Wednesday, April 30, 2014

May annibersary & resumption of motorcycling

31 May:  Belfast, Ireland is "Where in the World is Ron Now?"  ("The world" added to compete with Waldo.  Testing to be done tomorrow. Where's Ron also needed.)  Now Cynthia and I are in total agreement: no more flights.  Our experiences getting here were nothing like some horror stories we've heard, but we felt sufficiently abused to restrict future travel plans to the North American continent.  Thank God there is so much to see & do there.  Ron is up soon after daylight while Cynthia catches up on Zeds.  The hotel is marvelous, check out these pictures.  Peculiar that sunrise seems so very early, perhaps 5 AM.  AHHHNNNNNDDDDD... here she is... Mrs. American Beatty up and ready to roll after a magnificent morning feast replete with 3 Sudokuae done. BMW Motorcycle Shop is the next destination. It is surprising that a top-notch European chef can produce more tasty egg white veggie omelet on the very first attempt than we've enjoyed ever in the U.S.  After breakfast and morning pills (NOT morning after pills), we enjoyed a short walk to the Post Office to exchange currency (sticker shock, pounds sterlings are nearly $2 each) and to the bakery for Sourdough (1.9 pounds Sterling = $4 for a huge loaf) and to Argo to hunt up wheels for the luggage.  Now we are back at the Merchant for lunch and our driver Oliver is already waiting to take us to the BMW dealership.  Life is good; mee weefee is wonderful.  The Charles Hurst BMW Motorrad was a nice place and Simon Armstrong very accommodating (he lent me his helmet), but unfortunately a BMW F800 fairing is too low to offer much wind protection, so the mandatory helmet tried to rip my head off.  I am baffled about these mandatory laws since I am personally convinced that helmets CAUSE accidents due to no hearing, limited visibility, fatigue, and heat prostration.  Sure, maybe they prevent death, but who wants to live as a paraplegic?  At the end of the day, the surprise was that it was at least 10 PM before Mother Nature turned lights out.

30 May:  Neither Cynthia nor I slept a wink the entire flight.  Even in business first, the reclined seating and noise were not comfortable enough.  Cynthia had requested low fat meals for us, but even so, there was still too much fat for my diet.  Deplaning went without a hitch, but Heathrow covers a huge area and our departing flight to Dublin seemed to be located miles from us with at least one more baggage scan and a couple of security checkpoints en route.  Since we brought everything in four carry-on bags, it was quite an ordeal to schlep them so far.  We hope to find suitable "wheels" for our return.  After an interminable traversing the terminal, we found our gate and our flight to Dublin.  When it rains it pours.  Seated directly behind us was an immature 5-year-old who kicked a the back of my seat sporadically, complained, whined, and carried on for the entire duration of the flight.  Retreating from reality into exhaustion is sometimes a blessing.  Fortunately the AirCoach bus from Dublin to Belfast was easy to find, arrived at noon on time, and provided the best seating, best views, and most comfortable situation of our entire ordeal - so we slept. The bus windows were very clean, and the elevated viewpoint allowed us to see OVER the hedges, reminding me that lower vehicles such as motorcycles would see mostly hedgerows.  Hammie's brother Robin met us at 1:30 at the drop off in Belfast and whisked us in comfort to the Merchant Hotel to honeymoon anew where we honeymooned before.

