Northward Bound

As we said goodbye to Fort Stewart, GA. it felt as we were being given a 21 gun salute! Maybe not a “personal” 21 gun salute… probably just practice on the firing range as indicated by the red flag flying and the rapid succession of artillary being shot ringing in the air.

Next stop Charleston, S.C.We were super excited to go back to Charleston. It had been at least five years since we last visited the area and our good friends who have the privilege of calling the area home.

Our GPS cooperated and got us to our new “home” at Joint Bases Charleston. As we approached the gate to enter the base we were told that we would have to drive through the LARGEST X-ray screener I have ever seen!As a general rule we stay on Military bases. All of these facilities have different rules regarding which gate we are to enter with the Mobile Condo. In the 4 years we have been Nomads we have only once had a member of security forces come aboard when coming onto a base. This drive through X-ray unit was a first as well! 

We spent our time in Charleston visiting our friends …laughing and relaxing around the fire and golfing at a spectacular course on the Atlantic coast The time went by too it always does when we are amongst GREAT friends! We were rested and ready for our next leg of the journey up the coast…. Virginia Beach, VA.

We have been advised by plenty of folks that as we travel up the coast the further north we would go the roads would become more congested with traffic, narrow roadways, low bridges and TOLLS! I have to say I was getting a wee bit nervous.

The travel was going well, but then Lola ( our GPS) indicated that there was an accident up ahead on our selected route and we should consider taking the optional route she had in mind to avoid the accident.   After our last experience with Lola we should have been skeptical of her advice, but as the traffic started crawling (with millions of red tail lights positioned ahead of us ….which looked like miles) we took her advice…. NOT a GOOD idea!

Indeed, it was a different route! This route she took us down literally took us down two lane roads with NO shoulders, narrow bridges under construction low hanging wires, neighborhoods with signs the stated Needless to say we were in a pickle! Too late to turn around! We talked our way around what that sign “really” meant. We rationalized that we in fact were not a “truck” WE were a Mobile Condo and if we were stopped we would easily explain this to the officer regardless that we perhaps were over the weight limit for the roadway! 

My Handsome Chauffeur white knuckling the steering wheel;all the while keeping us on the road and not in a ditch was NOT a happy camper. As we rounded a corner in a neighborhood we came upon a gentleman on a riding mower, mindlessly doing his weekly chore. He stopped dead in his tracks, his eyes bugging out and mouth agape….. I swear I read his lips say the words that go with the initials WTH!!! I didn’t know if I needed to laugh or cry! I gave a friendly wave as we exited his line of sight praying he didn’t call the police to report a Circus Train driving through his sleepy hollow neighborhood.

Lola still squawking out directions, my frazzled Handsome Chauffeur asked me how much further did it say to our destination! He had just about enough of navigating down roads with names and was clearly DONE driving!

Low and behold we arrived safely and without police escort to our next home for two weeks Virginia Beach, VA! Whew!!AHHHHH everything is better on a beach! This would be our back yard for fourteen glorious days! The blood was back into my Handsome Chauffeur’s fingers and a huge smile plastered on both of our faces! The CrAzY drive now just a memory … life was good!

Neither of us had ever been to Virginia. We were looking forward to exploring. First stop the Virginia Aquarium. A fascinating place. The entire time we were there we wished our grandson was with us. We watched little ones with their eyes wide in wonderment! The experience was not only beautiful with all species of fish, but also very educational. It was confirmed by the information regarding oysters why I don’t eat them! Eating them whole as they are served include eating their anus!! YUCKO!We took in a 3D movie about the Galápagos Islands. I found it fascinating!I was so involved with the beauty of 3D I barely heard the snoring of my partner. Until he let out a snore so loud it attracted others attention! Busted!

As a kid, I  have to admit I didn’t enjoy history. I got through the classes by the grace of God. It just did not interest me. I wish I had paid closer attention then, but as we all know a person is never to old to learn. Our day trip to Williamsburg, VA. and the American Revolutionary War Museum of Yorktown ignighted a spark in myself and my Handsome Chauffeur. I was like a kid in a candy store. We spent hours in the museum reading, watching videos about our history. THEN ……being able to walk the cobblestone streets through areas so steeped in history I have to admit gave me goosebumps. My Handsome Chauffeur enjoyed talking with the “locals”and learning about one of our favorite pass times. As a child my father taught me how to play Cribbage. Even today when we get together a friendly game of Cribbage will take place at sometime. It made me smile to see a Cribbage board from 1768 displayed in the museum!On our way back to Virginia Beach we could see off in the distance the ships at Norfolk Naval Station. We wanted to see if we could get closer to them… and boy did we!These pictures certainly don’t do justice to actually how HUGE these ships are AND heavily guarded! My Handsome Chauffeur is a curious soul. He hopped out of the truck and wanted to get closer to find out more about the ships. He was “greeted” by the guards on ground that told him that the Carrier we were looking at was the USS Abraham Lincoln.As my Handsome Chauffeur was “visiting” with the guards on the ground I was sitting in our little red chariot watching the ARMED guards on the ship looking down watching him! Security was HIGH!

The “Abe” was recently put back into service in May 2017 after completing mid-life refueling and complex over haul which had taken 4 years to get done. It had finished it’s comprehensive tests and Sea trials. It is now ready for another 25 years of service and ready to support the mission it is called to.

Unfortunately, there never seems to be enough time to throughly see and do all the things we have in mind when sight seeing. The beauty of our lifestyle is we can and WILL be back to this area Virginia again! We made new friends and again met up with friends we have made along our journey. 

Our visit to Virginia was a stepping stone on our way up the coast. Our next stop is Maryland! We are chasing the cooler temperatures all the while looking so forward to learning more and more about our great Nation’s history as we visit Washington DC and surrounding cities! 

Wheels down here we go Northward bound!