Sunday, October 29, 2017

Free Time!

The kids left Friday for a Disney cruise. It was a surprise for Brynlee. While we were out for dinner Thursday night, she got a call from Mickey Mouse himself telling her all about the cruise and the fun she would have. I still don't think any of that had sunk in even though Megan showed her a picture of the ship they would be on.

The cruise took them to the Bahamas, but a tropical storm threatened to dampen their plans. But I know there is a lot of stuff to do on those ships, especially one set up for family and lots of kids, so I'm sure she is having a blast. They are due back in port tomorrow morning and will be home after that.

We have been collecting packages at their house, as I order their Christmas stuff and then bring it back to the motorhome to wrap. I will have that all done today. As a matter of fact, we are going over there after lunch. I am going to get caught up on my laundry and we will watch the race there on Brandon's big screen TV. That is if Terry can figure out how to run their system! LOL

I also am going to try and update all my GPS programs. I never have a place to do that, so will try to do it there.

I have gotten back to walking and walked two miles this morning faster than I have been doing it. I don't necessarily try to walk fast, but just try to keep up a steady pace. It was not quite 70* this morning with a breeze and very nice for walking. It's not supposed to rain today, but it certainly has clouded up and looks like it could.

Yesterday we drove down to Okeechobee, Florida, to look at RV lots. By the time we got there it was pouring rain. I guess it was not the right day to do this as that is the tropical storm that is putting a damper on Brynlee's cruise. We did do some looking around and picked up a magazine, so we have some stuff to look at. Had hoped to spend some time in Florida looking at stuff, but Mom decided to come to Texas earlier rather than later, so we won't have time to do it now. But there is one place up near Tallahassee we are going to look at on our way out of Florida.

Had some excitement in the campground yesterday. We were getting ready to leave when a man walking a dog came up to us and informed us there was a woman out in the woods who said she had been on the ground for two days and needed help. He had called 911 and was taking a bottle of water back to her and asked if we would stay and direct the ambulance to the path right in front of our motorhome.

This may seem crass, but this couple had been through here two days ago. I also was concerned when I saw them stumbling and pushing a grocery cart and another two-wheeled cart filled with their belongings. They were trying to negotiate the water-filled ditch in front of our motorhome and pushing their stuff through the sand. It wasn't working and as they struggled they eventually both collapsed. They were drunk and incapacitated. At that point, I called the park office. A ranger came out and addressed them by name. Seems they are known in the park and have quite a history. They came in after Irma and a church paid site rent for one week for them. Then they pleaded with some campers to camp on their site while they were there. When those people left, they moved. The park had them in two different sites, but eventually they quit paying anything and the park asked them to leave. She claims she has a bad hip, but the ranger said he has seen her walk all over the park and even ride a bike all over the park. He said they have money for booze and cigarettes, but won't use that money to help themselves. He tried to convince them it would be easier to move their stuff if they would move it over to the paved road, but they refused. He told me they want to go into the woods and camp which is illegal. But he said if they do and nighttime security finds them they will be arrested.

Eventually the woman collapsed again, so the ranger called 911. The man immediately took off leaving his "friend" behind. She remained on the ground until just before the police got them, then walked off into the woods, leaving all their stuff behind. The police and park security went into the woods and brought the man out. They checked him out and then let him go. Eventually he pulled their carts back into the woods and we never saw them again.

Until yesterday morning. When the camper asked us to direct the paramedics, we stayed on site till they got there. They all went into the woods and brought the woman out on a stretcher, but she was sitting up talking and appeared in good condition. The man was no where to be found. So it's a good thing they got her out so she will have a nice, clean, warm place to spend a night or two in the hospital. The storm that rolled through last night dumped a lot of water in the park. I'm thinking that is the last we will see of her. I'm sure social services will try and help her out.

So things are going smoothly here.

Till next time. . .


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Florida Family Time!

