Welcome to our travels and adventures

Welcome to our travels and adventures

Outside Again

Whew, we’re tired already and we’ve only been here for a couple of weeks! Saturday, a dozen of us drove over to McGuire’s in Pensacola to celebrate Carolyn’s birthday and had a great time! The food was good and reasonably priced and the company was exceptional! Of course, since we were near a fabric and craft store, the men were out voted and we had to stop and browse. The saving factor was that the store closed at 3PM (on Saturday – what’s that) and we didn’t have a lot of time to be ‘window’ shopping too much.

On Sunday, the 3 Ontario couples formed a click and went out to Big Daddy’s for lunch. Life is good; we got a good table outside in the sunshine over looking the Fish River – how much better can it get without wining a lottery? Of course, we couldn’t not go to the Ice Cream social at the club house – we had to know how the plans are progressing for the Mardis Gras festivities! More eating and more partying and a parade!

Monday brings us back to the club house for more crafts. Barb is learning how to make a tooth brush mat. It’s not for your tooth brush but was made in earlier times with the old wooden tooth brushes. Back in the day, when the bristles wore out, the ladies would file the head down and use the hole in the handle for their eye of the needle and weave a rug using old rags etc. I continued on with my caning project on the seat of the old chair. With the progress I am making, I should have it completed this week and then work on varnishing the other parts. It is looking real good and I’m impressed with my own handy work!

Tuesday night was an opportunity to gain some culture! The Baldwin Pops were performing at the Fairhope Civic Centre. It is free admission which fits my pocket book just fine! Ross, Pat, Barb & I found seats near the front and enjoyed an evening of wonderful music and great entertainment. The row behind us was full of other Escapee members from the park. We all know a bargain deal when we see one!

Wednesday, we took an afternoon off from our craftiness and took the kayak over to the Fish River and paddled around for an enjoyable, relaxing afternoon on the river! It was wonderful to be out there, lots of sunshine and warm temps! Here is a picture from Google Earth of our kayak trip. The red line is our route!

Thursday was a trip day. We departed the campground around 11AM and returned around 9PM. We drove over to Pensacola Fl., then south – yes you can still go south – to Santa Rosa Island and the Gulf Islands National Sea Shore. Lots of sand and lots of condo type homes on stilts! We didn’t see as many shore birds as we did when we were in Rockport Texas last year – we wondered if that was due to the oil spill! They (not sure who) are still picking up tar balls which are a result of the oil spill. The beach was closed with posted warning signs stating that there is still oil under the surface of the water and is hazardous to your health. I guess we took our bathing suits for nothing – ya right!

Friday morning, we say farewell to our new friends Ross & Pat from Lindsey, Ontario as they head off for more adventures. We have good memories from their stay here and hope we meet up with them again down the road.

Hope all is well where you are.

Can We Find Things to Do?

Wow, is it cold but it’s the same all across the south – except maybe Florida, we’re wondering why we left so early! Oh, that’s right, we wanted to get involved!

And, we have done that. We’re enjoying the events, crafts and camaraderie! On Friday, Feb 11, 60 of us descended on a little café in Daphne for a lunch out. Luckily, with some effort by café staff, they were able to squeeze us all in! It was loud but good food! On our way to the ‘home made chocolate’ store, we found a used furniture shop. Barb & I were planning to come back later but Pat insisted he drive us around to find the right chair for me to learn caning! I asked the owner if they had any broken chairs and she informed me that they do not take in broken furniture and directed us to another store that might carry something we’re looking for! After a short trip, we find a small warehouse of not so carefully handle furniture and found just what was needed! The sales lady wanted $10.00 but I chiseled her down to $7 with tax in! What a steal! I begin my caning classes next week!

Saturday is the monthly craft sale and breakfast with lots of people with their wares on display. Wow, so much talent! Everything was available to the shopper; of course I went straight to the baked goods table! There were wood carvings, wood signs, copper work, jewelry, sewing items, pysankas and other arts and crafts too many to mention.

Sunday, we shared a happy hour with some new folks from Lindsay, Ontario. It really is a small world with so many nice people out here! Then of course we just have to go to the weekly ice cream social! It’s ok though; we walk over and back to the club house to wear off those few extra calories!

We hope y’all had a great Valentine’s Day. The club house was buzzing with a Valentine’s dinner and dance. The band of campground musicians played love songs and ballads – no disco or rock so Barb & I left early!

Barb is busy this week with her regular activities and she is starting a new craft to learn how to make a cutsie teddy bear. I started the caning on Thursday but worked hard to get the chair ready to cane – it was a little rough around the edges! It had to be sanded, nails and screws removed, holes filled a rung and a hip support replaced. Once the caning is done, I’ll re-finish it with varnish.

As I write this entry, the weather has turned wonderful, low 70’s during the day and mid 40’s at night! It’s been great since the cold departed! Hope all is well out there where you are.

Love Being in LA (Lower Alabama!)

Busy, busy and more busy! Between the crafts, lunches out and happy hour, we’re outta our PJ’s way earlier! The park has been very busy with rigs going and new ones coming in. It’s been full couple of times but lots of spaces left as I write this. I’m sure that it will fill up quickly and soon as the park’s Mardis Gras 5 day celebration nears!

Barb has returned to the quilting group, pine needle basket sessions and the wood carvers. She has also joined a couple of new crafty sessions to learn something new. We both learned how to weave on sticks! Look out all badge vendors! Now that I know how to make the lanyards that are so popular for rally goers to use for their ID badges, we’ll be rich!

