Thursday, September 24, 2015

Ticonderoga to Nebraska

Merrily we roll along.  We are now about 1/2 way from Ticonderoga to Seattle.  We drove thru Pennsylvania, with its great roads bad drivers; then Ohio with its bad roads and drivers who don't know why there are lines on the roads, Indiana , Illinois, Iowa and now we're in Nebraska.
We spent 3 nights in Springfield Illinois, where its' "all Lincoln all the time".  Seems like everywhere he took a breath is recognized as a historic site.  We did enjoy our tour of the Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library, the only home that Abe and Mary ever owned,his burial site in the graveyard on the edge of town and the Steven Spielberg set display( movie Lincoln) in the old train depot.  All sites very nicely done and when we toured their home, which is 85% original, we got to touch the hand rail on the stairs that Abe used. We didn't wash our hands all day, haha!  Surprisingly, there was not an Abe Lincoln stovepipe hat to be seen anywhere in town.  Our weather here was in mid 80s and sunny.  Great fall weather!

Lincoln tomb

pretend camera set up on corner where most of house pictures were taken

We took a day to drive to Rantoul and visit the Chanute Air Museum.  My ex and I lived on the Chanute Air Force Base for almost 4 years.  It has changed dramatically since then.  The Air Force Base closed in the late 1990s.  A small museum and collection of planes were maintained by the city of Rantoul and volunteers.  The city has now decided they can no longer subsidize the museum, so it is closing in December 2015.  It had a sad look to it as planes and displays are already being dismantled.  It ended up being a depressing visit.

Our next stop was West Branch Iowa, to visit the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum.  This is where Hoover was born and raised.  Its a small library and museum, nicely done.  One more we can check off our list of Presidential Libraries. We spent just the one night in Iowa, not much else on our list of things to do here.

Tonight we are in Greenwood Nebraska for one night.  Only thing happening here are thunderstorms with heavy rain.  We continue thru to Chappel NE for the night.  Nothing going on there either, just a place to stop for the night.
After that, its Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Washington.  Whew! The wheels keep on turning.....
Michelle and Fred
Traveling the country so you don't have to!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


yes, we have been in NYC since Wednesday.we are visiting my cousin Maurice and his husband Gus,who are truly charming hosts. This was Fred`s first visit to the city,so we came with a list of things to see, knowing our goal was to spend lots of time with the guys.

Gus was still at work in Boston when we arrived, so we spent our first day with Maurice, doing some antique shopping in Hudson NY. We all found something we liked,but at higher prices than we all wanted to spend. No matter, we had a fun day

Fred and I spent the next day seeing some of the town.  We started at Central Park, continued on down Fifth Avenue, to Times Square, the NY Public Library and on to the Empire State Building. It was a clear day so we could see quite a ways from the top, 120th floor. When we came back down, we walked around the block to a French restaurant, where we had a very enjoyable meal.

yes, folks, this is a CVS pharmacy on 96th and Amsterdam Ave in NYC

Next day, after a leisurely start, the 4 of us headed off to the Cloisters. A medieval museum in a beautiful park setting with great views of the Hudson River. I must say that the highlight of the day was receiving a phone call from our son telling us of the arrival of our new granddaughter. We could definitely  hear her in the background. What a joy.

Dinner was at a local Italian restaurant
 that evening.  Then home to play a few hands of Milles Bournes. Lots of laughter.

This morning the four of us headed out to church. Lovely organ music and choir.
Fred and I headed off to do a bit of shopping before returning home.  Maurice and Gus prepared  a wonderful dinner for us and a friend who came with her 4 year old.
Once again the 4 of us ended the evening playing Milles Bournes.

