Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Carolina Clan–“ Get Together”

Judy and I are visiting with a group of  ten full-time RVer couples at Huntington Beach near Myrtle Beach, SC. this week.  They have been traveling throughout the United States for the past few months and are now heading to their chosen wintering locations.

I am sure it will be a fun week with plenty of time around the nightly campfire swapping stories and making future plans for down the road.

George and Laurie arrive - 230 laurie and George arrive

Mike and Terry arrive - 230 mike and terry arrive

Getting a plan together!

230 first Mtg  

 Morning at the dunes                     Sunrise

230 another beach pic MB   230 sunrise MB

That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by.

Next Blog: Thur

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Travel Day - Huntington Beach SP, Myrtle Beach, SC

Judy and I left Cherry Point at 9:40 this morning along with Dee and Jim.  They were also headed to Huntington Beach SP. The drive down HWY 17 was like a Sunday drive, slow and uneventful. I was surprised that it was mostly four lanes. We covered the two hundred miles by 3:00 PM.

Tumbleweed Up Ahead

Once we all were settled in at the CG and rested a little we went to the K&W cafeteria for dinner.  Judy and I have visited Myrtle Beach many times on family vacations and always enjoyed having meals there.  This evening's meal was just as I remember, good and priced reasonably. As we were leaving the restaurant we saw a marching troop marching down the middle of the street.

Right down the middle of the street!

And there they go!

That is all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Tue

Friday, October 25, 2013

Day Trip–Tryon Palace, New Bern, NC.

Thursday we went to Tryon Palace with Dee, Jim and Ms. Alberta.  The weather once again cooperated nicely, which was a good thing since we were outside as we toured the gardens of the palace.
History of the Palace  from the Tryon Palace web site.

Governor’s Palace

The centerpiece of our historic site was also the grandest public building in all the colonies. Royal Governor William Tryon and his family brought architect John Hawks from London to design and build the Georgian-style structure. Completed in 1770, Tryon Palace served as the first permanent capitol of North Carolina and home to the Tryon family.
Tryon Palace was the site of the first sessions of the general assembly for the State of North Carolina following the revolution and housed the state governors until 1794. In 1798, fire destroyed the original Palace building. An extensive 30-year campaign to rebuild the Palace and restore the grounds was launched by the people of New Bern, state leaders, world craftsmen, and generous, dedicated citizens such as Mrs. James Edwin Latham. Their efforts led to the triumphal reopening of the Palace in 1959. Today, the Palace lives on as a testament to history, community and rebirth. Here are a few pics. Photography is not permitted inside so I lifted some from the web. (Remember to enlarge the pics, just CLICK!)
tryon palace entrance a    tryon palace entrance
Tron Palace guide    Tryon Palace garden
         Tryon Pallace Grand Ball Room
Before we headed back home, Jim, took us to the site where Pepsi Cola was first concocted!
Judy had to have a Pepsi float.
tryon palace judy enjoying float
I found a clip on YouTube that chronicles the history and rebuilding of Tryon Palace. If you are a history buff or would like more details it is worth a look. CLICK
That is all for now. Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Sunday (maybe, because it is a travel day)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dinner with Ms. Alberta

The weather kept us close to the RV most of Tuesday.  I did go out to top off the diesel in the dually ($85.00) in preparation of heading to Myrtle Beach Sunday. 

Jim's Mom, Ms. Alberta, had extended an invitation for us to join them at her home Tue evening for Jim and Dee's favorite seafood meal.  I can add, that it is now one of Judy and my favorites!  I sure hope Judy got the recipe or was watching closely as Ms. Alberta cooked her signature rice and shrimp dish and the flounder fingers.

Luckily, Dee took some pics because I did not take any!  Check her blog out for the PICS

That is all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Relaxing Weekend Doing Not Much

This weekend Pelican Park was visited by the Carolina Ramblers, a RV club of retired military personnel. Even with an RV in each of the 30 RV sites there was no feeling of  being “cramped”. Sadly, the weather did not totally cooperate and rain was frequently present.
Judy and I hung out around the Cardinal mostly.  I only left the park briefly Saturday to go to a hardware store to buy a couple of bolts and nuts to repair one of our folding zero gravity lounge chairs and Judy and Dee went to Wal-Mart and the commissary to pick up a few grocery items.

What's for Dinner?

227 taco preps
Sunday Judy took a couple of loads of clothes over to the park laundry/lounge.  Dee stopped by and visited with her there. That evening Judy made us a Mexican meal, yummy. For an evening treat she made a Banana Nut Bread loaf. Jim and Dee joined us for a slice and a cup of coffee later that night.

Chef Judy at work                                                   The Fixins
227 Judy fixes tocos    227 toco fixins

That is all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Wed.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Day Trip–Beaufort, NC.

