Life of Tye, 2017 Edition (California or bust)

Greetings Campers! Tye here again. After a fine summer in Rochester, we are off again on another exciting adventure, attempting a lap of the country in an antique Volvo station wagon. Some of you who are as old as my mommy and daddy may remember/have travelled in a big station wagon, one with a 'way back.' Well, this is not quite as big as those land yachts of old, but it does have the heft and aerodynamics of an aircraft carrier, probably the MPG as well. Follow along with us...

Rochester, NY
Dec. 16, 2016
Eagerly anticipating the drive tomorrow, or some chicken...or bacon.
Novi, MI
Dec. 17, 2016
A blustery day for a quick tour of the rust belt. Left home in snow with rain by Ohio which started to freeze by the MI state line. The sweet old Volvo took it all in stride, probably thinking it was back in its homeland, early fall perhaps. By Detroit she was thinking: this has got to be just a rest stop, we have to be going to Chicago, or Iowa.
Detroit, MI
Dec. 18, 2016
Everyone had brunch and then I stayed with grandpa to help him watch football while my people went to visit Scott and Michelle and their angry cat, whose entire day was disarranged by their presence. Miraculously no one was injured as she mostly hid under her festive Christmas tree while a delicious dinner was prepared and served.
Novi, MI
Dec. 20, 2016
Still at the Metro-Detroit Geezerplex. If you weren't already addled by a touch of the old 'heimers, this Christmas-themed confusion tunnel will probably get you there, or back in time, or simply back from dinner.
Cincinnati, OH
Dec. 21, 2016
Off southward, we attempted to visit the Creationist Museum, for some much needed Bible Learnin. We had practiced keeping straight faces all morning. Upon arrival we were informed by the (heavily armed) guards that Tye could not enter, while other folks with small children sailed right in. Fine to eff up the kids but not a little dog, I guess.
Nashville, TN
Dec. 22, 2016
Arrived at Cousin Barry's house. He and Elena are in Russia for Christmas so we have their house to ourselves. The plan is to hunker down here over the holidays and then motor down to Florida just after the new year. Should be some good hiking around here somewhere. Meanwhile, here's a bad Elvis statue
Nashville, TN
Dec. 23, 2016
Visited the Lane Motor Museum. It has a massive collection of unique European and Japanese cars. Daddy wanted us to live there forever but after a short but intense temper tantrum he was convinced to settle for a tour of it instead. This is him next to a German Auto Union car from the fifties. This company was one of the forerunners today's Audi.
Nashville, TN
Dec. 25, 2016
Christmas Day finds us downtown, with a couple of tourists and all of the homeless panhandlers, some with musical instruments. A nice man helped us park our car. He only charged us $10, and then he ran away. We walked up and down the Main Street. Then we got back in the car and left. This is a mural with some people depicted on it.
Nashville, TN
Dec. 26, 2016
Eschewing the Nashville music scene, we went hiking through Beaman Park, just one of the many hiking opportunities around here. A nice hike to begin our season.
Nashville, TN
Dec. 27, 2016
We picked a cold day to begin our foray down the Natchez Trace Parkway. Loyal followers may remember last year when we were at the southern end of this national treasure. It turns out that cousin Barry's home is just minutes away from the northern terminus. We'll be spending the next few days touring around and hiking.
Leiper's Fork, TN
Dec. 28, 2016
A little hiking and then lunch in the funky little town of Leiper's Fork, an artists enclave just off the parkway. Unfortunately, business and professional women had preceded us and claimed it for themselves. Mommy used to be one of these but is only a private citizen now.
Nashville, TN
Dec. 29, 2016
Hiking gone wrong at Radnor Lake Nature Preserve. East parking lot was a Zion NP like crowd, couldn't even find the west entrance so back to the east where we got lucky and wedged the brick into a space. All this only to discover a strict no dog policy on the trails. We were only allowed on an abandoned road. Saw a Harris Hawk though.
Nashville, TN
Dec. 30, 2016
A chilly day but a great hike along the Natchez Trace. We lost the trail a few times and then had to make up our own way back. But we did see the war of 1812 memorial commemorating Jackson's march back from the battle of New Orleans.
Nashville, TN
Dec. 31, 2016
Mommy and daddy went out for Sushi and Ice Cream while I stayed home with a nice bone. Then we all sat around discussing what a great year it has been. Not so much for the world, but for us personally. When you have achieved full self-centeredness like us, that's all that matters.
