Our Glorious Vacation: Days 4 and 5

Day 4: On this day we mellowed!  No traveling, no plays, no sight-seeing; we stayed home put our feet up and relaxed.  Different family members dropped in to chat, and I visited with a neighbor I hadn’t seen in years.  We sat on the back porch and talked about those mundane things that are the glue of relationships: the hot weather, our children and grandchildren, who is marrying who and will so-and-so ever get married, the jobs we love and those we don’t love so much, etc.  By mid-afternoon the summer heat won out, and we moved in doors to air-conditioned comfort, but the talk continued.  Later we prepared a simple meal of garden vegetables followed by a desert of ice cream drizzled with chocolate syrup.  It was a simple day, a simple meal . . . a delicious day as we all had a wonderful, relaxing day of enjoying each other’s company. That night we slept a contented sleep which was good, because day 5 would be another travel day.

A few shots from Mom and Dad‘s place.

Day 5: The second leg of our journey took us to Detroit, Michigan. A dear friend’s son is celebrating his Bar Mitzvah and we wanted to join in the celebration.  Before we departed on our trip however, Richard and I stole away to take a stroll along the Ohio River, just a couple of miles from Mom and Dad’s place.  The mist was just rising from the dew-moistened earth, birds were chirping loudly, and we had a peaceful walk.  Due to the recent floods that left debris strewn everywhere, we were unable to follow the path down to the river.  But the walk was enjoyable none-the-less.

My brother, David, stopped in on his way to work to wish us one last good-bye.

Then once again, we hit the road!

The scenery from Louisville, Kentucky to Detroit, Michigan is quite different from what we saw traveling through Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky.  Our trip this day took us through rich, fertile farm country.  It was a great day for traveling.  Except for a major traffic backup in Toledo, we had not problems.

 

We arrived in Detroit around 5:30 pm and were seated at a banquet by 6:00 pm.

For the next three days we will be visiting, feasting and celebrating with our friends.  I will probably not post again until we are back home.  Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you when I get back.  Thanks for taking this wonderful vacation with me!

Our Glorious Vacation: Day 3

It was wonderful to wake up at Mom and Dad‘s home today.  Even though it has been years since we’ve been “home,” old, familiar feelings flooded my entire being.  As is customary, I was up before dawn but by the time I walked into the family room, Dad was already sitting there with a cup of freshly brewed coffee.  Mom joined us shortly thereafter and with cups of coffee in our hands, we moved to the back porch, my favorite “room” in the house.  Due to the fact that the porch is screened, we can enjoy the natural setting without worrying about nuisance bugs.  As we sat in the cool morning air, the sun peeked over the horizon and through the tree branches illuminating a lively, beautiful yard.  Birds were flying hither and thither, fighting for their turn at the feeders, and chirping loudly letting their presence be known.  I looked through the screen down at the coi pond and watched the fish darting to and fro.  Soon bees buzzed with activity as they began their task of gathering pollen from the multitude of flowers and plants.  Although the yard appears to be a quiet haven of peace and calm, soothing body and soul, in actuality it is a busy, bustling, noisy place.  And it is wonderful!

There are far too many photos to add to this post, but this gives you an idea.  Later in the day different family members joined us to chat and catch up on the news.  We lazed a lot, enjoyed our time, napped and relished the day.  As if this wasn’t enough, Mom and Dad took Richard and me to see Kentucky Shakespeare in Central Park that evening. I remember that as a child the family would pile into the station wagon and head into Louisville to watch Shakespeare in the Park.  Each summer there were three or four productions and we would catch them all.  Last evening as we arrived, and started walking across the park toward the amphitheater I was flooded with wonderful memories. This is where I fell in love with Shakespeare.  I couldn’t understand half of what was said, but by the end of the play I knew what the play was about.  Same thing happened last night!  To add to the drama, as we left home the clouds opened up and a downpour caused some worry.  We got through that however, and by the time we arrived at the park the rain had passed.  We had cushions to sit on so the wet benches didn’t bother us.  But the rain made one last ditch effort to dampen our spirits.  We laughed, reminisced, and eventually the rain cleared and we watched Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.”  Kentucky Shakespeare is the oldest outdoor Shakespeare festival in the country, and our family started attending the plays just a few years after the summer productions were begun.  Needless to say, the four of us thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  Day three of our vacation was a very good day.

The following photos were taken prior to the production.  We were warned of dire consequences if we shot photos during the play, so I tucked my camera away and simply enjoyed Shakespeare in the Park.

Mom and Dad. Mom was the only one who thought to bring an umbrella!

Enjoy!

Our Glorious Vacation: Day 2

We woke up to rain this morning, tarried a bit, had some breakfast and were on the road by 9am.  Due to the rain and to the fact that I was anxious to get home to Mom and Dad, we chose not to make a drive through of my university town.  As we continued on our way down Interstate 64, I noticed that the terrain changed from the hilly mountains of eastern Kentucky to the rolling inclines of central part of the state.  We were now in horse country, blue grass country, and home of Kentucky Bourbon.  I tried to capture it all on camera, but was hampered a bit.  The horse farms with their noted white fences were hidden by trees, but I got a few shots. We talked about stopping at a distillery in the “hollers” of Kentucky to get some photos, but I was anxious to get home.  Following are some photos that at least suggest the beauty of this part of the state.

The following two photos are 1) the best I could get for a horse farm…no white fences 😦 , and 2) horses standing in a far off field.

We saw license plates from many states at the rest areas, and plenty of signs denoting areas of interests for tourists.  The sign shown here depicts two things for which Kentucky is known!

I wish to note that we were traveling on July 4, our nation’s birthday, and felt it appropriate to be traveling through part of the country and enjoying its natural settings.

Finally, around noon, we arrived home.  It was the most wonderful sight to see Mom and Dad, and my niece Lara, standing on the porch as we pulled into the driveway.  It has been too long since I’ve been home.  Later in the day my nephew, Andy, dropped by for a chat.  Then Andy’s father, my brother David, stopped in.  We chatted and laughed, remembered by brother Gary who died a few years back, and wished my brother Steve could have joined us from Colorado.  Mom and Dad have a wonderful screened-in back porch which looks out over a lovely yard bursting with life: lush foliage, numerous birds of many species, a coi pond, etc.  The porch is everyone’s favorite place to be.  Later in the evening, we took time to watch the Washington, DC, July 4 celebrations on PBS.  When that show ended, we sat out on the porch and watched the neighborhood fireworks until our heavy-lidded eyes could no longer stay open.  We were ready for bed that night, and we slept well.