Traveling Thursday – July 12, 2018

Traveling Thursday – July 12, 2018

Surprises Along The Road

Driving along one of the tree-lined state highways in a destination we have no idea where. I have to pull over and am in a rush to get out of the SUV.  Both Scott and I are stunned to see something so unexpected, so surprising.  This is not a one-time thing for us; this happens every time we travel. This is what I believe Ruskin Bond was talking about when he said “The adventure is not the getting somewhere, it’s the on-the-way experience. It is not the expected: it’s the surprise.”

Recently we went on a waterfall hunt in Kansas.  Yes, there are waterfalls in Kansas, but that is another Traveling Thursday story… someday.  Anyway!  As we were on this waterfall hunt, we found something extremely surprising. We found a State Park that was no longer a state park. That’s right Cowley County State Park was no longer a Kansas State Park due to the state not being able to afford the upkeep so they gave it to the county. This may seem drastic, but we have come across this many times. Oklahoma has at least three former state parks, Okmulgee, Adair, and Walnut Creek, that now belong the county or city it resides. Fortunately, the county and the city were able to keep these parks open, but not all state parks are that lucky. We have come across a couple of signs that state there is an Oklahoman State Park “next right” only to find there is not a park to be found.  We spent a full afternoon searching for Rocky Ford State Park but it was nowhere to be found; it was just gone.  However, if you look at Google Maps, there it is! Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad Google hasn’t taken it away, but it sure was surprising.

In the fall of 2017, we did a massive county grab in Arkansas and there were some pretty wonderful surprises for us, but we both agree that the best experience was our drive through the St Francis National Forest. We needed to get from Philips County to Lee County and instead of backtracking Scott insisted we take the gravel roads through. I was a bit nervous due to the fact that we were right along the Mississippi River and it was storming all around us. You see, I am not as brave as you would think with all this travel, cliff sitting and such, plus I have an imagination that would scare the pants off you. Because of this, all I could think was that the Mississippi was going to flood and take us, the SUV, and Cordie out to sea.  Yes, I know, but that, too, is another story for another time. Anyway! As we drove along the tree-lined road we came across a sign that said “Louisana Purchase Baseline Survey 1815”. Suddenly I began getting very excited at the thought that we were touching history. We were driving in the place where the frontier began. It was making the history I learned in school come alive and become very real making it a special experience. This touching history is one of the reasons I love to travel; it wakes me up, shakes me to the core because it reminds me of where we have been as a nation.

How often are you driving down the road and you see something that just blows your mind?  It happens to us way too often. We had taken a trip from the Eureka Springs area in Northwest Arkansas down the middle of the state along the Buffalo National Scenic River area the end of 2016. We knew Arkansas was a beautiful state, but it seemed to surprise us every turn this trip. Neither of us had ventured in this area and the experiences were new and exciting. As we drove down past the George Ridge, we saw one of the prettiest sights. There was part of the Buffalo River running alongside the road cutting through the bedrock with a covered bridge crossing just above it. The sight caused us to pull over and spend a little time taking photos and admiring the wonder we stood upon. This would have been enough to have made the drive worth our time, but after a stop in the town of Ponca we headed out to visit the Lost Valley Trail but we were delayed due to yet another surprise, Elk. Elk in Arkansas!  I was stunned and Scott was taking hundreds of photos. I had no idea there were Elk here, but they are indigenous to the area, but their numbers were so low that it was thought they were completely lost.  However, in 1981 the Arkansas Game and Wildlife Commission created the Elk Restoration Project and they are back. There is something about seeing wildlife in nature that causes the heart to be joyful; it’s almost as if it is a signal from Mother Nature herself that there is hope.

