Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Crooked River State Park/Cumberland Island

Thursday November 21st, time to move on down the road. It was cloudy and cool this morning when we took off. After dumping and checking our route we hit the road around 9:30. It wasn't a bad drive after we got out of Savannah.
We arrived at Crooked River around  12:30 and the office was out to lunch. We made reservations so we knew we had a spot but when reserving a spot you can't pick the one you want. Jeff decided to drive and find a site with no tag. He had printed a map out and also had talked to a couple people who told him which sites would work best for big rigs.
We choose site #49 and backed her in. Didn't have any problems but before setting up Jeff rode his bike up to check in. Good news the site is ours. We got busy unhooking and setting up. We both liked the park as soon as we rolled in. So many tall pine trees and the sites are large and private. Only gonna be here for 3 nights so after setting up we took a walk to check it out further.

Friday looked to be the pick day so we decided to pack up some things and drive into St. Mary's, from there we purchased tickets on the ferry to Cumberland Island. The weather was great...the sky was blue, the sun was shining and the temperature was in the high 70's. On the way over we spotted some dolphins which is always a good thing. Who doesn't love watching them? We met some nice people while waiting to get on the boat and visited with them on the way over. We unloaded and first looked in the ice house museum. Jeff did most of the looking in there as I was checking out this huge live oak outside . We had a map and they had kind of given us an idea of were to go so we took off towards the ruins that is called Dungeness. It is a ruined mansion that is part of a historic district that was the home of several families significant in American history. We also saw the remains of a recreation area that included an indoor pool and slave quarters. There was a walking tour but I didn't really want to do it. They also had a cell phone tour that you could call at each stop and listen to a bit of history about that stop. We got most excited about maybe seeing the wild horses and we did see some, but from a distance.  I wish we could have seen them a little closer although we did see close up the proof that they were here. We also saw 6 or 7 wild turkeys. The path we took lead us through some huge live oaks  with the Spanish moss. I never get tired of looking at them. Next we went over some sand dunes to the beach. We walked up the beach to a marked spot. This is were we saw the coolest trees ever... They reminded us of the trees in the Wizard of Oz minus the flying monkeys. The branches were long and twisted. Some of the branches were low enough to sit on. We stopped here and had a snack while enjoying the views. We met up at the pick up spot. They even had some rocking chairs to sit in while waiting for the ride home. A nice bonus was the beautiful sunset we watched on the way back. What a nice end of the day.

Saturday was another warm one. We decided to get the dogs out for a walk since they spent most of the day inside. And since it's another nice day decided to get a few things done. Haircuts for Jeff & Belle and a run to the store to get some supplies, so we'll be set for the next week. Tomorrow we arrive in Florida and our reserved spots. We really liked this park and would definitely like to come back.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Skidaway State Park/Savannah GA

Sunday November 17th we got up and was packing up and so were our neighbors. We visited with them for awhile cause we weren't in a big hurry to leave. She told me about a recipe she uses in there holding tanks. It's pine sol and Calgon water softener... I never heard of that, but I'll keep it in mind, might just give it a try.

Jeff had researched Skidaway park and had heard a few comments from people about how tight it is. Then he went on the computer to see if he could come up with another park. After debating we decided to go ahead and go for it. The drive was fairly easy and finding the park was easy too. We pulled over and Jeff got on his bike to find a site. He came back and had one picked out. We drove into it and figured out we had pulled in the wrong way... Well if you are in a car no big deal but if you're pulling 40 foot of train....big deal. So we decided to get out of there and go to a new site. The pull through had so many trees and curved so much it was hard to get it in there. We have more problems with those pulls thrus. Driving through the park was confusing on which way to go. Finally we got into a nice site, the good news we  met a nice couple Mike & Barbara, who stopped to ask if they could help. After setting up we walked around the campground and both decided we loved the park, now that we have it figured out. Next time we will know which direction to drive and which sites to choose. 
The park is really pretty, trees are everywhere. They are tall and loaded with Spanish moss. It's very quiet as well.

Monday we thought we would head into Savannah to explore the sights. The weather was calling for rain so we decided to make the trip in on Tuesday instead. We did go to get a few groceries. When we got back walked around the park again. I also downloaded my pictures and worked on the blog. 

