Orphan Train Rider

Orphan Train Rider
Oliver Nordmark - Age 15 - Esbon KS

Friday, April 30, 2010

DAY #16 - Karen & Karla - back together again!

Who's Karla you might ask? I thought this was Donna's Blog??? Well, yes, but you see Karen flew into Wichita today at 4 pm and the first thing we did as we kicked up the last of the Kansas dust was revert back to our youth (oh wait, we're still young-lol!) and put Karla Bonoff on the CD player. Of course, the last time we heard from Karla......she was on an album and an 8 track! But, we still know all the words and remember the teen angst that accompanied our hair brush in the mirror performances! Oh, Karla we have missed you! How we wish we could have stayed in Salina, KS where she will be performing on May 3rd, but alas...we will have to put that off for another day - or another cross country trip. Okay, maybe not.

We left the airport and headed straight for the KS turnpike EAST enjoying the view of grazing cattle.... and more grazing cattle....and a few more. That might be enough grazing cattle for a few months :) Then we entered the great state of Missouri. Taking a page from my previous follower's comment, we tried really hard to find something resembling...oh I don't know.....home? So......we veered into a Pizza Hut! Now that should do it. Pizza Huts are EVERYWHERE, right?? Yes, but they're special in Missouri. Enough Said. What happens on the road home to Delaware....sometimes has to stay on the road. (Hint: Do you have club soda? With lemon? Oh, we only have lemon "packets". oooh. no thanks. Karen, just have a beer. Oh, okay...what kind of beer do you have? "I don't know, I don't drink beer.")

After driving for 200 miles, Karen sighed as we passed yet another 18 wheeler.... "I could never be a truck driver." To which Donna immediately and without thinking (becoming a bad habit) replied, "I could be a truck driver's wife!" So....tomorrow we will be working hard on lyrics to our new country song, "I could never be a trucker but I'll be a trucker's wife" - to the tune of Miranda Lambert's "Gotta Get a Gun." Be sure to check back, you won't want to miss that!

10:30 pm and we're in Columbia MO enjoying a few Jack Rose's (that's a mixed drink - get your mind out of the gutter) and relaxing before we start all over again in the morning.

See you then!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

DAY #14 - All good things must come to an end...

Today I had my last 2 school presentations here in Kansas. It's been a really exciting time and there have been so many wonderful people to meet and share the stories of the orphan trains with. I'm a little sad to see it come to an end.... I'll have great pictures and new friends to reminisce with, and the satisfying knowledge that through my efforts....as well as the work of so many other people....just maybe the history of America's Orphan Train Riders will not be lost to future generations. Did you know that it is estimated that one out of every 25 Americans is somehow connected to an orphan train rider? With the last train running in 1929, the youngest surviving rider is now 81 so of the 250,000+ children who rode the trains over a period of 75 years, there are fewer than 200 left to tell the tale. Maybe you'll tell one person.......

Today's schools and kids were just what I needed to end this adventure on a HIGH NOTE! These pictures are from Solomon Elementary School about 15 miles east of Salina. The little boy pictured with me at the table is Cameron - he is the grandson of Jean (one of the teachers who has worked so hard to make this trip a reality). What a nice young man! The group shot is with Mrs. Kirby's 4th grade students and the picture of me talking to the little girl is during my demonstration of choosing a child from the orphan train. I'm asking her if she knows how to clean chicken coops and collect eggs. "Oh yes," she answered me. Of course if she were from an orphanage in NYC she wouldn't know much about farm life, if anything, but orphan train children were in search of homes and families so they were apt to say anything in order to be chosen!

After a book signing and pictures, I continued on to St. Mary's Grade School back in Salina where I talked with 4th, 5th and 6th graders. Lots of great kids, questions and participation! My funniest comment came from John, a boy who, when I showed the slide of a sodhouse on the prairie, raised his hand to identify it as "a mobile home?" Hmmm... maybe one covered in mud John??

Many, many thanks to all the schools, students, teachers and community members who have made this book tour an absolute success! I am so appreciative and I know that when I remember my time here in central Kansas it will be with a happy heart and a smile on my face!

A day of preparation tomorrow for the journey home.......

DAY #14 - Vacation? Ya think?

I'll be blogging in 2 parts again today - for right now I just wanted to post this crazy picture that I took driving down interstate 70 at 75 MPH in 50 mph winds......READY?

This guy passed me so he must have been doing at least 80 mph. There was no tailgate on the truck....the suitcases and cooler rested precariously on top of a shelf just behind the cab, there were other items under the suitcases(the really important stuff no doubt!) and best of all.....two large dogs were crouched down trying to stay ON THE TRUCK and out of the wind!

