Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Gloucester VA to Marion NC

Dear Virginia,

While I have enjoyed our long term relationship, it is now clear to me that it's just not working for me at this point.  I've loved your diversity.  The fact you have mountains and the ocean clearly make you a strong contender for one of my faves.  We've been in love for years now.  You had me at Skyline Drive.  You've entertained me in a fine fashion.  You've fed me like a mother feeds her dearest child.  It was almost a match made in heaven.

But as in any relationship, there is a problem, my sweet Virginia.  A problem I fear you are clearly in denial about.  I have held out for ten weeks, hoping that you'd come around but it is just not happening.  What is the problem?  Lean's your weather.  It stinks.

Yes, Virginia, while you had fun at our expense, we began to not want to be friends any longer.  Because it is not amusing to us my former friend.  What is not amusing you say?  Here is my list of not fun:

1.  Sweating profusely while doing anything but sitting completely still while planted directly under a raging air conditioner.

2.  Almost burning said air conditioner up because of the aforementioned "raging".

3.  Having to peel myself off of the leather seats of my truck.  This was only possible at all due to the profuse sweating.  Otherwise I'm convinced I'd still be stuck there. 

4.  Watching my sweet dog pant.  All day long.  All night long.  Rinse.  Repeat.

5.  Watching my sweet boys lose all energy to do anything.  Except fight.  All day long.  Most of the night.  Rinse.  Repeat.

6.  Forcing us to stand in a lukewarm Wave Pool at the water park, and I do mean stand because we were elbow to elbow with people so we couldn't actually move around there.

7.  Making me hate the Wave Pool.  And the Hubba Hubba Highway which is also not fun when there are too many people.  (Bouncing off of people you do not know, while amusing to some, is not my kind of fun)

8.  Sucking my desire to cook completely away.  You know how much I enjoy cooking and lately I just can't bring myself to do it at all.  We're all cranky because we are missing my fabulous gourmet meals.

9.  Ok, you got me on the last one.  So I owe you for one.  You still owe me for eight.

10.  Last, but definitely not least, forcing my eyes to take in many sweaty men.  Hairy, sweaty men with clothing that clings to their bodies.  And not in a good way, Virginia.  (My eyes!  My eyes!)

As you can see, I have no choice but to inform you that it's over.  I'm moving on to cooler pastures.  I'm seeking a place where I don't have to wonder what the liquid on a grown man's body is when he is standing in the pool next to me. Now that I think about it, I don't want to wonder what the liquid on my own body is.  Those things make my head hurt and my stomach churn and then I get cranky. 

Before you protest too loudly, and swear to me that you are cooling down today, I am telling's too little, too late.  By the time you read this letter, I'll be halfway to North Carolina.   For the record, this is all your fault.  I didn't want it to end this way.

I had no choice.


PS  I'll be back again!  Just because I hate you now doesn't mean I won't love you again later.  Lucky for you, I'm fickle and I have a short memory! 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Yorktown Victory Center

We finally made it Yorktown Victory Center.  For those that don't know, Yorktown is the site where the British surrendered to the American and French troops, effectively ending the six year Revolutionary War.  The Victory Center is a living museum, and we love living museums so it was a treat to visit here.  We saw the encampment first:

While here, we saw two military weapons being fired.  The first was a cannon and the second was a mortar.  Cannons shoot solid balls and mortars shoot bombs.  The man talking during each told us lots of interesting things like that.
We talked to a man who shared about the medical field during the War.  We learned fun things like how bullets were removed using the finger, what they used to disinfect and anesthetize during surgeries and what things caused mass sickness.  The man who shared there used to be a teacher in schools.  He decided this was a way more fun way to teach/learn.  We get that!
We also hit the inside museum galleries.  We watched a movie and learned more about what exactly happened here and why it was such a critical part of that war.  We laughed at some parts like when they talked about a drunk soldier mooning the British army.
And then we walked past the farm part to see if it was something we'd want to visit next time we come here.  It was!
We had a great time here and hope to visit again when we come back. 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Yorktown Victory Monument

Today we headed over to Yorktown.  While driving around, we came across this monument.  We hadn't even heard of this monument before, so we felt quite lucky that we did happen upon it.  It was just gorgeous!
Some fun facts:
The concluding battle of the Revolutionary War ended October 19, 1781 in Yorktown, Virginia. General Cornwallis and his 7,157 men surrendered to General Washington. To commemorate the important Allied Victory over the British, the Continental Congress on October 29, 1781, authorized the Yorktown Victory Monument. Construction began a century later with completion in 1884.
 Lady Victory, a younger sister to the Statue of Liberty, exquisitely tops a slender pedestal of Maine granite. In 1956, replacement of the original figure of liberty, damaged by lightening, took place.
The shaft is 84 feet high and Liberty is 14 feet high.
 This is a monument that we are sure to remember!
Living the life in Historical Virginia!

Yorktown From My Window

While in Yorktown, we headed out to find Pop's.  My friend Julie used to live in this area and she recommended it.  It was closed when we got there, so we ate at Bill's Seafood House across the street instead since she recommended that too.  It was great food at a great price!  The waitress was incredible and the hush puppies were the best we've ever had.

