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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A Campin’ We Will Go

We made it to Magnolia Springs to camp with our church. It is so pretty here- it’s a Georgia State Park and dang skippy, they have a ton of Mr. Ranger Sir kinda folks who work here. There were at least six park rangers in the office where we checked in and then we saw two or three others in the park. Wow!
We bought the annual pass for all the Ga state parks so we can enjoy as many as camping time allows.
This is how we looked all nestled into our spot:

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Soon after setting up, HooMan and I did this:

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While the elderly Kerby did this:

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Once we were all rested we went for a walk. This place is overloaded with alligators! I was mostly happy not to encounter one. It was a beautiful and tranquil place. Baby’s Driver needed this more than any of us.

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I loved chancing up on this little note left by two young lovers. It was carved onto a wood bench overlooking the water. I imagine them giggling as they left their forever mark, walking off blissfully, hand in hand. A girl can dream, right?

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And this girl does dream. I am blessed to have nearly 37 years with Driver- we will make that landmark in November. Maybe you can zoom in to read the sign that welcomes Baby’s visitors:

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Here’s our “porch” all set up. We spent most of our outdoor time at a friend’s campsite.

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And we had lots of friends on this, our second trip. We camped with our church family, and that meant a big dinner (I have to tell y’all this: when I typed that line, “dinner” came out “sinner”!! Freudian slip??) and afterwards we settled down to an outdoor movie. A sheet placed on an RV awning and a projector that plays DVDs, a few lawn chairs and blankies were the perfect combination!

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The next day several of us girls gathered to knit. I had just gotten the latest Susan B. Anderson book: Topsy Turvy Inside-Out knit toys, so I simply HAD to bring it along. How sweet it was to hang out with my sisters in Christ as many learned how to knit for the first time.

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I finished the egg part of the penguin. The rest is in my lap right now, waiting for me to finish blogging!

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This morning was Sunday and Driver and I were looking forward to church. Pastor Mike and his family camped with us. Here’s our group:

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Lucky for HooMan it was bring-your-pup-to-church day.

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We love Pastor Mike. He is assigning some scriptures to be read aloud.

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All too soon it was time to go. Here we are all packed up, Baby ready to follow us home.

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April in Georgia means azealas, and these were so beautiful, waving gently as we exited the park.

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We are home now, a pile of laundry unloaded, a basket of food parked at the pantry door. Driver and I went for a quick dinner out, then went out to the porch to listen to the rain. Adele is playing softly in the background. We have said we already miss Baby and wish she were parked here. We both are pleasantly exhausted. And you know what?

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That laundry will be there tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by. God’s grace and blessings to you.

Baby Sets Sail aka Shakedown Cruise

Baby was ready for her virgin cruise.

Well, not really.

I spent a good while watching Driver do this:

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One of baby’s slides became “dead as a wedge” according to driver. The motor worked but the thing wouldn’t budge. I Googled the situation, read a bunch of Greek to Driver, and he scooted up under that thing and WHAM! Fixed it. I even made a video for others like us who are having the same problem.

Little did we know replacing a roll pin with a handy dandy rivet so we could get the slide in would be the least of our troubles.

Driver got Baby Beluga out of our teeny driveway by going cross-country. “I’m sinking!” He yelled. Thankfully, he didn’t really sink, it just felt like it.

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But that’s not all. We took off and our brand-spankin-new hitch was….FAULTY.

Yes it was.

Scared the stew outta us.

Baby Beluga shoved us into Camping World – 10 minutes from our home – and with no one there to help (the Faulty Hitch Guy left moments before we arrived) we had to boondock.

What is boondocking, you ask? Well, it’s when you park anywhere and spend the night. Or week. Or whatever.

Camping World has a limited number of slots with electric hook ups and over to the far side of the parking lot, they have water and black water (poo) dumping stations.

This is us- 3rd one from the left.

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We were so disappointed to spend our first night waiting on a service tech to fix our rig, but we made friends with fellow parking lot guests so that made us feel better.

And we saw this:

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How stinkin cute is THAT?! I, being the shy one, walked up to the window and almost said, “What the crap?!” But caught myself in the nick of time and instead said,”that is adorable! What is it?” The 30-something guy behind the wheel explained that the big one is his dad’s and he is the driver (elderly dad was in passenger seat) and he and his wife sleep in the wee one.

Stinkin cute, I say.

So there we were, feelin like a couple of boondockers, so in utter desperation I decided to cook. We have a cute propane stove and oven in the galley, and I made this:

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I don’t have much in the way of traveling spices so I packed chicken breasts and some butter and curry. Cooked that, and since Driver wanted sauerkraut and sausages, my other pan was busy so I took up the chicken and poured the can of beans right into the buttered-curry-chicken pan.

Wow. It was deelish!

And his sausage dinner plus my chicken dinner combined with a little battery operated tealight candle made for a great celebratory meal for our first night.

After their boondock dinners, the pups did this:

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And I’m an avid crafter and had to get ready for a card making class I’m teaching next week, so I set up my supplies on our little table.

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And made these little 3X3 cards and a box to put them in.

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I think my friends will enjoy making them!

The next morning we had quite a bit of interest over our decrepit hitch.

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An exchange, more than a little bit of upset plus $160 later, we had this:

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When we drove off around noon, we were certain – without a doubt – and even though the Camping World people did not agree – that other hitch was seriously faulty because the new one was silky smooth! Easy towing and Baby Beluga didn’t bully us a single time as we drove the hour to the campground.

By 2pm we were settled in and camping, just like we’d dreamed for over 20 years.

It was bliss.

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Bringing Baby Home

It’s a girl! Well, maybe she is… I’m not too sure but I’ve been referring to our long-anticipated RV as a girl – a girl baby Beluga whale!

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She kinda resembles one, don’tcha think?

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This is our girl in her natural habitat.  That is, until we get her weaned and in the Great Outdoors!  And yes, we have an HOA. I’m waiting for their sweet letter, a welcome note if you will!

But even the HOA cannot rain on this Beluga parade!  I am Snoopy Dancin’ happy. Or as my favorite Duck Dynasty dad says, “Happy. Happy. Happy.”  Yeah. THAT happy.

I will never forget the first moment when my Driver and I connected with Baby Beluga.  It looked like this:

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Why I photographed this:  well, Driver and I have been talking about getting our very own RV for more than T*W*E*N*T*Y years and I did not want to Miss. A. Thing.  That very moment it clicked into place resonated with me. It was like pushing a button or crossing a line.  It was here. Now.  And you know what? I just had to have the picture of that “real” moment.

Driver was ready to go.  One more check of Beluga and off they went!

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I followed behind in the SneakMobile.  One day I might tell the story of the SneakMobile and how it is black and how I gather up the ladies in my ‘hood and we sneak off after all have gone to bed, sneaking all the way to Dairy Queen or Sonic, in our P’s and our J’s, get ice cream and then sneak back home.  But there’s no time for that right now… we are talking about Baby Beluga, tee hee!  So off Driver went with Beluga following dutifully behind.  This is how they looked going into the ‘hood:

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That thing on the far left of my windshield is not a taco; it’s something coming off of the interior of the SneakMobile. Driver has to fix it.  It’s an old paid-for car that I LOVE and don’t want to part with because parting with it means payments and I’m highly allergic to such things.

“Can you park it?” I asked.

Driver assured me he could.

And he did.

I really had no doubt.  I even helped a little, but I know he could have done it fine without me.

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Once we got her home, we had to do the first, main thing.

Introduce Hoover to her.

“Thanks for the big doghouse,” he said.

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Today was day 2.  Hoover and I took a nap, right there in the driveway.

It was perfect.

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