Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Horse With No Name

Oh, I've been to an island with horses with no names. Cumberland Island is the southernmost coastal island in Georgia and a true gem. It is administered by the National Park Service and I highly recommend you visit if you get the chance.

We had reservations for the 11:45 ferry and the 45 minute ride from St. Mary's was pleasant. Upon arrival we were met by a ranger who guided around the southern tip of the island. There are no facilities there except for bathrooms and water. You have to bring anything you care to eat or drink and plenty of bug spray and carry out all your trash. Bicycles can be rented and ridden on the main road only and there is wilderness camping and beaches. The northern end of the island has an exclusive "inn" and a church where John Kennedy, Jr. and Carolyn Bessette were married.

The island was originally inhabited by native Americans and then a gift to Nathaniel Greene, a patriot. He and his wife built a mansion on the island and it later fell into ruin. In the late 1800's the Thomas and Lucy Carnegie family bought the island and built their mansion, Dungeness, on the ruins foundation. Today you can see some walls and chimneys and it is truly impressive. The Carnegies bred horses for polo, and their descendants run loose on the island today. The palm and pine trees make the place beautiful and the many live oaks covered with Spanish Moss wave gracefully in the breeze.

Our ferry back was at 2:45 and it was enough for such a hot day, but we will return. Later we rested and relaxed and Jeff led another campfire after dinner. The end of our wonderful trek.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Yellow Submarine

Today we visited the Kings Bay Naval Base, home of the Atlantic Trident fleet. We were all disappointed because the Navy decided that we could not go aboard a nuclear sub, but we did get to tour the training facility. Very interesting watching the personnel train on driving a sub, putting out fires and stopping leaks. We had lunch in the "galley" and then returned to the campground for a restful afternoon of reading and napping. Later we had another "happy hour" with snacks and conversation. A few of us went into town for dinner and more chatting and now it is time for bed.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Okay, so Maria is not the same as Mary, but today we visited the quaint town of St. Mary's, GA. This sleepy coastal town is at the bottom of the state. You can look across the river and see Amelia Island, FL. Our first stop was the visitor's center and then a tour in an extended golf cart. We saw several beautiful old homes and many picture perfect churches. Also an interesting cemetery and lots of 100 year old live oak trees as well as the largest oleanders I've ever seen. Very pretty and lots of history made during the War of 1812 and the Civil War.

We stopped in at the Submarine Museum and found this to be a fascinating place with a great film about Trident Subs. Lots of submarine memorabilia and a real periscope where I was able to look out at the street. After a delicious lunch with the RV group we went to the Cumberland Island Museum and learned about this southernmost island off the Georgia Coast. We'll be going over there on Wednesday.

Came back to the campground and relaxed and later met for happy hour and then a rousing campfire where Jeff played his guitar and led the singing. Lots of fun!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Imagine a day of total rest in a pristine pine forest. Here we are with a day off to relax and rejuvenate. Lovely weather too. Reading a book under the awning and smelling the pine scented air, walking with Ziggy and a nice nap to cap off a perfect Sunday.

Most of our group arrived in the afternoon and we had a pot luck dinner so we could meet and chat. Later we sat outside with two couples and talked until bedtime.

We have met the enemy and he is us!

That is the most famous quote from Pogo - the best known denizen of the Okefenokee Swamp. And this view is looking down from the observation tower at the swamp behind us. Judy will fill in the details, but it was a very special day.
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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Romping Through the Swamp

We are off to the Okefenokee Swamp in southeastern Georgia. A 45 minute drive to Folkston through lush green countryside with pine forests. The swamp is a National Wildlife Refuge and Wilderness Area which is administrated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We visited the small visitor center and saw a good movie and then went on a guided boat tour. We cruised the grand canal and saw zillions of gators sunning themselves in the 18" deep water. Lots of folks paddling in canoes and kayaks. Saw very few birds as it was the middle of the day and hot. We did see Black Gum and Cypress Trees covered with Spanish Moss. Lots of pines too. Also saw dragonflies, butterflies, turtles and beautiful blooming lily pads.

