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AUGUST 2005
We happened upon a great fish restaurant called the Catawba Fish Camp in Fort Lawn, SC, 10 miles east of Highway 77, south of Rock Hill.  It was a HUGE place, with a large variety of seafood offered, all you can eat.  It was so good, we made the 3 hour trip to eat there again a few weeks later

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The new Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Charleston SC Bridge opened July 15, 2005.  It is not only the largest in South Carolina, it is also the longest cable-stay bridge in North America

The record-setting bridge features two diamond-shaped towers more than 570 feet tall, eight traffic lanes and a pedestrian lane.  Beautiful!  Here's a virtual crossing:

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It replaced 2 other bridges including the Cooper River Bridge: 

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Here is a view of both bridges from a naval base memorial (the old Cooper River Bridge is being demolished now):

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KUDZU (the vine you love to hate)

It's a bean vine. The legume, Pueraria thunbergiana, to be exact.

I swear, if we moved away from the South, I would surely miss seeing the endless phantasmagorical shapes of the kudzu.  Kudzu is a species of climbing vine brought in from Japan for the Philadelphia Centennial  Exposition in 1876. At first folks here touted it as a miracle vine with 100 uses (it is) until they realized it could not be stopped.  It grows A FOOT A DAY (or more) during the warm months.  It covers trees, houses, EVERYTHING in its path.   If it weren't for frost, the South would be one big Kudzu patch.  It grows better here than in its native Japan and China.

Here is a tongue-in-cheek website that gives as much detail as you could wish for:

http://www.cptr.ua.edu/kudzu/

As a result, it looks like lost cities, wherever the kudzu has crept.  Enjoy a few photos we have managed to take:

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  kudzu3.jpg (38848 bytes)  kudzu6.jpg (40274 bytes)

 

JULY 2005
BREVARD, NORTH CAROLINA, 

Home of the White Squirrel

Here are more pictures of the whites squirrels found around the college campus in Brevard:

Brevard white squirrel 1.jpg (38226 bytes)  Brevard white squirrel 2.jpg (38335 bytes)  Brevard white squirrel 3.jpg (37876 bytes)

Brevard white squirrel 4.jpg (37085 bytes)  Brevard white squirrel 5.jpg (38424 bytes)

ANDERSON, SC

andersonclocktower.jpg (40213 bytes)

An interesting art museum there with a giant bug sculpture above, and an exceptional painting by Christy Green...

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We discovered Anderson have fish sculptures on display for auction throughout town, what fun!  Called "Fish Out of Water, Hooked on the Arts"

andersonfish1.jpg (38080 bytes)    andersonfish3.jpg (38240 bytes)  andersonfish5.jpg (37913 bytes)

andersonfish4.jpg (38274 bytes)  andersonfish2.jpg (39937 bytes)

  andersonfish6.jpg (38936 bytes)  andersonfish7.jpg (40119 bytes)  andersonfish8.jpg (40149 bytes)

andersonfish9.jpg (39941 bytes)  andersonfish10.jpg (38446 bytes)

 

MAY 2005
May 8, a surprise Mother's Day visit to the Biltmore Estates in Asheville, NC was a real treat.  The largest private residence in America (4 acres of floor space, 250 rooms - 43 of them are bathrooms), built by George Washington Vanderbilt III and completed in 1895, this is a modern day castle near the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina is surrounded by 100,000 acres of forest.  We've been to castles in Europe, and this is STILL an impressive place.  Photos not allowed inside, but we were allowed a self tour of 90 of the rooms.   

 The welcoming sign and archway..

biltmore_sign.jpg (39922 bytes)  biltmore_entryarch_beside)sign.jpg (38563 bytes)

The "cozy" home of the Vanderbilts... no, that's just Heidi posing there, the Vanderbilts don't live here anymore..

biltmore_front_from_top_of_ramp.jpg (38668 bytes)  biltmore_front_1.jpg (37097 bytes)  biltmore_heidi.jpg (38113 bytes)

Over two of the doorways...

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A water fountain under the ramp approaching the house, and an ornate cornice atop a pillar on the house...

biltmore_fish_fountain.jpg (38601 bytes)  biltmore_cornice.jpg (39054 bytes)  

and an assortment of delightfully gruesome gargoyles protect  the "home"..

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biltmore_gargoyle6.jpg (38230 bytes)  biltmore_gargoyle4.jpg (38347 bytes)  biltmore_gargoyle5.jpg (37257 bytes)

and impressive statue columns:

biltmore_statue1.jpg (38176 bytes)  biltmore_statue2.jpg (38548 bytes)

The left side has a "porch" like no other.  Okay, so we have a love affair with gnarly trees, we admit it! ...

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biltmore_side_porch_1.jpg (40183 bytes)  biltmore_side_porch_2.jpg (40310 bytes)  biltmore_side_porch_3.jpg (40565 bytes)

The greenhouse (not in sight of the house)...

    biltmore_greenhouse.jpg (40647 bytes)

The winery where we found a lovely tea rose tree, clock tower and an impressive array of wines made here, and a lovely walkway to it...

 biltmore_wine_tearosetree2.jpg (36217 bytes)  biltmore_winery.jpg (40102 bytes) biltmore_winery2.jpg (37953 bytes)  biltmore_winery_walkway.jpg (38481 bytes)

And a detached stables now serves as a lovely restaurant, stalls and all, where we had a Mother's Day luncheon...

biltmore_stables_entryway.jpg (37262 bytes)  biltmore_stables1.jpg (38713 bytes)

  biltmorestablesheidi2.jpg (37729 bytes)  biltmorestablesheidi.jpg (37188 bytes)  biltmore_stables_box_stalls.jpg (37279 bytes)

The gardens were so extensive, we decided to return to walk the grounds another time.  We hope you enjoyed the view of the memorable Biltmore Estates as much as we did.

 

APRIL 2005
WASHINGTON D.C.
VIETNAM WAR MEMORIAL
  DC Vietnam wall 2.jpg (38228 bytes)

For pictures of the Viet Nam War Memorial, click here to the Support our Troops page and view the photos at the bottom of that page:

Support Our Troops

CHERRY BLOSSOM TIME
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An innovative drummer near the Smithsonian

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A beautiful gazebo next to the Smithsonian

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Cherry trees around the Basin

dcpotomac1.jpg (38461 bytes)  I cannot describe the surprising beauty of the Potomac Parkway around Washington D.C. we discovered when we took a wrong turn.  It is worth the drive!
LINCOLN MEMORIAL
DC Lincoln Mem Glenn.jpg (38567 bytes)

Glenn headed toward the Lincoln Memorial (above) and Heidi (below)

DC Lincoln Mem Heidi.jpg (38392 bytes)

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The beautiful walk to the Washington and Lincoln Memorials

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A willow tree in the park near the Lincoln Memorial

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Again, a somber tone, respectful of the President's memory.  We are also reading the opposite wall of sayings

DC Linc Mem SC.jpg (37520 bytes)

In the detailing along the top of the Lincoln Memorial, all the states are listed, including South Carolina

WASHINGTON MEMORIAL
View from the "National Mall", really a grassy area between two of the Smithsonian buildings

DC Wash Mem from Mall.jpg (36433 bytes)   DC Wash Mem Heidi 2.jpg (36144 bytes)

Washington Memorial from the Smithsonian

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and through the trees:

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Glenn viewing the Washington Memorial from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial

Heidi

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From the walkway between the Lincoln and Washington

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View from across the Basin (above) and through the trees (below)

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JEFFERSON MEMORIAL
DC Jeff Mem 1.jpg (39310 bytes)

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View across the Basin through the Cherry trees

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A solemn tribute of flowersDC Jeff Mem 4.jpg (38226 bytes)

DC Jeff Mem Heidi.jpg (36901 bytes)

Heidi on the steps

WHITEHOUSE & CAPITOL BUILDING
DC whitehouse best.jpg (38121 bytes)  DC Capitol Heidi.jpg (38369 bytes)  DC Capitol.jpg (39216 bytes)  DC Capitol 2.jpg (35585 bytes)
ROOSEVELT MEMORIAL
DC Roose Mem 1.jpg (39590 bytes) DC Roose Mem 2.jpg (38847 bytes)

A fine outdoor memorial

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Even his dog!

 
KENNEDY CENTER
dckennedycenter1.jpg (39664 bytes)  The unique construction of the J.F. Kennedy Center causes it to overhang the freeway inbound lanes!
MUSEUMS
DC Smithsonian sign museums.jpg (40125 bytes)

True!  So many museums, so little time!

