My Life, The Wonder Of It

There were so many special moments during our trip. There was a lot of talking, laughing and sharing. I looked at these three women, my sister, my daughter, and my cousin, and I realized how blessed we are to have each other. These are the women in my life that ground me, love me, and are there for me. Best of all, not only are we family, but we are friends!

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Look at your life, and ask yourself how many people in your life are you good around just being yourself, can joke with, and not worry about what the other person is thinking at that moment? You can just be your whacky self and find acceptance!

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We really enjoyed every moment, and no none of us gambled at all, although I kept seeing people walking around carrying flat screened TV’s only to learn they were holiday gifts for the High Rollers! Hmmm, perhaps there is a calling for me after all. Ha! I have never played cards well, and so I do not play. I did see an old-fashioned slot machine, and I was tempted but did not succumb.

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As Sunday ended and I climbed into my bed, I didn’t want to take off my Queen of the Day tiara, but I did, and although I am not wearing it now, in my mind I know it is still there!

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The next morning, we went to this great restaurant for breakfast. “Hash House A-Go-Go”! It was really fabulous, with country casual decor and an old fashioned diner-type menu.

20181119_091847I’d heard that their pancakes were amazing and decided to order the banana, brown sugar pancake. Mel got scrambled eggs and bacon, Janet got corned beef hash, and eggs and Amanda got eggs, and bacon. Mandy was good and ate her own food. Mel, Janet and I were all eating off each other’s plates. It’s been like that since the beginning of time, and so it goes! Take a look at this pancake!

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I have to tell you that this pancake was amazing! I love banana pancakes and this was like nothing I had ever had! It was so much better!

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As we were waiting I snapped this picture of Janet. She looked so beautiful and happy! Check out her pretty nails too!

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My beautiful sister with bunny ears! We love to joke around doing stuff like this!

Here is the view from our room at Mohegan Sun!

Yes, that white stuff is snow!

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Our time at Mohegan Sun ended all too soon. Melodie needed to get back to her life, just down the road in Connecticut, Mandy needed to get to work for a meeting, and Janet was assigned the task of driving me to Mandy’s house to get my car.

The best part of the end of our trip was the ride from the Casino up to Mandy’s Office, where the three of us were able to rehash all that had gone on.

Then after we dropped off Mandy, Janet and I were able to chit chat about things that were happening and talked about Thanksgiving, which will be spent at Mandy’s House.

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My three lovelies!  How lucky I am!

 

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Being Kidnapped

On Sunday, November 18th, I was instructed to arrive at Mandy’s House at 8:30 AM. I was also instructed to pack some dressy clothes for the evening and a bathing suit.

Odd combination, I thought, and a few weeks back when a friend of Mandy’s asked if I was doing anything special for my sixtieth Birthday, I mentioned the instructions.

“Oh, it sounds like a trip to the Wolf Cub Lodge”,  and so I thought we would go and play in the indoor water parks with the children.

Imagine my surprise when I arrived at Mandy’s at exactly 8:29 AM and found her loading the car and telling the kids goodbye. I kissed Savannah and high fived Quinn and off we drove.

We drove down the highway and she said she had to stop at her office. I was excited to see where she works, even though it was Sunday. We pulled into the parking lot and there was exactly one car on the whole lot. And as we drew closer out popped my cousin, Janet!

Amanda’s car came to a stop and I jumped out and ran to hug my much-loved cousin!

She grabbed her case, and tossed it into Mandy’s car and off we went. I was chattering to Janet and not paying attention, but I remember thinking that we were heading into Boston for some interesting overnight there.

I talked and talked, because that’s what I do and the next time I looked at the road, we were in Worcester, MA! Absolutely the opposite direction from Boston.

I watched a little more thinking we were going to a Deli I love in Connecticut! However, we passed on by.

Then I saw a sign for Mohegan Sun. I knew that was a giant Native American Casino, and I was a little confused because I don’t gamble.

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We pulled up to the Valet and unloaded the car, and slowly walked into the Lobby. I stood looking around at all the crowded splendor and then I saw her. My sister, Melodie! Waiting for us, for me! How lucky am I?

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We immediately hit the Spa, as our room wasn’t ready yet, and I was stripped down, put in a soft robe with a crown, a Magic Wand, s shot glass proclaiming my 60-ness, and a button announcing to all, it was my 60th Birthday!

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First up for me was an hour long full body massage! Oh my goodness! Having never had a full body massage before, I felt it was amazing, and so relaxing! Time seemed to stand still and then it was over!

Next up was my mani/pedi. I enjoy those, and picked out a pink sparkly polish!

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After that was a very late lunch and finally, our room was ready and we went upstairs to settle in. We had a suite of rooms with two bedrooms, a living room, and two baths. I could get used to this!

I showered and did my hair and lamented at the difficulty of doing your hair when wearing a tiara. I wonder if the Queen and Princess Kate have special hair stylists to help them? I sort of decided that I would just have to make do.

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I wore my tiara to dinner and my button too.  People smiled at me and wished me a Happy Birthday, and a few times they were kind and told me I didn’t look 60 at all. Yes, true kindness!

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We had dinner at Bobby Flays and they had the most amazing food! We all enjoyed our meals but agreed that my stuffed eggs were better than Bobby’s.

20181118_193406Bobby Flays Stuffed Egg.

