After the museum we visited the U.S.S. Nautilus(the first nuclear submarine) which was moored there and we got to take a tour. I was able to make it up and down the steps, but had a real problem with the hatches. I am too short and entryways were too high for me to gracefully get through so it was quite a site. I thought about swinging through like they do in the movies, but figured my butt would bottom out and I would end up stuck. I hadn't realized how small the spaces were and such little work spaces. I would definitely get claustrophobic if I had to spend any time. There is barely space for one body in some work spaces, not like in the movies where you see several men in the same room, and the bunks are right on top of each other. The sub is still in service, so we weren't able to go aft to the nuclear area. There were 3 other females ahead of us that just came in on a Canadian submarine. They were the first, second and 5th females in the Canadian sub fleet and were interesting to listen to.
Foxwoods Casino. It is huge and it took us forever to find valet parking. We picked up a wheelchair there and Bob pushed me to some of the slots and was going downstairs to check out the poker room. I played a slot that featured Kenny Rodgers and he took $15 within 15 minutes. I will never buy another record by him. I lost another $5 on another machine and was getting bored and Bob hadn't come back so I parked the chair and made my way downstairs. There was 2 big rooms of players and it was accidental that I found Bob. I thought he would just check it out and come back for me and take me home and then go back, but he was already in a game so I finally pulled up a chair to watch them. My consolation was I got free wine and Bob paid for the tips. I was fun though to watch all the various people. There was a person on the next table that had pretty hair in two pigtails and from the side view had pretty eyes and eyebrows, then it turned around and had a scraggly goatee! What a shock as I really thought it was a woman. Bob ended up losing about $80, but he still had his winnings from a couple of years ago in ND so still has enough left for Atlantic City. We finally left about 9:30 and were exhausted by the time we got home.
We decided we had to visit Cape Cod and were rewarded with an extra as we went through Plymouth on the way to the Cape. The Mayflower II is moored in Plymouth and we were able to tour the ship. It is an exact replica of the original ship which brought the Pilgrims to America in 1620. The original Plymouth Rock is a memorial on the waterfront. The tour of the ship was very interesting with the crew in period dress. Once the tour was over we continued our journey to Cape Cod.
Cape Code has a total of 15 small towns strung along the length of the cape. The cape itself is mostly made up of sand dunes where building have not been built. A lot of tourist shops line the whole way to the end of the cape. The cape itself is mostly made up of sand dunes where building have not been built. A lot of tourist shops line the whole way to the end of the cape. The Cape also has 14 lighthouses along it shoreline. We then decided to visit a few lighthouse on the cape. We didn't have the time to go up into any of them as it was getting toward evening and we still had to visit Provincetown.
Provincetown is the last town on the cape, sitting right on the tip of the cape. Provincetown itself is a classic waterfront tourist town. We got Merry's scooter out and walked around the town for a time, looking at all the tourist trap shops and just enjoying the day. We decided to head back.
On our way back we decided to detour and go to Newport, RI. It is a quaint New England fishing village with lots of old homes, narrow streets and a beautiful waterfront. We had a late lunch in an old pub. Good food and a great beer. We then toured the town for awhile. There was an old castle, a fort and many huge old homes. It is a really neat town.
We only had an overnight stay at Strawberry Park. It is an upscale park but we got in late and did not get any photos. The day from hell! First both of us woke up stiff and sore and my legs didn't want to work, but onward and upward. The roads were terrible and lots of construction. I couldn't even read it was so bad and all our cupboards were a mess. Then our camera decided to quit working and our GPS finally gave up the ghost, which made us miss a turnoff, but we were finally able to make our way back to where we were supposed to be and made it to our destination, Chestnut Lake in Port Republic, NJ. One minute we were in the woods, the next in the plains with the Mullica River going along the surface.
