Musical Ride – Branson Stop (Sort of…)

Our view of Table Rock, from site # 124.

For years, Betty & I have been reading ads in the Winnipeg Free Press for bus tours to Branson, Missouri, which bills itself as the “Live Music Entertainment Capitol of the World”.  No hyperbole here…LOL.  Since this southwestern Missouri city was more-or-less on our route home from Memphis, we thought we’d make it the 4th and last stop on our musical ride.

Most of our travel time was through the cotton fields of Arkansas and the Ozark Mountains that surround Branson.  At $24./night for a full service campsite, we booked into site 124 at nearby Table Rock State Park, with the intent of cleaning

Ozarkland, in the heart of Brandson’s fantasy land.

and preparing our motorhome for a brief storage period back in Manitoba. Being at Branson for 4 days, we thought we’d also check out a few of the many attractions listed, and maybe catch one of those live shows.

 

Branson’s Mt. Rushmore?

Truth be told, we found Branson to be a major disappointment, although maybe we didn’t give it a full chance to impress.  It turned out that Elvis Presley himself was not at Presley’s Jubilee.  Apparently he had already left the building!  While Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and many other music legends were also being promoted, it appeared that none of them were there in person! What a let down!! LOL

Is that the real King Kong on the top of the Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center? I’m from Missouri… LOL.

The Branson entertainment guide had a picture of Michael Jackson on the cover, and you could get up close and personal with him, Taylor Swift, Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, and others – or at least wax images of them – at the Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center“One of the biggest attractions in Branson”.   Everywhere we looked we saw imitations of this, tributes to that, copies of something else, including, for some reason, a replica of the Titanic hitting an iceberg on Route 76, their main drag. What’s that about? We didn’t check it out…

Somehow the Titanic took a wrong turn, hitting an iceberg in the middle of America…

It may very well be that Betty & I are too harsh on Branson.  It rained quite a bit during our visit, and we were more focused on the road home, rather than the musical ride.  Will we ever go back to the “Live Music Entertainment Capitol of the World”? Maybe, or maybe we’ll just go to an imitation of Branson next year, in a place out west called Las Vegas, Nevada.  LOL.

Cheers!

Apparently, the Windmill Inn on Branson’s main drag doesn’t have alarm clocks. Instead, a huge rooster crows outside your window each morning, in time for the continental breakfast. LOL
Maybe Graham could be a stand-in for Neil Diamond at Branson? LOL

Musical Ride – Memphis, Tennessee Stop

The banner over Beale Street in Memphis announces it as “Home of the Blues”.

For the last few days, Marc Cohn’s song “Walking In Memphis” has echoed in my head wherever Betty & I have travelled in Memphis, Tennessee. (I guess the fact that it echoed suggests my noggin is otherwise hollow, but that’s another story. LOL) The autobiographical song recounts Cohn’s spiritual experience of walking in a city steeped in music history. And this week we joined him on that walk.

Sun Records on Union Avenue, where Elvis Presley & many others recorded their tunes.

On a previous visit with our kids (Ok, they’re not kids anymore, so it was a while ago…) Betty & I visited Elvis’ Jungle Room in Graceland, and stood by his tomb with security guards near by. We have now toured a number of recording studios, so chose to forego a visit to Sun Records on Union Avenue, where Presley laid down a lot of vinyl. When planning this trip last year, I

Bet prepares for a rib feast at the Blues City Cafe on Beale Street in Memphis.
Staff at the Blues City Cafe cook up some tasty meals.

was reminded that we had stopped at a restaurant on Beale Street for the best bbq ribs ever, so that was a point of interest not to be missed. The taste alone put our feet 10 feet off of Beale, as we passed the statue of the father of the blues, W.C. Handy, at Handy Park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lorraine Motel in downtown Memphis, where Martin Luther King was staying when he was assassinated.

While not part of our musical journey, Betty & I wanted to pay homage to the great Martin Luther King, who was assassinated in 1968 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. The motel has now been converted into a National Civil Rights Museum, and our extended visit there was a powerfully moving experience.

The balcony where Dr. M.L. King was standing when he was shot.

 

 

 

 

 

At the National Civil Rights Museum, a description of the moments before the assassination of MLK.

