Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Back Home in Lititz!

Can't believe our 86 day adventure is over!  What an amazing time with so many unbelievable sights and special times with special friends!

Ken had gotten awake at 4:30, did some reading in bed, and then we were both up by 5:15.  We left the Comfort Suites at 6:30 after a nice breakfast in their lobby area. It was dark, a bit foggy, and cloudy.

The drive today on I-95 went extremely well with only a few slow downs in the DC area.  We made some quick stops at several rest areas and had lunch at a Subway near York.  We did get into some heavier rain when we got on I-83, but by the time we stopped at Subway, it was only "misting"!

I did talk to Lanie while we were driving and she is feeling fine today - we are thankful.  Also chatted with Doloris and both she and Fred are doing well too! Jamie called and she stopped by our apartment yesterday and turned on the heat and started our refrigerator - how nice!  Today Jamie and Dane are celebrating their 14th wedding anniversary.  They are a great example of a good marriage and how to work together to be special parents!  Noela called to see how our drive was going and they were eating their lunch on the beach at Jekyll Island after a long bike ride!  They will be heading home to Canada tomorrow morning.

We decided to stop at Costco on the way home to stock up on some groceries - Mother Hubbard's cupboard is bare!  We arrived at our apartment at 2:30 and the unloading and unpacking began.  We also had to do some rearranging of our "storage" places to get everything to "fit"!

I talked to my friends, Jackie and Polly, and it was so nice to chat with them.  I am looking forward to seeing both of them tomorrow or Friday.

We made salads for dinner and then watched the news, while Ken went through our mail that was delivered to Jamie's house while we were gone and I worked on this blog.

I really appreciate everyone who reads my blog and sends me feedback.  It makes it worth all the effort that I put into it.  Right now I am a little "blogged out".  I have done so many posts in the last 86 days that I think I need a rest. I will post during the month of December, but probably not everyday.  Not quite as much happens daily while we are at home versus being on the road!  Of course, maybe that isn't exactly true!  It seems like our calendars are getting very busy for the month of December!  

I think we will be in bed rather early tonight!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Another Long Driving Day!

No pictures today!  We were too busy driving!

Ken and I were up at 5:30 and by 6:45 we had Waldo parked at the service area at Lazydays and were on our way back to Lititz.  It was a mild morning (64 degrees) and sunny.  It felt great!  In the afternoon it did get cloudy and we had a few light showers!

We headed up 75 and then onto 301 where we stopped at a Circle K for gas and a breakfast sandwich from Burger King.  Traffic kept moving and the drive went well.

I talked to Noela and they were driving to Brunswick, GA and will camp there until Thursday when they will start the journey back to Canada.  They will be storing their 5th wheel in Brunswick till they return to Florida the beginning of January.  Tomorrow they are planning to do some bike riding on Jekyll Island!

I had a nice conversation with my mother and she and dad are doing well.  They are anxious for us to return home and play some Pinochle!  I also had a long chat with Nancy Savage.  They are on their way to Huntington Beach State Park near Myrtle Beach for the month of December, but they will leave their 5th wheel there and drive back to PA for about 6 days in December before heading on to Florida!  Hopefully we can meet for breakfast or lunch when they are home in December!

I also got a text message from Lanie that she was on the way to the hospital - What????  Turns out she had fallen on Thanksgiving Day when at Bob's sister house in Michigan and bruised her hip and hit her head on the hardwood floor. She appeared to be fine, but when she exercised this morning she got a pounding headache and went to Urgent Care.  They sent her to the hospital for a cat scan and she notified us around 2:45 that everything was fine and they sent her back home.  She is not supposed to exercise for a week!  So glad she is okay!

Rick and Joyce, friends who are in our small group at church, left PA this morning at 4 AM to go to their new home they bought in Venice, FL in October. They are planning to be there until April.  We knew we would pass each other somewhere on I-95, so we kept in touch and at about 1:30 we met at a Wendy's at Exit 119 in South Carolina!  So great to see them.  We gave Joyce the Chai we had bought for her at Costco in Arizona and we just had a great time chatting!  They were driving straight through, hoping to arrive in Venice around 11.  

