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!



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.


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.


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!


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!


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.


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.

Making Plans

Saturday arrived slightly early for me. I was up by 5:45 and enjoying my first cup of coffee by 6:00. It had rained hard on Friday night, so the ground was fairly damp, but at least the skies were dry when I walked the dogs for the first time.

I thought at first that the sun might shine, and we would have a pleasant day, but soon the clouds came in, and although we have not had any rain, it looks gloomy out there.

Jack and I have been making our plans for our vacation. Excitement is building as we anticipate our arrival in Virginia Beach, and the 5 days we will spend with our friends, Jim and Geraldine. We get along so well and always have fun together. Jim and Gerry have known Jack since 1962! A lot longer than I have.

Oct 09 016 Geraldine and Jim McNamee

Geraldine & Jim.

Oct 07 057

Jack and Jim at a reunion a few years back!

Gerry was teasing me the other day about that and I told her that in 1962 it would have been highly illegal and sort of icky if Jack had been interested in me. I was only 4 years old! No, I told her, anything that happened to Jack before my 18th birthday, is just fine! Jack was on his own! As it was we didn’t even meet until I was in my twenties.

We have many things on the agenda at the Reunion. We will visit MacArthur Memorial / Spirit of Norfolk Cruise visit with other members of the Otter/Caribou Association in the Hospitality Room, go to a Welcome Dinner Buffet, Tour Ft Eustis / US Army Transportation Museum, attend a General Membership Meeting and finally go to a lovely Banquet.

In between things, Jim, Gerry, Jack and I will go out for a meal here or there, and pal around. We always meet for cocktails in our room and I try to remember to have gluten-free snacks for Jim! Gerry says I spoil him! I’ve been reading about gluten-free products and I think I can come up with a few interesting things!

I hope you are all enjoying your weekends!


The Friday Five

The Friday Five

Sometimes life happens, and you just sort of have to go with it. Here is my Friday Five explaining what happened to Savannah and me on Thursday morning.


  1. We woke up in our hotel room and when I went to Facebook to check on things, we saw a short video of Quinn jumping into his Daddy’s arms off the diving board. Savannah watched several times and was laughing and cooing about Quinn. Then she came over to me and said, “Oma, I’m homesick. Is it okay if we go home?” I looked at her little face and smiled. “Of course we can!” I said, and we called Mandy to make the arrangements. Then I went into packing mode.
  2. I packed all her laundry in a plastic garbage bag, and the rest of the stuff in her bag. All her treasures went into another tote with her Stuffed Bear, Pink, and her new stuffed animal, a baby seal. Then I packed my stuff, the food, cleared the room, arranged the car, and 2 hours and 15 minutes later, we arrived at Savannah’s home!
  3. This was actually a good thing for me. Jack had called to tell me we had no water, ad the repair man says we need a new control box, which controls our heat and hot water for the entire house. I think he needed me to be here to supply moral support for him.
  4. A very dear friend of ours also lost her battle with Breast Cancer. She was close to my age, a wonderfully, warm, woman, and I feel pretty sad about her loss. The Wake is tonight and her Funeral is tomorrow. I wish her family my very deepest condolences.
  5. After a very long drive, I arrived home, to my four thrilled dogs and a very happy husband!

So, although the trip did not end exactly as planned, it was good and perfect just the same. I think both Savannah and I are looking forward to our next trip!


Oma & Savannah’s Adventure – Day 2

The second day of our grand adventure started with a breakfast here at the hotel. Savannah had scrambled eggs, pancakes and apple juice and I had some eggs and a raisin bagel. Oh yes, and lots of coffee. This proved to be a good thing, as this is probably the most active I have been in a few years!


We decided to do the tourist thing and shop around the town. I wanted Sweatshirts for Savannah and Quinn that said Falmouth, and I wanted one for myself. I wanted them in Falmouth High School’s colors of maroon and white. I found them for Savi and myself, but I was having trouble finding one for Quinn. In the very last store, we went to, I found one and I was thrilled!

We met the Chef at my favorite restaurant while we were walking uptown, and he promised to cook especially for Savi when we came on Wednesday night!

We also wet to Walmart, where they were having the end of summer sales, and we got several things for Savi, such as 2 dresses, underwear, socks, and a few toys and sneakers.


Then just before lunch, we went to the beach When we arrived at the parking lot the young man announced that parking was $15.00 a day. OK, I said, “Do you take Visa, American Express or Diner’s Club?” I must be getting old because he did not get the joke!

We set up our chairs, our umbrella, got out our swim shoes, and then enjoyed the day. Mel and Ron arrived and helped me with my umbrella and we swam with them too. Seagulls tried to get food from Savannah.


We swam and swam, Savannah more than I, and Savannah made a ton of new friends We stayed most of the day until it was time to go back to the room, shower and get ready for dinner.

