Thursday, March 17, 2022

December12-14, 2022 Arkansas to Georgia with Providence Canyon State Park

 Dec 12
After a nice breakfast at a nearby restaurant, we hit the road.  We stopped on the south side of Memphis for BBQ.  The place was very busy, so we decided to eat at the bar.  After we ordered a drink, but before we ordered dinner, we realized they allowed smoking at the bar.  Well, that wasn’t going to work.  We left and found one of our favorite southern chains, O’Charleys.  They were out of ribs, but we survived because of their fresh hot rolls.  We continued to New Albany, MS between Memphis and Tupelo.
Dec 13
We finally found a BBQ place we likes as well as Willie Jewel’s.  We stopped in Childersburg, AL, halfway between Birmingham and Auburn at Hometown BBQ.  Their ribs weren’t ready, but they brought us one each before we left.  The brisket and pork were great.  To pass the time today, we listened to a rebroadcast of the Alabama-Georgia football game.  I never thought I would listen to a game that I had already seen.  But we like the radio announcer and wanted to hear his comments.  It was strange how we knew the final score, but had forgotten many of the plays.  So it was still entertaining.
We spent the night in Columbus-Fort Bennington, GA at a Holiday Inn Express which was upgraded to a suite because we were IHG members.  I am adding this for the benefit of others, and to help me remember.  When you book a room, you need to tell them that you are IHG members to get the points.  They don’t do that automatically.  I spent the evening talking to a representative to get all the points for the past couple years credited that I had missed.  And at one time we had 2 numbers, but that was corrected already.
Dec 14
We made a side trip on the way home to visit Providence Canyon State park.  This is from their website:
Georgia’s “Little Grand Canyon” is a testament to the power of man’s influence on the land. Massive gullies as deep as 150 feet were caused simply by poor farming practices during the 1800s, yet today they make some of the prettiest photographs within the state.
So it is a fairly young canyon and is still slowly eroding.
We had a beautiful hike to the canyon floor and into a few gullies.  I’ve been wanting to make the trip, but it was about 5 hours from Brunswick, more than a day trip.  So this worked out great.
We stopped at one last BBQ restaurant in Albany, GA.  Hogs and Bones was similar to a fast food restaurant.  You ordered at a counter and there was a drive up window.  The ribs were good, but the chicken and pork were dry.  Dave said I should have started my blog post with “It was the best of BBQ, it was the worst of BBQ”.  We tried them all.  
We made it back to Brunswick, GA safe and sound once again. When people ask us about our safety when sailing, we tell them we feel safer on the water than on the highways.  Dave feels that our demise will be because of someone else’s mistake on the highway.


the hiking trail the bottom of the canyon.  must get pretty wet in the spring


December 9-11, 2022 MN to Eureka Springs, Arkansas

 Dec 9 Thursday
It was about noon before we left, which allowed some traffic to warm up the roads.  It was a good thing we waited.  We saw about 6 semi trucks in the ditch.  We make it to Osceola, Iowa and spent the night at an AmericInn.
Dec 10 Friday
We decided to take a different way home this time through Arkansas.  I had googled a place to stay, thinking we were going to stay in a lodge in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  Well, the restaurant and bar were in a new “lodge”, but the rooms were an old motel, Wanderoo.  But the cool thing was live music at the lodge just across the parking lot from our room, no driving.  There was a live bluegrass band playing that night.  We ordered a flatbread pizza and a Mediterranean platter from the restaurant.  Fun night.
Photo 3-1-22

view from our room of the enclosed porch where the band played

forgot the name of the band

Dec 11
Dave didn’t sleep well, so we decided to stay another night.  While he rested, I went into town to shop.  Eureka Springs is a funky little tourist town in the hills.  It kind of reminded me of Deadwood, SD.  I found a Catholic Church to go to that afternoon.  I went back to the room to pick up Dave to go to a German restaurant, but it was closed.  We ended up back at our hotel for dinner. 

December 5-8, 2022 Dave Mpls, Mary Denver

Dec 5 Sunday
Dave took me and Pete to the airport today.  Pete was flying back to GA (short and sweet trip).  I was flying to Denver.  My niece, Katie Zeller Murphy, husband Brad and daughter Memphis live there.  Katie had a conference in Las Vegas for a few days.  And Brad drives for UPS and had some long days this time of year.  So I volunteered to baby sit Memphis for them.  She is just a couple months short of being 6 years old and so cute!!
Brad and Memphis picked me up at the airport.  He had chili ready for dinner for all of us.  Katie had left earlier this morning.   Memphis and I had some fun playing and reading her bedtime stories.

