Saturday, September 11, 2010

"Where the wind goes sweeping down the plains...."

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 
    High on candy that our wonderful friends provided, we headed further west into Oklahoma.  The rain outside Oklahoma City was intense, and the dark storm clouds behind us were threatening.  This is where movies like "Twister" lead to paranoia.  I felt like we were fleeing ahead of some monster about to snatch us up, even though I couldn't really see one.  (Only one twister sighting per family per trip.  We reached our quota in Florida when we saw a water spout form over the Gulf of Mexico just miles from the condo. Instead of being dusty, brown and gritty, it was a deep midnight blue.  Different color, but still it qualifies!)
     By the time we gassed up near Bob's grandmothers house, we knew we were in the west again.  Dry air, a slight smell of manure, and most importantly, NO BUGS.  Bugs are a the east, where I hope they will stay. 
     When we got to Lela's, one of the first things I asked her was whether she had a cellar......which she did.  Not that she ever uses it.  When the sirens go off, she usually heads for the closet, so she will not be trapped under the heavy cellar door when the twister goes another direction.  So, without my promptings, Bob had a look with the kids.....creepy.   Let your imagination wonder if I got any sleep that night, with the wind softly swirling and winding its way through wind chimes.  You know the sound if you have seen the movie.
     The kids slept with sugar plumbs dancing in their heads (literally), and woke up to play with the little outdoor kittens, which will make that almost as memorable as the candy!  Thank you to grandmothers who provide friendly conversation, food, a dry place to sleep, kitties, and a cellar for paranoid inlaws!  There is NO PLACE LIKE HOME!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bob at Sanibel and beyond!

Friday 8/27
The day Bob was at Sanibel was the sunniest!  So he enjoyed some R and R on the beach and went on a bike ride with Michael for his 12th birthday.  The rest of us continued to hoard shells, swim and stay under the beach umbrella.

Saturday 8/28
Leaving beautiful clean Florida was hard, but leaving without Charlie was the pits.  We hope to visit sometime soon.  Our get to Southern Georgia by nightfall for some tent camping.  The camp was on swamp territory with lots of grass and tall trees.  Tall pontoon boats whizzed past into the evening while we settled in for the night. 

Sunday 8/29
The next day we headed to Mass at a very small church further West and then on through 3 more states that day  Alabama(Montgomery, Burmingham), Mississippi (birthplace of Elvis), Tennessee (Memphis- death place of Elvis)  The highlight of the day was the park like setting around the house Elvis was born in and a tribute to his first 13 years in the very NE corner of Miss.  Graceland on the other hand was hidden by a wall in a very nasty part of Memphis.....we passed on a visit there.  In fact I could not wait to get out of Memphis.....
I was happy to fill my stomach at a familiar Cracker Barrel and stay at a really nice hotel!

Monday 8/30
Journeyed into Arkansas to see our dear friends the Dobrys who abandoned Arizona years ago in seach of some good catholic schools.  Very sad to have them so far away.  My kids will never forget their generous offer of CANDY......a big bag for each from their own candy store at the mall!  They were SO excited!  So blessed to have such good friends!  They smacked on candy all the next day.  On to Oklahoma next....

Bye bye Charlie

On Thursday we loaded up the car again to bring Charlie to his new home at Ave Maria.  Due to some flight changes Bob was not able to join us until late in the evening.  We all went to noon Mass and spent the rest of the day listening to talks and eating in the cafeteria.  Charlie has a fine roomate and dorm room, and was getting acqainted with old and new friends immediately.   We all had a great time, but were sad to say goodbye.  After getting Bob that night at 11:00pm we traveled BACK to Ave to deliver a few more items.......BIG MISTAKE since we did not get back to the island until 3:00 AM! 

Lessons learned:  Always listen to your wise wife in matters of travel and time management
 Never trust a female driver with a bad sense of direction
NEVER, never leave a college student without snacks......we found him at midnight looking for the open cafeteria

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pacific to Atlantic

It was not enough to travlel 2400 miles to the Gulf.   Yesterday we went another 200 miles to the Atlantic at Ft. Lauderdale.  The weather on the island was very poor here, so it was a nice reprieve to beach it in good weather.  The water over there was less cloudy and the waves were at bit bigger as well, although nothing beats the Pacific for waves.

The weather on the island cleared today and we can see the sun!  I bought Elizabeth her own tot sized boggie board and we have had a blast taking in waves together.  She gets pummeled by the waves and then wants to go right back in.

What a nice vacation this has been. We will pick up Bob at the airport tomorrow and then head ove to Ave Maria to deliver Charlie, join in some of the orientation talks, and head back to the island in the evening.  Much love to all!  Judy

Monday, August 23, 2010

Shell Hoarding

On an island infamous for its shells, just what constitutes shell hoarding?  We have about 100 covering the table outside.   We went by the library where they had a neat shell exhibit and actually learned some names other than just "shells"  Two of my favorites are the calico clam and lion's claw clam. 

It has been thunder storming all day which has brought really fun waves for the kids.  We are hoping Daphne does not stop in to see us if you have been tracking the weather.  The good thing about being from Arizona is that we are so full of sun that some mere clouds do not deter our resolve to have a fun vacation!

