One's best laid travel plans are often set aside when there is the threat of severe weather, in this case cold temperatures and the possibility of snow-like precipitation.
Plans to surprise wifey with a two-day jaunt to an historic village were cancelled at the last minute.
In its place, we decided on a day-trip to her hometown of Hattiesburg, MS to witness their annual daytime Christmas parade.
Times have changed and so has the parade.
Wifey said she remembers her earlier days when the festivities included the local university band with the dance team strutting their stuff. They're no longer a part.
Bands use to play a lot along the parade route, but that doesn't happen much anymore.
The Hub City, as her ole stomping grounds is called, did offer an interesting conglomeration of floats, bands, marching groups, and numerous beauties perched on the seat of convertibles, the roofs of SUVs, or sticking their heads out of some superlong vehicles.
Although the weatherman had forecast the possibility of showers, we didn't have to deal with them and the wind blowing from the north wasn't that bad.
The temperature was somewhere in the high 40s and since we had winter jackets and a blanket, we were prepared.
Well, with the trip, we've added a new event. Happy holidays!
There's nothing better than a good soothing vanilla latte after a drive over the mountains, unless, of course, one can add to the enjoyment by savoring it while sitting on the banks of a slow-moving creek.
And that's what we found in Waynesville, NC after taking a daytrip from Gatlinburg during our October outing.
We were looking for a coffee shop with a little atmosphere, and we found it.
Two coffee shops on the town's main drag, which I briefly looked in to, just didn't fit what wifey and I were seeking.
I asked a passerby if there were another coffee shop in the town that had a little character to it. She said to try Panacea. After beginning our hunt, we then asked a postal worker who gave us exact directions to the location.
She said it was down across the tracks located in the old warehouse district. The area had been rather vibrant during earlier days when trains were a mainstay for a town's economic development.
We turned north, went down a hill and saw the tracks. We took a left and there it was.
I'm not saying everybody would like it, but we did.
The business was in a section of the former warehouse, being about 50 feet across and maybe 100 feet deep. And standing on the backside one could see Richland Creek.
Wifey and I placed our orders, my latte, and her tea, and then headed out the back door to enjoy our drinks on the porch overlooking the creek.
And for those who want to experience man's inhumanity to man, just go down to New Orleans and visit the National WWII Museum. It is located at 945 Magazine St.
I don't like war, and I didn't have a burning desire to visit, but wifey did.
My father and her dad were involved in the war. I had an uncle who died fighting in the Pacific.
I've watched numerous movies about war and it is hard to understand why such tactics are used that allow for the deaths of so many.
I guess it is a battle of numbers. And then again, I've come to believe that soldiers are the pawns of the politicians.
Well, anyway, we visited and were afforded the opportunity of being apprised of more information than I ever want to know about World War II.
The museum is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. All venues are closed Mardi Gras Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Parking, at nominal cost, is available adjacent to and across from the museum.
The website "recommends that you allow a minimum of 3 hours to view exhibits."
First of all, that is not enough time to do the museum justice. Someone really into the second world war will find that even one day may not be enough to digest the amount of material that is available.
There are numerous exhibits and programs available along with a 45-minute 4d film concerning the war.
For those who work up an appetite there's the "American Sector" restaurant and the "Soda Shop."
Wifey and I entered the museum around 1 p.m. and were exhausted by closing time.
There's a lot of areas to sit down and listen to personal experiences from those who were on the front lines.
Visitors are also warned of the graphics that depicted the fighting against the Japanese in the Pacific area.
It's hard to take in everything. There's a lot of displays, the movies, the personal experiences and reader boards that tell about the war.
Its not a place to easily work your way through in a short period of time. Like I said, for those who really want to grasp the feeling of World War II, it will take time.