Welcome to our travels and adventures

Welcome to our travels and adventures

All that Jazz

Another week of goins on goin on! Barb was off to the clubhouse to do be crafty while I hung out at the rig keeping busy with stuff. I finally started working on the rocking chair that I brought down to learn a new caning pattern. At first glance, I didn’t think it needed a lot of sanding etc to splash a coat or two of varnish on it but upon closer inspection, it need a great deal more attention so the sanding has begun and it’s coming along nicely.

On Friday, we lunched out at the LA BBQ with new friends from ERPU row and met up with another couple of SKPs and had a fun time – what can go wrong, good food and good company always equals a good time.

While Barb was off being crafty, I wired an outlet on the outside of the shed. It wasn’t a big job; I just had to add onto the existing system but again, a little more difficult than first thought. The previous tenants used # 10 wire – a little big for standard outlets, the ground wire was being difficult and wouldn’t stay snug under the ground screw.

Sunday, we tried to upgrade our satellite TV system to HD. I was given an oval dish from a friend back home but it would not capture the signal at all. I tried using our existing dish but could only get a weak signal. After trying a few different permutations, we decided that the plastic LNB holder was not the correct one for our set up and we’ll have to wait for this upgrade until we return back home.

Tuesday was dinner at the clubhouse and free entertainment after. Chuck Stevens sang lots of tunes and sounded like ‘ole Blue Eyes’, Manilow, a little of Willie Nelson and James Taylor. It was very well done and again, a fun time.

Wednesday was the bus trip to the Crescent City, the home of jazz, Creole food, beignets and Mardis Gras – New Orleans. We had a great time, even though it was about our forth time there, there is always something new to see. We left very early – we had to meet at the clubhouse at 6:30AM – I didn’t know clocks had those numbers on them! We arrive in ‘Nawlins’ around 11 and a group of us head out as if we know where we’re going. The first stop was to pick up a muffuletta at the Central Grocery – it was advised we get it early as it is a popular sandwich and could be out if we waited for lunch. Of course, I can eat – after all, we had breakfast at 6AM!

Our next stop was to browse through the French Market . It is a street flea market with lots of stuff, crafts, jewelry and of course, food stops. Walking through the Market, we end up on Barracks Street and turn toward Bourbon Street, the heart of the French Quarter. The architecture is like nowhere else, almost every building fronting on Bourbon Street, has a balcony edged with wrought iron railing. Not sure on how truthful this fact is but these apartments on Bourbon Street rent for as little as $900/week – yikes!

I can't walk and chew gum yet this guy plays 2-3 instruments
Lorna, Barb, Barb, Dan, Gloria, Skip & Ed
One of our group has difficulty walking so it was time for a break and where best but a jazz bar. It must be the time of the year as there was no live entertainment but the bar keep turned on a stereo system to keep us amused – we were the only patrons there. From here, we continued on to Toulouse and turned south toward Jackson Square. We came upon a group of street buskers playing unusual instruments – upside down washtub, a washboard, a suitcase as a drum, the drummer stepped on a ‘hotel desk’ bell as well the conventional string instruments. It was very entertaining and an abstract from the day. We picked up another couple of our travelers at Jackson Square and then headed over to the CafĂ© Du Monde for a chicory coffee and beignets – a must stop for anyone coming to New Orleans. On the way, we ‘played’ with a mime, dressed as a cowboy. He wanted a kiss from the girls and to shoot off the private parts of the guys. Our next stop was on the tram and to look over the Mississippi and ‘watch the world go by’. Soon, we were loading back on the buses and on our way back to the Plantation. It was a great day.

We have long time RVing buds in Winnipeg that we email often and had not heard from them in awhile so was sort of thinking maybe they just might come down this way this winter. Well, to our surprise they dropped over for a visit on Sunday and we had a great time with catch up chat and stories. Of course, being Sunday, I’ll stop here as we go to the ice cream social. Hope all is well where you are…..

