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Friday, October 31, 2008

Manicure/Pedicure and a Potluck Dinner

Another great day. It wasn't quite as cool outside this morning as it has been the past couple of days. However, it was a very brisk 59 degrees in the rig when I got up this morning!! I thought Randy had turned on the furnace last night (and so did he), but apparently not. ;) Oh, well. It didn't take too long to warm up. And I was out the door fairly quickly anyway - I was off to Curves.

Once home from Curves I had about an hour before I had to get ready to go back out. Ruth wanted me to go with her and a couple of other women to the local beauty school to get mani/pedis. Ruth had been to the school before and it is very inexpensive so I figured why not give it a try. The two other women were Joyce and Sarita. Joyce and her husband also rent a site from Ron & Ruth and Sarita lives on one of the long term leased lots in the park. Very nice people.

Well, the mani/pedi wasn't the best I've ever had; as a matter of fact, it wasn't very good, but for $20 I'm not going to complain too much. After all, I knew I was going to a school and the technician did the best she could. She was much more adept at cutting hair. Yes, I decided to get my hair cut there. Actually, it turned out pretty good - and it was ONLY FIVE DOLLARS! Yeah, you read it right. I'll go back to the school for a haircut, but I'll go to a nail salon for my mani/pedis from now on. After our pampering, the four of us went to lunch at Applebee's and I was able to get to know Joyce & Sarita a little better. Sarita and her husband, Clyde, are full-timers as well, but Joyce and Al have a home in Michigan.

This evening we had a potluck dinner at the clubhouse. Man, there were a lot of folks in attendance and the tables were groaning under the weight of all the dishes. (And now so am I!) We sat with Ron & Ruth, Joyce & Al, and friends of Joyce & Al's, Joan & Ed. There was also a single women, Judy, but she was at the other end of the table and I didn't get to speak with her much. I did take a couple of pictures of our table, but unfortunately, they came out blurry. Ugh! I guess I was in too much of a hurry. But I did take a couple of shots of the room and the tables!

The crowd gathers
Folks are looking over the choices
Should we start at the dessert table?
Anyway, we had a great time of food and conversation. Joan & Ed sat across from Randy & I so we were able to get to know them a bit. They are in the campground and will be here for awhile. They're not sure how long, they like to keep their options open.

This is one of the best parts about our full-time RVing lifestyle - getting to know folks and hearing their stories. I love hearing how people decide to live this life and the path that lead them to it. We always find some common thread among us and it's a joy to explore that.

Tomorrow is laundry and grocery day. It's the first of the month and that means PAY DAY! This is the only grocery run of the month that I really like. :) We have lots of money and we do a big order so that our freezer and pantry are full for the month. So, now I have to post this entry and finish the grocery list.

Until the next time . . .

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Very Full Day

Wow! After a couple of very laid-back weeks, I sure made up for it today! As usual, I went to Jubilee Pickers for dulcimer rehearsal. We had a great time together, ending the session with an open stage time. We do the last Thursday of each month and it offers folks the opportunity to showcase songs they've been practicing.

After the Pickers' rehearsal, we had a gig at one of the local assisted living communities. This particular place, Catherine Place, offers us lunch in return for playing. Pretty cool, huh? I could make a sign "Will play for food!" :) Anyway, there was only 6 of us for lunch and we were served a marvelous meal of either crab cake or meat loaf with cheddar mashed potates, salad, soup, and dessert! How's that for a lunch! Three more of our group joined us around 1:15 for our performance.

What a blessing to serve others with our music. We look at our playing as recreation for ourselves, but when I watched the faces of the folks in our audience, I also knew that our music is a ministry that God can use to minister to others. Of course, I've always known that music is a gift and needs to be shared, but I got a wonderful reminder of that today. And I had the pleasure of speaking to several of the folks after our performance. I'm not sure who enjoyed our time together more - them or me! I can't wait to go back next month.

Randy was busy this morning, too. He went over to the clubhouse to attend the computer group that meets once a week. He'd talked about doing that last year and just never made it. He finally went today and enjoyed it. Said he'd be going back next week. He also put up our outside lights that hang off our awning.

After I got home from the gig, I just flopped in the recliner for about an hour. Then, J, one of our neighbors, came by to invite us to the campfire. Most evenings there is a campfire at someone's lot and it's a "come by, if you can" kind of deal. So, of course, Randy and I went over for a little while. There's nothing better than sitting around a campfire with friends. The conversations flow fast and furious and the laughter is just contagious. We could only stay for an hour or so 'cause I had to get home to get some dinner in us 'cause I was going over to the clubhouse to help Ruth with Bingo.

Bingo is held every Thursday night and usually Ron & Ruth run it. But, Ron now has a conflict on Thursdays, so I told Ruth I'd help her. I had fun calling the numbers and getting to know some more folks in the park. It lasted about an hour and a half, so I was home around 8:40 this evening.

Whew! I told you it was a full day! But, it was a great day. Beautiful weather - it's warming up! And a great mixture of fun. Tomorrow I'm going out with a couple of the women to get mani/pedis! YAY!!

Hope you're having a good week. Until the next time . . .

