The Scenic Day


Sunday was our scenic day of driving from Denver to Santa Fe. I took so many pics that I put in this post that I had trouble uploading it from my phone! 😛

We started the day driving from our friends’ house through our old neighborhood haunts. The first stop was solemn:

The week we left for our DTS in Germany in1999 was the week of the Columbine High School shootings. It was just a few miles from our house. When we arrived in Germany it was still world news.

Sunday morning we stopped at the park right next to the high school which was also next to the library we often visited. They had erected a memorial to the victims of the shooting and we spent about 20 minutes reading the inscriptions. (photo above) I found the inscriptions below particularly poignant.

The fountains at the memorial:

Then we drove over to our old house. We found it vacant, in some disrepair and up for sale as a repossession.

Then started a day of driving with beautiful vistas and clouds and weather.

Then we stopped at the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

And finally we made it into New Mexico!

And since we couldn’t take the picture going in, we took it going out!

New Mexico also offered stunning horizons while driving.

Open House & Ultimate Shopping

We had the treat to see a few people at our Denver open house. while the turnout wasn’t much the time quality time. Good to see you Penny, Steven and Erica!

In the evening we went shopping! Denver has a shopping ‘nexus’ that surrounds Park Medows mall that is pretty amazing. The original destination was the American Girl shop so that Olivia could relive some American childhood memories (the bulk of which were actually experienced in Europe) 😛

Here’s the gang at the American Girl store. Noah and I also had fun in the LEGO store!

Hot road miles

Lots of long straight miles between Indy and Wichita and Denver in 100 degree (F) weather. Thanks to a good car all has gone smoothly.

This was the best I could to capture the Kansas state line.

Construction wasn’t too bad but we have had some stretches. Thankfully US roads are already wide enough that driving on my narrowed lanes is not quite the white knuckle experience that one gets in German or Swiss highway construction zones!

Thanks to our friends Brian & Vanessa, we had wonderful accommodations and food in Wichita. The kids even had some good fun lighting off fireworks in their cul-de-sac. Thanks Conner for leading the way!

Between Wichita and Denver we saw a sign and a wonder (at least to me! ) There in Colby, Kansas, in the desolate stretches of I-70 near the Colorado state line we found a…

Starbucks!!!

I wish I’d gotten a picture, but at least I got a Frappachino and a latte.

Another day (shorter) of hot, straight highway driving brought us to Denver in rush hour. It was slow going but fun as we began to stir up old Denver memories and there had just been a good thunder storm that had come through. Nothing like seeing good weather come in over the mountains!

We then reunited with Angela who had been retrieved from her retreat by our friends Keith & Annie. We’ve now enjoyed a wonderful meal and good night’s rest in their lovely home.

Dry/Wet 4th & hittin’ the road

Spent the 2nd straight day with serious pool time (lots of sunscreen but a bit pink in the face anyway).

It’s been so dry in Indiana (and many other places in the States) that all private fireworks and public ones too were banned. So our 4th was calm. It wasn’t until the next day however that I realized that I had ‘missed’ fireworks.

Now we’re on the road in this beautiful Honda Pilot, courtesy of our friends. Thanks, Tom & Wendy!

Here we are at the first state boundry line. Unfortunately the rest of the state boarder lines have not been accessible for photo ops. 🙁

Think “The Long And Winding Road” by the Beatles…minus the ‘winding’ part! 😀

Chillin’ in Indy

We arrived safe and sound with easy flights and fairly smooth connections.

We’re blessed to be staying all together at a large, lovely and luxurious home of friends of my parents and sister from their church.

Here are some pics from our cushy digs.

Fête & Fahren

Yesterday we attended the end-of-year ‘fete’ (carnival) at Olivia’s  school. We’ve done this for 8 years now. The big difference this year was that we (Angela and I) did not have any (planned) responsibilities.

Not having to do any duty with the sound was a big deal for me! I still got pressed into a little duty when changing the stage before a concert was not going well. Other than that I had the surreal experience of watching others stress-out exactly as I had done for too many years in a row!

Olivia, however had 2 duties with her class:

1-do a sock puppet show on the life of St. Patrick

2-Perform a rendition of LEAN ON ME with the four French members her class, to whom were added two German girls who are here for a few months studying French and four Austrian ladies who are here for a week visiting Olivia’s class (they had visited their school in Vienna in May). So they were all singing it in English and Olivia was the only anglophone among them!

I took a video of the performance with my phone. A bit shaky video and the sound is really weak but you can see that they had fun, and live, it was really good! 😀

Lean On Me – 10th grade class at Lycee Daniel

All that activity before leaving made sleep difficult to come by last night, not to mention a stuffy hot room after several hot days.  But we got away smoothly this morning with a Lufthansa flight from Basel to  Frankfurt where we wait now for our Stateside flight.

Here are Olivia and Noah this morning when we were waiting in Basel.

And now we wait in Frankfurt:

Next report-from the States!

Free refills here we come!

image

This is a picture of our local McDonald’s taken from my phone at 6 o’clock in the evening today-a  Saturday night!

We’re about to take a trip to the States and I don’t expect  McDonalds there to be  looking like this on a Saturday night.

I think it must be the free refills (none in France!) that draws the crowd 🙂

Anyway I did this post with my phone (voice recognition and swipe typing) and the WordPress Android  app. I hope to do lots of little posts like this regularly during our trip…a  travelog made possible by free McDonalds wifi and free Android phone apps!