Dick and Gayl's Cruising Adventures

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April 1-7



Although we can make the trip from Beaufort to Cincinnati in a long day of driving, we took a day and a half to get each way, leaving us five days home.
When we arrived, we were greeted by our daffodils in the peak of their bloom.  Hundreds of daffodils in all shades of butter and lemon and cream were lit by the low afternoon sun, welcoming us home like beacons shining in our lawns and gardens.
We picked up our mail on the way, and read in the church newsletter that the fund raising dinner for our partner church in Transylvania was the next night.  Long past the deadline for reservations, we called to see if we could squeeze in.  Not only were we welcome to eat, we were welcome to be part of the entertainment, singing greatest hits from our choir tour of Eastern Europe four years ago.  Since the choir was also singing music from the tour on Sunday, we performed with them then too.  The Hungarian came right back to us, and so did our friendships.
While at home we had lunches with friends Barbara and Richard, with daughter Jean, and with son Matt.  We enjoyed dinner and catching up with growing grandkids at Matt and Bridgett's house. We had dinner and grand catch-up conversation at dear friends Gail and Robert's house.  We finalized all our tax work, had medical and  haircut appointments, and got new glasses for Dick that would stand up to the rigors of boat life.  Gayl joined her book club in discussing The Secret Life of Bees, one of her favorite books from the last few years, and Dick repaired the deer fence.
We exchanged our 2004 Quest van for a 2005 version ostensibly free of the irritating door rattles that plagued our old model.  We had been skeptical that this lemon law transaction would come off without some hidden hitch, but we now have a new and improved van in our garage with 40 miles on it, and Nissan has our rattly old van with 12,500 miles on it to do with what they may. No hidden costs or compromises.  An even trade.  Amazing.
Our time at home was a whirlwind of activity, and just when we had a moment to catch our breath, it was time to head south.  We were surprised to find that although we treasured our time at home, both of us were eager to be back on Starsong. We weren't feeling our land home tugging us to stay.
We drove as far as Newberry, SC.  This gem of a college town has become our favorite stop along the way to points south.  The road into town is lined with gracious old homes dating back to the mid 1800s, lovingly maintained and beautifully landscaped. The downtown is vibrant, with interesting shops, three fine dining restaurants, and a couple casual cafes.   The historic Newberry Opera House has an impressive schedule of about 100 shows per year, from country music to opera, Broadway Theatre to lecture series.
We ate at the one fine dining restaurant we had not yet tried on our previous visits.  The hostess arrived carrying a tiara and a satin sash.   We had to ask.  She is Mrs. Newberry, soon to compete for the title of Mrs. South Carolina.  In addition to co-owning the restaurant with her husband the chef, she works for an agency that helps the less fortunate and does fund raising for the Opera House.  Fortunately, the pageant does not have a talent competition, she told us--it does have swimsuit and evening gown competitions, and interviews, which she does well, because she loves to talk.  Yes.  Our crab wontons were getting cold.
A superb meal at a fine restaurant, and a good night's sleep at a cheap budget hotel, and we were on our way to Beaufort.