Wednesday, November 30, 2005

11:13 AM Wednesday November 30, 2005

One name for my malady is “writer’s block” but most likely, my lack of posting is just laziness! Our time here in coastal Georgia comes to an end tomorrow morning and we’ll be heading farther south to St. Augustine, Florida. We have loved it here. This RV park is small and peaceful and the Pace faces Lake McKintosh a little pond where Phil has been drowning worms for a week. He came back last night happy to proclaim he caught his Georgia fish! Yes, it was a little perch but big or small, a fish is a fish! One more STATE notch on his fish-catching belt … he’s back out there again this morning.

We’ve been exploring the area, doing and seeing many things so I have plenty to tell you. I hope to find the opportunity and inclination very shortly to bring the blog up to date. Be patient with me, okay? Living this life of retirement and fulltime RVing is so great, we’re having a really good time and lately manĂ na is good enough for me!
Out the front window of our Pace. Phil (while a neighbor looks on) caught by the camera catching another Georgia fish!  Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 27, 2005

10:52 AM Sunday November 27, 2005

Are we having fun? Many people have asked us that question and today I feel the need to say unequivocally … YES!

Phil and I share a birthday on November 27th … I was born in 1939 in Oakland California and he came along five years later in 1944 in Bremerton Washington. 40 plus years later our paths crossed and together we’ve been putting one foot in front of the other ever since. Being Zodiac “twins” has many ups and downs … yes, (to those of you who know us personally) I can see you smiling. Fortunately, after our relationship trials and tribulations over time and after the greater part of the dust settled, we discovered we had nearly identical goals for our old age. Fulltime Rving met our objectives with bells on so when Phil retired last year we were off and running.

So far, we haven’t looked back …

PS: My dear daughter, Violet was also born on this day, my 19th birthday in 1958. She was the best birthday present I have ever received so Happy Birthday to you too sweetheart!

Monday, November 21, 2005

4:06 PM Monday, November 21, 2005

It is raining fairly steady here in Lexington, South Carolina. Started early afternoon a couple days ago and is supposed to continue through today. We plan to leave on Tuesday morning and are hoping the weather will clear by then.

My cousin Dolly and her husband Charles live in Lexington and have been perfect hosts during our stay here in South Carolina. We’ve spent many enjoyable hours visiting in their beautiful home and going out to eat together. Another one of my cousins, Dolly’s sister, Leona and her husband Bill from Aiken, SC drove up for a day and the six of us had a lovely lunch together at the Lizard’s Thicket Restaurant. Don’t let the name put you off! It’s a great restaurant with many choices of authentic and delicious southern cooking. South Carolina’s license plate says: “Smiling Faces – Beautiful Places” and we couldn’t agree more.

Charles took Phil out fishing in his boat yesterday afternoon and Phil came back in grinning from ear to ear because he caught his South Carolina fish. While the guys were gone, Dolly and I went through a suitcase full of family photographs she had inherited that belonged to her mother, Leola and grandmother, Myrtle. I helped her identify many of them and then found one very special picture of our great, great grandmother, Virginia Turner Cox that I’ve never seen before. It is a genealogical treasure for our family and Dolly made several copies for me!
If things go as planned, we'll get to meet some more of the family later this afternoon.
L-R: Charles, Dolly, Joy and Phil after a great dinner at the "Lizard's Thicket" in Lexington, SC. Posted by Picasa
Cousin Dolly and her husband Charles in Lexington, SC. Posted by Picasa
Cousin from Aiken SC, Leona and her husband Bill. Posted by Picasa
Charles and Phil hooking up to Charles's boat getting ready to go fishing at Murray Lake. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

10:30 AM Wednesday November 16, 2005

I have Type-2 diabetes, having been diagnosed almost ten years ago. So far, several different physicians (the latest one being the most successful) and I have been able to keep my blood sugar under fairly good control with oral medication. For me, the biggest problem with needing pills four times a day is being able to remember to take them! You know what they say in regard to aging: “The first thing to go is your memory and the second thing is … oh-oh, I forgot!”

Why is she telling me this, you ask? Because, I just looked out my window here beside the computer and saw that the back window of the truck canopy is up so, no doubt, it has been open all night. I have a difficult time remembering to take my pills and Phil struggles to remember to close and lock the canopy door. We just shake our heads at each other and shrug our shoulders. It seems the harder we try, the worse it gets! Another curious phenomenon about our individual memories is that I have nearly total recall about the things Phil should remember and he can almost always retain information about my “to do” list. What is that all about?

