2018 Road Trip #1

Short road trip with Mary Martini over to visit her sister and family in Holton, Michigan.  First we visited the Frederick Meijer sculpture gardens and butterfly exhibit in Grand Rapids.  We were greeted by the Michigan marching band (see pic below).  Of course later that evening we also had to endure Michigan getting smoked by Villanova.


On Tuesday we visited the White River Light House and museum (not open yet unfortunately) before heading back home through a beautiful cold, rainy and snowy day in April.

2017 Road Trip #1

First road trip of the year.  2,426 miles starting with a visit to Oxford, Michigan for Austin’s graduation open house (I have a grandson graduated from high school already?!?). Then on the Lia, Chris and Emma’s for a couple days where we also met up with Stephen and Heidi and Lexi.  So a couple days in and I already have seen 5 of my grandchildren.  Emma is losing her teeth!


Next up was Pennsylvania for a 5 day visit with Brian, Amy and Sammy.  Spent a lot of time at the ball diamond since Brian coaches one team and Sammy is on another team.  Sammy is going in the seventh grade now and he is also doing some cross country training this summer.  Must have some of Uncle Ted’s genes in his system.

Sammy and I had a great hike in the governor Dick trail system, including climbing the ladders to the top of the observation tower.

I also had an encounter with an assassin bug.  I did not know what it was at first, and discovered that if I put my finger near it, it would walk towards my finger instead of away.  Fortunately for me, I did not let it get to my finger.  Whew!  Also saw a butterfly on our hike.  Kind of the beauty and the beast.

Then on to Maryland with a short visit with my cousin Susan McArdell.  Did not stay for long but had a great visit and did a lot of talking about all our relatives.  Got some new information for my genealogy research and also had a long talk via phone with my cousin Tom McArdell who has done much research also.  I see more trips in my future!

Susan & Me

Then on to Stephanie and Steven’s in North Carolina (via lunch at Steve and Kathy Clemons in Salem, VA).  Had a great visit there for about 4 days, including a visit to see Dan Warren in Easley, SC with a nice lunch downtown Greenville and a visit to Bob Jones University.

Dan Warren

Made it one day to Mount Airy, NC which is the boyhood home of Andy Griffith.  Had lunch at Snappy’s (which blew up Stephanie’s diet) and visited the museum (not so great) and many gift shops.  Saw the huge school she teaches at (9 classes in each grade!) in South Carolina, Harrisburg Elementary school.  Ended the trip coming home through Troy Ohio and overnight stay with Lia, Emma and Grandpa Risheill.

And last but not least, meet my new girlfriend Thelma Lou!

Me & Thelma Lou

Road Trip #5 – Kids

A two week trip through Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania to see 60% of my children and 2 of my grandchildren, and assorted spouses, in-laws and relocated friends from South.  Great trip with warm humid weather.  I’ll have pics from a couple great hikes in other posts to follow.

Here’s a pic of Emma and the Fireman, Steven and Stephanie on the trail and Brian and Sammy (at least his backside) at the Barnstormers baseball game.

Here is a pic of Ron and Pat Guoan who now live outside of Cleveland Ohio.  I will get floor plans from them so can share with my children what a good grandpa addition to their house should look like.

Ron & Pat Guoan

2016 Road Trip #4 – Zoe

This was not a planned trip, but special none the less.  On Thursday May 5, Zoe called and said I should get out to Palm Springs right away.  Uncle Huddie was in hospice and not expected to live much longer and I had promised to help Zoe when that time came to get from Palm Springs back to Texas.  By Friday morning I was in Palm Springs and that Saturday night, May 7th, I was alone in the assisted living room with Uncle Huddie when he took his last breath of Palm Spring air.

On Wednesday two of Zoe’s best friends (Mark and Tim) arrived from Texas and by that evening we were in Tuscon Arizona (Marks brother’s  house).  I rode with Zoe and her friends drove the motor home.  On Thursday night we stayed in Roswell New Mexico, but no UFO’s were sighted.  By Friday night May 13th we were back in McKinney Texas.  On Wednesday I headed out for Michigan, with a stop over at Dave and Julies in Illinois, via Route 66, and by Friday evening May 20th I was back home in Michigan.

