On the Way Home: Pittsburgh, Loveland, Bloomington, St. Louis, and Vegas–and back to Maui!

The holidays make me think of family, so finally, I’ll report on the rest of our trip on the U.S. Mainland, an important part of which was getting to visit relatives.

On the way to Loveland, near Cincinnati, to see Paul, my oldest nephew, and his great family, we first spent several days  with Servas hosts.  The first was a wonderful Servas family outside Philadelphia; they welcomed  us on very short notice.  We first met them in a park to listen to a great concert!

Music in the park

Music in the park

The xxxx Family

Servas hosts: David and Jenny’s musical family.

And then our surprise was Pittsburgh–no more steel mills but a wonderful city of rivers, bridges, museums, and music!  The incline, which is what used to take workers to the steel mills, is now a tourist cable/trolley car ride.

Pittsburgh at dusk

Pittsburgh at dusk

Barry and our friendly Servas host, Marguerite xx

Barry and our friendly Servas host, Marguerite.

Then on to Loveland.

Although near a city, their town is woodsy and green.  Can you see the face in the tree?  Paul and Piper added it to one of their trees.

Although near a big city, Loveland is woodsy and green. Can you see the face in the tree? It’s Paul and Pipe’s addition.

Cole and Piper Lynn

Piper Lynn and Cole

Paul and Piper Lynn

Paul and Piper Lynn – bouncing on tree limb

Cole and Wendy

Cole and Wendy

Yummy dinner with family

Yummy dinner with family

Then on to Bloomington, Indiana (home of basketball — Indiana University) to see cousins Vanessa, Ryan, Ashlyn, and Carsyn.

Vanessa and Carsyn making dinner

Vanessa and Carsyn making dinner

On the swings

On the swings

Family dog

Another cute family dog

Then back to St. Louis in time for fireworks.

Fireworks over the Mississippi River

Fireworks over the Mississippi River

Family

Family

Rocky

Rocky – another family member

St. Louis neighborhood cafe where we laughed and talked.

St. Louis neighborhood cafe where we laughed and talked.

Cousin Elaine has been researching our family history with the help of a Wisconsin cousin and Vanessa.   They found we are related to Mary Laney Backensto Moreland whose grave is in the Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis.    One hot summer day, my sister, cousin, and I ventured out to see what we could discover.  Established in 1857, Bellefontaine Cemetery has numerous historic and extravagant tombstones and mausoleums for prominent local and state politicians, as well as soldiers of the American Civil War.

Newly discovered (by us) family graves from 1863.

Newly discovered (by us) family graves from 1863–including that of Mary Laney Backenstoe Moreland.

Mary Laney Backenstoe Moreland’s  will was executed in 1864 in St. Louis City. [When Elaine first wrote to me about Mary, I read that she was executed in 1864, which makes a very interesting twist–but not true].    Mary was married to Hanson Moreland a businessman and wagon builder who built the first fire engine for St. Louis and owned land in the city.  Hanson died  on 6/9/1863.  Those buried in this same plot include Mary D. 4/3/1863, Wm. H. Nelson 4/3/1863; Mary Backenstoe 4/3/1863, Virginia T. Moreland 4/3/1863; Lloyd H. Moreland 4/3/1863, Mary L. Moreland 3/22/1864, Fred Fursch 2/20/1867; Mary A. Moxham 6/11/1878.  We don’t yet know why five of them, including Mary Backenstoe, have their date of death as 4/3/1863.  My grandmother, on my father’s side, was a Backenstoe, and my dad’s middle name was Moreland.

The graveyard contains those known and unknown:

Graves of orphans

Graves of orphans

Grave of a known St. Louis man.

Grave of a well-known St. Louis man.

Some of the prominent people buried there include William S Burroughs (writer), Adolphus Busch (founder of Anheuser-Busch), William Clark (of Lewis and Clark), and Thomas Hart Benton (the politician).

Elaine, Trish, and I had fun wandering among the graves in this beautiful old St. Louis cemetery.

As a family, we also celebrated birthdays and being together.

Sister Trish and brother-in-law Chuck.

Sister Trish and brother-in-law Chuck.

Brother Al and sister-in-law Lori.

Brother Al and sister-in-law Lori.

Niece Jennie and her husband, Mark.

Niece Jennie and her husband, Mark.

We’re particularly proud of Mark who besides being a great dad and husband, works in a challenging career, coaches elementary school basketball teams, and  has been continuing his education–for years.  He recently graduated with about 160 credits to earn his B.A.   Yeah, Mark!

Our next stop was Las Vegas where Barry has family–and according to him–you can get the cheapest flights between the Mainland and Maui.

Las Vegas sunset

Las Vegas sunset

Shrimp and poker--Barry's happy

Shrimp and poker–Barry is happy!

Then on to Honolulu to visit friends Jamie, Jeremy, and Lilia:

Jamie and Lilith

Jamie and Lilia

With Lilith, Jeremy, and Barry.

With Lilia, Jeremy, and Barry.

We flew from Honolulu to Molokai and then on to Maui.

We flew from Honolulu to Molokai and then on to Maui on this Pacific Wings plane.

Molokai Cliffs

Molokai Cliffs–from the plane

Maui Cliffs

Maui Cliffs

What is this I see as we come down to land?   There are Hawaiian Canoe Club outriggers out in the harbor.  They have been practicing the whole time I was gone!

What is this I see as we come down to land on Maui?  Hawaiian Canoe Club outriggers, our Kihei Canoe Club rivals,  were out in the harbor. They have been practicing the whole time I was gone!  I have much to do to get ready for regattas!

And we’re back to our son and friends …

Johnny and Nalu at Keanexx

Johnny and Nalu at Keane, on the road to Hana.

and turtles . . .

Endangered Hawksbill Turtle - photo by Cheryl King of xxx

Endangered Hawksbill Turtle – photo by Cheryl King from the Hawksbill Recovery Project of Hawaii Wildlife Fund.  Go to <http://wildhawaii.org/&gt;.

and the whales are now back for the winter.

Although it is great to be on the road, it’s wonderful to be back home.

Aloha,  Renée

*Except where noted, photos by me.

Tags: , , , , , ,

About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: