Road Trip Re-Cap

It’s time for ABC Wednesday and we are on the letter R.

Thank you to the ABC team!

I’ll share a few snapshots of my daughter and my road trip across the U.S.A. The reason for our road trip was to return her and her car to Jacksonville, North Carolina to be ready for her husband’s return from Afghanistan. The reunion will be rewarding for them. We left Seattle on April 27th and arrived at our final destination on May 4th.

In the meantime it’s interesting living in a Marine populated city with license plates from all over the U.S.A. I will leave Jacksonville on Thursday and re-unite with my Dear in Orlando, Florida for a conference he is attending and then finally be back home later in May.

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Day one on the road. We stopped in Spokane Valley for lunch with my son and his girl friend and then carried on.

P1050070Day one we drove across Washington and Idaho and into Montana!

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Day two started with snow in Bozeman, Montana. Retreating was not an option so we returned to the road hoping for good traction and no sliding on the road.

SeaJack #2 009Day two ended in Rapid City, South Dakota. We drove across Montana, down into Wyoming and across to South Dakota. Three states a day became our road trip theme. The other theme we did not want to repeat was snow but when we woke up in Rapid City to start our third day on the road snow was whipping side ways in some extreme wind conditions. Again retreat was not an option.

P1050082We learned to rely on Rest areas in many states across the U.S.A. They appeared just when we needed them most and they were all clean and well maintained. This is how the snow was sticking because of the severe winds in and around Rapid City.

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Many times along the roads that were unknown to us our minds recalled the reassuring verses in the New Testament from Matthew that read…

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

I also would sing in my head…His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

P1050086Day three ended in Nebraska which means we traveled across South Dakota, into Iowa, and finished in Nebraska.

P1050111Day four we left Nebraska, entered Iowa again, and headed to Kansas City Missouri to meet up with a bloggy friend for RIBS!

Collages7After a great lunch and meeting Pam face to face along with her daughter we continued on to our stop for the night which would be just outside St. Louis, Missouri in the state of Illinois.  Day four ended up being a four state day!

P1050182On Day five our goal was to reach Hendersonville, Tennessee. We traveled along some rock lined highways and other areas full of green trees from Illinois into Kentucky and then down to Tennessee.

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On day Six we would only travel in two states Tennessee and North Carolina. Our goal was to take a scenic road to Asheville, North Carolina nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains for a two day retreat and rest before we traveled the final five hours to Jacksonville, North Carolina (Camp Lejeune Marine Base).

SeaJack #6 010Our scenic route took us through some towns that surprised us with their weird attractions not so much rural charm.

SeaJack #6 019Finally after passing a few attractions like these in Pigeon Forge we entered some refreshing views like these.

SeaJack #6 027We were rewarded after our sixth day of travel with dinner at the Omni Grove in Asheville, North Carolina with beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

SeaJack #6 126 If you’d like to see more photos from this grand Inn click here.

Biltmore 066Our seventh day was spent at the Biltmore Estate and Gardens. The azaleas at the Biltmore were in their glory. I will be posting more about our day at the Biltmore in the future.

P1050206On day eight of our travels we reached our final destination in Jacksonville, North Carolina, home of MCCS Camp Lejeune. We checked into our hotel and started the planning lists for securing an apartment asap and setting up a temporary home for Katie and Andrew upon Andrew’s return and homecoming from Afghanistan. I’m happy to report that I’m preparing this post from that apartment with wifi and all the bare essentials are in place for Katie and Andrew to live comfortably for the next few months. I might have even lost a pound or two carrying boxes up the three flights of stairs to their third floor apartment. (no elevators)

Road trip mission accomplished. Semper Fi!

Relief and Rejoicing upon Andrew’s Return soon to commence!

 

Sunset Terrace at the Grove

We were so happy we listened to several recommendations we got to make sure we made it to the historic Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina. Mary from A Breath of Fresh Air first suggested that Katie and I shouldn’t miss this historic Inn. Two co-workers of Dear’s also said it was a “not to be missed” destination.

SeaJack #6 121We arrived to Asheville on the 6th day of our Road trip across the U.S.A. We had preplanned a two day stop in this beautiful mountain city.

SeaJack #6 122 We made reservations on the Sunset Terrace for the evening that we arrived to Asheville. Can you see Katie on the right  looking down at me?

