Missouri Botanical Gardens

Oriental, NC – Home of the Dragon(s)



Oriental, North Carolina is a quaint authentic fishing village of less than 900 residents–  but about 1500 doggies and 2000 sailboats.  Oriental got its name from the founding father’s wife, Rebecca Midyette.   As the story goes, Mrs. Midyette found a board that had washed ashore from the sunken sailing steamer vessel the SS Oriental.   The SS Oriental was built in Philadelphia in1861.  Mrs. Midyette thought the name suited the little village and from that point, our (because I live there sometime) town was known by Oriental.

The original Oriental, NC dragon

The original Oriental, NC dragon

Oriental is home of the dragon.   Year round the town will have events centering around dragons.  Further,  you’ll see dragons displayed in a number of interesting ways, including dragon nesting areas.   But one of the most popular events is the New Years Eve Dragon run.   Hodges street (on the water) is closed down and this year not one but two authentic Chinese dragons danced and pranced up and down the street to ring in the new year.   Touching the original dragon’s nose is a must for good luck.

The Bean, New Years Eve - Gathering for the Dragon Run.

The Bean, New Years Eve – Gathering for the Dragon Run.

The two dragons rang in the New Year stopping in front of the Bean (the local coffee shop) for a little dance.

There is actually an interesting story of why two dragons — but, I’ll save that for another day.  Suffice it to say — Oriental loves its dragons!

For more about our little village visit TownDock.

Parris Island, SC where “We Make Marines”


Parris Island, SC where “We Make Marines”

Our Holiday Road Trip took us to Parris Island, SC, the Marine Recruit Depot for the Eastern Region.   My dad is a retired Marine who had the “pleasure” of going through Parris Island in 1942.   He has nothing nice to say about Parris Island and has very vivid memories of the sandfleas, marching in 6 inches of sand, living in tents, and the then standard issue silver bucket.   Frankly, I thought Parris Island was rather lovely — and  saw no sandfleas, sand, nor tents 🙂

However, while there, we visited the museum  which confirmed the existence of sandfleas and tents:

Parris Island sandfleas

Parris Island sandfleas

Captured at the Parris Island Museum

Tents as seen at the Parris Island Museum

Captured at the Parris Island Museum

Captured at the Parris Island Museum

Further, as a young kid I loved loved loved Gomer Pyle, USMC which aired on CBS from 1964 to 1969 staring Jim Nabors and Frank Sutton.   Although, the show was in fictional Camp Henderson, California vice Parris Island, South Carolina — I’ll be darn if these quonset huts don’t look like the very same where we could see Private Pyle and Gunnery Sergeant Carter running in and out of!

Bartholdi Park

Play Ball!

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist – Savannah, GA

On our US Route 17 Holiday Road trip, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah, GA was on my “must see” list.   And the church did not disappoint — it is absolutely beautiful.

The cathedral sits on Lafayette Square in downtown Savannah.    Construction on the cathedral began in 1873 and completed in 1896 with the additions of the spires.    It was almost destroyed by fire in 1898 but survived, although needing extensive repair.  

It was beautifully decorated for Christmas — quite a sight!   And it appeared to be the “busiest” tourist attraction too!


Holiday Scenes, 2013

Little Gracie Watson, Bonaventure Cemetery



Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah Georgia certainly has a reputation for numerous reasons, including being one of the most haunted places to visit.  Frankly, it was my favorite place in Savannah and I loved stumbling upon “Little Gracie Watson”.    Gracie Watson, an only child, was born in 1838.  Her father was manager of Savannah’s Pulaski House Hotel.   Two days before Easter she died of pneumonia at the age of six.   In 1890, John Walz, moved to Savannah and carved from a photography the life size statue of Gracie.   John Walz created many other beautiful monuments in Bonaventure.  Ironically, he is buried there, without a headstone.   DSC_5110

Visitors leave toys for Gracie to play with, and some claim she will cry tears of blood if her playthings are removed.   Some believe that if you place a quarter in Gracie’s hand and circle the statue three times, the coin will disappear.    Sadly, the statue now has a black wrought iron fence around it do to vandalism.

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