Hey, I guess everyone needs a vacation once in awhile....no matter what it takes! All I could think of was the country song.... God is great, Beer is good......and People are crazy!

I'll be back with news from Solomon Elementary :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

LUCKY #13!

Here I am on the 13th day of my book tour to Kansas and I can honestly say that nothing has gone wrong the entire trip! Well, nothing seriously wrong. And believe me, if something had...I would write about it. Those of you who know me well, know that it's the truth. I am not a fan of people who put on happy faces and act like nothing ever goes wrong in their world....give me a break. If that's the case, you're not living very far outside your four walls-lol!

Today was in fact one of the best days so far. I spoke at two schools - each about a 20 minute drive away. Both presentations were given before large crowds (upwards of 100 students) and there were lots of great questions which makes me know that they were paying attention and thinking about what I was saying. Things like.... "What if the baby died on the train from NYC to Kansas? Would they bury it along the track or bring it to you and let you bury it?" Huh?? And this one... "I think if the train got to the end of the line and there was a kid left, then they should just leave that kid because he musta not been trying hard enough to get picked by a farmer. Maybe he was lazy and didn't want to work." Okay.... And the last one that comes to mind, and probably my favorite comment of the day.... "Why did you end Fly Little Bird, Fly! the way your did? It made me want to keep reading and I don't like to read." What?? Well you see it was actually a conspiracy, have you ever heard that word? I wanted to control your mind and make you do something you hated..... wait till you read my next book - it might cause you to want to clean your room or some other equally horrid thing!

I'm posting a picture from my first talk - I'm cringing because I look....I don't know...I can't tell what I'm doing, it's pretty bad. But, I wanted to show you how cool the PowerPoint looked on this wall sized screen. This school also had a great sound system so the tape recordings I usually play on my CD player were played instead through the sound system - what a difference.

My second talk of the day was in Lindsborg, Kansas at Soderstrom Elementary School. I'm posting some pictures of the town since it was very unique for this area of the country. I'm going to go back on Friday morning on my way to the airport to pick up my friend Karen (who has very generously offered to drive home with me even though her life has been thrown into general chaos....you know how thankful I am for your friendship, Karen. I hope to be able to repay you some day!)
Lindsborg has a main street that is laid in brick and very wide with lots of neat little shops, and wide tree lined residential streets with cute little picture perfect houses. I can't wait to get out and walk around, especially since Friday is forecast to be in the 80's here in central Kansas.

This has been an awesome trip but I'm beginning to hear my real life calling in the background.....Estella hit a car in the parking lot, it happened to be a brand new Lexus and the bill is $1800.... Christian (James' job coach) can't seem to get his GPS to work in the car's lighter and seems to think he can't get around town without it so that car needs to go into the shop... Bob's still working two jobs and trying to keep everything else going too and is starting to mention how, "I need a wife".... and the dog (Ginger) will soon be looking for a new home through the SPCA if I don't get back soon to take care of her....so, the party's almost over.

Let's hope my luck can hold out for just a few days more!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

DAY #12 - The National Orphan Train Complex

WELCOME BACK! I took a true day of rest yesterday and didn't even blog. The hotel pool and spa were very relaxing - 20 laps and 20 minutes - then back to the room to get organized for the new week, visit with some friends on facebook, call home to check if everyone is surviving ("barely, but don't worry mom!") and watch a bit of TV after an early dinner.
Today I headed back to Concordia, 50 miles north of here, to tour the National Orphan Train Complex, take a video to show my Dad and Mom when I get home, buy some souvenirs, and sell another 20 books. I had a great discussion with the new curator, Muriel Anderson, about the future of the museum (she plans to re-do the entire interior) and we talked about a permanent display that would document Oliver and Edward's journey from the Children's Village Orphanage in Dobbs Ferry (Long Island, NY) to Bern, Kansas. The display would incorporate two excerpts of Oliver's oral history (wasn't my Dad brilliant to sit his father down and record his story?!) One side of the display case would include artifacts, documents and audio from Oliver's life in NYC and the orphanage. The other side would highlight his ride on the train and his years in Kansas. There would also be a brief bio of his life as an adult. So.....I have a new project when I get home. It will be up to me to decide what to include on each of the two audio clips and I'll need to go through our records to make sure Muriel has all the documentation that she needs, and if not, get it to her. I also need to get up to the NY Historical Society sometime in May so that I can review Oliver and Edward's records from the Children's Aid Society to see if there's any additional info there that the previous archivist left out when he sent me papers from Oliver's file records.