Cape San Blas, FL
Jan. 1, 2017
After a drive through hellacious weather conditions, which the sturdy old Volvo handled with aplomb (thanks Swedish auto engineers!) we arrived at Dave's house, our rental for the next two months. It looks to have everything we need to have a fine vacation...from vacationing. It even has a nice cozy carport for the Volvo.
Cape San Blas, FL
Jan. 2, 2017
First full day in Florida at the (close to the) beach house. I found a great place to while away the quiet afternoon. Now, if the houseboy would just bring out my mint julep everything would be swell.
Cape San blas, FL
Jan. 11, 2017
There was a bonfire on the beach tonight. I tried to run with the big dogs, but was unsuccessful. They were chasing a ball and at one point I became the ball. I tried to go home but mommy said we had to socialize so in the bag I went. Later mommy wanted to cook a pig but the fire wasn't large enough and we didn't have a pig so maybe next time.
Cape San blas, FL
Jan. 12, 2017
After last night's bonfire debacle, I had no interest in the beach today. Mommy and daddy did a 7 mile walk while I stayed home. After that we had a barbecue with margaritas (real ones, not with a mix). I got a nice big bone and then a hug from daddy. All in all, a day well lived.
Cape San Blas, FL
Jan. 13, 2017
Daddy says that when you're happy it is easy to also become fat and dumb. So to prevent this we engage in daily core workouts and long walks on the beach, where current events like the zombie apocalypse are discussed. Judging by the looks of the beach the apocalypse has already happened. Fake news, you say? Well, today's picture is worth 1000 words
Apalachicola, FL
Jan. 14, 2017
On our way to the annual oyster cook off in Apalachicola, we passed this charming town park. A lot of it was broken and under water but it did have a very well maintained rules sign.
Apalachicola, FL
Jan. 15, 2017
We can only imagine the Craigslist ad for this boat: for sale, excellent condition, full galley, sleeps 5 comfortably, needs cosmetic touches to be perfect. Buy it today and be cruising tomorrow!
Apalachicola, FL
Jan. 16, 2017
Since I have hair and not fur, we went shopping for a sun shirt, so that I wouldn't get sunburned on our long beach walks. As if there weren't enough things trying to kill me on this trip already. We found a nice polo shirt in a local shop. Now I be stylin' for sure.
Port St. Joe, FL
Jan. 17, 2017
They have the best oysters in the world here, and once you eat them, no others will do. However, when you get a bad one, it comes very close to killing you - which is what is happening now. Nothing for us but to stay hydrated and orbit the potty until and if this passes. See you on the other side.
Apalachicola, FL
Jan. 23, 2017
Back from the brink of oyster induced intestinal death, and several pounds lighter (mommy always says that she is just one stomach flu away from ideal weight), we are back to enjoying live music at our favorite local haunt, the Bowery Station. The drummer was attempting to destroy his drum set so I suffered a bout of noise anxiety, but I survived.
Cape San Blas, FL
Feb. 3, 2017
We're getting in pretty good shape from our workouts and long beach walks. It is really amazing how deserted this place is.
Cape San Blas, FL
Feb. 4, 2017
Difficult to see in this photo are a pair of bald eagles, who took turns flying over our heads as we walked along the beach near their nesting site. Magnificent birds, and pretty scary when you have a little dog (he wasn't along on this particular walk, fortunately). We also saw some dolphins fishing very close to shore.
Apalachicola, FL
Feb. 5, 2017
As if there isn't already enough wackiness in this town, they have an annual Spam cook off, complete with bribing of the judges. Our friend Barbie won, and so she gets to wear the spam sportcoat (inspired by golf's masters tournament) for the coming year, whenever she is in the Bowery Station Bar, and she wants to.
Apalachicola, FL
Feb. 14, 2017
This is what happens when you complain about the sun being in your eyes
Cape San Blas, FL
Feb. 15, 2017
Tom and Karen are visiting as part of their winter swing through Florida. What better time for a group selfie.
Cape San Blas, FL
Feb. 18, 2017
Always time for a little love between a man and his dog.
Cape San Blas, FL
Feb. 21, 2017
Sometimes it gets a little cold. But it's still the beach and that's better than winter in the north any time.
Cape San Blas, FL
Feb. 25, 2017
Our time in the panhandle almost at an end. Time for a last trip to the Bowery Station for some live music and a beer. It's been a relaxing and fun interlude and we even met some new friends.
Boca Raton, FL
March 8, 2017
Mommy and daddy have left me here to take care of grandma while they go galavanting off to Europe. We'll both be watching the door until they come back.
