Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First Annual Carolina Clan Reunion

There are few reasons to ignore your blog for over a week. But, the best of those reasons is because you were having too much fun to blog! Such is the case for us this past week :)

We left Mount Airy, NC on Tuesday, Sept 6th, drove south to Cheraw, SC  for the First Annual reunion of the Carolina Clan. What a wonderful time we had! We had all met at the RV-Dreams rally in the Spring and/or the previous Spring. We were the first to arrive on Tuesday afternoon. We were all concerned about TS Lee bringing a lot of rain to the area, but we were pleasantly surprised to find none. Not one drop of rain. YAY!!! The sun was shining when we arrived and it was still shining when we left :)2011-09-06 16.01.39

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On Wednesday, we were joined by  Paul and Jill, Ray and Kris, Gin and Syl, Trish and Dan  and Evin and Steve. It was like a family reunion. Everyone greeted each other and got caught up with each others adventures. Later that evening, we congregated at Bill and Nancy’s vacant site (they were arriving Thursday) for a campfire and visiting. It was wonderful to see everyone again.

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Thursday  brought  in the last  of the stragglers, Bill and Nancy along with Laura and Bruce.  “Let the party begin :)” We took the kayaks out in the afternoon for awhile. Most of us have inflatable Sea Eagles but there were some hard kayaks as well. With the group together, we looked like an advertisement for Sea Eagle though! :)

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Thursday evening, there was another big group campfire/happy hour(s) at Bill and Nancy’s site. As a thank you to Bill and Nancy for organizing this reunion, we presented them with our George Forman grill. Just a small token of our appreciation :) george George had been a very used part of our household so we took him on the road with us. He has been traveling with us since January and we have never used him. We have done our best to give him away to a good home, but have never found a taker :) Here was our perfect opportunity! They thanked us for thinking of them but you could see the wheels turning in their heads. They were going to re-gift it to someone, anyone! We didn’t care as long as it wasn’t us!

Apparently, George was busy Thursday night. He traveled through 2 or 3 rigs, always hidden but also always discovered, until he ended up back under Lucy Friday morning :(  We had run to the store, so we ended up with him by default. We were the only ones not home.  At that point, Rick was going to dump him but I thought we could have a little more fun with him. The “Where’s George” game was on and it lasted all weekend :)  We made up the rules as we went, but basically it boiled down to whoever was the last person to discover George had to keep him until next year and bring him along to the Second Annual Carolina Clan Reunion :)  The last time I saw him, he was wrapped in a towel and well hidden :)

Friday night we had a group dinner. Everyone just brought something. There was no formal organization. Everyone just brought what they had and it worked out great. We even had homemade ice cream…thanks to the guys willing to crank!

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That night, around the campfire, we laughed so hard we cried. We don’t even remember what was so funny. We told stories, we talked about George, we talked about Bruce and Laura having one of those aha! moments when they realized they had been paddling their kayak backwards :)  We just laughed.

Saturday morning, Bruce, Laura, Bill, Nancy and I went on a nature hike. I was a little worried about running into my least favorite slithery creature, but Nancy told me she’d protect me. Those of you that know Nancy, know she’s half my size :) “Besides,” she said, “there’s probably bear out here and they eat snakes!” Isn’t she cute??? We didn’t run into either, but we did run into a bunch of British troops training their dogs. They were way out in the middle of nowhere. It seems they were shipped over here for a month of training. They were in full uniform and I know they were very hot. It was a hot, humid morning. One of the young men we talked to said they were used to cold and rain in England, not heat. He found it very hot here. We ended up walking 5.6 miles Saturday morning. It was a good hike.

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Saturday was exercise day, I guess. After the hike in the morning, we did a 5.5 mile kayak paddle in the evening. It was a full moon and every month the ranger leads a moonlight kayak ride through the cypress trees at the other end of the lake. We needed to meet the Ranger across the lake, behind the main park building, at 6:30 PM. 

