Tag Archives: Travel

2022 Road Trip-Part 4B

21 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 4 Continued (5/19/2022)

As I checked out the old Sciple’s water mill, I noticed a hand-written sign that pointed to the Water Mill Opry House across the road, and I just had to take a photo of that old place.  It looked to be as old as the water mill and was all closed up.  I wouldn’t have believed it, but their website informs me that on Saturday nights its standing room only for folks who come from all over Mississippi to enjoy the country music of Ed Sciple’s band and participate in some of the wildest boot-scootin’ and hi-steppin’ dancing around these parts.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

After that wild ride in the countryside, I continued north 60 miles on SR-39 & US-45 to where I visited the Tennessee Williams Home located in Columbus, MS.  I don’t believe I ever read any of Tennessee Williams’ books, but I have enjoyed the movies made from some of his books.  I was the only visitor at the time, and the curator took the time to show me thru the entire house, pointing out little details as we went thru the various rooms.  A framed quote by Tennessee Williams said, “I was composed of a little Welsh wildness, a lot of puritan English, and a big chunk of German sentiment.”  That pretty much said it of the man.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Not far from the Tennessee Williams Home I visited the White Arches house there in Columbus.  This original “Columbus Eclectic” home was built by Jeptha V. Harris in 1857 and is on the list of homes shown on Columbus’ Annual Spring Pilgrimage.  The museum was closed when I was there, but the photo below shows the unique Greek Revival, Gothic, and Italianate design of the house with all its 19th century grandeur.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now I headed north 35 miles on US-45 to visit the Aberdeen City Hall Museum located in Aberdeen, MS.  This 1912 building turned out not to be a museum, but the operating Aberdeen City Hall.  My mistake.  This was another case of me not reading all the words about a given museum or subject.  My wife, DiVoran, keeps telling me, “You have to read ALL the words Bill.”

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

While I was driving around Aberdeen, I noticed an Aberdeen Mississippi Blues historical marker in front of a Blues Mural on the side of a building.  I stopped to get a photo and read all about the Mural.  Not being a big blues fan, I didn’t know about Booker ‘bukka’ White, Chester Aurthur ‘Howlfn’ Burnett, and Albert King being born in Aberdeen, and about the mural dedicated to the Aberdeen Mississippi Blues artists.  Now I’m a little more informed.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

I continued north 30 miles on US-45 to visit the Tupelo Automobile Museum located in Tupelo, MS.  I was expecting to get a look at their 175 beautifully restored cars.  But when I got there, the museum was closed, and from what I have heard, its permanent, and all their cars have been put up for sale.  What a bummer!  So, I headed over to check out the Tupelo National Battlefield located just on the outskirts of Tupelo.  This battlefield was the location of the July 1864 ‘Battle of Tupelo’ otherwise known as the ‘Battle of Harrisburg’ where the Union forces claimed a victory.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now I headed over to visit the Elvis Presley Birthplace there in Tupelo.  Even though DiVoran and I were Elvis fans when we were teenagers, neither of us knew he was born and raised in Tupelo.  So, this was a new experience for me.  I learned that he sang in the local Assembly of God Church choir from an early age and got his first guitar at age ten.  In the years after his family moved to Memphis, TN in 1948, he and his cousins, Jerry Lee Louis, later known as ‘Mr. Rockabilly’ and Jimmy Swaggart, later known as ‘The Evangelist’ spent a good deal of their time hanging out with many of the early black Jazz and Blues performers who frequented the Beale Street clubs and restaurants.  This is where it is suggested that a lot of the Blues, Jazz, and Southern Gospel they heard seeped into their souls and into their music.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now, I gave Greta (My Garmin) the address of my motel there in Tupelo and she took me right to it.  After I got checked in and got my things into the room, I warmed up my leftover fried Catfish dinner from the Blue Crab Grill and enjoyed that delicious meal again.  Yummm!  Then I tried to watch some TV but there was nothing worth watching, so I recorded my days activities and went to bed.  What a long day this has been!

