On the coast in May

We decided to scoot away for a few days in May, and returned to one of our favorite places, Blythe Island, near Brunswick, Ga.
It’s a little county-owned rustic campground with a lake, ample camp sites and a picturesque dock overlooking the deep water.
We were so happy our new camping friends were able to join us here! Donna and Benny are just awesome. We met on our last trip to Tybee Island and I was so hoping they would be able to come on this trip! It makes camping even better when you have buddies to hang out with.
This camp is quiet and tranquil, and a place where locals come to launch their boats.
I took this group of photos on our first day, as I’m clearly fascinated with how this guy got his boat into the water!

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And off he went!

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Later that evening, the four of us went to what MUST be the most out-of-the-way seafood restaurant known to man. It was about 30 miles away at a little known marina. We’ve been here only twice in 16 years because it’s over an hour from home.

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This restaurant / marina needs about $1.5 million spruce up. It was sad to see that it’s really gone downhill.
Once we got back, Ninja Man (aka Driver) put his big screen (aka sheet) up and watched the NFL draft. He streamed it from our Dish Network at home via his iPad, via a projector. I’m forever impressed with his talents.

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Just before we left for camp, our pup Hoover had to have surgery. He is recuperating well but decided he needed to be hand fed. Of course, whatever makes him feel better, right?

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This is the lot we are in- just as we were starting to set up camp.

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We camped from Wednesday until Sunday- just enough to miss home but also just enough to wish we never had to leave!
Ninja Man hosted a movie night and our friends brought Avatar. Oh my goodness this movie was so vibrant after dark on the outdoor “screen”.

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Before we left home we picked up our organic FarmBag and we had quite a selection of veggies to grill.
Here’s what I did: wash, chop, season, butter and wrap.

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20140511-195049.jpgHere’s what Ninja Man did: grill. (And watch the NFL something on his iPhone).

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After a lot of fun with our friends and long relaxing days (I took a zillion naps) it was time to pull in the slides. And yes, that is our trash on the hood of the truck. If we put it on the back we are 99% certain to forget it. This has been proven many times.

20140511-195456.jpgMiele (Mee-Lah) kept an eye out on Baby Beluga during the drive home while Hoover snoozed in the back seat.

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20140511-195657.jpgBy the time we arrived in our neighborhood, they were both helping Ninja Man navigate.

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All in all, it was a great trip with sweet friends and easy days. Oh, and my previous post about the “Truth”- well, Travel Day was SOOO much better going and coming this time. Maybe, just maybe we are getting the hang of this thing.
Thanks for visiting and God bless.

Camping: a spring celebration!

When we decided to go camping in March, we didn’t really count on a cold snap! We are Georgia born and Georgia bred, so when temps get into the low 50’s, our southern bones get to shivering.

Since driver is not yet retired, our weekend trips are within an hour of home. Really, when you wake up to the sounds of birds chirping and the smell of bacon sizzling, it doesn’t matter how far one traveled to escape their routine, just that one escaped.

Our trip began with a chilly but nice four day excursion to Tybee Island. It’s about 45 minutes away but it *feels* like a vacation.

I drove separately this time and though I’ve seen them many, many times, I paid attention to the sights along the way.

There was the little trek toward Bay Street, where the very tall Talmadge Bridges spans across the Savannah River. My route would not take me across, but I have driven over it many times. Here’s a shot of it from the Bridge and Tunnel Club

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Who knew there was a club for bridges – let alone tunnels? I’ll be checking out their site.
So I drove under the bridge and on to Historic Bay Street, where students from the Savannah College of art and Design seemed to have just been released from class.

20140403-002305.jpg The college campus is spread all over the city proper, so seeing backpacks, art supply bags and huge portfolio folders tucked under an arm is not at all unusual.
Historic Bay Street is a must see – even for those of us who live here. Today it is a mix of old and new- mostly old- architecture.

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After Bay Street, one follows the trail to the islands. You know you’re on your way when you see this drawbridge.

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I have to admit, drawbridges freak me out a little and I’m somewhat overjoyed once I’m safely on the other side. It’s just unnatural for a bridge to open up in the middle. It just is.
Having made that death-defying leap across the bridge, I drove past marshland, river ways and crossed over a few islands.
And then I saw this.

