Monday, October 14, 2013

Where in the U.S.A. are Deb and Arnie?

My parents are driving to their home in Las Vegas, Nevada this week. They are taking stops along the way and we are going to track their route to help us learn U.S. geography and map skills--and get highlights of the states they pass through. I'm sure we'll get some Math in there, too, as we figure out mileage, miles per hour, average daily mileage/speed, etc.

Once they arrive, we will figure out how they got from A to B and talk about everything in between!

1. This is the view of their house as they were leaving Woodbury, VT. (Saturday, 10/12)

2. Here is my mom at the Fair Haven, VT rest stop. Good-bye, Vermont! (Saturday, 10/12)

3. My stepdad loves Guy Fieri's show "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" on the Food Network. This restaurant in Syracuse, NY was one of many stops at Guy-endorsed restaurants that they will make, I'm sure! (Saturday, 10/12)

4. Niagara Falls was closed due to the government shut-down (it is a national park), but the falls are so large that there were many vantage points that were still accessible to the public. Maybe no Maid of the Mist this time, but still a spectacular view. (Sunday, 10/13)

5. Next, they were on to Pennsylvania. (Sunday, 10/13)

6. No stops in Pennsylvania and they entered Ohio for a long-awaited trip to...

Hank Williams's suit, he was my granddad's favorite.

Alice Cooper's boots...
We have a family joke about The Doors's Ray Manzarek.
...And Bootsie Collins's fur coat!
Angus's (AC/DC) suit
Lucky for them, the Stones were the main exhibit!

7. ... The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland! (Monday, 10/14) They ended the day in Toledo--

8. --after having lunch on Lake Erie, where Deb reports it was VERY windy.

Flat Ohio
Gary, Indiana

 9. Deb's Log: We left Holy Toledo yesterday and drove on I-90 into Chi-Town. After Toledo, the rest of Ohio and on into Indiana was pretty flat; lots of corn fields and giant irrigation arms. Gary, Indiana must be the grimmest, and grimiest, city in the US. I think it might even beat the smell tours of New Jersey. 

10. Next Stop: Chicago!

Skydrive into the city


Lakeshore Drive

Lake Michigan

A Ukrainian church

Deb's Log: Stardate - Chicago, October 16th -- Dinner last night with Arnie's cousin Joyce was delicious. Rigatoni Napoli at Coletti's; great bread, wine, and Tiramisu for dessert. A 7-mile drive took us over an hour on the way, 15 minutes back to the hotel. Traffic and trains. It was nice to check in to the hotel in Chicago after the previous nights. Arnie is lugging a velvet Crown Royal bag full of change to pay the tolls. The first five toll attendants were quite put out by having to count the quarters. Didn't say 'thanks' or 'have a nice day'! Slammed their doors shut after they determined the amount was right. Finally, in Chicago, a great African-American women said, "Honey, you sneaked a nickel in there for a quarter. Now, you give me another quarter, an' I'm gonna give your nickel back. You have a nice day, baby!!" 

Rode around in Chicago today. Through the Loop, saw the Picasso sculpture. Went down Lakeshore Drive which parallels Lake Michigan up to Old Irving Park. Beautiful architecture, beautiful townhouses and homes. Drove through the Polish section of town which still has most of its advertising in their native tongue. Pretty cool. Had lunch at Chicago's best kept secret; Sabatino's. Spinach and parmesan soup, followed by insalata caprese with fresh mozzarella, then grilled chicken with the mozzarella on homemade focaccia bread. Just let me say, it entailed an extra half hour on the treadmill! 

We followed up lunch with an exciting couple of hours at a combination Laundromat and tacqueria (run by a Polish gentleman) where we impressed the young Latinos with our velvet change bag!

11. Deb's Log: Stardate - Somewhere near Elk Grove, IL, October 17th -- We're skipping Iowa.

12. Deb's Log: - Somewhere near Dixon, IL, October 17th -- One hundred miles in the pouring rain. Just went through Dixon, Illinois; birthplace of Ronald Reagan. Crossing the Mississippi in about an hour. Sky is clearing.

The Mighty Mississip'

13. Looks like Iowa lured them in!

Welcome to Iowa!

Iowa 80, world's largest truck stop

14. Deb's Log: - Somewhere In Nebraska, October 18th -- McDonalds coffee in hand, 36 degrees and we're on the road in Nebraska. Actually very beautify here; corn and wheat fields and VERY flat. 

15. Deb's Log: - Near the Fort Cody Trading Post in North Platte, Neb., October 18th -- Drove from Omaha to Brighton, Colorado today. Wheat Fields, corn, and cattle. Just call me butter cuz I'm in the breadbasket of America!!!! 

16. Colorado at Last!

17. Proof that Colorado roads are like Vermont roads... times 10:

18. More from the Wild West...

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