This morning we are off to see a Gothic church near us, St John the Divine. Then its grab our bags and head for the train.
We will rejoin Kitty and family for a few days.
Michelle and Fred
Traveling the country so you don't have to!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Kentucky to Pennsyvania

Left Kentucky 2 nights ago. We did not find the Old Inman cemetery on Redbird road that we had hoped to find. We did,however,meet the Genealogy librarian aka treasurer of the local Whitely County Historical Genealogy Society,who has been to the Inman cemetery. The cemetery is on private land and not easily accessible.  The library did have a wealth of Inman related materials: Elisha Inmans will, various marriage dates,and a few more items that we were able to copy.  One of the  bits of information we learned is that Fred has a cousin 5 or 6 times removed, William Charles Inman,who has written a book about  the Inmans. He traces them back to the first Inman in England. We have his address in North Carolina and may need to contact him directly to obtain copies of the 3 vol set.
We have agreed to call the Historical Society  ahead of time to work with them on getting permission to see the Inman cemetery. The librarian talked about folks coming out with shotguns to chase you off their land. She has had this happen to her. From all the no trespassing signd we saw driving  around those small country roads we believe it.

It felt like a good stop for, even if not complete.
We did find other Inman gravesites in a variety of graveyards.

For a change of pace, we then went to check out the Cumberland Gap. When up at Pinnacle Peak, you can look around to see Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia,depending upon which direction you look. Was a beautiful,sunny 78 degree day. Superb!

Left that area and headed to Pennsylvania. The state is beautiful with rolling hills, lots of trees and small villages. Last night we camped for one night close to Pittsburgh. 
Tonight and for the next 3 nights we are in Allentown PA,about 1.5 hr drive from Philadelphia. We will be doing some Philly stuff and since we are very close to my home town of Newark NJ  I will be showing a bit of that to Fred.
Stay tuned.
Michelle and Fred
Traveling the country so you don't have to!

Aug 28,2015

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Truman, Gateway to the West and on to the Louisville Slugger

While still in Kansas City Missouri, we visited the Harry S Truman Library.  A wonderful Presidential Library, with lots of informaation about him as a child all the way thru his years as President and beyond.  Truman was very hands on in the building of his library and a grandson continues to actively be involved on the Board of Directors.  Harry, Bess, daughter Margaret and her husband are buried on the grounds.  What I especially liked was reading some of the many letters that Harry sent Bess over their lifetime together.

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is in KC, Missouri.  We did go check it out and though small, gives a good feel for the struggles of the Negro Leagues.  I did learn that there was a Newark (NJ) Eagles team for awhile.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
Finally some great KC BBQ.  Kansas City is one of those BBQ capitals and they proved it that night.  We ate at Q39 and as soon as we walked in we knew we were in the right place by the smells.  I had ribs, which are wet and messy here.  Fred had  brisket, pulled pork and sausage.  In addition, we tried the "burnt ends" with some incredible sauce, yummy!  We took our leftovers with us to have the next night.  Boy, did our fridge smell good for a few days.

Next day we visited the National WW I Museum at Liberty Memorial. First stop here was to go to the top of the Liberty Memorial.  Was a clear day, so got a good view of the town.  Then on to the exhibits, of which there are so many, with so many actual artifacts, clothes, letters, maps, guns, pictures, replica of a trench to name just some.  A must see for  any WWI history buffs.

World War I Museum

Liberty Memorial
Totally enjoyed our stay in Kansas City and would possibly see coming thru again.

On to St Louis for a day to visit the Gateway to the West, the St Louis Arch.  I had seen this 40+ years ago, so it seemed new to visit again.  The way to the top is in a 5 person capsule and takes 4 minutes to get to the top.  Viewing portals at the top allow you to see both city side and river side.  We had a really clear day for this, so it was pretty cool.  Ride down is in the same capsule, but only takes 3 1/2 minutes.

Gateway to the West

We visited the Old Courthouse in historic St Louis.  This is an incredibly beautiful building inside and held exhibits about the Dred Scott case, which was tried here, the founding of St. Louis and the Lewis and Clark expedition which kicked off from here.

Later that afternoon, we went to see one of the Ulysses S Grant homes, located just outside of the city.  It was actually his wife Julias' childhood home, which Grant later purchased from his father-in-law.  He intended to raise horses here, but never actually did much of anything at this home as they lived in DC at the time. The home was eventually lost to Vanderbilt as it had been used as collateral in an unsuccessful investment. I thought the house was a hideous green, but apparently this was the color Grant  had it painted at one time.  Ah, well, who can account for another persons taste....

