Monday, June 30, 2008
It was a beautiful drive from Asheville to Raleigh. I stopped at a lovely rest area for my lunch break. I am trying to travel as cheap as possible so I keep the necessary items in my car.
Bread, peanut butter, jelly, unsalted tortilla chips, hummus and diet rite cola. :)
Mmmm, mmmm, good!! Peanut butter & Jelly! My favorite! I checked in at the Dieth B&B and had a good visit with my friend, Vickie, and her beautiful daughters, Hannah & Abby, before it was time to run to the airport to pick up Diana.
Diana arrived after a very long day of travel! I'm so excited to have her along for the next week of my journey. Let the adventures begin...!
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Soon it was time for Mary to get ready for the funeral so I said farewell and headed on to Asheville, NC. My friend, Aimee, and her two kids, Elli and Taylor, took me to downtown Asheville to walk around and then we had supper at the Mellow Mushroom. Very interesting place and such a cute city. After dinner we drove around the Montford neighborhood and looked at really cool houses. This might be a good place to open my Hilton Bed & Breakfast. :)
Saturday, June 28, 2008
After my pedicure, I headed to the beach (after I walked the dogs, of course!) The beach was beautiful - the weather was perfect, the water was warm enough to jump right in, the sand was fine, etc. I took a little nap on the beach until I felt the water hitting my towel. Oops - high tide - time to go!
I headed back to my home in the Wexford Plantation (this is our gated entrance where I have to check in before entering.) The dogs and I enjoyed a nice swim in the pool. The pool is shaded in the afternoon and evening so it's a great place to hang out and not be in the sun.
The dolphins even came back to play while we were sitting out by the pool. I really enjoyed watching them! I can't really tell if this dolphin is just really strangely shaped of if there is more than one. :)
As the sun was starting to set, I decided that I needed to climb the lighthouse steps to watch the sunset so I hopped in my car and headed back to Sea Pines. I was just about to pass the trolley parking when I decided that would be a fun way to travel so I parked my car and boarded the trolley. They run a free trolley from 4pm to midnight from the parking lots near the entrance of Sea Pines to Harbour Town, Sea Pines Village and the beach. It even came with a tour guide who managed to share lots of information on the short ride to Harbour Town.
I climbed the 114 steps to the top of the lighthouse and enjoyed the view of Hilton Head. I was about half an hour early for the sunset so I decided to stick around. I discovered they have a live webcam so I managed to find my friend, Jenn G, near her computer and she was able to see me on the webcam. I waved and we texted back and forth. It was quite entertaining - for me and anyone else looking at the webcam, I'm sure!
TLC - all grown up! I had a turtle in college named TLC for Turtlee loves Carla.
A red dragon fly
Some lovely kind of bird that looks like an old man
The blue dragon fly
(This is what happens when you spend too much time trying to entertain yourself. I should not be left alone! It's a good thing Diana is joining me on Monday!)
Friday, June 27, 2008
Today was a fabulous day!! I explored the island looking for something with Hilton on it (not hard to find - just hard to choose!) and trying to get the lay of the land. The island is so beautiful with lots of trees and bike paths and tons of walkers and bikers everywhere. I can certainly understand why so many people choose to vacation here. After a hard day of shopping, Beth took me on a Kayak ride around the harbor. I got a great view of so many beautiful homes and my arms got a good workout!
After kayaking, we came home for an evening swim overlooking the "creek" behind their house. Boats are continually passing by and it was so much fun to watch.
We even saw a dolpin swimming down the creek. It was fabulous!! I told Beth & Walt if they ever wanted to go on an extended vacation, I would be happy to come stay with the dogs! This place is paradise!
Beth and Walt enjoyed a dip in the hot tub. The dogs are so cute. Kiwi (black) and Tigger (red) also enjoy the pool. Kiwi even got in to swim with me. I could tell Tigger was tempted but he didn't jump in.
Beth asked me while kayaking if I knew why their boat was called "Three Hour Tour" and I said I assumed it was from Gilligan's Island but I didn't know specifically why. She had me name the people on the island and I said Ginger, Mary Anne, the millionaires...and what was their name? You guessed it! Meet Beth & Walt Howell. :) Our very own Mr. & Mrs. Howell! It cracked me up!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
They loaned me one of their many bikes and I took a tour around the village. I stopped a nice lady walking to the mailbox and asked her to take my picture. I think she thought I was somewhat nutty but who cares. :) I loved their bikes!! It was such a gorgeous morning and I just kept saying (out loud, mind you!) how awesome it was and how much fun I was having. I only wish someone else had been there so years from now we could say, "remember when we went biking in Apalachicola..."
