Recap of second half of 2017

July started with a trip to Boone Hall Plantation to see a Trace Akins concert.  We really enjoyed it but was it ever hot.  They even passed out fans which helped alittle.

On the 5th I had skin cancer removed from my leg.  I will not go into detail but had a really hard time with it ending up in the hospital and then at walk in clinics to get antibotics.

On the 16th of the month we left with our granddaughters Julia and Makenzie and headed to Emporia, Virginia at Yogi Bear Jellystone Campground for the night.  The girls went swimming and played mini golf and jumped on the trampoline.  The next day we left and arrived at Fort Meade for a week stay.  While here we toured the White House, Arlington National Cemetery for a tour, visited the Arlington House, Holocaust Memorial Museum, American History Museum, and the African American Museum.  We all enjoyed our week but was it ever hot.

Our next stop was Hershey Pennsylvania where we visited the Amusement Park and Water Park.  The girls had so much fun, they rode on every ride in the park.  We had nice campfires at night with the girls having smores.  A very nice campground with a super arcade and store.  The only bad thing about the campground was the train that went by quite often.  They even had a free shuttle to the park which was great.  We had fun in the Hershey Store, everyone found something they liked.  One night we went to the The Chocolate Grill for dinner which had great food.

Our next stop was Clarksboro New Jersey KOA in order to visit Philadelphia.  In Philly we visited the Liberty Bell in Independence Hall, Please Touch Museum, Congress Hall, enjoyed walking the streets looking at all the cool buildings, Shane Confectionery which opened in 1863 and where we had trouble deciding what we really wanted and then The Franklin Fountain for ice cream.  Great stop

Next stop was Mystic Connecticut where we ran into so much traffic for a Sunday Morning.  We stayed at Seaport RV Resort and really enjoyed our stay.  They had a beautiful pool which the girls loved.  While here we went to Mystic Pizza, Fort Griswold which was a fort built in 1775 and played a key role in the Revolutionary War, and a visit to the Navy Subbase.

Our next stop was Coast Guard Base Cape Cod which used to be the Otis Air Force Base.  The poor Coast Guard gets all the leftovers but they make the best of it.  The campground has only 6 sites with full hookups.  On base they do have a gas station, a decent exchange with lots of groceries, swimming pool, club, movie theater and bowling alley.  While here we added another child to our mix and had Addison come stay with us 6 days.  Kara drove her up to the cape and we so enjoyed having her.  While here we went bowling one day and all we did was laugh.  We had a boy and his dad next to us and they kept stealing our balls and at one time even put them back on us.  None of us are very good bowlers but we did have one.  Another day we took a ride to the beach in Barnstable.  It was so cold that Tim and I were wrapped up in our towels and sweatshirts but Addison and Makenzie went in the water and enjoyed themselves.  After that we took a ride thru Hyannis and then had a nice lunch at Sea Surf Café in town.

A great stop for us all was Plimoth Plantation.  We started our journey by visiting the Visitor Center and then onto the Wampanoag Homesite, Craft Centr, Fort, Meetinghouse and 17th Century English Village, the Nye Barn.  This was a great place to really under the landing of the Pilgrims and what life was like for them.  Usually down in the center of town they have a full reproduction of the Mayflower but it was in Mystic Seaport getting a full restoration for the 400th Aniversary.  We did visit the Plimoth Grist Mill and of course the famous Plymouth Rock.

Our journey leaving the Cape brought us back to Connecticut where we dropped Addison off to her Dad and we continued onward south.  We hit loads of traffic in New York and spent quite a bit of time going about 10 miles an hour.  One thing I do not miss about New England is the traffic in the big cities.

Our next stop was Weapon Station in Earle New Jersey which had a nice campground and was a great one night stop.  They had full hookups, laundry, showers, pool, fitness center, barber shop, café and an exchange.

Virginia Landing Campground was a one night stop and we enjoyed just watching tv and an early dinner.  The next day we traveled over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel which is an engineering marvel.  It was built in the 1960’s and is 17.6 miles long and links the Eastern Shore of Virginia with Virginia Beach.  It was pouring while traveling so we did not stop at the rest area on the bridge.  We did stop at a local place for lunch in Edenton North Carolina.  That night we stopped at the Wilmington North Carolina KOA and the girls had a lot of fun swimming and playing at the playground.  On the 12th we arrived back in Mount Pleasant after 4 great weeks with our granddaughters.

The next 2 weeks were spent having a mammogram, done density test, seeing the skin doctor, Tim having a stress test, repairing our steps on the camper and a soccer game.

On August 27 we arrived in Hilton Head for two wonderful weeks at the beach.  All we did was relax on the beach, swim, walk, laugh and just enjoy ourselves.

The hurricane pushed us out of Hilton Head and we headed to Wateree Recreation Area which is part of Shaw Air Force Base.  We spent the weekend here and really enjoyed it.  The lake is just beautiful – we must come back when the weather is nicer.  On Sunday we left and went to Sycamore Lodge in North Carolina for 3 nights  Our next stop was The Club on Lake Gaston which is in Gasburg Virginia.  While here they had a biplane show which was very interesting.

On the 17th we headed to Regal Vistas at Massanutten Resort in McGaheysville, Virginia.  We checked into our timeshare and what a surprise.  We had a duplex house with our own garage, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, living room, kitchen, laundry room, and deck with our own grill.  It was just beautiful.  While here we visited Shenandoah National Park, Virginia Museum of the Civil War, visited the pool, the Arbortum at James Madison University, Monticello, Tim did zipline, Montpelier, and Crosskeys Vineyard.  We had a wonderful time and loved the area.

