Friday, October 31, 2014

Time with Bob and Peggy: 2014

By now you know we try to "get lost" during the week while the kids work and Nicholas goes to school.  That way we also get to spend time with our friends while in America.  A win-win.

It so happens we LOVE going to the Home-Sweet-Home of Bob and Peggy,
something we've been doing for several years now.

Peggy had already told us Bob had a new toy, so that was one of the first items of business!
It's a 1951 beauty, fit for a man who loves cars!

Since there had been a huge rain the day before, we walked down the road
to see what was left of a large oak that fell.
Bob had already managed a load of firewood but Peggy was hoping for an end table?
Someone else, sadly, beat her to the punch.

But that didn't keep us from enjoying a happy hour off the balcony
(with fresh figs from their own tree).

Nor am I embarrassed to say one of our best memories is the meals we share with them.
(That's cold peach soup, btw!)

If you don't like guns, you can skip this part,
but one day Bob and Astrid went pistol shooting (with a safety lesson at home first).

This happened while Peggy and I were shopping for quilt fabric farther away.
I would have loved being a fly on the wall at the pistol range.
I think Bob was impressed that Astrid could keep up with him.  :)

Lucky for us, we were all together to see the full moon Tuesday night, October 7th.
We got up at 6 the next morning to see the Blood Moon from the lunar eclipse (bottom-right).
Talk about a thrill, from beginning to end (all hand-held).

All of that was close to home...before going out-n-about!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Did you know that Oliver Hardy was born in Harlem, GA, in 1892?
(Stan Laurel was born in Lancashire, England, in 1890.)
The Laurel & Hardy Museum is 115 miles from Bob and Peggy's house.
Admission is free.

 To say it was a photo op is an understatement.

See what I mean?  HA!

How can you not smile surrounded by Laurel and Hardy memorabilia!

We then got back in the car and drove 100 miles to Monticello, GA, back towards home.... visit the courthouse where My Cousin Vinny was filmed in 1992.
We had watched the movie the night before to reacquaint ourselves with the details.

Even though the story took place in Alabama, the filming took place in Monticello, GA.
(That was also the case with Fried Green Tomatoes, remember?)

Right there on the square, across from the courthouse, we ate grilled-chicken sandwiches.
Sometimes you just have to eat comfort food from the South.  It was not fast food, btw.

 As we continued towards home, we found the Sac-O-Suds convenience store,
 a 10-minute drive from the Monticello courthouse.
If you don't know why this is important, you'll need to watch the movie...again.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

On our last full day with Bob and Peggy, we went to nearby High Falls St. Park.
And guess who got to go with us!  Roscoe, the dog.
When was the last time YOU had a good, old-fashioned picnic?

 Only one part of the dam was releasing water over it but off we went anyway for a walk...

...and found a delightful show of rapids to welcome us.

Located NW of Macon, High Falls State Park is named for tumbling cascades on the Towaliga River.

And because Peggy had a new camera, we had many eyes to see it all.

I just LOVE walking through the woods, don't you?
(And even though I'm having a left-knee replacement in January, I managed just fine.)

You know me:  nothing stops me from doing what I want to do!

Especially when you can cool off afterwards!
We ALL had ice cream, btw...not just Roscoe.  But he was the most fun to watch.

How's that for another year!  THANK YOU, Bob and Peggy!
See why we keep going back?

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Cumming Country Fair, 2014

By now you know we fly every year to America in October because of the Cumming Country Fair.  Nicholas is now 14 years old, a high-school freshman, and still wants to go.  "It's a tradition," he says.  Since age two (in 2002) he has been 12 times, skipping only one year, 2012, when we weren't there in October because of nephew Peter's wedding in August.

This year was very different, however, because it was the first time Nicholas took a school buddy.

Buddy Sebastian is from Colombia, has lived in America only 7 years...and had never been to a fair.
So to start off, we all agreed the skylift was the first thing to do, to get the 12-minute overview.
We made sure they sat in front of us so we could "overview" them.

From that point on, till supper, we set the boys loose,
while Astrid and I went on our first-ever fair photo hunt.
Near the end of the skylift ride is the lineup of tractors and farm equipment, so we started there.

 Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, this pink tractor is always stage-center.

It's the wheels that grabbed my attention this year.

These are humongous, old-timey machines.
Put your hands together for all our farmers everywhere!

