A New Adventure in Our Continuing Adventure

Well, as of this morning, Susie and I have entered another new phase of our Adventure. For the last several years, we have been increasing our summer time spent in Ocean City. We started 13 years ago with 2 weeks, then increased it to 3, and the last year I worked (the summer of 2015), we spent the entire month of July here! As wonderful as that was, in a sense, it made the ultimate packing up of our “stuff” difficult, just so we could turn our dream over to renters.

Last year, with both of us retired, we spent most of May, June, and July here, kind of blocking out the need to empty out the Mineola house. Last year, however, on August 21st, we left on our Big Adventure trip across the country, which ultimately lasted 9 weeks. It was sad, but it made sense to rent the house again, and we did starting the first Saturday in August. That once again necessitated packing up our personal items, our good glasses, and packing away our clothes, shoes, and especially our booze! A sad time for us again, even though we were looking forward to the great trip we’d planned.

IMG_7366Well, today is the first Saturday in August, and I am sitting writing this blog post on our front porch, watching a new crowd of Pennlyn visitors unloading cars, getting organized, having their first beer, and starting their dream week of vacation! We are here, and we’re staying here!! For the first time, Susie and I will be spending August, September, and the beginning of October at the beach. In fact, if you really want to know, we live here pretty much full time now. The culmination of a dream we’ve had for years is about to come to fruition….We live in Ocean City, NJ!!

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In fact, the reason I said the beginning of October, is that we’re flying out for a 2 week trip, exploring some of Nevada and California that we’ve never seen before, and to top it off, we will be leaving and returning to Philadelphia International Airport! We have made the move…in our minds at least.

Now, if you are interested in our progress on the other end, last week Susie and I came to the conclusion that we have moved virtually everything that we want from our old house to Ocean City (except for some last minute necessities we need there). Some of it will surely be weeded out from here (our closets are little full), and there are things we’ve stashed in our rented storage place down here, that we will go through over the winter, and some of that stuff will probably leave us too, but it’s done! What’s left at 40 Fairfield Avenue is not coming to Ocean City, and so a process that we wondered if it would ever end, has ended!

 

Progress too on other fronts…we’re meeting next Friday with a lady that conducted a tag sale at my Mom’s house, and hope she’ll say we have enough stuff for her to do the same thing for us. Then someone who is interested in the house wants to set up a time to take a look, so good things there too. When we left Mineola last Wednesday, Susie and I both realized it’s almost over, and trust us, we are glad!

So, if you are looking for us for the rest of the summer and fall, you can either find us on Pennlyn Place Beach, or on our front porch. As the new porch sign Susie got this year says, “Come Sit On The Porch With Me…The Drinks Are Cold And The Friendship’s Free”

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Our favored view most mornings!

 

Day Twenty Four – Tuesday September 13, 2016

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This morning, we checked out of the Rio Hotel a little after 10 AM, said goodbye to Las Vegas after our 3 day stay, and got back to our “on the road” routine, which we were both looking forward to. We realized as we as we left Las Vegas, that today we did something on our way out of town that we have never done before…we drove by the Las Vegas Airport Rental Car Return facility!

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Yesterday I told you about visiting one of our favorite places, Red Rock Canyon, a place that has become a Vegas tradition for us. Well, this morning we made a slight detour to Boulder City so that we could have breakfast at what has become another Vegas tradition for us, The World Famous Coffee Cup Cafe! Ever since we first saw it on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, about 5 years ago, we have stopped every year for one breakfast. Located in Historic Downtown Boulder, the Coffee Cup is a favorites of locals, and they graciously let us tourists enjoy the food too! They have a huge breakfast menu, but the star of the menu on Triple D, and in our minds is the Pork Chili Verde. Susie had the Huevos Rancheros, which promptly features the Pork Chili Verde, and I had Papa con Chili Verde! We had planned to take food pictures, and have to apologize, but as soon as the waitress put the plates down in front of us, all we could think of was eating it! All we have for you is some pictures of the cafe!

After breakfast we headed south on US 95 towards Needles, California. Soon after getting on the road, we passed huge fields of high tension wires, bringing the power generated from Hoover Dam to the outside world.

