Welcome to our travels and adventures

Welcome to our travels and adventures

Heading North

Whew, I must apologize to our regular readers for my tardiness in updating our blog. We have been out of communications for a week but I digress about our woes! I will try to bring this up to date with our move to Knoxville, Tn then onto home in Ontario.

We arrived at the Escapee, Raccoon Valley campground just north of Knoxville Thursday afternoon, Apr 14th. The new club house provides more room for socials and meals. The renovated sites are better but not bigger. All in all, the renovations are an improvement to what it used to be.

Holy coldness! We’ve been here for a couple of days and except for the 1st day, it has been cold since the storm passed through on Friday night, lots of rain and wind here! OMG, the ceiling in the shower is damp after the rains. Barb pointed this out after the last rain we had while parked in the WalMart in Moultrie Ga., but I thought the wind blew it up under the Fantastic vent cover! So, up I go to inspect the roof, vent and caulking. Holy cracks! The caulking had a couple of hairline cracks in it and had lifted up in one area so it needs to come off and be re-caulked! Thanks goodness for knee pads, it took a bit of time to peel the old caulk off, clean the area and apply the new caulk. Of course, when up there and almost all the old caulk off, I only then thought about the tube of caulk being old and dried! It would just finish the day off if it had been – no caulk and now no sealant around the vent and the skies are threatening more rain but all was good and now resealed!

Not much going on here. Barb finished a couple of projects on her sewing machine and I caught up on our laundry. We toured around the area on Sunday, looking for used chairs that needed some TLC and some caning but none available. Of course, we went to the ice cream social in the Escapee club house in the afternoon.

Our oldest daughter invited us to spend Easter with them at their ski cabin in NW New York so we  left the flowering Dogwoods and leafing trees to view gray and early spring flora! We pulled into a WalMart just off I75 for some supplies. There were a couple of other rigs there so we pulled up beside a Class C and went inside WalMart to shop. As we came back, a guy approached us from the ‘C’ with his hand gun slung in his holster on his hip! Needless to say, Barb & I were a little anxious! We politely say hello and tried to get aboard the truck without delay. He is trying to explain why he feels it is necessary to carry and we nod and agree about the ‘weird’ folks around and climb into the truck and got going! It was a little unnerving to be approached!

We stayed in a WalMart about 60 miles south of Cleveland for the night. We parked in the lot adjacent to the Tire & Lube department and were assured by Customer Service that we will have a quiet rest. Boy was she wrong! By the time we retired to bed, there were more than a dozen big trucks all around us. And it was cold – brrrrrrr – and of course the truckers needed to keep warm and the refers cannot be shut down so we didn’t have that nice quiet rest!

Our daughter had arranged to store our rig at a farmer and we arrived mid day and he met us and made the move in easy. After packing and organizing food and beverage, we drove the short distance to their place. It was a nice weekend, just the 4 of us relaxing, playing games, kibitzing and catching up! It rained most if the weekend except Saturday so we headed out to browse around and found 4 chairs that were suitable for me to cane – now I have lots to do this spring!

We stayed over night in the farmer’s yard until Tuesday AM and headed for the border! It was easy this time, no guards boarding, no x-raying or guards searching our cabinets! The border guard just said welcome home! We haven’t had it that easy from them in awhile!

We arrived at Larry’s Tuesday afternoon and had to set up in the pouring rain. Wednesday was warm but then turned nasty in the afternoon with high winds and lots of rain. Thursday morning we had high winds and lots of rain, again and it turned cold! Can it get more miserable?

So now you know how we’re doing and we hope you’re ok where you are.

Behind the Ropes

Saturday and Sunday, we had to play our golf around the 2nd annual weekend long tournament here honoring The Masters being played in Augusta, Georgia this weekend. Friday night, we were kibitzing around the campfire and came up with a plan to have fun with the golfers here during their tournament. The tee time for the tournament was 1PM so the four of us played 9 holes early so we could get set up for the official tee off!

We found some yellow rope and tied it up to a tree and a stake in the ground to form the line for the gallery. We took our 4 chairs up to the ropes and awaited for the 20 or so players to come through. What a hoot! We cheered and applauded each drive, asked for autographs and took pictures of the ‘pros’ as they started their games! It couldn’t be too serious as they each hit two balls off the 1st tee and selected the best one to play! As we joked with them about this, they claimed it was to replace the trip to the range and they only did it on the 1st hole! You know you’re playing redneck golf when…..  Anyway, they all had a great laugh at our salute to The Masters!

