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

Sunday, May 30, 2010

the tour

So, as I think I mentioned we were going to do a Mayberry Squad Car Tour (serious Mayberryism).  Well we did it either Monday or Tuesday (yup, I DO know that I AM a slacker and getting worse by the month and have to look at the day clock to know indeed what day it IS).

While a bit on the "hokie" side the tour was informative to some degree (dangerous to another degree as we were damn near "broad sided" at one point).

With all that said, the tour "company" has three of these vintage Ford Galaxies (no padded dashes though JRP).  I believe we were in a 1965 model.  One of the facts we learned on the tour was that while the Andy Griffith Show was being filmed a local Ford dealer in Hollywood would give the show a new car each year - SO if you are ever inclined to watch repeats and if you know vintage car years, you can determine the year the show was filmed by the model year of the car.  Now seriously, am I not a wealth of information or what!?  One just never knows the amount of useful (less) information one may learn on our blog, do one?

So the first stop on our tour was the North Carolina Granite Corporation.  Actually, I did find this rather interesting as I'd lived in the Barre~Montpelier Vermont area for a few years many many many years ago (and it was Montpelier we lived in).  It was my belief that Barre was considered (perhaps by the locals only, but I'm not sure) the "Granite Capital of the World" ~ Kim, Jack care to confirm?

Anyway, the NCGC claims to be the worlds largest open granite quarry.  That was pretty interesting in itself.  In the years I lived in Montpelier I never did see the quarries in Barre (Kim did you ever do a school field trip there with Dylan or Emma?).

The facts and statistics we learned about the granite quarry here were really mind boggling, and my mind is so boggled I can't remember much of them other than
1) astronauts use this open quarry as a "landmark" on a sunny day to be sure they are on course (I swear, that's what we were told), there is so much mica (Candy, tell Brayden this the next time you are out gathering mica on your walks - he will undoubtedly be very impressed ~ in ten years or so!) anyway, I digress ... on a sunny day the amount of mica in this granite is a clear indicator to astronauts that they are on course!  The next fact is far more important.  

2) Apparently the contract for the granite for the September 11th memorial in NYC has been awarded to an African and an Italian company.  Something just doesn't feel "right" with this ~ not that anything about September 11th is or ever will be "right"  Yes, I do realize there are many many granite quarries here in the United States (aforementioned Barre or Quincy, MA, where I used to walk to the Granite workers memorial on my lunch hour back in my working, walking, more fit days) so why on earth would this be "out sourced"?

Okay, rant over .... the photo above is the open quarry and the photo below is the office building for the NCGC.  There are many many many old (and new) beautiful granite buildings here in Mt. Airy.  Several of the old homes have granite foundations.  It was interesting to have pointed out to us at one church that the early granite wasn't cut in squares and rectangles when building ~ it was random shapes and sizes.  The church I reference had an addition done some years after the original building.  The original building is very random shapes and sizes where the addition is very precisely cut ~ quite a contrast.  The photo below (if you enlarge it and see the walls of the church) shows the early cuts, I guess my photo of the addition went into the trash for whatever reason (keep in mind it was taken through the window, open of course because there was no air conditioning on a 90 degree day ... poor me wha wha wha) but if you enlarge the office building picture you will see the more precise cutting.

With all that said I really did enjoy the granite industry part of the tour - it was certainly the least "hokey" of it all, which is not a 'diss ~ after all it's Mayberry and it's all just so good ~ no parking meters, no cussing, no dissing and seriously ("serious as a heart attack here friends) people walk down the street and greet you and smile and ask you how you are ... absolute, total strangers!  I just LOVE it here.

Okay, moving along on our tour we came upon the .... you got it Andy Griffith Home place. 

Yup, that's it above.

Papa Griffith bought it for $6,000. way back when and swore he paid too much.  If you are so inclined you can stay here for a night, a week, however long you want.  Seriously, yes you can folks by contacting the Hampton Inn in lovely Mt. Airy (nope I did not and likely will not, get a commission, a kick in the butt or even a free cocktail for that plug, alas my corporate travel planning days are behind me, far far behind ~ although I really DID love that part of my job, other than the constant, and costly, last minute changes) but it is a true statement ~ YOU can stay at the home place ~ not just any home place, but THE home place of himself Mr. Andy Griffith!  What a hoot huh and I'm thinking perhaps WE should do it, just because we can (then again, what about Sir?  If Sir can't be there then I guess we can't either, but why would they not allow a dog in this bit of Americana?  hmm I will have to look into this).

