Saturday, November 26, 2011

Rocket Launch

For years I have been watching the NASA website to try and figure out when we could be in Florida for a shuttle launch.  Well, that never worked out, but today we did luckily get to see the launch of the Mars rover mission.

We went over to a city park near the intercoastal waterway and there was a wildlife observation tower.  And as it turned out it was a great rocket launch observation tower as well.

Here is your NASA rocket scientist too.







Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

We didn’t go north for Thanksgiving as we were recently back for Natasha and Andy’s wedding and will go back at Christmas time.  I planned to make a Thanksgiving dinner in the motor home.  I purchased a turkey breast to roast and had a traditional menu planned, but when we arrived at the RV park we were informed there would be a Thanksgiving pot luck at the club house.  So we left the turkey breast for another day and joined the party.  And we figured it would be a good way to meet some more of the people of the park.  It was a very nice gathering of 40 people or so with tons of great food.
We took our very best pot luck dishes.  We had seen people with these at pot lucks at other campgrounds so we purchased a couple before we set out for full timing.  And we were far from the only ones who had the sectioned trays.  They do work well to sample a lot of different items without them all running together.
I made a Boone family recipe specialty to take – a sugar cream pie.   It was yummy if I say so myself.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Titusville, Florida -- Our Winter Destination

We reserved a spot in a Florida RV park for the winter.  We had debated whether to travel around Florida staying a month each in four different spots or just spending the whole four-month period in one spot.  As we had been to many different places in Florida over the years, we didn’t feel like we needed to travel about to see it again so we picked just one spot.  Gary had communicated in an online forum about a skid plate to go under the engine in our motor home.  Come to find out, that same person had two lots in an RV park in Titusville, near Cape Canaveral, exactly the area we had been thinking about for our stay.

We weren’t scheduled to arrive here until December 1, but while we were in Jacksonville we were looking for one more park to stay in, but it seemed a lot of parks were booked up for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  We knew the lot we would be staying in was empty, so we called and arranged an earlier arrival.  Maybe we will leave a bit earlier in March too, although that will be Spring Training time for baseball here in Florida.

Here is a link for our park:

And here is a picture of our site – check out that palm tree:


Tuesday, November 22, 2011


From Savannah, we moved south again, this time into very northern Florida to the city of Jacksonville.  We didn’t find a whole lot to do but fairly close to us was an Anheuser Busch brewery so we took the tour.  While we were waiting for our tour, people kept arriving at the tour center that seemed to be known by the receptionist and were headed to the gift shop.  As the receptionist knew them, we figured they must have been employees, but why were they all headed to the gift shop?  At the end of our tour there was a hospitality center where you could taste some of the Anheuser Busch products – and there were all of the “gift shoppers”.  Seems you can just show up, say you are going to the gift shop and head to the hospitality center for up to two free beers a day no questions asked.   It was like happy hour at Cheers with Norm, Cliffy, Frazier and all the other regulars.

We stayed at a campground that at times was in the flight path of the city’s airport.  It was noisy but it wasn’t too bad.  Also housed at the same airport was a Florida Air National Guard unit.  Believe me; you know it when four straight F15 fighter jets blast over the top of your RV.  Wow, those things are loud.    We won’t camp there again.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ghost Tour

100_0786It seems many cities on their list of attractions offer ghost tours.  Well, Savannah finally got us to take one.  The American Institute of Parapsychology named Savannah as America’s most haunted city. That was good enough for us and off we went to the first graveyard..  Savannah’s haunting is a function of its many war dead, poor burials of slaves in that era, major outbreaks of yellow fever with many possible instances of people being buried alive, and numerous other frightful events.

This home is reportedly haunted by the ghost of a young girl who was beaten and then tied up in a chair and left to die from the heat of the afternoon sun shining through the window upon her.

100_0832This was the home of antique dealer Jim Williams who was the central character of the book and Clint Eastwood directed movie “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”.  He was tried four times and was ultimately acquitted of the murder of his gay lover.  He died six months later of pneumonia and heart failure,but possibly through poisoning by the voodoo priestess, Minerva.
The Old Chandler Hospital may be the most haunted place in Savannah.  It has seen much misery and death.  In 1876 at the height of a yellow fever epidemic, 276 people died here in a 48 hour period.  It was also used as an insane asylum.

On the grounds of the Old Chandler Hospital is “The Hanging Tree”, the reported scene of 35 hangings including those of Union Soldiers infirmed at the hospital who chose death by hanging over starvation.  Look at all the paranormal activity around that tree, or maybe is was the raindrops falling at the time.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hilton Head, SC

We took a day trip to Hilton Head as long as we were in the Savannah area.  It seems a lot like Kiawah Island that we toured near Charleston, but Hilton Head is somewhat larger and is more developed.  Both have lots of golf courses, beach, and bike trails (but we didn’t take our bikes this day).  We preferred Kiawah a bit, but it is not like we are ever going to afford either one.  Here is the iconic picture from all the golf tournaments at Hilton Head.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Savannah, Georgia

Wow, another great city. Savannah and Charleston seem to have a lot in common. Both have history through the Revolutionary and Civil Wars with many restored buildings. Both are major seaports via their rivers (and both are fighting to cash in on the expansion of the Panama Canal).

