52 week's of Marie's Life

52 weeks captured through photos


A3. Windows (Week 9)

“Today we stand in this wonderful hotel, not built for a few, but for the multitudes that will come and go.  They have built for the ages.”  ~  words of William Jennings Bryan,  spoken on the night of July 12, 1913, at The Grove Park Inn  ~


This was the view from our window at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC.  When we arrived at the resort and were shown to our room, I was drawn right to the window.


Any time of the day, I never tired of the view.

From morning …..



 To night.



I was curious to see if I could find our room from below, so I left the window open …


  And there it was!




Through the efforts of the owner, Edwin W. Grove, and the architect, Fred I. Seely, The Grove Park Inn took one year and 400 men to build.  The doors of what was first described as “the greatest resort in the world” opened in July 1913 to 400 of the region’s most distinguished guests. In the century that followed, The Grove Park Inn’s guest list reads like a who’s who in American history: Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Eleanor Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dwight Eisenhower, Henry Kissinger, Billy Graham, Richard Nixon, Ted Turner, Arnold Palmer, Bob Hope, George Bush…

And while we were here in August, Michael Jordan strolled by with his golf bag slung over his shoulder;  he was holding a retreat for his Charlotte Hornets basketball team. The Grove Park Inn, on Sunset Hill in Asheville, offers a sense of history mixed with modern conveniences.  We splurged to stay here for a few days and as expected it was one of the highlights of our vacation.




38. Selfie (Week 8)

“Never ride faster than your guardian angel can fly. “  ~ Anon ~


You would think if you were taking your own picture for a “selfie” that you could delete it and try again if you didn’t find it flattering.  Well, I took two as we geared up for pending rain on the Blue Ridge Parkway and didn’t have time for too many options,  but this one fits in the continuation of our August vacation, so I’m posting it “as is.”  IMG_0565


My husband and I had just spent time with family in Virginia and were now heading for Asheville.  Our plan was to take two days to get there – ride the Blue Ridge Parkway and spend time in the Smokies.  We were concerned about rain.  We stopped to put rain gear on, but I was hoping it wouldn’t last long if it did rain.  And then the drops started.


It wasn’t too bad – we seemed to weave in and out of it as we headed up the Parkway and at times it wasn’t raining at all.  We pulled off several times to enjoy the sights.



And Greg was a sport for this photo!



But do you see the fog we are about to ride into?




This was the beginning of a really bad experience.  The fog was an indication that we were up in the cloud – when we rode out of the cloud, we were then in heavy rain.




We didn’t know that this was the last time we would be able to pull off the road. From here on in we could not see where the side of the road was.  There was no way to exit, so I had to “Keep Calm and Ride On.”



My goal was to just keep Greg’s taillights in sight as we continued on the parkway. It was really difficult when he would round a curve, but we were traveling at a very low speed and I think I was in 2nd gear the whole way. As the road curved, we would be in a stretch of clouds and then a stretch of rains – then back again. This continued for over an hour. We could communicate with the headsets in our helmets and Greg encouraged me as I kept telling him it was a nightmare.

Finally we were able to leave the Parkway. The Hampton Inn that we had booked in Roanoke Virginia was only 5 miles away.  Hurray – out of the mountains and out of the rain!  I was getting my confidence back.

So this would be a good spot to end this post, right?

Sorry – there’s a little more story to tell.

As we rode into Roanoke and joined heavier traffic, I watched as the light ahead at the bottom of a hill turned from green to yellow.  Because of my momentum, I told Greg, “I’m going.”  He said, “I’m not.”  Thinking he knew better than I did, I went to brake.  My bike fishtailed, fell to the left, I slid off, and then my bike slid into his bike.  Greg’s bike went down and my bike then flipped to the other side.  A police car immediately pulled out into the intersection to stop all traffic.  He happened to be sitting in the front of oncoming traffic.  Greg and I  both stood up and walked to our bikes to survey the damage.  I think the wet roads actually spared us injuries.  The knee in my rainsuit tore, but that’s about it for me.


