Archive for the ‘United States of America’ Category

Introducing “Snickers”

At 21 feet Snickers is “fun-sized”…big enough for both of us and Bailey, yet small enough to fit into most state park campgrounds. So far we have checked off two USA states, setting a goal to camp in 47 more (sorry Hawaii, we won’t be shipping Snickers on a boat). During our first two expeditions, Snickers has proven to be everything that we had hoped for in a RV. We love having the comforts of home wherever we decide to roam.

Once in a lifetime

Over the years, we have taken many great trips. Most of which we consider once in a lifetime simply because the world is so big that we will probably not get back to see the same place again. A few are real stand-outs, like the 70th Anniversary D-Day trip that we took in 2014, our 25th anniversary cruise last year on the Aranui 5 and our most recent trip to Nome, Alaska for the Iditarod Sled Dog Race finish.

We are coming up on the 74th anniversary of D-Day, our friend Clinton Riddle (a veteran of WWII) is over in Europe on the shores of Normandy once again. This year sponsored by the Best Defense Foundation. We wish him safe travels!

About our most recent trip to Alaska, I have been meaning to write about it for a while now. I remember before we left one of my coworkers asked what in the world was I going to do in Nome Alaska for 10-day’s…it’s not very big. Well, I can tell you by the length of time that it has taken us to sort and publish our photos, we did and saw a lot. Nome is unique and for us an unusual latitude of exploration (it is no where near the equator). It is by far the farthest North that we have traveled. And to do so in winter, when there is this white stuff called snow falling from the sky and accumulating in record amounts on the ground, was extraordinary for us.

So why did we go to Nome Alaska in winter? In a nutshell to see and experience the finish of the last great race on earth.

Now we could have just flown up there, stayed at anyplace available, and seen a few mushers cross the finish line, all on our own…and it would have been a good trip. Our past travel experience told us that this event/trip could be made magical by the right tour guide/company. The research for the perfect guide began a bit over a year before the actual trip.

We’ve had some good tour guides and we’ve had some great tour guides, Laurent Dick of Wild Alaska Travel ranks up near the very top of the list. We knew from his beautiful website that the itinerary for the trip was comprehensive, including all of the things we would like to see and do. We had high expectations and they were exceeded.  Laurent even threw in a few awesome surprises.

Highlights of the trip included:

  • Experiencing and photographing the finish of the 2018 Iditarod Sled Dog Race _copie-0_IMG_6583
  • Flying to the scenic Iditarod checkpoint of White Mountain_copie-0_DSCN3148
  • Riding a snowmobile to the Iditarod checkpoint in Safety_copie-0_DSCN3706
  • Attending the 2019 Iditarod Finisher’s banquet
  • Tracking down muskoxen by snowmobile
  • Playing golf on the frozen Bering Sea
  • Seeing and photographing the northern lights_copie-0_IMG_6843
  • Experiencing authentic Alaska and learning why ‘There’s no place like Nome!’
  • And, of course, meeting Iditarod mushers and their dogs!

We enjoyed great food.

And even had a little bit of fun photographing all of that snow!

There are many more photos on our online photo album at:

Christmas cruise on Holland American Lines Eurodam 2016



Over the Christmas holiday, we spent two relaxing weeks cruising around the Caribbean on the MS Eurodam.

On board we ate some amazing food.

The staff was awesome.

Holland American Line’s private island provided a nice beach day.

On Turks and Caicos, we hung out at the Margaritaville pool.

In San Juan, we tasted the original Piña Colada at Restaurant Barrachina, walked around Old San Juan, and sampled some local chocolate at Casa Corte.

From Ft. Lauderdale, we took a tour to the Florida Everglades.

We made fishy friends in Grand Cayman.

We explored Cozumel on a rail buggy adventure tour.

We wandered around Key West…visiting Mel Fisher’s Museum, ate Maine lobster rolls at DJ’s Clam Shack (which was featured in an episode of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives), meandered through the Key West Cemetery, and did a mini pub crawled – stopping into Sloppy Joe’s and Captain Tony’s Saloon.

