Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Holiday Season at the Jeffus’

We celebrated Christmas Eve with the traditional Christmas Dinner at home. I cooked a turkey breast, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn bread dressing and three types of cranberry sauce. One was Jalapeño, one was a Ginger and the final was slices straight from the can. We ate on the back porch on the 70 degree weather. It was a very nice time.

We went to a Movie in the afternoon “The Good Shepherd” a movie about the CIA. Then at 9:45 we left for a Christmas concert a church downtown.

Christmas day we went to the ERB’s relatives and visited with then in the afternoon. Tuesday and Wednesday Rhonda and I went to work. Sam had Christmas with Ellie in Tuesday. There picnic meal was spoiled by the wind. The stove we bought in China could not get enough heat to the pan in the wind.

The Earles arrived around 2:30 AM Thursday morning. In the afternoon we went to several parks in Winter Park. It was a beautiful day.

Friday we got up and drove to St Augustine, Ellie accompanying Sam, on the way we stopped a Washington Shores state park. We strolled on the beach for an hour. Then we headed on to St Augustine. We arrived at 2:30 everyone was starved. We found an out of the way pizza store Kozmic Bluz Pizza & Ale. We ate outside the weather was perfect and the pizza was not bad either. The group split up after lunch agreeing to meet back in the square at 6PM to see the lights. The lights were nice. It was a long trip home 100 miles.

Sabbath we went to church. After church we invited a bunch of our friends over for lunch so the house was full. We had a good afternoon.

Tomorrow we are going to Lake Worth to my cousins wedding in Lake Worth. I am hoping to leave the house at 8:30 so we can arrive in Lake Worth at noon. The Wedding starts at 2:30.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

All is well

The latest on Sam. He had an MRI on October 2. We saw Dr S. on Tuesday October 10 and Dr. P on Thursday October 12. There are some spots of concern in the location of the Surgery but the surgeon believes that it is left over scar tissue from the surgery. The spot in the rear has not changed in size since the first MRI they are not concerned about this spot either.

Sam is doing well in school and there are no side effects form the surgery that we can tell.

All is well.

We are preparing for our annual church retreat in 10 days. I am helping in the kitchen again this year. We are having spaghetti for the main meal.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Normal Day

Suzanne and the girls are down for a few days. Everybody but me has gone to the beach for the afternoon. I have to go back to work at 6PM.

Sam goes back to school on the 14th of August. Everything is going well. In fact if you didn't know that Sam had surgery a month ago there would be no way to tell. The strip of hair that was removed is getting harder to spot.

The responses that we have received since the surgery are absolutely amazing. We have had friends and people unknown to us from all over the world praying and thinking about Sam. We thank every one of you for your prayers and thoughts, and your continued prayers. Our next follow up MRI will be in October; we are still hoping for miracle that the other spot will have disappeared by then.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Sam update July 20

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

This is to give a summary report on what is happening with our son. First of all, Dan and I want to thank everyone for their prayers and concerns for us.

* Friday, June 30 - We received the results from an MRI that indicated a tumor of the brain in the left frontal lobe and "something" in the left rear of the brain.

* Monday, July 3 - We meet with the neurosurgeon and surgery to remove the front tumor was planned.

* Wednesday, July 5 - Sam's surgery was successfully done at Florida Hospital Orlando.

* Friday, July 7 - The final lab results were back. It was not benign and not malignant, but in between. The follow up treatment could be 1) monitoring with periodic MRIs, 2) 12-18 months of chemo and/or participating in an experimental drug project.

* Monday, July 10 - Sam is up and walking. He no longer needs the pain medication and IVs, so he can go home. He has not needed even an Advil since.

* Thursday, July 13 - The Neuro Case Conference met; all physicians on the team are in agreement that the follow-up from this surgery need be no more aggressive than periodic MRIs to monitor. Concerning the spot in the back, all on the team were in agreement that it looked so significantly different than the front tumor and they were not suggesting another surgery, but rather to monitor this with the periodic MRIs. This is very good news. No chemo. No second surgery between now and the start of school.

This has been a stressful time of extreme concern, hard decisions and needing the services of medical professionals with specialties that we never wanted to know about.

We are thankful for many things. Our experience at Florida Hospital was the best. It was reassuring to walk in the main door that morning past the huge banner on the building about FH being one of the best hospitals and to have NEUROSCIENCE listed second on the list right after HEART. It was a blessing to be here rather than in Gainesville or Baltimore , Memphis or Minnesota . We were there for 12 nursing shifts and can say they were all "angels of mercy." There are no bad or even marginal stories for us to tell.

Thanks again for your prayers. We have some bold friends praying for the back lesion or whatever it is to JUST DISAPPEAR. You are welcome to join us.

Rhonda and Dan Jeffus

PS: He got to keep his hair. They shaved only a finger's width from ear to ear over the top of his head. Here is a picture from the morning of 7/5/06 .

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Here is link to an essay in Time Magazine about the lighter side of Brain Surgery you might find interesting.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Quiet Weekend

We have had a quiet weekend. We went to church on Sabbath, there were many hugs for Sam. We had a quiet afternoon then went over to some friends house and watched the video "What about Bob".

Sunday morning Sam and I went to Publix for a few things. We had an Asian noodle dish for lunch. Sam and I watched the F1 race from France this afternoon we mostly slept.

At 6PM or so Sam is going over to Josh's house for a few hours to play games. Rhonda and I are going to go to a movie Water an India movie.

Later.. Josh says everybody is out on vacation so the game night is off.

For supper I fixed Mexican.

Sam is doing fine. Our next doctors appontment is on Monday July, 24.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Sam Update Thursday July 13, 2006

Yesterday was a quite day. Things are trying to go back to our normal flow. Karla came to visit in the morning, and Josh in the afternoon. For supper Morris and Nancy took us to our favorite Mexican restaurant, it’s at the corner of 436 and 434. Micky and Nancy’s family came to see us at the restaurant for a few minutes. Micky brought us some video to watch. Then when it was time to go Sam went with Ivar for Donnie’s house. Donnie is moving to Tennessee today.

We got a call from the home care nurse as well, she said that if we had any questions about things that were going on she would be able to answer then or find someone that would be able to do that.

Today is the day that the Doctors will meet to decide what the next step will be with Sam’s treatment.

