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Jim and Bette

Wednesday 2nd April, 2008

Gary, Rayls, Bette, Jim and Buster
Gary, Rayls, Bette, Jim and Buster

After many hours on the road we made it to Greenwood at 6pm. The last 90 miles on local roads with the GPS getting us to do some strange maneuvers.

Jim and Bette met us outside and it was nice to see them again after so many years – it was 2001 on our first US trip that we had first met up. They had done so much for us back then and had introduced us to the wonders of traveling in the USA – we owe them a lot.

After a brief greeting we all headed off to a local sports club where Jim and Bette meet up every Wednesday evening for a chat with friends. We enjoyed a couple of hours talking over a variety of subjects and then headed back to the house.

Jim and Bette live in a renovated garage behind their house. Their house has been rented to their daughter Tina and her husband Tony. They have two sons, Brandon (12) and Cooper (8). Don’t think this garage is small, it is very comfortable with a lounge, dining, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom area – they seem more than comfortable in the early years of retirement.

After a short chat with the extended family, including a play with the boisterous new addition to the family, a 12 week old Yorkshire Terrier called Bo, it was time for bed.

We have been allocated the RV which is parked along side the garage. These are no cramped quarters but luxury living. Bedroom, bathroom, kitchen living area – 4 televisions with more channels that you could ever watch (Gary is giving it a try though). Awesome. Jim and Bette do a lot of traveling in this home away from home. Talk about the good life.

It was raining on and off during the night, very pleasant to hear the rain falling on the roof – it has been a long hot summer back home and so nice to listen to the rain.

Gary is still not sleeping well due to the bronchitis, he hasn’t slept more than an hour and half at a time since he awoke from the doctor/drug induced coma of Dallas. Hopefully the following few days of rest will see him get a little better.

Thursday 3rd April, 2008

Today was a much needed quiet day spent with Jim and Bette.  Although Jim has retired from teaching, he is spending a few weeks doing some relief teaching and so he was off today teaching Year 9 students.

Still another bad night for Gary and subsequently both he and Rayls slept through till nearly 10am.   After breakast we were off to Wal-Mart to buy supplies.  This took some time and by the time we returned home it was time for lunch.

After lunch Bette and Rayls headed off to do some fabric shopping whilst Gary took the opportunity to keep warm and have a nap.  He managed around 3 much needed hours.

It was an overcast and fairly cold day - some good rain at times - very different to the hot summer we had left behind.

In the evening we had a great roast dinner cooked by Bette.  Afterwards we all chatted and watched TV. 

Friday 4th April, 2008

A really good day today.

We were up a bit earlier and did some shopping in the morning.

Just after midday Bette and Rayls dropped off Gary at Jim's school, Ware Shoals High School, where he watched and somewhat participated in some of Jim's classes. Gary's accent was very popular and he was asked to say 'G'day mate' at least 50 times. The accent was referred to as cute, cool, funny and quite a few other things. Even during the lunch break students were asking Gary to say 'G'day mate' numerous times. The school was recently used as a movie set for the movie Leathernecks and Jim showed Gary where some of the scenes were filmed around the school grounds. This was a wonderful experience for Gary and it was good to see the ease at which Jim teaches his students.

Meanwhile Rayls went off with Bette to visit friends, Bev and David Joosten at their business, Sunrise Stained Glass Studio. They looked around the workshop and saw examples of their work and Rayls chose some patterns for windows back home. Rayls found that two of the pattern books Bev and David use is authoured by someone from Cannington, Western Australia - just a few minutes from home.

In the afternoon Jim had an appointment so Rayls and Gary headed home to relax.

Later, Bette made a great dinner of spaghetti and meatballs and afterwards we headed for ice cream at Brusters.

After some TV watching Gary went off to do some computer work and then headed to bed whilst Bette taught Rayls lris folding to make cards.

The weather has turned real bad and as Gary types this message there is much thunder, lightning, heavy rain and even a tornado warning.

Wish us luck making it through the night!

Saturday 5th April, 2008

Another really good, and quiet day, with Jim and Bette.

In the morning we went to Cracker Barrell for breakfast and then headed to a town called Anderson, around 40 miles away.  Here we checked out a Best Buy where Jim and Bette joined the 21st century by buying an iPod each.  Bette was keen after we talked about our iPod's and how good they are on the road - I think Jim will take some time to forgive us for this added expense to his budget!

After Best Buy the ladies went to a Michaels - an art and craft store.  Jim and Gary had a drink at the local shopping mall to kill time.

The drive to and from Anderson was very pleasant although Gary and Jim saw little of it on the way back - luckily Jim wasn't driving.  The town of Abbeville was very interesting with some greal old historic homes.

It was 3pm before we got back to Greenwood and after a quick lunch Jim and Gary went off for naps whilst Bette and Rayls headed back for more shopping - they went to a shop called Dollar Tree and also Hancock Fabrics.

At 6pm we all went and met up with Dave and Bev, friends of Jim and Bette, who are celebrating their wedding anniversary.  We had dinner at a buffet called Ryan's.

Then it was back home where we played with the new iPods and discussed the next few days of the trip.  At this time we think we might stay a few days longer here and adapt/shorten the New York/New England part of the trip so that we can still stay with our other friends later in the trip.

We are enjoying our stay here.

Sunday 6th April, 2008

Another good day, bit of relaxing and a little bit of action.

Gary seems to be over the worst of his illness. The plan to come earlier to Jim and Bette worked out well.

Today we had a quiet morning and then in the afternoon went to Greenville to a minor league baseball game between the Greenville Drive and the Kannapolis Intimdators. It was a double header which Greenville won game one 6-0 and the second game had just started when we left. It was a good bit of Americana with hot dogs and baseball - about 6000 people there and it was an interesting experience.

It was nearly 9pm before we got home and it was off to bed pretty quickly.

Monday 7th April, 2008

We need to start building up for the start of the next leg of the road trip but today was not that day.

Relaxing start, Bette went and bought Rayls favourite cinnamon buns for brekkie, she sure is spoiling us.

We went and did some shopping in the morning - Gary was hoping to find some business shirts but no luck.

Quiet afternoon and then when Jim came home we went off to the movies to see Leathernecks - that was good.  We then had dinner at a Ruby Tuesday restaurant. 

Jim and Bette are thinking of coming for a trip to Australia later this year so we discussed that for a bit.

Tuesday 8th April, 2008

Today is our last day in Greenwood.  To say we have had a relaxing and enjoyable time is an understatement. 

We have taken the opportunity for Gary to recover from his illness and to get reaquainted with our friends Jim and Bette and we will miss them after we leave.

Today we did the usual - a bit of shopping and a bit of relaxing.  Gary spent a few hours catching up with items he was required to do for the cricket association he does work for back home. He also booked our hotel for tomorrow night - Staunton, VA and planned the road trip.

We didn't get to to see a lot of Jim because he is working hard and tired when he gets home but we chatted a bit when we got home.  Hopefully we will see more of him next time.  Rayls and Bette got on like a house on fire and I am sure that we will all see each other again soon.

We thank them for their hospitality - it was great.

We did manage to get a photo of the four of us (plus Buster) which appears at the top of this page.