Russ and Arlene's MAA50 Blog


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Along our Journey posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 09:24:50 PM
submitted by Russ and Arlene
Russ and Arlene's
Travel Blog
Yulee, FL on March 18, 2014

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The Trip - After seeing a TV show a few years ago about the 40th Mustang Birthday Mustangs Across America Trip (2004) we thought that we may like to do the trip for the Mustang's 50th Birthday (2014). About a year ago we registered for the Mustangs Across America (MAA) trip to be run from Los Angles to Lowes Speedway in Charlotte, NC, the location of the Big Mustang 50th Birthday Party.  
 
When I initially registered for the MAA 50th Trip we had planned to drive our 2002 Mustang GT Convertible. But after some thought and a desire to continue to 'Show' our 2002 we decided to take our 2014 Mustang (both shown below). 
 
The Trip will leave LA on April 10, 2014 and makes its way across America over 6 days, arriving in Charlotte on April 16, 2014 for the Mustang Party (April 16 - 20, 2014) Of course to run the Mustangs Across America Trip we must first make our way from our home in Florida to LA. We have decided to take 19 days to drive from Florida to LA so we can do some sightseeing along our Journey west. So this is your place to follow our progress across America to LA and back to Charlotte with the MAA Group (possibly 600 other Mustangs).  
 
 
We are looking forward to this very Special Road Trip and hope you will follow us along the way. We start our Epic Road Trip in a few days, on March 22, 2014.  
 
Russ and Arlene 
 

Link to - Maps of our route to LA and to Charlotte

--- Where: Home

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Wednesday, March 19, 2014 09:24:50 PM



Along our Journey posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 07:48:16 AM
submitted by Arlene
Russ and Arlene's
Travel Blog
Yulee, FL on March 20, 2014

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All Packed - All the clothes have been packed in individual SPACE BAGS and Russ has stuffed the Mustang trunk. Voila everything fits including Arlene's 6 pairs of shoes :o} Actually Russ is taking 2 pairs of shoes, but Arlene's 6 pairs of shoes only take up the same amount of space as Russ's 2 pairs....big feet / little feet. I've taken a few photos of Russ painstakingly packing the Mustang for your viewing pleasure. Now to pack one small suitcase with all of my toiletries, makeup, & hair products. This will prove very challenging as I don't think I'll have room for Russ's razor. Guess he'll be going ole natural for a month????

--- Where: Home

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Thursday, March 20, 2014 07:48:16 AM



Along our Journey posted Saturday, March 22, 2014 08:49:55 PM
submitted by Arlene
Russ and Arlene's
Travel Blog
Daphne, AL on March 22, 2014

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The Start - Whenever we go on a trip, I ask Russ about what time he`d like to leave, he said between 10 and 11 am. I`m thinking this is good, this will give me plenty of time to finish packing, shower, dress etc. Well people, I was ready and out the door, in the car and on the road by 8:40 am. The weather was sunny and cool this morning – about 65 degrees, but when we stopped for lunch at 1:30 pm, at our favorite place (Crackle Barrel), (if my son, Erik is reading this, sorry dude) it was a balmy 83 degrees. Now anyone that knows Russ, knows that whenever we go on a trip or anywhere for that matter, we always leave with a clean car. And NO, I do not help with the car washing. That is all Russ. We always have the shiniest, prettiest, vehicle on the road. By the time we got to our hotel, LaQuinta Inns and Suites, in Daphne, AL, our car had taken on a new color ... it had turned yellow – pollen yellow that is – too bad that doesn`t stand for black gold, Texas T ~Beverly Hillbillies~ I see a visit to the YOU DO IT YOURSELF CARWASH in the near future.

--- Where: La Quinta Inn & Suites Daphne

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Saturday, March 22, 2014 08:49:55 PM



Along our Journey posted Saturday, March 22, 2014 09:05:46 PM
submitted by Arlene
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Daphne, AL on March 22, 2014

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Daphne, AL - We arrived at our 1st night`s destination around 3:30 pm (CST). We gained an hour when we crossed the other side of Pensacola, FL. I did not realize that Florida has a time-zone split. I know it now. After securing our room for the night it was time to crash and cozy up for our nap!!!! Now how is that for reality – we needed to nap after that long drive. We left our room to see some sights and to find a cute place to eat dinner before night-time set in. We drove towards the water (we are very close to the Gulf) and as luck would have it, we drove into Fairhope, AL. We found Old Town U.S.A. What a lovely town Fairhope is. I will keep this on my list of towns to revisit. We found the center of attraction – the Marina, which included a beautiful water fountain with rose gardens all around it (unfortunately the roses weren’t in bloom yet); two restaurants; two piers to fish or just walk out on; a lovely beach; people walking their dogs; and friendly people that smiled at us; welcomed us to Fairhope; offered us a child (Dad was only joking) and just made you so glad you came to visit. WOW!

--- Where: La Quinta Inn & Suites Daphne

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Saturday, March 22, 2014 09:05:46 PM



Along our Journey posted Saturday, March 22, 2014 09:47:03 PM
submitted by Arlene
Russ and Arlene's
Travel Blog
Daphne, AL on March 22, 2014

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Fairhope, AL - .... and a final look at Fairhope, AL and a Gorgeous Sunset to end the first day of our road trip west. 
 
Tomorrow, Day 2, we head to Crowley, LA 
 


--- Where: La Quinta Inn & Suites Daphne

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Saturday, March 22, 2014 09:47:03 PM



Along our Journey posted Sunday, March 23, 2014 03:54:33 PM
submitted by Russ
Russ and Arlene's
Travel Blog
Crowley, LA on March 23, 2014

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Crowley, MS - We started Day 2 of our road trip West with rain. We got on the road around 8:40 am from our stop in Daphne, LA. Just as we started to put our bags back in the Mustang it started to rain. 
 
Half way thru Mississippi and into Louisiana the lite rain turned into HEAVY rain. Heavy enough that it slowed everyone down to about 40 mph. The rain drops were so big they sounded like sleet hitting the windshield. The last time I was in Louisiana (New Orleans) I was also greeted to very heavy rains. So I guess this will be my normal Louisiana Welcome! On that trip I was towing a 36 foot fifth wheel behind an F250. The positive to today`s heavy rain was that it washed off all that pollen we collected yesterday as we drove through Florida and Alabama.  
 
As we got close to Baton Rouge the sky cleared and the sun came out but it cooled down and really got windy. 
 
Today was an easy run, only about 300 miles, so we got into or hotel around 3:30 pm.  
 
Tonight - we decided to go see Need For Speed at the Cinema about 5 miles from the Hotel. The Movie seemed appropriate considering the theme behind our journey West is Mustangs. 
 
Tomorrow will be a longer day and I am sure a bit more traffic as we head to our next stop, San Antonio, TX. Our drive to San Antonio, on Route 10, will take us thru Houston and I am sure we will hit traffic there since it is a week day. San Antonio will be out first two night stay to do some site seeing.  
 
At one of the Rest Stops we saw a Mustang on a Trailer being towed by a U-Haul Truck .... and I wondered if they could be heading to Corona? 


--- Where: La Quinta Inn and Suites - Crowley, LA

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Sunday, March 23, 2014 03:54:33 PM



Along our Journey posted Sunday, March 23, 2014 08:56:55 PM
submitted by Russ
Russ and Arlene's
Travel Blog
Crowley, LA on March 23, 2014

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Need For Speed - The Movie. 
 
Since it is raining here in Crowley tonight we decided to go see Need For Speed, (3D Version). Well, that certainly got the adrenaline pumping. 
 
So I guess if I had a Shelby I could have made it to California in 48 hours rather than the 18 days I'm taking to get there. 
 
Crowley is a small town, so it was just Arlene and I and one other couple in the theater. When we left after the movie, both us and the other couple drove off in Mustangs. 
 
