#Steampunk #amps used by #Rush on tour. Kinda neat. Saw them while out on a mini-shoot today. (#Orlando #HardRock #music #Florida) (at Hard Rock International Headquarters)
Follow Mea and I will share my travel excitement with you.
Painting at Paint Nite! This is my artwork. Not bad for a daytime accountant! Those watermelon margaritas worked wonders. I laughed so hard tonight. “Painting is fun! I like colors!” @ Bar Louie in Orlando, Florida
Day 13 - June 26, 2014
Begin: 9:30am in West Memphis, AR
End: 8:00pm in Tifton, GA
Distance: 570 miles
Day 14 - June 27, 2014
Begin: 8:30am in Tifton, GA
End: 12:30pm in Orlando, FL
Distance: 250 miles
June 26, 2014 9:05am at Ramada in West Memphis, AR
I woke up this morning thinking, “What is that SOUND?” I rolled over and realized it was my alarm telling me to get up. Ugh. Last night was the first night I passed out before Ricky. I didn’t wake up at all last night. I’m so glad today we will only be driving 8 hours. Who knows, we might see something we want to see and actually stop to see it. That is if the weather cooperates.
June 26, 2014 4:40pm on I-20 E just past mile marker 5 in Georgia
The sun! We have experienced drizzling rain off and on since we’ve been on the road. I’m thankful for cloudy skies but today I would like to stop and see something or at least be able to grab a geocache somewhere. Sadly we haven’t seen anything today but clouds and rain.
June 29, 2014 12:42pm at home in Orlando, FL
Hi folks! I made it home safe and sound two days ago (Friday, June 27). I’m sad to say that we never actually got to stop and see anything on the last two days like we had planned. On Day 13, we dealt with rain and clouds all day long. It pretty much killed any chances of us stopping at a park along the way. On Day 14, we just wanted to get home. It was cloudy up until we reached Florida. Let’s face it, I live in Florida. If I want to do something here I can just go back at a later date. We did stop at the TNT Fireworks store in Florida up near the Florida/Georgia border.
As much as the humidity makes us crazy, we like it. The air through Arizona and New Mexico is so unbelievably dry that I actually had to fend off headaches. It sucked the life out of my eyes, sinuses and my skin. Mind you I didn’t feel gross getting in and out of the car. That’s always nice. Eyes drops are my friend.
Here’s a quote from the movie “Friends With Benefits (2011)” that I thought of a few times on this trip:
"In LA, if it’s 90 degrees, it feels like 90 degrees. But…
If it’s hot in New York, it’s 90 degrees, it’s like 100,000 degrees.”
I can’t agree more with Justin Timberlake’s character’s sentiment. Summertime in Florida is bloody hot. The humidity is great for the skin, but maybe not for your hair.
June 29, 2014 4:23pm at home in Orlando, FL
Here’s a fun weather comparison between some cities. These are to illustrate the weather variations. Over the last three hours I’ve waited to get the current weather at 12:53pm in all three places for comparison. The time, 53 minutes after the hour, just happens to be the time the National Weather Service refreshes the weather data for these three cities.
I find it a little strange that the humidity between Burbank and Orlando are similar. Check out the Heat Indexes. In Orlando, 95°F feels like 102°F. In Burbank, 84°F feels like 84°F. I hear Justin Timberlake’s character in my head again.
The humidity in Tucumcari is parched with its very low percentage of 10%. It’s so dry there that 97°F feels like 92°F.
We had rain a little while ago. We’ve had our daily afternoon shower. See how the humidity shot up to 72%. Well duh. Of course the humidity will rise. Before too long the humidity will be super high all the time, not just after a good rain.
It may be safe to say that later I can go for a walk. Goodness knows I need it!
Thanks for following along with me on my trip. Traveling is way more fun when you have others to share with!
Start time: 6:30am in Tucumcari, NM
End time: 9:00pm in West Memphis, AR
Distance: 830 miles
June 25, 2014 6:35am - I wore sunscreen for this. I’m not going to complain too much because that means my eyes can relax. I-40 E just outside of Tucumcari, NM.
8:47am on I-40 E at mile marker 52 near Wildorado, TX
Remember that cramped cattle ranch we passed heading west last week? Omg. We decided that since the air is moist and cool that we’d ride with the windows open. As soon as we passed that ranch the air smelled terrible! I know cows are cows but I can’t imagine they enjoy the stench of poo. That can’t be healthy. I know livestock stinks but damn. The open field cattle ranches didn’t smell quite like that one. *coughs and hacks*
Good morning! Ha ha.
June 25, 2014 9:21am - See what Geocaching can teach you. I was looking for Earthcaches in the area to see if there was anything I could look at out the window. I found this.
June 25, 2014 9:21am - Gypsum Earthcache part 2.
June 25, 2014 9:22am - Gypsum Earthcache Part 3. In case you want to find this cache, here is the information.
10:17am at a Rest Area in N 35° 10.747 W 100° 49.732
I found another geocache! When we stopped at this rest area I just had to see if I’d find a quick grab. I had next to no signal. I was trying to download at 1x speed. Once I finally loaded what I needed, I followed the compass arrow and nabbed it. Yey! This is a nice rest area. This one and the one on I-40 W are actually newer and are tornado shelters.
12:38pm on I-40 E past mile marker 108 near Hydro, OK
I’m hungry. We have more sandwich stuff to make. I’m waiting on a picnic area. I don’t want to make sandwiches in the car in a parking lot again.
June 25, 2014 12:49pm - Lunch time! We actually got to stop and eat at a picnic area instead of in the car this time. Though I must say, it didn’t smell pleasant. I-40E in Oklahoma.
June 25, 2014 4:46pm - Hello rain, I see you. I-40 E in Arkansas.
6:37pm on I-40 E past mile marker 122 near Conway, AR
We just drove into a wall of rain. Ricky said, “Do you see what that rain is doing up there?” Meaning up ahead. He said, “3. 2. 1.” One second after that we entered rainy space. On the hazard lights went. And up to the Oh-S**t-Handle my right hand went. I’ve been in rain before but still.
By this point in the entry the rain has subsided a bit. The windshield is mighty clean again.
