Monday, April 01, 2013

No Longer Homeless

I know I’m skipping ahead by not telling you the details of our drive from Dallas to Mesa, AZ, but that’s not nearly as interesting as the fact that we bought a house today. We made the offer and it was accepted.

We’ve looked at several developments and found nice homes but nothing that WOW-ed us until we went to Crescent Run. We liked it almost immediately. The ambiance was beautiful.

The agent there showed us around the facilities before going out to see houses. Four ladies were playing Wii bowling in the lounge area. Others had just finished water aerobics at the pool. And the people were SO friendly!

We saw a  couple houses which just didn’t quite do it for us, but gave here an idea of what we were looking for. And then she took us to one listed by another realtor. WOW! Big WOW!

The owner lost her husband about a year ago and needed to sell the property. She came in and removed some of her belongings and left everything else to sell with the house. And it’s nice stuff, as you’re about to see. (A big plus since we did the same thing with our house in Florida and therefore don’t have any stuff!)

This is the front of the house with a double carport!


Here’s the living room and front entry. It’s got a good sized flat screen TV in there too. We wanted wood floors and here they are!


Here’s the kitchen. It’s got a gas stove which Julian really wanted.


There’s a dining room which I did not take a photo of, but the table and chairs are very nice, too.

Guest bedroom.


Master bedroom.


There’s a big walk-in closet off the master bedroom with tons of shelves and double rods.

It has a den which will become our office and possibly my craft area, too. We’ll have to figure out how that will all fit, but it could work.

Here’s the master bath. It has a big walk-in shower with 2 benches in it.


Look at this Arizona room. It’s got vinyl windows and even a shade on the back windows which face west. There’s even room for a hot tub!


And the storage shed is at least twice (if not three times) as big as any we’ve seen anywhere else. And look at all that storage. Julian’s in heaven!


It’s got a large capacity washer and dryer in a separate laundry room. There are two citrus trees in the (tiny) back yard, which will also provide some afternoon shade.

Check out the photos at the Crescent Run web site. Their amenities are head and shoulders above anything else we’ve seen here – very much like what we had at Royal Highlands. They have an RV storage area which is reasonably priced. They have six pool tables (Julian will use those), there are scrapbooking and Mah Jongg groups, water aerobics, shuffle board, just tons of activities. We even got free tickets for the party this next Saturday with a live band doing a tribute to the Beach Boys.

We’re SO excited. We could close as early as next Monday (4/8/13). We’ll take a few days to get moved in, but it shouldn’t take too long. Can’t wait.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Grand Kids

We left Galveston on Wednesday morning. We had to wait about an hour until the bad rain storm cleared and then we were off. We drove through Houston, which turned out to be no big deal in spite of late rush-hour fears. I-35 north to Dallas was not at all busy. But through Dallas, the traffic was a whole other story. It was rush hour there and very busy.

We got to the RV park and picked a site. It wasn’t as level as we’d hoped, but we got it handled. But sleeping was another story. The traffic on the road just over the fence from our bedroom was non-stop all night. Heavy trucks were a constant source of noise. So in the morning we looked at other sites and chose one further form the main road. It turned out to be more level, very quiet, and just what we needed.

On Thursday, we had lunch with some friends who used to live in Royal Highlands. We got to visit with them in their new home and enjoyed it all immensely. Thanks, Larry and Jeanne!

We spent the evening with Chris, Shadralon and the grandkids. What fun! Chrislon at 11 is barely a head shorter than me. He’s grown so much. Sha’Micah is 7 going on 30. She is so smart! We had a great time.

On Friday, Chris took us out to his work area at Love Field. He’d moved offices since we were there a few years ago. Plus he wanted us to meet some of his staff. Then we went to lunch with two ladies from his group whom we’d met when they were in Daytona Beach for a conference. It was fun seeing them again; they’re both so sweet.

Once the kids got out of school, we were back at their house. Then we headed out for dinner in Boyd, TX, an hour’s drive to the west. Chris wanted us to enjoy dinner at “gogo gumbo!”. Unfortunately, since there were six of us in our party we had to wait another hour to get a large enough table. But the food was really good and we totally enjoyed it.

