Travel Highlights of 2013

This was my first full year of retirement.  All my life I dreamed of traveling when I retired, and certainly God granted my every wish.   When I didn’t get travel, Manny did, so I have many wonderful pictures and memories for 2013.

Manny in Wuerzburg

On January 5th Manny and I headed south in my little green Prius that has 192,000 miles on it to San Diego where we met the History Girls.  We met Russel Ray, the San Salvador, and the bronze lady.  We faced peril in the Railroad Museum, and had to keep Manny under control in the Botanical Gardens.

Manny on San Salvador
Manny is climbing on the San Salvador as it is being built.

Later in January I attended a committee meeting in Berkeley and had time to walk around the neighborhood and take pictures.

Manny walking the streets of Berkeley

I went to Los Angeles to visit my friend Elane in February and so some shopping and serious eating.  I probably visited my dentist, Dr. Moy, as well.

Brian's classroom

In March California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS) held its annual conference, Social Studies on the March in Burlingame in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Marches in Birmingham.  SFW 2013 Folklorico Dancers 036

The next week the History Girls and I celebrated our friendship in Costa Mesa attending the play “Wicked,” which I had wanted to see forever.

getting made up
We all had to wear green make-up.

April is the month for the Executive Conference for CCSS.  As the President, I got to pick the place, and Vince prepared our house to host it here.  However, that didn’t work out for too many people, so we it moved to Los Angeles to the location where our conference will be held in 2014 at the Sheraton.

LA Sheraton

By May our neighbors wondered if I still lived here.  I visited my friend Elane again in Los Angeles.

Brian's classroom

My friend Jean and I went to San Francisco to celebrate her birthday for a couple of days and did walking tours.

Hotel Beresford

Towards the end of the month Vince and I took Cindy and Manny to Kauai, HI for her birthday.  The dogs watched our homes, and Kay and Mike East watched them.

SFW Luau Grounds071

We arrive home from Hawaii on June 3, and believe it or not, we stayed home until September 11, and rested up for the remainder of the year which made us dizzy.

Manny and Danny 3

Since we stayed home, we sent Manny to visit Ralph in July.

Manny going to airport

In August he left Ralph’s home in Spain, and traveled to London with Ute.

Manny at Buck palace

From September through November he went with Carol and Glenn to Cologne, Bruges, Brussels, Frankfurt, Tasmania, Toowoomba, Waterloo, and Wuerzburg.  I’ll be doing lots of posts about these trips during the year.  I just need to learn a little bit more about them, and Manny is being rather tight-lipped about the events of the trip!  Carol tells me they have some secrets they’re not telling me.  🙂

Manny in Toowoomba

Then he flew home with their daughter Melissa, who was going to Florida.  She sent him home from there.  His bags arrived in December from Australia.  He had fun showing us all his stuff.

Manny and stuff
Kalev thought Roo was for her. We caught her playing with him when we weren’t looking. She never plays with stuffed animals, but she loves Roo. We had to move him. 🙂

By September Vince and I contracted the travel bug, and went to Oregon to pick up the best Ebay bargain trailer on the market in Southern Oregon.  We turned it into our accidental vacation when our truck broke down in Klamath, CA.

Klamath Canon288

Manny was still on the road, so he missed my next trip.  A week after Vince and I got back from our first trailer trip, I took a train from Sacramento to Portland, Oregon to attend the Oregon Council for the Social Studies annual conference, and to meet my brother.

2013 OCSS Conference321

After the conference my brother took the train ride of our lives going first to Chicago, then to South Bend and Indianapolis, IN for a week.

Randy and Marsha's elementary school.
Randy and Marsha’s elementary school.

After a short jaunt to Louisville, KY, I headed home on a plane to CA, and my brother took the long way home by train back to Portland.

Louisville Sluggers

Almost immediately I had to go to a dental appointment, and stayed in Santa Monica, an took the opportunity to visit our President-Elect, Amanda.

SFW Santa Monica155r

No sooner than I got home than my house-bound husband wanted to take a trailer trip to the coast for two weeks.  We stayed a week, then he went home for some appointments. I stayed in Avila by myself to write my contribution to 2013 NaNoWriMo, Girls on Fire.  A few days later he drove back and picked the trailer and me up and carried us back home.

SFW SLO Beach 2013104

Less than two weeks after that, I flew St. Louis, MO to the 2013 National Council for the Social Studies Conference.

The Mississippi in Missouri
The Mississippi in Missouri

Manny and I arrived home about the same day, him from Australia via Florida and me from MO.  It was my husband’s birthday, and one week later the three of us got back on a plane heading for Honolulu, HI, where we spent a week in Waikiki.

Bishop Museum 122r

We have been home eighteen days, and today we took a day trip to the coast to celebrate our friend, Margaret’s birthday, but I think we are going to stay home for a while now.

birthday cake with S & M

At least until morning.  🙂

I’d love to hear about your highlights from the year?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Accidental Vacation

Chapter One  Just the Right Trailer

20130915_1020573Vince had been looking online for months after he sold the family trailer at the coast for something more portable to replace it.  Two months later, after many false starts, he announced that he had found the trailer-love of his life in Reedsport, Oregon.

