The Time I was Rick Rolled (Before Rick Rolling was a Thing)

When I was about 13 or 14 years old, I got money for a Christmas or my birthday.  I can’t remember why I got the money.  So I decided to buy George Michael’s Faith album.  I had liked George Michael since his days with Wham!  My favorite song when I was my youngest son’s age was “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.”

On the Faith album, there was a song called “I want Your Sex.”  I was so naive so I didn’t think anything of that song.  Well, soon after I bought the album the tape in the cassette tape decided to break.  We went back to return the tape.

Grandma had not seen the tape when I bought it but when we got to the store she had seen the names of the songs.  Boy was she mad at me.  I was not suppose to be listening to songs about sex at my young age.

I was not allowed to buy another Faith album.  I was allowed to return it and get a different album by a different artist.

So what did I get instead?  I ended up with Rick Astley’s “Whenever You Need Somebody.”  I can remember opening that cassette tape and my grandpa playing it on the radio of his Astro Van.

I was Rick Rolled by my grandma.  To be honest, I liked the album at that point in my life.

I think the Faith album was the first album I ever bought.  If my boys bought something like that I would be so upset.  It was not an appropriate album for my age.

This was the time I was Rick Rolled.

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Yummly

I hope you have a great day.  Thanks for reading my blog post.  

Happy eating,
Traci

My 9/11 Story

It was a Tuesday morning. I had just finished teaching at the middle school and was on the way to Westbrooke Village Elementary School (WBV).

I was listening to Mix 107.7.  After I turned on Olive Road, I heard the news. At first I thought it was a joke but then I realized it was the truth just as I was passing a Baptist Church about 3 minutes from WBV.  

Once I entered WBV and went to the classroom I was going to be working in, I informed the teacher what had occurred.  We turned on the tv’s in the classroom.  The fourth graders didn’t pay attention. Meanwhile the adults realized life was changing. I can remember that at one point, one of the adults said “That’s not New York City. That’s Washington D.C.”

When it was time for me to go back to my room. I was going to be putting the radio on but was informed not to do that. We were told not to let the students hear what was going on.  There was no outdoor recess on that September day.  Fortunately we were able to tell the children, the playground equipment was being worked on because at that time they were fixing the playground.

Later in the evening, I was supposed to go eat dinner with my grandparents and then spend the night at my mom’s house. I had brought baked mac and cheese to share with my grandparents. So I went over there and ate with them. As I was going to leave, we heard the sonic boom from them clearing the air space for Air Force 1. In a panic, I made a decision to spend the night with them. I remember sleeping on their blue couch and being tucked in by my grandma. I was 26 years old but I that night I needed to feel safe and secure.

Whenever I think of 9/11, memories flood into my mind and tears roll down my face. It’s truly a moment in time that changed my life. I will never forget.

I live by one of the biggest Air Force Bases in the nation.  I can remember for months afterwards the lines at the Air Force gates.  Security was amped up in my area.

Tanya refused to come over to my house because she was afraid of the base being bombed.  You could see the base from one of my windows in my townhouse.

 

It was a scary time in American history.

I’ll never FORGET!

What’s your 9/11 story?

Tanya’s Celebration of Life Photos

Last week, we had a celebration of life for Tanya.  A week after her death was what would have been her 39th birthday.

We had people visit from all over.  Our relatives came in from Pittsburgh, PA.  My aunt traveled down from Albany, New York.  My youth leader/ father figure  and his wife traveled from Columbus, Ohio.  One of the young men from my youth group traveled from Nashville.  We also had people from all over the area.

It was a wonderful way to celebrate a life that was cut short.  She didn’t realize how loved she was when she was here on Earth.

We also released purple balloons in her memory.

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God’s Presence?

Have you ever felt God’s presence in your life?  With the tragedy of my sister passing, I feel his presence in my life.  He has something big planned for me.  And even though I have an inkling of what it might be, I don’t know how it’s going to go down.