Beautiful view of the Rockies when you step outside of the airport
Memphis tried on the new pajamas we bought her
silly girl with silly puzzle

Dec 6 Monday
Brad left for work before Memphis and I were even up this morning.  The first thing Memphis asked me when I woke her was “have you ever had a cavity?”.  They had a nice chart posted in the kitchen of what needed to be done every morning and what needed to be packed.  Brad had already put her lunch together.  We just had to pack it into her back pack.  
While she brushed her teeth, she had me find the song “Happier” on my phone by Marshmello and Bastille.  Never heard of it, but she knew the words.  
As I was driving her to school, she informed me that this was the first time she went to school without listening to music on the way.  I was using the navigation system in the car and had to hear what they were saying.  She survived.  We had no problem finding the school and getting her to her room on time.  
I has a leisure morning of watching TV, since we don’t own one.  I saw an interview with Neil Young and a concert by Cat Stevens, a couple of my favorite artists from the 70’s. 


Blue likes to snuggle

  I walked to a neighborhood restaurant, Onefold, and had wonderful tacos on homemade corn tortillas.  After lunch I walked to a large nearby park.  I wanted to walk about 3 miles, so made a loop through the park.  I must have exited the park on a different side and ended up walking about 5 miles instead by the time I found my way back to their home.  Luckily, I was able to pick up Memphis on time from school.   After a quick snack at home, we headed to swimming lessons.  By the time we returned home, Brad was home and had made coconut shrimp for us.  

Memphis and I finished a jigsaw puzzle together.  I volunteered to get her ready for bed and read to her again.  

kids always want to try on your glasses
I don't know who had more fun, Memphis or me

Dec 7 Tuesday
After taking Memphis to school today, I drove to Katies’ Stretch Lab for a free stretch session.  This is a new business venture of Katie’s.  And the conference she is attending if for Stretch Lab owners.  They had me do 3 squats with my arms extended in front of a screen.  It detected which muscles needed stretching.  I was on a bench about knee high, and a special stretch technician went though an hour of stretching where it was needed.  What a cool business.  She hasn’t been open long, and we wish her all the luck.
I found an Indian restaurant in the area that Katie had recommended, Monsoon.  I had a wonderful lunch-chicken tikka with masala sauce and rice.  Yummy!  I decided to go back to Katie’s circling the city a different way.  I put her address into my phone navigation and it took me to the same address but on the opposite side of the city.  I had to put in the address for Memphis’s school and ended up going through downtown Denver, darn.  

dropping Memphis off at school

Brad made huevos rancheros for dinner while Memphis and I worked on a new puzzle that I had brought her.  At one point, she was going back and forth between the puzzle and watching TV with Brad.  She came over to the puzzle and told me “you are really doing good by yourself”.  I can just hear Katie saying that to her.  I had another fun night of reading to Memphis and tucking her in.  I rested from about 8-10pm then went to the airport to pick up Katie.  She was going to get an Uber home, but it gave us time to chat.
Dec 8 Wed
After we dropped off Memphis at school, Katie took me to the airport for my flight back to Minneapolis.  I really enjoyed spending time with Memphis and Brad and briefly with Katie.  I let her know I would be happy to help her out again in the future.  
Dave had spent the few days I was in Denver with the Clausen’s in Woodbury.  They moved there from Apple Valley this summer.  It was only 16ยบ.  I forgot how horrible that felt.
I thought we’d leave after I arrived, but it was snowy and icy, so we went out for a Mexican dinner and spent one more night. 

Thursday, March 3, 2022

November 28-December 4, 2021 MN and WI Thanksgiving with the Roth's

11-28 Sunday
Dave and I left Aberdeen for Cumberland, WI to celebrate Thanksgiving with Dave’s family.  We only went part way with a detour through Nisswa, MN.  My lifelong friend, Lori Landgrebe Scheller and her husband Rod moved there this fall.  Their daughter, Katie, Peter and kids live there.  They are building a house on an adjacent property for Lori and Rod.  They love being near their grandchildren, Bernita (Birdie), Rula, and Auggie.  It was great to spend an evening with them.

