Sunday, March 13, 2011

3-13-2011 637 miles to drive before we get home!

We are coming home today!

We arrived in Dorchester around 6:15PM today.  Matt, Shelly, Emily, Hayden, and Wyatt were at the house waiting for us. They had brought a "Welcome Home" balloon and had a beautiful bouquet of flowers sitting on the dining room table.  Shelly made 2 pans of lasagna and a wilted salad (just like the kind grandma Johnson use to make).  Crystal arrived shortly afterwards and had brought a oreo dessert along and then Mike, Roxann, Rachael, and Elizabeth arrived with garlic bread and a vegetable.  We had a wonderful dinner with our family.  The only thing that would have made it more complete was if Nicole and Brook could have been there (they were out shopping for a prom dress for Brook).

It was so good to see everyone and so special that they put a welcome home dinner together for us.  It was great to walk into the house and have it all lit up with a delicious meal in the oven and everyone here to welcome us home.  John and I are so blessed to have our wonderful family!

After they left we unloaded the car (ugh) and put most of the items away before I hopped in the tub for a nice warm bubbly bath.  It felt good to be home and to crawl into our own bed.  We both slept wonderful - it is good to be home.  As they say "THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME"!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

3-11-2011 & 3-12-2011 Woolaroc in Bartlesville, Oklahoma and then on to Branson, Missouri to Sedalia, Missouri to bike Katy Trail

We got up and headed to Bartlesville to go to the Woolaroc Museum.  Several years ago we attended the Southwest Tandem Rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  After the rally we went with a number of couples on a post ride and one of the stops we made was at the Woolaroc Museum.  We didn't have a whole lot of time to spend there at that time so we always thought we'd go back someday.  So today was the day!  We spent about 3 hours going thru the museum - it is really an amazing museum of cowboy and indian history with amazing artifacts, bronze sculptures, paintings, huge gun display and many other interesting items to see.  To find out more about it you can go to

Afterwards we headed to Branson, Missouri - we initially thought about going there and going to some shows over the weekend.  We came in the backway to Branson and drove on miles and miles of winding curves and up and down hills driving thru farm land.  It was really a beautiful drive.  We arrived around 7:30 in Branson and went to Ruby Tuesday's for their salad bar and then checked into a hotel for the evening.  We checked out the shows that were available and after talking it over we decided that we would rather go and do some biking on the Katy trail which is in Missouri. 

3-12-2011 On Saturday morning we loaded up the car and drove to Sedalia, Missouri and unloaded the bike and biked 15 miles out and then came back on the same limestone trail.  It was very nice biking and about 59 degrees with the birds singing and the frogs croaking in the ponds alongside the trail.  We had the trail pretty well to ourselves so that was even nicer.

This evening we went to Sacred Heart Catholic church for mass - what a beautiful church!  It has just been refinished and it is absolutely gorgeous with beautiful teal marble pillers and an amazing altar with fresh painted statues behind it.  Also the 2nd graders did a beautiful job of singing during the mass so it was a very enjoyable service.

Afterwards we went out to eat and then got back to the hotel about 7:30.  It is going to be a long day driving tomorrow as we have 637 miles to go to get home but we are  looking forward to seeing our family and friends!

The last 2-1/2 months have been wonderful but we are anxious to get back to our life, family, and friends in Wisconsin!

See you all soon!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

3-10-2011 Texas to Oklahoma City - Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum

The pond at the Oklahoma City Memorial!

Each person who lost their life on April 19th, 1995 is pictured in this room!

Oklahoma City National Memorial - the world changed on April 19th, 1995!

Children from all over the world sent in pennies - they received over 45,000 million pennies and created this walkway path with some of the pennies!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

3-9-2011 Albuquerque to Tucumcari, New Mexico

Today we had a full day of things to do and traveling.  We got up and ate breakfast at the continental breakfast at the Super 8 and then headed out to drive the Turquoise Trail out of Albuquerque which passes the little town of Madrid (this is the town that was used for the movie "Wild Hogs").  Once we got to Madrid we stopped in front of the diner (this diner was built specifically for the movie and is not used now but still standing).  John unloaded the bike and we took a couple of pictures in front of Maggie's Diner and then rode the bike for a couple of miles.  We have never ridden the bike in New Mexico so we wanted to make sure and ride it so we can say that we have not biked in New Mexico.  So far we have biked in 20 states in the USA.  We will also bike in Texas tomorrow to make it 21.

