Thursday - June 30

Oh my, the last day of June already and the year will be 1/2 over!!!     Loving this beautiful northern Michigan weather and today was another delightful day.    We exercised, then walked the trail along the lake.    Had a nice visit with our neighbors, Pam and Greg Johnson from Tampa area.   They are traveling for 7 weeks in their RV and going to a wedding (niece) on Mackinac Island this weekend!
So, we got our stuff together, hooked Toad up to Daisy and off to Traverse City - about 70 miles.    Love this town.....gosh, they just keep getting better and better, but each with its own charm and distinct quaintness.  
We had lunch on Daisy and then on our way  (we are at the Traverse Bay RV Resort 8 miles from downtown - beautiful place with fountains, flowers, all paved roads and really gorgeous!!!.)    Mark stopped off at the Traverse Pie Company and was in 7th heaven per the suggestion from his brother Jim to have the Mountain Berry Crumb Pie alamode!    I checked out the shops....oh my, one neater than the next!     And then the roar of the Blue Angels as they practiced this afternoon.
What a bittersweet moment....seeing Ryan by himself and then only 5 jets.   An emotional time for both of us...
We picked Ryan up and had dinner at Trattoria Stella in the old mental hospital that has been converted into shops and this very good restaurant.    Several small little alcoves with rounded archways.....loved the décor and definitely a popular place, but yet quiet and so enjoyed our visit.
Thinking of and praying for several family members tonight......kidney transplant, detached retina, cancer (2).  
Rain/storms are coming......watching radar!

Wednesday - June 29

Oh what a glorious day in northern Michigan....deep blue skies and cool temps.    We moved Daisy to the Zehnder's huge parking lot.   Picked up Bob and Linda and had 3 stops....1st, buy some bakery goodies at Zehnder's - oh my what a selection!    Then we gave them their first Tim Horton's experience!   And finally, we went to Kern's Sausage/Cheese shop for some good homemade meats and cheese.    Went back to their hotel, said good bye and just enjoyed our time together so much!   
We left Frankenmuth with a bit lighter wallets, full tummies and happy memories!

Yummy donuts and coffee
Hooked Toad up to Daisy and 3 hours later we were in Petoskey - another favorite.    We were last here  in 2006.   Charming downtown right on Lake Michigan and enjoyed strolling the streets and checking out the shops.  Then onto Harbor Springs, another favorite - lots of $$$.  Oh my the homes are unbelievable in size and design.    I was looking in the window at some of the real estate listings....$5m - $11m
Mark's cousin Rita told us to drive the Tunnel of Trees (20 miles of heavily wooded area along the lake.   It is very remote, but some lovely homes and very pretty.    At the end, we were in Cross Village and Rita said we should eat at The Leg's Inn.    There's not much in Cross Village but this place is very popular and enjoyed wonderful  polish food with a spectacular setting on the lake and has been operating for 4 generations.
Lake Michigan

Drive thru the Tunnel of Trees
Flowers were gorgeous in Petoskey and Harbor Springs, too....
here's pretty flower box in Harbor Springs
We sat outside with this view for dinner at The Leg's Inn....if you zoom in, you can see Gray's Reef (8 miles away).  
Tiny little speck from where we were, but so many memories of passing by on Catrina Sail and Catrina Power.
  We've boated around this landmark many times on our way to Mackinac Island.    It is very shallow, so you must navigate carefully.    We were amazed that we could see this while
 having dinner in such a tranquil setting.
Lake side view of The Leg's Inn....lots of people dinning outside and inside.
The Blue Angels arrived in Traverse City this afternoon and tomorrow, we will be on our way.   Having a wonderful time up here in beautiful Michigan......air is so fresh, the scenery, food, flowers, shopping, etc. just the best!
Lovely sunset over Lake Michigan
Mark is checking the water temp - 64.
Beautiful walking path that runs from Mackinac Island to Charlevoix (around 50 miles)   We had a very pleasant walk on this trail tonight!    Got in our 10,000 steps!   


