Friday, November 28, 2014

A Great Thanksgiving

DeBary, FL.

46 deg. clear, N. wind @ 12 mph.
Forecast = Sunny to partly cloudy. High 61F. Winds N at 10 to 15 mph.

Yesterday, (Thanksgiving Day) started off quite cool, but by noon the temps had risen to about 70 degrees and if you were in the sun and out of the wind, it was really nice.

About 11:30, Big RED took Jim and Linda up to DeLand and to Marv and Inez/s house. They were the fist ones there and that gave them a few minutes to have a nice visit with Marv and Inez. Soon, others started arriving and by about 1:30 or so, everyone was there and they all enjoyed yet another great Thanksgiving feast!! :-)

Again, Inez outdid herself. The meal was great with all the usual's like turkey, dressing, ham, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravey, sweet potatoes, salads, and about 1/2 dozen different kinds of deserts.

If anyone went away hungry, it sure wasn't Inez's fault!!!! ;-)

After eating, some of the people watched football on TV and others went outside and relaxed on the deck. By this time, it was nice enough outside that everyone out there was very comfortable without having to wear jackets or sweaters.

About 3:30, after h and h, (hugs and handshakes), and thanking Marv and Inez for the great meal, Big RED brought Jim and Linda back here to the house.

Thank You, Marv and Inez for including Jim and Linda in your Thanksgiving Day festivities, Jim and Linda really appreciate your hospitality!!!!

Not much planned for today. Linda now has almost all of the Christmas presents, so I'm sure that soon, she'll start wrapping them to get them ready to send out or to put under the tree.

Oh, and one of these days, I imagine that she and Jim will put up decorations here at the house too.

Hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving!!! Please stay safe during this holiday season. There's some real "crazies" out there, trying to get all their shopping done, so be careful.

Did you know that Black Friday is usually not the busiest shopping day of the year? Thanks to last-minute shopping, the last Saturday before Christmas is usually the busiest.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Some Shopping & Other Stuff, The Weather and So Much To Be Thankful For

DeBary, FL.

54 deg. overcast, light rain. NW wind @ 22 mph.
Forecast = Showers early, then partly cloudy for the afternoon. High 61F. Winds NW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

Except for the weather, it's been pretty quiet around here. Jim and Linda did some Christmas shopping the other day, Got some prescriptions refilled another day, went out to eat at Bob Evens one evening and then, I think it was on Monday, Jim went over to Highbanks and brought some more "stuff" from Nora, back here to the house.

Then, yesterday, the skies opened up and it started raining  and raining and raining!!!! Now, I don't mean light rain, or even rain showers. It started raining and it rained hard for almost the whole day and most of the night!!! There's reports of 4 to over 7 inches of rain in central Florida. By the reports, we had almost 5 inches of rain right here in DeBary!!!

Needless to say, there is flooding in many parts of the area and now this morning, there's a cold front coming though, The temperature has already fallen from the mid eighties with little to no wind to the low 50's with 20+ mph winds and they're talking about the low 40's tonight!!

Today, Jim has a few more errands to run and he wants to go over to Highbanks to check on Nora. Tomorrow, Jim and Linda have again been invited to Marv and Inez's in DeLand for Thanksgiving dinner. (Marv and Inez are Lindsey's parents), I'm sure Inez will have a huge dinner again with all the "fixins'". :-)  It sure is great of them to invite Jim and Linda every year. :-)

I hope all of you have a great Thanksgiving. I think most of us have a lot to be thankful for! I know that I'm very thankful for all the doctors who treated Linda this past year and to all the people who called, stopped by, e-mailed, commented, or in any way sent their thoughts and prayers Linda's way. It was a rough year, but Linda is doing much better and  we're expecting more good news from the tests that she'll be having next month.

Thank You So Much!

So, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!!!! Hope all of you have a great day!!!!

Did you know that the first Thanksgiving celebration lasted three days?


Friday, November 21, 2014

Transferring "Stuff" To The House and Getting Settled In

DeBary, FL.

