Archive for May, 2012

A new pair of shoes – Or Day 2 NYC

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Thursday is a short day, ride the Path into the city, ride the subway to Times Square and walk ten blocks to Carnegie Deli for a pastrami on rye.  The good news is we were warned to share a sandwich which not only helps the waistline it help the cash flow!  $24.95 for a sandwich is a bit steep!  A full pound of pastrami served open faced on 1 slice of Rye bread, smothered in cheese and the pastrami was so lean, melt in your mouth good!  We better walk now!

Catch the subway to Wall Street, walk around Ground Zero where they are building the new Freedom Tower.  Being here is a powerful reminder of what our country is made of.  Now, let’s find the ferry and ride home!  A couple of wrong turns and we made the 8 block walk just in time for a ride home!

The newest addition to the NYC skyline


Walked the soles of my shoes off

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

New York city. Not the cheapest place for a 50’land yacht!  Liberty Harbor RV Park, the only park close enough to the city  comes at a price!  $75 per night and if you are lucky you get water and electric!  The location is perfect.  From different areas of the park you can see the Statue of Liberty, the New York skyline including the Freedom Tower that is being built, and the ferry to WFC is right on premise.

We rode the PATH train into the city,  a walk to Grand Central Station via Times Square  where a nice lady in a cab gave Paul a Metro Card that had enough money on it we didn’t have to pay for the subway rides.  Now if we could only get Paul to ride the subway!  Continue walking to Central Park down 5th Avenue,  stopping into Cartier!  To my dismay there wasn’t anything I could not live without although Tiffany’ did have a nice pair of earrings for $3200 but they didn’t come in my size!  They didn’t even have any diamonds in them!   A carriage ride through Central Park was too short.  Rode the subway to the Battery, took the Staten Island Ferry round trip cause it’s free to tourists and the views of the Statue, Skyline, Brooklyn,  Brooklyn and George Washington bridges is the best.  Then a walk to the other side of Manhatten, catch the ferry to Jersey, walk 8 blocks to the RV park and that is day one! Whew!!!

Times Square:

Entertained by seeing yourself on the screen! Yep, Pat and I are there - lower right corner!

A tour bus where you sit facing the window? Crazy

Central Park:

Love the tall buildings

Central Park Carriage ride

Manhattan sneaks into Central Park

Hudson Bay:

Brooklyn Bridge as we head to Staten Island

Simply Beautiful

Always beautiful

My feet are killing me, can’t wait for tomorrow!

Duke runs away and another beautiful beach

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Sunday morning I am making breakfast and I need milk from Pat.  What I didn’t realize is I had started the gas on the stove and never lit it before leaving the rig!  Not a good idea.  I am in Pat’s rig and I hear our alarm go off.  Paul goes inside and figures out what the problem is.  I turn the alarm off but Duke hates that alarm.  In fact when he sees me getting cleaning supplies in the bathroom he goes into panic mode because when I clean sometimes the alarm goes off from the cleaning supplies.  The alarm is off, we are waiting for the propane to clean, Kip is petting and calming Duke and breakfast is on the way.  Everything is going great and then Paul gets a call on his phone from a number he doesn’t recognize.


“Hi, I have Duke!”


” I have Duke, I live in site 700″

That’s scary, we didn’t even know Duke was missing.  Apparently when we all went back to our business Duke decided the alarm was just too much and left!  I guess we will have to be tying him up outside for awhile.  Poor guy!

Breakfast was great and after we put Duke in the rig (he is going to hate us!) and headed for Cape May which is another beach community at the tip of the Jersey Shore area.  More beautiful beaches, food and great fresh air.

The sand is so white

Cape May is known for it's Victorian Style

They will never fit!!!

Atlantic City

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

Memorial Weekend is going to be spent on the Jersey Shore.  I have always heard the beaches here are amazing and they are.  Beautiful towns, boardwalks alone the dune line that goes on forever, lots of access points to the beaches.   It is very humid here and the RV park where we are staying there is lots of little nats that like to bite.  The RV park isn’t very nice but the neighbors are great!  The guy next door (never learned his name) gave us flounder that was outstanding.  We tried to get more the next day but he missed the hints!

Friday Paul went out to see some RV dealers in the area (someone has to work!) so Kip was in charge of entertaining the women!  We went to Ocean City which is about 20 miles south of Atlantic City.  We took a short walk on the beach, admired the joggers on the boardwalk and looked for lunch!  Ocean City is a beautiful little city with an excellent beach however you can’t buy a bottle of anything here!  There is a huge liquor store just off the island which is quite busy but no liquor anywhere on the island, not even in a restaurant!

