Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Family Time, the Total Eclipse and a Dead Stop

Scott put film over this phone to take
this photo. 

Uzi, Heather and Shira viewing the eclipse by the pool in their
backyard in Dallas

Uzi, Scott, Heather & Shira

We combined both this year. At last year's Stellafane Convention in Springfield, VT we saw a presentation on Solar Eclipses by a noted astronomer and vowed to see the next one. Easy peasy as it was visible both in Vermont and in Dallas, TX where our oldest son Josh has a home. We visit them every year now on our travels west. In the past that's been on the way out, but we timed our next stay during the solar eclipse on April 8. It was amazing and for us, very easy. We just set up in their backyard in Dallas and watched the spectacle. 

Total eclipse at Lake Willoughby

Sean, Will and 11 friends went up to Northern Vermont to
view the eclipse, after spending the weekend at our 
home in Shrewsbury, VT. 

Our son Sean and his friends had a different experience, along with many in the northeast. The weather in northern Vermont was clear and they had a wonderful view, but then they had to join the thousands and thousands driving south. All hotels were full on the way and they have an electric car - "long, long, long lines at the chargers". They left Lake Willoughby around 4 PM and got to Boston at 5:30 AM! And with a 9 month old baby on board.

Josh, Michal and Scott up in the Penthouse of 
their apartment in Tulsa for a party. It was the 
opening day at the Oneok Field, home to the
Tulsa Drillers. 

Watching the game from the Penthouse is like
having a private box.  It's a lounge, game room,
kitchen with decks for everyone that lives there.

Our son Josh has 5 children but only 2 of them are with he and Michal now. Daniel and Cookie are both at Columbia University and their third Maya, now in London, has been accepted by Columbia for next year. Like Cookie, she still had one more year to finish high school in England, but got accepted anyway. That means they have had to take all their A levels (graduation exams) a year early. We're pretty proud of all of them. The last two, Jonathan "Uzi" and Shira are at the University School in Tulsa, OK, near where Josh works as a Radiation Oncologist. Uzi graduates this year from 8th grade and they and Michal are moving to NYC to finish school there at the New School in Manhattan. Josh only works 3 or 4 days a week so he'll commute. They've done this before in London and Costa Rica and it works for them. Hard to imagine - but the results are wonderful. 

Scott got a virtual haircut at the Greenwood Rising
Black Wall Street History Center

Josh and Scott at the Philbrook Art Museum

The Philbrook Art Museum, opening in 1939 in the 1920s villa of Waite & Genevieve Philbrook. When Josh and family lived full time in Tulsa they had a home just a block away. 

So after our long weekend in Dallas, we spent the rest of our 10 day visit in Tulsa. I really love this city and will be sorry they are leaving. We visited the Philbrook Museum of Art, the Black Wall Street History Center, the Botanical Gardens and lots of time at The Gathering. We stayed at the Warrior RV Park right in Tulsa which was convenient but very basic. That's OK as we spent most of our time with our family. 

Lighting the candles on Shabbat

Walking around Tulsa - great weather during out

There is so much to do in The Gathering - here
the garden of mirrors.

Shira and I hide in the giant stem garden

Shira and Scott made my birthday cake - 
celebrated a few days early on our 45th wedding

So now - the Dead Stop! It happened in Centerton, Arkansas. We were on our way to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art when our RV brakes came on suddenly. Luckily we were coming up to a red light and I was able to pull over on the side of the road. Then the motor revved up to 4,000 rpms at idle.  Scott fiddled around and finally it seemed to stop. So we continued on. A few miles later the motor revved up again and we almost came to a stop. Luckily there was a parking lot right there to pull into - a Verizon Store (how appropriate for this Verizon Retiree). 

Many calls and hours later we got a tow company to bring Junior to a dealership and Baby to a RV park. We spent the next day waiting impatiently for news from the service department. We had to cancel our reservations in Little Rock. Finally we got the call and good news! It will be ready this afternoon and we decided to drive direct to Nashville tomorrow. That will put us back on schedule. It's 8 hours and 12 minutes Google time - longer than we've ever attempted. It will take us 10 to 11 hours.

Two problems combined to cause our situation. The emergency brakes on the RV came on due to faulty wiring. The sudden stop forced the plastic floor cover forward and over the end of the gas pedal. We vacuumed Junior in Tulsa the day before and evidently didn't put it back correctly. It happened again a little later and that's the answer. They fixed the emergency RV brake system and the floor cover - and a long standing engine light service problem as well. So we're off as early as possible tomorrow.  More news in my next blog!

Shira models a parasol at the gift shop
at the Botanical Gardens

They had a Lego art installation showing there - animals in all
colors and sizes - totally in Legos.  Here's a American Bald
Eagle in Pride colors.

This was a larger than life size zebra!

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