Awww!
29 May, Thursday:  Ron needed to get an early start in order to park the motorcycle inside the storage locker, returning by city bus.  On the other hand, good sleep is too precious to disturb, so we finished breakfast at 9:30, and Ron left to park the motorcycle at 10:45.  Although the bike measures too wide (by inches) at the mirrors, Ron was able to tilt right then left without scratching the finish while using too much power to climb over the step up into the locker.  Unfortunately the tool kit had NO wrenches, so the battery could not be disconnected.  Fortunately three fuses could be removed, so there is hope that the battery will no be totally dead upon our return.  Wish us luck.  All that went so smoothly that Ron was quite confident about returning to the Holiday Inn early.  Nonetheless, he hitchhiked along Cheltenham and was picked up by a delightful young hippie longhair who rattled along a mile a minute as we first digressed to pick up a friend and two lovely, well kept dogs and second to ACME to check on something else.  Anders was so enjoyable that I hated to leave, but the bus was going to be a more certain alternative to getting to the hotel on time since Anders had groceries needing refrigeration already in the car.  (Hold on a minute while I e-mail Anders.)  Final packing was a bit frantic, but all was ready by the appointed hour of 1:30 when the shuttle promptly arrived to take us to the airport.  Ron thoroughly enjoyed conversation with the driver who had good experiences with his military tour of duty in Okinawa.  One more passenger boarded at her sister's home (and we all waved goodby to the sister).  The day's slide downhill started after the driver called the office and was told to pick up another four passengers at the Days Inn.  One guy was there.  The others were elsewhere.  We drove elsewhere into a run-down area, and could not locate the others.  The office said they had called from the Days Inn and were waiting.  We drove there and again, they were not there.  We waited on orders from the office until 3 PM when the schedule called for us to be at the airport.  Finally we arrived at the airport at 3:40 somewhat irritated by the run-around passengers and the unproductive wait dictated by the shuttle company.  Even in the priority lines, airport security is getting more demanding that passengers have everything prepared before scanning while allowing less space to unpack liquids in plastic bags, 3 computers from carry-on bags, remove shoes and coats, empty pockets, etc.  Then I was "patted down" after the body scan, and Cynthia's backpack was entirely emptied in search of liquids.  We repacked and began to feel comfortable after settling in at the British Airways lounge.  Boarding the flight was no problem, but everything went sour after Ron's prostate demanded immediate release of fluids as the plane sat on the runway, queued for takeoff.  Defying the "seat belts fastened" signs, he bolted to the toilet and endured loudspeaker demands to "immediately return to his seat" and later a berating, belittling, endless tirade by the chief flight steward, who was mollified only after receiving a feigned abject apology.  While serving dinner, the steward behaved as if nothing had occurred to cause hard feelings between us, but the stewardess who had witnessed his ranting simply radiated embarrassment that her colleague had behaved so poorly.

Miss Smoochie Packed for Departure
28 May:  Happy Winds-day; it is a blustery, rainy day in Fort Washington due to "a mild spring zephyr," quoting Pooh Bear.  Ron is sitting in his thoughtful spot reviewing the SCS website with suggestions sent to the Archives committee.  Our packing is in progress and will culminate with storage of the motorcycle for 3 months at Public Storage, if we are not washed away in today's waterfall.  Cynthia does such a marvelous job of preparing for any and every emergency: we are insured for emergency airlift evacuation, cancellation of bookings, illness and driving internationally including a bottle with a note inside should the waterfall wash us away.  Tomorrow the airport shuttle will arrive for us at 1:30 PM; the good and the bad: it is hard to leave dear friends in Philly; yet, we expect to enjoy an idyllic month on the North coast of Ireland, hiking and relaxing.   We will be in Fermanagh again, but there are no Irish records remaining to be discovered.  What a shame that so many records were burned during World War II of necessity for heat.

27 May, Tues:  FUN Lunch Bunch at McMinimins surrounding a day at the Archives.   Cynthia packed bags to EXCLUDE everything that will not fit in a motorcycle side case liner.  This was tough on the girlie who loves cute shoes.  Good thing she checked the passport number on advanced boarding; inadvertently she had not changed the old number  in her files.  Dinner this evening at Scoogi's with our Archives friends was so enjoyable we missed the horrendous downpour outside; Bethlehem Pike was blocked off to traffic because of downed trees and electric wires.
Here is a link to an episode of "the History of Philadelphia" that contains a nice segment about our common ancestor Peter Gunnarson Rambo who was born 1612 in Sweden and emigrated to New Sweden (now downtown Philadelphia) in 1640; he was referred to as "revered Peter Rambo" and identified by William Penn as "my good friend Rambo."  A plaque honoring him hangs outside City Hall of Philadelphia right across the street from McCormick and Schmick's Restaurant.  This TV episode takes 30 minutes to view: http://www.historyofphilly.com/media/

