Friday, March 30, 2007


We recently had lunch at two really neat places. The first was in Savannah, Georgia, at an Irish Pub, pictured here with the two women in the doorway. I haven't a clue who they are, but they just kept standing there, discussing if they were going to eat there or not, so I snapped their picture. The restaurant was just a small, dark, almost hole in the wall place along the revitalized riverfront in Savannah. I imagine it used to serve as a warehouse for cotton or something, and it has been redone, using the original buildings for something other than what they were intended for. It had atmosphere - a low ceiling, stone walls, and bare wood plank floors.
We ordered the special for the day: a cup of Irish Stew and a half a corned beef sandwich. Both were absolutely delicious, and reasonably priced. The view out the door, had we been sitting where we could have seen out the door, was a riverboat waiting for passengers for the afternoon cruise along the riverfront. We walked the cobblestone streets instead.

The second lunch was at the Middleton Plantation Restaurant. The low brick building was nestled under the huge oak trees, heavily hung with Spanish moss. We were right by the window and I took a shot through the window to show you the view. There we had a choice of several specials for the day, and we each picked something different. I had okra soup, pulled pork with corn pudding and hoppin' john (seasoned rice and blackeyed peas) and a very interesting, thin, crusty, plain, but delicious, torte. Hubby had a salad with grilled shrimp, and a gumbo that had shrimp and beef and vegetables in it. He also had the torte. We don't make it a practice to eat out very often, but when we do we like t try something new and different. We seldom eat at the chain restaurants.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


THINGS I LOVE: Porches, rocking chairs on the porches, churches, open arms staircases, shell covered beaches, jellyfish, antebellum mansions, flowers

THINGS THAT HAVE SURPRISED ME: The amount of pine and oak trees....guess I thought Minnesota had most of those! The number of churches, number of Irish, bear in Florida, huge earthquake fault and rice plantations!

THINGS I DON'T CARE FOR: Heat, humidity, smells, payday loan places, pawn shops, and highway 95!

THINGS I'M DISAPPOINTED BY: The amount of garbage along the roads, poor condition of secondary highways, huge disparity between rich and poor



The first picture was just a front entry door that I thought looked so inviting. The second was an open door showing a glimpse of a flower garden beyond. I wanted to walk through the door and explore the garden inside! The third was a below ground entry into an apartment, but the area was home to a beautiful flowering tree and a black iron chair that made it look like the entry into a palace! And the final picture was just along a narrow street, an alley really, that the residents had brightened up with the addition of a flower box.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Sorry. I made a mistake in my last blog. Somehow I promoted Major Anderson to General. He was not a General! I have so much to tell you all about, but since I'm sitting out on the street in front of a National Guard building on an Air Force recreation site, I hope you'll forgive me if I have to delay another day. Hopefully in a day or two I will have an inside spot where I can set up shop for several hours and post some of the beautiful pictures from the plantations we visited on Sunday. And today we made a very interesting visit to Fort Fisher, the site of a major battle and loss for the Confederacy, resulting in the war being over shortly after this battle. But for now, I'm heading back into the truck and going to my RV to take a shower. Have a good evening.

Friday, March 23, 2007


We had another history filled day! We drove down to the historic part of the city and went to the visitors center/information spot. I told the women behind the counter that we didn't have a clue what we wanted to do, but that we wanted to learn everything and see everything in two and a half days. We wanted historic homes, Civil War history, plantations, and the whole works! We ended up with a package that so far we are very pleased with. It started this morning with a 90 minute narrated bus tour, driving by many of the historic homes and churches in Charleston. The guide was excellent and we left the bus with heads swiming in names, dates, and interesting stories about the history of this beautiful city. The pictures above are of some huge homes along the river, built in the early 1800's. And yes, they are single family homes.

After this tour we were dropped off at the Fort Sumter Museum where, after a lunch shared with about 100 screaming grade school kids, we took the tour boat about 3 1/2 miles across Charleston Bay to the fort. How excited we were! We were at the spot where the first shots of the Civil War were fired on April 12, 1861! The fort, on an island, was fired upon by troups on another nearby island. Sumter was under constant shelling for 36 hours but not a life was lost. General Anderson was convinced to surrender and received his flag and safe travel to the North. This took place in April 14, 1861. Exactly four years later, on April 14, 1865, General Anderson was invited to come back to Fort Sumter to a ceremony commerating this surrender. It was to be a huge affair. An invitation was sent to the White House to President Lincoln, inviting him to be present for the event. President Lincoln declined, saying he had tickets to the Ford Theatre that evening.