See all the spikey things coming off the new tires.
See all the spikey things coming off the new tires.

“Look at this one, Marsha.  What do you think?  I think it looks pretty good.  It’s got new tires.”

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“Muh huh,” Marsha commented, then went back to her own side of the table and started working again.

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Undaunted, Vince purchased the trailer, and worked out the details of the vacation.   On the appointed day, they left only one half hour late by Vince’s careful calculations, at 6:30 a.m.,  on their travel adventure.  The 13 hour drive on the first day proceeded without incidents.  Between sleeping off the remains of her cold, Marsha kept copious notes as Vince dictated the mileage along with the current temperature and exact location and time, adding a few side comments of her own.  “It’s 2:46 and we are through the worst of Mt. Shasta and Shasta Lake.  It wasn’t nearly as scary as I remembered.  Only 24 miles to Yreka.”

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Nothing disturbed Vince on his planned vacation.  Even the Oregon fog and misty weather couldn’t dampen his good mood as the miles drew him nearer to his dream.  Fortunately they weren’t paying for the trailer by credit card.  The American Express card had been given a “frog alert” in Redding, but Vince quickly cleared that up.  Arriving at the home of the young couple that sold the trailer in Reedsport before dark, Vince had met his first goal,  Get there before dark. 

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Vince, Marsha and Kalev looked the trailer over.  They liked it.  Neither of Vince nor Marsha mentioned or even really knew what the strange smell was inside the trailer. The title and money exchanged hands, and the couple headed north 20 miles to their hotel in Florence for a good night’s sleep before picking the trailer up and starting their vacation back to California.

coming into florence resize

Even cheerful after 13 hours of driving Vince remarked, “Look a historic bridge.  How cool!  Later he added, “I think it was the ocean air.” Vince cautiously broached the forbidden topic of possible defects in the trailer.  “Maybe it’s just because it’s been closed up for a while.”

SFW Or Trip Florence resize

Marsha reminded him, “The ocean doesn’t smell like that.  Maybe they forgot to empty the holding tank.”  Hoping not to dispel the lingering optimism, she quickly added, “It will disappear.”  They reached The Old Town Inn in Florence, Oregon.  Vince quickly checked into newly remodeled Room 104  tired but not worried.  “The clerk told me they have the best doughnuts in the world,” Vince announced to his ever-dieting wife.

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Little did they both know that they would have far more dangerous threats to Vince’s unbounding enthusiasm later in the journey.

Do you think Vince will be able to maintain his good nature throughout the trip?  Have you had a vacation during which nothing could irritate or upset you?  Tell me about it.

Tillamook Air Museum

October 24th is my younger brother, Randy’s, and my Grandfather’s birthday.  I always enjoy these next two weeks because for that amount of time there is only one year between us.  So happy birthday, bro.  This post is for you.

Happy Birthday, Randy

If you’ve read about my small family, you know that Randy is my closest and nearly only living blood relative.  Until Mom passed away in 2006 we hardly spent any time together, but since that time we tried harder to keep in touch. 

We both love the coast, whether Oregon or California, and five years ago we went to Tillamook to the Air Museum.  I thought we would never get there. It is in the middle of nowhere, but well worth the drive.

6030 Hanger Road, Tillamook, OR

For those of you who like me thought that all they had in Tillamook was cheese, you will pleasantly surprised.

Tillamook Air Museum

The hangar housing mostly World War II vintage planes was huge.  Actually it is the largest wooden structure in the world measuring 1072 feet by 296 feet covering over 7 acres.  It was built to house blimps.  (NO not me!!!) 

Inside the main hanger

Neither my brother nor I had been there so we picked out our favorite planes, got to climb in the cockpit of one, looked in the gift shop, read all the kids’ letters to the museum, and ate lunch.  We did it all!

World War II Plane

This was one of my favorites.

The students did a much better job of illustrating their visit than I did, and of course, I had to read every one of their pictures.  Good thing my brother was patient.

All of us got to be big kids that day.

There was hardly anyone there, so we got a lot of special attention.

I’m sure we did our fair share of shopping, too.  I would recommend this as a great field trip for students.  I know they don’t get to go on field trips in our schools often, and yet the ambiance of being in a structure like this with the actual planes helps bring history to life. 

Parents did you know that family vacations like this one do more to increase your students’ intellectual powers that almost anything else you can do for them.  So hop in your cars and go to your own local museums.  Take a trip to a nearby town or city and visit the museums there.  They might not appreciate it now, but they will later.  Even better if you take grandparents who might even know how the strange items in museums were used.  Even better, start reading both before and after the trip.

There are many gems right in your own neighborhoods.  And you are the experts.  Help your kids grow up knowing their own culture.  Then expand their culture to include other times and places. 

What kinds of places do you like to vacation?