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Monday, July 4, 2016


     There are two ways to deal with Miami's summer heat, you can stand in front of an air conditioner or move to Alaska.  Our trek to Juneau began last month. The first night we camped in St. Augustine.
   We traced turtle tracks on the beach and

 relaxed in Old Town until, sadly, the sun rose to create more heat.
   We jumped into our AIR CONDITIONED van and headed north to Terry family reunion.  We stopped in Charleston long enough to admire

the sweetgrass basketry 
and to earn a little spendin' money

break dancing. 

  When that didn't go well (trying to "break" broke my body) Francesca opened a pop-up t-shirt shop.  With the kids' help it was very successful.
  Ian's smile brought people in and my wife sold them shirts, the  ones Natalia and Dylan were modeling out front. 
(Shirts available on FB, "The Mango Republic" page)
 By the end of the day we had gas money and moved on to the Isle of Palms.

    There, forty Terry's were waiting for us to join them for a "group shot". The photographer instructed, "On the count of three show me 'the real you' ".

The real us

    We were real hot so after a week of mostly standing in front of air conditioners we got back on the Alaskan trail.

     Stopping to rest along North Carolina's Andy Griffith Parkway,  I stretched out on the ground. Francesca, fearing chiggers, took to a bench. 
    A half-hour later my wife was at the wheel and I was scratching fresh, pink bites. 

We visited my sister, Linda, and her husband, Len, in Galax, Virginia. They're both doctors but neither took my chigger complaints seriously.
   I sought out sister Joan, south of Chapel Hill. 
Her husband, a burn specialist at NY Presbyterian, told me he could fix me up if I set my chigger bites on fire.  He's so funny, that Roger.

   Three hours north our friends, Phyllis and Fred, greeted us on their farm outside of Lexington. Fred, a retired ER doctor, told me reading a good book would take my mind off chiggers.

Francesca and Phyllis heading for Jump Mountain while Fred was showing me some good books.

      Heading west across the Alleghenies we pulled into Warm Springs. Two 200-year-old buildings allow men and women to "take the waters" in privacy. Thomas Jefferson spent three-weeks there in 1816 to ease his rheumatism.  
     An hour later we were passing through West Virginia where flash floods killed 24 people last week. They are still scraping mud from the roads. On White Sulpher Springs' Greenbriar Golf Course officers were using dogs to search for those still missing.

   On a happier note, we collided with cool weather in Columbus, Ohio. The mid-west locals attribute it to global cooling. We are staying with my niece, Lauren, and her husband Vince. 
Both are accomplished physicians with many years of training yet that they have little to say about chigger bite remedies.
Most of their attention is directed towards their daughter, Sophie.  We helped celebrate her five week birthday.

   It is now Independence Day and I hope you are enjoying yours. In a few hours, I'll be marching in this city's version of the King Mango Strut. It's called "The Columbus Doo Dah Parade". As you might expect, I will be representing the Ohio Pea Growers Association.

More on that later...


July 5th

I came, I saw, I doo dah'd.  I'll write more about how Columbus celebrates the 4th when time permits.  After watching large, naked women joust in the street on bicycles, you need time to gather your thoughts.


I will say I saw 
super heroes,

a very excited young man wearing a tu-tu and 

too many monsters to mention.

Sophie, Doo-Dah'ing for the first time, loved it.


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