Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Chapter 47 - Wilmington to Charleston, South Carolina

Sunday, August 23:
Our drive today from Wilmington to Charleston, South Carolina was around 185 miles down Hwy 17.  While our road was almost all a four lane divided highway, the drive was still relatively slow as much of the drive was through towns and cities including Myrtle Beach and we were constantly slowed by 45 mph or slower speed limits, traffic lights, and stop signs.  That said, we arrived by 12:30 pm after five hours of driving and for the most part the drive was easy and most of the scenery was pretty.  The only really crowded roads did not occur until we reached and passed through Charleston.  Our RV park, the Oak Plantation Campgrounds, is around eight miles south of Charleston. Perhaps the biggest surprise of our drive was passing over the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge over the Cooper River coming into Charleston.  This bridge was constructed only ten years ago and it still looks brand new and is quite stunning in appearance.  I hope that this shows in this photo.

Our campground was highly rated and we can understand why as our site was paved with concrete, surrounded with well maintained grass, and covered with a nice shade tree.  The only problem is despite their promises when we booked the reservation, the WiFi did not work in the back of the park where we were placed. I am currently typing this Blog while sitting at a desk in the campground Office/Campstore.  We were somewhat surprised to see that the campground was only around 25% occupied but then considering the high summer temperatures (in the low 90s today), and the fact that children have already returned to school here in the southeast, we understand why this highly rated facility is currently being underutilized.

Because of the awful traffic we decided not to drive this afternoon into the historical district of Charleston.  We had visited Charleston many years ago and we know that the old homes and buildings inside the historic district are incredible to view, nevertheless we thought it best to wait until the traffic is lighter tomorrow morning before we make the trip.

Monday, August 24th:
Only the few very wealthy people of Charleston live in the downtown historic district and the rest of the working class folks must live out by our campground, for on Monday morning at 7:45 am when we headed back into the city, the road was again bumper to bumper traffic.  Frankly this is an awful way to start a trip to visit one of our country's most beautiful cities.  Furthermore when we finally did make our way down to the southern point of this peninsular shaped city where the Ashley and Cooper Rivers join, we spent almost a half hour trying to find a place to park.  All of the parking spaces on the side streets are reserved for residents and the rest of the spaces were mostly occupied.  We finally found a spot on Murray Blvd up the street from the White Point Garden, also called Battery Park. It seems that in the past cannons were placed in this area of the city to defend against the occasional enemy warship or pirate attacks. The park is really quite lovely consisting mostly of huge old oak trees and a few statutes but considering that the park is surrounded on two sides by multimillion dollar mansions and water on the other two sides, the park land itself is literally priceless in value.

Kathy, Cabo, and I must have walked at least a mile or more along Murray Street and East Battery Street as well as down several of the side streets looking at some of the most incredibly beautiful and historical homes found anywhere in our country.  While Savannah and some of the other older cities that we have visited have very fine old historic homes, the sheer size of the homes in the most southern section of the Charleston Peninsula, outclass if nothing else, the value of any of the homes we visited in these other cities.  For example, the mansion shown in this photo to the right is for sale for $7.2 million and it is only a 7,500 square foot home with 7-bedrooms and 6-baths.  I suspect that this is the price range of most of the homes in this section of Charleston.

While probably none of the current homes in Charleston date back as far as the founding of the city back in 1663, the sheer quantity of old homes, many built as far back as the late 1700s, is so much larger than we found in Wilmington and even Savannah. Many of the homes especially in the most southern section of the historic district particularly along the river are just elegant mansions almost to the point where their shear size and value detract from the fun of walking by the homes.  Frankly, both Kathy and I enjoyed walking by the historical homes both in Savannah and Wilmington more so than we did the mansions of Charleston.  Perhaps it is because we had to walk on the other side of the street just to see the entire home plus there were few shade trees in front of homes of this immense size.  Just look at the size of these mansions in the photograph. Awesome. They were undoubtedly originally built by wealthy plantation owners many of whom might very well have lost everything following the Civil War.  

