Archive for June, 2010

Our Summer Home

Friday, June 25th, 2010

We are settling in and getting reaquainted with the place Paul called home for a lot of years before he arrived in California.  Old Forge is a beautiful little community in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, certainly not New York City!  We will be staying here until about Labor Day and then we will begin making our way to Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta, then back to California for the winter.  

South of Old Forge

Definitely not NYC!

The Adirondacks are not really high mountains but there are trees and lakes everywhere.  Old Forge is located where the Folton Chain of lakes flow into the Moose River.  The area is a destination summer retreat for people all over the east coast and this year Paul and I get to enjoy the area as tourists.  The town has lots of shops to explore, restaurants to try, bars for great conversations and lots of outdoor adventures which we hope to enjoy in the next few weeks. 

Singing Waters RV Camp

Beautiful trees

Singing Waters RV Camp is where we will call home for the next 2 months and it could not be more beautiful!   Surrounded by trees and blue sky with the Moose River runs right through the park (my neighbors have a riverfront site!).  The park is full of people that call this home for the summer, excaping the heat of the city.  Many come for the whole summer and others leave their RV here and come on weekends. 

Enjoying the River

After getting settled Paul returned to California on Thursday where he will work and see the girls before returning July 5th.  While Paul is gone Duke and I will spend our days getting to know the town and enjoying our temporary home.  

As soon as I dropped Paul at the airport a giant storm started through the area.  Duke and I got caught about an 1/8 of a mile from home and were drenched when we got home.  My clothes are taking forever to dry out as it is damp here in the mountains.  Today I spent the afternoon in town enjoying the Farmers Market which was very definitely local, and then later in the day we enjoyed The Sourmash Blues Band in the town square.  They were very good and the crowd was very into their music, although the crowd was only about 50 people so every seat was a good one.  

And, I started my job pouring wine for the Montezuma Winery tasting room here in Old Forge.   What a great job- pouring wine for people on vacation!  This is going to be an awesome summer.

Getting to New York

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Our goal was to be in Old Forge, New York by Father’s Day which only gave us 4 days.  We managed to see the rest of Maryland; a slice of Delaware; southern New Jersey and the middle of Pennsylvania and we did arrive in Old Forge about 2 pm on Sunday. 

In New Jersey we got to spend the afternoon on the Jersey Shore in Ocean Beach which is just south of Atlantic City.

Atlantic Ocean

Bay at Ocean Beach

Delaware was only about 20 miles so we won’t even count it although we did notice that license plates have less letters & numbers than other states!

Duke says "when is this bus going to STOP?"

We hit Philadelphia at 5 pm on Friday evening!  Not a good plan but going so slow through the city actually works out cause no one can make a quick decision so we don’t have to worry about being cut off!  Pennsylvania was beautiful but we mostly drove on the interstate.  When we stopped for the night Paul decided to check the engine.  Not sure why he chose this time but he did get a surprise!

Someones home!

No babies! thank goodness

I guess while we were relaxing in North Carolina someones mom found a nice cozy spot to call home.  I was relieved to find that the nest had been vacated!

Historic Towns and Battlefields

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

We woke up to a rainy day and we were planning to visit the Historic Town of Shepherdstown, and the battlefields of Harpers Ferry and Antietam Battlefield.  Even if you are not a history buff (like me) you will still be touched by the vast amount of information there is about the American Civil War. Just thinking about this war and the lives lost and how hard it was fought gives you chills!

After dropping our friend Tom off at the VA Hospital for an appointment, Paul, Karen and I headed to the town of Shepherdstown, the oldest town in West Virginia where during the war most of the buildings were turned into hospitals during the battle of Antietam.  The town is now mostly a tourist location with many quaint shops and places to eat.  We chose a wonderful bakery and had lunch while waiting for the weather to improve.  Shopping was a must do for me as I have seen way to many gift shops with items of historical value and needed some real boutique finds – SUCCESS!

