Saturday, May 31, 2008

events of the day

So, this last day of May finds us on our last day of vacation.. tomorrow we head for Maine!!! I am ready to be "back" which tells me that this vacation was just right.

We woke this morning to very humid weather, and the TV warned us of thunderstorms thru out the day. We didn't have any "real" plans, so decided to head out and see what we could find.

"What" we found was a train museum!!! and it is hard to tell you exactly how huge this place was, and all the wonderful things that it contained. Ed is a bit of a train buff, so we had a wonderful time exploring!! Across the street from the museum was another one, that offered rides on a steam train thru the Amish countryside.. nothing doing.. we had to get on board!!! It was a beautiful ride (even with the rain drops) and we enjoyed it very much.

After the ride, we began to drive about the country side and "came" across the train as it took another group of passengers out for a ride. Ed got this photo of the train and an Amish farmer working in his field. Because the train was coming to a crossing he had to blow the steam whistle... I was quite impressed that this team of three horses hardly even noticed it was there.

The horses are so amazing to me, I know that they are well trained and deal with all this "modern" stuff on a daily basis, but it is so impressive to see them standing in a row of cars at a traffic light, or trotting along as motor cycles, tractor trailer trucks, and various motor cars pass them by. I would have loved to talk to an "Amish" person and ask about the work they do with their horses, but the opportunity never came up...

Anyways, it has been a wonderful couple of days in this beautiful part of the country ... the blog next has some more pictures we shot over the day... enjoy....

pics of the day

a blog for Dave

DAVE!!!!! where are you when we need you!!!!!

Friday, May 30, 2008

let the pictures talk

The "Amish" country... what words of mine can say what these pictures do.....

last dance

We had another grand day in Colonial Williamsburg yesterday. They are always "changing it" up which is nice for people like Ed and I who visit there as much as possible. This year they are doing "street plays"... which includes all sorts of grand props like.... ladies who can ride side saddle (very impressive!!!) and coaches that carry "Lord Dunmore"as he heads to the Capital to give a speech against the idea of going against Britain and the King!!! It's great fun, and they really get the crowds involved as much as possible.

You can also "buy" extras...(though if you have the one year pass.. many of these extras come "free" with your pass)... things like carriage rides and evening entertain are well worth the doing.

Ed and I usually take a carriage ride. It seems sort of silly to do this, since we have done it so many times... and I have a horse at home that I can drive anytime I wish.... but, there is something magical about riding in that coach thru the streets of Williamsburg. I love hearing the sounds of the hooves on the street, and seeing the people stop and snap a picture as the coach goes by... it's just one of those extras that "makes" the trip.

I saw in the program that the "evening entertainment" for last night was ..." A Ball for Lady Dunmore at the Capital"... it was to have music, entertainments, and dancing... so I signed us up for a time. When we arrived at the Capital, they had the basket lamps burning!!! and the Capital was lit with candle light. When they first brought you in.. the "entertainment" was a puppet show!!! It was really quite funny.. course the "actors" were even better than the puppet show itself. Then they took us to another room, were several gentlemen entertained us with "tavern songs!!!" and talk of "politics of the day" (1774.. that is).. and afterwards, we went down to the court chambers, were the chairs were pushed back to create a ball room.

Here, several couples did dances of the period, and were dress in their absolute finest. However, the evening did not end, until several folks were pulled from the crowd to join in a "country folk jig"... MY Ed being one of them!!! (and this fine lady in the yellow dress was his partner)... I SO wished I could have taken a photo of Ed doing the dance... he was VERY good... but, they do not want you using a flash.. and the room was too dark to get a good shot. So, you will have to "trust" me when I tell you that he had a great time, and the biggest smile on his face. It was a fun way to end a great day!!! (I wished I had been picked... oh well!!!)

Afterwards, we got Moxie and walked the Duke of Glouster Street (the main road) for one last view of the city before heading to bed, and then on the road to the north. So, it is "goodbye" again to dear Williamsburg.. with a promise that we will return on another day....

Thursday, May 29, 2008

traveling with "moo"

Moxie is an excellent dog to travel with. (and not because she is ours!!!) but she is quiet, well behaved and just enjoys going!! I think a lot of it has to do with her show days.... she always scored much better in the shows away from home.. she liked staying in hotels, and being on the road.

However, as I sort of figured, traveling with a dog is NOT the easiest thing to do. Quite often I feel like a second class citizen "because of the dog". Either "we" are not welcomed (and I quote from one hotel..."if we find that a pet is with you, we will fine you 150.00 per night"!!) or if you are welcomed, they will often put in the "not so nice section" of the hotel OR charge some outrageous price just in case your dog get "a hair" on the carpet!!! So, as we packed "Moo" into the truck for this trip.. I had all of that in mind.