Paris, France
March 9, 2017
Overnight flight from hell to Paris. When you're in Paris who cares where you arrived from. Settled at Anastasia's apartment in the Latin quarter and then a little walking around. Found Notre Dame and the Pantheon before getting a bunch of wine and cheese and bread for a cozy French dinner.
St. Albans, Uk
March 10, 2017
Took the train through the Chunnel and on to St. Albans for a weekend visit with Anika and Joaquin in this lovely little so English town. A great Mediterranean dinner and much wine drinking and off to bed for jet lag repair and hangover anticipation.
St. Albans, UK
March 11, 2017
A fine day in St. Albans. It's market day so we poked around a little among the stalls and shops in the high street. A great mid day meal at a local eatery and then back to relax. This is a great little town with a lot of Roman and old English history as well as a superb level of "Englishness".
St. Albans, UK
March 12, 2017
We decided to cook a nice Sunday dinner, and I was assigned potato peeling duty. Disaster struck when I came under the curse of Anika's kitchen and stabbed myself with the peeler. My resulting yelp gave Joaquin a PTSD like flashback but he recovered before the girls returned from their shopping trip. It all came out all right and dinner was great.
Paris, FR
March 13, 2017
Greetings everyone, little Tye here. Just wanted to remind you that I was abandoned at grandmas and have been faithfully watching the door ever since. Someday they will return so that I can ignore them and be all in a huff.
Paris, FR
March 14, 2017
A full day back in Paris. After meeting Adeline for coffee we walked down the left bank to the Eiffel Tower and then over to the Arch de Triumph and then up the Champs d'Eleses to the Louvre and finally back to our apartment. Eleven miles in all. Just scoping it all out for a more detailed onslaught later on.
Blois, FR
March 15, 2017
Took the train to Tours and are spending a couple days touring the Loire Valley by car. Beautiful 16th century chateaus, learning the French driving rules(hopefully not via Braille) and trying not to hit anything on the narrow streets while listening to the pleasant French GPS lady tell us where to take the next gauche. Nice B&B to sleep it all off
Cheverny, FR
March 16, 2017
After morning 'carbageddon' at the B&B, we mounted our trusty little Citroen for more hair raising touring through bucolic countryside and impossibly narrow village streets. Visited the magnificently asymmetric Chambord castle-sometime home of kings and loyalists, then we went to Chateau Cheverny, where the same family has lived for 600 years.
Amboise, FR
March 17, 2017
After more carbs at our charming B&B, we said goodbye to the proprietor, Mme. Galand, and set out for more touring. We took in the castles at Blois and Amboise, had lunch at a brasserie in Amboise and then back to Tours for car return and the train back to Paris. The only hiccup was our failure to refuel the Citroen at an unmanned gas station.
Paris, FR
March 18, 2017
Nazneen is in Paris! She is staying at Anastasia's and we are in the worst airbnb ever. We all went to a spectacular brunch at a fancy hotel and then strolled the five miles back passing many famous tourist meccas to our Latin quarter digs and had some wine in a busy cafe where Adeline and her hound Bobby met us. All agreed it was a day well lived
Paris, FR
March 19, 2017
Sunday market day. Amazing street market where we met Anastasia's boyfriend Charles for shopping. After that we went to his cool apartment and all worked on preparing a wonderful late lunch. Followed by wine and friendship, well into the evening. Walked home and had a nightcap in a little bar with Adeline and Nazneen. Another day well lived.
Paris, FR
March 20, 2017
Another nice walk along the Seine to the Orangerie Museum, where Monet's water lillies collection is housed, along with a number of other contemporaries like Renoir and Cezanne. A small but worthwhile place. Later we moved to our new Abnb which is beautiful. Quite a change from our last one. Dinner in a small shawarma place in mouftard area.
Paris, FR
March 21, 2017
A long walk through some new neighborhoods to a great little restaurant. We were craving steak frites and after exhaustive research, Nazneen found what is purported to be the best steak place on earth. We went there to verify that. Very small place with Michelin stickers all over the door. We got one of the six tables and ordered steak for three.