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Not Much Happening

I feel like I've been posting the same things each day 'cause we're not doing a lot right now. So, I hope I'm not boring you with the mundane details of our lives! ;)

Well, Randy is a member of the Baldwin Pops Orchestra! He said that the folks were very nice and he enjoyed playing again. I am so happy for him. Music has been part of Randy's life for over 50 years and I hated that he wasn't using his gift. It'll be great seeing him play again!

Boy, it got cold here quick! I know a lot of you are feeling that cold front, too. It was 35 degrees this morning when I went to Curves! UGH! The truck had frost on the windshield. Aren't I in the deep south???? It warmed up nicely to about 70 this afternoon, thank God. It's not supposed to be as cold tonight and warmer as the week continues. YAY!

This evening we went out with Roy & Barb to a local seafood place. They are leaving tomorrow morning to workamp at the Escapees park in Tennessee. I'm sorry to see them leave, but now that we've reestablished contact, we'll be able to keep up with each other. We'll say good-bye in the morning.

That's all I've got for now. Take care. Until the next time . . .

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Music Tuesday

Looks like Tuesday may become Music Day in the Guiler home. Tuesday is one of the days on which one of my dulcimer groups meet. It is also the day that the Baldwin Pops Orchestra rehearses. And tonight Randy has gone to their rehearsal to see if he can join them while we are here. I'm really excited for him 'cause he hasn't played much since retiring. I hope it goes well for him tonight. :)

As for the rest of today, not much going on. Just enjoying life - hope you are, too. Until the next time . . .

Monday, October 27, 2008

Two Days in One!

One post, that is. On my home from Curves this morning I realized I didn't post yesterday!! So sorry, folks. We changed up our routine last night and I guess that threw me off. Let me catch you up on the exciting life of the Guilers . . .

Sunday was a beautiful day, weather-wise; sunny, warm, blue skies, just great. We went to church and came home to relax until the ice cream social at 6pm. The social is a weekly event here at the park. Most everyone comes out for the ice cream social. And last night was special in that there was cake, too! Roy & Barb (our friends) are leaving this Thursday. They've been workamping here since mid-July and are well thought of, so the folks wanted to let them know how much they're appreciated.

After the social, we went up to Bob & Pam's site to sit and chat around a campfire. I just love campfires! J and Heidi joined us after their dinner and we all just enjoyed each other's company and the fire. Finally, the air got just a little too damp so we bid each other good night and wandered home. A great way to end the weekend. :)

Today was very laid back. As I said, I went to Curves, but had nothing else planned for the day. And while the sun was brightly shining, the wind was fiercely blowing. So hard, in fact, it blew our satellite dish over! Thankfully, just a small part broke and Randy was able to buy the part and fix it.

I did make a lot of progress on my cross stitch project which is good. I also finished up putting together a notebook of music for my Tuesday dulcimer group.

After an easy dinner of breakfast - eggs and ham (not green eggs!) - I'm sitting in front of the TV watching Dancing with the Stars and playing on the computer.

What a life! Hope your Monday was a good one. Until the next time . . .

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Lake Stone Dulcimer Festival

What a great day we had today! The weather was absolutely gorgeous, so much so Randy and I both are showing a bit of the sun on our faces and arms! :)

We went to Century, FL for a dulcimer festival being held at a county campground called Lake Stone. It is about an hour and a half from Summerdale. It was a scenic drive and went very quickly. The campgound is a small one and sits at the edge of . . . Lake Stone! Isn't that convenient. :) The campground was full of musicians this week. And several of us came up for the day.

Once we found our friends, we sat around chatting for awhile. Both of the groups I play with, Jam N Folks and Jubilee Pickers planned to play during the Open Stage portion of the festival. That was to begin at 1pm. Each group got to play two pieces of music. Altogether there were 18 acts signed up for Open Stage. Our groups were numbers 2 & 3 respectively, so we got to play early and relax and enjoy the rest of the acts. There was one group whose members were teenagers. It was great to see young people interested in Appalachian instruments!

I couldn't get the pictures to load tonight, so check out this site. Enjoy!

Friday, October 24, 2008

An Uneventful Friday

Today was another day of domesticity - what the heck is happening to me?? :) The morning started with a call from my sister, Paula, at 6:15!! She was too funny when I told her what time it was here! She forgot all about the time difference. :) We had a nice chat, though. Then, I went to Curves and came home to my usual morning routine.

I did some work on my cross stitch project. I also printed out a bunch of dulcimer music that I need for one of my groups, Jam N Folks. This is the group that plans to record a CD in late January. I'm pretty excited about that.

This evening we went out to dinner with Roy & Barb. They were in the mood for pizza so we went to a restaurant called Mellow Mushroom. Yeah, I know; the name evokes visuals of the 1960s. :) But, it's just a pizza joint. Pretty good pizza, too. This is the only restaurant I'd ever seen, but Roy & Barb say it's a chain across the south. We had a nice time chatting about the different places we've been, just sharing stories.

Tomorrow we are going to a dulcimer festival in Century, FL at Lake Stone Campground. A lot of our friends are already there, having left earlier this week to camp there. We're just going for the day. It's about 2 hours from here. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous, so it should be a good day.

