Our Awesome Travels

Our Awesome Travels
Taken In Quartzsite Arizona Dec 7th 2015

Monday, November 02, 2009

November 2009

View Winter 2009-10 in a larger map
Visitor Number hit counters
Notice the controls for this New Map on the left side, you can zoom into different areas of the map and see where we are or have been.
"On the Road Again"
Mon. Nov. 30th 293 miles today Overcast today and cool. But we are on the move for a couple of days. We left The Resort at 9.10am and headed to I-10. Texas is a huge state with I-10 heading right where we want to go. It is windy with a few hills and excellent road. The speed limit is 80 MPH and we travel about 68mph a nice pace. At one point we passed a State Trouper with his radar gun pointing out the window. And I commented to Suzie who is going to speed here when the limit is 80 mph (128 KPH)? I just got the words out of my mouth and a pickup flew by us like we were standing still, with the Trooper in hot pursuit, pulling him over a couple of miles down the road. At 3.00pm we stopped at the Pecos County Rest Area for the night. We relaxed, checked email and heated up some left over pineapple chicken and rice for supper then watched some TV before turning in for the night. Gonna be frost tonight so we set up our Catalytic heater to keep us toasty warm! Mon. Pics
At The Summit Resort New Braunfels Texas.
Sun. Nov. 29th Over cast and drizzly all day today but warm , so we relax, do laundry read a bit and get ready to hit the road in the morning. Supper tonight is a customized Hamburger Helper and garlic bread so we can have some left overs on the road. Two more days thru Texas and New Mexico on I-10 then Benson Arizona for a week and then heading to Mexico with Larry and Marilynn Vanstone, a great couple and leader of the pack!! Check their Blog too, The Amazing Vanstones. Sat. Nov. 28th Another bright and sunny day about 72f (23c). Putter around a bit, chat with a few neighbours and watch some deer early in the morning. A bit more research on the computer planning our trip to Mexico, and read outside for a while in the afternoon. I also picked up a few items at the grocery store and had an oil change done on our car at the Shell Quick Lube in town. Supper tonight was pineapple chicken with brown rice and garlic bread w/cheese. Fri. Nov. 27th "Black Friday" This day is known in the USA as Black Friday and is so named for the huge sales that all stores have and promotions etc.... Meaning most businesses actually operate in the Black instead of the Red making huge profits in one day. Some stores opening in the wee hours of the morning, people lining up to be the first in and some excellent deals to be had if you care to deal with the crowds. Well we live in a small house and don't need to purchase anything until it wears out (one in one out) so we stay at home, putter about, read and enjoy the sunshine and quietness of the campground, before the weekend campers begin to arrive. If you remember back on Nov. 12th I replaced the pump from out fresh water holding tank with a new one. I always said a spare one would be good. So I kept the old one (10 years old) and today took it apart and found a ceased bearing in the motor. With a little cleaning up and lubrication I got it working, so I now have a spare 12 volt water pump also handy for transferring liquids from one container to another. By later afternoon the weekend campers began arriving and setting up, so much so that we saw no deer tonight. But we did enjoy a nice supper of BBQ'd pork chops, roasted potatoes and corn. Thurs. Nov 26th Happy Thanksgiving to all our American friends. Turkey Day, a good day to relax and be thankful for everything that we have, our health, freedom, family and friends. We relaxed for the day , puttered around, did more research reading and walkabout a bit. I even gave myself a hair cut with Suzie's help. The deer showed up again in time for supper about 5.00pm wandering thru the campground, such a beautiful sight. Our turkey dinner today was a delicious roasted duckling with orange sauce, rice pilaf and corn very tasty!!! Wed. Nov. 25th The morning started off with a heavy frost on the car until the sun came over the hill to warm things up. Today we take a drive to San Antonio about 1 hour away. The next few days will be busy there (or closed) as Thursday is Thanksgiving Day and then black Friday (all the stores go nuts with sales). We went to the Riverwalk and strolled past the shops and restaurants enjoying the nice day and atmosphere. At noon we decided to stop at Joe's Crab Shack for