Here are a few pictures from along the way.  Also, here is a link to Uncle Huddies obituary (hopefully this works):

Uncle Huddie Obituary

Road Trip #3 – Palm Springs

This was not a trip that was for fun.  I flew out Tuesday (4/12 – 36th wedding anniversary!) and David met me out there on Wednesday (4/13)  We spent the week visiting Uncle Huddie in the nursing home and giving Aunt Zoe a break from being there all day every day.  I figured out too late that I did not take any pictures of either of them.

But Palm Springs is beautiful.  Stepping off the plane and you already knew you were not in Bay City anymore.


David and I got a chance to take a tram up to the top of Mount San Jacinto (climbed 6000 feet in 10 minutes) and took a hike at the top.

Saw a road runner and had a German pancake for breakfast at Elmers.

Road Trip #2 – Lexi

Just a couple day trip to Tennessee to pick up my granddaughter Lexi with her dad Stephen.  A stop along the way there and back in Columbus to see Emma, Lia and Chris of course was in order.  Stopped for lunch on the way back and got this great pic of Lexi and her dad.  Going to do some digging into my old photo archives and find a picture of Faye and see how just how much Lexi resembles Faye. Lexi&Dad

Road Trip #1 – Conclusion

My first retirement road trip has concluded after three weeks.  Back to snowy Michigan and my own bed and the company of mom, Jim (and Molly who seemed not to care at all that I was gone).  It will be good to see my church family at South today and enjoy lunch with Mary, Steve and the “girls” as Mary calls them.

Along the way of my first road trip I wrote this little poem at one point.  I will post it here for what it is worth.

Rest Stop

It catches me by surprise
In a random moment
At a rest stop
On a bench

Almost brings tears to my eyes
Tightening of the stomach
No triggering event
Just happens

Starts an urge to think and write
And ponder and pray
The Spirit of God?
I wonder

Then it fades and thoughts take flight
Conditions now interfere
Stopped traffic ahead
Mile marker 309

Road Trip #1 – Governor Dick

Today Brian and I had a great hike through some great trails in an area called “Clarence Schock Memorial Park at Governor Dick”.  We did about 4 miles with lots of climbing, including 66 feet straight up the observation tower.  The whole site is 1100 acres with over 14 miles of trails with numerous boulder climbing areas.  An awesome place for a good hike and heart exercise.

We also stopped at an area near where Brian and Sammy hunt with a rock they call Dinosaur Rock.  The picture I included has “Jaida” spray painted on so it seems Eric and Amy must have already been here.

Tomorrow I head to Ohio and then Saturday back home.  The long journey is coming to an end.


Road trip #1 – 2016.11

Nearing the end of the road trip.  Yesterday traveled from Salem, VA after an overnight stay at Steven’s parents house.  Traveled on the Blue Ridge Parkway for a bit to visit Mabry Mills.  Unfortunately the mill was closed along with the restaurant I was planning to eat at.  So I found Crooked Oak along the small highway getting back to highway 77.  My kind of restaurant with a few local people.  Had a Carolina burger with fries, in case you were wondering.  Now at Brian and Amy’s with a cold front moving back in.  Oh well, back to reality soon.

Road Trip #1 – 2016.10


Sunday walk after a good service at Church at Charlotte and lunch at Amelie’s French Bakery & Cafe.  About a 4 mile walk total in beautiful sunny weather and 65 degrees (in February!).

Had a great Saturday shopping and eating some delicious french toast concoction Stephanie whipped up with the slow cooker.  Just good to visit with these two for a bit since I only see them about twice a year.

Tomorrow morning I head out to Salem Virginia to spend the night with Steven’s parents and then Tuesday head to Brian & Amy’s.

Woo Hoo!!