We had nine holes to play so we followed in behind the last group (a five-some) and completed our round. After we put our clubs away, we gathered the rope, a couple of beverages and went to the eighteenth green to cheer them on as they came up the last hole! We tied the rope from the left roof support of one cart to the right roof support of the other cart and sat in our carts behind the ropes and watched them putt out! Applause and cheers echoed down the Georgia pines lined fairways! The club pro came by and had a good laugh at our antics! In the evening, the 4 of us were pretty exhausted but after a feast, we managed to complete a few games of Sequence.

Sunday morning, the final round of 2nd annual of The Masters at Wanee Lake Country Club, we have a combined breakfast with Jim and Lydia out on the picnic table (yes, for $16/night, the table is included!) and prepare to be the 1st tee gallery for the tournament players. We make some signs and set up the ropes and position our chairs – we wanted to be sure to get front row seating! Barb & I sat back and watched Jim & Lydia prepare to break camp so they would be ready to head home after the players tee off.
Another fun filled event with us sitting ‘behind the ropes’ and the golfers teeing off for their final round. We had one group join us for picture taking, never would happen on the first tee in Augusta.  After the last group, we clean up our gallery and Jim & Lydia depart for home. Another wonderful visit from them and plans lay afoot to meet up again somewhere.
Other RVing friends of ours are coming in this afternoon for the night! Bill and Claire from Massachusetts are spending a few weeks going home from Florida. Again, more fun and chatter! We agreed to find a spot for a dinner out. There are a few places in Ashburn but wait, this is Sunday and we are in the Bible belt here so the only place open that was not a fast food joint was Shoney’s! It was a new experience for all of us! The rest of the evening was sharing stories along with a few beverages! We had an enjoyable time and made plans for future visits and maybe a Habitat build.
Monday and Tuesday brought more golf for Barb & I. Tuesday highlights another milestone for Barb, she walked and carried her bag for 9 holes! As some of you know, she couldn’t walk 1 hole a few years ago but since her knee replacement – look out! Also, still playing in her Crocs, she scored a 74 on our final round! Wow, a 74! She played beautifully – I on the other hand could not hit any iron I put my hand on and ended with an 86!

A goodbye wave form the owner, Dave, and Carolyn we depart Wanee Lake Country Club and RV Resort heading north to Tennessee, making our way home. Since we have to stay out at a WalMart on the way, we choose the store in Jasper, Ga and arrange to have dinner with Jim & Lydia. I know we only saw them a few days ago, up to their place for happy hour then to Kelley’s for dinner.  Then back to our rig for more laughter before we said our final farewell.  We left early – 9:30 is early for us, and head for Raccoon Valley in Tennessee. We arrive here to find several Escapees from the Plantation – another home coming!

Enough for now, return later to hear about our excursions here in Tennessee.

Golf, Golf, and more Golf

We mount up and with the help of ‘James’, our new GPS, we are heading to Wanee Lake Golf and RV Resort in Ashburn, Ga. Traffic was good and with only one fuel stop and a break for lunch, we could have pushed through to the campground but that would be breaking another of our rules – not to pull into a campground after 4 PM! Anyway, with James’ help, we find the WalMart in Moultrie, Ga., our resting spot for the night. After dinner, we walk around the lot but the menacing sky forced us back to the rig! We were looking at lots of black skies and high winds, threatening a sever storm throughout the night. And we got it! The rain was driven in sheets as the lightening and thunder kept the sandman away for most of the night! Fortunately, we had parked with the nose of the trailer into the wind so we didn’t rock and roll to much. Tuesday morning, we start out again with blue skies and lots of sunshine and were parked on a site by noon, perfect, now we can leisurely set up and get to enjoy the remainder of the day.
Our 5er and looking down first fairway

On Wednesday, Barb & I decided to hoof it around the golf course. It was great walking with my bride again as we batted the little white ball around the links! Ouch, our feet are getting sore as we complete the third hole. After taking some time on the fourth tee to do some make shift bandages, we continue on. After nine, Barb can hardly walk let alone swing at that little cursed sphere! So for today, we are happy to get nine holes in. We are still dazed at this deal, $16 for a full hook-up site and all the golf we care to play! Wow! We get a surprise email that Jim & Lydia are coming down from Jasper to join us here for a little re-union and some golf! What a neat surprise!