54 deg. clear, N. wind @ 8 mph.
Forecast = Clear, sunshine. High 73F. Winds NNE at 10 to 20 mph.

As planned, Wednesday morning, Jim, Linda and I came over here to the house, (double-wide Mobile Home), turned on the water, turned up the heat, and in general, checked things out. Everything looked good, so while Linda was putting a few things away that they had brought along, Jim emptied about 1/2 of Big RED's bed and back seat area.

After that, they headed back over to Highbanks and loaded Big RED with the food out of the fridge, clothes and anything else that they would need right away here at the house. By the time they returned back here, Laura and Lindsey had stopped by, so they helped Jim and Linda carry all the "stuff" out of Big RED and into the house. Laura, even helped Linda put the food in the refrigerator.

Laura and Lindsey couldn't stay, so they headed for home while Jim and Linda put the rest of the things away.

By the time they had everything put away, it was near dinner time, so being that they were tired, Jim headed over to Gentile's Pizza and picked up a pizza. ;-)  The evening was spent watching TV and relaxing.

Yesterday both of them were pretty tired, so not too much happened. Jim went to the Winn Dixie Grocery store and bought some food that they needed, and then took a nap in the afternoon. Linda put a few more items away, did some embroidery  made dinner and snoozed in her chair.

So, we're "officially" back in the house. All in all, we had a great trip, up to Illinois, then over to NC, VA, down the coast and back here to DeBary. It's good to be back, but I imagine that by spring, we'll be ready to hit the road again. :-)  

I don't know how much I'll be posting while were here in the house. Linda has some check-ups with the doctors and a scan next month so I'll be sure to let you know the results of them. There's also the "Holidays" coming up, so I'll keep you up-to-date on what Jim and Linda are doing for them. But, I'm quite sure that I won't be posting as often as when we're traveling.

Don't worry though, I'll be sure to post a blog if anything newsworthy happens. ;-)

 Did you know that The pilgrims arrived in North America in December 1620?


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Callahan To DeBary, FL. and One More Night In Nora

DeBary, FL.

41 deg. overcast, N. wind @ 15 mph.
Forecast = Partly cloudy. High 63F. Winds N at 10 to 15 mph.

We pulled out of Kelly's Countryside RV Park at about 10:15 and continued South on US 301 to Callahan. There, 301 turned SW and we followed US 1 on down to I-295, which took us around the SW side of Jacksonville. South of the city, we turned South on US 17 and that brought us all the way down here to DeBary and the Highbanks Marina & Camp Resort.

We stopped briefly for a "pit stop" but other than that, it was pretty smooth going all the way. It was 150 miles down here and even with the stop and the fairly heavy traffic when we first turned off of 395 and onto US 17, we still made it in only 3 hours and 10 minutes.

Jim didn't care for the site that they had chosen to put us on, so he talked to the manager and was able to persuade him to switch us to a different site that was a little better. It's still not the "ideal" site, but being that we won't be spending a real lot of time here at the park, it'll suffice.

Jim paid for 1 month here with the option to keep Nora here for the whole season if he and Linda decided that they want to. That's still to be decided though, they may want to look at a different park, put Nora in storage, or keep her here, so that they can come here to "camp out" whenever they want.

Which is what they were thinking of doing when they reserved a site here.

By the time Nora was in the site and set up, Jim was pretty tired and then Laura and Lindsey came over to welcome us back here, so he and Linda didn't even go over to the house. Instead, they decided to go to Arby's to get a sandwich and then just come back here, relax and spend one more night in Nora.

This morning, they'll head over to the house, unload the back of Big RED and then come back here and start loading things up that they'll need at the house. Eventually, they'd like to have doubles of many if the items so that they don't have to move a lot of stuff back and forth every time they want to spend a few nights here at the park.

So, how long will be be down here in Florida? Well, the plan, which is written in pencil, (and Jim still has that big eraser), is that we'll be here until the middle of April. Then we'll start heading North again, probably going to see the boys again in Virginia and North Carolina  before heading to a RV-Dreams Family Reunion Rally in Marion, NC the end of May.

Did you know that known as the sweetest onion in the world, the Vidalia onion can only be grown in the fields around Vidalia and Glennville, GA?


