Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Yorktown, Williamsburg, Jamestown, Hatteras Island and Ian

We really enjoyed our time in WashPA but it was time to head home to Stuart. Our plan was to stay in Williamsburg, VA for a week then to Hatteras Island for another week before a quick couple day sprint to Florida. As we learned during our 12 plus years on the road, plans don't always go as expected.
We were last in the Williamsburg area in 2007, our first year on the road. We wanted to get a couple stamps in our national parks passport and just relax after our busy time in WashPA. Our first stop in the Colonial National Historical Park was Yorktown Victory Monument. The resolution to build a monument celebrating the October 19, 1781 surrender of Cornwallis to George Washington was passed by Congress 10 days after the event. That said, the cornerstone of the monument was not laid until October 18, 1881, one hundred years later.
The capital of Virginia was moved from Jamestown to Williamsburg in 1699. It was moved to its present location, Richmond, in 1780. Many of the 18 century buildings survived and in 1926 a reconstruction, funded by John D. Rockefeller Jr, began that preserved the buildings that are Colonial Williamsburg today. This is the Governor's Palace.  
Duke of Gloucester (DOG) Street is lined with old shops and taverns. 
Burton Parish Church was opened in 1677.
More building along DOG.
Carriage rides are available for those who wish to really step back in time. You can walk all the streets to see the buildings, as we opted to do, or you can buy a ticket to tour them. We enjoyed Williamsburg and were pleasantly surprised to find several very good local restaurants.
The third historical site located here is Historic Jamestowne, where, in 1607, the first European settlement to survive in North America was built. The Tercentennial Monument was built in 1907 to honor the 300th anniversary of Jamestowne. It is 104 feet tall, one foot for each of the original 104 settlers.
We all know the story of Pocahontas and John Smith's claim that the daughter of the Powhatan chief Wahunsenaca saved his life. 
Inside the Memorial Church which was constructed in 1906 over the site of the earlier church depicted by the frame. 
The memorial Church.
Replicas of mud and stud buildings constructed by the settlers. It was a common construction method used in the area of England where the settlers came from. Archaeologists determine where the buildings were located by finding the post holes in the ground.
John Smith was the president of the council of the colony. He believed in policies of rigid discipline, strong defenses and that all must work and farm to avoid starvation. 
Jamestowne cemetery. There is a museum with the remains of many of the settlers who died and were buried there. 
There is a lot of history in this area that is easy to explore using the Colonial Parkway that connects all three on a road with no commercial traffic. It is well worth a visit.
Our next stop was our favorite vacation place when we lived in a stix and brix, Hatteras Island. We got to cross the new jug handle bridge that was built on the sound side to avoid an area near Rodanthe that was often closed by waves covering the road.
This was 2010 before the jug handle bridge was put in. We had to drive through ocean overwash.
Doing what I like to do when we are here. As you can see the weather when we got there was wonderful. Sunny skies and warm temperatures. The fishing was not as good as the weather.
We stayed at our favorite place, the Outer Banks Motel in Buxton. You can see by the lack of people why we love this place. We stayed here many times before going on the road.
This spring they did beach replenishment so it is much wider than it has been in a long time. This is more like it was 40 years ago when we first came to Hatteras.
You can see how close the ocean was last year. The two cottages at the motel often had waves breaking under them.
Shrimpers in the early morning. 
Nanc enjoying the beach. You can see what I mean about so few people on the beach.
Hatteras Island sunsets.
They say the sunrise is also beautiful, but I rarely get to see it.
We got up Thursday morning, went to breakfast and to see the lighthouse which is closed for some work. 
The post marks the spot where the lighthouse was before they picked it up and moved it 1900 feet away from the ocean in 1999. I expect that within the next few years the post will be in the water.
I do like the backup camera in the Tucson. I always feared I would back into the lighthouse.
By the time we got back to the motel the sand in the parking lot was getting deep. There were big waves and high winds from Hurricane Ian that was doing terrible damage to Florida. When we heard it was going to be a tropical storm as it passed Hatteras we decided to pack and leave that afternoon.  
The sand blowing across the road on the way off the island. We left without a plan but knowing we would be in the storm as we headed south. We decided to stay in Fayetteville for the night and then two nights as Ian, now a tropical storm, would be coming our way. We were safe in a hotel and far from the ocean where the road was under water on Saturday, our original departure day. On Saturday morning we drove about 50 miles in the rain and then it was clear sailing all the way to Stuart. We did see some damage and flooding along I-95 so we were happy we clanged our plans.

We were hoping this hurricane season was behind us, but as I get ready to post this blog we are getting prepared for Nicole another tropical storm or possibly hurricane, heading our way.  Hopefully, it won't be too bad. Stay safe out there everyone.    

