Hi everyone! Well, it’s almost time! The Queen Victoria leaves tomorrow at around 6pm … we start boarding at 1 pm . . . shakey shakey, Happy, but always with a soupçon of fear thrown in. Why? I don’t know. I was born that way. Fear of what? Fear of never coming home again probably. Unwarranted and unjustified, but I think my dad gave it to me even though he was never afraid of anything. But he had it in there, I know he did. Doesn’t matter because what overcomes fear? Yearning. And love of life. So putting on my big girl shoes and here we go! MUSICA . . .
This is where we are right now, in this gorgeous hotel room Joe surprised me with! It’s pink! There is music downstairs in “The Leopard Room” every night and last night it was all Frank Sinatra and people were dancing… pure back-in-time charm. 🎵🎶
Our room has two rooms! And two bathrooms! And after spending the day in this beautiful town of Palm Beach, we are almost ready to move here! ‘Course we would have to sell a LOT more books before that could ever happen.
But it’s easy to pretend . . . this is the headboard of the bed! Nutty kind of a place, with a mirror mustache headboard.
Here we are arriving yesterday, driving into 72º weather.
Downtown West Palm Beach, hunting for a camera store to get an extra battery. Palm trees. Like we stepped out of the deep snow in a winter painting, and landed in the land of milk and honey.
We left home following a huge wind storm on the Island ~ I took this picture from the car while we were boarding the boat, you can see two grounded and crashed sailboats from the storm that was just beginning to subside . . . I thought we’d had enough drama during the kissing goodbye of Jack 😿 . . . then this!
And here’s Joe, looking at the boats, and you can see the wind is still howling over our wonderful little town . . .
. . . Car was loaded to the gills, all-knowing Petey tucked in the back seat ~ and all of you too . . . 💞
We were so busy packing at home, running away from storms, we forgot to remember that we would be driving into spring. When we saw the first leaves, when we stopped at a gas station and got out of the car into unexpected warm weather, it was a shock!
We slept in New Jersey the first night . . . and the next morning we got up at 4 am to get an early start . . . our GPS found our hotel at our next stop, which was in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, (and of course, turns out our hotel was on England Street!). We stayed at the Williamsburg Lodge (which we heartily endorse), walking distance to everything. We loved Williamsburg so much, got there in time for lunch and got to do lots of exploring … what a wonderful place it was! We can’t wait to go back and stay longer. Time did not allow us to see any of nearby Historic Jamestown or Yorktown . . . We’re going to need a week next time! It was so interesting!
This broad avenue is called the Duke of Gloucester Street. No cars allowed. A meandering sort of place with old houses, historic taverns, a few shops, houses you can (but we just walked around), peanut soup to taste, William and Mary College (second oldest college in America, where they once cancelled classes because “the British were coming”) at one end of the street ~ it’s actually a 301-acre village celebrating the patriots and early history of America.
All kinds of old carriages and the clip clop of horses pulling them down the streets. I love that we had so much of it to ourselves . . . it opened for the season just two weeks before we got there ~ but we heard that four million people visit each year!
For us it was a peaceful world of human-ness, of brick and clapboard houses, huge chimneys, and picket fences galore. Who would not fall in love with this?
Most of the gates stand open and welcoming ~ they say, come in and explore, see our green gardens blooming with spring flowers, see how we lived . . . yes and even baby lambs! You’re allowed to follow your nose, and any brick path, and make your own discoveries.
Green and lush and everything popping. See the fireplace on this darling little house? They’re all huge . . . because they were the only heat in the house!
Oh yes, up one path and down the next . . . it was the perfect place for exploring.
I have never seen so many picket fences, layer upon layer of them . . . it was picket-fence heaven!
And they were all shapes . . .
This one keeps the bunnies out! In those days, just like in England, every homesteader was an artist, everything made by hand, and all the same but all very different.
The street was lined in these wonderful flags . . . the perfect flag for the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ~ this flag doesn’t leave anyone out!
There are people dressed in very realistic colonial costumes who talk to you and tell you things and stay in character while they do it.
