hit the hay. Take care. Love to all. <3

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

June 17 Day 9 Tuesday Happy Birthday to my brother!

Today was a LONG day!!! We left Wichita, Kansas about 10:30 this am after a nice Continental breakfast at our motel, The Best Western. We started the day with 1234.9 miles on the trip odometer. We traveled on I135 to Salina, KS where we got on I70West. Siri's sister kept us on track and got us to our destination. She took a long nap while we drove many miles straight west. The only time she woke up was when we pulled off the freeway to get gas and she thought we were lost so directed us to make legal u-turns to get back on the freeway!! Haven't figured out how to put her on pause while we make a detour. I actually passed up several quilt stores today. The weather was good today except it was very windy. Thankful there were no storms to deal with.
 We saw hundreds of windmills over a very large area. They must be more profitable than growing crops!! We also saw very few billboards that were all in tact. There must have been some pretty hefty winds in the area at some point. Even some of the large highway signs were laying twisted on the ground. The country side looked mostly green except for the 1000's of acres of wheat that is ready for harvesting. It's amazing how much open land there is in this country. We were talking about the early settlers and trying to imagine how they made it across that country walking, riding  horse, or in a wagon. They must have been pretty tough people. They must have had a hard time keeping their directions straight. There is nothing to anchor your sights on like mountains. Just the sun I guess.
In Oklahoma as well as Kansas there are many oil wells. We were calling them grasshoppersbecause the pumps looked like grasshoppers. Some were functioning, others sat idle. Some were rusty and old looking, others were painted various colors. One was red, white, and blue with stars!!
We were on the road 8 hours today - probably 7 hours actually driving. It was a long day for Lon and he was pretty tired when we got here. Wish he could relax enough to sleep in the car but he can't. We are in Denver at the Best Western Plus Denver International Airport. It's on the hwy that we are going to take from here to Laramie Wyoming to catch Interstate 80 to head to Salt Lake City, Elko, Reno, and points west. At the rate we are going, it's going to take us 2 weeks to get to Calif. That doesn't leave much time to be out there before we have to start home. Not looking forward to that part of the trip.
Here's Lon this am as we were leaving Wichita, KS. And our arrival destination.
Hope all is well with everyone out there. Take care. <3




Monday, June 16, 2014

June 16 Day 8 Monday

Didn't have a chance to  post anything yesterday because I wanted to put on pictures and didn't have access to wifi. Apparently I can't post pictures from the ipad or iphone. Anyway we had a very nice Father's Day ending with a wonderful dinner at Fogo de Chao in Addison, TX. If you are like me, you haven't been there before. Although they have restaurants all over the US. It is a Brazilian Steakhouse. They have servers and gauchos. The gauchos bring lots of different kinds of meats around on skewers. They cut off a piece and give it to you. The lamb chops were great, plus several different cuts of beef, pork, and chicken. That was the second round of the dinner. The first round was a beautiful help-yourself salad bar. It could have been the whole meal by itself!!


In the above picture (Lon, Natalie, and Rob a friend) you can see my plate of salad!
The coasters are to signal to the gauchos that you want more meat. If you leave it green, they just keep coming back with more meat. Red means STOP! I was going to take a picture of my plate when I started eating but forgot until most of it was gone. :-) It is a very popular restaurant.  They had over 1200 reservations for yesterday. So they served over 2000 guests. Pretty amazing. 
We had a very nice visit with Natalie. Was great for her to spend Father's Day with her dad. She made a big batch of chocolate chip cookies for us to take. A good part of them are gone tonight!!
Tonight we are in Wichita, Kansas. It's very windy and hot but clear. Been 93 most of the day. We left Dallas about 1030 this am. Drove about an hour north to Winstar Casino in Thackerville, OK. It is billed as the world's biggest casino. It goes on forever!!  We had lunch at Toby Keith's Bar and Grill. Was very good. Lon did well on the slots so we left ahead of the game.
Lon is tired tonight but again didn't sleep in the car so he missed his nap. He's in bed already watching the College World Series game with Vanderbilt and UC Irvine. Vandy is winning at this point.
Will try to post tomorrow night since should have wifi. I think we will make it to Denver tomorrow. Will be a long day but want to get out west before it's time to turn around and head home. 
Take care. Have a good night all. Thanks for reading and commenting  when you can. <3