We finally got to Chestnut Lake. It is on a small lake with lots of trees around but the back part of the campground is in a big meadow with trees around the edge. There is no swimming in the lake, but haven't found out why yet. The campground has a lot of trees, thankfully, because it is fairly warm. We pulled into a spot and got all set up, but kept tripping the breaker and then the water wouldn't work, so had to pull up stakes and move to another spot, at which time we discovered we had a couple of large scrapes along our right side which must have happened on one of the narrow road work places. That just topped our day. They only have 30 amps here which is not quite enough for big rigs. You can only run one appliance at a time. I forgot my dryer was on and turned on my curling iron and blew the breaker. If we have the AC running we can't use anything else at all. The only redeeming factor was that we had a big refund from Costco and there is one here so that covered the cost of a new camera and GPS. We haven't been near a Costco in a long time, but can't buy much of anything because of our limited cupboard pace. We forgot this was Memorial Day weekend so put any sightseeing on hold until everyone goes home. NJ must not have any camping restrictions. ME has strict regulations as to how many people to a site. Here there are as many people to a site as can fit so the park is full of kids and yappy dogs. Across the way from us in 2 sites are 2 rigs, 3 tents and about 15 people plus kids! The weekend was too hot for me and we could only turn on the AC sporadically because of other things I needed to run. Of course, after a beautiful holiday, Tues was too rainy to do anything so put off Atlantic City until Wed. We have a group of residence geese with goslings and “teenagers” in tow. They are just adorable. The park doesn't like them because they make such a mess, but they just fascinate me.
We made it to Atlantic City on Wed. and spent most of the day on the Boardwalk, which is fascinating. The upper end is mostly major casinos (I found them gaudy rather than grand) and the lower end is shopping stalls featuring clothes (mostly from India). Some were really cute, but I didn't buy anything. There were all kinds of people strolling the boardwalk and a lot of panhandlers (mostly veterans) and homeless people. We stopped for lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe and both had BBQ pork sandwich. I am a BBQ snob and usually only like my own, which is still the case. I didn't really like it, but the french fries were good. I had never been in a Hard Rock before so found it really interesting so not all was lost. We later went down to the beach to the Bikini Bar and had a drink. The staff wear bikinis, but it was still a little chilly so they wore light sweats over their suits. I bet this place is really swamped in the summer. Even though it was a little chilly in the shade, I came home with a sunburn. Hopefully, the pictures will tell our story. Oh – another little tidbit – the seagulls here are really different from ours. They are smaller and have a red beak and are really cute. I'm weird - I know.
We have another trauma going. Our “clapper on our crapper” isn't working, but there is a manual knob in the back of the toilet to open and close it; however, we have to get on the floor to reach it, which is a real pain, especially in the middle of the night. Really looking forward to getting it fixed somewhere down the road. We ended up calling an RV repairman and he ordered the parts and will be fixed before we leave, but it is costing a pretty penny.
New York – We had planned on leaving early Fri morning to join our 8 am tour, but the more we thought about it the more iffy it became if we could make it on time, so at the last minute we decided to get a room and leave right away. We left around 5:30 pm and with little traffic (stop and go traffic trying to get out of the city) and only 100+ miles, we got into the city before nightfall. Of course, we had about 6 toll booths on the way and ended up having to spend around $25, $8 of which was just to get into the Lincoln Tunnel. We missed the hotel the first time around so had to call, but got there okay the 2nd time and the parking garage was just across the street. We got up, had breakfast in the hotel ($28.00 for a buffet breakfast) which was really good. We then got the car out of the garage and used another parking garage closer to our tour. Now for the traffic – totally kamikaze! I didn't think there were so many private cars in the city and put them in the mix with taxis and buses it was a nightmare. Taxi drivers make up their own rules and will cross all lanes right in front of you to turn down another street, plus stop anywhere the want. Delivery drivers do the same thing along with the buses and private drivers (you can hire a private driver and they all drive black Lincoln Town Cars, which must be a city regulation), plus pedestrians don't recognize any traffic lights. They cross whenever they want. Bob gave as good as he got, but I had to close my eyes several times and hope for the best. I knew about the rude drivers, but hadn't envisioned this, plus the streets were much narrower than I expected. === Our tour was 