Category Archives: Early Retirement

Meet my Mom: The Christmas Baby

It’s a great time of year, almost Christmas. It’s special not only because of the Christmas festivities but also because it’s my Mom’s birthday. I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce her to you, she is a very special woman.

The Early Years

Mom’s name is Linda and she grew up in a small town in Georgia. We’re talking really small — less than 3,000 people live there. She married my Dad at a very young age. It was not uncommon for couples to marry young back then, she was only 15. My Mom was a beauty — I’m sure my Dad wanted to take her off the market. By the time she was 24, she had 3 kids, I am the middle child (on the right below).

Mom when she was Young

As was common in the 60’s, my Mom took care of the home. She cooked 3 meals a day. Not small meals, we’re talking incredible meals that normally consisted of a couple of meat dishes, 3 to 4 vegetable dishes and biscuits. She also kept a spotless home. I remember every Saturday was cleaning day, the entire family would pitch in.

Here are just a few things I fondly remember about growing up in our home:

  • Sharing great meals every day
  • Dunking my toast into my coffee then eating it
  • My Mom rubbing my back until I would dose off to sleep
  • Watching I LOVE LUCY and other sitcoms at night
  • Hosting fish fry parties with friends while my Dad played lead vocals in their band
  • Picking vegetables from a huge garden, shelling peas and butterbeans
  • Feeling a sense of being safe and protected

The Middle Years

After the kids were off to school, my Mom started a home business. She was a good seamstress and made clothes for herself and others. I can remember clothes patterns in drawers scattered about the house. From those patterns, she would create nice looking dresses and coats. With a great sense of style, she put all her energy into making these wonderful clothes. Both Mom and Dad were Entrepreneurs, maybe that’s where I learned it.

When I was in middle school, my Dad built a lake house and we spent most of our summers water skiing. Mom was athletic and a good skier, she could ski slalom (on one ski). At age 12, I was the youngest kid on the lake to learn to ski barefoot. It took me an entire summer and lots of knots on my noggin to learn how.  Thinking back, I probably got my love of water and the ocean from my Mom, as she always feels at peace there.

During high school, my Mom opened a clothing store called The Outpost. It was the trendiest store in our town and was a big hit with young adults. I loved it because I got to wear cool clothes to school as a way of advertising. This was yet another example of her entrepreneurial spirit.

The Later Years

After high school, my Dad and Mom parted ways as I went off to college. These were exploratory days for my Mom as she never really got to sow her oats because she married so young. She lived life to the absolute fullest. That’s probably where I get my adventurous side.

Mom Middle Age

For work, Mom retooled her skill set and learned to cut hair. She became part owner in several hair salons over the years and built a good clientele of customers.

More Recently

My Mom turns 73 on Christmas Day and we are planning a visit so that our kids can see her. Here is a recent picture of Mom, my older sister and younger brother. My Mom’s still as beautiful as ever.

Mom Recent

Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you!

About Us

Steve and Lynn Miller reached financial independence in 2012 at age 50 and now enjoy traveling, fitness, cycling, photography and lots of other hobbies. If you like this blog, you might also like Steve’s We Retired Early blog where he blogs about lifestyle freedom, financial independence, and cool mobile apps.

 

Happy Thanksgiving – Latest Happenings with the Millers

With Thanksgiving coming up next week, we wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope everyone has a great week of family time, football, and lots of turkey.

In September, we returned from spending the summer in Colorado. We spent the majority of the summer in Fort Collins and were able to spend lots of time with our oldest son, Cameron. We finished up that trip with a couple of weeks in Telluride, here is a picture if you missed my last post.

Waterfall across the road in Bridal Veil Falls

Progress on our House Building Project

As many of you know, we sold our condo in Florida in April and are building a new home only about a block from the beach. They’ve made great progress on the house, we hope to move in around mid-February. Here are some pictures of the progress:

Exterior Shot

Here you can see the proximity to the ocean, only about a block away.

Exterior From Above

Friend from Down Under

For those of you following our blog for a long time, you may remember that when I retired in 2012, we set off for 3 months of travel to Ecuador, Galapagos Islands, Peru, and the Bahamas. Since we have a dog, we needed someone to watch her during our travels.

