Saturday, October 18, 2014

Focus on the Family and Adventures in Odyssey

One of the reasons we were heading out west was to visit 
Focus on the Family.
In 1986, Dr. James Dobson and a guest onFocus on the Family wondered why more Christians didn’t create high-quality entertainment. With Focus on the Family’s strengths in radio, the ministry launched an audio drama with Hollywood actors performing scripts that entertained while teaching Biblical and moral lessons. Adventures in Odyssey was born!

Elliot as "Eugene"

The highlight was recording our own AIO episode. They have a a pre-recorded session that you can add your voices in. The kids did voices the parents did sound effects. 
AIO centers around John Whittaker who owns an ice cream shop called Whitsend.  One of the menu items that kids ask for is a World Famous Chocolate Soda. Which in one episode is referred to as Wodfamchocsod.
These are some of the actors who work on Odyssey or who did in the past.  The actors are the voices behind many famous movies and cartoons. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Colorado Rocky Mountain High

John Denver singing Rocky Mountain High

Red Rocks Amphitheater
Jane told me to take her picture on the stage- where in her words
"famous people stood"
A beautiful venue about 9,000 seats. 
We didn't see a concert, but enjoyed the views.  
"The Garden of the Gods"

The balanced rock.  In the 1800's a man bought the land around this rock and charged people for a picture he took with his camera.  As personal cameras became popular, people began to take their own photos. He then built a wall around the rock and charged a fee to see it.
In the 1920's the city of Colorado bought all the property and tore down the wall. The rock is now part of
"Garden of the Gods" which is free. 
Palmer Park  2014
This photo was taken in 2007 at Palmer Park. It was nice to be able to return to the park with the kids this time.

Rocky Mountain National Park 
The aspen trees were beginning to change colors. 
We took a bus around to different spots in the park. We passed this elk several times. 

We drove up 12,000 feet.  We didn't spend a lot of time outside the car, because we didn't prepare for the drop in temperature. That day in Boulder the temperature was 86 degrees  at 12,000 ft it was 45 degrees.
Pink Mustaches at the Rockies game.  Last home game and fan appreciation day. 

They sang God Bless America, the crowd cheered when they sang the part " from the mountains" We don't cheer at the part in Michigan. Maybe if the words were "from the Lakes" 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Goodbye New Mexico hello Colorado

Our room was inside the Casina wii. Elliot was disappointed that there wasn't any Nintendo.
Fort Union was set up shortly after New Mexico became a US territory. It was part of the Santa Fe trail which was a major highway for carrying goods before the railroad was built.
 It was the only southwest (state) territory to be used during the Civil War. It stopped goods going to the confederates. 

We left New Mexico and began the 6 hour drive to Colorado Springs. I am sure I slept for at least 20 minutes during that drive.  Nathan and I remembered visiting Manitou Springs when we visited. We enjoyed the arcade and the natural mineral springs located around the village. 

A huge assortment of old and new arcade games. I was able to get a free game of Pole Position II. I thought at first the game ate my quarter but when I pushed the return slot it spit it back out and let me play the game. 

Jane had added to her flat penny collection on this trip. Here she is choosing one that has the Lord's Prayer on it. 

I remember Cherry Coke looking like this. 

Elliot played a game dad played when he was the same age. 

The kids tasting the water. It is bubbly and every spring has a different flavor. The kids didn't like any.

Some of the newer arcade games had tickets attached to them. Jane noticed that all the things you could win looked old and dirty. She gave her tickets to Elliot. 

Coronado Historic Site

This is a Kiva.  An underground room used by pueblo Indians for sacred rituals. This site has some of the original etchings found inside on the walls of a Kiva. A Pueblo Indian in the 1930's was paid to recreate the scenes inside the Kiva and was subsequently kicked out of the tribe. There are some things that are sacred and secret to American Indians. They are not intended to be seen by outsiders. Even today they have dances and dress that are only done in the presence of tribe members.
We don't have these signs in Michigan. If you see a rattlesnake, you are to back away slowly and not run. Not sure I would follow that rule.  We had two movie references on this visit, one was from the MST3K "Eegah" where a voice not belonging to anyone on the screen says  "watch out for snakes" We repeated that line often during our visit in New Mexico. 

The adobe structure. It was close to 89 degrees that day and it was probably a cool 72 inside the house. The second movie reference was from Peewees Big Adventure  the kids were quick to repeat me when I said ' can you say Adoobee'
We liked this oath because he added and I promise to always keep my room clean. Jane didn't repeat that. 

I don't think they know how to use that thing. 

Elliot was listening to an Odyssey episode, during this scenic stop. He didn't realize we were walking away, this is him running to catch up to us. 

Albuquerque ( pronounced al-buh-ker-kee or something like that)

While researching what to do on our vacation,  it was Jane who spotted the balloon museum located in Albuquerque.
 Albuquerque -whose name the British certainly must say in a completely different way than us. I remembered my friend laughing for about five minutes after I mentioned wanting to visit a place in Australia. I had only read it and guessed how it was pronounced, I guessed really funny.  I imagine this name has been pronounced in all kinds of funny ways. 
The city is famous for ballooning. We were two weeks shy of the biggest ballon festival in the nation. I was kind of sad about that and kind of glad we didn't have to put up with extra traffic and possibly no place to stay. I had to snap a picture of the poster featuring Detroit. 

The kids liked trying to land their simulated balloon on the right spot. 

The  red and white  'gondola' was from the first successful balloon around the world, March 1st 1999
 Balloons were used in wars. The Japanese knew about jet streams in WWII and used them to have balloons carry bombs into the US called Fugo bombs. One landed in Michigan. These incidents didn't make the news because the US didn't want their to be panic and they didn't want the Japanese to know they were working. This trip to the museum was my first time ever hearing about them. 
The only hot air balloon Elliot wants to ride at this point in his life. 

Playing at the park. We were total tourist taking pictures with the tumbleweeds. 

New Mexico, why don't we have a state called New Canada?

This restaurant would not hire me as their food photographer.  Everything on the plate had a distinct flavor and was terrific. We loved the New Mexican cuisine. I had chili rellenos twice, just happened that way. I need a reason to go back and try something new. This  stuffed, poblano pepper was smothered in some delicious sauce. I picked only the green sauce this time, the previous night I had the red and the green sauce - which I read in a book the locals ask for it by saying 'christmas.' We didn't eat inside a restaurant, I didn't hear anyone say that to verify.  I would have felt too dorky to ask that way.  When the travel channel decides to fund my next vacation and pay for my meal, and needs me to do the traditional touristy stuff, then I will say it.
 This night was my first time having a dish called hominy.  Maize kernels treated in lye or sometimes lime.  Can you eat something made with lye and not get sick?  Doesn't sound safe.
They were delicious, it was kind of like a less crunchy chick pea in texture. The ones I had here were creamy and slightly peppery.  

Nathan did all the driving on our trip and his hard work was paying off thanks to good weather.
While he was driving, I did some sleeping. I think I dozed off at least 15 minutes in each state. My mouth wide open as we drove along.  Cars make me sleepy.   The time change and the fact that I don't sleep well in hotels, also made me sleepy.  I needed the drives to catch me up and keep me going.  Nathan brought his 'Salsa' bike on the trip. He was very impressed with my packing skills that allowed room for it. Here is a sunrise picture of a sign near our hotel. Which was located on route 66. 

The Rio Grande

Our hotel and the bike.