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 65 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

2022 Road Trip-Part 3B#

7 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 3 Continued (5/18/2022) 

Photo Credit:Bill Lites

I asked about the two names for the museum and the curator of the museum told me all about the Three Notch Road that is part of the history of Andalusia.  Seems that in 1824 the US Army built a 230-mile road from Pensacola, FL to Fort Mitchell, AL part of which (90 miles) went thru Andalusia.  Legend has it that the surveyor, a Captain Daniel E. Burch, used three notches cut in trees along the route to guide the construction workers that followed, and the name stuck.

Photo Credit:Bill Lites

After that quick history lesson, I headed west another 55 miles US-84 to visit the Old Monroe County Courthouse located in Monroeville, AL.  This famous structure was built in 1903 and served as the Monroe County courthouse until 1963 when government offices were moved to a new building on the town square.  The town of Monroeville and the courthouse are famous as the location where, in 1962, Gregory Peck and Mary Badham stared in the Award-winning movie version of “To Kill a Mockingbird” was filmed.  I also learned that the Pulitzer Prize Winning author of that book, Harper Lee, grew up in Monroeville, just a few blocks from the old courthouse, where the movie was filmed.

Photo Credit:Bill Lites

Now it was another 35 miles northwest on US-84 to where I visited the Clarke County Museum located in Grove Hill, AL.  The museum is housed in the Alston-Cobb antebellum house that was built in 1854 and is nestled in the piney woods of southwest Alabama.  The museum houses artifacts and memorabilia from prehistoric, Native American, pioneer, antebellum, and Victorian periods about Clarke County’s history. 

Photo Credit:Bill Lites

Pioneer Day is an annual event on the grounds of the Clarke County Museum where local re-enactors, dressed in period costumes, demonstrate many early 1800s tasks the settlers had to perform, such as syrup making, shingle splitting, clothes washing, butter churning, flint knapping, cotton spinning, basket making, horse shoeing, corn shuck doll making, and games for the children.  Blue Herron, a Creek Indian, sets up an authentic replica of a Creek hunting village there on the grounds of the museum where visitors can experience some of that local native culture’s historic activities.

Photo Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/51650726950719578/  

After leaving Grove Hill, I continued west on US-84 another 20 miles, where I planned to stop at the 4-Gal’s Restaurant in Coffeeville, AL for a meal, but they were closed (Covid-19 I guess).  So, needing to get to my motel before all the rooms were taken, I just kept heading west on US-84 passing thru Silas, AL and across the border into Mississippi, and thru Waynesboro before finally arriving at my motel in Laurel, MS for the night.  After I got checked in, I asked the motel clerk if he could recommend a good place to eat.  He said, if I liked sea food, that the Blue Crab Grill was not too far, so I tried it.   I had their Fried Catfish platter, with a sweet potato, corn-on-the-cob, and a side of onion rings.  It was delicious!  I give the Blue Crab Grill a 5-star rating for their food!

Photo Credit: tripadvisor.com/Blue Crab Grill/Laurel,MS  

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

2022 Road-Trip Part 3A

31 Aug

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 3 (5/18/2022)

This morning, after breakfast, I headed west 25 miles on US-84 to visit the U.S. Army Aviation Museum located at Ft. Rucker, AL only to find that the museum was on the base and took a special pass to enter.  The visitor office didn’t open for an hour, and I didn’t have the time to wait around and deal with the paperwork, so I just headed west about 10 miles on SR-248 to check out the Boll Weevil Monument located in Enterprise, AL.  The monument turned out to be situated in the middle of town at the intersection of S. Main Street and W. College Street.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

As I looked around the intersection, I noticed that there was a Boll Weevil Café on the corner, and a Boll Weevil mural on the side of a building.  Not being a true Southerner (I was born and raised in the southwest) I needed a little explanation for why a town would erect a prominent monument to such an insect.  Then I spied a historical marker.  “Herald of Prosperity?”  That inscription only increased my confusion.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

The internet told me that the boll weevil was the most devastating insect to hit the southern cotton industry during the early 1900s.  The cotton industry tried everything they could think of to get rid of the boll weevil, but nothing worked.  Then in 1916 a local Enterprise seed broker named H.M. Sessions suggested alternate crops as a way to combat the boll weevil.  Peanuts and other crops, such as tobacco and potatoes, eventually turned the economic disaster around (Ref. George Washington Carver & the peanut).  However, it wasn’t until 1958, with the help from scientists with the USDA, that a synthetic blend of the boll weevil’s pheromone (chemicals produced by the glands in insects) was finally developed.  As it turned out, it was the boll weevil’s own pheromone that did them in.  This product is now used to lure boll weevils into traps where they can be sprayed with pesticides.