Tuesday - June 28

Happy Anniversary to us.....what a fun and memorable day here in Frankenmuth celebrating
with Bob and Linda
47 years!
It was nippy when we woke up this morning....we exercised and Mark got a haircut.    Picked up Bob and Linda and "let the shopping begin"!   Wow....we had a great day of retail therapy with Bob and Mark as our chauffeurs.    Lunch at the Frankenmuth Brewery was excellent, more shopping and then a wonderful experience at "Prost", a "wine bar and charcuterie".   We sat outside near the fire and just a fun, fun, delicious evening!!!    Bob and Linda celebrated #45 in April, so another reason to celebrate!!!
Mark and his wine sampler

Our dessert board - oh my!!!
So today we shopped on Main Street in Frankenmuth, the River Place Shops, the Outlet Mall at Birch Run and Bronner's again.....yesterday it was strange to listen to Andy Williams singing "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" as the temp was 90 degree walking into the Christmas Wonderland.  But what a magical place and wish all my friends could experience this at least once in their lifetime.....nothing quite like it anywhere!!!!
It was chilly all day, but warming up again tomorrow!
Yogi Bear made an appearance at our campground this morning

A very big thank you for all the happy wishes for our anniversary!!!

Monday - June 27

Beautiful summer day - we were up bright and early leaving at 6:15 in Daisy (Toad stayed at campground) for Flint (1/2 hour) and a new tire.     Jerry's Tire Service took care of putting the tire on front and changing that tire to where we had the blow out.....all about keeping the size of tire the same.    While mechanic was working on that, we walked across the street and had breakfast at the Hill Road Grille.   It only took about an hour and we were on our way back to Frankenmuth.    Went to a car wash and Mark gave Daisy a good scrubbing (these gravel roads and lack of rain up here make for some very dusty RV's and cars)!.
Settled Daisy back in Spot #21 and then we drove back downtown and I got a haircut at Allure'A.    I desperately needed a new shorter "do" and Shelley did a good job.   Mark was on the hunt for a haircut, but all the barber shops are closed Mondays.    We met at the Koffee Haus, had iced coffees and back to Daisy.
We went to the Outlet Mall in the afternoon - he got a pair of Maui Jims and a new golf shirt and I got a pair of black shorts.    It's really a nice big shopping complex.....Mark was talking to a lady at the Koffee Haus this morning who is involved with the Chamber of Commerce.    She said Frankenmuth is the #1 tourist attraction in Michigan!!!!
And every time we drive around and see all the gorgeous flowers, I think "they must have big-time stock in Miracle Gro"!!!    Spectacular blooms and they are everywhere.    Lots of watering, too, since they are not getting the rain.
Walked around the park and Bob and Linda arrived around 2:30.   Met them at Bronner's and let the fun begin!    Shopped in this wonderful huge Christmas store for a few hours.    They went back to check into their hotel and later we picked them up and we gals browsed some of the downtown shops.   Met the guys (who had a beer at the Frankemuth Brewery) for dinner at Zehnder's (chicken with all the sides)!    Soooo much good food....
Bob and Linda in front of Zehnder's
After dinner we walked across the street to the Bavarian Inn and watched the entertainment...
The Glockenspiel with the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin (rat catcher).

 Liam served Mass for the first time today at Holy Trinity - the big church as he has only been an altar boy at school masses.    Wish we could've been there....

Sunday - June 26

Michigan needs rain so badly and thought we would get some today, but only a few sprinkles!!!    We left the campground around 8 and drove to Lake Orion for 9:00 Mass at St. Joseph's.    What a beautiful church - never have seen one with the interior all brick, stone, cedar plank wood and lots of metal I-beams.     We thought it was a newer church, but apparently it's 80 + years old....loved it!
So, I just finished reading a really good book "The Recruiter" by Dan Ames.   Most of the book takes place in Lake Orion, MI.......when I was reading it, I just assumed this was a fictional town.   But Lake Orion is alive and the real deal with a population of 3,026.  
Nice little town with a beautiful church!
Arrived in Frankenmuth at 11:30 and are settled at the Frankenmuth Jellystone Resort for the next 3 nights.    We haven't been here since, love love this town full of charming shops, wonderful restaurants (family-style chicken dinners and Bavarian food are the specialties), bountiful and beautiful flowers EVERYWHERE and all set in an old Bavarian setting.    And there's Bronner's Christmas Shop - thee largest Christmas store in the country - over 7,000 square feet.   
My brother Bob and Linda are driving up tomorrow for 2 days - we girls will get in some retail therapy and looking forward to lots of fun!
We had lunch at the Bavarian Inn - wonderful and then walked around the town.    It's really hot and humid but so many people out and about.    Came back to Daisy and later, walked in the park and then got the car washed.   
Hanging basket of lavender petunias here at the campground
Nice tribute to Jeff today at Vero Beach air show
Walked around the park tonight till I got my steps in for the day.    Rain is threatening, but think it's all going south of us.    At least some parts of MI should be getting a good soaking!

