Thursday, July 21, 2011

Chandler, AZ -Visiting Sarah and Jason

July 21st – I haven’t posted in a while….too busy having fun.     : )

We had a busy, productive 3 days at home, visiting family and friends, and doing a few chores….then back on the road, heading west. We are on our way to California for our nephew Andy, and his fiancée, Quinn’s wedding. But first….we stopped through Chandler, Arizona (just south of Phoenix), to visit daughter Sarah and her fiancée, Jason.

We stayed at the Lost Dutchman State Park, where we had stayed in March. It was nice, but Arizona is HOT this time of year! So, we spent most of our time hanging at Sarah’s apartment…..visiting, playing cards, cooking, and visiting some more…..

Highlights included a visit to Sarah’s office, before we all went out to lunch……


And celebrating Sarah’s birthday a few weeks early (it is Aug 9th)……with cake and ice cream…..


And, of course, presents…….    : )


Even a little something for Jason to open, since we had missed his birthday on July 10th…..


Quite by coincidence, our new daughter-in-law, Rebekah, was arriving in Phoenix to begin her 6 week PT rotation at a Native American Indian Reservation just south of Chandler. We were able to pick Rebekah up at the airport in Phoenix, and visit with her and Sarah and Jason before we dropped her off at the Reservation.

As it just so happens to be Rebekah’s birthday coming up on July 29th….we were able to celebrate with her, just a bit…….


I didn’t get any pics of the Reservation……the hospital where Rebekah will be working looked quite nice. I can’t say as much for the rest of the town………but, Bekah is strong and talented, and I am sure that this rotation will be a wonderful learning experience.

This morning…….. early…… we hitched up our camper and pulled out……with the sun rising over the desert. We never can get enough in these ‘all too short’ visits…..but we left with plans for when we will see each other next…….which helps…..


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Airstream Factory–Jackson Center, Ohio

We routed our way home by way of Jackson Center, Ohio (south of Toledo, and just south and west of Lima). This is where they make Airstream trailers. In the magazine they say that if you are ever in the area, just stop by for a tour… we did! And we got a first hand look at how Airstreams are put together and gained an increased appreciation for our Flying Cloud.


The factory also has a service department where you can schedule repairs……however, they run about 3 weeks out for appointments.


The Airstream Factory is the only site in the United States that manufactures Airstream trailers and motor coaches. Currently, the put together 37 trailers/ week – each of them already sold to a dealer. If you want to custom order one, the wait time is about 3 months.

Tours are scheduled every weekday at 2pm. This week, the plant workers  had a scheduled vacation so we did not get to see the people at work, however, we were able to see each step of the production. It was great to see just how well the Airstreams are made….each with individualized attention….and made to last.

Unfortunately, no pictures allowed of the factory, but we could take photos of the vintage Airstreams that were on site. This motorcycle side car was special ordered for Sandra Bulloch.


This ‘Road Chief’ was one of the first Airstreams made in 1936.



They have come a long ways!


These vintage Airstreams were parked in front of the main building……



I thought that these windows were so cute!


I can see why people want the vintage models to re-do………..very kitschy!



We spent the night in the Airstream ‘Terraport’ campground. You can stay for free if you are having work done……they just pull your trailer back into a site for you to sleep for the night. If you are just passing through, it is $10……a real bargain…..and your Airstream gets to visit with all these other shiny trailers.    : )     


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Heading towards Home…..with a few stops…..then west!

Tues. July 5th - Quebec was a fine finish to the  East Coast section of our summer travels. The next half of the summer we plan to spend in the  Western United States. We are headed to California to  meet up with family for our nephew, Andy, and his fiancée, Quinn’s wedding celebration in the Los Angeles area on July 23rd.

On the way, we plan to spend some time visiting with our daughter, Sarah and her fiancée, Jason in Chandler, Arizona. Then, after Los Angeles, we will head a bit south to visit Fred’s brother, Mike and wife, Pam, in Encinitas, CA, then north to visit our other daughter, Laura, and husband David in the Emeryville/Oakland area. Then home, by way of  the Joslin family reunion in South Dakota, and a visit with son, Brian, in Sioux City, Iowa.

Crazy….I know! But we DO miss those kids!!

In all of these travel plans, we figured that we might as well pass by home (it really is on the way) for a few days to pick up mail, do laundry, and drop off all the souvenirs that we bought. So – we are driving towards home….putting in a number of longs days of driving, and planning our stops where they make sense…….and they might as well be pretty……….

