Friday, December 2, 2011

December: Oh, what fun! Oh, what fun! Oh, what fun!

31 Dec, Sat: A short walk along the beach to Sharon's Cafe for a huge, hearty breakfast and we're off to visit genealogy cousin Martha L., about an hour's drive, en route to Point Clear, Alabama for New Year's weekend at the Grand Hotel.  Wishing everyone a BEATTY Happy New Year!
Several amateurs and one professional fisherman
30 Dec, Fri: La Mananitas... the sun is now appearing (seems late at 7:07) and another day dawns, but our hotel isn't oriented for winter sunrises, so we see it only by leaning dangerously far over the balcony. Two hour walk along the beach holding hands while leering muscles were covertly working overtime.  The temp of 73 degrees brought out the bikinis and bikini minded.
Sunset Mexico Beach, FL

29 Dec, Thurs: Seven hour drive from Macon on Hwy 91 southwest  past acres of pecan orchards, peanuts and Plains, GA where Jimmy's Hot Dog Stands and stores capitalizing on the name Carter line the roads.  We stopped in Andersonville Civil War Prison where an Overturff ancestor's brother was one of the 13,000 malnourished and ill treated prisoners that perished in the camp.  Prisoners were poorly housed in tents made of pieces of clothing or blankets thrown over sticks in the ground. One stream ran through the 26 acres that gave provided drinking water and water to flush the trench dug latrines.  Many had no shelter at all.  Food had to be purchased.  Speaking of food: don't plan to stop for food in Albany, GA; be certain to eat long before you arrive there.  White's seafood was closed, and we walked into and backed out of Bess' Restaurant fast before fainting from grease fumes.  After crossing into Florida from far southwestern Georgia we turned straight south on Florida 71.   The drive was pleasant, with light traffic, but the scenery wasn't anything special.  Cynthia subsisted on Wasa Crackers with fat free cheese and a protein drink throughout the day until our arrival at Bailey's Crab Shack in Port Joe, FL where she was happily crabby eating a bucket of delicious snow crabs.  Total bill was $28.00 for the twos of us.  Onward to El Governor Hotel (el cheapo) right on the beach and barely above high tide.  The rooms are $69.00 per night.  We splurged for a couple of days despite the damage to the budget.

 28 Dec, Wed: Ron was up until 5am cloning and computering.  He was pleased to have three clones of his beloved, antiquated hard drive.  He slept for only a couple of hours before packing the car early, and leaving "on time" only two days late.  We drove five hours from Columbia, SC to Macon, GA on GA Hwy 88 and were delighted that Cynthia's beautiful grandnieces, Camille and Danielle, could join us for dinner.  They provided us with a marvelous evening and good memories.
Oohh La La, lookie the BEAUTiful girlies

27 Dec: Raining, cloning, hardly working, lunch at Lizard's Thicket to see Susan. 
Great time with Vince, Mary and Dick at Bonefish Grill.
The manager of Bonefish remembered us (who wouldn't?)

26 Dec:   The second Christmas card was delivered a day late, and Ron copied the sentiments from the PERFECT card that Cynthia found:
To my wife, my partner in love, my companion in pleasure, my soul's truest mate through this journey of life:
In your voice I hear it,
In your smile I see it
In your touch I feel it
You are all the things I love.
I've never loved anyone the way I love you.
I've never known anyone so well and still felt there was so much left to discover...
never been able to say, "I love you" and have it mean something beautifully different every time and enjoy vying for those "first I love you" points every day.
I've never known someone I could spend hours with and still long for more time to share...never felt so close to someone in so many ways.
And even though I'll never be able to tell you with words how much you mean to me... I hope you understand that the love I feel for you is more beautiful, more meaningful than words could every say.  Merry Christmas with all my love!  Thank God for Cynthia
(The original card was a big hit with Ron, the replay a big hit for Ron.)

We enjoyed the typical caustic male banter while walking with Jim, Steve, and Dick for miles in the subdivision.  Ron spent the day cloning hard drive; Cynthia wrote until Mary, Vince and Dick joined us for dinner at Ruby Tuesday's. 

25 Dec, Christmas Day, 2011:  Merry Christmas to our family and friends.
Cynthia was SHOCKED to discover that Santa Claus had arrived early in the AM to drop presents under the tree of roses.  (We couldn't even find the chimney at the Hilton Garden Inn, but Santa is too clever.)(Santa's eVile older sister woulda been proud that he finally learned to wrap a presentable present; his mother proud that he recycled previous gift wrap.)  We walked with Dick while Ron tried to remember where he left notes about cloning a hard drive.  Dinner with Dick at Ruth's Chris Steak House.  YUMMY.  

24 Dec, Sat: Early AM departure for Columbia, SC.  (i.e. before noon)  Long pleasant drive across rural South Carolina on U.S. highway 76 followed by dinner at Bonefish Grill  with Dick R upon arrival in Columbia.

