Now that we live in Florida, hopefully we can do some fun things in the South. We explored the South a bit when Madeline was trying to hit her 50 states. We’ve also spent some time in San Antonio and we booked a week in Myrtle Beach, although that fell through after we left early due to Madeline’s recent hand surgery. Most of the other southern cities were wrapped into  business trips, which is actually kind of fun. Visiting Madeline’s family in Atlanta is easier now as well.

The South

This was intended to be a week long vacation in our Starwood Vacation Network resort, but unfortunately for the first time ever, we had to shorten our plans. Madeline had some hand surgery a couple of weeks before we left, and it took a turn for the worse while we were away. No big deal, as vacations are not as important as our health. We got a feel of Myrtle Beach anyway.

Myrtle Beach: Aug 2014

To finalize our quest for Madeline to hit her 50 states by the age of 50, we visited the last two states on her list: Delaware and West Virginia. We used Washington, DC as our starting point, spending a couple of days in our nation’s capital with Peter & Paula who came down from Connecticut. After that, we moved into Wilmington and then into the panhandle of West Virginia. Madeline literally stepped into her final state!

DC/WV/DE: Sep 2013

Joey, Angela, and Anthony decided to throw their parents a surprise 30th Anniversary party in September, so Madeline and I booked our trip. We got in on a Thursday night, but the party wasn’t until Saturday, so we decided to stay in the city. It turns out I did some work for a client down the street from our hotel, while Madeline checked out Olympic Park. We visited family on Friday, went to two parties on Saturday, and then had a fun afternoon with Arlene and Pat on Sunday. It was a very nice weekend.

Atlanta: Sep 2016

Our goal now was for Madeline to reach all 50 states before she turned 50. Luckily, three of them could be captured in a single trip to New Orleans. We spent two nights in that city to knock off Louisiana, then spent two nights in Gulfport to knock off Mississippi and also Alabama. With absolutely nothing planned as far as what we’d do in the three states, we ended up really enjoying this mini-trip. New Orleans is definitely a place where we shall return.

New Orleans & AL/MS: Nov 2011

I worked on projects in Conway and North Little Rock for more than a year. They were done, so I decided I wanted to show off my work to Madeline, especially since the layout of the twin buildings was 100% my design. The trip also let Madeline knock off a couple of states at the same time. We extended the weekend into the northwestern part of the state in the Ozarks, where we also hopped over into Oklahoma.

Arkansas: JAN 2011

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In November of 2004, Dana and I went to San Antonio and took along a friend of hers; meanwhile Madeline and Alicia were in Atlanta. We stayed on the River Walk, went to Sea World and a drive through zoo, and of course visited the Alamo. It was a fairly short trip, but we had a good time. Dana had just turned 15.

San Antonio: Nov 2004

Madeline had an open 4-day weekend over Valentine’s Day. I happened to get called to Raleigh for business, so we turned it into a mini-vacation. We checked out Duke University, visited a gardens, and had a special Valentine’s Day dinner in a house. It was a lot of fun.

Raleigh, NC: Feb 2009

I spent a year and a half going to San Antonio for a fun project that was nearly 100% my conceptual design. Madeline was on a quest to hit her 50 states before she turned 50, but she also wanted to see some of my work. This accomplished both, and we turned it into a long weekend walking the Riverwalk, visiting the animal park, and checking out the Alamo just like I did in 2004.

San Antonio: Nov 2008

Dana went to DC in 2007 with her school for the March for Life rally. She wanted to go again this year and Madeline and I volunteered to chaperone. Then we got Ana Paula and so she came. The sightseeing was nice, although it was freezing cold there that week. Hanging out with Dana’s idiotic principal wasn’t the most fun, though, and some of the good Catholic kids decided to be not so good. Ana Paula got a chance to see our nation’s capitol, though, so that was good.

DC: JAN 2008

Another two business trips for me meant another two long weekends in Atlanta. The first trip was spent at Elsie’s. We had a couple of family meals, but otherwise didn’t do much.


On the second trip, we stayed downtown a couple of nights and then on to Elsie’s house. The fun day was on Saturday when we kind of relived our honeymoon by going up to Dahlonega and the North Georgia mountains. We found the actual cabin resort where we spent a few nights right after we got married.

Atlanta: Jul & Aug 2017

Madeline and Alicia went to Atlanta to see Uncle Mike and to also bring home the santas that have been in Elsie’s house for a long time. Elsie had recently moved out, and so her family and Madeline’s were going through the house and cleaning it out. While in town, the two went to see Felicia swim in the Special Olympics. It was a short, but nice visit.


In December, Madeline and I went for a couple days for her brother, Mark’s funeral, who died on Christmas morning.

Atlanta: May & Dec 2018