8 ½ hrs. - bus on land and water taxi on water. It started out foggy and drizzly, but turned nice in the afternoon. They had told Bob there would be a little walking but couldn't handle a scooter, but could a fold up wheelchair so Bob talked me into a walker with a seat, which I have been reluctant to do in the past, as a compromise and I am so glad I gave in. I feel so ridiculous, but I would never have made it without it as there was quite a bit of walking. The first part of the tour took us all all over the southern part of Manhattan, then we got out and took a water taxi around the harbor and Statue of Liberty. (There was a tour group of Asians also on the boat and all they wanted to do was take pictures of themselves with the Statue and talk and scream to themselves, so they missed the narration and were pretty obnoxious about it). Back on the bus and took a break for lunch. They had made arrangements for lunch – we got a choice of hamburgers, cheeseburgers or chicken sandwich, plus a side salad, fries and soft drink. The restaurant was totally crowded and with all of us it was uncomfortable, plus the burgers didn't have anything on them so I finally ended up putting the salad on my burger, but still wasn't very good. Bob and I decided to have a beer which cost $7.50/glass!, but it was cold and actually a very good beer. We didn't bother what a glass of wine would be. Back on the bus and we toured the uptown end of Manhattan Island. All together we got to see Times Square, Chinatown, Little Italy Greenwich Village, East Village, West Side, East Side, Harlem, Central Park, Times Square, the Trade Center district, plus the theater, financial, garment districts, etc. We also went by the buildings that all the rich and famous own (at $1 to 30 million ea., not for the building, just for an apartment in the building). We ended up at Rockefeller Center and went to the “Top of the Rock” from which you can see all of Manhattan. It was spectacular, but the pictures aren't as good because of the glass. The tour was worth every penny, but we only skirted Central Park and wish we could spend an extra day to tour it. By this time we were both really tired and since the bus didn't take us back to where we started we had a fairly long walk and I was hurting and getting pretty cranky and wanted to kill Bob for making me do this, but, lucky for him I decided that wouldn't help. We finally got back to the car and headed out. We stopped at a Service Area and got a burger for dinner. This is their version of our rest stop, but they have a large gas station, plus fast food chain places and info booths, etc. all in a single bldg. Much better than ours. We hit heavy traffic, but no hold ups and no one believes in speed limits, so we made pretty good time. Traffic was backed up for miles going into the city though being a Friday night. We also hit heavy rain when we got close to home and some thunderstorms that night, but it is beautiful today. My expectations of NY and reality is totally different. The streets are a lot more narrow and Broadway isn't nearly as impressive. It is so crowded and so many buildings that the theaters don't stand out. The same with 5th Ave. where the millionaires shop. They are experimenting with closing Broadway around the theater district so that makes traffic more unbearable. The World Trade Center is still pretty much a shambles so can't get near it. So far they only have one new bldg and there is so much bickering about the rest nothing is getting done even though the plans have been approved so the price keeps going up and the plans keep getting changed. Of course, everything is so expensive. A 2 bedroom rental starts at $3200/mo and after 9/11 people started moving across the river to NJ so their rent is as much or more now. I am glad we were able to go there, but I have no ambition to go back, except to see Central Park. Bob said he first drove in New York City fifty years ago and it will be another fifty years before he will drive there again
Yesterday we went to Philadelphia for the day. It is only an hour away and the traffic was light, but still has toll roads. At least NJ has great roads to show for it and the drive was extremely pretty with all the greenery, trees and flowers. Also, NJ is a state that doesn't allow self-pumping gas, but that's all they do – no oil check or window washing, etc. We parked and went into the visitor's center to check in for our “duck” ride. We did a little touring around and did get to see the Liberty Bell. There must have been hundreds of kids on school tours so everything was crowded and loud. We did stop for lunch of chinese food from a sidewalk vendor, of which there were plenty that offered lots of different kinds of food. We finally got on our “duck” and the tour consisted of going by a lot of historical buildings, but went too fast for any good picture taking and there wasn't any shoreline of significance when we went into the water of the Delaware River, except to see the place where Tom Hanks' father lives. He puts out flags whenever Tom is in town to visit, but wasn't here this time. We have always liked our “duck” tours, but was pretty disappointed with this one. We would have been much better off taking a carriage