Thursday, November 29, 2012

Almost Home

We're spending the last night of the trip in the first place we staying over a week ago - Paducah, Kentucky.  If all goes well, we should be picking Mama up in Birmingham tomorrow afternoon and arriving home before dark to an excited puppy and a noncommital cat who will pout for a couple of hours and then accept us back home.

I dropped my camera when we stopped for lunch in Oregon, and it worked for a day but then gave me bad messages, so I had to drive through the most beautiful scenery without my camera.  Mike had his, and he took lots of pictures, but I'm not familiar with it.  Maybe we'll get a new card or whatever or maybe a new camera - but I liked my old one!

I took this while we were stopped somewhere in Illinois for a McDonald's ice cream cone.  On our trip in April, we got one almost every day, but we realized today that we had not had one at all.  Not counting the Baskin-Robbins Jamoca Almond that I had in Idaho - the VERY best.  The weather may have had something to do with choosing coffee over ice cream.

This is the only pretty sunset we saw all trip.  I was using Mike's camera and was able to zoom in enough to get rid of some telephone poles.  It looks like a forest fire.

Maybe I'll get organized and get the Colorado pictures posted this weekend.  That is where the word "awesome" is so appropriate.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Headed Home

Yesterday was our half day of driving, but we got from Snoqualmie to Boise.  It's unusual for us to take the same route twice, but we did it this time.

This is how it looked going east toward Snoqualmie Pass.

This is how it looked last Wednesday afternoon when we were headed west across the pass.

It was beautiful but a little scary, and I would have enjoyed it more if I had known we weren't going to slide off the road. 

It was a beautiful ride for the most part to Yakima where I believe I mentioned earlier the delicious hickory bacon potato soup that we had found at the Sea Galley there.  Since we were passing by right after lunchtime, it seemed reasonable to stop again.  It had nothing to do with the oysters that Mike had loved so much.

It turns out we had the same waitress, Jenelle, and she remembered us and where we had sat.  I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not.  The potato soup was not on the menu that day, and she refused to go cook me a pot of it, but she was sweet anyway.  Mike had the exact same thing---
And I got fish tacos just because I've always heard of them but never tried them - blackened and friend both. And shrimp gumbo soup. It was pretty good, spicy enough to bring tears to my eyes, but good.

Then Jenelle spent some time chatting with us and introduced Chavon (sp) the salad bar boy.  It's funny that she is expecting her first grandchild in February also, a little girl too, Molly Rose.   It was sad to tell her we would probably never pass that way again, but the chances are pretty slim.

Thanks for two nice dining experiences, Jenelle.

Time to leave again.  No idea where we'll end up tonight.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Yesterday's Adventure Illustrated

On such a rainy day, I had to leave this ----
For this ----
 This stop was the longest single stop we made all day.
 But doesn't it look inviting?

Makes you kind of forget the weather and the Starbucks/Fred Meyer traffic jam when you can have a Venti Skinny Eggnog Cappuccino with an extra shot of expresso.
Wonder what's on the menu here - not that we would ever check to see.  Supposedly the server's attire is pretty different than the Starbuck folks' uniforms.

The Ikea in Issaquah was surprisingly easy to get in and out of.  I was remembering the one in Atlanta!  Emily and Ryan knew what they wanted and had checked on line to see that they had 6 of the Hemnes dresser in stock, so she parked in a 15-minute loading zone parking place, and we were back with time to kill. 
 The dresser was easy to find, but the workers conveniently were busy elsewhere when it was time to load the boxes onto the cart.  Two customers took pity on us and put them on the cart, and we were able to maneuver it through checkout. 
After that, we were on our own but loaded it ourselves without much problem with me yelling at Emily to "Don't lift.  Let me do it!"   She reminded me that she lifts patients all the time.  Still...  We did a good job placing it diagonally in the car with a whole 2 inches to spare.  Success!
Then to "The City."
Capitol Hill area.  Not enough time to enjoy everything.
Tottini's had the audacity to be in downtown Seattle, and the pickup was in an alley behind the store.  Turned out to be a really pretty little lane, and the loading was quick (and magical), fitting 3 huge boxes in the back.
Back to the highways and tunnels.
Going over Lake Washington. 
Then to Bellevue to Merry-Go-Round Kids.
For some giraffe petting.
Christmas outfit admiring.
Next Christmas toy ideas.
They had already bought the glider on line and just had to go in to pay and confirm.  Different fabric, different color but this style. 
It was good to be home and have some leftovers and watch the first Downton Abbey show.  Perfect evening.
It was also fun to see the dresser and bed change from flat boxes to real furniture.
 Strange things going on in this room.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Day after Thanksgiving Update

Just a short update because I'm having much too much fun and staying much too busy to even look at a computer.

Last night Emily and Ryan had dinner for 9, and everyone (but me) brought wonderful food.  I interfered in the dressing making and made the wassail - that's about it.  We have pictures that I'll include later.  Wonderful people, so much laughter and good food and love. 

I think I'm getting braver as I get older.  I managed to actually enjoy a day of riding in the pouring rain to Heaven knows where, through tunnels and over rivers, getting on numerous interstates and never gasping once and only hitting my brakes once.  I'm proud of my little Georgia girl and how she navigates through this traffic (calm and civilized but LOTS of traffic) and rain and handles Seattle like a pro.  At one point after I had congratulated myself on not being such a bad Black Friday after all she mentioned that she was sorry but that one item to be picked up was in "The City." I thought she meant Bellevue, which is pretty big and traffic-y itself, and said that was ok.  Turns out she meant downtown Seattle.  It was fine though, and we had a great time.  We came home with a dresser for the baby's room and the crib plus ordering the glider, so it was very successful. 

Speaking of babies, we have a new cousin born yesterday in Florida to Sherry's son Ryan and his wife Najla - a sweet baby girl who is doing great, but Najla had some serious complications and is still in ICU.  She needs a lot of prayers as do Ryan and the grandparents as they try to take care of a newborn alone and be with Najla.  I can't imagine how scared they all are, but I feel like things will turn around tomorrow, and she will start to mend.

I'll try to catch up tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Short Day - From Wyoming to Idaho

The morning started off cold and rainy, so it was good to have fewer hours to drive.  We just drove through the upper eastern corner of Utah into Idaho.

The scenery was really pretty in spite of the gloominess, and we saw lots of snow-covered mountains in the distance.  Some pictures taken from the car.

We stopped for lunch and just a little exploring in Burley, Idaho.  Nothing much to see there.  We found a restaurant, Morey's, which had seen better days but was on the Snake River with a pretty view, so we shared a buffet lunch with the Rotary Club and various other locals.

We're spending the night in Boise and should arrive at Emily and Ryan's house tomorrow afternoon.  It will be nice to be settled for a few days before we have to start back. 

We're getting daily videos of Stella and Darby from the petsitter Kelly.  They're all three hilarious, and I know they're glad to see her when she comes over to feet or let them in. 

Sleep time now finally.   Mike has some good pictures too that I'll post in the next few days.