We are pretty good at finding walking tours to follow so we don’t have to pay for guided tours and we are not intimidated with public transportation. We explored Savannah by foot, bus, and ferry.

Deep Fried Butter?

We’re in Savannah, Georgia which is the home of Paula Deen of Food Network fame.  If you don’t know Paula, she is famous for her southern fried specialties.   We ate at her restaurant, Lady and Sons.  Would you believe deep fried butter?  You freeze a stick of butter, then coat is heavily in flour and bread crumbs, freeze it again, and then deep fry it.  OK, if you still are cringing, you fell for it.  Deep fried butter is not on the menu, but she does have some recipes that aren't all that far removed.  

More reporting to come on Savannah – another great city.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Veterans Day at The Citadel

While we were in Charleston, we didn’t see or read much about The Citadel University in any of the travel literature.  We only decided to visit there after reading a blog post from our “full-timing classmates”, the heydukes.  They had recently visited there and reported on it their blog,

 The Citadel is one of six senior military colleges in the US.  Basically theese universities have military colleges and all students in that college are cadets and ROTC is mandatory, but a military commission upon graduation is not required.  In some of the six universities, the military college is a small percentage of the total student body (Texas A&M) to universities where most students are in the military college (The Citadel). And at Virgina Military Institute all students must be in the military college. 

The Citadel is a highly rated engineering school.  The campus is built around a parade field.  The cadets parade every Friday.  We went for a special parade as it was Veterans Day and Homecoming weekend.

They have a tradition of class rings at The Citadel, but his one seems to be taking that tradition a bit to the extreme.

And check out the machine that some members of the audience arrived in.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Kiawah Island

We decided to explore this resort island on the Atlantic coast near Charleston.  We visited there in part because it is very bike friendly with miles of paved trails and a long beach that you can ride on as well.  It is a 10-mile long former cotton plantation which in the mid 1970s launched as a planned resort community with several golf courses designed by renowned architects such as Dye, Fazio, Nicklaus, Player, and Watson.  The Ryder Cup has been played there and the 2012 PGA Championship will be played on the Ocean course.  The bike trails were great with smooth asphalt and loads of tree cover.  It was surprisingly easy to ride the beach at low tide on the more hard packed part closer to the water – waves of the ocean on one side and beautiful seaside homes on the other.  It was the first time we ever rode bikes on the beach.  And we had our first alligator sighting!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Moving On South

We finally left the beach on Monday.  Spending some extended time at the ocean was one of the things we most looked forward to when we were planning our full timing adventure – and it didn’t disappoint.
But we haven’t moved too far, just a hundred miles south to the Charleston area.  What a historic city.  There are so many restored homes and other buildings from the Revolutionary War and Civil War periods all surrounded by a beautiful harbor.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

North Carolina Pottery

On our way back from Ohio to Myrtle Beach we were passing through southern North Carolina south of Greensboro.  We had passed through this area before and had seen signs for North Carolina Pottery.  This time we stopped in the town of Seagrove.  We found that there are more than 100 potters in the area, many with roots back to the 1700’s.  It seems native and immigrant potters had been attracted to the area because of its clay.  We stopped at one store, a museum, and a store/studio.   One thing that caught our eye was a small cake pot with a recipe for a quarter pound cake.  The Boone family is famous, well at least within the Boone family, for its pound cake, which is really a 4 pound cake made of a pound each of butter, flour, sugar, and eggs.  But that is way too big of a cake for two people on the road so we bought the quarter pound cake pot and cut down the Boone family recipe.  It may take a little more experimentation, but if they are lucky, a quarter pound cake will show up at the family Christmas-- and far more of the appropriate size.

Friday, November 4, 2011

2,000 Horses At Our Campground?

When our Myrtle Beach campground allowed us to store our motor home while we went north for the wedding, we did have to move to a different camp site as they told us the one we were on was already booked for the horses.  Huh?   We had to get an explanation.  They told us when we got back it would be the start of the 30th annual Beach Ride to benefit the American Heart Association.  In part, we decided to stay on a few more days to experience this event, but then it is not hard to get us to spend some more time at the ocean as well.  Well, in rolled 2,000 horses and their owners occupying 800 camp sites.  It is amazing around here.  There are horses everywhere.  They set up corrals of all different sorts and there are all different kinds of rigs ranging from people in tents to combo horse/travel trailers to luxury motor homes pulling horse trailers.  It is a $150 minimum donation per rider to participate plus the cost of the campsite.  There are two horses in a corral right outside our driver side windows.  While we are enjoying the event, Alley cat seems a bit afraid of the activity of these beautiful large animals.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Living out of a motor home and all the traveling we have been doing did not keep me from getting into the Halloween season.  I always carved a pumpkin or two or three in the "sticks and bricks", so I couldn't allow the tradition to lapse.  Here is this year's creation.

Much more of a happy guy than a scary one, but happy is good for Halloween too.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Natasha and Andy's Wedding

We are back from the wedding.  It was a perfect week.  The rehearsal, the rehearsal dinner, the wedding and reception, and the bbq at their house were all wonderful.  Natasha was a beautiful bride and Andy was ever the confident one as he warmly spoke thanking all the guests for their participation.  The wedding and reception was held at a beautiful country estate not far outside Columbus.  Our picture taking didn’t turn out the greatest, but we will share what we have until we receive the professional photos.