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“Here . . . Have a Teddy!” August 31, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Travel & Leisure.
27 comments

We saw a short segment on the news a few weeks ago showing an airline passenger who needed 28 stitches after being bitten in the face by a dog.

On a plane!

The 50-pound dog was allowed on the flight as an “emotional support animal.”

Other animals that have been allowed to fly for free as emotional support animals ~> a turkey, a pig, and a duck!

QUACK!!!

What next?  An emotional support alligator?  Tarantula? Cobra?

Perhaps it’s time to rein in political correctness in favor of common sense by telling passengers that their right to fly with “emotional support animals” is limited by the rights of other passengers to fly the friendly skies.

Then hand them a teddy to hug for the duration of the flight.

Aah . . . that’s better!

As part of her investigation, the reporter applied for and received an “emotional support animal” certificate for HER dog by filling out an on-line form and paying $149.  That’s all it took so that she could bring her dog on her next flight for “emotional support.”

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That’s Quirky! August 19, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Life Balance, Travel & Leisure.
23 comments

After lunch, we headed down Richmond Road through Sorority Row, pausing long enough to snap a shot of Tri Delt (Delta Delta Delta) . . .

On our way to the Peanut Shop for “provisions,” we turned onto Prince George Street where we ran into a zebra-striped unicorn outside Quirks . . .

The unicorn sported a stellar horn and espoused a sound philosophy . . .

Why fit in when you were born to stand out? ~ Dr. Seuss

Aah . . . that’s better!

A Campus Tour August 17, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure.
34 comments

While in Williamsburg, we took advantage of gorgeous summer weather to tour the campus of William & Mary, my alma mater.

We stopped in at the Alumni House . . .

Checked out the Stadium . . .

Toured the Sadler Center . . .

Inside . . .

And out . .  .

We stopped to admire its stacked stone walls . . .

Then crossed the street to The Daily Grind, a coffee house housed in Lodge 2 (former campus housing) . . .

From there, we hiked through the woods around Crim Dell . . .

Enjoying the meandering path and dappled shade . . .

Until we spied the Crim Dell Bridge through a break in the trees . . .

We walked further to get a closer look before crossing its curved planks . . .

On the far side, we stopped to read the dedication plaque . . .

“. . . that one may walk in beauty, discover the serenity of the quiet moment, and dispel the shadows.”

After dispelling the shadows, we trekked across campus to Lake Matoaka to check out the new amphitheater . . .

And its inviting stage . . .

At this point, we were hot, tired, and famished . . .

So we hoofed back across campus to the College Delly to split a 3-Way Cheese Sub & a basket of fries . . .

Washed down with a Ray Ray’s Extra Pale Ale from COTU (Center of the Universe) Brewing Company . . .

Aah . . . that’s better!

A Tree With A Split Personality August 12, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
23 comments

We bumped into this tree near the Governor’s Palace in Colonial Williamsburg.

It’s got a split person-ality to it.

I wonder whether its caricaturish carvings inspired Disney to create the Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom?

I see definite similarities . . .

Aah . . . that’s better!

Colonial Architecture August 9, 2017

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

BFF and I enjoy walking around CW (Colonial Williamsburg) . . .

Admiring the colonial architecture . . .

Pausing to rest and take in the sights from a shady vantage point when our dogs get tired  . . .

Speaking of dogs . . .

DOG Street (the Duke of Gloucester Street) runs one mile from the Wren Building at W&M (the College of William & Mary) to the Capital at the far end.

Up and down the street are well-tended gardens . . .

Bursting with color . . .

And beribboned with inviting pathways  . . .

On the street proper, horse drawn carriages clip clop . . .

Atop the paved and car-free thoroughfare . . .

Their echoes interspersed with the sound of musket fire from the Powder Magazine . . .

Weary travelers may stop for a quick quaff at Chownings Tavern . . .

To quench their thirst with a pint (or three) of ale . . .

As long as you mind your P’s & Q’s, local residents never sit in judgment . . .

Mid-way between the College and the Capital is the Palace Green framing the opulent Governor’s Palace . . .

