Today was our longest day of travel. And of course, luck would have it that it was the one with the problem. We got up and got breakfast at the hotel and then checked out and got on our way. We stopped for lunch in Shamrock, TX, at McDonald’s. And then just before Amarillo, our back right tire blew out. It didn’t just go flat. It blew out. Ryan skillfully maneuvered the van to the shoulder and we went to work. He set out a flare about 50 feet behind the van to warn oncoming cars. We were just on the start of an overpass on a slight curve. Not the best place to be, but in our situation, we had no choice. I called 911 and they sent an officer out to have a little more visibility. We got the spare out and the car jacked up and Ryan got the tire changed. While he was working on that, I used the GPS on my phone to locate the nearest Discount Tires and called to find out how late they were open. We had plenty of time and they were only 11 miles away, so that was nice. The police officer was really nice and even talked to Robert for a little bit and gave him a "Jr. Police" badge. Robert thought that was the coolest thing. So we got to the Discount Tires and they had the same tire that we had put on in Sierra Vista right after we moved here and had the flat, so now my back tires match. It only took them about half hour or so, and while we waited, we walked a couple of buildings down to a Michaels that was conveniently located. My baby blanket yarn was on sale, so I bought a blanket’s worth of that, and I got a few other things as well. The van was ready by the time we got back and we were able to get underway again. We were only behind about an hour an a half, if that, so it wasn’t too bad. And luckily, my paycheck had already hit the bank. We stopped for dinner at Cline’s Corners – it’s a little truck stop/souvenir shop/Subway/little restaurant. Robert had dino nuggets and Ryan and I both had the soup and salad bar. It was good food and not anymore expensive than it would have been had we stopped at yet another fast food place. We finally got to our hotel (Days Inn yet again) in Albuquerque about 8:45-ish. Robert had already been dozing in the van for about an hour, and he went right to bed in the hotel and was asleep almost right away. We probably won’t be up until midnight our time, but the new year will start whether we’re awake or not.
Good bye 2009 and WELCOME 2010!!! HAPY NEW YEAR!!
Current temp in Albuquerque: 25
This morning we got up and got packed up and went to the hotel lobby for breakfast. It was better than what we’ve been getting lately. I was finally able to get online in the hotel lobby, so I checked e-mail and stuff while we ate breakfast. Then we got checked out and on the road. We stopped for lunch at Burger King somewhere past Ft. Leonard Wood. We stopped at an Army Surplus store so Ryan could look around a little bit. We had seen it on our way north and decided to stop on our way back home. It snowed until somewhere southwest of St. Louis and then it was just cloudy for a while and then it was raining. We got to our hotel (another Days Inn) in Tulsa about 1730 and got checked in. The room is nicer than last night’s – complete with micro-fridge unit – and the internet is way better. And it’s cheaper than last night. After some computer/playing time, we walked next door to Denny’s for dinner. We all had breakfast. The food was really good and the service was awesome!! Ryan talked to the manager about our server – he likes to report the good as well as the bad. Then it was back to the hotel for more playing, bedtime for Robert, and now computer time.
Current temp in Tulsa: 37
This morning we said our sad goodbyes to Mom and Dad and Rick. We really enjoyed our visit home to the U.P. and it was way too short, but we needed to get on the road to get home to Arizona. We finally left about 9 and headed south. We stopped at Walmart in Escanaba for a few things we needed and then were on our way. We stopped for lunch and gas in Milwaukee and we are now at our hotel in Springfield, IL. The roads and weather were good the whole way. We walked to Steak ‘n Shake for dinner. Brrrrr. Robert’s in the bathtub right now, and I’ve taken some Benydryl so that I can sleep – been sneezing and blowing my nose all day. I got almost 7 hours of stitching and crocheting done in the van while Ryan was driving.