lunch, here we choose the "Beantown Bake" a large roastpan filled with (steamed) 2 whole lobsters, 12 clams, 6 shrimp, 1 large sausage, 2 potatoes and corn on the cob, all for a very reasonable price. With our bibs on we proceeded to make a mess of it all, while enjoying the activites and people on the river. Again no supper tonight. Afterwards we walked the whole walkway working off lunch and enjoying the scenery. On the way home we stopped at Office Max for ink and paper for our printer and Target store for a few items.We have noticed a lot of the pickup trucks in Texas with these huge front bumpers, not sure of why but they are impressive. Once home we sat in the warm sun reading until about 5.15pm and noticed a few deer strolling behind our coach just grazing on the grass, so peaceful. Then inside to read and relax on a cool evening. Wed. Pics Tues. Nov. 24th Bright sunny and warm today. Off on a Road trip to Luckenbach Texas the route as we saw on that link at 10.00am. Well, outside the campground we turned the wrong way and had an amazing drive along river road in the wrong direction for about an hour. We finally realized that we were really taking the scenic route and eventually got back on coarse. Driving some beautiful winding roads thru hills, valleys and dips. Dips are where the road dips to a low spot and when there is heavy rains they flood, as you can see by the rain gauge that are mounted there. We passed some large horse ranches and lots of impressive farm gate entrances, a few ghost towns, abandoned buildings, and ancient structures. Like the Old Farm Stead, the Grapetown School and the only railroad tunnel in Texas, 920 feet long and closed in 1942. It is now a bat cave. Finally arriving at Luckenbach Texas (population 3, plus chickens wandering about). We checked the Post Office with a small bar at the back and country music pickin going on. The dance hall, outdoor bar,restaurant and stage were interesting. There is usually concerts, bands, dances special events and weddings etc.. happening on the weekends when this place would be packed. This town was purchased by Hondo Grouch in 1970 and began with events happening year round and became famous when Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings played here in the mid 70's and recorded their hit song Luckenbach Texas ( Back to the Basics of Love)Lyrics . After leaving here we stopped in Blanco at the Sunset Restaurant and Bar for a huge burger and fries for lunch,(no supper tonight!). Then on to Canyon Lake to see then dam and Gorge there. Followed by a short drive back home about 4:15pm. Once here we saw many curious deer wandering about the campground, what a beautiful sight. Then relax for the evening as things cooled down. Tues Pics. Mon. Nov. 23rd 286 miles today After a good nights rest at the Flying J we were on the road at 8.15 am, wanting to go thru Houston after rush hour. Bright and sunny day, nice for driving and very little traffic thru Houston,on I-10 with its major multi lane highways (as many as 14 in one place), over passes, nice scenery, no delays. We arrived at the Summit Resort near New Braunfels in (Texas Hill Country) about 1.45pm. After checking in we set up on a nice site backing onto the river (not much water in it right now), nestled between wooded hills with lots of deer wandering thru the campground. I checked out the resort with beautiful swimming pools, hot tubs, mini golf, two restaurants, and many cabins by the river. It is pretty quiet (nice) here, but is only monday just before Thanksgiving day (thursday) I expect it to be busier by then. It was about 82f (26c) for the afternoon and a later sunset , about 5.30pm. For supper we made fish & chips, from the many fillets of perch & crappie we had in the freezer from Galvin Bay last August. Oh so good!!! then relax for the evening. Mon. Pics Sun. Nov. 22nd 250 miles today Slightly overcast in the morning but not raining. We were on the road by 9.15 am along I-12 to I-10 Arriving at the Flying -J Orange Texas about 3.00pm. We made good time across 20 miles of bridge thru the Louisana Swamps, a little light rain but mostly sunsine and warm temperatures. Just before the Texas state line there was a slow down for construction and it took us 1 hour to travel 5 miles, ( Suzie even drove our coach for while). At the flying - J we fueled up $2.39 a gallon (.66 cents a litre), settled in and roasted a cornish hen, potatoes, and carrots (with our Swiss Chalet sauce). Then watched some tv before turning in for the night. Sun. Pics
We are at Abita Springs Louisiana.
