Our lives now include living at one of the nicest senior communities in the USA. Rossmoor in Walnut Creek, CA. We will still travel in the RV but not full time.

Archive for October, 2012

Hurricane Sandy brings new friendships and caravanning partnerships

Hurricane Sandy sort of put a new adventure in the adventure.  We learned about it, ignored it for a day and a half, then asked questions.  Then I took Shadow for her evening walk and met Dutch who was parked beside us.  Turned out he was from Walnut Creek, CA.  He said that he and his wife “Sandy” were leaving American Heritage campground and going south and a bit west and would probably stay in Walmart parking lots, until they could figure out what to do next.  “Would we be interested in caravanning with them?”

I told Russ and said that I had told Dutch we would visit in the morning.  Russ wondered if i really wanted to caravan with someone.  I replied that God always puts notes on my pillow for me to pay attention to his help.  After all we had been parked for 5 days next to two people from Walnut Creek and had not met them until the storm came up.  Besides it would be nice to have someone on the same journey for support.

Well that next morning not only did I go out to talk with Dutch, but Dan from Michigan had already approached him and the next thing I knew three couples were discussing what to do.  Well an hour later we pulled out and headed for North Carolina-Henderson was about 3 hours away, would be inland and south and if it were necessary to go further south inland, we would be prepared to do so.  Well by the end of the day we were parked in Walmart and partying in Don and Dar’s motor home (we drank water of course).  Great evening laughing, sharing ideas, and telling stories on our partners, sharing the funny ways we cannot communicate directions on the road.

Today we got up, did some computer work and found a place in Raleigh’s state fairground RV campground that is really nice.  The winds have just been gusts, and we expect tomorrow to be lots of rain.  By Monday we think the storm will be north and we may all head to Myrtle Beach.  Learned so much from Sandy and Dar. Also we all felt the good Lord had brought us together to “weather the storm” and have some fun.  Thanks to God for such a great idea.

Intermittently we are listening the the Weather Channel- and know that we still do not really know how Sandy will hit us.  But it is unlikely to do too much damage here.

We went out for dinner tonight to a Bistro, 6 large screens of sports, so we Giant’s fans and Detroit fans watched the first three innings of the game.  We are back in our RV’s and Russ and I are still watching the 8th inning and hope for a win for SF Giants.

Appreciate your prayers.

Excavation of true Jamestown site

The slide show skips photos, so be sure you press the forward button yourself to see photo.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I have inserted a map of the site that was the first Jamestown.  The river has torn away 300 feet of bank and you can see that part of the fort wall is in the river now.  One of the plantation people rescued the spot by putting concrete in the river against the land, but a lot more will have to be done and with the huge storm coming up the coast my first thought is what will happen there on the bank.   I left the camera in the RV the day we went to the see the museum of artifacts and to see the archeologists.  But the web sites had some great pictures I have used here.  You will see the beginnings of a building that is believed to have housed the first people.  The church was rebuilt three times in the 1600’s and more recently. You know of course, that Pocahontas did not marry  John Smith, but a later planter and went to England with him and their child and met  Queen Ann.  She grew sick and died before sailing from England but her son Thomas grew up and many Virginians descend from him.

So much for the history lesson-but when you meet the archeologists you get so excited that they have found so much and how many questions are answered.  These days in this gorgeous air and colors has been some of our best.  We are concerned about the coming storms and are watching news and talking to other RVers about what they plan to do.  So strange-I got some ideas from the Arkansas couple on one side of us who thought if we just went west to Charlottesville  near Monticello we would be in less weather.  Then I took Shadow for a walk and met the people on the other side of us.  Can you believe they are from Walnut Creek??????!!!!!!!

They are planning not to wait, but leave tomorrow and move slowly south into North Carolina, go down to Raleigh and so on- staying at Walmarts and move into South Carolina.  When the storm passes we could decide whether to get to the campsite Nov. 1st near Charleston.You know the land near the shorelines could be damaged.  He invited Russ and I over in the morning to look at what he knows of the possible path of the storm.  It is so up in the air, but I love that I am surrounded by people who have good ideas, and that California neighbors are traveling with us. I am blessed as usual.

Oh yes, one more thing we are sitting in the RV watching beautiful San Francisco from the Giants Stadium and pretty excited about the Giants winning the first.  Hope tonight goes as well.