We found Rhonda Braban and her husband through TrustedHousesitters.com. Rhonda is Australian and has a passion for travel. They did a great job of taking care of our black lab and we’ve become great friends in the process.

Rhonda loved Rosemary Beach so much she decided to come back to visit this year. She stayed about 3 weeks in October and we got to spend lots of time with her. She is truly a free spirit. We spent time dining out, swimming, boating and hanging out on the beach.

Rhonda 1 Rhonda 3 Rhonda 4

What’s Next

We will not be traveling again until next year, we plan to stick around as the house is being built because decorating and picking furnishings takes a lot of our time.

I’ve been working on building my other blog (check it out at http://www.WeRetiredEarly.com), where I talk about lifestyle freedom, financial independence and technology. It is more of a professional blog, where I blog several times a week. I am using the WeBeTripping blog solely for travels and updating friends and family on what’s going on in our lives.

Lynn and I have also been helping a friend build followers for his blog, you can see his blog at http://www.TheTriggerBoxBlog.com. This allows us to work a couple hours a day and still enjoy the early retiree lifestyle.

I’ll leave you with a few pictures I’ve taken recently at home, the weather is still nice (between 70 and 80 degrees) — it’s definitely the nicest time of the year here. Happy Thanksgiving!

Beach 1 Beach 2 Beach 3 Beach 5

About Us

Steve and Lynn Miller reached financial independence in 2012 at age 50 and now enjoy traveling, fitness, cycling, photography and lots of other hobbies.

In his spare time, Steve blogs and develops mobile apps. His latest project is an app that allows you to countdown the days to retirement or financial independence: http://www.CountUsDown.com/Retirement.

If you like this blog, you might also like Steve’s We Retired Early blog where he blogs about lifestyle freedom, financial independence, and cool mobile apps.

Turquoise, blue and emerald

Fish beneath our Feet: A week in Bora Bora

After 10 years of tirelessly toiling everyday, we sold our business. As a celebratory vacation, we decompressed in Bora Bora for a week. It was like no other vacation we’d taken before.

Bora Bora

Bora Bora

After our jet sat down, we immediately boarded a boat that reminded me of something George Clooney would be cruising along in while visiting Venice.

Retro Boat

Retro Boat

In short order, we arrived at the Four Seasons hotel. It was no ordinary hotel. In fact, our home for the next week was a self-contained bungalow with sections of glass floor where fish swam beneath your feet.

Over water Bungalows

Over water Bungalows

We spent our days on the water. Mastering a Yolo board, sailing, swimming with sharks, or jet skiing.

Yolo

Yolo

Cameron mastering a watercraft

Cameron mastering a watercraft

Each morning we would wake up and take a dive into the ocean from the balcony of our over-the-water bungalow.

Our morning diving platform

Our morning diving platform

Mid week, we boarded a helicopter for an aerial view of the island where you can experience the expansive turquoise, blue and green.

Turquoise, blue and emerald

Turquoise, blue and green

The grounds of the Four Seasons were immaculate as if specifically designed for postcards.

Incredible flora

Incredible flora

Perfectly groomed beaches

Perfectly groomed beaches

Manicured grounds

Manicured grounds

A week came too soon. As we watched the sunset of our final night in paradise, I began to reminisce of how it all started 10 years earlier — with a dream of retiring early and enjoying lifestyle freedom while we were young and energetic enough to enjoy it.

Sunset in Bora Bora

Sunset in Bora Bora

I can’t believe we pulled it off.

About Us

Steve and Lynn Miller reached financial independence in 2012 at age 50 and now enjoy traveling, fitness, cycling, photography and lots of other hobbies.

In his spare time, Steve develops mobile apps. His latest project is an app that allows you to countdown the days to retirement or financial independence: http://www.CountUsDown.com/Retirement.

If you like this blog, you might also like Steve’s We Retired Early blog where he blogs about lifestyle freedom, financial independence, and cool mobile apps.

Podcast: How an Entrepreneur achieved Lifestyle Freedom

Steve Miller Entrpreneur

Jordon Bryant of ChambersDS App Academy just published this podcast with Steve Miller, who built a multi-million dollar software business and sold it in 2009 and retired. After being retired for several years and traveling the world, Steve is now creating mobile apps in between time he spends golfing, boating, cycling and keeping fit.