We are enjoying our time here in Florida visiting with Brandon, Megan, Brynlee and granddog Jax. The weather has been miserable, though. It's been hot with a super high humidity, so it's been uncomfortable if you are out and about. And then it rains about every day. There is a lot of flooding here which we thought was leftover from Hurricane Irma, but Brandon said they have just had so much more rain than usual and it's not from the hurricane. Many of the sites here at the campground in Wickham Park have now flooded or at least have substantial water on them. We have to walk through soggy grass from the car to the coach even if we park close to the rig. Poor Duchess gets her feet wet whenever we take her out.

Last night, however, a "cold" front came through. And cooler temperatures are to prevail for awhile. It was 64* when I got up and hasn't warmed up yet. I took Duchess for her walk and it wasn't all that cold, but there is a lot of wind and that makes it feel much colder than it really is.

I went with Megan the other day to pick Brynlee up from "school." She goes three times a week for five hours and that gives Megan some time to do some things on her own. That has worked out well because Brynlee really likes her school. She learns new things every day. Yesterday we went to gymnastics class. They do about the same things that Aenea does in her class. . . some tumbling and exercises and balance beam stuff. Both the granddaughters enjoy that.

Last evening we went to dinner with Brandon and Brynlee while Megan did yoga on the beach. It had rained a lot here, but not sure what happened out at the beach. They were able to have their class though.

Today I am going out with Megan and Brynlee to visit her Mom and then out to lunch. That will be fun.

Till next time. . .


Saturday, October 21, 2017

On to Florida!

We left Chesapeake, Virginia, Wednesday, driving about 250 miles per day till we got to Titusville, Florida. We spent one night Basswood Lake RV park, in Dillon, South Carolina. It is right next to I-95, but all the reviews stated that remarkably, you don't get any road noise from the interstate. We thought that was odd and it was. Those reviewers just FLAT OUT LIED!!!!!!! Even running our overhead fans did not mask out the noise, but it made it more tolerable. Even so, we slept well that night and traveled on the next day.

Our next night was in Darien, Georgia, at Cat Head Creek RV park. We have stayed there before. It is a nicely kept park with full hookups, so we were able to get a load of laundry done during our stay. The next day we drove on almost 250 miles and are stopped for two days at Manatee Hammock Park, one of the Brevard County parks. We have reservations for 10 days at Wickham Park in Melbourne, starting tomorrow. Here is Terry standing next to the official greeter for the park.
Brandon came last night to visit and brought Brynlee while Megan is at a Plexus event in Orlando. We roasted marshmallows and had s'mores. Brynlee loves them, but she can only eat a small one. I really can't even eat one anymore. . . way too sweet for me.

When I stepped out of the coach this morning taking Duchess on her morning walk, I heard a rooster crow. Huh? What was that? Later I saw the "said" rooster pickin' at the ground around a campsite. One of the park attendants told me he was blown in with Hurricane Irma and hasn't left. He was much smaller and they weren't sure if he was a rooster or hen. But he is growing and developing his comb and tail feathers and crows! A lot! The campers where he was "loitering" are feeding him peanuts. Says he won't eat cornmeal or cheerios, but loves peanuts. He hops up on their picnic table to be fed. The squirrels will do that do, but the rooster will chase them away. What a hoot!

I did see some other wildlife on my walk this morning. Two snails, one with a shell and one without. Interesting creatures.

Today we drove up the coast and checked out a couple RV parks/retirement communities. We are thinking we will eventually end up in Florida, since Brandon is here. But we certainly didn't like anything we saw today and I'm thinking we will have to do a lot more looking before we decide on anything. We don't like the retirement parks. . . too many are old and run down. Don't really see newer ones. Not sure we are interested in a regular home, but at some point we might. Just not ready to make any kind of decision, that's for sure. Even thought about buying a few acres for now and doing something with it later. Oh well. . . time will tell.

