June 30, 2013

Parish, New York

Where do we start? First off, my sister, Dorothy, is now at home and doing well. Only thing for her is that she has to drastically slow down her fast-pace lifestyle going forward. It will be a challenge for her, but she has no choice in the matter if she wants to continue living life. Thank you, everyone, for your prayers. But don't stop.

Lavern, Bob and I (and Chanti) drove 20 hours in two days traveling from Pennsylvania to Minnesota, and another 20 hours in two days to get back again 5 days later. While there, we were with family most of the time.

While we were in Minnesota, Jerry checked out Philadelphia's historical sites.

Line waiting to see the Liberty Bell.

Liberty Bell with Independence Hall in the background 

From Philadelphia, Jerry headed on to New Jersey with the motor home so that he could attend the New York Book Festival in Manhattan. On Friday night (June 21), he attended an awards dinner where he accepted an award as runner-up for his second business book, Prospecting, Presentation, Close. His latest inspirational book, It's a Great Life if You Don't Weaken, received honorable mention. 

Downtown New York City with 911 Tower
(picture taken from the New Jersey side by Jerry)

Full moon coming up over New York City.
(Picture taken the night the full moon was closest to the earth.)

Meanwhile, Bob, Lavern and I (and Chanti) headed up to Bob and Lavern's lake home in northern Pennsylvania. 

It rained a lot while we were there.
(Picture of their pond.)

Our first challenge was to get Lavern's kitty (Ezekiel) and Chanti to accept one another. That only took a day or two before they each started teaching the other new tricks. One day, when we left them alone for a few hours, they worked together to open Ezekiel's cat food and between them, devoured 1/3 of the package. But for all the bad things Chanti taught Ezekiel, at least he now lets Lavern hold him the way I hold Chanti. He is a quick study.

Ezekiel with his first catch, an unlucky chipmunk. He didn't know
what to do with it, so he threw the chipmunk into the air to play
with it, and, when the chipmunk realized that he was free, 
he quickly ran away.

Here are other pictures from Bob and Lavern's lake home.

We sat by this fire on the last night.

Lavern's herbs.

Other pictures taken at their lake home.

We left them on Thursday (June 27) and headed north to the Bass Lake Resort in Parish, New York. The Resort is 30 minutes north of Syracuse, New York. Right now, it is full with 
families getting ready to celebrate the 4th of July holiday.

We will leave here on Tuesday and start our long trek back across the USA to get back to California by the end of the year. Obviously, we will be taking our time as we are in no rush to get anywhere. Our next stop will be 200 miles east of here where we will be near Niagara Falls.

We wish everyone a very HAPPY and SAFE 4TH OF JULY!!!

June 13, 2013

Washington D.C.

We are leaving here tomorrow to drive up to the Philadelphia area. Our plans going forward have changed, as there is a family emergency and I need to get back to Minnesota. Thus, Jerry will continue onto New York while I (and Chanti) travel to Minnesota with my sister, Lavern, and her husband, Bob. We will see them after we get to Pennsylvania tomorrow.

But, I thought I would post the pictures we took this week before I leave, as I have no idea when I will be back to Jerry and the coach.

On a lighter side, we really had a great time with Denise and Clyde last Sunday night. We talked about all the fun we had together years ago --- taking a train ride from LA to Vancouver, attending the Rose Parade, and the dinner parties.

Me with Clyde and Denise

And, we promised not to let 14 years go by until we see each other again!

We visited the Ford Theater where President Lincoln  was shot on April 15, 1865.

Bronze bust of President Lincoln in the Ford Museum

The Ford Theater
President Lincoln was sitting in the booth to the right
at the time he was shot. John Wilkes Booth who shot
the President then jumped over the balcony on to the stage,
injuring his leg in the process.

Another view of the balcony.
Hey, what's that kid doing in my picture?

We also visited the Museum of American History on another day. Didn't take any pictures though. And, toured both the Library of Congress and the Capitol.

The Library of Congress

Front entrance of the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is absolutely beautiful.

Another view inside of the Library of Congress

If you are in Washington, D.C., do not
miss seeing this building!

We even saw President Thomas Jefferson's Library that is housed very nicely in the Library of Congress, but couldn't take pictures in the area.

And then there is this long tunnel under the 
road over to the Capitol.

We had a tour of the Capitol, but are only going to post one picture in this blog for now.