Alright that is the end of the post part about the Squad Car Tour (well mainly because that was the end of said squad car tour!!)

Here we are folks in downtown Mt. Airy (aka Mayberry).  By the way I am doing this post tongue in cheek I guess the saying goes (another of those sayings that I have no clue what the heck they mean, or more importantly how the term originated) but I am truly truly loving the Mt. airy area.  Remember we came in here two weeks ago for three nights ~ well we are extending our stay for at least another week tomorrow.  I could be very very happy here for a few months (work camper work camper work camper??? ~ YEAH)

Yup, I did that digress thing yet again.  Above is himself, King Richard, in front of the Blue Bird Diner ~ yes the same Blue Bird Diner where Deputy Barney Fife would call his "pal" Juanita and sing to her - remember?  You never did see Juanita did you, but Barney sure crooned quite a tune to her!  And Andy had fun with the whole scenario right!  By the way, we have had so much fun watching the TV Land reruns since we've been here, we are truly seeing them through different eyes right now.  

So yes, Richard went out on his bike the other day to check out a local shooting range while Sir and I stayed here and did laundry or tried to stay cool with all the air conditioners going or whatever it was that we did.  Along the way Rick decided to go into the diner and order himself a malted ~ what a hoot his version of the story is.  Rick has this habit of asking a waitstaff person what they recommend.  Apparently he was dealing with someone who was just petrified to recommend anything - all he wanted to know was what is the diner's most popular malted, what is YOUR favorite whatever - just bring him a malted ... I think, but am not positive that he ended up with a chocolate malted (that would certainly have been MY preference, but as I mentioned I wasn't there).  I guess he enjoyed it, he did say he consumed it all and it probably contained his sugar allowance for two months or so ....

And as the photo above shows, there truly is a Floyd"s Barber Shop here in Mayberry Mt. Airy.  According to our tour person, Floyd (I don't believe that is his real name, but can't remember for sure and Rick isn't here to confirm or deny) is 92 years old.  I really wanted Rick to go in and get a hair cut - yeah yeah yeah don't even go there with the what would they cut jokes.  I do the neck shave and trim the tail every month or so, but I seriously think Rick was afraid that, in these more conservative parts, if he went in for a trim he'd leave minus that tail that I so love ... I told him it just wouldn't happen, that I would put that tail up and hold it to the side with a barrette and no one would notice ~ well he still wouldn't go for it.  What the heck's up with that?  Moving on ......

And yes, there is indeed a Snappy Lunch in town as well.  According to their brochure/menu they are the "only existing Mt. Airy business mentioned on the television show".  I am pretty sure that Floyd's is mentioned in nearly every episode but who am I to question such a thing!  Anyway, other than the show, Snappy Lunch's claim to fame is a pork chop sandwich (honest, I couldn't make this up if I wanted to).  So we went in the other day and had ourselves a pork chop sandwich.  Interesting creation that pork chop sandwich ~ which comes, unless ordered otherwise, with chili, cole slaw, mustard, onion and tomato) ~ so from what I could figure someone pounds that poor chop oh so thin (1/4 inch or so) then breads it and fries it (of course, cause we aren't like really conscious of fat or calories in these parts) then puts it in a bun with the aforementioned "dressings" and serves it.  It really was a tasty concoction, but I couldn't quite eat it all - seriously, I know I don't say that very often but, it was, the equivalent of two lunches for me.

Now we are back at THE campground.  Have I mentioned in the last paragraph or three how much I love it here?

This campground is on the homestead of many generations (well the campground owner, who is younger than yours truly by several years, is the fourth generation) of the Siamese Twins  (the first is the better link FYI)   Eng and Chang Bunker who traveled with Barnum Circus.

Below is a photo of the homestead here on the property (not open to the public but if you want the owner will give you a tour).