Last year we were traveling from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Piggott, Arkansas, to bury my mother-in-law. She was unable to do much traveling due to a large family and, eventually, her health, but she loved watching our videos and reading our blog and Facebook posts about when we traveled. She told me once that she was traveling right alongside us in spirit.  This is one of the reasons I try to do Facebook posts as we are traveling. I wanted her to be able to enjoy the journey at the time we were taking it. Because of this, we took one long trip in her memory. We did as much as we could that trip; visiting one state park in every state we touched. We drove through Oklahoma (Two Bridges State Park), Kansas (Crawford State Park), Missouri (Big Oak Tree State Park), Illinois (Giant City State Park), Kentucky (Columbus-Belmont State Park), Tennesee (Reelfoot State Park), and Arkansas (Davidsonville State Historic Park). While we were driving to Giant City State Park in Illinois we crossed the Mississippi River at Cape Girardeau heading toward McClure when a historic marker caught our attention. Needing to pull over for a stretching break, we thought this the best time.  It was at this rest stop that would bring us a huge surprise.

The historical marker explained that just south of where we stood was one of the original county courthouses for Alexander County. Of course, we were only about two miles from Thebes and we knew we would regret it if we didn’t take an hour and go see it.  Before heading into the center of town to see the courthouse, we stopped at the shoreline of the Mississippi. Looking back Scott points to the house on the ridge and comments what a wonderful view they must have of the river and train bridge. We decided to head up and see what type of view it was. To our amazement, the building turned out to be the very courthouse we had come to see! We were stunned because normally the county courthouses are massive and built with huge stones, statues, and belltowers; however, this courthouse was very humble in its appearance.  The stop charged us causing us to discuss and research (thank heavens for smartphones and a good cell phone signal) the history of Abraham Lincoln. We were further hyped up when we found we would be passing directly through Jonesboro, IL, where the third Lincoln-Douglas Debate occurred. Even though it was a short stop, we had to visit this National Historic Site.

Travel is meant to be an adventure. It is meant to inspire, encourage, and teach. If one travels and it does not cause one to rethink who they are and what their life means, then it is not being done correctly. You should allow yourself to be surprised on every roadtrip.

Safe travels y’all and see you next Traveling Thursday,
Ren

Traveling Thursday – July 5, 2018

Traveling Thursday – July 5, 2018

State Park Signs

There are 10,234 state parks in the United States. We have visited 110 of these parks over the past three years between Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and California. Many of these are extremely basic locations where one can camp, fish or swim, but others are amazing with sites to rival the National Parks. We discovered the state parks while we lived in Texas where one can find over 100 parks.  These parks will show you the best the state has to offer with historic locations, caves, gulf coast beaches, mountains, canyons and so much more. When we began the visiting of Texas State Parks we did not realize exactly what our plan was, but we knew it would entail a photo of us and a park sign. This came from me reading the book Dear Bob and Sue by Matt and Karen Smith. This couple decided to visit all 59 of the National Parks and they would get a photo of them by the park sign.  I told Scott about this and we decided to start locally with Texas State Parks, there couldn’t be anywhere near that amount of state parks.  This comes from lack of research before starting a project.

Our Inspiration – Bob and Sue taught us the importance of taking a good sign photo.  We do hope we make them proud with ours.

Some of these parks we have camped at, while others we have just spent a few hours driving through to see what was available. Because we often are trying to cover as much road as possible we find we do not spend as much time doing everything available. Many times we find a park deserves more attention and will return to it to explore in more depth. Sometimes time constraints do not allow us to give a park the attention it deserves, which is unfortunate, but when you have over 10,000 parks to visit something has to give. We have rarely found a park we did not enjoy and wish we could spend more time, but there have been a few.  This is not because they are not good places, just not a place that fits with our travels.

Each of us has a specific measure we look at each park with. For me it is the activities and interaction the park staff and volunteers has with its guests; of course, I think this has to do with my park hosting and other volunteer activities I am involved with. Scott looks for what makes each park unique. There are so many parks that seem to not stand out because they are mainly focused on camping and fishing while the parks he seems to be drawn to are places like Davis Mountains State Park, Caprock Canyon State Park, and Dinosaur Valley State Park. So far, as state parks go, Texas has had the most diverse parks, but we cannot really compare other states to them because we have been to so few of them outside of Texas.

