Tuesday, December 22, 2009

short trip to GA

I have just returned from a short trip to Sue's in Georgia where it was definitely winter and this Florida gal was a little chilly!
We had a great time shopping for things for her 'open house' which was a success on Sunday evening with so much food that even I got to take home 'left overs'. Jon and Sue had decorated the house inside and out for the Holidays and it is really pretty.
When I left on Monday morning it was 29 degrees and Jon was busy scraping ice off my van windows so I could see and with the help of the defroster, it was just fine. The sun came out and there was very little traffic so the drive home was quite uneventful. The mileage I get on my minivan is so good that it is hard to think about exchanging it for a small RV (Roadtrek) and will, again, take more thought (and finding the right price).
When I got home, the heat was needed and I had it on all night so I think that winter followed me. I do not mind some coolness and 50 here is not so bad. It gives me the chance to wear the winter sweaters and sweats.
Now, I just need to get everything back together (put away and mail stuff and homeowner stuff) so I can be back to 'normal' for a while.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Nov. 30, 2009 -home

I am home now after last week's driving from New York to Winchester, VA to Columbia, SC, and then Eufaula, Alabama.
My night in Winchester was uneventful and the drive to Columbia was misty/rainy, not the nicest of weather but I did not encounter heavy rain. Driving with trucks when it is wet, however, is not such fun.
The weather in Columbia prevented me from visiting the zoo/botanical gardens but I did get to the Capital building and that was quite interesting. When the building was re-built after burning, it was decided to make it 'burn proof' and so it is marble and steel and the woods that are used are decorative and gorgeous.
On Wednesday, I headed to Alabama and even though it was the day before Thanksgiving, my timing was good enough to miss bad traffic and I arrived in sunshine (not very warm) and rested.
Thanksgiving was fun even though it was cold outside. After I watched most of the Macy's parade on TV, I headed to Lakepoint Park where the Whitmer clan was gathered and cooking. They really made me feel part of the family and I apprecated that very much. I only lasted until about 5pm when it was already dark outside and getting colder. I enjoyed my warm room and slept well. We 'hung out' on Friday too and they fed me well again.
I headed home on Saturday morning and was glad to sleep in my own bed at night. My poor Fluff is a bit confused with suddenly having more space than the single room of hotels, but this morning she remembered how to get out on the deck through the 'pet flap' so I guess she is re-acclimating to home. Missy has no problems since she sleeps close to me no matter what bed we are in and adjusts to all situations. They do amaze me at how, at 15 years of age they put up with the travel even though they do not like the confinement of the cage in the van.
Today the massage I am going to get is going to feel magnificent!

Monday, November 23, 2009

N.Y, Winchester, VA, Columbia, SC

I am now in Columbia, S.C.
After leaving Garden City, NY early on Sunday morning (hard even though I did not stay through the dinner at the wedding), I headed to Winchester, VA for the night. It was such an easy drive I was quite surprised because I wound up going through the city of New York (drove right past Macy's) but it was on Sunday and there was no traffic to speak about. Even with a few small detours (not made by me), I arrived in Winchester by 1pm. It was a quiet night and I went to sleep early.
This morning, we headed to Columbia, SC driving in mist and some rain (but not hard, dowpours), we got here by 3pm. I hope that Fluff does not continue to wake me at 5 a.m. each morning. It makes me sleepy very early in the evening.
I will do some sightseeing tomorrow and maybe go to the zoo if the weather is nicer but otherwise, starting at the Visitor Center downtown, I will find other things to do