After the cruise we spent a few days exploring and eating our way around south Florida and the Upper Keys.


We finally made it to the Coral Castle.

Had an awesome fish sandwich at Robbie’s Marina.

We spent a few hours exploring the displays at The History of Diving Museum.


We spent a morning exploring the Fruit and Spice Park.


We had great pub grub at the M.E.A.T. Eatery and Taproom (another restaurant featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives).

We visited two wonderful breweries; Islamorada Beer Company and Florida Keys Brewing Company.

The best meal of the trip just might have been at The Fish House (another restaurant featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives).

And ended the vacation with a beautiful sunset.


We have a plan!

Airline travel is no longer the luxurious comfortable method of travel that it once was, and one day our crotchety older selves will no longer be willing to put up with its inconveniences. But until that time, we have decided to explore as much of the world as we can (traveling beyond the borders of the United States of America)…once we have had enough of the cramped airline seats and bad connections, we will acquire a motorhome to become North American nomads exploring as much of the USA (and Canada) that our new “wheels” can conquer. We may also opt for a sailboat to further explore the world…

So, why did we just spend a week of precious vacation time in Colorado? Even the best of plans should be a bit flexible to allow spontaneous moments… And this deviation is all the fault of Frontier Airlines. They had a deal that we just couldn’t pass up. For both of us (and one checked bag), it was $126 round trip ATL to DEN!

We jumped on the flight deal without a single thing “to do/see” planned for the trip. With just a few short weeks to plan, we reached out to our friends on FB and the internet for ideas. And boy oh boy did we find out that there is no shortage of things to do in Colorado.

We had a very busy and awesome vacation, if you weren’t following us on FB here is a trip report. If you ever find yourself in Colorado, you may want to check out some of the awesome places we visited!

Friday, we stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn Atlanta Airport South.  Doing this greatly reduces the chance that any Atlanta traffic will interfere with us getting to the airport on time.  And included in our hotel rate is a weeks worth of airport parking!

Saturday early am, we took a taxi to the ATL airport. The train to the gate was not working, so we had to walk all the way out to our gate in concourse D.

The Atlanta to Denver flight on Frontier Airlines was pretty uneventful…no frills, pay for everything, uncomfortable seats.

After sorting out our rental car (the first had a flat tire), we visited the National Museum of WWII Aviation in Colorado Springs. Had a great docent-led history tour of their Westpac facility. And had an awesome talk/demonstration on a Link Trainer (aka “Blue box” or “Pilot Trainer”), a flight simulator produced between the early 1930s and early 1950s by the Link Aviation Devices, Inc.

National Museum of WWII Aviation

Link Trainer

Pete with a Lockheed P-38 Lightning

We had lunch at The Airplane Restaurant just down the road a bit from the museum. The food was better than expected and the service was great too.

1953 Boeing KC-97 Tanker

We spent a little time exploring Garden of the Gods (park), even doing a little hiking. The scenery is just gorgeous here.

After our hike, we checked into the Comfort Inn in Pueblo and cleaned up a bit to get ready for dinner out on the town. A little bit about the hotel: we were pleasantly surprised as it was very comfortable with good amenities and great staff.

Our friend Jo came by to pick us up for dinner tonight. She gave us a short little tour of Pueblo, taking us to an overlook of the reservoir. It would have been an awesome spot to view a sunset but the clouds blocked the suns descent.

We had a great dinner with Jo at Tocayo Mexican Grill & Cantina where her niece worked. The food was awesome, and of course the service was good, but even better was the margarita!

We all went for after dinner drinks to PDub Brewing Company, a local brewery and soda fountain. Pete had some tasty craft brews while Jo & Mary enjoyed some unique sodas…sarsaparilla anyone?

Sunday Morning, we went the Colorado State Fair to watch some of the NRCHA/AQHA Cow Horse Show. It wasn’t as exciting as we expected…so, we wandered the grounds taking in some of the other livestock events, like a goat show and long horned cattle show.

