Friday, November 18, 2005

planning for next trip

I am starting to think about my next 'long' trip across the country to see things I didn't get to on the last trip and get to my nephew's wedding in California. I have already started a list of cities to go to/through and get to the destinations I want to stay in for more than one night.
I am thinking I will be able to go across the lower part of the country this time (no hurricanes) and get to San Antonio first. Then I'll head north and west so I can get to Salt Lake City and then Seattle, Portland and down into California. I'd like to see those redwood forests and Yosemite. In the spring, it is said the falls in Yosemite are fantastic since the snow is melting from winter.
Will keep you posted on the latest as it happens.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

the 'rest of the trip'

From Albuquerque, I drove to Shamrock, Texas
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (saw the Memorial there)
Little Rock, Arkansas (met evacuees there)
Lawrenceburg, Tennessee
I got ambitious from there and figured distance and time wrong so I drove 14 hours to get home on Tuesday night (in the rain and dark when I got to Daytona).
I am still recovering although I have put most everything away now. I have a dirty house to clean and magazines to go through (I did the mail).
It was worthwhile, although very tiring, trip around our country and I am glad I did it.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

7660.20 miles covered

ACTUAL Trip August 28-Sept.27, 2005

Bainbridge, Georgia Shamrock, Texas
Tupelo, Mississippi Oklahoma City, OK
Springfield, Missouri Little Rock, Arkansas
Council Bluffs, Iowa Lawrenceburg, TN
Keystone, South Dakota
Mitchell, South Dakota
Sheridan, Wyoming
Gardiner, Montana
Pocatello, Idaho
Ontario, Oregon
Cascade Locks, Oregon
Klamouth Falls, Oregon
Reno, Nevada
Ely, Nevada
Cedar City, Utah
Tusayan, Arizona
Sedona, Arizona
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Due to Hurricane Rita, I will be skipping San Antonio and heading east from here tomorrow. Being on I-40 should keep me from getting any really bad stuff although I'm sure I will not avoid rain completely.
I have had a fantastic trip! From Yellowstone to the Columbia River Gorge to Crater Lake and Reno (won $25- for a non-gambler that's good) and then the Grand Canyon and Sedona (my favorite place). I've seen some beautiful country and it is nice to know we have some great National Forest areas that are protected and will be around for a while without development or 'progress' changing them.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Six days on the road

I arrived in Keystone, South Dakota today after leaving Mitchell, SD this morning and since I gained an hour, it was too early to get into my room. I had some lunch and drove up to Mt Rushmore to see how far it is and it is only two miles. I finally got into the room at about 1:30pm and got the cats settled. It is the smallest room I've had but still has a refrigerator, microwave, queen bed (they can get under it), a small table with two chairs and a built in type of dresser. I have to use dial-up for internet but, at least, it works where I couldn't get connected two days ago in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
I will be here for two days and am looking forward to seeing Crazy Horse and the Presidents on their respective mountains tomorrow. The weather is perfect so I can't complain and the stores are all having end of summer sales that are really good. I will buy things tomorrow now that I have browsed the Keystone stores and am pretty sure of what I want to buy that I can use and will be souvenir's too.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Bainbridge, Georgia

Here we are at our first stop of the long road trip. It was not a difficult drive at all . I was going up I-95 but when I got around Daytona it started pouring, so I cut off on FL 40 and headed west to Ocala where I picked up I-75 to I-10 and then from Tallahassee north to here. This town is about 20 miles north of the Florida state border.
The room is nice and the bed has those wood sides on the bottom which will make the loading (pet) easier since they can't get under the bed. Goldie is the hardest and since this is a king bed, I am glad I won't have to struggle as much in the morning.
I am pretty sure that I am ahead of Hurricane Katrina and even if I get some rain in the next couple of days, it won't be a hurricane for me.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Home from Santa Fe