Thursday, Barb & I get out early so not miss Jim & Lydia’s arrival. We’re supplying dinner as so many others have done for us after a road trip so we have to complete our round to prepare – you have to have priorities! Anyway, the blisters on Barb’s heels are really sore so she tries to play in her Crocs! OMG, she is hitting it a ton with no spikes! Now that’s balance!

A little lunch between nines
Jim & Lydia arrive and after a quick hello with hugs all around, they get set up and we spend the evening laughing and enjoying all our and their stories since the last time we were together! Of course, we have recorded the 1st round of the Masters and we are watching some of that too. We have a rig beside us that is from Kitchener and they too are having friends from Gravenhurst meet them here before continuing north to home.

Around the campfire
Friday the weather is spectacular! Sunny with lots of blue skies and hot! We tee off early to beat the heat. We had a great day but Barb was out of her mind, she shot 78! I struggled a little with an 87! I think I’m going to have to try golfing in my Crocs too! Friday night, we joined Bill and Janet (new friends from Kitchener) and their friends around a campfire for some camaraderie. Poor Jim & Lydia were out numbered, 6 Canadians poking fun but Lydia turned on her southern charm and had us all in stitches with her ‘southern belle’ comedy. It was great fun.

We hope y’all are having as much fun as we are where ever you are!

Winding Down Time

It’s that time of the year that many members are heading north to their summer places and the activities are winding down. Even though, there is still lots going on – eating, shopping and even more time on the water.

It’s Thursday, March 24th and after Barb comes back from her morning quilting session with the ladies, we load up the boat and head back to the Fish River and go south again to go see what is around that bend! Life is too good, peddling along the river with the sun beating down on us! Using Google Earth to measure our route, we completed a 4.6 Km round trip this time. It was another great ride!
Barb’s sewing machine was acting up at the most inappropriate time so we needed a field trip to Pensacola for a consultation! Luck was with us, the previous sales person sold Barb the wrong part! That was a relief, Barb will be able to continue with her projects! Of course, we couldn’t make this trip solely for fabrics etc so we dropped into Harbour Freight! What a neat store! I was in ‘toyland’! After an hour or so off aimless wandering with my mouth gapping, we finally decided on a few things and got back on the route home. Whew, I was exhausted!

Saturday evening we attended the ‘Sundowner’ gathering on the front lawn of a home owner here for a group farewell to many of us heading north. Each of us had to bring a snack to share so the carport was filled with treats and goodies for all pallets! Oh, there we are, eating again! Anyway, lots of chatter and laughs carried us through as darkness fell and we all retreated to our rigs.

We are truly LEOs! 14 of us went to LuLu’s  for lunch to celebrate Monday! Hey, everyone doesn’t like Monday’s so we thought we would salute Monday – what other reason do we need to go out for lunch? We had a table overlooking the inland waterway and the US Coast Guard boarded a pontoon boat to check on papers and jackets etc and we saw a lady drop something over the side – hummmm a little pot maybe? These weren’t kids either! People are always good entertainment!

So, now it’s Tuesday and we’re having ice cream for lunch at a local ice cream parlor! We needed this as we are dining in the clubhouse tonight so we had to keep the kitchen clean! A baby bird – Morning Dove – fell out of its nest on a site behind us and camper put crates around the mom and baby so no one would step on them! As the sun progressed across the sky, the birds kept moving around the crate to keep in the shade. As the evening approached and while no one was looking, they both disappeared. We hope the baby makes it!

Summer here is around the corner. Our senses fill to the top with fragrances and sights of the beautiful Azalea bushes. Trees are almost in full leaf while the Live Oaks are starting to drop their leaves and the new growth shows a new bright green!  Barb says it is raining leaves on our site.

Well, it is roof time again so up I go with the Tilex this time! It made some improvement but not really enough but it will do until I get up there again!

We have been hanging out with new friends, Bill & Ann from upper NY but we won’t hold that against them. We’re having lunches, dinners and just hang’n together and having lots of laughs and fun times. Bill offered me a cleaning product that he thinks will do a better job on the roof. You’ll notice that I am not saying he offered to go up and show me how good it is!

