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Parrottrek Journal 2012

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The Walt Disney World Highway

We stopped off at the Grand Floridian to tour the majestic hotel

Can you find Space Mountain on the opposite shore?

Let the memories begin!

January 25th - A Magical Day - Walt Disney World
Ahhhhh, sunny Florida, a day off together and annual passes to Disney World, it doesn't get much better than that. Especially since the Magical World of Disney is only 45 minutes away and with all sorts of insider tips from lots of friends, neighbors and fellow pass holders we learned how to park for free, get to each and every park on the Disney train/boat/monorail system and found out the best locations to eat and what to pass by. Our first stop was at the Grand Floridian, which is a palatial hotel on the banks of Lake Disney. We walked all through the grounds and the interior and then jumped on the Monorail and headed to the Magic Kingdom.
We both grew up in California and spent quite a bit of our childhood, and adulthood vacationing at Disneyland. So much time in fact that we both could probably get around Disneyland blindfolded. As soon as we stepped into the gates of the Magic Kingdom today and walked down Main Street we felt right at home. Almost too at home, thinking that we had somehow stepped into a time machine that took us to Disneyland in California since there were so many similarities, but as soon as we hit the end of Main Street we realized yes we are in Florida because there in front of us stood the considerably taller Cinderella's Castle instead of Sleeping Beauty's which marks the center of California's Disneyland. All through the Magic Kingdom we noticed other differences as well, for instance the entrance to The Haunted Mansion is a bit more fun since you walk through a graveyard and an interactive decorative crypt. Animal Kingdom's version of the Matterhorn is called Everest and has a few more surprises than the California attraction. However, we did notice a few things missing from Florida's map, such as Indiana Jones, which I must admit, after Pirates of the Caribbean, which thankfully is on this coast as well, is my favorite ride in the west. But heck, there are a few more parks we didn't hit this time around, so who knows what other adventures we'll discover on our next trip, which should only be a couple weeks away. Heading out of Disney World we took a boat ride, watched the sunset and were dropped us off within walking distance of our car. A perfect finale to a fun and magical day.

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All aboard the Disney Train for a ride around the Magic Kingdom

One of the many creative tombs outside the Haunted Mansion

The lowering of the flag at the end of the day

The scenic boat ride back to the car

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Dinner at Woody's in St. Pete's

Good times with great friends

Our view of the Gulf at dinner

The 6 of us enjoy a walk down the beach

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A Walk on the Beach - St. Petersburg, Florida -
The best part of being a traveler is that you meet all sorts of other travelers on your adventures, whether it be through work, vacation or play. And the best part of having traveling friends is that every so often they are traveling in the same part of the country that you are. It doesn't sound like a hard thing to do, getting together with good friends, but when you realize that the contiguous United States is 3,119,884.69 square miles and of this 3,119,884.69 square miles, 2,959,064.44 square miles is land it brings things a little more into perspective of how often your paths will cross, especially when you're no longer driving the same roads as they are.

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The view from Mark and Evie's hotel that they run. Beautiful!!

Anyone need a natural luffa sponge

So needless to say when your home states are literally all over the map and 6-8 of you end up within the same 200 mile radius it's kinda cool and a cause for a celebration. I'm sure you're all familiar with Kurt and Philly, some our best friends, greatest traveling buds and partners in crime, that we do whatever we can to see a few times a year, but also in our dinning bunch tonight was Mark and Evie, who we met on the NHRA circuit, but have since moved on to different ventures. Currently they are running a beautiful beachfront hotel on the coast in St. Petersburg, so Frank, Kurt, Philly and I packed up the Jeep and drove across the state to meet them for the day. We spent the afternoon at Mark and Evie's house, walked along the beach of the Gulf of Mexico, caught up on each other's past couple year experiences over dinner and even did a little shell hunting when we came across all sorts of ocean sponges. We almost took a couple home since a few months ago we saw these same sponges for sale in Key West for 10-18 dollars, but decided to forego and leave them for the sponge hunters that actually know how to get them from their sandy selves to soft sponges. It was another great day here in the Sunshine State where all you need is a light jacket for an evening stroll under the stars.

