S: 2011 Travels: Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark and Southeast United States
1: DAY 1 | APRIL 14, 2011 | ROMA, ITALY
2: After arriving at our hotel we took a walking tour of the area which included The Spanish Steps, Piazza Del Popolo, and the Trevi Fountain.
5: April 15 Roma, Italy
6: We spent the morning walking through the Coliseum and Palatine before taking a very crowded bus to the Vatican...
9: Day 3 was spent walking to see churches and museums, along the Tiber to Trastevere and through Campo Di Fiori, Piazza Navona and on to the Pantheon before walking back to the hotel.
13: April 17 Siena | Duomo, Chiostro del Carmine, Piazza del Campo
15: April 18th Firenze Duomo, Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens, Michelangelo Piazza and dinner at Magiofoco
18: April 19th Pisa & Lucca
19: April 20th Museums, piazzas, walking along the Arno and relaxing on the hotel rooftop
20: April 21 - 23 Cinque Terre
23: April 24 & 25 | Interlaken to Jungfrau and back
24: On top of the mountain
26: Flonheim, Wallertheim and Weinheim, Germany | April 26 & 27
29: Koln, Hamburg, and along the Rhine | April 28th
31: SOUTHEAST UNITED STATES OCTOBER 2011 | SOUTHEAST UNITED STATES OCTOBER 2011
34: Gaylord Opryland Saturday, October 15th | Grand Ole Opry | Grand Ole Opry | Oakridge Boys singing Elvira
35: On Sunday, October 16th, we drove through the Cumberland Gap area. We took a hike up the mountain where three states come together. | Tennessee | Virginia | Kentucky
36: We spent the day driving through the Blue Ridge Parkway on our way to Weaverville, NC where we stayed at the Dry Ridge Inn B&B. The only traffic we encountered was due to President Obama, who was in the park that day. | Monday, October 17th
37: On Tuesday, October 18th we visited the Biltmore Estate and Gardens.
38: Wednesday, Oct 19th and on to Charleston. After easily finding our hotel, we took a walk through the historic downtown and had dinner at the waterfront.
39: Thursday, the 20th included tours of Fort Sumter, Fort Moultrie, and the house where Gen. Beauregard watched the first battle of the Civil War. Also, a peaceful walk along Rainbow Row and the Battery.
40: Breakfast & a walk on Folly Beach before heading to Savannah on Friday the 21st.
41: Saturday morning walking around Savannah then a trip to Tybee Island in the afternoon.
42: Monday morning on Pensacola Beach with Dot and Duane after a visit to their home in Milton on Sunday.
43: After checking into the Bourbon Orleans on Monday, the 23rd, we spent two days touring New Orleans and listening to music.
45: Plantations, bayous, sugar and tabasco completed the tour of Louisiana.
47: Mississippi riverboats, mansions and the Vicksburg National Military Park concluded the Southeast US tour.
48: Travel Journal April 11th, 2011 (Marsha) Monday morning and no more work!! Newman, Carol, Kenneth and Bonnie just left after a long weekend visit. Will start packing today since it is going to be nicer outside tomorrow. Very excited for this trip. April 13 Went to Omaha on OmaLink, checked in and found out that our plane was delayed and we would miss our fight (once a day at 1730) to Rome. After several hours of thinking we would probably spend the night in Newark, we got put on a plane to Frankfurt and then connected to Rome from there. We arrived in Rome around 1PM and after putting in a claim for my lost suitcase, we were at the Hotel Imperiale by 3PM. After an hour nap, we went walking around the area; Spanish Steps, Piazza Del Popolo, and the Trevi Fountain were the main attractions. (Fred) OK, Marsha has no clothes as her suitcase did not arrive in Rome; Fred's did. The hotel clerk said the airport called and it is in Rome and will be delivered sometime (?) Marsha bought some funny stuff off a vendor that you throw down and they splatter and then retract somehow. When we went to the last fountain there were millions of children. We wonder if it is spring break Euro-style. Marsha and I are dog tired and look forward to some sleep. April 15 Busy walking day. Walked through the Coliseum and Palatine before taking an extremely crowded bus (the trains on strike) to the Vatican. Walked, walked, walked through the Vatican museum to the Sistine Chapel. We had cappuccino on the terrace of the museum prior to entering the chapel. We then waited in line to see St. Peter's Basilica. It was beautiful and HUGE!! Dinner at the hotel. Fred had pasta with clams and I had pasta with shrimp, asparagus and tomatoes--ok but not as good as the day before. Well, to start this vacation, I had my 24-105 zoom lens stolen right off my camera. We were in a real crowd and a thief just took it off and vanished. Oh Well The day then turned to being a great treat and I got photos with my point and shoot. We basically
