Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Day on the Water

It was another beautiful morning, even warmer than yesterday. Gary cooked bacon and griddle cakes on the grill which drew a few neighboring campers over to remark how good that smelled! I wish we had more, we would have fed them all. Here are photos of a few other diners at our site that were not interested in bacon. I forgot to mention yesterday we took the kayak out after viewing the super-calm water and hot sunshine from the beach. But in the short while it took to get things together, the wind had whipped up and we had to beach really close by instead of on the island as planned for a quick lunch. Just as suddenly, the wind dropped, and turned in the opposite direction, making it a struggle to get back to our beach. Whew, we worked off those tuna sandwiches! Tomorrow we will try to get to the dam in our kayak to get a duck's eye view. I also want to take a walk - you'll see where!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Setting Up

Our site is beautiful, right near the lake, but quiet and private. Well, make that private - but they are building a new shower house about 100 feet away and will be finished on Saturday. Oh, well, they quit at 4:30 and we don't hang around the campsite until after that, so it doesn't bother us. As usual, we put up our bird-seeder and since the hummingbirds should be starting to migrate north, I made some syrup (1/4 cup of sugar to 1 cup water, boiled and cooled) and was just about to fill up the feeder when I remembered the ants. I did not want ants getting in my feeder, so I thought of a moat device that we put together in about 5 minutes. It's the cap off a spray can with a hole drilled in the middle. The red wire runs through the cap and attaches to the white hook. I hot-glued around the hole and filled the cup with water so the ants don't make it down the wire into the feeder! Well, it worked great but no hummers - bummer. Maybe next time. Meanwhile Tasha was busy hunting. She, unfortunately for the mouse, was successful. Domestic cats have a lovely habit of showing their booty to their owners (alias slaves). Like a 'cook this now' kind of look after dropping it at our feet. We did remove it, replacing it with treats, thinking this would get the taste out of her mouth, and the idea out of her head. Nope, she went right out and got another one. Before she brought back the whole nest, we put her inside.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Moving Day to John Kerr Lake and Dam, VA

The day before we move, my stomach starts up. Sitting in the passenger side has its issues. Gary swears he is as close to the center of the road that he should be, and all I keep saying is “Left, left!” The coach is so wide (102”) that it pretty much takes up the whole lane. Which means if there is no shoulder, that right wheel is right on the edge of the road. Often there is nothing but a drop-off, and I don’t want to know what would happen if the tires slipped off the pavement, thus the “Left, left!”. Anyway, I am the navigator, but Gary decided to go the shortest route this time. My favorite roads are red roads, especially the ones that are white in the middle of two red lines. That means the road is divided and two lanes and often not crowded. Interstates are OK if you’re in a hurry, and we are NEVER in a hurry any more. Black roads are the ones with no shoulder and gray roads – well we don’t go there – until today. They are practically single lane, no yellow lines, no signs, no anything. I was too nervous to take a photo. Maybe later. Well, all I can say is, thank you to someone for getting us there, and from now on I will do the navigating. The Park Attendant was surprised we made it at all and gave us the correct way out. Reserve America is the website for reserving in any state, national or COE park, but it is very sketchy as far as condition of sites. When we arrived, Dave, the PA, said the site I chose on line (a pullthru) was so small, we’d never make it around. He offered a few sites that were unreservable and we chose a beautiful back-in near the water. It was so level it took two minutes to set up and we were outside walking the beach inside ½ hour. Tasha is usually first on the bottom step to get out when we arrive to explore her new home. Now, some of you may know that I’m a rebel at heart, and even though the rules say your pet must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet, I don’t do that. We started out with a new harness that I tied to the picnic table. Every time she escaped that darn harness, even though I made it so tight she could hardly breathe. So then I began letting her out with just her harness on and a leash dragging behind her. The rules don’t state someone would have to be on the other end of the leash, right? But the park sites are such large wooded sites, that we just let her out. She goes hunting into the woods for about 25 feet and we always keep our eye on her. It’s easy to get her back into the coach – we just shake her treat jar and she comes running. Ahhh, back in our own bed. Off to explore tomorrow and kayaking on Thursday.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Catching up with old friends

It was a pretty morning, cooler with a threat of thunderstorms later, so we headed to Crabtree Mall to have lunch with Gary’s old work buds. It was fun catching up with them and walking around the mall to see what’s new. Headed back to camp and took the turnoff to the Marina just before the gate. Nice new store, and the proprietor mentioned a bald eagle nest just down the road. We looked really hard but couldn’t see it. A thunderstorm rolled in, but it passed quickly and we drove to Mandy’s for a lasagna dinner without Mandy (who had rehearsal for church). Had to be back by 8 pm for lock up, so seriously looked for the nest on the way back in and spotted it! She was covering her babies as it was raining lightly, and I will take some photos tomorrow! I love bald eagles – they stand for everything American. Back in Sarasota, our new tenants moved in and I assume everything is OK. We opened two more bank accounts, and will mail them deposit slips for those rent checks – got to make it as easy for them as possible, don’t ya know.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Family Happenings

