*****

The Lady who guards New York City and New Jersey

Saturday, May 21, 2016

NYC - Day Three

Friday morning we got up early enough to catch the 7:35 train. We were proud until the conductor came to collect an extra $9.50 from each of us because it was "peak travel time" and our senior discount did not apply!

But we put the extra hour to good use. The night before, I purchased tickets for the noon time slot at the 9/11 Museum. Arriving early allowed us to go up to the top observation deck of the rebuilt One World Trade Center before visiting the Museum. 



I have been to observation decks in Seattle, Auckland, Paris, and Chicago. This view surpassed them all, perhaps because the things on the ground were more interesting. 

Next we went to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. I wouldn't say it was "fun", and "interesting" is not the right word either. There have been events that have shocked me, frightened me, and changed my outlook on life. September 11, 2001 was one of them. 

Walking through the exhibits was different from any other museum. Everyone was very quiet. Sad, respectful, and quiet. It's a place to remember the thousands of civilians who died that day, and to honor the 343 firemen who lost their lives trying to save the lives of others.




The ladder on this fire engine was completely melted when the buildings came down. We know there had to be firemen working it at that moment.


Coming out of the museum, back up to the chattering crowds and bright sunshine was a return to the world of today.

Looking up at the new One World Trade building, reminded me we were not beaten. Wounded, yes, but not beaten.





















This inscription, that survived on a section of wall from one of the Twin Towers, touched me: 




In the current volatile election cycle, I hope our people are not hoodwinked by anyone who clamors for isolationism and calls for dismantling negotiated trade agreements.

Enough said ...



Because we had grabbed a bite to eat at the train station, we did not stop for lunch. We had to walk a few blocks to get to one of our bus stops, but were soon back aboard and on our way to see the UN building.

When the General Assembly is in session, the flags are all up.

We hoped to be able to take a tour, but unfortunately all the day's tickets were sold out by the time we got there at 3 .




We noticed there were a lot of people wearing their native dress. We assumed they were mostly delegates or members of their staff.
























Onward!  Back on a bus and taking in more features of this huge city.

In big cities all over the world, old buildings are being torn down and replaced by tall glass skyscrapers. For some this is an improvement.



For others, such as the ornate facade of this one, it would be a great loss. Many of the old buildings have decorative elements, but this one was amazing in its level of detail.

Seeing Central Park was on our mutual bucket list. We got off the bus on Park Avenue, which of course is one edge of the park. A traditional way of seeing the park is by taking a horse-drawn carriage ride.


To see the whole park in this way would take several hours and be a bit pricey. True to my penny pinching ways, we choose to take a $50 twenty minute ride around just one small loop. It is truly a beautiful place, and thousands of people were making use of it on a nice spring afternoon. Walkers, bikers, mothers and nannies pushing strollers filled the walkways. Numerous people were having picnics, or just lying about on the grass catching a bit of sun. I don't know the story behind the designation of this large park area, but it surely was a brilliant measure. All people need to walk on the grass from time to time. Even New Yorkers. 

Onward. We were going to walk the mile or so to the Penn Station area, but decided to catch another bus.

As the afternoon grew later, the crowds and traffic once again increased. I was really tired and very glad we were not walking.

Afternoon street scene on 7th Avenue approaching Times Square

We wrapped up our day with a nice dinner at Seven Bistro, a quiet, peaceful place just a short way from Penn Station. To quote a Google comment, it was "Comfortable, Chic, Upscale Cozy"A perfect addition to our Manhattan experience. 

Then:
Home Again, Home Again 
Jiggety-Jig

Commuter train ride,
Then back to the rig.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

We saw a Class A RV Driving Down 5th Avenue in Manhattan

Note: this was not our motorhome!

Class A RV on 5th Ave, NYC 

On our second day trip to NYC we saw this motorhome driving down 5th Ave in Manhattan. There was no one in the passenger seat, and the driver, a 40ish man, looked fairly relaxed. Actually, when he came to a stop even with us, I noticed he was talking on a cell phone. Getting directions? I wondered: how he got there, where was he going, and if he intended to park it somewhere. On that street, size was not really a problem. He was no taller than the refrigerated truck, nor longer than the MTA bus. Nonetheless I was happy our rig was safe back at the State Park.