One of my dreams is to be a writer.  It’s not a dream that I share with people.  I’m afraid that my grammar or poor spelling at times will get in the way so I’ve tucked that dream away.  I also have a fear that no one would want to read what I have to say.  I’ve always had a lot to say.  Sometimes people just tune me out because I can ramble on FOREVER.

Then I wrote the letter to Tanya, straight from my heart.  I know there was problems with my grammar but everyone got message I was trying to get across.

People are also calling me the historian.  I have a lot of memories tucked into my heart and mind.  I need to share those stories to the world instead of keeping them locked away.  One day I won’t be here to share them anymore.  My words will live on if I write them down.

As I said, I know God has big plans for me.  What they are and how they work themselves out is unwritten.  It’s up to me to trust in him to lead him down that path.

It’s been said to collect moments, not things.  I have both.  Some of the things I have are memories of moments that I have collected along my journey of life.

Jesus and God have heard my struggle through this difficult time.

As Robert Frost wrote

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
I need to take the road less traveled during this difficult period of time in my life.

The Day I Told My Grandma that the Rubber Broke

Since my sister passed, I’ve decided I needed to share family stories.

When I was a child/ teenager, our family would go to my grandpa’s sister’s house; aka the Farm.  We would have potluck dinners with my grandpa’s family.  The potluck dinners often had Aunt Janet’s baked goods, white salad, deviled and a tray of pickles and olives.  Aunt Janet also would have a big pitcher of sweet ice tea.

One night, my grandma brought a crock pot full of yummy food to the potluck.  It was one of those round crock pot.  The lid was held on by two rubber bands.  When grandma brought in the crock pot, I noticed one of the rubber bands had broke.  So I announced loudly in the presence of all of my family, “grandma, the rubber broke.”

Then I realized what I said.

I retracked my words and told her that the rubber band broke holding the lid onto the crock pot had broke.

That is the day I told my grandma that the rubber broke.

Dear Tanya

My sister died unexpectedly on Sunday the 28th of August.   I have been asked to give the memorial or remembrance about her at her simple graveside funeral.  My mother-in-law suggested I write it as a letter.

Dearest Tanya,

It’s with such sadness that I’m writing this letter to you.  You are now in Heaven shining down on me.  I’ll miss so much about you.  I don’t know if you realize how loved you were when you were here with us on Earth.  So many people have left remembrances of you and your kind heart and sweet soul.

The way I remember you is so much different.  I have lots of memories of us growing up and then as adults.  In Philippians 1:3, Paul wrote “I thank God upon every remembrance of you.”

I can remember the RTA trips to downtown to either play Putt-Putt, shop at the Arcade, or visit the Salem Mall.

I have memories of us traveling by bus to Charlottesville, VA as children.  We would stop in Washington, D.C. on the way there or back.  Also of us traveling to Walt Disney World in 1990.  One of my favorite memories was of us telling mom that the Big Thunder Railroad was a simulated roller coaster.  We ended up in the front seat of the Railroad.  Boy was mom mad at us afterwards.  Mom should know that the back is far worse than the front of the coaster.  Do you remember those Boy Scouts from California that were on the train back to Ohio from Orlando?  We spent a lot of time in their railroad car.  

We went on three Mission trips with the Clayton United Methodist Youth Group – Over-the-Rhine area of Cincinnati, South Carolina, and Athens, Ohio.  The South Carolina trip was the most memorable.  From Ambo, the train traveling hobo, to people stealing from us, to you being a fake girlfriend to Doug, to traveling to Myrtle Beach, to the Chinese buffet, to losing power at the church we were staying at.  I will always keep those memories in my heart.  Your life was one of Service, one of your favorite bow stations in Rainbow.

For 7 years, we were in Rainbow together.  Traveling from here to there – Making friends and memories.  I know you got amused with me when I could mess up a room during a weekend away at Grand Assembly.  We were only there for three or four days and the room would look like my clothes threw up in it.  All the dances and installations we attended.  The friends we made who have stepped up to offer condolences or help during this time.  They are not just friends but family.  Family that just hasn’t seen each other in a while.  If you see Mom Gray up in Heaven, please tell her I miss her dearly.  

