Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 The Year in Reveiw

    Its seems like it was just yesterday when we were planing for Y2K. Well we got  beyond that. We now are closing in on another year, 12 years later. Although we didn't do any great trips this year we did have some new adventures. We started the year with the lost of our beloved Blazer who was put to rest on the 4th of January. A very very sad day for us, and we never knew how many people he had touched in one way or other. We received many many emails and even cards from friends. Many remember his endless energy. Others remembered his great behavior. He was one of a kind. We are now without the loving championship of man's best friend, the first time in 47+ years of marriage we are without a dog or two. I'm sure one will enter our life in the future, but not just yet, as the hurt of losing two wonderful companions in less then two years is still bearing on us. Both Lilly and Blazer were rescues, and the two best dogs we ever had the pleasure of calling our own. We were the lucky ones, they showed their thanks by sharing their lives with us. Lilly for almost 16 years and Blazer for almost 10 years. This year was also sad in that we lost 3 good friends.

     We started the year in Wildwood FL.  In January we were listed on . Since then we had over 25,000 hits to our blog.  We also attended our first Carriage Rally. Carriage is the manufacture of our RV. It was a lot of fun with some great learning experiences. From the Rally we caravaned to the Tampa "Super RV Show" with about 20 other Carriage owners. We had a great time at the Super show. We stayed at the fairgrounds with about 800 other rigs. Besides the show there was coffee and donuts every morning and super entertainment every night, plus the great get together with other RVer's. It was amazing in that we ran into four other couple we knew at the show. We also visited with friends Dave and Liz that live in the area.
     From the Tamps show we went to Punta Gorda. We visited with our daughter in laws sister Fran who just moved to the area. Also friends for the passed 50 years Diane and Marvin also in the area. Then we spent a couple of days with Abbie and Nancy at their great condo, who took us on a few day trips around the area.  This was the first time we spent time  away from our RV. In the passed with our dogs we couldn't do this.
     We travel a little further south in FL to visit the Everglades. We spent a wonderful 10 days touring the Everglades National park, Big Cypress National Preserve and Biscayne National Park. We saw a great deal of wildlife and had a great time.
       From the Everglades we went back to Punta Gorda for another Carriage Rally. Again we had a great time with new/old friends. Then we went to Zolfo Springs and the Thousand Trails park. We spent a couple of weeks there and we met up with friends Tom and Paula, plus a few other acquaintances we had met at other RV Parks. We had also met up with Banjo, Blazers friend and playmate and his owner Joe and his wife.. We all share stories of our four legged frends. We then traveled to the Thousand Trail park in the Orlando area. While there we met my cousin Pat and her husband Larry and went to the Strawberry Festival. We had a good time getting together and fun at the festival. A couple of days later we met with my cousin Jane and her husband Nick at one of our favorite restaurants The Catfish House in St Cloud. While there the famed Harlem Globetrotters came in to eat. What a nice treat. They were super ambassadors. They posed with anyone that wanted a photo and took their time talking to everyone. A very nice group of gentlemen. We had a couple of visits to Walt Disney World with passes from friends Jim and Linda that still work there.
       At the end of March we headed to GA. We went to West Point Lake in West Point GA. We met up with friends Barry and Donna. We spent 5 great days with them visiting Calaway Gardens and The FDR Little White house, as well as touring the area. After a sad good bye, we headed to Pigeon Forge TN. We spent the next 3 months there, working for Dollywood. The perks working for Dollywood were great. We attended about 30 shows and other attraction, like a visit to Biltmore,  on Dolly's dollar. We also did a lot of touring on our own. An added bonus was a visit from our son Mark and his wife Tracey. They spent about a week with us. Another bonus was being in the Smokey Mountains. While at Dollywood we did get to meet Dolly and have our picture taken with her. While at Dollywood we celebrate our 47th anniversary. After leaving Pigeon Forge we took about 3 weeks to get back to PA. We spent 2 weeks touring in NC and 1 week in VA.
    While in PA we did get to have a lot of family time. We spent about 13 weeks in PA. September in PA  started our 8th year of full time Rving. We did spend a lot of time with doctor and dentist visits. In late October we headed south. We spent 2 weeks at Myrle Beach SC, then a week in both Charleston and Savannah. Then another week in ST  Augustine FL. Next we landed in the Orlando area which seems like it is fast becoming our winter home. While in the Orlando area we did meet up with many friends we worked with at Disney and friends from the Carraige RV Club. If you wish, you can read a lot more about our year in our blog archives.
      THANK YOU to all our friends and blog followers, for following along on our journey. May 2013 bring you all good health, joy and happiness.

