United States

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    • Day 174

      National Museum of the Marine Corp

      January 14, 2023 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 2 °C

      My photos will not do justice to another excellent display of recognition for the US armed forces. This one for the Marine Corps one of the best fighting units in the world.

      Love the story about the famous photo of flag-raising on Suribachi.

      The last photo - a statue of a marine that illustrates the complexity of the unit that is "First to Fight" in most of the US international conflicts
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    • Day 14

      South to Fredricksburg, VA

      May 10, 2022 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

      Our stop for tonight is at a Harvest Hosts which are the ones that you stay for free, parking at the back, go buy some of the goodies at discounts and get to meet the locals. So our harvest host is the Battlefield Country Store. Lovely spot. The store is full of old fashioned sweets, locally made pickles, jams and good coffee!Read more

    • Day 51

      Day 51 - Family

      October 28, 2016 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

      We were on the road and heading further south. Our destination was in Virginia and we were to be staying with Alice's sister Melissa, her husband Richard and their son Liam.

      The area itself is dripping in American history too allowing us to go on trips whilst also catching up as a group. The first port of call was the town of Fredericksburg. Before going into the town we visited a small museum about the Battle of Fredericksburg. The displays were informative for adults with enough interactive entertainment for Liam. We then followed a small trail next to the museum to the site of the battle and through a cemetery of the fallen. The cemetery covered the high ground with a view across the town of Fredericksburg. We pondered for a while and watched Liam entertain himself by walking down steps and then running up a steep slope next to the steps. We then went into Fredericksburg where the streets were picture perfect and the vast majority of shops had Halloween displays in their windows. As this road trip has progressed we have seen more and more creative Halloween displays. With just a few days to go until Halloween, this town really has... gone to town with it! We stopped for a coffee in a cafe that used to be a Church and if Melissa did not know about it, Alice and I would have walked right past. The coffee and cakes were generously proportioned and also remarkably cheap. That southern hospitality is already showing itself. Re-energized, we strolled back along the other side of the main road and towards our cars.

      In the evening we caught up with Richard and we all went for a recommended Mexican not far from their house. It was a good recommendation and I think I also got Richard into horchatas! We then headed back home and chatted the rest of the evening away.

      Song of the Day:
      Foo Fighters - Virginia Moon
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    • Day 15

      Gorgeous Day

      May 11, 2022 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      What a great stop with Harvest Hosts. Great food great coffee and we wake up to the gorgeous pond view, however, there was some noisy deep frog grunts through the night. Heading off today to North Carolina to catch up with Bec’s bestie from College. They were roomies together at college snd supported each other through the highs and lows. So looking forward to catching up again. 😂Read more

    • Day 23

      There was a War

      May 25, 2007 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      Vandaag een kort ritje gemaakt tot aan Fredericksburg. ‘T was even spannend of we een camping zouden vinden, want het is memorialday-weekend (“happy memorialdayweekend sir”). Maar de tweede camping had gelukkig plek. Wel zeer krap, de camper paste krap tussen de bomen (toch nog weer een boompje geramd, nu met de bovenkant). In Fredericksburg is duidelijk dat alles draait om The Civil War. Er zijn allerlei herdenkingsstenen, battlefields en andere herinneringen aan hun grootste oorlog op eigen grond. Fredericksburg is een aangenaam “engels” stadje met veel rommelwinkeltjes (Antiek.....binnen Amerikaanse normen). Maar het is er aangenaam wandelen met een echt “Europees” stadscentrum en veel leuke pandjes. En......ze hebben een goede kapper. Ik heb m’n kuif even laten bijwerken door een Amerikaanse kapster. Ze wilde graag weten of mijn Father in law still love to dress hair....if we wil get more childeren...oh yeah...they are a gift of god.......oh she says “papa”, ain’t that cute.....bladibladiebla.