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New York

I left Virginia early on Friday morning with no more rain and it was mostly not a difficult drive at all. The only part of the DC beltway that I used was going north and the time I was on it, the traffic was light. My driving dilemma happened when I got to Staten Island and had to get off the parkway to get cash! The tolls had depleted my cash and so I stopped in Target, bought catfood, and got some cash back so I could go on, but I got confused (even with the GPS) and wound up on streets before getting to the Verrazano Bridge.
Then, it got worse when I did not follow my instincts or the GPS and I drove though many Brooklyn and Queens streets (20 miles took over an hour) which I had never driven on in my life even when I lived here!
I finally arrived just before 4pm and got everything inside that I needed and since I found I could get a ride to the dinner, I had some wine and tried to relax. I left here at 6:30 and discovered the dinner had 90 people attending due to so many families being involved since there are several divorces and remarriages involved. It was fun to see family and meet a few cousins I didn't know about.
I had to take a taxi back to the hotel because the driver took off early even though I told them I would be calling for a ride back. Anyway, with the wine I drank, it was certainly safer than driving. Tonight, for the wedding, I will drive and not drink (not more than one) which I have done before in situations where I will be driving.
Tomorrow, we will head back to Virginia for one night before heading south to Columbia, SC.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Luray, VA

Today I saw the Luray Caverns and they really are spectacular. To think how many years and milleniums it has taken for it to get to such beauty is mind blowing.
There isn't much else to do here in Luray, Virginia and so tomorrow will be real 'rest' day for me. I have re-arranged the items in the big suitcase and duffel (my dressers in the van) and they are now back in the van (did laundry too). I would have gone to NY a day earlier but the price difference in the room is enough that I will stay here and head there on Friday morning. I am not happy that I will have to do the beltway around D.C. but that is the best/fastest way to get there and still have time to settle in before heading to the rehearsal dinner.
My lunch (and dinner) are items from the Walmart - rotisserie chicken and potatoe chips. I may treat myself to pizza tomorrow for lunch. The weather is not so great with clouds looking like they will open up and rain at any moment and with temps around 50, it feels colder. I do have heat in my room but it is hard to regulate so I've been turning it on and then off to be comfortable (it will have to run for the night).
I have made my reservations for next week and so that is off my mind since it is Holiday week and I wanted to be sure I didn't run into any difficulty.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Knoxville, TN

I have been in Knoxville since Saturday and I think I got to do what I wanted to do/see. I went to the Worlds Fair Park and got up into the Sunsphere for a great view of the city (not as high as the Tower in San Antonio). I walked to the downtown area and browsed but took the free trolley back to the candy factory (did buy a little bit of chocolate). Then I drove down to the river although it took a few 'round the blocks' before I finally figured out how to get to where I wanted and had lunch at Calhouns right on the river. With great weather hanging here, it has been a lovely day. Taking pictures of trees with 'fall' colors is good for me. I may get some rain in the next few days (leaving for Luray, VA in the morning) so I really enjoy this 'perfect' weather.
I hope you all are enjoying my notes.

Friday, November 13, 2009


While in San Antonio, I did a trolley tour and then the Alamo before the things mentioned in the previous post.

Vicksburg, MS

Here I am in Vicksburg, MS after a couple of days in San Antonio following my weekend in Conroe/Shenandoah, TX. I did a lot of walking in San Antonio along the River Walk where I ate lunch a couple of days (more on that in a minute) and went up to the Tower of the Americas as well as The Texas Institute of Cultures.
On Wednesday evening I started to feel some stomach distress but didn't think too much about it until I didn't sleep most of the night. I finally got up and left by 7:30am but with gastric spasms. It was a very, very long drive to Vicksburg and not feeling well and being so tired I stopped more times than usual including times to just sit and close my eyes. I, therefore, did not arrive here until about 6pm CST and that's when the diarrhea started. At least, it waited until I was in the room!
Today I went to the Vicksburg Battleground (National Park) which is right across the street from my hotel. I also drove downtown and looked around and was not that impressed. The Park was lovely although I felt I was in a large cemetary (all those soldiers who died there) and there are monuments all over from all the states that participated in this battle.
Tomorrow, I will head to Knoxville, TN which is also not a short drive but I am being careful about what I eat today and right now seem to be better.