Photo Credit: sandiegouniontribune.com/boll-weevils-begone/

I only had to walk one block from the Boll Weevil Monument to the Enterprise Railroad Depot Museum.  This small museum is located in the original 1903 Alabama Midland Railway depot which serviced the growing Coffee County and surrounding south Alabama areas during its early years of growth.  The interior of the depot is unchanged from when passenger service was terminated in 1958 and is filled with local antique railroad artifacts and memorabilia.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Heading west another 45 miles on US-84, I passed thru the small towns of Opp, Babble, and Sanford to visit the Andalusia Railroad Depot Museum (also called the Three Notch RR Museum) located in Andalusia, AL.  This small museum is located in the original restored 1899 Central of Georgia Railway depot and is filled, top to bottom, with local railroad artifacts and memorabilia dating from the late 1800s.  The depot served Andalusia and the surrounding Covington County area until 1983 when the last train left the station.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

2022 Road Trip

10 Aug

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Prelog 

This year’s driving road trip is really a substitute for the trip to the northwestern U.S. & western Canada trip that I have had planned, but have had to postpone, for two years now because of Covid.  I hope the Canadian tourist restrictions for Americans entering into their country will be lifted by next year so I can visit that part of northwest America and parts of western Canada.  The main motivations for this road trip were to visit friends in Lester, AL and to visit The Arch in St. Louis.  I missed a visit to The Arch last time I was in St. Louis because of Arch construction, and I really wanted to visit that Iconic structure.  The other motivation for this trip was a visit the Museum of Transportation, also in St. Louis, the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, TN and The Ark Encounter in Williamstown, KY.  I have been told by many friends The Ark Encounter is a must-see attraction.  The map below will give you an idea of the approximate route I have laid out for myself during this road trip.

Image Credit: https://mountainhighmaps.com/products/usa-eastern

The idea was to travel mostly on rural roads rather than Interstates to enable me to see more of each state I was passing thru.  I had been in parts of most of the states I would be passing thru on this trip, during previous road trips, but this route would allow me to see new and different parts of the states I wanted to see.   As I was finishing up my packing, our cat, Thea, came in and checked out what I was doing.  Then she jumped into my suitcase and gave me a look that I took to say, “OK, I’m ready to go.  When do we leave?”  I told her she had to stay home and take care of DiVoran while I was gone, so she wouldn’t get lonely.  I guess she was okay with that, as she jumped out of the suitcase and went to search for DiVoran (or a treat that I didn’t have for her).

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

I’m driving my 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan again this year on the trip instead of renting a car, because it served me well on last year’s trip and is so much more comfortable.  Of course, after all these years, I fit the van, and I like sitting up a little higher for better traffic viewing.  I don’t get quite the milage in the van a new rental car would give me, but if the route weather is as cool as predicted I should be able to keep the A/C turned off for better milage than is usual here in Florida.

So, I’m looking forward to starting this road trip tomorrow, when I’ll beSee the source image‘On the Road Again’.5in x 4in Black Double Eighth Note Sticker   I will keep you up-to-date on the many and varied experiences I encounter along the way.

                  Image Credit: on the road again clipart – Bing images

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Our Trip to Spain-Part 18

3 Aug

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 15

We couldn’t believe this was the last day of our amazing tour in southern Spain.  We were up early in order to pack our bags and have our farewell breakfast.  Then we made the rounds to say goodbye to the tour company and Bajondillo staff that had been so helpful during our stay.  By then it was time to board the bus for the 30-minute bus ride to the Malaga airport.  After checking in for our Air France flight to Paris, we had time for a snack before it was time to board our 12:00 noon flight.  We had a 2-hour layover in Paris (just enough time for us to see the sights there in the Charles De Gaulle Airport) and then it was ‘Across the Pond’ on Delta to Atlanta, and another short layover, then south to Orlando, Florida, and home.  

