Saturday, September 22, 2012

Another Week

It hardly seems possible, but another week has gone by.  We’ve started to settle into a little bit of a routine around here.

Sunday and Monday brought quite a bit of rain.  We found out our new site isn’t quite as elevated as the one across the street, so we had a few puddles around, but with the sandy soil here, puddles don’t last very long.

A few of the regular line dancers have started getting together in the clubhouse at our regular time – 8:00 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  The actual class hasn’t started, the teacher won’t be here until later on this fall.  So right now it’s an informal process, we take turns suggesting and leading dances.  I’ve learned one new dance so far and “taught” one as well.  I have great fun with this group!

On Wednesday after line dancing, Jim suggested an outing to Fort Morgan.  We have been to that area several times and toured the fort the first time we came to this area.  We’d heard about a shipwreck that was buried, but got uncovered during the recent hurricane, and we thought we might be able to find it.

While we were at the fort, I was taking pictures like this:

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While Jim was taking pictures like this:

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At the fort’s museum, we learned that the shipwreck was somewhere down on the beach, not on the fort’s property.  We thought we’d try to get to the beach, but the first road we tried turned out to be not such a great one:

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Even though we could see that truck ahead, we decided navigating what was left of that asphalt road was probably not in our best interest, so we backed out and went on our way.  We did try one more road, but it was pretty messy too, so we gave it up.

We’ve been doing so well with our plan to eat at home more, we decided to splurge and have lunch out:

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And Tacky Jack’s was just the spot.  Jim enjoyed his seafood trio, and I had a shrimp po’boy (but left the bun).

Other things that have occupied our time this past week include getting both dogs washed and groomed.  The grooming was accomplished on two separate mornings. We have limited shade in the morning, and once my shade is gone, I’m done and so is the dog.  We’ve also taken care of all the usual routine stuff like laundry, grocery shopping, meal prep, cleaning, while leaving time for that all-important activity – relaxing!

It’s been a great week.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Slow Day at the Plantation

I don’t know about anybody else around here, but our day here at the Plantation was slow, very, very slow.  I kind of planned it that way after the busy activities of this past week.

Jim has been wanting to make a run to Camping World up in Robertsdale, so he did that while I stayed home and did – well, pretty much – nothing.  Oh, I did manage to make the bed, cook a little breakfast, straighten up the place and walk the dogs a few times, but other than that, I couldn’t seem to get myself inspired to do much of anything.

We’ve been trying to be good about cooking and eating at home since we got here on Monday.  Yes, we did go to Big Daddy’s on Monday afternoon, but hey, it was travel day, and don’t the rules stipulate there’s no cooking on travel days?

But we’ve been great the rest of the week, and today might have been the winner – when Jim got back from his errands, I had red, yellow and green bell peppers and an onion cut and ready to grill, as well as a package of chicken asiago sausages.  He got those going while I made a pot of whole grain linguini with garlic and olive oil.

Today’s picture has all the important ingredients – the outside TV, chair with controllers on the attached table, open beer, and veggies grilling!

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That was a delicious meal, and we got to watch Auburn squeak by the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Other than that, we’ve been practicing the fine art of “doing nothing” – we may just have to work on this a little more tomorrow!