 

The next day –Sunday – combined our experience at the Civil Rights Museum with our musical ride and Cohn’s song. While we didn’t hear a sermon from singer/songwriter/ producer Rev. Al Green, Betty & I did attend “Memphis’ First Congregation of Color” – Collins Chapel, founded in 1841. Just as Cohn experienced, this was a tremendously moving experience,

Collins Chapel: “Memphis’ First Congregation of Color” established in 1841.

with the black choir swaying together and clapping in unison as they sang gospel songs. (There was one white woman in the choir who didn’t ever seem to get the rhythm, but she was introduced later as a visitor from Minnesota. LOL)

Guest preacher, Dr. Clifford L. Harris of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, challenged the congregation to live in the eye of the hurricane, as the storm raged around them. Without directly referring to the current administration, he encouraged parishioners to get out and vote, reminding listeners of the day’s responsive reading “… O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you 

Music to end slavery: the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome”.

but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.” “For we must never forget that the only thing evil needs to triumph is for good people to do nothing.”

Betty’s image is reflected in the window of Lorraine Motel room 306 where Martin Luther King stayed before he was killed.

In recounting how he came to write the song, Cohn tells of his inspirational encounter at the Hollywood cafe, just south of Memphis, with singer Muriel Wilkins. He was asked to perform on stage with her, and didn’t know the words to many of the songs. But as a finale they sang “Amazing Grace” together and, even though Cohn is Jewish, he felt the spiritual connection with Christianity that night.

Our visit to Memphis has shown Betty & I the worst and best of the human experience, from the assassination of MLK and the lynchings of blacks and their supporters during civil rights marches, to the inspiring and uplifting music that encourages us all to love and care for one another.

May we all learn to live in peace!

Cheers!

Walking in Memphis
Put on my blue suede shoes
And I boarded the plane
Touched down in the land of the Delta Blues
In the middle of the pouring rain
W.C. Handy, won’t you look down over me
Yeah, I got a first class ticket
But I’m as blue as a boy can be.
Then I’m walking in Memphis
Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale
Walking in Memphis
But do I really feel the way I feel?
Saw the ghost of Elvis
On Union Avenue
Followed him up to the gates of Graceland
Then I watched him walk right through
Now security they did not see him
They just hovered ’round his tomb
But there’s a pretty little thing
Waiting for the King
Down in the Jungle Room.
When I was walking in Memphis
I was walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale
Walking in Memphis
But do I really feel the way I feel?
They’ve got catfish on the table
They’ve got gospel in the air
And Reverend Green be glad to see you
When you haven’t got a prayer
But, boy, you’ve got a prayer in Memphis.

Now Muriel plays piano
Every Friday at the Hollywood
And they brought me down to see her
And they asked me if I would
Do a little number
And I sang with all my might
She said
“Tell me are you a Christian child?”
And I said “Ma’am, I am tonight”.

Walking in Memphis
(Walking in Memphis)
Was walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale
Walking in Memphis
(Walking in Memphis)
But do I really feel the way I feel?

Walking in Memphis
(Walking in Memphis)
I was walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale
Walking in Memphis
(Walking in Memphis)
But do I really feel the way I feel?

Put on my blue suede shoes
And I boarded the plane
Touched down in the land of the Delta Blues
In the middle of the pouring rain
Touched down in the land of the Delta Blues
In the middle of the pouring rain.

Our campsite (#27) at T.O. Fuller State Park near Memphis.
Charlie watches through the door as Graham misses Mississippi.

Musical Ride – Muscle Shoals, Alabama Stop

Our campsite (#16) at the Colbert County Alloys RV Park in Muscle Shoals. It cost $18. for a full-service site (senior’s rate. LOL)

Truth be told, I don’t remember hearing about Muscle Shoals back in the day. While it was referenced in Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 1974 hit song “Sweet Home Alabama” (“…Now Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers/ And they’ve been known to pick a song or two…”) most of us remember this southern band dissing Winnipeg’s own Neil Young in that song…

We drove past many cotton fields before and after our visit to Muscle Shoals.

But then PBS released a documentary called “Muscle Shoals” in mid-April, 2014, that opened my eyes and ears –and those of many others – to the significance of this otherwise insignificant small Alabama town. (BTW, prior to the documentary, school kids in Muscle Shoals couldn’t wait to move out of the backwoods hick town. Once they

The now-famous Fame Studio in Muscle Shoals.

learned of the influential rolls of two small music studios, they became proud to tell others where they were lived.)

