Sometimes an unpleasant little surprise turns out to be a blessing. Bob went down to the “office” in our hotel on Wednesday to print our boarding passes and found our flight had been moved to an hour earlier. That meant we had to set an alarm for 3:45 am Thursday morning. One thing this trip has been for me is a month without alarms, except for a couple of days that is. So, of course the night we want to get to sleep early, a noisy group of people decided it was the time to hang out on the front steps to smoke cigarettes and tell stories. The way the hotel was designed, all the noise carried right up to all the front windows. We put up with it for half an hour then tried to call the front desk to ask them to quiet down. The phone in our room didn’t work! Bob called the main desk on his cell, then after being on hold for four minutes, he got dressed and went down in person. The lady working wasn’t helping anyone check in, she was just looking at the computer. I wasn’t with him, but I know he was angry by this time. I did hear her yell out the front door for the people to quiet down and I also heard someone ask, what floor complained. Bob came back into the room and nothing changed. He’s usually a patient man. Usually. He went out on our balcony and hollered down, in not a nice tone, but using the word please. They dispersed. I think it was because of his age that they listened.
I only share this because it was part of our experience. We actually laughed about the fact our very first night in Cleveland had a bunch of unwanted noise, and so did our last night on the other side of the country. Sort of ironic. The blessing comes in to play when we had a short one hour lay-over turn into a two hour in Charlotte, NC, so we had time for lunch, time to make the 15 minute walk to our connecting flight and time for me to put together yesterdays blog. Only one problem, because of the internet connection I wasn’t able to publish the post.
Now we are on our way to Rochester where Bob’s son will pick us up at the airport and we’ll go to dinner together. There won’t be a lack of things to talk about. We left all the fabric I bought, gifts, extra clothes, and my pillow in the car so we won’t see those items for a few days. That was the plan.
We had a nice dinner in our home town, and got back to our house after dark. Unpacking was bitter-sweet, there are piles of things all over the flat surfaces, like mementos, a months worth of mail, things I didn’t take care of before we left, etc. We got to sleep in our own bed, use the toilet paper we like, and take a shower under a sprayer of our choosing with the water temperature not fluctuating. I had MY coffee this morning and am happy to be home to the little things that make home, home. Traveling is an experience to be cherished and learned from. It is a luxury, but sometimes a luxury is just that if it only lasts a short time. Now if I could just have someone keep cleaning my bathtub and cooking my meals.
Our house, above, and back yard, below, were fine without us. Notice all the green. After a couple of weeks of seeing only brown, sand, scrub, and no trees, this green was a welcome sight. If you don’t have the chance to travel, you don’t know not everyplace in the country looks like your neighborhood. We also left hot temperatures out west and came home and turned the heat on. It got down to 46 degrees last night. I turn my heat on according to the temperature in the house, not according to the calendar. This time Bob didn’t mind. In the hotel rooms we had trouble getting it cool enough to sleep. And see, my flowers are still blooming for me.
Below: the local diner where the owner and staff know our names and what coffee we drink. We would take any out of town guests here for a great breakfast or lunch.
Above is Rhonda, our trip mentor. Talking with her this morning we discovered she did many different things on Rt 66 than we did. Now she wants to go again. Me, not so much.
Below is a baby we don’t know, but I had to show you the size of the pancakes Steve’s serves. Bob orders one on occasion and I eat the left overs at home the next morning.
Below is just one of the many sewing projects I left in process. I bought the background fabric for this neck-tie quilt on the trip. I always have more than one quilting project going. Maybe I will start posting about those projects until we take another trip.
I was concerned before we left that I would miss being creative sitting in a car for so many days in a row. Writing the blog satisfied that need. It also got me back into the habit of writing daily. It feels more than pretty good.
We know we didn’t see even half of what there was to see on Rt 66, but that’s all right. You can’t do it all. We did learn where we would like to spend more time and where we don’t care to return to. On to some tips and thoughts.
I didn’t drink near the coffee I do at home. I’m thinking that’s a good thing.
Packing daily got old, but it was worth it. We took bathing suits that never got used. We also took a night light for those dark bathrooms (at night) but left it in Missouri. It would have come in handy on the rest of the trip.
We used a very large amount of extra data on our phones that of course we have to pay for. Just consider it one of the expenses. (We decided not to figure out how much we spent. Some things we paid for when booked and other things as they happened. We are afraid we won’t go again if we figure out the total.)
Siri and the front desk folks were excellent sources for good restaurants and things to do if you needed to find out. As to the front desk folk, some are better than others, like any job, but most were top notch. They are willing to try to make your stay better by meeting requests like a quiet spot for a room. Don’t be afraid to ask. We always tip the housekeeper when we leave a room.
Internet connections, especially free ones, are not created equal. Sometimes the closer to the front desk you are, the better the connection. And if traveling to the Grand Canyon, don’t expect it to work at all. I think I told you that when we were there. Bears repeating.
One thing that got to me was having privacy curtains closed on a regular basis. At home I have no curtains to my fenced back yard, and only sheers on the front windows. I like day light even in the bedroom and I don’t like feeling hemmed in. One more reason it’s nice to be home.
I sent postcards to my grand kids, but the parents liked them more. Next trip I will take my address book, or put addresses in my phone, as I know a few people that would have loved to get a card and I wasn’t prepared.
Oh, if you plan to use a laundry room in a chain that advertises them, I recommend calling and verifying it at the location you need it. One of our stops didn’t have it and it goofed up the laundry schedule. Yes, we bought more underwear because we needed it.
A last parting thought. Talk to the people you pass along the way when you travel. The best part of the trip was the acquaintances we made. They made the trip more fun and memorable, and less exclusive. I learned that the people in one corner of the US don’t look like the people in the other corner yet they are under the same government, have the same gripes and challenges and laugh and love the same. People are people and it was a privilege to meet them.
I will be posting Bob’s beer list when he gets it compiled as some of you requested.
It’s a wrap my friends. If you enjoyed the trip, please press the like button either here or on my Facebook page so I know who went with us. Thanks.