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The light had just changed when I got this shot. The famed Johnny Mercer, Savannah son, musician, lyricist, and all around local-guy-did-well, has this street as well as a theater named after him.
Read a bit further for more on Johnny M.
After a trek along the mostly two-lane Tybee Island road, I arrived at the city owned River’s End Campground.

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The first morning, Driver and I were delighted to meet new friends just next door to our camp. Benny and Donna are on the right. Driver’s sis Jane and husband Randy also joined us at camp. We spent absolute DAYS in this circle of chairs, feeling as if we had been friends with our new buds all along.

20140403-005232.jpgSince spring was blooming all around, we decided to go by Bonaventure Cemetery it’s famous for so many things, including an abundance of huge oak trees and a breathtaking display of azaleas in the spring. We were just about a week early, so instead of floral shots, I took the following pics:

20140403-010523.jpgThis is the bench in the Johnny Mercer family plot.

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20140403-010629.jpgThe rest of these are just some monuments that I found to be exceptionally beautiful:

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20140403-011136.jpgA fireside chat followed our Bonaventure excursion, and the next morning we did this:

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20140403-011434.jpgAfter breakfast, “us girls” took a walk to the many shops nearby. I saw this and it was hard- very hard- to leave it in the store:

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20140403-011620.jpgupon our return I woke these two camp critters, interrupting their little nap time:

20140403-011801.jpgEvery camping trip has to end – well, until we are retired- and here’s driver getting ready to close up shop and pull Baby Beluga home.

20140403-011922.jpgOnce there, she got a bath.

20140403-012008.jpgOh, and here’s a sweet shot of my sis in law and her traveling bunny

20140403-013011.jpgNow just in case you read this and think of how perfect it all sounds, please scroll a few posts down and see “The Truth”. It’s not ALL sugar and spice.
But for now, and until the next trip, that’s just how I want to remember it.
Thanks for stopping by, and God bless.

Campy New Year!

We left for camp on December 27, eager to have a week of just doing little to nothing at all, for the exception of winding down 2013 and welcoming in the new year.

Every trip we take is a preview of life after retirement, and this one was just wonderful.

In the previous post I outlined the truth of how hectic it can be just to take this show on the road – and while that hasn’t changed, more of the truth is this: we had a great, great time.

We found this great county-owned and maintained park a few weekends before our camping trip.

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Located near Brunswick, Jekyll Island and St. Simons, Ga., it’s really a beautiful park.

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Soooo we are minding our own beeswax when we see this:

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Manatees! Right whales!
Oh. We were so stinkin’ excited!
And lo and behold, this guy swam by:

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It was a dolphin – or a porpoise- we didn’t get close enough to know. But whatever it was, we were just delighted to see it.
And we saw this guy too:

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Isn’t he just majestic? There were other pelicans and seagulls (see pix above) but this one was a loner and seemed to watch out for the others from a safe distance.
Other sites:

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And then some “family” shots of us and the pups.

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At the end of the day we enjoyed seeing Baby Beluga all lit up for the night.

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Along with the fire, it was doggone neat looking. I think we’re going to like this just fine.
Thanks for stopping in and God bless.

Post-Christmas trip!

We stopped by the storage lot this morning to get Baby Beluga ready for our next trip. I’m excited because it’s a week away on the coast! Though it’s too cold to take a dip, there’s a lake with a beach and plenty of walking to be done. We will also bike to the deep water pier and watch these:

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Yes, MANATEES! Oh, I can’t wait!

So Baby was dutifully waiting for us, all big and wonderful that she is.

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We will go back this evening to turn on the fridge and leave in the morning. Since it’s chilly out, there will be much crafting, movie watching and sitting by the fire pit. It’s gonna be a week of easy. I’m loving it already.
Watch my blog for more!
Thanks for visiting, and God bless you in the New Year and always.
Kathy Bo

A month to preview full-timing

We have been parked for three weeks, hooked up to water, sewer and electric. Notice I didn’t say “and fabulous Internet and cable TV.”

While Driver and I were considering staying the whole month, we lived here for two weeks until we decided the drive for him to go to work was too tedious each day.

We realized then that full-timing at retirement will be lots different when he is here with me and doesn’t have to be somewhere five days each week.

