After a delicious breakfast of spinach quiche, fresh fruit, and yogurt, we were on the road again. This time going home!
We have had a wonderful 32 day adventure. We have enjoyed being with so many family members, visiting new places, seeing so many interesting things and even relaxing some! We have witnessed and been in awe of God’s beautiful creation and have been blessed over and over by His love and care for us. We are thankful! It is good to be home!
Thank you for sharing our trip!
After a delicious breakfast of spinach quiche, fresh fruit, and yogurt, we were on the road again. This time going home!
Today was a beautiful, very special day! Jordyn gave her testimony and was Baptized. Afterward, we all went back to their house, joined by Jim and Ann (Steve’s parents), for lunch and family time.
Sydney had her last volleyball game of the season, so we were able to go cheer her on, too. Fun fact: we were there for her first and last games!
Later we all went out to dinner and celebrated Jordyn a little more!
Then, after we got home we played some speed scrabble. We always laugh a lot when we are playing games!
We were up and on the road again this morning around 8:30. We had such a great time exploring Helen, Georgia and the surrounding area.
We stopped by “Mark of the Potter” in Clarksville, Georgia and although the shop was closed, we got out to look at the rushing creek. It looks like a beautiful place to sit on the porch and rest!
Next we continued on to Charlotte, North Carolina to see Betty’s daughter and her family. Meghann had called to see if we would be able to change our itinerary and return there before going home, as Jordyn was going to be Baptized on Sunday. Of course, we were very excited to alter our plans!
We arrived at the Roberts’ about one o’clock. Sydney and Jordyn were waiting for us, made us some lunch, and then the four of us went to Sam’s to pick up a couple of things for Meghann, since she, Steve and Reagan were busy elsewhere.
Then, Betty and Jordyn made pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, Sydney finished up the yummy “loaded potato soup”, made the salad, and Betty mixed up some sausage biscuits for morning!
After the rest of the family got home, we ate dinner, and then enjoyed playing some games!
We had planned to go to Brasstown Bald, the highest point in Georgia, at an elevation of 4,784 feet this morning and the weather could not have been more perfect for the drive up! Blue skies and sunshine!
When we had driven as far as possible, we took a shuttle to the top. There was some cloud cover and the temperature was about 15-20 degrees cooler. However, once again God blessed us by pushing the clouds away so we could see the beautiful view that stretched for miles!
(Swipe left for slide show)
Afterward we walked around the museum, which was very interesting.
We had brought a picnic lunch and opted to eat in the car. On the way down the mountain we took the scenic route to Helen, stopping at the bakery for some yummy treats, which we enjoyed while sitting on a swing in the park. Of course after all that goodness, we had to take a nice long walk before returning “home.”
Bodensee German Restaurant was a must (especially since it is our last night here), so we had an early dinner – potato pancakes with sour cream and applesauce and goulash for Nancy and a sausage sampler with German Potato Salad and Sauerkraut for me. We also enjoyed some live music while there.
Time to start packing, as we leave in the morning…BUT, we are taking a detour back to North Carolina, as Jordyn will be baptized on Sunday and we certainly do not want to miss such a wonderful occasion! We will be 2 days later than first planned…isn’t retirement and flexibility great??
There was supposed to be a storm last night and the winds were to be really strong between 4 AM and 8 AM. However, if that really happened neither Nancy nor I heard anything!
We had decided if the weather was good enough, we would venture out and go to the little town of Dahlonega, Ga, since it was a “must see” place, so we did. Along the way, we saw many downed trees and power lines and were re-routed a few times. Also, when we arrived many of the businesses were closed due to power outages. We thoroughly enjoyed lunch at The Smith House, strolled through the General Store and sauntered in and out of the shops.
On the way back to Helen we were once again re-routed due to an accident and were able to stop at The Tomato House (thank you for the recommendation, Shirley!). It was quite an experience.
We stopped at the German Bakery to pick up dessert and then headed home. The hot tub was calling and it was so relaxing, watching the sunset.
It has been another beautiful day and we are so grateful for how the Lord has blessed us.
Thank you for joining us!
Today started with rain, but it didn’t dampen our spirits! Since it was not raining hard, we decided to go into Helen and walk around, do some shopping and have some lunch. We enjoyed going in and out of the shops and of course buying a few items!
After a couple of hours, Anna Ruby Falls was beckoning. The almost half mile hike was amazing and getting to the see the beautiful falls was worth every step. Thankful for our “trekking poles” since the rain made the path a little slick!
We were wondering how the falls got their name, and found out that A Confederate soldier named them after his daughter, Anna Ruby. If you are interested, see the picture posted that tells the story.
Since we are supposed to have lots of rain tonight and tomorrow, we stopped at “Betty’s Grocery Store” to pick up some vittles in case we can’t get out tomorrow.
Let’s see what tomorrow brings and what fun we get to have!
We left Pleasant View, Tennessee around 940 this morning. We were so happy to see blue Sky! We were on our way to Helen, Georgia!
We saw so many beautiful leaves and lakes along the way. And of course the mountains are beautiful as well.
Betty even found a place SHE wants to come back to in the summer months to go white water rafting!
One time when we stopped to get gas, Betty came out of the store and tried to open the car door thinking Nancy was in the car, but it was locked. Looking inside the car, she saw that it was NOT Nancy….it was NOT our car! We had a really good laugh about that.
