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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Blog update 07/12/17

We left right on time Friday morning the 23rd of June. We got to our first stop about 45 minutes east of Omaha on I80. This is my first stop of any eastbound trip, as I was heading into the restroom I checked for my billfold and it wasn’t there. I had left home without it, now we had no choice but to go back and get it because we planned on being gone for about three weeks. So, we back tracked, got the billfold and headed out again.

Our plans were to meet up with Robert, Sarah and the kids for dinner. I was a bit worried we wouldn’t make it but we did. My dad had a saying he used a lot, “I never pass up a water fountain”. My saying is “I never pass up a restroom”, the problem is my saying always adds more time to our trips.

We had a great dinner at a restaurant called The Rock Bar & Grill, very good restaurant but they don’t have a website.

Saturday night we saw granddaughter Madyson perform at her dance recital. She was great. Her solo was fabulous. She does an aerial, that’s a cartwheel without touching the floor, scares me every time she does it. The recital was great, I am not much in sitting and watching all these different performances but I did enjoy the whole recital.

Sunday, we saw grandson Mason play two baseball games. It is fun to see the growth of the kids in their particular sport and interest. Mason had come a long way in his skills as a baseball player and I know he will continue to grow in the sport. Madyson is phenomenal in her solo, she puts more expression in her face and body and it just takes the dance to a higher level. Love watching both of them play.

Madyson and family are on their way to the Nation Dance Competitions in Myrtle Beach, NC, I know she will do well.

We left Beloit on Monday the 26th and headed for Thibodaux, LA for Sarah’s brother Bill’s 60th wedding anniversary. We overnighted in Cape Girardeau, MO and the following night at Canton, MS. Since we were going to get to Thibodaux a day earlier than I planned I thought I better call ahead make sure we could get in a day early. We could and we did. 

We booked in at the Hampton Inn.Out first night was not very memorable, we stay at the Hampton Inns a lot and this was the first one where we have had a problem. The room was very humid and just didn’t feel good, I didn’t sleep very well, but then again, I don’t sleep that well anymore anyway. The next morning Sarah went to take a shower and the gizmo on the spout wouldn’t come up for the shower. She calls down to the front desk and the lady says try twisting it. Now I don’t every remembering I had to twist gizmo to make the shower work, twisting didn’t do the job. Sarah calls back down the front desk and the lady asks if we wanted to take a shower in another room. Now wouldn’t you think if they had another room for us to take a shower in, why wouldn’t they just offer us that room. We said no, then the lady says do we need two beds, we said no, so she said we could move to another room with a king bed, fine with me, she said she’d bring up the new key, Sarah asked her to bring a cart.

Our new room was a king whirlpool room, it was two rooms, very nice. Since we were going to be here for a week it was a nice upgrade. We had a great time, we got to see folks we haven’t seen for a long time or in my case ever. Sarah thoroughly enjoyed going through old pictures with her brother and others from Mable’s side of the family. Bill’s kids, Teresa, Brenda and Chuck and their spouses did a great job on hosting the anniversary party on Sunday.

Of course, we went to eat at Bubba’s, it wouldn’t be a successful trip if we didn’t eat their. They have a fantastic shrimp/oyster po’boy sandwich, however I opted for the shrimp/oyster platter, delicious.
I got to play Rummikub with some of the great nieces and nephews and cousins, I got beat more than I won. I loved every minute of it.

The week went by too fast, before we knew it we had to pack to continue our road trip. On July 5, we bade Thibodaux a fond adieu (as the French would say, I think) and headed the car west to Houston.
We had road construction in Lake Charles, LA which delayed us over an hour. We arrived at our hotel a little after 4:30pm. We stayed at the Hilton Houston Westchase, this is the first time in many years we have stayed in a hotel with a bellhop, it was great Sarah didn’t have to handle any of the luggage. We had a very nice room with breakfast included. I chose this location because it was only a mile from our friends Jose and Emma. Plus, we had plans to visit with Sylvester and Joyce on Friday.
Emma had prepared dinner for us that night so we went to their house a bit after six. Dinner was delicious and I ate too much. For desert, she had Island Way Sorbet, I loved them. She bought them at Costco so I will have to see if they have them here.