Rhonda Called the Doctor this afternoon about 4:30. Dr. P is still out of town but Dr. O went to the meeting this morning. The have decided that the best course of action following the first surgery is to have a follow up MRI in six weeks. For the second spot in the back of the brain they feel that it is sufficiently different that it is not the same type of tumor if it is a tumor and that it might clear up on its own. So the follow up MRI’s are needed to check any change in this spot as well.

This is all an answer to YOUR prayers. Thanks each of you so much for your continued support in this time of trial.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Sam Update Monday

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We left the Florida Hospital at 2PM. We are home now!

Sam is sleeping on the couch.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Sam Update Sunday July 9, 2006

We have moved out of PICU down to a regular Peds floor. The doctor has said that Sam can go home if he eats and starts to walk around. He took a shower today and finally got his hair washed.

He had chicken finger and mashed tators for lunch. He is sleeping through the World cup final. Four minutes left in regulation time and tied 1-1.

We had lots of visitors yesterday all the way up till 10 PM. Thanks each and everyone even if you did not get to come in and see Sam it meant a lot to us.

Thanks also to all of our fiends and relatives who are thinking of Sam but are in far away places. We love you all.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Sam update 7/8/2006 05:00

We were awaken this morning at 3:45AM for a quick trip to get a CT scan. The actual scan only took 5 minutes or so. We left the room at 3:50 and returned by 4:35. He is feeling a little better today than yesterday I believe.

Sam had many visitors yesterday. About 5 minutes is all that he can take. Raining outside most of the day, but the blinds are closed so we don’t notice. There is talk of going home by the end of the weekend, we’ll see as time goes on.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Sam update Day 2

The clock keeps ticking. We arrived at the hospital at 7AM. Sam had been throwing up beginning about 4AM. Had not been able to hold down any liquid. We went for another MRI at 12:30 PM this one included a full spinal scan. It took 2 hours. The results were good. They have gotten all of the tumor, and no sign of anything in the spine.

We got several calls throughout the day, and several visitors. Sam has many friends around the globe.

He is resting now I sent Rhonda home. I am staying the night then will go home for a few hours in the morning.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

July 5, 2006

We started the day with a call from the hospital at 6:30 AM saying that we need to arrive earlier than the 8:30 we had been told. This was because Sam had been scheduled for an MRI at 9:30. They were not sure we would have time for the paper work if we arrived at 8:30.We got up and left the house by 7:20.

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We went to the 7th floor PICU. Sam’s nurse was Ashley, there was also a student nurse her name was Rose. We went down to Radiology at 9:00AM on the way we met Kevan Evans. He is working in transportation this summer. He had just at he bottom of the elevator when we were getting off. Sam was glad to see face that he knew. David Garcia was in the MRI room when we arrived there. We also saw Merle there in the hall. The MRI only took about 15 minutes.

We were back in the room by 9:30. They are telling us that surgery is now scheduled for 12:00. 9:30 Dr Selski and Dr. Guedes cam to visit. Dr. Selski is from the cancer institute. They have been looking at the films form the MRI, they are not sure what they are looking at yet. Dr Selski suggests that maybe they should get some spinal fluid so they can test for caner cells before surgery. Dr. P is in surgery now nd they will discuss it with him when he comes out.

Linda Lynch and Owen V have come to see us. Owen was in the room when we returned form MRI. Linda says the most poetic and beautiful prayers. Owen stayed till 11:30.

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11:35 Dr. P arrives he tells us that he has one more case before Sam and we should start around 1:30PM. He tells us that Sam’s incision will go from ear to ear across the top of his head. They will pull down the skin to make the incision in the skull. He also tell us that in 48 hours his eyes could swell shut, this is natural.

Barbara, Sonny, and Don from my work come to visit I went out in the hallway to talk to them. While they are still here Greg Ellis arrives. He went and got his wife and we had a short prayer.

2:10PM the IV pump is beeping again.

2:30 Dr. P and Scott come in to say we are only waiting on an anesthesiologist then we will be ready to go. I signed the consent form that said basically that thing could go wrong, there was no promise that this would resolve the problem, etc.

3:55PM Sam goes into surgery. We are now in the waiting room.

4:45PM Mabiline calls to say that the case has now started. There are a host of our friends now in the waiting room. Jim and Leonie, Dinese Northcutt, Jim Appel, Morris and Nancy, and Merle Peterson. Jim tells us that Josh has called from Australia to find out the progress.

5:05 PM things going well.

5:35 PM things going well. Sonny and Barbara arrive.

6:20 PM things still going well. Karla is now here.

7:00 PM Micky called to find out the status. Joe and Heather have arrived with much needed food, Subs from Publix, fruit, and crackers.

7:10 Greg Ellis calls to get status.

7:30 PM surgery is over.

8:00 PM Dr. P comes out to talk to us. He is very optimistic, but with caution. This is only the first hurtle. They were able to remove the tumor, it was a firm mass which was good, They will not know what it is for a day or two.

9:00 PM we go back to see Sam. He is able to move all of his parts. He is still loopy from the drugs. They ask him his last name and he spelled it for them. His speech was slow and slurred but he could talk and communicate.

9:30 PM we go back to the waiting room. Evar, Stephan, Abby, Matt, and the Gardner’s have arrived. We had one final prayer before we go up to Sam’s room in PICU.

10:00 PM we arrive to Sam’s new room. As they are setting Sam up in the room we see Ellie and Brianna at the door. I go down to let them in. They have brought us flowers and a card.

10:45 Pm I am setting in the room alone with Sam. Rhonda has gone out to call Polly and Suzanne. Sam is snoring peacefully the clock on the wall is loudly ticking away the seconds. Sam’s nurse for the night is Erin. Tomorrow will be a new day. Sam will have a new MRI this time also with a spinal scan as well.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Sam's Tumor

This started out as the worst July 4th holiday a parent could have and it only got worst for us. Friday June 30 we received the results of an MRI that Sam had taken on June 16. The Neurologist showed us the x-rays. Sam has a brain tumor. On the front left side of his brain along the midline. The words from the doctor were I’ve never seen any thing quite like this. The Radiologist had called Sam’s neurologist a few days before, he also was not sure what it was. We were told that Sam should go to see a pediatric neurosurgeon. The Neurologist arranged for an appointment on Monday at 3:45. The neurologist thought that they would want to take a biopsy.