26 May, Mon:  No USA Today.  Departure for a day of exercise despite a promised high of 86 degrees.  Lovely walk despite the heat; the Rhododendrons remarkable.  Interesting discovery of a deer tick crawling on  Cynthia''s forehead.  It had not penetrated the skin.  HOW could that tick have discovered HER on the pavement?  Chester County, PA leads the country in LYME disease.  Ron is turning OCR pdfs into text with a simple batch download.
Rhododendrons in Ft. Washington
25 May, Sun:  Oh oh, Cynthia is outta the shower, so I'd better get ready for lrunch with Herb and Zofia at the 5 star restaurant onboard the tall ship Moshulu at one PM.  After lunch we strolled a bit of Rittenhouse Square.  A man with a dog he described as very unfriendly took up both sides of a park bench.  Later we saw a nice looking woman befriend the pooch without a complaint by the owner.  We sat next to a delightful psychology professor waiting for Eric C; we had coffee at his new apartment.  Another day of divine food and a late night.  Two large deer, a very large goose and goslings amused us on the way home.

Rittenhouse Square Philly 


24 May:  Ron's knit cap (ca. 1940 US American Ski Team; a gift from Kenneth Mc) is missing since arrival home (at the hotel) Thursday night. Perfect cap; a lost treasure.  As usual, while Ron laments the loss, he agrees that if this is the worst thing that happens all day, it is a good day.  We slept in until 9:30, but Ron was still able to edit and add the four newly-found documents into Vol. 6.  (Many Thanks to Kim and Linda, Tusen Tack.)  At 5:15, i.e. late, we rode west towards West Chester, PA (Main Street boasts 42 restaurants, numerous galleries and genealogy resources that await our return).  West Chester would be a good place to spend the fall hiking although there seems to be a dearth of vacation rentals, i.e. month-to-month without a lease.  Kim had arranged a "progressive dinner" beginning with appetizers at Marie and Peter's 1750-era country house followed by dinner of stuffed peppers and salad at Kim-Eric's home followed by Marie's delicious apple-cinnamon tapioca made with zero fat, zero added sugar.  Peter and Marie's property includes a large pasturage for her horse and for Rascal, a beautiful 32-year-old thoroughbred.  It was another late night - driving home after dark.  Thankfully it was not raining this night.  The bright evening clouds in the sky created a marvelous tapestry, often seen framed by forests surrounding the road.  It was distressing to Ron that, because of constant traffic, he misread the GPS and missed the critical turn from I-76 to I-476, thereby committing to 5 miles towards town before there was any exit.

23 May, Friday:  Wilmington, DE to tour the DuPont   http://www.winterthur.org/?p=515 Downton Abbey costume exhibit as guests of John and Emily T who fed us royally at their lovely home.  The ride back from Delaware in the dark was smooth despite a very brief light rain.  Good night


Campbells Soup Tureen Exhibit

Campbell's Soup Tureen Exhibit



Downton Abbey Costume Exhibit

Winterthur Children's Play Area


Ron Nesting



















Back of above dress


Dress from Downton Abbey











'




22  May,  Sleeping late is becoming habit.  Cynthia's Girl Day while Ron waits with Wrangel, Vol. 6 in hand; the trip to the storage unit at 5 PM hit rush hour traffic amidst gently falling mist which became a really raining storm once we were safely inside the office of the storage unit.  Thanks to Ron's persuasive charm the storm ceased and the sun appeared just in time to drive to Scoogi's for dinner with a dear friend.  She was an hour late because of heavy traffic but the evening was a delight.

21 May, Ron spent the afternoon at the Archives, lunch with Kim-Eric, while Cynthia is making Lea DNA discoveries.  3 month Storage unit for the motorcycle located at half price halfway between the seminary and our hotel. Trip tickets arrived short one voucher which will be emailed this AM.

20 May, Tues:  Whaat?  8:30 already?  Cynthia slept until 9:30.  Zooma, zooma! A busy day looms ahead at the LTS Archives (lunch at McMinniman's Irish Pub) followed by dinner at Scoogi's with Kim-Eric, Jim Z. and John P.   Ron is checking on the  climate-controlled storage unit close to the seminary for the motorcycle and gear for 3 months now that the huge decision was reached to rent a motorcycle in Ireland on occasion.  Buying or renting  in Ireland to travel through customs/borders of various countries became too complicated and cost-prohibitive.  Shipping ours was equally cost-prohibitive since we forgot to remember our original plan was to hike in the quiet countryside along Northern Ireland's seacoast.