We have been fortunate to spend some of our state park time with friends and family. Luckily they have all been willing to stand with us as we take a sign photo to help us celebrate another state park being ticked off the list. Both of us wish we could share the parks with more of our friends and hopefully, this will happen more often in the future. When we are able to share a park with our friends, we find we spend more time exploring the park and what it has to offer, giving us a chance to see more of the location’s uniqueness.

Scott and I took a little bit of time and gathered up some of our favorite photos to share with you today. What are some of the traditions that you have when you visit a place?  We would love to hear and see about them.  Thanks so much for taking the time to visit with us today and we do hope you have some amazing travels.

Ren

Traveling Thursday – June 28, 2018

Traveling Thursday – June 28, 2018

Longhorn Cavern State Park
April 2016

When you hear people talking about the Texas landscape you often hear about the beautiful red canyons and orange mesas and cactus everywhere seen in the old western movies.  However, Texas is surprisingly much more diverse in its landscape. There are seven distinct regions in this massive state: Panhandle Plaines, Prairies and Lakes, Piney Woods, Big Bend Country, Hill Country, South Texas Plains and the Gulf Coast. Each of these areas are extremely beautiful and both Scott and I have found something special in each region.  One of these regions we had been told how amazing it was but had no clue just how breathtaking and beautiful it was.  Not only did we fall in love the landscape but we were in awe of the down below.

April of 2016 we ventured out toward Hill Country and were stunned to see these hills of limestone covered with trees and plenty of wildflowers. There had been so much rain that the wildflowers literally covered every inch of the hills along the road. We saw Bluebonnets (the Texas state flower), Indian Blankets, Indian Paintbrush, Milkweed, Texas Sunflowers and Winecups.  So many colors blurring along the road as we drove along the roller coaster type road towards one of our destinations that weekend.

Scott, being the photographer of the family was wanting to stop way to often to take photos of this wildflower phenomenon, but we had a short window to get from our home in Bedford to the state park we were planning to visit that day. It seemed as if every hill we went over became more brilliant with blues, purples, oranges, and yellows.  It almost made the eyes hurt it was so bright. I know it was killing Scott because you could hear him howl with anticipation and pleas to stop so he could take photos.  However, I tend to be focused when we are on a deadline and rarely stop unless it is a bathroom break.  This is one of the main reasons we do not plan a lot on trips because it seems to breed anxiety in me and that gets rather ugly.

With our destination in sight, I was able to relax a bit and pull over so Scott was able to take a few photos. There was this one hill where an old abandoned stone built building stood in the middle of a field covered with Indian Paintbrushes and I knew that was where he needed to take his photo.  We found a semi-dry spot, pulled over and out he flew with his camera in hand.  You could hear the shutter clicking as he tried to find the best angle. It was like seeing a child in the toy store trying to find the best toy; yes, I was seeing pure joy and loving every minute of it.

You see many old abandoned buildings such as houses or barns all over Texas.  I always feel a bit of sadness because these were once homes to people who must have loved the land, how could they not? So much history and beauty in this state. These buildings take you back to a time when life was all but simple and there were so many dreams of a Texas that was still young. Unfortunately, progress tends to pull people away from the countryside and these buildings are left unattended and forgotten. In this spot, I just imagine a woman outdoors doing her laundry while admiring the thousands of wildflowers blooming all around her home. However, the time of dreaming had come to an end and we needed to be getting along to our destination, Longhorn Cavern State Park.

The Texas State Park System has a wide variety of state parks ranging from historical sites like Fort Richardson State Historic Site to gulf sea shore like Galveston Island State Park; from massive canyons filled location Caprock Canyon State Park to the mesa perched Big Springs State Park; then there is Longhorn Cavern State Park in the middle of Hill Country.  This park is unique in many ways. One, it is CCC park built during the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps giving thousands of families an opportunity to live by sending their sons away building parks, roads, and buildings.  This program enabled these young men to receive $25 a month to send to their families, saving many from starvation and giving them skills to help them in the future. When WWII pulled the United States into the fray, Company 854 was called to serve their country.

