Monday, November 30, 2009

Nov. 30, 2009 -home

I am home now after last week's driving from New York to Winchester, VA to Columbia, SC, and then Eufaula, Alabama.
My night in Winchester was uneventful and the drive to Columbia was misty/rainy, not the nicest of weather but I did not encounter heavy rain. Driving with trucks when it is wet, however, is not such fun.
The weather in Columbia prevented me from visiting the zoo/botanical gardens but I did get to the Capital building and that was quite interesting. When the building was re-built after burning, it was decided to make it 'burn proof' and so it is marble and steel and the woods that are used are decorative and gorgeous.
On Wednesday, I headed to Alabama and even though it was the day before Thanksgiving, my timing was good enough to miss bad traffic and I arrived in sunshine (not very warm) and rested.
Thanksgiving was fun even though it was cold outside. After I watched most of the Macy's parade on TV, I headed to Lakepoint Park where the Whitmer clan was gathered and cooking. They really made me feel part of the family and I apprecated that very much. I only lasted until about 5pm when it was already dark outside and getting colder. I enjoyed my warm room and slept well. We 'hung out' on Friday too and they fed me well again.
I headed home on Saturday morning and was glad to sleep in my own bed at night. My poor Fluff is a bit confused with suddenly having more space than the single room of hotels, but this morning she remembered how to get out on the deck through the 'pet flap' so I guess she is re-acclimating to home. Missy has no problems since she sleeps close to me no matter what bed we are in and adjusts to all situations. They do amaze me at how, at 15 years of age they put up with the travel even though they do not like the confinement of the cage in the van.
Today the massage I am going to get is going to feel magnificent!

Monday, November 23, 2009

N.Y, Winchester, VA, Columbia, SC

I am now in Columbia, S.C.
After leaving Garden City, NY early on Sunday morning (hard even though I did not stay through the dinner at the wedding), I headed to Winchester, VA for the night. It was such an easy drive I was quite surprised because I wound up going through the city of New York (drove right past Macy's) but it was on Sunday and there was no traffic to speak about. Even with a few small detours (not made by me), I arrived in Winchester by 1pm. It was a quiet night and I went to sleep early.
This morning, we headed to Columbia, SC driving in mist and some rain (but not hard, dowpours), we got here by 3pm. I hope that Fluff does not continue to wake me at 5 a.m. each morning. It makes me sleepy very early in the evening.
I will do some sightseeing tomorrow and maybe go to the zoo if the weather is nicer but otherwise, starting at the Visitor Center downtown, I will find other things to do

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New York

I left Virginia early on Friday morning with no more rain and it was mostly not a difficult drive at all. The only part of the DC beltway that I used was going north and the time I was on it, the traffic was light. My driving dilemma happened when I got to Staten Island and had to get off the parkway to get cash! The tolls had depleted my cash and so I stopped in Target, bought catfood, and got some cash back so I could go on, but I got confused (even with the GPS) and wound up on streets before getting to the Verrazano Bridge.
Then, it got worse when I did not follow my instincts or the GPS and I drove though many Brooklyn and Queens streets (20 miles took over an hour) which I had never driven on in my life even when I lived here!
I finally arrived just before 4pm and got everything inside that I needed and since I found I could get a ride to the dinner, I had some wine and tried to relax. I left here at 6:30 and discovered the dinner had 90 people attending due to so many families being involved since there are several divorces and remarriages involved. It was fun to see family and meet a few cousins I didn't know about.
I had to take a taxi back to the hotel because the driver took off early even though I told them I would be calling for a ride back. Anyway, with the wine I drank, it was certainly safer than driving. Tonight, for the wedding, I will drive and not drink (not more than one) which I have done before in situations where I will be driving.
Tomorrow, we will head back to Virginia for one night before heading south to Columbia, SC.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Luray, VA

Today I saw the Luray Caverns and they really are spectacular. To think how many years and milleniums it has taken for it to get to such beauty is mind blowing.
There isn't much else to do here in Luray, Virginia and so tomorrow will be real 'rest' day for me. I have re-arranged the items in the big suitcase and duffel (my dressers in the van) and they are now back in the van (did laundry too). I would have gone to NY a day earlier but the price difference in the room is enough that I will stay here and head there on Friday morning. I am not happy that I will have to do the beltway around D.C. but that is the best/fastest way to get there and still have time to settle in before heading to the rehearsal dinner.
My lunch (and dinner) are items from the Walmart - rotisserie chicken and potatoe chips. I may treat myself to pizza tomorrow for lunch. The weather is not so great with clouds looking like they will open up and rain at any moment and with temps around 50, it feels colder. I do have heat in my room but it is hard to regulate so I've been turning it on and then off to be comfortable (it will have to run for the night).
I have made my reservations for next week and so that is off my mind since it is Holiday week and I wanted to be sure I didn't run into any difficulty.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Knoxville, TN

