Archive for the ‘Virginia’ Category

Traveling by Air August 23, 2007

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

Tomorrow we both fly out of Tampa.  Rick flies to VA and will meet up with Justin, his son, in order to attend Bob’s memorial service on Saturday.  It will be held at the Grace Episcopal Church in The Plains, VA.


Tinka will not accompany Rick as she already had commitments in Dallas this weekend.  She has a doctor’s appt.  She will shop for school clothes for Ayden, our granddaughter, and take her to the first day of school on Monday. She will help Lance celebrate his birthday on Tues.  Tinka will also see Kiri, our daughter-in-law and Gracie, our granddaughter.  This will be a short trip with no time to visit any of our friends.

We will leave our laptop here in Tampa so we will not blog for about a week.

Check back next Friday.

Remembering Bob

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

Robert Levvis (1940 – 2007) 


At 5:12 PM today, August 18th, 2007,  I lost a dear friend and brother to cancer. 

My prayers are with Bob’s wife Lynn, daughter Tammi, son Todd, our mother Nelle, and grandchildren.

Tinka and I were lucky enough to spend a couple of weeks visiting Bob and his family in July.  Gary, my younger brother, and his family were also visiting during some of the same period.  Gary has also been spending the past week trying to help out where needed.

Bob, an avid golfer, has spent many years on the board of directors for the golfing community in which he lived.  He will be missed by all those friends and coworkers he has been associated with through the years.

Bob, I love you and will forever miss you.


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.


Washington DC Wednesday, July 17, 2007

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

A few days ago we went on a van tour of Washington, DC.  The tour guide picked us up right at our RV site.  Nice!!!!!  When we boarded, there was already one couple in the van.  Then we drove around the RV Park and stopped at another site and picked up 6 more people in a popup.  Mom and Dad and 4 children. They were 13, 8, 6 and 5.  We both thought, OH NO!!!!  But those children were wonderfully behaved all day long.  As we got out at the end of the day we gave each of them some money as a treat to spend on their vacation.

VA and DC are totally dripping in history.  It seems like every exit has a sign showing a battlefield or a museum.  Most highways and main streets are named for someone in history.  I wonder how many museums there are in the area?Back to our tour.  The first place Lena, our guide, dropped us off was at the Arlington Cemetery.  Just a bunch of burial sites?  NO!!  Robert E Lee’s Mansion sits on top of the hill looking over the land.  


A view of Washington DC from the mansion.

 a-lee-mansion-view.jpg Just down the hill from the front of the mansion was the eternal light and

John Kennedy’s burial site (and his family). 

 a-JFK and Flame

 Nearby was Robert Kennedy’s site with just a simple white cross as a headstone. 


 There are all kinds of statues on the land. 

There is an interesting story about the mansion, which is called the Arlington House.  The mansion, which was intended as a living memorial to George Washington, was owned and constructed by the first president’s adopted grandson, George Washington Parke Custis, son of John Parke Custis, who was a child of Martha Washington by her first marriage and a stepson of George Washington.  Custis built the house on top of the mountain overlooking Washington DC.  The mansion is a faux limestone in front.  He wanted to make an impression on the people looking up at the mansion.  The back end on the house was not done that way because he said no one could see it.  George Washington Parke Custis and his wife, Mary Lee Fitzhugh (whom he had married in 1804), lived in Arlington House for the rest of their lives and were buried together on the property in 1857 and 1853, respectively. On June 30, 1831, Custis’ only child, Mary Anna Randolph Custis, married her childhood friend and distant cousin, Robert E. Lee.Lee was the son of former three-term Virginia Governor Henry (“Light Horse Harry”) Lee and, like his father, was a graduate of West Point.  The couple lived in the house and were keepers, not owners of the land and house.  When Robert E Lee went to fight for the Confederate Army, he and his wife moved away from the mansion during the Civil War.  For a joke(?) the Union Army started burying the Union Soldiers and slaves on the 1,100 acres that Lee had lived on and made his home.  Lee never returned to the Arlington House.For the story click on the blue.

 We saw the changing of the guards of the Tomb of the Unknown Solder.  That was a very precise military exercise and intense to watch. 




There are 30 to 40 funerals there every day.  There was a funeral going on and we saw the laying of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 


Then right after that we saw a funeral procession with a military band, then 6 horses (with 3 horses with the missing riders) pulling the casket just like during JFK’s funeral procession. 


 Not everyone gets to see all 3 when they visit Arlington Cemetery.  We were very lucky.

Tomorrow we will post the rest of the tour.

Virginia Location Change, Friday 7-13-2007

Friday, July 13th, 2007

We are still in Virginia visiting Rick’s brother and his family.  His younger brother and family have returned to CT.  We stayed at a beautiful RV Park with lots of trees all around us.  The problem with that is we didn’t get any satellite TV and poor phone and wifi service.  So we moved the other day to another pretty place with trees, but they are not right near us.  We are closer to Rick’s brother’s house also.


We have been into Washington, DC on a tour.  We will put pictures about that tour here soon.  We are heading to Mt. Vernon today.

Just wanted to let you all know we are still alive and well and enjoying ourselves.