Traveling With Beverly – Fall 2019



It’s been and busy and fun fall so far. I’m catching up on my “On The Road With Beverly.” I know you have been anxiously awaiting. (wink) I do know that I need to catch up, though, so for those that like to follow along; put on your seat belt, here we go…

In October, my mom and I flew to Birmingham, Alabama for the Southern Lady Celebration. Have you ever read any of the Southern Lady magazines published by Hoffman Media? If not, you will love them! Several years ago, they had a yearly celebration and then stopped hosting the yearly event. My mom and I attended three of them in the past; Dallas, Savannah and Atlanta. This year, Southern Lady is back with their celebration, yay! Perfect birthday gift for my mom.

The event was held at the Wynfrey Hotel that is attached to the Galleria Hotel. Perfect! We flew in, rented a car and made our way to the hotel. Got checked in and settled. The first evening we were part of the VIP group that got to attend a special dinner at the home of the editor of Southern Lady Magazine, Phyllis Hoffman DePiano. She has a lovely home and the living/dining room was set up with several round tables. The meal was catered by a young lady that has a catering business and restaurant in Birmingham. Our meal was delicious! Mrs. DePiano, then spoke for a few minutes and played the piano for us to end the evening. She is an amazing pianist. As we left her beautiful home, she gifted each one of us a beautiful journal in hopes to inspire us to write. She has a wonderful blog called, The Ribbon In My Journal. Click here to be directed to her blog.

Such a beautiful kitchen! This is the only picture I took. I get so caught up in things that I forget to take pictures! I so regret not taking more! Trust me….it was beautiful!

The 3 day celebration began the next morning with guest speakers such as Jeanne Robertson, a story teller that will have you in stitches as she speaks with a southern girl accent. As a former Miss South Carolina (or is it North Carolina?) and married to her husband that she calls, Left Brain, she has many humorous stories to tell. She is a favorite of ours.

We also had a couple of cooking demos, floral arrangement demos and an inspiring message by the creator of Vietri tableware. Also, the star of Say Yes to the Dress, Lori Allen, was part of the lineup of great speakers. Phyllis Hoffman DePiano shared a couple of devotionals that were inspiring and encouraging. Each time we came to our seat for a new session, we would have several gifts. Always fun to see what we will be stuffing in our suitcase to take home!

Happy 81st birthday, Mom!

I wish you could have been there! There is always next year. We plan on attending, so join us! I also plan on taking many more pictures next time. If you missed my post on the cookies that my granddaughter and I made from a recipe that was demonstrated this weekend, you can click here to read.

As soon as I got home, I had two days to unpack and pack again for a trip to Myrtle Beach, SC. We decided to drive the 22 hours to South Carolina! I would be attending a retreat while my husband golfed. When I wasn’t in sessions, we found some great places to shop, eat and explore. It is off season, so wasn’t crowded at all. Our hotel was right on the beach. Such a beautiful view and a such a quaint hotel for a Myrtle Beach get away! It rained one day, which I LOVE rain, so it didn’t bother me at all.

View from our room.
My retreat friends.

We decided to leave a day early and drive on to Asheville, North Carolina! We thought to be so close, how could we not! We called the hotel at the Biltmore and they had a room. Yay! This was our third time to be there and I LOVE that place! It was beautiful as always. We had dinner in the “fancy dining room.” They bring you different courses at different times, so we were in there for quite some time. Plus, I learned a few things about fine dining.

When we left Asheville, we drove through Johnson City, TN. We lived there for a few short months a few years ago and I love that place! We drove by our house we leased while there and looked around at some other sites we remembered. Then on to Memphis, our stopping point! We stayed in Memphis on our way to Myrtle Beach and now again on our way back to Texas. Our first time to stay at the Bass Pro Shop lodge. Oh me! It was so much fun. We dined in the restaurant that is at the top of the pyramid and rode the glass elevator. It is taller than the Statue of Liberty. I don’t do heights very well. I had to do it though….if I wanted to eat dinner. Our room was amazing! I didn’t want to leave, but, we had to get back to Texas! Our granddaughter was turning 16 and we weren’t going to miss it.

A little strange to have window in the bathroom from the room. But, what can I say?
The balcony overlooks the Bass Pro Shop. It’s all indoors!

Next stop….Texas Hill Country. We made it to see our granddaughter before she left for her birthday trip to Nashville!

Then….back home in time to take our two grandsons to see a Nick Jr. Live Show!

Next on list was the Fall Fundraiser for The Life Center with guest speaker, Trey Gowdy! I love hearing him speak and we got to meet him and receive a signed copy of his latest book! Very inspiring evening with family and friends!

As soon as I was all settled in at home it was time for another Mom/Daugher trip to Fort Worth, Texas! We have attended a southern gospel event the past couple of years and it was time for this years concert. It was a fun weekend. We met some friends that I haven’t seen in a few years! Loved all the music and the atmosphere was so much fun!

David Phelps was a one of the many artists that sang during the weekend. As usual, I got caught up in the concert and I didn’t take pictures of the several other groups!
I have some sweet memories with these life long friends! So fun to enjoy the concert with them.

Okay, I’m all caught up with what’s going on in my world. I’m now preparing to decorate for Christmas as soon as I return from……

I’ll let you know soon! I wonder where? (hint…one of my favorite spots!)

Beverly Goes To Vegas!

Never Say Never!

Are you as shocked as I am? For those of you that know me well…..I think you are really shocked!