We spent both Saturday and Sunday with the family. We ran some errands (we all needed to get some groceries). In the afternoon, we hung out with the kids. Chrislon showed his grandpa how he played his video games. Sha’Micah showed me her room, toys, and we watched a movie together. Grandpa and Chrislon played air hockey as seen in this fun photo.


Sha’Micah showed grandpa the book she’s writing. I’d seen it the night before while riding out to Boyd. It’s similar to “The Lion King” but in her own words. Plus she has drawn pictures illustrating the story on the page. I was VERY impressed.


Notice the sweatshirts and jackets! It was C O L D !!!! All mornings were in the low 30s when we got out of bed. Not good for us weenie ex-Florida people!

We went to dinner on Sunday evening at “Trail Dust Steak House” which just happened to be across the highway from our RV park. After eating, we all came back to our coach for desert. Julian makes great “Grandpa Specials”, made of ice cream, yogurt, granola, Oreos, graham crackers, whip cream or whatever else he can fit into the dish. It was the second night we’d done that and the kids loved it.

We managed to get a couple pictures of the family and us. Here’s one with mom and dad.


And this one includes the grandparents.


They loved Heidi, too. They are lobbying for a dog of their own at home.

We headed out on Monday morning. We’d sure enjoyed seeing the whole family and look forward to the next time. We love you guys!

Until my next installment: Happy trails, everyone.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Part Deux

We took another spin to the casino on Saturday morning, but had almost no luck at all. Some days are like that.

Then it was off to our next stop.The bulk of the day was spent on I-10 and I-12 across Louisiana. I have to say that these were some of the worst roads we’ve ever been on. Bump, bump, bump, bump… I don’t mean bump, pause, bump, pause, bump, pause. These were rapid and major, not great for driving your “house” down the road. We made it, though, and nothing was damaged.

At some point during the drive, Julian told me that we were officially going to have fun from here forward! No more problems! So far that’s been the case. I think getting out of familiar territory has helped us stop looking back and start looking forward to our new adventure. And hopefully all mechanical issues will be behind us as well.

So anyway, I had found 3 different Wal-Marts to spend the night at depending on how far we felt like driving. In the end we didn’t stop at any of them. Instead we chose an RV park in Sulphur, LA, just west of Lake Charles. They had cable and wi-fi, though neither were great. But it gave us electricity for TV and such.

Sunday was overcast making it cooler for the driving. We had a fairly short day, so weren’t in a big hurry to get going. And we still arrived in Dallenara RV Park on Galveston Island by about 2pm. This is a great park. We backed up right to the beach of the Gulf of Mexico. This is the view from our door.


Monday dawned with a lot of fog. We later found out that at this time of year, that is very common at the beaches. (It’s not completely gone, even as I write this in mid-afternoon.) In spite of the fog, we decided to ride the “Ducks” in Galveston. Once we moved inland and away from the beach, the fog was gone.

We traveled around Offats Bayou. These are a couple of the buildings that we saw.


The first is a restaurant that looked interesting. The second is someone’s home. That someone must be rich! We were accosted by these guys when we drove out of the bayou – almost ran over the biggest one.


Anyway, we progressed from there into town.  On the way, we passed several mansions. This one belongs to the Moody family – a name very big around these parts.


The downtown area is old and very interesting. It has great old buildings and architecture. Most house fun shops and eateries. Several had lines drawn on them indicating where the water level was after Hurricane Ike roared through a few years ago. While we were in the bayou, the driver stated that the bridge in this picture was completely under water then. (The water level was 16 feet higher!)


After the tour was over, we walked across the street to Fish Tales for lunch. Our waiter recommended the Shrimp Kisses. We found them on a seafood platter that we shared. The Kisses are shrimp stuffed with Jack cheese and wrapped in bacon, then fried. OMG, they were good… as were all the other items on the platter. Yum.

We’ll be here for another full day, but don’t yet have a plan. I’m sure we’ll come up with something to do. I’ll let you know!

Until then, happy trails to all of you.

Friday, March 15, 2013

And, So It Begins

Once again that old adage (it’s always something) has reared its ugly head. But at least this time, it wasn’t a BIG thing.

We were packed and ready to pull out of our site on Wednesday when I noticed that the steps had not retracted. Whaaaa??? Were they tired from not being used for 6 weeks?

