Thursday, January 30, 2014

When did we go to the North Pole?

Thursday January 30, 2013                                             Foley, Ala

     We have survived the cold and icy weather.  Wednesday was quite an experience.  Luckily, there was plenty of warning for the ice that was coming our way and they pretty much shut this area down.  We just sat in the iHome and watched tv and worked on the computers.  It was only about 25 degrees and windy.  We braved the cold to take the dogs for a little walk, but soon high tailed it back home.  It was frigid. 
     We were being cautious about our propane because we have never run the heater this much and were afraid we would run out.  They only deliver on Fridays and it could have been a long, cold wait. 
     It was about 19 degrees this morning, but we watched the sun come up and instantly started melting everything.  We got to take the dogs on several good walks, went to the grocery store and Walmart.  Al needed to buy some work out clothes at walmart as he didn't bring his and there is a really nice gym here.
    We walked down and invited two couples to go have Mexican with us tonight.   An enjoyable evening listening to all our different travels. 
    Not much excitement going on here.  Everyone is just so glad that the temperatures are getting back into the 60's and 70's. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Really? Ice?

Tuesday, January 29

     All day Sunday we have heard nothing but warnings about the ice, snow, rain, sleet, etc that was coming our way.  It was hard to believe when we had such great weather on Sunday.  Looking at the weather map, we could pretty much tell we were in for something coming our way.
     Sunday evening was game night in the clubhouse.  We took drinks and snacks and played Mexican Train Dominoes.  Only two tables of 8, but we had fun.  The talk at the tables was the bad weather coming.  We knew we were in with the right group when most of them said they ran out and stocked up on wine and beer, the heck with bread and milk.

     Monday morning was a little group getting together to draw Zentangles.   From the Zentangle page: The Zentangle Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.  I have been seeing this on craft sites for several years.  I thought it would be fun to go and see it in action.  Several of the ladies had ordered the pattern/how to books and the very fine point pens used for this.  I played around with it a bit and could see how this would be a good project for full timers.  You can keep everything you need for it in a small box.  I imagine this will be my one and only Zentangle.  The lady who was going to be the "teacher" wasn't able to come, so we just followed the books.   My pens for scrapbooking were too thick, so borrowed some and only had 3 colors to use, so this is not a great Zentangle.
My masterpiece!

    It started raining about 11 a.m. Monday and rained all day and probably til about midnight.  We were not getting a lot of ice, just rain, but roads were being closed around us.  We just stayed in and drank wine and ate soup.  The wifi was working well so we were able to watch a movie on Netflix.  There is nothing on tv except coverage of this ice storm.    Ice is an inch thick on the roads.  Walmart and McDonalds are closed!  You know it is serious.  The water in the kitchen sink was left running all night so we didn't have to worry about frozen lines.  Our electric mattress pad keeps us warm and cozy.  It was about 23 degrees when we got up.  I was worried about taking the dogs out to potty this morning as I figured it would just be one big ice rink on our concrete pad and the streets.  I was happily surprised to see the pavement was all dry.   The palm trees are all weighted down with ice.  Don't think they are happy.
There is non stop news coverage of the icy streets.  We have seen cars slipping and sliding everywhere.  Newscasters can not get enough of it. 

    All we have to do is make it through today and tonight and then things will be great. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sunday golf and flea markets

January 27, 2014                                                  Bella Terra RV Resort    Foley, Al

     We met a couple when we were playing bingo the other night, Ann and Dan.  (so glad they have rhyming names so we can remember)  They are from Maine and have been here since December.  Dan has been looking for a golfing partner and found one in Al!  They made a tee time for Sunday afternoon.  Ann asked if I would like to go to a couple of flea markets with her while they were golfing. 
     We went to two, but they were really just fleas, no market!  It was really kind of depressing.  I did find Alfie a nice little cigar box.  He likes to display his completed flies in them.  It would make a nice little gift box of flies for someone.  I have noticed a bunch of antique malls around here, so we might do that one day.  EVEN THOUGH.......I am getting rid of stuff, not collecting more.  
     She showed me some of the back roads to get around town easier and drove down to the beach when I told her we hadn't even seen it yet.  I forget how white the sand is.


    We are hearing that there is a good chance of snow and sleet tomorrow.  People here are going bonkers.  One of the local rv park residents said to stay off the streets, as no one around here knows how to drive in ice, snow, etc.  Sounds like good advice.  We have lots to keep us busy inside.  I have my scrapbooking and Al has his fly tying.  We may have to fight over the table.   There is a scrapbooking store close by, but I am trying to stay away from it. 

     Was a very nice 57 degrees when we got up with the dogs.  It has started raining.  Well, off to play in our house on wheels.  So nice to not have to do anything but what we want!

Saturday, January 25, 2014


January 25, 2014                               Foley, Alabama

     We woke up to cold, but not as cold as we thought it was going to be.  Dogs decided 6 a.m. was the right time to get up.  It was windy, which made it feel cold.  Duh!  We dinked around on our computers til almost 10.  The retirement rv life is really rough. 