Here's the Hope Diamond that was on display at the Smithsonian:

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DC Smith bldg.jpg (36683 bytes)

One of the Smithsonian buildings viewed from the National Mall (above) and the street side (below), closed for renovations

dcsmithbldg2.jpg (39179 bytes)

SPLENDID ORCHID EXHIBIT at the 

SMITHSONIAN NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

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Heidi was in flower heaven...no other explanation needed

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 Train overhead of the orchid exhibit entry

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VENICE, FLORIDA for the Shark Tooth Festival April 8-11
Venice shark tooth fest banner.jpg (38526 bytes)

The official banner

Venice Meg jaw in tent.jpg (37725 bytes)

Our friend Bob's megalodon jaw with Glenn

Mote Aquarium exhibitVenice Mote truck.jpg (38491 bytes)

Venice Florida cracker seafood.jpg (39862 bytes)

Florida Cracker Seafood

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"I Survived The Shark Tooth Festival" T-shirts

THE PIG AUCTION

 - a Venice event and fun surprise - locals decorated fiberglass pigs which would later be auctioned off.  This is PIG HEAVEN for you piggy lovers...

The SHARK PIG at Sharky's Restaurant is decorated with real fossil mako shark teeth, whatta grin!  Named "When Sharks Fly"

Pig Sharkys 5.jpg (38663 bytes)

Pig Sharkys 1.jpg (40009 bytes)  Pig Sharkys 2.jpg (37161 bytes)  Pig Sharkys 3.jpg (37944 bytes)  Pig Sharkys 4.jpg (39882 bytes)

Pig Dollar Pig.jpg (38417 bytes)

Dollar Bill Pig

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The Gondolier Pig

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Musical Pig

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Racing Pig

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The Elvis Pig (nope, nothing's sacred)

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Patriotic Pig

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Pig Pigasso 3.jpg (38962 bytes)

Pigasso

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Pig Andy Warhog 3.jpg (37272 bytes)

Andy Warhog

 

Pig Miss Pig-Me Date 1.jpg (38225 bytes)

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Miss Pig-Me Date

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Chef Pigatoni

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Piggy Bank

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Pigmillion

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Porky Pig

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Pig Princess Plentyfull 2.jpg (37517 bytes)

Miss Princess Plenty-Full

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Sight for Sow Eyes

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Sow Jones

Pig SWine connoisseur 1.jpg (40563 bytes)

SWine Connoisseur

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Pig Tropical 2.jpg (39425 bytes)

Tropical pig

Pig Venice pig.jpg (38225 bytes)

Another tropical pig

Pig Venice Pigs in Paradise.jpg (37827 bytes)

Venice Pig in Paradise

Pig When Pigs Fly.jpg (37063 bytes)

When Pigs Fly

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Pigs the Butler

Pig the Pigsaw Puzzle 1.jpg (39203 bytes)

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Pigsaw Puzzle

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This Little Piggy...

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Theater piggy

Pig Check Me Out 1.jpg (40009 bytes)  Pig Check Me Out 2.jpg (39685 bytes)

"Check Me Out"

Pig Pigahontas 1.jpg (37379 bytes)  Pig Pigahontas 3.jpg (38516 bytes)

Pigahontas

VENICE PIER at Sharky's

Venice Sharkys sign.jpg (38574 bytes)  Venice pier arch.jpg (35174 bytes)

a shark caught and released while we were there...

  Venice shark caught 1.jpg (37503 bytes)  Venice shark caught 2.jpg (38238 bytes)

View from the pier...

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Typical shark toothing with a handled scoop on the shore.  A nasty storm was moving in...

Venice beach shark toothing.jpg (36833 bytes)  Venice beach shark toothing 2.jpg (38092 bytes)

Casperson Beach just south of the pier...

Venice Caspersen sign.jpg (38897 bytes)

Venice woman w scoop.jpg (37081 bytes)  Venice woman sharktoothing 2.jpg (37908 bytes)

The beach is so narrow compared to a few years ago, plenty of unfortunate beach erosion...

Venice beach rocks.jpg (37720 bytes)  Venice beach people.jpg (40358 bytes)  Venice Beach and shore.jpg (38567 bytes)

Our own mug shots have to show up somewhere in this photo tour...

Venice Heidi at beach.jpg (37149 bytes)  Venice Glenn at beach.jpg (37646 bytes)

Other views of Venice - built in 1925 as a retirement community, it has kept those demographics ever since...

Venice sign.jpg (39272 bytes)

Palms on the Venice Boulevard, and Glenn holding up a tree, taking a break...

  Venice palms on blvd.jpg (40031 bytes)  Venice Glenn holding up tree.jpg (40601 bytes)

A brilliant yellow but unidentified tree...

Venice yellow tree.jpg (39036 bytes)

And the unforgettable hibiscus on the boulevard..

Venice blvd hibiscus 1.jpg (37814 bytes)  Venice blvd hibiscus 2.jpg (37102 bytes)

In Rambler's Rest motor home park...

Venice blooming cactus red.jpg (40587 bytes)  Venice blooming cactus white.jpg (40894 bytes)  

The cranes are very comfortable around folks:

Venice crane Ramb rest.jpg (38273 bytes)   Venice Ramb Rest crane 1.jpg (37181 bytes)  Venice Ramb Rest crane 2.jpg (38587 bytes)

A mini fire truck for sale as part of a garage sale in Venice...

Venice mini fire truck 1.jpg (40777 bytes)  Venice mini fire truck 2.jpg (39397 bytes)  Venice mini fire truck 3.jpg (40143 bytes)  Venice mini fire truck 4.jpg (40345 bytes)

Sarasota Sunshine Skyway bridge.jpg (36913 bytes)  Sarasota Sunshine Skyway bridge 3.jpg (36548 bytes)  Sarasota Sunshine Skyway bridge 4.jpg (37555 bytes)

Sunshine Skyway bridge

DINOSAUR WORLD

PLANT CITY, FLORIDA

We're not easily impressed, but this was an AWESOME MUST SEE Outdoor, Natural setting park with over 150 life-size dinosaurs.  West of Orlando off Highway I-4.  We have created a complete web page to show off ALL the dinosaurs we saw there.

Dino world closeup dino at billboard.jpg (38538 bytes)  72 Glenn on dino in archway.jpg (38124 bytes)

Here is a link to the Virtual Tour of Dinosaur World for a real taste of Jurassic Park:

DINOSAUR WORLD, Fossils Page 10 

 

The First Annual Live Oak Arts Festival in Conway SC., 10/2/04

An artist that makes something out of found objects was particularly interesting...

MVC-001S.jpg (40063 bytes) 

And as always, Kim Clayton of the Blackwater Gallery had a great setup and was also painting her trailer on-site.  She gets stopped wherever she goes with her jeep as it is...keep having fun, Kim!

 MVC-002S.jpg (39708 bytes)

 

MARCH 2004

With our friends from Oregon, we made another trip through our closest town, Conway, to see how a real Tree City builds its town AROUND the live oaks famous in the South...

Conway tree 1.jpg (40272 bytes)

Conway tree 2.jpg (38302 bytes)

They build the roads around the historical trees...

  Conway tree 3.jpg (39962 bytes)

An early blooming magnolia...

Conway tree 4 Magnolia.jpg (39974 bytes)

Conway tree 5.jpg (40015 bytes)  

Linda pointed out the heart shape the leaves make, a true "heart palm"...

Conway tree 6 heart palm.jpg (38435 bytes)

Say, is that house hanging like a swing from the tree?  Could have fooled me!

Conway tree 7-house swing.jpg (40327 bytes)

This massive oak limb grew over the drive, and is supported on the other side to keep it from growing down...

Conway tree 7-over drive.jpg (40690 bytes)

Conway tree 8.jpg (40144 bytes)

We stopped to view the river, the ducks...

Conway-river view.jpg (38628 bytes)  Conway-ducks.jpg (36733 bytes)

and the local color...my own Glenn, and our Bill...looks like the movie "Grumpy Old Men"?  Conway-local color.jpg (40359 bytes)

Yup.

CHERRY GROVE PIER, 

Cherry Grove, SC

An especially windy day in March at the beach creates beauty all its own...

Cherry Grove pier.jpg (37991 bytes)  Cherry Grove-pier planks.jpg (35690 bytes)

Cherry Grove-shorebirds.jpg (40056 bytes)

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But it gives Glenn and Bill something to complain about, so they're happy!

