Trina’s Turn To Visit

September 12, 2010

Since we were “fairly” close to Tulsa, where Trina and Paul live, we arranged for them to meet us in Oklahoma City for an RV Barbeque. Because of the intense heat and humidity, Allan bravely went outside and barbequed steak while we stayed inside the Soles4Souls RV and enjoyed the air conditioning. Paul relaxed from a hectic week at work while Trina entertained us with stories of their dog (who we affectionately call Demon Dog). Basically he rips hotel mattresses apart and opens car windows while Trina drives through a car wash with high pressure water jets. But, as she tells us, he’s just a two-year old puppy that hasn’t learned good behavior yet. In spite of Demon Dog, we had a great visit and so love being together with Trina and Paul. In honor of Trina taking first prize in a Guacamole Contest, she had the honor of adding Oklahoma on our RV map, documenting our visit to our 34th state on the RV tour.And yes, we all heartily sang the song from the musical…Oklahoma, “where the wind comes sweeping cross the plains”….


Seeing Sondra Again

September 12, 2010

While the last few weeks have seen us driving from Los Angeles to New Orleans in stifling heat, we’ve also had the joy of seeing our daughters. Sondra spent two weks with us in the RV, strewing clothes, food and hair products everywhere. She helped at several shoe distributions, picked giant avocados from her Uncle Randy’s house, and taught Allan how to twitter. Now she’s happily settled in Oxford and practicing her British accent.

Avoiding Vultures and Drag Car Races

August 15, 2010

Only place with five bars!

Since my book, “Fun Filled Parenting” came out a few months ago, I’ve been busy doing radio interviews. This involves radio stations setting up a time to interview me when I am on a land line. In the past, the process was simple. I simply sat in my home office and used my telephone to have a clear connection with the radio host. Now, on the road with only a cell phone, getting to a land line gets a bit more complicated. I did one interview from a pay phone with a flock of creepy-looking vultures in the tree directly over my head. Another interview took place from a pay phone next to a drag strip. Naturally the start of the race coincided with the start of my interview.
Last week, I couldn’t find a pay phone so went to several hotels, asking to use their land line. No luck. Finally I wandered the halls of a large convention center, looking for a place that my cell phone got those coveted five bars. Allan stood guard in the hallway as I did the interview, asking people to whisper if they walked by me. The things husbands do for their wives!

Fitting Personalities With Shoes

August 14, 2010

As Allan and I distribute shoes to people in need around the country, we obviously try and make sure the shoes fit each person properly. It’s fun also to match the shoe to a persons’s personality. This gentleman came in wearing his favorite (and only) pair of brightly colored shoes. He was so happy to get another pair of shoes that matched his upbeat personality.

Giant Visitor Wants Ride in RV

August 13, 2010

Millions of years ago, dinosaurs rumbled across the landscape of what is now Utah. Thousands of remnants of this prehistoric era are carefully preserved and interpreted in various places throughout the state. We hiked several trails in Vernal to see dinosaur bones still embedded in the ground. We also had one friendly dinosaur try to hitch a ride in the Soles4Souls RV.

3,500 Creative Kids

August 2, 2010

The YMCA of Metropolitan Washington’s Thingamajig Invention Convention gives nearly 3,500 local children the opportunity to create eco-friendly inventions and compete with other young inventors for fun prizes and awards. Thingamajig encourages children to explore the fields of science, engineering and design. Kids use only recycled materials to create their inventions and learn about the importance of protecting the environment.

Out of those 3,500 children, Soles4Souls was able to give 500 low-income children new shoes. Our daughter Sondra headed up the shoe distribution from 9-3 pm and made sure all the kids got shoes that fit them perfectly. She also helped the volunteers feel comfortable helping the children get their shoes. Most of the volunteers were engineers and weren’t use to the noise and activity of 3,500 kids running around!

My New Hobby: Spying On Scuba Divers

August 2, 2010

Disregard the crocodiles in the water

“Super Cool!” can’t begin to describe what Allan and I experienced this morning at the Homestead Crater about 45 minutes from Salt Lake City. Picture this: you see a large mound of what looks like dirt and rocks. It’s actually a 55 foot calcite dome that most people would walk by without noticing anything special. Ah ha! That’s where the coolness factor takes over. A 110 foot tunnel lets people have access to the hot springs inside the crater. Yes, you go inside a semi-dark crater to swim in a geothermal hot spring that is around 90 degrees year round.
Because the water is 65 feet deep, many people come to scuba dive. We played it safe by snorkeling. As Allan and I swam, I thought we were the only people in the water. Then as I put my face in the water, I saw several scuba divers below me. Waaaaay below me. Their movements were so smooth as they glided beneath me. The air from their scuba tanks floated up to me like thousands of tiny jelly fish. Floating on my back, I could see the cathedral-like opening above me. The hole at the top of the dome lets in sunlight and fresh air while the interior stays heated by the mineral water. Below the surface divers can descend 55 feet into the hour glass shaped depths.
Anyone that’s even remotely close to Midway, Utah needs to head over to the crater and simply soak in the hot water, snorkel or scuba dive. The experience is way beyond anything offered at your local community pool. (Not that there’s anything wrong with community pools!)

One Giant Bubble Bath

August 1, 2010

For most people, washing their car is a minor event in the course of life. When you are on the road with a big motor home, finding a car wash that is high enough for us to enter is a major event. That’s why I screamed with joy when we passed a sign reading, “Car and RV Wash”. $15.00 worth of quarters later, the Soles4Souls RV sparkled as miles of grime washed down the super-sized drain.
After all, the RV is going to be on display all next week at the Outdoor Retailers Trade Show in Salt Lake City.

Major Craft Project

August 1, 2010

We'd be crazy to attempt this craft project!!

Wayne Elsey, founder of Soles4Souls, has a collection of license plates in his garage. As Allan and I travel, we occasionally buy a plate to add to his garage décor. In an effort to make a gift for Wayne, we want to show everyone our latest project involving license plates. We got a plain extra large boot and covered the entire surface with cut up pieces of license plates. Boy, is it hard to cut all that metal and attach it to a boot!

An RV With Three Views

July 31, 2010

Sometimes, as we tour the country for Soles4Souls, we stay in heavily wooded state parks. Last night we had views not typically described in campground journals. On one side, we saw two towers from a nuclear power plant. The other side of the RV had a great view of a casino. To complete the panorama of views, we enjoyed a sewage treatment plant. Try to top that!