2012 Statistics

Here are a few statistics for the year of 2012
     Rv Parks- 32 stops, 19 were new stops for us. Of the 13 repeats we were in 3 two different times. Here is the brake down, all precentages rounded off.
     Thousand Trails       148 days, 41% of the year, membership club
      Fawn Ridge              26   "    ,   7%       "                     "            "
      Coast To Coast        14   "    ,   4%       "                     "           "
      Pasport America      14  "    ,   4%        "         , 50% off RV Club
      Corp Of Engineers    5   "   ,    1%         "         , 50% off w/Golden Age/American The Beautiful
      National Park           10   "       3%         "                   "        "                   "            "
      Monthly                   93   "      25%       "          , working at Dollywood (avg $14.80 day)  
      Rally                        30    "       8%       "          , four different rallies
      Specials                   20    "       5%       "           , Good Sam, show specials
      Regular rack rate      3     "       1%       "           , no discount of any kind
      RPI                           0     "        0%      "

      Our daily RV fee average $9.57 add in our membership dues ($3.99 a day) =$13.56 a day.

Milage traveled
      Truck                    2,900 miles towing, about 50 miles not towing
      Car                       13,000, 2900 following, 10,000 touring



Friday, December 21, 2012

Trip to Walt Disney World and 2 more weeks in FL

     A trip to this part of Florida wouldn't be complete with out a visit to the "Happiest place on earth", Walt Disney World. Its not like we haven't been here, after all we worked there for two winters. But friends Fran and Larry who work at Disney took us in as their guest. Thank you for your generosity. We did enjoy seeing the lights at Hollywood Studios and especially The Candlelight Procession. We had seen this 60-70 or 80 + times and it doesn't get old. We enjoyed it very much.


   We spent two weeks kinda layed back. We don't do this often enough. After all we are retired, but we threw away that old rocking chair. Being active helps keep us young, at least in our humble opinion. We joined the local library so we could get some current books, and books we can't get on our Nook. We save the Nook for older less expensive books. We did get together and play games with friends and of coarse go out to eat with friends. We rode our bikes almost everyday, read a few books and took a few naps. We did take a trip over to Titusville and visited with my cousin Jane and her husband Nick. We ate at one of our favorite places there, The Dixie Crossroads. We  enjoyed the rock shrimp and corn fritters. This has been a truly laid back two weeks.

     We want to wish each and everyone a very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Stagecoach RV Park ST Augustine FL

Name; Stagecoach RV Park, 2711 County Road 208 St Augustine FL 32092 phone 904 824 2319
Date; 11/11-11/18/12
Staff; Very friendly.
Price; $36.30 rally rate, not sure of the regular rate.
Site Description; We had a long pull thru full hook up with 50 amp electic. Site was fairly level packed gravel. We had a small 8X10 cement patio. Most sites did not have patio's. Sites were well spaced with no privacy between sites.  Site was long enought to park both our car and truck.
Big Rig Friendly; Yes, wide wide roads.
Amenities; Pool, clubhouse, pavilion and propane sales.
Laundry; Yes and very clean and fairly new machines, 5 each.
Phone/Wifi/TV; Our Verizon worked very well. Wifi at our site was very good. Cable TV, about 20 channels. We did get our satlite to work very easy, others had a problen with trees. Our site was fairly open.
Dog Friendly; Yes. Lots of room to walk a dog.
Night; Well lit at night. Little road noise.
Book Exchange; Yes, small bok exchange in office area.
Comments; About 7 miles to ST Augustine downtown. The park is very well kept. Most of the sites are pull thrus. Many muture trees. We would stay here again.

Our site after the rally. During the rally all sites were full. We had an end site, so no one on driver side, a wide grass spot, so we didn't feel cranped. The clean laundry.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Three weeks in FL

  It has been three weeks since we arrived at the Thousand Trails Orlando Park. We seem to be spending a lot of time in this area. We have quiet a number of friends in the area. So far we played domino's a few nights, outdoor scuffle board and cash bingo. I'm beginning to think bingo is our game. We played three times so far. I won two games, one for $107 and one for $41. Linda won one for $31. It does cost about $26 for the two of us to play. But we are ahead and that feels good. I did get out to do a little fishing at the lake here at Thousand Trails. It was a very windy day, but I did catch a few small  fish. This gator was one of several I saw. He looked too be about 8-9 foot. He seemed to be watching me.

 One afternoon we  took a 30 mile ride to eat at The Bee's.  We went with Pat and Dave and Andrea and Lance for the famous fried chicken dinners. There was only a small line with a short wait.
    We also got to eat at one of our favorite restaurants, Manny's Chop house. We went there in time for happy hour with friends Lance and Andrea. We all had something different and all enjoyed the food. Afterwards we took a drive to Downtown Disney. We walked around and did a short boat ride. We then made reservations at the AMC Movie Complex for a dinner and show. They have this new thing "Fork and Screen",were you sit in recliner type seats with a table in front of you. You order off a menu from appetizers to entrees to desserts,  and the food is served while you are watching the movie. Drinks are anything from soda to cocktails and beer. You have a call button for the waiter/waitress. The movie was  "Lincoln". A super movie. It;s the type movie you have to see a second time, at least for me. It was a neat experience. We understand that in select areas they are putting in this type of movie/dinning theaters. I wish we would have taken a few photo's, but  and that's a big but, Linda fell down on the job. After all she is the designated photographer. We then went to Celebration City were it snows every night during the Christmas season. Celebration city was developed by Disney in the early 1990's.  See Celebration FL at Wikipedia for the complete story. A neat walkable city
      We also got to eat at one of my (Bob) favorite restaurants at Disney. That is the Cape May Cafe. We went with friends Lance and Andrea and Tom and Chris. The Cape May is a seafood restaurant. I got my fill of crab legs plus, plus, plus a ton of other great foods. Get the picture. Afterwards we took a short boat ride to The Boardwalk. Spent a short time there just strolling around. Then back to the boat and Tom's Chevy truck were all six of squeezed in for the ride back to the RV Park. It was a fun evening with great friends and great food and many laughs.