You and I traveled so much to Pittsburgh to visit family.  When we stayed at grandma’s house, one of us had to be the unlucky one and get the bed with the mattress covered with plastic.  If you were that sister, you had an unsettled night of sleep because the mattress would move every time you rolled around.  Do you remember grandma getting on us about going to church or her telling us about all the boyfriends she had before grandpa?  I will treasure our pictures at the Overlook in Pittsburgh.

Do you remember the one Easter eve that I called you?  I said you have an hour to pack because we are going on a road trip.  We ended up in Illinois for the night before traveling up to Chicago and then onto Kenosha, Wisconsin for the other night.  We went to the Kmart in Kenosha to get our Easter candy.  Such memories.

Our super trips in 2001 and 2002 with mom will remain in my heart.  Listening to Backstreet Boys at their concert, visiting with our grandma in Pittsburgh, and driving through Gettysburg.  Do you remember changing the calendar in grandma’s house with Jamie?  I don’t think grandma realized we did that.  My favorite picture of the two of us is from that trip.  We also created a list of 50 boyfriends for mom on the trip in 2001 – one in each state.  There was also descriptions of a few of the fake boyfriends.  Do you remember how we actually ran into a guy who looked like one of the fake boyfriends?

Thank you for your help with Nick when Will was born.  Do you remember how Nick slept for 12 plus hours the night Will was born?  We didn’t need to worry about Nick and were able to concentrate on our new baby boy.

Thank you for all the times you watched our house while we were traveling.  I’m sure Dobby will miss you.  He does love you so.

I know that I was an annoying big sister.  I was the first one to tattle on you when you did wrong.  I was the one who made you do math problems at Melody Pool.  You were not allowed to swim until you got them done.  Then I allowed you to get the pool.  You thanked me later for tutoring you since you were able to understand the math while in middle school.  I made you help me pack for my Disney College Program on your 18th birthday.  Boy, were you upset with me.  Hey, at least you got rid of me for 4 months after that.

I think most of all I am going to miss calling mom’s house.  If she was unable to talk or was gone, we made up excuses to why she could not answer the phone.  Most of the time it was that she was on a date with some made up random guy.  That random guy always had a Latino name like Raul or Julio.  

When I see a rainbow in the sky, I will think of you.  As it written in Genesis 9:13, “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”  You will be my rainbow in the sky.  

I love you so very much.  Teasing mom about her fake boyfriends won’t be as much fun.  

Give a kiss to both grandmas and grandpas for me.  

One day I’ll see you again but until then I’m going to be homesick and miss you so much.  As the song “Homesick” from Mercy Me says “You’re in a better place, I’ve heard a thousand times.  And at least a thousand times I’ve rejoiced for you.  But the reason why I’m broken, the reason why I cry is how long must I wait to be with you.”  

Love your annoying big sister,

Traci

 

Some of Our Eats – Niagara Falls and Toronto, Ontario – Part 2

Here are the pics from our eats from our Spring Break trip to Canada.  All these pictures are taken on my DSLR camera.

I’ve posted some links to various restaurants and descriptions of the various foods.  Those are in red.

Continue reading “Some of Our Eats – Niagara Falls and Toronto, Ontario – Part 2”

Some of Our Eats – Niagara Falls and Toronto, Ontario

My family and I recently went on a road trip to Niagara Falls and Toronto during our Spring Break.  We tried new foods while there.  I tried to take pictures of some of the foods so I could share it with my readers.

Continue reading “Some of Our Eats – Niagara Falls and Toronto, Ontario”

Cooking Inspirations – Grandma Part 1

As I said yesterday, Grandma would have turned 88 if she was still alive.  I lived with her from the age of 10 until I moved out when I was 21.  That is except for the four months I was in Walt Disney World at the age of 20. Continue reading “Cooking Inspirations – Grandma Part 1”

My Aunt Janet’s Pecan cookies – Christmas Making and Baking

This blog post was originally posted in 2013.  I did not have any pictures of the actual cookie so I’ve added a picture of the cookie.

