Washington, NC

20160418_112238We are camping just a couple of miles from Washington, NC.  Most people call it Little Washington.  It is a cute little town, but it has a Wal Mart and a Jersey Mike’s, so it is not that small.  We took one afternoon and decided to explore. Above is the waterfront.  It is about a mile from one end to the other.  They have showers and laundry facilities right on the waterfront for people traveling by boat. Pretty Cool.20160418_111650There are decorated crabs all over town.  Kind of like the bears in New Bern, NC and the horses in Ocala, FL.20160418_115044The historic train depot.  Built in 1904.20160418_115216First Presbyterian Church, one of the oldest churches in town.20160418_115431First United Methodist Church. Built in 1899. Charles Hartge, architect.20160418_115501Beautiful stained glass windows. Slate roof being repaired.20160418_130746Lunch at Down on Mainstreet. Cute outdoor seating. Beautiful day to sit outside.20160418_12111220160418_130757Cute town.

Rocky Mount, NC

Our blog is as much for us to remember where we have been as it is for family and friends to keep up with us.  This post is one of those and it is for our friends that are not on Facebook.20160418_173125My Aunt Stevie Houghtlin and her husband Bob live in Nashville, NC.  It is a very close to Rocky Mount.  My first cousin Claire White Greer and her husband George live in Rocky Mount.20160417_125340This is Bob and George after lunch.  George is the priest at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.  Has been for the last 11 years. Cliff and I decided to camp in Chocowinity, NC because of the proximity to Rocky Mount. We went to Rocky Mount on Sunday, April 16, 2016. We went to church with the family.  This also included Claire and George’s daughter, Sarah Katherine, her husband Brandon and their new baby, Anna Claire.20160417_125333After church, we went to lunch at The Prime Smokehouse.  Cliff said this is the best brisket he has ever had.  I had the pulled pork sandwich.  It was excellent with the sweet potato chips.  If you are ever in Rocky Mount, NC, please go to this restaurant, you will not be disappointed.

20160417_105201Restored movie theater they use for events.

20160417_131816Claire and George’s house. Beautiful on the inside too.20160417_132128Claire, George, me and Aunt Stevie.  Why we decided to take pictures in the driveway, I am not sure.20160417_132145We hung out here for a little while and I got to hold Anna Claire. Why I did not get a picture of her and her parents, I am still not sure.20160417_163545Off to Nashville, NC to Aunt Stevie and Bob’s cottage for two.  So sweet and cheerful.20160417_16353020160417_153333A lot of good memories.  Claire and I went to Camp Greystone together in 1973 and 1974. It is located in Tuxedo, NC.  I went to their website, it sure does look different than it did when I went there.  Claire met her husband there, even though the families had been friends for years.  I loved my visit and could have spent several more hours with her.20160417_153240Aunt Stevie’s home is so bright and cheerful.  We just loved our visit and can’t wait to see them again soon.

 

Outer Banks, NC

April 19 – 20, 2016

This is the path we took to the Outer Banks and back to our RV Resort. John and Charlotte Sharpe made this one of their suggested locations to visit.  If you click on the map, it will move and you can enlarge the map.  This is our first attempt at adding a map.  Let us know what you think.  Thanks.

