Take a ride on a steam engine
For the fourth of July, I took a short vacation to Bryson City, NC to ride on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad in an old steam engine. This was something I'd always wanted to do, and since I'm not getting any younger, now was the time. And it was incredible. Below are just a few of the pictures I took.
I also spent some time in Cherokee, NC, which wasn't as exciting as I'd hoped. It does have Hannah's Casino there, but it was so massive my friends and I got lost trying to find our way back to the car! The picture below only shows one small portion of the casino. It had a capacity for 15,000 people, and it felt like at least 10,000 were there!
We also did some shopping in the small shops in Bryson City and a couple of the towns before reaching Cherokee. Cherokee mostly had souvenir stuff like t-shirts and keychains, although it also had Native American shops which sold handmade dreamcatchers (I had to get one for my sister), moccasins, leather pouches, and more.
But Bryson City had a plethora of stores with practically anything you were looking for. Their fudge was to die for. Cherokee did have a small fudge shop that was just as good, too. So we made sure to stock up on that. Overall, thought altogether too brief, this was an amazing trip. If you haven't ridden the railways, it's something to consider for you next vacation!
Visiting Our Nation's Capital
Last week, I had the opportunity to visit DC for the first time in my life, and I'm so glad I went! As much as you hear about the monuments and memorials and see them on the Internet, seeing them in person is so much more inspiring. On top of that, the cherry blossoms were in bloom so it was a beautiful time to go. Add in the unique statues and architecture, and it was a trip I will never forget! Next up: Las Vegas in June!
I'm leaving on a jet plane....
I have two wonderful trips coming up, and I'm excited! In April, I'm headed to D.C. for four days (unfortunately the Washington Monument is closed until 2019 so I'll miss out on that!), and in June, I'm going to Las Vegas for four days! If you've been reading my blog or website for any length of time, you probably already know that I have a goal to visit every one of our states. This year, I'll cross two more off the list as I've never been to D.C. or Nevada!
I'll be taking a lot of pictures, and hopefully, get even more story ideas. Though these vacations will be short, I'm looking forward to packing in a lot of sightseeing and fun! If you live in the Las Vegas or D.C. area, I'd love to hear some of your can't be missed places!
The past two weeks have been a difficult battle for a family whose beloved daughter, niece, and granddaughter passed away. As they've struggled to obtain the money to bury their loved one, my thoughts have wandered to the brevity of this life.
Whether we like it or not, life is short. It might not seem like it if you hear about the passing of a 90-year-old person, but to them, that life went by so fast, they blinked, and it was gone. That's what happens.
I remember years ago thinking people in their forties were old, and now, I'm in my forties. And it doesn't seem so old. But it does feel like the days are slipping by, and that I'm not focusing on the things that really matter, what's most important in life.
While social media is a great way to get to know people...at least, it used to be...it's not meeting people face to face. It's not getting out into the world and actually talking to people. And looking at beautiful pictures online can be awe-inspiring, but it can't measure up to seeing those same sights in person.
I like to travel, and I spend as much time as possible doing it, but when I'm home, I'm home. Often, too much. That's why I'm challenging myself to do something different each month, whether it's taking a short day trip, visiting a site in my hometown I've never seen, taking pictures of nature, or going for a helicopter ride. I'm going to enjoy this life out from behind a computer screen because, while work is important, so is life. And it's meant to be lived.
Spotlight On Summerville, SC
Spotlight on: Michigan
Here in this part of South Carolina, we don't get much of the beautiful fall colors like you might see in Michigan so we'll take what we can get.
Friday morning, as I was leaving my house to go shopping, I noticed this tree across the way, and I snapped a quick picture, glad to see the slight taste of fall. However, that afternoon, temperatures soared closed to 80, making it difficult to feel autumn.
Now take a look at the picture below which is from Michigan. I'm certain by looking at it, you can understand the wee bit of jealousy I have for the folks living in this beautiful state! Oh, I'm sure I could find some prettier pictures if I hunted for them, but that's just it, in places like Michigan, you don't have to hunt for them. They're everywhere. Which is why I have to settle for pictures online instead of those I can take in person.
A Facebook friend of mine suggested that I visit Michigan in the summer to see their beautiful beaches, but I also want to go in the wintertime as well, especially to see the Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village.
I visited the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the early nineties, and I was too young to pay attention to the good things Michigan has to offer like the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, main street in Ann Arbor, and Mackinac Island.
Visiting all of the states is on my bucket list, and though I've already been to Michigan, I'll be going again because this time, I want to see as much as I can see of what this state has to offer!
Biltmore, how I miss you!
I finally got the opportunity to visit Biltmore Estates in Asheville about six weeks ago. It's been on my to-do list for quite some time, but I just never got around to doing it. I'm so glad I finally took the time to go.
Biltmore Estates is over 8,000 acres, and I won't go into all the history as you can click on the name, and it'll take you straight to the site. Needless to say, if you haven't been, you're going to want to add this place to your bucket list.
I was able to visit during the Downton Abbey exhibit. Alas, we weren't allowed to take pictures inside the house, but we took fabulous pictures of the grounds and inside The Winery which I'm posting below.
And, of course, I got an idea for a story while I was there!
A definite must-see place, especially if you love history! But even if you don't, you'll still find something to enjoy there, whether it's the coffee, the shopping, the wine-tasting, or just sight-seeing!
My thoughts, experiences, challenges, and goals. Right here. At least once a week or so. Oh, and opinions, too. Those will definitely come in. Join me!