    After finally getting our showers, we wanted to go back to the Izod store to get Al some golf pants as he is playing golf on Sunday and neglected to bring any golf slacks.  I managed to find a really nice rain/wind jacket for 60% off.  First we tried to find the
Visitors Center.  After locating it we found it was closed on the weekend.  Does this make sense to anyone?

     The afternoon was spent watching OSU basketball.  Yea, OSU, good win.
     At 4:30 a meeting of the Family Motor Coach Association was having a meeting with the president who happened to be passing through.  There was wine and appetizers involved so we decided to see what it was all about.  Had a great time and sat with the couple we met before from New York.  I think we will probably join this organization as there are some good benefits.  We really enjoyed all the people that were at the meeting who were already members.  We talked with Ann and Paul until everyone was gone.
We are going to get together tomorrow night for cards.

    Oh, yes, there is hot chocolate at the club tomorrow afternoon!  WE could get real use to this resort life.

Cold and Dreary Day

January 25, 2014                                                             Bella Terra RV Resort

     We are not immune to the unseasonably cold weather that everyone is experiencing.  We keep checking the weather channel and see that we are warmer here than at home, so that makes us feel a little better (or smugger might be the right word).

     There was a Rotary meeting in Foley on Friday.  It is a noon meeting at an old historic restaurant.  The Gift Horse Restaurant  It has an amazing buffet that was only $9, which included ice tea.  Not sure if this was a special Rotary rate or not.  The mayor happened to be the speaker and updated all the upcoming new bike paths, bridges, convention centers, etc that are in the works.  My ears perked up when a Hobby Lobby was mentioned.  Highway 59 seems to run down the middle of Foley (a very busy 4 lane) and a pedestrian
bridge is planned over "The Great Divide" as they called it.  It will even have an elevator to put your bike in and walking/biking paths planned to connect schools and parks.
Al in front of restaurant.  
     I forgot to take a picture of Al in front of the Rotary sign, so the restaurant will have to to.

     We stopped in at the Tanger Outlet Mall as the Izod was having a sale, but didn't find anything.  Too much trouble to take coats and sweaters off to try things on.  Also, I plan to be a size smaller for the upcoming golf season.  :)))))

     Bingo  and Beer was happening at 4, so we came back and took my required 10 minute nap.  Bingo cards were $.25 each and beer was free.  And all the pretzels you could eat, and Al managed to eat enough for both of us.  After my last yearly doctor's visit, I am tying to watch useless carbs and calories.  Sat at a table with  couples from Springfield, Missouri, New York and Maine.  We had the blackout jackpot winner at our table.  The Missouri couple loves Mexican food, so we have found someone to go eat with, and the man from Maine and Al are going to play golf on Sunday.  Now we just need to go back to Izod and buy Al some long golf pants as he did not bring any.   We just did not do a very good job of packing for this trip. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bella Terra RV Resort

January 23, 2014

     We left Vicksburg about 9 a.m. and pulled into Foley, Ala about 3 p.m.  It was a little harder drive (I think, as the passenger) than the other days.  More traffic and lots of 4 lane roads with stop lights and towns.  It is exhausting "helping" Al drive.   We did finally find a spot to have lunch and take the dogs for a walk. 
Lunch with the big boys!
    Bella Terra RV Resort Is quite a nice place to be for the next 5 weeks.  It is a Class A (like the iHome) only resort with restrictions on age and length.  The iHome just squeeked in on the length.  People by the RV spots here and then, I suppose, rent them out when they are not using them.   Great club house with exercise room, an infinity pool, sauna, hot tub, etc.
There is a lake where Al plans to practice his fly fishing.  They said there are small mouth bass in it for catch and release.  Yesterday we missed the movie, popcorn and beer, but today at noon was a hot dog lunch in the club house.  The resort provided the hotdogs, plates, etc and everyone brought a side dish.  Luckily, we had been to Walmart this morning and managed to put some grapes in a bowl and take that.
     We sat with one full time couple who is parked next to us.  They have a dog, so I told them right off that if they see us out with ours and we run the other way when we see them, to not be offended.  It is just that our dogs would rather eat theirs than look at them.  She said, "oh, I'm so glad to hear that.  Our dog hates other dogs, too".  We were kindred spirits and may just always travel with them!  She thought she was the only person with an unfriendly dog. 
     One of the dog parks is right next to us and we have been able to take them there and let them loose.  I stand as a watchout for unsuspecting dogs and their owners. 
The iHome is on the left.
The street we live on.
     There just happens to be a Tanger Outlet Mall down the road!  As luck would have it, I just got a coupon in email with and extra 15% off.  I told Al we needed to go as "he" needs some new shorts.  So tomorrow, a little shopping in on the agenda.  Then at 4, there is bingo and beer at the club house.  You can be sure we won't miss that, the beer part at least.