Ceiling in the Capitol Rotunda

Yesterday, we also visited the National Air and Space Museum. That is the one great thing about this wonderful city -- all these Smithsonian Museums are free. 

National Air and Space Museum

The Spirit of St. Louis

The Wright Brothers' Plane

Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across
the USA and she did it in this plane. 

Signing off for now. Please pray for my sister, Dorothy, and her family. 

June 9, 2013

Washington, D.C.

Last October when super storm Sandy hit the East Coast, we hunkered down at the Cherry Hill Park about 10 miles north of Washington D.C. to wait out the storm. We really didn't get to see much of Washington, D.C. at that time.

We are back at the same park and have been more productive about seeing the sites that D. C. and the surrounding area have to offer. We figure that it would take five years to thoroughly take in all of the museums, government buildings, monuments and history of this place. Most people come here and try to catch as much as they can in a week or two. That is what we have been doing this past week.

Top on our list of priorities was Mount Vernon, President George Washington's 200-acre estate. It is located 30 miles from the city, right on the Potomac River.

Bronze statute of
President George Washington

Because there wasn't any photography back in the late 1700s, the only pictures available of President Washington were those that were painted by artists. But, today, with technology, experts have a better idea of what George Washington looked like. This statute is their reproduction of his face at age 47.  

Front of George Washington's home
at Mount Vernon, Virginia. You can see the 
blue waters of the Potomac on the right.

A closer view of Mount Vernon.
(Could not take pictures inside of the house.)

Left side of Mount Vernon showing the 
Potomac River running behind his house.

Walkway behind the house leading 
to the Potomac River.

First burial vault of George and Martha Washington.
They were moved to the new vault in 1830.

Casket of President George Washington
inside the new vault. (Martha Washington's
casket is to the left and not shown on this picture.)

Stain glass depiction of the 
Reading of the Declaration of Independence
to George Washington,
located in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum
and Education Center located on the property.

The Museum was most interesting, as it is laid out chronologically to the events in President Washington's life. One of the best Museums we have visited.

Next on our list was the Washington National Cathedral.

 Washington National Cathedral

Jerry took this picture from inside 
the Cathedral while we were up in the balcony.

The Washington National Cathedral
(looking down from the balcony)

We could not see the beautiful ceiling because of the wire mesh underneath it. The mesh was put into place to prevent debris from falling into the Cathedral after the earthquake 2011. A number of structures suffered damage from the earthquake and are still under repair, including this Cathedral, Union Station and the Washington Memorial.
The alter in the Cathedral

Looking from the alter to the back of the Cathedral.

So many beautiful arches throughout the Cathedral

Organ in the Cathedral

While we were there, the organ master played three short symphonies for the people in the Cathedral. The pipes were so powerful and the music so beautiful that it cannot be described in words. So, we went back today for Sunday services. Just wanted to hear the organ music once again and thank God for all His gifts.

In the seven years that we have been RVing, we never thought to take a formal bus tour of any place we have visited. That changed here. We decided to see Washington, D. C. at night and took a night tour of the city. It was a challenge taking pictures at night.

Thomas Jefferson Memorial

Side view of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial

Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial

Eleanor Roosevelt is also represented
within the FDR Memorial for all of 
her peace-keeping work. She is the only 
First Lady outdoor statute in D. C.

Korean Memorial

Martin Luther King Memorial

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima Memorial

On Saturday, we visited The National Archives. We saw the actual Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Magna Carta of 1297 documents. (The Magna Carta document is one of four surviving documents.) No photography, of course. These documents of heavily protected by security and put away in secret vaults every night. 

National Archives Building

The line waiting to get into the National Archives

This is part of the US Navy Memorial.
There are bronze depictions of people and 
events all over this city.

Inside Union Station -- the central transportation point
for all of the trains, subways and buses. It is huge.

 Ceiling in Union Station

Speaking of buses and subways, we have been making our way around this city by riding them.

Inside the subway

The subway cars we ride

Tonight we have been invited to dinner at Denise and Clyde's place here in Maryland. Denise and I were co-workers at one time, and we haven't seen each other in 14 years. Jerry and I attended their wedding 24 years ago. She said that every year on their anniversary (last week), they watch the video of their wedding. When they saw us on the video, they said: "There's Jerry and Mary. Wonder what happened to them." Then I call her the next day.

We have one more week here in the Washington D. C. area before moving on further up the coast.

Enjoy the life you live.