Ocean City Beach

Saturday we went to Atlantic City.  I am thinking lots of casinos, smoke, etc.  Atlantic City does have casinos but they almost seem an afterthought!  The boardwalk runs between the casinos and the beach.  Along the boardwalk you have all the usual beach food stands, games, souvenir shops, tattoo parlors, massage stands, fortune tellers and then there are the bars on the beach side.   I am thinking an umbrella drink on the beach sounds great!  We enter the bar area where they are having a beautiful legs contest.  Two entries!  Then they have the best beard contest and can only find 2 guys with beards!  Upon further observation I realize there is an age maximum at this bar!  Besides being at least twice the age of the average customer there was no seating in the shade so we departed and returned to Casears Casino where we found a nice bar with an elderly bartender that make a pretty good cosmo.  Here is an interesting thing, with your drink you get a “free” bottle of Casears water!  A round of drinks was $50 but we got four, 6 oz. bottles of water free!

Boardwalk, check out the push cart!

Miles of beach

Rides were less than overwhelming

The beach here was beautiful and Atlantic City was much more fun than I thought it would be.  It is like Santa Cruz on steroids except the rides at Santa Cruz are way better.

Life in the Slow Lane

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

You would think life in a 350 sq ft space that has only 1 bathroom, 1 bedroom and wheels would qualify as living in the slow lane but sitting here in Pennsylavania Dutch Country playing on my iPad while the air conditioner and TV are running somehow doesn’t seem very simple as I look out my window and see the neighbor plowing his field with horses!

Amose, Sam

Amose, Sam's youngest boy

Amos is sitting on the sidelines watching his daddy and looking at us in our fancy homes.  To Paul’s dismay I think I could live here.  It is absolutely beautiful and the farms are so clean.  Yes we have the country smell of manure but every yard, farm has cows, chickens, a small garden that the wife tends and children running in the yards chasing each other or butterflies or just running.  The lack of power in some of the homes and no TV in most creates such a calm.

6 horse-power plow!

During the day the young children are helping in the fields, or kitchen or some are out with wagons full of the families goods to share  with tourist who have forgotten how to bake a loaf of bread, a pie, jam or even a jar of pickles.   All around the countryside you will see business signs that direct you to the farms to buy local goods.  We found a farm where the lady of the house was a quilter and turned her garage into a quilt shop.  She doesn’t quilt anymore as she is too busy selling the quilts of her neighbors!  We found so many nurseries where the Amish grew their own plants and it became a business where they buy goods from other local farmers as well as suppliers and sell to the public.

An Amish farm where they sell quilts from many of the area's quilters

Humidity makes for lush plants

Intercourse, PA  where the people live simply but know how to create an economy!  Amish beliefs emphasizing humility, family, community and separation from the non-Amish world however I think they found a way to benefit from the non-Amish!  They have many shops with local products; they offer buggy rides to see the country-side;  and the restaurants are packed with tourists trying to savor that home cooked meal.

Takin' it easy

Picture Perfect

Besides great home cookin’, Lancaster County has lots of covered bridges.  Covered bridges just make you think of covered wagons, horse drawn carriages, walking so we had to see.   The bridges are found in small rural areas.  We drove through an area that looked very affluent and then you come to the creek and see the bridge.  It brings you right back to those early days.

Pat and Kip

I love the structure

If they could do something about the humidity I think I could live here!

Maryland Drive By

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

When we travel I have many forms of technology available to help guide us to the best route and insure we don’t run into any problems for a vehicle as large as we are.  I use software on the computer to map our whole route which began in Mesa AZ and will end in San Jose sometime in October; I have my iPhone and Ipad to help guide us to what is ahead like campgrounds, fuel, bridges or toll roads; and then we have a GPS which always seems to disagree with all the other technology.  Since we are traveling with another couple I have added information to guide me along.  We have radios so we can communicate information to each other or more importantly they can share that their GPS, smartphone, atlas, etc.  disagrees with what I am doing!!!

Most of the time all this information is very helpful like when we are traveling through Virginia and we see a sign that says there is a bridge/tunnel ahead and we have to stop and be inspected before entering.  What?  That is what all 3 of my travelers are asking as we past the sign!  We were not suppose to be taking any tunnels, we routed ourselves around the Chesapeak Bay Bridge Tunnel.  Well, sometimes your technology fails you.  The good news is it was a quick stop, get out turn off the propane and the nice lady lets us proceed.  The really good news is the tunnel was very short and Paul now can say he has taken his RV underwater.