I’m the one who said that I would never go to Las Vegas! Ever! I even said on my tombstone, it would say, “She never went to Vegas!” I said that because I felt like I was the only person alive who didn’t want to go to Las Vegas. It seems everyone I know goes on a regular basis and loves it! I almost went a few years ago when I was invited on a “girl trip” to celebrate my mother in law’s birthday. Something came up where I was needed, so I had to cancel. That was as close as I came to going.

What Was It That Made Me Change My Mind?

Yep! Donny Osmond! I mean Donny and Marie! I was a huge fan as a young teen of Donny and have loved watching Marie in all of her endeavors as well. We have been to three of their Christmas shows and I’ve always wanted to see them doing a regular show. But, I didn’t want to go to Vegas to see them. But……I read that they were retiring from there show after 10 years. November will be the last show. I got online and ordered tickets before I knew what I was doing. I talked our favorite traveling couple into go with us. They weren’t fans, but were willing to go for it. Jim…..he’s always a trooper and agreed to go! When I ordered tickets the main floor was sold out plus the tickets were around $300.00. Crazy! But…I did get tickets in the balcony and the lady on the phone assured me they were great seats and I would be able to see really good! Remember that last line.

The show was in a place called, The Flamingo. You have to walk through a casino to get to the showroom. Such a busy place. Anyway…here is the good part of the story…..

When we got to our seats in the balcony……we could not see the stage at all! There were two screens that you would have to watch. I thought, I could do that at home. But, what can you say. Not to mention the chairs we sat in were regular chairs that you would see at a dinner table. Jim leaned over and said he would be right back. He had gone downstairs to see if we could upgrade our seats somehow. They told him to go to the ticket counter on other side of building, but an usher stopped him and led him down front to a table with a couple at it and 4 empty seats. No charge! Well, in the mean time the three of us were in the balcony waiting for Jim to get back. We heard some clapping and we all looked around thinking something good must have happened downstairs. We didn’t see anything. I happened to look over at the stairs and saw Jim waving like crazy for us to come to where he was. So we jumped up and followed him down to the front to our new seats. I was in shock! Now…the reason we heard people clapping was because Jim had got up on the stage and was waving and yelling for us to come on down. But….remember, we couldn’t see the stage so we never saw him. An usher escorted him off the stage! People then clapped for him. A lady even came up to him after the show and told him that she enjoyed watching him waving around on the stage before the show. Sooooo embarrassing, but, that’s my Jim!

The couple that we sat with at the show were friends of Donny. They shared a few stories with us about him. How fun was that! By the way…..it was a great show! Loved every second of it!

I did my best to take pictures, but, I was so busy, I didn’t take the time to take very many. Selfies aren’t my expertise! As you can tell!

We were there from Friday to Sunday evening and we tried to see and do as much as possible. We went through The Belagio and the Wynn hotels. Everything is decorated over the top. I was speechless! These are the only pictures I took. I was too busy gawking at everything.

Of course, I’ve always heard the shopping is great there! So, we hit a few shopping centers. Most of it was high end shops such as Dior, Gucci, Chanel, etc. Everything was beautiful and fun to look at. I saw a scarf in one store and thought how pretty it was and maybe I should get it for a souvenir. When I checked price it was $850.00. I passed. Then I inquired about a certain belt that is the rage these days….$700.00. I guess Dillards and Stein Mart is my place to be.

The guys found a resting place while we shopped!

Jim had made reservations at a couple of places to eat that were delicious! Joe’s Seafood and Capital Grille.

We stayed away from the Las Vegas strip. We were about 20 miles or so in a town called Henderson at the Hilton at Las Vegas Lake. It was really nice. We got a suite that was beautiful and comfortable. I wish I would have taken a picture, but here is a link if you want to check it out. It was peaceful, clean, friendly, decorated nice and has a wonderful golf course that the guys really liked! The restaurant was really good, too!

On Saturday night, Jim got us tickets for a water show that was at the Wynn Hotel. Levre I think was the name of it. We had front row seats. The seating was in the round and went down as the center was all water and divers, swimmers put on a show. We were splashed a little bit, but not too bad! All I can say is, it was amazing! Interesting story they were telling, but, the acrobatics in the water was incredible.

Time to head home! I absolutely loved seeing the terrain from the air and seeing the desert mountains around the city with palm trees. I just love that look!

It was a fun weekend! We love our traveling friends. This was our third or fourth trip with them and they always make it fun!

There you go….Beverly’s big trip to Las Vegas! Yes! It was waaaaaayyyy out of my box, but I did it. Saw some interesting things and saw some sad things. Will, I go back? I’m not sure……NEVER SAY NEVER is now my motto!

Till next time!

On The Road Again….Hilton Head Island

I had great intentions of taking pictures and journaling our entire trip. That’s always my plan when we travel. The problem is, I get caught up in enjoying everything that I forget to take pictures. So, I’ll just share a few of my random pictures. I hope they make sense and give you an idea of how beautiful and fun Hilton Head Island is. I have always heard of Hilton Head and I love anywhere in the East. I wasn’t disappointed!