Such an interesting story the whole thing is.  I believe I posted, admittedly morbidly, a photo of the twins headstone in a previously, with "details to follow".  The twins (from my best memory of the stories we've heard) purchased THIS land we are on (2000 +/- acres in fact)  as their initial land purchase in these parts, as history tells more land was purchased, homes built, children born (21 between the two) ... etc.  It is interesting for me, as I chat with the campground owner (keep in mind how much I hate history and it bores me to no end) that he is ONLY the fourth generation of these twins then we chat with the owners young (18 and 14 year olds, perhaps) daughters, and it is mind boggling!

Have I mentioned how much I love this area?

Stay tuned for a post about our "date night" (yeah, well word has it there was a drive in theatre here until three months ago, but we did, indeed, have a date the other night - just King and I, Sir was NOT ~ no way, no how, invited)

and a post about our travels for a picnic today.

An odd thing for us ~ there seems to be NO honoring of Memorial Day tomorrow in these parts.  How is it possible that there are not parades and festivities?  Rick did go to the COC the other day (as the COC person was posting here) to get information about events in the area - He was looking for festivities appropriate to the day as well as "local" music etc ... we were sent to Hillsville, VA (about 25 miles over the Blue Ridge, a gorgeous ride, but Rick, unfortunately, can not do the "Parkway" ~ another post, another time!).  Well the "event" in Hillsville we were sent to was a "town wide" flea market - you know vendors renting tents yada yada yada - NO local music as he'd inquired about, just tent upon tent upon $5.00 parking then $3.00 parking to go to see tee shirt vendors, sox vendors, junk vendors, whatever ... not at all what he was inquiring about .... No thanks ... no music, nothing that was relevant to Memorial Day,  nothing that interested US ... How is it that this day is of NO significance here?  What am I missing?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Merry Mt. Airy

You can get anything you want in ..... Mt. Airy, NC.  

We are having so much fun here.  We were trying to remember the other day who it was and where we were that someone told us about Mt. Airy, NC.  Have you heard of the town before?  Why?  What do you remember?  We'd never heard of it and we are  so glad that whomever it was told us about it.  When they told us it was the town that the Andy Griffith show was based on we knew we had to come see what the heck it was all about.  

Turns out it is all we'd expected and more!  You walk down Main Street and there are a plethora of shops selling "Andy" stuff, Barney stuff, Goober stuff etc. but there are many other shops as well.  It also seems to be quite "artsy" (but not "artsy fartsy") here.

It is pretty hard to describe.  Friendly, oh my the people are so so friendly - weird sort of ~ people wave to you as you drive by.  Today we came to a red light and someone pulled up next to us and starts a conversation while we're waiting for the light to change - just things like that ~ we've not seen elsewhere along the way.

Also, there are several vineyards in the area - probably a dozen and a half within 40 miles.  I'm thinking of doing a tour, but who knows if I'll actually do it in our time remaining here.  Speaking of which, we came in last Wednesday (a week ago) for three nights - well here we are a week later and will be here until next Tuesday at least (a different blog post).

The three photos immediately above are taken inside the "jail" (obviously, I guess).  The first is of one of the Sheriff's cars on Main Street.

Below is outside Wally's Service and Emmet's fix it shop.  More on those in a later post.

Below is the outside of the Andy Griffith Museum (did the sign over the door give it away?)  We did tour the Museum today - I'm glad the admission was only $3.00!    The plantings outside were absolutely gorgeous (hope the photo can be enlarged).  This building also houses the Surry Arts Council (we are in Surry county) which seems to be very very active in the community, preserving the local arts and music ~ we still have not gotten to hear any of the music but I suspect Thursday will be the evening we do that but it is all subject to change!

Outside the Surry Arts Council building is the "Andy and Opie statue" ~ photo op with Sir's name on it of course!  And as usual, he was very apprehensive about the op, as if to say "seriously guys ... you want me to stand next to these strangers while you take my picture - I'm not so brave and such a tough guy right now!"

