Thursday, November 30, 2006

Alive and Well, but NO PHONE SERVICE!!

We just wrapped up two days at the Coushatta Indian Casino in Kinder, Louisiana, and decided to head south since the weather is turning NASTY. We are stopped for the night at Shady Oaks RV Park south of El Campo, Texas, on US59. We have no phone service, nada, zip, zilch. . . so we cannot call anyone.

We did take a little side trip to the Coushatta Indiana Reservation. There is a museum there and the guide there is 1/2 Coushatta and 1/2 Cajun. He was a very interesting man and since we were the only ones there, he really talked with us a lot and we learned much about the history of the Indians in the region. His name is Gardner Rose and if you are every there in the area visiting the casino, take a little time and visit this museum. It is free.

We are just here for one night, then headed on south to Corpus Christi. Drove through lots of wind and rain and then I got to do Houston, but it wasn't bad. Had a good navigator.

Till next time. . .


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Zachary, Louisiana, with Family!!!!

We arrived at cousin Gary and wife Jo’s on Wednesday before Thanksgiving. We have water and a 50-amp hookup in the backyard with plenty of room for the boyz to roam. We keep them in their pen, though, because there are coyotes we hear at night and we don’t want Bailey and Neal to get away from us.

We spent Thanksgiving Day at Jo’s sister’s house. Jennilyn and husband Doug were there, their children, Kasey (a veterinarian) and her friend Whit and Remmy with his wife Melanie and one-year old son, Ben. Also Jenny and her friend Derrick (friends of Kasey), Gary, Jo, Miss Teeter (Jo’s Mom), Terry and I. We had a great day. Deep fried turkey, cornbread dressing, peas, turnips, broccoli/cheese casserole, broccoli/rice casserole, cranberry salad, white beans with sausage, Cajun turkey and dressing, and dinner rolls. Lots of desserts, too. It was a wonderful meal with wonderful people and they really treated Terry and I like family.

After dinner we walked down the drive to Remmy and Melanie’s house which they just moved into a couple weeks ago. It is a gorgeous house done in a southwestern motif. The floors are concrete which is dyed with color and then cut into designs using a skill saw. The guy who did it was obviously a craftsman and the result is very unique and keeping with the southwestern flavor.

Later in the evening, Jo’s daughter Kristen and friend Jerrick stopped by and Jerrick wanted to see the motorhome. He really liked it. He is a very nice young man whose last name just happens to be Pace and he is from Mississippi. . . . could it be we are related? You genealogists in the family need to check that. He is from Prentiss, Mississippi, (not Prentiss County though),

Last night Gary’s son Chris and his family arrived in from the airport. They had flown to San Diego to spend the holiday with Chris’ mom and family. They decided to spend the night because they were quite tired by the time they got here. It was good to see Chris again and to meet his family.

We are going to have to run back to Waveland, Mississippi. I had an order from WalMart on line being delivered to that WalMart. I checked at noon on Wednesday last week and it wasn’t it. The email I retrieved later than night telling me it was available for pickup was sent at 1:19 pm that same day. Grrrrrrrrrrrr. So we may go back today.

Till next time. . .


Monday, November 20, 2006

Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

We left Summerdale yesterday morning and drove to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, to the Hollywood Casino, arriving around noon. Got settled in before the last Nascar race of the season and spent a relaxing afternoon lounging around.

It is too darn cold here. They say it is unseasonably cold this year and I am tired of it. While it's not been freezing, 40's is not my idea of nice weather. Once we see Gary and Jo, we are headed for Texas and warmer weather.

We went to the casino last evening. It was fun. We came out on the plus side and played for about 3 hours, so it was good entertainment.