49: saw the old part of Roma and the Vatican. St. Peter's is really a great place. The tourist maps of Rome are really horrible, but no one could do any better. Streets go every which way -- hard to navigate. We were both exhausted when we returned to the hotel. Dinner was good, but not great. April 16 We were so tired last night, that we both went to bed early, but then woke up at about 2AM--so decided to read a while. Then, back to sleep and slept in until after 8AM. Breakfast at the hotel then off to the train station to reserve our tickets to go to Sienna tomorrow -- and yes, you do need the Eurail pass to book the ticket -- back to the room and back to the station. We had lots of practice on the Metro. Once that was all done we went to find St. Maria Della Vittoria church -- after wandering around we finally found it and it was closed for siesta. We instead, went to the Museum Nationale -- very interesting. After that we took the metro to a station close to the river and walked along the old race tack (chariot races) and then along the river and across the river to Trastevere. Went into a very old church over there, had gelato and then back to Campo Di Fiori, Piazza Navona where we had a seafood antipasta and wine after watching the street entertainers, looking at fountains and yet another church--after that to the Pantheon -- my favorite! Dinner was pasta for Fred and soup for me at a really cute little "hole in the wall" restaurant. Finally after a long sleep we got cleaned up and went down for breakfast. By the time we got ready to go to the train station it was 9:30. I ask Marsha if she had the Eurail tickets. "Oh, we don't need them -- he he." On our second trip to the station we got our reservations, by then it was 1PM. We then set off to see some churches. Today we scooted around Rome by rail -- it made things much easier. I think there are more catholic churches in Rome than in the rest of the world. They are all incredibly beautiful and all very old. The insides of the churches are usually marble with outstanding pillars holding up the naive. Beautiful paintings everywhere. I kept thinking that the priests told the uneducated people that they needed to support the church to keep from going to hell. Then they used the money to glorify themselves and their ideas using the blood of the people. Ergo, churches everywhere. Alas, there is a statue of Bruno,
50: a heretic, facing the Vatican. Poor Bruno was burned at the stake. The people rioted when the church tried to prevent the statue from being placed in it's current position. The Vatican lost that one. April 17 We left Roma this morning to go to Siena. Arrived at 1:30PM and staying at the Chiostro del Carmine which is a B&B at a former 14th century monastery. The room is small but nice with a private deck outside overlooking the city -- wonderful! We went to the cathedral and the city square and had more gelato! Dinner at a restaurant recommended by the B&B. The food was really good. I had a (great) salad and veal scallopini with mushrooms. Fred had pasta with duck sauce and veal scallopini. We didn't get lost coming back, but that was probably a miracle! When we check in, the young man checking us in took us to the room and showed us how to use the electronic key system --"Hold it up to the pad and pray." I shed a tear for my $1,200 lens, then got on the train and got the hell out of Rome! Wonderful train ride to Siena. The cathedral here is either white marble with black marble bands, or black marble with white bands. Kind of like a zebra. It is really beautiful and not nearly as large as St. Peter's or Norte Dame. After dinner, I had pasta with duck sauce, we watched a full moon next to a typical Tuscan tower--beautiful. Very narrow streets here. Most are 0.8 lanes. No suburbs here! The hotel we are in was built over 600 years ago as a monastery. It is now being used to make a profit. Not much has changed in 600 years. April 18 Great day! Started by pulling luggage through Siena to catch the bus (probably not a great idea, but the woman at hotel suggested it so... We arrived in Florence before the room was ready, so we walked over to the other side of the Arno and saw the Duomo and toured both that and the Duomo museum. After checking into the Berchielli, we walked over to the other side of the Arno and saw the gardens and the Pitti Palace and then walked to the Michelangelo Piazzo for a great view of the city and then up to the church -- lots and lots of steps -- but not as many as there would have been had we climbed to the top of the dome @ the cathedral as Fred had wanted to do. Dinner at Magiofoco was outstanding -- meats and cheese to start with a white wine jelly, then
