Saturday, February 9, 2019

2018 Year in Review - Part 2

This is a continuation of our annual year in review post. 

Mid-year we completely revised our itinerary, returning to Houston, TX, from NV, to help our daughter move her stuff in her storage unit in Astoria, NY (where she used to live) to Houston, her current home. We left our RV in Houston and rented a truck to make the trip. It was quite as adventure, but, needless to say, a lot of driving in a short period of time! We do not usually do that…

While in Houston, we visited the fabulous Museum of Natural History and Cockrell Butterfly Center. Both were fantastic. Our daughter treated us to a night out a Jones Hall to see Apollo 13 (the movie is shown on a huge screen while the Houston Symphony plays the music score). Loved it! 

We planned a route east to visit our son and family who live in NC, with several stops along the way. Travelling from TX, we stayed in several cities in MS beginning in Natchez on the Mississippi River. Driving the Natchez Trace Parkway, visiting historic Native American mound sites, and antebellum homes were all interesting and fun. 

Many National Battlefields, Military Parks, and National Cemeteries were located along the route (MS, TN, GA) we traveled including Vicksburg, Brices Cross Roads, Tupelo, Corinth, Shiloh, Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain and Chattanooga. The horror of the Civil War is brought to life when visiting these somber sites. 

The Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site preserves not only his family home in NC, but also the blue-ribbon goat herd his wife raised there. I had never been in Chimney Rock, so we spent the day there as well. Our next stop was Concord, NC, where we had a blast with our grandson, Andrew, celebrating his 3rdbirthday. He and Gramps are best buddies!

From Savannah, we visited Fort Pulaski National Monument and the lovely sites of this charming southern town. During our month stay in St. Mary’s, GA, we took the ferry to Cumberland Island National Seashore. Ruins and wild horses were the highlights there.

By October we were in Florida where we spent the remainder of 2018. Canaveral National Seashore has beautiful sandy beaches. And Biscayne National Park was the 41st national park we have visited.

A one-month stay in Marathon, FL, enabled us to enjoy the beauty of the Florida Keys and its many state parks. The endangered, diminutive Key Deer at the National Wildlife Refuge were so interesting to see. The sunsets here were breathtaking!

But the best adventure of the year was our visit to Dry Tortugas National Park. Located 70 miles west of Key West, we flew there in a sea plane (which was an adventure in and of itself!) Massive Fort Jefferson ruins in this very remote location were fascinating. 

We arrived in Lutz, FL, in December, where we will stay until the end of March. Despite our mid-year itinerary change, we had another great year exploring our beautiful country! Planning continues for our 2019 itinerary. 

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