A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Coastal Carolina State Veterans Cemetery

A cemetery?  Why did you go to a cemetery?  Well, honestly, mostly because it was right across the street from the Lejune Memorial Gardens from yesterday's post.  But also because I like genealogy, and old cemeteries. 

I stayed in the front half, which is the old section.  The grounds are very tranquil. 

I set my tracking app and went for a walk. 

It's funny; I didn't think of North Carolina as a southern state until I got here.  They were, however on the southern side of the Civil War, and that was reiterated several times during my visit.  There are Civil War veterans buried here. 

I was doing my wander, when I noticed a couple of familiar names pop up. 

I have Dixons and Allens in my family tree, but when I cross checked with Ancestry.com, predictably, none of these were my people.  I knew the odds were slim.  Still, wouldn't that have been neat? 

Now remember, it's super hot and humid.  I read this headstone and started to giggle.  Go ahead, click on it and see what you think it says at first glance. 

I found myself thinking. "Wow, how bad must it have been to put that on her grave?  Did this poor lady have celiac or some other undiagnosed digestive disorder?"  Then I realized that last line says, "To PART no more."  Oops. 

In my defense, when I showed it to Sam later, he thought it said the same thing.  As did Eli, when I got home and showed him.  So either that P is not as clear as it used to be, or my children inherited my twisted sense of humor. 

This me, trying to be artsy in the heat.  As in, not willing to actually get down on the ground and do a better job framing the shot.  I call it New Life Among The Dead.  

I know; two rather gloomy posts in a row.  Tomorrow's post is a museum, I promise!  

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Lejune Memorial Gardens

Although it's called Lejune Memorial Gardens, this site is outside the actual base, meaning you don't have to have a base pass or be with authorized personnel to visit. 

The largest of the memorials is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  You walk along a nicely landscaped path, and then you come to a big circle. 

The center of the circle is a fountain.  The outside of the circle is made up of glass panels. 

There are over 58,000 names etched on the glass panels.  It's very moving to see them all. 

The Montford Point Marine Memorial is dedicated to the initial African American Marines of the early 1940s. 

Originally, these first African American Marines were trained at a separate facility, called Montford Point. 

These men showed themselves to be brave and honorable, and after only 7 years, the Marine Corps became fully integrated.  In talking with Sam, he said, "Other branches sometimes have issues with racism, but we don't really have that."  Obviously, there will always be individual people who are racist, but it's nice to know that there seems to be equality within the organization. 

Weaponry from WWII, which all Marines would have trained to use. 

The next memorial is the Beirut Memorial and Grove.  In addition to this wall, students helped plant trees representing each of the 273 Marines who died in what was supposed to be a peace keeping mission. 

There are trails from site to site, and I got about a mile walk in here.  Aside from the humidity and heat, it really was lovely.  

Although, the giant cobwebs in the trees made me wonder if I'd accidentally stumbled into Shelob's lair. 

The final memorial is the 9/11 Memorial.  This section of beam from the Twin Towers was given to the first troops deployed in the war on terror. 

If you can't read the plaque, it mentions "Leather helmets" and "Leathernecks."  As we have both in our family, it was particularly poignant for me. 

This plaque represents a club no one wants to belong to.  When a Blue Star Mom loses her child in service, her star turns gold. 

This 3D Eagle, Globe & Anchor marks the site for the coming Marine museum that will eventually be constructed here. 

This feels like kind of a heavy post, but Remembrance is important, and I'm glad I got to see the ways the Jacksonville community sets aside space for doing so. 

Monday, July 29, 2019

Cameron Art Museum

Although I was staying in Jacksonville, there's not a whole lot to do there, so I ventured into Wilmington, which has a lot more to offer.  Wilmington is about an hour from Jacksonville. 

When I arrived at the Cameron Art Museum, I stopped outside to catch a picture.  This turned out to be providential, because the docent saw me, and when I entered, he said, "I saw you taking a picture of the building; this must be your first time here."  I admitted that it was my first time on the East Coast, and that I was visiting my son at the local Marine base.  He said, "In that case, your visit is free today."  They participate in Blue Star Museums, and I'm a Blue Star Mom. 

I recently mentioned here that I've been walking virtual races.  Well, Japanese artist Ando Hiroshige did a 320 mile trek, and he captured what he saw at each rest point, resulting in 55 paintings called 53 Stations of the Tokaido. 