We arrived at Lake Moultrie and stayed put for a few weeks enjoying the lovely sunsets and peace of sitting watching the water and all the birds and ducks flying around.  We had to move our site as Tim was told he needed surgery on his nose so he could breathe better and then surgery on his rotor cuff.  We moved to Foster Creek RV Park on the Naval Weapons Station Goose Creek.

The end of October my oldest daughter Susan and I flew to Chicago where we met my other daughter Amanda for a 5 day fun trip.  We spent a lot of time eating, shopping, drinking, walking, did a night at Blue Man Group, a basketball game, a fun night in a club playing a game, and a super boat trip where we froze but so interesting.  We had a wonderful time and we all got along staying at the beautiful Marriott on Michigan Avenue right in the heart of Chicago shopping.  We need to do this every year – loved being alone with them.

Christmas Eve was just beautiful, we went over to our daughters house and opened presents, then to church for a beautiful ceremony and then back to her home for dinner and enjoying the girls and all the couples that were invited.  Such a wonderful night.

Christmas Day the girls were with their father so Susan came for dinner and we had a nice time just talking and having a super dinner.  The New Year was fast approaching and I must say it was a super year with many wonderful new adventures.  Stayed tuned for next year.

 

 

Recap of first half of 2017

What a super year this has been – we have seen so much and enjoyed so many new things.  I have found that writing our blog has not been top priority for me and for this I am sorry.  I will try to fill you in and give you the highlights of the year in this blog entry.

January found us spending lots of time in Petaluma, California at the Coast Guard Base.  The nice thing about being here was our daughter Amanda rented a house about 7 miles outside of the base.  Her Christmas present was getting a new home and a new job to start a new chapter in her life.  We were able to visit often plus many days we picked up Elijah and Gracie from school and enjoyed their company for a few hours.  They loved playing on the playground and just running around on base.  Our campsite was huge with full hookups and a great view.

We were able to spend a beautiful day riding to Dillon Beach and Bodega Bay Doran Beach with the Kim’s, enjoying the company and a super lunch in beautiful surroundings.

We both had eye exams at Travis Air Force Base and then took a ride to old Hamilton Air Force Base where we lived back in the early 1970’s.  Wow has that changed as it no longer is a base but they did a wonderful job building beautiful homes and using old base housing also.

February took us to Moylan Brewery where we had lunch and Tim had the best dark beer in the world.  We bought a t-shirt and two beer glasses as Moylan was my maiden name.  One day we went to the Casino for about 20 minutes and lost money right off the bat.  Very small casino, but nothing like Vegas or even the ones in Connecticut.

The middle of February we drove to Oakland National Airport and spent the night at the Marriott Hotel.    Early morning we were on a flight to Honolulu.  We checked into The Modern Honolulu for 5 nights and what a wonderful time we had.  We got to see Dole Plantation and all the pineapples growing, wonderful tour of Pearl Harbor, Laniakea Beach, Waimea Bay, Botanical Gardens, riding around the whole island and just taking in the beauty.  After those 5 days we flew to Maui where we did a Helicopter tour of the island, visited the Rain Forest, took a driving tour on Hana Highway, did a dip in the ocean, swam in the pool, relaxed, ate and just had a super wonderful time.  We also got to do a Luau which was a traditional Hawawian feast with great food and entertainment.  Hope to be able to return to Hawaii sometime and enjoy more of this beautiful island.

The first part of March we spent a great deal of time with family enjoying dinners, talks and loads of laughs.  On the 15th we left the Petaluma area and headed south with the Kim’s to begin our trip across the country. In California we visited Joshua Tree National Park which is 792,510 acres of desert wilderness.  The Mormon pioneers thought the limbs of the trees resembled the upstretched arms of Joshua leading them to the promised land.  We enjoyed watching the people climbing on the huge rocks, and the beauty of the rock formations.

Another day we went to Moorten Botanical Gardens which was a privately owned garden with over 3000 plant types from the desert.  After that we stopped in town for a nice lunch and then walked thru the art/craft show with interesting pieces.

Arizona was our next stop visiting the town of Tombstone, the Cemetery, Big Nose Kate’s Salon for drinks and lunch, Fort Hucchuca Museum, Fairbanks Historic Townsite  which is now deserted and  Chirccahua National Monument.  We enjoyed all these places and always find something to interest us.

New Mexico was next with a stop at White Sands Missle Testing Range which turned out to be a super stop.  We all loved the campground and the museum was quite interesting.  While outside looking at the displays we started to talk to an older gentleman whom worked there years ago.  What an interesting conversation we had.  We also visited White Sands National Monument and had fun climbing on the dunes of gypsum.  This park covers over 275 square miles and is the largest dune field in the world.  A great visitor center and better gift shop.

Texas is the biggest state to get across and we had a lot of fun doing that.  We stayed at two city parks which turned out to be a okay, one was free.  We also stopped at a corp of engineers park which we love.  Dallas was a stop going to see The Sixth Floor Museum and then see where President Kennedy was killed.  I still remember that day as I was sitting in class during my senior year of high school and could not believe what happened.  We also visited the Reunion Tower where you have a 360 degree city view.  Lunch was at Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse which turned out to be a great choice. In Texaskana we relaxed and enjoyed outside with hikes and many campfires.

Into Arkansas we went and stopped at the Maimelle Corp of Engineers Park.  This was a great place to relax and enjoy the view plus a few walks.

