Monday we had lunch with our friends, Dick and Diane at our local Winston's. Then Gary went with Dick back to their house, while Diane and I browsed through the Shops at Bailywick. This building has stalls for individual vendors and sells all kinds of interesting decorations, soaps, jewelery, etc. Diane was looking for something on which to display her decanters, and found a lovely filigree tray. We joined the boys back at the house and had a couple of laughs on their porch.
The kids were waiting for us, so we played with them until dinner time. Mandy has made Scotch Potch, a kind of liquid beef stew with mashed potatoes. Yum. She's a very good cook, and we always want seconds. We left for home before we were locked out.
Tuesday Gary and I had separate lunch dates; he with an old workmate and me with an old friend. It was great catching up and yet seemed like just yesterday that we saw them. I love that.
Back to Camp Central, where we played again till dinner. Beer Can Chicken was on the menu, and Joe cooked it perfectly! We had a little time to play, until we were off to the campground for the evening.
Wednesday we planned to spend the day at the campground. The boys brought their fishing rods, but it was so hot, we all took a dip in the lake first. The water was actually like bath water, so we had to swim a ways out to get any thermocline. Our neighbors came down to the rock; the little boy with his pole and the little girl in her swimsuit. Joe brought their dog, Brutus, a golden lab, and the neighbors had a golden lab, too, named Rita. So everyone had a playmate. All the guys finally went to fish and actually caught a few (no keepers, though). After a few hours, we went back to the house for pizza, and said our goodbyes. We are going back in September, so it won't be as long as last time, thank goodness.
Thursday we were out of the campground about 8:15, dumped, and made it to Gaffney, SC around 12:30. We were going Freightliner to have our oil changed and radiator looked at as we overheated for a minute on the way. They got right on it, and we were out and parked at our free spot (50 amp) by 4:30. Our radiator was fine, it was just that we were running the dash A/C and were low on freon, so the engine was working a little to hard. They fixed everything just as a severe storm warning bleeped on the lounge TV. We hunkered down watching the radar, but everything went right around us. We got about 24 drops of rain. I was really hoping for a good rain to wash off Bella, but now she's twice as dusty.
It's interesting how things work out. If we had decided to skip going to Freightliner, we would have been in Pigeon Forge during a 90 mile an hour wind/thunderstorm in which two people died and a little girl nearly drowned in the Smokies. Our campground lost some limbs, but no one's rig was hurt and everyone was OK. But Gary made the decision to stop at Freightliner on the way, and not on the way back to Raleigh in the fall, so we escaped that storm.
Friday we were out of the parking lot around 8:15 and headed up the Saluda Grade before we knew it. Gary needed to put Bella in 3rd gear and we followed a truck all the way doing about 25 mph. It was easy going even with the A/C on. We arrived in our campground about 12:15, set up and wandered over to the office. Our friend, Rodney, was working today and the owner, Mickey, was also there. I am planning to work at the office while we're here, but need to work out the schedule yet. The manager called and asked me to work Saturday and Sunday, so I will have to get up early again tomorrow. Since we were up early every day for the past weeks, with busy, busy days, I was hoping to be able to chill before starting to work at Dollywood, but that's not to be. Monday we will head over to HR to get our assignments, outfits and ID cards.
But the best thing about Monday is that our dear friends, Donna and Ron, will be arriving and parking next to us. We haven't seen them since last October. So, let the party begin!