Monday, March 31, 2014

Half way through Alabama

See-More hit the road about 9:30, which is early for us.  We made a stop for lunch at Cracker Barrel because they are known for having big parking lots for our kind, and after lunch I took the helm.  It’s been a long time since I’ve driven and I was a bit apprehensive, but it felt good until we got to the campground.

Oh and what a charming campground it was…but for $15 cash no questions asked, you get what you pay for.  It was a long, hilly and twisty drive through the park to our site and at one point I wasn't sure I’d fit between the two vehicles on the road, but we got past them without any harm done.  I was very glad to hand the RV over to Left Brain for backing in.

Our site is on gravel, quite narrow and kind of leans to one side, and there was no handle on the water connection.  But we have electricity!  Let’s just say there’s no cable TV, Wi-Fi, clubhouse, activities or pool to be had here. 

When we stop for one night we really don’t care much and had we seen the rest area earlier we'd have been spending the night with the truckers.  I must remember to ask McGuffy, whose husband is an over the road trucker, how they feel about RV's parking there.  Do they mind?  Do they feel that this is just for truckers?  I've often wondered.  

On the plus side, I was able to set up the tent and tunnel for some feline running around since they’d been cooped up all day for the drive.

We should be in Nashville by tomorrow night and I left them a message that we’d be in….hopefully they still have a vacancy for us.  Oh the joys of just hitting the road without any advance plans.

Long Live the Queen of the Road

Turning See-More to the north

Our stay here has been lovely, but it's time to turn the wheel and start up the engines.  It's cold here today, about 45 so the furnace is kicked in to take off the chill.  I'm really glad on days like this that my jobs involve the "inside" take down.  I stored all the tables, chairs, tent and tunnels last night in the car.  We're not sure where we're going, just north along hwy 65 towards Nashville.  I'm sure there will be a stop or maybe even two along the route where we will call it home for a night.

I'm getting really antsy to get our remodel project underway, but that's not until northern Indiana and it's too cold to go that far yet.

The couch will be leaving us, as well as the dinette and bench.  This will be replaced by some cabinets with a pull out table and two recliners.  Oh the space it will create!  I find myself sitting on the couch with my feet up on a storage cube, head tilted 45 degrees to the left and counting down the days when I can sit, lean back with my feet up and watch TV straight ahead.

I can watch TV straight ahead now, but it's by sitting at the table and viewing it through the mirror, so everything's backwards.  Not a big problem unless you're trying to solve a word puzzle on Wheel of Fortune or something like that.

Long Live the Queen of the Road

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Once Upon a Time....

Once upon a time, in a land far away, a beautiful, independent, self-assured princess happened upon a frog as she sat, contemplating ecological issues on the shores of an unpolluted pond in a verdant meadow near HER castle.

The frog hopped into the princess' lap and said, "Elegant Lady, I was once a handsome prince, until an evil witch cast a spell upon me.  One kiss from you, however, and I will turn back into the dapper, young prince that I am and then, my sweet, we can marry and setup housekeeping in YOUR castle with MY mother, where you can prepare my meals, clean my clothes, bear my children, and forever feel grateful and happy doing so".

That night, as the princess dined sumptuously on a repast of lightly sautéed frog legs seasoned in a white wine and onion cream sauce, she chuckled to herself and thought, "I don't fricken think so".

This is not my original story - found it somewhere on the web and wanted to share it with you.

Long Live the Queen of Frogs

Out of the mouths of babes

It is true what they say the darnedest things.

I spotted this on a Facebook post from a friend of mine who has children as beautiful and precocious as she is.  And when you have all that...this is what you get:

"Catherine has been learning about fact and opinion at school. 

She told me this morning that I am the best mom in the world. 

Then she said that it is only her opinion and is not a proven fact."

I can hear the chuckling of mothers every where.

Long Live the Queen 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Alabama storms

We were able to get out and about for a few days, even though the weather was cool. 

Did a lot of geocaching and some biking and managed to enjoy some line dancing....until the storms hit.

It began at night with heavy rain and the rumble of thunder.  George, who usually hides at the first hint of rain remained snuggled against me until the early morning.

As much as I loved having him cuddle, I knew he was shivering from fear...not purring.  But, alas, my arms could not stay in the same position anymore and I had to get up.  I tucked him into the pillows and blanket in a make-shift mancave and went out into the living area.

Was that thunder I heard?

Gracie has no such fears as George does and began meowing her request to go play outside in her tent city.  I had to open the door to show her it was nasty out wasn't just the windows that rain.  

The skies opened up and unleashed pouring torrents of rain, causing a steady stream down the windows where you couldn't see outside at all.  When you could see, the vision was of a small lake with wind rippling the top of the water.

This was okay with me, but the thunder and lightning strikes were a bit unnerving.  Then it became eerie when an ambulance pulled into the park and stopped a block away.  It left quietly with no lights so I'm not sure what that means.

We ran out when it let up for a while to go get our mail at the post office and then stopped at the fifties style diner nearby for lunch.  