SeaJack #6 126The Terrace has wonderful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

SeaJack #6 127We had a nice visit with this local couple and I did mention they might end up in some of my photos.

2014-05-02 SeaJack #6Because of traveling all day and making our reservations later than we normally eat we ordered on the “light” side. No big steaks this night. Katie ordered Caesar salad, crab cake, and macaroni and cheese. I ordered a fresh beet salad and the onion soup.

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SeaJack #6 141For dessert we shared the Sticky Toffee Pudding.

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2014-05-02 SeaJack #62After our dinner and before we left we walked around the lodge and it was fun to see that they were featuring wines from our neck of the woods!

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We really enjoyed our time at the Historic Omni Grove in Asheland, North Carolina. As Mary told us even if you don’t have dinner on the terrace make sure you visit and enjoy a drink there. We thought sunset was the perfect time to be there, too. Thanks for the recommendation. This stop was one of the highlights of our SeaJack Road Trip!

Today in Jacksonville Katie has scheduled massages for us. We have come up with a few more necessary items to purchase for the apartment, too, so a little shopping is on the agenda.

What does Monday hold for you?

 

 

Looking Back ~ Bellefontaine Cemetery

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There are so many interesting people buried at this beautiful cemetery. I’ll be sharing more notables in posts when I get back from all my traveling but for now I’ll just show some of the monuments without the history…

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Bellefontaine 104We are marveling that we missed so much “weather” on our travels and we are still thanking God for being safe and sound in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

We’ve had a nice Mother’s Day. We found out about an interesting law here in this part of the state. We don’t know if it’s the law all over the state but when we arrived for brunch at Duck’s Bar and Grille at 11:00 A.M. today we were considering having Mimosa’s with our Eggs Benedict. We were informed that the law stated no alcohol could be served before noon on Sundays. So there you have it. Today is the most humid day here since we arrived so we are enjoying just staying in with the air conditioning on. Katie started a meal in the crock pot this morning before we left for brunch and it is smelling real good right now. Tomorrow Katie scheduled massages for us and we are really looking forward to that.

We still do not have T.V. here at the apartment and I’ve been interested in some weather stories I’ve seen here and there. I hope you are safe where you are and that you are enjoying a lovely Mother’s Day at home or elsewhere.

Looking Back ~ Bellefontaine Cemetery & Arboretum

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On the 5th day of our roadtrip Thursday May 1st we doubled back to St. Louis to visit the Bellefontaine Cemetery. Bellefontaine is the 14th great rural cemetery built in the U.S.A. Before rural cemeteries the dead were buried in family plots or churchyards. The first internment took place in 1850.  Because of the Cholera outbreak in St. Louis in 1849 and a devastating fire that killed many, the city needed a large cemetery.

Like Calvary Cemetery there are a lot of people buried here that were influential in the history of the U.S. Before I share about the people I’m going to share the beautiful trees and flowers we enjoyed.

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Bellefontaine 007I’m a huge fan of dogwood and we were treated to many beautiful dogwood trees here. Katie and I left home just as my pink dogwood was starting to bloom.

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Bellefontaine 141I’ll be sharing much more from this great cemetery in the future.

Today in Jacksonville Katie and I shopped for all the staples for her kitchen, all the basics for cooking and baking. Katie is making dinner for us tonight. She has been registered on an e-meals sight for a while now and you choose the meals that sound good to you and a shopping list is generated. It has been a handy tool to get Katie more comfortable in the kitchen.

It’s so nice to be in a residence instead of a hotel. Having internet makes a big difference, too. No T.V. yet but we are surviving nicely. Katie and Andrew have some interesting neighbors. Apartment life is so unpredictable! At least you know you aren’t in one spot forever especially if you are in the military. Did you know that active military members that receive any new orders are free to break any lease without penalty? That’s a very good policy.

What’s going on in your neck of the woods?

The Here and Now!

Katie and I have been very busy in Jacksonville these last few days. We arrived here Sunday night and checked into our hotel and had dinner at O’Charley’s. On Monday we hit the ground running…

ApartmentFirst order of business was to find an apartment for Katie and Andrew. The second complex we visited had a one bedroom apartment available to rent on the 3rd floor with immediate occupancy subject to credit and background checks. Katie filled out all the forms and by 4:00 on Monday she had the keys to the new apartment.

