Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day 13 Traveling Home

Still catching up on posts.  Monday was our last day in Shepardsville Ky.  We got up early got the RV rigged for travel.  We were on the road before 9am.  The GPS said it was a 6 hour trip home but we always have to add several hours for fuel stops, rest area stops to walk the dogs and having lunch.  It took almost 9 hours to return home.  Normally we would not drive that long but since we were heading home and would not have to worry about setting up the RV we decided to go all the way.  Got home just before 6 pm.  Had plenty of time to unpack the RV fridge, have supper and watch the season premiers of NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles.  We had a great trip.  I won't winterize the RV yet.  We have several months before the first freeze here and we may want to take a short trip before then.  Great thing about being retired and having the RV, we can be very flexable.

My retired motto is: "every night is friday night and every day we wake up its saturday again"

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day 12 Rain, Rain, Rain!

got a little behind in posting.  Our plans for Monday were to have Pat and Archie meet us at our camp site and the four of us would head down to Bardstown Ky to have breakfast and take a walking tour.  When we woke up it was raining cats and dogs.  The forcast was rain all day.  Can't really complain, its the only rained out day we had on the trip.  So after a few phone calls back and forth we decided to meet up at a Cracker Barrel five miles up on the interstate ( exit 121 ) from us at approximately 9am.  At least thats what I thought was the revised plan.  I have to admit, I have some hearing loss, so I may not have heard all that Archie said on the phone.  As it turns out, Diane and I drove up to the restaurant and Pat and Archie drove to our campsite.  When they saw that our CRV was not there they took off for the restaurant.  However, Archie got confused on how the interstate exits were marked.  He thought they counted up going south when actually its the reverse.  So he was headed south and we were north of the exit our campground was on.  After awhile I got worried so gave them a call on their cell.  They were down at mile marker 112 when I got hold of them.  So to make a long story short, I got them headed in the right direction and we met and had a wonderful visit and breakfast together.  Diane had her usual french toast and I had my Old Timers breakfast.  To my surprise, Pat and Archie also love the Old timers too.  When we left Archie had a gift for Diane.  The day before we were commenting on the many jars of green beans that they had put up for the winter.  We had some of their green beans for dinner on Sunday and they were great.  Nothing like fresh, home grown veggies.  So Archie gave Diane a jar for us to take home with us.  The rest of the day was spent inside, catching up on reading.  The only decent channel we got on the antenna was a local CBS station so were able to watch the season premier of Hawaii Five-O.  I'm going to have to look into getting one of those antenna signal boosters that they sell at Camping World. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Day 11 Visiting with family

We drove up to Crestwood Ky to visit my sister Pat and her husband Archie.  My brother Bob and his wife Linda drove down from Independence Ky by way of Georgetown (pick up daughter Kasey at Georgetown College).  My sister cooked a beautiful meal and afterwards had fresh baked apple pie and ice creame.  Here are a couple of pictures of us sitting around the table chatting about our children and granchildren.  Was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  It has been over five years years since the three of us had gotten together at the same time.
Here is a group pictute.  From left to right, Archie, Pat, me, Diane, Bob and Linda

Here is a picture of the three of us.  I'm the oldest, then sister Pat and brother Bob is the youngest
Whenever the three of us get together we take a picture to commerate the few times the three of us can be together.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Day 10 Jim Beam Distillery Tour and Kentucky Bourbon Festival, Bardstown Ky

We drove down to Clermont Ky and toured the Jim Beam Distillery there.  Was a very interesting tour.  Everything you wanted to know about how the worlds finest bourbon is made.
Inside the master distiller's house, where several generations of Beam's oversaw the family business we watched a seven minute video on the history of Jim Beam bourbon distilling.  Here is a picture of a miniture distillery that was showcased at the 1964 Worlds Fair in New York City.  This replica actually works.

From here we saw an exibit of one of the olodest copper stills in America.  It was capable of making three gallons of "white dog"  (moonshine).  The clear liquid was then stored in 53 gallon oak barrels and the aging process gives the bourbon its color.  Its aged anywhere from 4 to 9 years.

