Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Long and Winding Road...

Today's quote is actually something we saw on a neon sign as we entered Nashville a couple of days ago. Unfortunately, it was dark so we could not see the building to which the sign was attached, but the flashing statement is worthy of being quoted here:

"The U.S. Congress has a 9% approval rating. What are the 9% thinking?"

First, we'd like to thank everyone who has commented on our blog. We appreciate comments from everyone, whether or not we personally know you. Please feel free to continue to comment. We feel like we are getting to know a whole new community through the blogosphere.

Second, we'd like to thank everyone who has been praying for our safety during this trip. We have felt the tender mercies of heaven as we made this long journey and appreciate the car starting every day, that we haven't done a Thelma & Louise off of a bridge, and just that we and our family members have been safe.

Tonight we are in Gallup, New Mexico. Since we drove into town in the dark, we can't tell you anything about the area, but, hopefully, we are in a safe neighborhood. We are in a nice hotel, however.

We've learned a few things about hotels. We hate the Red Roof Inn -- economy hotels aren't worth it. We've stayed in a Hilton Garden Inn which was very nice. As we mentioned in a previous blog, we enjoy the Carlson Country Inn & Suites -- they're very quaint. We stayed one night at a Marriott -- that was in Maryland by the Cal Ripken ballpark. It was also nice and we would recommend it to anyone going to Baltimore to watch the Orioles play. But our favorite hotel has been the Hilton Hampton Inn. The beds are the most comfortable of all the hotels, breakfast is included with the room, the room is supplied with iron, ironing board, and blow dryer, and most of them, though not all, have microwaves and refrigerators in the room. We will probably join the Hilton Hotel rewards program to take advantage of in future trips. Hopefully, we will have many more in our future.

Since we mentioned our appreciation for a well-running car, we also have to mention that we are grateful for the savvy negotiation of Mrs. Garmin. If we don't mention her, she will get herself in a snit. For the most part, she has kept us on the correct path (though a few times she has taken us through questionable neighborhoods that made us sweat and pray at the same time), but there have been a couple of times that she has taken us on a dead-end that made us wonder if she was trying to let us know that we shouldn't take her for granted.

As for today's journey, we drove all day from Oklahoma City through the upper part of Texas and into New Mexico. We have to mention that, while we are sure there are lovely people in Amarillo, Texas, we have both driven through Amarillo before and we don't care for it. We don't recommend visiting Amarillo. We've posted a picture that we took in Oklahoma. Here's country life in a snapshot. Don't see farm equipment at a gas station in Las Vegas.

We took time to stop in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to take a picture of the LDS temple there. It is completely different from any other temple we have seen -- very suited to the desert area. The desert in New Mexico is greener than southern Nevada. The homes around the temple are very nice, obviously costly, and that part of Albuquerque is lovely.

As soon as we left Albuquerque we ran into rain, lightning and thunder included. Gallup is about two hours away from Albuquerque and, while it didn't rain the entire two hours, it rained enough that we were glad to pull over and rest for the night. Gallup is being pelted with a downpour now.

We are actually very fortunate that we haven't seen more rain since it's monsoon season. New Mexico, Iowa, and some rain in New York have been our only encounters.

We have seen a lot of sites on this trip, but there was so much more to see. Edie has now been to Nashville three times and Sandy has been there twice, yet there are plantations that we haven't seen, nor has either of us seen The Hermitage, Andrew Jackson's home. We also passed several exits to civil war battlefields that we would like to visit some day.

Each of us has seen 29 states, 27 of them are the same states so we are a little more than halfway to seeing all 50 states. Edie will need to repeat Louisiana and Hawaii with Sandy, and Sandy will need to repeat Oregon and Washington with Edie. We look forward to future trips and hope we can complete our 50 state tour. When that is done, we'll go back and see everything we missed.

Isaiah -- we left Oklahoma this morning, traveled through the top part of Texas, and almost all the way through New Mexico. We are within an hour of the Arizona border.

Gladys -- we will see you soon, too.

Shout out to all our blog readers!

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