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

SC To FL and Dinner With Anna

Callahan, FL.

38 deg. partly cloudy, NW wind @ 10 mph.
Forecast = Some clouds this morning will give way to generally sunny skies for the afternoon. High 51F. Winds NNW at 15 to 25 mph.

We left "The Oaks" in Yemassee, SC about 10:05 and headed back to US 17. Right across the highway was a gas station that sold diesel, so Jim pulled Big RED and Nora up to the pumps and filled Big RED's tank. Once that little chore was done, we took 17 for just a little way and then turned South on I-95.

95 took us down to Georgia, where we turned off on US 17 again, just South of Savannah. We took 17 to GA 196 and then took 196 to Macintosh where we turned NW on US 84. Following 84 brought us to Jesup, GA. where we turned South on US 301. 301 brought us down into Florida and to Kelly's Countryside RV Park, which is about 6 miles North of Callahan.
It was 1:50 when we pulled up in front of the office. We had traveled 180 miles, stopped for diesel and then stopped to pick up a few groceries at the Winn Dixie Grocery Store in Hilliard FL. (about 4 miles North of the Park), in 3 hours and 45 minutes.

 Not too shabby! ;-)
There was no one in the office when we arrived, but a very nice young lady, who I found out was the owner's grand daughter, told Jim about some pull-through sites that were available towards the rear of the park. She said that we could pay for the site later. :-)

Following her instructions, we headed down the road.

Soon Jim had Big RED and Nora parked in a nice level site.

The sites back here aren't very wide, but they're plenty long for even the longest trailer.

Kelly's is a family owned and operated RV Park and they're supper nice people. We've been coming here for years and always feel welcome every time we come. The park is very well maintained and I can't ever remember being here when the grass needed mowing or the bushes needed trimming.

Once Nora was set up and Jim and Linda had relaxed a little, Linda called their grand daughter, Anna, who lives in Jacksonville to ask her if she'd like to come to Callahan and go out to eat? She said that she would and arrangements were made to meet her at the Cedar River Seafood Restaurant.

Jim and Linda met Anna at the restaurant at about 5:30 and it sounds like everyone had a good time visiting and eating some delicious seafood and chicken. (Anna doesn't like seafood).

Both Linda and Jim said that it was really good to see Anna again and they're looking forward to seeing her again Thanksgiving Day in DeBary. :-)

Yesterday morning, Jim dumped Nora's tanks and then took Big RED up to Hilliard and bought him another drink of good old #2 diesel fuel. Then, in the afternoon, we had some serious storms go through the area. There were reports of tornadoes SW of here and there was quite a bit of damage in Jacksonville, which is about 15 or 20 miles South of here. We had some wind and lots of heavy rain, but no damage in this area that I know of.

Yesterday, the temperatures were in the upper 70's but today, they're saying that it'll only be getting up to about 50.  That's OK though because today we'll be heading down to DeBary where it'll be a little warmer with forecasts in the mid to upper 50's.

I've got real mixed feelings about getting back to DeBary. I've kind of missed the house and all the room I have to roam around. I've missed Laura and Lindsey and it'll be kind of nice not having to get ready to move almost every day. But, I'll really miss being out on the road, seeing new sites, experiencing new places and meeting new people. And I never get bored when we're traveling, because there's always something happening.

Oh well, maybe a little R and R will do me good. And then, there is that cute little white dog with the pink collar that comes past the house just about every day. ;-)  

Did you know that on this date in 1956 - Fats Domino appeared on the Ed Sullivan show and performed his hit "Blueberry Hill?"


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Myrtle Beach To Yemassee, SC

Yemassee, SC.

46 deg; overcast, N. wind @ 3 mph.

Forecast = Cloudy skies early, followed by partial clearing. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 67F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.

Friday at Myrtle Beach did end up being a cold and blustery day. Jim took Big RED to a gas station in the afternoon to get him a drink of good old #2 diesel. Then he went out after dinner and put away the water hose and filter because they were forecasting lows of 28 to 30 degrees, depending on which TV station you were watching. It's a good thing he did because the temperature did go down to 30 degrees!!!


