Sunday, June 28, 2009

I copied the article below from an email Gerry sent. He also posted this on his FB. I don't know where he found it. Gerry served 4 years of active duty as a Marine in the late '50's, early '60's. And once a Marine, always a Marine. So it doesn't surprise me that he would find this and post it. His loyalty to the Corp is strong, proud and steadfast. He wears hats with US Marines on it, has numerous T-shirts with US Marine Corp on them, and there are Marine Corp emblems on the new van and stickers on his van. On numerous occasions when he's had one of his hats or T-shirts on, people will stop him and ask him if he was in the Marine Corp. When he answers "yes" they will thank him for his service.

I never knew this about Ed McMahon. He was well known for his involvement in the television/entertainment industry. However, he was a decorated Marine officer who did much for his fellow Marine brothers. I would rather hear these kind of stories than some of what we are going to be enduring for some months to come.

Trust you will enjoy reading this particular article.


COLONEL ED, A NATIONAL HERO, HAS DIED He wanted to be a Marine fighter pilot. The US was building up their military force, but they were not at war yet and the Navy required all its potential Navy and Marine pilots to have two years of college. So Ed started classes at Boston College .
When Pearl Harbor was attacked the Army and the Navy both dropped the college requirement and Ed applied to the Marines. His primary flight training was in Dallas and then he went to Pensacola , Florida . He was carrier qualified, which means he knew how to perform a controlled crash of his single engine fighter, onto the rolling deck of a Navy floating runway.
It took Ed almost two years to get through all the Navy flight training. His problem was he was a very good pilot and the Marines needed flight instructors. He had a great command presence and public speaking ability, which landed him in the classroom, training new baby Marine pilots.
His orders to the Pacific fleet and the chance to fly combat missions off a carrier came in the spring of 1945, on the same day the Atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima . Of course his orders where changed. He never went to sea and he was out of the Marines in 1946.
Ed stayed in the USMC as a reserve officer. He became a successful personality in the new TV medium, after the war. His Marine command presence helped. He was recalled to active duty during the Korean War. He never got to fly his fighter aircraft, but he saw his share of raw combat. He flew the Cessna O-1E Bird Dog, which is a single engine slow-moving unarmed plane. He functioned as an artillery spotter for the Marine batteries on the ground and as a forward controller for the Navy & Marine fighter / bombers who flew in on fast moving jet engines, bombed the area and were gone in seconds. Captain Ed was still circling the enemy looking for more targets, all the time taking North Korean and Chinese ground fire.
He stayed with the Marines as a reserve officer and retired in 1966 as a Colonel.
The world knows Ed as Ed McMahon of the Johnny Carson, Tonight Show. One night I was watching the show when the subject of Colonel McMahon earning a number of Navy Air Medals came up. Carson, a former Navy officer, understood the significance of these medals, but McMahon shrugged it off, saying that if you flew enough combat missions they just sort of gave them to you. McMahon flew 85 combat missions over North Korea ; he earned every one of those Air Medals. The casualty rate, for flying forward air controllers in Korea sometimes exceeded 50% of a squadron’s manpower. McMahon was lucky to have gotten home from that war.

Once a Marine, always a Marine.

When the public was spitting (taking their personal safety into their own hands) at Marines on the streets of Southern California during Vietnam , Colonel McMahon was taking Marines off the streets and into his posh Beverley Hills home. I spoke to a retired Marine aircrew member the day Colonel McMahon died and he personally remembered seeing McMahon at numerous Marine Air Bases in California in the 1960s. He was known for going to the Navy hospitals and visiting the wounded Marines and Sailors from this country’s conflicts, even in the last years of his life.

Colonel McMahon presented awards and decorations to fellow Marines and attended many a Marine ceremony and the annual Marine Corps Birthday Ball. He stayed true to his Corps as a board member of the Marine Corps Scholarship Fund and as the honorary chairman of the National Marine Corps Aviation Museum. After retiring from the Marine Reserve, one night on the Johnny Carson show, members of the California Air National Guard came on stage.
Colonel McMahon was commissioned a Brigadier General in the Air Guard in front of millions of Americans who watched it happen live. You will not see anything like that on TV anymore.

The three core values of a United States Marine are; honor, courage and commitment. This is what a Marine is taught from the first day of training and this is what that Marine believes. That was Colonel Edward P. McMahon Jr. USMCR Retired. Before he was a national figure he was a true combat hero and a patriot the nation needed then and this country needs now.
Your war is over.

Thank you Colonel McMahon. Semper Fi sir.

23 June 2009 Major Van Harl USAF Ret.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Rebekah-Elizabeth Noe'lani - Sweet 16th Birthday

Yesterday, Friday June 26th was my granddaughter's 16th birthday. Her full name is Rebekah-Elizabeth Noe'lani. Elizabeth is after me (her first name is hyphenated like mine is) and Noe'lani is my daughter Denise's middle name, her mom. She is lovingly called "Bekah". She is a lovely girl, not only to look at, also to be around. She enjoys reading and is writing at least a couple of books. There may be more that she is working on, I don't remember exactly. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing her on our visit to Enterprise. This picture was taken in Destin, FL where we drove to on the Sunday before we left Alabama. That is the Gulf of Mexico in the background. I will be sharing more pictures of our visit to the Gulf later.

Here are the words to the song "Sixteen Candles" sung by The Crests back in the late '50's. I included this in the birthday card I made for her and edited the words to reflect what I wanted to say to her.

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Rebekah-Elizabeth Noe'lani
Oh, we love you so!!
Sixteen Candles make a lovely light
But not as bright as your eyes today
Blow out the candles, make your wish come true
For we'll be wishing that you love us too
You're only sixteen
But you're our teenage queen
You're the prettiest, loveliest girl we've ever seen
Sixteen Candles in our heart will glow
For ever and ever for we love you so
You're only sixteen
But you're our teenage queen
Oh, you're the prettiest, loveliest girl we've ever seen
Sixteen Candles in our heart will glow
For ever and ever for we love you so
For we love you so!!!!
I got a FB message from her today and she loved her card! :))

Checking In

I've been away from my blog and writing any new posts. The other day I downloaded the new Internet Explorer onto my desktop computer. Since I did that, I've been having all kinds of problems. When I try to get on my blog, I get an error message and get kicked off. The few times I have gotten on my blog and didn't get kicked off, I've just looked at Jalna, Leslie and my granddaughter's blogs. I got so irritated this afternoon, I turned on my laptop. So I've been using it instead. The desktop was fine before I downloaded the new Internet Explorer.