The paintings occupy 3 walls of a large room, and there's a little booklet that gives more information on the route, the artist, and the printmaking process. 

In another room, the walls had characters floating down them. 

When you touch one of the images, it turns into a picture of what the character represents. 

This was a fun exhibit with movement and sound. 

A third Japanese exhibit was this wall of moving images.  Opposite the wall, there were about a dozen very comfy chairs where you could sit and watch the panels change.  I started at one end and made my way down to the other.  It was cool and dark, with relaxing music playing, and the whole effect was very soothing. 

This was the room where I found myself thinking, "I wish the kids were here."  They have various sea life coloring pages you can do, and then you scan it in, and it becomes part of the giant, moving display on the walls of the room.  There's ocean noises here, and I know Hannah and Katie would have loved seeing their art swimming around. 

This piece was considered "outsider art."  I just thought it looked cool. 

They had a room devoted to the works of Claude Howell, a native North Carolina artist.  This one was my favorite. 

There were exhibits outside, too, including this wire piece. 

I don't think I got a picture of the cute little red bridge over the pond in the background, but it was pretty. 

There's a Little Free Library on the grounds.  As someone who volunteers with books, this makes my heart smile.  We have a few around our town and county, but it's always a treat to see one pop up while traveling. 

This tiny cabin with it's quirky bottle trees is a replica of the gate house at Airlie Gardens, where one of the artists featured in the museum worked for over 25 years.  

The flowers went nicely with my little travel backpack. 

One of the artists featured indoors used found objects in his work.  Sometimes art is so large it can't be contained in a building, and needs to be outdoors. 

I live in California.  I grew up here.  We don't have Civil War... anything, really.  So I geeked out a bit when I discovered that there's a Civil War Trail behind the museum. 

This is me, standing on a Civil War Trail.  It was really neat to think that a pine cone stepped on by soldiers may have become one of the trees around me.  It was hot, but very green and beautiful.  I later found a CWT brochure for NC and brought it home with me.  You can see one here

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Lynnwood Park Zoo

I just got back from North Carolina!  My first time visiting the East Coast.  I did a lot of touristy stuff out there, so I have pictures to share.  

Now, you have to understand, coastal North Carolina is muggy.  Like, you walk out of a building and get hit in the face with a wet washcloth type muggy.  So I walked through this cute little zoo taking pictures and dripping sweat.  In the shot above, I was actually trying to capture the curly horned guy in the shed.

There he is!  I had to crop and lighten to be able to see him. 

That's a bunny.  He looks like Milo, our first foster bunny

I was trying to get a decent picture of these hawks when....

...one mooned me!  At least you can see the beak on the right one. 

Lynnwood Park Zoo is in Jacksonville, NC. 

The paths are white sand.  There are squirrels and dragonflies and butterflies, and the sound of cicadas. 

Probably ought to have lightened the emu picture. 

Prairie dogs!  They were busy little diggers. 

This snake kept trying to climb up the side of the cage and without anything to hold onto, he'd flop over about 3/4 of the way up. 

Biiiiig danger noodle. 

No, that's not a mirror.  When I paid my $10 (cash only!) admission, the gate guy mentioned that there are turkeys roaming free. 

Which was weird to me, because the peacocks were in a cage.  Here, (well, Folsom) we have peacocks roaming free at the zoo. 

The gate sells bags of corn feed that you can toss in to the animals, so many of them will come right up to the fence, hoping you have food for them. 


The bobcat was aloof, as cats typically are.  I was just happy it was awake, since they're nocturnal. 

When I saw the alligator, I missed my teens.  I didn't have an audience to sing, "Never Smile at a Crocodile" to.  I feel like the other guests at the zoo might not have appreciated my solo. 

One of the zookeepers brought out some behind the scenes animals for me.  There was a large tortoise and a small tortoise, a fluffy white chicken, and a couple of reptiles. 

I felt like I took more pictures of them, but I guess either I didn't, or they got lost in the shuffle.  I had to upload my pictures to facebook and delete them from my phone a couple times during my trip. 

Hopefully over the next several days I'll get a few more posts up.  I've got pictures from a Civil War Battlefield and Governor Tryon's Palace to share, among other things.