My Journey to Maui
Step One was a trip to visit my dear friend Angelin in Roopville, Georgia. We took a side trip to see Milledgeville, GA, where my dad grew up. This was his father's home.
I also enjoyed a visit with my dad's sister Mary Lou Dabbs, who happens to live quite close to Angelin
Step Two of my journey was a trip to visit my father's sweetheart, Lydia Morrow of Annapolis, Maryland
We enjoyed a tour of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, as well as a walk through historic Annapolis. This is the dormitory at the Naval Academy. Seriously.
The Naval Museum featured incredible model ships.
My high school friend Patty Sweeney picked me up in Annapolis and took me to the Baltimore airport. We had not seen each other for 20 years! We grew up together at Harmswood Stable in Morton Grove, Illinois.
Step Three was a return to my present home in Kansas City with the Hanna-Schepers family and our combined six cats :-) Tying up the final loose ends and getting ready for the move.
Step 4: Amtrak's Southwest Chief
I will board the Southwest Chief on Friday, January 15th at 10:00 pm. I will be on the train all night, all day on January 16th, and all night. I arrive in Los Angeles on Sunday morning at 8:30 am. Scenery should be awesome.
The train originates in Chicago, but I, of course, will be boarding in Kansas City. I will travel through Kansas, then a corner of Colorado, then New Mexico and Arizona before getting to California.
The train was an adventure. It was late arriving from Chicago, and I had quite a wonderful contingent of friends at Union Station to see me off, all of whom waited for the train to finally arrive at 10:45 pm. They helped me take my luggage to my teeny tiny itsy bitsy little sleeperette. It was made into a bed about 2 feet wide. We put my luggage in the upper bunk. There was about one foot of space next to the bunks to stand up in. If one were claustrophobic, it would not work at all!!!
This is the Los Angeles train station. When I arrived, my dear 'niece' Ciera picked me up and took me for a fabulous brunch in downtown LA at Louie's. It was so cool.
After brunch, Ciera dropped me off at the rental car facility at the airport, where I connected with Darlene for our drive to Death Valley.
Step Five: My friend Darlene Deblois of New Hampshire joined me in Los Angeles, and we are spending the week at Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley, California!
At Furnace Creek Ranch, we will be hiking and horseback riding :-) and touring some local landmarks.
Monday - This is "Artist's Palette." My picture does not do it justice. There are so many colors, caused by the minerals in the rocks. Very striking and beautiful.
Here is me at Zabriskie Point, a high scenic overlook where you can see much of the Valley.
This is "Natural Bridge." It was about a mile hike, up and back down :-)
This is the central valley, or basin.
This is a view from Zabriskie Point. So beautiful, and so many different scenes viewable from one location.
Tuesday - we started the day with a 2-hour horseback ride. I got to ride a mule, a first for me. It was fun!
We then went to "Mosaic Canyon," which is full of marble and what looks like mosaics- zillions of small colored stones set in natural concrete. Amazing.
Narrow walk through marble walls in Mosaic Canyon :-)
This close-up shows some of the mosaic and some of the marble, right next to each other.
Wednesday- we visited "Scotty's Castle," a fabulous mansion built by a Chicago engineer and insurance magnate in Death Valley. We had tours of the house and of the basement, which reveals the impressive engineering that made such a home a possiblity in Death Valley. He used solar power to heat water (the house had hot and cold running water), and used water power to create electricity. Very impressive.
We then went to the Ubehebe Crater, a hole in the ground 500 feet deep. wow. It made me dizzy to stand beside it!
That is my shadow looking down into the crater.
We climbed up the rim of the crater. Here, I am looking back down at the parking area- that tiny black dot is our car!
Thursday - Our last day in Death Valley. We drove up to Dante's View, at about 5,400 feet elevation, it was cccccccccold, and the view was absolutely breathtaking.
We also stopped at Devil's Golf Course :-)
Friday - we drove back to Los Angeles today. After checking in to the hotel, we drove to Manhattan Beach to take a look.
Manhattan Beach Pier stretches out into the Pacific Ocean. We watched some surfers, watched the waves break on the beach. There was a tiny aquarium at the end of the pier.
The beach was lined with really cool homes. Every home was so very different.
This one was Darlene's favorite. It was a gorgeous home, looked to me like an Italian villa. Right on the beach.
This home was right next door to the Italian villa. Equally beautiful and impressive, at least to me.
I will try to update this blog regularly, so check back for updates :-)