Tuesday, June 29, 2010


These photos were taken on June 29, 2002, when we visited Seattle, Washington, for a few days before taking the bus to Vancouver for aboard on a cruise to Alaska. We did not have digital camera back then so I took less than 100 photos for the entire trip!

Friday, June 25, 2010


These photos were taken during our "walk" down memory lane along Route 66 in Oklahoma. Part of the Old 66 was no longer drivable as captured below with the T-bird at the "end of the road". Bottom photo shows the giant 66-foot-tall soda bottle and a modern convenience store including full service grill, soda fountain & gas station. Lining along the wall of this steel-beam structure are a collection of more than 12,000 soda pop bottles with hundreds of different flavors. Would you like to guess what this place called? Answer - POPS, what else?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


This is another plaque placed along the protected rails at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge. It is a reminder that we should enjoy today and each day. Whatever your hopes, dreams, or how bad the current situation might be, whether you are spending your time on a yatch or loading all your belongings on a beat up jalopy, even if all you have is a bus token, as long as you have a support system, people who really care about you and most importantly to me is my faith, I will enjoy today and be grateful for all the blessings in my life. How do you plan to enjoy today?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


After we came back from Chicago last weekend, my husband made me promise not to talk about hockey or football until September. I am sure my faithful readers would make the same request. However, I just realized that June is the only month that the 22nd happens to be on Tuesday and I thought photos of hockey players that wear #22 would be most appropriate for this week post of Tuesday Two theme. Above is #22 Daniel Sedin, left winger, (his twin brother is #33 Henrik plays center), both play for the Vancouver Canucks.
Above is #22 Cal Clutterbuck (what a name for a hockey player), a right winger for the Minnesota Wild. Below is Shawn Thorton #22, left winger of the Boston Bruins, not to be confused with Joe Thorton #19 playing center for the San Jose Sharks. Perhaps I should continue to post photos of hockey rinks to keep my readers feeling cool during the summer heat! What topics would you like to see more in this boring TOTA blog?

Monday, June 21, 2010


These photos were taken last August when we were in Grand Haven. The park were full of campers and downtown were closed to traffic to make room for the carnival. The sleepy town came alive with tourists and visitors during the week-long Coast Guard Festival. To all my adoring fans, have a safe and enjoyable summer.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


On Sunday, June 13th, on the way back to St. Louis, we stopped by Wilmington so Benjamin could visit Gemini Giant at the Launching Pad Drive-In. Gemini stood proudly, sporting a space helmet (we saw a bird flew in and out of the helmet, must be from its nest) and a rocket ship. We saw the other giant brothers on Route 66, the 19-foot tall Bunyan Giant holding a giant hotdog in Atlanta and the Muffler Man holding the American flag in Springfield. Benjamin felt that he was part of the family after seeing all three Giant Brothers! The sign reads, "Support the giant! After you take your picture, come in 4 a shake & sandwich" but the restaurant was closed (it was early Sunday morning) so we could not provide the support as requested!

Friday, June 18, 2010


Last Saturday, June 12th, we drove from St. Louis to Romeoville, Illinois, spent the night there, got up real early Sunday morning to avoid the traffic going to downtown Chicago and took these photos. There it was, the Begin of Historic Route 66 sign at Lake Shores Drive and Adams Street.
Several streets were closed in preparation for the Chicago Blues Festival. We had to drive around the blocks a few times, following one-way streets to get to the Field Museum to find "Sue" all dressed up in a Blackhawks jersey, joining in the celebration of bringing the Stanley Cup Championship to the Windy City. We did not stay long, only for me to take a few photos since my husband thought the people in Chicago (or any big cities such as New York) were a threat to his precious Mustang (we left the T-bird at home since it was too hot for a convertible).
It was a nice weekend trip, minus the heavy rains and the thunderstorm. We drove part of Route 66 on the way back on Sunday. Now that we completed part of Route 66 from the beginning in Chicago to Oklahoma City, perhaps we should take the trip all the way to the End of the Mother Road in Santa Monica, California!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


We saw the above sign displayed in front of a burned house across from Route 66 Park on North Broadway Street in Joliet, Illinois, during our trip last weekend. How creative to ask the question "Is America in distress?" using the burned house as a symbol of all the problems we have been experiencing from the economic/financial crisis, double-digit unemployment, federal deficits, non-existence immigration policy/borders controlled, the recent gulf spill, etc.

Do our politicians even care? The question should be, "How did these incompetent individuals get elected?". Because the people who voted for them were fooled by rhetorics that were full of empty promises, the audacity of hope and change by rubbing the magic lamp to make all the problems go away. The head clown, without any leadership skills or actual executive decision making experience, telling the people that he would put out the fire while pretending to carry an empty bucket of water. He then blames others who were trying to help while apologizing to the one who started the fire. Is America in distress? Honk if you agree!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Above photo was taken when we stopped at a rest area near Joliet, Illinois. Looking at the sunny blue sky we would not expect that a storm was waiting just down the road. Good thing my husband was driving because the rain was pouring down like a curtain of water. I felt as if we were driving thru a car wash! A lot of vehicles pulled over the side of the road or sought shelter under the bridge while those continued driving with 4-way flashers on at very slow page, about 30 mph, on the interstate!
Below photo of the legendary Chicago Blues Brothers was taken when we stopped by Polk-A-Dot Drive In in Braidwood. Benjamin joined in the act as he was feeling a bit blue!
We decided to seek overnight accomodation for Saturday night in Romeoville. The Blues Brothers and Betty Boop greeted us as we walked into a dinner called "That 50's Place". Sunday morning we got up real early to drive into downtown Chicago, spend about an hour and started driving back to St. Louis. It was a nice weekend trip on Route 66.

