Living Our Dream


Adios San Antonio

Thank you Teri and Mark for making our stay at Hidden Valley RV enjoyable. Our workamping experience was a great one. You guys have done a fabulous job on rebuilding the park after the horrible flood last spring.

hidden-valley.jpgWe landed at Hidden Valley on Thursday Jan 30th after a short drive up from Corpus Christi. Teri showed us site #2 pictured above. Carol’s sister Donna met us as we pulled in. The two sisters were going to have a sewing marathon for a day or two. As soon as we got parked, they took off leaving me to nest on the site.

The sisters made it back on Saturday Feb 1, as expected to enjoy the Cowboy Breakfast, Hidden Valley was hosting. We had a grand time meeting new people and making new friends. Teri and Mark put on a feast that would fill any cowboy’s belly. Even the resident fur babies got into the action.

Hidden Valley Cowboy BreakfastAfter breakfast, I wondered through the park to catch a glimpse of the old and the new. The new sites are roomier and will have ample shade from the trees on the south side. Campers will enjoy that this summer.

HV RVFebruary 2nd was Super Bowl weekend. My niece Tammi invited us to come to their house. They were having a few friends over for a Super Bowl Party. We enjoyed our visit and meeting some of their friends. We did not get a photo of them so I borrowed one from Tammi’s Facebook page.


February 10th, we met up with RVers Bob and Susan from Oregon. They have an interesting story of how they got into this lifestyle. You can read that on the blog Susan writes, Travel Bug. We had a delightful visit at Zio’s in San Antonio.

DSCN0599For Valentine’s weekend, Carol and her sister got back together for another sewing weekend. That gave me some more quiet time. I do enjoy that and I know Carol enjoys spending time with her sister. During that weekend our Calico cat, Patches, got mad at me. Apparently I went to bed on Thursday the 13th and forgot to check the water bowl. Cody drank it dry during the night and Patches got thirsty. When I woke up Friday morning, I could not find my glasses. After I took Cody and MeiLing out and got them fed, I went on a search for my glasses. I place them next to my side of the bed each night. This morning they were not there, not on the floor, not anywhere to be found. Since these were new glasses, I did not cherish the idea that I may have to spend another $250 for new glasses again. After I showered that morning, I saw something ‘shiny’ under a sewing accessory that Carol uses with her sewing machine. Eureka! I found my glasses. Apparently Patches moved them. Either that or one of the dogs did. I know I did not put my glasses there. Another mystery solved.

IMG_1640We have had a combination of beautiful spring weather mixed with cold from the Polar Vortex that has been producing extreme cold in the US. On those beautiful bright sunny spring like days, our neighbor John spends time flying his kites. He has quiet a collection of kites. His wife Carolyn says that it keeps him out of trouble. Here John is prepping one of his smaller kites. This one has a 20′ span across the base.

IMG_1642Carol’s sister Donna and B-I-L Tom stopped by for a visit. They parked their travel trailer next to us. While the sisters worked on a sewing project, Tom worked on getting some repairs done on their travel trailer. We did not get any photos of Tom working on their TT but did manage to snag a couple of photos of the sisters’ sewing project from Hidden Valley’s FB page.

Sister PursesOn Saturday 2/22, Carol and I drove into San Antonio to meet another dear friend and former Driscoll Children’s Hospital co-worker. After Rebecca left Corpus Christi, she moved to Austin, Tx and met Ron. Rebecca and I chatted on Facebook but just never could arrange a meet up. She suggested getting together before we left San Antonio so we set a date. She and Ron drove from Austin to meet us at the Lone Star Cafe on the San Antonio Riverwalk. We enjoyed sharing our RVing experiences with them and talking about old times and how times have changed.  Rebecca has recently retired from nursing and is enjoy this time with less stress.

DSCN0602On Friday the 28th, we had one more lunch date with another former Driscoll Children’s Hospital co-worker. Linda White was benefits manager there until she left Corpus Christi had moved to San Antonio. Again, we’ve chatted a few times on Face Book which eventually led to a phone call to set up this lunch time. Carol and I met Linda and Robert at Bill Miller’s BBQ on the northwest side of town. We had a great time catching up on things. Linda and Robert said they make regular trips to the Tomball area and would come for a visit.

