Sunday, November 20, 2011

Happy 104th Birthday Aunt Marguerite

Wow, 104 years young! Today Lenny and I were invited to celebrate the 104th birthday of his Aunt Marge. I remember four years ago when we were planning his parents 50th wedding anniversary, she told me in no uncertain terms that we were not to have their party the same day as her 100th Birthday party and here we are four years later. It was great to see family members we don’t usually get to see. And when we went to wish Aunt Marge a Happy Birthday, she looked at me and said, “I see you’ve found your way back home.” I sure hope if I live that long, that I still have all my faculties and can get around like she does. She is truly a blessed woman to be surrounded by her family, her daughter, three grandchildren, not sure how many great grands and great-great-grands, and her friends.IMG_5956
They had everyone wear nametags with your relationship. That’s good because sometimes I forget who I am. LOL. They also had some facts about the year Aunt Marge was born entitled “What Was Life Like in 1907?” For instance, a loaf of bread cost 5 cents! A gallon of milk was 31 cents. A car cost $500 and a house cost $4,500. Unemployment was a mere 2.8 percent. Oklahoma became the 46th state. Theodore Roosevelt was president and his vice president was Charles W. Fairbanks. The first helicopter flew, the famous “ball” dropped in Times Square to signal the new year. The first cabs with meters began operating in London and Jim Casey founded the United Parcel Service in Seattle. The average life expectancy in the US was 45.6 years for men and 49.9 years for women. I guess you could say that Aunt Marge is above average! Pneumonia and influenza were the leading causes of death in the US and a bubonic plague outbreak began in San Francisco. Aunt Marge shares her date of birth with the author of the Pippi Longstocking books and with painter Claude Monet. She shares the year of her birth with such famous people as John Wayne, Gene Autry, Sir Laurence Olivier and Katherine Hepburn.IMG_5958
She has survived two world wars, numerous other wars, the depression of 1929 and many other events in history. Aunt Marge is a wonderful woman whose home has always been open to us. We love her and wish her a VERY HAPPY 104TH BIRTHDAY!!! May we all be as blessed in our lives as she has been.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Endless Road

We left early today…well, if you consider 9:30 am early. It is for us. Usually, we don’t get on the road until 10:30 – 11 am and we usually pull off the road around 3-4 pm. About two hours into our drive, we pulled into a nice VA rest stop for stretching/bathroom break. We decided to have an early lunch. About 20 minutes after we got back on the road we saw Camping World so we decided to see what they have for sale. After two hours with the salesman, we decided they didn’t have anything that we could live with for the next 10-15 years so back on the highway we drove. And the hills went up and the valleys went down. The views were spectacular. A few more hours of driving and we were getting tired, the cats wanted out of their crates, we wanted out of our shoes and the dog just wanted to go out! I found a Passport America Park in Northern VA…a NASCAR RV Resort. I just can’t seem to get away from NASCAR! The price was right anyway. Less than $17 for a site. When we turned off the main road to the resort, the road seemed to go on forever. The endless road in the endless mountains. I must say, by the time we got to our site and set up it was already getting dark so you’ll have to read tomorrow’s post to see how we really like it. Tonight, it is PITCH black and so quiet you could hear a pin drop. No trains, no airplanes, no highway hum. The one thing I found very odd was that we had to sign a release that if we went “exploring” in the park at night to have fun and got hurt we could not hold them responsible. This is the first park we have ever had to sign a release at. I guess someone at sometime must have tried it. Not much else happened today. Enjoy the pictures and thanks for traveling along with us on The Thomas’ Trails. Until next time…

Sunday, November 6, 2011

See Ya Down the Road!

All good things must come to an end. Well, I don’t necessarily agree with that statement because if you look hard enough for the good in everything then it will never come to an end. You will always have good things. Today we said farewell to two very good friends, Bill and Kathy. It’s hard to imagine that six months ago we didn’t even know each other, but campers are friendly folk and when we met back in June we just hit it off. We both love wine, dogs, camping/traveling, and having fun. So, when we were headed north, they were headed south and we met up for a few days at Mayberry Campground. Did we get to everything we wanted to while we were together? NO! But that just means we have to come back and spend more time here together. While we were saying good-bye to one friend, we were becoming friends with another. Malia was scoping out the campground with a notebook when we met. I come to find out that we know some of the same people and she is a fellow blogger who also writes for Motorhome Magazine. She had done a story on this campground a few years ago and was doing a follow-up while she was passing through. It’s so exciting as we travel and meet others who live full-time in their motor home. We exchange stories, good and bad, and learn from each other. Lenny and I are still newbies when it comes to this lifestyle and we learn from so many people out there who have been doing this longer than we have. The trick is to open your mouth. Ask questions, start telling your story. That’s the way it is in life, that’s how we help each other in ALL things. We tell our story, we share our ups and downs. What’s your story, I would love to hear it. How did you get to where you are today?
Final sunset in Mayberry
After saying our farewells to Bill and Kathy and hellos to Malia, we went for an early dinner. I really wanted Italian, so we chose Coppolla’s. Our server was rude, inhospitable, and negligent. Our food had absolutely no flavor. When we went to pay our bill, we spoke to the owner. He asked why we didn’t send our food back and I told him because we never saw the server after he gave us our food or we would have. He did take some money off the bill but we will never return to that restaurant when we’re in Mt. Airy. And the sad part is all the reviews raved about their food and service. From there it was off to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things and then home to start packing things up. Moving day tomorrow. Northward bound toward NJ for Thanksgiving. Taking it slow and easy. Thanks for traveling along with us on The Thomas’ Trails. Until next time…

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Mt. Airy Will NEVER Be The Same!