A pretty sky at the RV Park

A few friends we made. From the left, Elmo and Pachino, Sugar , Baby Girl, and Henry that's the dogs names.



Monday, December 3, 2012

Hardeeville - Thomas Parks RV Park

Name; Hardeeville RV Park 3090 S Okatie Highway , Hwy 315 Hardeeville SC 29927 phone 843 784 6210
Date; 11/4-11/11/12
Staff; There is no staff to be seen. Self check in, grass gets cut, etc, and the place is neat and clean, but didn't see anyone working. We did meet the owner and she was friendly. Cash or check only.
Price; $20 for 30 amp, $21 for 50 amp. This is with the Passport America 50% discount.
Site; We had a extra large grass site. Sites vary from the usual pull thrus to sites scatterd through out the park. We had a full  50 amp. Roads were packed gravel.
Big Rig Friendly; Yes. Wide roads and pull thrus.
Amenites; see below
Laundry; yes but in poor repair. 2 or 3 washers and dryers that didn't work. others didn't. 
Phone/Wifi/TV; Our Verizon worked well. Wifi at our site was very good. Cable TV was good. Our satalite had clear veiw of southern sky.
Dog Friendly; Yes lot's of room to walk a dog.
Night; Little to no outdoor lighting. A little road noise, but didn't disturb us. Quite over all.
Comments; A very clean and well kept park(other then laundry). Cash or checks only. Self contained RVs only, no rest rooms or showers. Picnic tables at most sites, we ask the owner when we saw her for one and she said she will see what she can do, but we never got one. This is a great place to stay if visiting the Savannah GA area. It is located about 10 miles from the downtown visitors center. We would stay here again.

Our site and the wide road at the entrance. The park model building is were you self register. There is a phone number to call if you need something.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lake Aire RV Park

Name; Lake Aire RV Park and Campground 4375 Highway 162 Hollywood SC 29449, phone 843 571 1271
Date; 10/28-11/4/12
Staff; friendly, but not outgoing, just doing her job.
Price; $23.  with Passport America 50% off  discount.
Site descrciption; Fairly level grass. Roads gravel and a very rough road going into park. The road is almost a turn off, but we had friends that recommended this park. If it wouldn't have been for their recommendation this could have been a turn around. Site are standard spacing with no privacy between them. We had full hookup with 50 amp electric. We had a picnic table. A few small ponds for fishing. About 70 sites. We were on site K7.
Big rig friendly; Yes, but just go slow.
Amenities; ponds, pool, quite spot, laundry.
Laundry; Yes, but we didn't check it out.
Phone/Wif/TV; Our Verizon worked well, Wifi in park was very good at our site.TV, we used our satalite, good shot of southern sky.
Dog friendly; yes, very. Lots of room to walk a dog.
Night; very very few lights in park.Quite, with an occasion train.
Book exchange; NO
Comments; A very good locations and rate for visiting Charleston. Downtown Historic Charleston about 10 miles. It is just a bare bones campground. It was fine for us, clean and quite. And served our purpose very well to visit the Charleston area. We would stay here again

Ocean Lakes RV Resort

Name; Ocean Lakes,6001 South Kings Highway Myrtle Beach SC 29575 phone 843 238 5636
Date; 10/21-10/28/12
Staff; Friendly, picture checking into a large hotel
Price; Rally fee  $50. per night, this was the rally rate.  Regular rates about $30 to 70, varies from season to locations.
Site description; We had a pull thru with 50 amp full hookup.  We were in "oceanfront". We were maybe 50 yards to the edge of the beach. The roads were very narrow and some members had a problem pulling into or out of sites, because of the narrow roads and other RVs in front or back of them. Lucky for us we could get out and in ok. There is NO privacy between sites.  The sites were level and paved. Not all sites in the park are paved.  Trash pickup at site. Picnic table, no fire rings.There are about 900 RV sites and over 2000 permanent sites, many with homes on stilts. This is a very very big resort.
Big rig friendly; yes with caution, narrow roads.
Amenities; too many to mention, check out their web site
Laundry; about 100 washers and dryers. Very clean with a laundry service and dry cleaning.
Phone/wif/TV; Verizon cell and data very good. Wifi in Park good, 70 channel cable TV.
Dog friendly; Yes but not easy to find a spot to walk you dog in most areas.
Night; Good night lighting. No noise other then the ocean.
Book exchange; Not sure but I would guess there is one somewhere.
Special features; A short walk to the beach.
Comments; This resort has 310 acres, ocean front. Super if you want the beach. I would not want to be here in season. It must be like a small city in season. They have every thing you could want to do while here. Like I said check out their web site. For us its to crowed and not our type resort. We would probably not stay here again unless with a rally or other special event.

