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 December, 2012


East Bay River Walk, Savannah

Walking with Shadow

Walking with Shadow






Russ and Shadow-check out her left side.  Can't believe she can walk normal

Russ and Shadow-check out her left side. Can’t believe she can walk normal





Ferry Boats cross over to convention center





Great riverfront buildings

Great riverfront buildings











The Masons go way back here

The Masons go way back here












Russ loves hats

Russ loves hats







Just being silly

Just being silly








Our Berkley like block where the Bean has the best coffee and the organic grocery store has everything

Our Berkley like block where the Bean has the best coffee and the organic grocery store has everything




Love this store

Love this store








Whenever we get a sunny day, we get out to do things.  The riverfront is fantastic.  All the old warehouses are now restaurants, bars, candy stores, and tourist junk.  But it really is neat.  Shadow loves slow walks and this was perfect.  She sniffed all the stores and met all the little kids.  These last months with Shadow alone have been pretty great, except that tumor keeps growing.  She still loves to go with us.  Her latest thing is to try and dig a hole to bury her food.  I kid you not. Inside the RV.  We have watched her scrap at the paper towel and use it to cover her dish.  Today when we got back to the RV she had buried her dish under the rug at the door.

Anyway one of the buildings had a historical plaque with the first Masonic group in the area from the 1700’s.  Since my family has been Masonic and my sisters and I Honored Queens of Job’s Daughters, my Uncle a Shriner  and Dad a 32nd degree Scottish Rites, I get a kick out of all the Masons in the country.  The Dan Brown books were so interesting and in every city and town I see Masonic lodges.  It’s been interesting and a huge part of our history.


Dec 23rd was cold, but we had to do something so Ft. Pulaski followed by cold bike ride

Did you know John Wesley came to the Savannah area and did his first sermon out near Tybee Island?  I found out a lot of other stuff and may add some of it to this post near the bottom. 

So, literally Russ and I often spend mornings laundering, reading, working on the computers and walking Shadow.  When the sun is out and the wind not blowing, we ride the bikes.  There has been a great levy that follows the highway into Savannah,  I holds the river back from the marshes and we drive everyday through the marshes into Savannah.  We see runners and bikers walking on the levy-not typical California levies.  This is much smaller.  So we decided that one, we would visit Fort Pulaski and two ride the levy.  It was really a cold day-50 degrees is very cold on the marshes and out by the Atlantic Ocean.  And I really was not all that interested in the Fort-but why not?

Met a reinactment ranger at the Fort.  Suffered injuries in the Iraq wars several times and was dressed in a Union uniform holding his weapon.  Chatted with us out of character and was very interesting.  He’s hoping he will at some time get to Gettysburg to work.  What we learned that I did not remember from history, was that due to the War of 1812  and the Revolutionary War, America tried to build forts all along the eastern seaboard to protect themselves from the English attaching again.  Robert E. Lee designed Fort Pulaski to be a powerfully strong fort made of bricks that could withstand anything.  Then the succession of the Southern states became eminent and a large Savannah contingency went out and took the Fort from the Union.  When Lee was asked he was sure the Union could not get it back.  But the Union had a new kind of cannon with rifling that would spin and add force to the cannon ball.  Those Union soldiers quietly stole onto Tybee Island a mile and 1/2 away and spent 30 hours shooting the hell out of that brick structure.  One of the sad parts to the Fort is that the Union sent top Confederate Officers who were prisoners of war out there, in terrible conditions to get sick and die.  Of all people, The famous Sherman who descimated southern towns was the one who finally got these officers out and to a descent place with food and medicine.  The highway we drive everyday is called the “Highway of the Immortal 600” because 600 of them managed to survive out of the 1000 officers.  (Russ thinks the story is that 600 was the total and over 500 survived)  Ah well.

We were very interested in the personal tour we got and how the fort was constructed on the marshes, so that we hit the bike trail in very cold wind, but we rode close to 5 miles as the sun was setting and smoke seemed to envelope the Savannah skyline.  Still don’t know where the smoke came from.

Smoke makes scarey sunset

Smoke makes scarey sunset

DSC01744This is the bike trail looking east where the river dumps into the Atlantic.  Hugh cargo ships pass by.

DSC01740The sunset on marsh grasses is pretty cool as is the boat trail.

DSC01738Love this, cause it is what all the lowland is about.

DSC01737Me, cold and windblown.  That is not my hair standing up, but dead palm branches


DSC01731Russ and our bikes


DSC01729Methodist friends, this is next to the Fort Pulaski


I am discovered by ADHD Boys wherever we travel

DSC01719The officers quarters in the fort were much better than the prisoners

Below is where all the confederate barrels of gun powder were stacked to the ceiling.  It was a miracle that it did not blow sky high when the Union soldiers started firing on the fort




Flag at half mast for Inoye and children of Connecticut

Flag at half mast for Inoye and children of Connecticut

DSC01704The fort  and Union Soldier

DSC01696The Fort has an incredible moat all around it.






