Finis

The week at Disney World flew by!  We arrived at Fort Wilderness campground on the 17th.  Our site was right on the corner, a little loud, but perfect for people-watching and listening from behind the trees…

We took in a nice sunset from the dock…

The Joses were due to arrive at 9am the next morning, but met up with faulty planes Twice, and didn’t arrive till 4 or so.  They stayed over at Wilderness Lodge, a quick boat trip away from our campground.  We met up with them at Disney Springs and bought our ears!! Then back to our homeplaces to rest…

(We use the Disney Memory Maker Photopass which pays for any pictures taken by the Disney Photographers who are placed all over all the parks, and even on the resorts…   These include the pictures they take from the rides and with many of the characters, and in the most iconic kodak spots.  Because I am an annual passholder, I get to keep all of the pictures forever in my Disney account, but that is a pain when you have to scroll through 400 pictures from our last trip to get to the new ones.  While Disney IT gets those deleted, I have to use the pictures taken from my camera.  Of course, this means you will have to endure the Movie made from the Disney shots later this week…)

On Monday we were in the Magic Kingdom…

Tuesday at Epcot…

Wednesday at Hollywood Studios, or as I like to call it, MGM… (Who knows what they’ll call it next)…

Wednesday evening, back to Disney Springs, where Eliza danced!!!

Thursday was All-Day-Magic over at the Kingdom…breakfast at 8am with the fellas from 100-acre Woods…

We had Terrific spots to watch the castle show and fireworks, but you’ll have to take my word for it, since I didn’t take any pictures this year.

After the fireworks, we braved the cold-ish temps to ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train—this was the only time I could get a fast-pass, but it was a great way to finish off our trip! (pictures later via Disney)

We said our good-byes to the Jose’ kiddos  on Friday…

 

..but we stayed another day, so headed over to Epcot to dig in to the Flower and Garden Festival…  I’ll share those pictures in another post.

We haven’t seen the sun since we left Florida…

Peace

 

 

 

 

Fam, beach, & car trouble

I would have stayed in Melbourne much longer, but it’s that Snowbird infestation that snaps up all the good campgrounds.  The closest we could stay was here at space coast rv in Rockledge and it is not our style at all, with narrow alleys between crammed-in sites.  The cost is waayy more than it’s worth, and the wi-fi is extra!  We are in this particular area mostly because my Aunt Shirley lives here, very close to her daughter-caregiver, my beautiful cousin, Kim.

We spent Thursday afternoon with Aunt Shirley, took her to the grocery store, and enjoyed a little chicken together.  Kim came by and we followed her home and the evening flew by, jabbering and yacking and doing a Whole Lot of Laughing!  I love that girl! And her daughter, Shianne, too!  And her son, Jon-Jon!  We had a blast…

The next morning, we were heading down to the beach and as soon as we started the car we noticed it was running really bumpy, missing a beat kind-of.  We turned around, went to an Autozone near our camp and did a diagnostic scan: #3 cylinder mis-fire.  Back at the trailer, Casey got under the hood and found a hose was dripping antifreeze right on that spark plug.  He walked over to the Lowe’s right behind us and bought a hose clamp, put it on and tightened everything.  We proceeded to take a Test Drive down to Melbourne Beach…

The hose clamp stopped the leaking, but the mis-fire continues and will until we can get back home…  We drove by Aunt Shirley’s and gave her (and her dog, Leo) another hug.  Back at the trailer, we started to ready for leaving.

We toured a campground that is just what we are looking for — perfect location, lots of trees, and space between the sites.  Our current plan is make Melbourne our March home in 2019, maybe forever.  I really like it here!!

We’re leaving about 10:30, driving the 1.5hours to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground, where we’ll be staying for a week.  The Jose’ family will be arriving Sunday morning and we’ll be there to greet them and kick off another Great Disney Adventure.

Peace

Here and gone…

It’s been a nice stay here at Quail Roost.  It feels like we have driven into Springtime, with the weather rather whimisical and windy, temps down to 40 and up to 77, but mostly upper 60’s.

