A Big Trip

We are planning a big trip.

Here’s my current “to-do” list: (surely to grow)

Laundry
Stock up on pastured meats and eggs
Stock up on pup food
Buy extra sunscreen
Do more laundry
Get house ready
Stop mail delivery
Put a few crafting kits together
Do more laundry
Give neighbor dates of our time away

Wow. That looks so simple.

But I know that Travel Day will be so exhausting no matter how much I plan ahead! If only we could go with the bare minimum- and maybe one day we will figure this out so we can. I keep trying to anyway!

The little pile of “must-haves” has already started to accumulate. Here we have our Quilter’s Travel Companion (who would be without?), the new popcorn popper, the ever ready air pump and a sweet gift from my friend Angela! A tea towel just perfect for our RV! I mentioned in my last post about a surprise from a friend and then I received this! Wow! Two very special camping themed goodies!

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And speaking of sweet friends, we will be meeting up with some very special ones at our destination! Stay tuned!
God bless! Kathy Bo

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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.

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!

Disney’s Fort Wilderness

We had a very long drive as we headed to Fort Wilderness and it was our first “long” trip. Like a little kid hanging on to the side of the pool, we have camped just an hour or so from home since we brought Baby Beluga (our 36 ft 5th wheel) home. It was finally time for us to spread our wings and boy, did we. It took 7 1/2 hours in rain and heavy traffic in Jacksonville and Orlando. We were whipped.

But we stopped along the way and took the pups shopping at Camping World.

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This was when they started begging for stuff

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The parking lot was super hot so I strolled them back to our parking spot.

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Good thing they are so cute. They didn’t help load Beluga, not one bit.

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After shopping, the pups zonked out.

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More rain, long lines of traffic and finally we arrived. I was one Happy Camper when I saw this sign.

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But SERIOUSLY HAPPY when I saw THIS sign

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Here we are, waiting in line to check in. The adventure begins!

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Our first big trip and introducing Meile!

This has been on our fridge for weeks. We have been too busy to do a countdown but got to see this every day.

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I spent the week getting the house ready and made a staging area to carry stuff back and forth to the storage facility where Baby Beluga (our RV) lives. I pretty much had more stuff to add every day so as a result we put a gazillion things in the RV. I even brought a little sewing machine. It’s amazing how much stuff I think we will need. I try not to overpack and I did edit, edit, edit, which is why all my card making stuff isn’t going (but a small project is!). Still, I am sure I packed too much.

In my earlier blog posts you will see our precious Kerby. We lost her in April. She was 15 years old and in so much pain from eye problems.

Hoover was pitiful without her. He lost two best friends in less than a year and all he wanted to do was lie on the sofa.

We decided to get him a buddy. We prayed about it and adopted Meile (Mee-Lah) from a NC rescue. Yes, it’s the name of a vacuum cleaner as is Hoover, Kerby and Dyson, who passed away tragically from a spider bite in July 2012.

Meile has totally settled right in. Here she is showing off her purple painted nails.

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She likes to dress up too.

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And here she is helping dad and Hoover as they hook up Baby Beluga.

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You might need to zoom in but she’s the pointy eared helper.

This is what I see in my mirror.

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I’m ready to be there already! So much fun. I will be blogging throughout our trip so please sign up for notifications if you want to get the latest updates.

God bless you all and thanks for following my blog!