51: I had tortellini with cheese and pears and a very nice Tuscan chianti. Today was supposed to be my day to lead the way, but that ended when we left the hotel in Siena. It was my idea, I admit, to climb the 460 steps to the dome of Duomo, but Marsha changed the plan because I got so winded climbing. Little did I know that she planned on climbing a mountain, Mount Florence, to get a view. I almost died getting up there, but I made it and it was beautiful. Tomorrow I get to lead the way, but only until we leave the hotel. Dinner, as mentioned, was great. I thought that Parma prosciutto was tops until I tasted Tuscan proscuitto. It was much better. NOTE: We have failed to mention that we have had gelato every afternoon! April 19 We are off on another "Marsha stroll" -- 20 mile hike with full packs. First to the train station, then by train to Pisa. Yes, it really is leaning -- 5 degrees to the south. We then decided to go by bus to Lucca, a fully walled city with a 100% intact wall, complete with bike path. We walked to the Lucca train station, went to Florence and walked back to the hotel. Went to Mamma Ginas restaurant across the Arno. We were waited on by a madman -- good food, but crazy waiter. Marsha will fill in all details. First of all, No full packs and I'm sure we didn't even walk 10 miles. Pisa was interesting but we didn't stay too long -- took pictures of the tower (after walking from the train station -- not that far). Decided at that time to take the bus to Lucca. It was a beautiful ride across the area. We arrived at the bus station in Lucca which was inside the city wall. On our way walking (again not that far) through the town, we stopped at a Piazza, where the house of Puccini sat and we had lunch there. The violinist at the site was playing the "I am the Frito Bambito" tune -- is that by Puccini? -- will have to look later. After lunch we took a bike ride around the old city - on top of the wall. Beautiful views for the entire ride -- only about 30 minutes. Then back to the train station (a little further but still not 20 miles). As Fred mentioned, dinner was great -- we shared a pasta with mushrooms and then Fred had veal parmesan with mushrooms and I had chicken parmesan. The chicken was lightly breaded with
52: cheese on top, a chicken-type gravy and a small amount of red sauce on top. It was served with spinach -- a surprisingly nice combination. Fred's scallopini was served with a nice olive gravy, tomatoes and flat leaved parsley and mushroom and also some spinach. Also, as mentioned, the waiter had issues -- couldn't speak English at all. We finally had to go to the bar to get our bill. Another great day!! April 20 Nothing funny to say today. Started out with breakfast at the Hotel Berchielli then hiked to "Accademia" to see the real statue of David. It truly was incredible. Sculpted from a single piece of marble discarded from one of the many churches by Michelangelo. After that we got tickets to the museum Uzzie or something like that (Ufuzzi) and saw sculpture and paintings from years gone by. Sculpture from before Christ -- AC 300 up to the 1800s -- including paintings from as early as 1400. We had gelato and then went to the Gallileo museum. A magnificent collection of scientific equipment from early times (telescopes, etc). There was a working model of the universe based on the Ptolemy theory. The device accounted for movement of all of the heavenly bodies. The model had to be ten inches in diameter with a one-half inch ball (earth) at the center. Too bad Ptolemy's theory was based on false assumptions. Back at the hotel we caught up on writing this journal and are going back to Mangiofoco for dinner. David was great, but the wait pretty bad. I bought some scarves from a vendor while Fred held our place in line. A quick trip back to the room for our Uffuzzi reservation, then we were off again. That museum was larger than I had realized, so we spent too much time in the first galleries and had to hurry through some of the later ones. After our museum day we are now sitting out on the roof garden enjoying the beautiful day. The ringing of the bells in the tower nearby and the sounds of horse hooves clomping down the street. Another wonderful day in Italy! Gelato today was dark chocolate and black cherry -- yummy! We finally had time to sit on a Piazza and drink coffee -- one of our goals. Last evening in Firenze. We again, had dinner at Mangiofoco -- started with cheese, meat and bread with chianti/balsamic vinegar jelly -- next we shared a pasta with olive oil, pancetta, capers and parsley -- outstanding. Also the best chianti I have ever had. We have loved being in Firenze!!!!