The two now-famous recording studios in Muscle Shoals are Fame (Florence Alabama Music Enterprises) at 603 East Avalon Ave. and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio at 3614 Jackson Highway.

The Fame Studio was started by Rick Hall in the 1950’s and operated by him until his death in 2018. It is still an active studio, and Rick’s wife, Linda Hall, told us about her husband and the studio when Betty & I went for a tour.  Music

Linda Hall (right) describes her husband’s career as founder, mover & shaker at Fame Studios.

producer Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records, who coined the term “rhythm & blues”, brought many young artists to Fame, including Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett. Many attribute their success to the Muscle Shoals sound emanating from Hall’s studio.

But in 1969, Rick Hall signed an exclusive contract with Capitol Records, and expected his session musicians, known as the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, to go along with him as salaried staff. Instead, the studio musicians, nicknamed “the Swampers” by Leon Russell’s producer because of their swampy sound, took the bold step of establishing their own studio, called Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.

Betty at 3614 Jackson Highway. The sign was added after Cher superimposed it on the cover of the album she recorded there, after breaking up with Sonny Bono.

To record in a studio owned and operated by the session musicians was a unique experience and, with the assistance of Jerry Wexler, many famous musicians chose to make music in this little space, which had originally been a coffin shop, supplying the cemetery across the street. Of the two visits, the tour of this space was by far the best. Our young tour guide was extremely knowledgeable, and used

Jerry Wexler & Willie Nelson stand in the same spot as Betty, only for them it was 1973. BTW, they traded hats for the pic.

a combination of videos and musical clips from his iPad and external speaker to recreate special moments – too many to repeat in this short post.

Ok, let me see if I can give a short version of one longer story: The Rolling Stones had played in Miami and were on their way to perform in Los Angeles. They had never heard of Muscle Shoals, but Jerry Wexler convinced them to fly in on their way, in order to put down maybe one track for their Sticky Fingers album. Among others, they ended up recording Brown Sugar and Wild Horses at Muscle Shoals, with Keith Richards writing the final 2 verses of Wild Horses while sitting on the toilet in the small bathroom that was in the studio. When they went outside in this very rural Alabama hick town, no one recognized

Mick Jagger finds his groove at Muscle Shoals.

them, and they were happy with that! The documentary has much more input from Mick Jagger & Keith Richards, so I’ll leave the reader to explore there.

Ok, just one more: Many black artists got their start, and continued recording at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. On separate occasions, both Paul Simon and Rod Stewart requested the same black backup musicians that they had heard on albums produced in Muscle Shoals, and were both surprised that the studio musicians were actually white!  Linda Hall told us that, while colour was a major issue in southern Alabama, it

The bathroom in the studio where Keith Richards wrote the last 2 verses for Wild Horses. I took this pic with my back against the far wall. This place is small!

never was in Muscle Shoals, and black & white together worked to create this amazing sound. As I write this, many more stories come to mind, but I have passed the 600 word limit I set for myself on these posts, so I will again encourage all readers to WATCH THE DOCUMENTARY!

Cheers!

The mixing booth at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio
The mixing console at Fame Studios, still in active use.
Studio 1 at Fame is still an active recording space. Musicians played a short impromptu number for us during our visit.
Graham gives a thumbs up to visiting Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

 

 

 

Musical Ride – Nashville Stop

The Mother Church of Country Music – The Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville.

For music lovers, there are a number of places in the southern U.S. that claim to be the birthplace of rock & roll, the home of the blues, the heart of country, and all that jazz. Like trying to find the original source of a large river by following the many tributaries that flow into it, the starting place for any genre of music can be elusive. But our search for some good ole fashioned music did take us to some magical places that definitely contributed to inspired melodic outcomes.  We were privileged to visit a number of those places this month, as chronicled by the following posts.

The large balcony at the Ryman brings the audience up close and personal to performers.

As mentioned in our last missive, Betty & I arrived in Nashville, Tennessee just ahead of torrential rains. But that didn’t dampen our spirits. We were there to soak up some music and experience some of the iconic venues in this country music mecca, along with Betty’s brother Jack, his wife Christine, and our old friends from Ontario, Penny & Rick.

We began with a Music City tour,

The view from the front of the Ryman captures the stained glass windows across the back of the former Tabernacle.

taking us to Music Row, lined with recording studios where many of the current and former hits were born. We passed the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum, the Ryman Auditorium, the Johnny Cash Museum, the George Jones Museum, and the Musicians Hall of Fame Museum, among other attractions. Downtown Nashville’s Broadway is considered the city’s“Honky Tonk Highway”, with music playing 365 days of the year.  Everywhere we went – from restaurants to street buskers – we saw ample evidence of the vibrant music culture.