Enjoy your weekend! Until the next time . . .

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Okay, Okay!!

I've had a couple people chastise me for mentioning a new recipe I tried last night but did not share the recipe with you. Soooooo, since I need to keep my public happy, here you go. Last night's dinner was Crockpot Enchiladas. The recipe is below:
  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey, cooked
  • 1 medium onion, sauteed
  • 1/2 tsp of Mrs. Dash's Southwest Chipotle seasoning (or more depending on taste)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 10 oz can of enchilada sauce
  • 1 can of Rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
  • sour cream
In a bowl, combine ground beef, onion, Mrs. Dash's, salt, & pepper. In another bowl, combine enchilada sauce and Rotel. Spray the bottom of the crockpot with some cooking spray. Place two tortillas in the bottom of the crockpot. Place half of the following in layers over the tortillas: meat, corn, sauce mixture and cheese. Repeat layers. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Serve with a dollop or two of sour cream.

On Monday night, I made Cheddar Chicken Spaghetti. It was very good, too! Here's that recipe:
  • 1 package spaghetti, broken in half (I used whole wheat spaghetti)
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 T diced pimentos (optional)
  • 1 can green chiles (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the chicken, 1 cup cheese, soup, milk, pimentos, chiles, salt & pepper. Drain spaghetti and add to the mixture. Toss to coat thoroughly.

Transfer mixture to a greased 13x9 pan. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until heated through.

Now, there is a great website, Delicious Divas, where you can find lots of recipes - all tried and true. It is overseen by a friend of mine, Amy. The website is, check it out!

Today was another slow day. I went to my other dulcimer group, Jubilee Pickers, for rehearsal. It is so great to return to a group where you feel so loved. Everyone said they were so glad to see me and welcomed me back with lots of hugs. Very nice.

The rest of the day has been spent listening to the rain on the roof and watching the trees sway with the breeze. We've had a major change in weather; rainy and cool. It's supposed to last through the morning, but then clear. The weekend is looking absolutely gorgeous - 70s and sunshine. Doesn't get much better than that!

Oh, yeah. Congratulations to Marty - he graduated from Basic Training/AIT today out of Fort Knox, KY!! Another young man who has volunteered to serve our country in the Army. Our prayers are with you, Marty! We love you.

That's all I've got. Hope you've had a good day. Until the next time . . .

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Domestic Kind of Day

This was a good day. I feel like I got quite a bit accomplished. Nice feeling. :)

As usual, I started the day in the dark, getting up when the alarm sounded at 6:15. Yeah, I know, I'm retired so why the heck am I setting the alarm??? I've found that I function better when I get up at the same time each day and I don't do well if I sleep late. Plus, I like going to Curves first thing in the morning, so I like to get there when it opens at 7am. Combine that with a need to spend a few minutes in prayer/devotional time, I get up early.

Once back from Curves I indulged my normal routine of coffee, computer, and morning TV. After The View was over, I got my shower and started my "chores" for the day. Randy was already outside working in the yard. He had told our landlord, Ron, that he would do some yardwork while Ron & Ruth were away this week. There are some things that need to get done before Dick & Pat get here the first of the month.

I had two things I wanted to do today. Make dinner using a new recipe and continue making progress on my current cross-stitch project. And since the dinner recipe was a crockpot one, I had to get it started by noon. The recipe is Crockpot Enchiladas and it turned out really good! And it was pretty easy. That's two new recipes I've cooked this week. I'm very proud of myself.

After getting dinner into the crockpot, cleaning up the mess, making myself a salad for lunch, I was ready to sit down. That's a little too much domesticity for me!! :) I spent the next couple of hours cross stitching and watching some shows I'd recorded. Randy spent the afternoon upstairs in the bedroom watching shows he'd recorded. We're such TV addicts!

We did take a walk before dinner and found that Larry & Cindy have arrived. Cindy is another dulcimer player; she and Larry are good folks and we're glad to see them here safely.

And that was our day. Until the next time . . .

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rekindling an Old Friendship

It was another beautiful day in LA, that is Lower Alabama to you northerners. :) A slight breeze, sunshine and 80 degrees. Yummy!

I went to a new dulcimer group today, Jam N Folks. I know a few folks from that group, several of which live in the park, so I decided to join them this year. I'll continue with my other group, Jubilee Pickers, as well. So, Tuesdays and Thursdays will be dulcimer days for me this winter. I really enjoyed playing again. It's so much fun being with other people who laugh and enjoy making music. Jam N Folks plan to record a CD in January, so that's pretty exciting.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I think, several friends left today to go to a dulcimer festival in Century, Florida - about an hour and a half from here. Randy & I think we'll join them on Saturday just for the day. From what everyone said today at Jam N Folks, it sounds like a good time.

