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Archive for July, 2012

The Vacation :)

Ok I know it’s been a while since I posted a post, but here it is.  This one is just going to be a shortened non-detail post, with maybe some detail.

First day we left from Denver, and made it to Hutchinson, KS.  It was a long trip but worth it :).  On the second day we spent almost all the day in the Kansas Cosmosphere.  Lets just say that Erbo (Eric Bowersox) was in heaven lol.  He LOVED all the space gear they had there from the actual Apollo 13 to the long lost Liberty Bell 7, that was lost for decades under the ocean.  It sat on the bottom of the ocean about 3 miles deep I think.  They also had the ACTUAL white room that was used in the Apollo 13 launching. He also enjoyed the amount of Russian Space Gear there, which if I’m not mistaken, this is the largest Russian Space Collection outside of Russia.

On top of that we also went and watched Tornado Alley on their big domed IMAX Theater, which I LOVED and it was awesome on that dome!  Then we went to a show in the Planetarium and then a science show in the Dr. Goodall’s (I don’t remember if this is the actual name lol) Lab, but we thoroughly enjoyed it.  This trip to the Cosmosphere has been a dream of Erbo’s for a long time, and we was able to finally go to it.  We had a lot of fun and he took over 250 pictures, and we spent almost $300 on gifts from the gift shop they had.  We left the Cosmosphere and went back to the hotel and at supper then went to bed.  The next day was going to be a long one so we had to leave early enough the next morning to make it to the next destination.

Day three sent us through the back roads through the beautiful winding roads of the Ozark Mountains and into Arkansas, my home state where I came from.  Man I enjoyed going through the Ozarks in the day light.  Beautiful country and gentle rolling mountains and hills with lots of green trees.  We also went through the home town and headquarters of Wal-Mart.  We stopped in Bentonville, AR to eat lunch so that I could take my noon pill, and oh my gods, the Arkansas tomatoes on the hamburgers were just AWESOME! The flavor just bursting with each bit of the burger.  After we ate, we headed back on the road to continue the final leg of our 10 and a half hour strip from Kansas to Vandal, AR.  We entered my aunt’s driveway I think just after 5 or 6 p.m. that night.  She had supper waiting for us, and oh my gods the home cooked meal was delicious.  We had fried squash with onions, blacked eyed peas, cornbread, turkey and corn.  Oh yeah I also had some of my Aunt’s home canned dill pill pickles; YUMMY!  After supper we sat and talked a while, and I just couldn’t stay awake after that long trip so I smoothly passed out in the bed.  We had to be up bright and early for the next leg of the trip.  Another long leg of the trip.

Day four, we were up by 6 a.m. and my aunt sent us off after a great breakfast of homemade buttermilk biscuits and gravy with scrambled eggs, sausage and GOOD country bacon!  After we ate breakfast we said good bye to my aunt and headed out for the next 9 or 10 hour leg of our trip to visit our friends in Waukegaun, IL.  When we hit Chicago, we hit it at rush hour and on a day that the Cubs were having a night game, so the traffic was hellish to the point we almost got side swiped twice, but we didn’t cause of good reflexes on Erbo’s end.  I will NEVER live in Chicago thank you.  It’s just to dangerous to drive on those roads and interstates up there.  I was just happen to get to our location and breath.  We got to our hotel, and that night sever storms blew through, but it didn’t stop us from spending time with our friends and taking them out to dinner that night.  We got back to our hotel after we dropped off our friends I think around 11 or 12 at midnight or earlier.  I don’t remember the actual time, all I can say it was still storming out there when we did get back to the hotel.  We slept so hard we don’t even know if the hotel lost power or not in the wee hours of the morning, we slept through it after the long trip.

Day five, had us on the road heading towards Metropolis, IL where my dad and the rest of my rather large family lived.  The cousins are spread about from IL to Oregon to Michigan to Indiana and the likes, but my two remaining uncles lived in Metropolis.  My dad actually lives with one of his brothers, as does my own brother.  We made it to Metropolis with plenty of daylight left and we checked in and then went to see my dad.  We then took him to the store and bought them about 80 pounds worth of dog food so that the dogs had food since dad and them lived off a monthly budget cause they got their SS once a month.  We also took dad to eat and also bought him some new shoes and the likes.  We also bought them a brand new dvd player to replace the one in the TV that didn’t work.  We also helped in getting a few other things electronically.  Then went back to the hotel, since we will be spending the entire next day with dad since it was his 71st birthday.

