Think about this ... "be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle"

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Wildlife at the state park

I think I mentioned the other day that we are Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet, SC (15 or 20 miles south of Myrtle Beach).  We've been here a couple times before and really love the peace and quiet here (although it was very busy over the weekend with families). Arlo gets to play in the ocean (unfortunately he tends to drink a lot of it which causes problems a few hours later!)
In posts of our prior visits here I noted that this is also a "wildlife viewing area".  When you come into the park you have to go over a causeway to the camping area.  One side appears to be a salt water marsh, the other, I believe, is fresh water where these guys live!

The previous times we've been here we've not seen many gators ~ this time there a several ... including the guy above whom I saw on Saturday.  He was huge ... the rest are much "smaller" in comparison.  I haven't seen him since then, but he was in that same spot all day long.

The photo below is of two guys (or is it three?) hanging out on a rock that has had a gator on it the entire time we've been here.  

These photos, unfortunately, don't show it but there is a sidewalk on either side of this causeway with a couple viewing areas on each.  When we've been here in the past there has been a photographer here (obviously professional) every day, all day long.  He isn't here this time though.  The first and second photo do show the piers that you can walk out on ~ one on either side of the causeway, but a distance away, for wildlife viewing.  Not to mention the ocean and beach just beyond the campground.  Candy and Kimberly you would love it here.
Arlo and I are preparing to have a "campfire".  Rick is out on his bike for a while and before it gets really chilly Arlo and I will be out there.   Often times in the area surrounding campgrounds there will be someone selling firewood in front of their home - we have not been able to find anyone this time and Rick has strong objections to buying a bundle of wood wrapped in plastic at the grocery store .... I decided to check the wood bin in the coach and darn if there wasn't some wood there ... I think from our stay in a great National Forest campground in North Carolina ~ same one we will hopefully be able to get into next week when we visit Josh, Trish and Connor (Connor is have a little surgery on Monday and Grammie and Rick "need" to be there).  Unfortunately that campground doesn't take reservations and we are planning to go in on a Friday ~ UGH ~ I've been trying to get a back up plan in order but it hasn't happened yet!  There is a KOA in the area, but something about spending $60/night on a campsite just doesn't work well with me anymore!  We will save the KOA for when we are in Middleboro in June I think.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Georgia to South Carolina

As I mentioned in the previous post (hey what's up with this - two posts in as many days .. I think, and this time it didn't take several days to upload photos ... will miracles never cease!), we left GA on Tuesday.

One thing I noticed in GA, on interstate 16, other than the darned cement roads (bump bump bump bump) was that at the beginning of exit ramps, and the end of on ramps they had these gates (photo above).  We had seen them in SD or MN and I assumed (!!!) that they were to close off the interstate during major snowstorms.  In GA's case I can't quite imagine the purpose. Can anyone help me with this one?  As for the cement road - Kimberly you would have definitely needed your Dramamine for them - it was pretty awful.
Also, in the previous post, I mentioned I had some photos of Charleston, SC.  As many of you may know Rick and I are not particularly fond of heights - read huge bridges, among other things.  There is a humongous new bridge in Charleston that we were trying to avoid.  On the map it appeared that if we took route 526 around Charleston we would avoid the bridge as well as any others.  Well not so much - above was only one of the ones we encountered trying to avoid the one in the photo below.  The two links I just listed have some really interesting information - Chad and Chester, I think you two will enjoy the read!
So the plan to avoid the huge bridge was a good one, just didn't work out as planned!

Below are several cranes along the waterfront in Charleston.  

Rick and I were in Charleston last November and really really enjoyed our afternoon there.  I would like to have spent some more time there this visit to SC but it isn't going to happen and when we leave Murrells Inlet we will be headed north (Charleston is south of here so...).
Along route 17 just north of Charleston (aka the "low country") there are several shacks (some stands, but mostly shacks) selling sea grass baskets.  Usually the women sit there weaving the baskets.  I remember seeing these stands years ago when I was down here for my oldest son's graduation from Parris Island (I think it was 1996).  That trip we flew into Myrtle Beach and rented a car and drove down to Parris Island then came back up to Myrtle Beach so Joshua could have a little fun - something he probably hadn't had a lot of over the previous ten weeks! It was interesting to see all these places in this different lifetime .... I had forgotten that I went the same route back then that Rick and I did in November and then just this week!
It is gross and humid here the last couple days ... not terrific when you put hot flashes in there as well!  Now we are waiting for major rain to come in for the next couple days, as well as tornado warnings for tonight.  UGH .........  should be interesting - hopefully that's all, just interesting!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Let there be photos!