Soon, we were hungry for lunch. So we followed our noses into the fair grounds, finding some tasty grilled meats and corn on the cob. While enjoying our lunch, we were entertained by the Fiesta Day Free Entertainment.

Needing a break from the fair, we took Jo’s advice to go explore a local attraction, Bishop Castle. An amazing building and interesting owner who we were able to speak with a little bit.
We had an OK dinner at the Shamrock Brewing Co (they were out of a few things that we had wanted to order).

We returned to the State Fair to watch the Youth Freestyle Reining competition. The kids did great. And this was fun to watch, even tho Mary was distracted and “lured” (LOL) into dog training discussions…imagine running into Schutzhund people at a horse event!

Monday morning, we met Jo and her sister at a famous breakfast burrito restaurant, however it was closed for the holiday. Plan B was set into motion and we ventured to another great restaurant Musso’s for breakfast burritos that soon won’t be forgotten, yum!

After breakfast, we visited Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum. Had a great time with the volunteers there!

A space shuttle tire that has actually flown in space.

Pete with an F-104

For lunch we decided to try the Brues Ale House. What a great choice! Good food, great service and irresistible desserts.

Venturing back north towards Denver, we stopped for a brief visit to the US Air Force Academy Chapel. From the visitor center we strolled the one-third-mile paved nature trail walking to the Cadet Chapel that soars 150 feet into the Colorado sky. Our timing was awesome, after briefly visiting the inside of the chapel, we heard the sound of the bugle playing “Retreat”, followed by the playing of the National Anthem. Everyone outside, stopped what they were doing, faced the flag, and placed their right hand over their heart when the National Anthem began to play. Beautiful, yet a poignant reminder of the Airmen and other service members who came before us and the sacrifices they made so we can be where we are today.

Next we walked around the Honor Court, which contains bronze statues and aircraft memorials from various groups.

Lockheed P-38 Lightning (one-quarter scale)

We continued north checking into the Comfort Suites Lakewood/Denver arriving a little too late for the dinner that we had planned….plan b, grab a bite to eat at the next event we have scheduled. This Comfort Inn was also very nice, with good bath amenities and friendly staff.

We had very little time to get cleaned up before heading out for the Sammy Hagar and the Circle concert the at the one and only Red Rocks Amphitheater. The weather could not have been more perfect.  It was an awesome show at an amazing venue. The food at the venue was nothing special but it filled our bellies.

Sammy Hagar rockin’ at Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Tuesday morning, we explored Dinosaur Ridge walking a paved road where alongside of it is evidence of ancient Colorado and the creatures that once lived here…dinosaur tracks!

We had planned to eat at Casa Bonita for dinner last night but ran out of time. So, we decided to fit it into today’s plan. Casa Bonita is more than a Mexican restaurant, it is a tourist destination that just about can’t be must be experienced.

We drove thru the small town of Bailey (where a friend lives, but he was out of town today) on our way to South Park County.

We arrived into the town of Fairplay very late in the afternoon and checked into the Fairplay-Valiton Hotel. The original Fairplay Hotel was built in one of the boom times of the 1800s, and is the site of a number of legends, historical events and ghost stories.  Our room was just big enough to fit the king sized bed.  The bath amenities were pretty good and the staff was great.  The owner even told us a bit about the “spirits” of the hotel.

Briefly we walked Main Street, Front Street, and peered into the South Park City Museum. South Park City Museum, located at the west end of Front Street in the town of Fairplay in Park County, Colorado, is an open-air museum that represents a mining town between 1860 and 1900. Sadly, we did not have time to explore the museum before it closed for the day.

It was a short 2/10ths of a mile walk to South Park Brewing Company. We each got a four beer flight sampler, doing so we sampled almost all of their beers. For the most part we liked all of their offerings. Mary ordered a strange one, Imperial S’mores Stout, and yes it tasted just like we were sitting around a campfire. Since Mary doesn’t like stouts and Peter doesn’t like flavored beer, this was our least favorite, but you gotta give it to them on craftsmanship to be able to come up with such a beer. We had such a good time here; chatting with the locals, eating good food and getting a brewery tour…it was a little bit sad when closing time rolled around.