The buildings of the CCC era has a distinct style. The materials used to build the structures on this 639-acre state park were sediment and limestone and they were all from below them. Here over 2.5 tons of silt, rock, and debris was hauled out of the cavern that had been used by the outlaw Sam Bass.  It was also where the Confederate army obtained bat guano to make gunpowder for their weapons. But this was not the only history of this location, it was also a church, nightclub and now a state park.

Longhorn Cavern is a very unique cave because of the way it was formed. At one time Texas was under a shallow sea and the limestone was created by the weight of the mud and millions of years of dead shelled sea creatures. Eventually, there was a  mountain-building force that caused an event “Llano Uplift” that caused fractures which allowed water to get through the cracks and dissolve the limestone. This caused the caverns that are now gated and protected by the Texas State Park system.  Here we enjoyed the normal tour, but we did learn that there were Wild Cave Tours for those who liked to venture on the “wild” side.

Scott and I try to keep an open mind when we travel. We have found things that have increased our knowledge, enabled us to teach others, and given us an opportunity to experience new cultures. This has given us an open heart enabling us to have empathy for others and their situations. We travel to learn, we travel to experience, we travel to find out much more about ourselves. Here, in the Hill Country, we were able to learn about the down below geological history of a state that is rich with tradition and history. It was one of our favorite travels in Texas, but there are so many more of them to tell you about; however, that is for another time.

Safe travels and see you on the next Travel Thursday.
Ren

Traveling Thursday – June 21, 2018

Traveling Thursday – June 21, 2018

The Golden Gate Bridge
Tuesday, January 19, 2016

December 2015, Scott and I were browsing the airline websites when he located an amazing deal. Two flights to San Francisco for under $200; that would be for both seats, not each. Normally these flights are over $200 each so there was an electricity in the air as we daydreamed about taking the flight out and visiting our friend Barbara while taking in the sights of the Bay area. Laughing, I said, “I dare you.” He did.  I have never been so stunned and excited before like I was at that moment.  We were definitely outside our comfort zone, our box.

Most of our travels had taken place within the Texas borders, but definitely never had we ventured far enough to need airline tickets. So much planning had to be done now that we had two, non-refundable tickets to California.  We called Barbara and commenced to making plans. So many opportunities, so many things to do and see. Of course, there would be a Yosemite trip, drive along the Coast Highway 1, and somehow a venture into San Francisco proper.  What would we do? What would we see? Did we have enough money? Was there going to be enough time?  So many questions. We decided we would spend 24 hours in the City by the Bay, but what would that entail?

Because we are trying to visit all the National Parks & other sites listed with the National Parks Service, this seemed like a good start.  In San Francisco alone, there are four locations: the San Francisco Alcatraz, the Golden Gate, the Presidio of San Francisco, and the San Francisco Maritime. We were there for a short time and money was tight so we opted to visit one of these. We would visit the Golden Gate Bridge because not only was it cheap, but it was one of the items on my bucket list.  I don’t think Scott has a “bucket list” per say, but it was one of the places he wanted to experience.

Because we decided to enjoy the public transportation (yes, it was cheaper than renting a car), we took the bus to the Golden Gate Visitor Center. It made it’s way slowly through the streets of San Francisco giving us a prime opportunity to see many of the places we would otherwise miss being on foot or in a private vehicle. If you ever decide to do the public transportation system within San Francisco, look into the MUNI system. They have 1-day, 3-day, and 7-day visitor passes that are not very expensive.  It would actually cost much more to pay per each ride. You will see so much more if you take one of the MUNI’s and it will enable you to meet some interesting people. We chose to go with a 3-day pass due to our need for the system being a bit more than 24 hours. We used one day of them and passed them on to some other visitors who were standing at the kiosk trying to make some decisions.