Grant home in St Louis

So that, was our day in St. Louis.  Would we come back again, probably not, some history to be sure, but not much architectural interest and its a hard town as recent events have shown.

Yesterday we did 4 states in one day- Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky.  We are camped about 40 miles south of Louisville in My Old Kentucky Home Campground, by Bardstown KY.  This campground is 50+ years old and shows it.  Pretty bad sites, we tried to level our Minnie Roulotte as much as we could, but it still is on an uneven keel.  Thankfully the fridge is still working, unlevel though it may be, keeping our ice cream frozen!!  We can barely reach the electric 20amp plug-in even with our extension. Gives us lights and fridge, but no AC.  We do not have a hose extension to reach the hookup that is out there beyond us....No place else to stay as the Kentucky State Fair is happening now, so camping is tight.  Also, this is the Bourbon Capital of Kentucky and there are distillery tours near by.

good thing we left our chainsaw home!

Today, Sunday, we visited the Louisville Slugger Museum. We took a factory tour showing how the Louisville bats are made.  You can actually hold some bats that were used by the likes of the Babe, Mantle and more. This is a fun place if you are into baseball.

We then crossed back over the Ohio River to be able to eat a late lunch in Indiana.  We can now say that we did more than just drive across the state and check it off our states to do list.
Tomorrow we head to Corbin, KY to try and find the "Old Inman Cemetary" near town of Redbird.  This may be like hunting for the proverbial needle in a haystack, but we'll give it a try.
Stay tuned to see what we find.
Michelle and Fred
Traveling the country so you don't have to!

Monday, August 17, 2015

On the road once more...Aug 2015

 Tonight we're in Kansas City Missouri, or as the GPS says "Misery".  We love our new rig for the kind of travel that we do.  It took us 3 tries to get it right and this is it. We are both very happy with this new setup.

First stop on this road trip was Oklahoma City.  We spent a day looking around some of the sights including, the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum and the Bricktown River Walk.  The National Memorial was very sedate and respectful, as it should be. 

Bricktown River Walk was small and not very busy the day we were there. Plenty of restaurants along the River.  The River walk is not very long, so be sure to go to the end to see the statues celebrating the rush for land that happened in 1889.

Next we headed for Kansas.  We stopped in Coffeyville, where the Dalton Gang tried to hold up two banks in the same town.  Very little to see here, other than a few plaques honoring those town folks who lost their lives trying to stop the Daltons.  Except for the tourist shop, not a thing was open in old town on a Saturday afternoon.

Further up the road we stopped to see the "Little House on the Prairie", the home that Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about.  It turned out to be a replica of the cabin, which was on the actual home site.  You pay your money before you find out that it's a folks in Kansas.

Spent two nights in Emporia, Kansas, which is the middle of nowhere. It is, however, just 16 miles from the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.  Very cool place to visit.  You can do quite a few hikes in the Preserve and visit the actual ranch house of the original land owners. The Park Service runs a bus tour out on the Preserve, a good way to get some of the history of this last of the Tallgrass prairies. We even learned that cattle come up from Texas each July to graze here.  There are also buffalo, my oh my, there are plenty.  They came really close to us on the bus; guess they are curious about us too!  Buffalo pictures were taken through dusty bus windows, we could not get out of the bus.

large ball of barbed wire found by the barn

a friend we ran into on the trail

tall grass

beautiful, but oh so hot, 95 degrees and we're out hiking!

We are currently camped at Worlds of Fun Village adjacent to the Oceans of Fun amusement park, in Kansas City MO.  It's pretty quiet since the amusement park is closed today.  Not sure why, maybe because school has started?

As soon as we got set up we headed out to see Watkins Woolen Mill and home, located in nearby Lawson MO.  This is a Missouri State Park, so tours are offered in both the house and the mill.  We love these kinds of things, so had a good time.

