Thursday, March 31, 2011

Happy Birthday, "Julian"

Last March we rented a cabin in Branson, MO, with Jodi, Jeremy and the kids. Jeremy was fishing a tournament at Table Rock Lake and we were just hanging out on "vacation" and making sure he came home to a good, hot meal every night after we watched him weigh in. While we were there, we all went to the Bass Pro Shop in Branson (really...what ARE the odds?). It's the "granddaddy" of all Bass Pro Shops. We were looking around and I told the kids I would buy them each a stuffed animal. Savannah quickly fell in love with a little lion cub. She gives her heart so easily. Emery, as usual, had trouble making a decision. After MUCH discussion, I said that if there wasn't one he really wanted, we would just go. That helped him make up his mind in a hurry. He yelled, "I want the monkey!". So we took a monkey and a lion home with us.

On the way back to the cabin, Emery declared that his new monkey looked like King Julian...from the Madagascar movies. True, it is long and lanky, but it has a long, red tail -- not a striped one. But from that day to this, the monkey is affectionately known as "King Julian". We all had fun with the crazy thing. I was tickled because he has velcro pads on his feet and hands and so you can hang him in all kinds of on the blades of a ceiling fan. Turn it on and just watch the fun! Savannah was delighted to find out that her American Girl doll clothes fit him perfectly. So then we never knew where he would be hanging--or posed--or what he would be wearing.

About 6 weeks after getting him, they had their house fire. I believe King Julian was downstairs in the living room at the time of the fire. Probably watching TV with Savannah. Anyway, I took him home and tried washing him with some of the other items I was using a special cleaner on. The little monarch washed up beautifully and "lived" to play again.

This year we again rented a cabin for a few days to accompany Jeremy. He was fishing at Lake Hartwell (much closer than Table Rock!) and we stayed at a place nearby between Anderson and Townville, South Carolina. Again, we had a good time. Again, we watched the weigh ins and made Jeremy a nice, hot dinner. Again, we had King Julian with us. Here he is hanging out with a seagull in the living room. He's always able to relax and make himself at home, which makes him a great traveling companion.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Island Hopping

We spent a few days last week on Georgia's Golden Isles. Our good friends, and traveling buddies, Bob and Joan Schmitt, had been in Florida for a couple of weeks and were going to stop and visit with us on their way back to Illinois. But, instead, we all decided that we would meet at Jekyll Island and "do the islands" for a couple of days and then head back here to our house.
Good plan.

Jerry and I have been down there about 3 times now and it's always beautiful. They hadn't been before and we always enjoy showing it to new people. We met at the visitor's station on Jekyll Island and checked into our rooms at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. Yes, that's where the Rockefellers, Pulitzers, Vanderbilts, etc. used to vacation...and now the Schmitts and Simonses. They still play croquet on the lawn in front of the hotel. We were just watching, but we weren't sure the players knew what they were doing. Jekyll is small and sparsely populated and it didn't take much time to see the whole island. We did that before eating seafood at Latitude 31...the restaurant on the pier. The next day we checked out the Georgia Sea Turtle Center as well as the sweet shop, book store, etc. which are all just behind and a short walk from the hotel. I am always fascinated by the trees down there. The large, old live oaks with the Spanish Moss hanging from them are awesome.

The next day it was on to St. Simons Island. A short drive away, but a very different feel to it. St. Simons is much more populated and much busier. We had time to grab lunch and do a lot of shopping all up and down the few blocks near the pier before checking into our rooms at the King and Prince Hotel. What a beautiful place! We have not stayed there before and were very impressed. After getting settled in our very nice rooms, we were looking over the menus for all the local restaurants. I was on a quest for good seafood for a couple of days. There were lots to choose from! But about that time the weather turned nasty. It was very windy and cold and threatening rain at any minute. We decided not to go out in that and to have dinner in the dining room of the hotel. Another good plan. When they brought me my shrimp cocktail and bruschetta it was so pretty I had to take a picture of it!

The next day the sun came out and everything was beautiful again. We took the trolley tour of the island and the lady that runs it is both entertaining and informative. After that we toured the light house. I have done all that before, but this time I had just finished reading "Lighthouse" by Eugenia Price, so it all had more significance. Then we chowed down one more time in a local eatery before heading back to Covington. Bob and Joan spent Saturday at our house resting up before the last...and longest...leg of their drive back home.
All in all, these golden oldies had a golden time on the Golden Isles and it's a trip I'd recommend to anyone.