Monday 8/10 and Tuesday 8/11 (so far)

   
    
    
    
    
   
Hey hey we’re about 2 hours to home! Left east Texas yesterday AM and decided to go across northern Louisiana into Mississippi instead of cutting south to the craziness that is I-10 in southern Louisiana. Them boys drive faaaassst! Glad we went that way because we got to see the bridge that spans the Mississippi River at the Welcome Center in Vicksburg. It was an interesting stop and it welcomed us back to the humidity with a wet slap across the face! Not sure which is worse 106 but dry heat or 98 with humidity? Anyway, we also got to get gas for $2.06! Interesting side note – the octane in regular gas in the mountain states is 85 but everywhere else it’s 87. Anyway stopped for the night in Biloxi at the nicest hotel on earth. If you ever travel, make sure to stay at Home2 Suites by Hilton! They are building them everywhere (but only one so far in Florida). This morning we got to drive through (my favorite) – the tunnel under Mobile Bay {shudder}, then saw the USS Alabama before finally entering our last state! 2-1/2 months, 6800 miles, 12 states (each one twice) and I’ll bet when we wake up tomorrow in our own bed, it will feel like we were never gone!

Sunday 8/9

   
 
This was the extent of the excitement driving across Texas on Sunday

Oops forgot to update!

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
 
So today is our 5th day of driving on our way home to Florida! We were supposed to stay in Washington through Labor Day then head to a show in California then rest awhile in Las Vegas before heading to Stephanie’s wedding in Eureka Springs and then finally getting home in mid October. Eh so we’re 2 months early! As nice as our apartment was, there were quite a few things wrong with it that motivated us to change our plans. The good news is that now we’ll be home for Christopher’s and Branden’s birthdays and Taylor’s baby shower! Yay!

We left Washington and $2.89 gas last Wednesday where it looked like fall was going to come early based on the leaves starting to change color! Clear beautiful driving day meant we could see Mt Rainier! Spent night 1 in Pendleton, Oregon. Gas was $2.73!

Day 2 (Thursday) took us through southern Idaho (gas was $2.85) then into northern Utah. Still pretty mountains and cool temps. Fire season is in full swing out west and there was a massive fire that closed the highway between Oregon and Idaho overnight so we are lucky they got it under control enough that the highway reopened literally an hour before we passed through! 80 mph speed limit is quite the adjustment because people still drive 10 mph over! We adjusted our clocks one hour closer to home. 

Day 3 (Friday) was the beautiful drive across southern Wyoming. Of course we stopped at Little America for 75 cent ice cream cones even if it was 10AM! Gas is getting a little cheaper $2.69. Beautiful mountains all around and we’re driving at an altitude of 6,000-7,000′ all day. Passed the Continental Divide twice and then turned south into northern Colorado where we stopped for the night. 

Day 4 (Saturday) was the day to leave the beauty of the west (gas was $2.59) and enter the beauty (?) of the plain flat dry dusty lands of west Texas (and Central Time Zone). Amarillo definitely has its own uh charms as long as you like the pungent smell of cattle! Of course we were woken up at 2 AM with a booming thunderstorm, flashing lightning and driving rain against the windows. 

Day 5 today (Sunday) we are driving across Texas which is huge. We will still be in Texas tonight and part of tomorrow! Always a joy to be warned of rattlesnakes when we stop at rest areas but the good news is the rest areas are also tornado shelters. Awesome. And we just filled up with gas for $2.17! 

Saturday, June 13

          

          

So we finally got to have some relaxation time this week! Next week will be all work, getting ready for our big show Fathers Day weekend. We take a walk every morning down to the marina and see such beautiful landscaping! We also see deer every day. Like a lot of deer. Like so many deer we pray every time we drive in our neighborhood that one doesn’t jump in front of us! 
We also had some fun at the laundromat. Forgot how exciting it is to watch the timer tick down on the washer and dryer. Not to mention it costs $3.00 per load!
Ted was in heaven to go back to his favorite seafood store and get his Cajun smoked salmon. He couldn’t wait until we got home to eat it!

Of course we sneak in plenty of casino time. There are 2 casinos within 15 minutes from the apt. So far we are holding our own, some days a little up and some days we make a donation. Haven’t hit a big jackpot yet!

Mt Baker has been showing itself every day. This picture of it is on one of the beautiful back roads full of blueberry farms. 

The weather has been fabulous since a few days after we got here! This is the forecast for today’s high temperatures! Just like Florida! Notice in the bottom left corner of the weather map that it was 51 at 7:39 this morning! It is in the upper 40’s at night and we have to run the heater!