Today was the big 5K race! She came in at 30 min and some seconds (she has to check the chip in her shoe that records the official time). VERY admirable. Good job, sweetie! Then we went off to see Jack at his T-Ball game and he did great! That's Joe's backend coaching him to third base. He made a run and his team won!
Gary is in heaven because we are in Bruegger Bagel territory again, and he is filling up on his favorite flavors. Usually plain with bacon scallion creamcheese, or smoked salmon spread on sesame, or Applewood smoked bacon with cheddar and egg on an poppyseed. Is your mouth drooling yet? I must admit that, even though they discontinued the orange/cranberry bagel, my other favorite it pumpernickle with plain cr. cheese and sliced cukes. Now that's something to sink our teeth into. Brugger's is on our old street practically, so when we visit, we pass our old house in CrossWinds. The trees are getting so huge, it’s difficult to even see the house anymore. I never get attached to houses, but am very particular about choosing one. Just ask any of my realtor. I’ve always told people that I could move every two years. Make new friends, but keep the old, is my motto and imagine how many one would have moving all the time. But, HEY, that’s what we’re doing now! We just move quicker and make friends faster!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Seeing the Fam!

Ugly weather today, cold and cloudy and windy, but we drove over to the Roberts home and gave lots of hugs and kisses all around. Of course everyone wanted to see our new home, so we gathered some food and went over for a cookout. Lots of ooohs and aaaahs, great burgers and of course, s’mores at our campfire. The gates lock at 8 pm, so we promised to see them tomorrow. One day this week, we hope to get out our kayak and get on the lake.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Home Again

We called a couple of fix-it guys, but no-one was available to help. When we arrived back at the CG, the maintenance man arrived and gave us the best news ever – it wasn’t our rig, it was the GCIF protected electric wiring in the post! Apparently some rigs are wired to protect against high voltage surges, and if that is so, they can’t use these posts. We would have to move campgrounds. We hopped into the jeep to meet Greg, the ranger at Rollingview CG about 7 miles away. He was waiting for us, and said to find any unreserved site. We drove around the loops and chose B2, reserved it, and drove back to pack up Bella and move her. We pulled in and tried and tried to level her with all kinds of boards donated by Greg, but when the CG Host, Ed, came to help, he said there was no way to keep all her feet on the ground and level, so we walked around with him to see other sites. We settled on B35and backed in to our new site. She leveled within 3 minutes, we put out the awning, rug and BBQ and we were home!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's Over Already

I can’t believe that the rally is over! It was so much fun, especially the SocHop on Sat. night. I dressed in Connie’s poodle skirt and lacy topped sox, put some duck tape on my Reebox to make them into saddle shoes and danced the night away with my date in a white T-shirt and jeans. You should have seen us do the shag to all the beach music the DJ played. We gave hugs to all our new ‘friends’ and took off to Wilmington – a brief and easy drive. The KOA is the only CG in the area, and at $38/night for 30 amp and water only, it’s a bit steep. But Gary wanted to see the other CGs at the north end of the island, but we were unimpressed with them. When we were packing up, Gary found a black widow spider in the bay! This was a bad omen as you shall see. Our drive was easy and our CG in the Holly Springs area of Falls Lake is BEAUTIFUL! I chose site 103, but when we tried to hookup our electric, it didn’t work. I ran over to our CG Hosts, Susan and Ron who promptly came over to see if they could help. No go. The State Ranger, Michael stopped by and tried his tricks, but still no go. We moved to site 101 and tried again. No go. UGH OH – that mean’s it not the site, but Bella! Gary got on the phone to M of TX and talked to Dave who determined it is probably the inverter relay switch. Yuck. That means calling a professional. Good thing Mandy lives nearby! We packed our overnight stuff, and drove down for dinner and fun with the kids before trying to find ‘the man’ on the internet, and doing two loads of laundry. Poor Tasha is all alone in the dark tonight. She had a little run around when we pulled in, and loves the woods. Well, Gary found a fixit place, and I bet we’re going to have to take Bella all the way over there tomorrow, so I will finish the wash and hit the sack. Are we having fun yet?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

