Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Travel Thursday’

So sorry that there has been a bit of a lag between Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. This should be the final chapter of what I call “My Trip Out West” – or as the title suggests – “Over the Rainbow.”  After all, I was only four years old – almost five. So everything about this trek from Ohio to the Pacific Ocean and back was magical!

In the last installment, Mom, Dad, and I were finishing up our time at Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, and Marine Land in California. From there we drove to Victorville, California which sits on the edge of the Mojave Desert in San Bernadino County.

We spent September 21 and 22 at the home of Captain and Mrs. H.B. Alexander, friends of my parents. September 21 was my mother’s birthday. I thoroughly believed my mom was 29 because as is common, once she passed a “certain” birthday milestone, she always said she was only 29. Wow – imagine my surprise a couple of years later when I realized that she was much older than 29!  I was also confused when I realized my grandparents were also in the area!  They were on a tour of the western United States as well and it was probably by design that they were able to celebrate their daughter’s birthday.

     

Leaving the Alexander home, we traveled to the Grand Canyon. Breathtaking, beautiful, scenic, awesome are only a few words to describe what a magnificent wonder it is. When we had left California, the temperature was over 100 but as we got to the rim of the Canyon, the temperature had a drop of over 40 degrees. I remember wearing a sweater as we stood gazing out over such a majestic sight.

Leaving the Grand Canyon, we drove northeast toward Colorado Springs and the Air Force Academy. We stayed with the R.G. Schuster family and toured the Academy.

  

While there we saw 1800 cadets marching in formation and the beautiful Chapel. It is one building I will never forget being inside. On September 26 our western trip was complete and we began the drive back to Ohio, arriving on September 28.

There are many things I remember very well about the trip – items that weren’t part of a tour or a national park or a wonder of the world. Mom had packed a hot plate because even though we were able to stay in the homes of so many family and friends, we were also in a lot of motels!  The hot plate enabled her to heat up oatmeal for breakfast or a can of soup for lunch.

A lot of my breakfasts (when not at a home or in a restaurant)   were Keebler Cinnamon Graham Crackers and milk (hey, I loved it and still eat it!!). I can remember restaurants we ate at or purchased food to go from: Jerry’s (I think it was like Denny’s), Kentucky Fried Chicken (before it went by it’s initials!), and Howard Johnson’s (which is a hotel chain but we’d eat at the restaurant). I remember laundry mats – and oh goodness, there were many laundry mats that Mom and I were at washing clothes. Well, she washed and dried, and I sat and watched. I believe a lot of them were a dime. Mom would always need dimes. I remember lying across the backseat of the Pontiac either sleeping or trying not to give in to my car sickness. Every once in awhile, Dad would rouse me so I could “see the sights” – something he knew that I just had to see!  Except for the accident. I don’t know where it was but we were bumper to bumper on the road.  As we got closer, and my parents saw the ambulance (back then, they looked like a hearse) and the emergency vehicles, my Dad realized that whatever it was – was very, very bad. He told me to keep lying down and not to look.  I think later after I was older, Mom told me that it was a fatality and there was lots of blood. I also remember the little Wet Naps we always got – especially at KFC. And guess what I thought those little sudsy napkins were for? Cleaning the car windows!!  That was a big mistake!  Those windows I so carefully “cleaned” were loaded with streaks and probably were dirtier than when I started!

Oh – and going over the rainbow? Yes, I feel as if I certainly did!  At one point, after my mother could not stand to listen to me asking if we were in Kansas and where was Dorothy’s house, she pointed to a run down farm house and said – “That’s Dorothy’s house!” I spent many years believing that I saw the actual house!  (Ok, then I thought that maybe it was the “actual” house from the film until Mom told me she just could not stand to hear me ask that question one more time!)  So I don’t know if we were in Kansas (which would have been on the way back to Ohio – so I think we were probably in Montana or Idaho when she did that!).  I was young enough to see Disneyland as a child would but old enough to be able to remember quite a bit about that trip. And I have tons of pictures to help me remember!

I hope you have enjoyed my Travel Thursday series of Over the Rainbow!  I hope to begin a new series soon!

Sources: 

Personal knowledge and written description published in the Beavercreek News (Beavercreek, Ohio), Oct. 19, 1966.

Wikipedia Article online for “Victorville California”, 27 July 2012.

Photo of Cinnamon Graham Crackers: Keebler.com, 2012. Kellogg.

Photo of Rainbow: Rainbow in the sky by Jonathon Coombes (Public Domain)

All Other Photos taken by Gene or Mary Amore, digital or original slide/print owned by Wendy J Littrell, address for private use. 

Copyright for this blog post 2011 Wendy J Littrell.
No part of this blog post may be used or reproduced without explicit permission from the author and must be linked back to this blog

Read Full Post »

In case you are just now joining this series and need to catch up, you can find Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here.