I took at least a dozen photos of differnt Charleston mansions and it was almost impossible to select only three to include in this blog; they were all classical and all of them if they were sold today would bring in multi-millions.  We particularly liked this old pink mansion.  One thing that we did miss in our tour was the historical markers that tell us something about the history of each of the homes. Perhaps when you own a $10 million dollar home you have the right to deny the use of an historical marker right in front of your home.

After walking through the residential neighborhoods near and around Battery Park, Kathy and I decided to drive over and check out Charleston's downtown area, assuming that we would find a place to park. As it turned out all the parking spaces were metered and there were plenty of available spots.  We concluded that the wealthy residents prefer not to pay 25-cents for 20 minutes of parking.  We loaded the meter with quarters and set out walking. Our first stop was at the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon building also known as the Custom House where two costumed ladies who were acting as museum docents greeted Cabo with enthusiasm. The Custom House, now a museum, was built between 1767 and 1771.  This old building was used in the past as a customhouse, mercantile exchange, and during the Revolutionary War as a British prison and barracks.

Most of the downtown area consisted of small specialty shops (sorry no Walmart or large grocery stores) which is undoubtedly a reflection of the small size of the various businesses that occupied these buildings during the late 1700s and 1800s. This needlepoint shop that attracted Kathy's attention is pretty typical of the types of businesses in the historical district.  We were both shocked to see that their needlepoint patterns were being offered for sale for $100 each.  Must be another reflection of this wealthy neighborhood.

Even on this Monday morning horse-drawn carriages carrying tourists were a common sight within Charleston's historic district. The South State Bank building in the background of the photograph of the horse-drawn carriage is relatively new for a city like Charleston: it was first opened in 1934 and is still in operation today.  I would never have guessed that this bank building is almost brand new for a city the age of Charleston.

Besides there being a lot of old bank buildings in the downtown area, it is not surprising to also find many old churches.  One of our favorites was the St. Michaels Episcopal Church which is the oldest surviving church in Charleston built between 1752 and 1761. What would be very unusual to find in our more modern churchyards, is that the entire "backyard" of St. Michaels is an old cemetery where incidentally, two signers of the Constitution of the United States are buried.  Unfortunately we were unable to go into the church although we did walk through the old cemetery. Many of the gravestones were worn smooth with age.  Everything around the church was being beautifully maintained.

As we headed back to find our car, we found ourselves walking down another old and narrow street lined on both sides with old townhouses.  Here we found a 3-story townhouse for sale that Kathy showed quite a liking to despite its rather shabby exterior appearance.  The width of the townhouse appeared to be only around 20 feet wide. Perhaps, Kathy remarked, if the price of the townhouse is affordable, perhaps we can discuss a purchase.  Later when we returned to our campsite I had a chance to look at this affordable townhouse and discovered that this 2,941 sqft, 3 beds, 3 baths townhouse built back in 1803 was listed for only $1,899,000 and they were calling it a "Rowhouse."  This is definitely not a cheap part of the city in which to purchase a home. Incidentally if you want to look up this "rowhouse" online, just type in the address 24 Queen Street, Charleston, SC on Zillow.com.  My sales commission is only 2%.

We finally found our car after a few wrong turns (of course we were without street maps) only to find that our time on the parking meter had expired.  Fortunately no ticket.  We made our way back to the campsite where we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and planning what we are going to do tomorrow.  We decided that it is probably time to head home.  I made reservations for one night only in Jacksonville.  After that, we may just make the drive back to Estero, Florida to enjoy the remainder of the summer.  We will see what happens.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Chapter 46 - Fancy Gap to Wilmington, NC

Friday, August 21st:
Todays drive was around 280 miles entirely on interstate highways.  Most of the highways were very crowded particularly from around Winston-Salem through Raleigh in North Carolina. To add to our driving anxieties, for around 50 miles or so the interstate was eight lanes wide. That is no fun. We stayed for the entire drive in the right hand lane traveling at around 58 mph. Once past Raleigh and the intersection of I-40 with busy I-95, the road quieted down and our last hour was relatively easy as the highway was mostly straight, flat, and not busy.  One major change did occur as we traveled south besides the eventual disappearance of Blue Ridge Mountains was that the temperatures climbed to 92 degrees by the time we arrived in Wilmington around 1:30 pm. I liked this photo that Kathy took of one of the last mountains that we passed, Pilot Mountain in North Carolina, as we sadly said goodbye to the Blue Ridge Mountain Range.

