Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Amarillo, Texas! Wednesday....

Our last full vacation day! 
We started off as we so often do.....running around in circles.
As we were leaving Manitou Springs, we needed fuel.
It was $2.89 a gallon there so Louis Dean wanted us to drive on a bit to see if we could get it cheaper.
We were at 50 miles before empty but we drove on and finally saw a station, got off and all the pumps were occupied. We drove on down - by now we were in the area of the Broadmoor Hotel. I turned down another major street and found another station. This time cars were lined up for the pumps all the way out to the street! I drove on. We finally found fuel after using up a few gallons in the search! And, no, we didn't pay $2.89 a gallon for it! It cost us $2.94!!
 We just laughed about it!!
It doesn't do any good to get upset with each other as we both do silly things.
By this time we had driven in a great big circle and was just two blocks from the Interstate!
Win! WIN!!

I drove until we got to Des Moines, New Mexico where Louis Dean used to teach school.
He drove the rest of the way to our hotel in Amarillo.

It's good to be back!

The landscaped changed as we drove....
I25 to Raton and then Hwy 87 to Dalhart and 385 down to Hartley, Texas.
Usually we get on 87 to Dumas and then turn south on 287.
However, I had programed the navigation thing with our hotel address and it had us stay on 385 all the way down to Interstate 40 in Amarillo.

I had never been on this road before. Ever.
It was a two lane road so I couldn't get off to take pictures as the land changed.
We came in on the canyon side of Amarillo and it was so pretty with windmills and ranches.
We passed right by Cal Farley's Boys Ranch.

It was still daylight when we checked into our hotel.

Since we kept meaning to stop for a picnic but never did, Louis Dean mentioned how nice it would be if there was a Mexican restaurant next door.


There WAS!!!

I ordered a Dos Rita!
First time for me!

The server was a bit nervous about turning the bottle upside down in the margarita glass.
They have to do it at the table when the drink is served.

She did a good job!

It was a great dinner!

A perfect ending to our last vacation day!
Day #20! 

Louis Dean absolutely loved our server's T-shirt!!!
He laughed out loud!

It's been a great vacation!!

I was talking to Summer this afternoon and I really have been to lots and lots of places in my life.

But now I'm going home!

Celebrating My 70th Birthday in Colorado! Monday and Tuesday.....

We made it to Colorado Monday afternoon!

The lady at the Visitor Center cautioned us about the traffic in Denver and advised us to take the toll road bypassing Denver altogether. I turned off. Chose the wrong direction. Had to drive a good long ways to get back. Ended up on I25 where we started.
It was heavy traffic from 50 miles north of Denver all the way to Colorado Springs.
It took both of us - I was driving and Louis Dean was talking me through.

We decided to eat dinner at The Airplane Restaurant out by the airport before we checked into our cottage cabin in Manitou Springs.

Like magic - I was in the pilot's seat of this vintage cargo plane.

Louis Dean and I both had fun!

After we ordered our drinks and meal, we headed up to the cockpit for a photo op!

This was our second visit.

Pretty cool place.

Really good food!
Sticky Sweet Potato Fries and a Buffalo Burger.

Louis Dean was a happy man with his Guinness after that stressful drive through Denver!

He told them it was my birthday and I think it was so he could eat the dessert!

It was daylight when we left the restaurant.
I was talking to Amber when we came out.
However, by the time we were looking for our motel......
it was dark. And I couldn't see a thing.
Thank God for his protection and Louis Dean for his calm.
We didn't mean to be driving after dark but it happened and we need to work harder so it doesn't happen again.

Since it was my birthday, I saved the gift bag from Beverly to open on my birthday night.

A denim apron!!!!
I LOVE it!
Lotion made by Bev herself.
Homemade Tomato Soup from her very own garden and homemade wines - THREE bottles!
And don't forget the jam!
But you know the best gift of all?
The card.

After I opened my gifts, Louis Dean and I went down to the hot tub!

bubbling hot water soothes away a multitude of tense muscles.

Louis Dean is such a good sport!
If I am doing it - he's quick to do it, too!
What's more - he loved it!

We moon watched as we soaked.
What a perfectly lovely birthday!!

We slept soundly and woke up around 8:00.
We meant to sleep in but I guess we are used to waking up at a 'normal' time since this whole adventure started. I'm pretty sure this won't last once we get home.
I will most probably need to catch up on a lot of sleep very soon.

We took our coffee and bagels to the little tables set up outside for guests.


It was chilly enough to be wonderful!!
I love the beginning of a vacation day when we plan what we want to do.

Our first destination was Goodwill.
Now this is not just any Goodwill but THE Goodwill that sparked this love relationship I have with them.

