Moving north…

It is a beautiful gorgeous, sunny day here in Croatan National Forrest, near New Bern, NC.  I am sitting outside and typing away, I have gotten 7 campground reviews done!  Wow!  That’s a lot!  If you’d like, you can check them out by clicking on the 3 lines in the top right corner and opening the pages there. Today is Easter Sunday.  First time being away for this holiday.  We are here with friends, Jo and Craig and we are having a great time, relaxing and checking out the area. We left Sumter Oaks together, heading north to NC.  I was leading the way in my car.  Bill followed behind me and Jo hung back a bit behind him.  She had told me she wanted to be able to see the scenery and not just watch the view of the back of our rig!  She cracks me up!  It did initially make it feel a bit more complicated for me, when stopping I would have to be sure there was enough room for both rigs, not just us.  I had the route all mapped out.  Bill and I communicated with our walkie-talkies like always, but I had Jo and Craig on speed-dial so I could keep them informed of any needed info.

might be hard to see - but if you look closely you will be able to see - I got both rigs in the mirror - coolest pic ever!
might be hard to see – but if you look closely you will be able to see – I got both rigs in the mirror – coolest pic ever!

Our stop for the night was at a Cracker Barrel that Craig (the official co-pilot) found.  He even called ahead and made sure it was ok for us to spend the night there.  What a huge help!

first time spending the night at a Cracker Barrel
In the morning – after our first time spending the night at a Cracker Barrel

We didn’t have as far to go the next day, having done the bulk of the driving day one. Day 2 brought a bit of excitement though, we had pulled into a gas station for a potty break and while walking around the rig, doing his usual checking of everything, Bill found a screw in a tire!  Silly me asked if we had a jack big enough to lift the rig!  DUH!  We have hydraulic levelers!  Thank God I’m not blonde – or that could have turned into a bad dumb blonde joke!

the offending screw!
the offending screw!
getting it fixed!
getting it fixed!
Craig - he isn't happy unless he is helping!
Craig – he isn’t happy unless he is helping!

We had reserved sites online, but it is hard to know if they are actually going to be sites you like based just on descriptions and measurements.  When we got here, we found they had “double” sites and we decided that would work better for us.  What a hassle though to change sites – they do not make it easy!  The site we decided on has 2 electric pedestals.  They expect that both rigs will back in, but since we have our car, we decided to pull in and that way our door sides are facing each other.

all set up!
all set up!

We got settled in pretty quick and I must say, we really like it here.  We’ve been here over 2 weeks and will be here until we need to leave to go to OBX, where we have reservations for April 15 – May 15.  We will be meeting up with others there.

might only been early April - but spring has arrived!
might only been early April – but spring has arrived!  That is a Bradford Pear, which is the same tree we had in our front yard in PA for most of our time there – they don’t bloom like this for another few weeks up there!

Some of you might be asking, why move north so early?  Isn’t it still cold up there?  Well, we had our reasons.  First one, is my sister planned a “Celebration of Life” service for her son, my nephew, Andrew, who was killed in a car accident back in December.  (I have written a memorial letter “Dear Andrew” if you would like to read it – it is with the ‘pages’ which are accessed by clicking the 3 lines in the top right corner)  The second reason was we would be driving up to see our daughter when she did her book defense and earned her Masters Degree.  Jo and Craig generously offered to come up with us and kittysit while we went to Pittsburgh.  You don’t find friends like that every day, do you? I drove up to DE on Friday, March 20 for the memorial.  It was a beautiful service.  Shannon did a great job putting together a video of pics and songs.  A few people told stories about Andrew, commenting on what a great friend he was and how much they miss him.  Pastor Mike read some bible passages and also some family letters, mine included.  Shannon had asked for people to bring a single rose instead of traditional flowers and the following morning, she and I brought them down to the inlet and threw them in. image image

my niece Jaime, me, Shannon and Jay (my brother)
my niece Jaime, me, Shannon and Jay (my brother)

