Sitting at my desk in my study, listening to good Christian music from KHYM, a station out of Kansas, and having munchies to boost my energies...I am ready for a stroll down memory's lane. I no longer keep photo albums, but just store the pictures and videos on my computer. Using blogs or Facebook posts that put them into some sort of order provides me my "albums" to look back through.
So the picture of my husband and me (and I don't age pretty...but I am honest and sincere...good traits to have..."she has a great personality") is from our first trip together in 2017. We went to St. Louis and picked up our son and two granddaughters, and headed to Myrtle Beach. You can see the pictures from that trip in an earlier blog about Spring Break.
For several years we have had the privilege of taking our granddaughters on trips during their spring break, but now that our oldest granddaughter has graduated, that may be difficult. Her life with two jobs, a boyfriend, college...whatever...is going to be full! We'll see what the future holds. We've been very privileged, but these times...they are a-changing! Anyone with grandchildren understands that well!
Sunset on that era...return trip....what a terrific vacation it was!! It was special to have our son along with us on this trip!
Our next trip was a business trip for Paul, and the dogs and I tagged along. We stopped in St. Louis and recalled some of the memories we made there...driving past some of our previous homes...homes where we still had our two teenage, much loved, sons, who graduated school and left way too quickly!! And what's a trip to St. Louis without stopping at Ted Drew's on Route 66...
We spent two weeks in Wichita, Kansas...an area we had not been in before. I just found out this week a piece of trivia....Pizza Hut was started in Wichita in 1958 by two brothers. Coke gave them an inverted triangle sign that had room enough for five letters in the top word and three letters in the bottom word. Thus, Pizza Hut! And of course, you know, they serve Coke products!!!
Wichita is a nice area...but I especially liked historic Old Town, in the Old West setting, on the Arkansas River.
Our first son made a major move this year also...leaving behind California and moving back to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Since we were only nine hours from him when we were in Kansas, we added to our trip and went to visit him. That's another great location on Route 66. If you ever get there, be sure and go to the Route 66 Diner. It has all the neon and deco of the 1950's era, and a menu to match!
Also, Old Town is an historic place to visit. Hand made jewelry is sold on blankets placed on the sidewalks. The town is set in a square around a park. Old churches there are very interesting.
On our way back to Michigan, we stopped in St. Louis again for our first granddaughter's graduation. She is surrounded by family who are so very proud of her and love her so much!
When our younger granddaughter celebrated her birthday in November, we were back in St. Louis again for this special event. During that visit we took time to visit Historic Main Street in St. Charles, MO, the first capital of Missouri. It still has the brick streets, and lots of unique little shops, and restaurants galore. A fun place to visit!
We had planned to spend our winter in Tennessee again this year, but as it turned out we are still in Michigan My husband is having some intensive treatments on his eyes that require us to stay here, if we want insurance to help us out. So in between treatments we found a window of time where we could make a trip to Hilton Head Island for a week, and took full advantage of it!
We headed down through Charleston, WV, where we spent our first night. That called for a few bridges and tunnels on our way. And we gassed our vehicle near the Capital.
We were headed south the same time as Atlanta, North Carolina, and Virginia were getting heavy winter storms. Unusual for their areas at that time. We had some pretty sights along the way. Felt like we were driving down Christmas Tree Lane when we got into North Carolina.
Hilton Head Island was experiencing cooler weather also...mostly in the 50's or low 60's But we knew it was better than what was happening back in Michigan!! This sunrise greeted us our first morning there. And we were reminded of where we were...Low Country...by this sign.
We had a view of the ocean and the sunset from our room. We stayed in the Marriott Monarch Resort, and come to find out...it was the first resort built on Hilton Head Island in the early 1980's. In fact, it was the beginning of a new kind of vacation lodging. Marriott quickly snatched it up in 1984 as their introduction into resort time shares. They now have eight resorts on Hilton Head Island, and many more around the US and the world, but this is the original one. I found it very interesting to be in part of the history of the island.
Most of you know I like to get out and walk by the ocean every morning.
It was definitely cooler, and I had to wear a jacket, hat, and gloves. But by midday it was nice enough to go visit the sites in our shirt sleeves or light jacket. The sun shone every day. In the last year, Hilton Head Island has had two major hurricanes where they had to vacate the whole island. Don't recall how many trees the island lost, but our resort alone lost 123. They had things cleaned up very well, and one would hardly know they had been hit, except for some reconstruction areas. The staff I spoke with told me until this last year, the island had never been totally evacuated, so you know these were two tough hurricanes (Matthew and Irma).
We went down to the South Island end one day, a place we had not visited before (this was our third HHI trip in the last 10 years). It was more like a little fishing village.
Another day was spent in Harbour Town in Sea Pines.
There was always plenty to do right at the resort, and we enjoyed just relaxing most of the time. We did not use the pool, but we ate by the pool one day. Such a pretty site. There was a pool table, ping pong table, and Foosball on the rocking chair veranda. Also shuffleboard courts down by the fire pit. And pretty pathways to walk.
And always the sunrises and sunsets.
We took a different route back home. We had never been to Helen, Georgia, the Bavarian town in the northern Georgia mountains. We spent a night there, walking the small village and seeing the Christmas lights. We dined at Cowboys and Angels. Good steak and potato meal!!
The next day we drove on through the mountains into Murphy, North Carolina, and then along the rapids of the Ocoee River, leading us to Cleveland, Tennessee.
When we got back home, our girls (dogs) and bears were all glad to see us! As well as Mr. Moose, who kept everyone in line!
We celebrated Christmas 2017 with Paul's family...those who lived in Michigan. We went to see a funny movie, had dinner in a steak house, and then took them to the mall. Paul's parents rode the double decker merry-go-round, and went to see Santa! What a great day for the memory book!!
Now we wrap up 2017, hunkering down in front of our fireplace on New Year's Eve with a temperature of 1 degree, feels like -8 degrees, outside. We've had a week of snow (nothing like Erie, PA!!), but it's cold enough that even the girls are ready to come in after a couple of minutes outside.
WISHING YOU ALL A
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!