Friday, April 28, 2017

A busy couple of weeks in Charleston, then time to move north

Strawberry Fields

Six pounds of berries

Between searching for a vehicle for Nicolas to use to move to Norfolk, getting his apartment packed up, emptied and cleaned, we managed to also get a few things done.  Tom and I picked strawberries one morning and I made another pie for Nicolas.

YUM - strawberry pie!

I even did a little bit of sewing on the weekend, too.  I’m doing a camper block of the month (BOM) with my “RV Quilters” facebook group, and we began with Block 1 in April.

Quilt square #1

I also made a little wool project for Nicolas’ neighbor to thank her for “adopting” Nicolas while he’s been in Charleston.

New wool project

I made it into a small runner, and also gave her a framed picture of Nicolas from his Prototype Graduation.

Made into a little runner

On the Saturday before we left, Nicolas took the 4 of us – his parents and his “Charleston parents” – out to dinner.  He’s such a good boy!

We had given up on finding a truck down there, but then one day while we were walking around the campground loop, a truck drove in with a “For Sale” sign in the window.  We couldn’t believe it – it was just what Nicolas was looking for, although a little newer and with a few more options than he really needed.

He mulled it over for a few days, and then decided to go for it, and agreed to pay what they were asking.  In the course of negotiating the deal, though – we needed to take action pretty quickly – the guy decided that he didn’t want to sell the truck!  We were stunned . . . and found ourselves back to searching for a temporary vehicle that would get all of his stuff to Norfolk, and that he could later trade in on a truck!

We finally found something on Friday, and although it’s not pretty, and definitely not cool (he would NOT let me take a picture of it!), it holds everything he needs to move, and it should get him where he’s going.

We loaded up all his worldly belongings, moved what he needed to his new temporary house, and cleaned out the apartment.  By Monday afternoon, we were done . . . and rewarded ourselves by going to the new Fast & Furious movie.  We were surprised to find that the theatre had been renovated with new reclining seats . . . nice way to watch a movie!

At the movies

On Tuesday morning we got up with Nicolas and said our good-byes as he left for work.  We hated leaving him – we had hoped to be able to help him with his move to Norfolk – but he still needed to finish up in Charleston, and we had a rally to get to.  We’ll see him in a few weeks!

We loaded up our new co-pilot,


and started our journey north.

It was a beautiful day to travel,

A beautiful day for a drive through the mountains

and we all did fine . . . including Casey!


Meanwhile back in Michigan, Bryce is finishing up his freshman year at Michigan State and was inducted into the Kinesiology Fraternity over the weekend.

Bryce's Kinesiology Fraternity

I’m glad to see he’s enjoying school . . . and getting good grades, too!

Always surrounded by girls!

Making lots of new friends, too!

OK, there are a few other guys in the group!











We’ll be seeing him again soon . . . and need to find him a car, too!  I think May is going to be a pretty busy month, too!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Leaving Georgia–continuing north

Little fishing lake

After our busy weekend exploring the Savannah area, we were ready for a couple of laid-back days around the campground before our move to South Carolina.

Whispering Pines

We spent lots of time visiting with our neighbors, I did a little bit of sewing with the fabric I picked up in Savannah, and we went for a couple walks around the lake in the back of the campground.

There’s a family of Mallards that lives on the little lake,

Duck familiy

as well as this one white duck that the seasonal campers call Aflac.

They call this one Aflac

The campground rents canoes, and allows catch & release fishing on the lake.  Our neighbors went out a few times, and they said they saw quite a few fish.

There’s a short hiking path around the lake.

Short hiking path











Around the lake

It doesn’t go all the way around though, since the far end of the lake is in somebody else’s backyard.

From the opposite side, we could see the backs of the RVs parked along the water.

Campground in the distance

Sites back along the lake











It’s quite a pretty little lake.


Aflac looking for food


Back at the dock, one of the campers had brought some bread for Aflac.  When she wasn’t looking and talking to us, the duck reached up and grabbed the rest of the bread right out of her hand!







Later, she was being chased by the family of mallards.

They look like they're chasing Aflac

We wrapped up our stay at Whispering Pines on Monday. FYI – This little RV Park is a great location for exploring Savannah and Tybee; probably Hilton Head, too – exit 109 off I-95.  Nearby Rincon, GA has just about everything you need for shopping -- including Walmart, Publix and Kroger.  In our case, it was the only campground in the area that had sites available for the week!

On Tuesday, we made our way north to Charleston, and met Nicolas at the Foster Creek campground on the Navy Base.  We got set up on our site for the next 2 weeks,

Set up at Foster Creek

and went with Nicolas to meet the person who was buying his car.

Saying goodbye to Nicolas' car

It’s been a great car for him, and would have been a good one for Bryce, too, but Nicolas got his asking price, and he really couldn’t turn that down.  So, we said good-bye to Nick’s car and he’ll use our Jeep to go to work the next couple weeks while we search for something he can use to move his stuff to Virginia, and then up to Michigan for leave.

That kept Tom pretty busy this week while I worked, and we also managed to get Casey a haircut,

Casey with her summer haircut

and celebrate Easter with Nicolas (although with him on the midnights shift this week, he slept most of the day!)

