Hi all - Dianne here again. Yesterday we zipped up the dogs in their crate, and Roger and I drove over to Magnolia Plantation, outside Charleston. Turns out, we could have taken the dogs with us (we were just touring the gardens), but it was too far to go back for them. What an interesting, beautiful place! We were there in probably its worst season for the gardens, but they were lovely anyway. The camellias were just starting to bloom. Parts of the garden date back to the late 1600s! I definitely recommend touring this plantation's grounds if you're anywhere in the area. It's $15 each per adult just to tour the gardens. We spent three hours walking around the grounds, so the admission price was well worth it. We didn't pay extra to tour the house. We didn't care much about seeing it, because the house had been burned to the ground by Sherman's Army during the civil war; this one wasn't the original plantation house.
Last night we attempted another campfire. There is such thick fog off the ocean every morning, that everything gets soaked overnight, so we've been dealing with wet firewood. As you can see from one of the photos, our normal setup is three chairs around the fire pit: One for Roger, one for me, and one for Jasper! He requires a chair, not a cushion, because after all, he's NOT a dog. (Just ask him) Chaplin prefers to lay on his dog bed next to us.
I hesitated to include the full length photo of me at Magnolia Gardens, because part of my goal this winter is to lose 10 pounds, all of which show up in the photo. We've been walking down the beach every morning for exercise. I'm wearing my pedometer, and it's about a mile and a half each way. It takes us about an hour to walk down to the tide river and back. Walking the dogs in the sand gives some good aerobic steps, according to my pedometer. If I do lose some pounds, I'll update it; if not, I won't mention it again!!!!!
Every day on the beach is different. Yesterday on our walk, we passed by a 3-foot shark that had been washed way up on the beach by the tidal waves. It was dead, of course, but was creepy anyway.
Roger has strung some Christmas lights on the bushes at our camp site, and we have our little LED-lit tree in the front window. I'll include a photo, but not sure how well it will show up. We'll set them up again when we drive to Skidaway Island next Monday. After New Year's at Skidaway, we'll pack them away in the deep recesses of the motor home until next Christmas.
Roger here... It has taken a while to adjust to the time frame of retirement. For awhile, I continued to wake up at 5:00 a.m. every morning. I tried (usually unsuccessfully) to get up and have some coffee without waking up Dianne. As the days have passed, I have eventually gotten to the point of not waking until the sun rises. However, this morning the harsh realities of our old life surfaced when the cell phone rang at 5:15 a.m. and then again a few minutes later. When I answered the phone, I was greeted to the familiar sound of my friend Jim White, school transportation director, who had sent an automated Honeywell message to the HSE constituency announcing a two-hour delay for the start of school, due to ice in the neighborhoods. I need to figure out how to disengage from automatically receiving those messages for as much as I miss hearing Jim's voice, 5:15 a.m. is now for me very early in the morning :)