Wednesday morning, we walked on down the street to the Brown Burro Cafe for breakfast. Such a small town, guess who we ran into? The owners of the brewery having breakfast at the table next to us!

We checked out of the Fairplay-Valiton Hotel and drove off down the road to American Safari Ranch where we had a 2-hr horseback ride followed by a 1-hr ATV ride. We had a great time with Devon, our guide, on the horses. The weather was perfect and our horses (Gypsy for Mary, Breckenridge for Pete) were well behaved. After horseback riding, the ATV was a little anticlimactic.

Back to Fairplay for lunch. We took the recommendation that Devon gave us and ate at the Park Bar. We had a cold beer and a delicious wrap. …and guess who showed up at the bar while we were eating…the brewery owners!

It was getting late and we needed to head off back towards Colorado Springs…but first a little detour to drive through Breckenridge to see that tourist trap….wow, glad we didn’t stay long…too many people!

We had a nice leisurely ride, passing pasture land that occasionally had small herds of antelope on our way to Colorado Springs.

After checking into the Drury Hotel in Colorado Springs. We were a little disappointed with the bathroom  amenities at the Drury Hotel… not fond of the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash dispensers (even tho they are more environmentally friendly), the quality of the provided soaps seemed poor.  …there was no hand lotion, face wash, or other extras that were available at our other hotels.  And they absolutely had the worse bath towels…way to rough!

We had a nice dinner at the Phantom Canyon Brewing.

Thursday morning, we had an appointment to get base passes to visit the Peterson Air & Space Museum. The volunteer museum docents were waiting on us. They knew we were coming and we’re excited to show us around. And once they found out who Pete works for, well we were given the VIP tour. The base pass is only good for a short time and we had other things planned for the afternoon or we would’ve stayed longer.

Lockheed Super Constellation

Lockheed Super Constellation

F-104 (on a stick)

We had a quick lunch at Paravicini’s Italian Bistro, the first of many restaurants this trip to be featured on the tv show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives (DDD).

Next on the schedule was a train ride on the Cog Railway up Pikes Peak. Since 1891, millions of passengers have enjoyed a high-altitude adventure on The Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cog Railway, the highest train in the United States and highest cog train in the world. Departing from historic Manitou Springs, the railroad climbs to 14,115 feet. The tracks wind through boulder-strewn canyons and forests of pine and aspen before ending high above timberline where vistas of the Great Plains and the Continental Divide unfold. On top of Pikes Peak is the only time/place this vacation that we felt we wanted to wear our jackets.

After our Pikes Peak adventure, we drove to Denver having dinner at Dae Gee Korean BBQ, another DDD restaurant. The food was quite tasty and the service was great. It is a “pig out” all you can eat restaurant…the first serving was large enough for us that we didn’t need seconds.

We checked into the Drury Inn & Suites Denver Stapleton.  This Drury did not improve the disappointing bathroom  amenities we experienced at the last Drury… it had the same shampoo, conditioner, and body wash dispensers and the quality of these also seemed poor.  Again there wasn’t any lotion, face wash, or other extras that were available at our other hotels.  And they too had the worse bath towels…also being way to rough!

Friday morning, we went to the Denver Zoo. It’s a nice zoo, although some of the enclosures did seem a little small. Mary was happy to see a few animals that she hadn’t seen before (African wild dogs and Przewalski’s Horse).

Amur Leopard

African Wild Dog

Golden Lion Tamarin

Bongo (antelope)

We had lunch at the Atomic Cowboy.  Yup another DDD restaurant.

After lunch, we met up with Andrew, a friend from the Starfighters air show team, at Wings Over The Rockies Air Museum. Pete and Andrew spent a lot of time checking out the museums F-104. Mary was much more interested in the 3/4 scale “Star Wars” X-wing fighter.

