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Graving, Sightseeing, Lighthouses, and Family

Introduction


View Panama Canal 2008 & Costa Rica & Driving South on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

This was a trip which was originally scheduled in December 2016 as a visit to FSU in Tallahassee. Then our granddaughter decided to be married in May 2017, and we rescheduled the trip to coincide with her wedding in South Carolina. I tried to schedule the driving so that we drove less than 300 miles a day because as we get older, longer time in the car gets stressful.

Our schedule was
May 2 - Leave our home in Leonardtown and drive as far as Selma-Smithfield
May 3 - Drive to Augusta, Ga
May 4 - Drive to Tallahassee
May 5-6 Visit the Capitol Museum and Maclay Gardens
May 7 - Drive to NAS Mayport
May 8-9 Take photos of lighthouses, and visit Fernandina Beach and two more cemeteries
May 10 - Drive to Hinesville GA
May 11-13 - Rehearsal and wedding
May 14 - Head for home, stopping in Rocky Mount
May 15 - Home again

Our house
Our house before Bob finished the siding

Our house before Bob finished the siding

I kept an account of all of our expenses and the last post has the breakdown. But the bottom line....

We spent an average of $275/day on Gas, Food, Lodging, Admissions , Tolls and Gifts.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 09:41 Archived in USA Tagged florida north_carolina south_caroina Comments (0)

Pack, Prepare and Proceed

2 May 2017 - Leaving Leonardtown

sunny
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I got packed up on Friday April 28th

Bob has painted the laundry room a really BRIGHT shade of yellow which is hard on the eyes (he says it is the same as the bathroom, but it isn't), and has also built a shelf for folding laundry. He's also mowed the lawn, got gas in the car and made one last run to the dump. He threw some things in the suitcase this morning (and I think he packed the sunscreen in the big suitcase because it is not in his overnight bag), and did a last wash. He has taken two suitcases and the scooter and put them in the car.

The cats are roaming around - they know something is up. Or at least Bob says they do. Cindy was meowing a lot more than normal. She's the vocal one. Gravel Gertie is on the top (she's really feral and we can't touch her at all)

cat tree

cat tree

Cindy Block is the grey and white one on the next to the top shelf, Orange Crush - one of the males is next, and on the bottom is Crunch, the other male, who is a year older than the rest. Heidi Ho is the fifth cat and she isn't in this photo - she's a muted calico.. The cat sitter will come every day for an hour and brush and feed the cats, and clean their boxes.

We left on Tuesday, May 2nd. I turned off the modem and put my computer in my bag and went downstairs about 9:15 and we left the house at 9:30. Only one afterthought - I forgot to get my car keys so Bob went back after them.

Sponge Bob Square Pants overlooking a local farm

Sponge Bob Square Pants overlooking a local farm

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Soon we were approaching Morgantown MD where the PEPCO power plant is located.

Sign for Aqualand Marina under the Nice bridge

Sign for Aqualand Marina under the Nice bridge

We were going over the NICE BRIDGE. I think that is a funny name for a bridge but of course it was named for someone whose last name was Nice.
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tollbooth

Potomac from the Nice Bridge

Potomac from the Nice Bridge

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Approaching the Virginia Shore

Approaching the Virginia Shore


We stopped a a cemetery in Bowling Green and took some photos (we do photo-documentation of cemeteries),

Greenlawn Cemetery

Greenlawn Cemetery

and I then thought we would eat in Ruther's Green as we got there about 11:45 - I saw a Wendy's was there which I know Bob likes, but it was behind a truck stop and Bob just didn't understand when I said how to get there (he doesn't hear very well as he is partly deaf). so he got on I-95 instead.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 10:30 Archived in USA Tagged leonardtown Comments (0)

Selma-Smithfield, NC

Tracking Down Restaurants


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Then I thought we would stop in Ashland at Wendy's but again he had trouble following the directions of the GPS. So he said - we will stop HERE, and it was Hardee's.