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Volunteering in Nashville, TN

Disney World with good friends

Canoeing in the Gulf of Mexico

Watching the Rose Parade on Colorado Blvd in the front seat of our motorhome

February 18th - Better Than Fiction -
Over the last day and a half, in which I purposely cleared my calendar of any activities that made me leave the confines of my cozy home in order to study for the up and coming national exam I am attempting to pass, I noticed something. I noticed that not only am I turning into a procrastinator, but that we've done a few fun things out here on our travels, since flipping through the scenes of our Webpage is what I've filled my non-productive hours with. Wonderful and appreciative non-productive hours, mind you, since over the past 3 months days off have been rare. Something I am slowly adjusting to and at the same time loving, in a slightly masochistic way. In our "sitting still" phase of life, I've noticed that the most common question we get about our travels is "What's your favorite place to visit in the whole country?" (for some reason people always seem to emphasize whole in this question) My first response, after pondering the question for awhile is usually the same "That's a really hard question to answer... ... we really like Nashville, TN, the amazing beaches of Florida, Pennsylvania is gorgeous, San Antonio is one of the most fun cities, we love historical places, Florida has the most beautiful lush nature you can imagine... .... and so on. The only parallel I can think of in regards to this question is asking a teacher of 20 or so "who's your favorite kid?" All of her children are going to have their good traits and bad, some are going to be beautiful but perhaps not so bright, others will be brilliant but lacking in social skills while one or two of them are probably boring as heck, or incredible brats. Since she's their teacher and loves her job, she most likely doesn't see all of their bad traits. There are places that we have been to that need no revisiting, just as there are students she may never want to see again and there are states as a whole we'd be happy to never step back into but there are hundreds of places that we seen and experienced and thoroughly enjoyed. So, since I have given myself just a few more minutes to dink around on the computer before hitting the books, I have included a few pictures of our favorite places... ... so far.

