Family, Diners & Bears, oh my!

Saw this just outside of Montgomery, AL

Don, our daughters, and I had been looking forward to Christmas with much anticipation. It would be the first time in many, many years that we would be celebrating the holiday with both of my parents present since their divorce 35 years ago.

Don and I arrived in town almost a week ahead of time. We both had dental appointments scheduled and I also had 2 doctor appointments I needed to take care of while in town. In addition to that I had lots of presents I’d had shipped to my mother’s that needed wrapping and I also had dishes to prepare in advance of Christmas Day dinner. It was a very busy, sometimes hectic 5 days.

I did receive good news from my orthopedic surgeon. No knee surgery in my future. Yippee! I do have a tear in my meniscus but Dr. Justice felt a cortisone shot would quiet the discomfort. I opted to do the shot with the understanding that I could have another in May when we returned if it was needed. Thus far the knee’s doing great. I also lucked out with my dentist appointment.  Don and I had the last slot of the day  for our teeth cleanings but since I needed to have crown work on 2 teeth, our dentist stayed late to take care of them rather than have me reschedule. What a relief to have that taken care of.

Don even managed to get the truck into the shop for an oil change on the day I wrapped gifts. As you can see we got plenty accomplished.

Canyon Inn at McCormick's Creek

Canyon Inn at McCormick’s Creek State Park

My father arrived late in the day of the 23rd and made it known he was treating the entire clan to Christmas Eve day breakfast at the Canyon Inn Lodge in nearby McCormick’s Creek State Park. Indiana DNR does a remarkable job at running the park system. During Christmas season the lodges are always beautifully decorated and special attention is given to holiday meals.



There’s always that one person in every family…..

We met early the following morning at Canyon Inn and were immediately seated. The atmosphere was perfect. Rustic interior with big windows looking out toward the woods. Bird feeders were hung right outside and the youngest grandchildren took great delight in viewing the many birds that visited the feeders, especially the Pileated  Woodpecker that showed up just before our meal ended.


We all gathered again later in the afternoon at Jason and Kristi’s home for pizza, Christmas cookies, drinks, and gift exchange. Everyone had fun and we all got a kick out of watching Brad open a seriously duct taped gift from his sister Maddy. She got him good but I reminded her that payback’s are a bitch. All to soon the evening ended as there were little ones needing to get settled into their beds so Santa could come.


If you run out of Scotch tape, there’s always duct tape

Christmas morning we awakened to find Santa had visited. He’d filled stockings with goodies for 19 month old Kendra and for Beau. We watched both babies delve into their presents then Bobbi-Leigh and I busied ourselves in the kitchen preparing food for an early Christmas Day dinner.

Our daughter, son-in-law, and the rest of the grandchildren would be joining Jason’s family for Christmas Day while the rest of us would cluster around ma’s kitchen table. That was the expectation anyhow. However, my father pulled his usual vanishing act and drove back to northern Michigan without letting anyone know he was leaving. It goes without saying that the kids were disappointed and I was a bit miffed, but I guess we should’ve expected as much. We still had a nice meal with all the trimmings and of course, we over ate.

                                                     Kendra loves her Beau Beau

Don and I returned to Florida a few days later, driving the entire way without stopping for the night like we had on our way up. Don was hell-bent on getting back into his own bed that night. It made for a very long day of travel but it was nice to be back in our little home on wheels.


The Pesky Pelican Grille

Since I’d tossed out all the perishables before our trip home, I offered to treat Don for breakfast. It was either that or oatmeal. BLEAH! He wanted to try a restaurant he’d noticed in Eastpoint that was always packed whenever we passed by. When we arrived, the lot was full, people were sitting inside, but the entry door was locked. Things weren’t looking good for Don’s stomach. As I climbed back into the truck I spied another little diner further down the road that appeared to be open, I suggested we try it. To make a long story short, we’ve only been back in Florida 5 days and already we’ve been to The Pesky Pelican Grille 3 times. The breakfasts are good, and made to order, but it’s Jewel’s lightly breaded shrimp dinner that’ll keep us going back. Bar none, IT IS the best shrimp we’ve ever had. Another reason for going back, the owners. Chuck and Jewel are friendly down-to-earth people that we enjoy getting to know.

Basically we’ve been playing catch up since we’ve returned. Christmas decorations have been taken down and stored away for another year. Don’s washed all the salt and dirt from the truck and I’ve finally caught up with the laundry and restocked the larder. We did have one exciting episode however, Don and Beau encountered a black bear early one morning (2:30 am).  Apparently someone left their trash sitting next to the bear proof trash gondola instead of properly disposing of it and the bear had a heyday spewing it everywhere. The two hightailed it back inside the rig. Beau was beside himself the remainder of the night.


Sunrise on St. George Sound

For New Year’s Eve we spent a quiet night at home in the Suite Pea, just the 3 of us, and listened to all the fireworks going off over St. George Sound. We weren’t sad to see 2016 behind us. It had been a rough year with the passing of our mothers and our four-legged traveling companion so I won’t be doing a recap of this past year. We did have one bright moment though, the birth of our first great grandchild. So,

here’s lookin’ at you kid and a Happy 2017!




Categories: Uncategorized | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Family, Diners & Bears, oh my!

  1. I\\’m not exactly sure what the law is (especially in Ohio) but what they asked you to sign is invalid. It lacks consideration. In exchange for making your promise not to sue, they needed to make a promise or performance in exchange. It seems doubtful that what they \\

  2. Hey hey hey, take a gaendr at what’ you’ve done

  3. Thank you Gay. The same to you & Joe. When you visit the Pelican, do tell them Don & Gayle sent you, & do be ready to chat. Everyone there is very friendly, locals included.

  4. Happy New Year Gayle, Don and Beau! My how the kids are growing. Such a sweet age all the time, but especially at Christmas. Gret family photos!

    We will definitely visit the Pesky Pelican when we return to that area. We love those small, family owned places to eat!

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