Saturday, August 20, 2016

African Drum Band at Disney's Kidani Village

There is always something to see and do at Disney's Kidani Village. The following short video is of some of the Cast Members from Africa who work at the resort.

The staff is always friendly, helpful and courteous at the resort. These guys seem to really enjoy being a part of the resort experience. Just one more thing that makes for a memorable stay.

Thank you very much for coming by my blog! I truly appreciate the time you spend here and hope you will drop by again real soon.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Disney's Animal Kingdom Resort's Kidani Village Animals on Savannah

I have mentioned on my blog before on more than a few occasions that we adore planning trips that involve our family and extended family. This past month, we were able to get together and take one of those cherished trips to Walt Disney World. There were fourteen of us this time and we were all able to stay at Disney's Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Kidani Village is one of Disney Vacation Club's member resorts and is one of our favorite resorts in which to stay.

Many of you have heard of Disney's Animal Kingdom. Animal Kingdom Resort and Kidani Village is just a very short distance away from the park. The resort is the same theme as the Animal Kingdom Park and has a very authentic African vibe. Most of the cast members (otherwise known as staff) are of very authentic African origins. Most speak at least some English and they are all very friendly and helpful and lend so much authenticity to any stay there. This makes way for an "out of Africa" ambiance to the visitor.

One of the things we enjoy most about a stay at Kidani Village is being able to walk out on a balcony(if your accommodations happen to be on the Savannah side) or a fabulous porch, complete with great big rocking chairs. From there we can get a bird's eye view of all the beautiful native to Africa animals and wildlife roaming about on the Savannah area of the resort.

There is also an area on the ground floor of the resort with a viewing area surrounded by rustic fences posts. There are various events that take place around a fire pit, with surrounding chairs, in this area and there is always a cast member or two there to greet visitors and answer any questions they might have about the resort, the animals or their African homeland.

This area is my favorite spot from which to view the animals. It is from this spot that I recorded the following video, which lasts about five minutes. You will notice there are giraffes, cattle, storks and so on in the background. The video is really quite relaxing to watch.

You can click to go over and watch full screen on YouTube. A visit to Disney's Kidani Village is a beautiful and truly unique experience.

Thank you so very much for stopping by my blog to check out the post. I hope you enjoyed the video and that you will come back soon for a visit.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Coiled Sweet Grass Baskets and Dining with a View at Dockside

This is my final post about our family's recent day excursion to Hunting Island State Park and other interesting and inviting places around the Beaufort, South Carolina low country area. This will be a short post.

We had a full day of exploring. We were constantly on the move, from early morning as we began our journey from our home in Aiken, S.C., until our safe arrival back at home late that evening. We are very grateful to Jason, our son-in-law, for being our driver for the entire day. Daughter Angela followed in her van with her children and friend of the family.

After we visited the ruins of Prince William's Parish Church, we made a stop at a table set up in front of the home of a very talented artisan basket maker. The low country is noted for the beautiful coiled sweet grass baskets produced there. These baskets are truly pieces of art and the grass used to create them has a sweet aroma.

The art of Coiled Sweet grass basket making is considered historically significant because it is an example of African cultural heritage. This utilitarian and beautiful art form came over the Atlantic Ocean with certain enslaved Africans who would work on the rice plantations.The art form has been passed down from generation to generation. Being made by hand and having no set pattern each piece is unique and is one of a kind.

I would have loved to have one of the large baskets, but that would have been a big splurge. I am happy, for now, to have settled for this small beauty in which I can store a few trinkets.
Coiled Sweet grass Basket  from the Low Country of South Carolina

This is a short and interesting article about the history of Coiled Sweet grass basketry.

We were all hungry when we departed from Hunting Island State Park. We had planned to stop at a very popular place on the say back home.

