Thursday, December 30, 2010

Off we go!

We left Phoenix, AZ today and headed to Yuma, AZ to visit our dear friend Rob Wallace and his new fiance, Lindsey.  We were made so welcome and are looking to spending New Years eve with them.  Looking forward to good friends, good food, and good times!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Lumara, Lee & Steve

Steve, Lumara & Lee

We had a wonderful Christmas day. Steve, Lee and Lumara all came for Christmas breakfast. We had ham, eggs, sweet rolls and fruit platter. YUM!

Our gift exchange was quite fun and it was great to see all the thought and care the kids put into selecting gifts for each other and us. One of our gifts was a picture of the kids. Here they are. Don't they look great!

We want to wish all our friends and relatives a wonderful holiday and a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

All I want for Christmas...

I think as a roving member of the TTT's (Travel Trailer Trash) I deserve this wonderful inflatable yard ornament! Sadly, Lowes is sold out!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Golf Cart Parade

We are having a great time here at this RV park. There are continuous activities and Saturday was the Golf Cart Parade.  Residents decorated golf carts, ATV's, bicycles and themselves for Christmas and paraded through the RV park.  It was great fun watching and we are definitly considering participating next year. We found out they had 7 stops along the way complete with snacks and libations. That sounded like fun!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Vegas Baby!


Steve in his dress uniform

Our son, Steve, is in the Marine Reserves and doing his 2 weeks active duty in Las Vegas collecting Toys for Tots.  He won't be back in Phoenix until December 22 so we decided to have a little road trip and visit him for the evening.  It was a quick trip but the drive was nice and we did get to see the Pawn Stars location.  We love watching that show on TV but we were sure disappointed in the shop. It is basically just a location for filming and most of the stuff for sale were expensive trinkets, cups, shot glasses and t-shirts with Hoss and Chumley's pictures on them. 
Diesel $100
Motel Room $100
Pawn Stars $0
Seeing our son Priceless

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Moon

I have always been fascinated with the moon since we moved to Phoenix, AZ several years ago.  In Oregon and Northern California, when you look at the moon, the crescent points are more from top to bottom. In the southwest, the crescent points are more from side to side.  This is a picture of our waning moon. I am always asking Laton to straighten the moon for me so it will hang correctly. LOL

Friday, December 10, 2010

Crop til you drop!

Carrie & Mari, our hostess!
I first started scrap booking when Scraphappy Sisters opened up near our home in Arizona, several years ago. They always have a Friday night Late, Late Nighter Crop from 6 PM to 12 PM. I used to go at least once a month when we lived here. I have really missed it. I was able to go tonight and hang out and work on some Christmas ornaments and cards. FUN! Here I am having a good time with Mari!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Yep, it is all about the Snowmen!

My Haul of Snowmen!
I attended another Christmas party tonight, which included another ornament exchange. This one was with my original group of sorority sisters, Xi Nu, now called the BFF's. What fun hanging with old friends, some I have not seen in a couple of years! Some of us were quite vicious about stealing a snowman for a particular collection. We don't want to mention any names, but Jeeves was at her grabby best and poor Ann really suffered! LOL.  When the dust settled I was quite happy with my little snowmen collection I came home with!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Annual Christmas Luncheon

Pam & Murphy

QWest Babes

 Pam Herring (friend and former co-worker) has an annual Christmas luncheon and ornament exchange for all her friends. It is an annual event and is tremendous fun to catch up with everyone once a year. We made it back to Phoenix in time for me to attend (hence the marathon drive on Friday). I missed it last year. The ornament exchange is done as a Chinese Gift Swap. It is hysterical and a lot of fun. This year snowmen and angels where the most desired ornaments.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Settled for the Holidays

We are parked for several weeks at Pleasant Harbor. What a fun place; daily activities, friendly people, and a pool and spa. We are thinking this just might be our winter destination each year :-) Went to get a holiday haircut from my favorite stylist, Ivan. Sitting in the chair was my friend and co-worker, Kathy Hayes. What a surprise and how fun to catch up with my old friends (and be grateful I don't work there anymore, so much stress). My daughter, Lumara, spent the afternoon with me. Fun times.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hard Driving

We got up at 4:30 am and hit the road. 14 hours of hard driving brought us 700 miles into Phoenix.  The 4-legged kids were wonderful. It helps when they get several potty-exercise breaks (helps mom and dad too!) lol. Unfortunately, we ended up with a flat tire on the trailer in the dark so we parked in front of our friends, Cory and Margie Schwarzkopf for the night. Thank you!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Monihans Sandhills State Park, TX

Javelinas hanging out at the campground
What a fun place for equestrians and ATV'rs. Check it out here! There were lots of wild javelina and we could hear coyotes in the distance yipping and yapping. We don't have much time to enjoy the area as we plan on getting up early and trying to make some miles to Phoenix tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Friendship is a wonderful thing!