Jamestown, First English Settlement in New World

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Well it seems there are several approaches and stories about Jamestown.  The most important thing is that everyone thought that the first settlement itself was lost and now the Rediscovery group is not only excavating it, but has a museum with all they have dug up, open sites with excavation occurring, walls and buildings going up where they once existed and fences where they framed the community, graves have been found and people identified.  It is so fascinating!  History being proved and wow I was there seeing it all. Jamestown Living History Museum is in the pictures of this post.  They have recreated so much and I really enjoyed their indoor museum as well. But you will see photo’s of a lovely woman, Sharon Indian who was making rope from grasses and weaving bowls and baskets.  She is actually Seneca Indian from New York but works the site we visited and was so funny with stories-has a granddaughter who is loving learning the old ways and history, too.  She’s the one who told Russ and I that the Powhatans canoes were  from trees 70 feet in diameter and 40 natives traveled in them.  A very cute 2nd grader learned how to make rope from Sharon and then on this replica ships she learned how to tie a figure 8 knot.  She came running up to show me! Also I love that quinoa was one of the foods of this area, that it grew wild and still does I guess.

Looks like the photos are messed up.  But I will still send this and add a bit more.  I was under the idea that the native American Powhatans all died- most did but to this day there are about 1000 living on two reservations.  Another bit of interest is that only one woman and child arrived on the first ship and that just a couple more came on the second. However, it seems that the Virginia Company of London still hoping to make profits, sent a ship of women next.  Also they sent the Dutch on another trip.  Unlike Spain, this settlement did not come up with gold etc.  But we do have the beginning of America.  Also, I love that in each of the museums we see the story of the native Americans, the Africans and how far back humans were on this land.  History has changed since I studied it. Nothing stays the same not even history, we just keep finding out more.

Again, the colors keep changing and the air is just rich with scent of blooming things and the dusty crackle of the fallen leaves.  The combination is quite intoxicating.  I have never really lived in forests before.  It boggles my mind.  Oh among the pictures is the bread pudding recipe in one of the reenactment cafe’s.  I took the picture cause Russ wants to make it.  We’ll see!

Gorgeous Fall Colors in Historical Williamsburg, VA

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I may not have been in Maine for fall but Virginia is doing a pretty good job. Crisp nites and mornings, leaves in vivid colors right next to tons of greenery and flowering plants.  Blue skys and the air like gold.  Wonderful.

We have been here in Williamsburg for one whole week and have booked ourselves for another.  Some of you have been here, I know.  Let me inform you that it just gets better and better. They keep improving it.

The photos in the slide show come from 2 different days that we visited Historical Williamsburg.  Besides watching wonderful reenactments on the site, with costume, horses (manure) shops, we listened to 3 incredible speakers-George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Pamphlet.  Each spoke from being real in their time and did not miss a beat when questioned.  It was so cool and it felt so real.  The actors are unbelievably trained and you get their message from certain times of their lives and the America’s-George Washington was in the days after Declaration while he and others were trying to get Americans to stop trading with England to end the taxes making laws without the people’s involvement.  It filled in all the questions I have had and brought together so much-so I am now reading Washington A Life which is a great biography.

For anyone wanting information read Wikipedia info below

Colonial Williamsburg is a living-history museum and private foundation representing the historic district of the city of Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. The 301-acre (122 ha) Historic Area includes buildings dating from 1699 to 1780 which made colonial Virginia’s capital, as well as Colonial Revival and more recent reconstructions.

Early in the 20th century, the restoration and re-creation of Colonial Williamsburg, one of the largest such projects in the nation, was championed by W. A. R. Goodwin and the patriarch of the Rockefeller familyJohn D. Rockefeller, Jr., along with his wife, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, to celebrate the patriots and the early history of the United States. Today it is a major tourist attraction for the Williamsburg area, and is part of the Historic Triangle of Virginia area, which includes Jamestown and Yorktown, linked by the Colonial Parkway. The site has been used for conferences by world leaders and heads of state, including U.S. Presidents. In 1983, the United States hosted the first World Economic Conference at Colonial Williamsburg. The Historic area is located immediately east of The College of William & Mary.

The motto of Colonial Williamsburg is “The future may learn from the past”. The Historic Area is an interpretation of a Colonial American city, with exhibits including dozens of authentic or re-created colonial houses and relating to American Revolutionary Warhistory. Prominent buildings include the Raleigh Tavern, the CapitolThe Governor’s Palace (all reconstructed), and Bruton Parish Church (original). Rather than an effort to preserve antiquity, the combination of restoration and re-creation of the entire colonial town attempts to re-create the atmosphere and the ideals of 18th-century American people and revolutionary leaders. Interpreters work and dress as they did in the era, using colonial grammar and diction (although not colonial accents).[3]

Night tour of DC

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We were pretty tired when we arrived in DC.  But that did not stop us from doing all we could do while here.  We have learned not to try and do everything at once.  We also learned that sometimes it is better to drive than use all the Metro stuff.  However, we did catch a bus from the Cherry Hill Campground in Maryland to DC where we got on a bus for the night tour.  Now it should have been fantastic, cause of all the lights on.  But it was not a double decker and we were not sitting outside.  Instead we were in one of the buses where the windows are shaded and the poor guy who drove and told the stories at the same time had a terrible sound system.  I was so frustrated and if I could have gotten off I would have.

