Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wild Animal Safari

How do you like this looking in your back door. Big North American Elk.
Aren't I cute as a button.... or maybe as cute as Marty.

This is a Scottish Highlander domestic steer. Can you see his long hair in the front and on the neck????
This is a Zony.... That is a mix of pony and Zebra. Do you see his zebra stripes????? He is wondering if John had a treat for him....
Hey Mike, do you have treats for us??????? These are 2 Zonies and they likes to beg........."Up close and personal".

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Welcome to the Wild Animal Safari at Pine Mountain, Georgia. We got these wonderful tickets from Greg and Jonell. It was a nice drive up here and the mountains were full of the earthy colors of Autumn. This is a 500 acre park, filled with wild and exotic species of animals from around the world.
We saw these appropriate designed Zebra Vans and rented one for our trip. I wish you could have seen John and Julie...... they were laughing so hard..... the Van looks good from here but what you do not see....... It had no side windows & some had leather straps over the window area, the sides were scratched & dented, they were very dirty and looked like it was on its last leg....BUT the guys said the engine sounds good..... Upon seeing this, I began to realize that we did not know what we were in for & where this adventure was going to take us.

This is a good old Texas Long Horn, with North American Bison, and a water buffalo. But even better, in this photo, you can see the wonderful grounds that the animals roam and graze freely.
Yes, they even came up to the car to ask for food.

I believe, this is a Banteng from Cambodia Loas. His coat was so shiny that it looked as though it was polished. I am glad he was not wanting to come up to us for food. He was BIG

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Georgia Friends

Does this say..... "Country Roads??????"..... I could hear the music from the John Denver song.. Boy, do I have childhood memories of Country Roads just like these.
Then the roads open up onto this dramatically beautiful home nestled in a pine forest. What a gorgeous place Julie and Mike have.

Julie & Mike..... friends we first met in 1966 when we all were stationed at Cheltenham Naval Station in Maryland, just out of Washington D. C.
The guys checking out our road map. Mike was very impressed....... but ended by saying "You haven't seen enough of Georgia." So we are coming back in December to do some more Georgia sightseeing. Julie and I are excited about going to Savannah.
Our RV in storage at Julie and Mikes home out in the newly planted olive orchard. We took a flight out to San Diego for 2 weeks to see some grandchildren. Thanks Julie & Mike.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

South Carolina

Another awesome bridge.... This time on the way to South Carolina.

Samantha, Brenda and John. What a great family they have! We had so much fun time just talking and reminiscing. How great it is to see friends.
Brenda, Heather and John
Friends together again.

Jamestown Settlement

Some old ruins of the homes built near the fort.
This is a small model showing Fort James. Note the triangular sharp of the fort.
The famous Pocahontas, favorite daughter of chief Powhatan. Captain John Smith claimed she had saved his life twice during the colony's 1st year.
This is the site of the landing of the 1st settlers in 1607, May 13. These notes were found:
"The 13th day (of May 1607) we came to our seating place....where our ship doe lie so neere that they are moored to the trees in 6 faltons of water. The 14 day we landed our men" ..... George Percy.
The first church at the fort.

Voyage to the Americas

Four hundred years ago, on December 20, 1606, three merchant ships filled with passengers and cargo embarked from England on a voyage that would set the course of American history. This is their trip and these are the replicas of those ships. The ships were called Susan Constant, Godspeed and the Discovery.
This is the lead ship, called the Susan Constant.

These two ships are the Godspeed and the Discovery. The Godspeed was the second largest vessel in the fleet. It was a 40 ton vessel and the trip to Virginia took 144 days. It carried 13 crew with 39 passengers. The third ship, stayed with the settlers to help discover the inland water ways of the Chesapeake Bay.
On May 13, 104 passengers (boys and men only) selected a site on the banks of the James River, for what was to be America's first permanent English settlement. This is James Fort.
This is the inside of Fort James. It is a triangular recreation of the original fort. Inside the Fort is a Church, a storehouse, buildings, blacksmith, and an armory. It was just amazing. We saw the blacksmith making nails and a carpenter building a shop for the fort. The carpenter only used the tools of the 1600. John and I were very impressed.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Jamestown Settlement....
This is a living history museum with expansive galleries chronicling Jamestown's origins, the colony's first century, and the convergence of cultures in 17th century Virginia.

Powhatan Indian village...
Looks different then the Indian tepees of the West!!!! The chief of the Powhatan Indian tribe which was called Powhatan and his famous daughter you all know is Matoaka (aka: Pocahontas). When the settlers first arrived the Powhatan Indians were divided into 30 tribes, they were 13,000-14,000 strong and Powhatan was the BIG CHIEF. They were basically hunters and gathers of food. They actually helped the settlers survive several times during the hard winter months.
The inside of the Powhatan Indian hut. They slept on beds above ground and hung food and items from a loft area.
This is a Powhatan canoe that they made out of a tree trunk. They hallowed out the inside of the tree by lighting small fires and then scraping away the burnt areas using sea shells. Some of the bigger canoes, which they left down at the rivers edge, were about 4 feet deep and 50 feet long. Now this canoe did not travel fast but it was their main means of transportation. Their faster canoes would hold 10-30 people and traveled much faster.

How do I look in a Powhatan canoe?????

