Sunday, June 26, 2016

Cross-Country Drive Part 4 (KY, WV, VA)

And our last three states: Kentucky, West Virginia, and back to home sweet home Virginia.

The library in Lexington KY is only a few years old, and beautiful!
Stella wanted to hide in the letters of this sign... can you find her?

Behind the rest area in West Virginia. We had to do this really quickly,
because the sky was about to open up. We didn't know until later
how serious the weather was really going to be.

Welcome to West Virginia!
Where we're having flash flood warnings, tornadoes, and severe rainfall
and thunderstorms all across your path through the state!
It was genuinely terrifying, so I let Stella hide while my husband
expertly drove us safely through the state. No photos!

I've never been so happy to see this sign.

Stella the navigator! We had a weather radar map up on my phone,
and compared it to the road atlas to see just how much of the storm
we were going to have to plow through to get home.
(Luckily, this was in Virginia and we were already through the worst of it.)

Cross-Country Drive Part 3 (KS, MO, IL, IN)

Next up: Kansas, Missouri, and a little bit of Illinois and Indiana!

Behind another rest area, and I'm
90% certain it's in Kansas. (It's either CO or KS.)

The only other picture I have of Stella in Kansas is at the Topeka Library,
because truth be told, we didn't stop anywhere in Kansas or see anything of
particular interest. We wanted to stop at the largest ball of twine, but it
would have added 2 hours to our already pretty long day so we gave it up.

Marriott in Kansas City... those lights change color and move in patterns.

And that's our hotel, the very art deco Aladdin
(operated by Holiday Inn).

Kansas City's Central Library was very high on my list
of "must see" places on this trip. This is actually their
parking garage, which they call the Community Bookshelf
because the people of the city voted on which books to
put on this giant one-block-long wall.
Do you see Stella?

There she is, right behind me!

And this is the actual library that goes with the parking garage.
We got too early a start in the morning for them to be open,
which is a shame, since I'm sure it's gorgeous inside.

Unexpected public art on our walk to the library

This probably isn't a big deal to many of you from other states, but Virginia
doesn't have White Castle. Stella told me that Michigan does have them,
and made some delicious recommendations.

Corn. Stella and I are convinced now that
approximately 80% of American soil
is being used to grow corn, based on what we saw.

I screwed up a little tiny bit on this one...
This is a Daughters of the American Revolution
statue outside the library we stopped at in Illinois.
Which is cool, but I didn't get a photo of
Stella with the library, which is this really cool
old building and the staff was really nice.

Entering Indiana!

The Harrison County library in Corydon Indiana.
Very pretty library, but they were closing when we got there
so we didn't spend a lot of time inside.

Cross-Country Drive Part 2 (NM, CO)

...And then, we were in New Mexico! We drove straight east to Albuquerque, then turned north in the morning and headed to Denver for Day 3.

Most of New Mexico looked like this.

We aren't big baseball fans, but we HAD to go to an Isotopes game in Albuquerque...
they named their team after the team in The Simpsons!

Do you see Stella balancing on the statue?
This is outside Isotopes Stadium.

Virginia Beach's Fuddruckers closed up a long while ago,
and we miss it very much. So when we saw that
Albuquerque had a Fuddruckers near our hotel,
that had to be dinner. Yum!

Go 'Topes!

Our library for New Mexico was the Zimmerman Library
on the University of New Mexico campus, which is beautiful!

The other side of Zimmerman Library.

I got into a weird habit of taking pictures behind rest areas because they're so
nice looking in other states. This one is, I think, New Mexico.

Our Colorado library was the Virginia Village Branch in Denver
(and it was just starting to rain, so we had to do this quickly!)

This neat display is just inside the door
to the Virginia Village library.

Another restaurant recommendation:
If you're ever in Denver, go to the Bull & Bush.
Excellent beer, excellent whiskey selection,
and great food, especially the Colorado fries
(with cheese and green chile!)

Cross-Country Drive: Part 1 (AZ)

My husband and I flew to Phoenix last weekend to pick up his grandparents' car and drive it back here to Virginia Beach, because they're moving here. So we had a few adventures! This is everything from Arizona (Day 1 and part of Day 2):

On the plane, ready to fly from Norfolk to JFK to Phoenix!

Hittin' the road, leaving Prescott AZ and heading north

I have several photos of just Stella looking out the car window... You can see
the landscape change as we cross the country.

We didn't know for certain until we stopped at our hotel
and turned on the news, but that smoke cloud back there
is a small grass fire that had been burning for a few days already.

If you ever visit the South Rim of the Grand Canyon,
I very highly recommend Plaza Bonita for dinner!
This chimichanga was DELICIOUS.

A Stella-sized cactus!

On the walk to the scenic views of the Grand Canyon,
this concrete design shows the different Native American
groups from the area (I couldn't get them all in the photo).

The Grand Canyon!

Yup, that canyon is pretty grand.

Stella and I enjoyed the visible lines of sedimentary rock. So pretty.

Whoa, it's a long way down!

The most dangerous picture I've ever taken of an LV
(if my husband had let go of here, Stella would have
been at the bottom!)

One last look before we go!

Pretty, right? This is behind an Arizona rest area.
I thought it was weird too. But so pretty!

We don't have rocks like this at home.
I was a little fascinated.

They actually have a "Standin' on the Corner" Park
in Winslow AZ, on Route 66, like in the song
"Take It Easy." Better yet, we had an Eagles
greatest hits CD in the car, so we listened to that
on our way there. (See Stella on his shoulder?)
Such a fine sight to see!

I have a personal goal of taking a photo of myself in front of a library in every state.
So we knocked out quite a few of those on this trip!
Here we are at the library in Holbrook AZ, "The Library on Route 66."
It was Sunday, though, so it was closed.

I really like this accidental photo my husband took there!

And that was it for Arizona.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Saturday on the Couch

Stella is nursing me back to health from a sore throat / stuffy head sort of thing I think I might have picked up in DC, so we spent today on the couch for the most part.

We snuggled with Gimli

We worked on my fashion drawing practice project
(I want to be better at drawing fashion, so I can
better design my own cosplay, so I'm drawing one
outfit inspired by each Pokemon. There are 720 Pokemon
so far, and that's not counting the upcoming Sun/Moon!)
I call the project "Gotta Sketch Em All"!

It was the semifinals of the Europe Hearthstone Spring Championships today,
so we watched that on Twitch (and played some Hearthstone ourselves, too).