As we neared our destination, we stopped at “Hogpen Gap.” And guess what? Another photo op with a motorcycle presented itself! It was a very nice “local”, who was born and raised here. He said he loves to come up and enjoy the beautiful, peaceful view!
We arrived at our destination around five o’clock, unpacked and then headed out for dinner.
We are enjoying ourselves and reveling in God’s goodness.
We planned to leave at ten this morning and were pretty much on time! Hunter asked for a “Quick Dutch Blitz game”, so I obliged.
To our surprise, it began snowing around nine, but at least it was not accumulating!
This morning, most of our driving time was in the rain, and we were glad it stopped around two o’clock.
When it was time to stop for lunch, for the first time since traveling, we could not find a restaurant with inside seating. Not even at Cracker Barrel! (We were in Illinois.)
Once we were in Kentucky,
(Paducah), there was an Outback at exit 4, so that’s where we had a meal. We then went to Walmart to pick up a few things and were back on the road again.
We drove as far as Pleasant View, Tennessee and arrived around 7 PM. Found a nice Hampton Inn to relax in for the for the night.
We hope that you are enjoying our adventures. We surely are! Thankful that our dear Lord and Savior is with us every mile of the way.
We attended church with the Amborski’s this morning, then returned home to enjoy a meal of tacos.
We had a leisurely afternoon today. We took a walk and enjoyed the fall colors again.
Later, we played some card games and watched some You Tube! Nancy and Cherilyn were able to spend some time working on a puzzle and entertaining Hunter with a Robin Hood movie.
Since the girls have been having long days of ballet, they were ready to go to bed fairly early. And, we followed suit!
It is hard to believe that we have been on our trip for three weeks already!
When we awoke this morning, the temperature was in the 20s!
We left Minneapolis a little before nine this morning, and gradually saw the temperature rise as we moved farther south.
The weather was good for driving and we saw many trees with beautiful colored leaves, and some very interesting clouds as well. We are glad that there is still some fall to enjoy!!
We made a couple of stops along the way to the Amborski‘s house in Illinois, arriving around 5:15pm.
When we first arrived, the four girls were at dance but made it home in time for a delicious chicken pot pie and salad dinner.
After dinner, Hunter played Dutch Blitz with us.
Soon, the drivers and the dancers were ready for bed! We look forward to celebrating Lord’s Day together tomorrow! Thankful we can go to a building and gather together to fellowship, worship, praise and hear the Word of God!
We were sad to tell Brenda, Danny, Collin and Lexi goodbye this morning but also excited about the day ahead, knowing we would be visiting with some more of Nancy’s family.
Since the snow stopped sometime during the night, we were able to leave around 10:30. The snow covered trees along the highway were beautiful! It looked like a “Winter Wonderland!”
Our first stop was to have lunch with Nancy’s cousin, Marilyn and her daughters, Becky and Christy. We had a delightful lunch and a visit full of catching up with one another. We are looking forward to seeing them in Florida in January! (Christy ducked out before we got the camera out!)
Our next stop was to visit….yep, you guessed it, MORE cousins! We met Keith and Karen at their daughter, Tina’s house, so we saw her husband, Angel and their four year old daughter, Lettie. Keith had made the most delicious caramel pecan buns and Tina provided fresh ground coffee!
We checked into our hotel and then met Mike (another cousin) and his wife, Susan for dinner.
There was lots of talking going on!
Our sweet waitress, who snapped the pictures shouted, “OKAY, NOW goofy picture!” Note to self: my cousin Mike has a goofy face in BOTH pictures!(hehe…says Nancy)
Once again we are so grateful for God’s grace, His protection, safety and this great adventure.
Sleeping in is the thing to do on vacation! Brenda made us some delicious waffles with fresh strawberries this morning.
Since it snowed most of the night and most of the day today, (another thing I get to check off my bucket list…to see “real” snow) we stayed at home and enjoyed time visiting.
We were able to help Brenda put a few things away, and cooked jambalaya for dinner. Everyone seemed to enjoy it.
Brenda and Betty had fun attempting to go down a slight hill on cardboard…we laughed a lot.
Nancy was our videographer and photographer. Then Betty made a “snow angel.”
Collin has been able to come home every night. Tonight we were able to hear the sermon he gave this evening at Trout Creek Camp. It was on “work” and he did an excellent job.
Afterward we watched the Presidential debate and then retired for the night.
We plan to be on the road again tomorrow, but will see how the weather is doing!
What?? Another wonderful day!
After breakfast, Brenda took us out (thankfully the roads had been plowed after a record snowfall) to see some of the beautiful countryside. Along the way we were happy to get to talk to Brenda’s Dad, David on the phone.
We visited a neat place called Cones and Crafts where they offer 36 flavors of ice cream, and where they display lots of unique crafts, many which are made by locals.
Next we took a drive-by tour of Trout Creek Camp, where Collin works and where family members have attended camp, been camp counselors and teachers for decades. Their website states: “Trout Lake Camps features camping experiences for kids of all ages. Most camps are one week long from Sunday through Saturday. Youth camps are designed to encourage growth in all areas of a child’s life. We believe that a good camp experience will foster a love for God, personal confidence, life long skills and friendships that last for years to come, all in a caring and safe environment.”
