Thursday, January 09, 2020

Country Road

More driving to reach home. We slept late and made a stop in Santee at the National Wildlife Refuge. Hoped to see Wood Ducks and Sandhill Cranes. We took a mile long hike through a pine forest, but none of the ponds had ducks. We were able to go to the edge of a huge field where the Cranes live and saw a few way in the distance. At least we had a nice walk on a warm, sunny day.

Now we are home, did laundry and best of all have Sirius to snuggle with us.

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Jimmy Cracked Corn

Time to say adieu to Celeste and Arnie.

We headed south to visit the Jamestown Settlement.This triangle in southern Virginia contains Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown. Today we explored the excellent museum and exhibits at Jamestown, the first English settlement in the US. Roanoke Colony was nearby, but did not survive so Jamestown calls itself the first.

We arrived at an impressive large brick building that houses a massive museum. First we saw a movie describing the Virginia Company and how they sent settlers to the New World. The we went outside for a 90 minute tour with docents. First stop was an Indian village with large family huts covered in mats.

Inside the huts with a large cooking area in the floor with vent overhead and beds/seating along the walls covered in animal skins.

A large monument along the path.

A Native Dance Circle

A large Bald Eagle nest overhead and outdoor cooking area.

Then we visited one of the replicas of the three ships that brought the settlers across the Atlantic.

Onboard we climbed down to the lower deck to see how the people lived and where supplies were stored.

Back on the deck in the bright sunlight.

Final stop was the English homestead in the wooden walled fort.

The church with two bells in the steeple.

Building with thatched roof and cannon in front.

Inside the Governor's home.

It ended with an interesting talk abut the musket. The musketeer showed how to load and care for the gun. Then he actually fired with a large boom!

Inside it took over an hour to hurry through the museum exhibits and movies arranged by decades. Very well done and so glad we visited.

We had pizza for late lunch and drove through some pretty countryside to reach  the interstate. We passed the home of President John Tyler and several other plantations. Spent the night in Rocky Mount, NC. We had dinner at a "real" diner.

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Waiting for the Robert E. Lee...

It is Tuesday and a day of sightseeing in Richmond. Such a pretty city with so many historic areas and new buildings too. We started off with a hearty breakfast and then Jeff decided to stay home since it is a rainy, damp day.

The three of us headed to the historic St. John's Church where Patrick Henry gave his famous speech, “Give me liberty or give me death.” Unfortunately the church is not open for tours in January.

We saw some old graves and the grave of Elizabeth Arnold Poe, actress-mother of Edgar Allan Poe.

Next stop was Proper Pies where we purchased slices of pie to eat later. The place has rave reviews, but our choices were disappointing. I tried a Chai Meringue and tossed it after one bite.

By now it was raining and we spent the next few hours exploring the Holocaust Museum. It is housed in an old warehouse and had an extensive collection of sadness tracing the pre-war years and then the camps.

Life sized replica of the Nuremburg Trial.

Lots of pictures and commentaries from Richmond survivors. At the end was a full size replica of the Choral Synagogue which was impressive. Also a wall of honor of American Jews who had shaped the course and culture of our country.

Time to eat again. This time we went to Millie's Diner which was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. I had a bowl of really delicious vegetarian chili which warmed me up.

The rain finally stopped and it was just gloomy. We drove around seeing some new areas created from the old Tobacco Row buildings. Our next stop was Monument Drive which is an historical landmark. The wide boulevard with stately homes is very impressive. At intervals there were statues in the center. At the far end was Arthur Ashe of tennis fame. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were there mounted on their horses. Saw several others and would love to walk here on some sunny day.

On the way home we drove past the White House of the Confederacy where Jefferson Davis lived during the Civil War. The home is now surrounded by large hospital buildings.

Another great dinner at a Chinese fusion restaurant and home to sample our slices of pie. Nothing really outstanding, but we ate them anyway. We all watched the Jeopardy tournament and came up with some correct answers. Then we talked and talked. Tomorrow Jeff and I will head south to some warmer weather.

Monday, January 06, 2020


Monday morning we hit the road and drove to Richmond, Virginia. We are visiting our cousins Arnie and Celeste who live here half the year. We have never been to this capital city and want to see some of the historic sights.

It is a three hour drive from Chapel Hill and the day is sunny and mild. On the way we stopped at the Petersburg Battlefield. We had passed here many times on I-95 and this is the first time we visited and saw the excellent movie.

This Civil War area had a nine month siege and 70,000 soldiers were killed or wounded. Finally the Union broke the supply lines of the Confederacy and that ended the war. Another time we will see more of the sites here.

 Arnie and Celeste live in a suburb near the city and immediately took us to see Hollywood Cemetery. This is a gorgeous place set on several hills overlooking the city and the James River. Many Confederate soldiers are buried here along with their families. This 90' pyramid was dedicated in 1869 for the 18,000 Confederate soldiers buried here.

Also six Virginia governors, historical figures and newer graves.

The Iron Dog guards a child's grave adorned with toys left by visitors.

We saw the resting places of President's John Tyler and James Monroe.

This grave with a weeping statue atop is particularly moving.

Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, has an impressive circle site where he and his family are buried with a great view of the river.

At home we had some cheese and wine and then headed out to dinner at a local Italian restaurant.