The other great thing about all this technology is you can find things you thought you were going to miss.  Traveling through Maryland I get a call on the radio that we need to stop and go see where Pat’s mom grew up.  We had discussed this but thought we were not going close enough and she wasn’t even sure she had the right information.  As we are traveling around the outside of Baltimore Pat has been on the cell phone with her family in CA and gets new information that indicates we are passing right thru the small town that her mom had grown up in.

“Exit here” is what I get on the radio.  Wait, we have two rigs that are over 50 feet long and we are exiting before I can access all my APPS that tell me what is ahead!  What about low wires, skinny streets, no where to turn around!  We take the exit and are now dumped into a commercial area with lots of stores and cars wizzing by.  My drivers are pretty good, Paul spots an empty lot about a 1/2 mile up on the left and it looks perfect for us to manuever.

We get stopped, Kip unhooks the tow vehicle and three of us take off for Ellicott City to look for a house on Rest Lane that Pat had been to when she was 5!!!  What a great adventure this is and is only 5 miles off of our path.  Ellicott City is a very old community outside of Baltimore which now looks like a thriving tourist destination with lots of cute shops and that charm of a century ago.  Using GPS technology we find Rest Lane but we don’t have an address that agrees with the ones on the houses.  Pat’s five year old memory is not matching what we are seeing in 2012 however we take photos of several houses that might be it.

This is it!

It has been decided that this was the house her mother grew up in.  On our way into this neighborhood we passed a neighborhood market so I suggest we return there and maybe someone knows something.  It was only 2 blocks away from here.  The Market was perfect.

Oella Market

This place has been here a 100 years so I am sure Pat’s mom also stood in front of the steps years ago.   The current owner has only been there 30 years but his mission is to learn the history of the area and he has books and all kinds of pictures from the past.  Pat got to see her mom’s home village and I got to see another spot that might be on my radar for a future visit!

Walmart for beginners

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

After a trip to the local CVS to pick up some bug stuff!  I spent $43 on repellent, a personal protection device that I am not sure will really work, spray for the inside of the rig and then some cream to heal the wounds.  I return to the RV park and everyone is ready to head out.  We pull out of the park and hook up the cars.  We are ready to go!  Guess what?  After $43 and lots of complaining and pain I show Paul my arm and ask “do you think this is poison oak, I do?”  Yep, I don’t even have any mosquito bites (maybe a couple) I have a pretty good case of poison oak or that is what it looks like.  I have only had it once and that was a small patch the size of a quarter when I was 18!  Paul is the one that gets this stuff.  Now the question is how did I get it and he didn’t?  He gets it thinking about it.  At least now I can relax about the bugs!  Yuck!!

Our next stop is Intercourse Pennyslvania and it is a bit too far for us to make from Kitty Hawk in one day so we are going to overnight somewhere.  Pat & Kip have never overnighted in a Walmart Parking lot!  Boy are they in for a treat.  Kip found us a Walmart near Fredericksburg which is about 1/2 way to Intercourse.  We arrive about 6 pm, get parked, get the BBQ out and cook up some steaks.  Yeah, we are saving $60 on our accomodations so we get steak.

Everything went fine until about 5 am when bus loads of people and cars start showing up and parking near us.  About 6:30 a megaphone starts but we can’t understand.  I finally get up about 7 and we are boxed in and there is a marathon going on in the street infront of the Walmart!

Kip assesses the situation.  I go do some grocery shopping and when I return, we are unhooking the cars to make room and pulling up stakes and getting on the road.  They are closing the road about 8:30 and getting out is only going to get more difficult until about 1 pm!

We made it and are on our way north!

Its not all mosquitos!

Friday, May 18th, 2012

This morning I woke up with the worse case of mosquito bites ever and I applied repellent and stayed inside as much as possible.  I even had an oyster shooter at Howard’s Pub!  We took another ferry to get off the island and landed in Hatteras.  What a cute town!  We didn’t stop as we have a very busy schedule and I wanted to get away from the bugs!!!!

We landed in Kitty Hawk and proceeded to the monument.  Paul loves this stuff.  I was just happy that the wind was blowing so hard I knew there were no mosquitos!  It sounds like I am complaining.  Well, I am!  You should see my body.  I have at least 50 bites on my lower right arm and many more everywhere else! Sorry no photos!!!!

