Death Valley and Rainbows

Death Valley and Rainbows

If you are not from Texas you probably will not understand why I am packing chips and salsa in my luggage.  But if you have ever tried Mexican food in Utah (where Julie lives)  you will understand.  I had to check my bag but I knew my daughter would be grateful and since I didn’t have to pay to check my luggage, since we are flying on Southwest, and that made it even better. Julie had a conference in Las Vegas and we decided to meet her there.  I think she ate all the chips that first day.

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Las Vegas is not my favorite city but we have a full schedule of things that we want to see.  Some I have seen before and some will be new on my list.

I talk my sister and my daughters into a day trip to Death Valley National Park.   It will be my first trip to California.

I have heard a lot of stories about how hot it is in Death Valley but today that is not the case.  It is raining and it is cold enough to wear a jacket.  We didn’t know it at the time but it was going to be a day full of glorious rainbows.On the way to Death Valley NP

Our first view of Death Valley National Park is the Badlands.  These are some of the views from Zabriskie Point.IMG_4083 IMG_4066

Our main purpose for this journey is Badwater Basin to see the salt flats and to stand below sea level.  IMG_4100

In this first photo you can see a small white spot on the side of the mountain.  It is a sign that says sea level!

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It starts to rain and we need to make it back to Las Vegas before dark.  On our way out of the National Park we saw the most amazing thing, flowers growing amidst the rocks.

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What we didn’t know at the time was that we were seeing something very rare in Death Valley National Park.  It was the beginning of the “Super Bloom”  the last one was 11 years ago and we only saw the beginning of this one.  Pretty amazing.

On our drive back to Vegas we see more rainbows and some beautiful scenery.

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Life is good.

Lynda

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

It’s his 5th birthday!  I can’t believe it.  He’s into Star Wars and he loves animals so we take him back Fossil Rim in Glen Rose.  It’s a great place.  Check out the website for information about prices and discounts.  Make sure you buy feed when you get your tickets.  Here is the main reason why:

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I think the giraffes all by themselves are worth the visit.

See you on the Road,

Lynda

Today’s the Day!

Today’s the Day!

We have to be in Utah by 1:00 to meet the movers that are unloading the U-Haul.  We also have a suburban to pick up from Enterprise in Orem.  We are on the road early.  We had a great stay at the Double Tree, the staff were super friendly and our room was comfortable and Jonas really enjoyed the saline pool.

We greet the sun at a scenic overlook in Utah. Jonas is a rock climber and a lizard finder and is grateful for an Outdoor Learning Center!

Utah!

Utah!

The movers were great!  Everything was unloaded, we had a suburban for the week and we got rid of the U-haul! It was time to visit the Great Salt Lake.

Jonas got this close and went yuck!

Something Stinks!

Something Stinks!

and

There is a layer of flies!

There is a layer of flies!

That’s exactly what he said before he ran back to play in the sand. We found out that they were brine flies and they don’t bother people.

The Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake

We learned a lot about the lake and enjoyed watching the couple next to us open up their raft to go fishing.

It’s been a long day and we are getting hungry.  We have been hearing a lot about the Red Iguana in Salt Lake City and we are ready for some Mexican Food.  As a general rule we don’t eat a lot of Mexican food outside Texas because we are kind of snobby that way but if Julie is going to live in Utah we need to find some place that has good Mexican food! We beat the crowd and get a great waiter to help us with the menu.  He brings out a plate for us to try all the different Mole they offer.  This is what I have:

HUEVOS MOTULENOS

Our succulent pork carnitas smothered with our spicy mole Amarillo and melted jack cheese, topped with 2 poached eggs and 2 strips of crisp bacon, garnished in a crown of flour tortilla chips, served with a side of Spanish rice and refried beans.

There was so much of it that I really needed Bob to help eat it! I thought the food was delicious. Check it out if you are in town.

See ya!

Lynda

 

 

If I were I pioneer I would have stopped in Denver . . .

If I were I pioneer I would have stopped in Denver . . .

I couldn’t have gone through those mountains in a wagon.  I was worried enough in a Jetta and a moving van! But there is nothing like getting up early and setting your GPS for your next destination which is Grand Junction, Colorado.

Here we go.I 70 in Colorado

 

I did a little research about the drive on I-70 through Colorado and learned about the tunnels.  The Eisenhower Tunnel is pretty impressive at 11,155 feet it is the highest vehicle tunnel in the world!

Eisenhower Tunnel

Inside the Tunnel

Inside the Tunnel

Katy is driving the car with Jonas and I in the passenger seats.  Amy is driving the U-haul truck with Julie riding shotgun.  It was a curvy steep road at times but we made it and saw some beautiful places in the mean time.