After three days of trying to upload a bunch (15) of photos it finally was successful with five of them so I won't push my luck.  

We are now at Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet, SC.  We left GA on Tuesday and will be here until the 3rd of April (I think is the date we leave).  Before we left GA I spent some time at the Botanical Garden in Statesboro (it is part of Southern Georgia University).  What a great, peaceful time it was.  I took lots and lots of photos but here a only a few of springtime in GA (and they certainly aren't the best I took but ......)
Below is a photo of springtime in Vermont ~ baby sister's beloved boiling sap!  So John/Kim does that mean it's also mud season in Vermont?  What a great photo Kim ... I can almost smell the syrup!  
Below, two more random shots of the botanical garden.

I took photos along the way on Tuesday and will try to get them posted - a couple good ones of Charleston, SC waterfront.

rainy thursday in SC

I am still, after three days trying to upload photos .... got some good ones ..... guess you'll have to trust me ....  I think today I will be in pursuit of a different blog provider (again)..... 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Stay tuned ... I've been trying since yesterday to upload photos to do a post!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

We've left the convention/rally.  But since I was very lax in my posts while there I will try to "catch up" .....  

In a previous post I mentioned my volunteer "duties" (now Frick it wasn't about checking who was going into the grounds with or without receipts) ~ it was about who was going (or trying to) go into the "Coach Exhibition" area ~ as in trying like hell to sell coaches ranging from 200K - to 1.5 million ...) no receipts involved there!  (However you will never cease to crack me up with the creativeness of your comments :-)  and perhaps the love of my life has finally caught on!)

With all that "said" above is a shot of our entertainment at the "volunteer appreciation dinner" and below is a photo of the buffet (or the organization there of).  With all due respect, I must commend (??) the powers that were ... the entire time was truly organized, beyond anything I could imagine ... I had been involved in "planning" corporate events back in those days, but certainly nothing (thank god) close to this scale ... but I could truly appreciate what was involved in this .. and it's beyond my comprehension to say the least ... I often wondered how many person hours went into the planning alone ~ it was sort of a "trip in the way back machine" for me! 

I had intended to take shots of the grounds from the top of the coach, but it never happened for one reason or another, so the morning we were leaving (Friday 3/20) I sort of went into a panic mode .... and of course, as "luck" would have it (damn it all) again, that and the day before were "down" days for me.  I did get on top of the coach and try to get a few photos from a few different directions but several coaches - I would guess between 750 and 1,000, had left the day before but I "bit the bullet" ( and I normally don't have a particular aversion to heights, but this day ... well ummmm)
So above and the two below were of the fairgrounds upon departure March 20, from only a very very small portion of the entire event.  It was interesting to us how spread out the parking areas were for coaches ~ those who (like us) wanted electric (there were no water and/or sewer hookups offered) and those who wanted the acceptance of running their generators constantly (why??) and those who wanted generators between specified hours and those who wanted no electric and NO generators ....
As I'd mentioned previously we were scheduled to go in early because we were volunteering for "early security" (!!) but at any time it was incredibly organized as to who went in when - through any of the four "gates" ... another point of my amazement in the organization process!

So on to other things  ... life, thankfully, goes on outside and beyond conventions/rallies!

Princess Paige celebrated her first "Holiest of Holy Days" (Patrick's name for St. Patricks Day). Obviously, as shown below, she was decked out in her St. Patrick's Day finery (from Vovo and Vovo????).  The kicker in that outfit was the HUGE shamrock on the back (well how huge can a shamrock be to cover a newborn pamper area anyway, now that I think bout it?!?!).  But I am sure there was some great corned beef and cabbage in New Boston that night ~ I am certain there was NONE in Perry, Ga (trust me, I tried to find some and of the seven places I called only one thought they "might" be having some ~ um ... if you think you "might" when the customer calls at 4:00 PM then it's a pretty good guess that you aren't do you think?!? ~ well we aren't in Southie anymore are we!!)

And, finally to close out the post .... a Sir photo

Finally, a photo of Sir.  He was out of it ... hanging off the "sofa" over his toy basket .... snooring, drooling, snooring, asta la vista  .....  night night ....... wake me in a while ........ tough life for that Sir Arlo isn't it!