Memphis Tn came next and we visited Beale Street where we had dinner, then a carriage ride and just enjoyed the music and watching the people.  One day we did Bass Pro Shop and then visited Mud Island which was very interesting.  This display shows how the Mississippi River flows from Cairo, Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico.  Marlow’s Restaurant came and picked us up at the campground in a pink limo and took us to the restaurant.  The food was okay but it was a great experience.

Quick stop in Mississippi with a visit from Kim’s brother and nephew.  We  visited the Farmers Market, took walks, enjoyed the scenery and had great food and campfires.

Next stop was the Navy Base in New Orleans.  Here we truly enjoyed the city with lots of food and great drinks.  We even got to see “NCIS New Orleans” being filmed.  One day we toured Oak Alley Plantation which was built in 1805, we had a great tour and wonderful lunch in the Restaurant.  We also went to the Laura Plantation but decided not to do a tour as it was late in the day.   New Orleans is such a fun city with lots of places to drink and eat.

Blue Angels Naval Recreation Area was our next stop where we got to see the Blue Angels perform.  Super show and outstanding museum made this day very pleasant.  We then all went to the Oar House for a wonderful late lunch and then to Joe Patti’s Seafood to have fresh seafood for dinner one night.  A visit to Pensacola would not be enjoyable without a trip to the beach.

Raptor Ranch at Tyndell Air Force Base was another wonderful stop.  Because we all have access to the base we were able to enjoy the air show the day before the general population was allowed.  We stood at the fence and the pilots all waved to us as they proceeded down the airfield.  Super show and then we went for a wonderful boat ride on the Seascreamer for a sunset cruise.  The captain of this boat was able to get the dolphins to follow the boat and they actually jumped the waves.  It was a super night enjoyed by all.  While here we took a nice ride to Apalachiola, Florida where we had a wonderful lunch at Owl Café and then walked around the town enjoying the little shops.

Stephen Foster State Park in White Springs Florida was an enjoyable stop for a few hikes and wonderful campfires.

Next stop was Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Kings Bay Georgia.  While here we went to Jekyll Island and had lunch at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.  This hotel was built in 1888 and catered to the wealthy for many years.  The dining room was just beautiful with white linen tablecloths and outstanding food.  We toured the island and stopped at the beach where the tide was out and the beach was all mud.  I have never seen anything like that in my life.  It was a wonderful fun day with another stop at the Horton House which  was built in 1743 and the oldest tabby building in Georgia.  Tabby is a type of concrete made by burning oyster shells to obtain lime and then mixed with sand and water.

Fort McAllister State Park located in Richmond Hill, Georgia was our next stop.  They had been hit by the hurricane and quite a bit of destruction remained.  The park is very nice with an Earthwork Fort where General William Sherman ended his march here in 1864.  We toured the grounds and the museum and enjoyed that.  Henry Ford had a home in Richmond Hill and spent loads of money and time helping the town with medical care, education programs, employment and housing opportunities during the great depression.  While in the area we toured the Richmond Hill History Museum and then took a drive to Savannah where we had a great day just walking thru the city.  We also did a tour of Old Fort Jackson which was constructed in 1808 to defend Savannah.  We had a very interesting talk about the fort and then they actually fired the cannon.

We left Georgia and arrived at Charleston Air Force Base Famcamp in time to wish our oldest daughter Happy Birthday.  It was also a special day as it was Julia’s concert.  We loved seeing them all.  Our time in Charleston was spent with family, visiting downtown Charleston with a visit to the Old Slave Mart, lunch and drinks at Fleet Landing, visit to the spice store and a carriage ride.  Also while here we visited Magnolia Plantation, Fort Moultie, celebrate Mother’s Day at Burton’s Grill, loads of shopping, celebrated Susan’s, Emily’s and Julia’s Birthdays with dinner out, church, visiting with friends.  While here our friends left us and started back across country, we so enjoyed traveling with you guys and hope to do it again soon.

June arrived and we had doctor appointments with a new doctor whom we love, our oldest granddaughter Emily graduated from High School, visited Tim’s brother Jeff in Florida, celebrated Tim’s Birthday at Halls in downtown Charleston, lunch with friends, walking tour of Charleston, fun days at the beach and before we knew it the month was over.

Stayed tuned for Part 2.

Year 2016

This year was filled with great trips, seeing many new places and things and getting to enjoy our children, grandchildren and friends.  We traveled from South Carolina to California twice this year so we could see both of our children and all our grandchildren.

Tim spent 2 different times in the hospital this year and was operated on for his crohn’s disease at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto Calif.  It was a difficult time but we managed to get thru it and thankful that he is doing much better and we can travel once again.

Our truck spent about 5 different times in the car dealer and the last time we were told the turbo was ready to go but they could not fix it under warranty.  We decided we did not want to be stuck alongside the road so we bought a new truck.  With just 2000 miles the new truck blew the turbo and it spent two weeks in the shop.  Sometimes I wonder if we are meant to have a truck lol.

This year we were able to tour with our granddaughter Julia, whom is 12 years old,  for 3 weeks.  We flew her to Oakland, Ca airport and let her enjoy the beauty of California.  We did the Jelly Belly Factory, trip to Disneyland where we did the 2 parks and downtown Disney, waterpark at Lemoore Naval Air Station, Sequoia National Park, towed in a tow truck, Monterey looking at the sea otters and harbor seals, shopping, eating, ride on the Bart, trip to San Francisco where we did the crookest road, Presidio, Cannery Row and shopping.  We had a great time and she got to spend some time with her cousins out here.