Then again it began to turn around as we got off at the Memorials like Lincoln and Jefferson.  We could see up the Mall and across water to skylines.  We walked the later memorials of Vietnam, WWII and so on.  But it was very dark and Russ was too tired to join me.  For me something very important happened.  When I was living in Yuma, Arizona in the early 70’s I met a pilot in the Marines named “Bo” Clarence Bates.  This young captain had been in Vietnam as a Captain in the Army and did horrific ground duty.  He switched to the Marines and piloting and when I lost touch he was going to Vietnam.  I always wondered if he survived the war in Vietnam and was really glad to see his name did not appear on the Wall.

Another exciting part of the evening was the new memorial for Dr. Martin Luther King.  It was so so touching.  The sections on the wall, with important quotes just rung out.  The stone he is cut out of-powerful stuff.  Those of us who lived through civil rights and know the changes really got strong feelings from the experience.  The woman I was walking with said, she told her kids that she would not be the president of a company in LA if not for the era and Dr. King.  She is African American. She remembers her mother getting her up to see the March on Washington and other things.  So we had fun just being of an age to share.

National Cathedral of DC and Georgetown

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In 1969 during the Vietnam War, and between my Junior and Senior year of College at University of Idaho, this small town girl was very lucky and got an internship for US Congressman, Orval Hansen.  When I got to DC I was introduced to Carol Hatchet from Paul, Idaho.  She was working in the Congressman’s office and going to American University.  She was rooming with other Hill people in a little house two or so blocks from the Washington Cathedral. They included me in their lives. And the Cathedral is where I caught the bus to the Longworth Blding on the Hill.  That Cathedral was my saving grace-I was used to small populations, open country, white people and civil rights happened on TV.  Yes, there were marches and stuff at the U of I, but nothing compared to other parts of the country.  It was a step that never stopped.  From that summer on, I knew I was forever changed.

Driving to the Cathedral with Russ and then taking the tour behind the scenes was really fascinating.  But back in that early time it was the place to sit in a garden and in large quiet rooms and catch my breath.  It took me away from heat and humidity and put me in beauty and peace.  Of course, those were my non-belief years.  So I was also constantly thinking how religion only brought war on the planet-if you lived through the 60’s you know what I mean.

Washington DC had an earthquake a short time ago.  This cathedral lost a few parts to its spires and lots of dust came down.  Retro fitting is still going on.  In the Capitol Rotunda the tour guides stayed and swept floors and dusted statues.  It is so interesting to hear how everyone here felt about an earthquake.  I think it was a 5.6.  Some tours way up below the Rose windows have been discontinued and netting is still spread across the ceilings until every bit of work can be done and checked.

Once we had toured and looked around we found our way to Georgetown and had a bistro to ourself where the Persian owner fixed us an incredible late afternoon lunch.  We talked about what all my Methodist Friends have been involved in-Camp Liberty and the changing of the status of people caught up in Iraq from terrorists to non-terrorists.  It was cool to have something so important to share.


Holocaust Museum in Washington DC

I always knew I would visit the Holocaust Museum.  I may not have been as shocked as some people.  After all, I was a history lover, I was a baby boomer, I read every historical novel I could and college professors showed me movies of atrocities in Germany that many people never saw.

Needless to say, I was so impressed with the building itself-totally perfect for the most imperfect of events.  I only took pictures of the structure and outsides.  The walk through, the movies, the hair, shoes and other collections just have to be seen personally.


George Miller’s office set us up for Capitol Tour and we added Library of Congress

I called Congressman George Miller of Martinez’s DC office and they scheduled Russ and I a trip on Thursday to the Capitol.  Let me tell you it is different from 1969 when I worked on the Hill for a summer for Idaho Congressman Orval Hansen.  The new addition to the Capitol is the visitor’s center, underground on what is considered the back side of the capitol-front side faces the mall.

So for us to get there and do this we drove from our new Virginia site 16 miles to a Metro.  Caught the blue line into DC, switched to red line and came out at Union Station.  Walked from Union Station through the two Senate Office Buildings on 1st street.  Thank God we got our sunny morning with blue skies and the trees changing colors.  We passed a building that I did  not remember and which actually shocked me-The Methodist Church Building- right next to the Supreme Court building.  After that the Library of Congress and of course the capitol was on our right.  At Independence we turned right and walked past the Congressional Office buildings and I got a picture of me where I worked in 69.  Then up we went into Rayburn building to Miller’s office to sign in and get passes.  Then off to Capitol across the street and by this time Russ was hurting.

