North America » United States » Colorado » Rocky Mountains September 26th 2019

We decided to get up early and head into Rocky Mountain National Park to 1. See wildlife and 2. Be able to get to the Bear Lake area before all the construction traffic started. So up and out before 7 - that is hard for Donald, especially on vacation. We tried to grab breakfast somewhere but nobody was open. So we grabbed a muffin and yogurt from the gas station and moved on to the park. We arrived at the Bear Lake parking area around 7:30 and achieved our goal of avoiding the construction and traffic. They were still getting set up. I have to wonder what made them choose this time of year to work on the roads. It is their busy time and seems that their process could be more efficient. We opted to ... read more

North America » United States » Colorado » Rocky Mountains September 25th 2019

Our morning started out cold. We had no hot water for our shower. I don’t mean it was cool, I mean ice cold water. We said something to the desk staff when we stopped by for our sort of continental breakfast. Apparently it was out in the whole building and they were working on it. We got juice and coffee and went back to our room to enjoy cinnamon roles that Donald had purchased from the bakery down the road earlier this morning. The sort of continental breakfast had basically cereal, toast and muffins. Not very hardy. We headed on into Rocky Mountain National Park via the north entrance. We made a quick stop at the welcome center and moved along. We opted for that entrance because a couple of hotel guests told us they went ... read more

North America » United States » Colorado » Rocky Mountains September 24th 2019

Today is the day we head over to Rocky Mountain National Park. I am excited to be going back there. Not sure what it is, but something about that park just keeps calling me back. But this time I get to share it with Donald. Before we would get to RMNP, we would have a lot of driving to do. We left Montrose and began our way to the park. Our rental car did not have a navigation system, so we used our iPhone for maps and directions. Donald likes Google Maps, so we used google to lead us through Colorado. We learned that google likes to bypass cities and will take you on all the back roads to avoid them. We traveled many back roads on this trip. The backroads eventually took us to the ... read more

North America » United States » Colorado » Ouray September 23rd 2019

It was a grand slam morning as we started the day at Denny’s. Our hotel did have a tiny continental breakfast which we did partake of yesterday. Their offering was a choice of 3 kinds of toast, coffee and a piece of fruit. We needed something more today so we went into to town for a filling meal. After we filled ourselves and our car, we headed north. We did not have many miles to cover but the miles we did have were going to be slow. Today’s route was going to take us over the Million Dollar Highway. I have read of a few different reasons that it was named that. 1. It cost a million dollars per mile to build. 2. The drive gives million dollar views. 3. Some people state after they drive ... read more

Today we were up early so that we could get to the Mesa Verde visitor center when they opened to help the staff dig up 2 more tickets for one of the dwelling tours since our luck ran out the day before. Or at least hoping they had found 2 more. It was about an hours drive to the park and we arrived right at 8 am. But we were not the only ones there at opening time. There was already a line for tour tickets. We followed the small crowd and took our place in the queue. After about fifteen minutes I heard the park staff say to someone “not going to happen” in reference to a guest needing 2 tickets for today. I then realized they had a screen displaying the tour times and ... read more

North America » United States » New Mexico » Albuquerque September 21st 2019

We woke up this morning to find ourselves still in Roswell still in our hotel room. Alien abduction avoided. So with no UFO sightings and no aliens being reported in the area, we decided to head out of town towards Albuquerque. It was a another long boring ride as we were once again on a highway that ran alongside vast open land. For miles and miles, nothing but land. Not even trees. Today was mostly a ‘ride to the next town’ kind of day, but having something to entertain you along the way does help the miles go by faster. Even though most of the day’s ride was on the dull side, we have seen some interesting things during the past few days of driving - interesting to us for we do not see them in ... read more

North America » United States » Texas » Guadalupe Mountains September 20th 2019

We said Goodbye to El Paso today as we headed East. There were only 2 items on the agenda for today - Guadalupe Mountains National Park and Carlsbad Caverns National Park. The parks are only about 30 miles from each other so they are both doable in the same day. There was not much to see on the route east for it was mostly just open flat barren land. The cactus trees and bushes started to diminish and any greenery was mainly small brush and grasses. No trees, no buildings, no houses, just land. We drove through a small area known as the salt flats. It was a “shining white expanse of salt-covered earth”. It was an unexpected sight in that desert land. We took in that quick view from the car as we drove by. ... read more

North America » United States » Arizona September 19th 2019

We started the day at IHOP. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day - right? And Donald loves IHOP. It had only 2 other customers in there so service was quick. With our bellies full, we headed back towards I10 which took us by the aircraft boneyard again. This time we saw the other side of the boneyard which we somehow totally missed yesterday. I guess we were too busy looking at all the planes, that we never looked the other direction. We travelled along I10 for a bit and saw a sign that stated El Paso 300 miles. I tried to block it from Donald’s view for that was our end destination for the day and reading 300 miles just makes it seem so far away. But my efforts were ignored and reality ... read more

North America » United States » Arizona September 18th 2019

Southwest took us to the South West. An early flight from Atlanta took us to Phoenix Arizona where the temperature was 102 degrees. Where is Fall? According to the radio, only two more days of the 100 plus temps. That is two days too late. Morning had just arrived in Phoenix when we landed thanks to the time travel side effects of flying east to west. We were both ready for lunch even though it was 8am. Since it was too early for lunch we headed on to our first stop after obtaining our rental car - Casa Grande Ruins. The ruins that remained were unique and it is hard to comprehend how they were able to create such dwellings so long ago. The structures were built around 1350 by the Sonoran Desert people and abandoned ... read more

Europe » Italy March 31st 2018

With a very early start, we began our last day in Rome. The alarm sounded at 4:45 and all 44 of our group was on the bus by 5:50. Since we were unable to view the Basilica of St Peter yesterday, we chose to start extra early to be there before it opened so that we could see it and admire its grandeur. It did not disappoint. Since it was so early, traffic was fairly light but the skies were dark. The bus was able to drop us off fairly close, but it still required walking. We all gathered in front of the fountain at the Basilica and then joined the line that had already formed - before 7 am. We went in and was immediately impressed by the structure and the statues. One of the ... read more

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