tour, but they were closed up for the day by the time we got back. We did do a little more walking around, but couldn't get to see anything of significance, plus it was starting to rain. I did have an umbrella in the scooter, but had to keep it over the basket and controls. The great thing about the scooter is that they always let us on first whatever tour we are taking. It really comes in handy in more ways than one. One other side note is that a lot of places we go in have security screening. I am always able to get right through unless I have something in my basket, but Bob always has to take everything out of his pockets. Philadelphia has Athens to thank for its classical structure, London for its grand boulevard and the man on the Quaker Oats cereal box, William Penn, for its name, which is translated from the Greek and means “City of Brotherly Love”. Besides naming his “Great Towne”,Penn also designed the city. This Quaker pacifist flipped the old Roman plan for a military outpost city of wide,straight streets for troop movements and turned it into an open street grid with no fortress walls to keep out the Native Americans. Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Los Angeles can all credit Penn for their checkerboard patterns. Although Penn strived for Quaker simplicity he would be shocked at the sight of a 27 ton statue of himself on PA's tallest building. His creations flourished, among them the world's first lending library, America's first hospital,. medical school, think tank and nondenominational college. Most of the historical buildings are in one main area and have been restored to its original state. Very few were torn down. One of the bldgs was the home of Dolley Todd Madison and one of the interesting side notes was that she was the one who introduced ice cream to the White House – oyster flavored ice cream! I'm glad I wasn't there. The house that they claim was Betsy Ross's might not be hers. There were 3 identical houses and one was torn down and historians think that one was hers. Also, she wasn't the sweet old lady depicted in pictures. She was very outspoken and her language was pretty salty. There is just so much history here and would have loved to see more of it, but another time.
We got set to leave for Pride Resort, NC fromt Stoney Creek in Greenville VA (Shenandoah Valley) when we discovered we didn't have any coach batteries left. Evidentially, when that storm hit we got a power surge and completely drained them. We barely had enough left with the help of our plugged in electricity to get our slides in and jacks up. We stopped at Camping World, but they couldn't get us in for another week and didn't have the parts anyway. Anyway, the drive down here was beautiful, but couldn't see any countryside because of all the forests, beside which it rained all the way. We hit 3 toll booths, one of which was $16!, but at least the roads are good. We went through 5 states this day – NJ, MD, DE, crossing the Potomac on I495, VA, WV then back into VA! Quite a drive. Then things got worse. The directions to Stoney Creek were vague and it sets way back into the woods. The roads were narrow country roads with sharp right turns – not for big rigs like us. We missed our turn and ended up on a narrow lane so had to stop to disconnect the truck so Bob could turn around. We finely got there and even though our reservation said 50 amp and full hookups they couldn't honor it and we ended up way in the back with just enough room to back the rig in. We only have 30 amp, which I can live with, but no sewer and no TV! (too many trees to get a signal), plus not enough power to put the jacks down. We did get 3 of the slides out, but not enough power left to put the main bedroom slide out, which of the 4 is the one we can deal without it being out. The other 3 when they are in will not let us get into cabinets that we need, so not totally disastrous. There are times like this that makes us wonder why we are doing this to ourselves. This rig is 6 yrs old and has seen a lot of mileage so some things are going to start going wrong. I am in withdrawals with no TV and relegated to playing cards, which he beats me 3 out of 4 times and shows no remorse, plus I miss my NASCAR. This park is not made for big Rvs and shouldn't advertise such. The RV next to ours had just come in and he didn't even have enough room to put his slides out because of the trees. He had as much trouble getting in here as we did and even got his new rig scratched up. He left the next morning and another big rig came in next to us and they only stayed one night. If we didn't have to wait for parts we probably would have moved on also. The park is very pretty and has a fully stocked lake and allows fishing along with swimming, so is a perfect place for families – just not big rigs! Luckily there is a RV repairman in the park so he came down and said it was a solenoid malfunctioning so had to order it and will be in in 3 or 4 days. In the meantime we did get some battery power, but still not enough to put the slide out. Our part for the toilet did come in and Bob fixed it, but since we have no sewer hookup, we still have to conserve. The first day we just regrouped and tried to get our sense of humor back.
