Happy New Year from Beaumont, TX!



Not sure how we could be moving at this turtle pace, but tonight, on this new year’s eve, after three days of travel, Google says it is only 729 miles back home!  I am sure our truck odometer will show more but maybe it is a divine intervention to keep us out of this storm that’s bearing down on us.

Our first day of travel we made it to Meridian, MS….just like the trips in 2012 and 2014.  But this time my 2 year old Garmin gps announced that all the maps had been locked!! 

After driving all day, I spent another 3 hours on the laptop (in the tiny trailer in a rv park) trying to find a way to unlock the maps.  Then more time on the phone the next day with customer service.  A stop at Auto Zone for new windshield wipers, a stop at Dollar General for a kitty litter scoop and a stop for food and gas ate up more of our travel day.  Tried using my phone’s navigation system but grew impatient with the inability to see where we were going.  After several wrong turns, I thought I was turning right onto I-59 south and wound up in a Best Buy parking lot!  After making several less than spiritual comments, my husband urged me to go buy a new gps.  Which I did.

Spent last night at Fontainebleau State Park near Slidell, MS. Very cold but we did get in a nice walk to see Lake Pontchartrain.

This am the skies were clear with a beautiful blue …wonderful to see the sun again.  We were making great time all day…no need for extra stops….until we decided to stop at the Texas Welcome Center to discuss the possibility of taking 90 instead of I-10.  We were warned to stay off of the roads past San Antonio, I-10 or 90, for the next 36 hours due to ice and possibility of snow.  It was after 3 by then and we started looking for a PA camp for the night.  Got the last site at Hidden Lake Park in Beaumont. 

So our new year will arrive in another 90 minutes.  Occasional booms can be heard in the distance from those who celebrate with noise.  They are not bothering Hubby and Sylvester who have been asleep for an hour. I am snuggled into the corner of the bed with my laptop keeping me company. 

Don’t know what tomorrow will bring…other than rain.  We still have not de-winterized and camping with the pink stuff is getting tiresome.  Guess we will either stay here or head to San Antonio.

Highlights of our three days……

2014-12-29 11.36.17


2014-12-29 21.52.07

2014-12-31 09.01.39

2014-12-29 18.38.30

2014-12-31 09.26.35


Sylvester Goes West

Hi!  I am Sylvester, Lynne and David's "Casita Kitty".  Mom is resting after a long day or three of packing.  Just want everyone to know that we are heading out to the desert tomorrow morning!

I can't wait to get out of here!  That scrawny little Princess cat makes my life miserable, constantly screaming when I get close to her and slapping me for no reason!

I get to be the only cat-child for next three months!  Mom has bought me a new bed for the trip and she promises to cover me each night with a warm fleecy throw.  (Sure wish they would get some heat in that trailer!)

But I overheard them talking...they are going to take the warmest route...so maybe I won't freeze after all.

Lynne here....
Our baby gets under the covers with us...so he is seldom cold.  And we do have a heater...when we have electricity.

We are tired but excited.  Another trip to the doctor for blood work early tomorrow and then we hit the road.  Maybe in San Antonio by New Years Eve?


Winter Solstice, Challenges and Gratitude



AZ Morning

This is what happens when I don’t post regularly….I have too much to say and can’t figure where to start and where to stop!

Normally I build the post around recent photos….and I may go back and stick in a few.  But, for now, I am just going to start writing and see what emerges.

Today is the winter solstice, 12/21/2014..the day I live for each winter, the day the sun returns to lengthen the day.  (Just noticed that I sound a bit dramatic…..but I do get very “down” in the cold, dark months.)

Lying in bed this morning I made a list of 10 things for which I am grateful.  Later thought of sharing them as a post….and a way to catch up.  They are in random order….not in order of importance.

1.  Grateful for the house furnace that provides warmth although it is 32 years old.

2. Grateful for the comfortable bed and the deep sleep that comes with the comfort.

3. Grateful for Sylvester, my newest feline, who provides a deeper quality of love than my other cats.

4. Grateful that my husband’s heart is back in rhythm after it went into atrial fibrillation last week. Grateful for the hospital who shocked it back into rhythm after only one night’s stay.  Grateful that he is tolerating the medication that will be a necessary and permanent part of our life.

5. Grateful that my husband can walk normally and without pain. David, after the hospital stay, took a short walk which resulted in severe hip pain….probably from arthritic changes….and he was unable to walk without assistance for 4 days!  Afraid the take the anti-inflammatory drugs that interact with the blood thinner, he just toughed it out until the doctor gave him permission to use Aleve….which has “cured” it for now.

6. Grateful for the cardiac doctor who understands us and our priorities…who said there was no reason to stay home and we could make our trek to Arizona!!

7.  Grateful for the lovely lady who decided to spend the winter at our house…grateful our other kitties will have someone to feed and love them.

8. Grateful it is only 8 more days before we start our winter journey to the sun.  Grateful we have family in Arizona that prompts the travel and grateful for the memories of the Superstition Mountains towering over our camp…..can’t wait!

9. Grateful for the little 16 foot Casita trailer and how it has changed our lives.  And the 8 trips we made in 2014…after we returned from the two months in Arizona!

(Trips: Montgomery for the GE&H rally, Townsend rally, Blue Ridge Parkway, Fall Creek Falls rally, Chester Frost Park, Land Between the Lakes rally, Cherokee rally and Gulf State Park.)