Speaking of parking, I looked at a few of the rate signs at some of the parking buildings we passed, and noted that day parking for a car seems to be $40 - 70. Ouch!

Our tour choice for NYC was to buy three day tickets for the Gray Line CitySights , hop-on-hop-off, double decker bus system. We got an off-season discount, so the cost was only $59 each. There was a guide onboard each bus that told us about the buildings we were seeing and other tidbits about the city. My only dissatisfaction was that there weren't as many on-off stops as we would have liked, and we did end up walking quite a bit.

We arrived at Penn Station by 11 AM, and walked a few blocks to the Empire State building where we redeemed our ticket voucher and got our map for the bus. 

Craig tracks Yelp's top 100 restaurants in the country. Los Tacos #1, in Chelsea Market, is in the top 40, and was our planned lunch stop. 



The bus took us within a ten minute walk of the Market. Our tacos were wonderful. Not the usual ground beef, lettuce and cheese. We generally choose to drink just water with our meals out, so our lunch tab was less than $20. There were only a few places to sit and we ended up eating standing up next to the back door, but the tasty meal was well worth it. 


Chelsea Market is an old warehouse building that now houses an array of small shops and eateries. Everything from beautiful looking fresh produce, cute clothes and accessories, to bulk tea and spices.

As we walked down the busy hallway we passed the busking cellist above. When he started to play the opening music to "Game of Thrones" we doubled back to listen. Haunting!

As we walked back to the bus stop we came upon an entrance stair up to the High Line Park. It is an elevated park/walkway that was created on a section of old railroad trestle. If we didn't have bus tickets we might have taken a walk along it, but instead just took a quick look.




Looking down to the street below we noted how light the traffic was on this "side street" not far from Chelsea Market.

Once back to our bus stop we quickly boarded the next to come along and went to the upper, open deck. 



One advantage of such a seat is that you can safely look up. If you did this while walking along you would be run over by the crowd of other pedestrians. I noticed many buildings that had trees on what I assumed were roof or deck gardens. We also saw this crew washing windows without hanging from scaffolds, as well as lightly watering the street and pedestrians below.



We got a good view of the exposed guts of the street from our high vantage point as well.


Views of old churches and brick office and factory buildings are mixed with the flashy reflections of new, tall skyscrapers.

A ferry ride was included in our bus fare, so we hopped off when we got to the East River.


Our ride took us quite near the Statue of Liberty and gave us a chance to see the Manhattan skyline. We decided not to take the separate trip out to the statue because tickets to go up to the crown are sold in advance. At this time, they are sold out for the next five months.


The boat ride was a bit over two hours, and the guide gave a pretty good talk about what we were seeing.             The tallest building shown in the first skyline picture to the right, is the New World Trade Center. We hope to visit it before we leave.
After the ferry trip we caught another On-Off bus and continued the tour. As late afternoon approached, it got a bit cold on the upper deck of the bus. Our tour guide offered us plastic ponchos which provided some protection from the wind. By this time the light traffic I had noted in the morning had been replaced by almost stand-still gridlock, and we were doubly glad we were not driving ourselves!

After we got off at the last stop we still had to walk a bit to get to the train. The crowds on the street was what I had expected in NYC. But I was surprised by the way everyone managed to move without bumping or jostling each other. 

Knowing we had a long train ride ahead of us, we decided to get something to eat before we left the city. Ever prepared with knowledge of places to eat, Craig knew exactly where he wanted to stop. There was a Shake Shack was not far from Penn Station. It was very busy, but oh so good! Some might describe their hamburgers as a bit greasy, but I would describe them as very juicy. Again a great bargain, dinner in Manhattan for about $20. More if you have beer or wine, which may be an important part of Shake Shack's popularity.

By the time we got back to the park we were both very tired. I think I was in bed and asleep within a half hour! 

One of the reasons I choose the three day bus pass was so we could go one day, rest on the second, and return on the third. That is exactly what we are doing. I will tell you about the third day of our Manhattan experience in the next post.

[From Craig]  Helping prepare this post, I feel like I've reached maturity as an image editor. We took 160 pictures on Wednesday, and while processing them before turning them over to Merikay, I cut the set down to 54. 34% is the greatest selectivity I've ever managed! Of course it was made easier by umpteen images of the Statue of Liberty, and umpteen more of the NYC skylines.(So you don't have to count, Merikay has used 17 of 54.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Getting From the RV Park to New York City - Day 1, MoMA

We knew the train ride up to NYC would take about two hours, so we got up early enough to catch the 8:35 AM train. 