Over all, though I am happy to report that it hasn't been as "bad" as I feared, though we have had a couple of bumps in the road.

I must give MAJOR praise to the Hampton Inn of Jacksonville, NC... and if anyone finds themselves there.. dog or not... please consider them as your place to stay. Here, dogs are more than welcomed... and our King sized, non smoking, no pet deposit, free Internet room.... was wonderful!!! Since we were there for 6 nights, it was so grand to have such a great place to stay in. I, of course, was very careful about Moxie being there... ALWAYS picking up after her...never leaving her in the room alone.... and made a point when we checked out at the front desk.. to tell them how delighted I was with the whole visit, and how much (as a dog owner,) I appreciated them being so pet friendly.

Our stay in Williamsburg was OK.... we have a little hotel that we always stay at (for the last 15 years that we have been going) they are also pet friendly.. with no deposit.. but I have to say that this time, we were in the "not so great" part of the hotel. We also had to pay for Internet, so my blogging was at a minimum (boy did I miss that). And this morning as we got back on the road, both Ed and I have decided that maybe we will look for another place when we visit Williamsburg again.

There was one other "little" problem... a PARKING ticket!!! Now, I will take complete blame for this, and will pay it promptly when we get home... but I am still a bit "ticked" about this....

Yesterday, as we were touring Williamsburg.. the day was reaching the mid 70's... I was nearly panicked about leaving Moo in the truck. So we looked and looked for a parking spot that would remain shady the whole day, and wasn't too far where I could walk back often and check on her. Course, the best spot to be found was in the "two hour/short stay" parking lot.. I knew I was taking a chance leaving the truck there for the day, but since there are no places for dogs.... I took my chances... and got caught. Oh well, the 10.00 that I have to send in was well worth it, as the truck stayed very cool and when I checked on Mox each time, she was happily snoozing.

It would be nice if Colonial Williamsburg could have a "day kennel" near the visitors center... I would have certainly taken advantage of it (even happily would pay!!!) and we can't be the only ones who visit there with a dog!!!! Maybe I will put that down on the questionnaire that is usually sent to us when we visit... I would think it could make them a little money and would be a real sense of well being for all dog owners...

This evening, we are in Lancaster, PA... a beautiful.. pet friendly (free internet) hotel... however, the 50.00 non refundable pet deposit seems a little much to me.... but, Moo is happily sleeping by the AC... so who am I to complain

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hello again....

Even though we were here just last November... my Ed can hardly spend time in the south without stopping by Colonial Williamsburg!!! (possibly his most favorite place in the world).. so, this morning, we bid goodbye to Kas and Nate, and began our trek north, with time to spare so that we could spend some time here. Since we have "no childred" to shoot pictures of... Moxie had to pose in front of the sign for me!!!

The "city" was fairly quiet... there are a number of school groups, as always, but there is plenty of room to move about and see the special programs that goes on.

Today, we had the great pleasure of seeing "General George Washington".... he rode up on his horse to review the troops and encourage them in their fight against the British!!! He seems to think that "we can win this war and become a free nation".... I hope he is right!!!!

The troops look pretty good to us... they are strong in cannon fire and musket fire.... The fife and drum corps sounded very good and they were even able to re-inforce the troops with several volunteers from the crowd that was watching!!! Course those volunteers needed a great amount of work in marching, but I think the drill Sargent will get them into shape!!!

After all that "excitement" I was just as happy to find a peaceful spot to enjoy this beautiful place. There was this great flock of sheep enjoying their pasture, and I spent some time watching them and enjoying their company.....

We will be here tomorrow and then on Friday, we will head north again... I think we are hoping to spend a little time in the "Amish country" in PA...This certainly has been one of the best vacations that we have been on... but, I must admit... I am beginning to have pet withdrawal and am missing all the babies at home.....

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


On Memorial Day, Kas and Nate took us out to Fort Macon at the end of Emerald Isle on the outer banks. This is a very historical site, and the old fort had been used not only during the civil war, but during the world wars as well... mainly a post for guarding the coast. It was fun walking around the place, and one of the few "sites" that I have ever been too, where they don't guard you off. You have to watch your step and pay attention ... as they stated before you enter... "this fort was built for war, not sight seeing"... as you might be able to tell from the stair case... this is a big wall, and when you are walking around the top of it.. there isn't any sort of "fencing" to keep you from stepping off. It's nice to be able to see such places and see them as they were meant to be.