The mixing console at the Ryman was being prepared for that night’s concert.

Best known as the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974, the downtown Ryman Auditorium was by far the star attraction. Opened in 1892 as the Union Gospel Tabernacle, the Ryman gave performers and their audiences a warm, intimate space with great acoustics. While it fell on hard times for a while after the Opry moved to their new location, the Ryman has been lovingly restored both for

Memorabilia around the Ryman paid tribute to the many artists who performed there over the years.

tours and for regular use as a venue. I noticed that Canada’s k.d. lang performed there just a few weeks prior to our arrival.  Betty & I enjoyed seeing her live in Winnipeg– especially her moving rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. It would have been a fitting song for this former grand tabernacle!

Of course, no visit to Nashville is complete without a visit to the

Betty, Jack & Christine find their seats near the front of the Grand Ole Opry.

Grand Ole Opry. Opened at its much larger current suburban location in 1974, the Opry has continued the tradition of introducing upcoming country musicians, while highlighting many of the old faithful. When they moved from the Ryman, a circle of centre stage was cut out and installed in the centre of the new stage. New and old experiencing the stage lights at that spot express the feeling that they are standing on hallowed country music ground. For our visit, we had

The Charlie Daniels Band performs some of their hits at the Opry. I didn’t need to leave our seats for this pic.

excellent seats at the front of the auditorium for a show consisting of Bill Anderson, Luke Combs, Charlie Daniels Band, Jon Pardi, Craig Morgan and Kelsea Ballerini.

Whether or not you are a fan of country music, it is well worth the experience to immerse yourself in the flood of sounds and sights at this southern city. Just don’t forget your raincoat and wellingtons!

Cheers!

Chased From A Campground – Twice!

Betty & I have enjoyed the hospitality of hosts and guests in the campgrounds of the 24 states and 5 provinces visited so far. But on two separate occasions last week we were told to leave – and we did!

Before leaving the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Betty & I visited the memorial to the Wright Brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk. The sign notes that one of us is a genius, and I am pointing to that one… LOL

While we dodged a bullet with hurricane Florence on Cape Hatteras National Seashore, hurricane Michael wasn’t far behind. On our last night at Oregon Inlet campground on the Outer Banks, park rangers came around warning that they might announce a mandatory evacuation at 10:00 a.m. the next morning. Michael was approaching up the coast from the Florida panhandle, and a great deal of destruction had already been caused.

Similar to the Florida Keys, there is only one road down North Carolina’s coast along Cape Hatteras. Betty & I knew that if this spit of sand was to be evacuated, that road would become very congested in no time at all. Instead of waiting, we pulled in our slides and raised our levelers at midnight and hit the road to Tennessee.  While we passed through torrential rains and watched rivers and streams begin to overflow their banks, we made it out safely!  Yeah!

In Nashville, Tennessee we checked into the Grand Ole RV Resort & Market at Goodlettsville, with our old friends Rick & Penny from Ontario. We were there to meet Betty’s brother Jack, and his wife Christine, for a grand ole time at the Opry.

Rain, rain go away. Don’t bother to come back another day…  Does anyone have an ark? LOL

But then it began to rain. It rained all day and all night, and by 8:00 a.m. – guess what – staff were coming around telling us they didn’t know when the rain would stop, so we’d better leave, just in case.  In came the slides, up came the levelers, and off we went with Rick & Penny to an abandoned K-Mart parking lot, on higher ground. Fortunately, Jack and Christine had a hotel room nearby, and we were all able to get dried off and cleaned up until the all-clear was sounded.

Another post will chronicle our musical ride, but this little epistle is simply to tell the tale of the inhospitable weather that chased us last week from otherwise very hospitable campgrounds.

Cheers!

Trifecta!

Nestled in the mountains north of Knoxville, Tennessee

In my December 8/17 post “On The Road To Memory Lane”, I highlighted 3 campgrounds that carried special childhood memories. Each has come to mind again whenever I think about “camping”, although travels in our class A motorhome don’t look much like holidays in our old canvas umbrella tent. LOL. Maine’s “Camden Hills State Park” was visited and described again on Sept. 11/18, and North Carolina’s Outer Banks became “Home Again – At Cape Hatteras National Seashore” on Oct. 8/18.  Today’s post picks up the third in my trifecta, which is defined as a run on 3 grand events.

