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

 

Epilogue

Melissa came to visit her kids, arriving 7/17 and spending a leisurely week at Sonnystone before we (Mel, Me, O and the Ees)  took off for a couple of Feises in St. Louis the week-end of 7/22-23.    It was a great Road Trip!  In addition to enjoying the Feis, we went to the Arch, ate at Seamus McDaniel’s, and swam in the pool.  Melissa flew back to NYC from STL and the kids came back with me for one more week…***

We’re flying out of Indy today at 6pm, arriving LGA at 8pm…  It’s been a Great Visit…

I’m flying home Thursday…looking forward to writing more, though the quiet will be sad at first.  I’ll adjust…

Peace

 

***Shh…  The girls don’t know that the Jose’ fam has gotten a 3-bedroom apt. and Melissa and Eric have spent this “extra” week getting moved.  It all came up shortly into the visit, hence the extra time here.  They’ve done a good job of cover-up and the girls are going to be truly Surprised.  I’m so excited to see the new place!

 

 

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

Trailer Travelogue…part 2

Guys, I have been trying to get fancy and added a page to my blog.  I thought it would be real cool to have my travel stuff separate from the normal News.  Alas, I don’t like it, for various reasons, so I’m going to just post the Travel Tales here.  If you missed Part 1 of our trip to Santa Fe, click Here.

Day 3

 I had a plan to take the Low Road to Taos and the High Road back to Santa Fe.  I also wanted to check out the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.  The bridge is just north of Taos and I figured we’d go there first, so I punched the coordinates in the GPS and off we went.  Google took me off of the Low Road (though I didn’t realize it at first) and down some country roads, directly to the bridge.  It was kinda cool to see the farms and homesteads  as we drove,  but I had read about the gorgeous vistas on the Low Road and was sorry I missed them.  By the time we got to the bridge, I had to use the Ladies’ facilities.  As I returned to the Expedition, I tripped and fell…skinned my knees and hands, shook me up, and killed my buzz…   I did not take a picture of my knee, but it wasn’t pretty.  (healing well now, thanks)  I did get the pictures I came for, but was whiny the rest of the day.

We hustled into Taos, stopped and got some ice to make an ice bag for my knees and hands.  I started to feel better.  We pulled into Taos Plaza, a teeny-tiny-little plaza surrounded by shops and restaurants.  Going straight to a place called “The Gorge”, I ordered up a margarita and felt even better.  I guess I had greater expectations of Taos…it seemed a little like Gatlinburg, though not as trashy…and I kept thinking I missed something.  It just didn’t impress me.  I Was impressed by my Mozzarella Caprese open-face sandwich, served with a smile at the La Fonda.  The pesto was delicious and the chef shared that it was a little lemon juice that made the difference.  Gotta try that.  The chef entertained us with stories of his family, who have lived on the same land for 300 years, and indulged us with samples of his soups.  I am inspired to use more hot peppers in my cooking.

 The day just didn’t want to get any better.  Here’s what we saw when we drove back to Taos Pueblo…

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Hmmph… That happens when there are religious ceremonies to perform.

The High Road south to Santa Fe follows the Rio Grande River…

We hobbled through a couple of wineries…

But mostly we just enjoyed the scenic drive…

You can see the puffy clouds floating through the blue skies, present for us nearly all day.  When we got back to the Park, it was raining somewhere, gifting us with a rainbow.  (This was the 3rd rainbow we’d witnessed this trip, including one in front of the previous day’s storm and a full, side-to-side bow that we literally drove through in MO)

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I propped my feet up and felt pretty good.

Monday:  Bandelier National Monument and Santa Fe Plaza.