Reflections on the First Week - NM&AZ 2011
We have been on the road for 7 days and by now have gotten into the swing of traveling.  Marsha and I have done this before -- the trip that was most like this one we did in 2007 when we traveled 8 weeks in the Deep South -- Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas (and dipped our toe into New Mexico to go to Carlsbad Caverns).  This time, we are focusing on only two states, New Mexico and Arizona.  Of course we have to get there, and so have spent the first week leisurely traveling across the country.  

Along the way we have visited two museums we didn't have time to see on a previous trip to Pennsylvania ( Fonthill and the Mercer Museum ), visited Ephrata, a town that looked cute when we visited the Ephrata Cloister on another trip.  Although we were a little disappointed in the town, we are very enthusiastic about a B&B we stayed in -- the Historic Smithton Inn.  Then we had a lovely visit with our old friends Ann and Don Boyd:  we go back to before children.  On Tuesday, Ann and Marsha went to the Andy Warhol Museum and I joined them at the Sen. John Heinz History Museum, a great view of Pittsburgh through American history.

Leaving Don and Ann and Pittsburgh, we headed to Fishers, Indiana to visit the Conner Prairie Interactive History Park.  As a guide at the Lexington Historical Society, Marsha had viewed a DVD on how to engage visitors to a historical museum which was produced by this museum.  This was a different museum than most history museums in that it is designed to engage the visitor in a hands on view of the life in 1836 of people who lived in this area.  So, there were no priceless artifacts -- rather people (esp. kids visiting from schools) were encouraged to do things -- e.g. lie down on the beds to understand whether or not they were comfortable (surprisingly enough, they were). 

And lastly this week (Sunday through Saturday), we went on to Kansas City to visit the Arabia Steamboat Museum. This was one of those one of a kind museums -- sort of like the Vasa Museum in Stockholm that we visited in the Fall of 2009.  After that, we drove another while until we reached Hays, Kansas -- a place we visited before on our South Dakota trip in the Summer of 2008 to check out the place where an interesting bicycle was made.  

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