Archive for July, 2017

Tried several places of real southern BBQ — oh my, if only I could make a pork roast end up tasting that good!!
This place was small and full on a Saturday noon, but oh.so.worth it!  We ate outside in the shade and it was just lovely!
The Purple Daisy Cafe’ just at the bottom of Lookout Mountain.  Very good BBQ pork & chicken that we sampled as well as the sides.  Personally, I loved the window valance!

Saturday road trip to Lookout Mountain.

From Alabama, to Tennessee, to Georgia, to Tennessee… to get to Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga!

We rode the incline railway down and right back into the 1 hour line to go back up.  It was over 100′ plus much humidity so it was a long, snaking, cue-line waiting to get back on. The ride and view were fascinating though!

view from the top of the town and area below

We were only at the top view point, above the railway for a few minutes, just long enough for me to have the nerve to get to the edge for the photo above, when my text message went off that our car parking was ready to expire! We hustled back up more hill to our car and headed out for lunch.

After lunch, we visited the Chattanooga Zoo.  Not worth the cost of entry but they did have a steel giraffe!

Real giraffes would arrive sooner if only I had donated….


Back in Alabama, we walked through Lowe’s Mill… a very cool old cotton mill factory filled with studios of a variety of artisans.  I was so glad JP had found this as a place we could tour.  I loved seeing the shops even tho most were closed, the front side was glass for viewing their wares.

They had 2 large swings and I loved swinging!   P doesn’t know my childhood experience with swings so thought I needed pushed.  Meanwhile, I was glad JP got good photos.  🙂



A hike in the Caverns Cave National Park – 1 hour cave tour on Sunday.

After lunch and a bit of shopping – one of JP’s hiking spots after a lovely drive up the mountain side!

Other highlights of our 3 days there — Our first Costco visit!   The struggle of being in the Bible-belt and trying to find a place for lunch out on a Sunday! And we learned to make a U-turn tho we felt guilty every time!!

We had to tell him goodbye Sunday evening as he is early to bed & early to rise, leaving by 7 a.m. for work each day.  We stayed that night yet and then headed home the next day.  A wonderful visit!

There were 4 quilt – sewing shops in the town on the Row-by-Row Experience and with the travel theme most had rockets, missiles, and NASA, & Army themed patterns.  I made super fast stops at all 4, they weren’t too far from each other, the men tolerated me, and I’m excited to have them from the trip.  I picked up another pattern on the way down and one on the way home.  Yeah!

Hopefully we get another visit in the new year as well!

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First Time to AL

We were both excited to finally get a visit to JP’s new place in Alabama.

It is about 11 hours of driving and we didn’t leave home until early afternoon so only tackled the long state of IL on our first day. The next day after a stop at only one quilt shop in Quilt City, USA, we continued to his town arriving about 2:30 p.m.   We checked into the hotel and cooled off a bit, adjusting to the temps over 100′ F.  He was soon off work and called that we could come meet him at his apartment.  We had packed his list of what else he wanted to have at his place from  home.   His Green list and his Yellow list made it in the car along with our 2 suitcases, a cooler of meat for him, and a cooler of snacks for us.  He was surprised!

Nothing like the welcome sight of seeing him come down the steps of his apartment after so many months of not seeing him!  Swoon!  The crepe myrtle trees lining his apartment building (and all over the city)  were in full bloom.  Stunning!  This is the view out his living area and the men making another trip to  unload.

He gave us good tours and activities for us to do while we spent 3+ days with him as he got Friday off by his new boss.  So thankful for all the comp hours he had already put in!

We saw the NASA Space Museum….  I have been a big NASA fan since the Apollo trips when we’d watch them in school. Seeing all this up close was fantastic!  Having an intelligent tour guide — tender to this momma’s heart!

This is the Marshall Space Flight Center.  (He was at Langley NASA Research Center before.)

Mostly I have photos of their backs…

JP offered to take my photo! (rare!) Me with one of the Space Shuttles!  The size – immense! The boosters it needs –  Just more than I could ever imagine!


It was Space Camp Graduation day and the kids got to ride the rides.  We chose not to be so sick being shot into the air!

In short, Wernher Von Braun led to the rise of Huntsville after they lost the cotton industry and the city is  now “Rocket City”.

This building had a whole Apollo rocket with all the pieces laying down so it could be viewed. Then one outside, standing up, seen for miles.

JP & me in front of an Apollo rocket.

They had a photo op place because of the kids’ Space Camp graduation day.  I wish I had gone to space camp! Some earned or purchased uniforms! I wanted one until I saw the prices!  But I got my “souvenir” photo!  LOL!

It was 105′ plus higher heat index while we were there.  Really we are melting in the photos!  He is used to it a bit more, working outside often in heavier clothes.

We got to see the base and the outside of the building where he works.  At least we have a bit of a visual in our heads now.  We couldn’t take photos or get out of the car at all while on base except to the NASA building where they had a gift shop that I walked through.  (Another NASA shirt for me from clearance even tho he isn’t working for them now and some postcards which are very late in being mailed!)
No photos.  No getting out of the car. This is all I have from the gate.  He said this was it, Mom.  So it is through the lovely windshield! The rest of our memories are saved in our minds.  Amazing!

part 2 coming….


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