Our campsite, in the trees beside Cove Lake.

Now into mid-October, we didn’t expect to need a reservation at Tennessee’s Cove Lake State Park. As it turned out, the park continues to be popular late in the season, and we were lucky to find one available pull-through site for one night only. As a result, the visit wasn’t long, but long enough to confirm some benchmarks: The pool and overlooking pavilion where Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire would blast on the jukebox were still there. The adjacent ranch with the horses we used to ride is still there, and the park restaurant is also still open, although it is now a bbq joint with live blues singers on the weekend.

Somehow the campsites seem to be configured

Cove Lake State Park swimming pool.

differently than I remember, but maybe that was necessary to add the water, sewer and electricity that can be found on many, if not all sites. While the “pitch & net” golf course is no longer there, and there is no record of the property previously serving as a golf course, it is still a well-manicured spot with a backdrop of low mountains behind the undulating lawns and gardens.

The profile of the restaurant in the park, just as I remember it from 60 years ago.

As Betty & I reach the end of our first year in our overlandish odyssey, we have now visited 24, or half of the 48 states we hoped to visit in 5 years. Plus, in addition to our home province, we have toured 5 other provinces during this adventure.  With this trifecta behind us, now maybe we can take it easy for the next while. Only time and health will tell…

Cheers!

Betty & I waltz into Tennessee

Home Again – At Cape Hatteras National Seashore

The iconic Cape Hatteras lighthouse.

Our boot-scraped door mat announces that “home is where the welcome mat is!”.  Wherever we are parked, Betty & I have our living room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, etc. with us. This is our home, and wherever we find ourselves becomes our home community for a while.  Missing of course, and sorely missed, are our family and friends. But with the marvels of modern technology, we can share some of our adventures with them, while they share their lives the same way with us.

 

Our well-used door mat.

There are places on our travels where we feel very much apart, like fish out of water. There are also those special spots that allow us to relax, unwind, breath deeply. For a variety of reasons, coming to Cape Hatteras feels like coming home. The fresh, salty sea air, the rolling waves and the pounding surf on the fine-grained sand, the fresh-caught seafood, the blue skies and warm sun – all the sights, smells, sounds, tastes and emotions embrace us and welcome us back.

Up and over a dune. The ocean calls!

It has been over 40 years since Betty & I last camped on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, and 60 years since my parents, brother & I made it a regular summer destination. Two weeks ago, when hurricane Florence was threatening the coast, Betty & I feared that this portion of our overlandish odyssey would be lost. We watched with sadness and grief as the high winds and water took their toll on coastal communities, wondering about the fate of this memorable spit of land, jutting out into the Atlantic.

Trying to find some room to sit on the beach & watch the waves. LOL

 

 

While hurricane Florence apparently caused tremendous damage to South Carolina, and parts of southern North Carolina, we were surprised to find no evidence that such a ferocious storm had passed this way only a couple of weeks ago. Kitty Hawk – home of the Wright Brothers’ first flight – Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills, and all the other coastal

Our current campsite in the Oregon Inlet campground on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

communities that lead to and make up the Outer Banks, have grown in size significantly since our last visit, and are all active, bustling communities, with all of their windows and signage intact. Either they were quick to fully restore everything, or the storm was merciful in missing this magical place.

Another ferry passes by, as we are lost at sea. LOL

Yesterday we took a drive down the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, and guided our Smart car onto a free ferry to Ocracoke Island, at the southern end of the Seashore. We expected a quick, maybe 10 minute ride, as the islands are not that far apart. But after an hour at sea, we began to wonder if the Minnow would be lost, and we would be stranded again with Gilligan and his

Plows must keep the sand at bay as we journey down the narrow spit of shifting land.

crew. LOL. In the end, the ship arrived and we had a chance to visit the Ocracoke campground (for future reference) and grab an ice cream cone before heading back across Hatteras Inlet at Pamlico Sound. Today is a beach day, and mighty waves are calling our names.

Our bedroom directive.

 

The sign on the wall of our bedroom challenges us to love to the beach and back, and as I write this, Betty is texting me from said beach, reminding me that it’s a beautiful day to be alive in this part of paradise. It’s time to accept the welcome home!

Cheers!

