Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Space-A trip to USA, Spring 2017, Part 2

From Tallahassee we drove to Jacksonville Fl where we tent camped at the Pelican Roost RV Park on Mayport Naval Station. We found a nice tent site under the palm trees
 with a view over the St. John's river
and a short walk to the base private beach. 
We have camped here before and really like this campground. Mayport is situated at the tip end of the St. John's river where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. Sea ships passing by to start their journey over the ocean.
After a trip to the VA hospital, where Leroy had an appointment,  we spent the afternoon at Walter Jones Historical Park   in the Mandarin neighborhood in Jacksonville. Unfortunately the buildings were closed that day.

Walter Jones homestead. 
In the southern states you see many trees with spanish moss, draped over trees and swaying in the breeze. 
 To learn more about this plant click here.
On April 1, 1864  steamboat Maple Leaf  was sunk by a Confederate torpedo in the St. Johns River just off Mandarin Point.
Leroy taking a nap.
St. Joseph’s Mission Schoolhouse for African-American Children, built in 1898.
 And what did I find here? Another rock....
Leaving through the back gate of Mayport Naval Station, that road takes you to  the St. John's River Ferry and this ferry takes you to Ft. George Island.  

Here we visited Kingsley Plantation, which is located along the Fort George River on Fort George Island. It is the site of a former estate in Jacksonville, Florida, that was named for an early owner, Zephaniah Kingsley, who moved there in 1814 and spent 25 years there with his wife from Senegal. She was purchased by Kingsley as a slave. She later participated in plantation management, acquiring her own land and slaves when freed by Kingsley in 1811. 
Plantation house.
Ruins of slaves quarters

How they looked in earlier days
Sitting on the cedar  tree 
This peacock was wandering around
Love the spanish moss in the background and the bright color of the peacock
 Driving back to the main road on the scenic, narrow (and sometimes bumpy),  2 miles dirt road.
Next day back on the ferry
and drove to Big Talbot Island , a barrier island, to see the "Boneyard". From the parking area a short trail takes you there. Once you reach the beach, you realize how it got the name “Boneyard". Because of the ever changing tides and currents, erosion at this end of the island along with the salt, sand, and the sun have produced a  “bone yard” of sun and salt bleached trees that have been sanded smooth by the salt  

 We saw this on one of the trees
A quick stop at Huegenot Memorial Park where we saw this egret wading through the wetlands
  Back on the ferry we saw this sea ship passing by...
 ...from Amsterdam
 We stopped at Singleton's Seafood Shack for dinner, which is next to the ferry.
View from the deck at Singleton's. 
Our pelican friends just chillaxin

 Fisher boat comes in with seagulls and pelicans following
Every Saturday there is the Riverside Arts Market in downtown Jacksonville.. 
..under the Fuller Warren Bridge.

We then walked along the St. John's river to Jacksonville Landing, which is a festival market place but there were no activities going on that day.
We had lunch at Hooters, a place I would never go but since their terrace was facing the river we ended up here. 
Served by one of the Hooters girls. ;-)
Later we walked back to the Arts market which was closed in the meantime. The bridge is in the distance on the left.
The next day was Easter and when I woke up and got out of the tent, I noticed that the Easter bunny had left us these two Easter eggs on the picknick table. 
Took it easy that day and got everything ready for the drive back to SC. 
We ate at Singleton's Fish Shack again. 
 View from the deck. The ferry passing by.
This cardinal kept us company in the tent area.
Our last evening and we were so lucky to see dolphins. Too bad my pictures didn't came out good. They didn't want to pose for me...

Sunset over Mayport Naval Station
Our departing day. A week is too short. 
Saying goodbye to our sweet tent neighbors Lynn and Dave.
In Hartsville SC we stayed in an airbnb from Martha. She was also an excellent host and we loved staying with her too.

Cardinal at her bird feeder
Celebrating Earth Day at Kalmia Gardens which was a short walk from Martha's house.
Some fascinating critters where there to see.
Bearded dragon
Promoting the Yoga and Healing Arts Festival , for October 22, 2017 in Hartsville.
The big event this day was the Duck Cup Race fundraiser. Duck numbers were for sale for $5 . 
 Ready to be dropped.
The drop
Racing down Black Creek

 The first three ducks were the winners
Then it was time to relax and listen to the music of Lucia and Levi Byrd.
Sculpture of leaves called "Southern Magnolia" by Larry Merriman.
It's a year's worth of leaves from a 50 foot tall Southern Magnolia tree. 

Our last Sunday in SC we had dinner at Hibachi Grill in Florence.
Grandma ready to go.
Brothers Levern and Leroy
Nephew Joven and Sil Estella
Sil Evelyn, cousin Marilyn and Estella
On the day we left Martha's airbnb, we bought 2 pieces of carrot cake she had baked at the restaurant she was working. We got two very big pieces. it was yummy.
There was a military charter flight leaving from BWI (Baltimore) to Ramstein Wednesday night with 153 seats available. We went for that one.The night before we took the train to Baltimore MD, Penn Station and arrived there the next morning at 9.30 am. From there we took the LightRail and arrived at the USO in the terminal later that morning where we found out that the plane had left early in the morning....... Yes...that is part of traveling Space-A.  Plan B comes in the picture now: Checked out the nearby military bases to see what planes were departing to Ramstein, Germany. McGuire AFB had one with seats available and also Andrews AFB, near Washington DC,  with 17 seats. We went for that one and had to take a shuttle-van to get there. There were three more people in the van to be dropped off in downtown Washington. With the traffic jam and a driver who just worked for this company one month and didn't know his way around too good, we got to the base 3 1/2 hours later!! The van was not allowed to come on base so we were dropped off at the gate, from where we had to walk about 3 miles to the terminal and it was almost 4 pm.....hot....and with two 50 lb suitcases trudging along....... Finally half the way an elderly man stopped and asked where we were heading  to....the terminal..."well throw your luggage in my car, I take you". How much we appreciated this!! And.....we were still in time for the roll call and .......got on. This time we flew on a
C 17 with only Red Cross equipment as cargo so lots of space for us.
Arrived in Ramstein safe and sound.

To be continued...

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