S: 2013 --- Enjoying Retirement
FC: Highlights of 2013
1: "Life is like a book; don't jump to the end to see if it's worth it. Just enjoy life and fill the pages with beautiful and amazing memories." ... Unknown The pages that follow reflect the everyday as well as the special beautiful and amazing memories of 2013!
2: We were busy these two months making Hendersonville our home. We continued to unpack, found doctors and dentists, obtained NC licenses and license plates, and returned to Tunkhannock to sell our old home. Wayne became a lector in our new parish, the Church of the Immaculate Conception. I joined the neighborhood Tuesday morning coffee group. We purchased a new TV, entertainment center, and ceramic fire logs. Nonny, Marie, Brad, and Elena came to visit. The time together was fun for all of us and we enjoyed a trip to the Biltmore during Nonny's visit as well! | J A N U A R Y | F E B R U A R Y
4: ... was full of excitement! We booked a trip to Italy in the midst of Meg preparing for her wedding and buying a house! Made a trip to Cincinnati to see the house she was considering and to be with her when she bought her wedding gown! | Meg thought she would choose a simple a-line gown and tried on many in several stores. But, at the urging of her maid of honor, she tried on a ruffly dress and came out smiling. THE dress was "fun" . and exactly what she wanted. | I received the flowers to the left for my birthday, March 13th ... signed from "Baby Turnbull, due Nov 3, ... a happy surprise! | Pictured above is Meg & Brian's house in Cincinnati ... a great kitchen, living and family rooms, deck, and lots of bedrooms give them room for years to come. We also got to see Corpus Christi Church and the Wetherington Country Club ... sites of Meg & Brian's wedding. | M A R C H
5: Later in the month we made a day trip to Augusta to visit Marie, Brad, & Elena. The next day we attended an Orchid Show at the North Carolina Arboretum and viewed their bonsai garden. Pictured below, Elena is thrilled to have a bunny in her basket for a special Easter photo!
6: What could be more perfect than spending a week in early spring in Colonial WIlliamsburg, the city that served as the capitol of the Colony of Virginia from 1699 to 1780 and was the center of political events leading to the American Revolution? Wayne and I had vacationed in Colonial WIlliamsburg multiple times, both as a couple and as a family, but this time was perfect! Beautiful weather, minimal crowds, and a focus on religion with a debate between Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson brought history into focus. We toured Williamsburg, Jamestown, and the grounds of Westover, and still had time to shop! The new Coffee House and Bassett Hall were both open to add to our enjoyment. | APRIL
7: Nonny returned April 14-27 with Aunt Norma to enjoy our home and western NC. After showing them our neighborhood and downtown Hendersonville, we took them to some of our favorite spots ... Jump Off Rock, Looking Glass Falls, and the Mountain Pie company. When Marie, Brad, & Elena came for the weekend, we dined at the Tupelo Honey Cafe ... where Elena especially liked the biscuits with honey and blueberry jam!
8: The Biltmore Estate's "Festival of Flowers" was occurring during Nonny and Aunt Norma's visit so we took them to see it. While the grounds were beautiful with redbud trees and early spring flowers, and the conservatory delighted us with hydrangea, lilies, and topiary; it was the carpet of tulips that took our breath away!
9: Visiting the Great Smoky National Park thrilled Aunt Norma ... she had always wanted to see the beautiful scenery. Another highlight of her weeks with us was the trip to Clemson University to see her grandson, Tom White. I learned about "Death Valley" and "Howard's Rock"! All too soon it was time for Nonny & Aunt Norma to return home, but what a great two weeks we had shared!
10: MAY | . . . celebration with family and "on the road again". | Both sides of the family gathered at the Mellow Mushroom to celebrate Elena's 2nd Birthday ... then headed to Monkey Joe's, an indoor play area. | The crowds overwhelmed Elena. After Mom & Dad encouraged her she played in the young children's area before we all headed to Evans, GA, to see the progress being made on Marie & Brad's new home.
11: The next weekend Jim & Celia came to visit us ... James was visiting Marie so got to see everyone. Elena LOVED the ice cream cone, but she didn't care for the fly on the table at all! | Seems we take all our first time guests to the Biltmore! Jim & Celia were as impressed as everyone else and enjoyed the azalea gardens in full bloom. | We drove together from our home to Meg's in Cincinnati and then on to Chicago. Jim & Celia were there to attend Tim's graduation from Northwestern's law school but we continued on to visit Katie & Mark.
