Our New House

It was brought to my attention that we haven’t updated our Blog since 2013. Since we have become stagnant and haven’t really traveled for a while I didn’t have much of interest to post. Not that our life isn’t interesting, there just isn’t much RV Travel going on.

Well recently we have turned another page in our lives. We decided since we like our lifestyle so much that buying a house wasn’t in our plans. However we have pretty much outgrown the RV so…

We bought a Park Model home in the same resort where we have lived for the last 11 years in the motor home. If you are not familiar with a Park Model, it is a small 400 square foot manufactured home. Ours however is a bit more than a simple park model. First off ours is set in the ground so it is ground level, then a 200 square foot addition was added making it 600 square foot overall and the whole thing is stuccoed and the roof is tiled. There is also a 117 square foot building on the property, which serves as a laundry room and a shop. This building is attached to the house by a covered patio with outdoor kitchen. Along with the real residential appliances they topped it off with an air conditioner that can turn the house into a meat locker in the 120-degree Arizona summers. You can see more photos by clicking on the link in the left column.

I have added a link to the photos of our house HERE.

So, although we are keeping the motor home, it looks like we are not Fulltimers anymore.

Best wishes to all our readers and I hope your travels are as enjoyable as ours.

I will leave the Blog up because I know others enjoy reading about our travels.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Homosassa Springs Wildlife Preserve

Click on photo to enlarge

Tomorrow is another travel day. This is going to be an easy 1 hour and 45 minute drive down to Orlando so we will not be in a hurry to get an early start. They have a wash rack here and one at the new location. I haven't decided if I want to wash the Aerbus here or there. I guess I will see what the weather is like in the morning.

We had a real good stay here at Rock Crusher Canyon. Today we visited the Homosassa Springs Wildlife Preserve. This is similar to the Living Deserts we visited in Arizona and New Mexico. Here we found not only the bears, panthers, snakes, and birds, but also Manatees and alligators. Our visit started out with a 20 minute boat ride down a wildlife channel where we saw birds, snakes, turtles, and alligators IN THE WILD. These are not placed there nor are they in captivity. They are in the wild. We were lucky enough to see these on the trip to the preserve because we only saw birds on the way back.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

OK, It’s only for one night.

Click on photo to enlarge

Steinhatchee? You don't want to go there. Being on the Gulf Coast, I pictures this place as being a clean small town with white sandy beaches. At least that has been our opinion of the Gulf Coast until now. Steinhatchee is a small town alright. So much so that the motorhome took up all of the 8 foot wide lane road through town. We missed the turn for the road to the campground and had a heck of a time finding a place to turn this 55 feet of motorhome and car around. Once we did get going down the right road we found the campground but couldn't find the office. I finally spotted a couple of guys pounding out some car body parts next to an old mobile home and they pointed me to the office down a narrow road at the back of the campground. This place looked like it just went through the latest hurricane and they didn't have time to clean it up. I gave then the $25 they wanted for the night and had to unhook the car to turn the motorhome around to get to my site. Once at the site I began to hookup and noticed the sewer hookup was plugged with dirt and leaves. No problem, it's only one night. When I went to plug in I had 2 choices bad or worst. The 2 receptacles were fried and corroded. I had to get out my needle files and clean and straighten things out a bit before I could plug in. I went in and checked my plug tester and guess what? Reverse polarity. Go Figure. However, cable TV was good and the night was quiet. The water in this area was a very dark burgundy color. Why? I don't know.

Crystal River (see photo above) makes up for Steinhatchee. This place is rated WWWWW by Woodall's campground guide. That is the top rating. Although it is Very Nice, I would give it a WWWW. The weather has finally turned around. Today was beautiful and it is supposed to get better. We will relax here for 3 nights before heading into the Orlando area.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Where the hell is Steinhatchee

We will find out. That is where we are heading in the morning. Why? Because it’s there. Actually because it is about 3 hours from here. We like to limit our travel to only 3 hours a day. This lets us leave late and arrive early usually missing all the traffic.

We are still under sever thunder storm and tornado watch around here. A watch means the conditions are right but not necessarily that it will happen. Last night we had a tornado warning. A warning means that one has been spotted and we are being warned it might head our way. Fortunately for us it was spotted just east of us and it was heading in a north easterly direction. Tomorrow the weather forecast look good and as the week goes on it will get better. After Steinhatchee we will be heading more inland which will lessen our chance of fowl weather.

Hopefully I will have internet access for the next few days so I can keep in touch. We will be in the Orlando area by Friday and I know I will have access there.

