Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Costa Rica

I have been kind of slacking about this. I actually forgot the site.

The trip started off amonously. Teri was 1/2 hour late in getting to my hose,so we were pretty late to the airport. We made it to the plane but Toni was in a panic, since we had not arrived when they started boarding. No worries, we got there before they called for our seats to board.
Next, we were all set, so I let Barb know we would be in time to Atlanta. Pretty amazing for a flight out of MSP in January. So we pulled away from the gate, then disaster. A women freaked out and had to get off the plane! We had to go back to the gate, once they found an open one and let her off. After getting her off and deicing, we were finally under way, 1 1/2 hours late. We met Barb in Atlanta, had some lunch and 4 hours later,off to Costa Rica! ThanksBarb for waiting around for us and having lunch. It was great to see you.

We arrived pretty late at the condo where we are staying, so we called it a night.

Saturday dawned bright & early. It was perfect weather so we hit the beach. The beach was beautifal. Wonderful,warm blue green water, with boat docked out a ways. We walked long the beach, checked out some of the shops and headed into town to find groceries.

Time to hit the pool. Of course, because I had tried to get a base tan before I left, I was comfortable outside,big mistake. My shoulder,chest and back didn't tan at the salon, but my stomach which hasn't seen the sun, since I was 14 and will not on this trip, of course is super tan and has no chance of burning! Of course I got burned!!

To be continued.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Heading North

It was a fun week taking in the sites around the middle section of the country, but it was time to start heading north.
We drove up Hwy 7 out of Hot Spring, through the winding mountain roads. It took 2 hours to drive from Hot Spring up to interstate 40. 70 miles!!! Once on 40, we quickly got to our first stop, Pea Ridge National Battlefield. I had never heard of this place, but it was worth the stop. It also was a stop on the Trail of Tears. We had a very nice picnic in the wonderfully warm afternoon and headed north once more toward Kansas City.
A very nice discovery on our was was a stop off at George Washington Carver site. We didn't arrive with enough time to enjoy it too much, but next time, we will be sure to have more time to explore.

Finally, 9 hours after leaving Hot Spring, we arrived in Kansas City and went straight to Sue (Kochaver) Tyler's house. Sue was waiting for us, along with Jeff, Amanda and Alex, and our friends Chris (Martins) Scott and her husband Terry. We enjoyed a nice dinner and had a great time visiting with everyone. Oh, it was so good to catch up and laugh, a lot!

We spent a nice night at the Holiday Inn Express in Independence, which I can highly recommend. We were off again in the morning, but before we actually left town, a quick stop at the Truman House and Gates BBQ. We had to bring ribs back home. I guess Kansas City BBQ is the best. Who knows for sure, but it is good.

We had a quick stop in Lamoni and Graceland College for a trip down memory lane for me. I was able to show my sister where I went to school, since no one had seen my old school before. We also had a fun stop at the Pizza Shack and had a quick visit with Janelle (Jones) Anders. It was an enjoyable visit. Janelle, remember, you are welcome to visit and go to the Twins game, any time!

It was a long drive, a little snow along the way, but we finally made it home to Minneapolis by 10.
Now recovery!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ahhhh, Hot Springs

We took a slight detour to get to Hot Springs from Memphis. We went east to Tupelo, Mississippi and checked out the Natchez Trace Parkway. It was an easy drive to Tupelo and for those who are unaware, it is also the birth place of Elvis Presley. Toni was all too aware of this fact. So, the 1st thing we did, was find his birthplace. It was an amazingly small house, with a museum attached. Not much to see, but Toni was so thrilled with this stop.
We went back to the Natchez Trace, did some exploring, found a battle field and had a wonderful picnic in the park. It is so nice to be outside right now. There are even bugs out, so instead of cleaning dirt off the windshield, we scrape off bugs.

We headed off to Hot Springs after our nice picnic. Many hours later and very little interstate, we arrived in Hot Spring. We had prefect weather for the drive. Who can complain about 76 in March!!!

Our 1st full day in Hot Spring was spent in the National Park, of course. This is a bit different than others. We toured the Bathhouses and we even enjoyed a 'bath' followed by a massage. We had our bath at the Buckstaff Bathhouse, which is in the original condition. It is an amazing place. Flowing our 'bath' we headed up to see the sights at the outdoor portion of the park and enjoyed the view of the area from the mountains. Oh yeah, did I mention it was 83 degrees?

