Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A belated Merry Christmas from the beach!!!

Bruce and Laura's Christmas tree!
Who knew that when we went to the RV Dreams Rally in Tennessee in April, we would be celebrating Christmas with two people that we had met there?!?!  We've made a number of lifelong friends at both rallys we have attended.  We were glad that Laura and Bruce joined us at Hungtington Beach State Park for the holidays.  After they set-up camp, we celebrated their arrival.

Jello shots!
It was a nice relaxing weekend with plenty of hiking and biking.  Of course, we had quite a few campfires too!

Bruce scrounging for firewood on the trail!!

Heave ho!

Whew - check out that stack of firewood.

Clem guarding the firewood. 

Christmas day was bright albiet a bit brisk.  A walk on the beach was in order......

Nice message etched in the sand.

Clem was enjoying swimming in the ocean!

The weekend ended all too soon and we bid Bruce and Laura a "see you down the road".  We hope to visit them next Spring. 

Our month here at Huntington Beach State Park has actually flown by!  With that said, both Dan and I are getting "hitch itch" and are ready to pack up and head a bit north to celebrate Christmas (over New Year's!) with my family.  We'll have a crowd at my parents house but it will be filled with fun and laughs.  After that, it's south to Florida!  Who knows who we will see there!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kayaking, Biking and Hiking

We sure do stay busy here at Huntington Beach State Park and keep saying "we sure are glad that we are here a month because there is so much to do"!!

This past Sunday, my sister Cathy and BIL Bruce came to spend the day with us.  After a yummy lunch of chili lime chicken wraps, we headed out on our pedal bikes.  The day was brisk so we were sure to bundle up!

Enjoying lunch outside!
We ended up pedaling for about 4 hours stopping along the way to take in the sights of the birds and the alligators.   We didn't get pictures of the alligators but here are two pics that turned out nice.

During the ride, Cathy and I tended to lag behind as we were chatting and just enjoying the day.  Dan and Bruce got quite a bit ahead of us at one point but they made sure they left us "directions" on how to find them.

"Arrow" made out of sticks and pinecones.
Funny thing is, Cathy and I were chatting so much we never saw the arrow!  We did end up finding them down near the boat launch!

We biked/walked to the jetty again too.  Boy oh boy was that a workout.  The sand was not quite as hard as it was the first time Dan and I rode on it.   Of course, Cathy and I had to stop and search for seashells along the way too.
Such cut-ups!
Dan pointing out something to Cathy; Bruce posing for the camera!

Cathy and Bruce hanging out at the jetty.

After our bike ride, Gin and Syl came to join us for dinner and a campfire. As only Bruce can, he personally greeted them with his standard "hello" and laughs were had by all. We enjoyed a good meal and campfire and before we knew it, Cathy and Bruce had to leave to head back home.  We then watched the finale of Survivor with Gin and Syl.

As I type this, Dan and I are sitting by the campfire that we are going to share tonight with Gin and Syl.  They are headed back to NC tomorrow and it is a bit bittersweet.  We have so enjoyed their company at Huntington Beach State Park and have shared many a meal, laughs, kayaking outings, bike rides, and many hours of good conversation!    We bid them safe travels and know that we will see them "down the road".

Tomorrow, our good friends Laura and Bruce arrive and we will celebrate Christmas with them.  We are looking forward to spending time with them both and showing them around Huntington Beach.  We will leave here  next week and celebrate Christmas with my family (kids, parents, sisters, brother, DIL, SIL, BILs, nieces and nephews).  It will be a fun time with many laughs!  As a bonus, I get to see my best friend, Linda, over New Year's.  Get ready to whoop it up, girl.  We just may have to call

Before I end this post, I wanted to give a shout-out to my daughter Ashleigh.  She is a freshman at UNC-W and just got her final grades this week for her first semester of college.  I am very proud of her accomplishments and am pleased to boast her 3.3 GPA she earned!  Way to go, Ash and keep up the good work!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Friends and Family

We are so enjoying our stay at Huntington Beach!!  We've had a fun week hanging out with friends Gin and Syl and Nancy and Bill.  We've shared meals, biked many many miles, played Sequence a few dozen times, and just sat around and talked....and laughed and laughed and laughed.  One of the bike outings that we had was with Bill (Nancy was unfortunately working).  We rode to the boat landing to Sandy Island.  Sandy Island is within the boundaries of the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge.  There is no bridge to the island and many of the residents that live there are descendants of slaves who worked the island's rice plantations prior to the Civil War.  The residents go back and forth to the island with boats that look like they have seen better days. We also saw the school boat that is used to transport the kids.  We'd like to kayak to the island and hope that the weather cooperates soon! 

We also pedaled up to Murrells Inlet with Gin and Syl.  We stopped at a two boat landings along the way to have a look-see about the possibility of launching the kayaks there one day.  Now all we need is warmer weather!   Back at the campground, we also pedaled to the beach near the jetty and rode our bikes on the boardwalk (Nancy and Bill - I know, I know,  it's a board "walk"; not a board "pedal")!!    We then pushed the bikes to the hard sand and hopped back on.  The four of us were determined to pedal to the jetty.  I got a little distracted looking for seashells for our new "aquarium" but eventually caught up with the gang.  What amazing views!  We didn't have the camera with us that day but took in the sights of the propoises in the water as well as the sea turtle! 

Sunday we left the campground fairly early to go visit my sister Cathy and BIL Bruce.  They live about an hour away and we always have a great time when we get together with them.  After a quick lunch, we headed out to hike part of the Palmetto Trail.  The Palmetto Trail is a series of passages linked together to form a trail extending from the mountains (Oconee passage) to the sea (Awendaw passage).  The entire trail is about 425 miles long!  It was an easy hike and, even though the weather was not sunshiney, it was a good day to enjoy the outdoors.

