Becky and The Parents Day 1

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We left the North Rim headed for Page, Arizona early enough to have breakfast at Jacob Lake Inn.  We stopped at the scenic overlook of House Rock Valley.  Here is Becky with the Vermillion Cliffs in the background. 

The next stop was at the balancing rocks near Cliff Dwellers in Marble Canyon.  Those rocks are huge! How they don’t tumble over is a miracle to me!

This is a view of the Colorado River from Navajo Bridge. It is absolutely gorgeous!

And this is looking across at the other side of the bridge at the very eastern edge of the Grand Canyon.

We stopped for lunch at Fiesta Mexicana, where Becky and I both ordered Camarones a la Plancha. Yummo!  
After lunch we toured Glen Canyon Dam. It is the second highest dam in the United States. The highest is of course the Hoover Dam.

This is one of the old turbine rotors. Th original on was placed in service in 1964, and was replaced this year. That is FabGrandpa’s backside there in the photo.

Lake Powell, so much blue, blue water in the middle of the desert.

The Colorado River where it comes out of Lake Powell at the Glen Canyon Dam. That bridge is Hwy 89 in Page. 

See that water pouring out of the pipe at the bottom? That is what they call seepage, water that seeps through the concrete and rock from behind the dam. 1600 gallons a minute worth of seepage. Amazing! And there is enough moisture for those plants to grow right on the rocks.  

More tomorrow!

Remember Whensday

In the summer of 1985, I had major surgery and was out of work on sick leave for 10 and a half weeks. While I was recuperating, I went on a short trip to visit my brother and his family. I lived west of Atlanta, and he lived in south Georgia, out in the country.

I had a wonderful visit with them, just hanging around the house, doing nothing special at all, but it was one of my favorite trips I ever took. One day while we were there, we visited Okeefeenoke Swamp, and took a boat ride along the murky water, with alligators swimming by. That is my sister-in-law, Jean on the left, my daughter Becca in the back, and me on the right, sitting in Jean’s kitchen.

For more Remember Whensday photos, click here.

Remember Wednesday

This was taken in June of 1978, in Panama City Beach, Florida, on the only vacation my first husband and I ever took together.

My kids were so young, and innocent, and sweet then. They loved the ocean, because as one of my daughters said at the time “This water plays with you, Mama!.” They played on the beach all day, running and jumping in the water. We took them to Sea World, I think was the name of it. My son was afraid of the parrots, and after much coaxing, very timidly allowed two of them to rest on his shoulders for a picture.

This was also long before the days when mothers were warned about putting their childrens names on their clothing, so my youngest had a hooded sweatshirt with “EMMY” on the back of it. She kept asking me how everyone knew her name. And if this were a better picture, you would be able to see that my oldest daughter, on the left, has a black eye–she got out of the car and walked into the motel room, right into the corner of the dresser on the first day of the trip.

I miss those days, when my children were so carefree, and cute. Now they are all grown up, going on vacations of their own, with their spouses, children, and boyfriends. But would I go back to that time? Not on your life!

My best memory of that vacation though, is this: We arrived in town late in the afternoon. We were starving, and wanted seafood for dinner, so we found a restaurant just down the beach from our motel. We were all dressed in shorts and flip-flops. After we were seated, I looked around the room, and there were people dressed in formal attire, and a bottle of champagne chilling on their table. When THEY saw us, there was a heavy visible sigh from both of them.

We ordered our food, and all three of my children sat patiently at table, waiting for their meal, not uttering a word. When the food arrived, they put their napkins on their laps, and ate their meals, with very polite family conversation going around the table as usual. They were good as gold sitting there in their booster seats in that fancy restaurant.

When our check arrived, the man in the tuxedo at the table across the room walked over and said, “When you walked in, I just knew my meal was going to be ruined. But your children are the most well behaved I have ever seen” and he paid our bill for us. Little did he know that I threatened their lives out in the parking lot before we went inside, and they knew I meant it. I think it was the proudest moment of my motherhood.

