Monday, October 28, 2013


The next leg of our travels took us to Gettysburg.  We stayed at Artillery Ridge Campground.  It has accommodations for those traveling with their horses.  The nuts falling from the trees onto our roof at night sounded like gunshots sometimes...interrupted Jack's sleep and freaked out Maggie and Ryan a few times!  The place is old and has far too many trees, squirrels and nuts for our taste but, at the Passport America rate we got, it was a good deal.  Federal parks and monuments were still closed, but we enjoyed walking around Historic Gettysburg and did get to see the national Cemetery when it opened just before we left.

We had lunch in a nice little place called The Blue and Gray.  The burgers are named after Confederate and Union Generals and arrive with the appropriate flag when served.  Cute idea and delicious burgers!  Oh...we both had Union Burgers. :)  We sat at a table by the window and this was our view.

The Gettysburg Hotel on Lincoln Square

An old B & B that caught my eye...

Gourds on display outside a shop...

The Pub and Restaurant.  We didn't get to try it but I love the inviting!

My maiden name is Ventura, so you know this place appealed to me!  My brothers got a kick out of these photos as well :-)

Photo bombing Abe Lincoln!

This is a sculpture in front of the John Wills House on Lincoln Square. It depicts Lincoln, with a typical tourist, pointing out the room in which he wrote the Gettysburg Address.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Washington DC...Part II

The sun finally showed its face on Monday...for the first time in nine days!

We overslept, of course, but eventually made it out and took the Metro into DC.  There was only time to see one museum and our first choices, any of the Smithsonian Museums, were closed...thanks to Boehner and the government shut down.  Since Jack chose Mount Vernon on Sunday, Monday's pick was mine and, after much research, I chose the Newseum.  It is a museum of News and Journalism from previous centuries right up to current minute news.  The exterior includes a 74 foot high marble engraving of the First Amendment.  It is seven floors and can be an all day trip.  There was so much to see and so many exhibits that I liked, but one of my favorites has to be the display of Pulitzer Prize winning photographs.  Amazing photographs that will take your breath away and sear themselves into your brain - a few depicting things I wish I'd never seen, though that would not change the fact that they happened.

Here are some photos I took in the Newseum.

9-11 Pieces from the World Trade Center and a door from an NY Police car.
J Edgar Hoover

The Berlin Wall - Two Views 

Above two photos - The view from the Terrace of the Newseum

Martin Luther King Jr's Jail Cell door

Above right - 
The Woolworth's Counter in Greensboro, NC where February 1960 sit-in took place

Transmission Tower from the World Trade Center

The World and Freedom
Green are free countries.  Yellow are partially free countries.  Red are not free. 
There is far too much red...and not nearly enough green. 

 A journalist getting the shot.  The journalist's truck took many shots...

Daniel Pearl's Passport...cancelled...

These are photos of journalist who have been killed all over the world...
  TV News Helicopter
Guard Tower from the Berlin Wall

With Blue Bear and Red Bird in front of the background of a news set.
We had the option of actually recording a news story, but we passed on that!

After we left the Newseum we walked around looking for somewhere to eat.
These are a few shots I took while we walked.

We found a great little place to eat called Oyamel: Cocina Mexicana - a different kind of Mexican, it was delicious!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Visiting Washington D.C.

We left Topsail, NC on Thursday the 10th.

The first stop on our itinerary was the Washington DC area.  We had an overnight stop on the ride up in Glen Allen, VA at Kosmo Village Campground.  Getting a late start and driving in a lot of rain meant we arrived after dark.  The campground, though not far off the Interstate, was hard to find in the dark but, with the help of a salesman at a nearby Ford dealer, we did find it.  It is a bare bones CG, suitable only for self-contained RVs, but fine for an overnight stop and the price is reasonable for the area.
Day 2 - Friday the 11th - brought more rain and a missed turn that took us smack into Washington DC and added 45 minutes to our travels, but we arrived at Cherry Hill Park Campground in College Park, MD with daylight to spare and settled in for a few days.  It is pricey, but a great headquarters for visiting Washington D.C.  There is a Metro Bus Stop on the grounds and a Metro Rail station nearby.  There is even a dog-walker if you plan to be gone for a long day of sightseeing.  We didn't have opportunity to use the dog walker as the rain and the government shut down curtailed our sightseeing!

The Ikea up the street made for a great rainy Saturday afternoon visit.  It was a first visit for both of us, so we toured top to bottom and had lunch in the cafĂ©.  I spent all of eight dollars on placemats, bag clips and a small covered can for picking up after our dogs!

Sunday it stopped raining for a few hours so we embarked on a trip to Mount Vernon for Jack, my history buff.  We walked our legs off seeing the sights.

Jack can be seen photo bombing George and Martha Washington and their grandchildren in the Visitor Center!

Below is the front view of Mount Vernon that overlooks the Potomac.

The back of the Mansion and the kitchen off to the right. 

This is the view from the house overlooking the Potomac. 

 Gail overlooking the Potomac :-)

The Washington Tomb.  George Washington's coffin is on the right, Martha's on the left.  The rest of the family is entombed behind the small black door.

Our Selfie  ;-)

Next:  Monday the sun shines and we visit The Newseum...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Wedding...

October 6, 2013

It rained all morning, but the weather cleared just in time for our beach wedding.  We got married on Wrightsville Beach under the pier at the Oceanic, then celebrated with a nice dinner on the Oceanic's pier.

It was small, casual and meaningful... just the two of us and my daughter's son and brothers were not able to make the trip, nor were Jack's kids, grandkids and siblings, all of whom are on the West coast.  Nine-year-old Katie was the Maid of Honor...or, as she put it, "I'm Honored to be the Maid."  Jackson, who's seven, served as the Best Boy.  Rebecca and Davis were the official photographers and the legal witnesses.

The Sand Ceremony
We had a Sand Ceremony, which has the same symbolism as the Unity Candle.  Some sand from the beach is put in a bottle then a different color sand is added by the bride and groom and by any other participating symbolize the merging of two families.  Jack was orange, I was purple, Katie was pink, Jackson blue and Becca and Davis were yellow.

You may now kiss the the applause of Jackson and Katie!  They certainly look happy about the whole thing ;) 

We were married by Reverend Penelope Morningstar...

Katie and Jackson are happy to have a new 'Grandpa Jack' in the family.  They have been lobbying for us to get married for quite some time now!  We really enjoyed having them be a part of our wedding.

They also made beautiful cards for us...

 This is a wonderful family photo with Davis, Jackson, Gail, Jack, Katie and Rebecca... 

Jackson created a one-of-a-kind cake topper for us made from Legos.  The bride and groom were designed to look like us, right down to hair color!  It was fabulous!  He was very proud...and so are we!

Some pictures that I just really like of the kids hamming it up for the camera.  Jackson jiving to the music of the waves'  Katie standing upside down...a favorite of hers.

It was a wonderful day!

 And we lived happily ever after...