Our first stop was Darlington Provincial Park on Lake Ontario, just east of Toronto, Canada. We had a wonderful camp sight right by the Lake. The weather was nice and we left our windows open so that we could listen to the sound of the waves all night (Lake Ontario is so large, that it has waves like the surf on the ocean).


That evening, we took a walk on the beach…….


And spotted a swan……


Make that TWO swans……so beautiful and peaceful…..


Our second night on the road we stopped at Sterling State Park, Michigan – on Lake Erie. It had been a LONG day of travel….traffic getting through Toronto…..then a flat tire on the trailer….which we had to replace in London, Ontario. Then more traffic going across the border back into the US……

We were glad for a place to stop….any place…..Sterling State Park turned out to be lovely.



I knew that we would just be ‘passing through’ the Great Lakes area…..not staying nearly long enough. But I am putting these two parks on my list of places to stay when we head back for a longer visit!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Power of Art - The Stations of the Cross

After having emerged from such an experience as we encountered in the Basilica and the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, we were still feeling quite moved when we left the Chapel and toured the Stations of the Cross that were displayed on a nearby hill.


The setting was perfect…..going up the hill… Christ would have walked……


We walked up the hill……pausing at each station. We had marveled at the artistry that we had found throughout this church…..and we continued to notice and appreciate the ability of the sculptor to communicate the raw universality of emotion………


in the body language………and the faces of his work……..





Overwhelmingly moving…………the power of art.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Basilica of St. Anne–Lower Level

We discovered the lower level of the Basilica quite by accident. We did not have a map or any information about the layout of the church….we just saw a set of stairs and decided to see if they led anywhere in particular…….

When we walked downstairs and into the '”Chapel of the Immaculate Conception”, the chapel entirely devoted to Mary, our breath was taken away…….


This Chapel was stunning……..both expansive and cozy…….magical and mystical……..and holy…….



Again, we tried to take in the scope of the artwork…….every arch was outlined and decorated with mosaic tile,


And each and every side of each pillar is decorated with a different mosaic depicting birds or insects or flowers - 178 in all.


And along the side aisle are paintings by Frederic Doyon, whose work was influenced by Salvador Dali…….


They complemented the ethereal quality of this chapel……..


And the total effect was one of serenity….and reverence……and majesty…….


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Basilica of St Anne de Beaupre

This Basilica is the 5th church devoted to St. Anne, the Mother of Mary, built on this sight since the 1600’s, and was completed in 1934. Since 1671, the faithful have made pilgrimages to this site to pray to St. Anne for help or healing. We found this church to be absolutely awe inspiring……..



From the sheer size of it……….


To the ornate stone work façade……on the left is Mary with Jesus, an the right is St. Joseph, the carpenter.


And elaborate bronze metal work doors……


Everything in this church was a work of art – the work of many artists working with all forms of art and material……I am not sure that I can express how overwhelming the experience was… be surrounded by so much art and to appreciate the talent that went into creating this holy place.


There were mosaics………painstakingly designed and created to express adoration and love……


and awe……..


And to tell the stories of the ages…….


And stained glass…..the most unique technique that I had ever seen, using thick glass set in a concrete…….



Creating such a luminosity……..


And wood carvings…….both in side altar details…..


And wood carved statues……unpainted……


As well as elaborately painted……Here is St. Joseph…..I loved this statue, with Jesus comfortably asleep in his dad’s arms.


We discovered that there is a worldwide devotion to St. Anne. Good St. Anne is sometimes depicted as the rescuer of shipwrecked sailors, owing to  an incident where three people, who were shipwrecked in the 1700’s, prayed to St. Anne and were rescued.


But, more often, the focus is on Anne as the mother of Mary. According to Biblical tradition, Anne and her husband were childless for 20 years, then God blessed them with Mary. This has also made Anne the Saint for those who struggle with infertility.

Anne devoted herself to the nurture and education of Mary and to the domestic tasks that needed to be done. Thus, Anne is seen as the patron of mothers, and educators, and of those who work with children, or domestic work.DSC05896

Being an older mother, Saint Anne is depicted as older in the face…..It is just amazing how an artist can convey age by just a few subtle details. Here St. Anne holds Mary at about 3 years old, when Mary was dedicated to God in the temple.



But the image that I liked the most was Saint Anne as Jesus’ Grandmother……..relating to Mary as a grown daughter, and playing with her grandson, Jesus.    : )


The art in the Basilica of St. Anne de Beaupre was so extensive, and its impact on us so great, that it can not be covered in just one post……….