Our site, the beach is beyond the overlook platforms, bottom row of pictures- narrow road, beach and laundry room, part of it.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Florida Rambleings

     Forgot in our last blog that we met a fellow blogger Darren and Joyce  and their two great dogs. Their blog is  http// it is fun meeting other bloggers. We have been following their blog for over a year.
      Also forgot while in Savannah there were a lot of girl scouts and signs saying welcome girl scouts. The reason, the 100 anniversary of the girls scouts. Juliette Gorden Low founded the girls scouts in Savannah. The people at the visitors center told us that a lot of girl scouts are making a pilgrimage to Savannah in tribute to the 100 anniversary.
       To answer a few questions about our last couple of blogs. The antique store in Savannah was 4 floors of antiques stacked floor to ceiling with isle's just wide enough to get through. There was enough furniture to furnish many, many old homes in Savannah. We saw tags on items from $5. to $5,000.  About were we stayed. We stayed at Lake Aire RV Park in Charleston and Hardeeville RV Park in Savannah. We will update them soon in another blog, check back. Changed how we send out emails, we are now sending out bulk email's as BCC, Blind Carbon Copies so no one's email address will be seen. This is for your added  security. Your email address's won't be seem by others. We had tried to do this in the passed twice,  and it didn't work for us. I believe the reason it didn't work was a few email address were no longer in use. I kept getting error messages, removed them and now it is working. We had a few email address that were changed and didn't know about the changes so the BCC won't work. 

     We did so much touring the two weeks we spent in Charleston and Savannah that we should have made notes. As we sit and reminisce we remember things we wanted to share with you and put in our journal, which is our blog. One of these things is the story of "The Waving Girl". "One of Savannah's favorite stories involves the life of Florence Martus (1868 - 1943), who was known well by Savannahians and sailors of the sea as the Waving Girl. The daughter of a sergeant stationed at Fort Pulaski, Florence later moved to a cottage along the river near the entrance of the harbor with her brother George, the Cockspur Island Lighthouse keeper.
As the story goes, life at the remote cottage was lonely for Florence whose closest companion was her devoted collie. At an early age, she developed a close affinity with the passing ships and welcomed each one with a wave of her handkerchief. Sailors began returning her greeting by waving back or with a blast of the ship's horn. Eventually Florence started greeting the ships arriving in the dark by waving a lantern.Florence Martus continued her waving tradition for 44 years and it is estimated that she welcomed more than 50,000 ships during her lifetime. There is a lot of unsubstantiated speculation about Florence having fallen in love with a sailor who never returned to Savannah. The facts, however, about why she started and continued the waving tradition for so many years remain a mystery".
" copied from

       We also missed the bench in Chippewa Square that Tom Hanks sat on and told his life story in the movie Forrest Gump. The bench has been move to the Savannah History Museum. The last time we were in Savannah the bench was still here, or a replica of the bench.
      We also didn't visit Bonaventure cemetery as the famous statue of the Bird Girl , made famous in the book and then  in the movie, "Midnight In The Garden Of Good and Evil", was also move to The Telfiar Museum. The Bird Girl statue was featured on the cover of the book, and became a tourists attraction. 
          Linda's favorite chefs restaurant, Paula Deens, A Lady And Her Sons. This is one of several dinning rooms. We ate on the third floor.

    One day while driving back to the rv park and crossing the Savannah River at the end of the bridge we took a left onto Hutchinson to see what was there. We ended up on what looked like a race track. We saw some people parked and out of there sports cars. We stopped to inquire about the road we were on. They told us it was a road race course. It was closed but now being used again  They believe it was now operated by Porche. Why we could just drive onto it I don't know. They encourage us to do a few slide through the turns. Thank God we were in a Chevy(that's for my friend Barry-inside joke). So we fired up the HHR and ran around the track at break neck speeds between 40 and 50 mph. We didn't slide through any turns, but it was fun. Just one of those crazy things we run into from time to time. 