When we left yesterday morning at 10:15 the temperatures were still only in the low 40's and there was a pretty good breeze blowing, so it felt even colder than that. Once back to US 17, we turned South and followed it to Charleston, where we by-passed the city by using I 526. Once around the city and back to US 17 we followed it all the way here to Yemasee and the The Oaks at Point South, stopping at the Carolina Cider Company store which is just a few miles before you get to the park.

The reason for stopping at the cider store was so that Linda could purchase some peach cider and some cherry cider. We stopped the last time we were in this area and she really liked the flavor of both. ;-)

When we did pull up by the office, it was just 2:00 so it took us 3 hours and 45 minutes to drive the 178 miles down here and stop at the cider shop.

"The Oaks" is a membership park but anyone can stay here. They also accept the Passport America Card, so it's not too expensive. It's an older park, but everything seems to be pretty well maintained.

We'll only be staying here for the one night and today, we'll head down trough Georgia and into Northern Florida where we'll stay for a couple nights. Then, on Tuesday, we'll go on to DeBary.

Did you know that today is "National Button Day"?


Friday, November 14, 2014

Sunrise, Shopping and More Milestones For Linda

Myrtle Beach, SC

48 deg. overcast. NW wind @ 5 mph.

Forecast Today = Partly cloudy. High near 50F. Winds N at 10 to 20 mph. Tonight = Some clouds this evening will give way to mainly clear skies overnight. Low 33F. Winds N at 10 to 15 mph.

Just after I posted yesterday's blog, Jim looked out of the window and noticed this neat sunrise so he grabbed his little camera and took this shot.

Even though they were forecasting off and on showers and cool temps for yesterday, the weather turned out to be really nice. So, Jim and Linda were able to get some things done without having to deal with any inclement weather.

After leaving here, their first stop was Walgreen's where Jim went in and bought a few necessities that they were out of. From there's they ended up across the street at a store where they were having a big "end of season" sale. Everything was 50 % off and they found some great items for Christmas gifts.  Linda went into the store without her walker and managed OK (She hadn't been into a store to shop without her wheel chair or walker for almost a year). :-)

From Walgreen's, Big RED took them to the Camping World store where Jim went in and bought a few items while Linda waited outside in Big RED. From CW, they came back here and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. (Jim took a little nap). ;-)

So, what did Linda do while Jim was napping? Well, the other day, Jim suggested that since she has had her cataracts removed, she may be able to do some embroidery projects again, so a few days ago, she dug out her embroidery stuff and gave it a try. Everything went well, she is now able to see well enough to do the fine detail work and has been working on a project ever since. :-)  (She hasn't been able to see to do any "fine" work since last fall.)

For dinner, Jim and Linda decided that they'd like to go out to eat. After some research, they decided on the Islamorada Fish Company, which is located right next to the Bass Pro Shops, just a few miles from here.

When they arrived, it wasn't real clear where the entrance to the restaurant was, so Jim parked Big RED near where it looked like the door was. Well, after Jim and Linda started walking in, (Linda decided to not use her walker), they found out that the entrance was over on the other side. Linda walked all the way over there and made it without getting too dizzy or tired!! She did sit and rest a little once they were inside, but then was able to walk to the table without any problems. :-)  (Yet another Milestone. She hasn't been able to walk this far with or without a walker for over a year!! )

The food and service was very good and both enjoyed a very nice meal. In fact, they said that if we come back to this area, this restaurant will be one they'll be sure to go to again.

When they left, Jim brought Big RED closer to the entrance so that Linda wouldn't have to walk so far. ;-)

I don't expect Jim and Linda to do much today. The temperature has dropped 2 degrees since I've started this post, and the wind is supposed to pick up as the day goes on. Jim dumped the tanks yesterday morning and put the sewer hose away. If it gets as cold as they're forecasting for tonight, he'll put the water hose and filter away too, so it don't freeze. Tomorrow morning we'll be leaving here and head South. We'll probably stay one night down in southern South Carolina and then head down into northern Florida on Sunday.