Dinner was magnificent! I had a stuffed quahog and scallops with a mushroom souffle! I also got an India Pale Ale on tap from Salem, MA. It was very good! And as promised Chef Ricky made Savannah her Parmesan Noodles!


After dinner, we went to the Carousel, where Savi had a great time riding the horse and then we went to the playground where Savi met a new friend. It was almost instantaneous, but she and this young man became instant friends. It was wonderful! His name was Aran, and he was just the nicest young man.


They played until darkness began to fall, and then we walked back to our room. Right now we are winding down before bed. Tomorrow we go to the beach after breakfast, bringing along clothes the change into at the beach house, and at about 1 PM we will head home. Too soon. But maybe we will stay longer next year!

Oma & Savannah’s Adventure-Day One

I picked up Savannah pretty early on Tuesday.  Mandy and Matt both advised me to wait an hour before heading to the Cape to avoid the traffic. So we left at 9 o’clock and moved right on down the road.

The Adventure Begins!

As we drove along Savannah sang her songs, and played with her iPad, and I could hear her sweet voice. It was that very moment that I decided that Savannah is the perfect riding companion. Part of me fell in love with her all over again.


Her sweetness, her funny jokes, and her laughter were wonderful. I listened, I marveled, that I was lucky enough to be Savannah’s Oma. And that she is my granddaughter.

We arrived in Falmouth about 11:15 and since I was passing the Town Hall and knew I would need a notarized Birth Certificate, as well as Marriage Certificate, I swung in and got copies of both. An old friend, from long ago days is the Town Clerk and it was so fun to see Suzanne after all these years.

We checked into our hotel room and unpacked. And then, met up with my sister Melodie and her husband Ron for lunch. It was fun and we enjoyed seeing them.


Mel mentioned that some old friends of ours were meeting at their rental house at 3 o’clock. Bob was my Guidance Counselor in High School. I have not seen him in years and it certainly was fabulous to see him and his wife.

We stayed for not quite an hour, and then we left, stopping briefly at a few places before returning to the hotel to change into our swimsuits. We decided to sit for a bit and unwind from our busy day.


Then we were there. At the beach of my youth, Surf Drive Beach. Looking out over the water, I could see a lifetime of moments spent there. And then, there was Savannah.


Running in and out of the small waves. Laughing in the surf, talking to the late afternoon seagulls, and building a sand castle with me. Those were quickly knocked down, as the tide was coming in. New moments being made in my life, with my dearest granddaughter.


Our day ended with a Happy Meal for Savannah of Chicken Nuggets, and a “Happy Meal” for me of Fried Whole belly Clams! We picked everything up and came back to our room where we ate, and talked to Mandy on the phone. The first day is going down in the books as an amazing success!

Footnote: While we enjoyed a hot sunny day here on Cape Cod, most all of Massachusetts and New Hampshire had flooding rains and high winds! I had asked the Weather Gods to bless me with good weather for my trip with Savannah and it seemed that they worked their magic!

Getting Ready

I’m taking a trip, in my car, to Falmouth, on Cape Cod, with my granddaughter, Savannah! I am very excited about this trip and have planned for every contingency. Sun, sand, cloudiness and rain. (Bite your tongue, it will not rain!)

I have my beach cart, beach chairs, umbrella, beach blanket and towels, cooler, sandwich fixings, (PB&J) drinks, (water and apple juice boxes) and best of all, beach toys for Oma and Savi to use while they play in the sand!


My super duper beach cart. Proving I am getting old and can no longer function like a pack mule!

Now you all know of my great love of Falmouth, and the beaches, especially Surf Drive Beach, so this trip is a big deal for me, and I hope for Savannah too!


Me at Surf Drive a few years ago. My how I love this beach!

I have side trips planned to the Woods Hole Aquarium, a great playground at the Mullen-Hall School, where I actually attended grade school, as well as to a special candy shop, where a good friend works. I will not go crazy, but I will allow Savi to pick out a couple of pieces of candy. Not much. Maureen, here we come!

There is a great Crepe Shop in town and I think I may take Savi there for a meal. What’s better than a nice thin pancake spread with peanut butter and jelly? Their crepes are so good and I think she will love it! There is a crepe there with brie cheese that is to die for, and Oma shall have that one! There is also a Dairy Queen and I can see at least one ice cream cone in our future.

My sister Melodie is down there right now and we will be spending beach time with Auntie Mel and Uncle Ron as well. They have plans each night, but that is fine. Savannah and I will do our thing and then we will go back to the motel for sleep.


So Sunday I plan to pack my suitcase. Making a list, as I put each item into my duffel bag. I must make sure to pack my rash guard shirts (these keep you from burning) hats, sunglasses and most importantly sunscreen! On Monday I will take the list and add to it as I put things into the Highlander. Then first thing Tuesday morning, I am off to get my girl!


Let the adventure begin!