Home Away From Home, Virginia

Miss Hampton II

Miss Hampton II
Our day topped off with an evening dinner cruise on the Miss Hampton II on the Hampton River along the Hampton Roads Harbor. (Wow, that’s a lot of “Hamptons”) There was enclosed seating as well as up top seating that was open. Since it was cold and windy we elected to sit inside. I did go outside for just a few minutes before we ate and it was beautiful, not too cold or windy and the setting sun was lovely. I got a text from Jerry telling me that I needed to come in as they were serving dinner. We both got hamburgers and chips and they were pretty good. I didn’t eat much though because I had an upset stomach earlier and I didn’t want to push it. As soon as I finish eating I went back outside and oh my gosh, the wind had changed and it was both cold and windy, too cold for me so I only stayed a couple of minutes, at that. The rest of the tour was viewed out of a cloudy window.

Container Ship
We saw the naval yard with a number of ships and a couple of submarines (which I never saw). The most amazing thing we saw was a container ship that came along side of us. That ship was HUGE and I was hoping he saw us. We were able to watch as he lined the ship up for the cargo to be delivered. The narrator explained the difficulty in unloading as the ship had to remain in balance as things were strategically removed. As we were cruising another container ship arrived. The narrator said that during the year 1800 ships came into the harbor. Wonder what they are delivering.

We got off of the ship about 8:30 and briskly walked back to the car. Turned on our heated seats and heated steering wheel and headed for the campground. It was a great day.

A beautiful ending to a great day
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Home Away From Home, Virginia

Yorktown

The day started early with the group joining for breakfast at Denny’s. We sat with Jerry and Pam, a couple from Georgia that we have really enjoyed.

Flags representing the 13 states
Our first tour stop was the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. Jerry and I had visited there in August, 2015 when it was under construction to enlarge and improve the facility. Boy, did they ever. When we were there earlier we wandered around by ourselves but this time we had a guide which gives a lot of insight into the times. We had a very informative and passionate guide who painted an enthralling picture of the not only some of the more famous people of the time but also those less well known. The museum itself is filled with authentic artifacts, displays, living re-enactions and amazing audio visual effects. One of the most outstanding things we saw was a film depicting Cornwallis’ defeat at Yorktown. It was so realistic that as the “smoke” was rising and the lightning was flashing along with the musket firings I found myself quite often flinching.

Outside was the re-created Revolution-era farm and Continental Army encampment which had changed a great deal since we were there. There were a number of 6 man tents like those used by General Washington and various displays depicting the life of a soldier. We stopped by the outside kitchen where one member of the 6 man team would prepare the meal. Only one meal a day was prepared and then I guess leftovers provided the other meals of the day. Meals were prepared whether the weather was cold or drizzling rain. The only thing that prevented the preparation was a deluge of rain. Otherwise the job continued.

Despite it being a late October “Fall” day the wind was blowing and it was pretty cold outside so we didn’t linger too long at the Encampment Farm but scurried inside. Since it was near lunch time we considered eating in the café there on site but decided to ride on in to Yorktown. After a ride through the battlefield seeing several fortifications and cannons and remembering our drive of August, 2015 we ended up at the Coast Guard Training Center where ALL ID’s where checked. Reassuring but since we had no business there we turned around and headed out. That was when we saw three deer wandering around with no evident fear of activity. We wondered if possibly we were in a protected area with no hunting as we had seen deer before on our visit and they do seemed very accustomed to activity. Next we headed to the museum where we had bought our America the Beautiful pass two years prior. What a deal. At the time we bought it it was only $10 and even though it is now $80 it is still quite a bargain as you are allowed free entrance into all national parks. Oh yes, the one caveat – you have to be 62 or older!

The lady at the admissions counter asked us about our NKK (Newmar Kountry Klub) badges so we talked with her for a few minutes. She is interested in buying an RV and in particular interested in Newmar. Of course we told her all about the virtues of Newmar. We went in the gift shop where I remarked on the Passport books for national parks. As I said “we should have bought one of these four years ago” Jerry said, “well, let’s do it now” so we finally got our passport book and will begin to fill in the national parks we have visited.

