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Archive for July, 2009

A few people have pointed out to me that I rather abruptly quit blogging, while we still in Ohio, leaving you to wonder if we’d fallen off the face of the earth…

Sorry about that!  I have to admit, I didn’t really think there was anybody following us, aside from our family and friends.  So, when I thought we weren’t doing anything that interesting, I just quit.  Thank you readers, who cared what became of us!

To fill in the gap, we spent a wonderful night in lucky Site 13 in Lake Erie State Park, NY.  

Site 13, Lake Erie State Park

Site 13, Lake Erie State Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunset at site 13, Lake Erie State Park

Sunset at site 13, Lake Erie State Park

 

This is our second visit to this park and this same site.  Sunsets are always beautiful.  

 

 

 

 

The next night we did another repeat stop – at the Turning Stone Casino in New York. Pretty fun to stay in a very nice campground, where we get 24 hour free shuttle to the casino.  For us, that meant going to a really great Brazilian steak house.  No gambling this time, although people who’ve been reading this blog know what happened on our last time here, on the anniversary of my Mom’s death.  She’s with us always and everywhere.  

From there, we high-tailed it home to the cottage in Maine.  I have some TMJ (jaw joint) problems, which we’re trying to resolve before we leave for a month or so on the boat. ( As long as I can get my mouth open enough for lobster, I’ll be happy.)

We think we’ll be launching on Wednesday, and leaving at the end of next week.  For about a month. Maybe for the last time. So, although I’ve never blogged on the boat, I might just try to chronicle this trip for our own memories, the harbor towns, the food, the whales …

The thing is, we’ve fallen in love with a little Navion 24 J motor home and can’t wait to get back on the road. Truly. It’s changing our lives.  So, after our stint on the boat, we’ll be going to the Navion Rally in Maine in September and then head up to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.  (But, first we get to fly down to Florida to visit our son and daughter-in-law in Tallahassee and find RV places to stay there- so we can visit them often!)

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Last night we stayed at East Harbor State Park Campground – and thought we’d never return.  It was crowded and hot, and when we went for a walk to find the beach, we hightailed it back to the Navion, swatting and flailing away at bugs.  We used air conditioning and kept our blinds down because, frankly, the campers next to us looked like they were going to be having a multi-family garage sale at any moment.  I know that sounds unfriendly on my part, but they were also burning garbage and the fumes must have burned away some of my good-will brain cells.  So, as we’re pulling out this morning, we’re glad to be leaving and not coming back.  Until we see a sign for the beach and I suggest we drive down to it, just to see what we missed.  And I see herons and a big egret, and beautiful beach and lots of places to bird watch and hike.  When it’s cooler.  And there are fewer people.  So, site C 208 may see us again someday.

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Rutherford B. Hayes home - Fremont OH

Rutherford B. Hayes home - Fremont OH

 

 

“He serves his party best who serves his country best.”  I can now attribute that line to the 19th President of the United States.  I also feel like I might be able to pick him out of a biographical line-up of Presidents after visiting his home and and presidential library and museum today. Before today, not so much…which is a shame because I found much to admire. 

He seemed to embody honor – saying that he would rather die in the Civil War, then live through it or after it, and not have done the right thing.   He was an advocate (as was his Republican party) for the voting rights of African Americans, and was an advocate for the vote for women. He was elected to Congress while he was still serving in the Civil War, even though he refused to campaign, or take the seat he won until the Union had won the war.

Hayes was the first President to travel to the West Coast of the United States during his term in office.  I found that astounding – and we think we have Beltway insiders. 

On a personal level, he adored his wife and his children. When you tour the home, you see the evidence –  the paintings he commissioned, the stories told of Christmas trees in the parents bedroom and presents being opened there, so that the children who had died as infants, and whose portraits hung on those walls, could be part of the family celebration.  The tower/turret room he built for his wife to look out at the birds and nature on their beautiful property, and where after her death, he spent many hours to be closer to her “soul”.

 

Lucy's turret room - Rutherford B. Hayes home

Lucy's turret room - Rutherford B. Hayes home

 

 

 As an interesting related sidenote,  Lucy Hayes commissioned the most unusual set of china for the White House ever – all different scenes of nature and animals, including buffalo being skinned bloodily, along with other interesting wildlife scenes.  It was scandalous at the time (how could she!  an important White House guest could discover the picture of a frog at the bottom of his soup bowl!)  but now considered the most  distinctly “American” of all White House china and treasured.

 

 

It’s a beautiful, historic home – filled with their possessions and  furnishings, and it’s set in a lovely, large, tree-filled park (Spiegal Grove) where the President and his wife are laid to rest, with other family members.  The Museum and Library are interesting also, we were glad we got the combined ticket. 

Guess who started the “Easter Egg Roll” on the White House lawn…

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We left Madison yesterday (Monday) a day later than we expected, but in better shape than we would have been if we’d left on Sunday!   Taylor, good old cat, seemed to take being back in the Navion for our third trip with an air of resignation (after initial resistance and squirming panic).   After the first few minutes, he began to show signs of curiousity… ah yes, this is where my water dish is, and my food bowl and hey, there’s my litter box in the shower – and then, even some excitement -whoa!  they’re going to give me Greenies!  I’d better rub up against everything quick and make it all mine!!!

We had an uneventful trip to South Bend, IN where we stayed at the same KOA we stayed at on our second trip out- mostly because it was a good location and near a restaurant we were planning on walking to…however, they didn’t know we were coming and maintained their closed Monday policy. We ate elsewhere, which wasn’t half as fun.

Today, we visited two other RV manufacturers – just because they were in nearby Elkhart, and we wanted to make sure there wasn’t anything coming out that we’d be interested in. (Montaj by Gulfstream and the Phoenix Cruiser). Dick hasn’t been feeling well for the last few days, nothing to keep him down – just not quite up to par, so we’re having another early night tonight at Bixler Lake Campgound in Kendallville.  We did get in about an hour walk around the lake, which was a bit buggy but beautiful.  Dick’s now in bed and I’m just waiting up to give Taylor his 11:00 PM feeding.  (He throws up for the first few days if he eats in the morning.)  And yes, he was true to form yesterday, even though he only got a teeny weeny bit…

Hopefully, tomorrow we’ll start doing more sightseeing.  I think we’re heading to the Hayes Presidential National Site. Oh, but I’m SO familiar with him already… ha.

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