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Niagara Falls, Canada

The monuments of Washington DC

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The amazing Mount Rushmore

Sweet babies in Boise, Idaho

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Feeding tigers in Missouri

Enjoying the Grand Canyon with friends

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Bike rides around Chicago

Posing with our race team, car and a Thunderbird jet

Floating down the Colorado River

Standing atop the Empire State Building

March 21 - The Call No One Wants to Get -
It was Friday night and Frank and I were headed to a party, just a soon as I got off work. Lucky for me I got out a bit early and headed straight to Gary and Carie's, our hosts for the evening, thinking Frank and the rest of our friends would already have the festivities under way. The house was empty except for Carie who was still prepping for our arrival, so I decided to head home real quick and change out of my work clothes and drive back with Frank so we only had one vehicle. Half way home my phone started to make a funny noise and since I'd only had it a couple of days I was still learning all its bells and whistles. Thinking it would be Frank calling to see where I was, I hit the speakerphone button and send to receive what I thought was a phone call. It turned out to be a voicemail alert. Not so lucky for me, the message began to play. It was a detective from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff Department wanting to talk to me about a Robert Newsom... Whoa!! What?! Is this really happening? I began to get nervous and my mind began to race. "Please let my dad be okay, please let my dad by okay" was all that went through my mind. After what seemed like a half hour pause from this faceless voice on the speaker phone, he added Jr. to the name. Whoa!! What? My brother? Lucky for me I was only driving a golf cart, so when I veered off the road half into a driveway and half into a nature area trying to catch my breath and make my head stop spinning, the damage was minimal. Isn't this where you're supposed to wake up from a nightmare? Trying my darndest to call the phone number back and screaming at my new supposed Smartphone, which did its job of making me fell like a complete moron, I finally got it to ring back the number that had left the voicemail. A recorded message on the other end said "You've reached the Coroner's office and we're sorry but there is no one here to take your call, please leave a message and" ... ... ...That's all I remember of that night, in sequence. The rest of the evening happened like crazy blurry snapshots. A snapshot of me walking in the door at home, Frank's face when I told him the coroner called about my brother. Listening to that same voicemail again and again trying to write the number down and not having my fingers work with the pen. Apparently I know now that Frank took the phone from me, figured out who to call and spoke to someone live this time, handing the phone to me in time to hear the words... "We found your brother's body... at home... in his room... he's dead..." The same voice going on to tell me he couldn't get ahold of my dad, this is when I handed the phone back to Frank who again took over since I could do nothing other than sob and sob and sob, my big brother is dead. The next blur is of Frank driving me back to work to tell them I had to get on a plane the next morning so I could tell my dad in person and not have a policeman show up on his doorstep telling him the last thing any parent ever wants to hear. My amazing co-workers all tell me to take as long as I need in California and they'll be here to cover everything for me until I return. All of a sudden we are at Carie's and all of our friends are offering help in any way they can. All I could think of to ask is to borrow a suitcase, one that I wouldn't have to check and wondering just how one packs for a trip like this, especially when you're used to having a 40 foot by 8 1/2 foot suitcase with you on most of your travels. After that my memory goes blank. The next thing I remember was my sister-in-law picking me up at the airport in Santa Barbara and wondering how the heck I just managed to get across the country in what felt like 15 minutes since the phone call, with all my belongings and arriving in the right spot, somewhat sane. I love that guardian angel of mine and my sister-in-law, who drove me to my dad's, stayed with me through breaking the news to him and the next few hours of tears that followed. Today is now Wednesday and it feels like I've been here a month, not necessarily in a bad way, I'm glad to be here with my dad, but in an exhausting way. It's amazing how many little details there are in dealing with death, and after the last two years Frank and I have had, I pray these are the last details of death we have to deal with for many many years to come. Fortunately we've gotten good at dealing with death details, unfortunately we're starting this whole nightmare over again, from the beginning.

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On board with great friends

Headed out to sea

Seals brought a smile to our faces

A great view of the islands

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March 24th - Scattering Ashes - Santa Barbara
There is something so tranquil about the sea. Floating on the open water on a sunny morning, admiring the views of land and the soft sounds of lapping water around the hull of a sailboat. Even though our excursion was for a sad reason, I felt completely at peace on this morning's outing. My poor dad is feeling sick to his stomach again today and therefore stayed home in bed. Figuring most of my friends would have Saturday plans already, I took a chance and called a couple to see if they'd join me. Not a single one of them let me finish my question before responding "we're on our way" I love these ladies.

Yellow rose petals in memory of Rob

Red petals for my mama, I miss you!

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Rusty's Beach Shack

Rusty's huge open deck, where we had lunch

The weather was perfect!

Cruise ships all around us, and fun birds

April 1st - April Foolin' Around at the Cape -
Live music, perfect weather and views to die for. Just what I needed. You want to know one of the best things about Sundays? Nothing financial is open. No calls need to be made to the lawyer or the insurance adjuster or the credit card or mortgage companies because they are all closed, Thank You Jesus! My huge "settling Rob's estate" to do list is put on hold on Sundays and all I have on my "enjoying life"to do list is spend this beautiful day outside with my husband and let someone else to the cooking. We had lunch at Rusty's Beach Shack and Tiki Bar this afternoon where we sat outside, watched dolphins swim, manatees play and cruise ships leave port. After lunch we drove out to Jetty Park for a walk down the beach and a long swim in the warm ocean. Ahhhh!! Batteries are officially recharged, bring on the to do list... ... tomorrow, that is.