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Move and A Beach Day

Tuesday afternoon, after we’d sweated and worked our tails off setting up our patio, Jim casually mentioned that “next time” we come to the Plantation, we should think about asking for the site across the street, #63.  Of course that played with my mind until yesterday morning.  When Jim got back from the Laundromat, I said why not just move over to #63 now?  I thought he might object, after all the work we’d done setting up in #86, but no, he just went to the office, paid our 2 day electric bill and we were off.
What’s so different about #63?  Well, we face north instead of south, so the patio is in the shade in the afternoon, the time we’re more likely to want to be out there.  And, it’s the only 50 amp site in the campground where we face north that has no trees blocking the satellite dome. In addition to those factors,  we can see the entrance road and the office from here, so we have a better idea what’s happening around us.  Now, I’m not sure I buy in to the principles of Feng Shui or anything, but we also just feel better in this site.
It didn’t take us long to move since we’re right across the street from where we were parked.  We just picked up the outside stuff and carried it over.  And since there wasn’t much driving involved, I didn’t need to pack up things inside, just enough to pull in the slides.  We were done and settled in about an hour.
Where we were:
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And where we are now:
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Around the Plantation:
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This morning I went over to the clubhouse with our sound system and my line dancing book and practiced again for about 45 minutes.  I plan to put up some signs around to announce that I’m doing line dance practice sessions 3 mornings a week.  I need to get myself back in to the groove so I don’t forget all the dances I’ve learned over the past couple of years.  Maybe even learn some new ones!
After line dancing, I came home and puttered around the house for a while, then fixed some leftover taco stuff for lunch.  Then we piled our chairs in the car, loaded some cold water in the little cooler and took off for the beach:
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All is well at the beach, there doesn’t appear to be any significant damage from Hurricane Isaac.
There were quite a few people at the Gulf Shores Pier Park, as well as a couple of birds:
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Of course there was the usual assortment of gulls and pelicans too.
We sat in the sun for a little while, then took our chairs up to the shaded pier and sat with our books for a couple of hours.
What a great day!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Rainbow Plantation

Bright and early – well maybe not so early, but bright – Monday morning, we had the Castle all packed up and ready to roll on south.  I had talked with someone in the office at the Plantation to be sure all was ok after the hurricane.  We were assured that everything was fine, come on down.

Almost exactly 4 and a half hours later we were parked in our site at Rainbow Plantation.  The address here is listed as Summerdale, Alabama, but the actual location is somewhere between Robertsdale, Foley and Fairhope.  We’re out on a county road, very quiet and peaceful.  The beach at Gulf Shores is about 20 miles from here, close enough to spend some time there, but not close enough to get tired of it.

We set up our patio yesterday and got the bugs washed off the front of the Castle. 

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This is the park where we have our names on the waiting list for one of the ERPU (Escapees Rainbow Parks Unlimited) leased sites:

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At this park there are 22 large RV sites that are leased by Escapees.  The fee for 5 years is $14,500, with an annual maintenance fee of $750.  The lease can be renewed for $1.00 after 5 years.  However, if you decide to let the lot go, your $14,500 is returned to you.  It’s a good program for people like us who are not ready to buy property.  You can put a storage building on your lot, so we’ll have a place to store some of our things once we get a lot.  Until our number comes up, we’ll continue to stay in the campground.  The cost here is $80 weekly plus electric. 

We think we’ll be here for a few months.  Right now the campground is nearly empty, just a few of us are parked here.  There’s not much going on yet, but the winter folks will start trickling in over the next few weeks.

This morning I took my sound system and line dancing notebook over the clubhouse to practice.  The regular instructor won’t be here until sometime in November, but maybe some of the regulars will drop by and join me in practicing.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Hanging Around Hoover

We have been enjoying some quiet and peaceful times here in Hoover over the last couple of weeks.  We watched people come and go over the holiday weekend, which was also the opening weekend for college football and the “last hurrah” for the Birmingham Barons baseball team playing at Regions Park in Hoover, Alabama.

All that meant for us was a little more activity going on in the RV Park, which is adjacent to the baseball field. The baseball stadium was busy with the last few games to be played at this field before the team moves to a different location next year. 

Several couples brought their RV's in for the weekend to party and watch Alabama crush Michigan in the college football season opener.  Since it was an away game, they all set up their outside TV’s and had their own version of tailgate parties.  Other than those folks, there were a few families who came camping with their kids, so we had the bike munchkins riding around. 

With the “ghost” of Hurricane Isaac still hovering in the area, the weather has been mostly gloomy and muggy.  We never did get much wind or rain, just lots of humidity and heat.  The weather folks are saying we will be getting a cold front though, supposed to be bringing cooler, drier air.

Our friends Carol and Steve were out of town over the Labor Day weekend, but since they’ve been back we’ve had a chance to go out to dinner a couple of times.  On Wednesday, Carol picked us up in the morning and we went to a local outlet mall to find some shopping bargains.  We’ll get together with them a little more before we take off for Summerdale and The Rainbow Plantation on Monday.

This is our current "home" - until Monday:

An overview of the RV park: