Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Apples and Roses

My day off from Afton Station turned into a wonderful one.   This morning, Ron M. followed me to the very fancy car detailing place where I left it (and a pile of money) to have three years worth of crud removed from interior and exterior.  Then Ron and I proceeded to the AT&T store, where I relieved myself of another pile of money and bought an iPad!   Yes, I really did it!  With all the trimmings!
Four hours later when we went back to pick up my car, I barely recognized it.  Beautiful job!  And on the way out, I was presented with a half dozen perfectly gorgeous roses!  I don't know why, nor do I know if everyone gets them.  I just know that it was a lovely touch.  Each rose was in it's own little vial of water and fresh as a daisy.... or, a rose!  
With many thanks to Ron for hauling me all over the place today, I'll close now and see if I can figure out how to operate this new contraption called an iPad.  Since I already have an iPhone, the guy in the store said it would be easy to transition to the iPad.  Yeah, right.....


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Aaaahhhh!

That's a heavy sigh, indicating a slightly quieter day today at Afton Station.  Not that quiet, -- but at least we had a few minutes between guests to catch our breaths.  That hasn't happened all week.  Actually, a day like today a few years ago would have been considered crazy busy. Lately, however, if we have five minutes to collect our thoughts between onslaughts of Route 66 travelers, we call it relaxing.

There were 39 visitors today.  Twelve of them came all at once, a group of bikers from the Southern Cruisers, all from Tulsa or the nearby towns of Skiatook, Broken Arrow, and Locust Grove.  They lined up their bikes for some formal photos in front of the Station after visiting our showrooms.  A nice looking display of iron, indeed!

Other visitors came from Waterloo, IA, Birmingham England, San Diego CA, Chicago IL, Gaylord MI, Tahlequah OK, Barron WI, E. Sussex England, Catoosa OK, Germany, Owasso OK, and Bernice OK.
Although we have no photos of him, one interesting guest was a middle-aged man from Germany who was bicycling Route 66, end to end, without a word of English.  That can't be easy!  He asked for a Pepsi (using hand motions), looked around a little, then uttered the only thing he said in English... "thank you" ...as he pedaled off down the road.
Another interesting couple came early in the morning and stayed quite a while because Ron M. and I were full of questions about their lifestyle.  They are motor home "full timers" and haven't had a permanent  home for the last 10 years.  It's always interesting to hear details about the mechanics of being constantly on the road.  How do they get mail?  In what state are they considered citizens for the purpose of voting, etc.?  Do they work while on the road?  All answers were given cheerfully by this affable couple.  Sounds like fun to me!
This nicely restored '68 Plymouth was driven to Afton Station all the way from San Diego by two gentlemen who are driving Route 66 from start to finish.  I'm sure they're getting many appreciative glances at every stop.  Nice car!
This is one of two couples who visited us from England today.  They are from Birmingham and the others were from E. Sussex.

Before the day was over, we also visited with a family of 5 on motorcycles from Owasso, OK and some interesting folks from Waterloo, IA and Gaylord MI. too.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

I Don't Even Know Where To Begin!

It was a crazy day, a continuation of the record-breaking week we've been having at Afton Station.  It's almost hard to believe that each day brings more visitors than ever before.  I hope the same is true for all of Route 66 because, if it is, there's even more certainty that the Mother Road is gaining in popularity by leaps and bounds.

Today, the bulk of our visitors came from three different sources.   An unannounced group of classic car owners rolled in from Claremore, OK just up the road, a Poker Run was using Afton Station as one of its required stops, and a tour bus filled with folks from the United Kingdom, guided by Route 66 friend Jim Conkle, arrived for a visit.   On top of all that, we were having a birthday party  for Betty, Tattoo Man, and Robin, and of course other visitors stopped in as well.   The weather was cool and sunny so the door remained open all day, the air filled with the sounds of roaring Harleys and what seemed like an inordinate number of trains passing through and blowing their whistles.  It was a very noisy day!

