Seven states, 1750 miles, weather varieties

Just back from a winter getaway to the Gulf Shore.  To say we experienced a variety of weather is an understatement.  Our first 2 days in Alabama brought sunshine and upper 60 degree temps.  It was wonderful, people were playing beach volley ball, my husband got fully submerged in the gulf, we took beach walks and enjoyed nature.



That little dot in the center is my husband’s head sticking out of the water.




Then came the storm.  For Alabama, that meant heavy rains, near freezing temps and wind – lots of wind!

There’s really not much to do at the beach when the wind is blowing and the rain is everywhere, so we spent our last afternoon at the Gulf Shore in our room watching the weather channel and wondering if we would be able to get to Atlanta the next day.  I appreciate the job weather people have and how excited they get when there is a big front coming in, but they do tend to over hype most of the time.  As we were trying to come up with a plan B – Atlanta got a little ice which was completely melted by the time we rolled in to town the day after the storm.

However, it was 15 degrees with chilling winds – so we did not venture far that first night.


The next morning, the sun was shining bright and it actually warmed to a balmy 34 degrees (still plenty windy).  We spent most of the afternoon at Stone Mountain.  Having hiked Stone Mountain, NC – we had to see what Stone Mountain, GA was like. To our surprise, there was a carving of Confederate heroes.  Seriously?  Who does that?  I cannot imagine the time, energy, and skill that went into this carving!  It was impressive.


This stone mountain looked completely out of place in a rather flat part of Georgia – we didn’t think it was real at first.  (Stone Mountain, NC is actually in a mountain range.)  There is a whole village there with fun activities for the entire family.  I don’t want to know what it is like in the summer as crowded as it was on this chilly Sunday.  It’s definitely worth the $15 admission.  Although, it did bother me just a little to learn that this park is privately owned.  It is owned by the same folks who own Dollywood.

We also managed to find a couple of German restaurants in Atalanta.  The first one had a flag from the town where my husband’s grandfather was born and where his brother lives.



The second one was downtown Atlanta and had been recommended by my daughter.  It was fun getting dressed up in a drindl.


Anyway, we will go back to Atlanta when the weather is more agreeable, it was a fun city.

Driving home, we didn’t see snow until we were well into South Carolina, the accumulation was highest in North Carolina, but we did have a decent covering in our backyard in Virginia.


Even though it was a great trip, I am happy to be back in my own bed and ready to get this new year started.  Here’s to 2017!!  I hope it will be a good year for all of you!

It’s All About the View

With my first hike under my belt, and the second of three knee injections, I was off to my next hiking adventure.  This time we went to North Carolina to a fabulous place called Stone Mountain.

This hike was quite difficult compared to my first one, mainly because you are walking up a very steep incline and you think you will never see the end.  We passed several people on the way up who had to stop and catch their breaths.  What a great sense of accomplishment once we finally reached the top.


And the view. . .



You really felt like you were on top of the world.

Coming down was interesting, my husband told me we could go down a different way than we came up but there would be steps going down.  Since I have no trouble taking steps down, I eagerly agreed.   We saw some amazing things on the other side:



It seemed like we went down much deeper than what we climbed up, but I didn’t think much about it until we were at the bottom, exhausted, and I just wanted to get to the car.  I asked a woman coming from the opposite direction if we were close to the parking lot, and she said “Oh honey, I have some bad news for you – you’ve got about 350 steps to go up before reaching the parking lot.  My heart sank, I looked accusingly at my husband (who had done this hike earlier with our daughter) – What??? He said he had forgotten that part.  Sure.

We actually counted the steps as we made our way (mostly in silence) back to the car.  She was exactly right.  But we also saw some amazing things along the way and that’s what I choose to remember.


All was forgiven as I discovered the injections had worked and I had no knee pain.  My hiking adventures had just begun and I could not wait for the next one!