Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Family Time

I'm finally back from my train trip to Arkansas, and I now that I've caught up on my sleep, I want to share a few of the many photos I took. My mom and husband came on board to help dad and I get settled. Here are my youthful looking parents!

Dad getting us lunch at Union Station in Washington, DC.

A kind stranger took our picture at Chicago's Union Station.

I'll show more photos from the train later, but the reason for the trip is my focus now. This is my Aunt Wanda, dad's older sister, with my dad at a cemetery, visiting some relatives that have passed on. I love that I share an interest in photography with my aunt, even though she is much better at it than I am.

Here is my dad with some of his "relatives". They're a family he spent a lot of time with growing up, and I've always thought of them as part of our extended family. One of the men is his brother-in-law, the other man is Dad's best friend, and the woman is their sister. Dad said he probably spent as much time at their house as he did at his own.

We went to Washington, Arkansas, where this magnificent magnolia grows. It looks like three trees, but it's actually just one.

Here's a rare shot of my aunt, allowing her photo to be taken with her little brother.

She doesn't enjoy having her picture made; she'd much rather be the photographer.

Here I am in the local radio station, in front of a display of the Hope Watermelon Festival t-shirts. The watermelon festival is in August, and if you know anything about Arkansas, you would know they grow the largest watermelons in the country. My dad and I were interviewed by the radio station about our experience with traveling by train. Hope is supposed to get a stop on the Amtrak schedule and they wanted to build up some interest in it.

Loved this restaurant, and loved eating there with the "dos loco gringos" you see standing in front of it.

Speaking of good watermelon, of course we had to eat some!

Razorback football is another huge interest in Arkansas, and here is my uncle, sporting a t-shirt with his grandchildren's names on it. (I felt I needed to explain why they are referred to as hogs.)

Another iconic photo spot is the state line at Texarkana, a city that is divided between Arkansas and Texas. I remember having a photo just like this one taken when I was about twelve years old, so I wanted an updated version.

No one in our family really likes standing on the Texas side, so we have to switch to make it fair.

On our way back home, we had a five hour layover in Chicago, so we got out of the train station and did a little speedy sightseeing. This is in front of the Willis nee' Sears Tower.

And of course, we had to have our photo taken in front of "the Bean" in Millennium Park.

I'll post more about the actual train ride next time. Hope you enjoyed the family stuff!


  1. Rose, it looks like a fantastic trip with your Dad, one you will always remember.

  2. It looks like you had an amazing trip. I'd love to see that magnolia tree in person.

    Great photos!

  3. I'm so glad your trip went well! What a nice way to spend time with your dad. And you are such a trooper with your limited mobility!

  4. Love your photo-journey. This is one of the things I love most about blogs--the chance to enjoy other people's travels vicariously. Your parents do look youthful, and as for that magnolia tree--what can I say? Wow! Hope your foot is getting better and that you managed to sneak in a little knitting too. Now, think about taking Amtrak north next time for a visit here.

  5. You look so happy and rested...that's a great result of travel.

    Having seen the updated photo, I'd love to see the first photo of Texarkana. And that magnolia? Amazing!