Saturday, June 14, 2014

June 14 Day 6. Flag Day

Today was a day for relaxing. Lon took a nice long nap and I had a nice visit to Quilt Country! We visited with a friend of Natalie's and then had an excellent dinner made by Natalie. We had Seared Petite Lamb Chops with Rosemary Balsamic reduction. Had good weather today - off and on cloudy with some wind, hot and humid. It's bedtime here in Texas !! Nite all. Take care.

June 13 day 5 (Friday the 13th)

It's been a Good Friday the 13th. Last night we stayed in Marshall Texas at a Hampton Inn. Had a nice breakfast at the hotel before leaving for Dallas. Needed to get fortified in preparation for Dallas traffic. Fortunately the weather was good. When we got close to Dallas and Plano I just had to find Fabric Fanatics quilt Shop. I'm friends with them on Facebook and had won some fabric from them last year. It was well worth the detour to find it. They stock only batiks!!! My favorite. A good part of their inventory was gone to a quilt show in Cincinnati and then Chicago. Even so, there were more bolts of gorgeous fabrics than I had seen in one shop. I had to shop fast. Lon was waiting in the car - getting antsy and ready to see his daughter!  Sorry - no time for photos there.  Good thing because it's looking like I can't add photos here from my phone. Don't have wifi available for computer
Anyway, we arrived at Natalie's home around 3pm. Was good to see her. After Lon got in a quick nap, she made a delicious dinner. Then we just relaxed and visited.
Lon is still doing well and happy to see his daughter.
I'm writing this post very early Saturday am. Will try to post again tonight after another trip to a quilt shop near by - Quilt Country. Not sure what else is on the agenda for the day. Take care <3

Thursday, June 12, 2014

June 12 Day 4

On our way into Ruston, LA last night we saw a big billboard on the highway that said "The Fabric Shop" so this am we went looking for it. Got caught in some road construction and our Siri guide got us almost there and then said she didn't have specific details about the turns so couldn't help us!! Great! So we went around in a circle but finally found it.  Was a real nice store. Very friendly staff. Bought some fabric - of course!  Lon sat at a sewing machine and patiently waited for me :-) He's gotten used to doing that. Rushton is a college town - home to Louisiana Tech.

  A little way down Interstate 20 we stopped in Grambling for gas. That's the home of Grambling University. From there we headed to Lake Bistineau to visit friends. They live in a very rural area southeast of Shreveport, LA. Once again our Siri friend got us out in the middle of nowhere and then said she didn't have specific turns to tell us. We found them finally after travelling some "not much traveled roads"!! We had a nice visit with them. Lon got to go for a ride in Johnny's hotrod!

Here is a view from their front deck. Beautiful setting.

 It was getting late in the afternoon so we headed to Shreveport and then on to Marshall where we are tonight. At a Hamptons Inn. Nice handicap accessible room. These rooms are nice because they have grab bars in convenient locations especially in the bathroom. Plus the toilet is raised. (Probably too much information but maybe some useful information for any who have limited mobility).  Lon was tired tonight. He didn't get a nap today again so was ready for bed very early. Weather is good. Thought we were going to get some storm today but it missed us fortunately. Seems every day there is weather on the radar that looks threatening. This area has gotten a lot of water recently - water that I am sure California would love to have!! Tomorrow we will drive to Dallas by around noon. Then a couple of days rest for Lon.  Take care.  More news (or ramblings) tomorrow.  <3