Tuesday we got up and got ready to go to town. It was cool to start but it ended up being a perfect day to explore. We drove to the visitors center and parked in there lot. It wasn't free but it was great for us, plenty of room. We caught a trolley there and toured the city. It only cost us $15.00 each. We chose to stay on the  trolley for the whole tour, marking the map on what we wanted to go back and see. After the tour was done we walked to a restaurant (Clarey's) and had lunch. Jeff had a Reuben and I had French toast. A friend of mine recommended it. This restaurant had been here for a long time, and offered a bit of everything. Both of us liked it. We mapped out our path and went to explore. This is a beautiful city, it's full of history and big live oaks draped with moss. The trolley tour really filled you in on lots of the history. We walked around the city looking at lots of squares, a very old cemetery, and lots of beautiful homes and buildings. We left the city around 3 and when we pulled out of the parking lot our fee was only $4.00. We didn't think that was bad. We headed back to the campground and I made some red velvet cupcakes and invited our new friends over to help us eat them. They are leaving tomorrow, we decided to stay another day.

Time Period Actress on Trolley

Another Actor on Trolley Tour

Wednesday, we headed back into town. It was cloudy and really cool today and stayed like that. We went to the city market and checked it out. We got there a bit early and a lot of stuff was closed. Then we headed down to the riverfront. The old cobblestone streets are so neat you can't believe they've been there so long. Went thru the shops at the riverfront and I think our favorite was the candy store. They gave free samples and we got to watch them cut and wrap saltwater taffy. The machine was 99 years old. While down by the river we watched a cargo container ship go by. It was so close and so huge. Stopped for lunch at Outback, we had a gift certificate the kids had gotten us for Christmas.  When we got home we started putting some stuff away because tomorrow's a travel day again. Another new spot to locate.

One of the Beautiful Squares

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

Old Cobblestone Building on Riverfront

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lake Aire RV Park/Charleston, S.C.

Thursday November 14th was  moving day again. We left Croft State Park around 10:00 A M. It was really cold this morning, got down to 24 degrees. I was kinda worried about hooking up cause last time we came in at a angle like this we had a bit of a problem hitching.. I decided to give it a try...and I got it the  first time. I was really impressed with my backing skills but Jeff reminded me not to get to excited cause next time I'll probably have problems. What a party pooper. We had to be very careful getting out of this loop as it was pretty tight in areas. We went really slow and made it  out ok. Our drive went smoothly and finding our new site was easy as well. We arrived at Lake Aire around 2:30 and we had a pull through so that was very easy. Our site was K-7, one thing was we didn't have any picnic table, I guess someone needed it and didn't return it. That's OK because we didn't really need it anyway. This RV park offers 50 amp, water, sewer, and had laundry. We aren't big fans of RV parks but sometimes they are very handy. The park has train tracks not too far away cause we heard them again and again. We were greeted by some really unique ducks...Muscovy I think.

Friday we got up and decided to head into Charleston for some exploring. We drove downtown to look for the city market that everyone said we should go see. The problem was trying to find a parking spot. We ended up parking on King Street. Our next problem was trying to find quarters to feed the parking meter. The meter only lets you stay 1 hour and then you have to feed it again. We headed down to the market and there was plenty to see. We got some yummy cookies. Jeff spotted a Firehouse Sub Shop while looking for quarters and  has always wanted to try it out, so we had lunch there. Jeff just happened to have on his Keokuk Fire shirt so when he was paying the cashier said so you're  a fireman? Jeff said yes,and he said you get a free drink. Well isn't that nice. After lunch we headed back to the HOW, but on our way Jeff saw a sign....shrimp for sale, so he stopped and got a pound. Wow wee they were the biggest shrimp we ever saw. When we got back we took the dogs for a walk.

Saturday had to start the day singing Happy Birthday to our youngest son Justin.(they love that) then we headed back into town. Today we are going to Patriots Point. First we headed out to the USS Yorktown CV-10, then the submarine USS Clamagore. We walked onto that aircraft carrier and couldn't believe the size. We did a couple walking tours and still couldn't believe the size. After we had seen enough we stopped for a snack and after we headed back out to the sub... This looked pretty big til we got in it. Yikes no way could I have lived in there. People ask how we can live in a  5th wheel, after touring that sub our 5th wheel is very spacious, extra large. We headed back home to make a great supper. Jeff was gonna try his shrimp and we had fresh green beans, twice baked potatoes and red lobster biscuits. It was so good. Jeff's shrimp were awesome. He did stop and got more. I did the laundry before getting ready to move down the road. Tomorrow Skidaway State Park.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Croft State Park/Spartanburg SC

Tuesday November 12th..We wanted to get on the road early cause they are calling for rain/snow cause the temps are suppose to drop. Had to be very careful leaving cause there's a tree right in the way. Went nice and slow and got out of there without a scratch. On the road by 8 a.m. We did run into a little rain but it was just spitting and it wasn't too long before we drove right out of it. We pulled into the park around noon. There's only one other camper here and it's the host. We got a pull thru site with a lake view. The loop was a bit sketchy, really narrow and hilly. We pulled into are site #28 and there was a slight hill pulling in and the camper was leaning...kinda scary. After we set up we had a wonderful view and plenty of privacy. The site had 50 amp service and a water hookup. When we arrived it was in the 60's. We knew the cold weather was on the way so we made sure to get the dogs out for a walk. Had to unhook the water at night cause it's suppose to break records tonight. It got down to 24 degrees....brrr.