The bus we took did not actually drive across the bridge but went to the visitor center. We were able to experience the tunnel and see the massive line of cars waiting to pay the toll. This is definitely not one of the items on my bucket list.  Seeing how just driving across the bridge required payment, I began to worry that I would not be able to walk across the bridge.  My anxiety was high being so close and the possibility of failure so near.  We arrived at the Visitor Center and saw so many things that made the Golden Gate Bridge such an amazing piece of grand construction.  Here you could watch a short video on how the building crew was able to build the bridge, see models on the movement of the bridge and hear about the men who worked so diligently.  We were able to get a passport stamp for our NPS passport and a patch, the requirement we have for our travels.

Finally, it was time to cross the bridge of my dreams. We found out there was no charge for walking or biking over the bridge so we were ready to cross, but with my knee acting up, we decided to stop at the first archway.  As we started towards the bridge, people whizzed past us on bikes and cars drove alongside us heading to the other side. At first, it was extremely overwhelming, but once you saw there was no danger in the cars sideswiping you, the feeling subsided.

Construction on the Golden Gate Bridge began January 5, 1933, and was opened for people to start crossing on May 27, 1937; however, the concept of this bridge was thrown about before the 1900’s.  There were many ideas, but none took hold until approximately 1916 when an engineering student wrote an article asking bridge engineers if a bridge over the one-mile straight between the city of San Francisco and the San Francisco Peninsula could be built for under $100 million.  Joseph Strauss responded with a drawing of a cantilevered suspension bridge.  This idea took hold and the process of planning this marvouls bridge began.

Once we approached the first tower which had a large observation type deck we were able to see Alcatraz in the distance. As we stood on the deck, large ships passed under the giant bridge.  It was a bit shocking to see these very large shipping vessels with shipping containers passing directly below us, but with 754 feet above the water, they had plenty of room to manoeuvre.

I must admit, I was becoming quite emotional as we stood under the first tower. This was truly the first time I had actually been able to mark off an item from my bucket list and the feeling was amazing.  It has caused me to realize that I can accomplish the things I thought I would never do.  I just have to dream a little more and be ready to dare Scott to do something.  That will get me out of my comfort zone rather quickly.

What has been your greatest adventure? Did you learn anything new about yourself? What realizations did you learn about other people and cultures?  Please tell us in the comments or head over to our Facebook page and tell us there.  Scott and I would love to hear about your favorite travel story.

Safe travels everyone.
Ren

It’s All About The View

It’s All About The View

The very last week of March, Scott and I moved into a tiny 400 sq ft studio apartment that we intended to be in for at least a year.  We were pretty confident we would be able to live comfortably in the small space with the beds and living area in the same area because we did it quite well in the apartment we had in Texas.  I, however, did not have a job that caused me to come home and hit the bed by 6:30 pm.  This situation was just not ideal for Scott since he really didn’t want to go to bed that early.  But yet we really loved the tiny apartment in the historic building and were trying our best to deal with frustration.

The apartment building was built next to the Bellview School on 15th (Cherry Street) and Peoria.  I have checked out various places of Tulsa history and have found this building to be the location where those who taught at Bellview School (later changed to Lincoln School) resided.  At the time the school was built, it was just outside of the Tulsa City limits and the street was not known as 15th, but it was Cherry Street.  This was in 1909 and Tulsa was just finding its place in the state. Orcutt Addition was the area where the school was located.  You will find many old houses and apartment buildings from the 1900-1920’s in this area and all the street names have changed except for Utica.  The Swan Lake Park is still there, but at one time it was an amusement park; alas, that is another story.

There are eight one bedroom apartments and four studios at this time.  I am sure there were a few others down in the basement area, but spaces below are now storage for building maintenance and the laundry.  All of the apartments have mostly the same historical decorations that are quite charming, but there is a quite a bit of difference in what the studio has versus the one bedrooms.  I found the studios utterly charming and loved the experience of living in one.