We also took a trip with our daughter Amanda, and our grandchildren Elijah and Grace to southern California where we enjoyed the beach at Camp Pendleton and then did 5 days at Lego land.  Elijah turned 5 this year and did not want to go to Disneyland – said that was a girls place lol.  Lego land was great and we all enjoyed ourselves.

Tim and I enjoyed our travels and got to see many new places.  We stayed in 54 campgrounds and traveled thru 17 states.  Some of the states we did twice.  Some of the places we visited were:

  • Branson, Missouri was a place we both had wanted to visit for along time and we were not disappointed. We enjoyed the Dolly Partons Dixie Stampede which provided us with great entertainment plus great food.   Table Rock Lake State Park and Visitor Center was very interesting and very pretty.   Branson Landing is a 95 acre retail and entertainment complex with Bass Pro Shop, Belk, Brookstone, Pendleton and many more stores.  We enjoyed strolling thru the area.  A Tribute to John Denver starred James Garrett at the Little Opry Theatre.  We both loved John Denver and James did not disappoint us.  He did a fantastic job singing all his songs.  The fiddle player was Shawn Pittman whom tours with Roy Clark – wow what a great fiddle player he was.  Frankie Valle and the Four Seasons was another great show.  They sang all the popular songs like Sherry, Walk Like A Man, Bye Bye Baby and so many more.  We celebrated my 70th Birthday while here and we had a great diner at Landrys Restaurant.  The thing that surprised me the most was my husband and daughter planned a trip to Hawaii as a gift for me.  So happy.  The area here is very hilly but beautiful.  Our campground was Treasure Lake RV Resort with full hookups, indoor pool, pool, game room, restaurant, store, activities and everything you could ever want.

 

  • Memphis,Tn where we enjoyed T. O. Fuller State Park as our home while in the area. This park sits on 1138 acres and has 45 sites.  It was the first state park to open for African Americans east of the Mississippi in 1938.  A trip to downtown Memphis where we saw Beale Street, A Schwab Store which has been in business since 1876, Sun Studio which was the birthplace of Rock N Roll and a wonderful bbq place for dinner.  One day we went to the Memphis Zoo and enjoyed seeing all the animals.   Bass Pro Shop is built like a pyramid and so cool to see.  I love walking thru the store and seeing all the animals and fish. At the state park they had a Chucalissa Indian Village where they had a nice museum and an archaelogoical excavations.  We took a nice hike in the park enjoying the solitude of the area.  We also went to visit Allison and family.  She is my cousins daughter and enjoyed catching up with her.  Our trip to Memphis was very enjoyable and we will most likely return one day as we had lots we did not get to see.

 

  • Delta Utah where we visited the city park, which has beautiful flowers, splash park and cool waterfalls.  Topaz Camp was a camp where they kept the Japanese during WWII.  We also had a  visit from Vera and Bob which we enjoyed greatly.  We stayed at Antelope Valley RV Park with a full hookup site and very quiet.  Another coast to coast campground so no cost to us.

 

  • Colorado Springs, Colorado where we enjoyed touring the Air Force Academy and Chapel. The grounds were just beautiful and the chapel has different chapels depending on the religion.  This is the first time I have seen this on a military base.  The Garrden of the Gods Park is a public park with over 1367 acres.  The park has been voted the best public park in the United States and it is all free.  The towering red rocks with different shapes is something very unusual to see.   Manitou  Cliff Dwellings was a 40 room site built into the rocks with over 40 rooms.  It dates back to over 800 years old built by the Anasazi Indians.  So very interesting. The Cog Railroad to Pikes Peak was just wonderful were we saw big horned sheep, snow and deer.   This is a 14115 foot peak in the Rocky Mountains and has a visitor center, gift shop and a restaurant.  It was truly a once in a life time experience.  Another day we went to visit with Lisa whom lives in Colorado Springs.  We had a wonderful visit and beautiful dinner.  What a  beautiful state Colorado is where we need to go back and spend a lot more time.  I said to Tim while driving thru Aspen, If we skied we would move here, just breath taking.  Another favorite place was James M Robb, Colorado River State Park.  Our site was beautiful and so peaceful.

 

 

  • Alabama – We stayed at Mountain Lake Resort in Langston which sits on Lake Guntersville and was another free stay as we used Coast to Coast. We visited Bucks Pocket State Park and saw beautiful canyon rim sites.   Guntersville Lake which stretches over 75 miles is a beautiful lake that feeds into the Tennessee River.  We attended a car show that had loads of old cars which were a lot of fun to look at.  One day we went to Redstone Arsenal located in Huntsville.  Going onto the base were 6 lanes of traffic during rush hour as this base is the center for missile and rocket programs.  The work force averages about 40,000 personnel daily counting civilians and military.   Unclaimed Freight Store is a store that buys anything left on airplanes that is not claimed.  They had wedding gowns, computers, tvs, all kinds of clothes and sporting gear.  It was interesting but do not believe I would go back.  It amazed me at the things people were buying.   High Falls normally has a 35 foot waterfall but because of the drought no water at all.  I would love to go back someday and see the falls.  Lake Guntersville State Park          has a beautiful campground, Lodge, Restaurant, Pool, Lake, Golf course, swimming, boating, fishing and cabins.  Little River Canyon National Preserve is another park that normally has beautiful waterfalls but still proved to be an interesting day exploring.  We were both surprised how hilly and beautiful Northern Alabama is. Seem to forget that it is part of the Appalachian Mountains.   This is where our new truck blew the turbo so we spent a lot more time here than planned.

