Sunday, August 31, 2008

Eastern Shore of Virginia

Before leaving VA beach we drove through the bridge/tunnel that connects Norfolk with Virginia's eastern shore. It's pretty cool. It won awards for being an engineering wonder.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chesapeake_Bay_Bridge-Tunnel

The eastern short is still very agricultural. The dreaded developers have made some inroads, but much of the area is unspoiled. The concrete plant is the largest employer, then the sea food industry. The brochure described all of the small towns as just way beyond cute. Who ever wrote that should get an A in creative writing. We finally found Oyster, after several failed attempts. How can you be a tourist destination if you can't be found. Its industry has collapsed, it's sort of a sad little place.

Cape something, one of the more prosperous looking areas.


Oyster. I think they've seen some big water here. These houses were recently put on stilts.



We have pictures of the Udvar-Hazey Air and Space Museum, but they're not uploaded yet. These things take time. Tomorrow, which I believe is Tuesday, we are heading into Pennsylvania. Coming up I95 from the beach freaked me out so badly that I decided to be a complete wimp and go up west of New York city to get to the Newburg KOA. So, it'll be two short days, which is OK because we need to clean house, swamp out the black tank, and do some more laundry. DC has been good in that we saw the new Air and Space which is VERY impressive, museums, and had dinner with our good friends Sheldon and Rob; but I must say the traffic and the pace of living here is somewhat frenetic. So, I will get busy clogging up the internet and send you more pictures of that which we have recently seen. Hope you are all well.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Aquarium trip

Today we slept in (again!) and mooched around a bit. After awhile, we decided to go to the Virginia Aquarium. It's under renovation, so navigation was somewhat difficult. But overall it was pretty good. We're still getting the last of Faye so it's windy, gloomy and overcast. We're hoping it will rain hard tonight so the people next door will quit having bonfires. They're smoking us out!

Sea turtle tank.



Giant big lobster. Dinner......


This is a snapping turtle. His back is covered in algae and slimy stuff. They sit on the bottom and wait for food to swim by. Then they pounce.


Well, the rain is here with vigor!

We're in VA beach through Thursday. Friday morning we head out to the DC metro area. We're sort of dreading taking the RV through the tunnel that we have to transit to leave Norfolk, and the circumferential highway around DC, but we are looking forward to being back in the area.

Monday, August 25, 2008

We're finally on the move

We are in Virginia Beach. The original plan was to stop just north of Richmond VA, and then travel on north to Washington DC Tuesday, but we're just too dang frazzled to move two days in a row. So, here we are. We had the trailer at the Tammy Fay Bakker RV Park from Satan's Most Inner Reaches of HELL, while we were loading. Remember the pictures from Heritage Park from an earlier post - if not, scroll down. The place was full of ANTS. The RV was full of ANTS. We had ANTS in our PANTS. Well, maybe not really, but it was just nasty. It has to be one of the worst parks we've ever seen. We're going to be here for 4 nights, and then up to DC for a few days, and then on to New York. I'm using my air card to get to the web. Now that I have Vista, none of my old photo software I used for resizing pictures works anymore, so I can't upload pictures at the moment because they are too big. So I can't show you anything. Take care, we'll be in touch.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Downtown Charlotte

We drove into Charlotte and walked around Monday. It's a happening town! There is construction everywhere. The city is a large banking center, and despite the current problems in the banking industry, there appears to be lots of money floating around. Many condos are being built, there is a definite goal to move people in to the urban core. They have light rail, sports, restaurants and all the trappings of an urban center.



We're going up to get the RV tomorrow morning. The current plan is to head out Monday and go North.

I have converted to Microsoft Vista on my new laptop. We are not impressed.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Anne Close Springs

As I mentioned in my other post, the men are installing a garage door opener. I am hiding. I took these last Sunday. There is a huge green way called Anne Close Springs. It's a former cotton plantation. There are mountain bike trails and horse trails and walking trails. The mountain bike trails are too difficult for moi. Roots, trees, gullies, ditches, certain death awaits. The horse trails are very nice, but are forbidden to the bikers. So, we walk. We walked around the lake early in the morning, it was quite pleasant.

These are the goats.



I think this is a kudzu blossom.


I know this is kudzu.


The tres bucolic lake.





I like this one. Double click on it, it gets bigger.


This house was built in the 1700s. It was recently relocated here. It is the home of Billy Graham's grandfather. He's described by the plaque as a hard working, hard swearing man. He was shot in the War Between the States, and carried a bullet in his leg until he died.



Well, I guess I'll mosey on down an see how it's going.