Carrie keeping warm!

Tim and Laton were joined by
Captain Morgan and Jack!

We got to Ft. Richardson State Park, TX about 4 PM and our friends, Tim & Stacey, were waiting for us at the campgrounds. They drove down from Oklahoma this afternoon. We went out to dinner and had good Texas BBQ complete with fried okra and lots of conversation with the good ole' boy at the next table (whether we wanted to or not! lol). Then back to the campground for an evening telling tall tales around the mesquite campfire.

Laton even brought out his special cigars he picked up at JR Outlet in North Carolina at the "World's Largest Cigar Store" lol!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Another one of those three state days!

Sadie doing what she does best...
sniff, sniff, sniff
 Breakfast in Arkansas, lunch in Louisiana and dinner in Texas.  There was a huge rain storm yesterday so we decided to hang out and stay cozy one more night at the Village Creek State Park in Arkansas. We woke up to little snow flakes drifting around so decided to take off. We checked out the top part of Louisiana and headed over to Texas. We are staying at Caddo Lake State Park for the night.

We just talked to our friends, Tim and Stacy, in Oklahoma and have made plans to meet at Ft. Richardson Historical State Park tomorrow evening for dinner. It is a short drive for them. It will be fun to get together again.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Maggie sitting in the Sunshine!

It was a beautiful drive in the sunshine today. We are spending the night in Arkansas at Village Creek State Park . We are on Lake Dunn. We all had a great time sitting in the sun.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

We woke up in Tennessee

This quilt is from the 1800's
and had lunch in Alabama and now we are going to sleep in Mississippi.  How about that? We enjoyed our couple of days of a food coma and TV stupor but woke up this morning ready to head em up and move em out! 

Example of Jefferson and
 Palladian architecture

We took a tour at Belle Mont Mansion in Tuscumbia, AL. It is being restored and was very interesting. There are no kitchens in the southern mansions.  All the cooking was done in an outbuilding away from the home.  One of the bedrooms had a lovely compass quilt on loan. 

We stopped early at JP Coleman State Park. It was nice to sit in the warm sunshine in the chilly air and enjoy the view of the Tennessee river. We saw a huge barge going up the river. Maggie and Sadie are enjoying romping through the leaves.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

We have heard from all our friends and family and all is well.  What a lovely holiday. We are enjoying our food stupor. The little oven in our travel trailer did a wonderful job. I even cooked a sweet potato pie. I am so grateful for all the neat people in our lives!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Jack Daniel's Distillery

in Lynchburg was fun. Surprisingly, it is in a dry county and has a special permit to sell commemorative bottles only. So, no sipping on the Jack Daniel's Distillery tour!  Not like the Olympia Beer Tour we took years ago where we had to take naps in the car before we could continue on our trip. Lynchburg was a pretty little town but we sure didn't have pretty weather.  It rained quite a bit today. 

We have parked for a couple nights at a KOA in Manchester, TN.  The dogs are having a good time in the field behind us. Laton plans on trying out the catch & release pond tomorrow while the tiny turkey is cooking in the oven.  We have all the necessary dishes; stuffing, cranberries, yams, green bean casserole and gravy. We plan on sitting in a food stupor in front of cable TV. We miss our families but I am sure we will talk to everyone and share in their day. I am so thankful we have been able to have this grand adventure touring our wonderful United States of America!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It must be a law

that requires a baptist church every square mile in NC, TN, and KY! I have never seen so many.
Check out Davy! Davy Crockett's (King of the wild frontier) birthplace. It was on a mountain top in Tennessee. It was raining like crazy when we left there today.  We headed up to Kentucky to see what we could see. Bought our Thanksgiving groceries on the way today so we are ready to park for a couple days.  Don't want to travel on Thanksgiving Day.