      Since we have been here at the Thousand Trails Orlando RV Park we have met up with several friends. We must have joined that "senior" group, as we play outdoor shuffle board and play bingo.  At least bingo paid off for me, Bob, I won $107 on one of the specials. I did get a lot of strange looks from some of the regulars. You can tell the regulars because of their "bingo bags" and at least six dobbers in front of them. There were about 16 games paying from $40. to $113.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

St Augustine FL

     The reason for coming to St Augustine FL was for a Carriage rally. The rally was held at Stagecoach RV Park. This is the second rally in less then a month. Both rallies were a lot of fun and we did get to reconnect with friends. At both rallies we played a lot of games, had some great meals and great tech talks. We did some touring in the area, but it was like an old home coming as we spent 4 months in this area. The rally was a success with 29 rigs in attendance. We won't do another rally till Jan of 2013 which will be combined with the Great RV Show in Tampa.
     While in ST Augustine we visited with friends Rodger and Sue that are volunteering at Anastasia State Park here in ST Augustine. It was fun getting together. Of coarse going out to eat is part of getting together. We went to out favorite pizza place in town. We got there for happy hour and had a good pizza. We should call meeting up with friends "meet and eats". On Saturday night we met up again to see the the lighting of the Christmas lights in downtown ST Augustine. There were a lot of people. The town was very crowed. We were here last year and it rained, this year it was just windy. About 7 years ago we were at the Christmas Holiday lighting in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Serville TN. All three cities did it on three night in a row. After the lighting we said good bye to our friends and headed back to the RV park.
       Sunday morning we headed to Orlando. It was a drive of about 135 miles. We arrived at the Thousand Trails Clemont/Orlando by about 11 in the morning. We set up got out our bikes and rode around the park. Didn't see  any familiar rigs, but I'm sure we have a few friends here. the park has almost 800 sites and it is about 3/4 full. We are trying to go through all the pictures from Charleston and Savannah to upload. For large uploads we use Webshots. As of December it is going away, or changing. So we will see what we can come up with.  Keep in touch and stay safe. We will be in this area till Jannuary.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Savannah GA Part one

       Here we go again. Another great Southern city, Savannah. We spent four days doing walking tours of the historic area's. The last time we were here we did the hop on hop off bus tour, but this time we wanted to get a lot closer to the history by walking all the different streets, and reading all the plaques. We purchased a walking tour book in the visitor center and took off. The book was very informative with great information. I think we walked on all the streets in the Historic area. For now we got our fill of old southern homes and buildings. We need a break from all that history.   But wait we are  heading to The Oldest City, ST Augustine FL. Well its only for a week and we spent 4 months there so we won't do to much touring. We will upload photos in the future. Again we took many pictures of many historic homes and plaques. We probably walked 6 or 7 miles. We did ride the free shuttle around town to different starting points. We also rode the free ferry shuttle, just for the boat ride and to take some photo's from the water.
     One of the best finds we had in Savannah was Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room. They are only open Monday to Friday for lunch from 11:00-2:00. Lunch is served family style. They do no advertising and there is a sign about 18 X 24 inches out front. That's it. Word of month is how we heard about this restaurant. Mrs Wilkes was featured on all the morning shows and many many magazines. People start lining up at about 9:30. We got there at about 9:45 and were about 30th in line. We did get in on the first seating. There are 4 tables of 10. We sat at a table for 10 with 8 strangers. Four of the folks at our table were RVer's. So that broke the ice and we all introduced ourselves. One RV couple  was from about 50 miles from our hometown. The other RV couple was from TN with their daughter and son in law living in the area. The last couple was from Boston MA. After about 5 minutes the uneasiness of dinning with strangers ended. We did meet the one Rving couple 4 days later on one of our walking tours.The food was fabulous. There was so much to eat we didn't know were to start. There was Southern fried chicken, pulled pork, beef stew,jambalaya and about 12 different type vegetable. See  If you go to the website read the story.
       Linda (in red) waiting in line. The table, see Bob far right.

      One day we took a ride out to Tybee Island. We did not tour Fort Pulaski, because we did this a few years ago. Friends Abbie and Nancy  told us about the Sweets Treats candy store. Boy was this a mistake going there. We are now about 3 pounds heavier. The pralines and glazed pecans were unbelievably good.
   We had to eat at "The Lady and Sons", Linda's favorite Food Network chef, Paula Deen's place. We did eat here in the passed, but what the heck, we have to eat somewhere. It was just ok, nothing really special, just one of touristy things you have to do.
   One day we took a trip to Savannah National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge was only about 5 miles from the  RV park we were staying at. It was a cold and windy day. We only got to see a lot of wading birds and ducks. It was to cold for the turtles and gators to be out sunning themselves. The refuge is part of the Atlantic flyway. Part of the refuge was at one time a rice plantations. see more at 

    On our last day in Savannah there was a parade for Veterans day. We saw at least a 1000 JROTC cadets form most of the high schools in the area. We talked with a mother of one of the cadets and she said it use to be mandatory to be in the JROTC program. Now it is not mandatory in all schools, but in some.
      On one of our walking tours we cane upon a antique store. The owner was outside and said stop in and check out the 4 floors of antiques. We did and could not believe our eyes. Your have to see the pictures.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Charleston South Carolina Part 2

    On one of our walking tour days we came upon the Moon Pie store. Well we had to try one. It was just ok. Kinda like two soft cookies with a cream filling. Glad we tried it, but won't try another one. On the same day we walked through the old marketplace. Its is several blocks long.  Many craft items and southern treats.  See

