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Our Big Trip Across the Western US - September 2015

Travel Map

Our visit with Roger (Chuck to those in California) and Nel Bevins was such fun. This is Danís aunt and uncle and our last visit with them was in 1994 so we were way past due on visiting them. They live in the same house we visited before but it always fun to look around, especially at all the different plantings that we canít grow in Iowa. This is a picture of the orange tree growing beside the house. They said last year it had three oranges on it but this year it is loaded with them. They will ripen later in the fall and by the look of it they will have a nice crop from a tree that is not over 6 foot tall.

Guarding the front gate into their property is what we thought was the best political statement a person can make. Their daughter gave them a donkey topiary and Nel quickly said they needed to get an elephant and that way both political parties would be represented fairly. These came to them shaped but Roger carefully reshapes them as they grow. He said he is behind on this work as the heat has been so oppressive that he does not want to work on them until it is cooler. We had no problem identifying the donkey but the elephant left us a bit puzzled until they told us what it was.

Roger and Nel have such beautiful flowers, more roses than we could count and most still in full bloom. This beautiful subtle orange rose lives behind the house and is one of Nelís favorites.

So what lies behind these garage doors? Roger gave us a tour of his classic car collection, each one loving restored down to the smallest detail. They all are, of course, Chevroletís and include both cars and trucks. Viewing these mostly 50ís vintage vehicles is a perfect salute to our attention to Route 66 on our way out here.

Our time with Roger and Nel was such fun; we had time to chat with all four of their kids that made a special effort to drive to Riverside to visit us while we were here. We know how busy people are and really appreciated their time with us. We also had plenty of time to see their beautiful yard and flower beds, Sandy and Nel had a leisurely stroll around looking at all the plantings, most of which would not survive in Iowa.

Our time with Roger and Nel went too fast but traffic from their house to our hotel would be getting heavy and stressful if we did not get moving. We had such a great time visiting and promise not to let 21 years go by before returning for a visit.

The trip from Riverside to Rancho Cucamonga to our motel was estimated to be 30 minutes and hit it pretty close by making it in 45 minutes. Most of the roads had a 55 MPH speed limit but we just didnít feel we were safe at that speed with traffic lights every half mile or so. But we made it with no wrong turns. The view out our window included mountains shrouded in cloud cover and we arenít sure if that is just clouds or air quality issues. But it is pretty grand none the less.

Sandyís cousin Denny had suggested several places to eat and offered to drive from the other side of LA to here so we could avoid the traffic. We selected the Old Spaghetti Factory and were able to walk from our hotel to the restaurant in a few minutes. The food was great and the conversation lively. Like all visits with family it seemed too short but wanted Denny to get home before it got late for him. Tomorrow it is on to Sausalito, we are so excited to get going and meet up with Brian and Gary.

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