Green River Lake State Park was hard to find but well worth it.  It is a very nice campground with electric and water, our favorites. lol We saw several deer on the way in. We have decided arriving at o'dark thirty is not our favorite way to end the day. Tough backing into a site in the dark and discovering a flat tire on the trailer did not help it at all.

We left east Tennessee today and will head to west Tennessee and on to Arkansas in the next few days. Anything you think we must see there, please let us know.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mount Airy, NC

Carrie on Main Street in front of the Snappy Lunch

We got up early and trekked to Mount Airy for breakfast at the Snappy Lunch. Everything we had read said it would be wonderful. We were soooooo disappointed. Andy and Barney were not there and obviously Aunt Bee was not cooking. The food was not good and the service was questionable and they served everything in foam cups, on foam plates with cheap plastic tableware. They gave a song and dance about conserving water, not exactly green of them using foam cups and plates.

Laton in front of Floyd's Barber Shop.
As you can tell, Laton doesn't need a haircut.
The town was very quaint and all the Christmas decorations were up and the Christmas music was playing from the stores. It was all very festive.

We hooked up and got back on the road and have landed at Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park. It is beautiful in the Tennessee Mountains. We are at Limestone, TN next to the Nolichucky River. Yep, sounds just like it is spelled. LOL.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mayberry RFD

We have landed at Stone Mountain State Park for the night. We did not quite make it out of North Carolina.  We are planning breakfast at Snappy Lunch tomorrow in Mount Airy, NC.  Evidently, Mount Airy is the inspiration for the TV show, Mayberry RFD. I will report back tomorrow.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Kerr Lake, NC

We have landed for the night at Kerr Lake, NC. It is a lovely location, the evening is cool but not cold, the sky is clear and you can hear evening crickets, then bang, bang, bang! Duck Hunters, we imagine. LOL. Hoping for an early start so we can get some distance.  We still have to check out Tennessee and Kentucky!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Colonial Williamsburg

This was George Washington's
favorite tavern in the day!

Today we left Aquia :-(  Next stop is Williamsburg. We are staying at the American Heritage RV Park. Colonial Williamsburg requires a lot of walking, and we did not have a lot of time so we were able to see quite a bit from the bus and made reservations at the Christiana Campbell's Tavern and bought tickets for Cry Witch: a play where we are the jury in a candlelit inquiry into the charges of witchcraft brought against Grace Sherwood in 1706. The audience was invited to question the witnesses, weigh the evidence, and determine the guilt or innocence of "the Virginia Witch." 
The Queen's attorney, the Magistrate and the accused witch!
God Save the Queen!

The food at the Tavern was delicious, it was fun dining by candlelight and well worth the trip, time and money!

We actually ended up sitting on the bench with the magistrate and were transported back in time and determined the guilt or innocence (heck, she was guilty and we all knew it!) of poor Mistress Grace Sherwood. LOL

Thursday, November 18, 2010


BFF's (Liz, Carrie and Angela)
On our way back from New York, Laton dropped me off at a great pub in Alexandria. I was meeting up with my sorority sisters, Liz and Angela, who have both relocated to VA. We met at the Union Street Public House. It was a fun, fun evening. Sorority Sistahs are the best (along with my favorite sister, Carolyn). Lots of catching up and thank god for camera phones cuz then we could check out all the updates in our lives with pictures. Liz headed back to Leesburg and Angela dropped me off in Aquia on her way back to Fredericksburg. Old Town Alexandria is well worth a visit.

The Statue of Liberty

 We made the first ferry to the Statue of Liberty. It was a beautiful day, a little foggy, with a brisk breeze. It was a magnificent morning and she is so beautiful and awe-inspiring. We were very happy with our visit.

Check out her foot! Awesome!

The torch!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Jersey

FYI; It is easier to reach the New Jersey side of Statue of Liberty National Park, if you are driving, than the NY side. Great parking! Glad we did that. I had always heard about the NJ Turnpike but have now experienced it.  My advice to travelers is take lots of dollar bills (no, not for the strip clubs). There is a toll everywhere! We got here too late to take a ferry to the statue so found a hotel for the night. So, now we are all tucked in and excited to visit with Lady Liberty tomorrow!

New York Traffic

We drove to Snug Harbor Park, Staten Island. The traffic was quite something. Driving a big truck through narrow streets was an adventure.  We were sure glad we were not towing our 5th wheel. LOL! We ended up in a traffic jam (thank goodness we were not the cause!). The horn blowing was stupendeous. Seriously? It helps?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New York! New York!