We are in Statesboro, GA (been here since Friday actually).  We were suppose to leave today but extended for two more days.  We like where we're at here. No amenities (which is a preference) but close to lots of things to do in Statesboro with lots of restaurants etc.  The down side is no campfires!  We will be back on the road Tuesday headed to South Carolina.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Charles W. says

Charles W. (aka Chuck) .... told me many many years ago ..... "pansies aren't pansies you know"
Well Rick, Sir and I were out walking (what the heck is up with that anyway ... us  walking??) this evening (evening seems like a "stuffy" word .... is it?)  partly because Sir has really been couped up this week .. with Rick, and sometimes I at seminars etc. (okay, I've been "sleeping in")  I noticed that at our entrance to the fairgrounds was a "garden" area planted with pansies ... I can't look at pansies without thinking of what my brother in law told me many many years ago .... "pansies aren't pansies" .. So Chuck, you are the impetus behind this brief post........ 

I hope I will get some photos of this drying out, chaotic event before we move on to quieter times (and NOT a moment too soon) .... Huntington Beach State Park .... heeeeeeeere we come

In the mean time remember ... "pansies aren't pansies you know" ..

Sunday, March 15, 2009


So remember I mentioned that we were able to get into the convention a few days early because I was volunteering?  Well I never mentioned (intentionally) what my volunteer task was..........

Would you feel secure because I had on a security visor, pin, ribbon and vest?  I don't blame you at all!  

Because I can't say no I signed up to do an extra "shift"...... it was a "piece of cake" actually, but it was quite cold and very damp, but alas I got through it!  And finished a book to boot!
When Rick came up to my "station" to bring me my breakfast yesterday (which was my "duty" day ~ he couldn't help but mention to me that my vest certainly looked like a walmart vest - UGH the horror of it, particularly a member of the Whelan family in anyway related to walmart - paaalease now.
And not to be left out ... TAH DAH ~ Sir got to wear the visor.  He didn't, however, get to go to the volunteer appreciation dinner this evening.

Poor Sir is so distressed these days - for starters it's been raining on and off for two days now (the first day we were here it was 85 degrees and grossly humid.  But worse than the weather for Arlo is the chaos.  There are 3000+ rigs here now, many many many strange dogs, many strange  people and way too many different smells.  I suspect Arlo is trying to figure out what the heck we've done to him now and probably would rather be back at Pet Paradise at $43./night where he was when we fly up to the land of snow and a princess!  We will get back to a calmer situation on Friday or Saturday....

Stay tuned for more pictures from the convention ...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Post Script

Our friends Betty and Roy (aka Bethie's parents Vovo and Vovo) were in Plains last year (as you may have read in Betty's comment on the Whelanswheels post about Plains).  These are photos they took when they were there.
I had mentioned that I had not taken a photo of the list of goods and prices sold at the Carter store - thanks to Betty and Roy - here it is, as well as a photo of the train station in downtown (!!) Plains where the Carter campaign began.  I wish we had been fortunate enough to run into Rosalind and Jimmy, as Betty and Roy were ...

Thank you Betty for sharing photos ~ and yes, I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Plains.  Our trip there was a little out of the ordinary for us (you remember that I am bored silly with history) but this was different - first, I think everyone, and I mean everyone, on the face of the earth should take a humanity lesson from the Carters, secondly, history isn't so intolerable to me if it was during my life time ~  I can relate/remember those history making events.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


We left Cordelle (GA) yesterday and traveled 40'ish miles up to Perry where we will be for the next week at the FMCA International Convention/rally.  The convention actually starts on Monday, but I've volunteered so we got to  come in early which made maneuvering easy as there were only a few hundred coaches here all spread out.  By Monday there are expected to be 3000 coaches.  Should be very interesting with hundreds of seminars and several hundred vendors not to mention several hundred new coaches on display.
Anyway, when we were in Cordelle we had a lovely dead end road next to us which was a great place for Arlo to walk.  At the end of the road is this house ~ I LOVE this house.  I would loved to have seen inside, cause the outside and the grounds just blew me away.   There are several old, rusted pieces of farm equipment.  The rusted maybe doesn't sound attractive, but I really really loved it.  I could do without the gnome in the photo below but no one consulted me!

And it was so nice and peaceful at this end of the road.  Where we were was right next to interstate 75 and the last two nights we were there I got very little sleep (it is nice and quiet at night here at the Fairgrounds where the rally is, thankfully).
The last evening we were in Cordelle I got on my bicycle and peddled way down the road we were staying on.  Check out that hill in the photo above - I didn't walk my bike up it - I was not going to give in to defeat!
So I'll end this post with more sunset sky pictures.  I thought this was such a pretty pretty sky and was delighted that I had my camera with me ... I had walked the night before when there was also a pretty sunset sky, but only had my phone camera and the pictures didn't do it justice.  These new camera photos are much better (I think)!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's just so plain ....

In Plains, GA.  

