Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Apollo Not on the Moon

I went to Apollo, PA last Saturday to visit my cousin Bernie. His family was having a birthday party for him to help celebrate 79 years. Marshall was the hit of the party running from one end of the property to the other. One of my pictures shows the Russian chapel that Bernie built. He copied the design from those he saw on one of his many trips to Russia. On Sunday we visited cousin Maryann and her husband Vince at their golf course in Saltzburg, PA. We toured the house being built by her son Larry for his son Michael and his wife who is expecting a baby next week. Pictured are Bernie, Maryann, Larry and Michael. She was a big help with the genealogy portion of our visit. I think we could have talked for days. Bernie and I went to dinner at Red Lobster in Monroeville and had great food and a good time. Monday morning cousin Bill Grebosky came by and we discussed more genealogy. He is going to visit more cousins in Export, PA and get me a copy of my grandfather's naturalization papers. Pictures include: the inside and outside of Bernie's new house and some grandchildren fishing at the gazebo on the pond. The property is beautiful and I have many more pictures. I came home Tuesday in time to meet Lily and Diane at an Italian restaurant in Hermitage. Plans are being made for a big picnic for Sunday, because we want a day to rest before the "world starts to turn" again on Tuesday.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tuesday was a busy day.
We went to the Outlet Mall in Grove City and got some killer deals at

Vanity Fair. Then we stopped for an excellent lunch at The Iron Bridge. Then we went over to Dan and Jess's new house to watch the twins and Annabelle while Danny cut the lawn. Wednesday I had lunch with Sandy and then went over to her house to look through the reunion booklet and reminisce. Diane cooked walleye wrapped in foil on the grill and I made green chili rice. Johnny invited some friends over to help eat all the food. We did our walk this morning in record time and I'm having lunch at the Sharon Rotary Club. Then I'm going to spend the rest of the afternoon by the pool. What a great vacation! Pictures: Diane and Dannie; Lily and Kaylee; Diane and Lily at the outlet mall.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Busy Weekend

Erie Canal lock along the Shenango River

Top right picture: Queen Anne's Lacy taken this morning on our walk
Bottom left picture: Cousins Carol and Leah and Leah's husband Joe; Bottom right: Fran and Steve Kusmus at class reunion; Far bottom right: Great-neice Annabelle wearing water balloons