This morning Gary is at weight and tire safety seminars, I will attend the Geeks on Tour’s ‘Every Rver needs a Blog’ and Linda’s ‘how to pack everything’ seminars. Tonight is a catered dinner and a sock hop for which I borrowed Connie’s poodle skirt. Should be fun… We have learned a lot about a lot and had a ball at our potluck dinner and Family Feud game last night. What a crack-up! There are some very funny people out there, let me tell ya. The days have flown by, and tomorrow is the last morning breakfast and a farewell from L&H. I’m looking forward to the rig walkthroughs this afternoon, too. We’re off tomorrow to Wilmington KOA for two nights, as Gary wants to explore the area, and I want to get this place organized a little better. We keep needing things, and because we threw everything into Bella the last day, I can’t remember if I packed stuff in her, or packed stuff in storage. Could have used a little more time, I guess. But, we’ll manage. I love doing wash in the rig, as it’s a piece of cake. I did seven loads as soon as we got here (the washer/dryer is very small – it would have been two or three loads at home – I mean the house), but even though our bedroom looked like a laundry room for the day, we now have clean clothes. The weather has moved down from the high 80’s into the mid 70’s but it is clear and sunny for the next week. It rained briefly Thursday night to wash away the pollen and there are puddles of yellow all over the roads. We’ve seen some beautiful Carolina Bluebirds attacking a jeep window, swallows that I have yet to identify, and someone mentioned a couple of Eagles soaring above the lake yesterday. I should be outside typing this near our birdseeder we set up. Oh – at the doorprize giveaway I won a suctioncup birdfeeder! Yay! Now all I need is some decent birdseed as no birds are interested in the Walmart brand it seems. Can’t wait to get to Falls Lake SP where there are sure to be lots of birds. Still wrestling with the lease process, but it will get done. Well, I’m off to take some photos. Genecop has a very interesting rig that I will post on the web tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The RV-Dreams Rally

Today we had to get up early, pack and get on the road to the Rally in Longs, SC. After dumping, we hit the road about 11 (I know, early, schmerly). Route 95 was OK. and we were nearing our exit and then it happened. A couple of mobile signs said "suggest alternate route - road work ahead', but since we had 2 seconds to our exit we kept going straight - right into stopped dead traffic. Yuck. We crawled for an hour to our exit and then everything was fine. Wow - WillowTree RV Resort was like entering a country club. Easy check in and then we were escorted to our spot by Joe on a golf cart. We have sewer! I threw a load of wash in, and we grabbed our chairs and drinks and walked over to the 'Palace' (Linda and Howard's site) where there were a bunch of people already in a circle. More and more RV Dreamers arrived and we found ourselves next to EagleShea and his wife Terri. Eagleshea (John) was the kayaker we met on the Myakka River in Florida on our maiden voyage [with the alligators]. EagleShea is his forum sign-in name (because he likes eagles!) We are going to have a ball here, I know it. Everyone is so nice, and amazed that we have been fulltimers for one week! Even Tasha ventured out right away and viewed the park from her harness and rope - which she escapes from all the time. We got to tour some rigs of members and one really original one had a smart car that was painted to match his truck. It parks in the back and rides! Cute, eh?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

River ride and a Surprise

Another beautiful sunrise greeted us with temperatures even warmer – 79! But the pollen has turned everything yellow. Welcome to spring! The forecast for the next 10 days is sun, sun, sun and up into the high 80s. Hurray! Larry, our favorite ranger offered to drive us up river and drop us off for our kayak trip, so we had to get ready for that. We took down the jeep top, and loaded up our stuff. There was a tiny little dirt road that lead to a secret place to put in – basically black swamp water, but Larry assured me that there weren’t too many alligators around. We shoved off and paddled our way to the entrance to the river, and then the current took us downstream about 5 mph. We only met a couple of guys exiting where we put in who asked us if our inflatable was tough. As we passed eachother, I wondered what he meant by that, but we were soon to see for ourselves. It was pleasant, absolutely peaceful just the sound of birds which we couldn’t see as the trees were so tall, but it was fun not having to paddle. This river is so crooked, often it looked like it dead-ended, but just as you got close to the trees, it opened up on the right or left. Sometimes there were huge trees lying across the river with just a small opening. We tried to get around the branches, but one we just crashed into because the current was so strong between the pass. We wiggled our way out, and wondered how we could avoid that again. We decided we couldn’t, and were glad our SeaEagle was a tough young thing and that the water wasn’t too deep. James and Larry were waiting for us just around 3 hours after put in to help us take out. What good guys! A piece of pumpkin bread for each of them should be a tiny reward, but this is a job they obviously love doing. We washed the mud off of ‘no name kayak’ and our shoes, and set her next to Bella to dry in the sun. Then it was cocktail time, and once again, I am thrilled with the peacefulness. Being Good Friday tomorrow, we expect to see a lot more rigs entering the park tonight. After we cleaned up our cocktail stuff, it was time to have some leftovers and not the BBQ chicken we had planned earlier and it was a good thing, because as I was getting things together, I heard Gary talking to a guy that said “Do you recognize me?” I couldn’t see him, but racking my brain as to who it could be, Gary said, “Peg, guess who’s here?!” It was Howard! A hug later, and we discovered they had arrived that afternoon right down the road at Shuman’s RV park. We made arrangements to have a campfire that night at our place and dinner the next night (yay, we have a chicken). We weren’t sure about kayaking down the river with them the next day, but Gary offered to drive them up to put in. Our campfire didn’t get hot enough to roast marshmallows, so Linda and I nuked them and they were just as good! We talked till 10 pm and said goodnight, exchanged phone numbers, and tucked ourselves in for another perfect night’s sleep. Ahhhh, this is the life.