The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

To Williamsburg...

Another enjoyable day! I really do enjoy traveling, even if it's to less than exotic places. Wherever we go, Dear Diane and I meet the most pleasant and interesting people. The staff at the Holiday Inn Express in Smithfield, NC were helpful, cheerful and seemed to truly enjoy their work. After our excellent complementary breakfast we got back in our Kia and made our way to downtown Smithfield, all of a mile away. We parked the car and strolled along Main Street as we waited for the Ava Gardner Museum to open. Smithfield seems like a pleasant town, one of those nice, comfortable small cities undergoing a bit of a renaissance. We parked near the Greenway that runs alongside the Buffalo Creek and Neuse River and enjoyed the view. I took a short stroll on the riverwalk so I could snap a few photos.

The Ava Gardner Museum is actually quite interesting and well designed. Our visit began with a brief (20-minute) film on her life, after which we viewed the many displays highlighting her early years in Smithfield, her film career, and her later life outside of Hollywood. Diane, a devotee of old movies, took it all in, and the docent on duty, a lovely woman named Sarah, answered every question with a smile. After an hour or so we had probably learned more than enough about Ava Gardner and her three show-biz husbands: Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw, and Frank Sinatra. Here's a photo of Ava and Frank, a romance that ended like the others in divorce.

I bought a coffee mug and Diane a book from the museum's shop.

Leaving Smithfield in mid-morning we made our way north to Virginia along country highways. As we passed through one rural county after another it became obvious that we were in cotton country. Most of the fields had already been harvested, but I was surprised that so many were still filled with unpicked cotton. Actually, a cotton field that's ready to be harvested is a beautiful sight, so I was pleased to see so many and took a bunch of photos.

We stopped for lunch at the Hungry Rooster, a nice little restaurant in the unusually named town of Boykins, Virginia. The food was quite good, the prices reasonable, and our waitress was just about a nice as she could be. 

By mid-afternoon we had arrived here at Williamsburg where we met up with our friends. We moved into our temporary home, a two-bedroom suite at the Holiday Inn Club Resort, caught up on family news over a glass of wine, then went out for a light dinner. On Tuesday we hope to take in the wonders of colonial Williamsburg.

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