Let me give you a little background. Sam is normal young man 16 years of age that is doing fine in school at Forrest Lake Academy; he will be a junior next year. He can’t wait to drive. He is working this summer as a counselor at a summer day camp. He is loved by both the staff and the kids. In the January/February time frame he started to develop these strange body movements. At the time we just thought they were signs of boredom, tiredness, or growing. Over the next few months the frequency and severity increased to the point that we started to take notice. We stopped the ADD medicine in mid-April thinking this may have been the cause. Up until the middle of May, we thought the episodes had gone away. However while on our trip to Hong Kong (May 18 - 29) we were around Sam 24 hours a day and it became obvious that he was still having problems. We called/messaged friends at home for them to get an appointment with a neurologist as soon as possible after we returned home.

Monday July 2 at 3:15 we had our appointment with the Neurosurgeon. He basically told us that we needed to do an intervention biopsy which means that he would go in and surgically remove the tumor. We all turned white. He thought that this was not elective surgery and said that he would have done it last Friday if we had come seen him then. So we are scheduled to go to the Florida Hospital Orlando on Wednesday July 5 at 8:30 AM. They will do another MRI and then the surgery will be on either Wednesday or Thursday depending on the schedule and when we could be fit in.

There is also another spot in the rear of the brain that could be an AVM that will be dealt with at a later time.

Please keep us in your prayers.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

JFK – MCO

The flight home left at 10:30. We left the hotel at 8AM the van took us straight to the curb of Jet Blue. The flight home was uneventful. We stopped at Don Pablo’s on 436 for lunch. Arrived home at 1:30P.

It was good to be home, we were exhausted the jet lag was a killer. We had had a wonderful trip a time always to be remembered.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Hong Kong - JFK

We had a big breakfast of homemade biscuits, hash browns, fried apples, gravy, and left over sweet rolls.

We left the LaRue at noon for the taxi ride to the airport. The security guard called one of his taxi driver friends. He told us that the driver would not charge us for our luggage. The trip cost $378 HK. It was a rainy trip through the city. We arrived without incident.

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The plan was to leave at 3PM but was delayed till about 4PM. We started our run down the runway at 4:32pm it was 50 seconds before we left the ground. This was the longest run I have ever timed, it usually take 35 seconds to leave the ground. We were in a fully loaded 747 on a 12 hour flight to Vancouver. The meals on this flight were not that great. The first meal was fried fish fingers with pineapple fried rice. The second meal was a rice dumpling with chili sauce and glutinous rice wrapped in a tea leaf.

In Vancouver we were only allowed to go to a transfer waiting area. We were hear for about 2 hours. We arrived at JFK around 10:30PM. I called the hotel and ask how we were suppose to get to the hotel. We had to take the airport train to stop B, then the bus would come and pick us up from there. We made it to our room about 12 after a 24 hour journey.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Hong Kong - Sabbath

Rhonda and I went for a brisk walk on the trail near the LaRue Villas. Our round trip is 3.2km. It was raining and very hot, when we returned we were wet with rain and soaked with sweat. We went to the early church service, and sat on the back row with Jeri and Bess. After the service I had to leave the new carpet and paint were doing a number on me.

Jeri and Bess had made a delicious lunch. We had cottage cheese loaf with no cottage cheese, baked potatoes, salad, and creamed corn.

We left for Stanley at 3PM. We walked down to turtle beach. There were groups of people practicing on dragon boats. The dragon boat festival is next Wednesday. The boats are long and narrow, the seat about 30 people side by side. They row out to a marker and then race back to shore. There is one person in the front that bangs on a wooden drum, and another person at the rear that steers the boat. We watched for several hours then took the bus back, we arrived at 6PM.

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We left in the car for the peak at 7PM it was a 10 to 15 minute drive. When we arrived we almost decided not to park the car it was so foggy, but when we walked over to the observation area it was beautiful. The cloud bottom was right above us. The city lay below. We soaked in the sight for quite a while. We had thought of eating at one of the restaurants at the peak but decided it was so late that we would stop in the market and get some bread for sandwiches instead. I also bought a watermelon that turned out to be good. I also made a small stir fry with some long beans using some of Doug’s Indonesian soy sauce.
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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Hong Kong - Kowloon

Doug left for Malaysia this morning. We are own our own we took the bus in to Hong Kong for the short Star Ferry ride over to Kowloon. The sun was out again this morning and it was nice and breezy on the ride across the bay. There were no Chinese Junks to be seen on the crossing. I guess the days of Suzie Wong are over for good. We disembark on the Kowloon side into the shining sun, it feels great.

We are going to the Hong Kong Museum of Art first it is a modern looking building 5 story building built in 1991. The museum is a nice one Sam and I zoom through will Rhonda take her time. Sam and I had planned to go over to the Hong Kong Space Museum while Rhonda took her time but it did not open until 2PM and it was only 11:30. So Sam and I sat in the lobby and look out at the city through the giant glass wall. At noon I sent Rhonda a text message that said “Lunch.? Space M closed we are in lobby dj”. Rhonda appeared riding down the escalator momentarily.

We walked up Nathan Road the densest shopping street in town, as best we could trying to avoid the “copy watch” and tailors salesmen. This was not an easy task. When one of the young salesmen approached and ask it I wanted a good suite cheap I told him that I did not wear suite. He countered with “How about a shirt then”. They were quite persistent. Most to the tailor salesmen were Indian so we decided there must be an Indian restaurant around. Sure enough the next side street we came to I looked down the street and there was a blue sign mixed in with all of the red and yellow signs for the India Restaurant. It was located at 2A Humphrey’s Ave on the 1st floor. It was a small place only 10 tables or so, but very elegant. The food was great as well. We had the lunch set menu, somosa, vegetable curry, rice, and nan. The meal also came with a coconut desert. The place had an unhurried atmosphere which was a nice contrast to the bustle going on outside.

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We exited our little sanctuary back to the explosion of sights and sounds of Kowloog. We walked over to Kowloog Park. In the south-east corner of the park is the Jamia Masjid & Islamic Centre it is Hong Kong’s principal mosque build in 1984. Prayers were just letting out and the sidewalks were packed. We made our way to the relative quiet of the park. The grass needed a bit of attention, even though it could not be walked on. There was a sculpture garden, a lotus pond, and a pond that was being cleaned out. They had gathered up all the turtles from the pond an piled then in a giant basket.

