Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Vacation Highlights, Part 2

Saturday was a lovely day-- a few clouds to make it interesting, but not too many.  Warm, but with cool breezes.


There was an antique car show down on the boardwalk for about 3 hours. They were out their gunning their engines by about 7:30; made me wish we hadn't slept with the doors open, but that was okay.

A friend had suggested we check out the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel/Bridge, one of the original 7 man-made wonders of the world.  So we did.  I didn't get pictures because I was doing the driving, but it was a
beautiful view. It looks a little scary from above, but driving it was only mildly disconcerting.


Once we crossed over, we decided to stop in a little town named Port Charles.  After we left the hotel, it got cloudy and slightly drizzly, but cleared up quickly.  While driving the streets of Port Charles, we happened upon a block sale, with a library book sale thrown in.  DD and I spent probably half an hour there, while Jack waited patiently in the car.  I spent $12.50 and came home with 10 hardback books and 5 paperbacks--and one of the hardbacks was a $5.00 book.  Not a bad haul.  DD came home with a bagful, too, and only spent $7.00.  We were happy campers, and from the way people were NOT flocking toward the library book sale, I figure they'd probably read most of them, and we were just what the library needed!

Lunch was at a small, locally-owned seafood restaurant up the highway a bit, and then I just kept driving.  It still amazes me how many states can be covered in just a few hours' driving back here in the East, so I decided to keep driving up the Eastern Shore to--Maryland!

Jack was surprised.  He's never touched Maryland ground before.

We turned around and headed back, detouring to Chincoteague, where the wild ponies live. Since the movie, Misty, it is more well known and there were lots of cars driving the wildlife refuge route on Assateague Island. We didn't get a glimpse of the ponies, but got some photos of a snow goose and more marshlands. But it was late, and the mosquitoes were biting, so I only got out of the car once.

I wish I could have gotten more photos.

DD drove back so I could rest, and we dropped a not-hungry Jack off at the hotel and found a Thai food place to eat. It was good to spend time with my daughter.

Sunday dawned bright and pretty, a good day for traveling, though we were sad to part. 

We listened to a suspense crime story book on tape the whole way home.  Those are great for staying awake while driving, and I picked up several at the flea market a couple of years ago.  We scooped Tandi up from the boarder's, who reported she did surprisingly well.  Lori was all prepared to take Tandi home with her, since Tandi has some insecurity issues, but it must have reminded her of the kennels where she used to live or something, because she was perfectly at ease.  I must say, though, we have received lots of snuggles and doggy kisses the last couple of days!

Tonight I return to work, hoping the census isn't too high and the patients aren't too sick. As I told Mightymom, it was so nice to be on the receiving end for a change--to have people smile when I walk up and bring me food and clean up after me.  True, I do tip well, and I'm not whiney and demanding and grumpy so as not to make their jobs harder, but still.  It was nice.

I wish you all a nice relaxing vacation this year, no matter where you go, nor how long you are gone.  We all deserve a break now and then.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Vacation Highlights, Part 1

Sue guessed right--we went to Virginia Beach, VA!  Wed. was spent just relaxing around the room.  It was pretty cold out on the beach, so I only walked the boardwalk for a ways--never went out to the water.  On Thurs. we drove up to Historic Jamestown and Jamestown Settlement.  The difference between the two?  Historic Jamestown is the archaelogical site, where they are still digging up artifacts.  The project started in 1994 and they are still finding items.   It is also a National Park, which means we don't have to pay admission, because Jack qualified for an Access Pass.  He's over permanently disabled, so he and 3 adult friends can get in for free.  ( A note on the pass--the site states there must be documentation, but the worker who offered us the pass didn't require any, probably because Jack's disability was perfectly evident.  The same pass is available for handicapped children, which also admits their caregiver for free.) They have the electric scooters, saving me from pushing a wheelchair up and down and around.  It was so nice.

Statue of Pocahontas

View from inside the 4th church built on the premises.  Note those hard benches to sit on!

Memorium inside the church

Statue of John Smith

Some of the gravestones recovered from the area.  Gravestones were primarily for the wealthy.

Where some of the original settlers were buried.  Of the 104 men and boys who set foot here in 1607, only 34 survived the first winter.  Later settlers built buildings over the graves, and only when the excavations started did archaeologists realize it was a multi-level site.  In fact, the James River has eroded about 25 yards of the original coastline here.

