Tuesday, November 6, 2012

We Made It!

Appointments.  Ha.  If you have an appointment at the Doctors, how many times have you been seen on the dot of your appointment?  If you have made an appointment for a service call, are they ever on time?  Well, such was the case Thursday morning for our fridge guy, Mario.  Supposed to come at 9 am, finally we called at 10 and the answer was 'he's on his way'.  Twenty minutes later, he shows up, tells us that he forgot to exit the melt down hose out the vent which is why we probably got water under the fridge.  Couldn't figure out why we weren't getting ice anymore, didn't charge us, and off he went.  Well, great.  Let's get outta Dodge.

Our trip was great, smooth and non-stop except for an early stop in Dunn (Gary's hometown) for fuel.  Not cheap in NC, but was down to a quarter tank.  Easy in and out, and peanut butter sandwiches while driving.  Thanks to Gail and Rick, we knew just what to look for at our turning in point and pulled in to register.  We had been following a Winnebago down Rte 17, and when they turned in before us, we met at the desk.  Carolina Clan?  Yep.  Hey, it was Paul and Marti!  We drove down together to our spots across from one another.  Big reception from some of the gang with hugs all around. 

We got set up in our new spot #15 in a minute, and went over to the campfire to see everyone.  It started out small, and grew and grew.  It was going to be a chilly night, so we ended up with two campfires and about 18 couples.  Bill announced that there was a 'float' on Friday down the ICW and we were going out with the tide around 2:15.  Gary and I got a ride with Steve and Evin who have hard kayaks.  Just out of the park, I realized we forgot our paddles.  Ooops, up the creek without a paddle is not a good thing.  So we turned around, grabbed them, and arrived as everyone was setting up.

It was a SeaEagle convention!  Hey, Howard and Linda - lookee here!

There wasn't too much wildlife - in fact, we were probably the most wild things out there. 

My wild hubby
We floated steadily until we all conglomerated into a large amoeba.  Suddenly Terri announced they had lost a paddle.  Evin to the rescue!  Unfortunately, I can't get my video to load, sorry.
Gail and Rick
She was back in a couple of minutes with the errant paddle and we continued to drift downstream with the wind.  Before we knew it the sun was on it's way down quickly and we all moved into high gear (except those with engines) against the wind for which seemed like MILES and MILES, but was actually only about 2 1/2 back to the boat ramps.  Bill used his GPS to calculate that we rode 4.61 miles in total.  I think all of our shoulders (except those with engines) will attest to that tomorrow.

We all made it back except Steve (our ride, Steve, with the keys) but Evin was quick to dial up OnStar for them to unlock the doors to the truck.  Smart girl.  Steve is a serious wildlife photographer and the sun was just right for a couple good shots.  So we were just about cleaned up when he was towed back by Carol and Steve with their engine.  Can't wait to see everyone's photos!

Everyone dosed up on tylenol, motrin, wine, etc., ate a little dinner and met back at the campfire.    The evening was not as chilly as last night and we left others still there at 9:45 for a really good night's sleep. 

Saturday Gary wanted to go on a bagel hunt.  We tried to find an establishment that had disappeared, and the next closest was 14 miles away, so we opted for a Dunkin Donuts.  Hey, that reminds me of a couple of Clanners...  He didn't even get a bagel, but it was near 11am and we were starved.  Sorry, honey, no more Bruegger's.

Then we did a little exploring.  We turned down Atlantic Avenue heading to the beach.  We passed the pier, drove down the peninnsula admiring all the beach homes, turned around and parked under the pier.  The water was sparkling in the sun, and a couple were playing with some puppies in the surf.  We walked up the pier and out past a million fishermen.  Most of them were on the north side, so I guess the fish were biting there. 

