Sunday, April 29, 2012

Meeting Lyle Lovett

You will recall that Adele’s brother Tom joined us for St Patrick’s Day in Savannah and on to Charleston and Saint Augustine. A huge music buff, the highlight of his trip was meeting with Lyle Lovett whom we met when leaving the Casa Monica Hotel in St Augustine. Suddenly Tom (C) raced down the steps with right hand extended saying “Lyle Lovett what a pleasure, what are you doing here? I’m a big fan of yours – what an honor” as you can tell he was very excited to meet this man. Tom (C) then introduced us to Lyle. After visiting with him for a while, photo taking by both sides we continued on our sightseeing trip. Then Tom (C) informs us that Lyle had been married to Julia Robert between 1993 -1995 NOW we remembered who he is as Tom (H) is a big fan of Julia and her big sunshine smile. Lyle was doing a concert that night in the Saint Augustine Amphitheater; we did not have tickets and were too late to get them.

We were back in the same RV Park just a short half mile cycle or walk to the beach where you could find us most days walking the beach or check the waves for a crazy old gal body surfing and having the  time of her life.
Then at night we headed downtown to stroll around the old town and St George Street with the many tourists who visit Saint Augustine every year - 3million. Some nights we skip dessert to buy a Kilwins ice cream in a waffle cone fresh off the press - yummy, but too big to have every night. We became fans of Kilwins in Harbor Springs, Michigan. Kilwins have 2 stores on St George's Street one at either end; to tempt you coming and going.

For those of you interested Adele has finished (with a little help from Tom) the box of chocolates from Vancouver; every single one of them was delicious.
On Monday April 23rd we drove up 17 to a place called Yemassee in SC an area named for a tribe of Native Americans from where we visited Beaufort (pronounced Boofurt).  Another town not burned by Sherman as it was a Union town from the beginning of the civil war.  A flotilla was sent to Beaufort at the beginning of the war by the unionists as they knew they would need a port in the south during the war and most of the people had left the town.  It is a lovely antebellum town where many movies are made.  There are many anecdotes on various movie stars, one was of Barbara Streisand telling the Marines (who are based in the area) not to do flyovers near the part of town where she had rented a house; the following morning at 5am they flew as low as possible over her house - no one from Hollywood can tell the Marines what to do! We took a horse carriage ride and learned that the town was hit by a strong hurricane in 1893 which killed 2000 people, devastated the town after which many people left to live elsewhere.

We looked at some antebellum houses for sale - priced at one and a half million - lots of them for sale; and, no we are not going to retire to an antebellum house on the coast of South Carolina.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Family time in Orlando

 A sleepover in the RV 
 Barrow's in Busch Gardens 
 High Five  
 Into the Jungle
 Heading for the moon 
 How many can fit under an RV table? 
 2 Beautiful women
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St Patrick's Day in Savannah

 Adele and the Captain
 Real Irishmen
 All set for the day
 A very green day
Friends for the day 
 St Patrick?
Even the fountains were green 
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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Orlando with the Barrows

A guest writer begins this blog…our granddaughter Hannah – “this is Hannah Barrow on Granny's iPad, Yay! We looked at the night sky on her cool app then played on the game Tony helped to make!!! I just looked up premium outlets in Florida so I can go to one tomorrow. Cool! iPad’s are cool! Florida is cool! Everything is cool!! Hannah”.

See what happens Hannah when you write on Granny's iPad!
We had a wonderful Easter surrounded by family and Chocolate.  Chocolate is back in Adele’s diet and she has a year’s worth stashed in the RV, which will probably last 3 months.  Adele’s brother Tom brought her a pound and a half of Purdy Chocolates from Vancouver then Jennifer brought loads of English Cadburys lucky for us as neither of us like Hersey's version of Cadbury.

Tony and Stella flew over from San Francisco to have fun with the children, Tony is such fun and so good with children they just love to see him and Stella. Jennifer and Karl had rented a 6 bedroomed house with a pool in a gated community and we managed to find an RV resort right next to them.  We had the grandchildren over one at a time for a sleep over and each enjoyed the fun of turning the dining table into their bed and checking out the cupboards; mostly we stayed at the house. As the RV needed a minor awning repair the children had the opportunity to have a ride in it.
All 9 of us visited Sea World together and managed to stay together most of the time. Stella and Adele decided to have their faces painted and needless to say got lost - maybe the rest of us didn't want to know them. We didn’t visit every park with the Barrow's too many scary rides for us oldies – although the kids did get us on a few in Wet & Wild and Ciaran convinced Tom onto a Roller Coaster ride in Busch Gardens. We spent an enjoyable day at the Kennedy Space Center, the highlight of which was taking the simulated shuttle launch. We know that the enduring memory of their visit for all the Barrows will be swimming with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove, truly a life time memory for all of them.

Our big news this month is that Leslie and Cearull are expecting their first child in September/October – our 6th grandchild.
Before heading back to Saint Augustine we managed to squeeze in a visit to Eileen and Carl in Clearwater. From Saint Augustine Beach we will head north along the coasts of South Carolina & North Carolina; then west to West Virginia, Kentucky and Middle America

We celebrated our 44th anniversary last Tuesday don’t the years fly by? And, both of thinking and sometimes acting like we’re in our 20’s! Ah, well life is for living as we Irish say!
Our nomination for the best job in the USA…Beach Patrol on Saint Augustine Beach  - this is a college town – and the students between classes throng to the beach where the main attraction is the females in various sizes of small, smaller and skimpy bikinis, while the males wear below the knee shorts at, em half-mast displaying their underwear.

