Tag Archives: Road Trip

Dodged a Chair

Today’s journey started with breakfast in the RV. Sorry no photos. We split a Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit – YUM. I had a nuked Jimmy Dean sausage/egg biscuit and Carol had her special cheese toast. After the monster rib dinner last night we decide to keep it simple this morning.

We hit the road about 10:30. Beautiful blue sky, bright sunshine and a cool 57 degrees. We made a short trip around the southern part of Montgomery so we cold make a Starbucks stop before the 200 mile trip to Macon, GA. By 11:00, we were on I-65 headed N.E. Nothing about this leg of the trip struck me as really special. We did notice there was a Hyundai plant in Montgomery. I bet you did not know that as of Jan 2011, Hyundai was the 4th largest manufacturer of cars by volume in the world and the largest ship builder in the world. Interesting info.
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The roads were pretty empty of traffic. I thought that was odd since today is Saturday. Once I begin to see church parking lots filled with cars, I realized that today is Sunday. Light traffic is always a good thing.
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We did encounter a couple of odd things while on the road today. From a distance, this vehicle looked like a home made RV. The closer we got, the more I began to think, “I sure hope that guy has this thing tied down well.” I can understand this transport occurring on a Sunday and not a Saturday.
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The other odd thing we encountered on the road today was a chair. Not just any old chair, but a real nice arm chair. This chair was not laying along the side of the road either. The arm chair was sitting perfectly on all four feet smack in the middle of the right lane on I-75 just south of Macon. Remember the light traffic I mentioned earlier. Once I got on I-75 in Byron and headed north too Macon, the traffic picked up considerable. Lots of folks going back home from the weekend. I noticed the vehicle in front of me abruptly swerved into the left lane. There in front of me, directly in the center of my lane was a lone arm chair. At this point I wondered if I could stop 21,000 pounds in the short distance remaining. Nope – not gonna happen. I check my left side and found the middle lane clear so I went left. Maybe not as abruptly as the vehicle in front of me but certainly more abruptly than I cared to. As I passed the chair, I glanced back and saw other cars swerving just as I did. About a half mile down the road, we saw a pickup on the shoulder of the interstate backing up. The truck had two oversized furniture pieces in the bed. Carol said, “Looks like he is going back to get his chair.” I just wondered what fool would drive down the interstate with furniture just sitting in the bed of a pickup not securely tied down. Then I began to get that sick feeling in my stomach over the thought that someone is going to get seriously hurt because of the chair.

We dodged a storm the other day, and today we dodged a chair. Thank you God for protecting us, giving me space to move into adjacent lane, and clarity to react in time to avoid a catastrophic accident. A few moments later we arrived at our Passport America destination, the Al Sihah Shrine Park in South Macon. The park is very quiet but the sites need much improvements. Example, the sewer connection in the ground is higher than the drain on the RV. That is not a problem for an overnight stop since we are not loading up our tanks tonight.

We ventured into town for dinner and found O’Charlie’s  We split a menu entre and added their Twisted Chips with Spicy White Queso appetizer. If you’ve never been to O’Charlie’s, we can say you should. Prices are reasonable, food is good and service is quick.
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Tomorrow we head to Augusta, GA. Thanks for stopping by.

MacRib Attack

WHOA! Let’s back this horse up a bit. I’ll tell you about the ribs later. Breakfast comes before dinner so I’ll start there. We decided to get a hearty breakfast this morning so we could skip lunch and arrive in Montgomery, AL a little earlier. While we certainly could have gone back to the Foley Coffee Shop, we wanted to try a new place. Darrell/Judy from Wandering America suggested Mom and Pop’s in Silverhills just up the road a bit. They had not been there so they could only say they heard it was good.
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We took off for Silverhills and easily found Mom & Pop’s. The first indication that we made a good choice was the parking was almost full. We walked in and found a country motif that certainly fit the area. They even had a rather large stuffed alligator mounted on one of the walls. The folks seated at the table were talking to each other as if they knew everyone. I imagine they did. We got seated and looked at the menu. My eye focused on my breakfast – a Peanut Butter Waffle.
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That’s right, a waffle (4 squares) slathered with peanut butter. This is how I like my waffles sometimes so that was my choice. And the verdict? Breakfast was great. Carol had scrambled eggs and grits. That also was a good choice. We now have another spot to visit the next time we are at the Plantation. Thank you Darrell/Judy.