Afterward, Brenda took us for a delicious lunch at Grandview Lodge. She is still acquainting herself with the area, and someone recommended it. It did NOT disappoint! We felt God’s presence while we were there while talking with our server.
The grocery store beckoned us so we could get jambalaya ingredients…among other items, of course!
Now that should be enough for one day, right? But NO! Danny had set up the theater/media room for us so we watched a movie (Facing the Giants), and ate popcorn!
We are looking forward to tomorrow!
After a good night’s sleep, we awakened and had a nice breakfast prepared for us by Brenda. We were excited to see five deer walking across the property. It started snowing around 11a.m. and snowed all day! It was beautiful. We learned that it broke a100 year record for the number of inches. Brenda and Danny learned how to use their snow plow on their quarter mile driveway!
Since they just recently moved in, we wanted to help in anyway we could. Nancy was able to assist Brenda in looking through photos and for a specific video, while I put away some dishes and arranged a linen closet. Nancy also prepared a nice dinner. So pleased to be able to help a little.
Turned in pretty early (for us), knowing that weather permitting we will be going out to see some sights tomorrow.
Once again, we feel God’s blessings. We have seen so much beauty and enjoyed His creation beyond anything we could image or hope for.
This morning we got up and enjoyed breakfast with Diane. Bob had already gone to work.
When we left Diane‘s, we drove over to see another of Nancy‘s cousins, Denise. She welcomed us with hot brownies and coffee! Her granddaughter and her new baby were there as well.
This is her grandaughter, Rhiannon and her baby, Charley. The 2nd photo we call: “Dede get your gun!” She is taking a shot at some pesty varmints!
Afterwards, we went to visit with Denise’s dad, Howard. We were able to say hello to Denise‘s daughter, Jenny and her little girl and adorable two-year-old named Ava
We then drove to visit another of Nancy’s cousins, Brenda, her husband Dan and her college aged children, Collin and Lexi. We did have a little snow along the way. Upon arrival, we had a nice visit and then had a yummy dinner. Their house is amazing. They actually just moved in a week or two ago. It is so nice of them to let us come visit so soon!
After dinner we visited some more and turned in around 9:30 or 10.
We are truly blessed and thank God for such an awesome trip.
Today we had the luxury of sleeping in. We awakened to the aroma and sound of sizzling sausage, egg bake, coffee, orange juice and toast! We have the best hosts!
After enjoying breakfast and visiting awhile, Anabele, one of Bob and Diane’s grandaughters came over and we went to a farm called Sap Suckers Farms to have apple cider, not realizing that it was “spiced” cider! We all laughed when her (2nd) cousin got “carded”…guess being short makes you look young!!! 🙂
We enjoyed tasting the various flavors along with having lunch of gyros. We then took a nice walk. Today was cloudy and chilly, but it didn’t stop us from having fun!
For dinner, Diane had cooked a delicious pot roast with all the trimmings and Andy, (one of their sons) and his family joined us.
Bob and Anabele had made a blueberry delight dessert that was enjoyed by all.
We turned in fairly early and expect to have another busy day tomorrow.
Sunday, October 18, 2020
It is so wonderful to wake up without an alarm clock! It has gotten colder and the sun hasn’t been out as much, but we are still blessed and enjoying “seasons.”
Betty was asked to make jambalaya today, to which she readily agreed and also cooked red beans and rice!
Andy, Robyn and their family came for dinner. Diane shared with her neighbor, too. IT WAS YUMMY!
After dinner a couple of games of UNO were played. There was a lot of loud competition going on!
We hit the road again tomorrow…good night and God bless you all.
Today was a REAL road trip day. We left our hotel about 8:10am, and arrived at Nancy’s cousin’s in Mora, Minnesota about 8:30pm.
We were blessed with another day of beautiful weather to travel, and we were pleasantly surprised when we made this leg of our trip in one day…probably having an 80 mph speed limit in South Dakota helped a little! 🙂
We have loved the wide open landscapes and “big sky” in these states! God’s huge canvases awaiting!
(will add more photos when better internet is available)
This morning we had no alarm set, but woke up between 7:30 and eight. We enjoyed a breakfast of sausage, pancakes and orange juice provided by our hotel.
Today was very adventurous! We had planned to go to Devils Tower which was the first national monument in the United States and is located in Wyoming. We stopped at the Wyoming welcome center and found out that the route we were taking back to Keystone was only about 30 miles from Montana. Well, as you have probably already guessed, Betty has never been to Montana so we decided to take a detour and head there from Devil’s Tower.
Our weather today was very different. We had sunshine, clouds, and snow! When we arrived at the welcome center in Wyoming, it was snowing.
By the time we left, the skies were blue and the sunshine was out! This pattern of weather followed us most of the day! We took pictures of the Devil’s Tower where it was shaded by cloudiness and others where the sun was shining on it. What an amazing sculptor our creator is! The Native Americans have a sacred connection with this formation. They still bring prayer cloths to this site.
We decided to have lunch in the small town where we crossed into Montana. Now, that was quite an experience! We should have known by the outside of the building and the sign, that it was not a very good place to eat! But as far as we could tell, it was the only choice. It was not a WISE choice, but we laughed off and on all afternoon about it and are still laughing tonight!
