Tag Archive for Road trip

On a Road Warrior Trip

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Last week I made a trip to the Denver area with my favorite Travel Man.  It was a quick work trip, but we got to spend some much-needed time together.  His work schedule has been a little crazy recently.  We were celebrating our anniversary and a certain Travel Man’s birthday during this week.  It was a lot of fun to be together to celebrate, and do some travelling together.  This trip I dropped Travel Man off at work and took the rental car to do a little exploring.  While I was cruising around by myself for a few hours I noticed that a few things were a little different in Colorado.

1) The grass here is so green. I’m very jealous. At home in Southern California we are in a Stage 3 drought alert. In our neighborhood we are restricted to watering our lawns just three times per week. Our front yard is surviving ok, the backyard not so much.

2) I drove around by myself with the rental car while Travel Man was at work. This is the first trip that I have done this.  I realized I should have been doing this much more often over the past couple of years. I have a fairly good sense of direction and got around town just fine.  And of course there was shopping involved.

4) I’m reminded that my Travel Man’s work life is constantly in a state of flux. The customer he was taking care of here needs parts to repair their machine.  Receipt of those parts will delay finishing the job. Travel Man’s schedule does not allow him to stay here and finish this one! He’s back on a plane in two days heading overseas.  This means we’re going home a day early and he’ll have an extra day to relax and pack his suitcase.

5) There are “Help Wanted” signs everywhere!  The hiring signs were definitely in abundance.  Every store I went into had a hiring sign posted! It was nice to see that for a change.  We haven’t seen that as often in Southern California.

6) I am blessed to be in this place right at this moment.  I can pack my bags at a moments notice and head off with my hubby to his next work destination. How many people get to do that every week? I’m a lucky gal.

Have you had a Road Warrior in your life?   Did you get to travel together much?  Or maybe you were a Road Warrior yourself.  I’d love to hear some of your best travel stories.

This post shared at the MidLifeLuv Linky party.

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Across the Country – We Took a Road Trip.

48-IMG_0066 2Today is the second anniversary of the day my  Dad passed away.  For myself it’s important to acknowledge this day, and have some long-time remembrances of my Dad, and my parents together.  As I started to write this post I was thinking a lot about my Dad and the fact that he wouldn’t want us to be sad and somber, but to remember the good times with him, the laughter and the love.  Today I’m going to share a story about a road trip.  This particular road trip happened  in July of 2013 and it has taken me awhile to put my thoughts together to be able to share this story with all of you.  As it happened my parents were visiting my grandparents in Illinois when my Dad became critically ill in June of 2013.  My Dad passed away very unexpectedly, and it was just a fortunate circumstance that my siblings, myself, and Travel Man were there to be with my Mom and Dad during this most difficult time.  Once all of the affairs with my Dad were decided and concluded it was time to get my Mom and her car back to California.  Travel Man and I volunteered for this “Road Trip” as he had some vacation time, so we knew we could make this happen.  This would definitely be a somber experience.

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I’m sure my Mom was anxious and nervous on this entire trip.  Everything that was “normal” for her had been turned inside out and upside down.  It was a poignant trip, with lots of talk of our past family vacations, and my parents travels.  Travel Man learned a lot more about the family history on this trip that he’s ever had the occasion to hear.

Our first day out we traveled through western Illinois to Des Moines, Iowa.  Somewhere during this day we came up with the idea that we would enjoy movie nights at our destination hotel.  The movies we selected had to be set in the state we were staying in that evening. The first night we were in Iowa so if course that called for a viewing of “The Music Man”.  A timeless classic, and I’m sure we heard Travel Man saying, “Pick a little, talk a little” for the next few days.  One of his favorite lines from that movie.

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Our second night out we stayed in York, Nebraska and watched “About Schmidt” with Jack Nicholson.  During the day we took a little detour and did some touring at the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument in Kearney, Nebraska.   A great monument that tells the story of the role Nebraska and Fort Kearney played in the expansion of the West.  It was great to take some time off  the road, and just enjoy ourselves.

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Next it was on to Colorado and I’m pretty sure we ditched the movie night theme for a wine night.  Our destination for the day was Silt, CO.  I remember this was such a poignant day.  Travelling through the Rocky Mountains, and my Mom playing “Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver on the radio.    That song has always been one of our family vacation favorites.  I cried in the car the entire time the song was  playing.  So many memories washed over me that day.  My Dad loved Colorado and all of its scenic glory. At our destination hotel that evening we had a beautiful view of the Colorado River from the balcony of our hotel room along with our glasses of wine.

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Random tourists taking pictures of my Mom’s Honda.

