Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day 20 - Pacific Grove, CA

Actually I've been here since Sunday (day 18). The drive south from San Ramon to here is another spectacular one. If you have never been the Central Coast California, you cannot imagine the beauty you see here. Lush green rolling hills everywhere - with the occasional cow (how do they keep their balance up there??). It's indescribably beautiful.

Now I am in the middle of the first quilting class here at Asilomar Conference grounds, thoroughly enjoying myself. The grounds are on the Pacific, on the Monterey peninsula. More spectacular scenery. Every day!

My journey so far: jacksonville to pacific grove  Miles traveled: 3029  Gas costs so far: unknown!!!! (but worth every penny).

I'm in Pacific Grove until April 13. I'll keep you posted on my class projects, the deer roaming around, and anything else that might be interesting.  I just started reading "The Hunger Games" (there's no TV here - it's very restful.) I just have to know what all the buzz is about, so I'm off to read a little more. Till the next time ....

Thanks for stopping by!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Days 14 thru 17 - San Ramon, CA

Man these past few days have flown by! I left Las Vegas & ended up driving all the way to Kathy (Burkle)'s house in San Ramon, CA ...

.... (a little over 500 miles) and we've been going non-stop ever since.

The scenery between the two points is really beautiful. From Las Vegas to just beyond Tehachapi all looks like this:

 .... how could you not enjoy the drive? Take I-15 out of Vegas toward California sometime - it's gorgeous!

It's very chilly here, but we are headed out again! So I'll cut this short here and post more later today.

A couple of shots from our walk yesterday (this is where Kathy  lives - beautiful, huh?). I broke my phone on the walk,

which let to quite the day at the Mac store, but I'll tell you about that tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Days 12 & 13 and QOTW - Still in Vegas

What a great time I've had here. It's a nice break from driving, but I'm ready to get on the road again and get to my ultimate destination(s). I leave in the morning for my next stop, which will be for just one night, then on to San Ramon to stay with Kathy Burkle for 3 nights. More catching up - woo hoo! And wine is on the agenda; how can that be bad?

Today a casino employee came up to me and asked "Ms. Wrigley?". Do you think maybe I'm gambling a little too much? Ha! They had been reviewing my "action" and found me to give me some free stuff. Sweet!!! I love Mr. Wynn!!!!!

Today is the first day it hasn't been storming in the mountains. It sure was gorgeous to watch! All sunny and bright and clear here in Vegas proper, but storming like The Dark Lord himself in the mountains. I got in a nice walk this morning, as well. I "google-mapped" seven miles, but honestly with all the twists and turns and pedestrian overpasses, I think it was closer to nine. A great walk, though, and much needed after a little too much food during my stay here.

As for the QOTW (quilt-of-the-week, for my non-quilting buds), no I don't have one. But I HAVE been sewing! I have to say that I've had 2 employees tell me that this is the first sewing machine they've dealt with. Who'd've thunk it? You mean people don't normally sew in their hotel rooms?  I've gotten the blocks for two quilts done and am working on the blocks for the third. So even though I don't have a quilt to show this week, I've been busy, and will be playing catch-up over the next couple of weeks.  I'm thinking it's excusable - it's tough to sew when driving.

So that's what I've been up to yesterday and today - just having a ball, doing STUFF!! More tomorrow from my next stop. Where might it be, and what will be it's claim to fame? Wait'll ya hear this one!!!!

Thanks for stopping by!!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Day 11 - Still in Vegas

Still hanging out in Vegas. Sunday brunch at the Wynn - yummo. The was a major computer problem here today. It was funny at first but now I feel soooo bad for the Wynn and their IT staff. The slots won't cash out and are crashing like mad. Hotel registration is chaos. Nothing can be charged to your room and EVERYTHING is charged to your room here. Some phones don't work. Some room keys don't work. Communication between the pit and the tables is impossible. It's really a mess and was still not fixed last time I checked. There's humor, then there's a nightmare; this turned into a nightmare for them. I can't imagine what its's costing them in gaming, shopping and restaurant traffic. On a good note, it didn't rain here in LV proper, but stormed like crazy in the mountains. It was a spectacular sight to watch the storms roll thru as I watched from my hotel window. I'm on the 34th floor so have a great view to watch nature wreak havoc on the Rockies. Truly awesome. So this was by far my strangest day ever in Vegas! And it sure felt good to not drive. Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

FMF Day 10 - Las Vegas, NV

Ahhhh. Settled for the next 4 days. My car is with the valet dudes and I hope I don't see it till I leave here on Wednesday.

