Days, 4 through 14 on our trip last year

So a lot has happened and some of it cause me to drop the ball on keeping up with our travels, so I will try to wrap it up in a nutshell.

From Colonial Williamsburg we headed down to Jacksonville, NC to visit with our daughter and family for a few days. While there we got over to Wilmington, NC for the day. I should point out, that this area of NC got hit pretty damn hard by Hurricane Florence. I will say they are doing a great job of getting things back to normal, as quickly and safely as they can.

Yorktown Monument, just outside of Colonial Williamsburg
Fountain at Jamestown Historic Museum

Many stores and restaurants in downtown Wilmington, are still close, as are many in Jacksonville, and New Bern, NC. All areas we went to visit while down here.

Battleship, North Carolina in the harbor in downtown Wilmington, NC
Waterfront dock in downtown Wilmington, very nice and several shops along the way
Another part of the nice long water front walking dock

One of the towns hit REALLY hard by the hurricane was Pollacksville. These pictures don’t tell the story very well, but I can tell you, that after speak with several folks from the area, that many of the homes in these pictures, were abandoned and the folks said “Good-bye” to the area with no plans to come back. They said “There is nothing here worth saving and it will cost us more to tear down the home and rebuild, so we are moving on” and they just left everything behind and went somewhere to start over.Many of the homes had anywhere from 8′ to 15′ of water in the homes, many up to the second floor.

This bridge was underwater during the hurricane
This building had water up-to the white sign by the telephone pole, the last hurricane, and this time, the water mark was up to the 2nd row of shingles on the roof, and it like many of the other buildings in the area will be getting torn down
All the streets in Pollacksville looked like this or worst. Dozens of homes were destroyed and will be torn down. More then 75% of the homes in this town are likely torn down by now, should be torn down by now, or have been abandoned for someone else to deal with … Very sad

After a few days visiting the kids we headed back home, but not before stops in DC., VA, PA, NY, VT then home.

VA., was our first layover before going to Gettysburg. We choose this area because there was a few yarn shops for mother to shop, a candy store and a bakery or 2 for me.

I wish I could remember the few bakeries, because they were awesome, but it’s now 6 – 8 months later … and yes, she enjoy the few yarns shops we found along the way, and even purchase some yarn to make socks on the trip, I should say, some more socks.

We are now in Gettysburg, PA and settling in for a few days. The first day, we are going to get a private tour of the Gettysburg Battle areas. This tour was a gift from our Son and his girl friend (at the time, now his Fiancee).

We arrived a bit early because we weren’t real sure what was going to happen. We checked in and were told we could wait over there and someone would be right with us, and low and behold, a few minutes later a nice gentleman introduces himself as our driver for the tour. He ask if he was driving or if I was driving, I said, “you know what, why don’t you drive, seems like you know the route better, and this should work out better for all parties involved.”

Great choice, he did know right where to go (No big surprise), and he had the tour down to a science. Where to stop, where to slow down, where to let us out to look around. He was an outstanding guide and Real glad the kids did this for us, and I would recommend it to anyone going to Gettysburg, which by the way, we will do again real soon, and this time, spend 3-4 days here, and REALLY check the area out.

I say this because while our guide was awesome, he did have to do his best in a bit over an hour, so there were TONS of places and things to see that we simply didn’t get a chance to do.

With over 1350 monuments, markers and memorials at Gettysburg, it takes a lot more then an hour to see them all.

Cute sign for a Mainer to see.

So from Gettysburg, PA we were off to Paradise, PA for the night. We / I choose this area because it is close to Intercourse, PA, and Bird-in-a-Hand, PA, both areas I like to stop and get some supplies before heading home. Supplies you say, yes, Grandma Jack Caramel Popcorn and a dozen or so other flavors

And from there to a few specialties shop selling damn near anything person with a sweet tooth could want, from Gummie Candies, to Whoopie Pies, to Beef Jerky to fresh squeezed juices and shoefly pie to name but a few things

The next morning we headed on our way back to Maine, with stops in PA, NY and VT., mostly to get gas, pee and stretch of legs. We did stay over night in a little place just outside of Saratoga Springs NY, – Clifton Park, NY.

I should point out that most of the hotels we stayed at were very nice, mid range hotels, some better then others but for the most part, all are places we’d stay again. This trip Best Westerns got the most visits, and a Ascend Hotel (these are one of the newer brands from Choice Hotels, a few but all aren’t new or clean), Hilton / Hampton Inn Suites and a few home2 suites, Which are becoming our favorites. This is mostly because they are newer and the rooms are clean and larger, something we have to take into consideration now with my wife’s health, as we need to Mix her drugs each day, put the drug into a cassette and attach the cassette to the pump and such, and it needs to be as close to a sterile area as possible.

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