All Forty One!
Nieces, Nephews, Grandchildren
David kept thinking we could get together but his work kept coming in. Shirley and Bob went to Walmart and had a big shopping spree. Then we returned home and walked in the neighborhood. It was beautiful fall weather.
We eventually went and picked David up in the afternoon and came back to our house and we had a home-cooked meal at our airbnb. We had picked David up because his car battery had died. Shirley/David decided to handle that on Monday. Then more work came in for David, so he took care of that on his computer at our house.
In the early evening (after 7 pm) Gillian also came over.
In the morning around 8:30 AM Bob and Shirley go to Walmart to pick up card and other stuff, then stop by house before heading over to Gillian's. At Gillian's Bob pets Sheriff the dog who demonstrates he can catch his own tail, carries Clyde the cat, as does Gillian, and walks with Shirley up backyard to look at David's gardens.
After putting Clyde and Sheriff back in the house we all drive to and park near the Farmer's Market, then walk over. We buy mushrooms, a small pie (Bob lets Shirley have a bite of it), and pastry (Bob takes lots of bites of Shirley's pastry).
We all get back in Gillian's car and David drives us around looking at potential homes he and Gillian might buy in various neighborhoods. None of them is satisfactory to Gillian and David. We drive back to Gillian's.
Shirley and Bob walk in the neighborhood, then David and Gillian pick us up and we all visit the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. The Gardens are so nice to walk in, so much to see.
We drive back to Gillian's where we pick up a cooking pan and drinking glass. Gillian stays there and David drives us back to our home and drops us off.
Shirley prepares another wonderful dinner, this one including roasted chicken. David and Gillian drive over and we all have dinner together. After dinner we watch a TV show about dinosaurs which was very well done. Then Gillian and David drive home.
Shirley begins preparing dinner in the morning, then around one thirty we drive to David's, play some with Sheriff in the backyard and pet Clyde.
We then go over to a nearby park where we walk around for a bit.
Next we visit a nearby neighborhood where we see an historic house built in 1935 and get the address (5340 8th Ave S). Later we use Zillow to find out it has 5 bedrooms, 3 baths, and is 3,963 sq ft, but - according to both Zillow and Realtor websites - the lot size is only a tiny 174 sq ft or 0.004 acres!. Estimated price is $722,000.
While walking we stop at a store and get a gift for our friend Leyla who is watching our home in Santa Rosa. We walk back to David's place where he gets back to his work. We drive back to our house where Bob snacks and takes a nap after getting on the computer. Then Shirley gets on the computer. In the evening David and Gillian come over, we all eat and then watch TV.
Today we check out of our airbnb by 10 AM (we had hoped to have it through the holiday, but someone else rented it before we tried to) and check into our room at the hotel the Holiday Inn near the airport. During the day Shirley and Bob visit the library which includes a nice view of a nearby pond. We see a large duck interacting with a walker. A librarian walks up beside us as we watch and says she had seen a man who got quite scratched by the duck. The man had come into the library and shown her. We then walk down to and around the pond, not being attacked by the duck. It is a nice walk.
Next we visit David and walk Sheriff, then drive to our motel and take naps. Gillian and David later pick us up, we get pizza from Bettola pizza shop, after which David and Gillian drive home.
It's the day before Thanksgiving and we all drive up to Scheller, Illinois. The drive is a long one, about 7 or 8 hours, during which we pass through Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and Illinois. After checking into our Sure Stay motel near Rend Lake, we drive to the Scheller Playhouse for dinner. Several family members are there, as in about ten.
Shirley and Bob drive back to their motel, while David and Gillian come back with Molly (Molly is staying at the same motel). As Shirley and Bob are driving at night, we get to see a deer crossing the road.
We spend almost all day at Jeannine and Ray's. In total there are 41 family and friends for such a wonderful, wonderful Thanksgiving. So many people bring so many delicious dishes.
Bret, Gillian and David take a long walk down the road. (Look very, very closely at the first picture below, maybe click on it and zoom in, or look at the next picture).
As part of the food preparation, Shirley cuts a turkey, a piece of which Bob takes out and feeds to the cat. The cat enjoys it. Some of the "kids" play football out front. And others socialize on the front porch and nearby.
Several of us visit the Scheller, St. Barbara Cemetery to see Shirley's Mom/Dad's grave.
Bret and Dylan jam guitars in one of the barns while a few of us listen.
We also walk around the farm where Shirley's uncle used to live, seeing the remains of the house and a shed and a barn. Shirley notes that a hill she sled down as a kid is now too forested to do so anymore.
Bob, as he does every Thanksgiving, eats lots of the home made brownies and fudge. And pie. While some watched football on TV, others played football outside. Also, in the early evening the "kids" (those not over 40) played Bingo in the garage. Gillian and David even won a game.
We drive back from Illinois to stay at the Holiday Inn Express hotel after dropping off Gillian and David. Then we veg out.
Bob and Shirley visit David, Gillian, Sheriff and Clyde, then all of us (except, sadly, Clyde and Sheriff) go to the Farmer's Market.
Afterwards we all go to Railroad Park and have a nice, long walk. We see only one turtle in the pond.
After the Railroad Park walk we visit a garden center.
Gillian and David go with friends to the Vulcan Park while Shirley and Bob return to motel, getting a potato to add to dinner and seeing a pretty sunset from our bedroom window.
Bob and Shirley check out of motel at noon then go to Publix for groceries. Next we return to David's and take his car to a garage to get a new battery. Afterwards we get a Christmas tree, take it back to Gillian and David's, set it up and decorate it.
Bob and Shirley drive back to airbnb, then return to David and Gillian's for dinner. We get (and eat) a pizza, then watch the movie Elf, before Bob and Shirley drive back to airbnb.
Shirley and Bob go to David's and walk Sheriff, then drive to Publix before returning to the airbnb. Bob walks in the neighborhood and Shirley prepares a wonderful dinner of rice pilaf, potatoes, and fruit.
David and Gillian come over and we all eat. Gillian then drives home and Bob, Shirley and David watch the TV show Life on Earth. Afterwards Bob drives David home and Shirley does all the dishes.
Shirley and Bob have been married for 37 years! We exchange cards in the morning. And demonstrate how close we are - Bob has a peel and Shirley is the apple of his eye.
Sheriff takes Bob, Gillian, and David for a 2.7 mile hike in the Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve where we follow the trail through the woods to the Cambrian Overlook. Sheriff makes a point of showing he can carry a very big branch (zoom in on 6th pic below). We also get to see not only the city of Birmingham, but also mushrooms! We then hike further through the park before working our way back to the trailhead. A fabulous hike on a wonderful day. David and Gillian then drop Bob off and head home.
Later Gillian and David come over to the airbnb and we all eat carry out dinner from El Barrio and watch TV. Gillian and David then leave, but all hug each other one final time on this trip since Bob and Shirley will head back to California in the morning.
Bob and Shirley check out of the airbnb after making sure it is clean and in good condition after our wonderful stay. We drive to the airport and turn in the rental car.
At 11 AM we take off from Birmingham and fly to Atlanta. After a two hour stop over, we catch our flight to San Franisco. There we get our luggage just in time to catch the bus to Santa Rosa at 5:30 PM. We arrive at Park and Ride two hours later and there is Reenie waiting to drive us home. Thank you Reenie.
Above photos taken by Bob, Shirley, David and Mary Kay
Bob Phillips [phillips bob 27 at yahoo dot com - no spaces]
Santa Rosa, CA
February 17, 2023