Friends Along the Way!

We started our trip from our winter layover in Fort Myers, Florida and traveled up the coast to Pennsylvania.  To start our 2018 journey, we drove to the east side of Florida to see the Kennedy Space Center and the Canaveral National seashore.

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From Florida we continued north into Georgia where we visited St. Simons and Jekyll Islands(One of Kevin’s favorite places we’ve visited).  We also spent a few days in Savannah, a very beautiful city and one of my favorite places.  The time of year was perfect as it was full bloom azalea time with a backdrop of blossoming dogwoods.   Absolutely gorgeous, but unfortunately and believe it or not,  we did not have our phones to capture the beauty of it all. (Shame on us!)

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From Georgia it was off to Charleston, SC.   We were both very excited to see Charleston as neither of us have ever been to Charleston.  But it was also a very special trip for a different reason.   We stopped and visited with our hometown friends Tracy and Don Chappel, who moved from Lebanon, Pennsylvania to Charleston.  What a great time and wonderful reunion!   After seeing Charleston, I now know why Tracy and Don decided to make it their new home.  While in the Charleston area we spent a day at Folly Island a beautiful and quaint little town by the sea.

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After a couple days in the Charleston area we continued north  to Murrells Inlet. We stayed at Huntingdon Beach State Park which was about 500 feet from the ocean.   And what a beautiful beach it was!  Stella was able to make “paw prints” in the sand.  She loved it and we loved it!

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While in this area we were again fortunate to meet up with friends who went to high school with us.  Beth and Tom Jordan have made Murrells Inlet their retirement area.  What a great time we had catching up and what a FABULOUS Italian restaurant to hang out with friends.  Thanks again Beth and Tom!

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We continued on from South Carolina to Fayetteville, North Carolina where, guess what? You guessed it! But this time it was our grandson Tyler and his lovely girlfriend Summer.  It was so nice to visit with them. They are great kids!

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While in North Carolina, we also visited Hatteras Island and Nags Head.   We have never been to this area before, but what a beautiful area with great beaches. It was a good stop.

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Continuing on we made our way to Fort Monroe, Virginia which is near Virginia Beach and Hampton. We very much enjoyed exploring the Fort Monroe National Monument and the history it has to offer.

Fort Monroe, Virginia

If you are ever passing through this area make this a stop. You will not be disappointed. And yes of course, we visited with friends from back home.  Actually we had 2 friend reunions while here.  We met up with Audrey and Andy Folmer and two other high school friends, Bob Rothermel and Dave Bashore.  Bob and Dave drove down from Maryland and met up with us for a lunch time reunion,  and the next day we had a dinner reunion with Audrey and Andy.

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Actually this is the second time since we first started RVing that we have met up with Audrey and Andy. First in Florida last winter and again here in Virginia.  And it looks like we may see them more often in other areas of the country.  After visiting with us last winter they got the RV bug!  They recently picked up their RV and will be full-timing very soon!

While in Virginia we ventured into Williamsburg.  Our son Todd, daughter-in-law Chrissy and grandsons, Charlie and Graham, came down from Maryland and spent the weekend in a cabin in the RV park.   We went to Busch Gardens and the boys had a blast!  Here, in Busch Gardens, was probably the“best” roller coaster ride I ever had! I never laughed and screamed so hard at the same time!  I loved it! Not so sure Todd and Kevin shared that love.

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After everyone went home, Kevin and I had another 2 days in the Williamsburg area. We took a trip to Jamestown, the first English settlement in America.  Just an awesome, awesome visit!  A winner for me for historical sites.  Another must see if you haven’t already.

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The next two stops in Virginia were Shenandoah National Park and the Luray caverns.  We drove Skyline Drive with Stella and saw some amazing views.  Luray Cavern was nice – but after seeing Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota it seemed very commercialized.  But it is still worth seeing the amazing underground cavern system which is generously adorned with speleothems such as columns, mud flows, stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, and mirrored pools.

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On and into Pennsylvania!   Here we visited Gettysburg.  I’m embarrassed to say that I have never been to this most amazing place, but I can tell you it won’t be the last time.

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Back home to Lepnan!  We spent two weeks at home visiting family and friends. I can say that two weeks goes by very fast!  Just not enough time to see everyone.  We will have to stay a little longer next time!

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Ok, by now I’m sure you are ready for me to be finished and I will be after we finish with New York.  We love the Finger Lakes area!  We visited the Canandaigua and the Rochester area where we were within a half hour or so from Naples,  home of the Concord grape pie. Oh yes we did.  We found us some grape pies at Monica’s Pies! Bought two, shared one, and froze the other for later.  Yum!

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While in this area we were finally able to meet up with friends from back home who we have not seen in 18 years! Caroline and Nick Kilmer.  What a fabulous time we had catching up and we all agreed that we cannot wait that long again!

Nick and Caroline Kilmer & Carol and kevin

From Rochester to East Aurora, New York we go to see  friends we met in Ft. Myers two winters ago who live outside of the Buffalo area. What a joy it was to see Paul and Char Surace and what fun it will be to have them join us this fall and upcoming winter in Gold Canyon, Arizona.   We did some “backyard boon docking” for the first time at Paul & Char’s house.  Worked out pretty nicely!   While there Paul & Char took us to see the local sights.  Of course the first stop was for good Buffalo wings and Paul says the Bar-Bill is the place for that!  They were really good!   They also took us to see the New York State barge canal locks in Lockport, New York.   Pretty interesting to see how these were engineered.

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From Buffalo the journey continues – 2,600 miles to the West coast and the state of Washington!  Our next entry will be very soon.