Preparing for Christmas

I’ve been quite busy since arriving home from my six-week–4,200 mile–road trip through the Southern U.S.  In addition to the normal duties one has when returning from a trip (i.e. unpacking, laundry, opening mail, paying bills, cleaning house, grocery shopping, etc.), with the holidays right around the corner, I decorated the house…

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did some Christmas shopping, met a friend for happy hour, responded to party invitations, and took my doggie hiking at the nearby trails.  A couple of days ago, I looked out in the front yard, saw the frosty grass and the shadows stretching across the yard and thought how pretty it looked…so I captured the moment…

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Tomorrow evening my son and his girlfriend are coming over for an early Christmas celebration because he’ll be going to Dallas to visit his father over Christmas.  I’m really looking forward to seeing him, since the last time I saw him was before I left for my trip. I’ll be cooking dinner and a delicious dessert!

In memory of the slain children, here is a photo I took a week ago in Florida of happy frolicking children by the sea at sunset…

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May their families hearts not break from the sadness.

Wishing everyone a joyful weekend!

Savannah in a Day

I left Alexa’s (my Couchsurfing host) at 7am to drive the 2 1/2 hours from Charleston, S.C. to Savannah, Georgia.  I parked at the Visitors’ Center (it’s free for the first hour and only $1 for each additional hour), spoke with a very nice lady about Savannah and started walking on my self-guided tour.  Before arriving, I was wondering how it would compare to Charleston.  Both are walking cities…if you don’t mind walking for a few hours.

This is the first photo I took at the Savannah College of Art and Design.  They own over 80 buildings in Savannah!

I walked about a mile down Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. to the Savannah River and turned right.  There are restaurants and shops lining the River and it extends about 10 blocks.

The weather started out in the 50’s and cloudy, but warmed up to the 60’s with some sun.  You can see the river in this shot…

This is the WWII Monument, “A World Apart“, symbolizing a world divided by war.

The steel globe is overlaid with bronze oceans and copper continents. The pathway lists the 527 Chatham County residents killed during the war.

This is the Waving Girl Monument…

I couldn’t resist asking if I could take a photo of the barbershop…(they looked at me oddly)!

A puddle of water…:)

Savannah has a variety of types of architecture.  In comparison to Charleston, the City seemed a bit run down, but still beautiful!  Historic Downtown Savannah has 22 beautiful squares with a statue or fountain and benches for sitting.

The Cathedral of St. John is massive and spectacular!  I’m not posting a photo because it’s difficult to take a photo to do it justice!  There are quite a few Churches in Savannah, but I’ll just post this one…

The Oak trees with the Spanish Moss hanging down are beautiful and are everywhere!

This stairwell caught my eye…

I drove to the home of my Couchsurfing host–Sonya, her husband Graham, and 16 yr. old son–Val.  Sonya is from Bulgaria and full of life!  We spent a couple of hours looking at her photos from Bulgaria and Belgium.  She was in the Bulgarian Army for 17 years and has only been in Savannah for two months.  Her husband is still in the Army and is leaving for Afghanistan after Thanksgiving.  I was in the Army years ago…so we all have something is common!

She made Chicken and stuffing for dinner.  Tomorrow Sonya and I are going to Tybee Island and she made a reservation for all of us to go on a carriage ride in Downtown Savannah in the evening!

See you then!

Itinerary for USA Road Trip

Here’s the rough draft of the itinerary for my upcoming road trip leaving next week!  Woo Hoo!  I have now switched gears, yet again, from buying a tear drop camper, to buying a van, to camping, to Couchsurfing!  If you’ve been a follower for a while you’ll recall my wonderful experience Couchsuring in Cape Town for four nights (read about it here)!  I’m putting out a few requests and will have my tent and camping gear with me in my Honda Civic for occasional camping.

Although I’m occasionally a bit indecisive, this trip feels right and not just because of the fortune I opened in my cookie from take-out Chinese the other night…

I’m not finished researching the areas, so I don’t have all of the sights/activities listed I hope to see/do!  I’d love to hear from you if you’ve been to any of these areas and have recommendations!

Drive 6 1/2 hours from Cincinnati to Asheville, N.C. and stay for 3 nights.  Visit The Biltmore Estates and take the Gray Line Trolley (hop on/hop off) to see the sights around town.

Drive 4 1/2 hours to Charleston, S.C. and stay for 3 nights.

Drive 2 1/2 hours to Savannah, Georgia and stay for 2 nights.

Drive 7 1/2 hours to Destin Beach and stay 7 nights exploring the beautiful beaches in the area including Fort Walton, Pensacola, Rosemary and Panama City Beaches.

Drive 7 1/2 hours to St. Petersburg Beach/Tampa Bay area and stay 3 nights.  I’ll probably be staying with a fellow blogger…the beautiful Zully from Spiritual World Traveler, if she’s in town.  So exciting!

Drive a little over 4 hours to Miami/Ft. Lauderdale beaches and stay for 3 nights.

Drive almost 3 hours to Cape Coral (Ft. Myers Beach) and stay for a few weeks.  Family members have a condo there that they generously allow me to use.   I’ll be picking my husband up at the airport the day before Thanksgiving and he’ll stay for a week.

I hope to meet Betty from Heifer 12 x 12 on this trip also!  I’m thinking on the way back will work better for her because she is visiting a different country every month this year and blogging about it!  It’s amazing and she’s amazing!

Hope your day is great!!