We survived

Read the post below first..
Well after everything settled, about 11:00, last night it was an un eventful night. We are still under Tornado watch until 11:00 this morning but it is remarkably calm right now. I am back sitting under the mighty oaks. Just to be on the safe side we had clothed, rain jackets, flashlights, and my weather radio by the door ready for the worst. I have no idea where we would go, but if someone came by and rousted us with a place to go we were ready. The worst that happened is when I came out this morning I had to go hunt down my flip flops because the river that developed under our motorhome washed them down a few sites. Surprising I found both of them side by side like I placed them there. After today the weather is supposed to be nice. I sure hope so because our next stop is right on the gulf coast.

Saturday, March 26, 2005


I have never been in a thunder storm such as this. Our power has been knocked out and the lightning reminds me of a strobe light. It is just constant. There were a couple of hits close by. The rain is so heavy I can barely see across the street. This is exciting to say the least. I know we will survive though. Don't worry, we will be OK. I have my battery operated weather radio on and am keeping a constant ear on the reports. They are saying the worst of this storm has passes but we are still under a tornado watch until morning.

The following is from the weather site in the column on the left.

The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for southeastAlabama... southwest and south central Georgia... and the Florida BigBend and Panhandle... effective until 500 am EST Sunday morning(400 amCST Sunday morning).

at 1036 PM EST... National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated adeveloping tornado near Tallahassee... moving east at 55 mph.

... This is a particularly dangerous situation... Destructive tornadoes... large hail to 1.5 inches in diameter... thunderstorm wind gusts to 60 mph... and dangerous lightning arepossible in these areas.

A Tornado Watch remains in effect for the warned area. If a tornadois spotted... act quickly and move to a place of safety in a sturdystructure... such as a basement or small interior room.

I will try to report in the morning if we are still here.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Stay off the Interstates?

Click on photo to enlarge

When I decided to go fulltime, I read a lot from other fulltimers about the dos and don'ts. One thing I read is to stay off the Interstates and take the scenic highways. This is good advice when traveling through Los Angeles and areas like that. However, when the interstates look like the photo above' Believe it or not this is Interstate 10 through Florida. The only problem I can see is that it does get a little monotonous, so we have decided to take highway 19 down the gulf coast of Florida as we head for Orlando.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Plans change

Click on photo to enlarge

We intended to stop for a night in Alabama but when we got there I wasn’t ready to stop driving. We continued on and stopped at the first rest stop/visitors center in Florida. Since it was only going to be a 1 niter we did a Walmart in Pensacola. I asked the Walmart greeter for permission and after granting it I got to listen to his whole life story. Some of those ol’ guys really like to talk. Well after picking up a few items and dinner this Walmart night cost me about $50. Who says camping at Walmart is free?

I took a chance and made a reservation for the next stop. I figured Florida will be like California as far as reservations being a must this time of year. I don’t like reservations incase the place is a dump but we made a good choice this time. We are at a place in Tallahassee called Big Oak RV Park. The place sure lives up to it’s name. We are parked under some giant oaks. This place is so nice we decided to extend our stay through the weekend. The place is full but they found a spot under the oaks where I can share power and water with a nearby site. This is fine with me since the other guy is using the 30 amp outlet and I am using the 50 amp outlet. We have no sewer hookup but with my holding tank capacity this is not a problem. They even have free WIFI internet. I am not sure what there is to do around here for a weekend but I am sure we will not have a problem finding something.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Storm Watch

Click on photo to enlarge

OK, What gives. According to the weather forecast we are looking at a tornado watch ahead of us. I thought this was Spring. The weather is supposed to be nice. The good thing, it's heading northeast and we will be heading southeast. And there is a big high pressure coming up behind us. We still plan to move into Florida or eastern Alabama tomorrow in spite of the weather. We woke this morning to some rain. When we headed out to tour, the sky over the gulf looked pretty scary. We pulled into a visitors center to get some info and when we came out there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Strangest thing I ever did see. The rest of the day was beautiful.

Well we are looking at another sleepless night tonight. Take a close look at the picture above. Yes, that is a train right outside my windshield (behind the trailer). We are camped right next to the tracks. Not only that but there are 2 sets of tracks. What this means is, this is the area where one train will pull over to let the oncoming train go by. Imagine the sound in the middle of the night of a train putting on the brakes and all the cars banging up together, then the other train going by, then the stopped train pulling out with all it's cars clanging apart. Oh Yeah, since we are also right next to a cross road, they lay on the whistle. This went on pretty much all last night. You can actually feel the motorhome shake just like a good ol' California earthquake.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Biloxi Mississippi