Go ahead and read – I’ll wait.

Okey, Dokey – all done and ready for the 4th installment now? Good!  Any questions so far?

We have just left Northern California and are headed toward DISNEYLAND!!! To put everything into perspective, Disneyland (the original in Anaheim, California) opened its gates in July 1955 (Source: Wikipedia). A few months before we arrived in the fall of 1966, New Orleans Square had opened at Disneyland. Little did I realize as a child of not quite five, that Main Street U.S.A. was inspired from Walt Disney’s childhood hometown of Marceline, Missouri.  And even less did I realize that after I was all grown up, I would marry a man who grew up not too far from Marceline and would drive me through the town when we visited his folks just down the road in Mendon, Missouri. (As Walt would say, “It’s a small world, after all”!!!)

I’m jumping way ahead of myself. We arrived late in the evening and checked into our motel just beyond the parking lot. We would traverse that lot the next morning to begin our day. Just as we entered the gates, this is what happened:

I got a big hug from Pluto! 

And then we saw:

this!

And this (below):

Pirate Restaurant, teacup ride of the Mad Tea Party, and the Skyway ride over the park.

In Fantasyland, we rode in the teacups, Dumbo, and rode in the boats through Storybrook Land (see below). We went on the Small World and Peter Pan ride and much more!

We saw attractions in Frontierland, Adventureland (see below) and Tomorrowland.  BUT – the rocketship to the moon was not there or open. I remember a big hole with a lot of dirt. So to keep from being too disappointed, I told my parents that the rocket must have already taken off and maybe it would be back the next day.  We did go on the Submarine adventure – I was so excited thinking that we were really going deep into a big ocean. 

The next day we returned to Disneyland for part of the day.  Below you will see a picture of Mom and I sitting outside a shop.

All too soon our “Disney Adventure” was ending. It was time to move on to other attractions in the area.  At Knotts Berry Farm, we saw the train.

Met an “old west” type man.

I also saw a shoot out that left me crying and very frightened for my dad.  As we were getting ready to board the train, two men started “shooting” at each other. One was “killed” and the other loaded the “dead” man up into a wheelbarrow and hauled him off. I was so scared that my dad was going to get shot and killed while we were waiting on the train. I cried for a long time but finally my parents made me realize that it was all pretend and my dad was going to be ok. It was just like being in a movie! Everything was pretend!  Even the “snow” (below) . . .

It was really flakes of soap. My mother hated that!  For many, many years, she would talk about how hard it was getting all those particles of soap out of my hair. It wasn’t as easy as just washing it out. And my hair was naturally curly to boot!

We saw a “burlesque” show – remember this is a family park so it wasn’t too risque!  Lots of old buildings and fun activities to participate in.

Another day it was off to Marine Land!  We saw Flipper (if you do not know who or what that is, go google “Flipper TV show”)!  We saw big whales, trained dolphins, fish, and penguins.



We also went to Universal City (it was nothing like it is today!). I got to see the set of “The Munsters” (go ahead, google it, it’s ok!)

And I even got to “meet” Herman Munster (above)! (disclaimer: this was not the actor who portrayed Herman Munster, it was someone who wore a mask and just did the PR pictures with tourists and guests! But I didn’t care!)

Stay tuned for more of the Journey!

Sources: personal knowledge and written description published in the Beavercreek News (Beavercreek, Ohio), Oct. 19, 1966. Also: yesterland.com

Photos: Photographer on all photos – Gene Amore; all photos – print, slide, digital in the possession of Wendy Littrell to be used as needed.  No reprints without permission.

Copyright for this blog post 2011 Wendy J Littrell.
No part of this blog post may be used or reproduced without explicit permission from the author and must be linked back to this blog.

Read Full Post »

Unfortunately, due to real life (otherwise known as I have a paper due for my class soon), Part 4 of my Over the Rainbow journey will be delayed. I want to compile it soon so it can be posted on Feb. 9.  Stay tuned . . .

Read Full Post »

This is the third installment on my “Travel Thursday” series of “Over the Rainbow” and our journey from Ohio to California and back in 1966. You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

It was mid-September, and Mom, Dad, and I had just finished visiting their friends, the Manning family, and my great-aunt, Nellie Lilly, in Washington state. We were on our way south toward California. Next stop was Crater Lake National Park in Klamath County, Oregon.  The lake was formed from a massive volcanic eruption about 5700 B.C. (according to Wikipedia). We arrived just before the snow covered everything, and the view was breathtaking . . . 

. . . even to a four year old child.

       

We checked out the view, took lots of photos, and encountered local wildlife. It seemed the chipmunks had no fear – especially if they were fed – and the deer was injured, but didn’t get too close to us.

As we drove through Oregon toward California, we encountered logging operations.

