Encounter With An Ark (part two)…

Our travel group spent our first night in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, but our visit there was brief.  We had to be loaded and ready to roll by 7:30 the following morning, so most of us were having breakfast by 6:30!  The hotel provided a continental breakfast, complete with fresh fruit.  As we usually do, Ed and I each picked up a banana, to save for later in the day.

Soon we were on the road, again, retracing a few of our steps from the day before…

There was the upside down building


and King Kong!

and even a car on top of an awning!

Before long, we were on our way out of Tennessee, headed toward Kentucky.  The tour host pointed out several interesting places along the way and told us the interesting history of Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame.

As we neared the Kentucky state line, and our next scheduled rest stop, the tour guide made an announcement.  He told us the Department of Agriculture often stops vehicles crossing the state line.  He said they’re really particular about fruit being carried across state lines–in particular, bananas.  My eyes grew large, and my throat grew tight!  What in the world was I going to do?  I had two bananas in my purse!   It turned out that another lady on the bus had bananas in her purse, as well, and her son had put the tour guide up to playing a joke on her!  (Little did the son know his mom wasn’t the only one carrying bananas from the hotel!!!)  Our group is still laughing about this joke, but it sure wasn’t funny [to me] at the time 🙂

As we rolled on through the hills of Kentucky, I quickly discovered I could easily become a “Kentucky Girl”!  I quickly fell in love with the blue grass and rolling hills of Kentucky.  Of course, my view of the landscape was limited to a bus window, flying down the interstate at 75 miles per hour, but I certainly loved what I could see!

Before long, we arrived in Williamstown, Kentucky, and at The Ark Encounter.  It was shortly before eleven, and would soon be lunch time.

 our first glimpse of the ark

 One of my biggest complaints at The Ark Encounter was finding something to eat in a timely manner.  They could definitely use more eating places, since there were only two places to choose from, and both were very crowded!  Ed and I settled on a pulled pork sandwich from the small vendor, but it took us almost thirty minutes to get it!

Once our stomachs were filled, we began exploring the replica of Noah’s Ark.  The ark is the length of one and one-half football fields, seventy-five feet wide, and forty-five feet high.  It contained three different decks, which meant a lot of walking, but you can move at your own pace.  There are lots of things to see.

I can’t begin to describe all of the things we saw, but they were interesting!  Since there’s so little information in the Bible, regarding the Ark, most exhibits are designed from pure speculation.  There are many exhibits depicting rooms on the ark (such as living quarters, kitchen area, etc.), as well as models of animals, their cages, and feeding/watering methods that may have been used. Pictures simply do not do it justice, but I’ll share a few of mine anyway:

a glimpse of the ark’s inner construction

living quarters

garden area

the aviary (notice Noah sending out the dove)

animal replicas (in cage)

I enjoyed visiting the ark, but felt like some of the living quarters were a bit over-decorated.  I found it hard to believe that such elaborate furnishings would have existed in Noah’s time, but I could be wrong.

After about five hours of touring the ark, we boarded our bus, again, bound for The Chart House, a restaurant located beside the Ohio River.  We weren’t able to see everything in The Ark Encounter within those five hours, but we hit the high spots.  I believe a person would need an entire day to truly see and enjoy everything available at The Ark Encounter, and  I wished we’d had a little more time there.

It turned out, our tour group was a bit early for our dinner reservations at The Chart House, so the bus driver took us across the Ohio River and into Cincinnati, for a brief tour of the city.  It appeared to be very busy and very crowded, like most large cities.  Our bus soon crossed back over the Ohio River and back into Kentucky, where our evening meal awaited us.  (to be continued)



Published in: on April 24, 2018 at 10:19 am  Comments (5)  
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Encounter With An Ark (part one)…

Our journey to the ark began on the day after Easter–early on the day after Easter.  After months of waiting, and weeks of planning, the big day of our trip finally arrived!  Taking a bus tour someplace was something Ed and I had always wanted to do.

packed and ready to ride

Ed and I did our usual morning chores, then loaded the car and headed toward the church about 7:30.  The bus was scheduled to pick us up at 8 a.m.  When we arrived, the bus was there, and already half full! In all, about forty of us would be making the journey to visit The Ark Encounter, in Kentucky.  As the trip progressed, I soon figured out why so many folks had arrived early and filled the front half of the bus.  The front of the bus gets to unload first!

our bus for the next four days

Ed and I added our suitcases to the pile, then headed for a seat toward the back of the bus.  One of our favorite couples from church took the seat right behind ours, so we knew this was going to be a fun trip!  Soon our bus was rolling and headed for Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Everyone was excited, as the open highway lay before us.  We chatted and joked among ourselves.  Before long, the tour guide popped the first [of several] movies into the dvd player, and everyone settled down to watch Courageous.  About an hour into this movie, I began to realize that I might have a problem–motion sickness!  I’d never watched a movie on a bus, therefore, it never occurred to me this might happen!  Sitting in the back of the bus probably didn’t help either.

Fortunately, my daughter had suggested packing some Dramamine, which I promptly took at the next rest stop.  However, once motion sickness occurs, it’s difficult to shake as long as you’re still in motion.  Sadly, I spent a good portion of Monday’s trip riding with my eyes closed!