Click on photo to enlarge

We arrived in Biloxi Mississippi today at around 12:00. The first thing we did when entering Mississippi was to stop at the Rest Stop/Visitors Center. We have found that most states have these on all the major routes leading into the state. This one is really nice. It looks like a southern plantation house and once inside there are antique style furnishings to sit and relax and free coffee and soda for refreshments. There is also a very helpful staff that will answer all your questions and even make reservations for you at the hotels, campgrounds and tours in Mississippi.
Biloxi is beautiful. It is located right on the Gulf Coast with stately Plantation style homes on one side of the oak lined street and white sandy beached on the other. This sand is like finely ground sugar. We got into a Passport America park and only had to dish out $29.00 for 2 nights. Tomorrow we are going to tour the area and maybe even check out the many casinos.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Movin on down the road

Click on photo to enlarge

We had a good time in New Orleans. We have been here for 6 days and it's time to travel on. We spent a day in the French Quarters just walking the streets, looking around and tasted some Beignets which are a French donut type pastry that is smothered in powered sugar. We also took a drive through the Garden District and viewed the plantation style homes and a cemetery. The cemeteries around here are all above ground. The reason is because there is so much water around here that if they dig a grave, it will fill with water before they can get the body in it. This cemetery had graves from the 1700s to present. Some were in pretty bad shape as you can imagine. What I didn't understand though is some had as many as 20 names on them.
We just love sitting in the mornings and early evenings an listening to the many types of birds in the Bayou. I wish I could post sound so all of you could listen to it. It is really something. Every evening after dark, we get a visit from a couple of Raccoons. They have been eating the bird seed I put out so we started putting out peanuts for them. They not only eat the peanuts but all the bird seed so I don't leave the bird seed out at night.
Tomorrow we are moving on. We are just going down the road a bit and stopping in Biloxi Mississippi. Why? I don't know'Just because we can. We have to slow down. I figure if we only travel 2 hours a day we will still be in Orlando Florida a week early. We will have to find some place to play for a while. Since we don't like to travel on the weekends we will most likely find a place to stay over the weekend. I mapped out a route along the gulf coast of Florida then realized that it may still be messed up from the last hurricane so I gave some of the beach state parks a call. They said they are open and mostly rebuilt. Now how about the roads? We will have to see.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

A day in the French Quarters

Click on photo to enlarge

Well, I have mixed feelings about New Orleans. A lot of people I have talked to said it is dangerous, some have asked why I would want to go there, and I have read where they say to stay on the populated streets and if you find yourself on an empty street, turn around and go back. Maybe it is because we visited New Orleans during the day time. Maybe it is because we visited New Orleans during the week day. Although it was St. Patrick's day, I found New Orleans to be cleaner and safer than I expected. We did stay on the more populated streets and I kept my wallet in my front pocket and kept a close eye on Susan but at no time did I feel unsafe. For an area that goes through so much abuse, with Mardi Gras and all, it was clean and in good shape. We parked our car across the Mississippi from New Orleans and took the ferry, which also carries cars, across as suggested by the locals. They say it is too expensive to park in New Orleans, If you can find parking. It was $5 to park near the ferry and did not to appear to be a good area, the ferry was free. After crossing the river I noticed a large safe parking structure with plenty of open spaces in New Orleans for $13 a day. Although the car was OK, I think I would have felt better paying the extra money. Now I would imagine the weekends are a different story.
Along Bourbon Street there is an areas lined with souvenirs shops and an areas lined with bars and night clubs. Decatur Street is lined with mostly Hotels and Eating places. Canal Street has the Harris Casino and high end shops such as Sacs. The riverwalk is a nice shopping mall. There is pretty much something for everyone. You can take a carriage tour of the area or take the trolley around, but we found it no problem to walk. The tours will teach you more about the area and history but if you just want to look around just walk it.
We had a good time and may go back tomorrow to take the trolley over to the Garden district to look at some plantation homes.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

