Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Thursday, December 30, 2004

This is the nametag that Tricia stamped for me during the Expo. I'm sure that *real* pros don't save their nametags, but this one's special. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The end of the Expo - Aug. 29th

1. I woke up with my now-loud-enough alarm clock and got up at 7:00. I went downstairs for coffee and condiments, but I skipped the croissant. Our room had a coffee maker, but the maid hadn't left us any condiments. Both Annette and I took sugar and cream, so I made sure to get plenty for each of us while I was there. I paid cash this time, and one single cup of ordinary coffee cost more than $4. I was in shock.

2. Back up in the room, Annette really didn't want to wake up. I stayed quiet, then I went outside to call Wesley. She *still* didn't want to wake up. I checked email. When she finally woke up, I called Tricia to find out what time she had to leave. Turns out she wasn't leaving 'til afternoon and had forgotten to call me, so I woke her entire family up. Dang it. She said we'd meet in the Italian restaurant at 8:30, so I packed my suitcase and got ready to leave.

3. We met downstairs at the appointed hour. I was already ready to cry. I know I got to *see* Tricia, but I didn't get *any* gab time with her. She really is a very special person and has been so kind and helpful to me. Anyway, the restaurant was really nice. It had a breakfast buffet that was massive. The coffee and juice were great; the food was great. there was no cream-cheese-stuffed-french-toast, and no Mickey, so it wasn't up to Disney standards. However, our waiter made us feel like royalty. It was almost like he didn't *have* any other tables, he was so attentive. The conversation was great, but entirely too short. Finally, Tricia got the check and I said I wanted to stop at the Disney Gateway store across the way to get some pins for the kids.

4. We shopped in the Disney Gateway store. I got a Mickey pin for Woodrow, a Stitch for Emily, and a patriotic Tink for me.

5. I cried when I said goodbye to Tricia. I really felt like I didn't get enough time to talk to her and find out how she's doing.

6. I ran upstairs and brushed my teeth, stuffed my toothbrush in my bag, and checked the bill for check-out. I just about dropped my teeth when I saw how much we had charged to the room over the weekend. I marked the things that I'd bought. I gave Annette my card key to turn in at check-out, although I really wanted to keep it for a souvenir. It had a pretty swamp picture on it.

7. And I left. I went to the porte cochere and waited for Pam.

8. Pam arrived right on time. The place was mobbed with cars and vans and shuttles, so I had to hike to get to her, and I threw my huge suitcase in the back as fast as I could so I wouldn't hold anyone up. Then we headed off for the airport.

9. Then Pam drove past the first exit for the airport because we were talking so much. We eventually came to a Bee Line back to the airport, so we weren't *too* far out of the way. Pam dropped me off, I said goodbye, and then I was in an airport.

10. the rest of the trip is very dull -- airports, security (not flagged this time), catching flights. I got home in one piece, and that's what really matters.

Tricia, me, and Annette in the Disney store at the Gaylord Palms just before I had to leave. I'm already barely holding back the tears in this one. Posted by Hello

Orlando SB Expo, Aug. 28th

1. I could not, for the life of me, remember that it was Saturday.

2. I overslept. When wrestling with the alarm clock the day before, I apparently turned down the volume. I woke up at 7:50 in a complete panic because I didn't have time to shower. Another "PTA" bath, slapped on makeup, ran downstairs, grabbed coffee and croissant, choked it down, burned my tongue on the coffee, and ran to the convention center.

3.Tricia was not in the booth. Annette and I were joined by Krisa, another CS member who had already helped in the booth at the Tampa Expo. Neither Annette nor Krisa seemed the least bit concerned that Tricia wasn't there, but I knew that only she had the key to the lockbox with the change. I called her at 8:55, and she didn't realize the show opened an hour earlier!!!! She was just on her way to breakfast!!!!! So she ditched her family and came to the show and unlocked the change box. Krisa and I had just scraped together change for someone's purchase just a moment before.

4. The show floor was more crowded Saturday, but our booth was *less* crowded. Either it was having an extra person, or there were fewer Club Scrap freaks there that day. Also, we were running out of product. I got more breaks, but my feet were killing me by mid-afternoon.