We stopped in a small town, Aladdin, Wyoming to visit a very old General Store that we had heard about. It was interesting, but we didn’t find anything to purchase except for a few snacks!
Upon returning to Keystone, we decided on dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Thankfully it was a much better experience than lunch!
It appears that the timing of our trip could not be more perfect (thank you, God), as the weather is definitely changing to cold and snow AND the businesses are almost all closing this weekend for the season!!
We will be on the road in the morning heading for Minnesota…see you there!!
What? Another 6:30 AM wake up call? Well, yes because we had miles to cover today!
We were on the road by 8 AM headed towards Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial. We saw more bison and lots of cattle along the way.
There was evidence that it had rained during the night, but once again, we had beautiful weather to travel. We did, however, have to pull out our heavier jackets as it was quite chilly especially when the wind was blowing.
When we arrived at mount Rushmore, we first viewed a film about Gutzon Borglum, who was the sculptor. Of course, we could see Mount Rushmore before going inside. It is an amazing work of art, and I am so glad to be able to mark another item off my “bucket list” (says Betty). We took LOTS of pictures.
We then drove to the Crazy Horse Memorial. The statue has been in process since 1948. It will be beautiful once it is completed. It was designed by Korczak Ziolkowski. In 1939, Chief Henry Standing Bear wrote him a letter asking him for assistance insculpting a monument for Native Americans. He accepted the invitation in 1947, and moved to the the location chosen. He dedicated the rest of his life to the project. To this day, they continue his work, using the plans drawn up by Korczak and his wife, Ruth. His descendants make up some of the current crew. They have a large Museum with many Indian Artifacts, and interesting photographs to view. We watched a film about how the idea was conceived and how the work began.
Once we left there, we headed to the Needles Highway. There, the formations are very tall and resemble needles, although to us, some looked like animals, or heads, or different things….you know how when you see “things” in the clouds.
It even snowed while we were there!! At first I thought it was sleet, but realized it was snow! We had to stop the car and get out to be sure!! The funny thing is, Nancy had said maybe it’ll snow and I had said oh it’s not cold enough! It didn’t last too long and I was glad because I was driving!
Sylvan Lake was very pretty, too.
We arrived at our destination in Keystone, South Dakota about 4:30 PM. We were upgraded to the executive suite which is very nice.
We ate at Ruby’s in honor of our sweet friend, Precious Ruby! The Buffalo stew in a bread bowl was excellent.
Once back at the hotel, we went to the indoor pool and hot tub. Now THIS was the frosting on the cake!!
Our God is good…yes, our God is good ALL the time and we are so blessed by Him.
We started the day by having some quiet time and having breakfast in our cabin.
There were some Lookout areas and some trails that we wanted to see today that we did not see yesterday. Some of it was backtracking, but then we took side roads where we saw lots of bison, some mule deer, lots of prairie dogs, chipmunks, and rabbits.
Then we ventured over to Wall, SD, Where the famous Wall Drugs is located. There is every store you can imagine in that space. We did have lunch there and it consisted of a nice buffalo burger and a donut for dessert with a five cent cup of coffee! And free ice water!
There is a story about the free ice water. A man by the name of Ted Hustead Bought the store in 1931. He was a pharmacist. Business was not good for a while and he was about to give up when his wife suggested that he offer free ice water to the tourists who were coming to see the new Mount Rushmore. Once he did this, people flocked to his place to get free Ice water and the first thing you know, people were buying ice cream and other items and his business flourished. He drew up to 20,000 people on a good summer day! He was known to say that “wherever you are you can reach out to other people with some thing that they need. There is no place on God’s earth that is Godforsaken.” We took some fun pictures there as you can see!
We then drove back to Cedar Lodge and our cabin.
We went and did a couple of short hikes and Betty managed to climb partially up a couple of the formations.
We enjoyed having a dinner of Chicken Cesar salad outside of our cabin on a picnic table…it was amazing that as soon as we got to eating it, several bunnies hopped over to see if anything hit the ground!
Once again, we were blessed with a beautiful day. It was a little chilly when we first started out but warmed up quickly. Tomorrow we will head to Mount Rushmore. So, until then…
This is the first day of our trip that we have set the alarm to get up at 6:30 AM! By 8:15, we had been in three states! Started off in Iowa, went into Nebraska and stopped at McDonald’s for coffee and biscuits then went into South Dakota!
The bridge we crossed was half in South Dakota and half in Iowa!
Nancy’s Mother had visited the Corn Palace, in Mitchell, SD in the 1940’s, had taken an 8mm movie of it. It really made an impression on her, so, we decided to make that one of our stops! It is a very large building that has murals made of ears of corn! They use five different colors (varieties) of corn to make the murals, all provided by one farmer! It could be made up of 675,000 Ears of corn!
We then headed for the Badlands…guess what the speed limit in S.D. is?
Next stop was to see a beautiful 50’ high metal sculpture of a Native American Woman with a star quilt on her back, at Chamberlain, SD rest stop. Three different women were used as models for making the sculpture.
While there, we enjoyed a picnic lunch and a nice walk!
On to the Badlands! Along the way we stopped to see some Prairie Dogs!
We arrived and checked into our cabin which is located inside the park. It is perfect!
