Saturday, March 23, 2013

Day One of Month Two

Today is the first day of the second month of my retirement.  I think I should celebrate or something.  Retirement has been really great.  Sorry all you folks that I used to work with but I don't miss SRC at all.  I do miss you but not the job!  I am loving my life!

But that is not to say that it is all roses and wonderful things.  Right now as we sit in our RV in Meridian, MS, there is a trailer parked next to us that came in yesterday.  I feel like I am in a first floor apartment with someone over my head.  It is really weird but they have a least one small child over there and when he/she runs (which is constant) the booming takes us right back to apartment/condo living.  Explain that to me!

I expected not to have stress in my life but we have had so much of it, I might as well still be working.  Of course some of my stress is self induced and wouldn't bother someone else at all.  Kirby has done a great job of pulling the 5th wheel, changing lanes, merging and all of that.  But because I am not in control, I get to be the one stressing over it - and I have to keep my mouth shut!

We have learned so much over the past 2 or 3 months!  OH, my, I didn't realize how little I did know!  I have started a list of Lesson's Learned and it is a very interesting little list!  And it is just for me!

You should have seen us up at Lake Hartwell.  We could have entertained a great audience but luckily there were no other RV'ers there.  The pull-through that I reserved was way too short for our long rig.  Finally Kirby ended up pulling all the way through and then backing up.  It was very narrow also so that made it even more stressful as I watched him (him being in control and me just an onlooker).  He didn't think it was a big deal.  Oh, how I miss being in control, which I was when I worked!  But of course I am not willing to learn to drive the rig!

Traveling through Atlanta is way high on the stress list.  It is one of the worst cities in the country to drive in and there we were!  But, no mishaps, no missed freeway changes, everything went perfectly.

At the top of the list of course was when we got stuck in the sink hole.  That one even made me cry and want to sell the RV!!  Having things break in our brand new rig has been a big disappointment.  We have day and night shades that are really, really cool - until the strings break.  One is completely ruined and the next is on the way.  We need to get some string and learn to fix them as it is obvious that this is going to a constant in our lives.

Ah, but the good does out-weigh the bad.  I love being in new places.  I love seeing beautiful parks and having new views out my windows.  I love meeting new people.  I really adore spending each day with the man that I love.  I married him because I enjoy his company so much and when I was working I didn't get to see him often enough.  We have such fun together.  And I love my home and living in a small space.  I have everything that I need right here! I can get the whole place cleaned up in not too much time at all.

It will be fun to see where my 2nd month of retirement takes us and what kind of adventures we will have!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Other RV Blogs

Good Morning!

I have added another feature to my blog.  On the right hand side I am going to list blogs that I read from other folks who are out there doing what we are doing....running around the country having fun in their RV.  Sometimes my reading is limited by our internet plan and other times I can get on the free internet provided by the parks and read them all.  My list will grow when I find blogs that I like!

Have a good day!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Out There

There we are with our bicycles on the back.  I feel like we are living in an RV Sales Yard!  At least we have a cement pad which helps so much with the dirt and we have free cable for the first time.
 When was the last time you watched “Captain Ron”?  We watched just recently for the umpteenth time and enjoyed and laughed just as much as every other time.  My favorite quote from the movie is, “Well, Skipper, if it’s gonna happen, it’ll happen out there.”  And sure enough it did.

We were all set to leave Meridian – we had picked up a few items from the store and washed the rig and the truck.  And then the rain came.  Did you read about the horrible rains in Mississippi and Alabama and the winds and hail?  We were lucky here in Meridian – we only got the rains.  Lots of rain and a bit of small hail.

