Planning is Underway

Today, we sat down together and semi-finalized our route for this year’s Combat Camera trip.  I’ve struggled for the past week with the new version of Google Maps.  It sets strict limits on how many stops you can include on any one map.

We’re going to be gone for more than two weeks and we’ll only be spending one night at most stops along the way.  That means many more points than Google allows.  So, I’ve broken it down into 3 sections.  They are posted on under the Trip Maps tab.  Check it out.  If you know of something fascinating or amazing that we should see along the way, tell us in the comments.

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We’re Back

It’s been more than a year since either one of us has posted here.  That’s embarrassing to say the least.  So I’m thinking I’ll try to do at least a paragraph or two a week from now on.  

So, next on our agenda is the Pennyrile Photography Weekend starting on Friday, April 15th with Entry judging and awards on Sunday Morning, April 17th.  We’ve participated in the spring and fall events for nearly ten years.  Sometimes we missed one because it conflicted with other things, like the Combat Camera trip this fall, but we’ve never missed a whole year.  This time, they’re doing online registration that makes it possible to expand the shooting hours to all day on Friday.

We’re in the planning stage for the fall Combat Camera trip.  It’s back in Charleston SC this year, but we’re going to swing north before the reunion date and visit new territory.  Currently we’re looking at making a loop up through Ohio toward Maine and into Pennsylvania, then swing back down the coast to Charleston.  

Between those two is the Pearson family reunion in Ohio and, undoubtedly, a couple of toddler roadtrips to zoos or other such attractions. Photos coming soon.  


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When Shopping Is a Road Trip

041My oldest granddaughter is getting married in May.  She is borderline between “thrifty” and “Scrooge.”  My beautiful twenty-something single mom has begun to sound like a baby-boomer when she complains about the prices of everything from a cup of coffee to nice clothes.  This is the same girl that used to buy $50 flip flops because they had the Nike logo on the sole.   Of course, that was before she spent the last couple of years surviving on her own.  

Her plan was to find a dress online and order it.  Her mother, knowing how unlikely that was to fit properly, drafted me to help her figure out the size.  I thought, knowing that “off the rack” probably would need altering, it would be better to buy something at a local establishment where they would be able to make any necessary adjustments.

I looked online and found a formal/wedding shop in Richmond, KY where she lives.  I called them before hand and was assured that they had wedding dresses starting at around $100 and did alterations in the store, plus everything was supposedly “on sale.”  The person on the phone said, if we came in right away, there would also be time to order a dress, if they didn’t have anything she wanted in stock.  

I made an appointment and we planned the day.  Jim and I would drive from Madisonville to Richmond (about a four hour trip each way), pick her up from work and make an afternoon of it.  First the wedding dress, then to Peddlar’s Mall  to look for a crib, and Walmart for a high chair.  Unfortunately, it turned into a “God laughs” situation.  

The sales person, in the wedding store, said it was too late to order and be sure of getting it in time for May.  I know I had told the phone person the wedding date before she mentioned the possibility of ordering, but I neglected to get her name, so I let it slide.

Next, we’re told, they can’t, presently, do alterations in the store because they are too busy.  Instead, we were given a flyer for someone they recommended.  Ok, she comes recommended and the flyer says she had 30 years experience.  I can deal with that.

560225_10203771544665184_8052715402096696104_nDiscouraged, but determined, we navigated to the wedding dress area, two walls lined with white dresses in plastic bags.  They were sorted by size and her section was about 6 foot long.  There was nothing on a manikin, just wire hangers on a rod.  Her long suppressed inner snob rose to the surface, “This looks like they brought them down from someone’s attic and put them out for a yard sale.”  

We found nothing for less than $350, most of them were in the $1000 to $2000 range.  Our price range did not extend that high.  We were prepared to spend $300 or $400, maybe even a little more, but the dresses for that price were short and my baby girl had set her heart on a full length one.  

Maybe she would have been willing to compromise if she hadn’t already seen one online that she loved for less than $200.  Our concern with ordering it had been finding someone reliable, locally, to do any necessary alterations.  At least, that was solved.  We had the phone number and information of the Alteration Lady.  