Ricky is none too pleased with Arkansas - it rains and has a lot of road construction on I-40. We are from Florida. This rain and construction are between us and home. Curse you both! We want to stop before 9:30pm tonight. You know, so that we can get up early and do it again tomorrow. So that we can get home faster and curse at our own rain.
June 25, 2014 9:23pm - Our room at the Ramada. Not too shabby for $80 bucks. West Memphis, AR.
11:30pm at Ramada in West Memphis, AR
This hotel has an interesting layout. When I was looking for hotels with inward facing rooms I came across the Ramada. It has good reviews and the pictures of the outside of the building show only windows. If you look at the pictures of the rooms it shows the window next to the door, which is very much a motel thing and usually means outward facing doors. I booked a room anyway. When we got here we discovered that there is an indoor hallway. It almost looks like this building was at one point a motel but later enclosed its outdoor walkways.
What was real funny was Ricky’s expression when he saw the TV in the room. “Whaaa? Is that a TUBE tv?” He turned it on. “There’s a sound I haven’t heard in a while…ugh the picture quality is terrible.” I had a good laugh. Being gamers, picture quality is important to us. Also, the sound that TVs give off really bother me. I was sooooooo happy the Christmas I got my first LCD monitor for my computer. My headaches were gone!
Back to the present TV - it’s fine. It allows us to watch cartoons for a couple of hours. We’ve watched Cartoon Network every night we’ve been away except tonight. He can’t figure out which channel it is here. We were watching Adventure Time, American Dad and Family Guy. Comedy Central was the only channel offering cartoons so South Park it would have to be. There’s a show I hadn’t watched in forever.
For note, we had Popeyes for dinner tonight. Oooooh boy. Popeyes is a favorite of mine. We wanted it last night but the town only had KFC. We are to the point where we want yummy familiar food. Mmm mmm.
Start time: 6:30am in Barstow, CA
End time: 8:30pm in Tucumcari, NM
Distance: 850 miles
5:48am at Sleep Inn in Barstow, CA
Getting up at 5:00am might just be the cruelest hour we’ve waken up thus far. We want to make good headway on our first day going west. The hotel serves breakfast beginning at 5:30am, so we figure the earlier the better. We’ll be losing one hour of time today. Hurray.
On a fun note, my upper arms/shoulders are so burnt that I couldn’t even turn on to my side last night…at all. *whimper*
9:04am on I-40 E just past mile marker 15 in Arizona
We crossed over the Colorado River as we passed over into Arizona and I noticed that the water is green. I got to thinking about the blue-green water in the Havasu Canyon. One day I’ll see that pretty water in person. On my phone I looked up pictures of where the Havasu Creek feeds into the Colorado River. It’s pretty cool, you should look it up.
Earlier we were driving past the Mojave National Preserve. Ricky was like, “Why would anyone want to go there. It’s all desert.” I took it upon myself to look it up since, from the road, it doesn’t seem like a likely destination. Apparently there is a ghost town called Kelso inside that used to be centered around mining and the railroad. How cool is that! I want to go! I’ll add it to my travel bucket list.
June 24, 2014 10:32am - Next to Roadkill Cafe. I found out as we were leaving that there was a geocache somewhere in that area. But but but. *sigh* Fiiiiiine. We had to keep moving. Seligman, AZ.
June 24, 2014 10:33am - Roadkill Cafe. Ricky had heard about it somewhere before. Once he saw the sign for it on the interstate he had to stop and check it out. Seligman, AZ.
10:38am on I-40 E just past mile marker 122 in Arizona
Ricky saw a sign for the Roadkill Cafe on Route 66 so he got off the interstate to check it out. It’s a fun place to stop and see. It has a rusty beat up car and some other stuff. Omg there was a geocache right where we parked and I didn’t have time to look for it. *whimpers* I get sad when I’m where a geocache is and can’t look for it. I get sad when I can’t find a geocache period. Do Not Finds are no fun.
June 24, 2014 11:59am - Say hello to my lunch. A basic and very inexpensive food choice: white bread, turkey, and sliced cheese. Ricky had the cracker version. We brought a small cooler with us to save money on food - at least on one meal a day. Gas station in Flagstaff, AZ.
June 24, 2014 2:41pm - Say hello to the evil carrots. I got hungry later in the day. I begrudgingly ate some. I know they are good for me but carrots taste gross uncooked. Somewhere on I-40 E.
11:30pm at Best Western in Tucumcari, NM
Today was a pretty straightforward day - literally. We have been heading east all day on I-40 E. We saw blue skies and lots of sun. We saw a truck get pulled over by a cop. We were on the road a looooooong time. Thirteen hours to be exact.
I came by an Earthcache at a rest stop on I-40 E. These don’t have logs you sign. They are meant to get you thinking about the earth and its makeup. The question you had to answer on this one was, “Provide a piece of evidence that suggests this is a FLOODPLAIN (IN a Rift) instead of a mesa.” I had to look up so many words. I had a hard time answering it. The Earthcache worked as it got me thinking about the geology of the immediate area that I otherwise wouldn’t have given a second thought. I took pictures of the area in question and spent an hour in the car looking up stuff on my phone. I want proper credit for this one! Plus it’ll be my only cache found in New Mexico.
On to the hotel we went! I made a reservation online so that we HAD to make it all the way there. I found a really nice Best Western for 100 bucks including tax and AAA discount. I’m impressed. They called our room about two hours after check-in to see if everything was satisfactory and to see if we needed anything. The doors are outward facing and Ricky didn’t seem concerned. Yey.
For note we had KFC for dinner. We were supposed to eat sandwiches but Ricky wanted a kind of reward for driving all that way. That and he was craving chicken.
Begin time: 7:00pm at Mom’s place, Southern CA
End time: 9:00pm at Barstow, CA
Total distance: 135 miles
June 23, 2014 11:19am - This is a little funny. We stopped to have breakfast turned lunch at Hamburger Hamlet and there is an In-N-Out right across the street. *shakes head* Sherman Oaks, CA
June 23, 2014 11:40am - The hamburger I ordered, Home town Burger. We went there for breakfast, they gave us a lunch menu, and we later found out that they really do serve breakfast all day. Hamburger Hamlet in Sherman Oaks, CA
June 23, 2014 11:50am - Side view of my hamburger deliciousness. I only ate half of it. The flavors blended so well. Hamburger Hamlet in Sherman Oaks, CA
1:18pm at Mom’s place in Southern CA
Today is our last day in the Valley. Tonight we head back to Barstow, where we will begin our trek back to Florida tomorrow.