 

  • California – We visited Yosemite National Park, Sugar Pine Railroad, Bass Lake, Valley Pistachio Store, San Jocquin County Park, Micke Grove Regional Park, Naval War College, Rodeo, California State Railroad Museum, Fresno Chaffee Zoo, Outlet Stores, Japanese Gardens, Brewery, and Girlfriends In God with Amanda. We also visited Petaluma Coast Guard Station, did a few movies, took 2 ferries  which only held 6 cars across the Sacramento River, visited a true Chinese Market, and visited a Mexican Market which was very interesting.

 

  • Fallon, Nevada where we stayed at the Naval Air Station, did a little shopping, and had oil change for the truck.

 

  • Fruita, Colorado where we stayed at the James M Robb State Park with a full hookup site. Really nice park and so clean.  While here we toured Colorado National Monument which had such beautiful rock formations.  We were looking for longhorn sheep as it is very rocky but we did not see any.  While here we bought our new 2016 Chevy Diesel 2500 Silverado truck.

 

 

  • Kansas – We stayed at 3 different campgrounds while in this state with two of them being overnighters. We enjoyed a little down time just reading and enjoying nature.

 

  • South Carolina: Our daughter Susan lives here with our 3 oldest granddaughters so we enjoy this state very much.  While here we stayed at Foster Creek Fam Camp on Joint Base Charleston Naval Weapon Stations in Goose Creek.  We were able to attend Makenzie’s Halloween Concert and her Swim Meet.  We also got to see Julia play soccer, took Makenzie and Julia shopping, enjoyed talking to our oldest granddaughter Emily, dinner with the family and just plenty of talking and laughing together.  We also visited with our good friends which we enjoyed greatly.  Tim had an eye doctor appointment and also had to visit the dentist.  We got a new hitch for the truck as the old one cracked and also got new brakes on the camper.    Seacoast Church was visited each Sunday while in the area and while on the road we watch it on the internet.

 

  • Georgia – We stopped here for a few days and enjoyed shopping at Robbins Air Force Base, walking, getting our medications and just relaxing.

 

  • Louisiana – We stopped only for one night in Louisiana as we were ready for a full hookup site and none could be found – got much needed rest and on the road again.

 

  • Florida: Our first stop was Jacksonville Naval Air Station in Jacksonville where we enjoyed a beautiful site, great shopping on base, got new tires for the camper, enjoyed Mulligan’s Restaurant for good food, and enjoyed talking to so many nice people.  We also stopped at The Hitching Post Corral and Campground in Cottondale.  This is a brand new campground that they are still in the process of building but great owners.  They gave us a dozen of fresh eggs which was a special treat.  This was a Passport America Campground so good price also for full hookups.

 

14} Mississippi   – We stopped at Wolf River Resort in Pass Christian which is a Coast to Coast Park so stayed for free with our membership.  While here we did a little shopping and took a ride along the shore looking at the beautiful ocean and homes.

 

15} Texas – Gulf Coast Rv Resort in Beaumont seems to be in the right spot to stop each time we come across Texas.  It is a passport America campground and has full hookups and a nice laundry.  We also enjoy the Pappadeaux Seafood Restaurant here.  Braunig Lake RV Resort in San Antonio gave us the chance to tour Lackland Air Force Base and to visit the Riverwalk again.  We enjoy walking around this area and had a nice lunch along the water.  Parkview RV Park in Fort Stockton is just a parking lot with full hookup site but does fine for a one night stop.  We stay hooked up and leave early in the morning and head to Fort Bliss in El Paso Texas.  This campground is really nice and we enjoy shopping on base, touring the Transmountain Road and relaxing.  We also stopped this year at Lake Pointe RV Resort in Canyon Lake.  We had full hookup site and could enjoy the lake views from our window.  They have deer running around this campground day and night which made it especially nice.  We also toured Joint Base San Antonio Canyon Lake Recreation Park where they have a campground, cottages, cabins, boats, marina, beach, swimming, fishing, lake and loads of sport fields.  Really nice place that would be a lot of fun staying at in the future.

 

16} Arizona – We stayed at the Valley Vista Rv Park in Benson two times this year.  Our first time was when we really enjoyed touring the area.  We visited the Fort Huachuca Historic Museum which is located on an active military base.  This base was established in 1877 and has many historic buildings.  The museum was very well done and we enjoyed learning about this area of Az.    Fort Bowie is a National Park that you must hike into which was a first for us.  It is over 3 miles roundtrip but coming back we decided to take the path over the mountain.  Yikes what a trip.  This is where the Army and the Apache Indians had their conflict.  The visitor center was well done and very talkative rangers.  We toured the Amerind Foundation which had lots of Indian artifacts and Spanish paintings and antiques.  We also toured the Cochise Stronghold where the Apache Chief Cochise hid from his enemies.  We enjoyed a nice walk through the National Forest.  Ghost towns are very common in this area and we toured two.  The first one was Fairbanks which was discovered in 1881.  A few buildings remain but are boarded up – the only one you can tour was the school house.  They do have nice walking paths down near the river which we enjoyed.  We also toured Pearce Arizona which was a mining town from 1894 until the mine closed in 1942.  This site still has a few homes and people living there but it was very interesting.