Wow, it’s over all ready

Well, the last time I posted, we were just finishing with Christmas and getting ready for New Years Eve and anxiously waiting to visit with good friends Dick and Karla  from Minnesota. They are stopping by on their way to their winter spot in Bradenton, Florida. We visited with them this time last year while we were at the Escapees park in Wauchula, Florida. Anyway, the clubhouse was busy again on Boxing Day with a pot luck dinner with all of the favorites from Christmas dinner but Barb & I stayed away, we went to the show instead to see War Horse. It was a good flick and also nice not being so busy!

Thursday, Barb needed some supplies for an upcoming project so we took off after lunch and ran some errands and hit the fabric store! We had planned this trip so we could head over to Bellingrath Gardens to view the Christmas light display which has been reported as the best ever! Naturally, you just know Barb took her camera and I have posted some pictures but as good as they are, they do not show justice to the display of 3 million lights and over 900 separate light strings and 14 different themes! It was simply awesome! Apparently, the staff starts decorating right after Labor Day to have the display ready for the Thanksgiving! It looked like a lot of hard work to put up and maintain but it sure brought in a lot of visitors. We thought being so late in the Christmas season, the crowds would be minimal. Wrong! We do not understand why so many people are always in a rush to ‘run’ through a display such as this! I can’t count how many times we were pushed or bumped by others as they jockeyed for position or rushed to pass by! Tourists!

Here we are on Friday morning and our prepaid cell has just run out of days and we have no way for Dick & Karla to contact us when they arrive! Yikes, it’s not as if the phone doesn’t tell me, I was pivoting around as to whether to change carriers since we have not been happy with the Net10 service! So, a quick dash out to WalMart to check into ‘to change or not to change’! After some discussion with the sales folks, we change to Tracfone (both are run by the same company). It has better features for us so we’ll see! Upon activation, we find it is also a bit cheaper, we got 800 minutes and 425 days for $100! That means no more number changes and no more waiting until the new sim card arrives for service every time we come south! Anyway, we transfer the number so Karla can call us! Whew and just in time as we hear from them about 1ish! They arrive and after a tour of our new site and shed, we settle down for some serious ‘catch up chat’! They’ve had 3 full days of travel (1500+ miles) so the evening ends early after dinner even without a game of Wizard (Karla’s favorite) with plans for tomorrow!

This is the second time we have celebrated New Years Eve with Dick & Karla. We toured around the area and had lunch at the Fish River Grill – I still think they ruined the ambiance when they put wood floors in! We were late having dinner and for the party at the clubhouse but had fun anyway. Auld Lang Syne was sang at 9PM – it must have been midnight somewhere – and we had 10 of us back to the rig for the remainder of the party. Unfortunately, I was to tune the satellite into New York so we could watch Times Square and ring in the new year – well, I mistakenly tuned to a west coast channel and we missed it! Can you say oppsss? I was not the most popular guy in the rig! A good time anyway, being with friends!

January 1st brings all the polar bear dippers out here except it’s called ‘The Dipstick Dip’! At high noon, we – yes, I said we all walked, jumped or dove into the pool and received an ‘Official Dipstick’ certificate for ‘braving the cold (65F) water under a stressful 69F air temperature! After, we all went inside for soup and chili! We had lots of fun and friendship to start the New Year. Down here in the south, it is common to all gather for a serving of ‘Hopping Jon’ with corn bread for lunch for good luck for the upcoming year! So, it was a busy Sunday, dipsticking, soup and chili, hopping jon and then the ice cream social (yes John, more ice cream) – all in a couple of hours! After we finish filling our emaciating bodies, the four of us settle back to our rig for a round of Wizard! Kara says “finally”! As darkness settles in, we drive over to Fairhope to take in the tree lights that adorn the downtown streets of this cute town and then – well, you guessed it, out for dinner! What a day and we were lucky enough to share it with such good friends as Dick & Karla. 2012 is just going to be great!

We hope you were able to start off the New Year with family or friends and we wish you the very best through 2012.