Monday, November 09, 2009

arrived San Antonio

While in Shenandoah for four nights where my friend Diana is staying for her current contract, we mostly spent our time 'shopping' the malls and eating. It was fun but exhausting. Shopping is hard work! I didn't buy much of anything and that is good since I'm spending on food and enjoying it.
This morning I left for San Antonio and am glad it was not one of my marathon drives because I am tired. I did find that there is a streetcar system (with a stop 1/2 block from my hotel) that will take me to the center of town where the Riverwalk, Alamo, and other things are that I want to see. I went today to see how it goes and had some late lunch on the Riverwalk in an italian place (not very good food). Tomorrow I am going to take a trolley tour and get the 'overview' so I can see what I really want to see (like the Alamo) and still not 'kill' myself walking. I will be here to do more on Wed. so I do not need to cram it all into one day.
I am very lucky with weather so far and with the storm heading away from where I am (or where I'm going), I will be able to enjoy things even more.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Arrived in Texas

I spent a couple of nights in Mobile Alabama and that gave me a full day to go to Bellingrath Gardens and do some Kohl's shopping too. I met a great lady at the Gardens who has been on the road alone for a month and we did the Gardens and House tours as well as going for lunch together. Marilyn and I will keep in touch via email. She was heading to Vicksburg and then home soon.
I arrived in Texas this afternoon after a very long drive (got off I-10 and did some scenic routes) and now am waiting for Diana to get home and we'll get something to eat or just drink.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

ready to roll

I am almost ready to get going on this new adventure. Most things are packed or ready to be put into a bag and/or the van. I'll be leaving on Tuesday morning so I am just doing 'last minute' stuff to be sure I don't forget anything. It has been a challenge to pack for multi seasons and the wedding too but I think I have it all and am sure I am taking more than I will need as I usually do that even though I plan on doing laundry along the way. I am only hoping that I do not have to drive in rain or snow both of which could happen especially with the crazy weather patterns we've all experienced.
I will try to write on here every few days while on the road with my first stop being Mobile, Alabama on Tuesday.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Still hot in October

Now it's October but the weather sure doesn't seem to be aware that it is autumn! We've had record heat and I'm tired of it.
On my birthday, when I enjoyed a day at Epcot with my friend, the temperatures were in the 80's and there was a slight breeze so we were able to get through the day comfortably until we just got too tired to do any more eating and drinking during the Wine/Food Festival there.
With Boo at the Zoo time starting next week (my volunteer job), I am hoping that the weather cools and it 'feels' more like the Holiday is supposed to be at this time of year.

Friday, September 18, 2009

mid September

Hard to believe that it is midway into September. Here in Florida the weather seems like summer just goes on and on and on and the weatherman says it could be another month before any 'cooling' occurs.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

'restless' again

Have been home for a week and I am 'restless' already. I can't seem to figure out where I want to go or be right now so I am just trying to enjoy my 'minutes' at home and I seem to be keeping busy so I guess it's alright. Some of the problem is the weather which is still so hot that I do not want to go out to do much of anything and that is keeping me from going to the zoo (volunteer work). Next week we should get rain from the tropical stuff that is heading this way (could actually have a hurricane develop from those systems out there).
So I am looking at my 'next trip' possibilities and that may not happen until November when I think I am going to a wedding in New York. I'm thinking I will make a trip out of that occasion when the weather is cooler. It is still early to be planning but I did check that the hotel involved is 'pet friendly' so I can take cats with me. I am assuming that they will both be breathing still and so I need to plan for taking them.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Home again

I am home now after several days in Kennesaw, GA with my friends. We went to Tallulah Gorge and saw some of the falls and it is quite a pretty place. I just wish we had more stamina in order to really hike around!
All in all I had a great four weeks on the road and even with Fluff's veternary interventions, we survived it and will go on with more adventures in life.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Salem, VA