    Since we had done several house tours in the passed we choose to tour the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. We had toured other plantations in the passed and this one rate down at the bottom of the list in our opinion. The plantation house was nothing at all like many of the other great homes we toured in the passed. It is one of the top 25 most visited historic houses in America. Don't know why. The house was nothing at all like other plantation homes we saw in the passed. The tour also included a "Nature Train". It was nothing more then a tram ride 45 minutes long, through the marshes and forests on the plantation grounds. Nothing special. Also included  "Nature Boat" ride. The ride was about 45 minutes. We saw a few alligators and some wading birds. But again nothing special. The gardens were not in bloom other them the camellias.  They do have a great advertising program. Just not worth the $68.. It was $78., but we both brought a item for their food drive and save $5. each. This is our opinion, others may have had a better experience. We were expecting a magnificent plantation home, and this it was not.
     The Coastal Carolina Fair was taking place while we were there, so we had to check it out. This was the 56 year for the fair. The day we went it happened to be senior day, so we got in for $4. each. We went because we wanted to see "The Village People".Well hurricane Sandy caused their flight to be canceled. So there was someone else filling in, and we never heard of him. We walked around for a couple of hours looking at all the different displays. It was one of the biggest midways of rides we ever saw. There were 62 different rides. We didn't count them, it was on a sign.
     While at the winery we saw a flyer for "The Angel Oak", the oldest tree on the east coast. Well it sounds like another "we should see that". Unforturnally it is closed at 5 and it was after 5. How do you close a tree. Duh! they close the gates to get to it. So the next day we drive out to see the "tree". It is in about a half mile on a sandy road. Wow is all we can say. You have to see it yourself. So check out the photo's. We did see a number of large Live Oaks, but this is among the biggest and bestest. I know that's not a word.

    While we were at the RV Park a Carri-lite RV very similar to ours pulls in right across from us.
We did strike up a conversation which lead to more conversations. They were also from Pennsylvina, the Lancaster area. We did encourage them to join the Carriage Club. And they did. We did get together one evening and spent a couple of hours talking about both our RVing experiences. They are also full timers. They invited us to go out to dinner one evening to a place their aunt told them about. The place was called Bowens Island Restaurant. The restaurant is only open from 5 to 9 daily. We got there at about 6 and waited about 45 minutes to get to place our order. Then you go and try to fine a seat. We did and in about 10 minutes they were calling our name. Our food arrived. It was a super seafood feast. Linda and I split a "Big Ol' Seafood Platter". It was fish, shrimp and crab cakes. Very very good and we had a hard time finishing the platter. See
       Friends we worked with at Dollywood were volunteering at the James Island county Park. We contacted them and they invitied us over for dinner and a chance to view their handy work. They were part of a large crew that put up the Christmas light on over 700 displays in the park. It is one of the top 5 Christmas light displays in the country. On the day they invited us over they were going to do a "hot test" of the lights. That is light up the displays and check for outages etc. What a wonderful treat. The display dosen't open until about a week after we were there. So we got to see the lights without the crowds. It is the 23rd year for the event. I believe there were 18 volunteer couples that help the county enployees. There are millions of lights. Linda's camera battery quit or we would have 700 pictures. See

   The fire truck holes shoot "water" with lights. The eagle is flying. many of the displays move in some fashion.

Saw these blocks in a store, very net. Most are not glued together. See

    We did quite a bit of driving around the area. We visited many of the coastal comunities in the area .We liked the Edisto Beach area, as well as some of the other. In all we put about 300 miles on our car.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Charleston South Carolina Part One

                                                         PART ONE
   After two weeks in Myrtle Beach and a fun rally with friends from the Carriage RV Club we moved about 100 miles south to Charleston SC. We had been in Charleston before, but only for a day. We were staying for a week to see the area in more depth. Charleston is a super preserved Southern city.  We bought a city walking tour book of the historic area. We spent four days walking the historic area. Walking the main tour and the two additional alternate tours we probably covered 4 or 5 miles. Of course we had to stop and have lunch in between. We took several hundred photo's of many of the buildings. It will take us a while to arrange all the photo's. We took a picture of the plaque  for each building then several pictures of the buildings. We are arranging them in a digital file. The biggest problem with touring Charleston is parking. Each day we would drive the 10 miles from the RV Park and park at the visitors center or parking garage. The charge is a dollar an hour, with the max of ten dollars. Then we would take the free trolley to a different area of the historic area. Another problem was choosing what to see or tour to take.
       In between walking the historic district we worked in several other tours. We took a boat trip out to Fort Sumter. At the fort was a very good interpretive ranger. Her talk about the fort was very informative. Again we took many photo's. It was a windy day but we road the boat on the top deck for the best views of the harbor. We saw several large container ships making their way to port.

   The fort, the flag that flew over the fort during the siege, see the size of the cannons.

The cannon placements, the USS Yorktown, the new bridge.

