Saturday, April 25, 2015

Walking from Seattle to Key West

with Alan Christoffersen.  Well, not literally, but 'literature-ly'.

I just finished reading The Walk, a series of five books by Richard Paul Evans.  I loved every step of the 3,000+ mile walk and the few breaks we had to take. Here are some of the highlights of our journey, book by book.


The Walk (The Walk, #1)The Walk by Richard Paul Evans
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alan has lost everything: his wife, his house, his business, and his cars.  He packs his back pack; leaves his faithful employee and friend in charge of what is left of his money and possessions; and starts walking  from Seattle, Washington to Key West, Florida. Well, I going on a his journey with him. Alan's story caught me and won't let go. While there are tender moments that make me tear-up, the story is not sappy. I am looking forward to seeing the places his journey takes him. I have been to all 50 States and I want to see if he travels through some of the same places I have. The first part of his ''Walk" keeps him in Washington State.  We get as far as Spokane before we have to come to a halt for five months.  Here we meet Angel who turns out to be a flesh and body one. There's a story here, but won't spoil it for you.  I have only been to Washington's coast; therefore, Central and Western Washington was new territory for me.


Miles to Go (The Walk, #2)Miles to Go
I love this story. We are covering a lot of territory on this leg of the trip: Spokane to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, where we meet Kailamai, another story. Then, we went to Ennis, Montana, through Yellowstone National Park, to Cody, Wyoming, and stopping at Rapid City, South Dakota and Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse.  A lot of the places I have actually visited. It was fun to go there again with Alan. This series of books is a really fast read so I am reading them as one novel. The minute I finish one I start the next one.

The Road to Grace (The Walk, #3)The Road to Grace
I am still enjoying the journey.  We started out at Rapid City and went east, passing Wall Drug, everyone knows about Wall Drug. Then, we crossed the border or Idaho into Sioux City, Iowa, and went on south to Sidney.  We are halfway to Key West! We keep on going through St. Joseph and Hannibal, Missouri.  Then, we hit a speed bump in St. Louis and our journey is again delayed to get over it.  I am a meeting a lot new people from diverse backgrounds and lives. I will keep walking...just started 'A Step of Faith'.

A Step of Faith (The Walk, #4)A Step of Faith
We got over the speed bump and are on our way again. Starting in St. Louis and to Memphis, Tennessee, and Tupelo, Mississippi, to visit the haunts of The King.  Wow, we go through Birmingham, Alabama, and across, Southern Georgia.  Oops, we are going to have to take a break again.  It's been a long walk, but I am hanging in there and loving every step. We are in the South now-my part of the country. I am recognizing more of the places and certainly can relate to the people. Mr. Evans captures each moment like he has actually made this walk. Can hardly wait to get the last one!

Walking on Water (The Walk, #5)Walking on Water
Finally, we are on the last miles of our journey. We started our journey again at the Northern border of Florida through the Okefenokee Swamp, Kennedy Space Center, Miami and finally landed at the Southernmost tip of Key West. I did not like this book as much as the other four books. There were too many pages devoted to the past history of Alan's family. I did not think it added too much to the story. The ending seemed anti-climatic. I am not sure how I wanted the story to end; it just seemed to fall short of the rest of the journey. It took so long to get here. Even the Epilogue was disappointing. I thought it needed more or maybe I was just sad to end the journey. 

Well worth the read. Recommend!
View all my reviews

A Note: What I thought most interesting?  The author and his daughter actually took this trip from Seattle to Key West by car to do the research for this book.  They actually met one of the characters along the way.  What a great way to research a book and bond with your daughter.

Monday, April 13, 2015

A DAY AT THE RACES

ARKANSAS DERBY DAY at Oaklawn Park Race Track 2015 and we were there.  I had never been to the Derby so I added it to my bucket list and took it off the same day. 





There were over 67,000 people filling the stands and the infield.  We walked through the tunnel to the infield. It was like one big party.  Live music in the Pavilion, families having picnics, and some on blankets or lawn chairs just people watching.  The weather was perfect.  Yes, some wore gaudy hats like they do at the Kentucky Derby.  (Some hats should have been left at home!)



The highlight of the day was the 11th Race when American Pharoah out ran the field in grand style.  He is considered one of the favorite contenders for the Triple Crown this year.  
Chuck bought a 'win' ticket on him and didn't cash it. The odds were 1:9 paying $2.20. He is saving it in case American Pharaoh wins the Triple Crown.  The plan is to buy a winning ticket from each of the 'Triple Crown' tracks.  Then he'll have all four tickets...hmmm!...maybe sell them of EBay.  Okay, we are just dreaming.  We'll keep them as souvenirs.

We had a great time and are putting it on our 'Do it again!' List.

Oaklawn Park from the Infield

Starting gate ready
 to be moved to the track.
Jockey lost his mount
right before he was to be loaded
into the gate.  Not sure what happened?






Friday, December 19, 2014

DAY TRIPPING ALL THE WAY TO LITTLE ROCK

To see the Chilhuly Exhibit at the Clinton Presidential Library









White Glass Christmas Tree
A Part of the Permanent Collection
Clinton Presidential Library Little Rock Arkansas





We are still trying to figure out
how to take a 'Selfie'!

This exhibit was not as large as the first Chihuly Exhibit that we saw at The Arkansas Art Center in 1985 on the last day.  From that moment on I was a big fan of Chihuly glass.  If you ever get the chance to see one of his installations, do not pass it up!

Boston Installation