Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Atomic Hokies

Yo ho!  We made it past Oklahoma and the CST to arrive in our new home 7500 feet above sea level.  Our last day at the Holiday Inn had us looking down at the weather system and clouds from our perch in the beautiful Jemez mountains.  Did our stuff make it, you ask?  In the words of Lew Wallace, (author of Ben Hur and former governor of New Mexico) "Yes."
Yes that's Golda the Corolla riding in the truck.  Easily visible is our backyard playground, my telescope tripod, and a box labeled "B's chocolate #5 of 12".  B was worried about her chocolate, but she was worried about her two kids more!  Did the movers pack M and JC well enough with packing paper?

Oh phew!  The kids made it through the move with nary a dent!  And they didn't spoil, either!  After being unpacked, JC was disappointed to find that our comfy old sofa and chair were now slick and squeaky as seen below.
He soon realized that something even more therapeutic than popping bubble wrap is to tear saran wrap off of furniture!  We jumped in the Swagger wagon and went to explore Santa Fe, only an hour away!  Here we are outside a church named after my Uncle B (St. Francis of Assisi Church) working on the labyrinth foot maze!
As we told all of you, chain stores have to fit in with the surroundings.  Here we are outside the Santa Fe Target - you'd never know!
Finally, we drove back to our mountain aerie and tried baking.  Could we achieve a chocolate chip cookie as light and fluffy as we made just weeks ago as low landers?  Well, the kids were dressed far better for the job thanks to B's friend Amy K.
How did the cookies turn out?  Flat and looking a lot like stuffed french toast!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Move - Day 4 - "Oh Reginald! It's just so ENCHANTING!"

Amarillo gave us 72 oz of steak, but the next morning we were on the road again.  Could we reach our goal?  This sign let's you know that we made it!
We immediately hit the rest stop for our bladders sake.  Little JC asked, "Where are all the trees?"  I have to say, this wasteland view is enchanting to only those who enjoy watching CSPAN!
As we drove farther, the landscape became much easier on the eyes.  It also helped that we got lunch.  We stopped at Joseph's in Santa Rosa.  They had a photo op that JC and I talked about all through lunch.  My beautiful momma said, "No, no, you are too short!"  Luckily I can get my dad to do whatever I want by dangling a Ho-Ho!

By the way, there are overpasses, and then there are New Mexico overpasses.  They rarely let an opportunity for art pass them by.

After a pit stop in Santa Fe at the Dunkin Donuts, we made it to Los Alamos and our new home - The Holiday Inn Express (at least for the next few days)! 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Move - Day 3 - Who Ate 72 Oz?

Another day on the road.  This one started from Tulsa which is a resting point between toll roads in Oklahoma.  After an hour or so, we stopped in Oklahoma City to visit the zoo.
My beautiful momma knows the zoo keeper for the apes and so we were given a private, all-access tour.  We learned a lot of things including that giraffes love pumpkins and will drop them on ostriches who get too close!  Those wily giraffes!  To be safe, we kept orange clad JC far away from the fence whose rotund appearence the giraffes might find confusing! 

After our trip to the zoo it was back on the toll roads.  Three hours later we all breathed in a freer (toll-free) road system.  It was that of Texas!

The part of Texas that we drove through on the way to Amarillo has little to offer the world besides stunning views of wind-generated power in action.  Amarillo, on the other hand, has this...
We all gave it a go to see who could earn the free meal.  Since JC and I were under eight, we could work together.  Who ended up earning the free meal?  Those who were sitting on the winner's rocker!
Good job mom!  The manager had no idea she was eating for two!  We finished the night at the hotel pool before turning in for a long October nap.  Three down, one to go before New Mexico!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Move - Day 2 - Old Route 66

After a night spent in the pleasant confines of the Drury Plaza Inn we got up and went to the Statehouse where Dred Scott (another history-making Virginian) case was held in 1857.  Here we are on the courthouse steps immediately opposite the banks of the Mississippi river.
We then traveled across Memorial drive to the Gateway Arch.

