Saturday, April 30, 2011

Leaving Silver City 4/29/2011

Yesterday, 4/28, was our last day in Silver City. Maybe for a while, since it was always the race that drew us back. We are still in a eating out mode so we have lunch at Big Time Burgers. We had a recommendation to this place on another visit. I wondered how it could still be operational with new chain burger places virtually surrounding it, McDonalds, Blakes, and Sonic. But it is a Mexican burger place. Besides us all the customers were Hispanic. Do you want hot or mild chilies on your burger? They also offer fried zuchinni rounds. Very tasty.

Dinner out is a recommendation from the Markely's. The Wrangler. Certainly a place that mainly draws the horse lover locals. Lots of TV's tuned to various sports events. I enjoyed my crispy chicken BLT salad. William had catfish and onion rings. We watched a basketball game.

Today we were on the road by 9 AM. Not much wind as we retrace our steps toward Mogollon (mugeeyon). We continue on toward Springerville, AZ with the thought of eating in our old favorite Blue Bird Cafe. But it is now the Blue Bird Antique Shop. We get a recommendation to Java Blues. I really like the décor and layout of the place. The upstairs has a deli sandwich counter with coffee and baked goods. Downstairs has a full bar and clever New Orleans décor. The girls at the faux windows are nicely done. William goes for a signature Border Burger with guacamole and beer battered french fries, which he said was great. I am still in a salad mood so I choose one of their special salads, Blues Salad and a cup of the soup of the day. I was concerned about the soup as broccoli cheddar is not my favorite, but it was well done, thin rather than thick. The salad looked fine with pecans, blueberries, and blue cheese bits on assorted lettuce. The dressing was a blueberry, blue cheese vinaigrette. But the blueberries were not fresh. They were soggy soft and the dressing tasted of old berries also. I ate some. I should have sent it back. William mentioned the problem to the waitress and the cook sent his apology.

The wind is worse now. We press on in the howling wind toward Homolovi Ruins State Park. There is a lot of dust blowing and tumbleweeds have stuck in the fences to make furry tan fences. In the lees of some of the road cuts tumble weeds have piled in drifts. We spot some nice lenticular clouds.
At Homolovi the wind is still fierce, shaking the RV.

4/30/2011 Not much to say about driving on highway 40. We left early to avoid some of the wind. We took 93 to go past Hoover Dam. Really a zoo there. At least we had toured the dam years ago with the kids. So we just looked a bit at the new highway and how they handle the crowds now. The first thing you notice about Lake Mead is the huge drought driven bath tub ring. I found an interesting dynamic graph of the water levels.

We picked a nice looking RV park in Boulder City out of the AAA Camp book. But they don't take class B RV's. You can almost hear the nose in the air. I am sure they do not take pop up's either. Just the big rigs. We are recommended to a park down the road. Just fine place with very fast internet.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Silver City NM and Tour of the Gila

It was windy over the top
and for our first day in Silver City. We ate out at Shevek our first night here. This is a great place for tapas. I thought 4 was the right number of tapas, but I think next time we are here I might try three. I took a picture of the dessert. I was too intimidated by the waiter to to take more pictures.
At least the winds die down for the start of the Tour of the Gila. We are here to help Jon's former team for at least the first two days, even though he won't be here.
We managed to look up Dick Markley and Gail. They have a lovely home high up in Silver City. This area is fine for horse-lovers. We met their foreign exchange student. A very nice young man named Ben from Finland. He goes home in June after 11 months in the USA. He says he basically loses a year of schooling at home, but it is a great experience. Gail did an excellent dinner of Mexican food.
We said good-bye to the boys after the race today. Maybe they will come to Nevada City.Blurry boys in the back of the bus from yesterday. Mike on the left and Greg on the right. At least you can see Greg's leg.

Monday, April 25, 2011

More Eating and Soaking in Truth or Consequences

Last night we ate out at our favorite restaurant Bella Luca. We shared a bruscetta. Then William had an Italian steak and I had cannelli beans and greens with a chicken cutlet.
We went out for lunch today to the Happy Belly Deli. It is a strange place. Great breakfast and lunch food but the ambiance is odd. I guess it was an old house. The no longer used windows are strangely boarded up. These lions probably did not originally have posts out of their backs nor face a weird fence. I keep hoping they might fix their patio. But no such luck.Balance a table leg on a rock and hope your chair with the leg in a hole is stable. William had a green chile philly sandwich and I had a tempeh reuben.This is just 1/2 as it was so good I ate half before taking a picture.
After much more relaxing and soaking we went back to Bella Luca. We shared fried calamari. They fry the rings then toss them with rings of pepperoncini chili peppers and bits of pimento pepper and then serve them on a bed of greens and dust them with chopped Italian parsley and Parmesan cheese. Unbelievable.William had pasta al pesto with chicken and I had special ravioli made by grandma. I brought 2 of the ravioli home to save room for dessert. Don't ask about the picture of the Tiramisu. Lady fingers layered with mascarpone and whipped cream filling topped with shaved chocolate and served with a pot of espresso and brandy sauce. It was eaten too fast for a picture. Tonight we had a special soak in one of the private tubs facing the river. Time to think about packing up and heading to Silver City tomorrow.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Catching up

From Boulder to Santa Fe to Truth or Consequences NM
Surprises from Jon. He is retiring from road racing. He hopes to continue cyclocross after they move to Chico in June.
We left Boulder the morning of the 23rd. It was spitting snow.We celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary in Santa Fe. The Luminaria was the lovely restaurant William picked for our meal. We window shopped around the plaza before going to eat. I was looking at sapphires, the stone for 45 years.
45 years

William had delicious duck on polenta.
I had salmon. I seldom remember to take a picture first.
So guess who nibbled at the red chile flan and citrus sorbet.