Fortunately I captured a golf cart guy and he got the rest of the ride to the elevators for the visitor center.

The tour was incredible because this particular 4’10” dynamite of a woman was knowledgable, witty, clever and because each group wears a head set connected to the guide and we could hear everything she said.  OMG!

Congress was not in session, they are all out campaigning and not returning until November.  Also we could not walk out front of the Capitol cause all that area is being built up for the President’s Inauguration!!!

Underground also had a tunnel to the Library of Congress and that was a huge change for me to see.  When I was in DC the building had never been completely refurbished from the fires-and now I walked out into a French Versaille style art gallery.  It is so gorgeous that I simply could not believe it.

We did eventually get back to Springville garage to get the car and could not find it.  Had to get the security to drive us around to it!!!


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Friendship, University of Idaho, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Jane and Kristi in Middleburg

For ladies that graduated college in 1970, I think we look pretty good!

Russ, Shadow and I have been in DC area for well over a week.  We have moved from Maryland site to Virginia site, and we have taken quite a lot of trips into DC both with Metro and by car.  Yesterday, however, was a very special one for me as we met my college Kappa Kappa Gamma friend, Jane.  We have only seen each other at one reunion, but that feeling of comfort with those special people in your life was right there. Jane came up with a spectacular idea and had us meet her in Middleburg, VA in the rolling green fields of the polo country and farms.  The town itself is very beautiful with Rock buildings and great Antique stores.  We met at an old Inn for lunch-Red Fox Inn, and we just hugged and caught up.  Both of us have been in teaching and special education-her time has been in Fairfax.  Her younger sister, Midge and my sister Karole also became friends in college and Midge was in Karole’s wedding. Jane has been a big help in our time here, keeping me informed by e-mail and phone of what to see and do and how to get there.  You know it is stressful getting to places, especially when Russ does not walk for a long time-he is actually doing remarkably well, but is in pain. HISTORY  for those interested.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

History for those interested.

The town was established in 1787 by American Revolutionary War Lieutenant Colonel and Virginia statesman,John Leven Powell. He purchased the land for Middleburg at $2.50 per acre from Joseph Chinn, a first cousin of George Washington. It had been called “Chinn’s Crossroads”, and was then called Powell Town. When Leven Powell declined to have the town named after him, the town was called Middleburgh, and later, simply Middleburg. The village is located midway between the port of Alexandria[3] and Winchester, Virginia, on theAshby Gap trading route (now followed by U.S. Route 50).

In 1863, Middleburg witnessed two skirmishes during the Gettysburg Campaign of the Civil War.

From the early 1900s, Middleburg began welcoming visitors who participated in foxhunting and steeplechasing. The village soon earned a reputation as the “Nation’s Horse and Hunt Capital”, attracting prominent visitors from across the U.S. Middleburg is the home of the 15,000-square-foot (1,400 m2National Sporting Library research center for horse and field sports, which publishes Thoroughbred Heritage on the Internet. A new addition is being made to include an art gallery and museum.

In 1961, civil rights activists pressed John F. Kennedy on local segregation issues during his residency outside town.

The Middleburg Historic District, comprising the 19th-century center of town, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as is the Red Fox Inn[4], the oldest building in town,[5] and billed as the oldest continually operated inn in the U.S.

William Penn’s City, “the city of brotherly love” created some pretty cool thinking!

I really had no idea how beautiful Philadelphia is. City Hall with William Penn-the Masonic Temple across the street whose laborer artisans made sure Penn faced their temple.  Liberty Bell history and all the related stories.  Feeling energy in Independence Hall and re hearing the stories of the brave men who stood up and compromised over and over until they could make the government happen, work, evolve, grow and change.  Kind of says it all for me.  Then the Museum where the Rocky movie shows Stallone running up and down the stairs-  Heard he only ran up and down 10 stairs at a time!

The Quaker philosophy of respecting all religions is reflected beautifully in the city in the people, the neighborhoods, the buildings. Really felt good here.

Loved the Liberty Bell Hall.  You walk through a framed space where Ben Franklin’s home stood and then you read all the stories of the history connected to the bell.  Many people of the world connect to the Liberty Bell.  I had my picture taken with Susan B Anthony.  African Americans connected to the Bell.  The symbol, of course, much more important than the bell, but when you see the bell, you really feel in you heart all the ways we perceive and require liberty.

Finally the new Constition Museum- modern, techy, moving, interactive.  A must see for all American Families.  But the whole Philadelphia thing of Liberty, acceptance and great minds risking their lives for liberty-really seems to attract Asians and Europeans and the worlds citizens in general, that I walked among throughout our visit.

Tag Cloud