Our time is running out and we wanted to navigate the Magnolia River. We have heard that it is nicer than the Fish River. Saturday is our only opportunity to go – it is breaking our rule of not being on the water during a weekend when all the worker bees are out there! We had to access the river via a creek and once on the main river, we see lots of beautiful homes with docks and decks. Some had to install long board walks to get to their docks through the salt marshes. We went down river toward Weeks Bay and turned around at the big bend before the bay, a 4Km round trip. Another wonderful ride and good exercise – I need something to help me with my young boyish figure!

Well, it’s our last ice cream social at the club house today. Before we do that, the four of us drive over to the Weeks Bay PreservePitcher Plant Bog to view the Pitcher plants in bloom. It was sort of on the way to the Fish River Grill for an early dinner before the social –we had to go to dinner, we were moving the next day and had to keep the kitchen clean! The blossoms are beautiful! The Pitcher Plant is a carnivorous plant but you will learn more from the web site than what I can provide! After walking the board walk in the bog and admiring the plants, we head over to the Fish River Grill only to find they are temporarily closed – how disappointing! Plan B is quickly established and we detour to Big Daddy’s! Good food, cold beer and good service, what more can you ask for?

Monday brings our departure for points north! Several friends stop by to say farewell before we got going. It is always a downer moment for us but we are experiencing the ‘ignition switch twitch’ and it’s time to go!

More about the road trip next time. We hope all is well where you are.

Howling at the Moon

The week has moved along all too quickly! Where did March go? St Patty’s day went by in a green blink and now we’re talking about the trip back north!

It’s that time of the year for the Fairhope Craft and Art Show. It is one of the best in the south with lots of talented artisans. We were going to go over on Friday to avoid the crowds but our day went a little sideways and that plan got pushed into Saturday.  After all, what is the fun of going to an arts and craft show without having to find suitable parking and fight the crowds?  We went with friends Dottie & George from the park, taking the bus from Big Lots to the show.
We went to the show and sale back in ’09 and found our bathroom sink. This year’s show and sale was even bigger than in ’09! There was lots of beautiful stuff on display for sale but you had to have your wits about you – this stuff was pricy! The ‘Southern Belles’ were there with the 2010 court exiting and the 2011 court taking their place, participating in service projects throughout their communities.

Later in the day, we were sitting outside chatting with friends, Pat & Al, when someone else yelled out that there was a ‘Howling at the Moon’ party tonight! Howling at the Moon party? What could this be about? Of course Barb & I took our chairs and beverages over to the clubhouse to check it out! And yes, that is exactly what we did – howled at the moon as it rose up over the trees! There was a bunch of us, sitting facing east and as the moon got above the trees, we all howled and hollered at the big orange moon! You will have to google ‘supermoon’ for more info, the web sites are too numerous to list here.

The ice cream social was busier than most! The word had gotten around that it was Milli’s (park manager) birthday and a small celebration was afoot! Both Gary and Milli were kidding each other and we all had fun! After the social, we enjoyed entertainment by the Banjo Lady and JB (Dianne & Jerry from the ERPU row). We have seen so much talent while on the road.

On Monday, we got the boat wet again and this time went north and reached the highway 32 bridge. A good achievement for us! Again, it was great being out on the river. Fish were keeping us entertained along with a few Kingfishers completing some acrobatic moves for some lunch!

Tuesday was ‘Terry wash the roof day’! I tried Murphy’s Oil Soap – recommended by a RV repair shop – and it turned out pretty good but we have a big case of black spot up there. The manufacturer – NuWa – suggested I use Tilex on the roof to reduce the black spot. That will be another day, I’m already stiff from the 1st application!

Barb needed some bases for her baskets so we contacted an outdoor furniture guy we saw at the Fairhope Craft Show. His shop was just a few miles away and he welcomed us to come around and see what we could make useful! What a find! He let us paw through his scrap bin and we came up with a couple of nice looking pieces of cypress! We continued on and got propane and what the heck, let’s have lunch at Sonics – our favorite fast food joint! We get back to the rig in enough time that Barb can get some more work done on her quilt project while I kick back on the lounger outside, enjoying the beautiful day! Later, friends stop by and asked us to join them for dinner at the Fish River Grill – again, one of our favorites for cat fish! Wow, talk about belonging to the LEO (lets eat out) club! The day was capped off with George and Dottie coming in for a few games of Aggravation! Boys against the girls and the girls squeaked out the wins! Now that’s aggravating – I have to cook for the next week – what, I do that now!!

Well, this post is getting a little long so until next time, we’re hoping all is good where you are….