On toward Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon. According to the newspaper article, trees at Sequoia were over 3500 years old with the General Sherman being the tallest at a little over 270 feet high with a circumference of a little over 100 feet.

     

   

We were in awe at the size of those trees!  One hollowed out tree was on its side, and I thought it was really neat how people walked into the tree without having to duck! It was that big around!

And as we traveled on toward southern California, we saw these sights:

Olive trees and citrus trees – along with trucks taking fruit to wherever they needed to go in order to be processed and shipped.  We saw grapes going to wineries.  Some of this I remember and some I don’t.  Mainly we saw long stretches of highway!

But the journey is only beginning for me – soon we will be “Over the Rainbow”! Stay tuned for the next installment!

Sources: personal knowledge and written description published in the Beavercreek News (Beavercreek, Ohio), Oct. 19, 1966.

Photos: Photographer on all photos – Gene Amore; all photos – print, slide, digital in the possession of Wendy Littrell to be used as needed.  No reprints without permission.

Copyright for this blog post 2011 Wendy J Littrell.
No part of this blog post may be used or reproduced without explicit permission from the author and must be linked back to this blog.

Read Full Post »

This is a continuation of Part 1, posted on January 12, 2012.  Please read the beginning of this journey before continuing.

As we stood in southern Idaho gazing at the Craters of the Moon, I remember thinking that this was what the moon’s surface was like (well, not in those exact words – remember I wasn’t even five yet!).  Man had not set foot on the moon yet – it would be another few years – but in my young mind, I figured someone knew what it looked like and had made this place to resemble it. Little did I realize that the Craters of the Moon was formed from lava flow.

We left Idaho and began our trek northwest toward Ellensburg, Washington.  We were going to the Gingko Petrified Forest before visiting friends and family.

And we have arrived!  Mom and I in front of the tourist center.  Notice how I’m always squinting or trying to cock my head at just the right angle to get the sun out of my eyes? I don’t know why Mom wasn’t looking at the camera – she was probably people watching (a favorite past time of her’s!). 

      

And a look at the information inside the tourist center. I thought it was really neat because the “petrified” trees looked like pretty rocks (which I collected and loved!).  I do seem to remember something about my parents telling me that I couldn’t pick up and keep anything on the ground because it was part of the “forest.”

The Washington State Park website explains that the unusual “forest” was discovered in the 1930s when highway construction unearthed the petrified trees.

And a last look at the waters off of the Wanapum Recreational Area.

On September 10th our family arrived in Seattle.  Mom and Dad knew a family who resided there from their time in Japan when they were all stationed there with the Army Air Corps (and then Air Force).

Darreld and Marilyn Manning and son with Mom, Dad and I. Check out the head scarf I am wearing – apparently it was rather windy at the top of the Space Needle.  Their daughter (also a red head as is their son) isn’t in this picture. I don’t remember why – maybe she was afraid to go outside for pictures. While we were at their house, we enjoyed a home cooked (or grilled) meal and a fairy boat ride to Victoria, British Columbia complete with a sightseeing tour of the area (pictures below).

       

All too soon it was time to leave the Manning family and head to our next stop – my grandmother’s sister’s home in Puget Sound.  John and Nellie Lilly had been living in the area for many years.  Nellie was almost four years younger than my grandmother and had been living “out west” since she was a teen due to her asthma.  Nellie and John had raised a son and a daughter and were enjoying their “golden” years and grandchildren.  My Aunt Nellie was especially proud of her flowers!  They had a beautiful home with a spectacular view. I remember my parents telling me not to get too close to the edge because it was a long drop to the water.

       

It was time to head south into Oregon.  What would we see there? And how much longer until we get to Disneyland?

Stay tuned for the next installment of our journey “Over the Rainbow”.

Sources: personal knowledge and written description published in the Beavercreek News (Beavercreek, Ohio), Oct. 19, 1966.

Photos: Photographer on all photos – Gene Amore**; all photos – print, slide, digital in the possession of Wendy Littrell to be used as needed.  No reprints without permission. (**Photograph of family at Space Needle taken by Unknown with camera owned by Gene Amore to be used by him.)

Copyright for this blog post 2011 Wendy J Littrell.
No part of this blog post may be used or reproduced without explicit permission from the author and must be linked back to this blog.

Read Full Post »

Before I started school, it seemed as if my parents and I were always going somewhere – to see my three uncles in Michigan (my dad’s two brothers in the Detroit area and my mom’s brother in Battle Creek), my aunt in Zanesville, Ohio, my aunt in Philadelphia, or my sister after she married and moved to Georgia.  Then there were the short trips around Ohio and Indiana – to reunions or just to “sight see” (Hueston Woods in Ohio, Indian Mounds in Ohio).  My dad’s civil service job at the base sent him on many trips (seminars) so I would find myself traveling with my parents to other places like St. Louis (loved the city from the first moment!). Even with all those trips, Mom and Dad wanted to take a long vacation before I started school so in the fall of 1966 – just before I turned five, we set out on a month long journey that would take us from our home east of Dayton north and west and back south to the Pacific Coast before heading east again for home.  Our destination: Disneyland!  More importantly, we were going to go through Kansas at some point and as a small child, I just knew we were going to see where “Dorothy” lived and perhaps see what was “over the rainbow” too!

