March 23

Just some photos from the Corolla area.

 This is a reflective picture of the boathouse at the Whalehead Club.   An otter was swimming outside the boathouse.   The wetland area has invasive reeds, but they wave in the breeze like Kansas wheat!  A crab hole, with tiny tracks leading into the hole.  We saw many such holes as we were awaiting the sunrise over the Atlantic!    Major winds uprooted this tree.  The roots were interesting to see.    Corolla is nestled between the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the  Currituck Sound to the west.      Great places for photos!  These are mine.  I know Larry’s will be more artistic…but I have fun!


Mar. 16-Mar. 26

We are staying at a beautiful location for these 10 days.  909 Corolla Dr., Corolla, NC is a beach house on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  My sister and her husband own this and rent it out to vacationers from Memorial Day to approximately Labor Day.  They are gracious hosts to family the rest of the year!  Larry and I will spend some time with my mother here at the beach, enjoying the surf, looking for shells and catching up before we start back toward Kansas.–420/


Corolla is a cute little town, well worth visiting!

March 15

New Bern, N.C.  Originally founded by a man from Switzerland who named it New Berne.  Decorative bears are all over the town.  I guess there really are bears in the woods in the area!  Pepsi was created by a pharmacist in this town.      This is supposed to be his original recipe.  Through a series of misfortunate events, Mr. Bradham went bankrupt and had to sell his formula, returning to his original occupation as pharmacist.  The recipe was purchased 2 more times before it really took off after WWII to become the company it is today.

A newly opened History Center has really nice exhibits for visitors of all ages.  We were impressed with the interactive wing, sponsored by Pepsi.  This is supposed to be the first of its kind in the country.  After receiving a colored card, the entrance is through a “time machine.”  (Don’t do this part if you suffer from vertigo! ) The door opens to a village in 1835.  The “mayor” greets you through a video display.  The colored cards are used to direct you through different parts of the village…a great way to keep a classroom full of kids directed and engaged!  The Print Shop has an apprentice who helps you write stories for the paper, using a touch screen.    The quilting room allows you to create quilt blocks while listening to a woman tell stories about quilting bees and of people in the town.  To be honest, though, I really did not listen to her presentation!    At the end of the 14 minute module, all of the quilt blocks designed by the four participants are displayed as one large quilt.  Larry and I had fun designing a very strange looking quilt!

Each area of the exhibit had 14 minute modules of different life in the village, including sailing a ship and tapping pine trees for turpentine.  I know the school kids must have a lot of fun here!

The Tryon Palace was destroyed by fire in 1758, but the architectural designs were rediscovered in the 1940’s.

Through the efforts of some very determined women in the town, the entire palace complex was rebuilt and opened for tourism in 1959.  The efforts included buying back acreage and homes in the area, tearing some of them down for the grounds, and moving a bridge and some roads to make room for this piece of history!  The gardens are beautiful.  Even the kitchen garden is laid out artistically.  What a gorgeous place, and a beautiful day to enjoy it, too!          The stables were really nice.  Check out the wood stalls!  

The New Bern Fire Department has a great museum!         At one point in time, fire departments were not municipal.  These signs are fire insurance designations.       Insurance companies had the fire departments.  If your house was on fire, only the company associated with the insurance you held would put out your house fire.  Companies might respond, but stand back and watch the house burn!  Here are examples of different trucks in use through the years in New Bern.  Notice the difference in the spellings of the name of the town!      Sometime between 1917 and 1930 the “e” was dropped.  No one really knows why (at least our docent didn’t!).

I liked this alley downtown.  

March 14

Larry and I headed a bit north to New Bern, NC.  The campground has such a nice name…Moonlight Lake RV Park.  I’m going to try to find the lake tomorrow!

This seems to be a newer campground.  It has all the amenities, but not too much atmosphere. Maybe in a few years it will look nicer.

This was a beautiful afternoon in the 80’s.  We pulled out the chairs and sat in the shade of the trailer.  Larry read and I did some computer work.  Just after we decided to go back into the trailer, a brief rain shower fell.  It is always fun to watch the rain with a blue sky surrounding one little cloud!