Unlike many of our RV friends, we are not early morning people. For me one of the worst things that can happen is to get lost or to be late, especially in the morning when our moods are not at their best. So, to forestall problems, I try to plan ahead as much as possible. Thank goodness for the internet!

When choosing our RV park, I found a map of the train stations on Long Island. Wildwood State Park is about 15 miles from the station at Port Jefferson.  I checked the station layout to see the free parking lot locations. They looked generous. Our first trip destination in New York City was MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art. I used the Trip Planner on the MTA web site to create an itinerary that gave us several options for departure times, each with a different transfer station. Even with this in hand we still need a bit of help from others once we got to Penn Station, because in addition to our first trip on the train, we took our first trip on the New York Subway.  We got help both from other passengers and from the ticket master. Once up on the street from the subway stop, we also were pointed in the right direction by a uniformed tour bus driver who was waiting for his passengers. 

We arrived at the Museum around 11 AM, and since we had skipped breakfast we were ready for a bite to eat. We choose the little 5th floor Terrace cafe.


I don't remember what this was called, but it consisted of a creamy, warm, savory custard surrounded by delicate spring greens, topped with saved parmesan cheesy and crunchy Pancetta  dressed with the most wonderful golden dressing.  Super Yum!
Craig had a wonderful classic Pate´ plate

What a fantastic way to start our afternoon at the MoMA!

I could fill this post with pictures of paintings and sculptures. Better to just share this one and tell you we enjoyed so many classics as we walked thru the Galleries. 

Van Gogh has always been a personal favorite of mine and to see this original was stirring. 



Art is good for the soul, and although the museum seemed full of people, it was still possible to lose oneself in some of the masterpieces and become somewhat unaware of those around us.

After several hours, even the view out the window became eye-candy with  the delicate free forms of the trees contrasted against the geometric hodgepodge of the city buildings.













At the end of the day, we had no problem taking the subway back to Penn Station, but finding the right train to take home proved to be a bit of a challenge. Luckily, once again another rider showed us the sign to watch for departure track information. We did make one mistake on our ride back. We missed our transfer station, which resulted in our having to get off the train, board a train going the other way, return to our transfer station and then catch the right train. 

No big deal, but the experience will make the next trip easier!

I know New York commuters do this every day, but we are just country bumpkins from the West! With all our new knowledge, maybe on our next ride we will help someone else.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Driving through New York City in a Class A Motor Home

My trepidation about our Friday drive from New Jersey to Long Island increased on Thursday when Craig read the weather forecast for the following day: heavy rain and thunderstorms. We have driven in rain and the Alfa handles well, but it is still not fun.

Added to that was the realization that it was Friday the Thirteenth. Normally I am neither superstitious nor religious, but the coincidence was bothersome!

Then I found a third disturbing factor by carefully looking at the page of "low clearance" warnings in our Rand McNally Trucker's Atlas. According to it, there were three low clearance underpasses on our route. We carefully compared their locations on the book map and on the New York City truck route map, and then used Google Earth to try to find them. As far as we could see there were no low bridges in the locations listed in the Trucker's Atlas. What to believe? I was actually most reassured by the images on Google Earth because we could see large semis on our chosen route.  So I guessed, as they say, "We were good to go."


For the two nights before the drive I had booked us into a small county park, Mahlon Dickerson, in Morris County New Jersey. At around 30 miles away, it was the closest I could get to the George Washington Bridge. I didn't want a long drive to start the trip. (We did a day trip to Morristown while there, and I will post about it another day.)

We left the park by 9:10 am on Friday. Quite early for us! Although the skies were threatening, we were happy to see only a few tiny drops on the windshield. 

Stay to the left!
Traffic was light on I-80 East all the way to the bridge. 


Our Rand McNally RV navigation system did give us one misdirection, which we recognized and ignored. It would have sent us onto the lower level. Large vehicles are supposed to use the upper level.

Toll Booth for George Washington Bridge Upper Level
But a quick lane change kept us heading toward the upper level.  With our recently-acquired E-Zpass module, we had no difficulties going through the toll booths. 