I finally got all of the vacation pictures downloaded off my Casio and Canon cameras to my laptop. Then I went through all of them, making notes and refreshing my memory as to where they were taken. I counted over 1000 pictures. Gerry has some on his Casio he hasn't downloaded so I want to download those onto my laptop. I downloaded over 200 of his while we were still traveling.

As soon as I get all that done, I will start downloading some to my blog. I won't put them ALL on, that would take me forever. I want to be done with blogging the trip. :)) I may create some albums on my Facebook too.

It has been rather warm here in Sacramento. I am not sure how hot it actually got today, it was suppose to be over 100. The next few days will be warm and then should cool down some by the middle of next week. At least it is cooling down at night. It is difficult to sleep at night if it is really warm. We turn the AC off at night, open the bedroom windows and have a fan going.

Yesterday we went to another memorial service. This one was for Graeff Galebach, age 83, who died from cancer last week. It was a wonderful worship service and was done by the former senior pastor from Roseville Nazarene. The service was done at a church in Citrus Heights not at Roseville Nazarene where Graeff and his wife Nancy have been members for many years. It would have been a little awkward. It was like a huge family reunion. So many who have left Roseville Nazarene over the last few years for one reason or another, were at the service. The former youth/associate pastor at Roseville Nazarene who is now a senior pastor in Midlothian, TX drove out with his family.

Hopefully there won't be any more memorial services for awhile.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pineapple Chicken Recipe

This Pineapple Chicken was one of the meals we had when we were in Enterprise, AL. Denise sent the recipe to me back in March. It is her friend Julie's recipe. It is very good and I decided to make it one night last week.

Here's the recipe:
5 lbs of chicken thighs
1 can of pineapple chunks in 100% juice
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 cup of shoyu (soy sauce)
1/2 cup of vinegar
4 T of cornstarch
1/2 tsp powdered ginger

Put all ingredients except the chicken in a saucepan, stir and bring to a boil. Place chicken in a large pan, pour sauce over chicken. Bake at 350 deg for 1 1/2 hours.

* I used a family pak of boneless/skinless chicken thighs. There were 8 pieces in the package. Be sure to watch the sauce because as soon as it comes to a full boil, the sauce will thicken. Also stir occasionally as the sugar will burn and stick on the bottom of the pan. I baked it for about an hour and 15 minutes and used a 9x13 inch baking dish.

When we had this in Enterprise, we had the combination thigh and leg pieces. Those probably would have to be cooked the 1 1/2 hours.

Serve it with rice. It is very good, we had 2 meals out of it. I forgot to take a picture so you could see what it looks like. Let me know if you decide to make it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Catching Up!

We've been home a week, it was a busy, emotional week. We attended the memorial service for our friend Del. Then we learned later in the week that our friend Graeff had passed away. His passing was expected. His service is this coming Friday and we'll be going to that.

I got caught up with laundry and got my bags unpacked. Most of my things are put away except for some books I had taken. They are still sitting on one of the dining table chairs. I need to straighten up my bookcase before I put them away.

I took all kinds of reading material with me, 3 or 4 books and some stamping magazines. I didn't do any reading while we were gone. I did manage to look at a couple of my magazines and then I bought a couple more when I went shopping at Hobby Lobby in Ft. Worth. All that reading material amounted to two tote bags I really didn't need to take. I don't think they were even taken out of the van when we stopped at our hotels along the way. In unpacking my bags, I also noticed that I took more clothes than I really needed. I don't know why I always do that. I just laundered and wore the same things over and over.

I don't know if it was adjusting to the time difference or what, I was also really tired last week. I slept good being back in our bed, however don't think I slept long enough to be rested.

On Saturday Gerry did a PGR mission at Sacramento International Airport. They welcomed an Army sergeant coming home from his third tour to Iraq. There was quite a group of PGR guys there. A few had their wives with them so I wasn't the only woman. Then when we got to the airport there was another group of people that the family had asked to be there. Passengers and people waiting for passengers on the incoming flights stood around and watched. Several people stopped and thanked the PGR guys for their service. It is always heart warming to hear and see that show of gratitude to the service member. I got misty eyed several times. A few of the PGR guys then escorted the family home. We were going to watch them leave the airport property and pulled over close to the freeway to watch them go by. A few other cars also pulled over. A Sheriff car went down the inbound road and saw the cars stopped so it went down a ways and turned around. As it got to the cars, on its loudspeaker the deputy told us we couldn't stop, to keep moving. Gerry knew the route the motorcade was going so we drove over to the area and stopped at the Chevron station where everyone had assembled before going to the airport. Gerry stood out on the curb and waited for them to come. He called me to come watch when he saw them come over the freeway overpass. As they approached and went by, he took a video. I'll get that on here and the pictures I took, later. We then drove by the family's home on our way home. The PGR guys were still there. The front yard had American flags all over.

In San Francisco today, at the airport, there was going to be another mission. Gerry wanted to go and I thought we were. A group of WWII veterans had flown out on Friday to go to Washington DC to see the WWII memorial. There was a group of PGR that saw them off. Then today they were returning and the PGR was going to welcome them back.

When he got out of the shower this morning, he told me he didn't really feel up to fighting the traffic in San Francisco nor driving that distance. It is over 100 miles to the airport from where we live. The route takes you over the Oakland Bay Bridge and the traffic gets pretty crazy as you get close to the bridge and San Francisco.

So instead we went to church and then went to California Pizza Kitchen for lunch. The food is so good there. I had a Grilled Caesar Chicken sandwich on focaccia bread with a side Caesar salad and Gerry had Spicy Italian Sausage and Penne Pasta. The focaccia bread had herbs and onions on the top of it. Very Good!! I'm sure Gerry's was good too, he cleaned his plate, literally with slices of sourdough bread they brought to the table. :))

Soon after we got home, son Erik called from Idaho and they talked for over 2 hours. I was going to try and take a nap and the talking on the phone kept waking me up. I did lay down for about an hour and a half. I did notice on FB that Gerry did get some Father's Day greetings from Elizabeth and Denise. And I wished him Happy Father's Day on there too. :))

It was a little warm today and according to the weather, it is suppose to warm up this week. It was on the cool side yesterday.

Well, I have some birthday cards to make this week and get in the mail. And hopefully I will have some time to go through all my pictures that I've downloaded and see what I want to put on my blog.