Day six, had us waking up later to catch up on the sleep we missed out on, on the first 5 days of the trip.  It was July 20th, and my dad’s 71st birthday.  Lets just say he definitely looks much better now by gaining the weight back then he did TWO years ago.  He had me worried, but he’s been getting great help from the VA hospital and clinic that are there.  They’ve been taking really good care of him and making sure he’s staying as healthy as one can at the age of 71.  We spent the day with dad and my family.

Dad took us to the souvenir shop in the town square over by Superman so that we could get some t shirts and the likes dealing with Superman and the home town of Superman.  Our friend up in Waukegaun wanted a t shirt that dealt with the hometown of Superman, so we got her one as well as me one and the likes and a few other things apparently lol. After the trip to the souvenir shop; we went to go see my Uncle Ernie, and he’s looking good.  Thankfully cousin Bradley, his youngest boy, is living with him and taking care of him.  I’m glad to see that one of his kids are there to take care of him, the others are off doing their own thing and have their own families to deal with and don’t have the time to spend with him.  It’s a shame though.

After we went to see my Uncle Ernie, we took my dad back home and told him that we was going to take him, my brother and my Uncle John out to eat, to celebrate dad’s birthday.  My brother decided not to go, but that was fine, we still took Dad and Uncle John out to eat at the Olive Garden that was over in Paducha, KY.  Then we took them to the store and we got dad some new clothes as well as a pair of coveralls for both him and my Uncle Ernie.  It was after all dad’s birthday and Uncle Johnny did say that daddy needed some new clothes, so we bought him some.  We was expecting to spend some money on dad’s birthday, so we know we had it.  After the trip to Wal-mart we headed back to dad and Uncle Johnny’s place and sat there a while talking and the likes.  Then we finally had to call it a night and went back to the hotel and went to bed.  We had another busy day the next day and we had to be checked out of the hotel by 10 the next morning.

Day seven, has us up and out of the hotel before 10 a.m. that morning, then we went and spent half a day with dad, out by the side of the road, while he sold his homegrown vegetables from his garden.  We also had to have mom come and meet us at the location we were yet, cause that was the days we were heading to see my mom.  She met us there and after dad packed up, cause it was hot as hell out there and business was slow, we headed up to see my mom’s parent’s graves as well as my mom’s sister and brother-in-law graves.  They were buried right beside each other.  We put flowers on my grandparents graves, but my cousin Pat dealt with my Aunt and Uncle’s graves since she was picky on how things looked and the likes.  Dad came to see the grave sites as well, before we parted ways, him to go see his parents graves us to follow my mom to go see some long time family friends that I hadn’t seen in over 20 years.  We visited with them for a little while before we finally headed on to my mom’s place, where that night she barbecued some ribs on the grill, had potato salad, red beans and rice and banana pudding waiting for us.  Man that was another awesome home cooked meal that I ate, so yes I thoroughly enjoyed eating the home cooked meals that were made for us, cause we don’t do much cooking here at our place.  We stayed up a little while after supper and then we finally went to bed, cause we had to be up the next morning to head out and on our way back home.

Day eight, we woke up just before noon this day, another nice time to catch up on some sleep before we started back home.  Mom made sure we had a brunch/lunch of home made pancakes, bacon and eggs before we headed out.  We lingered over lunch and chatted for a little while before we headed out.  Mom game me some actual red beans from New Orleans, 4 lbs worth, to bring home with us so that if I want to make some, I can slow cook them and add my own spices to the beans.  We also will most likely eat brown rice and not white rice with them.  We headed out and followed mom to see my Aunt and Uncle in Cutler.  I hadn’t seen my Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Wayne in a long time, another 20 something years there as well.  We spent some time with them, before we finally parted ways with my mom and headed off towards St. Louis, MO and Topeka, KS.  Our destination was Topeka, KS.  We took our time getting there, cause I noticed my legs had swollen really bad with the first part of this journey cause it was a marathon run from Denver, CO all the way to Metropolis, IL.  Also Erbo, wanted to make sure that on the trip back home that I got out and walked some to help ease the swelling in my legs.