Great Movie!!

Need for Speed Trailer on YouTube - click here


--- Where: Crowley Cinema IV

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Sunday, March 23, 2014 08:56:55 PM



Along our Journey posted Monday, March 24, 2014 08:52:36 PM
submitted by Russ
Russ and Arlene's
Travel Blog
San Antonio, TX on March 24, 2014

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To San Antonio - We left Crowley, LA this morning around 8:40 am. It was another grey, cool day. We crossed into Texas around 10:00 and at our stop at the Texas Welcome Center Arlene notice we were missing a S in the word Across in the windshield decal `Mustangs Across America`. It`s apparent that these letters were not tested at speeds over 80 mph. In Texas the speed limit on most of I-10 is 75 so I did my usual speed limit + 6, putting me over 80 mph. Yes, definitely not wind tunnel tested at speeds over 80. I ask Arlene if we should head back to the gas station where it was lost and look along the road for the lonely little S ..... she said no that it would find a new home. 
 
Running thru Houston wasn`t to bad traffic wise, but about 75 miles from San Antonio we hit heavy rain, thunder and lightning and it rained pretty much all the way into San Antonio. We arrived in San Antonio around 4:00 pm. 
 
After checking in the Hotel and relaxed a bit, we headed out to explore the Riverwalk. While it was still grey, damp and cool outside, around 52, we enjoyed walking part of the Riverwalk and to the Alamo. Our Hotel is only a block away from the Riverwalk which makes it easy to walk to the Riverwalk. We had dinner at Tony Roma`s Ribs-Steaks-Seafood along the Riverwalk. The food was delicious. 
 
Tomorrow we have the whole day here to visit the Alamo and walk the rest of the Riverwalk. Hopefully the sun will come out tomorrow and it will be a bit warmer. 
 
Prior to today, the furthest West I had ever driven was to the Mississippi River. We have been to California and Vegas before, but we went by airplane. 
 
Arlene`s Mustang has been running great. But todays rains has made it dirty ... I hate driving in a dirty car, unfortunately it may not get washed and cleaned up until we get to Vegas where we will be for 3 days. That will be our time to do some laundry and clean the car. Arlene`s Mustang has been averaging 25.7 mpg while I was running around 72-73 and then today after driving around 81-82 it went up to 26.1 mpg - go figure! That seems to contradict the slow down and save gas theory .... perhaps these Ponies just don't like to be held back or maybe the Mustang just felt at home on the Plains in Texas.  
 
 
 


--- Where: La Quinta Inn & Suites - San Antonio

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Monday, March 24, 2014 08:52:36 PM



Along our Journey posted Tuesday, March 25, 2014 08:09:54 PM
submitted by Arlene
Russ and Arlene's
Travel Blog
San Antonio, TX on March 25, 2014

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San Antonio - Today was a 9 1/2. Sunshine, high of 69 and windy. We started out our 1st sightseeing day by going to see the Alamo Movie at the IMAX theatre. What can I say - it was an IMAX theatre. The movie was very good - about 1 hr long. Next we walked to the actual Alamo. I was told that we should get there early as the lines get very long. The Museum is FREE and we lucked out as the line was not long, but by the time we left, it was long. If you`ve not been to San Antonio to see this exhibit, put it on your `bucket list` as it`s well worth it. We walked back to the Riverwalk and this time we walked all the way around the loop discovering many many restaurants and fun eateries. We stopped for lunch around 3pm at the RainForest Café. We ate outside despite the breezes. Burgers were great. Now we really needed to walk 10 miles to walk off the burgers, but walking back to the hotel was exercise enough. It was nap time and I had no problem getting some needed shuteye while Russ tapped away on his computer.

Sidebar: When we returned to the hotel, we discovered our room was just being cleaned, so back down to the 1st floor we go. After waiting for about 20 minutes we head back to the elevator and we got on it with a service man. Well, me being the chatty person I am, I said Hello and asked him if he was stationed here in San Antonio......and he informed me that he was visiting from Afghanistan to observe our military. Oh crap, do I know the difference in army uniforms....guess not. Russ had a real chuckle about that little encounter. I`m just glad I didn`t thank him for his service.

Back to today`s story. It`s just about 7:30 pm and Russ wants to know if we are going for dinner....I said I don`t think so, but dessert sure sounds good. We found an ice cream parlor called MarbleSlab which has the same theme as Cold Stone Creamery. Chocolate cocoa peanutbutter crunch - YUMMY. After another long walk around the Riverside Mall, we walked back to our hotel with a StarBuck Coffee for Russ, Orange Julius for Arlene and a bag full of mini Cinnibons. Can I just say SUGAR HIGH.

--- Where: La Quinta Inn & Suites - San Antonio

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 08:09:54 PM



Along our Journey posted Wednesday, March 26, 2014 08:10:11 PM
submitted by Russ
Russ and Arlene's
Travel Blog
Carlsbad, NM on March 26, 2014

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Carlsbad, NM - Today was a travel day for us from San Antonio to Carlsbad, NM. It was raining when we left San Antonio, cold and windy. As we got further from San Antonio we saw less and less civilization, exits were few and far between on I-10 as well as the Rest Stops. The speed limit was 80 and the road straight, but the wind made it a real challenge driving and keeping the car in my lane. About the only thing we saw was some wind farms and lots of oil and natural gas wells, storage tanks and trucks. Through most of Texas it was grey and cold when we stopped at a rest stop and for fuel, but by the time we hit New Mexico the outside temperature hit 88 degrees. It was 83 when we arrived in Carlsbad. 
 
The Hotel rates in Carlsbad are high. In fact the room rate is higher here than it was staying a block from the Riverwalk in San Antonio. Since the emergence of the recent oil and gas boom in Southeastern New Mexico and all the workers working the oil and Natural Gas operations there is a supply and demand problem with rooms in town so the Hotels decided to cash in too on the opportunity. It just may cause some tourist planning to come to see the Caverns to think twice because of the hotel costs. Our hotel parking lot is load with pickup trucks. 
 
So today was a LONG driving day, about 450 miles and in windy conditions. 
 
After checking in and resting a bit we left to find a place for dinner and came across a place in town call the Yellow Brix. It was very nice and the food was great. 
 
Tomorrow we will visit the Carlsbad Caverns National Park (about 27 miles from Carlsbad) - www.nps.gov/cave/
 
We will submit another Blog post tomorrow.

--- Where: Fairfield Inn - Carlsbad

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 08:10:11 PM



Along our Journey posted Thursday, March 27, 2014 10:42:40 PM
submitted by Arlene
Russ and Arlene's
Travel Blog
Carlsbad, NM on March 27, 2014

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Carlsbad Caverns - Today`s sightseeing trip was to see the Carlsbad Caverns located in White City, NM. We had never been here before and really had no idea what to expect. We knew the temps in the Caverns were 56 degrees and that the trail required comfortable walking shoes or sneakers. That meant light jackets where needed. Only water was allowed inside the Caverns. No gum, candy, or any food was allowed on the trail. This is a National Park and we had our LifeTime Senior passes, so we got in for FREE.  
 
There were two ways to enter the Caverns. One way is to hike the Natural Trail which is narrow in places, steep trails, and low ceiling that one may need to crawl thru. Time allowed to go this way was about an hour or more. The second way down to the Caverns was to take the elevator straight down 750 ft in about 1 minute. Which way do you think Russ and I choose!!!! Once we landed below ground, we started our audio tour (they were $5 ea - worth their weight in gold). We were told to allow 1 hr 30 mins to 2 hrs for the tour. Yep, it took us that long. We walked into an underground wonderland that just left us speechless. We discovered that this Cavern had been discovered many years ago, but it wasn`t until a young man, aged 16, named Jim White who in 1898 followed his curiosity into the cave darkness which set him on a course of discovery that would last the rest of his life. He did whatever needed to be done to draw others to the cavern. In 1923 Carlsbad Cave National Monument was authorized and in 1930 Congress proclaimed it Carlsbad Caverns National Park.  
 
