For those of you interested Only in TRAVEL, I (Jack) wrote the blog between March 2010 and October 2010 during our travels west. We saw the most beautiful places and had the best time in our big truck and little trailer. See Blog Archive below.

Jun 18, 2017

Highlands NC

My daughter, Susan, and my daughter-in-law, Laura and I decided to take an overnight mini vacation to Highlands NC. Rich and I used to go quite often many years ago. It's a get-a-way for many Floridians and Atlantans because it's always 15 degrees cooler than Atlanta in the summer.

The ride up (and back from Highlands to Dillard) was interesting because I forgot to change my navigation avoidances (back roads, etc.) on my GPS. Garmin is losing my business after many years because I have noticed many local directions are dead wrong. I guess since new cars are coming with their own GPS systems, they have gotten lazy. At any rate, I've bought my last one. While the girls will swear I was making wrong turns (okay, one), the ride home was proof that a change in the navigation preferences fixed everything. I rarely drive anyone anywhere so I do go back roads, which can be interesting, I'll admit. Laura is from the New York City/Jersey area so the dirt roads were a surprise, but she took them like a trooper. Susan, not so much. We were deep in the woods part of the time back from Highlands to Dillard where we stayed at the Dillard House. We had a very large room with a place to sit out. It was in a newly renovated section of the hotel. They had not renovated the toilet, however, and didn't leave enough towels in our room. Laura, the negotiator, thought we should have free breakfasts for the inconvenience, and they accommodated us.
Outside the back door of our room
Pretty girls, huh?

Using my walker helped me a lot and allowed the girls to wander through the shops that line the streets of Highlands. Plus, the town has a lot of benches to make it comfortable for people to rest (lots of husbands waiting for wives shopping in the boutiques). I enjoyed sitting when I needed to and watching everyone having a good time. I happened to sit on one bench and this was directly in front of me. Not bad, but I thought it might be a little more interesting as a photo.

It's just a pleasant place to be with all the little shops and restaurants.

We stopped to relax for a while at a wine store and some good conversation. Then after some more shopping we went to dinner at Paoletti, a lovely Italian Restaurant. We highly recommend it. I remembered the pretty churches in town.

This one used to have a pretty red door. I wondered why they changed it.
Highlands is very dog friendly (water bowl at every shop and dogs in the shops), which made Susan very happy since she's planning to take her dog everywhere when she gets him or her. The Dillard House also welcomes dogs overnight and there's plenty of hiking opportunities. There are horses and chickens, etc. and hiking trails. It's actually a farm and petting zoo, too. Rich and I have been in Highlands in all seasons, but I particularly remember spring when the woods were full of Rhododendrons. We had taken Lizzie there which is why I wanted to see if it was still a place to get away with one's pup.

The weather was cool and we had a short rainstorm that cooled us even further. Very pleasant weather. It's a good people watching town. There are shops for dogs, pretty jewelry and clothes.

Anyone know what these are?

I remembered that Rich and I had been to all of the many waterfalls in the area and some cliffs. We didn't have time to hunt for the cliffs, but we did make it to Dry Falls. You can walk under them. The water was deafening at times.

I took a lot of videos of the falls. Just love the sound of rushing water. I'm a bit tired and probably should have waited until tomorrow to write this, but I'm glad that I can take short trips, once in a while, to have something to post about. Lifted my spirits. 😊

Jun 11, 2017

The Day After

I'll start with the good news. Susan is enjoying a vacation in Canada. Glass of wine in beautiful afternoon weather.

I went over to Michael and Laura's for a lovely Father's Day BBQ in as much as he is going to be gone next weekend. I saw my too lovely granddaughters, Keely and Peyton (sorry no pix, girls). Always good to see them. They're all grown up!!
I hate taking pictures with my phone. They don't post as well as the ones taken with my camera.
Bogey is enjoying his vacation with them, he'll be back next week.

John and Lisa went to a baseball game in the new stadium, yesterday.