Dockside Restaurant located in the beautiful low county area known as Lady's Island near Beaufort is well known for serving up some really good food. Our table was located right next to the windows along the rear of the restaurant. From there, we had a wonderful view of the boats docked in back of the restaurant.
View of the Docks from Dockside Restaurant, Lady's Island, South Carolina

View of the Docks from Dockside Restaurant, Lady's Island, South Carolina
Here is a link to find out more about the Dockside and to see more pictures of the restaurant and views of the dock.

If you should ever travel to the low country area, in and near Beaufort, South Carolina, I suggest setting aside a day or so to visit places in this and several previous posts. The locations in and near Beaufort, South Carolina are some you will not want to miss. We certainly enjoyed spending our day together with family and friends.

It was a gorgeous day of soaking up a little sunshine, exploring some historical sites and eating good food. Hunting Island State Park beach, the lighthouse at Hunting Island, the Ruins of Prince William's Parish Church AKA Sheldon Church near Yemassee, South Carolina are all beautiful and interesting places.  It is my hope that these things will be preserved and enjoyed by many, many generations to come!

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Monday, June 20, 2016

The Ruins of Prince William's Parish Church AKA Sheldon Church

There are so many amazing and wonderful things in life to experience and see if we but take a few moments to stop and look around.. Beauty can be found in some out of the way places. This post is about one such beautiful place. At least, it is beautiful to me, because I happen to really enjoy rambling through old churches and graveyards.

The ruins of the Prince William's Parish Church and graves is such a place. The church was built between 1745 and 1753 and was named Prince William's Parish Church but was also called Sheldon Church. As the sign indicates, the church is also called Sheldon Church. Building of the church was primarily paid for by Lt. Gov. William Bull and was sometimes referred to as Sheldon Church after Bull's plantation, which was also called Sheldon.

The church was constructed in the Greek Revival style. It was burned by the British in 1779 during the Revolutionary War. It was rebuilt in 1826. The church was alleged to have been burned again in 1865 as General Sherman marched from Georgia into South Carolina during The War Between the States.

However, according to some writings about the church, it may not have been burned but, instead, gutted on the inside in order to obtain materials to reuse to rebuild some of the homes that had been burned by Sherman's army during that time.

The sign indicating the church's location might easily be missed as one travels along the narrow coastal highway near Yemassee, South Carolina. Fortunately, our son-in-law Jason had remembered seeing the sign and glimpsing the ruins from a trip down that way last summer. I am so glad that he made note of its location, because it would have been a shame to have missed seeing this lovely place.
Sign for Prince William's Parish Church AKA Sheldon Church, near Yemassee, South Carolina
You might imagine that the location of the ruins has often been the scene of weddings and as backdrops for photo shoots and so on. According to notices on the grounds of the ruins, special permission must now be obtained for the location to be used for those types of functions.

The ruins and graves are located among many of the beautiful moss covered oak trees for which our southern coastal regions are known.
Ruins of Prince William's Parish Church near Yemassee, South Carolina

Ruins of Prince William's Parish Church near Yemassee, South Carolina

Moss Covered Trees at Ruins of Prince William's Parish Church

The photo below was taken at the rear of the church's ruins. You can see the grave and monument for Lt. Gov. William Bull through the arched opening.

Lt. Gov. William Bull's  Grave Inside the Ruins of Prince William's Parrish Church
One of the reasons I enjoy walking through old graveyards like this one is the stories that sometimes go along with the grave markings. This lone little marker at the grave of a child less than five years old made me feel sad. Sitting there, all alone inside a large plat,it left me wondering what happened to the parents and other family members. Why were they not buried here with this little fellow? What happened that S.P. and Eva would have left little Collis.
Lone Grave Marker of a Little Boy at Prince William's Church

Perhaps, they passed away and are buried in this plat but without any markers. Maybe there was no one left to provide them with headstones at their burial sites. Who knows? 