Julian tried to get them up. When that failed he called the dealer for advice. Best he could offer was to disconnect the motor, pry them up, then wrap them till we could get the coach in to the shop. This was NOT an easy task, but we did get it done eventually.

It turned out to be a dislodged magnet. The steps didn’t know the door was closed, so wouldn’t retract. The dealer fixed that and we headed off… only to receive a call from the dealer saying that someone there noticed that our steps were not all the way up when we left. Whaaaa??

So we turned around – very fun in a 33’ coach pulling a car. Before returning to the shop, we saw decently priced gas and stopped to fill up first. Our various in and out of the coach caused the steps to retract properly. But not EVERY time. So we got to the shop and he says he doesn’t know what’s causing it and we should watch it closely. If they won’t retract, use another magnet to see if that will get them up. Not the most warm and fuzzy response. But it is something we can watch and hopefully keep ourselves out of trouble.

So instead of leaving at 8:30am, it was closer to 11am before we got on the road to start our big adventure.

We stopped a couple hours later, near Gainesville, for lunch. I took Heidi out for a much deserved walk. On my way back into the coach, I noticed that the rubber molding around the outside of the door was hanging down all across the top. As I tried to push it back into it’s track, Julian told me that the NuWave (our primary method of cooking) was not working… at all! This is all on top of suspicions that our ice maker is on the fritz. When it rains it pours.

So duct tape was installed to hold the molding in place till we can do it right. The sandwiches were heated in the microwave instead, leaving them a bit on the soggy side. And off we went.

The rest of the day’s trip was pretty uneventful, other than the constant head-wind across I-10. We arrived at our destination around 4:30 CDT. (We were glad to have the extra hour with all we’d been through.) The NuWave worked again, once on shore power rather than generator power used at lunch-time.

The park we stayed in  has a small restaurant – small in size but big on customers. We enjoyed a great meal for a very reasonable price. Then it was time for a good night’s rest.

Thursday morning dawned on the chilly side, around 40 degrees. But the sun was out and we were on the road by about 8:30am. It was an uneventful drive and we arrived in Pass Christian, MS, around 1:30pm.

Setting up proved to be a challenge. There was a constant drip in the water line, no matter what Julian did. In the end, we drove to a Home Depot and got a couple new parts for the water line. Once that was installed, it’s all good. But it took a couple hours to get there.

We got cleaned up and headed to the casino. After all, that’s why we planned the stop here. :-) We were home for dinner and a quiet evening of TV and early to bed.

It hasn’t been smooth so far, but we’re planning on much better days ahead.

Happy trails!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

If It’s Not One Thing…

That old saying is true: if it’s not one thing, it’s another. The saga of our RV problems continues.

On Friday, we broke camp and took the RV to the shop to get the dash air conditioner compressor replaced. This went well, if very slowly. Our appointment was at 8am and we were there well before that. Thus began another day of being “homeless”.

We stopped at the store for some paper goods and then went back to the campground and settled into the rec room. I brought my laptop, so we did some planning for the driving ahead as well as which campgrounds to stay at after leaving Missouri.

Heidi was really good. At this point in her life, her back legs cause her pain when she jumps down from anywhere, so she won’t do that. But she still jumps up with ease. So to keep her from going up the steps and us having to bring her back down, we put her on a chair and positioned it so she could see us. It took a while for her to settle in, but she did and was very good.

Julian and I played pool for a while. The table in the rec room isn’t very good – balls tend to curve if not going fast enough. It was something of an equalizer because I actually won several games of 9-Ball.

We got lunch at a drive through and brought it back to the rec room to eat. It was a little cooler, but still too hot to leave Heidi in the car for very long.

By about 1:30 we headed back to the shop and hung out in their waiting area. The coach was finally done and we left a little before 3:30. Back to the campground and back into our spot. We leveled and went about the rest of the setting up process.

Very soon, Julian came in to tell me we had another problem. Whaaaaaat?!?!?! One of the jacks had lost it’s hydraulic fluid and was slowly going back up, off the ground. This just happened to be the same jack that lost its foot and spring at the beginning of our trip. Good grief, Charlie Brown!