What a trip we had.  We left Little Washington at 8:00 AM and arrived in Nags Head at 10:15 AM. We drove north to Kitty Hawk to the Outer Banks Visitor Center.20160419_085910Had to cross a lot of bridges over the Alligator River, Croatan Sound and the Pamlico Sound.20160419_09533520160419_09563620160419_095643From Kitty Hawk, we went south to Kill Devil Hills to the Wright Brothers National Memorial.20160419_10252020160419_104003The first powered flight was December 17, 1903 with Orville Wright. He went 120 feet and airborne for 12 seconds.  There were 4 flights that day and the brothers took turns. Wilbur flew the farthest at 852 feet and stayed in the air 59 seconds.20160419_104022The brothers owned a bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio and were very successful. Wilbur was the older brother and died in 1912. Orville lived until 1948.20160419_104521Orville is pictured here holding his hat in 1928 as the first monument was placed to celebrate the global importance of the birth of flight. The woman on the right in the photo is Amelia Earhart. 20160419_095648From Kill Devil Hills, we headed south to Nags Head Pier.20160419_115636Lunch at Capt.Andy’s Oceanfront Bar & Grill at the Pier House Restaurant.  Not our favorite, but the view was fantastic.20160419_11255020160419_11102420160419_11104220160419_11105720160419_12081320160419_120143This guy was loving the ocean.20160419_12012820160419_12013220160419_121308This is how they carry their fishing poles in North Carolina.20160419_123931Then we drove south to Bodie Island Lighthouse.  It is 165 feet tall. It was completed in 1872 and had a signal distance of 19 nautical miles.  The first one, built in 1847 began to lean within the first 2 years and by 1859 had to be abandoned. The second one was built in 1859, but the Confederate troops blew it up during the Civil War in 1861 so that the Union troops could not use it. 20160419_123815This current lighthouse was built north of the Oregon Inlet on 15 acres. 20160419_124009This shows the keeper’s quarters duplex.20160419_124652This lighthouse was built just like the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, but painted differently.  We did not go as far north as Currituck.

20160419_125617Now we cross the Oregon Inlet. This is the channel that connects the Pamlico Sound to the Atlantic Ocean.  It is the northern most ocean access on the Outer Banks20160419_09564820160419_130327The sand dunes were so high you could not see the ocean on the drive south on Hwy 12. This is all part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.20160419_095655Notice Buxton on the map? Remember that, it will come up later. Now we are on our way to Hatteras.20160419_140151Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was completed in 1870. It is 198 feet tall and is the world’s second tallest brick lighthouse and the tallest in North America. The signal distance is 19 nautical miles. In 1999, it was relocated 2,900 feet to rescue it from erosion.20160419_141307It is more impressive in person.  It is very beautiful.20160419_141228The building on the left is the Double Keeper’s Quarters and the building on the right was for the main keeper and his family.

By now it is 4:00 PM and we are as far south as we can go by car.  So we found a nice place to spend the night.20160420_07111620160420_071040The Breakwater Inn.  The woman who checked us in suggested we get some fresh seafood from Risky Business next door.20160419_165552The Breakwater Restaurant is not open yet for the season, but below it, on the marina side, it a fresh seafood market. So we headed to Risky Business Seafood Market and purchased some fresh shrimp, which she steamed for us.20160419_16551220160419_165507We sat on our little balcony and enjoyed our shrimp.20160419_181420Our view from our balcony.20160419_183756

20160419_181432Notice the dark cloud on the horizon? Well, that is actually a forest fire.  If you go back up to the top of this blog and look at the Google Map.  Find Stumpy Point, that is where the wild fire is located.  It has burned 500 acres so far and it is still not out.20160419_184305The birds follow the boats.  We think the boats stir up the fish and birds can get to them easily.20160419_18433120160419_190147It is just too pretty not to share.  We sat there until it was too dark to see anything.20160419_190152

Wednesday April 20, 2016

Off to Ocracoke, NC  The only way to get there is by boat. Pam Turner suggested this island.20160420_075939We took the ferry.  It was free from Hatteras to Ocracoke. 60 minutes.20160420_07595620160420_08071920160420_080749This ferry runs every hour between Hatteras and Ocracoke.20160420_08481820160420_090108Here we are getting off the ferry.  It is 13 miles from this ferry port to the Village of Ocracoke.20160420_091638Welcome to Ocracoke.  Looking at this on the map, we probably would not have come if Pam Turner had not told us to go. It is a beautiful island.20160420_09225620160420_092326The Ocracoke Island Lighthouse was built in 1823.  It is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse in North Carolina. It is only 65 feet tall and has a signal distance of 14 nautical miles.20160420_092337just a cool tree.20160420_09240120160420_09253320160420_092607Cool house next door.

