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Archive for February, 2013

Savannah GA

Here are the pics I promised from Charleston SC. I was still in a lot of pain so I didn’t walk around much but it’s a beautiful city. Most of these were taken at the park at the tip end of the peninsula on Battery Street called White Point Garden.

Battery Street Houses

Battery Street Houses

Live Oaks to Gazebo White Point Garden

Live Oaks to Gazebo White Point Garden

Gorgeous house

Gorgeous house

Horse Drawn Carriage

Horse Drawn Carriage

Charleston SC

Charleston SC

I had to spend 2 more days in Rincon Ga before I could head on to Savannah. It rained and rained Monday and Tuesday and I heard there was even a tornado in Savannah, so I just stayed cozy in my van and read all the great books I got at the library once I found it.

It’s a nice little library and they had a gooseneck faucet in the bathroom so I quickly got some shampoo and stuck my head under it for a quick wash. That felt so good. It was pouring down rain so I just put up my hood and went on out in it.

Unfortunately I forgot I had on my headlights when I went back to WM and it was still daylight. So I woke up with pouring rain and a dead battery. I’m going to have to start a fund for a new battery cause this one has been run down too many times with my poor memory.

I put the charger on it and got it going but the demon rain had caused the van its old problem of not starting in the rain. It’ll crank but it won’t fire when it’s wet. So much for my mechanic’s words of wisdom that it had nothing to do with the rain and it was all about the fuel pump. So I spent another night and read another book. By Tuesday afternoon it dried out and started again and I headed for Savannah.

I found an area of beautiful homes from around the 1900-1020’s with a lovely strip park down the middle on Atlantic Avenue, so I parked and walked around. Flowers everywhere, camellias and pansies and tulips. Spanish moss hanging from live oak trees and lovely sunshine. It was late in the day so I just parked on the street and slept there for the night.

Atlantic Avenue

Atlantic Avenue

Beautiful flowers

Beautiful flowers

Queen Parking

Queen Parking

Tangled Tree

Telfair Museum of Art

Telfair Museum of Art

River Street

River Street

 

Today was supposed to be sunny and high 60’s so it should have been perfect but it ended up only getting into the high 50’s if that, and it was gray and windy. I went to the visitor center which is really nice but again had to pay to park there. They also have a free shuttle that goes around the historic district so I hopped on that and rode around.

Savannah’s historic district has 22 little parks in the middle of the streets that are just so charming. Those are all those little yellow boxes you see. Lots of them have beautiful fountains, all have benches. Here’s a map so you can see…

Historic District Map

Historic District Map

There was a couple in front of me about my age and they said they were going to a Greek restaurant on River St and since I was going that way I asked where the restaurant was and they asked me to join them. I was really looking forward to some spanikopita but when I looked at the menu it was $18. Usually it’s between $5-10 in the places I go, but there was a tiropita appetizer so I settled for that and we had a lovely time.

John and Brenda are also artists and it turned out that John is a retired art Professor and taught for a year at the University of Nebraska. They are from Arkansas but nowhere near Little Rock Carolyn and I don’t remember where they said except it was near TN. Wonderful people and they insisted on paying for my lunch. What a treat. We parted company and I walked along the riverfront and looked at shops but it was mostly restaurants, bars, t-shirt and souvenir shops.

A couple hours later  I got back on the shuttle bus and there were John and Brenda again so we went down to the city market and ran into another retired couple who had just finished taking a cooking class at a mansion down the road. They were part of Road Scholars which is what they are now calling the elder hostel thing so I really have to look into that. Sounds like great fun to take all these fun classes where you are traveling.

I wasn’t too impressed with the city market either. It was really just a 2 block long pedestrian mall with restaurants and some shops and galleries but nothing much of interest to me. Across the park thee was a half block long line to get into Paula Dean’s restaurant. I walked a couple blocks further down to Broughton which is kind of the main shopping street and window shopped a little. Lots of stores you find in every mall so that was disappointing.

I went further south…did I say my leg is much better and so glad to get a stretch? There was the Telfair Art Museum and another modern looking one across the street with an angel exhibit but it cost money and I was really worn out.

I got on the bus and went back to my car at the visitor center. It cost $6 for the days parking which wasn’t too bad. First hour free and then $1 per hour. I left there and headed on south. I think I’m done with Savannah even though it’s a really beautiful city, and I am in a little area south of there for the night.  I wish I could have taken more of the parks all over the city and beautiful older homes but the bus made that kinda awkward.

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Charleston SC

Well the rain finally stopped. All day Saturday and Sunday hanging out in the Walmart parking lot reading and resting my leg. It’s better now. Read 3 books so I need to get to a library and get some more.

It’s a beautiful sunny day and I can’t believe that it’s spring here. In February! Daffodils and snapdragons and redbuds. Gorgeous. Went to a park at the tip end of the peninsula that’s all live oaks. Lots of pictures of those. They have all their leaves but nothing else does. Strange. Have to paint these trees someday. I was able to walk around a bit.

