Monday, December 5, 2011

Marines and Ruins

It was a beautiful day in SC today. Last night was mild enough to leave the windows open. It’s been awhile since we’ve slept with open windows. Today we had some household chores to tend to, but when they were all finished we decided to go for a ride. We started heading out towards Parris Island, then we saw a military jet fly over so I checked my GPS for area airports and saw that we were only 10 miles away from the Marine Corps Air Station. Follow that jet! We drove past lots of marsh land and over rivers thru small towns and then we saw it. Yea, right. I don’t know what possessed us thinking we could get on base to take pictures, but we tried. We blamed it on the GPS leading us to make a wrong turn. The MP was very nice about it and let us turn around. I was still able to get some nice pictures of old jets outside the base. We headed toward home and out toward the highway when we saw a sign for the town we’re staying in so we made a right turn down a back road with moss draped oak trees and I’m glad we did. A few miles down the road we saw a historical marker. Out of the corner of my eye I saw ruins of a large brick building. We found a place to turn around and went back and parked. It was the ruins of a church built in the 1700’s, burned by the British in 1779, rebuilt in 1826 and burned again in 1865 by the Federal Army. As you walk through the gate, it gets eerily surreal. The oak trees draped with moss with grave markers peppered throughout the grounds. The burned remains of a brick church, the altar marred with age. Charred brick along the top. It was definitely worth the stop. Pictures can say so much more than words, enjoy them. Thanks for traveling along with us on The Thomas’ Trails…until next time.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


IMG_5961On our way south we always like to stop in and see a good family friend, Mrs. Klein. Our families go back as long as I can remember. My mom and Mrs. Klein were best friends and when my mom passed away, she was there for me. Our families always celebrated holidays together and we even went on vacations together. Her daughter, Julie was in my wedding and my daughter, Chrissy was in hers, so when we’re passing through North Carolina we make it a point to stop and say hi. And when we’re coming from the north, we’re sure to bring some NY style bagels! We found a nice Passport America park just 25 min. south of her in Moncure, NC. For $15 a night it was worth it. We decided that we will stay at Dickens RV Park from now on when passing through. IMG_5967One of the highlights while we were there was the Apex, NC Christmas Parade. Two of Mrs. Kleins’ grandsons were marching in the parade so this was a must see. We weren’t there early enough to get front row seats, but we were in the second row. People were putting chairs along the street at 8AM!!! I’m not even up that early. The parade started at 5pm so we got there around 3 and set up our chairs. We walked up and down the street to kill some time and keep warm. All the stores were decorated for the holidays and everyone was so nice. By the time the parade started the street was lined four deep with children on the shoulders of their parents so they could see all the excitement. IMG_5997This was some parade. It lasted almost two hours. There were numerous bands from the area high schools and middle schools, dancing troupes, boy scouts and girl scouts, jump rope teams, classic cars, emergency vehicles, etc. I was very impressed with all the participants. Everyone wishing a Merry Christmas. Afterwards, we all went back to Mrs. Kleins’ condo for some delicious chili and cornbread. It was great to visit with old friends. I can’t wait to go back and see everyone again, but the weather was cold and we were leaving the next day to go to South Carolina. Thanks for traveling along with us on The Thomas’ Trails…until next time.

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…