Ways To Listen To This Episode

About Steve Miller

The guest for this podcast is Steve Miller, an entrepreneur who built the multi-million dollar Pragmatic software and sold it to AutomatedQA, which is now SmartBear Software, in 2009. He has over 24 years of experience in software development, project management, and software architecture.

Here are the highlights of the conversation with Steve:
  • 1:23 : Steve gives us a peak in his consulting days with Microsoft and how this influenced him in forming his previous company, Pragmatic Software.
  • 3:21 : The solutions, features and benefits of their software, and the pivots they had made to fully develop their company including branding and building up clients to make the business viable. These strategies resulted to winning awards and, in turn, made them more attractive to other companies.
  • 06:16 : How they ended up being acquired by creating strategic partnerships and pre-planning integrations with other vendors with products complimentary to theirs. We also discuss the value exchange that happens during cross promotions and partnerships, not only in terms of revenue, but also when it comes to building relationships.
  • 08:46 : We dig into how he came up with a SMART exit strategy and how he ensured that this buyout plan came into fruition. Steve shares the timelines, starting out by identifying the list of companies which would be a good fit, narrowing them down, reaching out to form a relationship to those which remained as potential candidates and finally achieving the goal of being acquired.
  • 12:07 : Steve explains what a buyout earn out is, as well as the things that companies are looking for before doing acquisitions. He adds that they are not just interested in the product but also, they are interested on what you will bring into the table. As someone who knows your product well, they would look at you to be there to support the transition initially. He also shared pay out terms during their buyout and how they exceeded revenue targets which resulted to bonuses.
  • 14:04 : What Steve is currently doing with his free time including travelling, exploring his hobbies, and finally deciding to enter the mobile app development world.
  • 15:10 : His amusing story of how losing his iPad spurred his genius and resulted to his first app creation, aMemoryJog. He also talks about how travel can change perspectives and about his long-term plans.
  • 18:41 : The structures Steve had in place when he started working with aMemoryJog starting from looking at the competitive landscape, creating a business plan after his analysis, and documenting his processes along the way.
  • 23:53 : Apart from looking at the App Store, Steve also shared his other validation techniques such as having the app reviewed with friends and family and leveraging on his network.
  • 25:21 : How detailing his specifications helped him in landing a good price and using oDesk and Elance services for his app development needs. Steve also shares advice to people seeking development.
  • 27:57 : Steve’s other marketing efforts including reaching out to bloggers to tap them to become beta testers in different silos to get feedback. He also shares how he plans to reach out to them using a template with a YouTube video and how he tracks response rates.
  • 36:10 : Other key take aways that Steve had learned from his first app that he will be applying for the second: driving social virality through sharing capability and establishing good PR.

Rapid Fire Questions

  • Would you put more emphasis on the idea or the execution? How would you weigh each of them why?
    • Everybody has an idea for an app so for me it’s 10% idea, 90% execution.
  • What is your biggest learning lesson on your journey so far?
    • It’s good to localize but you can localize too early.
  • What is your favorite business book?
  • What is your favorite app?
  • What is the coolest thing that you are working on right now that you want everyone to know about?

Links From The Episode

Connect With Our Guest

Are there Lessons to be Learned after 3 Years of Early Retirement?

Time flies. It’s been 3 years since I said goodbye to the corporate life and a twice monthly paycheck. My wife and I had a dream. We wanted to retire by the time our kids went off to college so that we could travel and enjoy life while we were still young and energized.

So how did we do it? We built a software business with personal savings of $10,000 and sold it 10 years later. It wasn’t easy. It had its ups and downs. Months when we didn’t know how we would make payroll and flying high after landing a large account that could sustain us for months in the future.

In the end, we exceeded our own expectations. 3 years prior to our kids graduating high school, we got the call from a larger company that saw value in acquiring our product line. Shortly after, I said sayonara to the daily grind.

After 3 years of retirement, it’s time to reflect and share with you lessons I’ve learned.

1. Early Retirement Conjures Up Unexpected Emotions

Literally the month after we retired, we saw our boys off to college and began traveling. Starting in Canada, we visited the maritime provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edwards Island.