To see more Remember Wednesday photos, click here.

Oh, Mah Holy Hell!, Y’all!!! or Telephone Troubles, The Resolution..

When I hung up the phone from talking to Verizon’s customer no service department on Saturday, I was less than happy with the experience. The person I spoke with had offered to credit 50% of the $188.75 roaming charges that were on my bill from my trip to California. That’s roaming in MEXICO. When I told her that would be unacceptable, and asked to speak to a supervisor, she said someone would call me on Monday. And I thought, “yeah, sure” but I told her, “Yes, that is what I want.”

So, yesterday when was at the laundromat, my cellphone rang, and do you believe it was Verizon? The very same person I spoke with on Saturday told me she had discussed my bill with her supervisor and they had agreed to take off 100% of those pesky roaming charges. Just like that. No further discussion, begging, pleading, or letter writing required. I thanked her very much.

But then, it made me wonder why put those charges on there to start with. I think maybe there are a certain percentage of people who just pay the bill, no questions asked. And there are probably another certain percentage of people who make the call to ask for a credit, and the first line person offers 50% credit, and they are happy with that, and pay it. And Verizon laughs all the way to the bank.

I am not normally so cynical about things like this, but dang it, 50% of that bill would have been almost $95.00. That is a lot of money out of the customer’s pocket and into Verizon’s, just for using your cellphone service in an unfortunate location. And their TV ads, the “Can you hear me now” ones, as well as the newer ones that tout their “network”, what a crock. Those adds make you think you can get service anywhere you go. I was sitting in a deck chair, at the beach, in a well populated town, and couldn’t make or receive a call.

And to be honest, I didn’t even try to use my cellphone because IT actually told me I was roaming, and I was afraid those charges would accrue. But when I tried to use my internet wireless card, no such message was received. That wireless card was picking up three bars, but when I tried to connect, it was very, very slow–it took me OVER AN HOUR to get to my g-mail account to try to read my email. That was the only time I tried to use it, the rest of the time I went to the coffee shop. So, for ONE HOUR of internet usage, that was incredibly slow, I was charged $188.75.

So, now that my rant is over, the point I would like to make here, is that if you are traveling near the border, either with Mexico or with Canada, and you use your cellphone, pay attention to your next bill. You could be roaming in devious territory.

Oh, Mah Holy Hell!, Y’all!!! or Telephone Troubles, Again…

(Sorry, Hotfessional!, but this situation calls for the use of that bit.)

My vacation to California is coming back to haunt me! Remember how I told you that I couldn’t get a signal in our motel room, and I had to go to the coffee shop to get online? I got my Verizon bill today and DANG! they are charging me $188.75 for roaming in Mexico. Even though I never once used my phone in Tijuana, and I certainly didn’t take my computer over there and get online. And I just used the wireless card in the room the first night to try to get online but it took just about an hour to get to my g-mail account. Just look at this:

Global Roam – Mexico kilobytes — 37,750 37,750 188.75
Total Roaming $188.75
Total Usage Charges $188.75

Their customer no service department actually told me that since they could not determine where the usage originated, they could only offer me a 50% credit. And of course I said “That is unacceptable.” The supervisor was not in today and will be calling me back on Monday. Then she jabbered on about how I could have set my account to have alerted me to there being roaming charges being accrued. Which I had no idea I could do, since I was not going to a foreign country, I was only going to California. Like she was trying to make it MY fault that I was being charged ridiculous charges for roaming in Calfornia.

Just as information, I walked into the Verizon store in National City, California while we were at Best Buy, which was right next door, and talked to one of their people. He told me not to worry, that if I got roaming charges on my bill they would take them off. But, he didn’t note my account that I asked the question. So, I guess Verizon thinks I am lying about not using my service in Mexico–at least that is what they implied. There WILL be follow-up.