Travel

Mystery Solved!!!

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I am loving these (now 5) puppies! As one of the white ones cuddles up beside me, I’m reminded of my trip to Olney, Illinois.

Olney has a strange population of albino squirrels! Some time ago, I went in search of answers to why there are so many. Albinos are rare, aren’t they? Not in Olney!

My search led me to a diner where a group of amusing gentleman were gladly willing to help me out. “They’re aliens.” said the first gentleman. There were a few more replies like that that I can’t recall and one I will never forget! I’ll tell you as it was told to me.

“I’m sure you’ve heard of Mr. McGregor, the feller with all them bunnies, but I bet you didn’t know his farm is just over yonder. Every Sunday, Mrs. McGregor does a load of whites and them squirrels like to bed down in her laundry basket. She don’t know they’re in there and runs ’em through the wash. Them little suckers come out white as a snowflake!”

So, there you have it. Mystery solved! 😉

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Welcome to the world!

What I expected my weekend to be like. – Arrive just in time to get in position to catch a Smoky Mountain sunrise. Find breakfast. Talk to the locals. Find Fall Creek. Scare my daughter by purposely making a swinging bridge move as much as I could! Venture out to see an old grist mill. Head back up to Nashville. Maybe freak people out with my Johnny Cash impression!

What’s happening instead? My dog, Lily, is having her puppies! She just got up for the first time since midnight. So far, she has 3 little squawkers! She’s exhausted, they’re adorable!

Tennessee can wait!!

*Final count as of 7:00, 4 little pointers!

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It feels like home!

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Roughly 24 hours left until trip time and still not a clue where we’re going. Truthfully, the destination matters none to me, it’s just the pleasure of going. Sometimes I think I could roam every day of my life and never get bored or miss what’s considered by so many as a “normal” life. Planted roots are not for me, I have the soul of a gypsy and my dad’s wandering blood.

If it’s old and abandoned, I want to see it. I want to photograph it, breathe new life into it, make it known to others with hearts like mine. I want to walk where my ancestors walked, find Jesus, face the devil and my fears along the way. I want to slide down clay banks on my butt, grip red dirt in my hands, and feel sand beneath my toes. I want to enjoy every bit of this life I’ve been given!

Some claim I go in search of something… It’s not a “something”, it’s a feeling. It feels like home!

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Suggestions welcome!!

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I’m still trying to figure out where to go this weekend! All I know is we’re going somewhere and we’ll find a way to make it awesome!

It’s not a money issue since most places I plan to go are budget friendly. It’s not really a time issue, as long as it’s within 12 hours, we’re good! It’s simply a where issue!!

So many wants on our list this year! Should we be lakeside in Lakeside? Drive 9 hours to dig for diamonds in Arkansas? Visit Wildcat Den in Iowa? Take a boat cruise inside of Bonne Terre Mine? Perhaps we’ll hit up an old favorite or see more of southern Illinois. There was much more to that trip than we were able to see. We missed Ferne Clyffe and Burden Falls and we never made it to America! Honestly, I just want a picture of the road sign!

Perhaps we’ll just go without a plan and see where we end up!! Regardless, it’s going to be a great weekend to travel! Isn’t every? 😉

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Fall Creek near Payson, IL

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Life has been good to me in the last few days! It started off by someone asking a guy about good places to hike and having him tell her about me! Then a friend at work told me about this place!

Rain has been in the area, so I was a bit nervous about going today. I’m happy to say we only had one moment where we had to move quickly.

If you Google Fall Creek State Park, it will take you to the main parking lot where you can walk to see some pretty falls.

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The stone arch bridge is beyond where you would turn in to park. The road you’ll need is 1150 North, just before the bridge. There’s a simple gate…

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Follow the path that used to be the old road. You’ll actually walk on top of the arch bridge.

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Underneath, it looks like this!!!

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It was so beautiful and I can’t wait to go again! I’m sure the creek can probably be walked from the main parking lot back to the bridge, but it wasn’t something I wanted to chance in the rain. Perhaps we’ll make the walk on a hot day with friends. Maybe we’ll even take our inner tubes and float! Definitely a great find and glad to have been told about it!