Cherry Grove-grumpies.jpg (37075 bytes)

Our Oregon visitors, Bill and Linda, even think this is cold compared to Oregon in winter!

Cherry Grove-Bill and Linda.jpg (37609 bytes)  Cherry Grove-Linda.jpg (36680 bytes)

But even we have time to act silly...

Cherry Grove-Jaws.jpg (37135 bytes)

 

SWAMPFEST

November 6, 2004

Swampfest historic cabin.jpg (40543 bytes)

Near Loris, SC, this educational festival is held on the grounds of the Playcard Environmental Education Center which teaches swamp ecology, wetland plants, natural history, forestry, reptile and bat biology.

Young people were there to learn old skills, such as churning butter, soap making, fire-pot stewing, and making things using antique hand tools.  One skill was helping make a dugout canoe, as our friend Tim did at a recent boat show and also set up here.  You see the pine log and the tools he uses.  Safety is probably the biggest issue when young people and sharp tools are in the same arena.

Swampfest Tim banner.jpg (38515 bytes)  Swampfest Tim tools.jpg (38234 bytes)  Swampfest Tim log 1.jpg (40095 bytes)  Swampfest Tim log 2.jpg (36354 bytes)

Swampfest Tim log 3.jpg (38661 bytes)  Swampfest Tim log 4.jpg (37404 bytes)

Of course my Glenn headed straight for the chicken bog and cornbread, as did many others...

Swampfest chicken bog.jpg (38501 bytes)  Swampfest girl enjoying bog.jpg (38601 bytes)

And I found a fire pot stewing swamp potatoes (sweet potatoes cooked in pine sap).  But imagine my surprise when they pulled black lumps out of a sticky black mixture in the pot!  Remember, pinesap, cooked with water, makes turpentine!  The potatoes were pitch black and looked inedible.   But wrapped in brown paper, split open, and topped with butter and salt, the taste was amazing!  Back in 1816 pine sap began to be used to cook meat, fish, turtles, potatoes and other root vegetables.  It seals in the flavor and preserves the food for later use because it hardens into a seamless shell.  Foods are preserved for up to a month this way.  I learned something new today...

Swampfest swamp potatoes 1.jpg (38206 bytes)  Swampfest swamp potatoes 2.jpg (40387 bytes)

And here's Glenn with a hand full of bog AND swamp potatoes..

Swampfest bog and swamp potatoes.jpg (37165 bytes)

Here are some of the working hand tools shown...a lathe

Swampfest lathe.jpg (38822 bytes)

a planer

Swampfest planer.jpg (38691 bytes)

a circular saw

Swampfest saw.jpg (39474 bytes)

a dowel maker

Swampfest dowel rod machine.jpg (38327 bytes)

a machine that takes the dried corn off the cob and makes cornmeal..

Swampfest cornmeal 1.jpg (40306 bytes)  Swampfest cornmeal 2.jpg (40499 bytes)

and an assortment of others..

Swampfest machines.jpg (40710 bytes)

Even a monkey accompanied one family...

Swampfest monkey.jpg (36955 bytes)

And of course a picture of the swamp itself, without which the Swampfest would have no name...

Swampfest swamp.jpg (38112 bytes)

 

OCTOBER 2004

For Heidi's 50th birthday, we went back to Vegas to visit old friends, conduct business and have fun.  Here's the lovely flower arrangement from Glenn delivered to the Hacienda Casino hotel room:

Heidi b day flowers.jpg (38373 bytes)

A Vegas truck having Halloween fun, below:

Truck pumpkin.jpg (36827 bytes)  Truck spider.jpg (36891 bytes)

And a Volkswagon Beetle with a "GOTRAID" license plate that was amusing:

Gotraid car.jpg (38503 bytes)

Since we already did a great article on Las Vegas on Latest Travels page 8, we added all the new photos to that page, and updated the info, be sure to hop over there and enjoy it...   Page 8

 

Drive-up LITTLE WHITE CHAPEL, Las Vegas

Yes, we were married here on June 26, 2001.  If you're in the mood, it can be quite charming...

Chapel marquee.jpg (35428 bytes)  Chapel sign.jpg (38488 bytes)

Drive up, drive under the cherub ceiling ...

Chapel carport.jpg (36847 bytes)  Chapel carport cherubs.jpg (37468 bytes) 

to the gate, put 'er in park...and the minister will do the rest through your car window, yessiree... single rose and Polaroid in the gazebo is extra.

 Chapel drive thru parking.jpg (36435 bytes)

 

Dear friends Dann & Cindi in their newly remodeled home in Nevada.  Previously a smoker's home, never painted since the original paint from 1970, they have truly worked wonders with their place.  They rebuilt the fireplace you see with local rocks, tore down walls, replaced windows, made new doors..truly an EXTREME MAKOVER story.

Dann n Cyndi LR.jpg (36817 bytes)  Dann n Cyndi sitting.jpg (36840 bytes) 

Their nephew Alex at the Open House, hamming for the camera:

 Dann n Cyndi nephew.jpg (37377 bytes)

 

Our visit to Boulder City would not be complete if we didn't visit our loyal customers-friends-families, Ellen and Alex Ray (missed you, Chris).  Surprisingly, they are PACKERS fans!

Alex Packers.jpg (37752 bytes)  Ellen Alex.jpg (39539 bytes)

The incredible view of Lake Mead from their balcony:

Lake Mead from Ellen.jpg (38064 bytes)  Lake Mead Ellen closeup.jpg (37670 bytes)

Ellen house.jpg (162813 bytes)

 

Also, a visit to our favorite Asian art store on Stephanie Blvd. in Henderson NV where we found the owner hard at work doing finishing work on a lovely carved room divider:

Asian carving.jpg (36956 bytes)  Asian carving closeup.jpg (38013 bytes)

And sitting in our favorite gazebo...figuring out how to ship it back to us in South Carolina!

Asian gazebo 1.jpg (39088 bytes)  Asian gazebo 2.jpg (39674 bytes)  Asian gazebo 3.jpg (38499 bytes)

  We bought elephant and horse wooden puppets from him that  we will treasure.

 

 

LORIS (S.C.) BOG-OFF  10/16/04

Bog off banner.jpg (37196 bytes)  This is a rice and chicken dish called "chicken bog" that causes fierce competition about home chefs to decide who makes the best!

An ingenious "rocking bench" enjoyed by young and old..

Rocking bench-Loris.jpg (39120 bytes)

"Boiled peanuts" best eaten hot, a South Carolina specialty that grows on you...

Boiled peanuts booth.jpg (40196 bytes)

Local color, part of the reason we go to the Bog-off...

Local color - Bog off.jpg (37189 bytes)

A trailer full of mini tractors, a colorful diversion to enjoy...

Mini tractors Loris.jpg (39023 bytes)

And of course we each had a big plate of chicken bog, no pictures this time, look at other bog-off festivals for that (below) if you wish!

 

WOODEN BOAT SHOW

Georgetown, SC   10/16/04

Our Wisconsin friend now living in South Carolina, Tiny Tim the Axe Man, volunteered to build a dugout canoe from an 11 foot long yellow pine tree he found near Loris.  He started chopping the log at home using his own embossed axe collection and at this point had 70 hours into the project, he called it  "the beginning of hell, otherwise known as my first dugout canoe"He had several offers to purchase it by the time the show was over, but has decided to build a few more before selling.  He'll chop another at the Swamp Fest in Loris on November 6.  A sucker for punishment, but he loves it!  He was even autographing big chips of wood for folks asking for it.

Log on trailer 1.jpg (38363 bytes)  Log on trailer 2.jpg (38849 bytes)

Log started 1.jpg (40848 bytes)  Log started 2.jpg (38770 bytes)

Here's Tim vs. log, well into the project already...

Big bad Tim.jpg (38838 bytes)

Chopping away, chips a-flying, with his new wife, Karla, in his cheering section...

Tim 1.jpg (40313 bytes)  Tim 2.jpg (38318 bytes)  

Tim 3.jpg (39310 bytes)

The selection of axes he had on hand to use, they are his own:

Axes 1.jpg (39943 bytes)  Axes 2.jpg (40607 bytes)  Axes 3.jpg (40218 bytes)  Axes 4.jpg (38636 bytes)

Axe blue duck.jpg (37424 bytes)

We came back 2 hours later...making progress!

