Archive for May, 2010


Saturday, May 29th, 2010
Life is slowly getting back to normal.  This week I was able to go shopping for a couple of hours without much pain.  I completely dress myself now although I still cannot operate the hairdryer and comb at the same time. Soon!  Yesterday we went out and did a little exploring.

Judy and David, Paul’s sister and son, are visiting from New York this weekend and since David is learning about the civil war and we are in the south, a trip to one of the battlefields was the easy choice.  We went to the Bentonville Battlefield which was one of the last battles in 1865.  It is hard to visualize 80,000 men running through these fields fighting because now there are lots of farm homes with corn and tobacco growing.  At the site is the Harper House which was one of the homes that was taken over by the Union during the 3 day battle and used as a hospital.  Just imagine a war right outside your door and having to move upstairs so the enemy could take over your home for their cause!

David, Judy & Paul on the steps of Harper House

The Harper House Kitchen

The day was capped off by a night of Bingo at the local Moose Lodge.  We had a couple of winners at our table.  Congrats to Paul’s sisters Judy and Carol who both got to yell BINGO and come home with more money than they contributed for the evening!  Some people have all the luck.

Slow, quiet days

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

It has been two weeks since I had the bright idea of cleaning the top of my house.  There is still pain but slowly I am able to take care of myself.  It is a good thing I am healing cause now Paul has a huge patch of Poison Ivy on his chest and it looks so painful and today Duke has been sick.  North Carolina is at least cooperating with mild weather.  We spend a lot of time indoors relaxing and hanging out with Paul’s dad which is the reason we came this far.


Friday, May 21st, 2010

Things are healing, never as fast as you want but when you abuse your body the way I did I suppose it may take awhile!  The “Shrek” colored shoulder with streaks of purple and yellow has finally peaked and I can see some of the swelling is going down.  The rib hurts when I breathe, but that won’t stop me!  The pain medication definitely helps but it has it’s side affects so I am trying to skip it!  One day I felt so stoned I could not even function.  When I was 25 that would have been fun, not at 53!  I can finally get out of bed alone and almost dress myself so Paul will be returning to his duties of sleeping in his fathers home keeping an eye on him and giving his brother and sister a short break.

The weather here has been beautiful and I spend a lot of time sitting on the porch watching a mother bird bring food to her babies in the birdhouse on the porch – very cool.


Saturday, May 15th, 2010

I have learned my lesson the hard way!  The plan was to wash the motorhome and it was going fine until I got Paul’s help to wash the roof.  This is where the OH NO comes in.  Paul set me up and I started up the roof using the roof ladder on the motorhome.  Two steps before the top I lost my grip and the next stop is the ground on my back. Oh the pain!  After several attempts at catching my breath and trying to stand Paul calls the parametics and off to the Emergency room we go.  6 hours and a CT Scan later it is determined that I have a broken collar bone, a cracked rib and an old compression fracture on my L1 vertibrae from the last time I fell down the stairs and didn’t go to the doctor! 

Paul is playing super nurse and I will be fine in a couple of weeks.

Selma, North Carolina

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

We made it!  2,850 miles, 26 days, 16 cities and more gas than we want to add up, we  made it to Selma, North Carolina.  We will be spending about a month here hanging out with Paul’s dad and some of his sisters and brother and all their families. 

Happy Tuesday!

Happy Mother’s Day

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

We are staying at Campfire RV park near Asheville and this place definitely has an “it” factor!  Check in time is 3:00 pm and not before!  We arrive about 3 pm not even thinking it was that big of a deal until we entered the driveway and realized that this is the only way in or out and 2 RV’s would not fit easily!  The driveway is a gravel road about 1 1/2 miles long mostly uphill and with several switchback type turns, but when you arrive you know why people follow the rules and pay the price of $40 a night!  This place sits atop a mountain ridge and the view is spectacular.  With only 20 sites it is very quiet and beautiful.    

My Mother's Day Smile!