Within the Palace walls, you’ll find sculptured gardens . . .

And vine-covered trellises promising a respite from the heat . . .

You might be amazed by the shaggy maze . . .

Or intrigued with the rather barren grape arbor . . .

But even if you view the garden as a real hole in the wall . . .

It can still be the perfect place for a mindful moment . . .

Aah . . . that’s better!

Kennedy Space Center August 7, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Travel & Leisure.
18 comments

In June, we visited Kennedy Space Center in Titusville FL for the first time in decades.

We had a blast checking out stuff that blasted off into space . . .

The scale of the exhibits is mind boggling . . .

They just keep going and going and going . . .

Everything is so high tech . . .

And other worldly . . .

And tall . . .

And taller . . .

With lots of hands-on exhibits . . .

And glow in the dark installations . . .

With a touch of whimsy here and there . . .

Just for grins and giggles . . .

But the biggest grin of the day for me was this extremely high-tech schedule of upcoming launches:

You’d never know we visited in the digital age!

Aah . . . that’s funny!

Breakfast of Champions August 1, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Home & Garden, Travel & Leisure.
23 comments

We just got back from our second road trip of the summer.

We drove to Maryland and New Jersey to visit family, with a stop “just for us” in Williamsburg on the way home.

While in New Jersey, we were well fed by my brother’s wife, Laura.

Here’s the breakfast of champions we enjoyed on Sunday morning, the day before we left.

Are you hungry yet?

How about now?

Laura’s breakfasts are one reason why “they” say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

In case you’re wondering, mom agreed with “them” ~> “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”

Aah . . . that’s yummy!

5 Quick Picks June 29, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Travel & Leisure.
15 comments

If you are in the market for books, movies, or games, here are 5 Quick Picks:

After enjoying the movie, A Man Called Ove, I requested the book . . . terrific!  It’s charming and thought-provoking and hilarious and heartbreaking.

The “cat annoyance” plays its part to purr-fection:

  • “The cat gives him a judgmental stare, as if it’s sitting on the decision-making side of the desk at a job interview.”
  • “The cat looks at Ove as if this has been a round of negotiation and it’s considering a proposal.”
  • “The cat is sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor.  It sports a disgruntled expression, as if Ove owes it money.  Ove stares back at it with a suspicion normally reserved for a cat that has rung his doorbell with a Bible in its paws, like a Jehovah’s Witness.”

* * *

Two movies we enjoyed in recent weeks:

(1) Miss Sloane ~ a terrific political thriller with lots of twists and turns; (2) Hidden Figures ~ based on the true story of mathematicians at NASA in the 60’s.

Both feature intelligent women in lead roles.  Yay!

* * *

A neighbor suggested I check out the television series,This Is Us.  

After watching the first 6 episodes, I’m hooked!

The show features a great cast of characters, well written dialogue (amusing & real), and interesting interplay between “now” and “then.”

* * *

While in Colorado, we played a new-to-us game ~> Blokus.  Great fun!  Per Amazon:

Blokus received a Mensa award for promoting healthy brain activity! This thinking game also delivers friendly competition to keep the mind sharp and the excitement going!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Do you have any quick picks to share?

Are You Tripping?! June 27, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
29 comments

Wherever You Go . . . There You Are

On the ride out, we took 4 days to drive 1972 miles.

On the return trip, we drove 2005.4 miles in 3 days ~> 486.6 miles + 766 miles + 752.8+ miles.

Surprisingly enough, I found sitting for mile after mile rather “meditative.”

It helped that most of the roads “out west” aren’t clogged traffic arteries like on the east coast.

Time is relative.  

Heading out, time changes from Eastern to Central to Mountain time gained us an hour on two different days ~ allowing us to leave late and arrive early. Lovely!

Heading back, we lost those hours . . . meaning that even though we left early, we arrived later than expected.

We are NOT minimalists on the road.

Before leaving, we followed the 3 P’s ~> packing, planning, preparation.  Did a hold on the mail.  Added minutes to the cell phone.  Charged up phone & iPad.  Packed most of our clothes . . . and ample food.