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First, however, we had gotten wind of a prank Bruce and Laura were about to play on Paul and Jill, so we got in our kayak a little early and paddled over to their site to see the show :) Paul and Jill had teased Bruce and Laura unmercifully about padding their Sea Eagle backwards. It’s actually an easy mistake to make. The seats are separate and you just put them inside and climb in. Their kayak looks identical on both ends so they didn’t realize that their seats were facing the back instead of the front. The skeg that helps track the kayak is in the back but in their case, it was in the front :) It didn’t track at all :)  Paul said he was going to get duct tape and stick arrows on the sides showing “front”. Well, while Paul and Jill had left their kayak unattended, Laura and Bruce flipped their seats around and then the whole boat so it looked the same as when they left it. We were all sure they’d put it in the water that way and “attempt” to paddle away. Well darn! They were expecting something like that and looked! They quickly switched their seats around and launched. Jill got in first, then Paul. But Paul had some difficulty and before we knew it, they were both in the water and the kayak was upside down! It wasn’t what we had expected to see, but it was funny :) No one was hurt and it was all in good fun. They are now known as Dunkin Donuts :)

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The weekend went by so quickly and on Sunday morning Ray and Kris pulled out to head back to Kinston. They had to be back to work Monday morning and they sure didn’t want to go. Ray has 2 more years before he can retire, but he sure wants it to happen now! It’s ok Ray, we won’t use up all these neat places before you get out here :)

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Shortly after Ray and Kris left, Bruce and Laura packed up. They moved their rig to the boat dock parking lot and hung out with us for awhile longer.  No one wants to leave. Of course, the novelty would wear off quickly, I’m sure, if nobody did leave! :)

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Sunday nights campfire was our last as a large group. We toasted marshmallows and made s’mores, ate peanuts, pretzels, chocolate covered almonds, cookies and anything else people had leftover. No one wanted to drag all that stuff back with them. We also laughed a lot…again. Evin and Steve left after the campfire. They have been staying off-site and just spending their days with us as their new 5th wheel hasn’t arrived yet. I didn’t realize that they were heading home Monday morning and not returning to the campground. Sorry we didn’t say good-bye, Steve and Evin, but we’ll see you down the road.

After Bill and Nancy left Monday morning, Rick and I took off for one last paddle around the lake. When we returned, I went in to make lunch and he started cleaning up the Sea Eagle so she could be deflated and packed away in Lucy’s basement. We love our Sea Eagle.  I see many more paddles in her future :)

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The rest of Monday was spent as quiet time. There are 4 couples left and, I think, we all needed a down day. This was a good one.  Our last sunset wasn’t too shabby either :)

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This morning was our turn to leave :(  We left behind Trisha & Dan, AKA: MacGyver and Conniver Smile, Gin & Syl, AKA: (shhh, I’m not telling) Smile and Jill & Paul, AKA: Dunkin Donuts. They are all staying at least one more  day. It’s hard to say good-bye but we did so knowing that it was not good-bye, just see you down the road :)

Thanks for the great time guys! Hey, where’s George???

Thanks for stopping by. Turtle


  1. Oh my goodness!! What a great time! If you're doing another one next year let us know, we're from NC and we know ya'll. What a hilarious post.

  2. Excellent!! We miss you already but we're sure that we will run in to each other. We laughed so much that I felt like I had done 50 sit ups. Safe travels.

  3. Gail thanks SO much for the detail in this blog. I laughed and laughed just reading it. Who ended up with George? I can see what all I missed being out here in the west!

    Guess this means ya'll need to be somewhere near SC next year in early September or is the Clan meeting a different place every year?? Hope everyone will be full time on the road by then...all houses sold!

    Can I qualify for inclusion in the "Clan"?? I'm from Virginia but I once lived in Chapel Hill, NC for a couple of years. Please...please....

  4. Sherry, the second annual will also be in SC but at a different park. I think you qualify with the Chapel Hill stint :)

    We'll keep you posted.

  5. With all that fun, I would be to busy and tired to blog as well:)

  6. Wow, what a great post!!

    We are still laughing, Don't Ya Know!!

    You betcha we are;o))

    Thanks for all the laughs and fun!!

    Safe Travels and we will see you down the road...

  7. Loved reading about your adventures and fun. Heading to NC in a month to visit our family. Maybe we can get together???

  8. Boy did that ever look like fun!! Gorgeous sunset!

  9. Sounds like you guys had a Blast. What fun! Catherine and I started out backwards last time we took out our sea eagle. So don't feel bad Laura and Bruce.

  10. Sounds like a wonderful time Mom!! It was fun to read your account :)


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