19 May, Mon:  The four  documents needed for Volume 6 were located in the Archives in Uppsalla by archivist Linda; this is indeed good news.  We are proud of ourselves for the day's work that included a couple of hours of walking.

18 Mai, The Swedish Colonial Society luncheon and re-dedication of the monument at Governor Prinz Park (Tinicum) honoring the arrival of the Swedes in New Sweden was held at the Corinthian Yacht Club where we had our wedding reception.  What a joy to see our friends and Swedish cousins who even know yesterday's hymn of the day.

17 Mai, Syttende Mai!  Happy 17th Mai on the joyous 200th anniversary of Norwegian Independence after 400 years of Danish rule.  Very much like the 4th of July in the US, Syttende Mai is celebrated with festivities throughout Norway and in Norwegian communities across the US with such fervor all others wish they were Norwegian.  Oh, our celebration was huge getting ripped on a very large pitcher of diet coke with breakfast; lunch at Friendly's was quite an exciting event even if they did not have lutefisk of lefse.  Our merry making festivities bordered on a riotous during a two hour street hike.  Exhausted ve were unable to join the hymn sing (Ten Thousand Swedes run through the woods chased by one Norwegian) in the basement of the Lutheran Church. Uff da. Vat a day!

16 May, Friday: The rain forecast translates to doing computer work in our room.  Exciting news: Ron will put a new zipper in his cargo pants.  The rain turned to mist opening a window of opportunity to drive to Scoogi 's for a delicious salmon dinner followed by a walk for Ron and sleep for Cynthia after wrestling with a series of Bible studies she is writing for publication.

15 May, Archives committee meeting at the seminary was highly successful.  John T. is a masterful group leader who led us to agreeable decisions.  Lunch at McMinamin's is always a treat with Archives friends except when they have nothing on the menu without fat; Ron ate only a large salad, but devoured a large bag of Snyder's pretzels after lunch.   Jim Z. Joined us for dinner at Earth's Bread and Brewery making it a special evening. Our Wheatberry salad with grilled chicken was amazingly filling.  Ron had to finish Cynthia's food.  Homemade sorbet "aqua dulce" for dessert topped off the meal.  Puzzled we cannot locate the external hard drive in the Archives.

14 May, Wed:  We will drive the Jersey Shore highway before crossing inland to Philadelphia for the next 14 days at the Holiday Inn Express in Fort Washington.  The ride was cold enough Cynthia wore heated gear, yet it was very enjoyable meandering through pristine summer homes on nearly empty streets.  The "Season" begins in another week.  Traffic through Philadelphia was bumper to motorcycle.  Almost.  Stops and starts.  Too tired to go out for dinner we ate in the hotel restaurant.

13 May, Cape May; a cool but sunny day to take the beach walk, although not through the beach sand, enjoying a diet coke on one of the hundreds of memorial benches lining the walkway.  The memorial/honor plaques are so very interesting to read.   Our walk continued for another hour or so, becoming lost a bit, before departing for dinner at the Lobster House. The lobster was good; Cynthia is not fond of clams or oysters so Ron enjoyed those delicacies.   After wrestling with options for renting vs. buying a motorcycle in Ireland vs. shipping ours to Dublin, we opted to rent on occasion instead of making this a motorcycle trip.  $10,000.00 shipping plus complications in getting the bike across borders became a deterrent.


12 May, Third anniversary and Ron's 67th birthday in rural Mt. Airy, MD:  In the early AM the smell of coffee drew Ron downstairs to chat with Jim about off-road motorcycle accouterments which prompted another brief excursion to the garage for measurements and show-and-tell.  Joni was awakened around 6 and off to work soon after.  Jim is now readying himself similarly, and Ron is free to update this blog again.  The blog blogged, Cynthia awake, we enjoyed a sweet walk in the Maryland woods before departing to Bob's BMW motorcycle shop where Cynthia found the perfect jacket, an anniversary gift for herself.  Ron found a new best friend, a motorcycle policeman willing to pose for a photo.    The ride to Cape May was very pleasant meeting new friends on bikes crossing Chesapeake Bay on the ferry.  We dined at the Lobster House upon arrival; it was good enough to return tomorrow night.  We are ensconced at the Angel of the Sea B&B for two days.

