2017-10-24 From Atl,GA to Highlands,NC (Daytrip on motorcoach)

2017-10-24 From Atl,GA to Highlands,NC (Daytrip on motorcoach)
I went with Seniors-On-The-Go-Travel on a motorcoach “day” trip. It is about 3 hours drive from my house, but since I was going with a group, I drove to Lawrenceville and the bus left about 8am.
Our first stop was in Dillard where we had a delicious brunch at the famous Dillard House Restaurant. As we neared the restaurant, the tour-director, Cathy, told us of the many people who had dined there. The food was superb – and, since they were expecting a bus loaded with hungry people, they were prepared for us. When we entered, the tables for the group were set with condiments and water. Our glasses were pint, canning jars. We immediately were served coffee and biscuits. Later, came gravy, eggs, bacon, sausage and juice. The biscuits were extra-hot and fluffy. (See ” DillardHouse.com ” website for more information.)

We boarded the bus and next departed for Highlands,NC after swaying along many mountain roads. It was a beautiful day, and was cooler in the higher elevation. We shopped in the many boutique stores and enjoyed the day. The time that we had there was wonderful. Many of the local residents brought their dogs shopping with them and we enjoyed both the scenery and ‘change-of-pace’ from the city. I bought a white, quartz, angel-shaped necklace ornament that I purchased from a rock-shop. I had to include the picture with this blog-entry.

We left about 2pm and stopped again at the Jaemor Farm Market. It is large, and filled with farm products and unique items-for-sale. I bought a quart of local honey. We arrived back in Lawrenceville a little ahead of time, but in the middle of heavy traffic. (Note: most everyone knows that heavy traffic is normal in Atlanta.) (See ” JaemorFarms.com ” website for more information.)

<<As always, any comments that you have about the website would be appreciated. I have another website. It is about my 1971 MGB (old English 2-seater convertible-top car). The url address is : http://www.PuddinInTheMGB.wordpress.com Note: When I go camping, I am often without internet service. I try to use my cellphone data plan sparingly as charges may be increased with usage. Therefore, I often let emails collect in my box and try to catch-up reading them when I return home.>>

2017-10-17 from Atlanta,GA to Copperhill,TN – (camping in Vanna White)

2017-10-17 from Atl,GA to Copperhill,TN (camping in Vanna White)
Copperhill is about a 2 hour drive and is north of Atlanta. The gathering is called SE (for Southeast), GTG (for Get-To-Gether) and there were about 23 people there for the week-end. I had previously camped with many of the people who attended. There were several new campers and one camper was on a ‘maiden voyage’. (There is always a discussion of ridding oneself of material possessions and going “on-the-road”. The van-lifestyle is one that several attendees have adopted. Anyone who would like to learn more about the ‘van-lifestyle’, please look at the website: CheapRVLiving.com.)

In previous blog entries, I have camped in this area and have posted pictures of camping. On this trip, I was very uncomfortable the first night. The temperature dropped into the high 30’s-degreesF. I was COLD! And I hated it. However, I had packed a lot of winter clothes and pulled them out to be warmer. After my first cold night, the weather gradually warmed and it was beautiful and sunny each day. The day after I returned home, there was rain in the area. (Note: the theory of living in a van is to “follow-the-weather”. I.E., when the weather gets either too hot or too cold, go somewhere with a moderate temperature.)

Our host, Cuz Dick, had plenty of wood and was generous to start a fire and keep us warm. (Cuz Dick picks the date and place of the gathering.) We had one attendee who had asked our ‘fix-it handyman’ to install a solar system for her. Another project involved making ‘barn doors’ for a wooden trailer and painting some of boards. Several of us walked down the gravel-roads and enjoyed the woods.

In the past, I’ve seen many butterflies in the area, but – on this trip, I only saw one butterfly. I thought that maybe it was warmer on previous trips and that the butterflies had died because of the colder weather, but – I’ve also heard that the butterfly population is declining due of the extensive use of pesticides.

Another camper has worked with 4-H groups and gave us each of us a bar-of-homemade-soap as well as a solid-hand-lotion-bar. She not only gave us samples, she demonstrated how to make each item. It took a long time for the melting of the ingredients and the knowledge of how to handle ‘lye’ for the soap, as well as knowledge of how the soap/lotion hardens quickly. After mixing the soap/lotion ingredients, she had to quickly pour it into molds. Fascinating. She explained the oils and ingredients used. She told me that to make lye, you take ashes from a fire and place them in a sieve. Then you slowly pour water over the ashes and collect it to make lye. I had never heard that before, but – I knew that ashes were somehow involved with the making of soap.