We arrived in Cordelle, GA on Sunday ~ finally leaving Chester's (and giving him some rest and his cats some peace) after one month (we were in NH freezing ourselves, but being rewarded by the love of family and the arrival of a precious princess, for 10 or so days of that month!!)

Today we set out on the bikes.  I think it isn't often that I feel strongly (and perhaps I've mentioned this before ~ Rick may disagree but I am not at all certain) one way or another about doing a side trip or whatever in our travels, but this time I felt very strongly (especially after not seeing the Clinton Library, a while back, except from the highway).  Cordelle is about 50 miles east of Plains, GA and I really wanted to see Jimmy Carters home town.  I surely did expect more than I saw, but what I did see was part of why our 39th President has endeared himself to many - his regular, human side!  Unlike his brother, who believe it or not does have a "museum" in town - no we didn't bother and I'm not certain why the heck anyone thought it should be, but that's not for me to decide.  Before explaining the photo tour below ... how is the decision made where a Presidential Library will be placed?  I made the assumption (silly me ~ my Dad taught me about assumptions many many years ago) that a Presidential Library would be in said President's hometown.  I found out after we returned home that in fact President Carter does have a Presidential Library and it is in Atlanta ~ a city I truly have little interest in visiting!
Okay, ready for the tour?  Above is the back of President Carter's boyhood farm.  The furnishings are not original Carter family possessions, but true to the period.   It amazes me how simple the life was, how unassuming it was, how just "regular" the family was.
Above is the kitchen in the home ~ don't you just love that stove.  and that chair - looks just like a shaker rocker I had from my grandmother that I believe my nephew Owen has now to rock his and Jess's babies in ... so straight backed and lovely woven seat.  How 'bout the butter churn.... had a reproduction of one of those too - can't remember where the heck that went!
Above is the bathroom - post outhouse - in the Carter family home ... now I don't usually go around taking photos of bathrooms but, seriously, check out the shower head here - designed by Jimmy's dad Earl ... it is a bucket with holes in the bottom ... and of course I think it was probably not hot and cold running water!  brrrrr
Perhaps out of order here in the photo tour ~ but above is the front of the house ... there was a note in the brochure that the area close to the house was intentionally bare of grass, flowers and shrubs in order to see snakes that may be there!  UGH
Above is the living room (aka front room, parlor) ... below is the dining room ... aren't they just so simple ... I love the simplicity of it all.

Next, above is the "breakfast room" and below is .... "Jimmy Carter slept here!  Yes, his plain, simple rather sparse bedroom ... at the back of the house, across the hall from the kitchen (is that where every son's room should be ... across from the kitchen and back door?!?!)

Above is Jimmy's parents room.

Below is the Carter Commissary ~ I had no idea but they sold the fruits of their labor .. pecans, produce and various other needs of the times ... foolishly I did not take a photo of the price list ~ DAH what was I not thinking here!  As the brochure says "The store adjacent to the Carter home had various rural necessities available for sale: canned goods, coffee, lamp wicks, kerosene, soap, lard, tobacco, overalls, shoes, flour, sugar, cornmeal, castor oil, and homemade syrup.  Earl Carter also sold hams, pork shoulders, and sausage which had cured int he smokehouse.  Farm workers and neighbors could buy their goods on credit and settle their bill on payday, which was Saturday."

Inside the commissary - above to the left of the entrance, below to the right of the entrance.

Above, the barn and the front garden - which was being tilled while we were there.  Below, a pasture to the left (west I believe) of the house.  There were sheep grazing about.
Below is the "Maranatha Baptist Church" where the President still teaches a Sunday School class every week (no even that did not make me want to go into a church)
Okay, historical Plains, GA tour is officially over.  Hope someone enjoyed it as much as I did.

Below was outside a gas station (NO not Billy Carter's service station museum) and convenience store - seemed like a photo op to me!
Below is "downtown" Plains.  No we didn't do any souvenir shop, no cafe, noting - just a photo op.  I did however, miss a photo of the train station in Plains where President Carter's campaign began.

Here we have the history and example of a bottle tree.  I just LOVE it ~ Sister Candy shouldn't you have one in the garden off the master suite?  I do have a prize for you to perhaps put out there, but a bottle tree would be so much more colorful .... this is an example of why I miss the yard at Crescent Street - perhaps a very small reason to miss it ... I sure don't miss shoveling etc.... but the mowing and 1/4 of the raking were great exercise .... but........  Anyway, I thought this is lovely.
Thus, I shall conclude this plain tour of Plains.  By the way ... these photos were taken with the new camera - do you notice any difference in quality??