"A lot to do, a lot to do, a lot a lot a lot to do!" What's that from? Quiz question for the day-lol! Joany, I'm sure you'll know!

So......after my visit to the museum, I drove around town to see the sights then visited Concordia Elementary School for a 1:30 presentation and book signing to the fourth graders. The one hour drive back along Interstate 135 was very peaceful and relaxing. There is nothing to see but gently rolling hills etched with grazing cattle, a few windmills, and open sky that goes on forever. Some people would find that excruciatingly boring....but I love it! Good thing I'm here alone :)

Two schools tomorrow - one of which is in Lindsborg, a town settled by the Swedes. They're both south of Salina so it will be a pretty long day - see you then!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

PART 2 - Cowboys, Windmills & Tea Parties: SNAPSHOTS From the DAY!

What a fun day! Here are my "picture postcards" from Kansas. I love the shot of the windmill and the house...things have come a long way since the windmill and sodhouse on the prairie of Oliver's day, that's for sure. Well...maybe not the house, but the windmill has certainly been improved upon :)

Here is an old homestead that we came upon while chasing windmills - and a lone cowboy on a mule. I know it will never happen with a city boy for a husband, but I personally could live here in Kansas!

This is me with Virginia Alexander. I met Virginia when I was in Esbon, KS back in 2006. She knows a lot about the history of the area and she has sent me some great records over the last few years. I had no idea she was coming to the museum today to hear me talk and I was thrilled to see her again!

The sandwiches on the menu at the Tea Room all have names - This one is called "The Oliver" - how could we resist! Well, truth be known, I resisted since it is tuna (no thank you) but Virginia said she was going to order it in honor of Oliver whether she liked it or not, and order it she did!

Here is the player piano from the tea room - only 25 cents
a song - can you see the keys playing??

Here is 1/2 of our table at the Huckleberry Tea House. These three ladies are Kathleen, Tina and Jean - all good friends of my host, Sara Gault. They are all in education - principals and teachers - and wonderful people!

And last, but certainly not least.....the girls of the Tea House! Don't they look like they're having fun....dressing up in hats, boas, white gloves, etc. and sitting down to Afternoon Tea with girlfriends??? I don't think we have Tea Rooms in Delaware, do we? Maybe when I get back home, I'll look into opening one, it was such a fun time!

Tomorrow I'll be spending the day relaxing at the hotel....sleeping....reading....swimming in the pool... soaking in the hot tub (don't be looking for any pictures - there won't be any!)

Monday starts week #2 with fewer visits but more driving since the schools are in areas around Salina anywhere from 10-50 miles. I do plan to get back to Concordia since I haven't yet been able to actually go in the museum and I'm NOT leaving Kansas before I do that :)

Day #10 - The Huckleberry Tea Room

I'll be writing today in two posts. This picture is from my booksigning with some of the attendees at the National Orphan Train Complex in Concordia this morning. The lady to my left (as you face the picture) is a descendant of W.L. Gish - the farmer who took in Edward, my great uncle, after his second ride on the Orphan Train. Very Amazing! The gentleman next to me is her husband and they had a lot of information to share and promised to email me even more...including pictures! How cool is that?? During my visit to the complex, I also gave an interview to the local radio station about Oliver's story, my books and my impressions of the museum and the work that is being carried out there. By 11:45 we were in town at the Huckleberry Tea Room for a delicious luncheon for 14 people. Many, many thanks to my friends in Salina....Sara, Tina, Jean and Kathleen for their companionship and transportation. It was really a fun day and a great way to wrap up the week! More to come.....

Friday, April 23, 2010

DAY #9 - Wrapping Up Week #1

Wrapping up the end of the first week here in Kansas, I began the morning at Schilling Elementary School where my host, Sara Gault (the crazy lady responsible for this excellent adventure!) is a fourth grade teacher. These pictures are taken from her class. The kids were great, lots of them bought copies of the books for themselves, and their interest and questions did not disappoint. This little girl's name is Astrid. The third picture is Sara Gault and I - we both agree that neither one of us takes a good picture....but, for posterity, we begrudgingly did our best-lol! Sara's daughter Molly works for the local paper and she, along with a coworker who writes for the paper came to the presentation and took lots of pictures - one with each child - to have as a souvenier. There may also be an opportunity to have Fly Little Bird, Fly published in portions in the paper for people to read. More on that later as I get more information :)