It is beautiful here although we are not spending much time as we are out touring again.  Today we went to Chimney Rock State Park to hike again!  More waterfalls and more stairs to spectacular views!  When you climb to the top you have the most amazing view of lure lake which is where Patrick Swayze taught Frances ‘Baby’ dance.  Remember “Dirty Dancing”?  It was filmed here and in Virginia.

Lure Lake from atop Chimney Rock

Denise trying to capture the landscape

Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock

One hike was not enough for this Mom so we also hike the 1.5 mile hike to Hickory Nut Falls, a 400 foot water fall in Chimney Rock SP.  We were able to get up close to this falls and could feel the spray!

Hickory Nut Falls


Paul, George & Duke take in the view

Mother’s Day was beautiful, the only thing that would have made it better would be if my girls could have been with me.  Hope all my mom friends had a beautiful day.

What beautiful Falls

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

After spending 3 days in New Orleans and the amazing storm we decided to spend a couple of days in northeastern Georgia at a state park before arriving in Asheville North Carolina.  From New Orleans to Asheville is about 600 miles with 4 days to get there.  We are meeting our friends, George & Rita whom we had met last year in Branson Missiouri .    We chose to stay at Tallulah Falls State Park in Georgia. 

The town of Tallulah Falls is centered around this amazing Gorge of granite walls and water that plunge through a 1,000 foot chasm offering some spectacular views from above.  The falls are controlled by the dam that was built by Georgia Power.  Getting to the water is down over 600 steps!  I wasn’t sure I was up to the task as my knee was still swollen from the tumble in New Orleans, so we opted for the trails along the brim of the gorge. 

Tallulah Falls

Tallulah Falls

Duke takes a plunge upstream from the dam

We also took a nice paved trail above the dam where we found a spot to put our feet in the water and Duke decided just his feet was not enough.  It was a good thing he was on a leash cause there was a bit of current.  Being the internet guy he is, Paul found out that the power company has aesthetic releases periodically during April & May and there will be one on Saturday!   Postponing our plans we decide we will stay 2 more days so we can see this.  And, Paul decides we will be walking to the bottom of the gorge to get the best view! 

Saturday morning we are up early and ready to climb to the floor of the gorge.  This view of the Dam shows how much water they were letting out; on Friday water was only coming from the small hole in the third gate from the right of the picture – a big difference.  Our hike down the gorge only took about 15 minutes.   We spent 15 minutes at the bottom enjoying the water and taking photos and then it is time to make the the trek up the 600+ stairs!  It was not near as tough as I thought it would be and it only took about 30 minutes.  I figure that’s pretty good for me, faulty heart, bad knee, and WAY out of shape! 

Crossing the suspension bridge at about 350 steps

The view down river from the landing at the bottom of 600+ steps

 The town of Talluluh Falls was a booming city in the 20’s and then the dam was built and everything changed.  There are a few businesses that are still thriving and there is Talluluh Falls School which is a boarding school for 7-12 grade.  I didn’t even know there were still boarding schools.  It is a beautiful campus and it certainly is in a beautiful place.  That is something I am noticing when we talk to local people from this area – they love this place they call home.  I have had several people tell me “I live in paradise”  They are certainly right.

 Other things the area is known for is the movie Deliverance was filmed here and Carl Wallenda, of the The Flying Wallenda’s walked across the Gorge in 1970!  Oh, another little tidbit – Paul actually met Carl Wallenda when he worked in the amusement park after high school in Old Forge, NY.  Apparently he was a cousin to the owner!

Day Tripping into South Carolina

Thursday, May 6th, 2010
Having not sat in the passenger seat  for 2 whole days, I needed to get out and explore!  We drove 100 miles today to see a beautiful college town (Clemson University), get a Starbucks and laiz on a grassy beach near the lake!  Life is good.

