La Jolla

I was feeling brave and decided to travel solo. I searched for flights to San Diego, trying to avoid going through Dallas and trying to find the cheapest days to fly.  I was surprised to find that American was cheaper than Southwest, however when you add for baggage, the cost was approximately equal. I liked the timing of the American flights and booked the flight with one stop in Phoenix. The flight was uneventful, other than seeing snow capped mountains. We arrived early but had to sit on the tarmac for 30 minutes. Then when we were attempting to take off for San Diego, 13 other planes were lined up all waiting to take off, so we waited a few minutes more. The flight was over, we arrived on time.

My cousin picked me up at the San Diego air port and we ate lunch by the bay. I had the best blue crab sandwich and took half to her husband. They were staying in a condo overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

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Lunch by the bay

We walked along the beach every day at least 3 times a day. We talked late into the night every night. She shared her daughter and grandson with me. I enjoyed a special time with the family.


She had a list of places to share with me during my stay. At the end of four days, she remarked that we had done everything on her list. I took that as a sign that the length of my visit was just right.

We drove to Encinitas CA. I loved the city beside the ocean with access to LA and points in between by hopping the rails. Riding the train was one thing we did not have time to do, hopefully another time. I asked her what Encinitas meant in Spanish, she wasn’t sure so I searched Wikipedia to discover it means little oaks. That’s so perfect.

We visited the Golden Lotus Temple at the Self-Realization Fellowship overlooking the beach. The meditation gardens were established in 1920 by Paramahansa Yogananda. It was a peaceful site. This picture shows the entrance to the right. It was a peaceful, calming place.






I’ve chosen Cultivate as my one little word for 2019.

Definition – to improve by study

Synonyms- acquire, develop, form

Quote that inspires me:
“Part of cultivating a Good life is recognizing what needs to change in your life, and then changing it”

My intentions:

Cultivate relationships
Cultivate a new business
Cultivate writing
Cultivate painting
Cultivate creativity
Cultivate improved health

Why I chose cultivate as my olw:

I believe this will help me focus on achieving my goals for 2019.

Gas Station

Since I live in a rural area, I’ve always heard of Butler Buildings. They are metal buildings that usually replace the quaint old barns built because they were less costly in time and labor expenses. These buildings were operational in the late 1930s.

Last week some “car guys” directed us to check out this old Butler Building. The owner dismantled it, moved it to his property about 15 miles away and put it back together.

It’s really cool. He has it furnished with period pieces that were actually functional.

He isn’t finished, plans are in the works to refurbish the paint. I thought it was so interesting and later researched the web for gas stations made by Butler Buildings.

I was amazed to find a website from another collector. He posted several pictures of this type of old building. You can review it at the site below.

Who knew!

#Hot Rod Power Tour 2017 Madison to Indy

The morning was much cooler than any other day of our road trip. Skies were overcast til 4 so the pictures were extra sharp.

Traveling the route 40 that old truckers used offered great sights. Look at the pictures and think about the engineering required to create these yard displays. We stopped and spoke with the grandad and grandson in Browntown, IL. The grandson said he was recycling some junk. He included waterfalls in each display.

We drove through Vandalia, IL and passed the old State House. I was too slow to get a complete picture. It was a huge,  beautiful white house sitting on a manicured lawn. I  did catch one fellow sitting on the corner watching the hot rods drive past.

With the time change to Eastern time,  we made it to Lucas Oil Raceway by 2 pm and met John Force and his daughter, Courtney. They were so interesting. We listened as they answered questions and told stories of growing up and racing. The fastest speed recently achieved is 338 mph.

John grew up very poor. He said he ate a lot of  bologna sandwiches. His first sport of choice was football but he wasn’t remarkable so he tried something else. He raced in Australia, he said he was the fastest American who ever raced there.

As a young child Courtney was always at the race track with her family. Her first memory was at age 7 when her father took her to the race track for the day. He was making it a special day for her because he missed another important day. Courtney was not allowed to drive or ride in any of her father’s cars while growing up. She first attended driving school when she got her CA drivers license at age 16. She credits her dad for teaching her everything about racing.

They graciously signed autographs for everyone in line. They are heading to the weekend race in Bristol,TN.

We watched drag racing because the weather was perfect. Trucks as well as Mustangs and Camaros raced the 1/4 mile. We saw a couple Corvettes run in the high 9’s. That’s moving down the track.  We have one stop left. I worried about the people racing their cars. If something blew up they would have to figure out a way to get home. I’m sure the racers weren’t thinking that far ahead. They just wanted to beat their opponent.

Tomorrow we meet in Bowling Green KY for the last leg of our journey. We will officially become LongHaulers! 7 cities in 7 days. Both You Tube and FaceBook have lots of cruise videos by amateurs. Type in “Hot Rod Power Tour 2017” to check them out.

#Hot Rod Power Tour 2017 Champaign to Madison, IL Gateway Motorsports 

It was another beautiful day to cruise America’s heartland. 

The State Farm Center was a great venue dotted with trees for cooling off. The first task was to check in to get our card time stamped. Next we checked out the cars new today. 

Time for a break at the hotel and check out the others making long haul.

The next morning we headed to Madison IL, just across the river from St. Louis. We drove through small towns where people patiently waited for the cruisers to pass through. Gas stops were crazy, stations filled with classic cars. A few cars made stops along the roadside to check out a minor problem with their cars. We did because the car running with us had a low tire sensor illuminated. He had a portable gizmo to check pressure and inflate the low tire.

Arrived in Gateway at noon.