Now it is off to lunch.20160420_101331Ocracoke Oyster Company. They advertised baked oysters.20160420_10565720160420_101352These dogs belong to a couple inside on the deck.  They are here on their sailboat and they bring the 3 dogs with them.  Even our waiter was impressed.20160420_102618Our waiter lives on the island of Ocracoke.  We asked him “How do you get groceries, etc.”  He said, you have to take the ferry to Hatteras and drive to Buxton, where they have a WalMart and other large stores.  He also said he is an Amazon Prime member and can have his toilet paper and other supplies shipped to him on the island.  Remember earlier, I asked you to remember Buxton?  Well, go back up to the map and see how far it is for this young man to go to the grocery store.  Talk about planning.  You would have to be very disciplined to live on an island.20160420_103529I had the Oysters Rockefeller.  Very good, but Apalachicola still has them beat in my book.20160420_10293320160420_094443The village harbor. The village wraps around this harbor.20160420_094807Nice house.20160420_11085520160420_112627You can see the lighthouse across the bay.

20160420_115323As I said earlier, there are only 3 ways on to the Island of Ocracoke by car.  The ferry from Hatteras, Swan Quarter and Cedar Island. The ferry from Hatteras is 60 minutes or less.  The other two ferries cost money and you need a reservation. We had a reservation for the 1:30 ferry to Swan Quarter. Cost $15.0020160420_11533720160420_115401Our ferry has just arrived.20160420_121425And look what we saw coming off the ferry.20160420_121451He has a lot more guts than we do.  Not sure we would do that.20160420_122835Our ferry to Swan Quarter was not as crowded as the ferry from Hatteras.  This ferry takes 2 hours and 40 minutes.20160420_123517Leaving Ocracoke, NC.20160420_133849The birds followed this boat too.20160420_151759Arriving at Swan Quarter in the middle of nowhere.

This was a great trip.  There was so much more to see.  We will have to plan another trip so we can go to Roanoke Island, see The Lost Colony Outdoor Drama and go to Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum and eat more seafood.

 

New Bern, North Carolina

Saturday April 16, 2016

We are camping in Chocowinity, NC at Twin Lakes RV Resort.  This is a very large RV park with seasonal campers and year round RVers.  It is close to I-95 and an area we wanted to explore.20160415_134043This is where we ended up.20160415_134458This is where they wanted to put us.  Notice the distance between the large tree and the electrical post. Our 5th wheel probably would have fit, but there would have been no room for any of the slides. 20160415_134106Our view of one of the lakes on the property. Not bad.

The first day here was pretty quiet.  We met a few people at the office, including Bruce, whom we have decided to call The Mayor. He lives in his new LandMark with his wife and he still works.  He has a corner lot and knows a lot about what goes on around Twin Lakes.

Saturday, it was off to explore New Bern, NC.  North Carolina’s first state Capitol.20160416_093119Crossing the bridge into the town of New Bern. Beautiful homes on the waterfront. This is the Neuse River.  Stretching 248 miles, the Neuse River is the longest river in North Carolina; at its mouth, it is the widest river in America at 6 miles across.

First stop is the Visitor’s Center. A very nice young woman was manning the desk.  She gave us a lot of information.  Everyone suggested the local hardware store.20160416_101313Mitchell Hardware has been in New Bern since 1898.  They have everything. We even bought a new dual water valve for the water supply.  It was a fun place to look around.  Everyone was so friendly.20160416_10134520160416_101401Since we came on a Saturday, we made it for the Farmer’s Market.20160416_104151Cliff’s new friend, the alpaca.  The animal laughed.20160416_104140The farmer’s market was more about the arts than produce, but it was fun to walk around.  Kind of felt like we were in Chicago, everyone had a dog and/or a baby. 20160416_101836Just sites around the historical downtown.20160416_10185520160416_101935_001New Bern was named in honor of the founder’s home, Bern, Switzerland. When Bern, Switzerland was founded, it was named by a group of hunters. They named the city for the first animal they came upon on their hunting expedition. It was a bear. “Bern” is the old Germanic word for Bear, and the bear became the symbol of the city. It has been adopted by New Bern, as well.  There are bears everywhere.  This just happens to be the only one that I took a picture of.20160416_101907Christ Episcopal Church founded in 1715.  It is the third-oldest church in North Carolina. This is the location of the second church. The second church was built in 1821 and then rebuilt in 1871-1885.20160416_10191020160416_10194820160416_102115This is the location of the first church completed in 1751.