We met Mike, Terri, Kris, Ray and Dee as we pulled into our site as they were going on a nature walk near Mullet Pond.  They took the long route, and we went to the bridge and piers first.  There were tons of water birds and I snapped a few portraits:

young Blue Heron

Great Egret
another Blue Heron
somebody lives here

We found our way home and cleaned out the basement and stored all our gear.  Then it was time for the SWAP.  Everyone brought something they no longer wanted or used, plopped it in the middle of our circle for Bill to hold up and 'auction' off.  Everything was free, but not everything was wanted.  A group walking a dog chose the puppybed that we put on the side of the road with the other unwanteds.  Free!  (good word)

After our dinners, we headed back to the campfire circle and roasted marshmallows and yakked.  I tried to talk to a lot of people, like Laurie, to get to know them even better, but it was tough to get all the way around the circle.  What a great ending to the day.

Sunday, it was beautiful once again, and we took a walk on the beach after breakfast.  We met Gail and Rick coming back from their walk, and chatted for a while.  Then Gary went on a crab catching escapade.  After running all over the beach after this little guy, he sat quietly in Gary's hand while I took his photo.  Then he took off again. 

We LOVE the beach!

After we brushed the sand off our feet back at the coach, Evin stopped by and asked us if we'd like to take a trip to Calabash, NC for some great seafood.  Steve has been going to this area for 30 years with his family, and wanted us to be able to appreciate it, too!  Well, OK!  It was about a half hour drive, but it was worth it!

Darn good seafood!
A kind passerby took our photo, too.  Ella's Seafood is the name of the restaurant.  This plate was $6.25 - not too shabby.  Filled us up so much, we passed on pizza that night. 

Thanks for the invite, Steve and Evin!  We won't be forgetting this place anytime soon!

Monday came all too soon, and as there was rain forcasted for Tuesday, we needed to leave or stay longer.  Well, Bella needs some more fixes (surprise, surprise) so we decided to head out.  We said goodbye to everyone in the middle of the street and dumped on the way out hitting the road around 10:15.  Nancy suggested 'Walkabout RV Park' in Woodbine, GA and when I looked it up, it turned out to be the second EVER park we stayed at on our way to the first RV-Dreams Rally in Longs, SC.  It was called King George at that time almost 3 years ago.  We remember it well because it has been the only park we've pulled into that was so level, I didn't need to re-level Bella at all, just put down the jacks.  Nice guy, Troy, at the desk and it's a PA park, so we stayed two nights so that the rain could pass through and we would have plenty of time to get to our appointment at Independence RV in Winter Garden, FL.  AND I even drove Bella on US 95!!!  Yep, here's my picture! 

I look pretty relaxed, huh?  Well, I wasn't.  But I did it for a few miles.  I still think I'm a better navigator...

Finding Walkabout was easy, it's right off 95, I paid and we set up in 10 minutes.  It rained a little overnight and was cloudy early on Tuesday, but warmed up to 68 and puffy clouds all day.  We were going to have lunch at Miss Hattie's Cow Patty restaurant, but it had disappeared.  I was dying to know what a cow patty was going to be, but, alas, I'll never know.

Well, Hurricane Sandy messed up voting for the folks up north, so we may not know who is President till a later date.  Our hearts go out to all those suffering especially my two brothers and their families and my cousins.  I just hope this next storm is not as bad.  Mother Nature must be a little irritated.

All in all, the Carolina Clan was super.  We loved every minute and so enjoyed everyone and Huntington Beach SP.  Can't wait till the next one!  Laurie and Marti are in charge.  You go, girls!


  1. Seems like everyone has those Sea Eagle inflatables. Maybe it is time to look into one:)

  2. Glad you were able to join the Clan. Have a great winter in Texas and we will see you down the road!!

    Safe travels and happy trails....

  3. It was so good to see you and Gary again. Have a great winter and I hope we will see each other again soon on the road. Be safe.

  4. Great post! I'm still working on mine (slowly) :)
    You have put me to shame, driving on I-95! I haven't even driven in a parking lot yet! Good for you!
    Enjoy Florida and let us know when you get to Texas.
    See you next time :)

  5. Looking forward to seeing you down the road again sometime. Safe travels.