We traveled with a sweet couple that are dear friends of ours. Traveling with friends is always fun and this couple is so easy to be around and oh, so much fun. The guys golfed several times and us girls….shopped! I know, you are shocked! The week went fast. We dined at delicious restaurants, shopped, golfed, rode bikes…..yes, you read that right…rode bikes. I can’t even remember the last time I rode a bike…..needless to say, I was a bit nervous about that as everyone was very excited about riding bikes and I secretly was worried I would ruin their time by not being able to stay up on a bike! All was well…..I rode around the parking lot a few times and I did it! Hallelujah! I had to keep my eyes on the road because if I looked up I would go all over the place. It got easier after the third hour of biking. What a beautiful place to ride bikes, that is for sure! My only catastrophe was when the riding path narrowed and went between two trees; a young man was coming my way and he went off the path so I could squeeze in between the trees. He crashed. I looked back and said, “so sorry!” He was riding with a young lady and they were having a fun time….I think he was okay….at least he was laughing. Guess what? I think I like riding bikes! I’m now looking at bikes to buy and deciding what I want. It must have a basket and a bell….very important. The bell will come in handy instead of saying “coming through!” I’ll keep you posted of what I decide on.

Okay, enough of that….here are a few pictures of our week. Remember, I didn’t do too well in the picture department.

I found this map of Hilton Head. It is about 2 hours from Charleston, SC! We flew in to Charleston and rented a car for the week.
This was our first stop for dinner! Delicious and the atmosphere was so fun! They had a huge aquarium that was very intriguing. I saw Nemo and Dory. They looked happy.
How can you not have Key Lime Pie! This was one of a couple for the week. What diet?
We were out shopping and found a great place for a salad. My friend, ordered a Mango Tea! The glass was so pretty, I had to take a picture. I thought it turned out great! She looked very pretty and matched her drink. This could be an advertisement for them!
I love the ocean! There is something about watching and listening to the waves. So peaceful to me! Except for the jelly fish laying around.
Jim and I strolled down the beach. Yes, my hair is huge….in humid weather, my hair gets bigger and bigger. I don’t know what I’d do if I lived there!
Friends are friends forever!
There it is….the bike path…..my favorite was when the path was very wide and no people.
This was like a boardwalk where the boats were….so beautiful! Looks like we are all taking a break!
We were posing for this picture to look like we had a rough 3 hours biking….my rough look was a bit more rough than my friend!
There they are! Our little golfers! Aren’t they cute? Especially the one in the orange jacket. By the way, they had an alligator on one of their holes by the water. Fortunately, they weren’t eaten.
This is the sign next to were we stayed. Not very comforting.
This is the drive up to one of the golf courses. What a view. I can only imagine how beautiful it is in the summer…..and the fall.
Beautiful flowers everywhere and it wasn’t even in full bloom yet.
Love this view. We dined at a restaurant in this area.
What is this!? Oh, this is my view as we flew in to our part of Texas. Oil fields as far as you can see. Back to reality!

Thanks so much for following along with me on our trip to Hilton Head! I can now mark it off my bucket list! Have you been there? What was your favorite thing to do while there?

I wonder where to next? We will see.

Cruisin’ With The Grandkids

If you want to spend some fun quality time with your grand kiddos, I would suggest a Disney Cruise! We took our two granddaughters last summer on a Disney Cruise and last month we took two of our grandsons. What fun we had! We flew into Orlando, Florida and went straight to the ship and sailed for seven days. We stopped at two islands in the Virgin Islands and then of course, when cruising with Disney, you always stop at their own private island, Castaway Cay. This particular ship, The Disney Fantasy, was celebrating Star Wars. This was right up their ally as their Uncle Nathan introduced them to Star Wars a few years ago and now they love anything Star Wars.

Each day was non-stop activity. The food was absolutely first class and delicious. The staff on Disney cruises are exceptional. They treat you like royalty. My favorite part about the dining is, each evening you dine in a different restaurant. Each restaurant has a theme and it’s hard to describe, but, they are awesome. My favorite was Animator’s Palette. Your wait staff follows you to each restaurant. They are waiting on you when your arrive at the door and they make each meal so much fun for the kids. They remember your name and what you drink with your meals. They even do magic tricks with the kids at the table. Get this…..they cut their meat up on their plate. You don’t have to lift a finger for anything. Sounds crazy, but, you need to go and you will see what I mean.

Sorry about the glare on this picture. I took a picture of a picture and it had a glare on it.

The boys got Papa on the water tube that goes up above and around the ship. Yes, even over the ocean….I’m not doing that! I’ve said it before, every kid needs a Papa like my Jim. He played as hard as those two boys did. I kept up the best I could and got in some shopping and went to the spa one day. Did you know they have a Tiffany’s on board?

There it is!

It just so happened our 39th wedding anniversary was during the cruise. Jim and the boys made a trip into Tiffany’s and gave me a gift certificate to buy something. I’m not sure if you know this or not, but, $500.00 doesn’t get very much in Tiffany’s. I needed one more zero. -wink. So, instead, I went to another gift shop and found a couple of cute things. Too sweet!

I took this picture in the ice cream shop. It was the cutest little shop!
The ocean is breathtaking. Each evening the sunsets were so beautiful!
On Star Wars Day, most everyone was dressed in Star Wars costumes.

Shuffleboard was one of our favorites.

The Storm Troopers were walking the ship and they were very serious.
We ran into Disney Characters on a regular basis. Always fun! I think I got as excited as this little guy did!
Pirate Day was hilarious. I think they got a bit too much into it. They were pretty scary looking.
That’s about as pirate as I got…someone had to keep things straight. I told them I was Mary Poppins. Kept everyone safe and in line….My specialty.
Ahh….dress up night. My favorite! The most handsomest guys on the ship!
Guess who won 400 plus dollars at bingo with their Papa? Where was Mary Poppins?
Hard to beat a Disney Cruise!
Mary Poppins and Mickey hope you get to enjoy a Disney Cruise soon! Now, Spit Spot, let’s move along! (my new favorite saying)

If you want to read about the cruise we took with our granddaughters, you can click here and see that post. I’m truly grateful that we were able to enjoy these times with our cutie pies! I can’t wait to take the youngest soon! He will love it!

