Tuesday, April 27, 2010


My nephew Josh keeps us laughing all day long.  He doesn't try to be funny.  He is a hoot without even trying.  Mostly, he is just brutally honest.  One example is yesterday when we were grocery shopping and picking out food for the guys' party. 

We grabbed a cake mix and a tub of frosting.  I asked him what he thought about making that for his dad's birthday party.  He said he thought we should just make it to eat it...and not make it for the party.  I asked how come?  He says, "because you don't get very much cake at a birthday party".  I told him I liked the way he thinks.

Lauren was telling Diana that she looked better without makeup, while she was getting beautified the other morning.  Josh looked at her and said, "I think you look better with it".  (He might want to change his tune when he gets married, lol)

While  playing badminton with him, he tells me that I'm not very good.  He told me that I should practice while he is sleeping at night and maybe I could be as good as him tomorrow.  (Hmmm...that sounds like something Uncle Nathan would say) 

Oh, I love that kid!

Happy Birthday Daryl

Today was Daryl's birthday.  I think he must be around 20 or so years old now.  Last night we had a party for both he and Nathan, whose birthday is this weekend.

 I hope they had a great party.  They are some great guys, so they deserve it!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Our Travel Buddies Make it to Chesapeake Bay

Since we went full time, we have felt to lucky to be able to travel with Daryl, Diana, Lauren and Josh.  We have had more time together in the past two years than we have the entire time we've been family before that.  Since they had RV troubles after our last trip, they have not been able to travel RV style since we met them out West.  We have only seen them once in that time period.  It has felt like a really looooooong time to me.  Especially since Diana is my best friend.  They made it to TT's today and we were tickled pink to finally be back together again.

No, the geese don't have anything to do with this story.  But I snapped a picture of them at the campground and wanted to share it.
Living the life in Virginia!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Postcard Perfect Virginia

Today Nathan and I went to Urbanna and Topping to look at some campgrounds there.
 We enjoyed the drive and the landscape.  I always think Virginia looks like a constant postcard-view everywhere you look.  It is truly one of my favorite states in terms of beauty.
Our travel buddies should be here within a few days and we are very excited about that!
Living the life in Virginia!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Hour with Pickleball Pals

Tonight Dean and Marge invited our family and Renae and Mira over for dinner.  I am always so touched when people include my kids in things like this, knowing they are past the point of having kids around all the time like we do.  They are all such neat people and we learned more interesting things about them while sharing time together.  Dean and Marge head out tomorrow.  We'll miss them!  So glad that Rene and Mira will be here still.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More Charleston~The Porches

I couldn't resist sharing this lovely part of Charleston.  The porches on the houses were incredible.  I feel like the city should be dubbed "The Porch City".  I mean, I couldn't snap pictures fast enough in an attempt to get all of the insanely incredible porches.
  This is just a small sampling of the beauty here.  This place was hands down one of the prettiest cities I've visited so far. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pickleball and More Pickleball

Today,we settled in a bit with the normal first day here stuff.  Did some daily around the house stuff.  Some learning took place.  We played pickleball with friends.
Then we had dinner and then came back for more pickleball.
The Bradshaws are here and there two cutie pies came over to play pickleball with us too.  What fun!

Charleston SC From My Window

Although we already left here, I wanted to share a few shots from this fabulous city that I took on Sunday.  I loved this city.  We have already put this on our list of places to come and stay in!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

South Carolina to Virginia

We were going to stay in South Carolina until the 26th.  We decided that we missed Thousand Trails, pickleball and our friends so much that we left early today to head to Chesapeake Bay TT's.  I think we were up and on the road by 8:30 am which is definitely a record for us!  I was really, really anxious to get where we were going and was the first one up and showered this morning. 

We had a great driving day.  The boys do so well in the truck together.  We picked a nice level spot when we did arrive.  We have lots of room for our outdoor cabana.  Ahhh...it's so nice to be back to this park again! 

We were not even here for probably two hours when Austin heard the familiar sound of Pickleball playing.  He and Aric ran over to the courts to see who was playing.  It was some of our all time favorite people: Dean and Margie and Rene and Myra.  We played so late tonight, they had to come and turn the lights on for us.  I'm so glad that we did visit South Carolina as much as we did and I'm so glad to be "back home" again too!