How long we'll stay there hasn't been decided yet. A lot will depend on the weather. At any rate, we should be getting to DeBary either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Did you know that the walls of the American fort on Sullivan Island, in Charleston Harbor, were made of spongy Palmetto logs?  This was helpful in protecting the fort because the British cannonballs bounced off the logs.

We're proud of you, Linda!!!!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

North Topsail Island, NC To Myrtle Beach, SC, The Apache CG and Plotting A New Course

Myrtle Beach, SC

61 deg. overcast, no wind.

Forecast = Partly cloudy skies this morning will give way to occasional showers during the afternoon. High near 70F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

Tuesday morning, about 10:05, we left the Surf City Family CG on Topsail Island and headed back to US 17 on NC 210. It wasn't far and soon we were heading in a Southerly direction on 17. There was quite a bit of traffic and I'm guessing that ti was because it was Veterans Day and quite a few folks had the day off of work. The traffic moved along nicely though and soon we were crossing into South Carolina and going through North Myrtle Beach.

I watched for Vanna White as we drove through the town, but didn't see her. ;-)

Soon we were in Myrtle Beach and turning off of US 17 onto Lake Arrowhead Road which brought us to the Apache Family Campground. It was 12:20 when we pulled up in front of the office, so we drove the 106 miles down here in about 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Not too bad considering the heavier than normal traffic and the 10 miles of city driving in SC before we arrived here at the park.

We've been to the Apache Family CG before and like before, it didn't disappoint. Like I said Tuesday, Jim had reserved one of the new "premium" sites and I do believe that it's worth the extra cost.

This is the view out of Nora's door! 

Looking to the left

Looking to the right

View from the dune looking back at our site.

A couple beach photos.

As most of you know, there's a cold front sweeping across the country and it's supposed to get here to Myrtle Beach today, so, Tuesday afternoon and yesterday, Jim and Linda didn't do anything but enjoy the great mid 70's temperatures and sunny skies that we were having. Part of the time they were inside of Nora, looking out of the windows and door and part of the time they sat outside under Nora's awning, enjoying sound of the surf, the gentle breeze, clear skies and warm temperatures, not to mention the great view!!! ;-)

Oh, and at night? Well, there's a restaurant out on the big pier that is part of the park and they light the whole thing up. Here's a couple photos taken at different times of the evening. Sorry they're a little blurry but I think they're kind of neat.

Today, Jim and Linda have some shopping to do. They need to go to Walgreen's and pick up a few items, Jim would kind of like to swing over to the Camping World store here in Myrtle Beach, Linda would like to look for a few Christmas presents, and if it's not raining, they're planning on going out to eat.

Well, Jim has found that big eraser again. :-O  Being that the weather is supposed to turn really cold, he and Linda have decided that it may be wise to take a shorter, quicker route down to Florida from here.  So yesterday afternoon, he started erasing and plotting a new course. Now, instead of taking 3 days to get down to Northern Florida, we'll be down there with just a one night stopover and we'll probably be getting to DeBary on the 18th or 19th rather than on the 20th.

Did you know that The City of Myrtle Beach is in the center of the Grand Strand, a 60-mile crescent of beach on the South Carolina coast? In the last 25 years, Myrtle Beach has developed into the premier resort destination on the East Coast.

Oh, and just one more thing!!! Linda wants to thank everyone who commented on this blog or called or e-mailed to congratulate her for her achievement the other day. Thank You!!!!!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Couple Little Trips and We're Proud Of Linda's Accomplishment

North Topsail Beach, NC.

61 deg. overcast, NW wind @ 5 mph.
Forecast = Rain showers early becoming more intermittent for the afternoon. High 73F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

Sunday, Jim and Linda took Big RED and headed up to the North end of Topsail Beach Island. The first thing they did was to buy Big RED a drink of that good old #2 diesel fuel and then went to a grocery store where Jim went in and bought milk and a few other things. After that, they rode around on the North end of the island and looked at all the huge homes and condos that are built right up to the large sand dune that protects the shoreline.