Sunday was All Saints’ Sunday.  I got nostalgic so I decided to make these cookies.  I didn’t realize when I made the cookie that it made a BIG batch.  I made at least 6 dozen cookies.  

So I decided to take some of the cookies to school to share with my co-workers.  They thought they were delicious.

My Aunt Janet's Pecan CookiesHere is the original post:
The other night, the Wee One handed me a box and asked me what was in it. As I looked through it, I found blank cards and recipe cards. The treasure was two recipe cards written by my grandma. She died Christmas Eve of ’08 so it was nice to see her handwriting one more time.

My aunt Janet was actually my grandpa’s sister so technically she was my great aunt. I still called her aunt without the great. We spent a lot of time with her. She and my Uncle Mitch had a farm that had willow trees and a pond. I remember going up to the farm for family gatherings and walking around the pond.

She was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2004 and within less than a week had passed away. My whole family misses her.

Pecan Cookies

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Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 C. shortening, margarine, or butter
  • 2 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/2 C. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 C. pecans

Steps:

  1. Cream shortening, margarine, or butter with the sugar.
  2. Add eggs and beat well.
  3. Add flour, salt, and soda. Mix well.
  4. Fold in nuts.
  5. Drop from spoon onto greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.
  7. Cool for about 1 minute and then remove to wire racks to completely cool.
  8. Enjoy!

Store in an airtight container.

Christmas Making and Baking

Happy Eating,

Traci

Coconut Cream Homemade Lara Bars

The medicine I was given yesterday really has helped me feel better.  Plus the 11 hours of sleep I got last night has really helped me.  I’m still not at 100% but I’m at least at 70%.  Much better than I was feeling 3 days ago.

My father-in-law had diabetes and blood pressure issues.  For a few years at Christmas time, I would buy him treats he could enjoy.  These treats contained low sugar and low sodium.  He also couldn’t swallow almonds all that well and I would buy him lots of almonds.  He kindly told me not to any more.  Plus he hated coconut.  So what did I get him?   I would go to Trader’s Joe and get him various nuts but not almonds with no salt, pumpkin butter, and Larabars.

I thought Larabars looked interesting but did not try them for the longest time because I didn’t know what the dates would taste like.  I know, I know I’m such a chicken.  Then when I did I was hooked.  They are so good.

This Christmas I had planned to make him some homemade ones.  In fact, I bought the dates the Friday before his death.  It took a month or so after his death to make the homemade ones for myself.  I ended up making coconut cream ones which I know he would have hated.

Let me tell you, they are delicious!!!!!  I would take one of those and a cheese stick and would be set for breakfast.  Yummo!

(Sorry I don’t have a picture of one.  I forgot to take one but will post one as soon as I make another batch.)

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Click on the recipe so you can print it.

My Whole Food Life

Pork and Sauerkraut (A Slow Cooker Recipe)

It’s a family tradition to have pork and sauerkraut for our New Year’s dinner.  My father-in-law would make a big pot of it and family members would eat the sauerkraut so that they would have good luck for the new year.  Since he died two weeks ago, I offered to make it this year.

I made some changes to how it was cooked.  First of all I made it in my slow cooker instead of in a big stock pot.  I also roasted potatoes instead of cooking the potatoes in the slow cooker with the meat and sauerkraut.  Hubby loved it and was impressed because it didn’t have the bitter/sour taste you usually associate with sauerkraut.  He even took some to work with him to share with his co-workers.

The boys did taste the sauerkraut so they would have good luck but being kids didn’t really like it.  At least they tried it which is better than on New Year’s Eve.  I made fish for supper.  The fish was cooked with olive oil and a seasoning mix from one of my Foodie Pen Pals.  Hubby loved it but the boys wanted to give me excuses on why they could not eat it.  They still had to eat it but it was interesting on what excuses they came up with.  The best one is their brain was going to explode since I told them fish is brain food.