Around the campfire, we talk of many things. One of the campers said that they had studied the ’cause of cancer’. The thing that stuck with me was his statement that there are three “P’s” that you need to watch-out for: (1) Pesticides, (2) Preservatives, and (3) Plastic. I’ve read in the newspaper where biologists are finding micro-plastic in ocean water and are trying to trace the sources.

I ate lunch just before packing to leave. In my effort to gather all my items into the van, I forgot to pack my eating bowl, cup, and spoon. I hope to meet up with it at sometime “down the road”.  I wasn’t the only camper to forget to pack a personal item. David forgot his chair and flannel shirt. Linda sent us an unforgettable photo of our transgression. 

I hope that the readers of this blog enjoy the travels and will let me know their opinion of my sharing experiences with them.

<<As always, any comments that you have about the website would be appreciated. I have another website. It is about my 1971 MGB (old English 2-seater convertible-top car). The url address is : http://www.PuddinInTheMGB.wordpress.com
Note: When I go camping, I am often without internet service. I try to use my cellphone data plan sparingly as charges may be increased with usage. Therefore, I often let emails collect in my box and try to catch-up reading them when I return home.>>

2017-10-10 – From Atl,GA to Lynchburg,TN (on motorcoach tour bus, one overnight stay)

The “Taste of Tennessee” trip planned by Cathy Stokes of Seniors-On-The-Go-Travel was a blast! The bus wasn’t full, it was easier to learn new fellow-travelers and the conversations were lively. We left Lawrenceville,GA about 8AM. We typically ride for 2 hours and make a stop at a Visitors Center.

2017-10-11_TNLynchburg,Downtown(SrOnTheGoTours) (12)
2017-10-11_TNLynchburg,Downtown(SrOnTheGoTours) (12)

Our first tour stop was in Bell Buckle, TN for lunch at the Bell Buckle Cafe. It was a VERY GOOD lunch with the group in a small back-room and the wait-staff very attentive to our wants. Afterward, we were able to shop in the stores. A friend who loves antiques was able to find an artistic design on a World War I artillery shell that she can use as a candle-holder. 

Our second tour stop was in Shelbyville,TN at Clearview Horse Farm. The owner had prepared a ‘show’ for us in a large arena. We saw her prized Arabian horse, two shetland ponies, an Appaloosa, and many other horses. It was an incredible show!!  After the show, we were able to tour the stables and pet the horses. It didn’t matter to us that there was a little rain outside. We were inside and comfortable. 

< http://ClearviewHorseFarm.com >

Next, we went to Falls Mill Falls. It is a beautiful area hidden from any main roads. We saw the falls which made the area famous and the owner of the mill gave us a great guided tour. Our first stop was at the blacksmith shop. Previously, I have seen blacksmith shops, but never had a demonstration of how the blacksmith worked the tools and fire. The heat of the fire and sweat required to make implements, was amazing. We had to walk in light rain to the nearby mill. This was the first time that
I’ve seen a waterwheel provide energy for machines to operate. In the past, I’ve seen waterwheels, but I’ve never knew how the belts for harnessing the energy from the wheel worked. In the mill, there were many leather belts overhead that the owner/operator started and they would each operate a different machine that she showed us. It was fascinating!  She told us how the stones were used to grind corn into meal. In addition, she explained how cotton had to be carded, and demonstrated the manual technique. Then, she turned on a carding machine and showed us how the machine carded-the-cotton.  She also demonstrated a single spinning wheel for making yarn and then demonstrated how a spinning maching worked.  Upstairs in the mill, there was a player piano, a prized waterwheel quilt, and several other machines used in mills and operated by the power of a waterwheel. I was fascinated. < http://FallsMill.com >

We spent the night in a very comfortable Hampton Inn near Fayeteville,TN.  The next day, we had breakfast in the hotel and went to Lynchburg,TN.

2017-10-11_TNFayetteville,HamptonInn(SrOnTheGoTours) (2)
2017-10-11_TNFayetteville,HamptonInn(SrOnTheGoTours) (2)

We went to the Jack Daniels Distillery Visitors Center.
We didn’t have a tour of the distillery because it is over an hour and a half of walking and the information from the tour is available in the visitors center.