12: Stopped to see Katie & Mark. Wayne & Katie compared tummies. Wayne won ... Katie isn't showing at all yet! Then on to Pennsylvania to help Nonny celebrate her 97th birthday. We were only home a week when Cathy came to visit ... she had broken her wrist on Mother's Day and needed a little TLC to recover. Visiting her great niece helped, too! In addition to visiting Marie, Brad, & Elena, Cathy also got to the Arboretum to see the Rose Show and bonsai garden.
13: FINALLY the long awaited day arrives and we head to Charlotte to board our plane for ITALY via Frankfort. We had an overnight flight so time was a strange thing. It was fun except for the baby that cried most of the flight. We saw a beautiful sunrise on board. What I remember most about Frankfort was the fact the airport was huge. We had to walk AND take a shuttle ... the pretzel shop ... the exit signs with stick figures of a person running ... and the Camel smoking kiosks in the terminal. | After a fairly short wait we boarded the final flight to Milan. Seeing the Alps from the air was amazing ... green land and all of a sudden the majestic snow-covered mountains! A "transfer driver" picked us up and drove us to Lake Maggiore in northern Italy where our tour would begin the next evening. If Italians drive, "fast, faster, and fastest", I'm sure he was in the "fastest" category! | J U N E !
14: SATURDAY JUNE 8 --- LAKE MAGGIORE | We fell in love with LAKE MAGGIORE the minute we saw it. It is one of Italy's largest and most popular lakes ... formed by a glacier and surrounded by hills and mountains. The northern part of the lake extends into southern Switzerland, We arrived a day early to adjust to the time and enjoy the location. We stayed in BAVENO at the Grand Hotel DIno in a lovely lake and mountain view room with a balcony. We walked around the picturesque town, enjoying the shops, views, delicious pizza and gelato. We attended Mass at the church of "Santi Gervasio e Protesio" which dates from the 12th century. It was on one of the many hills and side streets.
16: On our own today ... opted to take a boat ride from Baveno to Lacarno, SWITZERLAND! Met Sandy & Mike Gleason from Kent, England and ate lunch together in a small Swiss sandwich shop, "El Porta," which had delicious desserts. Afterwards we took an enjoyable train ride back to Baveno arriving in time to join our tour group for dinner. | S U N D A Y J U N E 9 | S W I T Z E R L A N D
17: MONDAY JUNE 10 - VERONA | Our tour began as we left the lake region and headed to Verona, a UNESCO world heritage site because of its architecture. I was as surprised by the Roman influence as by the marble streets and all the modern shops in close proximity to the House of Juliet. Like thousands of tourists before us we succumbed to the romantic legends ... of Romeo & Juliet, of locking hearts and throwing away the key, of love letters. "Street Art" was intriguing ... mysterious, funny ... historical. There was more here than in any city we visited in Italy. After a delightful lunch on the square we continued on to Venice to spend the next two nights.
18: TUESDAY JUNE 11 - VENICE | A city like no other! It is comprised of 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges. It was VERY difficult for me to get around. Hard to get in and out of boats, steps everywhere as you go from one island (street) to the next .... and yet, it definitely was charming and unique. Probably by this time we were realizing we were only seeing historic areas ... not the reality of daily life. Venice actually has more tourists than residents! Our guide, pictured below right with another guide, made sure we saw highlights in every city we visited, but we always felt we would have liked to have spent more time, absorbing more of the sites and culture. In Venice we witnessed glass blowing, attended a concert under the stars, saw the Doges Palace, the Bridge of Sighs, the Rialto Bridge, and the outside of St. Mark's (most of the churches we saw required tickets to enter so we were disappointed not to see their interior), ate pizza and gelato, and shopped ... masks and glass items were everywhere!
19: Our hotel was on Sant Elena Island and had previously been a convent. Though you can walk to St. Mark's square, we were always on some type of boat. Every hotel we stayed at during the tour offered a delicious breakfast buffet which included fruit, cheeses, breads, pastries, and more!