Oh, what a day! Today was Camper Appreciation Day at the Mayberry Campground. This place is great. Benny, the owner, went all out to show how much he appreciates the campers. Around noon, everyone started heading down toward the pavilion for the party. They had chicken stew, Brunswick stew, pulled pork, hamburgers, hot dogs, three different coleslaws, baked beans, mac and cheese plus all sorts of desserts. Someone also had made hot spiced apple cider over a fire. It was so good. I guess there had to be about 200 or more people there. Then to top it all off, Benny had hired The Easters, IMG_5835a bluegrass band from Mt. Airy. There were two different Easter bands, the original three brothers and then a younger generation. The grandchildren of the one brother. IMG_5824Three hours of excellent music and mouth watering food was the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon in the south. Later in the afternoon, we went out for a quick bite to eat with our friends, Bill and Kathy, who are on their way to Florida to spend Thanksgiving with her son. It’s hard to believe that we only met a few months ago while in the Poconos. It seems as though we’ve been friends for years. We went to Goober’s on Rt. 52, otherwise know as The Andy Griffith Highway. Our server, Cydnie, was awesome.2011-11-05 18.37.22 She didn’t miss a beat with all the NY banter going on between the four of us. We’re going to miss Bill and Kathy. They leave tomorrow, but we’ll see them again when we’re heading south and they are heading back home to Long Island and the long, long winter. Winking smile We have been having fun, touring the area, eating out and all that stuff. I can’t wait for them to sell their house and go full-time along with us! We are here until Monday then we start heading north to NJ. Len has an aunt who is turning 104 and there is a birthday party for her the Sunday before Thanksgiving. We are looking forward to seeing our family and friends. I am especially looking forward to spending quality time with my daughter. Now that we only see her every few months, we make the most of it. Thanks for traveling along with us on The Thomas’ Trails. Until next time…
Yankee is exhausted!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hodge Podge Kind of Day

Another beautiful sunrise in Mt. Airy

Wow, I could really get used to this sleeping in bit. I slept until 8:30. Don’t think I’ve done that for ages! Anyway, we did all sorts of things today. Started out going to a few wineries, but two out of three were closed. Oh well, the one that was open was good. Winery #1 had a sign on the roadway saying OPEN, so we drove up the drive only to be greeted by two ferocious looking dogs and a hound dog all barking and baying. Lenny had to yell at them so I would get out of the car. The sign lied, all the doors were locked and there was not a person in sight even though there were other cars in the lot. So much for that winery. On to winery #2, The Slightly Askew, in Elkin. IMG_5745This looked like a fun place and it was. A whimsical wine bottle sculpture greeted us on our arrival. I tried seven different wines, then she mixed some of the wines and I tried those. Ok, I bought three bottles, one for my daughter. She directed us to winery #3 that sells organic wines in town. Off we go, well, winery #3 was closed for lunch, but there was a cute quilt shop across the street so we went in to admire the handiwork. I love quilts and a few years ago Lenny bought me an Amish quilt in Lancaster, PA. The winery was still closed when we exited the quilt shop, so we drove around looking at all the older stately homes. Making our way back to Mt. Airy, we found the cemetery where Eng and Chang Bunker are buried.IMG_5751 Eng and Chang are the famous Siamese twins who lived here, married sisters, and raised their 21 children. The campground we are staying at is owned by a direct descendent.  There was an older gentlemen at the cemetery sprucing up his parents graves and he took the time to give us a little personal history lesson on the area. He pointed out the farmhouse of one of the brothers lived that was a 1/2 mile away. Then he told us where Andy Griffith’s IMG_5755grandparents were buried in the cemetery. Thank you Mr. Kemp for your time and hospitality. Back to the RV to relax a bit before going out to dinner at the Golden Coral. Then when we got back, our friends from Long Island had finally arrived. We haven’t seen Bill and Kathy since the summer when we were in the Poconos. We sat and chatted with them for awhile, planning out tomorrow’s adventures. We got back to the RV just before it started to rain. It’s ok if it rains at night. So, all in all, it was a hodge podge kind of day, wineries, cemeteries, and friends.  Thanks for traveling along with us on The Thomas’ Trails. Until next time…

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pilot Mountain

Another beautiful day here in Mayberry! Today, we took a drive to Pilot Mountain. Located less then 20 miles from Mt. Airy, it was a lovely drive. IMG_5655When we got there it was HUGE! Being from the NYC area, I’m not used to seeing mountains that large with a huge knob on top. We decided to take a drive through the campground area and while the sites were nice, it is not something we would take our motorhome to. The roads are too steep, the sites are not level and are very small, but the view is amazing. From there we continued up the mountain. At times, I had to close my eyes. I don’t like heights and some of the drop offs were more than my heart could stand. IMG_5677We finally got to the top and what a view. Words cannot do it justice so enjoy the pictures. Len climbed to very top and took some more pictures. Enjoy the views.


A lovely sunsetIMG_5729 topped our day. IMG_5730Thanks for traveling along with us on The Thomas’ Trails. Until next time…