Travel and fun!

Posted by Whiz on December 22, 2015

Wow, here we are almost at the end of 2015, only a small amount of time left in the year for another entry in this blog.   Many more adventures this year that are not yet reflected in the few pictures that I’ve posted, nor written about either. I hope to add more once I track down the pictures on my new computer.

What a beautiful year…filled with adventure and expansion….both of which I love and look for as often as possible. Can it really be almost 2016?! 2015 seems that it flew past.

I’ve driven many miles this year, 2500+ of which were on an exciting adventure traveled with my two grandsons.   They graduated from high school this year, and both agreed they would love to drive back with me from California where I went for a conference in Los Angeles. I drove out there by myself finding many fun and interesting places along the way. Then the boys met me and we drove back together, helping with the driving, allowing me to enjoy seeing the country along the way as a passenger. How cool is that?!

Many fun stops as we followed the old Route 66, that Interstate 40 now closely mirrors, and is filled with beautiful scenery with interesting and historic places all along the way. The adventures began with Jack and James flying to LA, where my friend Diane, who lives there, agreed to meet and pick them up at airport to then take back to my hotel.  The boys were to have met in Charlotte so that they would then fly out west on the same flight. Diane would meet and bring them to where I was at conference. That plan looked great on paper, and it was except for one major hitch…..Jack missed his flight out of Knoxville, thus his connecting flight in Charlotte, arriving at different time on different flight in LA, and  that no one knew which one.

Diane adapted so very graciously to this rapidly changing schedule of events, made all the more challenging when Jack’s phone was no longer working because he forgot to hook up to charger before he fell asleep.  Fortunately, Diane has the patience of Job, plus James did meet up successfully with Diane and family as scheduled, and James knew what Jack looked like so he could recognize him as passengers arrived from flights out of Charlotte! James had been in contact with Jack before the phone was out of commission and knew that Jack had missed his flight, but wasn’t certain of his new flight number or airline.

Not a stellar beginning to this first time adventure of flying, by themselves, out west, to meet people they’ve not ever met before as they stepped out on their own for travel and adventure! All ended well even if a few hair raising moments for the parents and friends to go through while Jack was out of touch and until all were finally connected and together at LAX! Thank you Diane and family for all that you shared with the boys and me while in LA!

Adventures begin.  Including learning to surf in the Pacific with some beautiful girls (Diane’s daughter and friends), dining in many fun and cool places, including the Shrimp House in LA, then dining high above all of Las Vegas while overlooking the city, walking across the Hoover Dam, then creating rock cairns while visiting vortexes in Sedona, walking on (and getting lost) on the Grand Canyon rim trail for several hours without extra water (texting mom and dad back home telling them they’re lost in the Grand Canyon causing few more gray hairs on parent’s heads), where taking the wrong turn  lead to the added miles of hiking away from where we had agreed to meet, experiencing snow in summer time at some of those higher elevations, plus discovering the awesome beauty of the Petrified Forest in Arizona, to name just a flew of our awesome adventures.

Beauty and laughter were everywhere we went, from the grand vistas of the Grand Canyon to the fun and comedy of discovering off the main road, a small western museum that allowed us hands-on fun of taking pictures of boys playing cards, guns in hands and cowboy hats on heads, then another with them in jail, next driving Model T Ford, and last but not least, hanging from a noose around their necks and appearing to be dangling from a full-sized hangman’s tree.

Jack and James found friendly and beautiful girls wherever they went (suggesting that I was their chick magnet). Evidently traveling with their grandmother proved to be a great conversation starter that helped them meet these girls and worked as a trust factor……they must be nice people to be traveling with their grandmother, right? Who knew or could have predicted that? I’m grateful that I am cool enough they’re willing to travel with me.

They found courage and talents they had not yet discovered within themselves as they did with donning wet suits to learn to surf in the Pacific Ocean, to the jumping off 100-foot rock ledges into ice-cold mountain river below…and where at each location the beautiful young girls were there, urging them to join in these feats. They would not dare admit to being too fearful to attempt when girls were already there doing them!

I had hoped that Jack and James would keep a journal so they would have the events to relive over and over.  They’re convinced that they will remember them perfectly without writing them down.  I am grateful to be writing about some of these adventures in this blog for me to keep track.

Happy memories. Happy travels. I discovered how beautiful this country is, how friendly people are everywhere, and just how wonderful my two grandsons, Jack and James, truly are, for which I am so very grateful!


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