We took a drive afterwards and even in the dark, it was easy to see the destruction this area suffered from the hurricanes of last season. There are some houses people are living in, but more FEMA trailers in the yards with people living there instead of in the homes. The historic downtown area is destroyed. . . buildings still there, but deserted and in disrepair. Lots of trash around and I suppose it keeps blowing around. In areas with water, I imagine wood and other trash keeps working its way to the surface and the shore. I will try and take some pictures today. While we spent some time in hurricane struck areas last year, we haven't seen this part yet. Our campground has some travel trailers that appear to be rentals. We were told today that a doctor and 3 nurses live in them as their homes were destroyed, so they are living here and working at the hospital.

We have received news from our friend Patti and she is at home in North Carolina. She is living in her fifth wheel at her nephew's house. She has full hookups there and is fortunate she can stay in familiar and comfortable surroundings while she heals.

We are here for at least one more night before moving on to Louisiana to spend Thanksgiving with cousin Gary an wife Jo and her family.

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Rainbow Plantation, Summerdale, Alabama

Our friend Patti is returning to North Carolina to be with her family. Her sister is with her as is her nephew who is driving her rig back home. They are going through Knoxville to visit with Mickey’s children. Then they are headed to Kinston where Patti will spend the winter. We continue to keep in touch and to pray for healing.

We spent last week in Red Bay, Alabama, getting work done on Phaeton Place. The big problem was the flat floor living room slide which was shearing pins about every 3rd time it was extended. Apparently it was not torqued down sufficiently when it was built and it resulted in the slide malfunctioning and it eventually starting “wallowing” out the holes for the slide pins and would shear them off. So they rebuilt the slide mechanism and replaced the motor. It has been working fine since then.

While in Red Bay, we stay at the Allegro Campground. They have full hookups with 50 amp and it is on the same grounds as the service center. So you don’t have to drive out of the park to get to the service center and everything is within walking distance. In addition, everyone there is getting work done as well and we all just visit and help each other out. We even had Hobo Stew one day and it was really nice. They were having a pot luck on Sunday, but we left before that.

Saturday we left and headed to Rainbow Plantation in Summerdale, Alabama. This is an Escapees park, so it is quite reasonable. Janice and Dean Schultz are here. They are members of the 2005 class and we have spent a couple days visiting with each other. This area is where they lived before full timing, so they know the area quite well.

Today they took us to Lulu’s Restaurant down on the intercoastal waterway. Lulu is Jimmy Buffett’s sister and they co-own the restaurant. It was quite nice and we enjoyed a good meal in the airy, water-side restaurant. We watched quite a few boats go through and a tug with a line or barges carrying coal. Afterwards we went out to Fort Morgan, one of the old star forts built in 1833. We walked around the fort. It was awesome. It is amazing the amount of work and materials that went into building such a large structure. It was mostly covered by earthworks, so until you were right there, you really couldn’t see much. There is a small museum there and we browsed through it when we were finished at the fort itself. The road getting out to the Fort was mostly underwater after Hurricane Ivan and most of the houses and other buildings were destroyed. Hundreds have been rebuilt and it is good to see things returning to some semblance of order.

It is supposed to start raining tonight and there are flood warnings for our county for the next 2 days. Hopefully it won’t be that bad, but we did put up our chairs and all our outside stuff. Easier to do it now before it starts than try to put up wet stuff later.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A sad, sad day. . .

This morning started with a phone call from our dear, dear friend Patti Ivey. She and Mickey are in Las Vegas where he had taken her to surprise her best friend who was visiting her brother there.

While Patti and her friend were out, Mickey collapsed and died from an apparent heart attack. We, and other members of the Graduating Class of 2005 (those of us who went full time RVing in 2005) are in shock. Mickey not only was a prominent member of our class, but also wrote and published RVer's Notebook, a software program for RVers to keep track of expenses and to maintain a journal as well as many other vital statistics for our rigs.

Mickey was a peacemaker in times of discord and always entertained us with his wit and card tricks. He chided me for misspelling his name as M-I-C-K-I-E saying I must never have been a good Mousketeer; then launching into a musical chorus of M-I-C, K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-E. I never forgot how to spell his name after that!