The best thing that happened today is that Randy & I were able to rekindle an old RVing friendship! Back in 2006 we met Roy & Barb in Livingston, TX. They were one of the very few couples who were our age and we just clicked. For the next year or so, we'd meet up in various locations and explore together. The last time we saw them was here in Summerdale in March 2007. After that, we lost touch. I had emailed them several times and left several phone messages, but never heard from them. I thought we had somehow offended them the last time we were together and didn't know it. I was pretty upset over the whole thing and prayed that there would be an opportunity to reconcile the relationship someday.

Well, guess what! Roy & Barb are workampers here at the Plantation!! When we were leaving for dulcimer rehearsal this morning, I saw Roy walking their dogs. The women I was with said that he was a workamper. I relayed my story to them and they reiterated what great folks Roy & Barb are. I agreed and said I hoped that we could talk with them before they leave.

When I got home from rehearsal, I told Randy that Roy & Barb were here as workampers and I wanted to go over and knock on their door and see if we could find out what happened. So, this evening we took Blackie for his walk and Roy & Barb were outside and it gave us a perfect opportunity to talk to them. The first thing out of Roy's mouth was "Where the heck have you all been?? You've dropped off the radar!" We said the same thing to him! It seems they didn't get the emails and we never got any of theirs, either. We spent the next hour or so catching up with each other. It was like the last year and a half never happened.

I am thrilled that we have been able to rekindle this friendship. We always enjoyed our time with Roy & Barb and I have missed that interaction. I hope that we can stay in touch now that we've reestablished contact. Sadly, they are leaving the Plantation the end of the month, but at least we can grab some time together before then.

You just never know what God has in store for you and what is around the corner. I thought our friendship with Roy & Barb was over and I just needed to let it go. But, here we have been given a second opportunity to build on that friendship. I am grateful for that.

Hope you had a good day, too! Until the next time . . .

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cleaning Day - UGH!

Randy & I had decided we would clean the RV from front to back today. We've been very remiss in our cleaning duties lately and the RV was showing our laziness, let me tell you.

I did go to Curves first thing this morning, though. Since we're going to be in AL for the next three months, I transferred my membership to the local Curves. Before leaving in February, I'll transfer it back to PA since that's my "home." By transferring my membership, I don't need as many travel passes. I really enjoyed my session this morning. The trainer on duty was very high energy and the women were very friendly. Makes for an easier workout when the atmosphere is friendly like that.

Once back at the RV, I got my morning coffee in me (2 cups) and caught the last hour of Good Morning America. That's one thing I do miss by exercising in the early morning - GMA! That's where I get my news! Then, I realized that since we are now in Central time, The View is on at 10am instead of 11am. So, I had to watch that! Mondays is "hot topics" day.

Okay, I finally couldn't put off the cleaning any longer. I had stalled long enough and Randy had gotten started. Randy's the vacuum person in our house. And he vacuums like no one I have EVER seen before. You all know we live in a less-than-400 square foot home. So, how long can it take to vacuum it, I ask you?? The answer here is THREE HOURS!! Yes, I said three hours. OMG! But, I gotta tell you, it's clean when he's done. He not only vacuums the floor, he vacuums the window treatments, the woodwork, and the furniture. What a guy! I followed behind him cleaning mirrors, windows and countertops. My major cleaning job is the bathroom. So, I did that, too.

After we were finished, we promised each other we are going to be better about cleaning so it's not such a tough job. I know, I know. Easier said than done. There's always something better to do than cleaning! :)

And that was our day! Exciting, huh? :) Tomorrow I start back with one of my dulcimer groups, Jam N Folks. This is a new group for me this year, although I know many of the people in it already. I am looking forward to playing again.

Until the next time . . .

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Concert in the Park

What a beautiful day it was today! While the morning started rather chilly - 51 degrees outside at 6:20 this morning and only 58 degrees inside the RV! - once the sun came up, it warmed up nicely. It was sunny and breezy most of the day; doesn't get much better than that!

We began the day by going to church. We're attending Jubilee Shores United Methodist in Fairhope. It is a contemporary church and very unlike any Methodist church I've ever attended. Many of our friends in the park attend this church as well and that's how we became aware of it. The congregation is very friendly and very community oriented. They have lots of ministries and opportunities to serve.

After church we headed to WalMart; we desperately needed to go grocery shopping. We got that out of the way quickly (I hate grocery shopping!) and were on our way home just a few minutes past 11am.

Not bad, huh? Attended church and completed grocery shopping all before 11am!

As we pulled into the driveway, Ron & Ruth stopped by and asked if we wanted to join them for lunch at Big Daddy's, a local restaurant. Of course, never ones to turn down a meal, we said yes. So, we got the groceries put away and went off to eat with them. We were joined by a couple of women from the park, Ann & Barb. A good time was had by all - lots of laughing and catching up.

This evening we went into Fairhope for a concert in the park by the Baldwin Pops Band.
Fairhope is beautiful town and the park overlooks the pier on Mobile Bay.
Several folks from the park were there as well and we joined them.
The band was good and it was fun sitting in the park on a beautiful evening listening to good music. And we got to see a beautiful sunset!
Baldwin Pops is a volunteer community orchestra. Randy is going to contact them about joining. I am pretty excited about this for him. He hasn't played much since retiring and this will give him an opportunity to use his talent. I hope it works out.

