Sunday, April 27, 2008

Seeing the country at 75 MPH. Phoenix to Albuquerque -

leaving Phoenix. Road trip! Road trip!

Bear with me, these are long posts but I wanted to get this down somewhere before I forgot.

The plan was to take Mike's car back to Kentucky so he could get rid of our Chrysler that he originally drove out there. There was no sense in having the audi sitting in the garage here. Plus I'm always up for a road trip! As long as I get fed along the way. I have to say I like this trend of hotels having free breakfast, which each one we stayed in had a waffle maker. I had a waffle every single morning. Can you start the day any happier?
Holbrook is so kitschy. I love it. We needed to stop for gas (and a soda.) This whole town reminded me of Matthew and his obsession with the movie Cars. I know from watching the second disc of the movie that when the people from Pixar were doing research for the movie, they went to places like Holbrook and along the old Route 66. There was a version of the "Cozy Cone" with teepees. There were old cars parked out in front of the teepees like in the movie. I guess this was Mater:

There were also these huge dinosaurs everywhere. I'm not sure of the significance of dinosaurs and Holbrook, but apparently they like them there. Matthew liked this picture.

**** continue driving... forever....
New Mexico was windy. So windy that I had a hard time opening the door on the car trying to get out at a place we stopped at to get a snack. It kind of pushed you along when you were walking with it. Also, I don't know what it is about my hair. Mike and I laugh that even if I face the wind, my hair still comes back into my face. It's weird and squelches any dream of owning a convertible. ;) This photo is actually very tame. I'd get these funky swirling vortexes on top of my head that made my hair not only go in my face, but straight up. We were trying to get a picture for the kids, but alas... never got the perfect one. But since I'm hardly ever in pictures, I thought I'd add this. (Proof that I was there.)

New Mexico - Colorado Springs. And you thought expletive Tuesday didn't extend to road trips??

We left Albuquerque in the morning and headed towards Colorado Springs. Which we were planning on driving through until we got to Denver to stop for lunch.

The car clearly had other plans.

When we were just outside of Colorado Springs the car kept feeling strange. Like it was slipping out of gear or something. No. Please. What day is it?? ACK. Tuesday. If something can go wrong it will on Tuesday right?

While we were freaking out about this at first, it actually ended up being a good thing. There aren't that many Audi dealers, especially in some of the areas we were going through. Thakfully this didn't happen in a small town or worse, on the interstate somewhere. But the car finally did it's thing in Colorado Springs.... literally a mile or two in front of an Audi dealer.

So we rolled into the service department. Can I just say how much we LOVE Phil Long Audi of Colorado Springs??? They were friendly, helpful and got us in right away. Thankfully the problem was something with the fuel system and they were able to order a part that would be in first thing in the morning. They would fix it. We got a rental car, and 'stranded motorist' something or other from our warranty that allowed us some money to cover the rental car, a meal and hotel. I'm grateful for that. This little stopover ended up not costing us anything but time.

But it was a much needed time honestly. We got a chance to breathe. We went out for dinner, and then drove to a place called "Garden of the Gods." It is a beautiful green and hilly area with huge red rock mountains scattered around. There are hiking trails and scenic overlooks.
We also drove by where the cog railway leaves to climb Pike's Peak. When I graduated from high school, my dad and I took a trip to Colorado Springs. This was one of my favorite memories of going on this train. It takes you up Pike's Peak, and has the most gorgeous scenery.

Leaving Denver, Kansas - Kansas City Missouri

After leaving Colorado Springs we headed towards Denver, where we were going to have lunch. This time last year Mike had gone for some training in Denver and lived there for a month. I loved being able to see where he had lived, where the training center was and places he had been. It was neat to see these places other than pictures he had shown to me.

One place he had talked about a lot was a mongollian grill place in downtown Denver. It was called BD's. He knows I love mongollian grill, so this place was the be all end all of them. Sorry YC's but this place made you look like chumps. I had steak mixed in with my noodles. And little potatoes, and just about everything else I could cram into the bowl. Yum. If I was a seafood person they had it ALL. I won't be forgetting this place, and I guarantee that the next time I'm in Denver I'm going to be craving that! - Can you tell I'm totally motivated by food?