Remember in the show they often referred to traveling to Mount Pilot (as well as Raleigh)?  Well a neighboring town is Pilot Mountain ... which happens to have been a photo op for the bikes the other day when we rode over there, and were fortunate enough to take "the long way home".  Oh my gosh what great riding in these parts.  Lots and lots of open land with beautiful rolling hills - some far more "rolling" than others.  There is a state park there, but we didn't feel at all comfortable riding the bikes there, in fact Rick wouldn't have been comfortable in a car going up Pilot Mountain to the "knob".  I still may do it on my own (well with Sir) but we shall see.
And the last of the photos for this post is of the head stone for Eng and Chang Bunker.  They were the Siamese twins that traveled with Barnum's circus in the early to mid 1800's.  They settled here in Mt. Airy with their wives, produced 21 children between them (yet another post, a very interesting one in deed).

Our plan, as I'd mentioned before was to be here for three nights, which would have had us leaving last Saturday, but I've (we've) just fallen in love with the area so we extended until Monday, which will be extended yet again by at least one day, but we are having trouble once again with the company that does our medicines, so we will likely be here until the latest fiasco with them is resolved.  In addition to that I'm having issues with my doctor back in MA re-writing my prescriptions as she'd assured me in February that she'd do after more lab work was done in April when we were north for Chad and Amy's wedding. Now I find myself researching where to have the latest request for labs done, then waiting for meds to be renewed because of an error on the pharmacy's end .... all of which was good for a serious meltdown a couple hours ago.  I can't believe all this jumping through hoops foolishness ~ with all Rick's health issues he hasn't had to do this crap ~ frankly I'm ready to through in the towel and say the hell with the medicines altogether and just "wing it" ~ it just isn't worth it as far as I can see, between the chaos to get the flippin' 'scripts renewed and the seemingly constant errors with the "pharmacy" (Express Scripts).

Monday, May 24, 2010

Scarey in Mt. Airy

A couple scary things coming up - our washer/dryer has decided it doesn't want to drain (never mind go into a spin or dry cycle).  For some crazy reason I thought the days of me doing any appliance repair were long gone, seriously, why would I think that?  We may not be in a stick house, but it is still a house that has all the appliances and things just decide to stop doing what we expect of them, not to mention that these appliances go traveling down the bumpy roads at 60 mph and we expect them to last and last!  So tomorrow we will tackle it.  

Interestingly enough when I would have these appliance issues in the "stick house" over how many years - oh 25 or 30, I'd pick up the phone and call my dad to help me trouble shoot, then walk me through the repair if necessary, well perhaps this happened for some goofy reason - Dad's birthday is tomorrow ~ May 25!  weirdness I think!

Oh I miss him so much.  He would have loved this journey Rick and I are on, I think of him so often and wish he were here traveling with us.  Yeah, I guess he is in spirit but "it's just not the same".

Another scary event, and certainly needing family guidance (oh sister Candy please guide US here!).  I've decided I have had it with paying $90. for a color and a cut ~ I may end up with orange or green hair (reminding me of the days I had hair color battles with Chad way back when ~ and he sure as heck "turned out alright" in spite of his hair color choices and tongue piercing, so I guess I will too).

So as the blog post "title" indicates, and I've been holding back on the information because I thought I'd do a big fun post about it ~ we are in Mt. Airy, NC.  We were scheduled (as much as we are ever scheduled) to leave here last Saturday, but we're just loving this campground and there truly is so much to do in these parts, so we are here until (at this point) next Tuesday, but all subject to change!

Trish's parents and Aunt Donnie (as Connor says "my Donnie") stopped last evening as they were headed from the kids in New Bern back to Michigan.  As always, we had a great visit ~ always a good time, with good people that are just so warm, interesting and FUN FUN FUN.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

wouldn't it be funny

If all the volume buttons broke on mute and people would be forced to listen to what someone is saying rather than turning up the volume!

Friday, May 21, 2010

I found it!

Paradise ~ I'm sure this is it!  Rick, well he isn't quite so sure.  Rick wants the desert, or a spot on a lake all to ourselves - odd because he can't stand to not have social contact, so I have no clue what's up with that being a perfect place for him - he always says, the perfect spot is like you see in magazines and RV ads ... hmmmm go figure!

