Monday, December 24, 2007

I Love Getting Lost, You Never Know What You Might Find

Ok, so Dan doesn't get lost? Sure.... Well I have stories. But I will be nice since it is Christmas EVE. On the other hand Dan and I love to travel. We drive everywhere and when we moved to new locations we would literally spend most of the weekend exploring the new towns and locations. Many of these travels are what make this posting interesting. The first four years of our marriage were spent on Whidbey Island up at Oak Harbor. We were married there and had both of our boys there. Four years in Oak Harbor and we were transferred to Denver.

I have to say I was very excited about this transfer since I had never lived anywhere that I remembered other than Washington state. So Denver was a whole new experience. I HATED IT THERE!!! I don't hate living in different locations but DENVER was awful! It was large, dirty and our front door had 4 deadbolt locks on it! 4!!! because of a murder that happened in the neighborhood a year earlier. An entire family was wiped out and the killer was never found. Anyway, Dan and I quickly discovered that the best part of Denver was leaving it, and we started exploring the country. We discovered Colorado Springs and Boulder and we explored the mountains around them. We discovered the NederLands. A community up in the mountains that had 4-story houses with porches that were on the second and third floors. The snow was often so deep that the doors had to be on the second or third floor so you could enter or leave the house in the winter. We discovered so many wonderful homes and roads and communities. We nearly discovered Estes Park three times -- each time we got close we discovered a wonderful community or an interesting sounding road and we were off discovering uncharted territory. We found the grave stone of Buffalo Bill Cody alongside this one road and we found a wonderful burned old inn that looked like it was the inn filmed in Somewhere in Time with Christopher Reeves. It wasn't the hotel filmed but it sure looked like it! The hotel from the movie was the Grand Hotel in Mackinaw Island.

Our travels continued in California where we lived for 7 years following our time in Denver. We traveled into Arizona, ventured into Mexico (just the border towns and not often) and we went to Nevada, and even a little into New Mexico. We headed out several times to the Grand Canyon. The closest we got was the Grand Canyon Caverns. The funniest travel story in California happened when we were planning a trip we actually never got to take (although it is on "my travels to do in the future" list. Dan and I decided to go to Carlsbad caverns one day. It was our plan to travel over the fourth of July weekend. That way we would have three days to do this trip and we could be back in time for us to both go to work on Tuesday. I had no idea how to get to Calsbad Cavern once we got to New Mexico so in prep for the trip I called the visitors station and asked directions. The conversation went something like this:

"Hello, this is Carlsbad visitor center. How can I help you?"

"Hi, yes, my husband and I are planning on coming over to see the caverns over the fourth of July weekend and we are wondering if we can have some information."

"Sure what is it I can help you with?"

"Well, Dan and I need to know the hours the caverns are open for tours. We are driving and we want the timing to work out perfectly."

(The volunteer offered the time schedule of all the tours over the holiday weekend and since the hours were pretty long it sounded like it would work out great. We didn't want to have to spend all day driving there only to find that we could only spend an hour touring the caverns because of a reduced holiday schedule.)

"Well that sounds great. Now we would love directions on how to get to the caverns."

"Yes maam. What airport will you be flying into?"

"Oh no, no. we will be driving and we are coming from San Diego."


"Yes. We thought we would get in the car early Saturday morning/ Friday night and we would probably be at the caverns Saturday evening and get a good night sleep and be ready for the tours Sunday morning...."

"Who is this?"

"I beg your pardon?"

"Where is the camera?"

"My camera? in the car waiting for the rest of the luggage. Why?"

(It took a few seconds for the volunteer to respond but she eventually did with this question.) "This is a joke right?"

"No... no.. Dan and I love to drive to new areas and we are only one state away."

Again there was silence then the woman said "Maam you do know that to get to this park you have to go into Texas and then back into New Mexico?"


"Yes Maam...."

"So I take it that this is not a simple day trip?"

"Maam, The caverns are about 900 miles from San Diego. Are you sure you aren't flying?"

Truly I wasn't. I just wanted to go somewhere new. Needless to say that wasn't it.

Well there is more to our travels but they will have to wait till after Christmas. In the meantime, I hope you have a terrific Christmas and don't forget our day after Christmas dinner. Door opens at 4:00 and dinner is at 5:00-ish. If you're a musician and care to, bring an instrument and join the jam after dinner. If you can't be here in body, join us on the net. Merry Christmas everyone!!

Travels off Whidbey Island

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