I thought I would try to be very good about eating, but I have lapsed several times. At Hardees I got a Baby back rib BBQ Thickburger,

Thickburger

Thickburger

and water to drink, and then I saw that they had apple pies and she said it was 2 for $1.00, so I got two. (Bad Rosalie) Bob got a regular hamburger meal (with fries and a drink) He said he should have looked at the menu better as there was a smaller hamburger on the menu that he could have had.

We got back on the road. We were heading for Selma/Smithfield NC. This confused Bob because he thought Smithfield was in VA near Norfolk. But we did get to Selma about 3:30. I had checked in, in advance so they didn't even have to run the card. I picked room 101 which I thought would be near the lobby, but it was all the way at the end of the corridor (by the parking lot exit.)

Selma and Smithfield are adjoining towns which seem to be mostly discount malls - I noticed a couple of cigarette-vaping places. There is the Ava Gardner museum here, but I decided I really didn't want to pay $9 each to go there and see her clothes.

So we relaxed in the room until about 6 and then I walked out to the car in my stocking feet and put on my L.L.Bean shoes (which are slip-ons so easier than laced or velcro shoes). We went to a Marathon gas station - fuel was cheaper than in MD $2.19. We got 41.8 miles to the gallon.

I wanted to eat at a restaurant that wasn't fast food and Bob doesn't care for mexican - all the local non-fast food places appeared to be either pizza or Mexican. We tried Shoneys, but it had closed and was out of business. So we decided to eat at Denny's. But apparently we missed a turn and ended up down in Smithfield. Denny's kept getting farther away or we were making the wrong turns. Eventually, after almost getting back on I-95, we got to Denny's and it was open.

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I got an omelet and hash browns and a biscuit from the over 55 menu, and Bob got a grilled chicken dinner which came with two sides. He asked for a garden salad and fries - the salad was huge.

Bob's salad

Bob's salad

He also had a milkshake. I had a sundae but I ate only half of it.
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Tomorrow we head for Augusta GA

May 3rd

I went to bed early last night. Our daughter says that when she called it went right to voice mail, but I had my phone on most of the day. I didn't have the Leonardtown land line forwarded to this phone, and I checked and this phone does not forward to Leonardtown. So I don't know what the problem was. NOTE: I just got a call (from Hughesville) which said that I could have my student loans forgiven. So even if my friends and family can't call, the spammers can!!! (If you don't know - I never had any student loans and of course Bob went to the USNA so he didn't have any either, and even if we had them, I think now that we are 81 and 79 years old, they would have been resolved by now)

My sleep was fitful. Bob got up about 7:30 and he went to eat and brought me my breakfast (a banana, eggs and a sausage). He was having a problem swallowing and I don't think he ate much breakfast.

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We were underway before 9:30 and were in Lumberton by 10:40

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I didn't take many photos today and we didn't stop much. We got off I-95 and onto I-20 in Florence, and we stopped in Bishopville at a KFC for lunch.

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They had a buffet, but we didn't try that. I had chicken livers
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and Bob had a chicken breast which he was able to eat.

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This was on all the tables
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Posted by greatgrandmaR 14:01 Archived in USA Tagged nc chicken_livers Comments (0)

Marching to Georgia

Hotel Mistake


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We were listening to NPR - as one station would get staticy we would switch to the next on. Yesterday we got into some religious station, where they were trying to get people to write the President and tell him to veto the budget bill if it funded Planned Parenthood, but today we stuck to NPR. They were discussing the suicide book/TV show 13 Reasons Why. They seemed to think that the guidance counselor dropped the ball, but I think HS guidance counselors are mainly there to help with seeing the people have enough credits to graduate and writing college recommendations. I don't think they are mental health professionals as a rule. I think the guidance people in middle school are more likely to be able to do that.

Then there was a man who thinks people are taking too many medications and need to use alternative therapies. I was with him until he advocated chiropractic. Therapeutic massage is good, but I think the basis for chiropractic is wrong and can lead to damage.