21 Dec, Wed:  The seascape is marvelous whether walking the beach or watching from windows.  Enjoying temps in the low to high sixties, sometimes windy, sometimes VERY windy.

Right after the usual breakfast, we walked on the beach to Fort Macon on the east end of the island; 2 hours round trip including the restroom stops. Fascinating to see  former cannon housing and learn that the fort was in use through WWI.   We are seeing several large ships enter the narrows  --- maybe bringing service men home for Christmas???  Bro Dean googled the ships (United States Navy ship 21), they are Marine landing craft.

14 Dec, Wed:  Ron rises early almost daily to work on endless writing projects. Cynthia is writing a new book about three men named James Lea of Caswell County, NC.  We have two remaining weeks for our writing projects. This is a terrific place for writing besides the views and immediacy of the Atlantic Ocean: a restaurant is onsite for breakfast and lunch; two great restaurants are about a mile each way walking the beach at sunset. Plans are to return to NC for further research in March.

11 Dec, Sun: Its beginning to FEEL a lot like Christmas! Oooo! Ouuu Oooo!  A blast of Arctic air routed us from la-la land en route to breakfast.  Dec. fleurs warm our hearts:

10 Dec, Sat: The CD's were mailed, but only after arriving at the PO without the fanny pack and money necessitating a turn-around to the condo and return to the PO.  We walked about 90 minutes - maybe two hours on the beach, plus the walkity to Amos Mosquito's restaurant. Gorgeous sunset.  Jethro... is the aka of tonight's waiter.  The wait staff uses southern nicknames like Sweetie Pie, Sugar Plum, and Cutie Pie.  Now we know Jethro, too.  

9 Dec, Fri:  90 minute walk on the beach plus a thirty to forty minute RT walk to Amos Mosquito's Restaurant for delicious chicken dinner.

8 Dec, Thurs:  We woke up to chilly weather!   We walked: The warmth of the sun made the hour walk on the beach very pleasant despite the strong wind which was an invitation to surfers.  We worked:  Packages are ready to mail, letters and some cards are written.  We played: Ron in the pool and Cynthia in the fitness center's sauna. We ate: The Channel Marker Restaurant was closed for a private party tonight; the kitchen manager recommended Amos Mosquito's quite close to the condo which proved to be outstanding.  The waitress was named "Cutie Pie" and indeed she is a cutie. 

7 Dec. Wed: Walking towards Fort Macon:  Lots of seagulls parked on the beach enjoying the warm weather. After dinner at Ruby Tuesday's we returned to walk the beach but the wind was so strong only one of us walked with the wind to his back.  Big Waves!

4 Dec, Sunday:  See the sunrise at Atlantic Beach, NC, below.   A gazillion birds were hovering over the waters.  Sightings from two walks on the beach: Cars, jeeps, a few people, lots of seashells, dead jellyfish, a host of seagulls including a one-legged gull hopping, small birds with tall legs and short legs moving ever so quickly, a dolphin surfacing close to shore, and  a marvelous sky scape.  Ron wrote a grant proposal for the Swedish Colonial Society.  Goal is to accomplish lots of writing: letters, record keeping, research, CD mailings.  Dinner at the Channel Marker was tasty, the waitress friendly, but the asparagus was shiny (OIL!)  She complied with steamed veggies and no oil.  After the dine, wine and another walk, we are back at the computers.  What a surprise to learn Cabernet Sauvignon has 17 gm sugar and far more calories than Chardonnay.  The calorie bank has an overdraft tonight.

3 Dec Sat:  We were on the road by six AM with nary a breakfast place to eat until we arrived in Fenwick at Dirty Harry's.  Nice place, friendly waitress and a humongous omelet.   The early morning departure meant we arrived in Atlantic Beach, NC by 3:30 PM.  The condo is very pleasant - full ocean view - good space and wi-fi.  The beach is close.  The sunset walk on the beach was marvelous watching the pelicans dive bomb for fish along the way.  This is  a perfect place for serious writing and relaxation with a restaurant in-house, an indoor heated swimming pool, fitness center (haven't checked to see the quality), an outdoor pool and that important Wi-Fi.  The bed is comfy, too.  We opened the windows to keep the bedroom cool.

2 Dec Fri:  A late morning followed by packing the car for a lovely drive down the Delmarva peninsula.  Lunch at Jessop's Tavern in New Castle, DE was a delight!  The wait staff wore period colonial clothing. The turkey salad was very good.

1 Dec Thurs: The SCS Archives Committee met at the seminary.  The Ronald S. Beatty Collection was added to the Craig Collection.  See photo of Ron presenting his work to Governor Sally Bridwell, Councillor Herb Rambo, Curator pro tem Beverly Walker, Archivist, The Rev. Dr. Kim-Eric Williams.   The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Forde-Beatty is pictured with Curator Walker  examining a new ForeFather application.  The group lunched at McMenamins Irish Pub. 

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