After two presentations at Schilling and a quick lunch break, I traveled to Coronado Elementary for visits with the third graders, followed by the fourth graders. Students and teachers alike have been very interested and involved in the many discussions that have "spontaneously erupted" during my visits and it's easy to see that this is a subject that really gets people, young and old alike, thinking and wondering about.
Tomorrow morning, bright and early, I'll be traveling to the National Orphan Train Complex in Concordia, KS which is about an hour drive north of here. I'll be doing a book signing and reading from 10-11:30 followed by a luncheon at the Huckleberry Tea Room in town. I'm really looking forward to seeing the museum now that it's completed! Sunday will be a "day of rest" - literally. Then next week the visits will begin again in schools in surrounding communities!

Enjoy your evening - I'll be resting up - and I'll see you on Day #10. Thanks for following :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day #8 - There's No Place Like Home....

Oh boy...heavy rains with thunder, lightening, and high winds through the night, turned into tornado warnings early this morning. Then the skys cleared for a good part of the day, only to become even more dangerous this evening. There are tornado warnings all over Kansas, as I type, with the potential for baseball size hail as well. Would that break a windshield? I'm guessing YES. Well, I'll put on my "Scarlet O'Hara persona and simply say, "I'll think about that tomorrow!" Hopefully I won't hear any sirens in the night, since I wouldn't know what to do anyway!
I began my day at South Middle School where I was met by a very enthusiastic and friendly crowd of 120 sixth graders and their teachers. Many of the students had read the first and second books and some had even started the third. Pictured above is my new "son" who was chosen from the orphan train line up to come home with me during the presentation. Thank you Samuel for your good spirted nature and willingness to play along. (I promised you you'd be on the blog tonight, so here you are!)
After a quick lunch, I traveled to Sunset Elementary School for two visits with 5th and 4th graders. Seemed like a pretty light day compared to yesterday! This evening I enjoyed a delicious steak dinner with my hosts then retreated to my hotel room to wait out the storm. Here's hoping we don't lose power....not to mention the roof!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

DAY #7 - Wow, A Week Already?!

Today was a marathon day - I started talking at 8 am and finished at 8 pm! Luckily my throat held out. I do think I may have figured out what I am having an allergic reaction to out here in Kansas - Cottonwood Trees. Big fluffy white polen is floating all around and since I don't have allergies at home (nor do I have cottonwood trees) I'm going to blame it on them. Other than that, and my complete disgust with Mapquest, the day was exceptional!
I began the day at Lakewood Middle School speaking to 6th graders followed by 4th graders at Huesner and Meadowlark Elementary Schools and finally, 5th graders at Coronado. From there I went straight to the Salina Public Library for a talk and book signing and finally - after a quick burger at McDonald's - my last talk and book signing at Kansas Wesleyan University where I spoke to education students not only about the orphan trains and my books, but also about independent publishing and integrating my books and this subject into school curriculum.

During my typical school presentation, after talking about both the orphan trains and the baby trains and the differences in how the two trains worked, I always point out that, "interestingly, many of the children who rode the baby trains through the Sisters of Charity at the NY Foundling home were actually adopted by the people who took them in, as opposed to the children who rode the orphan trains through the Children's Aid Society who were more likely not to be adopted." Then I ask students why they think that might be. In all the presentations I've given over the years....hundreds by now....no student has ever come up with the main reason for this difference. Today, at Coronado, a fifth grader named Eli was the first student to ever answer this question! Congratulations Eli, you're a very bright and thoughtful young man!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

DAY #6 - Great Kids, Great Questions.....and no guns!

One of the fun things for me when visiting different regions of the U.S. is noticing the quirky little things that the locals don't think twice about but which stick out to me like a big sore thumb and make me think, whoa...what's up with that? Take this sign, for instance. This is on the front door of every school in Salina, Kansas. It is also a sign on every bank here - and I've been to about 7 of them cashing checks for book orders. So today, as a smiling old guy is holding the door to the bank open for me (nice to know chivalry is alive and well in the Midwest), I couldn't help myself. I grabbed the door and pointed to the sign saying, "You know, I'm here from Delaware and I've never seen a sign like this on a bank. Is there a problem with guns around here or something?" With a deep chuckle he said, "Oh no ma'am, no problem with guns, we just don't want you carrying them around!" Okay...... I'll remember that. Note to self....guns okay in Kansas, no problem. Just don't carry one around, especially in the bank or the school - works for me!