I got home from Santa Fe on Tuesday night and it really was a smooth trip even though flying out of Houston is not great since it takes a minimum of 30 minutes from the gate to take-off.
Anyway, the time spent out there was fun and it really is pretty and dry (weather wise).
My new fireplace will not be installed until October. They couldn't get here today but were going to come tomorrow so that it could get done before I leave for my 'road trip'. With a storm (about to be Hurricane) Katrina heading into Florida and predictions of heavy rain and some wind here too, the fireplace installation is now scheduled for October. I could just envision the mud and dirt if they could even try tomorrow but I was told they probably wouldn't be able to do it in that type of weather anyway. So I will leave town for my next trip and do it when I get back.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Santa Fe

Here I am in Santa Fe enjoying my visit with my friend Diana. We walked over every inch of the Indian Market yesterday -a very huge art show of Native American goodies and my poor body knew it last night. I slept very well.
Prices are a little too high for my pocketbook, but some of the work was magnificent.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Santa Fe

Well I'm off to Santa Fe this afternoon but this time it will be in an airplane without the animals. I am going to spend a few days with my friend, Diana, at her 'new' house where she hasn't spent much time due to her job that kept her more in California and didn't give her much time to empty boxes and put the house together. She hasn't had a chance to explore in the town and so we are looking forward to fun exploration of Santa Fe and I'm anticipating the beauty of the scenery. She tells me that she is happy there and that makes me happy!
My beautiful Silver Fluff (mostly Maine Coon) developed an infection over the past weekend and although she responded to antibiotics, I did take her to see the vet who pulled a few teeth yesterday (not even the cause of the problem) that were rotten. She is eating again after a couple of days of not being interested, so that's a good thing and will get her antibiotic until I get home. With very few teeth in her mouth, it is not difficult to give her a pill and Donna (my great friend/neighbor) will take good care of her.
When I get back from Santa Fe, I will be getting a new (replacement) fireplace and then I can get ready to get 'on the road' again. My plan for the trip is almost finalized- I had to leave a few things off to balance out the cost of the this fireplace thing- and the weather in the direction I'm going is already cooler so I will have to pack the right clothing for all kinds of weather.
Until next time--from another location--

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Hot summer

Only another week left in July and I'm wishing for cooler weather to start now!
I've been out in the zoo in the afternoons when it is so hot I can't believe how there are visitors at all but I guess when you are sightseeing (we do get lots of tourists in Melbourne, Fl), you do all you can even if it's hot.
I'll be flying out to visit Diana in Santa in only a little more than three weeks and I'm looking forward to that trip. Even though it is hot there too, Diana says that because the humidity is low, it just doesn't feel that bad and she has even left her windows open several nights (it does cool off there at night).
Then, when I get back from Santa Fe, I'll get the van packed and will be off on my next road adventure. I fully expect to be gone a minimum of six weeks and I intend to see as many National Parks and beautiful country as I am able.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Hot, Hot, Hot

It's been a hot time in Florida and it's only the beginning of this summer! When it's not raining, it's so hot and humid that it is hard to spend much time outdoors.
I did, however, get my first kayak 'training session' at the zoo. It will take many more hours to learn all the information I need to be able to 'lead' the tour. I will go and 'shadow' (be a second, bring up the rear, person) on tours being given and listen/learn from the guides who have been doing it for a while. This weekend, I am going for the 'animal handling' class. And, then there are several other classes that I'll be doing over the next few weeks like learning the aviary (and bat) information as well as the giraffe information too.
Otherwise, life goes on and I am planning my trips. I'll be flying to Albuquerque in August to visit with my friend, Diana, in Santa Fe, and then when I get back, it will be time to get back on the road with the animals for my 'long' trip north/northwest.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Tropical Storm Arlene

The first storm of the new Hurricane season has brought more rain to our area after last week's six days of it. The ground is pretty well saturated now and, hopefully, after today, it will become a normal 'summer' pattern, which could mean rain each afternoon but not all day long for several days in a row. It was coming down so hard that it woke me at 4:30AM and then with the darkness, I slept late.
Tomorrow I'm 'on call' for the O.R., so I am hoping this bad weather is gone in case I have to go and drive in it. I usually do get at least one case on the Sunday 'call' and I don't mind it as long as it isn't in the middle of the night.
I have re-visited my plans for the next trip and am still a little undecided as to when I will really get back on the road. I've been home long enough now that I am ready to go again but will honor my committments to work and the zoo and those are through July. I have made several road plans depending on the weather and when I really leave and am trying to research hotels/motels and the 'all suite' places that I like the best while keeping a 'budget' in mind. There is no doubt that I will go again but departure date is still unknown.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Zoo volunteer