Trust all is well in your neck of the woods!! Talk to y'all soon!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Loss of Another Dear Friend

Another dear friend has gone home to be with the Lord sometime in the middle of the night. Graeff Galebach had a mild stroke a week or so ago and then cancer was found throughout his body, especially in his lungs and liver. He was in his early 80's. His daughter posted on her Facebook that he had passed. Saturday evening after we unloaded the car we went to the Kaiser hospital in Roseville to see him. And Gerry stopped yesterday morning after bible study. Am thankful we did that.

Graeff had a beautiful voice and especially enjoyed singing the old standards of the church - Amazing Grace, The Old Rugged Cross, The Love of God, etc.

He will be sorely missed. He is now home with our Lord. We who have been left behind rejoice in that fact. No more pain, no more suffering. And we know that when our time on earth is done and God calls us home, we will be together again.

My thoughts and prayers today are with Nancy, his wife of 56 years and his children Alan and Ann and grandchildren.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Memorial Service for Delbert Ray "Butch" Ford

This morning we drove up to Placerville to attend a memorial service for Del Ford. It was held at the Placerville Church of the Nazarene. The service was at 11:00 am so we left home at 9:30 am thinking we would have plenty of time to get up there and not be rushed.

Well, first off the traffic was heavy getting across Madison Avenue. We turned south on Sunrise to get to Highway 50. The traffic came to a stand still at Gold River so we cut off on Gold River Drive and drove over to Hazel Avenue. Every car that got in front of us was taking its sweet old time getting down the road. We finally got to Highway 50 and the traffic was pretty light. Then when we exited off the freeway there was a big truck in front of us that slowed us down. It finally turned off at a business along the way. We got to the church about 10:20 am which was a good thing because before long the church started filling up.

Placerville Nazarene just built a new building. The worship center is not very big. The chairs were all filled, people were standing along the back and side walls. The foyer was full of people standing. There are two covered areas on one side of the worship center with wide doors that open up. People were standing out there.

I greeted Linda and she told me it was amazing how people had found out about Del's death. She saw our names in an email that was circulating and was glad that we knew. I wondered later if she might have seen the Guest Book attached to Del's obituary that the Sacramento Bee had online. I signed the guest book and that is how I found out when the service was going to be held. There was a notice in Saturday's Bee, however because I had the paper stopped while we were on our trip, I didn't see the notice. I did a search on the Bee's website on Monday to see if there was a notice.

Del touched so many lives including the students he taught in his special ed classes and their families. Len Nichols, a friend of Del and Linda's sat with us at lunch and I asked him exactly what happened. Del and Linda built a home on the outskirts of Placerville. The lot they built on was hilly and it had a deep, long slope to it. They built at the top of the slope. There was a deck that went out over the slope giving them a basement. Del finished off the basement and he had his wood working shop down there. Evidently some of the railing on the deck had to be replaced and he was working on that last Wednesday. He slipped and fell off of the deck unto some rocks. Linda had just come home and when she went out to see what happened, Del told her he thought he had broken his neck. She rushed into the house to call 911 and by the time the paramedics got there, Del was gone.

He was 65 years of age and had just retired in May from teaching. There wasn't anything he couldn't do and he loved working with wood and making things. He did all the new cabintery in the new Placerville church building. He had pastored for several years, drove truck for a while, did sales and then in the '90's he went back to school and got his master's in education and starting teaching special ed classes. He and Linda had been married for 44 years and have 2 adopted children, Shawn and Kristi. Kristi was adopted from Korea. Shawn has 3 children and Kristi has one.

We met Del and Linda when Denise and Shawn were in junior high school. Denise and Shawn "went together" for a brief period when they were in high school. Del taught our Sunday School class and we spent many enjoyable times of fellowship as a class and at their home. One of the times I remember is they were going to have a garage sale at their house. We and another couple decided to join them and we all had "our stuff" spread out all over their front yard. Somewhere there are pictures of Del and I relaxing in some lawn chairs as we waited for people to stop and look at all we had to sell.

The service was very nice and I don't think there were very many dry eyes in the room. He will be missed so very much by all that knew him and loved and appreciated him.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Melody's Birthday & Lunch with the Warehimes

Melody's 9th birthday is today; she celebrated with a party at her house yesterday. We went to church first then went over to her house. When we got there the kids were out in the back yard having a water gun fight. They seemed to be having a grand time getting wet. We stayed for a little while and then left to go have some lunch/early dinner. There wasn't time to go eat after church. Gerry wanted to go the Old Spaghetti Factory in Roseville. It was pretty quiet there as the dinner crowd hadn't started yet. After that, we came home. I was pretty tired and wanted to just relax.

I got a few things unpacked and put away, however, there is still stuff laying around in the living room that needs to get put away. My bags all need to be unpacked too.

This morning, Monday, I slept in again. Gerry was going to get up early to go ride, he slept in too. He did get ready and went for a ride. It was going to be a short one since we were meeting the Warehimes for lunch at The Elephant Bar restaurant in Citrus Heights.

Stan and Donna use to be our neighbors when we lived in our house in North Highlands, a little north from where we live now. About the same time we were moving to our mobile, they moved to Missouri where they purchased a general store. The store actually consisted of the whole town of Davisville. It included a post office and feed store and a house. They sold the store a year ago or so. The house they purchased to live in is actually an earth house, part of it is buried and they have several acres, all part of a portion of the Mark Twain Forest in Southeastern Missouri. Donna and I have had a very close friendship for several years and so when they come to Sacramento to visit their daughters that live here, we always try to get together. Their son lives in Orange County and he came up last week to visit.

Two of their grandchildren graduated from high school so they drove out for that. They leave next weekend to drive back to Missouri. Donna told me today that they have their house and property on the market and are thinking about moving back out west. It will probably be Arizona. They've been looking for a mobile home to purchase. It won't be California, however, it will be closer than Missouri.

We sat out on the patio at The Elephant Bar and it was very nice. For most of our lunch, we were the only ones on the patio and so didn't feel rushed about getting through our lunch. We got there at 11:30 am and didn't leave until almost 2 pm. I knew Stan Jr was coming, however didn't know until this morning that their oldest daughter Shelly was coming too. It was so good to see her. She use to live across the street from us. Stan and Donna lived 3 houses from us.

I've got laundry started and need to start putting things away. At some time I need to go do some grocery shopping. Since we had a big lunch, we may not be hungry for dinner.