Today is our mom’s birthday. Later on my brother will be cooking Chicken Diane for dinner. It’s a Cajun dish. Our stepdad used to love making a handful of Cajun dishes. My brother was the one who caught on to it…YEARS ago. I’m barely now just trying to figure out how to cook non-boring regular food. My cooking skills are so unbelievably simple and dwarfed compared to Ricky’s.
Getting back to today… So far we’ve eaten lunch at Hamburger Hamlet in Sherman Oaks, shopped a little at Gelson’s and put clothes in the laundry. I’m catching Mom’s up too so she won’t have mess with them later. Yeah, yeah I know that’s not all that travel related but I like helping where I can. Mom buys me chocolate milk, I do the laundry. That’s how this works.
1:56pm at Mom’s place in Southern CA
I have a Christmas song stuck in my head because June screams Christmastime. It might be because I’m at my mom’s house or just simply because I’ve been humming simple Xmas tunes my whole life. That and Zelda: Ocarina of Time songs.
"All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth. My two front teeth, see my two front teeth. Gee if only I could have my two front teeth. I could wish a Merry Christmas…"
All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth) by Spike Jones
June 23, 2014 4:03pm - Felix wants to play. No way kitty, you have to come to me. Why do cats always drop to the floor out of arms reach? Mom’s place, Southern CA
June 23, 2014 4:39pm - Chicken Diane. Ricky made it for our mom’s birthday. Mom’s place, Southern CA
June 23, 2014 7:01pm - Safety first! When we left Mom’s place, I buckled my bunny in. Mom got this bunny for me Easter 2002. It’s been my favorite one all of these years. Mom’s place, Southern CA
7:53pm on CA-210 heading towards Barstow, CA
We have left for Barstow. This will get us out of any possible traffic laden areas. Tomorrow is going to be drive, drive, drive. We’ve decided against going to Montezuma. We figure since we more or less skipped seeing anything on the eastern portion of the drive towards California that we will skip seeing anything on the western portion of the drive towards Florida. We will be staying at the same hotel we stayed at before seeing our mom - Sleep Inn. This time we WILL be partaking in the breakfast. No mommy to make us breakfast this time.
Total distance traveled: Not many.
8:37am at Courtyard Marriott in Woodland. Hills, CA
Huzzah for waking up feeling this refreshed. I like waking and stretching and feeling like a million bucks. Who doesn’t?
June 22, 2014 7:09pm - Taco salad! A not so unhealthy dinner that’s delicious. I need to make this more often at home except with ground turkey. Mmm mmm. Mom’s place, Southern CA
June 22, 2014 10:17pm - Checkout my lovely sunburn! Yeah, it stings just a bit. Courtyard Marriott in Woodland Hills, CA
11:30pm at Courtyard Marriott in Woodland Hills, CA
Today has been a simple day. I’m afraid there isn’t much to report.
1. Ricky and I went to Balboa Park in Van Nuys to walk on the trail. We really needed some exercise. We had planned to go hiking at Stoney Point but his leg was unhappy from the steep hike in Sequoia. I grabbed two geocaches while we were there. I also got two bad sunburns on my upper arms and shoulders. I remembered sunscreen on my face but not my arms. Go Mea.
2. I visited with some old friends for a few hours. It’s always nice to catch up.
3. Off to mom’s I went to join my brother.
There’s nothing wrong with visiting and hanging out. :)
Total distance: Ha ha, not much. Thank goodness.
9:54am at Holiday Inn Express in Woodland Hills, CA
Ahoy there mateys! We got some much needed sleep last night. I feel great! Who got 9 hours of sleep? We did! But now we have to pack up once again because this hotel is completely booked. Why oh why must you be such a coveted hotel? We wanted to relax and do nothing for a few hours. I called Courtyard Marriott down the street. They took pity on us and gave us a reservation for tonight and tomorrow night. Ok, they really just had a room open but whatever. My story is better.
On another note my face feels like the Sahara. My face is something I deal with all the time. Striking a balance in Florida took awhile. And now that I’m back in the dry, I’m not equipped for it anymore. Meh.
June 21, 2014 1:23pm - Fry’s Electronics in Woodland Hills, CA
June 21, 2014 1:46pm - Check this out! All the characters from Alice and Wonderland are portrayed throughout the store. Fry’s Electronics in Woodland Hills, CA
June 21, 2014 3:10pm - Our new hotel room at the Courtyard Marriott. I feel a little spoiled, even though this is more for Ricky’s sake. This place is niiiiiiiice. Woodland Hills, CA
June 21, 2014 4:07pm - After check-in, I went geocaching! This one was quite satisfying because I had looked everywhere except under a rock. And then I found this. Woodland Hills, CA
June 21, 2014 9:03pm - Our mom made Chicken & Dumplings. Mmm mmm. Mom’s place, Southern CA
June 21, 2014 9:23pm - Chocolate cupcakes with Reese’s filling. As if I needed this insane indulgence. Ha. I’m going on a diet when I get back home. Mom’s place, Southern CA
11:30pm at Courtyard Marriott in Woodland Hills, CA
Today we really got to putz around and take it easy. After getting “booted” from our last hotel, we did some casual shopping and killed some time before we could check in to our hotel - Courtyard Marriott. Since I used to live in this area, I knew of a few places to go. We went to the Topanga Mall. We got some lunch and walked around. At the attached Target, I got a pillow! Now I don’t have to fuss with hotel pillows that are too fluffy.
We couldn’t very well come all this way and not visit Fry’s Electronics. These stores are so cool! It’s the only physical store I’ve come across that sells components to computers or to any other electronic item in a large quantity you can browse. While it is a chain store, each one is unique. This Fry’s has an Alice and Wonderland theme. I used to come here if I was bored and would check out what was new in the electronics world.
We also went to Petsmart. We were trying hard to kill an hour. I got to look at kitties up for adoption! They are so cute.
We wanted to check in to our hotel before going to our mom’s house so we wouldn’t have to deal with it late at night when we are dog tired. I called the hotel twice to see if our room was ready. I figured since it wasn’t 3pm yet that we would wait until check-in before stepping foot inside the hotel. It’s a good thing I had called because it seems that since they are fully booked that our room got situated quicker than it would have if I hadn’t called. Housekeeping was nowhere near done for the day.
