St. Augustine – On The Road To Florida

St. Augustine – On The Road To Florida

  We rolled down I-95 past St. Augustine, Florida, on Thursday about twelve noon and found our campground just south of there off SR 207. I had picked it out of the Passport America directory and was curious to see how the description jibed with the actual place. As you might expect, things always look better on paper than they do in person. However, in this case, some of the sites were paved and level, a big plus for me. Unfortunately, no one was in the office when we arrived, and still not there when we returned from lunch and the outlet malls up the road at five-fifteen that evening. So, the next morning at eight-thirty I walked over to find that someone was actually in. Turns out the site I had picked was reserved for someone else arriving Friday evening...

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Surviving The Time-Share Pitch

Surviving The Time-Share Pitch

Many of you have probably sat through a time-share presentation. Some of you may have bought a time-share. I imagine a lot of you who bought one are perfectly happy with it. But I’ve mostly heard about those of you who aren’t happy. And who want to get out of their time-share, but can’t. There are even time-share resale brokers out there. So, we weren’t in the market for a time-share, but we agreed to listen to the pitch in exchange for a three-night stay at a two-bedroom condo in Williamsburg, Virginia, for $189 plus tax. A nice deal for roomy comfortable accommodations in that historic area. We had seen this ‘vacation’ offer at a home show in Raleigh. Of course, the pitch at the home show and the reality we found at the actual...

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Comparing Trucks – 2006 Nissan Titan vs. 2013 Ford F150 EcoBoost

Comparing Trucks – 2006 Nissan Titan vs. 2013 Ford F150 EcoBoost

After researching pickups for features and towing capacity, and disqualifying any I thought too ugly or expensive, I settled on – and subsequently custom ordered – a new Ford F150 V6 EcoBoost. With the rear end I ordered – 3.73 – it’s rated to pull 11,300 pounds and a GCVW of 16,900 pounds  (insert Tim Allen grunt here).  It has twin turbochargers and gets decent mileage (for a truck) – at least when not towing.  The Titan is rated at 9,300 pounds towing, still not too shabby, and more than adequate for our fifth-wheel trailer. As I was driving it home, and then later in the driveway, I started mentally comparing it to my seven year old Titan. Following are my observations: Smoother ride in the Ford – less trucky Less tendency to jump from a...

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Still-Life Masterpieces at NC Museum of Art

Still-Life Masterpieces at NC Museum of Art

File this under the heading of things to do when out-of-town company visits in the Raleigh area. You know how you hate to just sit around the house or go shopping? This is an inexpensive (relatively) way to get out and burn a couple of hours and maybe tack on lunch, the way we did recently. The exhibition, on loan from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, features a bunch of artists I’ve never heard of plus a few that I have. In the interest of full disclosure, I was not an art major in college, although I did take an Art Appreciation class one quarter. That’s probably why I’ve heard of Georgia O’Keefe and so was interested in her painting titled Sunflower from Maggie, painted in 1937. I also am familiar with (well, I’ve heard of)...

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Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

  I’d been meaning to attend this exhibit since it was announced, and I finally got the chance when out-of-town visitors arrived for a week’s stay with us recently. It’s ironic how the need to entertain company can provide the impetus to finally do the things you’ve been meaning to do anyway. Or at least in my world it is. The museum web site describes the exhibition this way: “On April 15, 1912, Titanic, the world’s largest ship of its time, sank after colliding with an iceberg, claiming more than 1,500 lives and shaking the world’s confidence in the infallibility of modern technology. One hundred years later, Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, which showcases 200 artifacts retrieved from the wreck site of Titanic, arrives at the...

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A Tasting We Will Go…

A Tasting We Will Go…

  If you think that the wines produced in North Carolina are all syrupy sweet, you will be in for a surprise if you visit some of the wineries in the state. Although you will certainly  find many sweet wines, you will also find many others that rival California, Oregon or New York wines, both in taste and in quality. When a group of four of us spent a Sunday afternoon visiting three different area wineries, I was very pleasantly surprised at the offerings available. And, without planning it that way, we experienced three different styles of presentation.   The first was Chatham Hill Winery just off Aviation Parkway in Morrisville, not far from the Raleigh airport. Located in a sizeable office complex, the facility is large, open, well-appointed with a...

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