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Having watched Cash And Treasures on the Travel Channel, both my wife and I have wanted to try some of those trips. In March, we are driving down to Virginia where I am going to be running a marathon. But I noticed that North Carolina was the next state down. And I was pretty sure that one of the Cash And Treasures shows had taken place in NC. I search and sure enough, they had been hunting emeralds in Hiddenite, NC. That was less than a 6 hour drive away. Hmmm. And the emerald hunting looked like fun. And coincidently, the Cash And Treasures episode with the emerald hunting was just on during a New Years marathon of the show. So I talked to my wife, and she is all excited. Well, me too. We are planning on taking a couple day drive down to the marathon when I am hopefully going to qualify for the Boston Marathon by running a 3:30 race. We will staying over night there, and then Monday drive down towards Hiddenite. We will stay overnight there, and then on Tuesday actually do the emerald hunting. My legs should be feeling a little bit better by Tuesday. I am sure they will still be a little sore though. If we have fun the first day, maybe we will stay and do a second day before driving back up north.
There was another place down in Georgia with amethyst hunting, but my wife seemed to be happy with just doing the emeralds. And on the show, they seemed to be finding more than just emeralds. Some of the other stones listed on the places website are aquamarine, sapphire, garnet, topaz, amethyst, citrine, rutile, tourmaline and hiddenite.
I am planning on getting the combo permit which will allow us to do digging, creeking and sluicing. I am a strong guy, so the digging wont be that hard. But then the creeking could be fun too.

I finally got around to booking a hotel in Virginia Beach, VA. I have been procrastinating, but decided I better do it before the hotels are all filled. I am running the Shamrock Marathon in March and wanted something near the starting line of the race. The Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront is 2 blocks from the starting line, but when I looked, it was full. But I used the address for the Hilton to search at Orbitz. I was able to search by address, and it would show me the closest hotels first.
The closest was a Knights Inn, followed by a Travelodge, which was followed by a Ramada. The Knights Inn and the Travelodge were only .2 miles and both 2 star hotels. The Ramada was listed as a 3 star hotel, and .3 miles away. The Ramada didn’t cost that much more than tke Knights Inn. But when I started reading the reviews of the Ramada, it was trashed. Everyone who reviewed it in the last year or more gave it a one out of five. Not good. The cheapest of the three was the Travelodge, but it also had some poor reviews. The Knights Inn had the best reviews of the three, but still a few negative ones.
I brought the seacrh up on my laptop computer, and found some new possiblities showed up that for some reason hadn’t appeared during my first search. Also the price for the Knights Inn had gotten cheaper. Cool! I examined the new listings, but the Knights Inn still seemed to be the best deal. Out of curiousity, I went to Knights Inn’s site and looked up the prices there. I was able to book the same room there for two nights and save $20 over the price at Orbitz.

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