Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Monday, August 20, 2012

Off on a new adventure.......tomorrow

I have been packed since we got back from our vacation up the Eastern seaboard.  Actually, I unloaded the dirty clothes out of the suitcase into the washer.  Washed, dried and folded, many of the same clothes went straight back in the suitcase.  I am so excited.  Well, who wouldn't be?  I mean we are getting ready to ride cross county from Florida over to CA, then up through OR, into WA state and maybe even into Canada, maybe.

I have criss crossed this country visiting 49 of the 50 states.  The only state missed is Hiawii, but as I was saying, I have driven across the country by plane, by VW Camper bus, a Saturn SC2 and in my parents station wagon, but so far, I have never crossed the country on a Harley Davidson.  I have driven an equivelant number of miles across AK on a BMW, but still not the same thing.  I have bought a big girl jacket.  It weighs as much as I do, I think. I have taken the lining out, so that helps a bit.  It is all weather proof, with vents in the front and back and the sleeves.  It is gortex so I can literally roll across an interstate at 70 mph and not loose a piece of skin.  I might only be a bag of broken bones if that were to happen, but I would not be covered in road rash.  It is made to ride from the heat to the very cold.  It says Harley Davidson on it, and it might be the most expensive jacket I have ever bought.  Shoot, even at almost 50% it was still by far the most expensive coat I have ever bought myself, it might be as expensive as all the jackets I have bought myself in the past 5 years.  But it is so cool.  And all I will have to do to remember this trip is to slip that monster Big Girl Jacket on.

We leave tomorrow and will be back in time for me to spend a week with Vicki and Nancy on St. George.  I have such an amazingly life.  Anyway, VIcki and Nancy sent us a troll doll to take on the trip with us.  He was a simply troll, blue hair, a football in his right hand, and a pair of white sports pants with a red stripe.  We worked with him to get him ready for the trip.  Here are a few pictures of the troll, now known as The Troll, Skulman:

With his "colors" on, not really, it is a group of Veterans

Skulman standing with the Sangria Bandit Veterans Riders Group from Europe. 

On the bike ready to go

In his rain suit
So Skulman is ready and on the bike.  I told OB I was going to get Skulman a rain suit.  He asked in bewilderment, "Are you making him a rainsuit now????"  I laughed and pulled out the ziplock bag, "No, this will work just fine."

I have also put a couple of stickers on my new helmet:

There is also a peace sign on the back and on the visor
And we have worked on the bike and the trailer and we are set.  The map looked at and routes planned, back up routes planned and back up routes to the back up routes planned.

A friend of OB's is riding with us for the first leg to Shreveport, LA.  Sparky and OB have been friends for a while but I think this is their first trip this long.  It should be fun!!!!

I will try and post on the road as we go along and attach photos of Skulman as he flies across the country on a big red Harley.  Life is wonderful. 
Oh yes it is!!!
We made it home Monday evening around 7:00 pm.  We unpacked most of the car and collapsed in the house.  Of course I had brought the dogs their McD hamburgers.  They forgive me immediately for being gone when they smell those burgers.  Henry, however, was not in such a forgiving mood.  I walked up to him lounging on the bunny bench and he got up and turned his back on me.  I laughed and hugged and cuddled with him and he softened a bit.  Then he walked over to OB's place and waited for OB to come out the door.  OB stepped out, looked down and said hello to Henry, who got up and turned his back on OB and just sat there.  OB was a little surprised, but I laughed and explained what was going on.  After we had had a good laugh at Henry, OB picked him and petted him and all appears to be forgiven.

We drove over 5150 miles in 12 days.  We stepped out on to the ground of 16 states: FL, GA, SC, NC, TN, VA, WV, MD, PA, NY, CT, MA, VT, RI, NJ and DE.  We  also went to Washington DC.  We did so many wonderful things during that time, interspersed with very very cool things.

So since Christopher has been with me this year he has driven a golf cart and a lawn tractor.  He took his first airplane ride and even got to fly the plane.  On our trip we spent a lot of time in the car, but we also took a ferry from Jamestown, a boat from Charleston to Fort Sumter and a horse and carriage ride around Savannah.