11 May, Sun: Frederick, MD:  Kamie and Chris provided a wonderful breakfast of cinnamon bun waffles, whole grain waffles, and very nice microwaved egg white veggie omelets.  Chris's sharp eyes, a pair of binoculars, and two rabbits provided morning entertainment.  Kamie's memory books are indeed works of art as well as memorials to the individual lives of her parents.  A day later Ron realized that he should have taken pictures and shown Kamie how to create a Google Picasa album with them.  After late morning tour of the yard and photos, we departed.  The ride to Mt. Airy from Purcellville was short, sweet and very enjoyable.  Cynthia asked for a photo stop to capture a green field shot (which should appear in this space in the near future). Mother's Day dinner with Jim and Joni's families at Nido's was excellent although the entire list of names is far beyond me.  Lotsa banter and posturing was enjoyed by all except for the two attendees whose hearing is entirely inadequate.  I did switch seats to spend a few minutes talking with Frank face-to-face.  In retrospect, I shoulda woulda coulda enjoyed talking with him much more.  Their unadorned salmon was cooked to perfection for our diet; we were very pleased with the meal and our entire evening.  Jim drove both ways and provided us a pleasant bed for the night.  The fresh nighttime air was wonderful as was the smells of all the flowers Joni received from her children for Mother's Day.

Joni, Jim, Jim's Mom

Sweet Woods in Maryland

Rons' New Best Friend 

Crossing Chesapeake Bay

Virginia Countryside
Chris, Kamie, Cynthia, Ron
10 May: Purcellville, VA:  We rode only a lovely half hour to meet new-found cousin Kamie, see her parents' memory books, and join her family on a day trip to Hillwood in Chevy Chase, MD.   Marjorie Merrriweather Post loved decorating, entertaining, and collecting and created for posterity a magnificent museum including beautiful Russian pieces she saved from destruction during the years her husband was ambassador to Russia after the Revolution: Awesomely awesome collections.

Russian Exhibit
Hillwood Gardens
We celebrated Ron's birthday with Kamie's family by dining at Bob's Shanghai Restaurant in Rockville, MD.  The menu had changed and place seemed to be under new management, but according to Google, Bob's Noodle 66 moved one block north in 2013.  Photos soon.  Cynthia enjoyed a good autobiography by Elizabeth Warren, despite disagreeing with her ideology. We enjoyed a good night's sleep, surrounded by Kelsey's impressive collection of horses, in the guest bedroom.


9 May:  We awoke in Clarksburg, Harrison County, WVA, and Ron's genealogy research for Patrick Sweeney in the very large courthouse was a success; he found two deed records for Patrick Sweeney and his brother Joseph, one of which said that he was "of Washington County Maryland."  After lunch at Ruby Tuesday, we departed at 1:30 PM  for Winchester, VA on old US Highway 50, a motorcyclists heaven.  Ron warned Cynthia that we would see very little straight road on the older roads in West Virginia.  Did I say the road has turns?  Locals told Ron that the trip would take 4 hours, but we stopped for Coke once and to reduce fluids twice, so it took us 3 hours despite lotsa posted 15, 20, 30 and 35 MPH hairpin twists.  The views were good; the dogwood and rosebud trees lining the roads were awesome; a great time was had by all of the survivors.  Ron and Kamie exchanged many phone calls to decide logistics of our visit.  Cynthia opted for the Hilton Garden Inn in Winchester, VA tonight.  We walked to the nearby Ruby Tuesday for dinner of salmon and veggies to celebrate Ron's coming 67th birthday (Monday).  We are amazed to hear that Cynthia's grand-baby no. 11 will be delivered by C-Section on May 12th, Ron's birthday.  On some years we will be celebrating our anniversary, Mother's Day, Ron's birthday, and grandchild's birthday all on the same day; WOW.  Ron continued his genealogy chase until midnight thirty but found very little more about the Sweeney's in Washington County, Maryland.  Hagerstown is in that county.


