I thought I’d died and gone to Hilton Head.

Last week, we stayed in Hilton Head Island.  I had never been there and I got the chance to learn the difference between a campground and a motorcoach resort.  OMG!  That place was AWESOME!   Our camp site at the Hilton Head Motorcoach Resort was a completely bricked patio with a deck overlooking a lake, complete with a chiminea and patio furniture.  The resort was beautifully landscaped and had fabulous pool, tennis courts and bike paths to the beach.  We were so spoiled.  We spent the week exploring.  On 10/26 we took a drive to Beaufort South Carolina.  It was named one of the best small towns in America by National Geographic.  It’s a small, quaint town right along a river and it was very pretty and had a lot of big beautiful old southern houses.  We walked along the river and ate lunch and watched the people go by.  On 10/27 we went to Savannah.  Another city that I’ve never been to.  We got in line at Misses Wilkes Boarding House for lunch.  The people start lining up in the mornings and we got there about 10:30 and there were about 25 people already in line.  By the time they open at 11:00, the line was all the way down the street and around the corner.  They only serve until 2:00pm, so I guess if you don’t there early, then you will not get served.  They take about 10 people in at a time and sit them at big tables and serve you family style.  We didn’t have to wait long until we got to go in.  They had an entire table full of food waiting for you….Fried Chicken, green beans, collared greens, creamed corn, baked beans, cole slaw, squash, potatoes, okra, pulled pork, mac and cheese, cabbage, corn bread…etc.  There was a LOT of food and then you got a small dish of banana pudding for dessert.   It was good food, but I don’t know if I would’ve waited in line for hours for it.  Then when you are finished, you have to take your plate and glass to the kitchen.  That was weird, but I guess it’s tradition.

After lunch we took a tour of the Mercer Mansion.  The house from the movie “Midnight in the garden of good and evil”.  The sister of the person the movie was about, now owns the house.  They tour guide didn’t talk about the murder that happened there, just about him being an art dealer and how he was responsible for the restoration of 70 of Savannah’s old mansions.  I imagine they are not allowed to bring that up.   I loved that movie.  You should rent it if you’ve never seen it.  There were pictures of the owner with Kevin Spacey all over the house.

After that we took a tour  of the city.  There are a lot of parks and a lot of big old beautiful mansions here.  It really is a beautiful place, but of course we only see the nice parts.    We went on a ghost tour at night on one of the local trolley’s.  We met a couple from Ohio on the tour.  The husband swore that everywhere he went he got pictures of orb’s and he also said that he saw a ghost in Gettysburg!  His wife just laughed at him and he said that he was surrounded by skeptics at home (head nod in her direction).  He also told us a story about him seeing his dead grandfather when he was little and his wife just rolled her eyes, but I told him that we were going to stick next them him because he seemed to draw ghosts to him.  Unfortunately, we didn’t see any ghosts or any orbs at all.  I thought is was a fun tour, but I start giggling and people get really pissed when they think you are making fun of the ghost hunting thing.   I took this picture of mom and started cracking up and had to work really hard to make myself stop laughing….look at this….is that NOT funny?DSCN0390

She was pointing at the couch because the tour guide said a ghost was always seen sitting on that couch.  I said “point to the couch where the ghost sits”….

The last couple of days there spent enjoying the beaches and sights of Hilton Head Island, doing some camper maintenance and getting a much-needed haircut.  There is one end of the island that you have to pay $6.00 to just drive thru, which is ridiculous.  I think they just want to make sure that the riff raff that cannot afford $6.00, stay out.  Fortunately, there are other beaches on the Island and BOY do they know how to make beach going swanky!  The walkways to the beach have: restrooms, little individual changing rooms, covered decks with Adirondack chairs and swings, an area right off the beach with foot sprayers to wash the sand off your feet and even a long walkway that is made out of this mesh like stuff so that you can almost go all the way out to the water without getting sand in your shoes!  OMG!  Why have I never been here?    Probably because I am not rich.. Oh….yeah, damn it.  Oh well.  I guess my future will only contain beaches with none of these things and I’ll have to wash my sandy feet off with a common garden hose.   Boo Hoo.

We made our way to St. Augustine today.  It was not a long drive but the wind was so bad that I had trouble keeping the RV on the road.   There were wind advisories all the way down here and I was glad when we finally made it here, not to mention that I’ve had a bad case of vertigo for the last couple of days which makes driving interesting all on it’s own.   Our campground certainly isn’t the Hilton Head Motorcoach resort, but I like it all the same.  I actually like the sandy camp site because it lets you know that you are in Florida.  Finally!  We made it our goal to be in Florida by November 1st and here we are.  Unfortunately, it was pretty cold today….54 degrees.  We saw people wearing big winter coats and hats!  You can certainly tell the people who live down here from the ones that come from cooler climates because they all have shorts on.  We will be here for a week before heading on.  St. Augustine is another place that I came to as a child, but remember very little of.Photo(4)

I think I must be 3 or 4 in this picture. That’s me in the yellow and green swim suit with the giraffe on it.

 

We have been on the road for 1 month now and I’m always excited to see what’s next.  We have met some pretty interesting people, that all seem to have the same wonder lust that we do.  Some of them have been able to make their dream of traveling come true, while others are still in the planning stages.  I have yet to meet anyone on the road that has a negative reaction to our traveling plans.  Everyone one we talk to is very encouraging and supportive. It’s nice to have people encourage your crazy dream and tell you that you are NOT crazy.