Yesterday morning, Linda decided that she wanted to try to make it up the steps going over the dune here at the park so that she could see and enjoy the ocean.  Well, as you can see by the photos below and on yesterday's post, it's quite a climb and it's a ways from our site over to the steps.

This next photo was taken from the top of the dune. Can you find Big RED and Nora in the photo below? They're in the second site on the left side of the photo. (You can click on the photo's to enlarge them if you'd like.)

Once Linda made it up to the top and sat on the bench to rest, Jim took this photo of her to prove that she made it. ;-)
Later, (after they returned back here to the trailer) , I found out that Jim had told Linda that he was very proud of her for making the decision to walk over there and climb the steps to get up there.

This was the farthest that Linda has walked without the aid of her walker, for at least a year!!  Quite the accomplishment and I'm proud of her too!!! ;-)
This view was part of her reward for going up there.

While Linda was resting, Jim walked down onto the beach and took this photo.

By the time Linda and Jim returned here to the trailer, Linda was pretty well tuckered out, but very pleased with herself. She's come a long way in the recovery process, but still has quite a way to go. :-)

After lunch, Jim and Linda decided to take a "tour" of the South end of the island, so they took Big RED and headed down there. Not a real lot to see except the houses and condo's that are built up on the coastline. It was a nice drive though and they both seemed to enjoy the little trip.

Today, we'll be heading down to Myrtle Beach, SC. Jim has made a reservation there and we should be getting a site that's right next to the beach. We'll still be on the land side of a sand dune, but the dunes aren't so big down there, and from many places, you can see over the dunes from your RV. The site that he has reserved is a "premium" site, so we'll see what that's like. :-)

Did you know that Orville Wright numbered the eggs that his chickens produced so he could eat them in the order they were laid?


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Williamston, NC To North Topsail Beach, NC and The Surf City Family CG

North Topsail Beach, NC.

54 deg. overcast, NE wind @ 4 mph.

Forecast = Cloudy skies. Slight chance of a rain shower. High near 65F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.

As planned, we pulled out of the Pierce's RV CG yesterday morning about 10:20 and headed back to US 17. Basically, we just stayed on 17 all the way down to Dixon, NC., (About 14 miles SW of Jacksonville, NC.), where we turned East towards the coast on NC 210. 210 took us to North Topsail Beach, where the road swung around to the SW, and followed the coast to the Surf City Family CG.

It was 12:50 when we pulled up in front of the office, so again, it was a short travel day of 2 1/2 hours, traveling 130 miles.

Surf City is a "Mom and Pop" CG and I think that the same folks are still running it that opened it back 1961. Many of the campers that come here have been coming here for years and years, some spending a whole season here. Right now, the CG has many folks here who are ocean fishing, but during the summer months, the really nice beach is the attraction.

You have to go over the large dune to get to the ocean,

but the view from the top is really neat, and there's a great beach.

It was overcast yesterday, but if Jim can get some photos when it clears up, I'll post them in the next few days.

We'll be staying here for a total of 3 nights before heading down to Myrtle Beach on Tuesday.

 Did you know that North Topsail Beach was  incorporated in 1990, the Town derived its name from its location, the north end of Topsail Island. The area was formerly known as West Onslow Beach and North Topsail Shores. Town population is 843 (2000 census).

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Joe, Nancy And Amber, Back To North Carolina and A Shocking Report

Williamston, NC.

34 deg. clear, no wind.
Forecast = Sunny to partly cloudy. High 62F. Winds light and variable.

Wow!!! the coldest temperatures that we've seen yet!! I'm sure glad that we're heading South!!!!

Here's a couple Photos that Jim took our last evening at Joe and Nancy's in Virginia Beach.
This is Joe and Nancy at the kitchen table. Joe's holding Lu Lu.

This is Amber. She was just about to walk out of the door and go to basketball practice when Jim snapped the photo.

Yesterday, after a great 10 day stay and saying good-bye to Joe, (Nancy was already at work and Amber was at school), we pulled out Joe's driveway right at 10:00 and headed back to I-264. Taking 264 West, brought us to I-64 which we took around the SE side of the city and to US 17. Again we had the construction as soon as we turned onto 17, but it wasn't too bad and soon we were cruising South on 17 through the Great Dismal Swamp and down into North Carolina.