20160416_102231New Bern is also the birthplace of Pepsi.

20160416_121119Tryon Palace  – 1767-1770  This was the first permanent capitol building and residence of two royal governors. North Carolina’s first State Capitol.  It was built between 1767 and 1770 by royal governor William Tryon, representing the British crown. A fire destroyed the Palace in 1798.  It was reconstructed in 1952-1959 on the original foundation, based on archaeological evidence and the original architectural drawings and architect’s notes.20160416_12150820160416_121513This is the only building that survived the fire, the Stable Office.20160416_123904William Tryon and his family were moved to New York in 1771 and Josiah Martin was appointed royal governor for the British colony.  When the Revolutionary War broke out, Josiah Martin fled in 1775 dressed as a woman.20160416_124349After the Revolution, it remained the capitol and the site of the state legislature’s first meetings. Only men were allowed.  President George Washington attended a ball here on his Southern Tour in 1792 and danced with 70 women. The capitol moved to Raleigh in 1794.20160416_125100All the fireplace mantels came from England.20160416_125917Beautiful mahogany staircase.  Amazing.20160416_125909_00120160416_122313Beautiful gardens. This was a wonderful tour and well worth a visit.20160416_111616The North Carolina History Center has a wonderful museum of the history of this state.  We could have spent hours in there.  Very well put together.20160416_152117Lunch at The Chelsea.  The service was really bad, but the food was excellent.  Cliff had the specialty Shrimp and Grits and I had the BBQ Shrimp and Grits. 20160416_14364420160416_143758As you can tell, there was hardly anyone in the restaurant. It was almost 4:00 pm.  We could hardly get waited on. Service was terrible.  Hopefully, she was just having a bad day.  The food was so good, it was a shame to ruin it with bad service.20160416_153505View of the waterfront20160416_153517Multiple bridges20160416_153525

This is a very historic town and we did not see 1/3 of what they have preserved. We need to go back.

More adventures from Eastern Carolina to come.

Cheraw, South Carolina

April 14, 2016 – Thursday

We were not real sure what we were going to do today, but that is what makes this so fun.

We headed to Darlington, SC to see the NASCAR race track.  2016-04-14 09.54.05We went to the museum, $5.00 each and then to see the track.  Not sure I would recommend this.  We can mark it off our list though.2016-04-14 10.34.542016-04-14 11.21.47Lunch at Takis Family Diner.  I had a chicken salad sandwich that was very good.  You could tell it was homemade.  Cliff had the flounder, collard greens, cole slaw and field peas. It was also good. It was a popular place for lunch.  A lot of pick up trucks in the parking lot.

From there we decided to go to Cheraw, SC because it nickname is “The Prettiest Town in Dixie”.  Pronounced “chuh-RAW”.  For me, it is pronounced like the wine, Syrah.