We really ate here

Another find, Long Creek, South Carolina where the only thing it appears here is a diner, “2 Redneck Chiks”.  Paul makes the quick decision that this is where we will eat dinner!  This was definitely a must stop, the owners were so proud of their place and there little spot of paradise that it was infectious!  Dinner was like eating with your family, they never stopped talking and bragging about their place!  Very cool.  We arrived about 6:30 pm and the special was Turkey dinner with fixins’.  Sounds good, the bad news was the husband had just eaten the last of the gravy and the cranberry salad!  Turkey dinner without gravy?  Well they never offered a menu so part of a Turkey Dinner is what we had for dinner!  The stuffing was great (would have been better with gravy!).  She did make a sweet potato casserole that tasted more like dessert but dessert was peach cobbler.  The best part of dinner was she said I could have her recipes since we are not local. Guess she was concerned about competition!   When she returned from the kitchen with her recipe it was hand written and stuffed into a small 3 ring cookbook just like anyone else would have in their kitchen.  Who knows if I will ever make it but I will definitely add it to my book.  This is the stuff that makes me laugh when we are traveling, ordinary people doing ordinary things 3,000 miles away from each other and all thinking they are doing something special!  They are!

Things you see on the highway

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

With 2000 miles between us and Mesa Arizona we have seen a lot of the US highway system.  We have been trying to stay off the interstate until somewhere in Texas it got so boring we decided the interstate could be no worse and we were right!

On interstate 10 somewhere in the middle of Texas out of nowhere a swarm of bees decided that they could withstand a blow to our windshield and at least a 1000 bees met there maker on our windshield, for a few it was a slow painful death, others it was instant.  From inside the RV at 60 miles per hour it was loud and looked like someone was throwing mud at us from thin air.  At our next fuel stop we were scraping bee juice off the front end.  Now that is not something I have ever seen or heard of but it was exciting and made my heart skip a beat as it was happening.

We have been on the move for over 2 weeks now and we are ready to sit for a few days so we arrived at a nice State Park in Georgia today and will stay at least 3 days before moving to North Carolina for the weekend.

New Orleans – Day 2

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

The weather keeps threatening rain but only drizzle so far.  Today we are going to try to get into the French Quarter earlier and hopefully have lunch at one of the many choice restaurants in the area.  Well we are not so lucky with the rain and here it comes!  It is still almost 80 degrees so it isn’t too bad but we decide that because my knee still hurts, it is raining and Paul is fighting a cold we will take a steam boat tour up the Mississippi River.

A Paddlewheel Steamer Ship

St. Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square

The boat was very nice and took us up the river about 8 miles where we could see lots of docks and some plantation homes on the other side of the levee.  The rain never really got going and the wind subsided some so we decided after the ride we would walk to the Art district and have lunch at Mother’s restaurant where they are famous for serving all the local favorites.  Today it was the World Famous Ferdi with debris!  The Ferdi is the name of the Po-Boy sandwich that some guy couldn’t decide if he wanted ham or roastbeef so it has both, dressed with debris and gravy.  Debris is the parts of the roastbeef that fall into the pan before they make the gravy and the gravy is like au-jus so it is very yummy.  Dessert was bread pudding.  Every restaurant we have been in says they have the best bread pudding and we had yet to try it.   It is ok, but I prefer some chocolate in my desserts so we bought turtles from the Southern Candymakers in the French Quarter. 

We walked back to the French Quarter, along the way Paul found a Cigar Factory where 8 guys make 40 thousand cigars by hand each year.  We got to watch them roll the tabacco and snip the ends and form the tips.  After seeing his cigar being made Paul paid $7 for one to smoke while he walked the streets of the French Quarter.

He's real. The dog is not!

Just like San Francisco and most other City’s there is always the street entertainment.  This guy was pretty good.  He stayed in pose without flinching while people asked him questions -and he answered!  The best part was when he walked away and stood across the street people were still walking up, checking the puppy out and putting money in the bucket!

So while most people come to the French Quarter for the cheap sex and the free flowing alcohol although it wasn’t free – Hurricanes were about $10 each, Paul and I did enjoy ourselves and we saw it all.  No Hurricanes to drink today but when we got home the rain decided it was time to appear and we have had off and on rain with big thunder and lightening all evening with even more wind.  I hope we don’t float or blow away!