Tuesday, May 12, 2009

PUTT PUTT - South Carolina

We can't be the only ones who noticed that a putt putt golf course is on every corner in this area. It was so amazing we decided to take a few pictures - but this is only a blip of what is actually here. I mean a very small percentage of what is here!! We guess the world community must support this. We even saw references that "this is where the Masters putt putt tournament is played" and there is even a tournament on TV for the world championship on another. Not once did we see a dutch windmill like the one in Jax on Beach Boulevard. Can you believe it? Maybe there's a PUTT PUTT WEEK, just like Bike Week?!


You can't imagine the reservations we had about Bike Week, but we actually had a great time. I'm sorry to have all those photos, but it was a hoot. We had a hard time taking it all in. There was so much, and believe it or not, we were not the youngest or the oldest here. We had been told from our "new best friends" at Willow Lake where about 50,000 bikers would be, so we went, and there they were! It was as good or better than any FMCA Rally we've ever attended. When you get a bike, so much more goes with it - boots, chaps, helmet, jacket, etc., etc.

RV has seen all this from a different standpoint than I have - from his career. But this was like kindergarten for me. To top it all off, Myrtle Beach has almost thrown the bikers out of town and told them they don't want them - i.e., noise abatement and required helmets, etc., so they have moved north to North Myrtle Beach.

While we enjoyed all that this part of South Carolina had to offer, we spent our final afternoon at a matinee at the Carolina Opry, next to Dixie Stampede - one of the top live shows in the State. The performers did an outstanding job of singing songs from the '60's, '70's and '80's, which in some cases sounded better than the original artist. There are 4 young men, All That, who tap danced, and they were absolutely spectacular. We couldn't believe it! It was almost like watching members of Riverdance. In case you might be wondering whether the show was for all ages, it was probably the most famiy-oriented show we've ever seen. While exiting, you left with such a sense of pride in the "good ol' USA". We certainly enjoyed that it was an earlier matinee so we wouldn't have to get back to Willow Lake after dark. If you have an opportunity to go, it is SO worth the time - veterans are always acknowledged at the end of the show, which was very meaningful.


By accident we found Willow Lake RV Resort off State Road 9 near North Myrtle Beach, SC. We had decided not to stay in the middle of the commotion of Myrtle Beach - little did we know it was Bike Week, and commotion would take on new meaning. Neither of us had ever been to Daytona Bike Week but we had a pretty good idea what it would mean. We'll talk more about that later. Willow Lake is one of the top rated RV resorts in the country - as in top 4. Rated as high as Fort Wilderness. On the way, you say things like, "how in the world do people find this place?" They find it, and I can't say enough about it but maybe some of our photos will give you an idea why people love this place. Some people just store their campers, etc. in a nearby storage facility and call them when they are on the way. This is the first place I've seen where you can actually have a hot tub on your lot.

It was our pleasure to meet our neighbors who came from as far away as New York, New Jersey, etc., and brought their custom bikes, custom trailers, etc. and have been coming here for years - and they love to bring their families to Myrtle Beach because there is so much to do during the week.

We experienced a service issue with our awning over our door and while we arranged for someone to repair it on site, we've decided to have it repaired when we go to Red Bay in August. We've been so fortunate to have been here 5 days and will leave tomorrow and spend the night at the Hilton Head Marina - on the way to Green Cove for several appointments.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


The rain had slightly subsided in Hershey, so we decided we would go to Lancaster, and a few other central PA cities today. So many of our friends had suggested that we go to Bird In Hand, or Intercourse, or whatever. It really didn't matter. Everything was beautiful and one afternoon doesn't serve any of them justice.... we've got to come back - something you can plan to do when you are fulltiming.

We visited a campground called Country Haven, down the road from Smucker's Gourd's - our friends Jackie and George Mueller suggested. The campground is a postcard and although it seems tucked away from civilization, you overlook an entire vista of Pennsylvania. On the way, we carefully maneuvered past one Amish wagon after another. They ask you not to take their pictures, and if they don't wave back at you, it's because all the tourists are waving at them all day long. You have to remember these are not actors dressed for your benefit. Their homes are not considered museums for you to wonder through. Compared to most, the Amish live a very simple life and concentrate on religion and family.

