Brisbane to Ohio
I left Brisbane at 12:45PM on Sunday the 25th. Had a 2 hour stop over in Auckland then a 14 hour flight to San Francisco.
I arrived in San Francisco at 6PM. My flight to Orlando was at 6AM so I had a motel room for the night. After a 2 hour stop over in Chicago. I arrived at Orlando, I went to the Hertz counter to collect my hire car. I had paid for a small Nissan Sentra. But I recall a family friend mentioning to me that when I get to Orlando, ask about an upgrade, they usually upgrade you at no extra cost. So, what the hey, why not. I mention to the clerk about an upgrade and he says "Let me see what I have in my stock... Hmm.. How about a Mustang?" "I'll take that" I blurted out with no hesitation. Excellent :)
My car for the next 23 days in the USA.
As I left Orlando Airport, I followed the cars in front of me for the first few miles just to get used to being on the "other" side of the road. Took some getting used to.
I had a rest day the following day to get over any jetlag I may have had. I caught up with Tina for lunch. Over lunch, we discussed an idea that I had had for a while.. Something that would be good, but have not done anything about it yet. Then on the 28th, I left Titusville for Ohio. I made it as far as Charlotte in North Carolina before I was too fatigued to drive any further. The next day, I got up bright and early and continued my way north to Ohio.
The drive along the highways in the USA is amazing. Not ONE semi trailer had a bull bar. NOT ONE. 3 or 4 lanes in each direction and trucks are NOT allowed to use the fast lane. I like this idea and wish we had it here in Australia... I arrived at cousin Paul's house at about 2PM. Paul was at work, but Rhonda and Ashlea and Joshua made me feel welcome.
On the morning after, we all went to breakfast at Hartville.
Ashlea, Paul and Rhonda
It was a very pleasant morning. I did my usual and said to the waitress "Do not accept any money from these people today, I am paying for breakfast". After breakfast, we went to the Hartville Markets. Pretty much a flea market, but ALOT bigger. This place was huge. You could buy anything from a bottle of water to weapons of varying sizes and shapes.
Now, I gotta tell you about these goats the Badgett's have. I mean, no offence, but they are FAT! I think they were called "Pigmy Goats". Well, they are FAT goats to me.
Oh, did I tell you I had a MUSTANG for the time I was there? Here it is at Paul's place in Akron.
I had lunch on Saturday with Aunt Elizabeth, Aunt Barbara and cousin Rick. Last time I was in the US, I did not get to see Barbara and Rick. I was so happy to get to see them this time, but unfortunately, no pictures to remember them.
On Sunday we had a "cookout" and a swim in the pool at cousin Mark's place.. Here I met alot of family I didn't even know existed. And as usual, I can not remember the names.. I must ask Liz for the names of the people who were there..
Mark was the cook for the day. Here he is going to get another drink. It was a very hot day so I don't blame him.
Just the back porch of Mark's house with lunch being served. What a great day that was. I slept well that night.
I could not go all the way over there and not visit my step sister Vicki. I surprised her last time I was there just by showing up. I tried this again this time, but the day I showed up, Vicki was at a school reunion. So I made arrangements for the Monday. Vicki has a nurse named Julie who visits her a few days a week. I met her and we all had lunch and chatted for a few hours. When it was time to leave, I gave Julie a peck on the cheek.
Awww... Nice.. Then I got attacked!
NOT that I was complaining mind you. Julie is a cutie and I would have loved to gone out with her again while I was there, but alas, time was running out for me in Ohio. I only had 1 more full day in Ohio before I had to leave. Shame really. But at least I have Julie on Facebook and Skype now and we keep in touch.
Tuesday was a bit tamer than the rest of my time in Ohio. I visited the graves of my grand parents on both my Mom's and Dad's side.
Grandma and Grandad on my Mom's side. They are right next to the graves of Grandad's parents in the Green Lawn Cemetery. In the circle in the middle of the headstone, last time I was there in 2008, I placed 2 Australian $1 coins under the vase. It was good to see that they were still there when I was there on this trip.
My Grand Parents on my Dad's side. There is another grave in front of this one which Dad and I are convinced it is another relative. But are not 100% sure. At the front middle of this headstone in 2008, I buried 2 Australian $1 coins. I could not tell if they were still there.
I caught up for dinner with the lady who, back in 1970, was our family babysitter. Janice.
Dad and I called Janice last time we were there in 2008, but we were leaving back to Australia and didn't get a chance to see her. Janice and I had dinner and caught up on alot of chit chat from the last 40 years. This was a great night.
But all good things must come to an end. And my time in Ohio was over. I said sad farewells to the family and to the friends I had made while I was there.
From Ohio, I headed to New York. A place I had never been.