Aug 7, 2010

Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska and Home Again!

Okay, I know, you're thinking, "How did you skip over Texas and Oklahoma from New Mexico and end up in Arkansas?" 

Well, we really didn't see much of Texas (actually that's not true, any drive through Texas and you see A WHOLE LOT of Texas, but you know what I mean!) and we were only in OK long enough to be told by the nice highway patrol officer that 2 miles over the speed limit is WAY TOO FAST for his state and so I'm thinking that TX and OK can just be breezed over with this short note:  They're windy, flat, smell like cow poo and the storms can be harsh!  Enough said! LOL!! (Actually there are parts that are very pretty, but I'm not sure we saw those places!)

However, Arkansas - the portion we saw (Viola, AR) - was AWESOME!  We were on our way to see "Aunt Fawn and Uncle Tony" as Logan refers to them. Fawn's really my bro-in-law's sister,....so that makes us,...???,...well family actually, since we've spent every Christmas and Easter together since 1985 and even several Thanksgivings until they moved to Arkansas about 4 years ago. (boo hoo for us!!)

Fawn and Tony own "Fawnsberry Farm" and they have peach trees, blackberries, rasberries, these cute little horses and lots and lots of tree lined land with natural springs on it!  Fawn baked the most delicious blackberry pie for us the first night we arrived - it was scrumptious!! 

We had so much fun with them and with their friend Maggie, who was visiting from Oklahoma (I'm sure Maggie lives in one of those pretty places in OK that we didn't get to see!). We played cards (to their dismay afterwards, I'm sure!), went to Mammoth Spring State Park and Museum (the worlds 10th largest natural spring) and toured Banchard Springs Caverns (Waaay Coolio!! We liked it better than Carlsbad, actually).

Logan got to mow their grass (hey, we don't have much of that in Glendale, AZ) with the riding mower and he also drove their tractor and tilled their field for them - getting ready for more delicious, organic fruits and veggies for Fawnsberry Farm to produce!  It was so much fun we didn't want to leave!  And, it was great seeing family, too! We're practically ready to move there,.....just not sure how cold it gets in the winter,...after all, we're wimpy desert landers, ya know!

After saying our good bye's to Fawn and Tony and Fawnsberry Farm, we headed up to Wichita, Kansas to see Mike's sis, Sara, and hubby Roger for a couple of days. 

Due to break downs, we stayed a few more nights than planned - but ya see, they have this awesome yard, wonderful pool and relaxing hot tub, not to mention the nice, hot sauna!

I think they're catching on to our whole "We broke down in Concordia, KS (translation: the Middle of Nowhere) and had to have a new starter put in the RV and now it's too late to get to Dad's so we're coming back to stay the rest of the weekend with  you guys, okay?" 

But either way, they were super sweet, even coming to follow us back into Wichita and let us stay the weekend and help out with their huge garage sale - we had a blast! 

We got to visit with them, play with their grand kids and re-connect with our niece and nephew.  We viewed slides of Mike and all his family as kids, went through 'treasures', cooked some fantastic meals together, introduced them to Green Tabasco sauce and Mike made all the neighbor ladies (all in their 80's mind you!) the best Bloody Mary's they'd ever had! Oh yeah, and we forgot about the RV and all our breakdowns for about 72 hours!!

Leaving Kansas, we traveled north into Grand Island, NE but not until Mike's brother Pat and nephew James came down to Sara's house to 'get' us and take us safely up to Mike's dad's.  Worried about another break down and us threatening NOT to come home and Mike already missing his class reunion, Pat decided if he didn't come and get us we'd turn towards AZ and head home! (he was right, we WERE ready to head that way!)

So, we traveled to Grand Island, NE and Pat got us hooked up with "Ken's Auto", the best mechanic and auto garage in GI so they could get us a new mechanical fuel pump (the electric one that the Roswell crew put in wasn't doing the job - sorry guys - we should have listened to Jody and waited an extra day for the mechanical one!). 

We were able to spend time with Mike's Dad, his sister Teresa and hubby Jerry, nieces Elizabeth and Emily, brother Pat, wife Anne and nephew James and we even got to see his brother Marc, wife Colleen and nephews Adam, Austin and niece Allison, too.

The boys all floated down the Loup River, Mike and Logan selected a new "Tree" for another Famous Tree House they hope to build on Marc and Colleen's new property, the boys worked the back hoe and we fed the horses on Dad's property, chased his peacocks, Logan watched old westerns with his grandpa and we had a great time hanging with family  - it was LONG over due!!

We have safely traveled back to AZ from Nebraska in 2 days (yep, that's a long drive!) and are now at my sis's cabin, cleaning out the RV and loading up the Subaru so we can make our way back down into the Valley of the Sun (And HEAT!).

We have had an adventure that will not soon be forgotten. We spent some wonderful time with family and friends renewing bonds and making new ones and are so grateful that, despite the funny breakdowns and all, we are safe and happy with loads of pictures, stories and memories to last a lifetime!!

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and may all your travels be Adventures and not Ordeals!!
Cheers,
~Shel~

Final Travel Quote:  "What's the difference between and adventure and an ordeal?"
Logan:  "Mom!"
Mike:  "Attitude!" (and money to fix the RV!)
Shelly:  "A well running RV!"


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