We followed 17 on down to Williamston where we went through town on Business 17 and then turned West on Garrett Rd. which brought us back here to Pierce's RV Park. It was 12:30 when we pulled in so it took us 2 1/2 hours to travel 121 miles.

As soon as Jim finished leveling Nora, got the stabilizer jacks down and ran out the slide, he hooked up the sewer hose and dumped Nora's very full tanks. Once that little chore was accomplished, he hooked up the rest of the utilities and then came in and had a "cold one".  ;-)

This is just an overnight stop because today, we'll be heading for North Topsail Beach.

Oh!!! I almost forgot!!!! You remember about those shocks that Ray installed on Big RED??? Wow!!!! What a difference!!!! The ride is much better with much less bouncing as we go through dips in the road. (And there's quite a few on 17, going through the Great Dismal Swamp). Even when the road is fairly smooth, you can still tell that the shocks have made a big difference. :-)

Did you know that The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is the largest intact remnant of a vast habitat that once covered more than one million acres of southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina?


Thursday, November 6, 2014

New Shocks For Big RED

Virginia Beach, VA.

58 deg. overcast, no wind.

Forecast today = Periods of rain. High 71F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 80%. Rainfall around a quarter of an inch..
Tonight = Rain showers this evening with mostly clear conditions overnight. Low 48F. Winds W at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 80%.

Way back in April when Big RED first pulled Nora from the RV Dealer's lot to Highbanks, Jim thought that possibly Big RED's shocks weren't in the best condition any longer. But because Linda was still having treatments and Jim was busy trying to get the trailer ready and packed for travel, nothing was done about it.

Jim knew that the shocks weren't real worn out and figured that they'd probably be OK for this trip. He also reasoned that if they became too worn and the ride got too bouncy, he could find someplace to get them replaced along our route. Well, the farther we've traveled, the more bouncy the ride has become, so when we arrived here in Virginia Beach, Jim decided it was time to do something about it.

I don't know if you recall, but 3 or 4 years ago, Jim had Ray, (One of Joe's friends who works out of his garage), replace all the brakes on CLT (Cute Little Truck), when we were here. Well, Ray is very conscientious and is very reasonable with his pricing, so Monday, Jim gave him a call and asked if he'd have timer to change Big RED's shocks before we leave here on Friday?

Jim told Ray that because Big RED would be doing a lot of towing, he wanted him to try to get some replacement shocks that were better than the original ones. Ray said that he had time and would check on the availability of shocks and get back to him. After a day of not finding suitable shocks at local parts stores, he was finally able to find what was wanted at a truck parts store and would be available on Wednesday.  

So, yesterday, Ray came over here and picked up Big RED. He left his little Toyota truck here and told Jim that if he needed to go someplace to go ahead and use it. In about 4 hours, Ray brought Big RED back, with new shocks installed, and told Jim that 3 of the 4 old shocks were definitely weak and in the short drive back here, he had noticed quite an improvement in the ride.

It was dinner time by the time Ray returned with Big RED so Jim hasn't driven him yet. Jim has some errands to run today so he'll get to test the ride later. Then, tomorrow will be the big test when we leave Virginia Beach and Big RED tows Nora back down to Williamston.

We'll only stay one night at the CG near Williamston so that Jim can dump Nora's tanks and then we'll head for the coast, (just south of the outer banks), where we have a reservation at the Surf City Family CG near North Topsail Beach, NC. We'll be staying there for 3 nights and then head down to Myrtle Beach, SC for 4 nights.

Ahhhh!!!! I can hear the surf already!! ;-)

Did you know that Virginia Beach has 28 miles of public beach area?


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Dinner At Nick's

Virginia Beach, VA.

46 deg. clear, no wind.
Forecast = Sunny to partly cloudy. High 73F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.

