Thursday, November 20, 2008

BIG BLESSINGS - A Sentimental Journey Part 2

We left Maui last Sunday intending to visit LA area friends and family, then pack up Gunther and leave. Gunther had been in storage at Rocky and Doreen Liuzzi's storage facility in Temecula for the past 6 months, cozy and safe, but not moving! And now we were wondering if he could even make the journey! So in a flash of inspiration, Joe contacted Lloyd and Renee Mize...dear old friends from our CA church who lived near the storage facility. They were immediately responsive...Lloyd had dreamed about Joe the night before! It was a sign! They offered to do whatever we needed.

Joe asked Lloyd if he could get Gunther out of storage, and as an experienced RV afficionado, test-drive Gunther and give us the verdict on his road-worthiness. Lloyd, who has plenty to do running his own life and business, put us first and graciously agreed to do it all. Unfortunately the Mighty Road Warrior failed the test. Six months in mothballs and he had lost his edge. What to do now?

Lloyd came to the rescue. He found Scott of Quality Automotive in Temecula, the finest auto mechanic in Southern California, and told him our story. Scott learned about Joey and Rachel, and Gunther's legendary travels, and our quest to imitate a small portion of that journey in honor of Joey. Scott accepted the challenge, knowing our short time frame to get it done, and went to work. Parts were ordered and Gunther was up on the rack before we could say "Master Card".

Scott had 24 hours to get Gunther rolling, and he pulled it off in style. He got us our smog check so we could register him, and even ran Gunther thru the carwash before we got there to pick him up. Now Gunther hums, he sings, he's purring like a kitten...he is the happiest thing on 4 wheels. Just like a character out of the "Cars" movie, he seems to have a big smile on his face, and enjoying nothing more than rolling down the highway! Thanks and your awesome crew made it happen!

So we owe a lot to the people who have come beside us to support our quest. The Liuzzi's for their endless generosity and use of their storage facility, Lloyd and Renee, who took Gunther out of storage, found Scott, and enlisted his enthusiastic support, and then fed and pampered us out on their beautiful ranch in Anza, while we waited. And Scott, who could have told Lloyd he was too busy to deal with a 21 year old VW van, instead threw all of his skill and his whole heart into the effort and gave us a fine-tuned machine.

Because of their generous efforts, I am writing this from the Grand Canyon where we spent a beautiful day and a half reliving a segment of Joey's journey. We got up for the sunrise this morning and spread some of Joey's ashes into the deep and beautiful canyon. We miss you son and hope you are enjoying our Sentimental Journey, and all of our friends who have made it possible.

Karen and Joe


Anonymous said...



lorensaved77 said...

Joe and Karen
What an amazing Idea, Have Fun fulfilling this Journey you envisioned! I hope this brings you Healing and Peace as your experiencing the areas Joey visited!
Love you Guy's!

Elis said...

I can't wait to be following this blog, I hear all your adventures!
After sleeping in that cabin in Haleakala, the Gunther double decker sounds great!
have fun, love Elis

Anonymous said...

Love you guys! Enjoy the journey!

Debbie said...

Reading through the details of how this new journey has begun, this is the scripture that popped in my mind...

"Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for His compassion's never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him."

Lamentations 3:22-24

Anonymous said...

Aloha - Dear Joe & Karen,

Gunther & you "On the Road - Again." That is very cool !! Safe journey . . .and "if" you need or want a place to sleep over-night.

Or just to stop for lunch and some southern hospitality @ the Cox - Lovers Lane B&B. Just call us or just come by and "sit a s'pell". We would love to see ya's.

We are just 75 miles north of Memphis (I 40 to HWY 51). It's easy to find. Plus, we will have several blankets for Gunther.

God's Best & Protection & Blessings,

Kevin & Shirley
1400 Lovers Lane
Dyersbug, TN 38024

JoAnne said...

Yay!!!! Go, Gunther, Go! Ride like the wind! I am so happy to see your smiling faces side-by-side in Gunther. You guys look GOOD! Peaceful and content. Hope that is true. Can't wait to see you in good ol' VB.

Anonymous said...

This is soo exciting!!! :) It's awesome what you're doing this and that Gunther was able to get his makeover! and what a beautiful couple you are.
I love you guys!

Anonymous said...

Looking Good! Thanks for sharing the journey. Love you guys. Ben

Anonymous said...

I have never left a comment but have followed your blog and had the pleasure to listen to you while we were at Hope Chapel before you left on the journey. We lost our daughter 5 months ago so your blog and words have been of great great comfort. We hope someday to be where you are with excepting this fully. God has been good and gracious and you both certainly have shown us that. We believe you were meant to come into our lives through this journey of yours. Safe travels. Colorado Nick and Sharon
Probably not coming through Co.,foothills of Denver, but if you do our home is always welcome to everyone.