New Orleans Louisiana

Click on photo to enlarge

We made it to New Orleans about noon. I took off on a highway that goes around New Orleans to Westwego where we are staying. It might have been a little longer but it saved us some traffic hassles from what I have heard. The drive was easy with good weather and little traffic. We passed over more swamp land on another long bridge but not as long as the 18 miles the day before. We also crossed the Mississippi again so we are back on the west side, actually the south side because of the way the river bends here. Boy do I love modern technology. I had picked out 3 campgrounds near New Orleans and was undecided which to stay at so I put out a question on some RV forums on the internet. I got many responses. All negative. They all said to stay away from that part of town. They all suggested the State Park where we are at. This was a good call. This park is very nice. We are nestled in the swamps with moss covered cypress trees and water all around us (see above photo). All we can hear is the birds and there are plenty of them. It is primitive but we do have water and electricity hookups with a paved site for the motorhome, and all for $12 a night.
Another thing I like about modern technology is my GPS navigation system. I could not be without now. All I do is tell it where I want to go and it will map out the route to suite my preference. I can go interstates, highways or rural. I like to chose a mix. I can tell when it gets time to start looking for signs to the parks. So far it has lead me right to the spot.
We had a big thunder storm come through last night. It down right pored all night but this morning was calm. It is suppose to clear up today and be nice the rest of the week. Today we went gator hunting around the campground but didn't see any. It may be too cold right now. Tomorrow we will check out New Orleans. I really want to take a swamp boat tour so we will be checking into that also.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Crossing the Mississippi

Click on photo to enlarge

We crossed the Mississippi today. We are in Baton Rough Louisiana. We will be crossing the Mississippi again on our way to New Orleans and again leaving New Orleans. We are only going to be here for 1 night then off to N'Orleans. We were going to stay at a Walmart here but it looked a bit scary. We are at an RV park and horse Activity center right next to the Mississippi. I can sit in my recliner and gaze out the window at the horses in the pasture next to camp. At our back over the levee is the Mississippi. I hate reservations. If we hadn't made reservations in New Orleans we would stay here a couple of days.
The drive here was interesting. We drove over an 18 mile long bridge. You might ask why the bridge was so long? It takes you over 18 miles of swamp land. The bridge was only about 50 feet off the water the whole way. This is the only way they could put a road through here. We kept an eye out for gators along the way but didn't see any. I am sure we will see plenty at our next stop in New Orleans.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Heeyy BoBo

Click on photo to enlarge

We are staying at Yogi Bears Jellystone Campground while here at Lake Charles. This place is nice. They have a good size (very clear) lake and lots of planned activities for the kids. When we pulled in on Thursday it was pretty empty but Friday afternoon it started to fill up. There is an old guy they call Pop that runs around in a golf cart and parks rigs. He looks to be pushing about 90 years old. He sure was busy Friday. We decided to stay through the weekend and leave Monday. That's kind of our policy to not travel on the weekends.
We took a drive around town to see what's happening around here. We visited their alligator Pond to see some alligators. They had about 6 small guys in the pond and a bunch of what are known as alligator snapping turtles. It appears that gambling is legal here because there are a few casinos at the lake. They all are aboard paddle wheel boats that are permanently moored. After talking with one of the security guys, I learned that they used to have to take the boats out every 3 hours. This posed a problem because a lot of people didn't want to go out so they where loosing customers. The casinos finally convinced the state to allow them to stay moored. They sure got some nice homes around the lake. Big plantation style homes with lots of land around them.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Taking a break from the drive

Click on photo to enlarge

On the way from Galveston Island to Lake Charles, LA we got to take a 20 minute break. We loaded the Aerbus onto a ferry and took a ride across the channel. This was a pretty cool experience. There are 3 ferries that run the course and they can accommodate many vehicles including 18 wheelers. There was an 18 wheeler along with 2 other motorhomes and many cars and trucks on the same ferry with us. They do a good job of getting them on and off quickly with no problems. Oh and by the way, It is free. Yeah, that's right, FREE. I don't know how they do it, that must cost them a fortune. While on the ferry we have a choice to stay in the motorhome or wander around the deck. I chose to wander. Susan tried but here motion sickness started to kick in so she retreated back to the safety of our home. The drive to Lake Charles was good until we got into Louisiana then I-10 turned into a wild bronco ride. The road was really messed up. It is easy to see that Louisiana doesn't spend much on their roads.

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

A day in Galveston

Click on photo to enlarge

As I said before, everything is on stilts around here. The lower left is a hotel on a pier. That must be one strong pier to hold up a large hotel, especially during a hurricane. The lower right is a new construction. There is a lot of that going on around here. We saw a sign that said they were selling lots for $20,000 to $60,000. We didn’t see any prices for a completed construction.

Click on photo to enlarge

In the above photos, the top 2 show homes along the many canals. I guess these guys are lucky. They can get to their house even after the hurricanes flood the area. The bottom 2 photos are of the downtown area.

Click on photo to enlarge

What can I say… The beach.

We were lucky to have really good weather while we were here. They were predicting thunder storms for today but they never materialized. It was a nice warm day. I am kind of disappointed I haven’t seen an armadillo. They say there are some around here.

We are back on the road tomorrow. We are heading for Lake Charles Louisiana and going to stay at the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Camp-Resort, should be interesting. Since it is getting close to the weekend and we try to stay off the roads on the weekend, we will be hanging out until Monday.

