Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Another busy summer, or July I guess.

Seems like we squeeze so much fun into the summer months to prepare us for hibernating in the winter.  With the winters we've had lately, we're starting to rethink the vacation timing!  Although we don't like to miss the basketball in the winter.  Oh the problems of getting older...

The trip to San Antonio/Dallas was a great start to our vacations.  Home from Dallas for three days, then we left for a short cruise with our friends Mange & Mary.  Fourth summer in a row to go on a cruise with them.  All we could squeeze in this time was a four day, two port cruise.  Key West & Cozumel, Mexico.

Our view of Miami from the ship.
Ready to relax...waiting on his boat drink!
Great view as the ship was leaving the port.

First stop...KEY WEST!

Mary & I were shopping, Mange & Donny were trying out Margaritas!

Mange & Mary

Didn't know the original Margaritaville was in Key West!  Great margaritas there!

Three stops for Mange.

Donny & Jimmy Buffett

This was the original Jimmy Buffett Bar.  Those are dollar bills and bras hanging from the ceiling!

Me & Donny and some other couple

...some fun on the ship...

formal night

this is becoming a tradition for us!

my favorite.  Carnival Cosmo.  I think it's Donny's favorite now too. 

We were laying on the deck and this butterfly came out of nowhere and landed right by Donny. We had a visitor!!!!

Donny and his vacation pose...ever since Siesta Key...

They had a Dr. Seuss breakfast for kids - just stopped in to take some pictures!

Cat in the Hat ice sculpture

My favorite frozen drink.  Just remember it had coconut & pineapple...and rum.  Yum.

Adult pool was a little crowded.  Donny & Mange are right in the middle of it...

We must have been feeling pretty good here...or Mange said something funny...

next stop...COZUMEL...

Right off the ship in the shops.  This was a real person.  Pretty cool!

This one was a little scary.  I don't need any curses put on me...

Remember Animal House?  Donny & Mange LIVED it at Wilmington College.  

My new boots

Just off the ship in Cozumel - that's our ship in the background

Paradise Beach pool

Loved this beach - it was like a forest of palm trees!

Donny's beach pose...again.

MISSING:  Two amigos.  One was taking the photo, not sure where the other was!

This was a restaurant right off the ship.  Another Mexican Restaurant. Mexico and all they have are Mexican restaurants.  DUH.  

Had a relaxing five days, but were exhausted when we got home.  Traveling does that to you.  Fortunately I was able to sleep in after we got home.  Donny?  Not so lucky.  He was back to reality the next day.  We ALWAYS have a great time with Mange & Mary.  Already planning something for next summer!

Compassionate Friends

Our July meeting is always a picnic/balloon release.  This might have been the biggest turnout since we've been going.  So many good friends and a lot of great food.  

We attached small cards to the balloons this time instead of writing on the balloons.  The cards reflected the sun the higher they got - looked like stars sparkling! It was really beautiful.

I kind of see a heart shape in the balloons.  I see hearts everywhere anymore.  
From Melissa, I'm sure.  Always makes me smile. 


This trip was a little bittersweet for me.  The last time we were at Ohio University was for Melissa's graduation...15 years ago.  

Scott & Sandi Franz's oldest son, Taylor is going to Med School there.  Saturday was the White Coat Ceremony.  We didn't make it to the ceremony, so when we got there we did a little tour...trying to find Melissa's old haunts & homes.  I didn't think I would remember how to find her places, but it all came back.  Just like it was yesterday...

First of all, we picked up a passanger on the way to OU.  Didn't know it until we got out of the car at the hotel (we stayed at the OU Inn).  I'm guessing Melissa wanted us to know for sure that she would be with us that weekend...

This was our passenger.  We saw it fly by while we were on the road, had no idea it attached itself to the car!  

OU Inn

Melissa's sophmore year she lived in the Convocation Center (basketball arena) with Annie & Karen

Her junior year, she lived at 28 Montrose with seven other girls. She had the biggest bedroom, top right.  This house hasn't changed at all!

She lived here on E Carpenter St. her senior year with Pat, Corey & Shawn. I have a picture somewhere of her & I sitting on the porch...this was an emotional stop for me...

The only place we didn't visit was the dorm she lived in her first year - Jefferson Hall.  Didn't want to walk down the hill and then back UP the hill.  I've heard some pretty funny stories about Melissa and Jeff Hall and that hill.  I need to write them down so I don't forget.  Can I get some help here?

Souvlaki's greek resataurant.  She loved this place AND worked here.  Unfortunately, it was recently closed by the Health Department.  I'll bet it was back then too.  I heard those stories too.

The Cats Eye.  The rugby bar.  Her favorite.

Thought she would like this picture.

and now the real reason we were there...celebrating Taylors White Coat Ceremony!

Kristi & Clarke

I think this was at PawPurrs

Shelly, Taylor & Emily & little beers.

Drinking from the Fort Memorial Cup.  Or the 'stand in' cup.  Trout took the real one home for safekeeping!

Taylor taking his drink!

Donny &  (almost) Dr. Taylor Franz

Scott Franz, the proud dad!

me & Emily (Emily and Melissa were good friends - she was one of Melissa's first teammates on her first soccer team!)

Me, Matt & Shelly.  Matt didn't know it, but after a few drinks I told him Melissa had a big crush on him (before he met Shelly!)  They had no idea.  Melissa was probably not happy that I told him...

Kristi & Clarke - they are cousins but more like siblings.  They look happy here.

Donny - being silly with Clarke - with the rainbow shots.

Somebody (MATT) ordered 32 shots at the end of the night.  He didn't remember doing that the next morning...

We got the handicapped room.  I have no idea why they need FIVE alarms.  We felt pretty safe.

GREAT weekend.  So glad we were invited and we went.  We always have a great time with the Franz family...(Melissa always said she was a Franz wannabe.  She was part of the family.  So are we. Love them!)

Me & Max

Andrew was spending the day with Mimi (his other grandma), so I got to spend the day with Max.  They love Boonshoft, so we went there.  Love spending one on one time with the kids when I get the chance!

Serving Pamma pizza!


and I saved the BEST for last.

My sign from Melissa on one of our flights home...

Thanks Fort.

Love you miss you.