Tim chopping end.jpg (37902 bytes)  Tim chop other end.jpg (39945 bytes)

And worked on it long after we left.  These are his own final pictures, I suggested the name for the 11 foot craft:  "Hell Floats" :

finished canoe 1.jpg (38738 bytes)  finished canoe 2.jpg (38348 bytes) 

and with young friend Billy the first to try it out:

Billy in canoe.jpg (38635 bytes)

 

 

BOAT BUILDING COMPETITION

Contestants (partners of 2) must build a boat from a provided blueprint within 4 hours using the plywood, trim, nails and caulk provided.  The record was about 2 hours 10 minutes.  Judged on the time, the quality of the boat, and also the speed of the boat as they are rowed across the Inlet for a final decision.  What fun to watch the work progress so quickly.  Mind you, the following photos were taken within 10 minutes of all different contestants in all stages of building.  Some were first-timers and just wanted to finish, others were old hats at finishing first.  

Boat no bottom.jpg (39591 bytes)  Boat ragged edge.jpg (39566 bytes)

Boat bottom going on.jpg (38153 bytes) Young man-boat.jpg (37749 bytes) Boat bottom strip.jpg (37290 bytes)

 Boat point.jpg (36488 bytes)  Boat w dividers.jpg (36335 bytes)  Boat caulk.jpg (38049 bytes)

   Below are three of the early finishers:

 Finished boat.jpg (36385 bytes)  Finished boat 2.jpg (37039 bytes)  Finished boat 3.jpg (37609 bytes)

Boats are judged on quality, speed of completion, and finally a relay race across the inlet for judging practical use and speed.

Many dog owners and their dogs looked on.

Great Dane watching boats.jpg (38505 bytes)  Dog laughs at girl.jpg (38133 bytes)

 

We were impressed at the number, variety and quality of the boats on display at the rest of the show - many for sale:
A paper canoe with directions on how to make your own:

Paper canoe.jpg (39708 bytes)

  Paper canoe specs.jpg (37234 bytes)

Striped canoe:

Striped wood canoe.jpg (39657 bytes)

Kayaks:

Kayak 1.jpg (38259 bytes) 

 Kayak 2.jpg (38423 bytes)

A kayak with sail:

Kayak w sail.jpg (40544 bytes)

Glenn's favorite canoe:

Glenn favorite canoe.jpg (40210 bytes)

Assorted canoes for sale:

Assorted canoes.jpg (39735 bytes)

A mini tug boat for sale:

Mini tug.jpg (38806 bytes)

Outboard:

Outboard.jpg (39436 bytes)

Glenn's favorite:

Red boat.jpg (39185 bytes)

Sailboat:

Sailboat.jpg (38322 bytes)

Speedboat (owner in purple shirt):

Speed boat.jpg (37839 bytes)

  Speed boat 2.jpg (36956 bytes)

A two-mast boat with a third placement for the mast as well:

Two masted boat.jpg (40382 bytes)

Beautiful wooden boat for sale:

Wood boat for sale 2.jpg (39758 bytes)

 

Wood boat for sale 2.jpg (39758 bytes)

A real boat cradle:

Boat cradle.jpg (38488 bytes)

Kid's boat competition:

Kids boat competition.jpg (39039 bytes)

Even some long hair worthy of a photo:

Long hair.jpg (38112 bytes)

And gorgeous mini boats:

Mini boats 2.jpg (39736 bytes)

 

SEPTEMBER 2004
In lieu of our own travels this month, good friends Linda and Bill Pugh attended the Canby, Oregon Dahlia Show.  Below is a new dahlia called "Junkyard Dog" though I haven't a clue why:

294-dahlias_-_Junkyard_Dog.jpg (898563 bytes)

This new hybrid is named "Freedom Fighter"

311_-_Freedom_Fighter_dahlias.jpg (885642 bytes)

Nehalem Bay, Oregon where they go salmon fishing:

323-Fishing Nehalem Bay.jpg (815416 bytes)

Mr. Bill, a master salmon fisherman, we know he'll die with his fishing boots on:

324-the Big Fisherman.jpg (738310 bytes)

 

AUGUST 2004
A Florida bridge at the beginning of Hurricane Bonnie

Florida bridge.jpg (37751 bytes)

Amazing live oaks throughout Savannah, Georgia always captivates us

Savannah live oaks.jpg (39983 bytes)  Savannah spanish moss.jpg (38675 bytes)  More live oaks-Savannah.jpg (39462 bytes)

Shrimping boats near Tybee Island

Shrimp boats Tybee Island.jpg (39646 bytes)

The large gazebo on Tybee Island beach, showing the mural and the anchor in front of it

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Tybee beach dunes and from the pier, a lovely beach

Tybee view of beach.jpg (36895 bytes)  Tybee beach from pier.jpg (37212 bytes)

This will be a prestigious beach house when they get done elevating and renovating it, you'd never know it!

Beach house construc 2.jpg (37812 bytes)

We DID go to Hilton Head Island, but the only thing noteworthy besides people spending plenty of money to be there was this great little South American bakery:

MVC-060S.jpg (37069 bytes)

DRIVING ON DAYTONA BEACH, views of egrets, terns and gulls

Snowy egret Daytona Beach.jpg (39610 bytes)  Terns on Daytona Beach.jpg (38333 bytes)

Daytona Beach drive.jpg (37846 bytes)  Gull with food, Daytona Beach.jpg (37793 bytes)  Gulls Daytona Beach.jpg (38145 bytes)  

 

We found this amazing array of outdoor displays west of Ocala Florida.  The big "bronze" statues are a heavy aluminum and very affordable (and yes, Glenn, it's okay to pull THIS buffalo's tail !!).  

Bear alum.jpg (39692 bytes)  Buffalo-Glenn.jpg (40522 bytes)   Deer alum.jpg (40430 bytes)   

Moose.jpg (40458 bytes)  Fountain.jpg (40175 bytes)    

Eagle on globe alum.jpg (39728 bytes)  Misc urns.jpg (40656 bytes)

The colorful Mexican pottery is a volcanic clay that fires into a type of glass that is very high quality.  Unusual animals such as monkeys, Great Danes and giraffes!

Clay misc anim.jpg (40137 bytes)  Clay monkey.jpg (38753 bytes)    Clay giraffes, danes.jpg (40058 bytes) 

At the State Museum in Columbia, SC, we found an interesting display of wrought iron by Philip Simmons of Charleston SC.  Wrought iron was not considered a form of art for many years, now he is recognized for his skill.  Below is one of his WROUGHT IRON gates, and a CAST iron window grate (big difference I now understand)

Wrought iron gate artistry.jpg (37880 bytes)  Cast iron window grate.jpg (37432 bytes)  Wrought iron artist.jpg (38438 bytes)

A lovely English tea-garden store and nursery that is unforgettable, in Wilmington, NC

   English Garden shop.jpg (38309 bytes)  English Garden-back.jpg (40672 bytes)  english - railing.jpg (81382 bytes)  

The English Garden.jpg (40748 bytes)    Yellow garden spider.jpg (37206 bytes)  

Watermelon Fest in Pageland, SC

Pageland watermelon fest.jpg (40485 bytes)  Watermelon fest sign banner.jpg (38193 bytes)  Melon fest banner.jpg (38116 bytes) 

Though they were just about out of watermelon when we arrived at 3 p.m., there were plenty of deep fried Oreo cookies!

 Fried oreo cookies.jpg (37193 bytes)

And we found plenty of watermelons just south of here:  

Watermelon-Glenn.jpg (39097 bytes)

And the birthplace of Dizzy (John Birks) Gillespie in Cheraw SC, the famous jazz musician, a great bronze statue as a tribute to him (1917-1993)

Dizzy Gillespie 1.jpg (37477 bytes)  Dizzy Gillespie closeup.jpg (39179 bytes)

Dizzy base 1.jpg (38002 bytes)  Dizzy base 2.jpg (38545 bytes)

What a noble billygoat and his large herd of goats we found starting our trip to North Carolina

Billy goat.jpg (37324 bytes)

Goat herd.jpg (37595 bytes)

Seafood house  Chocowinity 1.jpg (36477 bytes)  Seafood house Chocowinity 2.jpg (37477 bytes)  

A seafood restaurant in Chocowinity NC

A novel business with African safari designs on house and cars, near Wilmington NC

Zebra house.jpg (38322 bytes)

Zebra car.jpg (40490 bytes)

Giraffe car.jpg (38787 bytes)

These mules are evidently a cross between a mule and a Belgian draft horse, best of both!  Found right here in South Carolina

Belgian mules.jpg (39929 bytes)

 

Late JUNE 2004

FOLK ART Fair at the House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach, SC -  plenty of fun art not only on canvas but on vehicles!