Photo Credit: https://flyawaysimulation.com/delta-airlines-l1011-tristar/

Again, the service on all of these flights was excellent, and the memory of those delicious meals is a dream of ‘by-gone days’ that I long for, on every flight now days, when I’m handed a pack of peanuts or pretzels.  Our daughter and her husband were waiting to greet us when we arrived in Orlando.  By the time we collected our bags from baggage claim and were driven the 35 miles to our home in Titusville, it was almost midnight.  You better believe we were ready to see our own beds and get a good night’s rest.

Photo Credit: https://www.inflightfeed.com/delta-airlines/

Salutation:

Overall, we had a very wonderful trip.  We were able to visit firsthand, with the people in and around Spain’s beautiful Costa del Sol region of southern Spain.  And we were also able to visit Tangier in Morocco, as well as some of the smaller towns and villages in northwestern Africa.  This allowed us to see just how very differently people lived and worked, just across the water from one another.  If it wasn’t for DiVoran’s getting sick and missing some of the tours, we could have called this the perfect trip.  Who would have guessed that after the disastrous 9/11/2001 event here in America, that we would have been able to say this about our trip on 9/30/2001, when our trip was over?  I hope you have enjoyed reading these blogs about our trip to Spain as much as I have enjoyed writing about them.  The many memories of those wonderful times DiVoran and I had on that trip have been wonderful in themselves.  Now, here is wishing each and every one of you safe, wonderful, and memorable travels, whenever and wherever you go.

Photo Credit: Bill & DiVoran Lites               

     My Favorite Scripture: John 10:10b

—–The End—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Our Trip to Spain-Part 16

20 Jul

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 12

Today our group was bussed a short distance to where we visited a small country hamlet, to learn firsthand how the Spanish villagers live, work, and enjoy life.  We strolled thru the small shops lining the narrow streets and were amazed at the variety of hand-made crafts.  Then we were introduced to a local family that produced their own wine and were shown the age-old process of wine making.  After that interesting adventure we were taken to a local farm where we were given lunch by the family, as part of the ‘A Taste of Village Life’ tour company plan.  Very few of the locals in this village spoke English, so most of our lunch communicating was done with sign language.  

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

A long table was setup out of doors for a banquet of delicious local foods for our group.  DiVoran didn’t eat much of anything, because of her continuing stomach distress, and the hostess was distraught, thinking it was because of her food.   She tried one thing after another to make DiVoran feel better, but she was just afraid to try anything.  She finally did take a little wine, for her stomach, but that was about all.  She tried to explain how grateful she was for their effort to please her and especially for their hospitality.  All DiVoran could do was to just sit there and enjoy the love the people shared with one another, and the beautiful scenery.  

Photo Credit: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/29484572533294841/

On our return trip we passed another hilltop Osborne Bull (Toro de Osborne).  I am always amazed at how realistic these bulls are.  They look as though they are ready to charge down the hill and chase you out of their territory.  Someone did a really good job of creating a life-like silhouette of an animal that gives the impression of realism.  

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Most of the rest of the return trip was along the coast of the Mediterranean where we passed thru the small coastal towns of Los Bolighes, Torrequebrada, Playa de Santa Ana, Benalmadena, and La Carihuela.  When we arrived in Torremolinos, DiVoran and I took a short nap to sleep off that wonderful lunch. That afternoon we took another leisurely stroll down the seaside promenade and then back along the beach to admire more of the day’s creative sandcastles.  By then, we were ready to make our way back to the Bajondillo for our dinner.  Tonight’s meal would be at the Cetus Restaurante’ there in the Bajondillo and would include another flamenco presentation.  We were always impressed at the beauty and stamina the flamenco dancers expressed with their dancing.