We had an hour and a half before we needed to head to Mom’s, so I took this opportunity to go geocaching! I found three caches in the area surrounding the hotel. I felt like a weirdo looking around out in the open by myself, but I did it! One of them was supposed to have a trackable but it didn’t. I was sad.
Off to see our mom we went!
June 23, 2014 11:31pm - See, my pretty pillow that I got from Target. It’s the same one I have at home. It just happens to be the cheapest one they have. Courtyard Marriott in Woodland Hills, CA
Begin time: 7:45am at Mom’s place, Southern CA
End time: 9:53pm in Woodland Hills, CA
Total distance: 200 miles
6:35am at Quality Inn in Burbank, CA
I swear I get more sleep when I’m at home. When I’m on vacation I struggle to relax because there’s so much to see and do. Last night was another late night and this morning was another early morning. My alarm would tell me to get my lazy butt out of bed at 5:30am. My brother’s phone goes off at 5:11am. It was the A/C repair company in Florida calling him to schedule an appointment. Curse you, evil phone caller! I was wide awake for the next precious 19 minutes. I shake my fist at you, sir. But that’s it because I’m too sleepy to do anything else.
9:44am on Highway 65 heading to Sequoia National Park
We are passing through an oil field. There are oil pumps/drills (right word?) scattered all around. I think that crude oil tank said Wilcox on it.
Earlier on Highway 99, I saw a baby deer running at the base of a hill. I gasped because it was so darn cute. Yeah, I forget that my unbridled enthusiasm can be startling. I sometimes forget my brother is one of these people. I saw Bambi, dammit! I get to gasp and point. So nah.
12:38pm at Sequoia National Park, CA
At the visitors center I saw license plate frame for Geocaching! It was a whole family of Geocachers!
June 20, 2014 12:45pm - Waterfall! Just look at the emerald color. I wish I could have gotten closer to touch it! Sequoia National Park, CA
June 20, 2014 12:46pm - I was there! I could barely see the screen. Sequoia National Park, CA
June 20, 2014 2:16pm - The tree in the middle is General Sherman. Gorgeous woods. Sequoia National Park, CA
June 20, 2014 3:44pm - View from Beaver Rock. The moment right as we found our way back to the car. It was a quick snap and dash. Sequoia National Park, CA
7:05pm on I-5 heading back to Mom’s place, Southern CA
We found one thing that made this long haul worth it. A waterfall. Who goes crazy for water? I do! I did the shaky arms thing again. The water in the Kaweah River is so pretty. Since the water is a little slow moving this time of year, some algae has grown giving the water a slight green tint. I wanted to linger here but we had to keep moving.
When we arrived at the Giant Forest Museum, we learned that there were shuttles that cart you around the park. This was perfect. Now Ricky could enjoy himself. We took the shuttle to the General Sherman tree. I don’t mean to be that guy that’s unimpressed by something as impressive as these big trees but I was a tad disappointed by the General Sherman. I suppose it may stem from the fact that (1) I’ve seen the redwoods in Northern California and (2) I’ve been to Big Tree Park in Longwood, Florida where the 2,000 year old cypress Lady Liberty lives with her dead sister tree, The Senator, which was about 3500 years old. I really tried…
Before leaving the park, Ricky and I decided to take a short hike. I wanted to take the trail that would take us near water but I couldn’t seem to find any directions to find that trail - so we wandered. These sequoia redwoods are beautiful trees in their natural setting. There are other trees here too, obviously. The Forest smelled wonderfully like Christmas trees. It seems that I’m slightly allergic to one of them as I had gotten some tree sap on my ankle and it made me itchy. But my ankle smelled great. Haha. But yeah, Ricky and I got a tad bit lost and had to hike some very steep hills. I know I’m not in shape but my goodness - I had to stop a few times. Ricky made fun of me. >.>
The drive out of the park made me nauseous. I can read in a moving car, I can stand the first trip through a windy path, but the second trip in a single day usually makes me feel green. Ricky tried to keep the turns smooth. I was so happy when the car stopped just outside the park. 7up is my friend.
To make the day more interesting, just a little while ago a pebble hit the windshield and chipped the glass. Hurray for dealing with a rental car and insurance.
June 20, 2014 9:54pm - Our hotel room. I really wish I had taken a picture of our room at the Quality Inn. This room at the Holiday Inn Express is WAY better. Woodland Hills, CA
11:30pm at Holiday Inn Express in Woodland Hills, CA
This hotel is so much better than the last! It’s in a nice part of town, is newer, and is cleaner. I don’t feel hesitant to walk barefoot in the room. And they have Bath and Body Works bath products. Woo hoo!
Begin time: 9:00am in Barstow, CA
End time: 11:00am in Mom’s place, Southern CA
Total distance:121 miles
7:57am at Sleep Inn in Barstow, CA
Yey! We are going to see our mommy today! *does the excited shaking arms thing* And we get to see my kitties! I had to leave them in California with my mom because there was no way I could take them to Florida with me when I moved.
Our mom is going to make us yummy breakfast food. It’s going to glorious…and oh so fattening. *rubs hands together* Homemade food, here we come!
June 19, 2014 9:42am - That is the smog we headed into when we neared civilization. It isn’t pretty. Southern CA.
10:45am on one of these crazy Freeways in the Valley
Mmm traffic. Oh how I have not missed you. I do not pine after your aggressive drivers or your crazy freeways.
June 19, 2014 12:05pm - Homemade food! My mom made hash browns, sausage, eggs, and biscuits. I gobbled up this unhealthy deliciousness. Mom’s place, Southern CA
June 19, 2014 4:30pm - I think postcards are fun. Tangible stuff is cool in our overwhelmingly digital age. Mom’s place, Southern CA
June 19, 2014 4:52pm - Chocolate milk! Wooooo! All I’m missing is a straw. Mmm mmm. Mom’s place, Southern, CA
June 19, 2014 7:35pm - Hi Felix! How’s my pretty kitty? I got so many head butts. Oh my goodness. (I’m glad that’s not my blanket covered in cat hair.) Mom’s place, Southern CA
June 19, 2014 8:16pm - Dinner time! My mom made the cajun meatloaf and I made the macaroni salad. Ooooooh man. Mom’s place, Southern CA
11:30pm at Quality Inn in Burbank, CA
At some point we needed a day to relax and today was that day. Sorry to disappoint you folks. Enjoy the cute pictures of my cat and my mom’s cookin’!