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The Eisenhower Tunnel

 

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Rocky Mountain High

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Colorado River in Silt, CO

The following day our drive took us through Grand Junction, Colorado along the I-70 to Cedar City, Utah.  The most amazing scenery on this day was the Black Dragon Canyon near Green River, Colorado.  My words cannot do justice to the beauty of the landscape here.  Plus we saw the biggest thunder-cloud we had ever seen.  We skirted around the rain for a bit, and then drove right through it.  Wow!  Looking back at our pictures and Facebook posts apparently we ditched our movie watching theme after the second night.

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Thunder Cloud!

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Big thunder cloud / Photo credit-JW

Once we got to Utah all three of us were ready to be back in California.  My Mom needed her hugs from the grand-kids.  They had not seen her since the end of May.  The last day of our travels we blasted through Utah, a teeny, tiny corner of Arizona, Nevada and made it to our home destination in California.  Travel Man did all of the driving for this trip.  What a trooper!  We are forever grateful for his travel experiences, they always help us get where we need to be.  And yes we did have an Oscar Meyer Weinermobile sighting on this day, in Las Vegas.  Always a funny site to see on the road.

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This trip will be forever ingrained in my memory bank.  Seeing my Mom’s sadness and listening to her reflect on such great family times with my Dad, and then being able to share some laughs and some tears with her was a necessary part of the grieving process.  My parents were the most loving couple I have ever known, and yes I am partial because they are my parents.  We were so grateful to help my Mom complete the trip she had started with my Dad on the 4th of June 2013.  We traveled the route they would have taken home together.

My Mom wrote about her journey with my Dad on her blog joanontheroad.com.  It’s a great story, and will bring a tear to your eye. A few lessons I have learned about family in the last couple of years;  If you have a chance to visit your family don’t pass it up.  If you have the time to take some pictures with your family members grab your camera and get it done.  I realized while composing this story I am so thankful for the pictures we took.  It allowed me to finally share this story, and put it on the family’s’ history pages for years and years to come.

This post linked to the GRAND Social

Top Ten Reasons It’s Great to Travel with a Road Warrior

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As I told you all last week I had occasion to take a working road trip with my Travel Guy.  It occurred to me on the way home that there are quite a few perks to having an experienced, seasoned traveller by your side.

10) He’s the ultimate suitcase packer.  He knows how to fit EVERYTHING he (or should I say I) want to take into one suitcase.  This is especially important for me because I ALWAYS like to travel with an extra outfit, just in case.  I have gotten so much better at packing a suitcase over the years, but he remains the expert.

9) He always gets to the airport in plenty of time.  He always leaves himself enough time so there’s no frantic rushing through the security check point or through the airport, ever.

8) He travels a lot.  He accumulates tons and tons of reward points and perks for various airlines, hotels, and car rental venues.  We are especially lucky in this regard.  Nothing makes my Road Warrior happier than being able to share the reward points with a family member who needs to take a flight somewhere, or get a hotel room for a weekend trip.

7) All of the points he accumulates on a regular basis allow this gal to travel with him for mere pennies.  I am one lucky, lucky gal.

6) Check-in at the airport is an event, possibly even close to a marathon.  We always have bags to check, no dealing with carry-ons for these travelers.  Since the Road Warrior is a frequent traveler we most often avoid the long line for baggage check-in,  with the A-lister’s line (a Southwest Airlines perk).  People definitely give us dirty looks for going to the head of the line.  I just think to myself (a little selfishly), “That’s right people, I’m with this guy, and yep we got to go the head of the line”.  And then I think to myself, if other people travelled as many air miles as my Road Warrior does they would want to go to the front of the A-list line too!

5) Getting through the security line is our second event of the day. We have by-passed the baggage check-in line, and if it’s available we take the by-pass line for the security line.  Once again, exasperated stares from the “normal” passengers waiting in the “normal” line.  The Road Warrior does a little personal cheer on the inside when he gets to do this.  Oh,  and just a side note from the Road Warrior’s wife.  He carries a copy of the U.S. Constitution in his pocket.  It’s his way of protecting his rights while travelling through the security check point.

4) He’s so familiar with most of the airports in the U.S., he can recommend places to eat, places to plug-in your electronics, the best bathrooms, and the most comfortable seats to park in while you are waiting.

3) He loves to people watch,  and so do I.  We’ll try to guess people’s back stories, or the reasons they are travelling through the airport.  Sometimes, we just simply make up stories about the people we see.  It’s a good way to pass the time.

2) He travels with all of the necessities;  Kleenex, Tums, Clorox wipes,  for those sometimes yucky airline trays (he stays healthy this way!), aspirin, free drink coupons, a good movie to watch, and magazines.  The backpack he takes on the plane with him holds a ton of stuff (that’s a story for another day).

1)  For me the most important reason that it is so great to travel with my Road Warrior is it means that we are together.  We spend lots of time apart, so our time together is quite precious.  I would not want to travel with anyone else.

This post linked to the GRAND Social

Our bags are packed and we're ready to go.

Our bags are packed and we’re ready to go.

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