November 11, 2019

THINGS TO SEE IN OCONEE COUNTY, South Carolina: the “LAND BESIDE WATER”

“How did they do that?” When we visit a place, a theme or question about the place usually pops into my mind. I know, weird.  In Oconee County, South Carolina, the question was, “how did they do that?”    Oconee County is the westernmost county in South Carolina and couldn’t be more different from how you picture the coastal areas in the state. The Cherokee word, “Ae-quo-nee,” means “land beside water.” Here, three huge man-made lakes (Keowee, Jocassee, and Lake Hartwell) dot the hills. Oconee County is also home to 67 summits, ridges, ranges and mountain trails.      Picture 90,000 acres of protected forests, historical sites, hikes, fishing and small southern towns….

October 28, 2019

ALABAMA’S FORT MORGAN

Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead” –Admiral David Farragut   Stu surprised me with a trip to Alabama, a place where he lived for many years. I’d never visited Alabama and am now a big fan!   The quote above is something we heard a lot growing up and in war movies, but do you know where that phrase originated?   Union Admiral David Farragut was leading ships into Mobile Bay in Alabama in an effort to capture Fort Morgan during the Civil War when he yelled to his naval comrades, “Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead!” The Battle of Mobile Bay began on August 5, 1864 and lasted two-weeks. The battle ended…

October 21, 2019

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO N.C.’S BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY

Can you picture 469 miles of natural splendor? Splendor that runs from Virginia through North Carolina and connects the Shenandoah National Park with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? If you can, chances are you have explored the Blue Ridge Parkway!   Stunning long-range views and more than 100 trails comprise “America’s Favorite Drive.” The Parkway is more than a visual treasure! There are campgrounds, biking, musical events, arts and crafts (the Folk Art Center), hiking, historic as well as interpretive sites (including Revolutionary War sites and the Museum of North Carolina Minerals).    What is the best part? The Blue Ridge Parkway is free and open all year, depending on winter weather. In North…

September 30, 2019

3 HAUNTED SITES IN BEAUFORT COUNTY, South Carolina

The low country of  South Carolina is one of those places where you walk through time. Different periods of American history are stacked one on another everywhere you turn. Paranormal activity is reported throughout this beautiful state, including hauntings at a fort and two sets of church ruins we visited.    OLD SHELDON CHURCH in YEMASSEE, South Carolina   The Old Sheldon Church Ruins is an historic site 17 miles north of Beaufort, South Carolina in Yemassee, SC.   The church was originally known was Prince William’s Parish Church and was built between 1745 and 1753.  The church was burned by the British in 1779 during the Revolutionary War. The church was rebuilt…

September 23, 2019

8 LESSONS I LEARNED TRAVELING SOLO AS AN OLDER WOMAN

Readers write us and say they would love to travel more but they are divorced or widowed. Most are women.      Stu is a fabulous travel partner, but I am here to tell you that I love, love, love traveling alone. It is true that I have been on my own quite awhile and traveled for work.  Over time, I got used to eating in restaurants by myself (I always took a book at first), and have experience hailing cabs and negotiating airports. But I am an introvert. I am also about to be 70.     I want to share what I’ve learned by traveling alone in hopes…

August 26, 2019

THE FIRST AFRICAN UNION BAPTIST CHURCH IN SAVANNAH, GA

Note: We were asked not to take photos in certain areas of the church without people in them. We were happy to comply. The pastor’s wife explained that they are discouraging photo piracy in this manner.        I cried. The power of The First African Union Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia is overwhelming. In all of Savannah, the tour I took here continues to mean the most to me. In fact, I believe this particular tour impacted me more than any other that I’ve taken in the U.S. Why?         THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS CHURCH CANNOT BE OVER EMPHASIZED       This church has played…

August 19, 2019

Botany Bay PLANTATION on EDISTO ISLAND, South Carolina

He was shriveled, smiling and a 94-year-old volunteer. He sat on a stool by a makeshift information cart with maps of Botany Bay. He and his wife met at Valpariso and now he “catches the fish and she cooks them up.”   I was alone. He told me, “This is too beautiful a place to not bring someone with you.”  He was right-Botany Bay Plantation and Edisto Island ARE gorgeous and somewhat exotic.       At the southernmost tip of Edisto Island, you will find the Botany Bay Plantation Heritage and Wildlife Management Area and the secluded Botany Bay Beach.     The approach to Botany Bay Plantation is…

August 12, 2019

NEW REGULATIONS FOR TRAVEL: CHECK YOUR WALLET !

Heads up, seniors! There are new regulations coming for travel. PULL OUT YOUR WALLET and make certain you are ready.   No, the new regulations won’t make money fly out of your wallet, but your wallet does contain the key to travel beginning in 2020. Look at your drivers’ license. Does it have a yellow star on it? If you don’t have a yellow star on your license, you need to obtain it by 2020!   You MUST have a yellow star in the upper right hand corner of the card or you DON’T HAVE A “REAL ID.” YOU MUST SHOW A REAL ID TO TAKE ANY DOMESTIC COMMERCIAL FLIGHT…

July 22, 2019

WALK THROUGH ROUGH AND TUMBLE SILVERTON, COLORADO

Dodge City. Tombstone. Durango. We’ve been to them all but the old west town that still remains the most authentic is rough and tumble Silverton, Colorado.  At 9,000 feet, the mining town of Silverton was a magnet for miners, saloon keepers, and the few women who kept the men company.     The frontier flavor of Silverton isn’t fake and recreated for tourists.The western free spirit remains today. That may be due to the fact that the town is still very remote in the San Juan Mountains. Getting to Silverton is an adventure in itself! This is the land of “the 14-ers”, the peaks in Colorado that are 14,000 feet or…