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Galveston Texas

'Doesn’t make sense. My GPS says our altitude is –63 feet. We are parked about 500 feet from the Gulf of Mexico. If this were true I would think we would be under water right now. We decided to get off the beaten path and take the rural route to Galveston. We passes thought some really cool towns. Some were High class where all the stores and shops had the same colonial look with brick facades and some towns were downright rundown.
I didn’t realize Galveston was on an island. That could be why they call this park the Galveston Island State Park. To the west of us is what’s called the West Bay and to the east of us is the Gulf of Mexico. I pointed “out to sea” and told Susan over there is Florida.
All the houses around here are on stilts. It looks strange to see some really nice 2 story homes with front porches and second story balconies up on stilts like that. Even the large hotels are on stilts. They utilize the ground level for parking. There are signs along the north bound roads that read Hurricane Evacuation Route.
I guess yesterday they had quite a downpour here. They said it was about 4 inches. There is water everywhere. They assigned us a site and said if it is under water, pick another. It was. Tomorrow it is suppose to rain again with lightning and thunder. Hopefully not as bad. Everyone seems to act like it was unusual to rain that much. The park if full. Even the sites under water have been taken so either everyone is crazy or it will be OK.

Monday, March 7, 2005

Heading for Galveston

Click on photo to enlarge

I'm disappointed. I figured when we got to Texas that we would see a bunch of guys with cowboy hats saying things like Y'all and talking funny. For the most part, you wouldn't even know you were in Texas. Also I pictured miles and miles of flat barren land. We have been driving through some nice hilly country with beautiful green grass, oak and pecan trees and cow farms along the way. I guess we aren't in the right part of Texas, or maybe we are.

Today we landed in Columbus Texas. It is a stop over on our way to Galveston. The weather reports said we were in for Thunder storms today but it has been a really nice day. The sun has been popping in and out all day and I had to run the air while traveling because it was in the high 70s outside all day. We will be spending the night in a Walmart parking lot tonight. If this wasn't such a nice little town, I would be worried because we are the only RV in the parking lot. You kind of get a more comfortable feeling when there are others around. When we parked here I went into the Walmart and asked the greeter if it was OK to stay. She said yes and pointed to my motorhome and said park out there. I said, where that motorhome is, and she said yes. I didn't tell her that was my motorhome.

Thursday, March 3, 2005

Remember the Alamo?

Click on photo to enlarge

Today we visited the Alamo. I was never good at history in school so this is all new to me. I remember enough about my history lessons to know what it is about but the details escape me. This was a good history lesson for me. On display was Jim Bowie's knife (remember the Bowie knife) and Davy Crocket's rifle and a lock of his hair. WOW, over 169 years old.

San Antonio is a mess to try to get around. There's got to be 50 highways (well maybe not that many) that run everywhere. And a lot of them overlap so you can be on 3 or 4 at the same time. OK I'll admit it, I got lost. We ended up in a shady side of town. A gentleman noticed I was looking at a map and probably noticed the California plates on the car and asked if he could help. He got us going in the right directions and told us to "be careful". What did he mean by that?

Click on photo to enlarge

We also took The River Walk. This is a 2.5 mile path around a portion of the San Antonio River that is lined with mostly restaurants. I wish I had known about the restaurants before we ate at the Pizza Hut across from the Alamo. We may go back for dinner sometime before we leave.

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

San Antonio Texas

We headed to San Antonio. We are finally back in the Verizon network however I have free wireless so I can update the web site. We are at a nice resort in San Antonio. At $32 a night it might be a bit pricey compared to the other parks we have stayed at. While here I need to look up a windshield repair guy to fix the 2 dings I got in my windshield. I finally got a chance to wash the motorhome and car. MAN were they dirty. The mud that came off the wheel wells was increasable. I will most likely get better mileage now that I got rid off the mud. Speaking of mileage, I got almost 10 MPG. I am impressed. Tomorrow we are just going to rest.

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Pecan Valley

Click on photo to enlarge

We were back on the road. We traveled I-10 and the roads were really good. Crockett county was the best with grass on the shoulders and a nice wide smooth road. We are in Junction Texas right now. We found a nice park off the beaten path. It is called Pecan Valley RV Park. There are only 14 sites and right not only 5 have RVs on them. We are the only Motorhome. It is in a pecan grove right next to the Llamo River. In the evening the wild turkeys and deer come into the park to graze. It is very quiet and peaceful here. If I hadn't made reservations in San Antonio tomorrow I would stay another night. We have not been making reservations unless it is a major tourist town and have had no problems.