10.  And, finally, grateful for the friends…..who seem more like family than friends….who have come into our lives through this community of bloggers, fiberglass rv owners and fellow tumbleweeds who love this wandering lifestyle.


Superstition MT and David 2/2014


2/2014 Lost Dutchman SP


11/2014 Gulf State Park, AL



Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! And safe travels!!



Surviving at the Shore

It is 72 degrees and a bright sunny day as we arrive at our campsite in Gulf State Park.  Our bodies, already accustom to cold weather, are hot.  The sun is relentless and we are scrambling to get out the awning.
But the forecast is ominous!  A deep freeze is coming and we will not be able to escape.  Tomorrow will be our best chance to get out in the kayaks….we have a rule…if we carry a toy with us, it must be used!  And I have no intention to paddle  in 40 degree wind chills!        
There are 3 lakes at Gulf State Park separated by canals.  We decide to start in one of the canals.
After a couple of hours we are ready to quit….and, with the sun setting at 4:55 PM, dinner must be grilled while there is still daylight.
The next morning I get up and take a shower! (not my normal routine while camping)… Preparing for a special day! This is the day we will meet up with Carla and Jerry,  blogging friends that I have never met in person!
While walking from the bathhouse a big truck passes, I look in the window and there they are…..recognizing her face from the two years of reading the blog!
We immediately start talking and can’t quit!  They offer to show us around town and we head for the beach.

After a tasty lunch and a quick trip to see their lovely fifth-wheel home, we say good bye….knowing we will meet again somewhere down the road.  Maybe we will get in another visit before we head north!
The promised rain arrives the next morning.  We make plans to eat lunch with our egg group.  There are now two other Casitas, one Escape and an Egg Camper just a few sites away.  This is not an accident but the sharing of plans at a rally last month.  Two couples had reservations at Gulf Shores in November.  The rest of us just thought it an excellent idea!
Boardwalk to gulf….just across from park.
The survival part of the trip starts right after the rain!  We are not winter campers!  Except for lower Florida and Arizona! 
There is full bright sun which makes the cold a bit more bearable but the wind is merciless.   We decide to check out Fort Morgan, not realizing that the breezes are gale-force out on the point.
Nothing is very pretty….don’t enjoy taking photos of ugly…but anything historical is educational.  Fort Morgan guarded the entrance to Mobile Bay during the Civil War.  This is where Admiral Farragut made the famous quote “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”  (At that time, a mine was called a torpedo.)
The Gulf is blustery and cold.
Today is another cold day with plentiful sunshine!  We may ride our bikes…many, many bike trails lead out of the park.  Tomorrow it will be warm again but rain and cold are heading back soon.  Thinking it will be time to leave before another round of survival-type weather.


Food and Friends in the Mountains: The Cherokee Rally

It is raining hard with sheets of water pouring over us as we start our 150 mile journey to Cherokee, North Carolina.  This is our fifth trip to the rally at Happy Holiday RV Park.  And this time I am “in charge”!  (What was I thinking!!)
We had just spent the previous night waking to the weather radio sounding alarms.  Now we are driving back into the storm and more tornado watches.  Thought about stopping and trying to find a safe place to camp.  But didn’t…..just kept on plowing through the bad weather.
We set up in the pouring rain, a miserable experience!  But a warm meal, cable TV and the electric heater get us through the first night.
Wednesday and Thursday provide more rain….everyone is waiting patiently for the promised beautiful weekend weather.  And it finally arrives!
Thursday night we attend the Meet and Sweet.  Too busy to take any photos……hubby says he has never eaten so many deserts!
Friday we participate in the Dutch Oven demo….my new camera got a workout!  More on the camera later….

Donna outlines  Dutch oven basics.
Chocolate and cherries!
Samples going fast!
Saturday morning it is time to get out of the campground!  Socco Falls is on the way to the Parkway and the new camera needs some use!  (Last week after trying a Nikkor 18 to 200 lens, just could not handle spending that much money!  Decided to buy the Nikon 3200 two lens bundle.)
Now I have two cameras with two different lens….which presents a learning curve.
This is the same waterfall…..should have had the wide angle with me instead of the telephoto.  Oh well….guess that’s part of learning.
There is lots of color the first mile or so going up the Blue Ridge Parkway but soon all the trees are bare! 

My spirits restored by the solitude, it is time to rejoin the rally….egg parade in progress!
The maroon and white trailer repeats the color scheme inside.
The below trailer is a home built…this couple had brought their 16’ Casita all the previous years.
Inside shot of the home built!  Very creative couple!
Some of our buddies chose a quiet spot on the back creek.  And we got a primo site on the front creek…unfortunately our expensive neighborhood was full of mud!
Like all rallies, it is over way too soon.  We join our friends on Florida row to enjoy one last campfire.
Rallies are just a good time!  Lots of love, lots of laughter and after meeting the same people over and over…..a real feeling of family.  Love the diversity in the fiberglass community! 
My experience as a rally host is mostly positive….but turning it over to someone else next year.  Dates are set and reservations have been made…more good times in the future!
What now?  Planning on Arizona after Christmas and maybe a short trip to the Gulf next month….want to see Gulf Shores and eat seafood!