I don’t go on vacation often, but when I do, I GO BIG.
Sharon and I recently took a road trip to West Virginia for a friend’s wedding, then over to Baltimore, and back down. A lot of driving, you say? Well, yes (about 2000 miles), but believe me… we had things we wanted to do on the way. Here’s the first little leg of our trip.
The first thing we did when Sharon picked me up was go into Keystone Heights and meet our friends Denise and Tarrant for a quick lunch. There’s a hidden gem of a pizza place here in my little town, and I wanted Sharon to try it — she was impressed both with the food she got, and the beer she saw on the drink menu (although we did not partake of that, being that we were getting ready to hop on the road). The gals were kind enough to snap a photo of us on our way out… Sharon’s hot little sports car, and two West Virginia bound girls!
Our first stop to stretch our legs was at a roadside stand called “Peach World”. Guess what they sell! … … … Did you guess every thing imaginable that you could make with peaches? Also actual peaches? Then you were right! I got some Peach moonshine, and some peach … uh, olive oil? I can’t remember what I got for Tim. Some peach something something he can use for cooking. I would have gotten him some kind of jam or honey, but there were like six million of them, and they were all pretty good sizes, and really, who needs that much? You try, like, a spoonful, and then you never open the jar again. So I refrained from things that would really just sit there.
Our hotel was really lovely. It was the first time I’d stayed at a Home 2 (I’d never even heard of them), and I hope it’s not the only time I stay in one! I tell you what, these hotels would be *amazing* for a science fiction convention. A small kitchen! A fridge! A microwave! It comes with dishes and silverware and some sort of hot plate! And look at all the counter space in that room (to my right, out of the photo, is a good-sized closet). I hope they consider bringing one to Gainesville, because putting something this homey and welcoming right next to the cancer center or near a hospital would be a sure bet. Did I mention the breakfast? Complimentary, and some of the best grits I’ve ever had. They also had some egg things, and some scrabble (I think that’s what it’s called? Eggs and potatoes and stuff?). In short, A+++++, would definitely recommend the Home2 chain, try to find one and stay there! Did I mention the fire pit outside, and the grills? Next time I stay in a town where a bunch of people want to see me, I’m going to see if there’s a Home2, get a room there, and tell everyone we’re grilling dinner at my hotel if they want to see me.
The whole reason we wanted to stay in Charlotte was because of Daisy and Violet Hilton. Graveyard #1. If you’re not familiar with sideshow acts, or Siamese Twins (conjoined twins), you may never have heard of these beautiful women. Sisters, born in England, pretty much sold immediately and exhibited when they were young, they were taught to sing and dance and put on the entertainment circuit here in the US. They finished out their lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, where they’d been abandoned by their agent/handler. They got a job at a grocery store, settled into a quiet life, and eventually they died there (of the flu – and don’t even get me started on how one of them died a good two days before the other, because it WIGS ME OUT thinking about someone… trapped like that. Joined. ::shudders:: ). That’s a condensed version – I’m not going to do a total history here, because there’s plenty already written that you can read on Wikipedia or Find-a-Grave (or just Google them).
When Sharon and I started planning this trip, I immediately went to Roadside America to scour through their maps and see what was on our route. Of course I was drawn to the Hilton Sisters, but I thought, “Sharon drives this way at least once a year to visit friends and family, I’m sure she’s stopped here a hundred times.”
Turns out that she hadn’t, so we did! It was a ginormous cemetery – much larger than the small ones we’re used to down here, but Find-a-Grave told us what plot it was so we thought we wouldn’t have too much trouble looking. HAHAHAHA. We took one look at the immense place and went to the office to find out which was Section M. The nice lady at the desk had to go ask where the Hilton Sisters were, but came back with a little map, and it didn’t look far so we walked out there.
The thing about the Hilton sister’s grave is this… They don’t have their own headstone. I’ve been trying to research why, because Sharon told me a little bit about it, but it’s just … so odd. So, this guy died, in Vietnam, perhaps, and he is buried there too. It’s his headstone. The Hilton Sisters died a few years later, and they’re in the plot there, but the headstone has this guy’s last name on it. They don’t seem to have known each other? Maybe? Or maybe they did? Google is not being a huge help with researching this story.
… do you think it costs more to get a river view?
On our way out I saw that there was a couple with the last name of Dye, buried right near a couple named Weaver. I’ll just wait here while that sinks in.
Stay tuned for more of the trip, as I get it typed up….!