Our 2018 was filled with a few short RV trips, Daytona 500, parades, festivals, Universal Studios Orlando, gardening, Georgia Bulldogs, wildlife, beaches, mountains, and lots of fun!
Nearly 50 years ago I first stepped foot on the University of Georgia campus in Athens, Georgia as a freshman. Through the years I have returned to Athens too many times to count. I have so many wonderful memories of Athens – walking through campus on my way to class, meeting my husband and getting married in Athens, eight years in a row as parents of UGA students, and many Georgia Bulldogs home football games.
We recently enjoyed wandering around Athens and the University campus on a beautiful late fall afternoon.
We stopped to see two interesting sights unique to Athens. A double barrelled cannon, the only one known of its kind, stands in front of City Hall. The Tree that Owns Itself grows in the middle of a quiet neighborhood.
Athens has always been famous for it’s music scene. Bands like the B-52’s, R.E.M., Drive By Truckers, Pylon, Love Tractor and many others performed at the 40 Watt club in their early days. Widespread Panic played at Fraternity houses back in the early 1990’s. When the Georgia Theatre, a beautiful historic concert hall, burned in 2009 it was restored and reopened in 2011. Wuxtry Records, opened in 1976, is still selling vinyl records.
The University of Georgia is the birthplace of higher public education in America. Established on January 27, 1785, the University of Georgia is the nation’s oldest land grant university. North Campus is right across the street from downtown Athens.
Down the hill a short way from north campus is Sanford Stadium, home of the Georgia Bulldogs. We’ve seen several expansions to the stadium over the years and have spent many Saturday afternoons and nights in the stands cheering on the Dawgs.
Greek life is a big part of student life at the University of Georgia. As we drove along Milledge Avenue we passed by many of the beautiful fraternity and sorority houses. The Theta Chi house is my favorite. I’m a little biased because it’s Henry’s fraternity.
Through the years many restaurants have come and gone. These are three memorable places to eat in Athens.
A lot has changed in Athens over the years but a visit there will always bring back good memories for me.
Snow and ice storms are rare in coastal Georgia. The last time we had snow that stuck was a few days before Christmas in 1989.
The freezing rain and snow that came through on January 3, 2018 caused road and bridge closures. Schools were out and government offices were closed. Coastal Georgia was transformed into a winter wonderland.
I recently returned from a fabulous mother-daughter weekend in New York City. My daughter leads a very busy life and lives 400 miles away from me so it isn’t often we have time for just the two of us to be together. We talked and laughed, walked and rode subways and taxis, did everything on our bucket list and more, and ate our way through several different parts of the city. The best part of the weekend for me was spending this special time with my wonderful daughter.
We arrived Friday evening after a several hour weather related flight delay. The first thing on our agenda was a walk to Kesté Pizzeria in the West Village for possibly the best pizza I’ve ever eaten.
On Saturday we started off with an early morning walk to Katz’s Delicatessen for breakfast. It was bagel with lox and cream cheese for me and blueberry blintzes for my daughter. I even ordered a salami to be sent home (it’s delicious).
We took our time admiring the amazing art at the Modern Museum of Art. My daughter knows a lot more about art than I do and pointed out some of the most famous artists and paintings.
We both loved the fabulous afternoon tea in the elegant Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel. It was our big splurge of the trip and my Mother’s Day gift from my daughter. We chose the New Yorker tea with so much delicious food that although we tried, we couldn’t eat all of the desserts.
We hopped on the subway to Central Park West to visit the John Lennon Memorial in Strawberry Fields. On our way to the memorial we stopped to admire the view of the city from The Lake.
After our full day we returned to the hotel for a short rest before wandering around SoHo and stopping for drinks and a snack at the SoHo Room. Before turning in for the night we browsed in a couple of book shops in Greenwich Village where my daughter found a book she hasn’t been able to find anywhere else.
Sunday morning started with an early morning ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Going early has it’s perks. We arrived at the Statue of Liberty early enough to beat the crowds.
Once we were back in Manhattan we walked to the 9/11 Memorial and spent a while in silence and reflection gazing at the two pools where the twin towers once stood. From the pools we looked up at the One World Trade Center building, also known as the Freedom Tower.
It was cold and windy as we walked around lower Manhattan and it had been a long time since breakfast. We hopped on the subway to Little Italy for lunch, coffee and pastries. As we strolled along we browsed in a few shops and wound up in Chinatown (and had people trying to sell us watches and purses) before returning to the hotel for an afternoon nap. Late in the afternoon we headed to Times Square and the Empire State Building.
Our weekend was filled with so much more than just sightseeing. One of my favorite things was just strolling through different parts of the city admiring the beautiful architecture of the buildings. I loved passing by community gardens and parks. It was fun stopping in a pastry shop on our way home one night and trying to decide which of the treats to take back for a late night dessert. Several times we had total strangers offer to help us find what we were looking for. A kind subway station attendant helped get us where we needed to go when we accidentally entered the wrong gate. One night we stopped to look at a FDNY Fire Station and had a nice conversation with one of the young Firefighters.
Monday morning we had time to walk to a coffee shop for breakfast before taking a wild taxi ride to La Guardia, We said goodbye to New York City with a fabulous aerial view of the city.
“We have more fun than anyone.” – Sisters on the Fly® motto
Some members of Sisters on the Fly® recently gathered together at River’s End Campground on Tybee Island, GA. A quote from their website says:
“ “Sisters on the Fly®” is the largest outdoor women’s group in the United States with currently over 8,100 “Sisters.” This membership-based community supports women in their journey to get up, get out and become more adventurous!”
When they visited River’s End campground they opened up their campers for a tour. I had too much fun looking at all the unique trailers and talking to some of the “Sisters”. They shared their stories, answered questions, and everyone laughed a lot.
They came from as far away as Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina. Many were dressed to match the theme of their trailer and some were decked out in Mardi Gras colors to march in the Tybee Mardi Gras Parade later that afternoon.
When the “Sisters” have an event, the husbands and kids stay home. If someone has trouble backing up their trailer, another Sister is always there to take over and do the backing for them. One member said you can laugh away 10 pounds at one of their events.
The “Sisters” often travel in caravans and stop to help each other out if there are any problems. If you ever see any of these campers in a campground, be sure to stop and say hello. I guarantee you will have fun.