HMS Charon
Inside the small museum is a one fourth replica of the HMS Charon, a British ship which houses some of the ship’s cannon that were recovered from the river in the 1930’s. According to the poster outside “On the night of October 10, French artillerists along the York River west of Yorktown turned their attention toward British ships anchored in the river, including the 44 gun Frigate the HJM Charon. Firing “red hot shot” that were super-heated cannon balls, they set fire to the Charon. Attempting to escape, the Charon collided with a transport, spreading the intense fire. The Charon drifted to the Gloucester side of the river where it burned to its waterline and sank.” Inside the displayed ship was a rimmed table with a one place setting with a pewter plate and the same stainless that we use!

Hanging out with General Washington, General Lafayette and Admiral de Grasse in Yorktown
By this time we were really getting hungry so we went back into Yorktown searching for a restaurant. We didn’t think we had a lot of time to spare as we were heading to Hampton for the evening and we were unable to find a restaurant that didn’t have a wait time. I had earlier looked at the menu at the American Revolution Museum café so I suggested that we go back there. The entrée’s sounded good and were reasonably priced. I got a bacon, tomato, lettuce and cheese sandwich which was quite good. Although I had never heard of putting cheese on a BLT I think I’ll be trying it in the future.

We left in plenty of time to get to Hampton since we had been told that it would take some time getting there depending on the traffic. Well we got there before 3:00 and were not supposed to meet our group until 5:45. We rode around the town a bit and then found a parking place and just relaxed for a little bit.

Home Away From Home, Virginia

Colonial Williamsburg

Since we had such a long day yesterday we took it a little easy and didn’t even arrive at Colonial Williamsburg until 11:00. As we were walking up we saw Phillip and Becky, our NC Directors and joined them for a delightful day.

Recommendation was to take the shuttle bus for the entire ride which encircled the historic district so we decided to do that realizing that we’d get enough walking in as the day progressed. After going all around we all decided that we hadn’t gotten a lot out of that – don’t recommend it to anyone else. We got off at the Governor’s Palace which we had seen before but it was interesting to see it again. The palace was noticeably clean. All the chandeliers were sparkling and I didn’t see one bit of tarnish on the silver displayed. When do they do all of that cleaning? I think I need to take them home!

After the palace we wandered around a bit and then decided on lunch at Chownings Tavern where we had eaten when we were last here. The menu was interesting, written I suppose in Olde English. of the entrée’s was accompanied with sippers. None of had any idea what that was – it was toast! Each of us got something different. I just got a garden wedge salet and a Basket of House-Made Chips—rustic hand-cut seasoned potato chips served with a trio of Chowning’s dipping sauces: malt vinegar bleu cheese, rarebit sauce, and gunpowder sauce. The gunpowder sauce was a little hot but very good. Jerry got Bangers and Mash—Roasted English sausage with sautéed onions and mushrooms, served with Madeira brown sauce on a bed of whipped colcannon potatoes. I had to look on the menu to determine what bangers were.

Jerry couldn’t resist a picture of me in the stocks.
After lunch we walked around a bit and then Phillip and Becky decided to return to the campground. Jerry and I walked around a bit more enjoying a beautiful afternoon. One of the shops we went into was a silversmith. I learned that when silver is engraved some of the silver is lost but if it is etched on the back, a process called repoussee then all of the silver is retained and it keeps its weight. In Colonial times the worth of silver was determined by its weight so silver designed by the repoussee method was more valuable.

By this time we were getting a bit tired so we headed back to the Visitor’s Center by shuttle. They have two gift stores so we went in both and I bought the ubiquitous magnet for Williamsburg. I had bought one yesterday for Jamestown thinking I might have already gotten one and I had so now I have two Jamestown magnets on an already crowded fridge! Tomorrow we visit Yorktown and I’ve already checked. We have the magnet!

We headed on back to the campground. I had some work to do on the computer and Jerry went outside to read accompanied by cheese and crackers. He didn’t stay out there long though as it was too cold so he came in and took a nap. Tonight was the night to have dinner in so I brought out the spaghetti sauce

We had to get to the Newmar tent a bit early because they wanted a picture of the North Carolina Tarheels – do you know how hard that is for us as NC State fans to say we belong to the North Carolina Tarheels? Our boys would love that! Oh well, we got the picture. The night began with a salute to the Virginia State Directors who were retiring and then they had a raffle. Next we all played Card Bingo. It’s a real easy game with a lot of winners but alas not us. It was fun though.