53: April 21 Took a cab to the train station after breakfast and on to Monterosso. Train to LaSpezia and then another train to Monterosso. The train station opens up to the beach -- beautiful!! We pulled our bags and walked to the Hotel Villa Adriana -- not too bad. After we checked in we walked back to the beach and had bruschetta and wine/fizzy water. The bruschetta was served as: 1 with pesto, 1 with tomatoes and pesto, 1 with garlic and herbs, 1 with anchovies. We walked around a little more but decided to do our hike tomorrow. For dinner Fred & I shared melon and prosciutto and then Fred had pasta and I had a HUGE bowl of muscles. Sat along the shore before heading back. I actually had Cinque Terre pesto pasta. The spaghetti was floating in olive oil-pesto-garlic-pine nuts-potatoes-asparagus. It was really good. After Roma and Firenze I thought I might have a "second dish" and got the biggest bowl of pasta so far on this trip. Marsha had a liter of red wine and on top of wine in the afternoon, I thought things would get interesting ..., but they didn't. April 22 Trip to Cinque Terre -- Of course, we walked -- crazy question. The first leg of the trip was Monterosso to Vernazza --known as the toughest leg of the tour. About half way I fell, but didn't do much damage. We essentially climbed over a small mountain. Vernazza was spectacular as we came down the backside of the mountain. The next two legs were closed. I was really disappointed!! We took the train to Manarola and walked to Riomaggiori, about 800 meters. We walked then to the centrum of town, but no one was there -- the wrong centrum. Walked to the correct centrum, had lemon gelato, then returned to Monterosso. We took off our shoes and walked in the surf. It isn't the Mediterranean, but the Ligurian. The whole trip was just beautiful -- grapes, lemons, and lots of flowers all along the way -- tall yellow snapdragons, rosemary, osteospermum, lavender, geraniums, tall (HUGE) daisies and valerian -- even some azaleas and calla lilies. For lunch we had pizza with olives and anchovies then at the end of the trail (Riomaggiori) we finally had our daily gelato -- lemon, as Fred mentioned. He also had a scoop of kiwi and I had one with berries -- good thing because the lemon was refreshing, but very tart. We took a quick "wade" in the surf after returning to Monterosso and then back to our room. Where for dinner??
54: Dinner at Micky's. Fred had whole fish that were more trouble than they were worth. I had swordfish -- delicious. We both had really nice salad with lettuce, radicchio, arugula, really red tomatoes and corn. April 23 Today was our lazy and last day in Italy. It was cold and rainy so we didn't do much. Walked around Monterosso some and bought t-shirts for all of the kids. Lunch was tempura fried calamari and veggies. We read during the afternoon and then for dinner we went back to Belvedere's and had more melon and parma ham and then spaghetti with clams, muscles and baby octopus. We watched the sea for a while and then early to bed to catch an early train to Switzerland. I agree! April 24 Got up early to catch a 6:55 train to Milano. The hotel packed breakfast for us last night. It was really a breakfast and a lunch each. Had a coffee prior to the arrival of the train while looking one more time at the Ligurian Coast. I had to buy a one-half Euro pencil at the Milano train station to get change to use the toilets! We then rode from Milano to Interlaken (West) on a very nice Swiss train. Beautiful views--when not traveling through tunnels. I talked Fred into walking from the train station to the hotel -- which would have been fine if we had stayed on the train for one more stop to Interlaken Ost (yes, he was right and I was wrong) -- but we did make it. Walked around town -- watched parasailers land, found the correct train station, looked at watches, were just generally in awe of the beautiful area. We found a place for dinner that seemed at least fairly reasonable and both of us had breaded pork, veggies (a few we did not recognize), and french fries. This was the first place I have ever been where wine costs less less than water! Must drink wine again tomorrow -- to save money. Yes, but the wine is still expensive. We survived the train ride ok. Scenery was spectacular all the way to Interlaken. The Mountain, Jungfrau, was covered with clouds and I was worried our trip up the mountain might not be great. We decided to out-do all my other trips... I had the same things for dinner as Marsha. Had we eaten at the hotel it would have been about $200 -- as it was, it was $60.