Here is the VIP lounge, where we took shelter from the rain.

But the rain blew over and racing started again.

I love this shot of the Arch with the sun making the buildings glisten.

Here is a view from the VIP lounge.

And another day bit the dust. Heading to Indy.

#Hot Rod Power Tour 2017

Rusty Wallace Speedway in Newton, Iowa was a popular spot with everyone. It was hot, dusty and crowded. But hot rod fans loved every minute. 

We had a 30 minute drive to our hotel for the night at Prairie Meadows Casino in Altoona.

I found an interesting sculpture in the lobby.

Dinner at Jethro’s BBQ was the best!

We spent some time the next morning cleaning the bugs off our car. Mother’s polish made the task easier. 

Then it was time for breakfast at McDonalds with other car enthusiasts.

Then we hit the blue highways for our next destination, the fairgrounds in  Davenport, Iowa. 

The drive to the fairgrounds was lined  with hot rods. Here is a 55 Chevy, sometimes called a shoebox because of its shape & size. 

We checked in at the long haul booth on the fairgrounds, walked around looking at the displays and cars, visited the VIP lounge to cool off and grab a snack, then headed to our hotel. 

Davenport Iowa sits along the Mississippi River. Our hotel room had a great view. The parking lot just below our room was filled with colorful classic hot rods.

The picture below shows the scenic view of the Mississippi River. 

Some new friends suggested we could drive a few miles along the river road to Le Claire and see the home of Archelogy Antiques. We were ready for an adventure so we got back in the car to explore. Along the way we saw grand old homes built high on a bluff overlooking the river.

We found the store of pickers, Frank & Mike. It was much smaller than we expected, but interesting. Antiquefinds and touristy  mementos were for sale. 

While in Le Claire we drove by the museum for Buffalo Bill. It was closed so we ate dinner before heading to our hotel to rest for our drive to Champaign, IL. 

#Hot Rod Power Tour 2017

This is an amazing road trip. It began Friday evening in Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. BBQ was on the dinner menu.

Saturday was the car show and time for talking with vendors and car people.

Cool cars everywhere.

Conversations with nice people from all over the country.

Then the fun really began on Sunday. We headed east & north through rolling hills toward Iowa.

People were waiting to wave to us and cheer us onward.

Our next stop was the Rusty Wallace Speedway in Newton Iowa for another huge car show.

Then we headed north to spend the night in Altoona Iowa. BBQ was what’s for dinner:

Tomorrow we head to Davenport Iowa. Expect more photos.

Travel Resolutions

A few years ago I resolved to travel more. I didn’t make a strict schedule, however by the end of that year,  I’d traveled quite some distance every month. During 2016 travel to the usual car shows and spur of the moment cruise travel occurred. I’m ready to again focus on travel. For 2017, I resolve to travel. I have a loose outline for several months. Some travel will center on attending car shows and swap meets for my husband, while other trips will be destinations without purpose other than relaxing and enjoyment.

More specifics to follow: retirement, method of travel, locations…




Another excursion on our cruise was in Belize. I was told that Belize was beautiful so I was excited to see for myself. We spent half a day on the Belize River. It was indeed beautiful. We saw: bats hovering near the river’s edge, Howler monkeys sleeping in flowering trees, an alligator in the water, a Jabari stork  and huge iguanas resting in the flowering tree branches. 

Our tour guides genuinely shared their knowledge of Honduras. The trees with orange flowers were called Flamboyant tree. I think it is their national tree.

They eat armadillo, green iguanas, and lots of fresh fruit. Our lunch at the planned stop alongside the river was delicious BBQ chicken, rice and something similar to a sweet potato, washed down with a Belikin beer.

Their language is a mixture of English creole. The guide suggested to us, “take off the ‘er’ and add ‘a’ to our words. For example, sister becomes Sista, driver becomes Driva. The ‘th’ sound becomes ‘d’ , for example this becomes dis.

Their culture culture mixes African and Mestizo cultures. Approximately 11% of their population is of Mayan descent.

In the afternoon we toured ruins of Altun Ha. The site was used for Mayan ceremonies and was one of the richest sites. A large emerald head was uncovered there. You can read more about that here:

  At the top of the pyramid blood letting ceremonies were held. The steep steps were made of limestone mixed with shells.

In the hot, humid afternoon, after a break to pour my water over me so I would not pass out, I climbed to the top of Altun Ha! The tour guide kindly stayed with me until I had enough steady strength to climb down. When I made it down I bought a freshly cut coconut, the lady deftly used a machete to whack it open. I could feel my electrolytes stabilizing as I sipped. 

Visit to Roatan Honduras

In late April I took a Carribean cruise  with some family members. It was my first ocean cruise. We stopped at three ports, the first was Roatan, Honduras.

The island is beautiful. Small communities are scattered along the coast line. Individual, colorful homes built around the curvy, hilly roads.image

The food was delicious but I didn’t eat their delicacy, green iguana. While riding a tour bus along the winding roads I spotted a green iguana. The tour guide got excited when I told her I saw one, she loves to eat the green ones.

My family owns a hardware and lumber business so when I spotted a Sherwin Williams paint store along the highway I quickly snapped a picture. While driving through the countryside, I noticed the use of tin for most house roofs. image

I saw industrious people working to make a life. Some raised livestock or sold crafts.


We were directed in traffic by a beautiful policewoman.


We toured a training school that taught how to carve cameos from shells. The cameos were unique. I was too indecisive, ran out of time and didn’t purchase one.

The city was clean and surrounded by lush green plants. Back on the ship our evening meal paid homage to Honduran food.