Thursday, December 19, 2013

Amy Chonko's College Graduation

We were privileged to get tickets to our niece Amy's graduation. She received her degree in Anthropology from the University of Central Florida. (UCF)  This is Amy's second degree. 
Kim & Ernie are proud parents of three daughters, all have college degrees.  We had a great dinner afterwards at the Black Angus in Orlando.  Congrats Amy, we know you'll be a great success.             
Amy & boyfriend Jamie
The proud parents with their graduate
It's empty!  She will get her degree in the mail soon.

Monday, December 2, 2013

New York for Thanksgiving

We flew to up New York for 8 days, 5 days with Vincent, Heather and the Grandchildren in Walden.
While there we celebrated Quinn's birthday a month early and also held Christmas.  Then up the road to Kingston to Mom's and brothers David and Gregg and families for three days, including Thanksgiving.  We stayed at brother David's RV in his backyard, which always saves us money and helps us reconnect with Dave, Eileen, Monica and Mike.  We didn't get much time with Gregg, as his girlfriend's Mom passed away that week and he was tied up with the wake and funeral.
We got to see Grandson Quinn wrestle in a tournament in Pennsylvania.  Quinn has been wrestling for about a year now and is still learning.  He fought hard in all 5 matches, but only won once. He is progressing though.  Grammy Debbie videotaped each match, so that Quinn could see his mistakes and learn from them.  Thanksgiving at Dave & Eileen's was great, twenty-eight attended.  It's always good to get back to New York to see family, especially Mom.

Quinn is ready to wrestle
Quinn has the upper hand
Paris watches while Quinn and Grammy Debbie play a video game
Vincent got several college shirts
Heather got a photo, some gift cards, and perfume
Quinn got the video game he wanted
Paris got the last two books of the Dork Diaries series


Bushnell, FL

We have cancelled our trip to Oklahoma and Texas and returned to Florida.  I have some numbness in my face and neck and have had to return to the Tampa VA for a CT Scan on November 13th.  Had a Neurology Consult and exam on December 2nd and now have to get an MRI in the next few weeks. Had the MRI on 12/9 and am awaiting the results.  So, we are back in Florida until at least the end of the year.  On 12/16, got a call from the Neurologist, he said that I have degenerative disk disease and it is from C3-C7.  An operation could make it worse, so I should live with the numbness.  I should not lift heavy objects, especially above the head.  If it gets worse, then a Nuerosurgeon will address it.  So, back on the road we go!
We will be helping out a bit on Debbie's brother's ranch and spending some time here at Paradise Oaks RV Resort.  On our first weekend back, we spent some time helping out on the ranch and visiting with our great-nephew Zakkary.
Debbie and Zakkary on the 4 wheeler with Ernie in the rear
Debbie feeds the pigs
Feeding some cows from the back of the Toro

Monday, October 28, 2013

Nashville, Tennessee

We are in Nashville, Tennessee at the Nashville Country RV Park.  On our first full day here we went to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.  We saw the special yearlong display honoring superstar Reba Entire. They had her costumes, memorabilia, and a nice documentary about her life in the spotlight.  The film highlights her years in the rodeo, singing as a kid, her rise to music super stardom, her film, television, and Broadway acting career.
Reba's Accomplishments

 The rest of the hall of fame was awesome too.  Lots of info about all of the members of the hall of fame as well as possible future inductees.  There is an area that has all of the plaques of the members of the hall, a restaurant, hundreds of displays, guitars, and of course, numerous walls of silver, gold and platinum albums.  There is a He Haw display and so much more.  It takes several hours to go through, but it is worth it.
Debbie at one of the walls of Gold & Platinum records  

One of the walls of hall of fame plaques
Dolly Parton's plaque, one of the many
Part of the huge Carrie Underwood display
One or Porter Wagoner's fabulous suits
One of Hank William's suits
Country Superstar wanna be Debbie on the red carpet
On day three we drove to the Loveless Motel & Cafe, a former motel, now a restaurant and tourist trap.  The motel rooms and cabins are now stores. While we were there, a group with some 1920's cars came on a trip from Natchez to Nashville.  We got to see the cars, but didn't eat or buy anything in the shops.                                                                           

Autumn is here and the colors are starting to turn
More colors
  Later that day we checked another item off of our bucket list.  The Grand Ole Opry.  Eight acts that all were exceptional.  4,400 screaming fans got to see and hear Maggie Rose, Dustin Lynch, and country legends the Del McCoury Band, Montgomery Gentry, Larry Gatlin, T.G. Shepard, Ricky Skaggs and Bee Gees legend Barry Gibb singing with Kelly Lang.  We could take photos, but videotaping was forbidden.  I cannot tell you in words, how great this two and a half hours was.  We will come back to Nashville just for the Grand Ole Opry.  The Grand Ole Opry is a live radio show on W.S.M., Sirius radio, and many other stations.  It is the longest running radio show on Earth. Ricky Scaggs and Barry Gibbs sang several BeeGees hits and brought the house down!
Maggie Rose
The Del McCoury Group
Dustin Lynch
Larry Gatlin with his daughter
T.G Shepard
Montgomery Gentry
Barry Gibb & Kelly Lang sang "Islands in the Sky" to a standing ovation
Rick Skaggs
Barry Gibb & Ricky Skaggs brought down the house!  What a night!
On our last full day in Nashville we went to tour Barbara Mandrell's Log Cabin "Fontanel", all 27,000 square feet on 136 acres.    This is a lavish palace, full of memorabilia, swimming pool, shooting range, family rooms and guest rooms.  Saying "Lavish" might do this home an injustice. Luxurious! 
The front  porch area of the "Log Cabin", plus wings on each side.
The Dining Room
The reception area full of memoribilia.  See Debbie on the far couch.
Overlooking the pool area
The pool is covered and will be used as a dance floor at a wedding this week
An upstairs hallway, full of memoribilia on the way to the bedrooms
Barbara's Miss Tennessee Teen USA sash
A guitar signed by The Eagles
Half of Barbar's bathroom with a marble bath tub
The other half of Barbara's bathroom and makeup table
Play cards in the gameroom
Play the juke box or the Dolly Pardon Pinball Machine
Debbie the Soda Jerk in the gameroom
Play pool in the gameroom
Downtown Nashville in the morning fog
The Tennessee Titans Stadium