We spent a day wandering around thrift shops, flea markets and used furniture joints looking for a chair that I could use to learn how to re-cane the seat or back! There was one beat up, rickety rocker that would have been perfect but the guy wanted $40! I was thinking maybe $10 and never did the twain meet! Whew! There are none to be found. But, you just know that the minute we stop looking, there will be lots to be had! Each time we leave the campground, we look for other chair opportunities!

The weather is also the story here as it is all over North America – cold! At least we’re not shoveling any snow but we did have a ton of rain on Feb 4th. We didn’t expect to be so cool when we left Florida so it’s shock to our systems!

Come back again, keep well and drive safe…..

On the Road Again

We think the SKP Resort is a pretty park, well maintained and pleasant looking. It is always sad to leave somewhere nice but when we get the ‘ignition switch twitch’, we gotta move on! We decided to take the state highways instead of the interstates. From Wauchula to Dade City, the citrus groves were loaded with fruit in various stages of harvest. Once we were out of the citrus growing areas, the ride along highway 19 from Crystal River to Perry Florida was a little depressing. Many businesses closed, homes either abandoned or should be abandoned! It appears that the current economy has had it’s affect on this area!

The total trip from Wauchula Florida to Summerdale Alabama was 550+ miles so we decided to stay in one of our favorite overnight stops – WalMart! It is difficult to find ones in Florida that permit overnight parking but we found an online site that helped us find the one in Perry Fl. It was convenient and easy in and out AND, it had a Sonic drive in right next door so I didn’t have to cook dinner!

We drove through lots of rain on our way to Alabama but as we neared, it subsided so we didn’t set up in the stuff! Arriving at The Plantation was like a homecoming, so many familiar faces and stories to catch up on! We got the usual SKP reception with hugs all around when we checked into the office. Pat heard us arrive and came to say hello! It is nice to be here.

All set up and armed with the activity calendar, we set about organizing ourselves in time for happy hour in the clubhouse and getting to the sign up sheets in time for the soon to be events! Of Course, my favorite event is the eating out sign up sheet! There’s a lunch here and a lunch there and of course the 3 meals a week they serve in the clubhouse! Friends from Ontario are having a 65th birthday celebration and I swear I heard them say lunch on them at McGuire’s in Pensacola. I’ll take a few bucks with us anyway, after all their name is O’Brien – that could explain why we’re going to McGuire’s!

The activities here – I’m just not sure what to sigh up to – line dancing, quilting, beading, crocheting, woodcarving, BINGO and so many more – oh so many to choose! I think I’ll stick to the dining out ones, as you’ve probably noticed; I haven’t missed too many meals! Barb of course is in her element, crafts, sewing, seeing her buds from last time we were here.

There is one craft that interests me though. We are late arrivals so I need to find an old caned chair that needs repairing and the gents will teach me how to re-cane the seat and back. Several chairs were found in November and a project was set up as a fund raiser for the campground by repairing the chairs and then auctioning them off. So we’re off to the used furniture and thrift shops to see if I can get involved with this neat craft.

Until next time, keep well and warm out there…..

Wrapping up Our Stay in Florida

The park has a small festival happening this week called Cracker Capers. There are several meals planned, contests, a golf tournament and a closing meal and entertainment. The term ‘Florida Cracker’ is explained here .

Barb & I joined the golf tournament at the Little Cyprus Golf Course. We were on separate teams and we won 1st and 2nd places in a scramble format! It was a great time and we met more very nice people from the park.  The wrap up dinner was cooked and served by the Canadians in the park – somehow we missed that sign up sheet! The entertainment was several of the parks more talented folks doing skits and providing music to the rest of us! It was good fun!

Dick & Karla told us about a sky diving event at a roadhouse restaurant on the Manatee River on Monday so we all agreed we should meet up and watch. The place was jammed, what a marketing idea this was! Lots of people doing the same thing, a couple of wobbly pops, dinner and watch the sky divers hit a target anchored out on the river! Afterward, we went to their house for some cards and dessert! Alas, we must say good bye. We are leaving soon and this is the last opportunity to be with them this trip! This lifestyle brings us together with long time friends more often!

We decided that we needed another whack at the golf course. Playing a scramble just doesn’t satisfy the golfer in us. We teed it up but the weather forecast was not positive but we got 9 holes in anyway. We enjoyed getting out to play but neither of us brought the course to its knees!

The next day we toured over to see Solomon’s Castle. He’s an artist with junk! I was very interesting and neat on how he uses scrap to create his art and sculptures. The tour guides provide antidotes on most peaces in the castle. I had planned to treat my daring bride to lunch on the ‘Boat in the Moat’ but didn’t take enough cash! They do not accept credit or debit cards and the castle is out in the boonies – no ATM across the street!

The next day was cool and we decided that since we just picked up a new AV Receiver – ours finally died but not due to the power surge – or was it? Anyway, we put new shelves in the entertainment cabinet that allows for better cooling of the equipment and installed the new receiver and CD player. Still have to get glass for the door for it to be finished!

Our final tour took us over to Lake Placid for the day. We saw all 44 murals and toured Toby’s clown school and museum! The murals are spectacular, all drawn on walls about the history and events around Lake Placid.  All the garbage cans are artfully painted as well. It took us all day to view the murals. The artists added small items to each mural which viewers are challenged to find in the picture! To give the tour justice, we should have planned it for over 2 days! There was no time to visit the artist co-op or wander though the many shops.

We’re leaving soon for the Plantation in Alabama. Hope all is well there.