Anyway, this is a campground we are at in Northern North Carolina - five miles or so from the Virginia border.  The mountains in the background are the Blue Ridge - gorgeous or what.  There is lots of room, and hills in the campground to walk Sir - unfortunately, there is not a fenced off leash area for him and he desperately needs to run around like a crazy dog so I think we'll be in search of an off leash park (I have my doubts if we will find one in the area) or a ball field that is fenced so he can play soccer or something.

To the left is the view from our door/yard.  Not bad huh!  

Our plan is to go to a small down down the road tomorrow (if the rain stops) that is having some sort spring festival with local music ~ I can't wait.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My head was in the clouds

Sir and I seriously were in the clouds!  

While Rick was doing his chassis school and the coach was having its day and a half maintenance Sir and I packed an overnight bag, some dog food (for Sir) and headed out for parts unknown.  

I decided those parts should be part of (60 miles or so) the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I'd never been there, Rick had been there and had NO interest (he told me quite clearly a week or so ago that he'd been there, done that as a child and had NO interest in repeating that "adventure").  Well, with all that said, it seemed opportunity was knocking on my door.  So off we went ~ 

So we drove the 75 or so miles from Gaffney, SC to Asheville, NC then took a right and headed north on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Unfortunately, the clouds decided to do the same!  Not to mention the fog ~ oh yeah we were joined by some serious fog!  The photo below is a pretty good shot of the fog and clouds.  
The fog was so thick in some parts I couldn't see ten feet in front of me and truly hoped anyone coming towards us had sense enough to have headlights on.  Not to mention the fact that there were tunnels (who knew?  Remember I'd never been there?).  Well tunnels are dark, add fog to that - what do you think ~ umm read   w-h-i-t-e   k-n-u-c-k-l-e  a serious case of!  UGH
Some of these pictures may look like they are small or short, but it is because of the fog/clouds!  

Wouldn't you know the next day, when Sir and I woke up and walked outside of our motel, of course the sun was out and it was a gorgeous, clear blue day!  Oh well, there are some things over which we have no control ... fog is one of them!
With all the fog/cloud talk, I am still so glad Sir and I did this adventure.  Like I said opportunity seemed to be knocking and thankfully I had the "smarts" to answer that door.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

peachy just peachy

Well, really it's a "peachoid" ~ now who's ever heard of a peachoid  (that by the way, is a different link than the first, and perhaps this is the better link).  A peach pie, peach jam, peach cobbler, peaches and cream, just peachy but seriously - peachoid?  Well, once again, I don't make this stuff up.

As I do believe I mentioned earlier, we were headed to Gaffney, SC for the chassis maintenance and Sir Richard was going to chassis school ("Camp Freightliner) to learn all about his chassis ~ oh yeah ~ while the maintenance was being performed over a day and a half (Sir and I have a different tale for a different post for our time during that day and a half - later tho).  So Gaffney is just Gaffney ~ don't really know what to say about it ... depressed old town.  Surprisingly there is an "outlet mall" there and Freightliner is a major employer there, in fact I believe it is the major employer.  We once asked a waitperson there why they thought Freightliner would chose to locate there and the answer, not surprisingly, was "cheap labor" ....

The Freightliner service center is located on a side street off a fairly busy highway through town, in a rather new development with a community college campus (very small campus - one building) at the end of the road.  There is a pond near the campus that we take Sir to sometimes (also, that is where the peachoid photos were taken).  

While Sir was getting some smeggy water play I was enjoying the landscaping around the building - I'd never seen a magnolia blossom or bud up close ~ WOW

They are just beautiful - they petals are so "thick" and smooth.  The blossoms are quite large - five or six inches in diameter ~ just gorgeous.  Isn't that a "neat" photo below of all the spent stamens in the petals!  I gave myself a pat on the back for it!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Huh, Why, What, Why Why, Why???

A photo taken by my son Chad, four years ago, of his nephew, my grandson ~ Master Connor, when we were all in CA to celebrate Connor's first birthday!

Anyway, I refer to the photo above as "Pondering" Chad refers to it as "The Thinker".  
With all that said - I've been pondering several things lately myself ~ such as ....

1.  How is it that Mr. Clean Magic Erasers truly work and do what they claim to do?   I couldn't clean a house (38' or otherwise) without them ~ especially the bathroom and/or kitchen area or these damned stupid blasted off white leather front seats - how the heck do they do what they do?  