My first vacation to Colorado was in 1972.
I was married to Jesse back then and it was our first big family vacation with Summer and Jesse, Jr.
I think Summer has some photos from back then.
We waited until Vacation Bible School ended and hit the road!
When we checked into our motel and was bringing in the suitcases -
Summer and Jesse discovered their suitcases were not there!
They had left them in their bedrooms!
No worries. I thought - we will just go to a Goodwill and buy them some clothes.
That was my first date with Goodwill and it turned into a real love affair.

Years later we were on a family vacation to Oklahoma in the winter.
The kids got to talking to Jesse while I was napping and when I woke up - we were driving across Kansas to Colorado.
No matter we had packed swimsuits for the Holidome in Oklahoma City.
Once again, we shopped Goodwill for warmer clothes and had a great time.

I picked up a few treasures today....although the prices are a bit higher than they are at home.

I loved these plates at first sight!

Even at $1.99 each - they were still a bargain!

Louis Dean scored on this coffee pot.
He has since cleaned it with vinegar and it is all ready for our morning coffee!

The Goodwills here in Colorado feature a book store ambiance with coffee and oftentimes cookies. 
We came away with a small ice chest which will come in handy as we picnic on our way home -among other treasures.

We drove up Hwy 24 to a little town I have often been before.

I have a ton of good memories from all the years of visiting Colorado.

The reason we visited Green Mountain Falls today was because I missed the turn to The Wines of Colorado. So we drove on and I was going to turn in as we drove back.
Not. I missed it again and since there was construction on the highway - I drove all the way back to Manitou before starting over and taking another run  at it!

Third time was a charm!!

I love this place!

Still celebrating my birthday!

We sat 'Creekside' and wore our jackets.
Well, Louis Dean wore his jacket - one we picked up at a Goodwill in Oregon for $14 - and I wore his black leather one.

The food was delicious and we ate every single bit!
Talk about clean plate club!! We made it!

I love the way this place is decorated.

Mural in the corner of the ladies bathroom.

And this was above the toilet!
SO pretty!

Just a few yards down is Pikes Peak Popcorn.

It has been here forever it seems!
I'm always happy to see it is still in business.
Back in the 70's it was in a bigger building a little ways up the mountain.
I bought a few bags of their gourmet popcorn and treats.

Look what I got for the critters down at the ranch!
April and October are my favorite months there.
I can't wait to feed this to them!

Garden of the Gods was our next stop.

The park has changed a great deal from my first visit back in 1972.
Summer and Jesse used to climb over the rocks and play hide and seek.
You could pull off just about anywhere and there were lots of picnic spots.
Nothing stays the same. Change is constant.
I am grateful for the memories I've made in Colorado over the last 46 years.
And I'm even more grateful that I'm still making them!

This is what I do!
I take pictures.
I record and document the good times and all the people I love.
Friends. Family. Children. Grandchildren.
The things we saw and did today will be my memories in time to come.
I think it's important to have the pictures to remember them by.
 I am not a good photographer but I continue to take pictures.
It's important to me to have them.

Tonight we did some more moon watching from the hot tub.
We met up with some wonderful people from Texas who happen to be in the cottage right next to us.
It's fun to watch Louis Dean swap stories!

So I bid you goodnight from Colorado!
We head home tomorrow.

We used to go to the the Flying W Chuck Wagon Ranch and hear the wranglers sing.
This was my favorite song......


Writer Dave Kirny

There's a place where Mother Nature's got it all together,
She knows just when to let wild flowers bloom,
Some-how she always seems to know exactly what she's doin'
And The Lord saw fit to furnish elbow room.


Have you ever been down to Colorado?
I spend a lot of time there in my mind.
And if God doesn't live in Colorado
I'll bet that's where he spends most of his time.

I'd love to be there watching, early in the morning,
The sun comes up and crowns the mountain king.
If by chance you dare to be there, high upon the mountain,
I swear that you can hear the angels sing.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Two Travel Days - British Columbia, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming!

We were up early getting ready to hit the road Saturday morning!
Bev and Brian prepared a wonderful breakfast and, as we sat around the table with our coffee, I marveled at how God gifts us with special friendships. He simply allows our paths to cross and an amazing friendship forms.

Bev and Brian usually spend part of every winter down south in the states....Arizona mostly.

However we are all hoping they will headquarter out of Texas next year.
It's a God thing that we have full hookups for their travel trailer right there on our driveway!

I loved on Miss Pepper one last time and then she jumped down and went over to Louis Dean to tell him goodbye.

As I walked down the driveway - I looked up and said, "Good Morning, Canada!