Ken and I continued on and stopped at a Comfort Suites at Exit 121 at Wilson, NC after driving 675 miles.  The last hour on I-95 was rather slow due to an accident but we arrived at 6 - hallelujah the drive for today was over!

They had a manager's reception with soup, sandwiches, cake and sodas, so that was our dinner.  We watched The Voice and I worked on this blog while Ken did some things on his I-Pad.  Today was Giving Day, so he made some contributions to some organizations that we love to support!

We are looking to get a good night's sleep, eat breakfast here at the hotel, and be on our way around 7.  We have about 380 miles to home and hope to be in Lititz by mid afternoon.  We shall see.

Just a little summary - We drove 6,550 miles in Waldo on this trip and will have about 4,850 miles in the CRV when we get home.  While we were with Ernie and Noela, he drove every other day, so I really don't know how many total miles we drove, but it was a lot.  It was an amazing adventure!

Monday, November 28, 2016

A Work Day! What is that About!!!!

We spent the early part of this morning packing up a few items before heading to the Cafe here at Lazydays for our "free" breakfast.  When you stay at their CG, you get a complimentary breakfast and lunch each day you are camping. You have choices and usually they are very good!  We enjoy it. 

On the way back to Waldo, we took a few minutes to tour a few new motorhomes to see what changes have been made for 2017.  It was fun, but we like what we have.  Ken thought he would like to have an RV with no slides, since no matter what we buy it is always the slides that give us a problem!  I told him I hope he has fun camping because this gal isn't living in something that small!!!

I did another load of laundry while Ken started defrosting the refrigerator.  By the end of today, Waldo was house cleaned inside and out and the CRV was loaded with all the things we need to take home.  We also put food items that could remain in Waldo into a plastic tub so it would all be sealed against any possible bug issues.  It amazed us how long it took to get all of this accomplished with both of us working together.

We did go back to the cafe for our free lunch and you always have the choice of soup and a salad.  So, you can have a healthy lunch if that is your choice!  We also were able to meet with our service tech, Samantha, after lunch and she did a great job going over our current issues with Waldo and making sure they were aware of what needed to be done till we return sometime near Jan. 1.  She and a serviceman actually came over to Waldo to check out some of the issues.  We feel confident that the needed repairs will be taken care of!  

We ate salads and finished last minute clean-up so we could relax a bit this evening.  It has been a really busy day.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Yes, We Have Arrived At Lazydays in Tampa!

Ken and I decided to get an early start again today and after a rather restless night, we were on our way by 6:40.  It was very dark when we left, but we got to experience a beautiful sunrise.

The sun is starting to show its face!

Getting brighter!

.....and there it is!!!!  Another beautiful day!

Ken takes his driving very serious and does a great job

We drove 215 mile on Interstate 10 and 75.  We were amazed at how little traffic we encountered considering it is still part of Thanksgiving weekend.  We really expected it to be extremely busy.

We arrived at Lazydays by 10:30 and we were set-up very quickly because all of their sites are paved and level.  It really is a very nice CG.  I went to do laundry while Ken loaded the bikes and rack on the back of Waldo and then washed the windshield and front of Waldo.  The bugs had taken their toll!!!!  After lunch Ken took a much deserved nap while I actually got to make some pendants - WOW! While Ken went to get the car washed, I decided to get out the tubs of light weight clothes in the basement of Waldo and put those items in the drawers in the BR and put all the heavier clothes in the tubs to take home.  When Ken returned we worked together to organize the CRV for going home and rearranging things in the basement of Waldo.  We were very busy but hopefully tomorrow will be less busy - NOT!

Did talk to Noela and they were planning to get to Stephen Foster State Park right near the intersection of I 10 and I 75 around 1:30 today and spend 2 nights before heading to Brunswick, GA.  They will store their 5th wheel there until they return to Florida right around the 1st of January.

Also talked to Deb Eberly, who is in our small group at our Church back home. They bought a home in Venice last fall and have been here for several weeks. They will return to PA on December 12.  It was good to talk to her and "catch up".