Wednesday we went to fill up the truck and stopped at the store and headed back. It was really cool out but the wind had quit blowing and the sun was out so it didn't feel that bad. Again had to unhook the water tonight, tomorrow on the road again to a new destination.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Creekside RV Park / Pigeon Forge, TN

Wednesday November 6th was moving day. We had a beautiful day to travel, it was sunny and warm and the roads were good and not busy. In Knoxville there was a bit of traffic but not bad. The worst part was driving through Pigeon Forge. It wasn't hard just lots of traffic and stop lights. The good thing was there is lots to look at. Arrived at Creekside RV park and it was easy to find. We had reservations but when we got to our site I knew it wasn't gonna work for us, not unless I cut down a tree. Jeff went back to the office and they gave us a couple other spots to try. We ended up getting spot #21. It was so hard to do. There was a concrete patio on the right that was raised. On the left side the water spigot and electric box. I know that doesn't sound to bad but the space in between the two was tight. Didn't give up though and after about 45 minutes we're in!!! Didn't hit the tree, patio, spigot or electrical box....SUCCESS!!!! We really felt we accomplished something. The best thing Jeff and I are still talking. Then when we went to plug in our surge/voltage protector it showed an error code. Yikes!!!! Jeff tried it at a couple other spots and it's our protector not there power. Jeff got on the phone and called the company. We had a similar problem during the summer and the company rebuilt it. Now they are sending us a new one. Looks like we'll be here an extra day at least. Now on to better stuff... The temperature was in the upper 70's. This is an RV park so sites are close. They offer free WiFi, cable, 50 amp, and laundry facilities. It's clean and everyone is so friendly.

Thursday we woke up to some rain. We decided to fix breakfast, waffles. We headed into town to check out the Zorb. It's were you get in a giant beach ball and they roll you down the hill. I was gonna try it but it was closed. Went on to Walmart to get apiece of memory foam for our bed. On the way home stopped at the Apple Barn. We got some apple cider...the real yummy kind. So happy!!! Traveled on to stop at 5 Guys for supper. Burgers & fries my favorite. Oh what a day!

Friday November 8th, it was really chilly when we got up. Jeff got online to purchase some tickets to the Motown show. We met some new friends so they are going to the show with us, on Saturday. Decided to drive up to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. On our way I happen to spot a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop. Pull over!!! The hot sign was on. We did and the doughnuts were hot and delicious !!! Onward to the park. Stopped at the visitor center, got a map and headed up the mountain to Cade's Cove. It was a long, winding, turning road. We were kinda disappointed, we didn't see much for all the driving we did. The fall colors had kinda already peaked. As you headed down the colors were better.  The good news.....when we got home our roast in the crock pot smelled good. Our supper was almost ready and really yummy.

Saturday the friends we met walked down to visit. We are going to the show with them tonight so we invited them over for vegetable soup.  We just hung around here most of the day and I made a dessert for tonight. Our company showed up for supper and we really enjoyed the soup and the company. The dessert was even good. After, we loaded up and headed for town. The traffic was a mess. Its a  good thing we left early. We parked and went in, found our seats and waited for the show to start. It was a really  good show and everyone seemed to enjoyed it. My new friend even volunteered me to dance on stage. Thanks Linda. It was a late night for us but well worth it. If you like going to shows and Motown then you'd like it.

