Happy Birthday Gramma Jan!

    Gramma Jan at our favorite watering hole on her birthday!
    Gramma Jan at our favorite watering hole on her birthday!
    Gramma Jan with Everett at Oakhurst Porchfest
    Gramma Jan with Everett at Oakhurst Porchfest

    Happy Birthday Gramma Jan!!  You’re my playmate, soulmate, travelmate, true love, and best friend!  Enjoy your day today.

    Jan has had a major impact on so many lives.  She brightens every room she enters, makes sure that each of our children and grandchildren are remembered at least once each day, never met a stranger, and keeps my life organized beyond belief.  Don’t know what I’d do without her!

    We all love you, Gramma Jan!!  Happy Birthday!

    Mike and Jennifer Visit Atlanta

    Nice family!  We enjoyed your visit!!
    Nice family! We enjoyed your visit!!

    We started 2016 with a visit by Jennifer, Mike, and Christopher Lombardo and Jennifer’s mom (and Bill’s sister) Sarah.  They spent the better part of a week with us and we had a great time visiting and showing off Atlanta’s sightseeing high spots.

    Photos of their visit are in the 2016 Gallery.  Click here to view them.

    Kickin’ Back in the Keys

    Sunset at Curry Hammock State Park on Little Grassy Key, Marathon FL
    Sunset at Curry Hammock State Park on Little Grassy Key, Marathon FL

    Mom and I will wrap up a delightful week and a half at Curry Hammock State Park in the middle Florida Keys tomorrow.  We’ve had a very relaxed visit, spending our time enjoying local attractions, reading, and sampling the local watering holes and restaurants. We did make one quick trip into Key West for an event Mom wanted to see.

    Weather has been surprisingly nice during our visit. We were expecting rain due to Hurricane Joaquin, but with a few exceptions skies have been clear with a few clouds scattered about.

    We can see coming back to the area for another visit, but if we do it will take place a bit later in the fall or  early spring. This visit turned out to be a bit ahead of tourist season, so quite a few restaurants were not open or are just now opening for the season.

    When we leave the Keys tomorrow (Friday), we will head to Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando. Abby is running in the Disney Cross Country Classic Saturday and we plan to cheer her to a good finish. After that we’ll head south to Bradenton and Sarasota to visit Claire and Sarah and their families for a few days before heading home to prepare for Pat Colon’s visit the following week.


    Devils Tower silhouetted against the evening sky behind our camper.
    Devils Tower silhouetted against the evening sky behind our camper.

    Finally, I have the photos from our trip to Wyoming organized and uploaded to the Gallery.  Click here to view them, or use the menu to go to the Gallery and scroll down to the Wyoming album.

    Our agenda for the month long trip included Wyoming and South Dakota with a stop in Decorah, Iowa during our return journey. This let us visit the Bighorn Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Little Bighorn National Park, the Black Hills, the Badlands, and Mom’s eagle cam eagle family in Decorah.

    We thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Its start was a bit challenging due to Mom’s respiratory issues at the altitudes we encountered. We should have known to expect them and been prepared, but the potential didn’t occur to either of us as we planned the trip. Regardless, with help from the good folks at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center we were able to continue our trip.  We slowed our pace, modified our agenda, and had a great time together enjoying the beautiful scenery and friendly people in Wyoming, South Dakota, and Iowa.

    Thanks to all of you for your love and support during our trip!

    Innkeeper’s Gazette changes

    We have reorganized Innkeeper’s Gazette from a traditional static web site containing a blog into a blog driven web site. The goal remains the same — to present family news and photos — but the blog format should make it easier to update our readers quickly as things happen. We tried the format during our Europe trip last fall and found that the approach worked well.


    Saint Francina …

    Tony and Diane regularly tease Mom about being Saint Francina due to Mom’s love of animals.

    The Medical community at the Providence VA hospital is beginning to buy into her Sainthood.

    After Mom arrived yesterday, Jerry has had an amazing turnaround.  He has been alert, able to visit with Mom, jokes with the staff, able to confirm his medical directives with Mom and the staff, able to go without the BPAP device for longer periods, and able to comprehend his situation.  His medical team is elated.  They will continue to watch him closely, but have cautiously begun talking about returning him to Morgan Health Center, which is equipped to handle the BPAP machine that he uses to assist his breathing.  Their major proviso is that Morgan be able to return Jerry to the VA quickly should fluid buildup in his lungs increase to the point that it again impairs breathing.  His situation is still dire given his host of medical issues with liver, kidneys, lungs, heart, et cetera. (more…)

    November 6th

    Our chateau is located on the south side of the River Loire and to the east of Muides sur Loire. Not on the scale of the chateaus of the royalty, it is still quite nice. Its owners used it for agriculture until shortly before WW II. It was occupied by the German Army for three months during WW II, and the family moved to a close by town. After the war the family returned and it was turned into a hotel; family members not involved in running the hotel found work outside the chateau. Patrick, our host and cousin of the current owner, indicated that the Allied forces crossed the River Loire at the west end of the chateau; a marker indicates the spot. The chateau was not affected by the French Revolution. (more…)

    November 5th

    This morning we visited Chateau of Azay-le-Rideau. It is a small chateau and very beautiful, an appropriate start for our journey to three chateaus of the Loire valley today and tomorrow.

    I found the construction details of the Azay chateau interesting. The support structure of the chateau was constructed in the early 1500s of massive oak timbers from a nearby forest. The timbers and their mortise and tenon joints were exposed to view in the attic and the lower floor. The tools used to construct the support structure were primitive by our standards, but I was able to see several complicated joints that were very well done and have served their intended purpose for over 500 years. (more…)

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