Sat. Nov. 21st Overcast and rainy all day today, A short walkabout between raindrops, a quick trip to the store, some more research, and an afternoon movie on tv (something we have not done for quite a while). Supper tonight was a delicious dinner at the clubhouse BBQ'd steak cooked to order (melt in your mouth), baked potato, salad, buns and chocolate cake for desert. Then back home Angelo dropped by to share a bottle of Sambuca with us, a nice tasty treat before we hit the road in the morning. Fri. Nov. 20th Nice sunny morning, no wind. About 6.30 am a tree removal crew came into the campground. About 50 feet in front of us , I watched them set up, and trim a very tall pine tree, by the washrooms. Amazing to see him swing around the tree so high up on a rope, with spikes in his boots and a chainsaw. By 7.30 that tree was down in sections then on to the tree beside our coach, about 20 feet away. Near the top he trimmed a few branches tied a rope that came down a tree behind us, and tied to their truck. Cutting it off at the base, down came the whole tree right beside our coach,sure glad these guys know what they are doing. During all this an ambulance came to the site 2 down from us put the woman on a stretcher and took her away. She was home by noon and fine, dislocated her hip. By 8.00am everything was done and quiet. An entertaining morning to say the least. After a little shopping and lunch we did laundry and read outside for a while. Then for supper we were invited to Jon and Angelo's for a delicious philly cheese steak sandwich and salad. Followed by another campfire and chatting with the neighbours. Fri. Pics Thurs. Nov. 19th Bright and sunny , about 70f most of the day today. A nice morning walkabout the pond with the still water and beautiful reflections. A few ripples as the ducks swam across to see me and even came out of the water to follow me down the path. Then over to Jon and Angelos for a delicious breakfast of sweet potato waffles, sausage and poached eggs. After puttering around a bit, we went to Abita Springs Brewery with Jon, Tim and Ellen. Here we had a chance to sample their 12 different brews, see a video on the companies history and a short tour of their facilities with a tour guide and Brewmaster. Also enjoying their beautiful patio and bar. Ellen was the designated driver consuming only their famous Root Beer. We returned back to camp, sat outside and read for a while then BBQ'd green onion sausage with rice and a salad. Afterwards we attended a nice campfire hosted by Jon and Angelo with 4 other couples, to chat and enjoy a nice mild evening. Thurs. Pics Wed. Nov 18th Sunny and warmer again, I puttered around this morning, wax our coach a bit enjoying the nice weather outside. After lunch we took a short drive with Jon and Angelo to the Pontchartrain Vineyards (the only vineyard in Louisiana) to sample some of their wines and listen to the history of their business. Some very nice wines. Afterwards we sat outside and read for a while, then out for supper with them at the Bonefish Grill to celebrate 19 years together for us and 30 years for them. The food there awesome, we were not disappointed. From the Bang-Bang shrimp, Mussels Josephine, Oysters, Scallops, Shrimp, Lobster and Maui-Maui amazing fresh seafood. Then on the way home we passed the Christmas lights being set up in the Park at Abita Springs, very nice. Wed. Pics Tues. Nov. 17th Cooler today, not much over 60f (15c) with a bit of breeze. There was a large trailer and truck packing up, so I watched them load up their Smart Car onto the back of the truck and took a few pictures. Nice but a lot more than we need. Then I went to the Winn-Dixie for a few groceries and found a store where I could buy more cord to restring our venetian blinds, it has been hard to find. So I picked up 70 yards to keep on hand. I had just shown Angelo how to restring their day/night shade yesterday, I'm getting used to that now, I have restrung about 8 so far. Later on we read for a while, chatted with neighbours, happy hour then BBQ'd chicken breast, roasted potatoes and baby carrots with honey for supper. Tues. Pics Mon. Nov. 16th Nice and warm today around 75f (25c) mostly, we puttered around and read for a while, chatted with a few neighbours and about 4.00pm sat under the awning listening to the very heavy rainfall for a while. Once the water got to about 2 inches deep, we went inside and made