Christmas Day at the Mansion Inn and Les Mis in Savannah

Boy did we make great choices for Christmas Day.  We heard that the Mansion Inn on Forsyth Park was the place to dine! So we had one of the best dining experiences we’ve had.  And given the great resturants of the SF Bay area that is saying a lot. The service was wonderful and the decor delightful.  Our lovely server shared a bit about her many generations of family in the Savannah area-going back into the 1700’s.  We  visited in the lobby with a lovely woman who had set up the gift shop art and gift selection.  She was very warm and friendly and took a photo of us in front of the fire.  The Inn itself is beautiful and here is the address.  Copy and paste as I could not make a link.  It would be a perfect place to visit on your vacation. http://www.mansiononforsythpark.com

Our meal was 4 courses.  Each course was equally delicious and elegant in every way.  I started with Crab and Roasted Corn Chowder, then Jarlsburg and Havarti Risotto Cakes,  Finally  the entre’e Turkey Breast Roulade with Crimini, Porcini and Pancetta.  My dessert was Fudge Caramel Pecan Cake.  Russ had Roasted Leg of Lamb and it was incredible.  You can see that this was not our usual alkaline, vegetarian dinner!.

Following the dining experience, we went to Les Miserable.  I have not really cried in a movie in a long long time, but let me tell you that this one brought me to all the levels of emotion.  I was enthralled by the story, and was able to hear all the words in the music which I often missed in both stage presentations.  I could not believe Hugh Jackman-so very very good.  Anne Hathaway was extraordinary.  Can’t recommend this enough.

So I guess this is how to do Christmas in a new way and share wonderful experiences with the one you love.  I missed everyone in the family, but Russ and I enjoyed each other and our lovely day.


A Mixture of Things before Christmas in Savannah

Double click first photo for slide show.

The photos come from a day we visited the museum at the old railroad station where a lot of cotton passed through is now SCAD-the incredible fine arts college here in Savannah.  Everywhere are SCAD saved buildings in historic Savannah supporting and training every aspect of fine arts.  Wonderful young people that open up and tell  you about themselves.  A waiter in their restaurant the Griphith, who wants to do Shakespeare.  A arts business major at the “little black dress” show and so on.

Loved this when I read it.  Hope it speaks to some of you,

The Guest House 
by Rumi

This being human is a guest house. 
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness, 
some momentary awareness comes 
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all! 
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, 
who violently sweep your house 
empty of its furniture, 
still, treat each guest honorably. 
He may be clearing you out 
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice, 
meet them at the door laughing, 
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes, 
because each has been sent 
as a guide from beyond.


Tybee Island on the Atlantic Ocean outside of Savannah

Tybee Island bike ride with Sandy and Dutch

Tybee Island bike ride with Sandy and Dutch

You can click on the photos to see them in a good size.  Sorry, I cannot figure out how to do the slide show as WordPress has changed things up.  I imagine it is because WordPress wants me to upgrade but I can’t afford to this month.  Who knows, I will probably be sending videos next.

So, the buildings are those of Tybee Island.  There island is a funky resort with hotels and rental houses everywhere.  We are here in winter without tourists.  We can bicycle all the island.  Most of the homes are empty.  The Atlantic beach is beautiful as are the marshes around the other sides.  The House above is one of the old officer homes.  Walls of the old fort are still standing and the lighthouse is cool.


To get to the beaches there are wooden walk ways built up over the dunes, which you cannot walk on as this is where the turtles breed and walk to the beach.



This beach is on the inland water way.



Our great friends since Williamsburg-Sandy and Dutch who happen to be from Rossmore in Walnut Creek.


A great place for a cup of coffee.DSC01528


The Squares of Savannah

You may or may  not know that the man that laid out Savannah, Ogilthorpe, designed it as 22 squares with a park in the middle and churches and homes all around and streets like Bull Street connecting one to another.  Each one is amazing with huge statues and marvelous oak trees in the parks.  The buildings are beautiful and it would appear that SCAD which is the art college started here in the 60’s has really saved Savannah buildings.  We have met so many of the students from the schools from actors, musicians, artists, art business, culinary people.  Many of them are working in the businesses, the museums, the restaurants.  They are absolutely delightful exciting young people.  More about that.  These photos are of the buildings and squares.







DSC01474 DSC01479






Savannah for Xmas

Luthern Church for Xmas






DSC01435 DSC01437

This Lutheran Church in the Squares of Savannah is so welcoming.  We went last Sunday and could not have been more warmly received so we are going today, December 16th in two minutes.  Because I am so far behind in posts I will work on this all day.  You do not have to read everything my dear friends and family, but I need to have the journal.  We are richly blessed and always feel God’s love and support.  Today we will pray for the nation, the people of Connecticut and the families and friends of the dear children who should never have been going through the horror they experienced.  Please let God relieve all the people who the NRA has put into fear mode these past years, find peace and recognize that everyone is not out to kill them and they do not need guns of war.


James Island County Park Christmas Light Show in Charleston

12/6/12  Hope the Christmas parties, the decorations and the lights are giving you smiles.  I find I am very conscious of being away from family and friends and church this holiday and am trying to set up things for where I am now in Savannah, Georgia.  Found an incredible Luthurn Church in one of Savannah’s famous squares.  They have the music I so look forward to.  It will not be Pt. Richmond Methodist, but it may suffice.  Among the three camp sites we stayed at in charleston, one was on the James Island County Park where they have an incredible Xmas Light Show.  There are over two or three miles of light show and while my night photo’s do not show perspective, they are huge!  One person builds them after he gets the idea.  It’s been added to for quite a number of years and miles of cars drive through at night.  We were fortunate enough to get 3 nights at the camping ground so could drive around as many times as possible.   


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