Saturday - June 25

A spectacular day in Michigan and we were off at 8:10 for Dearborn and spent a wonderful day at the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village which he developed in 1929 and many homes, buildings brought here from all over. was quite something and no problem today getting our 10,000+ steps in!   
I could go on and on about all we saw, but if you haven't been there, do put it on your bucket list!
The beautiful Cotswold Tea Room
Oldest building at Greenfield Village dating back to the 1600's

Gardens at the tea room
Oldest windmill in the country
We stopped at Costco on our way back to Daisy and then enjoyed a short nap,

SOOOOOOOOOOO excited that the Blue Angels are resuming their show season starting next weekend in Traverse City, MI...then Gary, IN....and onto Pensacola Beach show!

Tonight we drove to Rochester Hills and met Mark's cousin, Rita at her home for drinks and yummy strawberry/mango flatbread appetizer.   It was sooo good to see her and catch up.    Off to Kruse and Muer downtown for yummy dinner - neat place in the very charming downtown of Rochester and lots more chatter!

Rita - Pat - Mark

Love so much about Michigan (our Addison Oaks Campground is over 1,000 acres) including all the the beauty, it stays light till after 9:30 and the wonderful cool mornings and evenings.   Not liking the gas prices, though....$2.56 - $2.62.....


Friday - June 24

After all the rain yesterday and last night, today started out foggy……we left at 6:58 AM and happy to find a Tim Horton’s not too far away in Athens for breakfast.    Always enjoy a “Tim” fix.    Once we were back on the road, the fog had cleared and turned out to be a beautiful day.   
We read about all the flooding in WV yesterday (44 counties affected) and the tragic story of a little 4-year old boy swept away by the raging flood waters of the Ohio River as his grandfather looked on.  This happened in Ravenswood, OH and we came thru that area yesterday and remarked about the very strong current.    At this point, there have been 20 deaths (including the little boy and an 8-year old boy) reported.   In White Sulphur Springs (home of the Greenbrier Inn Resort), a house that was totally engulfed in flames was swept down the river - unbelievable seeing that video.    These areas of SE WV received anywhere from 7-10” of rain.
We feel very fortunate and thankful that our episode with Daisy wasn’t more serious and that the weather was ok when this happened.    Thank you, God!   And prayers for those who lost their lives in WV and their tragic.
We arrived at Addison Oaks Campground in Leonard, MI at 2:15….enjoyed the AC and read, did computer stuff and took a short nap!    Looking forward to no long trips for awhile. 
Late afternoon we did some weight lifting (determined to get in our 3x a week) and then after a light supper, went for a nice long walk in the park!   What a beautiful county park - it is huge and great paved walking trails thru the woods.    Tonight is absolutely gorgeous and there are lots of people here for the weekend!
Hope you have a great one….be safe!
Sweet Blair got to spend some time today at her Gram and Grand Bob's house!!!