Touring Vicksburg National Park

January 21, 2014

     A trip to the Vicksburg National Military Park was planned for today.  We had stopped here briefly a few years ago, but only had about an hour to investigate the park before it closed and wanted to come back for a real visit.
     Before we could start, we needed to find a fax machine so Al could get some papers signed for the sale of his mother's house.  We asked at the RV Park office and they sent us to the Ameristar Hotel.  They were quite happy to do this, but found there was trouble with the sending fax machine, so it took about an hour to get everything finished.   We drove to the park's visitors center and watched the film that explains everything then back to the iHome to eat lunch and take the dogs for a walk.
The beginning of the 16 mile road tour
     The battleground drive is quite extensive and informative.  I have never been to Gettysburg, so it is quite astonishing to see the ground, the cannons, the markers for tens of thousands of troops that battled here.  The siege and fall of Vicksburg was one of the deciding factors in the war of the north and south.  Not going to go into all the detail, as anyone interested can read about it, but I would suggest you take a peek at the link above.  Suffice to say, if the north had not starved them out, things would have been different.  Grant could not defeat the soldiers of the south at Vicksburg. 

Some of the battle grounds

There are 13,000 unknown soldiers.
     Wednesday: off to Foley, Alabama, our landing spot.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Vicksburg, Ms

January 21, 2014

Sunrise on the Arkansas River

     Yesterday was a short 5 hour drive to Vicksburg.  We were here a few years ago, but got to the National Park about an hour before closing.  We put it on our "to return" list.
When I saw on the map that it was on the way to the Gulf Coast, we planned a stop.
   The Ameristar Casino RV Park sounded like the best place for our stay.  I always check the RV Park Reviews and read people's opinions and believe about half of it.   Another good deal for about $25 a night.  Our front window looks out on a big empty lot, which means we can keep the curtains open and goofy dogs won't be barking endlessly.

     A trip to the Welcome Center and a brief climb to a river overlook was it for our sightseeing.  After we got settled in to our spot, we took showers and felt human again, plus an involved phone call with our family member realtor about the sale of Al's mother's house, took up most of the rest of the afternoon.

     While Al was getting propane in Bartlesville, he struck up a conversation (who knew men talked to each other?) with a man there that recommended a restaurant in Vicksburg and said we had to have their Cream of Coconut pie.  They also specialize in fried chicken and were open on Monday evening.  Being the old couple that we now seem to be, we were there about 5:30.  Walnut Hills  
Delicious fried chicken!  No pictures, as our fingers were too greasy from devouring our finger lickin' good food.   We took a piece of the Cream of Coconut pie home.  Our waiter said it was his favorite and he had been there for 14 years and it was still the best.  We were more amazed that anyone had worked as a waiter in one place for 14 years than the fact that he still loved the pic.  Also no picture of the pie, but it definitely was the best!  I think I would work there for 14 years if I could have a piece every day.
     One last note about the food.  If, when in the south, a waiter mumbles something about peas as a side dish, do not be surprised when he arrives with a bowl of black eyed peas.  Thank goodness they were good and Al liked them. :)))

Sunset on the Mississippi

Monday, January 20, 2014

Winter 2014-On our way to the Gulf Coast

January 20, 2014

     Trying to find a new spot to spend the cold months of winter is not easy.  Last year we went to Apache Junction, AZ and Desert Hot Springs, CA.  We really enjoy both places and will go back to do a lot of hikes and sight seeing we did not get done.  But this year, we decided we had better stay a little closer to home as Al is dealing with selling his mother's house.  She is in a care facility in Kansas City and if we need to get back there in a hurry, we did not want to be 4 days away.  We chose the Gulf Coast for our winter adventure.  Temperatures will not be "summer" like, but warm enough for us, and heck, who doesn't want to see the beach if you live in Oklahoma?

   A departure on Saturday was planned, but high wind warnings kept us home, which was a good thing as it seems to take us longer and longer to get everything we own into the iHome. 

  Sunday a short 5 hour drive was planned to North Little Rock, Arkansas.  We had stayed at the Downtown Riverside RV Park one other time and enjoyed the ease of getting to it and watching the river roll by.  It is not fancy, but only $22 a night it was a good place to overnight.

     After hooking up electricity and water, we took the dogs for a walk.  There is a great bridge used for biking and walking right at our park.  It was an old railroad bridge.  We walked under it, but our crazy dogs would be a handful with all the bikers going by, so did not walk on it.  At the end of the bridge is the Clinton Library.  We will come back to see it someday, as we are trying to go to president's libraries.
View from our front window of Arkansas River

Beau trying out our new "blankie".

     It was a little chilly towards morning.  Guess we didn't have the heater set low enough for it to come on.  We have a heated mattress pad over our new 3" memory foam mattress topper.  This was the first night we have slept on the memory foam.  Can't decide if we like it or not.  I felt like I was in quick sand every time I tried to turn over or move.  It just kind of sucks you back in.

      Going to post this and see if all is working well.  We hit the road about 9 this morning as we were just driving to Vicksburg, Ms.  Going to stay here for two nights.  Lots of Civil War history.