New Orleans via Amtrak 🚆

Amtrak is the way to get there! You end up right in the heart of everything!

Bring your own food and drinks. You can check your big bags. It is super comfy and we love the observation car. We usually hang out there visiting,reading,snacking.

We always enjoy staying at The Montelone! It’s a great location and very comfortable!

We ate at 3 great places while we were there!

Willa Jean is a must for breakfast. We had dinner at Compère Lapin and brunch at Bywater American Bistro. Get reservations at all of those!

The Christmas decorations were not up at the Roosevelt(weekend before Thanksgiving); yet but the Ritz looks fabulous! The Montelone decorations were being put up while we were there and they were also wonderful!

The lobby of the Ritz

#visitneworleans. #neworleanswedding. #Montelone. #Ritz #amtrak

Yellowstone Adventures

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My first time to Yellowstone was an adventure! The fields and farms we passed en route to Yellowstone were the most amazing color of gold! We entered on the Western side.  It was a girls trip and we did the whole Western loop in 24 hours. We stayed in the Park at a very eco friendly hotel called Canyon Park. I stuck a picture of the cute bear soap from the room! It was new and nice. Alot is closed this time of the year. The whole park closes next week!

We stopped in Ashlan Idaho for a root beer float at Frostys drive-in on the way . We think it has been featured on Diners,Drive-in and Dives.

Then on toward the Park! We saw bison first! Then elk . It was a great grandfather and 5 ladies. No one was pulled over looking at them. I’ve never seen anything that big. The grandfather( I assume) hid so it was hard to see him or get a picture. I think his horns were the size of a small WV. We saw a lot more elk but nothing compared to that first group we saw! When we were leaving we did see a male elk bugling and chasing 2 female!

We came upon 8 or so cars pulled over next. and it was a mama and baby grizzly! They were amazing to watch. They were right next to the road!img_1901

We were on the way to see Old Faithful and had to get there on time. It erupts every 90 minutes. There are MANY geysers in the Park but this one is the most predictable.img_1902

I highly recommend going to Yellowstone. But go when the tour buses aren’t around. This was a great time! It is a wonderful National Park and makes me proud of America! 🇺🇸

img_2032-1Grizzlies 56082156168__8b8eb1e7-a344-44c3-ac9a-45f69930752e

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

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Friendly tourist
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Grizzlies

Crystal Springs Tomato festival🍅🍅

First of all you need to get there early to buy any locally grown tomatoes!🍅

Second of all it is small town America at its best!🇺🇸

This is my second trip to the festival. The whole town decorates and welcomes all visitors!

The downtown area is very quaint . The whole square is filled with people. There are booths that sell everything from leather belts to baby clothes to jewelry! There are politicians everywhere and yard art to buy!

The produce section has all kind of veggies and local honey and jams. Like i mentioned get there early. It opens at 9. We got there around 1030 and most were sold out.

There is a band playing and a car show! If you see someone selling fried green tomatoes get them, they were delicious!

Here is an article from USA Today .

http://traveltips.usatoday.com/crystal-springs-tomato-festival-109677.html

NYC and Bruce Springsteen on Broadway June 2018

Last weekend for Jimmy’s birthday we went to see Bruce Springsteen on Broadway. I had never seen him but have been a fan forever but Jimmy has seen him a couple of times many many years ago. We stayed at the Warwick which I highly recommend it. It is in a great location and a very comfortable hotel. My only complaint is no coffee pot in the room.The first night we went to see the musical called Beautiful  about Carole King. It was very entertaining and great music. We ate at Benjamin’s steakhouse before that. It was delicious and a very New York type steakhouse. That afternoon we had taken an Uber to Chelsea market and Highline. We could have spent a lot more time there. It was very crowded on a Friday afternoon but we enjoyed walking around.On Saturday we went to the 911 museum. We just did the general admission tickets and stayed about two hours. We could have stayed longer. It was fascinating. I learned a lot and it is a very well-done museum. I highly recommend it. Then we went to Eataly . It is a block away from 911. It was fabulous, we tasted a lot of foods and bought a few items to come home with.Saturday night we ate at Osteria Del Og. It is an  Italian restaurant in the theater district. We only had to walk a couple blocks to the show after that. We could have split the pizza and salad there. Everything was very homemade! Reservations  recommended.We got to Bruce Springsteen on Broadway an hour early. People were lined up and waiting for him to pull up. So we waited for that across the street from the theater and watched that happen. After that We went through very thick security. Once inside We bought a few souvenirs and a bottled water and M and M‘s. Bruce came out right on time and immediately started playing acoustic guitar and piano and talking. It wasn’t like a Regular concert where you stand up and sing along. We loved it and cannot get over how close we were to him. Patty came out and did two songs with him. I highly recommend going to the Bruce Springsteen on Broadway show if you can get tickets. It is a very small theater and has a great acoustics. He signs autographs afterwards .The next morning we woke up and went to an open AA meeting at a Czech Presbyterian Church. It was very interesting. Then we went to Redeemer Church PCA and then after that we went to Sarabeth’s for brunch. We sat outside at Sarabeth’s! It was right across from Central Park and next to the Ritz.We then sadly returned home… we were there about 55 hours.

#bucketlist. #BruceSpringsteen #Broadway

Church Hill, Mississippi

Around Mississippi

Christ Church located in Church Hill Mississippi was built in or around 1858. The marker says the church was first organized in 1790. It is on a beautiful lot that is situated in a unique way on a small hill. It is Gothic-style architecture and is still holds services once a month.

