Saturday, June 30, 2012

Vacation: Route 66 Part 2

More pictures of our travails through Missouri, Kansas (where we stopped for lunch with our kin-folk :0) ,) Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico!

We saw a lot of the original road. John loved that.

Noah drove part of Route 66. In the middle of nowhere. :0)

We came to a fork in the road and John chose the road less travelled.
It was the right one!! :0)

This was my job. :0)

That famous song!! :0)

We stopped at three Route 66 museums a long the way and
also a gun museum and the Oklahoma National Memorial.

John and Noah drinking Route Beers. :0)

Noah acted as navigator/agrivator for part of the trip.

We stayed here, another Route 66 landmark. :0)

We stopped for lunch with family in Baxter Springs, Kansas. This is my Aunt Carol Jo
and my Uncle Henry. LOVE this folks!!

My cousin Bert Kellum and his wify Lori, with CJ and Henry,
Noah, me and John. We laughed and laughed at lunch. Great family!

It just occured to me that I didn't sing the SONG when we went
into Oklahoma!! What was I thinking? Bet you're thinking
that tune right now, aren't ya? :0)

The Cadillac Ranch is a famous 66 landmark and art display
just outside of Amarillo, Texas.

I've got more pictures but I'm going to call it a day there. Route 66 was wonderful
and surprising. We had a great time and recommend it highly!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

We got our Kicks...on Route 66! Part I

"So, let me get this straight, John. You want us to use several days of vacation driving a road? And it's often a lonely two-lane road? This is on your bucket list???"


We began in Chicago where Route 66 commences and drove to a point just short of Albuquerque. The famous road continues and ends in Santa Monica, California and John wants to finish this trek some day.
At first, I thought these few days would be an exercise in supporting my husband in an activity he loves, despite my boredom. I was wrong. I found myself enjoying this part of our trip and learning a lot!

Sometimes I gloss over details in front of me, registering what I believe to be important and ignoring the rest. Route 66 taught me to pay attention. As we drove through a bajillion small towns, I noticed beauty that would've not made my radar normally. Old hotels and cafes that were once huge pulls when Route 66 was a major road drew my eyes. I wondered about the people that started those businesses. The romance of an old road's voyages made me grin as we passed cornfields and mountains, lakes and rivers. The people we talked to made this part of our vacation one founded in Americana. A waitress in a small town in Illinois fed us fried biscuits (looked like small donuts to me) and offered us hospitality and stories of the lake that drew vacationers from everywhere. The hotel owner in Lebanon, Missiouri looked to be in his 90s and told us of he and his wife's upcoming retirement. After owning and running the motel for 40 years, they were painstakingly looking for new owners that would keep the flavor of the Route 66 motel the same.  And an old man named Clyde with a Louisiana accent gave us a tour of the Bent Door, an old shut down diner that is filled with nostalgia and history.

I was the navigator/agrivator for the most part and it was work! We only got lost once, though. :0) Here are some pics from a wonderful few days on Route 66!

We had two guide books we followed.

Sometimes they drove us a bit wacky.

Brown signs like this one are what we followed
and looked for constantly.

This is the Gemini Giant by the Launching Pad
Restaurant. He was an icon for 66 back in the 50s' and 60s.

Many Route 66 cafes!

Yes, we went to the two celled jail. It was...two celled.

Old Gas Stations of 66 are a treat to look at for John.

Meramec Caverns are in Missouri but back in the day,
the bulletin boards advertising them on 66 all along Illinois were
ubiquitous. On our trip we saw one.

Our first night of the 66 part we stayed in a Route
66 Motel. Very colorful and nostalgic and fun.

Noah with his swimming gear. Every hotel he looked
like this going in - "Where's the pool?" :0)

In Springfield Illinois, we stopped at Lincoln's tomb
where he and his family are interred. It is a beautiful monument and you
can go inside.

This is President Lincoln's tomb.

Outside there is a bust of Lincoln and it is said
if you rub the nose, you get good luck.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Vacation: Chicago Susy!!

25 years ago I met a four foot something girl who has the energy of ten and never lets even one person cry alone. Susy became a life-long friend for me. We were friends and then roommates. We’ve helped each other through some really difficult times and we’ve celebrated for each other during the great times.

Susy now lives in Chicago and I got to see her during our vacation. We had just finished our time in Washington DC so we were bushed. Susy understood and hosted us in her home where we just relaxed. Sitting with my old friend and visiting was fantastic. In Susy, I see more and more of Jesus. She’s been through a lot and instead of walking away from her relationship with God, she is closer to Him than ever. What a cool inspiration for me.