After dinner and showers we watched football and did some work on the computer. We are thankful we arrived a day earlier than planned so we don't feel so pressured when getting ready to head back to PA.  We are looking forward to a good night's sleep!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

We are in Florida!!! Hallelujah!

Ken and I were on our way out of the CG at 6:30 this morning after a great night's rest.  I guess we were tired.  We decided to wait and eat breakfast in Waldo at a rest stop somewhere along the way.

It was another great driving day with plenty of sunshine and a temperature of 43 when we left and up to 70 when we arrived at the CG in Florida. The sunrise was beautiful!  

I wish you could see the beautiful reflections in the lake at
the CG.  We were leaving the park when I took this photo!

If the windshield wouldn't be so dirty this would be a much
better picture!

In between those 2 locations, we drove through 4 states - Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and then through most of the Panhandle of Florida.  I don't have a Welcome to Mississippi because of the dirty windshield it wasn't readable!  

These pictures were taken in Alabama -

An amazing welcome center!

Love the pictures on the building.  We stopped here to have
our lunch in Waldo!

Cruise ships leave from this port near Mobile!

This is the skyline of Mobile, Alabama!

More of the same!

The seagulls liked something that was
aboard this fishing boat!

Now for some photos from the Panhandle of Florida -

We are starting to see some colorful leaves!  Hope we
see more as we head north!

I think this was East Bay!  Lots of water!!!!

Near Pensacola , Florida and the Naval Base!  Actually this
was at the Rest Stop along I-10

We covered 425 miles in about 9 1/2 hours arriving at Jellystone CG in Madison, Florida around 5.  (We lost an hour when changing to Eastern Time!) I talked to Noela several times throughout the day and they are staying about 150 miles to the west of us on Interstate 10 in Florida.

This CG is conveniently located right off Interstate 10 and accepts Passport America, so we were thrilled with $30.00 for the night.  The sight is large and level so the CRV can stay connected to Waldo - that saves time in the morning. We had planned to arrive at Lazydays in Tampa on Monday, but with Ken's good driving and traffic being very manageable, we will be at Lazydays by lunchtime tomorrow if all goes well and we leave early.  It is in the 80's in Tampa, so we are excited to get to Lazydays.  Also, we have plenty to do to be ready to leave early Tuesday morning including decided what goes home and loading the CRV, laundry, and defrosting the refrigerator.  Waldo could also use a good cleaning before we leave.  Having a extra day to complete these tasks will be so helpful!

Ken grilled tonight while I made salads.  We called our card club friends who were together to watch Penn State win another football game and add to their fantastic winning season.

Spent the evening downloading photos and working on the blog.  It seems like I do that everyday!  I enjoy doing it, but sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Loooong Driving Day!

Ken and I were up at 5:45 after a restless night's sleep.  We got ready to leave and gave hugs and said our good-byes to Ernie and Noela.  No tears were shed because we see them for 3 months in Florida starting the beginning of the year when we will all be staying in Harbor Lakes Encore CG near Port Charlotte.  We appreciated that they got up in time to see us off!

We left the CG at 6:15 and began our long drive on Interstate 10 again!  Ernie and Noela pulled out of the CG around 7:30 and we kept in touch throughout the day about traffic conditions, roads, etc.  

Our 1st concern was getting around San Antonio, but that went extremely well and traffic was very manageable considering it was Black Friday. 

Another one of those Top Golf franchises near San Antonio.  We
had fun with Jamie, Dane, Bria, Cali, Sue and Dan at one of
them in Scottsdale.  You eat there and then take turns hitting
golf balls from your private "cubicle"!

Next we passed by Houston which was busy with lots of lanes of traffic, but manageable!

I wonder which road we should take??????

Part of the skyline of Houston... 
,,,,,and some more!!  Yes, those are a few raindrops on Waldo's

This huge oil refinery was on the outskirts of Houston!

We drove 340 miles before leaving Texas and crossing the border into Louisiana. I didn't think we would ever get out of there! 