Now visualize a high leg kick here! Might as well visualize a beautiful girl too. We are planning a trip to the Statue of Liberty.  This involves boarding the dogs. We found a place called Lisa's Bed & Biscuit. The 4 legged kids will stay together in a suite (large pen) with private bath (doggie door).  It even has toddler beds for them to sleep on. They have play time 6 times a day. Of course we had to find their shot records and low and behold, no bordetella (kennel cough) shots on the records.  So we found a vet, got shots, but have had to push everything out 24 hours.  The bordetella needs 24 hours in their system before exposure. So instead of leaving today, we leave tomorrow to visit Lady Liberty.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Paper Luminaria

I have been frantically working all week on a swap with some other consultants for Stocking Stuffer gifts using our Christmas paper scraps.  I came up with several fun things.  My biggest project has been luminaries or votive cards.  This has a battery operated tea light inside.  It was fun to design and is more fun to use.  It is very simple to make.

I also made some tea card holders, some bottle hangers and tags for the 12 Days of Christmas.

Friday, November 12, 2010


We drove up to Hershey, PA to check out the chocolate capitol of the USA! It was a beautiful drive through fields dotted with houses and barns. We stopped and checked out the Gettysburg National Military Park.  There was a group of music students on a field trip parked near us and it was haunting to hear taps played on a trumpet there.
Finally, Chocolate World was in sight! It was fun checking out how it was made. By the time we were done, it was only late afternoon so we decided to head toward Lancaster, PA and have authentic Amish food for dinner.

Our attention was immediately seized by the town of Intercourse! So off we go. It was fun to see the Amish people, the buggies and horses and the different type of stores.  As Laton commented, the buggy might have headlights but the horse sure doesn't. LOL

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sick of being Sick!

After our wonderful trip to the Outer Banks, I came home and came down with the flu.  I think it should have passed me by since I am on vacation and traveling, but it was mean and stuck around. Luckily, Laton hasn't been ill.  When I was feeling better, he drug me down to get a flu shot with him. So, hopefully, we are done with illness for the rest of the winter.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Outer Banks

Atlantic Ocean Sunrise
We stayed in a hotel in Kill Devil Hills, NC.  The hotel was directly on the beach. When we woke up we saw the sun rise from the Atlantic, then the fog came in. Here is a picture from our patio.

The houses built along the ocean are wonderful.  Three to four stories tall, with decks built on the roof, painted lovely pastel colors with lots of gingerbread decorations.  Every house has a plaque with a cute name.

We started our drive down the Outer Banks across a long causeway, through towns called Rodanthe, Waves, Avon, Frisco, Buxton, and Hatteras Inlet.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
 There is a free ferry that runs every hour in the winter to the island of Ocracoke.  We got in line 3 times and each time we were the last of the line that did not get on the ferry.  On the 3rd try, we decided maybe we were not supposed to ride it today. By then a heavy rain had started, so we decided to drive back up the Outer Banks and home through Chesapeake, Norfolk and Hampton.  We went through a tunnel that goes under a shipping channel called the "Hampton Roads".  It is the historic name for the five-mile wide, last ten miles or so of the James River before it empties into Chesapeake Bay.

While traveling, we used the GPS and set it so that it would show the whole area, and it shows us traveling out on the Atlantic Ocean.  It was awesome. 

Missing the ferry gave us a chance to check out the lighthouse (between rainstorms) and also a candy company featured on the Food Network called The Scotch Bonnet.  We left with pumpkin pie fudge, fire and ice fudge (mint with a touch of jalapeno) and peanut butter fudge coated dog treats for the four legged kids.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Roanoke Island, NC

Elizabethan Gardens on Roanoke Island, NC

Today we took the opportunity to take a delivery for our friend, Angela to Washington, NC.  Then we drove to Manteo, NC to check out The Lost Colony. I have been fascinated with the story of this colony since I was a small child and came across it in some of my reading. The park is under a lot of construction right now but the Elizabethan Gardens are lovely. We enjoyed lunch in Manteo near the waterfront.  The Hubbard squash bisque was wonderful. As we contemplated the 3 hour drive back, Laton suggested we get a hotel and explore the rest of the Outer Banks tomorrow.  What a wonderful idea!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat! Smell My Feet!

