"Life is too short to stay in one place" kevanrijn's Profile

when there are so many wonderful things to see!

I was definitely born on the right day. Thursday's child has far to go--and I have gone far indeed! But all my journeys have only whetted my appetite for more travel.

I feel I've been very lucky to have been able to live in so many wonderful places. And I've been able to visit even more wonderful places. I've lived in West Virginia the longest of any one place--in the state of West Virgnia, I've lived in:
French Creek

In the United States, I've also lived in:
Columbus, Ohio
Orlando, Florida
San Diego, California
New London, Connecticut
Newport News, Virginia
Washington, DC
Potomac, Maryland
Memphis, Tennessee
Lemoore, California
Hanford, California
Salt Lake City, Utah
Charleston, South Carolina
Tacoma, Washington

I've lived in three foreign countries:
Naples, Italy
Atsugi, Japan
Ramstein, Germany

Altogether, I've lived in three foreign countries and visited nineteen. In the United States itself, I've visited all 50 states, and lived in 12 of the 50 states. Much of the traveling I was able to do because of my Navy service, or my husband's Air Force service. I also racked up a few miles traveling on vacations as a tourist. But a large part of the miles I've covered, I did while driving a long haul semi-truck. Thanks to driving a truck for four years, I have been in all 50 states (plus Canada and Mexico).

Now we are home

for good, I suppose. My husband is retired from the military, and I am no longer serving in the Navy or driving a truck. Although I don't have a crystal ball and can't foresee the future, I'm betting that most of our future travels will be on vacations as tourists. I love to travel and hope to visit many more places. I'm an avid amateur gardener and love to view other gardens and visit specialty nurseries. I'm not sure which I enjoy most--traveling or visiting gardens!

I guess I have the most fun when I can combine the two interests--traveling and gardening. One of my biggest travel regrets is that my visits to England all have occured in the winter...which isn't the best season for touring gardens there! I've vowed that my next trip to England will be at a time of year more favorable for garden tours. If all goes as planned, we hope to visit England again in the late spring of 2008. UPDATE: Well, we won't be going to England in spring 2008--instead we'll be travelling to Utah for the wedding of one of our sons! England will have to wait.

Last year flew by...this one's going at warp speed

We bought the new house here in Parkersburg (a 1905 Dutch Colonial Revival in dire need of restoration) and I have been busy with renovating the new house, getting the current one ready to rent out, packing, etc. If you are interested, check out my photo album on the house. There's just so much to do I have little time for the computer. I'm still doing volunteer work for the West Virginia Master Gardeners. Frankly, I don't know when I'm going to be able to get back here and get all my pages updated--much less add the new pictures and pages. I thought I'd have time to do it once cold weather arrived and gardening was not an issue--but the house project is taking my time instead!

When I have time...or when company comes, I continue to poke around the local area to see what there is to see. Sometimes I re-discover old favorites--like DaVinci's Restaurant in Williamstown. I'd been there before--probably hadn't been there in almost 10 years. They're remodeled recently. I had forgotten just how good the food was! If you are in the area and need an Italian food fix--forget Olive Garden--just go to DaVinci's.

Besides all the gardening, I've been busy playing

tourist at home--discovering places and things I either didn't know existed in my own area, or visiting places I knew about but hadn't yet checked out as well as re-discovering old favorites. I'll be adding more to the Parkersburg travel pages sometime this winter (I hope). There's more to do and see than you would think--and Parkersburg and Marietta have lots of things going on.

Besides working in my garden, I've been busy with touring other gardens in the area. I've been on the Juliana Square Historic District Garden Tour in Parkersburg (where I photographed the lovely weeping mulberry tree in the picture). I've been on the Wood County Master Gardeners Garden Tour in Williamstown. I did the "Daylilies of Washington County" driving tour across the river in Ohio. I also did the Marietta Garden Tour in Marietta, Ohio. I think that's about all the garden tours we had in this area this year..... I enjoyed them all and had a serious case of garden envy after each one!

I'm hoping to find time to do more updating of

some pages I already have on VT-- I've added photos of places in the local area and hope to find time to add even more. We finally got the film developed from our most recent European trip and I have scanned some of those photos into the computer and added them--I finally located the scanner and got it unpacked and hooked up! We were in Europe right before the Christmas holidays, so I have pictures from several Christmas markets in Belgium and Germany, including the famous Nurnberg Christmas market. (Yep, I know I've not posted the Christmas market pictures yet....mea culpa) In addition, I've located some of my old photos--going back more than thirty years--of some of the places I've been. Uploading them is a challenge, given that many of them are faded and were taken with a simple 110 pocket camera (which didn't make for great quality pictures).