Kim Statue of Liberty.jpg (89336 bytes)

Kim with her newest work, Statue of Liberty on a boat

Kim Lauren Ellis painting.jpg (88522 bytes)

Painted live at the Jazz Fest in Conway SC May 11th by Kim Clayton of musician Laren Ellis, it is now Laren's latest CD cover!  Original displayed here at the show in Myrtle Beach

Kim door woman.jpg (91547 bytes)

Woman on door, the laminated strips repositioned to become the texture of hair

Kim gator painting.jpg (40714 bytes)

Just another pretty face - if you're a gator that is!  Another of Kim Clayton's works (Black Water Gallery), at FolkArtWeb.net

The Funky Chicken, a regular hen house on wheels!  Parking lot of House of Blues

Funky chicken truck.jpg (39142 bytes)

Kim Clayton (Black Water Gallery, Conway SC) hand painted jeep!

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Hilarious truck in the parking lot

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House of Blues ceiling is a work of art too!

 

Late JUNE 2004
Georgetown Art & Jazz fest (Georgetown SC), plenty of folks and food and music (it's okay to eat barbecue and cole slaw mixed together here) (eeww, but Glenn loves it!).  We met our Tagua nut carver here from Ecuador (see Tagua Nut Carvings page)

Georgetown fair.jpg (57704 bytes)

(below) The Historic River Street Restaurant on the waterfront in Georgetown SC, lovely!

Georgetown River Room Restaurant.jpg (38393 bytes)

The new gigantic hammock at the Hammock Shop in Pawley's Island (south of Myrtle Beach SC) was installed by crane .. now we see why!

Hammock Pawleys.jpg (40716 bytes)

 

Early JUNE 2004

A super "Lion King" sandcastle being built on Myrtle Beach, FUN to watch!

Lion king sand castle.jpg (38803 bytes)

 

AURORA NC 

Fossil Fair & Memorial day parade, May 29, 2004

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Marching band

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Military float

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Sudan mini tow truck

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Our friend Ken as a veteran on a parade float

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Uncle Sam on stilts!

Vintage hearse.jpg (38730 bytes)

Vintage mule-drawn hearse, compliments of the Shriner's

Vintage T bird.jpg (38809 bytes)

Vintage ('54 or '55) Thunderbird in the parade

Monster golf cart.jpg (39616 bytes)

"Monster truck" golf cart drew a few chuckles

Hillbilly Sudan truck.jpg (37432 bytes)

The Hillbilly float, complete with outhouse, compliments of the Shriner's

     

 

MAY 2004

FRANKLIN, NORTH CAROLINA

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE NEVER BEEN TO A GEM & FOSSIL SHOW, HERE'S A SAMPLING OF WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE.  

We did not take photos at the MAIN tent, this is the SMALLER of the two shows

HERE IS OUR BOOTH DISPLAYING DICHROIC GLASS
Our booth 1.jpg (38604 bytes) Our booth 2.jpg (38440 bytes) our booth with glenn.jpg (99689 bytes) Loose dichroic on table.jpg (39397 bytes)
Driftstone pueblo tent before.jpg (37932 bytes)

Indian bone beads and craft items in a huge tent - before the storm

Driftstone tent after the storm.jpg (37124 bytes)

...and after the storm.  Their tent was the only serious casualty.

View of other tents.jpg (37925 bytes)

A view of the other tents

Fossils from Russia.jpg (40088 bytes)

Fossils from Russia and Morocco

Glass & Gem beads.jpg (84353 bytes)

Czech glass and gem beads

African trade beads.jpg (92055 bytes)

African trade beads etc.

Pearls.jpg (86734 bytes)

You want a strand of pearls from Asia?  How many?

Agate bookends & amethyst cathedrals.jpg (40190 bytes)

Agate bookends, and amethyst cathedrals

Amethyst & citrine cathedrals.jpg (37017 bytes)

Amethyst & citrine cathedrals from Brazil

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Crystals and other mineral specimens

more amethyst cathedrals.jpg (80387 bytes)

Did I mention we saw amethyst cathedrals?

more rough gems.jpg (85942 bytes)

Rough cutting rock for sale 

Tent weight of milk crate of rough obsidian.jpg (39496 bytes)

One tent held down with a milk crate of rough obsidian for weight (it is so common!)

calcite specimens.jpg (80125 bytes)

Rough calcite specimens from Mexico

Sliced coral.jpg (39236 bytes)

Closeup sliced coral.jpg (38576 bytes)

Fossil coral specimens from Tampa Bay

petrified wood sections.jpg (78880 bytes)

Petrified wood sections from Utah

various rough gems.jpg (80072 bytes)

More rough gem for cutting

Quartz spheres.jpg (36739 bytes)

Which crystal ball holds your future? (these are quartz crystal from Brazil)

Fossil shark teeth 1.jpg (39967 bytes)

Fossil shark teeth by the thousands (from the East Coast, USA)

Fossil shark teeth 2.jpg (39087 bytes)

Many more thousands of fossil teeth

gigantic megalodon.jpg (67793 bytes)

The MOTHER of all megalodon shark teeth... NO it's not real NOR is it made the same size as a real tooth.  The original was 7" long.

Replica fossils.jpg (39709 bytes)

Replica dinosaur heads

more replica fossils.jpg (67689 bytes)

More replicas

Maybe now you'll understand how POOPED we can be after a gem show, even if we didn't set up a tent of our own stuff!  The choices are endless, the folks friendly, and the prices are great.

 

More about

FRANKLIN, NORTH CAROLINA (western NC in the Blue Ridge Mountains)

What a surprise to see a gas station with a "Caffe Rel Restaurant" in it - is it fast food?  Doesn't sound like it - so our curiosity brought us to the door where we found lovely landscaping outside - inside we found a lovely warm decor & ambience, friendly smiles (owner Richard in the kitchen, and waitress Ashley and fellow waitress) and awesome gourmet Italian food.  View the pictures and you can enjoy the surprise with us...hey, they even do classy take-outs!

 gas station sign.jpg (38183 bytes)    Gas sign and station Caffe Rel.jpg (37221 bytes)     MVC-211S.jpg (37617 bytes)     MVC-213S.jpg (38772 bytes)    mvc-216s.jpg (66871 bytes)     Richard owner Caffe Rel.jpg (38545 bytes)     MVC-219S.jpg (37736 bytes)     Kitchen at Caffe Rel.jpg (38145 bytes)

 

 

A fun Easter visiting with our kind neighbors for their Easter egg hunt...

Grma Young on porch.jpg (40134 bytes)  Kids on steps Easter.jpg (40216 bytes)

An April '04 baseball game featuring the Myrtle Beach PELICANS.  We were invited by our Wisconsin friends Carla & Tim (newly engaged; Carla's birthday choice of an event to attend)

Tim Carla baseball game.jpg (68696 bytes)  Pelican mascot.jpg (37820 bytes)  Pelican game.jpg (38591 bytes)

APRIL 2004
iguanas chimney.jpg (78589 bytes)  kiln1.jpg (40690 bytes)  kiln2.jpg (80846 bytes)  kiln3.jpg (39369 bytes)  potterphone.jpg (37452 bytes)  potterygallery.jpg (38034 bytes)  snakebirdjug.jpg (58339 bytes)  fredwoosik.jpg (72879 bytes)

foodogglenn.jpg (36167 bytes)

On our trip to North Carolina, we stopped at the "Seagrove Area Potteries" where at least 100 potters sell from their homes.  We stopped at Fred Johnston & Carol Gentithe's (  http://www.johnstonandgentithes.com ) because of the "iguana chimney" and the kiln we could see in the backyard.  A great visit with Fred revealed their lovely gallery of pottery, as well as his interesting acquisition from Alaska of a walrus oosik, and even the distinctive "potter's phone" - not a display but a glimpse of their real working life we can appreciate. 

biscuit4.jpg (36495 bytes)    biscuit1.jpg (37067 bytes)  biscuit2.jpg (37001 bytes)  biscuit3.jpg (36442 bytes)

Here is the well-known Biscuit Company near Asheboro NC where Mike makes the best biscuits in the South, we'll guarantee it!

antiquewoods1.jpg (38659 bytes)  antiquewoods2.jpg (39603 bytes)  woodpiles2.jpg (38335 bytes)  woodmill1.jpg (40914 bytes)  smallmill.jpg (38495 bytes)

This is Antique Woods on Hwy. 501 near Aiken SC, where the folks collect and re-mill wood from old buildings.  The lovely house you see is the home/business, an excellent example of their work.  Inside, the thick wood floors are a superb example of precision milled, cut and laid wood available for a fraction of the cost of their woodworking competition.  The red building is the sawmill behind the house, and the piles covered in plastic are an abundance of wood ready for use.  We were impressed!  Cool place!