We got up and went to WalMart , then on the way back we found a little winery at the village of Raphine, VA. It was called the Rockbridge Winery and was set on a farm which appeared to be a working farm. Beautiful fields, etc. They had set the winery up in the barn and really made a nice looking establishment. They grew their own grapes for the most part. They did buy some of their grapes. They had some really good wines, so we had to buy a couple of bottles. A nice pleasant stop.
We then went on down the road about 2 miles to Wade's Mill (c1750) which is a working water powered flour mill listed on the National Register. They were through grinding for the day, but Bob still got to go through it. Inside the mill on the first floor they sold just about anything you could want in the way of baking goods, home made jams/jellies, pickled goods, etc. Most of the milling equipment is on the second floor and the third floor. Bob could only go on the first floor and the second floor but it was quite interesting.
Yesterday we took a tour of “The Natural Bridge”, a historic natural wonder. We had previously toured the Natural Bridge in Arkansas. It was puny compared to this one. No contest. There is a hwy that even goes right over the top of the bridge. Thomas Jefferson liked it so much that he bought it from King George III in 1774 to preserve it as a mountain retreat and George Washington even engraved his initials on one of the rock faces. Because I had scooter we had to take the shuttle down to the Cedar Creek gorge. The path and creek just meander along and goes through the arch. The next stop along cedar creek is a Native American village. It has been reconstructed to show a typical village of about 300 years ago. On up Cedar Creek is the Saltpeter Cave where they mined the bat and bird droppings to make gunpowder. Further along is the Lost River which comes right out of the rock face and through a man made trough it goes over the hill into the creek (they have never found the source of the river). Even though the trough wasn't very wide I couldn't get over it with my scooter so Bob went on down to Lace Falls to take pictures. The path was very well kept up, but areas of it was gravel and my scooter had problems getting through it at times, so Bob had to push me. It was an awesome tour and they even had a wax museum and factory and a cavern tour, but we didn't have time as we wanted to go on the Blue Ridge Parkway on the way back. Just before the Parkway was a little town called “Buchanan”, which is my maiden name, so naturally had to take a picture. We have been on the southern end of the Parkway the last time we were in NC and this is the northern end of it where it ends and becomes Skyline Drive, which we have also been on. Anyway, we were off the see the Northern end. It was absolutely gorgeous and the Catawba Rhodies were in full bloom, plus the tulip trees, but since all the foliage was blooming, we couldn't see down the valley except in certain areas. The last time we saw the Parkway was in the Spring with snow still on the ground, but no foliage so could really see the valleys. It is an impressive drive and extends 469 miles along the crests of the southern Appalachians and links two eastern national parks – the Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains. We still have to see the central part. It was late when we got back and as there aren't any restaurants near the park we drove into Waynesboro to a steak house and it was well worth the drive. The food was excellent. Bob had a filet mignon and Merry had a shrimp platter. After that we drove back to the park. So ends another good day.
