Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Magnolia Grove, Crossings Course

November 10, 2012

This was the first course I played on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.  It's host to an LPGA tournament each year, and is described as a “shotmaker's course”. I was impressed that I could hit shots within a few feet of where I aimed, and end up in trouble. It really does require near perfection to make birdie on a hole. The variety of looks and shapes to the holes, and interesting use of hazards makes each hole a unique challenge.

The course was in perfect shape, the clubhouse is luxurious,

and the staff was attentive and friendly. They don't fawn over you quite like they do at the Boulders, but then they only cost 1/6 as much in peak season. After playing three of the RTJ courses, I'm eager to get to the rest of them.

USS Alabama

November 9, 2012

We stayed near Mobile, Alabama, where the battleship USS Alabama is docked. What an awesome weapon!

The 16-inch guns throw a 2,000-lb shell to a target over 26 miles away.

Bob Feller served on the Alabama during WWII.

There's a small air museum there, too.



November 1, 2012

We stopped at Sycamore Lodge RV park in North Carolina for a couple of nights,

and took a drive to Pinehurst. Didn't play (some day I'll calculate that if I play all these expensive courses whenever I want, I'll still die before I run out of money ... not yet).

They have a beautiful clubhouse

and a croquet court

I think this is the 18th green of the #2 course … there are 8 courses.

More pictures of the lake at Sycamore lodge.

Shelburne Farms

September 20, 2012

While we were visiting Ann and Bob in Burlington, we all went to Shelburne Farms.

It's a working farm, and an Inn on Lake Champlain. 

The first thing we came to was a display of some wooden things

Bob is a drummer, but not like Ringo Starr. He has a collection of African drums, and plays them in parades with his marching band.  Here's a video of Bob playing the drums at Shelburne Farms.

They had turkeys,

and chickens,

sheep and cows,


The Inn is an old mansion, very fancy.

I like this picture. So easy to imagine a story around it.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Oct 25, 2012 Monticello

This was Thomas Jefferson's home, when he wasn't living in Washington or Paris. It's on top of a hill, and he also owned a lot of the land around it.

This is the front.

Our tour guide.

There is a large vegetable garden to support the needs of the household. Jefferson did a lot of experimenting with vegetables, developing new hybrids and varieties.

The back view, which you've seen on the back of the nickel.


Oct 22, 2012 Gettysburg

This is an awesome place. The fighting lasted for 3 days, and occurred over a wide area, involving thousands of soldiers on both sides, from nearly every state. Almost 8,000 died, over 25,000 wounded.

We spent two days on the self-guided tour of the battlefields, seeing where the different armies were encamped and where the fighting took place. There were several separate encounters between various units. Walking on the hills and looking across the valleys you can get a very clear idea of how the fighting went, how the tactics were adapted to the terrain, and how each side exploited their advantages and overcame their disadvantages.

This is the view from Northwest of the town, where the Confederates first arrived and pushed the Union forces back.

One of the monuments. Confederates camped and set up artillery on this hill.

Views from Cemetery Ridge, where the Union repulsed the Confederate attacks from Seminary Ridge, on the other side of the valley.

The Cemetery where the soldiers from both sides are buried, and where Lincoln gave the famous speech.

One of the Union Generals was Abner Doubleday, who later went on to invent baseball.

Valley Forge

Oct 21, 2012 Valley Forge

We stopped in just for the afternoon, and they had a big lot to park the RV. There were a bunch of horse trailers there, too, some sort of horse group having an outing.

They drove us around the park, and we saw how the soldiers spent that famous winter, which was actually a pretty normal one for Philadelphia:  lots of mud, but not lots of freezing cold weather.

and their equipment and uniforms 

and the house that Washington stayed in.