S: 2012 Road Trip from Washington to Florida
BC: Sisters Forever!
FC: 2012 Road Trip from Washington to Florida
1: Monday, June 11 We left Federal Way after breakfast with Jack, Celia, John & Gita, and Jeri & Carol around 11:30 a.m. We took off in Bonnie & Jack's little red Kia Soul. "Good-bye Federal Way and especially Mt. Rainier!" We drove Hiway 18 to I-90 – got gas @ North Bend. Bonnie and I talked about our memory of our Christmas trips to Washington and stopping @ Snoqualmie Pass. Passing through Moses Lake we remembered the summer we visited there, and Dad almost bought land to move there. We wondered how our lives would have changed if he had. We drove through Spokane around 4 p.m. and got to a Super 8 Motel on east end of Coeur d’Alene. Coeur d’Alene Lake was beautiful.
2: Tuesday, June 12 Montana – what a huge state. There was no way to cross it in one day. What a contrast in scenery. We spent most of our day in the mountains but did get down through the Rimrock Bluffs into Billings. We stayed at a Day’s Inn – what a job to find it! Then we went in search of a restaurant and ended up at one of my favorites – Famous Dave’s BBQ.
3: Wednesday, June 13 In Billings we switched to I-94 so we could take the northern route to Steele. The first landmark that day was Pompey’s Pillar – the only concrete evidence that Lewis and Clark passed that way. Clark signed the pillar and also named it after Sacagawea’s son who he had nicknamed “Pomp.” We continued on noting the construction, oil wells and oil tanks that have been springing up in ND. Since we had some time and had read about “The Enchanted Highway” just east of Dickinson, we decided to check it out. It is a 30 miles stretch of highway going south to Regent ND where a local metal sculptor has been fabricating these metal sculptures along the highway to bring tourists to his small town. We drove the full distance and stopped at each of the sculptures. We made it to Bismarck that night and stayed at another Super 8, which was just south of the Capital.
4: Thursday, June 14 We drove down to Steele to attend the Library’s Book Talk Club which meets every other Thursday at 9:30. What a welcome. The Book Club had been our salvation when we were with Papa three years ago while he was in home hospice. It is unique in that each person first tells everyone what is going on in her life or at least something about what is going on in town. Then we go around again and talk about the book(s) we have read in the previous two weeks. Bonnie brought one of her two index card files of info on books she has been collection over many years. They, of course, were quite impressed. What a lovely group of ladies! At noon we all adjourned to the local Vet’s Club for lunch. The afternoon was spent checking in at the Ozone, Mom and Dad’s former home, which now belongs to Charette, and visiting friends. Of course the most important stop was at the Coffee Cup to pick up some Scotcheroos – Bonnie’s favorite. We were invited to the home of two of my classmates, Buzz and Sandy Argent, for dinner. | Bonnie with Shirley Brusven, with Paulette Fischer, our favorite librarian, and Gail Christensen.
5: Shirley Brusven, Jen Snyder and Bonnie | Marlene Heim, Bonnie, and Sheila O'Shaughnessy | Last year's group saying "hello" to Bonnie. Back: Mary Frederickson, Sheila O'Shaughnessy, Gail Christenson, and sister, Kathy. Front: Gladys Keily, Paulette Fischer, and sister Charette | Bonnie and Mary Frederickson
6: Friday, June 15th We returned to Steele and had lunch with another class mate of mine, Dianne Dronen, and a friend of Bonnie’s, JoEllen Aichele, and visited at the Senior Center. We were joined by Tom and Butch Muscatell, who were passing through. Then we went out to the farm and stopped at Charlie Dronen's, the farmer who share-crops with us. He took us on a tour of the farm and showed great excitement over the corn, which he said was one of the best he had ever seen. Dad would have loved it! We stopped at the Golden Manor, the nursing home, and visited, also. We met Sandy Argent and Dianne Dronen for dinner in Bismarck that evening. | The Coffee Cup | Steele's Welcome Sign | Veterans Memorial Park The sculpture and plaque are new \\ additions to the park | Dog-lover Bonnie
7: Saturday, June 16th Although we wanted to go to Minnesota to see Jack’s sister and brother-in-law, we didn’t want to walk in on a big group. We decided to drive to Moorhead on Saturday and not drive to the Lake until Sunday. So we stopped in Jamestown for lunch and then went on toward Fargo. We tried to find Bonnie and Jack’s old house in Fargo, but we didn’t know the address, and realized that what landmarks had been there 40 some years ago were either gone or changed. | Largest Man-made Buffalo in the world Jamestown ND
8: Sunday, June 17th We left for the Lake about noon and were able to see most of the Muscatell crew except Case and his wife as they were on a week-end away. Of course Butch and Tom were there along with Ward and Debbie. Ward’s son, Colt, was there with his wife Megan and daughter Madelaine. Also his daughters, Crystal, her husband, Matt, and Caanan were there.
9: Monday & Tuesday, June 18 – 19 Tom and Butch were great hosts. We went out for breakfast , took a tour of the area by car, and had dinner. We met Ward and Matt at an Italian restaurant called Speakeasy. | What a great day checking out the wonderful scenery in Minnesota. | Bonnie enjoying her dinner at the mobster-style restaurant which included a gangster car in Speakeasy's with the Muscatells. | Tom in his big garage | Ward's Corvette
10: Wednesday, June 20th We were on the road again. After trading in the Kia Soul, we picked up a Ford Escape at Hawley, which had a little more room and was a little more comfortable. We drove down I-29 into South Dakota. There we skirted Hamlin County where our great grandfather Nils Hansen homesteaded. Grandma Hill was the first white child born in that county. We had trouble finding a motel for the night and ended up at a Motel 6 in Sioux City, Iowa
11: Thursday, June 21st We were up early and as we drove along on I-29, all we saw for miles were fields of corn. Bonnie noted that with our crop in corn this year she was worried as to how the corn prices would be. We headed to Kansas City to have lunch with Cherry, Jack’s sister. We had great taco salad at Cherry's favorite Mexican restaurant. After lunch we drove to my friends, Ginger and Bill DeHoff’s home in Lenexa. We had a delicious barbeque on their deck in the pleasant June weather. We spent the night with them.