I am now an official volunteer for the Brevard Zoo. That doesn't mean I can rush right out and go do stuff with the animals, but I can do landscaping and office work until I take the classes required to do anything else. The first class that I am going to take is for kayaking. I think that will be fun, exercise, and outdoors where if I get hot I can get wet easily.
The orientation class and the zoo-osophy class were interesting and both the volunteer coordinator and the zoo educator made the two hours go by very quickly. I am planning on taking all the classes so that I can do most anything there although I will leave the cleaning out of the cages to the young people who are numerous for these upcoming summer months.

Thursday, June 02, 2005


It's been a little strange being home after the driving and different beds but nice to be 'settled' again. The cats have been quite happy being able to go out on the deck again and are getting back into their old routines (waking me earlier than I need to get up).
I am re-evaluating my next trip and probably will not go in the 'heat' of the summer but wait until the last week of August and perhaps September will be better 'on the road' with them. When I thought about visiting San Antonio in the middle of August, that didn't sound very 'cool' to me. And going later on, I might get to see 'fall' colors, which I haven't seen for a long time. Even the southwest and northwest have trees that change color.
I will fly to visit with Diana in Santa Fe the weekend of August 20th when the yearly Indian Market occurs. By then, she thinks, the house will be ready for company although I don't care if it's still got boxes as long as I have a bed.
I am back to work and have already been asked to do an extra day here and there because vacations are starting. I don't think they'll mind that I'll be available more in the summer than my original plan.

Saturday, May 28, 2005


I got home this afternoon in the heat of Florida. I am glad I have a great neighbor who turned on the air conditioner and kept the temperature reasonable in the house.
It took a while to get the van unloaded and I even unpacked some. I did a load of laundry, which would have had to be done if the trip were longer anyway. I will finish unpacking tomorrow. I got the slacks that were folded hung up (great fabric, not even wrinkled) and the hanging bag is hung-just not put away. I really took way too much and that is helpful information for the next trip. I will be more cognizant of weather although I did have what I needed this time. I found that the new jacket I bought matches all three of the slacks I took if I had needed nicer pants than the jeans I wore it with a few times.
The nicest thing is that the trip didn't cost as much as I anticipated and I only paid ONE pet fee! In Savannah, I told them, specifically, that I had pets, but it wasn't on the bill so I didn't say another word.
I think I will sleep very well tonight after a hot shower. The animals are happy to be home and have freedom to be indoors or out on the deck (even though it's pretty hot out there).

Friday, May 27, 2005

Last day before going home

I spent today doing not much of anything important. I went to two malls and didn't even buy anything. I was just being lazy and after a nice lunch, I came back, watched some soap operas, and drank red wine. I guess everyone is entitled to a 'rest' day, but it did teach me that when I'm traveling I do not need extra days. I will plan my next trip as a much wiser person including what I need to take and what I don't for me and the cats. I took way too much stuff this time but it WAS the test trip to educate myself about the real needs and how to do it. I didn't need to do any laundry because I took enough that it just wasn't necessary. I can plan better for longer trips now.
I have learned that these 'mini' suites are the best type for us even though they are not the least expensive way to go. They have all the amenities we need including the 'hi speed' internet that is important for me not only to communicate but to pay bills along the way on those longer trips when I won't be home to get bills in the mail.
I will write when I get home but not as frequently until I get ready for the next 'road trip'