I also have a sympathy card to make. While we were at Joyce's in La Puente, we found out that a very good friend of ours, Del Ford, passed away suddenly. We don't know the details, it seems he was doing some work at his home in Placerville and fell. He said to his wife, Linda, I think I've broken my neck and died. He leaves his wife Linda, son Shawn, daughter Kristi and 4 grandchildren. Del and Linda are both school teachers and he retired this past May. He had been a pastor for several years prior to being a teacher. My daughter dated his son when she was in high school. Anyway, we've been friends for many years. His service is tomorrow at the Placervile Church of the Nazarene where he and Linda have been active members for a few years now.

The weather here in Sacramento has been rather pleasant. I did read in the Bee that it is suppose to start warming up later this week.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

We Are Home!!

Another quick post. I really need to be asleep. I am beyond tired. We got home about 5:20 pm this afternoon. It took a little longer than anticipated. We had breakfast in downtown Los Angeles this morning with a friend of Gerry's, Ike Delgadillo and his wife Ida. I am not sure of the spelling of his last name. Anyway, Gerry and Ike have known each other since they were in their teens. Gerry refers to Ike as his "Mexican brother". Gerry's youngest son's middle name is Issac after Ike.

We ate breakfast at The Pantry which was been in business since 1924. They are at the corner of Figueroa and 9th Street. This is the second location for the restaurant, the first location was displaced by the building of the Harbour Freeway, one of the many freeways that go through Los Angeles. They are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and there is always a line waiting to get into the restaurant. The food is ok, nothing fantastic, I don't think. Gerry likes the food there and when he lived in Inglewood, he ate there often. Of course the area is not the greatest and some of the people loitering around are a little spooky. It was 10 am before we got back on the freeway to head north.

We stopped at the summit of the Grapevine for a potty break and then stopped in Fresno at an In and Out hamburger place for lunch. We were going to stop in Tulare at Apple Annie's again for lunch, however when we got to Tulare we were still full from breakfast to eat again so drove to Fresno before we stopped.

We had some sprinkles in LA as we were leaving. Then when we stopped at the summit, it was cool and windy. It was quite nice in Fresno too.

We have a friend in the hospital who is dying from cancer. He is 83 years old. Gerry wanted to go see him before we came home. I said I was too tired so we came home and got the car unloaded. It didn't take us long to do that. I felt a little better so we left to go to the hospital. We stayed for just a few minutes then went to Arigato's in Roseville to eat sushi, stopped at Bel Air in Roseville for something for breakfast tomorrow then came home. It was 9 pm by then.

I was going to take a shower first and discovered we didn't have hot water. Gerry had turned off the pilot light to the water heater before we left and forgot he did that. So I had to wait for a while for the water to heat up. I got to reading my email and facebook and never got back to the shower. Anyway, I wanted to do this before I go do that and get myself to bed. I think Gerry has already gone to bed.

Tomorrow we have Melody's birthday party to go to and spend a little time with Katie before she goes back to La Puente with Aunt Wendi.

I'll be going through my pictures and figuring out which ones I want to post. I know that will be a huge undertaking.

Thanks so much for following along with me on the road trip. It had its high points and unfortunately, some low points too. However, it was fun, we saw and visited some neat places. I must say I really miss my daughter, grandkids and son-in-law!!

Well, I'll be back later!!!

Sacramento, Here We Come!

We head for home this morning after having breakfast in downtown Los Angeles with some of Gerry's friends. We are eating at The Pantry, a restaurant that has been in business for 50 plus years.

Wendi and Katie (Joyce's daughter) are also headed for Sacramento this morning. They are flying up for Melody's (daughter Jenni's daughter) birthday party tomorrow and will be in Sacramento long before we leave Los Angeles County driving north. We'll see them tomorrow at the birthday party.

We've had a great visit here. Little Emma and Katie are the cutest little girls and so much fun to be around. Yesterday morning I watched Peter Pan with Emma and Katie. This is Emma's favorite movie and she wants to watch it over and over. Of course, being able to hang out with Joyce and George has been great too!! :))

I'm off for now. I will post again when we get home. I haven't been able to check my emails so I am sure I have a ton waiting on me. Have a great Saturday and talk to y'all later.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

La Puente, CA

This is a quick post. It's 11:25 pm here and I should be getting to bed. Everyone has been asleep for awhile.

We got to Joyce & George's about 3 pm this afternoon. Left Phoenix about 7:45 am and stopped in Buckeye at Cracker Barrel for breakfast. That is the last Cracker Barrel in Arizona coming west. There are no Cracker Barrels in California. I wanted to get a jar of their Fried Apples, I love them. Got Katie and Emma an outfit and I got another knit shirt.

We stopped in Fontana (I think) at a Togo's and had some lunch. George was home when we got here and Emma was asleep. She is 19 months old. Today was the last day of school for Joyce (she teaches 3rd grade in Baldwin Park). She didn't leave school until 4pm and had to pick up Katie (age 4) from preschool. Wendi came over when she got off of work and we all went out to eat Japanese food. George enjoys eating at this restaurant we went to and he had hoped we would go when we stopped on our way east. Gerry and I had agreed that we would go when we came back.

After we got back, the girls got ready for bed and then watched the rest of Peter Pan that Emma and I started watching before Katie got home. They went to bed after it was over and George went to bed too. He gets up very early in the morning. He trains race horses out at the race track, I think, in Pomona. I may have it wrong, he'll correct me I'm sure. He has been following my posts on our trip. Gerry is going to go with him in the morning. Joyce has to go back to school for a little bit in the morning. And I am going to go check out Marukai's Japanese store.

I am fixing dinner tomorrow night. Pork Chops w/mushroom soup gravy, rice and whatever vegetable we decide on.

Oh, I must tell you Emma let me pick her up and I got goodnite hugs and kisses. She is a little shy with people she doesn't know. She does eventually warm up. Katie, on the other hand, is a social butterfly. They are the most precious little girls and we love them to pieces!!

Well, I am off to bed. Talk to y'all later!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

California Bound

We leave Phoenix in the morning and head to So California, LaPuente to be exact. That is where Joyce and Wendi, Gerry's daughters, live. It is about a 6 hour drive so should be there in the afternoon. Tomorrow is Joyce's last day of school. We'll be there until Saturday morning.

It was a nice day here in Phoenix, weatherwise. In the 80's. I ventured off by myself this morning. I got online to see if there were any stamp stores in Phoenix. I found one in Glendale about 12 miles away. So off I went. I had no trouble finding it, however the store is closed. I should have called first. I was up close to where we had dinner Monday night so I drove up there to see if there might be a stamp store up there. There wasn't. So baa humbug, that was not a successful trip. I should have written down the addresses for the Michael's stores. I don't know if there were any in the area where I was.

