Sunday, April 20, 2008

Back in North Carolina

We stopped on Monday at the Santee State Park in South Carolina. A very nice park on Lake Marion. It was pretty cool with a strong wind coming off the lake. Gary walked Elli on Tuesday morning and met a few folks as he went along. Since he was wearing shorts and a short sleeved shirt a couple of them asked if he was from Florida or a Yankee. It was brisk and they were bundled up. They just didn't understand how he could be comfortable. Gary told them that when the temperature gets down to about 45* he'll put on long pants. So far, that hasn't happened lately.

On Wednesday Mom and I went up to Buies Creek and met my sister Teresa for lunch. Afterwards we stopped at Wal-Mart to re-stock our groceries. Gary and my Dad ran their own set of errands.
I don't think I mentioned that a few weeks ago my Dad had an accident with their mini-van. Slick roads and poor visibility contributed to it's demise. Thankfully Dad wasn't injured. Since then they've been considering the replacement vehicle. Thursday became the "let's shop" for a new vehicle day. NOT my favorite pastime. But necessary.

By Friday morning, they had decided on a 2005 Toyota Sienna mini-van. Mom, Dad and I drove the diesel Ford back up to Fuquay-Varina to do the deal and pick it up.

When we looked at it on Thursday, it looked gray. Well...when we got there to pick it up it was a lovely shade of blue. We knew it had been dirty due to pollen and some road construction going on near the car dealership but had no idea it was so bad. It cleaned up GOOD!!
A couple of hours later we headed on back to the house. Me driving the big diesel truck and Dad in the new van. They were pretty excited to have the new addition.

Dad immediately put a for sale sign in the cargo van they've been driving since the accident. Anyone need a 1998 Ford E150 cargo van? White..they're asking $5000 for it but you can probably get it for less.

On Saturday most of my brothers and sister and families came down to Mom and Dads. We had a great visit while feasting on Bojangles chicken and yummy sides prepared by all. We missed our daughter Jenn being there. She recently started a new job and had to work.

Saturday morning we learned our good friend Rita had been admitted to the hospital and was having surgery later in the day. We were relieved to hear from her husband Van later in the afternoon that everything went well and she was doing better. This morning we drove up to Durham to visit for a while. She'll be in the hospital for a few more days as she recovers. This is only the second time in her life she's been in a hospital. The first and only other time was 29 years and 4 days before when her son Daniel was born. The staff at Durham Regional seem to be doing right by her so far and overall I think she is pleased their care. Her sister Cheryl has been staying close by just to make sure.

This afternoon Jenn and her husband Mark came over and we went out to the Western Sizzlin with them and Mom and Dad. They started having computer problems as Gary went to pay.
For a while we thought we'd be doing dishes to pay for our supper. No cash with us and a broken credit card computer does not make for a peaceful dinner. Gary kept reassuring the manager that we weren't going to eat their food and leave without paying. In the meantime we were enjoying the buffet and steaks we'd ordered. Gary had to go back to the register twice more as they tried to resolve the issue. Finally they got the problem fixed and Gary signed the ticket. All of this took almost a half hour to resolve. Do you think he got a "Sorry for the trouble"...NOT!!!
The manager did come by again and check to see if we needed anything else.. still no apology or thank you for the business. I think I'd at least have said that. But we've never had any problems before and the food there is usually excellent, so we'll be going back again at some point I'm sure.

Monday, April 14, 2008

North Cold..South Warm..

