Heart of Italy

Nov 13

David in Square

David in Square

Dan and I took a pilgrimage to Italy with a group from our church.The trip celebrated the pastor’s  25th anniversary of his ordination and 30 years for two of the Deacons. We covered a lot of ground during our 10 days in Florence, Assisi and Rome.

We traveled with 46 others with most from the Warner Robins, GA area. We saw Michaelangelo’s David in the Art Gallery in Florence, visited both St. Francis and St. Clare’s Bascilia’s in Assisi, and toured famous sites in Rome for 5 days. We were able to have private Masses in several of the famous churches.

On the last full day we had with an audience with Pope Benedict XVI. Though we were one small group in the audience hall holding 10,000, the church name was called and the Pope waved.

We finished the celebrating Mass at  the Catacombs of St. Sebastian and then touring the actual catacombs. Our farewell dinner at Benito’s in Rome including free flowing wine and entertainment. People were dancing in the aisle of the bus as we returned to our hotel.

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Mossy Creek

Oct 18

Today, we headed the the piney woods a few miles from our home for the Mossy Creek Barnyard Festival  We try and go when it comes in the spring and fall. Many of the same vendors return each year. This year we bought honey, pecans, mayhew jelly, and homemade apple blueberry bread. We enjoyed the blue-grass music, walking around under the tall pine trees, the petting zoo, and of course, the vendors. Dan even signed up for a horse raffle. The winner gets the 3 year old horse (riden for 6 months) or $150. As Dan says, “… it’s a nice horse.” I hope he takes the money if he wins. The proceeds go to the Peach County FFA farm for feeding expenses.

Mossy Creek Barnyard Festival was named one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast, and also one of the Top 100 Events in North America. Voted “Favorite Arts and Crafts Festival in Georgia.” They advertise the festival as “the way things used to be.”

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Georgia Fair

Oct 08

The Georgia National Fair started this afternoon. I helped out at the Houston County Democratic Committee Booth in the McGill Marketplace. We live in a Republican stronghold here in Middle Georgia so I was expecting some negativity. But people can be so rude just because we are Democratic. The supplies including the life-size poster of President Obama have to be put away when the booth is not staffed. Last year a month before the election, the booth was vandalized more than once.

It is rewarding to have some civil conversations with some people. I have signed up for a few more days at the booth. I guess I am a glutton for punishment.

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Booth Western Art Museum

Aug 22

Booth I saw an ad for this museum in the Georgia magazine and was intrigued to see an exhibit titled, Lasting Light: 125 Years of Grand Canyon Photography. Since we had been there and since we both like the West, we did an overnight trip to Cartersville, GA. The town is about 30 miles north of Atlanta off I-75. The 80,000 square foot Booth Western Art Museum was well worth the trip. They are celebrating their 6th anniversary this weekend. Founded by owners of contemporary Western art, it now boosts main galleries featuring contemporary Western American art. Other galleries feature Civil War art, Presidential portraits and letters, Western movie posters, and Western illustration.  A new 40,000 square foot addition opens in October. We were very impressed. We lunched in the cafe and watched the 15 minute film and had an overview of the main galleries with a docent. You don’t have to go West to see great Western art. In fact, some pieces are on loan from other Western museums.

Etowah The next morning we drove to the national historic site at the Etowah Indian Mounds. Home to several thousand Native Americans between 1000 A.D. to 1550 A.D., this 54-acre site contains six earthen mounds, a plaza, village area, borrow pits and defensive ditch. This is the most intact Mississippian Culture site in the Southeastern United States. We watched a very informative film, toured the museum and drove around the mounds on a golf cart. The boot on my feet got the golf cart. We were the only people out on the grounds and it was so peaceful along the Etowah river. There is a nice picnic area, a swing and benches overlooking the river. Although it was overcast, the rain held off and we had a very peaceful time exploring.

We stayed with an Evergreen couple who were born and raised in Georgia. It made a nice get-away.

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TransAtlantic Cruise

May 23

FormalWe’re back after 26 days on the Celebrity Century. We shipped from Miami April 25 for a trans-Atlantic cruise stopping in Madeira, Spain, France, Dover, England and ending the first leg in Amsterdam. We stayed on board for a 12-day Baltic capitals cruise with stops in Warnemunde, Germany, Stockholm, Helinski, St. Petersburg, Russia, Tallinn, Estonia and Copenhagen.

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Sleeping on the Seneca

Mar 29

SenecaWe slept on this 36 foot sloop at the Henderson Wharf Marina in the Baltimore Harbor for Dan’s birthday. The owners are members of the Evergreen Club, the hospitality club for people over 55. It was a grand adventure.

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