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Friday, March 26, 2010

Finally Home

We finally got in around dinnertime on Thursday evening. We left 14 days earlier, 3900 miles later, we were road weary and ready to be home with our kids and creatures.

Our journey started in Port Matilda PA went to the Lancaster Area of PA, then on to the SCA's Gulf Wars.

Along the way we spent the night in a couple hotels and visited our dear friend Kerry Kennedy who is a potter in Tuscaloosa AL. It was a short visit we saw her studio at the Kentuck Art Center and had dinner at the lovely Ruan Thai Restaurant before continuing our journey and arriving early the next day at the event.

Gulf Wars was a long cold week. Only 1 night of rain, but for the most part the weather was in the low 60's in the daytime and in the mid to high 30's at night. It was a fun event for the most part. we had many friendly faces and very much enjoyed certain aspects of the seeing our friends, eating breakfast at the on site bakery and crawling deeply into the 7 layer bed we made up each night to stay warm. We also had a fun evening in nearby Hattiesburg when we had dinner at the Seasons restaurant and Rowan got to experience fried green tomatoes for the first time! We both had the same meal, Fettucinini Alfredo with fried green tomatoes, but she had the addition of a craw-fish sauce on top of her tomatoes. It was excellent! We also had a talkative server by the name of Johnny who endlessly refilled my iced tea and gave me the story of the demise of my last favorite Hattiesburg restaurant Penninos which was apparently sold to someone who made it a French Cafe and then without warning to his staff closed the place and left the country.

So sad, it was excellent food.

When we left Gulf Wars we packed down in a hurry because we were expecting rain. When you have a canvas tent it is really important to pack it down dry or you can end up with mold and mildew problems which can eventually consume your tent. We made it just in time and a deluge opened up just as we pulled onto the highway.

We were excited for this little excursion because neither of us had ever been to New Orleans, but we were also a little nervous because all of our possessions were tarped and strapped down to the back of our pickup truck and we were towing someone elses trailer containing someone elses stock! We luckily found a hotel with a security guard and a security fence. We had a lovely nights rest and then got up and out to try to find a parking space which is incredibly difficult in New Orleans. After an hour of rolling around and nearly giving me a nervous breakdown, we found a fenced in lot that clearly stated "no over sized vehicles" to which Rowan said I'll bet they'll let us and went to ask the attendant. She was right, we just had to pay for 2 spaces. So we got a secure lot to park our stuff in too and it was completely unmolested while we traipsed through the French Quarter enjoying shops, street music and restaurants.It was a lovely city, with amazing music at every turn. I'm not sure how I would handle it when it was crowded and busy, but on a Sunday in the early afternoon it was wonderful.

After a few hours in New Orleans we pulled out to head to Pensacola to see my Sister and her family in Pensacola as a quick stop on our way to Tampa to drop off Pottery at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival. They have a great house with a bright red roof. Here is a picture of my brother in law and my niece Beth and her youngest daughter. I don't know how to spell the daughters name, so I am not going to try. It was a nice visit if fast and we moved on early the next day to head to Tampa.

I really wanted to spend some time in Tampa and the St Petersburg area, but we were starting to feel the call of home and responsibility and the pressure of 18 hours of driving home so we opted not to hang around and instead started immediately in the direction of home with the plan for one more pleasure stop and one more business stop. The pleasure stop was at Wakulla State Park near Tallahassee. I love this place. I've been there 3 times and will go back as often as I can. It was Rowan's first trip, but I think she enjoyed it nearly as much as I did.

After a couple hours in Wakulla we headed for Atlanta to return the borrowed trailer. We arrived about 10:30 at night and despite a warm welcome and invite to spend the night we pressed on to try to reach into the Carolinas as far as possible so we could shorten the final drive to Lancaster, PA and home.

We made it to South Carolina and stayed in a Day's Inn. It was the best hotel of the whole trip It was a little overpriced for the area but at $75 it was well worth it. It was beautiful and new and had a king sized bed and in the morning the continental breakfast included fresh make them yourself waffles. It was worth the price just for the free breakfast. I figure it saved us $20+ at a Waffle House, and I got a tasty breakfast and didn't have to worry about bad service since Rowan took over as waffle maker and made us a nice breakfast..waffles, fruit, coffee, juice, toast and a piece of fruit for the road.

And now we're home. the truck is unloaded and we have to sort out the mess of camping equipment, bedding and get started producing again. Home sale in May and Etsy all the time. Speaking of which, we received 9 orders while out of town. Thank you all for your patience, we shipped this morning!