Upon leaving the park we crossed Nathan Road to visit another Muji store. They had some nice bowls I would have liked to have had back home but we already have 32 pounds of china. We took back streets on our return journey to the Star Ferry. The sun was still shining on Kowloon, although there was a big shadow over Central Hong Kong.

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Rhonda decided it was time to go back to the hotellll. So we escorted her to the Central bus station to the number 6 bus. The bus had just arrived and the driver left the bus. We left her there for the next driver. We went to the electronic mall about a mile away. We caught the tram down Queen’s road and got off where Bess had showed us on the map. It was right around the corner. We were looking for an iPod, but after I figured that if we were in Hong Kong we could find a bargain. So I tried to buy a 30GB iPod for $200.00 they are $300.00 at home they just laughed at me then we would got to the next store and I would offer $220.00 no sale. I went up to about 275.00 still no sale. Then just gave up. I ordered one for Sam’s birthday from Amazon.com for $285.00, no bargains in Hong Kong on electronics. We made our way home via bus.

When we arrived home we discovered that Rhonda had had her own excitement on her return trip to the La Rue. It seems when the bus driver returned he had changed the bus to number 6X Stubbs Road to Stanley. It turns out that this bus starts up Stubbs road then goes into a tunnel that emerges on the other side of the mountain on route to Aberdeen, before going to Stanley. After departing Aberdeen Rhonda got off the 6x bus at Repulse Bay and caught the 6 bus back to Central, where she could stop at the Hospital on the way down the mountain.

We had haystacks to supper prepared by Jeri and Bess. Bess had also made some sweet rolls for Sabbath breakfast and there was plenty for supper that night as well. They were delicious!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Hong Kong – Stanley

We ride the bus #15 over to Stanley this morning. Stanley was notorious during World War II as the home of Japan’s largest POW camps in Hong Kong. But it is now known for its picturesque market. The SUN IS OUT! It is a 30 minute trip. The sky is blue and the sun is shining all is good. The ride is beautiful we ride on the upper deck of the bus on the front row. We arrived in Stanley just as the shops are opening. The I Drive of Hong Kong. All that was missing was the shell shops, but there were little stalls of everything else imaginable.
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DonT wanted some chop sticks so that was our mission when we arrived. It did not take long to discover a shop with quite a selection. The shop keeper told us they were made of mango wood. I bought several sets.

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We walked the stalls for several hours. Sam bought a pair of swimming trunks for his summer job. We bought several other small items. As we were leaving the market area a art gallery caught my eye. I ended up purchasing a framed etching.

There was a sign for a Buddhist temple. So we made the short walk around the cove. Something didn’t seem quite right. It was in an area that might remind you of an abandoned strip mall. The Tin Hau Temple (temple of the Queen of Heaven) was built in 1767, and during the First World War. Villagers took asylum from war in this temple. It is one of the oldest temples in Hong Kong. It did not seem to be this old. I guess the outside had been redone.

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We rode the bus back to Doug’s around 1pm. Doug was going to take us out to a restaurant. First it was Chinese; then sushi; we ended up an Indonesian restaurant. The name was Indonesian Restaurant since 1968. It was exquisite the perfect place for lunch, small and intimate. Our first course was Gado-Gado a salad made with green beans, sprouts, cabbage, carrots, and tofu covered in a peanut sauce. It came with a side of shrimp chips. The next course was egg rolls, then Spicy Nasi Goreng a fried rice dish with lots of soy sauce and no eggs. Then came a dish with roasted of smoked vegetables. Then came Semur Terong an eggplant dish, with a sweet soy sauce, very good! The egg plant was long and skinny and bright purple. Cut in half and sliced. Then coated with this dark delicious sauce.

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After lunch we departed for a department store near by and went to the third floor. To a store called Muji a Japanese store. They had all kinds of different stuff ranging from storage to cooking to furniture. We got a small white porcelain tea pot and some serving spoons.

Doug and Bess went home from here; we went out on our own. We roamed the street, kitchen stores, book stores, endless street vendors. We made it to a 2 story food market with smells galore some good some bad. We went out on a walkway between two buildings and could see the street below. Below us were thousands of people buying their daily groceries. When it was time to go home we hailed a taxi down and road back to LaRue Doug’s apartment, named after Abram La Rue. Chinese Adventists trace the beginning of missionary outreach among Chinese people to Abram La Rue, who arrived in Hong Kong in 1888. La Rue, an American, was in his mid-sixties when he began his work. He was a shepherd and woodcutter with no formal training as a pastor--a fact that, along with his age, led the General Conference to reject his request to serve as a missionary to China. Undeterred, La Rue found his own way to Hong Kong where his work paved the way for J. N. Anderson, the church's first official missionary to China, who arrived in 1902.

Doug had been working late so we ordered Pizza Hut Pizza after we had our pizza Jeri gave us some mangostein fruit. It was very different don’t think I could describe it.

Shenzhen – Hong Kong

We woke up at 2:15AM 2:15PM at home. We watched TV for a few minutes National Geographic Channel about alligators in Sanibel Florida. Tried to go back to sleep. I got up at 6:30. It is still very cloudy outside. The city is slowly coming to life. Around 8:30 we leave the hotel for the market. On the way we stop in at the McDonalds across the street. We have pancakes, hash browns, and I had cup of corn. It was very sweet.

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It is dreary and dark out side with a sprinkling of showers. We walk the wet streets with our umbrellas. The wetness makes the smells stronger. We went over to little tea shop across from the hotel. The proprietor insisted that we have tea ceremony. It was oolong tea. We ended up buying several things there, a little brown tea pot and 8 little cups, a 3 legged frog that you have at your ceremony, and a bamboo handled brush that you also use in the tea ceremony. Doug bought a small butane burner, that I ended up with when we got back to his home. Doug will get another one next week when he returns.
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Form there we went to a ceramics / china shop Tian Wen Star in the mall on the lower 3 floors of the hotel. I bought 8 folded square plates for Y520 = $66.00. They weighted 15Kg – 33 pounds. So as we were leaving Shenzhen later that day we bought a new carry on case to carry them, it cost Y200 = $24.00.

From here we went back to the hotel to check out. We left our luggage down in the lobby.