2.  I know, as Rick would gladly attest to, I can be a bit "uptight" (alright, I can be damned anal) about some things ~ like how laundry is folded ~ particularly tee shirts and towels, just don't touch them, as Rick again would attest, I will refold them so don't waste your energy ... With all that said, I am over the edge with a few (truly only a few, and the number is less now, than it was prior to "retirement" ~ right Rick??) things these days ~ yeah yeah yeah call it OCD or whatever monocur you chose.   With "all that said" ...

When I bought our 2002 Ford Escape in January of 2003 (I think it was, I am certain it was January and I'm sure it was a Ford dealer, because I was going for Subaru number seven - cash transaction, and the salesmen at that particular dealership, Planet Subaru in Norwell, MA wouldn't come out on the lot to talk with a customer, the customer had to go inside to the salesman - HUH - true story).

Anyway,  I started an envelope (as I'd done with every vehicle prior for as long as I can remember) of any maintenance or repairs that had been done on the vehicle - you know, every oil change, every tire, every sensor, every inspection sticker/report ... you probably get the picture - every everything that was ever done to or for the vehicle.  Well, alas the car needed new tires, so when we were in the West Palm Beach area (Lion Country Safari KOA to be precise) out came the aforementioned envelope to check just how long those Michellin tires had been on the vehicle.  Well, new tires were put on the vehicle yesterday (yes, Michelin again, not that any of that matters, but just a side note)

edit .... I started this post four nights ago and completed about 85% of what I had intended to write but decided it was time for some "shut eye" and went to save what I'd written, but alas I seemed to have mysteriously lost about two thirds of that ... so here I go again....  heck it may be the end of June before I complete and post this one ...

continuing with the story ... but where the hell is that envelope?  We've checked the car (three times at least), the coach (twice at least) and can not find the blasted envelope - seriously seven years of maintenance records poof gone .... where the heck can it be - couldn't have gone far but seems to have become lost in space ... this is probably my biggest pondering these days .. sad but true!

3.  Onward with ponderances.  Have you (or am I the only one in the entire universe ~ pretty darned unlikely huh) who's noticed that when I buy anything cotton knit, you know new tee shirts for Rick or myself, shorts, just anything cotton knit, within two darned washings I have these teeny tiny holes in them?  It is really bugging me because I just don't understand it and I've noticed this over the last several (10 or 12 perhaps) years and it's only lately that it is really "pissing me off" ... I hate buying something that I truly wear maybe twice before it has this defect (and NO there is no bleach involved).  I bought this great top at a Cato store in FL, wore it once and discovered this issue!  UGH, thankfully (I guess, in an odd sort of way, it is a very easy one for anyone with sewing knowledge to copy, but damned I didn't spend those dollar bucks to wear it only once or twice!)

4.  Books ~ why is it that I can't get out of the blasted Danielle Steele/Nora Roberts mind set?  Done a few Nicholas Sparks, but they just all seem to be the same, you can figure the ending by at least the completion of the second chapter.  I hate mysteries/horror stories (Stephen King ~ been there done that, just doesn't work in this chapter of my life), done several Andrew Greeley's (whatever his niche would be ~ sorry, but I truly don't know) in a former life, don't want biographies, HATE HATE HATE history .. what is left? 

I guess the big huge factor may be that many campgrounds have "book swaps" (they are really terrific!) but I always gravitate - guilty of ignorance of options - to the aforementioned authors.  Chad suggested Paper Back Book Swap, but for some reason, and I guess it is lack of "permanent address (don't call us transient though), I haven't signed up for this and truly it would be perfect for me because I always have at least six books I've read and currently have 15 unread .... UGH suggestions????

5. and 6.  My notes for this post were to include a "thought" about potato chips (seriously) and these fad diets that are so troubling to me as I watch those I love do them and wonder why?  Three day "cleanses" etc ~ I just don't get it, but I guess that's the chapter I'm at in my life and the health issues I deal with, without notice, that just throw us into chaos and someone would think this is just a dandy way to spend a weekend... enough Aunt Tracey with that, but gosh darn I don't understand ~ then again I do have to remember that I was 21 once and probably my aunts didn't "understand" me either (seriously, is that possible?)