Driving across the George Washington Bridge in the RV

Traffic on the bridge moved smoothly. I found the trucks a comfort. If they could do it, so could we!

The first of the "low clearance" bridges did exist.

Yellow 12' 10" Clearance sign on left side of bridge


We saw the sign saying 12'10" Clearance, but we knew from Google Earth it is arched and that is the height at the outside edges of the road. We followed a semi through in the center lane. As far as we could tell, the other two low clearance locations did not exist. We knew where to look, and just kept following the big trucks.

We saw many exit signs for Parkways, cars only, 7'10" max-height. We knew we should not go on them, but our final exit was onto William Floyd Parkway. This had concerned me the night before, but once again the internet set my mind at ease. Googling William Floyd as a truck or RV route, there were several posts that said there were no bridges to be concerned about and RVs were OK.

The traffic level was quite reasonable all the way. Not true for the lanes going in the opposite direction, but we will leave that concern for the opposite trip. All in all, I think driving through Los Angeles is much worse. 

For anyone who needs to get from New Jersey to Long Island, I recommend I-80 East to I-95, George Washington Bridge Upper Level,  I-95 to I-295 Cross Bronx X-way,  I-295 to I-495 Long Island X-way. We continued on I-495 to exit 68, Floyd Parkway. From there we went to Wildwood State Park. The NYC part of this route is the official city route for oversized vehicles.


Follow that truck!
We arrived at the park just after noon. Our spot is nice, with full hook-up. The only negative is that trees block satellite TV reception. But we have a strong Verizon signal for internet, and with our unlimited data, Craig can stream the Warriors' basketball games. We also have pretty good reception on the TV antenna.

We will be here for twelve nights, giving us plenty of time to go to New York City several times. We plan to take the commuter train and use public transportation in the city. 

If anyone has any good suggestions for things to do on Long Island, we would love to hear them. 

For now, all I have to say is "Wow, we made it!"  Craig thinks I'm silly to have worried at all.

[From Craig] With Merikay so concerned about NY roads, I think I felt more attentive to driving today than any other time that I can remember.  Nothing happened that justified such alertness, but that's a better result than having a problem because one needed to be more alert!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Philadelphia

[From Craig]  While staying at Old Cedar Campground near Monroeville NJ, we have gone into Philadelphia two days, mostly to see the Independence National Historic Park and related attractions around it.  

Merikay and the Liberty Bell
Note: Merikay wanted to be cropped out!


The Eastern States Penitentiary was an experiment to see if prison design could inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of criminals.  Its grand architecture, vaulted sky-lit cells, running water and central heat made it the most famous prison in the world.


Philadelphia has many gray granite or limestone buildings that reminded us of Paris


This, of course, is Independence Hall where the US Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed


And this is the room in which both documents were discussed and signed.  There were 13 tables, one for each colony, plus one for the presiding officer at the front.
This is part of Seattle glass sculptor Dale Chihuly's Flame of Liberty at the Liberty Museum


View of the same piece, from the second floor where it was lighted with more yellow, less blue 

Merikay has regained control of the computer.

On our first day in the city we arrived just past noon. We drove around for a while before finding 3 hour parking within walking distance of Independence National Historical Park for only $7.50. (We had passed a couple of lots that charged $14 - $18 flat rates.)

We walked down to the Independence Hall and learned you needed "timed" tickets that were available at the Visitor Center. We went there, and found the next available time was past our parking time. So we decided to see he short park film, read the VC posters, walk through the Liberty Bell building, and take the free (for seniors) bus around the downtown loop to get an overview of what we wanted to come back for. That is when we stopped in at the Penitentiary. We got off the bus quite near where we had parked,  with time enough to look around the area where William Penn first landed.

On our second day in town we got there early enough to join a 10:30 guided walking tour. Very interesting as usual. It wrapped up just in time for us to get to our 1:30 Independence Hall tour.

By the time we were done with that we were both pretty tired and ready for a sit down lunch.


 On one of the maps there was a blurb about the City Tavern that served fairly authentic meals from recipes from the Colonial days.  I chose the Turkey Pot Pie. It came with a side of Egg Noodles with a very tasty sauce. Authentic? Except for being a bit creamier and having a hint of Sherry, it was quite a bit like what I make at home. But it was very good.