a hot beef, gravy, mashed and squash for supper and stayed dry. Sun. Nov. 15th "N'awlins" here we come. Very foggy this morning, but the sun will burn that off and up to 77f (24c) for most of the day. At 9.00am we left with Jon and Angelo for New Orleans (N'awlins) in particular the French Quarter. They have lived in the area for more than 25 years and knew it quite well. Jon was our tour guide/talking map with a mountain of information to make our day enjoyable. Across the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway we drove (the longest in the world over open water 23.87 miles) into New Orleans we passed huge pipes on the side of the road and were told these are hooked to huge pumps that keep New Orleans from flooding inside the levys. All of the sights and sounds, smells were interesting and fun. The famous Cafe du Monde had a very long line up so we passed it by and checked out many more areas. Cruising Royal Street with their artsy shops and Bourbon St. with Bars and other stuff... all was interesting. Music, entertainment was everywhere. We toured the French Market and a nice lunch there on the sidewalk. We shared a Catfish Po-boy and Alligator bites (tastes like chicken). Afterwards we walked about some more then returned back home across the long causeway to relax for the evening. This was our 6th trip into the "big Easy" and it never ceases to amaze us with new things to see especially with a free guided tour.. Sun. Pics Sat. Nov. 14th Bright sunny and warm day. A nice morning walkabout around the ponds with the perfect mirror reflections of the trees and rv's, ducks and egrets by the pond very peaceful. About 9.00 am we went to Covington (10 minutes away) to check out the saturday market and Art Festival, a nice to tke in the local events. There was fresh produce, seafood and baked goods. Even a vendor giving free samples a bowl rice,beans,sweet potato and BBQ'd pig, very tasty, promoting their restaurant. The above ground cemetery and many blocks of artsy things was enjoyable as was the sweet smell of kettle corn, even a large trailer getting set up to make pizza and the sounds of live bands playing makes a festive outing. Back to Abita Springs we stopped at the Vegetable Market where we sampled Satsumas for the first time. These are loose skinned manadarins that are grown only in southern Louisiana, extremely sweet, no seeds yummy and very juicy. In the town Square was the Abita Springs Water Festival and Trailhead opening. With music, food and craft vendors even play areas for children and a splash pad. Back home we relaxed outside a read for a while until friends Jon & Angelo arrived with their trailer. They got set up chatted for a while then they joined us for supper of a Back Bacon Roast, garlic mashed potatoes, squash with brown sugar and butter and a garlic loaf. Nice to catch up with friends again. Sat. Pics Fri. Nov. 13th Another nice day about 75(23c) mostly. We had another defective LED bulb (for inside reading, it uses 1/10 of the battery power) that we purchased 2 years ago in Arizona. I emailed the company (in California) was told to mail it back and they will replace it free. So off to the post office to send it out, they will mail to Benson Arizona when we are there in 3 weeks. These really conserve power when we are dry camping (no hook-ups). I went to pick up a few groceries and check out the tourist centre for local information. After lunch we went to a local book store in Mandeville to exchange a few books. 20 finished Novels for another 2o unread by us, these book exchanges are good deals. Afterwards back home to sit outside and read for a bit, (getting dark about 5.00pm) then supper of a pot roast (done in the slow cooker) with potatoes and veggies, yorkshire pudding and gravy. Thurs. Nov. 12th $79.00 day After the time change we were up early as was the sun (about 6.00am), it gets dark just after 5.00pm now. I went for an early morning walkabout the resort enjoying the fresh air and nice scenery. Once it warmed up I set to work to check out the water pump for the fresh water tank. Everything checked fine except the pump won't pump, the date on says its was 11 years old so off to Camping World in Hammond. Here I found the exact same pump (brand new on the shelf), only $79.00 so..while there I found a replacement BBQ only $79.00 ($179.00 in Canada), our poor Barbie was about 30 years old and in need of many new