Dinner was BBQ, since we are in Kansas City, which is known for its BBQ.  I had the ribs and Fred had brisket and sausage.  All was good, but not great.  We have two more nights here to try some other joints.
Tomorrow we are off to Independence MO to visit the Harry S Truman library.
Enough for now,
Michelle and Fred
Traveling the country so you don't have to!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

First day in London

First day was spent at the British Museum. Highlights were the Elgin Marbles, the Rosetta Stone and mummies. Much more was seen, but to many things to list. By the time we got back to the hotel, Tabitha and I took a nap. Being tourist is tiring.
Today we head to the Tower of London to see the Crown Jewels.

Monday, April 6, 2015

We're in a Chevy Chase vacation movie!

We are now convinced that we are in a Chevy Chase vacation movie. We decided since we still had the rental car, we would head to Bisbee AZ for the weekend. It should be easy since Bisbee is only about 100 miles from Keith's house. I assure you, what you are about to read is not made up nor exaggerated in any way!

We left mid morning on a beautiful Saturday. Keith gave us a tip about an easy 40 mile dirt road that would be very scenic to drive. So, off we went and it was a very scenic drive. Part of the drive started out high above the San Pedro River and winded down to the river floor. We then were driving thru a saguaro forest. There were very few people living along this road. This is a pretty isolated with no cell service, no stores and most probably using well water. Very friendly folks though living here. We stopped to take a picture or two and a couple stopped to be sure we were okay. We continued along our merry way, having a great time. Alas, trouble found us around a curve near the end of the dirt...we had a flat tire.  Can this trip  get any weirder? I shouldn't ask. So, we take our bags out of the trunk and Fred pulls out the temporary spare. He starts to do the sweaty work of changing the tire in the desert hear. My role was to get some big rocks to block the back tire and another to put under the jack, sand is soft. While he is changing the tire,3 different cars stopped to make sure we were fine and had everything we needed. Tire changed, we continue on our way.

holding up the sides of San Pedro river, during floods, with old cars

Next stop was Tombstone for a pit stop and some ice cream. No place there to repair the tire. Back in the car heading on to Bisbee. We are now in cell range, so I start to check on repair options. Not many in this part of the world and most closed Saturday afternoon on Easter weekend. Find one in Bisbee, but he's installing an engine he tells me so it'll be at least 1.5 hrs before he can get to us. he'll call us back....ha ha. Never calls back. Closed until Monday.
We are laughing now, what else can we do, as we now struggle to get our rental fixed.

Next scenes in our movie. So, we check into our hotel, historic Copper Queen Hotel in Bisbee. Our room door closes poorly with the security chain busted out of the door frame. Two bolt locks on the inside, so we accept it as is. We're not too happy about the general condition of the room, could be better. Oh well. Today, Easter, we head out for breakfast, explore the local mine museum and walk around town. Late afternoon we are sitting on patio of the lounge having beers. The wind had gotten pretty cool so Fred says he'll go up and get our jackets. He returns with a note asking him to call owner about broken door. What? After talking with owner and stating our displeasure with how we found the room and door, we are upgraded to a bigger, better room. We are now in the J.A Jance room. Turns out she was raised here in Bisbee.

white building is the hotel

Art Basel lives in Bisbee

Bisbee visitor info,_Arizona

Copper Queen Hotel

Last scene in our Chevy Chase movie. This morning we went to the garage to have the flat fixed and put back on the rental. The repair guy was familiar with the road that gave us the flat, from driving up and down the road during his teenage years. A rock had put a cut in the tire and it was a simple patch fix.  The guy turned out to be happy to chat about common places we had all visited around the West.  Best of all, he only charged us $15.
Off to the Bisbee Breakfast Club for breakfast and then figured we could now do a bit of a drive around in the area.  We headed out to Naco, AZ, which is a very small town right on the Mexican border.  Has an RV park and a golf course.  Only reason folks live there must be because they are Border Patrol agents or support staff for them.  Some very pretty houses there and some are for sale if you are inclined to live on the Mexican border.  HA HA!!

Bisbee Breakfast Club

Naco Arizona
It was now time for us to head back to Florence. We were convinced that we would have Mr.B back in a new timely manner.

We press on.
Michelle and Fred
Traveling the country so you don't have to!
‎Monday, ‎April ‎06, ‎2015