On Friday Sarah and I went over to Sylvester and Joyce’s house, we went to lunch and had a great visit with them. Sylvester and I served together in Vietnam. He was asking me if I remember certain people and I couldn’t. I can remember a few names but not many.

Jose had done some research on the painted churches, https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=20+painted+churches+of+texas&qpvt=20+painted+churches+of+texas&qpvt=20+painted+churches+of+texas&qpvt=20+painted+churches+of+texas&FORM=IGRE. I wanted to see them but I wasn’t feeling very well so we didn’t go, maybe next time.

I met Jose at St Ambrose College, that’s before it became a University. Anyway, Jose and I grilled the steaks for Saturday night dinner, we worked in the kitchen for our room and board. After I came back from Thanksgiving with my family I asked Jose where he went, he said he stayed on campus, he had come over from Cuba and his family was still there. I told my mother this and she said to invite him home at Christmas, I did, he came and had Christmas with us. It went so well, in fact, when I went into the military he took my place and the holidays. It was great, Jose is a terrific person and married a beautiful person Emma. We were at their house every day, most days we went back to the hotel so I could take a nap which I evidently needed because one day I slept and hour and a half. Over the course of our visit we played 40+ games of Rummikub and I was reintroduced to canasta. I had not played canasta since I was ten or twelve and we kids would play with my mom’s mother. Thank you for a great time.

Saturday night Sarah’s cousin Becky and husband Ken came to the Rio Ranch restaurant next to the hotel and we had dinner with them. Becky is and anesthesiologist and Ken is a retired Air Force officer, I don’t remember his rank but I know if was up their close to a general or something. He is a great photographer and freelances now. He has some great pictures, https://www.mach3photography.com/, check out his website. It was great seeing them.

We left Houston Monday morning and went through some of the heaviest rain I have seen in a while. To make matters worse the spray off the road was blinding at times, but we made it out of town without any mishaps. I had hoped to get through Dallas without any trouble so we took the Dallas tollway. I wanted to miss all the construction on I35, well we didn’t quite get out of Dallas event free. We were slowed down considerably by a wreck, when we reached the site of the wreck it looked like someone had side swiped this car and vanished because there was only one vehicle there.

I had decided we were going to stay in either Norman OK or Guthrie OK depending on what time we got out of Dallas. We weren’t too late so I go us reservations for Guthrie. Now in our car we have a service, I pay for it, called Destination Assist, I click on the screen and we get a live person asking where we want to go. I said the Hampton Inn in Guthrie OK, she said ok and downloaded the directions to the navigation system in the car. Now I just clicked on OK without verifying the address of the location that was downloaded. That is an important item, since it was the wrong destination although we didn’t figure that out until we got to Oklahoma City. Now I knew Guthrie was on I35 so I wasn’t too concerned when the navigation said to take I235 through Oklahoma City, but I became a bit concerned when it had us going west off I235. Sarah kept telling me we were going the wrong way but I got to the point where I wanted to see where this was taking us. Well, it took us to Cushion OK, I’d never heard of the place. We came into town and it said turn right, I did, and that is when it got interesting. I saw a police car sitting on the opposite of the road and thought nothing of it until I saw the pretty red and blue lights on this car behind us, I thought we were in a parade or he was going somewhere. The somewhere was us, as soon as I pulled over so did he. I thought “wow a welcoming party, how did he know I’d never been here before”. I now know someone in Cushion OK, Sgt Henderson. He was very nice and said I was doing 44 in a 35 zone. He asked where we were going and I flat told him I was lost. He laughed and I told him about the navigation system and the Destination Assist. He told me I should have stayed on I35 and I wouldn’t be lost. He was a very nice officer and gave us directions to the Hampton Inn, we were eighteen miles from it. He said to drive safe and keep the speed down, no ticket.

We did finally get to the hotel about six thirty, I was hungry and tired, so we went for pizza. I know it wasn’t anything very glamorous but filling.

The next day we headed for Omaha and got home about four thirty.

We were gone nineteen days, stayed in six different hotels, and put 3,048 miles on the car and we had a great time.

Thanks to everyone for helping this to be a great trip.