The Summit

The Summit

Eagle River

Eagle River

 

At this point we agree to stop as needed and catch up with the other vehicle.  Katy, Jonas and I stop at a lovely park James M. Robb Colorado River State Park and Jonas wants to get into the water with Katy and catch some fish.

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We reach Grand Junction and are staying at the Double Tree with a beautiful view of the Grand Mesa.  We are tired and ready to get to Utah.

The Golden Road!

The Golden Road!

Kansas is golden, especially when wheat is doing well.  I looked it up and Kanas is the largest wheat producing state in the US.  It’s the breadbasket of the world!  It was on the Golden Road (I-70) that Katy realized that the Peterson Brothers lived in Kansas and why didn’t we check out where they lived.  I didn’t even think of that when I was making the plans and it was too late we passed them up!  She was not happy.

Our  only stop in Kansas after we left Hays was to see the World’s Largest Easel in Goodland.  It was pretty impressive.

World's Largest Easel

World’s Largest Easel

Another Hampton Inn in Denver awaits!

We Leave At Dawn!

We Leave At Dawn!

Or at least that was the plan!  We went to pick up Jonas from his dad’s and we had to buy breakfast (breakfast burrito’s and a hungry four year old just didn’t work so we had to make a dash to Chick Fila) and finish loading up the luggage when we got back to Grandma’s.  So instead of leaving at 6:00 am Central time we actually left Saginaw at 7:30 ish!

Our route was planned, we had talked to our friends Jim and Connie and they gave us advice on the easiest route to take to Utah with a 4 year old and me!  Straight up through Oklahoma and into Kansas where we made a left and straight through Colorado into Utah before heading up again! We were ready to hit the road!

We cross the Red River on I35 and it has been a while since we have seen that much water in the Red River.  It was pretty red!  The visitors center in Thackerville, OK is a welcome sight.  Jonas gets out and heads for the forest.  He stops suddenly and expresses his fear of zombies and stormadoes.  We need to get out of Oklahoma fast!

Our plan is to make it to Hayes, KS before nightfall.  I have traveling on the interstate through places I have never been before because it is really not fair to judge a state on a drive through.  We have all been to Oklahoma before and we all like different parts of the state.  So driving the interstate makes the trip faster.  We stop Edmond to eat at Cracker Barrel and we enjoy a good lunch that the OP’s would be proud of.

We don’t have many scheduled stops in Oklahoma except for gas and bathroom breaks.  But we do see this in Tonkawa:

What?

What?

Jonas was thankful that we didn’t encounter any storms in Oklahoma but it started raining on us in Kansas.  It’s been a long time since  lunch and not to many roadside attractions to catch our attention and we are hungry so we check on Trip Advisor and decide on Genova Italian Restaurant in the town of Newton, good food and good service made it a good stop.

Amy and Julie are not impressed with Kansas but I have a plan.  A couple of place, where I have always wanted to go but they were never on my route through Kansas.  I was  hoping a detour through Lindsborg would change their mind.

It was beautiful and we enjoyed walking, visiting shops, talking to the local people and looking the the Herd of Wild Dala horses.  Jonas had a couple of favorites. We all want to come back and stay in this town a few days.

Jonas and his horse!

 

We take a scenic byway to our next stop, Mushroom Rock State Park, I mean, how can you pass that up? We learn that it is the smallest state park in Kansas and one of the eight wonders of Kansas Geography (Katy and I have already seen the Monument Rocks – the Chalk Pyramids but for some reason it didn’t make the list).  You have to go down a gravel road to get there but I think it was worth the stop!

Mushroom Rock

We finally make it to Hays, Kansas!  We are ready to be out of the truck and car!  Tomorrow we are headed to Denver.

The Big Move

The Big Move

greetings-from-utah-usa-vintage-postcard-750x488It’s time.  Tomorrow we are leaving Saginaw and heading to Utah.  Everything’s packed and we are getting ready to load it up in the Uhaul.  Amy, Julie and Katy are driving while Jonas and I read the maps and give directions.  Keep up with us as we journey through Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Utah and Arizona!  See you in the morning.

 

Family History in Cleburne, Texas

Family History in Cleburne, Texas

The bottom half of my siblings (me, Theresa, and Greg) were all born in Fort Worth but the upper crust (Gary, Debra and Tim) were all born in Cleburne.  I only lived in Cleburne for two years and I started 1st grader there too!  Our grandparents lived in Cleburne and we visited frequently.  We have aunts, uncles and cousins who lived in Cleburne and who still live in Cleburne.  It’s time for a visit.  We are going to Antique Alley!

I love staying at the Liberty Hotel.  It was built in 1924 and has been fully restored and it is a beautiful hotel.  You can walk to restaurants, antique stores and the courthouse.  You should check it out.  I booked a room for Cindy, Theresa and myself.