After browsing through the archaerium, where photos weren't allowed, we drove the short distance to the Jamestowne Settlement, a re-creation of the settlement.  It's run by the Department of Education of VA, so Jack's pass wasn't valid there.  The day was gorgeous, sunny, and cool--perfect for sight-seeing. I can imagine in summertime it would be oppressively humid, particularly on the boats.

Recreated Indian village--one of the small huts.

Storage inside a larger hut

Sleeping area inside the hut.  Storage also hung from the supports.

The 3 ships that brought the 104 men and boys to James Fort (the original name).  The one in front was the largest of the 3.  After climbing in and on them, I can see why no women set forth on this trip!

The kitchen and cook's quarters.  There was barely enough room to turn around in there.  One of the volunteers told me the brick pit was layered with sand to keep the heat from burning out the bottom of the boat, and there was a grill on top to let the smoke out.  He would cook a pot of food at a time, usually soups or stews, and only one meal a day.  It would take approx. 2 1/2 pots to feed all the crew and passengers.  The rest of the meals would consist of hard tack, and pickled vegetables, such as carrots. Blecchh!

The route taken.  Instead of sailing straight across, they sailed the warmer southern route, and stopped at islands along the way to stock up on fruits and meats and trade with natives for supplies.  We were told the ships sailed with 105 passengers, but one man collapsed of apparent heat stroke while a bunch of them chased a wild boar on one of the tropical islands.

Just another tourist--I wanted to show how difficult it was for a person to stand up straight in the sleeping section of the largest boat.

It was a fascinating day.  Unfortunately, I am allergic to something in the marshlands there, as I got hit with a major allergy attack, and spent the last 3 nights sleeping upright in a chair so I could breathe.  Friday we had planned to drive back up to the Yorktown Civil War battleground site and Colonial Williamsburg, but all I could do was take Benadryl and nap.  It was much warmer and there were tons of folks on the beach, but I was too miserable to go out.

My world became a little brighter when DD arrived Fri. night.  We went to Rockfish for supper, then back to the room.  DD tried out the indoor pool, but says it wasn't as warm as she was expecting.  Virginia Beach is definitely a young folks' paradise on the weekends.  The place was rockin'.  I wish I'd had my wits about me more to take photos of all the rollerskaters and bike riders.  There were even 4-passenger bikes, where everyone got to pedal.  Pretty cool on the boardwalk there!

More tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Where is Waldo, er, Stephanie?

Work has been horrific lately. Usually I have a bit of down time to check out your blogs and comment on a few.  Not lately.  Plus, there have been mandatory inservices and computer-based learning modules that we have to do at home.  So at present, there are over 600 posts unread in my Reader--and I eliminated 200 of them from Pumpkinrot's blog a couple of weeks ago when I took a few minutes to quickly scroll through the photos he posts.

I felt like I shouldn't post on my own blog, because how could I ask you to read anything of mine when I am so far behind in reading yours?  But then, I decided that was your decision to make. So here I am.

And here I am:

I'm also here:

And here are some people I don't know, but who looked to be having a lot of fun with their dogs:

See how bundled up they are? It's cold out there!
Anyone want to take a guess about where we are? Besides "The Beach", that is.

I am so happy to take this much-needed vacation.  I'll tell you more later, and will post more (and hopefully better) pictures then, but suffice it to say I'm doing a little shivering in the chilly ocean breezes, and loving it.  Jack is indulging me today, as I said I needed time to just relax and breathe in some ocean air, read a book, walk along the beach.  And yes, I've already checked to see what quilt shops are in the area! lol

We had breakfast in the little continental breakfast room, but it was the most varied continental breakfast I've ever seen--scrambled eggs, sausage, and waffles in addition to the usual fruit, yogurt, cereal and breakfast breads usually offered.  Lunch consisted of sandwiches and chips in the room, but dinner will be fresh seafood.

In the meantime, he's enduring a little boredom today just to make me happy.  Isn't he a sweetheart?.

The next couple of days will be spent doing some sight-seeing, and then daughter will come down to join us Fri. night or Sat morning.  We haven't seen her since Christmas, so I'm anxious to wrap my arms around her again. I don't know if we'll just hang out all day, or if we'll do a little more sight-seeing, before another dinner of scrumptious seafood, but just having her around will be good enough for her dad and me.

Mmmm, the sound of those waves is making me sleepy.  Wish you could hear them.

Think I'll take a nap.