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"We Serve Kids", a novel & humorous advertising gimmick by Angelo's Steak House in Myrtle Beach

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"The Race Lodge" in Conway, SC, sure sounds bad--it was burned out recently, we can only guess at the reason!

Spring in Nevada...  MVC-015F.jpg (62738 bytes) 

   A Luna Moth in South Carolina..   MVC-326S.jpg (39612 bytes)

 

MARCH '04
Trailer wooly and tiger.jpg (38205 bytes)  Wooly and tiger.jpg (38383 bytes)  DJ on tiger.jpg (39194 bytes)  2 girls on tiger.jpg (37356 bytes)  3 boys on woolly.jpg (36199 bytes)  DJ and scared girl.jpg (36857 bytes)  Girl on tiger.jpg (37129 bytes)  Birthday boy on tiger.jpg (65251 bytes)  Natalie on robotic.jpg (38219 bytes)

 

Two boys on tiger eyes lit.jpg (66034 bytes)  DJ and Brittany.jpg (66758 bytes)

This is D.J.'s 9th birthday party, our closest neighbor.  We were able to reserve Safari Bob's Animabots (robotic animals - a white tiger and a woolly mammoth - made by this ingenious engineer) to show their stuff at his birthday party.  A memorable hit for all, we're pleased to say! (phone them at: 843-236-6489 if you're interested in booking, cost is around $150)

UPDATE to 3/26/11

Here is D.J. at his 16th birthday party, posing with the SAME TWO KIDS that rode the mammoth when he was 9, they were both at his birthday party today.  Isn't continuity in family & friends great?

dj-16-1.jpg (484191 bytes)

dj16-2.jpg (480162 bytes)

 

"13th Annual RUN IN THE SUN" Myrtle Beach SC Street Rod show March 04

2800 restored vintage cars on display at this show, it was overwhelming!  We snapped a few pictures of some outstanding cars and had a hoot of a time.

junktoycars.jpg (38544 bytes)

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http://www.rustrus.com/ has these great collectible toy cars purposely aged, often selling with the perfect new ones.

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Pink low rider cadillac with STYLE!

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Green low rider truck

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Purple super charger car

 

redoldcar.jpg (37730 bytes)

VERY cool vintage red car

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Retractable hard top car is rare

1940shauler.jpg (37846 bytes)

Also a rare 1940's car hauler

specialtycar.jpg (40383 bytes)

Whatta street rod!!

doginsmallcar.jpg (38598 bytes)

By far the smallest entry!

 

NOVEMBER 2003

Charleston, SC is a stately city on the coast, 

Mercedes sleeper bus-1.jpg (37029 bytes)

Glory be!  A Mercedes Sleeper Motor home!  Zowee!

 

Mercedes sleeper bus2.jpg (37113 bytes)

Closeup of the sleeping area

Ebay St-2.jpg (38026 bytes)

Ebay Street?  Yes indeed, corner of Reid and E Bay, of course!

Ebay St-1.jpg (37461 bytes)

 

OCTOBER 2003

A 'Bog-Off" in Loris, South Carolina.  For those who think this is a foreign phrase, well - chicken bog is the food of the South, rice cooked with sausage and whole chickens till it's all a "bog".  The proportions prepared for this event stun the senses...

Bog T-shirt.jpg (37556 bytes) Bog trough.jpg (39224 bytes) Bog shovel.jpg (39506 bytes) Bog bowl.jpg (38302 bytes)

 

BROOKGREEN GARDENS

(South of Myrtle Beach on Highway 17 across from the Huntington Beach State Park)

A farsighted vision of one woman to create a very special garden in the South--and she succeeded (she also directed the building of the  Atalaya Mansions across the street, pictures on the next page) .  These gardens rival any in Europe.  Enjoy the virtual tour with me!

Flowers Brkgrn.jpg (39679 bytes)

The vibrant seasonal fall floral arrangement at the entrance to the gardens

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Indoors first, we discovered---a bird in the sand, carved in wood.  We marveled.

Antelope.jpg (95215 bytes)

The antelope carving, with the gardens as a natural backdrop through the glass.  It gives "graceful" a new meaning.

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Two souls beating as one, woman and swan

Asian.jpg (34277 bytes)

The fierce Kabuki Chinese Opera figure--a striking presence in the gallery

G tree.jpg (102355 bytes)

Our continuing love affair with the trees of South Carolina

More trees 2.jpg (38900 bytes)

Live oaks at their tortured best

More trees 3.jpg (40040 bytes)
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The beginning of the outside bronzes, set a spell and read a bit with him...

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The noble rhino in his territory

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Woman with fawn and mother, we found them enchanting at the edge of the garden.

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Woman with pet chicken

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The two horsemen...

2horsemen2.jpg (36986 bytes)

the Greek myth eludes me...

2horsemen3.jpg (37480 bytes)

 the "sound" of their trumpets I hear loud and clear

Heidi-horsemen.jpg (38226 bytes)

The only thing out of sync in this magnificent fountain picture is me!

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Panthers 1, Tapir 0

 

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Snow owl woman

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Swimming woman

 
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Boy with chicken

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Man with panther

Lord Pig.jpg (39886 bytes)

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Lord of the Pigs!

Cougar.jpg (85383 bytes)

A cougar lurks!

Live oaks.jpg (111899 bytes)

Did I tell you about our love affair with trees?...

Live oaks2.jpg (106201 bytes) And our personal favorite...the blissful child in the fountain who has caught the frogs...  

 

HAMMOCKS 

Where hammocks were invented, and are still hand made - in Pawley's Island SC (south of Myrtle Beach)

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The hammock maker hard at work

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He'll use up these stacks of rope in no time

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Glenn enjoying the fruits of the hammock-maker's labor--with an awning too!

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A child enjoying the hammock swing

 

2003  Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia SC statehouse.jpg (36781 bytes)

I visited the State Capitol building in Columbia, SC Sept. 13th, a grand building.

 

Statehouse w flag.jpg (48107 bytes)

This Statehouse has been in the news because of this controversial Confederate flag they continue to fly here.

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Here's a bit of irony - these grand steps to the entrance, marked "Public entrance" with an arrow directing you to a humble side door

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Here's a full view of the sign on the steps, what a hoot!

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Here's the side door where the public is "allowed" to enter.  Give me a break, this grand palace was paid for with taxpayer dollars, I'd go in the front, wouldn't you?

Africa rocks.jpg (37045 bytes)

Tucked (yes, "tucked") around the left side of the statehouse is an impressive map of Africa along with samples of this continent's native rocks

Africa monument plaque.jpg (38527 bytes)

A short distance away is this incredible tribute to African American history in a raised relief bronze wall

Africa wall.jpg (83613 bytes)

Here's one portion of the African American history wall

Africa Gang of 25 plaque.jpg (86346 bytes)

"Gang of 25" plaque detailing the sale of Negroes in the South

Africa wall Jim Crow.jpg (71266 bytes)

References to "Jim Crow" in black history.

Africa wall-2.jpg (75817 bytes)

A larger view of this wall with the Jim Crow portion included

Africa wall-3.jpg (80165 bytes)

One last view of the wall.  The quiet dignity and innate pride of our African American people depicted here lifts the human spirit to hope that perhaps one day prejudice will have no meaning.

 

Maya Angelou

My Glenn bought me a ticket to hear Maya Angelou (whom I have always admired) speak in Columbia SC at the convention center.  A Columbia choir performed before her speech, and they were MAGNIFICENT and moving.  Maya herself is a grand dame worthy of the highest honors.  Her uplifting words, snatches of poetry and song, and earthy stories connected her entire audience.   I found myself jotting notes on whatever I could find to remember her words.  I will never forget her, nor will I forget Glenn's foresight in his gift of this ticket to such a breath of fresh air.

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A lovely floral display at one of the booths surrounding the convention hall.

 

Museum of Art, Columbia SC
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An active and refreshing imagination

Artist: Rafal Olbinski

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A woman unfurled...I know how she feels!

Artist: Rafal Olbinski

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Okay so I'm a sucker for comical critters, I'm sure there's other folks who will get a hoot out of this bear folk art piece too!