Cruisin’ Around Hawaii


In June we went on a Hawaiian Cruise and what fun it was!  We did this same cruise a few years ago with my husbands family and enjoyed it so much.

This was a Southern Gospel Music Cruise on the Norwegian Cruise Line.  IMC Concerts and Inspiration Cruises were the sponsors of the Southern Gospel music groups that entertained with each evening for a couple of hours and also had an early morning devotional that was led by different members of the music groups. Out of 2,000 passengers on this cruise, 800 were onboard for the Southern Gospel concerts.  It was so refreshing and uplifting to listen to some great music and to hear uplifting messages each day of the cruise.

The Groups that were on this cruise were:

Greater Vision

The Booth Brothers

The Collingsworth Family

Jim Brady Trio

Liberty Quartet

The Ball Brothers

Triumphant Quartet

Taranda Greene

We made a stop at each island and originally we were not going to stop at the Big Island since the volcano had erupted.  The week before the cruise took place, we got word that we would be stopping on the island.  Each island has it’s own beauty and on the Big Island we got a driver to take us as close to the volcano as possible and it was very interesting.  At the time it didn’t seem too scary, but, now that I think about it, it was pretty risky.  We also got a driver to drive us around Honolulu for a few hours.  Now, that’s a fun way to see the scenery as he took us to all the high points and then to his favorite lunch spot.  We will be calling him again if and when we go back!

I’ll share just a few pictures so you can get an idea of the cruise.  I didn’t get pictures of the concerts as it was dark and I was too caught up in the music to be taking pictures or video.

My mom was on the cruise with us as well as a dear friend, Andrea.  We also celebrated Jim’s birthday while on the cruise.  Celebrate might not be the correct word, he didn’t want to make a big deal out of his birthday, so we were sneaky about it.

This was taken from our balcony and I used my app that adds sparkles. Looks like diamonds in the ocean!

Our daily guide to what to expect each day!

This was taken as we were about to board the ship and after flying to Hawaii all night on an 8 hour flight. Do we look tired?

One of the beaches we visited.

A Hawaiian Cruise is a great way to see Hawaii.  You get a small taste of each island and then you will know where you want to go back some day to visit longer and really explore.  I didn’t share too many photos as most are too large to put on my blog and I don’t have time to edit them.  But, hopefully you get a tiny idea of the beauty.  This was our third time to visit Hawaii.  Our first time we stayed in a condo with some sweet friends, The Hanks, and they were Hawaii experts.  They showed us the entire island and knew all the right places to visit.  That is the best way to see Hawaii, to me!  I always thought the flight over wasn’t really worth it as I’m not a fan of flying.  BUT….we flew first class this last time and I am now spoiled.  I’m ready to go back…..First Class of course!

Thanks for traveling with me….

 

O’Canada, O’Canada!

This was taken on the back of the dinner cruise we did one evening.

What fun we had on our recent trip to Vancouver, B.C.  We spent 12 days exploring the area with the sweetest couple ever; our son and daughter in law!  We have all traveled together and you couldn’t find better travel companions than these two.  They have been living there for work for several months and they showed us some beautiful places.  Have I told you that our son is an animator?  Of course I have!  He is working on a major animated movie and it will be out soon.  Trust me, I will let you know when it’s out.  It’s going to be cute!  Okay, back to my Vancouver story.

We flew in on American Airlines, which was so nice.  I love Southwest and that is what I travel on the most, but, oh me!  It was so nice not having to hurry to get a good seat as the seats on American are reserved.  The leg room was heavenly!  I will admit that the plane going wasn’t as up to date as the one coming home.  The plane coming home had little t.v’s on the back of the seats.  It kept me occupied for maybe an hour or two.  I’m super picky about movies, so I mainly scrolled through.  I love how they do all the safety features on video instead of having to watch the attendants show us how to buckle our seat belts as they bounce around the aisle and wait for the person on the speaker to speak.  Maybe that’s just me.  Any way, it seemed much more techy.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my Southwest Airlines, they are fast and efficient and rarely late or cancel a flight.  Our flight going to Canada was delayed a couple of hours.  Thankfully, we were in a very nice airport and we got to visit with the sweetest young lady that was traveling from Africa to Canada.  Let’s just say that she was an encouraging young lady.  I needed to see and hear from someone like her and it lifted my hopes for our world.

I will share a few pictures of our trip without bombarding you.  If you want to see more, come see me for tea and I will share my photo album!

Oh, I have to share this.  We stayed at a beautiful boutique hotel called the L’Hermitage.  It was lovely.  It was a short walk to our kiddos apartment. We walked everywhere.  I just knew I was going to be 20 pounds lighter when I got home.  NOT!  Maybe it was all the yummy food we had while there.

Our hotel. Beautiful, quaint and a perfect location for us.

This was taken on the 5th floor where the dining was. I loved sitting on the patio for lunch!