I am babysitting for the sweetest boy, Toby. His Mom went to Chicago for a few days. She had a sitter lined up, but got her days mixed up so she called me. I've been hiding his pills in pumpkin and he doesn't even know he's getting his meds. In fact, a little while ago I went upstairs for something and was startled when I turned around and saw that he followed me. I was afraid he wouldn't be able to get down, but he did very well. I think the meds are helping him! He's not limping any more. Living with an old person seems to help him, too--quiet. I have been sleeping downstairs because I didn't want him to be alone. Now, he's looking like he wants to get up on the couch! Good thing he's headed home tomorrow or he'd be spoiled for sure. He's very cuddly and a very, very sweet boy.

Okay. The trailer is gone. I feel old and empty. I had decided (if you read the last post, to sell), but thought maybe I could do it one more year; especially if I could get another ablation on my back that lasts. Then, my complete heating and air conditioning system crapped out on me. Knowing that I was facing some really big financial decisions I decided that since I didn't want to touch my retirement money--I'd have to sell the trailer. Fate had stepped in. Susan says I need to find things to do during the day, but my mind is blank. I have no interests and no desire to do much of anything. I've become a night owl (my best time) and sleep during the day.

A lovely man who was interested in the trailer had called the day before this took place. He couldn't have been nicer and asked me whether I would call him if I changed my mind. Well, I did. And he happened to be sitting in the same model but he decided he wanted to buy mine (I priced it right, I think, and there were a lot of extra things that went with it and the extras like the awning over the slide out and the hitch. Those who have camped with me know I bring everything "just in case". He and his lovely wife came up, yesterday morning. I'm not mentioning their names because I didn't ask permission. I was delighted to hear that they were completely new to owning any kind of RV. So it was perfect that all they needed were pillows. We spent most of the day going over everything in the RV and his hitch ball wasn't the right height so he had to figure that out. I think he was probably having second thoughts because it was very frustrating trying to figure out how to make it the right. He persevered and got the job done. So, I told him once he had it the proper height that he'd find hitching with the Equalizer hitch would be a breeze, and it was. They seemed to love everything about the RV. Even the little scrape on the side and the little hole in the back didn't seem to bother them. I was crippled by the time I got back inside. My back just can't handle the standing. They texted that they got home (apparently without incident), and were very excited about the traveling they were hoping to do in the future. They are going to send me pictures when they camp.

So, I go back and forth thinking--what good is a trailer if I can't walk the trails and do the things that everyone does when camping. That and the fact that the buyers were not only nice but happy takes the sting away a bit. I just have to find a solution to my back pain and something that interests me. Right now, I can't think of a thing. That may change.

I didn't know if I'd blog again. I'm going to try to read a few - I certainly haven't kept up so I'm anxious to see how everyone is doing.

May 10, 2017

The Day Has Come

For various reasons; mainly health, my travels in the truck and trailer are over. It's for sale. Hoping to have a buyer soon. Sad day.

Maybe now I'll get around to reading blogs again and traveling vicariously through others. To all who have read, thank you. I've made some wonderful cyber friends, and I hold them dear. You are always welcome to my home if you are in the Atlanta area.

Wishing everyone safe travels, good health, and happiness.

Mar 24, 2017

Schooner Day

We went over Cooper River Creek late this morning and had lunch at Vickery's on Shem Creek. The weather was perfect and we enjoyed eating outside on the deck. We've had a full day.

We went for a walk on the dock afterward. I was so happy to be walking along the creek where the boats were with the marshes on the other side. When I was a kid, I practically lived on the creeks on the south shore of Long Island. Unlike Shem Creek, there were shanty shacks and one had to be careful not to fall through the dilapidated docks. I crabbed and when tide was low, I went clamming. I never lost my love of the water which I think is why I've never liked Atlanta. I don't like being land locked. Ten minutes into the walk I could barely move. I think I'm going to try a chiropractor when I get home. Anyway, the scenery was of some comfort.