The Brodie Island lighthouse keeps watch over our current campsite.
A multi-level Cape Hatteras home at sunset.
We are far enough south to see palm trees again. These are found on Ocracoke Island, next to the ice cream parlour.
Graham finds a home in North Carolina. (In his mind he’s going to Carolina. Can’t you see the sunshine? Can’t you just feel the moonshine?…)

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Betty & Charlie enjoy a final sunset at our Horseneck Beach campsite in Massachusetts.

As we celebrate this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, Betty & I acknowledge that we have much to be thankful for! Our eldest son, Andrew, turned 37 yesterday (can’t believe he could be so old when his parents are so young! LOL), and our twins celebrated their 32nd birthdays this week – although Luke will be forever 8 minutes older than his younger sister, Lisa…  All of our family are a real blessing, and we look forward to FaceTiming with them later today as they gather at Andrew’s for a traditional? Thanksgiving dinner.

Vibrant fall colours are beginning to appear on New England trees.

 

In our last post, we referenced being stranded at Horseneck Beach State Reservation in Massachusetts, and are extremely thankful that Bobby & his pit crew at Warren Auto Repair in Fall River got our Smart car back on the road again. That

Inching our way to the George Washington Bridge

was immediately followed by a return to Major RV in Bourne, where they tackled some further electrical problems with our coach. If there was a silver lining in those delays, it was that we were able to see the beginnings of New England fall colours before we left.

At last we cross the George Washington Bridge from Manhattan to New Jersey.

Our plans for a quick trip down Interstate 95 through New York City came to a screeching halt as we experienced a big city traffic snarl that lasted a full six hours! Before we pulled into a Walmart  parking lot in Old Bridge, New Jersey for the night, I had been behind the wheel for a grueling 10 hours that day. But we are thankful that we survived and are able to tell

Finally over the bridge, a look back at the Manhattan skyline.

the tale, and that we don’t have to put up with that kind of traffic on a daily basis! Yikes!

The next day’s drive was far more pleasant as we worked our way down the Jersey Shore – through Atlantic City and Ocean City – until we reached the tip of the peninsula at Cape May, New Jersey. We found

Wide verandas wrap around Cape May beachfront properties.

a site at The Depot Travel Park in West Cape May, and spent a delightful day and evening exploring the picturesque beachfront town. For dinner we chose an Italian restaurant that served my favourite – Saltimbocca. But when I asked to see the wine

Our Italian restaurant in Cape May. BYOB!

list, the serving staff informed that they didn’t have one. I was directed to go to the liquor store next door, purchase whatever we wanted, and bring it back to enjoy with our meals. A much more reasonable approach than a limited wine menu at highly marked up prices. Again, we were thankful for that!

 

The beautiful Cape May beach.

From Cape May we boarded a ferry to Lewes, Delaware, and camped for the night at the nearby Rehoboth Beach. The full service campground, Delaware Seashore State Park, was nothing like I remember from childhood visits, and we were thankful that we were not staying for more than one night.

After Delaware we passed through

Our ferry leaves a frothy wake behind as we cross the Delaware Bay.

a number of states that border the coast, and with the assistance of Gavin and Betty Boop we added stickers for Delaware, Maryland and Virginia to our travel map. Arriving at Cape Hatteras a day early (or 3 days late, depending how you count it. LOL), Betty & I were thankful that the Oregon Inlet campground of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore was able to accommodate us with an electrical and water site near the beach.

The dramatic Chesapeake Bay bridge and tunnel system snakes across the sound to Virginia Beach
Our motorhome descends under the sea!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Betty & I remain thankful that we have the opportunity to enjoy this great adventure, and hope that we can share some of our journey, either directly or vicariously, with our dear family and friends in future.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Cheers!

Nothing to do in NYC for 6 hours but listen to audio books & take pictures of traffic. LOL
After 10 hours behind the wheel, I soldier on as the sun begins to set in front of me.
We earned our New York and New Jersey stickers that day!
Betty Boop gets in on the act, adding Maryland.
Gavin asks “What did Della wear?” LOL
The 23 mile long Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel appears and disappears below the water’s surface between Delaware and Virginia.
Another pic from another tunnel, taken from the motorhome at 20,000 leagues under the sea. LOL

 

Betty points out that Virginia is for lovers.
Another brightly painted Cape May, New Jersey home. There are hundreds of them!
OK, here’s just one more. Cheers!