March 31, 2016

Group Pictures of Troy Travelers - Amsterdam-Paris-Normandy

Touring Europe- ( Amsterdam-Paris-Normandy) March 2016

Group shots courtesy of Pam/Ray Smith and/or Serdjo Car

Just a clue for my family and friends looking closely at the group-
To spot me just go to the oldest, shortest female wearing a black trench coat.
(That should be EASY)

It will take time to fill in the blanks with more fyi details-When some of these group shots were taken and shared on our trip diary w family I happen to know some family members were examining closely saying- "find Mom- proof of life"..LOL

In the interest of full disclosure: {personally} We never felt any danger or saw any  show of law enforcement that suggested we were or could be in danger. It was not until we were at and leaving the airport in Paris on Friday March 25th that we knew it as REAL..SECURITY was impressively tight. For that we have to be thankful

Not all our stories will be shared here simply because they are not all mine to share but indeed we do have stories to tell.

Later- Looking Forward-

post script:  btw this Gramma marked her 75th birthday  just  4 days after our trip...well, I am impressed because I know the steps we walked, the STAIRS we climbed the shops we lingered in etc...later-

March 30, 2016

And Then We Get to T R A V E L -

Yes, This Gramma Did Travel to Europe-

( March 17-25, 2016 )

Amsterdam/the Netherlands- Paris-Normandy-

[Just A Glimpse-More to come "in parts"]

( The South Georgia country girl-in France about to mark her 75th Birthday -on the 29th)

Enjoy the waterways of Amsterdam.

Confession time:  The best laid of plans sometimes get scrambled-like taking a 'sick day & night" to linger/hide out in your hotel room to allow the body and the OTC meds to do their thing-But that's Life 'as we often say' and we just trudge on and deal with it. Thank God for internet photos and those shared by your Troy Travelers group.

Notes from Abby in London
Photo source: Abigail Koch

Amsterdam at dusk.

The iconic Eiffel Tower.

Yes, Gramma missed this outing but not to worry I got reasonably close up shots from the bus and thanks to today's technology I only feel I missed out ....just a bit.

Bicycles rule in Paris-They're EVERYWHERE!

 FOOD....yes the food was almost without exception FAB U LOUS..and all the better because of the settings-environment and the 39 others with whom we shared these meals.  Our Tour guide Serdjo Car and Pam Smith's attention to detail meant we had great dining experiences  in cozy Parisian & Normandy area locations we will stash away in our files called :  "Snapshots in time-& Europe"

Ohmygoodness what happened to Gloria? Where did she disappear to?

"It's my birthday- ( Meredith Gramley) 18 today and celebrating with

the Troy Travelers-Troy, Alabama

The Birthday confection with FIREWORKS was delivered to the kids table-

fabulous way to mark your 18th birthday -

(in Normandy-France)

-'to be continued-hang in there with me while I collect my thoughts, do the collage thing and check out other Troy Travelers photos being shared so generously-

Our Town - Yesterday & Today ( a brief glance-to be continued)

Days Gone By

 Street Scene-Brundidge, Alabama

I know nothing about identifying the make, model and year of automobiles especially anything prior to 1957...really! I wonder why~ If I did I would gladly fill you in on the approximate year of this scene.

When we were house hunting in 2006, transitioning from southeast Texas back to Alabama - remember [closer to children and 8 Grandchildren ]  we had specific preferences.  We knew  moving into the city of Montgomery was at the bottom of our list.  We did not want to move into an apartment- keep in mind we were leaving the country scene with almost 200 acres surrounding a 100 year old primitive farmhouse.  The move was not  akin to breaking up with your first boyfriend but more like breaking off an engagement the week before the wedding dramatic.

After looking at houses south and southeast of Montgomery and coming close to The One a couple of times we ended up an hour & 15 minutes south of three of our children in a small University town.  I don't recall the realtor showing us anything in Troy but we did look at three properties in Brundidge which is a short 8 miles away. 

After making a few stops in another direction we found ourselves taking a second look in Brundidge and without too much indecision or waffling found our home.  It was move in ready.  There was nothing to work on- as we so often say: "famous last words." 

We didn't stop working for several years.

And why did we choose to make our new home in a small town with one traffic light and barely two blocks of what we call 'downtown ?"

