Monthly Musings: 2021: November Catch-Up

I’ve fallen quite behind in my weekly chats… so maybe a monthly post might work better, as I have so many blog posts and holiday crafts I’m working on… and slowing me down. Hopefully I’ll finish most of the main ones before the end of the year! I think I need more coffee!

Thanksgiving in Florida!

November was a very busy month for us in packing for our 3-week Florida vacation to visit my granddaughters… my son and daughter in law was a bonus! As soon as November 1st rolled around… I was ready to leave, but our date to leave was still a few days later. Isn’t it funny, how once the date nears… you are just ready to hit the road! I sure am!

I had been packing for the longest… actually all year… in trying to not forget what I wanted to bring… and I had so many things on my list to bring to the girls, and a couple family heirlooms to my son… and other things he never took when he left home. Do you still have things that your kids never took… and you’re still holding onto?

Granddaddy McKinley’s cast iron kettle and Granddaddy Bryan’s paddle made for stirring his famous Brunswick Stew.

Last year I took my son the “McKinley” cast iron farm bell from Granddaddy McKinley’s farm in Siloam, Georgia. This year I brought him Granddaddy’s cast iron kettle and the wooden stir paddle that Granddaddy Bryan made; he often borrowed it to make Brunswick Stew, as his was too large. Cousin Charles Bryan gave the paddle to my son a few years ago… but I quickly took possession of it! Funny how I brought all these things from Georgia to Connecticut… and now they are returning back to the South.

Even with all my “many” packing lists… that I somehow forgot to double-check… I managed to forget my travel pillow, and no sooner seeing a billboard advertising peaches in hitting the Georgia line, did I remembered that I’d also forgotten the “spiced peaches” I was bringing… that meant a stop at Peach World. I had already stopped along the road to buy myself another travel pillow. While I enjoy stopping at the Florida and Georgia welcome centers… it’s tough to escape without them owning your house!

We had a great travel trip… traffic flowed well… no traffic jams or accidents seen… and we arrived right on time to our hotel. We always stay at this great place in Royal Palm Beach as we have a suite there that opens right to a lake behind the kitchen door. It’s only 20 minutes from my son’s house, so it works out perfect for us. Everything you need is nearby, but if you’ve driven in Florida, you know it seems to take you longer to get everywhere… as you are always doing a “turn a round” to get where you need to go. It’s a very fast paced life there… they drive like they’re in a race to all come in first place!

To beat the holiday road traffic, we arrived a week before Thanksgiving… giving us extra time to spend with the granddaughters. They actually had the week of Thanksgiving off for vacation, so that gave us all day for crafting… and boy did they keep me busy!

My daughter in law (Rose) was the perfect hostess in cooking and allowing us “all our time” to spend with the girls… I am truly blessed!

My granddaughters are very lucky in that they are able to enjoy Christmas, directly behind Thanksgiving when we come. How lucky the girls are to be able to open Christmas presents twice! It’s so much fun to be able to see them open their gifts… and Rose even wraps them all for me. What would I do without her?

I left Ella, Ana, and Nina one last gift from me… that they couldn’t open until Dec. 1st… and then only one a day. While there, I finished my Advent Calendar I was making for them… and I’l blogging on it soon, so I won’t go in much detail here.

We stopped in Savannah on our way home for a couple of days, and the weather was perfect in visiting this usually hot/humid city… if you dare to visit during the summer months. We enjoyed the trolley tour around the city historic area and even took a ghost nighttime tour. I stopped in to visit my favorite book store… Books on Bay. It’s hard to visit Savannah and not stop by and drool over all the many Nancy Drew books for sale.

I was allowed to hold owner’s “first” of Nancy Drew’s 1930… The Secret Of The Old Clock… and I so wanted to bring it home! (a post forthcoming on the journey of this book)

Our drive time home worked out perfect in nearing Mt. Airy, N.C. in the late afternoon… aka Mayberry… and the home of Andy Griffith. We’ve stopped once before and went to the museum, but on this trip, we wanted to visit main street to see Walker’s Pharmacy and Floyd’s Barbershop. Their downtown was beautifully decorated for Christmas… even Andy & Barney’s police car was sitting on the street; they give tours in it! If you ever find yourself on I-81 in North Carolina… do stop in! We found a great little mom and pop motel, the Bryson Inn… just off the highway, and a great local eatery across the street called The Copper Pot… which had great coffee and food! After the waitress told me it was their own blends… I bought coffee to bring home… as the price was right! We enjoy finding great motels to stay in… hubby likes to always have the car right at the door… no inside hotels for him!

Main St. in Mt. Airy, North Carolina… Walkers closed before finding it… and you know what that means… another road stop!

I stumbled open “Otis’s” jail cell in the middle of the Antique center… while I was ready for a nap, but I didn’t want to spend the night!

We so enjoyed the warm 70 and 80 degree days while in Florida and dreaded the ride home to cold Connecticut… arriving to temps of low 50’s, but winter is coming. Thankfully we arrived to a sunny day to unpack… no snow yet!

Upon arriving home, I’m still busy finishing up Christmas crafts… and as usual for me… I have way too many projects started. I just can’t seem to start my Christmas projects in the summer, as I think I have time… and then it pounces on me!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family… now onto Christmas!


More Family Stories… over HERE

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About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

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