I truly love being able to spend loads of time doing my genealogy research. Mostly, I’m either researching on-line, at a courthouse or an archive, at a cemetery looking for gravestones, or I’m on the computer processing digital images from the courthouse or the cemetery, or taking online genealogy classes. I’ve spent many, many days doing nothing but these activities. I love it, but there are two major downsides.
The first is that, too often, I’m on the computer all day long. And the second is that I’m alone. Even though I enjoy it tremendously, sometimes it feels more like work than fun.
So, when a friend let me know that she and her husband were heading to Georgia in their RV, I was more than thrilled. I met Sandra when we both lived in California, while taking our babies for a walk in their strollers around the neighborhood – and our daughters are now 27 years old. In a complete coincidence, Sandra and Bob also retired last year and began living in an RV, and they’ve finally made their way to the east coast.
I didn’t even realize how much I was missing being with friends until they arrived. They stayed at my Georgia campground for three nights, so we had two full days together. We went out to eat (which I don’t do by myself), went on a couple of lovely hikes, had dinner and wine together at the campground, and sat out at the picnic table until after dark. It was fantastic!!!
My campground was planning to move me to a much less desirable campsite for the last 5 nights of my month there, so instead, I decided to leave Georgia early, and meet Sandra and Bob in South Carolina. I had to give up some of my Georgia research time, but frankly, I needed a break! It was wonderful to be away from the computer and spending time with these very dear friends instead.
It was just a two hour drive on a gorgeous sunny day up to South Carolina’s Table Rock State Park, just near the North Carolina border and about an hour away from the artsy mountain town of Asheville.
We set up camp in wooded, adjacent sites. Bob and Sandra are avid hikers, so that was the primary daily activity. On TWO of the next four days, we hiked TEN MILES each time, and I capitalize those words because I’m amazed that I was able to do it TWICE! One of the long hikes was particularly difficult because there was a long uphill climb.
We had fabulous dinners together every night, played Cribbage in the evenings, spent a day in Asheville, and even had S’mores over a campfire one night! We also went to a local seafood buffet (think frogs legs and catfish) with a live gospel band – the whole experience was extremely entertaining.
It was a terrific break “off the grid” – there was no cell service or internet access there – and I loved being with Sandra and Bob. We’ll be planning to rendezvous again soon, as we make our way up the east coast this spring, and around upstate New York and New England this summer.
Back to my serious genealogy world this week, as I attend the National Genealogical Society’s annual conference in Raleigh, North Carolina – lots of fun in a different way!