Monday, March 30, 2015

Moving right along. . .

Yesterday morning we left Ocean Springs not really knowing where we were going. The camp we had planned to stay in fizzled out. They only one site left that we could fit on. That's never a good thing, taking the only thing left over. So on we went.

Terry found a camp that is actually in Georgia, but nearest to Chattahoochee, Florida. Not even a mile into Georgia. It is the Eastbank Campground on beautiful Lake Seminole. The lake is actually a bit larger than Dale Hollow, where we used to hang out. We are all the way to one end near the dam. There is a lock on the far side of the dam, so it is part of a navigable waterway. It is a Corp of Engineers park. Three rivers converge to form this lake, the Chattahoochee, the Flint, and the Apalachicola. Alligators, snakes and waterfowl are present on the lake. So much for water sports! Hahahaha It is lovely though and we have a water view from our campsite.

There isn't much around us here as the towns are very small, but we did go into the town of Sneads and did laundry today. I really hate not having my washer/dryer. There were laundry facilities here at the park, but only one washer and one dryer, so we opted to go into town and get it all done a little more quickly.

We've visited a few other campers on our walks around the camp with the dogs. One guy is here in a really neat old boat that he uses as a camper as well. We had thunderstorms today. Pretty intense rain, but not a lot of wind or lightning.

Tomorrow we head toward Leesburg, Florida.

Till next time. . .


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Our white Scottish Terrier Butterscotch has decided that she wants to see out the window while we drive down the road. No kidding. She really wants to look out. So she sits on the floor and stares at Terry until he picks her up. Lately she has taken to moving onto the computer tray. Terry thinks she wants to do the GPS navigating as she will move the mouse. I guess she doesn't always like where we are going!

When we left Cajun Palms, we continued our drive on I-10 and passed through Louisiana into Mississippi. Terry wanted to look around the town of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. We passed by all our regular haunts and stopped at the Davis Bayou Campground in the Gulf Shores National Seashore. There were a lot of sites for all sizes of motorhomes and ours was big enough but a little tricky backing into it on a curve. Of course the curve had a sharp dropoff, so it took some maneuvering but we got in and parked easily.

One of the items on Terry's bucket list was to eat at "The Shed BBQ." It was featured in one of the "Diners, Driveins, and Dives" television shows.
 I have to say that this place qualifies on the "Dives" part of the title. But the food was good, the atmosphere. . . well, it's a shed. On some days there is live music and I can see that it would be a really hoppin' place once the booze gets to flowing. It was fun and we enjoyed our meal. We got the sampler platter and brought most of it home to eat later.

The next morning we drove into Biloxi, crossing this bridge, because the camp host had told us where to buy seafood. We went to Quality Seafood and Poultry. Didn't see any chicken there except for the rooster in the parking lot crowing. We discovered that he hangs around there but will go up and down the street on that side. We bought some shrimp and some sheepshead. My friends Wes and Jan fish for sheepshead at Port Aransas and really like it, so decided to try it. We actually had some last night and it was really tasty. Still have some left. The shrimp I cleaned and we froze it, then bagged it using the food saver, so it will stay nice until we get around to eating it.

While we were here, we contacted fellow fulltiming friends Wayne and Kathy Page and went out to eat with them. We met them in the afternoon at the Beau Rivage Casino in Biloxi and had a great seafood dinner at the buffet. We talked for a long time. They are originally from the Biloxi area and left post Katrina. They have been fulltiming since then. It was great to see them again and have a chance to visit. Safe travels, friends!

Tomorrow we continue our trek east to Florida!

Till next time. . .


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Leaving the RGV, part Deaux

When we left Houston, we followed I-10 into Louisiana. That normally is a very rough ride, but it was not as bad as it has been other times. We often will run up to Zachary, north of Baton Rouge to spend some time with Terry's cousin Gary and wife Jo. We would have loved to do that, but there has been a lot of rain here and we didn't know if driving into his yard is a good thing at this point! Also, we planned to see some other fulltiming folks we normally don't take time to see. We just can't see everybody every year. I keep reminding everyone that the big four reasons we head to Florida twice a year is Brandon, Megan, and Brynlee and Jax. Since we only get to see the kids a couple times a year, they take precedence over everyone else.