We spent Christmas in our camper at the Coast Guard Training Center in Petaluma, California.  We had Amanda and our 3 grandchildren with us for opening gifts, great meal of prime rib and just enjoying each other.  Great holiday and thank the Lord every day for our family.

This year was my 70th birthday so we are going to Hawaii in Feb.  Stay tuned for 2017

 

Pensacola, Florida and Moody Air Force Base, Georgia

While driving from Robert Louisiana to Pensacola Florida we observed a man alongside the highway emptying his trash into the woods on the side of the tree line.  Never saw that before.  Also it surprised me in La how many people we saw hitchhiking – thought that was illegal everywhere. 

We arrived at Blue Angel Naval Recreation Area and were greeted by Mark whom was the friendliest person I have met in ages.  He had us in stitches -sure is nice to meet such a happy person.

The campground sits right on the water and is just so pretty.  I could sit for hours watching the sun hit the water.  This campground has full hookups, cabins, tent sites, marina, sailboat rentals, kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, propane, launch ramp, paintball, disc golf, fire rings, and laundry.  The campground is about 8 miles from the base where they have another campground called Oak Grove Park.  
The Naval Air Station is a beautiful base which was started in 1826 as a Navy Yard.  It has about 8423 acres and the main mission is to train aviators from the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard.  This is the first Military Base that has part of a National Park on it.  Part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore is here.  We toured Fort Barrancas and the advanced redoubt of the fort.  This fort was built starting in 1845 as part of a defensive network for the Navy Yard.  The Confederate troops did attack the fort in 1863.  When you look at these old forts it amazes me how they built such structures so many years ago that still stand today.
We got a tip that the best place to get seafood was at Joe Patti Seafood Shack so off we went.  It reminded me of the fish market in Seattle – the only difference is they do not throw the fish but the amount of seafood is the same.  We bought enough for about 6 meals and then went back the last day to get more.  Those wonderful shrimp, fresh tuna, swordfish and scallops are soooooo good.
One day Jeff, Tim’s brother, drove up from Panama City to spend the day with us.  We went to the National Naval Aviation Museum on base for a wonderful day.  We saw an IMAX movie, had a tour of the flight deck by bus, saw WWII aircraft, Blue Angels planes, flight decks, early aircraft, WW1,  Presidential helicopter, and Coast Guard aircraft.  The nice thing about this museum is you see it, touch it and live it.  Jeff was part of the aircrew during Vietnam so he really enjoyed it.  After that special time we headed to the Oar House for a wonderful seafood dinner.  Great day, great food and great company.
Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum was another great stop.  The lighthouse was built from 1856 until 1858.  The first light went on in 1859.  The lighthouse is the oldest and tallest on the Gulf Coast.  It is still active today as an aid to navigation.  You can see its powerful beacon 27 miles out to sea.  There is 177 cast iron steps to reach the top and Tim and I enjoyed the climb.  We did it!!  We then toured the Museum which was pretty nice.  Tim got a nice tshirt to add to his collection.
We took a nice ride to Fort Pickens located in the Gulf Island National Seashore.  This National landmark has sparkling blue-green water, white beaches and coastal marshes.  It also has a fort, trails, picnic area and campground.  The Gulf Island National Seashore was established in 1971 to protect the barrier islands, wildlife, salt marshes, historic structures and archeological sites along the Gulf of Mexico.  The area is just beautiful and we will definitly return someday to enjoy it even more.
One day I could hear the blue angels flying but could not see them thru the trees.  We have seen them fly before and it sends chills thru me.
Our next stop was Grassy Pond Recreation Area which is run by Moody Air Force Base.  It is not located on base but about 25 miles from it.  Great camground with 39 sites, full hookups, tenting, cabins, laundry, showers, tables, pond, fish, boats, playground, hiking and a pool.  It is located in a very quite area and while there we had mostly great weather which we enjoyed sitting outside and reading.  We also did bike riding and they have a great 3.1 mile hike around the pond.  Lots of flat and then lots of hills to get you really hiking lol.  While here we went out to dinner one night at Cracker Barrel and enjoyed the food.
Our next stop was also in Georgia – stayed tuned.

Louisiana continued

Leaving Grand Isle we decided to take as many back roads as possible.  This way we get to see how the people in this area live, work and play.  One thing I have noticed about living where the weather is warm most of the time most of the people do not plant shrubs or flowers in their yards.  When you see a yard with flowers you seem to perk up.  I always loved flowers in my yard and it is one thing I do miss about not having a stick house.