We were only in the restaurant for about 30 minutes, but when we came out the sky was gray and it was getting colder. After we got back on the interstate, there were snow flurries, but I found out on the news later that day that we had stayed just ahead of a storm that had dumped 7 inches of snow on Denver! Talk about lucky. That would have slowed us down a lot.

Oh, and Denver officially has the longest dang airport in the world. I swear it went on for MILES.

So now picture fields of hay bales and red barns. Kansas - which I have to add a disclaimer that I enjoyed Kansas, it just seemed long. I've been through Texas... which is exactly why we chose this route. I wanted to avoid Texas at all costs. Sorry any Texans out there... but been there, done that and don't plan on driving through again. It's like that movie Groundhog Day. You keep waking up in hotels and you are STILL in Texas. Couldn't they have split that state up a bit??

Kansas was pretty. I was just ancy to get to Kentucky. I loved seeing the farms. I never got tired of seeing them. It was like God's playground of Fisher Price little people farms. Huge bright red barns, with silos and windmills and green tractors. Farms and animals. And those adorable hay bales.

(Picture more photos of hay bales and red barns because those photos are on a different camera.)

Why do states outside of the western US have these nice welcome centers, and we don't? I honestly remember stopping at them when we moved from Florida when I was a kid. These aren't your typical rest stops. Oh no... they are monuments to the state you are in. I started to notice signs that said "Tornado shelter." Um, what?? Kerry doesn't do tornados. I'm just glad I didn't have to rush into one of these places to wait one out. Holy cow that has to be scary. I do enjoy Arizona's lack of natural disaster type weather, earthquakes and volcanos. ;)

We stopped in Kansas City, Kansas for the night.

Missouri/Kentucky - almost there!

A giant bug splat right in the middle of the windshield. Great. But hey, you get the point. ;)

We got up the next morning (and had another waffle!!) and headed towards St. Louis. The trip from Kansas City to here was still just as gorgeous. Rolling green hills, dotted with little perfect farms.

I was talking with my dad on the phone right before seeing this. He's from St. Louis. Hi dad!

I love the first time you see a monument or landmark that you've seen on tv and movies forever. Kind of like the first time I went across the Golden Gate Bridge, or saw Times Square or the Empire State Building. You kind of forget that these things are real. Then when you actually see them, it is cool. It's hard to describe. I figured the St. Louis arch was big, but I didn't think it would be this big. Photos do it absolutely no justice. It is HUGE. Especially when you see it in contrast to the city that is on the right, with all of the big buildings.

We kept on driving... and driving....

through southern Illinois (I waved at Mandy up north!) and Indiana. I forget what state it was in, but we stopped at a place called Effingham. My fourth grade humor kept thinking that was funny. "Let's stop at the Effing McDonalds and get a Effing soda!" I'm so easily amused.

**** almost there.

It's hard to remember after living in Arizona forever, that there are cool bridges like this, with wide rolling rivers underneath. It is quite a contrast to our concrete bridges that usually go over dry rivers. This was the last one before arriving in Kentucky. Infact, right on the other side of it is the 'Welcome to Kentucky' sign.

taken while driving, which is why there is a speed limit sign in the way. Dang. But this is Mike's 'office.' - Where he hangs when he's not at home.
There are tulip beds all over the airport. To a desert dweller, trust me, that is impressive!! They were so pretty!!!

We got into Kentucky a little before dinner time. We drove around a little and I got a chance to see a bit more than I did on my last trip out there. We had dinner and then went across another bridge into Cincinnati. This area of Kentucky is right on the border (it's the little bump on the northern most part of the state) so basically you have a very short drive across another one of those cool bridges into downtown Cincinnati.