Having had it up to here with RV repairs, we’ve decided to just tough it out the rest of the way home and get it fixed later. So there will not be any perfect leveling in our future. It wasn’t that big of a deal earlier, so I think we’ll get through this, too. We just won’t be set up quite as solidly as usual, but that’s tolerable.

So today, we leave Acorn Acres and head to Cooper Creek Resort and Campground on Lake Taneycomo. Julian is excited to do more trout fishing and maybe get a meal out of the lake. That would be cool!

That’s it for this time. Just had to share.

Happy trails!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Summer Update – Part III

So I’ve told you all about our efforts to fish and all the RV problems. It’s time for what else we’ve been doing.

Our weather has been very hot and very dry. I think most every day of the past month (July) has been at least 100 degrees. We have an outdoor thermometer and can watch the real temps during the day. It’s oppressive. Outdoor activity is almost non-existent. We have been able to spend a few early evenings outside on days when it isn’t quite so hot and there is a consistent breeze.

When we must stay indoors, we’ve played a lot of Wii golf and bowling. We’ve had our ups and downs with those games, but have enjoyed that quite a bit. We also play cards some, but not as much.

We tend to go out in the mornings, if we go out at all. As you know we’ve done some fishing with very limited success. We do our shopping and errands in the morning and then have lunch somewhere while we’re out and about.

We’ve had some really good meals, too. Everything from Italian to Thai, from Mexican to Irish, and a couple trips to Chili’s. (We discovered a great sandwich there – the California Club. Yum!) But yesterday, we stumbled onto “the meal of the summer”. OMG! Good!

As part of our Coast to Coast membership, we have access to the Entertainment Book coupons throughout the country. Julian decided to check on what was available in Springfield since we were planning to go up there on a couple of errands. We found a place called “Trolley’s” and printed the coupon. But when we drove by, it was some other named restaurant. So I called the number. (We’ve been sent to closed restaurants before.) Yes, they were opened with a new name and menu and yes, they still honored the coupon. So we went in.

The ambiance was nothing special, though nice. Shortly after we ordered our drinks, they brought us a small sampling of beans. Strange, you say? Yeah, maybe… but they were awesome! Then we ordered our “sammiches”. It’s a 3-step process. You choose your meat from chicken, pork, beef, boneless ribs, or burnt ends. Then you choose your style – I had ribs with bourbon glaze and cheese and onion rings on it – Julian had burnt ends with a mushroom concoction. Lastly, you choose your side – we both ordered home made potato chips. When we started in on our food, we thought we were in heaven. I can’t tell you how much we enjoyed it. So if you are ever in Springfield, MO, go downtown to “Ry-Mac’s Rub N Pub”. You won’t be disappointed.

We’ve been out to “Ride the Ducks” twice since being here. Our first trip took us through historic Branson and to the College of the Ozarks in Hollister. This college is also known as Hard Work U – all students literally work their way through this school, putting in at least 16 hours per week above their classes and studies!


The campus was very pretty, very well kept. We’re planning to go there tomorrow for Sunday Brunch on campus. Much of the food is grown on site, so it should be an interesting experience.

If you are familiar with the “Ducks”, you always go into the local water. So after the city tour, we splashed into Lake Taneycomo. And I do mean splashed – we got wet! (It’s been so hot, though, that we really didn’t mind.)


Once off the Duck, we walked up and down Branson Landing, a new shopping area right on the lake. We had a very light lunch and then splurged on the biggest single dip ice cream cones I’ve ever seen.

Our second trip on the “Ducks” took us through the entertainment district. We crossed Table Rock Dam and then we splashed down into Table Rock Lake. And I do mean splashed! We were in the very back of the Duck and got a pretty serious back splash when we hit the water.

After a quick spin on the lake, we drove up to a clearing where they had a lot of old military vehicles on display, including an original duck used in WWII. The only picture I took was of this medical truck. They told us that this exact vehicle was used in the M*A*S*H TV show.


We haven’t done any of the shows here. A few years ago, we were here in December with a Good Sam group. We saw most of the big names then, including Andy Williams and Yakov Smirnov. We looked over the list and nothing jumped out at us, even though we know we would enjoy most any of the shows.

