Friday, November 11, 2011

It’s About Time!!

“Whatever happened to your blog?”….  “Where are you?”…..  “Our friends used to write a blog”…. “sure miss your blog”….  “This would make a good blog picture, if you still had a blog” – those are actual quotes I’ve heard recently and repeatedly, so I guess it’s about time to climb back up on that blogging wagon I slap fell off of, and update my good friends and faithful readers!

We’ve recovered (at least physically, financially, well, that’s another story for another day) from the wedding and have moved on down the road, several of them, actually.

The quick synopsis includes a visit to Amarillo where we once again parked in Vickie & Don’s back yard.  We then took a slight detour down to the Cleburne area where we got to spend some great time with Carolyn and her husband Earl.  While we were there, several other of Jim’s high school friends gathered for a rousing party at a local Cleburne watering hole.

A quick visit to Aunt Ruth and Uncle Wayne in Oklahoma was our next stop.  There we got to meet many of their friends and celebrate Ruth’s birthday.

Ellie 004

Sheridan, Arkansas was the next stop, where we spent a few days catching up with Karon and Dan.  They’ve moved back into their “sticks ‘n bricks” home  in Sheridan, and Karon is now a Weight Watchers leader.  I got to attend her meeting, what a great treat that was!  She also invited me to attend a very special concert in Little Rock, presented by the River City Men’s Chorus, of which her cousin is a charter member.  The concert was the program they are presenting at The Vatican in Rome this month, and was absolutely awesome! 

We stopped in West Memphis, Arkansas for a few days to revisit one of our all-time favorite RV parks – Tom Sawyer’s Mississippi River RV Park.  A few days of relaxing and watching that mighty river roll by did a lot of good for our souls.

Ellie 070

That quiet time also got us ready for the next leg of our journey….

Red Bay.  This was to be a “quick stop” just to have 2 windows replaced and a small adjustment to one mirror.  Ha, ha, joke’s on us.  What happened instead….the slide floor that was replaced last summer had to be redone!  Since they had put it in just over a year ago, they were very quick to get it done again, and this time they accomplished it in one day.  That made our stay just about a week.  While we were there, we had the good fortune to be able to spend a little time with good friends Dortha & Mark; Molly & Bob; and Sylvia & Glenn.  And we got to meet Pam and Randy and see their new residential refrigerator.  We also found that our former HR Director from Colorado Springs Utilities, Steve, and his wife, Shirley, were making their first visit to Red Bay with their new 2011 Phaeton. 

Below is our “happy” little group:  from the lower left corner working around: Mark, Dortha, Molly, Bob, Randy, (not really visible except for her hands is Pam), Shirley, Steve, and me.

Jim 001

But…we also found that our coach was one of many that needed to have the wet bay floor replaced, along with the top rails.  We were way down on the list for those items, so rather than hang out in Red Bay for several weeks, we opted to go to the Birmingham area where Jim could stay while I went to my Weight Watchers camp in October.  Dortha told us about an RV park in Hoover that she’d discovered, so we tried that one, we like it a lot!  It’s a city park located next to a local baseball stadium.  There are no special amenities, it’s just a basic parking lot with hook-ups, but that works for us, and the price is right.

I went to “Camp Taz” in Mississippi, and got all re-energized with my Weight Watcher friends.  We kayaked, visited a national wildlife refuge, took lots of walks, and visited for a week.  New recipes were tried and we all came back with a new commitment to the program.

Here’s the 10K Posse: Carol, me, Taz, Ann, Jules, Karon, and Elaine:

Ellie CT Fall 11 018

One night we made Chicken Picatta, No-Noodle Lasagna and salad:

CT Fall 11 All 288

This big ol’ alligator was enjoying just layin’ around, half-in, half-out of the water at the Noxubee Wildlife Refuge:

Ellie CT Fall 11 087

As soon as camp was over, we headed right back to Red Bay with our still-open service number and were lucky enough to get right into the bays.  We got both the wet bay floor done and the top rails done in a week and were once again cleared for take-off from the runway. 