Its a national landmark and first Episcopal congregation in Mississippi in 1820. A lot of the furnishings ( pews and chairs) are original.

There is a lot of history along the Natchez Trace. This community is right off the Trace near Natchez.

Below are some iPhone pictures I took.

The graveyard around the church is very old and very interesting. If you could clean all of the tombstones there is no telling what all history is hidden there. I could read some of them and 2 of my favorite tombstones were “Our Papa”and “Our Darling Edgar”.

Walt Grayson has filmed some of his “Look Around Mississippi” TV shows here.

 

My first 5K

My high school friends have been doing these for years (plus half marathons) and this time I got invited!

The experience was really none like I’ve had before.

4300 people were registered to either do the 5K or half all at Seaside FL. There were people everywhere!

It was really entertaining and fun to speed walk with your friends in a big crowd!  Bud and Alleys caters the food afterwards! There were Massage tents and PT tents . I went to a PT tent and had a sweet South African girl work on my knots in my shoulder.

Vera Bradley was the sponsor so everyone got a VB bag when they finished!

I’m not saying I’ll be doing 5Ks every weekend but this one I would love to do again! That part of Florida is beautiful!

Alpine Camp for Boys Moms retreat 🌲🌲🌲 Mentone AL

This past weekend I got to go back to the Alpine moms retreat. It is a boys camp my children have enjoyed for years. (Alpinecamp.com) I have been going the last four or five years to the moms retreat.

 

Here are a few pictures of my kids and their cousins at the girls camp – Camp Desoto and from Alpine.

The moms retreat is a wonderful respite from the world and extremely good biblical teaching. Paige Benton Brown is the Bible teacher and I could listen to her for hours. She is incredibly gifted and can teach and preach the Bible like I’ve never heard.

This year was the 🍎 Fruits of the Spirit. She covered self-control , patience and faithfulness. She said Faith is a gift from God. And faithfulness is a result of that gift.  She suggested we ask our husband and children what 3 words describe you? Faithfulness  does not mean standing stronger but standing more firm. The storms are going to come but where will they find us? I’ve definitely experienced that with the trial God sent our way 8 years ago! I am so thankful that it strengthened my faith and relationship with God. I clung to the James 1:2 verse that God gives trails to those he loves.

Paige said the most forgotten fruit is self-control. She said there are two types of people- either you are running to Him or you were not running to Him. The fruit of self-control is who is siding with Jesus? Who lives in you?

We also enjoyed a talk on technology today especially for kids. Kristin Tremain from Chattanooga has done extensive research on this. She has 4 kids and concerned about the technology today and how to keep up. I’ll attach her handout.

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/videos/the-truth-about-tech-how-tech-has-kids-hooked

I also gave a fireside chat follow up on my story that I shared last year. There were about 30-40 young moms there with a lot of questions. Addiction and alcoholism is hard to talk about but i feel like everyone needs to be educated. It was really fun sharing once it got going.

It was a great weekend of rest,strong Biblical teaching, good food and hiking. My friend Cindy from Birmingham and I enjoyed going and listening to the river at night and the rain on the tin roof. We met new and old friends.

The cakes in the picture was made by the ladies at the retreat.  It was an option of the activities. I went by and observed .🎂🍴6DBAA963-F964-4DA0-B7EF-57FA053B72EE Lookout Mountain means a lot to my family and I thoroughly enjoy each time I

 

get to go there!

 

 

Snowmass CO

2A4B8075-438F-4CD3-9CBC-B7260C551427The drive from Clark to Snowmass is beautiful. Glenwood Springs Canyon was remarkable.IMG_1049.JPG

We stayed at the Westin Snowmass.  It is a nice ski in ski out. Snowmass mountain is Huge! There  are mainly blue and black runs with very few greens . I like greens , my husband likes blues and blacks. We didn’t encounter any lines at any lifts.

There is a Starbucks at base of Westin where you ski in ski out. You can charge it to your room ! ☕️

Even without any recent snow the runs were all groomed and not too much ice.🎿

The Westin is very nice BUT if you have trouble walking 🚶‍♀️  -get a room near front desk.  To get to our room we had to walk a lot and take 2 elevators.  They built the hotel into the mountain so it is split level ish. Hot cider and hot chocolate and cookies in the lobby was a nice touch.

We ate at The Stew Pot the first night. It is a soup and sandwich place owned by someone from Mississippi( we never met him)  We also ate there again on our  last night. It’s in Snowmass Mall. ( walking distance from Westin)23CDEC96-94BC-4CDE-8B63-AD608AFAFD48

We had lunch at Sams BBQ on top of the mountain on first day of skiing. The views were magnificent. It is pricey but we expected that. We also at had lunch at Gwyn’s High Alpine.  It was similar to other ski restaurants where you can get a lot of things.

We had dinner at IL’Hostria in Aspen. It is a 20 minute drive from Snowmass. It was Italian and delicious . Reservations are a must. I felt like there were famous people in there but i didn’t recognize anyone.

The morning we are left was a big snow storm.  Flight cancelled in Aspen after being on runway for an hour, then 6 hours in airport,finally rebooked leaving out of Denver at 540 am the next day.  United airlines booked us a shuttle to Denver. Our drivers name is Calvin.  He’s 75 years old.  He’s diabetic. I hope we make it.D8A7028A-97B6-4FBB-B387-4A45421BD6E5