The studios are basically one room with a seperate kitchen, hall area and bathroom; they do not feel terribly small. Having lived in our 547 sq ft Texas apartment within the bedroom, we thought this would be the perfect place and even were making plans to build a murphy bed!  The photo above is the 400 sq ft Tulsa apartment while the photo just below this is the 547 sq ft Texas apartment.

As you can see, space is pretty much equal and the living was pretty much the same, except in the Tulsa apartment the beds were used at night and stood up during the day for ease of movement.  We loved the situation we were in and really liked living in this manner when we were both on the same sleeping schedule.

One of the things I just loved about this Tulsa apartment was the fact that they had a huge closet in the main room.  What tiny 400 sq ft apartment has a giant closet like this, especially in historically build buildings from the turn of the century?  I was under the impression closets were never really built.

The surprise is, this was not originally a closet, it was a murphy bed!  This is where a bed frame and mattress are stored in a closet or stand-alone storage unit that is pulled down to sleep on and put away when not in use.  Unfortunately, the apartment owners decided it would be better to not have the murphy beds due to the “critters” that can be found in some beds, furniture and dark comfy places.  As neat as it would have been to have one, it is probably best to have them gone. This enabled us to have a huge closet to store our totes of unsorted stuff.

One of the interesting things about this tiny apartment was the fact that all four of them had whats called a “dressing” room.  This is where another closet was found and led to the bathroom.  During the time this building was created, people had specific rooms they would dress in so the main living areas were not cluttered with non-essential pieces of furniture.  This area was a huge space for us to put a dresser and have all of our clothes. At one time there was a door dividing the living and dressing areas, but only the henges remained.

The next set of doors had an even better surprise that had my heart all aflutter and was one of the reasons I really wanted this apartment in the first place, the kitchen.  It was about the size of the dressing room and bathroom together and there was a true antique behind the glass doors.

This is a cast iron, porcelain kitchen unit!  Of course, the stove is new, but the kitchen unit is original to the building and it came with a sweet bit of history.  On the lower left side of the photo, you will notice a door, do you know what it is?  I knew as soon as I saw it and I squealed with delight.  Strange I know, but that’s the history person in me.

It was an ice box!  An actual icebox that was still in amazing condition.  I have just loved the fact that there was one in this historic apartment.  Granted, I had no clue how to use one the way they did with these units, but, because an actual modern refrigerator was included in the kitchen, it would become a place to store items since there was not much room here.  There were also so many other original-to-this-kitchen items that I was thrilled about.

All of the cabinet and drawers were in fantastic condition and it just boggled my mind as to how little these original apartment dwellers had when they came to teach at the new Bellview School in 1910.  I could just imagine a teacher fixing themselves tea or a small meal after classes were over for the day.

The sink and faucet were also original to the apartment giving it all of the charms I was thrilled to be living in.  Fortunately, the plumbing was not historic and worked really well such an established apartment.

So many wonderful things we found original to this tiny bit of an apartment that made living here a pleasure, but that happiness was going to sour a little in less than a month of us moving in.  I had started a new job with a company who does resets of displays in a multiuse store and the work is exhausting.  I would spend hours working on ladders and lifting product to shelves that I had previously moved to fit a “plan-a-gram” and I was coming home exhausted and worn out.  First thing I would do was soak in a very hot tub with Epsom salt, then I would eat and then pull down my bed and fall asleep and all before 6:30 pm.  This did not go well for Scott.  He was feeling as if he had to be silent and not stir much.  Of course, I couldn’t seem to get him to understand that it would never have disturbed me, I was too exhausted.  Because of this, he had decided to look at the one bedroom apartment next door to our tiny apartment.  He was thrilled and wanted to move.  The apartment owner was happy about this turn of events and allowed us to move.

The move only took a few hours since we really don’t own too much.  The apartment has it’s own bit of charm because the former tenant had painted an accent color throughout the apartment.  It, at first was a bit overwhelming, but I have found I am quite fond of it and wonder how to add my own touch of style to it.  We both like the space we have gained and there are still some nice historical touches that make me happy to be in the larger space.