      Ondertussen stijgt de temperatuur steeds verder en inmiddels boven de 30 graden....dus very sweaty....
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    • Day 34

      Day 33 Fredricksburg, VA - Annapolis, MD

      June 28, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 88 °F

      Day 33 Fredricksburg, VA - Annapolis, Maryland
      Miles 88
      Times we got lost on Friday afternoon in downtown DC - 2

      We made it! Day after day after day...These are just some of my memories....

      get up every morning as the sun rose
      have the van ready and cleaned out
      rally around the cyclists
      say a small word of prayer
      cheer them on
      stop and refill the bottles
      buy more new ice and more cases of bottled water,
      refill their drinking bottles
      watch God surprise us with "easy to start conversations"
      take a quick picture with my iPhone and send a text message to Kris asking for prayer
      look for a gas station so we could use the rest-room
      follow behind the cyclists so no one would run into them
      pull the van over in the shade so the cyclists could sit in the airconditioned vehicle and enjoy some COOL air
      open up the "junk drawer" and creatively make a posting for each day on the white-board
      answer, "Hey Glenn, where is my... (you fill in the blank)?
      try to survive each day with little sleep
      be encouraged by our friends who showed up along the route to cheer us on - Thanks Pam and Gary in California, Rebeca in Oklahoma, Jack and Val in Oklahoma, Virginia and Evie in Kansas and Jonathan in Kentucky!
      listen to Vela speak on the walkie-talkies and read the lunch and supper restaurant locations and menus - food review
      hear the words "Hold back, Glenn. The drone is up and we're recording/"
      watch the camera folks sit backwards in the white Nissan Pathfinder with the back hatch up driving across the US
      hearing stories how the drone "crashed" and it was rescued and brought back to life
      being 'dead tired'
      getting group text messages announcing the time when luggage had to be at the van and when we were all leaving for the next morning
      getting volunteers to hold the "White board" for my morning photo
      eating breakfast at McDonald's - I think we ate there 10 times
      making a wrong turn
      making a wrong turn and seeing how God would have a divine appointment arranged for us all
      pulling over for lunch in the middle of the Mojave desert for lunch and sweating profusely
      opening up a hand-delivered encouragement note from friends back at Northwest Bible Church
      having a cheering party in Oklahoma City at a B-B-Que place with a van load of folks from Northwest Bible
      watching Neil have "morning" and "evening" video shootings with Jon each day
      using my iPhone to research the "closest" bike shop
      sleeping in til 8:30am on our 2 days offs
      having surprise cyclists join us out of the blue (Randy, Tom and Michael in Kentucky and Virginia)
      watching how God would show us his presence each and every day
      write my blog postings. Post them on Facebook. Update my FindPenguins
      share each meal with Glenn - cause how are we going to survive eating out for a month
      walk around the van and stretch my legs as much as possible when the van would stop to give water and food to the cyclists
      download the app "Find Friends", so we could use it to find the cyclists if we got separated
      have my dad use the program "FindFriends" and he could tell me exactly where we were in such and such state and what the next town would be, etc
      each day "count" different things - like how many truckers would honk, or how many windmills we would pass
      keep a digital account of each and every conversation on my "note" to give to Paul later
      look outside the van across Small Town America and noticing stuff that I would not have noticed while on the interstates traveling at 70 mph
      hoped that I could read while going along 15 miles an hour, but only to realize that was impossible with all of the bumps and turns. Instead, I would enjoy the scenery and help with other details
      be amazed how God has taken care of each and every day and that everything has a purpose - either if we made a wrong turn, started later in the day than hoped for or that there would be people God had put in our path whose lives would be changed
      nicknaming Glenn's van as "ChuckWagon16"
      checking for internet connection so I could download "RidewithGPS" program and I would have a 'turn-by-turn' reading for the riders
      not having to decide on what to wear each day, it was either a blue, green, red or gray #ConversationsCoasttoCoast t-shirt
      saying goodbye to our GPS "Betsy" and purchasing a new Garmin GPS and naming her "Betsy 2.0"
      being grateful that Vela would go to the laundromat and wash our clothes while we would unpack and sometimes go down the street for dinner
      hearing Una's voice and seeing her jumping up and down as we would round the corner to the hotel or landmark. Thank you, Una, for your encouragement!
      hearing the crushing sound of the empty water bottles collapsing as we throw them into the "make-shift" garbage bag
      reminding Glenn to wear his "work-shirt" while loading the van and changing into his #CC2C shirt as we pull out each day
      discovering new dining options in local towns
      Sonic - not again!
      Pronouncing Route 66 as "Root" 66
      McDonald's - not again!
      purchasing and organizing a front rack and tub with individual bins for the cyclists to have and use. We figured this out like day 2 or day 3. We needed something manageable instead of all the rider's food, and gear in the 2nd and 3rd row of the van. That wasn't going to work.
      watching Caroline's steady and graceful motion of riding her bike from California to Maryland
      Bawling like a baby when we drop folks off at Washington National Airport - because we had completed the task and we were totally exhausted
      Playing the CAN YOU REMEMBER game "What town did we meet Ramona in?" or "Where were we on Day 17?" or "What was the name of the restaurant where the men took up an offering for our journey?"
      wearing compression socks because my legs got swollen
      grateful for the opportunity to use our gifts of networking, hospitality, van driving, van loading and unloading, communication and all around love for the folks on #CC2C
      creatively using old Walmart plastic bags and hanging them behind my seat to use as garbage bags
      getting homemade cookies from Una and Sarah when they each arrived
      great send-off at Santa Monica pier with FacebookLive and friends
      taking a cat-nap driving on a straight road through the Mojave Desert watching the monotonous motion of the 3 cyclists (Judy, not Glenn;)
      I stayed in 2 KOA campgrounds for the first time in my life
      Enjoying the iconic Route 66 hotels including a Wigwam
      Hearing Neil say "Stewarts, we could not have done this without you!"
      Having the Roughriders join bike ride and encourage Neil along the way
      hearing Wes say "Hey, Dude!"
      I know there are more items, but I just praise the Lord that we finally reached Day 33. The last day of the ride. Coast to Coast. Conversations Coast to Coast. Go, Team Tomba.