Our stop for the next week was at Kemper Williams Park in Patterson, La.  The park offers full hookups on 40 sites, also a rally site with partial hookups, dump station, pavilion, laundry bathhouse, tennis, nature trail, civic center, museum, golf and ball fields.  It proved to be a very convienent area to go to Walmart for groceries and shopping.   
We went to the Wedell Williams Aviation and Cypress Sawmill Museum while here.  We have been to loads of Aviation museums but this one was about race planes so it proved to be very interesting.  We watched a really good movie and then looked at many different style race planes.  The Cypress sawmill museum was very imformative.  It documents the history of the cypress lumber industry in this part of La.  
We took a ride to Franklin where they have beautiful antebellum homes and old fashioned street lights.  It was just so interesting driving around and admiring all the details of these beautiful homes.  We then drove down a state road which turned into dirt and soon the dirt was flying everywhere.  It was hanging off our mirrors, caked to our tires and running boards and our poor truck was a sad sight.  What a job it was cleaning that mess – Tim and I worked together doing it for about 2 hours.  When done the truck was super clean and looked brand new.  We did enjoy the ride and laughed a great deal.
Cajun Jack’s Swamp Tour was a wonderful way to spend Saturday.  We were on a boat with about 20 people and went into the Atchafalaya Basin and got a history lesson about the cajun people in the swamp.  It lasted two hours and we got to see an alligator, hawk and bald eagle.  It really surprises me how they don’t get lost cuz it goes every which way.  We also experienced a ride thru the locks which is pretty cool.  We have watched the locks operate before but never experienced it on a boat.
After a week in Patterson we headed Northeast to Lake Fausse Pointe State Park which lies in St Martin and Iberia Parishes and surrounded by the swamp.  This became one of our favorite stops – great hiking trails and great bike riding.  The park offers 50 sites, water and electric, dump station, cabins, 6000 acres, playground, boat launch, canoe rentals, splash park, pavilions, showers, nature center, laundry,  conference center, and an Interpretive Center.  Our site was on the canal so we had a little deck right on the water.  Most people used this for fishing so during the weekend we let a guy and his 2 sons fish off it.  They were delighted.  Really great park and lots of people on weekends.  It is really located far from everything though so we took a ride just one day and really did not find to much interesting outside of the park.  
While here we took many bike rides and did many hikes.  We got to see armadillos, alligators, birds, hawks and an owl.  The owl flew right over my head in the middle of the day which was just spectacular.  One of the trails was 1.6 miles long and the other 3.3 miles long.  We really enjoyed our stay here and spent most days outside enjoying the beautiful weather.  
On Saint Patrick’s Day we hooked up, stopped at the dump station and took the back roads until we hit I-10 and then I-12 east.  We checked into Jellystone Park Camp Resort in Robert for a week.  This is a coast to coast park so we stayed here for free while others pay about $395 for a week stay.  Good deal.  Its a nice campground with 450 sites, full hookups, some pullthrus, cabins, pool, pond, fishing, game room, mini golf, canoes, playground, basketball, baseball, adult clubhouse and snack bar.  
After checking in we went to Berryland Campers to get a new latch for the screen door and then we looked at a few new campers.  We did find one that we really likes but over $100,000 and our truck would have to be upgraded also so we will keep ours lol.  It was set up with the living room in the upstairs with slides – really nice.
After 4 weeks of cooking at home we went to Olive Garden for a really good meal.  Tim had Chicken and Shrimp Carbonai, I had Garlic Rosemary Chicken and then lots of salad with a glass of merlot wine.  Tim even ordered a piece of white chocolate raspberry cheesecake to take home with him.  
Stopped at Best Buy and we both bought a Kindle.  The books are much cheaper from Amazon and you can read it anywhere.  Still have my nook so will just switch depending on the book I want to read.  I have bought so many books and have not read them all.
While here we went to Walmart and did some grocery shopping.  I really do not like that store that much but must admit the prices are wonderful.  
Tim found a bike trail during his research so off we went to find it.  It is called the Tammany Trace Rail Trail in Abita Springs.  Te trail was and old railroad spur and was bought by the local government to create a 31 mile long paved trail.  No pets are allowed and they even have rangers whom patrol the trail and help in anyway that you need.  You do cross many busy streets but most of the cars will stop and let you proceed.  The first day we did a total of 9 miles and so enjoyed it.  I still do not feel really confident riding on busy streets so this was wonderful.
This week we spent a great deal of time reading and enjoying the sunshine outside.  We walked the campground a few times also – with all this exercise I have not lost a pound.  Yikes will any of this weight ever come off again?
Another day we did the bike trail again and stopped at the Abita Springs Trailhead Museum.  It is a quaint folk art museum and two really friendly ladies were working and explained alot of the area to us.  That day we rode 8.8 miles and again enjoyed the ride.
We found a really cool place one day and decided to stop and see what it was.  We went on a safari at the Global Wildlife Center.  The property covers over 900 acre preserve and has over 4000 animals that wander freely.  We were loaded onto a safari wagon for an hour and half to get up close with all these animals.  We saw giraffes, zebras, camels, elands, bison, and deer.  You can buy feed and then feed them as they come up and look for food.  The zebra is the only animal they tell you not to let eat out of your hands as they bite.  I had no interest in feeding but we enjoyed watching the two children in our wagon feed all the animals.  What a great experience for them.  All in all a great day.
After a week we headed farther east into Florida for a week stay at the Blue Angel Naval Recreation Area in Pensacola.  Stayed tuned for our adventures while there.

Feb 2014

We left Fort Rucker and did alot of back tracking.  We forgot it was a holiday, President’s Day, and tried to go out the back gate.  Guess what its not opened on weekends or holidays.  Yikes this base is huge when you need to backtrack.  We got out another gate finallly and GPS took us along way around – bet we did an extra 2 hours worth of driving.  Plus out in the country the roads just stop and you have no idea where you should go.  It was an interesting trip I must say.  We did have quite a few laughs so that was a saving grace.

