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2019-05-29 – Traveling West – Nashville and Memphis, TN

Yesterday we flew back from Redlands to Nashville.  We Ubered back to the Villa in Franklin, KY… It was still there…

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Our host invited us to his patio where we shared a few bottles of wine…

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This morning we waved, “goodbye” and headed south, towards Nashville.  We were going to visit Hermitage, the plantation home of Andrew Jackson, the 7th president of the US… The house was built in the early 19th century, like most plantation houses… It is set in 1,100 acres of “park” land, although in Jackson’s day it was a working plantation, earning Jackson his money via cotton through the the hard work of slaves…

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As lovely as it is, the mansion was originally built as a simple house, but it burned down in its early years.  The house was rebuilt, but after Jackson became president, he had the house enlarged again and remodeled to its current Greek Revival form… thus these awkward “false fronts”…

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As was common at the time, economy often was a big feature; these “stone” columns are actually wood, with a faux-finish added to resemble stone.  At least they now have internal ventilation to reduce the likelihood of rot, mold, and wood deterioration…

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The trim around the doors was also wood with faux-finish…

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At the rear of the house the columns are allowed to look like wood…

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Hermitage had an interesting museum telling of the life and times of Andrew Jackson… Some interesting facts, firsts, and lasts…

  • He fought in the Revolutionary War (as a messenger, at age 13).  He was captured and spent time as a Prisoner of War (the only President to have been a POW…)
  • He fought in the War of 1812, and is known for his leadership in the Battle of New Orleans, the final defeat for the British in the war…
  • He was an orphan with no surviving siblings by the age of 20…
  • Both South Carolina and North Carolina claim his birthplace location is in their state…
  • He was the first Representative to Congress from Tennessee; he also was a Senator from Tennessee… He also became a Tennessee Supreme Court Judge…
  • He was the last President to have personally known all prior Presidents (Washington, J. Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and J.Q. Adams)…
  • He was the first President who was not from the American aristocracy; all prior Presidents were born either in Virginia or Massachusetts…
  • He was the only President whose parents were born outside the country…
  • His wife was a bigamist and adulteress; she died just before Jackson’s inauguration; he never remarried…
  • He adopted two Native American children and raised them as his own; he also raised at least 8 foster children.  He was also the leader of the harsh and brutal removal and relocation of the Native Americans that lead to the “trail of tears”.
  • He was an unapologetic slave holder, and he did not free any of his slaves; all records do show that he treated his slaves relatively “fairly”, he kept slave families together, and he allowed them to cultivate their own gardens for their own use…
  • Jackson faced the threat of secession by South Carolina over “nullification”; South Carolina opposed the “Tariff of Abominations” and refused to comply; the crisis was defused when the tariff was amended, and Jackson threatened the use of military force if South Carolina attempted to secede.  (You would have thought that South Carolina would have learned its lesson that nullification and secession was frowned upon by the Union…)
  •  Jackson became the only president to completely pay off the national debt, in 1835…
  • In 1806 Jackson fought a duel with Charles Dickinson, whom he shot and killed..

The house tour was very interesting.  It is a fairly typical plantation “big house” in that it has a central hall with two rooms on either side, on both floors.  One unique feature of this house is that two ground floor rooms were bedrooms and there is a secondary hallway between the bedrooms leading from the central hall to a side door.  The house was enlarged when Jackson was president to add a large Dining Room on one side and two offices on the side of the bedrooms.  A back stair was also added at the side door.

The main central hall has this spectacular wallpaper:

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(Have you ever heard me rave about wallpaper???)

We were able to enjoy the balcony at the front of the house, which was a social space for family and guests…

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(Hint:  That is not the ocean out there…)

We also saw the back porch, which was a work area for the slaves; this nice grassy yard was a dirt yard for pigs and chickens in Jackson’s day…

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An interesting note about the tours at Hermitage…

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“Uncle” Alfred was a slave, who lived almost his entire life at Hermitage.  This is his cabin:

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Alfred was in charge of horses, one of Jackson’s interests. (He raised race horses, even while President)…  As such, Alfred held a place of honor among the slaves, and he is the only slave buried in the family graveyard, which contains the remains of four generations of Jacksons…

After Jackson’s death in 1845 his adopted son, Andrew Jackson, Jr., let the plantation become dilapidated.  In 1858 he sold the plantation to the Tennessee government to repay debts.  The family was allowed to remain living in the big house.