After breakfast, we headed back to the Plantation to hitch up the trailer. We got everything closed up, hitched up, and paid up. A special thanks to Fred and Delores for allowing us to park on their side yard for a couple of nights. We look forward to a return visit. We pulled out of the Plantation about 10:30AM with clear skies and high 40’s. Drove east on County Road 28, then turned north on AL 59 aiming for I-65 to Montgomery.
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Yes, I had both hands on the steering wheel when I took that photo. Carol was napping and I did not want to bother her. We arrived at Montgomery South RV Park about 2:00PM. The is a small park a few miles south of Montgomery. They have friendly staff and very clean facility. We are in site #1. No special “IT” factor. I-65 is nearby so the highway noise can be a factor if you want a real quiet park.
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After getting set up and dogs walked, we decided to head to town for dinner. We were told the best place in town was Dreamland BBQ. Their specialty? Ribs! Now coming from Texas, I have my doubts about good BBQ outside of Texas. I know the Food Channel talks about all the great BBQ in places outside of Texas.
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The ribs were very good, not the best but still good. The ribs are served on a dish cut into individual ribs which makes for easy eating. Some of the ribs were a bit dry, not as moist as I would prefer. The sauce had just the right amount of kick. We finished off diner with a very good banana pudding that had a good mix of ingredients. When we got back to RV, we let the dogs run a bit then settled in for the evening.
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By the time I finished the blog, Qianna was in doggy dream land.
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Thanks for stopping by.

Dodged a Bullet

Today we dodged a bullet, or should I say a storm. When were in Giddings, TX last week, we decided that we spend an extra day at the Rainbow Plantation in Summerdale, AL. Today is that extra day. Today is the day we would have been on the road at the time a major storm would make it’s way across the Southeastern states. We would have been in the middle of a storm system that brought heavy rain, strong winds and tornado warnings to the region. Here is the storm report from the weather channel.  Fortunate for us, God’s providence kept us safe today. Instead of traveling, we took a day of R and R. On recommendation from Darrell/Judy from Wandering America , we went to breakfast at the Foley Coffee Shop.

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Stepping into the front door is like stepping back in time. The small cafe has an open kitchen with bar style counter on the left, one row of tables in the center, and a row of booths on the right. Folks are friendly, food is great and service will assure satisfaction. Next we headed to Walgreen’s to refill a prescription. They said to check back in about 1 hour. Let’s see, I think we will go to Walmart. Bought a lock that we needed, forgot the long extension power strip we really needed. Then fueled up at $3.89 at Dodge’s. They sell fuel and Fried Chicken – must be a southern thing. While fueling, a fella there said the folks up on I-10 were getting hit pretty hard from the storm. Made me thankful for our day of R and R. Got back to Walgreen’s and waited a few more minutes before meds were ready. Drove through some light sprinkles as we headed back to the Plantation. We walked Cody & Qianna. Then waited a few minutes for Darrell and Judy to come by. We originally planned a breakfast with them. They had errands to run first so we agreed on lunch instead. They would drive us to Fairhope, AL. Lunch would be at Panini Pete’s, one of those Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives places. Panini Pete’s is located in the French Quarter area of downtown Fairhope.
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I had their Junkyard Dog Chicago Style hotdog with a site of Frites while Carol had a bowl of Cream of Cauliflower soup with a side of home made chips. Food was very good.
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Joining us for lunch were Mike and Peggy who blog at Maineiacsinmotion. We enjoyed a great meal with our new friends. That is Mike and Peggy on the left. Judy and Darrell are across the table.
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After we got back to the Plantation, we stopped by Darrell and Judy’s home to meet, Alex and Katie. They were not sure of us humans intruding on their space but they soon got over that. Carol and Judy chatted about Judy’s quilting and crafting corner while Darrel and I chatted about the tech stuff. Then we walked over to our home so they could meet our fur babies and get the grand tour of our home. It was an enjoyable afternoon meeting new friends putting real faces on bloggers we read.

