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Day 3 RiVoli Rallies Savannah 2018   Leave a comment

Coffee and doughnuts before our “chariot” bus arrived. We started our tour day at the haunted Distillery Ale House where Ghostbusters was filmed, as if we didn’t have enough “ghostal” experience the night before. Look how we were greeted!

DELICIOUS Bloody Marys were served – YUMMY.

While we ate an early lunch of hamburger and chicken “sliders” (because that’s what they eat in the south), French fries, sweet potato fries, salad, the owner told us that ghosts have been known to be on site…. They had “Drink and Spirits” from the Discovery Channel come in and “mic” the three story building. They asked the spirits questions and actually (supposedly) got answers. He is supposed to get the results in a few weeks. After all, this IS the most haunted city in the United States.

Next stop was the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, which is located in the “1819 William Scarbrough House” housing 18th and 19th century model vessels. Scarbrough was the President of the Savannah Steamship Company. There were models of ships throughout the 3 story building, but the most notable was the “Titanic.” The model was amazing. Each individual person, on the ship and on the lifeboats were created, and they are all different – no duplicates!

Leave it to KRAZY KAY, to find that the floor registers were hand painted to match the carpet!

And then there is KRAZY KAY with KRAZY BARBARA

We learned what the sailors did while at sea. How creative they were.

Before we left, everyone was able to create their own “scrimshaw.” With their tongues hanging out, focused on their piece, they scratched in their design and colored over the scratching leaving color in the scratches to make their design.

Thank goodness we didn’t have to do a ship in a bottle!

We ended our day at the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum for a tour and dinner.

The 8th air force was activated in 1942 (52 days after the attack on Pearl Harbor) in Downtown Savannah. It began with only 7 men and no planes, but within 4 years became the largest air force in the world!

In front of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force is an F-4C Phantom,

originally designed for use on board Navy aircraft carriers. In 1962 the Air Force adopted a ground attack version of the F-4, which was used extensively in Vietnam. This aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of the United States Air Force. There is also a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17A, introduced in 1951 and used by North Vietnam and in many of the African and Middle-Eastern conflicts of the 1960s-1980s. They were originally built as a subsonic, fighter-bomber designed to intercept straight and level enemy bombers. Once the U.S. introduced supersonic bombers, the MiG-17A was rendered obsolete on the front lines. This Russian built MiG-17A bears the distinctive insignia and camouflage pattern of the North Vietnamese Air Force. This aircraft is owned by the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force.

Behind the Museum is a B-47 Stratojet, a key aircraft used by the United States during the Cold War years that could fly at high altitudes to avoid detection. This aircraft was pivotal as a nuclear deterrent in the Cold War. The B-47 was America’s first swept-wing jet bomber and helped lead to the modern jet airliner. This aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

Along with beautiful gardens.

We even got a chance to start the engines!

Inside the museum we learned about the conditions that allowed Adolph Hitler and his Nazi party to win the support of the German public and the use of propaganda by all countries and the essential role it played in swaying public opinion.

In August 1940, once Hitler conquered the majority of Europe and Northern Africa, he turned his attention to the United Kingdom. While Germany was wreaking havoc in Europe and Africa, its ally Japan had its own campaign with a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, launching the United States into World War II. After the Germans and the Italians declared war on the United States on December 11, 1941, the U.S. and its allies must come up with a plan to win the war with fronts on opposite sides of the globe.

The Hall of Valor exhibit honors a number of outstanding individuals who served with the Eighth Air Force during World War II. Included are the aces, the Commanders of the Eighth Air Force, and those awarded the Medal of Honor. These men paved the way to end the war! The Eighth Air Force also played an active role through the entire Cold War era.

The stories of heroism and memorabilia will leave you in awe.

The museum set up a tasty dinner for us. Salad, herbed chicken, mashed potatoes, corn casserole, green beans AND peach cobbler.

Can’t do a meal in Georgia without peach cobbler!

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Posted June 14, 2018 by carolnbill in Travel

Day 2 Submerged In Savannah   Leave a comment

Starting out with the BIGGEST pastries you have ever seen! Even our Texans commented on just how HUGE the pastries were. ALL FLAVORS!

