Sunday, January 13, 2008

Home At Last!

On the way home, we stopped for a visit at the Artisan Center in Berea, Kentucky to see the works of the artists. These gorgeous glass sculptures looked like they were just temporarily stopped from their dance of joy. What beautiful things, and so very graceful. It always makes me just stare in wonder to see this kind of beautiful things. I feel sure these were created by someone who grew up looking at Dr. Seuss drawings, and recreated those mythical beings into this kind of joyful beauty.
We finally got home, to find that all the snow was melted, our shelter for the motorhome blown down, and water in the crawl space. Problematic, but not too awful, or expensive. It'll take some time to pump out and buy a new shelter to protect our marvelous traveling home.
This picture is how Jim felt about the water under our house. There's not quite this much, and we're slowly pumping it out, as it seeps in each day.

Lots of Family and Warm Weather

We headed south into Florida to visit some of Jim's family who travel there from Indiana each year for the winter. These snow birds live fairly close to each other in Indiana, then spend the winter within a few miles of each other all winter. What a life they live, so busy with volunteer work, friendly get-togethers and lots of good times. While those of us in Indiana are shoveling snow, they're mowing their small lawns and eating tangerines off a back yard tree. What a life!

Nila arrived for a month's stay while we were there, and Jim showed her the tangerine tree in Jean and Morris' backyard. We brought home a box of those golden goodies and savor one each day while we remember the sunshine.
What an amazing tree we camped under one night on the way home! It dwarfed our camper, and listening to the wind in this tree was like an all night lullaby.
Once back in Indiana, we stopped to see Tom and Susan and had such fun, we ended up staying the night. What a great couple they are!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Happy New Year 2008!

Here's the last sunset of 2007, as seen from the balcony of our condo. What a view! I'm a little late in posting this record of our travels, but we were on the road and didn't have fast internet access for a while. So this is a catchup of our travel story.

We saw the new year in in style this year in a terrific restaurant over a salmon dinner, dancing, and general hilarity near our hotel. As we walked back to our condo, people driving by were honking and yelling happy greetings. It was balmy and pleasant, and we got back just as Kim and Robert arrived from their own party. We poured champagne and went out onto the balcony to watch the beach fireworks and stretch the special night out for a while. How wonderful to spend this special time of year with great people.

New Year’s Day was spent relaxing, then we ate the traditional good luck lunch of Hog Jowls, Collard Greens and black eyed peas. Delicious! Jim took off for a long beach walk, Robert napped, hoping to make his cold feel better, and Kim and I went letterboxing. Kim has been at this hobby for a while with lots more enthusiasm than I have, and we went together to find her 300th letterbox, along the beachfront north of Myrtle Beach. It was fun to be with her to celebrate that special find.
When we got back, Jim watched, I took pictures, and Kim ceremoniously put the last piece in this year’s jigsaw puzzle. Each year we put a puzzle out and sit around it for hours, putting it together as we visit and catch up on each other's lives. This year’s puzzle was a beautiful one, a spread of all kinds of shore birds, salt and freshwater. The next morning we said a sad good bye for this year’s wonderful annual visit and headed south. What a cold day! It was only 36 degrees as we headed out of town and everyone on the streets looked stunned. We actually saw a few flakes of snow about 10 miles south of Myrtle Beach.
We planned to visit the Charleston Market, and walk around the town to see that gorgeous city, but it was too cold for the vendors to even be in the market, let alone us to stroll around viewing the stalls. We actually heard the buggy drivers joking about how miserable it was to ride around in buggies. We headed on south, looking for warmer weather. We crossed into Georgia and spent the night at the campground of Skidaway Island State Park. It was cold outside, but we were warm and cozy inside wrapped in our sleeping bags with the electric blanket on top. We took some time in the morning for a beautiful walk through the trails of this neat barrier island. The salt water areas are mingled with small fresh water ponds, and palms, Spanish moss and palmettos everywhere. Very cold though, and Karren wimped out and went back to the motorhome, while Jim walked on to the long trail to see the earthworks left over from the Revolutionary war, and the whiskey stills.
We thought about visiting Savannah while we were that close, but really didn’t feel like visiting urban areas and hit the road to go on south to see family. This country sure is different to drive through. Long, straight level roads, with as much wetland as dry, and beautiful little white egrets dotting the water everywhere. Thursday night we were tired, so pulled into a motel to stretch out and watch tv for the evening.