Thursday, December 22, 2016

Days 88 to 90 - Ft. Myers, FL

We packed up camp and headed south a few more hours reaching Fort Myers mid-afternoon.  We found a wonderful RV park at half-price and settled in for a few days of biking, swimming, and relaxation.  We head further east to Ft. Lauderdale on Tuesday.

While in Fort Myers we took in an RV show touring dozens of motorhomes and trailers.  We're getting ideas together for when we return the USA in 2022 and need a place to stay while building our new home.

We drove out to Sanibel Island and spent a whole day biking the beach and wildlife refuge.  We enjoyed a nice lunch at a local restaurant.

We took in a movie at the local theater.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Day 82 to 87 - Off to Clearwater, FL and some Frenchy Time!

We enjoyed a quiet morning in camp and our traditional Sunday morning routine of a big Sunday Bobbie Breakfast and our favorite Sunday morning CNN shows. Around noon we headed out and south to Clearwater, Florida where we will spend the next five days.  We have found a lovely RV park just a few miles from Frenchy's house.  It will fun spending time with our good friend before heading on to Key West for a "snowbird winter."

Theses five days were very relaxing.  We did a long bike ride along the cuaseway between Celarwater and Tampa, we went kayaking at Weeki Wachi Springs where we say manatees and other wildlife, we took in a couple of movies, went metal detecting on the beach, and played a LOT of cards and Scrabble.

We love Frenchy and her boyfriend, Bobbie-boy.  We will see them again on February 4th when they come down to Key West.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Days 76 to 78 - Mobile, AL

After two days of catching up with old friends Johhny and Diane Dixon, we headed further east toward Mobile.  The rain was intense once again and we battled huge walls of water almost all the way to Mobile.  We found a nice RV park nestled in a pecan forest and set up camp for three nights.  The dropping nuts from the trees made huge BANGS on the roof of the camper...lots of laughs after we got used to the bombardment.

Our first day in Mobile was a busy day.  We got the camper services with new oil and filter, did a bit of shopping for groceries and supplies, and enjoyed an afternoon movie.

The next day we devoted to exploring the battleship Alabama and the submarine next door.  It was a full day with lots of ladders to climb.  We had full run of both ships.  The tour was self-guided and we got to see a lot of stuff normally not allowed at most ships.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Day 74 - Off to Baton Rouge

A major storm was headed our way so we got an early start and still ended up behind deluged on the I-10.  We stopped for a while to let the storm pass and still ended up driving most of the four hours in heavy rain.  We arrived late afternoon and enjoyed seeing our old almost 15 years since our last time together.  We stayed the weekend with an expectation of heading off to Florida on Monday.

Days 64 - 73 - A Most Special Thanksgiving in Houston

Day 64 - We left New Braunfels a bit early to stop by a tire store for a checkup. All was well and we were on our way sooner than planned.  About 60 miles out of Houston the traffic slowed to a crawl and those last miles took a bit more than two hours.  We met our son at the Marriott Residence Inn.  He booked us for four nights in a very, very nice suite.  It was such a treat to get out of the van and have some real room to spread out...and that we did...almost to the point that we figured it would take us a day to get it all back into the van.  The hotel was lovely and the service was superb.

Later that evening we met up with the kids at their place.  It was the first time we had seen their home and it was quite nice.  We are so proud of our boy and how well he is doing.

Day 65 - Thanksgiving Day - We gathered at Patricia's home and met all of the in laws. We were joined by my sister Kathy and her husband.   Susy's family was wonderful.  We could not have felt more welcome.  The children were a pleasure. The energy was overwhelming and the love was flowing.  It was one of those family no-drama holidays that most folks only dream about.  We got to enjoy it!

Day 66 - NASA - Johnson Space Center Houston -  Today we were joined by Rick as we visited the space center.  We have been wanting to do this for a long time and today was the day.  It was great fun and got us all excited again about going to Mars!

Day 67 - Texas Renaissance Festival - The largest in the world and justifiably so.  55 acres of food and fun.  It was a warm day and all the costumes and fool-heartedry was great.

Day 68 - Another Big Family Day - We met with Susy's family once again for a lovely Sunday brunch, followed by bowling, and then a movie.  A very big and packed day.

Days 69 - 71 - Cypress and More Family Time - We said goodbye to the inlaws and headed over to Cypress for some downtiem with Billy and Tootie.  We sat around most of the day enjoy the quiet.  In the evening we were treated to Texas stuffed pork chops.  Over the next few days we just hung out, ate, and enjoyed the company.

