Tag Archives: road trip

Weekly Photo Challenge: Treat

A treat can be many things. 

Beautiful flowers,

a day at the beach,

or Death By Chocolate Brownies.

rain carmel chocoFor me the best Treat is a road trip.


loto4 crotav11 crotav2 DIGITAL CAMERA decept pass colo1 sfl jm15And the Ultimate Treat……

Driving the streets of Washington D.C. with absolutely No Traffic!

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See the treats other bloggers are showing


Wandering Down the Road: Okinawa

Sometimes you find the most interesting things when you just wander around, camera in hand, going nowhere in particular.

EPSON MFP imageA view up the hill from the road.EPSON MFP imageIf you can’t have the real thing, make your own.

EPSON MFP imageShisa standing guard, protecting the home.EPSON MFP imageA little landscaping for sale.EPSON MFP imageOkinawan tombs are unique and beautiful.EPSON MFP imageThere’s a storm headed our way.EPSON MFP imageSwan boats on a lake south of Nago.EPSON MFP imageA Temple in the Nakagusuku area.EPSON MFP imageA rainy day at Hedo Point.EPSON MFP imageDowntown Nago.EPSON MFP imageOlder house near Shuri Castle.EPSON MFP imagePaved road or dirt trail, we drive Everywhere!EPSON MFP imageGodzilla wants to communicate.EPSON MFP imageHiga River.EPSON MFP imageIt’s time to harvest the sugar cane.EPSON MFP imageSwimming at Kadena Marina.EPSON MFP imageThere are bullet holes from WWII in this Shisa.EPSON MFP imageTaking a picture of you taking a picture of me.

EPSON MFP imageOne of the new hotels.EPSON MFP imageA wonderful place for a picnic.

EPSON MFP imageI love tunnels.  This one is on the northwest side of the island.EPSON MFP imageBuild it and they will come.

EPSON MFP imageWow.  Somebody has a cool house.

EPSON MFP imageSome things just are not there anymore.  This is a blurry photo of Aquapolis.  A futuristic concept of a city of the future.  People could ride solar powered go carts on the top and walk thru a glass tunnel under the water. It was towed away and scrapped in 1993.  Too Bad.  It was pretty cool.

These are just a small handful of photos that our family took while stationed on Okinawa from 1985 to 1988.  I’m saving the touristy places photos for a different day.

Mōichido kite kudasai

Five Things You Should Never Do When Traveling

down the road

#1   Leave Your Child At A Rest Area

Yes, I almost did this.  Many years ago.  We were traveling from my brother-in-law’s house in Oklahoma City to our home in Washington state with our now adult son.  He was three when we almost left him at a Rest Area in Texas.  We had stopped to use “the facilities” and decided to stay a while when we saw their playground.  Little kids gotta play, ya know.  After about 20 minutes we decided it was time to get back on the road.  We popped the kid into the back seat of the car and took a few minutes to get rid of the snack bags and pop cans.  We got in the car, hubby looked back to make sure he wasn’t going to back up over anybody, and said in a surprised voice “Where’s Erik?”  I looked back like I couldn’t believe he didn’t see him and freaked.  The kid was gone!  We both jumped out of the car and I headed straight for the playground.  Sure enough, there he was, happily playing.  Whew, heart attack averted.  While we were cleaning out the trash he had let himself out of the car.  He was not ready to leave.  For the rest of the trip he yelled “I got to potty every time he saw a blue sign.  Long story short, if you have kids, check and re-check before you leave your parking spot.

# 2   Dress Up For A Long Hour Flight

Yup, did this one, too.  I was vain enough to dress in a dress with a jacket, panty hose, and heels for a 14 hour flight from Japan to Seattle.  With a bunch of luggage and 2 kids in tow, no less.  The flight was a long and I was wishing I had worn jeans and a tee shirt.  I grumped at myself every time I needed to use the lavatory, but that wasn’t the worst.  Our plane ride was from Okinawa, Japan to San Francisco with a stop in Anchorage to refuel.  In San Fran there was customs and a plane change before our final destination with a stop in Portland, OR.  San Francisco was when I decided that I would never again wear heels on a plane.  Our plane landed in California a little late.  We only had an hour to go through customs and make it to the other end of the huge terminal for the next flight.  Thank goodness I was blessed with the best husband of all time.  He grabbed a luggage cart, put all the luggage and our youngest son on the cart.  I took off my shoes, grabbed our oldest son’s hand, and we literally ran at full speed across the terminal.  Thank goodness we made it, barely.  The take away, wear comfortable clothes and shoes you can run in.