We’ve taken several drives to see the area. It’s very pretty here, even though the drought has the grasses pretty burned up. While driving around, we found two campgrounds that we are planning to spend a little time at before leaving the area. One I’ve mentioned is on Lake Taneycomo called Cooper Creek Resort & Campground. We’ll be able to fish for trout while there, which should be fun. The second is Mill Creek, which is a state park right on Table Rock Lake. Our site (#40) is parallel to the water and we can walk right down to the lake to fish. We’re hoping for cooler weather while there so we can sit outside more.

We’ve enjoyed the game room here at the campground. We have played pool in there a couple of times. It’s not a very good table, but I look at that as an equalizer against my very talented, pool shark of a husband! It’s fun and indoors with air conditioning, so that works.

We drove to Hollister, to the Keeter Center at the College of the Ozarks for a Sunday brunch. (Check out the link to see the cool building.) The food was very good, especially the desserts (Oreo Butter Cake = to die for). The staff (all students) were so friendly and helpful. I’d recommend having a meal there when in the area.

We hang around the coach quite a bit. So there’s always time for reading books, napping, whatever we feel like in the afternoons.  I’ve been making cards – I’m doing a craft show in early November. We’ve been watching the Olympics some – go Team USA. And then there’s all the normal stuff: laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning and the like. I had planned to do some knitting, but my tendonitis just won’t allow it. (I’m very seriously planning on getting a shot when we get home.)

We’re having visitors tomorrow. My brother and his wife will be here from Lincoln, NE. It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen them and we’re looking forward to a great visit.

We won’t have wi-fi for the four days we’re at Mill Creek. And once we leave there, we’ll be heading back towards Florida with an ETA of August 27.

That’s all the news for right now. You are pretty caught up with our summer if you’ve read this and the last 2 posts.

Happy trails!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Summer Update – Part II

On July 5, we headed south to Acorn Acres RV Park & Villas in Branson West. It was a very hot day, like all of them seem to be, and we were sure glad when the set-up process was finished. Here’s what our home-away-from-home looks like.


On the drive down there, we noticed a noise in the front end of the coach. It seemed to go away at times, but it was a nagging issue. In the next couple of days, Julian did a number of things to try to diagnose it, and decided it must be a belt – something that had to be fixed prior to driving any further distances.

We scheduled a 9:00am appointment with a local repair shop. So that morning, we packed up the coach and were ready to head out by 8:40. The engine would not start – not even turn over. He tried the bypass switch to let the starter use the house batteries. Still nothing. After calling the insurance people, a tow truck came out to try to get it started. Again, nothing. That tow truck wasn’t big enough to pull us, so we waited another half hour or so till a heavy duty tow truck could come in. He got us hooked up and very skillfully pulled us out of the park, down to the repair shop.

After a morning of diagnosis, we were told that 1) the starter was bad and 2) the clutch on the dash air conditioner was out, the cause of the noise we heard. The starter was found locally (thankfully) and was installed the same day. The clutch had to be ordered and wouldn’t be available for several days!

We had hoped to get that installed on our way out of town, but the 3rd party warranty company wouldn’t leave the ticket open that long. So, again, we broke camp and headed to the repair shop. The job was expected to take 3 to 4 hours. We found things to do and then returned after lunch to learn that the old clutch was frozen to the compressor. They had ruined several tools in their efforts to get it off. Oh, no!

They cleared it with the warranty people and ordered a compressor to be installed when we are ready to leave this campground. So hopefully we’ll get it completely handled at our next appointment on August 10. Cross your fingers, please. It’s been a crazy summer for mechanical issues.

Aside from all that, the heat here (everywhere) has been unbelievable. It’s been about 3 weeks of triple digit temps, which makes it tough to find things to do. It’s just too hot!

We have done a little fishing and may be on to something, finally. We went to Table Rock Lake and looked at a couple places where we could get down to the water, outside of Kimberling City. We fished the first of those two and got a couple of bites. The problem was the large rocks everywhere, making it difficult to get around. The rocks extended into the lake and we lost more than one hook while there.


We went to the second location the same day. It was gravel, not rock and much easier to deal with. We even had a couple bites. When we ran out of worms, we had to leave. We returned a few days later and had a really good time. We didn’t bring anything home, but we caught 2 catfish, 2 sunfish, 1 bluegill and a small turtle (oops). All swam away, back into their home.



