Traveling on Christmas Eve and Day

When traveling on Christmas Eve and Day most nice restaurants close early and open afternoon. A call to our hotel confirmed that most would close before we got there. We swapped drivers and Eric got on (Trip Advisor) to look for possibilities in Huntington, West Virginia.

Where do you find a nice restaurant on Christmas Eve?

IMG_0580A Japanese Hibachi Restaurant!

Years ago I learned from Maynard Poythress, my boss and mentor that Chinese restaurants are open on Christian holidays. Japanese also; and we found a beautiful Hibachi Sushi restaurant in down town Huntington near Marshall University that was not only open, but served us a fantastic meal and with a performance at the hibachi as well.

Tomorrow we begin the Big journey

imageAll our bags are packed, we are ready to go, bikes on board and we are ready to leave Gettysburg on the grand adventure. It is actually harder to leave our little home in downtown Gettysburg than our home on Longview Boulevard . We fell in love with the house and the ambiance of living downtown. The B Cathrine  Culp home was the perfect place place to spend our last month in Gettysburg. We walked the town, the battlefields and went to the local eateries and taverns. We even had friends over for dinner and a great book group gathering with Karen’s book group. It was a beautiful month.

Today Karen finished packing and Eric loaded all the stuff that made the cut into our SUV. More stuff than we need, but that is past us. We leave tomorrow for Louisville and Christmas with very, very dear friends.

We will be in Cincinnati on New Year’s Eve with Karen’s sister and niece and their husbands. After that, Florida and Texas before the  start of our European and African adventures.

Follow us if you wish on our journey,


Karen and Eric



Those of our friends and Family who don’t already know that we are crazy often ask why after a month are you still in Gettysburg.

Well the simple answer is that we are not yet done. Quite frankly, Gettysburg is hard to be done with!

We have lived here longer than anywhere else, we have great friends here, we still have a great deal of organization stuff to get done with, and…below is a picture of why:

Christmas season on the Square on the Square in GettysburgWe said ” The wonderment of walking around this beautiful town during the Christmas season enjoying the atmosphere”.  We wanted to experience the magic of this beautiful, some say ghostly town during one of its prettiest seasons.

Last night we had dinner with Paul and Sinda Tait and then returned to our place just off the square to walk around the Square and enjoy the Christmas lighting. We have often driven past it, last night we strolled through the town, admittedly wrapped in hats and warm coats. It was stunning.

36 East Middle Street, Gettysburg, Pa USA Stop number three on our journey.

We thought it would be nice to spend the last month of life in Gettysburg living downtown, being a townie enjoying the Christmas season in this beautiful little town walking the streets and seeing Gettysburg as a tourist instead of residents for the last 23 years.

IMG_0168This is the place we selected. It is a three bedroom 1800’s brick home located just one block off the square in downtown Gettysburg. It happens to be owned by the same lovely couple from whom we rented Willow Lodge. For a much more complete description we suggest that you log onto and type in the listing: 555244. It is a wonderful Victorian home and it affords us exactly what we wanted. The owners even brought over Eric’s beloved Weber Grill that we had “donated” to Willow Lodge. It is a block from the library and our favorite Saint-Amand French Bistro and coffee shop. We have spent the time here so far walking to the battlefield attractions and enjoying thing we have missed seeing here. We have had friends over for dinner and Karen is planning a Christmas party for her book group.

We will be here until Christmas Eve when we leave for Louisville for fellowship with our “Louisville Family”. We have already booked this place for a week in March when we return to make our final plans for our European and African adventures scheduled April through late June. We return from that trip again to this home while visiting friends, doctors and dentists for those regular things that everyone ought to do.

This also lets us experience all the excitement of Gettysburg during the festivities surrounding that annual hoopla  the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.


Tanzania Embassy

imageToday we went to Tanzania House which is the Embassy of Tanzania in Washington DC to get our visa to visit their country. Learned or should I say, re-learned an important fact. You simply must open up to people to get them to open up to you. The folks were I would say…cold and clinical but very efficient.  After we had received our visas I asked “how do I say thank you in your language?” We got immediate smiles and a beautiful instruction on how to say it properly.  We also asked “how to say goodbye”. After learning that I bowed and said the word I had just learned and the grim looking man behind the lady we were talking to got up and said, no, no, no. If your are walking away you must say it differently. The newly arrived smile on his face made it perfect. He said that when you say it this way, it means you want to return. How beautiful was that!


another great day in our adventure


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Willow Lodge

We needed a place to work from while we packed up and cleaned our home in preparation for closing. Just as important, we were about to embark on a journey that would take us to places on 3 continents and last until October of next year.  We had to sort out the clothing, medicines and supplies we would take on this journey of almost a year. Of course, we would replenish along the way.

Willow Lodge Our first stop after walking out the door of our home
Willow Lodge
Our first stop after walking out the door of our home

To give us this work station we went as we often do, to VRBO, the vacation rental by owner organization operated by “Home Away” one of the larger booking agencies for private homes. We moved in Tuesday and worked from here to complete our packing of the house and then supervised the loading the next day. Thursday was cleaning and we worked all day to give the new owners “shock and awe” when they walked in the door. We wanted the new owners to love our home as much as we have.

After the close on the house on Friday the 14, we took Saturday off and enjoyed the “Remembrance Day Parade” an annual event celebrating Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address”. In 23 years of living in Gettysburg, we had never taken the time to do this. It was wonderful; several thousand men, women, and children in period costume with drums, bugles, fifes, and trumpets marching to hear the speech by President Lincoln (or at least a guy in a carriage that looked just like him).

This simple little cottage about 12 miles north of Gettysburg was perfect for our needs. It had a kitchen, a fireplace, and quiet. The three bedrooms allowed us to sleep in one and spread our clothing in the other two out on the beds and closets as we selected what went into the limited baggage we plan to use. It is our plan to have a medium suitcase and a duffel bag each as well as a personal article, briefcase or purse.

For the next five days we selected, rejected, changed our minds and pretty much kept our cool as we whittled down what ever clothing we had amassed to what will work in four suitcases. Having the peace of Willow Grove was key to keeping the cool.