Yesterday went to the lighthouse and saw dolphins swim by.  I also spotted a large group of lighting bugs.  After singing the song "Fireflies," and taking pictures,  we discovered a jungle full!  "Wow....look at how many there are!".....HA!....the cleverly disguised car shining it's lights in the nearby parking lot sure fooled us for awhile.  Guess we are not used to large jungle like bushes or car lights in AZ.

Charlie and Andrew felt tiger sharks milling around them and sting rays at their feet.  Charlie thinks they are attracted to his scabby legs.  Great.... just great.  Elizabeth enjoys chasing and yelling at the water fowl on the beach.  It is hilarious. 

So, how in the heck do I post pics on this site?  Do I have to change the design?  Much Love, Judy

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Days 1-7,Trips and Tics

FIRST 7 am not nuts..Good Decision!

Day 1 - Tucson to see the Willimanns.  So blessed to have such great friends! We had some lunch with them,the kids got to swim awhile,  then on to a Las Cruces where we spent a stormy evening in a hotel.

Day 2 - Drove to Balmorea State Beach in west Texas.  Completely awesome experience of swimming in a natural spring.  It looked more like a giant swimming pool with fish and algea and diving boards.  I am on video jumping off a high dive...a dare I had to take!  Very cold but refreshing after a hot humid day!
Stayed in Ft. Stockton at a really nice RV park in our apt. sized tent.  The boys got it up in a matter of minutes while I made a hot dinner on the camp stove.  Heard about 25 RV's through the night.....not ideal, but ear plugs and adrenal vitamins help.

Day 3 - late start off to San Antonio.  Stopped by the Alamo and almost wilted in the heat.  Rushed on to Houston for a really nice hotel stay and a cool shower.

Day 4 - Houston Space Center - Saw the training facility for astronaughts as well as the actual true to size space station where they practice various missions.  Huge excibit of one of the shuttles.....don't ask me which one...."Challenger???"  Elizabeth was desperate to see the long horn cows lying under the trees right next door.  Left about 3:00 to go see family friends from my chilhood in Kingswood....the Landvoghts....more driving till we reached some city near Port Allen LA.  Another hotel

Day 5 - Drove into Baton Rouge and toured their INCREDIBLE Capitol building full of stone, marble and bronze and saw a view of the Mississippii from the 27th floor......Charlie was busted for dropping a penny from it's heights which landed in front of a security guard....ooops.  So for you physics hard could a penny hurt someone from those heights?  Next city New Orleans!  Charlie drove over the scarriest bridge in the US I believe....narrrow with a train going by....not quite as rattly as i remember it living there!  Bob's apt from 1998 has a fence areound it and is either condemned or being redone. I could not find mine but saw many new things that were built after the last hurricane.  Went by ferry to the French Quarter, walked and walked and walked....ooops....should have brought a stroller, then ate gumbo, jambalaya, red beans(Dominic ordered fried Aligator) and enjoyed some Jazz in Jakson square and a really COOL mime spray painted in gold, who pretended to be a robotic statue.  Will try and post the video from Daniel's pod.
 Drove to Tallahassee another hotel.

Day 6 -  Up early and on to Manatee State Park.......AMAZING to us arid Arizonans!  It was literally a jungle with a nearby swamp to swim in!  Balmorea was nothing compared to this!  Cool jump into a spring fed lagoon where they have a net up to help keep out the gators!  We went to sleep in our tent fully sweaty being kept awake by large chirping insects!  If I could have seen them i would have freaked.  I expected flying monkeys to fly out of the trees!  Did not get a banana spider in my hair, but Michael did leave with two ticks  we named Edward and  Alice.  Their lives ended at the tip of 10 matches which we had to purchase at Walgreens for the occasion.  Michael learned his lesson about walking through brush.  Video clip on this to be installed later. We know that God in his SUPREME GOODNESS kept the misquitos away for  a day since we were not attacked till Florida!

Day 7- Arrived in paradise on earth, know as Sanibel Island!  White sandy beaches 20 feet away, the warm Gulf,millions of shells, beautiful condo and pool.  Having a blast.  put in your shell orders now.

Traveling by car and camping is a great way of experiencing true inadaquacy and relying on God's grace and provision.  Our car was a mess although i cleaned it all day.  We lost shoes and had to buy sme at a Target.

My kids are awesome!  They revel at the sight of a bridge and truely appreciate every minute of travel!

I really like the outdoors in all of the camping nastiness even more than a hotel.

One must choose between touring and hotels and driving and camping!

My husband is a gem for staying behind to work to pay for this trip.  Looking forward to Thurs. when he arrives!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Houston Texas

"it's hotter than a sumo wrestler's buttcrack." (andrew carlisi) despite the fact that andrew has been on my nerves all day, i would hafta agree with him... texas is very hot, humid, and full of cars. houston is the size of phoenix easily, twice as thick smog. and very... sweaty. it was about 100 degrees today but with the humididty felt like 120. when we went to get food out of the trunk, mom insisted that I turn the ac on. We woke up this morning in Fort Stockton, an hour off schedule, with a tent to dismantle. an hour later we'r on the road again, a car full of noisy people on a mission to sit in the car for another long day... 9 hours of driving, 5 pee-stops later, in leilas mexican restoraunt, i charles R carlisi complain about the third day in my trip to florida.

... here is the food... signing off :)