Happy Travels -- Enjoy our Blog

Thanks for visiting, we'll look forward to hearing from you--Pam and Henry

Fireplace / TV Cabinet Project

TV / ART Screen in dramatic Motion

Mid July we created an area for the Fireplace/TV.

We framed new wall for symmetry after centering TV.

This shelf is the top of exposed TV area.

Practicing our dry-walling skills.

Meanwhile in the garage we created this curved panel.

The curved panel position when the wall is completed.

This art panel we built to move up behind above feature and down to cover TV, powered by….

A Linear Actuator. Ours is an 8′ extended length with a 4′ retracted length and 4′ stroke length.

Wave tiles are made of recycled wood. We cut off edges for a continuous book-matched pattern.

The high gloss white paint that matches doors/trim created some light and shadows.

Cabinet for computer media streamer.

We splashed in some waves on the kitchen prep area too.

 Kashmire Cream Granite installed Dec 2 to match kitchen. Both by Tile&Art Durango

TV revealed with a photo of Colorful Colorado.

Turn up the jazz and pour the wine. Our custom frame around the artwork really added finishing touch.

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Winter Arrival 2021

We kayaked Thanksgiving morning after putting the turkey in the oven.  Jumped on the bikes a few more times as well for a total of 2,700 miles of riding in 2021.

We enjoyed a few more evenings of happy hour on the balcony.

There were amazing Nov/Dec sunsets even tho the temperatures cooled down very quickly.

The morning of December 10 we woke up to 14″ of snow and lake partially frozen.

By late afternoon the lake was completely thawed and the wind sculpted the snow into drifts.

That evening we watched the lake “smoke” and freeze instantly into this ice skate rink clear ice.

The morning of the Dec 12th the lake was covered in popcorn type formations but really…

…they were hoary ice crystal castles like these on the shore.

We love that the foxes come visit us when they can walk across the ice.

They seems very curious and playful. Usually they move too fast to capture a photo.

How wonderful this fox paused for a picture!

This is how far south the sun sets at 4:51 MST December 20. Nine hour 20 minutes of sunshine here.

Winter solstice sunrise (7:30 Dec 20) also far south for our wonderful south facing solar heat gain.

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Midwest National Park Sites

Cuyahoga Valley NP – in Ohio and a new National Park for us. Ledges Hike was beautiful. Earlier in the day we walked around Garfield National Historic Site and learned about the presidential campaign of 1880.

Sittin’ on the dock of Nimisala Regional Park, OHIO. That evening it poured – an unbelievable amount of rain.

We snagged second to last site at Blue Knob State Park in Pennsylvania. Best fall color. visited First Ladies NHS and Allegany/Pittsburg Portage Railroad NHS today.

Friendship Hill NHS was Albert Gallatin’s estate. He was Secretary of Treasurer under Thomas Jefferson and Madison so he came up with funding for the Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark Expedition, as well as the first National Highway. Unbelievably this day we also visited Johnstown Flood National Memorial (1889), Flight 93 National Memorial (9/11), and George Washington’s Ft Necessity National Battlefield (1754).

Moundsville in West Virginia was closed but our first introduction to the Mound Builders.

Newark Earthworks is a large park like area by Mound Builders. Museum closed but we walked the grounds.

The Major Lunar Standstill is situated between the mounds every 18.6 years.

Great Seal State Park in Ohio is located in the hills that are on the state seal. We camped here for a night. The Governor chose this park for a COVID memorial – very moving.

Hopewell Culture NHP – so many mounds with interpretive signs to explain what was found in the different mounds.

Artifacts found here at Hopewell Culture NHP

Seip Mound area of Hopewell Culture NHP for an early morning walk/hike.

Serpent Mound, National Historic Landmark, Ohio. Outstanding. Apparently the center of the serpent curves align with different solstices, lunar standstills etc. Fascinating artistic and engineering talent.

Drove to Dayton Aviation Heritage NHP where the Wright Brothers actually made their first plane. Also visited Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers NM in Dayton area which was an interesting history of a great African American solder that was in charged of overseeing the early Yosemite National Park.

