Category Archives: Traveling Days

The Journey, Not The Destination

On Sunday, Motor Man and I took a day trip to the mountains of Virginia. We were concerned that recent storms may have stripped the trees of their fall foliage, but that wasn’t the case.  Although we didn’t see many reds, there were quite a lot of oranges, yellows, golds, and of course, greens.

Our destination was a pumpkin farm that a friend had recommended. We were somewhat disappointed there, most likely because it was too cold and windy to spend much time outside.

To reach the farm, our GPS took us down Snickersville Turnpike, which is a narrow, winding country road. The “turnpike” is lined with stone wall fences, horse farms, huge homes and an occasional cow pasture. There is even a one-lane bridge, but I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo, and there were few available turn-around spots.

Along Snickersville Turnpike is the town map dot of Aldie, Virginia where we saw the ruins of what appears to have been a gorgeous old home. A Google search failed to provide any information, but it would be interesting to know its history.

A little further down the “turnpike”, we stopped at this picturesque spot.

And took out the tripod for a couple of pictures. This is a monument to the First Mass Calvary 3rd Brigade.

We were standing right at the edge of the highway for this next picture and heard a car approaching just as the shutter clicked on the camera timer.

Happiness is a journey, not a destination.”

~These Days Of Mine~


Random Five Friday: Welcome, November

Five randoms for the first day of November:

1.) When I was a teenager, I somehow became interested in post-season baseball. I watched every playoff game and every World Series game.  It’s been many, many years since I’ve watched a game, but Motor Man and I came on board beginning with game 4 of the World Series this year. We were hooked, and watched the remaining games in their entirety. We rooted for the Nationals for two reasons: one, they’re the closer to us team. And also in memory of a friend  who passed away recently who was a huge Nats fan.

internet photo

2.) I do like getting dressed up for Halloween, something I never really did as a child. Motor Man and I got in the spirit just to go to dinner last night.  I was a stray kitty, and he was the animal control officer. (The belt was around my arm…. to “take me in” to the pound.) “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

3.) This weekend, our little town hosts a Holiday Open House with several shops participating. The forecast is for perfect fall-like weather. Pictured below is one of the rooms at Wharf Hill Antiques, always a beautiful shop.

photo courtesy of Visit Smithfield VA

4. Our weekend might also include a day trip and perhaps a little balloon chasing. Conditions should be favorable.

5.) This is a recent picture Marshall sent of his kitty, Sibyl.  She can’t wait for him to get home in the afternoon. That’s the sign of a happy kitty.

How will you spend the weekend? Any fall foliage in your area?

~These Days Of Mine~







Rainy, Sunny Sunday

Motor Man and I hadn’t been to the Outer Banks for a few weeks, so even though yesterday’s weather forecast was iffy, we took a chance.

And we had a very interesting day.  First we had menacing clouds over the ocean.

But, then we had some blue sky.  There would be rain, then some sun, then rain again, then sun again.

We saw fourteen horses. Not a huge number, but not too shabby for this time of year.

Something had this handsome guy’s attention.

And, after a very changeable weather day, we came home to this amazing sunset.

The weather: it was a-changing…all day.

~These Days Of Mine~



Full O’ Hot Air

That would be a good description of our weekend.

Early Saturday morning, we helped our balloonist friend, Mark, with a launch.  Once again, it was another beautiful morning.

After nearly an hour-long flight, Mark landed near a cotton field.  The farmer is a friend of ours and just happened to be in the field that morning.  He took this photo as the balloon was landing and gave me permission to share.

Photo courtesy of J. Oliver

Once the balloon was back on the ground, Motor Man and I took off on the 5-plus hour drive to Statesville, NC for the Carolina Balloon Fest. A coastal storm forced cancellation of the activities scheduled for Saturday afternoon and evening.

But, by lunchtime Sunday, the storm had passed.  Between those gorgeous blue skies with the white clouds,  and the vibrant colors of the balloons, it made for quite the photo op. There were a total of around fifty balloons at the festival; about half of them had flown early Saturday morning.

Many of the others launched on Sunday afternoon.

Not all of the balloons launched: some did what’s called a “candlestick”, where they just fire the burner. Another photo op.

Sometimes the balloonist “burps” the burner, and I was able to catch this poof of fire during one of those times.

Mark put us in contact with a friend of his who was at the festival, and he allowed me my first chance to “fire” the burner.

Then Motor Man had a turn.

There were so many beautiful balloons, including this…cheetah (I think).  The afternoon sun illuminated it perfectly after its launch.

And, in keeping with the season:

So, yes, our weekend was full of hot air….in a good way.

