Thursday, September 29, 2005
Trouble With Buses

Today I want to back track and tell you about my bus experience. When I arrived at the Pheonix airport I had to make a connection that would get me to Flagstaff which is a three hour ride. While I was waiting for the van I got to talking to several ladies who it turned out were also going to Senior Summer School, that was a good opportunity to get aqainted with my fellow students.

We get settled on the bus and after a while we realized it was HOT and called out to the driver, "put the air on!"

He replied, "it is on. it will just time to get cool."

Well that never happened, but what did happen was the engine started to STEAM! Here we were in the middle of nowhere, all that we could see on the road was cactus, bushes and trees!

Fortunatly we finally came to a shopping mall and the driver was able to pull in and park in front of Sears. He placed a call to his office and was told that they would send another bus as soon as possible. The manager of Sears was witness to all this and invited us into the employees lounge where we had cold drinks and comfortable sofas to relax on. The manager and his staff were so happy to be of help to us, they could not have nicer.

Since I had that bus experience have been thinking about other times when things went wrong while traveling by bus.

There was the time the bus broke down and we had to get a ride home with a sightseeing trolley.

Another time I was on a bus going to Washington, which is a long ride from Boston, and what do you know, the bus ran out of gas on the highway and we had to wait for another bus.

Another time, after a day trip, we were scheduled to have dinner at a restaurant, the reservation was for 6:00pm. The bus driver GOT LOST and we did not get there until 10:00pm. The restaurant stayed open until we got there.

The moral of this story is: don't go on a bus trip with me, you could have a problem!


Sunday, September 25, 2005
The People

To my surprise there were many people on this trip who came from Arizona. What I learned was that retires who live in Phoenix want to get away from the heat and since Flagstaff is in the northern part of the state it is much cooler, the average daytime temperature while I was there was in the 70's.

There were also many people from Florida with the same desire, to escape the Florida heat. There were a few people that came from New York and Chicago. I was the only one from Massachusetts and received a prize because I had traveled the furthest. Not to get excited, the prize was a leather luggage tag!

I would say the average age of a "STUDENT" was 75-80 years old. One couple that I met have been married for 66 years and I figured they have to be a good 88 years old. They spend their summers traveling from one summer school to another.

There were a few ladies who needed the help of a cane to get around but that did not stop them from participating in any of the trips. Many times we had to walk on uneven terrrain, go uphill, down hill and with an elevation of 7000 feet, it was not easy, but these plucky ladies did it! As a matter of fact one lady that needed a cane took a side trip and went white water rafting!! I did that about ten years ago, that was enough for me.

Two ladies were the babies in the group, they were only in their 60's, had their own car and had driven from Florida and after summer school had plans for more sightseeing in the area.

Our group had a reserved section in the dining room, some tables were set for two, four, six, ten or twelve, that gave us an opportunity to meet many of the people in the group.

One big plus for me was spending time with my cousin who joined me on this trip. She lives in Florida and I see her when I go south for the winter. We are not only cousins but good friends who grew up and played together when we were children. It was a joy to spend time with her and reminisce about "the good old days."

There were a number of ladies that come from the Delray area so when I get down to Florida this winter we are planning a "school reunion, class of 2005."


Related website: Senior Summer School - Flagstaff

Thursday, September 22, 2005
Every winter for the past few years I spend the winters in Florida. That is a great get-away from the New England winters but it is really not a vacation. While in Florida I have the daily chores, making the bed, doing the laundry, shopping for groceries and doing a little cooking.

I have not had a real vacation in years. At first it seemed strange to leave the bed unmade but it didn't take me too long to get used to the idea. What I found difficult was being at breakfast by 7:30 am. I am not an early riser so that was a challenge. Some mornings we left for a day trip at 8:30 am and did not get back until 5:15 pm and dinner was served at 5:30.

When I was packing for this trip I was concerned about what to take, had to take clothes for warm weather, cool weather and some changes for the evening. Turns out I did not have to worry about changes, many times I just stayed in the clothes that I started the day with. They kept us so busy there was no time to change!

There were a few days when there were no sightseeing trips planned, those days we had classes thoughout the day. I knew before hand that I would be skipping some classes and I sure did, I even skipped breakfast a few mornings. There was a refigerator and coffeemaker in the room so I was able to have a leisure morning. Some afternoons I skipped class and spent time relaxing at the pool.

I know, I know, sounds like I skipped a lot of classes, well I did but I also attended some and will write about them at another time.

We were told that the elevation at Flagstaff is 7,000 feet and were encouraged to drink lots of water and to rest! Ha! With the daily activities that were planned for us, that was hard to do. I have been going to bed early and napping ever since I came home.

I'll be writting a lot more about this trip in future posts. Right now am going to take a nap.


Sunday, September 04, 2005
Tomorrow is the day that I take off for Flagstaff, Arizona. While I was in Florida this past winter I heard about this trip which includes accommodations at a fine hotel, all meals, classes and sightseeing. I signed up immediately and shortly after that three of my friends decided to join me, two ladies from Florida and one from Chicago. I am looking forward to spending time with them and sharing what should be a great experience.

We might decide to skip some classes that do not appeal to us, after all we will not have to do any homework and will not be graded, so we could do some exploring on our own. The last time I skipped school was in 1942. It's time to do it again!!

I expect I will have withdrawal symptoms, won't be able to blog or read any of your posts until I get back September 17th. When I get to the hotel will see what set-up they have, hopefully I will be able to get on the internet.

Keep on blogging and have a good week.


Update form Steve:
They have a Business Center with internet access! So you'll be able to surf nad post from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Daily.

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