5. Thank heaven, the show closed at 5:00. We started packing up by 4:45 and were finished packing by 5:45. Tricia wanted to know what I was doing, and I told her I had plans, so we made tentative plans to meet for breakfast. She said she would call and let me know what time her Mears shuttle would be leaving. I ran to my room and washed off again. I was exhausted, but Ant and Pam were taking me to the MK, and there was NO WAY I was missing that!!!!

6. I met them in the piano bar (which took some time to find), and we made our way to Pam's van. Pam broke her passenger door handle Thursday afternoon before she picked me up. She made Andy swear to tell Don (her actual husband) that she broke it BEFORE she had the first drink.

7. We went to Grand Floridian self-parking. Guess what! They have valets in big golf carts now to take people from self-parking to the resort. ROFL!!!!!!!! We were zipped right up to the resort and headed upstairs to the monorail station. In no time at all, we were on our way to the MK!!!!!!!

8. Pam got me and Ant in on her silver pass. I swear, every time that thing came out of her pocket, the clouds parted and angels sang. ROFL!!!!!!!

9. Next thing I knew, I was in the middle of Main Street USA. Ant took a pic of me and Pam.

10. We headed for Philharmagic. it was the thing I most wanted to see. First we went to the restrooms next to Ariel's Grotto. Ant struck up a conversation with tattooed teenagers, and when Pam came out of the bathroom, she told the teenagers that this was NOT a smoking section. They said, "OK, MOMMMMMMM," and Pam flipped them off, which made us all laugh.

11. *Then* we went to Philharmagic. The standby line said 20 minutes, but it wasn't, of course. The audience was *great*, I mean, really, truly, phenomenally *great*!!!!!!!!!! They grabbed for the things floating in the air, they applauded between segments, they ooh'ed and ahh'ed like real troopers. I swear, as much as I would love that show in silence, it was *much* better with an appreciative audience!!! Pam and I both commented that the audience made it better that time. I cried, of course, when Tink flew over London.

12. I bought ice cream for everyone. I got a chocolate and vanilla swirl cup at Mrs. Potts' something-or-other. It's near the Pooh ride. I've never stopped there before.

13. Antuanette and I wanted a break. I loved having Ant there; she likes to sit and appreciate the ambience. While Ant and I sat and chatted and ate our ice cream, Pam ran around Tomorrowland finding out the standby times on everything.

14. We got in line at Space Mountain, which had a standby time of 35 minutes, which would have us getting out with about three minutes to spare for fireworks. Just as we got in line, however, the announcement about "all flights in a holding pattern" came on. Pam asked me what I wanted to do. I decided to get out of line, and we headed for Buzz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now, again, Ant had never been on this ride!!!!!!!!!!!! She *really* isn't a Disney freak!!!!!!!!!!!!! But she was a great sport. We had a blast on Buzz, of course, and it was a walk-on.

15. We walked past AE, and you can now hear Stitch's voice on the stuff they pipe outside the ride. I couldn't understand what he was saying, of course, but it is definitely Stitch's voice.

16. We made our way to the bridge between Tomorrowland and the hub, and got a spot right under Tink's wire at the back of the bridge. We sat on the pavement and talked a bit, and when the fireworks started, Pam jumped up and crossed the bridge. Ant and I stayed put. Now, truly, this was the best part of the trip. Ant didn't know Tink was a real person, and when she took off, she yelled. I said yes, it is a real person, and she asked, "How do you know?" So I jumped up and started waving, and that was the very moment that Tink started waving to me. Ant screamed, "OH, MY GOSH, SHE'S A REAL PERSON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" And she jumped up and down. ROFL!!!!!! Later, when I started crying, I was surprised to be hit and smacked a great deal on my right shoulder while Ant yelled, "Stop it, you're making ME cry!!!!!!!" Pam cried, too. That was the first time I've really enjoyed Wishes. It was *great*.

17. After the fireworks, we went to my terrace below the Plaza restaurant and I told Pam about Cleavage The Bunny. Pam and Ant thought that was hilarious, and Pam's going to tell Don where to sit so *he* can see lots of Cleavage, too. We tried to wait for the crowds to abate.