We always take time to run through the petting barn.
I remember when Nicholas was little and got to feel them.

This was our first time to walk through the old-timey school house...

...and the two churches attached on either side.
One was a Methodist Church and the other a Baptist Church.
How can you tell which is which?

At such-n-such a time, we rendezvoused with the boys for supper.
Each boy ate their own BIG turkey leg, while Astrid and I shared one...
with our prerequisite roasted corn, of course.

The guys were out of ride tickets at that point, ha, so g'ma did what she's good for.
And off we all were again.

By now we were getting a good ground-level overview of the fair, just as the sun started to set.

Talk about a Golden Hour as the sun treated us to its magic.

And then it was dark, with a different kind of magic.

The country store, the blacksmith shop, the quilting bee, the syrup and saw mills...
you get enough education to keep going back year after year, let alone for the rides.

But one thing new this year, winding its way throughout the fair the entire evening,
was the Puppetone Rockers.  They totally made the night for me.
We even talked with them for 15 minutes on one of their breaks.

Turn up the sound to get the gist,
totally upbeat and always with a message to the kids about "Doing Right."
What a thrill.  I hope they're back next year.

Last but not least, we always end the fair with homemade ice cream.
The boys had strawberry and the girls had chocolate-peanut-butter.
You'd be smiling, too!  :)

And yes, we already know the dates for next year's fair!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Our 2014 America Trip: Overview

Has it really come and gone so quickly?  We're packed and have a couple more hours before we leave for the Atlanta airport for our flight back home to the Netherlands.  So while we're waiting, here's a bit of an overview, from collages I put up on Facebook.

 As you surely know by now, we fly back in October because Nicholas still wants to go to the fair!
This was his first year to take a school buddy, which actually changed everything!
We all rode the skylift together, first off, with them in front of us, of course.

Then they AND we were off on our own till it was time for supper.
The menu is always turkey legs and roasted corn.  Hard to beat.

While the boys were going on all the crazy rides, Astrid and I had a photo op!
(Remember, this is just an overview!)

And just before going home, we had our prerequisite homemade ice cream.
It was the best fair ever!

 You know I can eat that boy up, now 14, a freshman in high school.

And what I love so much is how much he and Astrid are bonding.
You can't fake that!

This year she had her new iPad4 waiting for her.
And guess who taught her everything she needs to know!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Remember Bob and Peggy from just south of Atlanta?
We spent 5 days with them, while the kids worked and Nicholas was in school.
We love our little side trips with them around the backroads of south Georgia.
The Laurel and Hardy Museum is in Harlem, GA, which I didn't even know existed.
Oliver Hardy was born there in 1892.  Who knew?!

Nearby we visited Monticello, GA, where My Cousin Vinny was filmed.
The Two Yutes Tuna at the nearby Sac-O-Suds is their best seller.  HA!

We also spent a day, with picnic, at the nearby High Falls State Park in Jackson, GA.
(Those pics will come later, I assume.)

We were there to see the full, hunter's blood moon on Tuesday the 7th
with the lunar eclipse the next morning, Wednesday the 8th (bottom right).
Lucky us!  We'll never forget it.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

After Bob and Peggy's we went to the Blue Ridge mountains for our family's 5-day cabin retreat.
Talk about a room with a view!

 We even drove down the mountain to Blue Ridge, GA, to be tourists for an afternoon.
Pumpkins are my favorite time of the year!

And yes, this was another photo-op time for us as we walked around.

Amy took this on her iPhone one night while we made s'mores on the porch.  Memories.

And we always end the cabin time at a Waffle House for breakfast the day we drive back.  HA!

 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

 After the cabin, son Mark had us over for potato-sausage soup, a family favorite.
(thanks to Astrid for the images)

His cat, Piper, showed all her best sides to Astrid, the photographer.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

We even had time to spend 4 days with Bob and Marc at their lovely home on Lake Lanier.
Their Cresswind 55+ retirement community is ranked among the top ten most affordable communities 
for retirees by AARP Magazine.  Astrid says she could move there...and that's saying a lot.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Last but not least, we captured between us these 4 weathervanes.
"We're not in Kansas anymore!"  But at least there was a Hart.

Like I overview, before I get home and work on the rest of the images.
Man alive.  We really packed in a lot, didn't we!