Now onto the recipe:

Pork and Sauerkraut in the Slow Cooker

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Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 -2 lbs. pork roast
  • 16 – 32 oz. of sauerkraut (depending on how much pork you have)
  • 1 big carrot or 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 apple, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

  1. Drain and rinse the sauerkraut several times to remove the brine.
  2. Place the pork roast in the bottom of the slow cooker.  (Mine is 5 qt.)  Sprinkle salt and pepper on the pork roast.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the rinsed sauerkraut, apple pieces, carrot pieces, and brown sugar.
  4. Place the sauerkraut mixture on the pork roast.
  5. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.
  6. Shred the pork and combine with the sauerkraut.
  7. Enjoy with boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes, or roasted potatoes (just serving suggestions)!

Printable Recipe

This Weather

Many states in the United States are currently deal with the Polar Vortex.  From my understanding, it is always around but this is this first time in 20 years that it’s gone so south and then stalled.  We are experiencing record lows that have not been felt in 20 years which was my first year in college.  I am surprised I don’t remember that because I went to a community college and would ride public transportation to and from school.  I would have to walk several blocks to catch the bus home even though I could ride a bus down there but I decided to be healthy most of the time by walking.  I don’t remember it getting that cold or I just forgot.

However I do remember when I came home from Walt Disney World in January of 1996.  I had been down there for the College Program.

Disclaimer:  Cell phones and the Internet were not as readily available as they are now.  In fact, I did not use the Internet until the summer of 1997 and did not own my first cell phone until my first year of teaching (2000-2001 school year).   Even then I rarely carried it around.

This day reminds me of the day I came home from my Disney internship 18 years ago. (We are having record-breaking cold weather. The forecast had been 8 to 12 inches of snow and we only got 1.5 inches of snow.)

I had talked to my mom before leaving for the airport. She told me that it was cold and snowy. It was 80 degrees in Lake Buena Vista, Florida and I was wearing shorts during that phone call.

Later on that morning, I got onto the plane (no longer in shorts) and never heard about the connecting flight from Atlanta to Dayton. Another person who had done the internship and I had taken the same flight home. We took times calling our family in the Dayton area. (Had to use the pay phone) The other person waited in line to find out information about our delay. We knew more from our family than we did from the Atlanta airport.

Almost 11 hours after we were suppose to take off, we finally did take off. (11ish at night). When we landed in Ohio, we were greeted with 8 inches of snow on the ground (looked it up today). I put on layers because I had no winter coat with me. We then hunkered down in the baggage claim area which was freezing because of the exterior flaps. One of the baggage claim carousals had some diet Pepsi and peanuts come through so that was our middle of the night snack. I had no pillow but did have a big Pumbaa stuffed animal. That ended up being my pillow. (It was about 2 am at this point.)

Between 6 and 7 am, we found one cab driver willing to drive me home. Even though the other young man lived really close to the airport, he rode with me to assure I got home safely.

I could not find the spare key outside the house and everyone was asleep. Luckily my grandma woke up to go to the bathroom. She heard me outside and let me in. (No cell phone because cell phones were nothing like we have today.) Even though they wanted to celebrate Christmas since I was in Disney on Christmas Day, I told them I was ready to sleep.

When I got up, we had to go to Wal-Mart because I had left all of my personal hygiene goodies in my apartment in Lake Buena Vista and my glasses had broken right before I had left.

Oh this was a Sunday into Monday ordeal . . . And we were only supposed to get 2-3 inches of snow that Sunday.  (The dates were January 7 into the 8th).

 

Four years later, I traveled down there with Hubby.  It was our honeymoon a year after we had married.  On the way home, we got stuck in Newark, New Jersey.  They had a plane for us but then all of a sudden there was no plane.  We ended up spending the night in the Newark, New Jersey airport.  The next 2 times we traveled to Walt Disney World were by car and when we go in March, we are once again driving.

