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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy Birthday to ...

Himself ... Camelot's Sir Arlo.  He will be six years old on Wednesday April 27.  
As much work as he is, he is equally as much fun ... 

And he sure loves to swim and play in the water, be it an ocean, lake, pond or puddle!

or romping in the desert

or just chillin' while enjoying the surroundings

or trying to figure out just how he got that "pollen face"

it is a tough life but some one's got to do it ... unfortunately he has no clue how lucky he is!

Oh my, what a handsome boy he is

a photo of the birthday cookie (one of them) he enjoyed last year in NC

well he enjoyed it after staring at it for a few minutes while trying to figure out what it was he was suppose to do with it (he isn't a bit fan of cookies)

Happy Birthday Sir

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Rich rich Richmond

After we left New Bern, NC we headed to the Richmond, VA area where we stayed at a great lodge in Glen Allen.  Glen Allen is about a 10-15 minute ride into what I believe is the "downtown" area of Richmond.

The area of the Lodge property that had electric and water hook ups was outstanding and we had it to ourselves most of the week and a half we were there ~ Arlo was delighted to say the least!  Yup, we were too, as well as delighted that the Lodge was full of fun and friendly people ... too much fun and friendly on a couple occasions!

We headed into Richmond a couple times.  One warm and sunny afternoon and one evening for dinner.  Downtown Richmond has a river running through it (that would be the James River, I believe).  We've been to several "river walks" over the last six or so months (San Antonio being my favorite by far).  Richmond's seems to be a work in progress and at its beginning stages as there were many vacant "store fronts" and/or restaurant areas available for rent.  Hopefully within a few years it will be well on its way to be a close second to San Antonio!

As I've said many times before, history just "isn't my thing" but this may be another case in point where I'm mellowing a bit ... check out the lovely brick street in the photo below.  

As well as this interesting shot of raised rails running through/along the river walk area (perhaps an example of why I say it is a work in progress?)

The Poe Museum (no we didn't go in) ... so I can't critique it!!

Below is a photo of Richmond's Main Street Station which really intrigued me.  What a beautiful old building, inside and out with such a history.  Built in 1901 it has survived fires and floods.  I had two very informative booklets I picked up while we were there, but darned if I can find them now that I am finally (yeah) doing this post.  The link I've added here has a bit of that information as well as a nice photo taken in 1971 showing the tracks going into the station - looks much nicer back then than it does now ... now there are many over passes and not such great views of a beautiful old building!  Foolishly, I didn't take any photos inside the building - DAH, what was I thinking?

Sadly, much of Richmond's history is based on the slave trade.  As I felt when we were in Charleston, SC a year or so ago, the horrors man kind subjects on another to just baffles me.

So we left this very interesting area on April 9th and spent that night in a service area on the NJ Turnpike.  I have been strongly opposed to rest area/service area stops since we hit the road three and a half years ago.  If Sir Arlo wasn't with us I wouldn't care at all where we stopped, but I have huge issues walking Arlo in the morning in rest areas.  This stop along the NJ Turnpike however was really a good stop (especially since we were pushing the envelope on a travel days maximum mileage and there were NO campgrounds for miles and miles and miles). 

We arrived in Middleboro, MA (our old "stomping grounds") on April 10th and will be here until May 13.  We've had many doctors appointment etc. in the time we've been here, as well as seen family and many friends.  The weather, however, has been less than delightful -  we went to New Hampshire to visit Pat Beth and Princess Paige and spent the night, waking up to snow on Saturday morning!

That's all for now ... gonna do a quick spell check, but no proof reading, I'm beat and headed to bed.

Hope everyone enjoys a delightful Easter with loved ones.

Stay tuned ...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

fun fun fun in NC

Yes Chester, the big peach was getting a bit old huh!  It's only been two weeks since a new post  -- what's the problem?

After we left Gaffney, SC (the previous blog post) we headed to my son Joshua and his family in New Bern, NC.  We stopped along the way and spent a night at a Moose Lodge in Selma, NC just down the road from Rick's favorite cigar source (JR Cigars), so of course we had to spend some time there to stock his humidor!  Not only do they have a HUGE humidor (that smells awesome), they also sell assorted "junk" that you had NO idea you wanted or needed!  This time it was a good source for "tacky" flip flops for yours truly, the tackier the better!