Jim 003

On the way out of town, we made a stop to see Brannon at Custom RV to have the “Air Force One” supplemental brake system installed for the Equinox.  This replaces the  Even Brake box that sat on the floor of the car with a gizmo attached to the brake pedal.  We were never sure how well that was working, and was a pain to install every time we towed the car.

This new system is connected directly to the motor home’s hydraulic system through a quick-connect, so when the motor home brake is applied, the car brake is also applied.  The gizmo that’s attached to the car’s brake is always there, but out of sight and out of the way so we don’t ever have to do anything with it directly.  There is one cable that hooks up the indicator lights that gets plugged in, plus the quick-connect to the hydraulic system, and that’s it, easy, easy to get ready to tow.

We stopped for one night back at the Hoover RV Park on our way to our current location – Rainbow Plantation in Summerdale, Alabama!  Once again, pulling in and settling in to our site in the campground gave us the comfortable feeling of coming home.  We’ll be here  until at least Christmas, and who knows…maybe we’ll hang around a little longer.

It didn’t take long to find our way to the beach:

Jim 084

We got here in time to see Judy and Darrell before they had to run off and temporarily rejoin the W*rking World.  We fixed up a nice pork tenderloin on the grill and paired it with acorn squash and salad for a late lunch last Saturday.

Then on Sunday, Terry and Randy arrived and have taken up residence just down the row from us.  We got together last night for a dinner out at a local Mexican eatery and really enjoyed getting caught up with them.

We’ve joined the local Foley YMCA and I’m going to water aerobics classes there and will probably start either a Yoga class or work with the weight machines next week.  I’m also going to the line dancing group which meets 3 mornings a week.  I’ll try a couple of different Weight Watchers meetings and decide which one I like best.

Last year when we were here, we decided to add our names to the waiting list for one of the ERPU lease sites.  At the time, our name was #42.  I just checked it again, and we’ve moved up to #26.  We haven’t actually decided if we’ll take the plunge when our name moves up to the top, and it looks like we will probably have about a year to continue thinking about it.  To refresh, the 5-year lease costs $14,500 and is renewable for $1.00.  There is an annual maintenance fee of $750.  We can have a storage building on the site, most of them already have one that we would purchase from the current leaseholder.  If we get a site and then want to release it, we would get our $14,500 back.  It’s not a great investment as far as a return on our money, but it’s also not a loss.

That was the whirlwind-catch-up with us.  We’ll be hanging around the Plantation, till next time…


Anonymous said...

Wow, about 2/3's of the way through I remembered who you guys were and went back and read it again. Great read.

Rod Kendall

Phillis said...

Thanks for the update. I always wonder ehat is going on in your world when you do not post.

Elaine said...

wow you remind me of that song "I've Been everywhere man".....nice to see an update from you folks :) take care

Mark and Dortha said...

Wow, I am tired! Glad you are settled in and enjoying your time at The Plantation! Still hoping we get to see you after the first of the year in Texas!

Tumbleweed Dee said...

I'm so glad to get an update! We're on the way to Fla but after June we're hoping to come to Rainbow to see it. We're on the list for the SKP in Wauchula, Fla still have about 6 yrs to go which will be just about the time we'll think about slowing down. (maybe).

We hope to catch up to you soon.

Janna and Mike said...

Yea, Ellie wrote a blog!! Thanks for catching us all up!

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Nice update. Tom Sawyer is one of our all time favorites as well!

Pat and Mike said...

Good to hear from you you have AZ in your plans this winter?? If so, be sure to let us know you're in the area....Hugs...

Tricia (Geeky Explorers) said...

Glad to hear all is well & THANK YOU for posting this when you did. We are headed to Memphis tomorrow & decided on Tom Sawyer park instead of Meeman Shelby State Park. How many times do you get to stay right on the Mississippi River?

Speedy said...

I knew you two were out there...just didn't know where. Now I know where you are. We too are planning a trip to Red Bay for some work but it will have to wait until the first of the year. We have a slide that needs to be adjusted and Sherri wants to recess here cook top. They do that now...the year after we bought one...Go figure! Good to see you back on line.

Joe and Sherri