IMG_1655As February comes to a close, several folks have asked what kind of work I had been doing. While Carol has been working with Teri in the office, I’ve been moving dirt. Part of this task is related to building up an area that washed out during the spring flood. The majority of the time was spent spreading dirt over areas in the field across from us that had large patches of exposed rocks. Mark wanted the field prepped for planting grass seeds. Just like a homeowner would do for their yard, spreading dirt means picking it up from one spot and spreading it in layers in other ares. The main difference is the size of the shovel. Here is the shovel I used.

IMG_1645We did not do much sight-seeing while in San Antonio, but we did notice a new building that was quiet large. I just had to find out more about this building. Maruchen, Inc. produces 3.6 billion packages of Ramen Noodles in two plants in Irving, CA and one in Richmond, VA. They are currently at capacity and selected San Antonio as the location for their 4th Ramen Noodle plant in the US. This 500,000 sq.ft building located near the intersection of I-35 and Loop 410 in Southwest San Antonio, is set to open later this year.

IMG_1653Saturday was a travel day for us. We woke up to a heavy fog so we were in no hurry to leave. Carol had already cleaned up the kitchen so fixing breakfast was out of the question. Instead, we decided to have breakfast Tacos at Benjamin’s Kitchen. This is not a fancy place. You don’t need a fancy place to be successful. Good food will draw a crowd. We arrived before the breakfast crowd and enjoyed our Tacos. By the time we left, every table was taken and people were beginning to wait for a seat. Thank you Benjamin’s Kitchen for the great breakfast Tacos.



Texas Is Expensive

Maybe I should have title this entry “R&R Mode Is Expensive”. I’m not sure which would be accurate. Since we started on this journey in January 2012, our coming back to Texas for a stay has been costly for us. We came back to Texas so we could get our annual physicals and of course visit family and friends.

Potters Creek - Canyon Lake

In October 2012, we spent a week at Potter’s Creek in San Antonio enjoying a little R&R while we were between workamping locations. During that week, we took a trip to Camping World in New Braunfels to buy a new shower faucet for the 5th wheel we had at that time. By the time we were done, we had negotiated a deal to trade our 5th wheel and truck for a motor home. (You can read about that by clicking here.) After moving into our new wheels, we then went to Corpus Christi for a few days. While in Corpus Christi, we stayed at Sea Breeze RV in Portland and bought a car. (That story is here.)

cropped-seabreezeportlandtx.jpgJust like October/November 2012, we are between workamping jobs, we stayed at Potters Creek before coming to Corpus Christi, and we are staying at Sea Breeze RV.  We passed our physicals with flying colors and are good to go for another year. We also got eye exams, new glasses and had our hearing aids cleaned and checked.We also traded the car we bought in 2012 for a more suitable vehicle that we can easily tow behind the motor home.

IMG_1623We had an opportunity to meet Phyllis and Len as they were headed to the Rio Grande Valley.I have been reading their blog The Easts Head West for some time. It is always good to meet folks along the way – especially those I follow by their blog.

DSCN0591We had a great visit and enjoyed the extended time visiting friends in the area. It is now time to say ‘So long Corpus Christi.’ as we head to our next stop on this journey.

Sea Breeze Sunset

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Next Stop

Now that we are in the South, what’s next for us? That is the question I’ve been asked.

Today we leave Potters Creek for the 200 mile trip to Corpus Christi. We will be parked at Sea Breeze RV which is in Portland, just across the Nueces Bay from Corpus Christi. We have appointments for our annual physical, eye exams and audiology. We will have plenty of time to visit friends and catchup on the local stuff. After spending two years away from Corpus Christi, I hope to see it with fresh eyes. After three weeks in Corpus Christi, we end our R&R and get back to work.

