Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday, January 29m, 2011 - Pensacola

Lovely day today, around 70 degrees.  Walked this morning, normal stuff like grocery shopping, etc. today - just doing it in sunny warm weather.  Made Dan stop puttering this evening and take a long walk with me, down the beach (hard slugging in the soft sand) and back along the hiking trail.  We're both chillin' and checking our email, etc. on our respective computers!  Dinner will be later when we're both hungry.  Took some pictures of the beach crew yesterday - they're here every day sifting through the sand for tar balls that wash up on the beach.  I didn't even notice them until I talked to those guys....Missing my grandchildren, but otherwise having a nice and enjoyable time.  Dan is a continual joy.  I am one blessed woman!

my friendly sandpipers on a sand bar...

these buys are out here everyday, apparently, scooping up tar balls...

another shot of the Pensacola lighthouse

this is what the tar balls look like on the beach.

these are what the guys are scooping up

when I see this, I think nothing of it....

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday in Pensacola - January 26

High winds last night, but we are snug in the camper.  This morning, lovely sunshine and a cool brisk wind blowing - in the 50's, though, so a sweatshirt was plenty.  My morning walk takes me through a path, for about a mile and a half, through the woods, then return by the beach.  This afternoon, Dan had some work to do, so I played 9 holes of golf!!  My first golf since last Fall, so I didn't play well (as if I EVER play well).  But, I had fun - I 'owned' the entire nine holes - didn't see anyone else in front or behind me.  What a nice way to play!
We ran some errands this afternoon, then had dinner out.  Just normal stuff - loving the warmer weather.

sandpipers on the beach this morning

on my walk this morning - Spanish moss everywhere...

the campground where we are staying on the Naval Air Station

the path through the woods

farther along the path

coming down to the beach to start the return trip...

Pensacola lighthouse, as seen from the beach

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In Pensacola, Florida, January 25, 2011

We are staying at the Naval base in Pensacola for the next few days.  I like being on a military base - I feel totally safe!  It feels good that Dan, and all the folks who are retired military, get the respect they deserve for their service.  When we go through the gates, the guard there often welcome Dan with his Navy rank of Senior Chief.  The campgrounds we visit are only for active or retired military.  We pay, but the rate is less than at a commercial campground.  When we were in Panama City, the base was small enough for us to hear "Tatoo" played in the morning, and then the National Anthem.  Dan and I both stand, put our hands over our hearts, and sing along.
Today it was in the 50's and gloomy weather.  I did go for a walk this morning, down by the road and back on the beach - nice to get out and stretch.  We did some necessary shopping, and stopped at the National Seashore Park - we may take in some Park Ranger tours later this week.
The big quest today was for a manual (hand) juicer.  We have a bag of lovely grapefruits that were crying out to be used.  Neither the commissary nor the PX had one.  We stopped at an antique place - they had two:  one was $37 and one was $45!  I don't want an antique; I just want one that works.  We stopped at a flea market and found one - actually, Dan found one and did a happy dance - 50 cents!  Not a great one, but certainly functional.  We had to stop at 'Wally World' for something else, and, sure enough, they had a really good one and I bought it.  Now, we're in business!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Oops, try again! Here are the pictures and captions!

Here's why we are going south - frozen camper!

Frozen camper in front of our frozen house!
bronze outside stadium in Chattanooga (out of order!)
Before we left, cuddle time with Isaac and Mr. Dan!

My dad and his sweetie, Ida Jo

Breakfast at Tim Horton's!

bronze statues at the Chattanooga stadium

face of the stadium
Grandma Gena with big boy, Rylan

Take 4 boys with scooters plus one long rope....

Brody, 3, in his 'jumpin' room

my lovely daughter, Laura, with her oldest, Rylan

Laura with her two boys...

All I want for Christmas is my 2 front teeth!

two crazy boys!

Grandma Gena with Brody Bear 
Huge mural in Cilcotte,  Georgia

Mural on the side of a building - cool!

