Speed dial numbers that you should have on your smart phone while travelling. It wouldn’t hurt to have them there all the time.
1. ICE (in case of emergency numbers) ICE-1 Spouse; ICE-2 Child; etc.
2. Airline rebooking/travel agent (If the flight is cancelled, you don’t want to stand in line.)
3. Your children
4. Personal physician
5. Travel insurance provider
8. Person caring for you pet
10. Tour guide/director
11. American Embassy
Maybe you don’t need these on speed dial, but at least you should have the numbers. Since you may have to rebook a cancelled flight, lose your medicine, forget to do something at home, etc. Have one of your grand-kids program your smart phone and then tape it to the back of your phone. The kid can also show you how to access the speed dial.
You are too old to try to figure out what to do and where to get numbers in a crowded airport; when you have had your possessions stolen, or when you have just discovered that you forgot to bring some pill that you “must have,” probably the Viagra.
You might even want to add a few more numbers, but don’t add too many; you will only get confused.
Make sure that your phone works in the country you are going to. Most of the services provide for access for a few weeks wherever you are. Call them and ask.
In Albuquerque, NM I visited the 2926 Restoration Project. The New Mexico Steam locomotive and Railroad Historical Society is restoring a steam engine that hit the tracks on May 17, 1944. It travelled 1,090,539 miles. It is being completely restored by volunteers and will be put back into service for excursions in 2015.
You can visit the restoration project on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 1833 8th NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico. One of the members will give you a tour and explain what the restoration.
It is close to Old Town and the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.
Try Cafe Azul for the best huevos rancheros with Hatch green chile – get the papitas, not the hash browns. BUT: the hot Hatch green chile may take you way out of your comfort zone. Remember you can always have it on the side.
It is worth a visit; especially on May 8, 2014, National Railroad Day. In September there is always the model railroad exhibit at the state Fair. If you like New Mexico trains, ride the Amtrak, the Railrunner, and the Cumbres and Toltec narrow gage.
You can see a video showing the history and restoration of 2926 on You Tube.
I am still driving; however, I am more and more uncomfortable driving on freeways, especially through unfamiliar cities. And, at my age, the journey is more important than the destination; I am aware of the ultimate destination, and am not quite ready to arrive. I am curious and have exhausted my interest in freeways. I don’t need 70 miles an hour, irritable drivers and large trucks.
I drive frequently to Tucson; grandchildren, you know. I am a member of AAA. Last Saturday I asked for a “TripTik” from Albuquerque to Tucson without driving on freeways. AAA and their skilled staff provided a “TripTik” route with only 14 miles of I-25 or I-10. It tracks the Mexican-US border and takes me to new places. My journey will take 10.3 hours instead of 7.5 and will be 126.9 miles longer. It may require an overnight stay; however, AAA provides a list of motels and restaurants. I also got an electronic version of the “TripTik” which is on my i-Phone.
I can afford the extra time. I can use the stimulation. I need a topic of conversation other than aging.
It’s the journey, not the ultimate goal, even though, I am statistically 20 years away from my “ultimate goal.” I will let you know how the trip turns out.
Another simple way to plan your trip is to go to Google Maps, click on “show options,” check “avoid highways,” and print out a map that avoids freeways.
Are you over 50, retired and bored? AARP has a suggestion: Mars
Today, they suggested Mars. It appears the ideal couple for this trip is over 50 and has been married long enough to get the kinks out. And since the round trip is only 501 days, if done in 2017, it is less time than you would spend with the Peace Corps. There are probably a few risks, but the Geezer, at 73, is already facing a few risks. Old age is the ideal time for new risks, a lot like your late teens and early 20’s.
There are a lot of plusses. Once you went through Mars “training” you would be in great shape. Your grandkids would really think you were “cool.” All social security could be banked/invested. It beats assisted living. You would have a lifetime of stories and could not only hit all the talk shows, but could “eat” off of your experience for the rest of your life. Any dementia, could be explained by the trip. You might run into a few aliens. And, of course, after the initial phases, it could solve the problem of what to do with old people; send them to Mars.
I can’t see a downside; and, at 73, that’s saying a lot. I expect a call from the Mar’s Mission at any moment.
Sparky’s is the place to stop in Hatch, NM. It is just off I-25, 185 miles South of Albuquerque, NM and 38 miles North of Las Cruces, NM. The population is 1673; with 12.3% over 65. Thirty Thousand people show up on Labor Day for the Hatch Chile Festival. Hatch green chile is known throughout the Southwest and can be found in any New Mexico grocery store.
Sparky’s is a great stop if you are going from Albuquerque to Tucson and taking the Hatch-Deming by-pass to I-10. The by-pass passes huge dairy farms, a solar farm and a wind farm, not to mention cattle ranches and fields of green chile, and of course the omnipresent immigrant check-point.
Sparky’s has collected every large fast food statute that you can imagine and has placed them along the highway and around Sparky’s.
You can order the green-chile cheese burger and have it cut in half if you are old; or, even if you are not. The geezer is a big advocate of shared plates. You order/pay at the counter and find your own seat. It may be outside or next door where there is a stage, sound equipment and the largest collection of cookie jars that I have ever seen. If you are over 70, it is nostalgaville. Things you haven’t seen since the 40’s.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, they have bands you never heard if you are over 70, playing country and the blues. It is closed on Mon, Tue and Wed. so plan your trip carefully.
You might think that you would be out of your comfort zone at Sparky’s; but take it from the Geezer, you will feel right at home. The Geezer is an advocate of leaving your comfort zone, as long as it doesn’t hurt. Beats the usual turnpike fare.
Transporting old people is a pain. They complain, are difficult to work with, and it is time-consuming. Think of a cross-country car trip with The Geezer. Not to mention the expense and the time missed from work.
The Geezer has developed “GeezerPack.” If you have a loved-one over the age of 70, packed (perhaps “boxed” is more accurate) and ready to go by 5:00 PM, live delivery anywhere in the continental United States is guaranteed by 10:00 AM the next day. Included is a packing box with a comfortable chair, portable light with extra batteries, boxed lunch, water bottle, tranquilizer, portable tape-player with the hits of the 50’s, oxygen, blanket, diaper approved by NASA and identity card. Couples packs are available. International shipment is being planned. An emergency walker is also included. Each GeezerPack is also waterproof as there have been delays due to inclement weather.
The pack can be used at the destination as a temporary home. It fits through most doorways and stairways. It is clearly marked “THIS SIDE UP.”
We have shipped over 1000 seniors without a complaint.
Each GeeserPack is barcoded and you can track your loved one on your home computer or smart phone. Each GeezerPack is delivered to your address by two strong men and a truck. For a slight additional fee they will help rearrange your furniture. The box and chair are yours to keep.
Please carefully wrap your senior as sometimes the GeezerPack gets dropped or falls.
Frequent shipper cards available. Every 10th shipment is free. Get your card punched by the driver.
DON’T DELAY, SHIP YOUR SENIOR TODAY!