50/50/50 50th Wedding Anniversary 50th State Visited (Hawaii) 50th State Added to Union
  • Day60

    Cross Junction, Virginia

    May 21 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 59 °F

    For some reason "Find Penguins" decided that we arrived home yesterday but of course we didn't. We arrived home in Cross Junction, Virginia, today. So I'm not sure you will get this post but here goes.

    Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville, West Virginia is a conical burial ground of the Adena people. It was constructed between 250 and 150 BC. Standing 60 feet tall with a diameter of 295 feet at its base it is quite an impressive site sitting in the middle of a residential neighborhood!

    After touring a very informative museum, Denny and I climbed to the top of the mound marveling at the structure each step of the way up. Apparently, it was built by the Adena one basket full of dirt at a time.

    The imposing structure across the street from the cone is the West Virginia Penitentiary. It closed in 1995 but is open for tours. We were told that Charles Manson's mother was once a resident of the place and that Charlie asked to serve his time here but his request was denied. Manson grew up in a small town near Moundsville and I guess he wanted to feel close to home.

    Unfortunately, we didn't have time today for the jail tour but we will be back!

    So. We are home.

    The 50/50/50 Adventure looks like this:

    Land Miles: 7,794
    Nautical Miles: 5,142
    States: 21 (including number 50 - Hawaii)
    Countries: 1 (only port of number 2 - Mexico)
    National Parks and Monuments: 6
    National Battlefields: 3
    Presidential Gravesites and Museums: 4
    Historic Sites: 8
    Rock and Roll Gravesites: 3
    Friends: 10
    Atomic Bomb Sites: 1

    What a Golden two months!

    Thanks for coming along.
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  • Day59

    Wheeling, West Virginia

    May 20 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 72 °F

    Today we crossed the Ohio River into Wheeling, West Virginia, where we are spending the night.

    Our last night on the road.

    We walked Oglebay Park - one of our favorites - and ate fish sandwiches at Coleman's Fish Market. We try to include Wheeling in our itinerary whenever we can because of these two places.

    Great place to walk.
    Great place to eat.

    Tomorrow - Virginia!
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  • Day58

    Independence, Ohio

    May 19 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 86 °F

    We left Sturgis, Michigan and dodged rain drops all along the Interstate. I didn't take a single picture!

    We landed in Independence, Ohio, which is right outside of Cleveland.

  • Day57

    Sturgis, Michigan

    May 18 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 66 °F

    Our kind of town
    Chicago is . . .

    Gosh, we loved this city.

    We were only here for five years but we have so many wonderful memories of this place.

    For old times sake, we rode up to the Skydeck on the 103rd floor of the Sears Tower passing the 21st floor on the way up - Denny's office was on the 21st floor. (I know it's the Willis Tower but we don't acknowledge that fact. In our hearts it will always be the Sears Tower.)

    Somewhere over our heads above the 110th floor is the topping off beam with our names on it. Sears management brought the beam down to headquarters and invited employees to sign it, which Denny did .

    Denny and Donna Byrne - Skokie, Illinois.

    As we exited the building, the skies opened up and poured down torrential rain. We drove around the Loop a bit and headed out of town. The plan was to stop at the Indiana Dunes National Park but the rain followed us into Indiana so we pushed on to Sturgis, Michigan.

    Denny found the Nats/Cubs game on TV. 😀

    Thank you Chicago.
    Thank you Sandy and Jack.
    Thank you Barb.
    Thank you Sharon and Jack.
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  • Day56

    Northbrook, Illinois (Day 5)

    May 17 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 46 °F

    The reason we moved to the Midwest right after we were married was because Denny took a job writing for Sears at their headquarters on the West Side of Chicago.

    To get to his job in the morning from our apartment on Louise Avenue in Skokie required rides on two buses and three trains. It took him an hour and a half.

    One of those trains was the Skokie Swift - neat name, right? - which we visited today. It was still moving right along even though Denny has been gone for 45 years.

    After Denny moved into the Sears Tower his commute was cut to just an hour. Nice.

    We checked out our Louise Avenue apartment, where we lived for two years, and then headed over to our Knox Avenue place which we called home for the next three years.

    Today was a good walk down memory lane and a reminder of where these 50 years all began.

    P.S. We passed by the Sears store where we did much of our shopping.

    It was closed down.