The ice-breaker Friday night was a lot of fun, but slightly embarrassing. I didn't know anyone but Sandy and Steve Kusmus; however, everyone knew me. I didn't take any pictures, because Allegra's husband is putting together a DVD. Everyone seemed the same; the nice people were nice, and those that I remember as being not so nice were the same. Saturday evening at the country club we had name tags and things were a lot more comfortable. The food was excellent and we even had a two-man band that was quite good. My pictures turned out lousy, so I'm counting on Allegra's husband and anyone else (and there were quite a few who were taking pictures) to help me out. I was home by 10 PM and everyone was in bed. Before I went to the reunion, Mike brought the walleye and promised to be back early on Sunday. That didn't happen because he hurt his back lifting a TV and couldn't sit long enough to drive over here. Sunday was a slight disappointment because Michael couldn't make it and none of Leah or Carol's kids could make it. So the picnice was just Leah, Joe, Carol, Larry, John, Diane, Johnny, Danny, Annabelle, the babies Dannie and Kaylee, Jaymie, David and Lily. Marshall was under everyone's feet playing with a dead field mouse. We defrosted half of the walleye and Diane cooked it in her deep fryer. It was the hit of the picnic. John smoked a turkey, Diane and I made a huge salad, and Carol and Leah brought dessert, and some fantastic beets and macaroni and cheese. We were stuffed. After all the anticipation, preparation, food and clean-up, I was exhausted and went to bed at 8 PM. This morning Diane, Marshall and I went for our almost 5 mile walk and I got some great pictures of flowers.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Today was nice and relaxing. I should have taken some pictures at the pool, but was too busy soaking up the sun. After all, I can't let my tan fade. Diane and I went for our almost 5 mile walk this morning accompanied by Marshall checking all the smells the whole way. I was trying to identify all the wild flowers and brush along the way. I need to quit relaxing and get some pictures of all this stuff. Marshall got bored and ate his leash last night, so we had to go to Walmart today to get him a new one. I'm off to my pre-class reunion cocktail party at 7 PM. These people would be surprised to know that I ususally go to bed between 8 and 9. Perhaps I should be taking a nap right now.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Yesterday was probably the most frustrating of the trip. At lunch time I stopped east of Indianapolis after congratulating Garmin for getting me through Indy with such ease. I called my sister Diane to tell her that I would probably arrive in Greenville late afternoon. I told her that if something came up, I'd call her (little did I know). On the outskirts of Columbus, I noticed some by-passes that Garmin should have warned me about, but nothing happened. When I got to a point where I was going to go through downtown Columbus, I gave up and pulled off. Garmin had lost her voice. I pulled into a park and played with all the buttons and got out the directions. I don't know what I did, but she finally started working. And when we got back on the interstate, she wanted to take me to Cleveland and I wanted to go to Wheeling, so I shut her off. I might turn her on later this morning, if she talks nicely. I had to call Diane and tell her I'd be there after lunch. No pictures yesterday even though the weather was beautiful. We are at a nice Comfort Inn in Zanesville and will pick up I-79 a few miles east of here and head north. Marshall continues to be the perfect travel companion. Garmin, the bitch, should take lessons from him. When we were coming in from our walk this morning, a trucker was standing outside his room staring down the corridor. He didn't hear or see us, and you should have seen the look on his face when Marshall walked up and sniffed his crotch. It scared him to death. He said, "I thought I'd been eaten." I apologized and he petted Marshall. I told him to have a good day. I'm sure that surprised him, because no one around here says anything like that. I'm off to get a shower and get on the road. I hope to have pictures later on today.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It was another interesting day on the road. Kansas is a total speed trap and the motorists do obey the law. I had a local sheriff watch me for several miles and then turn around. The state police were also very active. I was a good girl and followed all the good Kansas people. My Garmin is finally working properly and is directing me to PA, although she whines when I stop at roadside rests, gas stations, and restaurants. Trucks dominate the interstate and there is still a lot of building in spite of the notion that times are hard in our country. I think it depends on where you are. The rest stops in Illinois are beautiful, so I captured the outside of one. There bathrooms are gross. My other picture is of Marshall telling me which bed he wants. The whole thing was staged: he knows he's not allowed on the bed. It took way too much energy for me to get him up there, but he loves the camera; it's almost as good as a treat.

I had all kinds of weather yesterday. It was mostly cloudy with light misty rain and very little sunshine until I got here to Emporia. I stopped in Dodge City and toured their museum and Boot Hill. It was very commercial and expensive, but interesting. I hate to take pictures when there's no sun. Marshall continues to be the perfect dog. He picks up on changes in routine very quickly. It's time to get on the road again. I've got to take the interstates from here on out, or I won't get there by Thursday.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Well, here we are in Guymon, OK. We achieved our first scheduled stop. Marshall has been the perfect companion. We take our potty breaks together and when I pour water for him to drink, he drinks it. I still haven't manage to make him lick his chops, so he doesn't get water all over the place. We are staying at a Comfort Inn. The other places didn't want Marshall, and they were so crummy, I didn't think humans should stay there. I had dinner at a mediocre Chinese buffet. Ugh! The pictures are from our first stop west of Mountainair. I'm afraid that this trip is going to be the same as my others as far as picture-taking is concerned. When I see something I want to snap, I can't find a place to stop, and when I do stop, the opportunity is gone. I guess I'm going have to teach Marshall to operate the camera. The kids are going to be upset because I can't call them tonight. I have no cell phone service. They'll just have to check the blog. My bluetooth didn't work either, because my ear piece needed charging. Tomorrow should be better.