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We decided we needed to get the laundry done before we leave on Saturday. We do have a small washer/dryer in our home but sometimes it is just quicker to sit for a couple of hours in a laundromat. OOPS, where are our quarters. While Carol got the wash started with the quarters we had in our pockets, I walked over to the Plantation office to get change. Carol read and I worked on this posting. The dryer has stopped and Carol said it was time for me to fold. I’ll be right back.

Clothes are folded and put away. Carol and I have a hunger for Pizza. We could do something safe like Pizza Hut but that is not our style. Time to find a local pizzeria and hope for success. We found Papa’s Pizza. OK, they area a chain pizzeria. They have a few stores. They were new to us so they qualified as “a place we have not been to before”. Our Rocky Marciano pizza was very good. The kind of good that produces a WOW when you get that first bite. Take a look. If you have a monitor with smell-o-vision, you will understand.
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We are finally back home now, rested from a busy day. Thanks for stopping by. Tomorrow we head for Montgomery, AL. Who knows what will find there.

On With The Adventure

Continuing from our last post where we arrived at South Forty RV Park in Giddings. Jacquy/Raye, my brother and sis-in-law, came up from their farm in Burton on Saturday 2/18. While the weather was wet and dreary, their visit perked things up a bit. We also had a visit from our eldest daughter Michele and her son Jayson. We enjoyed Murhpy’s Steak House so much on Friday, we went back for lunch. After a long leisurely lunch, we headed back to South Forty RV Park. Weather was just too drizzly to enjoy the outdoors. After saying, “See ya later.” to my brother, we settled down for the evening. Michele and Jayson were planning to stay the night. Four hundred square feet of living space plus an active 2 y.o. whose napping schedule has been turned upside down makes for a big challenge for Mommy. No matter how hard Mommy an d G’Mee tried to get that boy to go to sleep, Jayson was just not cooperating. So, around 11PM, Michele and Jayson headed back to their home in Houston. About 10 minutes after they left, Jayson was playing with Mr. Sandman.

Sunday the sun broke through the clouds. What a relief and what a beautiful day. We met Jimmie/Ollie, Carol’s aunt/uncle, at FBC. Following the worship service, we enjoyed lunch and chat at Subway. We got caught up on family happenings and had a chance to share a bit more about our adventure. Back at our home again, we saw signs that the Cedar Creek RV Owner folks (Harold, Ray, John, Jerry, Pete and their wives) were congregating around the fire ring. We were invited to join them for an impromptu brown bag supper so we did. After eating and cleaning up, we sat around the fire contemplating solutions to all the world problems. I am sure our elected officials would be interested in a transcript of that conversation. No, Carol is not scolding them here.

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Monday we packed up, hitched up and headed out with Carol at the wheel. We waved to all as we drove off. Followed US Highway 290 to Brenham. Drove through town to connect with TX Highway 105 north to Navasota. From there, we took TX Highway 90 to Roans Prairie, then TX Highway 30 to Huntsville. Time for a lunch break so we parked next to J.C. Penney’s in a shopping mall. Connected to US Highway 190 in Huntsville and headed for Livingston, then took TX Highway 146 south to Rainbow’s End – an Escapee RV park on the south end of Livingston. This is where we have our permanent address. We got set up and went to town to get supplies to build the penthouse floor for Patches. No comments about dinner because it was not worth talking about. Behind the glass window is our mailbox.
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Tuesday we packed up again. (We are getting good at packing up). The Escapee’s park was conducting a trailer weigh-in from 8-10AM. We had no idea how much our new home weighs and that is something all RVer’s need to know. So, we got on the scales. Randy and Chris were the official weighers.

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First we weighed the truck with no trailer attached, then with trailer attached, we weighted the truck and trailer. I will get our numbers posted later. We are OK on the weight. Just need to do a little rearranging to redistribute the weight better. Got away from Rainbow’s End around 11:30M. Weather was sunny and temperature at 60 degrees. GPS took us through some nice quiet back roads away from the congestion and traffic.

