Harvey, Jane And Their Olde Carthage Farm


The Traveling Chefs met Harvey and Jane in their Old Carthage Farm. In the course of their travels, the former oftentimes meet special people. At few times however, their path comes across with very special ones. This story is about one of these few times.

While searching at Google for a local farm one day, they found out that many visitors have rated Olde Carthage Farm rather highly. One person wrote, “What an amazing place, the owners are some great people…” G. Tomeski.

When The Traveling Chefs entered Olde Carthage Farm, in Carthage, North Carolina last September, two incredibly special people touched their lives. They were Harvey and Jane Godfrey. The former was talking to another gentleman when The Traveling Chefs were parking their RV. Harvey promptly ended his conversation with him and warmly greeted them.


“We have only muscadine grapes this time of the year,” Harvey said. “Would you like to pick them?”, he continued. The Traveling Chefs couldn’t believe their ears! They haven’t picked grapes before. “Of course!”, they said, selecting half a gallon container.

“Follow me!”, Harvey said as he led them to the vineyard. He showed them how to pick the grapes and surprised them by saying, “You can eat as much as you like. You only pay for the ones you bring home.”

He picked a couple of grapes and ate each one of them, spitting out the seeds and the skin. As soon as The Traveling Chefs knew what they were doing, he left them by themselves.

The Traveling Chefs took turns taking videos and photos of each other and sharing them with their friends through Facebook. “Where are you guys?”, many of their friends asked. They, too wanted to experience something like this.

When their tummies and their bucket were filled with grapes, they hastened to Harvey who was seated on one of the chairs available. He motioned them to sit beside him and converse with them as if he had nothing better else to do in the world.


He told them that he and his wife also enjoy RVing usually in Florida in winter. They don’t like the highways, he confided. When Chef Pedro asked if they also sell the flowers in front of them, he said yes. “I will pick some for your wife.”, he volunteered, requesting Chef Alicia to follow him.

Wait, did The Traveling Chefs tell you Harvey gave the flowers to Chef Alicia for free? He did! What a generous gentleman Harvey really is!, they thought.


Their conversations touched more deeply into each’s other lives including golf, family, vacation, and the farm. Finally, Chef Pedro inquired about the pond. “Are there fish on it?”, he asked. Harvey took some feeds from his barn and asked Chef Pedro to follow him.

As soon as the feeds hit the water, a throng of fish wiggled in the water. “Can I fish here?”, Chef Pedro excitedly asked. “I would love to let you do it, but I have been saying no to everyone,” he apologetically said. The kids have a great time feeding them when they come, he explained. For security reasons, he hasn’t allowed anyone to fish.

Meanwhile, Chef Alicia was spending time with Jane in their office. Chef Pedro and she found Jane very pleasant, down to earth and as amazing as her husband. They learned that Jane is the one doing the hard work in the farm, mowing and everything.


Before The Traveling Chefs said goodbye, Harvey asked Chef Pedro, “You love life, don’t you? “We should, life is short,” he replied. Harvey even asked for the phone number of Chef Pedro. They didn’t tell him they call themselves The Traveling Chefs.

As they drove out of the farm, The Traveling Chefs were telling each other how lucky they were and how great their hosts were. People are special because they make other people special, Chef Pedro thought to himself. Harvey and Jane will be in their hearts for a long, long time.

This is the kind of connections The Traveling Chefs are looking to make in their travels. This is the kind of stories they want to tell over and over again. Thank you for reading.

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Savannah, You’re A Beauty

Chef Alicia At Forsyth Park in Savanah by Peter Nunez Photography


Stephen, Kay and Michael have all vouched for the beauty of Savannah. They touted her old yet lasting charm way before The Traveling Chefs set foot on her. The three made them long for Savannah months before their visit.

And now, The Traveling Chefs find themselves in perhaps one of the most photographed sites in Savannah – Forsyth Park, a 30-acre treasure in the heart of Savannah’s Historic District. It is open everyday and there is no entrance fee. On Sundays, one can park on its side streets for free.

Savannah is Georgia’s oldest city. It was once its capital. Its Forsyth Park is lined by century old oak trees. Its famous fountain adds to its popular charm. Millions of tourists flock to this magnificent city every year.


Like many great old cities, Savannah has great buildings. Its Historic District comprises mostly its city limits and is regarded as one of the largest districts of its kind in the US. The Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist, one of these buildings was dedicated on April 30, 1876.

Enamored by the Historic District, the Traveling Chefs lost track of time. It was already dark when they realized they still have to find a place to park their Expedition where they intended to sleep for the night.

They have read they can park in the city’s Welcome Center which they failed to find. The one they drove to doesn’t allow overnight parking. They learned quite late that there are several welcome centers there.

Once again, Walmart came to their rescue. Although they had to drive for a few miles from the Historic District, they were able to find its closest store and found many other travelers spending the night on its parking lot.

