My Trip Back Home Last August


Tammy planned a cruise last AugustHer and Cassidy booked a Carnival Cruise from New Orleans La. to Cayman Islands, Jamaica, and Cozumel.   I decided to go up and stay with Carly.  Tammy was pretty excited as this was her first cruise.  On a beautiful Friday morning, Tammy and Cassidy hugged Carly goodbye and took off for a long drive from Illinois to New Orleans La. wp-15769844464803958534113140486886.jpg

Now if it was me, it would take me several days, but she always drives straight through.  They spent a day sightseeing in New Orleans, Bourbon St and the Cemeteries. Cemeteries and spooky stuff is her passion.  Finally they boarded their ship and left on Sunday for their 7 days of cruising on the beautiful blue ocean. wp-15769840391337366215909850587441.jpg

I had taken Amtrak up as usual.  Its always an enjoyable 27 hours traveling from San Antonio to Bloomington Normal.  During my time their, the kids had signed up for school.  Now days, they have an evening before school starts to go meet your teacher and drop off your school supplies.  This year Carly is in 1st Grade in the Primary Building in GranvilleAustin is in 2nd and Miley is in 4th in the Elementary School in HennepinTina and I packed up all the kids and their school supplies and headed for Carly’s school. wp-15769845813076714720980536534584.jpg

Carly met her teacher, toured her room, filled out some questionnaires and put away her supplies.  In the hall they had large boxes full of supplies.  Their were boxes where each child would put their Kleenex boxes, Elmer’s glue, Hand Sanitizer and other large items that were on their list.  They only put out one or so of the Kleenex boxes and Hand Sanitizers at a time, so they have a supply to last all year.  Then we loaded up the kids and drove to Hennepin to the Elementary School. wp-1576984663920496244101289706138.jpg

Austin loved his teacher.  He is such a clown.  I was feeling sorry for the teacher.  I was hoping she has a strong back bone….lol…Just Look at the EVIL grin…..He’s already plottingwp-15769846125888428905137926658085.jpg

He loved putting away all his school supplies in his desk.  On down the hall we went to Mileys teacher.



Did you know, now days you can order all your school supplies from Amazon?  They have prepared boxes you can buy for a particular school and grade.  The cost was about $40 a box.  So you don’t have to go school shopping for supplies, just clothes.  Usually you end up buying items that the teacher didn’t want, so this does make it easier.  After Tina visited with the teacher, we walked down and found the kids lockers.  This year they get real metal lockers instead of the wooden cubbies. wp-15769847800187375129687272307876.jpg

They were playing in the lockers climbing in and closing the door.  When Austin climbed in, we pretended that we left.  Austin got scared and started to cry.   Well, the evil in us made us at laugh at him.  He would have done the same thing. …. lol....He can give it…lol…but he can’t take it……. Finally the first day of school came.  I took Carly to school her first day.


She was so excited.  She loves school.


Tina took Miley and Austin to school in Hennepin.  She always takes First day pictures.  During my visit, I called Tricia, my friend from the Hegeler Carus Mansion.  I use to be a Docent for about 4 years and Tricia is head of the Guides. Completed in 1876 for Edward C. Hegeler, a partner in the nearby Matthiessen Hegeler Zinc Company, the mansion was designed in 1874 by noted Chicago architect William W. Boyington for Edward, his wife Camilla, and many children. The mansion is now owned and operated by the Hegeler Carus Foundation, and is open to the public. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2007.


This was the entrance you would use if you were a family friend or member

Tricia invited Carly and me to come and hang out for the day.  It was so good to be back in the presence of this beautiful home of yesteryear.  Carly enjoyed it so much that we  came back another day also.  Here is some of my favorite pictures of those days.


This was the main entrance that business affiliates used.  The porch has deteriorated and cannot be walked on safely


Camilla’s, wife of Edward,  Rock Garden between the formal stairs.


Gate to Camilla’s Garden


The reconstructed Gazebo that is now used for Concerts on the lawn.


A quite moment around the pond


The commemorative plaques in front of the Mansion, describing the History


The beautiful Baby Grand in the Formal Parlor


Checking out the beautiful reflection in the mirror.  Look at that amazing inlaid floor and the original gas chandelier, now electrified.


The one and only stairway leading up to the bedrooms and beyond.


Carly in the Family Room, pointing out the original pictures of the family at Christmas time in this room.


Somewhat a dark picture, but this is the beautiful dinning room.  This Dinning Table has been refurbished and is so beautiful.  It has an inlay of several different woods in a woven ribbon pattern around the edge of the table.  This design is also displayed around the fireplace and serving cabinets around the room.

We had a fun couple of days their.  Tricia loved having Carly.  She listened, and absorbed much of the history that was being told on the tours as we followed them.  She also helped escort some of the ladies to the bathroom, telling them to watch the step so they wouldn’t fall.   She thoroughly enjoyed herself.  During my time their, I also visited with my old friends from Advantage Logistics.  Many of them are still their.  I sure don’t know how they do it but they are younger.  They still have the stamina to put up with physical and mental stress.   Warehouses are sure not a fun place to work.  I spent some good quality time with Tammy after she got back home, talked about all the fun they had and their experiences.  I also visited with some other family members, my sister-in-law and her sister and family, my niece and her daughter.  My brother Pasted Away last Jan.  I have been going through pictures and wanted to make sure they got the ones they should have.


St. Louis Arch

So finally it was time to go.  I left Bloomington-Normal on Amtrak for my 27hr ride to San Antonio, again passing all the familiar landmarks as we headed south.  I’ll end this post with an interesting picture from Tammy of the beach on one of the stops.  If you notice someone had just caught a fish…..ISN”T IT HUGE”wp-1579710668803332350125195978499.jpg


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