As for my bike, the engine guards were scraped on both sides,


the side bags were marred,


and a light was broke,


but I would say if you can walk away from this, you were pretty lucky.  Glue and paint can go a long way.  The policeman did not ask for anything from us.  He just wanted us to move our bikes off of the road.  With cars stopped in all four directions, I must tell you that the only one that helped us pick up our motorcycles was an older homeless man that had been standing on the corner.  He gathered up everything that had scattered out of my bike and helped Greg with the lifting.  He was our angel that day.

We stayed an extra day in Roanoke to decompress and have the bike checked out by an authorized mechanic.

And what did I learn from this?  Once you make a decision, commit to it.  And I’ve always said I’m a fair weather rider – I also love our Florida flatlands!


37. Rows and Rows of … (Week 7)

“Today, We’ve Had A National Tragedy” – President George W. Bush – Remarks at Emma Booker Elementary School.

Sarasota, Florida – delivered 11 September 2001, 9:30 A.M. EDT

“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children.” -President George W. Bush,  November 11, 2001

“I can hear you. I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.” – President George W. Bush, September 14, 2001

“Now, we have inscribed a new memory alongside those others. It’s a memory of tragedy and shock, of loss and mourning. But not only of loss and mourning. It’s also a memory of bravery and self-sacrifice, and the love that lays down its life for a friend–even a friend whose name it never knew. “ – President George W. Bush, December 11, 2001


Many around the United States pause on this date to remember those who were lost in the tragedy of September 11, 2001.  Esther, a friend of mine, who had worked in the towers and had lost many friends in the towers arranges a 9/11 Remembrance Ride locally every year so that we riders may pay our respects also.  So here we are in this year’s staging area with rows and rows of… motorcycles.





Many of the motorcycles are decked with the U.S. flags, and there were some commemorative ones, as well.





We proceeded on the route in rows of two.




As we approached the end point of the ride, a flag could be seen raised over a fire truck.







17. High Above (Week 6)

“Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man…. Landing is the first!”   ~ Anonymous ~


1920’s to 1940’s biplanes take off from the grassy runway and then fly in formation during the Flying Circus Airshow in Bealeton, Virginia, while back on the ground, the day’s announcer holds his straw hat high above his head to see them off.




During the National Anthem a man parachutes down holding an American flag.  For  the next hour and a half, we were part of a small crowd below enjoying the Sunday afternoon show.   The show includes formation flying, aerobatics, skydivers, and wingwalkers.   The announcer and the skits were entertaining. The pilots take turns attempting to pop balloons that are released – and we enjoyed a skit of a plane “bombing” an outhouse in the middle of a grassy field and startling the person inside as the walls fell down.




We kept our eyes on the sky as we watched biplanes freefall for us from 3,000 feet up.




The acts finished with a plane making a pass as a wingwalker steps out of the cock pit and walks on the wing;  as the grand finale, the wingwalker stands on top of the top of the plane.




Before and after the show, guests may purchase a ticket to take a ride in one of the brightly painted red, yellow, or blue vintage open-cockpit planes.













24. Fences and/or Rails (Week 5)

” It’s better to be down here wishing you were up there, than up there wishing you were down here. ”  ~ Anonymous  ~


Our family in Virginia is interested in any activity involving flight, so it was no surprise when they invited us to go to the local Flying Circus AirShow when we were visiting in August.  Every Sunday from May to October daring expert pilots perform stunts in vintage biplanes.   The shows are modeled after “barnstorming” airshows that became popular between the two world wars.  The pilots flew these airplanes in World War 1 and when they returned with their excitement and love of aviation this led to airshows in farmer’s field in small towns across the country.  Before and after the shows they would offer rides to make money.  The term “barnstorming” was coined because, when a storm hit during a show, everyone would hunker down in the barn.




Benches and chairs are lined up in front of the airfield, but many want to get right up to the fence to be as close as possible to the action.