But one I got the 35mm camera in 1975, the pictures got better. So, between those old pictures, and all my recent pictures (the majority of which are stored on CDs which are in storage still in Washington state) I've got my work cut out for me. It will be a long process before I get most of the tips and photos posted from all my past travels.

But really, you don't have to travel to be

a tourist. You can be one in your local area. I try to maintain the "tourist" outlook, no matter where I go. To me, being a tourist means keeping an open mind--being curious about places you've never been--experiencing the local culture--exploring your environment. It means keeping your eyes wide open and experiencing life to the fullest.

How many of you have actually visited your local visitor's bureau? I bet if you did, you might find out about things in your home area you weren't aware existed. I did. I had no idea until I visited the one in Marietta that we have a mortuary museum (yes, that's right, a museum about funeral customs complete with some antique hearses) here in Marietta. I also didn't know about the Toy and Doll Museum...or the self-guided driving tour called "Covered Bridges of Washington County" which features nine wooden covered bridges in the area--some of them still in use.

I'll be adding

a page for Marietta Ohio one of these days.... Marietta (check my Parkersburg travel page for more details) is a town just 14 miles upriver of Parkersburg. As the first settlement in the Northwest Territory, and the oldest town in the state of Ohio, there's a lot to see and do in Marietta which is of historical interest. And if history is not your thing...if you are interested in brew pubs and blues music, or gourmet food and fine wines, I can help point you in the direction to find those too.

Just across the river from Marietta, in Williamstown, West Virginia, is the well-known Fenton Glass factory. Whether you are a glass collector or are interested in glass--or even if you think you are not interested--you should visit Fenton Glass. The free factory tour is one of the top ten rated factory tours in the US. The free glass museum has some stunning glass pieces. And if you are a glass collector, then you will probably not be able to resist buying at least one piece of Fenton. Look at my Fenton photo album for some examples of the glass they make there.

Fenton glass had announced they were going out of business this year but they were able to resolve their difficulties and it seems they will be staying open for business after all!

Recently I was here

on the ground floor of this building and spent several afternoons researching the deeds on the house we bought. I researched the records all the way back to when it was built in 1905/06. The building in the picture is our County Courthouse. It's a fine example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. Looks a bit medieval, but it's about the same age as the house I'm reseaching.

I've made several trips to Coldwater Creek (yes, the Coldwater Creek that puts out the lovely catalog) to check out their clearance center/outlet store this year. Spent some money each time (of course) and got some real bargains! Check out my write up on their clearance center. If you are in Parkersburg, it would really be worth it to go shopping there.

Enjoy the information I've discovered and come back and visit my pages for new information and pictures. Thanks for dropping by. Y'all come back, y'hear?

  • Intro Updated Mar 12, 2008
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Comments (36)

  • toemayn's Profile Photo
    Aug 2, 2014 at 6:08 AM

    I hope that your special day is full of fun and happiness and everything that you enjoy.

  • toemayn's Profile Photo
    Aug 2, 2014 at 6:08 AM

    I hope that your special day is full of fun and happiness and everything that you enjoy.

  • kingip's Profile Photo
    Aug 2, 2014 at 1:18 AM

    Happy B/D!

  • toemayn's Profile Photo
    Aug 2, 2013 at 6:02 AM

    Hope your birthday is filled with all the fun you can handle!

  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo
    Oct 2, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    Very interesting page. All the best, Irene

  • connectingrod's Profile Photo
    Aug 2, 2012 at 3:40 AM

    A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun. Enjoy the trip.

  • DaHongHua's Profile Photo
    Aug 2, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    A warm happy birthday greeting from Malaysia. Hope you have more travellings and more VT sharings in the coming years.

  • ZiOOlek's Profile Photo
    Aug 2, 2009 at 2:20 AM

    Happy birthday, if you log in.:)

  • margaretvn's Profile Photo
    Aug 2, 2008 at 2:32 AM

    Hi and a very happy birthday, have a great day. Loved your HP and will be back to check out some of your pages. Margaret

  • WorldMeet2008's Profile Photo
    Jul 31, 2008 at 2:26 PM

    Your next trip? Make it really unique! It's not too late to attend WM08 - Jerusalem, Tel Aviv & Dead- Sea on 25- 28th Sept (+Petra 29-30th). We want to double the num of attendees to 100! Click to learn where, when, what, how, how much! Avi [FruitLover].

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Kim Rijn
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