Prince Edwards Island

Prince Edwards Island (Canada)

We then made our way to the Galapagos Islands, Machu Picchu and the Bahamas. We saw extraordinary things. We watched a tortoise painstakingly dig a hole for her eggs.

Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)

We saw the handiwork of the Incas, appreciating the architecture and incredible surroundings of a civilization that’s now long gone.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu (Peru)

And we watched professional divers descend into Dean’s Blue Hole not to come up again for 5 minutes.

Dean's Blue Hole (Bahamas)

Dean’s Blue Hole (Bahamas)

After returning from this incredible 3 month trip, something weird happened. We started settling into our retired life and I began to feel sad. Before I retired, my employees and peers needed me. They were constantly asking for advice, calling and texting for help and now the phone was silent.

I began to mope around and waste my days fretting about what was next in life. Had I made a huge mistake by retiring early?

2. Boredom is Self-Inflicted

After a few weeks of licking my wounds, I read about this phenomenon known as “retirement depression“. It is common for new retirees to go through this because they are left with lots of time to reminisce about the days when their schedules were full and others depended on them.

After a bit of self-reflection, I came to realize that these feelings were driven by boredom. After working really hard all those years to retire early, I needed to get out and enjoy hobbies that I never had time for before.

I found all kinds of new hobbies. I began golfing, working on photography, cycling, hiking, boating, fishing, and blogging. A few weeks later, I couldn’t figure out how I ever worked because my days were so full with things I enjoyed. Depression was fleeting, I was now enjoying life more than ever.

Challenged myself to cycle 50 miles

Challenged myself to cycle 50 miles

3. Traveling provides a World of Amazement

Since retiring, we’ve enjoyed some incredible travels. After our first 3 month trip, we spent an entire summer traveling the western United States. We started in the Grand Tetons and went on to visit California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. We capped that summer trip off with an Alaskan cruise.

Grand Tetons

Practicing Photography in the Grand Tetons (Wyoming)

Hot Springs in Yellowstone

Hot Springs in Yellowstone (Wyoming)

Bigger than life Sequoias in California

Bigger than life Sequoias (California)

Majestic Crater Lake (Oregon)

Majestic Crater Lake (Oregon)

Glaciers (Alaska)

Glaciers (Alaska)

Last Summer, we took our youngest (college aged) son to Europe. We built our itinerary around the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain and capped off the trip in the Italian Riviera. We also visited Paris and Portugal.

Running with the bulls (Pamplona, Spain)

Running with the bulls (Pamplona, Spain)

Italian Riviera

Italian Riviera

As much as we’ve traveled, you would think we had seen it all. Not true, every new place we visit amazes us with something we’ve never encountered before.

4. You can still Fuel your Entrepreneurial Spirit after Retirement

Even though I retired early, I truly loved building my last company. It never really felt like work — it was fun, intellectually stimulating and invigorating. You don’t have to give up that feeling when you retire. You can choose to challenge yourself by starting a new business, a blog or working on pet projects.

I’ve recently done just that. I wanted to learn more about mobile app development so I started a project to develop an iPhone app. Since I love to travel, I built an app to provide peace of mind when traveling. It tracks things that are easy to forget (passwords, passport numbers, banking information, software licenses, etc.). I called the app aMemoryJog because it does just that – it securely tracks things that are easy to forget.
Learn More: http://www.aMemoryJog.com

Developing this app was not about making money. It was about doing something that stimulates me intellectually and provides an outlet for my entrepreneurial spirit. I’ve enjoyed it so much, I’m working on my next app. It will be called Count Us Down and will allow you to count down the days to your next big event (like a vacation or even retirement).
Learn More: http://www.CountUsDown.com.

iPhone Apps for Travel

5. Volunteering yields a Great Sense of Satisfaction

My wife motivated me to begin volunteering. She has volunteered for many years and genuinely enjoys helping others. Based on her example, I started volunteering last year with Habitat for Humanity (HFH). HFH builds homes for low income families and each family must contribute a significant number of hours helping to build their home or help build one for another family.

I belong to the Walton County Florida chapter and last year we renovated 1 home for a family and built 2 homes from scratch. Not only is volunteering incredibly satisfying, you get to know the family you are building for and you understand the how important it is for them.