18. We went to the Emporium, but neither Pam nor Antuanette had ANY patience for shopping. Well, it *was* very crowded in there. We went to the monorail station and waited for a monorail. Now, the monorail was interesting. Three monorails went by on the express line while we waited on the resorts line for ONE train. It had to have been at least 15 minutes before a train came, and when it showed up, the people on the platform applauded in that nasty way that they do when they're really hacked off. The heat was sweltering with all that humanity stacked up there and no breeze. We got on the platform next, and it was no time at all before another monorail came. Just after the Polynesian, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye, and I looked to my left -- there was a monorail train on the other line, GOING THE SAME DIRECTION WE WERE!!!!!!!!! I freaked out. I turned to Pam, who had just seen the same thing I had, and I yelled, "HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THAT BEFORE????" "NO!!!!!!!!!" she yelled. We were both absolutely flabbergasted. How would it avoid colliding with an express monorail???? Where was it going? What was it doing?????? We figured it was probably being taken to the monorail barn, but still, it was very weird to see a train going the same direction we were like that. Pam also said she has heard from old CM's that the monorails used to always go in the same direction, but they stopped it when monorail drivers started racing each other. ROFL!!!!!!

19. When we got to the GF, the gift shops were closed. BOTH OF THEM!!!!!!! They closed at 10:00. My watch said it was 10:06. Dang it!!!!!!!! Pam and I went to the bathroom, and when I came out, I saw a pressed penny machine. Since I had bombed out on shopping for souvenirs, I got pressed pennies for me and the kids.

20. Outside, a *very* dapper valet offered us a ride in the big golf cart to the parking lot.

21. Then Pam decided to show me the back roads behind the MK. That was *very* cool for a while. I saw the opening of the Utilidor; I saw the CM parking lots and the CM bus stops. I saw Disney U. I saw lots of stuff. And then Pam started cursing. At an intersection with a guard and a gate, the right hand turn was blocked off, and that was where Pam wanted to turn to get me back to the Gaylord. She couldn't turn there, so she freaked out. While Antuanette said, "Turn right, that's west," Pam called her husband Don to ask him where the heck she was headed. After about twenty minutes on this incredibly dark back road in nowhere, we suddenly emerged from the wilderness... on the far east side of Downtown Disney!!!!!!!!!!!! It was extremely weird, and I was *completely* lost.

22. By the time I got back to my resort, it was almost midnight... *again*. I was beyond drained. I was hungry. I went to Planet Java and bought a $9 ham sandwich and a Sprite, and headed up to my room. Annette had had a big night -- her dinner cost a fortune and she ate it in a bar. She was feeling talkative. Tricia had not called with her plans for the morning. I finally said I was taking a shower, and oh! It felt good!!!!!!!! I think I turned out the light at about 1:30, finally full, finally clean, and totally grumpy about having to leave the next morning.

Ahhhhhhhh, home, sweet home. I cannot begin to express how much I love this place! Pam and I on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom with Cinderella's Castle in the background -- total bliss!!! Posted by Hello

Orlando Scrapbook Expo, Aug. 27th

1. I woke up because the dang alarm had been set by the guests who had had our room before us. It went off at 5:30 and 6:00. DANGIT!!!!!! I couldn't make the thing shut up, so I had to turn on the light and smack the daylights out of it. When the snooze went off at 6:09, I just gave up and woke up. I took a shower, got dressed, and went downstairs.

2. Oh, I forgot. Before I went to PI, Annette and I stopped at the vending machine for Cokes. The vending machines didn't take money -- they took card keys!!!! So I knew our card keys were validated for charging to the room. That makes sense. So I got dressed and went downstairs to get breakfast at Planet Java, the 24-hour coffee & sandwich shop. I got a cup of coffee and a croissant, and I went outside to eat and call Wesley.

3. It was *lovely* out there. I was talking to Wesley, and then I heard something noisy behind me on the path. I told Wesley, "Oh, no, there's some noisy equipment coming; I'm going to have to call you back." Just then, a maintenance guy with a leaf blower came around the turn in the path, saw me, and TURNED OFF THE LEAF BLOWER!!!!!!!! I laughed, and he smiled and nodded. He walked past me, and when he'd gotten a good distance away, he turned it back on and kept clearing the path. That's the kind of service they have at the Gaylord Palms -- truly Disney in every way!!!! They're goooooooooooood. But of course, they didn't *invent* it. Disney did that. ;)