Lucky for us Becky and Phillip who by the way are our next door neighbors drove to the tent so we got to ride up and back with them and didn’t have to brave the cold, dark walk back.

Home Away From Home, Virginia

Jamestown Settlement and Museum

Today started very early as we were to meet for breakfast at Denny’s at 7:30! That’s an early start but it gave us a chance to meet some more people. We sat with a couple who serve as the At-Large representatives and they explained their responsibilities with Newmar.

Next we all met at the Jamestown Settlement. Jerry and I had visited the Jamestown museum a couple of years ago but had never been to the Settlement. We had a very informative, interesting and entertaining guide. Someone commented that if they had had a history teacher like that they might have paid more attention. He took us through the stages of Jamestown Colony 400 years ago. In 1607 ships carrying 144 passengers and crew landed and anchored in the James River after spending 144 days at sea. Amazingly only one death was reported and most likely that was from heat stroke although that is not definite. The Virginia Company of London as “James Fort” was established on May 4, 1607 funded by a group of London investors.

One of the first things the settlers did was build a fort with a wall as the Powhatan tribe of Indians was there and not very friendly! Hard times were ahead for these men when disease and starvation hit in 1607. I cannot imagine the desperation that would lead to cannibalism but it definitely occurred then. Diseased bodies were thrown in dug pits, some on top of each other and buried without benefit of caskets or preparation.

The Hunt Shrine dedicated to the memory of the Reverend Robert Hunt, the first Anglican minister of the colony
Finally in 1610 when they decided enough was enough, the entire company boarded the ship and headed home only to be met by Lord de la Warr with supplies, new settlers and an order to return. Return they did and they established forever the first permanent colony in the New World leading to the establishment of the House of Burgesses, the first representative assembly in America.

We were able to go into the Memorial Church which was built in 1907 but only as far as the front as archaeologists were busy working in the remaining section. We also visited the Archaearium where there are many artifacts plus a glimpse into the lives of the people.

Jerry in his new Jamestown T
Fortunately before we went on the guided tour I asked Jerry to go back to the car and get my raincoat. Had I not done that I don’t think I would have been able to finish the tour as it was windy and cold with the wind blowing off of the river. When we went into the Archaearium gift shop Jerry ended up buying a pretty long sleeved T which he put on over his short sleeved shirt. For him to say it’s cold, its cold!

Although we didn’t have to be at the museum until later we headed on over remembering that they had a café there. We got a bite to eat and visited with the Regional Director and some others. We also visited with the North Carolina State Director Becky along with her friend Phillip who encouraged us to join the NC Chapter, the Tarheels. She gave us the application and we filled it out right there on the spot plus paid the dues, a whole $10! Looking forward to some local rallies.

Picture by Gayle Webber
When Jerry and I visited the museum before we wandered around on our own but this time we had a guide for over an hour. Although it would have been nice to spend more time in the different sections that was not possible with such a large number on the tour. Still, we learned a lot more than before. Hopefully we’ll be able to retain it! Of course most of it we heard in one form or another when we were at the Settlement but this just emphasized it. It is definitely a grand museum and worth the visit.

While riding his bike the day before Jerry had broken his mirror while trying to adjust it so after leaving the museum we attempted to find a bike store. Thank you Google. We found a store, he bought the mirror and got me a light for my bike as well.

We returned to the campground and spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the cool weather outside. Jerry cleaned out his tool box and mounted the mirror on his bike.

All of the Kountry Klub members met for dinner at Sal’s by Victor. I couldn’t believe how crowded it was on a Tuesday night and was hoping that was a sign of good food. We ended up seated with several of the North Carolina members and had a delightful time. The food was good and the company was great. In fact when we finally got ready to leave we looked around and realized that the other 90 some members had already left.

