Somedays all you can do is shake your head…

Everyday, lately, when I turn on the news, there’s a new case of sexual harassment arising on some supposedly upstanding celebrity/politician/executive.  What the heck is going on???

Well, as young ladies, our generation was taught to be quiet and respectful.  Don’t make waves.  Graduate from high school, get married, have babies, and enjoy life’s finer moments.  It’s a nice dream, but it’s not reality today.  I even have a recollection of my high school counselor advising me to by-pass college, because it wasn’t what girls did.  What the heck???  I’m pretty glad I didn’t listen to him, even though I was a bit directionless at that age.  Back in those days, confidence wasn’t exactly instilled in the average female student.

And what’s up with these people? (yes, that goes for both sexes…)  Did their parents not teach them respect for others?  Seriously, a joke is a joke… but there’s a fine line between a joke, and sexual harassment.  The easiest way to avoid trouble is to stay on the right side of that line.  Be clear that there is no intention of contact or intimidation, and keep your body parts to yourself.

Now can the news please report on something else for awhile?

That’s all I have to say about that…

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Video: The Sassiest Southwest Safety Demonstration You’ll Ever See — One Mile at a Time

Southwest is known for having employees with a bit of personality. I mean, how can you not have fun when you work for a company that produced this video? Over the years we’ve seen quite a few videos go viral of Southwest employees for their “performances” over the PA and during safety demonstrations. For example,…

via Video: The Sassiest Southwest Safety Demonstration You’ll Ever See — One Mile at a Time

Restaurant Review: Calypso Mediterranean Grille on the Munson Miracle Mile, Traverse City, MI

 

After passing a few favorites in search of something different, we landed at Calypso, a new Mediterranean Eatery on Munson Avenue.  Here are some of my thoughts on the place:

  1. There’s been a few restaurants located in that particular building throughout the years.  They have all been short lived, with the exception of “The Clock”.  I think Calypso could be around for awhile!  Maybe I’m just partial to Mediterranean food, but I found this place great!
  2. The pricing… well, it may be a little pricey. But the salad’s we ordered with our dinners were enormous!  Next time, we split the salad.  Dinner pick:  Green Tomatillo Chicken Alfredo.  You just can’t go wrong!  This dish is positively wonderful, comforting, and flavorful.  Overall, the price was worth it.
  3. Tempting options: Blue Cheese Crusted Delmonico Steak… This was one of the specials of the evening.  We may have to go back for this!  Oh… and pumpkin cheesecake…  I passed on dessert this time, but, next time may be a different story!
  4. The service was excellent. We had an attentive professional waiter who knew the menu like the back of his hand.
  5. Will we go back??? Oh, by all means, yes we will!  Calypso is a nice addition to the Foodie community of Traverse City.

Looking forward to my next visit to this one!

For more information on this restaurant, please visit their website at www.calypsogrilltc.com.  ENJOY!

My Latest Obsession: Ancestry.com

There are two sides to everyones family!  So, my dad’s side of the family has been well documented by my Uncle.  Who traced the family way back to pre-revolutionary times in the United States.  This side of the family pretty much traces back to Great Britain, Ireland, with a touch of Italian, French, and Scandanavian, etc….  This side of my family were explorers and founders of the State of Kentucky, migrating from North Carolina to settle in West Kentucky to farm its lush landscape.  It’s a place I’ve become familiar with because I still have family in the area.  Upon tracing the history on Ancestry, I found decorated Revolutionary military, and British Lords and Ladies, and lots of farmers.  Not just small time farmers. But 1000 acre farmers.  Pretty exciting stuff!  Meet my Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather Major John Finley…

My Mom’s side I was a little familiar with, but the tree pretty much stopped as far as history goes, when my Great-Great Grandparents, Gerardus and Wilhemena (Minnie) Vernooy,  came across to Ellis Island on a boat from the Netherlands in 1900 with their children.

Curiosity set in!  So of course, I went directly to Ancestry.com to get a DNA test kit.  My overall result…  55% Western European.  This is no surprise, since the Netherlands is located in this area.  So I started tracing back this family history.

The Vernooy side was easy to trace, since there are previous Ancestry members who have posted their family trees that match mine.  Dutch!  Tulips, wooden shoes, the works!  My Great Great Grandfather made wooden shoes before he came to the USA.  His profession is listed in the census statistics on Ancestry.  Landing in Waterford, MI, and eventually Kent County, Michigan my family planted their roots.  Good choice!  Who doesn’t love the Grand Rapids area?

My maternal grandfather was a bit more difficult history to track…  I finally broke through when my DNA results came back, and I was able to find matches of distant cousins throughout the country.  I know that my Great Grandparents moved to Michigan from Indiana.  Eaton Rapids is where my Grandfather hails from.  This side of my family has a long history of Military Service, Blacksmith, and Farming.  They also pre-date the USA from pre-revolutionary times, landing in NY in the early 1600’s from Scotland, Great Britain, and yes, the Netherlands.  They migrated from Upstate NY, through Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, until eventually settling in Michigan.

Death Certificates particulary catch my attention in this venture.  Causes of Death range anywhere from “Old Age”, to Heart issues, obesity, pneumonia, cancer, etc…  Says a lot about my own heath issues!  It even gives me incentive on areas that I can work on.

What surprised me most in this process is my new sense of who I am in the big picture.  I am redominantly Dutch/Irish/British, with a long family history in the United States.  But a visit to the Netherlands has gained a spot on my bucket list!

Shades of Autumn in Northwestern Lower Michigan..