Thursday - June 23

This has been quite the day......started out this morning packing up Daisy, saying our good-byes to Michael, Brooke and Blair (did that last night with the boys) and then we were off (Grandma had tears as not sure when we'll see these kids/kiddies again).   I've said it so many times....
So we had an uneventful morning - mostly cloudy and just chuggin' along.    Stopped at a Pilot truck stop for gas and Arby's lunch.    Just before 1:00, we had just entered West Virginia and going thru a tunnel when out of nowhere came this large BAM......thought it was a gunshot!   Scared the heck out of us....OMG......Mark thought it was someone else as nothing unusual for us going on till we came out of the tunnel and alarms went off (when tire pressure gets too low)!    We were able to pull over and sure enough, the driver's back tire had blown!    Arghhhhh.    Had to drive down the road till we could exit and at 1:04, Mark called State Farm Roadside Service.   We got a text message back that someone should be there by 1:43.    At 1:24, a truck pulled up and the nicest guy changed the tire with Mark's help (the guy greatly appreciated the help and Mark's tools) as most people do not offer any assistance.  They had some trouble getting the tire off, but with both of them pulling....
tah dah...
This happened near Bluefield, WV and we were finally on our way.
Next up was weather which was not looking good and a nasty colorful, angry radar of bright yellows and reds!    But before the weather hit, we were stopped on I-77 because of an accident.    And then the rain, thunder, lightning came fast and furious.    We drove thru some really ugly stuff and most of the cars/trucks had their hazard lights on as it was so dark.
Finally we arrived at our destination (2 hours later than planned) and we were once again looking at the sky - yikes!    More stuff coming.     It has been raining since we arrived (very heavy at times).    When Mark checked in, the lady said they already had 3.5" today.    But we are settled, have had our BLT's (Mark's favorite) and fresh fruit and now hunkered down here at Kountry Resort Campground outside of Racine, Ohio (pop:   675).
Tomorrow onto Michigan and hopefully good weather and no more Daisy issues.   Can't praise State Farm enough for their very prompt service and super nice mechanic.
Pretty hillside where we were stopped with Daisy's tire issue - check out all the sheep
Bath time for Luke last night...
Bubbles, Letters and Numbers =
One Squeaky Clean Boy!

Received a really nice surprise e-mail today from Barnes and Noble.    I have an account with them for my Nook.    There was some sort of class action with Apple and they are giving refunds to customers based on what they have spent on Nook books.   So, I now have a credit in my B and N account for $245.85.....yeah, that's a lot of good reading!!!

Wednesday - June 22

Summer officially began on Monday, and the heat is on here at Lake James with intense heat and sunshine.    Best place to be is on the water OR in the good ole AC.
Most everyone slept in this morning ('cept for Mark and Michael) as we were up late last night after Davis's confirmation!
I got our laundry all done and then Mark and I went to Ingles in Morganton for some groceries for Brooke and Daisy.    She took the kids to the camp to swim.    After we put the groceries away, we joined them for lunch at the Camp.    We brought the Princess home for a nap.    Drew arrived home around 3 - he had a great soccer camp at Wake Forest and not only had fun, but a really good learning experience and met kids from all over the country.  
Later, Mark and Brooke took Brady, his friend Atticus, Drew and Davis tubing and wake boarding.  
I cleaned Daisy good inside and got our things organized as we will be back "on the road again" tomorrow.    Heading to Michigan and see some of our favorite towns plus some new adventures!
Michael, Brooke, Mark and I drove to Morganton and met Bob and Judy for dinner at Wisteria.    Neat restaurant that is farm to table in an old building downtown - very good.  
Til tomorrow....

Tuesday - June 21

Hot and sunny here in NC......Brooke, Davis, Brady, Blair, Mark and I left around 9:15 for Newton.    Dr. appointments today and tonight is Davis's confirmation.
Michael was there when we arrived - Brooke brought lunch home and then Mark and I went to town for a few errands.   Everyone going in all directions!

Met Bob and Judy at Salsarita's for dinner and then...
 Tonight Davis was confirmed at St. Aloysius....2 hour Mass with the Bishop of Charlotte, 4th Degree Knights of Columbus (12) and a very packed standing-room only for the 89 confirmands, sponsors and their families.

Our confirmand
Davis and his sponsor, Grandpa (filling in for Uncle Phil)
Davis chose "Peter" as his confirmation name
and received the sacrament of confirmation from
Bishop Peter Jugis
Michael, Brooke, Davis
Grandma, Davis, Grandpa
Gram, Davis, Grand Bob



Monday - June 20

Warm and sunny morning - then mostly cloudy, warmer afternoon.     Mark and I have started back with the weight lifting!    Going at this easy, but definitely need to "get with the program"!!!

Blair and her brothers swinging in the woods
After lunch we all (except Michael) went to the Camp for an afternoon of  swimming....Blair is a little fish!     Baby pool or big pool, she's really comfortable in the water! 