We waited so long to make reservations that we didn’t have a lot of choices.   Catering to “active seniors”, QR has a nice, heated pool, regular bingo and line-dancing, as well as a wii-bowling league…   It’s in the country, you could say, about 7 miles from Crystal River right off a busy highway.  We were placed out near the road– and it was a Loud Road–under some trees and without neighbors on 2 sides.  We did spot some active seniors playing shuffleboard and walking their dogs, but no one did more than wave.  >sigh of relief<

We visited Crystal River Preserve State Park a couple of times, taking different trails.  They are just my style: 2-3 miles and level!  It has taken me a while to appreciate the scrubby Florida landscape, and I still don’t like having to be on alligator watch, but these were some nice trails…

Right next door to the trail park is the Crystal River Archaeological SP, and it is a gem.  A Native American Pre-Columbian Ceremonial Mound Complex, it is so peaceful and the ground feels quite sacred… We walked the 50 steps to the top of the Temple Mound and could imagine the rituals performed there as the People watched from the Plaza.  I believe it was some sort of ancestor worship, but am interested in learning more about these people who lived here until about 600 AD.

There is even a little beach, part of the State Park…

Of course, the big draw is the manatees…  We took the trolley from City Hall to Three Sisters Springs and saw over 100 of the sea cows.  They were resting, spooning just under the water and coming up for breath at odd intervals.  Three Sisters is also beautiful and a lovely walk…  (the trolley also made stops at various local markets and shops.)

I did some cooking on my new grill and we ate out a couple of times.  We had one rainy day, so we did laundry and cleaned the trailer.  It’s been so relaxing…

Today we’re hitching up and setting out for the Other Coast to visit some beaches and family.  The “resort” where we will be staying is another that caters to the active seniors, but we’re more interested in one that caters to the Inactive Seniors…

Peace

Where we’ve been…so far

We spent Monday and Tuesday at Presnell’s Bayside Marina and RV Resort in Port Saint Joe, FL.  Our site faced due west over St. Joseph Bay, with Cape San Blas and St. Joseph Peninsula State Park providing a lovely border for a beautiful sunset…

We drove over to the state park the next day and walked the beach…

…then made it into town for some good grub at Indian Pass Uptown Raw Bar and Grill just as it started to rain…

It proceeded to blow and rain all afternoon…but there was a little clearing just before sunset…

I really loved the view over the water, but the winds were fierce that night and I got a little, er, scared that the camper was going to blow away… It could happen, you know…

It was still blowing pretty strong the next morning when we hooked back up, but calmed down as we drove down scenic highway US 98 to where we are now at Quail Roost RV Park in Citrus Springs.  It’s chilly, but that means the manatees will be coming into the springs in abundance!  I’ll let you know.

Peace

 

Camping Compendium Day 1, Part 2

Just past the Oconoluftee Visitor Center, the Blue Ridge Parkway “ends”…  The Parkway stretches 469 miles mostly along the Blue Ridge chain of mountains that is part of the Appalachian Mountains, connecting Shenandoah National Park (mile marker 1 at the tip-top) to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (mile marker 469, bordering the Cherokee Indian Reservation).   We have traveled this route before, from 469 to about 160, and from 84 to 1, where it connects with Skyline Drive in Shenandoah.  We camped at Shenandoah many moons ago and drove Skyline in the fog.  It’s on our list to drive it all at one time, hopefully with the sunshine that we had last Saturday in North Carolina.

GSMNP was packed with visitors, so the the small 13-mile stretch we drove was a welcome relief from the lines of cars, and the views were just as awesome…

First we stopped at the visitor center…

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Then drove on up the mountain…

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I think the winding road down there is the one from Maggie that we drove in on…

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I love it when the mountains in the background look like waves…

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The colors…

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The weather was simply perfect…

 The only place you can buy alcohol in Cherokee is in the casino, and we are an alcohol-fueled couple.  We drove 30 or so miles down to Bryson City to visit Nantahala Brewing Company, figuring we’d pick up some beer.   It looks like the place is pretty new, large-screen TV’s and a stage for live music.  Right across from the GSM Railroad, it was about half-full of tourists like us.  We tried a flight of 4 5oz beers, one of which tasted precisely like Ass, complete with a whiff of fart.  The others were just okay, so we did not buy a $10 six-pack.  I did cleanse my palate with a nice cider that Nantahala does not make…

Back at camp, we had foil dinners…hamburger, potatoes, carrots, onions cooked over the fire.  We made foil apples, too:  cored the apples (I did this at home) and filled them with brown sugar and cinnamon, then wrapped them in the foil and cooked them over the coals until they were mushy…mmm…  I had brought extra brown sugar/cinnamon shake, too.