Colonial Williamsburg
This living museum is too awesome for words. With its brick street that leads you to a drum and fife parade, the court house, historic taverns, or to the back of the carpentry shop where they are making bricks. Yes, I said making bricks.

Brick making 101 or should I say 1770!!!
First the bricks are formed using the wood form on the table. They used ground sea shell, sand, water and clay. These items were carried by wagon pulled oxen to the site of construction. This is usually done at the property site of where the bricks are to be used. Here shows what looks like a building with smoke coming out of it. In this case, the bricks are the Kiln and the Kiln is the bricks. The outside of the bricks are coated with mud to hold the heat in. They keep the fire stoked with a consistent flame for about 10 days. Yes, that is 24/7 someone is stoking that fire. Then it is let alone to cool down with the lid on the openings for about 10 days. The doors are then removed and the bricks are ready to be used.
Stoking the fire with small pieces of wood. You might note the door over on the side.
Here shows a closer look at the bricks that make up the kiln.

Peyton Randolph House in Williamsburg, VA

The Peyton Randolph house.
Peyton Randolph served the Colony of Virginia in many of its highest governmental offices and became the 1st President of the Continental Congress. It was said that he was so well liked by the Colonists and his peers that if he had not got sick and died before the signing of the United States Constitution, he might have been our first President.

The Peyton house dining room. Note the pig's head and lamb shank. Julia Child would be pleased. The dinner was a very important event in the day. It was served at 4 pm and it was a 4 or 5 course meal. The Peyton's had slaves and would educate the them. The grounds and home were lovely.
The Peyton House kitchen.
In those days, the kitchens were usually a house by themselves.....because of the likelihood of a fire and burning down. Do you see the handle the lady has on the lid that is covered with coals? It was on the round pan with rolls. That was the oven. Do you see the chicken or squab (young pigeon) cooking? What an interesting site to in the 1700. It was a days job, for sure. No such thing as fast food.
I am having Peanut Soup for lunch. I love soup!! However, this soup looked real brown, had a real thick consistency like mud and I had to eat it real slow..... you know me..... too many peanuts can make me gag. It was good but not my favorite soup.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Colonial Williamsburg-Wythe Home & Capitol

Colonial Williamsburg has recreated the life in Williamsburg, VA during 1750-1755, the end of the colonial era and the beginning of the Revolutionary War. I am sure it must be one of the largest living historical museums in the USA. We owe a "Big Thanks" to John D. Rockefeller, Jr. , for his $68 million restoration in 88 buildings and 500 structures.

The George Wythe Home.......
This building is 85% original from the 1800. George was a professor of law and teacher of Tomas Jefferson. Wythe was first among Virginia's signers of the Declaration of Independence. And to make things even more exciting we met Thomas Jefferson while touring the building. We found ourselves in an impromptu discussion with him concerning his courtship with Martha Skelton, his wife.
This is the room that George Wythe taught Thomas Jefferson law. What a place to see.

Dining room in the Wythe home. It was simple and yet elegant. Note the shutters on the inside of the house....

Governor's Mansion..
This Governor was appointed by the King of England to govern he had to look impressive and strong. The Mansion gave that look.
Entrance to the Governor's Mansion through the front doors is decorated with 200 weapons. The tour lady explained to us that .... "All the swords and muskets on the wall were to tell all that entered who was the strongest man in town..... anyway, she said, "that what you get when you have a man do the interior decorations". hehehehehe

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Yorktown 18th Centry Farm

Yorktown, Virginia......... We found a museum where visitors can see a modest reconstructed farm typical of life in the late 18th century. This is the wood home that had a double bed, a cradle, fire place, table and stair to upper flat board where there were 2 mattes. It is for a family of 2 adults and 3 children. The kitchen was in the next building and beyond that was a tool shed and house for various jobs. The museum also has a recreated Continental army encampment with all persons were also dressed in the dress attire of the day. We learned about the English acceptable way of fighting.... Stand, shoot, fire, reload and do it again until you are shot, or the Commander says...."Retreat or Charge". Sounded like playing "chicken" to me. Thank God that Washington knew that this was the only way that the English would accept that you won the battle. I personally think it is better to shoot while hiding behind a tree.
This, believe it or not, is cotton. It stands about 8 feet tall. What a beautiful flower, don't you think? I did not know that cotton originally was a tall plant, I am used to seeing cotton growing close to the ground. Two other crops they grew were flax and tobacco and of course a vegetable garden. Tobacco brought in the money for the farmers and flax was used for oil from the seed and linen from the straw.

This lady is showing us how she (this was the job for the children of the family) would work the flax straw until it was soft enough to be spun into thread that is called linen. Crushing it at the end .... she then puts it in the area near her fingers and brakes the shaft. Then it was beat against a wooden board with a wooden knife. From there the straw was drug thru metal combs to remove even more and make it softer.

Yes, it turns out soft like this. It was so soft and strong..........I was in awe!!!!
Then she takes the soft flax and spins it using this spindle..... this creates the thread that is then turned into linen to make their tops, men's pants and women's skirts. I just could not believe my eyes. If they wanted they could also dyed the threat into colors using things like bugs, plants or other seeds. What an eye opener...... Who would guess....flax makes linen...... but with a lot of labor. WOW