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After dinner, we went to this fantastic Bar for a drink and to enjoy the atmosphere. It was an amazing place.

 

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It was so much fun and such a cool view!

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This was all beamed onto the ceiling, but it was so realistic!

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My darling daughter, Amanda and me. How can I ever explain to you what a special woman my daughter is? She planned all of this, never let on and surprised me in every way. She loves me unconditionally and embraces my wackiness! I am so lucky, and she is such a blessing!

Tomorrow I will let you know what happened after the cocktails, but this is all for tonight!

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The Sandwich Fair – 2018

Yesterday my friend Karin and I went to the Sandwich Fair. Each year over the Columbus Day holiday weekend, this Country Fair is held. People put their best pies, cakes, cookies, jellies, jams, and loaves of bread into a contest to see who is the best Chef, and the kids in the 4-H program bring their livestock to be judged.

4-H is a global network of youth organizations whose mission is “engaging youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development”.

I spoke to many people who brought their animals to the event. But this one teenager captured my heart. As I was walking by her was lying down in the hay with his Bull (Cow).

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The Bull kept snuggling the boys neck and the boy would stroke his neck and cuddle with him. I asked how big the Bull was? The young man told me, quite proudly, that the Bull weighs 2500 pounds! That is one big Bull!

But, here was this enormous creature, who was loving and kind with his teenager. Such a beautiful picture!

Here is another Bull Cow. I thought that he also was quite handsome.

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I am actually a great lover of all farm animals. I look forward to going to these Fairs and to Zoos as well, so I can see them.

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Here is another young man with his team, getting ready for the “Log Pull”. He was so proud of his team.

They also had “Horse Pulls”, where teams of horses pull cement blocks. Not just any cement blocks, but very heavy cement slabs.

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I stood patting the soft nose of this magnificent creature. I enjoyed every moment and so did Karin.

We went into the area where they had Floral Arrangements, and there was a straw and flower arrangement depicting a horse and his saddle.

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The next photo was taken as we walked across a small footbridge. The leaves are just starting to change, and the stream was flowing along so beautifully.

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Yes, I met another new friend, this handsome young goat! I have always enjoyed goats.

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And lastly, I saw these weird goats with no ears. At first glance, I thought that the goat might have had an ear chewed off, but it turns out this is an actual breed of a goat! It’s called an American LaMancha Goat, that was first bred in California, by Faye Frey, in the early 1940’s.

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The Fair was a wonderful success and a great time for us, and those that attended. The weather yesterday was perfect and we were able to enjoy the event without becoming overheated. I also saw many local friends and their children and grandchildren. This is part of the joy and fun of a local Country Fair!

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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.

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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.

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Jefferson Davis’s cell.

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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.

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Me with Jack at Fort Monroe.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Beaver

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The Beaver Aircraft & my friend, Betty.

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The Otter.

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A short blurb on the Otter Aircraft.

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The Men who flew and worked on the Caribou Aircraft.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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These are ships that are now in permanent dockage.

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

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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.

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The Bay Bridge itself.

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Entering the Tunnel portion.

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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!

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Rain & Sunshine

Our drive south was not boring at all. It started just south of Concord, New Hampshire. The rain. At first just nuisance rain, but soon it was torrential rain. And it went on and on and on! All the way through Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York. When we got to New Jersey we thought perhaps it would slow down, but it continued until we reached Atlantic City and then, as if we were entering a beautiful secluded spot, when we reached Wildwood Crest, the skies turned blue and the sun came out!

We checked in to our hotel and our room is on the 5th floor overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It is beautiful! It was also 85 degrees, which felt wonderful after leaving 42 degrees in New Hampshire this morning!

We stood on our balcony and drank in the ocean air, the warm temperatures and the fact that we had actually made it through the rain in one piece.

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Oh, how I would love to come back here and spend a week going to the beautiful beach each day and just drinking in all the beauty.

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It’s sort of funny, I had blown my hair straight this morning before we left and sprayed it down with a fair amount of hairspray. It wasn’t too long after we arrived that the curls won out due to the humidity. It just made me laugh!

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Wednesday we take the Cape May Ferry and then proceed down the Delmarva Peninsula to Virginia Beach, Virginia.

But for tonight I will leave you with this beautiful full moon over the Atlantic Ocean! Just lovely!

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Getting Ready

On Friday, the suitcases came out of the attic and ended up sitting on our bed. I flipped open mine and started to pack. I have a list I follow and so far I have my case almost completely packed. Jack’s I will do tomorrow and then the computer/camera/cords bag. I used to use a backpack for all of the computer gear, but now, sadly, after so many spinal surgeries, I am staying away from backpacks and using bags that are lightweight and easy to carry.

As I packed I noticed a little boy-dog had crept up onto the bed.

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As I went about opening drawers and returning to put items in the bag, it seemed his eyes got sadder and sadder! Anneliese isn’t even looking at me!

We’re also having our house sitter over and I worked hard this afternoon peeling Butternut Squash, Potatoes and rubbing down the Chicken with Barbecue Rub. The Chicken is now in the rotisserie and I will make mashed potatoes and mashed squash for the meal. At this point all the hard stuff is done, all that’s left is just serving it up.

As the week closed out, All I want is to get a good night’s sleep and then tomorrow finish up the laundry and finish packing our cases. Then my goal is to relax before our very long drive.