I should note that I found a geocache today! My brother and I took a walk after breakfast and I found one on my phone to find.
But before I pass out, I want to tell you of this awesome hotel we are staying at. I am being facetious, of course. We are staying at the Quality Inn in Burbank. What a special little dirty place this is. This place is $100 bucks including tax. Staying in highly populated areas is so expensive! This is the grossest place we’ve stayed at. It’s not just old but it’s dirty. The attention to detail is lacking. Plus we are right next to the railroad tracks. The passing trains are quite loud. I doubt it will wake me up. I can’t say the same for Ricky.
Begin time: 8:30am in Holbrook, AZ
End time: 10:00pm in Barstow, CA
Total distance: 440 miles
June 18, 2014 9:43am - That is one big hole in the ground. The Meteor Crater is 2.4 miles in circumference and just under 3/4 of a mile wide. Winslow, AZ
10:54am on I-40 heading west to the Grand Canyon
Another day, another place, and another early morning of six hours rest because my body thinks it’s funny to wake up on Eastern time. Bah! I gotta give my brother a lot of credit because I just couldn’t hold up the energy to drive all day. I love being the passenger.
We visited the Meteor Crater. It’s a pretty hole in the ground. My goodness was it windy! They aren’t holding rim tours today because of the wind. At first, Ricky thought that was stupid but once we went to the observation decks outside, he completely understood. This wind could knock a small person over if they weren’t expecting it. I saw this crater a few years ago. This is Ricky’s first time here. He is impressed and a little not too keen on the fact that this crater was formed only 50,000 years ago. In the grand scheme of life on Earth, that’s nothing.
June 18, 2014 12:33pm - A mini-canyon east of the Grand Canyon. I didn’t find its name. Arizona.
June 18, 2014 1:11pm - An even BIGGER hole in the ground. Grand Canyon NP, AZ
June 18, 2014 1:24pm - Mea was there! Grand Canyon NP, AZ
7:30pm on I-40 somewhere in California
The sun is brutal today. My goodness. Right now I’m sitting up very straight in my seat trying to avoid the sun. It can’t go down fast enough.
After the Meteor Crater we headed to the Grand Canyon. We went in the South Entrance and started at Desert View. Holy cow is it a long drive. It took us two hours to get there. It seemed like we drove through reservation after reservation. I’m not sure, I haven’t looked it up. While I don’t advise anyone to make the Grand Canyon a three hour destination, we did it because it was three hours or nothing.
I also do not recommend holding a complete stranger’s camera so you can take a picture of them and then fall on your butt. I so did this. I have an unfortunate habit of not paying attention when I step backwards when I’m with other people. This time I tripped over a small stump. Yes, I felt like an idiot. The camera was safe though.
By this stretch of my entry the sun is finally setting behind the mountains. The backwards sunrise is beautiful today. The mountains have turned a hazy blue. Reminds me of the sunrise I saw in the Grand Canyon a few years ago. There’s nothing like it.
11:30pm at Sleep Inn in Barstow, CA
Finding a place to stay at night is a continual toss up. We settled on the Sleep Inn because it was about $100 with tax and was clean. It’s right next to the train tracks so you can hear the squealing of the trains passing by. I’m pretty sure I’m too tired to care.
We stopped here because we enjoy sleeping and because we’ve been on the road a lot today. Tomorrow we’ll just drive the remaining two hours to see our mom. I’m a little bummed that this is a Route 66 town and we won’t be looking at any of it. How very, very sad.
For note, we ate dinner at McDonald’s. Fancy.
Starting time: 9:30am in Shamrock, TX
Ending time: 9:00pm in Holbrook, AZ
Total distance: 600 miles
8:21am at Holiday Inn Express in Shamrock, TX
Good morning, my minions. I slept quite well last night and am ready to get into some trouble today! As long as I don’t get sun burnt, of course. The blue-eyed vampire in me has not melted under the sun yet. I am hoping today is not that day!
Time for breakfast. Mmm already paid for hotel food.
12:01pm just past Cadillac Ranch on I-40 west of Amarillo, TX
We visited the Cadillac Ranch. It’s so cool because it’s 10 half buried Cadillacs. I had to look this part up - the make years range from 1949 to 1963. This is the second site for the cars as they were moved from their original site in 1997. It’s a neat quick stop. Ricky and I tried finding the geocache in the one gutted car. It was fun having Ricky join in on the fun.
June 17, 2014 11:46am - Mea (and Ricky) at Cadillac Ranch just west of Amarillo, TX
Earlier we stopped at the Devil’s Rope Museum. It features the history of ranching and everything that goes with it for this area. They also had a Route 66 section. The best part was that the museum was free. I also found a geocache there. For time’s sake, I asked the woman who worked there if she knew where it was. I don’t care if that’s cheating! We had to leave and I wanted to log it.
June 17, 2014 10:02am - Old school telephone communication. Attach wire cables to the top wire of your fence to communicate with the neighbors down the way. Devil’s Rope Museum in McLean, TX
June 17, 2014 10:14am - The Route 66 diner exhibit at the Devil’s Rope Museum in McLean, TX
Bah. We passed a cow ranch place where all the cows were living on top of each other. There were hundreds of them. :-(
12:43pm on I-40 just east of Tucumcari, NM
We just drove through a cloud of bats! And off to the North there was a small dust wall. Yey for lots of dust and dry sinuses.
2:18pm on I-40 Somewhere
Saw a fancy modern car flipped over in the middle of the interstate. We had to pass on the shoulder.
June 17, 2014 2:59pm - Hamburger! We were so hungry. The Clines Corners Restaurant whipped up our delicious hamburgers in less than 15 minutes. I love the simplicity. Clines Corners, NM
3:33pm at Clines Corners Restaurant in Clines Corners, NM
The temperature changed quite a bit. At the Welcome to New Mexico stop the air was very hot and dry. I had to pull out the eye drops. But the dropping moisture coming from the sky has made it cooler here. We are riding with the windows down.