This appears to be a mosoleum with a grave at its foot.
Graves at Prince William's Church
 There are a good many other crumbling graves scattered about the church cemetary, including the grave of a soldier who died in The War Between the States. There was one much more recent, modern and pristine burial site with Azalea bushes planted all around it. I took pictures of some of the others graves but will focus the rest of this post, however, on the church ruins and grounds.
Prince William's Parish Church Ruins, South Carolina

Prince Willliam's Parish Church Ruins, South Carolina

Prince William's Parish Church Ruins, S.C.

Prince William's Parish Church Ruins, S.C.

Pri nce William's Parish Church Ruins, S.C.
Near the entrance gate to the church is this wonderful old hand water pump. Our grand girls were drawn to this thing like a magnet.
Very Old Working Hand Water Pump  at Prince William's Parish Church, S.C.

Old Working Hand Water Pump at Prince William's Parish Church, S.C.
When we left this beautiful place, I felt as if I had seen and touched a marvelous piece of history and visited a place of relevance in time. It was an enriching experience and I am so glad that we took the time to stop here to see this special place from days gone by. It was time well spent!

Speaking of time, I am grateful for the time you have spent here reading about Prince William's Parish Church. Thank you so very much!

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Hunting Island Lighthouse at Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina

Hello and welcome to Mimi Mine, my blog!

As far back as I can remember, I have loved lighthouses. Everything about them is incredibly intriguing. The manner in which each is constructed, from the height, colors and shapes of paint patterns, is so diverse around the world. The location and history of each one is of interest to me. One of the boards on my Pinterest accounts is all about lighthouses from different locations around the world, including a few of my own pictures taken from personal visits and tours.

If you care to visit my Lighthouses board on Pinterest, I am providing the link here.

On a recent day trip to Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina, we had the privilege of visiting the Hunting Island Light. Though we had visited the beach on the island some years ago, we didn't make it to the lighthouse.

Like many of these wonderful old structures, this one is no longer used as a functioning lighthouse, but remains open to the public. For a minimal fee visitors can go inside and climb all the way to the top of this wonderful old lighthouse structure. Hunting Island Light is the only lighthouse in the state of South Carolina that remains open to the public.

Construction of the original lighthouse began in 1859 but the tower was destroyed during the Civil War in 1862. Development for reconstruction began in the 1860s and designed as a "segmented cast iron" structure.  It was constructed in this way so that it could later be disassembled and moved if required.

Erection of the replacement structure began in 1873 with completion in 1975.  The cast-iron segments are bolted together and form a shell. The cast-iron shell is lined with bricks, which are the main load bearing element in the tower.

The cast-iron spiral staircase with 167 steps is quite decorative with railings and beams for support. The observation deck is an elaborate structure, as well, and provides impressive views of the ocean and beach.
Hunting Island Light  House, Hunting Island State Park, S.C.

Lighthouse at Hunting Island, S.C.
Originally, Hunting Island Lighthouse was erected on a site on the northern portion of Hunting Island, South Carolina. Because of erosion of the beach at that location, there was a threat of damage to the lighthouse and its appurtenant structures. The lighthouse and structures were relocated about a mile from the original site in 1889. It remains there today.

Operation of the lighthouse continued until 1933 when it was deactivated. Here, at the website of Friends of Hunting Island, you can read a little more about Hunting Island, Hunting Island Lighthouse, the beaches and other activities. There is a good video where you can hear the park manager as he speaks about the island and activities.

Of course, because of modern technological advances, most lighthouses are no longer used for the original purpose of acting as a beacon to help sailors navigate the waters safely as they approach the area.Though the original lamp is no longer functioning at the top of the lighthouse at Hunting Island, a rotating light has been installed in its place. The light is turned on at dusk and as it rotates through the night, it gives visitors to the park a feeling that it is still a functioning lighthouse.

For those who enjoy camping, there are camping spaces, as well!

Needless to say, even though it was going to take some determination on my part, I intended to climb every last one of the 167 steps leading up the spiral staircase in this 132 foot beauty. My upper back has been giving me some trouble and I did have a moment or two of self-doubt. Even so, I felt that if the muscles in my legs could hold out, I could make it all the way up.