... and the rest of the story begins here:
scheduled departure for Ireland from Philadelphia  - May 29;
scheduled: Hammy will meet our arrival.
scheduled arrival  Belfast 30 May-1June
scheduled arrival #1 Vacation Rental 1-14 June -
scheduled arrival #2  Vacation Rental 14 June-30 June:
schedule:  Belfast  30 June - Scotland
schedule: 30 June - July 5 -  Dumfries & Galloway
scheduled: 6 July arrival at Dr. Katja, www.yorkshiredales.co.uk
schedule: 8 July from England to  Denmark;
scheduled 3.5 hour ride to  Copenhagen
scheduled 4: 30 PM  Copenhagen to Oslo, Norway
scheduled Friday, 11 July: lodging Oslo
scheduled: 23 July:  Overnight Oslo
scheduled: 24 July: LV at 8:05 Oslo and arrive in Bergen at 3:00 pm. Independent transfer to hotel. Join tour group for welcome dinner and overnight Hotel; dinner at 6:30 PM
TOUR: 
Day 18-21: Friday, July 25 – Monday, July 28    Norway: Scenic and Historic Tour
Follow Norway:            
Day 22: Tuesday, July 29                                        Excursion to Stiklestad
Today you will pick up your rental car and drive from Trondheim to Stiklestad. View the St. Olaf drama. Arrive back to Trondheim and overnight with group at the Radisson Blu Royal Garden Hotel.  

Kim: NOTE: car rental from Trondheim to Stiklestad for the St. Olaf Drama. (Compact car approx. $155)  3 PM  Avis Car Rental; ticketed by Brekke;  return to Hotel after the Festival of St. Olav (outdoor theater re-enactment of the martyrdom of "Holy Ole.")

Day 23-27: Wednesday, July 30 – Sunday, August 3                 Norway: Scenic and Historic Tour

Day 28: Monday, August 4                                     Oslo
Tour ends following breakfast. Overnight at Hotel.

Day 29: Tuesday, August 5                                                Oslo – Gothenburg, Sweden
Breakfast at hotel. Depart Oslo for Sweden. Approximately 3 hours (180 miles) drive to Gothenburg. Overnight  Hotel

Day 30: Wednesday, August 6                               Gothenburg
Breakfast at hotel. Day free for independent exploration. Overnight at hotel.
 Day 31: Thursday, August 7                                              Gothenburg
Breakfast at hotel. Day free for independent exploration. Overnight at  hotel.
 Day 32: Friday, August 8                                        Gothenburg - Stockholm
Breakfast at hotel. Approximately 5 hours (295 miles) drive to Stockholm. Overnight at Hotel
 Day 33: Saturday, August 9                                                Stockholm
Breakfast at hotel. Day free for independent exploration. Overnight at hotel.
 Day 34: Sunday, August 10                                                Stockholm
Breakfast at hotel. Day free for independent exploration. Overnight at hotel.
 Day 35: Monday, August 11                                               Stockholm
Breakfast at hotel. Day free for independent exploration. Overnight at hotel.
 Day 36: Tuesday, August 12                                              Stockholm - Oslo
Breakfast at hotel. Approximately 6 hours (330 miles) drive to Oslo. overnight at hotel. 
Day 37: Wednesday, August 13    Oslo   Ship motorcycle to Philadelphia                      
Breakfast at hotel. Day free for independent exploration. Overnight at  hotel.
 Day 38: Thursday, August 14                                            Depart Oslo for USA
Services end following breakfast. Independent transfer to airport for return flight to USA.
 Flight Information:
   Reserved: BRITISH AIRWAYS 
   Class: Business
    Departs: Oslo, NORWAY - OSL
   Date: Aug 14,2014                    
   Arrives: London Heathrow, UK - LHR
   Date: Aug 14,2014                   

 Flight Information:
   Reserved: BRITISH AIRWAYS 67
   Class: Club Exc In Uk
     Departs: London Heathrow, UK - LHR
   Arrives: Philadelphia, PA - PHL
  
Helmet Law in WVA

Susie Ron and Alice
8 May, Thurs:  Cincinnati to Athens for a delightful visit with genealogy cousins Suzie and Alice M. that included a birthday celebration at Ruby Tuesday's.

OH 32 E to Athens
US 33 SE to I-77 S to Clarksburg, WVA, Hilton Garden Inn.