21: We ended our day in Venice with a lagoon tour and dinner and sightseeing in BURANO, one of the Venetian islands that is a "photographer's paradise," a town known for its fish and its lace as well as for its colorful buildings. The residents paint their boats to match their houses ... lacemakers homes are painted to resemble lace ... and curtains take the place of doors!
22: Made a very brief stop to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, along with the Duomo, the Baptistry, and the Campo Santo (cemetery), which were all located in the "Square of Miracles" within medieval walls. it was a very hot day ... the site was crowded with vendors so had a very touristy feel. Many African people have settled in Pisa so African wares were also for sale. | W E D N E S D A Y J U N E 1 2 | P I S A
23: We enjoyed riding through the Italian countryside. There were more mountains than I expected. Cypress and umbrella trees were typical as were rolling hills and orange roofed buildings. The larger cities had quite a lot of traffic and we saw trains, cars, and an abundance of motorcycles! | T U S C A N Y
24: THURSDAY - JUNE 13 FLORENCE
25: Referred to as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is as Wayne put it, "like looking at an art history book." We enjoyed seeing the gold and leather shops which it is famous for, but it is the art that boggles the mind. The Duomo, the "Gates of Paradise," Santa Croce, Ponte Vecchio, the Uffizi, the statue of David, etc, etc.
26: We were able to attend Mass in the Basilica di Santa Croce ... the largest Franciscan church in the world and one of the few churches in Italy we were able to enter. It is the burial place of Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, and others. | We saw several famous sculptures at the Piazza della Signoria (though Michelangelo's DAVID is now in the Accademia, it was originally displayed in the Piazza), sampled wine, cheese, and vinegars in a little shop near Santa Croce, and attended a delightful dinner with Blumond wine in a local vineyard. | We'll definitely have to return to Florence because there are so many more treasures to be seen!
27: FRIDAY - JUNE 14 | Assisi is a small medieval town perched on a hill in Umbria. The basilica was completed in 1253 so is a very old, and very holy place. We entered in the lower church and Mass was in progress. There were several small side altars with lovely statues but we went immediately to the crypt below where St. Francis is buried. There were many people but it didn't feel crowded or touristy. Both upper and lower churches were decorated with colorful frescoes by Giotto. We stopped in the bookstore which had religious articles and books in all languages but did not explore the town itself with its steep streets. | A S S I S I | After a brief stop for lunch ... the best pizza we had in all of Italy ... we returned to our bus and continued to Rome to settle into our hotel, explore a little on our own and go on a night tour!
28: We arrived in Rome ... the Eternal City ... the capital and largest city in Italy ... the famed city of the Roman Empire and the Seven Hills ... in late afternoon. We stayed in the "Hotel Americano" in central Rome on one of the hills. Not being up to a walking tour with the group, Wayne and I set out on foot to explore on our own. We were in walking distance of the Trevi Fountain. Stopped there (along with hundreds of other people) ... Wayne threw the proverbial coin in the fountain so we would return to the city in the future ... before we had dinner in a little cafe. Window shopped on our way back and then went on the night tour by bus with the tour group to get a feel for the ancient city. | ROME AT NIGHT ... On our own above and on "ILLUMINATIONS TOUR" with tour group on next page.
30: Our first stop of the day was to tour part of the Vatican Museum. This immense collection of art includes classical sculpture, maps, paintings, and other masterpieces of the Renaissance. 5 million people visited in 2011 ... we were happy to have a tour guide that obtained special tickets so we did not have to wait in line. We toured the map room and peered in to see a variety of sculptures before viewing the incomparable Sistine Chapel ... no photos allowed. | S A T U R D A Y J U N E 1 5 | V A T I C A N C I T Y
31: We next went to tour the Basilica of St. Peter, the most renowned work of renaissance architecture. Many popes are buried in St. Peter's and the sculptures are outstanding. Michelangelo's beautiful Pieta is on display ... the only piece he ever signed! Bernini's grand bronze "baldacchino" graces the main altar. | Despite the beauty and splendor of the basilica, I personally found it disappointing. It is more a museum than a place of worship. Perhaps I would have felt differently had the pope been celebrating Mass.
32: Toured the Roman ruins in the afternoon ... walking around the arch of Constantine and into the Colosseum ... such skilled builders for their work to stand so long! Motorcycles abounded ... the Pope was to celebrate a special Mass for them on Sunday. Saw a bride in the area ... quite a backdrop for photos! In the evening we had a celebration dinner off Narvone square ... enjoyed a fish dinner and an operetta singer. Then time to go back to hotel to pack and get ready for an early non-stop flight home the next day. | Farewell, Italy! | Looking forward to our return!