Hunting Island Lighthouse, Hunting Island State Park in South Carolina-USA
It was pretty hot inside the lighthouse and I stopped a couple of times a long the way up to take a breather. I remember thinking, at one point, about the fact that the staircase was becoming increasingly narrower the farther up that I went. In a moment of trepidation, I even envisioned rescuers trying to maneuver a stretcher, with my body on it, around the curves of that spiral staircase. Not a happy thought, I must say!

My daughter, son-in-law and grandson had already left me and had long since made it to the top with out me. They were none the worse for wear. I mean, honestly, if they could still do this:
My Daughter and her Husband on the Deck at the Top of Hunting Island Light House
Yes, I took a moment or two, at the landing of every other flight or so of the cast-iron spiral staircase. Yes, it took me a couple of minutes (or so) longer than my much younger counterparts. Still, It was a memorable experience, for sure, but I am happy to say that I made it all the way to the top of Hunting Island Lighthouse--all 167 steps! 
Me on the Deck at the Top of Hunting Island Light House, Hunting Island, S.C.
Do you love the romance and history associated with lighthouses? If you are ever in the area of Hunting Island State Park in South Carolina, I encourage you to take the time to visit the beautiful Hunting Island Light House. 

I sincerely hope you enjoyed this little post about the Lighthouse at Hunting Island State Park.
Thank you for coming by my little space in Blog Land to spend a few moments out of your busy day with me! 

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Hunting Island-Family Day at the Beach

When our youngest daughter and her family invited us to ride down toward Beaufort, South Carolina for a day trip to beautiful Hunting Island State Park, we didn't have to think before saying yes. My husband and I have been thinking for months how much we would enjoy a trip to the beach for some relaxation and fun in the sun and so this trip would be perfect. One of the things in life we love most is spending time with our family. We have been very busy lately, so this day trip would be just the thing.

By the time all was said and done, our other daughter and her family were in on the plans, as well. That made the trip sound even better. One of our grandsons invited a friend along, as well. Eleven of us, in all, made the trip to Hunting Island.

We all left for our trip early that morning and it could not have been more beautiful when we arrived at the park. The skies were a gorgeous blue and the weather was absolutely perfect for beach combing and playing in the sun and ocean! It had been years since I visited Hunting Island last and it was even more beautiful than I had remembered.

We have some gorgeous beaches all along the coastline here in South Carolina. Many of them are within just a few hours of our home.

The following are a few photos I took at the beach on the beautiful day we spent at Hunting Island State Park.

The Beach at Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina
My favorite things to do at the beach are walking for miles and hunting for sharks' teeth and shells. The tide was perfect for these things the entire time we were there.

The grandchildren had a terrific time playing around in the water and on the sand.
The Beach at Hunting Island State Park,, South Carolina

The Beach at Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina
 Our flame haired bathing beauty,  Rachel!
At the Beach, South Carolina's Hunting Island State Park

The Beach at Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina
If you happen to be old enough, you might remember the movie "Ten" from 1979. Well, I am old enough to remember that and a whole lot more. The movie starred actress Bo Derek, who was the 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. Though our little Jewelynn didn't sport dreadlocks in the following picture, she was running on the beach sporting salt water beach locks.  "Ten" came to my mind when I started looking at these pictures of Jewel. She is a ten in my book, for sure!
The Beach at Hunting Island State Park in South Carolina

There is a lot to do at Hunting Island State Park, including camping. There is also a beautiful lighthouse there. It is the only lighthouse in South Carolina that still allows patrons to enter (for a very small fee) and climb all the way to the top. There are some great places to eat in nearby Beaufort, S.C. and the awesomely beautiful ruins of a very old church and gravesites. These will be posts for another day!

Thank you, Jason and Stephanie, for taking us to the beach.We totally enjoyed our day trip to Hunting Island. Now, I am wanting to go back for a longer stay. If you would like to check out Hunting Island State Park you can go here.

