Nov 04 2019

Hallway through the center courtyards, the water tower is in the middle

During our stay at Huntington Beach South Carolina State Park our family visited the Atalaya Castle. There is a small fee to tour the house, if you want you can purchase an audio tour for an additional fee.  We choose to do the tour on our own.

Atalaya has a neat history!  It was built by Acher and Anna Huntington during the Great Depression. Archer was their philanthropist from New York City and Anna was an artist. They built the house in South Carolina as a place to stay during the winter after Anna was diagnosed with tuberculosis. They designed the house after Spanish and Moorish architecture. The house has 30 room with a center courtyard full of native plants and a water tower. The Huntington’s insisted that the house be built by people from local community to help boost the economy in that area during the Great Depression.  The house was once on 9,000 acres of land.

If you are in the area and have some extra time we recommend stopping by for a visit.

One side of the inner courtyard

Touring the castle

Anna was a sculpture and she designed these wrought iron pieces to cover the windows. They are both decorative and serve as protection from hurricanes.

Entry doorway

Vine growing up through the window

In the kitchen….

My crew!

Outside of Atalaya Castle

Oct 21 2019

Peaceful

We had nice walks along the boardwalks near the marshes at Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. The boardwalks went out over the marshes where you could see a variety of wildlife and enjoy the beautiful weather. There was at one point a nature center, but it was currently being rebuilt when we were there.  It will be another great addition to the park once it is complete. There were not a lot of bugs in the evenings when we went for walks which was really nice.  It was a good place to visit, explore, and spend time together with the family.

The Huntington Beach campgrounds were nice. We had electricity and water hookups at our campsite.  There was only one trash dumpster in the whole campground and it is near the visitor center / gift store so depending on where your site is located you may have a good hike to get rid of your trash. The bathrooms only had 2 showers and there were not a lot of bathhouses on the campground. We went after school started so it was not the busiest season but there were still lines to get into the showers most days.  Overall it was a great park and we enjoyed it.  The biggest improvement would be in the bathhouses, they could have been a little cleaner and larger.

Sunsets were beautiful

We stayed at campsite 111. It was gravel and level

Nice walk at dusk through the marshlands

Awesome boardwalk that takes you through a good bit of the marshes

Sun is going down

The clouds looked pretty neat

Enjoying the last few rays

Sunset reflecting off the clouds

Quiet day at the marshes

Last rays of the sun going over the horizon

Huntington Beach State Park Chairs

Love this sign!

Oct 19 2019

Enjoying the rain on the beach!

We had a wonderful time on the beach at Huntington Beach State Park.  It was a mix of sun and rain!  The rain didn’t stop us from heading to the beach for some fun in the sand and water.  We stayed at the Huntington Beach Campgrounds, it was a nice walk to the beach.  Access to the beach wasn’t too far from our campground and it was pretty quiet.  Only a few families were on the beach near us.  If you walk further down the beach it got a little bit more crowded especially on the nicer days.  Thankful for an opportunity to get away together and enjoy some time at the beach.

Digging in the sand and watching the little critters

On the run

Fun on the beach

Birds, Sand and the Atlantic Ocean

Sand art

My crew

All smiles

On the move

Atlantic Ocean

Dusk walk on the beach

Sun is going down and the rain clouds are moving in now.

Enjoyed our time at Huntington Beach

Oct 13 2019

Kit Carson County Carousel Wooden Token

This is the second time we have visited the Kit Carson Carousel. It sits on the edge of the Kit Carson County fairgrounds in the small town of Burlington, Colorado. The first time we visited the carousel we were driving Interstate 70 from Colorado to Kansas to visit family.  We were looking for a good place to stop for a little bit and stretch our legs.  It was such a neat place to visit we told other family members about it and the next time we were driving through we stopped to share the experience with them!

The carousel was #6 of the 74 carousels made by Philadelphia Toboggan Company.  It was made in 1905 for the Elitch Gardens amusement park and was used until 1927.  In 1928 Kit Carson County purchased the carousel for $1,200 (the price included shipping).

The carousel animals are stationary with three animals per row.  The original Wurlitzer band organ has been restored and plays music when the carousel is in motion. The carousel is inside a 12 sided framed building on the edge of the fair grounds with a museum and small gift shop beside it.  It is the only antique carousel that still has the original paint on both the panels and animals. Most modern carousel go approximately 8 mph, however, the Kit Carson one goes a whopping 12 mph.

The carousel has quite an interesting history. During the Great Depression the carousel spent several years in storage. They local town stored grain inside the building that housed the carousel. At one point 3 of the animals were stolen and later found in another state. It was designated a National Historic Site in 1978 and National Historic Landmark in 1987.

If you are in the area or driving through on I70 we would encourage you to stop and explore this neat carousel. It only costs 25 cents to ride the carousel and $1 to visit the museum.

Riding the Kit Carson County Carousel

Flowers at the Kit Carson Carousel

Going for another ride on the carousel!

All smiles!

Kit Carson Carousel building

Other side of the wooden token!

Jul 30 2019

If you guessed the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri you are correct!  We have actually been in St. Louis 4 times already this month.  I have seen the Arch many times driving through St. Louis, but a couple years ago we actually went up in it.  It is a great place to visit with some neat history.  There is actually a museum in the bottom of the arch.

Did you know?

  • Arch is 630 feet tall
  • It is made of Steel and Concrete
  • Eero Saarinen was the Finnish-American architect who designed the Arch
  • From the top of the Arch on a clear day you can see up 30 miles in either direction
  • Tram ride takes 4 minutes to go up and 3 minutes to go down
  • There are 1,076 steps inside the arch, however, they are only used for maintenance and emergencies
  • It was originally called the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial now it is the Gateway Arch National Park
  • The Memorials to Thomas Jefferson, for his role in opening the West & Dred Scott who sued for his freedom in the Old Courthouse
  • Directly across the Mississippi River from the Arch on the Illinois side is the Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park  where the Gateway Geyser (the tallest water fountain in the U.S.) and the Mississippi River Overlook can be found

If you are going through St. Louis, Missouri and have extra time I encourage you to check it out.