Sea Breeze RVNext stop is Hidden Valley RV in Van Ormy, TX. Van Ormy is located in Southeast Bexar (pronounced – bear) county on I-35. We will be working with Teri and Mark, the owners of at Hidden Valley, in exchange for our site. Hidden Valley suffered a major blow in the May 2013 when the Medio Creek overran its banks and flooded the RV Park. They have since rebuilt the RV Park from the ground up. While the park has had its grand reopening, there is still lots of work to be done.

Hidden Valley RVMarch 1st, we head to our next stop, Lone Star Yogi, in Waller, TX. This little community is about 40 miles Northwest of downtown Houston and 35 miles Southeast of Brenham. We lived in Houston for a number of years before our 20 years in Corpus Christi and have family in the area. I will be working in maintenance and Carol in registration. Lone Star has just completed a major expansion. We understand this is one of the busiest parks in the Legacy Resorts family. We will be there through October 31st.

Lone Star YogiWe also have a commitment with American RV in Albuquerque, NM from November 2014 through April 2015. There we will be trained as assistant managers so we can continue our work with Legacy Resorts. We were originally talking with the manager at American RV for a possible summer work spot. During the conversation, the discussion shifted to our becoming assistant managers, thus the shift from summer to winter.

American RVWe look forward to getting back to work. We’ve enjoyed the down time so far and are looking forward to our time visiting with family and friends in Corpus Christi.

If you are in the Corpus Christi area feel free to find us at Sea Breeze in Portland. If you are traveling through Texas during the summer, we invite you to stop by at Lone Star Yogi in Waller, TX. Hope to see you soon.

Thanks for stopping by. Y’all come back now. I leave you with a photo of the sunrise at Potters Creek this morning. We are glad to be back in Texas for a bit.


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Heading South

Yep, that’s right. We packed up and headed south. After a great week with our kids, who came for a Christmas visit, and two months workamping in Townsend, TN we left for warmer weather and new workamping gigs in Texas.

December 31, 2013

First stop was Nashville, TN for an overnight stop at Camp Walmart and a visit with my nephew. We are not the party goers, especially on New Years Eve. After a wonderful visit with my brother’s eldest son, we called it a night. In the morning, we paid for our site by refueling at Camp Walmart.


January 1, 2014

Happy New Year! Wishing a prosperous and joyful new year to our readers and friends. Our target destination for today is Memphis, TN. We crossed the Mississippi River to park at Tom Sawyer RV Park in West Memphis, AR. This allowed us a view of the Mississippi from our front window plus we were close to Memphis BBQ on Beale Street. Tom Sawyer is not a fancy place, and certainly has little ‘IT’ factor unless you like an RV park with very few amenities.

IMG_1589Memphis known for its BBQ and Blues. It is home of the world’s largest Pork BBQ competition and a large Blues festival. We decided to test the BBQ at Blues City Cafe across the street from B.B. Kings Blues Club. Blues City Cafe had better review for ribs than BB Kings place.

DSCN0587After a belly full of ribs, we headed back to Tom Sawyer’s. The weather was getting colder as an arctic hurricane was bearing down on us. By the time we got back to the RV, the temperature was significantly cooler. I took the fur babies for their evening stroll, disconnected our water hose and hunkered down for the night. After a light breakfast, we pulled up stakes and headed for our next stop – Hot Springs, AR.

January 2, 2014

We had an uneventful drive to Hot Springs, AR where we parked at Hot Springs KOA. This was our first KOA park. As expected, the park was just about empty. Temperature was a bit warmer due to the sun shining brightly. Our site was not level at all. Front left wheel was 4″ off the ground, right front wheel was 6″ off the ground when we leveled the RV. Good thing we had extra blocks to put under our jacks.  We were just about half-way through our journey to our destination in Corpus Christi.

January 3, 2014

Our next stop was in Marshall, TX. We could have stayed in any other town in the area so why Marshall? Well, I mistakenly took Marshal, TX for Huntington, VA, the location of Marshall University. The university suffered the loss of their football team and coaches in an airplane crash in 1970. In 2006, their story was released into movie, We Are Marshall. It was ironic that I was able to catch the movie on TV just the other day. In researching online about Marshall, TX, I discovered that George Foreman was born here in 1949 and Lady Bird Johnson graduated from Marshall High School in 1928.