Today, we spent a relaxing morning in the Garvin Woodland Garden. It is a beautiful garden area, that is part of the University of Arkansas. The weather is prefect for this stop. Only 62 and sunny, but perfect none the less. We enjoyed the tulips and azaleas and all the other flowers in the garden that are blooming. It is on Lake Hamilton, which is huge. I won the bet that it was a man made lake, but beautiful anyway.

Our time in Hot Spring is coming to an end. We are going to pamper ourselves just a bit more before we leave and enjoy nice spa pedicures. In the morning it is off to Kansas City and the sights along the drive there.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tupelo, Natchez Trace and Driving!

It was a long day of driving today. We started off in Memphis, well actually, Southaven, Mississippi, just across the border from Memphis. We drove to Tupelo to check out the Natchez Trace. What a beautiful parkway. We spent a little time exploring the Trace, and headed over to Tupeolo, and visited Elvis' birth place. Toni is in Elvis heaven!!! She never expected to get to Graceland, but the bonus of his birth place, has made her day.

After a nice picnic in the Trace, we headed off again, for Hot Spring. Having gone east in the morning, we had an additional hour to drive back west to get to Hot Spring. It has been a beautiful day, 78 and sunny for most of the drive. We didn't drive on the interstate, since that would make for a much longer drive. It was nice to be away from all the traffic, especially the semi trucks. We had little traffic until we had to get on the interstate, near Little Rock.

Tomorrow, we have to decide what spa we will enjoy. Massages, pedicures and facials are on the list, along with the mineral baths. aahhh!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Graceland and more

BUSY day today. First thing this morning, it was off to Graceland. Toni is in 7th heaven for this visit. We started there early in the morning with the house tour. We also took in the planes, cars and '68 special. The house was a gaudy as it was in the 70's, but it was fun to see. I could have done without the rest of the tour, but everyone gets to choose what the really want to do. Mine is coming tomorrow.

After Graceland, we headed over to the Civil Rights Museum, at the Loraine Hotel. This is where Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. After viewing all this, not just his history, but everything that lead up to it, I am glad I am not from this area.

Last stop of the day was the Rock & Soul Museum. It was a great tour and I would highly recommend it. It pulled together all the history of this areas music, history and you get to listen to lots of music as well. I would have enjoyed it far more, if I hadn't been so tires.

While feet were very sore and we were all very tired, we swung by Graceland again, to get the last, important photo of the day. The one in front of the music gates.

It was a perfect day, sunny, 80 and a nice breeze! Tomorrow, more of the same!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Road to Memphis

Last night, we made a return trip to the Arch to get night pics of it all lit up. We were successful in getting the pictures, but unsuccessful in getting the super moon, due to the rain. We were so hopeful on Friday, but Saturday, brought rain.

This morning, we were up again, checked out the Lafayette neighborhood, where there were some beautiful old houses. We also stopped off the Grant's house/farm, where he lived before becoming President.

After Grant's House, it was off to Memphis. We arrive in plenty of time to head down to Beale Street, famous for the Blues. There is a Mardi Gras type atmosphere even on a Sunday night. We checked out a few of the clubs, had some yummy BBQ at Pig and headed home.

Tomorrow we have a big day planned, Graceland in the morning, then back to Beale Street for some of the historical sites.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

St. Louis

After a long drive from Minneapolis, and some wrong turns because there really isn't a good navigator(passenger) on this trip we finally arrived in St. Louis about 9pm (we should have been here at 7pm)

Early morning, we headed down the the Arch and were luckily, an hour early to get in line. We were able to get tickets for the 1st tram of the day and up, up we went. It was a cozy ride to the top, but we enjoyed the view. A few more hours and a movie later, we left the Arch for the Old Court House, just blocks away. It was a great history lesson and a great view of the outside of the Arch.

Tired out, we explored a bit of the historic neighborhood next to the Arch and enjoyed a great lunch. Off we went again and found a fun treat place, Gooey Louie. Haven't tried the cake yet, but after dinner, I will.

Just a rest up and then off to the Union Depot and night pictures of the Arch and hopefully the moon too!