Mrs. Barbara and I just returned from 10 days of vacation. I must say, much needed vacation. We were due for another break. The short stay in October was the first time we had been away since Dec. of 2011 and all that did was make us realize that we needed more time off.

This time we were alone, just the two of us, and we really had a ball. The weather was wonderful in South Carolina (Hilton Head Island), and we did not have any problems on the road or where we stayed.

Our only challenge came on the first Friday we were gone when our granddaughter called and had an electrical problem in the house. I called fellow racer, Dave Walker of Double D Electric, and he sent a crew over to the house and corrected the problem right away. It is so good to have friends that you can count on in an emergency. That was not the 1st time that Dave has helped me or one of my other grand kids that had electrical problems. I guess Dave is paying me back for all those times he has eliminated me in Top Doorslammer!

Barbara and I seem to go on a lot of vacations in the 1st or 2nd week of December. We get to do our Christmas shopping and get gifts that you don’t see here in Baton Rouge. You also get to see the nice Christmas lights and displays in other cities.

In addition to Hilton Head Island, we also got to take a guided tour of the city of Savanna, GA. That was the highlight of the first part of the trip. This is one beautiful city, and if you ever get a chance to visit, don’t pass it up.

We took the City Trolley Tour, but there is another tour, that “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” took in one of their recent episodes, that features a special “Black Heritage Tour”. This one shows many of the homes and churches that participated in the “Underground Railroad”, allowing slaves to escape to the north and all the way to Canada. We will take that tour the next time we go to Savanna.

I am glad we took the city tour first. We learned so much about the city and we got to see some places that we want to come back and spend some extended time looking over and to do some shopping. The rumor has it that the “soul food” is excellent in Savanna.

Ryland Comes Home! (Photos)

The second part of our vacation consisted of a short trip down the coast to Mayport Naval Station outside of Jacksonville, Florida. Our Sailor, Quartermaster 2nd Class, U. S. Navy, Ryland Gardner returned from a 6 month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea on Monday, Dec. 15, 2014. This is the 3rd deployment that Ryland has been on over in the same area. His ship, the USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58), is due to be decommissioned in June of 2015. Ryland will be sent to a ship stationed in San Diego, CA sometime after the 1st of the year. Ryland will be home for 10 days of shore leave starting on Dec. 19th.

Upon arrival, after being greeted by all the families of the 200+ man and women crew of the Roberts, the ship was open for tours given by each member of the crew. Barbara and I toured the ship and then we went to Longhorn Steak House for a good meal. Ryland was so happy to be back and we were happy to greet him. We had been praying for his safe return and the Lord answered our prayers. More Photos

Barbara and I drove home in a little over 10 hours from Jacksonville. No car troubles, many COPS in Florida, especially in West Florida, seemed like one for each 10 miles! Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana was smooth sailing with very few state troopers or county mounties.