Photo Credit: Bill Lite

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Our Trip to Spain-Part 15

6 Jul

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 12

Today several of our group opted for a short 20-minute bus ride to visit Mijas, a lovely Andalusian whitewashed village set in the Sierra Mountains.  This village is known for its shops, cafés, and magnificent Mediterranean Sea views.  It was a pleasant ride thru the Andalusian countryside along the seashore.  When we arrived, we were told we were free to wonder the village at our own pace until lunchtime, as we all needed to meet at the ‘approved’ café for our group lunch.  DiVoran and I strolled thru the narrow streets and visited the many small shops while taking in views of the Mediterranean.  

Photo Credit: https://www.thecrazytourist.com/15-best-things-mijas-spain/

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

We visited the small Museo Historico (museum) located in the old town hall.  This is a city history and ethnology museum that displays many of the tools and other artifacts used by the Mijasians, over the centuries, for their diverse livelihoods which has included farming, carpentry, wine making, olive oil producing, and fishing.  We met the group for lunch and had a wonderful meal (can’t remember exactly what we ate, but it was good), and the mariachis singing to us, in the background, painted a perfect picture of Spanish life at its best for us.       

 

Photo Credit:Bill Lites

We passed up the opportunity to ride one of the famous ‘Mijas Donkey Taxis’ preferring the exercise of walking.  DiVoran was not sure how comfortable she would be riding on one of those donkeys.  She was afraid, with her iffy stomach, that the rocking motion might make her ‘Donkey Sick’ and then where would she be.  When the group had spent all their money in the shops and on ‘Donkey Taxis’ around town, we climbed aboard the bus for our return trip to Torremolinos.

Photo credit: https://www.picfair.com/donkey-taxi-in-mijas-spain/

Upon arriving back at the Bajondillo, DiVoran and I had a nap and then we went for a leisurely stroll along the Paseo Maritimo (seaside promenade) while we enjoyed the sea breeze coming in off the Mediterranean.  The sun was getting low on the western horizon and the colorful clouds, drifting across the sky, added to the beautiful evening we were having.  The cooking smells wafting in the air from the many seaside cafés finally got to us, and we returned to the Bajondillo in time for our evening meal.  After this exciting day, it was time to get some sleep, as tomorrow was going to be another busy day.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

i

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Our Trip to Spain-Part 14

29 Jun

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 11

We opted not to go on the overnight trip to Seville and Cordoba today, as DiVoran was still feeling a little iffy, and thought it would be best to stay close to home. We were sorry to miss that tour as it was advertised as one of the highlights of our stay in Spain.  Maybe next time we are in Spain.  After breakfast we decided to take it easy and explore the shops in Torremolinos a little more thoroughly with a self-guided tour.  

Photo Credit:Bill Lites

We had a wonderful time browsing the many shops and tourist traps there in town.  We purchased a few small gifts for our family members and a couple of items for ourselves. We had asked the Concierge at the Bajondillo for a list of the ‘Approved Cafés in Torremolinos so we wouldn’t have to worry about adding to DiVoran’s stomach problems.  After we had visited many shops and worked up an appetite, we stopped for a light lunch at the Casa Pascual Grill, before heading back to the Bajondillo for a nap.  

Photo Credit: tripadvisor.co.uk/Casa_Pascual_II-Torremolinos

In the afternoon I thought I would check out the history of Torremolinos and the surrounding region, so I went in search of the local museum.  I had told DiVoran I would see her for dinner, as she had planned to spend the afternoon relaxing at the beach in one of the lounges, supplied by various cafés and shops, under one of those nice beach umbrellas.  She would be able to enjoy her book and a glass of iced tea, to the soothing sound of the waves breaking and seagulls chirping.  

