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.

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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!

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!

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.

Moving Baby

Since we live in a small cottage with a teeny yard and an HOA, Baby has to live in a storage facility. Kinda like extended day care for whale-sized babies!

The first place we took her was great, but far from our house and in a really busy part of town with a ton of road construction. After we made several trips out there we agreed it just wasn’t going to work. I called again to another place close to the house and voila! They finally had a space open!

The best part was the guy that owns the first place we took her to was super nice and gave us a refund for time we wouldn’t use. What a guy!

So we hooked her up

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And off we went!

Just as it was getting dark we got her all snuggled in. And wouldn’t you know… She already has a boyfriend!

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Down, girl!

Being closer to home meant we had more time to work on her. One of the first things was to tighten her wiggly table.

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It was actually in need of serious repair – but Driver was able to make it good as new!

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Another thing was to replace her Thetford potty with a brand new Thetford. We needed a taller one since we are getting creaky! We had a lot of trouble solving a how-to-get-the-water-from-the-floor-to-a-side-port issue, but after three whole visits to three hardware stores, we settled on a pump silencing kit because it had a flexible hose with fittings on either end. Wow! Innovation! That was a really big deal!

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At the end of the day we all felt like this

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But not “all” of us fit on that little patch of floor!

Tomorrow we head off to camp with the church. It’s exciting to go but it will be so much nicer when Baby is all fixed up and we can just take off!

I’ll post more from the state park- it’s got gators!

Thanks for stopping by! Be blessed

Camp BoTown

Our very first campsite EVUH was at Beaver Run RV Park near Metter, Ga. It was just a hop, skip and a jump from our home and even closer to the Camping World parking lot (see previous post). Wherever Baby Beluga parks will be called BoTown, a combination of our name and, well, “town”.

This park was very nice and clean, and the peeps there were oh, so friendly and helpful. This guy’s name is Huey. He and his family are frequent visitors and he was so helpful and led us right to our spot; number 15.

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The place was really flat! That helped a lot for these first timers

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We set up camp, strung our little string of Tiffany lights (we decided we need a second string) and Driver replaced a burned out bulb by the door.

“You should bring a ladder,” I said before we left the house.

Well, who needs a ladder when there is a big picnic table nearby?

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This is Huey and Jingles. Jingles has bunny ears on because it is Easter weekend. We also met Huey’s wife and Jingles’ mom Janice. We hope to camp with them again someday.

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Huey even shared his wood and lightered pine, which gave us a pretty fire in the firepit.

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By evening, we toasted our little campsite and our big whale of a camper

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Our next trip is in 2 weeks, a weekend outing with our church. We are looking forward to a sweet time with our church family.