# 3   Let A Toddler Ride Next To An Open Window

Yeah.  If you’ve ever been around a toddler you know how much they like to play fetch.  They throw, you fetch, they laugh and throw again.  On one particular trip across our state we lost two pacifiers and a baby bottle.  Pacifier number one went out the window first.  No problem, we had a spare with us.  I gave him his bottle with watered down apple juice (he liked it that way).  Ten or so miles down the road the bottle went out the window, thank goodness it was plastic.  Hubby turned around and we went back and picked it up.  Baby got his bottle back and we continued down the road.  Several miles later, bottle went out the window again! Daddy turned around we we went back to retrieve the bottle, again.  Just as we got to the place where the bottle was, in the middle of the road, a pickup coming from the other direction ran over the bottle.  It was a goner.  Smashed.  History.  Needless to say, we did not retrieve the bottle.  He cried, I gave him the spare pacifier.  You would think I would be smart enough to roll up the window.  I wasn’t.  More miles down the road the pacifier went out the window.  Hubby said he was not going back for the pacifier.  Baby cried for miles.  First town we came to we stopped at three stores before we found a replacement.  Kid spent the rest of the trip with the window up.  We had learned our lesson.

#4  Wear White Pants

When I was in high school my mother and I drove from our home north of Seattle to eastern Washington to visit with friends.  We left early in the morning so we brought a thermos of coffee with us.  Driving over the North Cascades Highway, miles and miles from the nearest town, we both spilled an entire cup of coffee in our lap.  It was summer and we were both wearing white pants.  By the time we got to the first town, Winthrop, we smelled like stale coffee.  Yuck.  We stopped at a small café to use the restroom and washed our pants out in the sink.  The coffee stains were lighter but not gone.  At least we smelled better.  We bought 2 7-Ups to go and got back in the car with wet pants.  Not our finest moments.  The lesson, wear brown pants that dry fast.

#5   Take A Nap In A Parking Lot In The Middle Of The Night

Mother and I did this twice.  The first time when I was about twelve.  We lived in Idaho at the time and we were slowly moving to northwest Washington.  My dad left Idaho for a better job a little north of Seattle.  He rented a house and we moved a little each weekend until the end of the school year.  Mom usually packed a few things during the week after work and packed as much as she could into the car on Friday after work.  My 2 little brothers shared the back seat with a box between them and small boxes on the floor.  Late on Friday night it was very foggy on the Seattle side of the Cascade mountains.  My mother decided that between the fog and her sleepiness, it would be safest to pull into a parking lot at the next town and nap until daylight.  We woke up between 2 cars in a used car lot.  This still cracks me up when I think about it.

The next time was a few years later.  It was mom and me again, driving to Idaho to visit my aunt and cousins.  The gas gauge was getting close to empty.  It was like one in the morning and the gas station was closed in the little town we stopped in.  We parked next to the building by the bathrooms, locked the doors and put our seats back for a nap.  Just before daylight a very loud banging on the car woke us up.  It was the local police.  We were told we were not allowed to sleep in the car at the gas station.  We told him we were out of gas and were waiting for the station to open.  He said he would let it go, this time.  The Take away.  Gas up before going into no man’s land.  Eastern Washington is not very populated.

A Forgotten Piece of History in the Middle of No-Wheresville, Missouri


Spencer, Missouri.  A long forgotten tiny town along an equally forgotten section of the great Mother Road, Route 66.  Here lies a piece of Route 66 that even most Missourians don’t know about.  This piece of Route 66 is barely over a mile long and is bypassed by State Route 96.


 We found Spencer, MO early one Saturday morning when we were out for what we call our sunrise coffee drive.  We took pictures, peeked in windows and then researched it’s history after we got home.