55: April 25 The trip up the mountain was fantastic. It was absolutely clear and all the scenery was spectacular. Many new things were added to Jungfrau and we did them all, including walking in the snow, going to the ice palace and also going to the Sphinx. That scared me due to the sheer drops all around the building. The trip down was uneventful. We stopped over in Grindalwald and walked around. Getting out of here tomorrow -- hoping it is cheaper in Germany. Yes, expensive, but worth it. Everything is SO beautiful. IT was so bright and sunny on the top of the mountain that it was hard to see anything but white. The views were indescribable. We took photos, but I'm sure they won't quite show the "whole picture." I loved everything! Even the walks outside on the top were not that cold -- just a little slippery on the snow, but warm enough. We saw lots of wild flowers on the trip down -- dandelions, wild geraniums, some small yellow bells that look like Virginia Bluebells -- only yellow, forget-me-nots, lots of white crocus, and others I didn't recognize. We had apple strudel in Grindelwald. We are staying at the Royal St. George. It is on old historic hotel. We have a great room with balconies on two sides and a blue and white porcelain toilet and sink. We had dinner at the same place as last night, but they had a different, more expensive, menu. I had chicken stuffed with chanterelle mushrooms, spinach, noodles with a dill cream sauce. Fred had veal scallopini with veggies and potatoes. Went back to the room and found that we had a "free gift" at one of the watch stores so we walked back out and picked up our 2 Rolex baby spoons. Walked back along the river and then in for the night. OOPS -- October 14 Looks like we totally missed recording anything in Germany and Denmark. Germany was wonderful. We took the train to Mainz -- with a small detour -- that gave us a scenic ride back along the Rhine with lots of castles along the way. Once in Mainz we had trouble finding the car rental place, but finally got a cab who delivered us there. We had a VW Passat with GPS -- nice little car. We drove to Flonheim and the Strouble-Roos Winery where we stayed for two nights. The area is all about wine and there are vines everywhere. The B&B at the winery is very nice and fairly new. The wall just beyond the front door, however, was 700 years old.
56: We had dinner at a small restaurant in Flonheim. We both had asparagus with ham. I also had a glass of local wine. The next day we drove around the area and went to Wallertheim. Although we couldn't get into the church, there were lots of Weinheimers listed on the memorial walls outside of the church. We had a fun day just exploring the area -- had schnitzel at a bar in one of the towns we drove through. Took a walk when we got back and then more schnitzel at a bar in Flonheim. We were surprised to see dogs in the restaurants/bars. We took the train to Hamburg the next morning with a brief stop in Koln to see the cathedral. Our bargain hotel in Hamburg was kind of scary -- but we survived -- so all was well. We walked around Hamburg a bit, but wanted to get to bed early for our early AM train to Copenhagen. We stayed with Kirsten and Jorn Jorgensen in Holte. Kirsten was hobbling around, but at 89, she is doing just fine. Jorn, at 91, is quite capable. He recently published an article on some undocumented beetle in Denmark. We visited Dennis and Eva for dinner and had a great time renewing old aquaintances. We also traveled to the country to see Ulla and Danny. The boys were fully grown and about to go out into life. The plane trip home was horrible, but we survived. Also, we had dinner with Klaus and Pia. Metta and her baby, Ida, picked us up in Holte and Klaus and Pia took us back to Holte afterwards. Conversation and dinner were both excellent. Dinner was a traditional dish of lamb with asparagus and potatoes. We also had a creamy rhubarb dessert.
57: TRAVEL JOURNAL October 14,2011 (Marsha)-Worked all week including AM shift in Crete and PM shift at Madonna yesterday--so spent this morning getting everything ready to go. It is now 12:45PM and I'm just waiting for Fred to get home. Is he still at his meeting or is he out buying an i-Phone?? (Fred) We drove to some small town, Lewisville, I believe, in Missouri. It is about 50 miles west of St. Louis. We stayed in a Day's Inn and had a lousy breakfast, but before that we had a lousy dinner--won't discuss it (over-fried catfish). They had a band at the bar/restaurant/dance hall. It too was not so good, but we really enjoyed it. They played a lot of old tunes and for the most part sang out of tune. October 15, 2011 (Fred) We arrived in Nashville, TN without incident and checked into the Gaylord Opryland Hotel--a huge place with 2,881 rooms. All that was missing was a casino. The Opry was great! (Marsha) We saw Joey and Rory, Secret Sisters, Bill Anderson, and the Oakridge Boys--who, of course, sang "Alvira" and also "What Cha Gonna Do?" We had a great time. Afterwards dinner at the Italian Restaurant in the hotel. We both had scallops. Mine w/sweet potato ravioli and sweet potato straws. Fred's with pasta and alfredo sauce. The next morning we left to go to the Cumberland Gap. Nice drive--and then we took a short hike up to the "Tri-State Point". We were looking for the saddle, but think we may have parked there! Still not really sure. We spent the night at horrible motel in Bristol, VA. It made the Missouri Day's Inn look good! October 17, 2011 (Fred) To get to Asheville we drove down the Blue Ridge Parkway--speed limit 45 mph, however, we could rarely go that fast due to the curves and hills. We stopped several times to take photos, etc. One place we stopped was a Federal State Park dedicated to bluegrass music. It was very nice. The fall colors were beautiful, especially at the higher elevations (4000 ft). Marsha drove most of the way and when we got off the parkway she was a little rattled! As was Fred--while he was sitting in the passenger seat. We arrived at the Dry Ridge Inn in Weaverville--very nice! We are staying in the Amanda Rose room. Walked to dinner at the "Jack of Hearts" just a few blocks away. We both had the catfish which was served over crispy fried leeks. This catfish, unlike that in Missouri, was cooked perfectly! Back to the room to continue reading "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" in preparation for Savannah. October 18, 2011 This morning we started with breakfast of pears and raspberries with a nice fluffy white chocolate sauce and then an egg and tomato casserole and croissants. The other guests were from Virginia and South Carolina.