I see lightning! However, I do not believe we will get poured on. Thankfully.
June 17, 2014 3:51pm - Check out the dirt devil’s. During the blowing rain. I-40 in New Mexico.
4:02pm on I-40 Somewhere
I could not have been more wrong about the rain. It did, indeed, pour like a crying baby.
June 17, 2014 5:15pm - Just a pretty view out my window after the rain. I-40 in New Mexico.
7:52pm at the Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
We visited the Petrified Forest National Park. This place is so coooool. So here’s the story. We’ve been driving forever today and gained two hours by crossing two time zones. Originally we were going to visit on our way back home going eastbound. But because we are staying in Holbrook just 30 minutes from here and gained some time, we figured why not just go ahead and check it out. It’ll free us up heading home and we don’t have to wait.
June 17, 2014 7:03pm - Mea and Ricky’s shadow at one of the first view points in the Northern Entrance. The lighting is so pretty. We got here at a good time of day. Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona.
What a great idea. We got here at about 6:30pm which gave us an hour and a half to find some pretty views and some logs. I made quick with finding a spot that would have the petrified logs. I really had no grasp of the actual size of this park. Ricky disapproves of the long drive from the North entrance to the middle of the park where we saw our share of logs.
We stopped at Jasper Point and walked around the loop. This is just so cool. I will let the pictures do the talking. I just love nature. I mean these used to be trees and now they are stone. Ricky is impressed.
June 17, 2014 7:16pm - Check out the bark. Nature and science are so much fun! Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona.
June 17, 2014 7:25pm - Mea proving she was there! Check out my hair. It’s sunset gold. Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
June 17, 2014 7:34pm - I’m enthralled by the details of this log. How neat! Don’t those little pieces look like wood chips? Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona.
Funny thing - we had been in the car for a couple of hours with no potty break. Oh man. Both of us really had go by the end of our hour and a half visit. It’d be at least another 20+ minutes before exiting out the North Entrance. Fortune was kind to us. There just happened to be a porta-potty at our stop. We were both surprised it didn’t smell gross and that it wasn’t dirty. Now we can drive to Holbrook comfortably.
I am a little sad. There are a lot of Earth caches in this park. I didn’t have time to do any of them. The one regular geocache I saw on my app, we didn’t have time to check out either. Booooo. Oh well.
11:30pm at Lexington Inn in Holbrook, AZ
*yawn* We did quite a bit of neat stuff today considering how long we’ve been at it.
Before we ever thought of going to the Petrified Forest NP, I was doing quite a bit of hunting to find a hotel in Winslow or Holbrook. Ricky is super weird about finding a clean, comfortable place with inward facing doors. I can’t blame him for being paranoid though. On our first drive from Florida to California in 2009, we stayed at a Motel 6. Our room got double booked and double checked in. Someone who had a key tried accessing our room in the middle of the night. We slept with the table blocking the door.
After quite a long time of looking at places on my phone, I found the Lexington Inn in Holbrook. This place was just under a hundred bucks including tax and breakfast. I am smart. After looking on hotels.com, I went directly to the hotel’s website to see if they had any discounts or sales. I’m awesome. I got us a AAA discount and an online only 15% off. Booyea.
Since, it looks like the hotel used to be something else, I asked the front desk lady. The hotel used to be a Holiday Inn Express for 20 something years and recently switched to Lexington. Basically, Holiday wanted the hotel to take out all its Native American decorations that they’ve had up forever so the hotel could be plain like all the others. And also they wanted the hotel to jump some hoops to offer tabasco sauce to its customers. They said forget it, we want a divorce - we are marrying someone else. After they switched to Lexington last June, they began renovations. The hallways don’t look like much yet but the rooms are quite nice.
On our way out to get dinner my brother told the lady who checked us in, “There’s something wrong with our room.” She looked a little concerned and a little apologetic. And then he said, “It’s awesome.” Ha! She appreciated the humor and laughed.
For note, we ate dinner at Burger King. Roadtripping food is what it is.
Begin time: 4:30pm in Oklahoma City, OK
End time: 7:30pm in Shamrock, TX
Total distance: 160 miles
5:55am at Denise’s in Oklahoma City, OK
I woke up to a wee bit of an earthquake just now. I looked it up to make sure I wasn’t dreaming it and yep, it was a small earthquake. I’m sleeping on the floor and I felt the floor move. And then I could here lots of other things shaking. It lasted a few seconds. What are the odds. I lived in Southern California for 12 years and only experienced a handful of tremors and small earthquakes. First trip to Oklahoma, first time!
I guess it scared my brother. He immediately posted his earthquake disapproval on Facebook.
4:05pm at Denise’s in Oklahoma City, OK
Oklahoma has never struck me as the place to have earthquakes. Hmm…
Breakfast time! The ever so important meal of the day had come upon us once again. Denise took us to this really yummy chain called Jimmy’s Eggs in Quail Springs. I got the Fiesta Skillet Scramble. Yum. It had lots of flavor with a spicy kick to it. I was very pleased with my option. Thanks for taking us there Denise!
Next it was time to play tourist again. Our first stop was the Myriad Botanical Gardens. It’s an indoor garden that is very hot and humid. I bet this place feels nice in the winter…
June 16, 2014 1:26pm - Inside the indoor Myriad Botanical Gardens! This place has a variety of plants. There are even some butterflies. This flower looks like a fancy bird. Oklahoma City, OK
After we left there, I pulled out my phone to see if there were any geocaches to find nearby. Yep! It was a pretty simple find. I was so excited that I found it! Yey for finding a cache in another state.
June 16, 2014 1:44pm - I found a geocache! Woo hoo! Oklahoma City, OK
That sun really began to beat down on us. It was brutal. As I write this indoors I think my skin is turning a shade of pink. Yes, I wore sunscreen.
Next Denise took us over to the Memorial for the OKC bombing. (I found a virtual geocache. Yey!) This place is actually really cool. The outdoor part is free. They give you a brochure that explains everything. It has a pretty reflecting pool. I had no expectations and was quite pleased. The Memorial is quite beautiful and also quite sad. Unfortunately I actually couldn’t recall ever learning about this event. In school either I didn’t have a good history program or I was in high school right after 9/11 happened so everything got focused on that. And my history focus in college was American history just past the American Civil War. I love history. Please don’t judge too harshly that I didn’t know about the bombing.
