Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Back to work to rest!

I cannot believe how little time I had to post blogs or even write in my personal journal while we were on our cross-country excursion. We saw so many awe-inspiring sights and a lot of good ol' Americana. All in all the trip was way better than I thought it would be. The down-side is that we came home exhausted, then left on a family beach trip to spend time with my nephew's family. They only visit from Texas every few years, so we could not back out of the trip. Again, much fun was had, but I am not sure when I was ever so tired, including the weeks of studying for the bar exam. Maybe getting into the routine of going back to work and having a regular bedtime will will eventually even things out. This weekend we do not have the kids, so are looking forward to sleeping in, and lots of naps! Maybe I will even have a chance to write about our trip!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Day 4 - Here we come!

We are having a great trip - filled with amazing sights I never even thoughts to want to see, things I hoped to someday see, and typical travel hassles.

Yesterday's highlights were The Indiana Dunes National Park - suggested by my mom in a phone call to let her know we were in the state she grew up in. We waded into Lake Michigan, my first Great Lake. I had no idea the lakes were so big it would feel almost like being at an ocean beach.

Yesterday we finally made it into Chicago and had the hands-down best pizza of our lives. Thank you to Lou Malnati's deep dish "Lou's Classic." It was just sausage, fresh roma tomatoes and cheese - perfect in its simplicity. What we did not expect, aside from the perfect, not at all soggy crust, was that the sausage was in a layer - like a very thin meatloaf. I have never seen such a thing. It doesn't sound that appetizing, but it was - mild, but flavorful and not greasy.

We then visited the Skydeck at Willis Tower, which is the old Sears Tower. It is arguably still the tallest building in the world, and definitely in the US. It towers 103 floors above the streets, and there is a cool plexiglass-like platform you can walk out onto to feel like you are walking out into nothing. Not that scary - but cool. Amazing views, and a fun experience.

We are both feeling sleep-deprived and hassled - Vicki's work people are still bugging her, even though she is on vacation, and we found out the bank messed up a bill so have been on the phone about that all morning. Ugh.

Today - the Dells Wisconsin for a boat ride through beautiful scenery - we hope. Temps near 100 degrees today. We'll have to see how we are feeling by the time we get there.

It is an adventure - and I love that Vicki is willing to stop wherever, seeing the sights, letting me take pictures, and she even bought me a new telephoto lens for better range at these amazing sights!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Our Journey Begins

Whenever appropriate, and I have time and Internet service (more of a challenge than we anticipated, as is cell coverage due to storms knocking out towers), I will cut and paste sections from my travel journal here.

Saturday June 30

07:16 AM
(Actual local time is 8:16 but no wi-fi so iPad not updated.)

The adventure begins! I arrived in DC around 1:00 am last night/this morning. Vicki and I had a nice reunion after having been apart for over a week. She flew out last week in order to deal with her things that have been in storage and to get her quarterly work trip done. This trip to take her car and her small tree home represents the true end of our two plus years of living in limbo.

12:12 AM

We are in or near Breezewood, Pennsylvania in a Days Inn that has seen better days. Oh, well. It is cool and reasonably clean, and most importantly, there was a vacancy. Apparently last night a tornado came through the area leaving many without power, and flooding all the nearby hotels. The temps have been near 100 degrees, so living without power would be really bad. The first motel we tried had no vacancies and they explained we probably would not find any for quite a radius. Fortunately, we were heading a different direction than most, and came upon this place. We got here just in time, there has been a steady stream of arrivals with stories similar to ours.

Today was a long, tiring day, but there were good parts. The sight-seeing for the day was a trip to Arlington National Cemetery. We got a private tour of the Women In Service Memorial because it was closed for an event, but since Vicki served, we were escorted through anyway. That was great! We also saw John F. Kennedy's Eternal Flame and a changing of the guard ceremony at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The precision was impressive, especially considering the 100 degree heat

The grounds are massive, impressive and beautiful. The endless rows of graves are hard to fathom. I did notice that it was more difficult to feel the sense of all it stood for than the more focussed Civil War places I have seen. Maybe because the cemetery covers so much more than just one war.

We were there for about 2 1/2 hours, which did not seem horrible, but I was hot and ready to go by the time we'd seen what we really wanted to see. I ended up with possibly a touch of sun poisoning - really bad headache, flushed, and then we could not find easily accessible food that sounded good. Finally lots of ice water, half a burger and a shake at Red Robin's helped. Actually, made me feel more sick for a while, then as the day got cooler and I could just sit while Vicki drove, I started feeling better.

We only drove about 100 miles today We did do a lot of little things and running around:
● Drove by The Pentagon - several times
● Drove around the memorial sections of DC - always exciting to me!
● Drove by the Air Force Memorial Sculpture. We think it may be the 9-11 memorial, but will have to look it up.
● We not only drove around DC, but were in four states - Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
● Bought a new GPS because Vicki's old one had its cord broken by someone other than us and it was too old to find a replacement. We are enjoying the new one though!
● Wandered though the Crystal City Shops, which are underground, so Vicki could show me where she often walks when she comes to work in DC.
● Vicki had to work briefly this morning - two short conference calls, and is trying to work tonight, but the internet is too spotty to provide a good connection. It is 12:30am and I think she finally got on and may be getting done what needs to be done.

Tomorrow, the destination is Chicago.