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A space shuttle painted up in ocean decor. You'll find these themed shuttles all throughout the Cape

WHAT?!? Don't let Cody see this sign

Playful dolphins swim past

Walking down Jetty Park Beach

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Mickey and Minnie at the Epcot gates

We went from China

To Tanzania, Africa all in a day

Up Mt. Kilimanjaro we go

April 9th - Epcot -
How else can you get from Mexico to Japan to The Netherlands within a few hours? Today we walked all through the countries of Epcot. We watched sleeping vampire bats awaken, which was quite cute actually to see them yawn and stretch. We saw pacing tigers and napping ones, did a little shopping in the quaint stores around Holland and took a ride through the Himalayan Mountains where we were chased by Big-foot and barely got out alive.

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Shopping in Holland

Siesta time for vampire bats... ...

... ... and bengal tigers

The bats start to awaken

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Unpacked and hanging on the Passing the beautiful beach of Seeing one of our favorite Taking a walk around the

April 26th - Cruising to the Bahamas -
It's crazy how fast 15 years can go by. A couple weeks back we were having lunch at Rusty's overlooking the cruise ships lined up, thinking how fun it would be to board one and head out to sea, so we decided we'd do just that to celebrate this year's anniversary and to take advantage of our close proximity to the Bahamas. Once aboard the ship the fun began. We carried on our luggage so we could unpack quickly and begin exploring. We started out with a lap around the exterior decks, checked out the pool, the Lido Deck and then headed inside to the piano bar, where we ordered an umbrella drink and listened to some music. Next stop, the party deck...

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We stopped off to get Dancing waiters at dinner, so
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The ceiling in the piano Then we headed to the Enjoying the sunset and a Fun towel animals and diamond
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Coming into port in Nassau Tying up to the dock Shopping in the Straw Market A view of our ship

April 27th - Nassau, Bahamas -
Watching this huge ship pulling into port as though it was a small sailboat was amazing. Once we were safely tied up, the mass exodus began and Nassau was invaded with all of us cruisers. Luckily this island is big enough for the two of us, and many many others. We started our day with a bit of shopping and exploring the Straw Market along with some little shops with local art and clothing. Having worked up an appetite walking all over the island, we stopped off at Senor Frog's for a bite to eat and a cocktail to drink. After lunch we hopped in a taxi, which was driven from the wrong side of the car in the wrong lane, according to us mainlanders so it made for a wild ride.

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Can you read the sign Next stop... Atlantis
Lunch at Senor Frog's Congo line around the restaurant

A wild ride to Atlantis, a beautiful hotel right on the beach with comfy lounge chairs, retractable umbrellas included, white sandy beaches, crystal clear water and lots of sunshine. We stayed and read for a couple hours, me on Frank's Kindle, which may never be returned and he with an old fashioned paperback book, poor guy. We dozed a little and listened to waves crashing at our feet before heading back to the city for more Bahamian exploration, what a fun city!

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The ocean here is crystal Reading on the beach Happy feet by the shore Headed back to the ship

April 28th - A Fun Day at Sea -
After leaving the port of Nassau and watching the sun set and the island light up over dinner and a moonlit walk around the ship which included a fireworks show at sea, off the deck of the Disney Dream, which was conveniently sailing right in front of us, we weren't sure if we could top yesterday. Carnival, and all its grandeur, helped us do just that. Breakfast on the balcony, reading on the deck, pool time, lunch and cocktails on the lido deck with live music, reading on our private balcony watching dolphins teach their babies how to swim in the ocean below, an afternoon nap, a fun 80's flashback show full of singing and dancing all topped off with a 5-course dinner. Here's to the next great 15 years full of even more memories... ...