Monday, June 14, 2010


I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


During one of our Sunday drive in the country, we spotted this tree sculpture in front of Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company in New Haven, Missouri. From an angle, it looks as if the bottle was part of the tree behind it and the branches were growing straight out of the bottle. I thought it was clever and creative that the artist transformed a dead tree (I hope they did not kill the tree to make the sculpture) into a piece of art. Here is a Pepsi to all of my adoring fans and faithful readers :)

Friday, June 11, 2010


Last Saturday, 29th of May, we attended the Rite of Ordination of Priests at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis on Lindell in Central West End. Archbishop Robert J. Carlson was the Celebrant and Homilist. A reception was immediately following the completion of the Mass to give the people an opportunity to greet the newly ordained priests and to receive their First Blessing. It sure was a beautiful day.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks as the 2010 Stanley Cup Champion. (I don't have any good photos of the Hawks so this Original Six puck will have to do.) It was a very good playoffs match-up this year, many great series and the Hawks put up a strong defense against the physical players of the Philadephia Flyers. I was a little concern when the Flyers came back and tied the game at 3-3 with less than a few minutes left in the third period. I am glad the Hawks won the Stanley Cup, otherwise Marian Hossa might sign with the Flyers for a 4th chance of getting his name engraved on the Holly Grail!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Also at the local nursery, I met the above Recycle Man who sat quietly in the corner, between the compost area and the chicken coop. The employee told me that the straw bed that contained the discharge from the chicken made good fertilizer for the vegetable garden located at the far corner. Here is a friendly hello to Qaptain Qwerty from the Eco Man in St. Louis. Good luck with your compost bin!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


Last month I went to a local nursery to look for a tree to add to our backyard or some kind of shrubs to replace the overgrown bushes on the right of the patio. While there, I noticed the chicken coop with about a dozen hens and only one rooster (lucky son-of-a-gun). The employee told me there were eggs available for purchase. She explained that fresh eggs were creamy and taste much better, not as rubbery like those from the regular stores. So I bought a dozen at twice the cost I would pay at the supermarket. Whether I did not want to feel like a fool paying for unnecessary luxury (organic eggs), I convinced myself that the fresh eggs taste better and kind of creamy! What do you prefer, fresh eggs or pre-packaged from the store?
Well, there are only 8, not a dozen eggs in this photo because we already ate 4! I made cheese omelet for CP and mine with mushroom and green pepper. Did you know that there are tinted blue eggshell, in addition to the regular white or brown? When I was in Viet Nam, we visited my maternal grandparents during the summer. One morning I got up and decided that I should be helpful by collecting eggs for breakfast. Being city girl, I thought the eggs from the hens would produce the chicks and the roosters also produce eggs but no chicks! My cousins laughed so hard when I told them I was trying to get an egg from a rooster. What do you prefer, white or brown eggs?

Monday, June 07, 2010


Above - The Route 66 Rocker, World Largest Rocker (Fanning, Missouri) - Erected April 1, 2008; Stands 42'4" tall; Weight 27,500 lbs; Width 20' across.
In the above photo, the T-bird looks like a toy underneath the giant rocker. Saturday, August 7th will be the 3rd Annual Picture on the Rocker day. For $10, a person would be lifted up high in the bucket from a fire truck to have a picture taken sitting on the Rocker. The proceeds go to charities. We missed it last year because we were in Michigan to see Dan Bylsma in the Coast Guard Festival parade. I wonder if Goober is still invited to be in the parade since the Pens were eliminated in 2nd Round in the playoffs.
Below - A stack of chairs near the train station in downtown Kirkwood, Missouri.

Above photo was taken during our cruise on the day when we were at sea, it was early morning and I had nothing to do but taking candid photos while walking around the ship.

Sunday, June 06, 2010


One of the ports of call for our Mediterranean Cruise (July 2008) was Carthage, Tunisia. After the regular stops at Bardo National Museum and Sidi Bou Said, our tour guide Sammi (a very well educated and well mannered young man) arranged an un-scheduled visit to the World War II North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial. I have always felt a sense of gratitude and respect when visiting National Cemetery, it was even more special during our vacation because it reminded us to pause and remember the men and women who gave their life and fought with honor and commitment so we could enjoy freedom and liberty. Engraved on the wall in the above photo were these words "Here we and all who shall hereafter live in freedom will be reminded that to these men and their comrades we owe a debt to be paid with grateful remembrance of their sacrifice and with the high resolve that the cause for which they died shall live".

On the wall at the Cemetery are the names of 3,724 American Missings who gave their lives in the military services ranging from North Africa to the Persian Gulf during World War II. Photo above showed headstones of final resting places of 2,841 American soldiers.


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