A windy drive today down to Truth Or Consequences NM. We are staying at the Riverbend Hot Springs Resort.We are here a couple of days before we head to Silver City. We will still help Jon's former team at the Tour of the Gila race as much as we can.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Goodland Kansas to Boulder Colorado

The Goodland KOA was five star with no one there.
An artist is painting giant copies of Van Gogh's sunflower pictures in different countries that grow lots of sunflowers.
They had a nice High Prairie Museum in Goodland. This old helicopter really did not work.
Here we are in Boulder.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

We Still Like Ike

Abilene, Kansas, boyhood home of Dwight David Eisenhower and site of his Presidential Library, Museum and Final Resting Place.

We go over to the chapel that contains his and Mamie's tomb.
I am very touched.
The Chapel where he rests.

He was a great man. When I was in third grade I went over to the neighbor's and watched the Republican National Convention on their TV. We got our first TV about 4 years later.
I was a great Ike fan and still am. No president is perfect and he did some things I cannot agree with (But few knew how evil the CIA was/is) and there were things he did that I was sorry Congress watered down. He was a moderate who was courted by the Democrats and the Republicans before he decided to run as a Republican. At the end of his two terms he was still very popular and would have won a third term if it had been allowed. Walter Lippmann said Eisenhower would have won even if he were dead.

William imitates the general.
Ike's boyhood home.

We both enjoyed the museum, though we tended to skip around each other. William passed me in the Mamie section and I passed him in the WWII section, but we finished about the same time. We both like this quote among many. He left many good quotes.

When we were looking at a display about Kansas in the Library, we saw a display about the rock fences. In the West when there were rock fences, they were the traditional type where the farmer keeps stacking up rocks from the field along the edge and eventually has a fence. These rock fences are different. Where streams have cut in and made bluffs you see sandstone that was easily cut into blocks. Without much source of wood for fence posts, the farmers used sandstone blocks for fence posts and strung barbed wire between the posts. Many posts still stand along 70. A few were used along the edge of a road at a rest stop.
These were buried a bit deeper than they were originally, but you can still see where the wire cut in.
Before we get to the Goodland KOA, our stop for the night we see snow along the edge of the road.
The man who owns the KOA said it snowed here just a few days ago.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Illinois to Kansas

We leave Litchfield after the morning thunderstorm has let up by 9AM. We enjoyed our stay at Aunt Alice's house.

Being along the Eisenhower Highway system
reminds us that the Eisenhower Presidential library and museum are in Abilene Kansas. We will visit the Museum in the morning. The last Republican I whole heartedly endorsed. Though during the Bush years I grew nostalgic for Nixon.

We push on to an RV park close to Abilene. This RV park, like many we have stayed at on this trip, has seen better days.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Up to Springfield

The Lincoln Presidential Library Museum in Springfield beckons. We arrive at Ruthie's and had a nice visit while we waited for Mary Kay and Rich.
The Museum is fabulous and the Team of Rivals section had information that we were not familiar with. I bought the book for us.
William and I visit with the Lincoln family.
us and the young Lincoln
The three cousins, Ruthie engineered the Springfield visit. She is a museum docent.
the Lincoln Home

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ariston Party Number Two

Today we took Aunt Alice and family out to the Ariston for their famous Sunday Brunch Buffet.

Lazy Days in Illinois

We have been having a lovely time here in Litchfield. We are staying with Aunt Alice, Dad's younger brother's widow, a most gracious hostess. Because Ted was quite a bit younger than Dad and Alice married quite young, she is only 10 years older than me.

We had a lovely family get together of the Schneider side.

Cousin Sue and her son Ben

Scott came up from Florida. He comes up every once in a while. He cooked a huge Cuban style dinner.

A big motivation in coming was to visit mom's sister. At soon to be 97, she is the last remaining of the Whitlock brothers and sisters. She is in a large assisted living right now. She gets around quite well with her walker and has no major health problems, just a little short term forgetfulness. A drive with Ruth and cousin Patty out to the country had to take in the former Crabtree one room school house
where she taught for many years and the farm where Cousin Frank and his wife Patty live now.

Cousin Mary Kay was planning a gathering to visit Aunt Ruth this same weekend. So we pulled cousins out of the woodwork and had a gathering of 16, minus a few spouses who were busy and a few cousins out of state.
The venue was Aunt Ruth's favorite restaurant, the Ariston, in business on route 66 since 1924.

Today we are going to take Aunt Alice, cousins Janet and Sue out to lunch at the Ariston. It is the place to go in Litchfield.