Shepherdstown Museum

Teachers College

Built in the town of Shepherdstown is The Little House, a miniature house built in 1929 as a project that teachers could watch children in a “Direct Experience Method”.  The house is a 5 room, 2 story complete house that is made child size.  The detail was amazing.  When it was original built it was a farm with a barn and field crops. 

The Little House

Finally Tom was done with his appointments and we headed to Harpers Ferry National Park.  Harpers Ferry is where the Civil War essentially started when John Brown raided the armory to steal guns and arm the slaves.  The raid failed, but the damage was done.  The town of Harpers Ferry is located where the Shenandoa and the Potomac Rivers meet.  A section of the Appalachian Trail runs along the river here so I walked a short distance to say we walked the Appalachian Trial!  Way more history here and a walk across the Potomac river before heading to our next Battlefield.

Bridge over the Potomac River

Thomas Jefferson Rock

Appalachian Trail

Harpers Ferry on the hillside where the two rivers meet

Harpers Ferry Catholic - high upon the hill

Intricate stained glass

Our last stop for the day was Antietam Battlefield which is the largest one we have seen so far and it covers miles of farmland in Maryland.  There is a driving tour and everywhere you turn there is a memorial to a regiment that fought during this battle.   The battlefields are now covered in corn and wheat which deer are really enjoying. We drove most of it and ran out of time as it was getting dark!

This concludes our Civil War tour for now as we are heading north and won’t have much time for site-seeing until we get to New York.

Washington DC

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Next stop is Williamsport Maryland to see our friends, Tom & Karen who worked with us this winter at Val Vista Village and the Angels Baseball Stadium.  They are working at a Jellystone Park this summer which is about 60 miles from Washington DC.  We have 3 nights here and only one day to do Washington DC!  This is basically impossible but we take what we can get.

We drove the 50 miles to the first Metro Station and hopped on the train for the City arriving about 12 noon.  Paul loves museums and what better place than Washington DC for museums; they are all free and amazing.  Our last trip to DC in 1984 gave us the tour of the monuments and the Air & Space Museum so this time Paul wanted to start with the Museum of American History since we have been seeing so much civil war history this was a natural choice for him.  I thought a couple of hours here and maybe we could hit the The National Art Gallery.  That didn’t happen!  Paul spent 5 hours in the History Museum and didn’t see the whole thing – we did stop for lunch BUT….  The Smithsonian Museums are beyond compare to other museums and there is a lot to see.  The highlight of my day was I got to see A purple Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Dorthy’s Red Slippers, the Greensboro Lunch Counter from the 19 60 sit ins and Julia Child’s Kitchen!  Paul learned all about transportation, civil war, and electricity (I think)!

Anyway the museums close at 5:30 so plenty of time to see the major monuments however it was pretty hot & humid and this was the most walking I had done since I fell so I was beat!  We tried to find a spot to eat and rest but I was just too exhausted so we found the subway and made our way back to the suburbs! 

We did get a few photos of our day of the major sites on THE MALL.

looking toward the Capitol Building

The Whitehouse

The Washington Monument

Lunch Wagon

This was all we could find nearby for food after spending the day in the museum however once we got back to our car and on our way we found a great sports bar to have dinner in, The Green Turtle.  A great place, probably a chain but we had never heard of it and the French Onion Soup was some of the best I have had.  It was such an interesting name I bought myself the Shirt!  Someday I will wear it and take a photo!!!

Natural Bridge

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

We planned to meet Jim & Linda about noon for lunch and then we were to head into the mountains to Natural Bridge a cavern that collasped eons ago and today you can visit for a mear $16!  We arrive, buy our tickets and proceed down the 300 steps to the trail that leads to the bridge and waterfalls. On our way we heard there would be scattered thunder storms and lightening in the area but it was dry until we got down about 100 steps and the thunder comes and the clouds don’t look good!  Linda does not like lightening storms so she requests we return to the lobby and wait until the storm passes.  We turn and walk up the 100 steps to a small landing with a roof and here comes the rain! 