Cooper River Bridge

Shem Creek

We knocked around for a while as we didn't have to be ready to board the schooner until 2:45. Susan hit some shops and I relaxed in the car. I think relax should be my middle name at this point. We went back to the dock and boarded on time. We had a wonderful two hour sail--saw lots of birds and dolphins. Two were enjoying some hanky panky.
Cooper River Bridge

Aboard the Schooner

USS Yorktown

Sails Up!

Fancy Shem Creek--Ahhh...the good life

The City as We Return to Dock

Ocean Liner Sailed from the Dock as we Watched
After we docked, we went for dinner on the water, again. Susan had spoken to one of her friends who she knew from her Charleston days and invited her for dinner. I wanted to be home early enough to dump and line up so that I just had to back an inch to hitch up. That plan was gone with the wind. Susan was going to leave very early in the morning, but she said she'd stay to help. She's a piece of work. I told her if she'd just guide me in the dark back to the hitch, I could do the rest in the morning. She's clueless. LOL I couldn't see a thing except her waving a flashlight and decided to call it quits before a disaster occurred.

She's going all the way home to Atlanta, tomorrow. I decided upon my arrival here that I was only going halfway home. It will be a lot easier for me. I won't unhitch. Bed time...hate to think how fast morning will be here.

Mar 22, 2017

Great Day in Charleston

Judy seemed a bit better, today. She got some relief from pain and her blood pressure is down. Not perfect, but better. Thank you for your kind wishes.

The weather was perfect. Clear, 70s, and no bugs! Today we went on our first tour. Though Susan went to school here, she had never been on a bus tour. We went to lunch, first, then headed over to Meeting Street. Our tour was supposed to be at 1:30, but we were early so we got on the 12:30 tour. I took most of the pictures through the bus window so they are far from perfect. There isn't one without a sign, a person, a wire, or a reflection but the architecture here just fascinates me. We really enjoyed our guide and hearing the history of the places we've walked by so often.

On the way out of James Island County Park, we passed the remote controlled sailboats that we've seen before and I was able to take a long (across the lake) shot of the dog park where Lizzie and Jack spent many a wonderful afternoon. This is a well used park. Nice to see so many people enjoying the outdoors.

After the tour we headed over to Sullivan Island and I had lunch at Poe's while Susan had a glass of wine. From there, we went to a few shops and then on back to James Island with a stop at Walmart for a few things. I'll post pictures below. Tonight I have a new movie to watch. I had a great library to choose from, but left most of them at home to make room for everyone. I dread unpacking and then bringing everything that belongs in the trailer back in.

Tomorrow is the Harbor Tour. I'll be happy if it's half as good as today's. It's supposed to be chilly so I imagine it will be even chillier on the water. Then back up into the 70s on Thursday. Yeah!

They take their races seriously!

On the weekends there are dozens of dogs. Jack once chased a ball that a young guy threw as far as he could throw it saying it was no good any more. Of course Jack didn't know that so as he was becoming a dot in the water as I was taking my shoes off to go in after him. He found the ball and turned around and came back. Probably would have mortified him if I did swim out!
Can't even describe how beautiful the weather was.

Susan and her new iPhone 7. Might as well carry around a computer. LOL
Now for some of what we saw on the tour--though I have hundreds of pictures I could bore you with. :)
This was Susan not too many years ago. Kids changing classes at MUSC. The campus is really all over the city for the med students--great place to go to school.

You can see the reflections, but the colors of the houses are so pretty. I always thought the huge mansions in the battery were the rainbow houses, but it turns out they are smaller homes on one of the city streets. They were on the other side of the bus so I couldn't get a picture.

These are some of the famous Sweet Sea Grass baskets "The blend of African and European developed into a unique culture called Gullah that exists today in Sea Islands along the southeastern coast and retains many West African traditions." History of Sweet Grass Basket Weaving

As you walk or ride through Charleston you see doors that actually do not go to the inside of the houses. They are for privacy for the porches. Single Houses

I thought this was one of the prettiest porches we saw, today.

One church is more beautiful that another, and many leave their doors open for visitors. The tour guide said that Sunday services are full. 

This is the entrance to the market which extends for blocks. Booths on both sides and in the middle. It seemed like a big garage sale to me, but a very popular place.