So on Tuesday we hitched up and departed for our next stop.  But, we didn’t even get out of the RV Park. Did I mention that it had rained the night before?  Well, this soil is pretty weird.  What looked like a little puddle was a sink hole and we sunk almost up to the axle – over a foot and a half! The rig was leaning at such an angle I was certain the slightest movement would tip it over.  It was a very unfun experience and this morning my back and shoulders are stiff and sore from the stress.  It took about 2 1/2 hours but they managed to finally get us out. (I couldn’t watch so I waited in the office) They tried to use the back bumper even when Kirby told them it was not strong enough and they bent the bejeebers out of it.  The folks here at the RV Park are being wonderful about the whole thing. They are paying for everything with a smile.  If it weren't such an ugly place it would be fantastic. So we are working on getting the new bumper.  Since they are paying we want to remain here until it is fixed and we don't have any idea when that will be.

Redeeming Qualities

Life would be pretty miserable if we couldn’t always find some sunshine amid the clouds.  We have found 2 major redeeming qualities in Meridian, Mississippi.
This is a picture of the office here at the park.  Quaint?  Is that the word I am looking for?  Friendly works!  Very friendly folks!
 First is the staff here at the park.  Beverly is the manager and she is a sweetheart – they don’t come any nicer - a true southern lady.  She was so supportive of me when I was having my crying episode yesterday.  I really appreciated her kindness.  And everyone worked so hard to get us out of the mud, shoveling the goo being the worst of it.

The second redeeming quality is the Bonita Lakes Park which is just across the main road from us.  We went today and checked it out.  We had walked half way around the lake when we saw a sign that said, NO DOGS.  So we finished on the street.  But we have found picnic areas all over the place (where dogs can go), beautiful trees and ducks and geese.  Now we just need nice weather so we can have picnics.

We have no idea how long we will be here.  One week, two weeks?  Who knows so we need to settle in and make it home.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Meridian, MS

No, that is not us in the picture - that is the view out the back of our RV.  We adjusted our schedule because of weather and the place we were going to didn't have room for us.  We quickly located Bonita Lakes RV park and they said they had a nice pull through for us.  The lady who welcomed us was so sweet that it set the tone for the place.  Not much of a park but I like it!  It is a pull through, we have a concrete pad, full hook-up and no dirt!

We drove too long yesterday as I am just now learning how to schedule our travel.  It is NOT like traveling in a car at all!  We go slower and more tiring (especially for the driver) so you don't want to do much more than 4-5 hours.  About 200 miles is good.

We also changed time zones for the first time in years. We woke at our usual time this morning - but it was in the new time zone time.  I thought maybe we would sleep until six but no, we woke at 5am.  Stupid old people!

We are going to hang around Meridian today and see what there is to see here and get some chores taken care of.

Have a good day!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Talona Creek, Talking Rock, GA

This was the wonderful view from the back while we were at Talona Creek RV Park in Talking Rock, GA.  There were even horses back there, you just can't see them!

I would love to see this creek in the late spring or early summer.  It really was charming!
As I write this we are on the way to Mississippi from our visit to my sister in Georgia.  We arrived there on Friday and went straight to the campground closest to their home which is Talona Creek RV Park, in Talking Rock. (You have to love that name, don't you?)  There were some good things about it but mostly it is just very iffy!  It was very quiet, very pretty with a creek running along the side, lots of beautiful trees (not blooming yet) and horses on the hillside.  But the spaces were just “spaces” in the dirt with old hookups.  There were many campers there that didn’t look occupied, very few people around.  And the dirt!  Oh, the dirt!  I am very tired of dirt!  This morning as we were leaving, the ground was damp from the dew and so we just had mud.  But the location near Patti and Dave was perfect.
This is Patti and I after having breakfast at Annies.
We had so much fun on our visit to this beautiful part of the Appalachians. I loved breakfast at Annie’s Country Cooking and wished I could have taken pictures of some of the interesting people there – long beards, multicolored hair and lots of suspenders.
We were told that there were like 20 million daffodils that bloom at different times.  We saw the early bloomers.
We spent a couple of hours at Gibbs Gardens viewing millions of daffodils. Millions and Millions of them.  And other beautiful plants too but so many weren’t in bloom yet.  If you are ever in that area, don’t miss it!
I loved these River Birch right beside the little stream of water.

