Thursday, November 30, 2006
30 November 2006
The campground got one last shot at us. In the pouring rain, we hooked up the toad and started out, only to find that the narrow and twisting road downstream of the assigned “Big Rig” spot was not able to handle the combined length of the vehicles and so we had to disconnect the toad and actually go to the entrance road to hook back up. Yep-still in the rain.
Today, we also completed our second transit within three days of the Atlanta highway system. If you have made this journey, I need say no more. If you have not made this journey at rush hour, I am at a loss for words to explain how entertaining it is.
We are now overnighting in Montgomery, AL. When we checked in we received a lot of weather related information concerning what to do if???
So checking the weather channels and internet, we caught up on the huge storm heading north to remind everyone that winter in already here in many places. It looks like we might get lucky here and just get some high winds and hopefully non-damaging thunderstorms. We arrived here on the day that tied the record for high temperature that was set in 1929. We enjoyed the 79 degrees and sat in the shadow of the motorhome and enjoyed a pleasant sunset that will be the last with these temperatures for perhaps months to come in this area.
28 November 2006
Today we traveled from Charlotte, NC to Resaca, GA to visit with Gretchen and BO. We selected a KOA very nearby their home as a good base for the two days. It had glowing literary prose in the guide about their wooded sites with privacy and suitable for big rigs. Imagine our surprise when we arrived and found this very small and less than adequate campground. With considerable difficulty we found a space to park that had the coach hanging out at both ends. The only thing big about the place was the very long list of rules. Rather than a sign of welcome, you were greeted by a large sign of multiple warnings about the penalties of breaking the long list of rules. It turns out that, at least for us, KOA stood for Kampground of annoyance.
But we put this frustration behind and had a great evening with Gretchen and Bo and caught up on events since our last visit in March. We saw first hand some of the big changes since our last visit. Bo has been converted into a cat lover and they have gone from keeping the neighbor cats at bay to owning five very cute cats. Four of them are Bengal cats, which are a breed that is relatively new, and look very much like little tigers. They have made a special addition on the porch which gives the cats a great place to safely enjoy the outdoors.
Of course, the discussions would not be complete without sharing our excitement about the arrival of the new addition to the family in the spring. We are all looking forward to this big event. There will be many changes to come in the future months as preparations are made for the new arrival.
29 November 2006
While Gretchen and Bo worked, we headed out to see Ruby falls and checking in with an Itasca dealer about our leaking slide. No luck with the slide, but the trip to Ruby Falls cave and underground water fall was definitely worth the trip.
We got to spend another enjoyable evening with Gretchen and Bo. Regretfully, we have to move on to meet a too tight schedule for a planned get together in Las Vegas for the holidays. We will be back in the spring.
Monday, November 27, 2006
26 and 27 November 2006
Sunday is our last day in this State Park which, except for the rain, we have enjoyed very much. I can highly recommend it to anyone wanting a rustic setting with good facilities. Katie developed this strong urge to have a game called the Wii, so she arrived at the appropriate store much before the crack of dawn to stand in line. She sent a text message to say she was successful and would arrive to show us her prize after she had a nap. Thus, we decided to spend some time hiking in the woods waiting for our daughter to arrive. It was a great day and good exercise. After our return, we prepared a campfire to end all campfires to celebrate our time here with Katie and to await her arrival. She appeared in the mid-afternoon with her prize game. Before we could start the campfire, we had to take in the gear she wished us to transport back to Las Vegas and, of course, try the game. I must admit it was good with real action with the whole body being involved. I think I hurt myself playing tennis. Just like real life! Just like the old days, she managed to trash the coach with her stuff, and yes, she left us to clean it up after her departure. AAHH-fond memories.
The campfire was indeed great and signaled an end to our time in Virginia.
On Monday we traveled to Charlotte, NC and found a very nice layover spot at the Field Ridge acres Campground. Tomorrow, we will arrive in GA to visit with our oldest daughter and her husband- Gretchen and Bo.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Okay. No one attempted to answer quiz one. There can be several reasons for this. Zip interest or no one knew the answer. The answer is: The White House of the Confederacy in Richmond, Va, where President Jefferson Davis and his family resided for most of the Civil War period. This house is on the property of the Museum of the Confederacy noted in our blog.
This time we will try something less historical. The pictures in this post have something in common. What is it?
25 November 2006
Today we ventured to Newport News,VA to visit the mariner’s Museum and visit a newly found favorite store-Trader Joe’s.
The Mariner’s Museum proved to be a great find. It contained a large number of exhibits in three main areas of maritime history: small craft, commercial shipping and military marine history. We enjoyed the large collection of small craft from many countries and time periods. The many exhibits ran the gambit from history of the age of exploration and discovery to commercial ships, military ships of past fame and a special exhibit on Lord Admiral H. Nelson. They have a civil war exhibit and are working on a new exhibit on the Monitor, also of civil war fame. If you have any interest in Maritime history, you will not want to miss this museum
24 November 2006
I am glad to report that the Turkey and all the rest of the food for Thanksgiving came out great. So we are now apparently qualified to prepare food in a convection oven. We ate our fill and enjoyed the day. Today we worked in our wet compartments as the sun was out with rising temperatures. The outside storage areas dried quickly, but we continued to attempt to get the heavily padded carpet on the inside storage dry. We purchased a small wet Vac and pulled some additional water out of the carpet, so hopefully that will speed up the drying process.
