"Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." Psalm 30:5

Monday, June 17, 2013

Winding up my time in Virginia

Signs that mark the bike way.
Before I left Virginia, there were a couple more places I had read about and wanted to visit.  Bike riding and hiking are two of my hobbies.   Crazy Guy On a Bike is a site that hosts journals of people making extended bike trips.  The Trans-Atlantic route goes through Afton, Virginia and was the home of the famous "Cookie Lady",  June Curry.  This route started in 1976 during the Bicentennial and goes across the U.S.  June Curry made cookies and provided a place for the cyclists to rest and shower along the way.  Lots of wonderful stories on Crazy Guy about June Curry.  She died several years ago at the age of 91 but I drove over to see the area where she had lived and the trail markings.

View from the Blue Ridge Parkway
Next, I drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway to one of the places it intersects the Appalachian Trail  The trail is 2181 miles long and goes from Georgia to Maine.  It has fascinated me for years and I have read many journals and books about adventures along the trail.   I hiked on it for a couple of miles.   Great fun!!!  Backpacking used to be on my "bucket list" but reality has struck.  After injuring my lower back a few years ago, it is off the list.  Somehow, when I thought of backpacking the weather was always nice and my pack was light!!

The white marking on the tree marks the trail.

This makes me want to hike!!!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Weekend Adventure - Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown

Another historic site in Virginia that I've always wanted to visit is Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown so I made that happen on weekend in April.   It's just a couple of hours drive from Staunton so I packed up and drove over.   Saturday I spent all day touring Colonial Williamsburg.  It was much larger than I expected but I went on a perfect weekend.  The tourist season was not in full force and it was a little late in the year for school field trips.  Apparently all school children on the East Coast take a field trip to  Colonial Williamsburg.
Iron Works
My favorite shop was the Millinery -
clothing was a major expense back in
this era.  Dressmakers/Tailors were
in high demand.
Some of the exhibits weren't open but I had plenty to see.  I enjoyed the various buildings, videos, and exhibits and even tried some of the apple cider.


Beasts of Burden

Sunday I spent the day touring Jamestown and enjoying all the United States history in the area.  Its amazing - that's where it all started!  Two days is not nearly enough time to visit but it was fun to see the highlights.    

Inside Indian dwelling.

Original Dig

Along the James River

Life in La Casita - Update

An update on life in la Casita:

Hooked up and ready to leave Tennessee -this is
in Cathy and Ted's backyard.
The pros:  I love my little Casita!!!  Hooking up, dumping tanks, and that sort of stuff has become second nature.  It seems sometimes I can back my car up (I have a rear-view camera) to hook up the first time - and sometimes it takes me ten (or more).  But, I take a break and get hooked up.  Towing the Casita doesn't make me nervous anymore but when I need gas (way too often) I make sure I can get in and out with no problems before I pull over.  Backing up is still not my favorite thing but I am learning.  I've gotten great tips from so many people - everyone seems to think I need extended mirrors so I'll start looking for some of those.

The cons:  The Casita is approximately 100 sq. ft.  I have had bathrooms bigger than this so it does take a lot of organization.  I am still learning what I need and what I can do without so there's been a lot of stuff coming and going.  As far as traveling, I much prefer to know where I'll be stopping for the night. Since I'm used to driving until I get tired and then finding a hotel, this takes a little more advance planning.   Trying to find a place after dark, etc. is not anything I want to do.   However, a hotel is still my "emergency plan".  No staying at Walmart's or Flying Js for me.   There are a couple apps on my iPad that I use to find places.  So far, state parks are my first choice.  Also, I like meeting up with a buddy along the way rather than wandering around alone.  So - if anyone wants to meet up with me anywhere for a few days  I would love it!!!
I really am that tiny!!!  Those Blue Bell trucks followed
me in.  Back in Texas!!!!

Parked next to Doug and
Leigh Anne's - nice and
Finances:  Several people have asked - no, living in the Casita is really not that much less than an apartment.  When you are towing, your MPG go way down so gas is a major expense.  Places I have stayed have ranged from free to $515 for two weeks at Rock Crusher Canyon in Florida.  The most expensive was a KOA in Baton Rouge,  LA on my way back to Houston - $50!!  But, it was right off the interstate and had pull through sites.  Now I know why my RV'ing friends don't usually stop there.   Most places seem to be in the $25 range.

I am back in Houston parked behind Doug and Leigh Anne's until after the Chance Family Reunion the last week in June.  Sarah is here this week working the Houston Beer Fest for Alaska Brewing Company.  Janet is flying in for the weekend.  Not too often I get all my kids in one spot!!!  I'm a happy camper:)

(I still have a couple of posts to do on my time in VA - but was reminded by a friend I needed to update.  Hope to catch up on my posts soon).

A Visit to Monticello

Another one of the attractions I wanted to see while I was in the area was Thomas Jefferson's home, Monticello, which is in Charlottesville, VA.  I went on a beautiful spring day in mid-April and the trees and flowers were in bloom.  My cousins warned me to get there early or there would be a line so I followed their advice.  I went on a tour of the gardens and the house and also went to the film in the museum.  No pictures are allowed in the house.  It was interesting to see the design of the house and how innovative Thomas Jefferson was in that time period.  So many of the daily "workings" were hidden in the wings on the side.  I always love to see how people lived on a day to day basis.  They had to provide for a lot of people that lived on the property as well as many guests.   Monticello had huge gardens to feed everyone and all kinds of little workshops, etc. to take care of their needs.

I wasn't too far from the hospital so I stopped in for a quick visit with my aunt and cousins before heading back to Staunton.

When the light is right, you can see
the house reflected in the pool.

This is referred to as the "nickel" view - its the image on
the back of the U.S. nickel 

Loved the blooming trees!

Ditto for the tulips and other flowers.  Some are descendants
from when Thomas Jefferson lived here.  He kept
detailed records.