I also thought I'd look for a Jamba Juice place, I have been craving a smoothie since we left Alabama. I didn't see any of those either. I was only gone for about an hour. After I got back Gerry googled also and found a store over in Scottsdale. That is too far away!!

While we are at Joyce's I want to go to a store called Marukai's. It's a Japanese variety/grocery store. Jalna, my Hawaii blogger friend, first mentioned the one in Hawaii on her blog. I googled that and found out there was one real close to where Joyce lives. It won't be hard to find so I want to do that on Friday if I can. Also while we are there, George (Joyce's husband) wants to go eat sushi. There's a pretty good Japanese restaurant close to where they live. We went to it when we visited them last summer. It is run by Koreans, however, the food was very good.

Jeanne wanted to go to AJ's (a grocery store) so we did that after I got back from my little adventure. It's kind of a speciality store, reminded Gerry and I of Whole Foods in Sacramento. Karie was going to fix hamburgers for dinner so she wanted some good hamburger, not from WalMart. We got some yesterday at WalMart to make the hamburger and mushroom soup. I don't like the meat from there. It doesn't have a good taste, I don't think. Groceries are very expensive at AJ's, our total bill was over a $100. Yikes!! They have a nice deli including a salad bar. I fixed myself a fresh salad and Gerry got some soup since we hadn't eaten lunch yet. I got a raspberry dressing for my salad which was very good.

Well, I better get off and get to sleep. I will try to blog while we are in LaPuente otherwise I will when we get home sometime Saturday.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Phoenix, AZ

We arrived at Jeanne's (Gerry's sister) about 4pm Monday afternoon. It was a long drive, 400 miles from El Paso. We will be here until Thursday morning.

Last night we had dinner with Larry and Janet Classen, friends that use to live in Sacramento. They attended church with us at Roseville Nazarene. Larry has pastored Nazarene churches in a few states and a few places in California. They've lived here for about a year. We went to Sweet Tomatoes which is like a Fresh Choice. They have numerous salads and soups and its cafeteria style. It was good to have a light dinner since we had been eating some heavy meals. It was good to catch up; we were among the last to leave the restaurant. We had a good time. Jeanne went with us.

This morning we met Gwen, Brian and Jennifer for breakfast at the Cracker Barrel Restaurant in Sun City. Gwen was married to Gerry's father who died several years ago. She is 3 months older than Gerry. Brian and Jennifer are her children. They are the ages of Gerry's older children.

When I first started visiting Denise and family in North Carolina, we would go to Cracker Barrel on the last Sunday I was there for dinner after church. On this trip we have stopped at several along the way. Their food is not as good as it use to be. We stopped at one in Shreveport, LA on our way east. Granted it was a Sunday, after church and the restaurant was very busy. The floor in the dining area was dirty and the staff seemed to be rushing every one with their meals. There aren't any in California and I've always enjoyed it when we come to Arizona knowing that there will be several along the interstate. The ones we've stopped at on this trip have been a disappointment. I do enjoy looking through the country store and have bought a knit shirt in each one we've stopped at.

After we left there, Jeanne needed to go to her bank to get some papers notarized. Gerry's father had purchased 2 cemetary plots in Southern California when Gerry's mom died. Before Father passed away he told Jeanne she could have the other plot. So she had some documents to notarize for the changeover from Father's name to hers. One of her dogs passed away just before we got here on our way east and she had him cremated. She wanted to pick up his ashes. She got a little confused in her directions so we kind of went in circles before we found it. Then we stopped at Walmart to get some things we needed for dinner tonight. I am making hamburger with mushroom soup and rice. I got some fresh squash to steam too. I don't like Walmart's produce at all. It is like the worse of the worse. Anyway, it should be fine.

I started some laundry after we got back home. I finished mine and am doing Gerry's now. The weather was really nice today. It is not warm at all and there's been a breeze. This morning when we left, it was quite cool. In another month or so it will be hotter than blazes.

Jeanne and her daughter Karie are thinking about moving back to San Diego County this fall. Their lease is up here at this house and they don't plan on renewing it. It will be nice to have them closer.

Well, I need to check on the laundry and get dinner started.

Dinner was good. Karie cooked the rice. They don't have a rice cooker and I haven't cooked rice on the stove since I was 17 years old. It came out good. It was a little difficult using someone else's kitchen. It was ok though.

Jeanne has gone to bed, Karie is reading in her room and Gerry is on his laptop in the living room. I am in the guest bedroom. There's an old roll up desk in here and I have my laptop sitting on it. The animals have all gone to bed too. Jeanne has a dog and Karie has 2 cats.

Gerry finished up the laundry while I was getting dinner fixed. So that is all done and we should be fine with laundry until we get home. I think tomorrow Jeanne has to go to Costco to pick up a prescription. I don't think we'll be doing anything else.

I will talk to y'all later. Goodnight!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Leaving El Paso, Phoenix Bound

About 10 miles down the road, we will cross the stateline of Texas into New Mexico and should be in Phoenix later this afternoon. We gained an hour yesterday; the time will change again when we cross into Arizona. Then we'll be on the same time zone as California. Arizona doesn't observe daylight saving time. The landscape will be all desert from here, I think there will be some mountains along the way. Not very exciting. It will also get a lot warmer. Ugh!!!!

This adventure is almost over and I can hardly wait. Sleeping in a different bed every night has not been the greatest!!

Well, I better go get myself put together. Talk to you all later. I should be able to blog while we are at Gerry's sister.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sonora and El Paso, TX

The drive to Sonora was very short from Austin. Less than 200 miles, I think. We passed through some pretty country considering its Texas. Actually driving to Sonora is through the hill country of central Texas. The highway goes through Johnson City which is the birthplace of Lyndon B. Johnson. His boyhood home is a state park. It also goes through Fredericksburg which was settled by German immigrants back in 1840.. We stopped there long enough to get gas. It is quite a large town with all kinds of interesting shops.

I picked up the Sunday San Angelo/West Texas newspaper this morning at the hotel in Sonora. Interesting enough, there was an article about Fredericksburg in the paper.

Here's a portion of the article:
"About 1840 two societies, the Fisher and Miller Colony and the Society for the Protection of Germans in Texas, held land grants for German immigrants to settle the region and claim homesteads. The German immigrants could not colonize the area because the Indians were too powerful. Therefore, without having lived on the land the required three years, the German settlers could not claim the property as a homestead.

