Tuesday, October 26, 2010 promised, Indian Summer continued

I was truly fortunate to be able to have Indian Summer all the way through the Month of October. The first two weeks of the month were exceptionally warm and beautiful her in Northern Illinois. My oldest son and his family were here from California, and were gifted with perfect weather.

When I left on 10/13 for Civil War events two weekends in a row, I expected to encounter some bad weather along the way, but again, have had nearly perfect weather. My first step, as usual was Ft Wayne, IN - jumping off point for P. Palmer Dry Goods. From there, Kay, Kathy Major and I drove (2 vehicles) east to Middletown, VA. Except for some very windy weather, it was fine. We got to enjoy the beauty of the peak of fall color as we drove through the hills in West Virginia and Western Maryland.

Once we set up in VA, my sister & brother-in-law came down on Friday and joined us for dinner. Judy brough brownies - made from the Betty Crocker Gluten Free mix. VERY good! She also brought us an apple crisp made with NY State apples and an oat topping. Herm brought 2 bottles of NY State wine. Simple meal cooked on a propane stove enjoyed with good company.

On Saturday, Kathy's sister Kimm came up from Annapolis area with some local micro brewed beers. Since I can't drink beer, I had a cider instead. Kim didn't stay for dinner, but it was nice to see her again.

On Sunday, Kay & I packed (make that 'stuffed') the Pacifica with the merchandise and personal stuff we would need for Westville, and sent Kathy and major home with the Ryder truck. We all stayed at a local Days Inn Sunday nite. Kay & I drove to Norcross, GA - just east of Atlanta where we were booked into an Extended Stay America. This is the second time I've used that chain, and I'd recommend it to anyone. You get a kitchenette so it makes life much simpler if you have dietary restrictions. We didn't cook there, but we did have breakfast there. That way I could have my GF Granola and not worry about motel food, or restaurant breakfasts. Although I have found it quite simple to carry my own cereal into a motel and use it instead of the cereals offered there. Much better than hoping the omelet made at the local restaurant has no cross contamination from other things cooked on the same grill. Besides, omelets get pretty boring after awhile.

As mentioed last night, the dinner meals while in Atlanta were at Pappa Deaux. I cannot recommend the chain highly enough. They were very helpful in making sure I knew what on the menu I could and could not eat. They are a Cajun seafood restaurant, so if like the food and the music; plan on stopping there. They have things for every taste - spicy & not.

At Westville, the cooking group we were in catered to Gluten Free and Vegetarian diets. The staples were eggs, cornmeal/grits, cabbage, carrots, onions, garlic, tomatoes, turnips, Romaine, sweet potatos, Cushaw squash, black eyed peas, cheese, ham, bacon, venison, chicken & duck. Highlights of the meals were the fresh tomatoes, cabbage cooked with tomatoes, sweets, onion & garlic, the salad, and the cornmeal cake made as a birthday cake on Saturday night flavored with the orange we donated to the cause. I survived the whole 4 days with no reactios at all!!!!

On Sunday we drove to Marietta where we ate at Pappa Deaux again, and then on about halfway from Marietta to Knoxville. Sunday nite we stayed at a Howard Johnson's. The staff there were among the friendliest hotel staff I think I've ever met. Kay had a Belgian Waffle, prepared for her by the hotel staff person who was in charge of the breakfast area. His helper was a young soldier dressed in camo and od T shirt. Very nice!

As we drove north through the mountains of Norther Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky, we were able to see, again, the most gorgeous fall foliage! We'd been south of the color change for the weekend, and so go to enjoy it all again as we drove home. Fall is one of my favorite times to travel. The scenery we drove through soothes my soul! It reminds me of fall in Upstate NY where I grew up, and seeing the colors in MD, VA, TN & KY over the course of two weeks was like a gift. Truly, with the weather perfect (chilly nights and warm sunny days) and the trees in full fall color, this trip allowed me to remember many things I had not though of in years. Things from my childhood; places I've been, and people who are long departed.
We made it back to Ft Wayne by about 8:00 last night.

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