Friday, April 26, 2024

Road Trips are Always a Lot of Fun

We didn’t think this trip was going to be that much fun last week when we headed toward Nebraska. We started off at 3:00 a.m., thinking we’d get to Omaha early in the evening. With car trouble from our rental car, it took us nine hours to get out of Ohio, when it usually takes three. We got to the hotel at 10:30 in the evening. A long first day.


Things definitely got better. We spent a great weekend with Rebecca and Steve. A lot of friendly sparring between those two. Steve wanted to tell Rebecca the proper way of cutting onions, different from how she was doing. She turned around and started reminding him who was in charge.


Steve showed his love for Rebecca though when we taught him how to play spades. Rebecca bid nil. Those of you who know spades will know that meant Rebecca did not want to take any tricks that round. Unfortunately, I played a low spade, and the only spade Rebecca had was higher than mine. She was not happy with me.


After a minute, Steve said, “I don’t ever want to hear anything from you again,” and he played an ace of spades.


The next day we taught my mom how to play spades. Murray won, of course—I never expect to beat him—but I was proud that Mom won second place.


What was Ping-Hwei’s favorite part of the trip? We went with Steve and Rebecca to have lunch at Olive Garden. Ping-Hwei dropped his phone through a crack between the seat of the bench and the frame.


Rebecca tried crawling under the table, but couldn’t get it out. Our server tried, then went and brought two more people to help. Finally the manager said, “I’m a big guy, so give me room.” He crawled under the table and figured out just how to lift the bench to get it out. A few minutes later, the server came back, looked at Ping-Hwei and said, “You let him sit there again?”

For the rest of the trip, Ping-Hwei kept asking us to tell people that story.


Besides spades, we had a good visit with Mom. While we were eating lunch in the activity room, maybe the loudest fire alarm I’ve ever heard went off. A nurse came in and told us it was a drill they did once a year, and they had to do 100 percent evacuation. As we stood outside, Mom told me that I could add this to our adventure, that we had to go outside for a fire drill and stand in the rain.


While Mom and I waited for Murray and Ping-Hwei to go buy lunch, Murray called me and said, “Your Big Dummy is here.” That’s Ping-Hwei’s nickname for my brother Rodney, and they’d run into him in the grocery store. Always such a joy to see my mom and Rodney.


One evening we stopped by Murray’s brother Myles’s house to have dessert with his family. They have chickens.


This winter, one of their young roosters was frostbitten, and his foot fell off. They have him in a cage on the sun porch while he heals. He was so excited we were there visiting and greeted us again and again. I asked Myles, “Does he wake you early in the morning?” He said, “Oh yeah.”


On our trip home, we stopped to have breakfast with Murray’s aunt Vangie. She’ll be 90 in a week or so, lives alone in the same house her husband built for them in 1960, and she still drives.


Murray asked how her husband knew how to build a house, and she said, “He was really smart.”


We took bagels and cream cheese for breakfast, and she also made a cheesecake. We said we’d never had cheesecake for breakfast before, but we were willing.


As we drove through Indiana on the way home, Ping-Hwei saw a White Castle along the road, so he bought us lunch. Especially nice, since we don’t have a White Castle nearby anymore.


Murray and I listened to a Jeffery Deaver book and started a new one by John Grisham. I read 12 chapters of 1 Samuel for us in the car. Rebecca helped me make a cheeseball from Mom’s recipe for Mom’s birthday. It was a fun road trip. 


  1. Sounds like a wonderful trip, after a bad start, but you persevered!
    I really hope to go see your mom when I can travel again.
    Cheers to family road trips! :)

  2. Sounds like a memorable trip. Good for you.

  3. Hello dear! Young whipper snapper here!!
    Im glad you had such a great time. You blessed my heart with your stories. Ping wei i loved his story. Hugs & kisses

  4. Fun to read of your road adventure!!! We haven't taken a road trip for months, but ironically, we're headed to Hood River tomorrow. Road trips aren't the same without the kids filling the back seats, but seems we're taking more snacks than ever!! HA! :) Blessings, Erma :)