I really did enjoy going to the Lobster Festival on Wednesday when I ate two soft shell lobsters. They are at a stage where the shells will be shed and replaced so they are soft enough to crack with fingers. It was like any other 'fair' with rides and all sorts of food vendors (not just the lobster). They have a gigantic lobster cooker than does thousands of pounds of lobsters all at one time.
On Thursday, we headed to New Windsor, New York and although there was some drizzle, it wasn't a bad day's drive at all.
Friday was a 'killer' drive. It should have been about 8 hours but I was in that van until arrival in Salem, Va at about 5:30pm (left before 8am). The rain was awful and there were spots on the highway where traffic was actually stopped for a good 15 minutes. The last couple of hours the sun came out but I was already tired from the strain of that hard drive. Even with stopping for gas and bathroom breaks, I was really happy to get here. I checked in and didn't even mention the cats. It turns out that I am in the 'pet' wing anyway -there is a dog show happening and there are some beautiful dogs staying here.
I slept very well and didn't get up until 7:30 which is really a treat since Fluff has been waking me at 5:30 most mornings. I am going to see about some caverns that are close by and not be 'too' strenuous at anything today. Tomorrow I will head to Kennesaw and stay at Sue's house.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Last day in Maine

Today will be my last day in the state of Maine. Yesterday the sun was out all day and I can really understand why this is such a great summer destination. I went to to top of a small mountain (Mt Battie) and then walked out (almost a mile each way) to the Samoset lighthouse along a breakwater which protects the bay from really bad storms.
I did drive down to Freeport (home of LL Bean) on Monday while Fluff was at her 3rd vet getting the stitches (I couldn't get them out since they were so embedded ) out and being looked at (they 'squeezed' her in their day so I had to leave her there) and she got an injection of an anti-inflammatory drug. I spent more on her than on me this day.
My hosts gave me a lobster sandwich with corn on the cob for dinner and I have spent time talking to them. They have suggested I come for a couple of months next year and have the apartment which is available here. It is something I will give some thought to doing although there are other places I want to visit too.
My Fluff's ear is healing but it will never stand up perky again. There is a breed of cat with ears that look like what her left ear is like now (the ears sort of lie down) but she has not seemed bothered by any of her 'ordeal'.
Today is the start of the Lobster Festival and I intend to eat one or two of those delicious crustaceans.
I will pack as much as I can into the van today (after I eat) so I will have less to do in the morning before heading to my next stop which will be an overnight in New Windsor, New York. Then, on Friday, I will head to Salem, VA (by Roanoke) for two nights and end on Sunday in Kennesaw at Sue's house where I will 'rest up' until I go home.
At this point in the trip, I am happy about the vacation even with the veternary visits.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The sun, the sun!

The sun actually came out around noon today and it really is prettier country with sunshine. I can now say that I drank wine at 10 in the morning. My alcohol intake record was vodka at 11 a.m (many years ago) but when you go to a winery, you taste and it happened to be only 10 a.m.!
I enjoyed the winery but only bought a small glass and no wine. I shopped and ate lunch (lobster roll) in Camden, ME (had driven up to Lincolnsville to see where the ferry leaves to go to Islesboro--where my nephew got married) and then stopped at the other store (same winery but not at the vineyard) to taste some more!
I went into Rockland and enjoyed the scenery (harbor, boats) and got some fresh baked bread, cheese, Genoa salami that will be dinner with wine.
I am disappointed about not having lobster here where I am staying but will just have to buy it to get my fill. I can get it at a market and have it steamed if I want to eat it in my room and that could be less expensive than in a restaurant.
I am enjoying this trip even with the weather interference.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

