Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bob & Linda's 16th Anniversary -- Munzesheimer Manor

I love going to Bed & Breakfast places, so Bob said it was OK with him if we spent our 16th anniversary at one. We talked about going to Eureka Springs, but I didn't want to spend time driving and riding in the car. We looked online at Bed & Breakfast places in Texas, then decided to stay at Munzesheimer Manor in Mineola. My friend Susan Bates Brooks knows the owners from when they all lived in Tulsa, and she recommended it. I took a look at their website -- and when I saw the photo of the house, I immediately decided that was the one I wanted to go to. I love the old Victorian houses and this was my idea of a B&B.

Bob and I left yesterday morning on the day of our 16th anniversary, after first having a late breakfast at one of my favorite places for breakfast in Dallas -- Dream Cafe. Mineola is one and a half hours from Dallas, so we didn't spend all of our time driving and riding in the car. We arrived at Munzesheimer Manor around 3 p.m. and met our wonderful host and hostess, Bob & Sherry, and checked into our beautiful room. Even though it was 101 degrees outside, Bob and I decided to check out the town of Mineola. There were some antique stores and lots of quaint shops that we enjoyed exploring. After we got cleaned up for dinner, we went to Kitchen's Hardware, Deli & Steakhouse for dinner. Yes, there was a hardware store and deli off to the side of the steakhouse. Bob & Sherry recommended it to us when we arrived and Sherry even called in our reservations. It was a good thing that we had the reservations, as the restaurant was packed! I had salmon and Bob had the steak for dinner. Everything we tasted was wonderful, but especially since we ate no lunch. Oh, we did try a fried pie at one of the little shops earlier. Those fried pies are very popular and in all of the shops and restaurants. It was my first one.

After dinner, Bob and I decided to drive around and see the area. We drove around Lake Fork Reservoir. When we had returned to the B&B, the other couple who was staying there and Bob and Sherry, were sitting in the living room visiting, so we joined them. I love meeting new people!

Bob said he liked the sound of the nearby freight train that whistled as it came through Mineola several times during the night. I heard it also, but it didn't keep me awake very long. I slept well in the comfy bed.

At eight o'clock sharp this morning, Bob & Sherry brought coffee and tea upstairs to our rooms. At nine o'clock, breakfast was served in the dining room. Bob made Dutch Babies and miniature blueberry muffins for breakfast. Very yummy! They even had moonshine syrup, that Bob & Sherry went to Louisiana to buy.

After breakfast and more visiting, we said our good-byes and headed back to Dallas. It was a wonderful 16th anniversary!

If you would like to see more photos of our trip, here is the link --

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bob & Linda's Vacation - Part II - Liberty, MO

Part II of Bob's and my vacation was to Liberty, MO to visit his older daughter Jenny. Jenny has a doctorate in botany and she teaches at William-Jewell College. Bob and I arrived on Sunday just in time to go out for dinner. We met several of Jenny's faculty members for dinner. Jenny now lives in a house that is located on the Margaret Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary. Living in the nature sanctuary is a great place for a person who loves plants and critters. The first night we visited Jenny, she took us on a walk at 9 p.m. on one of the trails. She had a flashlight that didn't do much. I ran into a cobweb that got on my face, hair and clothes. We heard lots of sounds that I really didn't want to know what they were or how close to me they were. I'm not much of a naturist! Give me a good book and a pool to sit by and I'm a happy camper! On Monday, Bob, Jenny and I went out to breakfast and ran a few errands. Then, we decided to stay in her house for the remainder of the day since it was just too hot to be outside. We read, napped and did things on the laptop computers. Jenny has no TV. Bob also fixed a toilet paper dispenser that had come off the wall. Jenny made us a wonderful Indian dinner. I did want to walk on the trails of the nature sanctuary while we were there, so we got up very early on Tuesday to walk before it got too hot. Jenny gave us the names of all the plants and trees we saw on our walk, but I don't remember many of them. After breakfast and when we all got cleaned up, we drove into Kansas City. Jenny took us to The City Market -- We looked through some of the shops, bought coffee beans, nuts and some yummy flat bread at the farmer's market. We went to a bookstore, then to lunch at an Indian restaurant. After lunch, we picked up her friend Jason and decided to go some place cool -- a movie. We went to see "Cowboys & Aliens". I told Bob that I'd give it a one star. Not my kind of movie, but Jason, Jenny and Bob liked it. Afterwards, we went for some good Kansas City BBQ. For those of you who watch Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, then you would appreciate the place where we had dinner. Oklahoma Joe's BBQ was located in a gas station! The place was packed, but we found a place to sit to eat our dinner. The line to get the food was continuously long the whole time we were there. Very popular place and excellent food! Way too much of it, however! Bob and I drove back to Dallas on Wednesday the 3rd of August. Here is the link to the photos we took in KC --

Family Reunion - Springfield, IL - July 30, 2011

Bob and I took a week of vacation to drive to Springfield, IL for my family reunion. We also decided to visit Bob's older daughter Jenny who lives near Kansas City, on the way back to Dallas after the reunion. We spent the first night of our vacation, in Tulsa with Bob's brother Nick and wife Sandra so we could shave the first four hours off of our long trip to IL. Thursday was our 8-hour drive day. We arrived in Springfield late, so we just had dinner and went to our hotel. On Friday, we had lunch at the retirement home with my mom. Their mid-day meals are lengthy, but the food is very good. That evening, my brother Ken, nephew Paul, my sister Cindy and her husband Mike arrived and we all gathered at mom's apartment at Brenden Gardens in Springfield. I really enjoyed that time together with all of them.
Saturday was the day of our big family reunion. It was so hard for me to believe that just a year ago I started to plan it and here it was -- the day for the reunion already! We had decided a month prior to the reunion to get the air conditioned building instead of the open air pavilion. We had to RENT it and put up a deposit, but everyone was glad we decided to do this, as it reached 100 degrees that day! Lots of family from both my side (Smith's) and my ex-husband's side (Tubbs) were invited to the reunion. We tried to find out who came the farthest. Liz, who is David's niece, came from Washington state. My brother Ken came from MA. My nephew Paul, lives in Vero Beach, FL, but he was visiting his dad in MA and they came out together. And my cousin Phyllis and her son Kevin, came from CA. People started arriving soon after the building was opened for us at 11 a.m. I had everyone bring a dish to share for lunch to keep the costs lower. Cindy & Mike have a friend who does catering with smoked meats, so they decided to bring ribs and chicken. It was kind of a hassle, as they blew a fuse in their hotel room when they tried to heat it up! But, everyone enjoyed the meat and wonderful side dishes everyone brought. There were 39 family members who showed up for the reunion. And a friend of mine from San Diego surprised me by showing up too! Steve was in IL for his niece's wedding and decided to drive to Springfield to meet someone on Saturday. He knew I was there, so he called my cell phone and came by the reunion just to say "hi". I hadn't seen Steve in over 10 years! We had access to the playground and the swimming area of Lake Springfield and the little kids enjoyed both of these. Everyone had a great time and now they want to get together every couple of years. I suppose they want me to organize it too! :-) I don't mind, as I love being with my family! Here is the link to the pics some of us took --