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I Heart Fall

The weather in Colorado Springs has been amazing this past week! I’ve talked to quite a few people who say it usually snows for Halloween, and I’m glad that it held out this year. I’m not quite ready for winter.

This past weekend, we enjoyed coffin racing in Manitou Springs. The coffin races are in memorial of Emma Crawford, who died of TB and was buried and re-buried several times. The story goes that erosion unearthed her and her coffin slide down a 7,200 foot slope, hence the coffin races. The Wizard of Oz, it’s hard to tell in this picture, but their make-up was amazing and they even included the flying monkey!

Das Boot and St. Pauly’s girls and guys, they stopped during the race to chug a beer.

There was also a hearse parade. Note the fire erupting off the hood! One hearse was Ghostbuster’s themed and another was a monster truck hearse!Kerbey was so good with the crowds, she let just about everyone pet her and made a few puppy friends.

We had a busy weekend with Halloween and then the Saints’ game on Sunday night. We’ve been watching them at a local restaurant and bar called Oscar’s which serves oyster poboys and gumbo, just like back home. It was great to watch the Saints win with a big group of rowdy fans!

This weekend is my birthday, and my husband brought home a present every day this week for “Mary’s birthday week, yay!” Yesterday was flowers and today it was a Camelbak! I cannot wait to bring it hiking with me this weekend! My lovely friend from New Orleans is coming to visit this weekend, and I’ve promised hiking, wine, and coffee shops! What a fun week! Happy Fall!


Let It Go

This post was supposed to be about the amaizing corn maze, but instead it can be about “the day I learned how to read a calendar properly”. We drove down to Amish country on Sunday, I was super excited! I mean, I’ve been thinking about this corn maze for 3 weeks! Well it turns out that I read the calendar wrong and it was not open on Sunday (or any Sunday for that matter, you mean that other Letter “S” on the calendar is Saturday?). To make matters worse, there was another corn maze that WAS open on Sunday, but we had to get there before they stopped selling tickets-and we left way to late for that (we were watching our New Orleans Saints get their only loss of the season).

The Mary of days past would have freaked out, screamed, cursed, and turned beet red after driving over an hour to a corn maze that wasn’t open. But the new, improved Traveler Mary is getting used to the unplanned. So, as soon as we turned around in the parking lot, I LET IT GO. Not just pretended to let it go, but really I did. It may have been easy this time because I had no one to blame but myself, or maybe because there were tons of Amish shops and food to explore!

I purposely did not take any “recognizable pictures” of any of the Amish people that we saw on the roads. I did some research and found out that they feel that taking a recognizable picture of them is making a graven image, or engraved image, which is cautioned against in The Bible in regard to idol worship. We did take notice that some buggies have battery operated blinkers, who knew?

It was really beautiful throughout all of Lancaster Country, I wished we had more time to explore the countryside. We looked through quilt shops, wine shops, produce stands, and ate at a real-life Smorgasbord! I only got the soup and salad menu, buffet style just wasn’t made for me, I’m just too picky-but my husband enjoyed it!

I will say there was also tons of outlet malls, miniature golf, and even a theme park, all that was really unappealing to me in such a naturally beautiful place.

We have 5 days left in PA then the trip back to La for a week to visit family and off to our destination for the next rotation- Colorado Springs!



48 Hours in Erie

We just finished our rotation in Erie, PA. I wanted to look back and compile a list of “must-sees” in Erie, from an outsiders viewpoint.

Presque Isle State Park

Presque Isle is actually a peninsula that juts out into Lake Erie. It’s pretty large- more than 13 miles long. It has a long paved trail that runs the entire length, part of it is near the water, while most of it is shaded in wooded areas.

Presque Isle has multiple beaches, each with its own agenda. We were able to watch free concerts during summer, go swimming, and take the dog for a run in the sand.

Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC)

The TREC is located right at the beginning of Presque Isle. Admission is FREE! The center focuses on environmental building practices and demonstrates green design. The exhibits show local wildlife, history, and geology of Presque Isle. But in my opinion the number 1 reason to go to TREC is the tower and the view! Number 2 reason is the awesome cafe, full of vegetarian options!

Waldameer Park

The roller coaster in this picture is part of Waldameer Park. It’s the Ravine Flyer II. The best thing about Waldmeer Park is that it is a theme park that has FREE admission! Admission to the park is free, you can choose to pay per ride, or buy an all day pass for a little over $20. It’s a great deal for families.

Erie has quite a few great restaurants, most of them showcasing fresh seafood. Our favorites included: Smuggler’s Wharf (great outdoor seating) and The Pufferbelly (in an old firehouse). We also had great parks nearby that we visited nearly every day. Frontier Park and Liberty Park were the two standouts and there was always events  going on, from yoga to live music.

What’s Next?

We have 4 days left of this rotation here in Northwest Pa. Still unsure of where we are headed next! We should find out something today, I have a sneaking suspicion that we have another road trip in our future this weekend! This is the traveling game-I’m excited and ready for a change. I’ll keep you all posted.


5 years Ago

Does everyone have a Hurricane Katrina memory? Is it like hearing that JFK was shot (or so I was told since I wasn’t around for that)?

Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico near i...

Image via Wikipedia

Maybe it’s just me because I was living in New Orleans when it happened. I am not from the New Orleans area, but I was proud to live there during my secondary education. When I think of that weekend, that time in my life, all I can do is sigh… it was rough.  My story is not as sad or dramatic as most, more complicated than some, and unique to me. I will only say this: upon returning to the city on October 2nd, 2005, the streets and neighborhoods looked like a war-torn country. Empty buses covered in debris were parked in the middle of what used to be a busy boulevard, small fishing boats were stranded in front yards, and a smell of rot and decay was in the air. This is a scene that I will never forget.

“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.”
James Thurber