Our wonderful hosts, Patti and Dave.  Thank you for such a fantastic time!

If you are ever in Ball Ground, GA be sure to stop by Frankfurt Doner & Meats for some old fashioned German Sausage.
We made a quick stop at Ball Ground for some authentic German Sausages which we later had for dinner along with some German Sauerkraut.
We loved learning a new fun game - Skip-Bo!  And Beezer loved having Jake visit him.  It was a love affair!
We even got to learn a new game called Skip-Bo.  Simple, easy fun with lots of laughs.  Patti totally won each game!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Lake Hartwell State Park II

This is the view from our window at Lake Hartwell.  It doesn't look so good because it is still all brown from winter but the day was warm and sunny and we enjoyed working outside.  Kirby went through all of his tools because the truck was too heavy when we stopped at the scales.  I cleaned out some of the dog hair from the truck.  There is no way it will ever ALL come out.  Jake sheds more than any dog I know.  He gets excited in the truck when we have been gone and shakes when we get in.  You can see the hair flying everywhere.  But - we didn't see this life in our future when Jake joined our family so it is just part of the gig!

Lake Hartwell has been an awesome place to stop during the off season.  We aren't sure we want to come back here when we return for Casey's graduation next year or not because the spaces are very small and close together.  It would be so different in May with people and kids everywhere.  Maybe the leaves on the trees would make it seem less crowded.  We got spoiled at Buck Hall!  But this place is extremely beautiful!  I would recommend it if you haven't been here.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lake Hartwell State Park, SC

Kirby did a fantastic job of getting us on this little RV pad.  It was a tight squeeze.

As we left the Charleston area yesterday, I told Kirby that I felt that I was on a holiday again, just like when we were at Buck Hall last week.  Next thing I know, Kirby is singing, “Life’s a holiday on Primrose Lane”!  Now I just want to be singing that all the time and I want to rename Myrt, Primrose, but I won’t!  I am just having so much fun, this can’t just be everyday life can it?  Surely it is a holiday?  And guess what, the fun continues!

We got away by 9 am just as we planned, went to the weigh station just like the big trucks and got ourselves weighed.  Kirby made me stay in the truck with Jake so our weight was included!!  Yikes, that will tip the scale!  Our overall weight was perfect but our truck is a little on the heavy side because of the tools Kirby brought.  Will he need them???  I don’t know.  (I think you could read this - My overall weight was perfect but my butt is a little on the heavy side.)

By 3:15 we were all set up at Lake Hartwell State Park.  The park is just one mile from Georgia and near Clemson University so we will get to visit with Casey, our grandson.

I can’t believe this place!  There are over 100 campsites and we are THE ONLY ONES here! It feels like a ghost town – but we LOVE it!  The leaves haven’t even begun to bud here and all is brown and grey but the quiet is awesome.  No sirens, no trucks, no motorcycles – all that noise we have lived with for the past 3 months.  (Since it is so brown here I decided to do all the photos in B&W)

Oh, and you have to remember that we are from the Lowcountry….we don’t have hills of any type.  Poor Jake, our dog, just stood for the longest time looking down.  He won’t leave the flat pad – too funny!

You can see us through the trees.  Notice there are NO other campers here.

We took a quick stroll down to look at the water.  This must be gorgeous in the summer.

More empty spaces.  Really - there is NO ONE but us!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ready to Go

This is the view from our back window today.  Not beautiful but not crowded either!  We have thick gravel and lots of grass.  To the right is the laundry room and if it quits raining, I may do some wash!
What a busy day we had yesterday!  We were up at the crack of dawn to get Myrt over to Camping World by 8:00 AM.  They never bothered to tell us if they could make the repair in one day or not so we also had to pack our things to stay at Christie’s if needed.  And – neither one of us had slept very well.  KOA in Ladson is just YUK!  It is the dirtiest place and I just kept having nightmares of having to go back there for another day to wait for weather.  Kirby was tossing and turning about the tight quarters we were in and getting out of there.  It is a terribly congested park.  But we were out by 8:00 and over to CW right on time!