      Neil wanted to leave at 7am. The cyclists would have breakfast and we could load up on our own. The cyclists went across the street to McDonald's only to find that it was closed and rode 1/2 block to a diner. In the meantime, Glenn and I loaded up the van. This time the van wasn't parked directly in front of the hotel, but off to the side on a slight incline. I didn't want to slip, so I was not a big help for Glenn today. But we were ready and raring to go. Normally I take a picture with one or two of the folks, however, they were all at the diner. So, on this last day, Glenn and I took a "selfie".

      We see the cyclists at the light and watch them ride back over to the parking lot. Wes was a little confused as to the course route. He was thinking it was leaving from the hotel, but the downloaded version was from a different intersection. I pointed out the error and mentioned the correct intersection on I 95. Since we were ready to go, lead the way. But we forgot Vela! She got a ride in the camera car and we met up at McDonald's a few miles down the road.

      The routing was on highway 1 into Alexandria and then on into DC crossing the Patomic River. We crossed over historical markers and landmarks. At times, Glenn would drive on ahead and then other times he would "pull back" and let traffic go. There was a section that the riders went through a shady hilly spot that was very refreshing.

      Just after the McDonald's spot, something fell off of Wes's bike. It was Taylor. Wes purchased a yellow "Gumby" type doll at the Amish farm a week or so ago and had attached it to the handlebars. He named the doll Taylor after his daughter who is back in Dallas. So glad we stopped because "Taylor" had fallen off. At the next stop, we handed Taylor to Wes. Wes had the biggest smile e.v.e.r!

      We got separated and then we told Jeff we were parked at a church parking lot, next to the 4th of July Fireworks stand. Jeff said, "That's perfect. We'll be there in a minute". We radioed to the cyclists to pull over. In the parking lot was the mother-in-law of one of the workers at Northwest Bible. She literally lives 2 blocks away. She had been "following" us and knew our path would be just blocked from her house. I think her name was Lori. She even made a post and sign to cheer us on. We also used the shade to cool down. Wes was working with his tire. I think they changed it out. We handed out more water and food to Wes, Neil, and Caroline.

      Pulling into DC we had communication with the riders, then they took a bike path which is impossible to follow. My "Findfriends" was not working, and then we were out of walking-talking range with the riders. Traffic was horrible. We ended up going over the George Washington bridge. Creeping along the bridge, the van next to us honked and asked about #ConversationsCoasttoCoast. Glenn wanted to give them Neil's business card out the window, but that didn't work. They were just cheering us on.

