Current Happenings 2003

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Year 2003

July 3

June 2003 Vacations

At the beginning of this summer, I went on two trips.  First, I went on a road trip to Rockaway Beach, Oregon, to visit people along the way, and to stay a few days in a beach cabin with some friends.  After returning from that trip, I spent one day at home, then flew to Florida with my sister and her family. We went there for my brother Joel's wedding.

So, within the space of a couple weeks, I swam in the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean and visited all four corners of the country.  I was in the Northeast just for a layover at Newark, but I saw the Statue of Liberty from the airplane window, so it counts :-)

Road Trip to Oregon

I put about two thousand miles on my 1986 Acura Integra.  It just turned over 260,000 miles the other day.  I took four days to drive up there and two days to drive back, and stayed in Rockaway Beach for about three days, with David Bryant and Ben Wright.  Justin Rigamonti came to visit one of the days, too.

David Bryant, Ben Wright


Justin Rigamonti

Thursday, June 5.
Lunch with Tyson Trautmann in La Habra, drove to San Jose. Dinner with Mark S. and some of his family.

Friday, June 6. Breakfast with a friend, shopping at Trader Joe's then drove Interstate 5 up to Weed, CA, then Highway 97 to Bend, OR.  Stayed with Shaun and Gypsy Martin (their web site), who were moving that weekend.

Shaun and Gypsy

Saturday, June 7. Helped Shaun move some big items to their new home. Drove to Portland.  Dinner with Mark Fordice.  Visited cousin Steve Smith and family.

Sunday, June 8. Drove to Rockaway Beach, arrived around noon.

Monday - Wednesday, June 9 - 11. Rockaway Beach.

Wednesday, June 11. Left in the evening, drove to Medford, OR

Thursday, June 12. Drove most of the day, arrived back home around 9:00pm

Car Trouble

Day 1. I turned on the headlights, and only one popped up fully. I worry that I won't be able to drive at night the rest of the trip. An hour later, I discovered that the guy who changed the oil put the stick that holds up the hood in the wrong place, blocking the headlight.

Day 2. I locked my keys in the car at the Chevron in Corning, CA.  30 minutes and $30 later, I'm on the road again.  The gas station people called a locksmith for me. I guess it happens frequently.

Day 2. An hour later, I run in to traffic because of an accident, so I turn off the A.C. and run the heater to avoid overheating. After passing the accident, however, I can't get the control to go back from Hot to Cold.  I think I'm stuck without A.C. for the rest of the trip.  In Weed, CA, I try again am able to fix it.

Day 8. Four hours from home, I get a flat tire in a gas station.  I think, "Uh-oh, I should have checked the spare".  Fortunately everything was there.  I put on the little spare, drive 2 miles into Lost Hills, to a little Mexican tire shop.  After he works on my tire 20 minutes and plugs a leak from a nail, he charges me $7.  I give him a $10 bill and say, "Keep the change"

I had a great time on this trip.  It was relaxing, fun, and I got to visit a lot of people I wanted to see.

My car did well, I drove about 80 mph on Interstate 5, maybe 65 or 70 on the other roads, and averaged about 32 miles per gallon.  Gas was about $1.70 per gallon.  And I only had to spend $40 on the car (See the "Car Trouble" sidebar).  That's cheaper than annual membership at Triple-A.

Wedding & Family Reunion in Jacksonville, Florida

My next trip was June 14-24.  I flew my sister Lisa, her husband David, and their three kids.  They had arrived from overseas a few days earlier, and spent a few days in L.A. visiting people.  We flew round trip to Orlando, met the rest of the family there, rented two minivans, and drove up to Jacksonville.

Plane Trouble

Thunderstorms caused a bit of a delay on both days we were traveling.  Here's our itinerary:

June 14 LAX-->EWR-->MCO
09:00am-5:02pm, 7:00pm-9:45pm
June 24 MCO-->IAH-->LAX
11:52am-1:25pm, 2:40pm-4:23pm
Cost: $228 each (Gabe, under age 2, free)

We left on time, but landed a little late because of weather.  Then we got on our connecting flight around 6:15pm, and sat on the plane until 9:15pm before taking off, waiting for the flight crew. We arrived in Orlando at midnight.

On the way back, we were again delayed because of thunderstorms, circling Sabine, TX four or five times, but we made our connecting flight.

Once back at LAX, I was done flying, but David and Lisa had to get on another flight and head back across the country to Chicago.  They made changes in their plans late, so it was cheapest just to keep the same flights, and add another round-trip from LAX to Chicago.

  Dad & Mom met us at the Orlando airport Saturday, June 14, after a long day of flying.  We spent one night there, then drove up to Jacksonville the next day.

The next week was full of activity planning for the Rehearsal Dinner, arranging things for the wedding, and visiting people.

I was able to spend one afternoon downtown Jacksonville.  I rode the Skyway across the river (One-way fare $0.35).  Then I was able to find a bus that went straight from downtown back to the Beauclerc area. The bus only runs 4 times a day, and I was the only person the whole way.

The wedding went well.  See pictures.  Sunday, the 22nd, we drove back down to Orlando, and stayed until Tuesday the 24th, when we flew back.

We ate at the world's largest McDonald's, we went on a tour of the Wycliffe headquarters and a tour of Jesus Film project.

Done Vacationing For a While

So, now I've feel like I've been gone almost the whole month of June.  Now I'm back home for the rest of the summer, working on several projects at home.

Here are a couple of things I learned from my travels:

Map from

The other End of I-10

I've been to the Santa Monica Pier in California. It turns into a street that leads to the beginning of Interstate 10.

Near the beginning of the freeway, there's a big sign that says "Welcome to the the Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway".  I-10 then goes through L.A., Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso, San Antonio, Houston, Baton Rouge, Mobile, Tallahassee, and ends up in... Jacksonville.

The freeway ends there, but Atlantic Blvd is labeled Alternate 10, and continues all the way to the ocean, forming the dividing line between the cities of Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach. I went swimming there, right at the very end of the I-10 Freeway.

See a description of the whole length of I-10:

Traveling Overseas?

I have never traveled outside of North America. I've always wondered if I could endure those long flights.  But my trip from L.A. to Orlando lasted about 12 hours total, and it was bearable.

So if I can endure that trip, I could probably endure a trip overseas, which is the same length.  If I flew from L.A. to Europe, however, I think I'd want a layover on the East Coast somewhere.

So, now I'm ready to travel: I've got my passport, and I have several weeks free, and plane fares are pretty low right now.  But I don't have much money.  Why is it that you either have enough time, but not enough money, or enough money, but no vacation time??

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Created and maintained by Matthew Weathers. Last updated Jun 28, 2006.