Once we unpacked, we took a scenic drive and saw several Bighorn Sheep and even watched them do some climbing!
We stopped at a lookout to watch a breathtakingly beautiful sunset. It was so peaceful, even though there were quite a few people there.
Along the drive to Wall, SD where we were going to Wall Drugs, a roadside attraction and tourist stop, and to have dinner, we saw Bison right next to the road! Since it was almost completely dark, we were unable to get pictures…maybe tomorrow!
We were in such awe of all of God’s creation today… the Badlands are beautiful with so many colors and styles and the sunset was amazing. We are truly blessed to be on this journey!
This is the day that the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it. We attended church with Steve, Cherilyn and the children today. Don’t they look nice all dressed up? Hunter had to wear his bow tie for his MiMi!
Before we left their house, we packed our car, as we were leaving from church to drive the next leg of our trip, to Sioux City, Iowa.
We had another beautiful day for driving. We stopped at a couple of roadside parks and managed to get out and do a little walking. Then we stopped for a bite of dinner before reaching our destination.
We ran into some rain after dinner, but we’re thankful that it only lasted for about 10 minutes. God blessed us by letting us have a beautiful light display of the northern lights. We are hoping that when we are in the badlands we will be able to see even more. It was an unexpected gift and we were very grateful.
Knowing that we had a fairly long drive in front of us, we set our alarms to get up and get going early! We enjoyed breakfast at the hotel then packed our car and headed for Illinois!
Thankfully we had an uneventful trip and beautiful weather one more time. We did notice that the landscape had changed….cornfield after cornfield!
We arrived around 6:30 PM and enjoyed visiting with Steve and Cherilyn, and eating dinner. Jaci, Lainey, Emilyn, Krisanna and Hunter were at dance lessons when we arrived, so we enjoyed their company when they got home.
We (or I should probably say Nancy) did a couple of loads of laundry before retiring for the night.
Big plans for today to visit the “Pumpkin Patch,” which was a LOT more…there were lots of fun activities, including a bounce house, tether ball, pedal yourself tractor, and a corn maze, to name a few. Also, apple cider donuts 🍩 and fresh Apple cider!
It is tradition for “MiMi” to take the family to the Pancake House when she visits, so when we left the Pumpkin 🎃 Patch, that is where we went.
What a treat….there were chocolate chip pancakes, crepes, scrambles, pumpkin pancakes, omelets and lots of bacon 🥓 to enjoy.
Returning home, some of us took a short walk and then everyone took a little rest. Not sure, but I have a feeling some cards and games will be enjoyed later.
Update...we took another (longer) walk and returned home to have grilled burgers. Then, true to the above statement, we played numerous card games.
We are blessed to have family to visit and to have beautiful weather, too.
We really did sleep 💤 in today! Even missed breakfast! Guess this is what vacations are supposed to be like!!
Before heading in to the City, we stopped for lunch at Cheddars (neither of us had been to one previously), where we enjoyed a nice salad with grilled chicken!
Our first stop was to tour the Country Music Hall of Fame. We spent over three hours there and learned quite a bit about the music and the artists.
We saw Elvis’ 1960 gold plated (in parts) Cadillac that was equipped with a telephone AND a television!! Of course there were many, many instruments to view.
Then we walked to the Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar in Printer’s Alley that a friend had recommended, to hear some jazz music and eat dinner.
Back at the hotel we began packing so that we will be ready to head out in the morning. We will be visiting Nancy’s daughter (Cherilyn) and her family in Central Illinois for a couple of days. Looking forward to seeing the five grands there!
Oh and by the way, you guessed it…God blessed us with another beautiful day!
If you know us, Betty always likes to get a picture with a motorcycle on each of our trips…with or without it’s rider!!! So I spotted this today. What a COVID/motorcycle photo op, right?
Well, we didn’t really “sleep in” this morning, since we were up at 7:15 and 7:30, and we’d gained an hour by entering a new time zone! We did just take our time getting ready to go down for breakfast…thank you, Nancy for making coffee in the room first!
We headed to downtown Nashville to do some exploring. This is an unusual experience for us, as we don’t have a daily itinerary to follow! Thinking we would do a bus tour first was wrong! We arrived a little before ten, only to be advised that there would be a tour at noon and at two. We decided we would just find a place to park, look around, and decide what to do. Someone had said we should visit the Johnny Cash Museum, and since it was in close proximity of where we parked, that was our first stop!
We refueled by eating some down home Southern cooking for lunch and headed for a tour of the Ryman Auditorium. This is the venue where the “Grand Ole Opry” began. There is definitely lots of history in that building! We even got to go on stage to have our picture taken.
OUR STAGE DEBUT!
Afterward we just walked around and saw the Country Music Hall of fame that we plan to visit tomorrow.
I did forget to mention that it is another gorgeous day…the weather is perfect with beautiful blue skies and bright sunshine!
And…once again we are grateful for another day of new experiences.
We awakened in Cumberland Gap to a cool 41 degrees! The sun was shining brightly and the skies were a beautiful blue!
We were served a delicious breakfast and then headed out to hike the Tri State Peak which has a stone at the top, where the three states of Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia meet. You can look out and see all three states! It was an elevation of 1990 feet, and was quite steep and rocky in places…but we made it!! I was glad that Nancy had given me some trekking poles for my birthday!