So, then I couldn't help but picture the guy who gets up one morning and decides he's going to go rob a bank. He grabs his handgun, shoves it in his pocket and drives to the local branch of the Sunflower Bank. When he arrives, he nervously looks around, checking for any cop cars, then decides when the time is right and tips his cap down over his eyebrows and heads for the door. Just as he reaches for the handle, he sees the sign and stops. "Oh geez," he says to himself. "I can't bring my gun in here, better go and leave it in the car!"
But then I got to thinking...I've been watching the news every night and I haven't seen a report of an armed bank robbery yet so maybe the criminals here in Kansas are just as nice and friendly as everyone else and maybe the signs do work, who knows??? But only in the Midwest - no way would that work in the Northeast!
The kids today were great! I had four presentations at three schools to 3rd and 5th graders and the questions at the end of each talk were the best part. It's always fun to see what kids will ask after sitting and listening to the story of the orphan trains and Oliver's adventures. Things like, "What did the kids eat on the train?" (the noses always scrunch up when I answer, 'mustard sandwiches') and "What if they had to go to the bathroom on the train?" Let's face it, these are the things that kids think about and worry about. It's a lot of fun :)
No talks tonight....although there are 6 on the schedule tomorrow - from 8 am to about 8 pm. Whew! Good thing the voice is holding out. Until day 7.......

Monday, April 19, 2010

DAY #5 - Let The Talking Begin!

Thankfully I finally got a decent night's sleep on Sunday, just in time, too, since today was go, go, go! I visited Oakdale Elem. for two presentations; one to 5th grade and one to 3rd graders. The kids were fantastic and had read all of the first two books and part of Peanut Butter For Cupcakes so they were very prepared to soak up everything I had to tell them and they had great questions to boot! The 3rd graders had even written me thank you letters telling me what part of Oliver's story they liked best. General consensus: the story of Little Red the piglet that Oliver couldn't bring himself to kill but instead cared for as a pet, was the best. It's a wonderful lesson in compassion.
I was also pleased, while at Oakdale, to have the chance to meet Sharon Benson from the Salina Arts & Humanities Commission, the organization that is sponsoring my trip.
After a quick lunch, I headed out to Cottonwood Elementary School to talk with 4th graders who although had not had a chance to read the first book yet, were very curious about what I had to say and especially enjoyed hearing Oliver's tape recording of life in a sodhouse - complete with rats nibbling on his toes in the night! It was a great visit and I even had a chance to use a "smart board" for the first time. What will they come up with next??? Chalk is definitely "old school" at this point I'm afraid!
At 4:00 I met my hosts at the mall for a peach smoothie......yes, I had to know everything that was in it before I would try it....and frankly the sugar content kept me going until....well, I'm still going and it's 11:25 pm.
After dinner and a quick tour of where tomorrow's schools are located, I visited the Eaglecrest Retirement Community (pictures above) where I was greeted by a very warm and welcoming crowd of active seniors who made me feel right at home. In fact, in a few years, I'll probably come back and move in!
It is not lost on me that today, April 19th, is the 16th anniversary of Oliver Nordmark's passing. There are no coincidences....Love you Granddad, I hope I'm doing your story justice :)
That's all for today....See you tomorrow!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day #4 - A DAY OF REST :)

Okay, so these pictures are from DAY #2 but I finally found the camera cord so I'm catching up :) The washtubs were on the lawn with the goats at a house in front of our hotel in Warrenton, MO and THE HIDE OUT....Beer Food & Fun! was our next door neighbor. We admit to being tempted to find out what the "fun" was all about, but our good sense got the better of us!
Today I was up at 2 am - don't ask me why - and we had to leave for the airport at 4:30 am. I was back in the hotel by 7:30 and tried to catch up on some sleep, which never works - at least not for me. So....I settled for a swim in the pool and relaxing in the hot tub for about an hour, then getting set up for tomorrow's presentations. Went to the mall in town to visit with Sara and Tina and then drove to find tomorrow's schools which, as it turns out, are quite close to the hotel. Tomorrow I will have three school visits and my talk at the Eaglecrest Retirement Community. Freddy....if you're reading this....I still remember your advice and will take it to heart at Eaglecrest!
See you tomorrow :) p.s. HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY to my "little" brother Brian!

Saturday, April 17, 2010


We arrived in Salina Kansas after a six hour drive from Warrenton, MO to the much appreciated news that we had been upgraded to a roomy suite with a sitting area, office area, bar, bath and separate bedroom. I am unpacked and can see that I will be very comfortable here for the next two weeks. The suite is on the ground floor with a nice view and the added bonus of windows that actually open. It is sunny with a cool breeze blowing in through the window as we relax for a few hours before heading out to dinner with our hosts for the week.