Water Baby...

Cooling my tootsies in the baby pool with Grandpa
 Pretty flowers at Camp Lake James
The "B's"

Black-eyed Susans
Michael is in Greensboro tonight for business dinner...
So after dinner, Blair dressed up and tah dah....
 Butterfly Princess Blair wearing her "Dorothy" shoes
 Beautiful butterfly wings

Brady honoring #6 with special memorabilia
Grandpa, Davis, Brady and I played euchre......Grandpa and Brady were the winners!


Fathers Day - 2016

Good morning from Max Meadows. where it was a cool 52 when we woke up.   Its another beautiful day with deep blue skies, few wispy clouds and this lush VA countryside as we head to NC.
Today Mark and I are thinking of our Dads and wishing them a very
So many happy memories of being together on past Father's Days
Father Doug, Dad C and Dad D
(Philip and Annette's rehearsal dinner - May 6, 2005)

Michael and his boys - June 15, 2007
and cuddling his baby girl - July 20, 2013
Patrick and his boys - February 2, 2008
Philip and his new son - April 29, 2013
 We had a fun afternoon at the lake.....Bob and Judy were here and we all went for a pontoon ride..    Drew is at soccer camp till Wednesday, so didn't get to see him.
Blair took a long late afternoon nap.   
Brooke picked up Roma's for supper - good local Italian place here at he lake.
Bob, Judy, Brady and I played euchre (Bradys' 1st game to play by himself - he and Grand Bob beat us!
Mark enjoyed phone calls from Anne, Philip and Ryan + face time with Philip, Annette and Luke, 
 Mark got to spend Father's Day with 1/4 of his kids!


Saturday - June 18

Another pretty day and we woke up to the news that the Blue Angels cancelled their appearance at Vero Beach FL next weekend.    We are disappointed as we had family and friends coming; however, knew this was iffy and just don't know when the Blues will resume their show schedule.   Always safety first and they have so many details to work thru....
We were off around 10:30 this morning.     Had lunch in Front Royal, VA at Cracker Barrel.    Tonight we are at Pioneer Village RV Park in Max Meadows, VA    It is so pretty here with all the mountains and the RVs just tucked down below in a valley!
Pretty road the bunnies hopped and I walked down!
We arrived just in time to unhook Toad, get Daisy in her spot, electricity turned on, change clothes and off to Wytheville (Withville) for 6:00 Mass at St. Mary's    They had more visitors than their regular congregation!
After dinner (enjoyed leftovers from Charlotte and my catfish from last night), I went for a walk around the park - just me and the bunnies.    They were everywhere running, hopping and hanging out as I walked.    So cute and lots of 'em!!!
We have about 3 hours to Lake James tomorrow....
Wishing all you Dads a very...

Friday - June 17

Absolutely beautiful day here in Lothian......Mark was off to run errands, came back to Daisy for lunch and then went to the boat to finish up his job list..
Still waiting to hear back from mechanic - just the same ole same ole!
I stayed on Daisy and got the laundry caught up here at the campground and went for a long walk.

We went to Mrs. K's Kitchen for some soul food - good!!!    Back to Daisy and walked - just a perfect evening!

Soooo very tragic about Little Lane Graves from NE and the horrific tragedy at Disney World -
breaks my heart for this young family.

Tomorrow we will start the trek back to NC and stay a few days....

Liam and Connor fishing in Indiana and enjoying lots of water sports!

Thursday - June 16

YEAH......HURRAH......the Blues are flying again!     What a thrill to see our boy soar thru the sky today with his Blue Angel "brothers" after the horrendous tragedy exactly 2 weeks ago.    Heartbreaking that there are only 5...
We left the Americamp RV Resort in Ashland around 8:30 (this campground boasts that it is exactly 1/2 way between Maine and Florida).
We arrived at Adventure Bound RV Resort in Lothian, MD at 10:30, got Daisy settled and left for the boat.   But first we had another really good lunch at South County Café and then while Mark got to work with his jobs on Catrina, I did a load of laundry.  This Herrington Harbor Marina is large and beautiful but only 2 washers/dryers?    More laundry to do tomorrow!
We had a delightful evening with friends, Charlotte and Doug at their lovely Annapolis home.   Always enjoy our time with them and tonight was extra special as we had just been with them 3 weeks ago yesterday at the Annapolis air show so lots of reminiscing, tears and sadness for Jeff and his family.
Their home is in the woods but on the water.....doesn't get much better than that!    We had a great dinner, wine and thee best conversation.   Unfortunately, the weather kicked in with some nasty lightning, thunder and heavy rain and radar shows really bad stuff coming.     Big hugs and teary good byes and off we went.    So glad to be back on Daisy and hunkered down for the night - lots of rain coming our way,