Another cool mural
pretty bridge, from our campsite in Panama City, Florida

Pictures of the trip so far (1/15 thru 1/23)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Florida!! January 23, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011
We had a nice visit at Laura and Derek's.  The boys, Brody, 3, and Rylan, almost 6, are
such fun to be around.  They're busy with their own pursuits, but take time to give Grandma
Gena a needed hug once in a while.  Brody asked me, "Is that YOUR Mr. Dan?"  "Yes, he is!",
I answered.  Dan fit in well with the group at the birthday party yesterday, especially
with the guys...stories, guns, get the idea.
Today, we took our leave and are headed to Panama City in our quest for warmer weather.  We
stopped for lunch in a charming town, Colquitt, Georgia.  There are murals all over town,
funded by the Nat'l Endowment for the Arts a few years ago.  One, a 'ginormous' one
(grandson Declan's word) is being painted right now, by a man on a cherry picker.  It's on
the side of 4 huge silos joined together, several stories high.
There were several restaurants on the town square, but every one of them was closed.  Our
last resort was an old hotel that had a few cars parked out front.  Sure enough, we walked
in and smelled good food.  But, the lady at the desk said they had just closed at 2:00 (it
was about 10 minutes after 2). But, seeing our dismayed faces, and being asked questions
like "Is there ANYwhere else in town to get some dinner?", she kindly relented, took our
money, and allowed us access to their beautiful buffet lunch.  Collard greens, creamed
corn, mashed potatoes, fried chicken, blackberry AND peach cobbler, pecan pie - oh my!  So
much for my desire to lose weight on this trip.  Tomorrow is another day.
The weather today is lovely, sunny, clear, and now about 52 degrees.  We still haven't
stowed all our winter clothes, but the coats are definitely not in evidence this afternoon.
Had a great visit and dinner with one of Dan's Navy buddies in Panama City this evening.  Tomorrow, Pensacola Naval Base where we have reservations for the next 5 days.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Grandmotherville - Leesburg, Ga.

Arrived yesterday, loved on my two grandsons, Rylan almost 6, and Brody just turned 3.  Oh, and I got hugs from my daughter and her husband as well.  Loved watching the boys play - at one point Rylan and 3 other big boys took a long rope and hooked all 4 of their scooters together in a train.  Kind of looks like an accident waiting to happen - but, what fun!  No major tragedies.  Dinner at a local bar-be-que place, Shug's.  We'll be here until Sunday, long enough to have a big birthday party for Brody with 'thousands' of kids jumping on a big air-filled thing in the back yard.  Weather is certainly warmer (in the 50's yesterday), but rainy today. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

From Tennessee into Georgia, Jan. 18-19

Arrived yesterday evening at Mark and Susie's lovely home in Roswell, Georgia.  Had a great evening involving great food, lots of fresh grapefruit juice and judicious amounts of vodka.  Today we've done a little thrift store shopping and had lunch at a restaurant that had good mideastern food.  Tonight, a low country boil for dinner (shrimp, sausage, potatoes, corn, spices) and more of that wonderful grapefruit juice!
Tomorrow, arriving at Laura and Derek's home in Leesburg - with two of the five most adorable children in the world await!

It's really cool here, high in the mid-forties, and overcast.  Warmer than home in Michigan, but we're hoping for really warm weather soon.   Moving, moving south!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

From Ohio to Tennessee (1/17)

Monday, January 17, 2011
Leaving Waverly, Ohio, and heading for friends Marian and Ray Ericson in Crossville, Tennessee.  We are driving through terrain that we Michiganders never think of when we think about Ohio:  beautiful rolling heavily forested hills, covered in patchy snow at the moment.  My vision of Ohio, prior to my mom and dad moving to Waverly, consisted of either I-80 or I-75, and on those roads, Ohio is almost entirely flat flat farmland! Dan is treating me to some of his favorite country songs.  One classy example is "Dead Skunk in the middle of the road..."  You've gotta love a guy that picks songs like that for you.  :D
Our habit is to avoid the interstate when we have the time.  So, we drove on state roads, and, just for grins, drove through Lexington.  Pretty homes, U of Ky campus, several hospitals, then all the fast food, chain restaurants, shopping that is ubiquitous (Love that word!) in our cities all over the States.  Lexington is so clean, obviously not suffering too much from the recession.
Then, back to rolling hills, twisty roads.  Drove past Lake Cumberland, huge TVA lake - lovely.  The weather is still pretty cold, in the 30's, and overcast. 
We stopped for the night at Marian and Ray's beautiful home on a lake.   Good times - Mexican train dominoes, stories, wine.  Wonderful breakfast this morning.  Next:  Mark and Susie's near Atlanta.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

First stop on our trip, January 2011

We left Michigan on January 15, and have stopped at my dad's house in Waverly, Ohio.  We have had a nice visit with Dad and Ida Jo.  On Sunday, we visited a National Park called Hopewell National Monument, where there are walls and mounds from a prehistoric people.  Very interesting.  (I didn't get any pictures!)  But, these people built walls in geometric shapes, with mounds of various sizes and for various purposes.  Facinating to think of the generations it took to build some of these structures.  Then we were thinking, ok, so the first guy that thought of this brought the idea to the clan/group/family?  "I want to build this high earthen wall that empasses many acres, and then build mounds in which we can put ashes of our honored deceased members.....It will take many many years, and our decendants will be building here for their lives, and for their decendants' lives...."  And, the rest of the people said...."WHAT???"  
Anyway, nice to have a visit, tell and listen to tales from years ago.  Next, we'll be driving on Monday to friends in Crossville, Tennessee.
Happy trails!