Many thanks to Sara Gault and the Salina Arts and Humanities Commission for sponsoring this book tour as well as all the hard work that went into the planning and publicity for the various speaking events.

Having visited the very north of Kansas in 2006, I was a bit surprised to find that the scenery in Central Kansas is quite different. Where in the flat north you would see mile after mile of various farm crops growing, interspersed with gorgeous fields of sunflowers, the central part of Kansas is a little more hilly with cattle grazing on prairie grasses. We saw many controlled burns in circular formation which we will ask our hosts about this evening at dinner.

We will be leaving at 5:00 am for the Wichita airport, an hour and a half away so that my travel companion, Donna Brown, can board her flight back to her family in Delaware. I am so grateful for her willingness to give up three days of her otherwise very exciting life to drive 1/2 way across the country with a control freak behind the wheel! .....her words, not mine :)

Enjoy your day!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010


Today's drive was a bit tougher due to the endless stream of bugs colliding with the windshield, rain that hit right as we got to a congested St. Louis at lunch time on a Friday, and a one hour back up in traffic as we waited for what ended up being a horrific tractor trailer collison to be cleaned up. Feeling a bit rammy, we both passed the time jamming to The Sugarhill Gang and flirting with every truck driver we inched past....in our defense, "they started it, mom!"

Did you know that the fine for speeding in Indiana is $1000 and can be penalized with 8 years in prison? In THEIR defense, they do set the speed limit at 70 so I was okay since I always abide by the speed limit (right?), but the other Donna seemed hell bent on driving like the New Jersian she is; tailgating trucks, weaving in and out, going 80-90 mph and attempting to text while driving! I think she thought I owned a hummer instead of a zippy little volvo wagon. She might be taking that steel cage thing a little too much for granted. Needless to say, I had to take the keys from her - doesn't she know I have to get to Kansas in one piece-lol! I have hundreds of school kids waiting to hear about the orphan trains, not to mention a fancy dinner waiting for me in Abilene (thanks to Sara!) But....all kidding aside, I do admit to control issues, and I did in fact take the keys. And, I am happy to say, we are safely in Warrenton, MO for the night.

Now, the goats, log cabin and "The Hide Out Bar" across the street are another story. "Beer, Food, and Fun" was not really my idea of what our choices would be for dinner in Missouri so instead, I am going to bed hungry and praying that nothing knocks on the window in the night. We are the only guests here at the hotel (can't figure out why....the goats are kinda cute when you get up close). Oh, and did you know that transporting chickens in the back one's SUV with the hatch open is perfectly normal......in Missouri??

So...let's recap. 8 years for speeding.....chickens hanging out of the back of the car and goats grazing in the yard...perfectly fine. Can I leave now????

And yes......we have pictures. Haven't found the cord yet...

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Well, we got a little bit of a late start but were on the road by 7:30 this morning. West Chester, PA proved to be a bit of a bear but once we made it to the PA turnpike the traffic was light and the sun was shining! I have a great travel companion - although that's about all I can tell you because....what happens on the road to Kansas, stays on the road to Kansas.... :)

The mountains of western PA did not disappoint although things are not as green yet as they are at home in Delaware, and we even got to breath the polluted air of West Virginia-lol! Crossing into Ohio, we couldn't help but notice that the state animal must be "road kill" (of all sorts). Arrived in Columbus Ohio ahead of schedule only to drive right past the hotel. Once settled in, we enjoyed a dip in the indoor pool and hot tub then a light dinner at Panera Bread.

Yes, we are taking pictures, but the cord to connect the camera to the laptop must be in a different bag so I'll post some once I find it. If you're following this blog tour, please take a minute and sign in as a follower and then post any comments or questions that come to mind. I'd love to hear from you!

Back on the road tomorrow - next stop, Warrenton, MO. Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


The house is clean, there are casseroles in the freezer, laundry all caught up, 5 page list of instructions given to Bob to keep things running smoothly around here, books signed, car loaded up.....I think I'm ready! Donna Brown and I will be leaving tomorrow morning at 7:00 am. We'll be headed for the PA turnpike then settling in for the long drive across the keystone state. It's a bit of a boring drive until you get to the western part of the state where the mountains add a bit to the scenery. Our first stop will be in East Columbus, Ohio - Reynoldsburg to be exact. The weather looks to be gorgeous - sunny and 70 degrees! Enjoy your day :)