Eagles at Carillon Park

The Carillon

Carillon Park is a park full of the history of Dayton.

Carillon Park is also known for their eagles. For the past few years, the Eagles have laid eggs in a tree above the building that holds the 1905 Wright B Flyer.

Today I decided to go and hopefully take some photos of Orv and Willa and their eaglets. I was successful. YEAH!

So I think this was a successful day! I had my zoom lens on the camera and just took photos. It was not until I got home and edited the photos did I realize how lucky I was at getting photos of the eagles.

Since I now have a membership to Carillon Park, I just went to watch the eagles and to check out the new printing building. The next photos are of the new printing press building and some of the exteriors of buildings or exhibits.

ET phone home

On Saturday morning, we decided to go to Lake Michigan. Really close to where we were staying was the Saugatuck Dune State Park. The directions on my Google Map lead us to a convenience store, so we ended up driving around in circles. Luckily our GPS unit lead us to the correct spot.

When we got to the parking lot, Hubby still thought we were in the wrong spot because there was no beach there. All we could see were trees.

In order to get to the beach, we needed to hike through the woods.

Some of the woods reminded me of the scene where Elliot flew his bike with ET in the front basket. It was totally worth hiking through the woods to get to the beach because of the views.

Once we saw the outhouse, there was an opening in the trees. We finally made it to the beach.

Even though it was in the 40s, I had to take my shoes and socks off. I wanted to dip my toes in that cold lake water.

Hubby wouldn’t let me roll down the dunes. He told me that he didn’t want to take me to the hospital. Spoilsport.



The beach – Absolutely breathtaking . . . I wanted to feel the sand between my toes. There is nothing like that feeling. It feels like Heaven and freedom all rolled into one.

Oh, and the shoes I was wearing are Sketchers. I highly recommend them. I walked over 18,000 steps on Saturday. My feet never hurt.

Once we got to the wooded area, I went down the other path to the beach. I found this bench on top of a dune. The view was breathtaking. If you look closely, there is a photo of a shadow of me sitting on that bench.

Then there was the walk back to the car. It was a little more difficult because of the hills. Finally, we made it back to the car. Then it was on to our next adventure.

Stay kind!

Have a magical day,
Traci

The Coolest Public Restrooms

When we were in Saugatuck, Michigan, Hubby had the brilliant idea that we should do a sunset cruise that evening. So, we drove to a local business to see if they had any cruises that evening and if there were any openings. That idea was a no go but as we were driving up to the business, I noticed a mural on a building.

You see I am a sucker for photographing murals. I love the artistic ability of people. When I’m drawing/ painting/ anything artistic, I get upset when my art is not perfect.

When he stopped, we were about a block or so from the mural so I hoofed it over to the mural. It ended up being on the wall of the public bathroom in a park.

I hope you see why I liked this mural.

Then it was time to take some selfies.

Here are some photos of the park and surrounding area.

Stay kind!

Have a magical day,
Traci

Our weekend to Holland, Michigan

I seriously need to get back to blogging about our Columbus trip last August. However, I think I need to share photos from our trip this weekend.

In 2016, we traveled to Holland, Michigan after we dropped my son off at camp. Even though I was there for less than 24 hours, I fell in love with the area. The downtown area is 1/3 parking, 1/3 green space, & 1/3 buildings. Every May, they have Tulip Time during the second week. Lots of people flock to the area to see the tulips blooming.

I made the decision we were going back when my birthday and Mother’s Day collided for Tulip Time. This year was our chance. Even though I’m exhausted, it was so worth it.

We drove up Friday night through the rain and then a beautiful sunset.

On Saturday, we visited Saugatuck Dune State Park which reminded me of the movie ET at points. I felt as though Elliot was going to zoom past me on his bike. Then the forest opens up to the beach and Lake Michigan. I wish we spent more than an hour there but we had things to do. Then it was time to go visit downtown Saugatuck, a charming town with artisan shops and fisherman delights. Then it was onto Holland to see the tulips. We lucked out with our parking, so we hoofed it throughout the town.