Beyond all this pondering, we left Rock Hills, SC yesterday and came to Gaffney, SC. for the scheduled maintenance on the coach, as well as King Richard's school about his Freighliner chassis.   Sir and I will do, who the hell knows what, tomorrow and the next day ... the coach maintenance will be a day and a half, Rick will be in his class for two whole days.  I'm thinking about just getting a hotel room, taking my sewing machine and Sir Arlo and hanging out ... Sir sort of puts a different twist on things tho.  Oh well, if all goes well we will all three be out of here Wednesday morning headed to NC then WV then off into the wild blue yonder via Sioux Falls .... yippee back on the road again, at long last, back on the road to parts unknown again .....

Monday, May 10, 2010

Take me out for a mothers day adventure

Just so happens that Charlotte has a AAA baseball team (the Charlotte Knights) who are the AAA team for the Chicago White Sox.  Well, as luck would have it the Boston Red Sox AAA team, the Paw Sox, were in town over the weekend as we found out Saturday afternoon, so we decided that was the way to spend Sunday afternoon.  We had gone, of course, to Paw Sox games way back when so it was lots of fun to see them down here.  As it was when we were on vacation many years ago (when we went to Niagara Falls - my first time!) and the Red Sox were playing in Toronto ~ life gets so "weird" sometimes ~ ya just know you have to just go with it .... baseball is a sport we both love and when you are in an area and "your" team is there, well ya just gotta go for it!

The photo above was our first view of the field here, below both teams warming up.   

Below is a photo Rick took looking at the visitor dugout from across the stadium.  Great posture of yours truly in the photo huh!  WOW girl ~ bad ....  Oh well what can I say ... a fat girl being comfortable cheering on her team!  My mother, I know would be horrified.

One of the things we've found along the way is how fun these minor league stadiums are - they usually have a "party deck" area where your ticket includes, obviously the game, but food and beer or soda for the length of the game.  Unfortunately this stadium didn't have such a deck.  The other thing we've found is that the team mascots are very very involved with the fans ....

Above is a photo of Caroline in the purple and Homer in the white.  Below, what I'm talking about when I say that the mascots get involved and have fun with the fans.  That Homer is such a rascal.  He reminded me of Cagey at the Sioux Falls Canaries games ... so darned much fun ... wish my Connor was here with us, then again Connor may have gotten bored after the second inning!

In the photo to the left if you notice the people on the hill on the right hand side of the photo - well that is a picnic sort of area just outside where the kids rides ~ merry go round etc..  Another fun aspect of these smaller stadiums.  Although, Rick's research taught us that this stadium ("Knights Stadium") was built with the intention of being a major league stadium somewhere down the line - it was built 20 or so years ago, so I guess perhaps that was great planning but high hopes that didn't come to fruition!   

At the end of the game on Sundays children get to "run the bases" - how fun for a child - this child seriously considered running them, but then I remembered ~ dah, Tracey doesn't run, Tracey doesn't even do a fast walk these days!  So the next  photo is of the kids "running".  And next is Caroline congratulating someone as they round third!  Ya just gotta love it!

Below the water tower as you approach the stadium - hope you can enlarge the photo.

The adventure for today took us for a ride around this lovely huge Lake Wylie.  Yup we've been here before and realized as we arrived at our destination (T-Bones on the Lake) that indeed, we'd been there before as well.  I wish we could find a decent map of the area (truly the Rock Hill visitors web site was less than helpful, and to say not user friendly is an understatement).  Without the map I really can't get a feel of where we were in relation to where we are staying.  Maybe I'll figure it all out before we leave here on Saturday!  Well, maybe not!

Anyway, as we sat on the deck enjoying a great lunch, we watched these two turtle friends just hanging out!

Not to mention the grey (blue?) heron just hanging out ....

Or all these geese families.  Gosh darn those geese parents are great - they get very very loud when a dog is about ~ guess they don't like boxers ~ oh yeah, they don't like anyone or anything around their babies!

Below, my favorite guys and ugh oh ... honey is looking - just looking, seriously, there is no way we could accommodate one more toy, there just isn't room!