Swinging, Swimming and Smelling the Flowers!

It flash flooded here yesterday and last night and even sprinkled this morning.  But in between the rain, we were able to enjoy a little bit of the outdoors.  After Robby's "Fix It Day" on Monday, it was clear that he needed another project (This man just cannot sit still!).  He decided that Holli needed a small swing/play set, so he and Caitlin headed to Toys-R-Us to see what they could find.  They found this great Little Tikes set and Poppi instantly began putting it together for Holli...
       Kevin started out helping Robby and then the rain came and he had to get ready for work.
 After the rain stopped, Pa-Paw went out and they finished putting it together while Holli was still napping.
      When she woke up from her nap, Poppi couldn't WAIT to show Holli her new play set!
They took one of the swings off and replaced it with a baby swing they bought; can you tell she LOVED it?!
                                                                     "Ahoy, Matey!"
                                             Look at that smile on Poppi's face...Priceless.
Oh, how much fun this little one is going to have on her new play set!  And the great thing about it is the fact that it can be easily moved to the basement for the winter.

This afternoon, after the weather cleared up, Holli went outside to play on her swing set again and then had some fun smelling the flowers in her back yard...
                                                       This baby girl LOVES flowers!
                                               And this YaYa LOVES her animated faces!


After picking flowers, it had heated up enough for Holli to get in her little pool and swim for a while...
                            Don't you just adore her gingham, smocked duck swimming suit?!

 We are having so much fun here with our southern implanted Ohioans and have a couple adventures planned for Thursday and Friday since the rain is suppose to move out of here and I can't WAIT to share them with you!




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Our LONG Road Trip To Ohio!

We had planned for a long time to make a road trip to Ohio this summer to visit Caitlin.  I, of course, had flown many times since Holli had been born and they had moved from their tiny two bedroom apartment to a four bedroom rent house.  Caitlin kept telling her dad that she had lots more room now AND there was no snow now so June would be the perfect time to come.  There was no argument about any of that but the real question was:  How does one prepare themselves for a twenty hour road trip?!  I tried to convince him that we could make it fun, but really...How fun can it be when you're the one doing all that driving?  Nevertheless, we, along with Robby's parents,  packed up and headed out at 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

I decided that we should pass the time by starting a new television show that Ryan had been wanting us to watch.  So before we left, I bought the first two seasons of "Suits".  I also packed another box of DVDs for my in-laws to choose from so once we got on the road, I kicked my feet up and we started watching...
I sent Ryan a text message and told him that we were about to begin watching "Suits".  His reply was to be careful because it's addictive.  OH MY GOODNESS, he was not kidding!  By the time we were pulling into Caitlin's,  we were just about to begin season two. Mimi and Papa never watched one of the other movies I had packed but instead got as hooked on this show as we now were.  Mimi said, "I can't believe I have to wait a week to see what is going to happen next; I might just have to slip out to the car tonight when everyone goes to sleep and watch it."

We made a lunch stop in Memphis for some yummy Bar-B-Q at "Corky's" along the way...




After our little lunch break it was back on the road again.  We kept driving until we reached Louisville, Kentucky, where we stopped for dinner and decided to spend the night.  The next morning found up getting up and leaving by eight and finally arriving at Caitlin's house by 1:30 that afternoon...



I can't say that we weren't absolutely worn out from our long road trip because we were.  However, seeing this sweet little face and getting to share an afternoon cup of coffee with her was well worth it...

After getting some much needed rest Sunday night, we awoke to a "Fix It" kinda day Monday...
Caitlin had been having problems with her sinks stopping up so her dad gave her a lessons on how to take everything apart and fix it herself.
Then he moved on to fixing her washer and dryer...
                                                    I hit the road for my morning cardio.
                                      And afterwards decided to weed Caitlin's flowerbed.

    Being from the south, I still cannot get used to have a "Christmas Tree" in your flower bed!

And so we are here for the week.  Today it is raining a little bit, Holli is sleeping, Pa-Paw is watching T.V. and Kevin is about to get ready to go to work this afternoon.  It's a kind of lazy day but we have plans for several little adventures this week and I have brought my nice camera along with me so I can capture some great photos to share with you.  I'll see you in a couple of days (maybe sooner...)!





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Natchitoches, Louisiana...A "Gem" Of A Destination

Natchitoches is the oldest city in Louisiana with this year being the celebration of its 300th year in existence.  And what a city filled with history.  Nestled along the banks of the Cane River Lake it is  quaint in every way and contains quite a few "hidden gems" that would have anyone planning a day or weekend trip there.  Known for its festivals, there are many opportunities to explore this great little "Hometown USA".

All of the festivals are held on Front Street,  which houses many delicious restaurants.  One must definitely not leave there without eating a meat pie, famous to the town.  While in Natchitoches,  Lasyone's is the perfect place to do so.  A little "hole in the wall", this restaurant boasts of some delicious southern style cooking, while the walls are filled with memorabilia from the filming days of "Steel Magnolias". If you ever saw the movie, "Steel Magnolias" then you know a little bit about Natchitoches already because that is where it was filmed.  The Steel Magnolia House is still on Front Street and on the historic tour of homes.  There are quite a few city and country plantation homes that can be toured and having been on many of those myself, I can say that is a lovely way to spend an afternoon in this lazy little town.  Unique gift boutiques line the brick streets as well,  with the Cane River as a backdrop.  Another little "gem" that must not be overlooked while visiting Natchitoches is  Kaffie Frederick General Mercantile it is the "Oldest Hardware Store" in the state of Louisiana!
Kaffie's has everything from hardware supplies to cooking utensils, local art and toys.  Walking into this old store is like taking a step back in time.  I love it so much that I have to stop in every time I'm in town.  And whether one has children or not, a trip just down the street to the Rocking Horse Toy Store is something that has to be experienced.  This cute store with old wooden floors and huge, enticing display windows wooing even the oldest child into its doors,  has the most unique collection of books and imaginative play toys.  They also have creative workshops for parents and children at various times throughout the year and,  of course, the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus make their annual visits!

Any time is a good time to visit Natchitoches but festival time is my favorite!  Every spring  "Bloomin' on the Bricks" showcases the entrance of spring with live flowers placed throughout the town and vendors selling their homemade wares...

                             Or how about exploring the town on these vintage looking bicycles...
                                               Or perhaps a horse drawn carriage ride.

The largest, most popular and my personal favorite festival that draws people from all over the country is the Christmas Festival of Lights.  Although the town is lit up throughout the entire month of December, an outstanding fireworks display, complete with the relighting of the the town, artificial snow falling on the brick streets and Christmas music  playing over loudspeakers in the background can be seen each Saturday evening of the month until New Year's Eve.  The town turns into a "Southern Winter Wonderland".  People decorate their homes in preparation for all of the activity that is sure to come to their lazy little town during this time...

And people gather by the thousands for the annual parades held on the first weekend of the month...

Yes, whether one is looking for a festival...



Fireworks (Fourth of July and Christmas)...
Or simply a relaxing weekend to unwind...

Natchitoches could be just the place you are looking for...


A great way to go "exploring" new towns is to try Turo.  This is not your ordinary car rental service.  RelayRides has a mission of supporting a peer-to-peer community.  That's right, you can join this network of peer vehicle rentals.  Who has ever been looking for a truck for just a day to go pick up new furniture?  Or perhaps spend a day visiting a unique location during some down time on a business trip?  Whatever your rental driving needs may be,   RelayRides is the "perfect" answer so what are you waiting for?  Choose your destination, click on the link above and start on your next adventure!          





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