Russ took many photos but before we finished our tour, our camera`s battery died on us. Anyway, what a fantastic tour this was and if anyone has never seen this wonder, please put it on your bucket-list. It is worth the trip.

--- Where: Fairfield Inn - Carlsbad

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Thursday, March 27, 2014 10:42:40 PM



Along our Journey posted Friday, March 28, 2014 10:24:11 PM
submitted by Arlene
Russ and Arlene's
Travel Blog
Alamogordo, NM on March 27, 2014

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Alamogordo, NM - Our trip today was a 10. Meaning we had sunny skies, a high of 76, no bugs and no humidity. Which means moisturizer is now being applied daily. We left Carlsbad, NM this morning at 8:50 am. The route Russ had us on was full of nothing and when I say nothing, I mean nothing but flat land, dust, dead grass and plenty of scrub bushes. The only living thing that was noticeable was the yucca plants that are plentiful along the way and they were in full bloom. We rode into Rosewell, NM to stop and visit the UFO Museum. We paid the Senior rate of $3 each. I`m not sure I would go out of my way to visit this museum, but it was a fun sidebar to our trip. The town is lovely with lots of antique stores, which we did not visit. Continuing our journey to Alamogordo we went thru a few very eclectic towns. Most towns are about 1 to 1 1/2 hrs apart. Good thing we didn't run out of gas. I was praying that we wouldn`t have a flat tire or engine trouble as Russ would have had a very long walk to find cell service. 
 
We arrived at our hotel, the Hampton Inn, late afternoon. Alamogordo is a wee bit larger than Carlsbad and has more trees and green grass. We found a lovely Victorian style restaurant called Memories. It was reasonably priced and had a delicious menu to choose from. We broke down and had dessert tonight. We shared a homemade Chocolate Cream Pie that was wonderful. After dinner we went to seek out the Space Hall of Fame Museum as our hotel agent told us we`d see a spectacular sunset from the parking lot. Boy was he right on the money. Russ took a series of photos, but I chose my favorite to post. It was a fabulous ending to another fabulous day.

--- Where: Hampton Inn and Suites - Alamogordo

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Friday, March 28, 2014 10:24:11 PM



Along our Journey posted Saturday, March 29, 2014 05:20:48 PM
submitted by Russ
Russ and Arlene's
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Alamogordo, NM on March 29, 2014

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Alamogordo, NM - Today was our full day in Alamogordo. We started with a visit to the Museum of Space History - Hall of Fame. Our visit to the Museum started with two 45 minute IMAX Movies, one on the Hubble Telescope and the 2009 Space Shuttle mission to repair it and the second movie was about Tornados. Both were great informative movies. After the movies we took a few hours to walk through the displays at the Museum. The displays also touched on how the astronauts are trained how to reuse personal items (hairbrush, brush teeth, shave, etc.); how to eat; and finally how to use the toilet facilities....there was one word they used in the movie .... suction. Can I say OUCH. 
 
From the Space Museum we headed to the White Sands Missile Range and in particular the White Sands Monument Area National Park. We took the 8 mile drive thru the Sand Dunes area and walked the one boardwalk style trail. We were amazed at the number of families that were white sand boarding, picnicking, and just having fun in the sand. Watching them climb the sand hills let me know they were getting tons of exercise. Who knew you could have so much fun in the sand without the ocean. 
 
Tonight we will head back to the White Sands National Park for the walking tour to see the sun setting. Should be amazing especially since we have the sunset from last night to compare it to. 


--- Where: Hampton Inn and Suites - Alamogordo

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Saturday, March 29, 2014 05:20:48 PM



Along our Journey posted Saturday, March 29, 2014 09:27:07 PM
submitted by Russ
Russ and Arlene's
Travel Blog
Alamogordo, NM on March 29, 2014

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Alamogordo - White Sands - We returned to White Sands Monument this evening for a Sunset Dunes Hike with one of the National Park Service Rangers. There were about 30 other people who also joined the group. The Ranger added some insight about White Sands, how it came to be and its animal and plant life. At the end of the hike we stood on top of a Dune and watch the Sunset - beautiful! 
 
The people parked next to us (the Husband) grew up and went to High School in Nazareth, PA, one of the small towns in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania where both Arlene and I are originally from ..... small world. We moved to NE Florida in 2006.  
 
On the way back to our hotel I stopped at a 25 cent car wash (well there was a day in my life time that they did cost 25 cents - $2.00 now) and washed all the dust off the Mustang. If the wind would stop the car would stay clean, but high winds and the desert means lots of dust. We all know Clean cars run some much better than dirty ones :-)

--- Where: Hampton Inn and Suites - Alamogordo

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Saturday, March 29, 2014 09:27:07 PM



Along our Journey posted Sunday, March 30, 2014 08:33:04 PM
submitted by Arlene
Russ and Arlene's
Travel Blog
Casa Blanca, NM on March 30, 2014

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Casa Blanca, NM - Talk about the IDES OF MARCH blowing in like a lion. The winds in New Mexico were whipping up a storm today. Today was a travel day and we were very glad to be driving instead of trying to sightsee. Unfortunately, NM is loaded with sand, rocks, and tumbleweeds so there wasn`t much to hold down the dirt devils. We decided to do a sidebar today. We visited the Very Large Array (VLA) in Socorro, NM. What a site to see. Miles and miles of open prairie land, 28 huge white satellites spread across the prairie and cows. We stopped in Socorro to pick up lunch at a Subway before heading to the VLA. Once we got to the VLA we ate our lunch inside the car - the wind was so strong we didn1t want to chance having the lunch wrappers blown away. We don`t want to be one of those tourists!!  
 
Back on the road again, we came across a train that was following near our road. We were close enough to see that almost every train car was hauling new cars, three levels high. I'm guessing there were 50 to 75 cars attached to the two engines. Then further along our trip, we saw 3 more very long trains. It was truly an awesome sight.  
 
Next was to our destination for the next two days. Sky City Casino Hotel on the Acoma Indian Reservation. We were literally blown into our hotel and poor Russ needed a well deserved rest. He drove over 8 hrs in very strong winds trying to keep our Mustang on the road. Arlene napped in the car...bad girl that I was. 
Dinner was in the casino hotel tonight. It was surprising very good and reasonably priced. We even got a 10% discount for being over 50....don`t that just get you. I guess the casino is hoping you`ll drop a bundle in their casino. 
 


--- Where: Sky City Hotel and Casino - Casa Blanca

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Sunday, March 30, 2014 08:33:04 PM



Along our Journey posted Monday, March 31, 2014 08:43:19 PM
submitted by Russ
Russ and Arlene's
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Casa Blanca, NM on March 31, 2014

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Casa Blanca, NM (sick day)- Since we left San Antonio last week we have been dealing with major wind each day. Every city we have stayed in New Mexico has had weather Wind Advisories. Well, wind in the desert stirs up dust and the Juniper pollen (both seem to be plentiful here in NM) and yesterday as we drove from Alamogordo to Casa Blanca my sinuses began running down the back of my throat. This morning my throat felt terrible, so instead of doing some siteseeing in the area today as planned, our major event was to find a Drug Store for some throat lozenges to sooth my throat. The closest Drug Store was a Wal-Mart a mere 17 miles away. So we spent most of the day in the Hotel room just resting. It is not a good thing to get sick when you`re 2000 miles from home. Tomorrow is a travel day, heading from here to Holbrook, AZ and they have a wind advisory too .... just can't escape this wind!!! Hopefully this day of rest will help me kick this sinus issue before it turns into a cold. 
 
