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Mountains August 10, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Nature.

Mountains aren’t funny . . .

They are hill areas.

Aah . . . that’s punny!


Roadside Rest Shelters Rock! August 5, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Humor, Nature, Travel & Leisure.

Before the arrival of McDonald’s drive thrus, parents often packed picnics to take on road trips (in case the natives in the back seat got restless or hungry).

To keep said natives occupied en route, parents assigned them the task of finding a suitable stopping point for lunch.  The task, thinly disguised as a game (complete with coveted prize) went like this:

“First one to spot a shaded picnic spot for lunch gets an extra cookie for dessert!”

Noses glued to the windows, kids scanned the horizon for a picnic spot that would score them an extra cookie.

And bragging rights!

* * *

Since a 2007 cross-country trip, Ryann Ford has been documenting historic roadside rest shelters with amazing vistas and views:

Roadside Rest Shelters: Destinations All Their Own

For a few more great shots of rest stops:

Attraction:  Retro Roadside Rest Shelters

I don’t know about you, but I think Ryann deserves an extra cookie for capturing these iconic images!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Meet Memorial Rock August 3, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Nature, Sustainable Living.

What do you do with an 8.5 million-pound boulder that crashes down a mountainside, digs a trench across a highway, and stops in the middle of on-coming traffic?

Nope.  You do NOT blow it to smithereens.

Instead, you give it a name, escalating it to landmark status and creating a tourist attraction even better than a giant ball of rubber bands!

And, if your new landmark is located in the middle of a highway, you reroute the road, saving $200K in the process.

Meet Memorial Rock:

Colorado Highway Rocked By 8.5 Million-Pound Boulder’s Crash Landing

Aah . . . that’s a bold boulder!

Ticks . . . ICK! July 25, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Nature.

As if we needed yet another reason to hate those blood-sucking critters:

Maine Confirmed Its First Case of a Rare Tick-Borne Virus in Years. Here’s What to Know About Powassan

The article’s advice ~> Steer clear of deer ticks.

Aah . . . that’s basic!

Get Out!!! July 12, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Home & Garden, Humor, Nature.

Check this out:

Aah . . . that’s more bearable!

For Your Next Murder Mystery . . . July 7, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Nature, Word Play, Writing & Writers.

I don’t know about you, but I appreciate it when Agatha Christie wannabes write outside the box.

Instead of relying on mundane methods of murder to kill off “the surplus population,” creative writers explore alternative murder weapons.

If you are looking for a bit of inspiration for your next murder mystery, Britannica.com has got you covered:

7 of the World’s Deadliest Plants

Step away from that knife.  Put down that gun.  And wander out to the garden.

Aah . . . that’s better!


Hiking The Appalachian Trail June 25, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness, Nature.

While in the GA mountains, we hiked a portion of the Appalachian Trail.


Well, don’t be.

We never lost sight of the parking lot!!!

Aah . . . that’s better!

P.S.  I’ve added pics to the previous post.

Pretzels & Picnics . . . & Pics! June 19, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Nature, Travel & Leisure.

We just returned from a fabulous trip to the GA mountains to celebrate our 35th Anniversary.

We made a quick pitstop in Atlanta on the way up to enjoy Happy Hour at Marlow’s Tavern with our oldest nephew who’s in school at GA Tech.  He flew out the following day for two weeks in China.

Once settled into our hotel in Helen (a Bavarian village that is the 3rd most visited town in GA ~ behind Atlanta and Savannah), we spent time hiking to waterfalls ~ Anna Ruby Falls (easy), Duke Creek Falls (challenging).

We drank German beer and noshed on Bavarian pretzels (and other German treats) beside the Chattahoochee River while watching countless tubers float by.

We picked three venues with riverside seating ~ The Troll Tavern, the Hofbrauhaus, and Cafe International.

Imagine if you took a chug every time a tuber floated by on the hootch ~> Down the Hootch!  No, wait!  Down the Hatch!

We enjoyed mountain vistas from atop Brasstown Bald, the highest peak in Georgia at 4784 feet.  From the lookout station, we could see four states ~ Georgia, NC, SC, and Tennessee.

The ranger said that on a clear day you can see forever!

We drove mountainous country roads, switching into low gear when necessary.


We had picnics by Smith Creek at Anna Ruby Falls, and at a covered bridge in Sautee Nacoochee, after stopping for sandwiches and Farmer’s Cheese at the Old Sautee Store.

We visited Willow Pottery, Nora’s Grist Mill, Betty’s Country Store, Jumping Goat Coffee, and an enormous antique barn with 3 floors packed to the rafters with “treasures.”  Talk about Stuff!!!

After the hike to Duke Creek Falls, we walked a Nature Trail in Nacoochee Village.  Our tired calves and leg muscles only balked for a moment, but they barked later ~> Nope!  No Way!  I am NOT climbing those stairs!

A highlight:  Tuesday morning, on the way to Duke Creek Falls . . . we saw a bear crossing the road just ahead of our car.

Of course, we rolled down the window to ask him why.

His bear-to-the-bones reply:  “To Get To The Other Side!”

Aah . . . it’s good to be HOME!

No iPod Required March 13, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Happiness, Life Balance, Nature.

Have you ever noticed that bikers, walkers and runners wearing headsets look decidedly less relaxed and happy than those without cords sticking out of their ears?

On more than one occasion, I’ve noticed that those sprouting ear buds feature frowns on their faces as they move through their paces.

In contrast, those without a techno-gadget clipped to their belt, or held in their hand, seem more inclined to radiate happiness as they commune with sky, trees, water, birds, flowers, and the occasional splash of flying fish.

Connecting with nature connects us with the moment.  As we tune in to the here and now, our inner bliss surfaces suffusing us with joy.

No iPod required.

Aah . . . that’s better!


A Hop, A Skip, & A Jump! November 13, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Nature, Travel & Leisure.

Have you heard of Bank of America’s Museums on Us program for VISA cardholders?  If you have a Bank of America VISA, you can visit participating museums for FREE the first full weekend of every month.

The first weekend in November, we decided to visit Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota.  First stop, the Orchid Show.

A profusion of blooms filled the greenhouse from top to bottom.

Every where I looked, there was something to admire.

This motif would be excellent for Easter.

And how about this as a back yard water feature?  Can’t you just see Kate’s coy Koi in there?

Exiting the greenhouse, we walked through the Bonsai Forest.

And then headed to the Children’s Rainforest to monkey about.

We both loved the perpetual ebb and flow of the suspended bridge.

And had fun checking out the treehouse.

Back on terra firma, we wandered around the base of the Banyan trees.

“My, what big roots you have!”

From there, it was just a hop, skip, and a jump to the frog pavilion.

Aren’t they charmers?

And they’re ever-ready to enjoy a good game of hoop-de-hop-da-hula.

Especially Ringo!

Colorful, fun, festive . . . and they make great fly-catchers!

After completing our game of ring-around-the-frogs, we headed to O’Leary’s Tiki Bar.

Undeterred by this rude Tiki Totem with the protruding tongue, we grabbed a seat in the sand to quaff a cold one while listening to a decent guitar player who hastened to remind patrons that the more they drank, the better he would sound!

Aah . . . that’s better!