arrived in Maine

It was a nice drive through New Hampshire to Maine today even though it was overcast and cloudy. I didn't get rain until just before I got to my destination in Rockport and then it stopped so I could unload the van in a 'dry' situation. I will probably have rain more than sun in the next week but will have fun anyway. Tomorrow my first stop is a massage! Then, I hope to explore Rockland and get information on all there is to do in and out of the weather.
On Saturday, I am planning a winery that isn't too far and in the direction of Camden. That's about as far as I've thought for now.
Fluff has made herself comfortable on the other bed (two queens in this nice room) and Missy is with me on this one. Fluff started out under a bed so this is a whole lot better. The husband and wife who own this place have dogs, cats, birds. Next door is a couple who have a cat with them. My only disappointment is that they really are not doing the 'lobster daily' as was on the website because it has been raining for long enough that they just haven't done it. The husband told me he will get me some though (not tonight) and if I buy any, he will steam it for me too.
I am looking forward to 'sitting still' for a week in one place.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I managed to get up into the White Mountains this morning before the rain started and found that my 'old' body is not in very good shape. I took the tram up to the top of a mountain (about 4000+ ft) and in order to get to the observation tower, there was a narrow trail along the rim of the mountain. Some was uphill and then the tower stairs to the top but it was well worth the huffing and puffing. Then, I went down the the Flume area (all in Franconia Notch State Park) and that little 1.5 mile trail was mostly up! Another beautiful and well worth the hike trips and I just stopped and rested a few times. I talked with some folks from California who were resting almost as much as I was and so I had company on part of the trail (we thought we were on the down part but that was not the case).
When I was leaving was when the rain started so my timing was very good. I went into Plymouth, NH and found the hospital so I could try to get a suture removal kit (Fluff's stitches come out on Sunday). The pharmacy next door did not have any so I went into the hospital itself and the triage nurse gave me (free!) a kit. Then I found a sushi place and had lunch. I have food for dinner so I do not have to go out in the rain today again. The rain is supposed to move out by tomorrow mid-day so I can do some other 'sight seeing'. On Thursday, I am going to my B & B in Maine and will stay there for a whole week.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

New York state arrival

We arrived in New York state yesterday after another stop at the vet for some 'probiotics' and a 'hard' collar for Fluff. She doesn't like this collar but it works better and that ear has to be protected for this week's healing to occur. I just wish she wouldn't wake me at 5:30am!
The weather has cooperated on the trip, so far, so I can not complain. Today I will go into Stockbridge to sightsee and visit with my brother/sister in law. Tomorrow I will head to New Hampshire where I hope the weather will continue to be nice so I can really see those mountains.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A memorable day in PA

Fluff had her ear surgery and she is 'home' now with an Elizabethan (soft) collar. I just hope it really keeps her from scratching the area that has a small open area for drainage. She got it off once on the way home from the vet and I had to fix it at a red light stop. She is on an antibiotic and I have a pain med to give her for a couple of days (only one dose every 12 hrs if she needs it). The vet thought she would need the pain med but right now she seems to be OK and, in fact, ate quite a bit when we got home. She is a little wobbly and can't jump up to things (though she was having some trouble with that before this) so I have done a 'step' thing with the carrier and a chair so she can get up on the bed. She is supposed to rest. Her stitches will come out in 10-14 days and we will be in Maine then. I have copies of all her records from today so I can show any other vet we might encounter. I am hoping to get the stitches out myself and not need to see another vet. The vacation expense has risen quite a bit from the original numbers but she is one of my 'babies' so, as any of you animal people know, you just do it when it is necessary.
I did a little sightseeing here and had lunch with my friend Sue and her sister, Nancy. We will not leave until Saturday so I'll see them again tomorrow.

'surgery' for Fluff

This morning I am taking Fluff to a 'Cats Only' veternarian and after talking to the doc on the phone, he is going to do the surgery to fix the bleeder in her left ear (lobe) so we can not worry on the rest of the trip. I will report on the outcome later.
We are in Montgomeryville, PA which is near my friend's house in Perkasie and will be here until Saturday when we will head north again.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Virginia now

Yesterday I did go into Charlotte's 'uptown' area and went to the Discovery Place where the exhibit was on sunken ships and Pirates. It really was quite interesting and there were lots of pieces from the Republic which sank in 1865 during her fourth hurricane encounter.
I was awake at 4am with Fluff crying but I still do not know why since I examined her and even fed her. Her ear is puffy and has fluid in it but not like the other night so I'm watching it and know it will need draining again.
I dozed on and off and then just got up around 6:30a.m. After some breakfast at the hotel, I headed north to Virginia where we are staying only one night before going on to PA tomorrow. I just didn't want to drive any further today. There is a buffet restaurant next door with good food so now I can have some wine and stay in for the night. The temperature is about 78 and that is so nice compared to the higher ones the last few days. The desk clerk said it was 55 here this morning so I may need sleeves tomorrow morning! I actually have turned the A/C off in the room because it was too cold. Didn't use A/C much in the van either on the drive.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Emergency Vet experience

