Meeting Alex Zabala, Author of Treasure of the Mayan King

This weekend we get to stay with Alex Zabala and his wife in Arizona. Alex is the author of Treasure of the Mayan King. Joel worked with Alex on his book and we’ve been friends with him for about 25 years. This is a photo I took at their house.

treasure of the mayan king

Tonight we’ll be making our usual Saturday pizza for Alex and his family. We appreciate their hospitality and it’s great to be able to visit and catch up with them.

If you’d like to learn more about Alex and his books, visit his website, Arcani Arts.

Old Friends and New Friends

Today we will be visiting an old friend and I will be making a new friend. Joel and I have known Dan for I don’t even know how many years. However the last time I saw him was before he married Annette. So today when we go to stay with them for the weekend, I’ll be making a new friend!

On Saturday we will be making pizza – just like we do every Saturday night. This time when we make our crust we’ll also be making a gluten-free crust for someone who needs that.

After our weekend with our old and new friend we’ll be coming back to stay with Terry & Virgie another week! WhooHoo!!!

Petrified Forest National Park

The Petrified Forest National Park is a national park in Navajo and Apache counties in northeastern Arizona. We stopped for a visit at the Center and Fiona was able to do some exploring both outside and inside. She wasn’t too keen on walking on that “terrain”. Silly!

Petrified Forest National Park

We have now arrived safely in Phoenix and are catching up on some work and Fiona on some school work. When we did arrive the first thing we all did was take a swim in the pool. We were exhausted by 9 pm though so went to bed early.

Beautiful Kansas Sky

We left Kansas City, Missouri this morning early – before 7 a.m. Drove through Kansas – not much to see. However, I did get this beautiful photo of the sky and clouds.

the beautiful Kansas sky

We drove through the Panhandle of Oklahoma and Texas – through Guymon and Dalhart. Funny that we just watched a Ken Burns documentary about the Dust Bowl of the 1930s with Joel’s mom just the day before we left and it mentioned these areas.

Now we’re settled into our hotel in Tucumcari, New Mexico. After filling our tummies, we’re catching up on email and stuff. Tomorrow we drive to Phoenix, Arizona and see our great friends – Terry & Virgie!

Iowa Has Great Rest Stops

We left this morning at 7:30 a.m. CST from Rice Lake, Wisconsin. When we hit Iowa, we stopped at the first rest stop. It’s great! Two stories, looks like a barn, free wi-fi at the coffee shop, and a nearby gas station with good gas prices.

Iowa rest stop

We took a short break at the rest stop to use the wi-fi and catch up on some work. Fiona posted “Adventures On The Road” at her blog.

It was a beautiful, sunny day and we saw lots of green grass and white clouds. We also saw some bison and baby cows. Now we’re settled in to our hotel in Kansas City and looking forward to driving to Tucumcari, New Mexico tomorrow.

School on the Road

Fiona is now in third grade. There are less than five weeks of school left and four of them we’ll be on the road. I’ve already got her curriculum sorted out. She’s home schooled through a State-funded program and we meet weekly with a local teacher. Obviously that’s not going to happen while we travel. However, we will stay in touch via email, possibly do Skype video chats, and Fiona’s teacher can check some of her work online. Oh, and if Fiona blogs about at her blog, the teacher can see what she’s doing as well.

The photo above was taken when Fiona received her last package from Little Passports. Every month she gets to ‘travel’ to another country. She’s used to having school on the road and we’ve got lots of fun things to do these last few weeks of school.

What Clothing Should We Bring?

What clothing should we pack for our month-long trip? We’ll be leaving Wisconsin with snow on the ground it seems since we just had 17 inches on Thursday! We’ll be arrive on Wednesday in Phoenix, Arizona where the high that day should be 85 and by Saturday it will be 100. And the temperatures will be much warmer in California than we’ve seen in Wisconsin for a while.

So we’ll probably start off driving away with our long-sleeved shirts on, a jacket, and maybe even boots. We’ll be coming back wearing shorts, tank tops, and sandals. Swimsuits! We’ll have those along for all the swimming we’ll be doing.