We entered St. Louis, MO about 4 p.m. that same day.  I took some pictures of the famous St. Louis Archway.  We continued along at a nice steady clip and stopped off and on at the rest areas as well as to eat and the likes to make sure that I got out to do some walking around.  We entered KS at around 6 or 7 p.m. that night and continued along, still doing the stopping off and on, and we finally hit the Kansas Turnpike about  8 p.m. and we stopped at their rest areas in the middle at a McDonald’s and got a chocolate dipped ice cream cone, and for me to walk around some more.  We then got back on the road and we kept going and finally entered Topeka, KS around 9 p.m. or just after and checked into our hotel.  We also went to a Steak ‘N Shakes to eat supper and then to a Wal-Mart, which surprisingly enough was right beside the Steak ‘N Shakes, to buy a few things.  After that we went back to the hotel and went to bed.  We had to be up and out of the hotel the next morning just before checkout.

Day nine; the final leg of our journey home.  We woke up around 9 or so and checked out of the hotel and headed on the final leg of our journey home.  We definitely took our time going home.  We stopped often and even pulled into a 24/7 store and bought a few nicknacks that showed we’d been to Kansas.  After the stop we got back on the road and continued on towards home, and since the marathon part of this vacation was over with, we were definitely taking our time to get home.  Erbo didn’t have to be back to work until Weds, so we were able to sleep most of the Tuesday with no issues.  We finally made it home and were able to breath much better.  It was a wonderful trip, and I enjoyed visiting my family.  I’m very happy to be back home.

Day ten; final day of Erbo’s vacation.  We woke up late and he went to go get our Penny and bring her home.  We were happy to have her back home, and she was very happy to be home.  She’s become a well mannered kitty since we’ve been gone, still loving and more so.  The cost of her stay at the Animal Lodge, had been good for her.  She did get 30 minutes of one on one time while we was away.  I made sure this would happen, cause she is such a loving and social kitty, that I couldn’t see her not getting some personal time with the people that ran the lodge.  It was a Kitty Spa for her, and another good thing is that her vet was right next door so that if something had happened to her, her vet was right there, since they own the Animal Lodge.

We also washed clothes and the likes that day as well and just chilled out and relaxed. Erbo enjoyed it, cause he would have to be into work the next day.  The trip and vacation were totally awesome, and his parents and step-parents were very happy that I was able to make him take a vacation.  I’m very proud I was able to make him do the trip, he’s a very hard working man and being a Java Coder is hard work.  We enjoyed the vacation so much that we are thinking that next year, if all goes well, that we will head west to California to see his family, and if all keeps going well, we will switch off each year to visit family.  His one year and mine the next and so forth. It will definitely be awesome.

During the trip to see my family, with each state we went through I would pick up a map and a few other things to remind me of the trip and collect them.  I don’t remember if we got an Illinois pin or not, but with a few other states we definitely got some nicknacks for me to look at and remind me of the wonderful trip to visit my family and my old home state and the likes.  There is one thing I am glad that I don’t miss and that’s the hot humid and heavy air that hangs over that neck of the woods cause they are part of the Gulf Stream air and the air is so humid and heavy at times it was hard to breath.  It took our breath away a few times, but we got use to it as we continued the trip to each of our locations.  We are still very happy to be home, where the humidity isn’t appalling and heavy, but nice and dry. Thank you Colorado for being the state you are :).

For my pictures of the vacation you will have to go to Facebook and check out my photos of the trip as well as the few I took at the Cosmosphere.  Here is the webpage: https://www.facebook.com/Selenalore?sk=photos

Enjoy and I hope everyone of you can get a chance to visit friends or family or take a nice vacation from time to time and relax and enjoy life, cause we all know that life is short and it’s worth being enjoyed!

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