We stopped at a large mall, about four hours from where we live, and ate lunch at their food court.  I was able to eat, and actually began feeling better while we were stopped.  Unfortunately, the queasy feeling kept coming and going for much of the trip, that first day, even though I didn’t watch any more movies.

Thank goodness, I was finally feeling almost normal by the time we reached Pigeon Forge–nearly nine hours after leaving our church!  THAT WAS SOME BUS RIDE!!!

Our bus pulled up at the “Dolly Stampede” (formerly known as the “Dixie Stampede”) about 5:45 p.m.  The dinner show was scheduled to begin at 6:00, so we were cutting it close!  The guide quickly took a group photo, then herded us into the building to be seated. (I apologize for the quality of the few photos that I took. It was dark in there.)

a glimpse of the show at Stampede

Ed and I had never been to the “Dolly Stampede”, so we didn’t know much about it, other than they put on a show for you while you eat dinner.  We didn’t know they don’t furnish you with eating utensils or that they bring your meal one item at a time!  Imagine our surprise when they brought our soup to us, and we didn’t have a spoon!  However,  we quickly figured out why that handle was on the side of the bowl 🙂

The show soon began, with an assortment of horses, riders, cattle, covered wagons, and even some buffalo!  There was a story line behind the show, of course, and even a little friendly audience competition.  At one point in the show, they solicited volunteers, from the audience,  to participate in part of the show.  We soon discovered that our pastor and his wife had been selected to be participants!  (This was actually their second time going to “The Stampede” and being chosen as participants!)  How exciting that they participated in the bucket relay race, and won a medal!

our pastor and his wife participating in the bucket relay

While the entertainment in front of us played out, the servers continued to bring food to us–one piece at a time!  Following the soup and biscuit, a Cornish hen was served, again with no eating utensils!

 What?  No fork and knife?!

This was later followed by a slice of pork, one half of a baked potato, an ear of corn, and an apple turn over!  To say our stomachs were stuffed and our hands were very messy would be an understatement!  Fortunately, they did provide us with a warm, wet towel at the end of the meal, but I’d much have preferred a fork, knife, and spoon!

After our meal was over, we exited through the Stampede gift shop and boarded our bus which took us to our hotel for the evening.  Ed and I got separated in the gift shop, and lost from each other for a bit, but that’s another whole story!

Once we made the short journey to our hotel for the evening, we exited the bus as they called our names and presented us with our room keys. Happily, mine and Ed’s names were the first two called!

upper view of  our hotel lobby in Pigeon Forge

Imagine our surprise when our room key didn’t work!  In fact, nobody’s room key worked!  It turned out our keys hadn’t been activated, but within a matter of minutes, everyone was finally able to enter their rooms.

I’m told some folks soon went to the pool, but the only place Ed and I went was to find the place where breakfast would be held the following morning, then off to bed we went!  We were exhausted! (to be continued)

Published in: on April 20, 2018 at 7:18 am  Comments (2)  
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Welcoming February With A Hodgepodge…

1. Describe love using all five senses.

hearing – Listening to uninterrupted “oldies” playing on the radio.

sight– The first glimpse of each of our new grandbabies, after they’d just been born.


smell – Food cooking on the grill, especially in springtime.

touch – Feeling the warmth of Ed’s arms wrapped around me.

taste – A slice of chocolate cake, served up with a glass of cold milk.

2. February is Canned Food Month. What’s your favorite food that comes straight from a can?

Um, sliced peaches–in heavy syrup, of course!

3. A principal in a UK school recently sent home a letter to parents requesting they (the parents!) dress appropriately when escorting their children to/from school (basically saying please don’t wear your pajamas) You can read the letter here. It’s gotten a lot of publicity, both positive and negative. Your thoughts? And do/did you ever make the school run (or hit Starbucks, Walmart, etc) in your pjs?

I think a lot of people have lost the “sense” of what’s appropriate to wear and, or else they just don’t care anymore.  I grew up in a time when people wanted to look nice when they were out in public, and I, personally, still feel that way.

I have never worn my pajamas out in public, but I’ve seen others doing it.  I think people should at least make an effort to look “presentable”, particularly when they leave their house.

On a recent trip, we passed two different churches that boasted “Come as you are” on their church signs.  I turned to Ed and said, “So it’s too much trouble, now, to dress to attend church?”

4. Crew neck, V-neck, turtleneck, scoop neck…which is most prevalent in your wardrobe?

These days, crew necks are most prevalent in my wardrobe, but I have some of everything mentioned.  The older I get, the higher my necklines get…  Nobody wants to see sagging skin and wrinkles!  I’m really going to miss those scoop necks!

5. I read here recently a list of four things to avoid so you wake up happier. They were late night snacks, hitting the snooze button, social media just before bed/upon waking, checking emails.

Are you guilty of any of these behaviors? Which on that list do you need to work harder at avoiding?