12: Friday, June 22nd After breakfast with Ginger and Bill, we headed out to Branson. We had made reservations at Branson Woods and while we were checking in, we bought tickets for an evening show that night – SIX; the next afternoon – The Platters; and the Texas Tenors on Saturday night. As soon as we were settled we went in search of Mel’s Hard Luck Diner. It was a place that Bonnie had been to several times. The traffic was absolutely terrible – no left turns! We arrived there in time for dinner. The atmosphere was a typical 50’s diner, but what was unique was that the waiters that serve you also serenade you. The waiter/singers were really good. We had a quick departure after dinner so we could get to SIX. We had gotten the tickets because Jack had told us about them from an article he had read. They are six of ten brothers who have developed this singing show. The music was great and the voices really blended. What a great evening. | SIX
13: Saturday, June 23rd We were off in the morning to see Branson Landing, which was a modern shopping center that we found boring. Bonnie decided to sit and read, and I walked up the hill to Dick’s 5 & 10. What a fun place. Items were stacked from floor to ceiling. It was reminiscent of Woolworth’s in Bismarck without the food counter, but all stacks went up to the ceiling. It is also known for its collections – trains of all sizes, sports memorabilia, aviation prints, even Christmas tree decorations. What fun! After Branson’s Downtown, we went back to Mel’s Hard Luck Diner for lunch. Bonnie had a favorite singer, Bernie Parquett, there, and we had inquired the previous day as to when she would be working. They told us she would be there for lunch the next day. After we were seated, we looked up to see our waitress and by luck she just happened to be Bernie. When Bonnie explained we were there to see her specifically, she sat down and talked to us and also while singing she came and sang to Bonnie. What a treat! That afternoon we went to see “The Platters,” one of the many authorized Platters Review Shows – good music, entertaining, but not well attended. But we enjoyed it. We drove around and did some shopping at a craft mall and the Grand Village – enjoyed the Christmas shop, especially. That evening we went to see “The Three Texas Tenors.” What a great show. We could see them again and enjoy it as much as we did that night! | Saturday, June 23rd We were off in the morning to see Branson Landing, which was a modern shopping center that we found boring. Bonnie decided to sit and read, and I walked up the hill to Dick’s 5 & 10. What a fun place. Items were stacked from floor to ceiling. It was reminiscent of Woolworth’s in Bismarck without the food counter. It is also known for its collections – trains of all sizes, sports memorabilia, aviation prints, even Christmas tree decorations. What fun! After Branson’s Downtown, we went back to Mel’s Hard Luck Diner for lunch. Bonnie had a favorite singer, Bernie Parquett, there, and we had inquired the previous day as to when she would be working. They told us she would be there for lunch the next day. After we were seated, we looked up to see our waitress and by luck she just happened to be Bernie. When Bonnie explained we were there to see her specifically, she sat down and talked to us and also while singing she came and sang to Bonnie. What a treat! | Branson Landing | Branson Railroad Station
14: Saturday, June 23rd Continued That afternoon we went to see “The Platters,” one of the many authorized Platters Review Shows – good music, entertaining, but not well attended. But we enjoyed it. We drove around and did some shopping at a craft mall and the Grand Village – enjoyed the Christmas shop, especially. That evening we went to see “The Three Texas Tenors.” What a great show. We could see them again and enjoy it as much as we did that night! | BRANSON
15: Sunday, June 24th We were up fairly early and hit the road. As we drove through Missouri we listened to CD’s of the Texas Tenors and Bernie Parquett. What a pleasant day. Some of the roads were two lanes, but had frequent passing lanes. It was amazing to see how many trees there were. It was certainly different scenery than driving through the Corn Belt. We stopped that evening in Birmingham, Alabama. Birmingham reminded me of the novel, "The Watson's Go to Birmingham" which was set in the 1963 Civil Rights movement.
16: Monday, June 25th Upon awakening we decided to check the weather as our scheduled route was to go south to Tallahassee. However Hurricane Debby was expected to be a major factor in the weather there. We decided to travel east to Atlanta and then go south. It was another pleasant day. Our major surprise was the cost of gas. When we left Washington it was about $424 per gallon, but in Alabama the price dropped to $2.78 per gallon. It had been cheaper as we travel further east, but we had not seen it under $3 per gallon. When we got south of Atlanta, we began to have some rain, but it wasn’t bad. We stopped in Valdosta for the evening and kept our eyes on the weather.
17: Tuesday, June 26th When we got up it was overcast and looked like rain. Once on the road, we began to run into rain. I had never driven in a hurricane/tropical storm. The rain came in waves as the counter-clockwise winds blew over us. So at times it was raining so hard that it was difficult to see the edge of the road, but thank goodness, the car in Florida were used to it and slowed down. Bonnie was a great help in helping me see where to go. Then all of a sudden, the rain would stop and even at times the sun would come out. Then just as suddenly the rain would come pelting down. It only lasted about three hours and they Florida sunshine was welcoming us. We drove on to Bradenton and following Jack’s directions drove into the parking garage in Bradenton and into our parking place. | Home Sweet, New Home
18: Riverdance Bradenton Florida & Riverwalk @ Rossi Park
19: What an adventure! It is a trip I will cherish for the rest of my life. It was just a wonderful time spent with my big sis, Bonnie.