Later we visited the Chesser Homestead. This family lived in the swamp and produced turpentine and syrup. We walked a 3/4 mile boardwalk to a 50' observation tower and saw a water moccasin in a stream - a safe distance away.

On the way home we stopped in Folkston to see the train funnel. This area has two tracks and all trains going to and from Florida come through the town. They get about 60 trains each day and have constructed a covered viewing patform with ceiling fans and chairs. We met two guys there with a computer to follow the trains and it is a great way to spend some spare time.

The best was yet to come as our friends, Lynn and Neal Mooney, arrived at the campground and we went to dinner at Sonny's BBQ. Great ribs and chicken! Then we continued to the tiny town of Woodbine, GA, and the home of the Woodbine Opry held at the "Old School." We found seats in the auditorium and were amazed when the curtain opened to see a seven piece band who made great music. It was all country and the guys ranged from their forties to an 82 year old lead guitar. After the opening number people got up to dance in the pit area. Lots of two stepping going on and some good dancers. The people sitting next to Neal started giving him a blow by blow on all the people and we were having fun. Next to Jeff was a guy who looked half asleep, but when the dancing began he got up and asked several ladies to dance. Then he asked me and we two stepped and I found he (Quentin) was quite a character. He then asked Lynn to dance and then Jeff and I got up a few times. Quentin asked Lynn and me again and we all had a great time. Most of the attendees come here every Saturday night and it is a big part of their social life. They also raffled off cakes which were brought by some of the ladies, and had a 50/50. One of our favorite characters was a 92 year old who loved to dance. He was boogeying all around and partnered with several of the ladies. Gotta love small towns and good, solid people enjoying life.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah...

Here we are camping in southern Georgia, the town is St. Mary's. Very pretty area with lots of things to do. We are here with our Sun City RV club and will have a full schedule starting Sunday night including pot luck dinners and good conversation.

Just e-chatted with Brian who is boarding a plane at Narita and heading to NYC. He's on vacation and coming to see us later this week. We are really looking forward to seeing him.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chad Gad Ya

The second seder which we co-chair at the Hilton Head Country Club. This year we had 80 people and again Jeff created and led the service. Note his matzoh tie. Such a wonderful evening with our fellow organizers Judy & Sam Emmett.

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Monday, April 18, 2011


We hosted the first seder and Jeff led a wonderful service. I made my best brisket, ever, and we all ate, drank and had a memorable evening. [Jeff's note: That lump on my head in the fourth picture is the afikomen. It was as good a place to hide it as any.]
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Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Bird is the Word

Saw this osprey sitting in a tree across the lagoon a few days ago. Today he was back and dove into the water and emerged with a fish. A truly beautiful bird.

An American Dream

Another Sunday service at Parris Island. Today we had a large group and talked about Passover and the meaning of freedom. Again our recruits and marines love the teddy bear and stand proud.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

With A Song in my Heart

Jeff performed two shows today with his barbershop chorus, New River Harmony. It was lots of fun with great music and Savannah TV personality, Sonny Dixon, as emcee. Jeff is getting ready to go in the bottom photo. The middle is the first act with their very loud jackets. The women's barbershoppers share the stage for some of the show.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Food, Glorious Food

A visit to Tybee Beach with Judy Stoogenke and Jeff relaxing on the boardwalk. Later we went to The Crab Shack and Marvin tried to "eat the whole thing."
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Ballad of the Green Berets

A fabulous day visiting Ft. Pulaski, just outside of Savannah. This fort was just used as the setting of Robert Redford's new movie, The Conspirator. Lots to see and do with our friends Judy & Marvin Stoogenke.

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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Bye Bye Birdie

We love our backyard and the birds. The Red-bellied Woodpecker comes around often and pecks on our palm tree as well as eating lots of bird seed. The Eastern Bluebird and his mate are checking out our Bluebird House and have decided to move in and start a family. I think the yellow one is a Warbler - very cute!

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Monday, April 04, 2011

Back in the Saddle Again

I went horseback riding again with Brittany Welch, the grandaughter of our friends Judy & Sam Emmett. A beautiful day on the trail with lots of sunshine and beautiful trees and plants. Top photo is Judy with her grandson, Craig. Bottom is Judy & Sam with some gorgeous azaleas.
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