Apartment1The one bedroom is 824 square feet and has nice high ceilings. It is 100 square feet larger than Dear and my condo that we had in California.

Apartment2There are some nice closets and the washer/dryer and all kitchen appliances are included.

Apartment3Of course upon close inspection we found some flaws but this is the nature of the beast with apartment living. One big thing is that the complex is pet friendly.

Apartment5Even though the apartment was supposedly cleaned and carpets washed after the last tenant left we still found an amazing amount of cat hair from just a once over in the living room with the vacuum. Disgusting! I’m thinking the apartment cleaners need to upgrade their vacuums!

On the bright side, the views from the windows are of a lovely green space between this apartment complex and the next one over.

Apartment4It was not easy for Katie and me to trudge up and down the 3 floors of stairs with the minimal belongings that they are setting up home with. We had to break down some of the boxes of kitchen items that Katie had packed so well and that were stored here in Jacksonville for the last eight and a half months because they were just too heavy for us to get up the stairs.

Tuesday was the big long move the boxes and possessions in day. We worked for many hours and shopped for some needed items in between. At 9:30 PM we finally made it back to the hotel pretty much in a delirious state of mind.

On Wednesday we checked out of our hotel and headed to the apartment for the mattress delivery. We vacuumed some more, washed floors and put away all the kitchen items. We also started loads of laundry. The mattress delivery was made and we made up the bed. Katie called the cable company to set up internet and minimum cable and the technician said he was working 2 days out but he’d put Katie on his ASAP list and if anything opened up he’d give us a call. Well…by 4:00 today the internet was hooked up. We headed out to Wal-Mart again and bought a wireless modem. Katie with some difficulty figured out how to hook everything up and we are now connected to the W.W.W.!

Apartment6Sunrise to Sunset has been the theme the last few days. Tomorrow we are taking it slower and returning some items we bought and doing our grocery shopping. We need all the staples (flour, sugar, spices, salt) and extras.

Let’s talk about my hair and humidity. My hair takes on a life of it’s own here in the southeast! It gets some added curl and twists and turns when I’m working hard in the humidity. I think the humidity tires me out faster, too.

Some of Andrew’s company that are good friends of him and Katie will be arriving home sooner than Andrew in the Advon party and we plan to put them to work bribing them with food and company. We need some strong young men to help us get a T.V. into the apartment.

Tomorrow I’m looking forward to a nice strong cup of french press coffee here at K & A’s apartment. What are you looking forward to?

Looking Back ~ Calvary Cemetery

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When we were trying to find Bellefontaine Cemetery at the end of the 4th day of our road trip in St. Louis, Missouri we couldn’t find the right entrance but right next door to the Bellefontaine is Calvary Cemetery. We drove in just before the gates were closed for the day. We didn’t know anything about Calvary but when we were ready to leave we saw the caretaker in his car and asked him if he knew how we could find the entrance to Bellefontaine he let us know and then asked “Did you find what you wanted to see here?” We said, “We really did not know what to look for we just like old cemeteries.” He asked, “Did you see Dred Scott’s grave or General Sherman’s grave or Tennessee Williams?” We said, “No!” He said, OK…just follow me and I’ll take you to see them before I lock the gates” Then we had to floor it to keep up with him. We really appreciated his going the extra mile for us even though his shift was over.

SeaJack #4 023When we visited the Bellefontaine the day after we were here we also saw Taylor Blow’s headstone.

SeaJack #4 024If you want to read more about the history surrounding Dred Scott click on this link.

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SeaJack #4 026Tennessee Williams

SeaJack #4 029General William Tecumseh Sherman

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Our guide also wanted to show us this monument that was erected for all the still born babies born at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center.

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Before we got our personal tour I took these photos.

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SeaJack #4 016We decided that even though our hotel for this night would be further east we wanted to double back the next day to visit Bellefontaine early in the day.

And now looking forward for today Tuesday May 6th. Today we will be doing a lot of shopping for all the incidentals you need to live in an apartment. You know things like dishwasher soap, laundry soap, shower curtain etc. etc. We will also be retrieving boxes that Katie packed before she came to live with us that are being stored at a friends home here in Jacksonville. We will be going up and down 3 flights of stairs a lot today. Maybe I’ll lose a pound!