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Friends, Family, Traveling

Wow, I'm WAY behind with the blog so this is a catch up post of what we have been up to since the end of July. We left DC heading north to Winsted, CT to visit George and Nan, It was a wild 390 mile drive leaving DC and traveling through Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. I'm glad we were in the Tuscon and not in Opus.
George and Nan have a beautiful place on a lake in Northwestern Connecticut. They showed us around their neck of the woods. We had lunch at the Hopkins Inn overlooking another lake. 
Wow, a black bear crossing the road. Bear sightings are very common. George told us he was at the local brewery one evening and everyone was getting up and pointing his way as there was a bear right behind him.
Capt George took us on a tour of the lake.
Beer and, later, pizza, Life is Good. As we always say, meeting up with friends is the greatest thing about traveling. We will be seeing them next month here in Stuart. 
We left Winsted and drove 536 miles to Pymatuning Lake in Northwest Pennsylvania where we stayed with Mike and Sherri at their cabin for a few days. It was a fun time fishing and the guys winning at euchre. 
Mike's reputation as the captain of catfish is still intact.
I even caught a few after a slow start. Going to "the lake"is always something we look forward to when we are in Pennsylvania. From there it was only 125 miles to WashPA.
Always at the top of our to do list in WashPA is getting to enjoy John's wood fired pizza. It was great seeing everyone and the pizza was fantastic. We also got together with many of these people at the teacher's lunch bunch luncheon every Wednesday at different restaurants in the area. 
Mike and Sherri's 50th anniversary was in September so to make it a surprise their kids had a party in early August. They were really surprised.
Three generations of Sharps, mom and dad, kids and grand kids.
The old card club at the party. We did get together for euchre but I failed to get any pictures. It was a fun evening celebrating 50 years of sainthood for Mike.
We did a day trip to Marietta, OH with Nanc's sister Judy to see our new great, great nephew, Archie and his beautiful mom, Morgan. Archie is one happy baby. We also got together with Judy's sons Scott and Rick and their families along with our sister-in-law, Suzann but I failed to get any pictures.
In WashPA we stayed at an Airbnb apartment above the President's Pub. Wednesday evenings were open mike night and the first time we went we were entertained by a former Washington student, Greg Smith. We liked the location and stayed in shape as it was 24 steps to our apartment.
We did a day trip to Pittsburgh. We went to the Strip District for breakfast at Pamela's so I could get their wonderful pancakes and visited Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. There is an entire wing that is all beautiful orchards.  
We loved checking out the bonsai trees. Some are very old and are kept small with a lot of pruning and care.
They had a special exhibit using Monet paintings and recreating a few of  his works with flowers.
He used a studio boat like this to get close to his subjects and painted it into some of his works.
Luncheon Under the Canopy.....
....so we could join the feast.
Here I am reenacting the Bridge over a Pond of Water Lillies painting. The Monet exhibit was well worth the visit to the Phipps. 
The University of Pittsburgh's, 42 story, 525 foot Cathedral of Learning, is the tallest educational building in the Western Hemisphere. I spent many hours there back in the day.  
Another day, another trip to Pittsburgh. This time for the Pitt vs.Tennessee football game. Unfortunately, the Pitt band was the highlight as we lost in overtime. H2P!!!
Another day, another trip to the Burgh. This was for the Blues and Heritage Festival. I wanted to go to hear and get this picture autographed by Christone "Kingfish" Ingram. I took the picture when we saw him at Fred's Lounge in Clarksdale, MS in 2013. He was 13 at the time. I posted it in Facebook in the spring and he personally responded.
The evening started with New Breed Brass Band, a New Orleans group that plays a mix of funk, rock, jazz and hip-hop. Their music took us back to our visits to the Big Easy.
 The Commonheart, a local Pittsburgh band was next. They were great with their blues and rock music. 
I did get Kingfish's attention when he was setting up for his gig. He has come a long way from that 2013 performance we saw. In May 2020 he won five Blues Music Awards including album of the year, Kingfish. This past April he won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Album, 662
He puts on a fantastic show. He has been compared to past guitarists B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix and Prince. He has appeared with Buddy Guy and toured around the world.  
He is known for getting with the audience during his shows. Here he is with Nanc. Here is a link to a short video of that walk with the people.
After the show I did get him to sign my picture. He said he remembered that Facebook post. 

We had a great visit to WashPA seeing so many friends and getting together with family. A lot of what we did was what we have done on every visit, so there is not really anything new to write about. We went out to eat soooo much that when people asked what we have been doing we responded, "EATING".

We had a couple stops on our way home that I will be blogging about. We are now getting settled again in Stuart and looking forward to a long warm winter.