November 29, 2010

I'm Still Alive and Well

Just a quick note to let you know that I am still alive and well!

I apologize for not keeping up on my posts and for not reading yours, but I have been busy trying to prepare for an 8 month long trip to Europe that I will be leaving for on Thursday evening (Dec 2). 

So a lot of packing, preparing, visiting friends and family and the doctors visits have kept me away from my blog.

I promise when the dust clears and I'm settled in Europe I will bring you some stories of my months to come in Europe of sunny days on the Algarve coast in Portugal, skiing in France and Christmas Markets in Belgium and Paris!

Happy Holidays!!

November 19, 2010

Enjoying Gatlinburg

During our house hunting in Tennessee a few weeks back, we did take one day to play tourists and enjoy some of what "Gatlinburg" has to offer.

One of the great things Gatlinburg has is a Trolley service (Gatlinburg Trolley information) The all day Trolley Pass can be purchased at all three Gatlinburg Welcome Centers, Gatlinburg City Hall and at the front desks of numerous Gatlinburg lodging companies.  We purchased ours at the Visitors Center where the parking is free and a ticket only costs $2.00 per person for all day!

First stop, breakfast!  There are so many places to have breakfast in this area and they all have the word "Pancake" on their signs.  With so many choices it was great that our realtor gave us a recommendation for "The Pancake Pantry".

Oh, I just had to have the Sweet Potato pancakes!!!!

No, I didn't eat them all!

We then headed over to a small ski lift in the middle of town to take the ride up a little mountain where we enjoyed the view of Gatlinburg and the Smokies.

Gatlinburg is a great place to just walk around and pop in and out of shops.  My favorite area for this was called "The Village".   Set in a quaint European village atmosphere with cobblestone paths and water fountains there are a collection of 27 unique boutiques, eateries, galleries and clothiers.

Even though it was just November 4, there were decorations throughout to let you know that Christmas is just around the corner!

 I do understand that the crowds can be crazy here in the summer and during the holidays. So we felt very relaxed and lucky to be here during this time of year.

If you would like to see some pictures, click here "Where's Debbie" and then click on the album "Enjoying Gatlinburg"

November 17, 2010

Enjoying Tennessee

Our trip to Tennessee a couple of weeks ago was for the purpose of exploring the idea of relocating from Las Vegas.  So I am not going to have a lot of touristy posts about Tennessee.  But I would like to share some of the sites we enjoyed while we were there.

First let me start with a picture of my FAVORITE bird.  The Cardinal!  He was enjoying the seed we put out for him as an early morning breakfast.

We discovered while driving around looking at houses that Tennessee has quite a few Flea Markets.  We enjoyed poking around this one on Hwy 66 in Sevierville.

I just loved all the quaint Churches in this area.

And the festive holiday decorations are everywhere!

And my absolute favorite was the "Quilt Trail" that they have in this neck of the woods.  I was lucky enough to see about three barns, each with a different quilt pattern painted on them.  But I was only able to get a picture of one.  Isn't this the coolest idea?

I just love coming across the unexpected, don't you?

November 16, 2010

Watery Wednesday - Twin Lighthouses of the Algarve

While visiting Portugal's Algarve coast, I fell in love with these twin lighthouses which sit at the mouth of the Arade River.

The water is murky, and that is because I took this picture in February 2010 during the rainy season.

We took a walk out to the lighthouse on the Ferragudo side of the bay to try and capture the waves crashing against the jetty.

Please take the time to see some more fantastic photos of water by some great people at "Watery Wednesday"

November 15, 2010

We Made It to Our 1st Home Exchange.....In Tennessee, That Is

Over 2,000 miles and 5 days later, we arrived in Kodak, Tennessee to begin what was the first of two home exchanges we will be doing while visiting this beautiful State.

I'll tell you, this is just what the doctor ordered after 4 months of surgeries and cancer treatments for the Melanoma that was discovered this past June.......a beautiful cabin with nothing but windows and a huge deck with a hot tub.

But nothing compared to the amazing views of "Douglas Lake" and the "Great Smoky Mountains"

You couldn't escape the views, no matter what room you were in............

We enjoyed a nice relaxing evening, Stijn in the hot tub and me just enjoying the view

And just when I thought the views couldn't possibly get any better, I woke up to this the next morning.

A great way to start the day, wouldn't you say?   It's going to be a great day!

I have some more pictures of this beautiful place at "Where's Debbie".  Just click on the album "We Made It" when you get there!

November 13, 2010

Stylish Blogger

I was quite surprised to see two lovely blogs awarded me with the Stylish blogger Award!  I would like to acknowledge Light, Liberty, and Learning and From My Somewhat Serious Mind for their thoughtfulness! Thanks ladies for passing the award on to me....