We are staying in a Casino Hotel on an Indian reservation, but since the smoke is so heavy in the Casino area we have only walked through it once. But I did notice it has changed ...... no more coins, it is all just like a Debit Card. So for me they took away the fun of Slot Machines. So here we sit in a Casino, I'm under the weather, the Casino is just too smokey for us to handle and Arlene is bored!! So in the spirit of gambling (since we`re in a Casino) Arlene set her limit to $8.00 and started to buy scratch off Lottery tickets from the Gift shop. She comes back to the room, scratches them off and then with her `winnings` walks back down to the Gift Shop to purchase more tickets. So far she has made 4 trips to the Gift Shop, but on the last trip the Gift Shop door was closed with a `back at 8:20 sign in the door`, so she is still playing off here original bet of $8.00. 
 
Hopefully I will feel better tomorrow for our drive to Holbrook, AZ for a single night stop before we get to the Grand Canyon Village (South Rim) on Wednesday. 
 
Not many photos from today. Just some sights along the road to Wal-Mart. 
 
Today was Day 10 of our Cross Country trip for the Mustangs Across America run.

--- Where: Sky City Hotel and Casino - Casa Blanca

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Monday, March 31, 2014 08:43:19 PM



Along our Journey posted Tuesday, April 1, 2014 08:31:51 PM
submitted by Russ
Russ and Arlene's
Travel Blog
Holbrook, AZ on April 1, 2014

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Holbrook, AZ - The story of today is WIND!!! The sustained winds were 50 mph with higher gusts. We left Casa Blanca, NM, this morning heading West on I-40, Historic Route 66 - I do remember the TV series `Route 66` back in the 60`s. On the way to our destination, Holbrook, AZ, we visited the Petrified Forest National Park. While I still felt lousy with this head cold, I wasn`t sure I wanted to take the time to drive the 28 miles through the Nation Park, but we did and it was great, except for the WIND! The 28 mile drive has a number of scenic pull offs. Getting in and out of the car was a real challenge with the wind. If you didn't hold onto the car door, you`d lose it. Walking to the trails and look-out points was equally challenging. Again, despite the challenges, this is one park to put on your bucket list. Well worth the time spent. 
 
We pulled into Holbrook around 3:30pm (local time) and was pleased with the Motel. We are on the ground floor and it is setup where you park right out side your room. This was perfect for us at this single night stop. And this Hotel is situated so it is blocking the wind, protecting the Mustang and making it a little easier to unload and reload the car. Oh and the best part is this Hotel is only $53 a night, roomy and clean and includes breakfast, like most hotels do today. 
 
This was our chance to unload the car, Arlene did laundry (yes they had laundry facilities here) and then re-load the car and get our clothes ready for are next stop, 3 days split between the Grand Canyon Village and Williams, AZ. We will be taking the Grand Canyon Train from the Village (South Rim) to Williams for one night and then return to the El Tovar Lodge for the last night.  
 
Regarding all the Photos linked at the bottom of the Blog: Pretty much I have re-sized all photos for the Web and posted ALL the photos we have been taking. Just ignore the ones you don`t like, the blurry ones, and the ones that make you ask - why did they take that. It`s just too hard to edit while on the road. For us, when we look back at all the photos, they will bring back meaningful memories.

--- Where: Holbrook, AZ - Travelodge

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Tuesday, April 1, 2014 08:31:51 PM



Along our Journey posted Wednesday, April 2, 2014 04:40:33 PM
submitted by Russ
Russ and Arlene's
Travel Blog
Grand Canyon Village, AZ on April 4, 2014

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Grand Canyon Village (South Rim) - The scenery change a little on the trip today to the Grand Canyon, some bigger Mountains (snow capped) and lots of pine trees in the Flagstaff area.  
 
As we approached the Grand Canyon Village it began to Snow and it was coming down pretty good when we arrived at our hotel for the Night - El Tovar Lodge right on the Grand Canyon Rim. Of course with the snow coming down there is no Grand Canyon to see. This is the first snow we have seen since leaving PA in 2006 and will probably be the only time Arlene`s Mustang sees snow ..... I hope! 
 
The internet bandwidth is rather poor here, I suspect throttled back, so posting Photos just might not happen for a few day. In fact, this Blog enter may not even go through. 


--- Where: El Tovar Lodge

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Wednesday, April 2, 2014 04:40:33 PM



Along our Journey posted Wednesday, April 2, 2014 08:47:19 PM
submitted by Arlene
Russ and Arlene's
Travel Blog
Grand Canyon Village, AZ on April 2, 2014

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The Grand Canyon - Our room at the El Tovar is lovely, very old hotel (1905)and we are on the first floor - alleluia, because you know there isn`t an elevator. There are 2 gas fireplaces in the restaurant and one on the second floor sitting/game area. One wood fireplace in the main lobby. Parking was a big challenge for Russ as he had to drive around the lot 4 times before landing a spot. This place is very popular and I can see why, the views are specular.  
 
Dinner in the hotel restaurant was superb and priced accordingly. Good thing we only had breakfast this morning around 10am. Dinner was at 5pm. As Russ said in his blog, we experienced our first real snow fall since leaving PA in 2006. However, we almost froze to death taking an after dinner stroll to our car to get some warmer clothes and to take some gorgeous photos of the Canyon before we leave for our Train Ride to Williams tomorrow afternoon. Keeping our fingers crossed that we have some sunshine in the morning.

--- Where: El Tovar Lodge

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Wednesday, April 2, 2014 08:47:19 PM



Along our Journey posted Thursday, April 3, 2014 09:33:03 AM
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Grand Canyon Village, AZ on April 3, 2014

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Internet Issues - Just a FYI, the Internet is pretty much non-existent here at the Lodge and this afternoon we travel by Train to Williams, AZ for the night and I will probably not take my computer. So this (if the internet lasts long enough to post it) may be out last Blog Post until we get to Vegas (Saturday we travel from here to Vegas) 
 


--- Where: El Tovar Lodge

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Thursday, April 3, 2014 09:33:03 AM



Along our Journey posted Friday, April 4, 2014 07:11:28 PM
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Grand Canyon Village, AZ on April 4, 2014

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Grand Canyon South Rim - Our train ride from Williams, AZ back to the El Tovar Lodge today was another A+ banner trip. We had entertainment on the train that was great. We were in first class and that included refreshments. As we left the train and started back to our hotel, we couldn`t help feeling sorry for all the new folks that came on the train and did not know what to expect. The climb up the steps to the hotel leaves you breathless (for real). At an elevation of 7,000 ft. you need to pace yourself.I felt pretty darn good that I was able to climb the steps and that I was able to pass a number of folks. OK, maybe they were a bit older than me. 
 
Russ & I can now say `We walked the Grand Canyon`...well at least the walking path along the South Rim. We both realize that actually hiking down the Canyon to the bottom will not be on our bucket list for now. Maybe when we both have a few more body parts replaced, it`ll be a piece of cake. 
 
We both feel this was one of the highlights of our trip, so far. Tomorrow we continue our trex to Las Vegas....now you know `what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas` More to follow - maybe. 
 
Remember there is a link at the very bottom of our blog that you can click on to see the many photos we have taken. These photos start at the beginning our trip to the Grand Canyon. 
 