33: Home Again! | But still busy! Time to catch up with doctor and dentist appointments and enjoy our local area as we visit with Marie, Brad, & Elena. | Later in June we enjoying babysitting Elena for a night at Marie & Brad's apartment so they could go to a concert in Atlanta!
34: JULY | Another busy month ... tending details and experiencing summer fun! I finally found my "Mother of the Bride" dress and ordered that, We bought a fan to cool the kitchen and a table to enjoy on our patio (our anniversary breakfast is pictured above!), The Blumond sparkling wine for Meg's rehearsal dinner arrived. Marie moved into her new house and we helped unpack boxes (Elena relaxed!). We enjoyed flowers at the Biltmore and saw "Jersey Boys" in Greenville. Wayne hiked with friends and hung posters, plaques, etc. in the "offfice". We enjoyed the street dances, observed hummingbirds, and attended Bele Chere. Beautiful summer memories!
35: AUGUST | Started the month with a quick trip to see Meg & Brian ...checked out their new family room, went to the bridal fitting, took the Blumond to them. Also visited with the Threlfalls ... first time we had seen Erin in years! | AUGUST is always the start of the harvest ... bountiful peaches and tomatoes resulted in peach jam and our delicious spaghetti sauce! Rain came down in buckets this month ...what the rain didn't drown, the rabbit ate, so we had very few flowers and also ended up buying tomatoes.
36: Marie, Brad & Elena visited again ... Sarah hid! Our neighbor, Chris Tavernier, performed in a wonderful concert this month. Katie & Mark came for a week's visit so we were able to spend time sharing our home (we did have beautiful roses this year) and took them to Greenville, to the Mountain Pie Co., and to the Biltmore for dinner and a concert by the Temptations and the Four Tops. It was a nice visit before the baby was due. | A U G U S T C O N T I N U E S
37: LABOR DAY WEEKEND! In Hendersonville that means the Apple Festival with fun and food and LOTS of apples! Marie, Brad, & Elena came to visit with Brad's parents. After enjoying the festival we went to Looking Glass Falls, Sliding Rock, and the Biltmore ...with its new playground. Elena decorated her Dad's strawberryy birthday cake with fresh berries. YUM! | S E P T E M B E R
38: James hiked in several Western parks. | We babysat Elena while Marie was in Atlanta and Brad worked in Savannah before continuing to Atlanta's Botanical Gardens to see a Mosaiculture exhibit. | A VERY BUSY MONTH CONTINUES . . . . . . | Wayne and I went to Daniel Ridge Falls
39: . . . WITH A TRIP TO MASSANUTTEN AND A BABY SHOWER! | ... OH! And we saw the first white squirrel in our back yard! | Mark's family hosted a lovely shower for them ... I made the favors!
40: Jim & Beth Threlfall spent the first week of October with us. We enjoyed the fall days visiting Hooker Falls, Lake Lure, Gorges State Park, produce stands, Looking Glass Falls, and Bearwallow Cemetery where some of Jim's ancestors are buried. | O C T O B E R
41: Took advantage of a beautiful day to tour the Biltmore ... Wayne, Jim, & Beth also did the architect's tour going up on the roof, viewing the gargoyles and mountain view, learning about the construction and architectural details of this beautiful building!
42: Rehearsal ... Rehearsal dinner ... family time back at the hotel | October 12, the wedding morning ... manicures and pedicures before lunch! | Wedding Bells!
43: Meg, our beautiful bride preparing for the big day!
44: Family members start to assemble at Corpus Christi Church in Cincinnati, Ohio
45: The Wedding Ceremony Begins
46: Mr. & Mrs. Brian Frisch | The wedding was lovely and the reception at the Wetherington Country Club went well except that Marie sprained her back and ended in the emergency room before dinner was served. She was so disappointed to miss so many special moments!
49: The end of a perfect wedding day!
50: Enjoying Sunday Brunch | A gathering of both Meg and Brian's families for one last celebration!
51: After the wedding it was nice to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of our area. The Arboretum had a chrysanthemum show that we really enjoyed and the scenic view from Jump-off Rock is especially beautiful in the fall!