We went back to the cloth market around the corner. We picked out two fabrics’ for a comforter cover. We negotiated a price and paid for the fabric, then it turned out the sales girl had to go somewhere else to get the material we needed. It was time for us to leave we were planning to catch the 1PM bus from the hotel to the boarder. The girl had been gone to 5 or 6 minutes. Doug told us to go and try to hold the van while he tried to resolve the problem. We made our back to the hotel and got the luggage. They loaded it into the van and ask where our friend was. We told them that he would be there any minute. Doug had told us that they always leave on time. We stood outside waiting. Doug appeared about 1:08. he was quite surprised that we were still there. He had gotten our money back for one of the pieces of fabric.

At the boarder market Rhonda picked up her 2 skirts. Then we looked around a little longer. There was a little of everything in this mall.

We crossed the boarder and road the train back to where Doug’s car was parked. We arrived there about 3PM. We make our way back through Hong Kong a 45 minute trip.

Jeri had an appointment down town so they went in the car and we road the bus. Bess was our guide. We met Doug and Jeri at a place down town and had a veggie burger. The we went to the escalators, a famous shopping district in Hong Kong. We road up the escalators and then walked back down shopping along the way. There were many restaurants and shop in the area. We went in to a Japanese furniture store that had a Japanese soaking tub made out of wood. Rhonda thought it was a bit too tall for her.
We made our way back to Doug’s. Doug fixed me some corn coffee from Indonesia. It was quite good; I think that the big blob of fresh cream and sugar helped.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Hong Kong to Shenzhen

We started the day with a brisk walk in the muggy still air of the morning. Doug, Sam, and I walked about 3 km along this very nice flat trail along the side of the Mount Nicholson that Doug lives on. The views of the buildings of down town Hong Kong was fabulous from the trail as it snaked around the mountain side. Right beside the trail were two apartment building each 70 stories tall, they were perched on the side of the mountain towering into the fog above our heads quite a sight. One of them was called The Summit the other The Highclift.

When we returned to the apartment Doug fixed us blue berry pancakes with freshly made maple syrup.

We left for China around 10:30. Our first stop was an electronics mall in down town Hong Kong. Doug showed us his favorite place to purchase electronics and had them cash a check for him as well. Then it was a 45 minute drive the station where Doug parks his car when he takes the train to Shenzhen . The train ride was very smooth and only two stops. The interior of the train was very different. The train was probably a 12 car set but was entirely open on the inside. You could see all the way to the end of the train and it was just one big open area. We arrived at the Luohc Checkpoint and crossed the boarder in a mere 15 minutes. Form there it was off the Luohu commercial center (Luohu Shangye Cheng) a 5 story mall right across the street. We were instantly wrapped in the frenzy of Shenzhen, a wild city whose population has exploded to 7 million. Twenty years ago, Shenzhen was a series of sleepy fishing villages of 20,000 inhabitants. Each vendor in the mall had a small area filled with his specialty merchandise. There were shops with sunglasses, copy watches, cheap electronics, and tailors. We stopped by Doug’s favorite tailor Shanghai Fusheng Tailor Desigh CO. the tailors name was Yifu Sheng Sam. Then up to the top floor which was entirely fabric. How Rhonda found two pieces of wool among the vast selection in a mere 20 minutes was amazing. She is not a fast shopper. The price for the fabric started out at Y250.00 Chinese dollars but quickly went down to Y130.00 about $16.00 US. Everyone seamed happy with the deal in the end. We went back to the tailors to drop off the fabric. The shirts would be ready tomorrow.

We now went out on the streets. Shenzhen is a large city 6 million people. Doug says there are 100 cities in China with more than a million people, and 50 cities with more than 5 million. I guess that this is what impressed me the most One point three billion people are a lot of people.

The streets had a strange odor, a soured smell. Doug says it is the way then cook their food. The place was quite dirty. They throw everything on the ground. The shops seem to have no trash cans. Everything is thrown on the floor then at night it is swept in the streets. The streets are cleaned every night ready to go again in the morning.

For supper we go to a noodle shop where they make hand pulled noodles. It was quite a process here is something I found on the web as to how they make them.
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Hand Pulled Noodles
The Chinese were making noodles as early as 300 BC using several techniques. One of them is to dip a chopstick into a batter of flour and water. The batter has to be thick enough to adhere to the chopstick, but light enough to come off when the chopstick is flicked unto a pot of boiling water. The noodles formed by this technique are not uniform in size or shape.

The Chinese also make hand-pulled noodles (la mian) using a flexible dough that can be stretched easily. This is done by increasing the amount of water in the dough (approximately 1 cup of water for every 2 cups of flour). Cover the dough with plastic and allow it to rest at room temperature for at least 60 minutes to relax the gluten. The dough is placed on a countertop covered with plenty of flour and stretched until it looks like a long, thick rope. The rope of dough is folded in half, twisted, and stretched back to its original length approximately ten times. The twisting is done by holding one end of the rope in each hand while the center hangs down under the force of gravity and flinging one side against the other in a circular motion. The rope is twisted first to the right, stretched, floured by rolling on the countertop, and then twisted to the left, stretched, and floured again. This process creates a structure of soft dough fibers surrounded by dry flour that is necessary for being able to pull the noodles. Next, the noodles are made by pulling the dough, resting it briefly on the floured countertop, grabbing the two ends with the left hand, while holding the middle with the right hand. This process is repeated until the noodles are of the appropriate thickness. Each time, the number of noodles doubles.

Twisting the dough rope and pulling the noodles. To cook the noodles, drop them into boiling water and boil for approximately 2 or 3 minutes. Drain the noodles and serve them topped with your favorite spaghetti sauce, beef Stroganoff, or chicken cacciatore. You can also make noodle soup by adding the boiled noodles to a well-seasoned chicken soup.
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Doug had brought some Ragu Spaghetti sauce for us to eat on the noodles. It was very good. Doug tells us that after translating their menu in to English for them he decided that there were no vegetarian options except the noodles. As were enjoying our meal it was raining outside.
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We walked around in the rain, found a kitchen store that Doug says has every thing. I bought two sushi boards made out of bamboo. Back on the streets I bought Kelly her Fu Dog for Y50.00 about $6.50.