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Fireworks from the sea
Nassau at night as we
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A great way to start Mama and baby dolphin swim Pool time!!! More fun towel animals bearing
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Drive down the beach

Perfect weather

The Atlantic Ocean on one side

The Intracoastal on the other

May 19th - A New Kind of Highway - New Smyrna Beach -
We took our 'new to us' mini van for a spin today and drove down to New Smyrna Beach, which is located right between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. One of the perks of this beach, is that you can drive your vehicle right up to the spot that you wish to lounge for the day, instead of having to park in some far off parking lot, haul all your beach paraphernalia across said parking lot, perhaps up or down up some stairs and then half a mile down the beach until you find just the right spot to plop down and enjoy the sun. The other perk of this beach is that there are two layers of surf with a sand bar in the middle. If you look close at the thirds picture above, you can see the two sets of breaking waves. If you want to float and enjoy the rolling waves, or have someone on your group that isn't too keen on crashing waves, you can hang out in the first 20 feet or so of warm, clear water. If you want to surf or jump waves or boogie board, you can swim out to the sand bar and enjoy large waves. It's quite unique to have both options. We played in both sections of the surf and lounged on the sand bar for a bit as well. We finished off our evening with dinner overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway and then headed home, all in the comfort of our fun, expansive, hauls all the junk you need, minivan.

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Fast pases to Rockin Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith

An explosive Indiana Jones live action stunt show

Suzy and an army man, with the flat feet and all

Fireworks made the Disney experience complete

June 5th - The Calm Before the Storm - Disney Hollywood Studios -
We have thoroughly enjoyed our Disney World annual passes, and since we are now Florida residents and chose the weekday annual pass with a few black out dates we have enjoyed our days at Disney World for cheap! Since the summer crowds are about to start, children from literally all over the world are about to invade the Magical World of Disney and the mercury in Orlando measures much higher than at our place on the coast, we decided to take one last trip to visit Mickey and Friends today while the lines are still nice and short and the days are still long. Today's visit took us to Hollywood Studios, the home of the original Tower of Terror, Aerosmith's super fast and super fun roller coaster, a back stage tour of movie sets, fun characters of toys from our own childhood to pose with and a great full contact Indiana Jones - right out of the movie - stunt show with pyrotechnics and all. What a fun day. No worries, we'll be back for more Disney experiences in September when the child population and the temperatures are back to a pleasant low.

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Camping on the lake in Port St. Lucie

Enjoying the nature around us

A bit of pool time

Toes in the water, toes in the sand

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June 9th - 12th - One Last Spring Fling-
People say to us all the time "I can't believe you're going to hang out in Florida through the summer, isn't it hotter then heck? How can you stand the humidity?" Well let me tell me just how horrid it is. Our days start out with morning walks or breakfast alfresco in t-shirts, shorts and flips flops. Afternoons involve swimming at the pool, walking down the beach or reading under the shade of a palm tree or our awning. Evenings are the worst since we have to decide between playing tennis with friends, attending our weekly block party, or taking the birds on a bike ride.

Everyone loves a BBQ

A little beach front real estate research

As spring ends and summer rounds the corner, our work schedules have slowed down immensely, and it's wonderful! In the past, we've usually had winters off, in chilly California, so it will be fun to have a summer vacation in sunny Florida. There is no such thing as June Gloom here and having the Atlantic Ocean so close to us the weather here stays in the 80's and 90's with a nice afternoon breeze, and since we are essentially within the Cape, we are nicely protected from the notorious storms of the east coast. To say goodbye to spring and hello to summer vacation we spent this weekend in Port St. Lucie, which is about 2 hours south of us. We spent one day exploring the city and another day exploring the beaches. I still can't get over how gorgeous the beaches are around us and seem to get bluer and bluer as summer approaches. Frank did a little real estate research in that area so we were able to view some amazing homes with breath taking beach views.

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Look what's in the tree outside our house!!