We also went to Lake Taneycomo, on the south side of Branson. We found a public access area and attempted to catch some trout. It didn’t work out, but we did find a great campground next door. We’ve decided to spend 4 nights there, right on the lake, before leaving the area. Fishing every day! Well, for one of us anyway.


Stay tuned. My next update will include some of the fun things we’ve done in addition to fishing and coach repairs. Honest, we have had some fun and had some great meals out, too.

Happy trails!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Summer Update – Part 1

Yes, I know – it’s long overdue. I haven’t been motivated, primarily because we haven’t done a lot that was news-worthy. We aren’t traveling around like some other summers, nor are we doing a great deal of sight-seeing. We do have some pictures to share and I’ll try to get you caught up on at least part of the last month and a half.

One thing we hoped to do a lot of this summer was fishing. We’ve been around a lot of water, but it wasn’t easy to get to in a lot of cases.

One place we did get to, was the Osage River, just below the dam which creates the Lake of the Ozarks. Here’s Julian, hard at work trying to catch something. You can see the dam in the background.


We didn’t catch any fish that day. We returned to the same spot one other morning. We didn’t catch anything then, either, but we did have an experience. We heard the horns blow, but didn’t really know what it meant. Others there told us it meant that they were going to be releasing water from the dam. Being less than a mile from the dam meant we needed to get our stuff and move to higher ground. No fooling! By the time we got the gear into the car, the water level had risen quite a bit. Julian’s pole was now in the water! We got everything picked up and headed out. Our campground was less than 2 miles downstream, on  the same river, and by the time we got home we could see that the water had risen several feet. It didn’t last, but it was an interesting thing to experience.

There is a pond behind our campsite that reported had fish in it. Julian fished it without success, until one night when he left the baited hook in the water overnight. The next morning there was a catfish on the line. He didn’t keep it, thinking there would be more to come.

The campground had a dock right on the river, complete with a cleaning station. Julian went down there early one morning. He caught this awesome sunrise, but didn’t bring home any fish.


My very best friend, Judy, stopped in to spend a night with us shortly after we got to the Ozarks. She had been to Louisiana for a class reunion and stopped here on her way home to Colorado. It was so great to see her. We talked and talked and had a great time.

Our neighbors from Florida joined us at the campground for a full week. On July 2, the four of us rented a pontoon and went out on the Lake of the Ozarks. We had a blast. We did get a few bites, but no fish that we could keep, unfortunately. It was a totally fun day in spite of the lack of fish.


The weather has been super dry and very hot. When we arrived at Riverview Campground, there was green grass. We even had one day of rain. But by the time we left on July 5, the grass was pretty well burned to a crisp. It was sad to see it happen.

While in the Lake of the Ozarks area, we found some great food (as usual). So many places on the lake to choose from! We mostly ate out for lunches and often split a meal. (That’s better for our waist-lines.) I don’t think we got around to going to all the places that we thought looked really good. So many restaurants, so little time.

One day we drove north to Boonville, MO. They were having a celebration, complete with craft and food booths and a parade. It didn’t take long to get through the booths and the parade was primarily slow moving fire trucks. So we headed to the casino. (Yes, that was in the plan anyway.) We didn’t do very well, but we did have a good time.

Due to a number of factors unforeseen at the beginning of our trip, we decided NOT to spend the originally planned two months there. So we took a couple of days to find someplace we’d rather stay. We put a lot of miles on the car. It took some real work, but we finally found Acorn Acres in Branson West. That would be our next stop.

More to come in the near future. Till then: Happy Trails!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Let’s Get This Summer Started!

It’s amazing that it’s been a week and a half already since we left home in the RV. Time flies when you’re having fun, that’s for sure.

We went as far as Bonifay, FL, (in the panhandle) on that first day. The campground where we stayed had recently opened a small restaurant. We had planned to eat in, but the prices couldn’t be beaten, so we enjoyed New Orleans fare, right there in small-town Florida.