Craig had a Crab Cake that was served with French Fries. I wondered how "Colonial" they were, but later learned Thomas Jefferson referred to fried potato strips as “frying potatoes in the French manner”.

The stop for the late lunch gave us enough rest to be up for one more stop on our way back to the car, and that was at the National Liberty Museum. It houses a wonderful glass collection that illustrates the point that freedom is as fragile as glass. It celebrates the pictures and stories of thousands of heroes both known and unknown. I was almost overwhelmed by the heroic things ordinary people have done.

We leave this park on Wednesday for another short stop in New Jersey before we brave the drive across the George Washington Bridge and through New York City on Friday. 

Please keep us in your thoughts!  I will write again if we make it to Wildwood State Park on Long Island! 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Delaware Campground, New Jersey Campground

"So green!" is what Craig and I said to each other as we settled into our spot at Killens Pond State Park in Delaware. The leaves were all the very bright light green of spring, and because it had been raining, many of the trunks were quite dark. Very pretty.



When we pulled into this lovely wooded campground on Tuesday we were the only ones there. We had hoped to take a few walks on a couple of the nice trails, but rain kept us in. Actually our only outing in three days was to drive to Dover for a pizza!

Delaware was one of our "new" states to check off on our national map. The next one was New Jersey, and our stop there on Friday was only a 90 mile drive away. I'm glad it wasn't much further, because the drive was through some very heavy rain. 

We arrived safely at Old Cedar Family Campground near Monroeville, New Jersey by early afternoon. When I made the reservation I had asked if there were any spots that had a clear sky view. Craig has convinced me that it doesn't hurt to ask, because getting satellite reception is important to us. I was told they had just opened a new row of sites that had 50 amp power and no trees. Yippee!


But then, nothing is ever perfect, and we almost got the Alfa stuck in the mud. When they installed the new 50 amp power they dug a trench, laid the wires and then just refilled it. Ten days of heavy rain had turned the trench into a soft gummy clay. We were told it was a drive-through space. When we park the Alfa we have a system in which I drive and Craig gives me directions on the walkie-talkie from outside. As I turned off the little road and headed into the space the Alfa's front wheels sunk into the mud and I was almost stuck. 

Craig yelled: "Back up! Back up!"

Fortunately the rear tires were still on the gravel road and I had enough traction to pull out. 



We assessed the situation, and although the grassy area where we were to park was also somewhat soft, we decided to try driving around and backing in. This worked.  Craig put our wooden pads under the leveler feet so they don't sink too deeply into the ground. We will be here for five nights, so hopefully things will dry out a bit by the time we leave and we won't be stuck!

Another camper a few spaces to the right of us had also had problems, and there were some pretty deep ruts in the muck in the empty space to the left of our spot. We called the office and they sent a guy down to look at the situation. He just shrugged it off, but we noticed the two rigs, that came in later, came in on the front-side road and backed in. 

Except for that, it is very peaceful here. We are not far from Philadelphia and plan to drive over on Saturday to see the Liberty Bell and possibly go on a walking tour if the weather clears a bit.


Oh, these fine fellows are in the pasture about twenty feet from the back of our coach. They watched the "almost stuck" show with great interest. The campground has only been open for a week or so, so I guess all the commotion caused by these big white things and strange people are their spring entertainment. I have never seen such attentive cattle. 

As I keep saying, you see something new every day.

RV life is good, when you don't get stuck in the mud!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to the East Shore, VA

Sometimes I choose which blogs to read by their titles. My last post was titled "Into Virginia" and it was indeed about the things we did at Virginia Beach, but I think the end part of the post might be of some interest to RVers who are planning to visit the East Coast and might wonder about driving the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnels in their RV. I hope the little I did write there, might  reassure anyone who has misgivings. 

The southern end of Delmarva Peninsula is known as Virginia's East Shore. We stayed at a Thousand Trails / Passport America park called Virginia Landing in Quinby VA. We do not have a Thousand Trails membership, and honestly, so far the few parks in their system we have stayed at have been less than impressive. Our Passport America only applied to two of our four nights there, but that discount balanced the very high, Thousand Trails non-member rate for the other two.

