Archive for August, 2007

Charleston, SC (August 3, 2007)

Thursday, August 9th, 2007

We came into Charleston with a driving rain storm in progress.  We were only in the area for a day, but we had a chance to wander around some of the historic sections.

This is one of the interesting things about many of the old houses, The front door to the houses opens up, not to the inside of the house, but, to an outdoor porch.  Why?  I guess it is because they really don’t have a yard to enjoy in front.  If they want any privacy, they can go to their porch.


Many of the live oak lined streets in the south are gorgeous with moss growing in the trees.  It reminded me of the tunnel effect that the elm trees created where I (Rick) grew up, on National Avenue in Rockford, Ill.


Mount Vernon and Manassas Battlefield (July)

Thursday, August 9th, 2007

Perhaps this will help us catch up.

We spent a couple of weeks visiting Rick’s brother and family.  While there we took in several of the Washington DC points of interest.  It seems like there is a historical sight on every corner.

Mount Vernon 

On a Sunday in late July, we went to Mount Vernon.  George Washington picked out a beautiful site for his house overlooking the Potomac.  The site now contains a museum and several theaters that talk about different portions of Washington’s life and the Revolutionary War.

The house was wooden and the siding had been grooved textured to look like masonry.  Each room had a person talking about the history of that portion of the house.  It was an extremely hot day and the house was sweltering.  This followed an hour wait to enter the house. Further information on Mount Vernon can be found at


This  photo is one you won’t see in the pamphlets. This is George and Martha’s outhouse located about 75 yards from the house.


Manassas Battlefield

Rick’s brother lives in Gainesville and we drove through portions of the Manassas Battlefield every day in order to get to our RV location.

Two major Civil War battles were held at Manassas.  In the summer of 1861, enthusiastic volunteers in colorful uniforms gathered to fight the first major land battle of the war. Confident that their foes would turn and run, neither side anticipated the smoke, din and death of battle. Nearly one year later, both sides met again on the same battlefield with the Confederates winning a solid victory bringing them to the height of their power. Further information is available at:

The place is full of old time fences.  Some are original and others have been repaired.

a-manasas-fence.jpg  a-manassas-fence2.jpg   

This old stone house was located on an edge of the battlefield.


Visit to the Smithsonian (July)

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

We’ve been on whirlwind path through New England that we have not been able to get all of the stops posted.  We’ll take a look back at a couple of the stops we made along the way.

We spent a day visiting the Smithsonian.  The complex consists of 19 museums and 9 research centers.  As you can imagine, one day is not adequate to see everything.  In fact, two weeks wouldn’t be long enough.  During our visit, we elected to take in the original Smithsonian Castle that houses the natural history museum.


The journey through the museum was amazing.  I came around the corner and spotted the two relics shown below.


Other Texas relics were in the same area, including this Dimetrodon Grandis that patrolled Texas during the Permian period about a quarter billion years ago.



Tinka’s favorite was the Hope Diamond.  (She was hinting about our upcoming anniversary)


Further information about the Smithsonian can be found at:

No visit to Washington should go without a visit to the complex.  We plan on taking in more museums on our next visit.

Carolina Beaches Friday August 3, 2007

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

We loved the Outer Banks in North Carolina.  They are the inter-coastal islands.  The towns were fairly small with great 3 or 4 story beach houses ( a level per family) to rent. 


There are only local restaurants to choose from and no national chains.  We always hear about Cape Hatteras on the news if a hurricane is heading to North Carolina.  To get to the island we were RVing on we had to cross a high bridge to Roanoke Island.  At the other end of the island we had to cross on a free ferry to get to Ocracoke Island which was about a 40 minute ride.  We went to the beach on both islands.

There were Duck Blinds out in Sound,. Does that look like fun, especially in the winter?


When we left the Outer Banks of North Carolina our next destination was Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  There were 2 routes we could take.  We could go back to the mainland and drive down the interstate or we could take 2 ferry rides and then get on the mainland of North Carolina later.  We chose the ferry route.  We rode the free ferry for 40 minutes and then drove to the end of Orcacoke Island and caught another ferry that took 2 ½ hours.  It took about the same amount of time as driving but we were not spending our gas or wear and tear on the vehicles and ourselves.  That was a fun and different way to travel to our next destination. The scary part of that was they knew how to squeeze in as many cars as they could on the ferry.  Just look how close we are to the wall. 




We climbed up to the top of the ferry and looked down on our rig to check our roof.  Wish I had a bucket of water to climb across from the top of the ferry and scrub the roof rather than climbing up and down the ladder.


We are now at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina which is fairly close to North Carolina.  It is very different from the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  There is a lot more people in this area and very commercialized for the tourists and more full time residents live in the area.  It is a beautiful place with lots of housing communities built around golf courses.  It is too populated for us.  Much different than the Outer Banks where we just came from but we wonder how long it will take the Outer Banks to be just like Myrtle Beach.  These hotels are right on the beach.  

a-highrises-in-myrtle-beach.JPG a-myrtle-beach.jpg Have you ever been on vacation to a location you are disappointed in and you have spent lots of money and time to get there?  What do you do?  You still go see all the sights and spend all your money on food and hotels.  Having our house with us gives us flexibility.  Since we really liked the Outer Banks and not real crazy about Myrtle Beach we saw what we wanted to see here and then just relaxed around our “house”.  If we were on real vacation we would be not-stop tourists until time to leave not matter what. Big sand castle.  Sorry to disappoint you but we didn’t create that.


Next stop—Charleston, South Carolina.