The solenoid did come in, but it didn't solve the problem and the RV repair man didn't know what else to do. In the meantime the toilet quit working again, which probably is tied to the solenoid problem. We found a Camping World at Statesville, NC that would get us in the next day so we immediately packed up and got on our way. It is really close to our next destination so wasn't t out of the way. On the way we encountered a couple of rain squalls, one bad enough that most of the cars pulled off the highway. We got there in one piece though and they let us stay the night in their lot that had a 50 amp hookup. We couldn't get any of our slides out, but we can still make do, except we can't get to our dishes so we had to eat out. That was the only good part of that day. We went to the Outback Steak House and had an excellent meal with outstanding service. The thunder storms started in again and was pouring when we went to leave. The staff walked us out under a big umbrella – that's service! We got the rig in first thing in the morning, but it took most of the day to determine that our new solenoid was defective and once they found another one we were back up and running. Of course, we had to put Sofie in the truck for the day and being really humid and hot out Bob kept having to go out and run the AC
Just as we were leaving, the thunder and lightning started in again, but we got to Bass Lake RV Resort in Salisbury NC without a problem. It was pouring when we were setting up and both of us got drenched. By the time we got settled in it had stopped for a while. This resort is beautiful with a fully stocked lake and paddle boats, lots of trees and green lawns. The laundry room is even very nice. Machines in one area and wicker furniture, fireplace and book exchange in the other, plus it is air conditioned. We will only be here for the weekend because, since we are scheduled to be here 2 weeks, we decided to go ahead and get the gouges down the side of the rig fixed, plus there are a few other matters we want taken care of so we will be back at the shop Mon morning. We will stay in their lot for the time it takes to get everything done and then come back to the resort.
We had to be at the shop by 8 am Mon so had to get up early and got there in plenty of time. We spent the day driving around and, of course, as with all the East Coast states, NC is absolutely beautiful and has some gorgeous brick homes (I really drooled over them), plus beautiful flowering trees such as Magnolia and Lilac, etc. Bob then went to the NC Transportation Museum which was housed in several bldgs over a large area and had every mode of transportation covered. Because it was so hot I decided to stay in the car with Sophie and keep the air conditioner going. She is shedding so much that the inside of the truck is covered with fur. For all her faults, she really is a good traveler. She really doesn't like riding in the truck, especially when it is hot, but she deals with it. One of our past cats always got car sick and one always laid in the litter box (phew!) - she just goes under the couch when the motor starts and comes right out when we stop. We got the rig back at night, but we couldn't put the right hand slides out because they had them taped shut, which meant I couldn't get to any dishes so we had to eat out every night - much to my delight. Wed they did the final painting so the rig had to stay in the paint room so we had to go to a motel. Sophie was delighted to get some room to wander around in. During the rest of the days we pretty much took up squatter rights in their waiting room, which was cool, plus we had TV, I had my weaving and Bob mostly read so we made it through the day and Sophie was content to just stay in her cage. I got couple of offers for afghans, but I only get about a foot done a month and there is 6 feet of material to weave so I gracefully declined (after I got through laughing). We finally got the rig back Thurs afternoon so headed back to the campground. Even though there are lots of activities to do here, it is just too hot so I mostly stay in the rig. I spend most of the eve fighting gnats for my wine glass as I don't like sharing with swimming bugs and prefer getting my protein elsewhere. Oh well, it keeps me busy. This is the major Camping World in the East and they are extremely busy, plus they have a huge inventory of Rvs for sale and rent. It looked like they were making it through this economy okay, but one of the sales people told us that they were hurting so they took a pay cut rather than being laid off and their insurance is going up, but at least they had a job.
We don't usually do anything on the weekends because of the crowds so waited until Mon. to go to Morehead to tour the NASCAR museums. We first went to Hendrick Motorsports complex which features the nos. 5, 24, 48 and 88 Sprint teams (Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Jr). We got to see some of the cars they have raced and further up the road are the garages of the separate drivers where we were able to view the garage areas where they work on the cars. The garages are kept so clean that it is claimed you can eat off the floor. Of course, there are all kinds of souvenirs for sale and we had to get a couple of decals of our favorite drivers.
We then drove over to Lowe's Motor Speedway where we took a tour that gives you a close-up view of areas that are off-limits on race days and a drive down pit road, plus having our picture taken in Victory Circle. The van then took us around the race track at 80 mph and were able to feed the full- tilt force of the 24 degree banking. It was totally awesome and would love to take it around at the usual 150-200 mph, but that tour is pricey. You have to be a racing fan to have enjoyed the day and, of course, we did.