Once arriving in Louisiana, we started trying to determine where we wanted to spend the night and how much farther we wanted to drive.  After looking up locations of campgrounds and checking their reviews, we decided to go to Livingston, LA and called to make a reservations at Lakeside RV Park. 

A large casino area.

Looks like a huge sailing club!  Reminds me of going over
the bridge at Sanibel Island in Florida!

Lots of cypress knees that are very special for wood carvers!

This is the skyline of Baton Rouge, Louisiana!

We arrived at the CG at 5 after stopping for gas 2X's (we will have a full tank when we start driving tomorrow morning) and having lunch at a Subway.  All in all it was a very good driving day but Ken had driven 525 miles in 10 3/4 hours. That is a lot of concentration and defensive driving!  What a guy!!!!

It is a beautiful CG with the sites surrounding a large lake.  All sites have concrete pads and we got a large, pull through one and were able to keep the CRV "hitched".  After a very quick set-up we took a short walk around the CG, had dinner (salads), showered, and I worked on the blog while Ken posted on Facebook.  We are going to bed early and plan to do another long day of driving tomorrow.  You know how it can go with "the best laid plans".  We shall see how traffic is this weekend following Thanksgiving!  It could be crazy!!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving from the Big State of Texas!

Well, this was another day of driving on Interstate 10 across Texas.  When will it end???  The 4 of us left the CG at 7:20 and spent all of our driving on famous Interstate 10.  It was a beautiful sunrise just when we got on the highway!  

Here comes the sun!!!

There were some gorgeous rock formation along the way too -

The rock formation along the way was colorful.  Ken looks
serious and he does a fantastic job driving Waldo!

I love these rocks!

Wow!  I can't imagine what it took to build this road!

I think we saw more road kill today than we have ever seen on one road - so many deer!  The speed limit is 80 mph (we can only go around 62 when towing our CRV) so you can only imagine the impact when cars or trucks hit those deer!

I called both our daughters, my mother, and sister to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving.  Later in the day Jamie called to say how strange it is not to have us there for our traditional holiday meal.  It is hard to us too.  We always look forward to it, but we were thankful to have the last week with them in Tempe. We also chatted with Bria and Cali!  We are so thankful for family!

We pulled into a rest stop area to enjoy our packed lunches.  It was a gorgeous day with plenty of sunshine but began at 43 degrees.  It was in the 60's when we stopped, but rather windy and a bit cool.  We did have to fill our tanks when we got near the CG and we arrived there at 1:00 after driving 279 miles.  We are now about 540 miles across Texas with about 330 to go before we reach the border of Louisiana.  Tomorrow, Black Friday, should be an interesting day for driving.  We need to go around San Antonio and Houston and we expect traffic to be crazy.  We hope we are wrong and all will go well!  We plan to get an early start!

Set-up went well since the site was level and we didn't have to disconnect the CRV.  The 4 of us left quickly in Ernie's truck to go to HEB, a wonderful grocery store in Texas.  Chuck and Melissa had introduced us to the Texas chain last year and it is a wonderful place to shop.  Unfortunately they closed at 2:00 for Thanksgiving (the right thing to do for their workers) and we had to get what we needed and get out of there!

Upon our return, we showered and started making our Thanksgiving Dinner - turkey, stuffing, gravy, sauteed veggies, cranberry sauce, German Chocolate Cake, and Ice Cream.  Not bad for a camping meal.  The 4 of us enjoyed the warmer weather and ate outside!  We are thankful for special friends!

What a delicious Thanksgiving meal and eating it outdoors
was a new experience!
I did dishes while Ken disconnected the sewer and water.  He will do the electric in the morning.  We went over to Ernie and Noela's to enjoy our dessert which we decided to eat while we played Skip-Bo and Racko.   The women won both games - wow!  That was a change but a great way to end our game playing!  

It is hard to imagine that this is our last night being together on this trip.  It has surely been an exciting and wonderful adventure!   We will say our goodbyes in the morning!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Another Driving Day on I-10 Through Texas!

The 4 of us started our travels today at 8 and drove about 260 miles all in Texas on Interstate 10.  So, we drove a little more than 1/4 of the way across Texas! They should reduce the size of Texas - it is just toooo big when trying to get from one border to the other!!! 