    Sad.
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  • Day55

    Northbrook, Illinois (Day 4)

    May 16 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 68 °F

    Who are those people?

    Flipping through photo albums in Jack's living room today, Denny and I saw ourselves on so many pages. Not just pictures from the 70's when we lived here but also from Jack's visits to see us in DC after we moved.

    We were really close.

    Good, rich, deep conversation always dominated our times together. Which happened again today.

    While Jack's wife Sharon was at work, we spent the afternoon in their lovingly restored 100 year old house in the city of Chicago. Beautiful woodwork and hardwood floors everywhere.

    We ended the day with a delicious meal of Veal Picatta at a local neighborhood restaurant - Noona Silvia.

    It was not easy to say goodbye.
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  • Day54

    Northbrook, Illinois (Day 3)

    May 15 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 70 °F

    As newlyweds in 1969, Denny and I moved into a small third floor apartment in Skokie, Illinois. Directly below us were Barb and Glenn, also newlyweds. The four of us were together all the time.

    For one thing we all loved Jeopardy.

    We had the home game and played it several times a week. We played it so often that Glennie T (that's what we called Glenn - Glennie T) asked the electricians at his place of business to design and build a light panel for us so we could "ring" in if we knew the answer. The hand clickers that came with the game just weren't getting the job done. The light panel worked perfectly. Plus it was a lot more fun.

    Barb and Glenn were all about fun. And did we have fun.

    Fun on their boat - the Miss Jan.

    Fun camping out at the Octoberfest in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

    Fun starting out married life together.

    Denny and I left Chicago in 1974 but we never left the friendship with Barb and Glenn. We visited from time to time and were there when their daughter Dina was married.

    We spent today visiting Barb at her home in Fox River Grove looking at much younger versions of ourselves in photo albums and marveling at the beautiful handmade quilts hanging on the walls - one of Barb's passions.

    Then we went to see Glennie T. We lost him in 2017.

    A good, kind, fun friend.
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  • Day53

    Northbrook, Illinois (Day 2)

    May 14 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 63 °F

    Sandy and I taught at Willowbrook School at the same time. She and her then-husband, Jack, and Denny and I became fast friends and shared many wonderful years together.

    We shared many interests including a love of books and Harry Chapin.

    Today we flipped through photo albums in the house on Oak Avenue in Northbrook, Illinois, and smiled and laughed at the memories preserved on those pages.

    We explored around the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe with Sandy and her new friend Jack where the tulips were in full bloom and the Corpse Flower was just getting started. Then we had one fine meal at Jolene's.

    What a wonderful day!
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  • Day52

    Northbrook, Illinois (Day 1)

    May 13 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 57 °F

    Denny and I were married in Pennsylvania in 1969 and immediately moved to the Chicago area. We lived here for five years before moving back to the East Coast in 1974.

    We loved Chicago and all that it had to offer.

    We decided to end our long 50th Anniversary road trip by visiting some of people and places that were a part of us at the very beginning.

    Hackney's Restaurant in Glenview, Illinois, is one of those places. It is very close to Willowbrook School - the school where I taught fifth grade. Willowbrook was a brand new school at the time so the entire staff all started out together. We became very close and frequently socialized outside of school. Spouses included.

    One special memory for Denny and I involves Hackney's. Joan, one of our teachers, loved sports, especially college basketball. She organized pools for the games and for one special playoff involving UCLA we all got together in a backroom at Hackney's to watch it.

    Joan brought a small portable TV and we all sat around eating the house specialties - onion loaves and French Dip sandwiches cheering our heads off.

    Did I mention that Joan was a former nun? 😀

    Denny and I ate an onion loaf and French Dip today.

    Wish Joan was here with us.
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  • Day51

    Dubuque, Iowa

    May 12 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 52 °F

    General Ulysses S. Grant was born in Ohio but he and his family lived in many different towns throughout his life including Galena, Illinois.

    The family was living in Galena and Grant was working in his father's leather goods store right before the Civil War broke out. Grant rejoined the army - long story - and went on to greatness.

    The General looked upon Galena as his adopted hometown and after the war the town presented him and his family with a newly built and completely furnished home as a thank you for his war service.

    Denny and I toured the home today. And then spent some time in Grant Park and walked across the Galena River. We found a neat Italian restaurant in the historic section of town.

    We crossed back into Iowa - Dubuque - 'cause that's where our hotel is located - another long story. The Mississippi River is looking quite high.
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