     We also took a tour of the only tea plantation in the country. The Charleston Tea Plantation. Unfortunately they only harvest tea in the spring and summer so the factory was ideal. But we did get to see all the equipment used in harvesting and making tea. There was a good video showing the entire process. Its was very interesting. Learned there is a lot more to tea then dunking a tea bag in hot water. Of course we walked away with a box of each of their flavors. Couldn't pass up a good deal, buy five boxes get the sixth for free. What a deal. See 

     The tea plants, the factory and warehouse


The special tea harvesting machine, the only one in the world,Check out theses trees, the store, propagation story.

      On the way to the  tea plantation we saw a sign for a fish hatchery. It was the Bears Bluff National Fish Hatchery. It was a few miles off the main road, but what a super find. It is located along the North Edisto River. We had a super informative tour with a young fishery biologist. You could tell he really enjoyed his job. One of the Hatchery's main projects was working with Atlantic Sturgeons, a "species of concern".  They also work with red drum. We were the only visitors and spent at least an hour learning about the hatchery projects. This was one of those super finds. We then walked a short trail around the hatchery.  They have a great web site which explains a lot about their work. See
      Atlantic sturgeons-13 months old, the underside mouth, two week old, a 200+ pound female, about 10 years old

      Tanks with young fish, side view of the sturgeon, large tanks for older fish, Linda on the trail around the hatchery.

   The young man at the hatchery told us about a winery and distillery about a mile from the hatchery.
WOW, double wow. This was another "shut the front door" find. The winery was Irvin House Vineyards.They make about 7 different Muscadine wines. There is a small charge for tasting, but you get to keep the glass. The wines were very good, each one better then the last, or is that the effect of the wine. Anyway  we left with a few bottles. Part of the winery is the Firefly Distillery. WOW triple wow. Its six dollars to  taste six different blends of vodka, rum and bourbon. But you can keep the shot glass. Good thing Linda is the designated driver. The Sweet Tea Bourbon is not your grandma's sweet tea. The flavored vodka's and rum's etc are wonderful. After six "shots" I was feeling good. But the hostess would bring out another bottle and say "this is my favorite", there no extra charge. This happened twice. The six of us tasting were having a good time. So I picked out a mix of 4 different vodka's and liqueurs. Wait, can't do that. The law states you can only buy 3 bottles. So I buy 3 and my "DD" buys 1.  What a great finish to a great day.  See  and

     The wine in the fermenting tanks, a happy Bob, and is the picture blurry or is it just a very happy Bob.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cypress Camping Resort

Name; Cypress Camping Resort, 101 Cypress RV Way, Myrtle Beach SC, 29588, 843 293 0300
Date; 10/15-10/21/12
Staff; Very friendly and helpful.
Price; $10. with Coast to Coast, regular rate $30-$58.
Site Description;We had a pull thru with full hook ups 50amp electric. Long cement pad with gravel roads. Average spacing, no privacy between sites.
             OUR SITE

Amenities; A pool that has a super walk in ramp on one side. 1200 foot frontage on the intercostal waterway. Boat ramp. Conference center. Small pond for fishing.

Pool, see the walkin ramp. individual shower rooms, the laundry room.

Laundry; Very clean 4 washer and dryers.
Phone/Wifi/TV; Verizon phone 4 bars 33G, Wifi was fair to very good. TV most sites with open sky view. Over the air  TV, many stations.
Dog friendly; Yes, lots of room to walk a dog.
Big Rig Friendly; Very big rig friendly. Wide roads, all pull thru sites.
Night; Very low light. Very quiet.
Summary; Super park, with great views along the intercoastal waterway. A super value with Coast to Coast. We would stay here again.  The park just opened in June of 2012.

Tug pushing a barge.  The parks dock.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Resort At Carolina Crossing

Name;The Resort At Carolina Crossing, 415 Wallace Fork Road Roanoke Rapids NC 27870
Staff; Friendly
Price;$37.50, Member of Passport America-see restrictions
Site Description; Most sites are pull thur. We got a site with a gazebo because it was the last cable site available. It was full hook up with 50amp and 21 channel cable TV. Some sites are paved, some are gravel. Entry road is only paved road. Gravel roads a little dusty. No privacy between sites.
Amenities; Pool, hot tub and clubhouse.
Laundry;Didn't check it out
Phone,Wifi, TV; Verizon phone worked ok. Cable was 21 channels don't know about over the air. Don't know about wifi
Big Rig Friendly; Yes, see photo's, wide roads..
Dog Friendly; Yes, room to walk a dog.
Night; Quiet, very low light.
Opinion;Good stop if traveling along I95. About mile of highway, but no highway noise. Super rate for Passport America at about $18, but high if paying regular rate.

     Our Site

Note wide roads

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Touring South Carolina

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” --Mark Twain

       In the passed year September to September we drove the truck towing the 5th wheel about 5,400 miles. The truck averaged 10.1 miles per gallon. We drove the car about 19,975 miles. The average mpg for the year was 28. On the highway we average from 38-40 mpg. The 3 months we spent in Pigeon Forge TN really brought our mileage down with the heavy traffic in the area. These averages were for the passed 12 months.

      What a surprise, we got gas for $3.25 a gallon. Then it went down to $3.21. Disel was $3.61.  When we left PA we paid $4.19.