A nice "sign" when entering Texas!

Not quite as nice as the other one!

Those are all pecan trees in the foreground and background!

We ate our packed lunches at a rest stop and it was a bit chilly and rather windy!  We arrived at Fort Stockton CG at 3:30 and we were very happy with our choice.  It had large pull through sites and we were beside each other. 

Very attractive metal sculptures on the hillside when nearing
Fort Stockton!

After a quick set-up, the 4 of us took a walk on a trail around the perimeter of the CG.  There were lots of cacti along the path.  Ernie and Ken often seem to find trouble due to their curiosity of how things work.  We saw a large "trap" where they were trying to capture some sort of large animal.  The boys wanted to check out how it worked and it was like a guillotine.  Fortunately when the heavy metal door fell down all of their body parts were out of the way. Thank heaven.  They could have been beheaded or lost some toes.  We have to teach them to look with their eyes, but do NOT touch!

Now they have to concentrate on how to put it back together!

Maybe next time they will only look and not touch!  The owners
are going to wonder what kind of animal reset the trap
(but not the proper way!),

Another road runner metal sculpture at the CG! 
We probably need one of these for our campsite!

Upon our return, we showered and I packed salads for lunch tomorrow while Ken watched the news and did some e-mails.  Then he started dinner while I downloaded photos and worked on the blog.

We played Racko with Ernie and Noela tonight and the women finally won! Hallelujah!  Tomorrow we are leaving around 7:30 for about a 300 mile drive to Bourne, TX where we will enjoying having a Thanksgiving dinner together! Then we go our separate ways on Friday morning.  It has been a wonderful time with special friends.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Long Driving Day, but Great Weather!

Ken and I left the CG at 6:30 and drove down the street to a gas station so we could fill up Waldo before leaving for the 1st leg of our trip back East!  It was near a grocery store, so we hooked up the CRV there.  We left the parking lot at 7:10 and Ernie and Noela pulled out of the CG to follow us and we were on our way at exactly the time we had wanted to leave - 7:15.

It was a beautiful, sunny day with a high temperature around 60.  Good weather for traveling.  The drive from Mesa and on the loop around Phoenix went well, with only minor traffic.  Most of today's travels were on Interstate 10 and that proved to be a great road with again, only normal traffic.  We traveled south and then east in Arizona.  

Pecan trees in Arizona!

Love the butte/mountain behind the nut trees!

Then we came upon these beautiful cotton fields!

Lots and lots of cotton!
Don't you just love the fancy designs on the
bridges and overpasses in Arizona and New

Another balancing rock!

Lots of big rocks in this part of Arizona.
Does the one on the right look like a turtle
to you?????

Because we all had to go to the bathroom we stopped at a gas station after about 2 hours and Ernie also filled up his truck with diesel when we had been driving about 2 hours.

We pulled into a rest stop around 11:45 and enjoyed the lunches we had packed.  Back on the road again and we continued heading south through almost the entire state of New Mexico! 

Welcome to New Mexico!

Lots of looooong trains in New Mexico!

This is one of many of these "shelters" for picnic tables
at a rest stop in New Mexico!

A great metal sculpture of a road runner along the highway!

We did stop at a Pilot close to the CG where we both got gas.  We arrived at El Paso West RV Park outside of Anthony, NM around 3:45 after driving 410 miles. We are within 2 miles of the border of Texas so 1st thing tomorrow morning we will have a time change and be in the Lone Star State!

The CG had pull through sites but because of the tightness and closeness of several trees, we had to disconnect the car!  That was a bit disappointing!  But we were set-up rather quickly because we will be leaving 1st thing in the morning and are not going to putting out anything extra inside or outside of Waldo!

The 4 of us did take a walk on a path that was across the street from the CG. Nothing too scenic, but at least we got some exercise after all that driving. After dinner and dishes, we went over to Ernie and Noela's and played a game of Skip-Bo which the men won easily.

By 8:30 we were back in Waldo so I could finish the blog and we could do some "map searching" for our trip east.  Texas certainly is a big state to cross!