Sunday, April 26, 2009

Why Did I Want the REAL Marriott?

Had a nice weekend in St. Louis and returned "home" to Desloge early this PM.

Our stay in the Marriott West was not what I remembered Marriotts to be. We had to be moved to another room because of A/C problems. The new room had similar difficulties. The maintenance man admitted the hotel was old! I read on one of the reviews that cockroaches might be found - we saw none. However, the first night was uncomfortable - the bed had a thick duvet and we couldn't keep the room cold enough for that added insulation. There were no other blankets available in the room.

The next day we checked out and moved the Courtyard by Marriott a few blocks away. What a difference. The room rate was only $63 and everything was better. Better bed! Better A/C! A nice quiet courtyard to drink our wine, eat cheese, and enjoy the free cookies the hotel provided. We will go back to this hotel again.

On our first night in St. Louis, we opted for one of the old Italian places we used to frequent - Del Pietro's on the Hill. We have fond memories of wintertime dinners while watching gently falling snow through the large picture window. Boy, has it changed. We called to see if we needed a reservation for Friday - we were told it'd probably be ok without one. We arrived at 5:30pm and there was only one other car in the parking lot. Oh, Oh.

We were seated upstairs (in the past the lower level was always crowded and quite a few folk on the second level, as well. This time only one other couple shared the upstairs room with us and three couples were in the lower level. NO ONE was in the bar! The room with the large picture window was now a store room (or something). With no customers, the experience was not the same. The food was still good, but the current generation must eat elsewhere. We decided to try a newer place the next night.

The next day found us eating at Mimi's for breakfast and dinner at the Elephant Bar and Grill. A happening place at the West County shopping center. Very good food. Then a little more wine in the Courtyard.

Did some shopping - Donna purchased a couple of tops and I bought shoes, jeans and shorts.

A nice weekend break. We anticipate our next "vacation" in about three weeks.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Our Days

Arrived in Desloge on Tuesday; time is passing slowly.  Our days are spent doing needle work (not me!) and messing with the computer (that's me).  We make a couple of trips daily to Farmington to visit Donna's dad, who, by the way, is doing very well.  He's supposed to spend another 4-5 weeks undergoing therapy, and he's bound to be stir-crazy by then.  The surgeon's office wants to see him 2 weeks after surgery, so scheduling problems have created next Monday as the visit.  That doctor is 1.5 hours away in St. Louis - we expect the long trip and various walks to create a very tiring and stressful day for both Donna's mom and pop.  We're not quite sure why the surgeon has to see him this early in his recovery process.

We ARE taking a vacation in St. Louis.  Donna's Aunt will take our place in Desloge from noon on Friday til noon on Sunday.  Wow, two nights at a Marriott!  And, I don't mean one of their lower quality chains (like Courtyard, Fairfield, etc.), but the real thing.  We plan to get an Italian dinner fix that has been missing for several years - the problem is, which one do we go to????  A book store visit is in order, and possibly a couple of women's clothing stores (oh, joy).

Monday, April 20, 2009

Last Night's Hotel

It turned out to be a quieter night than anticipated.  Or maybe I was REALLY tired!

Today was a 550 mile day.  With a break in Oklahoma City to get the cell phones fixed.  I'm now using the old "fancy" phone and it does work a lot better than the first old "basic" phone I tried with our new service.  Note that we have new phone numbers - if I haven't told you what they are, please email me.

Tomorrow will be about a 450 mile day - Ft. Smith to Desloge.

We may get a vacation this weekend.  Marriott just sent me discounted weekend rates, and some of them are in St. Louis.  I think Donna needs a day off!


Just got the news about Bandit's passing.  Our condolences to Keith and Connie.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Arrived in Lubbock at about 7:30 pm local time. I left home at 5 am. A very long day - 660 miles.

Looking forward to some quiet time - that may be difficult; the hotel is filled with teenage girls. Some sort of tennis tournament. I've been told that I'm on the quiet floor; all the girls are on the lower levels. I don't hear in screaming or giggling, but do hear doors slamming.

Donna reports her dad is much better. She is in much better spirits, but would like to get away for a day. One of her cousins in Farmington wants to take use to a local winery when I get back. They SAY it is very good.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Time to Return

Donna's dad is in a nursing home in Farmington, MO. He has begun his rehab; they expect that to take about 5 weeks. Donna says he is improving and she pretty much has pop back again. She says she'd like me back!

Most everything has been done here - don't have all the scripts, but think the process is well along. Instead of waiting until Tuesday to return, I'm starting back tomorrow.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Gold Canyon

I returned to GC today. Did blood work and have started the process for new prescriptions. Will get cell phone service (pre-paid is getting very expensive) tomorrow - I have enough old cell phones that I won't need to get a new one with the obligatory two-year contract.

It'll be good to sleep in the bed! Will return to MO next week - may not take such a hurried trip on the way back.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ft. Smith

Donna's dad is recoverying from his surgery - it's been hard for Donna and her mother.  They expect him to be transported this Thursday to a nursing home in Farmington where he will begin his physical rehabilitation. 

My mother was taken to the emergency room on Saturday with very high blood pressure.  She is to have several tests performed today as the result of that experience.  I leave tomorrow for Gold Canyon and try to connect a variety of loose ends.  Donna will remain with her mother for necessary assistance.

We have cancelled our summer job at the Grand Canyon.  It looks like this will be the summer of parental moves.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009


We're now in Desloge, Missouri. We had not planned to be here until April 23-ish, but Donna's dad has had a couple of emergengy visits to the hospital. Consequently, we left Gold Canyon a little early.

Harold (her Dad) had a heart catheterization yesterday morning and some significant problems were discovered. He needs to have a valve replaced and two bypasses performed. Surgery time is unknown at present, but we expect it to be either Thursday or Tuesday.

Complicating all of this are plans for her parents to move into an assisted living facility!

Return to Gold Canyon is unknown, but we hope we can by the 25th of April in order prepare for departure on May 8 to the North Rim.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


One of the Google products I use is Reader. Reader is an RSS feed aggregator that quickly shows the updates of the feeds I like. One of those feeds is Lifehacker. Lifehacker has a multitude of tips and downloads that will bring out the geek in you. Take a look at it here.