We arrived at Wolf River Resort located in Pass Christian, Ms.  This is a coast to coast park so we only had to pay $32 for the 50 amp service for a week.  We had a nice site along the bayou and the laundry right next to us. This campground has full hookups, laundry, boat launch, nature walk, bathrooms, propane, horseshoes, volleyball, playground, pool, beach, river, and clubhouse.  
One day we took a ride to the Naval Construction Battalion Base in Gulfport.  We enjoyed looking around the exchange and shopping in the commissary.  We also checked out the campground on base.  Pretty nice but very full with all the snowbirds.  This year the snowbirds did not find any warm weather in Ms as it is freezing.  I have been wearing cords and sweatshirts.  The campground has 68 sites with full hookups, showers, dump, pull thrus laundry and wi-fi.  
We decided to tour Beauvoir which was the home of Jefferson Davis whom was the president of the Confederacy.  The home was built as a summer home from 1848 until 1852.  It was built on piers which saved it from the many hurricanes that have hit the Ms coast over the years.  Hurricane Katrina did considerable damage to the property and water was inside the main home.  They are suppose to be opening a Presidential Library and Museum on the property shortly.  Of course being a Yankee this makes me laugh as to me he never was a president.  Did you know that he spent 2 years in Fort Monroe, Va in prison on charges of treason.  He was never tried for this though.  President Jimmy Carter restored his citizenship retroactive to 1868, 100 years later.
On the grounds are statues, gardens, oyster bayu bridge, tomb of the Unknown Confederate Soldier and a cemetery.  It was an interesting day.
The sand along the beaches here is just beautiful – white and so soft.  We found out that the beaches were not always there that the Corps of Engineers made them to protect the homes from the ocean.  
Hurricane Katrina did over $90 Billion in damages to just Mississippi.  Over 52000 homes were destroyed or severly damaged and the evidence is still visable today.  Most of the property along the shore is empty with for sale signs everywhere.   
We really enjoyed our week in this area but it was time to move on.  We left the campground around 10 and headed southwest into Louisiana.  Our next stop was Grand Isle State Park located in Grand Isle, La.  
Grand Isle is a barrier island located in the Gulf of Mexico.  It is about 8 miles long and a mile and half wide and about 50 miles south of New Orleans.  The island was founded in 1781 and about 1500 people live here year round.  During the summer the population gets quite large.  The is one gas station, a few restaurants and one grocery store which sells alittle bit of everything.  Glad we came with plenty of supplies.  There is a small Coast Guard Base at the tip of the island – pretty isolated area for some wives lol.
Our resting place while here was the state park which is quite nice.  We had a pull thru site with water and electric, dump station, fire ring, table and grill.  They also have really nice restrooms and laundry.  The park has a 5 story wooden lookout tower which lets you see the oil rigs out in the gulf of Mexico.  We enjoyed riding our bikes, walking on the beach, taking a nature trail walk and relaxing outside some days when the temp was warm.  
The beach to me looks like dirt more than sand and I wonder if its from the oil spill a few years back.  This island was hurt really bad from that with oil clumps scattered all over the beach.  Today you still can see the black on part of the beach.  This was a nice week and we spent no money at all except the $140 for camping.  First time we did that for a week.  Lol
Stay tuned for March.

Week of Feb 8

Today is Saturday and we are getting ready to hit the road tomorrow.  We went and filled the truck with diesel and starting to put things away.  Tomorrow it will take us about an hour to get ready to hit the road.  Yeah!!!

Today is our youngest daughter’s 38th Birthday.  Happy Birthday Amanda – we so enjoyed talking to you today and hope this year will prove to be a better one for you.
Well it is Sunday Morning and we are on the road again.  We left Unadilla around 10 am and took I-75 south for a few exits and then exited to take the back roads thru Georgia and Alabama.  We saw loads of cotton fields, peanut fields and huge pecan trees everywhere.  
We stopped in a small town in Alabama for lunch at Subway.  To our surprise in the overhead light fixture was a mouse trying to get out.  Wow did that cause concern especially for the young girl working.  We all just laughed and our sandwich was great so maybe he is just stuck in the attic.  Lol.
We arrived at Fort Rucker – our home for the next 8 days will be at the Engineer Beach RV Park on base.  We have a beautiful view of the lake which to both of us is very relaxing.  Our goal while here is to research Tim’s family – I do ancestry and trying to figure out people is really a job.  We will keep you informed as the search begins.
After getting set up we went to check out the exchange and commissary.  I think we will enjoy a quiet week here as the campground is on one  end of the base near the lake while all the activity of military life is in another place.  Our site is very private and we have water, electric, table, campfire, laundry and showers.  Pretty nice.
Fort Rucker was built in 1942 as an Army Base for flight training on helicopters.  The base covers over 10.9 square miles with a 640 acre lake.  A very nice base with modern facilities.
On Monday we drove into Troy and found the cemetery where Tim’s great grandfather is buried.  We walked around and found quite a few graves that were family.  Our next stop was to find a cemetery where loads of his family were buried.  No luck finding that cemetery so we headed out to where his grandparents are buried.  While riding thru the town of Brundidge we saw a gas station called Pinckard Gas Station which made us laugh.
Two days the weather was very cold and pouring rain.  We made a decision to just stay at home and read and play on the computer.  We watched alot of tv and just enjoyed our days.
On the 13th we took a ride to Troy and went into the Public Library which was a wonderful move on our part.  The librarian was super nice and helpful and she introduced us to a man whom does loads of research for the area.  Come to find out he was related to the Pinckard family  Such a small world we live in.  We spent about 5 hours researching family and talking to John and another lady we met.  It proved to be a very interesting day.
Red Level Alabama was a place that Tim’s grandparents lived so we took  a ride there.  Today its got some beautiful homes but not much else.  We took some pictures and looked around.  On our way back we found the cemetery we couldn’t find the other day.  Wow all of his grandparents families were buried here.  Even Tim got excited.
Shopping for food and a few items that we needed rounded out the week.  We are ready to head south – stayed tuned.