Sunday, August 24, 2014

BIRTHDAY JOY in the mountains

The birthday trip was over 320 miles, and I drove the whole route. Nerve-wracking for Grace and Becky, I suppose.
Ah, Black Rock Mountain, with its breathtaking vistas from the parking lot.

Great photo ops!

Bright blossoms bring color to the scenery.

Now to actually hike.

The morning sun didn't scorch us. Here it tends to be 20 degrees cooler than Central Georgia.

"The light at the end of the tunnel is simply not all it's cracked up to be. I'm leaving."

The information we were given doesn't seem to be correct as to how to get to
the falls.
Finally heading down to the car to find the lake.

The quaint church up near the dam.

Thunder rolled across the mountains, warning us not to go on the trail around the lake and risk getting our cameras wet.

"The paparazzi follows me EVERYwhere. The price of beauty, I suppose."
He does!!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Accidental Vacationers

Grace and I decided it was time we visited some retired missionaries that hadn't seen in a long time. So we drove down to central Florida and stopped in to see seven retired friends. This is Lakeland's beautiful lake with swans.
A gorgeous bloom in the town library's rose garden.
However, as we were tooling along on SR 64, we began hearing suspicious noises coming from our car, so Grace pulled over. We found nothing out of order, so continued.  
The second time it happened, a man driving a rental company truck stopped to see if he  could help. He examined everything he could see, and pulled on the tires, 
but could find nothing wrong. 
Pulling back onto the road, almost immediately, downright ominous sounds issued from beneath the car. But before we could get to the shoulder, the driver's side wheel detached and zoomed across the road through the barbed wire fence to explore the cow pasture.
(*No animals were harmed during the filming of this adventure.)

Does it look pitiful, or what?

A pickup did a U-turn and the young man hopped down to offer his assistance. He crossed the road, climbed the fence, and rolled the wheel back to us. When Grace was asked questions she didn't know about her car, this young man answered them for her. He dialed 411 to get our hostess's number on his smarter-than-me phone (it was on Grace's, but hers was busy with the tow company), and handed it to me as it dialed. He stayed with us for close to two hours, I guess, then loaded our luggage in the back of his truck, and drove me to Bradenton.
He refused to take any gas money or anything for all his help. Carolynne C. thanked him, and he left to go check on Grace, still waiting for the tow truck. He told Grace Mrs. C. was awesome.

Loading the car on SR 64
The kind next-door neighbor, Len, immediately offered us his car for anywhere we might need to go. We later accepted it, and drove it to prison.
The garage recommended to us by State Farm and two individuals. 
They kept our car for two weeks.
Il Villlagio--"Serving those who serve the Lord"--the missionary village built by Anthony Rossi, founder of Tropicana Orange Juice.

Crafts from Carolynne's mission field, Venezuela
Come and get it. Sand hill cranes behind the house. There were always three, which we dubbed the Three Musketeers. The adolescent's head had not turned red yet; you can see his shadow.

More Venezuelan crafts.

Bird of paradise in Carolynne's front flower garden

Venezuelan musical instruments

The country  of Venezuela embedded in stones

This is a gated community.

Passing scenery in Bradenton
Para sailing, soon to be outlawed, I hear, due to its dangerous nature

Busy boating area

Len's beautiful flowers

An always interesting view out the kitchen window

Memorial bouquet for the first anniversary of Mario's Homegoing on July 3

Our lovely and gracious hostess, who put up with us for two whole weeks

 We walked every day, no problem of security

Grace masters the golf cart.

Enter the villain of the piece--The Alligator.

This is a gazebo where we ate lunch one day.

Orchids in the library, which was open 24 hours a day.

 This bird intrigued us, because he would stand for so long with his wings outstretched. But I finally realized it was a simple answer--he was drying his deodorant! :-)

Manatee Village Historical Park was closed when we passed it on the Fourth. But if I ever get back this way, I'd like to step back in time with these buildings and exhibits from the 1800's.         

Well, we didn't plan on this trip being a vacation, but it became one, like or not. 
Il Villagio was a nice place to be stuck, with the library, boutique (free thrift shop),
 hospitality house (free bread), and occasional yard sale. 
Plus lots of new friends!

Monday, February 24, 2014

My flying to Ft. Wayne was a test in patience for Chris and Hannah, because delays kept popping up due to weather, and it was quite late by the time my plane arrived; and they of course had the boys with them.     But they were very gracious about the whole thing.
 I had a nice time with Joseph, his wife Lyn, and others in the family. 
The little ones are grandbabies, not children. :-) Elizabeth's twins.

 One can't be too careful when working for the TSA. (She might be a terrorist, you know.)           
 Seriously, Phineas is a sweet little guy. He accidentally hit me on the leg with his little ball, and hurried across the room to kiss my boot and make it all better.

 One cool ride, at the Medina Ice Sculpture Festival site. 
Getting to Medina was also a test in patience for my next driver and friend, Valerie. She had to wait at the Greyhound bus stop in the middle of nowhere, for two hours in semi-blizzard weather.
 Then when we arrived, her car was stuck, and one of the Amish men stopped to help me push, but the tires just spun. He offered to have his horses pull us out, but not having a chain made that impossible. 
AAA finally sent a tow truck, and it got us on the road. We were very thankful to the Lord for safe driving on the way home, as eighteen wheelers whizzed past us in the snow.
Celtie, in sartorial splendor, with the proper plaid

My kind hostess and host, Valerie and Neil.