Monthly Archives: May 2012

Sweet Virginia

With the mellow strains of James Taylor’s ‘Carolina in my mind’ fading into the background, we rolled north along the Blue Ridge Parkway to sweet Virginny. Destination Charlottesville to see Ms Schlag and reacquaint ourselves with the beautiful University of Virginia campus and downtown area.

Our knowledgable and charming personal guide (Schlag) gave us some history of Thomas Jefferson’s great work around the University and the region.

Fact: Edgar Allan Poe attended UVA.
Fact: UVA was established by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 and it is the oldest public university in the USA.

Here is a brief history of UVA.

We had visited Monticello some years ago so decided to not dedicate a whole day to seeing the house and grounds again, lovely as they are.

Here are a few snaps from a very hot, humid Charlottesville day.

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Asheville City Skyline

It has a reputation as a place with a hippie vibe. It’s called a hipster town. It’s a nature lover’s paradise, they say. It has a great brew pub and restaurant culture. It’s famous for Thomas Wolfe and the Vanderbilts.

We tried, in our 40 hours here, to see some of those sides of Asheville ~ and we liked what we saw. The locals are friendly and laid back and mainly very helpful. The scenery excellent nestled alongside the Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountain range. The architecture of the town is well preserved with buildings from the 1920s and 30s. It is compact enough to navigate on foot.

Here are a few pics to tempt you should you ever be down this way…

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It’s worth going out of your way for.

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Let’s hit the beach Myrtle!

After our long drive from central Florida, punctuated by a yummy Waffle House break, we finished up for a few nights visiting niece Emily and sister-in-law Judy in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It’s a strange town that seems to exist mainly for tourists and golfers, and golfing tourists. But there are some beautiful stretches of coastline, fantastic looking greens and plenty of good value accommodation.

We managed to chow down some yummy bagels, get in a bit of outlet shopping (well, looking – didn’t buy much), see the pier where Em works, play with the kitties at Judy’s and act silly at the grocery store – Piggly Wiggly.

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Six days on the road

…But we ain’t gonna make it home tonight. Just in week one and already I have succumbed to antibiotics for the dreaded throat lurgy and anti-histamines for the spring hay fever allergies. It ain’t pretty. However, some of the places we have seen are very pretty.

While in central Florida with Aunt Chris and Uncle Robert we visited Mt Dora, an old community near Leesburg where there are lovely old homes and early 20th century buildings.

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So I could recuperate a little, we stayed an extra day with my aunt and uncle who have a lovely pool and a cute as heck dog, Papito.

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Dallas airport, view from the Admiral’s Club

It’s no Qantas Club, I gotta say. But it does offer a quiet refuge and a shower. And free WiFi.

I boarded the plane in Adelaide not feeling great. A sinus thing now seems to have lodged somewhere in the back of my mouth where I used to have tonsils. The pain on swallowing (even water) is like what I imagine swallowing razor blades would be like. Not that normal people do that sort of thing…

We’ve been up for over 24 hours now and it’s another hour until our connection to Orlando. Hotel for night (will be too late to drive to aunt and uncle’ place when we get in) then the road trip proper starts Saturday.

Andrew is snoring gently in his chair next to me. Better shake him. Later dudes!

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