It’s kind of a glum-weather day here in Williamsburg; perfect opportunity to catch up on my blog and fill you in on our continuing adventure. We’ve had some wonderful day trips and I guess this is it before we head to our next destination on Tuesday. We’re honoring our senior-ism by celebrating quiet time in the RV after a full day out. There's a hint of Fall in the air and the leaves are just starting to turn colors. I'm afraid we'll miss the full impact of it, but it's time to head south. We can't have it all and I don't want to miss what we have by pining over what we might miss. Dave will enjoy some football and I’ll get to see how the Talladega race is progressing during the commercials. Of course, now he has that ‘Red-Zone’ channel so the majority of my NASCAR-fix will have to come from the internet. It’s a small price to pay. He is in goal-post withdrawal from Superbowl Sunday until pre-season, save a short respite during the draft. I get NASCAR from mid-February until the end of November, so it’s only fair to share the TV. After all, we do get to actually see the Homestead race in person so don’t look for me to be complaining now. On Thursday, we drove to Smithfield, VA, home of the popular pork products of the same name. The GPS directed us through Newport News and over James River via a very long bridge. I found it fascinating that sea gulls, perched atop lights, were all facing the same direction. Anyone know why that is? We returned via the ferry and same thing there! I’ll be more aware in the future to see if this is a phenomenon or a coincidence. Back in Lexington, NC we discovered plethora of plaster, plastic and portly porkers, erected to honor their self-proclamation of “barbeque capital of the world.” Smithfield must be celebrating their edible fame with some handsome hams on the hoof for our tourist entertainment. This bacon-buddy graced the entrance to the visitor and art center for the city. Here we met friendly artist Janet Clinton Goldbach. The visitor’s center leases out space to local artists, as well as offering classes for future Michaelangelo’s. In addition to beautifully restored homes, we enjoyed some great sculptures throughout the town. Dave thought he could add something to the Declaration of Independence, giving a few pointers to Benjamin Franklin. I don’t think Ben paid him any mind. We had also passed a beautiful old church on the way into Smithfield and circled back to explore it. St. Luke’s was constructed initially by the King of England and when the settlers won their independence, abandoned the church. It has been restored; in addition to many original artifacts, some restoration and replicas have been added to this beautiful old building.
We chose a different direction home, to ride the free ferry across the James River to the Jonestown settlement. What fun! We saw more sea gulls on street lights and once again, they were all facing the same direction. That is so odd!I’m sure we stood out as tourists, snapping pictures from shore to shore. I especially liked how our GPS showed the road just kind of disappearing into the water as we crossed the river. I'm sure we stood out as tourists, as we abandoned the car to take lots of pictures, including a pretty nice sunset.
One thing Dave wanted to check out was the harbor tour of the Navy ships in Norfolk. We headed east on Saturday, and boarded the cruise boat for a two hour ride on the Angel River to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The weather was gorgeous with a cool breeze and brilliant sunshine. We saw PT boats, aircraft carriers, submarines and troop transports. The great weather also brought out the local sailboats. There are lots of loading docks on the harbor too, as well as dry-docks and tourist dinner-cruises. It was a nice couple of hours.
On the way back from Norfolk, we stopped at Langley Air Force base where I satisfied my shopping sweet-tooth in the Base Exchange. Twenty-five to seventy-five percent off, combined with no sales tax gives new meaning to bargain-hunting. I found eight long-sleeved tops and spent just over sixty dollars. Pretty good, eh?
Before heading back to Williamsburg, we attended Mass at St. Catherine’s in Newport News. The church had the most unusual configuration I’ve seen, some great stain glass windows and a beautiful bell tower and cross out front. Visiting a variety of Catholic churches on our trip has given us a new respect for Father Tony’s homilies back at Blessed Sacrament in Cocoa, FL. This preacher wasn’t bad; we won’t return however because this is our last weekend in Virginia.
On Tuesday we head to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. My nephew, Scott Schaller is stationed there; we're hoping that he can take a break in his Marine training to have dinner with us a time or two. I will be speaking at a retreat on Topsail Beach, and we hope to do some exploring of the Outer Banks during our ten days on the coast. The rest of our trip will be migrating south. We’ve been gone since May 15th and still like each other – a lot! Life is good on the road.