The shopping was amazing!  We were in the heart of the city and each section of the city had a different vibe.  High end shopping was amazing to me.  It is so fun to look at browse at all the beautiful things.  The thing that impressed me the most was how friendly everyone was.  Even the guards in the stores were kind and smiled when we would walk in to “browse.”  Waitstaff at the places we ate were always super friendly.  Everything was clean and beautiful.  There was one sad part though… the homeless people on the streets.  They usually were in one certain area and it was heart wrenching.  I’m not used to seeing homeless people like that;  actually living on the street.  It breaks my heart to see people get to that point.  But….other than that, I loved everything about our trip.  Especially, being with our kiddos!

Here are few pictures.  (I posted more on my Instagram.)

I was so excited to see Laduree. A Paris Macron Bakery. We enjoyed not once, but, twice!

Sarah and I enjoyed High Tea at our hotel one afternoon!

A drive through Stanley Park! Gorgeous!

Yep, I did it! Such a beautiful place!

There it is! I actually survived! The bridge actually swayed and bounced around….scary!

Proof that we survived!

We aren’t in West Texas Toto! Trees!!!

 

 

The famous Steam Clock of Gastown.

Beautiful view from a restaurant that we dined at.

My favorite Father/Son Duo!

We rode a gondola up a huge mountain and, yet, another suspension bridge.

A stroll by the beach.

Stanley Park!

Saw this building and was impressed with the ivy growing on it.

Nathan, Sarah and Cinnamon. Cinnamon is 15 and went everywhere with us. She is a human in disquise in case you didn’t notice.

Me and my favorite travel companion!

I told you she was a human in disguise. 🙂

One of the many beautiful little towns close to Vancouver, Deep Cove. A Hallmark town for sure! Nathan and Sarah took us there on Mother’s Day. Beautiful place.

Okay, I have to stop somewhere!  When you go to Vancouver, you can see a crazy busy city, or drive to a beautiful park on the ocean or head to the mountains and see some amazing beauty.  It’s all there.  Friendly people, beautiful place.  I’d go back! Especially to see my kids!

Thanks for being a reader of my blog!  Until next time…..

Where Has She Been!?

What fun I’ve been having lately!  I’ve been getting so many notes asking where I’ve been and how much they’ve missed me!  NOT!  Well, maybe a couple.

Here is a re-cap of life since the first of the year, you know, when I made my list of goals to get more writing done and to get to my goal weight!  Yep, that one!

By the way, I’m fast approaching my 59th birthday and I am determined to get to my goal weight before I get out of my 50’s.  Surely, surely, surely….I can do that…..why can’t I get serious, I don’t know?  More on that later!

We just returned from a week on a Disney Cruise.  This was a cruise we planned just for us (my husband and I) and our two granddaughters.  They are growing up so fast and we were thinking of ways to spend some special time with them.  We came up with the idea of a cruise.Woohoo!!! We had so much fun and what a treat to have these two cuties to visit, play and see some beautiful sites with.   If you are wanting to spend special time with a grandchild…take them on a get away trip.  You will love it.  The entire week was so special, and one particular evening as we were getting ready for dinner, our youngest granddaughter got the giggles. She was  singing, dancing and couldn’t stop laughing.  It was actually comical after a while. Big sister caught the giggles, too.  We loved every second of our trip with those two.

A few weeks before our Disney Cruise we spent a week in Branson, MO.  If you know me, that is one of my favorite spots.  We took my mom and we enjoyed 3 days of a Southern Gospel Praisefest. If you enjoy Southern Gospel music, you might really enjoy the Praisefest.  The event was sold out with almost 3,oo0 people and we had great seats up front.  This was our fourth year to attend and we already have our tickets for next year.  Relaxing, shopping, shows and site seeing were on the list of to do’s for the week!

Throw in a couple of birthdays, traveling to the Hill Country several times to see our grandkiddos, a couple of concerts and a golf tournament, Valentine’s Day, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, a writer’s conference and here we are….no finished book and still at the very same weight!

Our next two big trips are to Canada and Hawaii.  I will tell you about those soon.

At the first of the year, I had so many plans to get more writing done.  I’ve even had a couple more book ideas.  Maybe when it slows down a little bit.

My biggest concern in the writing department is, and I’ve heard this for awhile, before a publisher/agent will even talk to you, they want to know how many followers you have on social media.  That is what stops me because I don’t push for people to follow me.  I don’t even pass out my business cards with my info on it like I’m supposed to.  I don’t feel comfortable doing that.  So, I’m going to start slowly and try to gain more followers.  How?  I don’t know.  I’ll start with this:  If you would like to follow me on my social media, just know that I do not share your address with anyone.  Matter of fact, I wouldn’t know how to do that, anyway. I am working on my schedule of postings and writings on the various social links.  I’ve listened to so many ideas of what other’s do and I’m trying to get my own style down.  What’s your style, Beverly?  I don’t know.  I’m just taking a stab at some different ways to see what works for me.  So, for my faithful readers, I hope you are patient with me.

If you would like to follow me on my various social media links….here they are. (This is my first push for gaining more followers.  I would be honored if you decided to follow me.)

You can subscribe to my blog.  The link is at the top of the page on the left.  Just fill in your email address and each time a new post comes out, it will go directly to your inbox.  You can unsubscribe at anytime.  I would love to have you as my blogging friend.

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I heard someone say, Beverly, what do you write about anyway?  I’m so glad you asked.  My favorite thing to write about is anything that encourages others in their walk with Christ.  I believe we are here for a purpose and we can enjoy our journey and live our lives to the fullest all the while honoring our Heavenly Father in all that we do.

And what do I do?  Good question….

I love and do…..