I wonder how the events of the last 150 years would have been different if President Lincoln had come to Fort Sumter instead of attending the theatre that evening.

Tomorrow morning we will head back to the same starting point, and we will go on a walking tour of the historic ares. We have a ticket which allows us to visit five different homes and two museums. That will be a full day with lots of walking. On Sunday we will complete the package after church and will visit two different plantations. I can't wait!

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Savannah blossems - beautiful!

Poppy alongside the road. I made hubby stop so I could take pictures!
On the grounds of the Jekyll Club

The temperature today is over 80. We have been seeing beautiful flowers for the past week. Thought you'd enjoy some of them, too. Hope where you are is starting to warm up and that maybe someday you will have flowers too!

I need to organize some of the pictures from Savannah and will post them as soon as I do so. We will go on a walking tour in Charleston tomorrow, so will have many more pictures to share with youl.


It has been a whole week since we were in a location to have good wireless access. I haven't been able to boog, check email, or read my friends' blogs. We are finally in a place where I can get access, although it's a strange location to be sitting to blog! I am sitting 20 feet away from a climbing wall in the outdoor recreation center at Charleston Air Force Base. The RV sites are just down the road, and the nice young man said this building was wireless, so we were welcome to come up here.

Since our tour of Saint Augustine we have been to Kennedy Space Center, Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, Jekyll Island, Hunter Army Airfield and Savannah, Georgia. We are now in Charleston, South Carolina. I want to post some pictures of some of those visits, starting with Jekyll Island.

Jekyll Island was the original playground of the rich and famous. In the late 1800's, a group of wealthy businessmen formed the Jekyll Island Club as a winter retreat for America's most elite families. The club rolls included such names as Morgan, Astor, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Pulitzer, and others. On this small barrier island off the coast of southern Georgia, they built what they called "cottages" around a large Queen Anne style clubhouse. The men wanted a secluded place of isolation to hunt, fish and relax, and the women could carry on with their teas and such with others of their status. This famed Jekyll Island club featured stained glass, indoor plumbing, phone service, hardwood floors, and gas lighting at a time when very few people enjoyed such luxury. The first condo in the USA was built here in 1896 and featured 6 apartments to be sold.

This is the original small island church, and I believe is the one where John Kennedy Jr. was married.

This is the Jekyll Island Clubhouse, now transformed into a hotel. The club property boasted indoor tennis courts, the first in the nation. This is the view of the club as seen from the William Rockefeller 14,000 square foot cottage. John Rockefeller had put his name on the list as a partner to begin with, but when he saw his brother's name on the list, John decided to take his name off the list. Why pay for a membership when he could visit his brother and partake of everything for free!

I don't remember who built this cottage, but I like it very much. It kind of looked like an Italian villa. It looks like it would have been a nice house to raise my seven kids in!

Thursday, March 15, 2007


On our tour of St. Augustine, my favorite stop was Flagler College. Having worked at a small private college for 18 years, it was fun to make comparisions to Flagler. Some of the things I learned about Flagler just blew me away! The pictures below will show you why the campus is ranked as one of the top ten most beautiful in the USA.

First a bit of history. In 1882, Henry Morrison Flagler, a New York entrepreneur and the co-founder, with J. D. Rockefeller, of the Standard Oil Company, envisioned a series of resort hotels in Florida. By 1887 he had hired an architectural firm and had begun work on his plans. A huge hotel, the Ponce de Leon, was built in the tiny town of St. Augustine, Florida. Eventually two other hotels were built within a block of the Ponce de Leon, all owned by Flagler. These hotels were the first big buildings with electric lights and running water. They were open only for three months, during "the season," from January through March. These hotels were built specifically for the rich from the northeast to have a place to winter. However, getting to Florida was a rough trip, so Henry Flagler built a railroad all the way to St. Augustine.