Plan to sell the property in Goshen next year and put some stuff in storage. . . just stuff we feel like we have to keep.  It will be nice to be free of the responsibility of that home.

Tomorrow we head on down to Melbourne to visit with the kids. They have some activities going on, so we have to spend time with them while we can.

Till next time. . .


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Chesapeake, Virginia

Once we left the kiddos, we drove to Chesapeake, Virginia, and visited with Tom's parents, Tom and Sharon. When they retired, they moved closer to where the kids are and they had asked us to come visit.

We arrived on Monday afternoon and after getting set up, we drove on over to their house. They told us to bring Duchess and she really seemed to enjoy some place new. She wiped her muzzle on all the carpets and scratched her back on the sofa, so Pepper will have something new to smell. LOL

Tom fixed dinner for us, shrimp and pasta, and it was outstanding. We really liked it and enjoyed the company.

Tuesday we met them at 1 p.m. and they drove us to Newport News to the Mariner's Museum. Several years ago, the Monitor, the ironclad from Civil War days, was discovered in it's watery grave. Many artifacts were brought up and they also recovered the turret from the top of the ship. We spent a couple hours touring the Monitor display and it was fascinating. We saw the turret, although there isn't much to see. They keep it submerged in a water bath as it goes through a desalination process. Tom said they bring it to the surface every couple years and you can see it then in its entirely, but the rest of the time it is submerged. You can see the rim and it still is exciting even though you cannot see much. They do have a display mockup that is supposed to look like it was when it was discovered underwater. Pretty cool.

After the museum, we drove back to Chesapeake and ate at an Italian restaurant. It was very good. We said our goodbyes then as they had meetings and we had to get back to Duchess. We left yesterday and headed on down the road to Florida. Good times ahead as well.

Till next time. . .


Monday, October 16, 2017

Charlottesville, Virginia!

We left  the camp in Pennsylvania and drove on to Charlottesville, Virginia, to the KOA. Our site was waiting for us and we got in and set up.

We drove on in to see the kids and helped jockey them around to their various classes and Terry even gave Tom a ride home from work. The kids are homeschooled, but there are many classes offered in the community which the homeschoolers take advantage of. Aenea is currently in swimming, gymnastics, dance and art. Ronan is in art and swimming, I think. The classes take place in an older school which is nicely maintained and creates a good atmosphere for learning. There are places for parents to wait for their kids. It's fun to watch the kids participate in these activities.

It was a busy week staying with the kids. We were there every day to visit with them and share their lives for that week. We even did the "park day" when we went to a park and let the kids all play together while the parents visit.

We took Jocelyn and the kids "over the mountain" one day to the Amish cheese shop in Stuarts Draft. It is similar to E & S in Shipshewana, but a much, much smaller store. But they still have stuff we use. We had a great time with them. I did the driving and there were a couple places we stopped on the way back and I stayed in the car with the kiddos while Jocelyn and Terry did the shopping.

Saturday night Jocelyn and I went into town while Terry babysat. We went to see Tom's band, This Hollow Machine, play. I have never seen Tom perform and he is in two bands, so it's something I've always wanted to do. They performed in a small venue known as "The AnteRoom" in downtown Charlottesville. It was pretty cool and I enjoyed the show. It's not particularly my kind of music, but I enjoy watching good performers do their thing and I was not disappointed. It was a very good performance and the crowd seemed to really enjoy the music, as did I.

On Sunday, we drove out to Crozet to the Sun Cat Tree Farm. The farm is owned by a fellow homeschooler and all friends and family were invited out for a "music festival." I kept joking with the kids and asking if this was "Woodstock" for the "older, family" set. LOL They had three bands play and they were all very good. Everyone took their own chairs and lawn blankets and food/drinks if wanted. We did take drinks and snacks because after a rainy week, Sunday was hot and sunny with nary a cloud in the sky. Eventually, we even used our umbrellas to shade us. That was a good move, because if you can keep your head cool, the sun was tolerable. We really enjoyed the afternoon and the kids got to play while Jocelyn and Tom communed with their friends. We left a bit early because we wanted to get back to camp to feed Duchess and then we were going to join up with the kids for one last evening together before we left heading for Florida.