4. I went back upstairs and woke up Annette. She took a shower while I checked (not really) my email, and I put on makeup and got ready to go to the show. I made sure to take my nametag which would get me on the floor. Annette and I got there at about 9:40. Tricia had been there since 8:30, getting ready. The floor opened at 10:00 for VIP guests, and it's a good thing I remembered my tag because they were being really strict about not letting you on the floor without proper ID. The first twenty minutes were slow, and then WHAM!!!!!!!! We were hit by the first wave of rabid shoppers. After that, time *flew*. Diana came in and introduced me to Theresa at some point. Pam showed up and introduced me to her parents. Club Scrappers stopped by the booth and squealed. It was just a madhouse. I didn't have time to sit down, much less breathe! Tricia's class was at 2:00, and ... honestly, the whole thing is just a blur. I finally bought an $8 roast beef sandwich that I didn't eat half of.

5. Diana and I bonked heads when Theresa took our picture. ROFL!!!! I can't wait to see how that turned out!!!!!!!

6. The show ended at 6:00, and I begged off for as long as I could to get freshened up to go to Epcot with Pam and her family.

7. We were supposed to meet the guys at China at 7:00. We parked in Boardwalk self-parking and ran like maniacs to the International Gateway, where Pam got me in on her silver pass. Yes, my friends, I finally know someone with a silver pass. It's real. I thought it was a myth. She can get three people in on any day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, NYE, and the Fourth of July, I think.

8. We made it to China at 7:15 and were seated immediately.

9. We ate truly stunning Chinese food, and I tasted a number of dishes I’d never tried before. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the names of anything. But the food was good and the company was *great*.

10. Then we ran to Test Track. Pam's dad is a GM retiree, so he backdoored us onto TT.

11. Then we ran to Canada to watch the fireworks. Pam took us to her favorite Illuminations: Reflections of Earth viewing spot, which I’ve read about but haven’t tried myself. Good spot!!! I *bawled*. Pam took pictures.

12. Then we left. Now, what's missing? Yep. No fountain. No twinkly sidewalks. No shopping. No chocolate glace. No fish and chips. No Mission: Space. I would kill for an extra night in Epcot!!!!!!!!!!!! I love that park. If only it were open past 9:00!!!!!

13. They stopped by the Hess gas station next to the BW and let me look for an 8-pack of Coke 2’s. They don't sell 8-packs. I knew Annette and I could not finish a 12-pack, so I didn't buy anything.

14. Then back to the glorious Gaylord Palms!!!! I called Wesley and Amy and told them about my day. Then I went upstairs and heard about Annette's evening. It was nice!!!!

15. And I washed my face and fell asleep, having set the alarm clock for 7:00, because the show was opening an hour earlier than it had on Friday

Pam and I in front of the big gong in the restaurant in China. That's GONG, with a G, not bong, with a B. Sheesh, get your mind out of the gutter!!!! Posted by Hello

Orlando SB Expo, August 26, 2004

1. My first flight was cancelled and I had to catch a later flight. I wasted lots of time at the Knoxville airport and was exhausted because I got less than three hours of sleep. I got flagged for additional searching, and I was nice and cheerful to the TSA people. I was also really nice to the girl at the ticket counter who had to re-route 140 people because of the cancelled flight. She was so relieved to have one customer who wasn't irate that she gave me an extra $5 worth of food coupons, and that was good, because I didn't have to use my precious few pennies for airport food.

2. My first leg was on a Buddy-Holly-killin' plane, and the cargo was loaded in the plane with us. A box of baby pheasants was in the cargo, and one of the babies escaped. The flight attendant rescued it. Five minutes of tiny "peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep peep" is cute. Forty minutes of it makes you want to throw the ball of feathers out the window and see how aerodynamic baby pheasants are.

3. The Atlanta airport looks skanky. They desperately need to remodel that place. It is positively scary.

4. Pam picked me up at the Orlando airport. First of all, now I finally know what that place looks like!!!!! It's really neat!!!!!!!!! Second, I missed Pam upstairs, so I went down to the baggage claim, got my luggage, and went outside to call her. She found me downstairs, and I was laughing because she had her face covered up with a piece of paper. It turned out the paper said, "Bay Loftis -- International Scrapbooking Celebrity!!!!!!!" She thinks Wesley is cute to call me that.