When they woke up the following morning, they saw a Class B RV on a Mercedes Benz chassis parked a few yards away. Two elderly couple emerged from it. They already dressed up and looked fresh from a shower. The Traveling Chefs made a promise to themselves. They will have their own motorhome someday.

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A Detour To Jacksonville


From Savannah, Georgia, The Traveling Chefs were supposed to go to Asheville, North Carolina. They took a detour instead to the opposite direction – Jacksonville, North Carolina. It was closer from where they were and most importantly, they will be spending time with some loving people.

“Check the map, which one is closer – Asheville or Jacksonville?”, asked Chef Pedro. When they learned that the latter is closer, they decided to surprise Fred, Chef Alicia’s brother who lives in Jacksonville. Although they have visited Fred many times before, they still wanted to go there because they are close to him and his family.

They only planned to stay for the night. Asheville was likewise recommended by their children to visit. So, they planned to drive to Asheville early the following day. Fred however, had a different plan. He wanted to bring them to places they haven’t heard or seen before.

A TOUR OF THE U.S.S. North Carolina

One of them is the U.S.S. North Carolina Battleship which saw action in the Pacific including the Philippines during the 2nd World War. Chef Pedro and Chef Alicia found the tour of the battleship informative and interesting. They took many photos.

Fred also brought the Traveling Chefs to Topsail Island Beach and to one of its piers where many people were fishing. There is an entrance fee to the pier.

Topsail Island in Jacksonville, NC By Peter Nunez Photography

For dinner, Fred and his wife Arlene invited them to eat in the former’s favorite Japanese restaurant – Wasabi Japanese Sushi and Cuisine, currently rated 4.7 stars. The wide selection of their menu and the quality of their food impressed The Traveling Chefs who have a liking for Japanese cuisine.

The Traveling Chef took a detour to Jacksonville to be with relatives

Instead of proceeding to Asheville, The Traveling Chefs embraced the unequaled hospitality of their hosts. They are fortunate to have relatives who care. Nothing is more essential to a healthy and happy life than the quality of our relationships, Chef Pedro recalled a Harvard study.

In life, The Traveling Chefs have found it’s not easy to say goodbye to the people they love who love them in return. So, even though they skipped Asheville, they had no regrets. Their one week vacation is over. It’s time to go home.

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They Drive By Tybee Island

The Traveling Chefs’ DRIVE BY Tybee Island

Going north from Amelia Island, Florida, The Traveling Chefs have initially thought of going to Asheville, North Carolina. They planned of getting there by way of Savannah, Georgia. They drove by Tybee Island first.

Before they reached Savannah though, they saw a sign to Tybee Island. Without a moment’s notice, they decided to drop by there. Chef Pedro has heard of its famous lighthouse, just one of the seven remaining lighthouses built during the colonial era.

They were not disappointed when they got there. Standing 144 ft tall, the lighthouse was first built in 1736 in the mouth of the Savannah river in the northeastern part of Georgia.


While enjoying the scene, The Traveling Chefs met a couple who are also residents of Florida. The couple told them they also love to travel and they own a trailer RV. Their new friend (the woman) took the above photo.

Whenever Floridians meet and their conversations become longer, sooner or later, they will talk about hurricanes. The couple mentioned whenever there is an approaching hurricane, they skip the state. Their trailer RV enables them to do so. Their revelation boosted The Traveling Chefs’ desire to buy one.

While there, The Traveling Chefs enjoyed a hearty lunch at Fannies On The Beach, a beachfront restaurant. They had quite a selection of seafoods in their menu. They can’t remember what they ordered for main dish but they’re pretty sure they had coconut shrimps for appetizer.


The early afternoon sun shone fiercely and the long sandy walk deterred Chef Alicia from going with Chef Pedro to take photos of the beautiful pier. He has previously seen photos taken by others in this very spot. Deprived of his constant model (Chef Alicia), he patiently waited for a stranger to pass by. Finally, a woman stopped at the spot he wished someone would.

Unknown Woman In Tybee Island Pier by Peter Nunez Photography

There it is. Picture perfect! A beautiful moment of an unknown woman framed for eternity. Now, the Traveling Chefs can leave for Savannah.

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To Catch A Sunrise At Fernandina Beach


Have you waken up at 4:30 am to catch a sunrise? What if you’re going to wait for the sun to rise at Fernandina Beach, where they say you can view one of the best sunrises in the Sunshine State?

Fernandina Beach, the northernmost city of Florida on the Atlantic side is a little over three hours by car from Orlando. To get a good parking spot close to the beach, the Traveling Chefs have to be there by 4:30 am. This requires them to wake up at 1:30 AM.

That’s not going to happen Chef Pedro thought. “Why don’t we spend the night there?”, Chef Pedro asked Chef Alicia. “Okay,” she said, as long as they could save some money on lodging.