This is a warehouse where the barrels of bourbon is stored while aging.  These buildings are not heated or cooled.  There are nine floors.  Barrels are stacked in rows three high and fourteen deep. Each barrel contains 53 gallons of bourbon.  Thats a lot of bourbon!

Notice the color of the trees.  They are not burnt.  The black is a fungus that grows on trees and roofs of buildings around the distillery.  Its refered to as "angels share" because the angels get to sample fumes given off from the aging bourbon.  This helped the govt men in finding illegal moonshine stills.

After the tour we got to sample some of the small batch bourbons distilled here.  We sampled 129 proof Booker's and 80 proof Red Stag.  Believe me you can really taste the difference.
display of the different Jim Beam bourbons

Its late, tomorrow I'll post some pictures of the Bourbon Festival.  We intended to tour some of Bardstown but the town was so crowded due to the festival that we decided to try and come back on Monday and do that.  So we ate lunch at Mammy's Kitchen and then headed back to the campground.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 9 Travel Day

Rolled out of bed about six thirty this morning.  The temp got down to about 47 last night.  We have a small electric heater that we kept on low all night to keep the chill off.  Had to turn on the RV heater once we got up to get warm.  Back home we would still have the AC unit running.  Was a lot easier traveling today although a little breezy.  Must be the front that came thru Kentucky that brought the cooler weather.  We arrived at the Louisville South KOA about 2:30.  We were assigned site 317.  Not the greatest site to have.  Its got the basics but we're disapointed.  Thats going to happen when you go to a new campground for the first time.  You have no idea what site to ask for.  Now that we are here we will scope out the rest of the sites and make a list of sites to choose from if we return here in the future.
    Tomorrow we plan on visiting one of the distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and then head down to Bardstown Ky.  Want to visit "My old Kentucky Home" and there is also suppose to be a Civil War Museum.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day 8 Travel day

We almost got an early start this morning.  After leaving the campsite we drove separately down the hill to the CC entrance.  After hooking up the car to tow I noticed that I left the 90 degree adapter on the water intake.  This made me remember that I also forgot to take the pressure reducer when I disconnected the water hose.  LOL  Had to walk all the way back up to the site and back to retrieve the gadget. We have a detailed checklist to use when we get the RV ready to take on a trip.  I need to make up one to use when we break camp.  the day was overcast.  Ran into some heavy fog on I-64 west in West Va.  Also rained most of the way up the West Virginia turnpike.  When we pulled into the Ashland/Huntington West KOA about 3 pm  we finally saw blue sky.  This KOA is convienient to I-64 at exit 179.  I would recommend it for an overnight stay if you need one.  Tomorrow we head west to Louisville Ky.  We will be staying at the Louisville South KOA.  Will be touring that area of Kentucky as well as visiting with my sister.

Day 7 part 2

After the walking tour of Staunton's historic districts we ate lunch and then headed to the Frontier Culture Museum.

The museum is an outdoor, living history museum featuring exhibits and programs that explore the origins and history of the American people.  The first part of the walking tour shows how the people who imigrated lived before they came to America.  The first exhibit is a West African Farm.  Unfortunatly, these people did not come voluntary.

Next we have the English, Irish and German Farms.  Each farm had someone there who gave us an oral description of how they lived.

English Farm house

 Irish farmhouse
 German Barn
This bed is typical of the Irish farmhouse.  We were told that due to health reasons most had to sleep sitting up in bed to breath easier.  Hench the shorter beds?

The next exhibits show the homes that were built in the different periods after the migration to America.

