Fort Monroe

Saturday found us up early, off to breakfast with Jim and Geraldine and then we got in the car and headed to Fort Monroe, VA. Many years ago, when Jim and Gerry were first married, Jim was stationed there. So our trip to the converted Fort Monroe was a walk down memory lane for them.

Back in the early 1960’s Fort Monrow was still an Army installation. Now it is a National Monument. There is so much history there, so I will share this Wiki-Link so those interested can go and read about its illustrious history. Here are some pictures I took.


For many, many years, Fort Monroe was an important part of America’s defenses. During the Civil War, the Island jail contained Confederate President Jefferson Davis.


Jefferson Davis’s cell.


All of this added to the strife after The Civil War, but in the end, Jefferson Davis lived to be a very old man, well into his 80’s and free of all charges. It somehow doesn’t seem right, for all the blood that was shed, and the young lives lost in the Civil War.


Me with Jack at Fort Monroe.


Geraldine and Jim!

The day was absolutely perfect. Low humidity and warm temperatures. The best day of our entire stay. I’m so glad we spent most of it outside.

It’s late on Saturday now and I need to post this and pack the laptop. This really has been a great trip.


Otters, Caribous, and Beavers, Oh My!

Friday our group went to Ft. Eustis, and the US Army Transportation Museum. It was a wonderful place and we saw so much.

Fort Eustis is a United States Army installation near Newport News, Virginia. In 2010, it was combined with nearby Langley Air Force Base to form Joint Base Langley–Eustis. The post is the home to the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, and also home to the U.S. Army Aviation Logistics School.


We had a full tour of the Army Base, and then we were brought tot he Officers Club for lunch. It was a beautiful building, so nicely appointed and we enjoyed a nice lunch.


After lunch, we went to the area where the Army Helicopters and planes were kept for display. Then guys got to see their much loved and cherished fixed wing, Otters, Caribous, Beavers and U8D Seminole (Commonly known as a Twin Beech). Jack flew all but the Seminole. Below are photos of some of the planes.


The Beaver


The Beaver Aircraft & my friend, Betty.


The Otter.


A short blurb on the Otter Aircraft.


The Men who flew and worked on the Caribou Aircraft.


It was wonderful to see the aircraft that my husband flew during his Army days. All the men and women on the tour smiled broadly while visiting these old friends.


Our day ended by going out with our friends to a Crab Shack for dinner. It was so good! We enjoyed this meal, but most important we enjoyed spending the time with Jim and Geraldine.


Norfolk & The Chesapeake

On Thursday we all met for breakfast before boarding buses and going to the McArthur Museum. Douglas McArthur was one of our great military leaders during WW II and the Korean War. His steady leadership saved many lives and encouraged peace.


The tomb of Douglas McArthur and his wife Jean.

After that, we cruised the Chesapeake Bay to look at the ships both active duty and retired of the USA. There were also many shipyards that dry-dock ships for renovation.

There was a lovely meal served as we cruised and thankfully we had no rain despite the gray skies. And wow was it humid and hot!


These are ships that are now in permanent dockage.


This huge ship was in dry dock to be retrofitted and cleaned and painted.


In the evening we had a Buffet Welcome Dinner and after our show was a wonderful man who sang Frank Sinatra Songs. He was really great and we all sang and enjoyed his performance.

Tomorrow is another busy day with a trip to Fort Eustace. Pictures and information to follow. We’re having a really great time and seeing old friends is always so much fun and so special!

We Made It!

Our ride on the Cape May Ferry was nice, just a tad rocky, which made me fearful I might have a problem with seasickness, but U placed myself in the center of the ship and did not watch out the window to see the boat rolling with the waves. I was just fine.

Our weather certainly improved on Wednesday for the last leg of our trip down. It was sunny and very warm, in the low 90’s, and the ride itself was beautiful. It was all on 4 lane divided highway, but through the countrysides of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia along what is called the Delmarva Peninsula.

There are many vegetable farms, grain and even places growing melons, sweet potatoes and grains. Oh yes, and this area must be good for chickens because we saw massive numbers of chicken coops. I saw signs for both Tyson and Perdue Chicken.

Then we arrived at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and that really is amazing. Tremendously large bridges and the then two mile long tunnels underneath the Bay.


The Bay Bridge itself.


Entering the Tunnel portion.


Inside the tunnel.

I still find the engineering of this bridge and tunnel system outstanding! The Chesapeake Bay is a major shipping lane, and we were not disappointed as I saw an endless stream of large container ships int he inner channel.

Jack has done almost all the driving and I have done the navigating. So far this has worked. We also have found that stopping about every two hours was a good thing. Although both last night and on Tuesday, by the time we stopped I was so stiff I couldn’t easily move, Age I guess! Ha!

We finally arrived at the Reunion Hotel, and our room was not ready. The hotel, a Holiday In Conference Center, is a nice one and it is very large. There are four Reunions going on besides ours, plus training sessions for several companies. This means that every room is taken. Thus, the wait.

About six o’clock the room was ready, but by then Jack was talking so I went out to the car and using a trolly and making two trips, I got everything up to our room and unpacked.