~These Days Of Mine~


The Tates And The Wright Brothers

One of the Facebook pages I follow features vintage photos of the Outer Banks.  It’s amazing to see just how much that area has changed over the years. But I suppose that’s the case in just about any location.

This past week, the following pictures were shared on that page.  Since the photos are public, I was assured that it would be okay for me to include them in today’s blog post.

The photos were shared by Kaylynn Curling, who currently lives about an hour from the Outer Banks. It seems that her ancestors were of great help to the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk.

Here’s a quick explanation from Kaylynn that was included with the Facebook post:

“My 5x great uncle was William James Tate, who was the old postmaster of Kitty Hawk. The Wright brothers originally wrote to the weather station asking about weather and wind conditions, and one of the men that worked there ended up giving my uncle the message. Uncle Tate was the one that would correspond back and forth with Wilbur Wright.

In 1900 Wilbur showed up and had no where to stay, so my uncle let him stay with them. Orville showed up two weeks later and then they stayed in a tent outside of my uncle’s property. My uncle was married to Addie Sibbern, and she loaned her sewing machine to the brothers so they could work on the wings for their glider.

James Tate was the Currituck lighthouse keeper. His brother Daniel Tate, which is my 4x great-grandfather, would stop by to help occasionally. Daniel Tate was Tommy Tate’s dad and that is the picture you guys had up of the little boy who caught fish for the Wright brothers.”

And here are some of the photos:

Bill Tate and family (including wife, Addie, seated) at the Kitty Hawk post office. For those of you not familiar with the area, Kitty Hawk is a town located within the Outer Banks.


The caption for this next photo is:  “In October, 1900, the Wright Brothers sent 10-year-old Tom Tate up on their glider as they flew it like a kite. Later, just before returning home, Wilbur made about a dozen free flights.” Tom was Kaylynn Curling’s third great grandfather.

Young Tom near a shed at the Wright Brothers camp:

And this picture shows the Tates many years later with the treadle sewing machine used by the Wright Brothers to sew the canvas for their glider.

Motor Man and I have visited the Wright Brothers Memorial in the Outer Banks a few times, including during the First Flight Centennial Celebration in 2003. As the saying goes: “if you’re ever in the area…”.

I found these photos to be so very interesting. How gracious of the family to share them.

~These Days Of Mine~



Birthday Balloon

You may recall that Motor Man and I have a friend, Mark, who is a hot air balloonist. We’ve taken a few rides with him, and have helped with many launches and landings.

I enjoy taking pictures and sharing them later with the passengers.

Saturday, our friend, Donna, had the opportunity to ride. She had been on a short balloon flight several years ago, but this one was probably about an hour long. And the timing was just about perfect: her birthday is next weekend.

As the crew was preparing the balloon for the launch, Donna was ‘hands on’, helping hold the envelope open as it was being filled with cold air.

And, of course, we had to take time for a quick selfie.

The balloon flights are usually VERY early in the morning; sunrise shots are worth the early wake-up call.

And I never tire of taking pictures of the “fire in the balloon”.

Soon it was time for take off. Donna shared the ride with a sweet couple celebrating an anniversary.

Bye!  Have fun!

It was a beautiful morning for a flight, and it was fun to “chase” the balloon. Their flight took them over some of our county’s beautiful cotton fields, just waiting to be picked.

After the flight, Motor Man and I joined Donna and the balloon crew for brunch at a local restaurant.

l-r: crew chief Luke, Donna, pilot Mark, myself and Motor Man

Donna shared with us that, during the flight, Mark and the other passengers sang “Happy Birthday” to her.

I’d say she’s getting this birthday celebration “off” to a good start.

~These Days Of Mine~


Don’t Stop Playing

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old:
we grow old because we stop playing.”

Isn’t that a fun quote? It’s been a favorite of mine for quite some time, but until I I “Googled” it while writing this post, I didn’t realize that credit for it is given to George Bernard Shaw.

Motor Man and I did a little playing this past weekend. We went on a hayride. Through a sunflower field. To a pumpkin patch.

The wagon was pulled by a 1957 Farmall tractor. Our driver (and owner of the farm market offering the rides) told us that it was his dad’s first tractor.

And that he learned to drive it when he was 10 years old.

Don’t you just love stories like that?

See, I told you Motor Man and I spent some of the weekend playing.

Included in our ride was a free pumpkin for each of us.  This is Motor Man with his.

In order to get that picture of him, I had to lean back on the wagon.  That, in turn, inspired him to take this picture.  (More playing…)

I’m not sure that playing will actually keep us from growing old(er), but we sure are having fun trying out the concept.

~These Days Of Mine~