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Stopped in Vidor, TX for lunch at What-A-Burger. Tricky part was parking. What-A-Burger does not have any RV parking. So I found a large lot behind FBC Vidor that had hook ups for 10 RVs.
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After walking the fur babies we walked a few blocks to What-A-Burger. After a short break, we continued on I-10. Crossed into Louisiana at 1:45PM. Pulled into Frog City RV Park a short while later.
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After getting nested, we hunted for cheap fuel. (If you have not used Gas Buddy on your smart phone, you should because it works.) Next on the agenda was finding a restaurant that served Alligator Po-boys. We found a place close (Fezzo’s) but they were closed due to Fat Tuesday celebrations. So was Chief Roy’s. We ended up at Randol’s in south Lafayette. Of course they were in party mode due to Fat Tuesday. Sadly, the food and service was not at all what we had expected.

Wednesday we hit the road about 10:20 with cloudy skies with temperature at 67 degrees. Carol is driving the 200+ miles today. Other than cloudy skies with a light drizzle, and a very bumpy interstate that felt like driving on a washboard, nothing exciting was going on. Then we hit the Atchafalaya Swamp.  Interstate 10 crosses the swamp on elevated pillars on a continuous 18.2 mile bridge from Grosse Tete, Louisiana, to Henderson, Louisiana, near at the Whiskey River Pilot Channel.
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Next came the granddaddy of all rivers. the might Mississippi. Of course traffic was getting heavy as we approached the bridge to cross the river. Carol does not like driving in this kind of traffic at all. She did fine and kept her cool.

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Sorry for the blurry images. It is hard to take a decent photo when the vehicle is moving and bucking at the same time. Next Carol has to get in the correct lane to be sure we are in position to make the switch to I-12. She made it with nerves intact.
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Of course I am helping with my super navigational skills.
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Time for potty break so Carol pulled off at I-65 into Petro Truck Stop and parked next to another traveler.

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Cody and Qianna took a little walk as well. Here they are nestled back in their spaces with Patches in the penthouse.

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Shortly after that, we crossed one more state line and are now in Mississippi.
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Twenty-eight miles into Mississippi, we are ready to head for our destination, Magic River Resort near Long Beach.  I made the mistake of programming the GPS incorrectly and had to do a little fancy navigation to get our RV out of a tight spot. Yes, the stress level kick up a notch. We got parked and nested quickly. This is our first 30A connection which works just fine.
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We hit a home run for dinner. The original plan was for Fried Shrimp in Gulf Port. I searched for restaurants featured on Dinners, Drive-Ins and Dives. We selected Darwell’s Cafe in Long Beach. We shared a Crab Cake Entrée with sides of Crawfish Étouffée and Shrimp Creole. For dessert, we had an Apple Bottom Brownie and a Peanut Brownie. This place had the best food since Murphy’s in Giddings. Take a look.
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Thursday we have a short drive to Rainbow Plantation. This is another Escapee park in Summerdale, AL. Here we are going to meet Darrell and Judy Patterson from Wandering America . We have been following them on their travel blog for over 5 years now. We planing on spending two nights there.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you enjoy the journey as much as we are.

1626 Miles to Go

Friday Feb 17th marked the beginning of our 1600+ mile journey to the east coast. This was going to be a busy day. Carol spent the afternoon on Thursday brushing and grooming Qianna. This morning she (Qianna) and Cody had a bath appointment in Corpus Christi early in the morning at the Dog House. We dropped them off after they agreed to have the fur babies ready for pick up at 10:30.

Next stop was breakfast. We had been going to Town and Country Cafe for years so we thought it was fitting to stop by one last time for a hearty breakfast. After breakfast, I stopped at Home Depot to pick up a couple of blades for my circular saw. Next stop was Advanced Hearing Solutions to pick up Carol’s hearing aid that had been sent back to factory for repair. Finally back to the Dog House to pick up the fur babies. Corpus Christi tasks are completed.