 Note: I have researched Thousand Trails and do not feel it would work well for us. Some claim to save a lot, but for me the up front cost and annual fees are prohibitive. It is rare that one of their parks is the only option in a place we want to be. This was one of those times.


Virginia Landing was an older, open grass RV parking area. There were numerous dry camping spots, and many of the power pedestals were marked with big red Xs. I wonder if that meant they were out of order. No one was using such a pedestal. The majority of the 50 amp sites were a bit muddy due to the rain, which may be why the several RVs that were there were all in the same area. 

Our time there was not particularly peaceful, but that was not the fault of the park management. They were nowhere to be seen after hours. There was no camp host on site.

The first night we were there, the three young people who were in the trailer next to us were up drinking, laughing and talking very loudly, just outside our bedroom window, past midnight.  We didn't want to be grumpy old people, so we said nothing. Craig fell asleep, but they kept me awake. On our second night, just as I was getting ready for bed, I looked out and noticed they had built a huge fire using scavenged logs that were at least three times the width of the fire ring. As I watched, one of the guys started pounding on the middle of a burning log trying to break it. This caused a big "fountain" of sparks that were caught by a rather brisk wind.  Since it was right next to our rig, I was concerned about our canvas slide toppers catching the flying embers. Craig went out and asked them to be careful, which they did by pulling the two longest logs off the fire and dousing them with water. I don't think they meant any harm. I doubt they realized the sparks could do damage since it was a wet night. But as long as the situation persisted I could not go to bed. On the third night it was pouring rain so they stayed inside and so did we. I guess it's all part of the experience.

It did not rain constantly while we were there. On one of the drier days we went up to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. It is one of two areas where there are herds of wild ponies living on the coastal islands. We found the refuge on Trip Advisor. We learned about the ponies by watching the park movie and reading the posters in the Visitor Center. 



A ranger told us where to go to look for them, and we did see a few very far off across a large marshy area. This picture was taken with our lens fully zoomed in: 300 mm. With our naked eyes we could barely tell they were horses.


A better part of the day was a pleasant two mile forest walk. 

Yes! My broken foot has finally healed enough to really start enjoying a walk.




Part of the trail led us to the waterway that separates the peninsula from the sandy barrier islands that protect it.
The water here was very still, unlike the breaking waves on the beaches, but it is connected to the ocean and still salt (or at least brackish) water.  The rusty color you can see in the trees is from the bark beetle infestation. 


We walked through areas of trees killed by the beetles and then stripped of their branches by recent winter storms. It is all part of the ever-changing landscape. 












Back at the Virginia Landing RV Park we checked out the waters edge at low tide.
There were large marshy mudflats between the tall grasses edging the RV park and the water. Scattered among the grasses were clam shells left there by some creatures, probably raccoons.

This pair kept their little ones close to the bushes



There were a number of Canadian Geese at the park pond. We noticed that most of them were hanging out in distinct pairs. Two by two... We delighted in seeing some of the results of this canoodling.








On Monday we went over to the Barrier Island Center, a small museum of artifacts from the last community that lived on Hog Island. It is housed in a former County Almshouse from the early 1900's. 

It seems every park or small museum has a movie. We enjoy seeing these because they give us a starting place to understand what we see. 

This time, the movie was narrated by
several of the last people born and raised on the island. The making of the movie was spearheaded by one of them when she realized many of her peers were passing, and soon there would be no voices left. I find this type of oral history keeping very special.






The items in the collection were varied from simple household goods, handwritten recipes, personal treasures and tools and items from the ships in the area. This case of navigational equipment made me want to call it "before GPS."

The free, Barrier Island Center is well worth a stop. It is located in Machipongo VA, on Highway 13. 

I close this post with a couple of pictures of this most amazing Azalea display.



One of the things I had hoped to see on this Spring trip up the East Coast were the Spring flowers. We have been to parks and to gardens, but I think the best single mass of flowers we have seen was this grouping of Azaleas along a side road near Quinby VA. It seemed bigger than the house it was in front of! I am sure it has been cultivated with a great deal of love from the people living in that quite modest home.


  
There are so many interesting and beautiful things to see in this wonderful country of ours. We are so lucky to be able to travel the way we are. Interstate Highways are great for getting from area to area, but it is the side roads that reveal our simple treasures.

What have you seen on your travels that was extra special?