While we were in New Bern we took a "field trip" one day to Oriental, NC, a tiny fishing town.  Unfortunately there were no restaurants open in town (I think the town has three) the day we were there, but Sir sure had fun playing on the dock and at the boat ramp at a nice little park we found.  Then we took the ferry (free ferry fun by the NC DOT) from Minnesott Beach to Cherry Branch, crossing the Neuse River.  We visited, sort of, the Elks Lodge in Morehead City, but after 15 minutes of waiting we couldn't get the bartender to acknowledge our existence, so we said the heck with it and left.  I did pick up a couple books from their book swap, so it certainly wasn't a bad stop in spite of lack of service.

Another day we had "the kids" over to the coach for dinner.  It sure was enjoyable to watch Connor do his homework.  I was shocked at the amount of homework required nightly in kindergarten these day!  It was about  1/2 an hours worth and that didn't include the required "journal entry", which was going to be done when he got home!  I will say that it was much easier and much much more enjoyable to watch a grandson do homework than it ever was to watch his father or his uncle "do" homework!  Ahhh one of the many joys of grand parenting!

After homework, Connor and Grammie (yours truly) played hide the toy (which was a stuffed animal that Connor brought with him).  It was a whole lot of fun, with Connor telling Grammie if she was "hot" or "cold" (far from or close to) said toy.  At one point he told me I was with the penguins I was so cold!  

It was absolutely delightful to see how Connor has grown and "matured" over the last few months.  He had gone through a very difficult time with my daughter in law (Trisha) when Joshua was in Yuma for some training a few months ago and was not particularly good for his mom!  Joshua had told me that Connor's behavior greatly improved when they switched one of his asthma medications.  

Obviously, from the photo above, Sir Arlo enjoyed having Connor visit as well!  We took Sir to the kids house one night and he played so well with their ten (or so) month old pup - "Bowser".

We stayed at a wonderful KOA in New Bern located right on the Neuse River.   Unfortunately, the weather was horrible while we were there - cold and rainy all but one of the days.

After we left there we headed to the Richmond, VA area.

Stay tuned .....

Friday, April 1, 2011

just peachy

Yup, we were back in Gaffney, SC last week for our chassis maintenance (every 15,000 miles or so).  I believe this recent stop was our fourth at the Freightliner facility.  Our maintenance can take four hours or an entire day, fortunately there's only been one visit that was eight hours.  We've always been at a loss to find much to do in the area that we can include Sir Arlo in so we usually go to a state park or something.  

We were so pleasantly surprised with changes we saw in Gaffney.  We'd always thought of it as a rather depressed little town (with a per capita income in the range of $18,000 I'd say our thoughts were correct).  There has been a lot of new retail development in town since we were there a year or so ago.

We did some "tourist" things this time we were there, one of which was to visit the "Michael Gaffney House".  What an interesting history this little building has!  Michael Gaffney came to the US from Ireland in the late 1700's and eventually settled in what is now his namesake town.  This recreation of his home does have 27 (I believe, but the brochure is still in the car!) boards from the original home which was vandalized and burnt.

After visiting the Gaffney home we went to the Possum Trot School built in 1880.  Apparently the restoration was an Eagle Scout project and what a great job they did.

After leaving Gaffney we spent a night at the Moose Lodge in Selma, NC then came to New Bern, NC to spend some time with Joshua, Trisha and Connor.  

We are leaving New Bern in an hour or so and heading to VA for a couple nights then on to snow covered MA.  We finally got doctor and surgery appointments scheduled on Monday, as well as getting our campground booked (that turned into quite an ordeal, but with the help of a very accommodating KOA employee it finally worked out).  It has been cold, rainy and windy all week here in New Bern so of course, as we are about to leave the sun is shining in my eyes!  We met with a realtor in the area yesterday to look at a property Rick had discovered ... nothing will come of that one for us but we shall see what develops down the road as the realtor has been sending me more listings!

Stay tuned ...