Rod Schneller, Dave, Mary, Lori Landgrebe Schneller
Lori's office at a local bank

After a great breakfast in Nisswa, we drove to Cumberland, WI.  I drove back to Wyoming, MN (about one hour) to have dinner with another friend, Stephanie Larson Stec.   We were classmates in Dental school.  It’s nice that she is so close to Dave’s mom.  

Dave’s sister Debbie brought Alice over to Rice Lake.  We all met for a lunch at a Chinese Buffet.  

Dec 1
We spent the day at Alice’s getting her Christmas decorations out.  We sorted through what she wanted to keep and what to give away.  We stated decorating for her first Christmas in her new apartment.  We found an old wooden puzzle of the map of the world.  After putting it together, she offered it to us to take home. What a treasure.  

Dec 2
Dave and I drove to Minneapolis today to pick up Pete at the airport.  We had a great lunch at the Kyoto restaurant.  You can order anything you want off of the menu for one price.  We love that place.  We had a nice evening with Alice.  Pete and I played cards with her.

Dec 3 Friday
We cooked a wonderful Thanksgiving meal today at Alice’s.  Dave’s sister Debbie joined us and brought 3 pies!!  And his brother Dean joined us from Minneapolis.  Pete, Alice and I played dice games.

Dave, Alice, Dean, Debbie


Dec 4 Saturday
We spend the afternoon at Alice’s playing cards.  We had a great meal with the leftovers from yesterday.  Then we watched the Alabama vs Georgia football game.  We wont 41-24 which moved us to 1st place in  the final four teams.  We were expecting snow tonight and in the morning.  So we left after the game and drove to Woodbury, MN.  We spent the night at Joe and Erin Clausen’s.  They introduced us to Empress Gin.  It’s named after the Empress hotel in Victoria, British Columbia.

November 17-27, 2021 Road trip to WI then SD

We left Georgia today to drive to SD/MN/WI for a few weeks.  We stopped for dinner at the Full Moon BBQ restaurant in Auburn, AL.  We hear it advertised during the AL football games and had to try it.  We still like Willie Jewel’s back in GA better.  While we were there, we had our monthly FaceTime chat with my siblings.  Then we hit the road and made it to the north side of Birmingham, AL for the night.  

Today we stopped at a little town in Kentucky for lunch.  Dave wanted to try a small local BBQ restaurant.  He had a burrito made with pulled pork, Mac and cheese, and baked beans.  Still likes Willie Jewel’s better.  We stopped to enjoy the view in Illinois of the moon rising one the fields and the sun setting at the same time.  We made it to Urbana-Champaign, IL for the night.  We are starting to be repeat customers at Holiday Inn Express hotels.  

moon rising in the east
sun setting in the west

We made it to southern WI for lunch at a place we stopped last year, Remi’s Thirsty Moose, on a lake south of Portage, WI.  They remembered us stopping last year.  We went directly to Cumberland, WI to have dinner with Dave’s mom.  After a nice visit, we headed to the Holiday Inn Express in Rice Lake, WI, 15 miles away.

We drove to Cumberland to pick up Alice and Drove back to Rice Lake to take her shopping at Kohl’s for new jeans.  We enjoyed tacos back at Alice’s  apartment in Cumberland and watched Alabama win another football game.  

Today we enjoyed spaghetti at Alice’s and watched the Vikings beat the Packers.  It was a close game.   Tacos and spaghetti and pizza are Alice’s favorite meals.  

We made our traditional stop at Louie’s Meats to take brats, etc to SD.  After stopping at Alice’s, we headed to SD.  We made it to Sissiton, SD in time to watch our great niece, Claire Crawford, play basket ball and win!

11-23 Tuesday
My sister, Janice, and I went to our niece’s, Heidi Crawford, for Mary Kay facials.  I have been buying product from her for several years.
 But we hadn’t taken the time to review, and see what was new, or what I have been missing.  It was a fun morning.  
We had a fun dinner with our other sister, Beverly Krause, who arrived today along with  Jim and Janice Moore and cousin’s of ours from Faulkton, SD.  Larry and Cheryl Bower drove to Aberdeen to meet us a Logger’s.  They have great food, if you don’t over do it on the free popcorn and peanuts in the shell.  After dinner, we watched Claire play basketball and win again.  She’s a great player.

front-Don, Bev, Marie Crawford, back-Mary, Janice, Cindy Meyers, Lana Crawford, Standing-Dave

11-24 Wednesday
Bev and I met my longtime friend from Groton for lunch.  Nancy Sundstrom and I have been friends since 1974.  Her daughter, Jen, and granddaughter, Alivia, joined us.  She is Claire’s age and will be playing basketball against her next week.