In 1889 the Ladies’ Hermitage Society was formed to maintain Hermitage and to offer tours.  Some of the 3rd and 4th generations of the Jacksons were still living upstairs when tours of the downstairs began being offered.  Who was one of the first tour guides?  Alfred, the longtime slave!  Alfred lived to the age of 98, dying in 1901; he was a slave during Jackson’s presidency, was emancipated the Civil War, was a guide for tourists curious about this house, and still lived in his former slave cabin…

It was an enjoyable tour, but it was very hot.  We were happy to start our drive to Memphis…

We arrived in Memphis about 5:00, really late compared with our normal scheduling… We did find a neat little place for dinner:

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Uncle Lou’s was featured on the Food Network, and a version of Uncle Lou’s Fried Chicken is served at Playground, in Santa Ana, CA…

We returned to the Villa, turned on the AC, and turned in early…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2019-05-25 to 2019-05-27 – Memorial Day Weekend

We returned from Indian Wells on Saturday mid day.  I visited my mother in Artesia, and had nice Happy Hours on the front porch back in Redlands.  While we were Airstreaming over the past 2 1/2 months we have several new neighbors.  We chatted briefly with them and we hope to get better acquainted upon our return in Mid-June…

We received several nice photos from our grandchildren’s visit to Griffith Park and the remnants of the old LA Zoo…

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Sunday we enjoyed church at The River CRC, we had a relaxing afternoon, then we had a very enjoyable evening dining out with Rodger and Cyndi, neighbors who often help our son while we are away… walking the dog, picking him up when he falls, and cleaning up broken glass… The only down side was that it was raining, so we were unable to walk to the restaurant…

On Monday, Memorial Day, we were visited by The Thundering Herd.  The weather cooperated to the point that we could hang out in the back yard on the deck… (The deck was finished in October, but it has been too cold to use it until today…)

Lynda took the kids for a walk…

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The kids built a tower with blocks, with only a little help from me…

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I was able to get reacquainted with the lovely Evelyn…

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By early evening they piled into the car and headed home.  We cleaned up the house and prepared to fly tomorrow…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2019-05-21 to 2019-05–25 – The Desert Trip – Indian Wells, CA

Our annual trip to Indian Wells, CA, near Palm Springs, began on Tuesday morning… Indian Wells is a one hour drive from Redlands.  For 5 days we sat by the pools, walked through the resort, and had breakfast, lunch, happy hours, and dinner in all the hotel’s dining venues…

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It was freezing cold all week, until Friday.  Most days were in the high 60s.  On Friday it reached the high 80s, so we could finally enjoy happy hours and dinner outdoors…

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After dinner we enjoyed a nice stroll around the resort…

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Saturday morning, as the resort filled up with families for the holiday weekend, we headed back to Redlands…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-11-14 – The Return of the Eames Chair

As you may recall, on September 5, my Eames chair broke while we were camping in Bluff, Utah. (And since you probably don’t know where Bluff is, I’ll tell you:  it’s about 20 miles south of Blanding…)img_7206

After we returned in mid-October, I took it in for repair to Hume Modern in Los Angeles.  (Highly recommended!)

Today I fought the traffic once again and retrieved it, all bright and shiny like new…

When happy hours came around, an enjoyable time was had by me…

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2018-11-11 – Returning home from Paso Robles – Day 11

Last day.  We packed up and hitched up early and hit the road…

Farewell, Record vineyards!

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We once again passed through the James Dean Memorial intersection on Highway 46… Lynda snapped this photo as we drove by…

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Soon we were enjoying the bleakness that is the Antelope Valley…

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We arrived safely home and began to adjust to living in a house for a while.  Next destination:  San Clemente State Beach on November 30.  But first, we’ll have a trip to Disneyland, my mother’s 97th birthday, Big Game, Thanksgiving, and the return of my repaired Eames chair…

Happy hours ensued on the front porch…

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-10-15 – Day 58 – Home!

We spent the night in Palm Desert in the Villa in the parking lot at the golf clubhouse…  We were on the road at 7:00 am, and at Mentone Beach by 8:00 am.

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We spent about an hour unpacking and cleaning, then we were home in Redlands…

Our next trip out is November 1 – the Airstream Club weekend rally in Palm Desert, at Emerald Desert RV Resort, then off to Paso Robles for some wining and a “Friendsgiving” at the Record Family Vineyards…

And, as is our custom…

The McAnoy family takes a walk…

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-08-04 – Summer 2018 at San Clemente – Moving Day

The day dawned beautifully!  Those of us who wanted to walked along the beach path about 1.25 miles to Bear Coast Coffee, where we enjoyed coffee and a little bite to eat… Others stayed in their Airstreams….