While we were in Holland, we visited the library, walked down the Yellow Brick Road, saw many tulips, went back in time to 1812, visited the first mayor’s house and a house that survived the 1871 fire, and drank some lemonade from a girl who was selling lemonade outside her house.

Then we went back to Saugatuck for dinner and to find a perfect beach for sunset. On our way back to the Air BnB, we found a restaurant that served food from a huge root beer barrel. I needed to get the souvenir mug with a root beer float from that restaurant.

We had some downtime at the Air Bnb because it was not time for the sunset just yet. Closer to the sunset, we drove back to the beach in order for me to watch the sunset over Lake Michigan. So magical.

Sunday was my birthday. I started the day with a relaxing bubble bath. Then it was time to start the day. The first stop of the day was the tulip immersion garden. Imagine 50,000 tulips right where you can easily get photos. You also learned about the history of the tulip in this garden.

Then we tried to find parking. There was traffic everywhere because of Tulip Time, Mother’s Day, AND Hope College’s graduation. We lucked out because we found the last parking spot in the parking lot. They closed the lot after we drove up the ramp.

We took a walking tour around the city to learn about its history. Our tour guide even wore a traditional Dutch outfit along with wooden shoes.

Finally, it was time to meet up with a high school classmate: 200 plus miles from where we graduated from school 29 years ago. Can it be that long ago?

We ate pickle pizza and just talked for over an hour. Realizing the time, we walked them back to the car before going to get our last drink from a local coffee shop. I needed to go to the restroom, ok.

Next, we started the drive home. Stopping at rest stops along the way. We discovered a cool rest stop with a little museum just outside of Angola, Indiana. Finally, at 9:57 pm on a school night, we pulled into our driveway. All we could do was get ready for bed and crash because work beckoned us.

Stay tuned for photos from our trip.

Have a blessed day,
Traci

Mom, What’s For Dinner? Week of May 8, 2022

My menu this week contains food I already have in the house. I don’t want to have to go shopping after my weekend away. A big grocery shopping trip was done last week. I may have to get some produce and/or bread/ milk. Other than that, we’ll be good to go.

I have not included any lunches in my menu. I don’t know what I’m going to eat just yet.

Sunday – My birthday! Whoop, whoop!

  • Breakfast – Granola bar with cheese
  • Lunch – Out to eat
  • Dinner – On the road

Monday

  • Breakfast – Cottage cheese with jam
  • Lunch –
  • Dinner – Steak, rice, and roasted veggies (I got a bag of frozen roasted veggies during my grocery shopping.)

Tuesday

  • Breakfast – Cottage cheese with jam
  • Lunch –
  • Dinner – Bacon and cheddar hamburger patties (freezer), Garlic Parmesan fries, and mixed veggies

Wednesday

  • Breakfast – Cottage cheese with jam
  • Lunch –
  • Dinner – Out to eat – It’s both food truck and farmer’s market Wednesday in my town.

Thursday

  • Breakfast – cottage cheese with jam
  • Lunch –
  • Dinner – Hot dogs, chips, and raw veggies

Friday

  • Breakfast – either cottage cheese with jam OR granola bar with cheese
  • Lunch –
  • Dinner – either of the frozen gluten-free pasta kits or out to eat – My town is doing a Friday the 13th party.

Saturday

  • Breakfast – granola bar with cheese
  • Lunch –
  • Dinner – chili or the gluten-free pasta kit

Have a wonderful week,
Traci

Mom, What’s For Dinner? Week of May 1, 2022

Sunday

  • Breakfast – Ham and cheese roll from the local gluten-free bakery
  • Lunch – Chicken and corn chowder (left-over from last night)
  • Dinner – Meatloaf with twice baked potatoes from Sam’s Club, corn

Monday

Tuesday

  • Breakfast – Yogurt parfait
  • Lunch – Hummus plate – I have honey cheddar cheese, gluten-free crackers or pretzels, Kalamata olives, and cucumbers to go with the hummus
  • Dinner – Tacos, chips, and queso

Wednesday

  • Breakfast – Yogurt parfait
  • Lunch – Hummus plate
  • Dinner – Spaghetti with sausage, roasted broccoli (Ronzoni is the best gluten-free spaghetti in my opinion. I can get my gluten-eating family to eat it.)

