Holiday Road

img_0972So, those of you who followed this blog during our big 9 week trek across the United States last fall, will recall that two of those weeks were spent aboard Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas, where our youngest son Kenny was one of the lead entertainers. Sailing out of Galveston, Texas, we had a great two weeks with Kenny, his boy friend Chris, and his Liberty Family, exploring the ship, attending the shows, and visiting ports. Well, after being on the ship since June, on January 29th their contract ended (one year to the day after his father retired) and Royal shipped him home via Delta Airlines. If you remember back a couple of weeks, January 29th was the Sunday night when Delta’s computers shut down, and it caused Kenny to spend 3+ hours on the tarmac at the Atlanta Airport, and for Mom and Dad to venture to JFK Airport at 4 AM! A little sleepily, we collected our youngest child, and made it to bed just a bit before the sun made a return engagement for the day. We were tired, but happy to have him home, a place he hadn’t been since last April!

The following week was a mix of eating at local places he’d missed in the time he’d been away and preparing for two moves. The first move is a big one for Kenny and Chris, and one of the main reasons they signed on for another contract on the ship…they are going to try their hands in Los Angeles! When they signed on the Liberty, they rightly figured that if they watched their spending, they’d be able to sign off with a nice nest egg, which would give them a healthy bank account as a basis for the move. Well, so far their plan has worked out, so Kenny was preparing for that move. The second move Kenny was preparing for is also a big one…it sees Susie and I moving out of the house in Mineola we have lived in for almost 31 years, selling said house, and making our New Jersey residence permanent, as we officially become residents of Ocean City! Unlike years past, Kenny would no longer have a Long Island storage spot, so he was packing or getting rid of clothes, memorabilia, and frankly a lot of junk! Susie and I know about getting rid of a lot of junk, as we have been doing the same for months now!

After a week in New York, on Super Bowl Sunday, Kenny flew to Reno to re-join Chris, and a couple of days later, they drove from Reno to LA, to begin the search for an apartment. Happy to tell you that in the last couple of days, the boys have found a great apartment, and now that they’ve been successful, it’s time to kick back and enjoy some time with LA friends before they fly back to the East Coast. Chris’ car is there, and now it’s time for them to get Kenny’s car to it’s new home! They fly in late Sunday, spend a couple of days in the area seeing family and touching base with friends, and then on Thursday, we begin the trip to the West Coast. I say we, because during the course of their adventure, they interact with others of us in the family several times!

Our first stop on Thursday is the house in Ocean City. A quick overnight there, before spending Friday night at Harrahs in Atlantic City. While Susie and I will have the Sonata, and Kenny and Chris will have his Santa Fe, twin sister Krissi and boyfriend Mike will take the bus down from NYC, and we will have a family gathering! Saturday, it’s back to OC for some family fun, and then on Sunday morning we hit the road. Krissi and Mike head back to NYC via the bus, ending their part of the weekend. Meanwhile Kenny and Chris head off one way, and Susie and I head another way, with our ultimate destination Walt Disney World. The four of us have 3 nights there, so that the boys can take advantage of my Disney Retiree Benefits, staying at a discount, entering the parks for free, and buying discounted Disney  “stuff”. On the morning of day 4, we end our stay in The Happiest Place on Earth…..but wait, we’re not done yet! Next destination is New Orleans!

Kenny and Chris will do the drive in one day, and that afternoon will once again be joined by twin sister Krissi and boyfriend Mike, who are flying down for a twins weekend in NOLA. The drive looks to be about 9 hours, so Susie and I will take a more relaxed journey to the Big Easy, and show up early Saturday! The six of us will be together Saturday and Sunday, with Krissi and Mike winging their way back to NYC late Sunday! Are we done yet?

img_6627Well, we were going to be, but then an email offer showed up, and we’re joining the boys for one more leg! Kenny had gotten a reduced rate in the Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City, Louisiana for one night, when what should arrive, but an email for both Susie and myself, offering free rooms at the Horseshoe and two free pillows each. Well, how could we say no! We stayed there last fall on the way back from Texas, and have been raving about the meal we had at their Binions Steakhouse ever since, so not only are the boys staying there for nothing, we’re also having our last dinner with the boys there on the night of Monday, March 6th!

On Tuesday March 7th, we will officially say goodbye to Kenny and Chris, as they continue on to the west coast, and their new adventure. Susie and I will stay one more night at the Horseshoe, and then we are not sure what we’re going to do. We know we have to be home to have our taxes done on March 16th, but we’re unsure exactly where our travels will take us. Might we head to the west, back into Texas, and visit Mineola, Texas, just so we can say we’ve been there? Yes, we might do that. Might we explore more of Louisiana, or might we venture to Memphis or Nashville? Also a possibility. Or might we find a National Park, and use my National Park Senior Pass one more time!

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Honestly, not sure. Thanks to our trip last fall, we know we like being on the road. Even after 9 weeks, we were not tired of hotels, or different restaurants, or just exploring our surroundings. As long as the two of us are together, every day in every place is an experience.

As I think they say, “Sometimes it’s about the journey, not the destination.”

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