Well, what a Find!2016-04-14 12.08.042016-04-14 12.19.01The birthplace of Dizzy Gillespie.2016-04-14 12.19.57Beautiful azaleas and wonderful people.2016-04-14 12.44.36As we were walking around looking lost, a very nice store owner asked if we were looking for anything in particular.  So we started a conversation about the prettiest town in dixie.2016-04-14 12.38.35And we met Tanya, owner of Maison Parfaite.  A beautiful store of Art, Antiques and home accessories.  She and her husband moved here from Virginia.  They purchased an historic home and opened this store.  She was an art teacher for 31 years and has beautiful style in decorating.  Of course, I loved the store and wanted to buy many things.  Tanya was so gracious and informative.  If you are even in Cheraw, please go by her store at 215 Market St.  She suggested we have lunch at The River’s Edge.2016-04-14 13.26.29Since we already had lunch, we went in for coffee and desert.  This restaurant is owned by Mennonites.  We wished we had waited for lunch.  Even though we enjoyed our lunch in Darlington, this might have been better.2016-04-14 13.11.402016-04-14 12.51.062016-04-14 13.01.42Coconut cream pie and chocolate brownie with ice cream2016-04-14 13.01.47Of course, they were fantastic.  Our waitress was Holly and had moved here from New Mexico and has been married for one year.  She was the precious.2016-04-14 13.13.332016-04-14 13.13.44Before we left, a gentleman came over and said, “pardon me for ease-dropping, but how far is it from Nashville to Jackson?”.  Random? So we told him.  He and a friend were out for a motorcycle ride from Rockingham, NC.  Then as I stepped out to the sidewalk, 2 couples were standing there and asked “Did I hear you say you went to Darlington?  Why would you go to Darlington?” I said we went for the racetrack. “Well, we are from Darlington and just wondering why anyone would go there.”  They were very nice and we talked for at least 15 minutes.  They suggested we take Hwy.9 back to Dillon. The 2 men were raised in Clio, SC and we would go right through it.2016-04-14 13.41.161919, brick Neo-classical2016-04-14 13.41.37c.1850 A Greek Revival cottage that has been moved back from its original site near the street.2016-04-14 13.41.58c.18372016-04-14 13.42.15prior to 1856. The earliest records are dated 1856, but the site had at least 2 owners prior to that date. 2016-04-14 13.44.102016-04-14 12.08.04c.1823 The Lafayette House was built by Dr. William Ellerbe, and was the site of a public reception for Gen. Lafayette on his visit in 1825.  Dr. Archibald Malloy remodeled the house after his marriage to Henrietta Coit in 1843.2016-04-14 13.46.37And this is the house Tanya and her husband purchased when they moved to Cheraw.  I would bet the inside is as pretty as her store.2016-04-14 14.24.43Our drive back to Dillon on Hwy.9.2016-04-14 14.40.202016-04-14 14.40.57Another wonderful day discovering new and unusual places in this beautiful country.

Wilmington, NC

April 13, 2016

We made it to Dillon, South Carolina yesterday.  We drove through rain, but nothing bad.  Again, we thank God for watching out for us.2016-04-12 08.38.44

We are camping at Bass Lake RV Park in Dillon, South Carolina.  We are just south of the North Carolina border.  Not a bad park for a few days.  Would not want to camp here for more than a few days. The sites are grass and sand, level and wide.

We had an early dinner at BC Steak and BBQ in Dillon.  The BBQ was very good.  The buffet was less than $10.00 each and had 3 meats and several vegetables and a salad bar.  Quite the bargain.  No pictures, sorry, I forgot.

On Wednesday, April 13, we decided to check out Wilmington, North Carolina.  1.5 hour drive north east.

First stop, the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial.2016-04-13 12.23.312016-04-13 10.11.352016-04-13 10.10.542016-04-13 10.36.47This is a replica of the first USS North Carolina 1824 -1867.  There was also a Confederate Ironclad North Carolina 1863-1864.  An Armored Cruiser North Carolina was built and put into commission 1908-1921.2016-04-13 10.38.51This was given by the State of North Carolina to the Armored Cruiser North Carolina.  The tradition of cities and states expressing civic pride by giving presentation silver began in the late 1880’s.2016-04-13 10.39.20This silver service was placed on the USS North Carolina Battleship BB55 until it was removed before it went to war in December 1941.

2016-04-13 10.42.33We went aboard.  The USS North Carolina BB55 began construction in 1937. The North Carolina was the first American battleship to be built in 16 years. Commissioned on April 9, 1941, she was established to be the protector of aircraft carriers.  She defended the carrier Enterprise against air attacks during the Battle of the Eastern Solomons in 1942.2016-04-13 10.43.20They have a plane.2016-04-13 10.45.372016-04-13 10.45.20

From the stern of the boat we could see the waterfront of Wilmington and a Coast Guard ship.2016-04-13 10.44.45

2016-04-13 11.08.44One of the mess halls2016-04-13 11.08.482016-04-13 11.09.112016-04-13 11.23.54How we live now and reminded us of the houseboat.