Tomorrow is cleaning day! This rig is long overdue for a good cleaning. I'm going to Curves in the morning, then it'll be back to the rig and clean, clean, clean.

Hope you had a good weekend. We did! Until the next time . . .

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Set Up in Summerdale

We're home! Our southern home, that is. We are settled in Summerdale, Alabama. And it feels so good. There's nothing like being greeted upon arrival by good friends.

Because of the time change (we're in Central timezone now), we got here about 12:30 or so. Randy did a great job of backing right into the space and we proceeded to set up house.

Once we were fairly set up, I got busy at the laundry room. By a little after 3pm, I had three loads of laundry done and was back at the RV. The rest of the afternoon/evening has been spent settling in and relaxing.

Tomorrow we get to go to the church we've adopted when we're here. I am so excited! I am ready for a good message, exciting worship and being with friends in church.

We're looking forward to other friends coming in and catching up with them.

Oh! When we left Tallahassee this morning, I took this picture of the gas prices. I thought it was great that regular is finally back under $3. As we got into Alabama, the prices were even lower - one place was $2.85. Hope it lasts!!

Take care. Until the next time . . .

Friday, October 17, 2008

Quick Post

We're parked on a side street near the CB in Tallahassee and will stay here overnight. Sadly, we can't cross another CB off the list 'cause we've already eaten at this one! :) Oh, the agony . . .

We'll be up and out early tomorrow morning - after a good, hearty breakfast, of course!! Then, it's Rainbow Plantation, here we come!

When next you hear from me, we'll be settled in our southern home, Summerdale, AL.

Until the next time . . .

Thursday, October 16, 2008

We're Outta Here!

And we didn't have to pay a penny!! The work we had done was a "redo" of something that was supposedly fixed back in April when we were here, so it was done gratis. Hopefully, it's done for good now.

Since we've been cut loose much earlier than expected, Randy & I kicked around a couple of ideas of where to go and what to do for the next couple of weeks. We couldn't think of any place we wanted to be more than Alabama, so that's where we're going! I am so excited to be going to our southern home - several of our friends are already there. It's just a two day trip for us so we'll be there early Saturday afternoon. YAY!

Today's been an easy day. I did go to Curves this morning and plan to do so again tomorrow morning since we don't plan to leave until around noon or so. And we splurged on an early dinner at Red Lobster. We haven't been to a Red Lobster in a long time. I think the last time was for Kev's graduation from Basic Training at Fort Benning, GA. We passed one on the way to the service facility and it got me hankerin' for some seafood.

This evening will be filled with TV and reading and playing on the computer. A typical evening for the Guilers. And that'll do it for now.

Until the next time . . .

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Back at "Camp Monaco"

We left Kissimmee, Florida around 10:00 this morning for a 70 mile trip to Wildwood, Florida where the Monaco Service Facility is located. We had an appointment to have the one of the rig's slides looked at. It took us about 2 hours to travel 70 miles as we were on US 441 most of the way and it winds through small towns with lots of traffic lights. :) But, it was an easy drive, so that's what's important.

When we arrived at Camp Monaco, I went into the office to let them know we were here. Luckily, there was a vacant site in the campground that we could have. Last spring we were hooked up to electric and water but were set up against the shop. This is much nicer.

Dale, our service writer came by about an hour or so after we got set up. He and Randy went over our concerns and Dale said that maybe they could even get to us today. Yeah, right! :) We know from experience now that they'll get to us when they get to us. And since I know that now, I'm okay with just hanging out. We have no plans for the next couple of weeks so we'll see what happens. Randy said that Dale seemed very nice so that's good. Matt, our service writer back in the spring, is now working in the shop. We'll miss him, he was so personable. But, I know that he really wanted to get back to the shop and away from service writing, so I'm happy for him.

Randy talking with Dale
Our site at Camp Monaco
Our view of the facility
That's all I got for now. Don't know that I'll have much to share over the next few days. It will depend on how long we're here. Maybe we'll take a day trip to Mount Dora. It's supposed to be a pretty town. Whatever we do, I'll be sure to share it with you!

Until the next time . . .

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Another Day at Disney – Hollywood Studios

This was a long day! And I am feeling it, let me tell you. We left home about 8:30 this morning, stopping at the post office to mail our absentee ballots and then we went for breakfast. For those of you who are keeping track, we ate at our 60th Cracker Barrel this morning!

After breakfast we headed over to Disney's Hollywood Studios (formerly called MGM Studios). We wanted to get a whole day in today. Lins & family were coming to meet us sometime around 1pm. They had a princess luncheon to go to at Epcot first. You know, when you're a parent of a princess, you have to be sure to have lunch with other princesses at least once in a while! :)

We figured we'd do a few activities that the kids wouldn't want to do before they got there. Our first stop was the Indiana Jones Stunt Show. That stuff just never gets old. It's was as fascinating this time as it was the first time we saw it.

Next we went for the Back Lot Tour. There really are movies made here at Disney and this tour gives you a glimpse of how special effects are done in those movies. We saw a PT boat fired upon like in "Pearl Harbor" and then were part of a canyon action scene where a fire erupted in the canyon and then it was flooded - some of that water came in on us!