Daniel Boone hiked this trail! We are always amazed to think how the early settlers traipsed across the country where there were not even good trails. One of the bits of history we read was that the animals migrated first, making trails, then the Indians, and then the settlers, many of them walking with only the clothes they were wearing…some in bare feet! They traveled in Winter, so they could plant when they arrived at their new land. We have it so easy!!
We then drove to the Pinnacle Overlook, which is on top of the Cumberland Mountain looking over the Famous Cumberland Gap. The elevation there was 2440 feet.
Then it was time to head for Nashville! We stopped and had a combination lunch/dinner in Knoxville, where we also took a short walk…by then it felt good to stretch our legs!
After calling multiple hotels, we decided to stay outside of Nashville in Hendersonville. We have a nice, big suite!
Think we will try to “sleep in” in the morning and then go explore Nashville!
Thanking God for the beautiful weather and the wonderful adventures!
This morning began with Betty making chocolate chip pancakes for everyone. They seemed to be a hit!
We enjoyed playing another game of speed scrabble with Meghann and the girls before heading out for our next destination.
Our first stop of the day was in Spruce Pine, North Carolina where we met Nancy’s cousin, Ann and her husband David, for lunch. We met them at a restaurant and then took our lunch and went and sat in a park and visited and ate. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and we really enjoyed ourselves.
We then drove through a very scenic route to Cumberland Gap, Tennessee. The colors are not “peak”, but it is more colorful than Florida!!!
While Nancy was driving, Betty looked for a place to stay for the night in Cumberland Gap. We decided on the Olde Mill Inn Bed and Breakfast. We arrived to find a delightful hostess, the owner, Kimberly, and a quaint B&B on the outside, but the rooms were nicely updated with lots of ambiance and even a jacuzzi!
Kimberly recommended a couple of restaurants within walking distance so we headed out to see what we wanted to eat. We decided on Angelo’s And were not disappointed. As I’m sure you can tell by the name of the restaurant, it was Italian fare.
Breakfast will be delivered to our room at 9 A.M. feeling very blessed and spoiled!!
We plan to explore the Gap some in the morning before heading out for the next leg of our adventure, so stay tuned for updates!
We are so grateful to God for His kindness and provision for this trip!
We awakened to another beautiful day! God is so so good!
Since Steve, Meghann and the girls had to be at church early, because of Steve serving in the worship team and Meghann leading (and the girl’s attending) a Bible study, Nancy and I met them there. We thoroughly enjoyed the service….the first we have physically attended in many months.
We had lunch on the deck, and afterwards Steve left to go work on their rental house and we went shopping for a few hours. We did manage to make a few purchases, and we DID get a Starbucks break along the way!
Upon returning home, Meghann and Sydney started preparing dinner and the rest of us played speed scrabble. Steve arrived home just in time to grill some hamburgers. You may know, this is Betty‘s favorite meal! Sydney made fried cheese curd with caramel dip which was delicious!
Once we finished dinner and the dishes were done, we played some more speed scrabble.
We have had a great couple of days here in North Carolina and have enjoyed our visit. Tomorrow we will head out for more adventures! We are so grateful to God for this opportunity to travel.
This beautiful Saturday started off with us going to watch Sydney play a volleyball game. She played excellently, and it was fun cheering her on!
We had a lovely lunch out on the deck. Then, we took off to go browse around the little town of Davidson. We enjoyed going in and out of stores and then had an ice cream and coffee treat.
After that we went to another shopping area called Birkdale.
Then we came home and the girls prepared a delicious dinner of chicken Alfredo, green beans, Greek salad, and olive cheese bread.
After dinner, we enjoyed playing a game of Rummicube. We lost, but had fun!
Nancy and I started our 2020 road trip off by stopping at Chick-fil-A for free chicken mini biscuits for breakfast on the road! It was so good, after being basically homebound due to COVID since March, to “venture” off once again!
We had a beautiful day for driving, and arrived at our first stop, which was at Meghann and Steve’s, Betty‘s daughter and son-in-law, at about 5:30 in the afternoon.
Steve grilled delicious pork tenderloins for dinner and Meghann and the girls prepared wonderful sides to go with them. We enjoyed eating outside in their lovely deck. Afterwards everyone sang happy birthday to Betty and we enjoyed chocolate cake and ice cream.
All of us got together and played Scattergories and laughed at a lot of the answers!
We thank God for this opportunity to once again, travel, and for time spent with family!
Stay tuned for more adventures!
This morning we went to a Bible Study with Susan. They are in Isaiah 62. We were welcomed warmly and enjoyed seeing a couple of ladies who we met last year.
We had a pretty leisurely afternoon and enjoyed visiting and sitting on the porch. Saw quite a few people kayaking and tubing down the river.
We attended church with Tom and Sue and then met Amy for dinner.
Came home and enjoyed Betty’s coconut poke cake, while sitting on the porch with the view of the river!
Turned in fairly early…..good night!
Got up bright and early this morning and headed to Michigan. Upon arriving, we drove to Livonia,Michigan (in this snazzy car!
We asked for a mid-size car and this is what we got!), where we visited Betty’s 97 year young Aunt Mary. We were glad to see her as she is declining but still has the sweetest smile and spirit.