Hanging out underneath one of the bridges!

Monkey see; monkey do!
Back at their house, Cathy and I played with their dog, Riley, while the guys went to go check Bruce's deer spying camera in the woods. Cathy also showed me their gardens and greenhouse.

Riley -it took a bit to get him to keep still for the picture!
Riley loves to play frisbee 

Cathy in the greenhouse!  They grow peppers and lettuce year-round.

Look at the size of that pepper.
Bruce and Cathy made us a great meal for dinner.  We had backloin from a deer that Bruce had gotten, parmesan chicken, brown rice, brocolli and cheese, corn, and corn bread.  Cathy's daughter Ciara and her friend Michael were able to join us as well. 

It was a great meal with lots of laughs and the day ended all too soon.  Bruce and Cathy are going to try to come see us soon to bike the trails and the jetty with us!  We may get to see Ciara and Michael again too! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Huntington Beach State Park

I have always wanted to live at the beach and, for the next month, get to do just that!  SC State Parks is having a "snowbird" special for 30 day periods for their coastal parks.  Since we wanted to stay close by my parents (we will return there for New Year's to celebrate Christmas with my kids and extended family), this was the perfect place.

We quickly realized that it's a good thing we will be here for 30 days as there is so much to do - both inside the park and the surrounding area.  We've been here a week already and can see why it comes so highly recommended by our RV friends.  There's something to be said about walking out of your rig and hearing the rumble of the ocean!

Shortly after we got here, we went to explore a bit.  We took a long walk on the beach and then walked around the park a bit.

Bird on a stick!! 

Birds sunning themselves

This guy was all by his lonesome!

We saw these guys right off of the boardwalk from the Nature Center. 

Dan heading to the beach after a bike ride.
 I was on a mission during our walk to see an alligator.  We finally saw these two little guys.  Next time we need to bring the binoculars!

My sisters Cathy and Barbara came to visit us over the weekend.  We enjoyed spending time at Atalaya which was the winter home of Archer Huntington and Anna Hyatt Huntington. 
Different organizations or civic groups decorated the various rooms with a wide variety of themes.

Cathy, Dan and Barbara enjoying the tour.

The weather was gorgeous albiet a bit windy!

Posing in the courtyard of Atalaya.
After an early dinner of spaghetti with grilled italian sausage, we headed to Brookgreen Gardens "Nights of a Thousand Candles".  In the early 1930s, the Huntingtons established Brookgreen Gardens to preserve the floral and fauna of the area and to showcase art in a natural setting.    Although we would have liked to see the gardens during the day, we enjoyed the sights (over 5500 candles) and sounds (handbells and bagpipes) that the holiday event offered.

Sunday afternoon, we had plans for a kayaking adventure with Bill, Nancy, Gin, and Syl.  Nancy had read the tide charts and timed it perfectly!  No need for the trolling motor on this trip!
Taking a short break!
I didn't take too many pictures on this trip as I was too busy chatting with friends and enjoying the scenery (minus the snake we saw!!).  We spent a few hours on the water and all agreed we need to do it again soon.

Monday, November 28, 2011


We've had a busy two weeks.  After we left Cedar Point, we headed back to Korkie's Campground for a few days before we took off again (minus the RV!) to visit Dan's family and attend his niece's wedding in PA.

We met up with some good friends (Linda, Steve, Paulie and Kork) for dinner at Shane's Rib Shack in Raleigh and shared a good meal and great laughs.  It ended all too quickly!

We were also able to have a Mexican Fiesta with son Brandon, DIL Amanda and Kork. Chicken tacos, my sister Barbara's famous bean dip, homemade pico and guacamole were on the menu..  Oh yeah - we had a few adult beverages too. 

Crazy guys!  Note the leftover pink napkin (from my Mom's birthday party) that Dan is wearing.

Tricia, Kork, and DIL Amanda

Fun times!
After dinner, we played a game, laughed as Amanda punched the punching bag, and had a fireball eating contest!

One, two, PUNCH!!

I'll bite your ear off!!

So many laughs!!

Here we go with the fireballs!!

Look Ma - can you beat me? 

Glad I had a drink close by!  Those things are H-O-T!!

We left the RV at Kork's and headed up to PA the Sunday before Thanksgiving.  We were only going to be there a week (5 days at Dan's Mom's farm and 2 days at the wedding) so felt it was best not to take the RV that distance for such a short time. It also gave us the opportunity to stay at the hotel where the wedding was to take place and gave us extra time with Dan's family.

Dan's Mom had 15 people for Thanksgiving dinner and boy, did she prepare a spread.  I was her "sous chef" that day and was glad to help.  No pictures of the food but suffice it to say, our bellies were full.

Friday we headed to Williamsport, PA for the wedding of Sarah and Dave.  It was a gorgeous wedding, the food (and cake) were yummy and the DJ kept the party hopping.

The bride and groom
Parents of the Bride - Dan's brother Tim and SIL Ann

Dan's sister Colleen and BIL Doug

Dan's Mom and her "gentlemen friend". ;-)
Dan's great nephew and ring bearer - Hunter
Dan's three nieces - Jessi, Emma, and Sarah
Caden and Aunt Emma
We said our goodbyes to everyone on Sunday and said "see you in the summer".  The drive back to Korkie's Campground was a l-o-n-g one and it was good to get back home.  We are heading south this week and will meet up with Gin and Syl, Bill and Nancy, Bruce and Laura and will also get to see two of my sisters (and hopefully my BIL Bruce)!  Can't wait!!