We hope and pray that Patti will draw strength from their many friends and family in helping her heal and get through this difficult time.

Mickey, Patti, Dale and Terry

Mickey and Patti and Frosty at Fall Escapade, 2006

Terry, Dean and Mickey cooking steaks in Victoria, Texas

Los Algadones, Mexico, February 8, 2006

How we will remember Mickey. . . as he was at Fall Escapade.

Rest in Peace, Mickey. You will be sorely missed.

Till next time. . .


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Back in Red Bay, Alabama

Well, here we sit in the hometown of Phaeton Place. Yep this is where she was born. When we woke up yesterday and started fixing breakfast, something electrical blew and we had only 2 outlets in the entire coach that worked. Very little electrical was working. We searched hi an low and couldn't find the problem. So we called Red Bay and they had openings in the campground, so we decided to skip Florence this trip and head straight to Tiffin. We arrived just before noon and checked in with Marsha and Rod, the campground hosts. Rod was interested in our electrical problem and asked Terry if he had checked the circuit breakers on the inverter. . . ???????????? Ugh, that would be "NO." He walked out, opened the hatch and flipped the lower breaker. Boom. Power restored. You would think something like that would be in the manual some place.

Met up later with an old friend whom we met last time we were here. Funny thing is that we are both parked in the exact same places we were last time.

The other big news is my laptop. The battery gets so hot so I bought a cool pad which really helps. Lately, however, it has become obvious that the power socket was loose and got to the point where something inside was arcing as it got extremely hot. It wouldn't charge anymore and I couldn't use it because it wouldn't stay on. The plug itself got so hot yesterday while I was trying to hold it in so I could check mail, I got burned on the finger. So Terry performed major surgery and tore my laptop down. He had fixed his a couple weeks ago. He had mine side by side with his and had pictures from a forum that showed the tear down on mine. At this point I had to leave. I can tear down a PC, but not a laptop. . . that makes me nervous, so I went outside with the dogs. He found lots of dirt and lint in the machine which he blew out. The good news is that he fixed it completely and it appears the overheating problems I had been having were apparently related to the power socket being loose. So problem solved and I am back up and running. He is just so handy to have around. :-)

Well, time to get my morning coffee.

Till next time. . .


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Chattanooga Choo Choo!

We spent the last two nights in Chattanooga at the Shipp’s RV Center and Campground. They have a Camping World and decent sites. Yesterday we did some driving around the city and went to Warehouse Row. It is apparently an old warehouse downtown which has been converted into outlets. The only problem was that there were only a handful of businesses left in it. It was three stories and we were back in the car 39 minutes later. But it was time for lunch anyway, so we left and went to Pronie’s, a sub/sandwich/pizza place. The food was very good and we enjoyed our meal.

We then went north of town to the Hamilton Place mall. It is a two story mall and very nice, so we got our walk in. While on our way up there, the traffic coming the other way was stopped for this wreck.
A Roadway truck had hit the guardrail and flipped his trailer. Talk about a mess. We came by about 4 hours later and traffic was still slowed and there was another Roadway trailer and they were switching the contents from one trailer to the other. The tractor cab looked pretty intact, so hopefully the driver was okay.

As we left Chattanooga today, I took a picture of Lookout Moutain.

Today we drove on down to Huntsville and thought we might be able to stay here for a couple days, but could only find a campground for one night. We are at the Space Center Campground and it is adequate, but our power just went out. Terry is outside trying to figure out what happened. We took a drive today and went up on Monte Sano. I was able to take some pictures, but the pictures just don’t capture the real beauty of the landscape.
We are leaving here tomorrow and going to Florence, Alabama, for a couple days. We don’t want to run into Red Bay until Sunday because that is the day they have the most openings in the campground.

Late this afternoon I took this picture in the sky. I know there is a name for this phenomenon, but I don't know what it is. Any of you readers know the name of it?

Till next time. . .