January 6, 2019 Spring Branch, Texas
Happy 2019! The year has started out awesome for us Rovers. After sitting in one place for over a year it feels good to tell you we are back on the road and heading for parts unknown. This is the first time in 4 years that we don’t really have a plan nor any reservations…I really like the planning part and knowing where we will be but then we were locked in to those reservations, now we can roam at will.
I last left you way back in the summer of 2018, while we were at Camp Alexander waiting for our new RV home to be built. A lot has happened since then, but for some reason I couldn’t sit down and write a blog. I guess I didn’t think anyone would be interested in our down time.
In a nutshell here are some of the fun times we had while in Blue Ridge, Georgia. We continued riding our new electric bikes about 3-4 days a week thru the Chattahooche National Forest and attended a couple of neighborhood concerts.
Our friends, Steve and Paul were headed to their new home in Florida and wanted to stop for the night and catch up. We invited Karen and Al, that own an rv lot in Key West by Steve and Paul. I have read her blog for the last 5-6 years, but they have now purchased a home in Blairsville, Georgia. They still have a small trailer that they will be using now to travel. We all met in Blairsville and had a great mexican dinner along with wonderful conversation. Time sure flew by and before we knew it we were saying good bye to Steve and Paul. Someday we hope to get down to Fl to see their new home.
We met up with my sister Penny and her husband, Roger in Dallas where we took a tour of the “Gas Monkey Garage” as well as the John F. Kennedy museum. (If you haven’t been there I suggest you go when in the area).
We were asked to spend the weekend at Lake Martin with our friends, Penny and John and Sherry and Gary. They took us on a great boat ride around the lake and by our old home we lived in for 25 years. It was great listening to the stories of all our friends and the happenings of our old neighborhood.
We spent many afternoons and nights with our Blue Ridge neighbor, Peggy, relaxing on her porch having adult beverages and playing with her two goldens, Bailey and Yogi. I’m amazed that after a year together I did not take any pictures.
I spent many days with my 1950 Singer featherweight quilting for friends and family. The top left quilt was for our 18 yr old grandson, Ryan, the bottom right was for my sweet friend Cori. The rest I still have on a shelf above our bed in the rig. I have a hard time giving away quilts as I fall in love with everyone of them.
We finally got the word Oct 9, that our new Luxe Toy Hauler was finished and we could head to Indiana to pick it up! To say the least we were excited. We headed to Shipshewana on our way to Elkhart Indiana so we could meet up with Craig and Jo, who are camp hosts at the Shipshewana Auction and flea market, campground. It was great seeing them and listening to what goes on at the campground. Craig cooked us a great dinner from a recipe of his grandmother.
We really didn’t know what to expect when we got to the factory, but we were so surprised with our first look at our new home, it was beautiful. We had gone through many renderings on our color choices and in the end opted for one of their standard ones with our colors of choice, white , grey and red. With all new rv’s there are changes and add on’s that need to be made, as was the case with us.
In the design faze of our rv we had made many changes, removing the dinning table and replaced with a desk unit, removed the oven/stove unit and adding an induction stove with a cabinet for pots and pans under neath, adding more cabinets in the kitchen, replacing the couch with recliners, having the carpet replaced with tile and marine carpet in the slides, adding a sleep number bed, put silk window screens on the outside of the windows, removing the extra bathroom, loft and happy jack seating in the garage. We had 3 season glass/screen doors made for the rear of the garage, added a large tv cabinet in the garage. Guy changed out the generator to a commercial 7000 w Onan fuel injected gas. Above our fireplace we wanted to hang an art piece of Elephants, they did a great job of making the area sturdy enough for us to hang the piece. Needless to say we were loving all the changes we have made.
On our way to Indiana we got a text from Steve and Diane that they were in the area having some work done on their rig and wanted to know if we could get together. We hadn’t seen them in 2 years when we were last in Az. It sure was fun going to dinner and catching up with each other.
The next day we all went to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum. We had been there before but seeing all the awesome cars again was even better. It was great spending time with Steve and Diane and will hopefully see them at the big RV show and flea market in Az.