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This is the “Pier Bowl” area – a natural cove where the Pier is located, and around which all other beach related activities occur.  We can watch the trains go by, watch the trucks delivering their early morning supplies to the retailers, and we can watch the surfers, Jr. lifeguards, walkers and joggers come and go.

After our walk back we began the arduous task of packing up.  Each year we vow to keep things simple, but we still bring so much stuff.  On the other had, we’re pretty organized, and we’ve done this a bazillion times, so it only took a little over an hour.

We headed off to drop the Airstream one last time at C&G in Bellflower for semi-annual maintenance and to have them give it a once-over before we depart for our caravan in a few weeks.  We learned this week that C&G is closing, so we will need to find a new fixit place…

So we arrived home again in Redlands in the afternoon, and settled into our usual chores of un-packing, doing laundry, and catching up with the mail…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018-07-28 – Summer 2018 at San Clemente – Day 1

As long as I can remember (1956 to be exact) we have been vacationing at San Clemente State Beach.  We are looking forward to this week as we always do.

We’ve had an interesting week here in Redlands. It’s been hot, our contractors are hard at work finishing up the new deck and other things, and there are wild fires in the mountains southeast of here.  It has made for an amazing night sky:

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So we organized and packed for our trip…

We set out from Redlands Saturday morning. Temperatures are predicted to be a relative cool 101 degrees in Redlands today – It has been 105 or higher for the past several days.  But San Clemente should have a high of only 77 degrees.  We are looking forward to this respite from the heat…

Another rare event for today is that we will be camping solo – none of our fellow Airstreamers are joining us until tomorrow, when Steve and Jane Carmichael, from Orange, and Mark and Connie Miller, from Tustin, will arrive for the week…

We were shocked, upon our arrival at 12:30 pm, that the park rangers would not let us in until 2:00.  We’ve been coming to San Clemente State Park since 1956, and we have never been denied access to the park.  If our site is not yet vacant, we were able to park in the day use area.  Not today.  If we wanted to park in the day use area for 1 1/2 hours it would cost $30.  Our other choice would be to turn around and find a parking spot on the street.  Oh, well.  No use arguing with the 20 something junior ranger – he’s just following orders.  We turned around (not always easy in a rig 57′ long…) and found a parking spot where Tony’s El Camino Market used to be…

At 2:00 pm we pulled up to the guard shack again.  There was the expected traffic jam – 4 rigs ahead of us, 3 more behind, as we all tried to enter at the same time.  This is what we early arrivers generally help to eliminate, but I guess these park rangers like having a crowd at their gates…

We set up quickly, and I settled in to what I normally do here at the beach:

img_6299 We walked to town for dinner at a new place – One Eleven Coastal. We had a lovely table overlooking the sidewalk and the old Hotel San Clemente across the street.  The Old Fashions were perfect, and we enjoyed sharing 3 appetizers – at our advanced ages it about all we can eat…

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We Uber’d back to the park, and arrived just in time for the sunset:

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And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018-05-11 – Where have we gone? Redlands, CA!

Big News:  We have moved from Irvine, in the OC, to Redlands, in the IE!

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Yes, we traded the (semi) modern condo for a 1905 Victorian.  It has the best front porch in the neighborhood, and we are enjoying it immensely!

We love the small town feel, the historic neighborhoods, and the bustling downtown that is Redlands.  Days are warm (95 degrees is not uncommon – wait until summer!) but it cools off into the high 50s/low 60s by morning.  We walk to restaurants, grocery stores, church, and just about every other errand possible.  Thursday evenings the whole town gathers on State Street downtown for “Market Night”, where there is a Farmers Market, and many stalls hawking tchotskies, clothes, food (tamales!), Jesus, all forms of politics, and many other things.  And when it’s over, we have a quiet stroll home…

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We’re spending a lot of time on the front porch, enjoying happy hours, waving to the neighbors, and just relaxing.  On June 22, continuing every Tuesday and Friday night through the summer, The Redlands Bowl, a 4,000 seat outdoor amphitheater, holds concerts and other entertainment.

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The Bowl is about a 3 minute walk from the house. We look forward to the start of the season.

So we are getting settled in. We had “minor” remodeling to do, which is coming along slowly. Maybe some day we can enjoy the house and yard to its fullest…

And then an enjoyable time will be had by all…!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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