Funny dog got away from its owner racing around like crazyand wouldn’t come back. Everyone got involved trying to catch it and he thought it was a great game. I told the owner to sit down but that didn’t work and she wasn’t willing to play dead like Cyn said to do…finally someone had a treat from Starbucks and that did him in. Such fun. Drove all around through the beautiful homes and took a million pictures

Decided to drive on south while I had good weather so I got in touch with Norma from the WGS forum so we could meet and have coffee. We got together in Rincon at the McDonand’s and had a grand time talking about life on the road. I always enjoy meeting other women who are doing what I am. It’s such a fun community of  like-minded spirits. Norma is an artist also and I’m hoping she’ll share some of her paintings with the group. She and I have the same difficulty with loosening up so we had a good discussion about our efforts in that direction.

I needed to go to the library to get some more books but my GPS took me down the road a ways to a log cabin in a residential neighborhood. It was getting kinda late and I thought they would be closed by the time I found them and so I went to  Lowe’s and caught up on email and then settled in at Walmart. Had to put on my summer jammies it was so warm!

Well Darnit! I tried to upload a bunch of beautiful pics and it just gave me an error message. I’ll try to include them in the next blog.

 

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Bad Leg Blues/Charleston SC

Well I finally got on my way on Wednesday morning. I finally got over whatever was making me queezy and woozy, but another health issue came up for me. On Monday night I was standing in Nancy’s office talking to her when my leg started hurting about halfway between my knee and my hip on the right side. So I took a couple tramadol for the pain and I’m wondering if that is what kept me up all night. When I woke up I was feeling bad and stayed on the sofa all day.

I woke up Wednesday and felt okay so I hit the road early and drove south on 95 to get to warmer weather as soon as I could. I got as far as Florence SC and spent some time in Lowes parking lot to use their wifi but my computer battery ran down pretty quickly – I had a spare one that finally gave up awhile back, and I need to get another one.

I drove back up the road and stayed at Walmart for the night. My leg was hurting again so I hobbled in and got some Tylenol PM to help me sleep. It got down to 30 but with the sleeping bag that Kim loaned me I was nice and toasty all night and I slept till 10:30.  Still haven’t needed my new electric blanket yet. I drove on in the morning and got to a Dollar Tree in Moncks Crossing where I needed to pick up a couple things.

By the time I reached the door I could barely walk. I finally gave up and went next door to WM and was so worn out from the pain that I just lay down again and took a long nap. Fortunately my leg doesn’t hurt if I’m sitting or lying down, just when I try to walk. I went in to WM about 5:30 to get my things and drove one of the carts around. That was an experience! I decided to just stay there for the night and again took pills and slept soundly.

This morning I drove on down to Charleston. It’s a gray dreary day with sprinkles on and off. Freeways and traffic – this isn’t my kind of place. I just wanted to see the architecture of the old city so I stopped at the Visitor Center – must pay for parking – $3.  I have to sit down halfway across the center because of the pain. Maybe I can just ride around the city and see what’s what. There is a window with 3 helpers so I ask if there is a low cost tour bus to see the city and she says the lowest price is $18 and then I notice a sign that says the trolley is free. She must make a commission from selling tours.

The trolley comes and I hobble on to it. We ride down King Street and there is a world of wonderful looking shops that I would love to explore and maybe sell some angels to, but ah my leg. We come back around to the City Market which is three blocks long and seems to have loads of wonderful things to look at. Just can’t do it.

Nothing looks pretty on this gray day and I didn’t take any pics. I am at the library now charging up and reading emails and blogs. Have to pay to park here too. Cities are so pricey. I think I’ll find a close WM and hope tomorrow is a better day. They are calling for rain again tomorrow. Sigh. I’m glad I have some good books to read. Maybe I’ll go on down to Savannah.

On a brighter note, here is a wonderful video a friend sent me of clips from Rita Hayworth movies done to the BeeGee’s Stayin’ Alive. Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, doesn’t get any better. Really brightened my day. Wow! Amazing! Somehow I just don’t think of Rita Hayworth as a dancer. Was I ever wrong! Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=mz3CPzdCDws

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Breakfast with Meemo

Well I finally left Fredericksburg on Friday loaded with 2 containers of Juanita’s famous vegetable beef soup to go 45 minutes south to my friend Nancy’s house. I’ve mentioned her before. We’ve been friends for more that 25 years and I love her dearly. She is 64 like me – our birthdays are 2 weeks apart- and she is raising her 5 year old granddaughter who is a mile a minute kid. Totally charming and darling but never, ever stops talking.

Last summer Nancy’s mother, Meemo, moved in with her also – she turns 94 next week. She can run circles around both of us I think. Very sharp mind and very spry. You’d think she was in her 70’s if you didn’t know better. I borrow her as a mom since mine is gone now.

Yesterday Nancy had to go to Annapolis with little Ava so Meemo and I stayed here and enjoyed the quiet of the day. My plan was to take everything out of the van and organize it so I can get on the road south by Tuesday.