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A closeup for another chuckle

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Just an irresistable face

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A somber and exquisite painting, reminding us of so much sacrifice.

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A chair made of horns--weird!  Right up our alley,eh?

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A lovely frosted coating on this peacock feather vase.

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Three views of a HUGE mirror cabinet, truly a massive work of art!

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Bottom details of the mirror cabinet

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Top detail of the mirror cabinet, what a work of art .

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An amusing and functional light made of a plastic bag, found in the museum store.

 

AUGUST 2003
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A new seafood restaurant in North Myrtle Beach (across from the Galleria Mall) called The Giant Crab is indeed living up to its name!

 

STONEHAVEN RETREAT

LITTLE SWITZERLAND, NORTH CAROLINA

In our search for the perfect abode, we landed in this area (though it has plenty of snow in the winters--could you tell from the name?)  We were captivated by the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains here in western NC and found our tour and overnight stay of this retreat a unique experience.  Since the owner decided to keep it as a retreat rather than sell it as a residence, we continued with our search, but we will not forget Stonehaven, indeed a Shangri-la .  Enjoy her website with more detail:

http://stonehaven.hypermart.net/

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The view of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the great room's custom made stained glass window

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The great room

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A room with a View

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The master bedroom/balcony

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Glenn on the balcony.  Since Stonehaven is fully furnished, we enjoyed the slipper collection, as you can tell.

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The upstairs open bedrooms

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A second building, the Ark, on the 28 acre property here on the top of the mountain, built as part of the owner's vision of Last Days

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Lower level of the Ark

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Upper level of the ark

 

JULY 2003
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A picturesque scene on the Brevard, NC college grounds.  Brevard is known for a great music college.

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The famed white squirrel breed found only in Transylvania County (an adapted grey squirrel) 

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Flash--there he is again!  Heidi saw the squirrrels first and it took plenty to convince Glenn that Heidi wasn't plumb crazy.

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A local Brevard lawn service has a sense of humor!

 

 

 

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This traffic in Hendersonville, NC could "grow" on ya!  Well, at least they're not moving too fast!

 

JUNE 2003

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This is in Brevard, NC, Transylvania County, no it's not Draculaville contrary to popular opinion (south of Asheville), a truly lovely town we are considering moving to.  This county has 250 waterfalls, the view of the Smoky Mountains, home of a prestigious music college.  I spotted a WHITE squirrel crossing our vision across the street  that made me think I had stepped through the Looking Glass (Glenn thought so too) till we found it was a local phenomenon, an aberration from the Eastern gray squirrel.  Perhaps a good omen, the opposite of having a black cat cross our path!

Outside Rutherfordton, NC (near Hendersonville, south of Asheville) we stumbled across an AWESOME Rock Shop, Broad River Gems & Mining Co., owned by Russ Wood, a gracious host indeed.  Great carvings, rock/mineral specimens, fossils and jewelry, a destination for ANYONE to enjoy and to purchase any of his lovely items with confidence.  Here's a few pictures to help you appreciate what we mean... and here's their website with information, photos and directions as well...

http://www.broadrivergemsandmining.com/

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One of the few houses on the beach that has survived all hurricanes, it's made of thick concrete, an interesting phenomenon.

 

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This is the famous Atalaya Mansion built in the early 1900's right on the beach, now a ruins, it is a square structure of many rooms with an inner courtyard.  First view is of the water tower in the courtyard, then the courtyard itself.  It's an amazing place to visit, it was built as a home and sculpture studio, the sculptures are displayed across the street in the Brookgreen Gardens here in Myrtle Beach.  Art shows are held here each year.

 

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A walk on Myrtle Beach, mid June, we found live sea urchins galore (left hand picture), breakfast with friends Dann & Cyndi from Nevada at Nibil's Restaurant at the 2nd Avenue Pier in Myrtle Beach (middle picture), then a seafood buffet at Benjamin's Calabash on Ocean Blvd. (entryway has a large model of the Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth), right hand picture.

 

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We discovered this lovely restaurant in downtown Marion, SC.  Great menu and buffet, elegant decor and smiling faces everywhere.  Costello's Cafe was named for Steven and Harold Crawford's grandmother who loved to cook and saw that everyone that came by her home could get a good meal.  We recommend it if you're anywhere NEAR Marion!  Lunch and dinner hours.  Great job guys! **UPDATE** We went to our "favorite" restaurant again in 9/03 and found it closed.  When we inquired across the street at the discount store, there was a STRONG anti-black sentiment expressed, and they were GLAD the restaurant was closed.  What an attitude!  Marion has lost a lovely restaurant it evidently didn't deserve.

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"Red Dawn" over Boulder City, Nevada, photo by Larry Hunt...a little taste of "home" - thanks, Lar!

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Though we made this trip more than once, our friend Larry did a photo tour for us from Boulder City, Nevada down Highway 95 to the Nelson town turnoff - in Nelson, a tiny desert town, not only have their been alien sightings, but there is a real gold mine (no longer functioning) but the family gives GREAT tours of the mine along with all the legends.  They operate from their home with a great multi story barn full of memorabilia.  The newest chapter in the town of Nelson was when the making of the movie "3000 Miles to Graceland" brought the movie crew to Nelson to tape a dramatic plane crash for the movie - the plane remains there next to the farm property.

MAY 2003

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Fossil Show, Aurora NC - these are some of the entries for the Memorial Day Parade.

 

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This is Bob Purdy and Dave Bohaska from the Smithsonian, helping us identify a customer's fossil from a picture - she's hoping it's a dinosaur coprolite that was found in Utah!  The Smithsonian fellows come to the show every year to find the unusual fossils that may have turned up in the last year.

 

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We had a double booth and did very well selling dichroic, amber and sharks teeth.  Of course Heidi found a booth selling "fried banana pudding" - you know in the South they'll fry ANYTHING - just last week she had a fried Twinkie, also available were fried Snickers bars - you can write us and we'll tell you how they did it!  And yes, it was delicious!

 

APRIL 2003

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We're at "South of the Border" at the North Carolina/South Carolina border where there's a Mexican themed Amusement park, arcade, lovely antique store and beach stores.  The best thing was this 27 foot great white shark trophy mount - this shark was caught off the coast of Barbados in 1995.

 

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An idyllic river scene that just slows you down to remember the things that matter - your goal in life should never be just a cleared desk; take time to really breathe.  Water so calm it makes a perfect reflection, green so green it makes your eyes water.  Photo taken off one of Conway, SC side roads.

 

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A magnificent live oak we found on a side street within the town of Conway, SC.  Yes, some things ARE older than we are and some things DO get more beautiful with age.  A comforting thought.

 

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Pure Myrtle Beach South Carolina fun - a monkey with a camera, no less, bigger than life, on a trailer parked at a restaurant on Highway 17.  Here's lookin' at you!

 

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What a catch!  This is a view of the Fish House Restaurant in Pawley's Island (south end of Myrtle Beach SC) - the boat is on the sign, the great white shark is exploding through the roof of the restaurant!  Another Myrtle Beach attraction in itself.  The truck gives some great local color as well.

 

MARCH 2003

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This display is part of the Grand Strand Shell Club's setup at the Inlet Square Mall here in Myrtle Beach this weekend.  These fun and incredibly labor intensive framed items are an example of Bill's hard work with the shells he obviously enjoys to collect and display.  The Peace Dove is made entirely of over 1400 of the tiny "doves", the bones inside sand dollars.  The shark is made entirely of fossil sharks teeth.  Then there's his famous sunburst Shell picture.  Bill is sitting next to a hollow glass lamp filled with more partitions of endless numbers of small shells.  The shells are certainly plentiful on Myrtle Beach's shores, and learning more about them here at the show has been a pleasure.   We're set up nearby with our own display of Weird Museum, fossils, rocks and jewelry too.  See our Cool Customers page for more photos on the show.

 

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Denise, a member of the Grand Strand Shell Club, makes these incredible wreaths and flower arrangements from SHELLS--aren't they amazing?

 

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This little sweetie is listening to the "ocean waves" in the shell, while the Shell Club members look on, amused.

 

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Here's pictures of two young boys who are fascinated by the Weird Museum display of ours, some is real and some is not, they can't figure out which!

 

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Here's a view of our Rock/Fossil/Weird/Jewelry/Alien display at the mall.  Our Alien Gent has made his debut here, quite regal isn't he?