 We didn’t find very much information.  A post office was set there sometime around the end of the Civil War.  The population was never very much, and before Route 66 was built it was pretty much a ghost town.  When Route 66 was built through Spencer the town came alive again.  A man named Sydney Casey bought the land that the town sat on around 1925 and built a gas station.  It did a pretty good business and soon a café, store and barber shop were also opened.




 With opening of Interstate 44 several miles to the south of Spencer the town fell into a decline and became a ghost town again.  Not too many years ago the Ryan family from Kansas purchased the land from Kent Casey, the grandson of Sydney.


 The Ryans have put a lot of time into their project of restoring the one building that is left.


 Spencer lies about 20 miles west of Springfield, Missouri, very close to I-44.  The easiest way to get there is to get on I-44 at Springfield and head west to the Avilla/Hwy 96 exit.  Travel west on 96 about 3 miles, turn left on County Road N.  Turn right at the first road you see, the bridge is Route 66.

Time Travel To When Stonehenge Was New?


No, not quite. This Stonehenge is on the north bank of the Columbia River, on the Washington State side. Yes, it is life size. Perfect for those of us who can’t make it to England.

It is actually a ­­­­memorial to soldiers who died in World War I. A plaque on the monument reads:To the memory of the soldiers and sailors of Klickitat County who gave their lives in defense of their country. This monument is erected in hope that others inspired by the example of their valor and their heroism may share in that love of liberty and burn with that fire of patriotism which death alone can quench.

The memorial was built by Samuel Hill (May 13, 1857—February 26, 1931), a lawyer, businessman and advocate for good roads. He wanted to use stone from the area to build the monument but the local stone was not good enough to please him, so he decided to use reinforced concrete. He made it look like hand-hewn stone by lining the wooden forms with crumpled tin. The Stonehenge memorial was completed in 1929. Next to the memorial he tried to build a small town complete with paved roads. The isn’t anything left of town. There is a mansion that he had built for his wife but never lived in several miles to the west. The mansion is now the Mary Hill Museum.

Samuel Hill’s body was cremated and the ashes are in a crypt just below the Stonehenge Memorial.

The Stonehenge Memorial is about 100 miles east of Portland, Oregon and about 80 miles south of Yakima, Washington. A very worthy road trip.

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park

If you are planning a trip to Branson Missouri sometime this year, try to make it in April or May when the Redbuds and Dogwoods are blooming.  Give yourself an extra day for a side trip to a place called Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, a 10,000 acre landscaped park with lawns, streams, springs, waterfalls and wild areas. This beautiful park is about 25 miles southwest of Branson.

Walk-in admission to the park is $8.95 per person. This is good if you have a bicycle to bring with you.  If not, my suggestion is that you pay $25.95 for the Tram Tour. This is the route my husband and went. The tram takes you on a 2 hour tour of the park, stopping at many picturesque places along the way. You get fantastic photo opportunities all along the way of waterfalls, picnic areas, the stream, a chapel, unique rocks and in April and May the beautiful flowers of the Redbud and Dogwood trees.

Dogwood Canyon crosses the border into Arkansas. The Arkansas area of the park is where herds of buffalo, deer and elk are kept. The tram tour includes a tour through the areas where the animals roam. There are many stops along the way for picture taking.  For the more adventurous there are horse and Segway rentals. Fishing is encouraged.

My photos were taken in early May.ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Oklahoma City Bricktown Buffalo


While Bricktown in Oklahoma City is not off the beaten path, the painted Buffalo may be Bricktown’s almost hidden gem.

At 32 East Main Street, at the entrance to Bricktown in Oklahoma City, you will find the OK Corrall. What was once a vacant lot is now the place where you can find a small herd of painted buffalo. They were part of a 2007 Centennial Project and originally were spread around the downtown area. The buffalo and lunch in Bricktown is very much worth the road trip. Bricktown has many good restaurants and there is even a Bricktown Water Taxi that meanders thru Bricktown on what I think is a man made canal.

The painted Buffalo are in the upper left part of the map in the following link, at the intersection of Main Street and the railroad tracks. It’s just too bad they are not marked on the map, but I wanted to include this map because of the restaurant guide.



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