We were pleasantly surprised when informed that Myrt would be ready by 11:30.  So, we headed off to Denny’s for breakfast and to decide what to do with 2 hours.  Wannamaker Park has lots of trails and it was nearby so off we went.   Years ago I had been there with Christie and the boys but Kirby and I had never been.  It is a wonderful park!!  Lots of trails, ponds, a waterpark, playground equipment and a dog park too!  So Jake also had a good time!

At breakfast we had called Oak Plantation and told them we were coming back!  So here we sit at the same campground we were at all winter but this time we are in a pull-through near the entrance of the park.  We will be off tomorrow after the rain.  We are retired – can’t see going out there in the rain in order to get underway!

I guess this is where I say how much I am going to miss my daughter.  She has been a delight to me from the day she was born and these past years living near each other have been so very fantastic!  When she moved to Charleston I didn’t think we would ever live near each other again.  So, never say never.  Who would have believed that we would spend 4 years just a half mile apart and then almost 2 more only 20 minutes apart?  It may happen again – who knows!  I will miss the whole family – Christie, her husband, Michael, the boys – Brendan and Casey and my two terrific granddogs – Socks and Lacey!  See you in about a year!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

KOA in Ladson, SC

This is the view out the back window here at the Ladson KOA.  Not too cool is it?  The only good thing is that the laundry was very close and I got to visit there this afternoon.  The campground is very old and not very well maintained.  The sewer hook up is way too far from the rig and the manager is very familiar with this and had a suggestion for us for dumping when we leave. Cost was $40.00 for one night.  Everyone is very nice and there are lots of children with a cute playground.  (but the voices of the screaming children have sent us indoors).  The bathrooms don't look too bad.  Better than Oak Plantation anyway!

3-12-13 --  I want to update this review.  This has to be one of the dirtiest campground around and also the most congested.  It is very old and the landscaping is gone - replaced by dirt and almost no gravel.  It was built 30-40 years ago and the rigs were smaller and had no slideouts.  They packed everyone in there so tight I thought I would scream from claustrophobia!  Why do so many people want to stay there?  I don't really understand it.  We only stayed because it was 5 minutes from our 8 AM appointment!  I hope I never have to go there again!

Buck Hall Recreation Area - South Carolina

Ah, Buck Hall Recreation Area, we will sorely miss you!  What an awesome place this was.  We were able to stay there 8 days before we had to leave to get some repairs done to our rig and begin our westward journey.

Buck Hall is a very small campground with about 20 widely spaced RV camping spaces and a few lovely tent sites.   One side of the campground is the Intracoastal Waterway and the rest is forest.  The trailhead of the Palmetto Trail begins here and we walked some of it through the thick pine forest. 
The Intracoastal Waterway is alive most days with fisherman enjoying the wonderful waters.  Buck Hall has a loading ramp and also a very nice fishing pier.

The cost was just $20 a day for RV Camping and since we are old, we got the Golden Pass discount and only paid $10.  It is the bargain of the century.  Our camp host suspects that all the government parks will increase their fees in order to continue to maintain them.

All of the sights have water and electric, a picnic table and a fire ring.  We enjoyed quite a few campfires even though it was very cold and windy while we were there.  There are public bathrooms with a primitive shower and also a pumpout station.  Every one of the sights are good, not a bad one to be had.  We moved after 6 days as we decided to extend for 2 days and the space we were in was already reserved for the weekend.  I loved both spaces.  One backed up to the forest and the other had a fantastic view of the water.

If you are ever in the Charleston area of South Carolina, you should stay a few days.  You won’t regret it!  (Unless the humidity and the bugs are out in force!)