Spent The night in Grand Rapids and Friday morning we had breakfast with Nancy’s nephew, Bill and his 2 children. We enjoyed catching up with them and seeing how much the children have grown since last year. Unfortunately Bill’s wife Sara could not join us because she had the flu.
Thursday, July 5, 2018
This morning we had to say good-bye to Susan, Tom and Amy and the beautiful river. We headed out close to 9:45 and drove to Livonia to visit my sweet Aunt Mary, who is 96 years young. She is a very sweet lady and we enjoyed having lunch with her.
We then dropped by to see Diane and Sylvia, Nancy’s cousins, for a short visit.
From there we drove to Grand Rapids where we had dinner, checked into our hotel, and returned our rental car to the airport.
It was a lovely day, and now we are ready for bed.
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Oh the hustle and bustle of holidays! We had such a good time doing the “last minute” things in order to be ready for guests coming at Noon! Of course, we had to first enjoy coffee on the porch!
There was a wonderful variety of food to choose from and plenty of desserts also. After lunch, a lot of the group went tubing or kayaking. The rest of the 32 who were here stayed and visited, and enjoyed catching up with each other. There was even a drone being flown around!
Once the tubers and kayakers began returning, we started serving homemade ice cream, which was enjoyed by ALL.
There were lots of goodbye hugs going around, some telephone numbers and updated email addresses being shared, and plans to get together again soon…before the next 4th of July reunion.
Nancy and I were able to help Susan, Tom and Amy clean up a little bit….”many hands make light work” has been our motto the last few days.
We have had a wonderful visit, but we will be leaving Hersey in the morning. So good night for now.
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Another beautiful day in Paradise! We went for an “early” (for us) walk this morning, got a picture of Nancy’s favorite spot on the porch, and did a little more prepping for tomorrow’s celebration.
In the afternoon, Nancy and I walked over to see her cousins, Ruth and Howard for a short visit. It is a a beautiful, shaded walk along the river bank to their house. Guess what Nancy did? Yep, took pictures of flowers!
When we returned home, Susan had a delicious dinner of homemade enchiladas ready for us. Such a treat!
After dinner we enjoyed the movie, “Hoovey” on Netflix. Nancy had already seen it and recommended it for Susan, Tom, Amy and I. When the movie was over, we enjoyed either brownies and ice cream or Root Beer float. All I can say is it is a good thing we are getting some exercise….AND I am NOT looking forward to getting on the scales!
Monday, July 2, 2018
We have so much to be thankful for, and enjoying God’s beautiful creation is just one of them! We are in awe every morning when we go sit on the porch overlooking the river, visit and have coffee. After being in the 90’s, with high humidity the past 3 days, the thunderstorms of last night cooled things off, and we had a nearly “perfect day.” THIS, my friends, is “The Life!!”
Today we began getting ready for the Fourth of July celebration. We helped assemble the tables and chairs in the garage, made lemonade, got containers ready, and made a chicken casserole and pasta salad. We also did some laundry, and it was so wonderful to hang some of it on an outdoors clothesline!
Susan and I (Betty) took a ride to the town of Evart to pick up a few groceries…the most important being Root Beer and ice cream so we could enjoy Root Beer Floats for dessert! (Nancy used the time to catch up on a couple of phone calls.) We had a relaxing dinner of leftovers BEFORE those floats, out on the deck overlooking the river…again. This doesn’t get old, and now the sunset I am looking at is beautiful! Good night.
Random photos of the day:
Sunday, July 1, 2018
Sunday! What a beautiful day. Before leaving home to attend church this morning, we began preparing for Sunday dinner. Nancy went to a Lutheran Church with Amy and I went to the Catholic Church with Susan and Tom.
Once we returned home, we finished preparing our meal. Susan had made lasagna and she made two delicious salads, one spinach and one with red cabbage, and added some fresh French bread. I made brownies.
Nancy’s nephew, Bill, his wife Sara and their children, Tabitha and Frey, came for dinner and a nice visit. While they were here, they went tubing also.
This evening, Amy, Susan, Nancy and I finished watching a movie we started a couple of days ago. Let me just say that I am hoping that I don’t have nightmares tonight.
Saturday, June 30, 2018
This morning started off with Nancy and I attending a Bible study with Susan, which we enjoyed. They are going through the book of Isaiah. It was also nice to meet some of Susan’s friends.
Once we got home, we had lunch and then Susan, Nancy and I went Kayaking.
This was a fun, first-time experience for us. Yeah! Something else marked off our bucket list!! It was about an hour and a half trip down the Muskegon River.
THEN, Susan, Amy, Nancy and I went into Big Rapids to pick up a few groceries, eat at Panera and attend the play, Steel Magnolias. It was a wonderful production that we all enjoyed.
Friday, June 29, 2018
We had a relaxing day today. Tables and chairs were brought over in preparation for the 4th of July reunion.
After lunch, Tom brought Susan, Nancy and I to the drop off spot in Hersey, so we could have a leisurely 2 ½ hour tube float down the Muskegon River. It was a beautiful day and we thoroughly ourselves.
Susan prepared another delicious dinner for us, and Amy joined us. We watched an episode of “And Then There was None” which was interesting and visited a little before retiring for the night.
