October 2013


IMG_0908.jpg   We left Vermilion Oh. and headed to Virginia Beach, Va.  Our goal was to trickle down the East Coast and to just enjoy the sights.  We wanted to treat ourselves to a mini-vacation after the summer we had just gone through selling the house.  We had not visited this part of the country before and wanted to take the opportunity to discover the area on our way to Florida.  The first day we ended up in Hagerstown, Md.  We found a nice Hampton Inn there.  We prefer Hampton Inn as they are always clean with a King size bed.  They have free WiFi, snacks and breakfast in the lobby. 


       We were in Virginia Beach by late morning.  Wow!  What a beach.  It is huge.  So wide open.  It was deserted because it was October but you could just imagine what it would be like in the summer. 


IMG_0886.jpgScreen shot 2014-01-04 at 2.15.08 PM.jpgWe had lunch right on the beach at Catch 31 at the Hilton.  It is a beautiful setting where we could watch all the goings on and passer-bys walking the beach sidewalk.  The food was excellent, the weather was perfect and we really enjoyed the moment. 


During lunch there would be occasional flights of Navy fighters, always in pairs, coming off the ocean on final approach, silently gliding overhead.  It was very majestic and very cool.  It instilled a sense of pride and a sense of confidence in us as we watched.  After lunch we walked for a while and found a Dairy Queen on the beach.  Since it was a warm day we had a treat.  IMG_0887.jpgTinker didn’t want a cone, but she didn’t mind the ice cream at all. 


       We spent the night in Elizabeth City, N.C. another Hampton Inn.  The next day we drove the Outer Banks all the way to the end in Ocracoke, N.C..  We drove through famous towns like Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head and Hatteras.  The trip was as you might imagine it.  There was one vacation town after another non-stop, with Condos on one side along the beach and strip malls on the other side with restaurants and pubs to service all of the tourists.  The Outer Banks is where East Coast America goes to the Beach.  The first week in October it was completely empty.  We practically had the place to ourselves.  That was nice.


In Ocracoke on famous Cape Hatteras, which is home to the Cape Hatteras Light, we had lunch at Howards Pub, which was packed.  When we asked about the unseasonably large crowd we were told the Beaches were closed due to the Government shutdown due to the Federal Budget crisis.  Those who can’t beach . . .  drink!


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Ocracoke is the end of the line for the road and from there one must go by Ferry, which we did.  The crossing took some time but it was cooler on the water and the scenery was beautiful.  We landed at Cedar Island, N.C. and drove through the Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge.  The refuge was mile after mile of vast Marshlands. 


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       The Ferry ride was beautiful as was the drive through the refuge.  I remarked to Diane that I no longer wanted to be reincarnated as a “Naperville Housewife” and that I wanted to be reincarnated as a bird in the marshlands of the Carolinas.  We were able to enjoy a great sunset on our way to Atlantic Beach, N.C. and another Hampton Inn.  Love those King size beds after a day in the car. 


       The next day we headed to Charleston, S.C. where we stayed right in the heart of the old Waterfront District.  The Google image link has some great pictures.  We walked to Perlz’ Oyster Bar where we found a comfortable sidewalk table in the shade and we enjoyed some raw oysters and cold draft beer on a warm sunny afternoon while Tinker enjoyed a nap under my chair.  I was in no hurry to leave that table. 


IMG_0903.jpg We walked a couple of blocks out of our way to find this house.  This is where a friend of Joe and Jan Sharpnack lives and we wanted to see it.  It is just beautiful and situated in the heart of the historic district. 


This is the fountain in Waterfront Park.  Very pretty.  This is a view of the park that extends along the water front.

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For dinner we went next door from the Hotel to Coast Bar and Grill.  Besides being conveniently located the food and atmosphere were memorable.  Fresh fish, good service and flowing wine make the perfect combination for a great meal.  It was really a neat place.  After dinner we took a trolley ride throughout the waterfront district.  Charleston enjoys a rich history and it was fun to see it first hand.


       Our next stop was Hilton Head Island.  We parked the car and walked the beach by the Holiday Inn.  This was yet another vast beautiful beach. Dogs are welcome out of season, but while reading the pet restrictions sign, Tinker got a cock-a-burr in her paw.  After we de-burred Tinker we found a nice sandwich shop with outdoor tables and had lunch.  The weather was again perfect. 

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     After walking around Hilton Head we headed for historic Savannah, Georgia.  We stayed at the Hampton Inn in the historic district.  Close to everything.  We walked around and enjoyed the sites stopping for lunch at a Panera Bread sandwich shop.


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istoric District


     “The Historic District of Savannah is the heart of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with cobblestone streets, manicured gardens, and oak-shaded parks drizzling with silvery Spanish Moss. The perfect Georgia vacation destination for all ages – abuzz with art, culture, festivals, concerts, live theater, outdoor cafes, gourmet restaurants, and true Southern hospitality. The largest National Historic Landmark District in the United States, Savannah contains more than twenty city squares filled with museums, churches, mansions, monuments and famous forts of the Revolutionary & Civil War eras.”  There are a lot of statues here. 


     The next day we headed for St. Augustine, Florida and the home of the World Golf Hall of Fame.  We resisted the Hall of Fame golf challenge but did enjoy a nice lunch on the patio.  After walking around for a while we decided to head for home. 


     It’s always good to be home.  It is exciting to travel but you cannot beat the comforts of home.  After being gone for four months there was a lot of cleaning to do.  It always starts with the screened porch.  After we give it a good scrubbing we can move the porch furniture out of the living room.  We won’t have to do that again for awhile.  We were able to get the Preserve boardwalk power washed along with the driveway and front walk.  We got the plates on the car changed over to Florida, so we are official now. 


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     Before too long we were able to be back on the water and playing golf and tennis again. 


     Our big project upon our return was to get hurricane roller shades installed.  We had ordered them in June but didn’t get them on time.  With a push of a button we can close the shades and provide safety if needed.  The original intent was to be able to shade the back of the house in late afternoon when the sun is strong.  The shades make a big difference and the back bedroom is really cooler now on a sunny day. 


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     We treated ourselves to some new bicycles from Wal-Mart.  They are Schwinn Beachcombers.  Pretty spiffy and comfortable to ride. 

     The last couple weeks of October I spent lining up a new GP doctor and I think I found a good one close by.  We worked with State Farm to move our accounts.  We worked with the bank to establish an account for Diane’s Trust.  Before we knew it Halloween had come and gone.  We looked forward to November and planning our family Christmas in Texas with the kids and Grandkids.  There will be more about that later.