Nicolas ready to dig into the Easter Bread

HAPPY EASTER to all of our family and friends around the country!  Happy Spring!


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Tybee Island, Fort Pulaski, and a little more Savannah

Tybee Light House

In all of our previous visits to the Savannah area, we’ve never been to Tybee Island.  We made plans to meet up with Tom’s cousin in downtown Savannah at 3:30 on Saturday, but that left us plenty of time to do some exploring on Tybee Island first.

Tybee Island Light House


The Tybee Island Light House is at the north end of the island, and was our first stop.

It’s a very picturesque light house, worthy of numerous photos, but that’s all we did.  We didn’t pay the fee to climb to the top or go through the museum.


Very pretty!


The light house also happens to be the only place on Tybee Island where you don’t have to pay for parking.  We knew we wouldn’t be able to leave the Jeep parked there and take the bikes off, so we just took a quick walk across the street to check out the north beach.

North Beach

This beach is away from the main business district of the island, so it’s pretty quiet.  It was also a little chilly on Saturday, so we only saw a few hardy souls enjoying the beautiful day.

Walkway to the beach

Tybee Beach

Kids playing at the beach

Kids – it’s never too cold for them at the beach!

Lonely Lifeguard Station

Not much need for a lifeguard at the beach today!  There were a few pelicans out, though.


It was still a beautiful day!

Quiet beach

From the north end of the island, we travelled roughly 3 miles to the south end of the island, where the main beach and business district were.  We had our bikes, and considered riding them, but there was really nothing to see along the way, so we just left them on the Jeep. 

Shopping District


We found a place to park in the beach parking lot, and walked through the business district, which consisted of several restaurants and your typical touristy T-shirt shops.







Tybee Island Mural

There was also a boarding house on the corner that looked pretty cute.

Rooms for rent

From the main street, we walked out along the pier.

Gazebo Mural

Tybee Pier

The main beach was a little busier!

Busier beach

Still not many in the water, though!

Chilly day, but a few people in the water

Small spring break crowd

Before leaving the island,

Tybee Island

we drove through the one RV Park that’s there.  It’s a cute little park, near the Light House, with some full hookup sites that look long enough for bigger RVs.  The roads throughout the park are narrow, though, and wind around quite a bit.  In addition, Tybee Island is pretty far from everything else around Savannah, so you better want to just hang out at the beach if you stay out there.

On the way off the island, we stopped at a small artists’ area that we had seen on our way in.

Interesting shops!

Fish Art










Cute little shops

They take care of the husbands, too!

Sitting on the Husband Bench

Snack Shack











We still had some time before we were meeting Andrea, John and Emily, so we decided to stop in at Fort Pulaski to check it out.  The good thing about having a National Parks pass is that you can stop to visit parks, even when you don’t have time for a thorough visit, because it doesn’t cost you anything.

Fort Pulaski











Fort Pulaski was constructed by the United States as a coastal fortification following the War of 1812.  It was designed to be invincible, and “as strong as the rocky Mountains”".”  Before it was complete, though, South Carolina seceded from the Union and the Civil War began at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.

Moat around the Fort

Since Fort Pulaski was not yet garrisoned by the Union Army, the Governor of Georgia ordered his state militia to seize the fort, which they did easily.












The Confederate Army maintained control of the fort through the first year of the war, but as the Union advanced the Confederates eventually deserted Tybee Island, leaving Fort Pulaski vulnerable to attacks by the Union.

Old doors

Crossing the moat



Using experimental longer-range cannons, the Union Army attacked Fort Pulaski from multiple locations on Tybee Island, and conquered the fort.

Inside the Fort

The Fort is in amazing good shape, and most areas are open for exploration.

Cannons ready










Interior Rooms

We walked around the inside perimeter of the Fort,


Looks like garage doors











Big Cannon

and then climbed the stairs to walk along the outer wall.

Getting ready for the cannon firing

Volunteers were getting set up for the cannon firing demonstration.  We had been plenty of cannon firings at Fort McAllister and Fort Morris last year, so we didn’t stay, but it was a really nice fort to explore.

Interior of the Fort

Fort Pulaski











Leaving the Fort, we returned to downtown Savannah, and met up with John, Andrea and Emily in City Market.

Dinner with the family

After catching up for a while, we went in search of dinner in one of the many restaurants available. 

Interesting alley

Interesting Alley

Saturday afternoon/evening were definitely busier in Savannah.  We must have seen at least 6 different Bachelorette Parties, many of them utilizing these interesting methods of exploring Savannah.

One of many bachelorette parties we saw!

There were also some Bachelor parties in town,but they weren’t as easy to spot as the girls – no matching T-shirts, or veils!

We ultimately decided on the Paula Deen Restaurant, and got our name on the waiting list for a table.

Paula Deen Restaurant

It was a long wait, but the food was good, and we had plenty to talk about to pass the time!

Waiting for a table

After dinner, we walked back to City Market and listened to the music a little longer.

Musician in City Market


The music was good, and there were lots of people-watching opportunities that provided entertainment! 

Whenever there’s alcohol involved, thing definitely get interesting!

We had a great evening, and it was fun to catch up with the Georgia cousins again!  See you guys again soon!