We took this opportunity of good weather to take care of some basic necessity chores, which we generally do not discuss in polite society.
We enjoyed a pleasant day around the park and built a campfire and cooked dinner and marshmallows over the open fire under a star filled sky.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
It rained all day the 21st, 22nd and all this morning for a grand total of three days with high winds. A good size tree across from our spot failed during the wind storm and luckily went into the woods and not towards us. This on top of the big storm last week that gave us four inches of rain in only a little over 8 hours.
Like a number of holidays in the past, while camping or boating, there are issues that always seem to arise on the holiday. This time it was weather related and dealing with the bugs in a new motorhome. By chance we looked in some out of the out of the way storage areas of the coach and discovered a lot of moisture. So the hunt was on. One area was easily discovered and repaired with a bit more conduit putty. However, the leak inside the coach in the bedroom was both more troubling and uncertain as to source. I believe I have finally isolated it to the rear seal of the bedroom slide. A fix on this is pending support advice from our dealer via e-mail.
We are just trying for the first time our convection open. We managed to get the pumpkin pie baked correctly and will find out how the Turkey turns out in a few hours. I wonder how a sandwich will sit with Katie if this project goes south?
Despite these minor annoyances, we have a lot to be thankful for including our families and good health ( for our age-as my doctor likes to say). We have two children in the military, our daughter Katie, who we are here to visit, in this rain infested area and our son-in-law who is stationed in FL, but soon will be sent to Iraq. So we are always very aware of the risks of life. We are also thankful that our oldest daughter and her husband, Gretchen and Bo, are expecting their first child in the spring.
We also wish all our friends and family a very happy and safe (and dry) thanksgiving!!
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
20 November 2006
We headed out to the James River plantation row on the road between Richmond and Jamestown/Williamsburg. With a number of plantations to choose from, we decided on the Shirley Plantation, which is the oldest settled plantation in VA. What makes it even more interesting is the fact that it has been continuously owned and operated by the same family since the mid 1600’s. Certainly, that alone is more than can be said about most modern businesses and may well be the oldest continuous business in the country. While the physical facilities do not leave you with any real WOW factor, what is very impressive is the plantation’s long history both in length of time and the part it enjoyed in the history of this young country. Due to the wealth and influence of the various owners (in one family) and its strategic location on the James River, the plantation hosted many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and other notables such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and even Robert E. Lee. Lee’s mother was born in this home and where she married Lee’s father. Lee spent time here both as a child and after the Civil War was over. It has continued to be an operating plantation throughout its history. Indeed, while we were visiting, the harvesting of the cotton crop was in progress.
At its peak, it was over 4000 acres and had up to 150 slaves working the fields. The eldest of the family which oversaw this operation also owned a number of other plantations in a number of counties and reportedly had over 800 slaves. He was referred to as King, since he was thought to be the wealthiest man in the colonies.
When you reflect on the history that is embedded in this relatively small part of this country and the detail that is known about places such as Shirley Plantation, you realize how little you really know about the history of this country. I have always amused myself with the idea that I was fairly well informed about certain parts of our history, but I am forced to admit that I have never heard of this influential family or their relationship to many of the well known figures in US history. Looks like I need to keep traveling to improve myself!
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Today was a second trip to Williamsburg, this time with our daughter, Katie. We got a late start as we had a large campfire last night with Katie and one of her classmates that went on past midnight. It was a great time and brought back many memories our camping trips when the kids were small.
This trip started with one of those life reversals that I guess one expects as both you and your children get older. We had agreed to meet and start the trip at 1000. Now much of my life, or so it seems, has been taken up waiting for our children to get ready to go any place. So, while I acknowledge we were maybe 15 minutes late starting, I was still amazed by the call that went something like-Where are you- I have gotten up and had breakfast, coffee and gassed up the car and I am ready to go. You are late! And I am not happy. HA HA, I loved it! I slowed my preparations down just a bit.
The rest of the day went smoothly and we enjoyed a walk around the colonial area and lunch in the King’s Arms again. Of course, no road trip like this would be complete without the apparently obligatory stop at the outlet mall where of course my budget suffered a few more blows.
We have been led to believe that folks that read this kind of log like to participate by showing their knowledge in various areas. So we begin today with this question. What is the building in the picture and its significance in history (if any)? You guessed it -there is no prize but the satisfaction of being correct.
Today was a road trip to Richmond, VA to see the sights. First, we went to the historical area know as Shockoe Slip. It is a small area of shops and businesses near the river. We had lunch in the Tobacco Company Restaurant, which was decorated in an elaborate 19th century style and the food was good, as well. We then checked out the 17th street farmer’s market and found that this was not much, at least on this Saturday.
Then we searched and finally found the Museum of the Confederacy. It had been completely swallowed up by a new hospital and university project. This museum contains a good number of original artifacts and art work form the civil war period and appears to attract many history buffs.
We returned in time to meet Katie and a classmate for an evening star gazing program at the Pocahontas State Park. Unfortunately, this was canceled due to clouds. We repaired back to the campsite and built a roaring fire that entertained us for more than 6 hours along with roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. We secured when we ran out of wood.