Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thanksgiving with our NW family

On the road again, Monday Nov. 22 for Thanksgiving at Ted and Allison's, our son and his girl friend in Spokane, WA. At O'Hare Airport we were told to "stand there." We were "body scanned."  No big deal. Then they examined our carry ons! I had some pumpkin shaped candles in Phil's and my bag. When our carry-ons were x-rayed, I guess the candles looked questionable. Once they saw what they were, we were good to go to our gate. It only took us 25 minutes from when we started in line to go through security. Our experiences at O'Hare of going through security have always been very quick.
Ted's ready to put the turkey in the oven.
Out for a walk.  It's snowing again.
Pete's blue cornbread.  He added peppers and Italian sausage.

 We were ready to take off but a thunderstorm delayed us an hour. At last take off. We were surprised to land in Seattle and see snow on the ground. When we left home in Rolling Meadows at 6 am it was 60 degrees. We couldn't leave for Spokane until they brought in a plane from Portland because the scheduled plane was not available. Our timing was right because at 5:30 pm they closed SEA-TAC airport after a cargo plane went off the runway. We were glad to be arrive at Ted and Allison's. We made a trip though the snow to get groceries and Phil made his yummy chicken cattiatore.

                                                                              On Tuesday the four of us went to Ellie's sister and brother-in-law's, Marcy and Bruce for a delicious dinner and lots of good visiting.  As we were going back to Ted and Allison's it was foggy. This is worth mentioning because the temperature was zero!!! It got to minus five degrees that night. Despite the cold and snow packed streets we got out for a walk each day. Temperatures for our walks were about 15 degrees so it was invigorating!

Turkey carving time.  Hitcher is catching juice in midair.
Wednesday Pete and Jeanne Beall, Allison's parents arrived from Lewiston, WA. We all participated in a cooking marathon preparing the Thanksgiving dinner. Pete made blue cornbread that he used for the stuffing. Ted brined the turkey and it was delicious, nice and moist. Marcy and Bruce also joined us on Thursday for our Thanksgiving feast. We had a wonderful visit with the Bealls, Marcy & Bruce and Ted &  Allison despite the cold and snow every day.
A wonderful feast prepared by all these great chefs.

We flew on a GREEN plane.  Environmental green, not Green Bay Packers.
Friday we flew to Seattle to spend time with our daughter, Corrina, her husband, Tait and their children Teagan and Cooper. Grama and Granpa played Skip-po and RLC with Teagan and Cooper. 
A rainbow at the Spokane airport as we were leaving.
Cooper and Granpa Phil
Teagan had fun decorating her gingerbread house.

Teagan making candy cane cookies.
Ellie made spritz cookies and Spumoni cookies. With Teagan and Cooper they made cut out cookies and candy cane cookies.  We also decorated gingerbread houses.  A tradition for 10 years.  Phil was able 
to do some reading.
Cooper is proud of his gingerbread house.
Cooper and Grama Ellie making candy cane cookies.
Corrina and Ellie playing Bananagrams.
Ellie plays Bananagrams with Corrina, Tait and Teagan. We got Oliver their dog out for some good walks. We had a low keyed but relaxing time with the Millers before flying home on Tuesday, November 30.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Chasing the sunset Thursday evening

On the road again Oct. 22 at 7:30 am heading home.  Yesterday we chased the sunset across Ohio.  Since our next destination was home we drove till we got to the Travel America Center at Stony Ridge, south of Toledo.  Slept great but it got chilly!  Temperature 38 in the morning.  We got home at 11:15 am.  280 miles for a grand total of 3065 for our 26 day trip.  (Earlier I said we did 2740...wrong at that time.  I transposed numbers.)  That's the miles on our RV, hundreds more to add because we went on tours where we didn't drive.

We had a MOST wonderful trip.  We learned so much history about our country, marveled over the different landscapes, different style of homes, local foods and more.  We enjoyed spending time with family and friends and from our past and making new friends.  Yes, a few bumps in the along the way but eager to go again.

On the road again Oct. 23 to Sun Prairie, WI for a Baby Shower for our niece, Brittany.  Can you guess, Kathy is a big Badger fan.  We went in our sedan, not the Roadtrek.  It rides so differently.  Back home 7 pm on Saturday.  Time to get ready for three college girlfriends visiting.
Brittany. Grandma Lucy and soon to be Grandma Kathy

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Falling Water and Kentuck Knob

On the road again Oct. 21 to visit two homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the Ohiopyle, PA area.  Wow, it was worth all the hills, valleys, mountains, the long and winding roads we traveled yesterday.

Kentuck Knob was our first stop. The home was built in the 1950's. Some of the materials used are flagstone, sandstone, cypress, cork flooring and a copper roof. There are 58 corners to the home. Glass for the windows and wood for shelves, cabints, etc. were cut to fit into the stone. It is amazing. We also toured the grounds. Lord Peter Palumbo of England is the current owner. Many of the sculptures are British or Irish. We got to stand in a red English telephone booth. (There were three!) There is a portion of the Berlin Wall. Remarkable place to visit.

