Sunday, October 28, 2007

Rainbow's End

We arrived at Rainbow's End in Livingston, Texas, on Friday and will be leaving here Monday. We are headed to Austin tomorrow as Brandon, our son, will be arriving there shortly before noon. He is there on business for his company, Novell; and since we were nearby (heh heh), we thought we would mosey on over and spend at least an evening or two with him. I am anxious to see him. It's always good to see your kids. Our two live in different states, 800 miles apart, so it's not easy to see them. But it is wonderful that our children are doing well with their lives and getting along "without mom and dad," living independently and enjoying themselves, their family and friends.

We have been checking out the local food establishments in Austin to see what is really good. If any of you readers can recommend a good restaurant, let me know. We plan on going to "The Salt Lick" one night as it was recommended by some fellow campers at Kinder.

We are in the Escapees park in Livingston. This is a really big place, but it isn't all campground. A good portion of the lots are deeded lots and apparently you are allowed to build anything you want on your lot. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of restrictions. We are in an area that hasn't seen a lawn mower for quite some time. Neal is having a lot of trouble walking in the tall fescue. I put the dogs' mat out, but with the really long grass, it looks and acts like a feather mattress for them to walk on. There really isn't much definition to the campsites, no pad to park on, etc. I am surprised that it isn't maintained better. I went to do laundry and it wasn't what I expected. The floor needed mopping and the trash can was overflowing. There were lots of magazines that had been dumped there and apparently one person never came to pick up their clothing. A pile of clothing had been folded and was laying in the corner of the folding table. There were no roller carts like one normally sees in laundromats. There is another area for campers where we had stayed before and I would have asked for that if I had seen this site before we got back here. Just not what I expect from a business which is supposed to be for the RVer and particularly from the park which is their national headquarters. This is the second time we have been here and things have not changed in those 4 years. There are some properties here for sale and for big prices, too; but I wouldn't want to live here.

Yesterday we went out 190West and drove around Lake Livingston a bit. It is a very large lake and it was a beautiful day. Today we are watching the race and getting some housecleaning done.

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bragging a bit!!

I was browsing through some new pix my kids sent me and I just wanted to brag a bit. First up is first born daughter, Jocelyn, with first born grandson Ronan.

Next is first born son, Brandon, with his baby. Hee hee.

Till next time. . .


My Apologies to the People of Georgia!

If we were headed that way, we would do what we could to help. We were in Tunica last week and while there, we had several rainstorms that were over one inch at a time. They badly needed the rain, but not like Georgia. Now we are sitting here outside Baton Rouge and we had a soaker yesterday with flash flood warnings. I see that New Orleans got hit pretty hard, like 8 inches of rain! I'll see what I can do to send it to the Peachtree State. Hold on!

We are at Harp Camp in Zachary, Louisiana. Fortunately, our family here doesn't seem to get tired of us and we try not to overstay our welcome. Jo and Gary (Terry's cousin) are the consumate southern hosts. Yesterday we ran some errands in Baton Rouge. Terry had to get blood work done and I took the opportunity to do a little shopping. We were able to see newlyweds, Kristin and Jerrick, Jo's daughter and son-in-law. Also, Ms. Teeter, Jo's Mom, was there. I had worked on her computer the other day and I may have to go back today.

Before we got here, we spent a night in Vicksburg. While there we were able to tour the Union Ironclad "Cairo." If you ever find your way over here, take time to visit the battlefield and the Cairo. Both are impressive and the Cairo is the most intact ironclad in the nation. There are parts of others in a museum in Columbus, Georgia. The Nuesse, a Confederate ironclad, is on display in Kinston, North Carolina. They are unusual reminders of the clash between north and south and the history surrounding their development is amazing. I had read about them for years, but until the other day, never was able to walk into one and try to imagine the life on board. All of the cannon on board are the ORIGINAL retrieved from the Yazoo River. There were hundreds of artifacts preserved in the mud of the river and on display in the museum. The museum is free, but I hope if you go, you donate to the cause of preserving this bit of Americana.

We are leaving here tomorrow and headed for Houston. We are going to Trader's Village and while there, hope to do the Cabella's, etc. BTW, between Baton Rouge and New Orleans is a new Cabella's that just opened. We drove down there Sunday with Gary and Jo. Terry found a new metal folding table. He is very pleased with it.

Till next time. . .