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Disaster Biloxi

 

I could tell you a million things I love about Biloxi!

McElroy’s! BEST place to eat! Order the crab claws, trust me!!

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The amazing beach…

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Oh, and there’s a lighthouse! In the middle of the street!!

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So, why entitle this Disaster Biloxi? It all happened last year. My planned on a budget trip broke me! It was a well planned trip to start with. My gps says 11 hours, but I can easily make it in 9. Darla has been so many times, she pretty much drives herself, but once she got there, she got sick.

It was my birthday trip. I’d saved a little more than normal and my daughter had never been before. There were a number of things I couldn’t wait to show her! I found a good deal (I thought) at Harrah’s casino hotel. I’m not a gambler, but the pool area was amazing and I’d worked hard on my bikini body. I didn’t want to do anything, but relax! I booked my hotel online. It was my first and last time ever using Travelocity.

So, no issues down. We were welcomed by a stunning Gulfport sunrise. I always try to plan to be on 90 just as the sun is coming up. Everything glows with a soft yellow hue… It’s breathtaking!

We had breakfast at a Waffle House, our servers name was Hollie. I don’t see my name spelled like that very often, so we had a nice talk about that. We laughed about how there’s a Waffle House on almost every corner. We left there and headed to the hotel. Went in, changed, and were out! We messed around a bit,  I showed her some sites and we went to lunch at McElroy’s. All was great! We were pretty sleepy and had big plans to take a boat ride out to Ship Island the next day, so it was an early evening.

The next day, just as we were leaving to get on the boat, it happened. Darla wouldn’t start! My husband’s a mechanic and while he doesn’t always get to things right when I ask, he usually keeps her running pretty good. Conveniently, there was a garage right across the street.

I walked down and the guy said he’d be up to help. He brought an old beater truck and a tow rope. Should’ve been my first clue. He’d have to check it out, blah blah might be this, might be that. Took forever!!! Long story short, day pretty much ruined by having to stay at the hotel and miss Ship Island and $293 to change my battery!!!

This was NOT in my budget!!! We tried to make the best of our trip after that and did for the most part until I checked out. “That’ll be $160.” Excuse me??? “I think you’re confused, I paid online.” “No, you made a deposit online.” Holy crap!!

After that, we decided to head home. I stopped to fill up in Hattiesburg. The gas was really cheap and Darla’s pretty particular, so when she started to stutter, I assumed it was the gas. About a block away, she lost power. I managed to get her going and found an AutoZone.

I don’t know what you think of the residents of Hattiesburg, but I’ll tell you, they are my angels!! Bless their gentle southern hearts!! For 4 hours, various men tried to figure out what was wrong. One of them offered to let me drive his truck home, another offered the dinner his wife had made. “She’ll bake you a cake, too. Nobody deserves to be in tears on their birthday!”

The final diagnosis was she was reading about 20 codes. After they were cleared she was “fine”. She wasn’t! Somehow God and my backseat angel got me home only to find out my battery cables were never tightened down. That probably explains why the garage owner gave me 5 business cards. He most likely never expected me to get out of Biloxi.

So, here I sit wondering where I’ll go for my birthday this year. I’ll always love the Gulf! It’s like home to me! I consider last year as nothing more than a bad experience, but pretty sure I’ll not go south this time! I know I’m truly blessed to have had as many great travels as I have… Guess they can’t all be wonderful.

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Bald Knob Cross of Peace, Alto Pass, IL

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In 1937, a simple man and a reverend noticed the need for a place where all people of every denomination could gather to worship Christ. Bald Knob became the place to do so. By 1953, enough money was raised to start working on at what that time were plans for the world’s largest cross! Standing at 111 feet tall and now illuminated, it is definitely a beautiful site!

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Garden of the Gods, Illinois

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I could’ve sat here all day!!

I’ve been searching since my most recent trip to find words to describe the beauty of Garden of the Gods… I’ve decided it’s best to let my photos speak for me!

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My baby got brave!

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The kids got really brave!!

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Simply majestic!

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I wear this shirt on every trip so my best girlfriend always travels with me!

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