Afterwards, we were whisked off in our first class motor coach to the Savannah History Museum, where we saw the city’s history from its founding in 1733 to what it is today. The museum is housed in a 19th century railway shed. Very cool whether you are a railroad buff or not.

In 1775, Savannah was a bustling southern port city serving as a hub for the Caribbean and Atlantic Waterways. Several hundred houses lined the streets. Mostly wooden and painted blue or red, with long, deep porches to catch that breeze and a bit of shade. The city is slow to change for the modern times, which makes this a very unique city.

The Battle of Savannah was on October 9, 1779 and lasted a whole 55 minutes, yet there were 850-1000 casualties (second to the battle of Bunker Hill). It was one of the bloodiest battles of the Revolution. The French and Americans eventually retreated and the British claimed the victory.

Our guests were schooled on how to load and shoot their weapons, BUT as you as see from the photo above, they did not show up….

Not sure which was our guests’ favorite, the Forest Gump bench, where Forest Gump was filmed eating a box of chocolates.

OR

The Mad hatter Shop

Now that’s a KRAZY KREW!

Back to the campground for a catered lunch to give everyone some pet and down time. We had sandwiches on freshly baked bread, made to order and a HUGE delicious homemade cookie. Their desserts here in Savannah seem to be EXTRA LARGE!

Back downtown for a Paula Deen Trolley Tour.

With 2 full trolleys, we saw the location of Paula Deen’s first restaurant

and her first home.

We saw 250 years right before our eyes. Homes and churches beautifully restored.

Where was dinner? Why at Paul Deen’s, of course,

and WHAT A DINNER IT WAS!

If you need salt, just ask. Be careful what you ask for. HAHA

While eating, all of a sudden and out of the blue, we heard this cute southern accent gal “Thank you everyone for coming.” We ALL thought Paula Deen made a guest appearance. But it was our funbassador, Dot Seaman!

While waiting for our “special” trolley, we discovered Echo Square. Few tourists, and only some locals, know about this intriguing spot. We were lucky enough to find it empty, so one by one, we all had a turn to hear our echo. There is no official explanation as to why when you stand in the middle of the square, your voice, no matter what you say, reverberates around you. Some say it’s the circular design or the proximity of the river, or that there is an old tunnel, possibly from the underground railroad, beneath this river walk and this spot is a hole into the tunnel, and the stone above it is so thin, so it’s like standing above a manhole. We prefer to think it’s the ghosts…..

Then, on to the Ghost & Gravestones Tour. Savannah is the most “haunted” city in America! We jumped onto our special trolley to check out those ghosts.

We toured the dark streets of Savannah as our guide pointed out all the haunted areas. We stopped at one of the most “haunted” mansions. We were told that many have taken photos in the mansion and later found that ghosts had shown up in the mirror of their photos! Kay challenged me to take a picture of every mirror to try and catch a glimpse of one of those ghosts.

I think I failed as I checked each mirror closely and didn’t find one darn ghost……

“Miss Kay” delighted in frightening people throughout the night with her antics. You never knew when she was going to come up behind you and grab you.

She finally met her match at the end of the evening! SHE was FINALLY the one that got spooked and let out a blood-curdling scream. We actually thought it was part of the program.

Did we have a good day today?

The EYES have it!

Posted June 1, 2018 by carolnbill in Friends, RiVoliRallies, RV, Travel

RiVoli Rallies Inaugural Savannah Rally, Day 1   2 comments

We are UP AND RUNNING! “RiVoliRallies” is debuting its 15 day inaugural rally in Beautiful Savannah, Georgia. Kay Rivoli, owner and founder, along with Linda Jones, President, and Carol Hamilton, General Manager, have been diligently working to bring to its clients an upscale RV rally, full of fun and Krazy antics. “RiVoliRallies” motto is ONLY THE BEST FOR ITS GUESTS. So we searched high and low in the Savannah area for a campground that would meet our standards. VOILA! We are at the brand spankin’ new “CreekFire Motor Ranch.”

Everyone worked hard to decorate our venue. With direction from Kay, we KNEW this would be one first-class rally.

 

Art and Dot did an exceptional job organizing the store.

Carol, Linda, and Jennifer set up the coffee/tea and popcorn area.

