Update 5

Date: March 13, 1996, 11:37 PM
To: Friends
From: Robert McNally
Subject: Update 5: Robert & Rebecca

Dear Friends,

When we left you last, we were headed north from the Florida Keys towards Orlando. We had a great time at Disney World. We went to the Disney/MGM Studios, the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT Center, and we camped at the Fort Wilderness campground located in Disney World itself. Sure enough, we found no bugs there; even the ones wearing mouse ears couldn't get in. Of all the campgrounds we stayed in on our journey, it was certainly the most comfortable. (Rebecca: And for what we paid it should have been!) It turns out we showed up there at what is probably the best time of year to go, crowd-wise (early Februrary), and found short or non-existent waiting times. If you go during high season, you could take at least five or six days to see as much as we saw in three.

Our Disney World Attraction Picks:

Having reached this climax of American consumerism, we decided to start heading back west, which turned out to be a relatively quick trip. We did stop for a couple of days to visit friends in Austin, TX. We also made stops at Guadelupe Mountains National Park (TX), Carlsbad Caverns National Park (NM) (Rebecca was struck by the breathtaking contrast of the typical desert above ground and the awesome caverns beneath; you would never know that something so different could be hiding below the surface), White Sands National Park (NM), Casa Grande National Monument (AZ) and Joshua Tree National Park (CA). We agree that AZ and NM deserve a more leisurely exploration at some future time.

By the time we returned to California, we realized that our emotional attachment to our home state had diminished. Other places where we thought we could never live now seemed hospitable. The dry desert air contrasted sharply with Florida's humidity, which we had found to our surprise we liked (at least during the winter!) (Rebecca: Not to mention that California's most tangible announcement of arrival was gas prices 55 cents higher per gallon than in Arizona.)

Overall, our trip totaled:

We've decided to take a break from the trip for a few years, and have settled for the moment in the quiet high desert community of Ridgecrest, CA. About a three-hour drive north of Los Angeles, Ridgecrest's main claim to fame for decades has been the Naval Air Weapons Station known as China Lake. Ridgecrest is home to about 30,000 people, and believe it or not has the highest per capita percentage of Ph.D's, home computers and Internet users in the entire country. Robert is working on starting a new computer games business there, and Rebecca is trying out several craft ideas.

We didn't do and see everything we possibly could have wanted on our trip. We figure that leaves some things for us to do the next time.

You can still expect periodic updates from us every few months as life progresses, and we both hope we'll hear of your life and times, and want you to come and visit us anytime. Just drop in without notice. We did.

Your friends,

Robert & Rebecca

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