When we got back, the kids played. And they played...
We took our kids to a doggy campground last week. They didn't have a lot of fun. Today, we're at a farm in VA, outside DC. We went to Mt. Vernon today.
When we got back, the kids played. And they played...
Today was a fun day! We visited the sites of two of my favorite movies: Lake Lure's Dirty Dancing and Chimney Rock's Last of the Mohicans.
Lake Lure seems to have been left in the past. From the lakeside beach and cottages to the grand Inns, it looks probably just like it did in the 50s.
One of my favorite features was the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge. Spanning a small cut off of Lake Lure, the entire bridge has been made into a garden. And what a garden! Manned strictly by volunteers and relying solely on donations, this bridge is a walk into a fairytale garden.
Chimney Rock, a large monolith, was the site of the filming of The Last of the Mohicans. It showcases Hickory Nut Falls and the magnificent cliff faces of Chimney Rock that will forever be in my mind as the place where the sister died. I can still hear the music as Daniel Day Lewis ran up the bald rock. The hike to Hickory Nut Falls is only a mile and a half and considered a moderate hike. But, we had the furkids with us, so we settled for driving as high as we could and enjoying the breathtaking scenery while sitting in rocking chairs.
Life is simply good.
People always ask how we can live in such small quarters and remain civil to each other. It's pretty easy, actually. We enjoy many of the same things and enjoy each others' company.
Solitude, though, is a necessity. Solitude can take many forms in our life. It can be as simple as one of us listening to music while the other watches tv or reads. Or, Dave taking a nap in the afternoon, which gives me that chance to catch up on social media or my writing.
On some days, though, a physical separation is necessary for our peace of mind and sanity. Yesterday was one of those days. I had wanted to go back to St. Simons Island before we left to see a few areas we'd missed our first go around. I also wanted to just go back and stroll through the shops and catch the Island vibe so prevalent there.
It was a great couple of hours. I took a leisurely stroll through the shops, looking at all the tourist tchochkes that I wasn't interested in buying. I stopped and had a gelato in my favorite flavor and spent an anjoyable half an hour, talking to the clerk, who grew up in an area that I used to live in. I'm always amazed at hos small our world truly is.
After, I went back home, rejuvenated and happy to be home again.
And that's how we stay happily married :)
When Dave and I were kids, we both had a pet turtle, unbeknownst to each other. Back then, turtles were just turtles, slow moving, fascinating to watch with their house on their backs.
Today, because of burgeoning coastal growth and sea littering, many species of turtles have become endangered. We visited the Georgia Sea Turtle Center today, which is a hospital for ill and injured sea turtles. They are the only hospital of its kind in the state of Georgia.
It was fascinating to read about the different kinds of turtles and how they rehabilitate them. For example, many turtles become victims of boat propellers, slashing the shells. The hospital fills in the gap with a special kind of concrete to make them whole again.
We were able to see many of their patients, while they undergo rehabilitation. Some will be returned to the wild, while others are too severely hurt to return to the wild. So, they become permanent patrons of the Center.
These are a few shots of the view outside our door. Loving our simple life.
After a great morning spent outside sunning ourselves, we decided to have dinner at the Brunswick BBQ Beach Bash, held at the Mary Ross Waterfront Park. An annual event, it features competitive BBQers fromm all over the South. We didn't stay long enough to know who won the judging, but our judging was an A+! Dave's brisket and my pulled pork were outstanding.
The BBQ Beach Bash was a typical annual small town event. Some canned music, beautiful weather and a small crowd made it a great afternoon.
After leaving the Bash, we stopped to look at a beautiful sailing schooner. They allowed free tours because it was for sale. What a beautiful ship. And Dave actually practiced his pole dancing!
Our last stop was the Lover's Oak. Estimated to be around 900 years old, the trunk is about 13 feet in diameter. The tree has been recognized bythe National Arborist Society and the International Society of Arboriculture. It was truly a gem within the beautiful historic district.
We made it to Brunswick, GA! We arrived here at the Coastal GA RV Resort on Sunday and fell in love. We back up to a beautiful lake, surrounded by marshes and a large bird population. I keep my camera on my lap cause I never know when I'll get a great shot!
Yesterday was filled with thunderstorms, so we stayed home and did a little housekeeping and listening to the rain on the roof.
Today, we decided to explore our new backyard and wow, what a backyard! We drove over to St. Simons Island and I fell in love. As the largest barrier island in the Golden Isles, St. Simons Island's causeway leads to a picture-perfect image worthy of a novel.
It's such a charming little island with island type homes. We drove all the way to the end of the island and ended up parking the car. Ahead of us was the beach. Beside us was the beautiful lighthouse, surrounded by a museum and acres of park. St. Simons Lighthouse is one of only five surviving light towers in the state of Georgia. It's an operational lighthouse which casts light out as far as 23 miles to sea. The lighthouse is open daily for tours to climb its 129 steps to take in breathtaking views of the Island. I didn't do that today, but hope to before we leave.
The Lighthouse Park has to be a family's dream come true. The children's playground was extensive and up to date. Every fifty feet were benches to sit and relax. And the beautiful old oak trees with the spanish moss draping like lace!