parts that had worn out, so this made good sense too. Back home I installed the new water pump and assembled our new Barbie, relaxed for bit chatting with a neighbour. Then christened Barbie with BBQ'd pork chops and baked potatoes, Wow !! I forgot how nice it was to have a hot BBQ to cook on. Thurs. Pics. Wed. Nov. 11th Remembrance Day 455 miles today On the road to Abita Springs (New Orleans area) today. We were packed up and on the road by 8.15am. A long drive, but we choose to by pass Fort Walton Beach (because of the Hurricane aftermath) and go directly to Abita Springs. The roads were good as was the weather, mostly sunny and warm. It was I-1o all the way thru the Florida Panhandle, Alabama, Mississippi to Louisiana. I-10 goes right from the Florida coast to Los Angeles California and we have travelled all of it. A few nice rest areas to stop at and stretch. We fueled up at the Flying J in Mobile Alabama $2.45 a gal. (.67 cents a litre Canadian at 4% exchange). Arriving at Abita Springs resort it was 5.15pm (4.15pm local time) we were greeted by Renea, Lamar and her sisters making us feel very welcome. After setting up we heated a spaghetti casserole with garlic bread for a nice supper and relaxing evening. Wed.Pics
We are at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park , Live Oak FL. "Way down upon the Suwannee River"
Tues.Nov.10th Over cast, and warm. We decide to stay one more night here, then west to New Orleans area Wed. morning after IDA has gone by. Rain start about 1:30pm for the rest of the day. We had spaghetti with sausage/ mushroom sauce and garlic bread with cheese for supper, then relax more for the evening with a good tv show. Mon. Nov. 9th Overcast and warm all day today. We did some more research and bike riding and walkabouts in the park, just enjoying the warm weather. Sat out reading for a bit in the afternoon, then BBQ'd a cornish hen, cut up with shake & bake, homemade fries and more squash. Some television afterwards and to bed on a warm sticky night, windows open and fan on, nice!!! Sun. Nov. 8th Bright, sunny and warm is the order of business today. A lot of people now packing up their golf carts, bicycles, dining tents and moving out, back to school , work etc... Getting quieter now and we are enjoying the outside with a walkabout, a bike ride and reading in the shade. Supper was BBQ'd garlic sausage, rice and squash. I went to the gas station across from the campground the other day to see what they sell and they have everything there, including beer, but no wine or Liquor. After inquiring the lady says just go one mile down the road, across the river. And there in the bush is "Across the River Liquors", not real original but sure fits. Sat. Nov. 7th The campground is pretty busy this morning once the sun came up. A lot of families with children and bicycles and Golf carts. Golf carts of every size shape, colour, from 2 to 6 passengers, fancy wheels and even loud stereo systems, all over the place. Being such a huge place I guess there is a need for them (nobody walks anymore). We puttered around again outside enjoying the warm weather. Read for a while and a bike ride. Then BBQ a filetmignon, baked potato and squash for supper. Sat. Pics Fri.Nov. 6th Again nice day close to 80f (25c). We got our bicycles and went for a nice ride around this huge campground. Checking out some different camping areas and sites. They have horse camping here as well, an area where people can bring in their horses and trailers, camp with other horse people. They also have stables here as well and trail rides available, with numerous horse trails throughout the park. We stopped and talked to a few people while a horse attempted to eat the mirror on Suzie's bike. Ridng around enjoying the sights, sounds and nice views of the Suwannee River. Back home we chatted with some neighbours and ran into a couple that we met at Lazy Lakes (Lewiston New York) a few years ago. After reading for a while we decided to go to the Music Hall for supper (wings, fries, philly steak wrap and salad) and check out the band Southern Rukus . They were very good and we had another nice evening out in the campground. Fri. Pics Thurs. Nov. 5th Another bright, sunny, warm morning about 78f (24c) most of the day. I went for a nice walkabout and explored a bit more, checked out the pool, sandbag house, and various signs for directions. Back home I disassembled our