The remainder of the day was spent doing some sewing and a lot of reading.  It's a good thing we both love to read.

Long Live the Queen of Storms

Friday, March 28, 2014

Sweet Home Alabama

It's good to be a member of Escapees!  Leaving the park at $47 a night to be in one for $17 a night....sweet home, indeed!
Where else do you register for your stay and have the person hug you?  It's an Escapee custom to hug...we're a friendly bunch.

The park is quite large and the schedule shows line dancing on Tuesday and Thursday, so I'll have to get my dancing shoes on and scoot my boogie over there.

We're about 25 miles north of Gulf Shores AL, an area we've been wanting to explore.  

The first neighbor to come over and greet us was Kay with her collie, Daisy.  As she puts it, she doesn't walk the dog, she's driving Miss Daisy.

Our next door neighbors are from the Wausau area and have a cat tent just like ours for their two cats.  I have a feeling she'll be adding tunnels to their set up soon.  

Tony went to school with Pete's cousin in Wausau and knew his uncle Jake.  It's a small world.  And then it got even smaller when he pointed out the airstream across the street.

This couple is  from Holmen WI, which is right next to our home town of Onalaska and she and I share the same first name.

I loaded up some geocaches in the area and we've been out once already in search and, as always, have discovered some nice places as a result.

We drove a little ways north to check out some bike trails I found on  Just having all these websites and apps for the phone has made going from place to place so much easier.

The weather is cooler with highs in the upper 50's and low 60's but I dare not complain or I get scathing replies from my Wisconsin and Minnesota people.

Hopefully it will warm up a little more and the wind will die down to allow for some biking soon.

Long Live the Queen of Alabama

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Beach scenes

Even though the sky was overcast and the air a tad on the cool side, there were still people braving the beach when we were at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park.

Maybe it's just me, but I like the desolate look of the ocean without a huge crowd.

The rip tide warnings were in full effect with "knee high is too high", so not many in the water today.

There is a long boardwalk that takes us to the beach as the dunes are protected and can't be walked on.

This is where I go when I miss the look of snow....much better.

Long Live the Queen of Sandy Beaches

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

We have been at this incredible state park for eight days now, and tomorrow we head for Alabama.  The park had been a private campground in a prior life, so it has many perks most State Parks don't have, and at $47 a night it should.  I know that doesn't sound like a lot to people who don't RV as it's much cheaper than any motel you could find; but remember...we have our own house with us.  There's no pool or abundance of social activities, so it's pretty much the fee for water, sewer and electric....and location.

The sites are concrete and surrounded by mature growth, providing shade and privacy, with full hookups.  

There's an abundance of birds and squirrels to entertain George and Gracie.  We even had a surprise visit by a raccoon in a nearby tree.

this lovely peony bloom had fallen off the tree near the laundry room, so I took it home to adorn my picnic table

this bush is outside of dining room window - privacy and a nice view...can't beat that

We are able to connect directly to the bike trail without having to load up and transport them and there is also a route to the beach.

There was so much rain that the bike areas were flooded, prompting this young man to try his hand at fishing.
Actually, he's just playing along with me when I asked him to pose for this photo....what a good sport.

Since it's so easy to get around on the bikes, we've been taking them out to eat in the city nearby.

Long Live the Queen of Parks

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Geocaching on wheels

Now that we have the bikes at our disposal, we've pressed them into use for geocaching.  It's easier to find places to stop than with a car.  One of the perks of geocaching is finding views like this, which was aptly named "Lake View".

The cache that intrigued me the most was called Alligator Danger.  It mentioned that the trail was often underwater and we have had lots of rain here recently.

Wow!  Alligators nearby and swampy land to walk through...can this get any better?  

So I donned my waterproof hiking boots, we climbed on our bikes and went after these lost treasures. 

This is one of the camp sites in our park.  Did I mention we had heavy rain?
 Perhaps they are billing this as waterfront property....odd that nobody snatched it up.

The first one was pretty easy to access and lo and behold it had a travel bug in it.  Score!  I love these the most. Since we're heading to Alabama soon, this was a good time to grab one to hide elsewhere.

The second one was much harder. It was a lengthy trek through the brush and brambles with some wading in the waterlogged spots but we found it and it also had a travel bug.  But first we had to get past the cockroach sitting on top of it.  Ewwwh!  I love travel bugs...but not this kind.  I'll spare you the photo, it creeps me out to even look at it.  Instead here is some lovely white spongy moss we found and what appears to be a mushroom of some sorts.

Then we got crazy and took the bikes into an area of soft sand and shallow streams.  Gotta love that granny gear, it's the only thing that got us through that mess.  Mountain bikes would have worked much better back here.  But we were successful in finding the cache, so it was worth it.

On the way back we were going to attempt one more, but the road was totally underwater and appeared to be so for quite a distance.  Plus by then we were getting tired and it was time to quit for the day.

The road ends here.

