These are pictures of the last half of the second half of last year, if you have not figured that out already!
September started out with a bang! The weather turned cool, which was great after having a very wet and hot August. The second day of the month, found Diane, Teddy Bear, and me attending the all day Joe Wilson Memorial Music Fest. It was terrific. We heard music performed by many great artists. The highlight of the day was Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs and The Whites performing an impromptu concert. It was like sitting in their living room.
On the fourth day of the month, Diane and I took a long drive south on the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. The Moses H. Cone house is now a Southern Highlands Artists Gallery and Shop. The pieces of art there are priced out of our budget, besides we live in a motorhome and don't have room for anything to come in, unless something goes out. The park is a nice place to window shop and hike along the horse trails (yes you do have to be careful where you step). We had a nice lunch at the Six Pense Irish Pub in Blowing Rock. I do love Bangers and Mash, with a good hard cider to wash it down with.
Labor Day is our second biggest party of the year. We had a golf tourney and putting playoff (in case of a tie). I was on the winning team and my team mate, Frances, won the Green Jacket! Golf was followed by a huge Italian Feast (and boy was it good). After dinner was the first annual Deer Creek Karaoke competition for those brave enough to sing or to listen.
A September Excursion
Diane and I decided we needed to get away for awhile. Our home is on wheels so why not drive it somewhere interesting? We took a trip to Raleigh, North Carolina to attend one of the biggest Greek Fests in the nation. There were four or five thousand people there including us, Diane's cousin Elaine, who lives in the area, and our friends Bob and Sandra, who stopped by on their way back to Deer Creek after visiting Cape Hatteras. We planned on visiting Raleigh for three days and then continuing on to the Outer Banks ourselves. The food and music at the Greek Fest was really good. We left with a lot of Greek baked goods, enough to last for a week, at least.
We had the ambition to get up and catch the sunrise over the ocean waves. We were not the only morning creatures watching. Capturing a sunset over the Pamlico Sound was a bit easier. We watched one of those with Joel and Ashley, who traveled down from Virginia Beach, and spent one day with us. We were very glad to see them both.
We made a very interesting side trip to the Chicamacomico life saving station museum in the village of Rodanthe. It is a great historical attraction. With its two stations and five outbuildings, Chicamacomico (pronounced chi-ka-ma-COM-i-co), is the most complete site of all remaining life-saving stations in North Carolina and one of the most complete sites in the nation. Well worth the visit and the low cost of admission.
Our week in Hatteras and the Outer Banks was really fun and relaxing, but it ended all to quickly. We packed up the coach, traveled up SR 12, turned left on US 64, and headed due west to our Deer Creek home.
September ended with a bit of wine (a disappointing visit to Chateau Morrisette Winery and Restaurant) and fog. The fall sun and rain made the plants on our lot thrive. On foggy days we still had stuff to do....like bowling. I am not that good at it. If only I could swap my golf and bowling scores.
The fall is my favorite time of year for a number of reasons. One reason is that it is our anniversary. On October seventh we celebrated our forty-forth one. Time sure passes by fast when you are retired, I guess. Fall is also my favorite time of year because I like Sweater Weather (say that as fast as you can five times) and the fall provides a great opportunity to capture some good shots full of great color. Diane and I decided to take advantage of the season, so we revisited many of our favorite little towns and hiking spots. We spent one day just driving south on the Blue Ridge Parkway with the sun roof open and my camera ready in the back seat.
Deer Creek Motorcoach Resort is a great place to be during the fall. The days are cool, the nights are cooler. After Labor day many of the owners start to leave for the winter season. We had our last goodbye party to celebrate the end of a good season. Those of us who are left gather around someone's fire pit and enjoy the warmth of the flames along with the fellowship of friends.
We took our last group hike the last week of October at Rocky Knob. Diane, Teddy Bear, and I also made our last visit to the Fisher Peak Trail at the Blue Ridge Music Center. We listened to some mountain music, and visited the museum, the last time for the year, as well.
Our time at Deer Creek during the month of November was very short. One beautiful fall day we made a trip to Elkin, North Carolina, to visit the Carolina Heritage Organic Vineyard and Winery. We enjoyed tasting their wines and we brought a few bottles home with us. A few days later we made our last trip thru the Deer Creek Motorcoach Resort gate as we headed to the Anvil Campground in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Williamsburg in November is also a really beautiful place to be. The weather is perfect for taking long walks down Duke of Gloucester Street, which we did most every day. We were there for eighteen days. We drove into Portsmouth to visit friends. I got in a round of two of golf with my friend John. We had dinner at the DoG Street pub with Joel and Ashley. Grand daughter Brookie spent a day with us. We took her to the Yankee Candle Shop. I took loads of pictures. How could I not?
Our Thanksgiving was spent with our daughter Christine, her husband Rob and family. Traditional Holiday decorations started appearing on the doors and windows of the homes and businesses on Duke of Gloucester street. Christmas was just around the corner and so was our departure for South Florida.
Christmas in Florida, with lights in the palm trees.
Our first stop was in the Orlando area, Clermont to be exact. We would spend ten days there before we headed to the Weston, Fort Lauderdale area for Christmas and New Years. We were really looking forward to spending time with Jeri, Tom, and the boys. They were with us for Christmas last year as well, in Williamsburg. However we were so busy "selling" our house we spent very little quality time with them. This Christmas was bound to be better and it was. Before we headed south we made a pilgrimage to Disney Springs. This was an appetizer before our week at Fort Wilderness this past January. While at Disney Springs a cast member awarded me (under Mickey's orders) with a special Goofy Pin, given for being a huge Goofy Fan and Goofy pin collector.
We stayed at CB Smith County Park in Pembroke Pines. The camground was really nice, with lots of hiking and biking trails. We were backed up to a large lake where power boats pulled water skiers and wake boarders. Teddy Bear was not real fond of the noise, or the iguanas, or the black birds that seemed to like him. Pembroke Pines has lots of fast cars, traffic lights, and shopping places that many people want to get to at the same time. They appear to also have an epidemic of road rage infecting the whole area. For some reason I really like the look of lit up Palm Trees. If you jump in the car and head due east from Pembroke Pines, you will, after a short while, arrive at Hollywood Beach. We did just that on New Year's eve. Hollywood Beach is an obviously well run tourist area. I liked it a lot. We found a good place to eat that served two of my favorites, oyster shooters and Mahi-Mahi fish and chips. It was a very good ending to a pretty good year!