Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Westward Ho

Didn’t mean to leave you all hangin’ out there – but the last several weeks were very busy and we are just now getting caught up.  And, we wanted to let you all know we DID make it home safe and sound.  BUT – there are a few more adventures along the way to let you know about.

Last we left you, we were enjoying Hot Springs, Arkansas.  That, too, had to finally come to an end as we took yet another Scenic Byway and headed to Branson, MO to meet up with friends.  It was just a little early to see much in the way of fall colors along this route – but it still gave us excellent spots to pull off, take pics and have a little lunch.

Great little road from Hot Springs to Branson, Missouri...

...with very scenic views.
 After a couple of days visiting with Janet and Perry in Branson and seeing Mickey Gilley, we were off to spend a few days in Oooooo – kkk – lahoma – where the wind comes sweeping down the plains;-)  First stop was the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa with a wonderful display of Native American and Western Art.  We had a particularly enjoyable time here as one of the exhibits had just come back from being shown at the Pitti Palace in Florence.  All the description placards were in Italian (and English) so we got to see how much Italian we remembered at this point (or how much we have forgotten!!!). 

The short drive to Oklahoma City took us to SooneRVillage at the University of Oklahoma and the Jimmy Austin Golf Course on the University campus.  What a Kick;-)!!!  Turns out that the University uses the entire parking lot around its basketball arena for RV tailgating on game weekends – and half the spots have hookups!  Thankfully we wanted to stay on Thursday night – as it was a game weekend and they said we had to be out by mid-day on Friday.  This worked fine with our early morning tee time.  But, by the time we got back to the Bus to head out at noon Friday they were already pouring in to set up their ‘rigs’ for the weekend.

The University of Oklahoma home course. 

Lonely tonight - but filling up quickly the next morning (all these were hook-ups!!).

A quick scamper and we were in Santa Fe for a couple of days for a few more rounds of golf and a couple of very nice dinners with friends Robert and Kathy.   I-40 took us across Northern Arizona – where we kept our heads from looking south so we didn’t have an urge to just go home – after all, we had a family wedding to get to in Napa.  We did just miss a pretty good storm with a sizeable dump of snow in Flagstaff.  The cold air and a little dusting did catch us in Tehachapi, though –

Tehachapi, CA - we awoke to a dusting of snow.

On our way to the Napa area, we made one more stop in Lemoore, CA to see the Hengsteler clan and get ready for Halloween – which means a trip to the pumpkin patch.

Shannon & Haley - what sillies!

Shannon & Heather - hat sillies!

Look mommy, I found the perfect pumpkin!!!

I AM the perfect pumpkin;-)

The Naval Air Base was a little different as we were there during the government shut down.  REALLY STUPID!!  That’s all I will say.   Shannon did give us a tour of his new workplace – including his new office;-)

Shannon took us on a tour of his new workplace.

Our last stop was Santa Rosa for another cousin’s wedding (if you check the first posting of this trip you will see we began the trip with a cousin’s wedding!!).  Julie and Mike’s youngest son, Craig, was married at the Chalk Hill Winery in a beautiful event.  A wonderful benefit to all these weddings are mini family reunions – and this was no exception.

Fall in California wine country is very colorful.

As was Dana and Craig's wedding at Chalk Hills Winery.

After FIVE months on the road, Magic was ready to be home for a break from us.  Just one more thing we had to do before she went into storage – and that was FILL HER UP, for which we were glad to be back in AZ as fuel was about .50/gallon cheaper than CA;-)
Thank goodness it only took 2/3's of a tank.
Since arriving home we are back at golf three days a week, the gym, hiking, concerts at Scottsdale Performing Arts and the Musical Instrument Museum, lunches with Mom and dinners and activities with sister and family and friends in AZ.  Whew!!  Lots to do – and the holidays are coming;-)

Lots of Love and Stay Healthy and Well – Home Again Elizabeth & Gary