Home Away From Home, Virginia

Next Stop – Williamsburg, Virginia

Sunday morning dawned bright and early for us as we had much to do before our departure for Willliamsburg. Because it was after dark when we returned from the group gathering last night we were unable to accomplish any of our usual pre-departure tasks such as taking the tent down or putting up the outside things. Before tackling those tasks though we gathered with the group for breakfast and devotions. It delayed our departure time but what a perfect way to end a rally.

We finally got everything put away and/or packed up and pulled out of Creekwood Campground a little before 10:00. To say it was a long day is quite the understatement. We ran into road construction at least three times and two accidents along the way. Who knew that a fender bender could tie up traffic for such a long time. We figured we spent at least two hours stopped or barely moving. When we stopped for gas I got us something to eat and we were back on the road in 15 minutes. A quick stop at a rest stop when we hit the Virginia border gave us a few minutes to walk around a bit. Both of us needed to stretch the kinks out.

We finally arrived at American Heritage Campground at 6:38 putting the 330 rule to shame. (Off the road after 330 miles or by 3:30 pm). We got checked in quickly, unhooked the car and headed to site 94. It was a pull through so that was easy but setting up in the dark is never easy. We got “kind of” level, enough to survive the night and Jerry was able to hook up the electric, water, septic and cable in the dark. I know Jerry was tired as he had driven about 450 miles. Glad tomorrow is a free day!

Home Away From Home, Virginia

Woodstock, Luray Caverns and More!

What a fun filled day and it lasted a lot longer than we anticipated. Our first adventure was to locate Woodstock Fire Tower. That proved to be a bit more difficult than we had thought. I downloaded the directions and it told us to turn east on a highway that only went north and south. After riding though the town of Woodstock a bit we finally stopped and asked and were told to turn by the old courthouse which we did. In reading the reviews on Trip Advisor I knew there were two entrances and the writer suggested taking the one with fewer curves and turns. Wouldn’t you know that we took the one going up that was winding, paved, graveled and hairpin curves? Jerry finally saw a sign denoting the tower so we parked and began a short walk towards the tower.

That's a high tower!
That’s a high tower!
When we arrived at the tower there were three people who had just come down and they encouraged us to go on up because the view was incredible. I looked at the metal tower, put my big girl panties on and up I went. In fact going up was easier than coming down! The climb was well worth it indeed though as we could see the seven bends of the Shenandoah Valley. As we were climbing down it began to sprinkle so we hastened on to the car.
This made the climb worth it!
This made the climb worth it!

Instead of going back the way we had come we ventured on only to discover that that was where we should have come in in the first place. It was just a regular road, no “oh my gosh I hope we don’t go over” road!

The Reflecting Pool
The Reflecting Pool

We decided to go on back to the RV for lunch and then go out for dinner as there was a restaurant in Edinburg that we wanted to try that evening. After lunch we headed to Luray to visit the Luray Caverns. Jerry and I have been to a number of caverns. In fact a few months ago Jerry said we had been to enough caves and caverns and to not plan anymore so I was hesitant to mention Luray Caverns but he had mentioned it so off we went. What a treat! The caverns are spectacular, by far the most impressive we have seen. In fact one lady on the tour said they were far better than Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico! I don’t know about that but they were pretty impressive. One of the most stunning things was a large pool of reflecting water. Though the water was only inches deep it appeared to be very deep. The magic of it was that it reflected all of the stalactites making it look like the ground was covered in stalagmites. It was incredibly beautiful and I could have stayed there for quite some time gazing at it.
Magnificent
Magnificent

Another interesting point was the sound of an organ being played. Strikers are attached at various points and then are gently tapped to make the different notes in the song. It took three years to build the organ and only a handful of people can play it. The song being played was “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”. Not a sound could be heard as the music sounded through the cavern.

When we left the caverns we went into the historic car museum. It is full of very old beautifully restored cars some dating from the 1800’s. A real treat for car lovers.

Next on our agenda was a ride along the Skyline Parkway however we were running low on gas. Along the highway we were on you could buy fruits, quilts, apple cider and any number of things but alas, no gas. We ended up driving 20 miles to find gas, then 20 miles back to the parkway entrance.

As we arrived at the gate we realized that there was a $20 charge per car and since it was so late we elected not to go but the ranger asked if by any chance we had the America the Beautiful pass and indeed we do so there was no charge.