Our campground, the Wilmington KOA, was very nice and we have a full hookup, pull-thru space, complete with cable TV and a working WiFi system.  Yes, shoot the buck we did.  Our primary reason for choosing Wilmington as a stopping point is because Kathy's Sister Rose, and Rose's son Vincent, and her daughter Allison and her family all live near Wilmington.  Unfortunately, the KOA where we are spending the next two nights while the closest to Rose's home, is still about 20 miles away and part of the drive to get to her home is through rather congested areas including downtown Wilmington.

Rose invited us for dinner Friday evening and we graciously accepted.  The drive to her house took about 45 minutes mostly we thought because of Friday afternoon traffic, some construction delays, and towards the end of the drive a downpour of rain.  We discovered the next day that Garmin may have misdirected us into the construction delay portion of our drive.  I guess by now we should be getting used to these types of holdups, but we are not.  This photo of Rose's home I took on Saturday morning when the sun was shining.  Friday night we enjoyed an excellent steak dinner cooked outside on the grill by Rose's son-in-law Aaron and enjoyed by Rose's entire family including her three granddaughters. Unfortunately, Rose's daughter Allison who was busy preparing for her new job as a third grade teacher was not able to join us for dinner. Also unfortunately, my ability as an aging driver was sorely tested when we drove home in the dark in the pouring rain.

Saturday, August 22nd:
While Friday night may have been rainy we woke up Saturday morning to bright blue skies and the expectation of a warm sunny day.  Rose had told us the previous evening that she would be busy Saturday morning doing volunteer work at her church, the Grace United Methodist Church, in downtown Wilmington, so our plan this morning was just to explore the historic areas of downtown Wilmington. The photo to the right was taken of Rose's church when we visited her at the church late in the morning. One thing that we discovered during our tour is that there are many lovely churches in this historic city.

As it turns out, Wilmington is the oldest city that we have visited on our driving tour so far this summer.  It surprised us that it is even a few years older than our former hometown Savannah, Georgia.  Whereas Savannah was established in 1733, the first settlement in the Wilmington area occurred in the 1720s and like Savannah, Wilmington was not settled directly on the Atlantic coastline but about 20 miles up the Cape Fear River from the Atlantic. Besides some popular tourist attractions like the old battleship USS North Carolina, what Kathy and I enjoyed the most (as always) was walking through their residential area in their historical district. There were literally hundreds of old beautifully restored homes covering dozens of blocks and we must have walked at least a mile and drove two or three more as we toured this lovely old city.  The Bellamy Mansion Museum shown in the above photo is obviously one of everyone's favorites and it was our first stop.

This photo of Kathy and Cabo walking down 3rd Street in the historical district is one of my favorite photos of the many that I took during our long walk. Not only were the homes classically beautiful, but the sun was shinning through the numerous shade trees that offered contracting colors and lighting on the walks, lawns, and houses. Furthermore, the landscaping around the homes was complete and well maintained. 

Also like Savannah, we learned that homes in the historic district of Wilmington do not come cheap.  This 5-bedroom, 6-bath home on 3rd Street is currently for sale for $980K.  We declined to make an offer although we would love to live here.

On a more modest level, both Kathy and I also loved this home that is currently on the market for only $345K.  It was the least expensive of the surprising large number (a dozen maybe) of homes for sale in the historical district.