58: We had interesting conversation, including discussion of the fact that President Obama was in the area. We then went to the Biltmore Estate and took the self-guided tour. It was a beautiful place, but it really leaves lots of questions regarding all of that money-huge house for one family-servants with 1/2 day off every other week-diverting the river for their own pleasure; but also provided employment for lots of people both then and now. Afterwards, we had lunch of shrimp tacos (shrimp w/BBQ sauce and coleslaw) fresh corn chips with an outstanding white spicy dip--can't decide what was in it. We found out that Bryan Boggs of Fine Woodworking had his shop in Asheville. We went there and talked to him and his girlfriend. He had some beautiful pieces ready for a show, Thursday, October 20th here in Asheville--too bad we will have to miss it. We went on to the Arcade Shopping Center and then drove around Asheville a little before returning to Weaverville and catching up on this journal! The B&B has wine and drinks for guests, so I had a glass of wine and Fred had a ginger ale. Now, where to go for dinner?? We ended up going back to the "Jack of Hearts". Fred had a pork chop with Asian pear salsa, mashed potatoes and roasted parsnips and I had a wide pasta with roasted butternut squash, shitake mushrooms and arugula and walnuts all in a browned butter sauce--must try to make at home. Fred was unable to get praline ice cream--it only came with red velvet cake. No cake--no ice cream. October 19 Today we started with breakfast at the B&B of grapefruit and tiny bran muffins followed by really great fluffy pancakes with real maple syrup and sausage. After that we drove, in the rain, to Charleston. We found the hotel easily. From there we caught the trolly and went downtown and walked around the shops and then down to the water. We had calamari and wine/sparkling water in a small outdoors cafe before walking through the market and then to dinner at a seafood restaurant on the water. We shared a crab cake with corn relish. Fred had grouper and I had yellow fin tuna. Both were local. We both had Carolina red beans and rice and collard greens as sides. While sitting by the water we saw Fort Sumter where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. We will take a tour to the fort tomorrow by boat. I am not sure we will be allowed to land on the property -- we will see. The walk h ome was really fun!! | October 20 We got up early (kind of) and had breakfast at the hotel and then went on a tour of Charleston. To do that, we purchased tickets for a 90 minute tour and a boat ride to Fort Sumter where on April 12, 1861 at 3AM the first shorts of the Civil War were fired by the Confederates. The tour bus driver was a delightful lady who was from Indiana, but had lived in Charleston for many years. We saw many of the old houses of the city--mansions really. Almost everything had been raised to prevent
59: flooding. At one place in the city, the houses were painted all colors. It was referred to as Rainbow Row. We saw the old jail and heard an old story of the hanging of the first female prisoner. . She and her husband were serial killers; killing their victims with extract of oleander. The husband and wife were both found guilty and she wanted her husband to die first so he wouldn't have to see her hanged. She also wanted to be hanged in her wedding dress and be allowed to address the crowd before being hanged. All requests were granted. Well, after her (stupid) husband was hanged, she became a widow and in South Carolina a widow could remarry and also in South Carolina a married woman could not be hanged. So, she asked for a man to step forward and marry her, but there were no volunteers so she jumped from the gallows. The trip to Fort Sumter was interesting and uneventful. In the evening we drove to Fort Moultrie, but were there too late to go into the complex. We met a couple who were from the area and they recommended a BBQ place called "Sticky Fingers". We had dinner there--good but not great. We also saw a replica of the confederate submarine. Also, during the tour, we drove through the Citadel--interesting. We were told of an author, Pat Conroy, who went to the Citadel and then wrote a "fictional" story about such an institution and other stories of Charleston. During the afternoon we walked around the city--around the Battery area and took a house tour. The tour was pretty limited, but we did get to relax on the porch prior to starting the tour and sit on a "joggling board". The tour ended on the upstairs porch were Beauregard stood to watch the battle between the two forts. We also lost the car, but just temporarily! October 21 Packed and left Charleston this morning. We eat