Judy and I accompanied Jim & Dee and his mom, Ms. Alberta to the seaside town of Beaufort, NC today. Jim’s sister Sharon and husband Jim joined us for lunch at a local seafood restaurant.
We had a slight hold up on the way to the waterfront.
226 bridge
The first stop was the Beaufort Maritime Museum.  Jim said it had been upgraded a lot since his last visit. Many exhibits highlighted the local fishing industry over the years.
226 shark wall

   226 Shrimp Trawler
Black Beard's pirate ship the Queen Anne’s Revenge was located in 1996 about a mile and a quarter off shore. An extensive artifact recovery effort has been underway since its discovery. Many of the recovered artifacts are on display. Very little of the wooden ship’s structure survived the last couple of hundred years (sank in 1718) in 125 feet of water.
Replica of Queen Anne’s Revenge              Recovery Exhibit
226 QAR model    226 recovery of artifacts
226 Judy and BB
After leaving the museum we took an ice cream break before taking a look at the waterfront.
226 waterfront
We took a small shopping break also. One of the shops had a sale going on (don’t they all) so Judy bought us a new pair of Crocs and her some clothing.
226 shopping
Once we were through with our walkabout we went to Sharon and Jim’s home to visit awhile.
That is all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Tue

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Movies and a Day Trip

The weather here in Cherry Point has remained overcast except for a couple of sunny hours after we arrived here. In fact the periods of rain kept us confined to the RV mostly Monday.  The temps have remained in the low 70's during the day. It just hasn't been sitting outside weather.

Tue we joined Dee and Jim in a movie day. We ventured off the base and went to a local movie house to view "Runner Runner".  No academy awards are likely to be handed out for the movie but it did kill a couple of hours for us and get us out!  Afterward we returned "home" in time for the 4:00 PM play-off game. Judy is the baseball fanatic so she claimed the TV leaving me to read or find another way to pass the time.  I went to the "Red Box" and rented "The Great Gatsby", old sport! Judy and I did not get around to going to see it when it came out earlier this year. Unlike the Robert Redford version of years gone by, I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you missed it earlier this year it would be worth the $1.28 at Red Box.

Runner Runner Trailer -CLICK

The Great Gatsby Trailer - CLICK

Dee and Jim invited us to go to Fort Macon located in nearby Morehead City.  I have been to Morehead, City lots of times, but it was always from the sea to load Marines and their equipment before forward deployment to the Med. Sea.  We stopped by and picked up Jim's Mom to go with us. She recommended a very nice restaurant for lunch before heading out to the fort.

Lunch at Smithfield Barbecue

Fort Macon  was constructed between 1826-1843 and saw service in three wars, The Civil War, Spanish American War and WWII.   Its construction was similar to coastal forts of the period.

Mess Hall

Barracks Life circa 1800's- 2 men per rack!  (would not work today)

That is all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Sunday

Monday, October 14, 2013

Travel Day - Cherry Point, NC.

We were up early Sunday morning getting ready for our travel day to Cherry Point, NC.  Judy and I went to a nearby Hardees for a quick breakfast before daylight since it is hard to pack-up and hitch-up in the dark!  Hardees is our favorite fast-food breakfast restaurant.  When we returned to the base we surprised the four person gate security team as they checked our IDs with four breakfast biscuits and four large coffees.

It was 9:00 AM as we departed the base for the last time this trip.  We had planned to leave by 8:15- 8:30  but a rain delay forced the later departure. For any military readers of the blog, the Sea Mist RV Park at Dam Neck gets a five out of five rating!

It was 210 miles to the Pelican Point RV Park at MCAS Cherry Point, NC. Except for having to drive the first two hours in steady rain it was an easy drive.   We arrived at the park by 2:00PM.  The park has only been opened for a few months.  It is well laid out and big rig friendly.  Before we had completed setting up Dee and Jim arrived and set up very near to us.  We are both going to be here for two weeks and then we are going to travel down to Myrtle Beach for a week with the Carolina Clan group. In December we will be back at Adelaide Shores RV Resort in FL. for three months with them. I am sure we will be doing a lot here with Dee and Jim.

We finished off the evening by going out to the "Outback Steak House" in New Bern. The 12th was our 39th wedding anniversary.  They weather was just too wet to go out on the 12th, so we waited so we could share it with our friends here.

Here are a few pics of the park;

Site #20

Showers & Laundry Lounge (Very impressive)

That is all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Thurs.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Movie Day and Celebrating 238 years of the US Navy

The weather has been better here today but the rain is still hanging around.  I sure hope it clears out by Sunday so our travel day will be dry.

Judy and I went over to NAS Oceana, one of the Navy's Master Jet Bases for lunch. The Navy will be celebrating its 238th birthday Sunday. Since the actual birthday is over the weekend the celebratory meal was today. As you would  expect the meal was commensurate for the occasion. 

A table is traditionally set for MIAs/POWs at all meals

NAS Oceana Galley - The Hornets Nest (so named for the main fighter based there, the  F18 Super Hornet)

F18 Super Hornet

After lunch we took in the first showing of " Capt. Phillips" staring Tom Hanks. It is based on the highjacking of the Maersk Alabama in the Indian Ocean (Somalia Basin). All the facts aren't exactly portrayed accurately in the movie but Hollywood always takes its license. Hanks did a fabulous job and the Navy was showcased. It reminded me of the hours of watches in Combat Information Center (CIC) I stood throughout my naval career from a basic radar operator to CIC Watch Officer. I think Hanks will get an Oscar nomination for his performance.

