ON OUR WAY HOME


Sunrise on Departure Day, Cedar Key Back Bayou

This was the view on the morning of our departure…..sweet, eh?

And This was the view on the evening of our arrival home …. equally sweet!

Flowering Crab Apple Tree over our Patio

And in just a couple days of arriving home, the sweet snow of petals began to fall.  It is an annual tradition we love. And the blossoms on the street are inspiring.

Walking the dog with Bowers of Flowers overhead is a fairytale treat.

SPRING is a ridiculously sumptuous season in Bucks County!

Ferry Street Cherry and Apple Trees in Blossom 2012

But our road trip home was equally fascinating.

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By the time we hit the road on April 9th, we only had about 5 hours to get somewheres to sleep.

So we headed straight up 24, through Gainsville and onto 301 toward Jacksonville, where the traffic got heavier and heavier.  When it came time to join the mad-mad world on the BLUE INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS, we opted to continue on the RED-LINE ROUTE 301 which paralleled the interstate, winding up into Georgia, with the OKFENOKEE Swamp not far off on our left.  We were headed for Statesbooro for our night’s rest. It is north and west of Savannah GA, and almost due west of Beaufort SC.

I didn’t feel much like taking pictures that day and I’m sorry for it  – because the old restaurants and motels lining 301 were 50’s and 60’s relics.  Someone should do a documentary of it. Like Route 66!  Georgia has untouched history lining those RED RIBBON Roads – and aside from slowing down for the occasional, interesting towns….. the road is empty and the speed limit is 60. It was such a great alternative to BLUE SPEEDWAYS that suck your energy and civility.

But on the 10th I began shooting from the truck, when we came upon a JUKE JOINT  – which I think was in South Carolina — but I’m not sure.

Our eyes were pulled by a collection of cement structures - and this arrow!

We were cruising up 301, through Sylvania, GA and into South Carolina, through Allendale and ULMER, where we hung a left onto 321, heading north toward OLAR and DENMARK …. Somewhere in there, we saw a collection of odd cement structures and had to turn around to check it out.

JUKE JOINT in the middle of South Carolina? Ulmer?

THE GUEST HOUSE was the main structure and it sure looked like a Juke Joint to us! Open Thurs-Fri and Sat — out in the middle of nowhere – Can we get a witness?

Wish it were open!

One of several odd cement structures on the property.

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Cruising North on 321 in South Carolina, heading toward Columbia

We stopped for lunch around 2pm, north of Columbia SC….

We’d been traveling through many small towns – some on the down low and others still quite nice. John observed how these towns would be prefect for Baby boomers who can’t retire – but can create businesses in these small towns where life is still kind and nice.  He also prophesied a bike path on these roads — with its beautiful scenery, architecture, a RR track paralleling the road for pack transport – it could be the new Adirondack Trail for the Biking and Running Crowd — and stimulate business and town revivals.

WHY should we let big business dictate our lives and drive us mad in the process?

Back to Lunch:  We stopped in CHESTER SC. This is a very cool town in the middle of 321 between Columbia SC and Charlotte NC.

I love old painted wall signage.

Love Tudor Houses (because I grew up in one!!)

Chester, South Carolina? One of several streets with great building infrastructure.

I mention it because it was a town of strong architecture with many buildings and a  county seat as well. =============

While it looked a little underustilized, the size of it indicated it was THE PLACE TO BE  in its hayday and it still has a cool funkyness, as represented in the restaurant/bar made out of the old Five and Dime.  Chester felt like a place Artists would love to live and revive.  Maybe it’s doing just fine on its own, but it had a great vibe – is all I’m saying. .

Ladies Lounge at the Five and Dime Restaurant

An appropriate sentiment outside a wine shop

Interior area of the Five and Dime Restaurant (one of many spots)

The Card Table in the Bar of the Five and Dime Restaurant

Another Tudor...

Leaving town after lunch - we were snookered by the old gas price sign. (sigh)

Chester County Court

Culture Signpost.

A factory Building Windows

LAST STOP PARTY SHOP! Oh My!

On the windy road into North Carolina

Heading into the Mountains of Virginia

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After a long drive on Tuesday, we arrived in Middlebrook Va, John’s daughter’s home and grandkids Zach and Sarah.  We pretty much ate and went to bed. Nice to see them, briefly, and nice to see the yellow rolling spring hills surrounding their home.

Rolling Hills filled with Yellow Flowers in Middlebrook, VA

Love yellow flowered hills.

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But we were most driven to get home ourselves because Bucks had been exhibiting a steep decline in Florida. We’d even made an appointment for his passing at the end of the week.

But to our surprise and delight, once he got home, he rallied – with more energy than he’d had in a month. Maybe it was the cool spring air  – and the familiar smells of his life -but he has been up and about in all the regular walks.  It’s been grand to see.

Bucks on the walk at Washington Crossing Park

Bucks by the Delaware

The Dog Pack and People at the Park

Bucks Sampling the Canal Water

We brought bucks down to our creekside garden - he enjoyed the sniff and the campfire we had, later in the evening.

View of our crabapple from the patio

Petal Snow on the Patio - a once a year event! Glad we didn't miss it.

=================One last note….

When I arrived home – I walked into a mess of a house – because our hot water heater had blown – and been replaced, thankfully, by a friend – but the house had not been cleaned and was disheveled.  It caused me to say “Half of everything in this house is going” and I promptly set to it, quickly building up a pile on the patio – headed for a sale table at the Lambertville Flea market soon.

This is my now streamlined Dining Room.  I’m happily writing at the same table and salute and thank you for going on this journey with us.

Cleaned up Dining Room. Ahhhh.

The journey will continue…. To VA for a graduation …. To CA for friends and family visits …. and elsewhere undetermined just as yet…. after a small break to get our home in order.

xoxoxo,

Laura

Flowers....for you!

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9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mark McCullough on April 19, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Welcome back!

    Reply

  2. Posted by George on April 19, 2012 at 9:01 am

    thanks for sharing your beautiful life!

    Reply

  3. Posted by ellen on April 19, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Love it all Laura, but are those stereo speakers in your dining room? If so, maybe you could get smaller Boise speakers…just a thought. Also, love it see myself in your blog, are they real?

    Reply

  4. Posted by Patti McHugh on April 19, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Very nice. What a lovely trip. Like that card table at bar.
    Hope renters went ok?

    Reply

    • Yes, renters went ok – in fact, friends who were using the house as their’s was getting fixed, totally saved our butt by being there where the hot water heater began to leak…..whew – that would have been a mess if no one had been around.

      Reply

  5. Posted by Betty on April 19, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Hi Laura! I have thoroughly enjoyed your Blog! I really loved reading about your
    “Adventures in the South”! This is a beautiful country, both North and South, I hate it when I see or hear bad talk about either place… Both are wonderful and they together make for a GREAT Country! Please go on another trip soon so we can enjoy your adventures!
    All my love,
    Aunt Betty

    Reply

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