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Michael Elyard


Family Page

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Summit of Berchtesgaden, Hitler’s “Eagle’s Nest” retreat in the Alps of Bavaria - 2001

Vatican City - Rome, Italy - 2001

Border of Alaska - 2007

Seneca Rocks WV overlook - 2008








We have been very fortunate to have lived in and visited many interesting locations around the world while assigned to various US Air Force Bands.  Beginning in 1985 (when Beth and I were married), we were stationed at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia.  In June 1989, we loaded up the car and drove 4,500 miles to our new assignment, the PACAF Band at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska.  Spencer was born there in Feb 1990, so he is a true native Alaskan.  In June of 1996, we moved again to Offutt AFB, Nebraska (just south of Omaha).  For a while, we thought we might end up finishing my USAF enlistment there in Nebraska, but in January 2000, it was off to Germany, where I was stationed at Sembach/Ramstein Air Bases.  We home-schooled Spencer while we were in Germany (using the GREAT online program through the state of Alaska), so we had many opportunities to include travel into his education.  While other 10-12 year olds were reading about the Eiffel Tower, the Mona Lisa, Normandy and D-Day, the canals of Venice, the leaning tower of Pisa, the Roman Coliseum, the concentration camp of Dachau, etc, etc, Spencer was actually there experiencing it.  In January 2003, we packed our bags for the final USAF move to Scott AFB, Illinois (just east of St. Louis). 

Spencer enrolled in Mascoutah High School, where he graduated in 2008. We moved back to West Virginia in June 2008, and Spencer began working on his dual majors at WVU – aerospace and mechanical engineering – where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He married his sweetheart, Lauren, in May 2014 and they moved to Maryland where Spencer is working as an Aerospace Engineer. 

In November 2013, our lives came around full circle and we bought a house in Morgantown WV, where we met nearly 30 years earlier. We painted several rooms then hired a company to strip out all of the carpet (dining room, living room, steps, hallway, and 3 bedrooms) and sand/refinish the beautiful oak floor underneath. Since then, we have painted the entire house, had a new roof installed, and worked on landscaping. In the back yard, we fixed up a nice garden, where Beth loves to spend her free time.  Hazey, our neighbor's cat, loves to spend time with us. Now it looks and feels like "home". 


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  50 Top Photos of our time in Alaska (1989-1996 and visit in 2007) selected from over 10,000 photos and slides



****  NEW:   U.S. Navy Blue Angels  at Naval Air Station Patuxent River - 2018 ****



****  NEW:  2019 Drive To The Southwest - 29 Days, 6,500 Miles, 7 National Parks, 19 States ****

(All Pages Are Completed - Pick Your Day or Location, or Ride The Whole Trip With Us)


JUST UPDATED   ****   Alaska Road Trip – July 2007  ****    JUST UPDATED

(Join us on our 9,500-mile round-trip ride from Illinois to Alaska and back – Day by day account with photos)




Home Isolation Meals -  Improvised meals during the Pandemic   24 April 2020 -  Chicken Cordon Bleu



****  NEW:  U.S. National Arboretum - Washington D.C. (June 2019)  ****

(Late posting - Sorry!)


Fall Colors - They're Here! 24 Oct 2019  ****


  Fall Colors II - WV/MD/PA -  14 Oct 2019 ****


  Dolly Sods / Blackwater Falls Fall Colors - Oct 2019 ****


Wisconsin State Fair and Lauber Farm - August 2019  ****


 Gardens of Virginia - Glen Burnie and JMU:  June 2019 


Gettysburg: May 2019


 Ohio/Wisconsin/Michigan: May 2019

Tulips and Sculpture Gardens - LOTS of Photos


  Gateway Classic Cars / Kenosha, Wisconsin:  May 2019 

Lots of classic and rare cars - Which One Would I Bring Home?


 Seneca Rocks Hike and Picnic:  May 02, 2019 


 Swallow Falls State Park, Maryland:  April 27, 2019 


 Watch The Fall Colors Come Alive in WV Over 2 Weeks 

Cooper's Rock and Grant/Pendleton Counties - Oct 19 thru Oct 30


 Flat Stanley Joins Us For A Trip Around West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland  

Join us for a week of adventure, driving underwater, and great seafood.  October 2018


    NEW -  Dolly Sods / Blackwater Falls / Seneca Rocks 

In Search of Fall Colors

October 2018



Some Of Our Favorite Family Trips - Alaska, Europe, and mainland USA


Old Friends Race Horse Retirement Farm in Kentucky - August 2018 -  Over 100 retired race horses - Some have won the Kentucky Derby and more! 

2018 West Virginia State Fair - August 2018   -   Join us in Lewisburg for the 2018 WV State Fair

August 2018 Garrett County Fair (Maryland)     - A great county fair just over the border in Maryland.

Wisconsin - Green Bay - Mackinac Island - Sault St. Marie - Ontario, Canada - Niagara Falls  July 2018  - Join us for a drive around the Great Lakes!

Rt 40 National Road from West Virginia to Illinois - August 2017 Compare photos from 1950 and 1980 with today.

Normandy/D-Day/Paris – 2002  (Beaches of Normandy / German fortifications / Rouen (Joan of Arc) – then we toured Paris

Italy – 2001  (Motorcoach bus trip to Venice, Rome/Vatican City, Pisa, Florence, and more)

London/English Channel Crossing – 2002  (We drove to Calais, France and rode the ferry across to Dover – visited London and Greenwich)

Berchtesgaden   -  2001   (Visit Hitler’s retreat high in the Bavarian Alps, near the area they filmed “The Sound of Music”)

Garmisch/Zugspitze  -  2002   (Come visit this quaint village in the Bavarian Alps bordering Austria, along with a cable car ride to the summit of this 9,718-foot peak)


Below are some of our other family outings.  Hope you enjoy them.

New England June 2015 - Acadia National Park / Niagara Falls - Beth and I went on a trip we had planned for years. Kind of a 30-year-anniversary honeymoon.

Phipp's Conservatory - Pittsburgh PA  (from several visits in 2015)

Fall Colors Tour 2014 WV-VA   October 2014  (Join us on an overnight drive through southern WV and up along the border of WV and VA to look at fall colors)

Chesapeake Bay MD / Skyline Drive Fall Colors  Sept 2014 (We travel down to see Spencer and Lauren, enjoy fresh MD seafood, and return via Skyline Drive with fall colors)

Seneca Rocks  -  2008  (Join us as we climb one of West Virginia’s most recognizable landmarks – see some family photos at the overlook from previous trips)

Mr Gyros - One of our favorite places to eat. Located in Washington PA about 45 minutes north of Morgantown.

Central Diner in Robinson Township west of Pittsburgh PA (near the airport)

Chili Cook-Off    Beth and Mike make their favorite chili recipes