Tuesday, March 3, 2020


November 1st, 2019 to March 3rd, 2020
       4 months, 3 days
               6,105 total miles driven
Autumn to Summer to Spring 

We left with a vague idea of where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see, and a Google map full of pushpins marking anything and everything, that after 30 seconds of research, sounded like it might be interesting. 

We came back with lots of amazing experiences and about a million photos. So many things exceeded expectations. 

This is the original planning map. Blue indicates something we didn’t get around to. We updated a pushpin to green if we went there. Yellow marks a shul. A tent icon marks a place to camp. Knife and spoon is Costco, Trader Joe's, or restaurant (just a few). Bicyclist or hiker icon - self explanatory. Etc. 
This map shows what we did. 

And this shows just Florida, where we spent 12 weeks.

It's very weird to be home.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Surprising Connections on Our Trip

There were lots of surprising connections between various parts of our trip. Some examples:

1. We expected Forrest Gump trivia in Savannah GA as well as in Beaufort SC. But then there was an unexpected reference in NC - signs for republican Lt. Gov Dan Forest’s gubernatorial campaign: “Run” ”Forest” “Run”.

2. At Monticello VA, we learned about how Uriah Levy, first Jewish Commodore of the United States Navy, saved Jefferson’s Monticello. 
    Later, in Savannah GA, we learned how (long story short) in 1733, 5 months after Savannah was founded by James Oglethorpe, a boat of 41 Jews including 34 Portuguese Marranos, landed at Savannah. It was during an epidemic, and the colony’s doctor had died. Oglethorpe originally was not going to allow the Jews to land, but when he found out there was a doctor, Dr. Diego (Samuel) Nunes, on board, the colony policy of “No Jews Allowed” became “Welcome Jews!”
    The connection between the two is that Dr. Samuel Nunes was the great grandfather of Uriah Levy.
3. The really cool connection between the Kennedy Space Center and the Wright brothers was pointed out to us at Kitty Hawk by ranger Amiee Ginnever. “Orville Wright lived long enough to learn of Yeager’s breaking the sound barrier. Also, Neil Armstrong, on the Apollo 11 mission, took fragments of the Wright brothers' 1903 flyer took to the moon and back.”

   Here is Ranger Amiee holding up the famous photo of the first powered flight on the field where the flight took place, with the markers showing how far the first four flights went.
From the slideshow in the visitor center 
 Bob taking flight at the monument, 
Assisting Orville (or was it Wilbur? I always get them mixed up) on the first flight,
And doing stunts on the first flight 

Kennedy Space Center 

Beam me up, Scotty

Here's a tie in from another trip. This was on our way home from New Mexico last June, taken on I 70 in Indiana, near New Lisbon, birthplace of Wilbur. 

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Most Amazing Sunset

Huntington Beach State Park, SC. A few minutes from our campsite. One of the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen.

Looking North-East. The reflection of the sky on the water just kept getting pinker and pinker.
Looking South-West 
Other pictures from the beach

Who is John Galt? and The Kazoo Factory

I never expected to ask someone, "Who is John Galt", but yesterday we got the chance!

We took the factory tour at  The Kazoobie Kazoos Kazoo Factory (America’s only Plastic Kazoo Factory,) located at 12 John Galt Road, Beaufort, SC.    
So of course, we had to ask the tour guide, ”Who is John Galt?”

This is how the conversation went:

Us - ”Who is John Galt?”
Tour guide - “Uh, there was a character in this book…”
Us - “Yeah, yeah. But why was this street named John Galt Rd?”
Tour Guide - “? No one has ever asked me that”

So we still don't have the answer to the question, but we had a fun time at the Kazoo Factory tour, including

  • A hilarious film starring kazoos

  • A live demo of the Kazoo, the Wazoo (excessively loud kazoo), the Kazoogle, the Wazoogle, the Kazoobie Kazoogle,  the Electric Kazoo with amp, and various other devices to blow or hum into

  • Built our own kazoo

  • And got to play a rousing rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," with our group

Highly recommended! 

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

In Search of Forrest Gump

Beaufort, SC. The second-oldest city in South Carolina and totally charming 
We strolled around the historic downtown following the Visitor Center’s “Historic Homes and Attractions” map.

Next, we decided to do a Forrest Gump scavenger hunt. Apparently, a lot of the movie was filmed in the area.

Now I don’t remember much of the movie. But using the brochure we bought at the visitor center as a guide, Lights, Camera, … Beaufort, 3rd edition, by local author Ginnie Kozak, we found the building used for the “Gump Medical Center.”
Next, we went looking for the tree which had a major role in the movie, at least according to Ms. Kozak. 

These are the directions from the brochure:
Now, first of all, everyone knows what it means when any directions include the words, “It’s hard to miss ”  ...

Secondly, notice there is no address given for the tree. Or any street names in the directions other than US 21.  A search for “Carolina Shores subdivision” showed a place 199 miles away.

But after some creative googling, and almost giving up, we found it! Let me know if you would like GPS coordinates.  
Here are some non Forrest Gump related photos from downtown

This is the historic synagogue Beth Israel 
When we peeked in on Sunday, it was rented out to this group

Thanks Eric and Raya for recommending Beaufort! 

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Spanish Moss

Tendril of Spanish Moss

Fun Fact 1 - Spanish Moss is neither Spanish nor moss.

I don’t know how many times we heard this over the course of our trip. A guide or ranger told us this on practically every single tour or guided walk we were on.  

Spanish Moss is a actually a bromeliad (all the guides said it is related to the pineapple), and native to the Americas.

Fun Fact 2 - Spanish Moss prompted the first automotive recall.

Henry Ford stuffed the seats of his first Model T's with Spanish moss. He had to do a recall when it turned out that little red bugs called chiggers live in Spanish Moss and were biting drivers on their rear ends.

We heard this numerous times over our trip as well. Not sure if is actually true or just a good story to tell tourists. It is more likely that chiggers are found in moss that has fallen to the ground than what is up in the trees.

Fun Fact 3 - The Spanish Moss Trail is a rails-to-trails bike path in Beaufort County, SC.  

Many trees along the way are draped with, you guessed it -Spanish Moss.