We watched the fire burn until our eyes couldn’t stay open…  Awesome Day #1

Camping Compendium Day 1

As we left for our mini-vacay last week, I was pretty tense, very distracted, awfully anxious. I knew we would be completely off-grid for a few days–no cell, no TV, not even radio–and frankly, that added to my stress, even though it was the whole point of going. We drove down through Bowling Green and over backroads in Tennessee, picking up I40 around Cookeville.  Our GPS advised us that the traffic down through Gatlinburg was stopped and pointed us toward our Cherokee, NC destination via Maggie Valley.  Maggie is lovely, but the road out has hairpin curves….it was a long last hour.  We got into Smokemont around 5 and had just enough time to set up camp before dark.  I had packed fried chicken, so after we filled our bellies we sat around the campfire and stared, listening to the quiet and not-thinking, beginning to unwind.

We were up early the next day for a hike.  A short walk from our campsite, the Smokemont Loop is only 3/4 mile, but it climbs, so it’s labeled moderate.  Hiking along, stopping to look and listen, the only wildlife we saw was a gray squirrel, but the birds were chirping over our heads, so I know they were there.  I Really am not into bears, but Casey was on the lookout the entire trip…

Smokemont Loop Trail

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The hike felt like a gentle massage…I could feel the tension leaving my shoulders and I hadn’t once thought about anything but the beauty of my surroundings.  We grabbed a sandwich back at camp, then set off to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway and take some Overlook pictures.  That’s for tomorrow.

See you real soon!

Trailer Travelogue Part Last

Thanks for following us as we trip on down the road!

I didn’t want to go back home the same route we came (especially that stretch of I44 in MO), so we took off early and pointed the Expedition north on a foggy road,  climbing  up into the mountains of the Sangre de Cristo range.  We felt like we were the only travelers out that morning, and that was on the Interstate!  About an hour out, we took an exit near Springer that put us on 2-lane highways for the rest of the 6-hour drive to Dodge City, KS.  We traveled over 2 hours without seeing a gas station, going through small-town blinking lights, cutting through a corner of Oklahoma, past grain silos, sharing the road with truckers,  making good time.  Taking the back roads always makes the trip more American-ish, and we found the gas in plenty of time.

Just as I had started studying the Anasazi years ago, I had also chanced on to Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City, KS quite a while back.  Casey is a Yuuge Gunsmoke fan and I have to admit that I always fancied Marshall Dillon, too, so when I saw a campground named Gunsmoke Trav-L-Park, it was an obvious choice.  Since no one except us baby boomers even knows what Gunsmoke is anymore, I figured this was a sign to go while it’s still open.

The internet had promised dinner theatre at the Long Branch with dancing girls and shoot-em-ups in the “street” a couple of times a day.  Not.  The place was soo well-maintained, but that’s probably fairly easy since there was nobody else there most of our visit.  It was a logical stop on the way home, though, so I’m glad we checked it out.  I would have always thought I missed something, and it seems like it may have to shut down before too much longer.

The Museum had an elaborate diorama of the history of Dodge City, both before and after the Wyatt Earp Days (there was no Real Matt Dillon), including the Native culture.  They then segue into the Gunsmoke series with lots of autographed pictures and a re-creation of our 1950’s living rooms, where Casey felt right at home.

The RV park was also pristine, keeping the Gunsmoke theme going, and the sites were filled with campers and kids.   A dead snake was a big attraction and we got to meet some of our neighbors around the horses that were just beyond the fence that circles the perimeter.

Early to bed again that evening, after we caught these shots of the sunset.

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We drove all the way home the next day, arriving back at Sonnystone by about 10:30 pm.  The ride was smooth and our GPS successfully saved us from another traffic jam, so we breezed on.

I’m already planning our next trip…