Give me something good to eat!  I only had one trick or treater. He seemed a little big for a kid. He said he was dressed as an old, fat man and he didn't want candy, he wanted a beer! LOL!

Angela's Pumpkin


My friend Angela had a cool pumpkin on her porch and I found an old picture of me wearing Laton's traditional costume he always wore to work before he retired.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Air Conditioning Required in October?

It has been warm and muggy here in Virginia the last few days.  It rained today and the roof patch held. YES! We have been using the air conditioner to stay comfortable the last few days. 

Our mail has caught up with us so have been enjoying all our magazines and letters and cards from friends.  A mail service is great for travelers like us.  We just call when we settle for a few days and the box of mail arrives via priority mail. 

We are planning our sightseeing assault.  Mt. Vernon is on our list and is just down the road on the Jefferson Davis Highway. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mary Washington, the Mother of George!

Mary Washington Monument
 As we ran our errands today we ended up near the Mary Washington Monument in Fredericksburg, VA.  It required me to come home and look her up on the internet. 

She appears to be a very interesting woman.  Looks like George was raised by a single, working mom.  See, latchkey kids can be president. lol

It is only 40 feet high and was built near a meditation rock where Mary liked to spend time, near her daughter's home.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Come on you sons....

I loved this phrase carved in the marble of the Marine Corp Museum.  The museum was very interesting.  Laton and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It is free and well worth the time. It is amazing to think of all these men and woman giving service to our country, oftentimes at the expense of their lives.  It was humbling and I was very proud to know our son, Stephen Hammond is a Marine!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The National Museum of the Marine Corps

USMC Museum

We can't wait!

Laton and I were looking for a post office and our feisty GPS aka. Margaret took us to the Triangle, VA location.  On the way we saw the The National Museum of the Marine Corps.  We did not have time to check it out as we were meeting our friends. We took a picture to send to our son Stephen, who was in the Marines, and put it on our bucket list of things to see.

The weather here has been overcast with a light drizzle of rain. There are acorn trees all over this park and the acorns fall on the trailer and make quite a whack sound and then they roll off.  It is driving the dogs nuts (pun intended). Laton said they hurt when they hit him on the shoulder and head. Guess we need hard hats here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Twenty-One States

Our home for the next 30 days
We have covered 21 states since September 14, 2010.  We have settled in for 30 days at Aquia Pines Camp Resort. It is a very nice RV Park and we are attempting to set up our satellite dish as I type this.  Can't miss any more fall season shows! We plan on making several day trips and spend time with friends in the area.  Dragging the trailer through DC would be a nightmare, LOL! We also plan on driving up into the New England area and checking out Lancaster County (Amish area) and Hershey, PA (CHOCOLATE!!!!).  Everywhere you look in this area, there is a battlefield, or someone famous was born there or died there, or slept there.  The names on all the signs read like an American History book.  I don't know if 30 days will be enough, but if my sister and I can see Washington, DC in 6 hours, Laton and I should be able to do this.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

West Virginia

Blackwater Falls State Park Campground
 We left Canton, OH this morning, drove south and then east, crossed West Virgina and drove through the corner of Pennsylvania and back into West Virginia in about 30 minutes.  It was amazing.  Not like California, where it takes 2 days to drive the whole length of it. We are staying at Blackwater Falls State Park.  We have a great campsite with lots of room for the dogs. The fall foliage is absolutely gorgeous, bright yellows, oranges, reds and green.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Minature Golf and Football

Josiah & mom, Michelle

We had a great time watching the 3 great-nephews (they were great in a lot of ways, lol) whack a golf ball around until it was time for them to head back to Toledo with mom. 

Then we were off to Canton to watch Malone University play St. Xavier at Fawcett Stadium. Our nephew got us tickets and it was fun to see the college game but the loss was painful. It was homecoming and it was very nice to see all these wonderful, good looking kids being polite, but above all dressed appropriately! Trevor told us they get fined $15 for cussing. Glad I don't go to school there, I couldn't afford the fines. lol 

Trevor Rook
 Trevor's sister (click for pic) Kristyn Rook (blond) with her dad, Ray was crowned homecoming queen and to top it off, Del Norte High School Warriors beat their biggest rival, the Eureka Loggers.  This is the first year Ray Rook, Trevor and Kristyn's dad and my younger brother, has been the head coach.  It was a night for celebration in Crescent City, CA.