I think we had 86 visitors altogether, but in the chaos I may have missed a few.  Besides the three groups I mentioned above, our guests came from Arkansas City KS, Heidelberg Germany, Manford OK, Rush City MN, Galena KS, Kansas City MO, Fribourg Switzerland, Leavenworth KS, Esslinger Germany, Hamburg IA, Seattle WA, Adair OK, Langley OK and Rio de Janeiro Brazil.
Here are the folks from Heidelberg, Germany.
And here is the young couple from Fribourg, Switzerland.


 Some of the cars in the group cruise from Claremore.
This is Jim Conkle, our dear friend from California who leads guided bus tours of Route 66.  This time he was escorting a group of 20 citizens from the British Isles.  It's always so great to see Jim, and the last few times he was here, I wasn't.  I'm glad we finally found each other this time around.
The Poker Run drew 25 people to Afton Station.  It was a fundraiser for the Veteran's Cemetery in Commerce, OK.  Two gentlemen representing the Cemetery Association spent the day with  us.  We were very  happy to help out this very worthy cause.

Meanwhile, we celebrated the birthdays of Tattoo and Betty, who share a birthday next week, and Robin, whose birthday was a couple of weeks ago.   It was a little  hard to do a proper celebration with the crowds coming through all day, but where there's a will, there's a way. And when there are sweets to be consumed, we will always answer the call.  The birthday celebrants were joined by Marly, Sue, Ron M., Marlene, and me.


I feel I've forgotten something, but there's always tomorrow.  We'll be at the Station again tomorrow and hope so have as spectacular a day then as we've had each day this week.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Spectacular September

It is not lost on us that today is the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 2001.   It isn't something that will ever leave the hearts and minds of those who were alive at that terrible time.  Then again, it is testimony to the resilience of the American people that life goes on, good things and bad things happen, we have a new set of problems to work out, and yet we maintain our optimism for
the future.

Meanwhile, at Afton Station, we also move on, and we have had an absolutely wonderful summer which is culminating in a better September than ever before.   We've had day after day of increased numbers of visitors, and those visitors are buying more and more merchandise, asking more and more interesting questions, and clearly are having more fun and interesting experiences on Route 66 than ever before.

Today was no exception.  We had visitors from Belmont NC, Church Hill TN, Stockholm Sweden, Menifee CA, Torino Italy, Temple TX, Austin TX, Raleigh NC, Boston MA, Anniston AL, Chimacum WA, Bristol United Kingdom, Portland OR, and Miami, OK.  What a nice array of folks from all over the map!
This couple from Stockholm, Sweden wasn't on their first trip to America, but were on their first trip to the land between the coasts.  She spoke English with not a hint of accent, something I always find amazing.
Here are some folks from Boston, Massachusetts.  He tried to talk me into thinking they were from elsewhere, but I know a Boston accent when I hear one!  I caught him in his deception and we had a good laugh over that.  And although he's a Boston Red Sox fan, I allowed him to stay and look around anyway.  Ha ha....
This is Kay Stout, a delightful lady from Miami, OK who came to visit with her friend Terry Brewster Thompson from Afton.  Kay is the Director of  PAAS (Peaceful Animal Adoption Shelter), an organization which is in the process of building and opening a new animal shelter in the area with an adjoining gift shop.  She wants to put a Route 66 slant on the shop and came to find out what we thought needed to be done to attract travelers to her facility once it is opened.  I hope we gave her some good tips, and of course we wish her well with such a worthwhile endeavor.  http://paasvinita.com/

Ron M. was with me as usual today, and we were very happy to have Betty stop in, as she has been laid low by pneumonia for several weeks.  She's looking good and is as feisty as usual, I'm pleased to report.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Ride for the Relay

Ron M. and I drove up to Afton Station for a few hours this morning even though it's our day off in order meet Rodger Fox and his "Ride for the Relay", a group that visits every year as it traverses (on motorcycles) Route 66 soliciting funds for various cancer charities.  It's the 8th year that they've come to Afton Station and it's always so much fun to see them.  I'm sure that Sue, whose regular day is Tuesday, could have handled the group herself, but I couldn't resist seeing Rodger and his gang.  This year, there were approximately 60 riders on 40 or so bikes.  When they leave Afton Station, they traditionally head for Tulsa where they have lunch at the Cancer Treatment Center of America.  It's a great group made up of many folks who have done the ride repeatedly over the years.  Here are some photos. . .
That's me with group leader and organizer Rodger Fox.  He's put his heart and soul into this endeavor for more than 10 years.
Here's Rodger's rig... a great trike with the cutest matching trailer ever!
 Although I was only there for a couple of hours, several other folks dropped in.  
 Some cross-country bicyclists from Manchester, England. . .
. . . and this couple from the Netherlands.

