I haven’t posted much lately. My mind is occupied with worry for my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, both of whom remain in an Amarillo hospital battling COVID. Both are now on ventilators.
On Tuesday I began my journey from Tallahassee, Florida, to Amarillo, Texas. I’m hoping to be a help and not a hindrance to the sister-in-law and niece who have been bearing the brunt of the responsibility these past few weeks.
Last night I stayed with my son and two of my grand dogs and this morning I’ll have a fairly short (four hour) drive to Amarillo.
The son and dogs were bright spots on my trip.
Ryder slept with me part of the night. He snores a lot less than Studly Doright.
Peace, people. Oh, and wear your masks and get vaccinated and boosted as soon as you can.
Last night Studly Doright and I had dinner at The Garlic, a popular Italian restaurant in New Smyrna Beach. The ambiance was fun, and old world funky. The food was excellent. Truth is, I was so wrapped up in the dining experience that I neglected to take any pictures. Thank goodness for Pinterest.
We had it on good advice to arrive early. Since the weather was cold, most everyone wanted indoor dining. Studly Doright and I were fortunate to get the last remaining indoor table, and we were there at 4:30.
After dinner we drove a block or so to Norwood’s, a seafood place that boasts a treehouse bar.
We climbed the stairs from The Roots Bar on the lower level into this wonderful treehouse atmosphere.
We topped off our sumptuous meal from The Garlic with drinks and desserts at Norwood’s. I had some insanely delicious pumpkin spice cheesecake along with the specially crafted martini above. I asked what the martini was called and the bartender shrugged. “I made it just for you and the dessert you chose.” One word: Perfection.
Studly enjoyed a brownie and water. Good thing, too. I couldn’t have driven back to our accommodations after that drink.
I’d love to visit both restaurants again on a warmer evening. The outdoor seating at both places looked inviting, but not on such a cold day. Now we’re home and I heated up a can of Gardein Chick’n Noodle soup for dinner. I wonder what martini might’ve been perfect with it?
I enjoyed peach bellinis and whatever one might call a fruit and sweets version of a charcuterie board on Sunday morning at the Bettendorf, Iowa, home of one of my daughter’s friends.
We enjoyed our drinks and sweets out by the pool while watching the antics of this adorable dog, Daisy.
I’d never contemplated dognapping until the moment I first saw Daisy. Isn’t she perfect? Okay, I never really thought about sneaking her off the property, but I’d love to clone her. She is just as sweet as she looks.
Three firsts for me today—becoming stranded on a busy interstate highway, sitting in a police car, and riding shotgun in a tow truck. I sure hope tomorrow is less eventful.
I was only 59 miles from my destination when the car just stopped. One minute I was going 79 mph and the next I was losing speed like a descending rocket. I made it to the shoulder of the road, but just barely. Fifty-nine miles. Too far to walk, and there was a tornado warning involved.
Standing by the side of the busy interstate watching trucks zoom by at 70 mph and cars going even faster on this 90° day in eastern Illinois, I couldn’t help but wonder if those speeding by me might’ve been inclined to stop and help if I were a 20-something hottie wearing short shorts and a halter top instead of a 64-year-old grandmother dressed like a 64-year-old grandmother.
I guess I could flash my boobs, but that would likely get me arrested.
Calling for assistance was interesting. Press 1 for this and 2 for that and maybe 9 for good measure as I sweated in the heat. I carefully ventured outside of my car and leaned against the opened rear hatch so I could get some air.
Then along came Officer Garrett who let me sit in his patrol car while the tow truck was on its way. Lord love him. With his red and blue lights announcing our presence it was less likely that I’d be run over before help arrived.
But the tow truck is here now, so I guess I need to accept a ride from this man I just met. 😳. If you don’t hear from me again, you’ll know I made the wrong decision, (Spoiler: I successfully arrived at my daughter’s home—hot, tired, and in need of hugs and wine—in that order. Many thanks to my daughter, Ashley, Grandpa Tom and Aunt Stephanie who each played a part in my rescue.)
(I know I switched tenses in this post, but it was a trying day.)
My fantasy of owning a camper van hasn’t gone away. Every day I search Craigslist and eBay and any other site I can think of. I’ve found several that would fit my needs. Now there’s just one thing keeping me from having a van of my own: Money.
A brand new one is out of the question, but I have hope that one day my slowly growing little cache of travel money will be ample for purchasing a good used vehicle. Of course I’ll be 95 by then.
Until that time I’ll satisfy myself with YouTube videos of those already living my dream. If you have a minute, watch the video linked below. It’s amazing, even if it’s not what I’m looking for.