Habitat for Humanity Volunteer work

Habitat for Humanity Volunteer work

Conclusion

Retirement is just another phase of life. Don’t over analyze it. Embrace new hobbies, travel to new places, experience other cultures, stimulate your intellect and enjoy life — you’ve earned it!

About the Author

Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about about lifestyle freedom, financial independence and technology. If you like this blog,subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

Steve uses Personal Capital to manage all of his finances and investments because it is free and very robust. If you would like to download a free copy of Personal Capital, you can do that here.

Follow me: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin  |  Subscribe to this Blog

Where can you find Old Relics Surrounded by Modern Buildings?

Fort Collins, Colorado is a cool city. It has plenty of stores and shopping, great bike paths, lots of hiking areas, and a hipstery vibe. However, I think one of the coolest things about Fort Collins is that the city was built around a farming town. As you traverse the streets of the city, you will see old buildings that were left standing as new, more modern buildings encircle them.

Here are just a few examples of this.

Old Barns

This old barn is right next to a bank, eateries (Pancake House and Fuzzy’s) and a cycling shop.

Old Barn

Old Barn

Old Barn

Old Barn

As you drive around Fort Collins, you will see farmland with working barns.

Modern Barn

Modern Barn

Work Sheds

These work sheds are located just behind a bicycle shop.

Work sheds

Work sheds

Work Sheds

Work Sheds

Old Farm Houses

This old farm house has now been converted into a State Farm office.

Old Farm House

Old Farm House

This homestead has not been used for years.

Old Homestead

Old Homestead

Old Homestead

Old Homestead

Old Farm House

Old Farm House

I’ll leave you with one last picture, we caught this double rainbow after an afternoon shower.

Pot of Gold?

Pot of Gold?

Brought to you by Flip Flop Software

Here are a couple of apps you may be interested in:

  • Count Us Down – It’s fun to count down the days to big events like vacations, weddings, births, concerts, and sporting events. The really cool thing about the Count Us Down app is that you can share those big events with friends and family and you can count down together.
  • aMemoryJog – Organize all of your passwords and other easy-to-forget information with the aMemoryJog app. aMemoryJog works on the web and on your iPhone and seamlessly syncs together.

CountUsDownANDaMemoryJog

Can boating get more beautiful than this?

 

My wife and sons gave me the best Father’s Day present I could have hoped for — a day on Lake Dillon. Lake Dillon is located just outside of Breckenridge Colorado and has incredible views. Mountain vistas and islands within the lake make this an ideal place for boating.

Lake Dillon

Lake Dillon

Mountain Vistas

Mountain Vistas

Renting a boat on Lake Dillon is surprisingly inexpensive. Our 2 hour rental set us back $115. The boat is an 18 foot runabout, perfect size for 4 people.

Skipper for the day

Skipper for the day

First Mate

First Mate

We cruised around the lake listening to my favorite album (Lucky Old Sun by Kenny Chesney) and my boys and I enjoyed a cigar.

Ryan enjoying a cigar

Ryan enjoying a cigar

Best Father's Day Ever!

Best Father’s Day Ever!

We watched as the sailboats raced around the lake and enjoyed a picnic lunch on the water. It was a great day.

Sailboats on Lake Dillon

Sailboats on Lake Dillon

Brought to You by Flip Flop Software

There were sailboats racing by as we enjoyed a picnic lunch on the water. All in all, a great day!Brought to you by Flip Flop Software

Here are a couple of apps you may be interested in:

  • Count Us Down – It’s fun to count down the days to big events like vacations, weddings, births, concerts, and sporting events. The really cool thing about the Count Us Down app is that you can share those big events with friends and family and you can count down together.
  • aMemoryJog – Organize all of your passwords and other easy-to-forget information with the aMemoryJog app. aMemoryJog works on the web and on your iPhone and seamlessly syncs together.

CountUsDownANDaMemoryJog

Rites of Passage: Touring New Belgium Brewery with my Son

Our oldest son, Cameron, turned 21 years old in November. This was our first visit to Fort Collins, Colorado to visit him since he turned 21.

Cameron said that many years ago I promised to take him to Ireland when he turned 21 to sit at a local pub and he could share his first beer with me. I don’t remember that promise and his schedule with college was too busy to make that a reality so we decided to share our first beer together closer to home — at New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado.

