Saturday, March 23, 2019

Fort Worth Area on our Road trip - Mar 2019

We drove from Abilene to Aledo TX on Thursday.  We arrived in Abilene the night before and found a La Quinta motel.  This was the first time in a long time that we have stayed with them and we were impressed.  The room with a king-sized bed was in the $70 range after taxes.  The room was in good shape.  We could pay more for a better room, but we had to pay what is costs for a Hampton Inn or a Fairfiled/Marriott.

We've been staying at Days Inn and that has been OK.  It has been costing over $70 after taxes.  The beds are OK and the rooms have been clean, but the furniture and rooms are a little beat up.   So we liked what we have found at La Quinta.  We will be giving them another try.

We asked for brisket BBQ recommendations at the front desk and were informed dinner at Betty Rose BBQ was pretty good.  So we gave it a try.
It was what we were hoping for and fit the bill.  We had overloaded in NM on New Mexican food, so it was nice to have a change.

After dinner we went to Walmart and also filled up the gas tank at Murphy's gas.  I took Pam back to the room and then went over to Starbucks to do more work on my manuscript.  I didn't last too long, but progress is progress.

We got up the next morning and shared a decent breakfast at Denny's.  Since we were in no hurry to get to Fort Worth, we took a leisurely windshield tour of Abilene after the morning workday started.  We liked Abilene.   The town has a few historical places and some museums that would be good to see on a future visit.  We were there early, so none were yet open, and we hit the highway and continued down the road.
After we got on the outskirts of Abilene Pam asked if I had anything to followup on.  I did, so she drove most of the rest of the way to Aledo.  I was able to correspond with USAA who handling our homeowners insurance.  I also got in touch with the mortgage company and did some things.  We are on schedule for closing next Friday morning, March 29.

We arrived at Brad's and Sue's place late morning and just hung out for a while.  Sue is a beloved high school counselor and at work so we ran some errands and got back to their place in time for some golf and NCAA basketball on TV.

We went out to dinner at Drakes's Yoke near their place and returned for the evening.  On Friday while Sue was a school Pam drove the golf cart while Brad and I played 18 holes at Hawks Creek Golf Course.

It was a gorgeous day and we had a great time.  I think we even got a birdie or two...
Next after golf, we had lunch in Fort Worth at the Railhead Smokehouse.  It was amazing and even better than the brisket we had in Abilene.

Last night Jo and Andy came over for dinner.  We had the pleasure of meeting them while we were stationed at Norton AFB, CA in the 1980's.  Brad and Sue knew them before we did when Andy and Brad flew tankers while stationed at Loring AFB, ME.  It was a great evening full of reminiscing and catching up.

Pam and I have had a fantastic road trip and we are very grateful to be seeing friends and family during the last couple of weeks.

Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

On the Road Again Only Different...

We don't close on our house in Norfolk until the last Friday of the month, so we are taking a road trip to TN, AR, OK, NM, AZ, TX, AL and NC to see family and friends.  This post is about our first two days where we went as far as Conway, AR.

We thought, "Why not?"  Maybe we should re-think buying another RV and just take road trips. We shall see, but since we have a three weeks it was a good time to travel and see how we like it.  My hypothesis is, "it will not compare to the wonder and joy of RV living, but it can still be good."

On Day 1 of our trip, we made it to Maynardville, TN for an overnight stop.  We like to get on the road early and crept out of our 5-star accommodations at Goldmanor (Kelly and Jon's house where we are staying) and made stops at Wawa for coffee and McDonals for a couple of egg McMuffins.
We crossed over the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel as the sun was rising. Then it was on to Richmond on I-64 over to I-81.  Before we got there we crossed through the Shenandoahs and were greeted with this.
Yikes!  Snow!  It only lasted for about 20 minutes but it definitely got our attention.  We keep thinking we have avoided winter but that hasn't happened entirely.  The last three weeks in Virginia Beach have been a mix of different weather with some warmer days and some cold ones lately.

We pulled into Mike and Joan's neighborhood about 3:30 PM and since we were only going to be able to stay overnight, we better see Helen and Bill first.  Chances are that we would not be leaving Joan and Mike's once we got settled in.  So we stopped in to see Helen who had just returned from Physical Therapy.  She had knee-replacement surgery and Bill had her all set up in an easy chair with her knee raised.  Everything is going well with her recovery except the pain.  Ouch! She did say to much about it but once we asked questions she indicated it is some major pain.  But she is dealing with it and getting a little better each day.

Next stop was Joan and Mike's.  We unloaded our suitcases and air mattress and sleeping bags and it worked out fine.  Mike had fixed dinner and we had some great fajitas and beans.  On our way to Virginia Beach after selling the Roadrunner, we stopped in to see them and they were both ill.  They were much improved and were like their old selves so we were thankful for that.

On Day 2, we headed out of the driveway before six AM and got on I-40 heading west.  We refueled a couple of times along the way.  It is a bit of a shock to fill up on a road trip for under $30 when we were used to filling up the Roadrunner for $250-$300 a pop.  We like the lower numbers.  I noticed its not as easy to take a quick nap in the car as it was in the Roadrunner, but it is manageable.

The weather forecast didn't look too good on our route because of high winds, rain, and the threat of tornados.  We didn't want to do anything crazy, but we kept on eye on things as we traveled. We hit some rain for a couple of hours then it was mostly high winds toward Little Rock, AR.  About noon the east bound traffic on I-40 was backed up for a couple of miles as they cleaned things up from a tractor trailer that over turned.  Not sure exactly what happened but he may have gotten blown into the side rail in the passing lane and went over.  Out side heading west was fine.

We arrived in Little Rock and drove downtown to the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum.  It is one we had not seen before so we were hoping to see it and the Arkansas State Capitol.
The grounds are well maintained and in a great location a few blocks from downtown Little Rock.  On thing that struck me was the size of the building.  I might be the largest of the Presidential libraries we have seen in our travels.
 Both outside and inside the grounds, we saw artwork of Dale Chihuly.  We love his work.
Inside, the security was friendly and we paid the $8 fee before going to the third floor and taking a self guided tour.
 View from the third floor toward downtown Little Rock.
The Oval Office is always an interesting place.  Many of the presidential libraries we've seen have life-size replicas like this one.  For $50 we could side behind the presidential desk and get our picture taken.  Yikes!  We passed on that one.
We weren't able to spend the time it deserved, but we were glad for the chance to see it briefly.  It is one of the more well done presidential libraries we've been to and I was very impressed.

The afternoon weather was a big change from what we had experienced most of the day.  We drove over to the capitol building.  I was closed but I managed to take a few pictures.  
We thought we could drive some more and continued on I-40 to Conway AR where we got a motel for the evening.  After two hard days of driving, we went to dinner and then back to the motel and hit the sack.  

That's all we will relay for now and I'll save some more for the next couple legs of the trip to Tucson. Thanks for joining us on this adventure of the Roadrunner Chronicles!