      We spent two weeks in Myrtle Beach. While there the town of Loris had a Chicken Bog Festival. What is "chicken bog" you ask. Well it is chicken, sausage and rice. The chicken and sausage are cut up into small pieces. The rice is cooked with the meats and different type spices to make the "bog". This is "low country" cuisine.There was a contest where we bought a ticket to test 14 different entries. They were quite different. Most were very good, a few bland tasting. The festival was very busy with many booths with different craft items. There was also a large car show with some really neat restored cars. Here is a recipe, but there are many many variations.
Traditional Preparation
A coastal South Carolina delicacy with chicken, sausage, and rice - This authentic recipe was contributed by the Loris Chamber of Commerce.
6 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (3 pound) whole chicken
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1/2 pound smoked sausage of your choice, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Italian-style seasonings
  • 2 cubes chicken bouillon
Place water, salt and onion in a large pot. Add chicken and bring all to a boil; cook until chicken is tender, about 1 hour.
Remove chicken from pot and let cool. Remove skin and bones and chop remaining meat into bite size pieces.
Skim off fat from cooking liquid and measure 3 1/2 cups of this chicken broth into a 6-quart saucepan. Add rice, chicken pieces, sausage, herb seasoning and bouillon to this saucepan. Cook all together for 30 minutes; let come to a boil, then reduce heat to low, keeping pan covered the whole time. If mixture is too watery or juicy, cook over medium low heat, uncovered, until it reaches the desired consistency. Stir often while cooking.
    A large pot of Chicken Bog,

 The first photo shows the winner, our pick also, large crow tasting, Bob getting a sample

Some of the many cars

      We also toured many of the beach towns in the area. Then we moved over to the beach to Ocean Lakes RV Resort. We were parked less then 100 yards from the beach. The resort has about 3500 sites. One of the largest RV parks we stayed in. There are about 900 transient sites, the rest are permanent or Homes on stilts. A very nice park.
    The county were Myrtle Beach is Located

    A beautiful river walk
     Just reduced, beach front, anybody want to go half?

       The reason for the move to Ocean Lakes was to attend a Carriage Rally. There were 28 Carriage rigs that attend the Rally. We had a great time reconnecting with some friends we haven't seen since last February at another rally. We had a great time playing dominio's, pot luck dinners, breakfasts and of coarse going out to eat. We also got in some great beach time. The weather was perfect, but the water was only 72-74. Too cool for us, other then getting our toes wet.

       Here comes hurricane Sandy. We were only 100 yards from the beach so we had to decide what to do. We were glued to the TV weather channel. We saw Sandy was about 350 miles off the coast so we decided to stay. We had rain all day on Saturday and soon heavy winds. At high tide we went to the beach and watched the waves coming in. The waves almost covered the beach. Just a small area of sand above the waves. The waves almost came up to the dunes.
We were asked about making our pictures larger. You can, just click on the photo and it should enlarge to fill your screen.
      Murrells Inlet

Dave, Pat, Linda, Bob, Lance and Andrea, celerbrating Lance and Andrea anniversity at the "Dead Dog Saloon in Murrells Inlet

A BBQ we ate at in Roanoke Rapids NC

     Saw this licence plate on the road

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Some touring around PA

Crossed this bridge many many times and until this year back in PA noticed this plaque. Sometimes there are many things in your own home town to discover.
      While in PA we did a little touring in the area. Many drives in Lancaster and York counties. Two of the prettiest  counties in the U.S. We did a factory tour of Turkey Hill. This tour is for kids, not at all worth the $9.50 charged for seniors. You do get to sample some of the different flavors of ice tea and ice cream and see pictures of the making of these products, and do get to read about the factory, but no actual factory tour. But its great for kids. They can make their own flavor ice cream and make a commercial. See

 Touring Columbia PA, the Clock museum mural, neat church, dying downtown, neat home, Safe Harbor power plan.
 See Bob and see how big the cement arches are.

       After leaving PA we traveled to an overnight in NC. It was about 350 miles. Not our usual travel distance. We usually only do 200-250 a day. But we wanted to get below Richmond VA on Sunday, a lot less traffic. We stopped at The RV Resort at Carolina Crossroads, a Passport of America park. But Sunday night is not one of the nights we could use our membership discount. My bad, we paid about $40. instead of the 50% discount price of $20. Originally we intented to arrive on Monday, but since we traveled further we got there on Sunday instead.
       On Monday we left for Myrtle Beach. It was a easy drive of about 250 miles. We stayed at a new RV Park called Cypress Campground. It just opened in June and sits on the inter coastal waterway. A super nice park that is very big rig friendly. It is also a Coast to Coast park. So our rate was $10. a night. We did some of the touristy things in the area, and also just relaxed a bit. On the following Sunday we moved about 5 miles to  Ocean Lakes RV Resort for a Carriage Rally. Ocean Lakes is one of the top rated RV Resorts in the country. And that it is. Our site is about 100 yards from the beach. More on the rally in a later post.