4 more degrees colder... :(

Moving North on US 301

Yesterday, we left Thousand Trails in Clermont going north on US 27..then FL 19 and finally onto US 301. This took us through the Ocala National Forest and on toward the Florida Georgia border. We stopped for the night in Callahan Florida at the Kelly Countryside RV park. We had a pretty good seafood dinner at the nearby Cedar River Seafood restaurant. I worked for several hours before bedtime.
As we moved north yesterday it became cooler..and cooler. Florida has had a cold front move in. The temperature was about 20* cooler on Sunday than it was on Saturday. And rain had moved in too. Several times I told Gary we were going in the wrong direction..north.. cold..south..warm..I like warm. But..northward we came.
Overnight the temp went down to below 50*. Not too bad but enough that the heat pump ran several times during the night. Again..north cold..south warm..
This morning after breakfast Gary went to the store to get us another Florida Lotto ticket (we were very near the border and our weekly drawing ticket ran out on Saturday). I is one of the things I learned before I was 50...I am not going to win the lottery..but hey..if you don't play you absolutely have no chance in winning. So we're doing our part and contributing to Florida's economy.
After dressing in long pants for the first time in several weeks, we headed on north. (The would be me in the long pants..Mr P is still in shorts). Again via US 301N. This route wiggles northward all the way to North Carolina. We've seen lots of woodlands and wetlands. And we saw our first sign "Bridge may ice in winter". Florida does not have these signs.. north cold..south warm..
I've enjoyed the slower pace without all the traffic I-95 has. We stopped in Statesboro Georgia for lunch. One of the best Ryan's Steakhouse buffets we have run across. Friendly folks and good price at $6.79 for lunch.
We've just passed the Georgia Welcome Center on 301. It was closed and is being used for a truck rest stop now. Strange. Just 1 of the things we've noticed about traveling on 301. 301 was a north south route used by many before I-95. The are lots of old motels in and near the small towns. Many of them are abandoned now. A few are still open but look like they struggle to remain so.
The countryside has changed too. No more palmettos and a lot fewer palms. Lots more pines and oaks. Still seeing some Spanish moss hanging on the trees. Did you know Spanish moss isn't either Spanish or moss? And it is infested with chiggers. Once upon a time folks used it to stuff their mattress. And when they woke up in the morning was because the chiggers got them. Hence the saying " Don't let the bedbugs bite".
We passed into South Carolina a few minutes ago. Everything is pretty green and some flowers are starting to bloom. We just went thru Allendale and saw a sign for the Cooterfest being held in May..What is a Cooter?? Guesses?? Check out their website to learn all about it.
We're probably going to stop near Walterboro for the night. Then continue on up to NC tomorrow..or not..who knows..Another RV'er said on a blog recently their plans were set in jello, and I thought this was a good we're see. See you all soon. Love, Deb

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hi Ya'll

Today I went to the Orthopedic Doc and he exchanged my long splint for a shorter "Boomerang" wrist splint. This is much smaller and without a metal brace in it. It allows my fingers freedom and I can type with my left hand again. The fractures appear to be healing as expected, but I have developed some tendinitis in the elbow and wrist. So, I also have a tennis elbow splint on too. Hopefully over the next few weeks this will subside. All in all, not too least I can type some with my left hand. :)

Things have been pretty quiet for the past couple of weeks. We're at Orlando Thousand Trails until Sunday. I've enjoyed watching the cardinals and other birds enjoying our new bird feeder. It hangs from a suction cup on our back window. I can sit on the other side of the glass inside the house and watch them. We've had about 5-6 different birds visit this week.

We're going home to North Carolina next week for a visit. We will leave Sunday and travel slowly up the east coast avoiding I-95 as much as possible. Just too many other RV's on the road also going north. This will take longer but we'll see some new sights and be in Dunn by Friday at the latest. I'm looking forward to seeing our family and friends. We already have a family dinner planned for Saturday at my Mom and Dad's house in Dunn. Then the next Wednesday we'll move up to Durham and stay at Rita's Mom and Dad's house for a week or so. Then back to Florida (Lazydays) to have some warranty work done on the house before meeting at New Smyrna Beach for the family reunion scheduled for the last week of May.

Then, we're off to the west for the summer. Not sure where yet...but we're thinking Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas...we'll see. Don't have the plans set yet, and as usual subject to change. Part of the fun is in the planning.

It just needs to get and stay warmer up there. We've been enjoying the mild weather down here very much.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Hillsborough River State Park

Last week Gary and I returned to Hillsborough River State Park. This was a much more enjoyable trip than a few weeks ago when I fell at the Park. We enjoyed a long hike down beside the river. I hope you enjoy the pictures. If you double click on the picture it will open in another window with larger pictures.