Saturday, June 1, 2013

4th trip - Nokomis, FL WITHOUT THE RV!!!!

Road trip WITHOUT the RV!!!

Back in February, while we were staying at the Royal Coachman in Nokomis, Ed had this "brain fart" when I left him alone to go to the laundramat.  He suggested we go look at a park unit for sale by an elderly gentleman which was 2 doors down from Karen & Jeff and not far from Betsy & Rich (our buddies from our old boating days on the Hudson).  It was more the location that attracted us than the furnishings because there's woods across the street which means less for Molly to bark at (which was a wrong assumption).

We ended up signing the deal before we left to head home and Don, the seller, remained in the unit until his son came down to pick him up and drive him back to NY in April.  

Ed worked around "moi's" schedule and we packed the rooftop carrier, put the bikes on the bike rack on the back of the car, and packed the car making sure we had enough room for the dogs (never leave home without them!).  We left on Sunday, May 19th, and headed south.  We did an overnight stop at the LaQuinta in Brunswick, GA...first overnight stay in a hotel for the dogs and they did pretty good ... considering.

We arrived at the Royal Coachman Encore Park in Nokomis around 14:00 and took some things out of the car and then headed to Sleep Land to purchase a queen-size mattress (the unit was furnished but the bed was a full size).  By the time we got back to the unit the Sleep Land truck was already there getting ready to unload the new about timing!

Karen's & Jeff's sidewalk
While I was making up the new bed, a LOUD boom of thunder shook the unit and Mandy came running to find a hiding place.  Ed was out unloading the car was and deafened by it and came inside and made a remark (something about changing his underwear) and after he recovered he walked outside and noticed little flakes falling from the sky.  It turned out those little flakes were ashes and the lightning had struck in the woods across the street right across from Karen's and Jeff's unit.  Let me mention that at this time of the year, most of the people are gone and there's only a handful of full-time residents here but none up along the street where the fire started.

Ed called 911 but didn't know the street names and tried his best to explain where the fire was burning (remember we had just gotten in a couple hours earlier...we know the street names NOW!). 

We heard sirens blaring along the main road and it turned out that lightning had struck and started a couple of other fires.  One firetruck finally arrived with two firefighters and they got started on one hose.  Then one firefighter ran to the back of the truck to get another hose out in the other direction.  I mention this because I became a volunteer firefighter when I realized that the heavy hose was wrapped around a telephone pole and the firefighter was trying to pull it into the woods with no success.  I put my camera down to see where Ed was and he was heading down the street to talk to some neighbors who had now shown up to watch; I looked at the firefighter and made a motion and he nodded from across the ditch and I went and grabbed his hose and dragged it from around the telephone pole to straighten it out for him to pull.  Ta Da!!!  I'm still waiting for my helmet.  Here's a YouTube link of the fire: that was our FIRST day here!

We've been checking out restaurants and already found a couple to put on our FAVORITES list:  Briandi's Italian (a very small "hole in the wall") and Saltwater Cafe which has early bird 39 cent oysters on the half shell.  Both of them are within two miles so very convenient. 

We also went to the pool one day and pretty much had it all to ourselves for a while and there's some nice tiki huts to protect us from the sun.  We take Molly and Mandy to the fenced-in dog park definitely once and mostly twice a day.  One of these days they dream about having their own fenced-in yard.  There's lots of squirrels and bunnies here so both Ed and I are getting a workout on holding onto the leashes. 

We met up with Carole & Bob Armstrong for dinner at Rosebud's and Sharkey's on the Pier and did a lot of catching up (more buddies from our boating on the Hudson days who are now full-time Venice residents).  Those two restaurants were also put on our favorites list.

Most of the time we are just chillin' and enjoying reading and relaxing (Ed enjoys a rum & coke) and thinking how nice this will be when we come back during January, February and March. 

We did check out some consignment stores and Furniture Warehouse and after doing some rationalization, we decided to replace the old sleeper sofa in the unit with a new double reclining sofa (there's still a futon out on the lanai for overnight guests) figuring we would be more comfortable in that and will pick one out in January.
Before we left RCR though, we picked out pavers and submitted a plan for approval and hope to have a patio when we return.  We headed home on Friday, June 7th so I could be back in time for the Garden Club luncheon (Ed HATES my commitments!).  We did the drive in 12.5 hours and got home around 20:30.
Our next scheduled trip is September 23rd with the RV to go to a Good Sam Club Samboree in Marion, NC and then meet up with members of the Fairfield Harbour RV Club in Winston-Salem on September 29th for a week's stay.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

3rd trip - Wilmington KOA in Wilmington, NC with Fairfield Harbour RV Club

The Fairfield Harbour RV Club's Open House was Saturday, April 20th and the next day we finished packing up the RV and headed the short distance (approx 2 hours) to Wilmington, NC to join up with Wagonmasters Betsy & Don Albaugh and Karen & Dave Costello.  Joan & Bob Ross also arrived a day early and Pat A & Walter Rucks, Fay H & Wayne Fretwell, Debbie & Jim Harris and Roberta & Bill Flynn joined us the next day.