The next day we took a drive to the historic village of Gold Hill NC which was a rough and rowdy mining town and home of one of the first gold rushes in history (1824 – 50 yrs before the CA gold rush). Quite a few of the bldgs are in use (mostly as souvenir shops) and some are in restoration. The Gold Miner's Cafe was open so we stopped and had lunch, which was an experience. The bldg was pretty much like it was in the old days and the food prices were very reasonable. I ordered a hamburger with chili and slaw, which I thought was on the side, but they were part of the hamburger itself and was one of the best burgers I have ever had. This is about it for NC – tomorrow we leave for SC.
Arrived at The Oaks at Point South in Yemassee SC which is an old TT/NACO campground, but they have put in 50 amp sites and every site is a long pull-thru and fairly flat amid a lot of Oak trees with moss. It is a fairly decent park, except it is hot and humid (upper 90's) so I don't go out much except to sight see
Sun we went to Beaufort to take a carriage ride through the historic section and there was a decent breeze so wasn't too bad. Our horse was Mr. Duke who is the 2nd largest horse at 2600 lbs and 20 hands high – big! He just plodded along, but got irritated when she changed the route on him – a real character. After every ride they take the horses' temperature, hosed them down and gave them Gatorade to drink. They also like potato chips and Salt and Vinegar is Mr. Duke's favorite. When it gets too hot the city makes them shut the rides down and take the horses in, so they are well taken care of The ride took us through the historic district which has very strict codes. It takes about 5 yrs to get all the permits to redo anything. They were great old houses and the color of the paint under the front porch ceiling has different meanings. They were a very superstitious people and believed in ghosts and since ghosts can't go through water they painted the ceiling blue. A black ceiling represents the death of someone associated with the house. There were others, but these were the two prominent ones. Many of the houses had a left and right stairway to the front door. Since the men worked outside and had dirty boots and the women had long dresses that were hard to clean, they used separate stairways. Also, any man that followed a young woman up the stairs and caught site of any part of her ankle he had to marry her to save her reputation. All the houses face south because of winds, plus no one wanted to face the hated North. The kitchens were housed in separate bldgs behind the main house in case of fire and when the servants brought the food to the main house they had to whistle to ensure the owner they were not eating any of the food – hence, the expression “whistle while you work”. Also, dogs would follow the servants so they started frying up corn meal balls to feed and distract them and say “hush puppies” from which came the creation of hush puppies. In the early days they used the Spanish moss to fill the mattresses, pillows, etc., but the moss had lots of bugs so came the expression “don't let the bed bugs bite”. Ford also used the moss for his car seats, but people complained and he had to stop. They like to say this was the first car recall. The creation of the moss came from the fable that when a military man with a long beard was chasing an Indian he got his beard caught in a tree, the Indian came back to cut him loose before disappearing again, and the beard left behind became moss. It is really isn't moss, but a form of air furn. It doesn't harm the trees, but can smother vegetation. The town of Beaufort was destroyed during the hurricane of 8-27-1893 and then again by fire 1-19-1907 caused by 2 young boys smoking cigars in a barn and when discovered tossed them into a hay stack, but wasn't touched during Sherman's March to the Sea. Another tidbit is that when Barbra Streisand stayed there while filming The Prince of Tides and got annoyed by the jets from the nearby Marine Air Station and called the commander demanding they stop going over her residence. That night the commander had the jets go over at 3 am and when a very mad Barbra called to complain, all he said was that this was “the price of freedom” and hung up on her. She is not at all liked around here. On the opposite note was when Tom Hanks was in town he drove past a wedding, stopped to wish the bride well. Their photographer was so stunned he failed to take pictures so Tom had his own cameraman tape the wedding. Of course, he is very well liked around here. We finished the day by going to the Base Exchange at the Marine Air Station on Paris Island to check the prices of wine. The base is huge and one of the prettiest I have seen. We got lost a couple of times, but finally got there. I was truly surprised at their selection of the higher end brand names and only carried 3 of the better named cosmetics and actually had cosmetologists at each counter. The wine was more expensive than WalMart's, but very good prices on their clothes so got a couple of pairs of shorts and tops. *