Last month Dear Diane and I, accompanied by our new pooch, Maddie, left our home here in Florida to drive across this great country so we could visit our daughter and her family who live in the Bay Area. Our primary purpose was to attend the First Holy Communion of our grandson, Ezekiel Francis. But we decided to turn the trip into a major vacation, visit a few old friends, and see the country up close and personal. We spent nearly a month away from home and added almost 7,000 miles to the car's odometer as we made our way to California, avoiding the Interstate highways whenever possible. It was a marvelous trip.
|First Communion day: daughter Siobhan, me, son-in-law Jeffrey, Ezekiel, Phineas|
Maddie's presence also required us to stop fairly frequently so she could "use the facilities," but that actually worked out well since our bodies likely benefited from the occasional stretching of aging muscles. As for Maddie, she sat on a soft, comfortable dog bed behind the driver seat. We also tethered her to a seat belt to keep her from flying about in the event of a sudden stop or worse. She actually adapted well to these arrangements; indeed, to all the travel, with just a few exceptions. Maddie demanded that her window be opened, if only a few inches, whenever she was in the car; otherwise she subjected us to a constant, very high-pitched whine that no human ear could withstand for more than a few seconds. We decided that any attempt to train her to be quiet while driving at 70 mph was probably a bad idea. And so we opened her window and she settled down, while we were forced to adjust to the constant roaring of wind and road noise. It would seem we were the ones being trained. Oh, yes, and our little fur-ball has a "need for speed." Whenever I slowed down or came to a stop, she whined, but once I returned to highway speed she again settled down quietly on her bed. Very strange.
|Diane, Penny & Maddie on the Riverwalk|
We were able to spend the day and evening with our old friends, Penny and Bill McBride, who were our neighbors back in the mid-70s when Bill and I both taught at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. How wonderful it was to see them again.
Our friends gave us an abbreviated tour of the city, strolled with us along San Antonio's famous Riverwalk (where little Maddie was quite a hit), and dined with us at outdoor restaurants that tolerated our dog's quiet presence. I've included a few photos taken during our visit, including shots of the Alamo and the Mission of San Jose and San Miguel.
|A view along the Riverwalk in San Antonio|
|Diane, Penny and Bill deciding on our lunch|
|Mission of San Jose & San Miguel|
|Walkway at the Mission of San Jose & San Miguel|
|The Alamo at Night|
|Sunrise at our Tombstone Hotel|
|The Stagecoach rolls into downtown Tombstone|
|A Tombstone Street Performer Greets Us|
|Beautiful desert flora of Arizona|
|Diane keeping Maddie out of trouble in Tombstone|
Here's a link to some of the photos I took during our San Antonia visit: Flickr Texas