2016-04-13 11.24.19I have no comments on this photo.

2016-04-13 11.39.042016-04-13 11.38.53We were allowed down all 4 levels.

2016-04-13 11.40.33Each ship has its own flag.  The blue and white checkered flag on top means this is the USS North Carolina.2016-04-13 11.49.35This is the wheel house.  It is not normally open to the public, but there was a class of students coming aboard and most of the volunteers were there to help.  Lucky day for us.2016-04-13 11.50.14View from the wheel house and not a very safe place to be during a battle.2016-04-13 12.04.37The bow.  These are the chains for the anchors. Wow!2016-04-13 12.06.082016-04-13 12.05.17All the decks are teak.2016-04-13 12.05.562016-04-13 12.09.32The Kill Board2016-04-13 12.09.402016-04-13 12.09.47And the battle ribbons.  By war’s end, she lost only ten men in action and had 67 wounded.  She was decommissioned June 27, 1947 and placed in the Inactive Reserve Fleet in New Jersey.  When the US Navy announced its intentions to scrap the ship in 1960, the citizens mounted a campaign to bring the battleship to North Carolina.  The ship opened to the public in October 1961.

We loved the ship.  If you ever get a chance to go, you should go.

Then across the bridge to downtown Wilmington and the waterfront.2016-04-13 13.54.092016-04-13 12.51.55Elijah’s for lunch.2016-04-13 12.51.11Cliff had Fish and Chips and it was very good.  I had Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche and it was awesome.  Beautiful day and wonderful lunch.

After lunch we decided to take a trolley tour of the historic district.  Not the best tour guide, but we saw some beautiful homes.  Captain Rod in St. Simons Island really spoiled us on tour guides.

Wilmington, NC was basically saved during the civil war because when the Union troops arrived, no one shot at them.  That is what the guide told us.2016-04-13 14.07.262016-04-13 14.09.042016-04-13 14.09.56This is the back of the house.2016-04-13 14.10.52This is the front that faces the water.  It was built by a man who also started a shipyard just below this house.2016-04-13 14.12.10A very unique draw bridge.  The whole thing goes up instead of splitting the bridge in half and raising each half.2016-04-13 14.18.362016-04-13 14.18.50We did not get much information about these houses, but we thought they were pretty.2016-04-13 14.23.45This is the Burgwin Wright House, built 1770-1771. Originally commissioned by John Burgwin of England.  For a few years it was overtaken by Lord Cornwallis in 1781, during the Revolutionary War, as his primary headquarters.  This is a old house.  Over the next 2 centuries, the home changed hands several times.

2016-04-13 14.26.18The Latimer House was built in 1852. It was occupied by 3 generations of Latimers until 1963, when it was passed on to the Historical Society and became a museum.2016-04-13 14.26.27

2016-04-13 14.32.43This is the First Baptist Church.  Apparently, it is not very historic, but we thought it was beautiful.

2016-04-13 14.29.57The Basilica Shrine of St. Mary.  Construction began in 1909 and completed in 1911.  The architect was the Guastavino family of Spain.  The Guastavino are nationally known for their building techniques.  Constructed without nails, steel or wood beams.  The Guastavino “Tile Arch System” vaults consists of tiles that are held together by strong mortar.  Examples of their work is found throughout the United States.  These include in North Carolina: the Duke Chapel, Motley Memorial Chapel in Chapel Hill and the Basilica of Saint Lawrence in Asheville.  St. Mary Church is one of only a few buildings for which the Guastavinos were actually the architects.2016-04-13 14.32.46Kenen Fountain 19212016-04-13 14.33.00The Bellamy Mansion which we did not get to see.  Need to go back to this one.

This is a beautiful town, but we wish we had taken the walking tour instead of the trolley.

Until tomorrow.

 

Darien,GA and the Blessing of the Fleet

April 7 – April 12, 2016

Sorry this is sooo long, but hang in there, the best is at the end.