IMG_1594It does not take much to make this Texan happy, especially since we have been out-of-state for a bit. We decided to enjoy a Texas tradition of Whataburger for dinner Friday night. What a treat. In the morning we paid for our overnight spot at Camp Walmart. Oh yes, we went back to Whataburger for breakfast Tacos before taking off.


January 4-7, 2014

Next stop was R&R at my brother’s place in Burton, TX. Burton is a small town just a few miles northwest of Brenham, TX – home of Blue Bell Ice Cream. Our plan was to rest up for a bit and relax. By Saturday, I was pretty miserable dealing with what we call the Texas Crud. Texas Crud takes a few weeks to run its course. If it is severe, it can turn into viral bronchitis. Somehow on the way, I missed a turn at Henderson, TX. By the time I realized the missed turn, I began making routing changes on the fly. I recommend you do not do that. My error added about 35 more miles and almost an hour drive time to our route. When we finally arrived, the temperature was in the mid 60′s and we were both tired.

For the next three days, I needed rest. The weather was also turning bad on us. Remember that arctic hurricane we left behind in Memphis? Well, it caught up with us. We had forgotten how it felt to be in Texas when it the weather is wet and a north wind begins to howl. Sunday, the temperature began to fall. Monday the north wind began to blow and the air was full of moisture. Tuesday morning we were down to 19 degrees. East Texas winters are known for misting rain mixed with cold temperatures. There is no way to stay warm in that kind of weather.

Carol and her sister, Donna, decided they needed a sister project. They decided to make a new quilt. While I rested and slept, Carol found fabric and borrowed our sister in law’s dining room table to began cutting out the material. The quilt style is called a Sampler. That means each square is machine quilted in a different pattern. The pattern is often used in a block of the month group where each participant makes and shares quilt blocks. Once each block is completed, all the blocks are then pieced together. While I do not understand the details of this, I am sure our quilting readers will understand.

January 8-11, 2014

Next R&R stop is Potter’s Creek on Canyon Lake just north of San Antonio, TX. We stopped by Carl Wendler’s Ranch in Ledbetter, TX first. This is where we spent the winter of 2012. The ranch is doing fine. We enjoyed the short visit with Maurice.

IMG_1603Carol went on ahead of me to stop for gas and BBQ from City Meat Market in Giddings, TX. My last stop was Buc-ee’s for gas. ($2.98/gallon). If you are traveling through Texas and come up on a Buc-ee’s, it is worth a stop. We arrived at Potter’s Creek shortly after 3:30PM , got set up a took a short nap. Carol called her brother and we made plans for dinner Wednesday evening at Italian Garden. WOW, what a great place. Service and food were very good.

After sleeping late on Thursday I fixed breakfast around 11:00ish, then we took a trip to New Braunfels for a few groceries and fur baby food. By the time we got back from town, Carol was beginning to feel the drag of her bought with the Texas Crud. We had Baked Potatoes with the BBQ from City Meat Market

After two years of living on the road and living in less congested areas, I can tell you, I dislike congestion with a passion. Drivers are most inconsiderate and rude when they are in a hurry. Roads in New Braunfels are being expanded again. That is good news for road construction folks but bad news for travelers.

Friday, Carol took a day off and stayed in PJs until 3PM. She needed the rest. We had a little rain overnight but nothing serious. This afternoon the temp rose to 75. I am wearing shorts for the first time is several months.

We will be leaving Potter’s Creek on Sunday as we continue our journey south. Last stop of our R&R will be Corpus Christi. We will be parked at Sea Breeze RV in Portland until the end of January.

I leave you with our site photo at Potter’s Creek. Tomorrow I will give you an update on where we will be working next.

IMG_1606Thanks for stopping by. Y’all come back now.


A Christmas Carol – 2013

The Original Christmas Carol

We are all familiar with A Christmas Carol written by English author Charles Dickens and published in 1843. The story tells of sour and stingy Ebenezer Scrooge’s ideological, ethical, and emotional transformation resulting from supernatural visits from Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future.