Current temp in Springfield: 22
Today was me and Ryan’s 7th Anniversary!! I love you Sweetie!! Once again we slept in – it’s sure going to be hard getting up next week when I have to go back to work. Shortly after noon, all of us "kids" (me, Ryan, Rick, and Robert) headed out and went to visit our cousins A & C and their kids H and C. They were getting ready to head out, but we were still able to visit with them for about 15 minutes or so. On our way home we had to stop for Robert to make yellow snow. He sure gets a kick out of doing that. LOL Once home, I started getting all our stuff packed up – Christmas presents in the big tubs we used to bring the wrapped gifts up in and I got all our suitcases packed and then Ryan got started loading the van. Some things will go in in the morning, but it’s mostly loaded. When Mom got home from work and grocery shopping, we had dinner – chef salads. They were really good. Rick gave us our Anniversary present after dinner. He crocheted us a heart from wool yarn and put a copper wire hanger on it, for the gift of copper & wool for the 7th anniversary. He’s been getting us the traditional gifts each year, and he thinks of some neat things. 1 – paper – an origami booklet; 2 – cotton – ?? (can’t remember – that was Robert’s first Christmas year); 3 – leather – a leather photo album or book of some kind; 4 – flowers – flowers that he crocheted and are in a really neat vase; 5 – wood – a beautiful wood jewelry/trinket box with family pictures on it; 6 – candy – a box of his homemade candy delivered to our hotel when we were in Minneapolis. I have a really awesome brother, and everyone else should be jealous. 🙂 We had sauna this evening – my last again for a while. 😦 Robert got his remaining toys put away (some stay here at Gramma & Grampa’s). And I had my next knitting lesson from mom. I learned how to purl – so now I can cast on, knit, purl, and bind off. Next up – patterns.
Today’s high: 28
Current: 12 (with a windchill of -4)
This morning we left for church at 9 even though the service isn’t until 11. Mom took us to breakfast at a little cafe in Skandia, the town that the church is in. They’ve only been open for about 6 weeks, and the building they’re in used to be a gas station. It was a neat little place with really good food and big portions. Then we headed to church. I got my horn out and warmed up as I was playing during the offering. I played Away in a Manger. Then I got up in the balcony after Communion (Robert likes sitting in the balcony so he can watch Gramma play the organ) and Mom headed down. I decided to grab my trombone again and play while Mom was down, and she thought that was nice still having music even though she wasn’t playing. The funny thing was that I just opened the hymnal to the first Christmas hymn I could play fairly easily on my trombone (I forgot my trombone Christmas book) and it ended up being the last hymn. But it was ok. There was a Baptism this morning as well, and the family had brought a cake and stuff for fellowship time after the service.
Then we came home for a while before heading up to Marquette. I stitched in the car on the way there. Our first stop was to visit my Great Uncle Leo at the Veterans’ Home. I haven’t seen him in quite some time and it’s always nice to visit with him. Ryan, Rick, and Dad took turns staying with Robert in the entryway – kids under 16 weren’t being allowed in. At least according to the sign on the door, but as we were leaving, we saw a family with several kids, none of whom looked 16. They may have had special permission or something, but still. Of course, we probably could have asked about Robert as well. But Uncle Leo did get to see him has he "walked" (he’s in a wheel chair) us to the door when we were leaving. Then we went several places shopping to use up coupons before they expired, exchange Christmas gifts, etc. Then when we were all done shopping, we headed back to town and we went to the UP North Lodge for dinner. Rick paid for me and Ryan’s meals for an anniversary present and Mom & Dad paid for Robert. Thank you so much!!! Then it was home to get Robert to bed (it’s not going to be fun when we get back to Arizona and we go back to 7:30 bedtime) and then I stitched some more.
Today’s high: 28
Robert gets little books at school to learn to read. They started out very simple, with "The" and then a picture. They progressively got harder. About a month or so ago I videoed Robert reading all his books, and I’ve finally been able to get the videos uploaded (found out I had to change the format of them). There are 3 videos – books 1-10, books 11-16, and books 17-21. I’ll have to do another video with his newest books. Enjoy!
I slept in until about 10 this morning. It sure is nice being to get some extra sleep! Then we just had a relaxing day at home. I couldn’t get my 18 mile run in today – roads were just not safe for running between the freezing rain and sleet yesterday and then the snow on top of it and then it froze overnight and then it snowed about 2-3 inches today. I played on my computer. I played with Robert. I stitched some. Mom and I made pasty pie for dinner. I stitched more this evening. Wow – that sure was an exciting day.
Today’s high: 33