Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Red Bluff Plantation SC

When the virus of restlessness begins to take possession of a wayward man, and the road away from Here seems broad and straight and sweet, the victim must first find in himself a good a sufficient reason for going.
John Steinbeck - "Travels with Charley"

Visiting Angela and Gordon Gale's Red Bluff Plantation is an extraordinary experience. It is a step into gentility surrounded by astounding beauty. Deacon and I enjoyed 6 days there and it was hard to leave this place and these friends.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Woodville GA

Jim and Carol Woodall are wonderful hosts - and Jim is a fabulous croquet coach!! Thank you. :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bogart GA

The Riddles have a little farm right in the middle of the suburbs of Athens GA

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Broadway, boots and itinerary advice....

Deacon and I were in Nashville for an appointment with the amazing Dr. Kent White, who, along with my good friend, his wife Gretchen, make a 280 mile round trip to the dentist sensible even though I no longer go to my office there.  Retirement is bliss. Instead of the office, we go down Broadway and to a boot store that has always intrigued me. We left this very fun store with three pair of cowboy boots and unsolicited travel advice from Paul the birthday boy :)


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

This wasn't funny at the time

I no longer needed the big gas guzzling van we'd been driving for years, so only a few weeks after Tom died, I went car shopping. Determined to handle this on my own, I didn't take my friend Dan Blomberg along with me. Big mistake. After enduring hard sells at dealerships, I found a year old Chevy Cobalt with 9,000 miles for $9,000.

The seller was a - casting director's dream - used car guy who kept putting his arm around me and calling me "his" "young widder".  His patter was meant to be distracting and I kept expecting him to ask me to guess which cup the pea was under.

After him requiring that I come back tomorrow or in a few days or whatever....after several trips back to his lot I finally traded the van, put the car on my credit card and drove away. I still felt like I'd gotten a great deal even when I discovered it didn't have cruise control - a necessity for my lead foot.

I'd driven the car to Atlanta and to Nashville - around 500 miles - when I noticed a sloshing sound in the engine. Peter was home and he suggested we take it to the Chevy dealer instead of used car guy. After all, it was well under warrantee. The vin # revealed that my car had been mis-represented - it was so badly abused as a rental car before me it had voided the warrantee covering this particluar issue.

Needless to say, when I went back to the used car lot, I took Dan Blomberg with me. :).

It took about six weeks, but swarmy used car guy did replace the ruined engine (coolant fluid was leaking into the engine - for some reason it was non repairable). At my insistance (Dan's idea), he gave me a smudged copy of his bill of sale for the engine. I still have the little car - it's been good to me for 60,000 miles.
Before I take off on any long distance trips, I'm going to look around for something a little more comfortable and quieter - and with cruise control. I'm kind of thinking VW Passat since they are manufactured in Chattanooga.  Update: in February 2012 I bought a VW Jetta Sportswagon from my friends the Websters at Wholesale Import Cars.  Deacon and I LOVE it!