We stopped back by at our hotel, the Drury Inn & Suites Denver Stapleton, to take part in their 5:30-7:00 snacks and drinks. Tonight’s snacks (pasta and meatballs, salad, chips and nacho cheese) were more than enough for dinner.

Well, sadly, we have come to the last scheduled event in this awesome vacation adventure. Tonight the Wings Over The Rockies Air Museum is having a special movie premiere of the new Tom Hanks movie Sully. The movie is based off the real life event of US Airways Pilot Sullenberger when he was forced to make an emergency landing in New York’s Hudson River after US Airways Flight 1549 struck a flock of geese. Miraculously or perhaps due to the incredible skill of the crew and rescue workers, all of the 155 passengers and crew survived. After the movie, a panel of aviation experts were on hand to answer questions and discuss what had been sensationalized for Hollywood and what were actual events.

It was still early after the movie and we weren’t ready for this vacation to be over….so we stopped into Station 26 Brewing (nearby the hotel) for a one last Colorado craft brewed beer.

Saturday, we checked out of the Drury Inn & Suites Denver Stapleton and had another uneventful Frontier Airlines flight from Denver to Atlanta.


What an absolutely amazing vacation! The weather cooperated everyday.  Everywhere we went the people we met were truly gracious hosts.  Believe it or not, there were quite a few things that we couldn’t fit into our schedule this time.  Colorado we will be back!

Canadian Rockies 2015

We have published a “highlights” album of our Canadian Rockies trip. We’re still working on the big album…lots of pictures, it’s going to take a while.  

We choose Globus Journeys for our tour operator to the Canadian Rockies. While we had a wonderful vacation, we found Globus Journeys to be subpar to other tour operators that we have used in the past and thus we would NOT recommend them to our family and friends. 

Click here to view our Canadian highlights album:


Songs From St. Somewhere Tour – Jimmy Buffett Atlanta

This past Tuesday, we played hookie from work and phlocked to Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood to spend the afternoon tailgating with a few new friends.  The gates to the parking lot opened at noon for a concert that didn’t begin until 8pm… there was a lot of fun going on that afternoon… and we took pictures (so I hope if we caught you in photos, you told your boss where you were).

Our photos:


The set list that Jimmy played in Atlanta is listed below:

1. Kinja (St. Somewhere version)

2. Landfall

3. Boat Drinks

4. Weather With You

5. Morris’ Nightmare (2013 version)

6. Ringling, Ringling

7. Come Monday

8. Something About a Boat

9. Son of a Son of a Sailor

10. Jamaica Mistaica

11. Too Drunk to Karaoke

12. Cheeseburger in Paradise

Acoustic set:

13. La Vie Dansante

14. Useless and Important Information

15. Volcano

16. Southern Cross (Crosby, Stills & Nash cover)

17. Cultural Infidel (featuring Nadirah Shakoor)

18. Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes

19. A Pirate Looks at Forty

20. One Particular Harbour

21. Back Where I Come From (Mac McAnally cover)

22. It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere

23. All Night Long (Lionel Richie cover)

24. Fins


25. Knee Deep (Zac Brown Band cover)

26. Bartender’s Blues (James Taylor cover)(tribute to George Jones)

27. Margaritaville (with Boat Drinks reprise)

Band Intros

28. Oldest Surfer on the Beach (gift of Mark Knopfler)

Growing older but not up!

To celebrate my birthday a couple of weekends ago, we phlocked to Las Vegas with a few thousand other parrot heads, and our California friends for Jimmy Buffett’s final concert of the Lounging at the Lagoon tour…. The pictures are now up at:

And below is the rest of the trip report:

The Saturday pre-concert Lounging at the lagoon pool party was spectacular. We had perfect timing meeting up with our California friends, Ralph & Rob, as we entered the pool party scene. Then we proceeded to meet as many new parrot head friends as we could. The weather was great and the musical entertainment was fun. There was even a girl in a beach ball in the pool.