I have been guilty of all of the above, at one time or another, but, currently, the only bad behavior I’ve been guilty of is eating a snack after supper.  If we eat an early supper, sometimes, I’ll eat a piece of fruit or a few pretzels, a little later in the evening.

6. Share something you remember about a house you lived in as a child? Of all the homes you lived in as a child, which did you love best?

8-22-2012 8;51;27 AM

my favorite childhood house

My family lived in several houses, while I was growing up, but the house I liked best was the one my parents owned in Florida.  They bought the home new, and we lived there until I was eight, when, unfortunately, they lost their home to foreclosure in 1963.

The walls of the living room were covered in “knotty pine”, which was stylish back in those days, but those “knots” sometimes scared me, when I was younger, because, at night, they looked somewhat like giant flying cockroaches to me!

The living room of our Florida house also had a beautiful “picture window” in the living room, which was also stylish back in those days.  I liked that “picture window” very much.  You could enjoy an unobstructed view of the front yard.

Every since those days, as a child, I’ve always loved a big window, so it only makes sense that every house Ed and I have owned, during our marriage, has had [at least one] “picture window”.  Our current home has two!

7.Your favorite movie based on a true story?

I love movies based on true stories, so, I’m sorry, but I can’t pick just one!  Three favorite movies that spring to my mind are “Unbroken”, “Captain Phillips”, and “Secretariat”.  I’m sure, if I had time, I could think of at least a dozen more.


Ed and I were finally able to take our “road trip” to Florida, to visit with my brother and his wife.  It was the first time we’ve taken an actual “road trip” in our new van, and we enjoyed ourselves very much.  Satellite radio made traveling fun!  Ed and I listened to 60’s on 6 the entire trip.

Just for fun, we also tried to use the navigation system in the van, but it didn’t want to guide us on the same route we wanted to take home!  It was a relief when we finally figured out how to turn that thing off!!!

Our visit with family [and friends] was brief, barely over twenty-four hours, but we had a great time, and crammed a lot of fun into a short amount of time. We got up early, stayed up late, and had lots of good food to eat!


visiting with family and friends “down by the river side”

Our nine hens and twelve cats were very happy to see us when we returned, yesterday afternoon!  You’d have thought we had been gone for a week 🙂  It’s nice to be loved.












Published in: on February 3, 2016 at 8:55 am  Comments (9)  
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Along For The Ride…

Sometimes I’ll wake up in the morning, and think I’ve just got to get out of this house!  Yesterday was one of those days.  I called my daughter, Brandy,  and discovered that she was feeling the same way.  We quickly decided to get dressed and take what we commonly refer to as a “road trip”.  I bought the gas, she did the driving. 

When granddaughter, Madison, heard that we were going on a road trip, she asked if we were going to “Chuck E. Cheese”.  Well…not exactly where we had in mind, but what the heck!  We quickly made plans.  On the way to town to do a couple of errands,  Brandy and I noticed that my daughter-in-law was at home, so we decided to call and see if she and grandson, Caden, would like to come along on our “road trip”.  Within forty-five minutes we were  on our way to “Chuck E. Cheese”. 

loaded up and ready to go

It was a funny sight–  the two moms in the front seat, two kids in the second seats, and grandma in the back–with her pillow!  I laughed and told my daughter that when I bought the “egg van” 15 years ago, I never dreamed I’d still be riding in it–as a passenger.  It’s a good thing we kept it around–it’s the only vehicle big enough to hold everyone!  Soon everyone settled in for the hour and fifteen minute ride to Chuck’s place.

Funny thing about “Chuck E. Cheese”…Brandy and I do not like their pizza.  We’ve tried it twice, and just can’t eat it.  So…we stopped at McDonald’s halfway through the trip and ate lunch!  The McDonald’s in this particular town is decorated like none I’ve ever seen.  Apparently the people in this town love to hunt.  We ate lunch under what Madison refers to as “the reindeer”.  I just had to share a picture.

gotta' love that deer head--not!

By one o’clock we arrived at Chuck’s place, and the fun began!  Caden and his mother had never been to Chuck E. Cheese before, so boy did he have some eyes!  He didn’t quite know what to think about the giant singing mouse on the stage, but he loved all of the games and people.  He was quite funny riding those little kiddie rides–his eyes would grow very large when they began to move.  He’d run all around and say “Wats zat?”

that's some big mouse!

This was Madison’s third trip to Chuck’s, and I think she had the best time ever.  She enjoyed it more this time because she had cousin Cade along.  They had the best time together.  As Madison is growing older, she’s able to play more of the games–like whacking the sharks on the head…

bopping that shark

After spending three hours at Chuck’s place, we ended our trip by stopping for a quick trip at the Outlet Mall, followed by Sonic for ice cream!  Nothing this grandma loves any better than sitting in the backseat with her pillow–eating a banana split!  That’s pretty close to heaven on earth…

 I had such a good time!  Sometimes it’s great to be “along for the ride”.  I enjoyed watching two beautiful children having the time of their lives–and I got to watch their mothers run around and keep up with them.  I felt very grandmotherly yesterday, but it was a great feeling!  Now, when’s that next road trip???

Published in: on May 20, 2010 at 10:14 am  Comments (3)  
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