My Family

Home

Decorating

Cleaning, yep, cleaning…

Cooking, not really.

Friends

Reading

Writing

Bible Study

Organizing

Crafting

Genealogy

Travel

Shopping

Blogging

The list goes on and on and on and on……I have to stop somewhere.

I like to tie all those things up and use them to glorify my Savior.  Oh, yes, I blow it many times, trust me..but, I get back up and start all over again when I do blow it!  I’m not perfect and never will be and I’m so thankful for God’s Grace in my life!

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

I Corinthians 10:31

So, there you go…that’s where I’ve been lately.

Thank you for being part of my blogging world…..and hopefully, social media world.

Until next time…

Returning To A Home Sweet Home

 

Have you ever returned home from a trip and your house was a mess.  If you left in a hurry, you may have left everything in shambles.  As you walk in the door from you fun vacation, you look around and see nothing but work.  The stress level just went up a notch because you can’t think about relaxing after traveling all day because everywhere you look is a mess.

I learned a very long time ago that I have to close the door on a perfectly cleaned house so when I return, I can just walk in and not have to worry about dishes in the sink or a mess left in the floor.

I have also said that you never know what could happen while you are away.  I know this sounds morbid, but, I have often thought that if I died while gone and someone had to go into my house to take care of things, they would either find it very messy or very squared away.  I will be at peace if I know my house was in order when I left this world.   I know….my brain thinks crazy things like that sometimes.

We just returned from a week long trip and had traveled for 12 hours before getting home.  When we walked in the door I can’t explain how happy I was to walk into a clean and orderly house.  We can drag all of our things in from the car and put everything away.  Starting the laundry is always the first thing I do when I get in.

I thought I would share what I do to have order and peace for when I return from a trip.

As soon as I know the date that we are going out of town, I will set a schedule for myself.  I try to get things done a couple of days before we are to leave.  I have learned the hard way that you never know what can happen the night before you are to leave.  If you leave your packing or shopping for the day before, you might get caught with the unexpected and will then be behind for the big day that you were to leave.  For me, there is nothing worse than rushing and not being able to think through with my packing and getting my house in order.

I then make sure the following is done before I close the door for the final time:

All trash is taken out.

Refrigerator and pantry are cleared of anything perishable.

Fresh sheets are on the beds. (so nice to sink into a bed with clean sheets)

All the beds are made.  I never leave unmade beds.

All items out of place are put back where they belong.

Laundry is done, folded and put away.

Floors are swept and vacuumed.

Front porch and yards are squared away and clean.

Make arrangements for packages that will be delivered to be taken care of.

Make sure mail is taken care of.

No dirty dishes left in sink or on cabinets.

It sounds like a lot to do, but it is so worth it.  When you walk in that door from a long trip or even a short one, you will love the feeling of having everything in order.

Think of it this way.  When you check into a hotel, the room is perfectly clean and in order; it’s just as nice when you return home and everything is perfectly clean and in order.

If you aren’t used to doing this it will take work to get your pattern down.  I begin a week before our trips to have my plan in order.

Nope, I’m not a perfectionist and I don’t have OCD.  I have just learned that I feel better and function better  when things are taken care of.  There was a time when I left things in the sink and piles of things laying around.  I decided many years ago, I just couldn’t do that anymore.  The main trick to all of this, is to be organized to begin with.  If you aren’t normally organized and strive to keep things picked up, I can only imagine that this post sounds like an impossibility.  I’m sure there are some people that it doesn’t bother them in the least to walk into your home after a long day of traveling and find things in a mess from running out the door.  If you are like me, you just can’t do it.

Have you seen the movie, Home Alone?  The beginning of the movie shows the family preparing to leave for a long trip to Paris for Christmas.  They have family members staying with them so they can get up early the next morning and all fly overseas together.  Total chaos is going on.  They oversleep the next morning and everyone is running around throwing their things in the van to rush to the airport.  I can hardly watch that part of the movie as it makes me want to break out in hives.  Just the thought of all the mess they are making and leaving would cause me to want to cancel the entire trip.  It’s so chaotic, they forget one of their children.  I won’t spoil the rest of the movie in case you haven’t seen it.  Trust me, total chaos!

I do hope you were inspired or challenged to make your home “Home Sweet Home” for when you return from your next trip.

What is the one thing that you must do before you leave on a trip?

 


I’m linking this post with A Wise Woman Builds Her Home.

The Graceland Tour

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When in Memphis, you have to visit Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley!  The first time I visited was about 16 years ago and it was a fast trip.  We were just passing through and decided to stop.  We walked through very fast and went on our way.  This time, we took our time.  The first thing I noticed about Graceland, is that the house wasn’t as big as I had thought.  When you go inside, it is pretty tight.  But, the decor is so much fun to look at.  I have fond memories of the 70’s, so I loved seeing the style throughout the home.  You can go online and see more pictures from inside.  I didn’t take very many because I was too busy looking.  Plus, there is a line of people and I get a bit claustrophobic when I’m shoulder to shoulder with people I don’t know.  Yep, that’s me!  We had iPads that you put around your neck and headphones.  John Stamos, the actor from Full House, (that’s all I’ve seen him in) is the narrator.  He made me laugh a couple of times in his description of certain rooms.  You can view other pictures and videos on the iPad, but I was too busy looking to really pay attention to the iPad.  I could describe each room, but I don’t want to take up much space.  You just go and enjoy.  When you leave his home, you then get on a shuttle to go back across the street, which is Elvis Presley Blvd. and you can go into little museums of all kinds.  As you come out of each museum you will be in a souvenir shop!  Surprise!  The lesson I learned was, don’t think you will see something later and just come back to the store you are in if you don’t find the item you are looking at because you will forget where you were and what you saw. I sure hope that made sense!  There is so much Elvis stuff.  I tend to get caught up in the moment of all the fun and memories I honestly think I’m going to need a purse with Elvis’ face on it.  I refrained.  I got away with a couple of tee-shirts, postcards, books and I just had to have some socks with a little bling and Elvis’ signature.  See, I didn’t get too carried away.  I think I forgot to mention the cute car decals with a member of each family in an Elvis hairstyle and Elvis shirt on.  Now that I’m home, I can’t think of anyone that will put that on their car.  I will save it for the next time we drive to Memphis, maybe hubby won’t notice if I stick them on the back window.