As you stand facing the monument and then when you climb the hill and look over the take off area you realize the magnitude of what these two young men accomplished with so little.

Orville & Wilbur Wright Memorial


A marker for each flight that famous day

Cocktails were inside today because you couldn’t keep your chair upright in the wind!  I am starting to question this part of our trip, between the rain, mosquitos and now the wind it makes it hard to just sit and enjoy the scenery.

The Journey Begins

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Our friends arrived!  Pat & Kip arrived in Selma on Sunday afternoon to very rainy skies and it seems it has been raining every since!!  We showed them to their site where they spent the next couple of days relaxing, catching up on things and getting a quick dose of southern hospitality from Paul’s family.

45a and 45b Linda Lane!

The sites are large, the amentities include meals and the happy hour is fabulous.

Wednesday we loaded up the homes on wheels and headed out to Ocracoke Island.  To get to the island we have to board a ferry for a 2 1/2 hour ride across the inland waterway.  The ferry leaves at 4:30 so the plan was to get the RV’s on the ferry, crack a bottle of wine open some snacks and have a relaxing ride!  Sounds great and then someone always has to mess with my plans.  We arrive at the ferry dock and the first sign we see says “no restrooms on the ferry”  how does that work?  Hopefully we can get to our rig cause if I drink a bottle of wine there is going to be a need.  Next we see a sign that says “no alcoholic beverages allowed on the ferry”  Seriously!  Maybe we can just sit in our RV and that won’t count!!!

A close fit!

We are on one side of the center of the ferry and the other rig is on the other side!  It’s tight but we could get out!  Duke had to stay inside.  We decided to take seats in the ferry lobby and just enjoy the ride.  It is a pretty long ride, it was raining off and on and their isn’t much to see but we managed to pass the time just talking!  The guys went down and took naps.

That's our ferry in the background

Our campsite is right on the ocean.  After a morning walk on the beach we headed to town.  Ocracoke is a very small island where life is slow and town is dotted with little boutique stores and lots of island charm.  They don’t give things away out here!  Pat and I tried and just couldn’t find anything we had to have.

The island has some ponies that no one knows how they really got here but now they are penned up and protected from the vehicles that cruise around on their turf.  The National Park Service protects them and keeps them where the public can still see them today.


The island ponies are suppose to look different than other horses, they have less vertibra’s and ribs.  I really couldn’t see the difference but they were fun to watch grazing there in the rain not paying any attention to the 10 or so humans peaking thru the fence taking pictures!

We will say good bye to Ocracoke and it’s interesting culture tomorrow and head north towards Kill Devil.  I am hoping the weather improves and the mosquitos will be gone!  Wish us luck.

Kids came to visit

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Amy & Stephanie came to visit the family in North Carolina and deliver me my Mother’s Day Gift!  Amy crafted a beautiful serving tray that I can use to serve up great lunches or cocktails or whatever we choose.

They arrived really late on Thursday evening so Friday was spent getting pedicures and hanging out with Grandpa.  Saturday we had a cook out with the cousins.  It was fun to see them all together.  The boys tried to play a game of baseball and then the thunder came!  It was raining so hard and within a very short time the yard was flooded.  Everyone retreated to Carol’s house and a game of Charades with the cousins pitted against the friends provided everyone with some side splitting laughter!

Sunday, our little family of four met some old friends of mine for breakfast at Cracker Barrel and then headed for Wilmington and the beach!  It was a cold, cloudy day and the wind was blowing enough that it felt like being sand blasted so we didn’t linger on the beach.  It was a long day of driving but we found a great hotel right on the beach and had a wonderful sunset.  Monday morning we had lunch on the patio and sat facing the ocean for a bit before heading to Historic Wilmington for some site seeing.

Wrightsville Beach


Wilmington is not as grand as Savannah or Charleston and a bit run down on the waterfront but we did get to see some interesting architecture and ride a horse drawn trolley car!

North Carolina is a state where you have to go to a special store (ABC) to purchase liquor.  You can buy beer and wine in the market but for anything better you have to make a special trip to the ABC store.  So when we were driving along in Wilmington and we see this

Drive thru Beer store!

Stay in your car, we will serve you!

Unbelievable!  You can’t buy alcohol just anywhere but you can drive thru and pick up a six pack!  And, they bring it right to your car just Jack n the Box!

Amy flew to New Jersey Monday evening and Stephanie flew home on Tuesday.  It was great to see them, I just wish it was longer.