Flagler also hired a "decorator." A Mr. Louis C. Tiffany! The Ponce de Leon was to be the very best, and it was magnificant. The dinning room, which doubled as a ballroom, was a kind of rectangle with the two long ends bowed, and fitted with two layers of stained glass windows. Tiffany made great use of stained glass in this hotel. He also used mosaic for the floors, terra cotta relief on the walls and ceilings, painted murals, and crystal chandeliers in the reception rooms. And these things remained after this famous hotel was converted to a private liberal arts college in 1968.

This is part of the spectacular architecture of Flagler College.
Just inside the main entrance.
A Tiffany chandelier and a Thomas Edison white onyx clock over the white onyx fireplace in a large reception room.
The dining room with Tiffany windows.
More Tiffany windows in the dining room. Some of the chairs in this room are the original from the hotel, some are copies. If a student breaks one they are charged what the chair is worth, $1200. The windows are valued at 36 million, and have bullet proof glass on the outside, but nothing protecting them on the inside! I'm guessing the students don't toss footballs in there!
These are the steps leading up to the women's dorm, with another beautiful Tiffany window. The women are housed in the original hotel along with the administrative offices and the dining room. Men are housed in a separate building, and there is no visiting rooms allowed by the opposite sex. Some of the rooms have their own private bath, and other rooms are in a group of eight which share four bathrooms.
Because of a huge endowment, the tuition and board and room for this private four year liberal arts college is only $14,000. It is truly a beautiful place and I'm so glad we decided to include Flagler College on our visit to St. Augustine.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


We arrived here at Patrick ABF this afternoon, and after setting the RV up, we hightailed it to the library to check email and blogs. We've been out of touch for the last three days. We were at Jacksonville Naval Air Station for three nights, Saturday through Monday nights. We had a primitive site, no electricity or water, but it was okay. We ran the generator to do the things that needed electricity.

On Sunday we went to the historic city of Saint Augustine and took a train type vehicle on a sightseeing ride around the whole area. We got a good overview, and then knew what we really wanted to go back to see on Monday. Our train ticket was good for three days, so we could go back on Monday and ride it to the place where we wanted to get off. Then when we were ready we could catch another ride to the next spot, and we ended back at our starting point at 5 in the afternoon on the last train.

What fun we had! We visited the restored Spanish Quarter of the city. Tiny narrow streets were lined with shops of every kind. There were leather goods, jewelry shops galore, clothing, arts of every kind and description, and plenty of eating and drinking establishments.

This is one of the narrow streets with our red train squeezing down the middle. We toured a church built by Henry M. Flagler in one year. It was very beautiful, inside and out.

OOPS! End of our time here at the library. I will continue tomorrow with pictures of the unforgetable Flagler College. You won't believe it!

Friday, March 09, 2007


We are leaving here tomorrow, so we took one last walk on the beach. There were no shells where a few days ago there were thousands! We walked on perfectly clean white sand, no shells in sight. We saw one large (13-14 inches) jelly, and one tiny (3 inches) see-through fish, and a beautiful blue gulf. I will miss the beach but am excited to get on with our adventure. I will try to write tomorrow to let you know where we are. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007



Monday, March 05, 2007


I love finding sand dollars along the beach.

Shells of every kind and shape.

After I took this little jellie's picture I carefully scooted him back into the water, but I think he was already too dried out. They are always fun to see. Ernie saw a large one on his trip to Shell Island, and he said he tried to get a picture of it, but I guess it didn't work. We leave here on Saturday (if that place with the big blue sign with the yellow lettering has my computer back to me....unfixed) and the one thing I will miss from this area is the beach. The sand is a beautiful bright white, and the water clear and blue, and the abundance of shells just blows my mind.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