No caption necessary
No caption necessary
We decided to go on and she directed us to the southern route which had more lookouts. We saw some incredibly beautiful sites, things that no camera we own could do justice to. The sun streaming through the clouds was absolutely gorgeous. At that lookout we could see numerous photographers setting up equipment in order to catch that shot. Unfortunately it was very windy and pretty cold so we didn’t stay very long. We continued on the parkway occasionally stopping at some of the lookouts but finally gave up because it was so windy and cold. At one lookout I saw a couple sitting on the brick wall wrapped in a blanket. That’s dedication!

Can you see his small antlers?
Can you see his small antlers?
As we headed out we saw two deer standing on each side of the road. I was scrambling to get my phone to take the picture and the deer waited patiently but dang it, it too me too long. She finally scampered off. The untagged young buck on the other side of the road crossed in front of us and posed for his picture before following the tagged doe. We saw three more deer as we rode out.

We finally got to the end of the parkway and began the rather long journey back to Edinburg, 55 miles.. Pretty sure our restaurant preference would be closed so perhaps we should instead head to Swover Creek Farms, a brewery, tap room and restaurant – I hope!

Oh well, eating out was not to be. We went back by the campground and then decided to go Swover Creek. Although it was less than 10 miles it was going to take nearly 20 minutes to get there. Wonder where it was. After leaving the two lane road, going over a single lane bridge though the dark country and then down another dark lane we finally arrived and realized that it was mainly a tap room and the store and the restaurant did not appear to be opened. Since neither of us drink beer we turned around, went back to the RV and had somewhat of a meal there.

It was a long but good day and a good way to end our Virginia trip. There is just so much to see here and we know we have just tapped the very edge of all of the beauty. Maybe another trip!

We didn’t leave Friday until 10:30 but had a very uneventful easy trip to Raleigh stopping only once at a rest stop for lunch. We stayed at the NC State Fairgrounds but up on the hill this time. The horse section was very quiet and dark and generally most of the State fans stay up top. Wi-Fi was almost not operable, in fact I could never get enough signal to even get the booster up. Naturally they have no cable but the Dish worked fine and Jerry was able to watch football!

We went to the game on Saturday and watched State lose to Boston College. Afterward we came back to the coach and sat outside. While the guys watched football on the outside TV (the first time we’ve really used it) the girls chatted. We ate our leftovers from tailgating and called it a night.

Sunday morning we got up and began washing linens and I cleaned the inside while Jerry washed the outside. Boy, did it need it. Sadly I guess it’s going back to the warehouse until after Christmas since we have no more trips planned in the near future. 😦

We finally got a fall picture - kind of.
We finally got a fall picture – kind of.
Home Away From Home, Virginia

Edinburg, Virginia

I just couldn’t go to sleep last night for some reason. Tuesday night is the only night I watch TV and I guess I stayed up too late and missed my sleepy time but when I did go to sleep I had a good night’s rest. Jerry quietly got up this morning and let me sleep in until almost 8:00. Love sleeping in a cold room. I heard him turn on the heat in the front so I knew when I got up and headed toward the den it’d be nice and warm and it was.

We took our time doing break down and it was 10:30 before we left. Interestingly enough our two GPS’s had very divergent routes varying in about 50 miles. I “thought” Jerry’s which is shorter was mainly two lane roads and I was right. We did get to ride through the absolutely lovely back roads of Virginia though. There are miles and miles of fences, some painted white (can’t imagine) and some plain. The leaves weren’t as vivid as they have been but were still pretty although a little more sparse. Horse farms abound along with cattle grazing in the pastures. Despite the loveliness of the drive I sometimes had to just look down as we passed through narrow passages and overhead bridges.

We arrived at Creekside RV Park about 1:00. I had read on RV Park Reviews that we shouldn’t follow the GPS directions to the campground and boy was that right! I called the campground and he told me what exit to take and then to just follow the campground signs. That would have been perfect except when we entered Edinburg and had to make either a left or right turn there was no sign so of course we turned left. We rode down the main street, saw the street that the GPS said to turn on and wisely said no way. It was very narrow and unbeknownst to us a sharp left angle turn and then a right turn and then a narrow bridge. I really think we would have gotten stuck.