Also, it was evident Tuesday was laundry day, because everywhere you turned, every family's laundry was hung to dry on the porch, the yard, the field - everywhere. We stopped at a local Amish grocery to purchase bulk cheeses, sausages and dried goods - as well as locally grown asparagus - handmade sausages and thick cut country bacon. We went down backroads and saw quaint covered bridges - something our coach could not have maneuvered at all. We traveled approximately 130 miles in our car. After enjoying lunch at the Bird In Hand Family Restaurant, Bird In Hand, PA, dessert was not an option. We were full all the way back to Hershey, PA.


O.K., we decided it was raining anyway, let's go over to Chocolate World for the fun of it. Chocolate World is Hershey's way of really appealing to your weakness - for "kisses", candy, and chocolate-themed jewelry. Gotta be strong! Under the same roof is the 3D Movie, Trolley Ride and the Factory Tour. If you're going to find the buys on overstocks, it is going to be here!

What are we going to do with all this chocolate?!!! We thought about shipping it overnight UPS - no way, $50 to get it to you. Chocolate World has several very nice cafes - top it all off with a chocolate - "something", or a couple of "chocolate somethings".

Lunch was tasty, nutritious and reasonable, with many selections. Did we mention it is Monday and we are about the only ones here? Hello - we love it!

Then we head back to Highmeadow Campground - to get rested and ready for the trip to Lancaster, Intercourse, and Bird In Hand, PA - tomorrow!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


We could probably talk about Milton Hershey all day long and not fully cover what this man did for Pennsylvania; more particularly the youth and citizens who worked in Hershey. Whatever he did is still seen everywhere you turn. His story and life is still an inspiration, and I would have loved to have lived in his time. (Can you visualize Lucy and Ethel at the candy factory production line?) Can you believe that in the early days, ladies actually wrapped each "kiss" individually? Some of the things we've seen that he built in the early 1900's is the factory, which is still in operation today, the zoo, the Hershey Hotel, the Hershey Trust Bank, Hershey School and home for orphans, the hospital which bears his name, and I could go on and on. The bulk of his estate went to help the children and the school which bears his name.

I doubt Hershey had anything to do with that huge monster roller coaster - we heard screams coming from it all day yesterday. A wooden roller coast - remember the Wild Mouse at Jacksonville Beach in the early 60's?! The main streets in Hershey are Cocoa and Chocolate Avenues. The street lights are in the shape of alternating chocolate and silver shaped Hershey kisses - how cool is that!?

We thoroughly enjoyed attending the charitable event at the Giant Center to benefit the Penn State Medical Center for Children at Hershey, PA.

High Meadow Campground in Hershey is affiliated with the Hershey Company. It is very busy, and we are here on a weekend, so it looks about filled. As you would expect everything is clean and managed well. They have approximately 300 sites on 55 acres, and are located less than 2 miles from Hershey Park. On one side of us are 2 couples in a 5th wheel all the way from Colorado attending a convention, and the other side is a couple from California, in an Allegro Bus visiting family in the area for about a month. People love to hear we are fulltiming. Occasionally you hear a gasp, like what in the world are you thinking?!! You mean you don't have a house?!! Yes, we do, and here it is.

We have seen the Hershey Story at the Museum. Very interesting and informative. And if you're looking for a great place to have breakfast, we just happened upon "The Hershey Pantry" - on East Chocolate Avenue. I thought I had arrived to have tea with the Mad Hatter. This is a must for anyone staying in this area. We'll probably go again before we leave, just to make sure they weren't "putting on the Ritz" just for us. It is small, and the tables are close, but the service is sterling and the food is delicious. The hostess and our server were plesant, making our breakfast that much more enjoyable.

We will be going over to Chocolate World tomorrow. This is where you tour the factory, get samples and buy product. I have a surprise to add tomorrow - please come back.


Before you ask, we haven't become complete Civil War nuts, but when you come across the National Civil War Museum, you just have to go. We were only staying about 8 miles away, and it seemed like it would be worthwhile - after we went to Bass Pro Shop, of course. NCWM is privately owned but they have over 4,000 artifacts and 21,000 archival documents. The day we were there we saw ANOTHER Civil War re-enactment done by one of the Pennsylvania Artillery groups. Interesting - the whole thing we had seen the week before in Buchanan; however, this was a much smaller scale - no horses - no cannons. All of the participants were dressed in period costume.