And this is the view from the top of that wall... as you can see, it gives you a clear sight into the ocean... now, the piece of land you can see in this shot... is Shakleford Banks... where the ponies live!!! Why we couldn't have had a day like this for "pony island"!!! Actually, Ed and the kids said that they would take me back over there, but even from the fort I could see a number of boats on the island, and people walking about... so I have a feeling the ponies might have even been "hiding" on a day like this with all that "traffic" on their island!!!
Another thing that can be found on Emerald Isle is LOTs of places that have things like mini golf, go carts tracks and the like, so nothing doing we had to stop at one of them and let the "kids out to play"... course you might notice
one of the "biggest" kids!!! Ed has such a good time with these sorts of things.. (actually Dave
does too.... we missed having him with us!!!!) Kass, Nate and Ed had a grand time in the bumper boats... I had to take pictures, so I didn't go on them!!! (just as well, I got to stay nice and dry!!!) One thing we did forget, getting off the island on a holiday weekend!!! It was a two hour waiting in traffic ride on the way home... oh well, we really didn't have any place to be!!! (except for Mandi and Patrick's for dessert!!)
Now, aside from all this "tourist stuff" we have been doing, I have found some quiet time for myself... which is always a good thing to find on vacation... and in this quiet time... look at what I have managed to accomplish....
My first hat with a design in it...I bought this pattern at the wool festival that I went to with Linda... and have gotten one done!!!!
I am pretty happy with it, even if I do say so myself.. and have even started on a second one....
I am also very happy to report that Moxie is doing well, and seems to be feeling better.. maybe a little vacation from the others is something she needed for herself.
Tomorrow we begin to head towards the north, I can hardly believe this time has come and gone so quickly.

a blog for BECKY

My sister "complained" that when my parents came to visit, they didn't get enough pictures of Kassy's and Nate's... so, Becky, this blog is for you!!! Here is the outside... Kas and Nate are on the second floor... behind this beautiful tree.. kind of like living in a little "tree house"...

You head up the stairs.. their door is on the left... Kas has her little wreath hanging on the door.....

As you step thru the door, their living room is to your left.... the tree shades her windows and there is usually a breeze blowing thru....

Standing in a corner of the living room and looking towards the back is their dinning area....

their kitchen is to the right of the dinning area.. it's small, but efficient....includes a dishwasher, stove, frig.. etc...

they have a nice screen porch which is "behind" the dinning room. Kas often keeps this door open and with the front windows, the apartment stays fairly cool!!!

Now, if you are standing in the doorway into the apartment...looking straight ahead, there is a little hallway... here you can also see some of the bathroom

to your right (on backside)... is their bedroom...

And to the left is their "extra room" where they keep the computer and various items...

So, there you have it!!! and now you know what her little place looks like!!! (so does everyone else!!)
It's been a wonderful place for them to start out with.. and though I know they are excited about the move back home, I also know that there will be plenty of things (and FRIENDS) that they will dearly miss. They will have great memories of their first home together!!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

more stories

The days are flying by on this trip... it's going to be over before I even know it. Sunday we went to church with Kas and Nate, and their friends, Mandi, Patrick and Cassie and Bobby. What a wonderful service it was... all in the "theme" for Memorial Day. I hope you don't mind my opinion.. but people in the south, know how to "do it right".. all the talk about southern hospitality is alive and well.. especially in this little church. We felt extremely welcomed!!! The service was up lifting and thoughtful, and I don't mind admitting that I was in tears after hearing the "widows of the veterans" talk about their loved ones, or the moment of silence when they rang the church bell in honor of our fallen veterans!!! I came away with great joy in my heart, and I know that Kas and Nate will miss this church when they move back home.

After church we stopped by this "shop" called the Rag Bag.. it is filled with "just about everything" and we had a great time poking about. I did pick up a couple of gifts that will be put away for Christmas. But I was fascinated with the building itself... a real log cabin built in the 1800's with quite a history behind it. The owner was telling me about it, and all the different things it has been over the years. It was cool to think that the building stood here during the Civil war.. and during many other historic events as well.

Then it was onto "Pop's" for some lunch. I guess the "kids" go here most every Sunday after church and they are well known to the folks that run it. What a cute little restaurant this is.. and talk about good prices!!! for 4.97 I got a great chicken wrap, a drink, chips and a dessert!!!! Kas spent a whole .97 on a grilled cheese sandwich!! Nice to find some place where you can get good plain food and a awesome price!!!

By then, the better part of the day had passed, so we took the dogs to the park for a little swim and just to enjoy the outdoors. The boat ramp was quite busy and we were pretty entertained watching people take their boats in and out of the water... let's just say, some do it much better than others!!! One poor guy just about drove me nuts trying to back his trailer in... I almost went over and asked him if he wanted me to do it for him.. (not to brag, but one thing about hauling a horse trailer... I know how to back them up!!!) Anyways, we sat there for the longest time, just people watching.... it was pretty fun.

