Midwinter Break 2015

We decided to visit family this year for midwinter break. And like our previous adventures, a much needed new perspective was found!

We left Seattle on a sunny morning. Mt. Rainier looked especially beautiful on this day…and we set off to our first stop —


From the Inner Harbor, we headed about a mile-and-a-half on foot to Fells Point….with no reservations on a Valentine’s Saturday evening. I guess it was fate that we ended up at a dive bar for dinner. And then, the snow came….it was so fun to walk back to the hotel in a snow-wind storm. Despite the snow, folks were still celebrating the V-Day events, all dressed up. Here’s to celebrating love in my home city ….

In celebration of my mom’s bday, we headed to Berkeley Springs

Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.

This little town is sleepy in February. Here, we discovered the historic warm springs that were visited by our Founding Fathers. And, although I don’t think it’d be comfortable to take a bath in 75-degree water, when it’s 6-degrees outside, the water is indeed warm.

It was way-too cold for a hike, so while my mom was at the spa, Greg and I checked out the local bath house. We had a private bath-room (that sounds funny, but it’s literally a room with a big walk-in bath) and the natural local spring water was super-hot and super-charged. After 30-minutes we were ready to hang outside without our coats!

It snowed again that night and we woke up to a balmy 17-degrees…It’s amazing how much warmer 17-degrees feels compared to 6-degrees.

Random thoughts: I’m not sure how Greg climbs mountains and sleeps on the snow. I’m not sure how our Founding Fathers took baths in the 75-degree water After a couple short days, we headed back to Westminster to enjoy a dinner at my mom’s house. Happy Bday Mom. Thanks for spending some time with us.

Next stop: Atlanta.

We had hoped it’d be a little warmer since we were so far south…but, no luck. Atlanta was enjoying a nice little wind storm. Friggin’ cold!

We stayed at the Westin in downtown Atlanta, across from Olympic Park, CNN, Coke. Such a nice hotel. Of course we had to get out of the wind, so we found ourselves at a local Irish pub, then we treated ourselves to southern food including cornbread and collard greens. Then we ended the evening at the top of the Westin in the lounge that circles the city. What a great place!

The next morning, we toured the Coke experience, and then met Greg’s Aunt and Uncle at the aquarium. Both were really nice attractions but the most fun was just to hang out with Greg’s family. Such southern hospitality, and the strength of their marriage is amazing.

Southern Hospitality
Greg, Aunt Millie & Uncle Pug


Last Stop: Pine Mountain, Georgia

For our last stop, we headed to the west side of Georgia, near the Alabama border. We met Greg’s Uncle Bill and had a way-too-fast late lunch. It was super-interesting to get to know Greg’s uncle: his perspective of his wife’s recent passing, of his kids and step-kids…and life in general. His hope for the upcoming retirement was simply inspiring. I look forward to seeing him again one day. I want him to take me kayaking with the alligators in Alabama … Some day …. Maybe it’ll be too cold and I won’t really want to go…. Yep: I’m “skeerd.”

We stayed our last 24 hours in a place called Calloway Gardens, in a nice little cabin in the woods and the next day we toured the gardens. This little guy in the butterfly garden has inspired me to figure out how to attract butterflies here in the Pacific Northwest. So beautiful.

Greg and Uncle Bill



As a quick summary, each of our visits were unique. Thanks to each of you for your wisdom and smiles.

My Mom: “Life Learner” We’re never too old–or too young–to learn new things. Here’s to many more new adventures.

Aunt Millie & Uncle Pug: “Soul Mates” How amazing it is to find one’s soul mate, especially when you find each other so early in life. What a gift.

Uncle Bill: “Renewal” Perspective drives growth and rebirth. I just ordered 2 butterfly bushes. They will remind me of you.

Thanks to everyone for a great Mid Winter Break 2015.


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