Sunday we didn't really know what we were gonna do today. After seeing how pretty it was outside we decided to head back up the the national park. This time we bypassed Gatlinburg which was a great idea. The bypass was really a pretty drive. Headed up to Clingmans Dome. Made a few stops to check out the views, which were amazing. One stop was Newfound Gap which was were President Roosevelt dedicated the park. Seven more miles to Clingmans Dome. The parking lot was full but there were some spots along the road after the lot. The views were awesome from the parking lot but we decided to make the hike up to the viewing tower. The lady at the visitor center told us it was like walking on a treadmill set on level 12. I didn't really think to much about it but it was a really tough walk. It was only 1/2 mile but a long 1/2 mile. I'm gonna blame  the altitude for my lack of endurance. It was a beautiful view and the good news was on the walk down it was so much better.  Both Jeff and I enjoyed this trip so much more than the other. One thing, do this trip on a clear day. Back in the truck to head down the mountain. The traffic was thick. We noticed a bit of a traffic jam ahead. Everyone had there cameras out. When we looked over we saw a bear climbing up a tree. That was on Jeff's side and he was driving so he tried to snap a picture but then the traffic started moving. We were so excited to see that bear. It was one thing we wanted to see on our 1st trip and didn't. We continued down the road and then 2 cars were stopped right in the middle of the road and 2 people were pointing up a tree and there was a mama bear and 3 baby bears climbing  up a tree. How cool was that? Really cool! What a way to end that adventure. Decided to stop for supper at a pizza place called Big Daddy's Pizza, this was a really good place. The menu offered lots of different speciality pizzas or you could build your own. Pick your own sauce and toppings. That's what we did. Now home to check on our girls.(doggys)

Where Roosevelt stood and dedicated the Park

3 Baby Bears in Tree
Walkway to Clingmans Dome 
On the way up

Monday November 11th. Happy Veterans Day! This should be our last day here if our surge/voltage protector arrives like scheduled. Again no big plans. We made a trip to Walmart to get a couple things. Funny thing there is a scrapbook store located across from Walmart....gotta go there. Jeff waited in the car while I went in. It was a huge store and located next to that was a clearance scrapbook store. Nice!!  Left there and decided to go out for lunch. Stopped at Logan's Roadhouse kinda like Texas Roadhouse but didn't have to wait. Both Jeff and I liked our lunches. They even had a special on Monday/Tuesday 2 lunches for $14.99. We did that and they also give you a bucket of peanuts and hot rolls. Stopped to top off the gas tank. Before heading home we decided to do one more touristy thing.....the alpine coaster. You get in these sleds and they tow you a mile up the mountain. Then the fun begins as you ride the sled down a rail track. Kinda like your own personal roller coaster. Jeff said he didn't brake at all. I did a bit but only because they had signs that said slow... I laughed all the way down. That was a fun ride for sure. Now we headed back to our How. Stopped at the office to see if our box was here....yep..... Looks like we'll be on the road tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Two Rivers RV Park/Nashville,TN

Monday November 4th we got an early start, on the road by about 8am. The driving weather was good but was a bit windy. There was a little construction but it didn't make much difference. We rolled into Two Rivers around noon after making one stop. Our site was 407 and was fine cause they are all about the same. They have laundry facilities so I went over to get that done. Next door there is a Camping World so we went there and picked up a few things. For supper we decided to go out. We tried Santa Fe Cattle Co. Jeff's was good, mine was horrible.

Tuesday got up early and finished up my laundry. I did some cleaning. Jeff went back next door to fill up our propane, Camping World has a special on propane refills on Tuesday & Wednesday...$1.99 a gallon. He was really tickled with that. Next went to Bass Pro Shop, Jeff's favorite place to shop. He got some biscuit & gravy mix. I saw a mall next door and had to check it out. The reason I wanted to go is I saw a Bed, Bath. & Beyond and I wanted to look for a creme brûlée torch. Found one so I got an early birthday present. This mall was really nice with lots of different stores. They also had a lot of different restaurants and Jeff wanted to try one. So we had lunch at Claim Jumpers. He had a chicken pot pie and said it was the  best he ever had. We went back to the campground to check on the dogs and took them for a walk. It's really nice today with temps in the 70's. To finish out the day we decided to go to the show. We drove across town a bit to a Carmike Theater. The reason we did that was because we had a popcorn refill bucket and it was really reasonable. Well we won't do that again cause the place was a dump. A little sketchy to say the least. The movie Last Vegas was good but the theater was not. Back to the HOW and ready to move on in the morning.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Rend Lake/Gun Creek Campground

Friday November 1st and we're on our way to Rend Lake, we've been here before and really liked it. Drove right to this place which is always nice. We had a spot picked out and it was still available so we grabbed it. Filled the tank with water and backed her in to site 50. It was a water site so the view was great. Went into town and picked up a few groceries. We watched the sun setting over the water quite a sight to see.

Saturday we were up early, still kinda nervous about Belle so we both are sleeping on the light side. We walked around the campground with the dogs, the trees are really colorful. I love fall. We spent the day watching some TV. Jeff did get some reservations made for Pigeon Forge.