While Bill and Ted set up the bar.

Once Kay and Ron set up the stage, complete with video screens, and the tables were set,

WE WERE READY!

Day 1

Rally began with orientation and a DELICIOUS catered dinner. Grilled Shrimp and Tenderloin with all the fixings, not to forget the Peach Cobbler and Blueberry desserts.

There will be no king and queen of our rally. There will, however, be a “Scapegoat.” So, “if” anything goes wrong, we blame:

DOUG STEGALL

our first Scapegoat, who accepted this 24/7 challenge.

Posted May 24, 2018 by carolnbill in Friends, RiVoliRallies, RV, Travel

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RiVoliRallies Follow Us On Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram   Leave a comment

Bill and I have joined “RiVoliRallies,”

https://www.rivolirallies.com/

come join us on a rally!

Sign up for Southern Louisiana 2018 now while there is still room:

https://www.rivolirallies.com/southern-louisiana.html

Missed Savannah, GA, in 2018? Catch us in 2019:

https://www.rivolirallies.com/savannah.html

Posted April 17, 2018 by carolnbill in Friends, RiVoliRallies, RV, Travel

RAISING OF THE BARN   1 comment

It all started in 2015 when we bought a 45 acre parcel of land with our son, Billy, each owning 1/2. First we had to clear a driveway and the areas where we wanted the houses to be built.

Originally Billy and Bill went out to the property with their saws and decided after ½ day, there was no way possible they themselves could clear the 450 feet of driveway and then the few acres for the houses…..

We got the name of a tree harvester in the area who said he would clear the trees for free, but needed to get 15 acres total and was going to leave the tree stomps! NOPE that won’t work….. So we found a guy, just up the road, who has a HUGE bulldozer and came and knocked all the trees down, stomps and all and pushed them to the perimeter of the property. That was money WELL SPENT.

Meanwhile, Bill and I were scheduled for a trip to Canada over the summer. When we came back, the cleared area was now overgrown with green weeds.

Now it’s time to do a little grading. In comes our newly found friend, Tracy. We call him the “dirt guy.” He scoops all the good dirt up in the driveway areas and house area and sets it aside for us to use at our leisure. Since the property had never been farmed, it is rich with nutritious black dirt (and since we are not far from the ocean) mixed with sand. All of the neighbors are telling us where we can “unload” our dirt. HA! NOT A CHANCE! Electric was in so time to bring the motorhome over, thus the need for stone on the driveway. In come Tracy, who is also known as the “stone guy.” We don’t even want to go there on what happens to a motorhome on a sandy/dirt road….

It didn’t take long before Bill and Billy purchased a little “backhoe” themselves and started playing. As you can see, our granddaughter, Olivia, likes to play on tractors as much as Pop-Pop.

Everything was going along just fine, until we had the wettest winter on record! Billy sent us photos. Both of the photos below are looking at our house pad from opposite angles! We were sick….

Delaware, the land of the flat and high water table….. so Tracy, the “dirt guy” to the rescue, who brought in lots and lots more fill dirt.

Not only did we have to get the house pad out of the water, we had to raise the garage pad. Since Delaware is so flat, there are drainage ditches running thru properties every which way. One happens to run between the house and the garage pads.

Now it’s time to “raise the barn” or garage as we call it.

They brought in an Amish crew and they knocked it out in no time.

Cement floor, Cupolas and a 950 sq. ft. room inside the garage.

Now that we have a useable building, it’s time for the well and septic. In comes our now “really good friend” Tracy.

At this point, it is not the hottest part of the summer, August. Bill and I are ready to paint “the apartment.” I get the bright idea to buy a spray gun so we could get it painted quicker and easier.

It was definitely quicker, as we painted the whole thing in one weekend, BUT it wasn’t easier for poor Bill. The video of how the sprayer works looked sooooo easy. Well, not for me. I made a mess with “overspray” and “dripping”…… I had to hand the gun over for poor Bill to do the whole thing!

Posted January 9, 2018 by carolnbill in Travel

Finally 18   Leave a comment

OK, OK, OK, I know, I know, I know.

I haven’t posted in quite a while about what is going on with my family. Probably because I’ve been busy getting our house presentable to be put on the market. YES, we are selling our home in Maryland and moving to Delaware.