Wednesday - June 15

Hello from Ashland, VA (north of Richmond).    We were off shortly after 7 this morning for Lake James.    Good to be back, but only stayed an  hour......short visit with Michael, Brooke, Brady and Blair.   Looking forward to a longer stay next week.
Good to be back on Daisy....our home with all our stuff.    Drove 350 miles and arrived around 5ish.    Another big day - so ready for some down time.   Tomorrow, back to the boat and see what's what, plus Mark has some jobs he needs to do..

We went to O'Banks Café for dinner (good) and then picked up a few groceries!
Anne, Patrick, Liam and Connor are off in their RV (Elsie) for several days in Santa Claus, IN.

Tuesday - June 14

Another day of travel and this was a biggie!   We left for the Albuquerque airport at 4:15 AM(mountain time).    Our flight was on time for Houston (Hobby Airport) and had a 1-hour layover but that turned into almost 3 hours.    Our plane was having mechanical issues and they were waiting for another one to replace it.    So.....finally, on our way.    90 miles outside of Atlanta, the captain announced that we were going to fly around the area for 40 minutes or so as there were storms in Atlanta.     So we circled around and around for 45 minutes and then he announced that we were heading to Panama City, FL  We needed fuel and weather was still unstable in Atlanta plus they were not allowing any arrivals.    We were able to get off the plane, but with all the passengers deplaning and filling up with fuel, it was about a 40-minute turn-around.
Lots of cheers and hand clapping when we finally arrived in Atlanta    Six hours late!!!!!!!
Got our bags, took shuttle back the hotel to get in Toad and finally on our way to Lake James.
 Grandma and Grandpa are sad that we're missing out on Blair and Brothers time....
Till tomorrow...

Monday - June 13

Hello from Albuquerque where we still are after not getting on our flight today (Denver or Chicago).    Several seats available and then bam!!!    Next thing we know, our flight is oversold, so no chance of any  stand bys making it.     So.....we are enjoying a "down" day and just chillin back at our hotel.   We took a long walk (the airport hotels are primarily in an industrial area, so just felt good to get out and about AND get in our 10,000 steps.    Although the temp is 90, there is only 13% humidity!   It keeps going down every time I check my phone!!! 
Wow....not used to that after IL and FL.
The Albuquerque Airport is really nice - no big crowds, friendly folks and especially impressed with the bathrooms.....huge and very spacious, plus each sink is separate with its own soap dispenser, towel holder, etc.   You know....the little things in life that make ya happy!   
We bought the last 2 tickets on SW tomorrow flying from here to Houston to Atlanta.
Not that we plan to be here, but looking ahead to the weekend weather for Albuquerque - in the 100's for several days!!!'s another interesting story.    When we flew from Atlanta last Friday we had a stopover in Dallas).   The air conditioning was not working and it was very warm and stuffy on our full flight.   The captain apologized off and on and when we exited the plane, the flight attendant said "I'm so sorry about the AC".   Well, we thought that was the end of it.   Lo and behold, today we each got a voucher for $75 off our next Southwest flight!    Cant beat that for service!

A few more pics from Colorado...
On campus of Fort Lewis College overlooking Durango
Jeff graduated from here in 2006
Beautiful Strater Hotel in downtown Durango
Great scenery on drive between Durango and Albuquerque
NOT what you want to see along the highway....
an RV totally destroyed - sure hope the passengers are ok
Can't wait to see Sweet Pea tomorrow...
Walked across the street to Little Anita's for supper - fast food Mexican.    Only other choice was here at hotel and we did that last night.   It was ok - not near as good as what we had in Cuba last Friday.