Once done with the Back Lot Tour, it was time for a coffee break. We found a little cafe where Randy could get a cup of coffee and I could get some water. It was a shady spot and we figured the kids would be calling soon to let us know they were on their way. We were right! It wasn't long before Lins called, so we meandered up toward the front to wait for them.

Once Reagan and her parents arrived, it was all about what would be fun for Reagan to do and see. And that was just fine with us. I love watching the joy with which Reagan runs at life and I will do whatever it takes to be part of that!

We saw shows at Disney Playhouse, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast. Reagan was able to get autographs of JoJo & Goliath, characters from JoJo's Magic Circus. We also went to the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids area where kids can climb and jump on leaves, grasses, ants, just as in the movie. Of course, Reagan was not familiar with the movie and I think she figured it was just another playground.

Reagan with JoJo & Goliath

Beauty & the Beast

Playing at Honey, I Shrunk the Kids!

We ended our day with dinner at the Prime Time Cafe which was set up like a kitchen from the 1950s. From each table you could see a black and white TV which ran vignettes from shows such as The Donna Reed Show, I Married Joan, Dennis the Menace, and more. The tables were formica-topped just like we all grew up with. And the menu was filled with staples such as fried chicken, pot roast, and meat loaf.

It was a wonderful day with the kids. It was hard to say good-bye we wouldn't see each other again until Christmastime. I've said before, this is the hardest part of full-timing, in my opinion. But, we got lots of hugs and kisses from everyone and there'll be phone calls and webcam dates. I'm just very grateful to have such a close relationship with my kids. We really enjoy being with one another.

Tomorrow we leave for the Monaco service facility in Wildwood, FL. It's gonna be such a tough trip - a whole 70 miles! :) Don't know how long we'll be there so we don't have any other travel plans. We're thinking once we get out of there, we'll just go on to Alabama and get settled.

Until the next time . . .

Monday, October 13, 2008

Not Much to Report

VERY slow day here . . . I did get out to Curves this morning and then came back to RV to get ready in case we were going to meet Lins and family at Disney. Turns out they went back to the Magic Kingdom for the day, so we'll meet up at Hollywood Studios tomorrow.

The only other thing we did, or tried to do, was go to the post office to mail our absentee ballots for the upcoming election. Well, this is one of the drawbacks - really, are there any drawbacks???? - to retirement; we totally forgot today was a holiday! It's Columbus Day, but that never dawned on either of us until I walked into the post office and it was closed! Duh! Oh, well. The ballots will get mailed tomorrow.

I am making good progress on my cross stitch project, so that's a good thing. I need to get this one done so I can get started on some Christmas projects.

That's it for us. Take care of each other.

Until the next time . . .

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Magic Kingdom!

We began the day at First Baptist Church of Kissimmee. I was so ready for good worship and a message from God. Randy & I hadn't been to church since before we left PA. And I have missed it; I didn't realize how much until the first song began and I could feel the Holy Spirit move within me. And the pastor's message was very good - a reminder of how we believers are to be ambassadors for Christ in this world. How I need reminding of that on a daily basis!

After church we checked out another campground in the area so that when we need a Disney fix again we'll have options. The other park also has mostly park models in it, but it's much better maintained than the one we're in now. Then, we got breakfast at IHOP!

We got a phone call from Lins about 12:30 to let us know they were on their way to their resort from the airport. They weren't sure just what their plans were for the day so I told her to give us a call when a decision had been made.

A couple of hours later Lins called to say they were going on over to the Magic Kingdom, so we got ourselves together and headed out to meet up with them. I was so excited!! I couldn't wait to see Reagan immersed in Disney. It's all she's talked about this past week and Lindsay couldn't keep the Disney videos going fast enough for her. :)

By the time we got there, Jason, Lins & Reagan had already seen a parade in which Reagan was able to see Ariel, Belle and several other characters. Lindsay said Reagan went nuts, waving and yelling at Ariel and Belle. Belle even blew Reagan a kiss and Reagan was thrilled. I'm sorry I missed that, but I'm sure Jason got it on video. Once we caught up with them, we headed on down Main Street, stopping every few feet to look at something else.

We were in time for a show at Cinderella's Castle. Reagan was ready - she told me, "I like the shows." :) And she sure does! Oh, my gosh. As Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy & friends came out singing, Reagan was up on her feet dancing and singing along. She didn't sit the entire show. We got to see Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty dance and sing with their Prince Charmings. It was so wonderful watching all of this through Reagan's eyes.

After the show, it was time to check out the rides. Randy & I took "bag watch" so Jason & Lins could go on the rides with Reagan. The first one was Snow White's Scary Adventures and Lins was a little concerned about Reagan's reaction to it, but we all said go for it. I told Reagan it said it might be scary and she said that was okay. :) She did great. The next one was It's a Small World and Reagan came out of it grinning from ear to ear and telling me how there were lots of little people and they were all singing! It was great. Then, Reagan & I hit the carousel!

We got some dinner and by the time we were done, the kids were really done. It had been a long day for them as they caught a flight around 9am and hadn't stopped yet. So, Randy & I said good-bye and kept going.