Then back to the hotel to get some sleep before I headed back home early the next morning. I never got used to the 3 hour time difference. I stayed up late, and of course had a hard time getting up the next morning! Blah.

I enjoyed the fact that Mike could go through security with me since he was in his uniform and was heading to work shortly after my plane left. So he was able to take me to the gate and see me off. (Like the old days!)

The plane ride home was great. It was a newer plane that had the screens built into the back of the seat in front of you. You can watch pay per view movies, HBO shows, and some free tv. I ended up watching E! channel. Nothing like mindless celebrity stuff on a 4 hour flight. I watched the top 30 celebrity fights, and then E! True Hollywood Story on Lindsay Lohan. I was home before I knew it! I'm spoiled now. I can't go on a plane that doesn't offer this. I even played trivia with about 10 other people on this screen, and programmed my own little playlist from the CD's that you could choose from.

It was great to get back and see the kids. I missed them. It was a fun trip.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Back home + some random stuff.

Today I met the cutest, and most interesting man.

I promised the kids I would take them out when I got back home. We had an errand to do. Trevor had to go to the bathroom, and there was a mcdonalds on the corner. Plus with cries from the backseat of being thirsty, (like it takes a lot of arm twisting for me to stop and get a soda anyway. haha!) We went inside, which is something I never do because I hate the play areas with a passion. My kids always get sick after being in one. But I set out rules that we weren't there to play, and nobody seemed to care. They were happy with the lunch that we ended up having instead.

Anyway... we were sitting up at this counter with barstools that are against a wall. This little old man walked by and commented on Matthew's stuffed animal sitting on one of the stools. He had a sundae that he had bought and looked like he was going to be spending some time there eating it and reading a couple of books that he brought in with him. He seemed lonely. It didn't take much to engage him in a conversation. He sat down next to us after I asked him if he wanted the seat where the stuffed animal was.

About an hour later I had learned that he had flown sea planes out of Miami, and he told me all about landing on water. He had been in an accident 30 some years ago that ended his flying career. - He was 19 when he was sent over to fight in WWII. He told me a story about how one day his troop (or whatever they were called) had been sat down and given a couple pieces of paper each. They were told to write down the names and addresses of family, and to write a letter home. When they asked why, they found out that they were leaving for Japan and were told that more than half of them wouldn't be coming back! Can you even imagine? He told me about some of the guys he remembered that didn't make it back with him.

He told me about the day somebody had told him that the war was over. He asked how this person knew and he said that he heard about a bomb being dropped in Japan, and that it was over. He said he remembered exactly where he was when he found out that it was for real. I just thought that was cool. I loved hearing a story from somebody's experience rather than reading it from a book or magazine. It was hard to look into his eyes and imagine him as a young guy who probably had seen more than anybody should. I was sad, but fascinated. Needless to say, he made it home. :) But I started to feel bad about the people he was just telling me about. Guys that were 19 years old, and died decades before I was even born, and here I was talking to somebody who was there and had lived a long life afterwards.

I felt so bad since his ice cream was melted so much by this time, but he seemed happy to have somebody listen to him. He said he lived near one of his sons, so I imagine his wife was gone.

I think I could have listened to his war stories forever, if my kids weren't starting to get restless. (we'd already been there 45 minutes) It was just so interesting. It made me realize even more that the generation that fought in that war are all starting to go away. It makes me sad to know that there are so many stories that are going with them. I love history, and WWII is one of my favorite things to learn about.

so I really don't know where I am going with this story other than I thought the man was really interesting. I'm glad he stopped to talk to me. I just wanted to write about him on my blog because he totally made my day.

I have to load some pictures that I'll post later. I had fun on our little road trip, but it feels good to be home. :)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

where in the world is Kerry you ask? Because I know you've been wondering. ;)

Hey, we're not in Kansas anymore!

Kansas is one long ass state. It isn't as boring as I expected though, because I like farms. I loved seeing all of the real barns with horses and cows along the way. And these adorable hay bales. But it is looooong. I even fell asleep for an hour and woke up STILL in Kansas.