 
 


--- Where: El Tovar Lodge

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Friday, April 4, 2014 07:11:28 PM



Along our Journey posted Sunday, April 6, 2014 06:14:06 AM
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Las Vegas, NV on April 5, 2014

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Las Vegas, NV - We left the South Rim of the Grand Canyon Saturday morning heading to our next destination, Las Vegas, Nevada. As we were leaving the National Park, heading to Williams to pick up I-40 we passed two Mustangs heading North towards the South Rim. Just as we passed each other I realized they had the `Mustangs Across America` banner across their windshield. (I did notice they had all their S letters .... they must not have gotten above 85 mph like us. Perhaps Sam warned them that the letters weren't tested at speeds above 80 :-) ). A few minutes later my cell phone rings and it says MAA Gerry on my NAV screen .... small world .... it was Gerry (aka 05 GT 5spd on the Forum) who we passed. Gerry and a friend left Nova Scotia to head to Corona and through the Forum it seemed that we both may end up in Vegas around the same dates so we exchanged cell numbers to keep in touch. While we have passed a lot of Mustangs along the road since leaving Florida back on March 22nd, Gerry`s is the first one identified as a MAA50 Mustang. We hope to catch up with Gerry in Vegas and perhaps head out to Corona, the final leg to the MAA50 start. 
 
We arrived at Jeff`s Condo around 3:30 pm local time, what a great place. Jeff, you don`t realize how much we appreciate you allowing us to use your place. It is just the break we needed from the 15 days on the road to re-group before reaching Corona and starting back with the Mustangs Across America group. We are also hoping to kick these colds we both have now. Yes, Arlene started with the runny nose today as we headed to Vegas. I have had my cold for 5 days now so I guess it was pretty likely that Arlene would eventually catch it too.  
 
So we have a few days to relax a little, get caught up on laundry, re-pack for the trip back East and see some sites in Vegas. Sunday, I hope to get the Mustang cleaned up, it is a mess from the snow at the South Rim. Sunday night we have tickets to see Elton John at Caesars and on Monday I need to get to the Post Office up the street from Jeff`s Condo to see if my forwarded Mail arrived. While driving last week I did get a call from the Post Master at my Post Office back in Yulee, FL explaining that they `screwed up` and that the first Wednesday mail forwarding never got sent out. I hope what was sent this past Wednesday made it here. On Monday we hope to visit the Shelby Mustang Plant and Museum here in Vegas. On Tuesday, we`ll get up early and clean up Jeff`s Condo and then head to Corona, California for the MAA50. Hopefully we`ll be able to hook up with Gerry make the run with them. 


--- Where: Jeff`s Condo

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Sunday, April 6, 2014 06:14:06 AM



Along our Journey posted Sunday, April 6, 2014 01:49:42 PM
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Las Vegas, NV on April 6, 2014

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Spa Day - For the Mustang that is! For some reason I woke up at 3:15 am this morning which is when I posted my April 5th Blog entry. Around 8:20 am I left the Condo (Arlene still sleeping, the cold is taking a toll on her) to find a place to wash the Mustang. I first went to a 25 cent car wash (the price when I was a teenager)and it was packed. So I drove around and came across a Hand Wash car wash only a block from the Condo so went there. They did a good job and it was only $11.00 (outside Only).  
 
I got back to the Condo around 9:30 and Arlene was up so we had breakfast. It was nice not having to go out or to the hotel Lobby for breakfast (again, Thank You Jeff). After breakfast I went out to detail the car. It was nice outside, around 72 degrees and Jeff`s parking spot is under a roof so the Mustang is out of the sun for the most part. So the Mustang is nice and clean and ready for the next leg of our road trip adventure (well not as clean as it would be if I was able to wash it as I do at home). 
 
I was not able to find someone's WiFi to `borrow`, so have to resort to using my iPhone as a Hotspot for my Laptop. That works well, especially since we have 5 bars of 4G here in the Condo. With my special WiFi Antenna connected to my Laptop I can find over 35 strong WiFi networks, but unlike a few years ago all of them are encrypted and require a password. I was hoping I would find a few businesses in the area that offered free WiFi that I could connect to. The cell phone works fine for what Internet I need.

--- Where: Jeff`s Condo

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Sunday, April 6, 2014 01:49:42 PM



Along our Journey posted Tuesday, April 8, 2014 06:14:35 PM
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Corona, CA on April 7, 2014

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Corona - The MAA50 Starting Point - We Made It!!

We left Las Vegas this morning for the final leg of the of our trip to the starting point of the Mustangs Across America run. We arrive in the LA area and were greeted to 98 degree temps and of course smog and traffic. 
 
We knew we were at the right Hotel since there were a number of Mustangs here. We have met a number of great people so far just since arriving. Tonight a mini-Meet and Greet here at the Hotel and then the official Meet and Greet at the Saleen Headquarters tomorrow night. And then the MAA50 Road Trip to Charlotte begins Thursday Morning from Saleen`s, April 10th. 
 
This has been an amazing trip for us and the best part is hasn't started yet. 
 
I have posted the photos we took today along our trip from Vegas to Corona and a few photos of some of the Mustangs here at the Hotel. See the Link at the bottom of the Blog for all the photos.

--- Where: Ayres Suites-Corona West

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Tuesday, April 8, 2014 06:14:35 PM



Along our Journey posted Wednesday, April 9, 2014 09:39:12 PM
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Corona, CA on April 9, 2014

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Corona Pre-Day - Today was a leisure for us as we prepare to Leave for the MAA 50 trip tomorrow morning. We met more MAA50 participants and there were a lot more mustang arrivals during the day. But out of all the great people we have met so far I can only seem to remember the name of one .... his name was Russ. Sam (event organizer) was here so we got to see the Official MAA50 Pace Car, a 1994 Mustang GT to commemorate the first Mustangs Across America run in 1994 for the 30th anniversary. Great looking Pace Car! 
 
I was able to pick up our MAA50 Packet this morning. I ask that Sam bring it rather than mail it out because of our early start to get to Corona. I was afraid it wouldn't have arrived before we left and it wasn't going to be any help to us sitting back in the Post Office in Florida. 
 
This afternoon one of the member organized a special showing for us at the Day Family Classic Car Museum here in Corona. 
 
`Day Family Classic Cars is more than just an auto museum, it's a literal TIME MACHINE! Featuring cars from the early 1900's right on up to the muscle cars of today! The 33,000 square foot Day Family Classic Cars Museum transports visitors throughout the lives and treasured locations of its founders Tom and Diane Day.` 
 
The Day Family Museum is NOT open to the public, they only open up for private showings for Car Clubs and the fee is collected and donated to charity. It was an amazing Museum. 
 
Tonight is the Offical MAA50 Meet and Greet at Saleen Headquarters right down the street from the Day Family Museum. 
 
Tommorrow is the Start and We are Ready!!! 


Photos from the Day Museum

--- Where: Ayres Suites-Corona West

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Wednesday, April 9, 2014 09:39:12 PM



Along our Journey posted Wednesday, April 9, 2014 10:02:56 PM
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Corona, CA on April 9, 2014

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Meet and Greet at Saleen - Tonight was the Meet and Greet at the Saleen Headquarters. We had a great time, met many great people. Its too bad I'm too old to remember everyone's names and sorry for telling some of you the same stories I did the day before.  
 
So this post will be short in text but I have added a link to many photos I took of the Mustangs at the Event. 
 
And the Sun set behind Saleen ..... Start your Engines ...... Driver's meeting at 7:30 am and then at 8:00 we start the Journey East to the Big 50th Celebration. 
 
So tomorrow we let the Ponies out of the Corral and let them run.

