Sunday, October 9, 2011

Some issues will keep us near Raleigh NC…

10-7-2011 Norfolk, VA Shenandoah Valley Farm View

We left the Shenandoah Valley en route to our friends house in Norfolk Virginia to get some preventative maintenance done on the motorhome. We never tire of the views of the valley below their farm. The 240 or so mile drive over was uneventful but we could tell we were leaving the mountains and nearing the coast as the 10-7-2011 Norfolk, VA 029hills and the trees got smaller and smaller and smaller. The only hurdle in our way was a tunnel with a 14 foot clearance that requires motorhomes to pull over to a check station so they can look over your propane tanks and make sure they are turned off. Man did we fill up that tunnel as we went through it… YIKES!!!

Norfolk VA is known for its military bases and shipyards. The place we stayed at was right in the downtown area near the Chrysler Museum of Art in the Ghent District. Walking around this part of town is very safe and makes for a very pleasant and enjoyable experience. We strolled along the Chesapeake Bay over to the Naval Museum where the USS Wisconsin is docked and through the city center. They were setting up loads of tents for two upcoming beer and wine festivals be to be held very soon.

10-7-2011 Norfolk, VA mermaid parkEverywhere you walk in Norfolk you will come across statues of mermaids. We have been to many different cities that picked a moniker that represented their city and scattered them across the city in order to increase tourism. We always enjoy seeing these and finding them. You can download a Mermaids Walking Map  so you can do your own self paced mermaid hunt to find all these sirens of the sea…

One interesting spot in the park is an art exhibit where they have what appears to be letters scattered in the wind along the shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Each of these letters were written by soldiers and military personnel during war times. the letters were written to loved ones expressing their worries and concerns and also their love for their country and loved ones. Quite moving… Click on the 1861 letter below to read it… After reading all the letters we noticed how the control of the English language was more adept in the older letters as compared to the more modern ones. We never realized how the loss of adjectives and adverbs has changed our description of events such as wartimes…

10-7-2011 Norfolk, VA letters art           10-7-2011 Norfolk, VA letter

Sunday had me over to Virginia Truck Center to pick up the motorhome. Here they informed me that there had been an open recall for a hydraulic switch that I could get replaced for free under the recall notice. They also pointed out that I had a ruptured break seal that needed fairly immediate attention. They said they could get the parts and repair it by Tuesday but since our friends were heading back to the farm we decided to just take it easy and go to the Raleigh Durham area. The place is very professional and friendly albeit a bit expensive (in my opinion) but I would highly recommend their center if you need repairs while in the Norfolk area.

We really can’t say enough about our friends hospitality while we stayed with them. They showed us all around the Norfolk and Virginia Beach area making our time awaiting maintenance active and fun..

10-7-2011 Norfolk, VA USS WisconsinThe 200 plus mile drive to Raleigh was a bit annoying when we first called the fairgrounds to ask how the park looked and if it appeared there would be any vacancies when we got there in about 4-5 hours. We were told that they had no way to tell and told us to call back when we got to Raleigh. I knew the state fair was about to kick off so I was worried we may not get a spot. Then I saw lots of cars driving by with NC State flags and suddenly knew that the fairgrounds would be crowded due to the game at the nearby football stadium.

10-7-2011 Norfolk, VA USS Wisconsin 2We got near Raleigh and called the lady at the fairgrounds back who then informed us that we couldn’t have a spot since they closed the gate to the park due to the football game. ^&^*^*^#$^% Why didn’t she tell us that in the first place and we would have made alternate plans. Well I knew there was a state park nearby with lots of sites so we pushed on another 20 minutes until we checked into the Parker’s Creek park at Jordan Lake State Rec Area.

will stay here a few days to figure out what we need to do to get our needed repairs and to figure out where will stay while in this area. We will likely be here a week or two to get the repairs and to visit with our daughter who lives nearby. She is coming to see us tomorrow here at Jordan Lake and we are looking forward to visiting with her…


  1. Always a challenge sometimes getting a campsite when special events are happening but at least you found a spot. And preventative maintenance is always the way to go cut down on unwanted surprises. Enjoy your visit.

  2. Repairs..the challenge of living in an Rv.

  3. Sounds like the state park might be a nicer place than the fairgrounds to stay anyway. Although what do I know? I've never been to either one of those two.

    Hope the repairs are done quickly and inexpensively. I know you'll enjoy that time with your daughter.

  4. We have been wanting to pop in and say "hi" on your blog for a long time now. I started reading from the very beginnig, because we are new Snowbirds, and I appreciate the way you are so thorough in your research.

    We flew down to pick up our rig, but other than that trip, we have read lots, but experienced little !!

    We take off next week, but we are so emotionally drained from saying goodbye at work, plus we are saying goodbye to family tomorrow for Canadian Thanksgiving.

    Oh, oh, this is getting a little long...ha ha.

    Better sign off for now....take care...TnT

  5. Sounds like daily living in an RV! Repairs are always something to be prepared to do. 14' tunnel, Yeiks! Our Alfa is 13'2" tall. That would be a real squeeze. Did it have round sides?

  6. I hope you fair better than I for a time frame. :)

  7. That wartime letter is very touching. He so loved his wife, and died a week later. Good thing he wrote it for her to keep.

    I love the idea of the various letters lying on the ground. Very interesting sculpture idea.

  8. I got to go to Norfolk on the way to DC when I was 14 with my grandparents. Its beautiful there!

  9. Hope the repairs go well and get done quickly!

  10. Great post. Loved the letter. It is so interesting how the concept of actual letters...with ink...on paper...has been eroded over the years. It's sad because, although I appreciate the instant communications we all enjoy, I doubt that generations to come will be able to hold our letters and read about our thoughts and feelings. And the prose that is in so many old letters is all but lost. A quick ILY or a ♥ seems to suffice and has supplanted the outpouring of sentiment evidenced by the letter you displayed. Times change, I guess...

  11. The memorial with the letters is one of my favorites; as you noted, very moving. I know there were plans to add letters from the recent wars, but haven't been down that way to check it out. Good luck with the repairs.

  12. The letter is amazing. What a writer. I also had tears in my eyes after reading it.
    I would enjoy looking for all the mermaids. But Paul not so much.
    Good luck with the repairs.

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