image image After I returned from DE, the next focus was on going to Pittsburgh.  Thankfully, I wasn’t doing that much longer drive on my own, Bill was going with me.  One of the things I miss about having to drive my own car when we travel is that I do not get to take many pics.  Well, with only taking the car and Bill driving, I got to take some pics – I think these are so cool. image image We had booked 2 nights at a Hampton Inn right up the street from the college and only a few miles from Michelle’s apartment.  It was a whirlwind few days, but it was great to see her and be celebrating with her on her huge achievement!  We are so proud!  Bill and I have already finished reading her book, which was her final project toward earning her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

this is the poster for her program
this is the poster for her program
the invite to the defense - pic does not really go with her book - whoever did the invite just assumed this pic would match - NOT!
the invite to the defense – pic does not really go with her book – whoever did the invite just assumed this pic would match – NOT!
our girl with her book!
our girl with her book!
she added this page in December
she added this page in December
the director of her program introducing her
the director of her program introducing her
Bill, Michelle, Derek and me
Bill, Michelle, Derek and me
image
Bill and I with Michelle (Maeve)

image   It was hard saying goodbye – as it always is – but we are planning to go back to Pittsburgh later in the summer when it is warmer there.  Did I mention when Bill went out to walk Cocoa one morning it was only 22 degrees?  That is COLD! Back in NC, we have checked out the area a little.  We drove down to see a maritime museum. image

image
cute little boat
whale bones
whale bones
Jo getting acquainted with the pirate
Jo getting acquainted with the pirate
the library
the library

Bill and I visited the North Carolina Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores one day.  I just love aquariums and could go all the time.  It wasn’t very big, but was very nice.  Thankfully most of it was indoors, as it was raining pretty bad that day.  I wouldn’t mind going back and seeing the outside area another day. shark jaws shark jaws

shark!
shark!
so pretty!
so pretty!
divers answering questions
divers answering questions
seahorses are the coolest!
seahorses are the coolest!
horseshoes - a lot of people don't know what these are but there were tons of them where we grew up in NJ on the Raritan Bay
horseshoes – a lot of people don’t know what these are but there were tons of them where we grew up in NJ on the Raritan Bay

We also took care of some chores, you know, the boring but necessary – like laundry.  Jo and Craig have a washer/dryer in their rig, but b/c there isn’t water/sewer hook-ups at the National Forrest, they have to do their laundry at the laundromat like me!  It was nice having company!

I found this great place, nice and clean and lots of big machines!  Wash House in Havelock
I found this great place, nice and clean and lots of big machines! Wash House in Havelock

I will end todays blog entry with these last 2 pics – Jo made very yummy jambalaya and Texas toast!  Bill and Craig were VERY happy!

Craig just wants to eat - but doesn't mind posing for a pic
Craig just wants to eat – but doesn’t mind posing for a pic
Bill is very excited!
Bill is very excited!

That’s all for today folks!  I am all caught up, except maybe a recipe or two and maybe a restaurant – we shall see, but til next time – thanks for following along!

0 thoughts on “Moving north…

    1. Thanks Mike – it is very nice – and it was especially convenient when our friends were taking care of our kitties.

  1. Congratulations on your daughters achievement! How nice to be able to travel with Craig and Jo and have them kittysit for you Bonus!

    1. It has been great traveling with Jo and Craig – they are the BEST! Gave us a HUGE peace of mind knowing all was taken care of at home!

    2. It has been great traveling with Jo and Craig – they are the BEST! Gave us a HUGE peace of mind knowing all was taken care of at home!
      Thanks about Michelle! She deserves it – she has worked hard!

  2. How fun to travel with Jo and Craig! We met them at the fall rally. 🙂

    Congratulations to your daughter on her book!

    Jim and Diana

    1. Thanks for reading! We are having so much fun with Jo and Craig – and now our friends as well!
      Thanks also about our daughter! She worked hard and her book is so good! I’m not just saying that b/c I’m the Mom – no really – I’m not!
      I’ve been enjoying your blog also – hope our paths cross someday!

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