Photos from the Meet and Greet at Saleens

--- Where: Ayres Suites-Corona West

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Wednesday, April 9, 2014 10:02:56 PM



Along our Journey posted Thursday, April 10, 2014 10:48:01 PM
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Russ and Arlene's
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Phoenix, AZ on April 10, 2014

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Phoenix Day One - Wake up time was an ungodly 4:30am this morning - not because Russ set the alarm for that time (it was set for 5:30am) but because of all the alerts he gets on his phone....so up we got and was ready to head for breakfast at 6am....well, so was everyone else that was going on the Mustangs Across America. As luck would have it, we all made it to the Saleen Headquarters by 7:30am to have our fearless leader Sam Haymark rally us for the big take off to head for Phoenix, AZ. What a fabulous day we had too (except for all the smog that lay in the Corona, CA valley). Russ and I had a good start until he missed the turn onto I15 N. Bad navigator that I am....we discovered that another mustang had followed our wrong turn. We pulled over to apologize to her and told her we would find another way onto I15. She followed us and we came upon two more mustangs that also missed the turn - so now we were a convoy of 4. We did manage to find our way onto I10 East and we couldn't believe that we came almost sided by side by the Main Mustang PACE car who had gotten onto the highway about 15 minutes before us. Traffic in Cororna, CA was a nightmare and I don't know how people traveling to work do this everyday......I'd think about moving... 
 
Now that the Grimm Mustang was a happy pony following all the other mustangs, I realized that when all the ponies were in a row (as you'll see in one of my photos) we looked like a bag of skittles along the road. Very cute and very colorful. 
 
Tonight was a special evening for us. Russ had made reservations for dinner at Rawhide Steakhouse in Chandler, AZ. What a great old western town that offered visitors a trip back to a time when the WEST was untamed. No running water, no paved roads, and cowboys only bathed once a month, if necessary. The characters roaming the streets where true to western form. A museum, that held many relics from the old west, were wonderfully displayed. A sweet shop offered samples of the best fudge I've ever tasted and soft vanilla ice cream too. After dinner at the Rawhide, we purchased tickets to attend an Old Western Show. A live show for only $5 each, what a bargain. There was lots of audience participation and the cowboys were extremely funny. They were a bit naughty too, but very pg. We rate DAY 1 an A+. 


--- Where: La Quinta Inn & Suites Chandler

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Thursday, April 10, 2014 10:48:01 PM



Along our Journey posted Friday, April 11, 2014 08:42:49 PM
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Las Cruces, NM on April 11, 2014

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Las Cruces Day Two - Today's treats were sunshine, breezes, dust devils, dust storms, hot air balloons, colorful bridges, cactus that look like cowboys and so many pretty ponies all in a row. 
 
We missed this morning's group meeting - WHY? you ask! - because Russ followed a number of Mustangs out of the hotel parking lot and they made a bee-line for I10 - not the meet up site - so off we go ahead of everyone else. We did meet up at our lunch stop and we did become part of the convoy for about 1 hour - that's when Arlene needed a REST STOP because her bladder doesn't hold the liquids like it use too! 
 
We arrived at our hotel destination for tonight - the Hotel Encanto in Las Cruces, NM. Our room is on the 6th floor and what a view we have of the city and of the hotel parking lot. All those pretty ponies in a row was a sight to behold. 
 
We walked across the highway to a place called Farley's Watering Hole (Pub & Grill) which was something different for both of us. Oh, did I mention it was HAPPY HOUR!! We left the Pub feeling very HAPPY :o} I did tell you we walked across the highway, didn't I? So ends another terrific day with the Mustangs Across America. Day Three tomorrow - Las Cruces to Midland, Texas.

--- Where: Hotel Encanto - Las Cruces

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Friday, April 11, 2014 08:42:49 PM



Along our Journey posted Saturday, April 12, 2014 08:14:34 PM
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Midland, TX on April 12, 2014

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Midland, Texas - Day Three - We have an itinerary for everyday of our trip - which is especially helpful and very much appreciated, however, the daily Driver's Meeting is at 7:30am, so that means an early rise to get everyone showered, dressed, repacked, and breakfast....No wonder people who still work and are on this trip say they'll need a vacation to recover from this trip. Heck, we're retired and we'll need a vacation to recover. 
 
Seriously, our Host, Sam Haymart and his cohorts have done a wonderful job keeping us informed of the days' run, stops, and destinations. His cohorts are "Big Daddy" and "Lucky Man". CB handles!! (But you all knew that) 
 
Today's run was from Las Cruces, NM to Midland, TX. Sam informed us, "if you thought there was nothing between Phoenix and Las Cruces, well there is even less between Las Cruces and Midland, TX". He was so right. We saw miles and miles of rocks, mountains, flat prairies, tumbleweed, dust storms and oil fields. Oh, a ghost town and some empty shacks too. 
 
One thing that I've discovered on our trip is where there are mountains and the mountains are near a city or college, the mountains are marked with a "letter". Ex. A - M - O , etc. Now I don't know how or why or by who this tradition was started, but I think it's great and I'm pretty sure I was able to take a picture of all letter's on the mountains that I spied! 
 
We ended our day with a trip to the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum. "Now what the heck is this" you ask? This museum celebrated all thing oil and transportation from the oil business here in Texas to vintage Chaparral Racing machines. They even had a demonstration of one of the vintage race cars planned just for us. This place was awesome! 
 
When we returned to our hotel, Russ asked me to remind him to get gas. Would you believe in a town that has tons of oil rigs in the fields, we could only find 2 gas stations!!! Think about that one. 


--- Where: Courtyard Marriot

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Saturday, April 12, 2014 08:14:34 PM



Along our Journey posted Sunday, April 13, 2014 08:40:25 PM
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Mesquite, TX on April 13, 2014

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Mesquite (Dallas Area) - Today marked a very special day. Russ turned 65. Many happy birthday wishes were sent to him via text messages or by Facebook. He even had 2 singing messages via his phone. One of the best happy birthday songs was the one our Mustang Group sang to Russ at our regroup staging area. He was still receiving well wishes when we checked into our hotel tonight. 
 
Just as birthday wishes have changed (when one was sent a card in the mail) so has our lives as we grow older into our "golden years". Did someone say Senior Discounts?? 
 
We have had a very powerful journey traveling across the USA seeing as much as we can of this great country of ours. The many states that we have visited (MS, AL, LA, TX, NM, NV, CA, AZ, GA, & NC)showed us just how varied and different each state can be. 
 
Today's journey started out with lots of clouds, wind and some rain. By this afternoon the sun graced our caravan of over 300 Mustangs. By this evening we received more wind with the possibility of a Tornado watch. I'm keeping my fingers crossed our area will be spared. 
 
One of our side trips today was to visit the JFK Book Depository Museum in Dallas, TX. (The Sixth Floor at Dealey Plaza) Even after 52 years since the assassination of our President John F. Kennedy, I am moved emotionally by this tribute to him and his family. 
 
We celebrated Russ's birthday by having dinner at his favorite restaurant, RED LOBSTER. Tomorrow's journey will begin again very early as our trip takes us to Jackson, MS. Move along little ponies as we have lots of ground to cover. 
 


--- Where: Fairfield Inn and Courtyard

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Sunday, April 13, 2014 08:40:25 PM



Along our Journey posted Monday, April 14, 2014 06:58:31 PM
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Jackson, MS on April 14, 2014

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Jackson, MS - When we left Mesquite, TX this morning, it was very windy, overcast and rather chilly. A cold front went through during the night that triggered a Tornado warning for Mesquite until midnight. We were lucky, no Tornados. 
 
About two hours into our run today we hit a major storm with heavy rain, wind, thunder, lightning and even short periods of sleet mixed in with the rain. Many cars pulled over and those still driving slowed down to 40 mph and ran with their 4 way flashers on. The entire rain event lasted about an hour with 40 minutes in the really heavy rain. 
 
We were out ahead of the pack of MAA50 Mustangs all day today, running by ourselves for most of the day. We skipped the scheduled lunch stop location, stopping about an hour from our end of the day destination at a Cracker Barrel for lunch. Our drive-thru today was by choice. We knew we needed to do laundry at least one more time and decided since the predicted weather for the day was rain and storms that today was probably the best day to attempt to get into Jackson, Mississippi early and take care of the laundry duties. We pulled into Pearl, MS (Jackson area) around 2:30 pm and found a Laundromat close to our hotel. We stopped and took care of the laundry before we checked in at the Hotel. So now we are all caught up and have the clean clothes we need to finish out our trip. We only have two more legs to drive to reach our final destination, Charlotte, North Carolina for the big Mustang 50th Celebration, but our stay in Charlotte is for 5 nights. 
 