Then we drove around Yorktown for a bit just to see what is here.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Exploring by Sea

We all went on the boat today.  I think it's the first that we've all been out there at the same time.  Lauren's friend, Sarah, joined us too.  I saw some new areas which made it really interesting.  This is what we saw while driving around on the water:
The swing bridge at Gwynn's Island.  I've read that there are not many of these bridges left in the US.  We just so happened to come across it as it was moving.  What a neat thing to see the entire middle section rotate so boats can pass by.

We had so much fun soaking up the local sights and nature this way!

Exploring by Land

While we were having fun on the boat, we came across this place that we just so happened to hit the tide right so we could get out and explore by land some.  This had the kids very excited!  The boys hopped out and pulled us as close to shore as possible.  Austin carried Lauren so she didn't have to deal with water creatures.
After walking across some very, very slimy water and dodging jelly fish, we hit the land.  Once we hit land, we were all super excited about this venture.
 The kids rushed ahead to see what exactly was here.  They liked the bird blind.  Josh filled us in on what he thought this place was all about.  Josh knows everything about everything, so we learned a lot!
We all liked the nature we found there.  Can't you just smell the sand and sea salt?
Sometimes we approach learning differently in our households.  Sometimes it looks very similar.  Today was an example of where we approach learning in the same way.  In both our homes, it is a daily thing where learning looks just like what you see here.  Someone finds something interesting and eventually you find the whole gang gathered around discussing it.
Well, except for Josh...who has his own path to explore at the moment!
 I love how we will all roll up into the learning and enjoy it together, each adding something to the experience.  It's one of the things I most enjoy about traveling with Daryl and Diana.  So what kinds of goodies did we find?
Pretty cool, huh?  Diana graciously took a picture of us, and right after that my battery died so I did not get one of them.
This place ended up being so awesome, I'm putting it down as one of my faves.  It's been a long time since I did that, so I guess we were due one!  Thanks, Daryl and Diana for making our day so great.

Living the life in beautiful Virginia!

Jam Session

I have wanted to do a jam session since we joined Thousand Trails.  Austin used to play at them, so he asked us not to come and watch him.  This past winter, we kept saying we'd go and one thing after another got in the way.  So it was really special to us that we could do it today.

I forgot my camera, but I think I saw Rich and Dee taking some pictures, so if they did then I'll try to get them so I can post a few here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Happy Hour at Our Place

We finally hosted the Happy Hour at our place.  Nathan made his pulled pork BBQ sandwiches and everyone else brought a dish.  It was hot-VERY hot-but we still had fun.  I only had a few pictures from this turn out, so I'm mostly using Faye and Dee's pictures.  Thanks to everyone that came and made the night great!
In the pictures below: Our family including our silly guys, Rich and Dee, Renee and Mira, Ken and Faye and her daughter Stasia, Buddy, Catherine and her children Sarah, Christopher and Elizabeth, Daryl and Diana and their children Lauren and Joshua.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

After playing pickleball, we went to the Water Park in Williamsburg.  That was what Nathan picked to do for his special day and considering it was so hot, it was a great pick as far as the rest of us were concerned.  Our travel buddies joined us, so we had twice the fun.  Joshua went on all of the big rides that the adults did!  We had a great day.

I hope you had a wonderful Father's Day honey and I hope you get lots of use out of your gift.

Pickleball in the Extreme Heat

Pickleball play is still going on, even with the heat and humidity.  Normally we are soaked with sweat when we leave the court.  The Chesapeake crowd is one of the nicest we've encountered so far.  It cracks me up because they call us "transients".
One of my favorite people is here now-Buddy!  When Dee heard Buddy was coming last night, she said "I love Buddy" and we laughed because everyone says that about him.  Here's Buddy playing with Mike.  Love the look of fierce concentration on Mike's face.
Dee playing with the guys.  Dee can hold her own and then some with the guys.  I think Dee and Sally are the only ladies that still intimidate me when I play against them.  They keep me inspired to keep working at the game to get better at it!
Here are some of non-transients here with Dee.  Scott, Dee, Gilbert and Joanne.  Scott's a sweetheart, Gilbert is a hoot and Joanne is really cool.  I haven't had a chance to talk to Joanne a whole lot, but she strikes me as one of those people that I would find fascinating if I did.
More non-transients: Tommy who wears me out by lobbing the ball over my head every five seconds, Mike the Chesapeake pickleball King, Mel the other sweetheart and Rick who is the Rich of Chesapeake.  The Florida crowd will know what I mean by that.  I haven't had the chance to play with or against Rick, but I've watched him play and it's a beautiful thing to watch.
Wiggie, who gets his own picture because he wouldn't join the others:
And Rich who gets his own picture simply because he is Rich.  Notice he has his mouth open.  That's all I'm going to say.
There is a serious lack of females on the court here.  It's a strange thing to me, because I'm used to the "transients" being out there as couples for the most part.  I'm grateful for the few that do play here, and I miss having more of us on the court.  Of course, as hot as it is, I'm impressed any of us are out here.

Living the life in too hot Virginia! 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Friends and Family at Chesapeake

Daryl and Diana and family arrived at the park today.  They brought the boys back from Mom's for us.  The boys weren't real happy about coming back, but it looks like we will be heading out soon to start traveling again.  That's looks like we will not be staying put because we never heard back from the job we applied for.  So travel it is!

On top of having family here, we have lots of pickleball friends from Florida here or on their way here.  That funk I was in is long gone now.  It's amazing how much people you enjoy can help with that!  Now if the weather would just cooperate and cool down, I'd really be happy.

Living the life in hot and muggy Virginia.