With the franchise running out for German colonization, the Republic of Texas opened up the area for settlers, giving quarter and half sections (one section equals 640 acres) of land for people to settle and improve the land."

Evidently the amount paid for one of the first ranches was $120 cash, one large ox wagon valued at $155, four steers valued at $15 per head and four milk cows with calves at $16 per pair. One of the early settlers had a historical meeting with several Comanche Indian chiefs to negotiate a treaty which opened the way to establish Fredericksburg in 1846. There is so much history in this state.

We passed by several ranches with cattle grazing in the pastures. Also saw some deer feeding, flocks of goats and sheep.

The population of Sonora is probably around 3,000. It is right off of I-10. There are 3 major hotels there, Comfort Inn, Best Western and Days Inn. We had made a reservation at an America's Best Value Inn. Gerry called Friday night to confirm our reservation. First he couldn't find it on the Inn's main web site so he called the 800 number. We remembered we had called the motel direct and only got a confirmation number, not an email confirmation. He called the motel and found out it had changed its name. I googled it and found some reviews for it. They were really baddddd!! So he ended up calling Comfort Inn and making a reservation there. Then the next morning called America's Best Value and cancelled that reservation. We drove by it when we got into town and it was really badddd!!! Very old, weeds growing all over the place. It looked like one of those places that are rented by the hour!!!

The Comfort Inn was very nice, looked fairly new. It was a smoke-free hotel too!! We got to the hotel too early and had to wait for our room to be ready. Soon after we checked in, I did some laundry. I was down to my last pair of shorts and didn't want to wear long pants. :)) It was warm there although there was a breeze. I sat outside for a while and got some sun on my legs. It actually felt gold, the breeze helped a lot. There are other businesses there like a Sonic Drive-Inn, Dairy Queen, Pizza Hut, a Mexican restaurant, a couple of tacquerias, a couple of service stations, a hardware store, an antiques store and miscellaneous other business. We had dinner at the only decent restaurant last night called Sutton County Steakhouse. The food was good. Very local! I had a fantastic rib eye steak and Gerry had a chopped steak with gravy and onions; we both had baked potatoes. The waitress brought out a condiment holder with stuff for our potatoes, sour cream, shredded cheese and bacon bits. Their steaks are cut fresh every morning.

We left Sonora at 9 am this morning. It was a little cool and cloudy. The drive to El Paso was going to be a long one, 400 miles. The terrain was mostly desert with some hills and mountains off in the distance. The mountain range is the Guadalupe Mountains. I took some pictures of the mountains on the way east and I think I posted some of them. There were some clouds along the way and it did sprinkle a little bit.

We are in El Paso tonight, on the far west side of the town. The New Mexico border is about 10 miles away. We are at an Econolodge this time. This will be our last hotel stay. Tomorrow morning we drive to Phoenix, AZ and will be at Gerry's sister's again until Thursday morning. This will be another 400 plus miles drive. We'll leave there Thursday morning and drive to LaPuente, CA and stay at Joyce's until Saturday morning when we head for Sacramento.

We stopped at Rudy's again for lunch as we passed through town. This was where we had dinner when we passed through on our way east.

So another week on the road and then home. Living out of my bags has gotten to be very trying and not having a comfortable place to relax and have some quiet has been more than I can bear in some ways. It will be good to get back to my own things.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Austin & Salado, TX

We have been getting on the road about 9 am each morning. The drive to Austin from Houston took about 3 and a half hours. We took State Route 8 which is a toll road until we got to the exit for State Route 290. From the time we got on until we got off 8, it cost $6 in tolls. Texas seems to have several toll roads. Once we got into Austin we got onto I-35 which runs north to Dallas and south to San Antonio (I think). It is a strange freeway, north and south seems to have 2 levels of road. The traffic was horrendous in the middle of the day. Reminded me of being in the Los Angeles area. We went to Mellow Johnny's bike shop first. This is Lance Armstrong's bike shop. They have a coffee shop off to the side of the shop and we were going to have lunch there. They had different coffee drinks, smoothies, frapp's, that sort of thing. They did have some premade sandwiches which did not look very inviting. Gerry did some shopping while we were there.

Some of you may recall that when the Tour of California was in Sacramento earlier this year, on the first day of the tour, Lance Armstrong's bike was stolen along with two other riders. The bike was recovered a few days later. Well, the guy who checked us out told us the bike was downstairs in their basement on display. The "good guy" who notified the Sacramento Police that he was given the bike by someone, was actually arrested for taking part in stealing the bike.
After we left there, we drove north on I-35 to Salado about 45 miles away. On the way we saw a Rudy's BBQ restaurant so decided to stop there for lunch. We had eaten at one in El Paso on our way east. The place was crowded. I did remember to take a few pictures this time.

Salado is a neat town. I wanted to go to Stamp Salado (a rubber stamp store) that had been suggested to me by Geeta, an AMuse design team member. Geeta lives in Austin and she teaches classes there once in a while. The shop is in a small house. It is full of all kinds of stamp goodies. All the stamps are grouped in themes, ie birthday, holiday, etc. They have a nice selection of Texas stamps. We shopped at few of the shops that are right around there. At two of the shops we stopped at, we had a great visit with the shop keepers. One was an art gallery. The pictures were all painted by the lady's husband and were all of different Texas scenes. I got a small picture of bluebonnets which is the state flower. At the second shop, we probably were in there for 3o minutes or more visiting with that shop keeper. By that time, it was 5pm and the shops were closing. We hadn't checked into our hotel yet and had the commute traffic back to Austin to contend with. I would have loved to have spend more time in Salado. It supposedly is a historic town. Supposedly the cattle drives that were on its way to the Ft. Worth Stockyards went right through the area.

We stayed at a Suburban Extended Stay hotel which is part of Choice Hotels. Its located in the south part of Austin which was great since we were going to head south on our way to Sonora. We always ask for a room on the first floor. Gerry went to check out the room first before he came to get our stuff and gagged from the smoke smell. It was a non-smoking room, however someone had smoked in it. We got an upgrade to a larger room on the second floor. Thankfully they had an elevator. The room had a full kitchen and a nice breakfast bar where we could both have our laptops. That has been a big problem in some of the hotels we've stayed in.