The rules of blogging world indicate I must share 7 things about myself, and choose 15 other Stylish blogs to receive recognition. First, about myself:

  • I LOVE to case you haven't noticed
  • I retired at the age of 45
  • I have 4 grandsons that I adore
  • Wine please!
  • Yes, I'll have cheese with that
  • My favorite season is fall
  • I want to be on the Amazing Race!
Now for those wonderful blogs you should go check out RIGHT NOW!

These are some wonderful blogs with great variety! You will find inspiration, humor, beautiful photos, creative crafts, travel, and adventure... Please check them out- I'm sure you will find a new favorite!

Tennessee Bound - We're Almost There!

We got an early start the morning of October 23 because we had a long drive ahead of us starting in Kansas City Missouri and ending in Nashville Tennessee!

View Larger Map

After driving from one end of the State of Missouri to the other, we did have time to make a nice stop in St. Louis and see the "Gateway to the West." 

The majestic Gateway Arch, attracts more than four million guests each year. At 630 ft., our nation's tallest man-made monument has plenty of exciting activities. Take the tram ride to the top, see a documentary film, or just enjoy the view.

We didn't make it to the top, but we did enjoy walking along the cobblestone streets of Laclede's Landing past several restaurants and shops.

Laclede's Landing, the last remaining historic area of the original St. Louis riverfront, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. This 19-century, nine square block, 22-acre district is filled with cobblestone streets and cast-iron street lamps and brick buildings, and is one of the city's premiere entertainment districts offering small shops, unusual restaurants and nightclubs.

I could have spend all day here but we need to be in Nashville in time for dinner! 

We spent the next two days in Nashville with longtime friends of mine (which by the way I haven't seen for about 10 years) and enjoyed catching up while having a dinner of grilled "Melt in your Mouth" filet mignon and sipping on wine in the backyard!

Life is Good!
Next stop, Sevierville Tennessee for our first home exchange!

If you would like to see more pictures of our day, just click "Where's Debbie" and then click on the album "We're almost there".

November 8, 2010

Tennessee Bound - Across the Plains of Kansas

Once again, I apologize for such late and sporadic posts about our trip to Tennessee.  I only had Internet when we would have time to stop by the local Starbucks.  Which by the way was over 6 miles away!

Since this post is going to be pretty short, I thought it might be fun to add a map of our route.

View Larger Map

So this post is about our day on Oct 22. That morning we continued on I70 after leaving Denver Colorado. Our destination on this day, Kansas City Missouri.

I must warn you, this was a pretty boring drive, with not much to see or do except for the occasional stop for stretching and gas. I’ve been on this route once before when I drove to East Kansas for my mother’s funeral service back in 1999. I thought maybe driving it once more would be a bit more interesting since this time was for a much happier occasion. We did however see this beautiful church just before we left Colorado.

So no pictures of beautiful scenery or landmarks. Well except for maybe the oil drills that dotted the Plains.

Next stop, Nashville Tennessee!

If you're just stopping by my blog for the first time or you’ve missed my last post, click HERE if you would like to see how the first part of our trip went.

November 2, 2010

Tennessee Bound - From the Desert to the Rockies

As you may have figured out from reading my blog, I love to travel! I really don’t care where to or how I’m going to get there. It’s the journey, not (necessarily) the destination.

We decided to leave Las Vegas the afternoon of October 20th and get a jump start on our over 2,000 mile drive to the eastern part of Tennessee. Three hours later, we spent the night in Cedar City Utah.

So when we were planning a trip to Tennessee a couple of months ago, it was decided to make it a “Road Trip“. A date of October 22 was set to begin our journey, but in true “Debbie” fashion, we left 2 days earlier!

The next morning was our first long day of driving. Destination, Denver Colorado.

After heading north on I15, we did see some beautiful scenery driving west on I70 through the States of Utah and Colorado.

Fall is definitely in Utah!

While driving east through Utah, we found a great spot to stretch a bit and see some interesting rock formations.

Apparently, this is a hot spot for the Native Americans in the area to sell their handmade items to tourists.

I know that the colors of fall in the west can not compare with the colors we will soon be seeing in Tennessee, but you have to admit, these yellows of Colorado are gorgeous!

As we drove through the Rockies, it was evident that ski resorts may very well be opening soon.

A special treat for me after arriving in Denver was the chance to visit with a dear friend of mine. This was the first time in 37 years that we’ve seen each other.

I am reminded of a road trip we took to Provence France when I see the moon over the snow covered mountains of Colorado as I did in the Haute-Alps de Provence. (you can read that story by clicking here)

A great way to end the day……wouldn’t you say?

If you would like to see more pictures, just click "Where's Debbie" then click on the album "From the Desert to the Rockies"

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