On our trip we looked on the pad and learned about the areas we drove through, we looked up stuff about the things we were seeing and we learned lots of cool things.  In CT we drove up to VT to see the sweet and wonderful Annie and her Sam.  We drove to RI.  Christopher and I took a tour through the Mark Twain house in Hartford and I found the perfect chicken for OB in the Ace hardware store in West Hartford.  I love that hardware store.  Susan takes me there each time I visit her.  I bought a chicken.  Actually a china rooster wearing leathers chaps, and jeans with tattoos and riding a motorcycle.  I knew OB would love it, and he did.  It was funny when he finally got to see it.  He looked at the box it was in and said he was glad I had bought mys self a fancy chicken, but it would be part of my collection.  Then he pulled it out of the box, set it down on the table in front of him.  He looked at for a second and then he realized what it was, and oh yes, it was his chicken.  He put it in a place of honor in his place, and yes, he loved it.  We found some interesting chickens on the trip including a beautiful rooster he found at a thrift store and a rooster magnet from South of the Border.  And yes, it is just as tacky and funky and fun as it always was............on even bigger.  oh my.

We drove to NJ to pick up OB.  We met his lovely daughter and her youngest, Master K.  He is absolutely adorable.  And as how some children can be, just amazing in some of the things he says and how child like and yet so grown up this little 4 year old was.  Just up the road from OB's daughter is where the Hindenburg exploded.  We were able to drive out to the air base and see the spot where they have a couple of small signs and a memorial.  There are also Then we were off to Delaware on our way to Philly.  In Philly we saw the Liberty Bell and took a tour through Independence Hall.  I got goose pimply all over as I looked around that room and saw the exact same room, and furniture that the Greats sat at and set up this country.  I mean how cool is that????  OB found a small rubber chicken on the side walk for me.  I put it in my purse and as I went through the security check the young woman pulled out the chicken and looked at me......"A rubber chicken?"  she asked.  I said, "Yes, I like chickens."  She smiled and passed me through.  Then we ate cheese steaks and cheese chicken sandwiches, I mean we were in Philly after all.  Then we walked through a few of the parks and around the historic downtown seeing all kind of historic places, drove to the Museum of Natural History to see the steps that Rocky had run up in the movie and took a photo of Christopher at the Rocky statue, then we headed to MD.

We spent the night in a lovely hotel that all the windows looked out into tree tops.  Most rooms looked out on a little picturesque creek burbling through the trees.  We got room service, Christopher was thrilled.  The next morning we got up early and headed into DC.  OB knows this city like the back of his hand and he drove directly to his favorite parking spot, right in front of the Museum of Air and Science.  We did the compressed DC trip; Air & Space Museum, The archives to see the Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  We walked down the mall, then past the Viet Nam Memorial.  Christopher sat in Einstein's lap in front of the National Science Museum.  We saw the Capitol, the White House and the Washington Monument.  We walked up through the Lincoln Memorial and the Museum of Natural History.  We saw lots of other memorials and sculpture gardens as we walked up and down Constitution Blvd and Independence drive.  We picked up Christopher a copy of the Declaration of Independence with biographies of the signers at the national archives.  Then over the beautiful bridges and we headed to Williamsburg, VA.  On our way we stopped and walked around Yorktown and the battle fields.  We also drove through the scenic little city, but the weather was rainy or we would have stayed to hear the concert in the downtown area park.

For Williamsburg, I had delayed in getting our reservations and ended up going through one of those travel sites on the web and had booked a Travelodge, not expecting much, but it was in a perfect location.  It met my expectations, but yes, it was in a good location. 

The next morning we were up and walking through Williamsburg before 10:00 am.  OB spent the day with his son.  It was a great day for all of us.  Christopher and I wandered through the old historic town, walking through homes and herding in and out of buildings like cattle.  But there were just so many amazing things to see.  We started at the Palace and the first room had like 540 weapons displayed in a very artistic style that was supposed to impress the guests on the wealth and security ability of a home or palace.  It was hot, but we walked and he filled out a form where he had to get so many stamps to get the Williamsburg button.  The prize was no where as cool as the journey had been.  But fortunately he is a 12 year old who understands the journey.  He also enjoyed the cow button.  Later we caught a park bus over to Jamestown.  The park where they are excavating the remains of some of the original buildings.  There was a 3D view finder where you could switch from current view to a view of what would have been there when Jamestown was first founded. 

