Diane and I took our “first” trip in the new van. We took some short trips close to home to get used to it before heading out, but this was the first multi-state adventure. We headed north to Lindsborg, KS, also known as Little Sweden. The pictures don’t do it justice. It was colorful and the people were friendly and inviting.
Then we headed west to Hasting, NE. I lived there when I was four years old. We went looking for the famous fountain in Hastings. I remembered more than I thought I would, but I couldn’t find my school, Lincoln Elementary. Then we ran into a lady who had lived there all her life. She told us it had been turned into a police station.
Next, we headed east to Des Moines/Altoona, IA. The drive there was white-knuckled, with winds of 50 MPH and rain. We made it to Altoona, but we were exhausted. After a good night’s sleep, we headed further east to Moline to visit with my Aunt and cousins. We took short trips to Cambridge and Carbon Cliff to visit where my grandparents lived and were buried. The last time I had been there was when I took my father.
Then it was time to head home. We made a short detour to visit Little Amana Colonies in Iowa, stayed the night near Kansas City and made it home before dark. It was a great trip. Diane is busy planning our next little adventure – – but not too soon.
June 9, 2014 – More than a year ago, we attended a charity fund raiser and entered a drawing to win a free week at a cabin in Red River, New Mexico. We got lucky and won. However, as ridiculous as it sounds, we just now found time to go.
We didn’t take many pictures, and most of what we took were taken on the same day. I just did not want to carry my camera around much on this trip.
This week we traveled to Austin, Texas and stayed at the Lost Pines Resort. After we got the rental car, right off the bat we couldn’t find Lost Pines on the GPS. Later I asked the concierge about that. I was told, “well… we are suppose to be lost”.
We stayed there 5 days and had a great time. I will let the pictures speak for themselves. However, we didn’t take as many action shots as we usually do. I don’t know if that is laziness or old age setting in.
September 21, 2013 – Saturday we flew to Kentucky, rented a car, and took a 2 state road trip until we flew back home to Oklahoma. We had no particular place to go, we just drove. The picture above is through blue grass, horse country in Kentucky. The people that have those horse farms have some serious money. Those homes are beautiful.
We took tours through 2 whiskey distilleries (Its Kentucky after all.), a winery, several historic homes including the Hermitage, numerous towns, a casino, and ended up at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. We spent considerable time at the resort because there was so much to do under one big glass roof. It is hard to believe it is just a hotel due to all of the gardens and water features in it. It took 2 days just to figure out where everything was located. It was very easy to lose track of our room. Hotel maps didn’t help much the first day.
We walked around Nashville quite a bit. Every bar downtown had a live band playing in the middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday. Hardly anyone was in these bars, but the bands were playing anyway. I guess they were looking to be discovered. One 2 story bar had 2 live bands, one upstairs, and one downstairs. There was a lot of good music. I will bet all of these bars are very busy at night and on weekends.
The Desk and Derrick Club of Oklahoma City traveled to Cushing, Oklahoma to tour the Enterprise Products East Facility. Randy Bruce gave a very educational presentation of the Cushing Tank Farms. Afterwards, we traveled to Drumright, OK where we ate lunch at the Tidal School Winery, which was built by John D. Rockefeller’s oil company to educate his workers and their families.
Diane and I were lucky enough to tag along on a trip to Colorado with the Hickman’s and their red Jeep to see the highest elevations in the Rocky Mountains. The roads in the mountains were formidable, but we had a great time.
The timing of the trip was perfect for catching the Autumn change of colors around Ouray and Silverton, Colorado. We saw a lot of abandoned gold mines from the 1890’s and actually went down into a mine that was closed in 1963. Rumor has it they may reopen some of these mines due to the current price of gold.
October, 2011 We spent 11 days in Florida visiting The Villages. We rented a house this trip, but we are considering buying a second home there. More pictures can be found HERE.
The Villages was a place we have heard about but never had the opportunity to experience. It is like living at Disney World for adults: A 26,000 acre, Active Retirement Community with 67 Villages and 83,000 residents, 9 Championship Golf and Country Clubs, 29 Executive golf courses , 40 recreation centers, championship polo, 4 fitness centers, 74 tennis courts, 100 pickleball courts, 12 fishing lakes, 85 horseshoe pits, 115 bocce courts, over 1800 activity clubs, 50 swimming pools, about 100 restaurants, 5 hotels, 2 historic town squares with free concerts and dancing 7 nights a week, a daily newspaper, TV news network, and radio station, 2 eight-screen movie theaters, 2 libraries, 2 bowling centers with 40 lanes, 9 softball fields, 7 shopping centers, and over 100 miles of golf cart paths Best of all, everything is accessible by golf cart. I was told there are 50,000 golf carts in The Villages.
Everyday Diane and I would get the morning newspaper and look in the Lifestyle Section. All 40 recreation centers had their own list of activities for the day. There was a class, activity, or tournament for just about anything you could imagine.
That’s not Las Vegas !!! No, it’s Hoover dam. As usual, we didn’t take many Las Vegas pictures. There are restrictions on pictures in Vegas, you know. We went back to Hoover Dam to see the completed highway that can be seen in the background. We drove across it. It is definitely high.
Also, while in Las Vegas, I rode a zip line down Fremont Street in the heart of downtown Las Vegas. They call it the “Flightlinez”. The first 2 days we were there, almost no one rode the Flightlinez. However, the last day we were there, the National Finals Rodeo was in town. Those crazy cowboys were all over it. I had to go up to see what all the fuss was about.
The Flightlinez starts 6 stories above the ground and drops 5 stories during the 824 foot path down the street. It only takes 29 seconds to travel the distance. It sounds scary, but it really was not that bad. On the adrenaline rush scale it is about a 2 out of 10.
The pictures of me are toward the end of the ride at the lowest and slowest point. However, even though it was at the slowest point, the pictures still did not turn out very good due to the motion and darkness.
Pictures of this and more of Hoover Dam can be seen HERE.