For now it’s a nice practice run. Here’s what we have learned:

We love it.

We really do.

No surprise, especially considering how we made a decision after that long trip in July, to go ahead and get “the” RV. It makes perfect sense if one considers that we can pay for it better now than when he retires and I have twice as much husband and half as much money each month.

So, dear reader, meet our new Baby Beluga. 20130920-162953.jpg

She’s a biggun. But then again, she’s a Beluga for Heaven’s sake.

You can see our house peeking out just a wee bit at the top of her. It’s the gray one. Yeah. Hidden.

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Driver was all excited once he towed her home. I think part of his excitement was that he would get to tow her again right away since she couldn’t stay parked there.

And her visit was oh, so temporary because we have tiny yards and an HOA that frowns upon such things as 5th wheels parked at the curb.

Off to the storage place she went, but not for long. We decided to take her the very next week to a campground about an hour from the house, to practice, as I said early on in this post.

We packed a lot of clothes, food and – since I would be holding down the fort for a while- a ton of papercrafting goodies came with us.

I made a lot of things including this
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And if you love crafting, you can see even more here on my crafting blog

One of the very best things about camping here 20130920-190716.jpg
Is that we are just about 10 minutes from The Boy and his wife Emily and the grandLittles.

Driver and I took long walks with them. It was pretty perfect. 20130920-191040.jpg
Speaking of Littles- our pups love Beluga too. 20130920-191340.jpg
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We ended up staying two weeks and for the rest of the month we are coming back on weekends. It is so sweet and I do love this lifestyle. It will be even better when we can do it for long months on end. For now, I think a little house somewhere is in order, just to take a break now and then.

But we aren’t making any big decisions just yet; we are simply loving Baby Beluga and all that she has to offer.

Right now I’m blogging from camp, sitting in a camp chair with pups in the “yard”. We have just finished dinner, Driver is preparing a fire and it’s a perfect Friday night.

Sweet moments indeed.

Thanks for stopping by and God bless.

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Comin’ Round Chattahoochee Bend

Though this post is listed in “favorite” parks, I assure all dear readers of my blog that it is indeed, my LEAST favorite. But… Keep in mind I’m a glamper- not a camper- I enjoy satellite TV (none here) WiFi (zero here) and septic hook ups at our site (Driver is in the process of dumping our tanks at the community dump station) and while I don’t EXPECT a huge pool and amenities like we found in Gulf State Park, (see post below- we LOVED it!) I certainly have to do a Snoopy Dance once we have those comforts.

That said, if you enjoy roughing it, hiking wooded (read: snaky) trails, a muddy Chattahoochee River and absolutely nothing but outdoor things to do, then this would be your dream come true. See? That’s why it’s listed “favorites” – SOMEONE has to love this place.

About 35 min away from humanity, we made sure to have all provisions as soon as we realized how far away we would be if we ran out of something.

Why did we come here? 1) I had some business in a town nearby 2) it was the closest place we could find and 3) It was highly recommended by our daughter, who I truly realize now, thoroughly enjoys the Great Outdoors.

My business meeting was delayed SEVERAL times which made us stay here longer and caused me to use almost all of our megagigs or whatever measure it is when one runs out of Internet on their phone.

Driver was so sweet to buy some for me so I could live a somewhat normal life until he could get me back to civilization. I’m kinda thinkin he bought it so HE would have some peace and quiet by keeping me busy.

Meanwhile, he did his best to entertain me. More on that in a minute.

The first day we had traveled over 7 hours, from Gulf Shores to this park and came in on narrow, winding roads. The hills are so steep here (I’m a Georgia girl so give me a break) there are signs that say, “Hill Blocks View”. They aren’t kidding. It’s like being in the foothills of the North Ga mountains.

I’m not a fan.

I tried to be sweet and patient but dang skippy, I was D*O*N*E and found myself apologizing to Driver for my clear lack of enthusiasm. A lot.

The Visitors Center was closed when we arrived. I got out and, though I was pretty sure I heard BANJOS I scurried up the steps of this place (scurried to escape bears)

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And had no problem “finding” this:

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Here’s our set up, in the banjo-playing boonies:

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The pups were thrilled to sniff the abundance of wildlife that no doubt was holed up in THAT BUSH OVER THERE for Heaven’s sake. They alerted on so many things and I was fairly certain bears and coyotes were waiting on me to step out of that camper to serve them dinner on leashes.