We found this cute little campground in Darien, GA to be close to some historical areas that we wanted to explore.  Wow, what at gem.  We arrived on Thursday and checked in at Inland Harbor RV Park.2016-04-11 13.14.0520160411_13144720160411_131544Our 5th wheel is the second one on the left with the main slide only 1/3 of the way out.20160409_140324

And we are off to find the visitor center and see what we can find.  The first stop is in the historic downtown Darien.  The town was settled in 1736.  It is the second oldest planned city in Georgia.  And you ask, What is the oldest planned city in Georgia?  I am sure everyone knows that one – Savannah in 1733.20160409_12090720160409_120911Fort King George was the first fort built by the English on Georgia soil in 1721.  This area was still part of South Carolina when they built the Fort.20160407_133839St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church was built by former slaves.  Made of Tabby (a type of concrete made by burning oyster shells to create lime, then mixing it with water, sand, ash and broken oyster shells) and restored after suffering severe damage during the hurricane of 1898. This church still has an active congregation.20160407_133825The streets in this small town have these beautiful trees.20160407_13385520160410_10282420160407_135827The Federal troops tried twice to burn this church.  A hurricane destroyed it in 1881 and the current structure was built in 1883.

Then to the Smallest Church in America20160407_142938This church was built in 1949 by Agnes Harper. She was a rural grocer at the time and had limited funds. She said it was the thought that mattered, not the scope.  She built a 10 x 15 foot building in the woods.  She wrote the deed in the name of Jesus Christ and she invited everyone, even the critics, to worship.20160407_14305320160407_143007Mrs. Harpet installed stained-glass windows from England and the pews had a fold-away knee rest.20160407_143112During our stop, renovations were going on.  Per the brochure, it has had its share of vandalism. As you can see, it just sits in the woods, off the beaten path.20160407_143217

On Friday we went to St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island.

We just happened to arrive in Darien on the best weekend ever.  It is the “Blessing of the Fleet” Festival.  http://www.blessingofthefleet.com/   They have a 3 day festival that includes a parade and then the Priest bless the shrimp boats before they start their season. There are food carts, art vendors and boats. 20160409_08501220160411_082209Saturday was the parade and we walked through the vendor booths and had some shrimp from one of the food vendors. Antique cars began the parade.

20160409_10111120160409_10150520160409_101547The National Guard and some recruits.20160409_10160120160409_102010Miss Blessing of the Fleet Queen, is the one in the back. Wimberly Stregles.20160409_102108The high school band20160409_102402The Shriners20160409_102616Tiny Miss Blessing of the Fleet20160409_114834In Georgia, they don’t ride Bulls, they ride Bull Dogs.20160409_114840This little girl was having a ball.  She just kept getting back on.20160410_102628This guy was just waiting in the truck.20160410_102743Vernon Square with all the artist around the fountain.20160407_131126The downtown waterfront.20160410_113624On Sunday, we were back for the Blessing.  Cliff tried Ox tail.  Amazing good. The glob on the top left is Mac-n-Cheese. The most cheese I have ever seen. and a side of rice.

They had a gospel concert in the Waterfront Park.  We took our chairs and sunscreen and enjoyed watching the people. 20160410_124043The boats are all decorated and ready for the Blessing.20160410_124501The Knights of Columbus escort the priests to the bridge.20160410_12450720160410_125131A little blurry, but they are in the middle.  Look for the Knights of Columbus hats.20160410_125613The boats come in one at a time and come right up to the bridge and stop.  The priest says a blessing over the boat and crew and the boat moves back and another arrives.  The Master of Ceremony announces each boat by name, who the captain is and what year the boat was built.20160410_125827It seems to be a party on every boat.20160410_12590120160410_12592120160410_13005320160410_13110220160410_13111120160410_131723Miss Blessing of the Fleet was on the front of this big Shrimper.

We cannot believe we were here for this.  We loved it. Thanks Darien.

We leave for South Carolina tomorrow.  Praying it won’t rain too hard.