Randy really want to go through The Haunted Mansion, which I thought was kinda funny.
It seemed very odd to be at Disney without kids. We also took a ride on the paddleboat, Liberty Belle, which took us through Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn's world. Next up, Pirates of the Caribbean. It has been updated to include Captain Jack Sparrow, looking just like Johnny Depp!

After a stroll down Main Street, weaving in and out of the people watching the night parade, and catching the end of the parade, it was time for us to go. Our feet were beginning to remind us that we're a little older than the last time we were here. :) It was a great day and we are looking forward to going to Disney's Hollywood Studios either tomorrow or Tuesday.

Until the next time . . .

Doin' a Whole Lot of Nothin'

Yesterday was another day of sitting and relaxing. Yes, I know, just how long can we take this horribly tough lifestyle??? I don't know, but we'll continue to research it and keep you up-to-date on the results. :)

We spent the day catching up on shows we had recorded and I made some progress on a cross stitch project I'm doing. The most strenuous activity of the day was putting dinner together. Randy grilled pork chops and I made a pasta salad and green beans to go with them. That was it.

Jason, Lins & Reagan fly in to Orlando this morning. Not sure when we'll see them as they will be calling us once they get settled and know their plans. We're going to have such fun these next couple of days!

Gotta get ready for church. Take care of each other. Until the next time . . .

Friday, October 10, 2008

Florida – It's HOT Here!!

I know, I know! No post yesterday. Sorry! Yesterday was a travel day and it seems I tend to forget to post on travel days. I guess I figure I don't have much to share on those days. So, I'll catch you up.

We left Brunswick, GA about 9:30 for a four hour trip to Kissimmee, FL.

As usual (thank You, God!) we had an uneventful trip, with a couple of stops for potty breaks and lunch. We got to our campground (and I use the word loosely) around 2:30 or so. I use the term "campground" loosely because it's really a park model/mobile home park with a bunch of RV sites. And most of those RV sites are occupied with long-term folks. Oh, and it has the word "resort" in its name. Why do so many campgrounds feel the need to use that word? Like we're not going to realize it ISN'T a resort once we see it? Again, not a pretty park at ALL, but the price is right at $16/night. And being very close to Disney World at the price is a DEAL. So, I'll live with the unprettiness (good word, huh?). After all, my RV is gorgeous inside and that's where I live, so what do I care!?!?!!

Have I mentioned just how hot and humid it is here? Oh, yeah. It's Florida! But, really, it is October. It was 88 degrees yesterday at 3pm. Ugh! Guess I shouldn't complain, though, huh? I have A/C and I don't have to work. So, I'm going to shut up now.

This morning I got up and went to Curves. It's so close - less than a mile up the road! Once I got home and got a couple of cups of coffee in me, I updated our finances. It's always good to know how much we have to play with. :)

We decided to go get some breakfast and then for a ride to see just how far we are from Disney. We needed to go to WalMart anyway. Breakfast was at Ponderosa 'cause they have a buffet for just $3.99/person. It was okay, but I can see why it's just $3.99 - it sure wasn't Cracker Barrel! What do "they" say? You get what you pay for!

After breakfast, we headed up the road to Disney. In addition to finding out how far up the road it was, we wanted to find out how much they charge for parking. I couldn't find that anywhere on their website. It's $12, in case anyone's wondering. Guess that's not so bad. It's still cheaper to pay for parking and stay outside of Disney. Not as much fun, maybe, but cheaper.

It's funny, as we approached the entrance, I could feel my stomach getting jittery just as it did the first time we went. There's just something about Disney World that never gets old. I even took a picture of the entrance! Then I emailed it to Reagan to show her what was waiting for her.

We finally hit WalMart, did our shopping and headed home. We did stop by another campground near WalMart to see if we'd like that one better. Although it does seem better kept-up, it's mostly park models and long term folks, too. There's one other campground I want to check out before we leave this area so we'll know for the next time we come here.

That's it for the last couple of days. We're probably not going to do much until we hit Disney. We talked about doing some sightseeing, but decided we wanted to save our money for Disney. So, we'll just chill here at the park until we hear from Lindsay that they have arrived. I can't wait!!

Until the next time . . .

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Jekyll Island

I made it to Curves this morning! While I still do NOT like exercising, I find that I miss it. Sick, aren't I??? :) But, I am proud of myself for continuing to search out local Curves and getting there while on the road.

Our goal today was to explore Jekyll Island and we accomplished that. Our weather turned very muggy, humid, and overcast. Not the best day for sightseeing, but that's the way it goes. Or, as our good friends, Darrell & Judy, say "it is what it is." :)

You can read about Jekyll Island and its colorful history here. But I'll give you a synopsis from that site. The island is 7 miles long and 1.5 miles wide. It is surrounded by water (obviously!) and has quite a bit of marshland, which is quite lovely.

Of course the first inhabitants of the island were Native Americans. The first significant European settler was Major William Horton who received a land grant in 1735. The remnants of his second home which was built in 1743 is still on the island; the first having been destroyed in a battle with the Spaniards in 1742.