On the way to Afton, we were passed by Ron "Tattoo Man" Jones, driving like a bat out of Hell on his Stallion.  We managed to catch this photo after he passed us and continued to pass another car and then a semi.  I do wish he'd slow down!   We'd like to keep him around for a while. He said he was going over 100 mph when he passed us.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Another Late Return Home

Once again, the joy of meeting and greeting some interesting and cordial guests to Afton Station made us a little late leaving for home this afternoon, but it was well worth it.  It was a moderately busy Sunday, with 20 visitors altogether.  They came from Asheville NC, Chelsea OK, Millstadt IL, Oklahoma City OK, Edgewood TX, Adelaide Australia, Broken Arrow OK, Saskatchewan Canada, and Barcelona Spain.
This couple is on their honeymoon from Australia, and enjoying their first time on Route 66 and their first visit to the USA.  They were married in February but chose to take a later honeymoon when circumstances were better for them to have more time to spend on their vacation.
This visitor from Oklahoma City was with a friend, but he "outtalked" his friend, who went to sit in the car while this fellow told us story after story.  At the rate they're going, they'll probably manage about 50 miles a day!  They had been to Branson and he had some fine photos of Model Ts which were there for a meet.
 Grandfather (on right), Father, and Son were traveling together from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada.  They were delightful!   They were celebrating Grandpa's recovery from cancer, and they surprised Grandson with the trip, which also included his very first airplane ride.  The threesome was having a ball!
Here they are again, checking out the DeSoto.  They all had a great interest in vintage cars.

Short and sweet tonight.  I think I've hit the high spots of the day, and now I'm ready to hit the high spots of my mattress.  Yawn!  I'll be back on Tuesday when we have our annual visit from Rodger Fox's Ride for the Relay.  I'll take plenty of photos.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

112 Visitors, One Squirrel, and. . .

. . . one tired blog writer!

On possibly the busiest day ever in the history of Afton Station, we met and greeted 112 visitors (and a squirrel, but more about that later...).  Yours truly doesn't have many words left in her, but she does have a bunch of photos you might enjoy.

The regional Crown Vic Club arrived in the morning -- 54 folks  from OK, KS, MO, AR, and TX.  Their colorful Fords lined the street, making one of the busiest days the sleepy town of Afton has seen for some time.


Crown Vics here, there, and everywhere!   And Crown Vic owners swarming all over our cars and our merchandise.  What a great way to start the day!


Other visitors came from Rolla MO, Shipshewana IN, Vacaville CA, Limerick PA, Lausanne Switzerland, London Ontario, Teruel Spain, Carl Junction MO, Canary Islands Spain, and McAlester, OK.
Folks from Limerick, PA arrived in these two stunning 'rods -- a '38 Chevrolet 2-door sedan and a '35 Ford convertible.   Sharp!
This attractive couple on a full Route 66 trip from the Canary Islands in Spain stopped in for a while.
At the very end of the day, a sleek white tour bus drove in and discharged 29 folks from the Green Bay, WI area.  The Bay Bus Co. LLC really knows what it's doing.  They were actually ahead of schedule, meaning that we weren't terribly late getting home, their tour guide was very accommodating, the bus was modern and attractive, and the tourists themselves friendly and clearly enjoying their Route 66 vacation.

Oh, and about that squirrel....  
Robin's daughter Kim and granddaughter Cheyenne came in to show us their new pet, a tiny baby squirrel named Peanut.  So cute, so soft, so cuddly.  I have some experience with baby squirrels and really love them.  Once they grow up they can be a pain, but the babies are about as cute as they come.  I had fun cuddling this little fellow.

May I go to bed now?  I'm beat!  I had help all day from Ron M., but even so, it was a big day for both of us.  I hope tomorrow is just as packed with excitement as today, and I'll spend the evening gathering strength for it.