Saturday, February 17, 2007

Exiting Economics

Yes, I meant EXITING not EXCITING.

After arriving home and giving myself a couple of days to R and R, I added up our expenses for our grand adventure of traveling across the beautiful USA.

When our children were young and traveling with us Aaron liked to estimate our daily spending at $100. I figured there was no way we could come close to that with the rise in price of gasoline, motels and food. Well, thanks to friends and relatives who graciously allowed us to stay in their homes, and who purchased meals for us our average cost per day was $111. I kept track of gas, food, motel and other. Surprisingly the money spent on motels was our highest item. The money spent on gasoline was the lowest. We filled our van 38 times, with prices ranging from $1.84 to $2.69 (California). Our "other" expenses included gifts, entrance to theme parks, a new tire, etc.

Our total miles traveled was 12,111 and driving hours was 237. That is almost 6 work weeks of 40 hours per week.

Places we visited:
Meteor Crater, Petrified Forest, Painted Desert, WWII Museum of the Pacific, LBJ Ranch and Birthplace, Gruene Street, McIlhenny Island (Tabasco), Silver Springs, Cyress Gardens, Kennedy Space Center, Epcot, Disney World, Hopswee Plantation, Biltmore Estate, Whitetail Falls, BMW plant, General Tire, and Saguaro Forest.

To borrow from the Amazing Race....2 people, 60 days; 12,111 miles; 13 states. WE LOVED IT!!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Oregon, My Oregon

When I was a kid going to school in Oregon we learned the Oregon State Song...Oregon, My Oregon. I always have liked that song.

We are back in Oregon--home. Well not our home in Hermiston yet. Tonight we are with our friend Chuck in Brooks, OR. Tomorrow we'll arrive home.

Nothing exciting happened today except we got to eat dinner with Chuck's parents, Grace and Charles at their retirement center. They are delightful people and we enjoyed our time with them.

I'm ready to go home, unpack, start eating less food, see our Oregon grandkids and daughter and hubby and get ready for Spring.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Cruisin' California

Saturday as we approached the end of Arizona we stopped in the small town of Brenda to have a brief visit with my cousin Bev and husband Skip. They live in a nice park full of people escaping from the cold weather up north. Thanks for the lunch, Bev and Skip.

Then we went into California and headed towards Hemet to visit former neighbors Jim and Kelli. We had several hours to visit with them, catch up on old times and learn what is going on now. We hadn't seen them for 9 years and Kelli was nice enough to tell me that I hadn't changed!! How sweet is that.

Today we headed north. Part of the time we were on Highway 395 which if you take it all the way you'll end up in Oregon. But since it is often a 2-lane road I'm glad we eventually got out to Interstate 5.

We traveled just over 600 miles and ended up in Corning, CA. As we were walking outside to walk across the street to dinner the phone rang and it was Larisa. She was delighted to hear we were in Corning because they are out of green olives. For those of you who have never been to Corning they are famous for the Olive Pit--full of green olives of many flavors and stuffings. Ummm good. So of we drove to the Olive Pit to pick up olives for them. Larisa...that'll be $16.57.

And speaking of the phone.... I had some laundry to do and got that going. In a few minutes Aaron said, "Where's your phone?" With dismay I realized that I hadn't removed it from my jeans pocket. I went down to the washer, found my jeans and searched the pockets. No phone. So I felt around the bottom of the washer and I found it--water logged and ruined.

Tomorrow we'll arrive back home so on Tuesday I can go to the Sprint store and shell out some dollars and get a new phone.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Crossing Cactus Country

Today we traversed Arizona and took a side trip to Saguaro National Park where we saw hundreds of Saguaro cacti, also barrel cactus and just regular run-of-the-mill cacti. It was very interesting. I talked to my 85 year old dad who told me that during his training for the Army in 1942 the recruits were taken through the park. So here we are 65 years later driving the same road. Pretty cool, huh.

I'm going to put some pictures in for your viewing enjoyment.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Giggling Granddaughters

We arrived back at Nolan and Maryanne's home on Feb. 6. And oh we did have fun playing with Sabina and Addison and holding precious little Emmaleese. Sabina likes for me to tell her stories and so I told her fairy tales that I changed to not include a witch or anyone dieing (or is it dying?..never sure about this word.) "Tell me another story" was what I often heard. Addison is a cuddler and she is very active--she can jump with both feet which a lot of 19 month old children cannot do. I counted with her once and she did 24 jumps. Nolan said she once did 40.

We spent Wednesday with them and Aaron and I drove into Austin to have lunch with Nolan who works for Freescale Semiconductor. We had (are you ready for this??) Texas BBQ.

This morning, Thursday, we stayed with the girls while Maryanne went to the doctor and when she returned we headed out. Addison followed to the door saying "shoes, shoes". She wanted to put on her shoes and come with us. I said, "Go find mommy. She's in the bedroom." And off she went. This evening when I talked to Nolan he said that Addi cried at the door.

It is always hard for this grandma to leave my granddaughters in Texas! There oughta be a law that says family members can't live more than 1 day apart!!!

Now for some things I have forgotten to write about:

Continental Tires
Carlene and her boss gave us a tour of the plant. While they don't make the tires there they do make the fabric that goes into tires. Okay. I'll admit that I don't really understand this whole process but the important thing is that they understand it. Anyway, it is like being in a mill where material is made even though I've never been in one. It was very interesting. There were spools of fiber everywhere.

Thomaston Church of God
On Sunday the 4th Aaron and I were privileged to present our ministry to Botswana this past summer. We were thrilled when we were asked to be the Sunday morning speakers. What an honor for Pastor Rigby to give up his pulpit for us...two people he didn't even know. They took an offering for our future mission trip, hopefully to Namibia this coming summer. Thank you very much Thomaston Church of God. We pray God's blessing upon your church.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Leavin' Louisiana

Yesterday we left Georgia fairly early, breezed across Alabama, blew through Mississippi, and eased across Louisiana. We spent the night in Bossier City, near Shreveport, and in just a few miles we'll be back in Texas--land of mighty fine barbecue!! Texas bbq--ummm.

Last night we had dinner with Jon and Chris with baby Emily. Jon is our son-in-law's brother and they have been in Louisiana for nearly 4 years while Jon was in the Air Force. Now that he is leaving the Force he will be an associate pastor at their church. Leaving one Force to join another Force.

And today????? Today we get to see Sabina, Addison and Emmaleese.