While we enjoy this seasonal classic, we must take a look at the Original Christmas Carol to see three gift’s God has for us.

Christmas Past

VOIDIn the beginning was God. Gen 1:2 says the earth was empty and without life. Over the next 6 days, God gave it life. God breathed His soul into His creation. Thus the earth was full of God’s character. This was Christmas Past.

Christmas Present

the-birth-of-christLuke 2:25-32
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
 you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
 and the glory of your people Israel.”

With the birth of Christ, God gave His Son, Jesus, so that whoever would believe, would have eternal life. When Simeon saw the Christ child and recognized Jesus is a special gift from God, he praised God.

During His three years of public ministry, Jesus showed the world the greatest gift possible; the gift of life. John 10:10. This is Christmas Present.

Christmas Yet To Come

New JerusalemThe Holy Spirit gave the Apostle John a look at Christmas Yet To Come

Revelation 21:1-5
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

A new heaven and a new earth – A New Jerusalem full of God’s character and nature. This is Christmas Yet To Come.

Let us thank God for breathing His life into this earth, giving us Jesus Christ so we can see His character and nature, and for giving us hope for an eternity in His presence.

Now you have a choice to make. The options are few yet easy. Many choose to believe while many choose to not believe. Do you believe God did what the Bible said He did?

If so, celebrate Christmas by praising God for His creation, His Son Jesus, and for the New Jerusalem yet to come.

If not, ask God to reveal the mystery of His precious gift to you. All you have to do is receive it.

Merry Christmas to all. Thanks for stopping by. Y’all come back now.


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Blue Ridge Once Again

Since we are so close to Blue Ridge, GA and Windy Valley Llamas, it would only make sense that we would find time to visit the place we workamped during the summer of 2012. So on Sunday Dec 8th, we left Townsend, TN and headed south to Blue Ridge, GA. Our route took us to Maryville, TN; then south on US411 to Madison and south on TN 68 through the south end of Cherokee National Forest.  The Winter scenery of bare trees replaced the lush green forest we saw during the summer of 2012. Still the mountains are beautiful.

We made the 105 mile trip in about 2 1/2 hours. We were excited to make this trip because when we left Windy Valley Llamas, we knew we were leaving life long friends there. We were warned in 2012 that the Blue Ridge Mountain area would call us back. They certainly did. After a chance to catchup on what has been going on during the past year, we had a wonderful dinner with Pam and Jerry along with their neighbors, Tim and Karen, and two other workamper couples.

Monday morning we got up to visit the llamas. The two Great American Pyrenees dogs, who guard the llamas, did not have any problem with us coming into the pastures. It was apparent they remembered us. Our goal was to check out Sushi. She was the llama that Carol help deliver in May 2012. In the photo on the left Sushi is less than 6 hours old and standing by herself. The fence in the photo is about 5 feet tall. Monday’s photo (below) of Carol with Sushi shows how much she has grown.DSCN0554I fell in  love with Dior. One of two rescued llamas Pam has added to the herd. She was very friendly and loveable.

DSCN0550We had an enjoyable visit although it was too short. Working at Windy Valley Llamas was the best thing that we’ve done in the two years on the road. We love the Blue Ridge Mountain and all the waterfalls. As we headed back, we decided to take an alternate route (US-74, US-64, TN-40) that would take us past the Ocoee Whitewater Center. (Click the tag on the right to see that post). As we drove past, we noticed the water flow looked pretty strong. We turned back for a closer look. Sure enough, the Ocoee River was out of its banks. Only to serious kayaker would dare venture out on this river today. The two channels of water seen on the left of the following photo is a walk way along the edge of the river. Normally there would be more rocks on the right side of the photo where viewers can sit to enjoy the rafters and kayakers travel downstream.

DSCN0562Further down stream at the Ocoee Dam #2, the water was pouring over the spillway. Normally the water barely trickles at this point since the flood gate that maintains the water level would be open. Today is a different story. Make sure your computer’s speakers are on to enjoy the sound.