More South Carolina From My Window

I loved this practical use of space.  It is the Town Hall, Police Department and Fire Department all in one!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Boone Hall Plantation

I just so happened to read about this place on another FOTR's blog.  I'm so glad I did because this was one of the most interesting places we have visited so far!  Boone Hall is a working plantation and is the oldest continuous working plantation in the US. 
We took a tour of the lower level of the "big house".  The owners still use the upper levels of the house.  The house was built in 1936.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The tour guide was dressed in costume and was very friendly and interesting.  The TV series North and South with Patrick Swayze was filed here.  The movies Queen with Halle Berry and The Notebook were filmed here also.
  The next thing you can visit is the row of slave cabins.  They date back to 1790-1810 and are mostly in their original state.  These were only some of the slave houses and would have been the workers that held more important positions.  The houses were built with bricks that were made here and were evidence of the slaves' skills.  Some of the bricks still have the handprints from their makers.
As you move through the cabins, each one represents one aspect of the slaves' lives.  There are audio presentations to share the information.  
Some of the crafts were on display.  On top of that, a woman was there making some of the sweetgrass baskets.

The grounds are just gorgeous with gardens and trees everywhere.
We took an open air coach ride to see the fields that are still in operation.
Our favorite thing by far was learning about the Gullah culture.  We first heard the word "Gullah" when we listened to the audiobook "The Mermaid Chair" together.  We were honored to sit and listen to Carolyn "Jabulile" White, who grew up on the sea islands.

"Jabulile" has travelled to South Africa with the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program Travel Study Seminar for PEace.  While there she was given the Zulu name "Jabulile" meaning Happiness and this is what she hopes to pass on thru her stories.

She learned the art of Gullah storytelling from her parents and grand parents.  "Jabulile" thought it is only natural that she should sheare these stories with the people in her community, especially the children.  She speaks fluent Gullah when telling her stories using Island-dialect just as she heard them on the Island as a child.  She tells her stories with the same humor of the old stories told on the Plantations.

If you are in the area, I highly recommend visiting this place.  Very interesting history here and it's done in a way that truly makes it come alive!

Living the life in sunny South Carolina!

Boone Hall Plantation~Live Oaks

These deserve a post all of their own.  The driveway is lined for 3/4 of a mile with these fabulous Live Oak trees.  They were planted in 1743.  One of the tour guides said one of the Live Oak trees here is believed to be 800 years old.  They are truly incredible to take in!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens~The Zoo

We headed to Columbia today, and our first stop was the Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens.  The guys liked the penguin behind them in this picture.  He looks like he is hitch hiking.
 We have not visited as many zoos as I'd like, because Austin is not a fan of them. He was complaining on the way to this one, telling us that if you've seen one zoo then you've seen them all because it's the same animals over and over again.
While there are many animals that we do see in each zoo, once we were inside the zoo, we were surprised to see that they had quite a few unique animals there.  So he joked that he was so glad he talked us into the zoo, because you always see a wide variety when visiting multiple zoos and they are never the same.  We should listen to him more often, lol!
We only saw about half of the zoo due to getting distracted by Blue Bell Ice Cream and a visit to the Botanical Gardens, but what we did see was awesome.  We loved this zoo!

I overheard something today that had me remembering how hard it is to be a Mom.  I think part of why it is so hard, is because you lose all of your brain cells when you give birth to the child.  I used to think we gave our brain cells to the child, and that's why we lost them...but as Bill Cosby can verify-that is not the case.  So I imagine the brain cells are in that same black hole where socks get lost.

I heard a woman telling a child about four years old one of those things that only a parent would tell a child.  While holding a water bottle two inches from his face she said, "If you'd get it...then you'd have it".  I saw the child look at her like, wait a minute...let me grab a notebook here so I can be sure to fully grasp this.  1.  If I'd get it.  2.  Then I'd have it.

No, he didn't really do that.  But he did curl his lip at her all Elvis like to indicate just how dumb he thought she was.  Ahhhhh....kids...gotta love them.  They drive you into a sleepless stupor and then bask in their superiority.  I wanted to let him know that once upon a time, before he entered her world, she was brilliant!  But I knew he'd never understand until he had children of his own.  So I just giggled instead.

Living the life in South Carolina.