It’s a LOT like England!
And a LOT like New England!
And a LOT like Virginia!
This gate stood open to the entrance of the historic Kings Arms Tavern where we had a delicious lunch in lovely surroundings.
This guy was watching us come up the path . . .
And we watched him back . . .
It was still crisp outside . . . so it was lovely to find this crackling fire when we walked through the door.
And here comes their famous Peanut Soup ~ Had to try it! But Joe was right, it needed a piece of toast and jam to go with it. Cranberry Jam, if we could choose. (You know how good peanut butter and Jelly taste together!) Isn’t she cute? Our waitress.
Then I got serious . . . the BEST beef stew . . . it was truly delicious, especially the gravy.
And for dessert? This is Syllabub, which I’d never had, but have heard it mentioned in every Benjamin Franklin, Abigail Adams book I’ve ever read. Had to try it. Got it for all of us! (Yours had no calories.) SO good! Lemon whipped cream and fruit, floating on white wine and sherry. Simple and not too sweet. There are four historic taverns in Williamsburg . . . next time, we try the other three!
But the good ship Queen Victoria waits for no one . . . time was passing, and we had to move on. Here’s the Williamsburg-Scotland (yes, Scotland) Ferry . . . Joe took it as a child with his parents and was looking forward to doing it again.
This is how it looks on the GPS in the car . . . It’s only a five minute trip.
And here we go, crossing the James River . . . to the small town of Scotland and beyond . . .
Traveling across America . . . you see everything . . . old and new, big and little, gorgeous and not so much, but sometimes you get lucky and see a true showplace . . .
Which you might not recognize for what it is without the sign . . . I wonder if it’s an old movie theater? I don’t know. It was across the street from Wendy’s!
But here we are, in the land of 50 shades of blue . . .
Where the flowers on the restaurant tables look like this (and cast interesting shadows!). Also, they played wonderful Brazilian musica in the bathroom!
Where behind high hedges and baby boxwood forests there are pink castles and white mansions with gold roofs and some very rarefied air . . . but when you can see the houses from the car, the normal ones are wonderful too and look like this . . .
Or this . . .
We had a wonderful time with Joe’s big brother, Steve, and his wife Betsey . . .
And I have to show you this thing Steve does at his house . . . See the spidery root system crawling on the trunk of this palm tree on the left? That, my dear girls, is the root system from that orchid blooming up there. Huh? you say? I understand completely, but it gets even stranger:
Here’s another one! These palm trees are in Steve’s backyard. He buys orchids for their coffee table or dining table, and when the flowers die, he takes the plant out of the pot and TIES it, with string, to the palm trees in his yard, then leaves it alone. And after a while the orchid gloms onto the tree, the roots spread, perfectly comfortable with Florida light and humidity . . . and the plant flowers again and again!
See them all? Pretty wild eh? He has something like eight trees gussied up in this way! Know what else blooms outside here?
Gardenias! Shall we move here?
And here we are, right back where we started, this is what it looks like from the bed in our room, looking up at the canopy over our heads . . . which is where I’m going right now! Although we shall see whether sleep will occur or not! All these months, time marches on, and we are about to go!
SO excited girlfriends. I’ve written everything down in my diary so far! It’s funny, we know what’s happening tomorrow, but it hasn’t yet, no photos have been taken, no writing has been done, we have to wait for the slow unfolding of everything. Are you all packed and ready? This is the dangerous part, smuggling you guys aboard. But we always manage, and tomorrow will be no different. Have a big breakfast, plan to be very quiet . . . And p.s., FYI, here’s the web cam from Port Everglades, from which the Queen Victoria will depart tomorrow around 5 or 6 pm . . . be sure to wave if you see us going! We’ll be outside waving back! Our first stop, on Saturday morning, will be in Cape Canaveral. (Web Cam links are courtesy of our Girlfriend, Georgie, better known on Twitter as @FarmGirlGeorgie).
One more of these before I go, love the wall with the scalloped edge . . . Good night all you sweetie pies, sleep well, see you in the morning! 😘 xoxo