What?!  It’s a L~O~N~G drive so we need S~N~A~C~K~S!  Tropical drink

Georgia Troopers Mean Business

Right before we arrived in Dalton, traffic came to a stand still.

As we crept along at 2 mph, we saw flashing lights ahead.  Then more flashing lights.  Then a few more for good measure.

Arriving at the scene of the accident, we saw 11 police cars surrounding a sedan that had been pushed into the concrete divider by a cop car.

Problem solved!

The Difference Between Being Religious & Being Spiritual

Over margaritas, Pam shared a thought her minister had shared with her:

Religion is sitting in church thinking about kayaking.

Spirituality is sitting in a kayak contemplating a Higher Power.

Ohm . . .

Life is better with laughter.

In order to maintain a sense of humor during our visit, I picked just the right coffee mug to start each day:

“Life is too important to be taken seriously.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Quotes like that remind me to look at the light side of life!

Sharing with Stranger at the Breakfast Bar

At one of the hotels we stayed at, BFF got into a conversation at the breakfast buffet with a woman who was meeting with lawyers later that day.

When I overheard her say, “Lawyers make me nervous,” I tuned in to see whether BFF would reply, “I know.  I never should have married one!”

Actually, the whole conversation was a bit odd since BFF doesn’t normally share his time with strangers.  Especially not before breakfast!

This might just be stupidity talking . . . 

Our last day, we were anxious to Be Home and getting a bit punchy.  Everything seemed a bit funnier than usual.

*As open fields gave way to kudzu covered trees, I made an astute observation.  “Kudzu is just creep-y!”

*A few minutes later, Route 123 split off from Route 231, and I thought how tough a route change like that must be on someone with dyslexia.

*As we crossed into Florida at 2:30 pm (with another 6-7 hours of drive time ahead of us), I grinned at the thought of being HOME.  A minute later, BFF (who had done ALL the driving) groaned with fatigue when I said, “This might just be stupidity talking . . . but if we get home by 10, I probably want to unpack the car.”

She Remembers!

A few days after we got home, my sister spoke with mom; mom remembered that we visited!

Yay!  Some days she doesn’t even remember whether she had lunch . . .

Aah . . . that’s better!

Signs of the Times June 24, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
24 comments

Weather often determines whether travel is smooth sailing or slow going.  On the way out west, the wet & wooly weather left us feeling a bit water-logged.

We had brief respites as the sun struggled to shine through layers of cloud cover.

Of course, the “soggy” weather had an upside ~> we weren’t tempted to stop too much.

The morning we left GA, a twister touched down in Dalton.  After hearing that, we watched the skies with increased intensity, searching for signs.

No, NOT that kind of sign.

We had our eyes peeled for signs of wicked windy weather ahead.

And we saw lots of it.

Lucky for us, we didn’t run into a deluge.

Instead, the rain mostly spit at us.

While offering sobering hints of what lay ahead.

No matter how fast we drove, we couldn’t escape the clouds.

But every time it seemed we were headed straight into harm’s way, the road shifted, steering us clear of danger.

Eventually a sign for Fort Collins came into view.

With relief, we headed north where the weather improved.

For most of our stay, we enjoyed sunny skies punctuated by short showers.

As we left for home, we enjoyed one last look at the Rockies . . . under Blue, Blue Skies!

With better weather ahead and over head, we looked for other signs.

The Lost Pizza Company in Tupelo, Mississippi did not disappoint.

STOP!  Those shades look FAB on you!

“Why thank you.  Thank you very much!”

Everywhere we looked, we saw signs that made us smile.

The Lost Pizza Company is . . . Like No Place Else.

We also enjoyed the signs at Busy Bee in Live Oak, Florida.

Including the sign advertising Clean Potties.

BTW:  The sign was spot on . . . the bathroom was spot less.

But our favorite sign appeared at the Florida Welcome Center, where we stopped for a shot of fresh Florida orange juice.

After all . . . there’s No Place Like Home!

Aah . . . that’s better!