Then in the evening, Cassie and Bobby invited us over for a cookout and show off their little apartment... I am just so impressed with these young people!!! All of them living out on their own.. being marines, I am impressed at the jobs they do... just a great bunch of young folks to be around... it's a real blessing for me!!!!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

looking for ponies

As promised, the shells were nothing less than amazing... it would be easy to spend hours sorting thru them all. We did get some pretty neat ones, but honestly, I was more on a hunt for ponies than I was for shells.

The island is long and low in shape, and the wind whistled across it. When the rain came, it almost pelted you... I have to say, everyone was a very good sport to be out here doing this!!! Poor Mandi, she had worn sandels and one of them broke!!! so, she was walking almost "shoeless"... she is also four months pregenat to boot, and she hiked along like a trooper, looking for shells and keeping watch for ponies.

Now, I figured these ponies were pretty smart, they have lived thru many a rainy day out here, so, we began to check in the brushes for them. Nate and Patrick were happy to scale the top of the sand dunes to see if they could find them, but I sort of felt that they (being much smarter than us) were pretty much under cover and out of the rain!!! We searched and searched, found many fairly fresh hoofprints, and lots of really fresh horse poop.... but NO ponies. Finally, it was getting close to the time to meet the boat, and we (ME) felt pretty discouraged not having seen any.

As we met up with the boat, our captain said.. "well how many ponies did you find?"... we answered.. "none"... "really?, he replied.."well there are two just down the beach, I will drive you out past them".

Nate spoke up, and asked if he could run down the beach and snap a couple of pictures for us... I wanted to go too, but he would only allow Nate to go.

So, as we boated along the shore, Nate ran down the beach on foot and was able to snap these wonderful photos of these two island ponies!!! Being brought up on a farm and used to "large animals"... Nate wasn't one bit afraid to walk up fairly close to them.

This made our captain a little bit nervous.. he told us that if these two were mares, than the stallion wasn't far away, and might even show up and chase Nate off. No more were those words out of his mouth, when one of these ponies actually charged at Nate!!! But, Nate is quick and understands horses, so he ran just "out of zone" and the ponies went back to their grazing.

We could see them quite well from the boat, but I would have loved to be up on the shore with Nate... either way, we can say that we got to see them, and I am grateful that Nate was able to get such good pictures of them. I would have loved for it to be a sunny day, and I would have loved to spend a lot more time out there, but we did what we could and the day will always be a special memory!!! who knows, another time may come and we can do this again. But, if anyone gets the chance to visit Beaufort... this is an adventure you won't want to miss....

And even though I look like a "drown rat"... I think my smile tells the rest of the story.... it was well worth it....

believe me though... that hot shower I took back at the hotel felt pretty great!!! OH... the sun broke out just about supper time.........

got ponies?

Today was the day of "wild ponies!!" Though when we got up in the morning... "wild" was a better description for the weather. Since we arrived here on Thursday evening, the weather has been nothing short of wonderful... but this morning it looked to be somewhat different. Now, most of you know that weather isn't about to stop me.. (remember a dog show a few weeks ago) and since they were running the boat out to the pony island... Kas, Nate, Mandi, Patrick, Ed and I decided we would go and see what we could find on the Island.

For the most part, we were prepared for the weather.... however, the real rain began to show up as we were already on the boat and heading for the island. It was "cold" too..that wet /damp rain cold that after a little while you decide to "give up and go with it"....

Our boat captain seemed pretty certain that we would see some horses... after all the island is quite tiny (you can pretty much walk the whole thing in a couple of hours) and there are around 120 horses living there, including 8 new foals this season... I was excited!!!

Now "officially" this island is called Shackleford Banks... and back in the 1700's or so, a Spanish ship wrecked off the coast. The horses aboard the ship swam to shore and have survived generation after generation all these years. Today the town of Beaufort, does monitor the ponies, thinning the herd threw auctions when needed, and administering meds and such, also when needed. But for the most part, this is a wild herd, and though you are allowed to be among them, you are not suppose to approach too closely, and you run this at your own risk. The stallions will protect the mares, and the mares will protect the foals.

Besides the ponies, it is an awesome place to look for shells... of all kinds. We were told to walk over to the "ocean side" of the island for the best "shelling"... so, with all this advise in mind, we were dropped off on the island.. for a two hour visit.

The wind really began to pick up, and the rain was still coming down... but, we weren't going to let that bother us!!! and bravely started off to find ponies and shells.....

THEN, we came across some other folks on their way back to the boat... "Have you found any ponies?" they asked us.... No, we have just arrived... Well, they had been there a few hours in the rain and hadn't come across a single pony.....

I suddenly began to have second thoughts........