Thursday

  • Breakfast – either cottage cheese with jam OR granola bar with cheese
  • Lunch – Left-overs
  • Dinner – Soy sauce pork chops, smashed potatoes, mixed veggies (The soy sauce is gluten-free.)

Friday

  • Breakfast – either cottage cheese with jam OR granola bar with cheese
  • Lunch – Left-overs or a salami and cheese wrap
  • Dinner – Dinner on the road – I have a black bean salad, peanut butter plate, and other snacky foods. It’s hard not knowing what options will be available to me when I travel. I am gluten-free, so I have to pack food with me.

Saturday

  • Breakfast – granola bar with cheese
  • Lunch – Out to eat with a high school classmate
  • Dinner – Out to eat – I will be packing my pho as a backup meal. I also have meat sticks already in my bag to eat if I also need something else.

Have a wonderful week,
Traci

Columbus trip | August 2021 | Saturday morning walk

Join me on a walk around the Historic Italian Village.

Hubby decided to sleep in on Saturday. I was anxious to do some exploring, so I left the Air BnB and walked to get breakfast.

The first group of photos is where our Air BnB is located and the murals across the street.

Some of the flowers and the chicken on the building. It was a deli or a small convenience store if I am remembering correctly.

The reason I went for the walk was to go to this coffee shop called Fox in the Snow. Boy, it did not disappoint. When I got there, there were a lot of people waiting for it to open. It is a popular place and for a good reason.

Check out the pastries. People were lining up to not only get coffee but also get the pastries.

The coffee I got is the New Orleans coffee. It’s made with chicory instead of coffee. So good.

Some photos of my walk back to the Air BNB.

Here is my gluten-free breakfast sandwich from the Fox in the Snow:

So delicious!

Join me next time for our visit to the North Market.

Have a magical day,
Traci

March 12, 2020

2 years ago, it was a typical Thursday. It was the last day of the quarter. The next day was supposed to be a teacher’s workday. Spring break was in 2 weeks.

Right before car rider duty, I get word that schools were going to be closed to flatten the curve. I can remember it was a beautiful day outside.

The next day, we came in for the teacher’s workday. Meetings were scheduled to address how we were going to teach the students while they were at home. Some parents opted to do it on the computer while others opted to do it on paper and pencil. Packets were made. I can even remember which drawer I placed them in so I could help give them to the students I serviced.

Monday was a day I will never forget. A few students came in for their last day. For some, it would be 7 or 11 months until they entered a school building for others it was going to be almost a year and a half.

Parents were coming in to get supplies or the paper packets. No one knew what was going to happen next.

The school district I teach in had already had its world turned upside down when the tornado ripped through that previous May. In less than a year, more trauma was created in those young lives.

I was dealing with my own trauma at the same time. I had just lost my mom 5 months prior. As I was beginning to feel some sort of healing, my life was flipped upside down.

So when you say it’s been 2 years, for me it’s been much longer since my life was “normal.”

Oh, and I may have had Covid that February before the shutdown. I remember being gone for over a week and when I came back one of my students said to me, “Did you have the coronavirus?”

My reply was “no,” as I continued to have coughing attacks until the shutdown.

Mom, What’s For Dinner? Week of February 27, 2022

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a meal plan. My children will still ask me what’s for dinner. However now they are teenagers, they have started to cook for themselves. I just provide the ingredients for them. They’ll also eat what I’ve cooked.

Oldest has decided he wants to learn to cook before college which is soon. Mind you his first two years will be done at a local college, so he’ll be still at home. He wants to make sure he knows how to make basic recipes.

Breakfast:

I have a running list of favorite breakfasts.

Lunch:

  • Salsa chicken – In the freezer – Taco (?!?)
  • Steak bites with sauteed peppers, onions, and mushrooms over rice
  • Side salad for both

Dinner:

Sunday Dinner:

  • Roast, roasted potatoes and carrots, mashed potatoes OR
  • Whole chicken, mashed potatoes, mixed veggies

Stay kind!

Have a magical day,
Traci

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