It's sure nice to have George and Gracie to remove the hiking boots after a long day out on the trail!

Long Live the Queen of The Travel Bug....the good kind

Friday, March 21, 2014

Photoshop Friday....a while ago

I realize now that I've forgotten about the Photoshop Friday and the bike photo we were to work on.  I believe only Andrea completed this and here is her rendition.  I can't find the file in my mess and have nothing to show for my own efforts. 

My friend, Chaseburg Mama, does a weekly challenge for Foto Friday and I'm thinking perhaps we could join in with her fun and games.  She uses a word prompt instead of a photo to alter, so it's much more open.  Any one want to play along?  If so, click on the above link to see more.  This weeks challenge is SPRING....anything that makes you think about spring.

Long Live the Queen of Forgetfulness

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Meeting new friends on the road...with the perfect man.

It's hard to get a better man than Left Brain, but I think he may have just met his match.

The ladies parked behind us have all gathered to camp together and I met Carla today and answered her questions about our life on the road for the last two years.

As a single woman, RV'ers have special of them being safety.  I've heard of women doing what she has done, but have never met the "man" in their life.

So it was a thrill that she invited me in to meet her traveling companion, Jimmy.

He rides in the front seat with her when on the road and to make her feel more secure when fishing, he accompanies her on these trips as well.

Even close up, it was hard to believe Jimmy was just a dummy.  Sorry disrespect meant.

When you think about it, this is perfect...a travel companion that never complains or questions your decisions.

Long Live the Queen of Dummies

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Quilt Festival in Trenton Florida

I've always been intrigued  by outdoor quilt shows, they seem so risky when the weather could cause a complete disaster.

But this little town of Trenton fearlessly chugged ahead and the weather for this years show was perfect, blue skies and no hint of rain in the forecast.

Since we had been forewarned that parking could be difficult, we parked the car at the school nearby and biked into the event.

Shortly after arriving, Left Brain took off in the opposite direction for a long ride and return home and I headed into town.

There were quilts hung everywhere - on lines, on the sides of buildings, inside of buildings, on the name it and they were there.

The street was closed down for all the vendors to set up with their arts and crafts, food items and the such.

Long Live the Queen of Quilt Festivals

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Manatee Springs

Since the weather here has been a bit on the cool and rainy side, I'm posting photos from our last stop.

Inside the Manatee Springs State Park there is a boardwalk that takes you out over the water among the cypress trees, giving a great view of the manatees that frequent the area.

The walk is serene, enjoying the shade and quiet sounds of birds and squirrels in the area.

these are the roots from the swamp trees and function as "snorkels" if you will for light and air

two turkey vultures practicing their tai chi

Is it just me or does this look like a face yawning to you, too?
We caught our first glimpse of three manatees in the water near the beginning of our walk.  They don't look like much from the shore...they are much cuter when face to face.

Long Live the Queen of Manatee Springs

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St Patrick's Day!

We set out yesterday with nice weather for a long drive to Santa Rosa Beach FL and enjoyed the trip...for a while.

First the wind came up, but it was behind us for a good deal of the time, then at our sides and finally we were going straight into it.

Rain began pelting us until it was a torrential downpour.  Motorcycles and even some cars sought shelter under the overpasses...but we kept on going.  This is because Left Brain was driving.  I would have been at the rest area miles and miles ago shaking in my boots waiting for the storm to pass.

While he was driving through the storm, I enjoyed a lengthy conversation on the phone with the Divine Miss M.  I don't like yakking on the phone generally, but once in a while it feels good to reach out and touch...especially if it creates a diversion from driving through a storm.

At one point we were approaching a bridge, driving on a narrow stretch of land with rain pouring down on us and waves crashing up on both sides.  Hmmmm....most of the traffic seems to be going the opposite way. It appears there is an exodus from the coast we are trying to get to, but onward we went.

I checked in at the office while poor Left Brain unhooked the car in the downpour.  Then we continued on to our campsite and I jumped out to direct him onto the concrete pad which will be our home for the next eight days.  Since he was already drenched to the bone, he did the electric and water hookups.

It appears to be a lovely park, it's just hard to tell with all the drizzle and wetness right now.  Eventually George came out from hiding as he hates the drive as much a rainstorm.  But the first rumble of thunder had him diving for the rabbit hole between the wall and the couch again.  I don't know what he's going to do when that couch is removed.  I'll need to create some sort of man-cave haven for him while traveling or during storms.

After supper and some television we retired to listen to the rain on the roof and stayed in bed until 9:00 cuddling and scratching kitties.  Meanwhile the rain continues.   We have not seen this much rain in the last two years.  Perhaps this is a promotional gimmick for the movie Noah that's coming out soon?

Breakfast is done and still we hear the downfall of rain, but much more gently now.  Today will be an excursion by car to get our bearings in the new area, an area Left Brain found that connects to a bike trail that goes along the coastline.  That will be fun to do...when it quits raining.

Long Live the (are those gills sprouting behind my ears?) Queen