One very recent event, and very important event, was our “favorite” grandson’s 18th birthday.

Not only did he turn 18, but he graduated high school, along with his step brother Griffin.

Of course, he’s our only “blood” grandson, so no, I’m not playing favorites, but maybe I should say he’s our favorite “blood” grandson. Yes, he’s finally 18. How could that possibly be? I remember taking him to DisneyWorld at age 5 when he was too tired to walk before we even entered the park and was scared to death by Tigger on one of the rides.

I remember taking him on our first RV trip to Florida when Bill retired in 2008. He stayed with us for 3 weeks and boy did he miss his mommy. Look at the big smile on his face when she arrived.

Then there was his 18th birthday/graduation pool party.

Enjoy them while they are young! They grow up way too fast.

Posted July 5, 2017 by carolnbill in Travel

Asheville, NC   Leave a comment

Day 37-40

All I can say about Asheville is WOW!

It felt great driving into the Mountain area, like through the Green River Gorge.

Adventure Caravans added a LaZoom Trolley Tour. We have never been on one and had no idea what to expect. Meet Ermine Hooch, our tour guide

Believe it or not, she was quite informative about the area. Asheville was one of the very few cities that did not take federal money during the depression, which made it a longer process for them to get back on their feet. They discovered tourism was the way to go.

Along the way, we met a nun and of course she had the infamous ruler. We all know about the ruler!

We also came across a bee and a beer man. Not sure which brewery he came from, but they sure have a lot of local breweries around town.

Seems like everyone likes to hang on the bars in the trolley.

We finished our evening with a loaded baked potato and ice cream social. I can’t believe I forgot to take pictures.

From our campground, we could see the Biltmore Estate off in a distance.

The Inn is to the left, the Antler Hill Village is in the middle and the Biltmore House is to the right.

The Biltmore House and Gardens was beyond belief. At 16 Cornelius Vanderbilt borrowed $100 from his mother in order to build a ferry business. He turned it into $100 million in 50 years. William Henry Vanderbilt doubled the family’s assets as a financier. William’s son, George Vanderbilt, built the Biltmore House, more or less competing with other relatives, for entertaining friends and family. The house was built at a time when it was unusual to have indoor plumbing and lights, yet it had 43 bathrooms and an indoor swimming pool with underwater lighting. It also had 90 bedrooms, an exercise room, bowling alley (where the servants reset the pins). The 250 room house is 135,000 sq. ft.!!!!

This year they allowed us to take photos (without flash) inside!

George opened the Biltmore House in 1895, married Edith in 1898, and had their only child, Cornelia, in 1900. George died at the early age of 51 leaving Edith to run the estate. In the 1920s she sold off 90,000 acres to the government.

Bill and I both saw our daughter-in-law, Jenn, in the young photos of Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil. The Biltmore estate was opened to the public in 1930 in order to bring tourism to Asheville during the depression and raise money to preserve the estate.

Today Biltmore remains a family business, owned by Vanderbilt grandson, William Cecil. His son, William Cecil, Jr. is the CEO and his daughter, Diana, is vice chair of the board of directors. There are 1,800 employees that help to preserve the estate.

The estate is comprised of much more than the house, which is about 2 miles of road to get to the house. The estate is approximately 8,000 acres. Within the estate are beautiful gardens with a conservatory. The gardens were designed by Frederick Olmsted, the designer of Central Park.

A short drive will take you to the Antler Village and Winery. Below, bottom, right is the Winery’s library containing hundreds of wine bottles dating back to the birth of the Winery in the 1970s. In the library are preserved samples of each vintage.

In its day, the estate was a working estate. A dairy, market garden, as well as sheep, poultry and pig farm producing food for the Vanderbilts and their guests. Biltmore also sold products in the community, such as milk, eggs, honey, meat, fruits and vegetables.

Our farewell dinner was held at Tupelos Honey Café, where we shared a wonderful meal, our most memorable and funniest stories of our trip.

Poor Mary Ann had to sing for her supper. But we made up for it with dessert.

What a great group! We hope to travel with many of you in the future.

Posted April 13, 2017 by carolnbill in Travel