We past stalls and stalls of dried shark fins. There were small ones and large ones. These might have contributed to the smell of the place. The streets had many smells and sounds, horns blaring from all directions. We saw some police coming down one street and all of the taxi drivers came running to the taxis’ I guess they were illegally parked, but they were interested in the bicycle taxis. They were bicycles with seats on the back that people were using to carry riders. They had a trailer behind their car, which they filled with bicycles. Later I noticed these taxi bicycles everywhere. You would see them pull up to a corner someone would get off and hand the driver some money.

We went back to the hotel around 7PM we had had it, the day was over for us. With the jetlag and the day of shopping and traveling we just went to bed.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

JFK-HKG The Flight to Hong Kong

This departure day, the day we leave for Hong Kong. We catch the 10:30 bus to the airport. Not sure how long the bus will take. I wanted to take the 11:00 bus but there was not one. The next bus was a noon. Our plan was to leave at 3pm or so we thought. It was really scheduled to leave at 3:45.

We arrived at JFK 11:15 the check in didn’t even open till 11:45. The seats in the lobby were not very comfortable. After we checked in and moved to the departure hall I ate at JFK’s Antonios. I had spaghetti and green beans. Rhonda had a tuna sandwich from the 7th ave Deli. Sam had something from target="new" McDonalds.

We boarded our Cathay Pacific flight CX831 at the scheduled 3:45PM. We were in the middle row of 4 seats with the entire row. Thanks to the person at the check in. She said that if she moved one of us to the other isle seat no one would pick the middle seat. It worked.

The flight was a long one 16 hours! I watched the ending of Match Point probably 4 times. Never did see the beginning of the movie. It was Woody Allen’s movie with Scarlett Johansson. We watched a little of Mr. Bean 6 and some of Fun with Dick and Jane. I finished my book Untangling My Chopsticks A culinary Sojourn in Kyoto . I started on a book that I bought in NYC Malaria Dreams . It is the story of two people that drive a Toyota Land Cruiser across a tortuous route from the Central African Republic to Europe via Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Mali and Algeria.

We emerged from the plane at 8PM local time 8am Florida time. After we went through emigration and departed the arrival gate we looked around for Doug. We did not see him for a few minutes, but he appeared in about 5 minutes shorts and all sauntering over toward us. We bought a train ticket to the city for 210 HK for the 3 of us. The train ride on the Airport Express train was a short one. When we exited the station it was raining. Outside the station was one of the tallest buildings in Hong Kong Two International Finance Centre it was quiet a sight disappearing in to the clouds at night. We put our stuff in Doug’s car and went to a shopping mall to a grocery store. It was a City Market. They advertise them selves as “city'super is a 'Mega Lifestyle Specialty Store' that offers true 'one-stop-shopping' to today's busy urban professionals”. It was the fanciest food market I ever seen.

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We made our way to Doug’s apartment on the 10th floor of a 12 story building on the grounds of Hong Kong Adventist Hospital . One of the first thing Doug did when we arrived was pull out the Durian from the freezer, he insisted that we try it. He said that he did not care for it but tat Jeri liked it. It has a horrific smell but I did not think that it tasted all that bad sort of like over ripe mango. Rhonda did not care for it at all; she could not get over the smell. We went to bed that night at 11pm. I slept fairly well till 5:30AM.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Queens-NYC Day 2

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We had breakfast at Pop Diner*. I had pancakes, Rhonda had eggs and a bagel, Sam had thick cut French toast. We left the diner at 11:17 and started our journey to The Cloisters . We got on the R train transferred to the E train at Roosevelt street. We took this to 50th street, where we going to take the A train going north. But the A train did not leave this station going north, so we took the A train going south one stop to 42nd street then crossed the station to catch the north bound A train. We took this train going north to 207th street and started to walk north, it didn’t look quite right to me but was not sure why. We found Columbia University’s Athletic field. Rhonda ask a lady on the street how to get to the Cloisters, she told us we should have gotten off at 191st street. We caught the M7 bus back to 191st street then had to hike up the hill. When we got to some benches overlooking the Hudson River is was 1:15. It had been a 2 hour journey.

The Cloisters were beautiful the grounds had lovely flowers blooming, the trees were green. We stayed several hours. Rhonda examined all of the exhibits I sat in a cloister and enjoyed the cool weather and sunshine.

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We took the subway down to Christopher Street in Greenwich Village. They were having a street market. All kinds of junk for sale. We walked atound for a while until hunger struck up. They Rhonda found us an Indian restaurant the Suryra at 302 Bleeker Street. It was very good. We had a tandoor chicken, a veggie curry, somosa, and nan. We sat at the window in front.

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From there we started walking to the Brooklyn Bridge we left at 6:10 and arrived there at 7:45. Only to discover that there was a subway stop right at the bottom where you start walking across. The sun was just setting as we were walking back across the bridge. It was going down between the buildings and was beautiful. When we got off the bridge we headed for the subway station and back to the hotel. We arrived at 10PM. Sam and I walked over to Wendy’s and had a frosty and fries. Rhonda walked straight back to the hotel. We were worn out.
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Friday, May 19, 2006

Queens-NYC

We awake in the night to the sounds of wet streets. The bed sleep well even though it makes a funny squeaking sound. Rhonda says “bed feels so good”. Micky wakes us to say that in the news Cathay Pacific has filed for bankruptcy.

We ride the subway into NYC and get off at 14th street and walk to the Chelsea Market. On the way we stop in a kitchen store Chelsea Fine Custom Kitchens.They have some very neat stuff. Green glass counter top the brand is Effeti Cucine Uniche. The owner also told us about European Furniture.

It is pouring when we leave we are soaked to the bone in the block and a half to the market. Rhonda hitches a ride with a willing New Yorker.

When we arrive at Chelsea Market we discover that it is the home of the Food Network. We have breakfast/snack Rhonda and I have soup at Hale and Hearty Sam has Pad Thai at Chelsea Thai Wholesale

I shopped at several of the food markets. I discovered Taccole Pasta mini lasagna pasta shapes at Buon Italia. I think that they could ordered from the web.

2 PM
When we left Chelsea Market the sky had turned blue. We walked over to Union Square via some back streets. We stop in at Saint Lukes Chapel the 3rd oldest existing church in Manhattan built in 1821 on the way. It is empty and quiet. Unlike Union Square were I sat and walked the farmers market while Rhonda shopped Filenes Basement. I had a chocolate croissant from one of the bakery vendors.