The Traveling Chefs have been following some travelers on YouTube converting their vans into houses on wheels. So they had thought of doing the same to their Ford Expedition. They removed the 2nd row seats, folded the 3rd row as well as the driver and passenger seats, and voila, they have a bed!

Chef Alicia was initially against it. She thought the folded seats would be uncomfortable. “And where shall we park our car?”, she worried. “At Walmart parking lot,” Chef Pedro answered.

They’ve researched on how to make their converted bed comfortable and decided on buying sleeping bags which turned out to be a smart idea. The ones they bought are very soft and comfortable. And to shield the windows from inquiring eyes, they used the Thermal Shield Film from Home Depot. Builders use this to insulate houses. They cut it with scissors into the shapes of their SUV’s windows.

Earlier, he had verified with the store manager they can park there. They just have to park on the lots away from the entrance.


There were three other cars parked farthest from Walmart’s entrance when they arrived at 10 PM. One of the cars has its windows covered similar to theirs. They parked close to them in a lot under the lamppost. It will be safer there, they thought.

Before they slept, they made sure they knew where they kept their car keys. They also have their pepper sprays and their hunting knife ready for emergency. Shortly thereafter, he heard her snoring. Look at this lady, he thought to himself. Initially terrified of this whole idea, she is now asleep like a log.

At 4 AM, he nudged her to get ready to leave for the beach. On the way there, they spotted Starbucks and bought two cups of hot coffee. There were three other customers inside, two of them were police officers. This time, all his fears vanished. They took turns going to the restrooms to wash their faces and to brush their teeth.


Their red Expedition was the first car on the beach parking lot under the palm tree. They left their windows covered with the makeshift film which worked well to their amazement.

As the sun began to rise slowly above the water, he aimed his camera at it. Some people gathered close to the water. He decided to stay beside Alicia farther back.

He stood in awe. She glanced at his wife. She remained seated motionless on her chair.

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And We Stumbled Upon Yosemite

“Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing
while in pursuit of something else.”
~Lawrence Block


We stumbled upon Yosemite when we went to California for the first time to attend the wedding of our adopted daughter Pau. She is the same daughter of ours who went with us to Aruba. She was getting married to Ricky who lives in from California.


After the wedding, our other daughter Joni, asked if we wanted to go with them to Yosemite. I heard of Yosemite a while ago because of my interest in El Capitan, a mountain made of granite, a draw to photographers. It is in Yosemite. Without a second thought, Alicia and I said yes! Had we known how far Yosemite is from Vallejo and how stiff the cliff is going up there, perhaps, we would have had some second thought.

Yosemite is about 217 miles by car from Vallejo, Ca., site of the wedding. Most of the trip to Yosemite was uneventful until we approached the cliff going to Yosemite. The road is very narrow and nothing separates it from the edge of the towering cliffs. This frightening circumstance drove Alicia crazy. Her fears of heights and death brought her to tears.


“Stay calm, otherwise I will be frightened myself and we’ll tumble down the cliff”,  I told her.  Every time an incoming car approached ours, we had to drive slower and sometimes even pull over to the very edge of the cliff to avoid it. This exacerbated our fears even more. We were in jubilation when we reached the end of it.
Siri, our i-Phone assistant is good with directions except when there is no connections. We’ve lost connections more than a couple of times on the way to Yosemite. In fact, we were only able to talk on the phone with Joni on our second day in Yosemite and we agreed to meet in Yosemite Valley where 90% of the tourists congregate. El Capitan is also there.

We felt lost on our first night in Yosemite. We stumbled upon a roadside hotel overlooking a  mountain on its front and  a stream on the back. We had a great breakfast in their restaurant which was fully-booked.


We met Joni and her family in the very foot of El Capitan. With them were Joni’s friends Dong and Rachel who guided us for free in all our wanderings there up to Lake Tahoe where Alicia and I had booked previously. 

Dong and Rachel led us to the Half-Dome, the Bridalveil Moraine, the Cathedral Rocks, and the Tunnel View. Each of these places we found amazing. El Capitan consumed most of my attention for its towering height, granite construction, and gargantuan mass. There were people climbing this vertical monster but they weren’t visible to the naked eye. They looked like ants in the binoculars.

On our way to Lake Tahoe, Dong and Rachel made it a point to let us stop on some scenic spots along the way. They pointed to us the Death Valley and other interesting spots which I can’t now recall. We remember though the mountains’ towering heights,  the tall trees, the green leaves, the smell of the pine trees, the visitors’ happy faces, the singing of the birds, the butterflies, the streams, and the lines of cars and buses.

Indeed, “…it’s not the destination. It’s the journey,” as Ralph Waldo Emerson said. That is why we talk so much about our travels. May our travel to Yosemite inspire you to do the same. Don’t count the cost. It’s nothing compared to the memories it brings.

And one thing more – while pursuing something as you’re traveling, allow yourself to stumble upon something else.   Thank you for reading. 

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