5. We took our time leaving the airport -- her son James wanted to play in the arcade, and I wanted to use every single bit of my $15 of food coupons. Waste not, want not. So we got Cokes and a chocolate chip cookie with the last $5 voucher and let James play. There was a teenager and her mother arguing behind us about how the girl wanted to go to some party school and her mom wants her to go to an approved state college. It got pretty ugly back there. I wanted to smack that ungrateful wench for being so snotty to her mother.

6. Pam took me to the Gaylord Palms, which is *gorgeous*. Honestly, y'all. I am spoiled by Disney, and Gaylord has obviously learned all of Disney's best tricks. It was gorgeous and the customer service was phenomenal. And there are computer terminals in every room, so you can blog in your jammies!

7. When I got upstairs (I was on the second floor, close to the lobby), I found my roomie Annette. Annette is a redheaded fireball from Australia. We were gabbing and sharing albums when my cell phone rang. It was Tricia. Things had gone badly wrong with the planning for this show -- most of it was the Expo's fault. In the meantime, Tricia is in the convention center after spending the entire day at the MK, and she has no tables, no boxes, no nothing. She was beside herself. I said we'd be down there ASAP.

8. We ran through the atrium to the convention center, which fortunately is closer than it is at the Gaylord Opryland. I looooooooooooooooove the atrium. It's massive and has a forest inside, and the roof is glassed in, and the air conditioning is amazing. It must cost a *fortune* to cool that place in August!!!!!!!! It was great.

9. We got to Tricia just as our boxes were being delivered. With the three of us, we got the booth set up in just under an hour, and Tricia was *so* grateful. She usually sets up by herself. Can you imagine? And she has a broken tailbone right now!!! OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10. Pam wanted to pick me up at 6:00. I was worried that leaving so soon would hurt Tricia’s feelings. But I've seen Tricia more than I've seen Pam, and Antuanette wanted to meet me. Pam called at 5:30, and I begged off and asked not to be picked up 'til 7:00 or 7:30. I really can't remember which it was. Annette and I went upstairs to our room, and I washed off (a "PTA" bath as my mother called it) and put on make-up and changed clothes. I invited Annette to come with us, but she had driven from West Palm Beach and wanted the night off. So I got ready and went downstairs to catch my ride to PI.

11. Antuanette is gorgeous and funky and fun. She and Pam had gone to World of Disney while waiting for time to pass, and there they saw Janet Jackson shopping. I asked if Janet had any "wardrobe malfunctions," but no, she didn't. She was surrounded by an entourage and a phalanx of security, but other than that, Pam said, "She was so completely *gorgeous*." They were amazed, truly, at how soft-spoken and polite she was with her attendants. She thanked them every time they took a package to be checked out.

12. Andy -- Pam's extra husband (long story, ROFL) and our designated driver -- is a CM and he got us in for $10 each. (Every Thursday night is Cast Member night.) We went to Adventurers' Club, which Antuanette had never visited before. Ant is not a Disney freak. But she had a good time, anyway. One really funny thing happened in the AC -- we went to the room that isn't the mask room and saw Yvette, the maid's show. She pointed to the waitress and said, "If you're here to get lit, you need to see her." Pam, Antuanette, and I all raised our hands and said, "HERE!!!!!" A couple of minutes later, Yvette asked Andy who he was with. He was sitting on the front row; we were against the wall, and he pointed back to us and said, "I'M WITH THE THREE WOMEN WHO ARE GETTING LIT!!!!!!!" Everyone loooooooooooooved that, of course, but there were children in the audience that early in the evening, which put a damper on the show. I figured out how the head moves in that cage thing on the mirror, and Pam smacked me because she's never figured it out, and I figured it out on the first time I saw it.

13. Then we went to 8 Trax because Antuanette and Pam used to love that place. They were playing bad music, though, and lots of horrid disco. We requested Queen and they said it was too rock. (TOO ROCK????) So we requested every dance hit from the 80's we could think of. The only one they played was "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." When Antuanette started falling off her shoes -- she wore stacked heels -- we left.

14. We sat outside and ranted and raved about the scrapbooking industry and trying to get published/ stay published/ et cetera.

15. Andy took a conference call at 9:00.16. Then we went to Mannequin's. Antuanette fell in love. I knew she would. It's her kind of place. The beautiful cast members danced like mad and I just watched because I was tipsy on one drink. Oh, and I got a second drink from Gordo, my personal bartender, who was *so* surprised to see me. You should have seen his face!!!!!! It was priceless!!!!!!