We walked close to the lighthouse with Sage and Chacho. Chacho, of course, had to walk everywhere. Dave took him down to the water: I don't think I ever saw that dog run so fast! Sage went at her own pace. It was such a great walk.
When we got back to the car, I spent a few minutes hitting the shops. I was looking for my favorite gauze sundress and hoped to find one since my other had worn out. I hit the jackpot on my second stop. I got my favorite dress at 50% off. I also found a rainjacket and some sandals for Dave. Sometimes, retail therapy is a great way to finish a journey.
We took the kids back to the Motorhome and decided to try lunch at a Crab Shack. I had a great hamburger and really fresh onion rings. Dave loved his grouper dinner with a blackened sauce and baked potato. Next stop: Home and a nap.
Later this afternoon, we sat outside and watched the birds. After dinner, a bicycle ride topped off our evening. I love days like this!
This weekend a year ago, we emptied out our house for the last time and moved fulltime into the RV. We spent most of the summer and fall, stationary at Whispering River in Walland, until Dave hit his retirement on Aug. 26. Until then, I still had the days to myself, even in such a smaller place. I loved it. I was able to take care of it easily and I had time to devote to other things.
When Dave retired in August, I think we were both worried at how we would do, 24 hours a day in a small space. The next two months were so filled that we didn't have time to think about it. We were on our way to our first Rally, when the motor blew up in our motorhome. After six weeks of placing blame here, there and everywhere, we made the decision to trade it in as soon as it was fixed.
Enter Louis, our 2008 Monaco Dynasty. We had not planned on buying at that time, but Louis was everything we both had ever wanted, so we took advantage of the timing. We spent weeks living at the dealer's lot, waiting for the old motorhome to get fixed. By mid-October, we were finally able to go to Greensboro, NC to pick it up and finally take Louis home. Of course, we had to transfer all our belongings over, which we managed to accomplish in a few exhausting hours, unlike our original move in March. Off we went, to Walland, to make Louis truly ours.
November 1, 2016, we left our home of 25 years, and headed for Pensacola to start our life on the road. We were so fortunate to have friends there who helped make the transition easier.
After three months in Pensacola, we moved a little further south to the Suwannee River for a month of peace and quiet and reflection. During those three months, we also got some annual maintenance done on Louis, as well as visiting with family and dear friends.
What have we learned? Being together all the time is not difficult at all. We have our routines and have been able to combine our need for private time with our desire to be together. It makes me realize how much we missed out on each other's lives all those years in the house. There are times we get on each others' nerves - we are human, after all. But we're very good about understanding the occasional sniping and letting it go.
Some of us have developed interesting habits :) Dave has sworn never to shave again and has taken a lot of interest in beard coiffure. He's learned that he doesn't need to hold on to things that have no value. My border-line hoarder has evolved!
I've learned to stay calm in the storms. An argument is no longer the end of the world. It's a disagreement that's talked about and forgotten. It's not easy to pout here. My desire for no clutter has been satisfied living in a motorhome and I've learned not to get upset when something is out of place. There's always tomorrow to put it back.
We're learning the art of compromise in everything we do, from who does what to where are we going. because of costs, I've had to put aside the desire to go to certain places this summer. Instead, we've found other places that also sound interesting and are more affordable. We've gone from going wherever the mood suits us to knowing we need to make reservations during peak times. So far, we're finalized through the end of July. It's a lot more planning than we like, but we are going to New England and we've learned quickly that if we don't plan, we won't be able to afford to go to certain places.
So where will our adventures take us this summer?
Ocean City, MD
This is where Plan B kicks in. Instead of staying in New England, we plan to head across to Michigan and visit the Great Lakes are. After that, who knows? As much as we can, we like to keep our plans set in jello.
We moved to the north central area of Florida on the first for a change of scenery. The Suwannee River Rendezvous in Mayo, Florida is a great change of scenery. There's no traffic down here, just the sounds of animals and birds.
I have to admit that I was a bit nervous when we arrived. This is truly rural. Wal-Mart is 45 minutes away, so there are no last minute runs to the grocery store.
The campground is great. Most of it is new. All the sites are wide and well laid out. The individual sites have pea gravel that seems to be raked in between customers. There is a large deal of new landscaping planted. The entire campground is well laid out.
Suwannee River Rendezvous is the most dog friendly park we've ever stayed at. The week before we arrived, the owners added on to the dog park, making it the best one I'd ever seen in a campground. There are six different fenced in dog parks, each one laid out differently. The two large ones are getting agility courses built as we speak.
There are miles and miles of bicycle paths to explore, as well as canoe and kayak trips. You can rent one and float away or you can sign up for organized trips ranging from six to twelve miles long. The pool and hot tub area are well maintained and clean.
There is also food available on weekends. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food is ordered and can be taken into the club house area or back to your place. The clubhouse also welcomes well behaved dogs.
Weekends bring Bingo, and other entertainment such as Pigeon Racing, Chicken Poop Bingo and live entertainment on certain weekends.
The usual monthly rate is $295 plus electric. We received an RV show discount that brought ours down to $249 for the month, plus electric. This campground is definitely not a "you get what you pay for" campground. The rates for such a beautiful park are phenomenal. The only drawback is its distance from civilization. If you want to get away from it all, this is the place to come to.