Exploring Our Exciting World

Even before we felt the great need to get away because of personal tragedy, we had planned the trip we took as an information-gathering venture for the upcoming book series ‘Exploring Our Exciting World,’ the first volume of which is scheduled to be released before Christmas this year.

Due to my surgery this week, I will not be able to complete the series of blog entries I had hoped for at this time regarding our trip, but I will do an overview today.

First we drove to Lynchburg, Virginia, experiencing a steady rain after crossing into the Blue Ridge area in the Southwest portion of the state, and visited the Old City Cemetery, which had been recommended by a friend. We really enjoyed it, as it was filled with history and particularly that of the Civil War in the area. From there we traveled to Liberty University, the largest private college in the Southeast. Both will be featured in the book.

We journeyed on to Appomattox and Appomattox Court House, being able to view and photograph the very desk at which General Lee signed his surrender to Grant, and the Museum of the Confederacy.

The next day was spent at Colonial Jamestown and Williamsburg on the James River near the Chesapeake Bay. In Jamestown we toured the Archaeological Museum in which were the bones which are believed to be those of my distant relative, Bartholomew Gosnold, who captained the ship Godspead and was among the founders of Jamestown. After Rhonda took my picture with the bones, I found out that photos were forbidden.(Woops!)

Onward we drove the next day to the Stonewall Jackson Memorial, near Fredericksburg, and photographed the bed on which he died.

Then we went to just south of Alexandria where we would stay for two nights. That day we toured Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington on the banks of the Potomac. There were many amazing photos and facts gained there. We purchased some mementos and gifts here as I had in Jamestown.

On the road we passed many other delightful attractions.

The grand adventure for us both occurred the next day when we toured the Washington, DC area on a tour bus. Our guide was fantastic, and we visited such sites as the Capitol, Arlington National Cemetery (Kennedy’s Grave and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier), the White House, Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, World War II, Iwo Jima and Vietnam Memorials, the FDR and King Memorials, and more. We also saw many other buildings and shrines from the bus. I can’t say enough, as I don’t have space or time now.

Then we drove through Maryland and Delaware and hit the New Jersey Turnpike to Newark, NJ. We spent two nights there, and I called my cousin, Steve St. Clair, who took me into Manhattan for an evening on the Big Apple. We first drove to Hackensak where he showed me the line up at Carlo’s Bake Shop for that night’s taping of the reality show Cake Boss.

We had dinner in the borough of West Village at a Middle Eastern restaurant which was wonderful

We visited the 9-11 Memorial and the new One World Trade Center. We also went to Wall Street, Freedom Hall where George Washington was inaugurated, two historic churches, Grand Central Station, Central Park and Times Square at night.

The next day was my birthday, and we celebrated by a day alone in the Airport Hilton where we were staying, dining that evening in the lounge.

The next day we headed toward home, and went through Pennsylvania and West Virginia, then back through Virginia’s placid Shenandoah Valley. The trip was very enjoyable and we took hundreds of photos, a number of which will be in the first volume, Exploring Our Exciting World, Book One, The Greater Southeastern United States and Our Nation’s Capitol.

Look for it in November online at stclairpublications.com or on Amazon!


Hope in Tragedy – Poetry for Reflection

In my dogged determination to remain positive I have allowed three weeks minus one day to elapse since the tragic loss of my youngest son. During this time Rhonda and I went on a historic tour of Virginia and Washington, D.C. and I met with my cousin, Steve, for a jaunt into Manhattan.

Before the trip, while waiting for my daughters to arrive from Ohio, I wrote the following poem:


It’s not the best and not the worst

But wavering in between.

Crayola candles blue and yellow

Melting into green.

The wick is flickering in a lamp;

A beam drifts through the fog.

Then plunging onward into darkness

Daggers pierce the bog.

Soft raindrops splash into a keg

Beneath a mangled oak

Then bravely peeping through a cloud

Faint light the fetters broke.

This verse will be in my forthcoming poetry book, I Walked my Dog This Morning. More on the trip later.



If you want to get something done, ask a busy person

I have often heard that people who are not busy already won’t likely take on a new project. I have taken on so many that I sometimes have to say “No” now.

However, because I stay so busy I do get a lot accomplished. It’s kinda like the medication commercial which says “A body in motion tends to stay in motion.”

I have been terribly rushed lately trying to get everything accomplished that I need to before vacation. But, I still joined a new group on Linked-In today called Books and Writers. I find it really interesting, though I won’t be able to devote as much time to it as I would like. When I get responses to my posts, I will try to check them out.

In the meantime I am remaining very busy!

Check out our books at http://stclairpublications.com .