Wow has it been a busy time since we got back from South Africa. I have really gotten behind on this blog (along with just about everything else), but we are both alive and well. After returning from a big trip like Africa, we’ve been busy with the usual unpacking, washing clothes, going thru mail, and of course the seemingly endless supply of souvenirs we (well DOS) purchased. DOS actually started a new hobby with framing canvas prints he bought. Here is the first one he framed, and he did a great job on it!
As far as work goes, since we’ve been back in the U.S. I’ve been on three different trips for work, with a side trip of two weekends squeezed into Roanoke to see my parents.
As I was busy on my work trips, I didn’t take many photos but here are a couple from the airports and hotels in Kansas City, Nashville, and Tampa. Of course Jim Beam is available in the Nashville gift shops!
I stayed one night at this Hilton Garden Inn in Lakeland, (after finishing up work in the Tampa area this week), which was right next to the Lakeland Municipal Airport; literally at the airport entrance. While they don’t have commercial flights, they do have a lot of corporate, cargo, and Net Jets private flights out of this airport.
I had a slight panic scare when I was in Chicago O’Hare airport, waiting on my connecting flight to Kansas City. I didn’t see my flight to Kansas City, Kansas listed on the flight board, rather only the one to Kansas City, Missouri listed instead. I had booked the flight before going to Africa, and I thought I had booked the wrong city! I called Steve (DOS) in a semi-panic mode and he looked it up on the map for me and told me to relax. Silly me, I knew there were two Kansas City’s, but didn’t realize the major airport (MCI) was actually in Missouri, just across the state line. Whew!
We had a nice weekend in Roanoke visiting my parents, brother and friends in between my trips to Nashville. We visited my parents a couple times at English Meadows, (formerly and still known as the Elk’s Home) the assisted living complex where they are living now. It’s about a 45 minute drive from Roanoke, and sits in the rural and peaceful city of Bedford.
They both seem happy and content there, and as I’ve written before, this historic (100 +year old former Elk’s Home) is more like a country retreat due to the size and sprawling layout. While they had it decorated for Fall, they were also just starting to decorate for Christmas. English Meadow’s (I still call it Elk’s) has decorated the campus for years, and it’s become a local tradition to drive by and see all the lights. Check back in another couple months and all of the lawn decorations and lights will be set up by then.
It takes two to three months to set everything up, and they just started putting up a few lights around the windows.
We had lunch both Saturday and Sunday with Mom and Dad, and enjoyed the beautiful fall day afterwards from the front porch.
Mom pointed out she helped paint the ‘flag’ out front, which was painted on a wooden pallet container to look like a flag.
Back in Roanoke, we went out to dinner a couple nights with my brother Andy and his partner Art. On Friday night we went to Montano’s and had our favorite waitress there, Kelly.
On Saturday evening, we went to Billy’s Restaurant downtown. We had a nice seat by the window and could watch as the night set in, with the downtown passers by and restaurants just outside, with our view.
I ran into my former boss Martha from over 25 years ago when I lived in Roanoke. We had a nice chat catching up between courses, and also ran into another former co-worker from years ago. Martha looked wonderful and even younger than I remember from years ago! She probably thought – wow he (me) has aged a lot! Anyway it was so fun to catch up – Martha was the person who started me on a lifetime of travels, and we both recalled some funny trips from years ago. I started traveling for work at the young age of 24, and little did I know the world adventures I would ultimately encounter a long the way. Thank you Martha!
We flew back on American Airlines on Saturday afternoon. I usually travel during the week for work, so Saturday was a nice and quiet day to travel, at least out of Roanoke, and even connecting in Charlotte. As many times as I’ve flown out of Roanoke, I always take a photo from the airport gate waiting area, and this was no exception. I like small airports, and here in my hometown of Roanoke it’s always nice looking at the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance.
In Charlotte we had a three hour layover, so we had dinner and relaxed a bit with a wine flight at the Vino restaurant located in the main terminal concourse between B and C Terminals.
We also went be the Admiral’s Club for a bit before our flight, and I took this photo of one of the retro-painted American Airlines planes; this one in the old Piedmont Airlines colors. Such memories of Piedmont from the late 1980’s!
Now DOS and I are back in Orlando, and catching up a bit around the house. I had to get a couple things at Lowe’s, so we stopped by and were surprised to see both Halloween and Christmas displays set up! It was only October 6th!
Not too long ago, you didn’t see Christmas displays until closer to Thanksgiving, but now it’s the end of September with Halloween starting in August! We love Christmas though, so we actually like all the store decorations up; it seems to extend the always rushed season a bit longer.
Anyway, that’s all for now. Once October arrives, the year literally quickly winds down – where does the time go? We have one more international trip planned this year, and that’s on October 26th for DOS’s birthday, when we will be going to Montevideo for a quick few days.
Thanks for visiting, and enjoy your week my friends!