17. We visited the new club. I think it's called Motion. It's definitely for the young, gorgeous crowd – not the middle-aged scrapping crowd.

18. We left a little before midnight, and I literally crawled into the van. Andy had his hands full, because Pam told him to cut her off after three drinks, and he did, but she wanted to get a fourth drink. Then Antuanette got a jello shot in a syringe and shared it with Pam.

19. I got back to the Gaylord Palms after midnight. I was *exhausted*. I sat in the porte cochere (the place where the cars drop you off and the valets usually hang out). There was no one there. I sat there in that gorgeous, warm night, watching a fountain and listening to the classical music. I called my sister Yamy. I knew Wesley was asleep. Then I went upstairs to discover my roomie still awake. I checked email -- well, I tried to -- and washed my face and crashed. Great bed!!!!!!!

No photos for today, but maybe I can find some nifty links...

Ooo! Like the link for the Gaylord Palms!!! Here you go...

Edisto Island, August, 2004 -- wrap-up

Wesley and I did a two-hour tour of Edisto itself in a bright pink van. All the remaining plantation homes are privately owned now, and the only way to see them is on a tour with someone who has the keys to the gates. It was so interesting. That island has had such a long history, dating all the way back to the mid 16th century -- yep, the middle 1500's!!! There was a Spanish mission on that island within 40 years of Shakespeare's death!!! The only unchanged, unpaved section of the King's Highway left in America is on Edisto Island -- it's about a quarter of a mile long. C-COOL!!!!! I got chills up and down my spine, I swear!!!!

The food was hit-and-miss this time, and that's a bummer. My favorite restaurant hired a "new chef," which means they fired the "old cook" who knew how to make proper hushpuppies. We only ate there once when I found out how bad the hushpuppies are. I really didn't have a great meal until Friday, when we discovered a greasy spoon that has a Friday special with real hushpuppies. ROFL!!!! I will not forget!!

But really -- and I'm already getting teary-eyed thinking about it -- this whole trip was an education to me about how much I miss that part of the South. I have lived in East Tennessee for 26 years now, and I do love the mountains, but I miss the Low Country badly. I spent my summers (except for camp, of course) visiting cousins in the Low Country of Mississippi and Louisiana, and of course when Daddy was alive, we always went to Edisto/Charleston every other year. That whole part of the world just looks and feels right to me. Wesley fell in love with it, too. So we've decided we're moving there. Not to the beach -- who wants to deal with those prices? -- but maybe to Walterboro, which is a little, insignificant town with absolutely nothing going on a little further inland.

It's just 13 years until retirement!!!!! I think I can hold out that long if I go back every other year for vacation.

The reason I go to Edisto Island every other year -- Wesley loves the beach. Posted by Hello

Edisto, sidetrips to Charleston

Mostly, I did the historical things -- a carriage ride in Charleston, as well as Fort Sumter. We took the kids to the Charleston Aquarium, which is much smaller than the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, but surprisingly fun and cool. Our favorite exhibits were the marsh exhibit outside and the otters... and the special Amazon exhibit. They had two macaws -- a female scarlet named Joey and a male blue and gold named Marvin -- and I spent twenty minutes talking to those birds until they were begging to be picked up.

Charleston was truly magnificent -- one evening we ended up staying until dusk, and while running around looking for Margaritaville, Woodrow and Emily started saying, "It looks like MGM!!!!"

Someday we're going to take a carriage tour and get a *good* picture. In the meantime, I'll have to make do with this one. As I post this, I'm wondering, "Where is Emily?" Obviously Wesley's behind the camera... where did Emily go? Posted by Hello

Woodrow had just fed a mint to the horse. His hand is held out like that because it has horse slobber on it. Ewwwwwww. Posted by Hello

Just a couple of guys and a really old fort. I know, you can't tell this is Fort Sumter. But it is. I swear it is! Would I lie to you? Well, OK, yes, of course I would, but I'm not lying this time. By the way, it was *stinking* hot on Fort Sumter. That's why the boys are sitting in the only patch of shade they could find. Posted by Hello

Edisto Island, the beachy part

Wesley has finally accepted that I don't like the beach. Many times, he and the kids went swimming and left me at the house to do my own thing, which consisted of ... nothing. Man, it was great!!!! Or I would wait until an hour had passed, and then I would put on my swimsuit and go to the beach for a bit. I think the longest I spent in the ocean was 20 minutes. That's just about my limit!