Teeny tiny baby birds hatch

The older one is almost as big as mama

They grow up so fast

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June 21st - On the Second Day of Summer - Two Turtle Doves
This has been the greatest month for observing nature. As summer begins and most of our human neighbors head back to their summer homes throughout the country, a multitude of our animal neighbors have begun to come out of the forests and nature preserves that surround us. Little spotted fawns can be seen nursing and learning to walk. In one of our palm trees a Turtle Dove raises 2 sweet, snuggly babies who patiently wait for meals, while two little mockingbird babies, both whom have fallen out of the nest, hop all around the neighborhood screaming for their mother to bring them fresh worms since they can't yet fly on their own. Apparently mockingbird babies quite often fall out of their nests because they knock each other out when fighting over the worms their parents bring them for lunch, talk about sibling rivalry. But don't worry, mama still finds them on the ground and keeps them well fed. It's hilarious to watch.

Mama starts to teach them to fly

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A pregnant deer rests by the brook

A new fawn with wobbly legs

He jumped a fence and ran back to mom when he saw us

A fuzzy featherless mockingbird chick screams for worms

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Along side the motorhome are rows of bushes that peaked Cody's curiosity

So he climbs into one for further inspection

He is happily surprised to find it full of blueberries

And eats till his heart's content

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July 2nd - Cody's Idea of Heaven - Blueberry Picking in Georgia -
This week's exploration has brought us back to a fun and familiar location, Camp Kelley in Richmond Hill, Georgia. It is home to our great friends, Fred and DeLynn who were our neighbors in California for years, and lays just outside the city of Savannah, one of the most fun cities to explore and learn a bit of history about the South while you are at it. Our hosts have a perfect place for us to camp, swim and relax and a perfect place for Cody to pick naturally grown blueberries. He was in heaven. He started out clutching my hand and was a bit nervous about what was in the bush as his exploration began, but as soon as he realized it was food and that he was allowed to eat as much as his craw could hold, he happily climbed from bush to bush on his own, soaking up some Georgia sunshine and saying Mmmm, Mmmmm over and over until he could eat no more.

A happy and stuffed parrot

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Relaxing in the pool

Apparently we aren't the only ones who wanted to cool off

Ebony watches from the shade

A little after dinner music

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The beautiful tree lined streets of Savannah

Lunch at Tubby's Tank House with Chris and Karolyn.

Life long friends on the deck

We walked down by the river a bit but had enough of the crowds

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July 4th - Celebrating, Savannah Style -
What a perfect day! It was one of those days that you couldn't duplicate, even if you tried. One of those days that start with a few loose plans, a vague idea or two of what you might want to do and end up having everything fall perfectly into place. Actually, it started out last night, around midnight, when our friends Chris and Karolyn made a spontaneous trip from Atlanta to meet up with us here in Richmond Hill. We ended up chatting for hours on end and finally, at 4am, realized we should say goodnight and pick up where we let off the following day. And so we did.

Our suite was on the top floor

Our private air conditioned party room was fabulous!

Today, after sleeping in a bit, and having a cup or two of coffee, the four of us drove into Savannah, through the tree lined streets and ended up having a long leisurely lunch full of seafood at Tubby's Tank House, on a friend's recommendation. Who wouldn't be curious to go to a place called Tubby's Tank House? Around 4 o'clock Chris and Karolyn had to head back to Atlanta so they dropped us off on River Street where we planned on meeting up with Fred, DeLynn and company at the Savannah Marriott Riverfront to watch the fireworks and enjoy all the festivities. Once inside the hotel, we found DeLynn in a heated discussion with one of the hotel employees. It turned out that the room she had reserved for us months ago with a balcony that would give us a bird's eye view of the river and fireworks, had been given to someone else. She was offered another room which also had a balcony, located on the opposite sie of the building. "Hmmm, how can we possibly watch the fireworks from that balcony?" She asked. "You can't", was the reply, "but that's all we can do for you." After going around and around with the somewhat unhelpful staff, enough noise was apparently made and we were finally given a room on the correct side of the building, which didn't have a balcony, but was a huge suite with enormous windows that would allow all of us an even better view of the fireworks and out of the balmy weather. They were right about the views, and the extra space in the suite allowed for our party to stretch out with lots of chairs and sofas.
From our vantage point we could see all the action below. We watched the crowds begin to amass on the walkways and look like sardines. We watched the various boats come into the river and their occupants attempt to anchor them in order to catch the show. We then watched a ginormous barge stacked to the gills with containers make its way through the river and watched the little boats scatter. I'm not sure what was more entertaining, this or the actual fireworks. Once the barge made its way out of our area and the sun began to set, Frank and I walked down to River Street for about a nano second, realized we didn't want to fight through the crowds and quickly walked back to our cozy, indoor, uncrowded venue to watch the fireworks in peace. 5 stars to DeLynn for the great idea of booking the room. What a great day!