Photo Credit: booking.com/sun-beach-torremolinos/

I started my history search with a tour of the Casa de los Navajas mansion just a short walk from the Bajondillo. I discovered that Torremolinos (tower of the mills), and much of the surrounding area, is thought to have been settled as early as the Neolithic Age.  However, the area has changed hands several times over the centuries.  In some of the excavations in the area, over the years, there is some evidence of Nordic inhabitance, as well as Roman rule.  Then after the Moorish conquest of Spain in the early 8th century, it is said that the town was founded by the Nasrid Dynasty sometime in the 13th century.  Quite a mix of architecture.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

After the Spanish conquered the Moors in 1492 the town was in decline, back into a small fishing village, until sometime in the early 1920s.  About that time, many of the richer northern Europeans discovered the beauty of the Costa del Sol, with its temperate climate, and Torremolinos began to grow again.  It was one of the first towns in the area to be developed into a summer retreat for northern European tourist.  The Hotel Pez Espada was the first hotel to be built in Torremolinos, in 1960, and over the years, the area has continued to grow, until now it’s considered one of the most popular vacations areas in Europe.

Photo Credit: torremolinoschic.com/hotel-pez-espada/

After I had digested all that information, I headed back to the beach to see if DiVoran was still there.  She was still there, and I gave her the short version of the history of Torremolinos, before we headed back to the Bajondillo to get cleaned up and change our clothes for dinner.  Another delicious dinner was served to our tour group, while we enjoyed another flamenco presentation, accompanied by that wonderful Spanish music.

Photo Credit: DiVoran Lites

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Our Trip to Spain-Part 13

22 Jun

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 10

DiVoran was not feeling any better this morning, and I was beginning to worry that she might have something more serious than ‘Montezuma’s Revenge.’  I made arrangements for a local doctor (approved by the tour company) to visit her at the Bajondillo as soon as possible.  We were to go on a day trip today, and she said she wanted me to go on the tour, as she would rather stay in and see the doctor.  So, after breakfast, the ones of our group who wanted to, boarded the bus for the 45-minute trip to visit the town of Ojen, which is located in the Mirador de las Águilas (mountains). 

Photo credit:Bill Lites

This community has been famous, over the years, for its production of anisette, which is a favorite addition to the morning coffee of many Spaniards.  We were given a tour of the facility and the age-old local processing procedure was explained to us.  It was fascinating.  They had a small museum room that was used to display various antique artifacts that were used over the years, by the family, in their processing operations.

Photo credit:Bill Lites

The group was then led on a walking tour of Ojen where we were free to purchase local wines or hand-made souvenirs from any of the many small shops along the narrow, up and down streets.  When we passed the Solis Restaurante, and my nose got a whiff of the aroma coming out of their door, my stomach asked me if it was time for some lunch.  Our Program Director said we would have to do with a snack, as we had another town to visit before lunch.  So, a snack it was (can’t remember exactly what kind of snack it was).

Photo credit:Bill Lites

Most of us were glad when it was time to get back on the bus.  That was quite an exercise, walking the streets of Ojen.  Once we were back on the bus, we headed south only about 15 or so minutes for a visit to the town of Marbella.  This town turned out to be a haven for the rich and famous and those from all over Europe, who can afford to live richly for a week or two on the famous Costa del Sol.  Situated at the foothills of the Sierra Blanca mountains, Marbella’s beautiful Mediterranean beaches are lined with elegant hotels and lavish villas for ten miles in both directions. 

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Just west of Marbella, the area is known as ‘The Golden Mile’ with its prestigious nightclubs and coastal estates.  It made me think of Beverly Hills in California, and all the glamor that goes with that slice of American society.  Our bus tour 

thru the streets of Marbella (with points of interest explained by our Program Director) was very interesting.  When we drove past a beautiful hotel patio where people were eating, I asked about lunch again, but was told not to worry, that our lunch would be waiting for us back at the Bajondillo in Torremolinos.  I told my stomach to be quiet, as it wouldn’t be long now before it would be satisfied.  Of course, that didn’t work.

We arrived back in Torremolinos in plenty of time for our lunch, but the first thing I wanted to do was to check on how DiVoran was doing.  She told me that she was feeling better, and that the doctor was very nice, and had given her something for her condition.  She told me how she had used a Spanish dictionary to ask the maids for another pillow, and they had been generous. She said she thought she actually felt well enough to join me for a little something for lunch. 