Garage Door Openers & Calling India

Jim and Laurence are slaving away in the garage, installing a garage door opener. I, wisely, am remaining totally uninvolved in this process. I did, however, capture a brief record of the men at work.
While the AVI uploads, I'll tell you about my HP computer. In November of 2006 I bought a refurbed HP laptop in Oregon. Because it was a refurb I prudently bought a 3 year extended warranty. We've been noticing since March (which was when we replaced the battery, which HP charged me for twice, which was not covered by the extended warranty) that the PC has been hot. As in, too hot to use in your lap because it's really hot. So, after a big breakfast and a fully charged cell phone battery I called India. We rebooted, we downloaded firmware, we rebooted, we went to the bios screen and ran quick diags, and partial long diags, we rebooted, we vacuumed the back of the pc, we rebooted, we confirmed that there are no hairy pets in residence, we rebooted. We finally decided that the pc would have to be shipped for service. But wait, mum, there is a problem. The serial number on the bottom of the pc does not match the serial number on the bios screen. You used the serial number from the bottom of the pc, not the one from the bios screen. Soooooooooo? Well, that invalidates your warranty. So, I have to FAX to HP information they already have, such as my bios screen serial number, product number, order number for the extended warranty, phone number and everything else in the free world to ask them to please re-validate my warranty. What's wrong with this picture? They're a computer company, they know every single piece of data that I am being required to fax to them, but I must fax. They may or may not re-validate the warranty, but they most CERTAINLY will not refund the $214 I paid for said warranty. I am so pissed I can't see straight.




The screech you hear in the avi is me, being startled by the saw. Anyway, since we're hoping to be heading out next week, and there's no way the HP situation will be resolved by then, we went out and bought a Sony Vaio. I'm done with HP.
Hope you are all well, and your computers are well behaved.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Inching towards departure

Slowly we turned, step by step, inch by inch; no wait, that was Niagra Falls. Anyway, we sold the van. We miss her, but it was for the best. Now all we have to do is help Laurence install the garage door opener, edge his flower bed, retrieve the trailer from Wake Forest, load up said trailer with enough clothing for 4 seasons, figure out how to get bike #5 in to this lash-up, and we're off! It's a process. I think Maine is off the list for this season. We have to be in South Dakota before mid-October and SD is a long way from everywhere. Living in Puget Sound for as long as we did, one forgets that the rest of the country has seasons other than wet and more wet. They have hot summers, cold winters and snow. We do not want to encounter snow, so we'll need to be out of the northern tier states before mid to end of October. So, we're thinking DC and New York and possibly Pennsylvania, then off to SD and then SOUTH. I gotta start calling to see what availability looks like, I do not know. But, all things are knowable on the web. No pics today, camera is downstairs and I'm too lazy to go get it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Heritage USA

Today we did a mountain bike ride around the defunct Heritage Park. It was the theme park built by Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker back in the 70's. Go here for information.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heritage_USA

The place was HUGE. All the rides are gone, but the main buildings are still there. Apparently it's been sold off, and is now being developed for housing. I have to say, this part of South Carolina does not appear to have been affected by any steenking housing crunch. Every where you look there is a new neighborhood. No new roads, but houses are going up everywhere. Fort Mill (also known as Indian Land) is in SC, but is a bedroom community for Charlotte. Taxes are way lower here. Here are pictures.



We're proceeding on task to get ourselves on the road.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

First blog slide show




Look at this! This is cool. Of course it pales in comparison to Bill&Nancy's latest post, but it's a start.

We're in South Carolina now

We bought a Verizon air card for internet access. I don't know how many pictures I'll be uploading with it, but at least we're on line. I feel much better now, with internet. So, we are receiving and sending email and we're back on the grid. Laurence should be getting cable soon, so I'll be able to clog up the internet with more pictures.

OK - later, I have better internet now. I'm now using different software to down-res my photos so they'll go up faster. I shall now upload a photo or two so we can look at them. The top photo is my brother's brandspanking new house in Fort Mill SC. It's got less pixels. The second one is the neighborhood which is under construction. It has more pixels. Which do we like better? Use comments at the bottom of the post to voice your opinion. Look at the color of that dirt. Actually it's clay. The color is quite phenomenal. But, it will support kudzu and lots of it.



So, we're here, crashing with the sibling-unit, until we sell the van. Yes, we are putting my beloved mini-van up for sale. It's a depreciating asset, and as hard as it is to turn loose, it makes no sense to hang on to her. So, once that's done, we're off in to the wild blue.
Hope you are all well. We're doing ok, now that we are homeless.