Saturday, September 17, 2011


This is the third and final part of our vacation saga.  If you have not read parts one and two, please do.  It will make this post more understandable.

On Wednesday night both Joe and I got sick.  His acid reflux really acted up and he couldn't lay down to sleep or he would start choking.  This happened several times during the night.  I had terrible abdominal cramping spasms.  This has happened off and on since my surgery.  I guess it's going to be a part of my life.  So anyway the point is that neither of us got much sleep.

We decided to go back to Cracker Barrel for breakfast instead of staying at the hotel.  The waitress we had was named Kim and she was really good.  She made me feel like royalty the way she spoke to us and waited on us.  No matter what we asked for it was given to us immediately.  Needless to say she got a big tip.

This time we were able to look around the store.  I got a gray "Williamsburg" shirt that was on clearance for $11 and a little Halloween teddy bear who now lives in my car.  The shirt is much nicer than anything I saw anywhere else.  There was a lot of other things I wanted to get as gifts, but since there is a Cracker Barrel near home, why drive them all the way back home.  But I can't get a Williamsburg shirt in Philly!

We went back to the hotel, packed up, checked out and started on our way.  As we were driving I was showing Joe where my sister Elaine and I stayed when we were in Williamsburg 8 years ago.  I said, "Oh, the Denny's is gone...  That store wasn't there...  I wonder if The Christmas Mouse is still here.  That was my favorite store when we were here last time."  Joe said, "Yes, it's still here.  In fact, it's over there.  Let's stop." and pointed to his right.  I was able to pull into the parking lot and we spent about an hour in one of my all-time favorite stores.

This store has about 50 or 60 different trees, all in their own little cubicle.  Each tree has a theme and the items to make this tree are on the walls or on the floor around the tree.  Plus there are harvest items like wreaths, scarecrows, knick-knacks, etc.  And lots of nutcrackers.   Jewelry too.  And light bulbs, candles, just about anything you can imagine.  I took pictures of some of the trees on the second floor.

This was a seashore themed tree.

A dog-lovers tree.

A wild animal tree.  I love the zebra balls.

A sock monkey tree.  Isn't this cute?

This was my favorite tree.  I loved the way the lavender and silver looked together.  I think I will do my tree this year in lavender and silver.

We spent a lot of money in the Christmas Mouse.  I know they were glad we came.  So we got in the car, and set the GPS to shortest route instead of fastest route because we didn't want to drive through Washington again and set off.  Now we didn't know it, but our main problem was we did not bring a map.  We are relying solely on the GPS.

We drive off and start to wonder where we are going when the roads turn from highways, to streets, to back roads, to dirt roads to paths through people's soybean fields.  We saw enough soybeans to last us the rest of our lives.  We kept heading down roads that would dead end and roads that were closed for construction.  We saw more of rural Virginia than we ever expected we would.  It was beautiful, though.

We saw these huge black birds everywhere.  They flew in front of us, around us, at us....  Don't know what they were.  Blackbirds?  Ravens?  Crows?  But at one point there was no traffic and we snapped some pictures of them.

We drove around for 2 1/2 hours and probably never got further than 10 miles from Williamsburg.  Finally Joe sees a sign for I-95.  He tells me to take it.  The GPS says no, so we turn it off.  Finally we get on I-95 north and head for home.  We live right off of one of I-95's exits, so we know if we stay on it we will get home.

We made a couple of stops along the way to stretch our legs, get something to eat and use the restroom, but basically went straight through.  We went from a bright, sunny, hot day to a showery, cool evening.  As we hit Philly the sun came out and I saw part of a rainbow.  I had Joe grab the camera to get a shot.  Because of his essential tremor his hands shake, so the lines in the picture are of lights, but the second picture of the other half of the rainbow he also took and it is perfect.

We left the Christmas Mouse at 11:30 a.m. and got home at 8:30 p.m.  We had a wonderful time, but it will be a long while before I take a long road trip again.


  1. Welcome back home. Get some rest and enjoy the rest of this weekend.

  2. It is always nice to go away but just as nice to come home! Thanks for sharing your trip and those gorgeous pictures!

  3. If you e-mail Cracker Barrel about your waitress It will go in her record and she will get a gift certifacate for a free meal. It's not often enough we get praise for what we do and she will appreciate it. I'm glad you had a good time and got home safely.

  4. I'm so jealous! I LOVE the Christmas Mouse!


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