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tunica, Mississippi

We arrived in Tunica Monday afternoon and got set up at Sam's Town. We have three days free camping here as they sent us coupons, plus gave us free "play" money for the slots. Try as I might, you just can't beat free. People are "boondocking" over in the parking lot, but we have full hookups for 3 days for FREE. We actually have 6 nights. . . 3 for me and 3 for Terry, but he doesn't want to stay that long. A man on a mission. Not sure what it is, but it isn't 3 more days here. We have had fun playing. . . not winning much, but not losing much either. They have 1/2 cent slots here. Can you believe it? Wow.

This morning we went to the Horseshoe Casino and had their breakfast buffet. It was very good and there was a large variety of dishes to choose from. We don't plan to eat again today. Hah.

On Monday when we arrived, we had quite a rain shower. It did not storm or thunder or lightning, but we got over one inch of rain. That is good for this area, as they are having a pretty severe drought and some lakes and ponds we drove by are dangerously low. Today (Wednesday) it is again raining. . . not a lot and not storming, but a nice gentle rain. I hope it helps their water situation. We are having some wind--about like strong breezes.

Once we leave here tomorrow morning, we are headed for Vicksburg. We were there four years ago and saw the ironclad "Cairo" at the battlefield park, but were not able to go in. They were re-doing some of the display. So we want to go see it now. It is intact enough to see what an ironclad was really like. We will probably do some other civil war tourist things while we are there.

Right now the dogs are telling me their supper is long overdue. We changed time zones this week and I try to acclimate the dogs gradually, but when it comes to food. . . they KNOW when it is supper time. There just ain't no foolin' them.

Till next time. . .


Sunday, October 14, 2007

On the Road Again. . . . .

We had a busy couple days visiting with family and spending time with Uncle Dan. Terry's Aunt was buried yesterday and one cousin who happened to be there was one I had never met. I had corresponded with her via email when Terry's Mom was in the nursing home. I know Terry had not seen her in over 35 years. It happened that she had flown from Montana to Michigan to visit with a daughter and that was during the time Aunt Obie was in the hospital having heart surgery. They had not seen each other in decades and Sarah was able to visit with her at length just before she died. I'm sure that was special for both of them. Aunt Obie was devout in her faith and was not worried about the outcome of her procedure, describing it as a "win-win" situation.

We hit the road again around 9:30 this morning. It would have been earlier, but we were only planning on driving 230 miles. The campground we had picked out was a real dive and we chose not to stay there. There were others along the way, but no information on them. We are reluctant to "chase" down campgrounds off the road because we have been burned too many times. So we continued to drive and made it all the way to "BoomTown" in Charleston, Missouri. Full hookups sites here are just $12 and quite adequate. Terry is currently snoozing on the couch, the boyz are snoozing in their beds and laundry is being done. I am the lone one awake.

Tomorrow we will make it to Tunica. We have some free campground days at Sam's Town. Heh heh.

Till next time. . .


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Family Time

We arrived at the Kosciusko County fairgrounds in Warsaw, Indiana, around 2:30 p.m. Had a good drive up from Red Bay, Alabama yesterday. Drove the Natchez Trace yesterday and it was beautiful as always. We were on it till almost dusk and I have to say I had forgotten how beautiful the drive is at that time of night. We don't normally travel late in the day anymore and we usually miss a lot. We saw several flocks of wild turkeys with as many as 20+ animals. Saw a small group of deer by the road once. Fortunately they didn't get spooked.

We spent the night at the Cave City, Kentucky, exit off I-65. Got in early enough to get to bed at a decent time, so we had a good drive today. Not a lot of traffic around Louisville, but had more in Indianapolis. Fortunately that is an area we know well, so traffic there doesn't bother us.

This afternoon my niece Kellie came by on her way to the Y for her workout. She is living back home with her Mom and Dad in the same woods where Mom and Dad now live. The woods is about 7 miles south of Warsaw, so this is a good place for us to stay. My parents also stopped by after supper to visit and catch up on our last visit with Ronan. Mom and Dad are going to help with the dogs tomorrow while we are with Terry's family. His Aunt died on Monday and the calling and services are Friday and Saturday. She was a twin to Terry's Mom. So we will be busy the next couple days. Tomorrow is my Dad's 83 birthday and my sister and I are taking them out on Saturday evening to celebrate.

Till next time. . .


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Red Bay, Alabama, then Goshen, Indiana

We are scheduled sometime today for an express bay here at Tiffin's Service Center. Have 3 short but critical things to fix, then we are rolling. We learned this morning that Terry's Aunt died on Monday at Ekhart Hospital. She was his Mom's twin. She had open heart surgery two weeks ago and died of a blood clot. She has been hospitalized since her surgery.