We thought this year we would stay in some different places and see some other things we haven't seen before. For that reason, we stopped in for a couple nights at Cajun Palms RV Resort, Henderson, Louisiana. This really is a resort, but this is the off season yet, so their three pools, swim up to the bar pool, and miniature golf, etc., were not open. That was okay with us. . . we intended to explore the area instead. But this park is beautiful. Double wide paved sites, long enough for us to park unhooked if we wanted. Full hookups for $33 a night with the Good Sam discount. It is more expensive later in the year, and for holiday weekends they jack up the price to $55 a night. But it was a great stop for us.

After dinner, we drove into the town of Breaux Bridge, which is about five miles away. Breaux Bridge has. . . YOU GUESSED IT!!!!! A BRIDGE! In 1799, a man by the name of Breaux built a footbridge across the Bayou Teche for his family and neighbors. This first bridge was a suspension footbridge, likely made of rope and small planks. It was stabilized by being tied to small pilings located at each end of the bridge, as well as to a pair of huge live oak trees on both sides of the bayou. When traveling directions were given, residents would often instruct people to "go to Breaux's bridge...", which eventually was adopted as the city's name. Now the bridge is actually a lift bridge across the bayou. The town is in the heart of Cajun country and is known as the Crawfish Capitol of the World.

We also went to Lafayette and stopped at the welcome center. We planned to go to one of the two historical towns, but instead went to a little museum that told the history of the Acadian people. It was quite interesting because I had some misconceived ideas about where the Cajuns came from. Many of them came from Nova Scotia where they were deported for being "French" and they were scattered down the eastern seaboard and into Louisiana, as well as some being sent back to Europe. It is a tragic story really. They have a unique culture and their food and music are two exemplifications of that.

We passed by several cemeteries while in the area. They are so different from the cemeteries up north. They are quite fascinating, I think.

Till next time. . .


Monday, March 23, 2015

Leaving the Rio Grande Valley. . . 2015

Today is the day we left Mom and Dad and the valley. Sure hate to go, but it was another crappy winter here in the valley, so I am ready for a change. We went with Mom and Dad yesterday out to dinner one last time. We took them to Cheddar's and had another great meal. It was the first time Terry had gone with us there and he enjoyed it as well.

We had everything ready on the motorhome, jacks up, cleaned, etc. The Texas Room was closed up on Saturday, so we were ready to go and pulled out at 9 a.m. It was a clear day and we weren't anticipating any problems. We made it to the checkpoint at Falfurrias in good time, then traveled on to Victoria. We stayed in Victoria for the night.

From there, it was on to Houston and we stopped at Lakeview, where we lived while Terry was undergoing cancer treatment. My cousin, Jim, lives in Houston and has had some health challenges in the last couple years. He is doing well. He is by himself right now, but someone comes in every day to help with some things and there is a student living in his “maid's quarters” who sees that he has food, etc., and can drive him somewhere if he needs it. He has had surgery on one leg and when it heals, he will have surgery on the other. He is using a walker to get around now instead of the wheelchair. It is a long process. He had a “heart event” during the Tour deHouston a couple years ago and he is dealing with side effects from that. His spirits remain high and he is determined to get back into diving. It is good to have passion for something. His attitude is great!

We leave Houston tomorrow for Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. It's the heart of Cajun country and we hope to learn a little history!

Till next time. . . 


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Sights and sounds around town. . .

On Thursday we attended our last Rock 'n Roll Jam at Enchanted Valley Ranch. It was the best we had been to. There were some very good singers and excellent musicians. Even the "not-so-good" singers sang better than usual. One of the guitarists likes to play instrumentals and we like to hear them. I planned to upload the file of him playing "Pipeline," but it was too large, so I will try to link it to a web file. There was a new player this week. He played the tenor sax and sang and was very good. He also sells tapes of his music.