From here we walked to Greenwich Village. There were lots of restaurants along the way, Chinese, Mexican, and Japanese. Lots of them looked and smelled good.

From here we took the subway to Times Square. When we emerged from the subway it was dark and raining, with thunder cracking all around. It rained for at least an hour. When it slowed we ran over to a Starbucks to get indoor shelter. After we had been standing around inside for a while one of the counter people offered Sam a drink that we miss ordered. A Mocha Frappuccino it was surprisingly delicious ice cold coffee drink. I could get to like those very much. The web site says it 420 calories and 16 grams of fat in the Grande size.

It finally stopped raining and we made our way to the Ed Sullivan Theater to see Rupert Jee at the Hello Deli . He is exactly the same as he is on the David Letterman Show, low key and a bit stand-offish. It was very uncomfortable being in the Deli and not buying something.

We went around the block to see our favorite Italian restaurant on 57th street it had recently closed. Then we walked past our favorite hotel The Helemsy Windsor which is also closed and turning condo. Around the block to the Plaza to discover that it is also turning condo or private residents as it was billed. Across the street we saw an Apple store in front of the toy store, where it use to be a GM something. When we get over ther it turns out that this is the grand opening in an hour at 6pm the line stretches around the block. The store is going to be open 24/365. . We decide that we would never get in so walk over to Crate and Barrel.

For supper we walk up Columbus Ave. to find something. I wanted to eat at somewhere we would not normally eat. We ended up at the City Grill . Sam had a Quesadilla, Rhonda had Penne Pasta, and I had Mushroom Ravioli. All of the dishes were very good, except that mine arrived late. They brought me a lasagna dish out firs, it looked good but was not what I had ordered. Form here we went to Café Ronda for desert. Rhonda had spotted it on our way up the street and thought that we should have a desert named after her, well almost. We had the Ronda Sundae for $7.00. Valrhona chocolate, Tahitian vanilla, dulce de leche ice cream, hot fudge, nuts and whipped cream. It was delicious!

From here it was time to go to the hotel. We traveled form 8:35 to 9:10. Then it was laying on the bed time. We had been on the streets for 11 and a half hours.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

MCO-JFK

Thursday May 18

Our departure from Orlando was on Jetblue. We started our culinary journey at Orlando International Airport, at Sabaro’s pizza and spaghetti. We have an hour till he plane leaves. Rhonda is doing a crossword puzzle for the Orlando Sentinel.

We arrive at JFK on time even though we left 20 minutes late. There are no gates for our plane to dock, so we sit on the tarmac for 20 minutes its 11:35 before the bus picks us up for the trip to the hotel. Then we go to LaGuardia to pick up 2 groups before departing for the hotel. The van driver is very jolly and talkative.

The room we arrive to has a king size bed only. Rhonda goes back to the desk to get us a different room. They complain about people that book on hotels.com even thought our reservation says 2 double beds.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

MWC Mens Ministry Mothers Day Breakfast

-Pancakes with frozen fruit cooked Syrup with Nuts and bananas
-Breakfast Potato Casserole
-Omelets plain, cheese, tomatoes, onions, and black olives
-Biscuits with sausage gravy / prosage
-Links
-Yogurt
-Cold Cereal
-Canned fruit
-Fresh strawberries and Blue berries form Chuck's farm
-OJ

We served about 375 people.

Breakfast Potato Casserole

1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (16 ounce) package sour cream
1 (2 pound) package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
1 cup cubed chik
1 cup cubed wham
1 onion, chopped
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup crushed potato chips
1/4 cup butter, melted

1 Combine undiluted soup, sour cream, hash browns, cubed chik and wham, onions, and cheese. Pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch pan.

2 Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Top with crumbs, and drizzle with melted butter or margarine. Bake for another 15 minutes.

Makes 15 servings

Friday, March 24, 2006

I'm Not Afraid: the story of Samedi & the Bere Adventist Hospital



Samedi is a nurse who started out as a janitor at a small bush hospital in rural Chad and after working 28 years there has so much experience that during the years when there was no doctor at the hospital was able to save many lives by doing emergency surgeries in addition to all his other duties.

This is a video by James Appel

Friday, March 10, 2006

Friday - The Blizzard

We were planning on getting up and driving to White Rock this morning to see Polly, but it was blizzard conditions outside. Rhonda and I got up and walked down Main Street in the early morning 9am. Just walking in the snow it was fun. When we got back to the hotel we called Polly. They had been sick all week, so with the snow and sickness we decided to spend the night again in Durango. We didn’t really do and thing except walk the street a few more times. After we told the hotel that we were staying at 11AM it cleared up. The sun came out and there were blue skies.





At 2PM we had lunch at Farquahrt’s & Pizza Mia. Rhonda had a salad, Sam pizza, and I had a turkey sandwich. It was standard fair. 30.00. the most interesting thing on the menu was smoors. We saw another table having them. They brought out a sterno container, with Graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows which you melted over the sterno. The waitress said it was something they started a few year ago when they had a big drought and the campers could not have camp fires. It was so popular that they have kept it on the menu.

At 3:34 we went to see The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. It was good although somewhat violent movie with lots of F words. There were more people in the theater than I thought there would be at 3:45 on a Friday afternoon.

Supper was a loaf of French bread from the bakery across the street with cheese and jelly. It was very good. I don’t know of a bakery in Orlando that had French bread that good. Sam had ice cream from Stone Cold Creamery for desert. We walked down to the local bok store and browsed for several hours. The snow outside was beautiful even in the dark. We saw a jeep limo go up and down the Main Street several times. I bought a Indian southwest cooking book.

On the way back to the hotel, the streets were coated with ice. Cars were slipping all over the place. It seemed like the road conditions could be worse tomorrow than they were today.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Thursday moving back to Durango

We had the best skiing today. After all the snow they groomed the trails se there was lots of snow and smooth runs plus it was still snowing. By the third day I was worn out I quite at 2PM because I started to fall on every run, my muscles were exhausted. We had pizza fro lunch at a place in the village.

We had to check out of the room before Sam and I started to ski as we were moving down to Durango that night, in preparation for our trip to White Rock, New Mexico. Sam snowboarded till 4PM closing time.