The Importance of taking pictures

Today’s challenge for Elf 4 Health is to share our expertise.  I wracked my brain and could not come up with anything.  I mean I take pictures but I’m not an expert.  I know about aperture and shutter speed.  I’ve manually set the camera but am not an expert.

I teach all day long but you could call me a Jack of all trades but a master of none.  There is nothing that I teach that stands out  that I could say I’m an expert at.  I write Individualized Education Plans and some of them have been great but I don’t think anyone would want to read about IEP’s and how to write them.  Plus the laws constantly change so what I teach you today could be different tomorrow.

Then yesterday my family’s world changed when we lost my father-in-law.  He was a great guy who played Santa every year.  He will always be Santa in my heart.  As family sat around last night, I gave my mother-in-law and sister-in-law their presents which were photo books from our big vacation in July/August.  Their were pictures of the whole family together in a happier time.  Memories were shared.

It was decided that my expertise is taking lots of pictures.  It drives people nuts but in times like these those pictures are a good remembrance of the person.

So why should you take pictures?

1.  It documents important events in your lives.

Last Christmas, Hubby started making plans for the whole family to go down to Charleston, SC for a family vacation.  We knew that my father-in-law’s health was not the best so we wanted these memories of everyone at the beach for one last time.  I probably took around 4,000 pictures at the different places we visited.  Some of the pictures are scenery and sunrises/sunsets but others are pictures of family members.  One of my favorite pictures is my father-in-law sitting on the balcony of the condo.  He looks like Wilson from Home Improvement with the bars of the railing covering his face and you can only see his hat.  Another picture I took was on our last night of the trip.  It is a picture of my mother-in-law and him kissing.  The second picture is my mother-in-law looking at me while he’s still looking at her wanting another kiss.  That picture shows me what true love is.

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2.  You never know what is going to happen in life.  

It’s great to have pictures of people who have impacted your life.  Tomorrow is never guaranteed.

3.  To document your family history.  

I love looking at pictures of family members who lived before I was born.  The boys get to see their great grandparents who lived and died before they were born.  They get to hear stories about their great grandfather who flew in a bomber during World War II.  We have pictures of him wearing his bomber jacket 50 years after he last flew.  The boys know about him and what kind of person he was.

4.  For moments like these

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Those special moments that happen once in a life time.  My father-in-law played Santa for 40 plus years.  He was at our local mall for many years and now played Santa for parties.  My father-in-law seemed to be rough at the edges but once he put his Santa suit on, he was truly Santa.  It was magical.  This picture was taken at our town’s lighting of the tree last year.  My father-in-law did not know the boys were standing there.  Even though it looks staged, this picture was totally candid and is one of my favorite pictures of them with Santa.

My words of advice though are:

1.  Don’t worry about capturing everything that you miss out on experiencing life.

2.  Don’t take the pictures and never look at them again.

3.  Sometimes the best pictures are not the staged picture where everyone says cheese.  The best pictures are the candid ones.  Our wall is covered with those candid shots that turned out the best.  They looked staged but were not.  I just captured the picture at that right moment.

4.  Share the memories with those you love and care about.

When I made the memory book, I left out writing any captions except for on one page.  I did that so people could share the memories and our family history.

Ten Lessons from Grandpa

Today would have been my grandpa’s 89th birthday.  It has hit me really hard this year because on December 6, it will be 10 years since his death.  Here are some lessons I learned from him:

1. Sometimes you need to drive off the beaten path. He would drive through the neighborhoods instead of the main streets. I drive that way too. I know so many different ways to get to work that I could confuse someone.

2. Sometimes it’s better to listen then talk. I knew I was in real trouble when my grandpa started lecturing me about my behavior. When he spoke, you listened because whatever he was going to say was important.

3. Chocolate and sweets make the world go round. He loved pumpkin pie (Imaginative One’s favorite) and chocolate. They would sit next to his recliner on his end table.  Okay not the pumpkin pie but the chocolate did.  Don’t ask me how I know.

