C'ville was our next stop and what a wonderful town it is!  But what the heck is C'ville?  We know it as Charlottesville, Virginia.  This town is the home of the University of Virginia and a gorgeous downtown.  Of course, like most great tourist towns, there is a pedestrian mall in the center which is full of interesting shops and great restaurants.  The surrounding neighborhoods are full of stately Federal and Greek Revival buildings on tree-lined boulevards.  Considering all the history that surrounds the area, this was a perfect place to spend a week.
C'Ville's downtown pedestrian mall.

     While in C'ville we discovered that the University of Connecticut's football team was playing UVA so we couldn't resist the opportunity.  The game was on a warm yet cloudy day and our seats were on the 20, 15 rows back from the field.  It was a perfect day for spectating.  UVA has a great band and their opening ceremony with a "Cavalier" prancing around the field on horseback was a real hoot.  Unfortunately, UCONN got destroyed with the final score not accurately representative of how poorly they played.  Oh well, we had a great time watching the game and mixing it up with nearby fans.

     The highlight of our C'ville visit was an evening at the Carter Mountain Orchard.  Carter Mountain Orchard sits atop a small mountain with a 360 degree view of the surrounding countryside.  Every Thursday night they have a band playing while the patrons picnic and watch the sunset.  They have a typical variety of things one would expect at an orchard, including apples, food, cider (hard & soft) and wine.  We set-up our chairs and enjoyed a perfect night for a stunning sunset.
Sunset over Carter Mountain.
Carter Mountain Orchard before the evening crowd arrived.

     Next it was on to Raleigh, North Carolina and Lorri, Alex and Lucas.  Lorri is Nancy's sister.  Lucas, Lorri and Alex's son, is studying at the University of North Carolina and he is getting straight "A's" in his major (which I can't pronounce, but it involves medicine and statistics.)  While there Alex scored free tickets to the Duke v UNC football game.  The seats were on the 50, 20 rows back from the field.  I don't think you can have better seats.  It was a hot sunny day, but our seats were shaded by the perfect!  The game was great, with a lot of scoring by evenly matched teams.  The stadium was jam-packed so it had a "big-time" college atmosphere.  We cheered for UNC but Duke prevailed.  The best part was that after the game we were joined by Lucas for dinner.
Duke v UNC

     Next we moved to Wilmington, North Carolina.  Wilmington is a cute historical town on the Cape Fear River and minutes from the ocean.  We found a camping spot at the local Elks Lodge which ended up being situated midway between downtown and the beach.  It was only a 30 minute bike ride to either the beach or downtown so I biked every day, mostly hitting the beach.
     AND we got a surprise visit from Lorri for a couple of nights!  Yay!  Lorri knew the area as she only lives 2 hours away, so she knew how to get us on the beach for free as well as some great places to visit.
Nancy & Lorri on the Riverwalk
in Wilmington, NC.

     We had one of those "special" days for our visit to Southport, NC.  Southport is a charming historic town on the mainland at the mouth of the Cape Fear River.  We opted out of driving a long distance to the town, instead we drove to the end of Cape Fear to Fort Fisher where we took a ferry across the river to Southport.  It was a beautiful ride followed by a flat, 3 mile, hassle-free bike ride into town.  We took advantage of having our bikes to cruise along the scenic waterfront and through the quaint side streets before snagging lunch at "Fishy Fishy" right on the water.  Thereafter, we enjoyed hanging out on the waterfront watching the world pass by before heading back to catch the last ferry of the day.
On the Fort Fisher-Southport Ferry.

Fishy Fishy.
Southport, NC

Southport, NC

     Our next stop was Charleston, South Carolina.  This town defines southern elegance and charm.  It is a gorgeous, upscale town with a boat-load of multi-million dollar homes jammed together in the area know as "South of Broad" or "SOB."  Broad Street is the official dividing line between the unbelievably, super wealthy and the super wealthy.  Meandering along the "SOB" streets is fantastic.  The streets are lined with Spanish moss laden live oak trees and all the homes have beautiful gardens with eclectic architectural stylings. 
We dry camped at the Charleston Elks Lodge
and every night we were entertained by
2 kickball league games. 

Ravenel Bridge in
Charleston, SC.

The Charleston Friday night artist market.

     Since this was our second visit to Charleston, we had already done a lot of the tourist stuff.  However, there was still a lot to do.  Beside hitting the beach at Isle of Palms, we toured the USS Yorktown, a huge aircraft carrier.  This was the first aircraft carrier we had ever toured, so we were excited about seeing the flight deck and hanger area.  Although the carrier is gigantic, the Flight Deck still seemed tiny for launching and landing aircraft.  I can't believe the bravery and skill of the pilots on these ships.  On the day of our visit there was a WWII pilot visiting who was stationed on the Yorktown.  He enjoyed imparting tales of his exploits as well as life on board the ship.  What a treat!  What a hero!
USS Yorktown Flight Deck.

A replica of the Apollo 8 capsule.
The Yorktown recovered the Apollo 8 astronauts
after they completed the first manned flight around the moon.

This 94 year old gentleman piloted planes on the Yorktown
during WWII.

USS Yorktown

     Our next stop brought us to Savannah, Georgia.  We also visited this place in "a prior life," but touring the streets full of stately mansions which surround the 24 downtown squares never ceases to impress.  Also, we took one day to visit the beach on nearby Tybee Island.  It turned out that the rip tides from earlier hurricanes had dissipated and the ocean was perfect for swimming.  I haven't been body surfing for 3 years, but surf this body did....for hours!  After a day of being crashed and bashed in the surf, a treatment of Vitamin I (Ibuprofen) and beer was essential.
Tybee Island Light

     Our mad dash to Florida which started the first week of September in Connecticut and ended the second week of October has finally ended with our arrival in Jacksonville.  Whew!  As you can tell we don't like too move far or fast, especially if we find a place we like.  However, our schedule was dictated by several doctor's appointments for Nancy.  So here we are waiting to see what the future brings for Nancy.
Cookie Monster!


  1. We have never been to a college football game but have always wanted to as the atmosphere looks great....and you took in two in a very short time! Glad you made it to Florida alright, good luck to Nancy and her appointments.


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