We drove back to Durango in the snow and checked into the General Palmer again. We stayed in room 215 that night. It was a nice big room overlooking the main street. We ate a Gazpachio’s again. I had the combination plate this time with Enchilada, Tamale, beans and rice. The rice was a bit dry I thought. 32.50 with tip.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Wednesday in Durango

It snowed 9” last night the powder was half way to our knees. The skiing was a lot harder. The temperature was in the 32’s instead of the high 50’s. At 3pm went to Rockaway to catch the Durango train. The snow was perfect the sun had come out and the shy had puffy white clouds. As we waited for the train the men from the meeting were throwing snow balls at each other. The train arrived about 3:40 everybody loaded up and we started through the gorge. After about 10 minutes the train came to a jerky stop. We had left one of the bus’s at the station. They had seen the train go through the pass. We ere later told that this had been the first time in the trains history that it had backed up after leaving Rockaway.

The train ride was about 3 hours long. At the half way point the train turned around at a Y. The ride alone the river was spectacular.

After the train ride we went to the Durango train Museum and had our supper. It was good.










This is were we started backing up.



Camera phone image.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Tuesday in Durango



We skied at Purgatory our destination. The last snow that they had had was on February 19 2 inches. The bottoms of the runs were rock and grass. Rhonda skied the last half of the day after her meetings were out. We had lunch in the room bread and cheese that we had bought in Durango the night before.







That night we went into Durango to eat at Skinny’s Grill. Rhonda wanted a Vegeburger. It was a burger made our of black beans, roiled oats, brown rice, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, Anaheim chilies, and mozzarella cheese. I had another try at a fish taco. Better wait till I get home and can go to Baja Kitchen. Sam had a chimichanga which he devoured. After supper we went back to the HOTEL.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Durango

Monday


Lucnh was at Southern Soy – an Asian Fusion restaurant.
I had fish and chips (Salmon and Tilapia) Rhonda had Three Heart Salad it had heart of palm, heart of romaine, and heart of artichoke salad with a peppercorn vinaigrette dressing (minus the artichoke hearts they were out). Sam had Tofu Pad Thai not enough noodles and too many mushrooms for him. The menu had items with grits, Po’Boys and other items with a southern flair. They all looked good.

We had stopped in a Tibetan restaurant to try their buffet but several of the dishes had coconut in them, so we moved down the street to Southern Soy. The dish that looked the most unusual had soba noodles mixed with vegetables and coconut flakes.

Southern Soy 35.00 with tip. ****

That night we ate at “Gazpacho New Mexican Cooking”. Rhonda had the vegetarian enchilada plate. Sam had The vegetarian chalupa and I had the Vegetarian tamale plate. We all selected the green enchilada sauce, which turned out to be quite hot. The tamales were quite good; they had squash in then both zucchini and yellow. The meal was topped off with warn sopapillas with honey.

Gazpacho New Mexican Cooking 32.00 with tip. ****

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Orlando to Durango

Sunday

The alarm beeped at 5:45 am. I dragged myself to the shower. I returned t the bedroom to see Rhonda still asleep. I turned on the light to awaken her saying hello hello. Next I go to Sam’s room and repeat the process. We arrive at the care park and there is a long line of people waiting for the bus. Two men almost get into a fist fight over putting there luggage on the bus .A big brute with shaven head wearing a Louisville, KY. Sweatshirt is threatening to break the other guys noise. I thing that he could have done it if he has chosen to. The other guy’s wife pleaded with them to calm down. They ended up shaking hands.

We arrived at the terminal at 7:15. After electronic check in we headed for the tram. 7:30 we arrived at our gate. The plan was to leave at 7:50. The gate was empty everyone had boarded the plan. We were the last 3 to go down the gangway. For a Southwest flight this is not a good thing. We had to sit in the back on 3 separate rows, all of us in a middle seat.

I have been reading the book “A Cooks’ Tour” by Anthony Bourdain. As we cross the country in rout to Durango I am reading about Anthony’s trip to Saigon, Viet Nam. He is describing all the smells and sounds of the market. It reminds me of the sights and sounds of N’dJemma, Chad. Only not as fresh.

He also describes a trip to Russia, where the cops pull the car he is traveling in over and ask for their papers. Apparently there are never the appropriate papers in these instances. They didn’t even wait for them to produce the papers before saying it would be 50 Rubles. This is just like our trip to Cameron where the cops stopped us and we didn’t have the correct registration for the truck.

While in Chad I didn’t taste the local food , I will next time.

10AM MST we arrive in Albuquerque without incident. We picked up our Alamo rental car. A Jeep Grand Cherokee we got to pick out of 10 SUV’s available. We headed north to Bernalillo. Our first stop was to be Abuelitas New Mexican restaurant. Located at 612 Camino Del Pueblo in Bernalillo, NW. It is a restaurant that we have eaten at before. Once in 1992 when Sam was 2 years old. Rhonda had gone out early and Sam and I came out to join her at the Presidents counsel in Santa Fe. Another time with Rhonda when we had gone to Santa Fe. We all had the same thing. Cheese Enchilada’s with green chili sauce, beans and rice, a very small garnish of salad, and sopapillas. It was as I remember delicious. There was not the over powering taste of cheese as some cheese enchilada’s have. This is a family run restaurant. The grandpa of the clan was there when we arrived, helping us to our table.

After lunch we headed NW to Aztec about 150 miles away. The scenery was stark brown everywhere except for the sage brush. A few cotton woods had a yellow tinge, and the twigs growing by the river banks were turning red. These are the twigs that lamps are made of in Santa Fe. Some day we will make that lamp! The sky was azure blue not a cloud to be seen.

We turned down a side road and stopped at an arroyo and walked around. The sand was interesting harder than sand alone.

We arrived in Aztec and went to the ruins. It was 65 degrees. We spent an hour walking around and watching the video.

About 4pm we left for Durando 30 mile to the north. We found an old Inn the General Palmer. It was a block away from the Durango train station, on Main Street. The room was nice and well decorated. We walked the streets for a while. I bought a belt for the silver buckle that I bought last year in West Yellowstone..

We had supper at Nini’s a Baja Kitchen type place. The girl behind the counter had a bright red hair and a bright streak of green in the front. Sam had a chicken quesadilla, Rhonda and I had a fish taco not the best.

After supper we went back to the room and watched the Oscars.