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Gail and Warren brought a festive cookie for the occasion

Our view below and all the little boats lined up for the show

Ooops! What happens when little boats get in the way of a BIG boat?

An impressive fireworks show!

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Breakfast overlooking the lobby of the hotel, overlooking the river. Odd... yes, but it made for fun people watching and good views

We had the whole Riverwalk to ourselves, not another soul in sight

The infamous statue of The Waving Girl who waves at all the passing ships

July 5th - Savannah To Ourselves -
As I awoke this morning, I forgot for a moment where I was. Half asleep I reached across the bed and couldn't find a soul. Not my sleeping husband and not a feathered friend to be found (yes, most nights at one or two of our parrots fall asleep with us). Something inside me said not to panic but just reach further, and so I did. On the other side of what felt like an ocean of blankets, I came across a warm, familiar body (my sweet sleeping husband) and I remembered where we were. Last night after our fun Fourth of July party ended and we all started to leave, Fred and DeLynn insisted that Frank and I stay and take advantage of the room they had reserved and enjoy a day of exploring downtown Savannah, all to ourselves, and so we did.

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At the end of River Street, we headed into the city over cobblestone roads

World War II Memorial

We woke up bright and early to take advantage of the cool morning and the great breakfast on the balcony that the Savannah Marriott offered to those guests staying on the 8th floor, we felt a little like royalty. Once we left the hotel, we discovered quite a different scene from last night. There wasn't another soul to be seen on the river, other than the pilot of the tugboat that passed us on his way to bring in another impressive barge. We walked the entire length of River Street, along the cobblestone roads, by all the shops and restaurants and then headed into the city. There is so much history here and so many memorials and statues of historical figures and war veterans, we could have spent days reading the markers.

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A close up of the crazy cobblestone roads, good thing I was in flats

The tree lined sidewalks throughout downtown Savannah. A great place to take a long walk

The historic buildings of River Street. Some old and run down, some newly refurbished, all have amazing architecture

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The homes here are full of character and charm

There are over 20 of these beautiful squares within Savannah

Each park had a plaque describing how it originated

Little ol' me under a huge shade tree. It was about 10 degrees cooler in the shade

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A walkway to the beach

Driving over the bridge onto the Island

Welcome to Tybee

A dip in the water cooled us right off

July 7th - Over the Bridge and to the Beach - Tybee Island -
With today's forecast being in the 90's we decided to go exploring in our nice airconditioned Jeep, instead of in an open air trolley. This way not only would we stay nice and cool, but we could choose where to go and what to see on our own time. I'm fairly certain that the downtown Savannah trolley doesn't take you over the bridge to Tybee Island, GA and since going for a swim in the ocean was one of our goals for the day, we headed there first. Oops, we realized once we came over the bridge that we had completely forgotten it was a weekend, and a holiday one at that. Finding a parking space was a bit of a challenge, but we finally succeeded in finding the last spot on the road, right before you have to head back over the bridge, lucky us! It looked a little residential but I don't think we were technically trespassing since walking through the driveways of the homes we parked in front of did lead to a public beach. The weatherman was definitely right, it was a scorcher, but the refreshing water of the Atlantic was the perfect place to spend a hot day.

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