Looking Back at Bozeman

P1050194I’m starting a series of posts called looking back so I can share some things from our road trip that I haven’t had time to share until now.

Look what we found on Main Street in Bozeman, Montana. As we looked for Copper Whiskey Bar and Grill Katie spotted this theater.

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It was fun to see my name in lights!

Katie and I are so relieved and happy that we found an apartment today for Katie and Andrew and we even got the keys today. We have mattresses scheduled to arrive on Wednesday morning. We will now be able to check out of our hotel on Wednesday!

It’s Cinco de Mayo but we are sticking to our tradition of having our Mexican meal on Tuesday. Tonight we are making our own meal at the hotel. Do you go out for Mexican food on Cinco de Mayo?

SeaJack the finale!

Sunday, our last day of our road trip took us from Asheville, N.C. to Jacksonville.  We didn’t take a lot of photos.

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We always get a kick out of passing the Piggly Wiggly!

P1050206We made it at 5:15 on Sunday the 4th of May. We logged a total of 3225 miles on this trip from start to finish. Now we are settled in to our home away from home until we find an apartment for Katie and Andrew. We like our new digs!

To Jacksonville1We have a kitchen, eating area, living area, desk work space, 2 bedrooms and a bathroom. Each bedroom has it’s own T.V.

P1050213The kitchen is equipped with the bare essentials.

To Jacksonville

We thank the Lord for bringing us safely to our destination. We have lots to do in the next several days but that doesn’t include driving 5 to 8 hours a day! Thank you to all of you that have been praying for us during our SeaJack road trip. I appreciate you all!

Next week I’ll share about the special stops and places we visited.

 

Sunday From the Road…

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Matthew 6:25-34

English Standard Version (ESV)

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

SeaJack #6 070These verses have come to mind a lot on this 8 day road trip of ours, especially when we encountered some severe weather along the way. As I saw birds flitting about in the strongest of winds that made our car rock I thought that God was certainly watching over us, too.

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Psalm 100:4

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him; bless his name!

SeaJack #6 The Smoky Mountain Detour…

We left Hendersonville, Tennessee after a stop at Starbucks and filling up our gas tank at a Kroeger Grocery store Station. Kroeger in Washington is either our Fred Meyer stores or our QFC stores.

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Right about here on the road our clocks turned forward an hour and we were now in the Eastern Time Zone!

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SeaJack #6 008We really weren’t prepared for our drive through Sevierville and Pigeon Forge and the strange sights we would see.

SeaJack #6 010This was promising but then we drove into the bizarre world of Pigeon Forge.

SeaJack #6 014What!?

SeaJack #6 016The Hatfields and the McCoys!

SeaJack #6 017The Titanic?

SeaJack #6 019We weren’t able to make it to Rushmore but this did not make up for it!

SeaJack #6 023A Bavarian Denny’s? This town had an amazing amount of dinner theaters of different genres to experience. There were some great looking miniature golf properties but so many other tacky unusual properties.

SeaJack #6 025We did not divert our path further to go to Dollywood.

SeaJack #6 027Now this was more like it. This was the scenery we were expecting on our Smoky Mountain Detour.

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SeaJack #6 035This was in the town of Gatlinburg. This town had a lot of candy shops, donut shops, fudge shops, taffy shops and Whiskey shops.

SeaJack #6 034Ripley’s Aquarium was also located here. I’m scared to think of what kind of creatures you would see in there.

SeaJack #6 053We bought a sandwich here and headed out to our destination on this day which was Asheville, North Carolina.

SeaJack #6 112We laughed real hard when we crossed this river 8 times during our detour!

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SeaJack #6 117We made it to Asheville at 5:30, checked into our hotel and then got ready for our dinner reservation at the Omni Grove Hotel on their Sunset Terrace. That experience will be a future post!

We are so happy to be here in Asheville for a two day stretch. We spent most of the day at the Biltmore Estate properties today and walked our feet off. We are chilling in our hotel room tonight having a picnic in our room instead of heading out to eat. The weather was beautiful today. Tomorrow we drive our final miles on this road trip across the U.S.A.

Thanks to all of you bloggy friends for following along with us on this journey across the U.S.A.