So I didn’t. UNLESS I took my mace AND Driver. Not sure how hard it would be to mace a bear but I’m not above trying.

One fabulous day we drove to Newnan to pick up daughter and the GrandLittle. They spent the day with us at Lot 124, PoDunk USA. We were having a fabulous day until I was taken aback when our daughter Aubern strapped baby Phoebe Jo to her back and announced they were GOING ON A HIKE.

Wait.

I was not amused. She ignored my worries. Have you thought of the bears, snakes and ticks? And what about late July in South Georgia, in the HEAT OF THE DAY for Heaven’s sake? She headed out the door.

Driver, who is rarely if ever, taken aback, poked his head into the RV and announced he was going with them.

We were all delighted for our individual reasons, but being without cable or decent Internet for days, I was overjoyed. I told y’all I’m a cheap date, didn’t I? Doesn’t take much.

Which leads me to this: The night before we left, my long awaited business was FINALLY concluded. Driver announced he had prepared a rum and Diet Coke for me, which is always special because I rarely drink, and he’d set up a movie outdoors. It’s one of my favorites, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

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So we sat with our puppies, sipped Rum and Cokes, ate Pringles (I’m not a cook, y’all) and watched our movie.
On the way out of the park in PoDunk, USA, I took these pix of the Visitor’s Center.

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And here we are, parked in all our bigness, Driver giving us that last flush as we are all packed up and ready to set sail for home.

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We have about 6 hours ahead of us, normally a four hour trip but we don’t run as fast as we do when we aren’t towing. We have agreed to stop along the way if Driver is tired, but otherwise we’ll be on our back porch tonight.
Wagons ho!
God bless and thanks for stopping by!

Camp: good friends, good times

Our time in Gulf Shores was somewhat bittersweet, visiting a beloved uncle who isn’t doing well while also seeing some precious friends we haven’t seen in a year.

Oh how the heart gets pulled sometimes.

But I shall focus on the happiest parts since this blog is about the adventure.

When we arrived at Gulf Shores (Gulf State Park) we set up camp. It was a long travel day and we have decided to make the evenings as easy as we can after traveling long distances. We hung out that first night with my sister in law Jane & and brother in law Randy who arrived a few days prior.

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The next day was spent in Pensacola visiting Uncle Bill and having dinner with Aunt Lorene, cousin Rhonda, Jane and Randy. Rhonda and Lorene recommended this little out-of-the-way restaurant on Navy Blvd. called Chet’s. Really a down to earth kind of place – and fabulous local seafood. Can’t believe I didn’t get pictures.
Once we got back to camp we spent a little time biking followed by an evening swim in the awesome pool (see previous post).
The next two days were spent seeing our friends who moved to Fairhope Alabama last July. We sure did miss them and it was just great to see them again.

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Our friends gave us a grand tour of the cutest little town of Fairhope, Alabama. Great shops, restaurants and lots of family friendly things to do, and the city is right on the water.
For such a sweet little town, something crazy happens each summer called Jubilee. It’s a phenomenon that happens only in Japan and Fairhope- the oxygen level changes in the lowest level of the water and flounder, crab and other sea life throw themselves ashore. Locals arrive with baskets and buckets, gathering up an abundance of fish. No one knows when it will happen or how long it will last. Click here to read more about Jubilee
I absolutely loved this place.

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Our friends treated us to lunch at Panini Pete’s, and wow, it was delicious! Mine had three different cheeses on it, the top being mozzarella that they actually make on site.

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This was Driver’s burger. I’m pretty sure we are gaining a few pounds on this trip.

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Panini Pete’s is so cool; you can eat on the patio, inside the small restaurant itself or in this beautiful solarium. Very French Quarter if you ask me.

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Speaking of….

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Yeah. French Quarter, alright.
Here’s more of the waterfront – it was raining and hard to get a good shot but hopefully you get the idea: sweet, quaint, wonderful little town. Pretty sure I could live there.

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Thanks for stopping by- there’s more to come, so if you want to read more just sign up for email updates. God bless!