Walking through the residential neighborhoods gave both Kathy and I a lot of pleasure (not sure about Cabo since he was forced to walk much of the way) but we also enjoyed walking along the boardwalk along the Cape Fear River. The boardwalk, usually referred to in Wilmington as the Riverwalk, is approximately one mile long and we understand that they are planning on extending it.  Alongside the Riverwalk for most of its length are shops, restaurants, condos, hotels, and on the waterside are touring boats for hire. The Riverwalk is used by tourists of course but also by locals a few whom we saw jogging down its length.

The largest of the touring boats is the steam-powered riverboat, Henrietta III shown in this photo to the left which offers lunch and dinner cruises from April thru October. Surprisingly, dogs are allowed onboard for some of the cruises although we preferred to just walk on the wooden planks of the Riverwalk.

Because it was Saturday we also enjoyed a visit to the Riverfront Farmers' Market where Kathy is seen in this photo purchasing some very delicious bread for the soon-to-be weary walkers.

Directly across the Cape Fear River is another popular tourist attraction, the USS North Carolina Battleship, which was built in 1937, was used extensively during World War II in the Pacific, and rather than being scrapped as was planned was moved to Wilmington as a Memorial to North Carolina World War II veterans. 

The final site that we viewed although briefly while we were along the Cape Fear River was a recreation of an old Spanish galleon, El Galeon, that was currently docked in Wilmington.  We understand that it will be leaving Wilmington tomorrow for Charleston which is ironic since we too are headed for Charleston tomorrow. Even had we had the time to visit the galleon, the crowds waiting to get onboard and the hundreds of visitors already onboard, would have turned us back. I enlarged this photo of the El Galeon so that it shows the lines of visitors.  One problem that Kathy and I have discussed numerous times during our three month excursion across our country is that it is impossible to find the time to see all of the attractions. What we have done instead, which has not really bothered us, is to just look and get an overall feel of the beauty of our land and what we Americans have built upon it.

In the mid-afternoon after we returned to our campsite, Kathy's sister Rose and her son, Vincent came over to our home for a few drinks. lots of talking, and a great dinner. We told them both that we felt that they lived in a great area and hopefully that we will be seeing them both in the near future.  Our plan for tomorrow is to head down to Charleston, South Carolina where we plan to stay just south of the city at the Oak Plantation Campground.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Chapter 45 - Marietta to Fancy Gap, Virginia

Wednesday, August 19th:
The drive from Marietta, Ohio down to Fancy Gap, Virginia took us almost six hours despite the fact that we were on I-77 the entire way.  It was a longer drive than we had become accustomed plus an accident on the interstate cost us about 20 minutes. Despite the duration of the drive through the mountainous terrain of West Virginia, the scenery was gorgeous and memorable.  Once we arrived at our Fancy Gap KOA located about one mile from one of the entrances to the Blue Ridge Parkway in southeastern Virginia, all of our dissatisfactions about the long drive were quickly forgotten.

One of the more interesting parts of the drive were our passages through two quite long tunnels under the mountains.  We have driven through tunnels in the past but never pulling a travel trailer on a highway that suddenly seemed to shrink in front of us.  I think that I slowed down to around 40 mph in the tunnels probably annoying the drivers behind us to no end.

The Fancy Gap KOA was a very pleasant surprise and it is perhaps in the top ten percent of our best campsites so far on this trip.  We chose this campground by looking through our Good Sams guidebook since we did not have the benefit of looking at their webpage or studying photographs of the campground online. The campground was built on a woody and hilly site. Most sites were fairly large and well shaded plus they were landscaped between the spaces to afford at least some privacy. Our campsite was near the top of the hill so that sitting outside we had the benefit of looking down at trailers below us although somewhat surprisingly, the campground was no more than half full.  The location of the campground was perhaps the most wonderful surprise of all as it sat almost alongside the Blue Ridge Parkway. I cannot believe that I overlooked this important feature; obviously someone is looking out for us, or perhaps just trying to make out for our horrible experience of the previous two nights.  We finished the afternoon by driving eight miles to the nearest grocery store.  It was raining by that point but we did not care.  We were just looking forward to driving some of the Blue Ridge Parkway the following morning, rain or shine.