On Sunday morning I accompanied my 16-year-old granddaughter to the airport to catch a flight home to Illinois. I didn’t leave the airport until her plane was in the air just in case they had to return to the gate.
After the plane pulled away from the gate a harried looking couple came running to the desk. The man was frantic, calling “Where’s the agent?”
He pointed at the plane on the tarmac, looked at me, and asked, “Is that the flight to Charlotte?”
“Yes, sir,” I said.
“Where’s the gate agent?”
The woman remained calm while her traveling companion raged. “We’re late. We’ll have to take a later flight,” she said.
“But it’s right there!” He said, pointing out the window again.
The gate agent returned to angry demands. “You need to have that plane open up.”
“I’m sorry sir, but once the doors are closed the plane can’t return unless there’s a mechanical problem or the flight is cancelled.”
The man strode up and down the terminal aisle letting the few people still hanging around know how he’d been wronged. When the flight took off he finally realized that he wasn’t going to get his way and slumped into a seat.
Meanwhile, the woman calmly rebooked their flight to Key West through Charlotte, N.C., and checked their luggage.
I left, but couldn’t help wondering how the remainder of their vacation went. I’ll bet she’ll have a good time, regardless. Him, not so much.
Our sixteen-year-old granddaughter, McKayla, flew home to Illinois today after spending the past week with Studly Doright and me here at Doright Manor in the Florida panhandle. While it wasn’t her first time to fly, it was her first solo adventure, and it included a layover in Charlotte, North Carolina.
I was nervous about sending her off on her own, but McKayla is a competent young woman and I knew with a few instructions she’d be just fine. But this morning we woke to heavy rain, including thunderstorms, that extended all along the first part of her plane’s flight path and I began worrying about such things as delayed and/or cancelled flights. What if’s began attacking my thoughts. I just couldn’t let her go into the blue without some safeguards.
So we paid the extra fee to ensure that someone from the airline would walk her between gates and look after her until she was safely in her mom’s arms in Chicago. Money well spent—I was able to relax knowing she wouldn’t have to navigate any setbacks alone.
Of course I won’t totally relax until she and our daughter are safely back in their home, but the airline didn’t provide that kind of post-flight assistance. Can we begin teleporting soon? It’d be a lot easier on my nerves. Of course then I’d find something else to worry about. Like, did all my molecules arrive simultaneously?
Traveling down the interstate highways north of Paducah, Kentucky, on through Nashville, Tennessee, and down into Birmingham, Alabama, every half mile or so we came across a poor dead animal—most often a deer—whose carcass litters the roadway.
At one point I thought I spotted a coyote among the dead, but no, it was just another dadgum dead dear. I think that phrase would make a fine song title.
On Friday I arrived in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, only to find there were no hotel rooms available anywhere other than a couple of seedy looking joints. Every spare room was reserved by folks working on the film, “Killers of the Flower Moon.”
Had Studly Doright been with me I might’ve been open to staying in one of the less reputable establishments, but as a woman traveling alone I wasn’t taking any chances. I googled bed and breakfasts within a fifty mile radius of Bartlesville and one in nearby Pawhuska popped up, so I called the Grandview Inn and crossed my fingers.
A gentleman answered the phone at the Grandview and after hearing my request told me he was booked up. I sighed and then said, “I don’t guess you know of any place a woman traveling alone could stay safely…”
“It’s just for one person?”
“We have one small room with a bed that is suitable for one person. It doesn’t have an en-suite bathroom, but there’s one just outside the room. We don’t rent it out often, but if you’re interested I can get it ready for you.”
I almost cried with relief. “Do you need my credit card.”
“No, just show up. The room will be ready.”
Now, I have a very dear childhood friend who lives in Bartlesville. She and her husband had just moved into their new home (it’s beautiful!), but everything was still in boxes. They only had one bed set up, and while they offered to put me up I just couldn’t do that to them. But I did let them take me to dinner.
Since I was staying in Pawhuska, we drove the 25 miles from Bartlesville and had dinner at the Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile. We enjoyed a lovely meal, and as we were getting ready to part ways I asked our server if she was familiar with the Grandview Inn.
She said, “Hold on,” then turned to the people at the table beside us. One of the diners, a man holding a precious infant, stood and came to our table. It was the man I’d spoken with on the phone earlier! He and his wife were dining with friends. I felt much better about my upcoming stay having met them in that setting and my friend was no longer reluctant to leave me in Pawhuska.
The inn was beautiful, and I spent a comfortable night there. I meant to take pictures, but was in a hurry that morning to be at the funeral home in Bartlesville. The Grandview has a website, and if you ever find yourself in the Pawhuska area I highly recommend it.