Why am I passing through Kansas anyway?

Mike and I are on a quick road trip. We are driving the audi back to cincinnati. He had three days off to do it, so I went along for the ride. Kind of hoping for a chance to reconnect since this separate coast living is taking it's toll. I'm flying back on Friday.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

U2 and the real answer to peace on earth.

A little random U2 photo for me and Kaelene. ;)

And speaking of funky things Trevor has said... I was telling a friend today via email about something that we are both struggling with. I was trying to explain how one nice thing about getting older is realizing that you start to like yourself better, and learn more about who you are. We're both pretty big people pleasers, which is pretty much like running on a hamster wheel. No matter how fast you keep going, you still end up in the same place. You just end up out of breath.

So I was telling her about a little quote we use around our house a lot that pretty much translates into: "Whatever makes YOU happy." People pleasing is tiring. And doesn't always work.

A couple of years ago Matthew and Trevor were watching a bug crawl on a rock. Matthew being the typical boy wanted to lift up his foot and squash it. For no reason other than him just being a boy. (Ok, and I admit to some bug torture when I was a kid too. I coudn't read, I had NO toys and I walked uphill in the snow to school both ways...ok, maybe that is a little dramatic and untrue, but who hasn't smushed at least one bug in their life? I own it.)

So back to the rock.

Matthew is about to lift his foot up and says, "I want to squash it!!"

Trevor,"No don't squash him, he's just doing his buggay thang."

It's a good life theory huh? ;) There'd be peace in the world if we all just did our buggay thang.

So there you go people. Just keep on keeping on and doin' your buggay thang. It will keep you happy. I swear.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

tsk tsk Trevor.

Chris Daughtry is on the radio while we are eating breakfast.

Trevor says to me:

"Hey mom, do you ever think that one of those U2 guys will ever try out for American Idol?"

*sigh* looks like I've been lacking in my parenting. ;)

and hey, another good opportunity to post a U2 picture. because THAT makes me happy!!

Friday, April 04, 2008

and the winner of the most boring blog of the year goes to......


Seriously, there is nothing going on right now. I'm not complaining, trust me. Having a lot going on is not exactly what it is cracked up to be. Infact, looking back at this time last year I was spending HOURS at hospitals because Mike had the kidney stone from hell that wouldn't go away. So yeah, nothing exciting going on is not such a bad thing.

But I have to comment about this. I'm watching the news. If you were doing a story about tap water, and you had a camera and had to do a close up of a faucet for a story, would you NOT try to find a NICE faucet?? Seriously, I think the one they used for the close up had to have been at a truck stop. It was totally rusted, circa 1970 and had that weird calcium deposit stuff on it. How gross! Ha, especially in HD!!!

Thursday, April 03, 2008


No, I'm not talking Mandy from Barry Manilow....
and this picture of Geddy Lee is for HER! OH MY GOSH! Do you ever lose touch with somebody that you really don't mean to and somehow you keep finding each other?!?!? But then you lose each other again? I'm not letting it happen again.
My friend Mandy. BFF from high school. Who's better? Rush? U2? man we spent hours debating that but she knows in the back of her mind that it really is U2. ;)
This post is for her. We lost touch again for a few years and low and behold there are comments from her on my blog! How freaking COOL is the internet???? We're like two lost souls swimmin in a fishbowl... year after year....
I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy and nostalgic. Has it really been 20 years? No. Way!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Is it really April? How did this happen?

That means two more months of school before summer vacation. That means after summer vacation, I'll have three kids in the same school. One in 1st grade, one in 3rd grade, and holy cow one in 5th grade! Ack! Who will also be turning double digits this year. Oh my gosh.

Today was a good day. Megan and Trevor had a half day at school. Megan had planned on going over to a friend's house after school so I picked up Trevor and we had lunch together at Chili's. It was nice to have some one on one time with him. That is one thing that is so hard to do with Mike being gone so much. When he's home we're all together doing family stuff. But I can't forget how important the one on one time is. It's good for all of us.