Summer Vacations 2014

Disneyland, California July 12, 2014

Disneyland, California July 12, 2014

We had some excellent summer vacations in 2014!

For Memorial Day and Independence Day, we spent several days up in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee at Dollywood. If you live in East Tennessee and you love amusement parks, it would be wise to buy a season pass to Dollywood. After your second visit on a season pass, you have paid for your season ticket. The rides are thrilling and adventuresome, and the songs, shows, and crafts that permeate the park are sooooo Dolly Parton. I’ve been a fan of hers since I was 10 years old.

Carter & Ammon May 22, 2014

Carter & Ammon May 22, 2014

June 6-15 we were in our “adopted city” of New York, Manhattan. We stayed at the Doubletree, went to shows, saw the Statue of Liberty, met up with an old friend, Patsy Claiborne Webb for a day, and went to Coney Island. We also saw a dear friend and tour guide, Marion, at the American Museum of Natural History. She gave us a private tour of the museum before it opened one Tuesday morning. Regarding the shows, all four of us, Ammon, Carter, Sean, and I, agree that “Kinky Boots” was our favorite show. It was Sean and my 2nd time to see it the first being December of 2013.


Chalk Drawing from Central Park NYC Father's Day (June 15, 2014)

Chalk Drawing from Central Park NYC Father’s Day (June 15, 2014)

July 11-21 we were in Anaheim, California. We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel. We spent 5 days going back and forth from Disneyland to the Disney California Adventure Park. On Monday we spent all day at Universal Studios. On Friday July 18, we drove down to the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Other adventures were to Venice Beach where Ammon and Carter placed their feet in the Pacific Ocean for the 1st time, and to the Santa Monica Pier where the famous Route 66 ends. We rode its roller coaster.

Universal Studios at the new Menion Mayhem: July 14

Universal Studios at the new Menion Mayhem: July 14

Santa Monica Pier July 16.

Santa Monica Pier July 16.

Back Scenes Tour San Diego Wild Nature Park: Tiger's House July 18.

Back Scenes Tour San Diego Wild Nature Park: Tiger’s House July 18.

Venice Beach July 20

Venice Beach July 20

Space Mountain Disneyland

Space Mountain Disneyland

St. Patrick’s Day 2015

St. Patrick’s Cathedral Dublin, Ireland: June 13, 2011 I’ve always enjoyed all the “wearing of the green” and the leprechauns on St. Patrick’s Day. However, it wasn’t until our day in Dublin, Ireland June of 2011, that I felt a “spiritual conncetion” with Saint Patrick.  I had even read several times yet without absorbing much history of Saint Patrick to really know his story.

St. Patrick

He had been taken from  homeland in Wales (Great Britain) to be a slave in Ireland. He was approximately 16, and by his early 20s he had made it back to Wales. He then became a minister and returned to Ireland. He writes that he “baptized thousands of people”. He ordained priests to lead the new Christian communities. He converted wealthy women, some of whom became nuns in the face of family opposition. He also dealt with the sons of kings, converting them too.

Carter, Nana, Haven, & Ammon (admiring the vaulted ceilings)
June 13, 2011: St. Patrick’s Cathedral Dublin, Ireland

My favorite building in Dublin, Ireland was St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It had such a warmth and “spirit” about it. It wasn’t like other cathedrals I have been in where it was like a museum instead of a place of worship. St. Patrick’s work was filled with love and giving, and his spirit seems to permeate his cathedral.

Happy Friday! (Feliz Viernes)

April 2013:Come visit me on some new projects, friends!
(Artículos Nuevos)

I hope everyone’s Friday is Fantastic! ¡Que tengan un gran viernes!

Toys R Us 2012

It’s so cool to enjoy the Ferris Wheel at the Toys R Us in Times Square, New York City. Ammon and Carter really enjoy going there even if it is just to “look at toys”.

3rd Annual Toys R Us Ferris Wheel Ride: Haven's 1st ride with Carter.

3rd Annual Toys R Us Ferris Wheel Ride: Haven’s 1st ride with Carter.

Nana & Sean's 1st Ferris Wheel Picture with Ammon: 3rd Annual Toys R Us Ferris Wheel Ride

Nana & Sean’s 1st Ferris Wheel Picture with Ammon: 3rd Annual Toys R Us Ferris Wheel Ride

It’s so cool to see Carter & Ammon growing. I am including their last year’s link so we can all compare.

2011 Toys R US

Burt’s Pumpkin Farm

I guess the first time I went to Burt’s was like 1992ish? My niece, Jennifer was about 11 years old. Mamaw, Nana, Sean, Carter, Ammon, & I went on Wednesday October 10, 2012, and we had a great time.

I think the best part was the hay ride (it smelled sooooooooooo good!!). We were a bit early, and we had a “private tour”. Ammon & Carter are almost 4 years old, so I think that with their memories, pictures, and blogs (LOL), they will remember this trip for years to come. After the hayride, Carter and Ammon helped pick out our pumpkins to make jack-o-laterns. Great Place that Burt’s!

Ammon & Carter amongst the Pumpkins: October 10, 2012

Annette & Frank Margo/Schwerin, Germany

Open Seas and Open Minds

Annette & Frank Margo with Ammon and Carter: June 28, 2012

Astronomical Clock: Rostock Cathedral: Rostock, Germany

Outside Schwerin Castle

Schwerin Castle: June 28, 2012

When we started taking cruises in 2008, we had no idea we would meet such wonderful people. I am going to post my “Open Seas and Open Minds” article with this blog in case you all would like to read about some excellent people from around the world who really mean or have meant a lot to Carter, Ammon, Sean, and to me.

On our port-of-call in Warnemunde, Germany we found ourselves conversing and bonding with a couple from Texas named Annette and Frank Margo. They became new, honorary grandparentsfor Ammon and Carter, and, once again, our children and we have been blessed. After the cruise, we exchanged emails, and we have corresponded frequently since the cruise. Frank and Annette, we love you!!

In addition, we saw three different cities this day: Warnemunde, Schwerin, and Rostock. We spent most of time in Schwerin. It is a quaint city, but Schwerin Castle is the only “real” thing to see there. It was definitely not a place to buy souvenirs because, frankly, there is very little artisanship there.


The Little Mermaid, Ammon, & Haven: Copenhagen July 6, 2012

The Little Mermaid, Sean, & Carter: Copenhagen July 6, 2012

Tivoli Carousel

Tivoli Carousel: July 2, 2012

Early spring of 2012, Sean and I debated on several days in Copenhagen with a horrible itinerary flying back to the United States to home or making it to London, England with a very comfortable and accommodating itinerary home. Since we (Carter and Ammon included) enjoy London, we chose a one day tour in Copenhagen. Like several other places, guess what we’ve decided? You got it! We want to return to Copenhagen.

The Baltic Cruise was round trip out of Copenhagen. Both the embarkation and disembarkation days were cool and rainy: quite depressing. It was a shame that this lovely, seaside city looked so gray and dreary. However, like I said it is a pretty city.

Both Ammon and Carter thought it was cool to see the “original” Little Mermaid from Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale. We also visited a quaint cathedral, but the highlight of the excursion was Copenhagen’s famous Tivoli (a world-renowned amusement park). We did not have much time there, but Carter and Ammon got to ride a carousel (it’s kind of becoming their “thing” to ride carousels from around the world…LOL).
So, too quick of an excursion for such an interesting and pretty city. Lord willing, we will return.