Thursday, August 20th:
We were out of the "house" by 8:15 am.  Sounds early perhaps, but not when you rise at 5:30 am and then enjoy a good breakfast while reading the Wall Street Journal courtesy of the best campground WiFi system in weeks of traveling. After this, 8:15 am feels like the middle of the morning.  Besides, we figured that it is best to get onto the Blue Ridge Parkway as early as possible as we had no idea as to how crowded it might be.  As it turns out to our benefit, the Parkway was very quiet. Our plan was to drive up the Parkway about 30 miles north, stopping at whatever sights we might see, and then backtrack down the same path.  At that point we planned to see what the small hamlet of Fancy Gap is all about.  Our first stop was at a small cabin that the historic marker identified as the Puckett Cabin.  The cabin was occupied by one Orelena Puckett up until her death in 1939 at the age of 102.  I guess this proves that not everyone lived in the mansions like we have seen in Marietta and other cities.

Unfortunately along most of the Parkway that we traveled the road was only two lanes wide and there was no room to pull off and take photos.  Our memory of the beautiful scenery will have to suffice. Our second stop of the morning was at a lookout tower that appeared to have been built in the 1800s although Cabo has some serous doubts about the age of the tower and he offered his leg and part of himself to the wood foundations to express his skepticism. The view from the tower was very pretty and the area around the tower was primary a large picnic ground which when we visited was completely empty.  Perhaps later in the day visitors will arrive.

Some of the scenery along the parkway was quite surprising in that what we thought would be all Federal lands was not at all the case.  There were farmlands that closely abutted the highway and in some cases the farms had direct access to the Parkway.  We particularly enjoyed this view of some cows grazing alongside the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Their food, the grass, was so much greener than what we had become accustomed to seeing in the western states.

One of the primary destinations along this trip up the Blue Ridge Parkway was a visit to old Mabry Mill that was built and put in use in 1910 and operated as a corn grinder and saw mill until 1936.  In 1945 the National Park Service restored and landscaped the mill and according to the historic marker, the mill is the most photographed feature on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We can see why. Kathy has complained that she is in all of the photographs in our blog, so for our photo of the mill, I agreed to let her be the photographer.  Here is the result - not bad, except for the old guy in the photo.  Despite the fact that the man with the keys dangling from his neck was partially blocking the view of the mill, the importance of the mill justified this enlarged photograph.

The end of our journey north up the Blue Ridge Parkway concluded with this wonderful view of Kathy and Cabo with a backdrop of what truly justifies the name of the Smokey Mountains.  This photograph as well deserves to be enlarged.

We returned back to the Fancy Gap KOA about noon after a few gift store stops. The rest of the afternoon was spent in my case writing two blog chapters and in Kathy's case doing the laundry and finishing a good book. 

Tomorrow we are ready for another long drive down to Wilmington, North Carolina which is the home of Kathy's sister and her sister's daughter and her family.  We have never been there so we very much look forward to our visit.

Chapter 44 - Van Buren to Marietta, Ohio

Monday, August 17th:
Most of the 200 mile drive down to Marietta, Ohio was on 4-lane divided highways with to many cars and trucks and way to much road construction. Everything that we have come to expect.  What we did not really expect was that after we intersected with I-77 near Cambridge, Ohio and headed south to Marietta on the Ohio River, the scenery dramatically changed and we were once again back into the mountains but this time unlike the western mountains, the slopes were softer and completely covered with tall deciduous trees.  We arrived at the Washington County Fair Park where we had chosen to stay in Marietta just before 2:00 PM.  We did not make reservations here as from what we had been told on the phone, their camping area was on a first come, first serve basis and typically campers were expected to pay on an honor system by placing money in an envelope and then dropping it in a box by the fairgrounds office. This was all new to us and it made us nervous.  When we pulled into the fairgrounds our nervousness turned to pure horror as their "campground" was awful and consisted mostly of a huge blacktop parking area with hookups scattered around half of the perimeter.  The travel trailers that were already there were mostly old and many looked poorly maintained.  This photo I took of the campground was taken through a chain-link fence on the top of the stadium and it pretty much reflects our disappointment. 