The online store said the dress would arrive by the middle of March, if ordered within the next twelve hours.  The Alteration Lady’s flyer said she needed, at least, 30 days to avoid “rush job” fees.  We decided to take our chances on everything coordinating and fled the “yard sale presentation” store.

At Peddler’s Mall, where we had bought a bassinet and several other baby type items on previous occasions, we found no joy either.  Other than a couple of antique wooden high chairs without trays, the only baby equipment they had, at present, was strollers.  This didn’t seem like too big a deal, the crib isn’t really urgent, it was just frustrating.  

That’s when things really “went south.”  Walmart, the mega-have everything, one stop shopping “big box,” was out of high chairs!  This was, more or less, urgent since it was to be a birthday present for her little girl.  I had promised to buy it and I wouldn’t be back before our Journey turned one.  

Meijer’s saved the day.  They had a good selection and we found one that satisfied both sides of her personality, practical and not overly expensive, but still nice and suitable for a boy or girl.

The high chair was bought and we had also found a pair of boots for little girl.  There’s still lots of shopping and preparation to do for the wedding but, once I found and ordered a veil online while driving home, the most important part is underway.  I’m sure the process will require more visiting back and forth, but it will all be worth it.


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Catching up…

April and Jim at the Combat Camera Reunion Banquet. - Photo by Ken Hackman

April and Jim at the Combat Camera Reunion Banquet. – Photo by Ken Hackman

We’re not doing a very good job of keeping our roadtrip blog updated and I for one will attempt to do a better job this year.

Our major trip last year was a 30 day cross country trip to my Combat Camera reunion in Ontario, California in September. This is the fourth year in a row we’ve made the reunion into a road trip and as usual we had a great time. The trip was long and when we got back home we both were tired and glad to be back. I think we went beyond our budget, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

Jim, Kimmy, Emily, Brad, Brad, April and Lexie at Canyonlands National Park. - Photo by Jim Pearson

Jim, Kimmy, Emily, Brad, Brad, April and Lexie at Canyonlands National Park. – Photo by Jim Pearson

I think the major highlights of our trip to me were spending time with my nephew Brad and his family. We rented a condo at Moab, Utah. We’ve both been here before and wanted to make another stop as there’s so much to see. It was great to see Brad, Kimmy, Lexie and Emily as it had been way too long. Brad is stationed in the Air Force in Colorado and we joined up with them after visiting a couple days there.

Canyonlands National Park, Utah. - Photo by Jim Pearson

Canyonlands National Park, Utah. – Photo by Jim Pearson

One of my favorite new places there was Canyonlands National Park. What a impressive place to visit! We went separate from the kids as they didn’t want to get up and out quite as early as we did. We did meet up for a picture there and it’s one of my favorites from the trip.

Dinner in the French Quarter. - Photo by our Waiter!

Dinner in the French Quarter. – Photo by our Waiter!

We stopped a lot of other sights along the way of course ranging from seeing the Space Shuttle in LA, the stars at night in Joshua Tree National Park, The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas and the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana, just to name a few of the major highlights. When traveling we try to keep our drives to about 350-450 miles a day to give us plenty of time to take pictures and see the sights along the way.

This year my Combat Camera reunion is in San Antonio, Texas in October and I’m looking forward to spending a little bit more than two days, as we did this year, and seeing more of the sites. Plus my new knee will make life much easier for getting around. It was a bit of a pain this year.

However, before that we’ll be heading off in June for my nephew Kenneth’s high school graduation. Looking forward to getting back on the road, other than short local trips around Kentucky. 

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Quick Picks

Apologies for not posting sooner. We have been on the road since September 1st. The first couple of days were long and nothing much happened. Then we spent two days at Colorado Springs with my grandson, Brad, and his family.   While there we visited a Pueblo and the Air Force Chapel.  We left there with them on Friday for Moab, Utah.

Here’s a quick pick of photos up to that point.  I promise to catch up over the next few days.  We are currently in Reno, Nevada.  We leave in the morning for the Donner Pass, following the railroad.


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