The calling is Friday and funeral Saturday. We plan to stay at the Kosciusko County Fairgrounds in Warsaw, Indiana, while we are in the area.

Once our visit is over, we will once again be heading south. I probably won't be posting for awhile as I intend to visit my parents and sister while we are in the area.

Till next time. . .


Saturday, October 06, 2007

Chattanooga, Tennessee and Friends!

We arrived at Chattanooga Thursday afternoon ahead of our friends, Ward and Patty New. We had planned on staying at Shipp's Campground where Camping World is located, but they didn't have two sites together for our rigs. So we went and explored a little and found the Holiday Trav-l-Park a couple miles down the road. We went in and reserved two spots and before we were all set up, Ward and Patty arrived. It was good to see them. The last time we saw them was at the FMCA rally in Perry, Georgia, in March and both Ward and Terry got sick.

The campground here is actually on the site of a Civil War encampment/battlefield and all the roads in the camp are named for officers. The park is right on the Georgia/Tennessee line. the north-south streets are named for Civil War officers. The streets at the north end are named for Union commanders; the streets at the south end are named for Confederate generals. Most of these officers participated in the combat around Chattanooga. The other streets are named for Civil War battles. In a corner of the park stands a monument to the 84th Indiana Volunteer Regiment. The monument was placed there after the Civil War by some of the men of that regiment who became famous for their fighting in the Chattanooga area. I was particularly interested, because I am from (northern) Indiana and had a relative who served in the Civil War. My Dad has his actual military discharge papers. I searched the internet for the Indiana 84th, but I found something even more intriguing. My relative was not on the list, but the men who served in that regiment were primarily from Henry County, Indiana. That is where I taught for 33 years and just retired from two years ago. A couple of the names were names that I recognized. That was really amazing.

We spent time with Ward and Patty, mainly eating out and sitting under the awnings chatting until dark, then moving inside one of the rigs. We parted company this morning and we drove on over to Red Bay, Alabama.

We are now in the Allegro Campground and from what we hear, we will have a 3-5 day wait to get into an express bay. We have a couple things we wanted fixed, like the awning and the driver's sun shade. Then two days ago our electric step refused to come in. Terry had to dismantle it and tie it up. We have blocked out 10 days, so we are in good shape.

Till next time. . .


Fun with Ronan!

We spent two nights at Misty Mountain and a good day and a half with grandson Ronan. We had a really nice time. We went with Jocelyn and the baby over to UVA in the evening and walked around campus just to get a little exercise. Ronan enjoyed the walk. He likes to stay moving. If you stop, he lets you know!

Tuesday I babysat while Jocelyn went to a water exercise class, so we got to play with Ronan. After she got back, we went to the downtown mall and walked around. We ate lunch at Christian's which is a gourmet pizza place. Really good pizza.

Their kitchen that we helped with last month is now back in order and Tom said it seems so much bigger. I think just having more cupboards and a shelf for the microwave, etc., makes a big difference. They are very pleased with the kitchen and it is beautiful. They have some pantry cabinets. Those are really useful because they make everything from scratch and needed space to store everything.

We left Misty Mountain in the rain on Wednesday with plans to meet up with the kids again in Florida at Christmas.

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Neal loves camping!

Neal asked me to share with my readers what he loves about camping. Hah. Actually this would be right behind FOOD for the little guy. That is his #1 favorite thing in the entire world.

We drove a long day on Sunday so we would get into Charlottesville early enough to spend most of the day with the kids. So we got up and drove 54 miles to Misty Mountain camp. Got settled in and then drove into see the baby.

The kids were just getting back from Tom's voice lesson. He is taking opera lessons and is studying with a very renowned instructor who believes he has a lot of potential. I have been trying to get here early enough some day to go to his lesson with him, but I didn't make it today. When they arrived, baby Ronan was fast asleep in his car seat, so I just took some pictures. We visited most of the afternoon before we had to head back to the camp to feed the dogs. Then we went back into town and Jocelyn, Terry and I took Ronan and went to the UVA (University of Virginia) campus to walk in the twilight. It was an enjoyable walk and the perfect night. We went passed the rotunda and other landmarks that have been here for a hundred years or so. It is a very impressive campus and if you ever get a chance, you should walk through. We passed Edgar Allen Poe's room which is preserved as it was back then. We also passed Cabell hall, which is a round lecture hall. Lots of history here.

Till next time. . .