breakfast at the Lost Dog Cafe. We both had Eggs Benedict with asparagus, a crab cake, a shrimp cake and fresh fruit--very good! Afterwards we walked along the Folly Island beach. It was a beautiful beach, but it was interesting that there were NO birds on the beach. The drive to Savannah was nice. We drove right to the Hilton DeSoto Hotel! We did a ninety minute trolly tour to orient ourselves to the city. Afterwards we walked down to the river--walked around a while and had an early dinner at Vic's on the River. We both had pecan crusted flounder with potato and andouille sausage hash served with an iceberg lettuce wedge. We walked by Paula Deen's restaurant on the way home and decided to have dinner there tomorrow. Savannah is an incredible city--well we only saw the downtown renovated part of the city. Beautiful parks, lovely river with a lot of heavy shipping activity. October 22 After a breakfast buffet at the hotel, we were off to make our reservation at "Lady and Sons". That was much easier than expected! We then walked through several town squares and toured the "Mercer-Williams" house which was the setting of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil". One of the squares was having a
60: farmers market. So, we bought a large Georgia Peach and shared it. We then drove out to Tybee Island and walked on the beach, sat on the pier and watched boats and birds and ate some nachos. We also saw the lighthouse and old fort, but did not tour either. Instead, we took another short walk on that end of the island. Walking through the parks was a special treat. It was a cool but sunny morning. The live oaks were so thick that it was virtually impossible to photograph the houses and other buildings. On many occasions we sat on park benches to enjoy the scenery. At the beaches Marsha really enjoyed walking in the sand. The beaches were very clean, and unlike Folly Beach, there were lots of birds. In the evening we walked along the river and bought pralines to take to Duane and Dot Anderson. Dinner at "Lady and Sons" was OK. We got back to the hotel around 9PM and packed for the trip to Pensacola. October 23 We packed up and left Savannah and Marsha wouldn't allow me to return the hotel's keys to them! We drove in silence until Fred got over it! We stopped to get fuel and after about an hour and a half Marsha drove almost the rest of the way to Pensacola. We took I95 to Jacksonville, FL then I10 to Pensacola. We spent the night with Duane and Dot. Becky and John Hunter came from Alabama to join us. We had a great evening. October 24 Monday morning after breakfast, Duane and Dot gave us a driving tour of the area. We stopped at several beautiful beaches. After our tour of Pensacola and beaches, we had really good left-overs with Dot and Duane and then drove to New Orleans. Fred drove all of the way. We took a bit of the scenic route between Mobile Bay and Biloxi, but traffic and lights made for slow going, so we went back to the interstate and made it into New Orleans at about 6PM. The Mississippi beaches were beautiful, but not enough time to really see them. After checking into the Bourbon Orleans, we walked down Bourbon Street -- saw two parades and lots of street performers. Dinner at Oceana was gumbo and crab cakes for me and oysters and redfish for Fred. Everything was very good. Afterwards we stopped and had a drink at a little bar with live jazz -- Jamil Sharif and his band. October 25 We had breakfast at the hotel and must remember to eat lighter tomorrow. Walked down by the river and looked, unsuccessfully, for Preservation Hall. Fred's new iPhone's GPS put it at JAX brewery. Walked down Canal Street to Tulane Medical Center and visited an old colleague of Fred's. After walking back to the French Quarter and successfully finding Preservation Hall, we found ourselves next door to Pat O'Briens so we shared an order of shrimp and I had one of the original "hurricane" drinks. We picked up masks for Morgan and Taryn before stopping back at the hotel. The Bourbon Orleans is where, in 1829, Andrew Jackson announced that he was running for president. We went by Tulane Medical Center and had a nice visit with Cy Bowers and GeorgeAnne then we walked to Pat