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The trip through the rest of Nevada was easy and the road was a nice 4 lane divided highway. After about an hour, we crossed into California and suddenly the road went to a 2 lane country road. We were only in California for about 25 miles or so, but it was another state on our list.

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Our purpose of going to Needles was to meet up with Historic Route 66, and to get to spend a little bit of time on the Mother Road. Back when I was 10 years old in 1960, my Mom and Dad and I drove from the mid-west to California, the majority of which we did on Route 66. Being 10 years old, I only have fleeting memories of the trip, so I wanted to experience a little of what’s left of the historic road. My point of reference for this portion of the trip was a blog, https://adventure2016web.wordpress.com/author/adventure2016web/ , written by Walter Pratt. It’s a great day by day accounting of a trip on Route 66 from end to end, and it is the result of my cousins Jeanne and Walt’s trip this past spring. Thanks Walt for the guidance!

As I write this tonight, we are in Kingman, Arizona, and have done better than 50 miles on Route 66. For the first 20 miles from Topock, Arizona I think we might have passed 5 cars. This is a desolate section of the road, where you drive through washes that have obviously brought lots of mud to the road, because it looks like they plow mud here, in much the same way we plow snow at home! The next “town” along the way was Oatman, Arizona, which seems to be known for burros and tourists wandering on the main street, which is Route 66. We had to dodge the jackasses…and the burros!

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Then it was time to head into the “mountains”, where a switchback two lane takes you into the Hualapai Mountains and over Sitgreaves Pass. All along the way, we saw evidence of businesses that once existed on the road, but when Interstate 40 opened, and bypassed them, died. Some have been repurposed and still exist, others are just rubble or big empty lots.

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As I said, we are staying tonight in Kingman, Arizona, in a Best Western Hotel. Today we only drove 187 miles, but again we are not on a mission to reach a destination, but to enjoy getting there. Almost as soon as we got into Kingman, we stopped at the Kingman Visitors’ Center and Route 66 Museum. We spent over an hour touring the museum and watching a film about the parts of route 66 we have, and are going to travel on. It was interesting to hear their perspective on what Route 66 meant to the country, how it helped development in this part off the country, and ultimately destroyed many lives when it was delisted as a US Highway. Another nice small museum, that at $3 admission was definitely not a rip off, and was a worthwhile place to stop.

Tomorrow, we will head along Route 66 for as long as we can, until we get to Williams, Arizona, and then head north to our destination for the next two nights, Grand Canyon National Park. We will be spending two nights in a Bright Angel Lodge Rim Cabin, enjoying the sunset and sunrise over the canyon (which is just feet from our cabin), and seeing what is truly one of nature’s wonders. In that trip I talked about before, we did stop at Grand Canyon, but all I have is a 10 year old’s memories of our visit. Susie has never been, and the two of us are very excited to check off this Bucket List stop on our Big Adventure! Susie just looked at the weather, and tomorrow night in the Grand Canyon it’s going to be in the 30s and 40s…a big difference from the 101 it was in Vegas yesterday!!  Also, the state of Arizona is the one state that doesn’t observe Daylight Savings time.  Right now, we are in Mountain Standard time, which works out to be the same time as Pacific Daylight Savings time.  Because of this, it got dark tonight very early!  Cool temps and early sunsets….we may have to dig out our Pikes Peak Summit clothes at the Grand Canyon!

Speaking of the Grand Canyon, an advisory for all of you who are following along with us via this blog. If you remember back 2 weeks ago, when we were in Yellowstone and there were no posts because there was little or no internet, I fear the same situation will probably exist in Grand Canyon National Park. So, if you do not see a post for day 25 tomorrow, understand that I will be writing the blogs, but may not get to publish them. After Grand Canyon, our next stop is the View Hotel, in Monument Valley, on the Navaho Reservation. The same situation may exist there too, so please understand if there is a “data dump”, once we are back in the 21st Century on Saturday the17th!

PS – We followed our usual pattern tonight, and dined at a local Kingman establishment. We found this book on our table…are they trying to tell us something???

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