Thursday, May 26, 2005

A lovely day in Historic Savannah

I had a lovely day in the historic part of Savannah today. It even got hot! After so many days of rain and cold, it was a nice change.
I used my free pass on the Old Town Trolley and got to see all the squares as well as walk on River Street and in the City Market. It truly amazes me how fast the hours go when you are just looking at stuff, browsing the stores, and walking, walking, walking. For lunch I was in a restaurant facing the river and it truly is a busy port. I got to see this huge tanker ship come into the harbor and sail up the river.
I am still not sure what I'll do tomorrow since I'm staying here until Saturday but I'm sure that somehow the hours will go by as quickly as they did today.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

mostly sunshine for this drive

We left Petersburg, VA at 7:30am and except for about the first 90 minutes of rain (and truck spray), the drive was in partial sunshine and that was lovely. It warmed up as we came south and here in Savannah it is currently 73 degrees and that is way different than the 50 of this morning.
I am staying in a Townplace Suites and like the Residence Inn, it is a 'studio' with a kitchen that includes all but a full stove. The bed has those nice boards on the bottom so the cats can't get under it and they are busy exploring everything here and seem pretty comfortable. Our window is on the pool, and we get the sun, apparently, so there is a sunny spot on the bed as well as the window sill for them to enjoy. We'll be here until Saturday so they will get very comfortable.
All in all, I think this has been successful for my first trip.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Driving in the rain, again!

I arrived in Petersburg after a very rainy trip from Corning around 3:30PM. Got everyone and everything into the room and am finally feeling warm. With the rain came low temperatures and since the heat isn’t working in the van, the ‘defrost’ (to defog the window) works on cold air blowing. I didn’t leave it on all the time, just enough to be able to see and with the truck spray on the big highways, it is a tense way to drive. Much of the trip was alongside the Susquehanna River and even in the rain it was pretty although it would have been wonderful with some sunshine.
I do not have hi-speed internet and have realized how spoiled I am but I can connect with the phone line and although it will be slow, I’ll still be able to post this note.
We leave early for Savannah tomorrow and, I’m afraid, it will be in the rain again!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Corning Glass

I went to the Corning Glass Museum today and made three things in glass! It was interesting and lots of fun. I made a large glass bead that can be worn on a neck rope/chain, a small square with designs in glass done with a slight curve (you'll have to see it to understand) that I will put a candle on, and I blew an ornament in a tear shape that will hang in my house.
The main street here isn't much except the buildings are old fashioned design. There are many empty stores on Market Street so anyone who wants to start a business here, there are lots of spaces to use!
Tomorrow will be a very long drive day to Petersburg, Virginia and then on Wednesday it will be another very long drive to Savannah, but I'll be there for three days and if the weather is nice, it will be wonderful to sleep little later on Thursday morning.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Arrived in Corning, New York

The drive today from Deptford, New Jersey to Corning, New York was uneventful. The weather was cloudy and cold but it didn't rain on us so even with slower speed limits and a couple of 'pit' stops, I checked into the hotel around 2:30pm.
This room has a huge king sized bed with a 'sleep number' mattress- maybe my back will feel good in the morning. The only problem is that the cats can get under it and it will be a challenge to get them into the carriers on Tuesday morning when we head back south. I will not think about it until then and maybe I can trick them or corral them in the bathroom where they are being fed as well as being a bathroom. I also have a refrigerator, microwave, and coffeepot and the hi-speed connection that is spoiling me since it's free.
The weather prediction for tomorrow is cold, cloudy and probably rain but I will enjoy myself anyway. I have my umbrella and a lined raincoat/jacket that will help keep me warm and dry and mostly I expect to be indoors. There are also several massage possibilities right near the hotel (I walked to get some dinner this evening) so I have that option too. I saw one for only $40 for an hour and that is very tempting.
That's all for today.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Saturday in New Jersey

I woke up early which I do not understand since I was up past 11pm and was hoping to sleep a little later but at 5:30am, I woke up and couldn't fall back to sleep. So, I got up and had coffee (having a room with a kitchen is better than just having a coffee pot) and played some on the computer (having free hi speed internet service is wonderful!) and then after breakfast and showering, I went over to the mall and bought a few things -on sale stuff, of course!
Then, after eating my left over Chinese food, I went to my nephew's house. I went to watch Miranda (the almost 5, going on 12 niece) ride a horse. Brian takes her every few weeks where she gets instruction and seems to enjoy it. We came back and ate a great dinner that Nikki (niece in law) made and got to watch the Preakness on a huge HD TV.
I was wearing a jacket that I bought this morning and didn't notice (Nikki did) the electronic tag still on it! There was no alarm when I left the store (Macy's). So on my way back to the hotel this evening I had to stop and get them to take off the tag. It's good that the store is so close.
To make the day really great - there was NO RAIN! The weather was beautiful and I had a lovely day. Tomorrow, I will leave to go to Corning, New York and make something from glass as well as learn how they make the beautiful glass things.
I can't believe a whole week has gone by already, so I'm thinking the summer trip will work out just fine.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Driving in the rain