The boat is put away for the season.  Summertime 2017 is in the books with great memories.  So this weekend, when Mother Nature offered up some beautiful summer-like weather, a trip to one of my favorite spots was in order.  Deadman’s Hill, overlooking the Jordan River Valley, just North of Alba, MI.  IMG_1796

When I was a kid (like 5 or 6 years old), my family would make the trip UpNorth to visit cousins.  The visits would turn out hours worth of fun and adventure throughout the beautiful Jordan River Valley, whether it was four-wheeling, snowmobiling, hunting, or canoeing the crisp clear waters of the Jordan River.  It’s one of the biggest reasons my family ended up moving North.

Deadman’s Hill was always an annual favorite autumn stop with my “Grammie” Scripter.  Color touring Northern Michigan was one of her favorite pastimes.  This place brings back so many memories for me!

Years ago, there was no fence holding people back from touring down the hill, so as energetic little kids, we all loved to hike down the log slide, and attempt to race back uphill as fast as we could.  Nowadays, the log slide is something to just enjoy overlooking with a good camera.  Oh, don’t we all wish we had that childlike energy???

One the way back from the trip, a stop in Boyne City for lunch was in order.  Café Sante was just the ticket… with views of Lake Charlevoix to love!  The food was amazing, and desert at the Alpine Chocolate House…  enough said!  #chocolatecoveredpotatochips!  It was truly a five star day!

Weekend drives in the autumn are one of my favorite things!  Now we all get to prepare for what comes next… yes, that fluffy white stuff that falls out of the sky.  For now, we’ve been blessed in Northern Michigan with an unusually long Indian Summer.

 

What’s a girl to do on a weekend in North Carolina???

Last weekend I visited North Carolina for the first time in YEARS, for my cousin’s wedding.  Of course, I have to do a quick travel blog about it!  🙂  The wedding was absolutely amazing!  One of the best I’ve been too.  Since it was my birthday weekend, a group of us travelers decided to take a quick afternoon visit to the Duplin Winery in Rose Hill, NC, before the wedding.

This place is certainly a treat!  Normally I like my wines a bit to the dry side.  Sweeter wines normally knock my teeth to the back of my head…  (that means… “dang…  just can’t do it!”)  Chardonnay is normally one of my favorites, with a nice Pinot Noir coming in second.  HOWEVER…

Duplin Winery specializes in Muscadine (Emphasis on MUSK-a-DYNE to be proper in Southern speak) Wines.  So many songs have been written about the Muscadine variety that our group just couldn’t resist the visit.

Too my great surprise, I found these wines fragrant, fruity, refreshing,  sweet, and delicious; perhaps even perfect for a hot summer day on the boat!  My favorite was the dryer (of course) award winning Magnolia label.  So I had to bring a bottle home to Michigan, along with their Habanero Pineapple Jelly for cracker dippin’.

Kudos to my new friends at Duplin Winery!  I thoroughly enjoyed the visit.

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Oh Nashville… how I love you so!

Last weekend I visited one of my favorite towns in the whole world… Nashville, TN!  I don’t know if its the music, the downtown stretch of Honky Tonk’s on Broadway Avenue, or the history behind the town.  But everything about this wonderful place keeps me coming back for more.  I’m pretty sure this weekend was about my 15th visit. This is a group of friends that joined me… I’ve known them since elementary school…  img_5812

Elements of my visit included Music, History, and Honky Tonk…  along with a little shopping thrown in for good measure.

SHOPPING SPOT!  Opry Mill’s Outlet Mall…  Yep.  It’s big, and it’s got a giant Bass Pro Shop…  along with some fantastic boot stores…  I came home with some fun additions to my wardrobe!

HONKY TONK!  Walk up the Streets of Broadway… there’s no end to the fun.  My personal favorite:  the four level Honky Tonk Central.  There’s a different band on each level… and dancing galore!  A few worthwhile stops… George Jones Country (Love that Red Chevy… and the Stilson girl’s polka on the way out the door), Margaritaville, Nudie’s Rooftop for great views, Acme Feed and Seed… the list goes on!  (How do I get this truck out of here without getting caught??? )img_5813

HISTORY!  Our group took a day to drive off the beaten path…  we toured out to Barbara Mandrel’s Fontanel Mansion, which was closed for a private event.  But we did stop to enjoy some wine and cider tasting and gift shopping.  Next time, we will call ahead to make sure the mansion is open to the public… it looks like its worth a tour!

Next we drove towards the Hermitage, General/President Andrew Jackson’s Home and now Museum.  This amazing  estate is over 1000 acres of rolling green country side.  We witnessed a reenactment of a gentlemen’s duel, and learned about the elements leading up to a duel.  Then we wandered the estate on a self guided tour, and through the beautiful mansion, and back through the slave quarters.  Yes, Andrew Jackson was a slave owner.  It was a different time in his day, and a big part of this country’s history that we cannot erase.  Overall, we learned that he was an interesting character with a wealth of friends surrounding him.  Many of his slaves continued on working for him after they were freed, including “Uncle Alfred” who served as the Hermitage Caretaker until his death in 1901.

MUSIC!  Everywhere you go in Nashville, there is music…  The town and its surrounding suburbs are loaded with untapped talent.  A visit to Nashville is never complete without a visit to the Grand Ole Opry.  Every time you enter, it shoots a ray of excitement through your core… like going to church on Sunday.  No matter how big or unknown the performers are, there never really is a bad show at the Opryhouse.  img_5811

Oh yes… and how could I forget the Country Music Hall of Fame!  The History of Country Music is showcased in this beautiful facility….  along with Elvis’s famous Solid Gold Cadillac, and Webb Pierce’s pimped out Bonneville…  They sure don’t make cars like that anymore!

Nashville…  you never disappoint! I’m sure I will be back!  <3