The next morning we pulled up stakes and went on to Pass Christian, MS. As we were laying out the boards that always go under our jacks, I realized that one of the jacks was missing it’s “foot”. (We have no idea when or  how this happened.) When Julian heard my “oh, no!” he came quickly. We decided that it wasn’t smart to put down any of the jacks in case we had trouble getting them to come back up. Fortunately, our site was pretty level, so it wasn’t a major problem.

Here’s a photo of the footless jack. Looks kinda naked, doesn’t it!


Here’s what a healthy jack should look like.


We called around and talked to a very nice fella who would have come to the campsite to install the parts. However, no one had the foot and spring we needed. So we called ahead to where we planned to be in Missouri and had them order the parts. Then we went about our business and enjoyed a few days in south Mississippi.

You all know we enjoy gambling, so it won’t be a surprise to you that we spent some time at a casino in Gulfport, just up the road. We did pretty well the first day, leaving only $10 behind. Things didn’t go quite as well after that. But we really had fun.

We also found some great restaurants. It’s one of our favorite pastimes. Julian was able to have a full pound of crawfish while I enjoyed a shrimp poboy at one of our lunches. We also had our favorite Garlic Parmesan boneless wings at Hooters.

On Monday, June 4, we pulled up stakes again and headed north. We spent that night in Lake Village, AR, at a nice little park we’d stayed at once before.

We had planned to take two more days to get to Lake of the Ozarks, MO. But once we got rolling, we decided to just keep moving. It was well over 400 miles, which is a long day for us, but we arrived at Riverview RV Park in Lake Ozark, MO, at a little after 5pm on Tuesday. Home sweet home for the next couple of months.

As we were driving the last hundred miles or so, we got a call from the RV shop that they had located the parts and they could be here by Friday. So when we got to our campsite, we did only a partial set-up. When ya gotta pull it all up to go in for service, there’s no point in doing it all up front.

We had everything in order by lunchtime on Wednesday, so decided to go find the local Wal-Mart and take care of the very long grocery list. It was good to get out and see the area a little bit, too. We had stayed in this area several years ago. Now there’s a new highway running through town and nothing looks the same. Progress!

We spent Thursday driving around the area. We wanted to check out the state park and some other areas. Once we got off the major highway, things were a little more as we had remembered. The towns have grown, though, and that not all bad.

Friday we went to Bagnell Dam, which is what created the Lake of the Ozarks in the first place. Actually, it’s only a couple miles from where we are staying. We are looking for places to fish. With all this water, one wouldn’t think it would be so hard. Not having a boat definitely complicates matters. But after asking several people, we found a boat ramp with a possible area close by. We also found our way into another campground and talked to the lady there. They allow anyone to come in to fish their riverbanks for $2 a day. Not bad, really.

We stopped at a “Scenic Overlook” of the Bagnell Dam. It was not what we had expected. It looked almost straight down on the road atop the dam. You couldn’t see either side of the dam. I was hoping to see the spillway on the river side, but it was not to be. We took the camera, but it wasn’t really worth taking a photo of. Maybe when we find a fishing spot on the river, we’ll also get a better view of the dam. Maybe.

The fishing we’d hoped for right here at our campground isn’t going to be as easy as planned. The river seems to be very low and it’s hard to get too – very rocky through here. There is a dock and that may be one venue we’ll use. It’s very steep getting down to it and there’s NO shade to be found. We’ll try it, though. Julian tried the fishing pond right behind out site. He said all he got were bites that took his bait. He figures they were all pretty little fish anyway.

The park is really nice. We have a very wide site and can park the car next to the coach, rather than in front of it. We get wonderful shade in the mid to late afternoons. It’s wonderful to sit out there overlooking the fishing pond. Here’s a couple shots of our view of the pond.


The photos were taken from our chairs in the shade. Not too shabby, huh?

So this morning (Saturday) we pulled up and drove the 15 miles down to the RV center where they put the new foot and spring onto that jack. Then it was back home to set up once again. It’s nice to have the coach level and not rocking anymore. Julian has unpacked all that was transported in the back of the car. So now we’re all settled in and ready for whatever comes next. (I even did the laundry this afternoon.)

Tomorrow, we’re hoping to do more fishing reconnaissance and have a nice lunch out. There are a couple shops we want to visit too, so we’ll have a busy day.