61: OBrien's for lunch. We took a buggy ride around the French Quarter. Good! We learned a few things we would never have learned on our own. We came back to the hotel and rested a while. Had supper at Galatoires. Really good. I had oysters rockefeller and Marsha had oysters that were fried with butter sauce. I had pompano with crab for a main course and Marsha had crab with artichokes and mushrooms. We split a black bottom pecan pie for dessert. From there we went to Preservation Hall for a jazz concert then back to the hotel. October 26 Breakfast at the hotel, then we walked to the Central Grocery Store to pick up a muffaletta for lunch. Already a line at 9:30AM--mostly for the sandwiches to go. After checking out of the hotel, we drove to the garden district and did the Foder's self-guided tour. There were about 20 houses listed on the tour and we found almost all of them and enjoyed looking at some that were not listed. We took a quick walk through the cemetery before going back to the car. The next stop was the Oak Alley Plantation. We ate our sandwich at the picnic table on the grounds prior to checking in. Afterwards we took the house tour and walked around the grounds. I had a mint julip and Fed had a lemonade. Dinner tonight in Donaldsonville, about 20 miles away. We both had seafood gumbo at Cafe LaForche and it was good!! Oak Alley is beautiful. Oak trees were planted in the early 1700s. There were 28 trees planted to line a straight entry lane to a proposed house (14 on each side of the lane). The original owner probably had a house but it was gone when the second owner built the mansion that exists today. Today the trees along the entry are from 24 to 28 feet in circumference. Most others on the plantation are this size also. They are live oak trees. October 27 It was a good day! A foggy morning meant getting in front of Oak Alley in time to get a few shots of the mansion and beautiful 300 year old trees. After breakfast we packed up and got on our way to tour the bayou. We headed south and eventually ended up in Morgan City. Along the way we saw numerous mansions and did not stop. Actually, all the mansions have 8 rooms; a hall down the center and two rooms on each side on both floors. --So on to Avery Island--lots of salt--we bought a load of tabasco sauce and stuff. Also--on the way to Avery Island we saw lots of sugar cane -- fields both full grown, newly planted and in the process of being burned. Also--trucks and trucks full of harvested sugar cane. --Very interesting driving along the bayous. After leaving Avery Island we drove past a huge swamp and lots of smaller bayous and canals on our way to Natchez. We are staying the Hampton Inn with a view of the river bridge. Dinner was at a restaurant called Magnolia. It is on the river and we shared a catfish topped with shrimp and parmasan with steamed broccolini. We also both had a salad with tomatoes, mandarin oranges and parmesan. Back to the room to watch Cardinals win over Texas after two innings of overtime in game six or the World Series.
62: October 28 After breakfast this morning we drove around Natchez and looked at some of the HUGE houses. At one time, prior to the Civil War, Natchez had more millionaires than NY, Boston or Philadelphia! Afterwards, a nice drive to Vicksburg--very pretty--cloudy day, but the trees were turning colors and were beautiful. We did a tour through the National Park at Vicksburg--I'll let Fred write about that. After our tour we drove to Pine Bluff, Arkansas--just outside of Little Rock. We easily found the Holiday Inn Express, but spent an hour plus looking for a restaurant and diesel! Ended up with Red Lobster in the same mall as the motel! Back to the room to watch the Cardinals win game 7. Actually, believe it or not Red Lobster was good. The tour of Vicksburg was great. We saw the National Parks movie then went on a one hour tour that lasted two hours. Our guide, who drove our car, was Joyce. She was at least 70 or 75 and very knowledgeable. The Battle of Vicksburg and surrounding area was her specialty. She had read a great deal about all pertaining events. Moreover, she analyzed all the literature relative to her knowledge of the terrain and geography of the area. She knew the backgrounds of the officers on both sides and some of the soldiers also. While she was definitely a "confederate" she was clearly unbiased in her analysis of the battles and siege of Vicksburg. While I had read the history of the Battle of Vicksburg; I did not appreciate the significance of Vicksburg until this tour. It was great. She was no fan of Abraham Lincoln -- said her family did not celebrate the 4th of July until 1947!! | This book was put together in January 2012 while we were on South Padre Island. The photos that are included were taken by both Fred and Marsha on a good camera, a little camera and even a phone. They were chosen because they help us remember what great trips we had, not necessarily because of the great "photo quality." The Travel Journals were transcribed as they were written with very minimal editing. We are both capable of writing better prose, but wanted to keep the language and style as it was written to better help us remember what we were thinking when we actually did the writing.