New Belgium Brewery with Cameron

New Belgium Brewery with Cameron

New Belgium Brewery

If you’ve ever drank a Fat Tire craft beer,  you’ve had beer by New Belgium. New Belgium brewery was started in 1991 after founder Jeff Lebesch toured breweries in Belgium on his bicycle. The first beer they produced was named “Fat Tire”, after that Belgium trip.

New Belgium is now the 8th largest brewery in the USA and has almost 500 employees. They will soon be opening a brewery in Ashville, North Carolina.

New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado

New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado

 

New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado

New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado

If you are ever in Fort Collins, Colorado, you must take a tour of New Belgium. The tour lasts about an hour where you will learn the history of New Belgium, the process of creating beer, and you get to sample lots of beer along the way.

New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado

New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado

Getting a job at New Belgium is difficult because so many people want to work there. Our tour guide was talking about how his interview went. He first purchased several cases of Fat Tire beer and used it as the backdrop for his video interview.

New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado

New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado

New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado

New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado

New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado

New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado

New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado

New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado

The employees of New Belgium all own stock in the company and are encouraged to drive energy efficient automobiles. They have electric filling stations for electric cars.

Environmentally conscious

Environmentally conscious

IMG_3179

Once the tour was over, we were invited to slide down the New Belgium slide and of course we took part.

New Belgium Slide

New Belgium Slide

Oskar Blues Brewery

A few days later, we went to a brewery in Longmont, Colorado that we had never been to. It was called Oskar Blues and the tasting room had a really cool hipsterish kinda vibe.

Oskar Blues Brewery was started in 1997 by Dale Katechis and are unique because they don’t bottle any beer. They only package cans and kegs.

You may have tried their Dale’s Pale Ale, it is a popular beer that was named “Best Pale Ale” by the New York Times in 2005.  Dale Katechis first brewed Dale’s Pale Ale in his bathtub while a student at Auburn University.

Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont, Colorado

Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont, Colorado

We went with a couple of friends we met last year in Fort Collins and we are now starting to get to know them better. It was a great way to spend an afternoon.

Doug and Julie - our new Fort Collins buddies

Doug and Julie – our new Fort Collins buddies

There was a band playing and as you can see from the pictures, dogs are welcome and shoes are optional. My kind of bar.

Band from Maine

Band from Maine

Pinner (a small joint) - it is Colorado!

Pinner (a small joint) – it is Colorado!

Shoes optional

Shoes optional

Cool funky vibe

Cool funky vibe

Brought to you by MemoryJog

This blog was brought to you by aMemoryJog, a free password management app for the iPhone. If you are looking for an app to track your passwords and other easy-to-forget information, download aMemoryJog now at http://apple.co/1BsnQ7K. Why not, it’s free!

Free Password Keeper

Exploring History in Savannah, Georgia

We’ve wanted to explore Savannah, Georgia for some time now and we finally grabbed the opportunity.

Original Capital of Georgia

Savannah was the first city to be settled by the British in the Georgia colony and later became the capital. It was settled by General James Oglethorpe to protect the Carolinas from Spanish owned Florida and French owned Louisiana. It is a port city on the eastern coast of Georgia.

Map of Savannah Georgia

The architecture of Savannah reminded us of European cities we’ve visited but the moss laden trees really give it character.

European Style Cathedrals

European Style Cathedrals

Savannah City Hall

Savannah City Hall

Mossy trees

Mossy trees

Mossy trees

Mossy trees

Savannah has 22 squares, giving it a distinct European feel.

Square with statue of Oglethorpe

Square with statue of Oglethorpe

Savannah is a vibrant city especially during the tourist season when they attract millions of visitors. We visited several museums and took a city tour. You can also take ghost tours (it is supposedly the most haunted city in the south) and carriage rides.

Ghost Tours

Ghost Tours

Carriage Rides

Carriage Rides

Tybee Island

Referred to as “Savannah Beach”, Tybee Island is a short car ride away. The Tybee Island Light Station was the first lighthouse on the Southern Atlantic Coast.