But, the campground was close to the home of our Marietta friends, Marty and Gerald Moore, and besides the other two parks near Marietta were either full or did not answer their phone.  After walking around for fifteen minutes or so we finally found a grass area site that we pulled into and then went over to drop our check in their box.  We did have full hook up which was good, but no other services including no WiFi, cable TV, or even public bathrooms were offered.  On the good side however, we had a tree over our head and the camping area seemed to be quiet as for the most part, no one seemed to be "home."  Perhaps it was fitting that in this rather gloomy site, it rained most of the night.

Our plan for this evening was to visit our friends Marty and Gerald who had invited us to have drinks and dinner with them at their home in Marietta.  Kathy has known her friend Marty for almost 45 years as she was one of our neighbors near our first home in Niagara Falls, New York.  She has been married to Gerald for 25 years so we have known both of them for a long time.

Their home in Marietta is beautiful as can be seen in this photo to the left.  It was built in the late 1800s as were many of the homes in Marietta. Large older homes are a lot of work to maintain especially in the northern climates, and to their credit the Moore home has been beautifully maintained both inside and out.

Furthermore, their home has been extremely well landscaped and their backyard as shown in this photo to the right is partially covered with brick pavers, surrounded by fences and landscaping, and offers a charcoal grille for cooking, a table for dining, and chairs around a small fireplace for simply relaxing.  Frankly their backyard is like a private park. The small red brick building in the backyard is the old carriage house which on the upper level now offers a modern garage. The Moore's felt that they no longer needed to maintain horses and wagons for their transportation needs.

Monday evening we enjoyed drinks and a special dinner with Marty and Gerald Moore at their home. We returned to our own small home around 8:30 PM after promising to meet Marty and Gerald for lunch at one of the two delis that they own and operate, one nearby their home in Marietta and the other in the nearby town of Parkersburg over in West Virginia.


Tuesday, August 18th:
Today we planned to see the best that Marietta has to offer beginning with a quick drive around the Washington County Fair Park looking for something positive to say about this relatively rundown fairgrounds.  We were pleasantly surprised to find that in the back of the fairgrounds there were horse stalls that actually housed about a half dozen horses. While we were enjoying the horses one of the owners appeared who told us that Kathy could purchase the pony that she was petting for around $500 and she could rent one of the stalls for only $50 per month.  Such a deal; but we turned it down.

Marietta is the second oldest city that we have visited since our trip began having been established by settlers back in 1788. Obviously its location on the banks of the Ohio River at its confluence with the Muskingum River were a major contributing factor in the desirability of its location. Marietta was named in honor of the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette, undoubtedly because of France's role in helping America during the American Revolution which ended only a few years before the founding of the city. It is not surprising therefore, that in 1825 the Marquess de la Fayette visited the young village of Marietta during his 1-1/2 year tour of the new United States. The oldest home that we found in Marietta during our own tour of the city was the Meigs House built in 1802.

Our Washington County Fair Park sits alongside the Muskingum River as does this steam-powered stern-wheeled towboat which was originally built for the Carnegie Steel Co. and first launched back in 1918. It was used primarily for pushing coal barges up the river.  The boat operated under various companies and names until it was retired in 1954.  It might have been fun riding this boat up the river had it not started to drizzle as we got out of our car to look at the boat.  We have been very lucky on our trip not having a lot of rain so we really cannot complain at this point.

After we left the towboat we crossed the Muskingum River.  I could see a high bluff on the other side that I thought might just afford us a great opportunity to take a photo of the whole of Marietta even if the weather conditions were not the best.  Apparently we were not the first tourists to come up with this idea for high on the hilltop was a "Lookout Point" that has been set aside for such a purpose since almost the time of the city's founding in the late 1700s. There was even a fenced platform with a coin operated telescope to aid in the viewing experience.