And  just like that we were getting into our car and driving away.

Brian gave us good simple directions for getting back to the road that takes us to the border.
We turned the wrong way, of course, and were wandering around all over the place.
We got confused as to what we had seen on the road in and where we had been on the drive with Bev and Brian. Anyway, I stopped at an automobile repair shop and went in to get directions. We had our navigational thing but we were still confused! When they asked me where I was going, I said, 'Texas. But I need to find the border first!'

It was easy and our navigation thing was right all along. 
 I don't know how we can make simple so complicated!

The border guard asked if we were bringing anything out that we had not taken in.
I said three bottles of home made wine that was gifted to us.
No  problem!

As  soon as we were back in the US, I had news from home that a terrible rain storm had dumped 10 inches of rain in a short amount of time and our house had taken in water in the usual places. Den, sewing room and kitchen. Apparently the water rose so fast that it overwhelmed the sump pump and came in the French doors and ran down into both of the other rooms.
Our dear Stephanie had gone over to check on the house and moved things out of the water areas.
She said it was not standing water but - in places - when she stood on the carpet, the water squished her toes. Not as bad as it has been at times in the past. Still not good.
She had already been in contact with Summer and Amber.
Amber and Mike went over after the quads finished with hockey practice - they look so cute in all their hockey gear! Mike checked the sump pump and it was working.
They dragged the rugs out of the kitchen and into the gazebo and turned the AC down so the house wouldn't get musty smelling.
Suffice it to say - we will have a clean up job to do as soon as we get home.
Summer and Amber are both ill - Summer with her tooth infection which causes her other conditions to worsen - and they aren't able to suck up the water with our shop vac.
Like I said, we have handled worse and we will deal with it when we get home.
Louis Dean said we will enjoy the rest of our trip.

I truly wish I could have taken more pictures of the glorious fall foliage along our way.
While it hasn't peaked to its full glory yet - it is still amazing to see the colors.
We don't get much color in Texas.
Some years the leaves go from green straight to brown.

We stopped at a Safeway and bought some more picnic food and beer......
not just any beer!

We bought some to take back to the ranch and share with Dean and some to use in the margarita recipe Bev gave me.

We drove for a long time in Idaho.

Such a pretty place.

This was our picnic spot Saturday afternoon.
We didn't stay at that table long because it had been raining and the seats were wet.

We relocated to a sheltered one. 
Louis Dean teases me about keeping an electronic gadget in my hand all the time.

We were finally out of Idaho and into Montana.

It was not what I was expecting.
Since it's called Big Sky Country, I thought it would not be so mountainous.

Just beautiful!

It was a long day of driving and we must have stopped to stretch a few too many times because it was dark before we arrived at our motel in Butte, Montana.

**please note - we did not stop at a single store other than Safeway, potty breaks and to get fuel!** 
See? I can do it!

No more night driving!
 I said it when it was night getting to The Dalles in Oregon but I didn't learn my lesson!

I fell into bed last night totally exhausted and woke up with a headache that has not gone away yet.
We left home on Friday, September7th and every night since - 15 straight nights - Louis Dean has slept well. Really well.
Until last night. He said he was awake all night long. At 6:00 this morning he woke me up to tell me he was going downstairs for coffee. 
We ended up on the road this morning before 9:00!

The scenery was so pretty and our rental car drives like a dream.

The higher mountains gave way to smaller ones and then finally big giant hills.

Hwy 90 was under construction in several places so you would be driving along at 80 mph and then they would funnel all the traffic eastbound to the westbound side making it a two lane highway and reducing speeds to 45 mph. Over and over.

We stopped a few times to take photos because the lay of the land was changing right before our eyes as we traveled southeast.

Montana Country!!

Louis Dean took a few pics with his good camera.

Then I hit a 'wall.'
Not with the car but I seemed to have run out of steam.
Too tired. Not enough sleep.

So my knight in shining armor took over the wheel and on we went!
Right on through to Billings, Montana and down to Wyoming.

Long flatter roads!
We went from blue skies .....

to gray ones and then back to blue.

I have loved seeing so much of the country over the last few weeks!

We wisely stopped in Casper, Wyoming around 5:30 this afternoon.

Thanks again to Summer for booking us another good room!

We unloaded and I immediately put my suit on and went down to the indoor heated pool and hot tub!
This morning I had made a batch of Constant Comment tea and poured it up in an empty Gatorade bottle so I had my ice tea, book and a nice long soak in hot water followed by a hot shower.
Louis Dean has enjoyed watching football and playing music.
Now for a good night's sleep!
Just so you know, I have asked Louis Dean to NOT wake me up in the morning!