Susy is a big-wig in the Red Cross, out of Chicago. Her heart for serving others amazes me. Besides serving at the Red Cross, she teaches a class at Willow Creek for mentally disabled folks and she takes her vacation time to go on mission trips. I told her I want to be her when I grow up – unbelievable!

Then she said, “But I have to tell you that next year, I am not going on a mission trip.”

Me: “You’re not?” I immediately thought of all the things she could do instead – vacations, a trip to Denver, just relaxing. “What are you doing to do?”

Susy: (And this is an exact quote) “Next year I’m not going on a mission trip. I’m going to donate a kidney.”

I fell over laughing when I figured she wasn’t kidding. She was serious. She’s going to donate a kidney and then use her vacation time to recover.

This is Susy. This is my cherished friend.

Here are some pics of our time in Chicago:

25 Years of Friendship!

The Chicago Skyline - the Sears Tower is on the left.

Servant Susy left us out towels with a piece of candy on top.
Hotel de' la' Susy! :0)

Susy took us to Willow Creek Church on Father's Day.
They had a DADFEST! It was great and the sermon
Bill Hybels gave was the best Father's Day sermon John
had ever heard. :0) 

My Guys in Chicago

We had a wonderful time! What a gift to have a life-long friend. When we saw each other, after the hugging and some crying, it was as if we were never apart!

Susy is leading a group to El Salvador on a mission trip, leaving June 30th. Pray for my little friend with the giant heart! This is her and Momma Kitty!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Vacation - Washington D.C.

As I look back on our vacation, one of the highlights and my son Noah's favorite part, was Washington DC. All the history, all the monuments and museums, all the teachable moments made our two and half days there wonderful. I took too many pictures but it seemed like everytime we turned a corner there was a photo op.
The three of us Iobsts loved seeing everything and talking about everything, even if our feet were burning at the end of each day. We stayed in a hotel in Maryland and rode the metro in each day. At the hotel, Noah met two guys his age in the pool two nights in a row. After being with adults for so long, he had major fun hanging out with his own kind at night. :0)

Here are some of the great and historic sights we saw in this part of our vacation. Incredibly memorable!

The Pentagon Memorial for the victims of 9/11 was striking and beautifully done.

The side of the Pentagon that was struck by the airplane now faces
the memorial.
For each of the victims there is one of these. They are in rows
of the years they were born. This one is the first, representing a 3
year old on the plane. If the victim was on the plane, their memorialfaces the Pentagon. If they were in the Pentagon, the memorial faces the other way. There is a little reflecting pool under each.

John and Noah right before our tour of the Capitol.

Inside the Capitol is absolutely beautiful - everywhere.

I've always been a Ronald Reagan fan.

When we came upon this plaque, I was quite moved.
It's a plague thanking and remembering the victims
of Flight 93 of 9/11. They crashed in a field in Pennsylvania
but the terrorist's intended target was the Capitol.

Inside the Library of Congress. I loved this place
but couldn't take pictures in the really cool parts.

Noah standing in the Capitol, in the exact center
spot of DC.

Lincoln Monument.

It's hot and crowded, but really inspiring.

The Vietnam Memorial

The men in yellow T-shirts are WW II vets.
I thanked several of them for their service. A couple
of them told me that the ones who didn't come back were the
big deal, not them. I teared up over and over.
Names of many of those who didn't come back
from Vietnam. The three of us can be seen in
the reflection.

Several Vietnam vets were there, too. This one
made a picture of the name of one of his
buddies that didn't come home.

My guys in front of part of the WW II memorial.

John at the WW II memorial.

John squashing the Washington Monument.

Whew! It's still standing.

The White House - notice those cars in front? We saw them
later in President Obama's motorcade.

Not the president, but one of the cars in his motorcade.

Secret Service

Noah arresting John in front of the FBI. :0)

John teaching Noah at the Navy Memorial which is across
the Achives building.

The Smithsonian American History Museum.

One of the exhibits was about transportation.

John couldn't believe a Dodge Caravan made it into the Smithsonian.

They had a whole section on Route 66 which we would
drive in a few days.

At the Smithsonian, Bob Schiffer of CBS news was singing
American folk songs with a band.

We went to the American Art Museum specifically for...

The Art of Video Games exhibit.

Noah loved it. It showed the history and you could
actually play games in the exhibit.

Whew!! The other place that really moved us was the Holocaust Museum. SO powerful. We couldn't
take any pictures inside and I forgot to take a picture outside.

So there you go! If you've never been, GO to Washington DC. The three of us will never forget it.