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A quick photo of me in front of Graceland. I really should learn to pose, don’t you think? Those are a few of my new friends heading into the house behind me.

We  enjoyed BBQ for lunch and continued on our journey of the museums and shops.  For a break we sat down in a cute vintage style diner for a coke.  It was a beautiful day and we just strolled looking like typical tourists.  Of course, you are listening to Elvis music throughout the grounds of Graceland.  I noticed they are building a new complex that looks like it will really be nice.  I think I may have to go back for that.  New museums and restaurants are always a good thing!

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We enjoyed our BBQ in a convertible!

I listen to the Elvis station in my car a lot when I’m out running errands and it was fun to see the radio station booth in front of one of the shops.  I’m not that familiar with the DJ’s but someone was in there and I so wanted to be selected to be able to do a recording that says, “I’m Beverly Dillow from Texas and I drove 14 hours to be at Graceland.”  But, no such luck.  Maybe someday.  If you don’t listen to the Elvis station, you have no idea what I’m talking about.  Trust me, it would be so much fun!

 

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The SiriusXM Radio Station that plays all Elvis music!

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Elvis costumes, the pink caddy that belonged to his mom, the wedding attire and my favorite…the fur suit! These are a tiny sample of the things you will see in the different museums.

After a full day of looking and shopping we headed back to our hotel for dinner.  The next day we went downtown Memphis and toured the Sun Records Studio where Elvis made his first record and recorded on a regular basis there.  When we arrived, I thought, “oh my, we got lost for this.”  When we went in, I thought the same thing.  But, once our tour started and the girl that was our tour guide shared all of her knowledge in such a fun way, we had a blast  hearing the history of the music that came out of there.  At the end of the tour,  the big photo op is with the microphone that Elvis used.  We all took turns getting our picture made with the famous microphone.  I’m telling you, you get caught up in the moment and you just do crazy things like that.

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Jim going into the famous, Sun Studio. I really think he should have made a recording. He can really sing….really!

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Me with THE Elvis microphone. If you don’t believe it, you have a picture of him on the wall to prove it. And no….I can’t sing!

We then walked down the famous Beal Street.  I wasn’t that impressed, but at least we walked down the street, right?

All that to say, we had such a fun time and I look forward to visiting Graceland again!

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One more view of his fur suit that you can see in one of the museums that displays his clothing. He loved flashy clothes and you can only imagine how fun they were in the 70’s! I wonder how Jim would look in this?

Thanks for joining me while I share memories of our Memphis 2016 Trip!  I had many thoughts as we toured Graceland.  It brought back crazy memories of my childhood crush on him as I wrote about here.

THINKING DEEPER…

Another thought that kept going through my mind as I’m looking at all of his “things” that are displayed in the various museums.  You will see the books he read, his clothes, cars, his house, furnishings and even hear recordings of his voice…not to mention the many videos and pictures.

I kept thinking of my house and all that is in it. (I also need to do some serious decluttering)  What if it were all on display for all to see.  The things I like to read, my hobbies, my decorating style, the foods I enjoy, pictures that are important to me.  Could you tell who I am by what you would see?  Is it the person I portray to be?  Am I authentic and real?  What are the things that are dear to my heart?  Would you be able to see that?

After the death of Elvis, so many stories about how he died and then so many tell all books out!  How do you know what to believe and not believe?  What if a couple hundred people wrote about us after we are gone in a tell all book?  What would they say?  That’s a bit scary, isn’t it?

As my husband says, “we all have an appointment to pass on, we just don’t know when it is.”  When our appointment is up and we stand before the King of Kings, will He then say, “Welcome Home” or will he say “Depart from me, for I never knew you!”  That is all that matters and hopefully the life trail that you leave will show those left to pick up the pieces that you had lived a peaceful, happy, fulfilled and productive life honoring and serving Christ!  That is what matters.  What a joy to leave your loved ones, the confidence that you were at peace with your Savior.  And as they go through your “things” they see someone that lived a full and happy life.

If you would like to know more about how you can have a personal relationship with Christ, click here!

One last thing!  I had said I would share my favorite Elvis song.  The problem is, I don’t really have a favorite.  I do enjoy listening to most of his music!  Especially, the new album that was recorded with the Phil Harmonic Orchestra!  It is really good! There is one song that always makes me cry.  The song is, “You Were Always On My Mind.”  I have heard that he sang this for Priscilla and is obviously a sad love song…but, for some reason, I think about my dad.  As I listened to this song a few years ago, I immediately wondered if I was ever on my dad’s mind.  I had wondered if he ever thought of me or missed me. So, naturally, this song makes me cry every time I hear it. Click here to read my “Daddy Story.”