Arrived in Charlotte, NC around 5:30pm and it was still about 95 degrees outside. I got settled into the room and rested. Driving that many hours (about 10 with stops) made my back ache and it needed to be rested. I went out to get some dinner (take out) and then watched the 1st half of the TV movie about the meteor. I was petting my 'kids' as I usually do when we are in a strange place and felt a 'funny' ear on Fluff. When I turned on the lights, I found her ear was swollen with fluid!
I got dressed and got some help from the front desk (cat lovers) and, thank God for GPS systems, we went to an Emergency Vet clinic. I am glad it was a Sunday night when traffic was extremely light and the GPS talks to me (especially on the dark roads). Her ear got drained and he explained it could happen again (broken blood vessel) but in the meantime I will be giving her Prednisone to help stop her itchy/scratching skin problem. By the time we got back to the room, it was almost 2am so I am not in any hurry to get out and do anything this morning. She doesn't seem bothered by any of it.
The weather is cloudy/rainy but that gives me temps in the 80's instead of 90's and that is nice. I will probably go looking for indoor (museums, etc.) places to spend my day.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Unemployed again

The job is over. I gave it 6 1/2 weeks and realized that this 'ideal' job is not the one for me. Not only did I not like the full time situation (lost my 'freedom') but there were several other things about the job tasks themselves that I just could not abide by any longer.
I learned alot about many things including myself and since I am no longer a zoo employee either (although I can volunteer), I am now a 'really' retired person.
I have thought about taking a trip, but with temperatures outside being so hot, I am not in any hurray to go anywhere. It was hard enough just going to the store today. The thermostat in my van that shows outside temps said 96-98 and that is 'stay at home in the A/C' weather.
I have things to do in the house so my time is being used and I am enjoying my minutes.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

First week on the job

It has been a week since starting the new job and although there is much to learn for this 'simple' job, I think it is going to be great!
We have had an overview of the systems we will use and some documentation information and will start getting into the details this week. We still are not 'in' the system for us to 'clock in/out' but that should also be happening this week.
It was an interesting week being 'Nurse's Week' in that we got some sort of food treat everyday thanks to the work of the two Team Leads (our first line of managers to report to) and it was really nice to see how employees are treated by this company.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I have 'landed' a new job and it is in nursing (it does require my RN license). I will be using my nursing experience/knowledge along with my computer skills to evaluate the need for specialized radiology tests. It will be 'full time' and after nine years of not working 40 hours a week, it should prove interesting (a little scary) but that it is a 'sitting down' job and should be 'perfect' for me.
I am very excited and looking forward to it (starts May 4th). I expect to learn new things and keep my brain active. Before I start, I will take a short 'road trip' to visit my friends (Sue and Jon) in Georgia.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Seems like forever since I last wrote anything and, I guess, three months is a long time.
I flew to Chicago a couple of weeks ago for my convention of O.R. nurses and surprisingly, there were four of our 'group' there this year. The weather was superb considering we thought it might snow/rain and instead we had sunshine and tolerable temperatures.
That week goes by very quickly between educational sessions and seeing old friends. It really wears me out and when I got home I had my four days of work (at the zoo) to contend with after finding my 'main' computer monitor not working.
When the first day 'off' came, I decided to activate my new cell phone and that turned into a difficult task when I could not download my contacts into it and had to go to the Verizon store not just one day (after 'on the phone' for an hour) but a second day as well. I did, however, take the time to run some errands while I was in that neighborhood including a nice pedicure (been at least 9 months since one of those treats).
Back to work on Friday after 'cleaning' some of the house on Thursday, and am back in the 'work' pattern again. I keep thinking I should get back into nursing and leave this very low paying zoo job, but this one tires me out so how could I really survive a nursing position. I would be willing to try, however, and have resumes out to some folks.
So, that catches me up for now except for mentioning the 'road trip' to Kennesaw at the end of February for a few days. It is nice to have a friend just far enough away that when I visit it seems like a real 'road trip' and helps my wanderlust alot!