To recap, we have been to:  Indiana, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire , Massachusetts,  Maine, Connecticut, Maryland, D.C., Delaware, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.   I may have forgotten some, but that’s the states that I can remember at the moment.

Not only is this a once in a life time trip, but I will also be turning 50 this month.  It’s the perfect set up for a little reflection, don’t you think?  It’s difficult to believe that all of the things that have happened to me this year have been a series of coincidences. Some seem to think that it is a little divine intervention. The big guy up there cutting me some slack maybe.    I’m not sure I know which one it is, but it is hard to wrap my mind around all of the things that have had to fall into place in order to put me here, in this place, at this moment.  I mean…think about it.  What are the odds that I would get laid off, sell my house to the previous owners son (that lives in Zürich, Switzerland), have no attachments, find the perfect RV AND be going thru a major midlife crisis all at the perfect times?  Either someone is looking out for me or I’m just lucky.  And I have to tell you, I AM NOT, nor have I ever been, lucky (except for that one time when I was 13 and won a room full of carpet).  After the previous year that I’ve had, I was beginning to truly think the opposite, that someone hated me and put a hex on me.  I had this black cloud following me around….a BIG BLACK CLOUD!  I’ve always been a ‘half glass full” kind of person, but last year…my glass was pretty dry….Sahara dry.   So,  What do you think?  Divine Intervention?  Luck? Did the Hex just wear off? Are we solely responsible for making our life suck or not suck?  So, many questions….I think I’ll leave those for another day.   Good night all.  And as always, Happy Trails.FSCN0328 DSCN0352 DSCN0335 DSCN0329 DSCN0324 DSCN0312 DSCN0375 DSCN0429

D.C. and Williamsburg Virginia….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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10/20:  Took the train into D.C. yesterday.  There is so much to do there, but we didn’t have time to do everything that I wanted to.  We went to the Holocaust Museum first and it was difficult to see.  There were several people who brought their small children to see it and I’m not sure that it is something that I would want my kids to see at such a young age.  I think that it would be difficult to explain.  There are a lot of very graphic photos and video’s all over.  While some of the most graphic are somewhat hidden behind half walls so they can’t see them, I think the ones that are visible are bad enough.  I was okay until I got to the special section called “Daniel’s Story”.  It’s the story from a child’s diary, telling about what life was like before and after Hitler took over and how he survived being in a concentration camp.  His sister and mother did not survive.

We went to the Smithsonian’s Natural History museum for the sole purpose of seeing the Hope Diamond.  It is one of the few things that I remembered seeing when we came here on a family vacation when I was little.  Unfortunately, that part of the museum was closed.  I was so disappointed because I wanted to see if it was anything like I remembered. Here’s is a picture from that trip:Photo(5)

I was also a little sad because the museum was a little run-down.  They really need to do some refurbishing or at least paint the walls!  We went to one of the IMAX shows playing and it was pretty cool.

The people there were so nice.  A policeman helped us get the correct train tickets and even took us over to the machine and made sure we got what we needed.  Then a security guard in the Smithsonian actually walked with us outside and made sure we knew which way to go in order to get to the Ford’s Theatre.  It was unexpected but a pleasant surprise and  made up for the rude people of Massachusetts.  We walked around and went to the International Spy Museum and were going to go to Madam Trousseau’s, but they were closed.  I was shocked that a lot of the attractions closed at 6:00pm!  We really didn’t get to do any of the things that we had hoped to do while here, like going to the White House…but, maybe next time.

10/21: Made the uneventful drive to Williamsburg.  Realized that KOA campgrounds are the best places to stay.  Out of all the campgrounds we have stayed in so far, the KOA’s are the cleanest and nicest.  This one is no exception.  The site has a brick patio and a swing!  They have “ambassadors” that actually take you to your campsite instead of just handing you a map and letting you go find it.  This is such a nice touch.  They really do make you a Happy Camper.

10/22: Rained all day here.  So, we went to the Williamsburg Outlet stores.  I really need to stay away from there!  They had the best stores!  Not the usual “outlet” crap you usually find at outlet stores.  They had actual items that would be sold in the NON-outlet store.  It was a good day to stay inside though and watch something on Netflix.

10/23: We went to Colonial Williamsburg today.  I remember nothing of this place from our visit during my childhood.  It was interesting but not some place that I would actually go out of my way to visit again.  We had a short tour of one of the “taverns” and learned what it was like back in the 1700’s.  Supposedly George Washington visited the one we were in.    Really didn’t think much of it, so we came back to the campground and did laundry.  It was about 68 degrees and sunny today, much better than yesterday, but I’m ready to move further south and enjoy some really warm weather.  Tomorrow we will head to North Carolina and stay in Fayetteville one night on our way to Hilton Head.  I am SO looking forward to sticking my toes in some sand.

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East Coast..on down. Here’s the plan for the first leg.

  1. image imageMohican State Park/Ohio
  2. Niagara Falls/New York
  3. Wells Beach/Maine
  4. Bar Harbor/Maine
  5. Old Orchard Beach/Maine
  6. Exploring Cape Cod/Massachusetts 
  7. Washington DC
  8. Jamestown/Williamsburg Virginia
  9. Hilton Head Island/South Carolina
  10. St. Augustine/Florida
  11. Ormond Beach/Florid
  12. Blue Springs State Park/Florida
  13. Fort Wilderness, Disney/Florida
  14. Exploring the Keys/Cudjoe Key, Florida
  15. Everglades/Florida
  16. Fort Myers/Florida
  17. St. Pete Beach/Florida