We are so blessed to enjoy life with family and friends and to enjoy God’s beautiful creation.
Thursday, June 28, 2018
What we awakened to today was a complete contrast to yesterday! The skies were a beautiful blue and the sun was shining brightly. Looking across the river with the sunbeams through the trees is spectacular.
We decided to drive to Traverse City and visit a couple of wineries. It was a lovely drive…about an hour and a half. We stopped and had fish tacos at a nice restaurant on the way.
We drove up the Old Mission Peninsula. On one side was the Eastern Grand Traverse Bay, and the other side was the Western Grand Traverse Bay. The bay reminded us of Lake Tahoe. The water was absolutely beautiful, with varying shades of blue and turquoise!
We visited a lighthouse as well…Nancy said it was the shortest lighthouse she has ever seen. The water was beautiful here as well.
Also stopped at the General Store and had some yummy salted caramel ice cream there.
On the way home, we stopped at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, a shopping plaza that Susan had suggested to us. The shops, restaurants, a hotel and condos/apartments used to be a State Mental Institution. It was nice to see theses old buildings being renovated and used.
We saw an absolutely beautiful sunset tonight from Susan and Tom’s bedroom door which looks out over the river.
This place is gorgeous!
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
We awakened to the sound of a gentle rain, which lasted until around 1 P.M. Nancy was up early enough to get a couple shots of the Mama deer with her twins, & we still enjoyed sitting on the porch and sipping our morning coffee.
Susan and Tom are so gracious and had us invite our friends, Steve and Marlene, who live in Luddington, about an hour away, to come join us for the day. We enjoyed hearing about what is going on in their lives and sharing our stories, too. We also did some reminiscing and lots of laughing. They loved having lunch on the porch overlooking the river.
We walked over to the tree house and actually went up in it.
They were fascinated with the beauty of the river, the land and Susan and Tom’s home. Tom also took us for a ride in “The Ranger”, and so they were able to see even more beauty.
After they left, Tom, Susan, Amy, Nancy and I went and enjoyed dinner at River Junction, the local Hersey restaurant.
Once we returned home, Susan and I took a nice long walk and had some great conversation.
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Sitting on Susan and Tom’s porch overlooking the river and sipping morning coffee is a great way to begin the day. Once I had some caffeine and breakfast, I started making phone calls. After what seemed like fifty calls, (and that IS a big exaggeration), we were finally able to get a mini-van in a nearby town that we can return to the airport when we leave on July 6th! Since we had rented the car through Costco, we were still able to get a discount and only had to pay a little more….different agency, different car, different drop-off location, different dates….o.k., you get the picture. Right?
Before going to pick up our vehicle, we were able to take a nice, long walk…it has been a beautiful day with perfect weather. When we arrived home from our walk, Susan had prepared lunch for us. We ate outside, looking out over the river…it is so peaceful and beautiful here.
Amy, Susan and Tom’s daughter that lives next door came to visit, and “catch up” with us. She joined us for a delicious dinner, which was outside again. After dinner, Susan, Nancy and I took another walk. This time on Susan and Tom’s property, where she showed us a path that leads to a meadow. We passed a huge strawberry patch that had already been “harvested”, walked along the river bank, and back up the ravine to their home. So many beautiful trees and wild flowers!
This has been a wonderful day and we are thankful to God for the many blessings he has given us, including Nancy’s family, the lovely weather and our “set of wheels!”
Monday, June 25, 2018
After being home for five nights, we got wanderlust decided to take off for another adventure! This time, we are going to visit Nancy’s family in Michigan, for their annual 4th of July family reunion.
We made it through Sanford Airport with only a couple of hitches! Betty’s I-Pad had to be scanned and so did a prescription! Once we made it through the line and were enjoying lunch a message came over the intercom “would the passenger who forgot to pick up their tablet return to check-in area”…well, Nancy says, “I think that’s me.” After quickly looking in her bag, she darts off…then, another announcement comes on…”will the passenger who left their bag of liquids return to the check-in area”…. A few minutes later, Nancy returns with her tablet AND her essential oils!! We were very happy that they were discovered while we were still in the airport.
Well, this beginning should have been a warning…..next, our flight is delayed thirty minutes, then we board, start off and have to return to the gate because “there is a problem.” Not only do we return to the gate, but we have to deboard the plane, go to the opposite side of the airport and wait to board another plane there.
Sooooo, we finally arrive in Grand Rapids, only to discover that the car rental agency is CLOSED for the day and NONE of the rental car agencies at the airport have a car for us to rent!
Thankfully, Nancy’s nephew and his daughter came and picked us up and drove us about half way to meet with her cousin and her husband who live in Hersey, MI, and with whom we are staying.
We were truly blessed to have people willing to drive us and meet us and take us to their beautiful home. It had been a long day, so we went to bed fairly early
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Had a good night’s sleep, an early breakfast at the hotel, and a quick walk over to check-in for our flight home. Everything went very smoothly. Our flight was delayed about 30 minutes, but we still managed to arrive in Orlando on time. Eight hours “flew by”, with the help of in-flight movies, cards, and a few “winks!”
The line at Customs was very long, but much to our surprise, went very quickly.
Thankful for David Coverston picking us up and driving us home!
Now, to rest up and be ready to leave home again in FIVE days!!