      We finally met up at a restaurant Vela suggested. The Shake Shack, right in the shadows of the baseball stadium. We found out that Wes had a flat tire and found a bicycle repair store nearby and was able to solve his problem. I ordered a hamburger and fries plus strawberry shake and Glenn got the chocolate malt shake.

      It was really hot today. The cold AC in the restaurant was such a blessing. I can't imagine how hot it must have been for Neil, Wes, and Caroline. What a blessing to meet up with the cyclists again. We regrouped and then determined that we would reconnect with them say like 10 miles into Maryland and go from there. We were following Sarah in the Nissan as we drove into Maryland. We radioed to them mentioned we needed to fill up with gas. We pulled over and while there, Glenn purchased some more water and I think ice. Now we are good to the FINISH line.

      We would play "hop-scotch" with the cyclists through Maryland. Finally, we pulled into a strip mall and parked the bikes. I walked down to Jimmy Johns to use the restroom. The cyclists were getting cold water and resting. I had a conversation with a black lady that was from the area and she was waiting for the bus so she could go to her second job. Nice lady.

      Just a few more miles. Vela suggested we have the finish line at Ego Alley. Pier where all the nice boats and yachts go. There would be some of the Tomba's friends there at the finish line. Also, Vela was texting with Caroline's family to let them know of the time and place. We made one last stop at a shopping mall where there was a Best Buy. I'm trying to figure this one out. I think they (whoever they is) got a new Go Pro camera for Neil to have at the finish line. Either that or the old one was repaired. As I think about this, this is how it went a lot of the time. We would stop. Something would get fix and then we would go on. No details. Don't need to know the details. IN this case, Wes radioed up to me and said "Neil would like to turn the camera on the last mile. Please let me know". I radioed back "Roger!" And within the last mile, we did let Neil know.

      As we pulled into the pier area, it started to rain. Just an isolated rain shower. The Camera car made a wrong turn and came behind us. Vela started her FacebookLive commentating.

      Wow. 3,000+ miles, 33 days and hundreds of conversations! Way to go God!

      Neil had a short presentation where he thanked everyone that made it possible. He introduced his friends that live in the area and had come down to the pier to encourage Neil and Vela. He thanked each of the camera crew folks, us, the friends back at Northwest Bible and finally his dear sweet wife, Vela. At that point, Neil hugged and kissed her! I can see how Vela's spontaneous and voiceful personality complements Neil's structure goal and lifestyle.

      For our final evening, we joined Caroline's parents on their new Catamaran boat for dinner. Fish. Salmon. The sun was setting and we had a wonderful evening. Next, drive back to Silver Spring, Maryland for our last night.
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    • Day 149


      May 15, 2023 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 70 °F

      This house served as Union Headquarters and hospital, during the Battle of Fredericksburg. Famous visitors also included George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Clara Barton, and Walt Whitman.Read more

    • Adulting Day

      February 23, 2022 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 46 °F

      Today, the girls are at school, Mercedes is at work, and Jeremiah is at work in his home office, so I'm catching up on e-mail, working on my future routes, and trying to find a dealership that can take the bike for Willie's 85,000-mile service. I can't believe he has that miles on him 🤣!

      So long [for now], and thanks for all the fish! ✌️

      Day 10 mileage: 0 (total 3689.7)
      HD Dealerships: 0 (total 94)
      National Parks: 0 (total 17 in 10 states)
      10 Rides for 2022: 0 (total 0 of 10)
      MCGTTX Stops: 0 (total 0 of 50)
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Stafford County, Stafford, مقاطعة ستافورد, স্টাফোর্ড কাউন্টি, Condado de Stafford, Staffordi maakond, Stafford konderria, شهرستان استفورد، ویرجینیا, Comté de Stafford, Stafford megye, Contea di Stafford, スタフォード郡, Стаффорд, Konteth Stafford, Staffordensis Comitatus, Stafford Kūn, Hrabstwo Stafford, سٹیفورڈ کاؤنٹی, Comitatul Stafford, Округ Стафорд, سٹیفورڈ کاؤنٹی، ورجینیا, Quận Stafford, Condado han Stafford, 斯塔福德縣

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