June 16, 2014 2:11pm - The reflecting pool at the Memorial for the OKC bombing. Oklahoma City, OK
After the Memorial we had to stop someplace to get water and to cool off. That someplace was a Subway. Sweet mother of cookies, it was hot outside.
Alas, at this point we headed back to Denise’s place so that Ricky and I could get back on the road. Thanks for playing the tour guide Denise! Cramming that much information into two half days can only be done by someone who’s local and has had a couple of years to digest it already. Thanks for letting me pet your very scared cat, Ophelia. :-)
Oklahoma City is actually pretty nice. There is lots of construction going on at the moment. They are cleaning this place up in every which way to make it a nice place to be. There are lots of unique eateries all over the place both in and out of downtown. They are creating a clear identity for this city.
5:48pm on I-40 in Hinton, OK
It is crazy windy right now. The wind is blowing like crazy. Must be a prairie thing.
10:00pm at Holiday Inn Express in Shamrock, TX
I found another geocache! Yey! Omg I was giddy. Just ask my brother. I love treasure hunts! (I mean, I love Zelda - that game is full of treasure finding.) I looked on my phone to see if there was a cache in the immediate area since we were heading next door to the old Conoco gas station that has been maintained quite well. The cache was right there at the little information signs at the gas station! My brother even thought it was cool. My enthusiasm can be pretty contagious. What’s even better is that I knew there was going to be a trackable there for pickup. And wouldn’t you know that it had a Doctor Who keychain. It’s trying to make its way back to London. I will take it with me to California for a visit and will drop it off somewhere back in Florida. What a nice topper to the day!
June 16, 2014 8:23pm - There is Mea (Amanda…whatever) holding on to the cache I had found. Shamrock, TX
June 16, 2014 8:30pm - I found a trackable while geocaching! It’s like winning a prize! The one I found is on the right. The one on the left is my own personal trackable that I left in its place. Shamrock, TX
June 16, 2014 8:32pm - The Conoco Station Tower. Found my cache outside there. This sucker was built in the 1930s. Shamrock, TX
We decided to stay in Shamrock, Texas today. Mostly because it was the closest town to us when we decided to stop and partly because the hotels would be cheaper than in Amarillo. We tried two hotels and they were full. We settled on the third - Holiday Inn Express. We are pleased. Especially since I wouldn’t have known about that cache next door otherwise. Another King bed…
For note, we had Taco Bell for dinner. There’s a steakhouse nearby but we were going cheap on this one. I’m guilty, I actually like Taco Bell.
Tomorrow we will drive to Winslow, Arizona. It’s just a stopping point I have planned out. Hopefully we find more cool Route 66 stuff tomorrow. I’ll take a unique dilapidated building for a cool picture, please. And maybe a geocache as well.
Start time: 7:30am in Forrest City, AR
End time: 3:00pm in Oklahoma City, OK
Distance: 420 miles
6:38am at the Hampton Inn in Forrest City, AR
*yawn* Yey for sleeping! Though it’s never quite enough when on vacation - a non-relaxation vacation. That’s a good sign that your doing it right! No time to waste. We have to be in Oklahoma City by 2pm to meet with my brother’s friend. We’ll make it. *yaaaaaawwn* I’m so glad I’m not allowed to drive the rental. Yey for being the passenger the whole trip!
Shoot. I forgot my deodorant at home. >.> I’m going to smell like my brother all day.
June 15, 2014 9:08am - Ha ha haaaaaaa. Somewhere along I-40 W in Arkansas.
12:48pm on I-40 W in Webbers Falls, OK
I have a song stuck in my head. “Hey Brother” by Avicii. It was one of the theme songs from my previous camping trip with my friend, Danny. I love that song.
Right now I’m not looking at a whole lot of anything. I see grass, cows and farms. I see clouds. A few hours ago it poured. I must say that I am glad for the cloud cover as yesterday we got a lot of sun. I am wearing sunscreen but still. I am pale.
Hehe. We just passed a couple of signs for Lotawatah and then we crossed over Lake Eufaula. We had been playing around with the pronunciations and then my brother says, “Eufaula me to Lotawatah.” (You follow me to lotta water.) Ha ha haaaaa. We crack ourselves up.
2:04pm on I-40 in Prague, OK
Today we have managed to travel through three completely different countries. We drove through Palestine and then London and then Prague. Obviously, I’m kidding but it’s funny with the hugely recognizable names as cities here in the United States.
June 16, 2014 12:44am at Denise’s in Oklahoma City, OK
I’ve never considered Oklahoma City to be any kind of tourist destination. The most I know about this state is the Trail of Tears. We’ve come to stay in this city because my brother’s friend, Denise, lives here. If it weren’t for her, we would have passed straight through. Before going into our half day visit with her, let me say this, “What’s the deal with 7 digit phone numbers here?” I’m SO used to seeing full 10 digit phone numbers. Anyway…
For lunch we went to Iron Starr. It’s a barbeque restaurant that has AMAZING food. They consider themselves to be urban barbeque. It’s surprisingly spacious inside. Ricky and I shared brown sugar cured brisket with Dutch oven sweet potatoes, fancy mac & cheese, and a cornbread with some kind of finely chopped peppers inside. Oh my gerd the sauce…oh sweet and savory barbeque sauce, I approve of your spicy undertones. Denise shared her whole fried okra with us. Hands down, it’s one of the best fried okras I’ve ever had. Usually fried okra is sliced into nickel sized pieces. Mmmmmmmm. Yey for another non-chain restaurant!
June 15, 2014 5:08pm - Our yummy lunch at Iron Starr. Oklahoma City, OK
Denise is inquisitive. She asked us about any- and everything about what’s happening in our lives. Towards me, she was generally curious because she doesn’t know much about me but knows a lot about my four years older brother. Comparing us can be fun. At Iron Starr she discovered that I’m not an adventurous food eater and was surprised. She figured that since Ricky loves trying new foods and that I love traveling so much that I’d love all foods. I do not. I’m apprehensive to try new foods. It is what it is. Hence why my brother is picking out a lot of my meals for me this trip!
