“R and R” in the Smoky Mountains

Writing today from the mountains of western North Carolina at Carolyn’s brother’s place in Waynesville and am enjoying a day without driving, getting in-and-out of the car, and subsisting on McDonald’s coffee (large, one cream). With our wonderful time in Florida behind us, it’s time to prepare ourselves for the reality of the “northern” climate once more. Our time with Bob and Georgia in North Port was truly magnificent, and our across-the-state journey to Stuart to spend an overnight on Tuesday with Nick and Jane was a great way to wrap up our sunshine-filled vacation. The evening was highlighted by a delicious meal of jumbo sea scallops, prepared by Nick, and several bottles of Yuengling Lager. Such are the good things in life!

Bidding them adieu on Wednesday, Carolyn and I enjoyed a leisurely cruise up to Ron Jon Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach where we spent lots of time (and dollars!) before setting out on I-95 for a “mile-eating” remainder of the day. Our plan was to end up somewhere in South Carolina by 8:30 so the next day’s drive to her brother’s in North Carolina wouldn’t be too arduous. And so it was that we found a nice room at the Rice Planters Inn, just off I-95 near Walterboro, South Carolina, where we settled in for the night. It didn’t take long, either,  for the hum of the motel air conditioner to lull me to sleep.

When we’re in this part of the country, we always pay a visit to nearby Cherokee, which we did right away yesterday, and Carolyn was very disappointed in what she found (or didn’t find) this time. Of course, many of the shops are closed for the season, or those that were opened simply didn’t offer much in the kinds of things she was hoping to find. I’m sure we’ll try once again on our next trek through these parts, and I’m always prepared with a book to enjoy while she roams the various shops of Cherokee.

It’s always nice to spend time here at Carolyn’s brother’s place for a few days whenever we’re heading in either direction. Today is an “R and R” day–rest and recover–before we head back out on the big road and begin the last leg of our journey homeward on Monday. Aside from updating my blogs and doing some quiet reading (it is very quiet here!), we have nothing really planned. And that’s very much OK with me. I had expressed some interest in paying a visit to O. Henry’s grave over in Asheville, but I’ve reconsidered that idea, realizing that I saw a very nice photo of his grave stone on the Internet, and what more could I possibly glean from a physical visit to the cemetery, other than that I could say, “I was there.” Quite frankly, I have no desire to go anywhere near our car today. So O. Henry will have to remain resting in peace without my physical visit. Love your stories, Mr. William Sydney Porter, but I see no need to venture on over to your final resting place today!

Now, it’s time to post this and then check up on some other blogs I subscribe to. It’s rainy and mostly gray outside, so what better way to enjoy this day of “R and R”? …CortlandWriter

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