Afterwards, several of us walked the short distance to the downtown area. We shopped and looked in the store windows. Just past the courthouse, we ate a wonderful lunch at Miss Mary Bobo’s. The restaurant began operation as a boarding house, then it evolved into a famous restaurant. The previous bedrooms are now dining rooms and we had a ‘hostess’ who ate with us and told us about life in the area. (An irony of the area is that the county is ‘dry’ – meaning that distilled spirit alcohol cannot be sold there. I.E. – no bars.) <Since we were unable to ‘sample the wares’ of the visit, Cathy gave each of us a ‘sample bottle’ near the end of our trip.> Miss Mary Bobo’s was going to be closed as the owner had passed away and the Jack Daniels company bought it to continue the tradition of great food and southern hospitality. We had a great meal and learned a lot at the same time.

We returned home, with stomachs still full of a great meal and great memories!

<<As always, any comments that you have about the website would be appreciated. I have another website. It is about my 1971 MGB (old English 2-seater convertible-top car). The url address is : http://www.PuddinInTheMGB.wordpress.com
Note: When I go camping, I am often without internet service. I try to use my cellphone data plan sparingly as charges may be increased with usage. Therefore, I often let emails collect in my box and try to catch-up reading them when I return home.>>

2017-10-02 trip from Atl,GA to Cherokee,NC (Harrah’s casino, by motorcoach)

2017-10-02_GALawrenceville(SrOnTheGoTours) (58)
2017-10-02_GALawrenceville(SrOnTheGoTours) (58)

I went with Seniors-On-The-Go-Travel on a motorcoach “day” trip. It is about 3 hours drive from my house, but since I was going with a group, I drove to Lawrenceville and the bus left about 8am. We stopped in Cornelia,GA for a McDonald’s breakfast and arrived at Harrah’s casino about 11:30. This was the first time that I had been with the group on a casino trip, and was amazed at how much the casino had changed since I last visited there about 15 years ago. I didn’t take many pictures because the windows of the motorcoach would distort the pictures. Also, in a previous casino, there was a strict rule of not taking pictures.

The size of the Cherokee hotel/casino/entertainment complex was much larger than I had previously seen. If the reader would like to see the casino area, then use Google.com and search for Harrah’s Cherokee Casino.
The bus entered the parking garage by the road shown on the fifth picture of the Google.com photos. We were both dropped-off and picked-up from the motorcoach entrance door. When we drove up, a Harrah’s employee had a mobile workstation and greeted us. One-by-one, he saw our drivers-license photo id with proof-of-age. (You needed to be 18, or maybe 21, to enter). After verifying our age, the employee scanned our ‘players-card’ and gave us a $20 voucher. I followed my seat-mate, Linda, to her favorite area. She told me about going with Cathy and the group for many years and that there are usually 3 trips a year. She searched for a particular machine and gave me a 3-minute lesson on inserting the players-card and using the voucher. She told me that when she first played,  she forgot to ‘cash-out’ when moving machines and essentially left money in the machine for the next player. After she showed me her favorite machine and technique, I sought my own machine. I found one where you can spend $.01 per spin and bet only $.01. (I’m a ‘big-time’ player!) I had expected to ‘loose money’, and I watched the counter decrease for quite a while. I noticed that I won more in the beginning, and near the end there was a lot fewer increases in my total. I knew to ‘cash-out’ when I wanted to take a break and wander around to find the food court. After getting something to eat, I tried to find the area that I had previously played in – I got LOST! The casino is really large and all
of the areas look the same. Before we got off the bus, the tour director told us to ask for the ‘motorcoach’ area if we got lost. Employees were serving beverages and I saw one and asked her. She told me the direction and I looked for signs.  I walked around a little, but never went outside. We were to return to Atlanta at 4pm, and I found a ‘waiting area’ near the
door. There were several tv-monitors near the door of the waiting area that displayed the motorcoach groups both arriving and leaving. I counted that 12 motorcoaches were on the displays and wondered if this was an good, bad, or average day for the casino?
We stopped on the return trip at a Racetrac gas station. They sold frozen yogurt and everybody enjoyed a break. Most people purchased some yogurt.
The bus ride back to Atlanta was easy for us who did not have to drive. Our tour-director has games that are interesting to play and that help pass-the-time.

<<As always, any comments that you have about the website would be appreciated. I have another website. It is about my 1971 MGB (old English 2-seater convertible-top car). The url address is : http://www.PuddinInTheMGB.wordpress.com
Note: When I go camping, I am often without internet service. I try to use my cellphone data plan sparingly as charges may be increased with usage. Therefore, I often let emails collect in my box and try to catch-up reading them when I return home.>>