Waiting undercover

We were stranded for about 20 minutes with lots of thunder, lightening and rain until there was a small break that allowed us to get to the building with the gift shop and snack bar.  After about an hour we were able to make our way to the bridge.

Natural Bridge

The bridge is only a very short distance from the bottom of the steps but there is this 50′ waterfall a short 3/4 mile hike into the canyon.  I have not done any exercise since hurting my shoulder but I really want to get some so I choose to hike to this falls!

liars Falls

I guess in Virginia this is 50′.  I love waterfalls and the hike was good but this was not really all that impressive although we did not get rained on as many others did.  Even though this was not the best attraction we have been to it was still a great place to take a walk and enjoy nature – all of nature, even the rain!

Our day and visit ended with an awesome dinner and of course more WINE!  Tomorrow we leave for Maryland and more friends.

Appomattox Court House

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Friday was a day of exploring on our own as our friends have jobs so we chose to go to Appomattox Court House  which is the village that after four years of war and over 630,000 casualties Generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant met in the parlor of the McLean House and agreed to terms which eventually ended the civil war. Paul loves this stuff and joined the tour which he spent 40 minutes on this porch listening to a guy tell about the battle, etc. in the first person while Duke and I rested in the shade.

There's Paul on the porch

The National Park Service has done an excellent job of putting these structures on the property to recreate the original village.  It is located in some beautiful country right of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

A look at a piece of the village

On the steps of the McLean House

Our drive back to Roanoke we took the Blue Ridge Parkway which is a scenic byway thru the mountains of North Carolina & Virginia.  Beautiful views of the valley for as far as we drove, about 25 miles.  Our evening ended with dinner and wine with our Jim & Linda.

Northern Bound

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

After 4 weeks, lots of healing, fun times with family and learning southern survival skills we are heading north with our final stop for the summer to be in Old Forge, NY.  It was so good to be able to spend the month with Paul’s Dad, Sister, Brother, niece and nephews which is something we never would have had time to do in our prior life so we feel blessed to have this opportunity.

We left Thursday morning and our destination was Roanoke, Virginia where our friends, Jim & Linda Murphy from California now reside.  We found an RV park about 20 miles from their home and pulled in about 4 pm a day early from our reservations.  They seemed a little concerned that we were early but found us a spot – the place is empty!  This campground is at a small local cave and not much of an RV park; the sites are really long but really narrow not allowing for much outside use as the slides are hanging into the next guys spot!  Oh well, we won’t be there much as we plan to spend most of out time with our friends.  This will be a nice spot to return to in the evenings.

Hot, Hot, Sultry, Hot!

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Wow,  I knew it would be hot but this is incredible!  95 with 95 percent humidity.  I am healing with only small pain now but Paul is covered in Poison Ivy burns so we spend most of our time inside playing games with the family and watching more TV than I have in the past year and a half.

The best part of this stop is getting to hang out with the family.  We have played so much PITCH that I have finally really learned the game! I think?  Two of Paul’s sisters made a trip here while we were here so we got to see even more family.  The newest member, Lyla is adorable.  If only I hadn’t hurt myself, I would really have gotten my baby fix but holding her was painful so I just watched her a lot.

The local Theater, Neuse Little Theatre of which Paul’s brother is one of the Stage Managers had there opening night of Battle of Shallowford on Friday and we attended Saturday evening.  What a great theater, show, cast, & crew and all for only $10 each.  We had seats in row three and there are only 100 seats in the theater so all seats are great!  The play is about a grocery store hang out in 1939 during the broadcast of the Orson Wells, War of the Worlds!  Very cool concept and an amazing version.

We have been here about 4 weeks, 3 1/2 of which either Paul or I were not feeling well so being with family has been such a blessing.  We will be leaving on Wednesday heading north to New York State and hanging out with some more of Paul’s family.  We are looking forward to cooler temperatures but will miss the family so much.