I have no pictures for you today, but I can tell you that the drive from Flagstaff to Kingman, AZ is pretty dang awesome.  Driving through the Rockies is quite the experience. It seems your breath is taken away around just about every curve. Go to this post for a short video of the scenery (from last year). You can also see a short vid of my room here at Encore (thanks again, Mr. Wynn!!) in that same post. My view is not as great as last year, but I'm really happy anyway!

I did see a herd of deer hanging out on the side of a mountain today. Probably about 20 of them, just hangin' ... playin' ... havin' a snack. That was rather cool!

Here's the trip so far. About 250 miles today (again I forgot to write it down), so somewhere around 2350 so far. I can tell you this: you can't really imagine the beauty of the Rockies unless you drive in them. Sooo beautiful! And a camera wouldn't be able to take it all in, anyway. There's too much grandeur. Sort of like the Grand Canyon. Yea, I can take pics and show them to you - but there's no grasping the enormity until you see it. (Still ... I'm enjoying the sharing!!)

I thought I might get in some nice long walks while I was here, but not with the weather. Wow is it ever yucky! But I'm so glad I got away from Flagstaff before the snow. (That's why I had to cut my Santa Fe trip short by a day: saw that forecast, wanted to get in the Grand Canyon tour, so had to bug out of SF to meet the schedule.) I guess I'll have to just hang in the casino. Or the room. Or the spa. Or one of the many restaurants. Or shop. Or ..... well, you get the idea!

My day is great so far! Happy St. Patty's to you all and thanks for stopping by!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

FMF Day 9 - Word-free Friday

No words are needed. Or possible. Raw, unedited but wanted to share. These are a few of almost 200. Putting up a Flickr stream now; will post a link in another post once they're done.

FABULOUS! If you have never been, you simply must.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

FMF Day 8 - Flagstaff, AZ

 Now you go through saint looey 
Joplin, missouri, 
And oklahoma city is mighty pretty. 
You see amarillo, 
Gallup, new mexico, 
Flagstaff, arizona. 
Don't forget winona, 
Kingman, barstow, san bernandino.......

Another state, another time zone! Between the start of DST and crossing all these zones, I had no idea what time it was! I think I'm done changing zones for awhile, though. (Arizona doesn't do DST, so now they are on Pacific time.)  I thought I'd stop at the Welcome Center to pick up some info. They grow grapes...who knew?

This greets you as you wander around the Welcome Center. Hoo boy.

But the views are pretty wow-worthy

I find I'm much more comfortable driving through the mountains this year. Also, it's like a different season (which, really, it is - just not according to the calendar). Such different weather than last year's trip!

366 miles today / 2106 total so far.  The journey: map here  Gas has been right at $3.59 since Florida. Today I filled up in Arizona - for $4.09 per gallon. Yowza! Quite a jump!

Flagstaff elevation is just about 7000 feet. Still not bothered by the altitude; just the dryness. But I was prepared with lots of extra lotion! (TMI coming - lotion up the nose helps tremendously!!)  Flagstaff got it's name when a pine tree was used as a flagpole. Cool, huh? The daffodils are in bloom, but it's going to snow on Sunday. A lot!  I'm outta here before then!!!

Random thoughts as I was driving:

The scenery is beautiful as I'm leaving Santa Fe. I thought I'd be going back the same 2-lane highway, but instead I'm on I-25. The houses are all square and rectangular, all earth-tone. They blend in beautifully with the environment (but not my taste; I'm not exactly the most earth-tone person on the planet. :)

I love driving through the gigantic wide-open spaces. Trying to describe the feeling, I came up with wonderful, calming, peaceful, spiritual, and gorgeous.

Albuquerque has wonderful paintings, color, glyphs, artwork on their overpasses and sound walls. (I commented on this last year; was definitely looking forward to seeing it again this year.)  It's certainly not just boring concrete walls!

Toward Gallup, NM the rocks and earth turn red. Such an interesting color - I want to mix it with water and paint or dye with it.

We truly have a beautiful country!