 

FEBRUARY 2003

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Valentine's Day, 2003, Glenn took me to the Dolly Parton Dixieland Stampede here in Myrtle Beach.  Now we're not the country music type, folks, and I had my misgivings, but gee we had a good time and a great meal, a nice surprise!  This was a pre-show of an Electric Horseman from Australia who walked and ran his horse in the carpeted dining area right among us, certainly a refreshing twist to the entertainment!  He also went up the stairs to the balcony so they could all experience his stallion close up, then the third picture (apologize for the low quality) is bringing him back downstairs.  An amazing animal.

 

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The mansion where singing took place, a real Southern flair, also a battle between the North & South, the audience taking part of course.

 

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The horseshoe (i.e. toilet seat) throwing contest, a pig race, stampeding buffalo, an ostrich race (they were too fast for me to catch on tape, but here's the clown with his great ostrich costume).

 

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A great finale with the horses, light show of stars, a magnificent flag, and a last view of the arena before we left, our own photo "postcard" memory of the night.

 

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Right here in Myrtle Beach is a store called "Shark" - the mouth is the entrance to the store...and NO, it DIDN'T eat the jeep, it just...use your imagination!

 

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The Chicken Man travels the country being paid as an attraction for businesses and fairs.  The chickens do tricks that sure pay their way!  This is another "local" Myrtle Beach view.

 

December 2002

To the mountain town of Cherokee, North Carolina, at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains for Christmas time.

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Oh no!  Snow!  Get a peek at Glenn in pants, because this happens only once in a blue moon!

 

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An awesome bronze statue near the Indian Museum in Cherokee, NC. along with the story of it as a traveling message to us all, including their website.  Very moving.

 

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A bit of fun with the "bear" that even had a bullet hole and is still standing!  There were "bears" everywhere in Cherokee!

 

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An incredible carving from a sequoia tree, Glenn even knows the artist, it turns out.

 

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RUN FOR YOUR LIVES - A GIANT GATOR HAS GOTTEN LOOSE!  Is it from Lake Placid?  Afraid not..this one is part of the Trading Post in Cherokee, NC.  Gee we could use this at our shop!

 

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How can there be a Santaland that closes in October?  We had a chuckle over this one!

 

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Breathtaking - looks like Old Master's paintings.  It was hard to pick my favorites.  The Great Smokies at their finest.  Photo taken between Cherokee and Maggie Valley, NC.

 

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Local color!  An antique store in Maggie's Valley, and a Stompin' Ground dance parlor.

 

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A ghost town in the clouds!  There was gold in them thar hills at one time, now you can take a cable car up to see what's left.

 

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Enterpreneurs make snow while the sun shines!  The weather was just right for making snow for snow tubing!

 

November 2002

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Our trip to Florence, South Carolina on Thanksgiving Day, where the simple faces of pansies brightens the spirit.  Taken at a motel restaurant in Florence where we had a nice buffet.

CHARLESTON, SC

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A sampling of the hand made sweet grass baskets made by the lovely African-American ladies of the South - each well-known for their particular styles, which sell for upwards of $10,000 for some large designs.  These are in what was sadly the slave market, now farmer's market/flea market area of CHARLESTON, SC where we went for my birthday in October.

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 This is the oldest Unitarian Church in America - dates to early 1700's.  We came through a tunnel of greenery to the back where there was an ancient graveyard, lovely Spanish moss dripping from the trees, and this lovely picturesque church.  We could have been in Europe, for all we knew.

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Here's where we ate dinner in Charleston - "82 Queens" - the name of the restaurant as well as the address.  This is the interior, which is outside - what a pleasant meal in such surroundings!  Third picture is Glenn trying to wait patiently for our first course.

 

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Charleston SC is a real antique Mecca - very upper class stuff - so we just enjoyed the lovely greenery and other sights.  Old culture here.  Some of the streets also resembled San Francisco from the colored house fronts.  A pleasant place to go anytime!

 

YAM FESTIVAL, TABOR CITY, SC (mid October 2002)

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45 minutes from Myrtle Beach was the Yam Fest (mid October 2002) where you could get yam fries, fried okra, fried anything!  

 

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Here we got a turkey leg (tasted like HAM) - they were so huge, I wonder what it took to catch those turkeys!

 

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Bartering for hot boiled peanuts, a Southern specialty - don't knock it, it's an acquired taste.  Dang, they're tasty!

 

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A few local faces in the crowd at the Yam Fest.

 

MCCLELLANVILLE, SC (September 2002)

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A picturesque seaside shrimping town south of Myrtle Beach, full of lovely trees, peopled by families that have been there for generations.

 

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A glimpse of a slower life makes us slow down to enjoy the moment ourselves.

 

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A sampling of the gracious homes near the water in McClellanville.  

 

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One of the reasons we stopped - this is evidence of the previous damage wrought by Hurricane Hugo on Sept. 22, 1989 (13 years ago this month), when the town was news for the extensive damage to homes and marina.  This sign had clearly been underwater after the hurricane.   Here's a few photos to make you pause...

 

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Dis is not where boats are supposed to be, folks!  They've made an amazing recovery, haven't they?

 

August 2002

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For those of you unfamiliar with Southern foods, "chicken bog" is an absolute favorite!  Some cook the entire chicken with bones, then add rice, spices and sausage.  Others start with the rice and add the chicken and sausage later.  Any way you cook it, it's BOG...and the members of the  Little Lamb Church in Conway SC (15 minutes from our shop) know how!  Friends Bob and Laura invited us to the Bog Supper...we didn't need to be asked twice!  Friendly faces, good home cooking - three types of Bog, but Malachi (waving to the camera) won hands down.  See Glenn waiting for second helpings?  Friend Bob is in the purple to the right of Glenn; Laura has the braids in the last picture.  MMMM bring it on!

 

MAY 2002

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Memorial Day weekend is always the time for the Aurora Fossil Festival (Aurora, North Carolina), a tiny town with a huge phosphate mine nearby that produces not just phosphate, but thousands of fossils that turn up with each shovelful.  The town brings many dump loads into the town center to a huge sand pile, and during the festival, kids can dig their own fossils!  LOTS of shark teeth and many other fossils to be found!  Across the street is the Aurora Fossil Museum that has recently expanded to become a major information source.  We try not to miss the festival each year!  Below is an aerial view of the mine, then  the square outlined in that photo is upsized in the next photo so you see a cross section of the mine.  Next is Glenn in a reproduction of a megalodon jaw, and check out another megalodon head next to that!

 

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A little fill-in information for all you folks - when we closed down our Nevada store to move across the country back to Myrtle Beach, we never dreamed the route our trip would take.  But a little friend back in Nevada drew this map of our future travels, and he was not far off!  We 

started in Las Vegas, through Kingman, Arizona to the Meteor Crater near Winslow, then the Petrified Forest area near Holbrook AZ, then Albuquerque NM, then to El Paso, TX to get dental work done in Juarez, Mexico, then back up to Roswell, NM, then across OK and TX to Hot Springs, AR, then we shot across through Mississippi, and Birmingham AL, and Atlanta GA and up the coast through Charleston SC to Myrtle Beach, even past that up to Calabash and beyond, before we came back to Myrtle Beach to finalize paperwork for the new store.  See the "About Us" pages for info on the new store and lots of pics!

 

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WE MADE IT TO THE BEACH!  Our new home again - Myrtle Beach - 60 miles of uninterrupted beach to walk.  Here's Glenn at the Nibil's Restaurant on the 2nd Avenue Pier (we're actually on the outside deck - ocean is to the left, a plexiglass protective window is behind Glenn, but it looks like a picture, doesn't it?)

 

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Here's Nance's Restaurant in Murrell's Inlet, an oyster bar renowned for guess what?  The family behind us has a great "dinner bucket" served to them.  Ah, what seafood, now we're back in Myrtle Beach!

 

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Myrtle Beach sights - a great crab truck!  And a limo that used to belong to David Lee Roth - 110 feet, I believe, with even a swimming pool at the back!  (The shark is actually a separate display beyond the limo)

 

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Above is Mother's Day at Epcot Center in Orlando on our way back from picking up our storage in Hudson, Florida...Glenn said it was all INDOORS!  ha...we cooked out there all day...but I did see Epcot!  Great floral Flat, and a great mosaic entry to one of the buildings!

 

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We detoured to Hot Springs, Arkansas on purpose - and not to see Bill Clinton's picture either!  There's an awesome Quartz Crystal Mine outside of town that we visited again, purchasing a huge assortment of Aurora crystals that came from this mine.  (See the Rocks & Minerals pages for specimens available).  Truly a lovely drive through this area.

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