However, I must mention that it was 95 degrees outside and I became rather overheated. Once I was done, the hair went into a ponytail and me into sleeveless clothes, and I returned to the Reunion suite for a nice cold beer!

We ate dinner in the hotel’s restaurant and after ordering hamburgers and fries and waiting 40 minutes, I mentioned to the waitress, that we’d traveled all day for two days and were tired. I said if the food didn’t come soon, they could send it to our room.

The food magically appeared, as did the dining room manager to tell us he was sorry and he then told us the hotel was paying for our meal. Very nice, but if I had known that I would have ordered a Prime Rib! (Insert a great deal of winking and laughter here) The bed was next and I slept from 8:45 pm to 6:15 am!

It’s early morning on Thursday and the next thing for me is to shower and dress for the day. It is not due to be as hot, so I’m not sure what to wear. One thing I do know, I brought enough clothing to change three times a day and never dress in the same outfit twice!



A Bit Of Everything

I used to travel a lot. Packing a suitcase and heading anywhere was nothing to me in the way of planning. Somehow, since I have not traveled for a while, the part of my brain that does all the preparations is a little slower than it used to be.


In the old days, (Berlin 2009) all that I needed fit into that green suitcase. I still have and use that suitcase, but now I have tote bags as well!

I already know I have over-packed. Since we are not flying, I can bring whatever I like, and I would be all set if I wanted to change my clothes three times a day.

Of course, this is silly, but I do like to have backups for any situation. And I am also bringing shoes to match.

You know I bet Princess Kate doesn’t bring this many clothes when she travels. Or perhaps she does. She always looks perfect for any and all situations.

Now it is not just me that I am packing for, but Jack as well. I asked him what he wanted packed, and after mumbling a few things he abrogated all responsibility for his suitcase. Ugh!

Jack did prepare the car today, and tomorrow we will finalize our packing. I would like to have the car completely packed on Monday afternoon so we can just relax a bit before the big drive.

Here is our route.

Our Trip2

Our house sitter came again today, and all is set with them. But in the year since they were here so much has changed. New air conditioners, new coffee maker, new toaster oven, etc. They jokingly said I needed to write instructions in a little book! Honestly, I think of all the little eccentricities of my house and the dogs living in it and I believe that the house sitter is correct!

It’s bedtime now on Saturday night,  so I will get this set to post in the morning and off to bed I go with my Arnie-man, pup!


Reunion Day 1

As we drove to Savannah, Georgia, we were in touch with our friends, Jim and Geraldine. They were flying in from Boston, and we were due to arrive at the hotel at the same time on Wednesday, August 3rd. We spoke, at about 2 PM and Jim jokingly said that the race was on, to see who got there first!

We did not speed, (honestly, Hubby would have, but I am the enforcer in the car!) and when we pulled up to the Savannah Hilton Desoto, I did not see them.

The hotel is a Valet only hotel and suddenly we had three of the guys out helping us unload the car, and put our suitcases on the cart. I also brought my pillow, because since surgery, my pillow is the only thing that makes me comfortable!

As we stood unloading…the shuttle arrived from the airport! Jim and Geraldine got out and I stood there waving my arms and hollering out their names.

We won!

Desoto Hilton

So, here we are, standing in front of the most beautiful hotel, with all of our luggage. We went into the hotel to check in. Hubby and I decided to use some of my Hilton Points and we upgraded to a large corner room. It was amazing! We had a huge, King size bed, and a window facing the down town area, and the balcony facing the Savannah River and St. Johns Catholic Church.

Our room
Our room from the street.
Desoto room
Our room inside.

St. John’s Catholic Church.

After we settled in, (our friends were in the next room) our friends came over for drinks and snacks. Then we went down and registered with the Reunion staff.

Now here is a weird and I guess funny thing. When filling out the Reunion information, I typed my name (MARIBETH) then in a red marker, I wrote: Please note: my name is spelled, MARIBETH.

If you guessed that they misspelled my name then you are correct. I could not believe that anyone could possibly miss that note. There is not much that bugs me, but that sure did!

Their answer to their mistake? They took a black sharpie marker and turned the Y into a thick i . Next year I will send a short essay on the misspelling of names, and how ignoring a request can be hurtful!

That night we walked from the hotel to a gourmet restaurant, whose name escapes me at the moment, ad had a nice meal. One thing I found interesting was that we were constantly looking for Savannah food, and just couldn’t find any. There was an abundance of fast food, or gourmet, but not that good old Southern food that I was looking forward to.

After dinner we returned to the hotel, had a night cap and hit the hay.

More tomorrow, on what would prove to be the most interesting day of our Reunion trip!

I Am Really Here

You all probably think I dropped of the face of the earth. The truth is, that between appointments before our trip to Savannah and then an incredibly busy schedule driving to Savannah, touring, Savannah and then driving home, I found myself just exhausted. I mean, absolutely, beat!

The journey to Savannah, was all that bad, but I will tell you, I had forgotten what 1000+ miles were like to drive! We did break it in half, but even then I found myself sleeping like the dead.