The campground is small and our site backed up to a little creek full of quacking ducks. The guy a couple of sites down was feeding them throwing feed in the creek and then entrancing them to come up on the bank by throwing more food. Wow!

Edinburg Mill
Edinburg Mill
After we got set up and had some lunch we rode into Edinburg and went to the Edinburg Mill. It is only one of a few pre-Civil War mills still standing. The Shenandoah Valley was the thoroughfare for both of the armies and whomever controlled the valley would control the war. Upon orders the Yankees began what it now known as The Burning. They burned everything, homes, barns, livestock, fields, crops, anything that would provide sustenance. In one instance when they took the horses from the owners one of the horses was a mare with a foal. The lady screamed that the foal couldn’t exist without her mother so the soldier just turned around and shot the foal then continued on. The Burning was referred to as a grim time in a very grim war. I was surprised to hear that the homes of widows and masons were not burned though.

The mill is three stories full of memorabilia from the Civil War until more recent times. In fact, it is a bit humbling to see items in a museum that I remember using in years past. Although I didn’t have high hopes for visiting the mill I was definitely wrong. I would surely recommend it to anyone that happens to be in the Edinburgh area.

Home Away From Home, Virginia

Montpelier

After a great night’s sleep I woke up to sounds in the kitchen. The temperature had dropped again and it was in the upper 30’s so I hated to get out of my warm bed but was curious as to what was happening in the kitchen. Yes, my sweet husband was making a new batch of sausage balls. We have gotten in the habit of having sausage balls for breakfast and nothing else seems to tempt us – well, Pam’s Diner in Raleigh did one day!

Since our only plan for the day was to visit Montpelier we took care of some housekeeping. While Jerry was baking sausage balls I was paying bills with intermittent Internet – yep, that is so frustrating but I finally got it done.

We left about 11:00 for Montpelier located in Orange, Virginia. According to the GPS it is only about 20 miles from where we are staying but nearly an hour’s drive. We found out why it takes so long as we wound around the curvy roads. We are not in the mountains per se but we are definitely not in the flatlands either.

Visiting with President and Mrs Madison!
Visiting with President and Mrs Madison!
Approaching James and Dollly Madson’s home affords an absolutely breathtaking view as it is situated at the top of a slight rise with an immense lawn in front. Later we finally got some pictures but it was difficult to get one without random people standing around as there was a constant flow.

We arrived just in time to see the introductory film and then join the house tour. The film told of his life and his ascent to the presidency. He was quite a learned, well-read man and used it to his advantage. He was a believer in freedom for all – well except for the 129 slaves he kept and he believed in freedom to worship as one pleased. Known as the Father of the Constitution and the Architect of the Bill of Rights, the notes that he took during the early discussions of the formation of the Constitution became known as the Federalist Papers.

James Madison appeared to be a quiet studious man who married a young widow with a two year son, Dolly Todd. Later known as the “First Lady” she was quite the entertainer. Not only did she constantly entertain during their 16 years in Washington, eight as Secretary of State and eight as President, when they returned to Montpelier she continued to entertain a constant stream of visitors in addition to helping Madison edit his papers. Unfortunately Dolly’s son seem to often end up in financial trouble as the years passed and he put Dolly in quite a financial bind. The home was sold and Dolly moved to Washington.

Our attempts at selfies continue to fail
Our attempts at selfies continue to fail
The home was actually sold a couple of times and ended up in the DuPont family. They made several renovations and changes to the original house but when it was later donated in 2000 archeologists began the continuing process of returning the home and grounds to what it was when the Madisons lived there at the end of his presidency.

The grounds are beautiful and we spent a fair amount of time walking around. A visit to their grave sites included the graves of other family members but most of the headstones were illegible.

As we entered the estate I noticed a riding course and jumps so when we were in the Visitors’ Center I asked about that. According to the last DuPont owner her will stipulated that the Montpelier Hunt would be held every year during the first weekend of November and it is still in existence today. I asked about tickets and they are only $15 with $20 for a parking pass, rather reasonable.

