Monday, May 31, 2010

Say Goodbye to Hollywood

So tomorrow The Boston Lady flies back to Orlando leaving behind The Maven and The Sacred Cow.  Its been an action-packed, exhausting, exhilirating eight days.

Today we had a Memorial Day picnic in the backyard of The Writer and Sammy's apartment with some of their friends.  Sammy will be guest blogging here about this fine feast, so I will focus more on our Sunday here.

We started off the day with a romp at a local dog park so Stanley could get some face to face pooch time..

 ...and then headed down to Santa Monica. We stopped by by their Farmer's Market and got freshly made and awesome omlettes and pancakes for breakfast.

Which we ate picnic style.

With Stan, of course.

To work off our enormous breakfast The Writer drove us all to Runyon Canyon for a hike.

A beautiful clear day with fabulous views of the city.

It was a warm hike and some of us rested in the shade.

Some of us (okay one of us, ME) were overtaken by their fear of heights during the steep descent and had to be coaxed down.

I would do it everyday if I could. (and then I would get better at the coming back down part)

So, while it's sad to be leaving, it's nice to have Mr. Tennis' and my return here in early August to look forward to.  The Maven has a couple of interviews lined up already this week and I hope she has the most wonderful and memorable summer.

In the meantime, I guess I will work on those stair machines a bit more at the gym so I can do Runyon Canyon again.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

California Dreamin'

Started the day out with a delicious breakfast al fresco and then loaded up Stanley into The Sacred Cow for a trip to the beach.

We drove down to the Long Beach area which has a new dog beach.

With the beautiful 70 degree weather the Floridians didn't even feel the heat of the sun and managed to get slight sunburns.  Tsk, tsk, we should know better.

Stanley went for his very first, if not unintentional swim, and I managed to capture it on the video setting on my camera.  This will be my first attempt at linking a video, so hope it works. 

Big Stanley capped off his big swim with a fancy bath at a nearby dog wash tended by his faithful owners.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

We Made It!

And we were warmly welcomed by Stanley into his and his owners' home.

This is the only picture I have so far of this charming little 1920s era apartment, but it sure was a welcome sight after miles and miles of desert.

And Wind Farms, a bit of an eerie sight looming up from the desert. There were thousands of these within a 10 mile stretch of I-10 in California.  And there was wind, because The Sacred Cow was buffeted about during this trip through this corridor.

A surprising sight was this snow-capped mountain with was views from an area that was over 90 degrees!  Beautiful.

But not as beautiful as seeing your children happy and together (and Stanley too)

Thanks to Sammy and The Writer for putting up two weary travelers!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Almost to LA!

We made tracks out of Texas this morning and into New Mexico.  Look what was there to greet us:

And there was this to deal with:

Thelma nervously got off a few shots of this eerie sight and fortunately we were waved through.  I guess a dirty white Vibe with a rubber cow on the antenna doesn't raise any warning flags.

Then we stopped at a pretty rest stop and got some shots of the beautiful plants and flowers that can be found in this arid and sparse environment:

And of course, the obligatory Welcome Sign shot:

The views were changing as the miles went by and the temperature was rising (up to 102!)

And before we knew it we were rolling into Arizona. (Waves to the "Decor" family).  The Welcome Center was closed so Thelma and Louise had to improvise at a rest stop further down the road in Texas Canyon.  Beautiful red rocks.

So, tomorrow it's onto our last leg of this veeerrrrrry long drive, but one that will be worth the effort.  We've been told that Stanley (see sidebar) will be there to greet us when we arrive as we may get there before The Writer and Sammy get home from work.  Looking forward to seeing all of them.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Yes, We Remember The Alamo and Now We've Actually Seen It! (Day III)

We were there. When they opened. And it was such a beautiful place to start the day.

We watched a short film that explained the valiant efforts of the defenders of The Alamo, and how they never gave up.  This is obviously a trait that defines the great state of Texas.  We have been so impressed with not just it's vastness, but the determination and drive the early settlers must have had to travel by much more modest means through the rugged terrain than we have this week

The gardens within the walls of The Alamo, which originally was a mission, are lush and unique.