After our fabulous lunch - yes, I mean it because it wasn’t slim pickin’s this-is-all-the-exit-offers kind of food… After our fabulous lunch at Iron Starr, Denise took on the role of tour guide. She showed us where she worked. Then she showed us around Bricktown. This is a neat place. I, of course, perked up because of the old factory buildings. Actually, this used to be the warehouse district. We took a water taxi tour and our boat guide’s watered down history lesson taught us that this place was highly prosperous before the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and fell into disrepair in the years following. As part of the Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS) program, which was funded by a one cent sales tax that was collected for a certain amount of time, Bricktown was built debt-free. They cleaned up the old factory buildings and then built the rest of the brick buildings and also the little canal we were being taxied on. I wish Orlando could get this kind of tax approved. The funds from this has provided for so many citywide improvements.
June 15, 2014 8:22pm - Taking the water taxi on the canal. Yes, it is an artificial canal. Bricktown. Oklahoma City, OK
There was this little girl there that said, “Duckys!” Ricky said, “Ha, that’s something Amanda would say.” Meaning me. He knows me so well.
We ended the evening at the Yucatan Taco Stand in Bricktown. They ordered drinks, I did not. Ricky said it might not bode well for me because of how much sun I’ve had today. He ordered some papa rellenas and some tacos for us. O.M.G. That thing was so good! It has mashed potatoes and meat inside. I kept going back for more. Denise was like, “Okay Miss ‘I wanted to order off the kids menu’.” There’s nothing wrong with the kids menu. The portions are smaller and are less expensive. I’m so glad Ricky ordered for me yet again.
June 15, 2014 9:46pm - Papa rellenas. Droooooool. At Yucatan Taco Stand in Oklahoma City, OK
June 15, 2014 10:46pm - Spokies, the bike share program in OKC, OK
Yaaaaaaaaaaawn. I am very much looking forward to crashing here in a few minutes on my special spot on the floor. It’s been quite a long day.
June 14, 2014 11:30pm
Today begins our road trip! When I say “we” I mean my brother, Ricky, and I. We are heading west to California. Our main reason for going is to visit our mom in California. Flying would be easier but he is deathly afraid of flying, so driving it is! Between the two of us we’ve made this drive a handful of times before on I-10. We’re taking I-40 for a change of pace.
This time we decided to make a pseudo road trip of it and do stuff along the way. This does mean that we have to take one day each direction and do nothing but drive. Today was one of those days. We drove from Orlando, FL to Forrest City, AR. We drove north on the Florida Turnpike up to I-75 North. We took that all the way up to just before Atlanta where we switched to I-20 West. Then we hopped to I-22 to US-78 W to AR-75 S to I-40 W. We’ll be taking I-40 the bulk of the way west from here. Sooooo happy about that.
I’ve decided to go with a diary style of blog. I do spend a lot of time sitting in the car so I have plenty of opportunities to grab my iPad to make an entry.
Start time: 7:15am in Orlando, Florida
End time: 9:15pm in Forrest City, Arkansas
Distance: 870 miles
9:56am on I-75 about 45 miles south of Valdosta, GA
Gah! I can’t get any of my devices to send files by Bluetooth. See I have an Android Razr. This sucker is ancient. I bought it 2.5 years ago. It tries my patience on a daily basis. Anyway, it takes awful photos so I want to use my brother’s work phone to take photos. Ultimately I want to be able to take a nice photo on his iPhone and get it over to my phone to post it on Instagram.
Usually I move files around using Dropbox but he’s adamant about keeping it in airplane mode for the duration of our trip. So I figured I’d move photo files across using Bluetooth. Nope! Between Android phones, Bluetooth does the trick. Then I thought I could Bluetooth photos across to my iPad. Nope! Apparently I need some app to do that between these two iDevices. It seems I have no choice but to install Dropbox on his iPhone and just upload selected photos whenever we get access to WiFi.
All in the name of a good photo.
10:35am at Lake Park Travel Center in Lake Park, GA
Bah. They have WiFi but it’s $1.99 for 60 minutes. I’m good. I’ll sit here and eat my yummy Red Beans and Rice from the Popeyes inside and forget all about it. Mmm.
June 14, 2014 10:38am - Yesssssss. Real food. I wish it was a real meal with chicken and mashed potatoes. Lake Park, GA
3:47pm on I-20 heading west at Pell City, AL
I know because I said “Find My Location” on my weather app. I’m smart.
The grass here is so green. I wouldn’t even need to use a filter on a photo to bring out that green. Currently we haven’t passed anything picture worthy so there goes that notion.
Ha. There’s a town coming up called Moody.
June 14, 2014 5:57pm - I see water! The view isn’t much yet but it’s something! Somewhere in Alabama.
June 14, 2014 6:09pm - At the welcome to Mississippi rest stop on I-22 W.
7:16pm on Highway 78 heading west at New Albany, MS
Mmm peanut M&M’s. Om nom nom. We stopped to get gas and I finally got my treat. We are stopping in Forrest City, Arkansas. It’s just past Memphis. We needed a plan on a place to stop, a place to sleep, and a yummy place to eat. By George, I believe I have found all three. I looked at a handful of hotels at that exit. What is the deal with the hotels offering King beds only or charging an additional cost for two Queen beds? I mean unless all of these hotels are crazy booked and a single King room is all they have… Last I checked my brother doesn’t have cooties so we’re good. (Ha! Autocorrect had changed it to cookies. Yeah, if he was holding out on sharing cookies then we wouldn’t be so good. That’s breaking the sibling code that says you must share yummy treats with your younger sister. Always.)
June 14, 2014 8:33pm - Crossing the Mississippi River on this dreary bridge. It isn’t pretty. At. All. Crossing over to Arkansas.
9:09pm on I-40 about 10 minutes out from Forrest City, Arkansas
There are a lot of bugs in Arkansas. The windshield is now a graveyard for thousands of little bugs. O.o They sound like small water droplets hitting the windshield.
June 14, 2014 9:39pm - Dinner time! I wanted to try a non-chain local restaurant and found Ole Sawmill on Google Maps. It has pretty basic fare and a laid back atmosphere. I got chicken tenders, mashed potatoes, and toast. Forrest City, AR
June 14, 2014 10:15pm - Time to pass ooooooouuut. I am very much excited by this prospect. I am nodding off at this point. Hampton Inn in Forrest City, AR