Not a whole lot happened during the day here at Joe and Nancy's house but during the afternoon, it was decided that everyone would go out to dinner. So, being that Joe had a meeting to go to later in the evening, about 4:30, they all headed to  Nick's Restaurant in downtown Virginia Beach.

Come to find out, Joe and Nancy had never been to Nick's before, but had heard very good things about the restaurant from some of their friends. Nick's is quite small and is not a fancy place, by any means, but if you click on the link above, you'll see that they have a fairly large menu. There's also some photos that show the restaurant and some of the items that are on the menu.

So, was it good???? Well, Jim and Nancy had the Crab Cakes, Linda had shrimp, Joe had Rockfish and Amber had the Tilapia. Everyone said that their food was very good, the service was great. And, while they were waiting for the food to be prepared, the waitress brought a basket of hush puppies for everyone to enjoy. ;-)

By all accounts, most everyone seems to enjoy going to Nick's, so if your in Virginia Beach and looking for a good place to eat, you might want to try it. I know Jim and Linda are planning on going back there the next time we're in town. ;-) .

Did you know that the first peanuts grown in the United States were grown in Virginia?


Monday, November 3, 2014

Wind, Rain And More Wind

Virginia Beach, VA.

38 deg. clear, no wind.
Forecast = sunshine. High 62F. Winds W at 10 to 15 mph.

This weekend has been a real "bust" as far as getting anything outside done. It was only in the lower 50's and has been real windy with winds in the 13 to 37 mph range with gusts to 53 mph!! :-(  At times the trailer was rocking pretty good and the slide-out awning was making a lot of noise. We didn't have a whole lot of rain, but when it was raining, it was hitting the side of Nora with quite a bit of force.

Jim and Linda spent much of the weekend inside the house visiting with Joe, Nancy and Amber, but quite a bit of time was spent out here in the trailer while Joe and Nancy did their chores inside.

This morning, the wind seems to have calmed down and the weather guessers on TV are saying that it should be much warmer today than it was yesterday.

That wouldn't take much!!!!

Well, how about it?  Did you get all your clocks set back one hour Saturday night?  I don't know which would be the best, but I wish they'd pick either savings or standard time and then leave it alone. It takes me a week to get used to the new time every time Jim has to change it.

This evening, Jim and Linda are planning on taking Joe, Nancy and Amber out to dinner. Joe and Nancy know of some good restaurants in the area, so they're letting them pick the one they'll go to.

Well, don't know too much else. If it's as nice out today as the weather guessers are guessing, I'm sure Jim will want to do a few things outside.

Did you know that eight United States Presidents were born in Virginia? George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Driveway Camping, Pretty Flowers and The Weather

Virginia Beach, VA.

deg. 54 deg. cloudy, no wind.

Forecast = Today, overcast with showers. Becoming windy for the afternoon. High 57F. Winds NNW at 25 to 35 mph. Chance of rain 50%.
                  Tonight, Showers early then continued cloudy and windy overnight. Low 44F. Winds NNW at 25 to 35 mph. Chance of rain 60%. Higher wind gusts possible.

As you can see by the forecast above, we're in for a stormy period here in Virginia Beach. Besides the 25 to 35 mph winds, they're forecasting gusts in the 40 to 45 mph range. This continues on through Sunday with even cooler temperatures!!!


Jim took a few photos of Nora and Big RED in Joe's driveway. Nora is hooked up to a 20 Amp electric circuit and city water.

Just outside of Nora's rear window is this very pretty Camellia bush.

It has some very pretty blossoms right now, but they'll not last much longer. :-(

As far as I could tell, there wasn't much Halloween activity in this area. There were a few kids trick or treating, but that's all.

No plans for today or tomorrow. I'm sure that Jim and Linda will spend some time in the house visiting. By Monday, the weather is supposed to get better, so maybe they'll be able to do something.

Oh!! Yesterday, Jim called a couple RV parks that he and Linda have decided to stay at on our way down the coast and made reservations. At one of the parks, he just wanted to make sure they had a site for us and at the park that we'll be staying at in Myrtle beach, he was able to get one of their best sites right next to the beach, so that should be neat. ;-)

Did you know that Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped penny candy in America?