Also found near Horton's homesite is the burial ground of the DuBignon family, a French family, who acquired Jekyll Island in 1800. This family would continue to influence life on the island for the next century. Two of Christophe DuBignon's grandsons were indicted in 1858 for allegedly being involved in illegal slave trading. They were later acquitted of this charge.

It was in 1886 that Jekyll Island began its reign as a vacation spot for the wealthy. This elite club was known as the Jekyll Island club and boasted members such as William Rockefeller, William Vanderbilt, J.P. Morgan, and Joseph Pulitzer. There is a building on the island in which these men, and others, had offices and apartments.

Jekyll Island Club Hotel
Offices/Apartment building
The island continued to be a private playground for the rich & famous until 1947 when the state of Georgia purchased it in order to turn it into a state park. The historic district encompasses 240 acres and includes many of the original buildings.

One area that was pretty cool was Driftwood Beach. A short walk from the road, we came upon a beach filled with very old, very dead trees that had been uprooted and left to decay on the beach. Some of these trees were quite large as you can see from the picture below. That's a person in there! You can also see St. Simons Island from this beach.

We enjoyed our visit to Jekyll Island. We found it beautiful and very peaceful. Of course, I can't imagine that the peacefulness we experienced would be found in the heart of the summer. :) There are many, many hotels, motels, vacation homes, and a campground which I'm sure fill to the brim with families wanting to play at the beach. There are miles and miles of walking/bike paths that help you explore the island. These paths are shaded by various trees that are adorned with Spanish moss. Even though I know that Spanish moss is filled with tiny critters, I just love the look of it.
You can find more pictures of various "cottages" of the wealthy as well as of historical info on our picture website which is listed under "Favorite Websites."

We're off tomorrow for Florida. We'll be staying in Kissimmee for the next week and will also visit Mickey & Minnie a couple of times while we're there. Jason, Lindsay & Reagan are coming down Sunday - I can't wait to see them!

Until the next time . . .

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Why Does Every Small Town Claim a “Historical” District?

This day did not start out as planned. My plan yesterday was to get up and go work out at the local Curves and then we'd explore the area. Unfortunately, I was sick all night long and most of the morning with a headache like I haven't had in years. Don't know where it came from, but I'm glad it's gone now. Ugh - I hate those headaches.

Anyway, a little after lunch I needed to get out of the rig. So, we decided to take a drive into Brunswick and the historic district, hence the title of this entry. Because a town may have had some hand in a war or had people die in a war or someone famous drove through the town, does that constitute an historic district? I guess it must because it seems that every town we drive through or walk through has one. Oh, well. I figure every place needs bragging rights on something.

Brunswick's downtown district is not particularly pretty, except for Newcastle Street. This seems to be the one street where the town has tried to renovate and make the facades attractive.

Randy & I walked down to the East River to look around. We did find some history in that there was a World War II Memorial and an historical marker explaining how "Liberty Ships" used in World War II were built in this town. But that was the extent of the history, at least as far as we saw.

Lined up along the dock at East River were several fishing boats. Man, that is a tough life. I sure do appreciate the hard work these folks do to bring us consumers that great seafood. We also saw lots of pelicans enjoying the beautiful weather, swimming the water and soaring along the breeze.

After walking around for about a half hour, I was done. After one of those bad headaches, my energy doesn't last too long. So, we headed back to the truck and came back to the campground. This is a picture of the Brunswick River. I thought the sky looked beautiful.

This evening has been spent in front of the TV as usual. We are TV junkies, I'll admit. And we can't get any broadcast channels at this campground and it's driving me crazy. I'm missing all of the series premieres this week! I have such a tough life. :) However, as I type this entry, I am watching the presidential debate. I still don't know what the heck they're going to do, no matter who gets in office!!

Tomorrow we plan to visit Jekyll Island. Many folks have told us how beautiful this area is and that we are going to enjoy our time there. I hope to get some good pictures!

Until the next time . . .

Monday, October 06, 2008

Georgia's on Our Mind :)

We left Murrell's Inlet this morning about 8:40 after, of course, thanking Cracker Barrel for it hospitality by having breakfast! And that was Number 59. :)

We had a five hour drive ahead of us as we headed south on US 17. We really like traveling the US routes versus the interstates. There's so much more to see and, yes, you hit more stop lights and such, but that also means you travel through small towns which are often interesting. Unfortunately, we do end up on interstates more often than not because they're easier to travel on. Oh, the decisions we have to make in this life! ;)

It was a quiet day which is always nice. One thing you don't want when you're traveling is chaos or excitement! We found ourselves crossing the Savannah River into Georgia after about 3.5 hours of being on the road.

Around 2:30ish we pulled into Golden Isles Vacation Park. We stayed here overnight last spring on our way home from Alabama. It's not a pretty park by any stretch of the imagination, but the price is right at $15/night with our Passport America discount. I'll take price over beauty any day of the week.

We're here until Thursday. Looking forward to going to Jekyll Island as we've heard it's beautiful and worth exploring. There are other things to do as well. Hopefully, we'll get some good stories to share with you.

Until the next time . . .