As we returned to again cross the river, Kathy spotted an old cemetery below us and is our habit in wanting to explore old looking places, we found the cemetery's entrance and pulled in. The cemetery hardly looked like a tourist attraction in its current condition but as it turned out Harmar Cemetery was Marietta's old cemetery established back in 1796. According to the small historic marker at the entrance the earliest headstones have been destroyed by rain and the flooding of the nearby river, although we did locate lots of headstones of people who were born in the early 1800s and died by the mid-1800s.

On a less morbid note, we decided to drive into downtown Marietta to have a look at this old city to see how well it has been preserved. Their downtown area was much like many of the other cities that we have visited and both Kathy and I agreed considering the weather that we would not walk the city streets but instead focus the rest of our morning on visiting the older residential neighborhoods.  We did stop however, to photograph their courthouse building that we learned later was constructed in 1902.  We did learn during an afternoon drive through the downtown area with Marty and Gerald that they are renovating two performing art theaters, one that was of special interest to us because it was a "community theater."  Kathy and I have spent many hours in the past volunteering at community theaters both in Blue Ridge, Georgia as well as in Naples, Florida.  It is nice to see city with a population of only 14,000 people supporting the arts to such a degree.

Our special treat for the morning was walking the residential streets of Marietta looking at some of the older residential homes.  We took many photographs and it is not practical for us to include more than a few pictures.  These few photos however, will provide a clear picture of the beauty of the entire area.  Most of the homes that we visited, exterior visits of course, were built in the early to late 1800s. 

What did surprise us somewhat were the number of homes that we found for sale.  The home shown in this photo to the left was called the House of Seven Porches and it was built in 1835 for a college professor at the nearby Marietta College.  The asking price on this 3,664 sqft, 6 bedroom, 3 bath home is $595,000.  We cannot imagine the amount of work and money necessary to keep this beautiful 180-year old house looking beautiful year after year.  There were other very lovely homes in the area also for sale some at a considerably lower asking price, but all of them must be very costly to maintain (unlike our relatively new condo in Florida.)

Also in the neighborhood of these older homes are two other "attractions" that would not quite fit in a more modern city.  The first "attraction" is the huge Mound Cemetery founded by the city back in 1801.  According to Wikipedia, 37 of Marietta's Revolutionary War Veterans are buried here in this cemetery as are thousands of other Marietta citizens.

Also somewhat unusual to find in residential neighborhoods in the more modern cities of today are large numbers of churches.  Naturally in the 1800s churches were built close to the homes because proximity was important since without our modern transportation most families walked to church.  This photo to the left was taken of the Basilica of St Mary of the Assumption that first opened in 1909. As is the custom with most Catholic churches the front door was open.  We went in and I took lots of photos.

As we previously stated we were invited for lunch by Marty and Gerald Moore at their restaurant that they named Third Street Deli.  During the course of the morning however, we stopped at the deli just to say hello.  Here we found Marty busy loading up her van with deli food that she was delivering to one of their many catering customers. We told her that we just stopped to say hello and we would see her and Gerald later for lunch.

Here we are in the above photograph having lunch with Marty and Gerald at their Third Street Deli. We sat outside not because the weather was so wonderful but because even here at our friends' restaurant, dogs were not allowed inside. State law I guess, trumps all.  Frankly, I preferred sitting outside in any case, enjoying the scenery of this truly remarkable historic city.  The lunch and of course the company, were great.

We spent part of the afternoon with Gerald and Marty again driving through other areas of their city that we had not previously visited before finally departing, at least temporarily, to get ready again for drinks and dinner this evening at the Moore's lovely home. We returned back to our mobile home around 8:30 pm. Tomorrow we have a longer drive than usual, around five plus hours down to Fancy Gap, Virginia. Sounds fancy. . . at least we hope.