Fort Lincoln State Park in Indiana. We are here to see the cabin Abe Lincoln grew up in but it isn’t this one. Today we visited Ft Ancient Mounds and William Howard Taft NHS, and had the best Little Caesars Pizza ever — near Grantsville, Maryland just off I-68.

This is a replica built of the cabin which made it easy to picture Abe reading by the fireplace light. This is in Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial.

This is the actual preserved foundations of the cabin Abe grew up in, not far from the reproduction.

The much older brother of William Clark of Lewis and Clark fame, George Rodgers Clark NHM commemorates the highest ranking patriot of the American Revolutionary War

Mighty Mississippi River from the Illinois side looking over to Missouri. The British Fort of Kaskaskia was here, with Cohokia Ft not too far away (we visited Cohokia for the Mound builders). We also visited nearby Ste Genevieve NHP  in Missouri, One of the oldest European settlements in the US with a strong French presence.

George Washington Carver National Monument. Wonderful to see a NM about the incredible life of someone recognized during their lifetime for their achievements. A beautiful place to visit, take a nature walk, and contemplate. Before we headed home we also visited 2 Civil War National Battlefields: Wilson Creek in Missouri and Pea Ridge in Arkansas as well as Ft Scott NHS in Kansas.


Cresting Colorado’s Wolf Creek Pass with some of the best fall color welcomes us home.

We enjoy some of the best sunsets while we recuperate from our 6,030 miles of driving the last 2 months.

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Put-In Bay and family ties

Lake Erie: our fourth Great Lake. We stayed at Ohio’s East Harbor State park – very pleasant.

My Dad’s parents met in 1932 in Put-In-Bay. Looking forward to seeing the island community.

A short 20 minute ferry ride. We are choosing to walk the 2.5 miles into town.

We first visited the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, built to commemorate the Centennial of a battle of war of 1812. Beautiful and in a wonderful setting. Visitor center was closed but serendipity as rangers were there and let us have a private viewing of the movie.

View as we relaxed on the bench enjoying the sunshine. “Don’t Give Up the ship!”

We talked to the manager of this hotel as it is the oldest still operating. Many other buildings and parks were around in the 1930s. He said they were not the first couple to meet on the island and get married and not the last.

1939 as they start a family. Grandad was a cook on great lake freighters before Put-in-Bay and afterwards, he owned a Dinette in Jackson, MI. Grandma was a farm girl that became a lifelong waitress – and a great baker as well.

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Muskegon, MI Area with Mom

Japanese Garden area in Beautiful Mejeir Gardens near Grand Rapids was our first stop taking Mom on a mini-vacation.

The Zen garden with wonderful raked patterns

There are a lot of sculptures that are a permanent collection.

Appreciating all the colors on a warm autumn day.

Mom with Deborah Butterfield’s Cabin Creek bronze horse looking very natural in the tall grasses.

Sunset from our suite at Shoreline Inn in Muskegon. Mom had lots of reward points that were expiring so we stayed in style. Thanks Mom!

Mother and Daughter at Holland State Park.

We had a great day-trip to Holland and enjoyed many of the waterfront areas.

Sunset on Lake Michigan before returning to the hotel.

A day-trip to Grand Haven to enjoy another light house along Lake Michigan.

Artistic angle as we walked under the catwalk to the end of the pier.

Picnic lunch along Grand Haven River before it empties into Lake Michigan.

The restaurant patio at the hotel looked very inviting so we went down for an early dinner.

Look at the whitefish dinner. WOW. Gorgeous and Yummy. Enough for leftovers the next night.

Another sunset at Pierre Marquette city park in Muskegon.

Our next day trip was heading a bit north to the White River Light Station.

Picnic lunch at the Muskegon River with the submarine museum floating in the back ground.

Forth beautiful sunset melting into Lake Michigan – such a treat for all of us.

Posted in Art, Gardens, Michigan | Leave a comment