Today reminds me of that song by James Taylor. We left North Carolina this morning and headed to Columbia, South Carolina for one last day away before returning home.

Upon arrival, we headed straight to Riverfront Park for a walk along the Columbia Canal; however, it was too hot and humid to enjoy. After less than one mile of walking, we returned to the car and blasted the airconditioning to cool down.

Next, we thought we would see the state capitol. BIG MISTAKE. You should have seen the swarm of people and news vans around that place! The crowd was larger than when we lined up for our tour at the White House a couple of years back, and we wanted no part of any of it.

I’m sure by now you have figured out why: the Confederate flag.

Honestly, I was shocked to hear that the capitol had been flying that flag. We are 100% behind the One Nation, One Flag camp, and wonder why it took South Carolina’s governor this long to speak out about it. Hmmm, could it be that she was sticking her finger up in the air to see which way the wind was blowing? Just how long would that flag have been left to fly if it weren’t for the Charleston murders?

Between the heat and the crowds in downtown Columbia, we decided to call it quits and just head to our hotel, instead. Ahhh, a nice cold drink and airconditioning!

As I sit nice and comfy in our room, I thought I would reflect back on our past 45 days on the road. Here’s a “by the numbers” look:

4,939– Miles driven (including tomorrow’s drive home)

3,054–  Number of pictures taken.

46– Blog posts written. I thoroughly enjoyed our evening routine of editing photos and writing while Bruce read the newspaper, solved the Sudoku puzzle, and researched the place we would be seeing the following day.

17– States traveled (Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana*, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia). * very briefly!

14– Chocolate shops where I purchased chocolates. Yikes! In addition to eating some along the way, I’m bringing a cooler full of the stuff home with me!

15– Factory tours (Corvette, Maker’s Mark, Louisville Slugger, Rebecca Ruth Candies, Chocolate F/X, Konzelmann Winery, Bully Hill Vineyards, Magic Hat Brewery, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Martin Guitars, Hershey Chocolates, Julius Sturgis Pretzels, Harley Davidson Motorcycles, and Utz Potato Chips.)

7– Costco Warehouses we visited for a very casual and inexpensive dinner. (Their $3.99 Caesar salads are large, fresh, and delicious!) Our favorite? Lancaster! We loved seeing the horse and buggy parked in the special designated area in the parking lot!

1– Marriage still happily intact!

0– Times either of us got sick.

Would we do a trip like this again? ABSOLUTELY! Like with everything else, there are those negatives to go along with all of the great positives; however, that’s with anything else in life. You take the bad with the good, and keep looking at the glass as being half full.

The biggest negative is having to lug stuff in and out of the hotel each time, and I have to give credit to my sherpa, Bruce. He was a trouper! As the cooler grew heavier with each chocolate purchase, he still insisted on taking care of that task while I handled the packing and unpacking.

There were also those times we hit unexpected traffic caused by an accident, and times (like now) when the weather was out of whack for the time of year we were traveling. So what?

We saw so many amazing things and beautiful places, learned about other cultures (yes, right here in the U.S.A.!), had a lot of fun, and enjoyed our time together. Nothing can top that!

Until the next time the mood strikes to write and post to my blog, CHEERS!



When Bruce and I travel we enjoy seeing how the locals live, where they shop, and what they do during their leisure time. It’s that “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” thing that can give you a feel for the place and its people.

On Fridays, the locals head to the Green Dragon Market in Ephrata to shop for just about anything and everything you would need (or don’t need, for that matter). It’s a swap meet and farmer’s market all mixed together in a huge outdoor area and a couple of (non-airconditioned) buildings.

Amish and “English” alike sell their wares and shop there, and it’s a great place to people watch and eat the local foods.

There is even a special parking place just for the Amish:


Prices at this market were fantastic. Gorgeous hanging baskets of flowers were only $10, a bargain!


How about an entire shoo-fly pie for $3? This molasses pie is an Amish tradition. It gets its name because the sweet molasses odor attracts flies that must be “shooed” away.


Not wanting to indulge in an entire pie, we later bought ourselves a piece to share. It was good, but I’ll stick with my chocolate, thank you very much.

These pretzels were being handmade at a table directly behind this glass case:


Need some dog bones? How about some medium knuckles? YUM!


Next up on our market run was Central Market in downtown Lancaster. A Lancaster tradition since the late 1700’s, the building was beautiful brick, and its interior housed stalls with all sorts of foods. Prices were much higher, though, not the bargains that we saw at Green Dragon Market. That huge shoo-fly pie for $3 shrunk down to just six inches.



The Landcaster Visitor Center was located near Central Market.  This building also dates back to the late 1700’s.


This dapper fellow was reading the newspaper in front of the Press Building on King Street.  We were amazed at the incredible artistry in the detail, all the way down to his wing-tip shoes.


Here’s some interesting trivia about Lancaster: Did you know it was the capitol of the United States for one day? Yep! On September 27, 1777, Lancaster was our capitol. On each September 27 now, the city officials commemorate the day with a 15-minute ceremony.

Our final stop on the market run was… COSTCO! Well, shoot, why the heck not? I was due for a nice fresh salad after making a breakfast (and lunch) of Amish bakery, and we like to check out the Costco in other places if it’s convenient.

This Costco was very different, though. Does your Costco have one of these in the parking lot?


Yes, the Amish do shop at Costco, too!