Sunday, July 26, 2009

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games 2009

The Highland Games is one of several gatherings for Scottish families/clans, Scottish American families/clans, or general interested tourists to experience traditional Scottish music, food, and competitive games. The Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain, in Western North Carolina, is the largest Scottish Games Gathering in the United States and is held annually every July.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

July 4, 2009

During the weekend of July 4, Scott and I visited relatives in northern Virginia. For the evening of July 4, we drove into Washington, DC, our Nation's Capital.

The National Archives had a special exhibit of archives, letters, and other documents that are not usually on the tour. We also visited the rotunda, which is the room where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution are stored and displayed.

The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History had extended hours, so we spent the last hour of daylight venturing through the museum exhibits.

Our evening ended with a fireworks display behind the Washington Monument, over the reflective pool.

The crowd was enormous. We took the metro into town and spent an hour just inching closer and closer to the metro escalator as we were squished into the crowd trying to leave once the fireworks show ended. We spent another hour, in standing-room-only crowds, riding the metro out of town. (It is usually about a 30-40 minute event.)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Savannah, Georgia

For our 4th anniversary, Scott and I celebrated with a trip to Savannah, GA in June. Savannah is an interesting town with artistic, corporate, southern, and historical influences. Streets are lined with live oak trees, the GA State Tree, which are adorned with Spanish moss. Intersections throughout the city circle around squares and parks, often commemorating people of influence in Georgia. Savannah has a river running near downtown and is a major port for commerce. The area is extremely hot and humid in the summer. The city is home to several artists, many who attend the Savannah College of Art and Design. Nearby, Georgians can travel to the beach at Tybee Island, visit forts and lighthouses, or drive into South Carolina, home of Hilton Head Island and many plantations. Native Savannahians have managed to hold onto some of their traditional southern charm with their southern gentleman and southern belle accents as well as delicious cuisine.

For more photos, visit our web galleries:

which include the Davenport House, the Gordon Low House, (home of the founder of the Girl Scouts,) the Jepson Art Museum, the Owen-Thomas House, (with balcony on which Lafayette stood to address the people of Savannah,) and the Pink House, which was white and turned pink from the brick color fading through white paint.

Old Fort Jackson and Fort Pulaski
including First Baptist Church, First Congregational Church, (5th photo,) Christ Church, (Anglican, still separate from the Savannah Episcopals,) Ferguson Avenue Baptist Church, and Independent Presbyterian Church

shows photos of the cemetery grounds and some famous gravesites, including Habersham, an influential family in Savannah as well as Button Gwinnett, a signer of the Declaration of Independence
View photos of a river boat tour, including a dolphin fin, as well as sites from River Street, with shopping, dining and history.

Savannah's closest beach, about 20-30 minutes from downtown, is on Tybee Island. We enjoyed the calm water and small town. Miley Cyrus was filming a movie while we were in town, so we were able to see some details of how a movie is made, including the carnival and seafood festival that was staged just for 2 days of filming. We also visited the Tybee Island Lighthouse and battery and climbed 178 steps to see the view of the island atop the lighthouse.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina is a short drive from Savannah. We visited the island just for a day; it is basically one big resort. On our way home, we stopped at a visitor's center in South Carolina, which is housed in Frampton Plantation.

Wesley landed near Savannah when he arrived in the US.

Whitfield Square

James Oglethorpe, the founder and leader of the colony of Georgia, who would not allow hard liquor, slavery, lawyers or Catholics in the colony.

Scott and I enjoyed our adventures 'way down south.'

Dash Baseball

Scott and I took a short trip in June to Winston-Salem, NC to meet the new Dash Baseball Team and mascot. The game was fun with the antics of the announcer and mascot, even though the Dash lost.

Holden Beach: Memorial Day Weekend

Holden Beach is a small town on the southern coast of North Carolina. It is actually an island. A bridge from Supply, NC is the only way on and off the island, unless you are taking a boat.

It is very quaint and quiet. In fact, Supply is home to shops, bookstores and local artists, like the one who built this house out of bottles. Scott and I spent a long weekend there around Memorial Day. His aunt has a home nearby and was gracious enough to allow us to stay.

During our time there, we visited nearby Ocean Isle and Calabash.

Here you see Scott in front of a fishing boat in Calabash, which may have delivered the catch for our seafood dinner!