Days 72 & 73 - A Couple of Days with a Special Friend - At the end of our Houston visit we ventured to Sugar Land and Paul's home.  He has a huge sprawling mansion in an upscale neighborhood.  We were sure the HOA was going to have a fit about our rig parked in his driveway...but nothing every happened.  We enjoyed eachother's company and Paul treated us to a local musical.  Good food and drinks abounded.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Days 63 & 64 - San Antonio, TX

Bobbie was stationed in Del Rio, a short drive south of the city.  During my days of incarceration in Texas I visited San Antonio many times and tubed the rivers as well.  It's been well over 20 years now for both of us.

Day 63 - Today we drove into the city, a short 20 miles away and visited the Witte Museum, had lunch on the Riverwalk, and strolled around the city a bit.  We enjoyed a Tex-Mex luncheon of high fat foods and then suffered for the rest of the day, well into the night, and most of the next day.

I was tempted by the bike on the rope but passed.  Now that I am writing this I wish I had.

Day 64 - Today we hung out in the camper for a day of resrt and recuperation. In the afternoon we went out for some Christmas Card supplies.  Bobbie is in the middle of her annual process, this time with a special gift enclosed in each envelope.

We ended the afternoon with a movie - Fantastic Beasts - and then headed back to camp for a quiet evening watched cable TV - yippee, some NCIS time!!!!!

Days 62 - New Braunfels, TX

After breakfast we said goodbye to the kids as they headed back to Houston and work.  We'll see them again in a few days.  We decided depart the interstate again and travel south through the hill country of mid-western Texas.  The drive was lovely passing many small and historic old towns.  We drove through Crawford where George and Laura Bush have a ranch.  The town of Meridian had a county seat building in the town square that was amazing.  We reached New Braunfels late afternoon and settled into an RV park right on the Comal River.

The park was quiet and we were given a site right on the river bank.  The river is known as the shortest river in America.  It's source is an underground spring. The amount of water that comes out of that opening is staggering.  Our site is right across from the Wurst Festival Hall.  In the summer this place is hopping.  Right now the German settlement famous for beer, brats, and tubing the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers is pretty quiet.  That is of course, with the exception of the train that traverses the park overhead.  A freight train has crossed over no less than once an hour for the entire time we were there.  Interestingly enough the noise was not an issue  The train bridge has high side walls and inside of the camper it was simply a lullaby.

Full hookups and all this for $18 a night.  It doesn't get much better.

Days 60 to 62 - On to Dallas and Old Friends

Day 60.  We departed Memphis mid-morning for the six hour drive to Dallas/Fort Worth. A major thunderstorm hit about halfway and we were forced to slow to a crawl in order to the see the road.  The drive across Arkansas and halfway across Texas was uneventful.  The traffic in Dallas was amazing!  We settled into a really nice RV park outside of Arlington for two days.

Day 61.  We slept in a bit and then did some shopping in anticipation of Rick and Susy's visit  The kids left Houston very early for the four hour drive to Dallas. Today is a special day.  We will visit our long time friends Bailey and Lou.  We have been friends for over 35 years and they are two of Rick's favorite "uncles."

Early this afternoon we headed over to their place where we enjoyed a grand reunion for several hours before getting a nice dinner at a local haunt.  What a grand time seeing old friends.  They loved seeing Rick had been about 15 years, and in meeting Susy for the first time.

Rick and Susy stayed the night with us in the camper.  In the morning we had a traditional Alaskan Leopard breakfast before heading out toward San Antonio.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Days 56-59 - Memphis, TN

The drive to Memphis was short, only four hours.  We crossed the Mississippi River and found an nice RV park on the river bank in West Memphis, Arkansas. We set up camp and settled in for the night.

We started off the next day with a visit to the Bass Pro Shop Pyramid. Interesting building devoted to the retail giant.  The pyramid is hollow and enclosed the retail space, a hotel, a fishing pond, shooting gallery, and an elevator to the apex for views of the city,  It was quiet and no crowded and we took advantage of that to do a little shopping for some good walking shoes and a few tops.

Later that afternoon we headed out to the Botanical Garden for a bit of serenity. The gardens are a bit out of the city center.  It is a really nice park with manicurred paths and plantings as you would expect.  There were maybe ten cars in the lot and we did not run into more than that many people in the several hours we enjoyed the park.

On our thrid day we took in the National Civil Right Museum.  That was sombering and interesting.  A huge museum.  An experience to remember, especially standing where MLK was shot.

The Metal Museum was closed today and we did not feel like music or Graceland so we did a bit of shopping and headed back to camp for dinner and a bit of TV.

Our last day in Memphis is going to be a rest day in the park, maybe a bike ride, some laundry, some trip planning, and a lot of TV and TLC.