From Madrid we went to Abiquiu, New Mexico and we drove back in the canyon to the little cabin that we stayed at several years ago just to see if we could find it.  From there we headed to the Christ in the Desert Monestary to attend their 1:00PM prayer service where the Monks all come in the little chapel and do chants.  It is amazing and as you sit in the little Chapel you see three crosses on top of the mountain behind the chapel.  It is just a beautiful serene place and we were so happy to be able to go there on Ash Wednesday.  To get to the Christ in the Desert Monestary you drive off of the main road and drive 13 miles back on a gravel road that follows the Chama River with bluffs on each side of the road.  It is a beautiful place.

We then drove to Espanola and had a late lunch and then continued on to Tucumcari where we are staying at a Rodeway Inn which is really nice.  We paid $45.00 plus tax for a king size bed and there is a refrigerator and microwave in the room and it is spotless.  Very nice - when traveling you just don't know what kind of room you are going to get but this one is one of the nicest we have been in so far.

Tomorrow we will leave New Mexico and head to Texas and then on to Oklahoma!

What a great day!

3-8-2011 Scottsdale to Albuquerque, New Mexico

We said our goodbye's to Pat & Sharon and headed towards New Mexico.  We drove a couple of hours or more before we stopped at a little restaurant and had a mexican breakfast and then headed towards New Mexico.  We made several stops during the day to enjoy the scenic views but spent a good share of the time driving.

Wonderful sunny day!

3-7-2011 - Surprise to Scottsdale to visit Sharon & Pat

We left Dana and Bill's home this morning and headed off to meet up with my sister and her husband, Pat.  They are in Scottsdale this week on vacation so it was so great to be able to meet up with them and spend the afternoon and evening with them.  Once we got to their Marriot hotel we got in the car and headed to a ball game where the Colorado Rockies were playing the Los Angelos Dodgers at a training game at the brand new Salt River Field.  It was a beautiful afternoon and we sat out on a blanket on the lawn and had a very nice time.  Afterwards we headed back to the hotel and played the game "Spinner" in the lobby and then had dinner before calling it a night.  It was a very nice day and so wonderful to be able to spend some time with my sister and her husband.  Thank you Pat & Sharon!

Great day with great people!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday, March 6th, 2011 - Biking and horseback riding in Surprise, AZ

This morning we got up and put on biking clothes and the 4 of us headed out for a breakfast bike ride.  It is a beautiful day with blue skies and clouds and very little wind.  We biked 10 miles or so and stopped at a very good restaurant for breakfast.  From there we headed out and biked all around the Surprise area and just really enjoyed the biking and the few cars on the route that Bill & Dana took us biking on.  Before we knew it was had over 30 miles on and headed back to Happy Trail's for dinner.  Dana made sweet potato fries, asparagus, and delicious salmon.  What a great meal!

John and I had wanted to stop over at White Tanks Stable to visit our niece, Eve and her husband Chad.  Eve and Chad are managing the White Tanks Stable for Mary Ann and Hugh and we were only about 10 miles from them.  I gave Eve a call and Dana, John, and I went to visit.  Eve took Dana and I out horseback riding while John and Chad visited.  What a great place and it was so nice to ride through the desert area (everything is quite green because they have had a lot of moisture in the area).

When we got back to Dana and Bill's we showed them our DVD of our bicycle trip last fall while we enjoyed a wonderful salad and then said goodnight!

Tomorrow morning we will leave Bill & Dana's and head to Scottsdale to spend the day and evening with my sister, Sharon and her husband Pat who are vacationing in the area.

Great day!  Life is good!