November 28, 2012

Cumming, Georgia

We spent 8 days in Cumming, Georgia. Cumming is about 25 miles north of Atlanta.

Took this out of the window of the motorhome
as we drove by. Wish we were here in the summer time
so that we could eat some of Georgia's peaches.

Parked on the water in Cumming, Georgia

If we couldn't spend the Thanksgiving holiday with our immediate family in Los Angeles, we were blessed to be able to spend it with our other "family" -- Donna and Stu. We also spent time with Donna's sister, Joanne, and her husband, Jack, and Donna's niece, Tracy, all of whom we knew from back in the 70s. It's been five years since we saw them last and it was good catching up with them again.

I've already posted this picture on Facebook, but am also posting it here for those of you who are not on Facebook. The picture was taken in 1977 when Donna, Stu, Jerry and I (together with Tom and Susan) celebrated our first year of living together.

It's a long story about two couples thinking they could buy a "fixer-upper house" in Playa del Rey, CA, fix it up quickly and sell it for a profit. The house had an unobstructed view of the marina in Marina del Rey, views from Malibu to the Hollywood sign and an in-door swimming pool. They figured that they could give up their privacy for a short period of time in order to turn a quick buck. Unable to relinquish the thought of having to leave the house so soon after moving in, they took their sweet time fixing it up and ended up by staying together for over nine years.

Donna, Stu, Mary and Jerry with
Susan and Tom in front (1977)

Jack, Jerry and Stu (in back)
Mary, Tracy, Joanne and Donna (in front)
Chanti and Nikki (dogs - both Coton de Tulear)

In addition to the usual Thanksgiving dinner at their place, we went out to eat a couple of times and also were guests at Joanne and Jack's place for a wonderful meal.

Donna and Stu's home (Stu is a 
collector of contemporary art)

Donna and Stu's back yard on Lake Lanier

We had good intentions to see some of the sites in Atlanta but were lucky to get to the Jimmy Carter Museum. We saw that yesterday. Actually, it is one of the nicer presidential museums that we have visited.

Carter Presidential Center

View from the other side of the pool.

This a very unique portrait of Jimmy Carter 
done by Octavio Ocampo (1979)

Jimmy Carter's Nobel Peace Prize (2002)

Oval Office as it was for President Carter

Other views inside the Museum

Then last night, we met up with Kathy, my secretary/paralegal, who I hired in 1978 when I worked for Western Airlines. When I first interviewed her back then, she made the comment "I don't take crap from anyone!" Now, anyone who knows me knows that I don't handle conflict all that well.  So I planned to continue interviewing others. But my boss at the time (Tom, a wonderful man who is no longer with us) said to me: "Don't you think you owe her an opportunity to explain herself?" Okay -- so I interviewed her again and I really don't remember what she said to me, but I hired her. I'm so glad that I did. She's intelligent, loves learning new things, is adventurous, and loves to travel. We've been friends all these years. And, yes, she still doesn't take crap from anyone. Sorry, Kathy -- I had to say that!

Mary and Kathy

One more picture taken from the front of our motorhome.

Today we drove a couple hundred miles and am spending just one night here east of Augusta, Georgia. Tomorrow we will drive to Charleston, about 100 miles from here.

Stay healthy and happy, everyone!

November 19, 2012

Fort Mills, South Carolina

We have been at the Fort Mills KOA in South Carolina since Thursday, November 15. This KOA park is about 10 miles from Charlotte, North Carolina. Our primary reason for coming to this area was to visit Marlene and Paul. Jerry has known Marlene since she was 18 years old. I won't say how many years ago that was out of respect for the parties involved.

On Friday and Saturday, we drove around Charlotte to see why Charlotte is rated the number one city in the America. I told Jerry that the curved streets and city hills certainly help to make it a beautiful place, but I'm sure that it received the distinction for other reasons, too.

On Sunday, the plan was for Marlene to purchase the rack of lamb (thank you, Marlene) and for Jerry to  prepare the meal for them at their house. Marlene invited her daughter, Bree, and husband, Chris, to join us. Jerry cherishes the times he can cook for others since he is getting a little bored just cooking for me, especially since I am now a vegan and he is not. In addition to the rack of lamb (made with goat's cheese), he made oven roasted potatoes, and cream corn. Marlene made the desserts -- delicious lemon tarts, cheesecake and chocolate chip cookies. I brought my own meal and filled up on the desserts.

 Jerry, the chef

Paul and Marlene

Chris and Bree

Today, we thought we would try to catch some of the sites in and around Charlotte before we leave this area. Top on our list was the Charlotte Museum of History. Oh no! Luckily, we called ahead only to find out that it is undergoing renovation and won't be open for a few months.  We tried to visit another site, but couldn't get in to that one either. Well, let's try the President James K. Polk State Historical Site. What? It's closed on Mondays.

Marlene had suggested that we visit the Billy Graham Museum and we found that it was open. (Lavern, you have got to visit this place the next time you come to Charlotte.) The house is the original Billy Graham residence that was moved to this location from a mile away, after having been moved on at least one prior occasion. The docent told us that it was taken apart "brick by brick and board by board -- numbered and put back together again." 

 The Billy Graham Residence

Part of the Graham property

What you see when you walk inside the barn.

This was a bit confusing. It is a 10 foot tall structure consisting 
of six layers of plexi-glass and unless you stand back from it, 
you don't realize that it forms a cross.