Paris, FR
March 22, 2017
Setting out after breakfast for Museum duty, we settled on the Louvre. After the line at the glass pyramid we were in. We smartly went straight for the top floor and the impressionists-Dutch folks and what-not. Surprisingly people-free up there, we found them all later on down at the Mona. She looked out at everyone same as always. Pizza for dinner
Paris, FR
March 23, 2017
Sometimes we like to think we speak French, but it probably comes out as: "I would like you to park your car on my cat yesterday" (restaurants) or "I desire a ticket to the moon on Santas sleigh at 4am" (train stations). A rather down day for us, after breakfast we walked to a Greek restaurant for more food, came back for nap and then had wine. Bon
Paris, FR
March 24, 2017
11miles of walking and 3 typical foods today. Went to see the dresses of a Spanish designer's black period at a sculpture museum, then raced to Indian food with Naz and Anastasia, followed by scary shopping with wealthy asians, street crepes, then nap (of course) then out for snack of onion soup and escargots with wine. Even helped Spanish tourists
Paris, FR
March 25, 2017
Went to Science City in the near burbs to stroll and see the new philharmonic digs, which looked like a real building was picked up and dropped back down. Then we went to more traditional French stuff- the old church at Montmartre-it was a sea of peeps so we just stopped for a photo and beat feet. After nap we all gathered at Adeline's for aperitif
Paris, FR
March 26, 2017
Another day of epic exploring. After a petit-dejuner in the Mouftard and a second breakfast at Adeline's, we set out for some shopping. Forgetting that it is Sunday, this was mostly window shopping. We found a scale model of the Statue of Liberty in the Luxembourg gardens, but there was no scale model of Ellis island. Evening champagne and pastries
Paris, FR
March 27, 2017
Locked up there behind us in a high place along the gauche bank of the seine, across from point neuf where Notre Dame lies is our lock. It has Susan and Tim and 12/09/14 and Always written on it with a French sharpie. The two keys have our initials on them. After this picture we threw our keys into the river. We are really stuck with each other now
Paris, FR
March 28, 2017
Nice train ride out to Versailles, too crowded. Then our last night in Paris. Tapas at Adeline's friend Patrick's little place just off Mouftard. We left ourselves in his capable hands and ate and drank like French royalty. An amazing night of food, drink and friendship and a fine send off. Everything was impeccable, Anastasia, just impeccable.
Boca Raton, FL
March 29, 2017
Paris, Coffee, Uber, Airplane, Uber, Boca Raton, Angry Dog, French Uber guy speaks better English than Miami Uber guy, go figure. So, according to the Dick Tracy Official Watch(tm) we walked 136.6 miles on this trip. That's an average of 6.5 miles per day for those folks playing along at home. Seeing the world by walking is the best way to go.
Del Ray Beach, FL
March 30, 2017
Back in action. We all went to Del Ray Beach where I was admired by many shopgirls and even a waitress. We are here to scope out the hotel where mommy and daddy want to get married next winter. We found out that we needed an appointment with Hillary the Event Planner, but she didn't call us back. Perhaps she is still mad about losing the election.
Boca Raton, FL
March 31, 2017
An admin day for us. Laundry, paying bills and resetting the luggage for the next leg of our trip. We even spoke to the elusive Hillary The Event Planner. It turns out that she was not even involved in the election - there must be two of them. Anyway it turns out that the hotel in Del Ray Beach is not for us, so back to the drawing board on that.
Boca Raton, FL
April 1, 2017
If you want to experience first hand how completely broken our society is, drive an old car with poor acceleration. Tomorrow we leave this nest of transplants from NY & NJ, who global warming can't wash away soon enough, this flashy rat hole, this weekend White House, this humid swampy peninsula, this Florida. Here's a participation trophy for you.
Tallahassee, FL
April 2, 2017
The mighty Volvo yawned and ate all our stuff, and then whisked us away from South FL. I should mention that my rant yesterday pertained to south and not north FL, where we now safely are. Done with north-south travel for the moment, we are now heading due west on I-10, one of the mighty interstates that sucked the marrow out of the blue roads.
Columbus, TX
April 3, 2017
This is a picture of Florida giving us a middle finger wave goodbye. Driving through this crap was more like yachting through this crap, but we managed to survive and slingshot ourselves all the way to east Texas. An epic 800 mile day. After last night's unlikely but amazing Colombian food, we had great burritos tonight in the middle of nowhere.
Van Horn, TX
April 4, 2017
Drove all day at 80mph and still failed to escape from Texas. The trusty Volvo ate up the miles like a champ. Every so often we had to stop for gas and clean the bugs off the windshield. We did happen across the solution to the federal budget deficit. Someone should inform The Donald that munitions are cheap to be had out here in the hinterlands.
Willcox, AZ
April 5, 2017
So we were standing in the Marty Robbins museum and we heard that he wasn't in fact born here but that Rex Allen (whose own museum is next door) was instrumental in bringing his museum here. Just who are these men, you ask? Well, come to Willcox (or be a fan of old cowboy movies) to find out. The only other reasons for AZ towns are trains or mines.