Montpelier
Montpelier

As we were leaving I asked Jerry which was his favorite, Mt. Vernon or Montpelier and he answered that if he were only going to visit one it would be Mt. Vernon simply because it was the home of our first president. Interestingly enough my original schedule called for a visit to Montpelier and if time provided a visit to Mt. Vernon as an extra. Glad it worked out as we have now seen the homes of four Virginia born presidents. The last two days we have heard a lot about government by the people, for the people, and of the people with representation. Wonder when it changed? When the media decided to slant the news instead of reporting the news that didn’t help. OK – off of my bandwagon now!

On the way back to the campground we stopped at a Walmart in Gordonsville and picked up some groceries and then headed on in. When we walked into the RV it was warm so we opened a couple of windows and used the screen door. It didn’t take long for it to cool off. I’m loving this crisp fall weather!

For dinner tonight I finally baked the other two pasties we got from Cousin Jenny’s in Traverse City, Michigan. I really like them and they are nice to have after a busy day of touring. A salad just completes the dinner for me.

In closing, if you ever get a chance to visit Montpelier be sure to go. One young lady there with her two children said she had driven three hours just to visit Montpelier and I’m sure she felt it was well worth the time invested.

North Carolina, Virginia

Flexibility

Flexibility – some say that’s what RVing is all about and it surely has worked for us this time. Our original plans were to leave October 10th for our Virginia/Pennsylvania trip but Hurricane Matthew changed that plan. In all honesty we probably could have gotten out of Kinston but we just didn’t feel that it was a wise decision. As many have heard Kinston, NC was devastated by flooding waters and though “the storm” was over by the 9th the rising waters were just beginning. With Mom in a retirement center in Greenville and the threat of evacuation for her plus not knowing what was going to happen in Kinston we elected to stay home. We did go out to the warehouse on the 9th and get the motor home. The warehouse is in the flood zone and we were afraid it might flood. We also knew that even if the warehouse itself didn’t flood that there would be water all around it and we would be unable to get to it. Unfortunately we’ve seen it before so we knew what to expect. So, the RV stayed in our driveway for a week. We did use it one day due to power outage. Fortunately we live on the north side of Kinston and were not in any danger from the flood.

We were planning to go to the State Fair horse the next week and after a lot of talking pros and cons we decided to add part of our planned trip on after the horse show rather than before. We left on Tuesday, October 18 for Raleigh for the show and stayed until Sunday. During that time we discussed where we would go knowing we had to be back in Raleigh by October 29 for the State-Boston College football game. Yes, it does seem our fall travels revolve around football games and horse shows! We finally decided to go to Louisa, Virginia where we would spend two nights at the Small Country Campground and visit Montpelier, James Madison’s home. The rest of the trip was up in the air at that point but included going to the Shenandoah Valley and the Skyline Parkway.

We finally got away from the horse show grounds on Sunday around 10:00, stopped at Alamance Crossing to meet David (we had grandson Eli for the week-end) and then headed on to Louisa. On the way it dawned on me that I should probably check the hours for Montpelier. That little tickle in my mind was right – they are closed on Mondays. Oh well. We decided that we would add a night to our Louisa stay and go visit Mt. Vernon, George Washington’s home on Monday. It is about a 2 hour drive but Jerry was up for it so the plans changed.

As we neared the campground our two GPS’s of course gave two different routes. Jerry took his instead of mine and we ended up on Brickhouse Road, a narrow, two lane, winding road and we were hoping we wouldn’t meet anyone. We did but fortunately got by without incidence! We should have taken my route this time.

The campground despite its name is not small. In fact there are several sections. Unfortunately for some reason we were not put in with the transients so thus far haven’t gotten to meet anyone. After we got set up we took a walk around the park. We debated riding our bikes – wow, glad we didn’t as it’s a mite hilly!

I had put ribs in the crockpot when we stopped for lunch and they were smelling really good so I cooked some sides and we had a pretty good dinner for a change. It was an early night and by 8:00 we were both fighting sleep. The horse shows are always fun but tiring so a good night’s sleep was in order. By the way we didn’t succumb to our 8:00 drowsiness and I made it all the way to 10:00! I left my window open and the room was cool, perfect for sleeping.