We left Williamsburg before 10am this morning and it was long, rainy, heavy traffic day. I had forgotten that as you go north the traffic is bad and with the rain (and heavy spray from the trucks), it was a difficult drive. We had stop and go traffic several times on I-95 and that was a surprise. I only stopped a couple of times for a bathroom run and gas.
We checked into our hotel after 5pm and after getting the cats in and settled (not an easy task in the rain) and most of my stuff inside too, I went to have some dinner with my nephew and meet (for the first time) his wife as well as see both 10 week old Alexis and almost 5 year old Miranda (my two great nieces). I didn't stay long (they live about 15 minutes from this hotel), and was back in the room a little after 8pm.
Prediction is for no rain tomorrow but it is colder than I anticipated. I have already re-arranged some of my clothes and things to make it easier to get into the room the things I really need instead of having to go out to the van and get individual items. I make more trips for me than the cats! They are doing remarkably well except when it comes time to get them back into the carriers to leave a hotel. I have been able to load them in the carriers and into the van in about 30 minutes , which I don't think is too bad. It takes me almost as long to get my things together.

Thursday, May 19, 2005


I was up early today even though I stayed up to watch the Alias season finale. I left the hotel to walk over to Colonial Williamsburg before 9am. Most everything was still closed but I took pictures and by the time I got to the 'shopping' area, things were open. There was nothing of great interest to buy so I got a small refrigerator magnet and nothing else. I went to any place that I didn't have to have a 'visitor's tour pass' and still got to see quite a bit. I had lunch at the King's Tavern and wandered some more after that - I am now resting! I will go back out later but all that walking while carrying more weight than I wanted (had an umbrella to keep with me) is hard on my shoulders and back.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Drive day

I drove all day today to get from Charleston to Williamsburg. With stopping for gas and the bathroom and then getting lost (although close) getting to the hotel, it was close to 6pm before I checked in and got everything in place for my two night stay here. This hotel is only a couple of blocks from the historical part of Williamsburg so tomorrow will be a walking day.
The weather report says 'rain' but I'm hoping that doesn't really happen.
I went to ask the reception desk for a cable for the internet box in the room and she said that someone told her the sytem was down but she gave me the cable anyway and obviously, it works now. While I was there she was ordering Chinese food, and guess what I had for dinner! Now, I'll watch some TV and don't think I'll have a problem falling asleep.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Rain, rain, go away

I must not be destined to really spend time in this city (Charleston) because the last time I was here (1988) it also was rainy and I only spent one night and got out of town. This time I was determined to do some sightseeing and managed to do that (took a bus tour, visited a museum, had a nice lunch) before the sky opened up. Even with an umbrella my lower legs and shoes got pretty soaked. Then, I was going to get some 'take out' sushi for my dinner and the place I went to (saw it on the bus tour), wasn't open! It wasn't a bad day though all in all and Charleston is so historical, it was worth the little bit of wetness.
Tomorrow I head to Williamsburg and the hard part will be getting the cats into their carriers--there is bed for them to get under in this suite. I'll have to do a little trickery to accomplish my task.

