Sunday, July 4, 2010

Postcards from "America the Beautiful"

Happy Fourth of July eveyone!

My Dad and Mom planned out the best vacations when I was a kid.  We looked forward to August.  There was no pool growing up and no one on our block had one either, so swimming in a pool at a roadside motel was one of the highlights of my summers.  Driving through all those state highways and stopping at every historical spot, scenic drive and lookout...well that was my Dad.  Somehow for the most part, we always managed to get to a motel at a reasonable hour, enough time  for my sister and I to do a few cannonballs into the deep end.

  I have fantastic pictures...well "slides" of my sister and I with our short sets on peering over ledges, dwarfed in front of massive redwoods,  holding our noses at sulpher pits, and yes...swimming in motel pools.  One summer before my 7th grade year, my dad helped me collect different insects while on vacation, for I knew Ms. McGowan, the best science teacher ever, would be giving us that assignment..."The Bug Collection" 

 A Rhinocerous Beetle... yep,  I displayed one in my collection!

Last summer I started to organize by "vacation year" these slides and one day hope to get them on a CD.  Just imagine us two girls in the following  internet images of some of these great places we visited as kids.  It was easier back then I guess to pack up the car and go, and I am sure glad my parents felt this was important because these memories are still so precious to me. 

This is the closest picture of our Oldsmoblie wagon I could find. 

I learned to read a map, and know direction, learned about weather changes and geology, Buffalo Bill Cody and Indian customs. We saw beautiful gardens and state of the art and historical buildings, graveyards and battle fields.   That little blue station wagon took us far far away from the suburbs of LA. I have yet to visit the East Coast and I hope someday to be able to travel an explore the 13 original colonies where this beautiful nation began to carve itself out. My visit to Michigan last summer was  the farthest East I've traveled.  I am thankful for the FW Conference and my friend Charlene for sharing their beautiful state.   

So Celebrate "America the Beautiful" with me today as I post a few pictures of  some cool (but sometimes really hot) places my family visited.  Thanks Dad and Mom, for these are great memories and Lauren and I truly treasure these in our hearts. 

Houston Astrodome, we were there at it's debut, a covered stadium with air conditioning! 
A tour of the beer factory in Olympia, WA.  I learned about "hopps and fermentation". 
Beautiful Bryce Canyon, Utah

Butchart Gardens, Vancouver, Canada

Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

The Sea Wall in Galveston, Texas
The California Redwoods

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada

A Moose in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Seals on the Oregon Coast

A real Western Rodeo in Cody, Wyoming

"Sleepless in Seattle"

My parents considered moving to Sedona, Arizona;  they loved it so much. 
The Skunk Train in Willits, California

The sulpher geysers at Mt. Lassen Volcano National Park.

We learned a lot about Native American traditions

The Texas State Book Depository building where Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated JFK., Dallas, TX.

The last great vacation I took with my Dad was to Hawaii in 1978.  Together with Ted, my husband, we visited Pearl Harbor, learned of whaling ships in Lahaina and Captain Cook.

US Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

It was  fun to be a  summertime  "visual -vacation learner"; totally hands-on!  What's the difference between a stalagtite and a stalagmite?  What makes a geyser and how often does it spew out? What carved out the beautiful canyons in the desert like Bryce, Zion and the Grand Canyon?  Can there still be some Gold in them thar hills?  How old is a California Redwood tree?  Why does sulpher smell like rotten eggs? What is petrified wood?
Are we there yet?  (the motel pool that is...)

O beautiful for spacious skies,  

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain!

America! America!

God shed His grace on thee,

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea!


  1. You have traveled alot! what great memories you have. I hope my children grow up with great memories. I try but it is so easy to get caught up in the now that takes place every minute, that I forget that the nows turn into a lifetime...a lifetime that I hope is well-lived. Enjoy your summer away from the busyness of school my cyber friend. Let your now last forever:)

  2. How fun! (My family never went on vacations.)

  3. Oh my goodness. What a precious idea! It makes me want to do the same thing!


    Thank you so much for coming by my blog earlier! You made my day.


  4. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times (only when we almost got washed away from the freek thunderstorm outside of Sedona or when it was 110 degrees with masssive humidity in Galveston in August). I can honestly say I have experienced my birthday in more places than anyone else I know ~ and thats a great thing! We were so blessed to have two parents who actually wanted to spend time with us, teaching us along with having a great experience and bonding. We have to post some of the pictures - people will get a kick out of them!