Chiricahua NM, AZ
April 6, 2017
B Movie cowboys notwithstanding, Willcox is a weird town. From the worst barbecue ever to a popup restaurant in the same place for twenty years to a winery tasting room staffed by an asshole, we focused on the real reason for being here: the amazing balanced rocks and hoodoos of Chiricahua. We were here last year but some of the trails were closed.
Chiricahua National Monument, AZ
April 7, 2017
After a 7000 calorie breakfast cooked for us by somebody named 'Grandma' we waddled off for more hiking. Today's installment was a 5 mile trek over into another canyon to a natural bridge formed by volcanoes and water and other elements of Force Majure. It was a very hot day and so we rationed the water. After nap we had scary Friday night dinner.
Tucson, AZ
April 8, 2017
Daddy wanted to open our own museum® between the Rex Allen Museum® and the Marty Robbins Museum® but we drove to Tucson instead in order to visit Sue and Phil and their dog Cody (he's a Mi-ki like me). Tucson appears to be all suburbs and no town, quite an accomplishment but probably inevitable in modern 'Murica. Later we saw an actual forest fire.
Tucson, AZ
April 9, 2017
After an excellent breakfast cooked by Phil (The Grandma person in Willcox is probably wondering where we are today), daddy and I took a short sea voyage in the pool. Daddy needed to even out his tan, which got effed up on yesterday's epic canyon hike. I'm not sure if I have a tan or not,
Tucson, AZ
April 10, 2017
A big day here in the sunny desert. My friend Cody and I went to have a spa day at the groomer while the people went off to see if there was an actual town. It turns out that there is one, including the Congress Hotel where Dillinger was once captured (he got away later, but in Indiana not here). They had way better Mexican food than in Willcox.
Tuscon, AZ
April 11, 2017
Our final day in Tuscon was pretty relaxing, helping Phil and Sue get ready for their trip back east in a couple of days. Then an early trip downtown for a nice farewell dinner. The restaurant even had a separate menu just for dogs. Not being a real dog, I shared something with Cody. It sure seemed like it was the same food our people were eating.
29 Palms, CA
April 12, 2017
Back on the road today. After hugs and a hearty via con dios, we once again headed west and as usual we had no firm destination in mind. Mommy researched while daddy beared down on the accelerator. As it happened we ended up in 29 Palms, poised for a foray into Joshua Tree National Park tomorrow. I don't know who Joshua is, but he has a tree, so...
Joshua Tree National Park, CA
April 13, 2017
It's not as hot here as the normal southwest, so we decided to get a late start hiking. Skipping the Disneyworld level of crowds at the main park, we opted for a road less traveled. It was dirt and took us to a little used part of the park and hiking thru groves of Joshua trees, flower and cactus blooms and spectacular mountain and valley views.
Los Angeles, CA
April 14, 2017
Look ahead as we pass, try and focus on it I won't be fooled by a cheap cinematic trick It must have been just a cardboard cut out of a man Top-forty cast off from a record stand Walkin' in L.A. Walkin' in L.A., nobody walks in L.A. Anyway, we drove to LA today, apparently with everyone else. We'll be visiting Mike and Lizzie for a few days
Gallup, NM
April 19, 2017
We bade a fond farewell to Mike and Lizzie and then made our escape from the sprawl of LA. The driving song: We drove and drove and drove some more, drove some more, drove some more. We drove and drove and drove some more, and then we drove some more.
Tulsa, OK
April 20, 2017
Still thrashing our way across the country, we put New Mexico and Texas behind us and most of Oklahoma as well. It was interesting to see the hope represented by the extensive wind farms in Texas dashed by the played out fracking wells that dot the otherwise pretty rolling prairie here. Folks trading quick cash for an early painful cancer death.
Bloomington, IL
April 21, 2017
Drove in the rain all day today. Thank god for those noble knights of the road, the truckers, who make bad conditions worse as they ferry crap flipped on eBay and junk from Amazon and the dollar stores back and forth across the country. Ended up within an easy drive of Chicago but not close enough to hear the gunfire, it is the weekend after all.
Chicago, IL
April 22, 2017
Arrived in Chicago to visit the bros and their families for the weekend. Went to our traditional yearly youth soccer game where Phoebe scored two goals, one on a penalty kick. The participation trophy was bittersweet however, since they lost the game due to the three goals scored on her during her turn in goal. Oh well, tomorrow's another day.