52: October view along the Blue Ridge Parkway!
53: "For then, if ever, come perfect days" . . . the poet was talking about June, but really, I think the most perfect days are in October. Wayne and I enjoyed a gorgeous afternoon viewing autumn foliage along the Blue RidgeParkway.
54: SURPRISE! A New Granddaughter! | On October 22 Katie and Mark welcomed Emily Madison Turnbull! She was nearly two weeks early but perfectly healthy. She was born at 4:31p.m., weighed 6 lbs, 12 oz., and was 20 1/4 " tall.
55: Of course we had to go visit ... went Oct 26-30 and took these photos, cooked for the new family, bought bows for Emily's hair, etc. Granddaughters are such fun! | Katie and Mark sent these as she grew! | Stretching little fingers, going out in the cold, wearing her Einstein math diaper, awake or asleep. but always cute!
56: Happy Halloween! | Elena loves all things related to Princess Sophia and couldn't wait to wear her costume!
57: NOVEMBER | Winter approaches now as the beautiful fall foliage drops to the ground. It's a last chance to improve gardens. Frosty days call for hats and jackets ... but not before we are amazed at the talented potters of the area. The face mugs are a signature item in western North | Carolina. Marie, Brad, & Elena visit Disney again ... Elena does NOT want to come home. I start making pies and cookies, soups and stews as we crave comfort foods during the colder weather!
58: Wayne, James, and I join Linda, Nonny, Pat, Greg, Natalie, & Adrianna for a delicious traditional dinner. We're thankful for the good food and our many blessings and think of family members unable to join us today! The trip was long but special times are worth the effort. I brought Christmas cookies as we won't be seeing Nonny until the New Year. Nonny loves cookies! | THANKSGIVING!
59: Gingerbread Competition at the Grove Park Inn | A local highlight of the Christmas season is to view the Gingerbread entries in this national event started in 1992 . The Inn is beautifully decorated and all ages compete. Starting with a gingerbread base all decorations must be edible. The Pandas won the 2014 Grand Prize. | D E C E M B E R
60: We celebrated a long Christmas weekend with Marie, Brad , & Elena in mid December. We exchanged gifts ... such fun watching Elena excitedly opening them. Her Princess Sophia castle was her favorite but she liked Pippin Rose, her Cabbage Patch doll, clothes, sleeping bag, and bracelets among other things. We started the tradition of baking cookies with her (as if the cookies I made weren't enough!) and went to see a Christmas light display. We toured the Biltmore and went to a concert, "O Holy Night", at the downtown Flat Rock Playhouse. We ate some meals at home and some out and Marie & Brad had some time together while Grandma & Grandpa babysat. A perfect weekend! | CHRISTMAS WITH MARIE, BRAD, & ELENA
62: Fox River Resort Sheridan, Illinois | James, Meg, & Brian met Wayne and I at the Fox River Resort for Christmas Week ... Katie, Mark, & Emily opted to stay home (though there was room for them) so we visited them several times during the bitter cold week. | We watched TV, read, played games while at the resort. Went to St. Columba's for Christmas Mass, and to a local Mall when we got cabin fever. Some of the foods we enjoyed were manicotti on Christmas Eve, scones for breakfast one morning, and pizza that Meg & Brian made.
63: CELEBRATING EMILY's FIRST CHRISTMAS | Katie & Mark gave us the lovely family photo for Christmas. Mark prepared a delicious dinner and we celebrated the day in their home.
64: Couldn't ask for a more perfect day ... except that it should not have snowed as we were returning to the resort. We all enjoyed holding Emily and we know she loved all her gifts.! Katie and Mark were able to use their good china which made the dinner extra special!
65: Starved Rock State Park | When Katie, Mark, Emily, Meganne, Brian, and James got together for the annual "sibling lunch, " Wayne and I visited Starved Rock State Park. It was actually a lovely sunny day. We enjoyed the different terrain (trees and rock formations instead of the flat land) and admired the wood carvings. | Though we enjoyed our week, we were ready to return home. After breakfast at "Burnt Toast" where Wayne got to hold Emily, we began our trip home. Stopped at Meg's for the night and admired her nutcracker collection. Always mesmerized by the windmills along the way, we ended the year in our own home!