Then Saturday night, Jimmy Buffett was having a great time on stage. It was the last show of the Lounging at the Lagoon tour and Jimmy was feeling the energy. We had great seats and thanks to Mary’s new camera, we got some awesome photos.

Sunday came and the weekend for us wasn’t over just yet. We spent the afternoon lounging by the pool at the MGM Grand and even took a lap in the lazy river.

For dinner, we decided to take a trip down memory lane. Mary found this great recommendation for an Indian restaurant, Tamba, in the Hawaiian shopping plaza. We had a lovely meal with great hospitality that reminded us of our travels through India. We chatted with the owner and showed him pictures of our 2-weeks spent in his childhood country. He said although he grew up there, he had no such thorough experience as ours. He was planning a return trip with his 3 year old daughter and has been excited and inspired by our photos and conversation. Ah shucks.

The owner of Tamba was particularly impressed with the Overseas Adventure Tours company’s policy of exposing us tourists to the local rural community. And he was moved when Mary explained that the tour company sponsored a school there and the tourist often bring supplies. He said that we have many blessings from that trip. And that we do. After we finished our meal, the owner returned with his business card and told us that when we return to Las Vegas or if we have family in town, call him if we need anything.

After dinner, we strolled up the strip to the NY NY resort and into the Irish pub Nine Fine Irishmen. We bellied up to bar next to a couple from England…We knew this was going to be an interesting evening for sure. Soon after their departure from the bar, a gentleman came strolling thru wearing the Congressional Medal of Honor. And soon he pulled up a seat right next to Mary. We offered to buy him a drink, to which he graciously declined. He introduced himself and we chatted a bit.  The pubs Irish band was playing loud and lively music which was great and why we’re all here but it made conversation all but impossible.

Later that evening, back in our hotel room, we looked up his name; Jon R. Cavaiani and found his story on wikipedia:   Here is Retired Sergeant Major Cavaiani’s story in his own words:

It was such an honor to meet a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient.

Early the next morning, we visited the food court in MGM Grand for a McDonalds breakfast before catching a cab to the airport. Mary was a little afraid that we might get into an accident on the way to the airport, when the cab driver started asking about our time in Vegas and Pete mentioned meeting a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, the cab driver snapped to attention adjusting his mirror to look into Pete’s eyes. Well, we did make it to the airport and with plenty of time.

Our flight was on time and we had good seats. We had a pretty decent view of Hoover Dam, although it wasn’t lit very well for photographing. We also had cloud clear view of the Grand Canyon. About the only problem we had with our flight was that we intended to purchase sandwiches on board and they ran out before they got to us. It was only a 4 hour flight, so we made due.

We landed in ATL on time and had no problems with traffic. Another great trip in the log books!

Our photos from the Gulf Coast weekend are up online

Finally, we have edited all of the photos from our Easter weekend trip; including dinner at Jimmy Buffett’s crazy sisters place, LuLu’s and a nights stay at the Margaritaville Beach Hotel in Pensacola Florida.  Click here to see the photos.

Gulf Coast 2011

I’ve been busily working on editing the photos from our Easter trip to the Gulf Coast… they are not quite done yet. But a few friends have been asking for a trip report and some teaser photos, so here it goes:

April 22, 2011
We started our visit in Mobile, Alabama at the USS Alabama battleship; where Mary had Pete finally tied down with battleship chains. After thoroughly exploring the ship and marveling at it’s open gunnery room, we ventured through aircraft pavilion. Aircraft on display included a few historic Lockheed planes and a very special SR-71 Blackbird; which Pete was able to park his Mustang right next to for a unique photo op. Also on display there is the USS Drum submarine and a mock up of the civil war submarine the Hunley. The Drum is open for visitors and we took our time exploring its many displays.