Inside the arch, the windows are on sloped platforms, leading to our children hanging on for dear life at 630 feet!  Here M and J look at the Mississippi river.
After our visit to St. Louis, we got on the road that traveled southwest through Missouri.  Along the way we learned about Rt. 66.  Here M is telling her mom to get on with the picture because she has to go!

We did our best to stay on Rt. 66 and saw this Sinclair gas station...
But soon we got lost and even ended up in Kansas (not the stretch along Rt. 66)!  Aghast at the lack of signage and Kansas' lack of excitement at our arrival (note state sign), we headed to Oklahoma.  I think this is the first time a state welcome sign has been smaller than a check-cashing service sign. 

In Oklahoma we ate at the "World's largest McDonalds" which is only the world's largest if you haven't been out of Northern Oklahoma.  It had a Will Rogers Museum and called itself the Glass House.  This is the only  stop for the first 100 miles of Oklahoma.  Kansas gives you a small sign, but Oklahoma welcomes you with a toll road!  The Glass House help was terrible leading to my beautiful momma blowing a gasket!  My engaging dad lost it and claimed that the whole central time zone was full of people unable to cut it in the EST!  M and J watched all and thoughtfully ate their Chicken nuggets.
Could Oklahoma's image be repaired?  Maybe all my parents needed was some rest in Tulsa to regain their senses?  Find out next time...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Move - Day 1 - Arch to Arch

Hello there faithful readers!  Look, it's magic. I came home from school on Wednesday and our house had changed to this.  Here is our house getting ready to be loaded onto the truck...

And here is our exit from Ohio as we began our journey to the Land of Enchantment (where we are sure the creepy Lucky Charms leprachaun lives). Notice that we had to travel through an arch to leave the state.

The sign as we crossed into Indiana undersold the amount of amazing opportunities that exist in this state as we soon found out through billboards.

You can buy an RV...

Or a candle....

Or even press your luck with the slots!
Midway through the state, we ran into our old friends the W's.  We enjoyed getting out of the car and running around.

We stopped here for dinner. Can you get seafood in southern Illinois?  You can but my dad says it isn't a good idea.  By the way the townspeople of Effingham truly believe it's the crossroads of opportunity.

Finally after a few more hours we approached our destination city and pit stop for this leg of the trip - St. Louis!  Our day had taken us from an arch to an ARCH!

Stay tuned for part II...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Last Hurrah

With only one month to go before we travel to the other end of the world, we decided to visit most of our eastern relatives one last time.  The first place we traveled to was south-western VA to visit Cookie the dog and her family.  We had such a good time, people forgot to take pictures.   The only photos we had were of us playing Kubb.  Kubb is the royal game of Sweden, much like Parcheesi is the royal game of India...
We are discussing when and where the loser will make the swedish meatballs!  After that long trip, we spent the rest of the week catching up on our sleep...

Only a few days later, my dad took my brother and I to Northern VA.  We rode on an airplane which was apropos since we were going to see Uncle B before he left for the Air Force.  It is apropos to use apropos today, since it is the 342nd anniversary of it's first usage in Oct 1668 in the french newspaper La Fois!  Uncle B had a major party that involved cake made by the former chef for the Kennedy Center of Washington DC!  Here he is pictured with his cake...

But only a day or so later, it was time to say goodbye to Curly Sue and the others who lived in her four bedroom dog house! 
After the long plane trip, all of our backs felt funny, so little JC lead us all in a yoga session.
Finally, who should visit us this past weekend, our last in C-Bus?  Why that's Grandma L's theme song!  She took us to the pumpkin patch....

JC and I both picked out a pumpkin, because my dad said "There's not enough water to grow even one pumpkin in New Mexico!"  We plan on taking them across the country with us, and why not?  We do have seven seats in our Swagger Wagon.

As some guy named Bill once said, "Parting is such sweet sorrow..."  We hope to see all of you again sooner rather than later!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Good Luck Uncle B!

The Ohio C's are very proud of almost-Airman B.  We made him a video so that he can think of us at various points during basic training.

The Air Force is going to be stronger with you!