I have been in Knoxville since Saturday and I think I got to do what I wanted to do/see. I went to the Worlds Fair Park and got up into the Sunsphere for a great view of the city (not as high as the Tower in San Antonio). I walked to the downtown area and browsed but took the free trolley back to the candy factory (did buy a little bit of chocolate). Then I drove down to the river although it took a few 'round the blocks' before I finally figured out how to get to where I wanted and had lunch at Calhouns right on the river. With great weather hanging here, it has been a lovely day. Taking pictures of trees with 'fall' colors is good for me. I may get some rain in the next few days (leaving for Luray, VA in the morning) so I really enjoy this 'perfect' weather.
I hope you all are enjoying my notes.

Friday, November 13, 2009


While in San Antonio, I did a trolley tour and then the Alamo before the things mentioned in the previous post.

Vicksburg, MS

Here I am in Vicksburg, MS after a couple of days in San Antonio following my weekend in Conroe/Shenandoah, TX. I did a lot of walking in San Antonio along the River Walk where I ate lunch a couple of days (more on that in a minute) and went up to the Tower of the Americas as well as The Texas Institute of Cultures.
On Wednesday evening I started to feel some stomach distress but didn't think too much about it until I didn't sleep most of the night. I finally got up and left by 7:30am but with gastric spasms. It was a very, very long drive to Vicksburg and not feeling well and being so tired I stopped more times than usual including times to just sit and close my eyes. I, therefore, did not arrive here until about 6pm CST and that's when the diarrhea started. At least, it waited until I was in the room!
Today I went to the Vicksburg Battleground (National Park) which is right across the street from my hotel. I also drove downtown and looked around and was not that impressed. The Park was lovely although I felt I was in a large cemetary (all those soldiers who died there) and there are monuments all over from all the states that participated in this battle.
Tomorrow, I will head to Knoxville, TN which is also not a short drive but I am being careful about what I eat today and right now seem to be better.

Monday, November 09, 2009

arrived San Antonio

While in Shenandoah for four nights where my friend Diana is staying for her current contract, we mostly spent our time 'shopping' the malls and eating. It was fun but exhausting. Shopping is hard work! I didn't buy much of anything and that is good since I'm spending on food and enjoying it.
This morning I left for San Antonio and am glad it was not one of my marathon drives because I am tired. I did find that there is a streetcar system (with a stop 1/2 block from my hotel) that will take me to the center of town where the Riverwalk, Alamo, and other things are that I want to see. I went today to see how it goes and had some late lunch on the Riverwalk in an italian place (not very good food). Tomorrow I am going to take a trolley tour and get the 'overview' so I can see what I really want to see (like the Alamo) and still not 'kill' myself walking. I will be here to do more on Wed. so I do not need to cram it all into one day.
I am very lucky with weather so far and with the storm heading away from where I am (or where I'm going), I will be able to enjoy things even more.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Arrived in Texas

I spent a couple of nights in Mobile Alabama and that gave me a full day to go to Bellingrath Gardens and do some Kohl's shopping too. I met a great lady at the Gardens who has been on the road alone for a month and we did the Gardens and House tours as well as going for lunch together. Marilyn and I will keep in touch via email. She was heading to Vicksburg and then home soon.
I arrived in Texas this afternoon after a very long drive (got off I-10 and did some scenic routes) and now am waiting for Diana to get home and we'll get something to eat or just drink.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

ready to roll

I am almost ready to get going on this new adventure. Most things are packed or ready to be put into a bag and/or the van. I'll be leaving on Tuesday morning so I am just doing 'last minute' stuff to be sure I don't forget anything. It has been a challenge to pack for multi seasons and the wedding too but I think I have it all and am sure I am taking more than I will need as I usually do that even though I plan on doing laundry along the way. I am only hoping that I do not have to drive in rain or snow both of which could happen especially with the crazy weather patterns we've all experienced.
I will try to write on here every few days while on the road with my first stop being Mobile, Alabama on Tuesday.