When we finally pulled into the Hotel the MAA50 Pace Car had also just arrived and over the following 2 to 3 hours more and more participants continued to arrive. While we have probably grown to over 300 Mustangs at this point, during a typical day's drive everyone runs their own pace and makes their own rest, fuel, and food stops. There can be groups as big as 10 or 12 that will run together most of the day, smaller groups of 2 to 4 and a lot of single Mustangs, so the participants arrive at the hotel(s) in a steady stream over a few hours period. 
 
Tonight the MAA50 contingent was scheduled to go to a AAA Baseball Game at Trustmark Park, but mother nature didn't cooperate. With thunderstorms predicted for tonight, the evenings event was cancelled.  
 
Tomorrow is the second to last leg - Jackson, MS to Atlanta, GA and we hope all the rain and storms are gone and we have a sunny, dry, travel day ahead.

--- Where: La Quinta Inn & Suites - Pearl

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Monday, April 14, 2014 06:58:31 PM



Along our Journey posted Tuesday, April 15, 2014 08:31:40 PM
submitted by Arlene
Russ and Arlene's
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Atlanta, GA on April 15, 2014

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Atlanta, GA - I can't believe how cold it was this morning in Pearl, MS. Russ finally agreed he needed to wear long pants and a jacket. we left the hotel at 7:10am to head for the baseball field for our morning announcements and special instructions. I stayed in the car while Russ got the scoop. He was frozen when he got back in the car. We did notice that there were a number of new cars that joined us for today's run. Since our numbers are growing, I thought today would be a good day to try to reach 60's on 6 Siris Radio Station. I had tried 2 days ago without any success. Today was different, I made a connection on my first call, to PHLASH and we chatted about the Mustangs Across America. He said he would play a song for us and give us a "shout out". I got the camera ready to videotape the show - specifically our song - MUSTANG SALLY. Russ has downloaded the video for your viewing pleasure - make sure you have tissues - I'll say no more :o} except, if possible, play thru to the end - you'll be glad you did! 
 
We stopped for lunch in Pell, AL at our favorite place - CRACKER BARREL. Our side destination for this afternoon was to visit the International Motor Sports Hall of Fame at Talladega, AL. We, along with 300 other Mustangers, took a tour of the Hall of Fame and a van ride into the center of the race track. Just for a moment you could feel just like a race car driver! 
 
Continuing on our ride to our hotel proved to be the most challenging event of the day - we hit a time change crossing from AL to GA (4pm to 5pm) and we found ourselves in an unbelievable surge of traffic in Atlanta, GA. We made it to our hotel unscaved! Another successful day is now behind us. Tonight is the last of our one night stays. Tomorrow we hit our final destination - Charlotte, NC. Let the party begin. 
 
A special note about the video .... we may appear a bit silly, just keep in mind we have been on the road in our Mustang for 25 days and driven nearly 6000 miles at this point, so we may be just a bit goofy - LOL 
 
 
 


Note: Videos may not start immediately and require fast internet connection.



--- Where: La Quinta Inn & Suites - Atlanta

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Tuesday, April 15, 2014 08:31:40 PM


Along our Journey posted Wednesday, April 16, 2014 07:06:09 PM
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Charlotte, FL on April 16, 2014

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Charlotte, NC - It was another COLD morning for our start in Atlanta this morning for our final Mustangs Across American Leg to Charlotte, North Carolina. The traffic on route 85 out of Atlanta was heavy but we managed to keep a rather large group of Mustangs in a line for most of the day. 
 
Our scheduled lunch stop was in Greenville, SC and we had enough time to fuel up, wash the Mustang and have some lunch at Cracker Barrel. We found that we are not the only people who go to Cracker Barrel as the lot was loaded with Mustangs. We met up with everyone for one last staging before entering Charlotte. It was a picture taking event to be sure. All the mustangs that had a MAA50th license plate from different states and Canada lined up for a photo opp. This is a rarity for sure. (Can you tell we've been hanging with some Canadians?) Eh! As we started our pony exit, we passed a van with a Channel 7, SC news crew aboard. Rodney Raskell, The Saleen Scene crew that is traveling with us to record the MAA trip, has posted 6 episodes on FaceBook: www.vimeo.com 
or you can search for them on FB: The Saleen Scene. 
 
We made it to Charlotte around 2:30pm and as we exited I-85 our string of MAA50 Mustangs was over 30 cars and we looked impressive as we pulled into town. Our first stop (rather than our hotel) was The Mustang Club of America's host hotel to pick up our packets (event tickets, parking passes, etc.) for the 4 day 50th Celebration event. The Embassy Suites Hotel was in gridlock with the arrival of our contingent and the many other Mustangs who are registered for the event. The MCA expects at least 4000 Mustangs. It took quite a while but we finally got our packets. As we were leaving the Hotel for our Mustang we ran into Jeff and Diane (Jeff is our local Club's President) and it was nice to see some familiar faces from home. Tomorrow we hope to meet up with others from our Jacksonville Mustang Club. 
 
Tonight we were treated to a Cocktail Party held by the MAA50 group. It was there that we were able to find familiar faces from the trip and hear their stories. Exhaustion doesn't begin to describe how tired we both were. 
 
This has been a very special road trip. We have been away for 26 days now and covered over 5800 miles. We have seen a lot of the country and met a lot of great folks who will be friends forever. But yes, we are also looking forward to getting back home. 
 
Because there is no Free Internet in this Hotel (go figure) this will probably be the last post to our Blog until we return home on the 21st. To all those who we have shared this amazing road trip with, we wish you a safe journey back home. Please stay in touch. 
 
Russ and Arlene Grimm 
MAA50 #216

--- Where: Marriot - In Town

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 07:06:09 PM



Along our Journey posted Thursday, April 17, 2014 06:31:35 PM
submitted by Russ
Russ and Arlene's
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Charlotte, NC on April 17, 2014

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Charlotte Motor Speedway - 50th Celebration - We got special Parking in the M.O.R.E. lot with Group 22, the Florida contingent Mustangs through our local Jacksonville Mustang Club (thanks Dave for organizing this). 
 
We arrived at Charlotte around 10:00 am, it's sunny, windy and cold. We saw Mustangs, Mustangs and more Mustangs including the First Mustang (64 1/2) sold to an young girl, Gail Wise, on April 16, 1964, a powder blue convertible. Both the restored Mustang and Gail were at the Celebration. There have been a number of articles about Gail and the history of her special 64 1/2 Mustang. 
While we walked around the in-field looking at all the Mustangs, an estimated 4000 there, and looking at all the vendors' booths there were a lot of Mustangs running high speed laps out on the track and road course. Yes, you could purchase 'Track Time' . There were a lot of very fast Mustangs running on the track. 
 
As we walked around we ran into a number of our new 'friends' from our Mustangs Across America drive. 
 
We left the Speedway around 3:30pm and at that point the temperture got up to 71. 
 
Tomorrow we decided to see some of the Nascar points of interest in the area since this is Charlotte, the center of Nascar. We will visit the Nascar Hall of Fame which is close to our Hotel and then visit the Nascar Shops of the Hendrick cars (yea, I know they drive Chevys), the Roush Shops (Ford) and then perhaps the Penske Racing Shops (Ford) up in Mooresville. At 4:30pm we'll make our way back to Charlotte Speedway for the Guinness World Record attempt, a cruise from Charlotte Speedway to Kannapolis. We are expected to have between 750 and 850 Mustangs on this cruise breaking a record currently held by the Canadians. 
 