"Appreciation Walkway" leading down to the 
grave site of Billy Graham's wife, Ruth.

As you can see, lots of the leaves have already fallen 
from the trees.

We also took pictures at the Calvary Baptist Church properties in Charlotte, primarily because the architecture caught our attention.

Calvary Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC

Inside the Calvary Baptist Church

There are signs that we are definitely in the "south." The other day we stopped at a Subway. Jerry ordered the "veggie patty" sandwich. The girl behind the counter said that they don't sell veggie patties. "You are not from around here, are you?" she said to him. Jerry said that he was not from here. He then ordered a "veggie delight" and asked if she could put avocado on it. That was too much for her. She looked at him and said: "where ARE you from???" 

One last thing. We are parked under a few trees that drop acorns on our coach at night when the wind comes up. Our poor Chanti is going to have a heart attack. I hope that tonight will be better because we have had very little sleep with her panting, whining and pacing nearly all night long for the last two nights. Jerry bought a night light for the bathroom (where she likes to sleep on a rug) so maybe that might help her.

We leave tomorrow and head on south to Georgia where we will be spending Thanksgiving with long-time friends and house-mates for nearly 10 years, Donna and Stu.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Don't forget to be grateful, and to exercise.

November 10, 2012

Jackson Springs, North Carolina

Arrived Thursday at the Sycamore Lodge Resort here in Jackson Springs, North Carolina. Finally --- we are starting to come into warmer weather. Today it is 69 degrees outside, no wind to speak of, clear and beautiful. We have our windows open and, as with this type of weather, we have actually seen flies again. Not that we are looking forward to that aspect of the weather, but I think that both of us agree, we don't like the cold anymore and will take a few flies if that is what it takes.

Sycamore Lodge sign at entrance of park

This was our home park for Coast-to-Coast purposes until we purchased an interest in a home park in La Pine, Oregon a couple of years ago. As a consequence, we don't really want to maintain our interest in this park any longer and are willing to transfer it to anyone who wants it for $1.00. Of course, there will be transfer fees and annual maintenance fees which the purchaser would have to assume, which is common in any purchase of an interest in a park. 

We live on the West Coast and don't expect to be back to the East Coast anytime soon after this trip is over next year. If you live on the East Coast and need to invest in a home park for Coast-to-Coast, you might want to consider this offer. You can contact us by one of our email addresses above.

Parked in our spot at Sycamore Lodge

Here are a few pictures of this park.

The park has hundreds of trees.

The entrance to the park is lined with flags for
Veteran's Day.

The driveway to the front office

Still lots of green trees around, probably
because the weather is warmer here.

Close-up of one of the few red trees around here.

Taken last night at the pond here on the park property

Sun about to set over the pond.

Lastly, here is a picture of Chanti sitting in a little house of straw that our neighbor children built for her the first night we were here. This is a young family with five girls between the ages of 2 and 10 who live full time in a bus type RV and are on a two-year travel adventure with these young children. We first ran into this family in Jersey City a few weeks ago. They are also planning to spend the winter in Florida and we will probably run into them again.

Chanti in her straw house built by the neighbor kids.

We will be here until Thursday when we will head over the Charlotte, North Carolina, area to visit a long-time friend of Jerry's and her family. So looking forward to that.

Hope everyone is having a great week-end and week ahead. Please keep the folks in New York and New Jersey in your prayers. What they are going through has got to be tough. And, God bless our veterans.

November 3, 2012

Gasburg, Virginia

Before we left the Washington D.C. area, we had one last day of no rain before moving on. Thus, I was able to visit the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery. Jerry had other business in town so he dropped me off at the Museum. I arrived just in time for the tour of the Presidents' portraits given by a docent who really was informative. So interesting to see the portraits and hear about the interesting details (quirks) of our past presidents.

Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery

The US Capitol Building (jumped out of the 
car to capture this one)

Then, on Thursday, we packed up and started down I-95. Somewhere right outside of Richmond, Virginia, we saw many police motorcycles with flashing lights blocking off I-95 in the opposite direction for miles. We figured it must be Romney or Obama coming down the Interstate. We were right. It was the Romney-Ryan bus. 

I had to be quick to capture this one out of the front
window of the motorhome as we were traveling
in the opposite direction on I-95.

We drove 200 miles that day to arrive at The Club at Lake Gaston here in lower Virginia. In fact, we are about 4 miles from the North Carolina border.

Parked at The Club at Lake Gaston

Again, we are totally isolated as you can see by the above picture. The park is virtually empty. The nights are pitch black, no sounds of any sort (other than birds) and ideal for anyone wanting to get away from it all. Unfortunately, this also means that we do not get any television, other than the local PBS station. So we have seen exactly one hour of news on Thursday and on Friday. Jerry is dying to hear the voices of people other than me.

Because watching the election results is very important to us, we will move to another site in this park tomorrow just to see if we can get DirecTv. If we can, we will stay here. If we can't get DirecTv, we will move on to another park where we can get it in time for Tuesday's results.

The Lake at the RV Park

The clubhouse at the park. This is a first class RV park.

One of the many walking paths in the park.

Love looking up at the tall trees and 
seeing the many colored patterns.

You know we are in the south when we see cotton fields.

Cotton -- up and close.

Cotton field.

Hopefully we get our television back tomorrow. Have a great weekend and week ahead.