On September 1, 1966 the three of us left our home and traveled to Battle Creek, Michigan where we visited my Uncle Glen and Aunt Mary. 

 (Facing the back of the house from the Lake; Mom and I sitting on the dock)

 

 

The next day we went north through the Locks at Saint Sault Marie and into Canada. We took the Trans-Canada Highway into Alberta. (Apparently Norm was there too!)

While we were on the Canadian side, we saw Niagra Falls.

We went to Great Falls, Montana, where my parents lived in the mid-1940s while my dad was stationed there with the Army Air Corps.  We stayed with the George and Grace Kelso family with daughters Sandy and Colleen nearby (on a side note as I was just googling these people, I ran across Sandy’s obituary on Findagrave – she and my brother had played together as young children).

Above: Mom and Grace Kelso

After spending a few days with the Kelso’s, we traveled into Idaho and saw the Big Southern Butte, Craters of the Moon, Shoshone Falls and the Twin Falls.

 

Above Left: I’m getting a closer look at Craters of the Moon.
Above  Right: Mom and I at the Big Southern Butte sign.

Stay Tuned for the next installment – where are we headed next?

Sources: personal knowledge and written description published in the Beavercreek News (Beavercreek, Ohio), Oct. 19, 1966.

Photos: Photographer on all photos – Gene Amore; all photos – print, slide, digital in the possession of Wendy Littrell to be used as needed.  No reprints without permission.

Copyright for this blog post 2011 Wendy J Littrell.
No part of this blog post may be used or reproduced without explicit permission from the author and must be linked back to this blog.

Read Full Post »

I don’t know if anyone else has a “travel” day of the week, but I’m going to start one!  This fits really well as I began my latest travels a week ago Thursday, March 31.  I added 3 more states to my list of those I’ve visited or traveled through. One I had been to but only when the plane stopped there and we were able to get off and outside the terminal (pre-9/11).  Didn’t think that really counted.

In early March I started thinking about my dad – he was getting ready to turn 90 years old.  I haven’t seen him in several years – since his and his wife’s last trip from Florida to Texas around Christmas.  Age and some illnesses have curtailed their long road trips so I knew that they probably wouldn’t be back for a visit.  Wishing there was some way I could see him around his birthday, I thought about how I could pull it off – especially with all my responsibilities at home plus my college course.  I thought about checking for an inexpensive flight – but I wasn’t sure what the nearest airport would be and really didn’t want to add the expense of a rental car or having my dad drive any distance to pick me up.  I went to sleep that night thinking that I’d think some more about it in the days to come.  The next morning I woke up with the thought that it would sure be nice if my sister also decided she wanted to see Dad on his birthday and perhaps we could ride together.  Our road trips have become famous (if only between ourselves)!  As I was thinking about it, I checked my email and saw that she had sent me one about 30 minutes before.  Her first sentence said that we needed to take a road trip to see Dad for his birthday because of his birthday and the second sentence mentioned that it felt like she’d been hit over the head with a hammer with that thought while she was out walking her dog.  Sister ESP! 

So with the opportunity, I made the necessary arrangements and she contacted Dad to let him know that we would like to come to visit him – there’s no way you surprise a 90 year old man like that.  I’m not sure who was more excited – my sister and I or our dad. 

So last Thursday morning she picked me up and by 7:30 am we were on the road going east toward Florida.  We traveled through Louisiana – even going through the town of the airport I’d seen briefly back in early September 2001.  Then on through Mississippi and we stopped for the night on the east side of Mobile, Alabama.  We arrived at our Dad’s about early afternoon on Friday.  My sister has been to his home a few times.  I have never been to Florida – it was never a state I really wanted to visit. 

The next day my sister’s daughter – who is only a few years younger than me – drove down from her new home a few hours from Dad’s and spent the rest of the weekend with all of us.  They took us out each evening to the club they go to and the meals fixed at the house were delicious.  We talked and visited and took pictures and relaxed!

My dad’s birthday was the day we left so we all went out to breakfast that morning to celebrate. He had not wanted a birthday cake or party or any fuss and at his age, he can get or not get what he wants.  Yet I ask you – does he really look like he’s 90?

Dad and I

Leaving was bittersweet.  Not knowing if I’d be able to get back and see him soon but so very thankful I had the opportunity to spend just a few days with him. 

Where do your travels take you?

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 57 other followers