Come to think of it we have not seen a female patrolling the beach. Hmm!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Savannah, Charleston & Saint Augustine

As planned we headed back to Savannah for St Patrick’s Day stopping on the way at Macon (pronounced like bacon) for two nights; two nights only gives us one full day to tour a town. We spent a day touring Macon which was plenty of time to see the town, the highlight of the day being lunch in a restaurant called H&H run by two elderly African American ladies.

Arriving at Savannah on March 15th we hooked ourselves up to the utilities and headed into town for the festivities where we discovered that an Irish choir from Carraigbyrne, Co Wexford was performing at the Cathedral that night. A parade preceded the recital and we attended both and enjoyed the evening of Irish music and song after which we headed for the Airport to collect Adele’s brother Tom who was visiting for a week. Next day, Saturday was St Patrick’s Day and we were intent on celebrating in style as Savannah justifiably boasts the second largest St Patrick’s Day parade in the world. Savannah’s organization was just amazing, free shuttles were running from outlying Shopping Malls to the center of town. We find our way to the nearest Mall and follow the crowd to behold a line of people all dressed in green and we join the line which moves very quickly and we expect that once we turn a corner we will be at the bus stop; wrong…a long green dragon stretches for about another 300 yards.  We eventually got on a bus with a fun crowd of people; one lady has a big green bag and loudly tells all that she has everything in it for her day in town - reaches into the bag and takes out a toilet seat cover, you can only imagine the laughter! We could have spent the day on the bus. Adele had a t-shirt with the slogan "This is what a real cool Irish Granny looks like" as you can imagine she had great fun wearing it. Other grannies wanted to know where it was purchased and were disappointed when they learned it was a present from our son's girlfriend who lives in California. A guy wearing a green “This is my Lucky Shirt” wanted the Irish Granny to really make his day for him!
The Parade started at 10 am and continued until 3pm after which we headed for River Street on the bank of the river and much lower than the rest of the town. We stopped in the lobby of a Hotel to look down over a crowd of people all dressed in various shades of green – what a spectacle, over the Toms’ protests Adele joins the green tide of people to see where’s the fun; we quickly find out that pretty much everyone is drinking and there’s little room to move. TV news reports that evening that there were a million people in Savannah on St Patrick’s Day we believe half of them must have been on River Street. The nearest we got to Corned beef and cabbage was a Reuben Sandwich for lunch.

Sunday we walked Tom C around Savannah and took a carriage ride, we had previously taken the bus tour.
Monday we drove to Charleston in the bug, leaving the Rover behind as we thought Tom C would like to sleep in a real bed for a couple of nights. Our hotel, thanks to excellent planning, was very close to the historic downtown area, just across one of the many bridges.

When we had previously been to Charleston in 2004 we fell in love with the town and were delighted to visit it again. On our first evening we took a free bus down to Waterfront Park followed by a short walk along the sea front. We had dinner in a most unusual hamburger joint called HoM - the menu was mostly hamburgers turkey, chicken, beef or vegetarian with an eclectic array of trimmings, we each enjoyed our choice of meal.  Day two we took a boat tour of the Harbor followed by a carriage ride and then walked along the seashore in an area called the battery.
We had dinner in an up market restaurant called High Cotton; we had already tried another but it had a 45min wait - good restaurants are hard to get into in Charleston. Day three we met up with old friends Bernie and Eva who had retired to Charleston from California took us to lunch and on a wonderful walking tour of an old residential area, off the visitor track. Later in the day we headed back to Savannah about 100 miles south.

After a night’s sleep we departed for Saint Augustine where our RV Park was on Anastasia Island; a half mile from the beach and 3 miles from the historical downtown.  The weather had been warm and sunny for the past week and we were hoping that it would remain so for another week as we had planned on spending the week on the beach. Our week on St Joseph's Island on the pan handle in February was jeans and jackets weather.  Adele and her brother decided to go out for breakfast the first morning and…yes got lost. Both of them have had many an adventure in Dublin, Ireland  because of Adele's sense of direction or lack of same - hence BlueBugs number plate holder “I'm lost but I'll be there soon” a present from Cearull shortly after we arrived in California. We drove Tom C to the airport next morning and there was no way he would allow Adele to drive! We really enjoyed having Tom stay but the RV accommodation is not great for visitors. Once again we strike it lucky in Saint Augustine, this time the festival is to celebrate the Spanish arriving. We were here the first weekend of December when they were celebrating the British arriving – a trivia – it will be 2050+ before the US will have governed Florida for as long as the Spanish, French, British and Spanish again! Once again the cannons were fired from Castillo San Martin followed by a candle light parade through town - same marching men in a different uniform marching to the same music - but enjoyable all the same.
Thankfully, the weather continued to be hot and sunny so most of the week was spent on the beach.  Adele had a wardrobe malfunction while tumbling in the waves so that evening it was off to the surf shop where two pairs of swim suits and a body board were purchases. The board was for children over 13 so Tom reckoned that it would be OK for Adele. Our nightly walks were either on the beach admiring the stars or walking down Saint Augustine’s pedestrianized main street St George.

Life is good as the t-shirt says!