One such is this little niche next to the door.  At first, I thought it was a place for a phone; however, at the time the building was built, telephones were not in homes.  So, I still have not figured out what it was for, but I am using it as a landing strip and Dr. Who alter.  It works well for this.

The doors are original to the apartment and I love that there are still the glass knobs.  I, unfortunately, have found it is definitely not a door that keeps the sound out.  We are hoping to get the door replaced someday, but for now, we will continue to say it is wonderful to have such historic charm.

In the hallway, located where the kitchen is, most of the outer apartments have these niches in them.  There is a corresponding door on the opposite side of the wall.  It was definitely a mystery to us and it took a little research to figure it all out.

Turns out it is called a “milk door.”  This is where the milkman would deliver milk and pick up the empty milk bottles!  Once I knew what it was, I was very thrilled to know the owner had decided to keep them inside the kitchens.  Our milk door is closed up from the outside so the only place you can see this bit of history is from inside the apartment.  We decided this would be the perfect place to put Cordie’s food and treats.  Since there is not a lot of storage in the kitchen, this was the perfect spot.

The kitchen in this one bedroom does not have the same amount of charm as the tiny apartment, but it is still nice.  It has the same, but larger kitchen cabinets, but a more modern lower counter with sink.  I must say I am thrilled about a larger sink, it has made washing dishes so much easier.  Scott is still getting used to the kitchen area because there still is not as much prep surface.  We are still in the process of making it home.

It is such a very long kitchen, but I am realizing that the section just before the working area is just about sized right for a small round table.  I remember a photo I saw once where the table was just large enough for two plates and that was it, with a man sitting next to it.  People at the turn of the century did not sit in front of the television and eat like we do today; they sat at a table and took in their meals.  We are still looking for something small enough, but will probably build a folding table so we can use it and then put it away.  Space is a premium around this apartment and we are always looking for an interesting way to have the things we need using the least amount of space.

I had not realized how much I have missed having a bedroom.  I was finally able to go to bed as early as I wished without worrying about putting Scott out.  He was able to stay up as long as he wished without worrying he would disturb me from my sleep.  The best part was we did not have to put the bed away the next morning; just simply make the bed and get on with the day.  Such a  wonderful feeling.  It had been so long since we were able to do this and I am finally able to use the quilt my grandmother and mother made for me so long ago.

Because we have so much more space in the living room, we are able to have two dedicated desks for Scott and me to work at.  I have been working on the laptop on my lap for so long, I had forgotten how nice it was to have a clean, uncluttered desk to work at.  It has made working on the website so much easier.  We will be putting up a few individual shelves eventually and artwork, but we have the perfect accented wall to do just that.

One of the things a fellow tenant commented on is that we have our apartment flipped.  I was a bit confused by what she said and she invited me to her apartment on the other side of the building.  She has put her living area in the room we are using as a bedroom while using the biggest room for her bedroom.  I was stunned.  However, isn’t that what they did at the time when this building was new?  The one bedroom apartments also have the huge murphy bed closets so this originally the bedroom!  I was stunned; after all my studying on history living conditions, why had I not realized this!

When this building was built, there was no air conditioning except for the natural rise of heat and fall of cool. I often wondered how people kept cool during the years before air conditioning and this apartment was an education in just that.  Because of the high ceilings, cross ventilation, and large double opening windows they were able to keep the heat down.  The room we used as a bedroom has four huge windows that were put there for just that purpose.  Unfortunately, because we are using it as a bedroom, we are having to put a large cover over the west windows because of the summer sun and bright street lights.  This causes the “turn of the century” air conditioning to not work as well.  I wonder if Scott would go for switching the rooms…

I am loving that we moved to the one bedroom apartment next door to the tiny studio.  We have gained a little bit of normalcy back and we are able to function a bit better, but I think Scott decided he wanted the apartment because of the view.

I think I agree with him.

If you want to view the original photos, please visit the album for this post on our Flickr page:  https://flic.kr/s/aHsmfJXJBF
Thanks for visiting us and see ya soon,
Ren