We headed back to Taft to hitch up our house. As we got closer to the Corpus Christi ship channel, we ran into fog and misty dew. Crossed the channel and ran into light but steady rain in Portland. By the time we got to Taft about 11:00AM, the rain stopped. God gave us a window of no rain to get hitched up. I had already packed away things outside on Thursday so today, I helped Carol inside with moving the recliners and some boxes of photos. By noon, we were done with everything and hitched. The church chimes rang at noon as we pulled out.

The first half of the trip to South Forty RV Park in Giddings was uneventful. As we headed North on Highway 77, it felt a little weird to know we are not returning South in a few days. It was like a trip down memory lane. In Refugio, we turn off on Highway 77A headed for Goliad, Cuerro, Yoakum and Hallettsville. Stopped for a quick lunch in Cuerro. Light sprinkles started just as we headed back to the truck. Doggies got a potty break as well.

Second half of the trip was a different story. By the time we got to Yoakum, the rain was pretty steady. Rejoined Highway 77 in Hallettsville and the rain was heavier. As we were approaching Schulenburg, I commented to Carol about the rain run off filling the many ponds that were bone dry. I saw a sign on the side of the highway warning of a low bridge ahead. Sign said 13′ 8″. (Not to self – measure height of RV.) About 2 blocks from this low bridge, I turned off the main highway, drove past a school, crossed over (not under) the R/R tracks and stopped for a potty break at Besetsney’s Kountry Bakery. Of course I purchased a few pastries for Saturday’s breakfast. The rain was still coming down in buckets.

The closer we got to La Grange, I remembered the comment Carol made to me in May 2007 while returning home from a family reunion in Giddings. She said, “You do know, dear, when we retire, I do not want to stay in Corpus Christi, I would like to live closer to family.” I wrote about that conversation on The Plan. Here we are almost 5 years later. Another sign on the highway reminded us of a steep twisty down grade on the final approach to La Grange. Due to the wet road conditions, we opted to take an alternate route. Of course we did not know that Country Club Drive would be under construction and we would drive on wet, very rough caliche. About a mile after I turned off Highway 77, the road transitioned from black top to caliche. I was traveling about 35 mph and realized very quickly that we had to slow down quickly since we did not need the RV to shake, rattle, and roll down the road. Twenty mph was almost too fast. SHEESH, that was a slow 2.5 mile trip.

We left La Grange, headed for Giddings. Thirty miles to go and it is still raining. Now it is time for a serious prayer. “GOD, Thank you for bringing moisture to this dry state of Texas.  However, we could use a sort period of no rain so we can set up. Thank You for understanding.” So for the next few minutes, it continued to rain. As we pulled into the South Forty RV Park, it is still raining. As we pulled into our site, it was still raining. About 5 minutes later, the rain slowed to a light sprinkle. Yea God. He is so good.

After we unhitched, we met Harold Dean from Palestine, TX and Ray Sagar from Sevierville, TN. These are two of the founders of the Cedar Creek RV Owners Club. I’ve chatted with these guys on the internet for the past several months so it was good to put a face to their names. They are here at South Forty for the month of February. Shortly after we got settled in Ray came over and gave us a patch that his wife made and a couple of Cedar Creek coffee mugs they give to new members as they meet them. Thanks fellas.

We drove to Winchester for an amazing meal at Murphy’s Steakhouse. I normally do not order Ribeye steak because I have not found many places that cook up a Ribeye as good as me. Not bragging here just the facts. Ask my family. The drive through more rain to get there was certainly worth it. When we got back to our home, we walked the fur babies, raised the bat wing (TV Antenna) and settled in for the rest of the evening.  Carol nested in bed with a book. I was waiting for the weather report but decided to turn in early. The weather will be what it will be.

Murphy’s Steakhouise

Saturday we are expecting company as my brother and S-I-L make the trip from their home in Burton and our eldest daughter and youngest grandson make the trip from Houston for an afternoon visit.

Thanks for stopping by. We will keep you up to date as we travel on to our next stop on our retirement adventure.