Packing Up for a Month

It’s the weekend before we leave Monday morning for our month-long trip. Fiona is excited to see her sister Rachelle. That’s a photo there of the two of them last August when Rachelle came to Rice Lake, Wisconsin to visit.

What do you take with you when you know you’ll be gone a month? And you’re on a budget and know you don’t want to eat out too ¬†much so you have to bring food stuffs along. Easy! We’ve done this so often it really doesn’t take us long at all.

Joel and I did some shopping for on-the-road snacks and drinks yesterday. Things like:

  • Water, iced tea, apple juice boxes for Fiona, lemonade mix, hot cocoa mix for Fiona
  • Chips, pretzels, pita crackers, fruit & grain bars
  • Black olives (Sue loves those), three-bean salad, baked beans
  • Chocolate – milk chocolate and M&Ms for Fiona, lots of dark chocolate for the adults

We still have to get the giant jar of green olives and Sue has to make bread rolls for making vegetable sandwiches for the road. Isn’t this exciting?

Training for the Pools in Phoenix and California

We plan to do lots of swimming in pools during our month-long trip coming up. Pools in Phoenix when we stay with friends. A pool at a hotel in San Diego. Pam & Phil’s pool in Roseville in Northern California. We’re leaving snow to go to these places that are at or nearly at 100 degrees! We’ll need lots of pool time.

A couple of Sundays ago friends here in Rice Lake, Wisconsin had a pool party. Though there was snow on the ground and it was raining that day, Fiona enjoyed three hours at an indoor, heated pool. She had a blast! Guess she was ‘training’ for the pools in Phoenix and California. :) We’re all looking forward to more swimming.

fiona swims at the indoor pool in rice lake

It’s About Time for Something New Here!

Since moving to Rice Lake, Wisconsin in April 2012, we haven’t done a whole lot of traveling that we’ve written about. I’m going to try to make sure and write about our travels this month though in May 2013.

This month’s trip will take us out of the snow we just had on May 2 to a nice hot 100 in Arizona.

Goodbye snow!

Snow Rice Lake May 2, 2013
Snow Rice Lake May 2, 2013

We’re taking the month to eventually get the rest of our stuff out of storage in California. That will be near the end of the month. Here’s our basic itinerary:

  • May 6 – Leave Rice Lake, WI and drive to Kansas City, MO; stay overnight at a hotel we’ve already booked.
  • May 7 – Drive from Kansas City to probably Delhart, TX where we’ll stay at a hotel we stayed in last time we were through that part of Texas.
  • May 8 – From Delhart drive to Phoenix, Arizona and be warmly welcomed by our very good friend Terry Wilson and his lovely wife Virgie. Go swimming in their pool in 100 degree weather! :)
  • May 9 – Visit with Terry & Virgie and that night Joel will get to play music with Terry and his band.
  • May 10-12 – Stay with our friend Dan and his family in another section of Phoenix.
  • May 13-18 – Back to Terry & Virgie’s to visit more, play music, swim, swim, swim.
  • May 19 – Visit with Sue’s Uncle Phil & family in Glendale, Arizona. Sue hasn’t seen her Uncle in about 30 years.
  • May 20 – Drive from Phoenix to San Diego, California. Stay at a hotel in Chula Vista that has a pool.
  • May 21 – Visit with Joel’s brother and family
  • May 22 – Visit with Sue’s mom; possibly go to Balboa Park.
  • May 23 – Visit with Joel’s sister and family (read about their recent road trip); stay overnight¬†with friends Ken & Kelly in San Diego
  • May 24 – Drive up to Northern California and visit with Tom Bentley.
  • May 25 – Drive to San Francisco and visit with David Reffkin.
  • May 26-28 Stay with good friends Pam & Phil in Roseville, California. Pick up stuff still in storage. Fiona spends two days with her sister Rachelle.
  • May 29 – Leave California for Idaho
  • May 30 – Drive through Montana
  • May 31 – Drive through Wyoming, North Dakota
  • June 1 – Arrive back in Rice Lake, Wisconsin

Of course it’s all subject to change. I plan to take pictures and keep a written journal and hopefully post often here. Fiona may post at her website as well.

We plan on having a blast!