Tybee Island Light Station

Tybee Island Light Station

Along the beach are swings where you can rest as you take in the scenery. I wish we had these in Panama City Beach!

Swings along the beach

Swings along the beach

Katie taking a brief walk

Katie taking a brief walk

Fort Pulaski

On the way to Tybee Island is Fort Pulaski, the largest fort in Savannah, designed to protect Savannah during the Civil War. The fort was no match for the rifled cannons of the Union army and it fell to Union soldiers. As you walk around the fort, you can see a cannon ball still lodged in the exterior walls of the fort.

Fort Pulaski

Fort Pulaski

Fort Pulaski

Fort Pulaski

Fort Pulaski

Fort Pulaski

Fort Pulaski

Fort Pulaski

Fort Pulaski

Fort Pulaski

Fort Pulaski

Fort Pulaski

Fort Pulaski

Fort Pulaski

Fort Pulaski

Fort Pulaski

Fort Pulaski

100 Year Old Home

We rented a 100 year old home during our stay. It had a 4 sided fireplace shaped like a diamond so that the 4 adjoining rooms had their own fireplace, all sharing the same chimney. Very cool.

4 sided fireplace

4 sided fireplace

Savannah Breweries

As we usually do, we sought out the local brew houses. We visited Moon River Brewing Company and enjoyed a nice amber ale.

Moon River Brewing Company

Moon River Brewing Company

Moon River Brewing Company

Moon River Brewing Company

Slide Show of Savannah

If you would like to see a slide show of pictures we took in Savannah, click the image below.

Slideshow

Brought to you by aMemoryJog

This blog was brought to you by aMemoryJog, a free password management app for the iPhone. If you are looking for an app to track your passwords and other easy-to-forget information, download aMemoryJog now at http://apple.co/1BsnQ7K. Why not, it’s free!

Free Password Keeper

Hanging with the Snow Birds in Hilton Head, SC

This was our first visit to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Hilton Head sits just off the southeastern coast of South Carolina and offers 12 miles of beachfront property lining the Atlantic Ocean.

Hilton Head SC

Hilton Head SC

Thousands of years ago, Hilton Head was a seasonal habitation for native Americans and was settled by European explorers for sea island cotton trade. It was an important island for the Civil War as it served the Union navy with an important blockade route for the southern ports. Once the Union had control of the island, many slaves migrated there and they became known as “native islanders”.

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island

Sunrise in Hilton Head

We stayed in a newly renovated 1 bedroom condo with water views. It was nicely decorated and we enjoyed our stay there. During our time there, we met numerous snow birds from Ontario, Canada. They were staying for months at a time.

Katie enjoying the beach

Katie enjoying the beach

Lighthouse in Hilton Head

Lighthouse in Hilton Head

Sunrise in Hilton Head

One of the things that surprised us was that there were tons on people walking the beaches, even at 50 degrees Fahrenheit. One morning I woke up early and caught the sunrise.

Sunrise on Hilton Head

Sunrise on Hilton Head

Hilton Head Sunrise

Hilton Head Sunrise

Sunrise in Hilton Head

Sunrise in Hilton Head

Baynard Ruins

We also visited the Baynard Ruins, a plantation home that included a main house and slave quarters. The house which overlooked the Calibogue Sound near the south end of the island, was built by Captain Jack Stoney as part of Braddock’s Point Plantation around 1793.

Baynard Ruins

Baynard Ruins

The house remained in the Stoney family for several decades until it was lost by a Stoney heir in a late-night poker game. The new owner was William Baynard, a highly successful cotton planter who occupied the former Stoney home from 1840 until his death in 1849.

Baynard Ruins

Baynard Ruins

The home was raided during the Civil War and Union forces made it their headquarters. It burned down shortly after the Civil War.

Baynard Ruins

Baynard Ruins

Golfing in Hilton Head

Unfortunately, I did not bring my golf clubs on this trip but Hilton Head has lots of incredibly manicured golf courses. I will have to make another trip back here to golf at some time in the future.

Scenic Hilton Head

Scenic Hilton Head

Scenic Hilton Head

Scenic Hilton Head

Slide Show of Hilton Head

If you would like to see a slide show of pictures we took at Hilton Head, click on the picture below.

Hilton Head SC Slide Show

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