USA in the "Fall" - Autumn .... Simply Stunning

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Flag of United States  , North Carolina
Monday, October 1, 2012

We spent the next few weeks travelling one of the most picturesque parts of America, through Virginia, North & South Carolina, Georgia, the Shenandoah National Park & Washington National Forest witnessing the  transformation of the leaves from green to autumn tonings.  We
managed to get ourselves lost, having put in the GPS an RV park, and drove about 200 miles out of our way until we realized it was not the direction we thought we were heading.  So funny! It ended up being one of the best mistakes.  We had stayed in the Walmart carpark & it
had rained most of the night.   In the morning, the cloud was low, quite foggy & visibility average, so we decided not to go on the Blue Ridge Parkway till the following day, when hopefully the weather would be better.  This road is over 500 miles in length, and there are a number of entrances on to it.  We headed to Roanoke (or so we thought) we were on the freeway for a while, then under instruction from our lovely GPS lady, turned on to US250 which went over the mountains & along the most scenic road, going through little towns, farms with cows & horses grazing in the paddocks, and quaint little shops & houses with manicured lawns dotted along the wayThe colors of the leaves are just magic this time of the year..... orange, yellow, bright red, crimson, purple, we have NEVER seen trees of these colours and although it was overcast & a bit misty, it gave an ethereal look, as occasionally the sun managed to shine through the foliage.   The mountains were a massive colourful patchwork and together with the vivid colours of the trees by the road, enforced in our minds, just how awesome our God is.  We were just overawed at every turn, at the brilliance of color, there was a gentle breeze so the leaves that were falling created a carpet of many different colors under foot. We stopped many times to get out & marvel at our surroundings.  It has been so good to witness the different seasons, as back in February, many trees were bare in the cold stark winter, then we saw them coming to life in Spring and the bright green foliage forming to provide shade for Summer.  Now it is Fall, or Autumn as we would call it, the leaves are turning vivid colors, gradually falling round us, & eventually the trees will again become bare, as the Winter cold sets in & the snow falls, clinging to the branches to create a
fairyland environment & so the cycle continues. We just loved this day & took so many photos, enjoying the scenery & eventually decided we would stay in Walmart, Roanoke overnight. I checked on the IPad how far to go - on telling Mike we had over 200 miles, he laughed, saying, I don't trust your iPad, I kept checking and came to the same conclusion, at least 200 miles, it should have been no more than 40!We stopped, and he did a check & found we were on the wrong road & heading the completely wrong direction, instead of south, we were going west! HA!!!    But wow, we had the best day getting lost, and seeing amazing scenery.  We ended up going on to Elkins and stayed in Walmart there!  We were now a bit behind schedule, but what a nice way to do it. ASHEVILLE in South Carolina In Asheville we went to Biltmore House, which is the largest private home in the USA.  It was
built in 1895 by Vanderbilt, and has 250 rooms, 175,000 feet of floor space.  It was an amazing place. The ceiling in the dining room is 7 stories high!!   It is now owned by the grandson of the original owner & about 1 million people visit the house each year. Back in its day, George & Edith Vanderbilt had many guests, who would stay up to a few months at a time. There were many guest rooms, and they had heaps of servants to do all the work.  George built the house while still a bachelor, met Edith on a ship, they married, went to Europe for their honeymoon & then he brought her back to his 'little' house in Asheville.  They had one child, a girl Cornelia.  We then walked through the gardens which were amazing then went on a winery tour in the Biltmore Village, did some wine tasting, & had a cheese platter, before driving back to the home, where a marquee was set up for a David Cassidy concert at night. We enjoyed talking to a nice couple, Catherine & Mark & their daughter KristinFinally we got to go on to the BlueRidge Parkway, which we had been looking forward to, but after our 'mistake', although very pretty, was not quite as spectacular as our previous drive. This was due to the fact that we were much higher up in elevation on our last drive, so the trees were in full color.  We stayed in Orangeville then it was 120 miles to Hilton Head Harbor RV park South Carolina, for 5 nights.  Through the Newmar Group, Mike was offered a site here free of charge from Steve & Sharon. We would like to thank them very much, it is a beautiful place. The park is right on the water & we had a very relaxing time.   It was a hot day so after setting up, we went to the pool and chatted to a lovely Canadian couple, Ted & Kim who were there with their 2 children.  He used to be a police officer, has guarded Obama & the Israeli Consulate General & was very interesting to talk to. After a quick swim, we went back to the van, and the clouds that had looked threatening all day, suddenly opened up & it bucketed down.  We enjoyed our stay here, Mike got a lot of work done while I had an afternoon at the outlets. 
I drove there, and the traffic on the way back was very busy, but I survived!!  Amazing, ME driving on the wrong side of the road in peak hour traffic. We celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary here, & enjoyed a lovely meal at a restaurant looking over the water. Soon it was time to head back to Orlando, to Independence RV, where we originally started our trip just over 10 months ago.  We have mixed feelings driving back here, as we are sooo looking forward to seeing our children & grandchildren, & have missed everyone back home,  but on
the other hand we are a bit sad our trip will soon be over & it has gone SO fast.   It was overwhelming as we drove through the gates of Independence RV, after being on the road the most part of a year, and now returning.  It was great to catch up with all the staff, David, Mike, Chris, Dan & Chuck who had said goodbye to us back in January. They are a fantastic group of people & a great Company to deal with.  We have driven a distance of 15,100 miles, (24,300 kms) having gone up as far as Haines Alaska, plus the extra miles in our little Suzuki.  It has been the most amazing trip, one we will remember for life. We have met a lot of great people & will be sad to say goodbye to our 'little' home. We are so thankful for Gods guidance & care for us during this time and also for being with all our children & grandchildren who have been traveling round Australia this year. We drove to Tropical Palms RV resort & had a few days to prepare for them all to arrive here on Wednesday night, God Willing.   (At the time of doing this blog it is just over 24 hours away.)  We have not seen some of them for over a year, so it will be SOOO wonderful to see them all,
walking through the airport, VERY TIRED, no doubt.  9 grandchildren (under the age of 10) & their parents.  19 hours of flying time plus waiting time in the airport, total of 27+ hours......They leave Brisbane Australia on Wed morning 11.15am & land in Los Angeles, 7.30am Wed morning, then a 5 hour flight to Orlando! WOW!!!  We will keep you posted as to how it all goes. I think 9 children will be given straight over to Grandpa & Grandma to look after!!  SO EXCITING!Hopefully we will get time to continue this blog during the next few weeks, but life will be considerably busier during this time, going from 2 of us to 17 traveling together (not in the van though!) Should be lots of fun.Anyway,  that's enough from us, Bye for now, thanks for reading the blog, and we LOVE reading
your comments ...keep safe and well,  God bless....Miss you all. 
NEXT BLOG:  THE REUNION & ORLANDO
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Comments

sue and ed on

We are so happy for the experience that you two have had in this big country. It looks like you hit our autumn at the perfect time at the perfect place. But we also are happy that you will be seeing that beautiful family soon. Please send pictures. We feel blessed to have met you way back in Florida in February.

sue/ed plasberg on

wow; you guys had an awesome time since we met you in carrabelle, florida. best of everything to you

Cherylee on

You guys are truly blessed!
Miss you all
Lots of love
Cherylee xxx

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