By the time we decided to go get some dinner, it was 8pm. We saw one place close by, it was closed. So then we saw a place across the freeway. What an experience that was. The restaurant was part of the Clarion Hotel. I don't remember the name of it. It was very dark inside, had a western theme and was a bar/restaurant combination. There was a guy playing a guitar and singing and he stops to tell us to sit wherever we wanted. Well, he was pretty much on his way to being totally drunk. His guitar playing was great, however his singing left much to be desired. He kept talking about his CD's he's recorded and supposedly has been in the music business for 45 years. Someone asked him to play a Johnny Cash song. It certainly wasn't anything I'd ever heard before by Johnny Cash.

The service was pretty bad, very slow. The restaurant didn't look like there were a lot of people there. They are in the process of redoing their menu so there were just a few choices. I had a hamburger with potato salad and Gerry had chopped steak with french fries. The food turned out to be pretty good.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Johnson Space Center and Galveston

I forgot to mention that Wednesday night in Houston we went to a Japanese restaurant that was right across the street from our hotel. It looked really expensive from the outside, however the prices weren't any different than what they are at home. One side was regular sit down restaurant and the other side was hibachi cooking. That seems to be a big thing in these parts. We both had sushi which was pretty good.

Yesterday morning, Thursday, we went to the Johnson Space Center/NASA. Our hotel was about a mile or so from the center. We took the tram ride which takes you onto the grounds of the space center. We made 3 stops, the first one was to view the first Mission Control room that was used when the space program was started. We had to walk up stairs 4 or 5 stories. I thought I would be okay, however I barely made the last set of stairs. The group on our tram was so huge and we were at the back of the group. We got on the tram first and they load from the back forward. I should have asked to use the elevator. We took the elevator down.

The next stop was to view a mock up of a space station so the astronauts could train being at the space station. That was very interesting. It was a long galley like viewing area. We could actually see people working. It was lunch time so it wasn't completely staffed.

The last place we stopped at was to see the Saturn V launch vehicle. It is the launch vehicle that put the Apollo in orbit and put an astronaut on the moon. From 1962 to 1970, Gerry worked on the Saturn II project and the Apollo project at North American Aviation in Downey, Compton and Seal Beach. From here we had to wait for another tram to take us back to the welcome center. There is a circle of oak trees that have been planted to honor those astronauts who have lost their lives which the tram stopped at for a few minutes.

From there we stopped to eat at a restaurant called Peppers and then drove to Galveston. There is still numerous homes/buildings that were destroyed when Hurricane Ike came ashore last year. We drove the entire length of Sea Wall Blvd until we got to a toll road and turned around there. We saw a sign for a ferry so decided to go see where it would take us. It is a free ferry and runs from Galveston over to Bolivar Peninsula which is out in the Galveston Channel. It was funny, because after we got over to the other side there was really nothing over there. We drove down the highway a few miles, turned around and got back in the long line of cars waiting to get back on the ferry. We saw some buildings that were destroyed by Hurricane Ike there too.

Hi again! It's Saturday afternoon and we are in Sonora, TX staying at a nice Comfort Inn. It looks fairly new and the entire hotel is smoke free!! I'm doing laundry! :))

Back to Thursday. It was after 8 before we got back to Galveston and we still needed to find some dinner. We stopped at a restaurant along the highway on the way back to our hotel. It was called "Kelley's" and they served "home-style cooking". We got the senior meals and for being a senior meal, mine was huge. I got roast beef which was like pot roast, rice w/gravy, carrots which were thick slices of carrot like you'd put in a pot roast and green beans. They were canned which had bacon and onion mixed in. It was all good, I just couldn't finish my dinner. Gerry had liver and onion, mashed potatoes, carrot/raisin salad and cole slaw. It was 10 by the time we got to the hotel.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Drive to Houston, TX

We left Port Allen this morning about 8:30 am and drove west on I-10 to Lafayette, LA. There is an Acadian Village south of town that I wanted to visit. It is a project of the Lafayette Association for the Retarded Citizens and is a replica of a latter 1800 Acadian Village. Here is the website: The village consists of 10 different homes. I will list the descriptions of each one when I post the pictures.

After I had visited the first home, an older woman with her granddaughter came up the walkway. She asked if I was from the area and I said no, I was from northern California. She told me we were in the heart of Cajun Country and also there was another village located on the other side of Lafayette that had craft people demonstrating and recreating the life of the Acadians. It would have been too much out of our way to visit that particular village. I am going to google it later to see exactly what it is.

I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the village and it somewhat made up for not getting to see any other plantations. From there we got back on I-10 and drove to Lake Charles. We then took a cut off and drove down to the Gulf of Mexico to Holly Beach. The gulf is not as pretty there as it was in Florida. We followed the gulf highway and entered Texas that way. There were several huge bridges along the way and miles and miles of swamps and bayous. In one stretch of I-10 the causeways crossing the swamps was so high that the tops of the trees were just a few feet higher than the causeway. They looked really strange. Then along the road to the gulf there were several bayous that were right along the side of the road. We saw two or three boats going up the bayou. There were also some signs with an alligator posted on it. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of that particular sign. So no doubt there were alligators in the bayous. I wanted to do a swamp tour when we were in Baton Rouge, however, they were all too far away and reservations were necessary. We stopped in Baytown east of Houston and had a late lunch at a Cracker Barrel. By that time we were in the middle of commute traffic. We took another cutoff, State Route 8 which is a toll road to I-45 which brought us to Webster, TX south of Houston and half-way to Galveston. This is where we are staying. The hotel is very close to the Johnson Space Center (NASA) and in fact is on E. NASA 1 highway. We are going to visit the space center tomorrow and maybe drive down to Galveston.

We encountered a few T-storms. The lightning from the storm was pretty fierce off to the north. It really didn't rain that hard. We went out for some dinner about 8 pm and there was some really black clouds moving in. It hasn't started raining though so maybe it just passed over. I had watched the weather report last night and it said there would be T-storms. Supposedly it is raining at home too.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sightseeing In And Around The Baton Rouge/Port Allen, LA Area

We left the hotel around 10:00 am this morning to do some sightseeing. I had seen on the hotel's website that it was close to the Mississippi River Outlook. I tried to google it and couldn't find anything about it. After we had breakfast, I asked the desk clerk about it. She told me how to find it which happened to be a couple of miles from the hotel. We drove down there first and took pictures. Court Street which runs along the side of the hotel property deadends at the river outlook. There is a really nice landscaped walkway up to the top of the outlook. The Mississippi is a very wide river. There wasn't any river traffic going on at the time. From there we drove over to the Tourist Information Office which is close to the hotel too. They gave us all kinds of information of places to visit.