Capt. Phillips Movie Trailer: Click

That is all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Tue

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Weather- Very Wet and Very Windy

The weather here has done a 180' turn. Up until Monday evening you couldn't ask for nicer weather - blue skies, highs in the mid to upper 80s and lows in the seventies. That all began to changed Monday night as the lows dropped to the mid 50's with highs only around 61' and the winds increasing from 5-10 MPH to 25-35 with gust as high as 51 MPH. The rain and wind has not stopped since Mon. night, sometimes it has been light and at other times it has been downpours. The forecast for Thur. is continued rain and lighter winds - 15 to 20 MPH.

Tue morning when Judy and I woke up after a very bumpy night in the 5'ver.  We  didn't think it would be a good idea to leave the SAT dish in the up position on the roof so we placed it in the stow position along with lowering the TV ant. Even with the TV ant lowered we can still pick up a few digital stations. In the evening we go over to the extremely nice camper lounge at the Sea Mist office and watch the MLB play-off games on the 50" wall TV.  Wed we did brave the nasty weather to keep "get together" meetings with some of our friends from the days that we lived here. We really enjoyed seeing Dee & Ed from our neighborhood and Cindy from Judy's Sunday school class.

High surf and windy

Today is going to be a sit in the Rv and read day!! Judy has said she is not getting out today come hell or high water. Me, well I am leaving if the water gets high. 

That is all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Monday

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Desert Storm Shipmate

Saturday I had an opportunity to meet with one of my shipmates from "Desert Storm".  The last time I saw Joe was in Alexandria, Egypt when he was returning to the states for a new assignment close to twenty years ago.  He contacted me on FB a few months back. He has remained in the Norfolk area since leaving the Navy.

It is always great to reconnect with former shipmates. We just tend to pick up where we left off, no matter how much time has past. Joe has been involved in the ministry most of the time. He is an associate pastor and is involved on local and international outreach programs. Joe and his wife Veronica also own "The Sunrise Breakfast Shoppe" near where I use to live in Great Bridge.  The food is excellent!! It was great getting to see Joe and geting caught up and learning about the noble work he is doing through the ministry.

 Joe and I at the Sunrise Breakfast Shoppe

Even during Joe's time on the USS Hart, he worked hard for charitable causes. During a fundraising drive for the Navy Relief Society, Joe pledged a considerable donation to have the Command Master Chief (me) thrown overboard (about 75 miles east of MA)!!

SKCS (SW) Mcgourn pays the  Chief Master At Arms a large sum of money to have the Command Master Chief tossed into the Atlantic Ocean about 75 miles east of MA.

Man Overboard

Just a little swim in the Atlantic with a few of my friends (XO & ship rescue swimmers.

At least they did recover me!

That's all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Wed

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Bridgett Update - A Happy Ending

The last time Judy and I saw Bridgett was the morning we fed her on Sept. 12th just before we pulled out of Blanton Creek.  We knew Keith and Merle would be returning to the park after they returned from FL a couple of days later.  We left Bridgett more than enough dry dog food for the few days in between.  ( To read the original Bridgett blog post, CLICK.)

When Bridgett showed up at the park she would keep her distance from anyone that tried to get close to her. Keith and Merle worked for at least a month and a half to win her trust. The took on the role of Bridgett's custodians throughout this time bringing her food daily when they came into the park to walk Suzie, their Yorkie.  It wasn't long before Bridgett was following at a distance as they did their morning walk.  A few days before we left she was letting Keith and Merle pat her. They wanted to fully gain her trust before they attempted to get her into their car.

Judy spoke with Merle a couple of weeks ago and was informed that Bridgett was now a member of their household. Merle told Judy when the day came that they were going to attempt to get Bridgett into the car, she just hopped right in! The first stop was a two day visit to the vet to be cleaned-up and checked out.  The vet informed them that Bridgett had heart worms, but the condition was treatable. They have her on an aggressive treatment plan.

Merle said Bridgett has adapted well to being a new member of the family and enjoys her own doggie bed. She said potty training has not been a problem at all.  They all go to the park for the daily walk about!

I just love a happy ending.

That is all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Monday

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Norfolk - Waterside

Judy and I continue to enjoy our stay here at the pristine beach of Dam Neck just six miles south of the nice but commercialized Virginia Beach.  The Navy's Master Jet Base at NAS Oceana provides an opportunity to observe F18 Super Hornets flying over the beach as they head out to the VA Capes training area. To me, it is the "Sound of Freedom" I hear as they fly by; to our enemies it is the "Sound of Death".

After Judy got her beach time in we decided to go to Norfolk for lunch and a walk around Waterside.  We had lunch at the "Free Mason Abbey".  Waterside is a nice tourist area to hang out, lots of restaurants and things to see.  Here are a few pics.

Free Mason Abbey

Sail Boat  to Battleship

 Private Yacht

The Spirit of Norfolk takes people out for lunch / evening cruises - Judy and I may do this

The USS Wisconsin BB64 - Floating Museum

 If you look closely you can see a mermaid!!

That is all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Sat