It’s Been a Little Crazy Around Here!

I’ve been on the road again, and it’s gotten a little bit crazy, even for me!  Hop in, fasten your seat belt, and I’ll take you on a quick whirlwind trip…

It all started at the end of September.  I got in my little blue Prius and took off for Atlanta, where I was going to be doing a pixels2Pages LIVE event for some of friends who had hired me to represent pixels2Pages at their fall digital retreat, and I was so excited!  Armed with the audio book version of Winter of the World (second in Ken Follett’s newest trilogy – excellent series!), I was off!  Sadly, as usual, my 10 AM ‘want to leave by” passed my 12 Noon “hope to leave by” but I was pleased to get away at 1 PM before my “HAVE to be on the road by” 2 PM.  That meant I rolled into Montgomery, AL just a tad bit after midnight.  I was on the road early Friday (well, it was before 8 AM!) and made it to lunch with the gang before the food got to the table.

What a fun weekend we had!  Almost fifty digital croppers spent the weekend learning and practicing what they learned.  There were even a couple of women from Florida and two from South Carolina in attendance!  I did my best to help people learn their way around the brand new website.  And boy, was I ever glad the site had FINALLY gone live a few days before!

Before I knew it, the weekend retreat was drawing to an end.  I had such a good time visiting my old friends, meeting new ones, and sharing my love for pixels2Pages.  Thanks, friends, for having me!  Sunday afternoon I set off for Memphis, where my sister lives.  I finished the audio book just a few miles before her house – perfect timing!  I loved driving through north Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi on roads I hadn’t been on in years.  It was a relaxing drive through pretty country.

Kim and I were taking a road trip to Mackinac Island, Michigan, at the invitation of p2P fan Kathleen.  We were so excited – we had never been there before!  Kim was supposed to play in a golf tournament on Monday, but it rained, so we decided to head up the road to our hometown of Paducah, Kentucky, that afternoon.  As luck would have it, our friends saw from our Facebook posts that we were headed that way, and before we got there, we had dinner plans with the girls and a place to stay!  We met our friends Judy, Mary, Mary, and Jan at Doe’s Eat Place where we wolfed down good eats and shared the famous Chocolate Cobbler.  Oh my, it is so good!  Judy got us tucked in and then out the next morning (after homemade blueberry waffles!) and our northern adventure began.  Did I mention it was in the 90’s when I left Tiki Island?

Our route took us up through western Kentucky and across the Ohio River at Owensboro.  We stopped in at Santa Claus, Indiana, in hopes of finding some Frozen Hot Chocolate at Candyland, but it was closed.  Sad face.  On we went to Indianapolis, where we would be staying with Pixie Carolyn.  First, a detour to Nordstrom for Kim to try on her mother-of-the-groom dress and for me to buy some appropriate clothing – warm PJ’s, a pair of Uggs (I had flip flops!), and some socks.  We met Carolyn for dinner and then spent a lovely evening chatting at her house.

The next morning, once we finally woke up (!), we had breakfast and headed for northern Michigan.  We quickly realized that we would not make the last ferry of the day, so the pressure was off.  We were able to relax and enjoy the beautiful fall foliage, and we stopped in Lansing to visit the Capitol and we even made a side trip there to visit an old high school friend.  We stopped in Grayling at Dawson & Stephens Diner and Coke Museum (what a treat!) and it was o’dark thirty when we rolled into Mackinaw City.  But bright and early the next morning, we were on the ferry and meeting Kathleen on beautiful (but foggy) Mackinac Island.

We spent a lovely day exploring the island by foot (no cars allowed – bikes, feet, or horses are accepted modes of transportation) and the sun came out and the temperature was pleasant tee shirt weather.  We met Janice, Katrina, and Connie, and we were loving the slower pace that Mackinac offers.  Carolyn and Tameka arrived after the cold front the next afternoon.  By the time they got there, I had bought a warm windbreaker, a couple of long-sleeved shirts, a scarf, and a hat!  Good thing I wasn’t flying!  I’ll share the rest of the Mackinac adventures on my pages – at this rate, we won’t get far!  Suffice it to say that Kathleen’s hospitality is boundless and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay!  Thanks, Kathleen, from the Sassy Sisters!

By the time we left the island on Sunday, it was still cold but the trees were GLORIOUS!  We took Highway 119, aptly named the Tunnel of Trees, and ate delicious pot pies at the Good Hart General Store.  We parted ways with Carolyn and Meka and made it to Kankakee, IL, in time for my weekly p2P call.  We made it back to Memphis the next day, after detours to the Corvette place in Effingham, a hike in the woods at Fern Clyffe, ice cream at Parker’s Drive In in Paducah, and a stop at mom’s house (wish she were still there….)

The next day was all business for me, as I needed to be back on Tiki before Rex got home (about an 11 hour trip!)  I made it with 15 minutes to spare, and then we turned around and drove into Houston for dinner with some of his college friends.  At least I had time to change clothes and freshen up!  You’ve probably lost count, but it was now Tuesday evening, 9 October, and I had four high school friends (from Paducah!) coming in for the weekend on Thursday!  Needless to say, I did laundry, went to the grocery, cleaned house, cooked, got a haircut, and checked in on mom.  And I was ready when they flew in Thursday afternoon!

As always, we had a fantastic time and the weekend came to an end all too soon.  Last Monday morning, when I took the girls to the airport, my flight left before theirs (only 15 minutes!).  What flight, you ask?  Well, I was headed to Tucson, Arizona, with my dear NC friend, Jenny, for a meeting of women entrepreneurs called ‘The Secret Energy of Money”.  I arrived at the Phoenix airport about an hour before she did, then we picked up a car, stopped at Z Tejas for lunch, and hightailed it to Tucson.

We had a fantastic week, learned lots, ate lots of Mexican food, and even got to spend a lovely evening with p2P Peep Martha!  She saw my Facebook post and came to our hotel for a drink and a bite to eat!  Thanks, Martha, for making the effort!  On our last day in Tucson, we took a walk up to a really cool waterfall on the hotel property and wished we had an extra day or so just to enjoy the Southwest scenery.  But no, we drove back to Phoenix Thursday night so that we could make our before 7 AM flight on Friday!

To view the photo gallery, click HERE.

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