I really wanted to see some of the plantations that were situated along the river. The only one we toured was Magnolia Mound Plantation which is in Baton Rouge. It is actually maintained by the Parks and Recreation District of Baton Rouge. A fine gentleman by the name of Roy gave us a tour. He had just done a tour with 58 school children. The plantation itself is quite old. We weren't allowed to take any pictures inside the home because it is designated as a museum. The cypress wooden floors are original and although the furniture is not original, it is furniture that would be found in a home during the time period of the plantation. I will post more information about the plantation later, I forgot to bring the brochure with me to the breakfast room.

After the tour, we were able to walk around the grounds and take pictures. I had forgotten to recharge my camera. Gerry took alot of pictures so will have to download his pictures later.

Hi Again! It is Wednesday evening and we are in Houston, TX. Gerry found me in the breakfast area last night at Port Allen and asked if I wanted to download the pictures he had taken onto my computer. He had over 200 pictures on his camera so I got them downloaded onto my computer which took quite a while to do. After I finished we went to get something to eat.

So I am back on. We have a much nicer room tonight at an Econo Lodge. There is a table big enough for each of us to use our laptops. Gerry is doing some laundry.

Regarding the plantation house we saw yesterday, four rooms of the original home were built in 1791. The house was expanded to its present size at the beginning of the nineteenth century. It is surrounded by many aged live oaks and has retained its Creole plan and character for over 200 years.

The total acreage of the plantation once consisted of 900 acres. Sixteen acres remain of the original acreage.

After we left there, we drove into downtown Baton Rouge to visit the USS Kidd that is moored on the Mississippi River. The Kidd is named after RAdmiral Isaac Kidd, Sr. who commanded the USS Arizona when it was bombed at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. It has been completely restored to its former glory and is part of the Louisiana Veterans War Memorial. Gerry thoroughly enjoyed exploring the ship.

We were hungry and went looking for something to eat. We started driving north on the river road and then start a street sign that said "Scenic Highway". We drove for several miles and were getting discouraged because not only did we not find anywhere to stop for lunch, the street didn't look very scenic. We turned off on a side street and found ourselves driving through a college campus. We got back out to the main road and kept driving north. After we had driven several miles, we saw a place set back off the road quite a ways. It had a huge banner hanging on the front saying "Hot Lunches Served" so we made a U-turn and drove back to it. The menu was posted outside and you walked up to a window to order. I had fried fish that came with fries and 2 side dishes so I got green beans and broccoli and rice. Gerry had BBQ ribs that came with baked beans and corn bread dressing and black eyed peas for his sides. We sat on the porch and ate. The food was fantastic!! We continued driving until we got St. Francisville. There are some plantations there, however Gerry saw a sign that said "Ferry Straight Ahead". We decided to investigate, however when we got down the road a little ways, the road was blocked and there was one car waiting. Gerry got out to talk to the guy that was outside his car. It seems the Mississippi River had flooded the surrounding area. Several homes were sitting in several feet of water and the road was flooded up ahead. At the end of the road was where the ferry was. The ferry had come in and soon as the cars that were on the ferry came off and passed by, then we were allowed to go the rest of the way to the ferry. We drove onto the ferry and it took us to the other side of the river in just a few minutes. The guy that Gerry was talking to told him it was the first time in 35 years he had ever seen the river as high as it was in that location.

We had no idea where we were so just kept following the road until we came to a junction and saw LA 1 and knew that road came out in Port Allen. It was a beautiful drive through there and after driving on the two lane road for several miles, we came to a divided highway and drove back to the hotel.

Unfortunately, I did not get to see anymore plantations.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Another Update and Blogging Decision

It has been rather difficult in trying to blog our trip. I was able to get posting done while we were in Ft. Worth and at Denise & Stephen's. One of the biggest problems has been trying to get a good internet connection at the hotels/motels we've been staying at and the space to do so. So I've decided that I am not going to stress trying to get caught up with the posting. I will do so as I am able to do it.

Tonight we are in Port Allen, LA. It is across the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge. We will be here until Wednesday morning. We are staying at a Quality Inn and must say it is not the greatest. It is an older facility right off the I-10.

The drive here was very nice, country roads for the first part of the trip and then got on I-65 south to Mobile. I gave Gerry a wrong direction as we got into Mobile. Instead of telling him to get on I-10 going west, I said I-10 east. He was talking to Keith on his phone so Keith googled where we were and we were able to get going in the right direction again. So instead of by passing Mobile, we went right through it. It was just a few miles out of our way.

We left Denise & Stephen's coffee shop this morning about 9 am. Nathan, along with Britta came down to the coffee shop to tell us goodbye. Bekah wasn't sure she wanted to get up early so said her goodbyes last night. One of their regular customers, Jim, was there too so got to chat with him for a little bit. Gerry and I both had some breakfast before we left.

It was so hard to say goodbye. And yes, I cried!! We had a great time while there. Denise and I got to spend quite a bit of time together and that was good. Saturday afternoon she and I hung out at the coffee shop while Stephen, Gerry, Nathan and Britta (Nathan's girlfriend) went out to Ft. Rucker to watch the Apache helicopters shoot their guns. The shop closes at 2 pm on Saturdays. Denise did some scrapbooking and I worked on my blog. Bekah was babysitting. Later we all, minus Bekah, went over to Daleville, a town close by, to eat sushi. After we got back to Enterprise we went to Po Folks for dessert.

Our drive to Florida was very nice. We went down to Destin, FL and ate lunch at a place called The Back Porch. I have pictures which I'll post later. The food was nothing to write home about, however, the view was fantastic. The restaurant is located on the beach and we had a table on the back porch. The Gulf of Mexico is beautiful!!! The water is turquoise up close to shore and gets bluer farther out. The beach is lined with beach chairs and umbrellas that can be rented. After we left there we drove over to the Mall and walked around. It is an outside mall and very nice. It was pretty warm and humid so we didn't stay long. We headed home about 4 or so. The entire drive down there and back is on country roads so it took us about 2 and a half hours to get down there and the same getting back.

After we got back, Nathan and Britta decided to go to the movies, Gerry took Bekah out to drive for a while and Denise, Stephen and I relaxed at the coffee shop. Since Nathan had taken the car, we drove Denise, Stephen and Bekah home.

Well, it is 10 pm here so I am going to sign off and get to sleep. I need to figure out what we are going to do tomorrow.