We spent the night at the Drury Hotel in Mobile. The Drury offers a few unusual amenities, including a snack and beverage service from 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm. Tonight’s snacks included: hot dogs, nachos with lots of toppings, baked potatoes, and tossed salad. We ate enough snacks that we didn’t have to go out for dinner. Each adult in the room is offered 3 adult beverages and there is a coke self-service drink fountain that we didn’t see get locked up after 7:00 pm.

April 23, 2011
Waking up at the Drury with its included hot breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage, French toast, waffles, fruit and yogurt starts the day in a very pleasant way.

We had a short stop at the Guitar Center, where Pete bought a souvenir amplifier. Then we were on to the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center to watch an roaming animal show that was in town for the weekend.

Next we were off in the general direction of Florida. We stopped for lunch of shrimp po’boys at a riverside restaurant. The view was great, the food OK, the service… well, nothing to write about.

After lunch Pete’s car got to experience something new; a ferry. Our destination for this afternoon is Fort Morgan and to get there we have to take a ferry. On the way across the intercoastal waterway, we pass nearby an oil rig. Kind of interesting, when considering what this area went through last year with the BP disaster.

We just barely made it to the Fort Morgan museum before it closed. Sure glad that we made it, there is a lot of history at this fort that just wouldn’t be understood without spending sometime in the museum, before wandering the grounds of the fort. This fort had some very large guns, seeing the video in the museum and then standing in the fort where the guns use to be was very impressive.

Hunger drives us to our next destination, dinner at LuLu’s (Jimmy Buffett’s sister’s restaurant). We are met at the driveway by staff informing us that there is an 1 ½ hour wait, but that if there is only two of us we may have luck at the bar; and we do. We rush right up to the bar and find two open spots. Wow, LuLu’s is amazing. Imagine the craziest beach party and you probably still can’t imagine LuLu’s. We did not “budget” enough time here. There is so much going on; hair braiding, a rope obstacle course; beach volley ball… live music… and more. The food was decent, not spectacular, but good. The atmosphere was awesome… we didn’t want to leave, but we have reservations at Jimmy’s place, the Margaritaville Beach Hotel, which is still an hour away in Pensacola Florida.                        

We arrive at the Margaritaville Beach Hotel well after dark. And fall in love with the room; very nice shower, comfy bed, nice amenities, including two Landshark beers at the bar. So, we go to the beach bar with our free drink coupons in hand. Uh Oh, this place is pretty dead. The band playing just isn’t exciting the crowd or us much at all. We should’ve stayed at LuLu’s. We have a few more drinks, but nothing much is going on in here. So, we go check out the beach at night and then head back to our room.

April 24, 2011
Have work tomorrow and there is 8+ hours of road between here and home… so we gotta go. But first, we explore the Margaritaville Beach Hotel a little more. The gift store is having an Easter promotion, find an egg and get the discount that is contained in the little plastic egg. We find an egg with 20% off and Pete buys a few more souvenirs. The restaurant is busy this morning, but that’s about it. This hotel feels deserted. We go to the beach and check out the bar area in the daylight. We are the only ones out and about on this side of the resort. It’s not that early (9-ish). The bar area has a lot of neat tables, benches, games, and a “fire pit”. We took lots of pictures of the hotel and beach.

Our first stop on the way home was for breakfast at McDonalds. We looked for a Denny’s or something close to the hotel, but there was not much around. Pete drove and drove and drove. Finally, it was lunch time… there is a lot of nothing where we were, so at the first signs of civilization we stopped for some steak and cheese sandwiches. Pete drove to the next rest area on the highway, a short distance away, then Mary took over; and drove and drove and drove… and then we finally made it home.


Here are some pics of the weekend:

Date Night

And we know just how to keep the sparks going in our marriage.

We attended the “iron pour” at Red Top Mountain, Georgia State Park. Described as follows: Hear the roar of two iron furnaces once again in the Etowah Valley. The iron business in Bartow County was one of Georgia’s first industries long before the Civil War. Take guided tours of the historic Iron Hill section and watch molten iron pour from an operating blast furnace at 2800 degrees Fahrenheit.

It was a fun night out!

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