All the photos from today are posted and can be seen by clicking or the 'View All the Photos' link above and then look for the Link for Lowes. 


--- Where: Marriot - In Town

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Thursday, April 17, 2014 06:31:35 PM



Along our Journey posted Saturday, April 19, 2014 07:32:49 AM
submitted by Russ
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Charlotte, NC on April 18, 2014

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Nascar Day and Guinness Record Night - Today we decides to visit some Nascar sites. Our first stop was the Nascar Hall of Fame that is in town and not too far from our hotel. At the Hall of Fame we ran into some of our local Mustang Club members. It was good to see some familiar faces from home. When we left the Hall of Fame we drove to Hendricks' Museum and Store to see there display of past and current race cars. Their shops were closed so we could not tour those. From Hendricks we drove to Roush's Facility only to find they were closed. A flow of other Mustangs hoping to visit Roush drove through the parking lot while we were their. Disappointed and surprised that Roush was closed with the Mustangs 50th event going on right down the road and they race Mustangs in the Nationwide series. 
 
After leaving Roush we stopped for lunch and then over to our special M.O.R.E. parking at the 50th to walk around until it was time to head to the Z-Max drag strip for the staging of our attempt to break the Guinness Record for the cruise with the most cars. I can not describe what it looked like as they staged over 800 Mustangs for the record attempt. Unfortunately just be for we actually started the cruise it began to rain, but it was impressive to see all the people lined up along our route to cheer us on. It was hard to capture it with photos because of the rain and it getting dark out. 
 


--- Where: Marriot - In Town

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Saturday, April 19, 2014 07:32:49 AM



Along our Journey posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 06:52:49 AM
submitted by Russ
Russ and Arlene's
Travel Blog
Charlotte, NC on April 19, 2014

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Carolina Aviation Museum - We woke up to a rainy day so we need to find an alternative plan to going back to the 50th Celebration at the Speedway. Just not a good day to be walking around outside. We decide to visit the Carolinas Aviation Museum: Home of 'Miracle on the Hudson' Flight 1549.  
 
The Museum was great and especially to see the USAir Airplane that went down in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009 and of course we did see other Mustang Enthusiast at the Museum who were in Charlotte for the 50th Celebration. So the rain changed the plans for a number of people Saturday. 
 
In the afternoon, with the rain still coming down, we decided to find a Movie Theater and take in some Popcorn .... I mean take in a Movie. 
 
It is ashamed it had to be such a rainy day, but we have been lucky on this epic trip so far with mostly dry days so we won't complain. 
 
Tomorrow, Sunday, April 20, 2014, the final day and our evening MAA50th Banquet.

--- Where: Marriot - In Town

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 06:52:49 AM



Along our Journey posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 08:04:44 AM
submitted by Russ
Russ and Arlene's
Travel Blog
Charlotte, NC on April 20, 2014

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Final Day - Sunday, April 17, 2014 - It is Easter, Happy Easter everyone, and it is the final day of our epic Mustangs Across America road trip adventure. Tonight is the farewell MAA50th Banquet in the Ball Room of our hotel. 
 
We woke up to a bright and sunny day, appropriate for Easter. After breakfast at the hotel, we decided to walk around town to see what Charlotte center city is like and walking sure wouldn't hurt us after all the sitting (in a car) we have done over the past 30 days. In the afternoon more MAA50th folks started arriving at our Hotel from their hotels for the evening's Farewell Banquet. In the Lobby we ran into Russ and Ellen, who we met in Corona at the start of the MAA50th trip. The four of us sat in the lobby Starbucks for some conversation over coffee. 
 
As 6:00 pm approached more and more Mustangs Across America participants began to gather on the 3rd Floor outside the Ballroom for our Farewell Banquet. The Banquet was fantastic, great presenters, great food, and most of all great people, many who have become friends of the past week as we drove across America.  
 
As the evening's Farewell dinner concluded it was our time to say our final goodbyes to all the great people we met along our journey and yes, it was difficult to accept the reality that this epic adventure that started for us back on March 22nd, was close to its end. We have had the time of our lives, saw many great areas of our Country and met many great people along the way. So tomorrow we all leave Charlotte in different directions for our journeys home, for us that is only a 5 hour drive but for many others from the West Coast they still have a long trip ahead.  
 
So to all those we met along the way (Gerry, Rich, Denis, Jason, Russ, Ellen, John, Jeremy, Tony, Mary, John, Jan, Ron, Russ, Ellen, Lauran, Todd (and Todd's Dad), Sam, Dave, Carol, Richard (Big Daddy) Brain and all the others (I can remember your faces, just not your names) it was great to share this very special experience with you all. May your journey home be a safe one, get those ponies back in their stables so the are ready to meet up again and run Free across America in 2019 for the 55th running of Mustangs Across America (MAA55th). We'll see you there!!! 

Just a short video from the Trip

Note: Videos may not start immediately and require fast internet connection.



--- Where: Marriot - In Town

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 08:04:44 AM


Along our Journey posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 08:57:19 AM
submitted by Russ
Russ and Arlene's
Travel Blog
Yulee, FL on April 21, 2014

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Travel Home - We woke up to another sunny day for the final leg of our Epic Trip across America and back. This will no doubt be a lonely ride, as we travel alone, no pack of Ponies around us, to our final destination - Home in Yulee, Florida. 
 
We got on the road around 7:30 am and as we pulled out of the hotel parking garage we looked at, for the final time, a number of Mustangs we had shared the Journey with over the past 10 days. There was Sam's 1995 Mustang (MustangOne - our Pace Car) tucked in a corner of the Parking Garage. Sam and his daughter still have to make the trip back to Phoenix, AZ to get home. And there was Jeremy's beautiful restored 1966 Mustang Convertible. Who could miss it with the British Flag painted on the Hood - Opps, sorry Jeremy, that would be 'painted on the Bonnet'. Yes, Jeremy is from London, England and had his 1966 shipped to San Diego, drive the entire Mustangs Across America trip and today will drive his 1966 to Charleston to have it shipped back to England and he'll fly home the next day. All special cars and special people each with a story. 
 
We decided to skip breakfast at the Hotel and drive for about 80 miles to South Carolina and stop at a Cracker Barrel for breakfast. We missed not seeing the Mustangs in front of us and behind us. It was apparent we were on the road alone now. As we sat into Cracker Barrel, I look up and see some familiar faces, Jeff and Diane (our local Mustang Club President and his wife) and Dale and Darlene our newest JMC members from Australia. The four of them, each in their own Mustangs were not part of the MAA50th run, but had driven up to Charlotte for the big 50th Celebration. Just goes to show you that it is a small world. It is amazing that along a trip of 367 miles from Charlotte to home that we all ended up at the same Cracker Barrel 80 miles out of Charlotte. 
 
We arrived home around 3:00 pm after a stop at the Post Office to pickup the huge pile of mail they have been holding for us. As we pulled in the driveway it was a nice feeling to see the our house and know we were home, but as we looked around we also realized we had a lot of yard work to catch up on. 
 
So to everyone who has followed us via the Blog on our Epic Road Trip across America and back in Arlene's 2014 Mustang we hope you enjoyed the written and photo journey as much as we have enjoyed sharing it with you. 
 
To my new Friends of the MAA50th, some who have also followed us on the Blog, it was great to share this experience with you. We enjoyed meeting you, our conversations and our friendships. Have a SAFE trip home and please keep in touch. 
 
See you in 2019 - MAA55th. 
 
Russ and Arlene 
 
-- This will be the Final Post for this Adventure --

--- Where: Home Sweet Home

link to Menu of All the trip Photos

posted - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 08:57:19 AM

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email us at russ4@rgrimm.com