4. Nature is beautiful. He and grandma would sit and watch the hummingbirds outside their family room.

5. Family is important. When my mom, sister, and I moved in with him and grandma, he was ready to retire. He continued working for about 7 years so he could support us. He made the bunk bed my sister and I shared for 2 years.

6. Keep your gas tank half full especially in winter. You don’t want the gas to freeze.

7. The importance of vocabulary. He would read Reader’s Digest and have me look at the Word Power with him. I still read the Reader’s Digest and look at the Word Power. Those word power puzzles stump me at times.

8.  Coffee is yummy!  I didn’t start drinking coffee until after he was gone.  Now I love it.  Now I wish I could sit down with him and drink a cup of coffee with him.

9. Education is important.  He wanted me to graduate from college.  I was the first one in my family to earn a bachelor’s degree.

10.  Trust in God!  He was a tail gunner during World War II and saw unimaginable destruction.  His faith needed to be there in order to survive.

Thank you Grandpa for teaching all these lessons!

Our Super Trip ~ Day #9

Day 8

We planned to leave early on Saturday morning so we could get to the Georgia Aquarium at a decent time.  It usually closed at 9 pm but on this particular Saturday, it was closing at 6 pm.  :(

Before we left, the boys and I walked out to the beach.  The Wee One was crying because he did not want to leave the ocean.  The Imaginative One was looking for sea life while we were down there.

Finally we got on the road and traveled to Georgia.  At one of the rest stops, I got a drink out of the vending machine but didn’t have enough on me to get the boys anything.  (It was in the car.)  A gentleman approached me with 2 dollars for the boys.  The Wee One used his dollar to get what he had his eye on.  The Imaginative One kept his money.

When we were almost to our destination, we got into a traffic jam.  There had been an accident.  Luckily we only to travel on I-75 for about a mile so we got out of it pretty quickly.  We’ve driven through Atlanta on the highway but never on the surface streets so it was neat to see a different side of Atlanta.

Once we got the hotel, we checked in and then walked through Centennial / Olympic Park to get to the Aquarium.  The line to get into the Aquarium was long even though we already had tickets.  Once we got to the front of the line, we realized it was because we needed to go through the metal detectors.

We loved the Aquarium!  Our favorite exhibits were the 3D show, the whale sharks, the beluga whale, the frog exhibit, and the dolphin show.

When we were done with the Aquarium, we once again walked through Centennial / Olympic Park but took extra time to enjoy our surroundings.  The funniest thing was seeing a man walking 6 dogs.  All 7 of them were wearing sunglasses.

Then we went to Waffle House for dinner.  We loved the service there.  Tracy (our server) made sure it was okay when the Wee One ordered a certain drink.  I thought that was great.

Afterwards we went back to the hotel for a little while.  We were going to ride the Ferris wheel that was across the way from our hotel.  However, we would have to wait for almost an hour and then pay $50.  That was not going to work with the boys.  They decided to go swimming but the water was too cold.  So we went to bed.  The boys had a pull out to sleep on.  The trouble was it was a single so the Wee One slept curled up at the top while the Imaginative One slept curled up on the bottom.

Click on the photograph of the dogs with sunglasses to see more pictures.

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Our Super Trip – Day #8

Day 7

Friday was our last day at the beach.  I once again got up and was out the door by 6:30 am.  This time I went to the pier to watch the sunset.  Boy was I glad I did because it was gorgeous.

Afterwards I went to the hotel next to our condo complex because they had a Starbucks.  I was hoping to use my coupon and Wifi.  The coffee shop served Starbucks but was not an actual Starbucks so they couldn’t accept my coupon.  :(  I ordered a tall latte and ended up with a venti instead.  I didn’t complain.

After stopping at the coffee shop, I walked around Folly Beach and took pictures.  Before heading back to the condo, I stopped at the Lost Dog Cafe.  The breakfast burrito I got was so good!  I also got a caramel latte with peanut butter whipped cream.  Yum!

Once I was back in the condo and everyone was up for the day, we spent the rest of the morning at the beach.