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

June 11 - Day 3

It's been a good day today. We checked out of The Goldstrike Hotel this am about 11 and headed to Louisiana.  Stopped to fill up the gas tank and headed out per directions from Siri's counterpart in the car navigation system. She took the shortest route which wasn't Interstate 55. A funny side note: just after we left Tunica, I had to put on the brakes kind of quickly. That shifted the suitcase forward. All of a sudden we heard a fan or motor in the back seat and couldn't figure out what was going on. So when I could  finally pull off the road to stop, I found that the suitcase had hit the heater/cooler fan button on the back seat end of the console and turned the fan on high!! Didn't even know there was one there!! :-)    The road was good and we saw a lot of beautiful country. I don't think I have ever seen so many hundreds of acres of row crops.(some we recognized, others we did not!) Also saw a lot of standing water.  Had lunch in Cleveland, Mississippi. For Brandon: I think this is John Deere country.....saw several huge dealerships. I even took a picture for you :-)
Soon we were in Arkansas and crossing the Mississippi River. Yes, it was muddy. We heard in Monroe that they have had 15" of rain in the last 2 weeks. The gardener at one of the hotels was pulling out plants and replacing them. Said they had drowned!!


This bridge was very interesting in design.  It wasn't long before we were in Louisiana. Arriving directly in Monroe rather than on Interstate 20 farther east like I thought we would. All the motels/hotels in Monroe were full. I wanted to stay in Monroe so I could take pictures of signs, etc.  because my kids' grandpa was born there. We went across another river that separates Monroe from West Monroe thinking we could get a room there. No luck. All rooms were full. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday are their busy days. Are filled with business people and corporations. There was a quilt shop I wanted to visit and wanted to look up The Duck Commanders' Warehouse, etc. But we drove farther west to Ruston, LA. We had dinner at The Log Cabin Grill and Market. An interesting place and the food was sooo good. Very large portions. Had to get a "to go" box. Good thing Cricket - our dog- didn't know we had left overs!! That's her favorite part of us going out to dinner.


Lon is doing well. Got some exercise today when he pushed his wheelchair from the room out to the parking lot. Doing leg exercises in the car periodically. He didn't get a nap today in the car. I don't think it's my driving.........or if he is afraid he might miss something!! So he is in bed early tonight. Not sure what our plans are for tomorrow yet except that we will head toward Shreveport, LA. I think there is more threat of bad weather tomorrow evening here so will probably have to drive through some weather tomorrow. Wish it could be like today was. We even saw the sun!!
I have heard from 2 people that they have tried to comment on these posts but are not able to get them to post. I don't see any comments posted other than one I posted as a test. I think I have the settings correct for people to comment so if any of you are bloggers and have any suggestions I am open. Would like to be able to see what is written in comments. Take care. Have a good day. Stay tuned! <3

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June 10 Day 2

Yesterday we left home after Lon's dr. appt. He got his "bone strengthening shot" and we headed for Tunica. Most of the drive was uneventful. Then we hit Memphis area at rush hour in the middle of a severe thunderstorm. I asked a man at a gas station if there were any warnings. He said yes. A tornado warning. I asked what area. He said all of the area, waving his arms widely!!  Fortunately most of the traffic was headed the opposite direction of us, but there was still quite a few cars in the middle of the downpours. I think they said there was about 3" of rain. So we didn't get into Tunica until late evening. Tired, hungry and ready to sleep. Our original plan was to stay one night but we extended our stay one more night with the threat of more severe weather today if headed south. We will leave here tomorrow am and head for Shreveport, LA. Lon had a nice long nap today so he is rested.
We will be in Dallas for Father's day so Lon can spend that day with his daughter, Natalie. I don't have any pictures to post except a couple of the nice handicapped bathroom so will refrain from posting them :-) The view out of our window is the top of the parking garage. We are at the Goldstrike Hotel and Casino. Nice room.  I hope you are able to post comments if you choose to. Or you can call or text if can't post a comment. <3

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Test post from iPad using cellular connection

Sunday…This is the final day to pack and get ready for a month-long vacation. Most of the "mental" preparations are done. Housekeeping issues like bill paying, prescriptions filled, sewing projects ready etc. are done. I have 4 lists for groceries, one "To Take on Trip", one "To Do Before We Leave", and one with instructions for house-sitter. It's all coming together.
The duration of our vacation and exactly where we visit will depend a lot on how Lon tolerates traveling. So I will try to update frequently here to let you all know how it's going.