Nancy and I had talked about her taking over the angel and coaster making for me, but it just will be too much to add to her plate and I certainly understand that. She has her hands full but we both hoped it would help her with a little extra money. So I’m really trying to figure out how to get all the plaster and paint and molds and packing stuff to fit enough so that I can even get to bed at night.

It will be a little tough to make on the road but I’ll manage. Probably better anyway for a lot of reasons for me to make them my self. I just need to sell some of the stuff I already have made up so I can lighten the load. Then I can just make stuff to order and that will certainly make it better.

It was only 29 degrees yesterday with winds of 20mph so I just didn’t get much done. I brought a lot of stuff in the house and got it sorted and organized and threw a bunch away and prepared to leave some stored in Nancy’s shed. I still have a long way to go to get it done. It’s supposed to get up to 47 today so it will be easier.

If I could just sit inside the van it wasn’t so bad but I was dragging stuff in and out. I’ll get there eventually. Nancy’s daughter is arriving from NY tomorrow so I want to be on the road as soon as I say hi. They sure don’t need one more person taking up space in this tiny house.

Anyway to fortify me for the day ahead, I woke up to this wonderful breakfast this morning that Meemo made me. Homemade waffles, eggs and sausage. And I thought I was done being spoiled when I left Juanita’s. I am just surrounded with too much love if that is possible. Love you Meemo!

Breakfast with Meemo

Breakfast with Meemo

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Yay!!! The Van is fixed

I finally got the van back today. Turns out the problem was actually the fuel pump so it’s good he made me wait to see if it was actually the coil causing the problem. Dear Tim actually saved me about $800 in fixing things that weren’t wrong. Still need to get a tune-up when I can and probably replace the coil when I can, but seems those things don’t have to be fixed right now and he thinks I will be fine on my trip.  I am hoping to leave on Friday. Woohoooooo!

But oh, my dream car was parked in front of the garage when I pulled up…a hi top Caravan…so the first thing I asked was, does she want to trade straight across for the van? But no, she just bought it so I can’t have it. Shoot!

I also had to get a new state inspection before I left since mine will run out in April and I will be long gone from VA by then. It passed with flying colors but I also had to listen to the owner go on about the gun violence problem…sigh…we were getting along so well up to that point. I was a good girl and held my tongue while I listened again to how guns don’t kill people, people do. Yup, I know, but that still doesn’t mean we don’t have to stop the violence. Oh my, enough already.

Then I drove on to my friend Kim’s house to collect all my casting stuff and products that were in her studio and cram them into my van. I definitely need to do some serious organizing in the next couple days if I have any hope of sleeping in it. I was able to finish a bunch of other errands and things I probably should have done last week while I was waiting for the van to not start, so that I could get started on the Grand Adventure.

Then I come home and my dear Juanita baked more goodies for her granddaughter for Valentines and YES I now have fresh batch of brownie edges to eat. Yay!!! All around a very good day!

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Valentine Treats

In one of the forums I belong to there has been a long discussion of sugar addictions. I have mostly dealt with my addictions over the years, but sugar is the biggie for me these days. While I have been waiting for the drama to end over my van not starting, so I can start my grand adventure, I have been staying with my dear friend Juanita who loves to spoil me and loves to bake.

Valentine goodies 1

Chocolate Dipped Milano Cookies and Pretzels

Chocolate Dipped Milano Cookies and Pretzels

 

White and Dark Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

White and Dark Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

 

Walnut crusted frosted Brownies

Praline Frosted Brownies

She works at a high end women’s consignment store and gets paid in clothes. Since she has more than she can wear, she always brings home clothes for me. What a friend huh?

Well once a month the store she works in has a party for their customers with lots of Juanita’s home made treats. This week was Valentines so here are some pictures of what I am up against on a daily basis.

I don’t think I’m alone with my preference in brownies being the chewy edges…they even have special brownie pans for those of us who love the edges and corners. Imagine my horror when I found out my dear friend cuts off the edges and throws them away! So now I have a large place full of left over brownie edges from the goodies she made. Oh my…

I have decided to just give up and enjoy while I am here. I will certainly miss the spoiling and the goodies, but I’m hoping to be healthier in my eating habits on the road. Wish me luck with that!

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I’m so excited. If you’ve been following my blog you know about the intermittent problem with my van not starting. My dear mechanic assumed it was the coil that had a crack in the case since it seems to only happen when it rains, but he didn’t want to cause me extra expense or send me off without knowing for sure that was the only thing causing the problem, so I have been waiting, not so patiently, for it to rain.

Last Friday was the first time it rained since I got back from Reston, so I thought I had it licked but, darn it, it started anyway.

It rained last night and I went out first thing this morning and it started right up. I could have cried. I thought if I didn’t leave soon I’d be in Arizona in August!

So I went out later to get another bottle of paint and tried again and, glory be, it wouldn’t start so I quickly called AAA and had them tow it to the garage. Now my mechanic will know for sure what is causing the problem by looking at it when it won’t start.

Whew! Now I can head out this week for the grand adventure. I need to spend a couple days with my friend Nancy before heading for Charleston and Savannah but should be heading there by the weekend. I can’t wait!!!

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