1740s American Farm
1820s American farm

1850s American farm

1850s Barn

Inside the barn was an authentic replica of a Cyrus McCormick horse drawn reaper

All of these structures, both from overseas and American were purchased, disassembled, and transported to the museum and put back together.  Its an amazing amount of man hours that went in to all of this.  We really enjoyed the museum.  Would recommend it to anyone interested in american history.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Day 7 Staunton Va and Frontier Culture Museum

Another beautiful day today.  We got out early and drove into the town of Staunton.  Its a beautiful town with  great historic districts.  Actually the town is divided into five districts.  After parking at the downtown parking lot we walked to the Visitor Center located on New St between Beverly and Johnson Streets.  There we got a pamphlet which enables you to take a self guided tour of the Historic Districts.  Our first stop was the National Valley Bank.  This bank is basically just the way it was when established back in 1865.  There is also a small area designated as a museum in the bank.  The entrance is thru a revolving glass door.  The interior features a magnificent oval glass skylight.  Some pictures:

Trinity Espiscopal Church 1855.  This is an example of early gothic revival architecture and boasts 12 Tiffany Studio windows. 

In the Wharf Distric we visited Sunspots Studios and watched a glassblowing demonstration

Next was the old train station.  The original building has been a restaurant in the recent past.  It is currently being renovated again.  Amtrac has a small building also.

Augusta County Courthouse.  This is the fifth courthouse to be built on this site.  The first, in 1745, was a crude log structure.

There are 82 structures in all the five historic districts.  You would have to be a lot younger than us to walk the tour and view each one.  After the above we were pooped and found a nice small restaurant ( The Pampered Palet on Beverley St to eat lunch.
       Tomorrow is a travel day.  We will be heading west from here to Louisville Ky to visit my sister and her husband.  We will have an overnight stay outside of Ashland Kentucky before arriving in Louisville Friday afternoon.  Tomorrow night I will post pictures of the Frontier Culture Museum.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Day 6 Fall 2011 trip

Got an early start today, the pets woke us up at 6am.  They were ready for a morning walk.  We slept with the windows open last night.  Was the first time on this trip we did not need to run the AC unit all night.  Temp was in the upper 50s when we ventured outside and were also greeted with a beautiful sunrise.  Spent the morning doing chores, did our laundry among other things.  After lunch we headed up to the Shenadoah National Park and a trip along skyline drive.  Was a nice drive with quite a few senic overlooks.  But frankly, we were both a little disapointed.  Having driven the Blue Ridge Parkway many times, it seemed that the Skyline Drive was not what we expected.  There seems to be much more to see along the Blue Ridge.  Anyway, I've traveled thru Virginia many times, north and south and east and west over the past many years and always wanted to drive the Skyline.  We'll the cost was excellent, got in free with my National Park Senior Pass.  Have had the card for about five years and this was the first time I got to use it.  So, checked Skyline Drive off my bucket list.  Here are some pictures:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 5

A little shorter trip today.  We were only on the road about four hours.  We topped off our RV with gas at a Loves Truck stop on I-81 north at exit 84.  I was surprised that our gas mileage on the last leg was a fraction over 9 mpg.  We try to stop at Loves and Flying J truck stops because they are usually large enough to manuver our rig, which is about 45 foot long when towing the CRV.  Just after we pulled back onto the highway we saw one of those signs with flashing lights that told us to tune to channel 1620 for important highway news.  Turns out they were going to close down I-81 at mile marker 121 at 10:30 am because of blasting along the road.  We were fortunate that we passed that section with just a few minutes to spare.  We noted that the southbound lanes were already being routed onto a detour.  We made it to the Staunton/Walnut Hills KOA at 1 pm.  Tomorrow we intend to venture out and tour the surrounding area.  Found out this evening that part of the campground is without water.  Someone pulled out of their campsite and left their water hose hooked up and busted the water connection.  Seems there is only one main water cut off.   However, we are kind of fortunate, we are on the upper section of the campground and we are on well water.  The lower half is on city water.  Must be our lucky day.  Here are some pictures taken at our campsite:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day 4 Travel Day