Tomorrow we are going from Augusta Georgia to Tallahassee. I looked at the maps and there is no way to get to Tallahassee from anywhere in Georgia on an interstate. You can get to Tallahassee from the east, you can get to Tallahassee from the west, you can get to Tallahassee from the south, but if you are approaching from the north, there is no direct highway to take. I told Bob this, and he said, well there ARE roads aren't there? We won't have to cross farmer's fields or anything.

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We crossed into Georgia at 2:25, and managed (by correctly navigating a whole cloverleaf of interchanges) to get to the Gordon Highway Hampton Inn. Here there was a problem. They didn't have me in the system - no record of the reservation. It turned out that when I made the reservation the second time (on the phone) it was made at a different Hampton Inn in Augusta. My original reservation in Augusta was meant to put us a little way along the non-interstate road and I was going to visit some cemeteries on Fort Gordon. I decided not to do that but I still wanted to stay at this Hampton Inn. Since they had a room, we checked in there.

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I called the other Hampton Inn and they said that they had a 24 hour reservation cancellation policy, but they would cancel my reservation just this once so I wouldn't have to pay for two. I think if they had sent me an email like the Hampton Inn in Selma-Smithfield had done, I might have noticed the discrepancy, but they didn't

Bob roused about 4:30 and asked where we were going to dinner. The front desk gave me a two page list of restaurants which included P.F. Changs (in the big local mall- which I wasn't that interested in going to a mall) and some places on the other side of Augusta. So I looked on the Internet and decided to try the Harbor Inn, which I thought would have stuff Bob liked to eat and it wouldn't be chicken. Also I thought we could get there making only right turns, without getting back on the expressway.

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Harbor Inn turned out to be very interesting with a lighthouse out front and many murals on the walls

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and live piano music (Bob tipped the piano player $2.00).

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Bob got the shrimp, a baked potato, salad and bread. It was on the menu as STRIP - so he said to the waitress, "I thought maybe with this I would get a show".

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I had swordfish, salad, sweet potato, and hush puppies.
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I didn't eat all the hush puppies. Swordfish was a little dry.
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They had two unlabeled squirt bottles on the table - one was cocktail sauce and the other was some kind of white mayo-mustard type sauce. I thought it might be tarter sauce, but it wasn't. There was also a large shaker which Bob thought might be Old Bay but I said - not a chance. It was cinnamon sugar. I am tired of drinking water so I got iced tea (unsweet) and Bob had hot tea. Then we managed to get back to the hotel making only right turns and not using the expressway. We also got gas and we got a little more than 50 mpg.

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Tomorrow we go overland through farmer's fields and down the back roads to Tallahassee

May 4 -
We had breakfast with no problems

It was overcast when we started out, and soon the skies opened up and it was pouring rain. The GPS tried to take us over to Macon, and I would follow the AAA route which was also the route on my phone,

And while we weren't going through farmers fields, we were on un-numbered roads - that is not a US highway, not a state highway and not even a county road. Roads with names and no numbers.

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It was raining really hard, and Bob was complaining about people who didn't have their headlights on and therefore you couldn't see their taillights either.

Eventually I said we HAD to stop and eat, so at 12:40 at Captain D's Seafood in Cordele.
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It was still raining but not as hard. Bob said I should run to the restaurant, but I can only hobble. He said he had not brought an umbrella, although I seem to remember asking him about that.

I asked the lady at the counter what was the smallest meal I could get. She told me that would be a child's meal, so that's what I got. (one piece of fish, cole slaw and broccoli)
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Bob had a regular meal (2 pieces catfish, fries, cole slaw and 2 hush puppies). I ate his hush puppies because he doesn't like them.

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I took a selfie of myself while I was waiting for Bob to get finished in the restroom. We both used the restroom and then got back on the road. I called my daughter on the phone to let her know where we were.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 08:49 Comments (0)

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