Savannah was amazingly beautiful, as it was when I was here back in 1988. But, as in all places I return to now, nearly 30 years later, they have grown!

We decided to upgrade our room because of my Hilton Hotel Points, and our room was on an upper floor, with windows on two sides and a small balcony. Our room was a party room, for our friends and for us. The views of Savannah were amazing!

Our room

The arrow points to our room!

I will take time over the next day or so to write about our time there, but I will say that I did cause an International Incident. It was not intentional and actually, not even my fault, let’s just say it’s a good thing I didn’t end up in the brig.

Anyway, more stories to come, but right now, I need to get to bed! Night all!

We’re On Our Way Home

We are half way home. In Rochester, New York. We pulled in about 4 in the afternoon, and got settled in our room. Not quite as glamorous as the room we had in Fairborn/Dayton, Ohio, but nice none the less.(LOL)

He came back and had a menu from an Indian Restaurant. I was game, so off we went. I had a wonderful stuffed Naan.


It had pistachios, coconut and a sweet raisins. Oh my goodness, it was wonderful! I also had lamb in a yogurt sauce and topped the meal off with Chai. (Tea)



Hubby had lentil Soup, Chicken Marsala and Naan. It was all so good.


While we ate they had a Bollywood version of MTV. It was really great, with Indian music and dancing. The dancers and singers were all probably twenty-somethings. Anyway, it was fun, and I really enjoyed it.

Now we are back at the hotel and will crash after we watch Madame Secretary.

Thursday Thirteen

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Today’s Thursday Thirteen, will be things I love about cruising.

First to get you into the mood, this classic song!

  1. Once I step on board the ship, I become a Pampered Princess! No dogs to walk!
  2. Each morning when I wake, there is coffee at my door.
  3. As I go through my day, people smile at me, and offer coffee, tea, or anything else my heart desires.
  4. I love having tea each afternoon. The servers all wear white gloves and it reminds me of days gone by with my grandmother.
  5. I love the sun. Even though I have to wear a ton of sunscreen and a hat. It’s okay.
  6. Swimming. I love the big pools. It’s so soothing.
  7. The movies on the Jumbo-tron screens! Fun! Movies under the stars.
  8. Someone to cook my breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  9. And then to clean it all up!
  10. Someone makes my bed too, and brings me clean towels several times a day!
  11. Sitting out on my own balcony sipping a cool beverage!
  12. The shore tours we take. Those are so interesting.
  13. But best of all, I love cruising with Hubby. He makes it all wonderful and special!

What I Did Last Weekend…Part One

On Thursday morning June 2nd, Hubby and I finished packing everything we could possibly use at Hubby’s 50th College Reunion into our car. I’d made a thermos of coffee, and had two bottles of juice, and we had two fried egg sandwiches to eat in the car for our breakfast! The trunk contained two suitcases, two duffel bags, two suit bags, two computer bags, a shoe bag and a camera bag. I’d also tossed in an iron, some diet soda and snacks. Oh yes, and a couple of umbrellas, jackets and the GPS!

So, off we went, up and over the mountains from New Hampshire to Vermont. It’s funny how different the two states are. Our roads tend to be twisting and turning and up and down, and in Vermont, they have miles of flat pasture land with the mountains on either side. We did our fair share of driving the Vermont Mountains to get to Middlebury though and they sure have a number of challenging mountain roads!

We arrived on campus about 1 o’clock in the afternoon, taking us just over three hours to get there. We checked in, got our name tags, folder of information and parking placard for the car, before we left and headed to The Middlebury Inn to check in there. Since we had a TON OF STUFF with us, we asked for help filling up our room. A very nice man got the luggage cart, and brought us up in the elevator. After that we took the grand staircase, as it was truly a lovely thing to do.

The old Inn, founded in 1826 has so many finely carved wooden shelves, stairs, bars and registration areas.

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Our room was beautiful and best of all…quiet. I slept like a baby.

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Tea was served every afternoon, making me think lovingly of my grandmother. In fact the Inn itself, made me think of her.

Hubby and I sat down and had lunch before heading back over to the college to meet up with Hubby’s friends from the class. There were meetings and events and a lot of joking around before we returned to the Inn to change into our evening clothes.

You all will recall that I was worried about finding a dress for this event. I even fretted that the dress I bought was not good enough, or the right look. Well, I needn’t have worried as most of the women wore slacks or even jeans. Hubby and I were surprised at how casual the entire Reunion was. Not to worry, I looked great and that helped me with my confidence.

Of course the saddest thing is, I don’t have one picture of me in my dress! It just didn’t work out. You see, it was Hubby’s weekend, so all the pictures are of him. I was the cameraman! The picture below is the only one of Hubby and I from the weekend!

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The first night we met with the President of the college and his wife for a cocktail party. It was quite lovely, held in the garden of their home, under a tent. The President and his wife seemed very nice, but were shockingly young! He is only one year older than me!!!

After the cocktail party we all were driven to the Atwater Dining Hall. It had been specially decorated for the event and the meal and the short and sweet speeches made it a lovely night. The food was good, and the company at our table also quite nice.

Hubby and I headed back to our room at the Inn.

End of Part 1