Hope you enjoyed my short little post about Hunting Island Beach in South Carolina.I am wishing you a glorious summer filled with tons of fun with your family and friends. 

Thanks so very much for the time you spent reading my little blog! I really appreciate the time you spend here with me.

I am joining some Blog Link parties at the sites below and I hope you will come on over to see what is happening.

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Monday, May 30, 2016

Our Girl Sophie

This is a very short post. I wanted mention a couple of things that have happened in her life in the month of May.

Sophie works hard in school. She started middle school this year and is doing very well. She was awarded the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award at Aiken Middle School. Go Sophie Girl!!
Sophie Received an Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement
In my book, our Sophie is outstanding in every good way and, as her grandparents, we could not be more proud of her!

Another very big event happened this month. Sophie celebrated her twelfth birthday! She is growing up much too fast. We celebrated at one of her favorite restaurants in town, Mi Rancho. Sophie is an avid reader and The Hunger Games series of books are some of her best loved, so far. She adores The Hunger Games: Mocking jay, both one and two.

She chose the theme of The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay for her birthday cake this year. Our neighbor and dear friend, Julie makes some of the most tasty and beautifully decorated cakes.
Sophie's Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Birthday Cake
Isn't the cake pretty with the "flames" of butter cream icing around the base? 
Our Beautiful Sophie and her Hunger Games Birthday Cake
Our grandgirls love birthday celebrations and they love having fun!
Our Sweet Grand-girls, Sophie and Rachel with Jewelynn in Background Behind the Sombrero

The birthday girl wanted her candles placed so as to make a "ring of fire" in the circle around Mocking Jay. I think these candles with colored flames that my daughter found are beautiful.
Hunger Games Birthday Cake for Sophie
Just look at all those colorful flames encircling Mocking Jay in a ring of fire!

It was time to blow out those candles.
Sophie's Birthday 
The party was great fun and casual. You might say it was a "Black Tie Affair!" Oh my, I couldn't resist, Larry! Can we still be friends after I post this picture?
The Hazards of Eating Black Cake Frosting
The things we treasure most in life are the fun times we share together with family and friends. Thanks to all who joined us to celebrate twelve years of our dear Sophie's life!

I hope you enjoyed my little blog post. Thanks for the time you have spent here with me sharing bits of our lives and other things! Please drop by again very soon.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Baby Blues Have Left the Nest

My husband checked the nesting box of our baby Blue Birds this afternoon. I posted here about our five sweet little Blue Birds here and I expressed my concern that they might be attacked by predators before they were ready to fly.

I noticed when I discovered them in their nest this past weekend that they looked to be about ready, judging from the looks of their feathers and when my husband looked in the nesting box this afternoon they were not there.

As can be seen in the picture below, the nest does not appear to have been disturbed or torn up in any way. Better still, the pine needles the Blue Bird parents placed at the entrance to the entrance hole was still in place and undisturbed.
Baby Blue Bird Intact and Empty Nest
We are very relieved to see that the Baby Blues must have flown from the nest. There were no feathers on the ground near the nest. That was a good sign too, we thought.

There were, however, a few feathers out near the woods where my husband's main bird feeder is placed. Here are some pictures of the tiny feathers, which look suspiciciously like those of a baby Blue Bird.
Baby Blue Bird Feathers
 Do you notice the blue tint on the tiny feathers?
Baby Blue Bird Feathers
Still, we are heartened to find the intact nest and only a few of the tiny feathers. We feel therre is a very good chance that at least some of our little bird family has survived. Maybe they will grow up and come back again to nest with us!

Hopeful Happenings in Our Garden

My husband and I have often exchanged these words:

Me: "I am going to be optimistic about this."

Him: "I'm going to be realistic."

Me: "You sound like Mariah Popham from Summer Magic." 

Him: "You are too hopeful. You need to be more realistic, so you don't get dissapointed."