It is amazing to see this raging river turn into a quiet and peaceful scene down stream. Lakes Parkville and Ocoee had been lowered to accommodate the runoff from all the rain in the region.

DSCN0570We turned north onto TN-30 to head back into the Cherokee National Forest. As we climbed, we drove past a few isolated homes buried in the forest. These folks wanted to be far away from the hustle and bustle of city life; they want peace and quiet; they wanted to be left alone.

We next came upon the Hiwasee Union Baptist Church (founded in 1848) nestled on the banks of the Hiwassee River, The building was erected about 1899 through the joint effort of the Hiwassee Union Baptist Church and the local Masonic Lodge. This two-story, frame structure served as a community building. The upper floor was for lodge meetings while the first floor served as the church meeting hall. The first floor was also used as a schoolhouse for a brief time.

DSCN0573We soon found our connection to US-411 and headed for home. I leave you with yet another old barn. We love these old structures. If only walls could talk.

DSCN0575Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.

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Cades Cove, Part 2

After a cold and dreary morning, 29 degrees and foggy, we decided to head back up to Cades Cove today to continue our exploration. The forecast promised sunshine and warmer temperatures. We were hoping the weather folks were right.

IMG_1498By the time we finished with breakfast, loaded up the car and headed out, Mr Sunshine was breaking through and the temperature was approaching 40 degrees. We were dressed in layers so we were ready for cooler or warmer temperatures.

We had a pleasant drive up to Cades Cove. The forest looked different this time since there was a light dusting of snow in places where the sun does not normally shine. Beautiful blue skies and cool temperatures greeted us as we entered the cove. We drove past John Oliver’s place and traffic started stacking up in spots. It became apparent that the visitors today did not pay attention to the rule of not stopping on the road way. Every place we ran into congestion on the road, people had stopped to take pictures of the deer grazing in the fields. It took us about 30 minutes to cover about 5 miles to get the back to back where we ended our last exploration.

John Cable bought land in the cove in the late 1860′s. He built a water powered grist mill and saw mill in the late 1870′s. The grist mill is still in operation today. Visitors can purchase corn meal ground on John Cable’s grist mill.

DSC_0691Beyond the grist mill, there is a functional blacksmith shop, a cane mill and sorghum furnace and a cantilever barn that houses a left over carriage.


DSC_0689Visitors can also purchase fresh made sorghum molasses made right on the spot.

DSC_0697After a short break we headed down Forge Creek Road looking for Henry Whitehead’s Place. The smaller cabin in the back was the original cabin where Matilda Shield Gregory lived with her son after her husband abandoned her. She met and later married Henry Whitehead. Henry’s wife died and left him with three daughters. After the marriage, Henry built the larger cabin where they then lived.

DSC_0703Carol and I are standing on the front porch just as Henry and Matilda may have done many years before.

DSC_0705Inside the larger cabin was a narrow staircase that led to an upstairs loft. This area was large enough for Henry and Matilda and their 4 children to sleep.

DSC_0712It was getting late so we decided to end our exploration and head back to Townsend. I did want to make a short stop for a water fall on Mill Creek, which by the way runs to John Cables Grist Mill.

DSC_0716OK, now we are headed out and back to Townsend. Traffic was pretty heavy coming out of Cades Cove. We were about half way down the mountain when we saw lots of traffic stopped on the road. We eased our way through and discovered a large crowd of people on the side of the road looking at something off the road. As we drove past, we realized they had spotted a black bear momma and her three cubs. I pulled over to join the crowd. Momma bear was not interested in the crowd so she led her cubs up the mountain. Unfortunately I never had a clear shot with my camera so I have no photo to post.

About 1/4 mile from our campground, I did spot this Great Blue Heron in the middle of Little River. She was posing for me so I stopped and took her photo.

DSC_0735After an early supper at Trailhead Steak House in Townsend. This was our second trip there so you know the food was good.

There is plenty of exploring in Codes Cove for us to go back a couple of more times. What an amazing lace. Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.


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