I read recently that learning a foreign language is one way to exercise your mind, help to avert Alzheimer’s and improve your memory. I’m thinking about buying a Spanish course we can listen to and study as we travel down the road. If I remember, I’ll keep you posted ;-[)

Monday, November 14, 2005

10:16 PM Monday November 14, 2005

Last week I told you about Phil and I going on a New York City – Ellis Island – Statue of Liberty tour and this will be the third and last installment of that wonderful day … our bus tour with New York Tours. Countless weeks prior to the time we wanted to do this, we had been surfing/searching the net; asked for help at AAA as well as a travel agency but nowhere could we come up with a tour that would pick us up at our RV Park, Maple Lake Campground near Jackson, New Jersey. There is a plethora of tour companies that provide superb narrated tours but they all originate in the heart of New York City. These were out of the question for us because we were not comfortable (that’s putting it mildly) with driving into the city and trying to find a place to park. Even if we could have managed that in the early morning hour, we would have been faced with trying to find our way OUT of the city after dark. That thought gave both of us chills!

However, we did find another RV Park on the Jersey shore that was a pick up point for one of the tours and after getting permission to leave our truck in their lot we made reservations with the tour bus to pick us up at that location. We had to be there by 7:20 AM and since we were in a park 60 miles south that meant we were on the road by 5:15 AM. The traffic into Jersey City wasn’t as bad as we expected so we arrived in plenty of time to eat a breakfast snack we brought from home and drink a second cup of coffee.

The tour bus arrived on time, (to the minute); we paid the driver for two all-day tours and found our seats. Two and a half hours later, after numerous stops including the Newark Airport and many different motels in the area (on the New Jersey side of the river) where several dozen other tourists were loaded our group was complete. At the last motel stop, we changed busses and drivers (no explanation was offered) and at last, headed into the city. This entire loading procedure took much more time than necessary since there was only a few people with prepaid tickets and everyone else had to pay the driver; not very efficient in our opinion.

Our route took us through the Lincoln Tunnel where our driver warned us not to take any pictures. Signs at the entrance warned us that picture taking inside the tunnel was prohibited and the driver said he knew of one bus that was pulled over by the police and the tourist who ignored the warning and took pictures out the window of the bus was fined. The security cameras inside the tunnel must be very good or this story is a standard “wow the tourist” story. Of course, since 9-11, anything is possible.

About 10 AM we picked up our tour guide waiting at a bus stop in front of his apartment. After almost three hours we were finally going to see the “big apple”! Don’t get me wrong because I loved every minute of our tour, when I say again … in hindsight … in order to visit a large city and truly have enough time to see everything there is to see, a nice hotel for a couple days, in the heart of the city, with a helpful concierge would be a better way to go. One of these days (maybe in Chicago?) we’ll try out my theory.
This post card is still being sold at Ellis Island showing the twin towers of the World Trade Center in the New York skyline. Posted by Picasa
New York City ... here we come! Posted by Picasa
Fresh produce cart near Central Park. Posted by Picasa
Slated for demoliton by the city, Jackie Kennedy Onassis and her fellow historical preservationists fought for years and eventually won in court against the city of New York. This magnificent building, Grand Central Station was saved for posterity. Posted by Picasa
Restored back to its 1913 glory with hundreds of people moving in every direction and tourists taking pictures, there isn't one seat or bench to be found anywhere. Obviously, they do not encourage loitering. Posted by Picasa
It is not only beautiful it is huge! Posted by Picasa
Completely cleaned and restored ceiling in the main terminal.  Posted by Picasa
A very well off street person. Look at all that stuff on his cart! Posted by Picasa
This motorhome was "camped" on the street (jacks down-slides out) and the white limo brought a visitor to the coach. Both parked in a "busses only" parking zone beside Central Park. Who? Why? What was going on? Our guide couldn't tell us and we couldn't hang around to find out.  Posted by Picasa
One of the ponds in Central Park. Posted by Picasa
Phil at the edge of Central Park. Posted by Picasa
We learned that much of the traffic gridlock on New York City's streets is due to the fact that the city has no alleys. Consequently, all the deliveries to every business and apartment, are made from trucks double and triple parked in the streets ... sometimes for hours. Posted by Picasa
Time's Square. Posted by Picasa
Gee ... there is my name ... "up in lights!" Posted by Picasa
New York City courthouse (as seen in scenes from the TV show Law and Order). Posted by Picasa
And, we looked up! Posted by Picasa
Beautiful old building. Posted by Picasa
Interesting architecture. Where are the windows? Posted by Picasa
The top of the Empire State Building. Posted by Picasa
Beautiful ornate building. Posted by Picasa