Its been a long, long day. We left the RV at 9 am to go to church. We had a beautiful service with a baptism this morning. This is exciting because the church has a lot of older members, and a large number of snowbirds who are only in attendance during the winter months. So the baptism of an infant is cause for celebration! After church we attended Bible Study, then went out to lunch with hubby's high school friends that we had met in church a couple of weeks ago. That took three hours! What fun we had visiting, sharing and laughing. When we left Karen and Rich we went to the big computer store where my computer was supposedly getting repaired. I hadn't left my phone number with the geeks and I knew the one they had on the computer was the old Minnesota home phone. We don't have that phone or home anymore, nor are we in Minnesota. I told the geek I wanted to give him my cell number and he said he'd just check on the status of my computer. Now this is the computer which was still under warrenty and which they had said would be repaired free. Guess what? This particular problem, my blown screen, wasn't covered because they said I must have dropped the computer and damaged it. I absolutely did not damage my computer. They could still fix it......for $550! I don't think so! I was furious! This extended warrenty means nothing, does it. I asked about the $100 we paid to have them back it up because they said I would probably loose everything when they repaired the screen. The geek said that when the computer comes back I could ask and they MIGHT return my money. Well, I think they will! I'm not paying my warrenty plus $100 for them to do nothing. In the past 3 years we have purchased top name brands of a stove, a refrigerator/freezer, a dishwasher, a computer, a camera, and numerous other electronic equipment. But no more. I will purchase nothing more there.
I was beyond upset. Hubby said we should just stop at WalMart and see what they had in computers. We ended up purchasing one. Reasonable, loaded with Vista, has enough memory for anything I'll need it for, same brand as my old one, and when we asked what would happen if we had a problem and he said "Ma'am, this is Walmart. If something doesn't work, you bring it back and we replace it." So when I go back to pick up the old computer at the home of the geeks, I will tell them about my new computer and just why I won't purchase another thing from them.

So I have spent the last couple of hours getting this new computer set up, and so far I like it. I know some people don't like the new Vista, but they said it was mostly when they tried to add new programs. I don't use a lot of programs, so I'm thinking it will be fine for me.

The best thing about today was the beautiful sunset pictured above.

Friday, March 02, 2007


The horrible tornadoes of yesterday were once again very close to us. The high school that was destroyed and the children that were killed, are located just over the Alabama border not too far north of us. This area received nothing during those afternoon storms, just extremely high humidity. In the evening we did have a tornado watch for many hours and we received a lot of heavy rain, a lot of lightening, and some wind. I stayed up until after midnight to watch the bright red line of storm cells cross the TV screen. As the last squalls came off the gulf and headed northeast, I could finally see that we were no longer in danger, and I went to bed. Georgia received the brunt of the second line of storms, and there were several deaths there also.

I know my family and friends up north are going through terrible conditions in the form of a major winter blizzard. I envy them. You can forecast snow storms better than tornadoes. You may have a lot of snow to shovel, and sometimes power does go out, but if you stay inside you are pretty safe from death. Not so with tornadoes. They come charging out of the clouds and cause horrible death and destruction, sometimes in the tornado watch area, sometimes not. You can be alert, listening to the weather reports, and the tornado can sneak out of the sky and attack you in a matter of seconds. You can't predict with much certainty what they will do. You just can't trust them.

Thank you Heavenly Father for sparing this area from the awful storms. Comfort those who are grieving the loss of family, friends, and property, and use this event to bring them closer to You. Be with my family and friends back home and keep them safe and warm during the storms there. I also ask You to be with the college students who headed out into the stormy winter weather today for their spring break. Keep them safe and bring them safely back to school. In His Name. Amen.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


March is entering like a lion, that's for sure. We are under a huge tornado watch, and there are warnings out for areas quite close to us. I've heard from some people that this is the largest storm of this kind in many years. Just west and north of us there have been tornadoes already, and Missouri reports a young girl has been killed. And then I just talked to my daughter in Minnesota, and the snow is coming down at a rate of 2 inches an hour, the kids are all home from school (again!) and she wants to run away! It's quite a weather day! At least there is a new topic for the radio and TV stations to talk about.

My Florida crud is much better today, probably because I slept last night for the first time in five nights. It's a wonder what sleep can do for you....and what the lack of sleep can do to you. Last night I wanted my mommy, I felt so bad. I remember when I was young and she would put her soft cool hand on my forehead and cheeks to test my temperature or to comfort me. My mom's touch would instantly make me feel better. When we had a cough she would coat our chests with a thick layer of smelly stuff and cover it with a soft camel colored piece of cloth to keep us warm and to protect our jammies from the greasy stuff. The stuff stunk, but it worked. It was kind of a menthol smell, but different than the stuff that comes in the little blue jars now days. Last night I sat in the recliner, wrapped in my soft moose blanket from Katie, and sucked cough drops and drank water to keep from coughing. It worked, probably because of the blanket, and my chest is much clearer today, and I'm not coughing. But for awhile there I felt like crying for my mommy.