Bob and I had lunch at the Burger Bar before he dropped me off.  It was a good burger but I liked the fries better.  I think about Granny Bick whenever I have a burger.  She used to write me letters and tell me how much she loved Aunt Laverne and Uncle Roland bringing her a burger on Friday night.  It makes me smile!

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I check into the Liberty and Bob heads back to work.  I take a nap and in no time Cindy and Theresa have arrived!  We make plans to meet up with Robbi and Shelley.  I tell Theresa and Cindy about a new game called Four Letters and this is what happened:

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I didn’t have the heart to tell them they will never beat Greg or Julie’s score!

We walk around the corner (while we are waiting on the cousins) to visit some antique stores.  I love Heritage Home.  They have beautiful things!  We wander around and take a few pictures and walk over to Red Horse Antique.  We look around and I find this:

 

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I love James T. Kirk but I leave him at the antique store.  We walk out of the store only to realize that the store is bigger so we can back in and explore two more sections and two more floors!

Robbi calls and ready to meet us at the hotel.  We load up in her car and take Cindy on a sightseeing trip of our family history in Cleburne (or at least part of it).  We start with a drive down Anglin street to see where Granny Nutt and Big Daddy lived.  There house is no longer there but it was right in front of the old Cleburne hospital (just a shell of a building now).  We laugh and talk about our grandparents.  We drive to Granny Bick’s house and it still looks the same.  Shelley is at a ballgame and wants us to wait on her so we go to the cemetery to visit the graves of our grandparents and great-grandparents.  We start with Josephine M. Bicknell and her husband James Clinton Bicknell.  We always love to tell the story of Myrtle Corbin.  Just ask one of us some time. We also visit the graves of our grandparents Alma Cordelia Bicknell and Clinton Francis Bicknell.  As you know from previous posts I like to visit cemeteries and we find some pretty interesting people in this one.

Shelley caught up with us and we go to eat at Susannah’s.  We call this an OP place.  OP is for old people but the food is good.  After we order and the laughter has begun, much to our surprise Uncle Gene and Aunt Shelia come in so we pull another table over and let them join in on the fun.  Shelley’s kids also show up and add to the fun.

We go back to the hotel with Robbi, Shelley and three of Shelley’s kids and we laugh a whole lot more before they have to leave.

I was tired.  Theresa stayed up and played Four Letter for a long time.  We all three snore and Theresa records me and Cindy snoring.  I will save that for another trip when I can get a recording of Theresa snoring too!

See you in the morning!

Lynda

 

 

 

 

 

The First Sell is the Sweetest!

The First Sell is the Sweetest!

I took a lot of career tests after I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics from Lubbock Christian University. Full circle.

I started college at the ripe old age of 22 as a married woman and the mother of two young daughters. Bob watched the girls while I commuted from Allison to Pampa to attend night classes at Clarendon Junior College. Bob was my academic advisor. I was supposed to sign up for “Basic” classes and I came home that first night enrolled in English 101, Principles of Real Estate and Real Estate Appraisal an of course they were all on different nights of the week. I was going to be a Real Estate Agent!

Then we moved to DeSoto.

I started taking classes at night at Dallas County Community College in business. I decided I was going to open my own Day Care.

Then we moved to Italy and our 3rd child was born. I continued taking basic classes but now I was attending Navarro College.I finished most of the basics and made the decision to attend Texas Woman’s University in Denton. Another long commute except this time Amy and Julie were in school and I attended day classes. Katy went with me and attended the day care the college offered to students. I switched my major to Child Development and decided to become a Child Life Specialist.

We moved again to Wilson, Texas. This time I switched to Home Economics. Don’t ask me why but I believe it was the fastest way to finish my degree and I graduated Cum Laude from Lubbock Christian University.

Well Hell. Normal people go to grad school, right? So I drove down the road to Texas Tech University and enrolled in graduate schools. I was labeled a GRUD, for Graduate, Undecided. That is when the testing started. It didn’t matter how many tests I took or what kind it was my top three choices were always

Funeral Home Director (I can’t look at dead bodies)
Priest (I am not Catholic)
Salesman (I am too honest to be a salesman that is why I didn’t go into Real Estate)

And here I am. Selling beltbuckles. Praying that I make enough money to support myself until I die.

Full circle. Let the selling begin!

lol

Lynda

P. S. I am not, repeat not going back to school, grad school or any other school unless I am visiting as a grandparent.

A New Adventure

A New Adventure

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.”  — Oprah Winfrey

I have started a new adventure.  I left my career in education to begin a new career as co-owner of The Rockin’ Rooster.  My partners are my younger sister, Theresa, and my younger brother, Greg, and my first best friend, Cindy!  Let the adventures begin!