venetian blind by the dinnette, restrung and cleaned it and the valance. I now have restrung 5 of the blinds and it gets easier every time, only the small one by the kitchen sink is left to do when it breaks. While waiting for them to dry I also changed our water filter cartridge. We sat outside to read a bit in the shade again then had supper of left over meatloaf w/gravy, fried potatoes and corn. Afterwards to the Music Hall for Karaoke night (no we don't sing). The hall was opened larger and quite a few more tables occupied. A $5.00 cover charge again was deducted from our food and drink order. Many singers took on the stage and were very good especially a young boy and the host, an Elvis impersonator who was very entertaining. An elderly gentleman with and eye patch came in and was looking about for a seat so we asked him to join us. We chatted for a quite a while (he was very talkative), introducing himself and gave us his card. After a search on google I found his website, Butch Harrison, Florida Cracker Story Teller, a very interesting person indeed so many stories to tell. You never know who you might meet in a campground. A small bite to eat and refreshments, more entertainment then we returned home for the evening. Thurs. Pics. Wed. Nov. 4th Nice morning camping in the bush, almost wilderness camping except we have full hook-ups, including cable tv and free internet, no neighbours for at least 500 feet. About 70f (22c) by 8.00am and remained that for most of the day. I was able to wash our coach and car without a permit so I took advantage of it. Then I went to town for a few groceries and back home to putter around a bit, and sit outside and read until time to cook supper of BBQ'd pork chops, boiled potatoes and fresh asparagus. Tues. Nov. 3rd. Packed up and left Unadilla Georgia by 8:30 am a bright, sunny, warm day great for travelling. Stopping at the Flying J at the Florida state line for fuel. A line up of RV's doing the same thing. Also a vendor there with a bright booth selling Florida Oranges, peanuts and pecans. Gas here was $2.48 a gallon at 6% exchange = .70 cents a litre and at 215 litres to fill was quite a savings compared to almost $1.00 a litre back home. We carried on to Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park near Live Oak Florida where we will stay for 7 nights. We can only get in here on our membership between concerts and are glad we did. This place is huge!! Hundreds of campsites serviced and unserviced with music stages in various places garbage bins everywhere, portable toilets, stores, restaurants and bars, trails, even golf carts to rent just to get around. It was quite quiet but we enjoy that, no crowds and were able to wander about and check out the park, with the beautiful scenery, beach on the river, and all the trees with the Spanish moss hanging down in a mysterious magical sort of way. After touring about a bit we sat outside in the shade and read for a while and had supper of meatloaf, mashed potatoes and corn. After this we went to the Music Hall for 7.00pm live entertainment. A good band to listen to and we did some dancing too with quite a few people there. There was a $5.00 cover charge each, but we got that money back as a credit towards food and drink purchases, $2.00 for a beer and $2.00 for a desert good deals. Tues. Pics.
In Unadilla Georgia
Mon. Nov. 2nd Overcast most of the day with a few sunny periods. We puttered around a bit, did a walkabout and I did laundry while Suzie cleaned our house. A bit more rsearch on places to go and things to see then for supper a HUGE chicken breast cooked on the Barbie with noodles and veggies. I bought 3 of these in a package for $3.33 not realizing how big they were, so we will get 3 meals out of them, by the way it was very tasty. Sun. Nov. 1st. A beautiful bright sunny morning, about 75f (24c). A walkabout the campground for a bit enjoying the fresh air and warmth of the sunshine, talking a few pictures. We took a short drive to Perry for a few groceries and a bit of sightseeing. Returning home I put out the awning so we could sit in the shade and read for a while. I also remembered to install the metal support brackets on our lawn chairs that were given to us by Forrest at Rock Glen Resort. Cooling down a bit now at 5.00 with the time change I cooked supper of garlic sausage, sauerkraut, potatoes and a tossed salad. Then relaxed for the evening Sun. Pics.