We stayed in Indiana for 2 weeks while some minor repairs and add ons were being completed, but our generator and glass doors (specially made) were still not in yet. Instead of waiting in Elkhart, we headed back to Camp Alexander. We were sure hoping when we headed back it would be before the snow started. We weren’t so lucky as we drove thru a snow storm on the way back to Elkhart which lasted off and on while we were in Elkhart. We were glad it was cold so that we could test our arctic package and happy to say we were toasty warm. Our tanks and pipes are wrapped and insulated and heated.
On our way to breakfast at 6:00am
Finally, when all was done on the rig we headed to Camp Alexander and loaded it up, leaving after 3 days and headed to Gulf Shores State Park, Alabama for 2 weeks. Long time friends, Debbi and Marty had just bought a new TT, and we all wanted to spend sometime together before Guy and I left town. I can’t believe that I didn’t take any pictures of our week together. It was a busy week, the weather did not co-operate with us as we had lots of rain and cold days. There were 2 good days where we could ride bikes, walk on the beach, as well as eating and drinking adult beverages. We also spent the day at the Navel Aviation Museum in Pensacola. If your ever in the area it really is a great museum.
While we were in Gulf Shores I was checking out Facebook and found a picture of David jumping high in the air by the beach yelling “I’m at my happy place”….I immediately called Sharon to find out where they were and what beach??
Wow, what a surprise it was when she said “Gulf Shores”….and they were camping in the same campground! How awesome is that…they had been camping at Camp Alexander with us in April, what a surprise it was that we could see them again. That was the start of more rounds of dinners and cut throat games of dominos.
The Frank Brown International Song Writers Festival which is put on by the Flora-Bama was happening while we were in town. The festival is dedicated to the late Frank Brown who was a night watchman at the Flora-Bama for 28 years. Song writers and up and coming stars of tomorrow come to perform original songs in multiple locations, such as restaurants, bars, pizza houses or the Flora-Bama. It was held around the areas of Perdido Key, Pensacola, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
Some of the singers and below the original writer of ‘When Grandma got run over by a reindeer”. Click on it twice to play, I hope it works.
The Flora-Bama has been around for the last 50 yrs and is known as an original honky tonk. It is on the state line between Alabama and Florida and right on the beach. The Flora-Bama holds a mullet toss (cow chip throwing) every year with over 30,00 attending. It has 5 full-service bars, snack bar and restaurants, numerous performing stages, 40 indoor restrooms and on Sundays it becomes a church. David, Sharon, Guy and I attended on Sunday, which was an all musical Sunday. Guy and I have attended many Sundays when they have held a normal church service.
David writes his own personal songs, plays guitar and sings, he put his name in to sing at the Flora-Bama. It was so great being there watching him sing on the stage. We have only heard him around the campfire where he really prefers to sing. He likes to tell the story of why he wrote a song and the history that goes with it, that way we can appreciate it better. It was so much fun going to numerous bars and restaurants around town and listening to the different musicians.
Thanksgiving and Christmas came and went in the blink of an eye. Both of our kids and families came up to Camp Alexander with their rigs for 5 days of camping, campfires, s’mores, laughter, sharing, and just all around having fun for Thanksgiving. There were 11 of us (counting 2 girlfriends). Our son in law hired a photographer to take family pictures at a farm\wedding venue, which was amazing that any pictures came out with all the joking that went on.
Guy and I put away all the yard art, furniture and packed the rig and left Camp Alexander on December 12, heading to Birmingham. Yikes, we won’t be back until 2020, it seems like a long time away but it’s just around the corner. There is a great rv place not far from our daughters home where we stayed. Our daughter who was having her 4th foot surgery and would be laid up for a few weeks. We tried to help as best we could with the kids, cooking, laundry and getting ready for Christmas. Our son and Cari came as well as our grandson, Stephen and Dixie. Everyone picked up where we left off over Thanksgiving, more laughter and lots of food. Guy and I packed up the rig again on the day after Christmas and headed to Texas, stopping in Lake Charles, LA to have dinner with rv friends, James and Cindy.
tree and village (our daughter made the ladder that displays the village)
Well, I think I have brought you up to date on the Rovers. We are now on the road and headed to Texas to spend some time with our friends Cori and Greg. Greg will be installing solar on our new rv home. So come on back to check out what our new travels will be.
Guy and I thank you all for following along on our journey in this wonderful life we live. Everyday is such blessing, we are so blessed to be able to do what we do and love sharing with everyone.
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