We were in the mode, up early and heading for the ferry from Jamestown.  We were there at the perfect time and were put up front with a group of motorcycle riders from the local American Legion.  It was a beautiful morning for a ferry ride, followed by a long ride from VA south to Charleston, SC.  The interstate was a parking lot, so we got off and drove the back roads.  Christopher had enough Dramamine to sleep most of the trip and so I did not have to worry about him being sick.  He was a trooper.  We woke him up at South of the Border.  Every child growing up on this side of the country in the 1950s remembers what an amazing treat it was to get to stop at South of the Border, just over the border from N Carolina into S Carolina, to get hamburgers and shakes and look at all the stuff.  Well, it is only bigger, cheesier, brighter and more in your face then ever before.  But the kids just don't seem to be as amazed with it as we boomers.  I guess going to a theme park is normal for them, so a big cheesy tourist spot isn't so exciting.  Well, OB and I had fun and we even found a refrigerator magnet of a chicken.  Oh yeah!  Another big chicken score.

From South of the Border we drove to our hotel just outside of Charleston.  Our first stop in the grand old city was the visitor center where we purchased tickets for a bus tour of the historic town and then a boat ride over to Fort Sumter after the bus tour.  Christopher worked hard on a Information questionnaire about Fort Sumter to earn his Jr. Ranger badge.  You really had to ask questions and listen to all the people to get the information and he did a good job.  It was all of our first time ever to this fort and it was very cool.  The young Park Ranger who gave the brief history of the fort when we first got there was excited and passionate about history.  He projected well and stirred a small love of history in all of us, even if it was washed away by the kick front that kicked over us.  A boat ride back to Charleston, one of the best meals I have ever eaten at Hyman's seafood, a Charleston tradition, then in the car and once again we were traversing states, this time to Savannah, Ga.  It rained the whole way there, and rain came up early and hard our last day on the road.  But we had time to take a horse and buggy cart around the historic city, a walk along the riverfront with the required photo of the waving girl, then one more stop before we covered the miles back home. 

Our last stop was the 8th Airborne Museum just outside of Savannah.  It was a very cool way to spend a rainy afternoon, and one of the best museums in terms of interactive exhibits.  We had sat through a lot of films the previous 12 days.  But these were broken up into 10 - 15 minute movies, shown from the view of the various people involved.  Whether an aircraft carrier, or the ground crew, or a pilot, navigator, gunner, etc.  You were in their world, physically and emotionally, and it was very moving.  The last movie they had a cluster of various size screens and had them jig sawed in front so you saw the action from the ground to the sky from different screens.  The people were very nice, and it had been a good stop and a fine ending to a trip around the USA.  From the Magna Carta through the struggle from independence to history as viewed through war up until current history.  Not a bad way to spend a few weeks in the summer for a 12 year old.

We made it home, and time just started slipping by.  Soon, Christopher and I were driving again, this time to Palmetto to taking him back to his parents, who were missing him.  I turned towards Dad's to spend a weekend with him and my sister Sioux.  She was only there until the birthday party Saturday night for Pat.  Heidie, Sioux and Pat all have birthdays within 9 days.  Dad and I went out to breakfast and then I headed home.  I love Dad, but I really needed to be home.  My home, back to my animals, my gardens.  Back to the life that OB and I share here.  Friends who laugh and work together.  Support each other and have fun. 

It is good to be home.  But I am getting ready to leave again.  And it takes me so long sometimes to be willing to come out of my hole when I get home.  I love my home.  I love my life here.  I love being able to putter around my home and yard and play with my animals, and watch my chickens.

I am sorry to my friends who are hurt or worried for me.  I am fine.  I am just living, rather then writing about it.  Since I got home, I have not been living a big exciting life.  No, I am living a quiet life filled with short stories by Mark Twain, purchased at the Twain House.  I have been working in my gardens, I have been cleaning the house, sort of, and just walking around and staring.  It has been raining a lot, no complaints from me.  But in between the rain, I walk around my yard.  Stop and visit my chickens, stare into green.  Think about how to improve various gardens.  But not now.  Now it is time to prepare for the next trip.

Here are pictures of my chicken eggs since I have gotten home:

Iris and Hyacinth have started laying eggs

One of my new hen's brown eggs and Iris's first egg, sky blue and the size of a piece of Easter candy

Rainbow eggs

They blue eggs are getting bigger

so pretty
I am home, but we are leaving tomorrow.  Yep, Tuesday morning we will try and leave as early as possible to dance around the thunder storms and see if we can get above them to head west.  More details to come..........