My first entry blossoms from the joy of sweet, simple magic of living in a small town (pop. around 2,000). Locals have taken the iniative to have a "local's movie night" monthly in the historic, brick City Hall. They had inatially formated the movie to center on a theme that "some aspect of the movie include a relation to our town of Jacksonville". So they have had movies that were filmed, in part or wholly, here in town or movies that have people in them that live in our area - and - of course, there would be a cartoon beforehand. But in November, the regular master of ceremonies was away in Hawaii or Mexico (awwwwwwwwwwww . . .), and "sparkplugs of innovation" stepped in to fill the movie selection and commentary prefacing the movie. When their dialogue was finished, we'd heard about mysterious "reported possible sightings" of Johnny Dep in the town of J-ville (to fulfil that requirement for the movie have some connection to Jacksonville) and the movie started. It was like being in a old, small town movie theatre ... charming, ended-too-soon kinda feeling! The only bad part to the entire evening was that Cody, our golden-retreiver, who had waited in the car during the movie ... had eaten ALL of our friend Mike's leftover Mexican dinner. To replace the leftovers, meant to be lunch, we took Mike out for his noon time meal :)
The remaining images were from our trip up to McMinnville to celebrate Thanksgiving. Roland had long been researching restaurants and was jazzed to find one well reviewed in this rustic lil town in which we'd wanted to spend more time. We drove directly to the restaurant, Bistro Maison, after checking in to our lodging. Even in the grey rain, the ole' Victorian resonated warmth and charm. Quickly we were seated in a quaintly crowded room and felt like we'd joined several families for dinner. Our review of the food rated the dessert "the best" part of the meal but were contentedly full ~ and grateful for the multitude of our blessings! We took an evening walk in the sputtering rain and nested in for a cozy night. The next morning broke crystal clear and blue skied and we romped off to our favorite coffee shop and what delighted us was the "hummmm" of families and friends rejoicing a day off together. Town was a-bustle with preparation for (apparently) a main street parade. We trekked some of the old neighborhoods, discovering great architecture and plumply healthy foliage. Leaving town to head back home was a bit of a challenge as most of the streets in our route, were blocked off for the parade. We mastered the maze and traveled south, towards J-ville. We passed thru some of the most lovely rolling hill country with orchards, farms, churches with cemeteries and nurseries. All glistening after the evening rain showers and me, snapping photos out the open car window.
One of my favorite was this leaning old building with SO much character.
It was hard to leave the beauty but, schedules required us to keep driving and finally arrive home, feeling even more blessed to return to our awaiting, home-sweet-home.