After we returned to the condo and had lunch, the Imaginative One and I walked over to Sugartime to get him some ice cream.  Then we went to pier.  He enjoyed watching on of the fishermen pulling up their catch.

Then it was back to the beach for the afternoon.  Once I got down there, the kids decided they did not want to play in the ocean so i took them to the pool instead.  I got in the pool with them for a little while.

We left the pool area when the four (niece, nephew, Imaginative One, and Wee One) of them decided to play some sort of weird congo dance game.

My in-laws’ bathroom had a whirlpool in it.  The kids decided they wanted to use it so one at a time they got into the whirlpool.  Even though it was dinner time, the Imaginative One was laying in there while reading a book about space.  We let him sit there for a while longer so we did not have to hear him complain about the dinner.  (He did just that because he didn’t want the chicken.)

After dinner, we all went out to the beach and took the family pictures.  (I will post the pics of our family and my mother-in-law and father-in-law but not my sister-in-law’s family.)

Once the pictures were taken, it was back to the condo to pack up because the next morning we were going to leave for Atlanta.

Click on the frog to see more pictures of Day 8.

 

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Our Super Trip – Day #7

Day #1

Day #2

Day #3

Day #4

Day #5

Day #6

When Foodie Pen Pals Meet

Since it was lightening when I woke up, I did not go for a walk on the beach.  I stayed on the balcony and watched the waves come in.  No sunrise pictures were taken on day 7 because there was no beautiful sunrise😦.  I do have a picture or two of the clouds though.

After everyone got up for the day, we headed to do some geocaching,  If you don’t know what it is, Google it.  While we were at the first park, I got to take pictures of the Bridge and watched a family crabbing.  That was cool!

After we left that park, we headed to another park to get a geocache.  I stayed in the car because there wasn’t any cool scenery for me to take a picture of.  By that time, we were tired of the bugs eating us.  So we headed to Piggly Wiggly and got some bug spray.

Hubby and I both wanted to eat at the ‘Wich Doctor for lunch but it was not open until noon so we headed out to the beach that overlooks Morris Island Lighthouse before hitting up that local joint.  Once we got to the beach, we found my sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and nephew there.  They had been fishing out there all morning.  My nephew caught his first ocean fish!  We got to see dolphins swimming out in the water while we were at the beach.  That was cool seeing their fins while swimming.

We took our usual pictures with the Morris Island Lighthouse as the backdrop.  The Imaginative One and Wee One were not so cooperative when I was trying to get their picture taken together.  Argh!

Once we left the beach and got to the car, I discovered my foot had red ants on it.  The Imaginative One with all his random knowledge told me not to put water on my foot because it would make them attack more.  I was able to brush them off and immediately put the topical Benadryl on my toes that were bitten.

We did end up going to the ‘Wich Doctor for lunch.  Hubby tried their pizza and I got a Greek tuna salad sandwich with olives and capers and pickled green bananas, carrots and daikon.  A local told us how it is favorite local restaurant.  :)  The food was delicious.

While we were waiting for our food to be cooked, the boys and I went to get them shaved ice.  They were promised the shaved ice the night before but because of the rain, we could not get it.

The rest of the day was spent being out on the beach.  I once again cooked supper for the whole family.  This time I made sloppy joes.  The hamburger was still not fully defrosted even though it had been in the fridge for almost 24 hours.  I was able to work around it this time though.

After dinner, the Wee One and I went for a walk on the pier.  We watched a young adult throw peanuts into the air and the sea gulls catching it.  They even gave the Wee One a peanut so he could feed the sea gulls.

After our walk on the pier, we went to Sugartime and got some treats and ice cream.  It was nice to spend quality time with the Wee One.

After we got back from our walk, we sang “Happy Birthday” to my father-in-law and sister-in-law.  Then we enjoyed the brownies that were baked to celebrate their birthdays.

More adventures later . . .

Click on the photograph of the Wee One and I to see more pictures of our day.1-318