You can't be doin' any one-finger driving across Arizona! It'll be calm - calm - calm, then a gust of wind will blast you and whip that wheel right out of your hands! Whoo wee! (And I still think tumbleweeds are totally cool!)

Are trains longer out here? (More cars?) Or does it just seem that way because you can see the whole train? (Nelda - you should be able to answer that!)

I passed a caravan of 3 bus-sized RVs from Indiana. I wonder if it's a group traveling the country together? Wow, wouldn't THAT be fun! (And I bet gas stations LOOOOOOOVE seeing them pull in!!)

And that was my day! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Day 7 - Still in Santa Fe, NM

Fun day! It's nice to have a day off from driving. I walked all over the place today! Another GORGEOUS day here!

If in Santa Fe, one must go here:

So I did (senior discount - yes!!!). I got sad, though, after watching the movie about her. She wanted to paint abstracts, but was criticized for it, so she started painting real things - even though it wasn't her passion. It made me sad to look at the pears knowing that she didn't love painting them.

I managed to immerse myself in art today, though - it was wonderful!!!! All kinds of art! What a nice way treat for a day!

Guess what else I stumbled upon?
Woo Hoo! More "Route 66" credits!

At the end of the day I even managed to get in a little quality time with my sewing machine. Pretty good day, huh?

And .... the pottery won! I was too weak to resist. Welcome to my home, lovelies!!!

Tomorrow it's farewell to New Mexico and off to the next stop! Where will it be???? Tune in tomorrow!

Thanks for stopping by!

FMF Day 6 - Santa Fe, NM

Ahhhh ..... nothing like a nice "nap" - that lasted about 6 hours. Let's see if I sleep tonight. Anyway here I am in Santa Fe!

The trip so far:
the journey
About 260 miles today (again I didn't write it down - oops), so a little over 1700 so far.

Here was the start of my day while still in Amarillo:

Walking out to the cars (Where does one buy cadillac seeds, anyway?) 

The pile of empty spray paint cans. I'm sure this is just a day or two's worth

Well SOMEBODY got creative! (yes, that's a bra)

A close-up. The date there is 3/12/12. I'm surprised it's still visible

The gate to the field

By the way, the Ranch is on .........
.... so I get Route 66 credit, too!

The start of my ride was like this - flat ....

  ... until about 15 miles from the NM border, when it turned into this

I arrived in Santa Fe around 1:30, met a lovely woman in the hotel lobby who dropped me off at Zia's (for lunch).

Then I did a small walking tour, doing lots of shopping, lusting on the pottery, and seeing my surroundings. This picture isn't very good, but I wanted to show you the mountains.

It was a beautiful day - around 60 (and you can see how clear!), but it had snowed last week. I found this small patch during my walk, and I hope this (and the mountain caps) is all the snow I see during my trip!

I just had to take a pic of the fencing. So interesting!

Tomorrow I'll head up to the Plaza for some more wandering and shopping and of course a visit to the Georgia O'Keeffe museum. It is Spring Break here (who knew? and I still got a great deal on a hotel!) so apparently there are lots more people than usual. Who cares? I'll talk to them all!  I'm so glad I've been walking "every" day (at home); it makes for easy visiting around town.  Alas I am having to cut my stay short by one day to avoid some unpleasant weather forecast for Sunday at my next stop. That means I'll be spending an extra day in Las Vegas. Oh darn the luck!!

Random thoughts of the day:

Outside of Amarillo I passed a big windmill farm, then a cattle ranch and if you though skunks were bad ..... ewwwwwwww ..... I've never smelled anything that awful! If I had smellavision, I wouldn't subject you to that. Uck!

The altitude at Amarillo is 3600 and change - enough for octane to have dropped a point. Altitude here in Santa Fe is 7000. I'm only feeling the dry, not the altitude.

Knowing that I'm going to write this blog each evening makes me look at my surroundings differently. I want to tell you what I see even though I can't always stop and take pictures.  Today I'm in vast, wide-open spaces that a camera couldn't capture, anyway. Just gorgeous!

I love it that semis are not boring colors anymore. I passed a blue-green one, bright purple and dark purple ones, bright blue and bright yellow. So fun!

I saw lots of signs that said some version of "engine braking not allowed". Well ... I didn't know what that was, so I looked it up! Here's the wiki.

And that was my day on the road! Thanks for stopping by.