Today we traveled from Longs SC to near Mt Airy NC.  Six hours on the road.  We were both beat when we pulled into the campground, even the dogs.  After getting the RV set up we all took a nap.  Have you ever wondered how small towns get their names?  We passed thru mostly farm country today, saw lots of cotton ready to harvest in SC.  I was told once that before cotton is harvested, the plants are sprayed with a chemical that causes the plants to shed their leaves.  This makes it easier for the machinery to remove the cotton.  Anyway, back to names of towns.  Passed thru Green Sea and Lake View in SC.  Never saw any green sea or a lake for that matter.  The best one was traveling up Future I-73/I-74 in NC.  Saw a town on the map called Why Not.  Wonder what the story behind that was?  We are currently at Mayberry Campground, just south of Mt Airy NC, which is the home of Andy Griffith and also Donna Fargo ( remember the song "The happiest girl in the USA"?).  The campground is located at the homeplace of the descendants of the Siamese Twins, ENG & Chang Bunker.  The home is still maintained and stands above the campground.  I was excited that we would have cable tonight so I could watch the NASCAR race at Richmond tonight.  Boy was I disapointed when I found out the race was last night.  Oh well, at least my driver, JR, driver of the number 88 was able to clinch a spot in the chase.  Tomorrow we have a shorter dirve as we head up to the Staunton/Walnut Hill KOA which will be our camp base as we tour the Shenadoan Valley and Skyline Drive area.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Day 3 Fall 2011 trip

We were able to sleep in until the sun started to come up.  Our pets have gotten use to the routine and slept all night at the foot of our bed.  Took them for a walk and snapped this picture of the sun coming up

Spent the rest of the morning relaxing.  Diane worked on her needle point and I got the GPS programmed for the next leg of our journey.  Also did some serious reading.  Got a copy of "Absolute Power" from the library before we left.  Got it almost read all the way.  Book is a lot better than the movie that Clint Eastwood starred in.  Then it was time for lunch so we headed up to Calabash NC.  Our favorite lunch spot there is Becks.  We both had the fried shrimp lunch special. 

After lunch we crossed the road and did some window shopping at Callahan's.  This store is huge.  They have a large christmas area as well as a pretty good Dept 56 section.

Returned to the campground, took a nap, then chilled awhile, sipping wine ( Diane ) and had a few cold beers (Me).  Was able to get the  Gamecocks football game on the radio.  It was an exciting game, especially since Carolina beat Georgia and are now 2 - 0 on the year.  Tomorrow we head up to Mt. Airy NC for a one night stop over and then Monday we continue on to the Shenadoan Valley area of Virginia.  Our stop over is at Mayberry Campground and they have cable so I'm looking forward to watching the NASCAR race at Richmond.  This is the last race before the Chase starts.  This race will determine the 12 drivers who will compete for the Sprint Cup Championship.

Tomorrow is the 10 year anniversary of 9-11.  We will never forget!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Day 2 Fall 2011 Trip

Our day started early.  Our pets were restless, the first night on the road.  They woke us up at 4am wanting to go out.  So we took them for a walk, there was a bright, almost full moon casting some light for us to stroll along the lake.  Needless to say, we slept in a lot later than usual and got a late start to the day.  It was almost lunch time when be headed out.  So our first stop was at the Liberty Steakhouse and Brewery located at Broadway on the Beach.

When in the Myrtle Beach area we always make it a point to stop here for lunch and sample the locally brewed beers.
    Next, we headed back up 17A to the Tanger Outlet mall.  Diane did some shopping while I mostly sat and enjoyed the afternoon sun.  Next we drove across the highway and went to the Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World.  If you fish, hunt, or camp, this is the place to find what you need.  I got some tackle to make carolina rigs for the next time my brother visits and we go bass fishing on Lake Keowee in upstate SC.  Spent the rest of the day, relaxing at the camp site.  Had a nice breeze blowing.  Watched all the campers coming in for the weekend.  Seems almost everyone has a golf cart to ride around in now.  Many of the fith wheels that pulled in were also towing a trailer behind which had a golf cart inside.  This campground is huge but we enjoy walking around with our pets so we all get good exercise.