Of course, we are usually just kidding around and, just for the record, I know we all must sometimes be realistic. However, I think it is just part of my being.  Eternal optimism must be in my DNA. Mind you, I don't wear rose colored glasses all the time and I understand that things will not always be "La Vie en Rose"around here. I am not blind to the fact that some things are not going to always go according to plan. Still, I choose hope over no hope most every time!

Gardening is one of those things--for me anyway, as my thumbs are less than green. I plant with high hopes that pests will not invade and destroy. I hope that weather conditions will provide just that balance of sunshine and rain. I add a few nutrients and a little compost and have great aspirations for success. I do this knowing that things may not go acccording to plan.

Currently, what is going on in my garden (for the most part) gives me hope that very soon we will enjoy some good things at our table. Here are a few pictures of the things happening out back:
My Spring Garden 2016\

Sugar Peas

Sugar Peas
The promise of more to come in the Sugar Pea blooms:
Sugar Pea Blooms
Tomatoes are coming out and starting to ripen on my plants. Lots of "hope" in those plants! In the meantime, I am "hopeful" that none of those spine chilling Horned Tomato Worms show up, like something out of a horror movie! It drives me crazy how they get on the plant and totally destroy it before you even know they are there. I am trying to be a little realistic by slowly checking things out on a daily basis and trying to stay a step ahead of those green monsters.
Tomatoes in  Our Garden

Tomatoes in  Our Garden

Tomatoes in  Our Garden
Here is a picture of the many tomato plants, in several varieties, I planted in this one bed. There's "hope" in those yellow blooms!
Bed of Tomato Plants in  One of  Our Garden Beds
Beets are growing next the Sugar Peas.
Beets Growing in the Garden

Many people enjoy Bell Peppers in tomato dishes, sauces and salads. We certainly do enjoy them at our table!
Bell Pepper Plants

Bell Pepper Plants in Our Garden
I have stuffed something into pretty much every square inch of the beds! I am a believer in growing herbs. They lend fragrance to the many aspects of our lives. Some herbs deter pests. Others, like these that were planted in one special corner of my tomato bed are especially good for cooking with tomatoes and other vegetables and meat dishes:
Oregano, Basil and Cilantro Growing Alongside Tomatoes
Also, a random and volunteer in the tomato patch--an ornamental gourd!
Ornamental Gourds in the Garden
One of my Oregano plants decided to take over one of the beds next to our house, some five years ago. I gave pretty much allowed it to do its thing and just trim it back, once in awhile. There are a few Day Lilly, Gladiola and Irises that continue to pop up around and through the oregano. Yes, it is a bit wild and free flowing in that bed. So what, I love it!!
Our Enormous Oregano Bed

Cilantro planted alongside Broccoli.
Cilantro in Our Garden Beds
Here and there, in ground and in pots are some Sage, Rosemary and a little Thyme.

We enjoy the way Sage gives our Thanksgiving turkey and cornbread dressing so much flavor. I will be drying these herbs for using this fall and winter!


Sage and a Bit of Thyme with More Basil in Pots
One of our most loved friends, Mickey Mouse. Mickey is standing guard with his hose, just in case things get too hot and dry in the garden! See you next month at Walt Disney World, Mickey!
Friend Mickey Mouse in Our Garden
I miss our precious Jimmy so very much and every time I plant something in the garden beds he and grandson Glenn built for me my heart fills to the brim with beloved memories of him. He brought so much inspiration and joy to my life and was always encouraging and helping me with whatever made my life easier and happier. Thank you, my beautiful son-in-love for being so good to me! I love you and I miss you!

Most of you know, we love our Blue Berries down here and the Blue Berry bushes are certainly hold promise for a summer of Blue Berry picking and eating!
Blue Berry Bushes in Our Garden

So far, except for some tiny green worms who are overly fond of the Broccoli plants, things are looking quite good. My heart is filled with optimism and hopefulness for some good things from the garden this year!

Sharing things here on my little space in Blog Land brings me such joy. To everyone who visits here, I appreciate your taking time out of your busy day to spend a moment out of your life with me! Thank you so very much!