We love our oaks in Orlando and we found several dignified, sprawling beauties in this special place. This particular oak was planted at The Alamo in 1912 when it was 40 years old.  There is a placque describing the transplanting process for well-established trees, something that the people of San Antonio didn't think was possible.  This tree has proven them wrong.

And many "odd to us" looking plants.  Cacti and succulents I believe.  Not everything was labeled and I haven't had time to look them up online, but they are worthy without description.

This happy little fellow had such a great time playing in this pretty fountain formed with stones.

Thelma and Louise had to get back on the road in order to make El Paso by sundown.  After leaving San Antonio, the geography changed dramatically, from flat land and extended views to small rocky hills, dramatic rock formations, spectacular cuts to accommodate the roadway and then, now here near El Paso, flat, desert-like conditions.  Complete with that dry heat.

We made good time, probably because we could go this fast, if we chose to.  Wow. And yes, at times I did choose to.

Funniest, quirkiest thing of the day?  Because there always is something funny.  The pretty and unusual bathrooms at the rest areas.  Thelma, we aren't in Florida anymore.

I was stunned that they took the time to put such beautiful tile work in.  This one is in the ladies room somewhere along Route 10.  And look at the view from the bathroom stall in the next one we stopped at:

Another mural and look at that sky!

We came upon a section where there were a large number of these windmill type contraptions.  This picture makes them look a bit ominous, but I know they are helping Texans explore new energy sources.

And we spotted our first train!

Thelma and I finally sailed into El Paso so we could put up our spurs and relax.  And yes, we did make it in time for the Idol results. ( Our pick won in case anyone cares)

As for The Sacred Cow, well it had a rough day on the road with all the dust and unpredictable roads.  Would they be straight?  Would there be hills? Would the winds kick up? (they did).  I'm afraid, in the case of The Sacred Cow, Texas was a bit of a blur.

Tomorrow we bid adios to Texas and move on to New Mexico and Arizona.  We should be able to travel a little more leisurely the next two days and we look forward to what those two days have in store for us.

Two things about back home:

#1  Go Magic!!!!!

#2  Mr. Tennis is managing the zoo at home quite well.  However he did send me this picture of Panda:

Apparently The Boston Lady is missed.  She really does have a face only a mother could love. doesn't she?  Hang in there Mr. Tennis.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Day Two - or The Sacred Cow Does Texas

Okay, that's supposed to be the Texas star and various flags, including the state flag, in the background.  What matters more?  Picture quality, or that The Sacred Cow was there as well as Thelma & Louise?

We were there, we swear:

The day started out with me waking up before our alarm (which ended up being good, because I had forgotten to set it - I have no idea why that happened).  We drove through Louisianna (on elevated highways above bayous-what an incredible road system.) up until about noon when we crossed over to the Texas stateline.

What a state this is (although a big one, as it will take us two days to get thru it!).  Beautiful big sky and clouds:

Interesting signs:

And sights, (can anyone tell us what THIS might be, or mean?):


(I personally found this one to be the most intriguing, but haven't had time to look it up! You Texans are fantastic!)

And what is this place?  We saw billboard, after billboard about it:

And then The Boston Lady and The Maven got a little bored and took weird pictures of themselves (hey, it was a long day!):

But, then we saw this:

Nice windmill shot by Thelma through the windshield.  And then cornfield after cornfield:

We are in the outskirts of San Antonio tonight watching The American Idol final performances.  Hey, priorities, people.  Tomorrow we will get up a little later and then visit The Alamo before hitting the road again.  We hope to end somewhere about 6pm (hey, we need to relax a bit before the Idol results!) which will probably be somewhere in Texas, a lovely, large, exhausting state.

This will be the view from our rearview mirror, but we will see a lot of different things in front of us!  Mainly New Mexico and Arizona.

Thelma and Louise, out. (And The Sacred Cow)

P.S. special shout out to Orlando Grandma who provided us with some ""tip" money.  Has already come in handy on Ferry, unexpected tolls and almost used at Harrah's in N.O We left disgusted that they wouldn't accept anything less than a five dollar bill - all those quarters I had!.  Just proves the point that it doesn't pay to gamble. But we were able to tip pizza guy tonite!