The population is about 2,000 - had at that time  1 dollar store, 1 small Piggly Wiggly Supermarket, a Florist, 2 insurance company offices, a jewelry store, three Banks, a hardware store,  furniture store,  Hardy's fast food restaurant,  several gas stations, a wonderful  library, 3 churches on that downtown stretch of main street - you get the picture. 

 There were several antique stores on main street or close by each adding it's own distinct flavor. The  Brundidge story from the 1950s forward was pretty much like that of all small town America as we moved toward the 21st century with this amazing thing called modern times and progress.  If you have no idea what I am talking about go visit with somebody's Grandparents  who are now 65+ and ask them to tell you about the small towns  where they  lived  during the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s and 50s...

I would do this small town a disservice if I failed to mention the We Piddle Around- A dinner Theater.  By this time WPA had earned a reputation. Our realtor pointed out that you could not dilly dally about purchasing tickets for this fall and spring  production: "Come Home, It's Suppertime."  He was right-when tickets went on sale we learned that you had best be in line that morning ready to secure your seats.  This continues to be the norm each spring & fall season.

Small towns like this are a difficult  environment -specifically not making it easy for a new business to thrive-even survive.  For that reason we have seen in the almost 10 years here numerous new endeavors come and go...within a year or two.  I always cheer them on and support enthusiastically  but it does indeed 'take a village" to  ensure success for the little people, small business or entrepreneurs. 

Some of the latest brave souls entering this business community include  a Thrift Shop, Internet  Coffee Shop, Family Dollar, and a first class new restaurant- with designs on becoming a sports bar scene as well as the place for large & formal receptions, wedding & Sorority gatherings.

Brundidge Florist-Main Street-

Just a few highlights from downtown small town Brundidge, Alabama-located just 8 miles from the city of Troy, Alabama-home of Troy University
This is definitely not the entire story or scene-It's changing even as we speak.

March 08, 2016

Where In The World Is Abby ...


by abbyabroad  Guest Blogger 
This past weekend I & a few friends   visited the beautiful city of Prague in the Czech Republic.  I  had no idea what to expect.

  We arrived in Prague Thursday, afternoon after a 5 hour layover in Munich, Germany. We ended the night  going to a beautiful restaurant called the 'Marina'  inside an actual boat on the water! I ordered salmon pasta and it was only 8 US dollars!  A  good deal for a fancy restaurant.

Friday morning was glorious because we woke up to SUNSHINE. It's amazing what a little  sunshine can do to your mood. We stayed in Old Town Prague. The first day we wandered over to the Jewish cemetery and got to tour around; then  to a traditional Czech restaurant!  The food  was very good. So much more taste & variety than England (in my opinion). We ended the day  taking a hike to view the sunset over the city.

I just had to visit the Ice Bar, We went Friday night and it was such a cool experience. The room is set at -7 degrees and everything inside is ice (obviously). They give you a massive coat and gloves and they even put your drink in a glass made of ice! You could only spend 30 minutes inside due to the temperatures, so afterward we made our way next door to Karlovy Lazne (the biggest club in Central Europe, 5 floors tall). That was super cool as well because each floor had a different theme! The next day we got to explore the castle and to see the John Lennon Wall!
One observation  while in Prague was how peaceful the streets were. There were tons of tourists groups out and about during the day, but it never felt over crowded or super loud.  The architecture was so impeccable as well. This is called the "untouchable" or "golden" city, which makes total sense. The buildings were all so gorgeous and most would be pastel colored with gold roofs. Being here was such a joy and I've vowed that I definitely want to return one day. This trip had just emphasized how fortunate  I am to be traveling the world while studying in England. 

Next week, I am off to Dublin for St. Patrick's Day! :)


March 01, 2016

Moments of Spring...Whispers of a New Season- Spring 2016

Today, March 1, they are now gone...done...over. The sweetest little the Wisteria will be showing up soon and will like the paper whites be gone before you get use to the joy and the sweet scent of them....and the Bridal Wreath..same story-I see teeny tiny leaves along their branches already.

(Less than two weeks this is what the paper whites looked like at my  house)

I will come back and share those Bridal Wreath and Wisteria as quickly as they begin to show up.