Dateline September 8, 2019: North Carolina and Home

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North Carolina

Raleigh with “Our Gang”. Liza, Collin, Finley, and Izzy – “The leader of the pack!”

Travels to North Carolina

Jamestown Entrance

We departed Williamsburg and stopped in Jamestown hoping to spend time in the restored village. We talked with the Information Desk person who suggested we take several hours to visit, so we decided to put it on the list for a future visit.

Janice had a conversation with Sandie St Onge. We have played a lot of golf with Sandie and Skip at their course in Stuart, Florida, and home in Flagler Beach.  They also have an RV and were in Cherokee, North Carolina having a blast, so we decided to join them the next evening. Being a seven-hour drive, we decided to play golf the next day in Linville, NC on our way to Cherokee. We picked a Harvest Host Location in North Carolina for the evening.


Grove Winery:  Harvest Host at its Best!

We called Grove  Winery, they had a few RVs staying for the evening and would love to have us stay for the night.   We arriving about 4:30 and parked next to the vines behind another larger

Parking With The Grapes

rig and next to the grapevines.  Max Lloyd, the owner was standing outside and invited us in.  He introduced us to some other people that were staying. The first couple was on their way back home to Richmond.  They were past the tasting part of the “wine introduction” and enjoying a bottle.  Samantha, the wine tasting expert set us up with a list of the wines and explained the various wines they made.  The tasting was $10 for 6 healthy samples.  As typical, we selected a few different wines so we could share them.  The wines were really good.

Max had an old friend that owned a local radio station, they had been friends since 5th grade and Joe was a regular at the Winery.  We enjoyed Joe and the couple from Richmond, Janice, and Owen.  Another couple arrived, they had retired from the military, having last been stationed in Alaska and had been living in their RV for the last several months looking for a place to call home.  

The party had begun!  We all bought extra wine and Max kept the place open including a tour of the area where he was making the wine. We all took a turn at stirring the grapes, with lots of hours left for this batch to be ready.

Janice with Max making the wine!

After working with Max on the wine we went back into the tasting room and decided that a group picture was in the cards.  Max liked the idea to put it on his Facebook page. These places from HarvestHost are such fun, wineries, breweries, farms, and golf clubs!

Harvest Host at Grove Winery

Linville, North Carolina

Does It Get Anymore Beautiful!

We picked another course to play on our way to meet up with Sandie and Skip named Linville Ridge Country Club. This was a great find with panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  At 4,949 feet above sea level, the golf course is the highest elevation golf course east of the Mississippi River. We had a fun round of golf. Nice golf course, another gem we were blessed to play.

The course was originally designed by George Cobb.  Perhaps his most prominent design is his shortest course: The Par 3 at Augusta National Golf Club, which he completed in 1959, with a little help from Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts.  He also made changes to Augusta National main course in 1967 and 1977.  Bobby Weed, who designed the majority of TPC courses, redesigned Linville Ridge in 2007.

The views are spectacular!  What a wonderful experience we had playing the course.  One of the most beautiful days of golf we have enjoyed.

Cherokee, North Carolina

We had to rush out and start the 2.5-hour drive to Cherokee where Sandie said they would hold dinner for our arrival. We ended up driving in the pitch-black darkness on winding roads finally finding the campground. We parked next to them and Sandie and Skip had drinks ready when we arrived. It was a wonderful steak dinner with lots of stories, drinking, and fun. We discussed plans for the next day and decided we would go to a local place for breakfast and then go tubing down the river.

Enjoying the Fire on the Table

The next morning when we woke we could see the beautiful Ravenfork River, on which we were parked and many people fly fishing for trout. Seems this river is a great place for trout fishing and we saw a few with their catches some of the trout several pounds. We headed out to breakfast and our tubing adventure.

We stopped at the local tubing place and signed up for a 2.5-hour trip where they would drop us off upriver and we would tub down the Oconaluftee River where they would again pick us up, it was only $12 per person. The company dropped us off and away we went down the river. It was a bit shallow at places so we had to push ourselves off the rocks.

There were some small rapids that were a blast. About halfway down John steered his way to the shore for a “pit stop”, unfortunately, he slipped on the rocks fell a few times, he was fine, but the tube got away downstream. Fortunately, there was a way up to the road and we were just down the street from where we rented the tubes so John could walk there.

Sandie went after the tube in her tube and was able to catch it and tie it to her tube for the remaining hour of floating.  We finished tubing and headed back to the campground and settled in for a few drinks and another great dinner. What a great spot, if ever you are in the area River Valley Campground is a great park to stay.

Grandfather Mountain

We departed Cherokee first thing in the morning to visit Grandfather Mountain and the Swinging Bridge.  The bridge stretches across a valley at the top of the mountain.  The winds were blowing at about 25 miles per hour.  There is a sign in the middle letting you know you are one mile above sea level.  With the wind the temperature was chilly, so we dressed for the weather, the first day on the trip where we needed our jeans, sweatshirts ad windbreaker jackets!  Face it we are from Florida!  The views were just awesome!

John on Bridge at Grandfather Mountain

We drove on into Linville to get a telephone signal and call our friend Ric Simeone, who lives on Beech Mountain in the summer.  Rick and Shaun were old friends from Ft. Lauderdale and we have stayed in touch.    We joined Ric for a great BBQ lunch, Shaun had a regular Friday golf game so she could not make it.  Good time and conversation.

Raleigh, North Carolina with the Family

The drive from Linville took about 4 hours and we arrived at our son James’ house a little after 5:00.  We were greeted by two of our cute grandchildren Collin and Liza.  We think they were more excited about playing in the RV than seeing us (Most likely true!). We went into the house and enjoyed some wine with James and his wife Mary.  John’s ex-wife Rosellen was there and we all enjoyed catching up – extended families and all.

Kieran, our daughter, and her companion Rocky, the border collie mix arrived then Courtney and the other granddaughters Izzy and Finley, Amanda had other plans for that evening. We had dinner and all sat around laughing and talking with the kids, having a blast. It was getting late and we were tired so we headed out to the RV for the night.

The next morning Collin and Liza were knocking on the door to the RV, could not wait to come in! We were sitting trying to decide the plans for the day and decided to go into Raleigh to the history museum. Off we headed in the RV, the kids were promised a ride, James was in the back until he got a little motion sickness and switched with Mary who headed back with John and the kids.

After arriving at the museum, it is free, we walked around then headed to a lab environment where kids can do experiments. There was a 3D printing area where you could try out some of the items they had printed, this is quite a place. Courtney, Amanda, Finley, Izzy, and Kieran showed up a short time later and we continued in that area of the museum. After a while, we headed to a connected building where you could walk through a live butterfly area and we stopped to eat a bit for lunch.

Collin, Liza, Finley, and Izzy Hiding Under The Bug

We finished our walkabout and headed for the gift shop, a small gift for each grandchild, and out the door, we headed to our next destination. All 4 grandchildren came with us and got their ride in the RV. We headed to a local brewery that was kid-friendly and hung out there for a while.  Back to James’s house for another dinner and more time with the family.

We left early in the morning before everyone was awake, time toh head home to ome to Flagler Beach.


  1. Mark Ouellette

    As always I enjoy your blog, there are definitely some courses I would love to play and I know Donna and I would certainly enjoy that winery.

    1. John and Janice

      Thanks. It was embarrassing to have not posted them! Janice is having trouble with the hip, so we will shoot up to New England after the North/South in Pinehurst and be back around the 29th. See you soon.

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