Ten of us decided to do the trolley ride around Wilmington which was very educational and interesting.  Plenty to do around the area and we found a great bar & grill downtown:  Front Street Brewery Bar & Grill.  We had dinner there with Costellos the first night and then met up there for a group happy hour the day we did the trolley ride.

Ed and I went to the Wilmington Arboretum and Amy (one of my good friends from Raleigh IBM day) and her two boys (a toddler and a baby) came and met us at the campground and then we headed to Airlie Gardens to walk around there.

Ed also went to the USS North Carolina Battleship along with the Costellos and Bill Flynn & Jim Harris while I walked the dogs around the grounds.
Don Albaugh arranged for the group dinner at the Bridge Tender Restaurant at Wrightsville Beach which was very good.

We ended the trip on Friday, 4/26 and headed home to Fairfield Harbour. 

(Ed ended up flying to Michigan on Tuesday to be there while his Mom had a quadruple by-pass.)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

2nd trip - 4th stop - Lexington, SC with FH RV Club

The ten of us (Ellen & Jim, Debbie & Bernie, Roberta & Bill, Karen & Art and us) said good-bye to Stephanie & Chris Davies after we all packed up and left the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry, GA.  Stephanie and Chris were starting out for a cross-country trip.  The rest of us were heading to Lexington, SC to the Barnyard RV Park.

We ended up heading back to Lizard Thicket for dinner with the Pettigrews, Palmeris and Pethybridges.  The next night we went to a Mexican restaurant with Pettigrews and Pethybridges and Ellen ordered a frozen Margarita which she insisted I share with her (she got a brain freeze and it was a BIG drink).

Ed wanted to do a tour of a gourmet popcorn factory in Columbia and Cromer's (p-nuts AND popcorn) had a minimum requirement of ten people for a tour.  Ed was able to talk everyone in to going and for the tour price we got free cotton candy and a bag of popcorn.  The popcorn was pretty good and everyone ended up buying something afterwards.

After that everyone went in separate directions and we went to the River Banks Zoo and Botanical Gardens with Karen & Art.  It was cold but it was really nice.   

The distance between the zoo and the gardens ended up being quite a hike and 3/4 of it was UP hill.  Ed was smart and he opted to move the car from the zoo parking lot to the gardens and he said that was quite a distance also.  However, the gardens were beautiful and well worth the strenuous and exhausting walk.

Everyone departed Lexington, SC on Tuesday, 3/26 to head back home to Fairfield Harbour.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

2nd trip - 3rd Stop - Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry, GA - FH RV Club

Everyone packed up the next morning and the five rigs formed a "convoy" to head up the street to the Georgia National Fairgrounds for early arrival to the Georgia Good Sam Club Samboree. 

FH RV Club minus Bernie

The Fairgrounds provided us with full hook-up and we were able to park in a horseshoe formation and save a spot  (thanks to Skip, one of the GA volunteer parkers) for Bill & Roberta Flynn who arrived a day later.

In addition to the RV Club's cook-out and happy hours, the Samboree provided plenty to do with a few vendors to shop at, new RVs to look at, bingo, donuts in the morning, free ice cream one day, and a catered dinner.  The entertainment was great:  Friday night was a 50's Big Band (that was the theme) which got Bill and Roberta up to dance.  Saturday it was Crystal Gage who was not only a great singer but also a hoot and loved bald heads (Jim Pettigrew got his head rubbed).  Crystal's boyfriend also was part of the show and he was not only a singer but played a mean violin. 

Saturday night another thunder/lightning/rainstorm blew through so it was quite messy packing up Sunday morning.

Monday, March 18, 2013

2nd trip - 2nd stop - Perry, Georgia with Fairfield Harbour RV Club

We arrived in Perry, Georgia and checked into the Fair Harbor RV Resort meeting up with other RV Club members.  After everyone (Davies, Palmeri, Pettigrew, Pethybridge) was set up, we went out to dinner to the Menonite restaurant...LampPost Restaurant...table for ten. 

That night we had a lots of rain with horrendous thunder and lightning and the storm knocked the power out. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

2nd trip - 1st stop - Lexington, SC

We're back at the Barnyard RV Park in Lexington, SC and Karen and Art Pethybridge pulled in not long after we did.  After we got set up, we all went to the Vegetable Medley for dinner.

Sunday we got up and walked to the flea market in front of the campground and then did some driving around with Karen and Art and had dinner at Lizard Thicket that evening.