The Rest of 2014 Travels with BigBlue

Some type of yellow flower shown in four various stages!

Some type of yellow flower shown in four various stages!

After the Everglades I returned back to Ocala National Park where Ivan and Nina live nearby, and got me a “Hollywood shower’ (a term I now understand to mean, a long hot shower in a clean facility!) and did another load of laundry! Ahhh.

Big Blue in Ocala National Forest just north of Orlando, FL...it was a rainy time of the year...but warm!

Big Blue in Ocala National Forest just north of Orlando, FL…it was a rainy time of the year…but warm!

I then headed up to Thomasville where the oldest restaurant in Georgia is “the Plaza Oyster Bar.” The name is not the least bit enticing as I don’t care one iota for oysters nor do I drink alcohol…but it was an old building with an old smell with not a customer in sight. I had the pick of the house as far as seating and I splurged for dinner getting a rib eye well done, baked potato, salad, and rolls…accompanied by BBQ sauce! DEE-LISH-OUS!

Not the type of sign you'd expect to find on the oldest restaurant of an eastern state...but it did have a tasty well-done rib eye and baked potato!

Not the type of sign you’d expect to find on the oldest restaurant of an eastern state…but it did have a tasty well-done rib eye and baked potato!

I had facebooked my sister-in-law’s sister a day or two before wondering if I could stop by for Thanksgiving in Pensacola Florida, and I got word Thanksgiving Eve that it is all systems go! I hadn’t seen her 30+ years and a lot of living has transpired in the meanwhile. I didn’t meet her whole crew, but I did meet enough of them that one of her daughter’s Beth had to draw up a family tree(s) for me to get them all straightened out in my mind! And the food was yumm-o…exactly what one would want for Thanksgiving day…what a great unplanned treat those two days of seeing Shirley, Melanie and the others was!

(unfortunately I have absolutely no pictures from that time! So here is a lizard instead!)

 

Cute little critter scurrying his way to shelter when he saw me coming with a camera!

Cute little critter scurrying his way to shelter when he saw me coming with a camera!

After Pensacola, I went up to Canton to see my dear friend Paula one more time, then the idea was to see GSMNP covered in snow, but the high roads were closed off. So I stayed on the lower levels and then headed over to Nashville to see Kathy!

It is the middle of winter even though I don't have a jacket on! Nor a hat...gulp! I wanted to get up to Clingman's dome but the roads were closed due to snow...still beautiful countryside!

It is the middle of winter even though I don’t have a jacket on! Nor a hat…gulp! I wanted to get up to Clingman’s dome but the roads were closed due to snow…still beautiful countryside!

After being at her beautiful place for a season, I headed to Hot Springs, AR but it was cold and grey there. I’m going to have to do Hot Springs at a better time. Things were quite grey and shivering!

The higher I got up into the mountains the colder it became...here is why they call it the Smoky Mountains!

The higher I got up into the mountains the colder it became…here is why they call it the Smoky Mountains!

So I headed off to Houston via Crockett National Forest and Sam Houston National Forest. I need to revisit those too when it is a little bit more green! But hey…no mosquitos!

Big Blue stopping for gelato near my brother's house!

Big Blue stopping for gelato near my brother’s house!

Stayed at Clay and Jill’s for a month for Christmas and his installation at St. John the Divine. I got to see C&J’s kids, my parents, Diana, my other brother and sister-in-law, 2 of Jill’s sisters, Bethany and Tyler, Bishop Bill, Slovaks, Lindseys, Reisners, Michies, Tomlinsons, met Ali and a bajillion others at SJD.

Mom and Dad with Clay and Jill after his institution at St. John the Divine. It was great to have my brother and sister-in-law there too! (Dan and Stacey!) Great time of celebration!

Mom and Dad with Clay and Jill after his institution at St. John the Divine. It was great to have my brother and sister-in-law there too! (Dan and Stacey!) Great time of celebration!

But the only one who slept with me…was St. Nick (aka Heathcliff, aka Simba)! He was discovered wandering SJD campus after midnight service on Christmas Eve. Just look at him…doesn’t that look like a white beard for a man dressed in red!? He stayed with me from Christmas to New Year’s day!

The Little Fellow who kept me company between Christmas and 2015!

The Little Fellow who kept me company between Christmas and 2015!

Well, that closes out my first leg of the journey across the nation! God willing, more will be forthcoming in due time!

 

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