I am amazed at how trusting people are in campgrounds.  While we always put our chairs away, many campers leave chairs, portable grills, and other possessions out unattended!

March 13

Today we started at the Poplar Grove Plantation, just 4 miles from the campground.

This was a peanut plantation in its heyday.  The Foy family had 65 slaves before the war, but had such a good relationship with them that after the Emancipation Proclamation 64 of the former slaves stayed on the property.  Some of these workers were artisan craftsmen.  The family allowed the slaves to work off the property and keep a portion of what they earned.  One year, the family did not have enough money to pay their taxes until the crops came in.  Their slaves loaned them the money and were later repaid.

Everything used in building the house was found on the property.  The Foy’s were very frugal.

  Sharecroppers lived in small houses on the property until the 1940’s.    A descendant gave the sharecroppers their own land in the 1960’s. The plantation stayed in the Foy family until 1971 when 16 acres, including the house, were sold, then renovated and opened to the public in 1980 under the guidance of the non-profit Poplar Grove Foundation.  Oprah once filmed a movie in the home and repapered the walls of two rooms in early 1900-style paper.

The yard hosts weaving, basket-making, and blacksmith shops.  The artisans are very well-informed about their crafts and love telling vistors all about what they are doing!

We left the plantation and traveled into town to see the Cape Fear Museum. This showed the history of the area from the native inhabitants through WWII and a little into the Viet Nam era.  Many hands-on displays were exhibited, providing good information for young and old alike.  Three trash barrels had “lift and see” examples of what might be found in a trash can.      This is an opossum.  Next to it were a rat and a raccoon.  Definite “yuck” factor! A display on the school system shows all what schools were like in Wilmington. 

Larry is getting great ideas for the LaCygne Historical Society Museum!  Easy day, today.  We came back and enjoyed the warm weather by reading outside for awhile.

March 12

Drove up to Wilmington, NC.  No sign at the visitor center to welcome us into NC!

We are staying at our first KOA campground.

It is right off the highway, but nestled nicely in the pines and very easy to get in and out with the trailer.  The campground has cabins for rent, but our travel trailer has more space than the cabins seem to have!

March 11

I encourage all artists, and want-to-be artists to visit this place!  Mari–take note!

Larry and I returned to Brookgreen Gardens at opening.    Anna Huntington was the first woman sculptor to use aluminum.  “Fighting Stallions”  greets visitors to the gardens.  Anna still worked into well into her 90’s!  The gardens was created to be an area to display her works.  Many of her sculptures are on display.  There are over 400 sculptures by American artists in the garden.

“Diana” is one of Anna’s.   This is a portrayal of Anna and Archer Huntington.     These are some of the other statues in the gardens.           There are examples of native flora and fauna, too.  Plantings are changed each season.  Cabbage is used for color in the winter.    Pansies are a sign of spring!   Azaleas and Camellias show the transition from winter to spring.

After spending the morning at Brookgreen, we went across the highway to the Hunting Beach State Park.  Anna Huntington left many acres to the state, as a nature preserve.  Within the state park acreage is her winter home, Atalaya.          The couple did not have overnight guests here.  They really did not entertain.  Atalaya was their retreat from the hectic life in NY or Connecticut.  Archer wrote poetry, wrote the 3 volume “El Cid”, and was a sculptor is his own right.  Anna had both an indoor and outdoor studio, with a menagerie of animals, including bears!  The structure is in very sound shape.  The “vandals” that caused some problems since its closing were Hugo and Hazel: hurricanes.

No glass is left, but it is amazing how structurally sound the home is.

The home is very near the beach.        The Atlantic is so beautiful!

We drove down to the “boardwalk” area of Myrtle Beach.  There is a full 4 miles of hotels lining both sides of the street!  WOW!  I can only imagine what it must be like when the tourist season starts!

While we’ve been traveling, we’ve checked out the various grocery stores in each area.  Some have gas stations associated with them.  Kroger is affiliated with Dillons and several other stores.  Krogers had the best gas prices in Myrtle Beach.  With the store card, we saved another 3 cents a gallon!  It pays to sign up for store cards!