We went out and ran errands yesterday. I had to get a new passport picture taken and we got that done. Terry bought some plastic pipe so he could make some carriers for our front windshield mask and the side window masks. He was happy with what he got and made some nice carriers that will protect those items.

Every day we work at completing yet another job in closing down our place here. So many people are putting their places up for sale. There are all kinds of park models, RV lots and and trailers for sale with/without canopies, some are single lots, some double. A lot of the Canadians are wanting to sell out because their dollar is not as strong against the US dollar right now. Also, as they get to be 70, they say their health insurance supplements are much more expensive and they cannot afford to be without it. They pay as much as $7000 a year for supplemental coverage, so even if they sell their places cheap, they aren't spending that money every year. I'm telling you, if you are interested in a place in the Rio Grande Valley, they can be had reasonably in a nice park. Our yearly fees are $250, that's all!

One of the residents in our park has planted Texas Bluebonnets in their side yard. They are actually a wildflower, but I think the state flower of Texas. You can easily see them alongside the roads in the spring.

Yesterday on our way home, we saw what looked like a park model being towed up in front of us. As we got closer, we realized it was not a park model but an actual home! Well, I use that term loosely. I'm not sure why anyone was bothering to move it because it looked like it should have been torn down, but who are we to judge. At any rate, I'm sure it cost more to move than it was worth. The driver had to snake around under the stop lights which were lower than the home, but they were getting the job done!

Till next time. . .


Sunday, March 01, 2015

Winding Down!

The weather has just been plain crappy here in the valley this winter. I tried to be optimistic thinking nothing could be as bad as last year, but this year ran a close second. . . no, I would say it tied for first with last year. I know we shouldn't complain because it is worse up north, but we choose to come down here to have nice weather all winter and that just hasn't happened.

So what does one do when the weather is bad? Well, we don't get out much that's for sure. I started going to a Friday afternoon sewing group. Sometimes there are new projects shared that you may wish to create, or sometimes you can do your thing alongside others doing something else. I started crocheting ruffled scarves. I have tried to get someone to show me how to do these with no luck. So I looked it up on the internet and made my own. What's funny is that after I got some finished, then people were willing to tell me what I did wrong. LOL Thanks. But I have perfected my work and know how to get the result I want now. I made some arm knitted cowls earlier in the year and some of the ruffled scarves.

My latest project has been bags. Some people use them for beach bags because they have a mesh bottom and sides so they would be good for that, but they can be used for anything. They really aren't hard to do and I can make two in one day, even taking time to fix lunch. Here are the ones I have made.


It has been fun making these, but I have put everything away now. Time to concentrate on what needs to be done here before we leave in three weeks. There were some other quilt projects the girls did this year and I didn't do those, but I got the patterns, so I may try those next year. They are simple projects if you have the patterns and instructions.

Mom and Dad are doing okay. Daddy is still in a lot of discomfort from his back and no one has been able to help with that other than to give him pain pills. Then he sleeps a lot. We have been to a couple of the dinners over at the hall.

Terry and I have been going to the rock 'n roll jam over at Enchanted Valley Ranch this year. It's pretty good. They have some really great musicians and we love to hear them play. While they don't play rock (or our kind of rock) exclusively, it is much more palatable that the country jam they have at our park. At our park anyone who thinks they can sing gets to and some of them are so terrible. I don't understand people who are comfortable with getting in front of a crowd and proving they have no rhythm and can't carry a tune. But we have enjoyed the rock jams. Next week we are going to Canyon Lakes which also has a rock 'n roll jam. Should be fun. There was a couple who just left this morning and being here for a month. They are from Illinois and he is a rocker! He plays in a band, has most of his adult life and he is really good. He played at some of the jams we went to and then one night he came over and gave us a private concert. He is really good and we enjoyed his music.

We are leaving here March 23 and headed to Houston to see my cousin Jim. From there we will head to Florida to see Brandon, Megan, Brynlee and Jax and then on to Virginia to see Tom, Jocelyn, Ronan, Aenea, and Pepper. After that we will be headed to Indiana for doctor appointments.

Till next time. . .