Monday, May 16, 2005

First legs of trip

I left for Jacksonville on Sunday and with no traffic, I got there by 2:30pm. I was able to back in park in front of my room so I took the cats in their carriers individually into the room.
My friend Becky came over around 4pm and after talking for a while (we haven't seen each other for at least 2 years), we had dinner at a local Red Lobster. We talked until almost 8pm and it was wonderful.
This morning, I got up way earlier than I had planned but my cats were really not comfortable in the room (dirty carpet, Whiskers foamed at the mouth all the time) and a big opening under the bathroom sink where they wanted to go made me keep that door shut. They woke me a couple of times and I finally got up befor 7am. This motel offered continental breakfast, so I was able to have juice, coffee and a muffin and I took a bagel/cream cheese with me for lunch (I still had some cold cuts in my cooler). That bagel and cold cuts were a very nice lunch.
I arrived in Charleston by 1:30pm although it would have been sooner had I not gotten a little lost to the tune of a 30-40 mile extra circle drive. Just proves I should follow my instincts better and it would not have happened. So now I'm in a lovely Residence Inn and right after I got the cats in, the sky opened up. I still need to get some things from the car for me, but in the meantime, I got the internet connection and figured I should write. I'll be here until Wed. morning. Oh, yes, this bed is 'open' underneath so it will be a challenge to get the cats into the carriers on Wed., but that how it goes.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Almost ready to leave

I am almost ready to leave now. I might leave on Sunday and stop in Jacksonville before heading to Charleston on Monday. If my friend Becky will meet me on Sunday night for dinner, I will definitely go on Sunday but right now it is still a decision to be made.
I have checked out the van (rotated tires/did oil and filters and fluids), finalized most anything that needs to be done except my hair (can't go with bad hair color).
I am going to be busy for the next two days with work related things so it will be Thursday before I get crazy with it again. I have this great Hospital picnic to attend on Saturday which is held in the zoo (this year there is a time limited exhibition of butterflies) and we are fed very well so I do not want to leave before then and can easily pack after that to leave on Sunday. If I go to Jacksonville it is only three hours so I can leave in the afternoon.
I am very excited and a little nervous because it will be work (with the cats) but fun too.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

reservations done

All the reservations for this trip in May are done and I am glad because now I can relax a little bit and collect information for the places I will be visiting.
I am even starting to plan the summer trip and have changed that itinerary a few times already.
It is exciting to think about the trips and the adventures ahead.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Itinerary change

I have already made a change in destination plans and after New Jersey I will head to Corning, New York where I have always wanted to see the 'glassworks'. Then, I will head back south. I was thinking of doing Corning at the beginning of my summer trip, but if I do it now, and it makes sense to do it while I'm in that part of the country anyway, I will take my other route in the summer through the southern states rather than the eastern side of the country. Both possible routes take me to Yellowstone and beyond to the west coast.
I keep re-arranging the mini-van to make it as 'user friendly' as possible for taking all the things I might need for the cats and myself. I put them all into the cages (have two back to back large cages for them with a litter box inside) to see how they would 'fit' and I think they will travel very comfortably. The hard part for me will be getting them in and out (into and out of hotel/motel rooms) but it will be good 'exercise'. I'll be using carriers and will have to get into the van, shut the door and put each animal in it's own box before I can re-open the doors and move them all (on a small flatbed cart). I can envision trying to get them into the carriers when we are leaving a room-Goldie is not the easiest to catch and last time we went to a hotel, Shadow got herself up into the box springs and it took an hour to get to her.
The trips will be an adventure and that's the exciting part.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


I spent an awake night (until almost 3am) with the travel planning in my head so I got up and worked on it until I finalized my itinerary and now just need to make hotel reservations.
The new and final itinerary is Melbourne, Charleston, Williamsburg, Deptford, Richmond, Santee, and then Savannah.
I have already re-arranged the van several times (including during the night) to make it more 'user' friendly for me. When I actually pack (clothes and stuff), I'll see if I have really done it in the most effective/efficient manner.

Sunday, April 17, 2005


Planning the trip is quite a chore, and I'm doing two trips!
I am almost positive about the first trip in May with hotels chosen for the cities I'll be staying in but it's still a decision as to how many nights I'm staying in each place.
The current itinerary is Melbourne to Charleston, Richmond, Deptford, and then back via Rocky Mount, and Savannah. I know I'll be in Deptford May 20-22nd but am not sure if I want to stay more than two nights in charleston and Savannah. I, therefore, have not made the reservations for anywhere yet.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Travel in the mini

This is my first posting and hope to get more familiar with 'blogging' so that I can
capture the moments of the trips I am about to take in my mini-van with five cats.