You Were Always On My Mind

Maybe I didn’t treat you
Quite as good as I should have
Maybe I didn’t love you
Quite as often as I could have
Little things I should have said and done
I just never took the time

You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

Maybe I didn’t hold you
All those lonely, lonely times
And I guess I never told you
I’m so happy that you’re mine
If I make you feel second best
Girl, I’m sorry I was blind

You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

Tell me, tell me that your sweet love hasn’t died
Give me, give me one more chance
To keep you satisfied, satisfied

Little things I should have said and done
I just never took the time
You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

You were always on my mind

Maybe I didn’t treat you
Quite as good as I should have
Maybe I didn’t love you
Quite as often as I could have

Maybe I didn’t hold you
All those lonely, lonely times
And I guess I never told you
I’m so happy that you’re mine

I’m back, I had to go get a tissue while you were reading the lyrics!  I told you it was sad!  Dad’s don’t let a day go by without telling your kiddos how much they mean to you!

Okay, that’s about it for all my stories of Elvis.  Tomorrow I will be back on track with my regular scheduled posts!

Blessings!

The Guest House at Graceland

One day last year as I was driving and listening to Elvis Radio on Sirius XM Radio, I heard  about plans for a new hotel that would be built and the opening day would be in October of 2016. I did some research and thought what fun that would be to be able to tour Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley and stay at a brand new hotel. I kept my eye on the date that they would be taking reservations. In April of this year I called and made a reservation for the grand opening. I was excited about getting to tour Graceland, but I think I was just as excited about staying in a brand new hotel. When I called to confirm our reservation a couple of weeks before the arrival date, I found out it was “Elvis Fan Appreciation Weekend “ and several events were planned. Double excited!!!

The day came for us to make our 14-hour drive from West Texas. We decided to drive because we had plans to drive on up to Branson, Missouri when we left Memphis.

As we drove up to The Guest House at Graceland, I was amazed at the beauty of the hotel. It was much larger than I pictured and very grand looking. It was designed to resemble Graceland. As we got out of our car we could hear the music of Elvis playing over the speakers which carried  on into the lobby. The décor was gorgeous! All of the staff were very friendly and helpful.  As we made our way to our room on the 5th floor I was taken by the décor. I hope my pictures show just how beautiful it all was. After we got settled in our room, we went exploring around the hotel. I obviously looked like an excited tourist as I was taking pictures of everything from the carpet to the art work throughout the hotel. You won’t find pictures of Elvis at the hotel, but you will see really great pieces of art that feature certain pieces of his clothing he wore while performing.

If you are ever in Memphis, you will want to stay at The Guest House.  At least walk through it and see how beautiful it is. My dream is to stay in a suite someday.  The decor looks even more amazing and fun!

I will let the pictures speak for themselves, which you must see it in person…so much better than my pictures!

One more thing….I have to say how sweet my husband was.  I oohed and awed at everything and had to investigate every area of the hotel and he was very patient with me.  Even when I squealed at the hot pink wallpaper and the glitter in the darker wall coverings and had to take pictures, he would just smile. I’m very grateful for that!

ON OUR WAY TO OUR ROOM:

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Each lobby on every floor of the hotel had a different picture similar to this one.

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I loved the carpet and wall coverings. The walls had a little bit of sparkle. The hot pink wallpaper was so much fun!

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Yes, I had to take a picture of the wallpaper.

OUR ROOM:

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The gold room number with the hot pink background and the lightening bolt symbol is such a fun touch!

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Each door had a light fixture with the initials E. P. Isn’t that so much fun?!

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The bed was very comfortable and oh so stylish! Don’t you love the art on the wall? Ignore my suitcase; I forgot to move it.

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The desk area with television that you could watch various documentaries of Graceland and other things going on. It was playing Elvis music when we walked in, how perfect is that?

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The bathroom was very nice. The huge walk-in shower had something called a rain shower?  Oh, and your shampoo, conditioner and lotion had  the Elvis signature on it.

 

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This is the artwork that was in the bathroom.

 

EXPLORING THE HOTEL:

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Two dining choices; Delta’s, which is fine dining and E.P.’s, which is a grill. We tried both and the food was delicious at each one. We also watched an Elvis movie in the theater!

 

 

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The fire pit with heart shaped fire ring.

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The pool is very nice and also very big!

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The business center caught my eye! I loved the artwork.

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The Shake Rattle and Go is where you can get coffee, breakfast foods and snacks.

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The hotel has a staircase and chandelier that resembles the one at Graceland. I pretended I was Priscilla walking down the stairs.  Not really, well… maybe I really did.

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This is a collage of all the art pieces on each floor with the floor number.

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This is one of the sofas in the lobby! I think I would like one for my house as well! I love it when I feel little!

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I loved seeing the hotel at night with all the lights.

Click here to read more about The Guest House at Graceland and to make your reservations!  I have a feeling you need to plan and book your room early, they may stay pretty full most of the time.  Especially when they have the events on Elvis’ birthday and the anniversary of his death. Oh, and in November they have the tree lighting ceremony.  Maybe, someday I will get to visit during each of those events.

If you missed my post on the story of, My Elvis Crush, click here to read.

Tomorrow I will write my last post on this trip.  I will cover the Graceland Tour and the Sun Records Tour.  I want to share some thoughts about a couple of things that I couldn’t stop thinking about as we left Graceland.

Until then, let me know if you have been to Graceland before and if you plan to go back.  I would love to hear!