(Someday I should find the file about our last trip to a non-Edisto Island locale... it wasn't pretty. Rocks, wind, vicious seagulls, and jellyfish larvae -- ewwwww. Not to mention OW.)

But Wesley and the kids loved it and spent lots more time swimming than I did, and as long as Wesley's happy, then everything is good. Even a beach.

I don't know why I'm including this photo -- you can't see Emily's gorgeous face, but there's just so much here that reminds me of Edisto. And of course, that's Woodrow in the background. The beach was this uncrowded and clear the whole week we were there. Heaven! Posted by Hello

One of my rare moments in the salt water -- really, it's the nicest beach I've ever visited. Not that I'm a big beach afficianado. But it doesn't have rocks like other shores I've visited! Posted by Hello

Edisto Island -- side trip to Tybee

We sacrificed a whole day so Wesley could go to Tybee Island and see the lighthouse. We've never seen a lighthouse, so it was a learning experience. I climbed all the way to the top and got a certificate for my efforts. There are pics of me -- first I wouldn't come out of the top room, so Wesley took my pic through a window, and when I did go out, I held onto the walls and wouldn't look down. It was two and a half hours' drive to Tybee, and man, I am so glad I wasn't staying on that island. It is horribly overcrowded.

However, we had lunch at a place called The Crab Shack, which claims, "Where The Elite Eat In Bare Feet." The shrimp was to die for!!! They don't fry anything, so there were no hushpuppies – huge bummer. On the plus side, though, the place was FULL OF CATS!!! Most of the dining is under the live oaks. They've built up a floor and strung lights and fans through the dense trees, and all these cats are walking around in the open air, just waiting for some seafood to hit the floor. I know I saw 8 distinctly different cats out there, and there were more in the gift shop. And they only played Jimmy Buffett music. Wesley was in heaven.

There's my girl -- Miss Emily, taking a rare breath between snarfing down *massive* quantities of perfectly steamed seafood. Doesn't she look happy to be eating? You should have seen *me*!!! Posted by Hello

Now, this is more my sort of thing -- FOOD!!!! In a fun, kitschy, totally unique setting -- The Crab Shack! Posted by Hello

Clinging to the side of the thing didn't make me feel *any* more secure. But at least I have photographic evidence that I really did make it to the top of a lighthouse at least once before I kick the bucket! Posted by Hello

Edisto Island, August, 2004

I'm home!!!! Man, that was a short trip. It feels like I was just here! I did take the ancient laptop with me and started a trip report, but it is miles long and I only made it to the second day. It was a busy vacation.

Edisto Island is getting more and more crowded -- but they're doing a good job of keeping things hidden back on the island instead of crowding the beachfront.

Our rental house was absolutely, completely, totally gorgeous, and being on the marsh instead of on the beach side was heaven. The very best part was the Enclosed, Hot-and-Cold, Outdoor Shower. Every day I took a shower outdoors after swimming, and that was just sublime. It's the best thing since skinny dipping, with a far smaller chance of getting caught nakey in public.

Who could resist this view??? I couldn't -- I saw six sunsets from the porch of the rental house. Too gorgeous!! Posted by Hello

Even Woodrow caught on to keeping "island hours" -- a nap in the hammock every day keeps a boy healthy, happy, and ... whatever.  Posted by Hello

Ahhhhhhh, vacation! A comfy rocker, a balmy porch, and the view over the marsh. Perfect! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Is this what you call a "pained" smile? I was probably thinking, "This'll end up on a blog someday..." Posted by Hello

Testing the waters...

Since it's almost Christmas and I've worn out nearly every other Internet thingamabob I've ever run across (from newsgroups to AOL message boards to Yahoo to a veritable smorgasbord of other MB's), I thought I would try blogging. The logical thing to do is to share my trip reports, first and foremost, because they're the reason I got into scrapbooking. And that's where I earn the bacon now. We'll see how this contributes to both trip reports and scrapbooking!

(Whoops -- now the big question -- do I sign my posts the way I do on message boards? Hmmmmmm... could be a faux pas.... Well, I'll risk it.)

First things first -- cool link for the day...