Kentuck Knob, Ohiopyle, PA

House is built into the countryside

English phone booth

Portion of the Berlin Wall
Falling Waters was built for the Kaufmanns from Pittsburg as a summer home. They liked the outdoors. The first thing you see as you enter a room is the outdoors. The design of the home was unique for the 1930's. A cantilevered portion of the home is above a mountain stream and waterfall. At the end of the tour we were told there are 110 steps in the home and guest house. We were tired but had to walk to the "viewing spot" to take our photos. But sorry we can't post any. "In purchasing the tickets one agrees not to post any photos of the Falling Waters."

Kentuck Knob is one of his favorites. After touring Falling Waters Phil thinks he likes Kentuck Knob more than Falling Waters.

Heading toward home!!!! Phil is enjoying driving again. It's his first driving since his bout with vertigo Oct. 11. Traveled 296 miles today, stayed the night at Travel America by I-80/90. 20.5 mpg....the mountains!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Leaving Washington DC

Breakfast before we go our separate ways.

Wonderful people we traveled with for 6 days.
 On the road again Wednesday Oct. 20 after breakfast with the 41 RV'ers who were in our Escapee's Washington DC tour. We sadly bid farewell to everyone. We had a great "taste" of DC (so much more to see) and will miss rushing off to the bus stop and spending the days with some great people.
Some of the rigs. Our small rig is tucked in there.

Mountains, hills and valleys

At least this mountain was cut out.


We headed out to Ohiopyle PA but, oops the check engine light came on so we made a slight detour to a dealer in Waynesboro PA. We were treated very professionally at the dealership, Buchanan Auto Park. The problem was an air temp sensor, the repair did not take long and everything was covered under warranty -YEA!!!

Camping at Scarlet Knob Campgrounds near Ohiopyle, PA. Arrived 5:45 pm 231 miles, 22.05 mpg. Mileage will be less for our next fill up. We have been traveling the mountains of MD and PA. We crossed the Eastern Continental Divide. The highest elevation we drove was 2810 feet. We missed going into West Virginia by 14 miles. Beautiful to see the scenery, the trees are colorful and the sun was shining bringing the colors alive. Also neat to see the valleys and faraway towns and farms. We are enjoying seeing our spectacular country.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Visit Memorials

On the road again Tuesday Oct. 19 by motor coach to the WWII Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam Memorial and the Smithsonian (American History).  The WWII Memorial was humbling. What was astounding to see was the Freedom Wall.  There were 4048 gold stars, each star representing 100 men killed, thus 404,800 deaths.  Thus far there is no WWI Memorial.
Memorial honors the 16 million who served in the
Armed Forces of the U.S. during World War II.

The Freedom Wall has 4,048 gold stars,
each representing 100 Americans who died in the war.

Vietnam Wall
Phil found the name of his friend.
At the Vietnam Memorial Phil found the name of one of his college fraternity brothers, Jim Fickler, he was killed when his plane was shot down. All of the memorials were moving.
Vietnam Women's Memorial

Korean Memorial Wall
At the Korean Memorial there were stainless steel statues of 19 servicemen, 15 Army, 3 Marine and 1 Navy corpsman. The polished marble wall next to the soldiers reflected the 19 soldiers, thus making 38 soldiers, symbolic of the 38th parallel. On the wall were 2500 pictures of actual service men who participated In the conflict - there is also one dog on the wall.

Do you have one of these?
On display at Smithsonian Museum

Phil had a gray Buick like this in the 60's.
Photo taken at Smithsonian Museum

Sunset as we start our Dinner Cruise

Washington Monument was so captivating.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mt. Vernon and Arlington Cemetery

Mount Vernon
On the road again Oct.18 to Mt Vernon, the home of George Washington. The tour guides were so informative, another educational day. We toured the home, walked the fields, saw where George and Martha Washington were buried and watched a film about the founding of our country. A trip through Alexandria was enlightening. Amazing to learn at Colonial time it showed you were rich if the exterior of your home was colorful or the walls inside were colorful. Mt Vernon has intense green walls in the formal dining room.

They didn't have bricks to build a house so used
pine boards to look like bricks.

The Necessity 

Colorful houses in Alexandria, VA

Arlington Memorial Amphitheater

Ceremonies are held at the Amphitheater on
Memorial and Veteran's Days

Changing of the Guard at the
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier occurs every hour.

Kennedy's grave and the Eternal Flame
We saw the Changing of the Guard at the Arlington Cemetery. Very impressive and stately. Visits at John F. Kennedy's grave, the Eternal Flame, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and Audie Murphy's grave were extremely touching. It was amazing to see so many graves. There are 25 to 30 burials at this Cemetery six days a week.