It was a great week and we really enjoyed our time with the kids/grandkids.

Till next time. . .


Friday, October 06, 2017

Clearville, Pennsylvania!

Where in the world is Clearville, Pennsylvania? Well, it's just a few miles up the road from Cumberland, Maryland. It happens that a campground, Hidden Springs, is "hidden" up there. We were hoping to score a spot at Rocky Gap State Park. We have read good things about this park, but when we tried to book a spot, no luck.
The colors are starting to pop out in the mountains. We have had beautiful weather and it has been cool at night and warm during the days. I imagine we will see more color going to Charlottesville.

We haven't traveled much this summer, what with my back surgery and then Terry's hernia surgery, and we had totally forgotten about the "other" three-day holiday. . . Columbus Day. We used to always consider Labor Day to be the last hurrah of the camping season, but now this holiday sneaks up and the state park was completely booked. So in looking through the area, we found this camp, just two miles up the road.

I really don't have any complaints about this little camp, other than it is a bit pricey. There is no wi-fi and no cable, but our satellite is working. But there are no "locals" to be had so that is a bit of an inconvenience for Terry. . . not much for me. We have a nice, level spot and we were the only campers in the "travel" section. There are seasonals here galore, but they are on another loop and many are hidden by trees, which is nice. We haven't inspected the showers, but the owner himself told us they weren't very good. He bought the camp about a year and a half ago and is slowly working at making improvements and he said the bath house will be the next big project. He is very nice and stops to chat, remembering our names even! We decided to stay here for four nights since it IS a holiday weekend and the chances of getting in anywhere else between here and Charlottesville on Sunday would be quite slim. So we are kickin' back and relaxing.

Today we drove over to the state park. Rocky Gap State Park has a casino. . . how cool is that? We went by it on our way to our camp and the parking lot was full. I thought that might be a good sign. So we went in this morning. It was busy, but lots of machines were empty. I did well on everything I played and walked away with more money than I spent. It was fun because I was actually entertained for a bit. Terry didn't do as well, so combined we were just about $12 to the good. But, hey, we were entertained for about 90 minutes and paid money to do it! Nothing wrong with that.

We came back and let Duchess out and then took off again. This time we inspected the state park campground. There were a lot of sites there that we could get Phaeton Place in. We were wondering in the event we are ever in the area again. Then we drove on in to Cumberland, Maryland. Terry wanted to visit the C & O Canal museum and site. They have a very small parking lot and we drove through, but it was completely full. So we motored on to Frostburg, Maryland. There was a fiber shop there I wanted to peruse, so we went a few miles up the road to that. The shop was very interesting, but I didn't buy anything. I'm just learning to crochet and I don't really want to invest in really expensive yarns until I get really good at it.

On the way back, we stopped at the only remaining toll house in Maryland along the historic National road. It was constructed in 1811 and made Cumberland the Gateway to the West establishing mile marker one. It is in the town of LaVale and is seven sided. There were placards on the sides to indicate the costs of passage through the gates on the road. Very interested. We have seen a couple others along the National Road in Pennsylvania.

Coming on down into Cumberland, we were able to find a parking place and visited the C & O Canal Museum and visitor center. We read about the importance of the canal boats in moving coal and other goods along the canal which ran from Cumberland to Georgetown. We have visited the Georgetown canal area when Jocelyn was in school there. Families often lived and worked together on the boats up and down the canals. There was an area for their mules to rest on the boat as well as the family quarters.

Once we got back to camp, we found that many more campers had arrived. Last night there were only two of us, but tonight there are about a dozen more. This must be a popular place.

Till next time. . .