Today we drove up to Bellingham (about 1/2 hour north) to the wonderful Farmers Market. There’s produce, flowers, arts &crafts, street performers and food! So much fun!
 

Saturday June 6

                                   We’ve been here for 6 days now and still haven’t settled into a routine! We haven’t even unpacked the suitcases yet! It was so cold and rainy when we got here but it has been beautiful for 3 days. High about 70, no humidity and clear blue skies. We have to put on the heater at night because it’s in the high 40’s! What?! 

The no cell phone, no internet, no TV thing is very draining. If we didn’t have a business to run, unplugging might be relaxing, but for me particularly, I can not stand it (I would have typed that in all capital letters but I didn’t want to scream). I like to email and Instagram and check stuff all the time and to not be able to is quite frustrating. Sorry to vent but we’ve never been in this situation!

Other than that, the apartment is great! This neighborhood is absolutely gorgeous! The marina is at the bottom of the hill and you can see water in all directions. Now that the weather is clear, we can see the Olympic Mountains to our south and our favorite mountain, Mt Baker to the north. There are deer everywhere. Our driveway is in the side of the house (down a very steep hill!) and we have to keep the gate at the bottom closed so the deer don’t come in and eat the plants!

We’ve been going into town a lot, to eat at the adorable restaurants and go to the awesome thrift stores here. Today we are doing our first show here, the Anacortes Waterfront Festival. It’s the official kickoff to summer here and hopefully we will be very busy! 

Miss you guys!

June 1 last day on the road!

              

Sorry it took so long to post this but when we got to our new apartment we found out we have NO TV, NO INTERNET AND NO CELL PHONE SERVICE!!! Is this America??!! Is this 2015??!! The apartment itself is beautiful and the area it’s in is breathtaking but this is going to be tough! The TV is out because the landlady had a fight with Comcast so she cancelled the service and has Direct TV coming out next Monday. So this week will be A LOT of DVD’s! We can get cell service if we walk up the street a bit but we have to go to the library for the Internet. We sure found out quickly how dependent we are on technology!

Anyway, the weather in Washington changes drastically when we went through the Snoqualmie Pass which is in the Cascade Mountain range and separates eastern WA (hot) from western WA (cold). Of course it rained most of the way through our drive but the forecast for this weekend (and our first show) is awesome! 

This slug was sliming his way across the back porch when we arrived. The beautiful flowers and plants is our view from our kitchen window.

So we’re glad we’re here but don’t get upset if you call, email or text us and we don’t answer!

Sunday May 31

                           

 
Another beautiful driving day! We left Ogden, UT and got a glimpse of the Great Salt Lake. We used to get to see it for quite awhile along the highway but they’ve “improved” the roads by building concrete barriers down the median and giant sound walls along the edge so all we got was a 2 second peek. 

Anyway we drove north to Idaho and then turned west and drove across the entire southern part of the state. There are tons of faraway mountains both to the north and to the south but the actual highway part is pretty flat and boring. Most of the tractor trailers out here have these cool things called “trailer tails” for aerodynamics. 

We got to go to our first Fred Meyer grocery store in Boise! It’s hard to describe the difference in regular grocery stores out west from the ones at home. They are so much more exciting! Had to get a tub of almond butter from the machine! And while Ted was waiting for me, he bought what he thought was a scratch off lottery ticket from the machine and it turned out to be an “instant gratification” ticket which paid him $50! Woo hoo! 

Then we crossed into the northeast corner of Oregon. The welcome center had the most beautiful roses everywhere! As flat as southern Idaho was is as NOT FLAT as this part of Oregon is! It is an interstate highway but it’s full of steep climbs, 6% grades, switchback curves where the recommended speed limit for truckers is 30mph! Totally my favorite kind of drive – NOT! Beautiful but nerve wracking! We crossed into the Pacific Time Zone (3 hours behind most of you guys except Stephanie!) We also crossed the 45th parallel which is halfway between the North Pole and the Equator!

Finally got to our last (and favorite) hotel in Pendleton, OR. We stay here every time we pass through. They have an incredible evening buffet…every night but Sunday sigh. So we had to walk to the Safeway for TV dinners. Oh well. Then we’re safe and sound in the room and the Emergency Broadcast System breaks in with an urgent alert for severe thunderstorms! We open the curtains and there’s a monsoon outside! Thank goodness we weren’t driving in it.

Monday we finally get to our destination!