My hosts on Hilton Head Island, SC, Beth and Walter are my new best friends. They didn't even know me but Beth's sister is my mom's cousin's wife. How's that for networking? Mom mentioned to Sue that I wanted to stay on Hilton Head but couldn't afford it so she hooked me up with her sister who graciously invited me to stay with them. At first it was one night, then they asked me to stay another night and dogsit while they are gone, then I had some plans fall through so I asked if I could come a day early and that's how I ended up spending three nights on my head's island. I'm so excited to be here - I've always wanted to see it!
They gave me a tour of Hilton Head and took me to a cute pizza place called "Giuseppi's" in the Sea Pines Plantation (which really just means a gated community). The owner must be from Pittsburgh because they had every team known to man from the Pittsburgh area on the wall. Of course, my favorite was the wall of penguin stuff!
This has really been an adventure like none other and I can't wait to see what else is in store for me. Thanks for your prayers and for coming along with me on this journey. I'm grateful that I have wonderful friends (even if we've never met before now) to stay with along the way. I believe it's the way God intended for us to be. "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it." Hebrews 13:2. Beth and Walter certainly live out that scripture - and I AM an angel! :)
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
The water was as clear as could be and the sand was beautifully white and clean. I walked along the beach for a while and just enjoyed the sun, sand and surf. I debated just staying there but I decided I need to get a few more miles under my belt before I stopped for the day.
I ended up in Apalachicola (pronounced just like it looks) which is a hidden gem on the coast of Florida. I found an adorable B&B right on highway 98 that is wonderful!! I arrived after the restaurants had closed so the manager gave me a yogurt and some fresh strawberries for my dinner. She is so sweet! I moved into my room (a room with twin beds on the 3rd floor - it's one of those big old houses with a wrap around porch on the 2nd floor!) and decided to take a bath. In the middle of my bath (& talking to my mom) they pounded on my door to say the water was leaking to the floor below. AGH!
I quickly dressed and drained the tub and they moved me to a queen bed room on the 2nd floor with a door out to the front porch. I feel like royalty! I wish I could stay longer but tomorrow I must move on to my head...I mean Hilton Head. :)
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
After work, Lesa and I headed to Mississippi to explore the area where we served as Red Cross volunteers (and how we met) in 2005. We drove Highway 90 all the way down the coast past Biloxi and it was amazing! There are still a few hints but it's hard to tell a hurricane wiped that area off the map a few short years ago. We were able to find the areas where Lesa delivered meals in the ERV and we went by where we lived and the places we remembered. It was very encouraging. I knew MS would have an easier time of clean-up and repair than New Orleans but I never expected it to look as good as it did.
This is the brand new bridge along highway 90 going east from Ocean Springs. This bridge looked like chunks of concrete just thrown into the water!
Our cute little room at the Bethlehem Volunteer Center - a Lutheran Disaster Response site. They have mobile bedroom units that they use for overflow and we were lucky enough to be given one of those rooms instead of the giant room with hundreds of bunk beds. :) It felt like a little cabin and we loved our little home. Katie Huener is the camp director and she's fabulous! If you ever want to go work in New Orleans and have fabulous accomodations and wonderful food - call LDR. They will set you up!!
Monday, June 23, 2008
New Orleans is HOT! We were quite disgusting at the end of the day but it was such a wonderful feeling to be able to help build instead of just tear down. I did discover that I am much better at cleaning because there isn't a lot of expertise involved. The work goes a lot slower when you are building someone else's house because you want it to be perfect. Fred was a great teacher and he's really good at getting the sheetrock to line up perfectly. I was even able to use my math skills which were getting a little rusty in my wee little brain.
After work Lesa and I took a tour of home - well, a tour of the homes we previously gutted on various mission trips. I won't tell you how depressing it was to see several of them completely gone (oops - I told you anyway) but it was quite comforting to see these two homes that are completely finished. I'm sitting on the porch of a home that looks gorgeous inside and a new couple has just purchased and are in the process of moving in.
This was Kathleen's house and it has been refinished and is currently for sale. Yea!! Two out of five - not bad. :)
We spent the evening at the camp visiting with new friends and getting ready for another hard day of work. It's great to be here!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Lesa is quite the Elvis fan and she enjoyed all of it - but I think she was a bit partial to the horses. It was a fabulous morning!
We enjoyed our stay at the Heartbreak Hotel. The pool was even shaped like a heart! I spent some time before breakfast reading my first sabbatical book and drinking coffee by the pool. The weather has been perfect!
After having a grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich (Elvis's favorite) we were back on the road and heading for New Orleans. The drive was uneventful - thankfully!