Thanks for stopping by. Happy trails!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Our Weekend with Glen Campbell

OK, so it wasn’t a whole weekend – actually only about an hour and a half. But what a fun weekend it was!

We left on Friday morning for Silver Springs (just west of Ocala, FL) with another couple. We both took our motor homes and stayed at the RV part right across the street from Silver Springs Park. This was a very short drive, so we got there in time to do our setting up and then headed into Ocala for lunch.

Yes, it was another “food fest” kind of weekend. We had Thai food at a place we had eaten at once before. It was all good.

After a bit of “down time”, we got together to play cards. Our friends taught us a new game called “George”. It was lots of fun, even if it did take us a while to catch on. I think they were taking advantage of the “new guys”, cuz we weren’t even close to winning.

Then it was time for dinner. We went to another restaurant that Julian & I had visited in the past, called the Braised Onion. Another great meal! Julian says they serve the best fried chicken he’s ever had.

The campground held a breakfast on Saturday morning. For two dollars each, we got our choice of waffles or pancakes plus two sausages, coffee and orange juice. What a deal! And it was good, too.

Then it was time to take our chairs to set up for the afternoon concert at Silver Springs. We drove over and were inside the park by about 9:15am. We found what we hoped was a good spot and set up the lawn chairs to hold our place till the outdoor concert at 3pm.

We spent the next couple of hours walking the park and enjoying all its beauty. This park is “Nature’s Theme Park”. And this is one reason it’s called that.


Our first stop was the giraffe. We got there just as they were getting ready to feed him. But he was more interested in us and we got up close and personal. (Boy! Do giraffes stink!)


Then we took the Jeep ride through the back area of the park, something Julian and I had not yet done. It was a bumpy ride, but fun to see some of the other animals.


The next stop was the bear exhibit, one of the largest in the country. The bears were out and we enjoyed watching them. This guy had his breakfast and then took a bath. He weighs almost 1300 pounds. (Yeah, he can do whatever he wants!)



We ambled back to the front of the park and then took the glass bottom boat ride. Unfortunately, our captain was the least informative of any we’ve experienced in our times there. We still saw the sights and lots of fish and turtles.

It was lunch time, so we headed out of the park to a restaurant Julian found online, but we hadn’t gone to yet. It turned out to have really good food. Unfortunately, the crawfish special he’d read about was only on Sundays. But he thoroughly enjoyed what he had instead.

We all took a little down-time again before walking back to the park to see the concert. Our chairs were right where we’d left them and the positioning looked even better. Season pass holders (such as ourselves) are allowed into the park an hour before the public. So, when Julian counted, we were in the seventh row from the front of the stage. This is how close we were to the outdoor stage.


The show started promptly at 3pm. After a few quick announcements Glen Campbell came on stage… and the fun began. He sang all his old standards and a few songs off his new album. We all enjoyed it tremendously.


I don’t think his Alzheimer’s showed up very much. He occasionally needed to be prompted for the next song on the program. He messed up the words only a couple of times that I could tell. He uses prompters which were set at a mid-point, under the roof of the outdoor stage. He often came further forward to get “closer to his audience” and that was when he had a harder time. He seemed to handle it all with a lot of humor. We all loved it, and his illness just didn’t matter to anyone.

His daughter and two sons were in his band, playing and singing backup. At one point, Glen and his daughter, Ashley, did “Dueling Banjoes”. That man can still pick a guitar! There were no slip-ups there. And is daughter is very talented in her own right. She plays keyboards and sings in addition to playing the banjo.


As with most concerts, it was sad when the end actually came. He performed for well over an hour and that’s about as good as it gets. Here’s the group taking their final bow. The sons are wearing the black shirt (beside Glen) and a gray shirt (on the far right).


I would recommend seeing this “Farewell Tour” if you get the opportunity. It was a great time and songs were terrific. And, unfortunately, new chances won’t be coming our way.

After the show, we picked up our chairs and walked back across the street to our campground. Kudos to the park and the local police who had traffic direction which helped the masses get across the street without incident.

Our last dinner was at Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille. It was another culinary delight. We’d eaten there before at lunch, so this was our first dinner. It was every bit as good and very plentiful.

After our first home-cooked meal for Sunday breakfast, it was time to clean up, pack up and head home. What a great weekend it was!