After lunch we had a nap and by then she said she thought she could manage to go with me for a short stroll on the beach.  That turned out to be a lot of fun, as the sea air seemed to do wonders for her spirits.  Every day a new set of ‘artists’ would work their wonders with the sand at low tide, and some of their renderings were amazing.  Our short stroll on the beach ended up being longer than we had planned, as we worked our way back down the beach to the Bajondillo.  We spent the rest of the afternoon in the courtyard getting acquainted with couples from our tour group until it was time for dinner.

Photo Credit: https://www.robertharding.com/sculptures-sand-costa-del-sol/

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

19 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Recently, Fred and I made a trip to Virginia to see our youngest daughter, her husband, and our grandtwins.  We always love being with them.  They live in Williamsburg, but not in the restored colonial area.  But every time we visit there, we always walk through the restored area.

When we returned Stateside from Heidelberg, West Germany in 1983, Fred was stationed at Langley AFB, Hampton, Virginia.  Neither of us had ever lived in Virginia, so it was to prove to be a new and exciting experience for both of us – actually all four of us, since our daughters were still living at home.

We were excited to realize that we lived just eight miles from Yorktown, and that is within the “Historic Triangle” of Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown.  That area is just oozing with American history.  While that had not been much of an interest to me prior to our time in Virginia, I found myself totally engaged in it.

And Colonial Williamsburg helped that viewpoint.  In that vein, we purchased what they called the “Patriot Pass” – essentially an annual pass.  Since we lived only about 30 minutes from Colonial Williamsburg, we went there often – so often that our girls grew a bit tired of it.  Not only did we take them with us, but their schools had field trips there, as well.  Eventually, we felt we had seen just about everything they had to offer, and let our Patriot Pass lapse.  We could still walk the streets and see the gardens and shops, but we couldn’t go into the “attractions” where the “interpreters” told what was going on in their areas in colonial times.  

All that to say, this time when we visited, we decided to get the Patriot Pass and go through as many of the attractions as possible.  We are so glad we did – it was new and refreshing to hear the explanations of what was done in those areas, by people dressed in period costumes, and telling just what it might be like in colonial times to do their jobs.  

We stopped at the seamstress shop (I was especially interested in how they got the printed fabric),

Trend & Tradition – Autumn 2021

 The printer

Credit National Graphic – Visiting Our Past – America’s Historylands

The apothecary, the boot and shoemaker,

Credit National Graphic – Visiting Our Past – America’s Historylands

 The Capitol, 

Credit Williamsburg Before and After

The blacksmith among others.

Credit Military Lifestyle – March 1992

The tour of Raleigh’s Tavern was especially interesting, as we were told it was the birthplace of Phi Beta Kappa!  And there was a gentleman walking the Duke of Gloucester Street, dressed in period costume (along with a yes-man sidekick) who told about how his house was so much better than his brother’s house.  Just delightful!

Credit Trend & Tradition – Winter 2022

We had hoped to go through the Governor’s Palace, but the line was exceedingly too long, with about five or six groups ahead of us.  By the time we were on our way back there, we were both too tired, and skipped that one.

Credit Military Lifestyle – March 1992

We wanted to go in the Bruton Parish Church (that’s BRuton not Burton!!),

Credit Williamsburg Before and After

 which we had seen quite often, but it was closed that day.  It is still an active Anglican church, and was the site of many of the country’s beginnings.  It is especially beautifully decorated at Christmas time.  Just a note here – all the private residences within Colonial Williamsburg, as well as all the stores and attractions, are required to decorate the outsides of their facilities/houses, and it must be all living decorations – no silk flowers or fake fruit – it must be real.  It’s amazing what they come up with.

Credit Trend & Tradition – Winter 2022

Credit Trend & Tradition – Autumn 2021

The Capitol is at one end of the Duke of Gloucester Street, and Merchant’s Square is at the other end, just across the street from the Wren Building on the College of William and Mary.  Many shops and eateries there, which are fun to patronize.  Duke of Gloucester Street is about one mile long.

Here is a book we purchased titled Williamsburg Before and After.  Many of the pictures in this post are from that book. 

Duke of Gloucester Street – 1928

I am so glad someone decided to restore this area!

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

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