Nancy Sundstrom, Mary

Dave made chili for the family tonight.  We took it out to the Crawfords for dinner.  Our brother, Don Zeller, had arrived.  Heidi is his daughter.  We had a fun night playing games.

Beverly, Mary, Don, Janice, Heidi
Beverly, Claire, Mary, Janice, Don

11-25 Thanksgiving
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner out at Heidi and Glen Crawford’s farm.  We helped bring dishes and Heidi cooked the turkey.  It was a late afternoon dinner.  Then we all played card games into the evening.  So nice to be with family. 

Heidi, Glen, Beverly, Marie Crawford, Garrett, Mary, Dave, Jim, Janice, Don, Claire

11-26 Friday
I went for a chilly walk in Aberdeen today to work off a few calories.  Some of the family went shopping today.  I just met them for Bloody Mary’s after shopping.  We had a German dinner tonight at Janice’s.  We brought brats from Wisconsin.  Bev made her hot German potato salad.

Mary, Jim, Claire, Don

11-27 Saturday
The ladies spent part of the day shopping.  We were home in time to watch the Alabama and Auburn college football game.  Alabama won after 4 overtimes!!  Jim cooked us wonderful South Dakota steaks for dinner.  

November 1-14, 2021 Charleston, SC, Porchfest, and marina friends

 Nov 1
We had given Lilly a gift certificate to have her nails done for her birthday on Oct 30.  Her parents were working and trying to get the boat ready to leave, so I took her to the salon.  She knew the options and what she wanted.  I learned a lot.  


coffin cut


Time with my girlfriends

Daily walk with a stop at the Yellow Deli
lunch with girlfriends


November ladies luncheon

November 5-6.
Dave, Pete and I went to Charleston for a Celtic festival this weekend.  We left Brunswick, GA Friday after Pete got off of work.  We made it to North Charleston in time to meet with a Rapid City friend of ours.  Katie Simonyak was there for a teacher’s conference.  She had posted on Facebook that she was in Charleston.  We were actually heading to North Charleston for the festival and found a room within blocks of where she was staying.  Katie had gone to the same high school and college as Pete, and they knew each other through music.  Later, Katie was my choir director in Rapid City.  It was great hearing all about her life and two children.  Small world.

Peter, Katie Simonyak, Mary

On Saturday, we headed to the Celtic festival.  After we parked and were walking to the fest grounds, we kept meeting people going the opposite direction.  We finally asked someone if we were going the right way and found out the festival had been cancelled.  The fest grounds were located on Cooper River.  There were very high winds and flooding that caused them to cancel the event after a tent was blown over.  





We decided to head to downtown Charleston for the day.  Peter had never been there before.  We googled places that would have live music.  We found a place with blue grass music and enjoyed a couple drinks there.  It was fun to sit at the bar and watch the bartender put on a show.


Next, we took the free city bus to an Irish pub we were familiar with.  We had a great late lunch and a couple of beers.  Dave, our designated driver, drove us back to Brunswick that night.  Pete had to work the next day.  It wasn’t the weekend we had planned, but it was fun for Pete to see Charleston.  


Nov 10

The marina always has fun activities for us.  Today was a chili cook off.   We had about 16 chili's to try and had people vote.  Some people brought side dishes or fixings.  Fun night.


Nov 14
The city of Brunswick sponsors a Porch Fest in the fall.  There are about 15 porches in the historic district of Brunswick that offer their porches for musicians to perform.  On most of the porches, the musicians change every hour between 12:00 and 5:00 pm.  Then there is a final concert at the headquarters.  There are food trucks and beverage carts in the neighborhood.  

Pete and I went to their second fest in 2019 shortly after he moved here.  They didn’t have one last year.  This year, Pete performed on one of the porches!  Many of our marina friends and a few from my church came to listen to him, besides others from the community.  The owners of the house wanted Pete to continue after his hour.  They loved him.


It was a beautiful afternoon to wander and listen to other musicians.  Our cousin, John Zeller from Ohio, was working in GA again.  He even joined us for a while.

Porchfest head quarters

Dancing in the street

Final porch performance