Sunday November 3rd, Jeff's birthday, so I made him some homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast. The weather was great. We even seemed to have an extra hour since we fell back. Jeff spent his day out on the lake doing some fishing. The wind had died down so it made for a great day on the water. He even caught us some fish. Got enough for us to have a meal...yeah! We couldn't do FaceTime with the kids cause my phone won't work. We did get to talk and Hailey even sang him happy birthday. Moving down the road tomorrow.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sangchris State Park near Springfield,IL

Thursday October 24th we loaded her up and headed toward our next stop on our way south. It was really windy and cold brrrr. We got on the road around 10:30. We called Sangchris State Park to make sure they had a spot for us and to get any special instructions. We had never been to this park before. She suggested the Deer Run loop. We had a bit of a problem when we arrived at the park. By the sign we took a right and as soon as we committed to the turn we knew it was wrong. There was a turn around not to far. Lucky cause we were kinda in the sticks. We made it to Deer Run loop saw the host and asked about water, sites, paying etc. We filled up with water cause no spigot on sites. As we were pulling around to our picked out site we kept hearing a funny noise. Backed her in and Jeff looked under the camper to see if he could see anything and he did. Houston we have a problem. It looks like the Morryde suspension has broken. Jeff took some  pictures and called the company. Morryde was more than helpful, Jeff emailed them a picture so they knew what part we needed. They said they would ship the part right out. That was kinda a problem cause there wasn't any office at this park to ship to. Lucky for us we had a friend here in Springfield so we had it shipped there. We had only planned to stay til Monday at the latest but I could tell that was gonna change. We talked with the hosts for some suggestions on where to take it to be repaired. There is the next problem... Seems that everyone wants there campers winterized, I don't think people do that themselves anymore. We called a number of places and all replied with the same answer...2 week wait at least. We still had a few ideas and the more places we called the more options we had. Finally found a truck & trailer place that was super helpful. It was close, not really out of the way, friendly and reasonable. So thankful for that. Our part was suppose to be here on Tuesday and it was. Called Arrow Trailer and they got us in on Wednesday to get it fixed.

Friday I had an important mission today that was to go visit those friends I mentioned earlier, they have a brand new baby we need to meet. It was nice to get our minds off our problem for a bit. Sam is 3 weeks old and so tiny, I just had to hold him for a long time. Getting my baby them!!! On our drive over I spotted a Smash Burger restaurant so on our way home we stopped there for supper. Yummy, never ate there before and I can tell you we will be stopping at more of those. The burger so good and the smash fries delicious!

Saturday it warmed up a bit. We found out our neighbor owns a camping store so we went to talk to them ...he's really busy too but told Jeff if he couldn't find anyone he could work on it after hours. We stuck around the campground still trying to figure out this repair thing. This loop had a Bon fire tonight and invited us.  Some people decorated there campers for Halloween. We visited with  lots of fine folk there. Went home and watched the St Louis cardinals win!

Sunday was a do nothing day, it did warm up a bit. The Cardinals lost tonight.

Monday we both needed to do something, we left the campground and drove to the repair shop to show them the pictures of our camper problem to give them an idea of what needs to be done. They said it shouldn't be a problem , yeah that's a load off our shoulders. Now let's go do some sight seeing. First stopped at the Springfield visitor center to ask about the Lincoln sites. Good thing to do, they gave us $5.00 off coupons for the museum and a pass to get free parking. We visited Lincolns home and some old homes in his neighborhood.  We also walked to see the new and old Capitol buildings. On the way home stopped at a quilt store...really nice lots of pretty fabric. 

Lincolns Home
Illinois State Capital
Lincolns Tomb

Tuesday Jeff went back into town to do more Lincoln stuff. He went to the tomb, and the museum... He said it was awesome experience...must see for historians. I stayed back and quilted the day away. While Jeff was away my friend called to say out part arrived. Jeff stopped and picked it up on the way home. We packed up everything we could cause we are suppose to be at the repair place by 7:45a.m.

I don't think either of us slept well, we aren't used to getting up and going that early. We got up plenty early but it was really dark, hard to hook up in the dark that's for sure. We got it done but we also had to dump in the dark, another tricky task. We got on our way and just to make things interesting we had really dense fog to drive in. Good news was it was really easy to get to. We went over to Starbucks to get coffee and just looked around the area. They had our HOW all fixed up and ready for the road by noon. The people there were so nice and very reasonable and we are very pleased with the service.

Happy Halloween! We couldn't move today cause it rained all day long. Not just a little rain but it poured....The day was really long so we are ready to move for sure!!

November 1st we had a terrible scare to start our day. Our schnauzer Belle woke up this morning and spit up and after that she went down and had a massive seizure. Both Jeff and I was trying to help but nothing we could really do. While calming her she bit Jeff's finger which started bleeding all over the place. After we got her calmed down and within a half hour she was back to normal. Got packed up and on the road. Rend lake here we come.