7 May, Wed: Bummer!  Bronchitis again.  Sleepless night with way too much drainage.  Ron heard Cynthia's cough and drove to ER .  Three hours later we were on our way with a shot in the butt and RX waiting at Walmart.  Arrived in Cincinnati, OH about 7 PM.  Ron surprised Cynthia with a celebration dinner at McCormick's.

Bir-sary Celebration McCormick's
Ron age 35





Indiana
Illinois
6 May: Delivered a post card written in October to junior high friend Dick E., attorney in O'Fallon, followed by the drive to Trenton to see friends of fifty years, Don and Ann S. who had fun stories about coaching baseball.  Cynthia was impressed.  The Bir-sary was celebrated without singing on or off key.   By three PM Don fell asleep when Ron was coaching him about Sudoku.  Five hours later we arrived in Montgomery, Indiana at the Amish Village Inn for a nights lodging of $72.80.  No Wi-Fi.  Good night.

Miss Smoochey and Mr. Smooch 
Miss Smoochey Biker Chick
5 May: No Room at the Inn was last nights story that changed to yes we have room this AM for one more night at the  Hilton Garden Inn O'Fallon, IL.  Pleasant ride to Mt Olive to see the eVile older sister, discuss DNA, and package and mail TRS-80 computer discs.  Celebration Bir-sary Dinner with nephew Eric and his fine family.  Off-key Happy Birthday sung to Ron.   Bright, cute kids growing up and up.  Saw a brown fox, meeting Spring again with trees leafing lighter shades of green.  Good night Zzzzzz

4 May, Sun: Rise and Shine and Give God the Glory!  Wow! A motorcycle club in colors on a ride ahead of us as we departed Texarkana.   We checked Google for the Illinois Hot Wheels MC but did not see that name amongst the Outlaw clubs.  Very courteous, thoughtful group.  We stayed almost in staggered formation behind them for well over an hour.  Pleasant cool ride until high noon near Little Rock, Arkansas.  Hot!!! Windy!!! Temp was likely in the low 90's until late afternoon.  Cooled off nearing St. Louis and got cold crossing the Mississippi River.  O'Fallon Hilton Garden Inn has space for tonight only.  Ron told the clerk we could sleep with other guests.

Route:380E to I-30 to Little Rock
US 67 N into MO
US 67 N almost to St. Louis
East on US 225
O'Fallon Hilton Garden Inn $92.00

I-64 W to New Baden
IL-4 N to Mt Olive
Return to US 50 E to Cincinnati
OH 32 E to Athens
US 33 SE to I-77 S to Charleston
I-79 N to US 50 to Winchester
VA -7 to Purceville
VA 287 N to I-70 to Mt. Airy and the Sweet Chateau
N to Philadelphia more later

3rd May, Sat: Texarkana, TX and Tired, Hilton Garden Inn,  Goodnight.


Grandson Eric TX A&M Class 2013
2nd May:  Cynthia's grandson Eric was reviewing in preparation for the last final of his freshman year at Texas A&M until 1 AM, so we felt indeed honored that he arose in time to join us for breakfast. (He does NOT like to pass up a meal.)  Ron and Eric compared heights.  Ron is almost as tall wearing his "elevator shoes" boots.  The 3 hour ride from Bryan to Denton, Texas was mostly scenic and pleasant except for construction slow downs throughout Ft. Worth which turned it into a 4.5 hour ride. After checking in at the Hilton Garden Inn ($99.00 includes breakfast), we spent  a few hours with Dorothy B, our 97 year old genealogy cousin, until her eyes closed.

Storage Unit Before Beemer 
Smooch Packed and Ready to Roll
Magnolia Babies Blooming
1 May, Thurs.  We are ready to roll!! early ??? YEEEESSSSS ! or Maybe ???  About 2 PM Ron is much closer; at 5:15 PM with the bike loaded and the rental car packed we did indeed roll ... to the storage unit to unload the car and search for some few missing items in the other storage unit. Next we returned the rental car, filled up with gas, picked up a last minute prescription and THEN we FINALLY rode off into the setting sun, arriving at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bryan, Texas about  7:30 PM.  Veritas Restaurant prepared an awesome sea bass with a marvelous array of Asian prepared vegetables.

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